Tuesday, December 29, 2015

It Was The Night Before Christmas


I can't always make Cordelia happy, and mostly I have accepted this. This was a really hard semester of school for me and unfortunately for her as well. I had to spend a lot of time studying to keep up, which meant that I spent less time focusing on Cordelia and she spent much more time clinging to me with all her might. Because it was such a crazy semester I did my best to cut down my Christmas crafting, I still did a little bit, but compared to years before it was really minimal.  



One afternoon while I was working on one of the few projects I had,  Cordelia came up to my desk and said "Mommy, are you making my Christmas dress?" surprised I said "no sweetie, I actually wasn't going to make you a Christmas dress this year because there aren't many more days until Christmas" and Cordelia said "but mommy, I love love my Christmas dress, you always make me one, you have to make me one please"....so on Christmas Eve I turned to my trusty Bella Sunshine Designs Coffee Shop Lace Dress and made a Christmas dress, well and a matching doll dress- but I have no pictures of it! 



I know there is nothing "christmasy" about this dress, no winter scenes, no red and green- but if it's made to be worn on Christmas it totally counts in my book! 



My sister picked up this cat fabric (part of the Hello Petal collection, designed by Aneela Hoey for Moda) in two color waves because we can't resist a good cat print and she suggested this would be a good opportunity to use it for a dress for Cordelia. 



The dark pink cat fabric has a fun bright teal accent color that I picked up in the piping and the buttons- I love a good button back dress. 




The only change I made to the Coffee Shop Dress pattern was that I more than doubled the amount of fabric in the skirt to make it extra full and extra twirly! The dress went over really well with Cordelia, and it was sure worth the time it took to make it! 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas


Guys, I cannot believe that today is Christmas, This year has gone by soo quickly! I am happy to report that while 2015 was a stressful year that it was also full have happiness, laughter, and Love. This year for our Holiday photos Brendon suited up in my fathers very first Santa Costume. My dad dressed up as Santa for over 25 years and it was wonderful to still get a picture with a family Santa this year even though my dad isn't up to dressing up anymore.  







I hope you all are having a very Merry Christmas, and that you are all happy and safe- we are off to the Grandparents now! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Is It Christmas Yet?

Christmas in a flower dress
I cannot believe it's December already? It seems like a cliche to say so- but where has the year gone? Despite the title of the post, I am really not ready for Christmas. I have two exams, and two finals to survive before I can relax. However, with a very excited four year old in the house, up went the Christmas tree and up went the small amount of decorations that we have.

Christmas in a flower dress
She is incredibly excited for Christmas day, she keeps telling me she wants it to be tomorrow. I have a feeling this month will flash before our eyes! 

Christmas in a flower dress
Cordelia and Brendon picked out a nice tiny four foot tree on Monday that is very proportional to our living room (last year we picked a beautiful giant one that was kind of in the way) and Cordelia and I set it up last night. 

Christmas in a flower dress
As we decorated the tree she pulled out each ornament, she told me about the ones she remembered, she matched like ornaments together, she told stories about ones she didn't remember, and she introduced the ones that didn't have pairs to "friends". It took forever to get the tree up and I was totally overwhelmed, but it was worth it. 

Christmas in a flower dress
This morning She woke me up super early and super energetic, and fully dressed in dress she wore last year for our Christmas cards. She told me we had to take pictures in front of the tree, with the cat, just like last year- because that's part of Christmas!The cat was more cooperative last year, so I have a feeling we will try this again later. It is hard to get a picture with both of them still! 

Christmas in a flower dress
I am really impressed that Cordelia remembers last year- I am always startled by what she remembers, especially as her memory gets sharper and longer. 


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Paneled Sunsuit- Totally Not Just a Sunsuit

Paneled Jumpsuit Pattern, with Sleeves

I love that the Paneled Sunsuit pattern by Call Ajaire is the pattern that keeps on giving. When I first signed up to be a tester it was just a sunsuit/ jumpsuit, then she added a jumper and maxi dress to the pattern. Then she showed us how to make it into separates! Top, pants, shorts, skirt, maxi skirt! Now she has even added sleeves- making it perfect for all seasons! You can download the sleeves for free here. 

