Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring T-Shirt Dresses

Hello again everyone! This poor blog....I've been in kind of a blogging slump lately. But, we're back with a fun addition to spruce up your little girl's spring wardrobe!!

Once you have your simple skirt pattern made and cut out, these dresses are a breeze to put together. I completed both of these dresses (with the exception of the ribbon around the middle) in one afternoon. That's cutting out, sewing, and hemming.

What you need:

*A T-shirt. We used shirts that were a little too short but still fit everywhere else.
*Skirt. I used a circle skirt pattern and cut it out. (Link to pattern below)
*Sewing machine and thread

I used this CIRCLE SKIRT tutorial from Dana at MADE. She gives a great tutorial on how to make your own circle skirt pattern. I am no good at measuring and, SO bad! But Dana does a great job of explaining exactly what you need to measure and exactly how that translates onto paper for a pattern. Perfect!

If you are not wanting a circle skirt, here is a SIMPLE SKIRT tutorial from Dana that could work for this dress also.

Either way, all we are doing is cutting out the skirt portion and sewing it onto the bottom of a T-shirt. We're not even putting any elastic in or anything...really, this is so easy!

Put the T-shirt on your little girl and mark where you want the waist of the dress to fall. I just cut off the bottom hem of the shirt on both girls and that made the waist of the finished dress right at their waist line. If you wanted, you could do a drop waist look and not cut off any part of the shirt. Then the skirt would hang lower, giving it a kind of 1920's, flapper feel...which would be adorable! :)

After you get your shirt to the correct length, pin the bottom edge of it to the inside, top edge of the skirt.

What I did was flip the skirt inside out and fed the t-shirt, right side in, into the top hole of it. Then, I lined up the edges and pinned them all the way around.

This is what the underside looks like:

After it is pinned all the way around, nice and secure, sew along the edge. Then, turn it right side in and hem it to your desired length.

When I completed the dress I wanted to add something a little fancy. So, I sewed ribbon at the waist lines of both of the dresses. I don't think I would suggest doing this, as the dress loses its "give" afterwards. It makes it a little tough for the girls to get the dress off on their own. Next time, I'll either tack  a tie on to the front, or just leave it plain.

I hope this post gives you an idea of how to put this type of dress together. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments area, and I will get back to you! :) Have a wonderful day!!

I am linking this post up to the RAISING HOMEMAKERS blog! Go check out some of the great posts today!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My girls and breakfast

My girls love to make breakfast. They love to help in the kitchen all the time, but breakfast is their favorite time of all.

The other day Sophia came to me asking if she could make breakfast the following morning. After I had agreed to that idea we needed to have a 'secret meeting' so we could talk about her menu plan. It had to be a secret because this whole breakfast thing was a surprise for Emma and Elijah. We planned out the breakfast...she decided to add a twist to her 'specialty', she jumped in bed, and I walked out of the room in awe of the sweet servant's heart that God had given this precious girl. He put that desire there, and it is up to me to cultivate it.

 She made her breakfast, served it to her siblings, and beamed the whole time. It was a delicious breakfast and a wonderful time listening to the compliments of Emma and Elijah and seeing the smiles. Granted, life isn't always this way. We have our share of arguments and spats. But for that morning, Sophia acted on the God-given desire to serve her siblings, and we were all blessed by it.

This is hard to admit, but sometimes, it's hard for me to let my kids help in the kitchen, or do things on their own. My personality naturally is to just 'get things done and move on to the next part of our routine'. But, that isn't nurturing or teaching. I've been thinking about these verses in Titus 2 a lot lately:

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Titus 2:3-5

I know this verse is speaking in regards to older and younger women in the church. But I am among the first 'older women' in my daughter's lives.  They are learning how to live a Christian  life, how to walk, talk, act, and serve from me. The way I speak to their father is the way they will learn to speak to him and their one-day husbands. The way I interact with them and their brothers is the way they will learn to interact with each other and their one-day children. Allowing them to help out in the kitchen is teaching them how to serve others. These young years are so fleeting, but so very important. And even though it may throw the day off schedule by letting Sophia make a special breakfast, or by letting Emma prepare lunch, it is beneficial for them to do it, to learn from their mother. It's what I am called to as their mother and as an older woman in their life.

