the dinosaur

This is one of my favorite boy shirts to date! I hope I continue on this trend so every project I make is always better than the last. I found the material for this shirt at a “local” fabric store. Quotes on the local because it’s really 2 hours away, but I seem to go there quite often regardless. I had to buy it because the blue was so pretty and the fabric was sooooo light and super soft. Both my kids have a thing for soft. Rand always asks me is it’s going to be soft on the inside too. This definitely fit the bill.

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I have to admit, this post is making me cry. Just 2 years ago, my sweet boy was an even sweeter toddler and so cute and little…. The shirt on the left was his first Rand-A-Saur shirt and also the inspiration for his second Rand-A-Saur shirt. He’s of course grown out of both so I had to make him a third! It’s funny, the nickname Rand-A-Saur actually comes from my sister who stayed with us for a summer after she graduated before Rand turned 1. When she would feed him, she would always sing, “more, more, more, more, never feed a Rand-A-Saur, MOOOOOORE!” Apparently it’s an actual song. It stuck though. He’s been my Rand-A-Saur ever since.

I wanted to use the same applique that I used in the second shirt, but it was lost on my old computer. Luckily, I was able to find it again online after searching for a day. The original idea was to just re-make his second shirt in different colors. My original plans never quite work out though. I cut out the dinosaur head and decided I needed a background to go under it. After searching and searching for something that I could use, I found a sweet picture but wasn’t able to turn it into a stencil because the resolution was so small. I ended up making my own stencil using the same graphic that I used for the sparks on his construction shirt. I just put 3 or 4 together, rotated them, cropped them into a circle and voila!
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Here is a little bit of my process. I used my Cricut to cut out this stencil on freezer paper. This one took about 30 minutes to cut because it was so intricate. Too bad I forgot to make sure my circle was a perfect circle instead of an oval and had to re-cut it…. I really thought about just using my slightly wonky circle… no one would notice right? Well, I’m glad I fixed it because I think the perfect circle really stands out on the finished product. I would have regretted using an inferior stencil.

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So I ironed on the stencil and painted it. The first color turned out to be a little too blue-green. I’m not super awesome at mixing colors. I ended up painting over it and fading the light gray to dark gray. When it was done I thought it looked a little spacey… It kind of reminded me of the Death Star. What do you think? Then I regretted my color choice because I didn’t think the brown dinosaur would look that great over the gray. Husband to the rescue again! He convinced me to just sew it on before I went and cut out another applique in white. He was right. It looks great! I shouldn’t second guess myself so much. Side note: Gray/Grey?? Which one is correct? I seem to use them interchangeably.

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What a silly face. I thought about adding “Rand-A-Saur” somehow to the bottom of the shirt. I decided it looked great the way it was and left it off. Now it looks too grown-up… that’s why this post is making me cry. Kids grow up way too fast. I don’t even remember Rand when he was a baby or toddler. Is that why people have more than one child? To keep the adventure of all ages in the house? Every age is just as fun as the last. I’m excited to see where this kid goes in life.

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I never do his hair. He was so funny about it. Every time I brushed by him or wanted him to do something, he worried about whether his hair was still ok. He is quite the perfectionist in so many ways.

I’m now caught up on all the projects I’ve been doing this last year. I’m excited to share my new projects with you. I just finished my jumper so the tutorial is coming soon! It’s probably the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

lace pocket

Those of you who have read the blog before, know that I go back and forth on whether or not this is a site to get good tutorial information or just a site for inspiration. Well, as I was drafting patterns yesterday for my toddler romper, I decided to take some pictures and show you how I came up with the pattern. Sometimes it’s nice to see the other side of these cute outfits right? I don’t know. There are a lot of awesome tutorials out there, but not one for this kind of romper that I could find so you at least get this one. I also had a friend ask for more stenciling information so next time I do one, I’ll certainly map out the process. This is a place where I can write whatever I want, right? If I change my mind one too many times, it will be OK.

