Friday, May 24, 2013

Fat Quarter Floral Ruffle Peasant Dress

Somewhere between Mothers Day and last week I realized I didn't post the cute dress I made for Livy. I had made it the week before Mother's Day and thought that I would put her in it for my little brother's college graduation party. I opted to put her in it for Mothers Day instead and I am so glad because the weather at his "open house" was crazy cold a week or two back.

So better late than never right?

The Floral Ruffle Peasant Dress

 And what is a new dress without a new label. Remember when I made these for $6 here?

 I don't even use a "pattern" for this dress anymore, now that I have made half a dozen or so. I just used 4 fat quarters. 2 Fat Quarters are about the perfect size already for a 3T dress (because I like my dresses a little longer). I love that it saves me a step of cutting and they are only $1 each. This dress cost $4 total, and I still have some fabric left.

I used 2 fat quarters for the main part of the dress, folding them in half together and cutting crescent moon like shape for the arm holes. Then I took those same half circle pieces as a template and cut the sleeves out with the pink polka dot print. Once I sewed the sleeves in, and before I put a casing in the neck for elastic, I ran 3 gathering stitches down the floral piece and gathered it to ruffle and attached it to the dress. Then I added the elastic at the neckline and hemmed and it was done.

I love the 3 patterns mixed together. They aren't everyone's cup of tea, but thankfully this isn't for everyone. Livy loved modeling in her little dress too.

Noah wanted in on the fun. It seems we can't take a picture of one without the other these days....I also made the little flower bow from the leftovers, but you can't really appreciate or see it.

This other picture turned out cute other than his new found "wanting to give everyone bunny ears".

I think it turned out super summer cute! The weather is finally warming up in these parts. What about where you are?

Until next time....

Keep Calm and Fat Quarter it out....

P.S. Enjoy reading Chrissy Couture? I would love for you to follow along by subscribing. We also love comments too. Have a happy Friday!

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Mini Infinity Dress

So I came across this infinity dress the other day and fell in love!

I am not a green fan whatsoever, but I have to admit I love the minty color. The versatility of this dress is amazing. I am pretty modest and even with a strapless dress, or tank dress wear something over or under it. That’s why I loved this dress. It can be made to cover more or less, which in my case the more is a benefit! She gives you a quickie tutorial (diaryofamadcrafter) and links here (Sewlikemymom), which is a full tutorial. I have had a few requests of this dress since I saw it, (even want one myself) but before I dove directly into the deep, I thought I would give Livy one and see what I was getting into.

The Mini Infinity

So here is her completed dress. I just posed her 4 different ways.  
Double straps to one side. (probably my favorite way!)

Straps up each side. 

Strap-less. (Her little chubbiness spilling over the top) She wasn't a fan of this style.

  Just one strap up one side. This where I promised a sucker if she held still one more time!

  The material I used was a vintage stretch polyester. It had some give, but it was very thin too. Stella(my machine) and I kept having some issues sewing it though. I tried using a zig zag stitch since I read somewhere that its better to use that on stretchy fabrics, but the thread kept breaking. I don’t know if my tension is to high or or not high enough, but when it would sew fairly decent it kept bunching the fabric. I am not usually a violent person but about the 8th time my thread broke I smacked her and told her to stop it. She straighted up a little, but I still had to deal with the bunching fabric.

Since Livy doesn’t really have a “waist” I made hers a little different. I made hers more of a tube dress first before adding the straps. It is a little more snug than I had planned so I don't know if I underestimated the level of stretch or if I measured incorrectly. 

I love how it was supposed to be a maxi dress for her….anyone notice its length?

Also since I was having so much trouble with bunching of the fabric, I tried to do shorter straps then what it suggests. It turned out fine, but next time, I will see why I need longer ones. I didn't get much of the "wrapped" effect because there wasn't much left to wrap.

What do you think?

I think making a mini is the way to go! Now I have a little practice under my belt for a real deal adult dress.

I don’t know what I love more, the dress or her cheesy expressions. OK, its her cheesy expressions.

Until Next time….

Keep Calm…..and Mini Infinity it!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Year Already?? First Year at Sewing/Blogging.

