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Tag Archives: clothes for the girl

Love is In The Air

The second her teacher said, “Wear your prettiest Valentine dress on Thursday!”, I could tell by the look on my girl’s face that I was hosed. See, she does not have a Valentine dress — not a specific one, at least. Silly me, I thought that her favorite red and gold sweater dress would do just fine. It’s red, it’s gold — it has short sleeves! Short sleeves rule!

But no.

“Mom, I need a dress for my party.”

The next morning:

“Mom, don’t forget my pretty dress. Oh, I can’t wait to wear my pretty dress for the Valentine party!”

Oh boy.

Okay, so a mom who is not super cheap would just mosey on down to Target and get whatever glittered heart madness they’re churning out this year, but I’m not always that mom. It was cold yesterday. So, so cold. Better to hit the fabric shelf and see what I could come up with…except I didn’t want to make a dress. More importantly, I don’t know how to make a dress. My only trick is attaching a skirt to a t-shirt, and I didn’t like any of the options on hand.

And then

I took one more look in her closet and found this:


A $6.00 H&M dress with a spot on the front. Well! This looked promising! After a quick peek at the Pinterest files, I came across some reverse applique instructions, cut a sleeve off of one of my old shirts, and was off to the races. A couple of hours later, voila!


Best of all, the young boss loved it! (I wasn’t sure it was going to fly, since she’d already said that the red and pink tunic she was wearing would be “crazy” for her to wear, due to the black and grey in the color scheme. Imagine!)

Bolstered by this success, and drunk with ideas after the whole Pinterest perusal, I also cranked these out for the kids at my AWANA table:


They were…well, less than enthused, but I bet they’ll use them sometime. Or leave them to get smushed up at the bottom of their bag. I really am trying not to overthink these things. They certainly weren’t going to be any more excited over the stuff that I’d thought about doing two weeks ago and never did, so there we go.

Two more bookmarks are in the works today for the two at my breakfast table. Theirs will be stuffed into new books, so that ought to be worth something. Not that they wouldn’t prefer them to be sticking out of the top of a Lego box, but come on. Speaking of Legos, we saw the movie on Saturday and thought it was terrific. I think Kevin and I laughed more than the kids. Anyway, one of the great points the movie makes [spoiler alert, but not really] is that there are so many creative things to make with those little bricks that aren’t on the instruction pages. True! But then what’s with all the movie tie-in sets? I mean, I know what’s with it — cha ching! — but it really offended my sensibilities.



What day is it? With all the crazy “snow” days interrupting our regular schedule, and all of the other stuff making our days a little cuckoo, I’m feeling even more scattered than usual. But that’s winter for you.

Still, we press on! This weekend we made ninjabread cookies (thanks, Ms. Heather!):


Later, I gave new life to one of Bridget’s old faves, thanks for this tutorial:



She was so happy. I, of course, spent the next hour wildly looking for more ruined long-sleeved shirts in my stash to try that trick again.

And then yesterday we had Cold Day (which is when they close the schools on account of the weather, and then it doesn’t actually do anything), so I decided to make good on the beef bones in the freezer and whip up another batch of stock. Oh, it simmered away all afternoon, and I had big plans for french dip sandwiches and pot pies in our future. Finally, I lovingly strained it into my largest bowl, and caught the bottom of the pan on the edge of said bowl, tipping it over and dumping the entire contents down the drain. I mean straight down the drain, as though it were being vacuumed down the disposal. AGH!! It was just disgusting. So I washed the nasty, greasy dishes and closed the kitchen for the night. Or maybe FOREVER! Ugh.



Goodness! What a ridiculous couple of weeks it has been.

Long story short: The pre-Easter virus stretched halfway through the week, seemingly went away, and then returned in time to make Easter a little bit of a chaotic bust for half of the household.

The night before Easter, I realized that I hadn’t — how you say? — arranged for the Easter Bunny to stop by our place. Oh, oops.


Pinterest to the rescue! Whipped these up on the sly and added a couple of treats. The kids were happier than I thought they’d be, so that was a plus.

And lather, rinse, repeat. It just seems like the month of April has been swallowed by little upheavals and I’ve been more easily beset than usual (which is to say: completely off-track.) But we just keep moving forward, right? Yes!

My girl had a Fashion Show/Tea Party Day at her preschool this morning, and I just couldn’t bear to send her in the blasted red satin-y dress that she insists on wearing any time it appears in the closet. Sunday to church? Yes. Monday to Grandma’s? Sure. Thursday to school? By all means. I’ve given up on trying to convince her that it’s a little ridiculous, and I don’t care as much as I used to about people thinking I’m an idiot to let her out of the house that way. I’m all about choosing my battles. I’m also getting pretty good at choosing my weapons; in this case, a sundress. Apparently, sleeveless totally trumps satin.


I picked this skirt up at Old Navy about a year ago, on clearance, because it was long and pretty and my size. Turns out that it looks horrible on me, but I held onto it in case I had a change of heart. (You know how that goes.) No such luck, but I was pretty sure that I could turn it into a dress for the girl, since it came mid-calf on me.

