Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The School Dress

OK, I am super excited and proud of myself.  I have to admit it.  It took me a long time, but I finally made S a dress out of her school shirt.  She started kindergarten this year and I REALLY wanted her to like it.  It has been a tough year with the move and it has been a bit hard for all of us to find our place here.  I hoped, and have not been disappointed, that a new school year with a new class where most people were new would give us an opportunity to meet people.  It has.  S seems to be enjoying her class and her classmates.  I have met many nice mothers and school staff.

Along with being verbally positive about school, I have also tried to make it positive with things. For instance, like many of your kids, she got to pick out her backpack and lunch box.  She got to buy some new school clothes and shoes.  Back in May, we had kindergarten orientation and they sold school shirts.  I encouraged S to get one even though I knew she might never wear it.  She is not into t-shirts like those.  She would get one each year from her gymnastics class but never wear it.  I don't blame her.  They don't fit like the tees from Target.  They are huge on her.  They are wide, like two times her size, and then the sleeves go down to her elbow because the shoulder seem is halfway down her arm.  But, like I said, I really wanted to encourage her and help her see the "coolness" in her new school.

It has been 4 months now and even though the shirt was washed and hanging in her closet she did not wear it once.  I knew that I would have to alter it if I ever wanted her to wear it.  I have been trying to decide what to do and how to do it for about the entire 4 months.  Finally, I went to Target and bought some t-shirts that were on sale so that I could try to make a dress out of it.  Here were my starting supplies:

My original thought was to make the shirt itself narrower and then to add gathered tiers similar to t-shirt dresses I made before.  The shirt was a youth small but even that was way too wide.  I started by just cutting about two inches from each side, cutting off the sleeves as well.  When I then sewed up the sides and put it on S, it was still very long going below her bottom.  I like the tie-dye look to the shirt and wanted to preserve it as much as possible, so I knew the original idea would not work.

When I think of school skirts, I often think of pleated ones (too many catholic school girl characters on TV). So, I thought that I could just use about 5 in. of the maroon t-shirt (a mens' XXL) and add that to the bottom.  I did nothing to the width, just used the bottom 5 in. of the shirt.  I attached it to the altered KRS shirt by pinning it to the middles and sides.  Then I made the pleats (4 front/4 back) so that all the material was used up.  This saved lots of sewing!!  After I did that, I wanted to make the sleeves long since it is about to be cold up here.  I also needed to make the diameter of the sleeves smaller so that they would fit her arm.  (Even after I did this and tried to make the maroon part of the sleeves narrow, she still says they are big.) So I cut up the sleeves, added the maroon part and then reattached.  I faked the serger-type seam on the sleeves so that it would look more "normal."  Here is the finished article:

 It seems like I still could of taken a couple of inches away from the width, but I wanted it to be easy for her to play in.  She likes it a lot and wore it to school the first day she could.  She even got a compliment on it before school even started.

I so wish we could find maroon knee socks. That would look so cute.  I might buy some white ones and dye them maroon.  That would mean she could wear the dress even in colder weather and look super cute.

Her sister has already asked for one of her own!

I was really wild and crazy this weekend and made the girls cute (in my opinion) little change purses that have a strap.  I saw a little girl at the Y with one and thought it was a great idea.  S has already lost one wallet and I fear it may be in a shopping cart at Target or the grocery store.  With a strap she can just wear it.  So far it has not caught on with the girls  :(

That is all for now.  Hopefully, I will have more soon!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Just a bit more...

I REALLY hate to admit this, but I actually like this origami stuff. It is fun even though my child has yet to figure out what I am sending her.  Her exact comment on the first day when I sent the goldfish, "Why didn't you write on it?"  I don't mean to be critical, but she can NOT read!!  I put a little "I ♥ U" on the dolphin and even though she could not identify on the first try what it was, she did seem to like it.  

Here are my attempts for next week...

A frog (labeled), worm, flower (it was supposed to be an iris, but I didn't have purple paper), and a swallow. I wrote or drew on them BEFORE folding so I should be covered all around.  I am waiting for the note from the teacher that will tell me to stop sending such things to school because they cause a distraction.  So far, so good though!!

For Julie- A Hurricane Irene Account : For us, it was a big bunch of nothing (thank goodness!) I spent Friday grumbling and marveling at the idea of having to go through this again.  We spent Saturday drinking and getting ready.  We cleared our deck, Eric tied down the grill and other outdoor things that could not be brought in, I packed the girls a bag just in case something did happen.  I spent a ridiculous amount of time watching the news.

Saturday night we discussed sleeping in the basement since we do have a lot of huge trees around our house, but they kept pushing back the actual time of arrival.  When we went to bed we were suppose to get the worst of it around 5AM. We have the biggest windows in our bedroom and the girls' windows are pretty small, so we felt like they were safe and that they could get a good night's sleep in their own beds before the storm even hit.  I expected to be woken up in the middle of the night with the sound of rain or wind.

