Monday, March 22, 2010


I wasn't going to make the girls Easter dresses this year. Things are busy and Easter has snuck up on me. And frankly, I had no idea what type of dress I would make. I wasn't feeling inspired and I didn't want to make a trip to the fabric store without an idea in mind. So I was just going to pass on Easter dresses.
Then, last week, I ran into Wal-Mart to get some photo sleeves. I walked right passed the fabric and next thing I knew I was miraculously standing in front of the bargain shelves. I saw this yellow fabric and LOVED the color. I have always loved mustard yellow, but most of the time, the yellow I see is not exactly the right color yellow. This was perfect, and for $1.50 a yard, I hurry and got 3 yards cut. I knew immediately I wanted gray to go with it, since that is my favorite combination with yellow these days, and wouldn't you know it, I found the gray buried under a few other bolts for $1.50 as well. 2 yards later, I had Easter dresses on the brain.
I love the blog Katie Did and the Easter dresses she made last year for her girls. So I searched through her archives (because I don't have the patience for adorable little roses on a collar...and I know my girls pretty well. They would have refused something so cute!) and saw a dress she did a few years ago and that's what I did for Gwen. Pretty much copied her idea straight off her blog. What's not to love about a simple dress with a huge ruffle right down the middle. Simple enough for me. Thanks Katie. You're a genius.
Being the smart mom that I am, I showed Little Miss Picky the dress I was planning on making and she told me she didn't want it like that with the big ruffle. So, I asked if she's like a skirt with big ruffles instead. Lucky for me, she said yes. I improvised and made Gabs skirt based on a skirt Gwen had just gotten from her Grandma that has been a huge hit.
Now, both girls are happy with their own Easter outfits. Mom's happy she doesn't have to feel guilty for not making something. And it only cost dad $7.50.
Now I just have to figure out what to do for Henry.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Scrap Swaddle Blanket

That's scrap. Not crap (although some may think otherwise). I had limited time to get a baby shower gift put together, so I didn't have time to go to the fabric store. Plus, I'm trying to get through the fabric I already own before I buy more. I started with my bag of endless scraps. I realized as I started pulling pink fabric out that most were about 4 inches wide. I didn't have a ton of time to sew a baby blanket full of 4 inch squares, so I decided to just leave the scraps the size they were but cut them into 4 inch strips. Some strips are as short as 2 inches, some as long as 18 inches.
I wanted the blanket to be lightweight, since it's a Spring baby. But also because I find with a lot of baby blankets, they're just too bulky to swaddle a baby in. A little newborn can get lost in all that puffy fabric. And there's nothing newborns and momma's like more than a nice tight swaddle to cuddle with.
Instead of batting (which I didn't have anyway and sometimes adds too much loft), I added two layers of muslin to give the blanket a little weight and structure. I know there are fantastic quilters out there, but sometimes I think blankets can get over quilted. I personally, don't like a lot of crazy designs going all through my blankets. I like straight, simple, clean lines. So instead of quilting, I skipped that part all together and decided to tie the blanket. I lined the back with nice, soft white flannel, and tied it with yellow embroidery thread at the corners of each scrap.
I know it looks like a million other things I do, but when you have scrap fabric, things tend to start looking the same. Thankfully, I like the fabric combination and I think it suits a Spring newborn girl rather well. My favorite part are the Small World looking pieces from Alexander Henry's Good Earth line that I used for our game bag. So cute for babies.
The blanket is about 35 inches square. It's the perfect size and weight for swaddling a newborn this Spring. I hope she likes it.
And remember, before you throw your scraps away, think about how they can be made into something nice, easy, and cute. And free.

And yes, I could have asked my daughter to smile and done her hair for the picture-thanks for noticing.