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Made for Mermaids’ “All Dolled Up” Week

My Bee LOVES all of her baby dolls. I have such fun memories of playing dolls and Barbies with my friends when I was little, and I love sharing that with my girl. I have never pushed dolls on her, but if you’ve met her, you know it’s in her top three favorite things (with pumpkins and any sort of ball filling the other two spots). 


I was happy to test three of Made for Mermaids’ Dolly patterns as part of their “All Dolled Up” release & giveaway week, and even more excited to sew up a few new outfits for my girl to match her babies. Be sure to check out their blog for all the giveaway details! 

The first dolly pattern we tested was Dolly Ainsley, featuring a knit bodice and woven skirt, with Velcro closure in the back. It’s available in 14″, 15″ and 18″ doll sizes. The Ainsley has optional sash ties and elastic in the back on the girls’ version; for the dolly version, I opted for ribbon in lieu of the fabric sash ties, and did not use any elastic. If you use ribbon, just make sure it’s the correct width!

Don’t forget to grab the girls’ Ainsley pattern, too! It’s such a sweet and surprisingly easy/quick sew. 

The second pattern we tested was the Dolly Mya (shown with the Dolly Bonny Leggings). The doll is wearing top length with short sleeves and a cowl neck. The black floral is a rayon spandex, which is what I would recommend for a true cowl look. The solid mauve is a french terry bodice with a double brushed polyester cowl. The french terry looked like a turtle neck, so I removed and used a close-match DBP instead. It still did not drape as well as the rayon spandex, but certainly better than the french terry! No velrco on this pattern, but it is easy enough to take on and off. My Bee is wearing the girls Mya in tunic length (pink with and added ruffle) and top length (black and floral). Both Bee and her baby are wearing Bonny Leggings (and of course, Dolly Bonny). 

 

Finally, we tested Dolly Kourtney. Doll is wearing tunic length tank with no knot option. The back does have Velcro closure, though it would be easy enough to omit if you prefer no velcro. Bee is wearing the dress length Kourtney. Made for Mermaid’s Joy has been my go-to pattern for a while now, but she’s had to move over to make room for Nina and now Kourtney. ❤️ 

Like all of the M4M patterns, all three of these Dolly patterns come loaded with options and little details that give them a trendy, boutique feel. These patterns come at the PERFECT time for sewing up some cute Dolly and Me sets as Christmas gifts for your little doll lovers (or big doll lovers; my sister and I love the American Girl store way more than is probably acceptable so I certainly don’t judge 😂). 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the dolly patterns on the blog, and grab the girls’ patterns too! 

This post contains affiliate links.

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Made for Mermaids Cora and Mama Cora Culottes 

I was so happy to test Made for Mermaids‘ newest patterns, Cora and Mama Cora Culottes! The best part about these sweet shorts, aside from how quick and easy they are to sew AND the fact that they look like a skirt but your legs don’t have to touch, is that if you purchase now for just $3 each, 100% of the  proceeds will go to benefit those recovering from the damages of Hurricane Harvey! Eventually, both Cora and Mama Cora will have a special code if you are a member of the M4M Facebook group, but if you have a few dollars to spare, now is a perfect time to purchase. 

**This post does not contain affiliate links, so that as much money as possible goes to Hurricane Harvey relief. Made for Mermaids also has several Texas-inspired cut files available for purchase, with 100% of the proceeds from those going to relief efforts as well. **

One of my favorite things about the mama Cora Culottes I made during testing is that I was able to incorporate pieces of my spring and fall mini capsules to make complete outfits! The black Made for Mermaids Mama Claire and striped Patterns for Pirates pencil skirt (shown as a scarf) are both from my spring capsule, while the cream Mama Claire and olive Mama Joy skirt separate are both from my fall capsule. 

I also used two pieces from my daughter’s fall capsule to coordinate with her culottes – the cream lace trimmed Tara top, and Isabel worn as a duster are both from her fall capsule. They looked so cute with her mustard boho print double brushed polyester pair, and her blue floral french terry pair! 


