My First Angel Gowns

When I was pregnant, I was using a baby app to keep my updated on what to expect throughout pregnancy.  This app also had relevant and interesting articles about babies and pregnancy.  Well, one such article was on an organization called NICU Helping Hands.

Per, the NICU Helping Hands Seamstress Handbook: “NICU Helping Hands is a 501c3 organization based in Fort Worth, Texas that provides parent support and education to families experiencing the hospitalization of their baby in the NICU of a hospital. They gift Angel Gown garments to families and hospitals free of charge and provide additional bereavement support through their One-on-One Mentoring Program and other printed bereavement materials.”

Angel Gowns are bereavement gowns made by volunteer seamstresses out of donated wedding gowns.  At the time, the organization was looking for more volunteer seamstresses, so I applied and a few months later I was accepted and sent some wedding gowns.

I have thus far made 40 Angel Gowns out of 4 different wedding dresses.  It is up to the seamstresses discretion to embellish and create the gowns within the parameters of the organization.  We have 4 sizes of gowns for different size babies and some seamstresses make wraps for really tiny pre-term babies.

The first dress I worked on was definitely an 80s special…I still have some pieces leftover that I can use for embellishments on other AG’s.  I was able to get 14 gowns out of this one dress.


Girl gowns:

IMG_2859Boy Gowns:


My second dress was only a partial dress as the front portion of the skirt had been removed(the donors are allowed to remove as much of the dress as they want before donating).  Even though I was working with half a dress, I was still able to get 12 gowns(all girl) out of it.



The above 26 gowns were sent in before I had Ella.  I didn’t start working on gowns again till March.  I just sent in 14 more gowns this past week.

The first gown post-Ella was a simple A-line dress with a chiffon overlay and some ribboned stripes.  I was able to get 8 gowns, one for each size and gender out of this dress.


I didn’t manage to get a picture of the fourth gown as my SIL was visiting and helping me deconstructing the dresses and she finished taking all the beading/lace off before I could get a picture.  It was a brand new gown with the tags still attached believe it or not!  This particular gown was 2 separate pieces in a mermaid style with beaded lace along the waist and bodice top and scattered clear beads on the bodice.  The bodice was WAY too small to utilize any of the fabric so I just used all the beading and lace.  I had to do a lot of finagling but I managed to get 6 gowns out of this tiny dress.

The following pictures are the gowns made from these two dresses.

Size Large(1 boy, 2 girls)

IMG_3476 copySize Medium(G, B, G)

IMG_3478 copySize Small(G,B,G)

IMG_3479 copyIf you look closely at the girl gown on the right, you’ll see that I hand beaded angel wings on it using the beads I removed from the tiny dress’s bodice.

Size Micro-Premie(B, G, Neutral, G, B)

IMG_3480 copy

The MP with the lace overlay is my favorite of the bunch.  In fact, it inspired me to make a dress for Ella which I’ll show you later this week.

Well, that’s a big portion of what I’ve been up to while I’ve been gone!  Hope you enjoyed this look at my newest undertaking and if you’re interested in helping out NICU HH in any way, you can check out their website here.


Lord of The Rings Nursery

Being creative people, when hubby and I decided to create a nursery for Ella, we knew we wanted something unique and not “cookie-cutter from a ready made kit”.  Hubby had the idea to create a Lord of the Rings inspired nursery and we got cracking as soon as we found out we were having a girl.

We painted the room in two shades of light green and replaced the carpet with vinyl plank that looks like wood(we did this in the whole house actually).  I then used a projector to trace Durin’s door on one wall and the White Tree of Gondor on another.



I also created a banner to hang over the dresser/changing table based upon the one in Arwen’s room in Rivendell.  It was a combination of sewing and fabric painting.  The main banner fabric is a dark purple velvet. The river is silk chiffon and the back of the banner is made from light grey satin.  I used gold bias tape for the trim and fabric paints to create the rest of the designs.



I made the changing pad cover out of dotted green minky. I also made one out of green rosette minky, but hubby prefers the dotted cover so we use it most of the time.

For the crib linens I knew I wanted to make my own dust ruffle, but I had a hard time finding the right fabric.  I ended up stumbling across some curtains at Tuesday morning that I used both for fabric and as curtains in the nursery.  I also used the curtain fabric to make pillows for our rocking chair and recover a pouf my MIL got us.  I found a remnant of fabric that coordinated with my curtain fabric so I used that to make the trim for my pieces as well as cover a pillow.




