Mom’s Busy…CAMPING

We are off for a fun weekend in the mountains with friends.

Nothing like fresh air, a tent, sleeping bags, and a campfire with the family to recharge your batteries!

But don’t worry…  LOTS of new crafts planned for the next few weeks.  Everything from vinyl, t-shirts, some small building projects, and maybe even a bit of sewing thrown in.

I’m off to enjoy my weekend in the woods…

Enjoy yours!

Home is…

About a year ago my sister in law married a young man that is a modern day hero.  He is a solider in the Army.  Now as a mom of 4 boys, when my older boys learned they were going to have an uncle in the Army (that got to shoot real guns!) they were over the moon.  I was more blessed to know that there are still amazing young men and women willing to sacrifice to serve their country.  Within a few weeks of Ashley and Stephen’s wedding, he was deployed to Iraq.  After a year long deployment he is finally back home.

My sister in law has really taken to being an Army wife and when I saw this sign on Pinterest, I just knew I had to make one for them as a thank you for their sacrifice to keep my family and our country safe.  So off to the local craft store I went to purchase the necessary materials.  I slapped some paint and some vinyl on there and this was the result…

Then I painted the plaques in alternating white and reds, slapped some vinyl on there and covered the entire thing with a layer of Mod Podge.

Then it was time get the power tools out! haha  I drilled some 1/16th inch holes an 1 1/2 from the edges of the plaques and put some   eye screws in.  The ones on top were opened into a hook so the plaques could be hung together.  Then with a couple staple gun shots and some twine – the sign was complete!

This could be adapted for so many things – vacations, places you have lived, important dates- the possibilities are endless!

Tutorial Tuesday: Pillowcase Dress with Coordinating Panel

Alright, so last week I posted my version of a pillowcase dress tutorial and I got feedback from a couple friends.  They have tested out the tutorial and gave their approvals (and made some pretty adorable dresses!).

Now, I usually get a bit fancier when I make my dresses by adding a coordinating panel of fabric on the bottom.  It just adds a bit more to the dress to make it POP a bit more!  And I LOVE me some cute coordinating fabrics!!!

Using the chart I posted about in last week’s post, shorten the length of the main panel by at least 3 inches (the larger the dress size, the larger you want your panel to be.  For this dress, I was making a 4t dress so my panel was 8″ long {I look about 7″ off the main panel measurement}.

Pin the right sides together along the bottom and sew pieces together.

Press the seam down toward the bottom of the dress.

Top stitch the pressed seam down for a more finished look.  {I am a BIG fan in top stitching!  In the end, it makes the dress lay nicer and when it is washed you won’t have to iron the seam down again}.

 Line up the seams and fold right sides together.  You are pretty much going to follow the simple version tutorial. Sew up side seam, mark and cut arm holes, add bias tape, and create the casing on the top for the tie.

For this tutorial, I also wanted to show you a quick way to hem a pillowcase dress if you aren’t wanting to press the hem.  Just use bias tape (the REALLY wide hem tape looks great!) and sew it on as described in last week’s post.

Now that the hem is finished, here is another way to create a tie instead of using ribbon or bias tape.  You can make your own with a 4 inch panel of fabric (cut selvage to selvage).  Sew the pieces right sides together, leaving about a 3 inch section for turning your tie, and angle the ends of the tie (if you want!).

Turn the tie right side out, press, and top stitch all the way around closing the hole.  Thread through the casing and tie a pretty bow!

Here is the completed dress.  Now go sew up some precious dresses!  You could even sew on coordinating ribbon to the bottom instead of fabric like I did here.  If you want to see another example, you can check here!

Baby Shower Gift

A sweet friend of our family is about to welcome to the world her first little bundle of joy!  She is having a boy {so near and dear to my heart} and calls him her little monkey.  That of course led us to finding the perfect  and most adorable monkey fabric for a shopping cart cover.

I have’t made a shopping cart cover {GASP}.  I am so not a germaphobe so my poor little guys have pretty much always just sat in the shopping cart sans cover.  Despite how cute they are, I just wanna get my boys into the cart, get on with shopping, so we can get back home and stop terrorizing the store with the sounds of 4 little boys running amuck!

Well Kayla wanted a cover so after a quick Pinterest search I found this DIY version for a oversized cart cover over at Little Blue Boo.  She calls her little guy her little monkey so we found just the right fabric for her!  Isn’t it precious!  I got a minky dimple dot fabric for the other side which makes it super soft and cozy!  I made the cover reversible and put the pockets and toy loops on BOTH sides of the fabrics BEFORE sewing the sides together (so I didn’t follow the tutorial completely).