011Voila! I cut off the top of the skirt — right about the lettuce ruffle edge — and finished the inner edge, which also secured the lining to the outer shell again. Then, I added about twelve rows of shirring. The rows should’ve been spaced further apart, but I only realized that after the first two were done, and well, that was two rows too late for me. Charge on! Lastly, I made straps out of the discarded skirt top, and there you go. Getting the straps placed correctly took about as much time as the whole rest of the process, but it still only took me a couple of hours. Truth be told, it’s a little on the short side, but it’s floaty and fancy and she was thrilled and it was free. Happiness all around!


All Over the Place

I’ll tell you what: as much as I dislike March, I’m torn over how to feel about it being so close to the end already. What is going on?!

Is Easter really next week? So, there’s only a half-week of school coming up? Really?

It’s all a bit much to process. Do I still have time to make a Spring/Easter wreath? Is it worth it?

Do I even care about making one anymore? I think the question points toward an obvious answer….


On top of that, my friends keep having babies, and even grandbabies (talk about hard to process!), and the “get this done now” clock in my head was just buzzing louder and louder until I finished up the squares for this quilt, which steamrolled its way right to the top of the list. Oh, but the relief of having it that much closer to done. Totally worth throwing closet cleaning to the back burner…except now the clock in my head it buzzing over that! Whatever. It’s always something.

But I digress — back to Easter. Which is, I say again, next week. Now, in a rare move, I actually managed to get my kids their duds before Good Friday (which really doesn’t seem like it should be the unofficial Easter finery shopping day, you know?), and I love this little dress.

Except for that tacky little daisy:


Yeah, we can do better than that. A little fancy fabric, a little candlelight, and voila:


I salvaged the button from the original flower, and just love love love this version. (I basically used this beautiful tutorial as my guide. Thank you, Autum!) Granted, it still needs to have the pin attached — and the button, for that matter — but it’s as good as done. In fact, the glue gun is already out, thanks to yesterday’s crazy tangent project, but that’s a story for another day. As you can see, I even made a second flower for Little Fancy’s hair. I’m on a roll!

Things are happening, friends. The quilt squares from the beginning of the tale? They are already down, stitched, and basted onto the rest of their little quilt sandwich. Happening, I say!

Deep in the Heart of Texas


It’s that time of year again, my friends: Rodeo Time! Now I’m not much of a rodeo fan, but I do love Go Texan day and all that goes with it.

Elementary school hoedown? Yay!

Western duds? Yeehaw!

Oh, but oops — Little Girl didn’t have anything even remotely Western. Luckily, I found this bandana print at Mom’s, and a ton of black lightweight denim fabric. That was on Friday, which left me plenty of time to whip up a little skirt over the weekend.


…when I pulled the denim out of the wash Friday night, black linty dust flew up in a cloud. It also coated the inside of the washer, the dryer, and the garage floor beneath the vent. What the? When I washed it again, more of the same; the fabric apparently was disintegrating. Well, great.

So much for free and easy.

But not so fast. That’s not the Spirit of the West! I got myself to Joann’s Monday morning, and found a really cute piece of slubby denim (on sale, no less.) I used this old faithful skirt pattern as a guide, along with a combo of these two ruffle tutorials. Done and done. I’d picked up a white shirt at H&M a couple of weeks ago, so it was just an applique away from being a super cute outfit-maker.

Can you tell that I’m a little pleased with how it turned out? And she’s been twirling around ever since, so I guess it is officially a winner. Of course, tonight she plans to switch it out for her fanciest satin dress before we go to Cubbies.

As it turns out, she’s only a little bit country.

Spring Wear!

Well, Little Miss has now decided to refuse to wear pants. Leggings? Sure. Pants that are just like leggings, but a little looser in the leg? Absolutely not. Since regular pants, like jeans or khakis, had long ago been forbidden (pretty much since she could voice an opinion), we are down to skirts and dresses only. While this makes getting ready for church easy, and will make her a fine deacon’s wife someday, it kind of throws a wrench in her current wardrobe.

Did I mention that her Winter/Spring wardrobe includes Carter’s knit pants in just about every color? And that they’re sized to last her through next Fall? Sure. “Get ahead”, indeed.

This week’s cold snap notwithstanding, it’s been warm enough for bare legs, so I figured I’d better get cracking on the skirts.


There’s actually one more, but it already made the trek upstairs and someone’s too lazy. I’m someone.

Oh, and this here skirt was way too exciting to make:


A cute little skirt from a discarded shirt?! Oh yeah! Again, there’s a green one (which was the first off the press, and may or may not be a wee bit snug) which is already in the regular rotation. Needless to say, my husband’s shirts are barely safe.

Even more impressive? I started and finished these bad boys the same week. Progress, friends!

Hibernation is Underrated

I know I said that things were going to be happening around here, but probably not before my long winter’s nap.