Can you believe it has been a year to date that I started this little blog? I remember my very first post. It was short and sweet and didn't really say much. I have always been more likely to lean towards the creative nature of things than engineer, so when I took the leap, I have never looked back. Some posts have been more personal, others have just been the hilarious mis-hap that happened, or the finished product of some door wreaths or little clothes. Was it necessary? Well, probably not. Do I enjoy it though? Absewlutely! I know I have many friends that read my blog, but it thrills me when I see that 27 people in Spain viewed my blog on a certain day or week. Or 87 people from a combination of countries have visited my page in a week. It just makes my heart smile. You, reading this now, if it wasn't for you, I would probably not be motivated to try and get a post in at least once a week. (I know some weeks this is difficult for me!)

When I was posting last weeks post about the Vintage and Lace Ruffle Set, I saw a progression of where my sewing began to where it is now. It isn't a big secret that after my daughter was born, I severely went through post partum depression. I felt as though my life was just passing by and I had no creative outlet to express myself. My love and passion of photography was always put on hold from fear of not being good enough, or "doing what everyone else seems to be doing". I also wanted to learn how to sew. I took a class in high school years ago, and was horrible at it, but I wanted to try again. My mother brought me her sewing machine that she used for many years for me to just play with and see if I would really enjoy it. Firstly, it sat for almost a year before I even touched it. I was too afraid I wouldn't know what I was doing or that if I did figure it out, I wouldn't really be able to make anything cute. One night after I got home from work I was determined. I don't know what had changed in my head but I went home, put it on the kitchen table and decided I was going to start sewing. After 2 hours of trying to figure out how to thread the silly thing, numerous YouTube videos and a couple of calls to momma, I finally got it threaded. I think that night I sewed a few straight lines on some scrap material and then went to bed. The rest is history. My sweet husband went within the next week or so and got me a "sewing table" and set it all up while I was at work. I got a sweet text from him saying he believed and supported me. I never knew something so simple could mean so much to me. Even now when the kids are running wild and I am at my machine trying to punch out another beautiful creation, he will wrangle the children so I can have a little sewing therapy.

So through all of this rambling, I want you to know that I am glad you have followed along. If you are stumbling across this post for the first time, I hope you stick around. Things can and will only continue to get better from here. Here is a look at the last year very quickly.

Lets not forget our first attempt at sewing a dress..oh my how ill fitting!

Yes even the model was not a happy camper, and I do not blame her!

A Happier face, but can anyone see how the "collar" is just hanging on her shoulders barely?

Disney outfits. I can only take credit for adding some ruffles to a shirt and applique of Minnie.

This is that wonderful fabric already shirred. I just sewed up one side and it was done!

One of my favorites of the wreaths I made last year.

Chrissy Couture Cardigan - Featured on Sugar Bee Crafts! Now that was an exciting day!

Horrible picture quality. 10 minute Maxi Dress that only took me 2 hours!

Newspaper pattern and outfit made with my Mom while she was in town.

Hair Plopping. Still the most viewed post on my blog. Has had more hits that the Beatles....ok, not really but you get the point.

SpiderMan Cape. (even though he doesn't really wear one)

No Sew Wreath and Paper Flowers
Still Life Photography for the fair. Swooon.

First Attempt at sleeves and following a pattern.

Same pattern as above with some pattern mixing and belt.

Pattern mixing with a big BOW

Super fun Maternity Shoot with a gorgeous Momma.

Sock Monkey Tag Blanket
Ruffle Dress from a Woman's Shirt.

Bow Scarf

Vintage Pinafore Pattern

Un-Expecting another blessing....a Girl due in just 60 days!

Spikey Bows


First successful Ruffle Pants and Top.

What a Journey! And I left out quite a few posts still! I just love looking back and loving each new thing I sew more and more. Every new dress for Livy, or Every new little shirt or toy for Noah just makes me happy I can make it for them. Just last night Noah needed a "Ninja Belt" for his sword. With a strip of felt, elastic and a few zips down the machine and he was elated to have a new "ninja belt" that would hold his sword.

I hope you have enjoyed this journey and will stick around. I always LOVE hearing from you. Your thoughts, ideas, suggestions.

Until next time....

Keep Calm....and Keep Moving Forward.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Tips on Planning a Disney Vacation....

