Rustic Arrow Theme Baby Shower

Rustic Baby Shower for Boy

Last month was a very full month for me. It was full of so many amazing events, one of which was a baby shower I hosted for my friend. I have always been so blessed to meet and become friends with such incredible people in all the places the military moves us. There really are great people everywhere. It might take time to find them sometimes, but they are there.

Rustic Baby Shower for Boy

I found out my friend wasn’t having a baby shower and knew immediately I wanted to throw one for her. Every child is a gift, so I wanted to at least have a celebration party or something if gifts were a concern. You know, like one last big party before her little boy arrives. I was inspired by some lovely ladies I follow on instagram to do an arrow theme. Some moms reference their children to being their arrows based on Psalm127:3-4 so I was going with that.

Rustic Baby Shower for Boy

This will be my friends third arrow :) I had wanted to do a little bit more with the arrow theme, but I just didn’t have enough time. I’ve learned by now to just let things go and enjoy instead of stressing out until the very last minute over little details probably no one else will really notice anyways. So I cut out arrows and sewed them together through the middle and used things from all over my house to decorate with. Hooray for arrows!

Rustic Baby Shower for Boy

The tablecloth is actually a piece of fabric I had in my stash. The chalkboard is one my hubby made for me to use for the mini sessions I did (and I also used it at a craft show I did last month as well). It’s come in real handy! He made it from old fence boards. Then I sanded the middle some and painted on the chalkboard area. It’s a bit bumpy but it works.

Rustic Baby Shower for Boy           Rustic Baby Shower for Boy

I hung lights all over like crazy too and it got me super excited for decorating for Christmas. I love twinkle lights! I kept the food simple and added different dishes and bowls I had for some variety to the table.

Rustic Baby Shower for Boy

In our living room, I added a big banner on some craft paper (well, it was technically gift wrap paper) with her sons name on it and taped up pictures from their family/maternity session I photographed. I will share pics of those soon.

We had a fun night and I didn’t even make them play any games! I did try a craft, but I should have tried to make the bracelet myself first because it did not go well at all. But it gave us some good laughs and was funny watching us all trying to figure it out. 
I hope all my US readers had a good Thanksgiving! I should be having some Christmas type posts up soon. In fact, I just made our front door wreath tonight. We are keeping things simple and purposeful this year. It’s going well so far. Have a good week and be a good friend :)
-Jess

Oh, and I forgot I wanted to share the invite I made. We just did a facebook invite so I didn’t need to print this out, but I made the left side with the Studio app. I love that app! It’s free and just AMAZING. Seriously. Then I put it with a pic in PSE real quick. Simple and just right.

P Family/Maternity Session

P Family Session

I was blessed to do a fun maternity/family photo session back in June with a wonderful family we know. I was so impressed with how open they were to my ideas :) I like being able to throw in some fun pics.

P Family Session

We started the session off with some family photos and then they agreed to the yarn. The littles and dad wrapped up mommy’s belly. I also got some pics of the kids covered in yarn to create the below photo (template is from Paint the Moon’s facebook templates). I had always wanted to do a yarn theme, so I was so glad they obliged.

P Family Session

The rest of the pics are fun, but my favorite is the black and white one of the dad praying over his child while in the womb. It was so precious and I got a little teary eyed when taking those pictures. It was beautiful to see a family together that was full of so much love for each other. You can see more pics from this session here.

P Family Session
P Family Session
P Family Session
P Family Session
P Family Session
P Family Session
P Family Session
P Family Session
P Family Session
P Family Session
P Family Session
P Family Session

Now I need to catch up on my own photos! We recently went to New Orleans, celebrated miss J’s birthday, and have miss E’s birthday coming up as well. I feel like my to do list is extra long at the moment. But, it’s full of very good things so I can’t complain.
-Jess

A Special Maternity Dress Order

Custom Maternity Dress

I had the honor of making a custom order maternity dress last week. I don’t normally do an order like this, but I could tell the girl really wanted it for her sister who’s pregnant. She had seen the dress I had made for myself when I was pregnant with miss E and liked it a lot. I also figured since they are local, if there were any fit issues, it would be easy to meet up and address that.

Custom Maternity Dress
I had fun with the design process as well. She said it had to be blue and to also incorporate brown and cream as well. So I did my very first fashion drawing. I used this tutorial to help get me started. I made two basic ones first, then scanned it into the computer and put a few on each page. I went to color it in with ideas with crayons, but we didn’t have any in these colors. So I whipped out my girls water colors. That was fun. Makes me want to give water painting a go. Here are a few phone pics of that process.
Since it’s a maternity dress, it needed to be as comfy as possible, so I used knit fabric. It offers lots of room to grown and even looks good without a pillow underneath of it ;) Because, yes I did try it on since the measurements (except the belly) were super close to my own. haha. I hand stitched the lace flowers on. I cut them out of a fabric I found at Hobby Lobby. I looked and looked for some vintage curtains to use like in my dress, but alas, didn’t find any here. It all worked out though. -Jess
Custom Maternity Dress
Custom Maternity Dress
Custom Maternity Dress

The Beattie Family/Maternity Shoot

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Back in February I had the pleasure of taking maternity/family pictures for our neighbors.

