Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Butterfly dress

This dress is another one from a pattern I got in my giant Goodwill haul of early '13.

The pattern is this one:

Butterick B4176

I let Little Sister choose from the stack of patterns again, and this is the one she went for this time.

I learned from my experience last time, and made a size 2 bodice (a little roomy for my almost-three-year-old but fine), but since Little Sister has been obsessed with dresses that are "long long" lately, I cut out the size 5 length.  She would be happier if it was dusting the floor, but this is about as long as I'm willing to go so that she can actually wear it around without tripping on it and dragging it through the mud.

Tucked into her waistband and ready to roll!
The fabric is one I got in the clearance section at JoAnn's--not a remnant, which is actually a good thing because I needed every inch of the yard I had, but that means I paid $4/yard for it, well over my typical price.  I just had to have this purple butterfly fabric though.

A friend of Little Sister's grandma's made that little hat for her.  

I love the simple pleats in the front of this dress, and the sweet little buttons.  The button closure in the back means she can't get it on and off by herself, which is kind of a bummer but not that big of a deal. It was really an easy dress to make.

No buttonholes--just an elastic loop closure
I did fold my single-fold bias tape up a little as I sewed it around the neckline so that the purple edge would show like a trim.  It's the same technique I used when I made this shirt.  I think it almost looks like a piped edge.

I need to work on focusing on the eyes, but she's so quick!

I still haven't been able to get any pictures of The Boy in his lined pants that I made from one of the patterns, despite the fact that he's worn them about 3 times in the week since I gave them to him.  The first time, we were on our way somewhere and couldn't stop for photos, the second time I was planning to take pics as soon as I got him home from school, but then whoops!  He slipped in the mud on the way to the car and had to change as soon as we got home!  The third time he just wasn't in the mood.  Someday.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Reversible Quilted Tunic Top!

I saw this pattern from Prudent Baby a while back, and thought it was so sweet and simple.  And I loved the idea of reversible for a toddler--if she spilled her lunch on it, we can just turn it inside-out!  Less laundry for me!  I had been hanging onto this remnant of double-sided pre-quilted fabric trying to decide what to do with it, when it hit me that it was the perfect thing to use for the Prudent Baby 4 Season Crossover top.  Although I suppose the quilting makes it more of a two-season top.  Wait, I'm in Oregon.  A three-season top.

Eek!  I have a twin!

The only problem was I wasn't sure how to hide the seams on the inside.  The tutorial is for using two fabrics, so the seams are all hidden inside.  But using this fabric meant getting tricky with the bias tape.  I figured it out, and I'll show you how!

Oh Mom.

Little Sister likes this side better, but I still make her wear it the other way sometimes.
All you really need to do to make this top with a two-sided fabric is to make the inside of your seams presentable.  You will already be using bias tape around the raw edges--you just need a little extra to cover up those seams!

Here's how my tunic looked after cutting and sewing.

I opened up the bias tape and pinned the raw edge along the seam, lining it up with the seam's edge (see pic below).  This was double-fold bias tape, because that's what I needed for the rest of the dress, but for the inside of the dress you could totally use single fold.

Once the tape was pinned in place, I sewed right down the crease in the bias tape.

I made sure my raw seam edges were trimmed down narrower than the bias tape, then just pinned the loose edge of the tape right over the top, squishing the seam flat.

Here's the whole side seam, ready to be stitched on the other edge of the bias tape.

Ta da!  Nice and neat and flat.

I did the same thing on the other side seam and also on the shoulder seams.

Here's how it looked from the other side when I was done:

Good, right?  The Prudent Baby tutorial shows how to bind the raw edges all the way around with the bias tape to finish the top.

One last thing--I don't know if it was because my heavier fabric made the top hang funny or what, but I ended up adding a couple of snaps in the back, right where the top crossed behind the armpits.  I used the little snaps you hand-sew in, so they are pretty hidden either way she wears the top, and they just hold the crossover back in the right position.

We've been getting lots of compliments on this top!  OK, nerd admission--I'm reading Game of Thrones right now, and the soldiers all wear quilted tunics under their armor. I bet they look pretty much exactly like this, right?  So when I dress her in her quilted tunic, I feel like I'm getting her ready for battle.  Maybe a pillow fight, but still.

I kind of want to try making one in an oilcloth to use as an art smock.  Wouldn't that be cute?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Maternity Jeans!