Anyway, it’s about time this blog got some more LACE considering it’s name. I just love how this lace pocket tee turned out. I got this fabric from Joann. It’s a really cool double sided knit. Stripes on the one side and polka dots on the other. I don’t usually find awesome knits at Joann, but I sometimes get lucky. I knew I wanted to do some color blocking with it since the two side obviously match perfectly and thus this shirt was born. I had it all cut out and laying on my livingroom floor and thought it needed some embellishment. I just happened to have all the material out for 5 projects and looked around and saw the lace that I was using for my capri inserts!  It was a perfect fit.

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At least the material was a perfect fit. I didn’t do a wonderfully square pocket, but it still looks pretty great. I just cut out a strip and folded the edges under and sewed it on. I’ve been looking at store bought shirt pockets though, and they all seem to have some backing on the corners of the pocket so the base material doesn’t tear. I think I’ll do that in the future as I’ve had tearing issues with other garments.  P.S. It’s really hard to take a good clear picture of white lace. I don’t know why, but I can never get it to focus and look right. Tips anyone???

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And here is the cute girl loving her shirt and loving being outside. If she could be outside all day long, it wouldn’t bother her a single bit. Lately, with her teething, it’s been the only place that she’s happy. The amber necklace helps a ton with her drooling, but I’m not sure about her pain.

Also, those purple flowers are the ONLY flowers in my garden that are thriving… I’m a little sad. I need to work on developing my green thumb. I didn’t even plant them. They came up from seed from last year’s flowers. SWEET! I’ll take what I can get.

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I had to share this one because this is almost a good picture of the pouty lip that I get from her all the time. I think it’s really cute. She sure can stick it out pretty far to get us all to feel sorry for her.

Like I said before, tutorials coming your way in the next couple of weeks. I’ve got one more boy shirt to post and then I’m all caught up! Sadly, I sent one of my favorite shirts to my sister for her little girl so I can’t do a tutorial about that one, but I’ll make up for it in future sewing for sure. I hope you are having a wonderful summer. Hug your kiddos and go outside and play!

 

slicer shirt

This shirt was one of those ideas that I had imagined very differently in my head from how it turned out. I had this super lightweight material and I knew my son would want a shirt out of it because green is the only color he sees. I thought it should be a construction shirt since he had been asking for one. So I asked him what kind of machine he wanted on the shirt, and then began the loooong process. I like things quick and easy so this was quite the undertaking to finish. We spent 2 days trying to find the right construction machine to put on it. Apparently I have a very particular boy on my hands. He was quite insistent that he have a crane with both a hook and a grabber… Impossible right? After 2 days I finally convinced him that there was no such thing and showed him that all my attempts to combine the 2 looked ridiculous. He settled on this “slicer” which is probably a log cutter or something and was very excited.

So I cut out the stencil on my cricut from freezer paper and painted it….

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This is what happened. It doesn’t look terrible, but it doesn’t look great either. The black I used, took to the fabric like ink and was blacker than any black I’ve ever seen. Beside the black, the slicer looked dull and from a distance you couldn’t even tell what it was. I was sad. It took me forever to paint the stencil in different colors and do a few layers of paint. I absolutely hate to re-do anything but the idea of it just wouldn’t go away. I decided to throw it away and start again. Thank heavens it was cheap material and I had 2 yards of it 🙂 I always over-buy yardage. This time, I made the stencil a bit different in the track part and I made it a little bigger.

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See how I painstakingly ironed in those teeny tiny pieces in the track? It’s definitely not like me to spend so much time making something look just a little bit better. It really made all the difference though. If you’ve never done freezer paper stenciling before, I’m going to do a full tutorial on it the next time I do one. I’ve had a couple requests. Two things to remember are 1) waxy side down so that it irons to the fabric and 2) be sure to cut your words out accordingly so they aren’t backwards.

This was actually the first of three stencils. I painted the machine on, adding white to the black so it wouldn’t look so inky, but I thought that it needed something more. I knew I wanted to do sparks from the beginning, but I wanted some wow. I decided metal would be cool and implemented that idea as shown… I’m not in love but it IS pretty cool. I didn’t think it was going to work at first. I used a sparkle silver and boy was it sparkly! I had to bring in my husband for his opinion on whether or not it looked too girly. He assured me that metal could have a little sparkle. It ended up washing mostly away anyway.

