Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

Handmade Christmas - O&S LTTS Tea Party Sundresses

Last week I tackled another project from my copy of Little Things to Sew and crossed an item off my list of handmade Christmas gifts for the kiddies this year. I made Erin two tea party doll dresses for her American Girl dolls. I was very happy with how they came out and very happy with the fact that I was able to use up some fabric from my stash. In addition to making some gifts for the kids this year, I am trying to use only fabric that I have in my stash. It is going to be a bit of a challenge. I of course have many plans for sewing up items in wonderful fabrics that are not part of my stash! But I am going to stick to my guns and only use what I have. Well I'll try to not buy any new fabric...but its really hard, amiright?!

Anyway I digress....the tea party doll dresses were a quick sew. It took me an hour to make one which is not so bad I think. The instructions were so clear, just like following a regular Oliver & s pattern. I really want to sew Erin a Tea Party Sundress now because I think the end result is just so cute!

The Details
Pattern: Tea Party Doll Dress from Oliver &s Little Things to Sew by Leisl Gibson
Fabric:  for Emily's dress (doll above) Michael Miller Strawberry Tea Party pink for the skirt. Michael Miller Pindot Apple for the bodice. For McKenna's dress (doll below) Delovely by Cosmo Cricket for Andover Fabric which is no longer available and I can't find the exact fabric anywhere
Trim/Notions: pearl snaps for Emily's dress. *Still need to add snaps to McKenna's. I think I will use regular sew in snaps with the button on top like the book suggests. The pearl snaps seem too heavy.

The dresses are very cute, fit the dolls well and are definitely a heck of a lot cheaper than the AG clothes! I did buy some official American Girl wear for Erin's dolls but I got them for "free" kind of....I won a $105 gift card last year to American Girl in a raffle - score! Fingers crossed she likes the mama made dresses just as much as the "official" dresses I bought :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Baby Gifts

Hello! It has been awhile....where did November go?? The last thing that I sewed was Erin's Halloween costume and I meant to blog about it but I got sick then Jack got sick then the dog got sick. Ya stuff ;) Well I finally got back into the swing of things and just in time for gifts! About a month ago, my husband's cousin and his wife welcomed an adorable little girl into their family. We got to meet the little cutie over our Thanksgiving vacation. She is just such a sweet little babe!

When I went to the baby shower back in September, I brought home one of the table runners (which was a piece of really cute owl fabric) to use to make some gifts for the baby after she was born. I made a Noodlehead divided basket and drafted my own little owl stuffie to give as well using the owl fabric from the shower and a few other coordinating fabrics.

The divided basket was so much fun to make and the directions were perfect! Everything came together really easy and I have plans for more of these baskets in the future. If I ever finally learn to knit, I will definitely make one to hold my needles and yarn ;)


The Details:
Fabric: Owl fabric, pink polka dot and gray all from my local Joann. Unfortunately there is no selvage information and I can't find it online :(
Notions/Trims: Wright's Pink bias binding, Pellon SF 101 and Pellon fusible fleece all from Joann 
Notes: I did not sew up the center of the pocket to make two outside pockets. I had to piece together the owl fabric to make the pocket long enough.
For the little owl stuffie, I just drew up a little owl and cut out all the pieces to create a pattern. I used a tight zig zag stitch to attach the eyes, beak and wings to give it an appliqued look. I'm pretty pleased with how it came out and think I might make one for Erin for Christmas. She really was smitten with the little guy!


The Details:
Pattern: self drafted but Gingercake has two really cute owl patterns for purchase here
Fabric: Owl fabric from Joann; tan, white, black fabric from my scrap bin
Notions/Trim: Polyfill from Hobby Lobby

I also bought two cute outfits and put them on one side of the basket and the owl stuffie on the other. A little tissue paper and the gift was ready to go!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Flip This Pattern

This month went by so fast! I can't believe it is time to vote already. The other contestants had some amazing flips! I am seriously up against some stiff competition! I'm bring my "flipped" post home today but don't forget to head over to Frances Suzanne to vote for your favorite "flip"!!