When I was pregnant, I wasn't doing much sewing yet.  I learned to hand-sew doll clothes as a kid from my grandma, and then learned to use a machine in the college theater costume shop, but aside from sewing costumes for plays when I was a middle and high school drama teacher I hadn't done much sewing since college.  And I'd never done much in the way of sewing for myself.  Truly, nothing motivated me to get out the sewing machine like having a daughter--well, that, and Pinterest.  And since the girl was my second (and final) child, I never made any maternity stuff for myself.  And now, I keep seeing these great maternity projects on Pinterest and thinking, maybe I should get pregnant again so I can sew those things!  HAAAAAAAAhahahahahahaha oh my gosh I never want to be pregnant again.

Lucky for my, my dear dear friend IS pregnant!  YAY!!!!  I get to sew maternity stuff for her!  Oh yeah, and YAY that she's having a baby! But this is about me.

In other news, I've been playing around with photo add-ons at Free, and totally fun.

I saw this tutorial for turning regular pants into maternity pants on Pinterest, and it was from a blogger I liked, and I sent my pal a link to it to see if she had any pants she wanted me to try making over. And what do you know, she did!  A pair of too-big cords from the Gap and a pair of too-short-too-big jeans just languishing away.  We decided I would make the cords my guinea pig, and if they turned out I would hack into those Seven for All Mankinds.  Hmmm, in hindsight, maybe I should have just taken the Sevens for myself--they probably would have fit me just right!

The first step in the tutorial is to cut off the front two belt loops.  I have to give the Gap a slow clap for their belt loop attachment.  Those suckers are not just going to pull out on their own.  Of course, this is kind of a headache when making this particular transformation.  I didn't have a straight razor handy like the tutorial recommends--I think it would have helped.  The seam ripper took forever.

I started to get a sense of foreboding at this point, because when the part of the project that was supposed to be the easy part (Just take the belt loops off!  No big deal!) turns out to be a major pain in the butt, that rarely means that the more complicated parts will go more smoothly than anticipated.

But I needn't have worried!  Removing the belt loops was totally the worst part. As the tutorial mentions, you have to be careful when you're stitching around metal things (like the zipper and the rivets), but I just slowed down and hand-cranked through those parts and it was beautiful.  I used a denim needle and didn't have any issues.

I did do one thing differently from the tutorial.  Jessica from Running With Scissors, who created the tutorial, attaches the elastic waistband to the pants by lining it up exactly how it's going to lay when you're finished and topstitching the raw front edge of the jeans down to it (she then does a second row of stitching to really hold it in place).  I decided to try for a more finished-looking edge in the front of the cords, since I was making these for a friend.  I turned the waistband upside down and slid it over the top of the cords so that the raw edge of the cords where I cut them off was lined up with the raw edges of the bottom of the waistband.  Then I sewed them together right along the edge of the pants.  I had to be really careful near the rivets and the zipper because I couldn't see the metal as clearly as I could have if I'd done it Jessica's simpler way. Once I sewed all the way around, I flipped the waistband up into its correct position then topstitched another seam around the top of the pants, just to hold everything in place.

Top of the ya.

The back, looking nice and finished.

The inside however...well, that's how you know it's handmade with love.

When I did the jeans, I realized that I didn't have to do it this way all the way around.  You don't cut the jeans in the back, so they look totally finished if you just tuck the waistband in and topstitch it down in the back.  But starting at the spot where I cut the front of the jeans down, I flipped the waistband and did it the same way I did the cords.  I was even happier with those results.

Oops, I forgot to take a picture of the inside of these.  Don't worry, they looked TOTALLY PROFESSIONAL.  I PROMISE.  (No, they didn't.)

But lookie here!  My friend dropped by wearing them, and I got to take some real photos of her modeling them for me--what a good sport.  They look like the real thing, don't they?  I'm so pleased!

I told her, "tee hee, your butt is going to be on the internet."

The bonus is that those slightly-too-short pants turned out the perfect length, because the waistband drops the pants down just enough!  Anyway, if you didn't have pants in your own closet that you wanted to mangle, this would be a great use for thrift store pants too.  To make over the two pants, I bought a little over 2 yards of 2 inch elastic (with the coupon, that came to about $3) and I bought a remnant of black rib knit, which was another $3 or so.

Monday, January 21, 2013

goodwill pattern shopping!

