Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Burberry headband

So awhile back I entered this giveaway from Sewing in No Mans Land. Never, ever, ever do I win ANYTHING! But to my surprise this time I actually did! I got Kelly's package a couple months ago in the mail. The napkins are to die for! I'm kind of afraid to use them though because they are so pretty. The cupcake wrappers are perfect but I've yet to make cupcakes to fill them. Something to do with trying to loose a bit of weight...

Anyway she ALSO sent me a bit of scraps that she had left over. I seriously almost cried when I opened the box with tears of joy! I immediately thought of this headband Ms. Disney made awhile back for Ucreate. Scroll down a bit....see that one?! The plaid kind of burberry looking one! I've been coveting that since this was posted. So I made it! We'll I didn't follow the tutorial per se. This is how I did it.

You'll need:
2 Small strips of fabric (mine was 1 1/2 x10)
Bit of elastic (9 inches or so depending on the size of your head)
button (if you like)
matching thread

Start by cutting your fabric. Ms. Kelly included some of the lining for the Burberry so I used that as my underside. Put them right sides together and stitch 1/4 seams.

Turn right side out using a safety pin.

Press your seams and tuck in the little tails.

Cut your elastic and pop one end into each end of the headband.

Pin or hold in place and stitch down.

Finally add a button if you want and hand stitch it on. I grabbed this one from my stash!

I think if I did this over I would make the fabric a bit longer. As it is it just barely comes to the edge of my ears. But I'll just cover it up with some hair. Maybe next time I'd make it 13 inches of fabric and 7 inches of elastic.

Love and Hugs,

Monday, November 29, 2010

Welcome Mr. Pfaff home!

Preface: if you are a "real life friend" who is having a baby in December. And the baby's name starts with an H. Please avert your eyes now. Or you might catch a glimpse of her sweet present! 

Not sure if anyone noticed or if I even mentioned it but Mr. Pfaff (my primary sewing machine) was in the shop for a LONG time. He needed to be cleaned and oiled. Since he is an embroidery machine and computerized I can't do it myself. It took the shop a good 2 weeks to get it done and then another week for me to get up there and get it (it's about an hour drive, yeah we live in the middle of nowhere!).

Yeah...I sew in my living room with LOTS of coffee! While my kids color on the side :)
I had been using Ms. Husqvarna Viking and while she is a good solid sewing machine but she is a bit older, not quite as precise, and doesn't have as many cool features as Mr. Pfaff. So when I got Mr. Pfaff back on Tuesday I was stoked! Only Thanksgiving was coming up and I couldn't set him up until after Turkey Day. I got him out Friday morning and am so excited to have my old friend home!

A few things I learned at the sewing store when picking Mr. Pfaff up that I thought I'd share with you all. They were not initially obvious to me but now that I think about them they totally are!

1. When removing fabric from your machine always pull to the back. Do not pull your fabric toward you to check it out. Pull it completely to the back trim your threads and then look at what you've accomplished.

This will prevent your needle from bending, breaking, and inevitably causing major headaches! You see when you pull the fabric back the needle will not bend or move around at all but when you pull to the front there is some give and while it will give just a bit to the front if you do it over and over it will eventually bend. Resulting in skipped stitches and broken needles. Not fun! Not fun at all!

2. Try to keep your machine as clean as possible. Ok, ok, so I did KNOW this. But the nice lady who was helping me just reinforced it even more. And even showed me how to properly spray air into my machine to clean it out.

My machine has a thread cutter in it. So after I've backstitched a couple times I can hit a little button and it cuts the thread and brings it to the back so that it can be tied off. When it cuts the thread sometimes other little threads get caught in there. If they are not removed it can result in jamming the machine and blocking the motor. Making things a BIG mess to clean up! When spraying air into your machine to help loosen or remove the excess thread/dust spray at an angle away from the bobbin housing. Making it nearly impossible for the extra threads and dust to get back in there and make it all gunky again!

3. Always use an appropriate needle. If you are using knit or anything even remotely stretchy use a stretch or ball point needle. If you are sewing denim or several layers of home decorator weight fabric use a denim needle. Just cotton? Use a universal needle! Again results are less skipped stitches and not nearly as many headaches!

