DIY Ruffle Sleeve Shift Dress Tutorial

Dress Pattern (tutorial below) // fabric
Oh summertime, how I love thee. Even though this summer hasn't quite started the way that I thought it would, it's still been dreamy. I love no major schedule, lazy afternoons, family adventures, nice weather. It's not all perfect of course. We started summer with 2 funerals. My grandma and Jonathon's Grandpa both passed away on the same day and Jonathon's Grandma went to join her sweetheart this last weekend. 
Death is tough and we've had to have a lot of talks with our kids, especially Lila. Being the oldest, she's getting to the age where she really feels and understands things more than the other kids. It's been hard, but we're at peace. Of course, I wish I could shelter my kids from sad things, but my personal view on death isn't sad. It's still hard, but since we believe that we can be together forever, we know everything will be fine.

I made this ruffle sleeve shift dress for Lila because she asked for a nice dress to wear for the funerals of her great grandparents. I'm sewing through my stash right now, so this stripe fabric worked perfectly. I love to dress up a basic pattern, and I'm loving the ruffle/bell sleeve trend this summer. It's funeral appropriate, but perfect to pop on when we're going on family adventures. See the mini tutorial below. :)  
Remember, this is a mini tutorial. There are instruction all over the place for how to make a basic shirt. This is just to give you inspiration if you're looking to spruce up a basic shirt dress.  

What you'll need: 
A shirt that fits, or a shirt pattern.
1 yard of fabric (or more depending on the size you're going for) pre-washed and dried.
Coordinating thread
Step 1: Fold fabric (make sure the fabric is stretching horizontally)
Step 2: Lay your shirt pattern and add length if you're making a dress.
Step 3: Tilt the shirt pattern under the armpit. Cut.
Step 4: Cut 2 rectangles roughly twice the size of the edge of the sleeve hole. Ruffle the rectangles by adding a basting stitch on the top of the rectangle. Add ruffled rectangle to the bottom of the sleeve opening (rst). Finish shirt according to instructions.
And there you go! Happy sewing!


twins: according to strangers

Oh the twin life. The things I've learned. The things that I still need to learn. It's a daily happy struggle. One thing I've learned is that it's fun to sew double and Tully tops are the perfect thing to sew two of. And I'm happy to report that I can still carry both of these babies around if I need to and I've become quite proficient at doing two of everything. (Double the food, double the sippy cups, double the laundry, double the diapers). And it really doesn't bother me. Not to say I don't have my days of discouragement, but I've never wished these two beauties away. I mean they seriously get cuter every blessed day. How is that possible? So I'd like to dedicate this surviving and thriving with twin posts to the many random strangers I've met via having twins. 
This one goes out to the hundreds of starers who've never seen two babies before. Come on guys, I see you lookin'. No they're not wearing wigs. This one goes out to all the little kids who point and say, "Look! Two babies." I counted one day and I got 17 kid comments in one Walmart run. Wha? This is for the nosy biddies who ask, "Are those all your kids? Probably time for a break, sweetheart." Thank you for bringing this to my attention, strangers. My husband and I will take this very personal matter into consideration. Your opinion has been invaluable. ;) This one is for you, sweet old lady at the grocery store, who is concerned that my babies aren't still twins if they're clothes aren't matching from head to toe. Dear lady, just be grateful that they're wearing clothes at all. Sometimes the only matching that goes on is naked in a diaper. This one is for the hundreds (I'm not exaggerating) of strangers who genuinely think that I don't know which baby is which and engage in an argument with me like "Are you suuuuure." Guys, I'm sure. And if we get them mixed up, we figure it out in a minute. If you only knew how much time I've spent with these humans and how many diapers I've changed. Just trust me, I know. By the way, Clementine is on the left in these pictures, Penelope is on the right. I promise. :) This is for all you mama's who have apologized to me that I have twins. :( ???? Are you just trying to just tell me that you're grateful you don't have twins, I guess? Because I really like mine. And I'm gonna g'head and say that as a general rule, you really should never apologize about something like that. Just basic social skillz 101, guys. ;) But mostly, this one is for you random old man who came out and sat on a bench and watched me take these pictures. "Thanks for the entertainment" he said afterwards as he opened his newspaper (because people still read those?) and I wrangled all my children into the library. You're welcome old man and everyone. Because I know you all just care.  


inBlue Fabric Tour


On Lila pattern//fabric  On Penelope pattern//fabric  On Clementine pattern//fabric*
I'm not normally one to do fabric tours, but when hot air balloons offer you a ride, you say yes. That's my motto anyway. ;) And when I saw the inBlue Fabric line by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics, I knew that I needed to hop on board. This collection is stunning!

If you've been following me for a while, you know that I often just sew with what I have. I haven't branched out to new fabric shops/lines until more recently and it's been empowering to push myself to try out things that I would have been too scared to make before. Turns out being brave is fun.

I bought the Nora Pattern from Violette Field Threads for this project because I loved the idea of layering the Fly Away Vroeg fabric with some pretty cobalt blue fabric. I'm a big fan of blue on white, especially for the summer and these little hot air balloons just had me.

As far as the pattern goes, it took me a minute to figure it out and then once I got it I was like, "Oooooooohhh." It's just one of those patterns that you have to be pretty precise, but once you get it, it just makes sense and I love the results. (The only change I made was too lengthen the skirt as my girls like their dresses a little longer.) The open apron-look ties in perfectly with this style of fabric. Heart eyes all around. I'm excited to sew another dress with the longer sleeve option for fall.

Of course, I had to bust out a couple dresses for the double babies. They are so fun to dress. Also a little stressful since I have 4 other humans and myself to clothe. ;) For my sanity, I love for Penelope and Clementine to coordinate but not match so I can more easily tell them apart. So the De Roos Licht and De Roos Donker were perfect. I used the Tully Pattern by Kelly from Sewing in No Mans Land I love this pattern as is but I extended the 18 month size to be a little longer for the babes to grow into.

All of the fabrics I used are a light, but sturdy cotton. The patterns are so fun and playful, it really was difficult to decide what to go with. You can see my fabric choices and all of the other beautiful fabric designs here. In the end, I love it all, and the little people who get to wear such pretty patterns. My oldest with my youngest(s?)

Life is rolling by too quickly and I'm always so grateful when I get a chance to stop and document it. 
Follow along this week to see more inBlue Fabric goodness!






* I received all fabric courtesy of Art Gallery Fabric as part of the inBlue fabric Tour. I also received the Tully pattern in exchange for testing it, however all opinions are 100% my own. You guys know I don't endorse something unless I love it. ;)
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