In progress

Here is the finished cover.  Since this is a gift I couldn’t really get an action shot.  Maybe in a few month’s when the little monkey is big enough I will get an action shot from his mommy :)  Until then, here is the best I can do!

Completed cover

If you want a cover of your own, hop on over to Lil Blue Boo and get her tutorial (link above).

Happy Shopping with your new cover!

Tutorial Tuesday: Pillowcase Dress {simple version}

We all know by now that as a mama of boys I LOVE getting the opportunity to make treats for little girls {see this post}.  Many of my friends have asked for a tutorial on pillowcase dresses.  There are several out there so this isn’t any new information but I will give you an overview of how I sew them.

I recently found a chart for sizing over at Alexia Jean designs on her pillowcase dress tutorial post.  FINALLY no more guessing on sizing or asking the child’s mom to measure their daughter for me.

So drumroll please….. as I give you my very own pillowcase dress tutorial.

PILLOWCASE DRESS TUTORIAL

completed dress

Materials needed:

- fabric 1/2 yd to 1 yard of fabric

- coordinating thread

- extra wide double fold bias tape (you can use smaller, but the wider is easier to sew)

- coordinating grosgrain ribbon – for the ties OR some of your leftover bias tape {tutorial on making your own tie to come another day!}

 

Begin by washing your fabrics.  Yes, this takes extra time and while you might be impatient like me when beginning your projects, this will be worn {hopefully a lot} and you don’t want it to look silly after it is washed.

Once fabrics are washed and ironed.  Fold your fabric right sides together and sew up the side where the selvage edges meet.  You will now have a tube.

sewn side seam

Next decide which side will be the bottom.  {For this tutorial I am just laying out the most basic of pillowcase dresses, you can add on a panel of coorindating fabric on the bottom to jazz the dress up a bit, but not this time}.  Turn the edge up 1/4 inch and press, then turn another 1/2 inch to complete the hem.  As you press the hem pin it into place.  Then sew all the way around the hem using the folded edge of your fabric as your guide.

1/2 hem around bottom

{If you really want a quick way to hem, buy the EXTRA EXTRA wide bias tape and just sew that on along the bottom!  It looks super cute and there is no need to heat up the iron!}

Now we move onto the arm holes.  Fold your dress in half bringing the side seam and the opposite folded edge together.

Fold sides together

Measure and draw lines 2 inches over from the side and 7 inches down  {I use a disappearing quilting pen}.  Just before your lines meet, curve one line into the other so you end up with a J shape.  Cut along your line and toss the small scraps in the trash.

7 x 1 1/2

Curve to connect lines

Cut armholes

We are getting to the tricky part!  The bias tape…  Don’t be scared, it’s not as hard as you think especially since we are using wider bias tape.  I take a little more time with my bias tape simply because I have tried it the shortcut way and have not ended up with great results.

The first time I used bias tape I watched a uTube video on how to sew it.  The visual was VERY helpful.  Here is the tutorial I watched {yes, it is a bit strange but it helped so I am sharing it with you}. Basically, open up your bias tape, you will notice one side if a bit more narrow than the other.

bias tape

attach narrow side around armhole

Place that narrow side on the RIGHT side of your arm hole and pin all the way around the U shape.  Some find you don’t need to pin the bias tape in place but I am a pinner ;)

Pinned, ready to sew

Stitch the bias tape around the arm hole making sure your stitches line up right in the fold.  When you get to the end of the U, just cut the bias tape and then repeat on the other arm hole.

stitch in the fold

flip to reverse and fold over

Now that the bias tape is secure, fold it over, pin it again, and sew it all the way around to enclose the edge of the fabric.  Make sure you sew as close to the edge of the bias tape (where it meets the fabric) as possible.  Ta-Da!  You are almost done!!!

armhole complete

Final step – make the casing for the tie at the top.  Just like you hemmed the bottom of the dress press the top edges 1/4 inch and then to make a casing fold fabric 1 inch up and press.  Pin that into place and sew along the folded edge.

Form casing for neckline

Completed Neckline

You can now take either your ribbon or your bias tape and put a safety pin at one end.  Be sure you have burned the ends of your ribbon first to prevent fraying. (If using bias tape, sew up the open side).

Sew open side of bias tape

Feed the safety pin through your casing openings.  You can either do one in front and one in back for ties on each shoulder OR you can do one long tie and go through the front and back tying the tie on one shoulder only.

Feed strap through casing

finished ties

And there you have it!  An adorable pillowcase dress fit for a princess to wear!

completed dress

Be sure to check back next week for a tutorial on how to add the coordinating panel of fabric along the bottom and make our own tie using that same coordinating fabric!

