Friday, June 22, 2012

A Chambray, Seersucker, Flower Fairy


Happy Summer, friends!  Hope you're all enjoying yourselves so far.  For the first time ever, I'm taking my girl to this fairy festival.  I've heard great things about it and we are so excited.  You know I couldn't take her to this event without something special to wear.  I made her this adorable fairy outfit.  I had everything on hand.  I realize most people probably don't have all of this on hand, but I never said I was normal.  Check it out, friends:


I cannot sew a zipper so I decided to make the bodice shirred.  I didn't follow a pattern or measure anything, and I only pinned a few pieces.  I just threw this together, okay?  Okay.  Shirring is super easy.  The trick is you have to manually load your bobbin with elastic thread.  I only had black elastic thread, not ideal considering the fabric is white, but no one will ever see it anyway.


With your bobbin loaded with elastic thread you sew row after row,  until your garment has the amount of shirring you want.  You still use regular thread for the needle.


Initially I wanted the front of the bodice to be plain, un-shirred I guess, but I had a problem.


Remember I didn't measure anything?  The bodice was way too loose on my girl, so after I had already assembled the dress I ended up shirring the entire bodice.  Winging it here, friends.  The first bodice wouldn't fit over my girls shoulders, so yes, that equals three different attempts at the bodice.  I also want to mention here that the floral fabric is a vintage pillowcase cut in half.


I made the skirt out of chambray and haphazardly attached it to the bodice and I did this with the elastic thread still in the bobbin.  I'm not going to lie, this part was hard, thus the lack of pictures.


I wanted the dress to be full and flow, so I attached torn strips of seersucker around the waist in various lengths.


My girl would have loved it to be strapless, but she's 5 and that doesn't fly with me.  I attached wide chambray straps that cross in the back.


So darling!  It needed more though.  Next up:  Wings


This is called interfacing.  It's used to give shape and add form, like in a purse for example.


I folded the interfacing in half and cut out this design.


Opened up, the design turns into wings.


I set the wings on top of some fabric (a sheet from Target) and I placed another piece of fabric on top.  My wings made out of interfacing were sandwiched between the two pieces of fabric.


I wasn't about to iron or fold anything under to make perfect seams.  I cut the design out about an inch wider than the interfacing.


I zigzag stitched around the perimeter of the wings.  You could use any stitch I suppose.  I was feeling zigzaggy, so that's what I did.


I wanted more texture, so I cut this diamond shaped doily in half.


I placed the doily in the middle of a folded over piece of seersucker and zigzag stitched along the edge.


Doily/seersucker sash, perfect amount of texture.  This is removable and not attached to the dress.


Now to attach the wings, I stitched them directly onto the bodice of the dress, down the middle of the wings, in the middle of the back of the dress.  The seersucker bow poking out is the tie from the doily/seersucker sash.


I cut out a little heart from the leftover bodice fabric and sewed it to the wings, like a sweet fairy tattoo.


The girl LOVES it.  Hopefully tomorrow will be fun!  Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Monday, June 11, 2012

DIY Date : Thai Food


This past weekend the hubs and I celebrated our 11 year wedding anniversary!  We wanted to do something fun, not just dinner, so we opted for a cooking class at Sur La Table. 


I'm so lucky to have found this guy.  He is incredibly funny and smart, and encourages me to indulge in whatever crazy idea I may have, with minimal eye rolling.  One thing I've learned from him is that if you can find someone who can make you laugh, really laugh, deep belly laugh, it sure makes the hard times easier and it makes for happy kids too :)


I made this chile salad dressing that was AMAZING.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup sweet chile sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce (this sounded gross to me, but you could not taste anything fishy)
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 finely chopped jalapeno

Directions:
Whisk all of the above together and toss with your salad when ready to serve.


We were at a table with a mother-daughter duo and we split up tasks from a pre-planned menu.  You don't have to be an expert in the kitchen to have fun in these classes.  My husband rarely cooks and had just as much fun as I did.  There is a chef that guides you and demonstrates as needed.


Spicy Beef Salad with cucumber and mint.


The setup, four tables with groups of four.


Grilled Lemongrass Chicken with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce & Yellow Curry Pineapple Fried Rice.


Part of our meal involved grilling and that is the hubs realm usually.  He learned quite a bit.


Come to mama!  This was the perfect ending to a perfect meal, Coconut-Mango Pudding with Crushed Pistachios.  The milk that was used was simmered with coconut in it, then the coconut was strained out so we were left with this super light, and delicate tasting pudding that was so delicious after having all the spicy food beforehand.  I'm so glad we tried this class because I never would have ordered any of these items off the menu at a restaurant and I'm so excited to bring these recipes home and try them out on my own.  The only thing missing from the meal was wine :)

Happy Monday, Friends!

Monday, June 4, 2012

More days like this


Long time no see, friends.  I'm still here, just not here, behind the computer screen.  I've been busy living.  My posts are going to be more spotty than usual for the next few months.  For the first time since my girl started preschool, 3 years ago, she will have a summer vacation.   Hallelujah!


I want to be present.  I want lazy summer days in jammies and going to the beach with an occasional thrift trip here and there.  We are going to tag along with my husband on some business trips.  We will be hitting Legoland waterpark frequently.  We will be free from commitments.  She needs this time and so do I.


We're just going to hang out.  We will probably get some Nor Cali time in there too.  My girl starts kindergarten in the fall and I've heard from parents of older kids that once they hit kindergarten it seems like the next day they are off to college.


I've already sort of checked out of preschool and have spring fever bad.  I signed her up for one summer camp session, which is a photography camp that she'll get a kick out of, but part of me wishes I  didn't even do that.


Over the past few weeks we've started letting her have a day.  We do something fun as a family and she heavily influences what we do, but we still all have to agree.  Last week we just stayed home and played round after round of Candyland and Take The Cake.  The weekend before that we had a simple beach day and yesterday we went to Disneyland!


We had a blast, just the three of us!  We often do things with our friends and other families, but it's not the same as being with just our immediate family.  I love this time and I'm so looking forward to many more days like this soon!

XO,
Amber