Paneled Jumpsuit Pattern, with Sleeves

Now is perfect time to check out the pattern because Ajaire is having a pattern tour- you should see the great combinations, and awesome pattern hacks that all of the contributors are showing! It's very inspiring! AND during the tour you can get any of her patterns at a discount!

Paneled Jumpsuit Pattern, with Sleeves

I made my top out of a light weight navy cotton sateen and paired it with a cute purple with multi color polka dot fabric. I have a thing for complete outfits, so I jumped at the chance to try out the trouser view of the pattern to make some joggers out of the same navy fabric.  

Paneled Jumpsuit Pattern, with Sleeves

I love the details in this pattern- like the self piping on the pocket! My one disappointment with these pants is the fact that this navy fabric is the most wrinkly fabric ever! I ironed and ironed them and as soon as she moved they wrinkled! SO- sorry for the wrinkly photos ;-) 

Paneled Jumpsuit Pattern, with Sleeves

Another great thing about this pattern is that the shirt view can be reversible! Cordelia really liked the fact it is two shirts in one. She prefers the purple side while I prefer the navy- go figure. 

Paneled Jumpsuit Pattern, with Sleeves

I made a size 4 in the pattern, but instead of cutting the shirt as a crop top I added about four inches and eased it out to be kinda a-line. I think it makes a nice, comfortable, relaxed fall and winter top. 

Paneled Jumpsuit Pattern, with Sleeves

The add on is a breeze to sew and has one of the most interesting ways of finishing the sleeve hem and inside I have ever seen. I kept looking at it  while I was sewing it thinking "what in the world have I gotten myself into- this is never going to work!" but it sure did- and it worked soo well! So just follow the instructions! They are nice, easy, and well illustrated. 

Paneled Jumpsuit Pattern, with Sleeves

Cordelia has been all about having clothing for Baby Ella so I made her an outfit to match- including little joggers. Do you guys ever make matching doll clothing when you sew for your kids? I'm finding it kind of addicting- they go together really easily and it makes Cordelia really giggly. 

Paneled Jumpsuit Pattern, with Sleeves

This picture makes me pretty giggly. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all take a second to check out the pattern tour - really amazing stuff going over there! And don't forget to download the free sleeve add on! 


Thursday, August 27, 2015

I Am Not Perfect, But I Am Enough, And So Are You

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Some days I walk around feeling an incredible weight on my chest- but maybe it's not really a weight- sure the feeling is heavy, but maybe it's more like a pressure or a squeezing. So lets start again...

Some days I feel like my heart is being squeezed- but not a good squeeze like a hug at the end of the day, a squeeze that makes it hard to feel like you have the ability to breathe, or stand up straight. 

I fear that if I stop to consider the painful feeling in my chest it would swallow me whole.  So I don't stop- I go through the motions. I wake up, exercise, eat, go to work, smile, make small talk, but every moment is hard- every moment is filled with the deliberate intention to keep going. No matter how hard I try to keep smiling it never makes it any easier to breath around the pain in my chest.

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 But some days it's worse, some days I don't feel anything. Some days it's a struggle to even think about getting out of bed, some days the act of smiling and functioning makes me want to run and hide in the bathroom or turn around and go back to bed. Some days I wish I could cry because that would at least be better then the empty feeling inside. These days are worse, these days I would often rather feel pain then keep on feeling empty. These days are the days I have to move a little slower, work a little harder to try my best to take in the moments I should feel grateful for. These are the days I remind myself to ask for help, to be ok with talking about it.  

