My Father’s Dragon: KCW Day 5

My Father’s Dragon

My Father's DragonThe Kid’s Clothes Week Fall 2014 theme is: storybook. There are so many ways to go with this theme! There is the more obvious costume feel (like my Princess Anna here) or a more inspired look (like these comfy reading PJ’s here). Some opted to screen print quotes or images onto tees or skirts. There are just so many wonderful ways to interpret this seasons theme.

I chose my storybook theme to center around one of my childhood favorites that I am now sharing with my children: My Father’s Dragon.


My Father's DragonDragon: 

For the dragon dress, I chose the Adele Dress by Violette Fields Threads with Robert Kaufman Laguna Stretch Jersey Knit in Royal (here) with red tulle accents.  I coupled the dress with DIY Leggings in Riley Blake Jersey Knit 1″ Stripes in Yellow (here).  With the boots we got from Hanna Andersson, the dress could not be a more perfect dragon!



For Elmer, I chose the Rowan Tee by Titchy Threads with Riley Blake Jersey Knit 1″ Stripes in Red (here).  I added a light blue knit color band and accent pocket with scrap knit I had.



My Father’s Dragon Photoshoot


KCW Fall 2014

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DIY Leggings Tutorial: KCW Day 3

DIY Leggings TutorialKids Clothes Week: Day 3

What is the best part of Fall? Leggings! The most comfy thing a girl (or boy) can wear!

As part of Kids Clothes Week, I am making a pair of leggings. The great thing about leggings is that they are incredibly easy to make.

This tutorial will walk you through how to make a pair of leggings by using a pair you already have as a guide.  However, you can check out this other fantastic tutorial here, if you need to make them from scratch using your own measurements.

Let the DIY Leggings Tutorial begin!

DIY Leggings Tutorial


  • 1/2 yard knit fabric (for tiny ones!)
  • 1 inch elastic band for waist (about 1/2 yard)
  • 1/4 inch elastic band for rushing (about 1/8 yard)
  • poof of tulle for accent (optional)
  • matching polyester thread
  • printer paper
  • tape
  • marker or pen
  • walking foot
  • ballpoint or stretch needle
  • double needle (optional)

Step 1

Fold your pair of leggings in half length-wise to use as a guide. Trace around the leggings onto a sheet of paper (or many sheets taped together) with a pencil or marker.  Once the outline is created, we are going to adjust.  Because the elastic band has made the waist slightly smaller, we are going to draw lines straight up to meet the top as shown in the picture below.

DIY Leggings Tutorial

Step 2

Add 1/4 inch seam allowance to the side that is not straight up and down.  The side that is straight up and down will be placed on the fold.

DIY Leggings Tutorial


Step 3

Add a one inch seam line to the bottom of the leggings as shown below.

DIY Leggings Tutorial


Step 4

Add 1 1/4 inch seam allowance to the top to allow for a 1 inch elastic waist band.  If you prefer a smaller waist band, use that size plus 1/4 inch.

DIY Leggings Tutorial


Step 5

Cut out fabric carefully.  Knits are prone to stretching, so they should be laid out on a flat surface.  Try not to stretch the fabric as you cut.

Since 2 legs are needed, you will need to cut out two pieces on the fold.  If the fabric has stripes, make sure the stripes are lined up by using one piece of cut out fabric as the pattern for the second as shown below.

DIY Leggings Tutorial


Step 6

Using your walking foot, double or twin needles if you have them, and polyester thread (for maximum stretch): Hem the bottom of both legs by folding the fabric in 1 inch.  #5 on my machine provides a good amount of stretch, however, a straight stitch can work if you slightly stretch the fabric while sewing.

  • Note: If you want to do the ruched sides, now is the time! Iron the fold seam, open fabric, and sew the elastic to the wrong side of the material at the bottom of the pant leg.

One the bottom hems are complete (and side ruched detail), with a single ballpoint needle, and the zigzag stitch of your choice: sew the leg seam together until you reach the curved point (crotch).  I like the zigzag with the straight line best: #10 on my machine. However, anything that give stretch to the fabric will work.