Flip This


To say I was speechless when I received an email from Ashley and Emily to be a part of a sewing competition on their blog would be an understatement! I was beyond excited that they asked me if I wanted to be a competitor and jumped at the chance to sign up! Right away I knew that I wanted to try the Sunki Dress and Leggings Pattern by Figgy's. There was something very cool about this pattern and something about it that said coat to me. Erin was definitely going to need a new fall coat so the timing was perfect!

 I present to you my Flipped version of the Sunki Dress and Leggings:

I found this super soft plaid fabric at Joann and just thought it would be perfect for my flip. And perfect for the fall weather we are having here in the Hudson Valley. For me, plaid always seems to be a preppy fabric and preppy makes me think of college so that is how the Collegiate Cutie was born! I had a lot of fun styling and photographing Erin in this outfit and she had a lot of fun as my model! She was very excited to head to one of the local colleges and don a pair of my old eyeglasses (lenses popped out of course!) and immerse herself into some Shakespeare. She might have had more fun with this photo shoot than I did…which is a first!


The Details:
Pattern: The Sunki Dress and Leggings by Figgy’s – size 4/5 width and size 6/7 length. To create the coat I cut the back pattern piece out on the fold and cut the front piece out as two separate pieces with two inches added to the center to allow for the button placket. I also took out the hidden pockets from the front by piecing together the front pattern piece and the side panel pattern piece to create one pattern piece for the front of the dress.
Instead of facings, I cut out full pieces of lining fabric (sleeves are fully lined as well) so that the coat would be fully lined with no exposed seams. I added pockets to the front of the coat, lining up the plaid to make them “disappear” into the coat.

I also added elbow patches to the sleeves made out of some scrap home decor fabric I had on hand.
For the leggings: size 4/5 The only change that I made was to use 1” elastic in the waist band and add velvet trim to the sides.

Fabric: Plaiditudes Brushed Cotton in Black, Grey and Camel for main/outer fabric.  Sew Classic Knit Solid Interlock in Cornstalk for the lining and the leggings. Both fabrics purchased at Joann. Elbow patch grey home decor fabric - not sure where I got it!

Notions/Trim: Black La Mode buttons. Black velvet ¾” trim to line the side of the leggings. All purchased at Joann

Thank you so much for inviting me Ashley and Emily! I had such a wonderful time “flipping” this amazing pattern by Figgy’s! I really love how it came out and I hope you do as well! 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

School Photo Dress

Last week was school picture day at Erin's elementary school. She requested that I make her a dress which made my heart skip a beat! I laid out a few patterns for her to choose from and she picked the School Photo Dress by oliver + s.  I was pretty happy she chose that one because the pattern I have only goes up to a size four and she is starting to get too tall to wear a four. After she picked her pattern, I gave her a choice between two fabrics that I thought would work well. She chose this vintage fabric that I found at my parents' house last Christmas. My mom is not sure what she originally bought it for but she did say she had it in another color way that she used to make herself some culottes. My mom used to make herself clothes when she was in her early 20s. I really need to see if she has any of the things she made.

Any who, in true procrastinator fashion, I didn't start sewing the dress until 8 o'clock the night before picture day.  Thankfully the instructions were very easy to follow and I even installed my first invisible zipper! Woohoo! It was not very hard at all and I think I want to put invisible zippers in everything now. I took a few little breaks so I didn't finish up the dress until almost 1 a.m. But it was worth it when I woke up a few hours later and showed Erin the dress. She was so happy with how it came out. So it was worth the late night sewing and the sticking myself with pins multiple times (I really need to invest in a thimble) and burning my fingers on the iron. Late night sewing + Meghan = lots of scars

The Details:
Pattern: oliver + s School Photo Dress size 4 with 31/2 inches added to the length
Fabric: main fabric: vintage yellow floral - circa late 1960's  lining: old off white twin bed sheet
Notions: Coats and Clark invisible zipper purchased at Joann

she insisted on wearing these sunglasses - it sorta adds to the retro 60s vibe, no?

