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Frozen Fever

Frozen Fever

Before the very first frozen came out, I was working on designing Anna’s outfit, from the few internet pics and clips Disney released. I’d pause it, zoom into pictures, try to find every angle of their costumes….every revealed detail, and put it into my design. After all, a critical trait of a great costume is the quality of the design and look alike characteristics of the characters. 

 

A few years after the Frozen scene was still on fire, and young little girls were looking for more, Disney released a short sequel to Frozen, called Frozen Fever. A cute short story of a surprise birthday party, and Elsa sneezing out baby snowmen. I was intrigued by the different costumes they gave them, even more elaborate than the first. 

I bought new strange fabric to pull off Elsa’s new leafed bodice and glittered train. Anna’s outfit came alive, bursting with sunflowers and intricate, embroidered design.

I recreated the majority of Anna’s new look, using the same Anna complete pattern I had made, except shortening the sleeve, converting the vest to a square neckline instead of princess cut, and adding a green vest, trimmed in turquoise bias tape. 

Elsa’s look also involved using my original Elsa Ice design, but shortening the sleeves, and appliquéing by hand over 100 shiffon leaves to the outer bodice. 

Both looks turned out to my satisfaction, and were spot on with the movie. A bit lengthy to stencil, but a pleasure to use a cutting device for Anna’s vest and skirt details. Now who is anxiously awaiting for Frozen 2 to come out in November?! That’s right! You and me! And they spared no design detail on Elsa’s new ballerina cloak! I’m excited to make it! 

Wonder Woman Costume

Wonder Woman Costume

FASHION SHOW INSPIRATION

In April 2019, I had the privilege of participating in my first fashion show in a local showcase, Clash Dayton. Since I was in the middle of costuming a musical, I entered a simple sheath dress as my only look. It was a grand event, and I’ve never felt so special getting my own model, full makeup, hair, and professional photos done! 

This fall, on September 21, I’m excited to put in a full line of six costume masterpieces to be showcased in the fashion show! I’m pretty giddy about it, but grinding into the work at the same time! 

The first costume of six I’m creating from scratch is Wonder Woman from the 2017 movie. Her look will be 100% constructed of different thicknesses of EVA foam, contact cement, some pleather for the skirt, and zero sewing! 

MAKING A TEMPLATE

I started by adjusting my dress form to my model’s size, then wrapping it with plastic wrap and then duct tape. This strategy enabled me to make a pattern for the foam pieces on the bodice. I looked at the movie picture to draw the lines onto the duct tape with a sharpie. I only drew one side, since the opposite side would be a mirror image. I labeled the pieces, and then cut the duct tape shell off the mannequin at the back, and cut up my pattern pieces. 

 

CUTTING OUT THE PIECES

 

After the pattern pieces are made, they become the templates for the foam. I purchased about 15 sheets of ⅜” thick EVA foam from hobby lobby. Before I could apply the pattern pieces, I needed a base layer. I went back to my mannequin, and made a solid foam bust form with cups.

I decided my attachment point would be at my model’s side, since there was so much detail in the center back pieces. I cut the foam bust at the side, and did a test run with the foam pieces, using masking tape to adhere each foam pattern piece down. Adjustments definitely needed to be made, but once I had a good fit, I glued each piece onto the under bust form with contact cement.

I prefer contact over glue gun, because the hold is much greater.

 

As of today, I have the front bust, headpiece, arm band, and arm cuffs fully completed.  Work is still progressing with the back details and leg grieves, with my first fitting next week.

The next look I’ll be starting will be the original Lynda Carter Wonder Woman look. This epic look will no doubt rave the crowds! I can’t wait to show you!

Easy Shorts Pattern

Easy Shorts Pattern

Last week I had the privilege of helping with a local Fashion Camp. I teach kids to sew regularly, but this event was special since I taught 5 girls at a time to not only sew for the first time, but to make a piece of clothing as their first project. While most chose to make a simple skirt, two girls made shorts.

Fashion Camp

For the skirt pattern, I followed the tutorial of Dana Willard from MadeEveryday.com. She has such a simple formula for taking your waist measurement and multiplying it by 1.5, and that’s your skirt length. Then you measure from your waist to where you want the length of your skirt to hit, and add 3”. That gives you the width. The girls chose their material from a selection of calicos and solids. The only other notions you need are thread and some 1” non-roll elastic.

Fashion Camp

For the two girls making shorts, my go to pattern is from purlsoho.com. The City Gym Shorts are a free pattern, accurate to cut and wear, and fits from children through adult. I use it all the time! Their pattern for the shorts directs you to cut curved side seams and apply bias tape to the edges. I have made some like this and they are cute, but when I teach for a beginner, I omit the bias edging and square off the curved side edges. Download the pattern today!

