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Monday, July 30, 2012

Round Ligament Syndrome Anyone?

Getting personal and honest today. Life isn't always dresses and smiles...

Doc says I have round ligament syndrome and that I am not to worry because it is SO common. However, I am yet to talk to anyone else who has had it during their pregnancies or who currently does have it while pregnant. Anyone out there? I hurt every second of every day, but the pain escalates every time my baby moves around inside me- bringing me to tears and taking my breath away. I'm getting really down about the whole situation. With my first pregnancy, my babys movements inside me were a chance for me to bond with my little daughter and acknowledge the beautiful life I was creating. This time though, I dread those movements and count the seconds until they're over. It's horribly sad. I feel such a disconnect to this baby and like I am already failing my son as a mother because these kicks- this proof of life- hurt too much to bring me any joy.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sewing saves money!

Blouse at Hollister
I was walking around the mall the other day and I saw this cute, short sleeved, navy polka dotted blouse complete with a bow for sale at Hollister for $34.50. It sure reminded me of the thrift store blouse I recently purchased for $4.00 and upcycled into this:
I absolutely love it when my hobby saves me money- this time $30.50! It was also nice to happen upon some reassurance that the clothes I'm making are actually in style too...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Blog Button

I finally have a blog button! My incredibly talented husband designed my button for me- hey I chose the colors!  I never would have figured out the tech-y aspect to it on my own. Yep, I love it. I feel so official!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Color Block Maternity Dress...

... Fail? 
Is this dress suitable to wear out in public? I certainly made mistakes during its creation... But, I really want to love it as it is the first piece of color blocked clothing I own. At least it didn't cost me anything. See, I've mentioned before the treasure my grandma gave me by way of fabric scraps and McCalls 6102... I found a little bit of blue and a little bit more of green in the bin and turned 'em into this!
So, what went wrong? I cut the dress front wider to make room for my belly and gathered the neckline. So far so good... but- my first time sewing the pieces together put my envisioned "empire waist" seam somewhere down around my middle in a very unflattering way. When I tried to fix this, I got scissor happy and brought the "empire waist" up mid chest. This meant that my dress brought the attention to my nipple line in a very awkward way. Luckily, I had enough blue left over to lengthen the bodice and make that weird seam slightly less noticeable. It was from sewing this addition onto the dress that I succeeded in sewing the dress shut; yep just sewing that dress front right to the back. Made me think of this picture that I found on pinterest:
Anyway, the belt really helps give this dress some shape and hide some flaws. The dress is also really comfortable... But, is it just awful?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Maternity Jumper Dress Tutorial

As long as you have a tee shirt and some fabric you can create your very own maternity jumper dress! Although, I've gotta say- this dress would be just as lovely on a non pregnant figure too...
A BIG thanks to my incredible husband for taking these pictures for me.

Tee shirt that fit pre pregnancy and that would fit now aside from that big belly
Fabric; I had about 1 1/2 yards of 60" linen
Fabric marking pen
Scissors and other obvious sewing necessities

