About me

Hi! I'm Shelly - mother of 5 and wife to the best man in the world. We love to play games and watch movies together. I have a passion for crafting in all it's forms - sewing, scrapbooking, bow making, painting, mod podge, you name it and I'll try it. Hope you enjoy our family adventures and crafts!

How I Became Shared Jelly

When my husband and I first got married we used to get messages on our answering machine for "Shared" and "Jelly" instead of Jared and Shelly. The first time we chuckled a little over it and by the fourth or fifth time, we decided the name should stick somewhere. And so, I've been sharing jelly all over the internet since. Enjoy!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

LA Natural History Museum

Jared had a day off not last week and we took the kids up to the Natural History Museum in LA.  The last time we went, Hunter was less than a year old, so we were quite overdue for a visit.  It was great.  It was pretty busy because of the holiday, but it's so big that there was plenty of room to get around and so much to see. The kids really enjoyed it.  Gave them something a little different to do on their day off.  Can't wait til their new dinosaur exhibit opens this summer.  We'll have to go back.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Making Your Own Pattern

I often make dresses and things from my own patterns.  It is not as hard as it looks and you learn by trial and error.  If you mess up, oh well.  Just keep trying.  I've made plenty of things that didn't turn out or would never actually fit a real body.  If you are worried about it, but cheap remnants (like I do) or find someone who has fabric scraps you can practice with.  What have you got to lose?

Usually I take a dress that they already have and copy the pieces to put together.  This time I made my own because the only dress I have in this size is a baby size and I wanted a big one.   I'm sure some of you that read my blog have no intention of ever sewing a dress, so you can skip this if you want.  But for those of you who are curious to try, I hope this shows you that sometimes sewing without a store bought pattern can be really simple.  Go ahead and try it.

I'm sure that there are people who really know what they are doing and are cringing at how poorly made this dress is, but for now I just use the little knowledge I have and it works well enough.  It is a really simple design and uses only a few pieces.  You could easily make a dress for a child out of an extra yard of fabric you have.  Here is a rough pattern for the pieces I used. 
I took some measurements and made a pattern from some tracing paper that I had lying around.  This dress isn't really form-fitting, so you can make it as loose or tight as you prefer.  You can also adjust the length to what you want.  I used the extra fabric left over from the scarf I made not too long ago.
 You need two of the big piece, two of the smaller top of dress and four of the sleeve.
I started by sewing the sleeves.  I sewed around the two curved edges and then cut some slits around the edges so it has room to move when you turn it inside out.

I turned them inside out and did a top stitch over both seams.  You will see these stitches on the top of the dress, so use matching threads.

The sleeves are done, you can set them aside.  Now take the little pieces that fit on the top of your dress where it meets the collar. If you would rather, you can just fold your top piece down and sew it. I like the thickness of doing the second piece of fabric, so do whatever you want. I sewed my little piece on top and did a top stitch over it like I did on the sleeves. 

Now you pin together your sleeves onto the dress with the right sides together.  Sew the pieces together. 
  You have finished all of the hard parts and it's almost all done.  Sew up the sides of the dress.

Then sew the part under the sleeves between the bottom of the sleeve and the top of your side seam.  The fabric will want to fold over there naturally because of the seams you have sewn earlier.  Go ahead and fold it where it wants to fold and sew it on both sides.

The only thing left is to hem it up and embellish if you want.  My dress is a solid color so I added some texture by creating a ruffle for the front out of a long straight piece of fabric.  You can leaves the edges raw (since knit won't fray) but I folded the edges over and stitched mine this time. 
As you can see, my ruffle is not even really that straight. I was not so smart and I pinned it on crooked and had to take out the stitches and resew this part.  It still is not perfectly straight.  Oh well, you live and learn. She's only 7, who will care, right?  I'm just glad that I get to pick the length of the dress and don't have to worry about it being too short.  It always bothers me that they make little girls dresses so short.  I guess I'm a big prude. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

9 months

I'm a little late in posting her 9 month landmark, but here it is anyways. My baby girl is growing up so fast.  She is crawling, has 7 teeth, and is getting her little personality.  Can't get enough of her cheeks. They are just so kissable.  We love her so much (the kids maybe love her a little too much sometimes).

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Knit Flower Embellishment

I made this dress for my baby girl the other day. I'm going to make another one for big sis really soon.  I made my own pattern.  The pieces are super simple to do yourself.  On the next one, I'll show you how to make your own.  For now, I wanted to show you the flowers at the top.  They are so simple and you can put them on knit clothing you want.

