28 April 2012

my non-pinterest idea list of little girl clothes

I've had a run of reading sewing blogs this week. Reading and bookmarking and thinking, "I want that, and that, and OH! LOOK!" Since I don't do Pinterest (and no, I'm not going to start) ... here are the top 5 things on my list right now. Of course, this does not mean that I'm actually capable of making any of them because hello, I just started sewing. But I did just buy this "how to sew" book (and I want to take her beginner e-class in September) so maybe I can work up to some of these things.

I am most definitely not a designer. I love clothes that mix up a lot of different colors and patterns, and still look so put together. Actually arranging that kind of outfit ... yyyyeah. Not my talent. Looking at a bolt of fabric and picturing what I can do with it - not so much. But these blogs and pictures are getting me thinking that maybe I can figure it out at least a little bit.

These are the dresses and skirts that have really struck me this week:

original post: Sew Together - I saw it on Project Run and Play

The bottom hem of this skirt is 23 feet. Oh. My. That is a truckload of fabric! I love love love the color-block tiers - I really want to learn how to do that. Maybe not 23 feet worth of it, but it is definitely on my to-do list.

original post: See Kate Sew

I was just clicking back through old links on this blog because it was a new one for me, and stopped cold on this dress. There's a tutorial for it and it looks so easy! It's a simple and plain dress - no busy prints (not that there's anything wrong with prints of course - I love them), but this is really fancied up into a piece of art. Art that you wear.

original post: MADE

Ah, Dana.  The blog that started it all. Seriously. Dana got me thinking I could actually sew for my kids, and here we go. Her daughter Lucy is the exact age, and appears to be the exact same size, as my oldest. So anything I see on Lucy in the pictures, there's a good chance it will look exactly the same on SM. This says SUMMER to me, in lots of ways. Where's the seersucker?

original post: Craftiness is not Optional - she was a guest on See Kate Sew's ruffles month/pleat week. (Hello? A whole month devoted to RUFFLES? Awesome!)

I'm starting with skirts for my girls ... this would certainly be a way to fancy them up! And oh look - while I was finding the original post to credit this picture, I came across a tutorial on this blog on how to make a tiered skirt. BOOYAH! Now I just need the right fabric combination for one! Or two or five ...
original post: Hopeful Threads. I don't remember how I found this blog, but what a great idea - to sew things with the purpose of donating them to the needy. This month, they're sewing for Dress a Girl Around the World, and that's what this particular dress is going to.

I have found my Independence Day dresses for my girls ... if I could just find that fabric! It's perfect. I'd make it for all 4 of my girls. There's a link in the post to a free pdf pattern for it, which I have already downloaded.

20 April 2012

Easter outfits!

I did it! I'm so impressed with myself! I made skirts for myself and my 2 big girls, and dresses for my 2 little girls. I also made the diaper cover and little headband for the baby, and drawstring circle purses for the other 3 girls. And here we are!

I did get individual pictures of all of the girls, but we hit a glitch in the camera download and not everything made the transfer. I'm also having problems flipping things from horizontal to vertical ... the joys of learning a new photo editing program.

Anyway ... I LOVE the pink edging on SM's skirt - just regular ol' 1-inch bias tape from Walmart. She likes the double skirt - when she's out picking dandelions by the truckload, she folds up the top skirt to be her basket and she's still modest because the lower skirt doesn't go anywhere. It's 2 entirely separate skirts attached at the waist, rather than one skirt with a funky extension for the bottom.

I think what impressed me the most about myself - the shock that I succeeded - was TA's diaper cover. The leg holes were kind of a pain to sew but I managed and she has her diaper covered when she wears the dress without a onesie underneath.

In the process of making all 5 or 10 or however many individual items ... I learned how to make buttonholes, I learned that I have no idea how to estimate how much elastic is needed for my girls' super-skinny waists (not much), and I learned that what works for a skirt for a small kid does not work the same way for an adult ... my skirt looked okay. It's wearable. But I do not like the way it hangs on me. When I find a skirt pattern that I like and that is cut to fit me well, I'm going to take this one apart and do it again because I really love the fabric.

