Easy Pregnancy Costume and a tutorial

I'm one of those parents who enjoys a good Halloween theme for costumes. This year, when E decided to be Merida from Brave, after she saw the first teaser trailer, I was a little stumped on what to make the rest of us be. Especially when I found out I was pregnant back in June. E wanted me to be the "Green Queen" and wear the pretty dress, but there was no way that preggo Kristin was making a maternity medieval dress. Especially when Miss E's Merida costume was picked up at Costco for a steal of a deal (wig, dress, petticoat, and belt for $18!).

So, I compromised with my 4 yr old. I told her I'd be Queen Elinor. As the bear. (the Hubs went his own way and dressed up as Crazy Dave from Plants vs Zombies)

I didn't get a full picture of myself, but my sister's shot of Merida and Queen Elinor is fantastic.
I realize this is a bit late, but if you are like us, you are already planning next year's Halloween costume. We're awesome like that/

For this costume you will need:

- a fuzzy sweater (I picked mine up at Costco - it's reversible, thankfully, so I can wear it during the rest of the year and not look like a cheap Zaza Gabor)
- a black tshirt
- dark grey sweat pants
- a crown (I raided E's dress up bin)
- a pair of Bear Ears (tutorial to follow)

How to make Bear Ears

Cut two 4" diameter circles from black felt.

Fold one circle in half and cut a slight angle at the bottom. Make sure to have left over sequins from a Homecoming dress alteration littered around your work space. That way everyone knows you are lazy.

 like so.

 Repeat with second circle, so you have two circles with a wide V at the bottom

 Hand baste along the angled bottom of the circle.

 Gather and tie a knot to secure.

 Repeat with second circle and grab two bobby pins.

  Attach one ear to one bobby pin. I hand sewed mine, but you could easily use hot glue.

Repeat with second ear and viola, you're done! Now slap a crown on your head, pin the ears in, and call yourself Queen Elinor Bear!

Super easy, non?

Happy Halloween!

Isn't this the cutest picture? I adore Shirley Temple.

Hope y'all have a happy Halloween! I know we will, cause this momma is takin' it easy and refusing to stress this year!

Oldie, but goodie: Halloweenish 2010

As I am still with out a computer, I figured I'd do a few "oldies but goodies" reposts of previous projects. Enjoy!

So, I succesfully combined these:

To make this:

And surprisingly, it was almost easy. 

Because I wanted the cartoon Queen of Hearts, I had a bit of an issue finding a pattern. I finally decided that S2813 would do the trick, since it had a seam up the front bodice, making it easy to do the black on one side and the red on the other. I didn't, however, notice that the front of the skirt wasn't a traditional one piece that has a seam at the side of the hips. Instead, it has the back pieces wrapping around to the front panel 1/3 of the way in from the sides. So, I decided to make the underskirt the front skirt panel (the black and yellow chevrons, just ziggzaged on) and then cut the back pieces into 4, instead of cutting on the fold and making 2. If that makes any sense.

It was a pretty easy pattern change and for once, I put a zipper in easily. There is something to be said for Simplicity's zipper installation instructions. So much easier than the method I've always used, but not as clean looking as the method on the zipper packaging. It works really well for costumes, though!
I used broadcloth for the entire dress, with a heavy weight pellon for the collar and bodice interfacing. If I make the pattern again, I'll add some boning to the bodice, since it tended to bunch up a bit. Other than that, I wouldn't change much about the pattern.

On another note, I'm almost ready to open the etsy shop, so hopefully it'll be ready by the end of the week. Which would be tomorrow....

Oldie, but goodie: RePurpose

As I am still with out a computer, I figured I'd do a few "oldies but goodies" reposts of previous projects. Enjoy!


Have you heard of Project Run and Play? It's a competition a la Project Runway, with various bloggers who sew children's clothes competing for something. Honestly, I have no idea what the prize is for winning, but I like following the blog and getting inspiration from the weekly challenges.  Week before last's challenge was vintage or retro inspired clothing, so I decided that I should merge two shirts I had that were just waiting to be refashioned into a dress for the Bean. Taking inspiration from the sweet 50s/60s (of course I didn't save the picture when I found it on google search and now I can't find it again) and with a little help from Simplcity, I created this:

{jeggings - only adorable on pint sizes}
from these:
This fucshia shirt is a H&M smock that I bought while nursing - it looked really good then, but after we I moved on from that and I lost a bit of weight, it just looks frumpy dumpy.