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Depression is not a new companion of mine, but in a way I think it is one that has changed its face many times. When I was a teenager he was self absorbed- fed by feelings of loneliness and the feelings of being misunderstood. In my early 20's he developed more complexity as the notion that my depression and self injury hurt the people around me just as much as it hurt me. Now as a mother my depression has taken a new face once again- one that is a little harder to manage. 

Cordelia's Halloween Birthday PArty

Life is much more complex as a mother. It is an awe inspiring, heavy responsibility to mean soo much to someone soo little. My first spell of depression as a mother happened when she was about three months old. I felt like a failure, the despair was soul crushing, I felt unfit to be part of something so perfect and precious. I resisted getting help because I felt like it was a great flaw in my being and I was irrationally petrified that someone would see me as unfit to raise my little girl and take her from me. 




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I have great fear about how my struggle with depression- and anxiety, affects Cordelia. Will I really be able to teach her to be healthy and happy when I struggle with it so much? The feelings of self doubt and guilt over moments you feel you might have wasted can eat you alive if you don't fight them. 

At the end of the day I know I am the only mother she has, and I know that I can keep fighting to be the best mother I can be. And I am lucky to have such a strong supportive partner to keep reminding me of this.  

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The alternating periods of pain in my heart, and feelings of numbness come and go. Sometimes for weeks or months at a time, and I don't know the answers to how to make things better. All I know how to do is keep going, keep coping, keep fighting.  I guess the point of me writing all of this- of sharing all of these feelings with you, is so I can say that we are all struggling, we are all doing the best that we can, and it's going to be ok. 

In a world of social media it's easy to only share the good, the pretty, or the funny- and to leave out the real struggles we each are going through, but I think that we need to spend more time talking about the way things really are. Depression is your mind telling you the same lies over and over again. Depression tells you that you will never be happy, that you will never be good enough, or strong enough, that you will never just be enough. When we think we are the only ones struggling  I think we begin to believe these lies. I am taking this time to say- I am not perfect, but I am enough. And you are too. 


Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Bella Sunshine Designs, Coffee Shop Dress

Bell Sunshine Design Coffee Shop Dress

I had the really great time pattern testing for Melissa of Bella Sunshine Designs  - and I am really excited to tell you all about it! In fact, I am about as excited as Cordelia is in this picture. 

Bell Sunshine Design Coffee Shop Dress

When I saw the call for testers for the Coffee Shop Dress my mind started whirling with all of the possibilities that this dress offers. As I sat down to pull fabric I had  the hardest time deciding on where to start because I had pulled fabric for at least four different dresses! (I can't wait to go back to make the others) For my test dress I decided to go with two little flower prints in rust and orange- I'm itching for fall, and this just felt totally fall-ish to me. In the end I also love it because it reminds me of Felicity- and who wouldn't a dress that looks like our favorite fictional Colonial girl. 

BSD coffee shop dress

The Coffee Shop Dress can be made in sizes 12 months to a girls 12, giving it a great size range. It is designed for woven fabric and perfect for that lace trim you have been hording forever (or is that just me who hoards sewing notions?). The dress can me made with short or long sleeves which is great too- I don't have a ton of kids sleeved patterns in my stash so this was great to add to the collection. 

BSD coffee shop dress

I love a versatile pattern but to me the best part of this pattern is the instructions. An easy chart is included telling you exactly which pages need to be printed for your size and view- allowing you to save paper and ink printing! There is also an option for printing in layers so you can print just your size- making it a lot easier to cut out.  Sewing this pattern I learned a great new way to attach lace to a hem (it looks soo much cleaner then the way I was doing it before) and another great way to sew the lining inside of the dress (I love learning new things, don't you?)

BSD coffee shop dress

And if my rave review isn't enough to convince you- it's also on sale until the 26th! Check it out here. 


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Heaven Seems A Little Closer At The Beach

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I almost published this post with out any words at all. I am not sure there are words in the English language that explains the feeling of peace I get when I sit on the sand and listen to the waves. 

