December 17, 2014

One Year Surgery Anniversary!

Today marks one year since Ruby's open heart surgery.  One year!  How fast that flew by!

I decided after staying in the hospital with her during Christmas time, that we would start a tradition and bring some type of gift to those staying in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.  So...with the crazy busy time of year this is, of course I wait until last minute.  I bought the stuff to make Christmas Heart Garlands and Zipper Heart Ornaments yesterday afternoon...and then worked all night and got about 2 1/2 hours of sleep.  But I got them finished!  

What's super amazing and awesome is that yesterday evening, I thought to myself that I didn't want to gift just the garland and heart ornament--I wanted to give people some leg warmers to keep their sweet babies warm.  I always feel cold in hospitals and feel like my kiddos are cold while they stay there, so something useful was definitely on my radar.  I posted on Facebook, just on a whim, wondering if anyone had some to spare and would be willing to donate some pairs of leg warmers.  I had 5 pair myself and wanted enough to make 15 boxed gift sets.  In no time at all I had many offers to give me some leg warmers!  I was so touched by the quick response and generosity of people!  This is definitely something that might be an ongoing project--we will see.  I've been brainstorming.  For now, I'm just really happy I actually got them finished and delivered this evening.

My sweet kids were such awesome happy helpers!

Ruby just had to hold a box like her siblings, and she also had to walk herself and did not want me to hold her.  So she carried around a box and ran around with her squeaky shoes. 

We walked into the hospital and it was so great to see a line of people with donations.  I filled out the slip that explained the gift and the story behind the donation, along with who it was intended for.  Then the sweet lady took this picture of us and printed it then and there.  She was so kind and encouraging.  I showed her what was inside the boxes and she was excited to give them to the lady in charge of the gifts in the CICU.

We got a snack in the cafeteria and I got to explain to the kids some of my feelings...point out the table I sat at each evening where I cried and prayed, and called family--them included.  And my kids all talked about how happy they were that Ruby was doing so well and I got to sit and ponder how it felt to be there last year. The worries, the stresses, the emotional roller-coaster.  And then we got back to our van and said a prayer for all the children struggling in that hospital, and prayed for their families and for them to feel peace.  It was just a neat experience and I'm so excited to add a meaningful Christmas tradition each year!  And oh how I love these four kiddos of mine.

I do need to plan ahead better, however ;).  And maybe I'll enlist your help in the future!

I just wanted to thank you all for your love and support of our sweet Ruby and our family.  Thank you.  So many of you have really touched our lives with your kindness.

P.S.  I will have details on how to make the zipper heart ornament and the Christmas garland later on :).  

December 2, 2014

Faux Fur Sweater Cowl Scarf Tutorial + Girl Charlee KnitFix Fabric Bag Giveaway!!!

I'm loving the faux fur these days, can you tell? ;)

Before I share the tutorial for the Faux Fur Sweater Cowl Scarf using some of the Girl Charlee knit I was sent, are you ready for a fun surprise and giveaway!?

Next week, December 9,  Girl Charlee is starting a new product called the KnitFix fabric bag. Each KnitFix contains 6 specially selected, unique and exclusive knit fabrics in TWO YARD cuts each for a total of 12 yards.  Fabulous right?  The fabrics will never be available anywhere else, ever!  KnitFix sales are only once a month--the second Tuesday, and are on a first come, first serve basis.  The KnitFix sale has fabrics that are only available for that current sale, so you can buy each month and never get the same fabrics.  Retail price is $69 for the 12 yards and you get a Girl Charlee KnitFix resuable tote bag.  It's cute and has gold writing on it :).

Here are the six different fabrics I got.  They are so fun!  I also love that they kind of go together.  

I must say that typically when people say "mystery fabric", I expect the leftover fabrics that the shop just couldn't sell.  I was pleasantly surprised to open the package and find that I liked all of it.  Beautiful fabrics, and the quality seems up to par with what Girl Charlee typically sells.  Most of it is some type of spandex rayon blend (at least that is my guess), which drapes beautifully. I'm excited to make myself some shirts with a lot of it.  I thought about dresses or shirts or leggings for my girls, but I have a confession--rarely do I buy enough fabric for any projects for myself unless I know what I'm making.  So the most I buy of fabric is 1.5 yards, but more often than not 1 yard.  So, since I have 2 yards of each of these I will be selfishly keeping them to myself...maybe.

Want to enter to win the exact fabrics you see pictured above--or the Christie KnitFix Bag? Shipping is free. * Sorry, but only USA addresses are qualified for this giveaway.  *

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ok, are you ready for this simple diy?  Let's do this.

You need:
--an old sweater.  Or new, but thrifted is pretty practical.  I recommend a tighter weave sweater so it's not impossible to sew with .  I cut my sweater to 12" x 34"
--knit fabric cut 12" x 34".  The floral is from my KnitFix bag!
--faux fur fabric for the trim cut to 4" x 34" (of course this is optional--but it's kind of fun)

Instead of the thrifted sweater, you could knit or crochet your own scarf and attach the fur to the top of it. One infinity scarf tutorial that I've been wanting to try is THIS one from Delia Creates.  The knit is just a fun pop of color, along with making it really soft on your neck.  This is also reversible so you could have the knit on the outside for a different look.  You could use wovens as well, or a very soft flannel (which is my next cowl scarf I'm making--I have a thrifted gray sweater and some of the flannel shirting left from THESE hoods).