This navy shirt is a Gap shirt my Mom bought me in my nursing days, as well. The top part always looked good, but the bottom was too billowy for my frame so I always looked preggo. No beuno.

Both shirts were made out of lovely fabric (hello navy blue eyelet! fuchsia and navy blue floral!) and I think together they look smashing.  To make the toddler jumper, I just cut up the bottom of the navy shirt into bias strips (for the ruffle and the edging of the yoke), used the eyelet for the top of the jumper, and then cut down the middle of the fuchsia, keeping the pockets intact, but reducing the amount of fabric. I wish I had been able to get a clear shot of the pockets - Bean is really into pockets these days and is thrilled that this dress has them for all her rocks.

Thanks, Project Run & Play for giving me the inspiration I needed to finally turn these duds into an adorable jumper!

Oldie, but goodie: Scarf Dress

As I am still with out a computer, I figured I'd do a few "oldies but goodies" reposts of previous projects. Enjoy!


Remember this post? How I was able to make a woman's elastic waist skirt out of one scarf?
Well, about a year later, I finally got around to using the other scarf I purchased and turned it into a toddler dress.

Using Simplicity 2709, I cut out view F and used muslin for the lining. It's a simple pattern, well written, but the dress is a bit time consuming. Nothing too crazy, though, just takes a bit of time to make all the tiers.
When I was finished, the dress needed something else to break up the small print, so I made a few yo-yos to put across the middle. But then the fabric was just a tad too bright an aqua (I used the scraps left over from this shirt).  Feeling a bit thwarted, but thrifty, I decided to dunk the yo-yos in bleach to see what happened to the color.
The end result? Perfection. They didn't bleach evenly (the fabric had a raw thread to it) and it matched the older feel of the calico perfectly. I love it when my brilliant ideas work out!
Too bad my daughter had a melt down when she saw the flowers - she liked  it better "naked" as she put it. Such a hard life. :)
**no we didn't get a dog - we are dog sitting for some friends**

Oldie, but goodie: Easter Dresses 2011

As I am still with out a computer, I figured I'd do a few "oldies but goodies" reposts of previous projects, posted on my old blog.  Enjoy!


As I mentioned before, I bought my Easter dress this year. (pictures to come, promise)

That is my excuse for the absolute frivolity I am about to share with you.

I had purchased a sparkly swirl chiffon for a princess dress for Bean, but it ended up being too pink for what I wanted. So, I figured I'd pick up some pink satin and use it for this years Easter dress for her. I wanted a short sleeve dress with a full skirt and Simplicity patterns were $1 at Joanns, so I picked one up that fit the bill.

I decided that the pattern just wasn't enough.

The dress told me that it should have petticoat tulle underneath for some poof.

And  needed a sash.

With some rosettes.

Whats a pattern, anyhow, but a starting point? Even with my additions, the pattern was well written and easy to follow (I beginning to change my mind about Simplicity....). And I'm pleased with the way it turned out. I may either shorten the satin hem or add a ruffle to the chiffon overlay, since the 1" difference is bothering me.

Overboard? Maybe.

But she loves it, so I'm happy.

Pattern used: Simplicity 5704 (dress) and 2726 (rosettes & ties)

Oldie, but goodie: Perhaps not an epic fail

As I am still with out a computer, I figured I'd do a few "oldies but goodies" reposts of previous projects, posted on my old blog.  Enjoy!


This morning I hunkered down and completed the box.

It ain't pretty. Nor is it completley functional as I had intended it to be, for it is too wide to sit on the back of the toilette. It does, however, match the bathroom quiet well and holds the cloth diapers quite well, as intended.

So I didn't epically fail, but still not as successful as I would have liked.
{I used this tutorial as a guide}

Oldie, but goodie: Fabric Boxes

As I am still with out a computer, I figured I'd do a few "oldies but goodies" reposts of previous projects. I used to blog over at wordpress, but after feeling rather limited css/html wise and hating my url, I moved back over to blogger earlier this year.  I wasn't able to import my posts, so let's do this old fashion style and just repost them as new. Enjoy!


Are you thrifty? Even, perhaps, cheap? Are you a fan of reduce, reuse, recycle? Do you love using what you have on hand? Do you love organization and those sweet boxes that hold everything? Do you like to sew? Do you find yourself at the store, thinking to yourself, "Self, we could make that! Why buy it?!!"

