Apron Knot Dress

Wow, I haven’t blogged in far too long! That’s what three young kids will do to you I guess! I wrote this post back in January, just never published it…. I’m not too proud of that!! 🙂 Better late than never, I guess! Here goes….

When we found out I was pregnant with baby number three, I knew right away I wanted to schedule a newborn photo shoot with Amy from McManigal Photography. I’ve known Amy since high school and she is one of those photographers who has that “it” factor. She is really creative and definitely has a gift, so the whole thing was very exciting. After I got the photo shoot scheduled, I started to look around for outfits for our two girls and the baby (gender unknown at the time). I didn’t have much luck, though, because I had something very specific in mind. So I decided to make dresses for the girls instead! Then I dyed a onesie for the baby, to match the dresses.

The first dress I made was an Apron Knot Dress. I bought the pattern from Pitter Patterns on Etsy – actually I bought a set of three patterns for $15. The patterns were e-mailed as PDFs to download and print, which was so convenient and easy. I tweaked the design a little bit to so that the apron was separate from the dress, but other than that I followed the pattern exactly. Here is a picture from the photo shoot:


Love it! Hard to believe it was an extremely hot and humid July day! Here is another, very non-professional, picture of just the dress (the dress is backwards on the hanger… oops! But you get the idea!):


And here is another picture of the dress without the apron:


I’ll post pictures of the other dress, and more pictures from the photo shoot, in my next blog post….

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Amy Butler Birdie Slings

I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to tackle this project. I knew I wanted to make an Amy Butler Birdie Sling Bag for my sister because she liked this one I made a few months ago. But for some reason I thought, “Since I’m already making one, why not make a few more?” Bad idea. Instead of making one, I made five. Five! What was I thinking!? I was a little overconfident because my sewing skills have greatly improved since I made my first birdie sling. I easily could’ve busted out one bag in a couple of hours, but making five took me a while. I wish I would’ve taken the time to take some nicer pictures of them, since I did invest so much time into them, but I did snap a few quick shots with my phone:

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My sister’s reaction when she unwrapped hers made it all worth while, but I think it will be a while before I make another one.  🙂

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DIY Wristlets – Lotta Jansdotter Bella Fabric

Here are some zippered wristlets I made for some friends and family members this Christmas:

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There are several free tutorials online for wristlets like this, but I used this Atkinson Designs Lollipop Bag Pattern that I bought for about $6 at a local craft fair:


I made the small bag (dimension 4″ x 8-1/2″ x 2-1/2″) and skipped the rosette because I didn’t think it worked well with this fabric. The 3/4″ swivel hook and D ring are from Atkinson Designs as well and they are really nice:


Unfortunately you can’t get these clips at stores like Jo-Ann’s or Michaels. I bought my first one at the craft fair when I purchased the pattern. The rest I bought at a local quilt shop that I knew sold Atkinson Design patterns and notions.

The fabric collection is Bella by Lotta Jansdotter, which I love!

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I wish I could buy all of Lotta Jansdotter’s fabric collections. I follow her on Facebook and it is really fun to see all of her creations and the things people make with her fabrics and designs. Very inspirational!

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar Long Pillow or Draft Stopper

Now that Christmas is over I can start to post pictures of some projects I’ve been working on, without ruining any surprises! I made a lot of our gifts this year and my favorite was probably this long pillow of The Very Hungry Caterpillar:


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I gave one to my 4 year-old daughter and the other to my 2 year-old niece, along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar book by Eric Carle. I bought the fabric panels (by Andover Fabrics) for around $7 each at The Quilted Basket. The pillow is two sided, so the fabric panel looks like this:


The finished size is about 41″x 11″ and the complete directions can be found here. The directions also include how to make a draft stopper, but I just went with the pillow. It didn’t take me more than 20 minutes to sew, trim, turn and stuff the pillow – so it’s a quick and easy project. The gift was a big hit with the kiddos, too. So much so, that I asked my Mom to pick up four more fabric panels for me when she was at The Quilted Basket yesterday! If you are interested in making this pillow/draft stopper as a gift for someone, you can also purchase the fabric panels online at several different websites (search for “the very hungry caterpillar draft stopper panel). Enjoy!

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Wood Lockers – Finished!