We found a mobile at a thrift store and I made the the floral pieces and the handle cover out of the same minky as the changing pad cover.  Hubby made the handle out of wood scraps as the one that came with the mobile didn’t work on her crib.


We want Ella to grow up loving books, so we have collected a pretty good number of books for her.  Hubby decided he wanted to make her a bookshelf out of wood scraps and trim pieces leftover from other projects around the house(she has way more books now than she had in this picture).



We got 2 faux fur rugs to add some softness and lighten up the dark floors.  The final finishing touch was adding her name with wooden letters over her the chest of drawers we picked up on clearance that matched her dresser.  I also used the leftover flowers from her mobile and put them in a vase we got for our wedding.

DSC_0041I absolutely ADORE her room.  It is very peaceful and beautiful in there.  Of course she’s only spent maybe 3 nights in there as she usually is in the pack n’play in my room, but we are working on transitioning her to her crib.  The cool thing is, we’ve had several people who are NOT familiar with LOTR come in her room and they just think it’s a elvish/fairy princess room…so…win-win!

I hope you enjoyed this look at Ella’s nursery…we worked very hard on it!



The Next Chapter

So last time I posted, I was still pregnant and now my baby girl is 6.5 months!  Time flies doesn’t it?

I’ll be honest with you, the early months of motherhood were tough and I often contemplated giving up my blog completely.  But, something held me back from throwing in the towel and now that I’m getting up only 2-3 times a night with the baby(until about a month ago, she was up every 2 hours at night) and we have something of a routine down, I feel like I have the time/energy to start blogging again.

I figure I probably need to catch you up on all the goings on of the past 6.5 months.  Exactly 7 months ago, my sister gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.  I was so excited for her and hoped that my daughter would come soon….but it was to be another 10 days before she made her debut!

At almost 42 weeks pregnant, I was finally induced and 18 hours later Ella was born at 12:57pm on 10/17/14.  It’s quite funny because when my mom found out both my sister and I were pregnant and due in October she hoped that one of her grandchildren would be born on her birthday(10/18).  Since we were both due in the beginning of October I didn’t think that would be possible but Ella had other plans and decided to come the day before her Gram-Gram’s birthday!

The pain of labor was unlike anything I had ever experienced and I had flashbacks for several weeks after.  I ended up tearing and needing a forceps delivery, so Ella was quite banged up and bruised, but still beautiful to me!  I got to deliver her myself which was pretty freaking cool.  Her head and shoulders were out and my doctor told me to reach down and pull her out…so I did!  Seeing her for the first time was the greatest moment of my life and something I will always treasure.

I don’t want to disappoint you all too much, but hubby and I made the decision before her birth to keep pictures of her off the internet, so I won’t be sharing any pictures with you, but rest assured she is a doll.  She has creamy porcelain skin, HUGE dark blue eyes and SNOW WHITE, PLATINUM blonde hair.  I mean, we seriously created the whitest baby on the planet…lol.  We get stopped wherever we go by people telling us how cute she is.

Anyways, physically recovering from labor was much more difficult that I anticipated and I’m still dealing with some after-effects.  I had tons of trouble with breastfeeding including low supply, latch issues and severe pain, but I stuck with it and now we are in a good place.  We are currently trying to get Ella eating solids but it’s not going very well. She spits out most food and cries when we try to give her anything but my milk.

I dealt with some PPD but I am taking medications now and it has a made a night/day difference in my emotional health.

I went back to work when Ella was 8 weeks old and while it’s tough to be away from her, I think it was really good for me to get back out there.  Her teachers at daycare are wonderful, they love her and she loves them and they have really helped in getting her established on a schedule.  The only downside of daycare is constant sickness.  Ella is almost always sick…we are on ear infection #4 and probably going to have to have tubes put in her ears.  She also brings home a lot of sicknesses, so hubby and I have had the joy of being sick multiple times this year so far.

Despite being sick almost all the time, Ella is a SUPER happy baby. She almost always has a big smile on her face and her laugh is the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard.

At first, I wasn’t really doing any kind of crafting because I was just overwhelmed with the care of Ella(she hardly slept and wanted to nurse round the clock).  Luckily, I’ve now gotten to where I can spend a few hours on the weekend working in my sewing room.

