Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ballerina Birthday Party

When my kids have a birthday, I usually go onto Birthday Express, pick out what I like and let them choose from there. L recently turned 3 and I had about 8 themes for her to choose from. As soon as she saw the ballerina one, she was set. It was a ballerina party. She was so excited. Everyday, "Can I look at my birthday party pictures?" I knew I had to do something very girly. So, I thought, lots of tule and just went with it.

First, I got L her little dance leotard and made her a tu-tu to go with the color she picked. Luckily, she wanted purple and I happened to have these little bows.

Then, I thought all the other little girls needed tu-tu's also, so I made each little girl one in their favorite color. These went home with them instead of goodie bags. I am not into candy filled goodie bags.

For the boys at the party, which was only about 6, I made capes. We were going to do crowns, but the capes were easier and I thought they would last longer.

Then, I wanted something really fancy and girly for the main room the kids would be playing in. I saw some canopies on-line when I was looking and remembered some fabric I used to make curtains a while back for someone else. He had extra fabric and was very kind to hand it over. The extra fabric gave me plenty to make this cute little canopy.

It was very easy to make. I basically cut 2 pieces the length I wanted then hemmed the bottom. Next, I took the top, twisted and rolled it together making a loop, which I slid some white yarn through to hang the canopy from. The last part of the canopy was a little tricky. I borrowed a hula hoop for the ring at the top. I wanted the hula hoop to be removable so I made 5 cloth strips and sewed snap tape to the ends. After that, I sewed one end of each strip in, set the hula hoop in and snapped it closed. It worked perfectly.

I hung the canopy from the ceiling above the kids table and on the table I put crayons and a bunch of ballerina coloring pages I printed out from the internet. I also had a bowl of hair ties and cut up ribbon for the older girls to make their own hair bows to match their skirts.

The cake was made by a friend who does this professionally. I usually make my kids cakes, actually this is the first time I have not. I just didn't think I could pull of a girl cake. L was set on having her cake be, "A girl." So I had it made. She turned out very cute.

L was very happy and had a ton of fun. She is still asking, "Mommy, when is it going to be my next birthday?"
Just as we started singing "Happy Birthday" she got off this stool and crouched on the ground until everybody was done singing.

We had about 30 guests and the whole party ended up costing under $200. We tried to do it very limited and only invited the friends she sees on a regular basis. That helped, but doing a party at home and making things instead of buying really cut costs. 

I'm linking with...
Making the World Cuter
Sumo Sweet StuffThe Girl CreativeAnything Related

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Stylish Blog Award

I am so new to this that I had no idea what the Stylish Blogger Award was. I wasn't even quite sure how to pick up the little button. Well, maybe it's not a button since when you click it, it doesn't take you somewhere. Anyway, it is actually pretty neat. It means someone else actually likes my blog. I am so grateful. Quiltfrog awarded me the Stylish Blogger Award. Thank you, Quiltfrog!! Since I got here is what I have to do...

1. Link back to the person that gave it to you.
2. Share 8 things about myself.
3. Pay it forward.

So, here are my 8 things...

1. God comes first in my life.

2. I am married to my best friend. Actually, my husband truly gives meaning to the word best friend.

3. I love to garden & cook the food I grow.
4. I love to backpack, hike and snowboard.

5. I love country music, I blast the music in the car with the kids and sing at the top of my lungs.
6. I have a biodiesel car.

7. My kids were born at home by choice.

8. I am a doula

Last, here are 8 Blogs I love, they inspire me either spiritually or creatively.

1. Sewmuchado
2. Bring the Rain
3. Homemaker on a dime
4. These Pilgrim Days
5. This Mama Makes Stuff
6. From an Igloo
7. I'm Mama, Hear Me Roar
8. Made by Rae

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I am so excited that I found this wonderful tutorial on Made. Pants are now SO easy. Yes, I did already try it and yes, C didn't like them, but I decided to give it another go. I was looking through my stash for an old piece of clothing to line the new pants with so they wouldn't be scratchy and found this instead.

Perfect, this shirt is light weight, soft and plaid. C loves plaid shorts, so I decided to make shorts instead of pants. Now that I know how to do pants, I just made them shorter for shorts. C also wanted 2 pockets in front and 1 in the back. I will show you how I did those.

First, I took off the front pocket on the shirt and saved it for the back pocket of the shorts, then I ironed the shirt and traced the shorts I was copying as a pattern.

Then, I cut out the shorts and sewed them together, you can find how to do that at MADE. Next, I was ready for the pockets. I did them different then she did, so here is how...

Notice the pockets are sewn a little over the side seam. I have also noticed when I copy pants and shorts that the front leg is a little more narrow then the back. I don't know why that is, I'm assuming the bum takes up room so it helps for the seam to be more at the side of the leg. If any of you happen to know the actual reason, I'd love you to share.

Anyway, back to the pockets, I drew the same shape and added a little, not bias, but same idea over the opening.

I really do need to re-do that ironing board cover! I just need to get motivated. Ok, back to the pockets again. After I sewed the opening side, I zigzagged around the edges, folded and ironed them in.