My skirt - fabric from Modern Fabric Studio
The 4 girls' outfits - fabric from 7 Layer Studio, the lime squeeze colorway set (bought at fabric.com but they are apparently not carrying it anymore, which is a shame because it's REALLY cute)
The 2 skirts for the big girls - the simple skirt tutorial on MADE
JE's dress - the "ballet-neck toddler dress" in the book One Yard Wonders
TA's dress and headband - from a regular paper pattern, New Look E6576
TA's diaper cover - MADE's perfect diaper cover saves the day. I hate it when baby dresses don't have diaper covers.
their circle purses - I traced my largest mixing bowl onto 2 layers of fabric, and sewed them together all the way around so it's a double thickness of the fabric and can be turned inside out (if it gets dirty. Which, knowing my girls, it will.) I did little button holes all the way around, wove a ribbon through them, and pulled it up into a little bag.

13 April 2012

sneaky muffins

Okay, so about those 12 recipes I said I'd post this calendar year ...

I told my kids this morning that I was baking "chocolate chip muffins" because RG won't touch vegetables. This is what I did:

3 eggs
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup milk
1 cup brown sugar
3 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon (I think this should be cut to 2)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
lots of chocolate chips - I didn't measure, just dumped in most of a 12 oz bag.

Mix ingredients down to zucchini, then add all the dry ingredients, then add the chocolate chips.

Bake at 325 for 1 hour if doing 2 9x5 loaves, 20 minutes if doing muffins. I got 30 muffins out of it.

They've been out of the oven long enough to cool, and RG is already on her second one.

The original recipe is here. This is all my variation. No oil, half the sugar from the original recipe, extra zucchini, applesauce, and flaxseed. I have no idea how healthy these are, but a lot more than the original recipe would have been!

11 April 2012

Frozen Rainbow Pie

The original recipe of Frosty Lime Pie comes from a Company's Coming cook book.  Obviously my amazing husband tweaked a few things.

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup lime juice
1 tsp (or more) grated lime rind
1 egg white, room temperature
1 cup whipping cream
2-4 drops food coloring

Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Beat in egg yolk.  Add lime juice and rind; mix in slowly.  In a separate bowl, beat egg white with clean beater until stiff; fold in.  Using the same separate bowl and beaters, beat cream until stiff; fold in.  Add food coloring.  Pour into prepared pie shell and freeze.  Let thaw approximately 15 minutes before serving.

1/3 cup butter
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
(for chocolate crust add 3 tbsp cocoa)

Melt butter.  Add crumbs and sugar.  Press evenly on bottom and sides of 9 inch pie plate.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Cool.

Now if you look at the picture you'll notice that it isn't just green.  Aaron always has to take things one step further.  He took the exact same recipe and divided it into thirds, making layers of lemon, orange and lime.  It is difficult to divide an egg yolk into thirds, but possible.  When pouring into the crust, wait an hour between layers.  And we topped it with whipped cream with raspberries or strawberries mixed in (raspberries blend much better when whipping the cream).

Note: We have tried this with a regular pie crust, but it tends to thaw too slowly compared to the filling making it difficult to slice.  The graham cracker crust is a wonderful compliment and is amazingly easy to make!

04 April 2012

more inspiration

I have the MADE blog in the side column as an inspiration link ... found another one. Through MADE, actually.

the Purl Bee

It's the blog for a sewing shop in New York City. I am literally going through every single page of this blog - I'm up to page 41 - and I can't tell you how many specific projects I have bookmarked already. More than 20. Mostly things made out of felt and regular fabric - Christmas ornaments, soft toys for my kids, things for my house ... cloth napkins, anyone? Seriously. These and Beth, you need these for your parents' house on Cape Cod. I don't know the first thing about boats or anything nautical, but aren't those amazing? And coasters. Who uses coasters? I don't, but I might have to make some now.

I don't have many knitting projects bookmarked because I don't know how. Yet. I did start learning last fall but didn't get very far with it. This site seriously makes me want to learn to knit well. And live in a cold environment. It's too hot and muggy in Mississippi to think about wearing a scarf or even own a sweater, but on this blog, the sweaters and scarves and blankets are amazing. We have to move somewhere cold so I can wear them, and dress up my little kids in them. And I want this rug.