children, dresses, Embroidery, fabric stores, girls clothes, sewing, sewing for kids, single parenting, summer

A gaggle of Geranium Dresses

So the past few days I have been busy sewing up some Geranium dresses. I have made three for Persephone and two for Fiammetta. As well as a whole lot of bloomers/bubble shorts (tree climber pantaloons) for little P, baby V, and the shop. On the two dresses with short sleeves I used the Geranium Expansion Pack.

First off, was this white linen, sleeveless dress for Little Miss Percy Pie.

I used Kam Snaps on the back because I don’t know how to sew button holes! 😂 and I really like the way these open metal ring ones look. 

Persephone’s dress was sewn using Kaufman Essex Linen in white. It is a Linen cotton blend.

It turned out really nice. I keep thinking how lovely some embroidery would be on there!
The Second dress I made was for Fiammetta. She wanted sleeves and picked the gathered sleeve from the expansion pack. I am not too fond with how this one turned out but Fifi likes it so that’s what is important! I ended up shortening the sleeves a bit from what is pictured because the length of them really bothered me. The ended up looking really long. I like the way the whole dress looks better with shortened sleeves. But I don’t have a photo of that!  This dress also differs from the way it was made. Instead of a gathered waist she wanted a pleated skirt. And I sewed her a straight size 8. But because of her very thin little body I probably should have sewn a size 7 bodice with a size 8 length skirt. She’s long and thin just like I used to be!Back of 2nd Geranium with Gathered Sleeves

I didn’t get the best photos here.. Fiammetta was helping to grate some cheese for supper. Excuse the messy house! 🙂 and we had the tent set up in the parlor as the kids were having a campout for a couple days!side of second geranium

The pink fabric is Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Blossom Pink.  The bottom fabric is Brambleberry Ridge Rosemilk Metallic Mint also by Michael miller.  I bought these fabrics quite a while ago to make some dresses for the girls but never actually got around to it!2nd geranium

Fiammetta's Geranium

Third dress and I think my favorite of the bunch is this pretty little gold dress for Persephone. I used the fitted, short sleeves from the expansion pack and I LOVE the way this dress turned out! I will be making many more of this style for the girls in different fabrics. It looks classic and sweet. I’m thinking of possibly adding pintucks on some future dress skirts.

Persephone Gold Geranium Fitted Short Sleeves
I used Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Gold. Again, it was purchased quite a while ago but never used. I have plans of making bloomers for the shop out of this fabric as well.

Gold Geranium Octopus Tree Climber Shorts

For the bloomers and lining of the dress bodice I used Salt Water Octopus Garden by Tula Pink.  I would link to that but it is sold out. I bought this fabric back in 2014 but didn’t know what I wanted to make out of it so I’ve held on to it for a while! I have since decided to make a bunch of bloomers with it and list them in the shop. Now that the baby is getting older it’s a little easier for me to be at the sewing machine and get some stuff done!

Kam Snaps again on the back. In fact I used Kam Snaps on all the dresses! It makes for easy dressing for the girls as well. Plus they are sturdy and durable.


Fourth and fifth dresses are a matching set for the two girls. We did the gathered skirt with the cap sleeve option from the original Geranium Dress pattern. I used Michael Miller Brambleberry Ridge Flight in Metallic Mint. This too has sold out. I really love Michael Miller fabrics. They are very soft and lovely to sew with. Fabric.com also has very reasonable pricing. It’s nice to shop from local shops but it’s a lot more affordable in a lower income household to buy online.


Persephones dress is a size 4. I did deepen the hem to 2 1/2 inches instead of what the pattern called for. It makes the dress a bit shorter and a bit more retro 1960’s look.



Again, I sewed a straight size 8 for Fiammetta but I probably should have gone with the smaller size 7 bodice with a size 8 length skirt. She’s such a skinny Minnie.

I did deepen Fiammettas hem as well. Since she is older and her dress is a lot longer than Persephones, I was able to make her hem 3 inches.



The expansion pack has so many options! I plan on making the girls some long fitted sleeve dresses for the winter. Next up is a long fitted sleeve dress out of the white linen. I am going to lengthen the skirts to floor length for both girls and sew up a red sash from the expansion pack. Perfect for celebrating Santa Lucia Day and the Winter Solstice this year. I just have to figure out how to make a crown of greenery and candles!
After I tire of dresses and the girls have a few new things to wear for the hot weather I will get back to sewing for the shop!

