DIY Fairy House Party


I’m no party planner.

It’s not something I enjoy that much- the stress part leading up to it is just not for me!  But, I thought I’d share what we did for Ellery’s 7th birthday, because it turned out to be a fun success and was relatively easy to pull together (oh, and I happened to take a bunch of iPhone pics)!  At first she wanted a zebra party (ummm??? that came out of left field) but then settled on a fairy party.  My Mom had recently made a little fairy garden outside at her house for the grandkids to enjoy, and Ellery really loved it.

Thanks to Gee for the inspiration!

I bought both the terracotta saucers and the  wooden houses for about a buck a piece.  Only one guest commented that they were bird houses, not fairy houses.  SHHH, kid! No one has to know! 

The kids spent a nice long chunk of time making their houses- they each seemed to have a clear vision.

  I found a bunch of great things in the dollar section at Michaels- little chalkboards, the wooden stake signs, paper butterflies, etc.

Other than that, we used everything we already had at home to decorate- paints, glitter, feathers, marbles…

I found a little pack of tree stumps so we hot glued pieces together to make little stools.

I tried to find little fairies, but there was not much out there- and nothing affordable.  I happened to walk by the clearance yarn bin right by the clothespin doll section at Joann, and the light bulb went off!  Ellery and I made these sweet clothespin fairies a few hours before the party.

We had the BEST time hot gluing crazy beehives and frizzy curls to their heads- the orange yarn had wire in it, so it was easy for us to shape it.  I used a felt-tip permanent marker to make the eyes and nose, and we used a toothpick dipped in red paint for their mouths.  Really, I could’ve sat there all day doing it.  So fun!

I had intended to cut paper wings to glue to the back, and make little skirts, but of course we ran out of time.  We had some tulle on hand, and realized if we wrapped it around a couple of times and then tied it at the back, we could have a twofer!  I love the fluttery tulle wings and I’m glad we went that route.  It took all of five seconds.

Ellery wrote on the chalkboard signs.  She did a great job helping me that day- and unlike the random crazy meltdown she had on her actual birthday days before that even brought ME to tears, she was a complete angel on party day.

Birthdays, man.

We served sticks + stones (pirates booty and pretzel rods), fairy mints (Ellery has inherited my taste for these butter mints- she had to have them!), strawberries, and juice boxes.  Nothin’ fancy!

Elle is my foodie and loves French macarons!  So we had those (okay, so a little fancy) in place of cake, though I did last minute buy a pack of mini cupcakes just in case someone preferred those.

The kids loved taking their houses home and they were all so excited and talking about where in their yard they’d put them, and if fairies are real.  It was a great day!

I leave you with a couple of shots of my new 7-year old.  Equal parts very tame and very nuts.

 She is a unique, strong-willed, often reserved, very capable, loving, wild-laughing, tender-souled little girl who saves the best of herself for me and her Dad.  She’s my best little friend, my husband’s little stinky cheese, raw oyster-loving sidekick, and I love sharing things with her because I know she just “gets” things that other kids don’t.

We love seeing her blossom.



KCW: The Mini Hudson Sisters

I’m back with some girly mini Hudson pants.  I love this pattern!

I also love the pattern name- I went to school (CIA) in Hudson Valley, NY- right along the banks of the Hudson river, and I also lived in Hudson Hall.  What a dirty little dorm that was… But so so fun too!

Anyway, unlike last time, these Hudsons were gladly accepted and patiently waited for by my darlings, Ellery and Corinne.

I changed them up slightly from one another, but used the same main fabric- pink French terry from Les Fabriques.  The dark coral knit is also from there, as is the cream- both of those cotton/lycra blends are my favorite to work with.  They are by a company named Elite knits, and they’re just perfect for most of my knit projects.

The sweet floral on Coco’s pair, is from Girl Charlee.

I kept thinking of strawberry desserts as I was sewing these up.  It’s about that time of year.

I sewed a size 7 for Ell, and a 3 for Coco.  Both fit pretty great, though I think the French terry is more apt to sort of stretch out and not bounce back as well while sewing- I think once I wash these they will fit a little better.

I also decided to forego the buttonholes again, and just tack on a strip of knit for a faux tie.  It works for me, and shaves a solid 15 minutes off of messing with my machine.

The girls are in their Team Wes shirts which my talented Mom made last year- for each family member!  She sews all the time, and currently is really into machine embroidery and applique.  She makes her grandkids the cutest little shirts all the time for every holiday and occasion.  She’s the best Grandma!  She even has a etsy shop – if you ever need a personalized shirt or some doll clothes, she’s your gal!