I opted for more fitted tops when I was styling mine. I loved my Mama Coras with a Mama Tara Twist Top, or a Mama Claire. I also paired with a few ready-to-wear fitted tops. I tried with a Mama Nina top, and I felt like there was just too much going on!  It did look a little better knotted if you’re determined to try it out. 

As far as fabrics go, my favorite wear-out-in-public pair is double brushed polyester (the mustard/white boho print pair – fabric was from So Sew English but I don’t believe it’s available any more).  Cotton spandex/lycra makes for great lounge culottes, but fair warning – especially in gray, they look like sweatpant shorts (sweat shorts? Pajama shorts?). I’m not mad about them; I’m actually wearing them right this minute! I paired my gray pair with a sized down Mama Tara (only sized down and cut off grain only because I ran out of fabric!! Eek!) in french terry. From the side I can kind of pretend I’m wearing a causal skirt, but the front is straight up sweats. Don’t ask me why, but I tried to jazz it up with a necklace anyway! 

I also loved Mama Cora and Cora in stretch velvet! It gave it a much dressier feel, and I’m excited to layer them over tights as the temperature drops! I wore this black pair with a rayon blouse from a local boutique. 

Culottes are really designed for knit fabrics, but I tried a pair in woven fabric just because I couldn’t resist the temptation to experiment; they actually turned out cuter than I expected! I used my normal length waistband, but cut out of double brushed polyester and extended the width to 8″ instead of the 6″ the tutorial calls for. I sized up roughly two sizes for the legs. It’s not quite the same fit, but I did like the skirt-like silhouette it had. If you are self-conscious about your hips, I would skip the woven experiments because there of course isn’t the flowiness of knit fabrics. This pretty floral woven is from Hobby Lobby. Tee is from my sweet friend Tiffany’s Agnes & Dora shop. 

A few notes – I only hemmed my woven pair. I preferred the unhemmed look on all the pairs I made. You certainly can hem them if you prefer! Also, I found the pockets on the size 1 shortest length Coras hung out the bottom, so we opted out of pockets. The longer hem lengths in size 1, and the larger girls’ sizes in all lengths, should be fine with pockets, though! Finally, there are definitely moments of diaper visibility in the length we made; if that’s something you are particular about, I would suggest going with a different length. 

Here are more pictures of the pairs I made for Bee & me! I’ll be making several more for both of us. Grab yours before the end of September if you want your patterns to serve a greater purpose! 







 

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Bee’s Room

If I’m being honest, one of the reasons I was so excited about having a baby girl was designing a baby girl nursery (also in my top five list of reasons were baby headbands and ruffly baby clothes). Her room was truly a labor of love, and is my favorite room in our house.

We moved into our new house in June/July 2015. Her due date wasn’t until the end of September, but I knew I wouldn’t make it that far, so we didn’t bother painting. In a perfect world, I would have torn up the carpet and replaced it with hardwood floors, and the walls would have been painted a warm gray; those may both still happen in the future, but it wasn’t realistic to try to do either before she arrived.


The first purchase I settled on was the fabric for her bedding. I didn’t originally know what her bedding was going to look like, but I liked the pinks and grays in the floral fabric, and the subtlety of the gold polka dots in the other fabric. I ended up making a ruffled crib skirt using this tutorial, and a crib sheet using  this tutorial.

I had planned to be thrifty and just reuse our dark brown crib that we had from when E was a baby, but that crib just didn’t do the ruffles justice. I asked Chris if he thought it was ridiculous to buy a new crib, and he said it was less ridiculous to buy another crib than to listen to me talk about buying a new crib for months on end. So, I found one on Amazon for around $100, sold our old one for $50, and called it a win!

I bought extra fabric to use in other areas of her room, so after the bedding was finished I used the leftover floral fabric to whip up a changing pad cover, a pillow case, and a little dress for this felt cat from Makenzie’s Playhouse on Etsy. 