And since little baby girl woke up from a nap I was able to snap a few photos of the girls together.. so I’ll leave you with these ❤️

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Bohemian Baby Doll Dresses for my Little Girls

I made my two little girls Bohemian Baby Doll Dresses using the pattern from Elegance & Elephants. http://eandepatterns.bigcartel.com/product/bohemian-babydoll-pdf-pattern They turned out super cute! Fifi wanted to sleep in hers 🙂  She also wants to wear it again today, but I need to wash it because she spilled a little bit of food on the bodice last night.. I told her she can wear it around for the morning but in a bit when we get ready to go out she’ll have to take it off so it can get cleaned.. I plan on making a bunch more for both girls in different fabrics.  I have a few fabrics in the wash and dryer (forgot to do that last time I washed a bunch of fabric) and I have some more fabric that I just ordered specifically to make this dress.  It is so precious.  Perfect sweet and innocent dress for a young girl.  I really do love it.

My pretty little girls in their new dresses

My pretty little girls in their new dresses

I subscribe to the Oliver & S blog posts.  The other day I got an email from them where people guest post about what their favorite Oliver & S pattern is.  Well, it happened to be from a blog I never heard of before, (not that I have head of them all!) but she had some really cute photos of a pattern I had so I wanted to check it out.. http://hungiegungie.com I was browsing through her posts while the kids were sleeping, she and her sister make so many cute things!  I came across this one post and I absolutely fell in love with the dress!  As much as one can fall in love with a clothing pattern and fabric 😉  http://hungiegungie.com/2014/07/30/swiss-dot-babydoll/  then I saw this one!  http://hungiegungie.com/2015/04/08/bird-dress/  so, so pretty..  I checked out her etsy and asked her a few questions then decided I would just buy the pattern… and as luck may have it I was looking online at fabric and found the same bird print, so I ordered some to make the girls matching dresses.. But in the meantime I was itching to try the pattern out.. So I got some fabric from my stash and sewed up some little pretties for the girls.  I used Spring Hare by Lewis & Irene and the pink is another fabric from that line.  I bought them at my local fabric store, Fabrics Plus, when they were having a 30% off sale recently.  I lined the inside of the bodice and flutter sleeves with just a plain white cotton.  It’s probably Kona, which also bought at that store.

two sweeties in their new dresses

two sweeties in their new dresses

They came together pretty easily.  I had a difficult time with the little flutter sleeves and the lining on the first dress.  I did Little Biscuits first.  She is in a size 2 so all the pieces are small! I did a straight size 2 for her in the bodice and skirt.  I did the first sleeve the way the instructions called for and it was a pain in the butt!  So the next sleeve I decided to do the other method recommended which was so much easier!  There is a link on the instructions once you buy and download the pattern.  There is also a video here https://vimeo.com/48015148 that shows how to do it.. It was nice being able to see and read what I was supposed to be doing. The internet is such a great resource!  Especially since I don’t have a large community of mama’s and grandmas who pass down all their sewing knowledge!  The second sleeve came together like a breeze and then Fifi’s dress was completed in about half the time.  There are only 6 pattern pieces so it isn’t a difficult one to figure out.  I had cut all the pieces out for both dresses at once.

Little Biscuit modeling her new dress Mama made

Little Biscuit modeling her new dress Mama made

So, once I finished Little Biscuits dress I took a break to eat something and got started on Angel Pies.  For hers, I did a size 6 bodice with a size 7 skirt.  She’s thin and lanky so I wanted to make sure it would be long enough.

My Angel Pie in her new dress Mama made for her.. and Miss O's sock on the stairs

My Angel Pie in her new dress Mama made for her.. and Miss O’s sock on the stairs

They are both happy girls!  And I’m happy they turned out so cute.  I know the print is very Spring-ish but I’m thinking as long as they want to and can fit they can wear it whenever.. In the Autumn and Winter we can just add a long sleeve tee underneath or a sweater, and some leggings or long socks.  Can’t wait to make some more.. but first I have an embroidery to finish up and get shipped out to a customer 😉

Pretty Miss O with little baby Biscuit

Pretty Miss O with little baby Biscuit taking selfies as usual!

My 3 little Rice Crackers.. Little Salamander wanted to be in a photo too since his sisters were!

