Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Working Ahead: MORE summer sewing!

Next up on my completed summer sewing is the Popover Sundress from Oliver+S. Yes, this is another free downloadable pattern from Oliver+S. Yay for free patterns that turn out so cute! Using the chest measurement, I made L a size 4 knowing that it would probably be too short for her long legs since she wears a size 5 in RTW(ready-to-wear store bought clothes). While it is technically long enough to be a dress, it doesn't even reach her knees and will definitely be paired up with short leggings by the time summer comes around and be the most adorable summer tunic. Hmmm.... now what color leggings? So many choices with this fabric.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Working Ahead: Summer Sewing

Working ahead? I don't think I've ever said those words before! Since staying off my feet and relaxing are two of the best things for me right now I've been doing a lot of sewing. Over the weekend I switched to the summer season and started working ahead on skirts and dresses for Miss L. Of course her daddy asked, "How many skirts and dresses does she really need?" One for every day(or more) of course! And it's even better when it's all made from materials that have been collecting dust in my stash.

First up, I used the Oliver+S Lazy Days Skirt Pattern. Download the pattern for free HERE from Oliver+S! The Lazy Days pattern is a very basic beginner friendly pattern but no matter your sewing level it can be dressed up however you skill allows. The first one I made just like the instructions and hemmed it with pink polka dot grosgrain ribbon. The length is spot on to not need leggings and be nice and cool on a hot summer day.

The second skirt is also made from the Lazy Days pattern. I have been hoarding this farm animal fabric since L was little and I tried to make her a dress out of it paired with the pink camo and it turned into an epic fail. Only having a small piece of it left, I made the body of the skirt as long as I could using up the whole piece of fabric.
Instead of the ribbon hem on this skirt, I used my favorite hemming technique. You just cut a long strip of fabric the same width as your skirt then iron in half, length wise, wrong sides together. Sew the skirt body and the narrow strip together, raw edges together and rights sides facing. Just flip the narrow strip down, iron and top stitch in place. Now even if the hem flips up during the day, as it probably will with a jumping a twirling almost 5 year old, you still see the right side of the fabric instead of seeing the hem and lots of the wrong side of the fabric. This skirt hits L right at the knee right now in January but it will probably end up being paired with some short leggings by the time warm weather comes in 4-5 months. That's a lot of time for an almost 5 year old to do a lot of growing!
These photos are reminding me how much I desperately need to buy a new iron instead of limping along with my current one that I can't use the steam setting on anymore. Spritzing the fabric with water just doesn't get the same results as steam straight from the iron.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How to Build Picture Ledges with Ana White

Do you remember the book ledge that I built L back at the end of summer? It has been getting so much use and I love it more than a standard bookcase since you see the book cover, not just the spine of the book. I can't wait to make her more of them, but that will have to wait until after the baby is born.

Ana White posted a video today showing how simple the ledges are to make. And now I really want to get a Kreg jig before making more of them! I built this project without the tool and it was still really easy to make but this is an even easier way!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Burp Cloths for Boy or Girl

Since we had our "big ultrasound" that normally would have told the gender of the baby, I've been sewing for either a boy or a girl. Nick didn't want to know still and I was on the fence but they couldn't tell with the way the baby was positioned! That was enough of an answer for me to know that we weren't suppose to know until it's born. Only problem with not knowing is we have all these pink girly things so I'm sewing while keeping both in mind. If we have a girl, I have 16 fluffy terry cloth backed burp cloths. If we have a boy, I have 9 and I'll find someone with a new little girl to give the other 7 to!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Showing it's ugly face

Pregnancy swelling has unfortunately been showing it's ugly face this past week. And with as bad as my preeclampsia was the first time around I am trying to do everything I can including trying to have a low sodium diet. I know I can't prevent preeclampsia but I have already been able to tell I can control some of the swelling with my diet and daily routine. My dinner tonight has become a familiar site in different variations.
I found this great guideline for a low sodium diet tonight that opened my eyes to something I don't think I'd ever have thought of: Avoid softened water for cooking and drinking since it contains added salt. We have well water that runs through a water softener! I like drinking water and normally get a good daily amount and I've been making sure that I have kept that up for this pregnancy. I don't know how much sodium actually makes it through softened water but I don't think I'm going to take a chance. I'll stick to drinking the salt free water from the store!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Self-Binding Flannel Blanket

