I even got a smile from Grace when she tried it on. Even if it was a forced smile.
Actually, she seems to like it well enough.
But Grace insisted on taking it off immediately "Caws I need sum black shoes furst!"
(Because I need some black shoes first!)
While the dress is not exactly what I had in mind, it turned out okay. I had planned to add a second tier to the skirt and cute little pantaloons but decided that called for way too much effort. Especially for my first project. I made those ruffles at the bottom of the dress by hand. And let me tell you that was a lot of work.
I also think the sash is too wide. I probably need to sew it onto the dress. Otherwise they'll never stay together. I can't figure out how to hide the seams if I do that though. Speaking of seams, mine are fairly straight and unnoticeable. But the inside of the dress is a mess. Threads are going every which way and little pieces of fabric are unravelling slightly from the cuts. Next time I think I'm going to attempt making the outfit reversible so it will look a bit cleaner.
I suppose it's a good thing I didn't expect perfection from my first attempt! I'm glad I've decided that it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. In the meantime, I need to figure out how to make buttonholes. I made this dress so it would button up the back but I have no idea how to sew buttonholes. So I have three cute little buttons on the back with no where to go... I guess it's time to research!
I have an idea for a feminine, vintage-inspired, boutique-y style dress for Grace that I am really excited about. And a matching one for Faith, too of course, but I'm going to tackle Grace's first. She's bigger and therefore easier (in my mind) to dress. So I looked for a pattern at Hancock Fabrics but quickly gave that idea up. Frankly, I don't particularly like digging for needles in haystacks - especially with children in tow. In addition, I couldn't find any rhyme or reason to Hancock's pattern order which just gave me another excuse to stop looking. Besides, I seriously doubt there's a pattern out there for what I want anyway. So I've decided to wing it. I mean, I know in my mind what I want; so surely I can figure out how to make it without buying a pattern. Furthermore, I'm not exactly the type that tends to follow directions anyway...
So, instead of taking everyone's advice and starting with something simple, I'm diving in head first and going all out for my first sewing project. And I'm sew excited about it! My philosophy is simple. Be fearless. It's only fabric. And since Grace is just 3 years old, she's hardly a discriminating critic. As long as it's pink, somewhat girly, and a dress, she'll love it. And that's all that matters to me.
I've already sketched my idea out on paper and cut the fabric for the top. And I've cut the fabric for the first layer of the skirt. And I just finished chopping up my polka dot fabric into strips for the sash. After trying to tie the sash around Grace's waist I realize that I should have bought a longer piece of polka dot fabric... But that's okay, I'll make it work. Now, I just need to decide on the ruffles, straps, and the second tier skirt. Then, I need to make up my mind if I'm going to put in the extra effort to hide all my seams like my friend Angela does. She makes her dresses reversible. I'm thinking that calls for more skill and ambition than I currently have... At the rate I'm going I should be done with this tomorrow or the following day. Not bad for a first timer. Of course, a lot depends on the sewing. I have a feeling that the cutting was the easy part...
This is my Christmas present from my parents. We celebrated this weekend. It's my new friend.
It's a brand-spanking-new sewing machine!!! Words cannot describe how excited I am...
But these pictures should give you an inkling...
I made a trip to the fabric store this morning...
I now have polka dots
Ric rac, elastic, and buttons galore!
I have a whole list of fun projects I plan to tackle in the coming months: I'm going to recover my nursery glider and ottoman, make new pillowcases for Grace's room, throw pillows for the family room, maybe even a quilt for our bed. And that's not even taking into account all the mending I can do or the most exciting projects of all. New boutique clothes for the girls! Maybe even a matching outfit or two for their dolls and Chloe! Dresses, and capri sets, and jumpers. I can see my girls in them now. I'm feeling sew inspired that I'm ready to dive right in!
I found this frame at a thrift store and just couldn't resist it.
It was only $5. So I got it and brought it home.
The backing was nailed to the frame so I ripped all the nails out.
And this is what I ended up with.
I put an old tshirt on Grace and tied it around her waist and let her help paint. Grace loves to paint.
And she went to work on the frame's insert.
She wanted it pink, of course. So I let her paint the inside pink while I painted the exterior frame white.
Grace is a very detail oriented three year old.
Quite meticulous in fact. She patiently painted the entire frame pink. And only got a smidgen on the countertop. It came off easily enough though. Grace was a big help and thoroughly enjoyed herself.
After we finished painting and everything dried, I covered the backing with some green and pink polka dot fabric I had on hand and then I put all the pieces back together again. Finally, we hung our new fabric covered board beside our refrigerator at Grace's height. It's a pretty push-pin board now!
I plan to use it for our "Letter of the Week" program that I'm working on. That's another story but basically Grace is learning her ABCs and the sounds they make. This is going to be our school board where we hang our letter of the week and our corresponding color activities. It's amazing what a little elbow grease and a can of paint can do. Our cheapo frame has completely transformed into a beautiful and functional work of art and I couldn't be happier...
After breakfast we took Grace out to ride her bike for the first time.
She hopped on and rode right into the elevator.
So did Tinkerbell, her other fairy friends, and and her new "yipstix" (lipstick aka lip gloss).
And of course her dolly went along for the ride, as well.
Grace was so cute trying to ride her bike.
She pedaled and pedaled and every now and again got a push from her Daddy.
And Grace kept stopping so she could try and adjust her seat. She said she needed to fix it. She must have overheard David and I talking about raising the training wheels a tad because sometimes the back wheel would just spin when Grace pedaled. Apparently Grace doesn't weigh enough for it to completely touch the ground.
So we fixed it and Grace found a stick to help with our job.
Finally Grace's bike was ready to ride!
Don't you just adore her helmet!
My baby's growing up much too fast! I can't believe she's riding a big girl bike already!
Grace rode her bike for quite a while and then it was time to head back home. We had so much fun on Grace's first bike ride and can't wait to go on another ride. By the way, Grace insisted on bringing her bike back inside so it could "seep in my room!" (sleep in her room.) She really loves her new bike.