Monthly Archives: April 2014

Getting my groove back

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this here on the blog, but we’re expecting our fourth baby, a boy, due in August. This has been a pretty bad pregnancy as far as the morning sickness. I’m actually a bit flabbergasted still that this is a boy because the way I’ve felt has been much more comparable to J than the other two boys. Things are finally starting to let up a bit, still not the greatest, throwing up every few days, but more manageable not so many days of never-ending nausea.

So I’m actually feeling like doing things, crafty things, that is.

It started with some embroidery which I found I could manage even on days when I wasn’t feeling the greatest. I finished the Pascha basket cloth that I started last year:

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It is based on a couple free patterns I found online. The church was multi-colored and much more complex and the border was a free Romanian one I found by searching for cross stitch and embroidery patterns by country/region.

Then a few of us from church started discussing having a presence at and sharing the artistic side of the Orthodox Church at a few craft fair venues around town so I started brainstorming some ideas for little wall hangings I could do.

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Then my godmother pointed out that her youngest girl had ripped yet another of her skirts. I knew I had tons of fabric just sitting in drawers and that it was about time I finally opened the new machine my mom got me for Christmas. So a couple tiered skirts were made. I found some tutorials via Pinterest so these were my first patternless projects. Once you know the mathematical formula for tiered skirts, you can make them for anyone, in any size, with many options (a two and three tier are below) as long as you have their waist and skirt length measurements and enough fabric.

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J had watched Frozen at a birthday party (just like every kid around became obsessed and had the songs immediately memorized), but we were trying to have our kids avoid most media during Lent. So finally during Pascha weekend when we had some hotel room time we let everyone watch it. Multiple times. “Let it go” may never actually get let go in this house.

As part of our Bright Week celebrations we’re using our Disneyland passes again. With all the sewing for her friend and a few dress up things she’s been begging me to create for awhile now on my list of future projects, I decided to whip up a new play dress based on one of the Frozen characters since she’s currently so obsessed. J decided on Anna’s coronation dress from among the options.

I’ve described sewing up Disney dresses here before and that basically all the princess dresses have the same bones. In the past I’ve recycled an official Simplicity Disney pattern for Snow White/Cinderella for all the dresses I’ve created for J. The only thing I don’t like about that pattern is that it is a bit too form fitting for play and that it has a zipper in the back. When you have a little girl that likes to change a billion times a day as it is, having to zip her up all those times gets a little old!

I’ve used another pattern, Simplicity 5695, to make real dresses for J and I love that the sleeves and neck are elastic for easy on and off. I had seen several Disney inspired dresses made with this pattern and decided that I would use it this time instead of the official Disney pattern I had used in the past.

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As we browsed the craft store, I was having such a hard time finding fabric that was like the actual dress or an idea of it I had in my head (I really think Disney could make so much money off us crafters if along with their character print fabrics, they would come out with a line of fabrics based on the fabrics seen in their movies like a little tartan for Brave, purple and pink florals for Tangled, and Scandinavian prints for Frozen!) Green stripes were not to be found, neither was any print that looked remotely Scandinavian. I probably could have found something at one of the boutique fabric shops in town, but I didn’t really want to go to another store. Ribbon and the new embroidery features on my machine seamed like my best bet and at the last minute I spotted a couple rolls of a pretty woven ribbon that I decided to add on to the wide green ribbon I was already planning to use. I only had enough ribbon, once I laid it out at home, to do this effect on the front skirt. I also decided to do pleats like Anna’s dress for the front half of the skirt too. The back half is gathered as the pattern calls.

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The bodice is halfway between the two bodice options (a baby doll and drop waist) from the original pattern. I used the embroidery features to add some details on the center front and the sleeves.

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Although I did get some typical “J is a perfectionist” complaints (she would find the little tiny spot where I ran out of bobbin thread and the embroidery doesn’t quite match up!), she was so excited and happy about it that she wouldn’t even let me iron it before putting it on (and then complained that it was wrinkly like when Anna falls in the water and the dress freezes all wrinkly). Oh, this girl!

Anyway we’re deliriously excited about this dress and our next trip to Disneyland!

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