The Eighth Day of Christmas: While she was sleeping.

December 08, 2013

Aside from myself, our next guest is the first from the Southern Hemisphere.  Although, she is not literally from the Southern Hemisphere,  she calls Australia home now.  Jenya from While she was sleeping is here to share a gorgeous summer outfit inspired by her daughter.  Jenya makes gorgeous clothes for her sweet and funny little daughter.  Have a look at this gorgeous Mara dress and bolero she made for the Secret Squirrel challenge this month.  Jenya loves making dresses in particular.  I love this floral one  and this Debbie's birthday dress.  Jenya only lives a couple of hours away from me and we have become good blogging friends over the past couple of months.  We are looking forward to a zoo catch up one day soon! 
 
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Hi, my name is Jenya. I am a sewaholic and I blog over at While she was sleeping. It is a huge privilege to be here today.  The 12 Days of Christmas is such a fun series, don't you think? I love all the gorgeousness the girls have made!

I did not grow up celebrating Christmas. You see, I was born in the USSR.

After the Revolution, Christmas was scrapped. Celebrating the birth of Christ was not encouraged in the Atheist state. There were no more Christmas trees either. Traditions that made Christmas special for centuries we no longer observed. This meant that New Year's Eve became the main celebration. A few years later, Christmas trees returned, but they became known as New Year Trees. An angel was replaced with a star. Not the star that lead the wise men to Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus that we read about in the Bible, but the star you can see on the Kremlin towers. Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost) and his granddaughter Snegurochka (the Snow Maiden) bring presents to the children. People gather with their families and friends, enjoy delicious meals and exchange presents on New Year's Eve. And of course everyone loves the fireworks.


I loved New Year's Eve as a child. There was always something very magical about it. I remember when I was little and my brother even littler, our parents hired actors dressed up as Ded Moroz and Snegurochka. They came to our flat, and my brother and I had to do cute little things like perform a dance or recite a poem in exchange for our presents. One of the gifts from Ded Moroz that year was a pyrograthy set. We spent hours turning pieces of wood into pieces of art. Mum says she still has this set! I remember that I was very worried that Ded Moroz and Snegurochka might melt in the car after they left us.


Christmas is now celebrated in Russia again. Russia is an Orthodox country, so Christmas falls on the 7th of January. It is mostly a religious celebration.

So, I was born in the USSR, grew up in Russia, and I now live in Australia with my husband and our little girl. Christmas in Australia is celebrated on the 25th of December, and it is summer. We usually spend Christmas day with my husband's family in sunny Mildura, which is about 4 hours drive from us. We get together with the rest of the family and at first it gets a little crazy while we exchange gifts, but it sure is good crazy. We eat a beautiful hot lunch (as you do on a 40-something degree day) and just enjoy each other's company. It truly is a relaxing time with the loved ones. It is also a good opportunity to reflect on what I believe occurred many centuries ago - the birth of Jesus Christ.

As a token, my husband and I give each other one small silly present on New Year's Eve. Of course Little Monkey gets something, too!

My mum is coming over for a visit just before Christmas this year, which will make this special time of year even more special!

A special occasion calls for a special outfit. I have been wondering what I could make for Little Monkey this year, and then I got an e-mail from Suz inviting me to be a part of this series. Perfect!

I usually make practical things for my daughter, something she can wear anywhere any day. However this year I wanted to step out of my 'practical sewing' box and make her a party dress... but Little Monkey had other ideas.  She wanted a dinosaur dress.

You see, a few weeks ago we went fabric shopping together and she spotted fabric with dinosaurs printed on it. She grabbed the roll declaring it was her 'dinosaur dress', she carried it around the shop. The fabric was so cute I bought a metre of it. When we were at the cutting counter Little Monkey told the shop assistant the fabric was hers. She asked me to put it in her wardrobe when we got home. As soon as my husband returned from work she showed him the fabric. Every day after that she asked for her special dinosaur dress.

I could not disappoint my sweet little girl, so While she was sleeping, I made Little Monkey a tunic out of her special dinosaur fabric. I didn't think a white dress would be practical (see I slipped right back into my 'practical sewing' box).




It took me just about forever to find a pattern that would allow to showcase this fabulous print. In the end I settled on New Look 6016. It is a cute pattern with lovely rounded yoke with button closures and pleats on the front and the back.


This tunic is perfect for hot summer days. When it gets cooler Little Monkey can layer it with a short or long sleeve tee. I made it extra long so the tunic can grow with Little Monkey for quite a while.



The yoke and the buttons make this tunic look so Christmassy! This was completely unintentional. Little Monkey and I are a little obsessed with buttons, so we both appreciate these bright red buttons on bright green yoke. Yum!

I also made a pair of shorts for Little Monkey to go with her new tunic. I used the same pattern as for the shorts I made for November's Secret Squirrel sewing challenge. I love the shape of the shorts.


I just want to blow a raspberry on that tummy!


Little Monkey was excited about the buttons on her new shorts. 