To that end, I have decided to make a change with my blog.  I no longer have the desire nor the time, nor the space to take daily outfit pictures, but I don’t want to give up blogging completely.  As a result, I have decided to make this blog about my creative endeavors-sewing/DIY’ing/knitting and any other crafty things like that.  There will still be occasional outfit posts when I have made an outfit I want to show off, but it’s going to be much more about projects I’ve made.

One other thing I hadn’t yet written about, though I started it before Ella was born, is my position as a volunteer seamstress for NICU Helping Hands.  NICU Helping Hands takes donated wedding dresses and has their volunteers create beautiful burial gowns called Angel Gowns for infants that are lost either during pregnancy or shortly after delivery.  I have made 40 Angel Gowns from 3 different wedding dresses so far and I have more dresses yet to work with.  I will be posting the AG’s I’ve been soon.  If you would like more information about NICU Helping Hands, check out their website here.

Well, that was a really long post, so thanks to anyone who has read this far and thanks for sticking around after my almost 7 months absence!



Shower of Babies

No baby yet around here.  I’m due on Monday, but ready to go at any point, though little Miss seems quite content to hang out for awhile longer.  I won’t be induced till after the 14th, so I could be pregnant for another 2 weeks(!).  That seems really long, but I am going to try some long walks and massages this weekend to see if we can get things moving along so to speak.

Last post I left off with talking about my sister and my baby shower’s, and all the gifts I made for my sister.  So, let’s jump right in with my shower.

When we found out we were having a girl, hubby and I went back and forth on how to decorate the nursery.  Neither of us really wanted anything too babyish nor did we want to just buy one of those all-in-one nursery decorating kits(nothing wrong with those, but as crafty/DIY’ers we both wanted to make as much stuff for the nursery as possible).  Hubby came up with the idea of doing a Lord of the Rings/Elvin theme.  I’ve shown you a few preview pictures of the nursery, and now that it’s finally done I will be posting soon with our completed pictures.

Anyways, we decided to carry on that nature/elvin thing with the baby shower.  Now, I didn’t want to go too over the top with things so we kept it pretty simple.  The one thing I wanted was this beautiful cake I found online that had the White Tree of Gondor piped onto it with icing, since that is one of the things I painted on the wall in the nursery.



It was the most beautiful cake I have ever seen.  In fact, some people stopped by just to take pictures of it. Unfortunately it wasn’t that great tasting.  The cake part itself was amazing but icing just tasted like pure butter.  Now, I’m one of those people who likes a little cake with my icing so I was very disappointed by the cake overall(particularly considering how expensive it turned out to be).  Oh, well live and learn!

My sister made cupcakes to go along with the cake as well as some cute little decorations.  The cupcakes blew the cake out of the water taste-wise!



I had knitted a blanket for the nursery that was on theme so we displayed that on one of the tables.



My sister made this little sign for the door.


For favors, we gave out bottles of Bath and Body Works Shower gel with a bath sponge all tied up with pink ribbon and a beautiful thank you card my mom made.

One thing I really don’t like at baby or wedding showers are stupid cheesy games, so I made my sister and mom promise me there would be NO GAMES.  However, they wanted to do something special, so they got together with my best friend and came up with the idea to have everyone fill out cards with wishes for the baby.  It was a really special thing and my best friend had these special cards made with the Tree of Gondor on it along with a saying she had translated into Elvish.



It was a really fun morning with delicious foods and so many generous gifts!  I was blown away by everyone’s generosity.   It was basically everything I could have wanted in a baby shower!



A few weeks later it was time for my sister’s baby shower.  There ended up being all this drama around the location of her shower, but long story short it all worked out in the end and was absolutely gorgeous!  Her theme was Sock Monkey to match her nursery and I made several different kinds of cupcakes as well as a few decorative signs.

I don’t have the pictures from her shower, but if you head over to her blog Creations from the Hart, you can see pics from her shower as well as a few more from mine.

My main gift to her was a customized car seat slip cover.  I had asked her to pick out the fabrics she wanted, but I surprised her by lining the canopy in sock monkey print fabric and adding a sock monkey appliqué to the seat.  I had enough fabric leftover that I also made her a matching blanket and a changing pad cover for the nursery(didn’t get a picture of that though).



The red chevron print is on the reverse side.

I also wanted to knit her/my nephew something, so I searched Ravelry and found an adorable pattern for a sock monkey head with a small blanket attached.




She had also pinned a crocheted sock monkey hat to one of her Pinterest boards, so I found a knitting pattern I could use, and with my leftover yarn knitted my nephew a hat and matching sweater.



