Saturday, May 17, 2014

She won’t Let it Go!

We saw Frozen at Thanksgiving, and like the rest of the free world, we were completely enthralled. Gracie received the CD for Christmas, and 5 months later, she still listens to it to go to sleep at least 4 nights a week. The DVD showed up in her Easter basket and we’ve since re-watched the movie approximately 321 times. It’s safe to say that we here in the Barrick house are Frozen fans.

It was no surprise that Grace requested a Frozen theme for her 5th birthday, but her party isn’t for a couple more weeks. In the meantime, I wanted to give her something Frozen related on her actual birthday. She loves to dress up, so I thought I would try to put together an Elsa dress for my sweet girl.

I wanted it to look less like the versions in the stores and more like Elsa’s actual dress from the movie. This was my inspiration picture that I took to Jo-Ann’s.

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I bought this Simplicity pattern and fiddled with it a bit. I made the skirt less full and added a slit and a small train. I used the version that had the sleeves, but I just made them longer and not as puffy.

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I chose 4 different fabrics. I used the costume satin for the skirt and the bodice, and the bodice is also overlaid with the sequined tulle. The chiffon was for the yoke and sleeves, and the glittery organza was for Elsa’s cape.

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It was a little slow going at first because all of these fabrics are slippery and hard to work with. I’m used to being able to turn my iron all the way up and really press my hems before I sew them, but I couldn’t do that this time around. Also, I was making a lot of it up as I went. So I had to do, undo, and re-do a few times (all while trying to keep it hidden from Grace so it would be a surprise!) This was the bodice before I added the skirt and sleeves.

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A couple days later I had it pretty much pieced together and almost done.

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I was up late the night before her birthday adding in the zipper and working on the cape (which was her favorite part!) It was all worth it to see her face when she opened it and put it on! She immediately launched into a precious, off-key version of “Let it Go”. I finally got better pictures of her in it today. I took her outside and turned on her music and she went to town singing along and dancing around!

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This girl. She makes doing stuff like this SO. MUCH. FUN. I don’t even care that the cape is leaving a trail of glitter throughout the entire house. :)

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Happy Birthday to my little Elsa!

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Gracie’s Quilt

Over a year ago I fell in love with some fabric lines and decided to use one of them to decorate Gracie’s new girly room.  She LOVED sharing a room with Ben, so I really had to sell the idea of putting the boys together and moving her out by herself. I showed her pictures online of a few choices and she ended up picking the one that was my favorite, too: Simply Sweet by Riley Blake.

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While I had experience making bedding (I sewed the duvet and shams for the Master bedroom last Spring), I had never made an actual quilt before and I really wanted to try! I saved up and placed my order and felt all warm and fuzzy inside when this arrived!

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That picture was taken in June 2013, for anyone interested in knowing the true depths of my procrastination.

Anyway, the fabric arrives and I hug it, smell it, pet it and whisper sweet nothings to it because it makes my heart sing. Then I set it in the corner of the guest room where it stared at me and mocked me for months. MONTHS, I tell you. At one point the song “Tainted Love” was actually emanating from within the crisp folds. True story. (If it’s not already obvious, I have an irrational fear of cutting into pretty fabric.)

Anyway, it took some sweet friends (Joan, Lori, you are my quilting heroes) and Gracie asking for the hundredth time “Mommy, when are you going to make my pretty blanket?” to get this show on the road. Finally I cut (and survived) and pieced and seam ripped and pieced some more and I landed here.

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Oh my gosh – I could see the finish line! When I finished piecing it, I sent it off to be quilted at a little quilt shop in Keys, Oklahoma. The quilting is AMAZING. It’s so intricate and I wish I could take a picture that would really show it off.

I got it back at the beginning of April and I bet you can guess what happened next…. that’s right, the staring and mocking again. I had to add the binding and I’d never done that, so naturally I just stuck the whole thing in a corner and pretended it didn’t exist.

This past week I realized that I had t-minus ZERO TIME if I wanted to give this to Gracie for her birthday. I consulted the friends again and read 3 or 12 binding tutorials and last night I FINALLY got ‘er done. I texted Lori this picture and said, “Ok, I’m putting on my big girl pants and I’m going to DO THIS THING."

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Then I pinned the binding on in the wrong direction and had to start over. Because, you know, I’m me.

I found the tutorials by Cluck Cluck Sew and Wasn’t Quilt in a Day to be the most helpful. I’m TERRIBLE at sewing by hand, so I just decided to do it by machine on both sides and it actually went pretty quickly. I finished it in one night. I couldn’t wait for the sun to come up so I could take pictures!!

Here she is, ALLLLLL done.

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The binding came out really cute – I love the yellow.

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The back is pretty simple. The blue polka dots make me happy happy happy – Phil Roberts Style.

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I can’t wait to wash it and see it get all puffy and precious. Then it will be all ready to wrap up for my Gracie-Grace’s birthday next Thursday.

I have enough fabric left for some shams, throw pillows, and valences, so I’ll get right on that…. in a month or six.

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