Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Skirt Fest: #4

Skirt fest continues!

I missed posting this last week because I was at the beach. An unplanned trip, but it was so needed and so much fun. Just me and the kids for this trip, with a friend, and some friends of said friend. We had a great time and I will hopefully do a post about it soon. I'm having some first world life issues at the moment as well: vehicle problems and my laptop fan is acting up. All will be well in due time, I guess.

Back to skirts--

Next up we have a crowd favorite. I love this fabric. I got it at JoAnn's on a trip to Savannah. I haven't seen it in the JoAnn's closest to me or the one near my in-laws house in NC. 

I call this the Boutique skirt:

All kinds of fun going on with this fabric. I thought this would be perfect for a skirt. So bright, so pretty.

The girl had seen some trim with pompoms on a pair of leggings I was fixing for a friend and decided she wanted that trim, too, of course.

I searched for some bright green pompom trim, but the green colors at JoAnn's weren't quite right. I found some pink that would work, but I wasn't sure if it would be too much pink. I also picked up some bright green giant rick rack just in case the pink was too much  pink. 

Obviously I went with the pink pompoms and the girl is very happy with that.

The bright blue and white striped shirt was in her closet. I am so glad I looked in her closet for a matching shirt. I will sometimes think about what will go with the fabric while I am shopping for it, but I came up empty with this one, but I couldn't resist buying it anyway. Then, I peaked in her closet to see what she had and found this gem. Perfection!

So bright and cherry! A super fun skirt.

I also had her try on a bright green shirt with the boutique skirt.

That is one bright green shirt! Glows in the daylight. It works with the skirt, but I think I like the blue/white striped shirt better.

Silly girl, she wanted to bring her rocker outside for the photo session because she was getting tired of standing for me.

The end of skirt fest is almost here. I have one more skirt to go!
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Skirt Fest: #3 White and multi-color chevron skirt with applique Shirt

Next up in the skirt making/wearing business is this super adorable white with colorful chevron print skirt. I love the bright chevron fabric. I got it from the Creative Sewing Machine Center. So pretty! I've used this fabric in other projects as well, see here.

I made another simple skirt for this post. I used some white fabric as the main body of the skirt. Then, for a splash of fun color, added a band of the bright chevron. I finished it off with another band of white fabric for the hem.

I took one of her plain tees that matched and added a fun letter applique to it. Now she will know which shirt goes with this skirt, although we do have a bright green plain tee that would look just as cute and fun.

See sweetie, skirts can be just as fun as dresses!

How y'all doin'?

I love that picture. Hi, pretty girl!

More skirts to come.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Patriotic Shorts

I made the boy some shorts for the 4th. I love 'em. I think they are super cute, and so is he.

Notice that he is missing one of his front teeth. It came out earlier that day while swimming. The other one is pretty loose, too.

I got the idea for the shorts from pinterest. Scroll down to find the shorts. I did a simpler version by just cutting the blue star from fabric that already had little stars on it. 

I think he likes them.
We enjoyed our 4th and look forward to the rest of summer.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Skirt Fest: #2 Layered skirt

I like to sew. 

That's not news.

I like sewing skirts. 

They are cute and fun and don't require much fabric.

My girl, however, is not much of a skirt fan. She likes dresses. I can't blame my girly girl for liking dresses. They are one piece, simple, light, and perfect for any occasion.

I thought I would make her some skirts anyway. Maybe, just maybe, if I made them fun she would like them and actually wear them. 

I posted about the bubble skirt (skirt fest #1) I made her herewhich started off this skirt fest posts--that I just came up with right now. Look at me thinking on the spot.

This time I paired it with a gray and white striped shirt she had in her closet. The peach flower on the shirt doesn't quite go with the pink in the skirt, if only the flower had been pink!, but I think it works, even with the stain on the shirt that I will try my best to see if I can get it out.

So cute! I'll have to keep an eye out to see if I can find another gray and white striped shirt in a bigger size so she can wear the skirt for the next year, or two.

This skirt fest (#2) post features a layered simple skirt.

