Sunday, March 29, 2009

Another project completed

Apparently this is the week/weekend for getting long planned projects out of the way. First was the swing set we have been planning for spring and summer. Next came Abby's dress for the upcoming pageant. If you have read my blog, Abby is going to be a princess for a contestant in the Miss Crook County/Miss Prineville pageant, and needed an appropriate princess dress to wear (in about two weeks).

The contestant is wearing a red dress, so I thought Abby should go neutral, with a nice white. For an instant I had extravagant plans, and scoured my favorite fabric shops in person and online for lovely fabric. However, I came to my senses before I hit "send order." First off, she's five. Secondly, this isn't *her* pageant or anything of that sort. And lastly, although dupioni silk would have been lovely to work with, I also came to the realization I was having caviar fantasies when my budget was more along the hot dog lines :)

So, coming to my senses, I ran into JoAnns, and picked up a very nice weight, very pretty embroidered satin. It wasn't lovely to work with by any means. It raveled almost instantly, so it forced me to gain a lot of practice on french seaming. But it hangs nicely, and all in all didn't fight me too much. And I think the resulting dress is just perfect!

Here she is modeling it (with her "I've been playing all day" hair):


Sweet Princess Pose:

It's a full circle skirt, so it's also very spinny!

I am really relieved this is done, so it's not weighing on my mind. With the purchase of the sweet white shoes today, she is all ready for the pageant!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's Done!!

The swing set is done!

It takes up quite a bit of room in our decent sized backyard, but it's worth it!

Helping Abby do the monkey bars:

Abby Sliding:
Andraya's turn!
Daddy, my turn!!
Swinging - that smile makes it all worth it!

The girls are in seventh heaven, which is exactly what we were hoping for. There are enough things to do on it, I don't think they will get bored anytime soon!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Summer is coming

Even though it's about 40 degrees outside right now!

Most of our family has heard that Dan's school district is ending school May 20 (instead of June 13) due to budget shortfalls. Of course this will have a financial impact on our family, but thankfully we are able to adjust some things and make it impact us less.

One of the changes we decided to make was to pull the girls out of their preschool/daycare this summer. They only go a half day during the school year, and they have so much fun there playing, doing art, and all those things that wear them out and make them sleep better. Usually they just continue to do this in the summer for fun, but unfortunately with Daddy's loss in pay, it's an expense we have to cut.

One thing that Dan and I agreed to do was to invest in a swing set for our backyard, something they can go out and play on for (hopefully) extended periods of time. Our budget wasn't a whole lot (equal to about one month's daycare bill), but we were able to get the girls a nice wooden playset:

They are very excited! Now we just have to assemble it. There's a lot of heavy boxes and a LOT of parts. The book even says it will take 6-12 hours to assemble, and I think that's not counting any squabbles over assembly :) So we'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Abby announced last night that none of the semi-green things in her closet were suitable for the preschool party today, and asked me very nicely to make her something that would be perfect. Of course, being a spoiled child of a sewing mama, demanding new clothing is not a huge inconvenience.

So, I embroidered and made them each a new raglan, with the last little bit of kelly green knit I found in my scrap basket. At first, while searching for embroideries, I was going to go with shamrocks or something just as festive and typical to the holiday, but then I remembered my goal for this year to make holiday shirts that will be worn again.

I had admired these angels at Emblibrary, but wasn't quite sure what to use them for. However, with green dresses, they worked out perfectly!

Here are my little goofball girls, all ready to go to school:

And they really do love each other (either that, or Draya is secretly planning to knock Abby down):

They had a great party! And reported that neither one of them got pinched ;)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

So snuggly

One of the things I love about sewing for other mommies, is that my "customers" become friends too!

One of my long time friend-customers placed an order recently, for some yummy goodies for mamas to be. We were talking about blankets, and she asked if I had minky or something snuggly that I could do an embroidered baby blanket out of. My first answer was no, until I realized that organic bamboo velour would be sooo snuggly for a newborn blanket, and so soft and warm!

So, the bamboo velour blanket was born! Double thickness organic bamboo velour, with a contrasting binding and embroidery. And very exciting for me, I got to use my binders for my coverstitch to apply the binding, and that was fun and worked so well!

The first one:

She loved that one so much (which made my day!), she decided she needed another. We chose a wonderful dragonfly embroidery that refused to photograph well, so the best picture I could get is without the flash on a marginal sunshine day in central Oregon. However, without the flash you can really see the cool embossed effect the dragonfly design had on the bamboo velour. I like this one especially, becuase I feel like it's so delicate and sweet for a baby girl:

Of course, in my habit of oversewing and overstrengthing anything I make, I decided the coverstitched binding wasn't quite secure enough for my tastes. I did a chain stitch, which is really very secure, but I know at least one of my girls loved to gnaw on blanket bindings when she was teething, I think they felt good. So after using my coverstitch to get the perfectly even border, I went back over it with a wide zig zag on my sewing machine. I am certain that binding is going no where now, which will allow me to rest easier.

This is yet another thing I wish that I would have thought of or had the equipment to make for my baby girls. *sigh* But I am thinking it's never too late, and I am very tempted to find some more bamboo velour (at co-op prices, hopefully!), and make them each an embroidered blanket in their size for Easter or just because. I think they need one :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Princess Abby

One of Dan's students is running for Miss Crook County/Miss Prineville, and needs a little girl to be her princess at the competition. After pulling some strings because Abby is not yet 6 (as required by the rules), she got approval for her to participate. We are looking forward to the pageant, Abby will just feel so special! I am working on making her a suitable dress for it (still in the muslin phases), which is very exciting for me.

As one of the fundraisers for the pageant, the contestants for Miss Crook County/Miss Prineville put on a princess party for the girls in the community. It was really quite fun! They got their picture taken with a contestant, received a tiara and a sash, and then we ate a light lunch and played games. It really was very cute to see all these little girls all fancied up for a few hours.

Here is Abby, all dressed up and ready to go:

Playing a game (that is Tonna, who she will be in the pageant with):

Picking a prize, in a princess like manner:


The pageant is on April 11, we are looking forward to it! Not something I would normally be involved in, but Abby is beside herself, and being a mom is sometimes about making your kid happy above all else.