My 3 little Rice Crackers.. Little Salamander wanted to be in a photo too since his sisters were!  Love his little squinty eyed smile.. looks like it’s almost time for a haircut!

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Starting but not finishing the girls Regency Dresses and other things

So I started this post in mid June.. but I never got around to finishing the dress/es so here this post sits along with the almost done dress for Persephone and the cut out pieces for Fifi’s dress.  Though, I didn’t finish these I have been busy!  I would say a big part of the reason these sat unfinished is because for 2 weeks we had out of town family visiting from Texas and Denmark.  So I spent a lot of time with them.. doing family things.. taking a trip to Mt. Baker and Nooksack Falls.. having lots of bbq’s.. It was over 4th of July.. Oh yeah.. my cousin, his wife and their dog came up from Portland as well!  It was really nice to see everyone again and have my 2 uncles get to meet my youngest children.  Next time they come around we will have our new little one too..

Well, I got this big giant pattern sheet put together.  That was a little time consuming but not as bad as I always imagined printing out pdf patterns to be.. After printing I trace all the pattern pieces onto interfacing to make cutting out the fabric a bit easier.. It’s easier to work with one smaller piece rather than a whole giant sheet!  Also, the interfacing is much more flexible and it’s just nicer to have one piece rather than a few sheets of paper taped together..

Tracing patterns onto interfacing

Tracing patterns onto interfacing

more interfacing/pattern tracing

more interfacing/pattern tracing

using a sharpie to trace onto interfacing all the markings on the pattern

using a sharpie to trace onto interfacing all the markings on the pattern

Got all my pattern pieces traced onto interfacing and cut!

Got all my pattern pieces traced onto interfacing and cut!

When I finally started to get the pieces sewn together I was so happy with how those cute little sleeves turned out!  I could totally picture my little biscuit wearing this dress.  I ended up lining the whole thing but I think for Fifi’s dress I will only line the bodice as both the fabrics together make the finished dress a bit thicker.. for the summer it would nice for it to be a bit more flowy.. It has been so hot here this year.. Not very pacific north west-y at all!  I miss the rain!

Getting the sleeves attached to the bodice.  I love how puffy they are!

Getting the sleeves attached to the bodice. I love how puffy they are!

I still have to hem the sleeves in and add buttons to the back.. I also wanted to make a white sash for her to wear around her waist.. I made her a size 2 but I probably should have made the size 1.  she seems to be swimming in the top without a sash tied around.. In the photos I just used a piece of scrap fabric I had lying around just to see what it would look like when I actually did get the sash done..  When I make her a smaller bodice I will probably keep the length of the size 2 because I do like that quite a bit!  I really want to get my 2 youngest girls a dress made for xmas this year.. I was going to use these as practice to see how easily they came together before I went and bought the silk for their xmas dresses..  I think I may have mentioned before there is a website http://www.silkbaron.com that sells so many beautiful colors of silk for around $15 a yard, which is an excellent price!  So, I think that is where I will be buying silk for their xmas dresses!

I only came across one problem when making the dress.. I was pretty confused at the bit when sewing the bodice to the skirt part.. and I ended up attaching them wrong.  I was supposed to keep the lining of the bodice free, sew the skirt on to the outside fabric of the bodice then hand sew the bodice lining to the skirt to cover up all the raw edges, but I was really not understanding the instructions so I ended up just sewing it all together at once then zig zag stiching the raw edges.  After completed the dress I realized what the instructions were saying so Fifi’s dress and the subsequent dresses will be done up the correct way!  I have also learned out to use my serger since then so if I have any more raw edges I will be sure to use my serger!  (Thanks cousin Ty for showing me how to use it!!)

I have taken about 4 weeks off from the Farmer’s Market.. yesterday was my first one back.. and although it is a huge pain in the butt to wake up so early.. lug all my stuff up the stairs to the van.. out of the garage into the van… load the van and set up at the Market.. then tear it all down and bring it back into the house.. it is very nice to be out there..  It was so hot yesterday though!  I woke up a bit later than I wanted so I wasn’t quite as prepared as I should have been.. I forgot to bring water!  I think it’s so cool when I get people returning telling me how much they love something I’ve made.. how often they wear it 🙂  or mama’s with little babies who come back and say that an older sibling (of their baby) had this and that of something I made.. There are lots of new people who come stop by and there are quite a few returning people.. it’s always nice to see them and get to talk for a minute or two.. It’s funny I feel that way because I always have been pretty shy and even now sometimes I find it hard to say hi… being at the market has pushed me a bit out of my comfort zone.. but I like it!

