April 27, 2012

The aftermath

I decided to jut grit my teeth and get down to business.

The before shots:

yeah, there are no rubber bands there... just amazingly strong vaseline.

The corn starch:

So if you ever want to have your child look like that crazy old man from back to the future, just smear vaseline all over their head, then apply corn starch l i b e r a l l y.

Next came a shampoo treatment salon style in the kitchen sink. Let's just say Ellie was not a fan of this step, hence no pictures. I lathered, rinsed, and repeated several times, but Ellie head still felt as greasy as a used car salesman (no offense...). I was using dawn dish soap, so this experience makes me seriously doubt those commercials where people are washing baby ducks covered in oil with dawn soap.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Again, no pictures because my model was less than cooperative. I poured baby oil alll over her head, and then combed it with a fine tooth comb. This worked! I could see the vaseline forming a thick nasty goo and coming out copiously. A couple of washes with Ev's baby shampoo and Ellie was looking mighty fine.

Ellie threatened mutiny about half way through our beauty treatment, so I bargained a red Popsicle for one (more like 4...) more shampoo.

So my advice to you is to keep the Vaseline under lock and key. But if you do find yourself in this situation, skip the corn starch and dish soap and go straight for the baby oil.

Today I wish I had cable

If I had cable I would be watching an NCIS marathon, or some brainless show on TLC/HGTV, or some movie I had half-forgotten exitsted like Adventures in Babysitting or Princess Diaries. Sigh. Alas, I do not have cable (which is actually a good thing... productiveness goes wayyy down when we have cable). But at least I have Freaks and Geeks on dvd to watch. And a few seasons of NCIS, so all is not lost.

Now you may be asking yourself why I'm talking about cable. Its because I want to kill time... I'm putting something off. Something I reallllllly don't want to do. Today I get to wash an ENTIRE jar of vaseline out of Ellie's hair. Joy oh Joy. Last night we heard Ellie running amock in her bedroom after bedtime, so Scott went up to check. Meanwhile, I was chatting with some friends in the living room. Pretty soon Ellie was downstairs to model her new hair do:

I made Scott go give her a bath, but it didn't even make a dent in that vaseline. By this point it was way past bedtime, so we just put her to bed thinking that at the very least, she'll get an awesome moisturizing treatment for her hair.

So this morning I googled how to get vaseline out of hair. One of the most foolproof ways is to douse your head in liquor. As tempting as that sounds, I'm pretty sure I would win worst mother of the year award for dousing my 2 year old's head with vodka. The next best thing to do is rub cornstarch in your hair, rinse it out and then wash repeatedly with dish soap. Sounds like fun, especially when your toddler hates to have her hair washed in even the best of circumstances. Finally, you can use baby oil to get it out. But baby oil also stains... and that option sounds suuuper messy.

So yeah. That's why I've popped in a caillou dvd for Ellie and am sitting here in front of my computer avoiding the day.

In other news, Ellie started potty training herself this week. I've never really been to excited about this phase of parenthood, so I've been putting it off. And off and off. And this week Ellie just took matters into her own hands and started doing her business on the toilet all by herself. So kudos to Ellie!

And another sidebar for you grandparents who may be reading this post, Ev may have aspirations to become a sumo wrestler... Since I introduced solids a couple of weeks ago, so has already progressed to eating an entire jar of baby food with oatmeal at every meal. And she loves everything she tries. Except bananas... I mean, she'll eat them, but without the gusto she usually displays for squash or prunes.

That is all.

April 18, 2012

Ric a Rac Dress: assembly

I've torn myself away from rereading the Hunger Games long enough to finally finish this tutorial...

Now that you have your pattern, here are the construction instructions.

*all seam allowances are 1/2"

1. To make the front panel, baste 1/4" on both long sides, then iron over along this line and remove the thread. Measure ric rac long enough to go the length of both sides of your panel. Sew the ric rac onto the very edge of the panel using thread that matches the ric rac so that it will be invisible when you are finished.

2. Place the front panel on top of the front skirt piece, exactly centered. Determine how far down from the seam connecting the skirt to the front bodice you want your front panel to end. I left about 3" from the seam to where I stopped sewing the panel to my skirt piece. Pin and then sew the the front panel to your front skirt.

3. Sew the front bodice piece to the front skirt piece. Sew the 2 back bodice pieces to the 2 back skirt pieces. Iron the seams open. ( I mistakenly took this picture before I had sewn the front panel to my skirt front- you should attache the front panel before sewing the skirt front to the bodice front)

4. Sew the front piece to the 2 back pieces along the shoulder seams. Iron all of the seams open.

5. Fold each sleeve piece in half and mark about 1.5" on either side. Baste 1/4" between the pin marks.

6. Measure 1.5" into the armholes and mark with pins. Pin the edes of the sleeves where the pins are marked, then pin the center fold of the sleeve to the shoulder seam of the bodice. Use the baste stitch to gather the sleeve so that it fits nicely to the arm hole. Pin in place then sew with a 1/2" seam allowance.

