Sunday, May 30, 2010

baking one last bun


Yep, you guessed it. That's a bun. In the oven. My excuse for the lack of posts and general laziness on my blog. I'm pregnant. Although most of you know this, and have been kind enough to keep the complaints about my dormant blog to a minimum, I thought I would explain my current lazy state for those of you not in the know. Since I am trying to focus the small bit of energy I have just to keep up with my kids, house and meals, I have spent little to no time at my sewing machine or blog. Although I am hopeful that since I am in my 2nd trimester now that I will get some of my energy back? And in case you are wondering...

1-Yes, it was planned.

2-No, we're not crazy.

3-This will be baby #8.

4-Nope, still not crazy.

5-My due date is the first week of December.

6-We have an appointment to find out the gender in 4 weeks. Start laying bets now.

7-Yes, I am aware that my current baby pattern predicts this will be a girl, but we still have a 50/50 shot just like everyone else, so boy or girl, pattern or no pattern, your guess is as good as mine.

8-I don't have any names I like well enough to saddle our baby with for the rest of their life. Boy or girl. I've got nothing. We're totally doomed.

9-This really is our last baby. I promise. This. Is. It.

Monday, May 24, 2010

finn’s new quilt

Finley's favorite quilt was one I had actually made for Noah when he was a baby. It was a crib sized, tied quilt, and had already been well loved by the time Finn claimed it. He had to have it with him for bedtime and naptime, and dragged it with him anywhere he could. It wasn't long before the constant "love" Finn lavished on his quilt caused the batting to fall apart, most of the ties to disappear, and several stains to be permanently set in, never to come out. The quilt was really just two worn and dirty pieces of fabric, with the few remains of the batting wadded into the bottom corner. Then,  what had started out as a tiny rip was suddenly a huge gaping hole, and Finn's favorite quilt was rendered completely useless. It was time to make him a new one. One thing that has seemed to be a constant with each of my children is that they all have preferred tied quilts when it came to their favorites (just like Grammy Lou's quilts, they are tied with all of her love).

I decided to make the quilt 42x55 so that it was a great size to keep him warm at night in his bed, but still not too large to drag all over the place with him if he wants to. And I also decided to go with a bright Toy Story print for the quilt top (just because I adore so many different designer fabrics does not mean my children enjoy them as I do, and since even my 7 year old son Mathes still adores all things 'Toy Story', I am confident Finn won't outgrow this quilt anytime soon) and a fun blue polka dot print for the backing. I tied it with bright blue yarn and bound the edges with a blue and white striped seersucker for extra interest (I love striped binding on quilts!). No, it's not perfect, but my mistakes are not glaringly apparent, and it's soft, snuggly, and Finn absolutely loves it. That's what matters most, right?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

the manhattan dress, times two

 One of the blogs I frequent has spent the last several weeks featuring a gazillion different dresses for little girls, all using as a base one very simple dress pattern, with an entirely different look each time. There are a ton of great ideas, but one dress really caught my eye, I absolutely loved it. I made a dress for each of my two youngest girls, and I love, love, love the end result. And so do Gracen and Haven. I used my trusty "Miss Madeline" dress pattern (I love it, it's so versatile!), going out a few more inches to the side when drawing my line down for the skirt, just for a bit more swing, then adding the ruffle down the front along with a big sparkly, gaudy button at the top, and it was as easy as that.

  My two cents on making this? Make sure to iron a crease directly down the center front of the dress as a guide to pin the ruffle in place BEFORE you pull the elastic through the casing in the neckline, otherwise it's harder to make sure you are getting your crease/line directly down the center, and it's just plain old easier. Once the crease was there, I went ahead and finished sewing the entire dress, added the elastic at the neckline and sleeves, and hemmed the bottom. I folded the hemmed ruffle strip in half lengthwise and pressed it right sides together, then with my longest stitch length stitched down the center of the ruffle strip, using the crease as my guide. I pulled the bobbin thread on either side to gather it, then I pinned the ruffle to the front and stitched it in place. I promise, the crease I ironed into both the ruffle and the front of the dress made it so easy to center and pin the ruffle. I know the ruffle dos not look quite so straight in the pics, but I assure you, it came out very straight in real life.


For the size-10 dress I cut the ruffle strip 6 inches wide and double the length of the dress front, and the size-6 dress was 5 inches wide and also double the length of the dress front (you can make it wider or narrower to suit your own tastes). I then pressed all of the edges over about 1/8" all the way around, then pressed it 1/8" over again, then stitched it all the way around, making a narrow handkerchief hem on the edges of each of them since I didn't feel like messing with my serger to do a rolled edge. And personally I like the polished look it gives, especially since I also gave the dress a traditional hem. Because of my handkerchief hem, the ruffle strip lost a total of 1/2" on the width, so take note of that. If you use a serger and do a rolled hem on your ruffle strip you will retain the 1/2". I just thought this was worth mentioning since I had originally planned to use my serger but nixed it in the end. I have a few more dresses I want to make the girls for this Summer, but I'm in desperate need of some new skirts myself for church and for the warmer weather too, so I will have to see who wins out. I'm sure it will be more dresses for the girls though, they are always so much fun to make.

oh happy (birth)day

No matter the wet, cold, snowy, non-Spring-like weather outside, we had a lovely day yesterday celebrating. Finn is 3 years old, not that I can believe it, and he had a blast playing with his presents and eating cupcakes with ice cream. I also made one of his favorites for supper, macaroni and cheese with hot dogs and fruit salad. Here he is giving a great big cheesy smile for the camera with his new Darth Vader toy, and fruit salad all over his face. This boy loves Star Wars. Yep, I've raised him right.