January Recap

 E9

Is it really time to recap January already? I usually don’t do this but I was somewhat surprised to see that today was the last day of the first month of the year. My birthday month, the month to break resolutions, the month with a wide variety of weather: warm, icy, mild, windy, wet, foggy, etc. etc. But for me the attribute that stands out the most this month is: PRODUCTIVE! Yes, January has been a very productive time in my sewing studio. I’ve come across this post and started buying up all the long & short sleeved tees for both my girls to pimp refashion into easy, breezy, beautiful dresses. What’s so awesome about this project was that not only could I knock out several of these in a week but also the fact that I could use up larger fabric scraps from my stash. Especially for my 16-months-old all I needed was a seven inches!!! That makes room in my stash and gives me an incentive to start shopping the newest spring fabrics that are out there. Also, I am way ahead of spring & summer clothes shopping for both girls. All my six-year-old ever wants to wear are dresses & skirts anyway so this project is a match made in heaven.

SedaNewLibertyDress

So far this is what I’ve finished.

photo 3

Matching Liberty London dresses, one with a collar! My first time ever sewing a collar on a dress, the little one with a placket & three bottons (also something I don’t typically do!) I especially love the pleats on the baby’s dress. I think they are so preppy.

photo 2

Here is another view of the navy t-shirt dress with Liberty fabric. My husband preferred it without a collar and although I like it simple and clean as well I wanted to push myself and draft & sew a collar – just once.

I’ve decided to not let the girls wear their dresses before the end of winter. They have too many cute clothes that need some wear this season. One exception will be the Valentines Day dress I’ve already finished for Seda.

 photo 1 (2)

I’ve used this turquoise and red Hamburger Liebe fabric from Germany.

This pair of matching dresses has already been worn and washed multiple times since I made them two weeks ago for our MLK day photo appointment at JC PENNEY.  They wear easy, wash easy, no ironing, no nothing! Easy, breezy, … you get the  point.

P24

And how about these two peasant dresses for Stella I’ve whipped up this month?

StellaPolkas

This polka-dotted cuteness she’s worn several times already. It’s the softest denim I’ve ever sewn with.

photo (1)

And this above version is so light & sheer. My favorite from Anna Maria Horner’s 2013 Field Study line. I’ve made a dress for Seda from it last year. She’s worn it all over Europe. Hoping she’ll still fit it this summer. She loves ‘being twins’ with her little sis’. 🙂

 photo 4

I love dressing up my girls and taking hundreds of pictures. Unfortunately, the little one couldn’t care less about having her picture taken. Needless to say this picture below is not making it on the family wall. Who wants to look back in 20 years and say: WOW! That’s a HUGE cell phone!! She didn’t smile ONCE in this hour-long shoot.

P10

Good thing I purchased the photo session on Groupon. The $25 bucks I’ve spent still yielded ONE decent shot of all three kids:

 P11

We got the above printed on canvas (On the final version they managed to cover up the phone in the corner.) :- Also we got a bunch of super cute individual shots of the older two:

P5

P7

The baby wanted to be ‘behind’ the camera if you know what I mean. I think she believes the camera, iPad, iPhone, AND the remote are all hers! 🙂 That little thing got us ALL wrapped around her finger. But who can say no to this?

P27

I’ve tried to get a cute picture of the girls with daddy this past weekend but managed only ONE so-so shot.

photo 5

The baby preferred running around and terrorizing playing with the ducks. Oh well…

photo (2)

This one is a tom boy I am certain of it. She competes with her big brother in activity level and dribbles the ball down the field like no other! Seda at this age was perfectly content watching the happenings from her beloved stroller with snack in hand. No need to get out climb, run, etc. etc. She had barely a scratch until she turned three. This baby is already completely scratched up, bruised up, banged up … It’s crazy. I thought it was going to get easier with the third one….

