Tutorial – Crib sheet... again

April 29, 2016

Hey guys! Sorry I've been kind of MIA. Chelsea's birthday is NEXT WEEK and, although I'm not really planning a party (or at least, not a big one), I've been working hard to get her birthday dress done, plus two of my friends just got back from long vacations and I wanted to catch up with them this week.

But probably the biggest reason I've been MIA is because our internet is on the fritz. I have no idea what's going on, but luckily the Ethernet cable still works so I've got a long cable trailing up my stairs to the back of my computer. Hopefully no one trips on it!

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I went into Hobby Lobby for some rhinestones to adjust a prom dress (I'll post some pictures because it turned out SO GOOD!) and came out with some fabric, too! I saw it and thought, "That would make a really cute crib sheet, and I probably need a new one."

So I used my old tutorial to make the sheet and it was follow-able, but I thought that I'd write a new version. So here it is! Crib Sheet Tutorial AGAIN! If you're a beginner, this is definitely a good project to start on.

You'll need
2 yards fabric
2 yards of 1/4" elastic
rotary cutter and mat (suggested)
scissors, thread, etc.

The measurements of a standard sized crib mattress are 52" tall, 6" thick, and 27" wide. To figure out what dimensions to cut your fabric, add the height/width plus two times the thickness and three more inches for seam and "hugging" allowance.

52+6+6+3 = 67"
27+6+6+3 = 42"

Cut squares out of all four corners. Each square should be 8.5"

Use a zig zag stitch around all the edges - including the edges where you cut out the squares - to prevent any fraying (or if you're one of the privileged ones, use your wonderful, beautiful serger and know that I envy you.)

Stitch the corners of the crib sheet by pinning together the two edges created when you cut out the squares (right-sides together).

Create a casing around all edges (all four sides) of the sheet by folding under the fabric and using a 3/8" seam allowance. Make sure you leave about an inch un-stitched so you can slide your elastic inside.

Skewer one end of the 2 yards of elastic to help you slide the elastic all the way around the sheet. Work the elastic around until it comes out where it entered. Sew the ends of the elastic together and stitch the 1-inch casing opening shut. DONE!

It's probably one of the easiest projects I have EVER done. In my life. And one you can easily start and finish in the span of one naptime. I wrote a tutorial on how to make a crib bed skirt and bumper pads, too (if you still use those, I know there are conflicting reports about bumper-pad-safety). Click here to navigate to all of them!

Thanks so much for stopping by! See you again soon!


Life Lately – Mama's proud, Mermaids, and Sewing... go figure.

April 24, 2016
This past week has definitely had its ups and downs. Probably the biggest down was driving all the way to Provo (about 1.25 hours) with my sis-in-law for a Kortni-Jeane second anniversary party and arriving just as they were announcing the last three swimsuit winners. Boo! But we turned it around by going to Culver's for dinner.

The biggest up might have been playing at our friend's, the Nelson's house and painting mason jars to be flower vases as Mother's Day gifts, or maybe it was heading down to Highland today to have dinner with some of my sibs and their families. Chelsea LOVES playing with her cousins! I just wished we lived closer!

It was pretty fun to do some online shopping for Chelsea's birthday (coming up in about a week!) and getting some good deals, too! I cannot believe that she is turning four! I am so proud of that girl!

Today my friend Ashley who is in the Primary Presidency that our Bishop came in to sharing time and used Chelsea as an example on setting good examples. He told everyone about how on Saturday at an Emergency Preparedness Fair (which was basically just a way to teach everyone how to be prepared in case of an emergency), Chelsea had given him a sticker and that shortly thereafter, Alexa gave him a sticker too. Then he said that when we set good examples, it makes others want to be good, too. Proud mama moment!

Ready for another proud mama moment? Last night I turned on Netflix to see what was on and decided to watch "Once there was a Beehive." I started it out just me and Barrett, and ended it at about 10:15 PM with Barrett in my arms, Chelsea snuggled up next to me, and Andrew on the floor in front of the couch. The thing I love about watching movies with Chelsea is how in-tune she is with the feelings and emotions of the characters, and when there's a part in the movie that makes her feel something good, she gives me a hug or a kiss, or both and says that she loves me. These children are such blessings! It just felt so good to be watching a good, clean, funny movie with my daughter that also conveyed some of beliefs I hold so dear to my heart.

Alexa is seriously a crack-up! She is such a little sassy-pants and I love it! She's super hard to discipline, though, because she doesn't really take anyone seriously. I was borderline yelling at her for doing something she knew she shouldn't and she didn't even flinch! Haha!