What happened: nothing.  I was not woken up.  There was wind and rain through out the night, but not as bad as we had had here before when I had been woken up by the sound of the wind blowing through the trees and against the windows.  We had plenty of rain (hence the bad flooding in NJ) but other than a yard that looked like a pond we were fine.  We had no standing water on the road afterward.  We had a bit of water in the basement at a window the previous owners had boarded up but that was soaked up by a max of 5 towels.

We spent Sunday inside due to the rain and the wind.  The wind that scared me came in the afternoon.  I watched limbs sway very close to my window, but we got lucky. We saw plenty of neighbors out walking around on Sunday, but we stayed inside since even a small branch coming at you or your kid or your dog at high speed would hurt like the devil.  We also never lost power, so we could watch TV (news for me, movies for the kids) ALL DAY LONG!!

I will say this though just to give praise where praise is due: our neighbor, a lovely woman who has been so helpful ever since the day we moved, called to check on us.  She hadn't seen us out and wanted to make sure we were OK.  She had remembered that E was gone during that really bad snow storm (as was her husband) and had feared that he was gone again.  With this phone call I did learn that other neighbors had not been so fortunate.  At least one house on our circle had two trees down, one of which had landed on the house causing some damage.

On Monday we walked around our circle and found that several families had gotten enough water in the basement to cause them to pull out carpet, sheet rock, belongings.  We also found out another neighbor had a tree land on her deck.  So, we really were lucky.  E's office building which is just 10 minutes away was without power for several days as were some other neighbors just one or two streets away.  The worst though was all of the towns near the rivers.  They just got hit with the rising water. It didn't help that we kept getting rain off and on for a week or more.

This experience was nothing like Hurricane Ike for us.  This was a two/three day experience.  At the end of the week everything for us was back to normal and it felt like ages since we even worried about it.  With Ike, we went to the Woodlands a couple of days before the storm (at least a day before the mandatory evacuation) and had no power for over a week.  There was no gas, no stores opened with Ike, here many things were open on Sunday even before the storm had completely past (this is just hearsay since we stayed put).  With Ike, we were desperate for news from other friends and neighbors, but this time we were not near an evacuation zone so we didn't have that worry.  Just like now, we got lucky with Ike and only had a little damage like small trees leaning.  We eventually got one side of our fence redone, but really that was because the next-door neighbor had to have his fence redone and he wanted the entire fence redone not just two out of three sides.  I just don't think we were as close to it this time as with Ike.  This one was not as big of a storm, downgraded to a tropical storm when it hit landfall here on Coney Island, about an hour  from us, verses a Cat. 2 hitting about 20 min. from our house (and yours) in TX.  Irene was a huge storm, area speaking, and we got a lot of rain from the northern section of it many, many hours before it made landfall near us.  It actually made land fall in South Jersey as a Cat.1.

And that is my Irene story.  I hope to never have another :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

So long summer...

I know that I said that I would write about our staycation and the earthquake and hurricane Irene, but really I don't want to.  Suffice it to say that E planned a wonderful staycation for us that took us every where from the Bethlehem, PA Musikfest to the NY Renaissance Faire.  We went somewhere almost every day and spent a good bit of time there and then I came home and vegged out in front of the TV.

As for the natural disasters that came along, they were the best type for US in that we felt/saw them but had no real damage from either.  Unfortunately many people in our area and others can not say that and I hope they will be able to see some relief soon!!  The earthquake was my first and it did scare the begeesus out of me and S.  A slept right through it.  I would not want to be in a bigger one just as I would not want to be in anymore hurricanes!!

OK, I do want to say that a have sewn at least a little tiny bit.  I got inspired by Casey and Melissa in TX to at least sew a back-to-school outfit for each girl.  I didn't want to make them short sleeves though since the time for that is soon ending here so I made the shirts long sleeves which means that the girls really haven't gotten to wear them to school or anywhere else really. (Can you see I like the word really??)

Here is S's.  She picked out the blue fabric long ago in TX.

I put white fabric underneath for the look but also because the blue fabric is practically see through like so many other fabrics and with the sequins I thought it would be itchy.  S has worn the skirt and likes it, but has yet to wear the whole outfit.

I am pretty proud of the flower because I HAND STITCHED it on with white embroidery thread.  I ironed it on first with webbing so hope between the two it will actually stay.

I liked the double layer of S's skirt so I decided to do the same with A's skirt. She picked out the material so I thought this would be an easy sale.  However, she has refused to wear it so far :(

I had recently read that extras like these buttons make kids like their clothes better, but so far it is a no go.  I hope that when I embellish the shirt she will like it enough to wear, but I can't think of anything to put on the shirt.  PLEASE comment if you have an idea.  She loves sheep, but I don't think I can make a good looking sheep from red fabric on a white shirt.  I really don't know if I can make a good looking sheep on anything!!

And then as I facebooked earlier, I spent more of my time today trying to do origami than sewing or blogging.  This is my treat for S's lunch box since apparently other parents have been putting cute little cards in their kids' lunches.  Oh keeping up the the Jones' has already begun!  One of her classmates (Kindergarten remember) has already gotten an iPod for his birthday.  Oh, Christmas/Birthdays are really going to start hurting I fear.

It is suppose to be a goldfish and a dolphin if you couldn't tell.  I found instructions at

Happy Wednesday!