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Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Projects

Although I’m itching to get to December and celebrate all things Christmas, I still love the  warmth and comfort Thanksgiving brings. We usually dive head first into Christmas crafts, but I decided to pull in a few more fall themed projects this year.

The first project my kids and I tackled are these fun DIY napkins. I love how wild the little turkeys turned out!

Materials –

  • cloth napkins (we used cheap ones from WalMart; they were $1.97 for a pack of 2)
  • fabric paint
  • scrap paper or small pieces of cardboard (to put underneath the part you are painting)
  • paper plates or palettes
  • fine paintbrush(es)

I folded the napkins for both kids to give them a better sense of where to put the feathers. I made sure to put a piece of scrap paper in between the layer they were painting and the rest of the napkin to prevent bleeding through.

To make the turkey feathers, my son dipped his whole finger in paint, but I painted my daughter’s hands with a brush.

We found that the feathers came out best if we did one feather at a time.

For the bodies and heads, I painted the pinky side of their fist brown.

Once the feathers and bodies were completely dry, the kids hand painted the details on. Well, E and I painted them. Bee is not a detail kind of gal yet!

I considered adding a vinyl “grateful” to the top, but I found some flocked leaves that I wanted to set out with the place settings, so I left the text off. It was fun letting the kids create something that we’ll use when our company comes next week!

The second “project” was a fun little word search from Education.com! The former teacher in me loves to find little opportunities here and there to get a little bit of “school” in during our down time, so these word searches were perfect for my son. Education.com is offering the word search to my readers (and me) for free; when you get a chance, hop on over to their website to see what other fun, themed resources are available!

The holiday season is here! Get your family into the holiday spirit with this fun pumpkin pie word search! There’s more themed reading fun and resources at Education.com!

You can download the free word search here, and the answer key here. Enjoy!

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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! 

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DIY Fall Mini Wardrobe

This past spring, I participated in a mini-capsule contest hosted by Made for Mermaids and Patterns for Pirates. I had SO much fun creating different combinations with the nine pieces I made (plus a pair of jeans). When they made an announcement that they were hosting another event for the fall, I knew I had to create more! My husband says I didn’t HAVE to, since I really didn’t NEED 9 more pieces of clothing, but anyway 😜

Here’s a quick look back at my spring capsule:

For the fall capsule, I picked my busiest fabrics first. I had already made a mustard floral wrap dress/short sleeve cardigan using the Made for Mermaids Mama Isabel pattern; I chose my remaining fabrics with that floral and one other burgundy floral in mind.

I find that a good rule of thumb for fabrics for a mini capsule is to choose 2 busy prints that wouldn’t be worn together. In this case, I used essentially the same pattern for both – the only difference being sleeve length – so naturally, I wouldn’t plan to wear them together. Next, I opt for 3-4 neutral colors or patterns (I’ll just go ahead and tell you that I count thin stripes and baby pinks as neutrals in my closet!!), and then 3-4 coordinating colors pulled directly from the patterned fabric. My neutrals overlapped with the pattern coordinate colors, but pink, olive, cream, and brown are all found right in the two florals.

Choosing patterns is always a little harder for me than choosing fabrics. It’s important to balance tops and bottoms, even though I’m so tempted to just make a million tops!  For this capsule, I opted for three bottoms, three tops, and three layering pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tops:


 For tops that are specifically designed to be tops, I went with two Made for Mermaids Mama Ninas, one with short sleeves in top length (pink), and one with 3/4 sleeves in top length with a modified curved hem (brown).

I sized down a little for both Mama Ninas for a slightly more fitted look. I just took a larger seam allowance; it ended up working out to about 1″ on all seams instead of the 1/2″ per the pattern.  Eventually, the pink Nina will be replaced with a Patterns for Pirates Everyday Elegance top in the same color; the pink cotton lycra I used is definitely comfy and looks cute knotted, but it’s not as flattering since I didn’t use a drapey fabric.

I also made a Made for Mermaids Mama Joy Peplum Top (gray). I left off the neckband and just did a quick cover stitch. I’ll pretend it was intentional, but it was really just because I ran out of this triblend!


Pink top – M4M Mama Nina in cotton Lycra from knitpopBrown top – M4M Mama Nina in a $1 slub style knit from Walmart. Gray top – M4M Mama Joy peplum top, no neckband, gray triblend. I don’t remember where I got it, but it may have been Knitpop!

Bottoms:

I’ve gotten tons of wear out of the two skirts I made for my spring capsule, so I chose two skirts for this capsule too, plus a pair of basic black leggings. I used the Patterns for Pirates Pencil Skirt pattern (stripes), as well as Made for Mermaids Mama Joy separate skirt (olive) and Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs (black). The Mama Joy skirt is pleated, but I made my yoga waistband really tall so when folded over, it covers up the pleats. Unfolded, the pleats do show. I have used the Peg Leg waist band measurements in the past, but I just decided to wing it for this skirt!

Striped skirt – P4P Pencil Skirt, liverpool from Knitpop. Olive skirt – M4M Mama Joy Skirt Separate with yoga style waistband, double brushed poly from Knitpop. Black leggings – P4P peg legs, double brushed poly

 

 

 

 

Layering Pieces:

I used Made for Mermaids Mama Claire  (cream), Made for Mermaids Mama Isabel  in long sleeve/tulip hem (burgundy floral), and Made for Mermaids Mama Isabel  in short sleeve/tulip hem (mustard floral). I avoided both the Claire and the Isabel for a looooong time because I just felt like the crossover sat funny on me, but it appears I’ve been converted!

Cream long sleeve – M4M Mama Claire in $1 sweater knit from Walmart. Burgundy floral – M4M Mama Isabel, double brushed poly from KnitpopMustard floral – M4M Mama Isabel, rayon spandex from Sly Fox (sold out, but they have other gorgeous florals!)

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus Wears!! 


My very favorite part about designing a capsule is coming up with different outfits, and thinking of new ways to wear a staple item! Here are some of the “bonus wears” using my nine fall capsule pieces:

Mama Joy skirt with a Mama Joy bodice separate (lengthened by about 4″-5″ so it will stay tucked in better) to create a faux dress look, Mama Joy skirt as a drapey infinity scarf, and Mama Joy skirt as a skirt! It could also be worn as a strapless top. I’ve worn pencil skirts as scarves, but I hadn’t thought to wear a Joy skirt as a scarf before! I just love how it looks with the gray peplum.

Mama Isabel as a cardigan, a dress, and a top! I used no specific modifications to wear it as a cardigan; I just pull both ties behind me on the inside of the Mama Isabel, pull through the same hole, and tie loosely on the outside. Made for Mermaids has additional hacks for a true cardigan/wrap dress mash on their blog! This burgundy floral Isabel will get some MAJOR wear this fall!

Pencil skirt worn as a “slip” under mama Isabel, as a strapless top, as a skirt, and as an infinity scarf! I’m especially excited to wear these stripes under both Mama Isabels that I made. The tulip hem is perfect for date night, but I find it too short to wear if I have kids to corral. The pencil skirt “slip” makes it wearable for me, even with kids in tow!

Last but not least, the Mama Claire can be worn two ways with no extra creativity involved!

If you’re not into sewing, go through your closet and look for nine pieces that can be used in similar ways. Start with the same concept of 2 busy prints, 3-4 coordinating colors, and 3-4 neutrals; you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how many combinations you can come up with!

If you’d like to have a capsule designed and made just for you, come visit me on Facebook or Etsy.

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