The tank came from Wal-mart, the ladybug fabric from JoAnn's and the red with white dots from Hancock fabrics. I wasn't sure if a simple plain tee would work with this skirt. I wanted something with a little more to it, but wasn't sure what exactly. Then, I saw this black white tank at the store and thought maybe that's what it needed. When I put the outfit on her, I wasn't so sure that is what the skirt needed. I'm just not sure if it works.

So I put her in a simple white tee. 

I love this look better than the tank! I thought maybe something this simple would be too simple and not make the skirt shine. Nope. The skirt shines better with the simple tee. So much fun!

I am hoping she will take to the skirts, they just look so adorable on her.

More to come later, stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Bubble Skirt with a French Feel

I've had this super cute fabric laying around my studio just waiting to be made into something. This is part of the free fabric bundle I got a while back. 

I loved it because it was girly, and sweet, and it reminded me of Madeline, the little french girl in stories by Ludwig Bemelmans. We've read some of them to the kids and the girl seems to enjoy them. Then, we picked up some episodes of the cartoon series from Target for $5. I'll have to get the movie that was made several years ago and let the kids watch it.


I decided to make the girl a bubble skirt. The fabric is quite thin and flowy which makes it perfect for this project.

Bubble skirts are fairly simple to make and I'm sure there are many tutorials online somewhere if you need instructions. 

My girl loves this skirt! Even though she is more of a dress fan, if the skirt is twirly and bouncy, it's a win in her book, and a win for me.

I think I will take one of her plain tees and add an Eiffel Tower applique to match the skirt. What do you think?

Oooh, oooh, ooh, maybe a beret as well...?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

End of Year Fun: Kindergarten Edition

New beginnings are now ending and I am left once again wondering where the time went. 

First up, another season of baseball ended (end of May). The boy did well this year. 

If he plays in the fall he gets to move up to the next level, coach pitch, where they keep score and play outs and not everyone gets to play on the field at the same time. I think that would be a good experience for him. To learn that you don't win all the time, that there are losers and you just might be the loser, but you keep practicing, keep trying, and keep playing. Never give up, never surrender!

He got a game ball on the last game his team played.

After his closing ceremonies we went to the zoo with his Sunday school class. The tee ball groups got medals this year. I promise he is happy even if the photos don't show it.

                                                                        hi giraffe!

I have no idea what they are doing in the first photo, but I love that they are holding hands and having fun. Never has there been a happier girl with a bubble machine than this one. Ha! :)

The next week school ended. He has finished kindergarten. We walked to school on the last day (right photo), just like we did on the first day (left photo). He ended up wearing the same outfit on the last day just like on the first day as well.

I enjoyed spending part of the morning with his class. They sang a song with hand movements, they read a short story that they wrote about their classmates, got awards, and had ice cream.

My Rockin' Reader! I love his face. He doesn't really like attention like this. He's not a performer. I asked him why he didn't smile and he told me it was because he didn't know the names of the people watching him (the audience of parents). I told him he didn't need to know the names they were just the audience. Ha! He's so cute. All of the kindergartners got a certificate of completion.

I made a photo book for his teacher and it arrived on the second to last day of school. Phew, it was a close call. I wasn't sure it was going to get here in time. 

I put all of the photos from field day into my shutterfly account and ordered some prints for the kids, which they got earlier that week. I tried to make sure I got at least a couple of photos of each kid to take home with them.

Shutterfly had a page to add into books for autographs, so I added a couple of those pages to hopefully get the students to write their names in the book for her. I made my way around the room while they were eating ice cream and tried to get to as many kids as possible, but they kept moving around and some parents took some home early so I know I missed a few.

At the end of the book I put my son's first day of school photos, which you can sort of see on the right, and some others of him at school with some commentary about his first day, and a note of appreciation for his teacher. He will have her again next year for first grade, but I thought this would be a good idea.

How was your first day of school? "Mommy, I LOVED it!"

When we got home we looked through his bag to find his report card. The boy has destroyed kindergarten! In the fourth quarter there were 51 areas on which he was graded. The kid got scores of 3's in all 51 areas! My guess is that it would be equivalent to getting straight A's if they gave out letter grades instead of number grades. His reading and math teacher left a sweet comment as well on the report card. He made it to a level 5 reading level in his first year of school. It goes up to level 12, which they have to reach by the end of second grade. So in his first year of school he is firmly, and roughly, half way through first grade. Crazy! We are doing the summer reading program with the public library so he will keep up his reading skills and hopefully move up more levels next year.

