Thursday, January 31, 2013

Link Party #46

Ok I am late for a very important date! Our link party! My family all came into town (well not all of them but most of them) And so I was a little distracted and suddenly realized the day is over and the post that should have been scheduled never went up. What a slacker geez. I am so excited to see what you all are working on, and have been for the past month and half that we have been on link party break. So here is how link parties will work now. They will be once a month (last day of the month as is seems) They will be open for the whole month and periodically through the month I will share the favorites from link party as well as some favorites at the start of the link party so there are plenty of chances to show off all the amazing projects you guys are working on. I love the sense of "community" it brings to this here Shwin&Shwin. So let's get the party Started!

New to link parties? That's totally fine here's what you have to do:

Find a entry on your blog that you want to link up.
It can be ANYTHING (unless it's an ad or something let's keep it spam free)
Say it is a great new project you just made and have been dying to share it with the crafting world. 
the link should look something like this:
http://(your blog adress/website)/(the post you want to link).html
Linking to the post is the easiest way for people to get back to that post.

Then click where it says "click here to enter" 
follow the steps to link your post and create a title, and select your picture.
Keep in mind the picture will be small thumbnail so pick a picture that shows it off the best. 

Lastly if you were so kind to add our button to your page or post, or where every you store your link party things that would be super cool. You don't have to use the button to link up, it's just there for you if you can't live without it. 

cool? cool. Let's get the party started!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A little Crocheted Dress {Free Pattern}

 Before sweet Penny was born I got the desire to start crocheting. My mom had taught me a few simple stitches (I know 2) about a year ago and then with a new baby coming I thought was would be better than a little crochet dress. I figured making a dress couldn't be too hard, I know how I would sew one, so I just kind of started stitching....Then I had a dress. I was going to share a whole tutorial, or a pattern and then it occurred to me I have no idea how to write a crochet pattern (let alone follow one) and teaching some one to crochet it probably not my strength. However I can kind of share my pattern for those of you who do know how to do some simple stitches and have a desire to crochet a dress.
 The dress is a simple jumper with fitted bodice, flared skirt and shoulder straps. Nothing too fancy and the whole thing was stitched with a single crochet. Now for the part where I try and share the "pattern" and hope I used proper terms you can actually understand.
 So, For the flared skirt, I started by deciding how wide I wanted the total width. I settled on 20 inches for a newborn size. I made my chain 20 inches long, Then I looped through to create a circle. I continued with the single crochet around in the loop one time around as a row. I switched colors every 4 rows so that I would have stripes. Then after 12 rows, I began the decrease for the more fitted bodice. I did this by skipping a stitch every two stitches. When I was at the desired width I went back to the regular single stitch. You will see the dress forming and I just continued until I was at the size I wanted for the dress to end right under the armpit. Then I added stitches just in the center front to create a panel for the chest. Then lastly I added two straps in the back until they were the length I wanted. (so detailed right?) Add two buttons and you are good to go.
Did you follow that at all? Maybe? One of these days I will figure out the proper way to right a crochet pattern. Crochet is a lot of fun and a great peaceful activity. Before you know it you have created a thing of beauty.
 Just as babies are comfy in cozy soft knits, they are just as cozy in warm crocheted dresses. I love how warm it is for winter layered with a onsie, and yet how cool it could be for summer worn alone.
It's so soft and cozy it makes cuddling with a little baby that much better :)

Tomorrow is the January Link Party!
Can't wait to see all the fun things you are working on!

