23 Apr 2014

Happy Easter Ears

I made these for Hannah.  Obviously.
Square EarsSome posts just speak for themselves.  Particularly when there is such an explosion of cuteness.
Easter EarsI love this little munchkin.  The end.
Easter Ears 1And beware Jayce, because next year you will probably get some too.  
Easter Ears 1

22 Apr 2014

Batman Flip Doll, Kitty Stuffie, and Book Giveaway

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Have you seen this incredible book, Flip Dolls & Other Toys that Zip, Stack, Hide, Grab, & Go.  It is so incredible and adorable.  You must go now, and look at it.  And then come back and WIN ONE HERE FOR FREE!!  Seriously. 
I was so excited to be a part of Laura's Flip Dolls pattern tour, mostly because I was obsessed with making this doll ever since I first saw the book last summer, and it is absolutely one of my favorite things.  I mean, when I showed him the "Jayce doll" he smiled, but when I flipped it inside out so that Jayce became Batman IT BLEW HIS MIND.  And rightly so, I think.  It's pretty great.   
Actually it was such a hit with my son that I couldn't resist whipping up a little something for my daughter.  But more on that in a minute.  
Flip Dolls 16First up is the one, the only, Batman. 
Flip Dolls 3As soon as I saw the Superhero Flip Doll Pattern, I had only one idea in my mind: Jayce and his love for Batman.  Now, there are as many versions of Batman as there are actors that have played him, so I decided to pick one to use as my inspiration.
Flip Dolls 1This Imaginext one.
Now I realize it's not exact, but this stopped me from jumping on Google every few minutes and trying to decide on a color for his suit, pants, boots, etc.  I wanted to keep the mask from the pattern instead of Batman's traditional pointy-eared helmet, but I think that the symbol on his chest makes a pretty obvious statement about who this hero is.  
Flip Dolls 4I sketched and then cut the black batman symbol out of felt, and attached it to the yellow oval before attaching the oval to the body.  I did the same thing with the belt.
Flip Dolls 7And no, these superheros aren't laying down in protest, they're flying.  I thought my Batman needed a cape, as all superheroes do, so I gave him a cape that wasn't long enough to stick out when he was in alter-ego form.  
Flip Dolls 5It just takes a quick flip for Batman to take on his alter ego form...
Flip Dolls 8and around here, that alter ego goes by the name Jayce.
Flip Dolls 10I used small felt circles for the eyes on each of the dolls, but embroidered the mouths and noses where necessary.  I love them.  Simple, sweet, and happy.  
Flip Dolls 20I had so much fun making Jayce's stuffed toy that I just had to make one for Hannah as well.  Now, her favorite superhero is actually a villain. (Loki, if you're curious.)  So I went in another direction and decided to use the Cat from the Owl and the Pussycat Pattern to make her this adorable stuffed kitty.
Flip Dolls 14Now, Laura's instructions say pretty early on that any of the flip doll designs can actually just be stuffed and made into a single doll.  Since Hannah is 2 years old, not really capable of flipping a doll or really appreciating that she really has 2-dolls-in-1, I decided to go for the non-flippable option.  Plus, this sweet little kitty is just so cute that I never wanted her to be on the not-showing side, so now she won't be. 
Flip Dolls 12There isn't  a pattern piece for the bow or apron on this kitty, but I loved these aspects of the look from the Cat in the pattern so I just made some up.  I hand-stitched the skirt and bow to the body when I attached the felt eyes and nose.  Easy.
Flip Dolls 15The kitty has a long (only slightly) stuffed tail as well.  
Hannah named this cat Mew Meow.  I love it.  I'm very sure it is after a show that she watches sometimes with 2 plasticine cats called Mio Mao, but still.  I still love it.  Flip Dolls 18
Together they are one big happy family.  :)
**I feel a little obligated to say that I was not compensated for this review, nor did I receive a free copy to review.  I purchased this book and liked it so much that I emailed the author. :)  So it's safe to say that all opinions are certainly my own.**
Enter the giveaway below to win a copy of this adorable book.  You won't regret it.  
Have you already made a doll from this book?  If so, feel free to link up below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

