Friday, May 31, 2013

Fairy Skirts

Finally Friday!!! Did anyone else feel like this was the longest 4 day work week EVER!? On Tuesday night we were so tired, that we all were in bed by 8:30....and asleep! That was the best 10 hours of sleep I ever got for sure. I am seriously thinking of giving myself a 9pm bedtime. Sleeping is so luscious. Delicious. Dreamy. I never appreciated all the sleep I got pre-kids! What was I thinking? Why wasn't I appreciating every last wink of sleep? Oh yeah, maybe I was. Anyway...

Its pretty much June...and Princess's birthday is a month away. And I haven't done ANYTHING! Its time to get my butt going! After much deliberation we (I) decided to have it be a fairy party. I was debating between a pirate party, a fairy party, or a Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys party. And when I would ask Princess which one she wanted, of course her answer was yes to all of them.... So I had to make the executive decision. She has more boy friends than girl friends, so it is actually going to be a fairy/elves party. I didn't think the boys (or their fathers) would be too happy about them prancing around in fairy wings. I figured elves were a little more boy friendly. I have so much to get done for her party, tons of things to make and I haven't really figured out all of the details yet. So over the next few weeks, you will be seeing a lot of party related tutorials. First up, is the fairy skirts. I played around with different options for the first one I made, then I finally settled with this way.

For 1 Fairy Skirt you will need:

2 yards of white tulle
1- 2 yards of colored tulle (whatever color you want)
Coordinating ribbon, 1.5- 2 inches wide (I used 1.5, but would have liked bigger)
Fake flowers of your choice (mine coordinated as well)
Sewing supplies

1. Lay out your 2 yards of white tulle (still folded the way it came off the bolt) then place the colored tulle over it. Match up the tops on the long side and pin together. Pins are your best friend in this tutorial, trust me! Its ok if the sides and bottom don't match up completely. (I just had 1 yard of the colored tulle, so mine did not match up, but if you get 2 yards of the colored, they will match up) The bottom will be trimmed and the sides you won't be able to tell because they will be underneath. The way I did it just gives it a hint of color underneath the skirt and I was ok with that.
2. Sew over where you pinned but DO NOT reverse! If you reverse, you won't be able to ruche it.

3. Pull on one thread and push the fabric away from you, creating a ruche throughout the whole length of fabric. (Yep, I remembered how to ruche!) Be very careful with this part, because if the thread rips, you have to start all over again. You will want to measure your child's waist and make the length of the ruche approximately the same length. So Princess's waist is 21 inches, but I made it to be 23 inches long.

4. Cut some ribbon to be 23 inches (the waist measurement again), then another ribbon that is 23 PLUS 30 inches. This extra will be what you are tying the skirt with, so the length is up to you. Better cut more than less, cause you can always trim it later.

5. Pin down the shorter ribbon, lengthwise to the middle of the longer ribbon and sew down. Making sure that the pretty sides are facing each other.

6. Unfold the ribbon, then sew the skirt (colored tulle facing the ugly side of ribbon) to the short side of the ribbon.

7. Then fold the long side of ribbon over the top, match it up to the opposite side of ribbon with pins, and sew down.

8. Trim the skirt to desired length. I did mine approx. 15 inches. Trim ribbon to desired length (make sure to tie around your child's waist so you don't trim too much). Then burn the edges of ribbon with a lighter.

9. Add a piece of fake flower with hot glue.
And done! If you want your skirt to be a little less shear, you can add more tulle in the beginning. If I were only making one, I certainly would have added more. But I had to do less, because I am making so many for the party.

She has been such a sport for all this modeling she's been doing lately.

Yep. She's a pro.
So, they are a little more shear than I would like. Oh well. I will probably have her wear white leggings underneath for the party, so that will make it look nice. I am making the rest of the skirts now, but you will have to wait to see them when I show them all off at the big party reveal! Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dress Up Tutu

Growing up, my sister and I loved to play dress up. We had old flower girl dresses, Halloween costumes, ballet recital costumes and random bits and pieces from all over. The skirts were always the most coveted. Your outfit was made by the skirt you wore and your person defined. If you wore the apron, you could be a maid, a peasant or a princess waiting for her prince. If you wore the tutu you could be a princess, a fairy or a ballerina. We had a few tutus....but they weren't like this. I'm really excited that I could make this and even more excited that little Princess started dancing around like a ballerina immediately after putting it on. I love how girly she is!
I want to make and collect the greatest dress up collection for my girls. I believe that using your imagination is so important for kids while they are growing up and especially for learning. I think a lot of kids have lost touch with that side these days and its really sad to see. TV, computers and iPads have taken over their minds. I know that it may make me sound old fashioned. But there is so much beauty in a child that is playing "pretend", playing house, making up plays or having a tea party with their stuffed animal friends. I won't lie, Princess has learned a ton of things from her shows, things that I am like, "What!? You know what a triangle is?" But there is definitely something to be said for the simplicity of play....unplugged.