I just made a major discovery.  Goodwill has sewing patterns!  I don't know why this seems like such news to me--but I was surprised by my MAJOR HAUL the other day nonetheless.

10 children's patterns, all with several variations

And one for the ladies.

I spent $5 (the women's pattern was $1, and the kids patterns came in a bundle of 5 patterns for $2 each).  When I added up the total pattern cost from the packaging, it came to almost $130!  This is why I don't buy patterns--there are so many great free things on the internet that I usually just can't justify spending $10-$15 for a cute pattern, when I would rarely spend that much on an actual dress.

Can you see those prices?  They range from $11.95-$16.95
(with one bargain $2.99 pattern)

Knowing that I would MAYBE make the same pattern 2-3 times, plus the cost of fabric, makes it less than worth my dollar to make something myself.   But WOW, I don't know why I hadn't discovered the Goodwill treasure trove before.  I guess that's not entirely true; I have looked through piles of patterns at thrift stores before, but haven't found things I wanted to buy.  Maybe I was just very lucky today.

I was a little worried when I was ready to open up the packages though--I didn't think about it when I was buying them, but...what if the patterns had been cut out in the wrong size?  Or were missing pieces or directions?  Or were torn/damaged/etc?  But (so far anyway--three patterns in) I needn't have worried--as a matter of fact, one of the packages I've opened was still brand-new, appearing to never even have been unfolded, and the others were even BETTER than new because one was already perfectly cut out (to the largest size, so I could just fold/trace the smaller sizes), saving me the work, and the other had the complete patterns cut out in the largest size and ALSO a fully traced smaller size pattern cut out of tracing paper.  Score!

This McCalls pattern was the first one I made.  I let Little Sister look at all of the patterns I bought and choose which dress I would make for her first, and this was her choice.

Little Sister wanted her dress to be solid pink, like on the package, but without the bow.  And she requested NO POCKETS!  What is wrong with that child?   Sometimes I wonder if she's even mine.  Anyway, I didn't have enough solid pink in my stash to make the whole dress, so I talked her into pink at the top and a pink band at the bottom with this railroad stripe that I love for the skirt.  It helped that I have a skirt that I made for myself out of that fabric, and she loves that we can be twins now.

I like the end result, but I'm not totally sure about the fit--because there are no closures, the band at the top has to be pretty wide in order to get onto her body.

See how loose it is under her arms?

 I cut out a size 2 yoke, since I know I've read somewhere that published patterns tend to run big, but Little Sister has been really into long skirts lately so I cut a size 3 for skirt length.

These shoes KILL ME.
Why does she get all the cool stuff?
I feel like I could have gone even longer--this jumper came out shorter and wider than I expected based on the photos on the front.  It's definitely intended to be a jumper (worn over a shirt) and not a dress, although I may have a hard time convincing my tank-top loving girl of that come summer time.  I may need to shorten the straps if she won't wear a top underneath.

Back view
I have very limited experience sewing from published patterns.  As I mentioned before, I tend to go with what's available on the internet for free, or else just making things up.  After sewing up a couple of things out of my pattern haul, I will say that there is some benefit to using the packaged patterns (mostly the pattern pieces being right there instead of having to make your own or hope your printer is set up properly to print patterns, etc) but I expected so much more from the directions!  I figured, you know, these have been selected to be published by a major pattern-maker like Butterick or Simplicity, so they must be crystal-clear and easy to follow!  But MAN, I have a whole new respect for all of the bloggers who are creating content--patterns and tutorials--for average joe sewers like me.  I swear, I sat there for 15 minutes trying to discern one of the steps for the jumper I made for Little Sister, and I eventually had to just toss the page aside and use basic logic and my limited knowledge of garment construction to figure out how to attach the gathered skirt to the lined yoke.  The line-drawing illustration was no help whatsoever, and may have actually confused me more.  In the end, my skirt was attached, as you can see, but I'm pretty sure it was not done in the way the pattern intended.  I have scratched my head occasionally when following patterns and tutorials I have found online, but every time I figure out what was intended eventually (sometimes by reading the comments and the poster's subsequent clearing up of questions--another beauty part of the online community).

I'm hoping that, like with crossword puzzles and knitting patterns, there is just a sewing pattern language that I haven't gotten familiar with yet.  As I work my way through some of these patterns maybe it will come easier to me.