Ellery made a couple of “Wes” signs too as props.  She loves to write notes to Wes at school too- they usually say something like, “Dear Wes, I love you. I love playing with you so so so so so so so so so much. Love Ellery, To Wes.”  They love their little cousin!

That’s it for me this week- the KCW fairies didn’t show up so my house is a hot disaster.

I’ll leave you with a classic Coco dance move:

– Erin

KCW: mini hudson pants

Oh, I wanted these pants to work out.

Grant is my easy-going lounger after-all.

“But Mom, they look like leggings.”

Yes.  But, they’re spider-man colors, dude!

Oye.  I will be shocked if he ever puts these on again.  He took them off as soon as I said “here’s your marshmallow.”

 It’s too bad, because I love these on him!

They’re the Mini Hudson pants by True Bias. But, you already knew that because until now, everyone has made these but me!

I made a size 5, probably should’ve just made a 6 (he’s an average brand new 5 year old).  I mean, I can see that the ankle cuffs could feel like wearing leggings a little bit.

The pattern is really great though- I have 2 more pairs cut out and ready to go for the girls.  I envisioned myself at the end of the week just tossing mini hudsons into the air and yelling, “YOU get a pair! YOU get a pair! YOU get a pair!” a la Oprah and her car keys.

The main navy fabric is a cotton/lycra blend bought locally at Les Fabriques here in Charlottesville. The gray rib knit is from Joann and I love having it on hand for cuffs and things.

I had a hard time making buttonholes, so I just tacked on a long strip of red knit for a tie.

Oh well.  He likes the pockets.

Stud pose:

I shall see you back soon with some girlie versions!

Good luck with your KCW sewing this week.  May magical fairies clean your house, fold the laundry, play with your kids, and make healthy dinners for you so you can bust some awesome stuff out!


Bird Dress

Coco is very “3” lately.

Which is fine now because she actually is three.  But, a few months ago when I took these pics, I remember just seeing it coming at me like a train.  My agreeable, cuddly, smiley 2 year old was ch-ch-ch-ch-changing…

Now, whiny, clingy, shockingly inappropriate, wild, goofy, opinionated (MUST WEAR SOCKS AT ALL TIMES AND IF THEY COME OFF THERE WILL BE HELL TO PAY), sweet, sassy, and sensitive- somehow all appear now within the same 10- minute period.

She likes to steal my iphone and run from me while asking Siri if she poops on the potty, to which Siri often replies:

“This is about you, not me.”

I honestly cannot keep a straight face- she does things Ellery would never dream of.  Ellery (almost7) still says that she heard Grant say the “S-word”.  At 2, Coco was slinging the word “Stupid” around like nobody’s business.



  I’m convinced that the third child (a-hem, I’m one too) gets the crazy genes.

Anyway, this dress is not for Coco- she’s not really into dresses at the mo.  But I had this sweet metallic bird fabric to use up, so I made this dress anyway.  I ended up giving it to a good friend’s sister with a little girl Coco’s age.

STATS: Bohemian Babydoll, size 3, main fabric is Flight in Mint by Violet Craft, lining fabric is Cotton Couture in Orchid.

I love this kid so much.  I really see myself in her- I’m sure my  mother would agree!


Two Lulu Dresses

I’ve had some people say to me, “your kids must have a TON of clothes since you sew…”

Um, not the case at all!

Here’s my problem:

I talk myself out of buying things all the time because I sew.  Sometimes I look at my sweet children and the rags they are dressed in, and just shake my head.  I see a cute shirt at store and contemplate buying it until I see the price- I then say to myself ‘pah… I can just make it.’

Shirt never gets made.  Kid keeps on growing.

It’s just not a good system.

I decided to bust out a couple of staples this week to tie Ellery over until the next growth spurt.  The Lulu dress is a fantastic wardrobe addition.

This is a pattern by Jess of Craftiness is Not Optional. It’s a fairly easy sew- I think a great beginner pattern, especially if you’re new to sewing with knits.  Jess has great tips, and there are also several options to play around with. This one here is the pretty basic capped-sleeve version (size 7) made with a burgundy interlock from Joann’s, and grey and coral floral knit from Girl Charlee.

I love the waistband of this dress.  A casing is formed when you attach the bodice to the skirt, and you thread some elastic through to gently cinch this area together.  Brillz.

Another great feature of this pattern is that the skirt can be made from knit OR woven fabric.  This next version here is my favorite- long sleeves!

Since there isn’t a long sleeve option for the Lulu, I used the sleeve pattern piece from my Skater dress pattern and widened it a bit at the shoulder cap so I could gather it into puffed sleeves.  Eh, it kinda worked.

Anyone know of a good puffed-sleeve tutorial out there?

