Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What saves my sanity every morning

Travel packing tip

So the munchkin has just started her daycare and every morning these days is a struggle to get her out of the bed, out of my lap, out of home, on time. All while a constant chant of "I don't want to go to daycare" keeps ringing in my ears.

The one thing I don't have to worry about is finding all her clothes, socks, sweaters etc. All because they were already packed in coordinating pairs and layers right at the beginning of the week. I can't tell you what a big difference it makes to our mornings...imagine having to rummage through your dresser for a matching pair of pants while your toddler is crying her heart out.
Having everything together also ensures that she won't wear yellow pants with blue shirts when she's dressed by the Mister.

I wish I could take the credit for this clever idea but actually I found it here.
If you have never been to this blog you should really check it out, Crystal's blog is full of parenting, housekeeping and money saving advice, not to mention the handpicked deals and steals.

Now if only I could find a way to stop the "Don't wanna go daycare" chant....

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Sewing for baby: Firefly dress and pants - part 2

Sewing for Baby: Friefly dress set

Ever since I made the firefly dress here for a gift, my husband has complained that I don't make that good clothes for my daughter. What he meant was that I would embellish clothes really well that I make for sale or as a gift but I don't pay that much attention to embellishing clothes I make for our daughter.
While I don't want to accept this allegation but I do have to confess that sometimes I skip over the non-essentials when sewing for our daughter.

My husband wanted to keep the firefly dress for our munchkin, I would have done that except that it was 2 sizes too small. So I did the next best thing I could...make her another firefly dress.

My husband still thinks I gifted the best piece and this one is not nearly as beautiful. Oh well!

I'm just happy that she has a nice set to wear at the daycare.Some customers ( or their dads) are just way too difficult to please.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bottoms up part 5: Lilly Frilly ruffle pants tutorial

Ruffle pants sewing tutorial

Here's the story behind the series, the second part of the series is here, third part of the series is here, go here for the part 4.                                          

The following post has been published as a guest post on craftsy blog, I am republishing it here now.
These are a very quick and easy refashion and a great way to jazz up a plain boring pair of baby pants or leggings. This technique is also an easy way to increase the length of pants that fit well at the waist but are a couple of inches too short. This will also come in handy if you want to make pants coordinated with a dress, but don't have the time/skill to sew the whole thing yourself. You could just add a ruffle at the bottom and may be a couple of embellishments and just like that! matching pants!


1 baby pants that fit well at the waist ( length doesn't matter here, because we can always cut them to the right length, or add ruffles to increase the length)
5 inchesX full fabric width of coordinating woven fabric

Here's a quick rundown of how I did it.
Cut two strips of 2.5 inches X width of the fabric. I used a precut jelly roll strip from Moda's "Meadow Friends" line by Deb Strain. Hem along one long edge of these strips.

Along the other long edge, sew a seam after setting your machine's tension to highest and stitch length to maximum. This will ruffle up the strips.

Take the pants and cut off the cuffs about 1 inch above the hemline. This is where you adjust the length of the pants if they're too short or too long. If they are too long, cut them to a length where they are about 1 inch shorter than the perfect length. If they're too small, then cut them as close to the hem as possible.

Place the ruffle on this new raw edge of pants such that the ruffle and pant are right sides together and their raw edges line up. Sew a seam along this raw edge to attach the ruffle to the pants. Serge or sew a zig-zag stitch at the edge to finish it.

Turn out the ruffle, top-stitch as close to the edge as you can. For a better finish top-stitch one more time, this time 1/4 inch away from the edge. ( you could also use twin needle to do both the seams at once)

Adding the bow in the front:

Cut a 9 inch long piece from the jelly roll.

Fold it in half along the length with right sides together. Sew along the raw ends to make a tube.

Now rotate the seam such that it falls in the center of back if you iron the tube flat.

Now sew a seam along the bottom of this tube.
Sew another seam at the top of this tube but leave a gap of 1 inch at the center of this seam. This gap will be used to turn the whole thing out. I have left the gap where the green seam ripper is placed.

Now snip the corners to get this rectangle to turn smoothly.
Now turn out. Use a pencil or corner turner to poke the corners out.
Iron flat.

Sew over the opening you had left earlier to close it fully.

Now fold it like an accordion in the center. I made three folds in mine, with the center fold being a little bigger then the ones on the sides.

Now cut a ribbon or twill tape about 3 inches long. Wrap it over the accordion folds you just made. If needed use a pin to hold everything together.

Now hand-sew the ribbon at the back of the bow. Cut off excess ribbon.

The bow is ready. Now place it at the center of the front of pants and again hand sew it to attach it to the pants. Make sure you sew multiple stitches for added strength.

Ruffled pants are ready! Make one,

Make two. Make Many! enjoy!

Another embellishment idea:


Cut hearts from the fabric in various sizes.