Coming soon from the set--boys' pants (finished, just waiting for my model to be ready for a photo session), and a sleeveless dress (I still need to bind the armholes and find some cute decorative buttons).  I am totally motivated!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Raw-Edge Jersey Jacket

Quick post today:

I made this jacket a while ago and am just getting around to posting it, mostly because for as difficult as it may seem for me to get pictures of my KIDS wearing the stuff I made, it is infinitely harder for some reason to make the time to get pictures of myself.  So finally, I got the photos.

I had been admiring this fabric for a while at JoAnn's, but couldn't justify the $12.99/yard.  So when I found  an almost-full-yard in the remnant bin (when the fabric was on sale, no less!)  I snapped it up.  I ended up paying less than $4 for the fabric.  It's hard to tell in photos, but the black stripes are actually a semi-sheer lacy print.

To make the jacket, I drafted a pattern using the steps outlined in this tutorial from Katy at No Big Dill (this post was a guest post on Love in the Mommyhood.)  I think I chose a smaller shirt to begin with.  If I wanted more of a true jacket, I would start with a shirt that's pretty roomy for making your pattern.  But my fabric was very thin and I wanted more of a tunic that I could belt--I wouldn't really be wearing it for warmth.  Although I would recommend drawing your pattern bigger than you think--my neckline came out smaller than I expected, and I actually had to throw out my first pair of sleeves for being too small, which is why these are only elbow-length--that's all the fabric I had left!

All of my edges are raw--neckline, sleeves, hem, and the front of the jacket.  Jersey doesn't fray, so I cut carefully, and on the hem and sleeves I pulled to give the edge a slight roll.  The complete lack of hemming makes this a super-quick project, especially if you have already drafted a well-fitting top pattern for yourself.

I love that I can wear it loose or belted.

The end.  I told you it was a quick one today!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Scarves and more scarves!

I mentioned before how I made a lot of scarves this season, right?  Well, in addition to the three I've already showed you, I also made these:

As well as two more sets of armwarmers for the kids' preschool teachers (a GREAT gift for them, in my opinion, since they play outside several times a day and often need their fingers to help kids with things) and yet another set of armwarmers for our wonderful babysitter.  All of these came from sweaters that were either handed down to me because their owners could no longer use them (shrunken, or holey, etc) or that I found at Goodwill.  Most of them are at least part cashmere--the blue striped one is lambswool, but I made the inside of the scarf out of navy cashmere (the part that will be touching the recipient's neck).  

I used the same scarflet and armwarmer tutorials that I followed in this post--I listed my thoughts and things I did differently in that post too.

Here are my mom and mother-in-law showing off their sets:

Stay tuned for more of my crafty Christmas gifts!  I'm working my way through the list!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mermaid Costume!

This is one of those projects where everything just came together.  I had very few problems making it, my daughter was thrilled (THRILLED!) when she opened it on Christmas eve, it FIT HER PROPERLY--it just all worked out.

I am so darn proud of this costume.  I think it looks adorable!  And Little Sister loves it.  She puts it on a few times a week to play mermaid.  She wants to have a mermaid party for her 3rd birthday coming up (I'm all in--"Turning Three Under The Sea!")  And while it's totally not perfect, I did come up with something that I think works so well for a little person's costume, so I definitely wanted to share what I did.

But first, don't you want to see a few more pictures of my little mermaid?  Depending on her mood, she may only answer to Ariel.


Whoa.  Balancing on your tail is
not as easy as it looks.


OMG. I'm totally a mermaid.
Rolling around in the "water"

Mermaids definitely swim on their bellies.

And sometimes, mermaids get cold and need to wrap up
in the "water."

She had to put her costume on as soon as she opened it Christmas Eve.  And once you're a mermaid, you've obviously got to go for a swim.  Good thing the S.S. Papa Barrie was there to help out!

Most of the  mermaid costume tutorials and patterns that I looked at used a similar concept to create the mermaid tail.  They were long skirts with an elastic band somewhere around the knee/calf area to pull the fabric in, so that when it flowed back out there was a "tail" effect.  Usually the fabric below the elastic was cut into a tail shape, helping the effect.  They look adorable, but I was worried that it might be uncomfortable/unsafe for a two-year-old to walk with her knees bunched together.  I had the idea of making a crossover skirt, sort of tulip-skirt style, so that there was actually an opening before the tail separated into its two fins.  And I think it worked out really well!  The skirt is made from two pieces of fabric that are only sewn together at the waistband.  They wrap around opposite sides of her waist, leaving an opening at the front and the back.  At the bottom of each piece of the skirt, I gathered the fabric and attached a gathered "fin" that hangs on each side of the skirt.