I love it how lining can be seen when Little Monkey is monkeying around. Such a fun little detail.

OK, maybe this is not the party outfit I was going to make, but I am so glad I followed my daughter's lead and made her a 'dinosaur dress' and tulip shorts. She has already worn this outfit a number of times, and we received a lot of compliments. Besides, this outfit is heaps more suitable for what little people do best - monkeying around!


 

 


Thank you for having me over Suz.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone or as I like to say "С Рождеством и Новым годом"!

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Thank you Jenya!! Sewing for our kids is so much more meaningful when they have some input!  I love this ensemble and definitely would love to give both patterns a try.  Your sewing is beautiful and talk about neat buttonholes!! Thank you for sharing your personal stories too!  You and Olga have a lot in common!!

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Today at Craftstorming, Corey from Counterpane is guest posting.  Click on the picture to take you there.

www.craftstorming.com

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On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me,
Eight maids a milking,
Seven swans a swimming,
Six geese a laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

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33 comments

  1. Love it Jenya! I also have a little Miss who adores dinosaurs! The yoke and buttons are perfect :)

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  2. Thank you very much for having me Suz :) I have had a lot of fun sewing this little outfit. I am totally going to start name-dropping after this series ;)

    Ros, while I was sewing this tunic I thought about the dino skirt you made for one of your girls :)

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  3. I just love how you incorporate your style and your daughter's style in your sewing Jenya. I love her fabric choice!

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  4. So cute, Jenya! The dinosaur fabric is precious, you daughter has good taste. :)

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  5. Perfect outfits for summer! I love the red buttons on green yoke as well. Your story about exchange gifts on New Year's eve remind me when I was little girl, thank you for sharing!

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  6. So sweet Jenay! I love hearing about how you grew up and the traditions that were celebrated in your family! That is one of the best things about blogging, learning so much about different parts of the world and how everyone is so different (yet so much alike)! And Little Monkey's outfit is perfect! She has great taste in fabric...and your pattern choice was perfect!

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  7. Jenya, I love hearing about your holiday traditions! And the Dino tunic is so cute. Perfect pairing with those adorable tulip shorts! Have a great time visiting with your mom!!

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  8. Loved reading about your traditions growing up Jenya! The tunic and shorts are amazing. What great fabric and ooooh those buttons. :)

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  9. Great outfit that I wasn't expecting. Shorts are perfect!

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  10. Very cute, Jenya! I read this earlier today, and got distracted over those shorts...and had to check them out a bit closer :)! I'm so glad your little monkey LOVES her new outfit. Those dinosaurs are cute!!

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  11. So awesome Jenya! I loved your background story, it's so neat to find out "histories" :) Super adorable outfit as well! I spent a Christmas in Florida once where we went to the beach instead of freezing in the cold, a different experience for sure ;)

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  12. I love the outfit! The top really shows off the dino print. Your daughter must be very excited that her Baba is coming for Christmas! Hubby and I often joke about Ded Moroz, or Blue Santa as we call him.

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  13. Thanks ladies :) I keep telling LM that her Babushka is going to fly on a huge plane for a very long time to come see her, and she starts making up stories about how she goes flying on helicopters and stuff! She is 3, she is adorable and she has not got a clue hahaha

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  14. What a lovely outfit Jenya!
    I have to try and sew a pair of short like yours for my daughters.

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  15. This is such a lovely outfit Jenya and your daughter is going to want to wear it all the time since she loves the fabric so much. It sounds like you have many happy memories of your families traditions. Thank you for joining the series!

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  16. Jenya, I enjoyed so much reading this post. I don't think I realized you were in Austrailia, or maybe you told me and I forgot. But I didn't know you grew up in the ussr! I read your story to the kids just now and they didn't understand how Christmas could just go away. But they are completely intrigued, and maybe appreciate the reason why we celebrate a little more. Thank you for sharing! (I'll tell you how much I love the outfit later:)

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  17. So cute Jenya! The outfit and your daughter are adorable!! EMily

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  18. Cute cute outfit...and yes, those shorts...I totally need to check them out. LOVE. And so interesting to hear about the USSR....I did not know that.

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  19. What a fun outfit! And I loved reading about your holiday traditions as a child!

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  20. What a fun outfit! And I loved reading about your holiday traditions as a child!

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  21. Love the top Jenya. And that print really suits the style. Good work!

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  22. Love the top Jenya. And that print really suits the style. Good work!

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  23. Such a fun outfit! How fun your daughter choose the fabric and those shorts are awesome. I really wish it was summer here now!

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  24. I love the dino fabric for a girl.

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  25. I really enyoyed hearing what it was like to grow up in communist Russia.I traveled to Poland once when it was still communist and have always been fascinated in hearing stories about life behind the iron curtain.and the outfit is adorable too!

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  26. I really enyoyed hearing what it was like to grow up in communist Russia.I traveled to Poland once when it was still communist and have always been fascinated in hearing stories about life behind the iron curtain.and the outfit is adorable too!

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