Then maybe, you thought, like I did, that $10 for a fabric storage box, like this one, is outrageous. That you could make one out of extra fabric at home, make it the exact dims that you want and it would be perfect. Maybe, like me, you've decided to make your own. Perhaps you've collected an absurd amount of old cereal boxes for just that purpose.

Maybe you've experienced an epic fail and come to the realization that it is, indeed, worth the $10 to buy a storage bin.

If you have, then lets be friends. If you haven't, take my adivce and just buy the stupid things from IKEA or some place. If you've tried to make one on your own and succeeded, please don't mention it. I'm still upset that this box making stuff has bested me.

Baby talk: prams

My kids will be 5 years apart, so I've been contemplating how to haul the two of them around. We go on longer walks, where Miss E spends 50% - 100% of the time in her stroller, all depending on her mood. Originally, before the five year gap, I planned to either carry the baby in a sling and use the single stroller for Emmaline, or buy a Combi Twin Sport. Now that E is a busy 4.5 yr old, I'm not sure either set up will be ideal.

So, readers, I spent a few days looking up stroller options. Most seem to be geared towards multiples or children closer in age. I cant imagine a side by side double stroller being fun to push with 40 lbs on one side and 15 on the other. Plus, my Mom has a Combi stroller that while nicer than an umbrella, has some major design flaws (like terrible storage baskets, a flexible bar, and short foot rests). Tandem strollers hold little appeal to me, as one child's view is blocked and they are long and hard to maneuver.  I did find two strollers that seem to be good options, both with very different price tags and very different set ups.

The first is the Britax BReady. $319.96 at Amazon.
Britax B-Ready Stroller 2012
 I have always loved my bestie's Phil and Teds jogger, except for the wheels. They are regular tires, so they get flats. Not such a good thing to deal with in our rural town (50% of our area is incorporated county, which means, no real sidewalks). The BReady has plastic wheels, but a very similar design to the Phil and Teds. I love that there are a bazillion ways to configure the stroller- most importantly, it converts into a double with an extra set. Only problem is, the extra seat is an aditional $150. Plus, the child in the second seat doesn't have a great view of things.

The second is the Joovy Caboose UltraLight. $229.95 at Amazon.
Joovy Caboose Ultralight Stand On Tandem Stroller
 Made by the former head of Baby Trends design team, the Caboose is a lighter, more functional version of the Sit'n'Stand from Baby Trends. I love that there is a bench for the older child, a large basket, is lightweight, has a universal infant seat adapter, and has a large sunshade (covers both kids). I can also find one used for about $150. The caveats - hard to get to basket, doesn't stand up when folded, doesn't handle rough terrain well, no one hand collapse, and a short foot rest.

So, what are your takes? Should I just stick with my trusty Chicco Cortina and make E hoof it? Or do I invest in a new stroller? What works for you? I'd love to know!

Baby Talk: Diapering

My computer got fried the other day, so Im working from a loner and the ipad. Which means, no pictures. Sad day :(  I've got a few projects to show you and maybe even a tutorial! Gasp. I never seem to have the patientce for those things.

Anyways, while I am in computer limbo, lets talk more about baby stuff!

Todays subject?

Cloth diapers!

Most people love them, some don't even entertain the arcane notion, others have tried and gone back to disposables, and others are eager to try.

Myself? We did cloth diapers while potty training Emmaline. I hated them. I loathed those days of stinky morning bums, constant laundry, rinsing solids out in the toilet, and wet pails. Maybe it was the system I was using (econobum covers with prefolds), but we were going for the most uncomfortable option, to help Miss E move to the potty.  It was a dark period in diapering for us.

Previously, we used Huggies exclusively, then moved into Luvs and Target brand when E got bigger. My only problem with disposable diapers is having to go to the store! I like being self sufficient and part of me still likes the idea of having all the diapers I need at home, only a mere wash away. Does that even begin to justify all the things I hated about cloth? I don't know. I'm not worried about the environment, I do my part in other ways, and the cost in extra electricity and water for us was almost a break even each month. California is not a cheap utilities state. Cheap anything, really.

I find myself on the fence. The Hubs has already announced his refusal to change cloth diapers, which is a big point for me, the ultimate believer in "Its your turn" co diapering. But the cloth fad beckons. Cute colors! Ease of use! Never buy another diaper again! Can I resist the siren call? We shall see.

So, lovely readers, what is your take on the cloth diapering? Favorite brands? Systems? Care to knock some sense into me with a few disposable diapers?