She always likes to get into Barrett's stuff. Binki's, bouncy chair, and most recently, she's discovered how to get into his bassinet by dragging one of our little table chairs and climbing in. Well, a couple of days ago, Barrett was napping until I heard him crying, so I went in to get him and found this:

Too. Cute. For. Words.

Barrett is getting so big and strong! He had an appointment on Thursday morning and he's looking good! 50th percentile for height and weight, 25th for head circumference, but when the doctor put him on his tummy to see how that was going, she immediately exclaimed, "woah." Yeah. His tummy-time and scooting skills are pretty impressive.

I ran for the first time in probably about a year on Saturday morning! I probably only went about a mile since I only went for 9 months, but I feel pretty good about it. I was going to be done when I got home, but Chelsea asked, "Mom, are you going to exercise?" I said I wasn't, but she insisted. Haha! She's the best exercise coach I've ever had!

Is it just me, or is May like the busiest month of the year? Seriously! December can hardly even compete! I was feeling a little overwhelmed this week because I'm planning for Chelsea's birthday (nothing huge, just a little family party this year, I think), Star Wars Day (May the fourth be with you!), and mother's day. Plus, I keep getting inspiration on more things I want to do and make. I guess I'd call it a happy problem.

So, I don't know that I've mentioned it much, but I sing. I sang all throughout elementary, junior high, and high school, and some college, mostly choirs, but I liked Musical Theater, too. I even got a couple of lead roles in some plays when I was in High School. So it's been a while since I've done any of that, but I found out in February that a nearby community theater is doing "The Little Mermaid," and I decided it was time to re-discover my thespian-self! So, I signed up for an audition date!!!! June 4 at 10:15 AM, you can find me auditioning for the part of Ariel! I'm a little nervous and don't even know exactly what I'm going to sing yet, but I'll get there!

Can I also just say that our voices sound way different coming out of an iPhone speaker than they really are? I learned this in a depressing, but also relieving way when I asked my Musical Theater-experienced sister, for some help the other day. She told me to record myself singing for her, so I did on my phone and when I played it back, I wanted to curl up into a little ball on my bed and cry. I literally felt like everyone who had ever told me that I was good in my entire life lied to me. It was not a fun feeling. Of course, I texted Andrew about it and he made me feel a lot better. I can't say enough for having a husband who loves and supports you, or for listening to your voice on quality speakers. Haha! I uploaded the video of me singing onto YouTube and listened to it on my computer speakers and felt MUCH better about myself. Haha!

I've also been thinking a lot about teaching sewing lessons and I'm gonna do it! I think it's the perfect opportunity for me since it's something I could easily teach from my home and have a fun time doing! Super excited about it!

SO THERE YA HAVE IT! If you made it all the way to the end of this post, thanks for reading! I try not to post these novels too often, but hopefully you don't mind it every now-and-then! Just for journaling purposes. ;)

What have I got planned for this week? Well, number one priority would definitely be Chelsea's birthday dress, but I've also got another tutorial planned! Plus, I've got play dates planned for just about every single day this week. It's gonna be fun! Promise I'll post on Instagram and Snapchat so follow me there!

Instagram: @suesnews_cl
Snapchat handle: suesnews

Thanks again guys!

Floral and Stripes – How to calculate pleats

April 22, 2016

I've been wanting to throw this pattern combination together forever, but I guess I never found a floral that I really liked, or wasn't brave enough to try it until I discovered the fabric for this skirt in the clearance bin at Hancock. I found it while I was still pregnant with Barrett, but I knew exactly what I was going to do with it once I had my body back.

By-the-way, did you know that Hancock is closing? Yeah, the whole store. Everywhere. Closing. I'm bummed.

If you didn't notice, it was pretty windy the day I took these pictures, but I decided to just role with it. I LOVE the midi length of this skirt because I don't have to worry about wind blowing it in such a way that all will be revealed... or sitting down and all will be revealed... or crossing my legs and all will be re-... anyway, you get it. I love the midi length. Plus, the print is stellar and the fabric is so smooth and silky, and doesn't wrinkle easy. Love. It.

So, it's been a while since I wrote up a tutorial for sewing or anything, and while I don't have photos to give you a full tutorial of how to make this skirt, I thought it would be SUPER helpful to explain to you the mathematics behind the pleats. Sure, you can eyeball it and that's fine, but things go a lot more smoothly if you can figure out the math. So here we go!