It'll be fun to see how much he has grown at the end of next school year compared to the school sign out front, and in the years to come when he graduates from high school and grows into the XL shirt.

His average growth per year is three inches, I think he grew almost four inches, or more, this year.

Also, one thing that I did have his two main teachers do for him was write a note in the Dr. Seuss book Oh, the places you'll go!. It's a surprise. shhh. I will give him the book when he graduates high school and it will have little notes from all of his teachers through the years. Fun!

We are engrossed in summer vacation right now and even though school has barely finished, it is all going by so fast.

Friday, June 13, 2014

1930 Singer Treadle Sewing Machine

Guess what I have? Can you? Can you guess?
Yep. You read the title correctly. 
I have been admiring antique sewing machines since I started my own self-guided education into the world of sewing about 4 years ago. Has it been that long? It doesn't feel like it.

On our trip to Savannah we were poking around in different shops and found a couple of older singer sewing machines. I thought it would be nice to have one in my studio. Something old, loved, useful, and a reminder of this art that has been going on for hundreds of years before I decided it would be fun to learn to sew. But, the ones we saw in Savannah cost a bit more than I was willing to pay for something to sit on a shelf and be gawked at.

Left photo: Tybee Island lighthouse family house/museum. Top/bottom right photos: antique shops in Savannah.

Anyway, one weekend my husband wanted to go to visit his family and look through a storage unit that they were renting to house all of his grandparents' things after they passed away several years ago. They had a bunch of stuff and I told him to not bring anything back home. We don't have room for anything else in our house, it is crowded enough. 

He said ok. 

When he returned there was stuff in the back of the truck, and it didn't look like a little bit of stuff. I frowned at him. He said, "I know you told me to not bring anything back home, but I think you will want this." I wasn't so sure. Then, he pulled the tarp/covering back from the bed of the truck to reveal a treadle sewing machine! Of all things! 

And now it is mine. But it comes with some stipulations. It's the same deal that we made with his uncle over another piece of furniture that hub's grandfather made. I keep my fabric in it. 

I can't paint it or get rid of it. I have to keep it. Deal!

Apparently this wasn't the only antique sewing machine that this family owns. There is also another antique sewing machine that was electrified. I am not sure if it is in the storage unit or the uncle's house...?

We set it up in my studio once I cleared out a little place for it. The kids creative area will be a bit smaller, but they will just have to live with it.

My "new" sewing machine needs some cleaning and a little love. I'm sure it could use the touch of a professional to get it into proper working order. It also needs a new belt, the one that was with it is broken, before it can be used for sewing. And then I have to learn how to actually use it.

I did some research online and learned that it was from 1930 based on the serial number on the machine. 

Thank you wonderful husband for not listening to me. :)

Some of the writers of blogs I follow actually have an antique sewing machine that they still use because the new-fangled machines just don't cut it. Mostly I like to think that going back to the simplicity of a treadle machine is cathartic for them and brings back lovely memories from childhood. Sentimentality is a wonderful thing. And you can sew if the power goes out so it is also practical. 

We put it in the corner next to my modern sewing machine that came from the same grandmother. Now they are both mine and I will treasure them. I'm not sure how much use I will get out of the treadle, if I can get it into proper working order, but I do see it being useful in housing projects that need attention. I'll try to not let it collect too many unfinished projects and make sure it gets the respect it deserves.

I like thinking about how a treadle sewing machine changed the lives of early 20th century women. Instead of hand sewing everything, this prized possession came into their home and they could make so much more for their families in a shorter amount of time. The pioneers of home machine sewing. 

I'm sure in 1930 owning a home sewing machine was a big deal, and not a cheap one as well. I think of the show, The Waltons, and Olivia sewing something for her children during The Great Depression, and how appreciative they were of anything that they owned during that time when so many people had little money. A treadle sewing machine must have felt like a luxury.

Today, in my world, owning a quality embroidery machine would by my sewing luxury. Do you have a sewing luxury?