Friday, October 24, 2014

Mystical Mermaid Costume

I wasn't going to do it. 

I was going to march over to the Halloween store and buy the kids their costumes this year.  There was just no time to make them myself.  At the very least, I was going to make them choose a costume from the overflowing chest of dress up clothes.  

I just didn't have time. 

And then they each told me what they wanted to be for Halloween.

 And that was the end of the logical, practical thinking.

I just couldn't resist the visions dancing in my head.

Why this year, of all years, did they finally decide to do the costumes I've dreamed of making from the moment I gave birth to a daughter.

So I did what any insane mother would do.

And stayed awake for 3 days (well, almost) in order to make 3 girls their dream costumes.  (Or were they my dream costumes?  Hmmm.)

Well.  Now that I am caught up on my sleep, I can say - it was so worth it!!

My 3 year old was sure and certain, from the moment we mentioned Halloween and cavities.

She was to be a mermaid.

Boy, was I grateful when she didn't say "I want to be Arial."  That would have completely disagreed with my vision of a pink and silver mystical mermaid.

I love that she isn't too old yet to be so specific.

So I designed this costume to be tight, fitted and perfectly shiny.

My favorite part is her little bum.  Wish you could see her waddle around in it.

Simply adorable.

She loves to sit and flap her legs around, as though she has a fin.

And she is completely mesmerized with the dolphin gem (bought from Joann's).  I may or may not have told her, it holds magical power that would help her speak to dolphins.

But combined with the sea shells glued to a headband, I can't imagine any dolphin wouldn't want to tell her how cute she is!

The costume is entirely one piece, and it was so easy to sew up.  Her legs are tight together, but she seems to be able to move around just fine in the cutest little strut that makes us all giggle.

I apologize for anyone wanting a tutorial for this.  I love to offer instructions but when it comes to costumes, sometimes the freedom of just creating makes it all the more enjoyable.

But here are a few basic suggestions/steps I took to make it up.

For the fin, I basically pinned scaley looking fabric around her, tapering down towards the feet and ending just about mid calf.  After I slipped her out of it, I made a seam in the back where those pins were.  That gave me the basic pencil shape of the bottom.  

Then I gathered the same fabric with some shiny organza around the bottom and attached it to the pencil shape skirt.  To hide the seam, I hot glued the sparkly trim around.  I could, and probably should have, hand sewn it around, but I am way too impatient for such things.

For the top, I basically made a yoga waistband, large enough to cover her torso.  Then attached that to the skirt, adding the trim along the seam again.

I have her wear a pink dance leotard under it.

I have to say, the costume is a hit with the 3 year old.  

And I can't wait to see her waddle around begging for candy!

Stay tuned for the rest of the kids costumes!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween Round-up - (Tidbits Style)

Lately I've been wondering why Halloween is really not my thing.

I swear I used to love it. I remember my mom slapping Halloween stickers and random spooky pictures all over our windows, growing up.  It was the coolest thing ever.

Why is it, I just can't seem to do that myself.  I know my kids would love it.

When it comes to decking a house out in Halloween decor, I truly struggle with finding a purpose or desire.  So I hide the spooky Halloween props, and decorate for Fall.  Now that is fun.

However, I decided to search my own site to see if there was anything that I loved about Halloween.

I was proud to find plenty of things I get excited about!

Making costumes for my kids, putting a unique smile on the face of a trick-or-treater, and crafts with the kiddos. 

Glad I'm not a total Halloween Scrooge.

Here is a round-up of all things Halloween-y that you'll find on Tidbits!  (Some are sorely outdated, but fun nonetheless).

(Coming soon - 2014 Halloween Costumes for my kiddos!)

A fun alternative to candy!

This one is a blast with the kids!

Let your kids mix and match shapes to make some adorable pumpkin faces.

Great for a quick costume for you or a baby - which doesn't include a major costume.

Was she ever that little!

Cute enough to bring out every year, even if that is all you do for Halloween Decor!

Of course, the costume is what really makes Halloween fun!

She didn't want to be a Witch, she didn't want to be a Princess.
It had to be a Witch Princess - if there is such a thing.

