Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Absent Blogger & A Grown Up Dress

It's been a chaotic couple of weeks in our household.  First the hubby & I were sick and now the girls have come down with it.  The older twin has a cough, runny nose, etc. but generally seems like she's muddling through it.  The poor baby twin has had a terrible time and is now on breathing treatments.  As of today, her fever seems to be gone, though, which is great news.  In the midst of all this, my parents were up for a visit while my hubby & dad installed new windows in our house.  Needless to say, I haven't touched my sewing machine in over a week :(

Before all this craziness went down, I made a dress for a friend of mine.  She liked the sundresses I've been making for little girls and wanted a grown up version!  Her requirements were that it be purple (her fave color) and not girly.  This is what I came up with!

I found the fabric at JoAnn's and liked how it included both dark purple and lavender.  Also it wasn't floral, but kind of a fun swirly design that almost reminded me of a tattoo.  I didn't really use a pattern, but fitted it to myself as we are almost the same size (she's just several inches shorter than me). 

The bodice is lined with a piece on the inside, shaped with darts for fit, and then I gathered the top and bottom edge of another piece of fabric and stitched the two pieces right sides together for kind of a pleated bodice look.

I made some simple straps and attached them.  That was fun, trying to fit and pin the straps on myself while holding up the bodice, haha.

After making the girls' Easter dresses, I now have a great love for fabric covered buttons, which I used to close this dress in the back. 

Overall, I am really pleased with how this dress turned out.  I have mailed it to her, so I am anxiously awaiting the results of how it fits.  She has seen pictures and loved it, which is great!  I think I might make one for myself...only no purple for me.  This sewing for adults thing might not be so bad!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Busy Bag Swap

One of the ladies from my MOPS group decided to organize a Busy Bag Swap and invited us all to participate.  If you've never heard of a busy bag, it is essentially a small, easily containable toddler activity that is designed to both hold the child's attention and also teach them a skill.  If you do a search for busy bags, you will find hundreds of ideas!  There are also tons of pins on Pinterest with activity ideas!

Our loot from the swap

In our group, there were a total of fourteen participants.  That meant we each made fourteen of the same activity, swapped them around and took home thirteen new ones, plus one of our own.  

The activity I chose to make was a marble maze.  I found instructions here.  It was fairly simple to make, although a bit tedious after 14 of them!  The maze design I chose was pretty easy, but you could make it more complicated for older kids.  Most of the ladies in our group have children from about 18 months up to age 4 or 5, so I didn't want to make it too difficult.  I also liked that the maze stitching looked like a cross.  Maybe someone who is more adept at Biblical teaching can make some sort of application with faith and the maze!

There are too many activities to go into detail on all of them, but a couple of my favorites (biased slightly towards the fact that our girls just turned two) were these button snakes and the pipe cleaner sorting/matching.  For the button snake, you just sew a button onto a piece of ribbon and cut slit into felt shapes so the child can button them on.  The pipe cleaner game involves matching the correct color pipe cleaner into the holes.  It's also great for fine motor skills.  Getting the skinny pipe cleaner into that little hole is tough for a toddler!

This I Spy bottle is so cute!  The lady who made it even colored some of the rice to make it more visually appealing.  There are several small object inside for the kids to find, although the girls seemed happy just to shake it around and make noise :)  For security, she hot glued the lid on...very smart!

I love this last one.  It's simply cut-up pool noodles and some rope.  The noodles are numbered and there are cards with a variety of number and color patterns that the child can match.  For younger ones, it just works to have them learn to slide the noodle pieces onto the rope.  

I am so excited about our new activities!  Our older twin is the very definition of a busy toddler.  She is always on the move.  Last night we pulled out two or three of these activities and she was engrossed for over 10 minutes!  That's some sort of record!  Have you ever done a busy bag swap?  Have any great, must-make activities to share?  If you've never done it, get some friends together and get swapping!  The idea is to keep the cost of each bag under $1, so the monetary commitment is not much and really it didn't take me all that long to make my mazes.  I can't wait to try all of the activities with the girls!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Dresses!

I've had The Party Dress by Lindsay at The Cottage Home bookmarked for the longest time and I am so excited to finally have made this adorable pattern!  Not only is there a full tutorial, but she's also included a pattern up through size 5!  So awesome!

The dress came together beautifully and Lindsay's instructions are so clear and easy to follow.

I love the huge bow in the back and the sweet little covered buttons.  I think they make the dress super special.

The sash has a cute little pleat on the side and I love that it's attached.  That makes life just a little easier with toddlers!  

I picked up this fabric at JoAnn's sometime last year in the quilting cotton section.  I actually think it's still available.  It's just a JoAnn's brand print, but I love it!  I seems perfect for Easter with the lilies and the gorgeous spring colors.

I had to make a matching headband, of course!  It's a bit over the top, but it just wouldn't be me if it wasn't a little crazy!

Yeah, it's big.  I combined a few different flower types and hot glued them all to some felt and a piece of elastic.  I might do a tute if anyone is interested.

I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend with your families!