Monday, January 28, 2013

DIY Onsie Dress {tutorial}

 I have been sewing for my littlest one lately, she needs the most clothing, so I thought to make a few. My favorite is a little dress. I recently bought some from the gap that was a onsie underneath a dress, which is perfect so the babies little bellies aren't ever exposed. I have seen the ones in the DIY world that sew a skirt right to a onsie but I find that it effects the stretch of the onsie and then it is hard to get on and off... its hard enough to dress babies let along the struggle of getting something on and off so I made one using the GAP's method. Super easy, and cute.
 It makes a cute and simple dress and it uses very little fabric and an old onsie so you don't have to mess with putting on snaps.
 SO would you like to make one as well? The same steps can be used to make a onsie dress in any size that you have a onsie for.
 Start with a onsie, you can use an old stained onsie, or I used a onsie with a picture I didn't really care for. Chop off the top of the onsie, about an inch or so under the arm pit.
 Then using the cut top part make your pattern pieces for the top of the dress. You are making two layers for this, the shorter one in the picture is the sice of the chopped onsie and the longer layer is for the outside layer with the skirt.
 So all together you will have a front and back bodice for the onsie layer, and a front and back bodice for the dress layer, and two sleeves. Then also two rectangles for the skirt pieces. The skirt can be as wide and and long as you want it to be.
 Then since white on white is hard to see the rest of the tutorial was done on the carpet... sew the front and back bodice pieces together at the shoulders.
 Then add the sleeves to the outside layer (dress layer)
 Then sew the side seams of both bodices, for the outside layer you are sewing the side seam and sleeve seam.
 Then sew the inside layer to the onsie I use a stretch stitch to sew these together so the onsie still has stretch.
 Now you have a new onsie, to finish the dress with.
 Now sew the skirt pieces together at the sides and gather the top edge.
 Then with right sides together sew the skirt and outside bodice together. When doing this stretch the bodice just a little so you will have a comfortable fit.
 Now you have a dress layer. Hem the sleeves.
 Now place the onsie into the dress layer so the necklines are together. Then cut a neck ribbing strip, sew it together into a loop and then sew the ribbing to the neckline through both layers. Stretch the ribbing as you sew.
 Then turn the whole thing inside out. Turn the ribbing to the inside and sew along the edge while stretching. Then sew the onsie layer to the seam allowance around the arm opening.
 Turn the dress right side out and you are done.
 A cute and simple dress that is easy to wear and nice and cozy. The double layer top is especially great for winter wear. And babies are so great in cozy knits, since Penny is growing so fast these days I can see many more of these in our future. (we seem to have a never ending supply of ugly or stained onsies to work with :)
**Just a note the Leggings are from Carters and the socks were a gift, they can be found here

Friday, January 25, 2013

Instagram Friday {Life as we know it}

It's been a while since I did an Instagram Friday Post. 
But since nothing else was getting posted this week, maybe it was time for a life post. You can always follow along to life as it happens find me on instagram @shwinpics 

 Penny is growing way too fast, and yet really slow at the same time. I can't believe she is over a month old already. We have spent as much time as we can soaking up the sun to get rid of her Jaundice. It's lasted the longest in Penny than it did in the other kids, but she has also been the smallest.
 We spend lots of time cuddling in bed in the mornings. It seems I am slow to rise after a long night and the kids are just as happy to climb in bed in the morning for some cuddles. So what if we stay in bed till 9:30-10...

 I am 99% done with this pattern ready for testers soon... I am just waiting for a few of the other spring patterns to be done as well, it also takes twice as much times these days :)

 The kids and I made up a batch of our favorite salted caramel popcorn with chocolate drizzle, I will share the recipe soon... it's delish!
 Abbey's room is almost done, since she took over Jude's old room and it had to be "girlyfied" (not a real word) A full reveal will come when and if I finish the room :)
 This is how I get things done most days. Wearing one baby and two kids following my every move... It works
 Having three kids has been challenging to find the balance, between taking care of them and finding time to do my things. But I refuse to make them give up their time so things are just a little slower while I learn to utilize every spare second.
 We ventured out of the house with all three kids for some family fun. We choose bowling, Abbey won, well she kicked butt and took names. Jude was not a fan of loosing to his little sister.
 We also got and played The Beatles Monopoly. It is awesome.

 My beloved machine had an incident this week. Some kids (not mine) put pins in all the holes they could find filling it up with loose metal. I took it apart and rescued it. Then I heard the most beautiful noise in the world... a sewing machine back up and running... of course then I had to move along and take care of kids :)
We have also clearly embraced the January Blahs. We have been having a record breaking cold winter this year, (cold for here, not cold compared to my childhood winters in Minnesota) The air has been horrible, trapping us inside, and the sky has been grey far too many days. This has resulted in some moody days from the kids.

