The Smitten Chicken

Crafting With Children

I start the day with great ambitions to get some project done.
So baby is asleep and I sit down to sew.  The rest of my day went something like this:
“Mom, I’m hungry.” said child number 3.
Stop sewing and go cut up an apple.
Start to sew.
“Mom, I can’t get the TV to work.  Netflix won’t load.”
Stop sewing and turn on Blu-Ray player, load Netflix.
Start to sew.
“Mom, I’m hungry.” said child number 2.
Stop sewing and cut up an apple for child number two.  Holler at child number 1 “do you want an apple too?” Cut another apple for child number 1.
Start to sew.
“Mom, I’m hungry.” said child number 3.
Didn’t I just feed you????  Stop sewing and go get crackers for child number 3.  Offer crackers to older two as well.  (I am getting smarter.)
Start to sew.
Fight breaks out!
“I don’t want to watch My Little Ponies.  I want to watch H2O!”  (By the way, have you seen that show?  LAME!  I think I prefer Dora!)
Stop sewing and break up fight by taking away the remote.  Fighting has now caused baby to wake up early from his nap.  
End attempt to sew.
Is anyone else like this?  Does this sound like your house?  I see all these bloggers with young children whipping out amazing projects that are then photographed in their perfectly put together homes.  And I think to myself, did you lock your children in a cage while you crafted?  And then set up your house to look like a magazine cover?  Or maybe they spent the day at grandmas.  Or the month.  Or the year. 

So a couple of weeks before Valentines, I see these cute envelopes at PB and I thought I can make that!  I had a couple weeks, I could totally get one done for everyone in my family!  How cute would it be to send little love notes to each other!  I was excited to start a project!

But sadly, this is what I got instead.

What I failed to mention is that it has been snowing a ton here!  And school has been cancelled like every other day.  And then the week of Valentines we had off!  (who does that?  A whole week off of school in the middle of winter????)
I dedicated one day to ‘crafting’ while the kids were home.  I wasn’t going to do anything but get these envelopes done!  (Meaning I was going to clean the house tomorrow and order pizza for dinner 🙂
And the above dialogue happened like ALL DAY!
Except for one more thing, while I was in the bathroom, child number 3 got ahold of my rotary cutter and cut perfect little sections off of the envelope flap!  Enough that I have to start over!

And now Valentines has passed and I am so frustrated with yet another UFO (unfinished object). So I will pack it away until 2 weeks before Valentines Day next year when I see the PB ad and think wouldn’t it be so cute to make one of those for each member of my family? And to send love notes to each other? Before I dash off to Michaels to get felt, hopefully, I will remember, oh yeah, I already started that! And I have an envelope flap to redo!
Crafting with children can be stressful! I started the #10mincreate and #365create as a goal to get something created for at least 10 minutes a day. It is working, slowly, but surely I am getting things crossed off my list. Nap time, bed time and school pick up are my most effective times! Most of all, I am trying not to get so frustrated when they are asking for an apple.  After all, I started that project first…THEM!!!  And I have come to terms with the fact that my house doesn’t look like Pinterest! Just trying to keep it real! And yes, my cutting mat is covered with a crayon masterpiece!
Crafting with children can be great too! Like when my oldest asks for a sewing basket for her birthday. Or making cards together! Or when I find my pins arranged in such a happy way!

The Smitten Chicken

American Girl doll skirts

We have a week off for winter break right now. Seriously, who does that? It’s too cold and snowy to go anywhere, plus it is tax season which means we really aren’t going anywhere! Anyway, I digress.

So to entertain the kiddos we have been trying to do different themed days. (Thanks to the suggestions of friends and family).
 Today was American Girl doll day. They play with their dolls and I sew for their dolls. Win win!
So here is a quick tutorial on how to make these skirts. By the way, this is how I make all of our elastic waistband skirts.
And if you don’t want to make one, I have them for sale in my etsy shop!  Link is in the sidebar!
6 x 17 inches piece of fabric
11 inches of elastic
Start by sewing the piece of fabric for the skirt together. Sew them right sides together with a 5/8 inch seam.  Hem the skirt at this point. If you use the knit ruffle material, you don’t need to hem it!
Sew the elastic together. (See the end of the tut for more help on the elastic). 
Then divide the skirt into 4 equal parts.  I have done this with pins as you can see in the pic below.  Do the same with the elastic.

Then match up the pins from the elastic to the pins in the skirt.
You will have more skirt material than elastic so you will have a hole like in the pic below.

Then as you sew, you will pull on the elastic so it is now even with the skirt.  You are gathering the skirt material to the elastic. 
I sew from one pin to the next, then readjust my hands.  This part takes a bit of practice!  Be patient!  

Now for the elastic.  Sew it right sides together.  Like in the pic below.

Then open it up and sew 1/4 inch away from your original seam.  This makes the elastic more stable with all the pulling that it goes through!

Now you are done!  You can enjoy these American Girl Doll skirts and they don’t take very much time to put together!
Thanks for looking at one of my first tutorials ever!