Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pillowcase Dress Tutorial

*** The post below this one was supposed to come before this one, so scroll down and read that one first and then come back up here!

Here is an easy tutorial that we put together to help you create a quick and easy dress! This style of dress has been around for a long time, so we don't want to take credit for it, we just put together an easy step by step guide with pictures for you to follow. Please let me know if you have any questions. Also, leave a comment or email me ( your sewing creations!!!

Easy to make Pillowcase Dress
Supplies Needed:
• Fabric or pillowcase
• Ribbon
• Decorative Trim (optional)

First measure the person you will be making the dress for. You will need to measure across the chest. You will also need to measure the length that you want the dress to be. Add on a few inches to the width, then divide that by two and that will be the width of your front piece, and back piece. This is more of a “free flowing” dress, so your measurements don’t have to be exact. When making something for a child you aren’t able to measure, you can always go to and look at their size charts!

Next you will cut the pillowcase or fabric. When you cut the length, add about an inch for your casing fold (that the ribbon will go through). I used fabric so I am cutting off the excess that I will use for the back of my dress!

Next, cut the arm holes. Make sure to cut them on the edge, NOT on the fold! You will cut a “J” shape to create the arms—like the picture below.

Then you repeat this process for the back piece of the dress.

After both pieces are cut out, you will iron the edge of the arm holes, so that you can sew them without having to pin them. Do this to all four armhole edges.

Next step- Sew the armholes.
Then, you are going to make the casing for your ribbon to go through. Iron over enough to fit your ribbon, and then sew along the bottom edge.

Now you are going to sew your two pieces together. With the right sides of the fabric facing each other, pin around the edge. Start at the bottom of the armhole and sew down the sides.

It’s time to add on the ruffle. Pin the ruffle to the hem of your dress and sew. If you do not want to add some type of trim to the bottom of your dress, simply hem the bottom of the dress.

Almost done!
Pull your ribbon through the casing. This can be easily done by putting a safety pin on the end of your ribbon, and working it through. Make sure to diagonally cut the ends of your ribbons so they don’t fray. Finally, tie your bows!

Then, whallah! Your dress is finished and is so easy and cute!

Here are some other dresses we have made using this same pattern:

On this dress I used a different fabric and put pom poms on the bottom.

This dress was made by sewing strips of various fabrics together-- like a quilt. The bottom is trimmed with ric rac ribbon.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

dress making

Good morning! Hope you all had a good weekend! We had beautiful weather here yesterday so Eric, Ellie, and I spent the afternoon at the Aldridge Botanical Gardens soaking up the sun. We also stopped by and visited a new flower shop/farmer's market in Hoover. It is off of 150 near Hunter Street Baptist- if you live in the area you should check it out!

Eric and Ellie relaxing at the gardens.

I thought I'd share with you all a couple of things that my sister Kelly and I have been working on lately. I really love handmade children's clothes- but they are super expensive, so I am learning to make clothes for Ellie. So, I started with something simple that anyone could make (yes even you). That's the key to sucessful sewing in my opinion- start easy. So that's what I did. I made this little dress for Ellie.

This dress only took about one hour and ended up costing about $8 to make. Not bad huh? Oh, and for those of you who don't have kids, they make great gifts. I also made this style of dress for myself (no ruffle or ribbons).

Here is the dress I made for myself.

I am posting a tutorial on how to make this dress below. Also, I would love to hear about any easy sewing projects that you have done! Happy sewing!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Today is a good day!

(***Disclaimer- This is kinda long but there are some really good pics so keep scrolling. Just had a lot to say!)
Today is a special day to me. Not only is sweet girl 6 weeks old today, but to me, it is also a day to be thankful for the gift of being able to stay home with Ellie. I know this is a very personal matter and everyone has different opinions on it, but I have always wanted to be able to stay home with Ellie for as long as I can. And today, marks the 6 week point- the point where I would have to go back to work if I had a job. So, all that to say, thank you Babe for working so hard to provide so well for your family! From September till May Eric usually works at least ten hours a day between teaching and coaching two sports. I know it can be tiring and long, but thanks babe for all you do! Because of you, I am able to be here and it means the world to me!