Since it was so late when I finished the dress, I didn't get a chance to try it on Erin before I hemmed it to see if I need the extra length I added. It turns out I could have taken off another inch. Oh well, maybe her growing up and not out trend will continue so the dress will still fit next year just fine ;) Also, please excuse the wrinkled photos - I took these pics after the dress was worn all day and since I was on my fourth cup of coffee by this time and starting to crash, I just didn't feel like having her take it off to iron it...or try to take better pictures. Real life here people...can't be fancy all the time! Ha!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Six Years Old

Happy 6th Birthday to my smart, sassy, funny petite pumpkin! You bring so much joy to us everyday. We love watching you grow and learn new things. We still can't believe you are a big first grader now!

Here are six things about you on your sixth birthday:

1. your favorite color is yellow.
2. you love your puppy Raven.
3. you have a strong opinion about the kind of clothes and shoes you like - girl after my own heart!
4. Barbie and American Girl (specifically your McKenna doll) are your favorite toys.
5. you love cheerleading.
6. you have a great imagination.

Happy Birthday Erin!!! You make Mommy and Daddy proud everyday!!!
We love you more than you'll ever know!!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mini Oktoberfest Celebration

So this post is completely inspired by my sister-in-law's trip to Oktoberfest! Yes, that lucky duck went on a trip to Europe for two weeks complete with a trip to Munich right in the middle of Oktoberfest celebrations. Why oh why did I not sneak myself into her suitcase - ha! I can't wait to hear details of her trip and see pictures. While she was off celebrating the real deal, we decided to have a mini celebration of our own over the weekend. Sunday marked the last official day of the 16 day festival that is held in Munich every year. We had our little celebration on Saturday complete with soft pretzels, Bavarian hats, dirndl skirts, German food and beer for us adults ;)

The kids had a great time eating their pretzels and running around in their Bavarian hats. I found a tutorial at eHow on how to make the hats out of felt. We headed to A.C. Moore to get some green felt, feathers and trim. I pretty much followed the tutorial except that I hand sewed the sides and edges down instead of using just glue. I thought they would hold up better that way. I also let the kids choose a button to add to their hats to make it their own. 


I also made Erin a dirndl skirt. I had purchased a pattern from Anneliese of Aesthetic Nest well over a year ago. I used the pattern to make Erin a skirt last year but really wanted to make another one with the apron this time. It is an easy skirt to sew. There are no real pattern pieces involved, you use the measurements of your child to plug into a formula to get the measurements of the skirt pieces. It is very easy, I promise, and it gives a great custom fit.
The pockets on the apron were perfect for gathering some wild flowers
The Details:
Pattern: Dirndl Skirt by Aesthetic Nest omitted apron ties
Fabric: both from the Fairgrounds line by DS Quilts for Joann - sadly no longer available
Notions/Trims: elastic for back waistband purchased at Joann
For food, I found some really great recipes for an Oktoberfest like feast just by searching around the interwebs and picking out something I thought would taste good. The recipes I found did not disappoint! The German Potato salad recipe is so delicious, I don't think I want to eat regular potato salad ever again!

Dinner: Bratwurst with Apples, Onion and Sauerkraut  substituted regular all purpose flour for Wondra flour and apple cider vinegar for dry vermouth. German Potato Salad - more like mashed potatoes than potato salad but seriously delicious!
Dessert: Apple Strudel

The bratwurst came from a local deli called The Smoke Haus. They specialize in German fare and smoke and process all of their own meats. My husband takes his venison there to be processed as well. This deli is amazing! If you are ever in the area I highly recommend you try it. I also picked up some German biscuit cookies that were so good they almost didn't last the car ride home and its only two miles from our house!

So we had a great mini Oktoberfest celebration this weekend! I am sure the festivities in Munich were much more interesting and I can't wait to hear from my SIL all about it!