So, remember when I said I had no idea what I was going to do with that wreath I made for Peanut's party?
I mean, it was adorable for the party, but I wasn't gonna keep a tutu hanging on my front door all the time....or more than a day. But I didn't want to let it all go to waste. Tulle can get expensive pretty darn quick. So I decided that I would take it apart and use the tulle to make a tutu for the little misses. The directions are pretty simple and since most of you won't have a wreath to use like me, you can just buy and cut some tulle for it.

What you will need:
A ton of tulle! I think I probably used 2-3 yards of tulle
3/4 - 1 inch wide elastic (the 1 inch is kind of hard to work with, but it made the waistband thick and sturdy, so that was nice)
A ribbon
Any other decoration you may want, a flower, a brooch...I don't know
Basic sewing tools

1. Measure your little one's waist and take off about 2 inches off that number, then cut your elastic to size. If you don't have a measuring tape, you can just wrap the elastic around her waist and then take the 2 inches off from there. The reason you are taking 2 inches off (or sometimes more) is because the elastic stretches a lot when you put all the tulle on. You can always take more off later, but I would start with taking off 2 inches. The length of mine ended up being about 18 inches.

2. Sew your elastic together in a circle.
I sewed it down in two places to that it was extra secure.
3. Find something round to put your elastic around. All I could find was this jug of vinegar.

4. Cut all of your tulle into strips. The length depends on what you want. If you want it to be a longer skirt or shorter, its up to you. Mine were all pre-cut from the wreath (but I still had the painstaking job of untying them all. You would think I was prepared for a hurricane to come by, I tied them so tight). Anywhere from 15- 30 inches long. Mine were about 15 inches long and about 3 inches wide.

5. Make a loop with a piece of tulle, slide it under the elastic waistband and flip the ends over the waistband and into the loop. I tried my best to show in the picture. Then repeat until you have covered the entire elastic.

Its ok if the elastic folds a bit.
Now you may find that this process stretches the elastic a bit. If it starts to become too big just cutt off more elastic and sew it down again.

6. At this point, you can either be done or you can add a bow like I did, or a flower etc. The possibilities are endless!

Here is the ribbon I added. It was also from the wreath. All it needed was a little ironing.

7. Place on your child and watch her transform into a ballerina!

She just happened to have a bun in her hair today. ;)

There it is. The first of many dress up pieces to come. Now, if only I can make a princess dress.....

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Girl's Nursery

We bought our house about a year and a half ago now....and let me tell you, it has come a LONG way. It was trashed when we got it. The yard was a mess, there was junk everywhere (we bought it out of bankruptcy) and the walls.....exasperated sigh here.....all the walls were brown! We have been doing as much as we can little by little to fix it up and make it ours. We have so many plans for it that its almost laughable....almost. Either we are way too picky or we just have better taste than everyone else..... I'm gonna go with taste. ;) Anyway, I wanted to show some of the rooms in their finished states and hopefully give you ideas and inspiration for projects of your own. I unfortunately won't have before and after photos for all of them. But I will post them when I do have them. Right now, the only room that I consider completely "finished" is the girl's room. Or to sound fancy, the Girl's Nursery.

The cribs are the Gracco Victoria Crib. Got them at Target. The silver "Year" frame is Pottery Barn Kids. The twig letters are done by an independent artist out of Canada. She sometimes sells through Chasing Fireflies. You can find her work usually by googleing "twig letters".

The mobile is done by ME! I hope to sell them through soon. Dresser is IKEA. I love that it works as a changing table now, but can be used as a dresser forever.
Close up of the mobile. If anyone wants to order one before I set up my shop on Etsy, you can send me a message and I will start right away. I can do any combination of colors. Purple and Greens are shown here.

Our wonderful cozy rocking chair. This was the biggest expense of the nursery, but it was SO worth it. Everyone wants in that chair for story time.
And the Buffalo stool. Probably my favorite part about the girls room. We got it at Cabela's. Random, I know. I have a strange love for buffalos. I think they are so cute and so magnificent. Such a cool animal. There's also storage in the butt....pretty rad if you ask me.

 See! Look at that face!

The girls book collection. The bookshelf is pretty full, yet somehow I don't think we have nearly enough books. You can never have too many books. Never!

I am actually pretty proud of this piece even though I had nothing to do with it (except the idea to paint it). The hubs did it and it turned out perfect. We got this from his brother. He painted it white then sanded it down a bit to have a "vintage" look. I think it was actually pretty old to begin with. I love it though. Its amazing what paint can do to a piece of furniture.

Their nightlight. I ADORE this thing (from Anthropologie).

Sweet little bird cage/ music box from Peanut's godmother.

These were part of the decor for my baby shower when I was pregnant with Princess. I have held onto them this whole time. So pretty and simple.

Gotta have the JellyCat stuffed animals. We are growing quite the collection.

Pattycake Prints handprints. I love these.

