Friday, April 30, 2010

Pillow Case Dress Success!!

My friend's little girl is having her birthday party on Sunday. I've been thinking of making this dress for her forever and it took me ages to go get the fabric and then get the guts to sew. There are pillow case dress tutorials all over the net, so I won't bore you with that.  I did it "old school" style, with ribbon at the neck, no elastic. People who sell these have gone to elastic necks, with bows for decoration, because of the strangulation hazard of actual things that tie near the neck. ugh, as morbid as that is, I'm pretty sure people have survived pillowcase dresses for hundreds of years.

It's a dinosaur theme because this pretty little girl is in LOVE with dinosaurs and bugs and everything icky and slimy and gross. Here's a close-up:

I attempted to make a ruffle around the bottom, but the ruffler and I were NOT getting along, and then the serger ate a bunch of fabric and thread broke and blah blah blah, I got frustrated and just made it a coordinating bottom rather than a ruffled bottom.

The sash is a copycat design from Fray Baby Bibs and More.  I don't know if she does hers with elastic at the neck or not. I LOVE the ribbon she uses at the shoulders, but it's pretty hard to get, even online.

I have no interest in selling these, so if you want one, please support "Fray Baby Bibs and More" through facebook. I don't know the owner personally, but I love her work and she has really inspired me to try new stuff in the sewing room.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Curly Ribbons

One day, while surfing the 'net for who-knows-what, I came across The Ribbon Retreat and it's free tutorials for ribbon crafts. They are a ribbon store, and they want you to have lots of uses for their ribbon. 

Before stumbling upon this, I had NO IDEA how korker or curly ribbon was made. Since I had some dowels and some clothes pins, and some ribbon, I gave it a go. Then, quickly, ran out and bought more clothes pins and more ribbon! It's too easy!! I'll let you go to their page for the actual details, but here are the basics:

Twirl ribbon around dowel, securing in place with clothes pins. Put in oven (get details on The Ribbon Retreat)

Remove from oven, let cool a bit, unwrap, have curly ribbon. Wow!

Here, I was experimenting with wrapping ribbon around a hair clip, but then it had long tails, so since it is metal, I figured the oven couldn't hurt it, so wrapped the tails around the dowel and stuck it in the oven.

It's been about a month and I haven't gotten any further on that green clip project...

I did use some of the corkers I made to decorate Kaila's Easter pigtails:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Twirl Dress For LavaGirl - Part 2 of 3

I read on another blog that gathering and applying the last layer of this crazy patchwork circle dress can drive a person insane. Here's how I did it. I didn't go insane, but I'm not a perfectionist.  It's a dress, not a space ship.

First, I laid the dress out in a circle. Then I folded the last layer to find 4 equal distances, and pinned those 4 points. Imagining the circle dress as a compass rose, I then pinned the 4 points to North, South, East, and West. See:

Then I took the half-way points of what was left, and pinned them at NE, NW, SE, SW. See:

Then, I took those half-way points, and pinned at NNE, ENE, NNW, WNW, SSE, ESE, etc.

Then I just kept going like that, pinning, sometimes folding and pinning until it was all pinned down and ready to be sewn. 75 pins is "all" that it took. 

As I pinned, Wyatt played next to me and we even took a couple snack breaks for him. Here's my view during a snack break:

Twirl Dress for LavaGirl - Part 3 of 3

The weather was gorgeous this morning, so I finished up the twirl dress and took Kaila outside so we could show it to all of you awesome fans! I still need to serge it on the inside, but it will work without for now.

Of course, Springy always accompanies us outside.
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

75 Pins

75 pins. That is how many it took to put the fifth and final row onto Lavagirl's twirl dress.

Of course I forgot to hem it before I started pinning so now I have to hem it and then finish the inside mess of seams and strings and it will be done. Stay tuned for the pinning how-to.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The %&*@$# Doll Stroller-finally fixed!

So, I'm pretty anti-stroller to begin with. They are so inconvenient and unnecessary about 70% of the time. The major exceptions would be going shopping for clothes, and working out to fit into those new clothes.

Regardless of how I feel about them, every little girl in the neighborhood has at least one doll stroller, and they all fight over them, so, naturally, I had to get one for Lavagirl for her 2nd birthday, last August. Instantly, it was the bane of my existence. The seat part is removable, and was removed 89% of the time, leaving a bare bones stroller frame for poor little baby dolls to perch on. After a month or two it got chucked into the garage, with plans to eventually glue it on or something.

So recently, a neighbor kid spotted the stroller frame in the garage and demanded that I put it together. A couple weeks later, I found the $%&*#@ seat part, and we started going through the same removal, fix, remove, fix, remove process. ARRgh!!!!  One morning, fully caffeinated, I had had enough of the whine, whine, whine, fix my stroller, blah blah blah. Luckily I was having to look around for glue, and it hit me. If I glued it, I wouldn't be able to take it off and wash it if, lets say, someone decided to use it as a wheel barrow.  So, I grabbed some ribbon, sewed it on, and tied it with knots onto the frame.


Belated Earth Day post, Recycled seed starting cups

Happy Belated Earth Day. Sorry, I was obsessed with sewing and cleaning yesterday and failed to blog this.

Many years ago, around 8th grade maybe, I volunteered at a traveling daycamp as a Cadette Girl Scout. One of the camp projects was something like this:

So, I've thought for years that egg shells would be great for starting seeds. As a "square foot gardener" I also wanted to try growing seeds in vermiculite.