Crossover Skirt
Because there is enough fabric to wrap around her waist twice, the opening (usually) doesn't pull open enough to reveal her undies.  I figured it was no big deal since this is a dress-up costume to be worn around the house, but if I was worried about her exposing herself the skirt easily disguises a pair of pants or tights worn underneath.  However, when I suggested that, I was informed by Miss Mermaid herself that mermaids do NOT wear pants.  She has a point, I guess.

I will share how I made this, but I will warn you--this is not a very thorough tutorial.  I was figuring things out as I went, eyeballing things and just doing what I thought looked good.  I'm not sure how well I'll be able to explain it, but I'll try!

I started with these raw materials:

I had a formal floor-length skirt with two semi-iridescent layers that a friend had given me, and I was originally planning to use that for the body of the skirt.  But since Little Sister has been very adamant that mermaid tails are PURPLE, I decided to use the iridescent blue stuff for the fins.  I bought a yard of the purple ruffled fabric, which I had never worked with before but thought would be absolutely perfect for a mermaid, because it looks like scales if you use your imagination, but also because it's soft and stretchy.  Beware, this ruffled fabric is actually pretty see-through, but since the skirt ends up being mostly double-layered it's ok.  The top doesn't even seem seethrough once it's on, but when you hold the fabric up to the light, it's sheer city--just thought you should know. The bolt was pretty wide, and I probably could have gotten away with half a yard, but I wasn't quite sure how I was going to go about it yet.  It was $9 a yard at Jo-Ann Fabrics, but of COURSE I had a 50% off coupon, so not too bad.

I started by making the waistband for the skirt.  My daughter's waist is about 19", so I cut the waistband fabric 23" wide.  It was 9" long in the center and curved upwards towards the ends, so the "skirt" part of the waistband would be shorter in the back.

Hmm.  Maybe I could have ironed this.

Since I was using an old skirt, I made use of the existing hem whenever possible.  This way I didn't have to hem any fussy slippery fabrics.  I put the two layers wrong-side together and sewed the two ends, and used my pinking shears on the raw edges.  The top and bottom were left open.

Then I decided to go ahead and sew the top closed too, for a finished inside edge to my waistband.  Once I did that, I turned it right-side out.

I was using 1" wide elastic for the waistband, so I folded enough of the waistband fabric over to the back to make a casing for my elastic, then pinned it loosely in place.

Then I folded the two ends in to see where they would meet in the middle, and marked the side edges of the waistband with pins.

I would use these pins to line up the overlapped ruffled skirt fabric.

Cutting the ruffled fabric was a little tricky--I had to be really careful not to cut any of the ruffles as I snipped across the fabric.  I cut two panels, one for either side of the skirt.  Each panel should be wide enough to go all the way around the waist (so in this case, it should have been 19 inches wide.  Mine was actually 17 inches wide and I wished it had been a smidge wider.) and the length is up to you.  I made mine 15" long but maybe should have gone a little shorter to avoid so much tail draggage, but the fins spreading out on the floor are what help to make it look very mermaid-y, so...I don't know.  I'll leave it to your judgment.  The length should be somewhere between the wearer's waist-to-knee measurement and their waist-to-ankle measurement.

With the waistband right-side-down, lay your first right-side-down skirt panel on top of it, lining up the left edge of the skirt panel with the leftmost pin in the waistband.  The right side of the skirt panel should be hanging over the edge of the waistband.

Lay your second skirt panel facedown on top of the first, this time lining up the right edge of the skirt panel with the rightmost waistband pin.

Carefully remove the pins holding your waistband casing in place and slide the skirt fabric up inside the casing.  When you sew the casing closed, you want to make sure both layers of your skirt are sewn into that seam.

But you're going to need to close up the skirt in the back, so when you sew the casing closed, leave a few inches open at both ends of the casing.

 Once you've sewn the majority of the casing closed, flip your skirt right side out and turn it over to the back.  Tuck the remaining fabric at the top of the skirt panels into the part of the casing that you left open, and topstitch it closed.  Since the edges of my waistband were finished, I just left them open to slide my elastic in--that way I can easily make it larger when necessary.

