Friday, April 6, 2012

It's a Boy

We have a new member in our family.  He is very handsome.  He walks on four feet and is covered in soft fur.  Yep, a new doggie.  I have officially lost my mind.
My little Enzo.  He is named after Enzo Ferrari.  We have a theme name with our Whippets and we are sticking with it.  We had a Turbo, have a Sonic and now an Enzo.  These dogs are fast.  And, my hubby is a car nut.

So, sewing (and laundry, cooking and really everything) has been quite difficult.  I seem to have forgot that Whippet puppies go Mach 1.  Seriously, I want his energy.  Once we get through this puppy stage, he will be the best couch potato snuggler like the other two.  So instead of sewing like I need too (we had AG trip, Easter and birthday to sew for), I have been doing a lot of this...
I mean really, can you blame me???
And his rear end reminds me of a baboon...serious cuteness!!
I think the girls like him too!

We still have our 12 year old Whippet who is such a cuddle bug.  He is pretty ok with the puppy too, as long as he is not jumping on his head at 11pm.
They are happiest in the above setting, or the below setting...
We couldn't be happier with our new addition, even though he has made our life more interesting.  We wouldn't trade him for anything!

A Fun Day for my Sweet Girls

What is the best way for two 5 and 7 year old girly-girls to spend their birthday??  The American Girl store, of course!  We decided to take the girls to DC to see the new AG store that recently opened.  We visited the Atlanta store 2 years ago, but Elise was pretty young at the time.  To say they were excited for the trip was an understatement!  Of course, new outfits for the girls and their doll of choice were in order.  I had a hard time picking outfits.  It is officially Spring, and if you are in NC like me, it has practically been summer for two months.  However, this is was tricky to guess what our weather would be. Here is Ava's...
I was browsing through my local heirloom store, Elegant Stitches, when I found this pretty printed voile.  I loved the colors, but I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to make.  As she was cutting my yardage, I remembered that Gap had a lot of colorful skinny jeans in fun colors.  My girl loves her skinnies!!  I went straight to the mall with my fabric.  I was hoping the teal would work, but that denim was glittery.  I wasn't sure I could deal with glitter, but florescent yellow, yes!  I mean, I wouldn't wear it, but she is 7(well, almost)!  So, I bought those and some fun hair accessories and was on my way to a plan.  I decided to go with an Oliver + S pattern, 2 +2 Blouse.  I have wanted to make this one for a long time.  It went together pretty well, but the sewing witch was certainly on my shoulder.   I am pretty sure every seam I sewed got ripped out at least once.  Given the thinness of this fabric, seam ripping was a nightmare.  I was ready to give sewing up forever.  So, great pattern, bad seamstress.  I loved the way it turned out though, so it was worth it.  I had such tiny scraps left of the paisley fabric that I was quite limited in what I could make for the doll.  The top is a simple peasant top adapted from a peasant dress pattern, and the skirt is a simple rectangle with elastic added.  I added a little gathered fabric flower to give it a little interest.  Kanani looked fabulous!
Elise got a little Children's Corner Charlotte in some birdie fabric I was hording in my stash.  I am sure many sewing friends remember the mad dash to get this fabric!  I used the instructions from this blog to make a backwards opening Charlotte.  As most CC patterns, it went together like a dream. A simple lavender gingham was used for shoulder and hem ruffles.  Little Ruthie got a wrap dress to match.  I used a pattern called Playfully Petite Fashions by Joan Hinds.  I actually won the pattern while at SAGA.  I remember saying, "I will never make doll clothes!" when I won it.  Ha, what you won't do to see your sweet girls smile!!  I actually need to get some more of her patterns because she has a lot of cute ones.  You can visit her website here .

Here they are ready to go in and shop.  They got gift cards from 4 sets of Aunts/Uncles and both Grandparents, so a true shopping experience they were about to have.

Ava was pretty sure the new doll of the year, McKenna was going to come home with her.  Turns out, she was Elise's favorite as well.  We now have McKenna "twins" in the house.  She is a great doll with perfect hair!  After some curly hair dolls, we needed someone easy. 

They took their dolls to the salon to get some new dos.

I am not sure they found anything else to buy????!!!!!
Our last surprise was that we were going to eat lunch there.  We had originally planned to not eat since we had done that before, but we decided to do it anyway.  Warning to those who have not gone, the food is pretty bad....any expensive.  But, it is all about the experience, right??  They were super surprised when the birthday cake arrived and the staff sang to them. 

 Now we are home and I have to finish an Easter dress (in a day) and get ready for both birthday parties next weekend.  Oh lovely April, my busiest time of the year!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Last Winter Wardrobe Addition (Probably)

We woke up to a lot of rain Friday morning.  My youngest is home with me on Fridays and my oldest usually gets taken to school by my husband so I can make an 8:30 class at the gym.  The workout wasn't happening on Friday due to Plantar Fasciitis taking over my workout routine.  I have been trying to do spin classes instead of the interval style (with a lot of jumping) I prefer.  However, my feet were still aching with spin, so I decided to use my Friday as PJ day!  My 4 year old was quite happy sitting in my sewing room crafting while Mommy was crafting.