1. Cut the front of your dress out.
   *Fold your tee shirt in half and place it on the fold of your fabric, then scoot it in off the fold 3 inches. (Those 3 inches will make for 6 extra inches of a dress front once your fabric is unfolded. If you are really big in pregnancy, and/ or at the end of your third trimester you may want to consider adding 4 or 5 inches which will translate to 8 or 10 inches when unfolded.)
   *Trace around the shirt 1/2" away (for seam allowance) the shoulder seam, the arm hole curve (fold your sleeves so they're out of your way), and the side of the shirt. Add as much length to the bottom, with a slight angle outward, for your desired dress length.
   *Remove the shirt and draw in your preferred neckline. I chose to replace the tee shirt neckline with a scoop neck.
   *Cut out your dress. When you unfold it, you should have a very wide dress front. Set this piece aside.
2. Cut the back of your dress out.
   *Fold your tee shirt in half and place it exactly on the fold of your fabric.
   *Trace around the shirt 1/2" away (for seam allowance) the shoulder seam, the arm hole curve, and the side of the shirt. Add as much length to the bottom, with a slight angle outward, for your desired dress length.
   *Remove the shirt and draw in your preferred dress back. I chose to replace the tee shirt neckline with something that looks like this when I unfolded my fabric.
   *Cut out your dress. When you unfold it, you should have the dress back. Set this piece aside.
Disclaimer: You may notice the cut out notches/ tabs in the above picture. This is because I began my project by using an actual tee shirt pattern before I realized that using a tee shirt I already owned would be easier and would make for a better fitting finished result. Just ignore the tabs, they're not necessary!
3. Pleat the dress front collar.
   *Add pleats to the collar of your dress front. You can do as many small pleats as you want, or as few large pleats. It doesn't matter so long as the end result brings the dress front to the size of your tee shirt.
   *Baste the collar to keep the pleats in place.
   *Top stitch each pleat about 4" onto the bodice.
   *Iron your dress front.
Top stitched pleates
4. Sew dress pieces together
   *Pin dress front to dress back with right sides together and sew the side seams and the shoulder seams together.
5. Finish raw edges and hem the jumper dress.
    How did I do this? Begin with the collar: (Directions below; read picture top to bottom, left to right)
1. Lay a piece of tissue paper on the dress front, dress should be right side out. Trace the collar outline.
2. Measure about 2" away from marking and cut out the shape.
3. Make sure the shape fits collar exactly and cut it out of either interfacing or a scrap bed sheet like what I used!
4. Finish the outside edge with a straight stitch/ zig zag combination so that it won't end up fraying.
5. Pin to collar, right sides together, and sew with a half inch seam.
6. Make notches in the seam allowance. This makes it easier to turn the attached piece to the inside of the dress. Iron in place. You may need to cut more notches, especially around curves like I did here while finishing the back of my dress.
7. (Not pictured) Top stitch 1/4 inch from the edge. This not only looks nice, but helps keep the edge lining in place.
   *Finish other edges. (Back and arm holes.) I chose to do this in the same way that I finished the collar.
   *Hem the jumper dress bottom
6. Finishing touches. 
   *If you' like to, you can add pockets to the front and a bow to the back. Here is where I found the DIY Bow Tutorial that I used. And here is what I used as my pocket pattern:

After cutting my pockets out of my material, I trimmed the paper pattern on the fold/ hem line so that I could use it as an ironing guide while I folded my edges under. Don't forget to fold that top edge under too and sew it in place. Baste the seams down and sew a loose stitch near the surface so that you can gather your pockets to the size planned for. Then, with a series of top stitches, attach the pockets to where you'd like them on your dress.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

SewSet is incredible!

If you haven't heard of sewset.com yet, then you must go check it out! It's the most amazing thing since pinterest if you are on the prowl for free patterns and tutorials! I just created my very own profile which you can view...[here] Can't type more... I'm busy perusing...

Tangerine Summer Dress

The story behind my tangerine summer dress:

I am miserable despite my November due date. Ever heard the expression, she has a bun in the oven? Well, I get it now. I am literally an oven just roasting away and this summer heat is unbearable! The sun is hot, the air is hot... I don't want anyone or anything touching me! Thick maternity waistbands are the worst, which is a shame because they're the only thing that keep my pants up right now, and I just cannot tolerate them around my middle! I've become a cranky, crazy person pulling on my clothes all day screaming, "stop touching me!!!" I really need to start wearing dresses, but I don't have anything that isn't form fitting. So, I started searching for inspiration and began drooling greedily over the boxy shape of the 1960's mod/ mini dresses.

Like these:
Shapeless, pink, lace. Beautiful. And sold out from 4birdsvintage etsy shop.
Unfortunately, I don't have a pattern for a 60s mod/ mini dress! When I found this little girls dress though,  my little oven self sighed, "ahhhh- yes. That I can recreate!"
So, keeping the 60s mini dress in mind, I pulled out the pattern that my grandma gave to me when she made me this dress, and proceeded to sew myself a short sleeve, zipper-less dress that I could hem at whatever length I desired. This is as "mini" as I dared. I made two long slits up the front of the dress, sewed in two triangles of complimenting fabric (cough: a scrap bed sheet) and voila! I've got room to move, air can flow, and nothing is clinging to my belly. The best part is that it's fairly casual, so I don't feel weird just wearing it out and about.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sprucing up the place