She showed/told me all of these things amongst other machine specific tidbits. If you have a Pfaff 2140 I'd be happy to share. You might already know all of them but I never had any show me how to use my machine I just read my manual and figured out how to do basic stitch functions. I bought it a few years ago off of craigslist for a killer price!

Love and Hugs,

PS. I've been working on a pattern for Bellie's dress for you all! If all goes according to plan I hope to get a full pattern and tutorial up by the end of the week!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

Today I am thankful for so so many things things. 

First and foremost my family. 

I am thankful that we can afford for me to stay home with our babies and raise them the way we would like them to be raised. 

I am thankful for the roof over our head, food in our bellies, and lots of love! 

I am thankful for two sweet baby girls and two sweet little lambs. 

I am thankful for an amazingly supportive, encouraging, and loving husband.

I am thankful that we have a yard to run and play in. 

I am thankful for infectious belly laughs, alligator tears, and big bear hugs. 

I am thankful we are healthy.

I am thankful to be able to craft and be creative till my little hearts content AND be able to share it with all of you!

This morning my good friend Monica (from this post) and I went to feed the homeless in our own little way. Our children are too young to volunteer at the shelter/food bank so we decided we would do our own thing. We each made about 36 turkey sandwiches, little baggies of pretzels, a bottle of water and a sweet treat to hand out to the homeless. The girls sat down yesterday and decorated the paper bags for us too! 

We stopped at ONE park in South Tucson. Desi (Monica's hubby and I) got out to hand out all the bags. She stayed in the car with the babes. We gave out 72 lunches and still weren't able to give one to everyone. There were at least 20 more people we could see that we hadn't spoken with. But we were all out of lunches. 

When we left we wanted to do more. So next time we will each double what we made and hopefully we can hit a couple more parks and the downtown area. I felt this amazing feeling come over me as we drove away from the park. People said "thank you" with tears in their eyes. As we were walking away from a group of people I overheard a woman say "I love pretzels!". To see their grateful faces truly made my Thanksgiving Day. 

One man said "I knew I'd eat like a pig today!" Which made us think, we really should do this more frequently. And we should do it on days other than major holidays. Because every one else was out this morning giving away food as well. While at the park there was a group cooking a hot fresh breakfast for the homeless. Which was really amazing to see as well! We are going to do this again in just a couple weeks for Christmas. And this time we will do it a day or two before Christmas so that they can have a few good meals. Instead of a bunch in one day. 

And here is what our Thanksgiving menu looked like like:

Turkey (of course!) brined using PW Turkey brine and seasoned using this Giada de Laurentiis recipe
rolls (purchased from this co-op)
mashed potatoes with gravy
sweet potatoes (using this PW recipe, sooo yummy!)
roasted carrots
cranberry orange sauce (homemade of course! using my own haphazard recipe)
salad with cranberries and almonds 
pies (apple, cherry, blueberry, peach and pumpkin {fillings made throughout the past couple months} with vanilla bean ice cream and real whipped cream)
a veggie tray to munch
a cheese, meat, cracker tray to munch

Other people brought:

Green been casserole
jello salad (my absolute favorite thing!)
macaroni and cheese
broccoli cheese casserole
cherry cobbler

After making all of this food, sharing it with friends and family, and sending each family home with a significant amount of leftovers. I couldn't help but think of the homeless we fed this morning. How they might like to have some mashed potatoes, carrots, stuffing and all. I had never done anything like that on my own before (well with a friend). I have volunteered at soup kitchens and done other volunteer work. But nothing where I was able to get out there and talk to people and truly connect with them. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know we did!

Love and Hugs, 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

White Elephant Wednesday Volume VII

I finally got a chance to do some treasure hunting this week! I don't like to take both kids with me because it gets too crazy with them running in different directions and this thrift store in particular is really really busy! So Belle and I headed over to White Elephant while Hailey was at school. We found some really cool fun things but this is what we ended up getting.

So a couple cool metal candlesticks, a fun jar with closure, 2 zippers (one red, one white), a handful of belt buckles, 3 pillowcases (there are two of the one on the right with pink in it), and a fun remnant of some black, white and red plaid that feel so so soft! I'm thinking of making this scarf from my favorite blogger ever out of the plaid maybe with red pockets!?