I had picked up the black ruffle sweater at Gap quite a long time ago with some type of sewing project in mind.  I had some zebra corduroy in my stash and my plan was to make a round yoke dress.  However, in going through Ava's closet to reorganize, I realized the child had very little pants.  Oops!  I picked up a cheap pink t-shirt from Target to embroider and my simple project was ready to be made.  I don't love the t-shirts from there.  They are rather thin to embroider, so I have to watch what I put on them.  I have a really cute monogram circle with a zebra border, but that shirt would have never held up to all that stitching.  I prefer Monag for my shirts, but Ava has outgrown the 6 in length, and there is no way she can wear an 8.  This patch is called the "Sassy Monogram Patch" and I do not know who it came from.  I usually label all designs with the designer, but I must have been in a hurry that day.  Sorry about that.  The pants are Bonnie Blue a size 3.  Seriously!  She will be 7 in April.  Anywho, it is not overly blog worthy, but at least I am sewing.  Spring sewing starts next!  Yippee!  I love spring/summer sewing!

Sorry about the picture quality.  I really had to convince her to try it on at all.  She was ready to enjoy the crazy warm weather we have been having outside and not really take pictures with mommy.  :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Few Skirts

I never get as much winter sewing done as I plan on doing.  There are so many holidays that need outfits that when it comes to regular old winter, I am already ready to think about spring clothes.  I was looking through my stash (sometimes I hide in there to pet my fabrics and eat Snickers), I realized that I have so many cute corduroys that I have no excuse not to use.  I also bought some plain shirts from Gymboree that I had already taken the tags off and washed...maybe three months ago.  I need to use this stuff before they grow out of it!!  The kids were obsessed with my husband's new toy last weekend (a ping pong table), so I got time to myself to get some things done. 
The fabric is a robin's egg blue corduroy with chocolate brown puppies.  I am a complete sucker when it comes to these fabric.  (However, I curse them when an embroidered object is on my seam line!!)  Sally at Farmhouse knows I love these and she sent it to me several years ago.  The dress is good ole CC Lucy.  I hadn't made a Lucy in a while.  I forget how much I love that pattern!  I made a size 5 in the wide version and it looked huge, but fit her perfectly.  Funny thing is that Ava's skirt is also a 5.  I added the pockets, but opted for rick rack over the ties.  I was bothered at first that the lines of the corduroy go in a different direction on the pocket than the dress, but I cut both correctly, so I guess it is supposed to be that way.  It looks fine from here.  The skirt is CC Sara's Skort.  I don't get to match them very often since they go to different schools, but it was fun to see them coordinated for a little bit before school this week.

Close-up of cute fabric.
I have had this fabric for a long time too.  I got it from Bessie Mary years  ago.  It is by Heirloom Imports which use to make some of my very favorite fabrics.  Man, I miss them...and Creative Needle...sigh.  The skirt is patternless and easy.  She wanted a full skirt and several of my patterns have linings.  I really didn't see the need to line this, nor did I have a good lining fabric on hand.  The shirt is from Gymboree again (I liked the bows on the sleeves) and the monogram is from Heirloom Letters.

Saturday, January 21, 2012 month late

I debated even posting this Christmas post almost a month after the actual holiday, but since I actually did some sewing, I will. I usually do a ton of Christmas sewing.  I just love all the cute fabrics, smocking plates, appliques, etc.  I kept it pretty simple this year with a set of casual dresses and a set of nightgowns.  Usually we go to the Nutcracker, which requires us needing a dressy dress.  Here is last year's Nutcracker ensembles. 

But, I decided to give the Nutcracker a break this year.  Elise is obsessed with Rapunzel and she was the main event for Disney on Ice.  We did that instead for our holiday show.  Even though a lot of the kids there wear their princess costumes, I decided Christmas outfits would be cute instead.  Here are the girls before we left...

Elise's dress is a backwards CC Charlotte with ribbon and ruffle trim added to the front of the dress.  I have adored this style dress that is offered by several home show companies and I have seen on some sewing blogs as well.  Ava's dress was based of a basic peasant dress.  I extended the yoke with a very slight a-line and added a ruffle to the bottom.  The green ribbon ties at a bow, but it is hidden in the picture.  The fabric was from the Chez Ami/Patsy Aiken outlet we have here in town.  I don't buy their clothes very often, but I can get great deals on fabrics!

I thought that Ava's dress would make a cute nightgown as well, so I used another Chez Ami knit to make the girls' Christmas Eve pajamas.  I am darn proud all those stripes matched up.  I used a ton of pins and went slow on my serger.

Of course, one AG doll had to get in on the action.

I did not make the below bishops, but they were so cute for our neighborhood Santa party.  Sadly, this might be Ava's last year in a bishop.  It just looked soooo long on her.  I prefer her in a yoked style instead.

We use the best Santa for this party.  He comes with so many props and is very authentic!!

