Archive for the ‘daughter’ Category

I’ve made several sets of matching PJs for my son and Husband, but up until this point, V and I didn’t have any matching PJs!  Well, when I made my lavender pajama pants for VBS this year, I had excess fabric– enough to make a pair of pants with V!


Of course, I used my tried-and-true favorite kids’ PJ pants pattern from Blank Slate Patterns, and V sat on my lap to help me sew as I put these together.  I’d found a perfectly coordinating lavender tank top on clearance for $1, and so her outfit was complete in less than an afternoon.


I thought it would be especially fun to have these matching PJs finished in time for our family vacation this year, but I realized that I didn’t have a great top to wear… until I remembered that I’d also found a $2-on-clearance 3XL men’s T-shirt in the exact same lavender, intending to turn it into a Blank Slate Texana Tank for next year’s VBS.  It was the day before we left, but this is another TNT pattern, so I was able to whip it up in about 2 hours from start to finish!


My PJ pants are a modified version of Simplicity 1504, but I adjusted them slightly again for this version.  I’m still not completely happy with the pattern, so I’m still on the lookout for a better women’s pajama pants pattern.


One last little detail– for VBS, we’re supposed to wear our team bandana every night so that we can be easily identified, so I’d used my lavender bandana as a faux piping/trim at the cuffs of my PJs. I managed to eke out enough from my bandana scraps to add the same trim to V’s!


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Recently, we had a fun-filled week of VBS at our church!  We tried our best to deck ourselves out to coordinate with the theme of each evening.

Monday night, we went on safari!

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We dug out a plastic pith helmet for B that had been part of a butterfly catcher costume for Husband in 2007 and 2011, and a tan bucket hat for V.  V chose a tropical print sundress to wear, while B and I layered button-up shirts with rolled up cuffs over our team color shirts.  B is wearing his Peter Pan shirt, made from the Blank Slate Bookworm pattern, and I’m wearing a cream-colored cotton Blank Slate Novelista!  I sewed my headband from my team bandana fabric using the tried-and-true mmmcrafts Kinder, Gentler Headband pattern that I’ve been using for years.

On Tuesday night, the theme was animals!

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B’s class was known as the “Tiny Tangerine Tigers,” so that was our obvious inspiration for his costume.  Husband added stripes cut from electrical tape to the $1 orange t-shirt I’d purchased, and I quickly sewed up a tail and tiger ears from orange felt, adding more electrical tape stripes to complete the costume.

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V was tickled to receive a super-cute hand-me-down bee costume from a family at church, and it worked perfectly with her class color (she was one of the “Golden Gazelles” this year)

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I repurposed some fabric fish and shells from a previous year’s VBS costume and attached them to my headband to make myself into a coral reef.  I also dug out some big, wooden, fluorescent fish earrings from when I was in middle school or so to complete the look!  Haha!

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Wednesday night was color night, so we did our best to infuse as much of our team hue onto ourselves as possible!  B and I added “hair mascara” to color our hair; we had neither lavender nor orange, so I mixed pink and blue for mine and yellow and red for his.  I think his hair looks a bit like flames!

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I repurposed one of V’s dress-up princess dresses for her skirt: her Snow White costume had saggy elastic in the bodice, so I unpicked the stitching between it and the skirt, added a waistband made from a yellow t-shirt scrap and called it done!

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The Thursday night tradition is pajama night!

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I had a yellow sheet in my stash, so I whipped up a pair of yellow PJ pants for V, and then I found some $2/yd orange fabric to make a pair for B, too.  His have dino fabric at the cuff to coordinate with a pair of Daddy’s.  Both of their pairs were made from the Blank Slate Snuggle PJ pattern (I have made SO MANY pairs of PJs using that great pattern!!) .

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After several years of being on the lavender staff team (snacks!), I decided to finally make a pair of lavender PJ pants– and I even incorporated my team bandana as trim above the cuffs.  I couldn’t resist re-using my moon-and-stars headband attachments again this year (previously used in 2017 and 2016!)