 photo 4

Anyway, in other news I’ve now decided on the final fabric combo for Stella’s first quilt. I am staying with the coral hues but added this mustardy yellow to it. It’s Anna Maria Horner’s XO’s – how could I resist.

 photo (3)

I am hoping to start that once the Valentines heart hangers (see inspiration here) for the kid’s classmates are done. I’ve also got another birthday present to sew. It’s a shame I can’t sew anything for one of my son’s friend’s birthdays but for my daughter I have endless ideas. I am definetely sticking to matching doll & girl outfit. Seda told me I didn’t have to make a doll quilt. She said correctly that it would take too long. She is so sweet. And thoughtful. I wonder who she got that from? Oh yes, her daddy of course!! 🙂

Love,

Yasemin

Reading, Sewing and a year older!

I love how reading blogs takes you all over the world. You get to peek into other mom’s lifes. See how they live with their children, how they create … I love looking through their lenses. They take breath-taking pictures. It’s so interesting to see how winter is so different in different parts of the county. From snow storms to beach days, from fog to rain to dry, sunny Texas-like weather. It’s all happening this month in the blogesphere. It’s gorgeous. I also enjoy seeing the cozy, candy-lit homes of European bloggers. I keep adding to my blogroll everyday. (See full list here.) What’s great is how supportive bloggers are of eachother. Today I’ve discovered Rosy Little Things on Probably Actuallys blog. I love the foggy winter pictures of Oregon with all the beautiful hand-knit baby sweaters & the floral print Alicia’s little girl is wearing. So beautiful. I’ve also been reading Whitney Deal’s blog: Darling Dexter ever since I saw it mentioned on Oliver+S. Again beautiful pictures & really exceptional eye for kid’s clothes. Again on the Oliver + S blog I’ve come across My Cakies last month. I love bloggers from California. You and Mie is another new favorite of mine from Cali! Their pictures remind me of my home of 7 years… Oh California dreamin’… I miss the beach SO MUCH!!! In other news, yesterday was my birthday.  I gave myself a little break from everything. I slowed down. It was perfect! Outside it was cold cold cold and grey! I can handle the cold with blue skies but that deary grey makes me just want to cuddle up on the couch … Naturally we couldn’t go to the park in the morning. But half way through the morning it dawned on me that this is exactly what I needed. Once the baby was napping I realized how great the gift of quite is. I could actually THINK! I could BREATHE deeply. So nice for a change. Even after the older kids came home from school we took it easy. I can’t remember the last time we build these block towers together …

 photo 1 (26)

All of us. Priceless! We are on-the-go and active way too often. It’s the simple quite that I am enjoying these days. I hope that’s not a sign of me getting old – or is it? 🙂 I don’t feel old. Actually, I feel very energetic & healthy! Thank goodness for that. This is me last year on my birthday:

 photo (81)

Seda took this picture of me when we were feeding the ducks after school. It was a cool but sunny and bright day last year. This year’s pic is taken inside. In our cozy living room in front of the fireplace.

 photo 2 (26)

I just love how Seda takes pictures. It’s and art really. Not everyone can do it. I love her patience with it too. Taking better pictures is on my list of improvements this year. First I’d like to trade in my old Canon for a newer model. And then I am going to READ the manual!! I hear that there are a few simple steps like shutter speed etc. that can improve the quality of the picture dramatically. More research to be done here still! Anyway, I better head over to my sewing table and hop onto the turn-a-t-shirt-into-a-dress train that I am on this week. 🙂 After all baby has just under another hour of sleep left … Have fun, stay healthy! Love, Yasemin photo 3 (23) photo 1 (27) P.S. These piles of new solid tees are awaiting me today. One is for Seda in size 7-8 y and the other is for Stella in 24 m. I purchased them all at the Children’s Place Outlet for less than $4 each! Score!! They are super soft & long-sleeved. I usually cut the sleeves to 3/4 length which I prefer. My original idea inspired by this post was to turn the girl’s old tees into dresses but let’s be honest: Who wants to spend time & use beautiful new fabric to turn and old t-shirt into a dress? I prefer these crisp – not too expensive – ones. At least the precious time I spent in my sewing room will be well worth it afterwards. Plus the baby’s worn t-shirts and onesies are so gross from food stains … Yuck! … January 27th: Update Here’s one of the many t-shirt dresses coming out of the oven these days :-): LibertyDressWithCollar I considered keeping it simple – at first – but went with a collar and fabric covered button addition in the end. TshirtDressLiberty   Well, my muse liked the details and can’t wait to wear it. As you can probably see I haven’t even hemmed it yet. Just wanted to get the picture out of the way while the weather was pleasant. This has truly been a roller-coaster-winter. SedaNewLibertyDress

