Queen Elsa Costume

We have entered the world of pretend play – specifically, princess pretend play. And if you didn’t know, there’s a new favorite princess in town – Queen Elsa from Frozen. It was only a matter of time before Grace begged for a costume:


It’s not an exact replica, but it hits the necessary point: Sparkly.

5 2014 240

Beautiful royal cape.

5 2014 241

And sturdy enough to climb the North Mountain.

5 2014 246

Best of all, it was completely free. I received the aqua fabric at a swap a couple years ago. I have no idea where it originally came from but it is so sparkly. I flipped it to the reverse for the skirt to better imitate Elsa’s dress. The white tulle cape is left over from a tutu. It’s a rounded rectangle, gathered at one end and top stitched into place along the lower elastic casing line. I made a size 5 which is pretty huge, on purpose – Grace can take it off and on all by herself and her regular clothes still fit underneath.

She spent all morning spinning in circles, “making snow” and singing at the top of her adorable preschool lungs:

“The cold never bothered me anyway!”



Pattern: Perfect Peasant Dress from Peek-a-boo patterns

Fabric: Aqua fabric of unknown fiber content with foil on one side. White sparkle tulle.

A huge thank you to my awesome husband! He did all the Photoshop art on these pictures. Isn’t that snow landscape fantastic?! I love being married to a graphic designer!

Me Made May Days 13-21

Hi friends! Are you still wearing what you make? It’s still Me Made May for another week and a half!

After realizing some huge gaps in my wardrobe, I broke a rule – I’ve got fabric on order to make myself at least 3 more things. I rationalize they’re things I’ve been talking about making for a while, but really? I’m addicted to buying fabric.

I’m a fabricaholic on the road to recovery. Just kidding – I’m on the road to the fabric store.

I didn’t take as many pictures this week-plus, due to many of the outfits being repeats. I broke out my maxi dress from Day 1 again, and I’ve stopped counting how many times I’ve worn the pink tee from Day 2. It’s hands-down my favorite piece of clothing, me-made or purchased. I’m making 2 more tees from this pattern (Liesl + Co Metro) once the fabric arrives in a few days.

I’m only posting photos of unique outfits before, but I only took 2 cheat days this posting period. I’m well within my challenge commitment!

May 13 – Tuesday

5 2014 182

This tiered skirt has been around for over four years. It’s super soft denim. I used a long-lost petticoat tutorial (different computer and pre-Pinterest – whatever did we do!) to stitch it up. Simple, kind of boring, just right for a rainy indoor chore day.

May 16 – Friday

5 2014 183

Running errands with my butterfly princes. Yet another styling of my pink Metro t-shirt. This skirt is a purchase but I have fabric on order to make an exact copy.

May 20 – Tuesday

5 2014 184

At home day. It’s the first day it’s been really hot around here, so I broke out my purple interlock Lady Skater dress (first blogged here). I love how this dress looks kind of elegant and pulled together… but really, it’s cotton knit and more comfy than most pajamas. If I had left the house I would have thrown on a skinny belt (and shoes, obviously), but the farthest I went was the back yard. Where it was hot. So no accessories today!

May 21 – Wednesday

5 2014 189

Hey look, what’s that? Yet another outfit combination using the pink Metro tee? And no one is surprised! This shirt may not make it past Me Made May, as much as I’ve been wearing it.

Ten days left to go. I had one more unique outfit, but I wore it to church and ended up spilling coffee before snapping a picture. I’ll add it in on the next post if I remember. Hopefully my fabric package will arrive in the next couple days, too – As much as I love the pink tee, it’s time for variety!  One last laugh for you, as I’ve pondered how little my fabric stash actually has in common with what I feel most comfortable wearing:



Me Made May Days 6-12

Several more days of Me Made May! This has been a fun challenge, thinking through what I’ve made vs. what I actually wear. I’m working on my summer to-sew list now to build my wardrobe more efficiently. Basically? More basics! I don’t live a fancy life; I need more casual every day clothes. I wear the same things over and over and over again. I also don’t like to look homemade. So I need to make more mix and match pieces to combine with my ready-to-wear purchases. I still have 2 skirts and 2 dresses in the closet that haven’t been worn yet; they’re all out of quilter’s cotton so I’m not sure they’ll actually make it out. I’m coming to appreciate things made out of real apparel fabric – the results are much more professional.

