I have been sewing for most of my life. It wasn't until the summer I turned 20 that I learned how to sew properly though. That summer I stayed at my grandparents house and my grandmother taught me to sew reading a pattern correctly. She helped me sew a dress, jacket, and several pairs of pajamas for my siblings. It was so helpful and I am thankful for those lessons!
I am completely comfortable making up my own designs for blankets, bags, aprons, and even curtains. For some reason though I feel like I have to follow clothing patterns exactly. I can even remember times being frustrated that I couldn't find the exact fabric a pattern book had used as an example.
Thanks to the internet I am getting more adventuresome in sewing clothing. Flickr, sewing forums, and more recently my discovery of sewing blogs has helped me realize that I can use a pattern as a guideline and change things up. In the past year I my creativity has exploded. My mind is constantly racing with new ideas to try, I have to write them down before I forget and come up with something new.
Months ago I had bookmarked a tutorial on Confessions of a Craft addict telling how to add a ruffle panel to a skirt. My daughter wasn't even crawling at the time so putting her in a skirt seemed silly. I figured the ruffle craze would be over before she was big enough for a skirt like that. Then, I saw the ruffle bonnet tutorial on The Cottage Home blog. In that post there is a picture of a baby dress with a ruffle panel. I asked about that pattern and learned that it was Lindsay's own design, which she is planning to sell in her etsy shop this spring. However she was kind enough to give me a couple pointers that helped me figure it out myself.
The result was this cute little number!
I love the layered ruffle look, but I don't yet own a serger or hemmer foot for my sewing machine. It is difficult to iron and hem perfect tiny hems required for this type of look without either of those. However, last weekend I was reading The Party Dress Book by Mary Adams and learned that fabric cut on the bias doesn't fray. I knew using that method would be perfect for this tunic.
My daughter just turned one, but even that that age she seemed to understand that this was a fancy tunic when I put it on her yesterday. I see many more ruffles in her future!
3/2/11-- After several washings I would like to report that the edges of the ruffles have frayed slightly, basically they have a soft edge now instead of a crisp edge. I don't get entire threads coming off the dress like you do when you cut fabric on the grain. I just thought I'd share in case you want to try this.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I made this cake awhile back, but since it was the same day as my daughter's cake, I never got it posted. It is a chocolate cake with buttercream icing. The Green Lantern logo and the cake board are covered in fondant. All the piping is buttercream.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Once upon a time I used to visit home daycares to insure the providers were serving healthy meals to kids. In order to receive reimbursement, providers had to serve certain components: milk, protein, grain, and two vegetables or fruits. My job was to make sure those components were served and to encourage healthier options.
When my son began eating solid foods I wanted to do my best to teach him good eating habits. I follow that basic meal at every lunch and supper. At age 3 he does like typical kid food, but I don't prepare special meals for him. He likes most fruits an vegetables and will at least taste the ones he doesn't.
|I'm not a photographer, but it was still tasty.|
This meal took about 20 minutes to make and is super simple. I steam my broccoli in the microwave. Just put it in a glass bowl with a little bit of water and a lid, but don't seal the lid. Cook about 90 seconds. If it isn't soft, steam a little longer.
I used canned reduced sodium green beans. Sometimes I add spices, but my kids like them straight from the can.
Easy Beef Stroganoff*
1 pound extra lean ground beef
1/2-1 c. diced red onion
1 bulb crushed garlic
4 oz. light or fat free sour cream
11 oz. can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup
4 oz. whole grain extra wide noodles (no-yolk type)
- Cook the noodles according to package directions.
- Brown your ground beef with the onion and garlic on medium high heat.
- Drain any excess fat.
- Turn heat to low, add sour cream and soup. Heat through.
- Drain noodles and stir into beef mixture.
- Sprinkle with pepper to your taste preference.
*Notes on stroganoff. Measurements don't have to be exact. If you like it creamier, add more sour cream. If you don't like garlic, leave it out. Feel free to add additional spices to taste. This is pretty hard to mess up, so even if you don't cook often, you can make this. Enjoy!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
You would think growing up in South Dakota I had heard of snow cream, but I never had until a couple years ago. A Kentucky friend said her mom had made it for them growing up, but I always assumed it was just snow that they brought in the house and ate.
Recently a friend posted on her Facebook page how to make it, but we didn't have enough snow in our yard to make it that day. Well it has been snowing here all week and the kids were antsy after lunch today. I was trying to figure out how to pass the time before their naps when I remembered the snow cream.
I headed outside with a large mixing bowl while the kids & dog stared at me through the back window. I carefully scooped the top layer of snow into the bowl until it was about half full. Then we added milk, sugar and vanilla. I felt like the instructions I used called for too much sugar and vanilla so then I sought out a new recipe. It used less vanilla, but the same amount of sugar, so use your own judgement. It also has suggestions for variations and explains what clean snow is for those of you not used to snow. I think next time we will make chocolate snow cream!
Monday, January 10, 2011
This is the Georgia dress pattern I tested for Little Lizard King. It is adorable! It is also a quick sew, from cutting to completion, I did it in 2 hours while dealing with 2 kids. If you aren't taking care of kids you could probably get it done more quickly.
She has the pattern in her Etsy shop for only $7 if you would like to make it too. If you haven't used her patterns before, they are e-mailed via pdf document usually soon after you have paid. They are full of pictures along with a description of the steps. Even if you are a beginning seamstress you can make this dress. If you have an Etsy shop, you are welcome to sell items made from her patterns.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
My local Hancock Fabrics has 3 yards of pre-cut cotton fabrics for $3.99! I was able to use my 40% off coupon too so it worked out to $.80 per yard! I picked up some black argyle to use as a diaper bag liner. Not all of the fabrics are the same quality, so you definitely want to pay attention.