The leftover polka dot fabric was used to make basket liners. I bought 6 yellow baskets at a yard sale, spray painted them pink, and then made liners for them using a tutorial similar to this one.

The next two things to land in her room were the lamps on either side. Those lamps have traveled between several rooms in our various houses. They used to be paper lantern lamps, but one had an accident with a ceiling fan during one of our moves, and the other one had an unfortunate bath in Scentsy wax. Oops. Thanks to two rolls of wax paper that I scored for 67 cents each, my sewing machine, and an iron, I was able to save the two lamps. I cut out circles of wax paper, ironed two wax paper circles together, and then stitched the ironed circles into chains long enough to cover the light bulbs. There was a metal ring at the top of each lamp, so I left enough thread at the end of each chain to tie it on to the metal ring.It took forever to finish both lamps, but for $1.34, I won’t complain too much.


Another repurposed item was the shelf/bench next to the rocking chair. It was originally a storage ottoman, but one of our dogs put a hole in the top. I removed the lid, turned the ottoman on its side, and lined the inside with the same polka dot fabric that I used for her crib bedding. I would take a close up, but you don’t want to see the hot glue job I did!!

Once the bigger things had been tackled, I started all of the little crafty projects.
I found mismatched letters for a few dollars at Hobby Lobby, wrapped them with yarn in various shades of gray (not 50) that I already had, and made small felt flowers to glue on as accents.


I rounded up about a dozen frames that we’ve had for several years and spray painted them gray so they would fit together. The “wall art” on the wall above her crib is still a work in progress – right now it is a mishmash of scrapbook paper, fabric, a few prints that I designed (including this fun unicorn),

and some baby pictures of her.
For her surplus of scrumptious baby headbands, I disassembled a wall hanging I’ve had for probably 10 years. I replaced the picture with a fabric wrapped board, attached two rows of ribbon to the board, glued the board back in to the frame, and then glued pink craft clothes pins along both ribbons.

For months I scoured the internet for the perfect paper lanterns to make a poofy lantern display hanging somewhere from her ceiling, but I ended up making most of those too. The solid pink and the pink polka dot lanterns were a few dollars each at Target. The flowery poofs were all made with tissue paper and florist wire. The large white and gold poof was made using this tutorial, but with tissue paper instead of fabric. It took me at least 1000 years and a ton of glue sticks, which is why there is only one of those. 🙂 The others were a very simple tissue paper Pom Pom poof.

Chris was my official nursery handy man. My first plan was to go curb shopping for a dresser to repurpose into a changing table/baby dresser, but Chris was worried about lead paint and other issues that come with redesigning old furniture. Instead, I found a picture of a dresser that I liked and he designed and built a dresser based on that. One day, I’ll make him write a post about his  DIY dresser. I also wanted rain gutter book shelves, but Chris was afraid we’d have a maniac baby that would pull the gutters down and cut herself on an edge. Now that we’ve met our maniac baby, he’s probably right! Anyway, he styled shelves out of wood to mimic the look of rain gutters so that we’d both be happy and maniac baby would stay safe. Finally, he built a ledge shelf for me to display her yarn letters.

Here’s a list of where I found some of the goods in her nursery. If you have questions about something specific, feel free to ask!

  • Curtains – Dollar General
  • Chair – $60ish from Amazon
  • Crib – $144 on Amazon
  • Crib bumper – $22 on Amazon
  • Changing pad – $23 from Amazon
  • Floral throw pillow & gold unicorn lamp -Pillowfort by Target
  • Polka dot bins – Hobby Lobby
  • Gray/Pink/orange felt Pom poms – American Felt Company
  • Pink dresser drawer knobs – Hobby Lobby
  • Rug – Marshalls

One day, all the rooms in our house will be finished. Just in time for me to start tearing up all the carpet upstairs!! 🙂