This dress make-over is awesome because when you are finished, you will have two dresses since the second skirt is simply an overlay. We made this because my daughter needed a black outfit for her choir presentation.
The dress was a hand-me-down and I found the black satin with a grey fleur-de-lis pattern at Walmart for $1.50 a yard. I basically made a skirt to slide over the existing one and tie in the back and I love how it turned out. She looked so pretty and elegant... and still youthful even though she was all in black.
Let me qualify "One Hour" by saying that it may be rather more time if you are rushing and sew the wrong sides together the first time *ahem* or have multiple children who need you about once every thirty seconds. All things considered, I think two hours was terrific.
I do not include a tutorial here because I am lazy. Also, if you don't have a good handle on basic sewing, you should probably use a pattern instead of hacking it. If you are a decent sewer and can make an apron, you can figure this out. The waist band construction is very much like that of a half apron. I made it larger than the actual dress skirt and the ties can just be tied tighter to adjust the fit.
Somewhere between 4 and 7 children, my Christmas Eve's started getting pretty hairy. We don't pile on the gifts but even so, they do seem to multiply. We attend Midnight Mass and by the time we put the kids to bed, find all the hidden gifts (that is a challenge in itself) wherever I have them stashed, and wrap them and clean up, I'm looking at about a 5am bedtime. What a way to ruin Christmas morning for mom!
The solution came one year as I was poking around the internet: Fabric gift bags. Lots of them in all shapes and sizes. It does require an initial investment of sewing time, but come Christmas Eve, I believe that every stitch is worth it. This is my third year and I add a few every year to account for any odd sizes and shapes. I am also starting to add tiny bags for stocking stuffers.
How do I make them? Well... if you can sew a straight line, you're good. Cut out a rectangle or square in your preferred size, hem one edge and stitch together on the three leftover sides. You can add an attached ribbon but I forego that since I don't know how exactly how a gift will fit inside until Christmas Eve. Kimberlee has a beautiful book wrapping tutorial HERE that includes a ribbon tie..
Do the kids miss tearing off wrapping? Nope. They don't seem to care at all. They are grateful, however, that mama is not so grumpy on Christmas morning.
Holiday Homeschool Scheduling
(For those of you wondering how to do it all...)
I hear this complaint every year and have issued it myself: I just don't feel into it this year. I don't have the spirit yet. You and I both know that Christmas comes whether we're feelin' it or not, but there are some things we can do to beat the blahs and get our twinkle back. I highly recommend, for example, that you find yourself some sacred music to drink deeply into your soul. There's a reason that the church elevates certain types of music... because there is music for the ears and music for the soul. Drink deeply, my friends, drink deeply. I recorded 17 seconds of my kids singing with their schola here for illustration and your enjoyment. I wanted to record more but, you know, babies happen...
What are your favorite Christmas short-cuts? I personally need as many as I can get!