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On Friday, it was “Mathletes and Athletes” night.

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B proudly wore his tee ball shirt from the program he did this past spring, and V wore her ballet class gear.  I decided to take the opportunity to tackle a project that I’d been wanting to do for a while– make a shirt with heat transfer vinyl!  It was so very satisfying, and I’ll have a post about my first shirts soon.

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But our outfits/costumes weren’t the only VBS crafts this week!  The weekend before VBS, the staff worked hard to transform our church with all sorts of decorations!  I mostly helped out with the snack area, called “Grizzly Gulch.”

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We decided to make it look like a nighttime campsite in the Rocky Mountains(ish), so we cut out bear silhouettes from black paper and attached them to a starry background.  We assembled our artificial Christmas trees from home and made a little pine grove, and made the kitchen window look cabin-like with curtains that I made from the plaid-printed plastic tablecloth material.

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I had fun making a sign and a campfire out of cardboard and paper scraps, too!

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Last year, we went a little bit crazy with V’s kindergarten valentines and a gigantic castle mailbox, haha!

This year, I wanted to keep things a bit simpler, but I still wanted to do something handmade with her!  I’d seen some cute pencil valentine ideas, and as we discussed what she wanted to do (and browsed some Pinterest ideas together), we settled upon these cute little flags.  I made a simple printable design using my Silhouette software, and since my Silhouette SD isn’t working (I’ll be replacing it soon, hopefully!), I simply cut the cardstock into strips after we printed the sheets.

V did the rest!

She folded the flags, cut the banner ends, added stickers, and addressed and signed every single one.  She took particular care to select pencil designs for each friend and classmate that she thought that they would like best, and she taped them with washi tape on the inside of the flag before using a glue stick to seal the ends.



I really think they turned out well!!

She also did a wonderful job on her valentine box.  We went very simple this year, and we used some color-your-own wrapping paper that a friend had given to us.

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She worked very diligently on coloring it, and she even had Husband and I get involved on some of the hearts (we both enjoyed spending some peaceful coloring time with her :)).

Husband took great care to cover her mailbox with the finished paper…


…including finishing the edges of the mail slot opening:


…and covering the flaps that open on the side to get all of her cards and treats out at the end.


We added her name on a strip of pink vellum so as not to cover up too much of her coloring, and the box was done!  Simple, but still really pretty!  She was proud to take it to school with her.

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Last summer, I wanted my kids to have the experience of completing a sewing project.  I helped my 4-year-old sew a little pillow and some Star Wars pajama pants.  I also helped my then 6-year-old start some pajama pants, too (we use the Blank Slate Patterns Snuggle Pajama pants).  She selected fabric, and I encouraged her to do each step of the pajama pants on her own…which may have contributed to the lengthy interval it took to complete them!

We started in July by laying out the pattern…

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But it wasn’t until a couple weeks later in August that she finally overcame her fear of being pricked with a pin to finish pinning her pattern…

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she was so excited!

She cut out the pieces that day, too.

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About a week after that, we were making some progress with sewing it together, and I had V do some pressing.

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I don’t think she was a fan of the hot iron, either.

After that, we sort of stalled on the project for a while.  I didn’t want to finish the pants for her, but I also didn’t want to force her to work on them, since I really, really want her to have good memories about sewing with me.  She got busy with the school year starting up, and eventually we entered December with the pajama pants still incomplete!

Pajama Day at school was the final impetus– the day before winter break begins, all the students are encouraged to wear their PJs, and I suggested that we finish up her flannel princess pants for her to wear!

I ended up sitting behind her in the chair at the sewing machine to help guide her hands guiding the fabric.

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V also started learning how to unpick stitches.  It’s definitely an important part of sewing, and she seemed okay with it.

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She enjoyed threading the elastic through the casing– I think by now she could see the light at the end of the tunnel, haha!

I finished the cuffs myself, since the layers were tricky with the satin accent strip.  She wore them to school proudly!  (and then we didn’t get photos until a month or two after that! haha)




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I can’t believe that my little girl is seven years old!