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When I was a kid I my parents took us to the beach for two weeks every year. I always had so much fun making sand castles, covering people in the sand, running in the waves, and swimming. I never quite understood my mom sitting in her lounge chair, under the beach umbrella, just sitting- not running about, not even really getting in the water. I thought she was kinda nuts. She always told me she just loved the sound of the water. Maybe it's part of my never ending journey to be more like my mother, but I think I now totally understand that peace she felt. That calm. That quiet. Well the quiet until one of the kids or my Dad complained about needing food, or having too much sand in their swim suit, or something.

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For Cordelia's birthday we took her on her first trip to the Ocean. We visited and stayed with two of our good friends and the weekend was full of good food, ocean sand, zoo trips, and great laughs, It was the perfect trip, and I had been under soo much stress with school that it was amazing to have a break- and to have that break be soo much fun! 

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This trip was a long time in the making. I probably can't count the number of times our friends have invited us to visit- or the number of times we have said "yeah that would be awesome, maybe this year". Additionally, when I was 9 months pregnant I was so tired and stressed and on my way to a check up I was almost kept driving- I was determined to take myself to the beach. I talked myself out of it and Brendon promised to take me that weekend... but then the Dr put me on bed rest. Four years later we finally made it. 

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and it was sure worth the wait.






Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Paneled Sun suit Pattern: Review


Hi guys! I know it's been a little quiet on the blog front but I sure have been busy sewing! I am thrilled to share some of that sewing with you today. 

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I don't sew from patterns much, but when I saw that Call Ajaire was calling for testers for her new sunsuit pattern I jumped at the opportunity. I had seen a couple versions Ajaire had made on Instagram and they were just soo stinking cute! 

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One of the best parts about this pattern is just how versatile it is. In one pattern you can make a sun suit, jumpsuit, short dress, maxi dress, pants, shorts, top, and a skirt. That is a ton of options, am I right!?! And- all of the instructions are super detailed and beautifully illustrated. 

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The Paneled Sun Suit pattern was so fun to sew I ended up making three versions of it- starting with the jumpsuit view. I used a thicker gauze like fabric, so even though it's pants its comfortable to wear in the current hot weather (and it offers some protection from the rotten mosquitoes).  The pattern features elastic straps, waist and back making it easy to wear and will allow it to be worn for longer (because kids just grow soo fast)

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In addition to the multiple styles you can make with this pattern it also has three different pocket options. You can choose no pocket, a plain pocket, or a self piped pocket. For the jumpsuit I went with a plain pocket and I think start to finish the whole thing took me a little over an hour to sew. 

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The second version I made was the maxi dress version. I always worry about making things too short for Cordelia because she grows soo fast and so I accidentally made this dress a tad too long- but Cordelia loved that it was "super super long like a princess".

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This dress was made from a thrifted vintage sheet with pink vintage rick rack trim at the neck and then blue floral cotton details. This time I tried out the self piped pockets and I love the detail! They were also much easier to sew then I had guessed they might be. 

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I really dig the elastic straps in the Paneled Sun Suit- they seem to make it much more comfortable to wear and in the sun suit and jumpsuit versions it makes it super easy for Cordelia pull it on and off. 

Paneled Sun Suit
I don't want to say this is the final one- because I am sure going to make more Paneled Sun Suits- but for the final view for this post I made the sun suit version. As you all know we run a little geeky in this house and as soon as I started thinking about sewing a shorts version I knew it had to look like Batman. 

Paneled Sun Suit
I feel like we could all fight crime and save Gotham in this, right?

Paneled Sun Suit
Cordelia was the happiest the day we took the Batman photos so I was able to get some good detail shots to show you all the neat bits of this pattern. 

Paneled Sun Suit

Paneled Sun Suit

Paneled Sun Suit
I cannot tell you enough times just how much I love this pattern. It is available exclusively today till Sunday at Up Craft Club, and starting Monday you can purchase it HERE. Also you should totally check out all of the other awesome versions all the wonderful testers made by looking up the hashtag #paneledsunsuit  !