So life with three is not too bad, they all love each other, which is nice. Hopefully I can squeeze in some time here and there to share some fun projects.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Free Pattern Round-up {18+ Patterns}

Free Pattern week is wrapping up. So I thought I would wrap it up with quick links to the now 18 19 free PDF patterns you can find here. (I totally forgot yesterday's top, and I don't want to re-do the graphic so let's just go with it)
From top to bottom left to right
1: Pleated Mary Jane Shoes
2: Abbey Road Boots
3: Forget Me knot Shoes
4: Little Red Riding Boots
5: Paper Bag Pants
6: Reversible Knit Baby Pants
7: Pajama Top and Bottom
8: Love Birds Top
9: The Leg Cozy
10: Reversible Color Blocked Skirt
11: Color Blocked Dress
12: Little Man Bow Tie
13: Blackbird Tunic
14: Little Man Shoes
15: Baby Romper
16: Hello Little Girl Tunic
17: Dreaming of Sunshine Tunic
18: Baby Bibs

And From Yesterday:
19: Fallen Top

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Fallen Top {Free PDF Pattern}

Today's free pattern is not for a baby, surprise! I know free pattern week could have just been called free baby pattern week with all the baby goodness going on this week, but I was able to sneak in one non baby pattern. It's one of my favorite new tops for Abbey. With some falling triangles embroidered on the front, it has that "tribal" flair to it while still being very child friendly. 

 It has a color block element to the hem (which could easily be skipped as well) I also added the high front low back, which I have been itching to add to a top for awhile.
 The top is loose and comfy and buttons down the back. (I love buttons)

So the pattern can be found HERE

I would say it is size 3T/4T Abbey is right in between those, she is pretty slim, in the arm and chest so if you are concerned about fit, I would just measure or compare the pattern to a top that fits to see if you need to add any room.
The cutting instructions are printed on the pattern, but I will share some notes along the way.
 For starters cut the front out on the fold at the fold line. Then I fused some interfacing to the back so I could add embroidery.
 You don't have to add embroidery, a pocket would be super cute as well, oh like a little lace pocket... anyway I just traced some triangles and had them rotate in a falling pattern. Simple and done.
 Now cutting the back pieces should be 2 inches wider and not cut on the fold. You will notice the front curves up and the back curves down.
 Then sew the front and back pieces together at the shoulders with right sides together. Press the seam open.
 Next with right sides together sew one cuff to each sleeve. then fold the bottom edge under 3/8 inch, press and then un fold it.
 I know the picture shows the outside, but lets pretend it it the inside, with right sides together match up the front and back and then sew from the cuff edge to the arm pit and down the side. Clip the notch at the arm pit. Then turn the top right side out.
 Re-fold the pressed edge of the sleeve and then turn the cuff in and top stitch along the folded edge to secure the cuff.
 Next fold the back edges in 1 inch, top stitch to secure. Then sew buttons down one side and button holes down the other.
 Next sew the facing pieces (which are cut from just the top part of the pattern labeled facing) together at the shoulder, much like you did for the top. Then turn the outside edge under and press. You could also serge, or zig zag stitch the outside edge if you rather.
 Then with right sides together sew the facing to the neckline and sew down the back edge. Clip the corner and the curve.
 Then turn the facing around to the back and top stitch in place.
 Now for the color block pieces. Sew one front piece to two back pieces at the side seams. Then with right sides together sew the color block piece to the bottom edge of the top, matching up the side seams, the back may be longer than the top, which is fine just trim it to match.
 Then sew the other color block front piece to the back pieces and with right sides together you are going to sew the color block piece to the color block piece already sewn to the top. You can see the sew line in the picture but you will sew along the bottom and side edges.
 Then turn the piece around to the inside and topstitch in place.
 That's all there is to it. Simple and chic.
 I love the high front and low back.
 And of course I am a sucker for buttons going down the back.
If you make one share it in our flickr group! (link found up at the top of the page with our social networking links)