Don't forget to leave a trail of breadcrumbs ;)

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Flip This Pattern - The Sunki Dress and Leggings


Flip This

Hello everyone! Today is the day I share my "flipped" version of Figgy's Sunki Dress and Leggings over on Frances Suzanne for their Flip This Pattern Series. I am so excited to be a part of this awesome series! Head on over to Frances Suzanne to see what I came up with!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy Little Art Smock

Erin came home from school last week with a letter from her art teacher requesting the children bring in an art smock to wear during class. The teacher suggested that they bring in an old large t-shirt of their parents to use but since art is Erin's favorite subject and I happen to sew and also happen to have the book Little Things to Sew by Oliver + S, I decided to make Erin an art smock instead. I have had this book for awhile and have only made one other item from it. There are so many cute things to make in this book, it really is a shame that I have not made more. I plan to remedy that and thought the art smock would be a great place to start!

Now, this letter came home on Tuesday and Erin had to bring her smock in on Friday, so naturally I ran right upstairs and traced, cut and sewed this baby up that night - ha! I couldn't even type that with a straight face! Okay so I didn't leave it all to the last minute. I did trace and cut the pattern on Wednesday but didn't actually sit down to sew until about 3:00pm on Thursday. Doesn't sound so bad right? Well then Erin gets off the bus around 3:20, homework needs to get done then it was off to CCD. During which time I have a meeting to prepare for the upcoming Girl Scout year (I am the Daisy co-leader for Erin's troop) Then it was pick Erin up from CCD, go home, have dinner, bathe kids, read stories, put them to bed, put Jack back to bed again - repeat this scenario 3x - then finally finish sewing. I was so tired by this time that I considered just sending her in with one of Kevin's old shirts! But I was determined to sew something from this book and have something special for Erin to have at school to wear during her favorite subject. So I finished it. And somehow by 9:30 - yay!

The smock was pretty easy to put together and probably would have gone a lot faster if I had just serged all the seams together but I followed the instructions given for French seams. That does take a bit longer but the results are really nice and I thought that it would help make the smock last all school year (hopefully longer so she can use it next year too!) In total it probably took me about 2 hours to sew the smock. I omitted the pockets on the front. The pockets are really cute but I didn't think she would need them and I just wanted to be finished so the less sewing the better (terrible of me I know!)

french seams inside
i sewed a rick rack name tag to the bottom

The pictures are not the best. I took them the next morning before Erin had to get on the bus. I was too tired to take them the night before and Erin was sleeping anyway. I could have gotten some cute ones if I did not suffer from severe procrastination. Oh well, here is a pic of Erin wearing it, she is pretending to make something in the picture ;) And she is also sporting the headband that I whipped up that morning to go with her outfit. Don't be too impressed - all I did was take a piece of sparkly tulle, tie it in a knot and wind some thread around it to secure it to a headband she already had - 7am crafting at its finest people!

jack's elbow photobombing the pic!
The Details:
Pattern: Little Things to Sew by Oliver + S Art Smock omitted pockets
Fabric: main: Riley Blake Happier Garden Birds sleeves: Happier Garden Orange Floral (sadly this line is no longer available - i've had it in my stash for over two years)
Notions/trim: Velcro tabs for back closure, white rick rack for name tag on bottom of smock both purchased at Joann

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Back to School

Monday was the first day of school here for the Once Upon a Notion household. Erin started the First Grade! And my little man started Nursery School. Wait what?! Both my littles are in school now, how did that happen?! Oh Father Time why must you speed things up so? As much as my little rug rats drive me crazy when they are together for too long, I still miss them when they are away from me. The house is eerily quiet for a good 7 1/2 hours a week now. (Jack is only going three days a week - the way I am carrying on you would think he was in full day too!) The time to myself will be good. I get a chance to sew, uninterrupted!! *Does happy dance*

Since the first day of school is a special day, Erin needed a special outfit to wear. And since I am a sucker for the Geranium dress ( this is my fourth one now) that is what I sewed up. The day before. Just like I did last year. Only this time I started a lot earlier in the day and finished the dress by nine at night instead of one in the morning. Yay me! I'm getting better at not being such a procrastinator :)

