Jan 27, 2013

too much excitement

My poor big girl tumbled off the arm of the couch this morning and broke her arm right above her elbow.  She was a brave girl though.  And now she has a pink cast for a few weeks and a cool hospital story to tell her friends.

Jan 26, 2013

happy birthday sewing

My friend Melissa's baby girl is turning two, and you know what?  Two is a big deal.  Big girl status.  And that deserves a Tea Party dress and a tutu.  Isn't that what every big girl needs on her birthday?

The Tea Party dress is probably my favorite Oliver and S pattern; it's a classic design that comes together beautifully.  I used denim for this version in hopes that it will go from winter to spring and maybe even to summer.  (The little ones outgrow things so quickly!)

The butterfly took me a few tries, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  I think those extra touches make handmade garments that much more special.

I added a scalloped stitch to the hem facing, and it is my favorite little detail, even if it is hidden.  I am so excited that I found a way to use my newly rediscovered pattern cams, and I would love suggestions for how to incorporate more decorative stitches, especially into little girl dresses.

The second part of this special birthday present is the tutu from Little Things to Sew.  There are six layers of tulle in three shades of purple, and I was very pleased with the way the colors layered together.  I can't say that my poor, old sewing machine was thrilled about sewing all those gathered layers to the ribbon, but in the end, this was an instant-gratification project if there ever was one.  Cara has been about to burst for one of these ever since I finished this one.  I'm sure there is a tutu in her near future. ;-)

Jan 23, 2013

10 months

This boy turned 10 months old last weekend, and as trite and hackneyed as it sounds, I cannot believe it.  This boy has now spent as much time outside of my tummy as he spent inside it (and remember, I had the world's longest pregnancy).  This boy has definite likes and dislikes, deliciously soft hair, and a contagious giggle.  And this boy is almost a toddler.  As in, he is almost walking.  Four or five steps all by his little, tiny self.  I cannot believe it.

PJ and I kept the infant nursery at church last Sunday.  I got to snuggle lots of itty-bitty brand-new babies while my own baby kept trying to escape.  He pulls up on everything and attempts to push anything that will move so that he can walk.  The contrast between Colin and the other babies in the infant nursery is rather stark; he wants to crawl and play, and they want to rock and sleep.  Part of me misses that rock-and-sleep stage, but I'm still getting plenty of snuggles from my baby boy.  I'm also getting lots of personality.  Funny faces, baby babbles, and so many giggles.

Jan 13, 2013


Welp.  We are almost two weeks into January, and I am just now getting around to making my New Year's Resolution blog-official.  Because it's not official until it's on the blog.

I wasn't planning to make a resolution this year, mainly because I didn't want to resolve to start working out every day.  That was my gut reaction to making a resolution, but I really didn't want to have to make that one.  I knew I would break it and beat myself up for it, so avoidance seemed like a better idea.

As I was busying avoiding resolutions, one began brewing in my heart.  Generosity.  What can I do to develop a more generous heart?  I think a generous heart starts with gratitude.  When we realize how blessed we are, sharing those blessings should be a natural next step.  I am ashamed of how much I take my life for granted.

That I can go to the grocery store every week and not worry about how much things cost.  
That I have a job to go to every day.  
That my children have wonderful, loving caretakers while I am at work.  
That my husband is gentle and supportive.  
That being a dad is a huge priority to him.  
That my children are healthy and happy.

While financial generosity has its place, that is not my main concern.  I want to be more generous with my time and talents.  That might look like giving away more patience, more grace, more attention, more encouragement.  It might look like giving more consideration and thoughtfulness.  On a practical level, it may look like more cooking or sewing as a gift for others.  Or it may look like money.  Whatever it is, I want to give generously to others what they need.

God took me seriously when I told Him my resolution.  I asked him to show me what needs to be done, but also to show me examples of generosity in others.  I want to be humbled and inspired, I said.  God delivers when we ask for things, and I am beyond humbled and inspired.  The generosity I have seen in others is not my story to tell, and I have nothing to brag about because I am not doing anything.  I am simply listening and watching and trying to respond.  God does the rest, and He does it big.

Jan 6, 2013


This is a dress that almost wasn't.  Everything took longer than I thought it should have taken, and by the end, I was so frustrated that I almost didn't bother with hemming.  But now, I'm really glad I did.

This is the Hazel dress from Victory Patterns. I have eyeing these patterns for a while, and I was particularly drawn to the ladylike-ness of Hazel.  Bow blouse plus shift dress plus color-blocking equals love.  I have sewn plenty of children's clothing from digital patterns, but adult clothing digital patterns are a beast of another breed.  All that cutting and taping sucked my enthusiasm a bit, and then cutting this slippery poly crepe georgette sucked a bit more away.  I think just getting the pattern put together and then cut out took three days.  The construction of the dress went fairly quickly, but it was not without frustration.  The pattern instructions are pretty good; my tension on my machine was not.

But enough with the whining.  I LOVE that I fully lined this dress.  I left out the neckline facings and added a bodice lining to the skirt lining, and it feels so good to wear.  I LOVE the colors together.  It doesn't get more girlie than hot pink and deep purple.  When I first put Hazel on, I wasn't sure I loved the style; she's very loose, and I wondered if I looked like I was wearing a sack.  I've worn her twice now, and especially after looking at the pictures, I LOVE the style.  It's easy and flattering and oh-so-ladylike.

In the end, I count this dress as a success.  I was worried for a minute that she wouldn't make it to my closet, but here we are, Hazel and me, so perfect for each other.

Jan 1, 2013

2012 in review

Happy New Year!  To ring in 2013, I thought I would compile a list of my favorite post (or posts in some cases--I couldn't pick!) from each month of 2012.

January:  Celebrations

February:  Random News

March:  Colin Gray Cooper {a birth story} and Life with Colin at 10 Days

April:  grrr baby sleep (and why I'm never going to lose those last 10 pounds)

May:  the paperdoll dress

June:  meringue  (by far the most viewed post on the blog, thanks to Coletterie)

July:  truffle and toddler no more

August:  over the hump

September:  my big girl goes to gymnastics

October:  on slowing down

November:  30 days of gratitude--sweet friends

December:  the same but different
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