Then I pinned them a little over the seam line and top stitched around.

Now, onto the back pocket. I took the shirt pocket trimmed it up a little, zigzagged then folded in the edges, pinned and top stitched again. I didn't have to do anything special to the opening because that was already done since it was the pocket off the shirt.

All that is left is the waist. I realized after I cut the top of the shorts that I didn't leave an allowance for the casing. I decided to take the part of the shirt where the buttons were and make that the waist band. I cut the buttons off and cut the edge off the shirt. Then I put it around the top of the shorts like you would a blanket binding.

I pinned that and sewed all the way around the waist. After that I threaded the elastic through...

And sewed the opening closed.

They turned out great this time. These shorts have become C's favorite and my husband approves. No more potato sack comments. :-) Everybody is happy and I didn't throw away an old shirt.

Here is what's left of the shirt...

There is too much left to trash, now what to do with it. Maybe it will become strips for a rag rug. We'll see.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Easy Bed Spread

As I've mentioned before, my son is very picky. He likes things very specific and he is very sensitive to textures. He has been wanting a blanket like his sister's that is silky on one side and soft on the other. I wanted to make him a new blanket for his bed because I never really liked what was on there. It was this very basic sports print.

The old comforter was very big, thick and bulky. It didn't tuck into his bed well, so it never looked quite right. When C kept asking for this blanket, I decided I would see what fabric's I had on hand. I would cut up his old comforter and add some soft stuff to it then put silky on the back. So I found brown minky, brown teady bear stuff and went to JoAnns for the rest. There I got a flannel and blue super soft fleece. For the back I got satin. 

I'm not a big fan of quilt making, cutting all those tiny squares is just tedious to me, so I decided I would do great big squares. C liked to feel the soft squares so I figured he would like that better anyway.

I put all the squares together randomly, well, I tried to make them look random, but I put thought into it so the same fabrics wouldn't be next to eachother and this is what I came up with.

It's perfect and it fits perfect on his bed. I didn't line it with anything because C tends to sleep very hot and it's light enough that he can make his own bed. C loves rubbing his hands on the different squares. He has is favorite fabric that has changed a time or two. 

I also didn't put a binding on the edge because he didn't want one. So, to put the top and bottom together, I just sewed right sides together, left an opening, flipped it, sewed close and top stitched all the way around. That's it, done!

His little boo bear blends right in.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Barbie Tote

L got barbies for her birthday. Before she only had one, so I didn't have a storage problem. But now she has 5, plus accessories. I was going to go out and buy another plastic bin, but because of the budget this month I was going to have to wait till March. Then I realized I can make something. I was going to make a fabric covered box with all the cardboard packaging there was, but that went out with the recycle trash can. That's when I decided I can make a bag. L and C love their bags. L calls them purses and C says they are for supplies.

Here is the fabric that was just left over from some blankets I made a couple years ago.

I love the purple one in the middle, but there isn't much. The strawberries are cute to. There was enough of that for part of the bag, so I mixed it with white and for the inside did the pink with lady bugs and butterfly's on the right.

I cut out 2 rectangles 12 x 16 for the front and back of the strawberries, then the side panels and bottom panel. The sides are white, 16 x 6 and the bottom is 12 x 6. This is all in inches. I cut out the exact same sizes for the inside (lining) pieces. 

There was some extra white that I decided to make pockets with. I sewed those onto the lining first. I have no idea how you are supposed to do pockets, so I do whatever I'm in the mood for that day. For these, I folded down the top and zig zagged across. Then I pinned the pocket to the lining with a pleat in the bottom and I zig zagged around the sides so I wouldn't have to fold under the edges. They turned out nice and there are no messy edges.

To make the top gather, I sewed a piece of elastic on by stretching it across and zig zagging over it. A surger would make sewing so much more fun. :-)

The next step was to piece it all together and sew. I pieced in a funny order for the lining as you can see. The strawberries are the small sides of the lining and the pink are the big sides.

For the outside, I did it in what I think is the correct order. I sewed all the sides together.

Then I pinned and sewed on the bottom.

After that, I sewed straps. I took 2 strips of white, folded it, sewed the edge and flipped it right side out.

I put the lining and the outside of the bag together, right sides together and slipped the straps in like this.

oops! This picture (below) is wrong. It should have right sides together. I think I was just looking at it and took a picture. So you would have right sides together and put the straps in. Sew all the way around leaving one of the small sides unsewed for the opening to flip it.

See the opeing...

Now iron the seams and top stitch around the top edge closing that little opening. I love top stitching. It just makes it look much more finished. I pin my opening closed to make sure it doesn't slip around.

So here is the little strawberry, barbie tote.

This is the inside with the pockets. One is gathered and the other isn't. I wanted to do them each different.

This little bag took me the time it took my kids to watch 101 Dalmations. It was movie night Saturday night. We do it for the kids once a month with some friends and the adults do game night, but it got canceled due to sick kids. Mine had their hearts set on the movie so I let them watch. So, not too long anyway.

The Girl Creative