I had a really good time making all these gifts!  It’s one of my favorite things to do, and I know I’ll be continuing to make him more gifts as he continues to grow!


5 Weddings and a Baby Shower(or two)

This summer will go down as the wedding and baby summer.  I was invited to 5 weddings(!) and one baby shower(plus my own shower of course).  I was only able to attend 3 of the weddings, but both baby showers(mine and my sisters) were wonderful.

For two of the weddings and my sister’s baby shower, I opted to make gifts instead of buying something ready to go at the store.  I really love making people gifts instead of buying them.  For one, I really enjoy the process. It’s just fun for me.  Secondly, it usually allows me the way to give the recipient something of greater value than I could have afforded ready to go.  For example, at Christmas last year I made my dad a wool peacoat.  There is no way our budget would have allowed us to buy him a coat like that, but by buying the materials and making it myself, I was able to give him a very nice gift.   And finally, when I give someone a hand-made gift, I count the time and effort as part of the gift, which to me makes the gift that much more special.

The first wedding gift I made was a reversible apron with a coordinating oven mitt and hot pad.The bride had registered for an apron but I wanted to make a much fancier and special one.

I modified a dress bodice pattern to make the top of the apron, while the skirt is a half circle skirt with a full circle skirt flounce attached to it.

Side One(note, I had padded out the belly on my dress form to mimic my pregnant figure so the apron fits a little wonky on it.  It’s much better on a non-pregnant body..haha).  I used a cotton duck black and white damask fabric I had leftover from a project I had done a few years ago. This is my favorite side!

apron side 1

Side 2: For this side, I used a sheer black rosette overlaid a white satin, both remnants I had picked up awhile back.  The purple trim is leftover from some fabric I bought for the June dress(from last year) that wasn’t the right color purple.

apron side 2

Oven mitt and hot pad:

oven mitt


For the second wedding/bridal shower, I found a tutorial online to make an insulated casserole carrying dish from 2 Little Hooligans. (Tutorial Here).  I knew this would be a perfect gift for this bride because she is a casserole/pot-luck kinda gal.

I included a pyrex baking dish with lid and a serving spoon and I love how it turned out.  The main difference I did from the tutorial was to use snaps instead of velcro.  I made several rows of snaps so the bride could use it for different sized dishes.

casserole closed

casserole open


casserole snaps


In order not to overwhelm  you pictures, I think I’ll leave this post for now and come back another day to post all the things I made for my sister’s baby shower(it was kind of a lot!).



Sorry to disappear for over a month.  Still pregnant, no complications, so it wasn’t baby-related in case anyone was worried.

I’ve just kind of lost my blogging mojo or something.  I don’t know exactly what to blame it on, but pregnancy tiredness and being very busy at work definitely was a contributing factor.

Also, when we put in our new flooring(finally), we re-arranged most of the rooms in our house and now there is really no good place to leave my camera to take pictures.  When I want to take an outfit picture, I have spend extra time setting up and angling the camera and taking multiple test shots before I even get things set up correctly.

It really dampens my zeal for taking pictures.

I’ve gone back and forth over whether I even still want to blog at all.  And the long and short of it is, I still do want to blog in some sort or manner, but I’m just not really into the whole “outfit of the day” type posts.  What I really would like to blog about is my sewing, knitting and other craft related projects.  It’s definitely become my passion and it’s what I spend the majority of my non-working time doing.

I don’t care so much to develop some huge blog following or make any money; really, I’d like to blog my projects more for myself to keep a record of all the things I’ve made.

So my quandary comes down to this: do I transition this blog into a craft/sewing blog, with occasional outfits posts when I make new outfits and such….or do I start a new blog that is completely craft-centric?

Any advice would be welcomed!



Ps-Baby girl is due in 13 days!!  WHAT??  I’m pretty sure I’m going to go overdue, but still it’s so close.


This picture/outfit is actually from last week, but I have been so busy at work and home that I didn’t get around to posting about it till today.

I made these pants a few months ago and they fit great when I first put them on, but because they have a stretch to them, as well as the stretchy panel for my belly, by lunchtime I’m having to pull them up every 5 minutes.  Oh well, it makes them reeaaaally comfy!

maternity neutrals-1


{Top: Motherhood Maternity, Pants: Made by Me, Shoes: Sears}

Just like every weekend it seems, this past weekend was a whirlwind of activity. Errands, bridal showers, projects, you name it!  This weekend is my baby shower so obviously that is going to be a busy time as well, but I told hubby that the weekend after, we are NOT going anywhere or running any errands.