A while back, (especially when we returned from our second Disney trip in a year), multiple friends began asking my opinion on what we did, how we planned, what was easy, what was difficult and so on. I decided it would be a great blog post.

We begin Part 1 of "Disney World Vacation Series"

Apr 2012

Feb 2013
  For the record, these opinions are my own and are not being sponsored by Disney, HOWEVER if they find this series post and choose to reimburse me with a free vacation back there, I would gladly accept.

Don't forget this will be a 2 part series.

Series 1 – Tips on Planning a Disney Vacation

Series 2 – Tips for Enjoying your Disney Vacation

Lets get started!

How to plan your trip based on what you want to get out of it.

1.       Be reasonable with your time and decide what you want your trip to be. If you want the “Disney Experience”, stay on Disney. I could go on and on about this. Everyone thinks its so much cheaper to say off of Disney and I don’t agree. Its actually very close in price unless you are staying at a 1-2 star inn that may or may not have contracted bed bugs. Just saying, you do get what you pay for now a days. This doesn’t mean you can’t find a great deal, but if you consider all the extra gas you will use (if driving) and the extra time it takes to get from the parking lots to the actual park, (not to mention the headache) it adds up.

You can still drive your own car, but part of the convenience is Disney will take you everywhere you want to go, (within Disney property of course!) We just park our car and it doesn't move the rest of the week.

There are a Huge Selection of Resorts to choose from, all based around fun themes and prices. The Resorts are broke up into 3 categories. Value, Moderate, and Expensive, (I mean Deluxe).

We have stayed at both the Value and Moderate Resorts. We stayed at the Moderate Resorts before we had children and have stayed in the Value resorts since. There isn’t much of a difference at all other than price in my opinion. The Value resorts rooms are just as clean, and “spacious” as the Moderate resorts. It’s all a matter of what type of vacation you are planning. We love the Port Orleans Moderate Resort. It is just beautiful, but we had no kids at the time and it wasn’t loaded down with children. The Value Resorts on the other hand I think appear to be geared towards families. I mean we stayed in the “TOY STORY” section at All Stars Movie Resort. We were practically the size of a toy in Andy’s room. The kids loved it, and well we loved that they loved it. Also, Disney Transportation is SO much better than driving to a park, walking or riding a tram to the monorail, riding the monorail to the park…etc. And if you have strollers you have to fold up every time, it’s just difficult. Disney Transportation drops you off right near the entrance, so for our family it was a win-win!

I will say that if you are planning not a whole Disney vacation, but that you want to add a one day of Disney in, then yes it would be logical and probably cost effective to stay off of Disney. I think that if we were only going to do Disney for a day and then hit Universal, and Sea World and Holy Land Experience and….(you name it) then we would probably stay off of Disney property in a center location around these attractions. I don’t think you can really do “Disney” in one day, so we don’t usually attempt any other parks while we are there. We go for the “GOLD” and do it Disney all the way. Its just a choice you have to make. Also, with the ages of our children, Universal was out. We did go off Disney for the Holy Land Experience and the Beach in the past. Its not difficult to get out of Disney, but they do make it to where you really have no need to leave at all. Good work on their part.

2.       Order a Free Disney Travel Planning DVD. I mean it is completely free. It will give you a ton more information that I am giving you and it’s a little movie. Who doesn’t love that. It gives a brief explanation of the parks, resorts, cruise line, etc. And again, its free! Just sign up and it will arrive in a few weeks. (we still get one every time! Hey you don’t know if they have changed something in the last year…lol)

3. Visit Disney Moms Panel. It has 100s of different questions that are answered by the "official Disney moms" that have answered many of my own questions in the past. You can even ask a question as well. Again, totally free.

4. You can use a travel agent or book directly through Disney. It should NOT cost more to book through an agent though. They are getting a kickback from Disney to book it, and you should not have to pay them at all. We just book it ourselves. I like that Disney's Vacation planner is user friendly and easy to use. You can save up to 3 different vacations so you can compare prices.

5. Consider the dining plan. I mean really consider the dining plan. If you are going full force and staying on Disney, I feel like it is the ONLY way to go. Especially if you are wanting to do character meals. (More on this in part 2) There are a few choices of dining plans. We generally choose the middle plan which is reasonably priced and gives you one snack, one quick service meal, and one sit down meal per day. The next up package was alot more than what we needed and the lower package just didn't seem like it was enough. We were on a budget so it helped to add our food into our "total". Then when we got ready for our trip, all we needed was the "extra" spending money for souvenirs or just extra money.