As always, there is a lot I would do differently if I were to ever re-create this piece. Maybe it would help if I drew out the whole design first instead of going step by step without thought for the future 🙂 My drawing skills aren’t quite up to par for that task though… I think I’ll stick to the haphazard processes of Ariel. They serve me pretty well.

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It’s all about the kids though right? When I finished this shirt, he wore it for three days straight. I think he likes it just a little bit. The sparks are his favorite part. They are mine as well.

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Mr. fake smile.

Don’t all the cut down branches look great for a background? And the pots and stumps off my porch? I really am a pro at photography 😉

See you next time for another toddler girl tee. This one is super easy. I’ll probably be working on the bubble romper for a week or 2 so don’t get too excited about that yet. But DO get excited. It will be awesome… just not yet 🙂

Pinterest Tee

This is probably one of my favorite shirts I’ve made to date. I like to pin outfits of things I think I could make myself and this is one that I decided to try out.

Pinterest Win

Look at the pinned shirt and the outcome. Almost exactly the same!!! YAY! The top was super hard to figure out, and I still didn’t get it quite right. Eventually my impatience caught up to me and I went with what I had. If I had to make another one, which I’m sure I will in the future, I would work on the top a bit and add some interfacing for stability. My new motto for making things like this that have specific fabric draping and shaping, is to manipulate your fabric into the correct shape FIRST then cut it out based on your pattern needs… I’ll probably go into that in a later post.

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The back is a simple button enclosure. The whole top piece is lined to make the neck and button hole look pretty. Looking at the armholes really makes me want a cover stitch machine. A twin needle just doesn’t cut it sometimes…

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Here are some cute pictures of Claira in the shirt. It’s so flattering on her.

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And that smile….

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And those eyes…

Anyway, I’d better get back to paying attention to my children. I’m potty training said toddler and she just had an accident in her highchair while I was writing this post. She’s actually doing quite well for day 3  Sans underwear is definitely the way to go. Maybe we can make it out of the house next week sometime.

I am just so so happy at the way this turned out! Wish me luck on my next endeavor. I’m venturing into bubble pants rompers… I might just include a little tutorial as I couldn’t find a good one that I wanted to use 🙂

capri insert

Hola! I know it’s been a looooooooooooooong time since I’ve posted on here. I am not abandoning my blog. I promise. I blame my absence on baby #3. I was super sick for a few months which added to some existing depression and I pretty much laid on the couch for the first half of the year… BUT, all is now well with both the baby and I and I’ve been sewing up a storm. I’m excited to share all my newest projects with you. P.S. That picture features my 23 week belly just in case you were wondering.

This little project is the perfect one to start with. I bought these capris off of Zulily because I needed some summer maternity pants to wear AND they were only $12. Steal! I didn’t love that they had holes in them, but for $12 I couldn’t pass them up. So they came in the mail and I tried them on. I realized immediately  that not only should I have bought a size up, but that I wasn’t even sure a bigger size would accommodate my calves. They were quite literally turning my legs blue. I frequently have this issue. Apparently my calves are a menace to society and shouldn’t be shown off in skin tight pants. I didn’t really have a choice. I had a family reunion that weekend and no time to get anything else to wear as we have no maternity selection locally.

I decided to make some lace inserts to widen the calves and deal with the fact that they were still a bit too small. Everything I looked up online had triangle inserts. I thought that made the alteration scream home done and I wanted it to look like I bought the pants that way. After brainstorming for a day, I decided to make the insert a rectangle. After another day of trying to figure out how to turn a triangle widening into a rectangle and keep the right proportions, I came up with this.

capri insert diagram copy

I hope that helps anyone who might also have this issue because I took shockingly few pictures of the process.

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Here is the side up close. The leg is still tight so the rectangle bows out a little. You can maybe see that the lace is sewn under the jean so that it will fray and I hand top-stiched the edges to make it stand out a little more. Full disclosure, my husband actually made these look 100x better. I actually sewed the lace into the pants so there wouldn’t be a frayed edge. He took one look at them and said, “I didn’t think they would look like that.” He then told me that frayed would make it blend better, and he was right.

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The left is the fixed side and the right was my first attempt. Since these jeans are holy anyway, the frayed made them look a lot more natural. What do you think?

I’ve got some super cute kids clothes coming up SOON so stay tuned.