Typically, when I am in my sewing room, it is to work on projects for others. Working on projects for others is a joy, but I find I don’t often leave enough room to make myself, or my kids, something fun!

Shorts Pattern
Shorts Pattern

After completing an alteration the other night, I went right into making a pair of City Gym Shorts for myself out of this amazing rayon blend my friend Debbie had given me. They are such a quick, 1 hour project, that my soul can often be satisfied! They are so comfortable in fact, that I wore them the entire next day!

Shorts Pattern

If your wardrobe is lacking in shorts or summer skirts, I highly recommend you make yourself a pair! 

Shorts Pattern

Sewing a pair of shorts is one of the easiest sewing projects to get started with. I created this pair for my niece to wear in Paris last summer. The patterns are so easy to follow that my son made a pair for the neighbor down the street!

Easy Shorts Pattern

What are you waiting for? Go get started!

Memory Bear

Memory Bear

Hearing the Story

One day, my son’s teacher shared that she had lost her only daughter to a disease that took her life as a young adult. We were grief stricken for her. We became a listening ear, and a shoulder to cry on. Six months passed and she told me she had some of her daughter’s clothing saved and wondered if I’d be able to turn it into something she could hold onto in her daughters loss. What an honor to be asked to sew something like that. I listened to her talk about all the personality traits, favorites list, and core of who made up her daughter and how her husband and son were affected by her loss. Out of what she shared came a focus on three items that would become of sentimental value.

A Family's Treasure

 For the Mother, I wanted to make a memory bear out of her daughters favorite clothes. I supplemented extra fabric from some of her favorite colors and prints. 

For the father, I made a custom pillow, cut out of his daughter’s t-shirts. 

For the brother, I made a star ornament that he could cherish. As I got to work, I prayed peace and comfort over their family, and asked for wisdom for the Lord’s design on these projects.

Memory Bear

Finished Project

Each special item came together quickly and before long I was able to present my son’s teacher with these three gifts. She cried when she saw each item. I cried too! It was such a memorable time that I will never forget! I consider sewing items like that a true honor! Nathan has since graduated a few years later from his speech classes, but we still see his teacher and love on her still. Deep rooted bonds are never disconnected.

Sewing Process

For the bear pattern, I scoured Pinterest for the perfect looking, adorable bear. I came across the Joy bear and instantly fell in love.

  • Easy to print out.
  • Easy directions to follow.
  • Easy to sew.

I matched up the pattern pieces to the T-shirt pieces that I wanted to incorporate and cut them out. I bought a little green flannel and zebra print at JoAnn Fabrics to compliment the daughter’s style and favorites.

I made sure there were pieces her daughter wore. I made sure he was soft and fluffy and large enough to cuddle on any night she needed to be held close, and I made sure it was a reflection of all their daughter meant to them. 

Click on the image below to be taken to my Memory Bear Pinterest Page to get the pattern I used!

A Simple Birthday Theme

A Simple Birthday Theme

Our oldest turned 8 back in January. I have been so busy sewing that it has taken me awhile to share pictures from the party!

It has been a wild 8 years! As my husband and I were celebrating 6 years of marriage, we  were into our careers  and pretty sure we weren’t going to have kids. We were in one of the hardest seasons of our marriage.  My husband had his deployment overseas canceled, we moved back home to Ohio, and were both without jobs for 4 months. We were struggling more than ever.  Then, in the midst of our sorrow, I was pregnant with  our son. He was my reason to go on and work hard again.  

chalkboard wall

8 years later we  celebrate the many joys God has allowed into our life because of our son. He has a wealth of talent, design, thoughtfulness, and wonder! We are so  thankful our story changed when he came into our lives!

We gathered with family to celebrate. Our family braved a January snowstorm to celebrate with us. Maybe they did it because there was warmth, maybe because there was food, but I think most of all because they love our little man so much. My heart is full.

We do birthdays pretty simple over here, and though I thrive on a good Pinterest party hack, the simple but lovely is usually all I have time for.

chalkboard wall

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

The decor was simple crete paper, a banner made at home from card stock, a few gold frilly things, and some of my son’s toys set out (aka…art supplies and stuffed doggie friend), well….because…it was a very RAD dog + painting celebration for our special 8yr old!

We had a quiet day of visiting, sharing, opening gifts, excitement, and lots of love. We are so grateful that our family is nearby and all the endless support that they give!

How to create a Chalkboard wall with a twist!

How to create a Chalkboard wall with a twist!

chalkboard wall

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

wallpaper remover

 There is a three quarter wall in our house that divides our kitchen and living room. Since we moved here, my husband and I have talked about what to do with that wall….take out the wall and open up the space (what I want to do), or turn it into a half wall (what he wants to do), or cut a “window” into it. Choices, choices, but for now it stays just like it is. Now the problem was that the kitchen side of this wall was covered in wallpaper.