7. Pin the sleeve to the bodice to keep it out of your way while you are stitching the dress to its lining. With a 1/2" seam allowance, sew along the neck line all the way down the center back and along the arm holes. Then clip the corners and snip notches into the curved lines. Turn the dress right side out.

8. Now match up the seams in the bottom of the arm hole, rigth sides facing, and stitch. Clip along the curced lines of the arm hole and turn right side out again.
9. Now you are ready to finish your front panel. Pull the unatacched part of the panel up to determine the middle, then align this with the middle of the unattached skirt piece. Gather the rest of the center of the front panel so that it lies flat. Stitch in the center of the gathering with coordinating thread so the stitching is invisible. Now spread out the bow so that it looks like you want it to. Tac the corners down and add buttons accordign to your desire.

10. To begin finishing the back, make sure that the piece is completely flat and iron the back so that the angles are straight. Now measure 1.5" away from the edge and cut a piece of ric rac long enough to go the length of the back and fold over the top edge a bit. After cutting the ric rac, use a flame to seal the edge to prevent fraying. Sew the ric rac along the back edge 1.5" away from the edge. Then trim the bottom edge of the dress so its a continual curve. Measure ric rac long enough to go between the back ric rac and the front panel ric rac making sure it will be able to tuck under both edges. Heat seal those pieces and sew them along the bottom edge, about 1-1.5" away from the edge. Pin the back closed, overlapping one side over the other about 1.5".

11. Now you can add the band. Sew 2 band pieces together along the shortest edge, repeat. Now match up the seams and sew the strips together along the long line. Match this seam up with one side seam on your dress. Pin the band to the dress starting at the matched up seams and moving toward the other side seam on  your dress. Once you are close enough, sew the band together on the other side so it will line up perfectly with the dress's side seam. Stitch the band do your dress using the bottom side of the dress as a guide, sewing along the same line that you stitched the ric rac on. Finish the bottom edge of the band (serge or zig zag) and fold it up so the long seam of the band is now the bottom line and either stitch in the ditch to attach the band to the inside of the dress or sew by hand, tacking it on the inside so it is invisible from the outside.

12. The final step is to install your buttons and button holes. FI you are not comfortable with making button holes, another option would be to use velcro on the inside and then attach buttons on the outside to get a similar look.

And there you have it. My first tutorial. Hopefully you can understand it, and if you have any questions, leave a comment and I'll try to answer it as best I can. Good Luck!

April 10, 2012

Ric a Rac Dress

Here's the tutorial! My first ever, so don't judge it too harshly. If you have questions, leave a comment and I'll try to help.

1-2 yards of fabric (depending on the size of your child)
Equal amount of lining
One or two reams of ric rac
10-15 buttons
Coordinating thread

1. Find a shirt or dress that fits your child well to start making the pattern. Trace the entire bodice, divided in half lengthwise.
2. Add 1/2" to all edges except the center line. Cut this piece out and label it "Front" with arrows to indicate that the center line should be placed on the fold.

3. Trace the "Front" piece onto another piece of fabric. You may want to alter the neck line and make it a bit higher for the back. Cut this piece out and label it "Back" and indicate with arrows that you should add 2" to the center line when cutting.

3. Hold the "Front" piece up to another piece of paper and mark its width. Determine how far down from the bodice you want the skirt to fall and mark accordingly on your new paper (don't forget to add 1" for a 1/2" seam allowance). Add a few inches to the bottom width of your skirt piece (I added 3") and then connect your bottom width with your top width using a ruler. Label this piece both "Front" and "Back" with arrows to indicate adding 2" to the center line for the "Back" and arrows to indicate that the center line should be placed on the fold for the "Front." Cut the skirt piece out.

4. Use the bottom width of your skirt piece to measure the width of your band piece. Determine how long you want your band to be (don't forget to add 1" for a 1/2" seam allowance). I made mine 4" long. Cut out this piece and label it "Band" with arrow indicating that the center line should be placed on the fold.

5. For the sleeves, we will not make a pattern piece. Instead find a round object to trace that seems proportionate to your model. This is not an exact science, just guesstimate and make sure the form is totally round. Ev and I used a mixing bowl for her dress. Likewise, for the front panel, you will determine the size according to the scale of the dress you are making.

Now you have all  your pieces! Here are the cutting instruction:

Cut 1 "Front," 1 "Back," 1 skirt front, 2 skirt backs, 2 bands, 2 sleeve circles, one rectangle the size that you want your front panel to be (remembering that you need to add 1" to the length and width for seam allowance)

Facing: same as Fabric

Coming up: sewing instructions