How can this sweet baby be two already? My forever baby (because she’s the last) isn’t technically a baby anymore, but when my husband suggested I should stop calling her that I just rolled my eyes. I hope I’m lucky enough to be calling her my baby when she’s a mother herself. She had an ice cream-themed birthday party to reflect her great love of that dessert, which she calls “ceam.” Her dress is made from New Look 6796 out of fabric from the Kanvas What’s the Scoop line. Her big sister made her the matching cape (who doesn’t need a cape to go with her birthday dress?) and I crocheted the hat. I couldn’t find a hat pattern that looked like ice cream, so I used the Lion Brand Cone Hat pattern and then did a headband of crocodile stitches and sewed it to the brim. I think people could tell what it was supposed to be, and she loves it, which is most important anyway. Happy birthday my Daphne!
I’ve already confessed a fondness for the current feathers/arrows trend. I know it’ll look as tired as pink and turquoise owls with chevrons in a couple years (yawn), but I really think it’s cute now. This is based on a pattern from the bargain book Cute Clothes for Kids. I added a pocket with this embroidery from an Etsy seller, and orange trim all around. It’s a wee big on her, but hopefully that means it can be a dress this year (over long sleeves) and a tunic after that.
This is a knitted dress I made for a friend’s baby. I love making baby gifts because the time I spend on them gives me time to think about the new baby. This dress is going to a first baby for such a nice couple, and while I made it I got to recall all the excitement and love and expectation that comes along with waiting for a first baby–and a girl, too. What a treat! I used the Garden Trellis Dress pattern from the book Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders. I used sport-weight yarn, so mine is a little bigger than prescribed, but I knew that going in. I actually very much like the size it turned out because I think it will fit the baby in her first year as a dress, and in her second as a tunic. I used Knit Picks’ Brava yarn in Tidepool so it could be easily laundered. I got a little sidetracked and miscounted on some of the diamonds on the skirt, so they aren’t in exactly the right places according to the pattern, but I felt like you wouldn’t know something was wrong unless you were staring at the pattern so I just went with it.
I love this pattern, McCalls M4421. It’s so easy and fast, it’s comfortable to wear, it can be a dress or tunic, and my mommy used to make it for me when I was a baby! I’ve had this fabric for a year and finally got around to making Daphne a little something out of it. This is sure to be a summer staple for her; she already likes pointing to the foxes and saying “ning ning ning na ning na ning.” Because that’s what foxes say, right?
This was the next installment in the Dresses for Daphne Before She Can Decline series. I love bird prints for her things since I made her baby bedding, mobile, and many of her bibs from bird prints. This print is Michael Miller’s Garden Walk Wing Song, accented with some bright red chevrons. The pattern is one I used before in a smaller size, from Making Baby’s Clothes, and I did my own things with the ruffles. With my two-tiered ruffle on the bottom it’s just a wee bit long on her now, but with the loose fit she may be able to wear it over a red bodysuit this winter and as a cute sun dress in the spring too.
Daphne was not only unwilling to sit still to model this dress, she also happened to be in the ugliest room in the house when it occurred me to to photograph her before she smashed some sort of dark-colored fruit all over the front of herself at next snack or mealtime. So please overlook the peach bathroom I’ve complained about before (ignoring it is what I try to do, until I learn to lay tile which is SO HAPPENING in summer 2015) and instead enjoy the cuteness of my little fall-colored wiggle worm in her new tunic. When I ran across this Dear Stella Woodland Deer print a few weeks ago I just had to have it. The coloring and general look of my baby just fit exactly right with this print. I wanted to buy a zillion yards and stockpile it and make her wear it to prom and her wedding too, but that seemed unreasonable so I bought a yard and made her a tunic instead. I based it on a pattern from the book Making Baby’s Clothes, which I should get a commission on because I’ve never heard anyone else talk about it but I recommend it all the time. It’s loose enough she can wear it over a long-sleeve bodysuit all winter, and she will, because (unlike for prom) I am still the one choosing her clothes now.
This coming cool-weather season has a little bittersweet sense to it for me. In all likelihood, this is the last season I can dress the baby without her input. If she’s anything like her older sister, she’ll be nudging her own little self into the closet by the time her age approaches 2 and then my days of selecting her outfits are over. (You pick your battles, right?) So my hope is to buy her staples like leggings and solid-color bodysuits, then slip sweet little handmade items over them for me to enjoy while she’s still small and has amiable tastes. This dress was the kickoff of what I hope is a cluster of over-dress projects for this winter.
I used the Mandarin Dress pattern from the book Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders. I made a size 2 but cut an inch or so off the hem.
I love the elastic loop and button closure on this pattern, but my little green buttons don’t show up all that well against this busy print. If I make again I’ll choose a tamer print and brighter buttons. It’s a sweet pattern so I’ll probably do just that.
And here’s another project of my oldest daughter’s, because she loves it when I show off her goodies on my blog. She made matching superhero capes for herself and her two siblings. She tells me the “DS” stands for “DeWees Superhero.” Love it!