6. Tickets, tickets, tickets. Park tickets aren't cheap. They will cost you roughly 100$ a person, per day. You can include these in your "package" and I don't think you get much if any of a price break. You have 2 options. Park Hopper tickets, - that let you hop from park to park with ease and no trouble, or you have single day tickets, which are cheaper that allow you into one park only. My suggestion is think about who you are traveling with. If its young kids and you have strollers, opt out of the park hopper tickets. You will save some money. I know especially in our case, it takes so much time and energy toting kids to one park, I can't imagine trying to "hop parks" the middle of the day. If you have older kids, then keep the park hopper and make it worth every penny. For us, we knew that saving the money and visiting one park each day was PLENTY. You definitely will not get board and most of the time, you will find that one day is hardly enough.  We usually figure out how many days we are going to be at Disney and then purchase or add to our package that amount of tickets. You can still choose which parks you want to go to on which day, but once you use a ticket for Magic Kingdom, its only good at MK that day. Do you save hundreds on not getting the park hopper? no. But is it enough that if you know you aren't going to want to hop around to just do without it? yes.

Once you figure out what you want, you can begin planning your trip. I hope I have began to get some of your questions answered with a real opinion of a mom of 2 (soon to be 3) kids. Who doesn't want to save some money while taking their children to the most magical place on earth?

Until Part two.....

Keep Calm......and start planning!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Vintage and Lace Ruffle Set

I purchased some burnt like orange vintage fabric months ago. Actually close to a year ago. It was right after I began to sew. I had no idea at the time about textiles and different fabrics, I just knew it screamed vintage and I loved it. Since I have been having the best luck with quiting cottons, it just kind of sat, unloved, unappreciated.

As I have grown a little more confident in my sewing skills, (although ways to go still) I pulled it out with a plan. I could add some ruffles of lace that I picked up months ago as well and do a cute spring ruffle set. Remember when I did my first set of ruffle pants here?

Girl getting her Model on..... 

Lets just tie some extra scrap pieces in our hair shall we?

The print is gorgeous and the textile has some stretch to it. Some sort of polyester I am sure. I made the pants first and then I was planning on a 3/4 sleeve top. Well the sleeves ended up being long which still worked, (since the weather here STILL hasn't decided if it wants to be warm or cold) but that's also what happens when you guess at measurements and don't really use a pattern. I still absewlutely love the way it turned out. My proudest piece so far. And if you have been around for any amount of time, you have seen some of my first sewing projects.....and can really appreciate this one.

Like here, first dress ever constructed using an old skirt of mine and guessing at a shape. It may not look horrible in the picture, but trust me it was the most ill fitting garment! I barely got it over her head let alone her little chubby rolls! (SQUEEZE) First lesson in seam allowances......

Or here, Even Livy was like...MOM I HATE IT, (well she had allergies bad)! This is supposed to be Prudent Baby's Snappy Toddler top. They would probably cringe if they saw it. It was my second attempt ever to make Miss O something. Second Lesson at seam allowances.  I do plan on making another one this summer so you will probably see this image again compared to hopefully something fabulous! 

As I pulled these pics out, I saw a whole progression of how my sewing has evolved in the last year. May marks 1 year of blogging and sewing so I will probably do something fun for making it this far!

Back to the reason why I posted all of that, so you could appreciate this below~

 Adding lace as ruffles might be my new favorite, so be on the lookout. Firstly, no hemming! Hallelujah! Second, it ruffles so easy and nicely!

I added the detail to the top after I showed a few friends and family. Momma said it needed something at the neckline. Who am I to argue with momma #1, and #2 I am all about adding more lace! So it is just a removable pin that can be added to a headband next time or whatever I choose.

I will be the designer on project runway that Tim will say, Now Chrissy, you need to step back and really take an editing eye to this, don't over design! (and I seriously hear Tim Gunn's voice when I read that sentence)
More Scraps tied to piggy tails...

So what do you think? Do you love it as much a me?

I really hope you enjoy following along, I get really excited about comments too!

Until next time....

Keep Calm and Ruffle up some lace.....