Before slipping my elastic into place, I gathered the skirt of the waistband in front (just by using a basting stitch without backstitching, then pulling the bobbin thread to tighten the gathers), then sewed the gathers down to hold them in place.  I did NOT sew the gathers to the purple ruffled skirt.

As you could probably see in the pictures of my daughter in the finished costume, I added gathers to the sides of the waistband as well.  I don't know if I'd recommend doing that--it seems like it makes the waistband more likely to flip up.

Next was attaching the fins.  Again using the existing hem from the skirt I was upcycling, I cut two 9"x22" panels from each layer of the skirt (one of each fabric for each fin).  Much like I did on the waistband, I placed the layers wrong-side together and sewed up the two edges, this time leaving both the top and bottom open.  When I flipped it right-side-out, I gathered the two layers together using the same technique I mentioned above.

I then laid the skirt out on it's side, so that one side skirt panel was laying face up flat on the floor.  I laid the fin wrong-side-up and upside-down, so that the raw edges of the fin lined up with the bottom of the skirt panel.

For some reason I stopped taking pictures of the skirt at this point, so bear with me.

I bunched up the purple ruffle fabric, pinned the heck out of the two pieces to get them as lined up as I could, and sewed them together.  After I flipped the fin down into position I sewed another row to flatten the raw edges of the gathered fin out as best I could.

Once I saw the fin attached, I thought it needed to lift up more in the center, so I gathered the fin along the front seam as well.  You can kind of see what I'm talking about in this photo:

Repeat for the other fin, insert elastic the same length as your child's waist measurement, and the skirt is done!

The top was relatively straightforward.  I cut cap-sleeves from the iridescent fabrics.  Totally didn't measure, just made them a little wider than I wanted them to be because I was going to gather the centers for a slight puff.  Oh, but I did measure after the fact so that I could share this info with you:  they are 10 inches wide, and 2.5 inches tall in the center (obviously curving down to the edges).

Two layers cut for one cap sleeve

I sewed the two pieces together, right sides together, then flipped them right side out and marked the middle two inches of the sleeve.

That's where I did a small gather.  Repeat for the other sleeve.

Two cap sleeves in search of a top

I used a well-fitting top as a guide for the mermaid shirt.  Since it was dress-up though, I wanted it to be loose-fitting (easy to get on and off, and maybe it will fit for longer!) and a little shorter than a regular shirt so she didn't have to worry about tucking in.

All lined up
 I did have to be verrrrry careful when cutting this fabric so that I had a complete ruffle along the bottom edge, since I was planning to leave that raw.  Also I cut the neckline very carefully because it would have looked strange to have some snipped ruffles in there.

The actual size I cut
 I cut the back exactly the same as the front.  Then I laid them right-sides-together and stitched the shoulders and sides together.

After flipping it right-side-out, I pinned the wrong-side-out cap sleeves on, lining up the top gathered edge with the raw armhole of the shirt.  Then I sewed the cap sleeve in place and flipped it into position.  You may or may not want to topstitch it into place at that point--I honestly can't remember whether I needed to do that or not.

Almost done!  It's looking like a shirt!

The final touch was to bind the armholes and neckhole.  I wanted it to remain stretchy (and I have tons of it on hand because I use it to make headbands), so I chose to use foldover elastic for binding.

I followed the tutorial I found here.  Basically, fold the elastic over the raw edge and pin in place, then sew together using a wide zig-zag stitch.  Worked beautifully, and the neckline and armholes are still very stretchy.  If you don't have foldover elastic or you just want to do a different binding method, that link I pointed to above is actually a link for 7 different kinds of binding, so use what works for you!

And here's the finished top!  I just left the bottom edge raw.

And tada!   You're finished!

I know it sounds like a lot of steps, but I really didn't feel overwhelmed by this project at all while I was making it.  Maybe because I was inspired, maybe because I knew how much she would love it and I couldn't wait for her reaction, or maybe just because it wasn't actually that hard.  But I think the final result is pretty impressive!

BTW--I was a little bit appalled at some of the mermaid costumes being marketed to toddlers when I was looking at images online for inspiration.  Ca-RAY-zee!  I'm sorry, but babies and little girls do not need to be wearing padded shell bras in order to play mermaids.  ANyway, digression over.

Did you have any favorite holiday crafts or gifts that you made this season?  I'd love to see them!  Post a link if you've got it!