Well, a quick update on Ellie. She is changing so much! She makes eye contact all the time and has some great moments when she is so relaxed and happy and smiley. She is really starting to smile back at us. She has also found out about her tongue and is sticking it out and trying to such on it all the time. To me, she feels heavier and longer. But, Eric and I stretched her out on the dining room table like they do at the doctor and she was still 22 inches. We'll see when we go back. Here's what we have been up to...

After much thought, Internet research (I think does more harm than good), and numerous calls to the doctor, Eric and I decided to take Ellie on her first road trip! She was only 4 1/2 weeks old so we were a bit nervous, but were told by the doctor it would be OK (no, I didn't have a book to refer to on this matter, surprise surprise...) Eric had last week of for spring break and we all thought a change of scenery would do us some good. So, with Eric in the front seat, Kelly riding shot gun, Ellie in the middle, me on one side of her, Harvey (our dog) on the other side of her, and the back of the car WAY too full with baby stuff, golf clubs, bags, etc., the gator-blue (thanks mom and dad :) ) X-terra pulled out of Colony Lane at 4 am and was on its way to Fruitland Park, FL- where my parents live. The 8 hour trip (which became about 10 with stops) really was not that bad. Granted, I sat in the back and slept, sewed, read, sang, but still, Ellie did great. We had to make a few stops, one really relaxing one at the CB (Cracker Barrel) and one not so relaxing one at the BK (sorry Eric, he hates CB and I hate BK, but that's what marriage is about, sacrifice!) Well, we had a great week down there, mainly just relaxing and hanging out. Thanks Lolly and Gpa for having us!

Eric and Ellie having some QT on the deck. Look at all those blue eyes!

Me and momma mixing up some goodness in the kitchen.

The girls. This actually earns Eric the new dad of the year award. My mom took Kelly and I shopping in Orlando and Eric stayed with Ellie ALL day just the two of them. Is he good or what? (And what do you know, he took her to the BK- actually I think he took her there twice while we were there...)

This picture is really special. This is a FIVE generation picture. I am so blessed to still have a great grandma alive! Grandma Holland is 96 and still as sharp and pretty as ever. In this picture are five generations- Great Grandma Holland, Papa, my mom, me, and Ellie!

And here is a picture of Ellie with her great grandparents, nana and papa. She thinks that they are #1!

Here is Eric and I at one of those nostalgic childhood places- Twisty Treat. An ice cream shop inside a giant ice cream cone... What could be better!

Eric with his little girl. One of my favorite sights.

Ellie's one month picture.

Ellie and her dad sharing some special time during March Madness. Sorry Eric, I had to put it up! Eric was looking at the shape of his bracket while playing with Ellie. And remember to cheer on those Boilers Friday night (for all you non-bball people, a Boiler is Purdue's mascot- where Eric graduated from, and I still am not sure what it is, maybe the engine part of a train???)

And us!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

An (honest) day in the life...