I had a minor hiccup that I posted about on Instagram,  I had to cut against the grain for the skirt portion. I had originally purchased the fabric to make a tunic version of the Geranium dress so I really didn't have enough fabric for a dress if I cut it out the right way. I am actually glad that I had to be such a rebel and cut against the grain - ha! I like how the ladybugs are going in a different direction on the skirt than they are on the bodice. Yay for a happy mistake! And my procrastination actually paid off a bit. I added some flat piping in between the bodice and skirt that I wouldn't have thought to do if I had not seen Gail's version of her daughter's back to school Geranium dress. So thank you Gail! I really love how that little touch adds something extra to the dress.

The first day of school was a success for both the kiddies! No tears from them, just from mommy!

While poor Jack didn't get a handmade outfit from mommy, don't feel too bad for him. My parents got him a very cool dinosaur shirt and jeans from Janie and Jack to wear for his first day! Thanks Gram and Poppy!!

I am going to try something different when I post about clothing or anything else I make dealing with patterns and fabric. I'll link back to where I purchased the fabric and patterns whenever possible like I normally do but now it will be all in one place called The Details which will be at the end of each post. I have seen quite a few other bloggers use this format, so to speak, and I think it is helpful. Plus I always forget to put this info in and then either go back and edit my post or just leave it out all together ha!

The Details:
Pattern: Made by Rae Geranium dress size 4 view B bodice, view A skirt with patch pockets
Fabric: main: Tula Pink - The Birds and The Bees - Ladybugs in Sugar lining: Art Gallery - Pure Elements - Spiceberry
Notions/Trim: fabric covered buttons and flat piping in Spiceberry

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A day of remembrance

Today we remember all those lives that were lost, all those who gave everything to save others and all those that continue to fight everyday. A tragic day in our country's history but also a day that is a reminder of the good that can be found in others through the selfless sacrifice of all those firefighters, police officers and first responders who didn't run from the attack but towards it to help their neighbor. 
Their sacrifice will never be forgotten. Thank you to all of you who helped us that day and every day since, to keep hope alive. 

God Bless America. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

An Adirondack Inspired Vacation

Last week, we packed up the family truckster and head up to the Adirondacks - specifically Lake Pleasant in Speculator, New York. My husband and I always wanted to visit the Adirondacks, especially after our very brief visit to Lake Placid for a wedding last Labor Day. The drive to Lake Placid was so pretty and we knew we wanted a closer look. So why not just return to Lake Placid you ask? Well, a few months ago I discovered a blog, Adirondack Inspired. It is a sewing blog full of lovely creations and photographs as well as a series called Explore With Me where Monica and her adorable family (seriously her kids are too cute!) explore places around where they live. One particular exploration caught my eye...a trip to a goat farm! You see my husband and I love goats. We think they are awesome and would love to actually have one as a pet - no joke. Anyway, after showing Kevin that particular post, we decided to plan our summer vacation to the Adirondacks using other trips in Monica's Explore With Me series as our guide. Thus, an Adirondack Inspired vacation was born:

I found a great hotel right on Lake Pleasant - The Lake Pleasant Lodge. It is right in the town of Speculator and had the most amazing view of the lake. Once our hotel was booked, I sent an e-mail to Monica and she gave us some great recommendations on places to go and to eat. We also planned to meet up one of the days that we were in town. I was so excited to meet a fellow sewing blogger! Someone who I could talk to about sewing and other blogs and not look at me like I had five heads because she would know exactly what I was talking about - ha!

view of lake pleasant from the hotel

Our first day was spent settling in and checking out the area. We took a walk down the Sacandaga Pathway, which was right across the street from the hotel. The kids had a lot of fun walking down the paths and asking us to read the different signs about animals and foliage that were along the way.

After some exploring, it was back to the hotel to change into bathing suits and jump in the lake!

The water was a little cold for Kevin and I but the kids didn't have a problem jumping and splashing around...ah to be little. That night the hotel owner set up a bonfire in the fire pit and brought out marshmallows for the kids to roast. It was such a relaxing evening by the fire with the lake right in the background. Just what we needed after a long trip.

