Edelweiss Easter Dresses

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In the midst of sewing a bridesmaid dress, being sick, and going on vacation, I managed to just barely whip up three Edelweiss dresses for my kiddos for Easter.  And by “whip up”, I mean “slave over for 2 days wishing the whole time I had chosen a knit dress”.  The Edelweiss has three separate sections of gathering, and I made three dresses, so in case you don’t have a calculator handy, that’s NINE different instances of “evenly distributing gathers”, AKA: “sewing hell”.  Before I become the world’s worst sales person, I will say that all those gathers are worth it in the end.  Kind of like making a  kid.

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About them dresses:  I got the unmarked chambray-ish cotton locally, and used stash ribbon for the belts.  Because I had heavy ribbon on the waistband, I wasn’t able to make buttonholes, so I hand-sewed hooks and eyes instead.  I also left the ruffles on the straps raw with just a zig zag stitch so they could have a bit of fray. DSC_0090

Oldest daughter’s ribbon is from Ribbon Retreat, (which I received as part of my winnings from Project Sewn).

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Middle daughter’s ribbon was purchased locally for an embarrassingly cheap price.  Gotta buy All The Ribbon before I move!DSC_0024

Youngest daughter’s ribbon was bought years ago at M&J trimming in NYC, for an embarrassingly expensive price.  I only bought 1 yard and I’ve been waiting for the perfect project to present itself.  It was meant to be.  The Edelweiss is a great pattern for using a small amount of fancy ribbon, or you can showcase a special piece of embroidery or vintage fabric in the center panel between the straps.DSC_0092

In case you’d like to make an Edelweiss or three, here’s some info on the sizing I used:  Baby girl got a size 2 bodice with a size 3 skirt.  I prefer above-the-knee for girls’ dresses in general, and the Edelweiss is made to hit just above the knee, but I sized up so she’ll get more wear out of it.  My oldest daughter is a really tall and skinny 7 yr old, so I made her a sz 6 bodice but used the sz 8 straps and skirt to maintain length.  Middle daughter is 5 1/2, totally average, and is wearing a straight-up size 5.  The Edelweiss has three main pieces – the bodice, straps, and skirt, and you can interchange sizes at will to fit your wearer’s body type.DSC_0018

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter with family!  We got to spend ours with friends who feel like family, so it was pretty much the best.  (Though family that feels like friends is pretty awesome too.)DSC_0096

Calling All Kids! Military Inspired Tee

Are you following the “Calling All Kids” series at Alida Makes? Alida has four kids full of personality – who don’t necessarily go for the chain store fare. The series highlights clothes that showcase that personality and aren’t necessarily gender specific. While my four-year old will *literally* jump up and down and clap her hands for a skirt covered in pink sequins, my seven-year old almost wholly rejects dresses, skirts, sequins, ruffles and anything that might be called “girly”. Calling All Kids is the perfect series for her! Her interests are 95% “boy” activities. We’re talking through the finer points of what the military is and what they do and which parts do what, and she was all kinds of excited about a military inspired tee.

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I used Kitschy Coo’s Dolman pattern and sliced a bit off of the top of the front and back to add the shoulder stripes. My quick sketch made this look easy-peasy.

calling all kids sketchThe closest fabric store is… umm… maybe 40 miles away. In  “use what you have” mode I used a navy heathered sweatshirting for the bands and shoulders and a lightweight royal jersey for the body. Slightly less than easy peasy to mix the weights. The lightness of the jersey meant I needed to double it up to avoid transparency. (Transparency in government = good. Transparency in t-shirts = bad.) The sweatshirting was fantastic to work with. It’s super stable. The lightweight jersey is the chiffon of knit world and as such slightly maddening, but since we’re talking fabric world here, not a crisis. The neckline ended up with a gathered effect I wasn’t going for but at least it’s mostly even. I decided the nix the nutcracker-esque button/round thingies.

She’s pretty insistent about tucking shirts in a la Steve Urkel lately, so we had a bit of an argument over the high-low hem as a design feature. Because I was the half of the argument with control over the ginger lemon cookie she wanted (we’ve graduated from M&Ms as payment for modeling services) I won. This time.