I started by cutting some flowers by hand. As you can see they are far from perfect, but it will totally not matter for this project. I love that.  If you are a perfectionist, I'm sure you can find a flower pattern online to copy.
I cut four of each and layered the one with five petals on top of the four.

I lined them up and sewed an x in the center.  The great thing is that the knit won't fray in the wash and they also curl up so much that you won't see the imperfections.  So easy, right?  You should try it on one of your shirts! 

Updated Pacifier Clip

I don't like how icky and gross the pacifier straps get after being loved and drooled on by a baby. Luckily, they are super easy to update.  All you need is a length of ribbon and a little bit of velcro (or use the ones from the original strap)

Start by cutting off the old strap on the pacifier clip.  (use a seam ripper to remove the velcro if you want to reuse it)  Keep the clip part. Cut your ribbon 9 inches in length. (The law is that babies shouldn't have anything longer than 6 inches for choking hazard reasons - the other 3 inches is for sewing. I won't tell if you like your strap a little longer, though) Don't you love my awesome red starry pajama pants as a backdrop?
Get your ribbon ready by taking a match to the ends.  As you come close to the ribbon, it will melt down a little bit to keep the edges from fraying.

Loop 1 inch of ribbon through the clip and sew in place (this should leave room for the foot of your machine).
I sew two seams about 1/8 of an inch apart for extra durability.

Then sew your velcro to the other end on the back side of the ribbon.  Mine are sewn about 2 inches apart to allow room to put the pacifier in easily.

That's it!  You are done.  So easy, right?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Spring Dress

Someone at church came up to me and said, "I heard that you sew." Immediately my mind was reeling with what they could possibly need or want me to sew for them, but instead, I was pleasantly surprised.  She had a pattern and fabric that she had good intention of making at some point and never actually gotten around to.  Did I want them?  Yes!  And here is the cute dress I got for free (just put in some sewing time).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Heritage Day

The kids had a heritage day at school last week.  At first I had no idea how to do this, but then I remembered that Jared is a 1/4 Italian and has 6 Italy shirts in his closet. I stuck one on Hunter, but Cameron was much too small to fit in an XL Mens shirt.  So I took out a plain blue shirt he had in his drawer and made this for him.

Its hard to see in the picture, but the flag is a little off because I was working around a pocket on the shirt.  Anyways, he's excited about it and it worked perfectly for his heritage day.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Our Valentine's Day

I always enjoy making fun pancakes for the kiddos on the holidays.  Here are my Valentine's pancakes.
A little red food coloring and a creativity goes a long way.  They are pretty simple really. I just poured the batter into a V-shape. Perfect for anyone you love.
I had lots of fun activities planned for us for Valentine's Day.  We decorated paper bags and exchanged Valentines
 The kids made the Valentines last Thursday so we could mail some and keep some for the exchange.  Plus Mom had some treats for them (M&M's and fun twisty heart straws)

We played Valentine's Bingo. I got the Free Printable from Lil Luna 

and Daddy even got roses for us.  He has this thing about not getting flowers because they just die in a couple days. So he bought us our own mini rose plants

We also had the kids eat early, then watch a movie while Jared and I enjoyed some steak "alone"  together. I'm proud to say that this is the first steak that I have cooked really well - not tough and full of flavor.  Yay!

Then we all enjoyed some little heart shaped apple pies together.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Turquoise Shirt To Baby Dress

Sometimes I  wish I had more time to bargain hunt.  I wish I had time (money) to go to thrift stores and clearance stores to look for good bargains on clothes.  Seriously you can do so many cool things to update good finds.  Some day.  For now, I got a bag of clothing from my MIL.  It was all super cute, new clothing, but everything was teen size XS and 1-3.  Needless to say, I could never wear it and I wasn't sure I wanted to hang on to it all hoping the trends would still be the same in 5-10 years when my girls would fit in them.  Anywho, I ended up giving them to a family I know with super cute petite girls.  I did however, hold on to this shirt.
It was cute, but had a big tear in the back on the bottom.
I held on to it knowing I could turn it into something fun later.  So here is what I did. . . I Cut the front out and the back out like this.