Oh, we’ve been to the library, and I’m ready to settle in for a nice long while. The Long Winter was yesterday’s treat; I finished it this morning. The rest are books that I’m “screening” for potential 2013 gifts. How can I make good recommendations if I haven’t read them? It’s my duty!

Actually, though, I sewed something yesterday (but there aren’t any pictures. It’s no big loss, trust me.) In the process of re-organizing the sewing area, I peeked into the bin that holds all of the clothes we’ve weeded out that may be good candidates for re-fashioning. In there was a skirt that I’d intended to cut down for Bridget last year, but never got around to it. Why must I make such a gigantic project out of every single thing? If it requires any sort of figuring, it just doesn’t get done quickly. Well, I yanked it out, measured the girl, and had a “new” skirt for her in less than an hour. There! A small but significant step in the right direction.

31 Days: Expect the Unexpected

We’re currently enjoying what passes for Fall in these parts: a day or two of really great crisp, cool days that trick you into thinking that the seasons have changed. At this point, I’ll take what I can get (even though I’m pretty sure Friday’s heat and humidity will have me shaking my fist in the air yet again.) It was even chilly enough this morning to warrant long sleeves, so I headed to the handy bag of winter clothes in Bridget’s closet to find her a shirt this morning.

Lo and behold, each and every piece is probably too small. The girl went and got tall on me over the summer! Of the two shirts that may have fit (but not at all well), she outright refused one of them. And I was so sure she’d love it — it had a fairy princess on it, for Pete’s sake! She loves fairy princesses!

“Why won’t you wear this one, B?”

Mom, her tiara is green!

Ah, yes. Totally logical. I’m going to save myself a lot of headaches and pass that one along without bothering; it was a hand-me-down, anyway.

As for the rest of the basket, I’ll either head to the resale shop with it tomorrow or move right along to the Goodwill. It depends on my mood. And then add shopping for cool-weather clothing to my list, because that girl is going to need it.

Not that there’s likely any hurry, but I find it’s a bad idea to ignore the warning light for too long.

KCWC: Finale

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Don’t you dig the heavenly blast of light on this dress? Even the angels sing when I get around to finishing something!

This dress is adapted from the nightdress pattern in Making Children’s Clothes; some of you may recognize it  as being strikingly similar to last year’s model. That is because I bought this fabric at the same time, with the intention of making myself a skirt. Well, here we are a year later: I’ve not made the skirt (which seemed like less and less of a good idea as time wore on), and the “polky-dot” dress is waaaay too short, so…second verse, same as the first!

Once again, I have no idea why I left a project this simple “in basket” for so long, and I’m totally happy to be done with it. There’s actually one more sundress left to complete, but it’s one that requires elastic thread. It’s been a while since I’ve used that, and now I have to get all psyched up in order to tackle it. In a few weeks or so, I’m sure I’ll be back with another edition of “Why Did I Wait So Long?” Til then, it’s on to other things!

KCWC: Day Three

The Dreaded Pajama Pants — done and done!

I still don’t know why I make such a big deal over making these. It might be because there are usually several pair lined up and ready to go, and cutting them all out takes up about all of the energy I’m willing to put into them. That having been said, banging out the actual pinning and sewing over the course of two hour-long sessions was the way to go! Once they were done (about half an hour into Day Three), I was able to start working on one of the two dresses left sitting in the basket. Turns out that the prep work that I did way back when really left something to be desired; I only cut out one of the main dress pieces. Of course, I didn’t discover this until I’d attached the sleeve pieces to the front…and didn’t find a back to attach them to in the next step. Yepper. Well, that explains why there was so much of that fabric leftover! So, I spent the last ten minutes of sewing time cutting out the back piece.

And then I got distracted by errands and re-organizing the kitchen on Day Four, but thought that I’d sneak in an hour of sewing in the evening.

Then The Girl got up from her nap with a roaring fever, so we got to go to take a field trip to the pediatrician instead. [It’s a virus — hooray? Well, could be worse!]

Hey, I can show you something else, though. There’s another thing spurring me along this year: I recently re-organized my fabric collection. By “recently”, I mean sometime in January. Anyway, thanks to this genius idea (which I found through the magic of Pinterest, naturally), I ran right out, bought a pack of comic book boards, and got to winding. So exciting! My shelves were going to look so good! And then…

… I ran out of boards, and had to go get some more. That was a little sobering.

After some [what felt like ruthless, but probably wasn’t] fabric purging, here’s a look at what’s left:

My, but isn’t flannel bulky?

And my, don’t I like blue?

That gives you an idea of what we’re dealing with here. My 2012 goal is to shrink the collection significantly, and so far great headway is being made! My little stack of empty boards is growing by the week. There’s still a lot of work to do, or else I’m determined to make another sweep next January — partly because I’d like to make better use of the space and partly because I’d like to buy more fabric.

There, I said it. There are beautiful collections coming out every day and I want more! But I’ve been showing great restraint. It’s hard to justify “needing” something with a cotton army staring you down from their perches.

Here’s wishing you a healthy and productive (or relaxing, if that’s your thing) weekend!