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I found the Front Tie Spring Dress on Make It and Love It and knew that I wanted to try to make one for Lillian.  It was easier to make than it looks but was very difficult to get measurements since Lillian is an active two year old!

Lillian in her sun dress

Overall it fits her decently but it’s not my favorite thing I have made for her.  I think it’s the fabric that I’m not a huge fan of but I struggled finding one that I liked for a dress.  I found many that would make cute skirts but not necessarily a dress.

Front Tie Spring Dress

I kind of slacked on taking pictures for this dress because I wanted to have it finished for our family reunion.  Plus, Ashley has fantastic tutorials so I don’t really need to show my steps.

Anyway, the picture above shows the buttonholes that hold the front tie.  I used my automatic buttonhole feature on my machine which made it easy to get the holes the same size.  It did take me a little while to figure out how to save the settings on my machine though.  I also don’t really know how to line it up to get the buttonholes in the exact spot that I want them.

Front Tie Spring Dress

This is the area around the waist.  I know it looks like it would be pretty difficult but really all you are doing is inserting three pieces of elastic.  Each piece goes into it’s own casing but you work from the top down so it’s not an issue of getting them mixed up.

I wasn’t really sure where to measure on Lillian’s waist because she still has a baby belly.  You know, the one that sticks out but is oh so cute!  I kind of just measured where her waist should be even though there is no definition.

Front Tie Spring Dress

Here is the final dress.  As you can sort of see on the top left of the dress (well, left since we are looking at the dress) it’s a tad crooked.  I apparently didn’t get the gathering even before I attached the straps so it kind of looks twisted.  I’m not sure if that makes sense or not but I don’t know how else to describe it.

Front Tie Spring Dress

A closer shot of the top so you can see more detail.  I think the bow ends might look nice angled instead of straight across.  What do you think?

Lillian in her sun dress

Here is Lillian wearing the dress (with daddy behind her).  I should probably make it a tad shorter but this way it will fit longer, plus I don’t feel like I have to make a diaper cover because it’s so long.

Lillian in her sun dress

I made the straps a little long but not long enough to warrant redoing them.  Maybe I’m just lazy, but it’s only one of them that seems to fall down and again, maybe she can wear it longer this way.

Lillian in her sun dress

My silly girl showing off since I told her to stand against the couch.  She thought she had lean against the couch and act like she was falling.  We never have a dull moment!

Lillian in her sun dress

haha….I have no idea what this look is for, but I do know that the bow kept ending up in her mouth when we had it tied.  It was in the perfect spot for her to chew on so I untied it and think that it looks decent that way as well.

My overall opinion about this dress is that I think it’s cute but I don’t love it.  Again, I think that is because of my fabric choice.  The dress was not difficult to make at all other than getting the proper measurements.

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In March, I won two Keyka Lou patterns from a giveaway on Craft Girls Workshop’s blog.  I have mentioned Anna’s shop before because I purchased the material for Lillian’s birthday skirt from her.   Anna sells fabric, patterns, books, kits, magazines, and notions, as well as offers classes at her San Antonio shop.  She also recently started FFF (Fabulous Friday Fabric) in which you sign up for the FFF newsletter and every Friday you will receive an email showing you which fabric is only $5 for that day.

City Tote

I was able to choose my own patterns and chose the City Tote and the Messenger Bag. The City Tote seemed like it would be easier to make so I started with that one. The pattern was fantastic…very thorough and easy to follow.  The only issue I had was knowing when to sew in the optional invisible lining.  But that is probably because I am not that familiar with sew-in interfacing.

City Tote

Speaking of interfacing…I used SF-101 Shape-Flex Woven Fusible on all pieces even if the pattern didn’t call for it, and then used sew-in fleece for the invisible lining.  Overall, I feel as if these are good choices to make the bag seem pliable yet sturdy.  I didn’t want a stiff bag but wanted it to feel like more than just two pieces of cotton.

City Tote

The pattern has you mark the center of each main piece of fabric.  At first I was trying to measure where the center was and then realized that the pattern was half of the piece so I could just use that to find the center!  That way there was no measuring at all.

City Tote

Here is the pocket (pushed toward the top) and the top and bottom piece of my lining.  Essentially, the pocket is sewn in the middle but not sewn shut and when the top piece is brought up you have a pocket.  It’s like magic!

City Tote

Sewing darts….this was the first time I have ever sewn darts.  I had to actually look online to see exactly how to do it!  Can you say beginner? Anyway, to sew darts all that you do is line up the two edges of  your dart and sew together.  Then you iron them in one direction and you are done.  Darts are pretty much boxed corners for curved fabric…at least in the case of a bag.

City Tote

See how it’s sort of like a boxed corner?

City Tote

Finally, a picture of the outside pocket.  The pattern has you put a button and loop on it but I did not have a button that was big enough or matched.  Since I really wanted to finish the bag I opted to make it without.  I figured I could always add a button (without loop) later if I really wanted to.  I do like the look of the bag with a button so I will definitely add one to my next City Tote even if it’s just for looks and not for functionality.

Overall, I am in love with this bag.  It’s the perfect size for me and I LOVE the fabric (purchased from Joann’s).  It took me what seemed like forever to cut out the pieces but once I started sewing it didn’t take all that long to make.

I highly suggest checking out Keyka Lou patterns and if you like something, order it, and get to sewing!  (I am an affiliate of Keyka Lou Patterns, so I do get compensation if you purchase an item by clicking on a link from my site.)