Step 1: measure
Decide where you want the top of your skirt and measure around your waist. My measurement was about 32".

Step 2: panel width
Divide your waist measurement by 2, then multiply by 3.
This is the width of each panel (front and back)

when you're buying/cutting your fabric, add an extra inch for a half inch seam allowance on either side

Step 3: fabric for pleats
Subtract half of your waist measurement from your panel measurement (48-16)
What is left over is how much fabric you have to work with for your pleats (32")

Step 4: pleat measurement
For this skirt, I chose to do 5 knife pleats, which means there are 10 places I bunched the fabric up to create a pleat, and 6 "show" areas.

First we'll figure out how much fabric each pleat will use up.
Divide the amount of fabric you have to make pleats for (32") by how many pleats you're making (32/10 = 3.2 or 3 and 1/5)
*converting decimals into fractions will help you get the measurements right with your measuring tape.
The answer to this equation is how much fabric each pleat will use up.

Step 5: "show" area measurement
So you have 6 areas between the pleats that will show. Divide half the width of your waist measurement and divide it by 6 (16/6=2.67 or 2 and 2/3).
The answer to this equation is how much fabric each "show" area will be.
*you can double check your work by multiplying the answer to the "show" area measurement by 6, then multiply the answer to the pleat measurement equation by 10 and add the two together and see if it equals the panel width.
(6 x 2.67) + (10 x 3.2) =
16.02 + 32= 48.02

Step 6: add 1/2" for seam allowance
Make sure you add half an inch on either end of the panel for seam allowance!

And that! Is how it's done. (COOL BEANS!) Just keep the big picture of the panel and pleats in mind and you'll be able to reason it all out in your mind. I often draw a picture of the panel and pleats to help me get a clear picture/idea in my head.

 Any requests for another tutorial? Any questions? Leave a comment!

Good luck, guys! Thanks for stopping by today!


Barrett's Baby Blessing – April 10, 2016

April 17, 2016
Saturday night, I made sure I had the girl's snacks in their own separate bags, toys, and books (distractions) ready to go and even laid out Barrett's outfit for the next day. Blessing days are just about my favorite days. It's the day that I really get to see Andrew's testimony in action and the day where I get a peek into my baby's future. And it's the day when I'm reminded how much the Lord loves us, especially the child he's lending me and Andrew for a little while.

It's also the day I feel overwhelmed by the love and support of my family! I am so grateful to be living so close to my family! They are such amazing examples to me and I get teary-eyed just thinking about it!

We are so blessed to have all these wonderful people (and more) in our lives!

The Stange Family: Generations
Doesn't that sound like a movie title?

Don't mind the hungry baby...

Now you know where I get it from! Isn't my mom so beautiful?!
Also, the two of them together look like the Fourth of July.

And now you know where Andrew's sisters get it from!

You would not BELIEVE how long it took us to get this one good picture! #timeforbed

The beautiful Aunt Kara had to show them how it was done! (the girls call her Aunt Carrot)

I found his cute white dress shirt/onesie and pants from a kid's-clothes resale store (Kid-Kid) and picked out the stitches that attached the collar to the neck because I wasn't loving the look of the collar on my baby, then I made his cute little vest out of leftover corduroy. I love how it all came together!

The blessing itself was so beautiful and so perfect. I teared up a little as I was taking notes when I heard Andrew say "I bless you with a desire to serve a mission to bring your brothers and sister back to the fold." It is so important to me that my sons (and my daughters if they feel called to do so) serve missions, and the Lord knows it. That one little facet of Barrett's blessing spoke so much peace to my soul.

He was also blessed with a love for our family and a desire to have his own family to be sealed to. What more could a mother wish for her son?

As all the men who were gathered around Barrett for the blessing began walking back to take their seats, Chelsea gave each of them a hug. Haha! It was so sweet, and then Andrew sat down with Barrett in his arms (who had been awake for the entire blessing, but totally peaceful) and spent the next few minutes smiling at him, just to watch him smile back.

I am so grateful for the priesthood and that my husband worthily holds that Priesthood, allowing him to bless me and our children. His example is a rock of foundation that our family stands firmly on. I thank my Heavenly Father every day for Andrew.

What better way to start your life than with a blessing and words of comfort and encouragement from a loving Father in Heaven?! I know that He loves all of His children and has a plan for us all. As long as we listen to Him and follow His council, He will direct us for our good.

What do you believe? Leave a comment!

Happy Sunday!
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