I will be doing a few more markets then have a couple weeks off, go back for Labor Day, then I am done for the season.  Percy’s 2nd birthday is mid September so I wanted to take time off before hand to get the house cleaned up nicely for her birthday party.. Then we have Fifi’s in the beginning of October and the new little baby is due in the end of October..  So hopefully I will have enough time to get stuff done around the house before all this happens!  During my couple weeks off in August I’m hoping to drive down to Oregon to visit some family and my close friend.  It’s a very long drive though, 8+ hours, with 5 kids in a cramped hot van does not seem like such a wonderful time!  So I really have to psyche myself up a bit for that!

I got in some fabric recently and made the 2 little girls red riding hood capes.  They turned out super cute!  I used a red linen blend for the outer fabric and a navy blue polka dot for the lining.. Both fabrics are kaufman.

the finished cape

the finished cape

The lining of the red riding hood cape

The lining of the red riding hood cape

I used the pattern from Oliver & S Little Things to Sew.  I made Fifi a cape out of a pink and grey wool last year (or two) when I first bought the book.  She has worn that thing so much!  I had always wanted to make her a red one, so I finally did!  And one for little Percy too.  They took a lot longer to make than I remembered!  I had all the pieces traced out and ready to go one night.. The next day I cut out all the pieces and sewed it all together.. but it took pretty much the whole day to make 2 capes.. I don’t know why it took so dang long!

I’m getting some more fabric in the mail tomorrow to make Salvatore a Robin Hood cape.. this pattern comes from Growing Up Sew Liberated.  I’m going to be using the kaufman linen blend again, this time in an olive green like color and a brown color for the lining.. but his cape will be reversible.  The girls capes are, too, but I sewed my labels on the inside so unless I want to take those out they will only be wearing their cape one way!  😉  I doubt Salvatore’s will get used for anything but play but I’m hoping Miss Fiammetta will want to wear this one to school this year!  She still wears the pink wool one around and she has already gotten a lot of use out of the red one too (when it isn’t too hot!)  The cape pattern from Growing Up Sew Liberated looks way simpler than the one from Little Things to Sew.  So, I don’t think this one will take me quite as long to finish!  I will be making 4 though, 2 to sell at the Farmer’s Market/Etsy, one for Sally, and one to stash away for Christmas for my brothers new girlfriends son.

And this is a long one.. so I think I will end it here!  I want to try to finish up two more Red Riding hood capes today, for the Market/Etsy, and get two paintings done that I have an order for.. so I think it will be a busy day!

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home life, painting, sewing

In which she accomplishes something..

I feel so accomplished this morning.. I got around 2,000 – 3,000 photos off my phone.. some of which have been on there since 2013ish..  And I erased them from my phone so now I have tons of space!  woo hoo.. more space = more photos to take..   A lot of them were pictures that Miss O has taken of herself.  Making stupid faces, of course.

I also got the little squids finger nails and toe nails cut.  Which is a good thing because last night Persephone scratched my face while she was sleeping.. not a pleasant thing to wake up to.  She and Salvatore are sleeping with me in our tiny full sized bed.  It will get more and more uncomfortable as my belly grows.  As it is now, I’m on the edge of the bed!

My two elementary kids, Settimio and Fifi, missed the bus this morning so I had to drive them to school as well.  Thankfully it is just a 2 minute drive up the big hill..  We would walk but it’s a kind of dangerous, curvy, uphill road with no sidewalks.. (we live outside of city limits so it’s a bit more country) So the bus is safer.

I thought I would write a bit and post some photos (if I can figure how to, which doesn’t seem hard) of some of the stuff I’ve been doing lately..

A few months ago, or sometime last year I picked up a few pallets from my sis in law’s work with the intent on making something out of them.. I dismantled them right away.  That was sort of a pain in the butt until I figured out a system with the hammer..  Initially I was using a hand saw. It was pretty hot out so it was probably last summer some time.  The dismantled pallet wood stood under my bedroom window for a long time being used as ugly wall decoration and pretend skateboards and magic carpets when the little kids would go out front to play..  So, the other day I decided I would nail some pieces together and stain it to make a sign for the Chicken coop area.. The wood actually looks pretty nice now that it’s stained but it’s pretty huge and not really what I was going for.. so it’s sitting back under my bedroom window, for now, looking a little more put together and pretty.

here it is looking all pretty

Front of the stained pallet wood

Front of the stained pallet wood

I still want to make some thing out of the stained pallet wood, I just haven’t decided what yet.