Work in progress

I had to share this as it is ‘evolving’. I absolutely adore this little polka dotted thin & soft denim fabric.

photo 4 (8)

I purchased it at Hobby Lobby. It was $12.99 a yard. I only got a yard since I didn’t have a certain project in mind for it yet. I just knew it would look cute on anything for the girls. And does it ever look cute! It’s adorable actually & so easy to work with. So easy to add little details too!

I started off with my go-to pattern from this book:

photo 1 (24)

The pattern I’ve used is this one for a nightdress on page 84:

 photo 4 (15)

photo 5 (12)

I’ve sewn so many night gowns & tunics from this exact pattern for Seda since she was 2. Now that the baby is getting up there I HAD to sew something other than a skirt for her as well. But not just a night gown. A little dress she could wear over long sleeves now & later with bike shorts. Super comfy & playful. I’ve adjusted the smallest pattern (2-3 years) by several inches in the length and the width as well. I’ve shortened the sleeves and added drawstring to make it look more like a peasant dress than a nightgown. The dress is still very roomy but I just love it oversize on my little girl. And how about those cute ribbons? The deer – oh dear! 🙂 Finally, I get to use them!

photo 2 (25)

And I added the tiny red pom-pom ribbon to it as well for a pop of color. Red makes everything so much better and goes so well with white & denim! The ruffle on the bottom is also my own addition. It’s not in the pattern. I just used a strip of fabric double the width of the skirt, gathered it by hand first and then attached it to the bottom of the dress. I LOVE IT! All it’s missing now is a tiny little red bow or maybe a button around the neck. I think that would tie it together really well.

photo 2 (24)

photo 1 (24)

I had to share this one before I even hemmed the bottom. This is what I’m working on today. Hope you find some time to create.

Love,

Yasemin

Update: I finished the dress over the weekend & had Stella wear it right away! A-dor-able!!!

StellaPolkas

MLK Day weekend

First off, Thank you Dr. King for your contributions to humanity!

Friday started our fun-filled weekend. It was a weekend custom made for my sport-loving family: back-to-back soccer, basketball & futsol games! Friday night through Sunday night! Also, some great football watching on Sunday as well! But as much as I enjoyed the athletic part of the weekend I also enjoyed getting haircuts with Seda, shopping for kid’s outfits for the studio visit on Monday, topped off by a visit to the Dallas Zoo yesterday!

Friday afternoon: First haircut of 2014:

photo (21)

Then off to a sunset-soccer game:

photo (17)

Saturday morning basketball:

photo 5 (11)

Sunday shopping with only the girls:

photo (16)

And, since when does Restoration Hardware look like this? Wow! I think I need to get out more often :-).

photo 3 (18)

Monday morning photo studio: Kids are ready to get their pictures taken.

photo 3 (20)

Well, not everyone is ready or HAPPY!

photo 1 (22)

And this one is always ready for the camera even if the camera man isn’t …

photo 2 (23)

Right after the studio a quick visit to Whole Foods Market to get re-energized. See, how happy the baby is now? 🙂

photo 4 (14)

And then off south to the Dallas Zoo! 

photo 1 (21)