Remember that big stack of fabric I showed you Friday that I was planning on sewing up? Things didn't quite work as planned and my Friday night of sewing turned into a quiet Friday night of cutting out projects and wandering Pinterest looking for sewing ideas for baby. Last night I finished sewing up one of the projects I cut on Friday night, a self-binding flannel baby blanket. I've had this pattern bookmarked from a baby shower last year. But Cluck Cluck Sew posted a link to this tutorial that gave me the ah-ha moment of how to sew the mitered corners! The first and only other one of these blankets I made, I sewed the corners wrong the first time but thankfully checked them first before I cut the excess fabric off so I was able to fix them.
The flannel pattern was part of our Black Friday shopping that L picked out specifically for a blanket for the new baby. I was going to go back to the store for a solid color flannel to match but found this red in my stash that matches the elephants. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sewing Friday Night

I completely wasted away the first afternoon of school back in session after the holidays by falling asleep on the couch. The soothing voices of PBS cooking and gardening shows kept me there and I just couldn't get up! I still have a quiet evening ahead of me and I'm completely recharged after that nap so off I go to work on the pile of fabric sitting on my cutting mat in the living room! Can't wait to show you what all of this is!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Out with Christmas, In with Baby!

All things Christmas got packed back up yesterday and baby boxes started coming out. Since it's been almost 5 years since L was born we had gotten rid of some things so we're having the task of going through everything box by box to see what we still have. L is having a blast looking at all the baby things and it makes me a little sad how big she is! There is an occasional preemie reminder in the boxes that I've found. This sign is one of those reminders. We were VERY protective of her when we finally did get to bring her home and rarely took her out when she was little but if we did this was always attached to her car seat or stroller. I always had positive comments from  people who saw it and respected it, especially when we explained that she was a preemie.
Even though I purchased these close to 5 years ago they still look great! I have no affiliation with the company, they are just a product I loved having. It looks like they are still available directly through the company - www.mytinyhands.com.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Weeding the Recipe Box

Does anyone else out there have a recipe box overflowing with recipes that you thought sounded good and had every intention of trying... someday? Or recipes you've asked for from parties but never actually made? I'm guilty of it and it needs to change! I want a recipe box I can go to that's filled with dishes I've made, have liked and will make again. I did a quick sort of recipes that I knew were staying but I had an even bigger stack that I don't know if I've ever made before or even like! I'm going to keep a stack at the back of the box that I can slowly go through and to see if they'll make the cut to the good part of the box or to the trash.
I also have TONS of recipes we've printed from the internet that are on 8.5x11" paper that I want to convert to recipe cards if they are a favorite. Tonight I made one of those recipes that I knew we liked but had forgotten about - Layered Meatball Bake from Kraft Foods. And you'll be proud to hear that I've already copied the recipe onto a card and put it into the box!
 And have I mentioned lately how much I love my marigold Fiesta bowls?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Made in the USA

While I keep saying that I'm not making any resolutions for 2012, my husband and I do have a goal for the future - buy more American products. We have already been in the habit the past few years if we have a choice between products and see one if American made, we buy that one. We would like to make more of a point now this year and in future years to find other American products and continue to buy them.

This weekend while doing our Christmas exchanges we returned a pair of snowboots to Big R and went off into the store to pick up some winter socks for me. About 9 years ago, when we lived in Kansas, my husband worked for Cabela's and he introduced me to the most wonderful and expensive socks I'd ever had. While not wanting to drive all the way to Bass Pro or Cabela's to buy them, or wait to order them I tried these Fox River socks last year. Much to our pleasant surprise this year when going to buy another pair, they said "Proudly made in the USA". I never knew they were made in the USA, in Iowa that we drive through all the time. I love that it doesn't just say Made in the USA, but they are proud to me making them in the USA! So my husband said get two pairs of them instead of just one!

Another American product that came into the house over the weekend was a few Fiesta ware bowls in 75th Anniversary Marigold color. We received 2 place settings in the dark blue from our wedding and they are the most used dishes in our house. Our plan is to slowly change out the Made in China dishes and fill the cabinet with a rainbow of Fiesta ware colors! For now it's just Cobalt Blue and Marigold.
No matter what country you are from and even if your whole house isn't filled with things made in your country, I hope you at least find some products from your country that you love that you can support.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I'm sitting here reading everyone's resolutions they've posted on Facebook over the past couple days and they mostly consist of weight loss, eating healthy, getting organized and decluttering houses. I don't have any resolutions for 2012 and I'm not going to make any. I just have one wish and that is for a healthy baby in 2012.