Monday, September 1, 2014

Pattern Testing Hemlock Top and Magnolia Skirt for E&E

I was recently given the privilege of once again testing for Elegance & Elephants. I have tested many of her patterns and have loved every one. (Bohemian Babydoll Dress, another Bohemian Babydoll, Bubble Pocket Top & Spin Skirt, Bubble Pocket Shorts, and the Ruffle Top). Heidi always gives clear instructions and I often discover new techniques while completing her patterns. This pattern will be released later this week with E & E's Fall Collection.

The Hemlock Top is for knit fabrics. I found it quick to put together and love how it turned out. I even learned a new method for sewing on the neck band and am pleased with the professional look of it. My daughter is 5 years old and usually wears size 6. I wanted to make sure the body was nice and fitted, so I used the size 5 pattern and added 3/4 of an inch to the sleeves and bottom hem.

The Magnolia Skirt is put together with 6 panels and is perfect for twirling in! I love how fast this skirt is to put together. The pattern is quite generous in length. I sewed this skirt using the size 5 pattern and even with a generous hem, it is plenty long for my lanky 5-year-old.

Thank you Heidi for asking me to test this pattern! Elegance & Elephants will be releasing their Fall Collection later this week.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Another Bohemian Babydoll Dress

I made another Bohemian Babydoll dress (pattern by Elegance&Elephants). This time it was for Isla. Recently she has become picky about what she wears, and when she saw me making the dress she asked if it had any kitties on it. I told her no, but it was going to be pink and have ruffles. She told me it had to have a kitty on it. So to appease her (and in hopes she'd want to wear it) I stamped a kitty on the bottom corner. This worked and we're now both happy with the dress.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bohemian Babydoll Dress Tour

I am very excited to participate in Heidi's Bohemian Babydoll Dress Tour! I love this pattern (available on her blog Elegance&Elephants) and couldn't wait to make it! It has no zippers or buttons, so it is quick and easy to make. I decided to try a knit fabric for this dress. It was not one of the recommended fabrics for her pattern, so I was curious about how it would turn out. My daughter usually wears a size 5/6 and since knit fabrics have so much stretch I cut out a size 4.
 I added a little pocket at the top. I thought it would look cute and my kids always like pockets ...even if the pocket is tiny!
 Heidi's instructions include a contrasting fabric in the hem. I had wanted to do this, but since I used knit fabric it wasn't working out so well for me. In the end I just serged the bottom. This added a little length which worked out well on my daughter. I love the high/low shape of the hem and for the next dress I make I'm looking forward to adding the contrasting hem.
Anja loves the ruffle sleeves. She likes "girly" clothes, so this pattern has just enough frills to satisfy her.  Rather than using two layers of fabric for the flutter sleeves, I just used one layer and serged the ends to finish it off. I finished them this way to match the hem on the bottom of the dress (and because it's faster).
...And here's an outtake. It was such a windy day, so I had to shoot in between gusts of wind. She thought it was pretty funny when her hair was blown all over the place.
All of Heidi's patterns are fantastic and her instructions are so easy to follow. This pattern, though, is my favourite. It's one I'm sure I'll use many, many more times.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Excavation Party

Eli has really been into rocks and minerals this year and he asked me to have an excavation themed party for his 7th birthday.  I had a difficult time finding inspiration on Pinterest for this theme. Most of the parties related to this theme were either about dinosaurs or diggers.  I finally decided to combine rocks with dinosaurs.

I made a cake with dinosaurs hidden inside and let Eli excavate the first dinosaur. Step-by-step instructions on how to do this can be found at Instructables.



I reused the pull-string pinata I had made for Anja's Snow Bunny party. I just took the tissue paper off the outside, repainted the pinata, refilled it, and taped the trap door back on. This time it was completely torn apart, so there will be no more reusing it.

Another game I had planned was "excavate the dinosaur". The plan was for the kids to go digging in the snow in the backyard for dinosaurs, but it was -25 out. Instead I hid the dinosaurs in the living room and let the kids search for the dinosaurs indoors.

The last activity we did was make fossils from the dinosaurs they found on their hunt. (I forgot to get a picture of their finished products.) Idea found at Little Bit Funky.

I made fossil cookies for each guest to take home. The recipe and instructions can be found on Martha Stewart's blog

...and here's a picture of our littlest one after she inhaled her cake

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Anja's Bunny Party

This year I let Anja plan the theme for her 5th birthday party. She very randomly decided on "snow bunny".  I have no idea how she came up with that. She is not particularly into snow or bunnies. One day when we were discussing her party she asked me to show her how to draw a bunny. I had Pinterest open on my Ipad and was looking at a blog (The Sweetest Occasion) about a very adorable bunny party. I loved the picture of the bunny they used for their party and thought it would be a cute bunny to teach Anja to draw. I drew a bunny myself and took her through the steps of shapes to draw for her bunny. I ended up loving her version so much, I planned her whole party decor around it.
We played a game where the children had to throw a "snowball" (aka styrofoam ball) at the stuffed bunny and try to knock it over.

My lopsided carrot cake.

This is a pull string pinata I made using instructions from the blog Young House Love. I love how it turned out, but should have predicted that 5-year-olds wouldn't be able to wait and all pull their strings at one time. As soon as the first couple had their strings the Pinata was pulled open and it was all over! I don't think any of the kids cared though. The were immediately distracted by the goodies that fell out.
I filled each bag with a hairband, magnet, bracelet, hair clips, and candy and put the bags in the pinata. I also filled the pinata with snowflakes to make it look like it was snowing when the kids pulled it open.