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Did you know 7 is the new 13? That’s what I’m seeing lately.

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Thank goodness for plenty of silly moments, too.

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Head over to Alida Makes to see the rest of the Calling All Kids series! And enter the ginormous giveaway!

Drawer Stickers for Hanging Shelves!

When Kim at A Real-Life Housewife ordered drawer stickers recently I looked at her beautiful photography I thought she’d be perfect to ask to share how she used them. LOOK at the adorableness!

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I’ve found that kids love these because they feel a lot more able to help. It turns a chore into more of a game. And parents enjoy them too because… in all seriousness… when are we NOT tired? Reminders are so helpful. I can’t count the number of messages I’ve gotten from Moms who say their husbands need drawer stickers most. And as a mom myself, I appreciate them every single time I put things away. It’s not realistic at my house to have the kids help ALL the time, but no matter who is doing it, they speed up the task.

As a random aside, when I first shared these I kinda thought of them as more of a girl thing. Maybe just because girls are what I know best. But boy stickers actually slightly outsell the girl sets! So funny, right? I’d be happy to hear theories on why what is. But however they’re used, I love the feedback I get about them. I haven’t heard of a kid removing them from drawers or bins yet – they’re made with such sturdy adhesive. And yet you can peel them off in one piece without surface damage when you’re ready.  That’s the best of both.

I asked Kim whether I could sponsor a post and I’m so glad I did. Kim didn’t use them on drawers – she uses them on a hanging closet organizer! Go see her setup – and there’s a spring cleaning giveaway to enter!

New Pattern: The Kensington Dress and Tee

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The Kensington Dress and Tee is here!  This pattern is for a beautifully tailored knit dress or trendy hi-low hem tee.  It can go from casual and comfy to polished and buttoned up depending on what options you choose to use.  And oh the options! So many options!

You can choose from:
- a placket
- a pocket (use 1 or 2, or leave it off)
- short sleeves
- long sleeves
- button tabs for rolled up sleeves
- a dress
- a shirt
- an exposed neck binding
- a hidden neck binding

If you choose to leave off the placket and pockets, you’ll have yourself an easy, beginner-friendly wardrobe staple.  But I promise that even if you’ve never sewn one before, the placket is much easier than you’d think.  There is a photograph for every step to help you through, and by the time you’re done you’ll want to placket all the things!

I say this about all my patterns, but I think this might be my favorite one yet.  I love how with this one pattern you can make every day tees, easy play dresses, or a more tailored button up.  The sleeves have a slight puff for a cute feminine detail.  The dress is shaped at the waist to give it a fitted look, but is still comfy for every day wear.  The shirt features a slouchier straight fit with a dropped back hem to add a little interest.  The pleated pockets are optional and you can use 1 or 2.  They feature a little pocket flap with a button closure.  If buttonholes scare you, you can just sew it on for a faux-flap!  Or just replace all the buttons with snaps.  There are so many ways to change up your Kensington to make it your own.

As always, the Kensington is named after a place I’ve been.  I spent many an hour nursing my baby (now 5!) in the park while my 2 yr old (now 7!) ran around on our London vacation.  The city is full of hipsters and socialites alike, and the multiple personalities of the city felt appropriate for this pattern.

Now here’s a photo dump because A. I like to see lots of different views before I buy a pattern, and B. I’m kinda fond of these kids and I have a hard time editing myself.

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You can buy your Kensington Dress and Tee here!

The Rainbow Loom Project – UPDATE!

Saturday posts are sorta rare on crafterhours but I really want to share this NOW. A Rainbow Loom Project update!

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Remember The Rainbow Loom project post? Talk about an example of a social media wildfire. Jen’s idea reallllly caught on. She just shared all of the details on her blog – and I think you should go read all about it so that you can cry happy tears too. Kids in the US and Canada got to do something they love with their own hands that will physically reach the hands of kids on the other side of the world – and arrive with critical funds to help those kids. 

While I’m here, I’ll also mention that in addition to our crafterhours Facebook page, we’re also periodically contributing to another page full of sewing bloggers called The Daily Sew. Facebook was instrumental in spreading the word about The Rainbow Loom Project and it was so heart warming to watch the word spread. If you haven’t already, go “like” ‘em both!