Love is in the Air :)

My wonderful neighbor, friend, photographer and #1 cheerleader has a DIY Pinterest board that made me laugh out loud the other day. As I was perusing through the items on her board, I started to notice that a good number of them were actually projects for me to do! We have since added a board to her account labeled, “DIY for Maria” and after she ran out and bought some fabric, here is what I came up with (another “Pinspiration”). Lucky for me, she bought enough fabric for a dress for her daughter, a top for mine, and 2 tops for their dolls. I have enough time to make about 4-5 more of these dresses or tops to ship within the US, so if you like these and would like to order one, please send me a message asap!!!

Valentine Dress 2 wm Valentine Dress Doll 3 wm

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Grow With Me Dresses and Tops

My mom and I laugh about it now, but when I was little, I used to get so frustrated when I would see something in the store that I wanted and my mom (being a very talented seamstress) would always say, “I could make that for you!” and then she would go on about how everything was so poorly made blah, blah, blah… 😉

Flash forward 30 years (what?! no!!!) and here I am finding myself doing the same thing! Yikes!!! About 3 years ago, I finally took out that sewing machine that my mom had given to me one Christmas. I had seen a couple of dresses that some of the little girls were wearing at my daughter’s pre-school and thought to myself, “I know that I could buy those in some of the local boutiques (for some ridiculous amount), but honestly, they don’t look like they would be too difficult to make!” I made my first pillowcase dress shortly after that…no pattern necessary 🙂

my daughter proudly modeling her first dress made by me back in 2009 (pardon the unprofessional photo!)

My niece. Same dress, 3 years later…professional photo 🙂

After seeing this picture, I realized that the 2 types of dresses that I make the most can both “grow with you” and go from dress to tunic top in just a matter of years! Another plus for me and for all the people who have received one of these dresses over the past few years. Here is a little reversible swing top dress that I made as a photo prop for my friend, Christina, of Bees Knees Photography www.beeskneesphotographync.com

Reversible swing top dress worn by a 1 year old (as a dress).

Same “dress” worn by Christina’s 3 year old as a top

And just for good measure. This was the first reversible dress that I ever made. Again, this was made over 2 years ago. Just thought I would show some then and now pictures with the same dress (that has held up quite nicely, I must say!).

My daughter when she was 3.

same dress, same child…2 years later 🙂

This is why I do it!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post that showed these dresses after I had first completed them. While I love the way the dresses turned out (I am definitely going to start making the majority of my pillowcase dresses with the crochet trim), I have to say, this is why I still make them for others. I LOVE seeing the children actually wearing them! A dress can only be so much on a hanger.

I have been told repeatedly that I don’t charge enough for the things that I make. Here’s where I stand on that: I don’t want to charge too much because I want everyone to be able to enjoy them. It’s just me. I’m not paying any employees; I don’t see this business of mine becoming huge (because I’m the only one making things and I can only do so much!). So why not?!  Anyway, just thought I would share this photo. So cute!

New Twist on the Classics

I am a fan of vintage design. I love the way that the classics look and the way that I feel when I put them on. Over the weekend, my husband cleaned out some bins that had been stored away and found some of his old shirts from high school and his youth. I have adopted one of them as my own 🙂 It reminded me of those old baseball shirts, you know, the ones with the different colored 3/4 sleeves and collar? Love those. I remember having a few when I was young and loving them back then too. Now if I can just get my hands on some vintage tube socks (My Miami Dolphins colored ones were my favorite back then, what I wouldn’t do to have a pair of those right now!)…

So I started thinking about my crafts and the projects that I’ve done that I love the most. I realized that those projects that are the most fun are ones that have that vintage inspiration OR ones where I take a classic and add a little something to it. Here are a couple that I’ve recently done.

1. Classic Pillowcase Dress. Sooooooooo many of these are around these days. You can find them in stores, on etsy (or other handmade store sites), and pretty much everyone I know (that can sew) has made a pillowcase dress. It is simple and beautiful and–best of all–very versatile. A true classic. So I still love to make these, but what I like even more is adding just that little touch of unique by crocheting a simple trim embellishment. Here is one of my latest that was a custom order and I just love the way these 2 dresses (for sisters) turned out.

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Adding this trim is very simple. My only advice (if you want to try this on your own) is to make sure you crochet a length of trim slightly shorter than the length of the hem of the dress. The crochet trim does stretch and the last thing that you want to do is finish the entire trim, go to pin it and sew it on and find that you have an excess…trust me, getting to that point and having to start over is no fun! So about 1/2″ shorter than the hem is good.

2. Classic #2 and so simple to make is the dishcloth. In this day and age, people are starting to get back to being a little more earth friendly. I think for a while everyone just wanted easy and disposable and forgot that we had to take care of our earth (that is my very gentle tree-hugging reminder to everyone: reduce, reuse, recycle). So if you wash as many dishes as I do and are sick of throwing away those stinky old sponges every couple of weeks, consider making your own (or if you know me, asking me to make you some) dish cloths. I hope that the Red Heart Yarn people will forgive my next comment, but this is about the only thing that I will use their “super saver” yarn for (it is far too rough for me to ever use on a hat or anything else that someone will wear). It is cheap and just the right texture to do an absolutely wonderful job as a dish/pot scrubber. So thank you Red Heart for that 🙂 The best thing about these is that they last SO much longer than sponges. You just throw them in with your towels once a week and wash and dry on hot and you can reuse these things for months and months! I love to make these little scrubbies instead of “dishcloths”, but that is just a personal preference.

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So these are 2 of my favorite takes on the classics. What are some of yours? I would love to hear!