Saturday, June 6, 2015

Ball Gown for Monkey Pants

So, the past year, I got Monkey Pants to take ballroom dance lessons. What!?!?  Yes, I did. Miracle of miracles. And, she actually likes it. Last night was the dance studio end of year gala. Initially, I thought, oh good, she can just wear one of the couple of dresses I've bought her that she never gets to wear anywhere. Then, of course, we thought, OK, I thought -why not go all out and get her a floor length gown. So I searched on the internet and even went to a couple of stores. I did find some really pretty "pageant" dressed online but it was too late to order. And, I found absolutely nothing locally.

Midweek, I went to the fabric store and picked out some fabric. I rifled through the pattern books and found NOTHING.  Why! Why are there never any patterns for what I want to make when I want to make it. Next year, I bet there'll be tons of little girls ball gowns. I just know it.  So I was forced to do what I never like to do and figure it out on my own.  I ended up splicing two patterns together from what I had, McCalls 5570 which I used to make her a flower girl dress when she was three.  Problem was, the pattern only goes up to a size 5 and Monkey Pants is now ten. I used that for the skirt and petty skirt parts. And I used the  Burda 9/2012 #152 Cap Sleeve Dress for the bodice, which is also a little girl pattern but Monkey Pants has a tiny torso with wide shoulders so I had already enlarged and modified that the last time I used it on an the landscape dress.

Of course, I meant to give myself at least three days to do this, but no, it never works out like that so I started it Thursday night and finished it Friday evening with an hour to spare before the Gala, all the while thinking, why did I dump so much money on a dress I can't even finish and I don't have a real pattern for? What is wrong with me?! The boys are probably upstairs eating brown sugar out of the pantry with a spoon. And why isn't the stupid wi-fi working so I can listen to Pandora and not feel like I'm sewing in prison!

Then I watched this video.

Then I just did it.

Since I was going off the yardage for the underskirt of a size 5, It wasn't really puffy enough for this heavier ruffled fabric so I had her wear the petty skirt I made for the 50's skirt under there too. This is a two petty skirt dress.  The tule for the petty skirt was fuscia. It's pretty exciting but you can't really see it so you'll have to take my word for it. The shoes were also very princess-y, but had no time to get a picture as we were literally running out the door here because Mr. I-don't-know-where-my-head-is-most-of-the-time couldn't find his black dress socks THAT HE WEARS FOR BALLROOM ALL OF THE TIME. Can you tell I'm no longer the patient, happy-go-lucky mom I used to be. Wait, I was never that mom.

Also, James Bond granted us a special appearance there on the right.

[I've noticed, my photos are ultra saturated in color when I upload them to Blogger. Don't know what the deal is but no, I'm not crazy, and I'm not doing this on purpose].

Friday, February 13, 2015

Octonauts Birthday Party

I will gladly admit that I'm not up for elaborate birthday parties with 3D character cakes for all my kids every year. Sadly, this means, the youngest one has never gotten a "cool" birthday cake. But this was his year. I picked the theme. Can you tell? Otherwise, it would be a combination of Mutant Ninja Turtles (something he knows nothing about) and race cars. We've always been a fan of Meomi's Octonauts long before the books became a show on Disney (not my favorite kids channel).  I prefer birthday parties where I can let all the kids lose out in the backyard but unfortunately, this little guy's birthday is in the winter. I thought I would make an effort at decorating this time, armed with way too many Pinterest ideas. So many in fact, I ran out of time to blow up the carefully color selected balloons and a few other details. I made Peso Penguin's medical suitcase with the Silhouette Cameo machine. I got put that thing to use to justify its cost. And, the other kids put up green twisty paper on the walls like sea grasses. I even collected some ocean-y related items from around the house to decorate the foyer and put that chest from a couple of years ago Christmas to good use, to hold a giant stuffed turtle and the favor boxes.

I tried for a tall, 8" round with a white cake recipe I found online. The cake fell and it came out with a huge crater in the middle. Not a good start. I had to do it again, so I settled for the boring, old 9" pans and made a little 6" devil's food cake from a box for the top. I was determined not to mix more than two colors of fondant, but of course, I was feeling the cake looked too poor, so I kept mixing colors. I was already keen on the shortcut of using the well-cleaned Octonauts figurines to decorate the cake. There's no way in hell I was going to model those out of fondant. I decided to add the number five at the end but had nothing to cut it out with and was not in the mood to print it and make a stencil, so I did a rather messy job of trying to cut it with a decorating spatula. In the end, I did a bit more than I was planning on and more than I was invested in effort-wise probably. I'm always striving to "keep it simple" these days.

I also made some cute star-shaped, ham sandwiches, octopus string cheese, and milk bottle beverages with the cute aqua striped straws because who can resist those. They are so cute. I did accidentally color the juice deep green though, by inadvertently squirting the blue food coloring in there instead of letting one droplet go like I was planning. Oh well, it all turned out.