You Are Loved

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You Are Loved Banner

I used some of the leftover material from my daughter’s Valentine’s Day dress to create this banner.

In my present life, Valentine’s Day is something I enjoy and even look forward to. However, there was a time that wasn’t always the case. In my mid-20’s while many of my friends were in serious relationships or starting to get married, I was nearly always single. Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to get married and have children. Valentine’s Day was just a reminder that I didn’t have that in my life yet. I certainly didn’t hate the holiday. I was very happy for my friends and their relationships, but I was still lonely.  The thing I didn’t understand at that time in my life, was that I WAS LOVED. God loved me, even when I was not loving Him and instead basking in my loneliness. If I had only known!  Okay, maybe I did know in my head. But, I didn’t accept His love. I didn’t turn to Him for comfort when I felt unloved or lonely. I look back at that time in my life and wonder how things would have been different if I had accepted Jesus earlier. But, I am so grateful He never gave up on me! In my late 20’s I finally fully embraced God (or should I say allowed Him to embrace me) in a way I had never done before. 

Today, I have a husband who loves me and children who shower me with love every day. But, I certainly have hard times. My hubby is a pilot with the US Marine Corps and there are many times he is gone and I am away from all my family. When I choose not to read my bible or turn to God in daily prayer, things become much more challenging and I begin to lack the confidence in my worth.  But Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Our worth is not measured by how many Valentine’s cards we receive or how big the flower bouquet is our husband brings us. We are loved and He believes we are worthy of His love. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. So for all the single people, the divorcees, the widows, my fellow military spouses and any one else who may have times you forget (that’s probably everyone!). You are loved. His love is more than enough to fill us up and make us feel whole. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'” Let Him embrace you with His love this Valentine’s Day and every other day this year.

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It's two sided

It’s two sided

Much Love!

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Little Girl’s Valentine Dress

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 Front Dress

Valentine’s Day is such a fun holiday when you’re a child.  You get to open cute pink and red cards, eat heart shape candies and dress in lots of pink. Growing up my dad always showered my sister and I with extra attention on Valentine’s Day, giving us stuffed animals or boxed chocolates and extra affection. My daughter is 5 years old and although she is definitely a mommies girl in many ways, she absolutely adores her daddy.  Time alone with just she and her dad is something she looks forward to with excitement.

We like to make a point to have special daddy/daughter dates in our family. The relationship a little girl has with her father sets the tone and expectation for all future relationships with men. It’s so important that fathers take the time to have one on one time with their little girls. The actual activities for daddy/daughter dates are not what matter; it’s the time together that is important. Usually, my hubby will take our little girl to ice cream or frozen yogurt, maybe a trip to the local playground. This year I wanted to make a special Valentine’s Day Dress for our little girl for her Valentine’s date with her Daddy. 

I’m often inspired by fabric more than I am by a pattern, so I started searching for a cute Valentine’s fabric. I wanted something simple. If I’m going to take the time to make a dress; I want it to be able to be worn on days other than Valentine’s Day. I found the perfect fabric by Michael Miller. It’s simple black drawn hearts on top of a white background. Michael Miller cottons are my favorite. They have a very soft feel and don’t wrinkle too badly, which is especially important when making children’s clothing.  

Once I had decided on my main fabric, I started looking for the right pattern. I’ve been wanting to use one of the patterns from Lindsey Wilkes book Sew Classic Clothes for Girls and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. The first dress I ever made was using Lindsey Wilkes’ (The Cottage Mama) free pattern The Party Dress. The directions were very clear and I was able to make a dress I was proud to have my daughter wear. If you have ever considered sewing clothes for young girls, I highly recommend you try Lindsey’s (The Cottage Mama) patterns.  Her directions are great for beginners.

For this dress, I decided on the Classic A-line dress from the book. I wanted something simple and this pattern fit the bill. However, I knew with such a simple print it would need something extra, so I added a simple black peter pan collar with red piping. I also added red piping to the hemline. The dress came together beautifully. My daughter loves it, which is the most important thing, right?

Does your family do father/daughter dates? What type of activities do your little girls enjoy the most with their dad?

Back Dress Front Collar Side Dress Front Side dress

Much Love,

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Linen Superhero Cape

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Colton

I have fond memories as a child jumping around my living room as a child in my Wonder Woman underoos.  Jumping off the couch and pretending to be a superhero.  If only capes were popular back in the early 80’s, I wouldn’t have had to resort to playing pretend in my underwear.  But, here we are in the 21st century and kids superhero capes are hugely popular.  About a year ago I made my first superhero cape for a friend’s sweet boy on his 1st birthday.  I have made many capes since then and the pattern has evolved into the one I will be sharing today.  I currently love making these capes with natural materials.  I use 100% linen suiting and premium cotton on all my capes.  There are so many fun prints out there! This Michael Miller print is definitely one of my favorites.  Before I move on with the tutorial, if you are interested in purchasing a custom linen superhero cape instead of making one yourself, you can do so on my Etsy Shop.  I would be so happy to make one for your little one!  So, let’s get started with that tutorial.

