Friday, July 30, 2010

We're Famous!

Ok - no we're not...and considering the number of hours per week I actually have to sew, it's probably a good thing that we aren't:) But, we're close to famous...within a few miles of famous...oh, just read the interview, please!

Special thanks to Jen at mamasmagic for featuring Belle + Bee this week!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Keeping Belle entertained all day in the heat is getting be to quite a challenge. Thankfully, I keep pretty close tabs on what is happening over at Jean is full of great art ideas for small children...and they're simple. You don't need to spend thousands of dollars on expensive materials. You can usually modify any project with things you have around the house.

We tried out her splatter painting idea...and her tip of hitting the backyard pool as soon as you are finished:)

I mixed some old acrylic paints with water to thin them.

We put a large piece of muslin in the grass and started to flick, spray and splat.

Tons of fun...really colorful toes...and a pretty piece of fabric! Now to decide how to use that fabric...any ideas???

Monday, July 26, 2010

Buying Hand-Made

Just a quick note about buying hand-made...

This just arrived today. All the way from the other side of the world.

And I love it! There is just something about a hand-made item that can't be duplicated in mass production. The little extras that make all the difference. And knowing that someone created it with his/her own two hands. You just can't get that feeling from a retail store...

Thanks! You made my day!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Belle as...Belle?

"Mommy, you should get a Belle dress for ME for YOUR birthday."
Oh, really???

My three year old, AKA "Belle," has a bit of a princess obsession. She collects princess dresses like my grandma collects S&P the hundreds. But one all important princess had yet to arrive at our house. We had NO Belle dress. This was just unacceptable, and since my birthday was approaching (Belle knows she has to wait until every other member of her family has a birthday before she gets another one), it was only logical that I should get a Belle dress. Of course!

As part of Belle's princess obsession, she wears one of her dresses every moment that she is home and awake. We don't let them leave the house (though a few of our tutus have made cameos at Target) and we don't let her sleep in them, but other than that you can pretty much bet she has one on. It goes without saying that these commercially made costumes aren't holding up to constant use very well. The layers of once glittery tulle are now dingy and shredded. The sparkly sequins are jazzing up our carpet instead of the hemlines. And the satiny bodices are decorated with more marker than lace. So when contemplating yet another princess dress, I decided it was time to find something a little more durable....and our peasant Belle dress was born.

I modified a simple peasant dress pattern (remember to allow for a full double-layer skirt. Then I just had to fancy up the top hemline with some gathers to create the iconic image that we all associate with the Beauty.

This Beauty is made of cotton, machine washable and fully hemmed (no fraying edges...yay!). It is roomy through the body, elasticized at the neck and sleeves, and about a size big so my Belle can put it on by herself. There are no buttons, snaps, zippers, or velcro to complicate matters.

All in all, I'd say it is a success! Belle's response, "I think it is just beautiful! Too stinking cute!" Yes - she said that:)

Self Stitched September

"I, Becky of sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-September. I endeavour to wear as many handmade and/or refashioned items of clothing as is humanly possible with 2 small children every day for the duration of September 2010'. But I'm seriously nervous!!!"

I finally did it! I've been hashing this over in my brain for it possible? I never sew for myself. I am up to my eyeballs in t-shirt orders. I have a stack of unfinished projects taller than Belle. There is no way I can participate in this!

But...I do like a challenge. I would love to make some creations for myself. I could use a break from tiny little armholes that don't fit around the end of my sewing machine. goes nothing!

If you're interested in joining me in the craziness, check out for more info and to take your own version of the pledge!

I better get started...there are a lot of days in September:) I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Spoonflower I Spy Swap Hosted by Crafterhours

Are you signed up???

Crafterhours (one of my fave blogs) is hosting an I Spy swap. I've already signed up, ordered my fabric, and starting dreaming about the possible projects:)

So how does it work??? The rules are simple: Buy your fabric, cut it up, mail it off. After a short time, you will receive a gazillion I Spy squares to use as you want.

Here are my choices...

Looking for more info??? Want to join??? Just visit You'll find all the specifics, as well as more great I Spy fabric samples, and even an I Spy quilt.

Join in the fun!!! Then we can compare projects:)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

She did WHAT?!?!?!?!?

That was my husband's reaction to the events of yesterday...