Then I cut the sleeves down like this

I sewed them back together and here is what I got

A cute little dress for my cute baby girl.  I love the color.  I kept the edges raw  on the sleeves and the bottom of the shirt.  The shirt came that way anyway.  It works perfect.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Purple Shirt Upcycled To a Baby Dress

I had an old maternity shirt that I no longer need but I really liked the color and feel of the material.  So I decided to upcycle it into a new shirt for my baby girl.  It had elastic at the bottom to fit under my big pregnant belly.  This is the part I used for the new shirt. I started by just cutting off the bottom portion of the shirt.

I measured over ten inches (because my baby has a 20 inch chest) and sewed through both sides of the material.

Then I cut off the extra portion and used it to make a couple of straps.

At this point I tried it on my baby girl to see where I wanted the straps to go.  I marked the fabric with chalk (although pins would also work just as well). I also measured over her shoulders to see how long I wanted them.  I sewed the straps in place and here is what I've got.

I left the bottom edge raw because this fabric is thin and extra stretchy and  I didn't want to risk it puckering, stretching or warping in my machine.  I'm not that good with knits yet.  So many secrets left to be learned.  I like how it turned out, though and it will be fun to wear in the warm weather.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Knit Ruffle Scarf

I found this idea on one of the blogs I follow and now that I'm looking for it to give them credit, I can't find it.  Anyways, it's pretty easy and inexpensive to make one of your own.  I bought 1 3/4 yards of this pretty knit material (and I will have lots left over for more projects later.)

For this project you will need four strips measuring 5 inches by 60 inches.
**(if you don't want lots left over, you can do 8 strips measuring 5x30 with a 42 inch nap - that's only 5/6 of a yard)

Set aside one strip for the back of your scarf 
**or sew two of your 30 inch strips together to make one long strip and set aside

Now, you are going to work on your ruffles.  I started by making small chalk marks along both sides every inch for reference.
Pinch the material up from one chalk line to the chalk line two up from it and pin on each side (the chalk line in between should be on the inside fold).
When you get to the end of the strip, just tuck the next piece under your fold and keep going.  You will sew them together when you sew it to the backing.  Keep doing your ruffles until you have your full length.  (3 strips 60 inches long or 6 strips 30 inches long)

Now you are ready to sew.  Start on one side of the scarf. Line up your back piece with the edge of your ruffles and sew down the side making sure it stays lined up as you go.
I sewed both sides with my ruffles down (as above) so that I wouldn't have to worry about them getting stuck under my sewing foot.  Once you are done with both sides, you are going to sew down the middle (this will keep your scarf together so that it lays flat).
Now, your scarf is finished.  I took my scissors to some of my uneven edges and did some light trimming up where I didn't sew it exactly perfect.  It's pretty forgiving, though.

TA DA. I couldn't decide which way I liked it wrapped better so I have two showing two different ways you can wear the scarf.  My model was excited to do the pictures until I made her brush her hair first - thus the lack of smiling.  Oh well. 

I'm giving this one away as a gift, but I may just have to make another for myself.  It's good that I have extra material!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Steelers Shirt or Onesie

Since the Steelers are my hubby's team, I made this little cutie for our babes to wear this Sunday. Go Steelers! Love you honey!
I used some fusible web to just iron on the shapes.  If you want it to last longer, sew around the edges to reinforce it. I am not taking this extra step this time because this is the last 12 month onesie my chunky girl is ever going to be able to fit in.  It's a one occasion deal. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Flower Hair Bows

While I was making my headbands, I couldn't resist making a couple of hair clips, too.  I made a purple silky flower one using the same technique as the red flower headband.  If you use silky polyester material, it melts around edges.  This was a thinner material than the red material so it actually curls up a little in the areas that I melted.  I like the curled up edges effect it has.  
  • I started with some circles of varying sizes that I cut by hand - they do not need to be perfect circles.
  • I got out my lighter and brought it close to the edges of my circles. You don't actually have to touch the material, you will see it shrink back away from the flame when you get it close.
  • I piled up the circles from biggest to smallest (with the smallest on top) and sewed some small beads into the center for a little sparkle.  You could also use a button or anything else you like in the middle.
  • Once I got it how I liked, I hot glued it onto my clip.  
My daughter already knows which outfit she wants to wear this one with.

For this one, I used some crinkled up sheer material that I picked up in one of the remnant bins at Joann's. I have no idea what it is called, but it has a little sheen to it.  To start, you cut out several circles (all the same size).  One by one, you fold your circles into quarters and sew them together (or glue them).  Keep going until you have the fullness you want.  This is the same technique I used for the pink/white headband in my last post.
Click on the images if you want a closer look.