Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thrifty Easter Finds

I LOVE decorating for Easter. Perhaps not as much as Christmas, but it's a close second. The cheerful  colors and bunnies and chicks brighten the dreary Seattle spring days. And if you haven't noticed yet, sometimes (ok, a lot of times) I like what others may consider tacky. "Tacky" makes me smile and makes me proud that not many others--who may have better taste-- have it! Since my youngest, Georgia, was born around Easter, it's even more reason to love the season and DECORATE!

I thought I'd share my Easter decoration finds with you... all come from Value Village or Goodwill, of course.

Any my favorite tacky Easter decoration.... wait for it.... a glowing fiberoptic Easter bunny head wreath!

I love these vases from my Grandma...

And even though they are unrelated to Easter, my new (to me) leopard couches from the Salvation Army!

And finally, here is a birthday banner I made for Georgia using Barbie fabric scraps, felt, and bias tape:

Happy Easter Season... here's to fun decorating!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mad for Mermaids!

Georgia, my 4-year old, has gone mad for mermaids! She loves Ariel and "The Little Mermaid", of course, but she loves stories and songs and poems and pictures of all kinds of mermaids.

And she spends lots of time trying to convince her 6 and 8 year old siblings that mermaids are real.

When I found the "Sea Beauties" fabric by Michael Miller, I knew it was a must have for Georgia. I bought it months ago, but because it looks summery, I thought it would be best to save it for a sundress. However, I just couldn't wait any longer-- as Seattleites know, we are sometimes wearing puffy coats and pom pom hats in June, for goodness sake--so I came up with an alternate plan.

I had some sweaters I found at Value Village for about $1 each and they happened to match the colors in the fabric perfectly. I especially liked how the orange one looked with the fabric. And while I was matching the fabric and sweaters, Harper went to her closet and found an old aqua t-shirt with anchors on it that matched as well:

I messed around with the scissors and fabric and here is what I came up with:

And after an hour and a half of gathering and sewing and hemming, here is what we have-- a bright, cheerful, perfect-for-the-chilly-springs-in-Seattle dress!

And hooray-- Georgia felt like modeling and having her picture taken today!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Here Comes the Sun!

On Saturday, we had our first spring-like day here in Seattle. It wasn't all that warm-- the high was probably in the upper 50's-- but the SUN was out! It was quite entertaining to drive around and watch Seattleites venture outside. I saw one couple walk out of their front door, squinting their eyes, holding their hands and faces up to the sun, as if to say, "Welcome back! It's been a long time, and we've missed you!" The sun definitely inspired me to sew something spring-y, and I was feeling very spur-of-the-moment today, so I decided to just make something up rather than use a pattern. A bit scary for a new sewer to attempt such a feat, but I had a vision in my head and wanted to attempt to make it come to fruition.

It seems to me that high waistlines are back in style, whether it's the waistline of a pair of pants or a skirt. I had some cheerful Spring fabric
I've been wanting to use, so I decided to make Harper a high-waisted wrap
skirt. I know that it seems like I make quite a bit for Harper... I promise that I'm not neglecting my other 2 children. She just happens to be the
most cooperative lately about trying garments on and modeling them for my blog! Georgia has a recent aversion to cameras and Mason is usually busy inventing something in his bedroom. So, ta-da--a Spring skirt for my Harper!

Here is the fabric:

I made a waistband first out of the flowery material. I then gathered both the striped material and the bicycle material while they were layered on top of each other. It may appear in the photos like the materials of the skirt are bands sewn together, but the bicycle material is actually an overskirt for the striped material. I love the prints of quilting cotton, but it can be pretty thin, especially for a light-colored skirt--hence my reason for double skirting! I love how it looks with her white shirt tucked in-- and my favorite part, which I failed to take a close-up of, is the 4 vintage lemon yellow buttons that hold the skirt together at the side. Harper wants to wear this to school tomorrow, but I better check the forecast... it might have to wait for a warm and sunny day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ruffle Re-do

All 3 of my kids are super skinny, but they continue to grow taller and taller! They have lots of jeans in great condition, that fit perfectly in the waist, but when they put them on it looks like a flood is coming! So what to do about this pesky problem?

1--Gather any cute fabric scraps you may have laying around the house.

2--Cut them into wide strips. Hem one side and gather the other.

3--Sew the cute ruffle strips along the bottom hem of each pant leg. Ta-da! Pants that fit again-- for a little while, anyway!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Black Monday

After a busy week and weekend, I finally found a chance to create a couple of things in between loads of laundry. First up... a black dress based on this vintage pattern I found at Goodwill. It was a size 14, and in today's sizes I wear a 4 or 6, but based on the measurements of this vintage pattern it should have fit. Should have. Despite trying to take it in a bit its still kind of baggy. Oh well, I just started sewing 2 months ago, so I guess I'll give myself a break and hope that I will get better at sizing, among other things.

The pattern:

And the dress:

I love the pattern on the black fabric. I found the vintage fabric at Value Village-- about 2 yards for $2. Another great vintage find from last week: these emerald green and black shoes that will be perfect to wear with the dress! I found them at a fun vintage shop near the University of Washington called Valley of Roses. The owner was very sweet and gave us a little tour-- evidently the building used to be Bruce Lee's studio.

I also found this cute vintage purse for 3 bucks there-- maybe not to accessorize the black dress, but it will look cute this summer with a sundress! Cutie-pie Harper wanted to model it for me...

And finally, this evening I put together this choker with supplies purchased long ago. I put them away to "work on later" and totally forgot to do it.

Coming soon... a "Wizard of Oz" Dorothy dress-- Harper was chosen to be Dorothy in her class play, and I get to make her costume!