Daphne has really been on the baby social circuit this spring. While I may not be any sort of homeschool mom socialite, I do at least leave the house dressed as a grown-up sometimes, to go to the Kentucky Oaks or out with girlfriends, or my 20th (eek!) high school reunion. Daphne doesn’t really like it when I leave the room she’s in, and I don’t really like to hook my breasts up to machinery, so my third child/path-of-least-resistance parenting strategy is to just bring her with me everywhere. It’s kind of fun–I’ve become like the Crazy Cat Lady of Babies. And Daphne has been lots of interesting places. These pictures were taken at the Oaks, which is the day of racing that happens on the day before the Kentucky Derby. Daphne and I both wore hats, in keeping with tradition, and I made a little overdress for her with her name and “Little Winner” embroidered on the front. It might be the ultimate one-use outfit, but I justified that it was made with hand-me-down fabric.
This picture was taken on Easter. I might have made dresses for the girls, but when Costco put out cute dresses in both their sizes for $15.99 each I knew that sewing their outfits would not give me as much of a thrill as jumping on that deal. It’s so hard to find store-bought matching clothes for girls so far apart! I did make my own skirt, from the “Flirty Skirt” pattern in the book Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders, which is a companion book to the other One-Yard Wonders book I’ve blogged about before. The skirt was the first project I’ve tried from the book and I was pleased with it. It was a little hard to find 3-inch elastic, and I think if I make the skirt again I’ll just use stretchy knit for the waistband, but I was impressed that I got a whole skirt that covered my butt decently and used only one yard of fabric.
With this winter’s crazy displacement of the polar vortex nastiness, it was starting to feel like there would never come a time when I would not have to leave the house with 4 hats, 3 scarves, and 8 mittens or gloves each time I needed to run a simple errand. And if it seemed difficult to get three children dressed for errands in sub-freezing temperatures, that was nothing compared to trying to return to the house with the same number of things. Kids shed winter-wear (including coats) in inconvenient places almost constantly, and it seemed that by the end of a shopping trip (or field trip, or dentist visit, or whatever) I started to resemble a coat tree more than a mother. My answer to this was to sew myself the World’s Largest Canvas Tote Bag. It’s the same dimensions as my laundry bags from a previous post, which were modeled after the TJ Maxx reusable shopping bags. It’s big enough to hold everyone’s discarded outerwear, plus one large plastic fire truck. Don’t ask me how I know. It has served its purpose well. I embroidered my initials on it to make it feel more like an accessory and less like Mom’s a Sucker, but the free font I used turned out to be worth about what I paid for it–I don’t love it. The monogram doesn’t diminish the utility, however, and I’m happy to have solved my missing mitten problem.
Here’s Daphne modeling some of her warm winter handmades. The dress is a larger version of this green one from a previous post. It’s such a nice pattern.
We celebrated Fat Tuesday homeschool-style, with homemade pralines, jambalaya in the crock pot, and these craft foam masquerade masks. Now that Dorothy is old enough to be confident with the glue gun it has really opened the realm of crafty possibilities. She’s done a lot with craft foam lately, which has the ease of working with paper but the feeling of permanence you get from working with fabric. We cut out the masks based on an internet template, and Dorothy glued the baubles according to her and her brother’s preferences, then finished them off with soda straws. My older kids wore green hats from Target on St. Patrick’s Day, but Daphne got a homemade crocheted hat. I used a baby cloche pattern from Ravelry. She was the cutest little leprechaun in Kentucky, I’m sure.
I made this dress from the “Pretty as a Picture” pattern in Anna Maria Horner’s book Handmade Beginnings. I made the 6-9 month size. I used an old blue sheet to provide the fabric for the “picture” panel, then embroidered flowers and the REM song reference, because of course my baby will be such an REM fan, right?
This is the dress from the back; I left the panel empty. I liked this pattern; it was simple to follow and the front panel idea is fun and holds lots of possibilities. I was thinking it would be a cute way to showcase older sibling art made for the baby, either scanned in and printed on printable fabric, or done in permanent marker on a light fabric. I didn’t do the French seams called for inside the skirt because I was serging the skirt seams anyway, but otherwise I followed the pattern faithfully. I’m not sure what season it will be when my little one wears this size, but I felt like this dress could be worn as a layer in chilly weather or on it’s own in spring or summer.
This project was the only one I managed to photograph of a whole stack of tote bags I made a couple months ago. I bought several yards of a lightweight canvas and used the dimensions of a purchased tote bag that was hanging around here to guide me. I made totes for all the employees who work for my husband at his law firm, embroidering the firm logo on one side (thank you to Hanni at the Sweet as Lemon and Honey shop on Etsy for making the embroidery file!) and the employee’s name on the other. Then I made a couple child birthday gifts, one of which is shown, by doing the same tote bag but adding a child-appropriate embroidery bit and the birthday girl’s name. These were such nice, quick thank-you and birthday gifts that I’m sure I’m going to be reusing this idea again. The totes go together quickly and are always useful, no matter the recipient’s age.