Do tell!

Design ADD


There's a problem with being a graphic designer: I'm rarely happy with my blog designs. Once I find one I like, I keep it forever, but it takes a looong time to get there. Hence why this blog under goes so many changes. I'm still learning html and ccs coding; every time I learn something new or see a site with an awesome layout, I have to change this one up.  Just bear with me, I'll figure out the look soon  enough.

For now, enjoy the blue flowers and script font. I'm diggin' copperplate calligraphy right now - I may just pick it up as my newest hobby. If you do, too, you should sign up for Melissa Esplin's online course. I'm saving my pennies so I can!

What's in a name? {Girls Names}

Now, let's talk baby girl names!

Oh, how I love girls' names. I tend to like older, British, short names, which seem to be en vogue right now. (not really what someone with a very common last name wants to hear...)

I think it's the backlash of having a longer, very popular name growing up, that had a slightly less popular spelling. Plus, a very uncommon, slightly unfortunate last name. I want my girls to have a name that people can say and spell, but sets them a little apart from the crowd.

Here are a few off my very long list:

  • Vera - one of my favorite names, but the hubs doesn't love it. Too stuffy for him.
  • Mae - so simple, yet so pretty, I'd love to use it as a first name. Helps that May is my birth month.
  • Marilla - Thanks to Anne of Green Gables, Marilla has had a soft spot in my heart for years. The hubs thinks its too musty to be used.
  • Daphne - we both love this Greek name, but I hesitate to use it for no real reason. 
  • Millie -thoroughly modern, yet good enough to get 7 brides for 7 brothers. Love that it's sort of like Mary, which is my grandmother-in-law's name and my aunt's.
  • Jane - a name that we both love, but would never, ever use. Sadly, it's the name of the woman who my Grandfather married after leaving my Grandmother (whose middle name myself, my mother, and my daughter all share and just happens to be similar to Jane). Sadly, it's also the Hubs' grandmother's middle name.
  • Moira - oh, how my heart longs to use this British name! So pretty and exotic. Somehow, I will get the Hubs to see past the "Angela Moira Darling" connection.
  • Olive - another older name that seems so fresh. The hubs hates that it's tied to Olive Oyl and Olive the other reindeer.
  • Delia - I know, it was a popular teen clothing magazine back in the 90s, but I love that it's simple, easy to spell, but not common.
  • Eloise - although I don't like the books, I do love the name. So classy and french.
  • Daria - yup, I've loved it since I found the on screen version of myself in MTV's cartoon back in high school. I love that it's strong, but feminine enough to sound pretty. And so very apathetic ;)
  • Eliza - I've loved this name even before the most adorable, gregarious little girl became a good friend to Emmaline. Now I love it even more, but the Hubs doesn't want all E names. I don't blame him.
  • Amelia - love, love, love this name. So pretty, so easy to say and spell, yet so very popular right now. Maybe in a few years...
  • Zoe - another en vogue name, but one that I've liked since reading "Baby Blues" in the Sunday comics as a kid.

So, readers, what are your favorite girls names??

Whats in a name? {Boys Names}

Ahh, baby names. I love, love names. Even when I'm not in the market for names, I often day dream about names.

Five years ago, when we were pregnant with Emmaline, it was a no brainer. We had her name picked out far before her conception.

Now, as we comtemplate names for baby #2, I find myself stumped.  I have a list of names that I have collected over the years, but many of them the Hubby doesn't love. Le sigh.

So, lets talk naby names!

Since the dr thinks its a boy, lets start with a few of my favorite boy names: 
  • Amos - sturdy, off beat, with a lot of British flair. The Hubs worked with an Amos, who was an awesome due. Only concern, the poor kid being called Famous Amos or anus.
  • Aston - love the cars, love the pronnounciation (Austin), but the spelling will throw the car ignorant off. And Aston Hanson is one too many -ons.
  • West - ever since I read The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood in high school, I have loved the name. Hubby dislikes that its not a "real name".
  • Lee - you can thank Lee Pace for my love of this name. Just cant saddle a child with a plain name like Lee Hanson. Espcially when there are so many female Leighs floating around.
  • Webb - another name thats strong, yet offbeat. I love the way it sounds with Hanson, but the Hubs isnt a fan. Plus, the spider webb nickname may haunt him.
  • Eoin - the Irish form of John (which is the given name of both our fathers). This one went on the list early this year. I love the sound, but yet again, the poor thing would have his name mispronounced all the time. Hubby doesn't like it either, but I think it would make a great middle name.
  • Lewis - my late Grandfather's name. He went by Lew and I love it. Love it. We will use it one day, the hubby has no say in it,  but most likely as a middle name.
  • Warren - I'm a direct descendant of Richard Warren, so this name is rich in history for me. Hubby doesn't like it much, (he really dislikes the current trend of last names as first names) but I argue that Warren Beatty made it cool long before people started using last names as first names.