That year, little sister followed big sister with the princess theme.

Snow Princess.  As you wish!

And the year before that, it was Belle.  

What girl doesn't want a dress like Belle's (I do!).  

Still a popular tutorial.

Was it really 4 years ago, that my little angel wanted to be -

Very fitting for her personality.

I am super excited to show you this years costumes.  The best yet, in my humble opinion.  The girls beg to wear them every day, which is a good feeling.

But just in case you need a real quick costume to throw on a little one (and you don't sew), this one has been a fun one!

Elsa Cape . . . . You know, so she can fit in with every other girl on the street!  Ha!

My tutorial can be found here, and Make it and Love it.

And what do you know - I do love Halloween!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Baptism Dress, 8 year old Photo Shoot, and a Beautiful Girl

My first born turned 8 years old recently.  That is sort of a special age in our church.  It is the age in which they can choose to be baptized and become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka - Mormon).

The day she was baptized was one of the most precious days I've experienced as a mother.  I'll never forget it.

I've been anticipating this age, not only for the experience and milestone it represents, but also because I've been dreaming up the dress I would make her for a long time.

Let me tell you a little bit about this dress.

My starting point pattern was the same pattern I used here for this dress, a pattern by Dana from Made.  The bodice has such great shape and a sweet little back closure, I knew it would be perfect for this dress I had envisioned in my head.

I made some changes with the pattern after that.  I opted for a empire waist length, fuller cap sleeves, and long gathered skirt.

The fabric consists of simple quilters cotton white fabric, and over-layed with some beautiful soft lace, both bought at Joann's.  

I added loops to the sides to hold a ribbon/sash, which can be changed out for any look.  I can't wait to tie a red silk ribbon around her for Christmas!

I also added some lace trim to the neckline, which is a nice feminine touch.

She is so happy with her dress.

And that makes me happy.

It hangs as decoration (when not in use) on her blue wardrobe, which you can see here.

But she looks so angelic when she wears this dress. 


Now, let me tell you a little bit about the photo shoot we had together.

I haven't had this much fun behind my camera for a long time.

She was such a trooper!  She let me play for over an hour and didn't whine once.

Something I was NOT prepared for!

We had tried at a different time to get some pictures, but it was cold out and her sweet personality was hibernating.

I was thrilled when it decided to warm up one beautiful autumn week, and I jumped at the chance.  She was more than willing when I told her a picnic in the canyon was promised after mommy had her fun.

So while daddy explored with the other 3 kids, her and I walked around from spot to spot trying all sorts of things.

We are lucky enough to have a beautiful canyon just 10 minutes from our house.  And the light that night was just magical.

You've probably noticed by now, that I love to play with back-lighting.    

Even though sometimes the image doesn't come across super sharp when I let that much light in, I still love the dreamy look it gives the pictures.  I don't know if I should blame my cheap end camera on that, or my skills.  Probably my skills.

I brought a few props along with me, and I am so glad I did.

The umbrella came from a thrift store for $2.  I snagged it because it was white (my favorite color) and because of the interesting lines.

She loved having something to pose with.

But my favorite images are these ones on the gravel road.

A car drove by and I noticed all the dust it kicked up, along with the light.

So I asked her to dance in the street.  She happily obliged.

I also posed her with her new set of scriptures which she got when she turned 8.

We had such a blast together taking these pictures.  I think the key was letting her know how much fun I was having, and encouraging her to just have fun with me.

Now, let me tell you a little about my girl.

Because, without her sweetness - the dress and the pictures wouldn't mean a thing to me.

This little girls of mine - she has such a tender heart.  It seems as though her biggest desire is to please others and always do what it right.

She adds such a happy energy to our home.  She is as smart as a whip (that comes from daddy), and creativity just bursts at her fingers (I like to think that comes from me).

However, the light in her eyes (which comes from her Savior), is what fills my days with comfort and joy.  She so easily forgives my weaknesses and loves me still.  She is so patient with me as I explain to her often - that with her - I am learning how to be a mother.  She is a shining example to every one of us.

She is as close to perfect, as I can ever hope to be.

Even when she is silly ;)

Thanks for sticking around for all the pictures!!