Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hannah's Third Birthday

If you remember, I started this blog about a year ago, and one of my first posts was about the Ariel dress I made for my niece Hannah's second birthday. I smile when I look back and remember how everything about sewing was still new if not foreign to me. :) I remember being so proud that I learned to gather, hem, and install an invisible zipper with that Ariel dress.

Here we are now, one year later and I have branched out some and learned a thing or two more about sewing. And since then, I have discovered pdf patters, my new addiction and my husband's new nightmare. ;) (Aw...he is a great sport!) So this year, I did not make the dress that my niece wore to her party. Instead, I spent my time making her gifts. I can't begin to say how pleased I am with how everything turned out and how well I managed my time. I am usually a procrastinator, but this time I had all of my gifts completed by last Thursday and her party was Saturday! Pretty good for me, since I am usually still finishing up some detail the day of..... :)

I wanted to share with you the gifts I made for my niece and give a shout out to one of my favorite pdf pattern makers, Peek-a-Boo Patterns!!!

Let's start with the gift I made using one of my newest favorite patterns by Peek-a-Book Patterns!

Sisters' Matching Pullovers!!!

These adorable matching pullovers were made using the Varsity Cowl Neck Pullover pattern, which you can purchase here. I had to make Hannah and her little sister matching " I love Grandma" pullovers! I am sure you can tell from the picture that I used fleece for this project, but this pullover can also be made using knit fabric. I seriously love!!!! this pattern! They turned out SO adorable. And quite honestly it was one of the easiest clothing projects I have made. The trickiest part of this pattern is the neckline where the two pieces of the collar overlap, but the pattern is very detailed and does an excellent job walking you through this step. There is NO hemming, which I loved! Seriously, I was able to cut everything out for both of these patterns and have them finished sewing in one afternoon sitting. I used my serger, which worked great. Obviously, I highly recommend this pattern and any pattern by Peek-a-Boo patterns! I have purchased so many of her great patterns, and Thrifty Thursday is a day to remember! Check out her blog to learn what Thrifty Thursday is all about!

Next is gift number two, the pink hair bows! 

Aren't they beautiful?

So beautiful, we need another angle, right?

This was my first attempt at real hair bows. Using this amazing tutorial from Make It & Love It, I was easily able to make these adorable clips. You will be amazed at how easy it is to make these very complicated looking bows. She also provides an excellent solution for keeping these bows from slipping from those baby-fine locks of hair. I made these little bows from start to finish in about two hours, but I am sure with practice, they could be made faster. Just watch out for that hot glue! My fingers were a little sore afterwards.

On to gift number three,  the beautiful Every Little Thing Dress. This pattern is by Shwin Designs and can be purchased here. Check out the little beauty I made using Michael Miller fabric.

Isn't it sweet?
 I just love the big bow in the center. This dress may look complicated but it is an excellent dress for confident beginners. The scariest part is making the button holes. I also made some cute little matching bow hair ties using this tutorial and free pattern!  Here is a close up of these beauties.

Okay on to gift number four. I must say I have saved this for last because it was probably my most time consuming project, mainly because I spent a lot of time searching for the perfect pattern, only to find it was right under my nose the whole time and FREE! My niece loves to play doctor/nurse, so this year my parents bought her a doctor's kit for her birthday. My mom and I were talking one day and I said something about how fun it would be to make her a nurse's outfit. Of course, my mom was all about that. I started doing some research and stumbled upon this blog post. I was so excited! I had never heard of Nurse Nancy, but apparently it is a Little Golden Book classic! Of course, I immediately looked on Amazon.com to see if there was anyway this book was available and it was!!! It was also very inexpensive! Only $3.59 and Prime shipping! I ordered it right away and set to work using ikat bag's free pattern for Nurse Nancy's hat. She didn't have a pattern for the apron, so I set out to find a pattern that looked like Nurse Nancy's apron. After lots of searching and no luck, I suddenly remembered that 5Berries had recently offered a free apron pattern and tutorial on their blog. I went to check it out here and thought, "With a few modifications, this could work!" And it did!!!!

A perfect match!

As you can tell, I left off the ruffles and added pockets and the blue and white medic symbol identical to Nurse Nancy's.

Back view
I also lengthened the neck straps and made them skinnier, because I wanted the apron to fit just like Nancy's. I attached the neck straps to the waist straps about an inch and a half past where the skirt of the apron ends. It worked perfectly! I cannot tell you how pleased I was with how this project turned out! I am still timid when it comes to branching out from a pattern. I like to be able to just follow everything step-by-step, but my brave endeavor paid off. I think my little Nurse Hannah will be adorable in her uniform. :)

And here is one final glimpse of the gifts just before getting wrapped.

All together!
Oh I almost forgot, after my new found bow making confidence, thanks to Make It & Love It's blog tutorial, I also made some other bow clips (displayed at the bottom right). For these, I used this tutorial from CKC's blog, another of my favorite children's pdf pattern makers.

Well that's all folks! Hope you enjoyed a little glimpse of my sewing endeavors from the past two weeks. Maybe you will be inspired to make something for the little girls in your lives. :)