The dimensions of what I cut the sweater and knit fabric was 12" x 34".  TIP:  fold the fabric in half and do 12" x 17" to make it easier with your cutting mat.  Also, if you choose a small sweater, that would be ideal!  Because if it's just around 17"-18" around the bottom on the front and back of the sweater then you don't have to cut and sew a seam--you can just use the tube cut off the bottom of the sweater.   I cut my fur 4" by 34".

Feel free to zig-zag the edges of the sweater so they don't unravel too much. It's not the easiest with this fabric, but go ahead if you'd like. I recommend a large and wide zig-zag so it sews through your machine more smoothly. 

Rather than cutting and sewing a seam if your sweater is too big, sew before cutting and then cut off the excess. That way your sweater fabric doesn't stretch as much when sewing.  

Cut your knit fabric 12" x 34".  Place right sides together and sew together the short ends. 

So now you will have 3 tubes.  

Line up the fur, wrong sides together.

 Place the right side of the fur on top of the right side of the knit, lining up the raw edges.

Now, place the right side of the sweater on top of the fur, so the fur is sandwiched in between the two layers. 

Pin the layers together and sew all the way around the edges.  I use a 1/2" seam here.

You'll want to be careful and check your layers while sewing to make sure that fabric hasn't shifted or folded down.  

Sometimes the sweater can bunch up at the presser foot, despite pinning a lot.  It's easy to just squish it under the presser foot and move along (next two pictures). 

 This is what it should look like after those steps.

Turn right side out.  If you used knit, you don't have to finish the edges of the knit fabric.  You can just pin in place.  If you used a woven or like a more finished look, you can fold a 1/4" small edge up and iron, pinning around the bottom of the cowl so it's a finished seam.  

Sew the knit layer to the sweater, from the top right side of the sweater.  Make sure the knit fabric isn't folding under or shifting too much. 

That's all!  So very easy right?

You can also pull it over your head kind of like a hood. But I like the look as an infinity scarf a bit more. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope your week is great and good luck on the giveaway!  

November 24, 2014

Fur Vest + five and ten designs E-Book review

I was sent the amazing five and ten designs e-book Volume 2 to review and make something from this month.  Let me tell you, it was so hard to narrow it down!  There were 10 amazing outerwear designs in the e-book and they all have such detailed elements of design.  The whole e-book is just really fun to look at and completely inspiring.

If you are unfamiliar with what the e-book is, you have 5 amazing designers, each creating looks that are based off of the same basic pattern block.  Here are the designers:  Jessica from The Sewing Rabbit, Delia from Delia Creates, Jessica from Craftiness is Not Optional, Stefanie from Girl Inspired, and Heidi from Elegance & Elephants.  That's really all you need to know right there.  All of them are among my favorite bloggers out there.  There are 10 looks made from that pattern block, and it's really cool to see how unique each look is.  You can mix and match the tutorials and make something just how you want.  After looking through the e-book, I decided to mix a couple different tutorials/looks from the e-book. I took Jess's Shawl Collar Jacket design with the curved hem on the front and paired it with Heidi's Vest.  I will admit that I sometimes prefer to just have all the pattern pieces to save time, but this was so easy because I didn't need to do any extra work other than curve the hemline on front.  Easy peasy.  And I just was browsing through the site and realized that Lexi made a fur vest as well!  Fur is all the rage and I am so very much loving this trend (as you can see).  

My kids love to put the hood on her and call her a wookiee (think Star Wars).  I was thinking more like an Ewok, but whatevs.  And then someone else said she looked like she was from How To Train Your Dragon. Take your pick.  It's adorable any way you call it.  And we were told many, many times how cute she looked throughout the day ;).

So really, as I said all I did was merge the two tutorials, left out the quilting and buttons and all that wonderful-ness from Heidi's pattern on the vest, and just stuck with simple and quick.  Though it did take some time and the hood was tricky to figure out.  There are so many detailed pictures in the e-book for each design, it just took a while for my brain to click the ideas together to figure it out. 

This little munchkin is everywhere!  She was not wanting to sit or stand in one place for long at all.  I basically chased her around the entire photo shoot.  Fun girl. 

 I got both the fur and the amazing lining fabric from Joann.  I love them both so very much!  Sadly, the fur was only stocked during Halloween so after trying 3 Joann's, I finally found that out.  Fur at Joann is really so much cheaper than it is elsewhere that I can find.  If anyone knows of a better deal, I'm all ears.  Because the supply of fur is lacking now at Joann.

So!  Go ahead and check out the Five and Ten Designs E-Book!  It really is amazing.  Volume 1 was also incredible, just fyi ;).

I was given a copy of the e-book to write a review on.  All opinions are, and always are, 100% mine.

Happy Monday everyone!


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