Friday, October 31, 2008

A Handmade Halloween

So this right here, this Princess Leia costume, was quite the experience. My daughter is a Star Wars fanatic and HAD to be Leia for Halloween. When I saw that most stores wanted $30.00 for a Leia costume, I thought that there had to be another way. So I googled and searched for Leia costumes. I saw that Simplicity and Butterick made patterns, but boy oh boy, they weren't cheap. More googling brought me to this blog post all about a homemade Princess Leia costume, using a nativity angel pattern and a turtleneck. How hard could that be, I thought.

Now keep in mind, I have only sewn quilts. I had never sewn from a pattern before. It was my lucky day, when I ran to Joann during a phenomenal sale. I found an easy sew nativity angel pattern, usually $11.50, on sale for 99 cents. I decided to buy white cotton flannel in case it ended up being cold on Halloween night. The flannel was also on sale. And they had a child's black witch wig on sale for $1.00, that would be a great length for rolling into cinnamon buns on either side. For about $9.00, I had all that I needed to make a Princess Leia costume.

I had absolutely no idea that the easy sew in 3 hours pattern, would actually take me more like 14 hours to complete. I had no clue what I was getting myself into. Opening the directions and patterns, oh my gosh, it was like reading something written in a foreign language. I was already overwhelmed and I hadn't even started yet. I quickly pinned and cut my pieces, which was surprisingly easy. I sewed the front and back of the gown together and added the little collar as well. It was going well. I even thought, hey, I can do this.

But then, it was time for the sleeves. I could not for the life of me figure out the diagram in the directions. I kept sewing the sleeves on incorrectly. I kept ripping out stitches to try again..and again...and again..AND AGAIN. Every time I sewed them, I would excitedly turn the dress right-side out, only to find that the sleeves were stuck on the inside of the dress....or that I had sewn the whole side of the gown together, so that there weren't arm holes.

I was about to give up. Ripping out stitches is not fun and doing it about 7 times in a row, is enough to leave anyone in tears. My grandmother-in-law saved the day.
I scanned the diagram and emailed it to her and she walked me through the steps. Soon, my gown had sleeves. I then discovered, after trying the gown on her, that the shoulder portion of the sleeve hit her in the middle of her arm. Not wanting to take the sleeves apart ONE MORE TIME, I moved the fabric up a bit to shorten the sleeves.

At this point, I had already spent one night up until almost 1:30 A.M. sewing. It was now the night before her school Halloween party and she still needed a hood. The pattern didn't come with a hood, but I figured I could wing it. Yeah, um, no such luck. After cutting several pieces of fabric, that in my mind would make perfect hoods, I realized that I was completely out of my element. I headed to Wal-Mart, since it was 11:00 P.M., to purchase more white flannel, to keep on trying my hand at hood making. But, they were completely out of white flannel. Thankfully, I found a hooded shirt on sale. I took it home cut the hood off and decided to sew it to the back of the turtleneck that she wears under her gown.

It was now midnight, and my brain had officially shut down for the evening. When I sewed the hood onto her turtleneck, I also sewed the turtleneck shut. I sewed both the front and back together. Almost in tears, I ripped out the stitches. It would probably need to be sewn on by hand, but I am not really good at that either. I then remembered that I had some iron-on velcro. SO in a few steps, I had a removable hood that attached with Velcro. I then quickly made a belt. I WAS FINALLY DONE!

I think it looks very homemade. The gray felt pieces on her belt are falling off, and the stitches in the back have already come undone, from wearing it to her party. But I will make the few needed fixes this afternoon, and it will hopefully stay put for her Trick or Treating adventures this evening.

The miss absolutely LOVES her costume. Before she left for her party, she took a look in the mirror, and squealed with delight. She also proudly told her teachers that her mommy made her costume.

Her little squeal and her huge smile, made it all worth it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

But Jesus Said We Must Have Dessert

The Miss (4) asked me what it was we were going to have for dessert tonight. I told her that we are not having dessert. She then said to me that Jesus says we are always supposed to have dessert. She has her mommy's sweet tooth.

Teasingly, I asked the miss, who can not read, to find in the Bible where Jesus says that we are always to have dessert.

First she pointed to the verse that says, love your enemies. So I told her she had one more try. She closed her Bible, opened it up again, flipped the pages and pointed to the verses that she just knew were all about having dessert.

Do you know what verses she pointed to???
Matthew 6:16-18, which are all about fasting.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


The other night I decided to splurge on the hubby and get him Panda Express. It is one of his favorite places to eat, but I am not much of a fan. So I brought home Panda Express for the both of us after running an errand. It was around 8:00 P.M. and although the kids had eaten, we had not had dinner yet.

The miss immediately ran into the kitchen when she saw that I had brought food home. She doesn't like Panda Express, but she still searched through the bags and our plates for little things she could pick at. She took some of the carrots and eggs from my rice as well as a fortune cookie.

A little while later, she found my egg roll, and confiscated it. I told her that she was being a scavenger. She then asked me what that meant. So I explained it to her and also told her she was successful, because she ended up with my food. She then of course wanted to know what successful meant. After answering her and then again describing to her what a scavenger was, I asked her......

Me..."So if you decided you were going to come find yourself some food, and in your searching, you found my egg roll, and you took it for yourself and are now enjoying it, what does that make you?

The Miss: "HUNGRY!"

Saturday, October 4, 2008

10 Things I Love

Courtney over at Chaos Is Us, invited us to join in her 10 Things I Love Meme. After leaving a comment, she would respond to us with a letter. I received the letter L. So now I am to share with you all 10 of my favorite things beginning with the letter L.

If you would like to play along as well, leave me a comment, and I will send a letter your way.

1. Laughter - I LOVE laughter, especially my kids' laughter. There is nothing better than their hearty belly laughs. I also love how I feel after a huge, energetic laugh.

2. Lasagna - My grandmother came to the United States from Italy, so as you can imagine, I grew up eating delicious Italian meals. One of my favorite dishes is lasagna. It is such a comfort food for me. I surprisingly don't mind Olive Garden's lasagna with some of their peach iced tea. YUM!

3. Long Island, New York - I had an Aunt that lived in Long Island for awhile. I remember visiting her about 8 years ago and falling in love with Long Island. It is so green and gorgeous. The houses are beautiful and the city is just a train ride away. If I ever come into lots and lots of money, you will find me there. :)

4. My Limited Jeans - A friend of mine treated me to a new outfit a few months ago. I received a brand new pair of jeans from The Limited, and I LOVE THEM. They fit me soooo well and they are very flattering. I have realized if I stay away from Juniors sizes and wear clothes intended for women, things fit much better.

5. Lindt Chocolates - Although they aren't my absolute favorite candy, they are up there on the list. I LOVE all things chocolate. And although my friend, Andrea, loves the peanut butter ones the best, my favorite are the red ones.

6. Lavender Roses - They are one of my absolute favorite flowers. Well, actually they are called sterling roses. They made up my wedding bouquet and are given to me by my hubby when he really wants to surprise me. The prettiest ones I have come across are at AJ's.

7. Lyrics - I absolutely love song lyrics. My favorite songs are ones with meaningful and beautiful lyrics. I am constantly googling various songs to read the lyrics.

8. Lazy Days - I don't get these often. They are very rare. So if I ever get to enjoy a LAZY DAY, I milk it for all it's worth.

9. Love - It's a given. Who doesn't love LOVE???

10. Lavishing gifts onto others - When I can afford it, I really do love giving gifts to others. I enjoy thinking of what things they would love the most. It is so much fun to give.