I also found some fun sweaters to embellish and make into cardigans.

Inspired by Ms. Kathleen over at Grosgrain who has been making over sweaters all November long. You can check them all out here. You can see all of her sweaters in one spot here.

Total this week we spent $15.25! Not to shabby :) I usually only take $20 with me and this week I came pretty close to spending it all! I only wish I had gotten there right at 9 when they opened. There was this lady walking around with a really cool vintage noisemaker push toy. I admit I followed her around a bit to make sure she didn't change her mind! :) She didn't...oh well! There is always next time!

Love and Hugs,

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Baby leg warmers!

Last year I made this hat from Ms. Disney's tutorial. It was originally meant for Hailey but she doesn't care for it. It isn't pink...so I got to keep it! While I was making the hat I thought that it would be a shame to throw away perfectly good sleeves. So I saved them. They went into my "up-cycle" box and sat. For an entire year!

Then last week at ballet we saw this little girl with her cute little leotard, tutu, and ballet slippers. But she had these adorable little knit leg warmers on! And the light bulb went off ::ding ding ding:: in my head and I turned those sleeves into baby leg warmers.

Wanna make some?

All you need is:
an old knit sweater/long sleeved shirt
matching thread
bit of elastic (I used 1" because I had it)

Start by cutting your sleeves off right at the hem where the sleeve meets the sweater (armpit seam). Mine were already cut off otherwise I'd show you exactly where!

Then lob off the diagonal to make the edge straight. I used my cutting mat and rotary cutter but you could eyeball it if you want!

Turn inside out and fold over about an 1 1/4 inches. You cant try to press it. Mine had a bit of angora in it and the angora melted to my iron! AH! So I just pinned the rest of it.

Stitch together using a long zig zag stitch and leaving about an inch opening to work your elastic through. The zig zag will allow the knit to continue to stretch a bit.

Measure you babe's upper thigh and use that length of elastic. I can't remember exactly what Hailey's was I think it was like 10 inches or something. So I cut 10" of elastic and thread it through the opening using a safety pin.

Overlap the elastic about an inch and stitch closed. It is hard to see but I stitch a rectangle and then an X in the middle of the rectangle to make sure nothing goes anywhere. Backstitching at the start and stop of course!

Pull the elastic taught and all the way into the little pocket you made. Then close the opening!

Pop 'em on your little munchkin with her favorite tutu and go play! These little guys are super warm especially when layered over tights.

Hope you try 'em out! Super quick and easy. You could totally bust out about 10 pairs in an afternoon! You could also do this with any long sleeved shirt or even trouser/knee high socks! Anything stretchy and knit. Heck you could even through these on yourself over some leggings if you really wanted too!

Linking up with...


Love and Hugs,

Monday, November 22, 2010

Portrait Pieces...3 down accessories to go!

Here is sweet Bellie's dress.

I based it off of this dress and made my own pattern.

I got this dress from Tracie as a hand me down and absolutely love love love the color and different sized polka dots. But the cut is so incredibly cute too! Simple A-line, bib front, and cute gathered sleeve.

I changed it up a bit by moving the closure to the back and adding a bib detail to the front rather than the closure. I thought it would take up too much of my precious print fabric!

I used grey double fold bias tape to finish the neckline and bottom hem of the dress. Best of all this dress only needs about 20" of fabric...less than 2/3 yard!

So, is this something you guys would like to see a tutorial for? I took pics of everything but it is a very very simple dress!

Now I just need to add some fabric to the belt on my dress and hopefully *fingers crossed* I have enough fabric to make each of the puppies a bow! Because seriously there isn't any more of this fabric for sale anywhere online! AH!

Linking up with...


Love and Hugs,

Monday, November 15, 2010

Now Available!

Remember those shoes I showed you all yesterday? They are now available for purchase in Ms. Alysa's Cancer Kicker shop.

They are both made using Amy Butler and Sandi Henderson fabric as well as some faux leather for the soles. They are super adorable, go well with fall wardrobe and some of the fabric is even discontinued! Which makes these babies SUPER special!