In the 3+ years we have been married we have moved seven times! That's ok; each place we lived in was right for that time, but it sure makes for a lot of temporary homes! I've had a really hard time wanting to put any effort into this apartment because we'll be leaving it too, eventually. It really is a shame because we do love this apartment, I'm just... burnt out, ya know? I have discovered though that a house, or apartment, or even just a room doesn't feel comfortable without personal touches. Bare walls and empty shelves make for cold, uninviting spaces. So, I spent some time this morning sprucing up a bit. It wasn't time consuming, it didn't cost me any money, and yet I smile when I walk in the room now.
I started in our entry way and finally hung something on the wall. Straightening up wasn't enough, so I put our "therapy beans" in a glass vase with flowers and made a magazine holder out of an empty cereal box, some modge podge, and fabric. "Therapy beans" are what I have lovingly nicknamed the kidney beans that I pull out when my daughter is throwing a tantrum. I sit down in a different part of the room and start playing with the beans. Distracts me enough to keep me calm while she is screaming, and soon she comes over and starts playing too. As it turns out, beans are much more fun than crying and carrying on by oneself! The vase will be easy to dump out and refill and looks prettier than the tupperware I had been storing them in on the kitchen counter.
Then, I worked in our little dining area by adding something nice to the table. All I did was tie some ribbon around three vases I found in the cupboard and filled them with napkins, silverware, and fresh green onions- respectively. Anyone else regrow their green onions? Man- they last forever when cut down and stored in water!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Feverish cuddle day

Of course I feel badly for my child when she isn't feeling very well... But, I loved our slow, quiet, sleepy day today! We cuddled and rocked and slept and rocked and watched some Cary Grant... and rocked. She's eating and drinking water; even smiles when I behave silly so I don't think she's very sick at all. She just seems exhausted and has had a fever on and off all day today. Her daddy suggests that it's the calm before the storm and we should brace ourselves for some serious tooth growin'. I don't want to think about that right now! Teething makes her so cantankerous! I'm just going to keep on enjoying these snuggles and naps in our glider chair while I can. She normally doesn't hold still for very long; this was just such a rare and precious occasion that we had to get pictures of the cuddling going on around here.
P.S. Day two of 102- 103 degree temperatures warranted a trip to the doctors office. Little girl has roseola.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Salt Lake City

We took a quick trip down to SLC to see some of hubbys family; mainly his brother and nephew who had flown in all the way from Hawaii. Our little girl adored her cousin!!! It was great to see them.
After all the fun, our daughter literally fell asleep mid-bite while eating her snack in the car.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pillowcase Peasant Dress

I picked up a pillowcase at the thrift store for a whopping dollar and thought it'd make a pretty cute dress for my little girl. What do ya think?

Here is how I made this 1$ pillowcase into a little girls peasant dress. I started out by using the following picture from indietutes.blogspot.com as a rough guideline for my pattern. I didn't bother to do any measurements except for laying a dress down on the pillowcase just to make sure the new dress would be long enough. I wanted to make this project as quick and easy as possible to I decided to use the pillowcases existing side seams and bottom hem. Fun, huh?

Lemme explain this picture a little bit. The blue area on the left is the cut for the dress (typically you'd have to cut two, one for the front and one for the back. I only had to cut one because my pillowcase was sewn together already and I just folded it in half again.) The blue area on the right is for a sleeve. I suggest laying the dress cut out down on your fabric and tracing so that you have the exact same curve for both the dress and the sleeve opening. However, the top cut should be probably half that of the dress neck line. I did mine the same size and her sleeves turned out huge! Like, big wing huge. If you like how my sleeves ended up, after I improvised and did a quick fix with two strips of elastic, then repeat my mistake and I will lead you to recovery!

I modeled the way I sewed my dress together after sewlikemymom.com's tutorial including her method of attaching the sleeves, sewing a casing onto the neckline to thread elastic through, and attaching elastic to the dress bodice. She says it best and has awesome pictures along the way, so I'm not going to do any further explaining here. Here are some pictures of beginning my project with a note on creating the sleeves at the end.
$1 dollar thrifted pillow case
Making sure to create a dress long enough for my daughter.
Cutting the sleeves with the proper angle.
A note about those sleeves... since I was salvaging a pillowcase I didn't have enough fabric to go for a particular length. This was good because I didn't need to do any measuring. I just hemmed what I had and since I made that mistake, remember, about cutting them the same width as the dress or in other words making them WAY too big... I had to improvise. I used more 1/4" elastic and attached it to the inside of the hem (no, I was not going to do any stitch picking or re-hemming to form a casing first) I simply sewed it right on to the wrong side of the hem via the same method used for sewing elastic onto the dress bodice. I.e. The elastic length was half that of the sleeve circumference and I stretched, stretched, stretched as I sewed along.

That's it!