Friday morning we rented a canoe from the hotel and took a little trip around Lake Pleasant.

 Then did a little more driving around. Finding dirt roads and old logging trails and rivers to explore.

Later in the afternoon, we met up with Monica and her two older kids at the park across from our hotel. I was excited and nervous to meet Monica. Despite "knowing" her through her blog and comments and emails back and forth, I was still nervous we wouldn't get along or have anything to talk about or she was actually a stalker (everyone else's concern not mine...some people thought I was a little crazy meeting up with someone I met on the Internet, *cough* Kevin *cough*) Well after two and half hours at the park of non stop chatting and watching the kids play, all concerns went right out the window! We had a great time talking shop and watching the kids run around like they had been friends forever. Monica really is so nice and her kids are just too cute!! Our daughters especially hit it off and had a lot of fun playing pretend and snapping pics with our iPhones.

only pic i got of monica and i - nice face meg!   when bloggers' kids meet: they take pics of each other taking pics ha!
It was such a great day and we all had so much fun hanging out! Erin is still talking about her new friend and asking when we can go visit her again :) After such a great day we had to have a great dinner. We went to one of the places Monica suggested, The Melody Lodge. This place was just what we were looking for - something fancy with amazing views. The food was ah-mazing. I had rack of lamb that was so delicious. Kevin had a perfectly cooked filet mignon. Even the kids menu was great - it was printed on a piece of paper attached inside of a Little Golden Book - so cute! They had a perfect sized steak dinner just for the kids but it was presented just like an adult entree would be, complete with onion strings and delicious real baked potato chips. I highly recommend this place for an excellent meal, atmosphere and views!

On Saturday, we headed to another Explore With Me location, Nettle Meadow. This was the one place that really sealed the deal on where we headed for our family vacation bacause it is a goat farm! On Saturdays, there is a tour of the farm followed by a sampling of all the wonderful cheese that they make there. We had a great time on the tour. The ladies that run the farm are so nice and very informative. You can tell they really love what they do and care about every animal. There is an old barn on the property that they are in the process of restoring. There is a lot of history in this place and we would love to come back to see more of the restoration process and of course all the cute goats! They had a sign up that they were giving away baby goats - for free! It was hard to resist but we left baby goat-less :( At least we bought some delicious cheese!

After the goat farm we headed to another Explore With Me spot, Kunjamuk Cave. This small cave (only about 15 feet long) is located right off a dirt road and is said to be associated with a local legend, French Louie. This has not been confirmed by historians but it is a rather interesting story. I read a little about French Louie and he seemed rather fascinating, the kids especially liked to hear that someone had possibly lived in this cave and started to make up stories of their own about French Louie and his adventures.

We also drove around a lot of the dirt roads in the area. Stopping to explore every so often.

As you can tell in the family photo above, the kids were so tired after our long day. We had some dinner and were in bed by 7:30 pm that night...all four of us! The next day was Sunday, our last day of the trip. We said goodbye to Speculator and headed up to the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. The Adirondack Museum consists of 22 different buildings spread over a 32 acre campus. There was so much to see and learn here. An antique sale was going on that day as well so there were different vendors with their items on display. It was a truly unique museum and the kids had a great time running between the different buildings to see what was next. I highly recommend a trip here.

We really had such a great time! We loved all the outdoor things to do and see and really enjoyed meeting our new friends! The kids are already asking when we are going back - so cute! And I hope we do go back soon. I would love to see the leaves in the fall. I am sure it is amazing! What I find really amazing is that one weekend I can be down in the city, on a tiny island full of millions of people and places to go and things to do; then the next be in a vast area with millions of trees and beautiful lakes and forgotten roads all in the same state. I love where I live :)

You can see more pics of our trip here if you'd like. And for a chance to win Straight Grain's Tinny Pattern head over to Adirondack Inspired and read about our meet up and why this blogging community is so great!!

Thanks for stopping by!