Here's another JellyCat animal (the elephant) and a Bla Bla Kid knit doll. I can't get enough.

The paint in this room is a purplely grey color. We like it so much, we are putting it in the master bathroom as well!

There it is. The only finished room in our house. ;) My husband and I are always saying that its our favorite room in the house. Its our favorite because its just how we want it and we MADE it that way. It so cozy too. Sometimes we just sit on the floor in there and hang out. I know that the love we put into creating this room will bring a sort of magic to it, that will inspire years of play for my two sweet girls.

I am currently in the process of redoing the laundry room, so I hope to have the before and after pictures of that room up soon.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pajama Shorts

Hello everyone. I hope everyone had a beautiful and relaxing weekend. Ours was a little crazy; our little Peanut ended up going back to the hospital. She's ok. She will probably be out by the end of today. Just a bad infection that she couldn't shake. So nobody worry! My gosh its stressful being a parent though! I keep telling everyone that I feel like every parent needs to go through a few experiences like this. Keeps you on your toes or something. Or maybe it just makes you appreciate your health! Its so sad seeing all the sick kids in there. Or seeing the TEENY TINY hospital gowns they have for babies. Breaks your heart. Although, that itty bitty hospital gown did make me want to make one for dress up for the girls or something....too darn cute and little! And she got mini hospital socks too! I mean COME on! Adorable. Anyway. I had to leave the little one and my husband there last night so that I could take care of her big sister and so that I could work today. So I decided that I needed to post today, just to do something to make the time go faster. I can't wait to go be with them again tonight. I love my little family and I hate being apart....even for a short time.

So remember the pants that I cut up to make the Fabric Necklace the other day? Well, I kept the top part of them (basically all that was left) so that I could re-make them into Pajama Shorts. I have had these PJ's sitting in my sewing box for a long time now, just waiting to be turned into something cool. They must have gotten too short or something, cause I really liked them. The fabric is so cute. So what better way to hold onto them than to turn them into something I can wear again! With Summer coming up I thought this was a great project for hot nights. Note, that these are Old Navy PJ's, so if you want to do this project yourself, you can go buy a cheap pair there or just use an old pair of some you already own. My inspiration for these is from a brand called Luva Huva.

They use all organic cottons and mostly do bras and underwear, but I saw these PJ shorts in their catalog once and have wanted them ever since. The extra fabric that I got to add onto them, I found in the remnants bin at Joanne Fabrics! And it was exactly what I wanted! How perfect is that?

What you will need:
An old pair of PJ pants
Some fabric scraps on coordinating colors
Sewing Machine
Pins (all the basics)

1. Cut off the legs of your pants. Be careful not to cut them too short (unless you're into that) or you'll end up with booty shorts. I left about a 3 inch inseam. You may also want to iron them before you cut, so that you can cut VERY straight.

2. Cut 2 strips of your complimentary fabric (or fabric scraps) 24X3 inches long. You may need to adjust the sizing of your strips if your pant size is much different than mine. So what I did was I measured the width of the short opening (mine was 12 inches) and multiply it by 2 (because you have to account for the backside) so 24 inches. But 3 inches should be good for the width, no matter what.
3. Then pin the strips to the inside of the shorts and sew on. It will seem backwards the way you have to sew them together. So just make sure that you sew it, so that when you flip the complimenting fabric up, you will not see the raw edge. Its going to look like the shorts are rolled up in the end. Then sew the ends of the strips together.

See how I sewed it here? The green complimenting fabric is on the inside, but we are going to flip it out.
This is what it looks like unfolded
This is what it looks like rolled up.
4. Now turn in and finish the raw edge that is left of the green fabric. About 1/4 inch. Sew it closed but don't sew it to the brown shorts fabric yet.

See how the fabric is rolled up now and I am folding in the top raw edge of the green fabric to finish the edge? Sew the edge closed.

5. Now that the edge is finished, you can sew another line over it to "close" the top of the "roll up". Basically so that it doesn't unroll. Were going for a faux roll. It helps to iron before sewing it closed so that you can make sure everything looks straight so far.

Try to sew directly over the "finish" line that you made to turn in the raw edge. Then you wont see so many lines.
6. Now repeat with the other leg opening.

7. Next I cut a very small/skinny, but very long strip of fabric and sewed it to make a sort of "ribbon" for the top faux bow on the shorts. I cut it about an inch wide, then folded in and ironed the sides (lengthwise), then folded it in half (lengthwise) and sewed it closed. I had more than enough in the end.

8. Tie the ribbon in a bow and sew into place on the shorts. Trim excess ribbon.

Voila! Adorable PJ Shorts!

Ready for sleepy time!
I love the way these turned out. If I ever have a pair of old PJ pants that I can do this to again, I really want to. It was very fun and easy. And look how similar they are to the ones I had been lusting after forever! Awesome. They may not be organic cotton, but they are still green because I re-used them. In love right now. (And on a side note, my baby is all better and coming home from the hospital this afternoon. YAY! So all is well again)