On this Lulu, I used Kaufman Laguna knit in cloud for the bodice, and some nice lightweight chambray for the skirt.

I added a pocket and the tie at the front- both options that Jess includes in the pattern.

Oh, one thing I wanted to mention is the length of this dress- I almost always add an inch or so to my girls’ dresses.  The Lulu is just perfect the way it is.  I love the length, and I just feel like she’ll get more wear out of it.

We loves it!



Double Gauze Voila

A month ago, I blogged this flannel Voila blouse.  I wear that one often- it’s so comfortable!

But, this plum double gauze version is the one I made first.

Sweet sister Caroline insisted I give her ALL of my kids on my birthday (a.k.a. New Year’s Eve), so I could have a day to myself.  SO nice, right?!  So, I dropped my kids off with her in a parking lot sometime after 9 am, came home and sewed this shirt before grabbing a delicious pizza-and-prosecco lunch with my main squeeze, then meeting for coffee with my buddy, Taylor (who always reads this blog even though she doesn’t sew and claims to have “baby seals for thumbs”.  Shout-out to you, T-bone!), and then back to Caroline’s house for dinner and birthday cake.

It really was the perfect day.

And while I don’t wear this one quite as much as the flannel one, I still like it a lot.  I learned a couple of things making this one, and applied those to the second.  Mainly, on the flannel one I cut my skirt pieces smaller by about a third- I think the reason I’m not totally in love here is because it’s still just a bit too wide, even though I chopped a few inches off… maybe 5 on each panel?

  I’m all for flow-y, but 1st triemester? Not so much.  I mean, unless there’s a real baby in there. ;)

This is my first time sewing with double gauze.  I GET IT, FRIENDS.  IT’S THE SHIT. I mean, when it first came in the mail, I was like, eh… I guess it’s nice.  But once I washed it up, I could see why it’s a favorite material for many.  It’s like wearing a fluffy cloud that just gets softer and more cloud-like the more you wash it.

 I purchased mine from the Imagine Gnats shop during a 20% off sale- I don’t see the plum colorway anymore, but Rachael has several more to choose from, and she often has great little sales.

Anyway, I do still recommend the Voila pattern… just be careful about that skirt piece width or you might end up looking like you’re carrying quintuplets.



Valentine’s Day Skaters

Erin and I are both married to chefs.  Strange, I know.  We also look alike, sound alike, and drive gold minivans.  Oh, and then there’s this sewing blog we share too, but you already know about that ;).  Anyway, Erin and I find ourselves husbandless on most weekends, and certain holidays, like V-day, so we team up a lot.  Today we tried to go rollerskating about 30 minutes away, in “a town that time has forgotten”, and we FAILED.  The rink has been closed for 2 years.  Erin was all, “I think they have matinee prices on Saturdays, like $4 a person.”  Um, maybe that’s why they were forced to CLOSE THEIR DOORS FOREVER!  Two years ago!  The kids were not happy.

So there we were in Random-ville with nothing to do.  We wandered into a couple stores, raised some proper six-kids-in-tow hell, grabbed a pizza and got heck out of dodge.  As we pulled out of the parking lot, and Avery broke her dollar store slappy-hand, she declared, “this is the worst day ever”.

Oh well, you can’t win em all.

Let’s see, how does this story relate?  Well, I made a Valentine’s skater dress for Avery!  So, there ya go.

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She really loves it!  It’s made from some ultra stretchy knit that I picked up at the Michael Levine wholesale store in Los Angeles last year, for 2 dollars a pound!  That place is fun, and nuts.

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I’m not gonna lie, it wasn’t my favorite to sew with.  The stripes are tough to match up with the fabric being super stretchy.  But I had fun with it anyway.  I’m not sure if you can tell that the gold stripes are sparkly?  Scoring points with the little girl!  I had some scraps of an old, sparkly-gold, sweater that matched up well for the cuffs and neckline.

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 I cut a scrappy head-wrap for myself, but Avery claimed it.  Looks better on her anyway.

I have so much love for MY FUNNY VALENTINE.

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While I had the pattern cut out in a size six, I busted out another skater for a special friend of Wes’…

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This one was sent off to the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia, where Daphne is staying during her treatment.  We love her!  She was like a substitute Avery for Wes and when we all stayed there together.  Please pray for her cure!

This fabric was MUCH nicer to work with.  It’s from Girl Charlee.  If they don’t have it anymore, there are lots of other cool knits there.  This one was also well complimented by the gold sweater remnants.  You can see that I attempted to put a size tag in, but was totally off center with it.  Phooey.

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I hope all of your Valentine’s dreams came true today.  But, if they were shattered like ours, well, I hope that you can laugh about it!