Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter Dresses

I was having a tough time deciding on Easter outfits this year, until I saw that Sarah Jane Studios was having an Easter Dress Challenge with Sommer, her new fabric collection. I had been admiring all the prints as she shared them on Instagram, and a challenge was the only push I needed to order enough yardage for two little dresses. I used Painted Gingham in Bloom for the main dress fabric and Sundborn in Blossom for the bottom skirt and bodice lining (which were kind of hilariously similar to their store-bought dresses last year!).
I ordered the fabric with plenty of time to make the dresses, but I procrastinated as long as possible, naturally. I think I got started with exactly one week to spare, and Alice kept saying "Mom, you better start sewing our dresses, it's already Palm Sunday!" Thanks, Alice.

Luckily, I was using the Georgia Twirl Dress pattern from Schwin Designs, which sews up super quick and easy, and always looks great. The length of the skirt and the construction of the bodice is generous enough that the girls can wear these dresses for at least a year (sometimes more!), so I like to make holiday dresses that are versatile enough to last through a few seasons (here are their dresses from 2014). These were perfect for our wet Easter with a cardigan and tights, and we put them on again in the warm sunshine today and they were perfect with bare arms and legs and feet. They should last through the summer and well into fall.
Plus, this pattern is the girls' favorite, because the double layer circle skirt is perfect for spinning.

I always make matching bloomers for these dresses, what with all the spinning...  I use the Diaper Cover pattern from Dana Made It. I've always used the largest size, it's the perfect size for going over cloth diapers and now it's the perfect size for covering their little underpants now. 

Love those long legs and scraped up knees.
The last time I made a round of Georgia Twirl dresses, I realized that the circles cut from the skirt waists would make perfect yo-yo flowers, so every Georgia Twirl will get accessorized with yo-yos from now on. I put one on each bodice, and made a pair of barrettes as well.

back detail
I also got super ambitious and made myself a dress that turned out wonderfully (if I do say so myself). I made the pattern myself, inspired by one of my old favorite dress that I wore to death, and sewed it frantically, finally finishing around 7:30pm on Saturday night before Easter morning. It's the first thing I've made for myself that I really love and I can't wait to make more. The style is so versatile, it could easily work in a luxurious silk or a casual jersey. 

Here's a detail shot of the fabric drawstring neckline (though you can't see the keyhole detail) and the shirring at the waist.
And here's a full shot from Easter Sunday, with everyone (including little Miss Crankpot Ivy). I loved the print of my dress with the sweet gingham of the girls' dresses. 
And here are a few silly shots from our shoot this afternoon!
Look at those knock knees!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Happy Easter - 2016

We had a lovely Easter weekend. On Saturday, we walked down to Alice's school for an Easter egg hunt put on by our town firefighters. We ran into some of our neighbor friends (who kindly let me make a pit stop at their bathroom!) and then met up with them again and our girls played together on the playground after the hunt. I didn't get many pics of the eggstravaganza (due to some period-related discomfort), but I did get a shot of my adorable little buddy in his super adorable new hat.
We walked past a row of lovely cherry trees and I just had to stop and take a few photos.
Then we came home and dyed our own eggs! Ivy was so into it this year. She blew through her eggs and then tried to finish up Alice's. 

They were pretty pleased with their eggs - and themselves!
What do you mean, all the eggs are done??
After we finished dyeing eggs, I had to hustle to finish up all of our Easter outfits. I think I finished everything around 7:30pm that night, and finally got to try on my own dress before bed. I was thrilled that it fit wonderfully. I'm hoping to do a short post on the dresses with some better photos...

The Easter bunny must have hopped through our house while we were sleeping, because when the girls woke up, they found baskets full of fun things and plastic, candy-filled eggs all over the place.

The kids checked out their baskets, rounded up all the eggs (and snuck some candy!), and then we gobbled up a fortifying breakfast and got everyone scrubbed and dressed and in the car. I tried to get a photo at church, but the girls were hopped up on sugar and it was sprinkling, so we tried again at home. I told the girls that they needed to stand still and smile nicely and they both promised that they would. Ivy changed her mind.