It may seem like, from reading our blog, all we do is hang out in the kitchen and make yummy things together. While we do do that a lot, it isn't without effort on my part. I continually have to refocus and remember what my job is as a stay at home mom. It's ok to get off schedule every once in awhile, or to take a whole afternoon and just bake or craft or paint or whatever! That's part of the joy of homeschooling! God is working on me, that's for sure, shaking me out of my routine oriented self.

I don't really know why I'm sharing this post. I know it's more for myself than for you. I need to remember that even though having the kids 'help' in the kitchen may not be as much of a help as they mean it to be, they are learning to think of others rather than themselves, and me allowing them to do the simple act of making breakfast is cultivating the sweet spirit of servanthood God put within them.

Sophia's yummy breakfast!

Sophia's Specialty Breakfast

1.Toast a piece of bread.
2.Butter it.
3.Spread peanut butter on top.
4.Cut bananas and put them on top.
5.Put some jelly on top of the bananas. (the special twist she added)

I'm Linking Up!

Good Wednesday morning to you all! I just wanted to share that I'm linking up the Spring Rag Wreath to the lovely RAISING HOMEMAKERS blog today! I was perusing some of the other links...there are over 100 of them, and these are some that caught my eye.

#37. Staying in shape while staying at home
A nice post about some things we stay at home moms can do to stay in shape. Great ideas...I will be putting them into practice!

#49. Grain Free Chocolate Beet Cookies recipe
I saw somewhere else a post about beets this week. I don't like beets. My kids don't like beets. But maybe, just maybe, we can eat them in cookie form. Everything is better in cookie form, right? Well, we shall see. :)

#64. You are not enough
An encouraging post about the fact that we, in an of ourselves, are NOT enough. We need God to perfect our imperfections. I loved this post!

#81. Write your love
A sweet post about writing down, in ink form, a note to those we love.

Settle in with cup of coffee and a (beet!) cookie and be encouraged. Blessings :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Welcome Spring Rag Wreath

Spring is springing away in our neck of the woods! I know the official first day of Spring is March 20, but all of the lovely fruit trees are a-blossoming, the weather is warming, and we're opening the windows and shaking off the winter blues.

Pretty blossoms on our neighbors tree. They reach over the fence and brighten up our yard.
As I was taking down the Valentine's Day decorations, I was thinking of what to put up to brighten up our house and celebrate the change in seasons. Awhile ago I saw a really cute picture of a wreath using fabric scraps and a picture frame. I thought it would be fun to give that idea a try with the girls. This is what we came up with.

We really like it. It's a lot of color for this monochromatic mama. Usually I go for the subtle natural colors: browns, tans, soft greens, etc. But this decoration just screams spring to me, and really brightens up our living room. I guess it's not so much a wreath as it is a wall hanging. I thought of putting it on the door, but didn't have a good way to hang it on there. I may still put it there, but for now, it hangs on our living room wall...and I like it!

It was pretty easy to assemble. The girls and I spent an afternoon (nap time) putting it all together. Here's a quick step by step of what we did.

We used a picture frame, some buttons, baker's twine, and springy fabric for our wreath. We also printed out a Bible verse, Psalm 16:11 "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy...", and a little Welcome Spring sign.

Cut your fabric into strips that are long enough to tie around the frame in a knot and have a little tail and are about  1-2 inches wide. Then start tying. We tied along the bottom and right side of the frame only, but you can do whatever you want!

I think I've said it here before, but, I love watching my children's hands as they work. There is just something about their little hands working, whether it be coloring, drawing, crafting...anything, that  I just really love.

After the scraps are tied to your liking, take a funny frame picture!

Ok, that's optional. But they're cute :)
Trim off the super long pieces of fabric so everything is about the same length.
Now you can glue your buttons on in any way you please. This is why we only tied the fabric around the bottom and right side of the frame. We used a hot glue gun for our gluing purposes.

Next, I printed out the verse and the spring sign and glued them onto some card stock. Then I punched a hole on the sides of the verse, strung some baker's twine through those holes and tied it to the sides of the frame. I tied some more baker's twine to the top of the frame to make a hanger. Then I attached the Welcome Spring sign with some tape, and voila! Spring wreath complete!

I hope you all are enjoying this lovely Monday! Blessings :)