Apr 30, 2012

Birthday Party Ideas

It's always fun to get ideas from reading blogs.  That's usually why we follow blogs, right?  To get ideas and create something of our own. 
As you may have guessed by many of my posts, I am a grandmother.
My daughter Lindsay loves planning parties and is exceptionally good at it :)  This is Charlotte's 2nd birthday.  Sit back and collect some ideas for your next party.  The theme of this party is "bunnies".
Use things you already have (green container and little porcelain bird on basket), buy paper plates, colorful napkins and clear cups and utensils.  
Lindsay embroidered the bunny and put it in a wooden hoop to put on Charlotte's bedroom wall.

Rose lemonade with striped and polka dot paper straws.

The food with Charlotte's name embroidered.  Flowers from the garden.

Young children have simple tastes.....Strawberry sandwiches and honey sandwiches, cut into two hearts with a sandwich cutter.

Let's not forget the peanut butter and jam :)

What little bunny doesn't love carrots and celery sticks in ranch dip?

The most decadent lemon cupcakes I have ever had, little chocolate eggs (Cadbury mini eggs) and more flowers from the garden.

The decoration to the right is a large wooden embroidery hoop with  different colors and prints of ribbon tied on.  See the bunny garland across the mirror?  Cute!!!

Tissue paper decorations bought at the party store, more bunnies and the plastic eggs are from Walmart, strung onto some twine with a needle.  The eggs came with holes in both ends.

Charlotte the birthday girl and her adoring sister Kennedy.

This is the adult food......chicken salad in an avocado half.  The chicken salad is rotisserie chicken with black beans, corn, tomatoes, and tortilla chip pieces.  It was soooooooo good :)

Charlotte received a "Fancy Nancy" outfit and played the part!

I need to mention that Maisie, another one of my cute grand daughters was at her cousin Charlotte's party.  I took lots of photographs and she came up to me as if she was saying "Grammie, is that you behind the camera?  What are you doing Grammie?"

"Is that really you Grammie?  Let me see....."

It's cupcake time Charlotte!!!  Love the individual cupcake holder.

Did you remember me telling you that those lemon cupcakes were yummy?

Every party needs some games.  All the kids are paying attention, it's the memory game.

I hope you were able to get some ideas for your next party :)

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Charlotte's Princess Dress

I made Charlotte a princess dress for her second birthday.
I went to JoAnn's and bought the sparkliest fabric I could find!

The dress was very yellow, so I added some color and added a fabric flower.  You can find the tutorial here.  I also bought a trim at JoAnn's that is 1" wide elastic covered in yellow sequins.  I made a headband and attached another fabric flower.  Charlotte has the perfect hairdo for an elastic headband.

Fast forward to Charlotte's birthday.  All princesses must have glass slippers.  She is squeezing them onto her feet.....not really!  Real princesses fit their glass slippers perfectly!!!

Isn't it cute how she holds the dress up to see if it fits?  It looks like she has had a lot of practice :)

Oh thank you Grammie, I love it!!!

There's nothing like a little Princess music to set the tone!

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Apr 27, 2012

Maisie's Easter Dress

Isn't Maisie cute?  She looks adorable in her Easter dress.  She is 21 months old and is very tall for her age.  Maisie's face lights up when she smiles, and she has matching dimples.

Maisie has more news, she is going to be a big sister.

The dress is long, it looks more old fashioned that way.  With all the work it takes to pleat, smock and construct the dress, it is nice if it fits for a while!   It was a lot of fun taking photographs of all the steps it took to construct this dress.  Thanks for reading about it.

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Apr 25, 2012

Constructing Maisie's Easter Dress, Part 3

I'm getting close to finishing this dress. The sash is attached, the side seams are sewn in a french seam, now I need to add the sleeves.  Sometimes that is the most difficult part of the process.

This is the sleeve, there are two basting stitches sewn along the top and the bottom.

I didn't photograph a few steps....sorry....I sewed pipin to one side of each cuff and folded the other side of the cuff under 5/8" and pressed.  I gathered up the bottom of the sleeve to fit the cuff, and sewed along the stitching line.

This is the right side of the sleeve.  The piping shows right at the seam line, thank goodness!  I hate ripping stitches out, although I keep my handy Clover seam ripper by my side.  I do use it from time to time :)

I turned the cuff lining to the wrong side of the sleeve and pinned it in place.  Notice the french seam on the sleeve?  I love them because they are pretty and there is no raw edge.

I handstitched the cuff lining to the sleeve using a blindstitch.

I pull up the gathers at the top of sleeve and pin the sleeve to the armhole, adjusting the gathers to fit.  I sewed all the way around and finished the raw seam with a zig zag stitch to keep the seam from fraying.

I folded the bottom of the dress under l/4" and pressed the seam.  Then I turned up the hem 5".  It is customary on these old fashioned dresses, to have a deep hem.  It gives the dress weight and is also practical because you can let the hem down as the child grows.  The dress is finished!!!

Here is a close up of the dress, just like the ones I used to wear as a little girl.

Here is the back of the dress, I sewed four buttonholes.  My sewing machine has an automatic buttonholer so it wasn't too difficult.

This is what the sash looks like tied in a big beautiful bow!

I made a slip for the dress because the fabric is a little see through.  I have made so many of these slips, I also make them for nighties.

The neck and armhole seams are finished by sewing on the lace and enclosing the seam with a zig zag stitch.

The back of the slip has a placket and is attached with two buttonholes and buttons.

On Friday, I will show you what Maisie looked like in her Easter dress :)  I saved the best for last!!!

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Apr 23, 2012

Constructing Maisie's Easter Dress, Part 2

This is the second of a three part post.  I just felt that there were too many pictures to put on this post at one time.  
Now that the front smocked skirt is attached to the front yoke, it is time to cut the pleating threads.  If the threads are cut before the smocked skirt is attached to the yoke, the pleats will relax and will be very difficult to attach.  The pleats won't stay taught, they will go to the left and the right and won't look nice.

Pulling out the threads is exciting because you can see what the smocking really looks like!

It is time to attach the front yoke lining.  I pin it down on the back with my "extra fine" needles that I love so much.

I handstitch the lining to the front skirt using a blind stitch.

The piping is lined up along the top row of the smocking, perfect!

Notice how the yoke in the front is high and the bodice in the back is low?  Well, the dress pattern tells you exactly how many rows to smock according to the size.  The bottom of the smocking matches the bottom of the back bodice.  There is an option to smock the back of the dress also.  In that case, you would use a high yoke in the back instead of a low bodice.

Now I machine baste the two layers of fabric together around the armhole.

The next step is to attach the sashes to the side seams.  The bottom of the sash should be touching the seam that joins the back bodice to the skirt.  The top of the sash should be just the seam allowance under the armhole.  The seam allowance is 5/8".  I form a pleat in the sash facing downward so that the sash fits.  It also gives the sash a nicer look.

I always sew a french seam when I am sewing this dress pattern.  It encloses the seam and is so easy to do.  It does take an extra step though.  I sew the side seams wrong sides together, with a l/4" seam.  It looks like the seam will show on the right side of the dress.  I trim the seam to 1/8" and press it to the side.  
Then I turn the dress so that the right sides are together.  I pin the side seam again, and sew a 3/8" seam.  

Press and you have a french seam, as easy as that!

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