This year, she asked for a strawberry-flavored cake topped with butterflies– specifically pink, blue, purple, and yellow ones.  Other than that, her description of the cake she wanted was fairly vague, so I developed my own design…and decided (as usual) to make it as complicated as I could in the time that I had.  Haha.

Using the Wilton recipe for royal icing, I spent about 45 minutes piping lacy butterflies ahead of time so that they would have time to fully dry…

They turned out really well, but my downfall was having to transport them to another state to assemble the cake!  They are fairly delicate, and I didn’t pack them carefully enough.  Thankfully, I had enough that survived to put together a pretty cake design in the end.


I frosted the entire cake with white buttercream, then used green buttercream and a grass tip to make grass over the entire top and also around the base.  I added some royal icing flowers that I had stored away, and finally attached the butterfly wings so that they stood up off of the cake like they were fluttering.




It was exciting to see my daughter’s happy face when she first spotted the cake.  She told me later that it was even better than what she had been trying to describe to me.  I’ll call that a success!


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After I had so much fun with family Christmas pajamas last year, I decided to go for them again this year!  I decided to continue the “tradition” (if it’s only 2 years, is it a tradition yet??) of choosing a fabric that has images to relate to something our family has enjoyed in that year.  When I was browsing flannels, I found this great camel print, which of course made me think of the Slugs and Bugs’ Camel Song! Our whole family loves this song, and even though we’ve been listening to this album on repeat at Christmas for years now, the camel song makes me laugh every time.  So, I bought the camel flannel (which is also fun to say five times fast…).


The pajama pants for Husband and I were made from Simplicity 1504 (lengthened for him, modified for me), and I brought out my beloved Blank Slate Patterns Snuggle PJs pattern for the kids’ pants and shirts.  I bought (at a very good price) 3 matching long-sleeved T-shirts from Old Navy, and after putting one aside intact for Husband to wear, I cut up the other two to make matching shirts for the kids.  I wanted to use a fourth to make a Texana Tank for myself, but I completely ran out of time!  Thankfully, I had a RTW royal blue t-shirt on hand that coordinated!

Merry Christmas from our family!


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The part of Wendy was played by our 6 (almost 7!)-year old daughter.   (Find the group photos HERE)


For V’s costume, we referenced the Wendy from Disney’s animated movie.

The pattern that I used for this dress was Simplicity 1507, this time in the girls’ sizes.  This is a tried-and-true old friend of a pattern.  Remember the princess dresses in the past?  Sofia and Elena were both adapted from the little girl/toddler size range of this pattern, and my mom made V a couple dresses from this pattern, too!


I widened the neckline to make it more of a boatneck look, and I also modified the skirt.  The pattern’s original skirt was a wide rectangle, gathered quite a bit at the waistline.  I decreased the width of the waist seam so that the gathering was more of a 1:1.5 ratio, and I swept out the hem so that it was fuller (the resulting piece looks more triangular).



I used costume satin to sew the dress, and since it was so very shiny, I decided to use it wrong-side-out for the main dress.  I used the shiny side to bind the sleeves and to make the sash and hairbow.


V was very excited to have her hair curled for this costume, and on Halloween morning, we even got up extra early before school so that I could curl it again for costume day at school.


our sweet Wendy Darling



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This past summer, Husband read Peter Pan aloud to our children, and after they’d finished the book, they also watched the Disney animated film.  Somewhere along the way, B declared, “I want to be Peter Pan for Halloween!” and upon hearing this, V exclaimed, “And I could be Wendy!”


And thus our costume plan was born.  We had originally intended to make it a full-family affair, putting to use again Husband’s Captain Hook costume— and I was going to be Tinker Bell!!  But the lack of an event for adults (besides taking our kids trick-or-treating) led us to conclude that perhaps my time/money/energy would be better spent on other things.  However, I am so delighted that our family is still willing and able to do group costumes together.  (Here’s to many more years!)

In this post, I’ll share some costumes of our Peter Pan and Wendy together, and also with our Hook (who dressed up for the photo shoot!  yay!).  I’ll have a couple more posts coming up soon with the details of each of the new costumes!  HERE are the details about Peter Pan, and HERE are the details about Wendy!