May 6 – Tuesday

5 2014 064

At home play day. Self drafted quilters cotton skirt and a purchased tee. I love this skirt, but it’s getting too big. I may modify it to run elastic through the waist. It’s a cute drop waist skirt with a big gore in the front for drape and movement… none of which you can see in this picture!

May 7 – Wednesday

5 2014 068

Simplicity 1810, made last summer and blogged here. Worn with a purchased jean jacket. I wear this dress all. the. time.

May 8 – Thursday

5 2014 178

I had meetings and lunch with friends today, so I grabbed my most purchased-looking clothes… but they’re all me made! The shirt is Liesl + Co Women’s Metro Tee (details here, about halfway down the page) and my upcycled thrift store skirt (details in the same place)

May 9 – Friday

Skip day 🙂 It’s been a crazy busy week and I just threw on purchased jeans and a tank to celebrate surviving to Friday!

May 10 – Saturday

5 2014 180

New Look 6184, blogged here. My denim jacket and wide belt are getting quite the work out this Me Made May! They really pull a look together. We spent the day shopping in Saint Louis for my daughter’s birthday.

May 11 – Sunday

5 2014 173

For church I wore my pink and gray dress, shown above. Then after I changed into Butterick 5644 (details here) with purchased jeans. I don’t really like this top. The bodice is a little too short and the tunic is a little too long. But it’s linen and cool which is good since all the sudden it’s hot and humid around here.

May 12 – Monday

5 2014 177

Liesl + Co Metro Tee paired with New Look 6100 shorts (blogged here). This pink tee is such a favorite! I’ve worn it, what, 3 times in 12 days?! Definitely making more of these! The Riley Blake knit I sewed it from is heavenly. The shorts however are not a favorite. When will I learn to not trust the sizing on purchased patterns? They’re just funny… too big pretty much everywhere, except at the center back seam, which gives me a wedgie. But they work, and it’s hot again. I need to find a shorts pattern I actually like to make it through the summer.

Almost half way through Me Made May 2014! I’m really enjoying this challenge to reflect and actually PLAN what to sew, instead of just hodge podge making what strikes me at the moment. Want to see what others are wearing? Visit the Me Made May Flickr Pool 🙂

Bug’s Third Birthday {Kid’s Choice}

My sweet baby is THREE! When did that happen?! This year her birthday lined right up with the Kid’s Choice series hosted by Elegance & Elephants. Basically, the idea is to let your kid choose what she wants you to sew – pattern, fabric, embellishments, everything. So for this year’s birthday, Gracie got to choose.

5 2014 116

Let me tell you something about this sweet child. She has got a fashion OPINION. Her all time favorite outfit is a black and white polka dot dress decorated with neon butterflies. With floral tights underneath. She refuses to wear pants and t-shirts for some unknown reason. I wish I’d gotten a video of her excitement when I asked her what she wanted me to sew for her. “Lady bugs. RED ONES! And polka dots! And zig zags! And circle pockets! And LADY BUGS! And a dress! And and and and!” At which point she got distracted and wandered off singing something completely unrelated.

Alright, Baby. You ask, I deliver:

5 2014 112

The pattern is Simplicity 2269. I picked it up last year on one of Joann’s dollar sale days. It’s super cute! I love the neckline (though it was a little tricky to sew…). I made minor modifications: length (always…), rick rack trim on the sleeves (Grace’s request for zig zags), and plastic snaps instead of buttons on the back. Lately buttons have been catching her hair and that always leads to drama.

5 2014 100

(She’s smelling the tulip, if you couldn’t tell)

A dear friend and I were discussing age appropriate clothes a while back and we both mentioned how much we love this pattern. It’s so sweet and childlike; not miniature adult clothing. We’re toying with the idea of a sew along – the neckline can be a little tricky and photos would definitely help! Other than the neckline it’s a very easy sew, meaning even beginners could jump in. Next time I want to do the neat 2 part bubble sleeves. If you might be interested in a sew along of Simplicity 2269, would you please comment on this post?

5 2014 139

She’s thrilled. Even though I didn’t get circle pockets on, the rest of her requests made it on the dress. We were in the store for all of a minute before she zeroed in on the green lady bug fabric. I was glad to give her just what she wanted for her birthday.