Here's how I have started my plants for now:

First, rather than buying those special seed starting mini greenhouses, I used the plastic clam shells that baked goods come in from the grocery store. I filled them with vermiculite and spread seeds around. Then I watered and closed the clam shell, gave it a week or two, depending on the seeds and: 

The  nice thing about these clam shells is that you can divide them with paper, and draw a line over the top of the whole thing with magic marker, and label the sections

While those were growing, I prepared my "planters." This winter I saved a few dozen egg shells. I prepared them by poking holes in the bottoms with a pin:

I did this to a lot of them:

Then I filled them with potting soil and transplanted the seedlings from the vermiculite to the egg shells:

Now, to put them in the ground, I'll just squeeze the shell and put in a hole.
In the picture above, you'll see that some of the eggs are topped off with vermiculite. The eggs are growing tomatoes and I want good roots. Knowing that tomato plants put out roots from the stem if buried, I covered them up as high as I could with vermiculite, and am seeing if it makes a difference in plant growth.

Another thing you can see above is that in the back, there's a cardboard egg carton with more seedlings, but not in shells. This is another experiment, also doing the vermiculite top-off experiment.

Before some science teacher comments that there are too many variables to call it an experiment, well, I know. There's no true control group. Luckily, this isn't a science project, it's a kitchen project for my garden, so I'm ok with it not being done "correctly."

The tomato varieties are Bloody Butcher, Yellow Pear, and some sort of hybrid cherry tomato that's supposed to grow so many it looks like bunches of grapes. 

Breakfast cookies replacement

My kids are totally addicted to:and , and we go through them like crazy. The cost is ridiculous for cookies, and they aren't even that healthy, since they are full of: HFCS (2nd ingredient on both), Partially Hydrogenated Oils, and "artificial flavor."

So, Hubby decided I need to make my own. I had tried this last year and no one liked the result. I decided to consult Quaker's website this time, and found a muffin recipe that works.

Yesterday I (and the kids) made it as written, without the topping, but adding chocolate chips. It was very moist but not very pretty.

Today I made a double batch, but only baked 12 and put the rest of the batter in the fridge for tomorrow. Today I substituted half whole wheat flour, use whole eggs instead of just egg whites, and was generous with the oatmeal.  I added in about 1/2 cup of sweetened shredded coconut, and sprinkled more of that on top. They came out much prettier.

This is such a versatile recipe that I think we can keep it going for quite a while, using various dried fruits and kinds of chips. I have a stockpile of cinnamon chips because I bought OODLES last time I found them. they will be SUPER in these!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Sharkboy has been wanting a Snuggie since before Christmas, thanks to the nearly constant commercials for them on Sprout leading up to Christmas. I thought it was silly, so kept saying no. Then Special Stitches announced everything 30% off, and I decided to make snuggie-type things, but personalize them.

I started with the pink. I cut it to the size of one of Tyler's blankets, and then folded it in half to find the middle and eyeballed where to put the arm holes.

Using the excess length, I sewed two sleeves and attached to the holes.
When Lavagirl woke up, she loved it! and it wasn't even done yet.

and then I worked on the orange one. I wish I had put his arm holes further apart, but hey, it still works.

Here's where they are BETTER THAN STORE BOUGHT.

I personalized Sharkboy's with a knight's shield and his initial. Lava Girl's is still waiting to be embellished. I plan on a tiara and her initial.

Here's a video of Tyler enjoying the long sleeves on his. He wouldn't let me shorten them...

and I can't figure out how to embed video, so click the URL below the pic it will take you to YouTube:

Win a PlasmaCar!!!

There are lots of blogs that I frequent, and plenty of them have a freebie day every week giving trinkets I couldn't care less about, but this one is an awesome giveaway, so I'm posting here to get 5 bonus entries! Does that make this like a prostitutional post?  Anyway, go enter, and check out Sharon's awesome blog, crafts, and soon, her Etsy store!!!  if you can't sew it, she can, so buy it from her!! Unless it's  a sling of course, then buy a DreamSling!

Twirl dress for LavaGirl-Part 1 of 3

I often drool on things on, but rarely buy. It has to be REALLY AWESOME for me to buy from there for some reason. One day, as I was surfing and drooling, I found this dress pattern. At about the same time, Lava Girl climbed onto my lap and went NUTS over the dress. For $4 I couldn't NOT buy the pattern. I have plenty of scraps to make it from.

Then I got intimidated by the gathering involved, went Ebay and bought a "Ruffler" for my sewing machine. That will have to be a whole new post. I cut and sewed the squares while I waited for the ruffler to get here. Then I waited to have time and guts to try putting it all together.

WHY DID I WAIT? I didn't even need the ruffler. When I make another one of these, I'll just do it. No elastic, no gathering, Just pin and go. So easy, and SO AWESOME.

These pics don't have the bottom layer on yet, because I stopped last night, not knowing if my short girl would even need that last layer. I'll add that layer tonight if SharkBaby lets me. Then I'll post a pic of it all finished and on her, if it ever stops raining long enough to go outside and take a pic of her twirling in the grass.

Thank you "SweetShop" for making my little girl Extra Cute!!

Since I returned the serger that my parents got me for my birthday, I'm going to finish this with pinking shears to stop fraying on the inside seams. The pattern says to serge or zigzag the edges, but well, no, I'm too lazy. We'll see how this works. I am going to buy the serger on Friday and try again with it. My mom was right, if I'm going to keep sewing lots, I need it.

Thanks MOM for knowing what I always need.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pasta in a Rice Cooker 2007 - 231964 - Recipezaar

Pasta in a Rice Cooker 2007 - 231964 - Recipezaar

This was good. I'm always looking for new ways to use my rice cooker. At first I thought it's silly to do it this way, but since I often forget/get distracted while boiling water for pasta, it's nice that this will cook itself. Next time I'll double the recipe and have extra sauce to put on at the end.

Enought about that! I have to go find my camera! Wyatt is crawling on hands and knees!!!! no pics of pasta, couldn't find camera last night either! It looks like, um, PASTA.


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