Friday, October 28, 2011

Snow White Dress Tutorial

this year for Halloween my daughter requested to be Snow White after seeing this on Pinterest. (don't worry, she was in my lap and i was monitoring what we looked at... there is some SHADY stuff on there, i know...) so i set out to make it myself. couldn't be too hard, right? 

i really wanted to deconstruct a t-shirt for the top of the dress, instead of starting from scratch, but i couldn't find any tutorials for it being made that way online. so i just had to figure it out myself.

the material you will need are as follows:
one royal blue t-shirt (preferably your child's current size) or enough yardage of royal blue jersey material to fit your child
red satin ribbon
yellow satin ribbon
white cotton material (i had a fat quarter laying around and had plenty left over)
royal blue sewing thread

No.1} figure out how big you want your top to be. i used one of my daughter's current sized t-shirts in the shape i wanted it as a guide. 

when creating my own patterns i use paper bags. some people have suggested tissue paper but i prefer to work with a thicker paper.

No.2} using your guide, trace the shape onto the paper. make sure to trace the front neckline AND the back neckline. also make sure to account for seam allowance.

No. 3} cut out your pattern

No. 4} disassemble the arms and make a sweet muscle tee. that is in fact not so sweet so we will butcher it in a later step. 

No. 5} using tracing chalk, trace the pattern onto the body portion of the above said muscle tee for butchering.

No.6} i used to BACK neckline pattern to cut through BOTH sides of the tee.

(all these steps can be skipped if you were lucky enough, not like me, to find the perfect color shirt in your child's perfect size. i'm not jealous or anything. my job is just harder that's all. with more steps. i'm just saying.

No.7} now go back and cut out the FRONT neckline pattern to only ONE side of the tee.

ok. now for the collar... i used this tutorial to get an idea of what making a collar looks like.

my daughter didn't have any collared dresses or shirts for me to use a guide from, so i snagged one of my own. and it actually worked out because Snow White has a crazy huge collar that pops up and wraps around to the front. perf. 

No. 8} anyway, trace around your guide onto your pattern paper.

No. 9} cut out your collar pattern

No. 10} trace your pattern onto your white cotton, for front and back. i also used infusing to make it stiff. make sure to trace one collar pattern onto the infusing.

inside the collar, with the infusing
No.11} i failed to take a picture of the collar pinned, but the next step is to sew all around the edges of the collar, leaving the bottom open. 

No. 12} next, make little snips into the curved part of the seam allowance, making sure not to snip the actual seam. this will help it lay flat once turned right side in. 

No.13} once turned right side in, iron flat.

now for the sleeves... i used this tutorial as a guide for the sleeves, but made a few alterations.

 No. 14} open up the sleeves you detached so they lay flat. measure your child's arm to make sure it will fit through the arm hole and not cut of their circulation. i estimated that 10 inches around would be roomy enough for her little arm and still allow room for growth (don't even trip! you know i made this thing a little bit bigger than her so she can have lots of time to play in it... this is a huge undertaking for me and i'm not trying to do it again any time soon!) i then measured 4" for the gathered poof of the sleeve. 

No. 15} cut out your red satin ribbon. i used 5 strips 

No. 16} arrange them according to where you want them placed on the sleeve. then pin them.

No. 17} cut out two 10"x2" strips (depending on how big around you want your sleeve) from your white fabric for the sleeve band. fold in half, then iron.

No. 18} sew around bottom of sleeve and top of sleeve to attach ribbon, and also for gathering.

No. 19} gather the top of your sleeve. 

No.20} attached sleeve band to bottom of sleeve and sew.

No. 21} turn right side in and iron flat. repeat on second sleeve.

No. 22} i don't have a picture of this, but sew the sleeve closed so it's a complete circle now. 

No. 23} sew the bodice part of the top. (sides and top of shoulders. leave neckline and bottom open. sorry, no picture!)

No. 24} insert sleeve, right side in, into inside out shoulder whole. (confused yet?)

it should look like this.

No. 25} i cut a long, skinny strip, enough to fit around the neckline, about 1" wide to fill in the gap of the collar. fold it in half and pin all around neckline. make sure to pin the yellow ribbon between those seams.