The colors were gorgeous on this perfect holiday with temps in the upper 60’s and a clear blue sky!

photo 5 (9)

Stella loved her first visit to the zoo. The bigger the animals the better. Those giraffes were so cool! She kept calling them: doooogs … We’ll have to come back more often so she can get that straightened out. With $5 entrance until the end of February that should be doable!

photo 2 (22)

The giraffes were very friendly. We didn’t pay an extra $5 to feed them but they were happy to just reach for whatever else we had in our hands and came really really close anyway.

photo 3 (19)

All in all, we had a great weekend! So today, Tuesday, feels like a Monday to me with the kids off to school, and the baby napping already. The house is extremely quite and my PC decided to work for now …. Thanks Windows. 

Late last night, I’ve done some advance-cleaning in order to have more sewing / creative time at day light this morning. These days I am into turning simple tees into dresses & tunics for my girls. I was so pleased with the way these dresses turned out I started ‘shopping’ my stash for for fabric options for the next project.

 photo (22)

The options are endless. The next dress is going to have a circle skirt instead of the above bubble skirt.

I (heart) sewing! 🙂

Yasemin

 

 

This week in pictures

I’ve been following blogs from overseas for a while now. One thing that I notice that they all do is a post about their typical day / week in pictures. Not too much text. Just simple captions. No lengthy tutorials, descriptions, paragraphs, just pictures. They mostly use Instagram as a means to communicate with their followers on a regular basis and do post online weekly, bi-monthly or some even just one a month. They also do a lot of guest blogging. Hmmm? That has me thinking …

I use Instagram as well (mosbyfamily). I love how you can edit the pics there. You get a glimpse. Love that. Even the most mundane things look cool on Instagram. Like this selfie Stella took of her shoes! She used some filter… don’t ask me… I didn’t do it! 🙂

photo 2 (18)

 

I’ve been trying to remember to take pictures of things we do on a daily  basis. Most of us have a certain routine that we do (with small exceptions – of course). For us this week was sort of busy but only once the older kids came home from school. My mornings with the baby were pretty relaxed & nothing out of the ordinary. The weather was pleasant. A little too cool for the park early in the morning, a little too windy later on but still we could keep our routine going this week.

photo 1 (17)

Stella and I took many walks and realized how brown all the grass around us has gotten, how bare the trees are but how beautiful the winter sky still is and so bright & blue!

photo 2 (19)

 

I am glad she discovered the camera app on my phone. Usually she calls people or just deletes my apps which can be very frustrating for me. She is also getting better at giving me my phone back once we are ready to get back in the car or whenever I feel like she’s wipes her little finger across my screen enough. Also, today is her 16 months birthday!! (Pictured here in the new bubble-skirt-dress that I am making for both girls this week. I got the inspiration to turn a simple tee into a dress here.)

photo 3 (17)

 

I can only snap a really quick pic before she reaches for my phone! 🙂 It’s too funny!!

photo 3 (15) photo 1 (18)

photo 4 (12)

She is getting so fast on her feet now & so talkative too. We even noticed she likes to imitate the songs on the radio. Super out of tune. No wonder. She got that from me :-). Sorry Butch!

Oh, have I shown you my newest fabric treasures? What a steal these were and how cute are the polka dots!!!

photo 4 (8)

I purchased only very little of each  but I already know I am going back for more of the top one (thin denim with tiny white dots). I can turn another t-shirt into a dress adding the denim. Oh, my girls would love that!

All in all, a very nice week for our family.

Happy weekend everyone!

Yasemin

P.S. I’ve updated my list of daily online reading here. I’ve come across new European bloggers that I LOVE!

 

 

 

What a week

photo 1 (11)

Last week was packed. Back to school, back to EVERYTHING! It included lots of cleaning the house – 2 weeks of all five of us here took a toll on my obsessive organizing & cleaning. Well, time was better spent enjoying each other’s company and exploring our town, eating out, shopping, having company over etc. I can truly say that I felt like the cleaning lady of the house once everyone was out of the house Monday morning. It was hours and hours of sweeping, scrubbing, wiping, mopping, vacuuming, folding a DOZEN loads of laundry!!! I almost passed out.

