Charly turned 4!

charlyturns4 My spunky-crazy-sassy-silly-sweet-precocious-clever-tender Charly bug turned 4 this week. This girl made me a mother, and every day she's making me a better person. She tests my every limit and is the best snuggler. She's quite possibly the funniest person I know. She knows what she wants. She's a lover of all- every color, every animal, and every person (except bad people. and robbers. and horse bandits) and makes friends with everyone she meets. She's a lot like me in some ways, and completely different in so many ways that I admire.

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Here's to four years of motherhood, four years of snuggles, four years of tears, four years of the most heart wrenching love imaginable. I love you Charly!

I promised her a new dress for her birthday, one with lots of colors and even gold. I cut it out the night before her birthday and got it just about sewn up while she was out with Nana for her birthday. I gave it to her unhemmed that night and finished it the next day, which means I'm now ok with giving half finished gifts, haha! This is not good for my procrastinating tendencies :)

I used the Caroline Party Dress pattern from Mouse House Creations, just like the one I made for Caroline last spring. It came together even quicker this time, which proves to me that all the sewing I've done over the past year has made a difference!

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Things I loved:

  • just a few pattern pieces means less tracing!
  • the cap sleeve bodice doesn't require setting in sleeves

Things I changed:

  • omitted the collar since I planned to pair it with this sweater

Things I'll change next time:

  • match my pattern better on the back seam
  • try a version with the collar

Notions & Fabric:

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These red Chucks SLAY me. She's had strong opinions on clothing lately and a lot of my handmades haven't fit the bill. I'm happy to say she loves this one (for now) and loves the shoes too! I know these things don't really matter, but man, it sure makes me happy.

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THIS. is a Charly face. Happy Birthday Charly!

Sister Love

I used to blog about my child a lot. I blogged with the detail that only a stay at home mother of one child can- monthly details of each aspect of her development were noted, along with more pictures than any one person should have taken of them. And then I had a second child and those posts nearly stopped. I mean, I can't remember the last time I did a monthly update, and poor Caroline has really only had her birth blogged about. Such is the plight of the second child. The thing is, I miss those posts, and I miss taking more pictures of my kids, and I definitely miss documenting their lives in writing. So I'm going to try to bring that back in some more sustainable form. This doesn't all have to be about sewing, even if my blog is called Stitched, right?

I had a moment the other day- Charly and I were at the Children's Museum, just the two of us, and we were both enjoying being able to do art projects at a leisurely pace, taking great care to choose materials and spending lots of time at the paint table. This is a stark contrast to our usual visits where I try to hurry her creative process as much as possible because wrangling a feisty almost-18-month-old in an art studio is a dangerous job. Scissors, open tubs of paint and glue with sticky brushes poking out- this is the nightmare of a mom of a toddler. The thought crossed my mind- "how many special moments are my children missing because I can't give either of them my undivided attention?" and it made me a little sad, for just a minute. It didn't take long for me to remember how much these sweet girls love each other. They aren't missing anything in life by having a sibling- they've got a playmate, a confidant, a partner in crime.

I took these pictures a day or two later. Caroline woke up from her nap and Charly went with me to get her. Charly joined her in the crib for a little post nap play session, and craziness commenced. Caroline's first words, each and every time she wakes up, are "sisser! sister!" These girls sure love each other. Aren't siblings grand? Here's to sisterly love, to siblings, to my sweet and sassy girls.

Caroline's Blessing Dress

I recently happened upon these pictures of Caroline on her blessing day (similar to a christening) and realized I had never posted about her dress. I made it! I made Charly's (and the pictures of her wearing it are here) so I figured it would be a sweet little thing for each child to have their own handmade by me. Of course, in the three years since Charly's blessing day my tastes have changed some and my skills have improved, so they look very different from each other. It's kind of fun for me to see the difference in difficulty and style after so short a time, not to mention seeing how much this little lady has grown- her blessing was nearly seven months ago!

I made this dress using Made By Rae's Geranium Dress pattern. It's one I know and love- and bonus, the newborn size is available as a free download! I Used the newborn bodice from the download, drafted a flutter sleeve based on the one from the paid pattern (since the free one is sleeveless) and altered the skirt portion to be pleated instead of gathered. Oh, and did I mention it was a refashion? Yep, I made it from this shirt a friend passed on to me. The cut didn't look very good on me but the fabric was too too perfect for the occasion. So ethereal!

It's hard to see in most pictures, but I kept the original hem because I loved that pleat detail. And it saved me the pain of hemming such slippery fabric! This is the best picture showing the entire dress.

Of course, that was before I did the embroidery. I did a self- drafted design (ok, I was winging it) of french knots in a sort of starburst coming from the neckline. In gold embroidery floss, which I previously didn't know existed but I absolutely love the look of. I used it on this dress too. If you are so inspired to use it, be warned; it is tricky. But worth it, I think. Also worth mentioning: embroidering a traced-but-not-cut pattern piece would be infinitely easier than embroidering a sewn garment. Just sayin.

I've been anti baby bonnet in the past, but the Storybook Woods Bonnet changed my mind. I love the look of this little cap. I think it is simple enough to be masculine for a boy and easy to doll up for a girl. I loved it enough to make a winter version, even. This one is made from the same lightweight cotton I used for the lining of the dress. I added a simple flower with more gold french knots, and just the tiniest bit of pink for the flower center.

Naturally, I was finishing the buttonholes just hours before her blessing was to take place. I just hate buttonholes so so much. Anyone with me? They shouldn't be that difficult but for some reason they are. I seam ripped right through the stitching, making a tear in the fabric that I could only sort of fix. You know how the Amish intentionally make quilts with imperfections? Something about acknowledging their imperfection before God... does anyone know what I'm talking about? Anyway, we'll say that's why it's there. Keep me humble, haha.

For the sake of documentation, here is our little family of four on Caroline's blessing day (which was July 28, 2013- also for the sake of documentation). It is mind blowing to see these little people change and grow.

We sure love this sweet little lady! She's bigger and crazier but just as sweet today.

Thanks for reading!