Cancer hits close to home for a lot of people. My family included. My Grandma Noel (my Mom's Mom) died from breast cancer. My Grandma Bunny fought and won breast cancer. I've seen this disease ravage the body, leaving the patient a shell of their former selves. I am worried for my Cousin, Aunts, Mother, Myself, and my little girls. I know Phil is obviously not suffering from breast cancer. But maybe someday we can find a cure for one type of cancer. Which will lead to cures of other types of cancers. Hopefully breast cancer! Because cancer has affected me so I felt it was very important to get the word out about Phil and his sweet family. Not sure what I'm talking about? You can catch up by reading this post.

Also if you are a crafter and would like to donate to Alysa's Cancer Kicker shop you contact her through her blog here. Or you can convo her directly through her Cancer Kicker etsy shop. Together we can kick cancer's booty!

Love and Hugs,

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This Weeks Bounty

I enjoyed posting this so much last week for Ms. Alysa I decided to do it again! I hope you checked out Alysa's fabulous blog last week. If not here is another link.

And if you didn't already see...Alysa is lunging for a cure! See this post to catch up a bit. She has also set up an etsy store in order to help this amazing little family. Now I KNOW you all are crafty so if you have something really incredible that you make maybe think about letting Alysa put it up in her etsy Cancer Kicker Shop. ALL of the proceeds will go to the cancer kicker foundation. If you are not really the crafty type and just visiting please consider passing this information on to someone who might want to donate something. If your a blogger please please grab a button from Alysa's blog and help get the word out!

I am going to donate a couple pairs of sweet little soft soled shoes. I frequently make these for baby showers or friends having kids and everyone always loves them! If you guys want to make some let me know in the comments and I'll put a little tutorial together!

Ok ok, on with the basket!

Even though this Saturday was CRAZY! We left the house at 8:55 to pick up our basket at 9am (it's just down the street) and seriously did not get home until 9pm! WOW! Needless to say I was a wee bit tired last night so I didn't get this up right away. Sorry for that.

Here is our haul:
9 concorde pears
1 bag black seedless grapes
8 persimmon
8 clementine cuties
5 massive bananas
1 acorn squash
1 small bag brussels sprouts
1 head celery
1 head green leaf lettuce
1 5 lb bag + 2 russet potatoes
6 ears of corn

I also got some extras this week!

1-24 lb box of only the best apples ever! HONEY CRISPS! AH! These are so so good. I would grab one of these over chocolate ANY day of the week and I really, really like chocolate! These babies are massive the girls and I can share one and all be satisfied. Perfect with some peanut butter or all on it's own. :)

I also got the partially baked dinner rolls. In preparation for Thanksgiving. I threw them in my freezer where they'll stay fresh until the big day! Of course the hubby and I had to try one today for lunch. We cut a couple of the sourdough ones open and added some pulled pork that we made last week. The bread was sour, soft, and oh so delicious! There are also whole wheat and cranberry orange rolls too!

Our Meal plan for this week looks something like this:

Monday: Pork Stir fry. I will use some frozen veggies for this since we dont really have stir fry veggies in our basket this week. Served with rice of course!

Tuesday: Leftover night (Sunday, Monday leftovers)

Wednesday: Beef Pot roast using some potatoes, carrots, onion and celery.

Thursday: Beef Enchiladas (leftover meet from the night before and black beans with mexican corn (grilled and sprinkled with taco seasoning, yummy!)

Friday: Hopefully dinner at Grimaldi's since we never made it last week :(

Saturday: Chilli baked potatoes and salad.

Sunday: Leftover night.

Last week I planned meals for every day of the week and what I found was that we had LOTS of leftovers. So I ended up taking 2 of the meals out the pork stir fry, and chili baked potatoes. I also simply did not have time to make the brussels sprout salad. Instead it turned into grilled chicken, baked potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts. So I will be making the brussels sprout salad sometime this week for lunch! :)

Ok, so we have LOTS of potatoes now. I'm sure plenty for Thanksgiving even. I think I might cube and boil the majority of them and freeze them for the big day. Saves me a step and I can keep these potatoes from going bad since we do not eat all that many potatoes. We barely made a dent in the 5 lb bag we got last week and then got another bag this week! Seriously we have potatoes coming out of our ears!

What are you all doing with your produce this week?

Love and Hugs,

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Portrait Pieces...2 down 1 to go!

