Upcycling pillowcases into a bag for the bag

As I mentioned yesterday, our little girl is about to embark on a camping trip with her class. One of the requirements is she needs to be able to roll up her sleeping bag and put it in a carrying sack all on her own. Well, the one we have came in a bag three times too small for it (I have no idea why they do that), so I decided to make her a much bigger bag for the bag, upcycling  pillowcases.

Sleeping Bag Carrying Sack made from upcycling pillowcases

I first cut the bottom off a pillowcase and made it into a cycinder. Then, I took a second pillowcase and cut a large circle for the bottom. I don’t use math here (even though I probably should), but instead, cut it super large, and trimmed off what I didn’t need after it was sewn to the cylinder.

Sleeping Bag Carrying Sack made from upcycling pillowcases

I used the second pillowcase to create a simple strap.

Sleeping Bag Carrying Sack made from upcycling pillowcases

I sewed a casing for the drawstring at the top.

Sleeping Bag Carrying Sack made from upcycling pillowcases

Super simple and super quick to make. And after the pants, I needed something satisfying to whip up quickly. I made this in less than an hour from start to finish. There is plenty of room to also stuff her pillow. Which, incidentally is a throw pillow from our couch (she wanted a smaller pillow to take), that I also made a simple pillowcase for right after I made this (photos for another day).

On another note, if you have signed up to recieve our newsletters, you should have one in your inbox right now! If you haven’t, and you would like to sign up, look on the right hand side of this page, and you should see a spot to do so.

So tell me, what have YOU made today?

Prepping and Making and Bracing

Oh my goodness, people. Our youngest is about to go on her class camping trip, and for the first time, our baby will be away from home. Out there in the world. Away. And I have to admit, I am a little nervous about it. So when I get nervous, what do I do? I make stuff. I am prepping and making and bracing myself for yet another milestone. Another instance where I let go just a little bit, let her grow, and see her thrive. The extra hard part is adding in the complexities of having allergies and asthma and not being able to be there to manage it all. After having conversations with all those involved, I now need to keep my hands busy.

I decided to make her a pair of tough cargo pants (using the Scientific Seamstress Field Research Cargo pants pattern), and it didn’t even cross my mind that they could possibly be too small, so I stitched and top stitched and added details, and when they were almost complete, I THEN tried them on her. Well, they are too small. BUT, the silver lining is, since this was a new pattern (to me), and there are many things I have not yet tried, I used this pair for practice.

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Normally I would not share an unfinished project with you, but I really like this one.

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I mean, look at that stitching!

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I had never sewn cargo pockets like these before. That actually took some practice. Now, I have them down. Also, the legs zip off, and I had never done that before, either.  I am thinking of this pair of pants like one of those dolls that toddlers practice their buttoning, tying, and zippering skills. Or in the sewing world, we would call this my muslin. Although I think it is even more than just a muslin. It is a skill-builder. Tomorrow, I start the “real”pair. Wish me luck!

What do you do when you are nervous about something?

Melanie Knit dress review

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

The Melanie Knit Dress by Modkid

When Courtney asked me to sew up one of the awesome Modkid patterns, I didn’t hesitate to choose this fun knit dress. It is a PDF pattern that covers sizes 2T- 10. I sewed up a 7 for my girl, and it fits perfectly as a tunic.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

My very active girl absolutely requires clothing that she can move in, and being a tween, she prefers them to also be stylish. This pattern fits both those bills nicely.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

The only changes I made to this fun and simple pattern, was I added another small pocket on one side, and a strap with two loops on the other. Falafel loves pockets, so I thought it would be fun to add few more. You know… so I can pick more rocks out of the washing machine.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

I also added bias tape to the neckline instead of hemming. The great thing about this pattern is getting to choose how to finish the seams. It is very flexible that way.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

Let’s talk about that fabric! Those are Patty Young exclusive knits for Riley Blake Designs and they are like buttah! When I work with knits, I like using quality fabric. It makes all the difference. And these here are quality, baby! I also know that my child will not wear through these so easily, and I love that.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

Not like she doesn’t try, though.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

Like all Modid patterns, my most favorite part is being able to print and assemble each pattern piece as a freestanding piece, instead of taping all of the them together into a massive sheet. It is the little things, really. They all fit on my kitchen island counter, where I cut out all my patterns. Makes things so much more pleasant.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

It only took me one day to sew up (and would have been even quicker if I didn’t sew, and then do a faux overlock stitch on every seam). It honestly took longer to take the photos.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

Hmmmmm. I wonder why?