It is real easy to get on here, post a few cute pics, and talk about how life is going with Ellie, but all that can get a bit repetitive and boring, and, in all honesty, we know that things don't always go so perfect! I also find honesty so refreshing and needed, so I hope that I can share some of the more genuine Ness house hold moments on here!
This morning, Ellie was in her crib calling me, obviously not interested in taking a nap. So, I rescued her and as I was changing her, I began to laugh out loud at some of the funny things that come along with having a baby and decided I just had to write about them before they slipped out of my mind (which happens quickly and frequently these days!) (Now, I know some of you are thinking- I can not believe she went in there and got a crying baby out of bed who should be napping- she needs to CIO- that's cry it out in baby book language. Ha- sorry, I have just been bombarding myself with books on baby sleep! It's just funny to me how one day I think one thing and the next another depending on the book I happened to pick up that morning...) One thing we have learned is that the ability to laugh is CRUCIAL! You know, there are these moments that start out so nice and smooth, say bath time. This is a time we all love. Ellie loves the bath tub, and it is something that Eric and I get to do together each night. Ellie coos as her daddy pours warm water on her and her mother dotes on how lovely she is- what a sweet moment. Right? Well, then you have those nights when momma can not figure out for the life of her how to get the tub to hold water, and daddy, who is holding the sweet, completely naked, angel,doesn't get it. Momma says, "Ok, it's finally ready." Daddy runs in relieved, only to find the water leaving the tub.. again. So this false alarm happens three times. Daddy is stressed because he is holding a screaming, naked baby. Ellie is screaming because she is freezing, naked and has two college-educated parents who can not figure out how to work the frog tub. Momma is so mad that she picked the frog tub- obviously because something is wrong with it- not her! Well, the frog tub is abandoned and we fill the real tub. Eric sits Ellie into the water, we are all three a bit frazzled- and then, I burst out laughing, it takes Eric a second to follow, he is a bit rattled but the laughs come. This is what saves us! Then there is the diaper issue. Granted, I had probably only changed maybe 10 diapers in my life and Eric's stats would be a whopping zero before our sweet girl arrived. So, your looking at two rookies. One thing about diapers is that everyone talks about how expensive they end up being because they go through so many as newborns. So, when Eric (who, in all seriousness, has been a champ (in so many ways) but especially changing diapers) is in the midst of changing sweet girl, and well, she is not "finished", he will reach for a "sacrificial diaper" as he calls it. This is a diaper that never is worn, but is used for the greater good of stopping the unexpected mess. Well, then comes in his sweet wife who reminds him of the cost of diapers and that they don't need to be wasting them. Naggidy, nag, nag- (don't you just hate to look back on yourself in these moments?) Well, then I guess the Lord decided to humble me a bit! :) Soon after as I went in to get my sweet girl up from a nap, I put her on the changing table, she was so happy, smiling and cooing at me. SO sweet I thought, what a perfect "angel" baby (a term from one of my other books... some of you other moms reassure me that I'm not the only one who overdid the baby books... anyone?) So, as I begin to change her, I discover the reason for the smiles. Ellie was waiting to do her business until I was there to experience it with her, in the middle of changing her. Ha! So, as I walked to the garbage can with a happy, clean baby and four (no joke) "sacrificial diapers" I laughed at myself and was reminded of the verse in Proverbs that compares a naggy wife to a dripping faucet, or worse yet, a cancer to the bones. I know, I have a long way to go and a lot to learn.

Well, these are just two of hundreds of funny moments that we have experienced as we are trying to figure out parenting. And, so far, being able to laugh at ourselves has been the best "parenting tip" we could follow (and none of my books have mentioned this :), I know I need to put the books away.) I know that those of you with kids are probably thinking, big deal, this is an everyday occurrence. Or maybe, the more sympathetic bunch is thinking, poor kids, they have a lot to learn. But regardless, these 5 weeks of parenting have been such a fun/challenging/eye-opening/life changing time. There are times I just stop and thank God for giving Ellie to us. I know that without a doubt, it is His strength and grace that has gotten us this far, I know it's only been five weeks, but hey, that's something! He is so faithful in not only meeting our needs, but recharging us each morning and refreshing us at just the perfect time.

And personally, I think babies know way more than we give them credit and that Ellie finds these occurances quite entertaining!

On a different note, we just got back from a great week in FL visiting my family, so another post and lots of pics will follow soon!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Isn't she lovely

We sure do think so, but hey we may be a little biased! Here are some pictures of Ellie Kate at 3 weeks. I can't believe how much she has changed already. Doesn't she look big for 3 weeks? Maybe it's just me. At her 2 week apt. she was 9 pounds 3 ounces (75th percentile) and 22 inches long (97th percentile).


Well there a has been a lot going on around here lately! Ellie has gotten the chance to meet many special people!
Last weekend, Eric's brother Kevin and his mom came in town from Indiana for a visit. This was Kevin's first time to meet Ellie. He was a natural with her!

Ellie also got some good time in with her grammy.

She also got to meet her "aunt" Amy. Amy was my college roommate all four years at Samford. She is one of my very best friends. Right now she is in medical school in Kansas City studying to become Ellie Kate's future pediatrician! We miss Ames so much, but she will be moving back to Birmingham in the fall and we are oh SO excited!!!!

Besides meeting many special people, we have been slowly falling into somewhat of a schedule. We eat, play, and sleep... Every three hours :)
We have also taken Ellie on a couple of outings. She seems perfectly happy in her car seat. Look at those hands!

Ellie also has been hanging out at the farm!

We also started giving Ellie real baths and she absolutely loves them!
Look at that face!

And all of this sometimes really wears us out!