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We were so blessed where we lived in Pace! Our neighbors were awesome. Especially the ones right across the street ;)

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Miss J is the same age as their son, so it was instant friendship when we moved in. She misses him so much!

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They are having their second child, a baby girl (a little princess). They let me take so many pictures and “practice” photography.

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Kelly was so awesome entertaining all of my requests. Here I had made her lie down for the pic with the crown and then I got her prince charming hubby to kiss her.

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They brought some cute little baby things to use in pictures. I just love little teeny tiny shoes!

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We walked around the downtown Milton area and took pics at a bunch of spots.

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Some family, some individual, some couple.

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And let me tell you. We experienced so many weather changes during the hour and a half we did this!

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It was drizzling at first, but thankfully that cleared up quickly.

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Then it was cloudy for a bit.

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Then, of course, the sun came out in full force! So, we got all kinds of lighting that day.

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They had fun and my little family joined up with us after church and we all went out to eat.

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I’m so happy for you Kelly and Brian!!!! Congratulations on your baby girl!

A Special Blessing

About a week and a half ago, I was honored to take maternity pics for my friends. I’m so happy and blessed to have people like them in my life (thanks for letting me do this you two!)

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I was a little worried at first that I would have a super hard time with it being right at the suns peak time, but we made it work. I toted them around to a few different locations to try out. We went to a field with these pretty white flowers, an old farmers market (orange building) that had a field behind it with the tall grass, a dead end street, and my house.

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I feel like each time I do a photo shoot like this I’m finding out more of who I am and what my style is when it comes to photography. This learning photography road is going to be long, but I’m enjoying it. I really do have a lot of fun doing it.

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I also feel extra connected to this pregnancy which made it even more of an honor to do. We met them when we first moved here and our friendship with them just took off (he’s in the Coast Guard with my hubby). When we met them, they were trying to have a baby and they were a bit sad it wasn’t happening.

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They had gone to the doctor and nothing was “wrong”, but it had been a long time and they had moments of wondering if it might not happen. I remember praying with and for my friend a lot. I knew how much she wanted to be a mommy and him a daddy.

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Months later, I had a dream. In this dream, my friend had sent me a picture of herself with a little girl. It was her daughter. She looked more like her daddy (dark hair, olive skin) and she was about 4/5 years old in the dream. I wrote this down and I told my friend I had a dream but I didn’t tell her the specifics. I just said what I had felt in my heart very strongly for a while, that God was going to come through for them.

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That He would give them the desire of their heart. A little later she was at my baby shower and made a comment about being the only woman there who was childless. We rode home together and she shared how she had completely given it to God and was just not going to even really pray about it anymore.

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Little did she know that at that very moment she was pregnant!!!!!!! She called a few weeks later to share the good news to us!

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I then told her I had had the dream about her being pregnant and I didn’t want to share what the child was just to see what would happen. Well, wouldn’t you know, they are having a girl! And I bet that she is going to look like her dad too :)

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My Favorite Top Tutorial

Here is another project that I had a lot of questions about and decided to show how I did it for those who might want to give it a try.

I made one for my daughter for this tutorial, but add better close up pics of my shirt too. I did hers a little differently in how I cut the front, but other than that, it’s pretty much the same.

To make one, you will need a shirt or tank top that you like the fit of and knit fabric.

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First you want to take a shirt or tank top to create the back top part. Make sure it is a knit top and has the fit you are looking for. The one I used for me was more fitted than the one I used for my daughter. Fold the shirt in half and place it on the fabric fold. Make sure the fabric stretch is going horizontal.

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You want to cut it so it is below the chest. That length will determine where you want it.

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To create the top front two pieces, take the back top piece and open it up on the fabric. Again, making sure the stretch of the fabric is going horizontally so it will stretch to fit your body.

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Then fold it over to create the criss cross look. Make sure the top shoulders are the same length as the back piece, as well as the sides. This is so they will match up when you sew them together.

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Or you can make it more like mine and have the middle parts not go quite all the way, but still have the far sides match up.

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You should now have a back piece and a front piece like this.

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Take the front piece, lay it down on the fabric, right side facing down with the fabric stretch going horizontally. Cut out the second front piece side out.

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Now you have three pieces for the top.

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Take the back piece and fold it in half. Fold fabric in half for the bottom, making sure the stretch is going horizontally for this piece as well. Make it as long as you want the longest part of the bottom to be. Start cutting it at the top so it is the same width as the bottom of the top piece. Then angle it down to create an a line cut. I did this exact same thing on mine. It works even for a pregnant lady because the fabric stretches. Mine just was a larger a line cut.
*Make sure to cut two pieces out for the bottom.*

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Another way to do the bottom, is just to make the front and back piece wider and then baste and gather it to be the same width as the top bottom.

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For the front angled piece, you will be cutting a piece that looks like a triangle. Decide how long it needs to be. I didn’t do this part right on my daughters, but you want it to go all the way to the bottom of the top piece so the bottom is sewn in the seam, holding it in place. I didn’t make my daughter’s quite long enough, but it came out okay.