Last, I want to show you their dresses for Christmas Eve.  I did make Elise's "JOY" dress several years ago when Ava was that size.  I used the Ellen McCarn pattern for that back-wrap dress.  The fabric came from Bessie Mary and is by Nashville Cotton.  I cannot remember the designer for the smocking plate, but I will be glad to look it up in my binder if anyone is curious.  Ava's dress is from Shrimp and Grits Kids.  I was the rep for that home show company until last season.  The dress is similar to CC Carol, but it has a yoke and the skirt has an inverted pleat.  Ava is now too big for CC Carol...sniff, sniff.  I did manage to get it monogrammed (like the day before).

The Sweet Taste of Organization

Something always happens after Christmas when we have new toys and things that need  new homes...I get the organization bug.  I think I have gone through every kitchen drawer, the playroom and both girls' closets.  The girls have tried on all summer clothes from last year and I have ironed, photographed, sold and shipped them off to their new homes.  Now I have money burning a hole in my pocket to buy clothes for next season.  Even though I like to sew for them, I also have a slight obsession with trunk show clothing.

Ava's closet has been a pain in my you know what since we moved into this house two years ago.  Her closet is situated under the third story staircase.  The original owners hung two bars perpendicular to each other that blocked the deep part of the closet and left very little hanging space.  Since summer clothes are my favorite and we will have over twice what is presently in her closet, I knew I needed to redo this space.  The Container Store, ahhhh, have you ever been there???  Seriously, you go in for a pencil holder and leave with $100 worth of "very necessary" things.  That place is worse that Target.  My mom used them to do her closets and has been very happy.  So, my wonderful consultant helped make Ava's closet much more useable.

Here are some before pictures.  There was no staging here.  I simply sent my dh up to take a quick photo before he emptied the room.  You will now see a disaster...
What a mess!  
This is the hanging bar that blocked all the deep storage space. 
This is what is behind that hanging bar.  I never look!!

Tuesday they came out and put my new closets in.  Despite the horrible patch job they did when they pulled out the wooden shelves, the closets look great.  I will still have to get the hubs to fix their mess, but I couldn't help going ahead and setting up the closet.  Ava helped me find a home for everything.  While we were working, she said "Mommy this is so much fun!".  She is sooo my child! :)

 Here is the closet looking in from the room.  The drawers hold her undies/socks, shirts and pants.  The two pink boxes on top hold things that we don't use very often.  The tallest bar if for her shirts, sweaters and jackets.
 The next bar down holds her dresses.  It is the only full length hanging space that she has.  We wear a lot more dresses in the summer, so I am sure the shorter shift sytle dresses will have to move with her shirts.

Here you can see the lowest hanging bar.  Right now I have skirts hanging here and there is a hook for her robe.  The top shelf was originally as deep as the other two, but she kept bumping her head on it when she got up from putting her shoes on.  Today I switched it out for a more narrow shelf instead.
The shelves in the back of her closet have boxes with things like headbands, ribbons, belts, hats and scarves.  We also keep her doll boxes there.

Doesn't it look sooo much better??  We also had them do our downstairs coat closet.  We have two, and we just did the one by the garage door.  The kids are the primary users of that closet, so I wanted places for all their bookbags, coats, sports gear, etc.  We use the closet in the front foyer.  I really wish I could have a mudroom, but there is no space for one.  Here is a peek of that closet.  I did not take a before picture, but trust me, it was a mess!!
The shelf where the backpacks are is called their shelf basket.  There is a divider between both girls' backpack and dance bags.  The shelf unit had to be free standing due to the narrow space.  The built-in ones would have hit the door jams when pulling them out.  We keep the sports equipment, hats, gloves, dog leashes, etc. in there.  There is room on both sides for my Hunter rain boots and our tennis rackets.  When the girls come home from school, their everyday jackets are hung on the hooks and bookbags put on the shelf.  Everything is within their reach.  I really try to push independence and "helpfulness" in our household.  Making the space kid friendly really helps.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

May the Force Be With You

I wish I loved costume sewing.  It isn't really my "thang".  But, the girls do get pretty excited when I make them, so it is worth the work.  This year I got off pretty easy.  My original thought was Alice for my sweet blond and Queen of Hearts for her sassy sister.  I love a classic costume like Alice...but I was dreading how to pull the other one off.  So, when Zulily posted the sweetest Rapunzel dress for a decent price, I was sold.  To say that Elise likes Rapunzel is an understatement.  I knew it would be more fun for her than Alice.  One costume was done and not a stitch needed to be sewn. 

Ava had mentioned that she wanted to be Princess Leia.  Her daddy was a big Star Wars fan as a kid and kept all his toys.  This summer, he watched the trilogy with the girls and brought down his toys for them to enjoy.  So, I figured that would be an easy enough costume.  I found an older pattern on Ebay to use.  I was going to use an angel pattern instead, but Stephen didn't think it was authentic enough.  Uh, ok.  I finally got started on it on Tuesday.  I work better under pressure.  It came together super easy and my little Ava was beyond excited to try it out today!  We had our neighborhood party today, so I snapped some pictures early.  I think between the class parties, ballet parties and this, we don't need one more piece of candy!!!

Game Face!

Sweet Rapunzel won the best costume prize!