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

So to sum up, this is a fun, easy, stylish, comfy pattern, that I will be sewing more of.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

Do you like sewing with knits?

******

PS- Although I was provided with the pattern and the fabric, as always, all opinions are mine, mine, mine!

 

On-Our-Shelves Sunday: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

On our shelves this week, is a book that a friend borrowed from us, and recently returned:

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate review

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

by Jaqueline Kelly

*affiliate link*

I read this one a long time ago, when my oldest read it. And now my youngest just read it too. I would call this book thick and meaty in the best possible way. Full of a wonderful story about a young girl coming into her own. It takes place in the late 1800’s, when girls were expected to marry, sew, and cook. 11 year old Calpurnia is the only girl among 6 brothers, and she loves science. Her cantankerous grandfather shares her passion, and they strike a bond.

A great story about finding who you are, opposed to being who people think you should be.

What is on YOUR shelves this week?

Lilac bouquet

Lilac bouquet

Lilac bouquet

Lilac bouquet

Lilac bouquet

Lilac bouquet

It is amazing what a beautiful garden bouquet full of lilacs and mint will do for a room! I love this time of year for the same reason I despise it: the amazing blooms (and the dreaded pollen)! I just went around and cut everything that looked like it needed to come inside with me. I really cannot wait for all the produce we planted to come up! For now, I will enjoy the bounty that is all around. And sneeze a whole bunch too. The Bee, actually, is the one that has been hit hardest by pesky allergies this year, and is finding it difficult to even find any beauty in it at all.

I am trying my best to look past how it all makes me feel, and instead soak in all the incredible color and texture. This week went by incredibly fast, so I thought I would leave you for the weekend wtih this bouquet that has been causing me to smile every time I come into the room. It’s really the little things, isn’t it?

Oh, an don’t forget to look  to your inboxes today! I actually got the newsletter out this week and it has some of what has been keeping us so busy in it! I promise to share something I sewed soon. Lots of sewing going on behind the scenes (which is really saving my sanity right now. Well, I suppose it always does that)!

*****

What is causing YOU to smile?

Musical Magrath Dress

A friend of ours runs a non-profit program for kids, teaching them music (regardless of income), called Kids in Concert. She asked me if I would donate a sewn garment to their auction, and of course I said yes! I came up with a musical Magrath dress just for the occassion.

Musical Magrath dress pattern by Sew Much Ado, sewn by Falafel and the Bee

I had Falafel model it, of course.

Musical Magrath dress pattern by Sew Much Ado, sewn by Falafel and the Bee

I used the Magrath dress pattern like I used for her Mermaid dress, only this time I used musical note fabric along with a black bedsheet. And I whipped up a mustard colored denim belt to add a pop of color.

Musical Magrath dress pattern by Sew Much Ado, sewn by Falafel and the Bee

I love this pattern. I wanted it to look a bit more special than the average dress, and I think it does!

kicdonation11mMusical Magrath dress pattern by Sew Much Ado, sewn by Falafel and the Bee

I hope it brings in some much needed money for this fantastic program.

Musical Magrath dress pattern by Sew Much Ado, sewn by Falafel and the Bee

What have you sewn lately?

Birthday Dress Wish

Our friend turned 11 this weekend, and the one thing she had was a birthday dress wish from me. Although my plate has been full to the brim, I have babysat this girl since she was 4. She is most definitely like family. And when she saw my Falafel’s Alice in Wonderland dress a few months ago, she has asked me for one ever since! How could I refuse that?!

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I did this one slightly different than the original, starting with the fabric (that my Falafel is modeling before we gave it to the birthday girl). I knew our friend would like a silky light purple instead of the blue gauze.

