Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Crafting Hope with Summer PJ's

I guess I'm kind of on a pajama kick lately, huh?

I've got good reason though.  A few days ago I received an e-mail listing some things that were needed for the county women's shelter. One of those things was summer pajamas for kids.

It just so happened that our June meeting of Crafting Hope is coming up and kids pajamas seemed like a pretty good project for the group.  This pattern was generously donated by Peek a Boo Pattern Shop. It's the Alex and Anna Summer PJ's and this is a size 6.  Fabric used is some pink camo knit I picked up at Vogue in Evanston.  The binding is a heathered grey rib knit that I think I got at Vogue as well.
I sewed this set up as a sample. I always like to have one done for the participants to be able to look at. It also helps me lead people through the steps if I've made the pattern before.

This one is super simple and a really quick sew.  If you are new to sewing with knits this pattern is a great place to start. There is an option to add short sleeves or you can just bind the sleeves like I did. Either option is adorable.
If the Bug's reaction is any indication, they are super comfortable too.

I can't wait to make some more for some very deserving kids.
If you live in the area, Crafting Hope meets on Thursday, June 20th at 6:30 pm at the Nappanee Public Library.  Anyone is welcome to come. All skill levels are invited.  E-mail me and I'll send you details.

If you don't sew but would like to help out, purchased items work just as well!! Here's a list of their current needs, 

  • “Summer” pajamas for children: sizes 6-8, 10-12, 14-16
  •  Boys underwear size 10-12
  •  Women's “summer” sleepwear sizes large, X-large, 2X, and 3X
  • Size 8 women's underwear, briefs

The above items can be dropped off at iFiT, 101 East Hively Ave., Elkhart, IN 46517.
(or you can give them to me and I'll see they get dropped off when we take the pj's)


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pancakes and Pajamas Party Details

The Bug's Birthday party this year had the theme, Pancakes and Pajamas. 

Originally, she requested a sleep over. There was no way I was going to host a sleepover for a bunch of 5 and 6 year olds so we determined that maybe we could just ask everyone to come in their jammies and we'd pretend they'd slept over. She was o.k. with that compromise.
Of course, I made her a special pair of pj's just for the party.
These are made from the Alex and Anna Winter PJ's from Peek a Boo Pattern Shop.
I bought the sparkly knit at JoAnn's back around Christmas time. It was intended for Christmas jammies but I'm glad I changed my mind because it pairs so nicely with the polka dot knit.
(forgive the diamond sticker, that was the Bug's addition, I didn't notice it until later)

Emily needed a pair to coordinate as well--I had that bright idea at 9 pm the night before the party.  I adapted the 18" doll pattern from the Skinny Jeans (also by Peek a Boo) and made a simple dolman tee for the top. The Bug was super surprised and happy to see Emily when she woke up the day of her party.
As guests arrived we had them make cereal necklaces.  
Once everyone got there, we sat down for breakfast.  The menu was pancakes and yogurt parfaits with a whole slew of toppings to pick from.
We had blueberries, strawberries, bananas, walnuts, chocolate chips, granola, coconut, sprinkles and syrup.

Pancakes are one of the Bug's favorite foods. She isn't a fan of traditional birthday cake so this seemed like a good substitute.  I made three batches of pancake batter the night before. It only took about an hour to make all of these before guests arrived.  
If you need to keep pancakes warm, turn your oven on the lowest setting.  Lay the pancakes out flat and in one layer if you can (I had to stack mine). Then cover the stacks with a wet towel to keep the pancakes from getting crispy.  I found this method worked pretty well.
 Fitting six candles in a stack of pancakes is difficult, but it can be done.

While I thought the pancake and parfait topping bar was genius, (I take no credit, I found tons of inspiration for this party on-line) the girls were less than impressed with all of the choices.
For the most part they weren't super adventurous.  I'm not sure if that's just a trait at this age or if they were more excited about presents and playing? But for the most part they were a syrup only bunch. A few tried some strawberries or chocolate chips but that was the extent of it.

Soon it was time for opening presents and games.
I decided we needed at least one party game so I drew up a little girl in a nightgown and we played "Pin the 6 on the pj's".
Going into it, I felt like this idea was totally lame but the girls loved it.
I cut these numbers out of posterboard and then covered them in Washi tape. I love how they are each different and that I found a use form my Washi other than just looking extremely cute displayed in my sewing room.  The different patterns are all actually on the same roll. I believe it was from Target back around Christmas time.
They played a little more and then it was time to head home. The Bug passed out party favors. . . a personalized pillowcase, a book and some markers.
  I found the pillowcases at Wal-Mart. They didn't have enough in any one color. I would have preferred standard white. But instead we went with a mix of colors, white, pink, purple and floral.
The process for making these was simple. I took inventory of all the letters I would need to make 8 pillowcases and then I cut the letters out of double sided fusible web on an Accu-cut die cut machine. It would have cut the fabric too but I wanted to be able to play with fabric scraps and since hauling my scrap bin in to the library to use the die cut machine was out of the question I just cut the webbing. Then I brough the webbing home and applied it to my fabric scraps then cut out the fabric letters by hand using the webbing as my template.  I ironed the letters on and then sewed around each one with a narrow zig zag.  I estimate each one took half an hour start to finish. Not too bad.
And they are super fun! I love that each girl got something special just for them.

All in all it was a super fun party for everyone I think.  My prep ahead of time was minimal and manageable and I didn't have so much organized for them to do during the party that I felt like I couldn't enjoy it. Yes, I think I might be falling into a birthday party groove.

It only took six years.


UPDATE: My Pinterest idea board HERE

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Happy Easter!

I made a set of Easter dresses for a friend's three girls a month or so ago and I've been waiting to share them with you until now. This past Sunday was Easter for those in the Orthodox tradition and these sweet girls had a lovely day for modeling.
Aren't they adorable?
Little sister and middle sister both have dresses made from an adaptation of the Party Dress pattern on The Cottage Home. I added the gathered overlay on the bodice, skirt lining and zippers in the back.
Very similar to the Bug's Easter dress last spring.

Big sister got a slightly different design.  It's the Josie Dress from Jennifer Paganelli's book, Girls' World.
It already had a gathered bodice so no alterations were needed for this pattern other than putting in a skirt lining.

This butterfly fabric is so cute and so springy.  It's very light weight and a bit slippery and stretchy to sew with but it's also surprisingly forgiving.  I bought it from JoAnn's on clearance last spring. I bought all they had around here and then found 4 more yards on eBay so that I'd have plenty for these three dresses.
It was totally worth it.

The Bug still loves to wear her butterfly dress so I hope these little ladies will enjoy theirs for a long time as well!
Happy Easter!