 

photo 1 (14)

photo 4 (7)

photo 2 (15)

(Who needs a gym when you have two thousand square feet of wooden floors to mop?)

Baby Stella was under the weather and instead of sleeping more she whined more and wanted to be held – more! We couldn’t even do our morning walks to the park because of the bitter cold and wet weather. So no distraction here. I felt especially sad for my older two who didn’t get any recess ALL week. That’s got to suck big time. Couped up at school for seven hours! The weather didn’t improve until the weekend which didn’t really make a difference on Saturday because we had an early basketball game and friends over at 2 pm. No park time. Just more cleaning for me! 4 hours non-stop post game & before company arrived!!! Carpel tunnel syndrome is no joke!!

I prepared a classic three course afternoon tea with my all-time favorite finger sandwiches, homemade chai, fresh minty iced tea and scones with whipped cream (didn’t want to make another trip to the store for clotted cream- sorry). Good company & good food almost justified all the work ahead but not quite … By the time our company had left I was cleaning again and opted for a taco take-out for dinner. Had I cooked that night it would have been the straw that broke the camels back. No kiddin’!

This week had everything g in it from house work (see above pictures), errands – lots of errands!, cooking, tutoring (kids’s started German lessons back up! Yeah for that!!), lots of indoor sports (basketball & futsal):

photo 3 (11) photo 2 (14)

We had a teacher’s birthday on Wednesday who I made this infinity scarf for:

photo (13)

Seda told me she wore it immediately and didn’t take it off all day!!! 🙂

And our neighbor’s daughter turned 11 on Friday. I made her this gift:

photo 1 (11)

Seda had been waiting for some clothes for her new doll since Christmas so I started on those:

Exhibit one is an everyday skirt with adorable ribbon sewn to the lower part of skirt. Polka dots for extra fun.

photo 3 (7)

 

Exhibit two is my first attempt to make a coat! No collar, no belt, but a cute golden bottom! Made from a left-over Henry Miller fabric I had in my stash’photo 1 (13)

And while I was at the sewing table I felt like making more of these just to have in my stash for last-minute birthday gifts:

photo 2 (12)

And these little hair bow ties inspired me to start my own flickr page. I posted & tagged the oliver+s group there. I love how easy these are to make & that the instructions are free. Thanks Oliver + S! 

And unfortunately a computer crash!!!! That’s also the reason why I am using my son’s kindle to write this post. But on a positive note – a very very positive note: I finally had an email exchange with the graphic designer who is going to be doing a logo for YaseminTea!!! This feels like a late Christmas gift to me or better yet an early birthday present. It was a long time coming … say since September 2013! Two unexpected set-backs from two different designers later we got a line of communication!!! I am over the moon about this recent progress and cannot wait to add a professional look to my site and a cute label to everything I sew. Fingers crossed I’ll have a working computer soon and a fresh look to my online appearance. 🙂 Stay tuned.

Love – always,

Yasemin

First thing’s first

photo 2 (11)

Today is sort of the official start of 2014. Back to school for the kids, back to the office for my husband. I feel like I have to set a lot of things in motion this month in order to lay a solid foundation for the months ahead. But despite the my mile-long to-do list I’ve decided today to take a step back. I’ve wrapped the kids up in their warmest clothes. Send them off with a huge yummy lunch & two snacks each and crawled right back into bed with my stuffy-nosed baby. Instead of driving myself crazy on the first day I chose to make a master plan but delay the execution to another day. I did make a couple of important phone calls, however, being completely lazy is just not my thing. But not being to hard on myself is also not going to be me – not this year!!!