We had a pretty rough morning. Belle was ultra-clingy, ultra-whiney, and ultra-tantrumy...NOT FUN! So when Bee went to sleep at nap time, I decided that we needed to do something to get the day back on track.

I had recently purchased a set of patterns from She has a Pick 3 option, and I knew I wanted the Tuesday Top and the Peasant Top, but I couldn't decide on a third. I ended up picking something that was totally impractical, but looked like lots of fun...and I am so glad I did!

I bought this Matryoshka Doll pattern. It looked easy, quick, and more than a little whimsical...perfect for Belle:)

I pulled the pattern out, cleared off the table, and cozied up next to my cranky 3 year old. We picked out two fabrics and some felt that matched (Belle is WAY into matching things right now, so I didn't even have to offer guidance on this part). We held the pen together as we traced the pattern, shared the scissors to cut out the 3 main pieces, and then flipped through the embellishments options to pick the best additions to our doll. Belle selected every piece that you see, from the color and size of the heart to the number of petals on the flower (I added an extra without permission the first time and was quickly instructed to draw it again). She insisted that there be a strawberry, but we were running out of room on her tummy, so we had to move it to her necklace. We then selected trims and ribbons and placed everything exactly where Belle wanted it.

Here's the part that stunned my husband...Next we cuddled up on the couch with a needle and embroidery floss and set to work on the felt embellishments. Belle likes to pull the needle each time I make a stitch, so we worked for a while that way, before she asked to make a stitch. She held the needle with my hand on top of hers and we managed to sew most of the way around the flower. We continued sharing the stitching responsibilities in various ways until all of our embellishments were finished. YES, HONEY...SHE DID THAT!

The pattern is so simple that Belle was able to stand right beside me as I spent less than 10 minutes putting the doll together. Then she helped to stuff her and even used a funnel to add some rice to her bottom to give her a little weight (It made me laugh that we were adding basmati rice to a matryoshka doll...but that was all we had in abundance in the pantry). I stitched her bottom closed and handed her off to Belle.

It was an immediate attachment! She named her "Belle" and no, not after her own onscreen moniker...short for Tinkerbell. I don't know, but I think I see a little resemblance...HA! Needless to say, "Belle" has gone everywhere with Belle since she was finished. They have slept together, eaten together (yes, "Belle" needed a plate at breakfast this morning) and played together. She even took her to our workday at the community garden today.

And with the funk diverted, I had my happy Belle back...and that makes for a happy Mama:)

Monday, July 5, 2010


And double oops...

I started making Belle an adorable little outfit featuring a tall, skinny house stamp from

I began with the top...a modification of a dress pattern that I have used several times in the past, shortened to be a swingy tunic top and jazzed up with a stamped patch. I used one of Belle's t-shirts to measure the length of the top. I put the top together and then went to try it on Belle to measure the strap length...and then, "Oh my, is that your tummy???" I won't go in to the details, but I measured to top to be put together one way, and then put it together a different way. I'm pretty sure that my 3 year old doesn't need a new belly shirt, so we clearly had a problem. OOPS!

Luckily, Belle came to the rescue...sort of. What I left out above was that during the entire fitting and belly viewing, Belle kept repeating, "Mommy, this isn't a shirt. It's a skirt. This isn't a shirt, it's a skirt...." Well, ok...maybe it is. And I actually like it better as a skirt now that I see it...thanks Belle!

So, now we have a pair of pants on the sewing table, that were intended to match the top that is now a skirt. Easy solution...make another top. This time I decided to make a basic tunic top...minus the belly exposure. A few minutes later we tried on the new top. After less than an hour of wearing the new top, Belle was complaining that it was hurting. She directed me to the site of the pain...under her arms. Apparently I should have measured those straps instead of guessing on the length, because they were way too short. Off goes top #2...I promise I'll fix those straps after the girls are in bed tonight...DOUBLE OOPS!

But this time, Bee to the rescue! We decided to head to the outlet mall for the afternoon, but Bee was way overdressed for the hot NC sun. As we headed upstairs to find something light and breezy, we passed by the abandoned top #2, hmmmm....

PERFECT...Bee has a new dress! Those straps were just the right length for her chubby little arms:) And you know what? I like this one better as a dress too! (Sorry no pic of Bee in her was outlets then bed for the little one!)

Thanks girls and don't you just love elastic??? How else could two children more than 2 years apart wear the same piece of clothing on the same day?