I didn't get any great shots of Elliott's outfit, but he had suspenders! And rolled up shirtsleeves! He was so cute. We made it to the early church service and Elliott stayed with us and charmed everyone around him. He even held hands with the woman behind us during the last hymn. What a little Easter ham.

After church, while our quiche was cooking and the girls were watching The Land Before Time, Jon hid our hardboiled eggs outside. Earlier that morning, Alice was dead set against putting real eggs outside. She was concerned that they would get dirty and be inedible, she was nearly in tears. I tried explaining that hens lay the eggs outside in the dirt and grass, but she was not convinced. She came around in the end, and we had a good time gathering all the eggs up again. We had to wear rain boots in the wet and squelchy grass.

Ivy kept throwing her eggs into her basket and they were all getting cracked. We kept telling her to be gentle. At one point, she chucked an egg back into the grass. I reminded her to be gentle and she said "There's a BUG on it!" I laughed and said, "Just wipe it off!" And she burst into tears and said "But I don't want a SLUG in my mouth!" Apparently, I had misheard her, and there was a teeny tiny slug on the egg. I relocated it and wiped the egg in the grass, and we all had a good laugh. And then we went inside to eat!
Immediately post-slug.
I made a lovely quiche,  at Jon's request, and baked up some frozen almond croissants from Trader Joe's (yummmmm!), and of course we had hard-boiled eggs. Actually, the girls did. Jon doesn't like hard-boiled eggs (so weird) and the girls don't care for quiche (also so weird), so we each stuck to our respective eggs of choice.
I couldn't resist capturing a photo of Ivy finishing up her eggs after Alice turned The Land Before Time back on. That tummy! The little legs and toes. I just can't. I love her little power body.

I hope you had a lovely weekend full of all your favorite bunnies!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Happy Move-aversary...

One year ago today, we wrapped up a four-day, 1200-mile road trip as our Subaru rolled into our apartment parking slot. We'd never set foot in, or even seen, this apartment complex, and we had no idea how long we would live there. Luckily, everything worked out better than we could have planned, and went super smoothly.

We've packed a lot of big changes into this year. (moving into two new spaces, a new home, a new baby, kindergarten...) We're still unpacking some a lot of our boxes, and if we're being honest, we're still unpacking a lot of our feelings as well. I'm trying to write about my thoughts, but that will have to come later.

We took a fun little outing yesterday, and though we didn't plan this activity specifically to commemorate our move-aversary, but it really was a fitting choice. We'd heard that the University of Washington has some lovely cherry trees and when yesterday dawned on a beautiful blue and sunny day, we thought we'd go check out the early blossoms. We may have to go down next weekend as well, once they are fully in bloom.

We had a heck of a time figuring out where to park, until we realized the spots weren't permitted after noon on Saturdays... I took a couple of shots to test the light while we were getting everything out of the car and got a nice shot of this sweet little face.

As we walked toward the Quad, we passed a building and the sounds of someone practicing an instrument drifted out the windows. As we got around to the front of the building, we saw that it was the School of Music. It sounded like some sort of Taiko drum ensemble was practicing on the other side, and it was sort of an interesting background serenade to our experience.

Maybe Alice and/or Ivy will go here!
We'd never been to the University campus and were quite taken with it's beautiful buildings. Jon and I decided we'd both like to go back to college. Those were the days... 

We were definitely not the only ones there to enjoy the trees, and it was hard for everyone to stay out of each other's photos - especially because the patches of grass were all squashy mud swamps.

In front of the School of Music building were a few of my favorite magnolia trees, the Alexandrina Saucer magnolia. So we went over to see those as well.

It was a lovely little afternoon field trip, and then we found a nearby restaurant for dinner. The kids love going out to eat, and Elliott even got to eat his chicken dinner in a big boy high chair! So here we are, a family of five, a bunch of California kids doing our best to be real Seattle-ites and Washingtonians - though one of us actually is!! So here's to more rain, more adventures, and hopefully not a lot more change. On to the next year!