But here is the sign I decided to go with for our chicken coop..

The Chicken Coop sign in it's beginning stages.  Just the under black layer and the wording.  Still have to paint the white layer and paint on the words

The Chicken Coop sign in it’s beginning stages. Just the under black layer and the wording. Still have to paint the white layer and paint on the words

I still need to get some little eye hooks to get it all put together.. But I was going to finish the painting first.

The Chicken Coop title board.. all painted up white, getting it's letters written on.

The Chicken Coop title board.. all painted up white, getting it’s letters written on.

Here is what it looks like with the white paint over top the black.. getting it’s letters put on.  I started painting it but it’s really hard to do with the crappy brushes I have so I need to head into Michael’s or someplace and pick up some smaller more defined brushes.  Recently I’ve been using crappy kid paint brushes we had left over from some of their old homeschooling projects.  I was using black chalk board paint and the white paint is Annie Sloan chalk paint in Old White.. The letters will just be done in black acrylics. I am almost out of the chalk board paint so I think when I get the paintbrushes I will probably pick up some flat black paint to use instead.. buying the flat black is a bit cheaper and it will give the same result I need for the signs/canvases I’ve been doing.  I’m just using the black for the under layer anyway.

Here are some of the signs I’ve been doing the past week or so..

I love you to the moon and back

I love you to the moon and back

I see the moon

I see the moon

Those two were done with the black chalk paint..

Wicked Witch of the East Death Certificate

Wicked Witch of the East Death Certificate

Getting some signs ready for the Holiday Market in November.

Kringles Bed and Breakfast in Red Chalk paint with White lettering

Kringles Bed and Breakfast in Red Chalk paint with White lettering

Some of the xmas signs on my ironing board

Some of the xmas signs on my ironing board

Mrs. Kringles Kitchen sign done with Annie Sloan white chalk paint and red acrylic

Mrs. Kringles Kitchen sign done with Annie Sloan white chalk paint and red acrylic

I need to get some more canvas as well when I head in to get the paint brushes..

All my signs I have available for purchase on my esty account and I will be selling them at the Farmer’s Market when I go back in July.  The holiday ones I will be saving for the Holiday Farmer’s Market in November..  The weekend before Thanksgiving if you happen to be in Anacortes, WA and want to come check it out.  This year will be my first!  I’m excited, but I will also have a newborn with me as this little bean is due October 25.  I’ve gone as a shopper the past two years and it was a lot of fun.  There is lots of cool things to check out.  It’s over a pier so you can see the water through the cracks in the floor.  The kids got a kick out of that!

But today I want to finish up, or rather start sewing, the dresses I am making for the little girls.  I got the pattern pieces printed and all taped together yesterday.

Here is the pattern all taped together hanging on the sliding glass door in the dining room.

Here is the pattern all taped together hanging on the sliding glass door in the dining room.

It actually wasn’t bad putting it together.  A little time consuming.  More so than buying a pre-made paper pattern.  But buying the e-file was nice because I didn’t have to wait for it to come in the mail to get started on my project.  I bought the pattern from http://www.sensibility.com.  It’s the girls Regency Dress Pattern.  I’m so excited to start.  I still need to trace the correct size pattern pieces onto my interfacing to make the reusable pattern.  I’m going to make the 2 little girls the short sleeved version.  Fifi is excited.  She loves dresses.  Persephone could probably care less and probably will ask to take it off once I actually put it on her.. She’s not a dress girl.  But sometimes you just gotta make them!  At least when she’s little.  I’m hoping to get sewing today.  Maybe I’ll even finish a dress, or both.. it is Friday so I can just do pizza and a movie night for the squids.  Holy poop, I can’t believe the school year is almost out.. I can’t freakin wait!

So I guess I will go clear another place on the living room floor (something I have to do multiple times a day with Sally and Percy making messes all the time!) and get to tracing out my pattern pieces.. get the fabric ironed, and cut.  And hopefully get to sewing!

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