Return of the Rookie

I’ll admit it guys, I’m in the weeds this holiday season.  Weeded.  Wee-to-the-DED.  And not in a good way.  If you know what I mean by “in the weeds”, you have probably worked as a server in a busy restaurant.  If you haven’t, then I don’t know you.

Basically, I’m overwhelmed.  Who isn’t?  The lofty plans I had for handmade do-dads for every teacher and person my kid high-fives are probably not gonna happen.  The cookies?  Sorry, you’ll have to settle for chocolate dipped pretzel rods… and I’m pretty sure my girl had her tongue in sprinkles before they were sprinkled.  Handmade dresses or jammies?  Maybe in time for Chinese New Year.

Ya, sure, we celebrate that.

I think I’m starting to get that if you are a parent of children (sorry, dogs don’t count) then you’ve got to get your Christmas act together in September.  Get organized, and get cracking!  Or, you can just be normal, and chill out and relax.  But no!  I can’t!  Jessica said it first and said it best, “Craftiness is Not Optional“.  Best blog name in blogland.  Cause its so freaking true.

Crafters are just not normal.

So, I figured that instead of blogging about sewing bias tape on a tree skirt, *yawn*, I’d introduce you to a little someone special…

Our new nephew, Brady!

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Isn’t he adorable?  He arrived 5 weeks early (November 3, MY birthday!), and was healthy, and cherubic even!  We really hope to get our hands on him soon.

You might remember meeting Brady’s Mom, our big sister Erika, in this post from a while back, when she surprised, okay, shocked us all by learning how to sew during a summer visit.  Since many of you have wondered what became of the “Rookie Seamstress”  (okay, well at least Kristin inquired ;)- girl you always got our back!)  I’m here with the update!

Guess what?  She made this.

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A hospital gown so that she could deliver Brady in style!

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Over the course of a year or so, Erika has sewn a little with her machine- more bibs, a pair of toddler pants.  But, when she found out she was expecting #2, she was on a mission to duplicate a handmade hospital gown that she was given a few years ago before her #1.  Erin and I each borrowed said gown for our #3s.  It really does make you feel special to change into something with a pop of color while you are snuggling up to your brand new baby and paparazzi is in full force.  There’s a little Kardashian in all of us, no?

In order to create this green gown, Erika pretty much deconstructed the gifted one to get a basic pattern.

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Its a pretty basic shape, but, she had to figure out the snaps and openings which got a little tricky for her.

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Erika got some help from our mom with the finishings, and she might have declared that she would NEVER SEW AGAIN, but seriously, how good is this? Please help us convince her not to Craigslist her machine!

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By the way, these photos were taken this summer when E was visiting.  I wanted her to guest blog like she did the first time, her perspective is so blunt honest, but she just kept avoiding me when I’d ask.  Its not for everyone.

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Maybe looking back on this project after its been a few months, will help her to realize how great of a job she did.  Its empowering to make a wearable garment!  Awesome work Erika- on that gown, and even more so, on this little guy!

Brady

We love him already!

~Caroline

This Worked Out

I kind of can’t believe it myself. This upcycle was a major success!

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A few simple steps, and I turned a tired maternity shirt into an adorable back-to-school dress for Aves!

Here’s the before:

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We headed to Gee and Poppy’s for the photo shoot.  But, bear with me, my model was, how-do-you-say, not in the mood.

She said she’d do it if she could wear the Mardi Gras mask.

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I know, the mask is really cool, but focus on the dress.  How cute is that?!  It was so simple that I’m kicking myself for not taking in-progress photos to show you how!

Besides the cute pintucks, its your basic buttondown.  You could probably just as easily do this with a men’s shirt.  Actually maybe even easier since you wouldn’t have to worry about the bust darts making it wonky.

To make the dress, I cut the sleeves off the shirt and then cut up the side seams, keeping everything else intact.  Then, using my Music Box pattern as a guideline, I cut away at the front and back until they were in A-line unison.  I borrowed the buttons that came from the sleeves and added them to the placket.  You probably could skip that step if just using a men’s shirt.  All the raw edges were then encased in the red bias tape.   No hemming, word!

We left her grandparents’ house and headed to the park, in hopes of finding a sunnier attitude.

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Nope. Not gonna happen.  Forget the kid, let’s check out the back.

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The material is a lightweight denim.  It drapes really well.  As evident in this slouch.

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Ha ha.  Someone needs school to start!  (That someone would be me, of course.)

I took my time with the bias tape, sewing it to the wrong side first, and then flipping it over to the right side, and carefully topstitching.  It takes more time than just sandwiching your edge and going for it (like I usually do), but its a more reliable finish.  I can see Avery getting a lot of wear out of this dress.  She actually really likes it.

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Wait, is that a smile?

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No. We’re done here.

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Do you have any items lying around that would be perfect for an upcycle?

~Caroline