I sewed the Wendy dress and hair bow, the tunic, shirt, hat, and pants for Peter Pan, as well as using vinyl “pleather” to make the shoe spats and sword holster.  Husband designed the pattern for the leaf tunic, sword holster, shoe spats, and hat!  I’ll share all those details soon!

Of course, we need some action shots!


about to take off!


And then Captain Hook showed up, and Peter Pan had to do a little sword fighting!






And then they had the idea to reenact the scene in which Wendy is tied to the mast of the Jolly Roger, and Peter Pan is fighting to rescue her– thanks to a convenient tree in our photo shoot location!





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Another insert that I made for the “newborn” section of my son’s Project 365 album was all about his big sister and how she interacted with him when he was first born.


This little Design H insert has photos from several days, including when she visited us in the hospital, when we came home, and those first couple of days at home.  I used the BasicGrey Highline collection– I love the bold colors.  For this particular layout, I let things get pretty girly, since it is a big sister layout, after all.




I’m trying to really use up some of my stash, and part of that is using stickers from collection packs.  I have trouble using stickers for some reason, but I really made an effort to include several on each side of this page.  On the back, I used a gorgeous–but huge–floral cluster sticker to layer onto the journaling card.




This pretty little label sticker looked like it was free-floating until I added stitches to each of the loops on its ends.

Some enamel dots in yellow, pink, and orange finished off the page!

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So.  I wasn’t really planning on having a garden this summer!

But when a friend from church posted in our online marketplace that she had some extra seedlings to give away to whomever wanted them, I changed my mind 🙂 She’d advertised pumpkins, but on the Sunday she brought them in, she also brought yellow squash and tomato seedlings, too.

I picked up one yellow squash, and one tomato, and two pumpkin seedlings.  And after about a week of rain and cold, I finally cleared out the weeds in the garden plot and put them in.  I also added the Tiny Tim tomato plant that I’ve had growing on my kitchen counter for months (or more?), which has produced flowers but no fruit.  Our kitchen is being renovated this summer, so it didn’t really have a good place to live indoors any longer.

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freshly planted garden on May 20

After that, I basically ignored my poor garden for several weeks, except for when my daughter brought home a lima bean plant she’d started during a science unit in her kindergarten class.

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proud of her tall lima bean plant!

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We decided to plant the lima bean on the reverse side of the trellis from the yellow squash.  

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She planted the lima bean plant all by herself, using my garden gloves!

Unsurprisingly, when you leave a garden to its own devices and add in copious amounts of rain, it starts to get a little jungle-y out there.

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Can you even tell where the yard ends and the garden begins, except for the stakes for the fence?

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The weeds were weighing on my mind, but quite honestly, I was dreading tackling them.  Mosquitoes find me especially appetizing, and I was not relishing the thought of providing my flesh for their feasting.  However, one day, I spent the morning outside with friends, and I used bug spray.  Also during that same morning, we were talking about gardens, and the weediness of mine was again at the forefront of my mind.  After lunch, since I still had the bug spray on my skin, I forged ahead and started the 1.5+ hour process of weeding my garden.

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phew!  about halfway through… you can see the lima bean plant and the yellow squash to the right in the photo. 

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finally finished with the weeding!

I didn’t want all that hard work to get overgrown too quickly, so a couple days later, I got some mulch and spread it over the garden.

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the garden on June 30, right after I mulched

The mulch has done wonders for keeping the weeds mostly at bay.  I’ve watered my plants a few times, and three weeks later, the heat+rain has helped my garden plants increase dramatically in size!

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garden on July 22

The lima bean plant is almost completely engulfed by the yellow squash. Both tomato plants have green fruit on them (I’m surprised and delighted that Tiny Tim is bearing fruit after so long). I also saw a squash starting. The pumpkin plants continue to increase in size and have lots of flowers. I’ve never grown pumpkins before, so I’m interested to see how the fruit develops.

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