21 Apr 2014

Voila Blouse for Me

Voila laughing 1I was so so excited to be able to pattern test this beautiful Women's Voila Blouse for Sarah at Cali Faye Collection a few weeks ago.  It is the first garment that I have ever made for myself, and though I was nervous about it, I just love the results.  I can't say that I'm going to start cranking out clothes for myself at the rate that I do for Hannah, but just having the option to maybe do that sometimes is blowing my mind more than a little bit!!
I'm such a fan of Cali Faye.  The designs are simple but gorgeous with details that make an impact.  I recently made Hannah's navy rompers with the Mariana Romper pattern, and I have 3 others in my cart on Etsy. :)  The Girls Voila Blouse seems at obvious choice at this point, but there are just so many cute ones!!  And now that I have an option to sew for myself...   
Women s Voila Blouse test 4This top is loose and flowy and comfy.  It's slightly longer, which I like since I have a long torso anyway, and now that I've got one in my closet I want to go get fabric to make another summery version. The fabric is from the Shepherds Bush fabric district in London.
Sewing for myself wasn't nearly as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be, but "modeling" for the pictures totally was!
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Having your sister take your pictures and give you posing tips doesn't help.  Or maybe it does.  
She was yelling at me and was like, "Spin around!  Now give me just a little look at the camera!"
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And I was yelling at her and giving her photography advice, and was like, "Stand all the way up! Don't shoot at hip level, I'll look like a dinosaur!"  And then I tried to teach her how to shoot into the sun but her hand was in the pictures.  We were a mess.
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I have officially forgotten how to take a picture without a child in my arms or up against my cheek.  I don't know how to do it.  
But here is a real tip that did work: make yourself fake laugh.  You end up actually laughing and then you look slightly less awkward.  Not entirely, but it helps.
Women s Voila Blouse test 1 2Voila 1
Also, do you like my top?  Because I made it.  For real. 
Voila 1 3
And it appears this was a good time to make a top for myself because I can link up to Rae.  I'm hoping this doesn't open a whole new can of worms, but I don't think I'll mind if it does. :)
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**A VERY special thank you to Chelsea for taking these pictures and making me laugh through the awkwardness!! You are the best, which is why I did not include the"test" pictures I took of you! :)

17 Apr 2014

Around Here: Spring Break and Kid's Clothes Week

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It's been spring break around here for Jayce the past few weeks.  He gets a mind-boggling 20 days off for spring break.  Seriously, 20 days.  That is why we're in school until the 3rd week of July.
This huge break begs the question, "What will we DO with all of this time off?"  Chris and Chelsea still need to work.  But will we go somewhere?  Do something special?  Do nothing?  Do everything?  There are just so many options.
PicMonkey CollageThis year Jayce's first week of break coincided with Kid's Clothes Week, which you may remember I am contributing to (because I keep talking about it) so I felt some extra pressure to be involved and crank out some projects that have been on my to do list.  Once I saw it was taking place during Jayce's spring break, I tried to give myself a little breathing room by pretending like the week before KCW was KCW and doing all of my sewing then.  I didn't want to spend Jayce's first week at home with me trying to squeeze productivity into every spare minute and ignoring him in the process.  So that is what I did.  (You can see all of my projects here.)IMG 3067
This worked pretty well, although admittedly I still spent plenty of time taking and editing photos, and writing up the corresponding blog posts.  So, while the "week before" thing did take some of the pressure off, it didn't take all of it off.  I was also contacted by 2 different designers to pattern test (insert me squealing!) so I still ended up doing some sewing.  But it was all good.
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Despite the busyness I have still managed to have a nice few weeks with Jayce around.Easterfun 3
We've had a modest but fun to do list, and several of the items could be as big and grand or small as we want them to be. 
Easterfun 1
 I've been able to gauge each day how tired or bored we all are and what would be the best use of our time, energy, and money, and for the most part it's been going pretty well.  It always surprises me the first few days when Jayce is off, how difficult it is to keep them both happy/entertained/off of each other, but after a few days we all get into a good groove.  We spend some days with friends, some days out, and some days entirely at home.  Even though we don't have a yard or drive per se, we still make good use of the area around our flat for playing and climbing and running and sidewalk chalking.
Tree climbing 3Tree climbing 2Retro Tunic 1
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Chris and I decided that we wouldn't go away for any major trips right now because last week we bought tickets to come home this summer for almost a month!  So it was a little bit easier to decide not to go anywhere right now on the heels of anticipating a big trip for the summer.  We can't wait.

13 Apr 2014

Pindar Paisley Retro Tank

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I first found this adorable Retro Tank Pattern from Amelie Clothing when I was writing my Kids Clothes Week plans post.  I fell in love with this Netherlands-based shop and the whimsical style of their children's clothing designs.  
Retro Tunic 6
The thing I loved the most about this pattern was the ADORABLE side tail detail.  As I've said a million times before, I am a sucker for a swingy shape on a girl's shirt or dress.  I cannot resist patterns with this element.  But this one has the swing shape plus that side tail, and a button and loop back closure, and that sealed the deal for me.  Absolutely adorable.
Retro Tunic 2
I think Hannah likes it too,  because she kept reaching down to grab the edge of the shirt and then spinning around.  What little girl doesn't like a nice "spinny" shirt when given the option?
Retro Tunic 4Retro Tunic 3
Actually, I laughed when I was editing these photos because she is holding onto the edge of the shirt in almost all of the pictures.  It's a shirt and a security blanket all in one. :)
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I thought a special pattern like this deserved a special fabric and I had one that I had been saving for just the right thing.  I got this Alexander Henry Pindar Paisley from the shop Sew Deja Vu in Stow Ohio, where my aunt Cindi works.  (Hi Aunt Cindi!!)  The print has a large elaborate floral pattern throughout the whole panel, and I wanted a pattern with no gathers or pleats so that it would really showcase the design.  I think this top worked out perfectly.
Retro Tunic 15Also, it's great for running.
Retro Tunic 8You can see my other sewing projects by clicking on the i sew button here or on the right-hand side of the blog. 
I'm linking this project up at Kid's Clothes Week.  Come over and prepare to be inspired!
kid's clothes week


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