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The ruffles are a little wider on this one. I have no idea why. I think I just got a little carried away. Ha! I did still use the Noelle Party dress by the Peek-a-Boo Pattern shop *affiliate link*, only this time I made a size 10 (which is slightly too big for my girl, but perfect for the Birthday girl) and cut it up into different panels. I always start with this bodice pattern because I like how it fits.

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I also added puffy sleeves with elastic because I didn’t have her upper arm measurement.

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We gave it to her, and she LOVED it. I can’t wait to see it on her.

On-Our-Shelves Sunday: Craft Book Review

On our shelves this week is a craft book review!

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Paper + Tape: Craft & Create

by Marisa Edghill

*affiliate link*

This book is full of paper crafts, and most use washi tape. My Falafel happened to go on a washi tape binge last week, and used up all four rolls I had, so we improvised. I got out the blue painter’s tape (I have no idea why we have an entire roll of this since I never tape when I paint- ha!) and some card stock, and we made one of our favorite projects from the book.

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Paper Pyramid Pouches

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She made this orange one all by herself.

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Using the recommended materials (origami paper and washi tape) make them much cuter, but I think ours are just as sweet. And I love that they still worked, even though we used what we had.

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There are so many projects in this book! Everything from Paper Puppets to Washi Tape and Paper Beads. My 10 year old was so into this one, even though the crafts are geared toward adults. We did the pouch project together, and once we did one, she made a whole army of them on her own. Luckily, she stuffed them and gave them as gifts.

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papercraftbookm

If you like working with paper, this book is a fun addition to any paper craft library.

 ***

::Even though I received this book to review, as always all my opinions are mine, mine, mine::

Amaryllis dress

Today I am bringing home the Amaryllis dress I posted about over at Melly Sews for Blank Slate Patterns(affiliate links).

amaryllis19mm

Can I just tell you, I LOVE THIS PATTERN??!!

Of all the Blank Slate patterns I have sewn up, it is my favorite. And that is saying something. You can see others I have sewn here, here, here, here, and here. And that is not even all of them!

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Firstly, it is reversible!! Essentially, this means two dresses in one. How awesome is that?!

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

BTW: please excuse my daughter’s pinky finger. It was broken, but we unwrapped it for the photos, and it just stuck out like that.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The fabric I used is from the Birch Organics Mod Basics 3 collection. The Navy is called Firefly Dots Dusk, and the mustard colored one is called Wink Marigold. Dreamy fabric to go with this dreamy pattern.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The pattern goes from18m-size 8. I hope one day Melissa will make this in MY size. But for now, you can make one for your little girl to twirl in. And twirl she will! The dress has great twirl-ability.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The back closes with a button, so no zips to install or even buttonholes!

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The whole dress goes on like a secured wrap dress. There really is no danger of being exposed. This one has you covered.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The only difficult thing is choosing which side to wear.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The one time consuming (but completely worth it) component to this pattern is hemming the circle skirt portion of the dress. I just followed the instructions, and went slowly. It came out beautifully. No wrinkles or anything! I was impressed.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

I did not deviate from this pattern because there wasn’t anything I would do differently!

Thank you, Melissa. I cannot wait to sew up another.

Floral head garland for Prom

My daughter had the pleasure of attending a prom with her boyfriend, that her best friend invited them to, given by her friend’s church. For her outfit, I made The Bee a floral head garland, since the theme was “Enchanted Forest”.

  Floral head Garland for Prom

It was super simple to do with silk flowers, and I think it added a little bit of whimsy to her outfit.

Floral head Garland for Prom

Did you know that I was a floral designer for many, many years? It’s true! So glad to be able to use my skills for my kids.

Floral head Garland for Prom

More details on that stunning dress here.

Floral head Garland for Prom

I kept it fairly sparse, so that the brown covered wire would show through, and give it more of a foresty fairy look.

Floral head Garland for Prom

Floral head Garland for Prom

Their attempt at a Charlie’s Angels type pose. I love these two silly girls.

Floral head Garland for Prom

Her first corsage.

Floral head Garland for Prom

 Ack! When did my baby get all grown up?!

Anyhow, please leave a comment below to let me know if you want a tutorial on how to make this simple head garland, and like magic, I will!

What have YOU made today?