Ainsley Dress – Pattern Release and Review

Made for Mermaids is releasing their newest pattern today, the Ainsley Dress.  This adorable dress combines a knit top with a woven skirt, so it’s perfect for using all those beautiful cotton woven fabrics you love!  I’ve been holding on to this adorable princess and unicorn fabric for months, not quite sure what to make with it.  But when I was selected to test the new Ainsley Dress I knew it would be perfect.  

I found a beautiful coral knit to use as the top of the dress and used the princess unicorn fabric for the skirt.  And Pumpkin was over the moon excited to watch me sew it up.  This sweet pattern has a gathered sleeve in short sleeves, elbow length or long sleeves.  It also has a flutter sleeve option. 

The skirt has a few options, too!  You can make a simple skirt or one with a faux button placket down the front.  There is also the option to add patch pockets and waist ties.  I love having so many options!  Pumpkin loved picking out buttons for her faux placket skirt.  She wanted “great, big” buttons!  Or unicorn buttons, but we couldn’t find any…..

…..but I think these great, big white buttons are perfect!  The front waistband lays nice and smooth, while the back waistband has an elastic casing to help pull the skirt in and give a great fit.  I love how it looks like two pieces, but it’s a dress!  

I normally prefer to sew with just knits as they are so quick and easy, but even with adding a woven skirt this pattern is quick and easy.  The tutorial is very straightforward and gives you plenty of pictures to help you along the way.  Pumpkin just loves her new dress and is already picking out more fabrics for more dresses!  That girl just loves a dress………..

Another great thing about this pattern is it mashes with other Made for Mermaids patterns!  You can mix and match the bodices and skirts of Ainsley, Brooklyn, Riley and Cassie to create all sorts of cute dresses!!  For Cupcake I used the Cassie bodice and Ainsley skirt to create a super sweet dress perfect for a 7-year old with a bit of sass.

 

This girl loves the cold shoulder option of the Cassie dress, so I knew she would love this Cassie/Ainsley mash up!  She was so excited to come home from school and see a new dress waiting for her.  She insisted on wearing it to school the next day!  I paired it with a Barbie headband and she looked so cute!!!  

The only thing she liked more than the cold shoulder is the pockets!  The Ainsley pattern comes with a patch pocket option, but I used the pocket piece from Cassie to add pockets to her skirt.  And made her sister jealous.  

This is such a sweet dress!  And I’m sure I’ll reach for it whenever I find cute woven fabrics for the skirt!  If you think you’ll do the same go ahead and pick up your copy of the Ainsley Dress pattern while it’s on sale!  (through Sunday)

 

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Kid Craft: Painting Rocks

Have you seen the rock painting craze that is going on everywhere?  We’ve been having so much fun this summer with one of our local parks departments painting, hiding and hunting for rocks!  This is such a fun craft for you and the kids!!

We have painted so many rocks this summer and I wish I’d have taken pictures of all of them.  I do have pictures of some and our parks department Facebook page has a lot of posts of rocks people have found.  The girls get so excited to look through the page and see one of their rocks being found and rehidden somewhere else.  And found again!  

Pumpkin and I (and no she doesn’t actually wear glasses, these are just for fun) spent one afternoon while Cupcake was at school painting and we had such a fun time.  You can see her big rock covered in ladybugs (which is currently “hidden” in our front yard) and a few smaller rocks, one of which is a monster.

This ice cream cone was her favorite that she painted that day.  I did the lines on the “cone” but she painted the rest.  She likes her ice cream with a lot of sprinkles!

She wasn’t the only one who had fun that day, though.

I might have had hubby pick up a bag of landscaping rocks for me the last time he was at the home improvement store, so I could have some smooth rocks to paint.  Most of the ones we find in the park are jagged.  This was a simple rock, painted with a base of acrylic paint and the design drawn with a metallic paint pen (similar).  

And then I got a little fancier.  After painting a base coat on this rock I sketched out my design in pencil, then used a fine tip marker to outline then fill in my mermaid design.  And I used a paint pen to write the words.

The supplies for this project are cheap and easy to find!  Rocks can be found anywhere, but if you want super smooth ones I would recommend buying some landscaping rocks.  And these little bottles of paint cost anywhere from $1-$4 each.  Pick up some small paint brushes for a few dollars and you are ready to paint!  The paint markers are a nice to have tool, but they’re not really necessary.  

This is probably my favorite rock so far!  After painting a pink base I sketched the unicorn in pencil, then filled it in with a fine tipped brush (shown).  Once the paint was dry I used the end of a toothpick to add the details and the outlining. And then Pumpkin insisted I add some glitter to her hair, horn and heart.  Because unicorns are glittery.  (She is a unicorn expert!)

If you plan to put these rocks outside I recommend you seal them with polyurethane.  You can find it in a spray can or in a bottle with the rest of the acrylic paints.

If you want a fun craft to do together, that doesn’t take a whole lot of artistic ability I would highly recommend picking up some rock and get painting!  It’s fun for all ages!!

 

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You’re a Wizard, Cupcake!

Cupcake is on a Harry Potter kick lately!  And I love it!  We just started the third book and it’s all she can talk about these days.  And despite the fact that Pumpkin isn’t reading the books the girls have been playing a lot of Harry Potter; practicing spells, playing quidditch, and drinking butter beer.  So when a local shopping center announced they were having a Harry Potter event I knew she needed to dress up for occasion.

When I told her we were going to the event and to head upstairs and get dressed she squealed with delight when she saw the new dress laying on her bed.  I used Made for Mermaids Harper, but added a little Harry Potter flair.  The pattern comes with the collar option, which was the look I was after, so it was a great place to start.  I found some Gryffindor fabric and used it to make a faux tie.  After much back and forth discussion with the hubby about how the tie should look I drafted a tie and “knot.”  I attached it to the bodice at the “knot” so it would still be flowy.

The flowy tie kept blowing in the wind.  🙂  She was a hit at the event!  We stopped to take a picture with this golden snitch and the artist who chalked it also asked to take her picture.  And then an organizer of the event also requested to take her picture.

The pattern typically has a solid skirt, but I added a stripe to the bottom, mainly because I accidentally cut the skirt too short.  But it adds a bit of extra fun to the dress, I think!

Look at her holding her tie down again.  So cute.  We had so much fun at the event.  She loved the bounce house and there was a bouncy “jump over the things or duck under the things coming at you” thing.  She wasn’t super interested in watching the chalkers chalk, but she did like to see the finished chalkings.  (I enjoyed watching them chalk!)

After all the fun we picked up some Chocolate Frogs and a butter beer and told me just how much she loved her new dress and that she had a great time at the event.  I was pretty darn happy to get to spend an afternoon just me and my girl.  

Just before bed she asked if she could wear her dress again the next day.  I suspect this dress will move to the front of the rotation every time it’s clean.  

 

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