I cancelled the baby’s doctor visit tomorrow. She is stuffed up and I don’t want to stress her out any more with shots etc. I found a new family dentist. I scheduled my husband’s vision exam. I made a couple more phone calls that were long overdue. Not personal ones. No. Just following up with places that charge us fees that we never approved. (Thanks Lifetime Fitness!)

Anyway, I feel that this is the tempo that I need to set for this week. Maybe even for this year.

As far as sewing goes, I feel I have a head start. Over the break I’ve fallen in love with two new sewing projects. One is the hair bow tie that I found on Oliver+S’s blog and made TONS! of ever since.

First set was for Seda:

 1504072_204834479704051_332125903_n

 

Next up, my neighbor’s three girls:

photo 1 (8)

And these I made for my friend MP’s daughter:

photo 1 (7)

And then I made some more – just because:

  madewithOver

The other one is for an infinity scarf. I found a short video on youtube (don’t ask me which one, there are literally thousands).I love scarves. I wear them all the time. I think scarves are the perfect accessory. All year long. Except maybe in the heat of the summer in Texas :-). I’ve already made three for myself (only have pics of two – sorry):

photo 2 (8)

photo 4 (6)

one for my friend Jen who we spent NYE with:

photo 3 (5)

And last night in less than one hour I made two more. Both from the same fabric I’ve purchased at Joann’s over the weekend. Love their sales!!!

photo (13)

One is for Seda’s Kindergarten teacher. She has a birthday coming up this week. The other one is for my friend Christiane in Germany. Her birthday is in February. I think they both are going to love & use them. These scarves are crazy fast  & super simple to make but I love the drama that the put around your neck.

Here’s to a year when ‘first things are first’!

Cheers,

Yasemin

Hello 2014!

I am ready to get this year started! 2013 ended on a really high note. Looking back it might have been one of the best years of my life! It didn’t start off too well. We returned from our Holiday trip to Kentucky in ice & snow AND with the flu!!! All of us. Even the baby. We were all miserable. I hated that Stella, 3 months old then, had to go through it too. Needless to say that the first days of 2013 are a blur .

But everything got better and better as the year got into motion. I loved having had the opportunity to visit my family in Europe in June & July. Also, visiting Copenhagen while in Germany was so much fun. The kids started at their new school and loved it! Stella started eating solids, learned to walk, talk, climb, jump! All three children had beautiful birthday parties in September. Each party was different. Each was so special and unique to them. We reconnected with lots of friends here in Dallas and really made it a home after being here only a year.

On New Year’s Eve this year when we were going around the table and ‘rating’ 2013 we all chose one word that described the year for us the best. My word is SETTLE! 2013 was the year when things settled into place. I really felt like we finally settled into our house. The furniture was in the right place, pictures were hung, we entertained at several occasions, etc. etc.

Now I am excited to see what 2014 will bring. I call it the year of decisions. We have one big decision to make: Are we going to move to Germany this summer or not? You heard me right. MOVE. Not visit. After our last visit I returned home to feeling really empty but determined. I felt like I finally had discovered what I’ve been missing in my life. I wanted to give Germany a chance. This time with the family. What an experience that would be. That’s the reason why I started paying for private German lessons for them back in October. At the end of this month I will be sending applications to the International School in Hamburg and see if my kids would be accepted there for next fall. Oh boy! What did I get myself into? This year will be the year of decisions. One way or another. I really hope that it will have the overall peaceful and loving vibe of 2013. I hope that my babies & my hubby stay healthy.  I hope that I stay healthy so that I can enjoy every minute of 2014 with my loves. By the way, I just did the math: There are 50.400 minutes in a year! Wow! I am planning on staying present in 50.000 of them! Life is truly precious. It’s even more so with small children. They grow up in a blink of an eye. I hope that we will have many ‘slow’ days this year to enjoy each others company. Just like we did over the holidays. Lazy days in PJ’s. Why wait until Christmas to do that?

I hope that your year will be full of special moments with your loves.

Happy New Year!

Yasemin