5 2014 110

Oh, and the dolly! Her big gift from us this year was one Bitty Twin. I wanted the baby with hair, but American Girl only sells them as twins! Grace doesn’t need TWO expensive dolls (especially since she has no interest in a boy doll – I asked) so I split a set with a good friend. Now the girls have matching dolls 😀

5 2014 104

What kind of mommy would I be if the yet-unnamed dolly didn’t have a matching dress?! She’s super fashionable in the Tea Party Sundress from Little Things to Sew. The only modification was to switch the hem facing to the outside, to better match Grace’s dress. I’m one step closer to completing the challenge to sew through the book! I’m starting to think I might not make it all the way, but I’m not giving up yet.

I’m linking up to Kid’s Choice! You can see the other creations here!

Elegance & Elephants

Me Made May Days 1-5 {With new clothes!}

It’s Me Made May, where seamstresses commit to wearing clothing they’ve made throughout the month. My pledge and more information are here. I’m going to do summary posts every handful of days through out the month. I’m excited to post days 1-5! I love this opportunity to be creative with my wardrobe, finding the right outfit combinations to use each of the pieces I’ve spent time and effort making over the past couple years.

May 1

5 2014 001

Lady Skater maxi modification, originally blogged here

Not super interesting, but definitely comfortable! I paired it with a cardigan and a wide belt for a busy day at class and babysitting.

May 2

metro tWomen’s Metro T-Shirt from Liesl + Co (with purchased jeans and sweater)

I’ve been wanting to make my own tees for a while. Most of the ones I can find in stores are too short, too tight, too not right for me. As a result, I don’t have many. When this pattern released a few weeks ago I knew it would only be a matter of time before I owned it. The time is now! I sewed this top on the 1st – it pulled together super quickly. I made 2 shirts from start to finish (including taping the pattern together!) between when my daughter went to bed and when I did. This version is made with zero modifications using a 95% cotton 5% lycra knit available here. I could tweak the fit ever so slightly but honestly? I probably won’t – this is the most comfortable tee I’ve ever worn. We spent all day on the 2nd in the car driving. This was after 10 hours going from central Illinois to eastern Tennessee and I look a little rumpled but the shirt didn’t stretch out funny at all (like some do… cough, old navy, cough…)

May 3

5 2014 062

Skirt – self drafted circle skirt with elastic waist. Top – Women’s Metro T-Shirt, modified

Today was wedding day for my dear cousin Erika and her new husband Ken. And it’s a double Me-Made day for me! The ceremony was just beautiful, out on my aunt and uncle’s farm. We had lots of walking to do through the beautiful Smoky Mountains to get to the various parts of the day with a grand finale of swing dancing in the barn. I needed something both beautiful and simple; the right balance between fancy and casual; easy to wear and fun for dancing!

wedding dads

What could be better for swing dancing than a chiffon circle skirt? NOTHING, in my opinion! Light weight and swingy and pretty much perfect. And it moves in such a way that you can’t tell the hem is so not straight. I hemmed each layer before attaching them together. Major no-no on a circle skirt but my time was seriously limited. Will I go back and fix it? Probably not. LOL! Top layer is a floral print chiffon lined with a super light weight polyester.

The top is the Metro tee pattern again, the 2nd shirt I sewed up on May 1st. This time I was using a remnant of fabric I’d picked up somewhere along the way. It’s actually a woven, but it has a fair bit of stretch in it due to the crinkle texture, so I used it anyway. I modified the neckline to be a pretty scoop and slightly shortened the sleeves and hem so that all the pieces would fit on my slightly less than a yard of fabric. I used a favorite shirt of mine to free hand cut the new neckline. The pictures don’t show it well but up close, the white tee is semi sheer and has a lot of texture, so this plain white t-shirt really isn’t!

May 4

I wore all purchased clothes today, because we were making the return trip which for some reason took even longer than the trip down. Must be because we were all so tired from dancing all night.

May 5

5 2014 063

Skirt: Upcycled. Everything else is purchased

This hardly counts as Me-Made, but I’m using it anyway! This khaki skirt was a thrift store find several years ago. It sat around in my closet for ages. I liked the idea of the skirt, but when I first bought it, it was such an awkward length. I’m not sure where it was designed to hit, but on me it was about as unflattering as a skirt could be. So a few months ago I hacked several inches off the bottom and hemmed it to be just above knee length. It gets worn all the time now. Here’s a before shot from earlier in the winter:

10 2013 127

Be sure to check out the Flickr group to find more inspiration of clothing people have made and actually wear! I think that’s my favorite part about this whole challenge – seeing how other seamstresses integrate their creations into their wardrobes. I love the blend of home made / modified and purchased garments. It inspires me and motivates me to keep sewing!