Wallpaper does have it’s place, but never in any of my homes. I always take it down. Always. My friend warned me before I started to peel that there were some serious wall issues underneath. I soon learned that she was so right and that the wallpaper had a well deserved purpose being on that wall! 

chalkboard wall

My son helped me when he got excited and picked up the scraper or water bottle pretty often on his own accord to help.

Fortunately for me he LOVES squirt bottles and has gotten VERY acquainted with a scraper and a paint roller these last few years. I love him joining me in the crazy things I just must attempt :). I’m just awaiting the day when he tells me, “Mommy, you’re not doing it right.”

chalkboard wall

And there it was. Look at that eruption of hideous gold tones underneath that wallpaper!  

Upon the unearthing of this gold atrocity, there were also many areas of the wall that needed some extra TLC with applications of joint compound. That patch down in the center, next to the outlet, looked like a drywall patch gone wrong. It was uneven and flimsy, obviously not attached to a stud and covered incorrectly all those years ago. 

I can’t say that I know the exact method to repair many things, but I’m slowly learning as my husband teaches me along the way. Thanks to my Dad I learned how to paint a room correctly (and many other skills), and thanks to my husband, I have learned how to replace electrical outlets and switches, use power tools (many different drills), hang my own decorations on the wall, and do a little home repair work.

We have worked on fixing up 4 of our homes/rentals in the past 10 years and I continue to learn. We are confident this is the last place we’ll live in, so we are doing it right and just the way we want it.

chalkboard wall

However, it was  not GOLD PAINT! There was a small pocketed area down at the bottom and I started to peel…..and peel…and peel it did! Nathan ran back for the fun! 

chalkboard wall

 After 2 days we discovered that only the lower half peeled off to reveal what felt like an oil based blue underneath. I think that’s why it peeled off. Latex based paint does not cover oil based well at all. So then, Nathan learned to use joint compound and we covered a zillion divots and imperfections in the wall. And then we sanded, and sanded. . .

chalkboard wall

 And before I decided to patch, instead of peel more, I stared at this gold/tan/blue spotted wall for nearly two weeks…part in procrastination, and partly to see if I should decide to peel the really stuck on portion of the gold. After two weeks, I decided “No” was the answer, and just patched that seam with joint compound and sanded to make it even. 

chalkboard wall

 Moving on…we primed with an oil based primer. I prefer the Zinsser brand .

 

chalkboard wall

And after once coat of primer, it was starting to look better:

chalkboard wall

 I painted gray on the upper 3rd of the wall. 

chalkboard wall

I wanted the wall to have some design and whimsy to it, so I opted for a patterned design. I cut a zigzag shape out of regular computer paper to use as a guide, and then used masking tape to mark out a repeated pattern. I made sure to measure down from the top of the wall to make sure my line stayed straight.

I started drawing a tighter zig zag, but changed my mind and ended up widening it.

chalkboard wall

 Using a roller and a quart of Chalkboard Paint 

,

I painted the lower half of the wall. After one coat it looked like this:

chalkboard wall

And after a second coat:

chalkboard wall

 I added a few practical decorations in the corner. I used a  A palette shelf (bought at a favorite local shop of mine) for a few of my favorite cookbooks and some art.

To finish it off I added  a vintage looking wall clock from Ikea, and turned a piece of Lexan .

chalkboard wall

To create the memo board, I left the outer plastic on the front and back of the Lexan. I then made a quick template with a post-it note in the corner, and drilled a hole. Drill slowly and steadily (do not use pressure on the power drill), so that the Lexan won’t crack.

chalkboard wall

 After drilling through all four corners, I the plastic removed rom both sides of the Lexan and secured it to the wall with 4 counter sink screws.

chalkboard wall

And my boy got to testing the wall out right away that next morning! Nathan’s first order of business was to draw a train track…and he went big! 

chalkboard wall

 Even Daddy got in on the action and drew a steam engine for Nathan : ). 

chalkboard wall

And we draw, and draw, and draw now! The invitation is always before us and we love it! We even found  Non-Toxic White Dustless Chalk .

<iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=joy2sew-20&language=en_US&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B010BTLTSG&asins=B010BTLTSG&linkId=17d1cc6df33dfc8cb39ff714f71c8e38&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”></iframe>There is less mess, and while that white chalk haze seems to linger after being water washed, it’s still so much fun!

We are so pleased with how it turned out!

chalkboard wall

 What to draw, what to draw : )…Turns out that “erasing it” and painting over the chalk with water and a paintbrush are equally as fun to a toddler! Gotta love that too!

UPDATE: Years later we are still loving our chalkboard wall. The paint has lasted well. We enjoy using it as the back drop for celebrations! Check out How to throw a Simple Birthday Party

chalkboard wall