No. 26} sew around neckline, attaching collar.

No. 27} attach ribbon with little hand stitched all the way down. 

for the skirt....

i purchased a 2" wide band of elastic and 8.5 yards of yellow tulle. 

i gathered about 4 strips of tulle, folded in half, and pinned them all the way around the elsactic. then i sewed them on. 

viola! now your kids is tots adorbs. just like mine. 

dudes, i'm not saying this is the right way to do this. i'm just saying that this is what i did and it was pretty easy. it took me like 75% of one day to get it done from start to finish. and for me that's pretty good because i wouldn't claim to be anywhere near an expert on sewing (as i'm sure you can tell by my dicey instructions!!!) 

but i hope you find this helpful! 

i hope you were safe this Halloween! this could also be used for dress up. i know my daughter will want to wear it everyday.

love, tara

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

what we wore wednesday

i'm back! man, i have been keeping myself busy since we decided not to buy the almost house, sorry i've been neglecting the blog! Big A got croup last week, i decided to make little a's Halloween costume (which i will be blogging a tutorial later!!!) shark week decided to pay me a visit... and now i'm sick! (TMI? oh well.) we are also going to make a trip down to San Diego for a long weekend to attend a wedding and spend some much needed quality time with family. and since our house is half packed, i've decided not to unpack until we return. just to make things a little less stressful. 

in the meantime i thought it would be nice to do something normal, like a What We Wore Wednesday blog post. 

on me: purple plaid linen shirt - Target, purple cardi - Target, belt - Target, jeans - Gap, boots - Bandolino. (i'm starting to see a trend in how much i shop for clothing at Target. i would totally shop other places, but Target is the only place i go. for reals.)

i really wanted to get a close up of my brooch. it was my Grandma Shirley's. i would spend the night at her house pretty often growing up and my favorite thing to do was play dress up with all her jewelry. when she passed away about 8 years ago that was what i wanted most. hence the awkward close up of me deep in thought looking in the distance with so much sun glare it covers my groggy/poofy Nyquil eyes. i was pretty strategic in that. 

look at Big A! this picture is RIDICULOUS!!!! i love him so much! this week at school is Red Ribbon week so they have a different theme for dress up everyday. today was "classy". Because "we need to out class drugs". here he is. stay classy, San Diego. HAHAHA! he is wearing a little bow tie i whipped up for "Nerd Day", which was Monday, a thrifted tuxedo shirt, a vest i made, Levi's skinny jeans, and some gifted boots. 

why sir, you look... so distinguished! he was in deep thought too. i need to teach him how to look in the distance. next week, people. next week...

little a has it down! i think here she is saying something about Big A not letting her give the neighborhood cat a hug and pushing her away. not really clear on that though... she is wearing a gifted sweater from Target, hand me down skorts, and sandals from Target (gasp!). 

after realizing it was pretty chilly today she decided to change before an adventure to the park. gifted raincoat - Target, leggings - Target, gifted tutu - not certain where it's from, converse - Nordstrom's Rack. 

here's a picture from Nerd Day (smart kids don't do drugs), just because it is so stinkin' cute! 

hope your Wednesday is amazing!


Friday, October 21, 2011

the almost house

today is the day we were supposed to close escrow on the new house. we were going to get the keys and unload a few boxes. probably take a jumping picture like we just bought a Toyota only we just bought a house instead. we even played with the idea of spending the night in the house empty. tomorrow was going to be the day a couple friends helped us move. getting up early, loading the truck, hustling to get it all done before it gets hot. 

but we are no longer moving. we cancelled our contract. 
is it beautiful?
let me explain...

when we decided to move to Fresno, it was partly because the cost of living is so much cheaper than living in San Diego, and we felt like we would be able to get out of the debt that we accrued when my husband was unemployed for 10 months after the birth of our daughter (but mostly because we felt like God was calling us here). over this past year we have payed down about half of our debt and are feeling pretty good about it.