This post is LONG overdue! Here are pictures of the lockers Matt built for our garage – all painted and finished:









Since I took these pictures, they are cluttered up with way more than just shoes.

























We all really love them. The only way they could be better is if they were in the house. Maybe someday we will have room, after we put an addition on the house. 🙂

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My First Table Runner

Most people who know me, know that my Mom is a talented quilter. With her help, I’ve started a few quilts in the past, but I’ve never finished one. I usually get bored or frustrated about halfway through and then stop.  So my Mom suggested a smaller project, like a table runner, which was a great idea.

So I bought a Scrappy Charming Pinwheels table runner pattern and fabric kit from Village Creek Quilts in Lodi, WI. The fabric collection is called Hometown by Sweetwater for Moda (I love Moda fabrics!). Here is a picture of the entire collection:

And here is how my table runner turned out (with a little cell phone photo help from Instagram):


For any first-timers interested in doing a project like this, fabric kits are really nice. They include just enough of each coordinated fabric to make the pattern. This kit also included fabric for the binding and backing (it seems like a lot of quilt kits sell the backing separately). The kit makes the project less overwhelming.

When I don’t have the table runner on the table, it also looks nice on the quilt ladder Matt made me:


Maybe after one or two more table runners I will be more inclined to tackle, and finish, a quilt!

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Wood Lockers – More Progress!

Matt and I finally started to paint/stain the wood lockers that he made last December (Yikes! Has it really been that long!?!). In case you missed it, this is what they looked like in the woodshop:

Then here is one completed locker in our garage (again, I wish we had room to put them in our house!):

(Ignore the red stain we were testing out.)

And here is where we are at today:

Progress huh!?! I knew staining them would be a lot of work, but I didn’t realize quite how much. Matt had to take the lockers apart, take off all of the hardware, fill the nail holes, sand everything and then finally spray them. Lucky for me, Matt did almost all of it. 🙂 To my credit, I’ve been a little busy taking care of a newborn. We ended up using Cabot Solid Color Acrylic Siding Stain in the color Arboretum:

This was a perfect stain for us because it was reasonably priced and we only needed to apply one coat – no primer or anything. It also came in a color I liked, unlike some of the other paints/stains we looked at. We sprayed it on, which was a lot easier than using a brush – especially when you have cheap child labor:


Matt is hoping to get the doors, drawers and handles on this weekend and then this project will finally be done! Final pics to come….

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DIY Nursing Cover

Whew! I’m finally getting my energy back after having baby #3. It’s funny how I had a very ambitious list of things to get done while on maternity leave, but with only three weeks left I’ve barely scratched the surface! I keep telling myself that once school starts and it gets dark earlier, I’ll start sewing more. I hope that is the case!

My latest project was a DIY Nursing Cover from blogger Prudent Baby. When I had Zeke, my sister-in-law gave me a nursing cover that she had made by a friend of hers. I love it so much, so I thought it would be the perfect gift for a friend of mine who just had a baby.  I really wanted to use a chevron pattern, like the one in the tutorial, but JoAnn’s doesn’t carry any chevron fabrics and everything online is backordered. So I went with this fun print instead:

It turned out nicely. I’ll have to check with my friend, though, to see how it holds up. On to the next thing on the list! 🙂

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Yellow Chevron Kitchen Curtains

Wow, I am really slacking on the blog posts. I’m going to blame it on being 38 weeks pregnant…. I better use the excuse while I still can! So I’m finally getting around to posting pictures of the yellow chevron kitchen curtains I made. They’ve only been done for about a month and a half now!!

Here’s the story behind my beloved chevron fabric. The hardest part of the whole thing was cutting the fabric so the pattern was aligned and not crooked. The sewing was quick and using the curtain rings with the clips made the final steps super easy. Now I just have to make a matching or coordinating valance for the window behind the kitchen table. I don’t think that will get done before baby #3 is born, but I’ll get there eventually. I hope everyone is enjoying summer!

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Fabric Wrist Key Chain

Last month I went to a friend’s house to do some crafting. I made another one of these necklaces, but my friend’s sister-in-law made a really cute fabric key chain that she found on Pinterest.  I knew right away I wanted to make one (or two) because I need something like this for my keys when I run the kids in and out of school and daycare.  So I repinned the project right away and made a few:

Fun and easy. Detailed step-by-step insructions can be found at The Idea Room.

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