Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ruffle Peasant Dress for Mady

I had originally planned to make Mady a whole bunch of pillow case dresses. In my mind they would be the simplest and easiest style to go with for my pretty new-to-sewing self. But then we ran into the problem of them being VERY summery and I wanted to make something she could wear right now (I'm impatient like that).

So I turned to my friend Google. Who happened to bring me to one of my favourite blogs, TaDa Creations, and a tutorial that she did for a ruffled peasant dress.

I don't know how I missed it when she first posted it (though maybe I started following her right after?). Anyway, I knew this was the dress for me.

I'm pretty proud since it meant I had to adjust a pattern a bit and went a bit beyond my normal realm of sewing (I had to put in sleeves!). But I love the end result.

I love it so much, I might even have to make a few more. :) Mady, of course, loves it too.
Thanks Angel for the tutorial. And seriously, you have to go look at the clothes she makes. Totally adorable!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Fabric

I was SUPER excited to win a blog contest in January that let me pick free fabric from Fashionable Fabrics off of one of my favourite blogs Kojo Designs.

Of course, I couldn't decide so I had to pick up a few extra yards of some patterns. SUCH cute fabric. And the shipping to Canada is the most decent I've found. I'll definitely be going back.

A couple of weeks later I got a lovely surprise in my mailbox. I couldn't wait to pull out the prints and admire them. Before quickly getting to work creating with them of course!

These will all be part of Mady's summer wardrobe. You get to see the first dress tomorrow. Can't wait to show you!

Monday, February 20, 2012

The beginning of spring/summer sewing - Patch Twirly Skirt

Last week I went through Mady's clothes and realized that she is in a serious need of some new ones. I think she sprouted a few inches in the last month. Sadly we're in that awkward stage in the weather where it's still winter, but some days feel like spring. Which kind of means you need two wardrobes. For the next 3 months.
(My family will recognize smile. It must be genetic. I went through the same tight-upper-lip-curled-under-smile stage! So awkward!)

I decided to start on some sewing and making some things that she could wear with a t-shirt and tights in the spring and then without the added layers in the summer.

I started looking around online for ideas. And somewhere in there I got a hair-brained idea to make my own pattern. But you know how you're supposed to measure twice, cut once? Well, I decided to measure, guess, cut and whoops I ended up with a dress that didn't flare enough causing Mady to not be able to walk. Thankfully I figured this out at the pinning stage before I sewed any of it.

(Her silly faces)
So now I was left with scraps of fabric that I didn't want to waste. Back to Google I went. I found a tutorial for this little skirt, which is actually quite easy if you have a serger. If you don't, it's just a lot of seams if you finish all the edges.

I went and found some coordinating fabric and put it together and now I'm in love! Mady likes it too!

(More "model" silly faces. This one is almost Blue Steel...I promise she's never seen that movie)
Since it was a lot of work with all the seams, I don't think I'll be making her a bunch of skirts in this pattern (well maybe if I end up with a ton of scraps from future pattern fails!).

If you're looking for  a cute project that's pretty quick, check it out here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Feb Photo Challenge Batch 2

Day 8 - Front door (we made a supermarket with lego
Day 9 - Stranger (at the mall in the kids play area)

Day 10 - Self-Portrait. (So. Awkward.)

Day 11 - Makes You happy (both the apron set and the girl!)

Day 12 - Inside your closet (well Mady's after I pulled out all the clothes that don't fit...)

Day 13 - Blue
Day 14 - Heart

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Grilled Cheese for a Crowd

I like to collect tips. Not the money kind (though I won't say no to that!), but little tidbits of smartness to make a persons life easier. I have a whole pinterest board filled with them. Sadly, a lot are recycled from one person to the next (but that's obviously because it's a good tip!) so you tend to see the same ones over and over.

When I come across a little short cut or something I haven't seen before that will simplify my life, I get pretty excited.

A few weeks ago we went to Mady's cousin's house for a playdate. We had decided on grilled cheese for lunch and I was a little confused with Jaclyn pulled out a cooling rack.

Here's the problem with grilled cheese. If you're feeding more than one person, you either have to have a bunch of pans going at the same time (hello more dishes!) or you have to do small batches and people can't eat together or they have to eat cold sandwiches.

So I never considered grilled cheese a good option for any sort of crowd. Until I saw what Jaclyn did.

She buttered the bread as per usual, filled it with cheese and then instead of cooking them on the stove, she cooked them in oven. All lined up on a cooling rack (so they don't fall through the oven rack). She broiled them and turned them over once one side was cooked. Brilliant! Nice crispy bread, melted cheese and, in our case, 6 sandwiches all done at once.

I tried it today and really there's not much you can mess up. The only suggestion would be to make sure you don't have your rack too high so that your bread doesn't burn before your cheese melts. You can fit a couple of cooking racks in if you need to do more.

I even think it's faster to it this way than the normal way (unless you just do one in the toaster a la Jamie Oliver)

So smart! Thanks Jaclyn for forever changing the way I make grilled (uh, broiled?) cheese!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

More Valentine Fun

I've never given my kids valentines gifts before (Really I don't think the under 3 set comprehends the holiday), but I figured this year Mady might understand it a bit more. And of course, whatever Mady is doing Katie wants to be part of it.

After our valentines breakfast I let the girls open their gifts.
"ooh look, mom, treats!"

 I finally convinced them to open the gifts.
"Fancy Nancy!"

Katie got a valentine I Spy book
"Now can we eat the candy?"
Katie's attempt at how many hugs she can fit in her mouth

 Later in the morning we made a valentine for Daddy.

Kate covered hers with puppy stickers. Of course.

 And I didn't forget about my promise to show you my valentines decor crafts. Here are my versions:

 Hope you had a very happy valentines day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day

I'm not one for pointless holidays except when I get to have some fun with my kids.

"Look at all the hearts, Mom! It's like a party!"

That's my girl!

For breakfast this morning I served it heart style. Toast with Jam-heart centres and their latest honeynut cheerios obsession served in a heart-shaped cupcake pan.

I had found the heart straws last year on clearance so they got those too. I'm sure it will be insisted upon that they use them all day. I was going to give them pink milk, but they wanted water. Yeesh!

Yesterday a package arrived from Grandma with a card and gift for each girl.


Katie loved her Puppy card. I didn't even get to read it for about 4 hours (no joke). She just kept squealing "puppy!"

 She hasn't quite got the hang of the book, but it's really cool in that you read it one way, then slide the pages through the spine and then you can read a different book. Someone was thinking!

Mady is obsessed with puzzles so she was quite excited to open this one up and immediately went to work putting it together.
"A puzzle!!"

Kate tried to help, which of course led to some squabbles until we got Mady set up at the table and Katie distracted by something else.

Thanks Grandma for the fun gifts!

They're eating their breakfast as I write this, but more valentines fun is to come through out the day. Can't wait!

Hope you get to spend today with someone you love!