back in April or May we started leisurely looking at homes and even made an offer on one that i totally fell in love with and did not guard my heart over. that one didn't work out and i was devastated for about 3 days. we took the summer off and when we started looking again i felt more guarded and wiser about the whole process. this house came up and we pursued. it was more than we originally had agreed to pay, but had so many of the features we loved that we decided we could make the sacrifice for it. then over the past 45 days we have encountered several increases in the down payment and it has left us with less and less in our nest egg to move into the house with. this was beginning to make us nervous as first time home owners. what if a major repair was needed and we didn't have the cash for it? what if our monthly bills were more than we budgeted for and we couldn't put as much toward paying off the rest of our debt? how long would it take for us to save up to get that extra couch and dining table to furnish the extra rooms it came with?

all these questions really started to take our peace away. making the sacrifice just didn't seem wise any longer. what we have wanted above all else is to be debt free so we can bless others more freely and be good stewards with our finances. we were beginning to believe that that was becoming farther and farther away with the impending purchase of this home.

so we pulled out.

my heart is broken because, if you have read any of the past blogs you will know, i did fall in love with this house. i made plans. i had dreams. but i still have peace in knowing that God's plans are greater than my own and i hope that us making this choice gives Him the glory.

i'm going to show you the rest of the house now. something i was going to wait to do til we were actually in it. but i feel like i need to give all my dreams to the Lord, and i'm gonna use this blog post as my journal through this process.

this is the formal living room. it's the first room you walk into from the front door. my current dining room table would be in here, along with an eventual new couch. i dreamt it would be a place to have gatherings for holidays, bible studies, early morning coffees with old neighbors, and also a work space.

this little niche is opposite the sitting window above. i dreamt that i would find a beautiful old armiore or secretary to hide my workspace, and flank it with bookshelves. i also wanted two chairs for more seating when it's being used for entertainment.

same room, view from the dining room. i envisioned the staircase wrapped in garland for Christmas, with a huge tree in the window. my husband and i would be waiting with hot cocoa as the kids peeked their little heads over the banister Christmas morning.

the family room. oh, the dreams i had for this room. family movie night. kids running in to grab a snack after playing outside. game nights with friends in the banquette area we wanted to make sitting around an eventual round pedestal table. helping the kids with homework. all the meals we would share as a family here.

i dreamt of baking with the kids in this kitchen. making holiday meals, birthday cakes, and experimenting with new recipes here. teaching my kids how to do their chores of putting dishes away and sweeping.

little a's room. i dreamt of making it a sweet little space she could call her own. where she'd spend hours reading, playing, and someday even have sleep overs.

Big A's room. this was going to become a magical super hero special headquarters for our little Batman/The Flash/Spiderman/Thor. one he would be proud to bring his friends into and also a place he could concentrate on homework.

kids bathroom. cleaning scrapes, clipping nails, fixing hair, brushing teeth. you know. normal stuff. just more dreamy.

our bedroom. this is where the magic would happen. (yes, i quoted every MTV Cribs episode just now. i know.) but for reals. we have never been good at decorating our room. it usually becomes a dumping ground for the laundry i never want to put away or storage for my 795637678 out of date Martha Stewart Wedding magazinse. i dreamt of actually making this a romantic place for my husband and i. (and also a comfy place for snuggles with the kids in the morning!)

master bath. normal stuff again. only dreamier.

laundry room. of course laundry would be more magical in this room. it's UPSTAIRS. duh.

oh. the pool. the glorious, wonderful pool. the pool that would cool us in the dead of Fresno summers. pool party's. bbq's. not worrying about friend's kids (or mine) drowning at bbq's or party's. gardening. chasing. playing.

the pinata tree. kids trying to beat their favorite character. candy falling in their eyes and on their heads giving them concussions. magical. all magical. and even dreamy too.

the patio. coffee and my bible in the cool summer mornings. watching the rain fall in the winter. maybe a fire pit and roasting marshmallows for s'mores (except my husband, he hates marshmallows. it's ok, i would eat his).

these are some of my dreams for this house. and i give them to God. He knows what's best and we trust in Him. we want to do right in His eyes and looking at our bank account with the down payment money in it, then looking at our credit card bill, we just didn't feel right ignoring the peace He took away about getting this house.

this is how the new house turned into the almost house. and you know what? there will be other houses. and i will have more dreams for them. it's what i do best.

until then, i think i'll buy a new pair of shoes, or 5. they will make me fill better.