I finished Hailey's skirt! yippee! I had all of these ideas swimming in my head. I kind of wanted to make a bubble skirt but decided that would take too much fabric. Then I thought maybe some pleats. But decided against it. Or maybe a tiered skirt. Nope still too much fabric. I finally ended with thinking I'd just make a simple tshirt waistband with the fabric gathered at the top. Simple, simple, quick and easy!

Then as I was cutting fabric (eek! I cut into it again! my hand only shook a little bit this time!) I decided I wanted to do a bit of a paper bag type skirt. Not sure what a paper bag skirt is? Well this is the one that kept popping into my mind from Made by Lex. Only I don't have any coordinating fabric. To make the drawstring. Yeah apparently Amy Butler trademarked her colors?! Joann and Hancock didn't have anything that was even close to the colors of this fabric...so I went with a color that will be used throughout the other outfits. Grey. The hubby has a grey cardigan and I have this grey dress coming from Shabby Apple!

Wanna make your little angel one of these paper bag-ish skirts? Here is what you'll need!

1 old tshirt in a coordinating color
about 13" fabric (or however long you want the skirt)
coordinating thread

No really that's it! I'm telling you easy peasy, right?!

I dug a grey tshirt out of the recyclable clothing box and cut off the bottom hem at 3 inches. Why 3 inches? I dunno why it looked good to me for a waistband size. Then I measured my little pumpkin and her waist was 20 inches. So I cut one of the side seams off of it and sewed at the 9 inch line. Making the waistband about 18 inches. It will stretch to 20 inches and you want it to stay up!

Then I started with the actual skirt part. Normally for a skirt I just hem the bottom. This time we want to hem both the bottom and the top. For the top I did a 1/2 hem. Start by folding over and ironing a 1/4 inch then fold it over again and iron it at 1/2 inch! Finally stitch it down.

Do the same for the bottom only make the hem a bit wider. I like a 1- 1 1/2 inch hem on the bottom. I eyeballed it and this time it came out to 1 1/4 inches. Then stitch that down. You can double stitch if you like. I did for both the top and bottom.

After you have both top and bottom hemmed you can sew the two selvages together to make a loop. You could do this first I just think it is easier, faster, and more efficient to do the hem first in the flat rather than the round. I always do it this way.

After you have your loop, sew your longest stitch length and gather the top. I ran my stitch about a 1/2 inch below my lower top hem line. Overlap it a bit at the beginning and end to make sure the very back isn't flat. See how the gathering stitch overlaps a bit right after the seem? You want that! Then gather it to fit the waistband.

I pressed a fold into my waistband at the halfway mark. It is hard to see but it is there promise! Then make sure to match that fold up with the back seam of the skirt. Turn the skirt inside out and the waistband inside out. You want this to wrong side of the skirt to right side of the waistband. Opposite of what we usually do right side to right side.

Sew your skirt bottom to your waistband using a fairly long zig zag stitch. Right over your gathering stitch (so that it is in the middle of your zig zag). I made mine 3.5. After you have it sewn down and are sure your zig zag caught the waistband all the way around you can rip out your gathering stitch. Just pull the thread you were pulling to gather it until it slides out! Then your skirt will be nice and flexible keeping the elasticity of the tshirt waistband. And making it easy to pull on and off for those quick potty trips!

I always double stitch my hems and press with starch to make them look crisp, clean, and professional! I don't worry about switching to a double needle they are sew quick to sew I just do it twice.

See how you get that paper bag type look at the top? Like you packed your lunch and crumpled the top of the paper bag? I like it! Much better than a plain gathered skirt with the edges tucked under and just as simple! Next time I will do the drawstring! When I'm not so worried about having enough fabric for everyone!

I can't decide if I like the narrower waistband or the wider waistband pictured below...

Hailey liked the wider one because it "covered her belly button".  

I think for the pictures I will tuck the shirt in so you can see the fun top of the skirt. I am going to add some horizontal ruffles to this little plain white shirt to coordinate with the rest of the outfits. Belle will have her off white pettiskirt on under her dress. So we'll use the leftover chiffon for Hailey's shirt.

Up next a sweet little dress for Ms. Belle and IF there is enough fabric a coordinating belt for my dress as well as some bows for the dogs!

Love and Hugs,