Linked up to Travel Handmade.

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We have a new baby in the family and I wanted to make him something fun.  I was originally planning on making another cloth block but then found this turtle tutorial on Make It and Love It.   Isn’t it cute?!?  I especially love Ashley’s pictures of the turtles in the grass!

Stuffed Turtle

The tutorial was super easy to follow and overall the turtle wasn’t too bad to make.  I think the hardest part was stuffing the thing!

Stuffed Turtle

The parts are fairly small so they are a little difficult to work with but really it wasn’t bad.

Stuffed Turtle

I wasn’t sure exactly how full to fill the parts….

Stuffed Turtle

But once trying to sew them on realized I probably stuffed them a little too much.

Stuffed Turtle

You probably want a little more space from the end than I allowed for.  I ended up using my zipper foot to sew the pieces to the main part and it was still difficult.  It actually probably would have been smart for me to just hand stitch them on.

Stuffed Turtle

I thought sewing the circle would be difficult but again I just took my time and it wasn’t so bad.

I was able to practice a ladder stitch again and it was easier this time since I knew what I was doing!  Here is a video and a PDF to help if you haven’t done a ladder stitch before.

I am very happy with how the turtle turned out!  I think it’s adorable and might have to make one for Lillian even though she has more stuffed animals than she needs, especially since she doesn’t play with them.

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I never know what to get my mom for mother’s day.  She isn’t the type of mom that likes a lot of jewelry or a spa day or anything like that.  I normally do something that consists of pictures but because it was mother’s day I didn’t want to make the gift from Lillian because then it would be more like grandparent’s day.  So instead, I decided to make her a purse.

Buttercup Bag

I decided on the buttercup bag from Made by Rae.  If you choose to purchase the pattern you also get a larger version along with a license to sell.  You can purchase it here.

Buttercup Bag

This bag is fairly easy, especially if you have made a tote bag.  I changed some of the construction process because it didn’t make sense to me to do it the way that it was written.

I did not change the pleats…if you are worried because this bag has pleats, don’t be!  It’s SUPER easy.  You literally fold the fabric on the lines, pin, and sew to keep in place.  I think the pleats are such an added decorative aspect to this purse.

Buttercup Bag

The pattern has you make the pocket out of the lining fabric but I like the look of using the outer fabric for the lining.

I made the strap longer (30 instead of 20) because I know my mom doesn’t really like short straps on her purse.  I also constructed it the same way that I did for the tote bags.

Buttercup Bag

I found it pretty exciting to sew the top area to the bottom and to see how the pleats will look.  This is when I realized that pleats are super easy and add that “something extra.”

Buttercup Bag

I must not have folded my pleats as much as I should have because this is what I had after sewing the top and bottom pieces together.

Buttercup Bag

In order to fix it I just put the two full panel pieces right sides together and trimmed off the excess.  That way when sewing them together I would know they were the right size, making it much easier to stick to the correct seam allowance.

Buttercup Bag

Another change that I made was to leave an opening in the top of the lining instead of the bottom…this eliminates the need for hand stitching since you will be top stitching anyway.  It also made it possible to insert the magnetic snap after the bag was put together.  This way I was more likely to have it in the right spot.  Which apparently is important for snaps, who knew?!?

I also attached the handle between the lining and outer fabric instead of on the outside of the bag.

Buttercup Bag

I had to add this picture to show off the pleats again, because, well, I am excited about them!

Overall, this bag is adorable.  I would probably make the strap a little shorter than I did but not as short as the pattern says.  I would also like for the bag to have more of a bottom.  Without boxed corners (which a curved bag can’t have) or darts there really isn’t a way to have the bag stand on it’s own.

I think the pattern was a little hard to follow but luckily the concept is about the same as with the tote bag so it was easy enough to change.  So if you are just getting started with sewing, I recommend making the tote bag first.  But do suggest this buttercup bag because it’s a great purse pattern.

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Lillian's Tote Bag

I made Lillian a tote bag just like the one that I gave away and the one I made for our cousin’s daughter.

Except this time I appliqued an “L” onto it so it was a little more personalized.  I am very happy with how it turned out.  I actually made this one before I did the flower applique because I knew straight lines would be easier to applique.

Lillian's Tote Bag

First I printed an “L” onto regular paper.  After printing I realized that I wanted it to be a little bigger so I just measured the same distance all the way around it to get a slightly larger “L”.  Then I cut it out.

Lillian's Tote Bag

I cut out a piece of fabric and Heat N’ Bond Lite that was large enough for my “L” and then ironed the Heat N’ Bond onto the fabric.

Lillian's Tote Bag

Then I traced the “L” and cut it out.

Lillian's Tote Bag

Next was the placement of the “L”…I wanted it on the lower right corner but had to make sure it wasn’t on the edge or bottom of the bag.  I ended up placing it 2 inches from the right and 3 inches from the bottom.

Lillian's Tote Bag

Finally was sewing around the “L”.  It was easier than the curves in the flower but I have yet to figure out exactly how to do the corners.

I am very happy with this bag and Lillian loves it!  Plus, she looks so cute carrying her little bag around (I should get a picture to share with you).  We have a few of those book blocks which consist of small books so we put a few in the bag each time we are going somewhere.  That way Lillian has a variety of books to read on the car ride.