Once both legs are complete, sew the seams up the front and back (all in one go) making a U shape.


DIY Leggings Tutorial


Step 7

Add the elastic band to the top by encasing it in the excess 1 1/4 inch fabric.  Now the product is done and any decorations (such as the tulle poof can be added)!DIY Leggings Tutorial






Frozen Princess Anna Costume


Frozen Princess AnnaKids Clothes Week: Day 1

Today marks the first day of KCW Fall 2014. While I have been working on this project for some time, today it is finally finished and that is worth celebrating!

This year has been all about Frozen.  At first it was the music.  “Let it Go” played everywhere, and all the time, followed by “Do You Want to Build a Snowman”.  The latter was sung on repeat in our house for 2 weeks straight to prepare for the upcoming “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” musical audition.

All summer long we dreamed about Frozen.

As we approached Halloween, it was obvious that an Anna or Elsa costume would be in the works.  After Cadence got the part as the “Little Red-Haired Girl” in the Charlie Brown play, we decided that Anna would be the perfect choice as we already had a red-haired wig.

Frozen Princess Anna Costume Review

The pattern for Princess Anna is from Joy2Sew and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result!  While I made a few minor adjustments (as we all do!), this pattern was very well laid out and provided just enough instruction to make the sewing process comfortable.

Instead of painting on the design with the provided templates, I decided to use felt sheets and Heat n’ Bond. The skirt and cape I simply ironed on the designs, while the vest I opted to sew on for durability.  I also added a scalloped skirt hem line in a contrasting blue and shortened the skirt by about 6 inches to show off the boots.



See other Projects

KCW Fall 2014

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12 Projects for Middle School Organization: Part 2

Middle School Organization

A new Tuesday, a new project is typically how it works.  However, with the Princess Anna Halloween costume in the works, I split up the 12 Projects for Tuesday to cover 2 weeks! If you missed Part 1, check out the post here!

  • “How was school?”5327373397_Brenda_confused20look_answer_4_xlarge
  • “Good” 
  • “Do you have any homework?”
  • “I finished it on the bus.”
  • “All of it?”
  • “Yeah, all we had was math.”
  • “Are you sure? What about your ILA paper?”
  • “Oh yeah, that too”
  • “And don’t forget about your flute practice!”
  • “I think I have a test tomorrow in Science.”
  • “You think? Well, lets find out!” 
  • “I may have some flipped classroom assignments on the computer too.”

Middle school is a time of transition, for both students and parents.  Middle school differs in numerous ways from Elementary school: one of the most apparent is increased pressure on organizational skills.

The above example shows, not only the difficulty in my son’s ability to stay on top of what is due and when, but the reason why!  It is Complicated!

  • 6 separate classes, with 5 separate teachers.
  • Due dates that differ throughout the week.
  • Varying types of work due and assignments to complete.

It is no wonder so many students struggle at the start of Middle School! The previous post mentioned 6 projects for Middle School Organization that focused on the home set up:

1) Homework Station / Calendar

2) Homework Caddy

3) Chore Punch Card

4) Prepaid Debit Card for Allowance

5) Color Coding Agendas

6) Routine, Routine, Routine


This week I want to focus on Study Habits and Organization Skills!


Middle School Organization Part 2


7. Flashcards

I love infographics! I also love flashcards.  While there has been some debate as to whether they work or not, and for how long, it is hard to deny the results.  While cramming before a test is not desirable, the benefits of regular flashcard use is worth the try.  See the following infographic for more flashcard facts!



8. Textmapping

I found out about Textmapping on The Middles School Mouth, a super cool blog by the way! However, Texmapping originated here.   It is a super cool method for reading comprehension that can only be explained by checking it out! Hint: It is all about scrolls!

Middle School Organization


9. Planners, Agenda, & Planning Ahead

I love this article from  She really hits the nail on the head when she mentions that half the battle is paying attention in class.  The other half is homework/ studying.  She advises to look ahead on Friday- even when she thinks she has nothing due.  It is always best to look ahead and make a weekly plan-of-action.  If you can, find out when major tests are due (as they tend to come at the same time!) and plan your study time accordingly, so you are not studying for all tests at once!

