Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Blue and White Gingham Ruffle Toddler Dress

Classic. Blue and White Gingham.


I love these ruffle elastic neckline dresses and so does Little Miss E! 
Looking forward to making many many more!
Took her first spill on the sidewalk this morning and scraped up her knee. Discovered her love for band-aids (just like stickers!).

E's New Skill Today: Twirling. Have anything to do with her new dresses? Maybe, maybe not. Adorable regardless!

E's New Word Today: Go!

Inspired by Once Upon a Sewing Machine: Ruffle Neck Peasant Dress Pattern and Tutorial.

I used the 12-18 month pattern and only cut out the pieces for the body. For the ruffle, I cut a rectangle of 30 x 6 inches but wasn't exact about it. Some of the other ruffle dresses I used a width of 5 inches (Tutti Frutti Ruffle Summer Toddler Dressand plus or minus a few inches for the 30" just depending on how much fabric I had left and how "ruffly" I wanted the neck to look. To make the arm holes smaller, I trimmed an inch off the top of the front and back pieces of the dress since by doing a double hem in the arm holes instead of adding on elastic, it makes the holes bigger. 15" of elastic seems to be enough for this munchkin but adjust as needed (Once Upon a Sewing Machine tutorial suggests 16" to 17" elastic length for 12-18 month size dress).

Tutti Frutti Ruffle Summer Toddler Dress

Dressing a toddler is a science. Goal: quickest way to put on clothes with least resistance. Buttons - the fewer the better, less to snap, less to get in the button hole. Zippers - these are pretty quick but if your toddler knows how to unzip like mine, it negates the whole putting on clothes in the first place because the clothes will come off shortly.

Solution?

These beautiful, easy to make, easy to put on ruffle neck summer dresses!


The neck line is elastic, creating a girly ruffle that also fit a dual purpose as pseudo-cap sleeve to protect baby shoulders from the summer sun. They're also easy to take off (by the adult, not by the child...well, not yet) when it comes time to change or it's meal time.


The first one took me about 90 minutes but after that I made four more and they took about an hour each (this Tutti Frutti dress was the second one). Looking forward to creating a whole collection!!!


Inspired by Once Upon a Sewing Machine: Ruffle Neck Peasant Dress Pattern and Tutorial.
For the pattern, I used the 12-18 month size and only cut out the pieces for the body. For the ruffle, I cut a rectangle of 30 x 5 inches but wasn't exact about it. Some of the other ruffle dresses I used a width of 6 inches and plus or minus a few inches for the 30" just depending on how much fabric I had left and how "ruffly" I wanted the neck to look. Instead of an elastic casing for the arm holes, I just did a double hem. To make the arm holes smaller on another dress, I trimmed an inch off the top of the front and back pieces of the dress since by doing a double hem in the arm holes instead of adding on elastic, it makes the holes bigger. 15" of elastic seems to be enough for this munchkin but adjust as needed (Once Upon a Sewing Machine tutorial suggests 16" to 17" elastic length for 12-18 month size dress).

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Roasted Fennel and Cara Cara Salad

Citrus-y. Licorice-y. Caramelize-y.


I planned on posting this a week or so ago but kept waiting to give the pre-cooked ingredients a photo shoot. Alas, time passed and I didn't buy more fresh fennel so no photos of the beautiful cara cara and fennel.

RECIPE

1 medium fennel bulb
drizzle of olive oil
sprinkle of sea salt
1 cara cara

Preheat oven to 425F. Halve the fennel bulb, slice lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices. On baking sheet, toss fennel with olive oil and season with sea salt. Roast, turning once, until browned, about 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, section out cara cara orange segments over a bowl to save the juices for pouring over compiled dish later. Eat the "membranes," don't toss! When fennel is done roasting, evenly plate on two plates over cara cara segments and pour remaining juice on top. Serve warm or cold.

Fun facts!

[FEHN-uhl]
There are two main types of fennel. Florence fennel, also referred to as finocchio (what I used), has a broad, bulbous base that's treated like a vegetable and eaten raw or cooked in a variety of methods. The fragrant greenery can be used as a garnish or snipped like fill and used as a flavor-enhancer at the end of preparing a dish. Its flavor is sweeter and more delicate than anise when eaten raw and becomes lighter when cooked. The other type of fennel is bulbless. It's referred to as "common fennel" and is the variety from which fennel seeds come. It is used in sweet and savory foods as well as liqueurs.*

Cara Cara
The Cara Cara is a variety of navel orange with a reddish pink flesh.* Its flavor has hints of strawberries and raspberries. Ours are from our in-laws' garden.

* Food Lover's Companion. Fourth edition.


Rainbow Nesting Bowls

Pull Out. Stack. Knock Down. Nest. Repeat.

At 14 months old, little miss E enjoys putting toys inside of boxes, purses, laundry bags, and crevasses. She also enjoys stacking and is starting to get the hang of puzzles.


These rainbow nesting bowls are the perfect baby-friendly toy. They can be used to teach colors, sorting (make balls with matching colors), unsorting, stacking, unstacking. They're also washable!

Tower of Rainbow Nesting Bowls
Crochet hooks make great music when clanged together!

Inspired by a mama friend and Seriously Daisies' Crochet Pattern: Rainbow Nesting Bowls. A few changes based on what I had and crocheted with joins at the end of each round instead of crocheting in spirals.

Gradation in light green bowl due to running out of apple green yarn, then used a light spring green yarn and then didn't want to make an additional bowl for yellow so topped it off yellow.... Ran out of pumpkin orange for the orange bowl so finished with marigold. One day I'll get the last red bowl done!

Stacking and knocking down nesting bowls is so much fun!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Mommy & Me Photo Shoot {J&A}

Motherhood is messy, challenging, sleep-depriving. Motherhood is also wonderfully chaotic, rewarding, and reminds us of the beauty of naps. 


It's all worth it for our little bundles of joy/terror and the days may seem long in the moment but end up passing by so quickly into weeks and months and years. 


Let us take a moment to capture these memories. 


These times of learning to smile. Learning to wave. Learning to stick out our tongues in delight!


Mommy & Me