Materials:

  • Superhero Cape Pattern
  • 1 Yard Fabric 1 (I used 100% linen suiting)
  • 1 Yard Fabric 2 (I used this premium cotton by Michael Miller)
  • 2 1/2 Yards Piping (I make my own.  Someday I’ll share that tutorial)
  • Fabric 3 (Amount dependent on appliqué you choose).  I used Kona Cotton in Sunflower
  • Wonder Under (amount dependent on appliqué you choose)
  • 1″ of 3/4″ velcro
  • Button (optional)
  • thread & embroidery thread

*Make sure to prewash all fabric and piping to prevent shrinkage.  If using linen, I recommend 2 or even 3 washes.  Linen can shrink more than cotton and you don’t want any weird puckering after washing the constructed item.

First, print out the Superhero Cape pattern.  Make sure you print the actual size of the document.  Do not print to fit!  Before you put the pattern together, check to make sure the 2″ x 2″ test square is the right size.  Follow the instructions on the printout to put the pattern together.

Once your paper pattern is put together you are ready to cut into your material.  Cut 1 cape on the fold in Fabric 1 and another on the fold in Fabric 2.

Next, preparing the applique.  I have 3 different appliques I use.  The flower, the star and the lightning bolt.  I used the star template for this tutorial.  Print out the appliqué, cut it out and use it to trace out the shape on the paper side of the wonder under.  I usually use a sharpie here because many other pens slide off this paper.  Cut out the shape outside of the line.  No need to be perfect here, just trying to preserve materials.  Now, iron on the wonder under to your solid material.  Flip it over and iron on the fabric side for extra measure, making sure there are no air bubbles.  Once the material cools, cut out the shape carefully.  Peel off the paper backing. 

star 1

You are now ready to iron on your applique to the main side of your cape.  I keep the crease from the fold when cutting the pattern pieces to assist in centering the appliqué.  Before ironing the appliqué, place the applique on your material where you would like it to go.  Use chalk to mark the top and bottom center of the placement.  Then, set the applique aside and iron the main cape material prior to ironing the applique on.  If the material isn’t ironed smooth, your applique will not look as nice.  Your chalk marks should remain on the material, so you can iron on your applique once your main material is ironed smooth.  To remove the chalk marks, simply wipe clean with a clean wet washcloth.

Placing star

Placing star 2

Once the applique is ironed in place, you are ready to topstitch the applique.  Go ahead and topstitch about 1/8″ from the edge.

applique star

Next, is adding the embroidered initial.  Follow the instructions on your machines embroidery unit to place a centered initial on the appliqué.  If you do not have a machine that can do embroidery, you can always applique a letter in a contrasting color.

Embroider Initial

Go ahead and give your applique and main fabric one more good iron.  It’s now time to attach the piping.  The seam allowance on the pattern is 1/2″, so if your piping is 1/2″ wide it will make things easier.  Go ahead and line up the piping to the front edge of your main fabric starting at one end of the neck strap and finishing at the other.  Pins are your friend here! Sew the piping to the right side of the linen as close to the cord as you can get (I use my zipper footer).

sew piping

Now, you can add the velcro.  I prefer to sew the velcro on now instead of waiting till the end. This way the stitches don’t go all the way through two layers and are hidden on the side people will see while the cape is being worn. Sew the velcro on the left side about an inch in from the edge. Sew the rough side of the velcro on the main fabric and the softer hoops on the lining. This way, the rougher part of the velcro will be facing away from delicate skin while the cape is being worn. Use the picture below to help with velcro placement.

velcro

Here is a picture of what you should have at this point with the main fabric.  You are now ready to sew together the two cape pieces.

piping is on

Remember how you already sewed the piping to the front of the main fabric?  Flip the cape over and notice the stitching on the back.  This will be the line you will use to sew the two capes together.  You will want to stay slightly in from this line or right on top of it at the most.  Because you will be using this line, you’ll need to pin your pieces on the main fabric side.  Place your lining and main fabric right sides together and pin, pin, pin!  Pay extra attention to the neck ties, making sure everything is lined up nicely.

sewing two pieces

Go ahead and sew the two pieces together, leaving a 3″ gap at the bottom of the cape.

sewing inside out

 Trim off the edges of the neck ties to reduce bulky corners.

sewing around velcro

Now, the fun part!  Turn your cape inside out.  It’ll be a bit of a struggle getting the velcro out, but keep working at it, you’ll get it.  Iron the seams flat, making sure the 3″ gap you left is tucked in ready to be topstitched.  Topstitch all around the cap 1/8″ from the edge.  Iron again.  If you like you can now add a button for decor.  I made mine using the same material as the lining.  If your cape is going to be for a child under 3, do not include the button, as this can be a choking hazard.

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Colton

And, you are done!  I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  Please, let me know if you have any questions.  I would love to help you!  If you are interested in purchasing a custom linen cape made by Lace & Pine Designs you can purchase one in my Etsy shop.  

Much Love!

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