Middle School Organization


10. Color Coding

I said it last week, and I will say it again: Color Code Everything! Either as the example shows below, or my favorite, a color for each class.

Middle School Organization


11. Proven Tips by Science

My favorite? Space it out: A relatively new learning technique called “spaced repetition” involves breaking up information into small chunks and reviewing them consistently over a long period of time.

Especially when dealing with ADHD!

Middle School Organization



12. Praise for effort, not intelligence!

“When you praise kids for their intelligence, they learn to view their failures as evidence of stupidity” – See more at:

Kids praised for intelligence often see being smart as something you are born with.  Studies have shown that when kids are praised for their natural intelligence they often choose easier tasks to avoid failing.

In contrast, kids who are praised for their efforts tend to view being smart as something you work hard to be.

So next time you praise your student, praise their efforts!

“Wow! You worked really hard on that! I can tell that you will do well if you keep it up!”

Middle School Organization


12 Projects for Middle School Organization: Part 1

Middle School OrganizationIt is no secret that middle school is a time of transition.  Students are leaving the familiar for the new, dependent learning becomes increasingly more independent, and social hierarchies are magnified.

As a mother of a first year middle school boy (with ADHD to boot!), I have learned that the middle school transition also applies to parents!  The homework routines that we as parents have learned to enforce seamlessly during the elementary years, often times do not smoothly evolve into successful middle school study habits.

Middle School Organization

Last Friday marked the end of the first 6 weeks of 6th grade, and upon reflection I realized that my son was not prepared for the level of organization needed in order to succeed.  More importantly, I was not prepared to help him become more organized! During the last 6 weeks, there have been tears, frustration, and anxiety, as we hastily prepared for major tests.  Moving forward, we must become more organized!

The following is a list of organization tips and tricks for school and chores.  Some I have tried, and others I hope to implement as soon as I possibly can!

1. Homework Station

There are so many wonderful ideas on Pinterest for homework stations.  So many, that I could hardly choose the best one for my family.  We have had many different stations over the years.  Often times they start out beautiful and seem to work wonders, then, a few months into the school year, the station resembles a junk drawer instead of a system of organization! In my opinion, the best implementation for homework, chores, and general schedule organization has been the magnetic or sticky calendars and daily planners for the refrigerator.  That way, you walk past it numerous times a day!



2. Homework Caddy

The homework caddy is a brilliant idea.  It takes the mess of the drawer and makes it portable! No more multiple trips to the cabinet to “get a pencil”, everything you need is all there! Determine the supplies your student needs and make sure the caddy is stocked!

middle school organization


3. Chore Punch Card

While this is being carried over to the middle school years, this is especially fun in the elementary years as well.  This is tried and true and has made doing chores fun in our family!

Middle School Organization


4. Prepaid Debit Card / Debit Card

After reading the post “Why Using Prepaid Debit Cards for Teens is Brilliant” on, I went out and got my son a debit card.  I opted for a regular debit card, tied to my account, so that I could monitor what was spent and make easy (and free!) transfers from my account to his for allowance and rewards.  It was one of the best decisions I ever made.  No more searching for cash.  No more delaying the reward.  It can also work in the reverse if money needed to be taken back as a consequence (however, we tend to focus on positive rewards for positive behaviors).  It also helps my son to develop a sense of responsibility and money management, as we go over the charges monthly and he transfers money into his savings as well.

Middle School Organization

5. Washi Tape Color Coding for Agendas

What can’t you do with Washi tape? Washi tape is so fun, it will make planning enjoyable for anyone! Each subject  has its own color, so you can see at a glance what is due when. This is something I have been doing since I was in middle school! Except, I used highlighters!

Middle School Organization


6. Routine, Routine, Routine!

This is my own tip for the day! Routine, routine, routine. Pick a time of day either in the morning, after school, or after dinner.  The timing doesn’t matter as much as consistency.  Surprisingly, more than anything else, this has cut down on the amount of homework resistance! Pick a routine and stick to it (with just a smidgen of flexibility) :)