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When folded in half, it creates the larger top and the smaller bottom.

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Take the triangle piece and fold it in half, right side facing. Sew the long end together.

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Turn the triangle piece right side out and pin on the wrong side of the top piece you want it to go on. Sew on. It will flip to the front.

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Now place the two front pieces together and sew the sides if you like to keep them in place. If you made it more like my adult shirt, then you might just want to baste across the bottom.

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Now place the front top piece on a bottom piece, right sides facing, and sew together.

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Do the same for the back.

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Place the front and the back together, right sides facing. Sew the sides together and the shoulders.

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It will now look like this. It is time to create binding for the armholes next. Measure around the whole arm hole and cut a piece that is that length. Make the width double of what you want it to be showing and include seam allowance. I made the pieces for my daughters wider than mine.
Oh, and make sure the stretch of the fabric goes with in the direction of the length.

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For each armhole binding piece, fold in half long ways, right sides facing, and sew together on the short end.

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Fold each of those pieces in half, wrong side facing, and pin onto armhole. I match the binding seam up with the seam at the armpit. Sew in place.

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Then turn the binding out.

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You also need to create a binding for the neck. Again, I made the one on my daughter’s a lot larger than the one on mine.

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You want the piece to be long enough that it starts on the underside piece and goes all the way to underneath the triangle piece. Fold the piece in half, wrong side facing, and pin in place to sew on.

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Once it is sewn on, turn the binding up and top stitch right beside the ditch of the seam, catching the seam allowance from the binding. This hold it in place. Then underneath the triangle, turn the binding down and tack in place. Then it doesn’t show.

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Cut the bottom however you like. I just made ours with the front longer than the back. After you cut, make sure to resew a bit at the side seams so it doesn’t come undone. You can finish the bottom if you like, I just serged ours.

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All done :) Hopefully not too confusing. I’m sure there are things you can do differently to make it easier, but that is how I did it. Let me know if you give it a try :)

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It’s a very comfy shirt. My daughter likes it, but she was ready to be done picture taking very quickly……

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so she could finish off her blueberry donut.

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Happy Sewing!

Fun in the Sun{dress}: Oceanside Lace Dress Tutorial

Today I’m over at iCandy sharing my last guest tutorial for a while: The Oceanside Lace Dress.

They are having a fun series called Fun in the Sun{dress}. It just started this week and will be going on for a few more. They have wonderful guest bloggers lined up. Some with tutorials, some just sharing a pretty sun dress they made. They are also having some giveaways and all that good stuff going on.

A trip to the beach

I had to make at least one more dress for me before I start focusing on finishing up the nursery and baby things (I plan on trying to make some diapers, burp cloths, bibs, etc….let’s see how much I can get done ;)

This dress is an easy design and has been done lots before, but I tried to spice it up with the lace flowers. They were cut out of a lace curtain panel I found at a thrift store.

Oceanside is so peaceful

I like how elegant it came out. I hope it inspires you to make a fun summer sundress for yourself!

Maternity Oceanside Lace Dress

The Back

The Tied Maternity Top Tutorial

Well, I couldn’t be pregnant and not do a little something for DIY Maternity now could I? So today I’m over there sharing a tutorial for another maternity top!

Before Picture

It’s a refashioned one. A shirt made from a thrifted dress (above).

After

Of course, you don’t have to be pregnant to make this top :) Head on over to check it out if you like. If you are pregnant or nursing, the blog is a fabulous resource with many tutorials and ideas.

An Easy Change

Before

There’s nothing like quick gratification in sewing. Sometimes projects can seem to take forever it feels like it might not be worth it. But every once in a while, I can do something so quick and something I really like and it is wonderful! Take this shirt above. It is a maternity shirt I found on a clearance rack at Target for $4. I bought it because I knew I could make it summery somehow and for a few bucks I couldn’t pass it up.

After

So one night while my husband was studying in my office by me (he’s in flight school for the Coast Guard), I sat and made this. All I did was cut off the sleeves (I even left the edges raw because it’s truly a wonderful fabric and looked great that way) and then cut them up into rectangular pieces. Then I basted and gathered them, pinned them on randomly, and sewed in place.

Close up

I was done in like 30 minutes. And I really like how it came out.

Wearing It

Here it is on the ever growing belly :) I have to say I’m also really excited because the remote for my camera I ordered arrived today!!!! That means I should be able to take these self pics better and less blurry now. That makes me happy.

Take 2 Maternity Top

Here is another top I did a few weeks ago using Simplicity 2657.

Maternity Top

I made the back piece a lot longer width wise so I could just shirr it and not have to add a zipper or anything. Easy to slip on and off.

Shirred Back

The bottom part actually came from I dress I had in my “refashion” pile. I would say it went to good use :)

I have plans to do the “My Favorite Top” tutorial and a few other pieces of clothing, so be on the lookout if you are interested. PS, Shannon did an AMAZING Maternity Sewing Tutorial Roundup. I highly suggest you check it out if you are preggers and sew! Enjoy your weekend :)