I’m knitting a blanket for the nursery and I finished all the main parts of it and blocked them over the weekend.  I’m now in the process of seaming all the pieces together.  I am definitely the biggest critic of my own work so I’m less than happy with how it is looking(little mistakes, ect), but I will still be using it since it represents hours upon hours of work.  Once it’s completely done, I’ll post a pic on here.



A blog post two days in a row?  What??  I woke up extra early today so I had plenty of time to take some pictures.  I picked up this maxi dress at Old Navy when I first found out I was pregnant.  Even though I tend towards liking fuller skirted skirts and dresses, I’m finding that slimmer cut things actually look better on my pregnant self.  Blousy, full skirt skirts tend to make me look large all over instead of just in my bump.

I also feel sometimes that maxi skirts/dresses can be a bit to casual for the office(particularly this dress), so I tried to “professionalize”  it by adding a scarf and a cardigan.  The end result is kind of fall-ish in style/color but it all works(particularly since this morning was relatively cool at least compared to how hot it’s been).


{Dress: Old Navy Maternity, Scarf: Wal-Mart, Cardigan: J Crew Factory, Shoes: Payless}

I know most of you probably care more about seeing the baby bump, so here you go:


I’m 30 weeks here and can’t believe I am going to get massively bigger…yikes!


Recycled Pictures

So this picture is actually from when I was around 21 weeks pregnant, but it somehow never made it onto the blog.  I am actually wearing the same exact outfit today and having a bad hair day, so I figured why not use an old picture(of course NOW my belly is significantly bigger and my hair isn’t so vibrant red)?



{Dress: Old Navy Maternity, Shoes: Coach, Necklace: Maurices}

We had a whirlwind of a weekend!  Friday night after work, we headed off to a barbecue at the house of one of the ophthalmologists to whom I refer patients.  It was a great night to see other OD’s and MD’s who I co-manage patients with as well as meet some new docs.

Saturday was mostly spent running errands.  Because of the huge flooring debacle, Home Depot gave a us a $750 gift card as a courtesy.  Unfortunately we couldn’t use said gift card to post-apply to the flooring, so we decided to tackle another project we had always wanted to do in the house:  build a pantry in the space underneath the stairs.  We’ll be storing our freezer(which is currently in the garage) in there, as well as a set of floor to ceiling shelving and hopefully the stroller.  We’re also building a little dog nook next to the pantry so that the girl’s cage doesn’t have to sit in the middle of a room.

Most of Saturday am was spent at Home Depot(it’s not a weekend if we are not at Home Depot, Lowes or both at least once!).  In the afternoon, we drove into town with the trailer on my SUV to pick up the rocking chair my parents were giving us(it was the same rocker my mom rocked me to sleep in as a baby!!) and the dresser we ordered from Haverty’s two months ago for the nursery.  While we were doing the paperwork for the dresser, I noticed the matching chest was sitting in the clearance section at about 50% of the full price.  Well, we took that as a sign and bought the matching dresser to go on the empty space between the door and the closet!

It’s crazy how quickly running errands eats up your time!!

Sunday was a work day for hubby, so I puttered around doing chores(ironing/cooking/cleaning) and some unsuccessful sewing.  I’ve decided that for whatever reason, sewing maternity clothes is just NOT my forte.  I’ve had FOUR failures(2 dresses and 2 skirts) and I’m DONE wasting expensive knit fabric.  I’ll save my clothing sewing for after I have this baby.

The nursery is really starting to come together now.  Realistically we are ready, but I do want to make a few things.  As I mentioned last time, I’m making a bed skirt for the crib, a changing pad cover, padded cushions for the rocker and re-covering a pouf to make a footrest, as well as a banner to hang over the dresser.  We also want to find different curtain rods, but we’ll probably be using the same curtains that room always had since they are a darker shade of green than the wall and coordinate really well.



We’re getting another rug in a smaller round shape to go under the rocking chair.  Don’t worry, it’s faux and completely machine washable…but it certainly feels real(as you can see the dogs love it).

I’m very happy with the way the nursery is shaping up.  I’m not much of a baby decorations person so I wanted a nice nursery that would grow into a good room for an older child, and I think we’ve accomplished that.  When the time comes, we’ll buy the matching twin bed for the chest/dresser.

Have a great week…I’m aiming to post more than once this week :-/…we’ve just been sooo busy at work and home I haven’t had the opportunity to get around to it.