Arrange them in any manner you want.
Hand sew along the edge. The stitch I have used makes sure that the edges are covered so they don't fray. If you want to be doubly sure, use fray check.

Look! A sweet little heart. Now do the same for other pieces.

You could applique whatever shape you like. If your ruffle fabric has some interesting print, you could even cut that and applique it.

Ta da! Sew Unique, Sew creative, Sew you!

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Elastic by the yard giveaway winner

Giveaway Winner: Elastic By the Yard
Photo credit: cohdra from

Thanks a lot to Elastic by the yard for sponsoring a giveaway on Blooms And Bugs and many thanks to all of you who took time to participate in it by commenting here and liking EBTY and tweeting about the giveaway. We had a total of 123 comments and here're the comment numbers that picked out:

#3, #53 and #111

And who are they?

Comment # 3 : Heather said...

I liked Elastic by the yard on FB

Comment # 53 : just jayma said...
I liked Elastic By the Yard on FB! Thanks again for the giveaway, I'm so excited to have been introduced to this company!

Comment # 111 Alyssa said...

This looks so sweet!!

Congratulations to all of you. You will be shortly receiving a mail from me to get your postal address so your prizes could be mailed to you. Don't forget to share your creations with us. I would love to feature them here.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bird on my Windowsill

DIY Jewelry So I got some money as a gift on my birthday a couple of months back and I used it to buy some jewelry making supplies that I had been eyeing for a while.
(I know....such a nerd)
Here's what it became....I just love wearing this cute necklace.

On another totally unrelated note: I have written a mini tutorial for the firefly dress here. I will probably add some more details about the firefly applique later, but if you're impatient like me, you could check it out now.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tutorial: Devil's advocate Hat

Sewing Tutorial: Knotted Baby Hat

This is a tutorial I did as a guest post on Bear Rabbit Bear last month. Just republishing it her in case you'd missed it earlier.

Devil's advocate baby hat:


    * Knit fabrics: Take 2 pieces of same fabric or two different fabrics – use up those scraps that are too big to throw away but too irregular to make into a dress, top etc.

    * Print out the pattern [PDF page 1 and page 2], tape the two pages as shown and cut out both pieces of the pattern (total of 3 cuts – piece 1 spans both pages and piece 2 is on page 1. Once you cut out all the three pieces, tape both parts of Piece 1 by overlapping the small part over the bigger part, up to the line on page 2.

   1. Fold each fabric in two layers, then fold one more time. Place each pattern piece on fold and cut. So now you have two pieces of #1 and two pieces of #2.

Note: Just Ignore the joint in the center...its there because I didn't have enough fabric, but if you cut the patterns on the fold, you shouldn't have it.
2.  Sew together pieces of #1 along the cone, bunny ears side, leaving just the bottom straight side raw, right sides together. Sew together pieces of #2 along the semi-circular side, right sides together.

This is the place where my camera died and I couldn't take pics of the rest of the process, so I continued
with another hat next day.

   3. Now join #1 and #2 by sewing along the raw edge, right sides together. Leave about 2 inch opening.

   4. Using the opening, turn the whole thing inside out. Use a pencil or point turner to poke the ears out on fabric #1. Push the fabric #2 inside fabric #1.
   5. Slip-stitch the opening shut.

   6. Tie two knots with the 'ears' of Fabric #1. You may have to adjust these knots a bit to give them the right look. The knots also give you some control over the size of the hat so you can make it fit the child's head a little better.

If the hat is a little big, you can turn some of the bottom out to fit the head of the baby. The best part is that these hats don’t have a any inside seams to bother the baby skin. Enjoy your little devil's advocate...he'll soon be coming up with some tough questions.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Firefly dress and pants

Baby Sewing Project: Firefly Dress and Pants

Don't forget to enter the awesome Elastic By the Yard giveaway here.

I went shopping one day and a turquoise Tshirt came home with me :). No really! no plans or anything, it just made me pick it up and check out. It wasn't even munchkin's size.
And next time when I reached my sewing table, on a whim I picked it up again and thought it will look good with some "Meadow Friends" Damask that I have been hoarding for a while. So I added it in the skirt.
Then I got stuck, ok what now?

I sifted through my stash and found this Kate Spain Good Fortune Jelly Roll of firefly. Really, I couldn't have matched it better if I tried.

So I added the ruffle at the bottom from that jelly roll and then made a firefly applique on the front. I wish I had some orange ric-rac. It would have totally made the dress, but I didn't...and neither did the Walmart near us. Oh well!

Once the dress was complete, I realized it would be perfect for a friend's daughter whose birthday was coming up. Yaay!
So I searched through my stash again and found this stripey knit. Perfecto! A pair of matching leggings.
Next came the headband. What outfit could be considered complete without a headband. So again some search in the elastic stash yielded an almost perfect headband material.

I love it when things fall into place like that. Almost justifies having tons of sewing supplies in my stash. Well...almost!

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