Now its your turn!

What names do you adore for a baby boy??

An Announcement

That's right, folks! We are expecting baby #2 around Feb 27, 2013. We are all very excited to be welcoming a little one into our home. I've been pretty sick, so sewing projects have come to almost complete stop. Hopefully, now that I'm in my 2nd trimester, I can get back on the wagon and start posting a whole lot more!

Simple Fix

What do you do with a hole in knit?

I find myself asking that question at least twice a month. Between kitty and Emmaline, we have quite a few knits with little holes in them. Most of the time, I take very fine thread and carefully stitch up the hole. Sometimes, the hole is just too big for a simple darn.

Take this adorable dress, which cost $3 at Old Navy. It's one of E's favorites, but after a curious experiment with kitty claw clippers, it ended up in the mending pile. I contemplated doing fancy stitch work to cover up the darning, but then, the light bulb came on: wonder under and appliques! Brilliant!

Using heart cookie cutters, I traced out three different sized hearts from knit that was left over from a turtleneck I turned into a regular shirt for Emmaline a while ago. I ironed them on in an asymmetrical line and gave them a quick zig zag around the edges.

I think I may take out the machine stitching and do a blanket stitch in navy thread, to give the hearts more definition, but for now, a favorite play dress is back in rotation. Hooray!

A Birthday Dress

My niece's birthday may have been back in January and she may have just recieved her birthday present yesterday....

In my defense, this dress had a few glitches. First it was going to be a bubble skirt, then a flared aline skirt, then a dress. Second, her first choice of fabric was adorable, but ended up being canvas. Third, she asked for a 14" zipper and was given a 7" zipper. We werent deterred, however, and after a few fittings, Miss WaLa has a lovely new dress.

Using Simplicity 2176, coral and ivory broadcloth and an ivory invisible zipper, I recreated a more modest version of a cute, but scandalously short dress from a major label.

Best part is, both WaLa and I love the end result! Yay for making this sweet freshman smile.

4th of July

Our good friends come every 4th to visit for a few days and I try to make the girls matching outfits for Independence day. This year, I used an old 60s pattern that is quick and easy - two things I need when making multiples. I've been holding on to the blue flower print seersucker for years, just waiting for the perfect pattern. I managed to make the two dresses and one shirt for baby bestie Rie out of the two yards I had. The white ruffles are from an old bed skirt. Yay for sticking to my guns! Too bad the weather ended up being cold for July, so the girls were freezing, but my, they looked adorable.

I even did the girls' hair in a star 'do, that I found on The Story of a Princess and Her Hair. Adorable hair dos, if you can get your princess to sit still!

not to be left out

Miss Alice was in need of a Kristin made item, as well, so the day before we left on vacation, I whipped up a little birthday dress and flower for her. It's hard to believe that this little girl truned one while we were visitng. It seems she was born just the other day.

I used Simplicity 5695 for the first time and now need to find it in big girl sizes. Such an easy and adorable pattern!


Emmaline and I spent two weeks with our besties last month and had a blast! Even if we missed Daddy like crazy.

For our special vacation, I made Emmaline and her BFF matching nightgowns from an old sheet my mom gave me. Emmaline was upset that the nightgown wasn't "pink enough", but her friend was in love at first sight. At least the night attire was a hit with one of them!

I used McCalls pattern no 4547, with a few alterations. I added a bias tape casing for the neckline elastic, instead of a self casing for cording. I've used this pattern once in the past to make a nightgown for Emmaline, but to make it sleep safe, I swapped the cording for elastic. This time the seld casing gave me issues. Each time I tried  to fold down the neckline, the casing would bunch and pull. Not cool. Luckily, my mom gave me a few bias tape makers and it was a breeze to make my own bias tape. So I hemmed the neck and stitched the bias tape casing close to the hem. I love that the neckline has a little ruffle now. I also cut out a size 5/6, so the girls can wear them for a long time. That is, if Emmaline would consent to wearing hers!