 

Father’s Day Gift Basket {Free Printable Tags}

My dad loves candy so any gift that involves sweets is always a hit.  Last year I made my husband, father-in-law and dad Hero Kits with all sorts of super hero munchies.  The year prior to that I washed out glass soda bottles and filled them with little candies and nuts and decorated the box that the 6 pack came in {can you believe that I didn’t take pictures of the completed projects!!!}

So this year I decided it was a safe bet to continue with that theme for my dad and my hubby as well.  I went a bit overboard for my hubby and ended up splitting all his goodies into 2 baskets, one from the boys and then one from me!

Father's Day Gift basket

I got the printable for my dad in the frame from A Proffittable Life.

It was just perfect since the very first saying is “You make a better door than you do a window”!  That is something I heard SO many times growing up and I smile when my dad says it to my boys now.

Now you can get a look at all the goodies I have packed into the basket for my husband.  See why I had to split it into two baskets!  For my hubby I got the printable from Pink Ink Doodle.  It describes my man perfectly!

Hubby Goodies

Candy and the saying that goes with it:

Peanut M&M’s – You are anything but PLAIN

Red Vines – You are an ORIGINAL!

Honey Roasted Nuts – We are NUTS about you!

Jelly Bellies – We love when you tickle our bellies

Swedish Fish – You are of-FISH-ally the best!

Sour Patch Kids – Sorry our attitudes are SOUR sometimes.

Whoppers – You’re a WHOPPER of a Dad

Extra gum – For all the EXTRA things you do

Reeces Peanut Butter Cups – A CUP for a KING

Starburst – You’re a STAR, Dad

Snickers – You know how to make us SNICKER

Milky Way – You’re out of this WORLD

Twix – From your 4 boys

3 Musketeers – From your 4 MUSKETEERS

AW Rootbeer – You are AW-some

Mt. Dew – Thanks for all you DEW

Now you can print your very own and create a basket of goodies for the man (men) in your life!  ENJOY

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FREE Father’s Day Tag PRINTABLE

Father’s Day is almost here!

I have been busy lately working on Father’s Day gifts for my hubby. A while ago I saw an adorable shirt and onesie combo that was probably made for a new daddy. Immediately I knew I just had to craft up something similar for my husband and boys.

So with my Gypsy in hand I began to design up shirts of my very own. I made the front say “I make ADORABLE boys” and then each of the boys had a matching shirt that just says “ADORABLE boy”. For the backs I wanted them to look something like a jersey so I put daddy and the boys names across the back with numbers on the back (1-4 for the boys and 00 for Daddy). The Cricut font cartridges I used were Varsity letter and Cutting Up. For the word adorable I made a layer to make it stand out and cut that in gold. Father's Day shirts teaser

Here is a sneak peek!  What do you think???  Be sure to check back for the after shots with all my boys in their matching shirts!

Also I will have another quick and simple Father’s Day present available for you tomorrow (It’s my present for my dad and for my hubby – from the boys).  It is super easy to throw together yet is always a hit!

In the Summertime…

Summer is here and school is out! {YAY}  The boys would love endless hours of TV or video games, mama finds that boring.  While I love summer and the fact that things have GREATLY slowed down in our lives, I also know that I will soon begin hearing a phrase I dread – “I’m bored!”

TV

Well, not in this house! Not this summer!  For the first time in the past 3 summers, I am not pregnant nor do I have a newborn! That means we can have a lot more fun {because mama doesn’t have to be in a completely air conditioned environment with her feet up drinking gallons of water}.

So for the past several weeks I have been compiling ideas for summer fun.  My Summer Fun board on Pinterest is growing each day with ideas for indoor and outdoor silliness.  Several sites right now also have great “round-up” type posts LOADED with fun ideas to entertain kids of all ages for months.

Here is a great post from Six Sister’s Stuff on 100 things to do with kids this summer!  These ladies have some GREAT ideas that we will definitely be doing!!!

Here is a simple daily schedule that would be super easy to follow from Somewhat Simple.  Definitely going to be following this schedule around here this summer!

summer+schedule

I also found this amazing schedule from Kristen Duke Photography.  It is very easy to manage but sets up some sort of “schedule” for the LONG summer days when the typical schedule of the school year doesn’t have us running all over.

summer-weekly-activity-web

And finally here is a great monthly calendar from Motherhood on a Dime. If you head on over to her Facebook page and “like” it you can find a downloadable calendar with 2 options!  One with daily activities and one with weekly themed activities. Not sure which I will be doing yet but I know I will totally be using some of the ideas she has gathered up!

So what are you planning this summer???  If you are still stumped, you can always make a Summer Activity Jar like I made last summer.  We might even be pulling that out again for some spur of the moment fun when my boys utter the dreaded “B” word {bored}.