Saturday, April 30, 2011

I'm a little bit in love...

...with the Singer Confidence Stylist.

She's a beaut, eh? Automatic buttonholer, drop-in bobbin, a billion stitch functions...sigh.

I was lucky enough to be picked to host a Singer Sew Very Easy House Party through the House Party website. So, I get all sorts of goodies including coupons, fabric, thread, pins, patterns, and more. Plus, I get to share it with those who attend the party. But, the real prize is getting to borrow a Singer Confidence Stylist from my local JoAnns.

I want to cry; it's so wonderful. I've been sewing on an old White for ages, and in comparison, this machine is like walking on a beach with rocks in your shoes vs. floating on a cloud. Deeelightful.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fat Quarter Baby Clothes

Last week, during JoAnn's Daffodil Dash sale fat quarters were .99. And, before you beat me up about calling my baby fat, fat quarter is a technical term for a cut of fabric that's about 18"x20". So, I stocked up on cute prints and went home thinking about what I could make out of a piece of fabric that small. Shoes, crayon rolls, lunch bags...all the obvious suspects came to mind. But what about making some crazy cheap clothing for Thing 3? Why, yes. That sounds delightful.

These are three bottoms that I came up with, plus Big Baby modeling them with her super chub. There, now you can beat me up about calling my baby fat.

A shirred skirt with a rolled hem
Need to make it a wee bit tighter

Short shorts

You rock that knee fat, Big Baby.

Shorts with a contrasting knit hem

These are my favs.
That's it! They were all crazy easy to make. Now I just need to make some fat quarter tops!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I am a sucker...

for birds. You maybe didn't know that about me. I love me a little bird print. Owls, especially, but I've yet to meet a bird print I didn't like. Although, I could probably find an eagle print or something...maybe a condor?

Anyway, a few months ago, I came across a remnant of a chiffon with a bird print. How fabulous is that? Pretty fabulous. I had no idea what to do with it because it was a scrap of a fabric, barely 12 inches across and whoever was at the cutting table the day that it got turned into a remnant was not very handy with the scissors if you know what I mean. So, after cleaning up the edges, I wasn't left with much. But, eventually the remnant called to me and this is what happened.
A ruffly scarf.

I love you birds.

This one's for mom.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Some of you may have been experiencing Spring for the last few weeks, say since March 21st or so. Unfortunately, we have not had that delightful weather. Spring brought us 17+ inches of snow, cold winds, and thundersnow {boom!}. It seemed like a smart slap in the face after the last 8 months of Winter (I do not exaggerate).

But today was Spring. SPRING! That stay outside all day, pink sunkissed cheeks, grill out and watch the sunset kind of day...Ahhh. It was wonderful. The fam and I celebrated by going on a 2 1/2 hour nature hike on one of the local trails.

We learned lots of things like bugs live under rocks, muskrats make wakes in water, how to tell the age of a tree that's been cut down, and not to stand too close to the mud when you throw a rock into it.

Plus, the boys got lots of loot for their "rock" collection. The term rock is used very loosely here, since the "rock" collection currently houses rocks, fossils, gravel, a feather, and a paper clip. But it's very enterprising and endearing. Here's a pic of our bounty:
Some invasive grass that we're sure we used to know the name of,
section of a paper wasps' nest, rocks with possible fossil remains,
and a nasty little potato bug crawling around in there.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Refashion: Men's T-Shirt into a Women's Summer Top

We're having a rummage sale this summer, and the other day I asked my manfriend if he had anything he wanted to get rid of. I was thinking something along the lines of unused tools, excess doors, boxes of woodworking magazines from the '70s...
"Not really," he said.
"Okey dokey."
Well, low and behold nary a week later what do I find on top of one of the rummage boxes (note that they were not IN the boxes), but four men's T-shirts! One was pretty manky, one had a beer logo on it, one had a sport logo on it, but one T-shirt was a perfectly usable, lovely blue T-shirt. The shirt would probably draw a healthy .50 at the rummage sale if the right buyer came along, but I can hardly pass up a perfectly good T-shirt, can I? (I can't, and this is probably something for which I should seek therapy)
So, shortly after Things 1, 2, and 3 were in bed I got to work and went from this:

To this!
I know, I know. the coloring and lighting is really bad. But I had to take a picture of myself, in my bathroom mirror, sans flash. Please forgive me.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Convert a Regular Bra to a Nursing Bra

I've been nursing for pretty much the last 5 years and I've yet to find a nursing bra that I
A. Love
B. Can afford
C. Doesn't look like it should be strapped to the front of a car circa the mid to late 90's.
But I have a lot of old, non-nursing bras that are pretty useless to me at this point. So, totally brilliant idea! I can turn those bras into nursing bras. I know, genius right? Too bad it only took me 5 years to get to this point. I thought I could help some of you nursing and crafty mamas out and post a tutorial about how you, too, can accomplish this magnificent feet. You need only minimal sewing skills and can even complete this project sewing by hand if you don't have a sewing machine available.

Here we go. Lots of pictures people.
Supplies: Bras that fit, scissors, straight pins, piece of paper and marking device, hook and eye closures**, some stretchy fabric*
Sewing machine or sewing needle, optional: fray check
*Stretchy fabric can be a nylon/spandex combo or a piece of an old t-shirt. Whatevs.
**I used hook and eyes meant for a coat. You could substitute one or two smaller hook and eyes
or a swimsuit closure. It depends on your bra size and preference.

Lay your bra out on a piece of paper and trace around the top two sides, stretching the bra flat as you trace

Extend your lines down two inches from the top lines. These should follow the curve of your underwire.
Lay your piece on your nylon/spandex fabric and cut two "A" ish shaped figures.

Pin the stretchy fabric "A"s into place. You want to place the fabric so that a small seam allowance is overhanging into the cup of the bra.

Repeat with the remaining three sides of the "A"s.
Flip the "A"s up.
Can you see the yellow of my pins?

Switch to your zipper foot and sew on the seam allowance.
Be careful not to sew any other pieces of your bra in.
I'm sewing with white thread here so you can see what is going on,
but you'd want to use a thread that matched your bra.

This is what the inside of the bra looks like.
And my thighs.

Front of the bra and more thigh action.
At this point, pause to discuss nature with your boys.
Wrap tiny tree in wet paper towel and put in ziploc bag to take to school tomorrow.

You'd better be really comitted to this project.
Cut the strap away from the cup really close to the seam.

That opening will need to be closed. You can hit it with fray check,
sew it closed by hand, zig zag it, serge it, whatever floats your boat.
Then pin your stretchy fabric to the back of the strap. The curves might not line up perfectly,
but we can take care of that later.

Put your regular foot back on and sew the stretchy fabric on.
You should do that in two spots for added stability and strength.

See, my curves don't line up.

Cut the excess off.

At this point, you should try your bra on. Which is why
Big Baby is giving me this look. Them's mine.

Mark where your hook should go.
Make it about 1/2 inch higher than you think to allow for the overlap of the hook and eye and the weight of your boob.
Sew it on.

Sew this portion right on the end of the place where you cut the strap off.

Repeat with the other side and ta da!

That's it. I hope you got it.

Note:  For my stretchy fabric, I used a nylon/spandex blend that I had left from another project. You could use swimwear, or knit, or just cut up an old T-shirt. A contrasting color might be an unexpected bit of cuteness.