Monday, September 2, 2013

I'm Back!

Well, when I mentioned in my last post back in, ahem, February, that I'd be back Monday, I didn't think it would be SEVEN months later!  So here's a little update:

Back in mid-March we decided to make another addition to the family, a puppy named Rose!

she loves to lay in the warm sun
Here she is on our vacation last month, practically all grown up!

One week and 3 days after we adopted Rose from Cape Ann Animal Aid we received some exciting news that lead to this....

That would be me last month 6 months pregnant!  Wow, this one was a doozy.  For the first 14 weeks I was SO SICK ALL THE TIME and EXHAUSTED.  I was hoping with this one being number 5 that it would go a little easier, but alas, not so much!  I had been sick like that with our twin girls, a little less sick with our single girl and not at all with our boy, so we thought for sure this one was a girl, but...IT'S A BOY!  I needed the Spring and Summer to spend my small amount of energy on my family and my home duties. I am now 27 weeks along, everything is moving along great and I am glad to be back sharing with you again!  :)

In addition to sewing for my Etsy shop, I have sewn a few things for my pregnant self, including this bathing suit using this tutorial from Cotton and Curls with a few modifications:

And this super simple A-line skirt:

I'll have Ben take some pics of me in 2 dresses I've made as well and blog about those soon.

Phew, I've been wanting to share that for a while now!  Hope you have all enjoyed your summer and are looking forward to the Fall season of harvest and cool weather...I know I am! :)


Saturday, February 23, 2013

March Madness

I have a lot of fun sewing things going on these next few weeks and I hope you'll join me so here's a little peek:

They'll be some of this...

Sewing for Jacob

A healthy dose of this:

AND a super fun opportunity to sew clothing and accessories with some of my favorite organic fabrics that will be available in the Wenham Museum gift shop for this event!

Draw Me a Story
Monsters with the Emberleys
Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley

March 15 - April 28
Beloved authors and illustrators Ed and Rebecca Emberley present a colorful display of illustrations from their collection of frightfully friendly monster books.
Draw Me a Story
Pop Goes the Book!
Family Reception
There Was An Old Monster
Ed & Rebecca Emberley
Sunday, March 24; 1-3pm
Included with Admission
Meet the Emberleys, create thumbprint and monster art, hear select readings, and enjoy a classic children's storybook ballet.
I'll be back Monday with more details...Happy Weekend!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Breakfast Blueberry Spice Muffins

Thought I'd share a doctored up blueberry muffin recipe with you today.  When I serve muffins for breakfast I want to make them as healthy as I can. If this seems like a lot of muffins to have on hand, don't worry they stay in the fridge or freeze well, too.  I also bake them in a Pampered Chef stoneware muffin pan so the baking time is longer than most other muffin pans so check on them after 18 minutes so you don't have briquet muffins.....that's no way to start the morning.

Breakfast Blueberry Muffins

Bake at 400 for 18-25 minutes (depending on bakeware)
Makes 24 muffins

3 1/2c. white wheat flour (you could also do any combo of all purpose and white wheat)
2/3 c. raw sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
2 beaten eggs
1 1/2c milk (sometimes, if I am running low on milk I'll substitute part water)
1/2 c. melted coconut oil or butter
1 1/2c. fresh or frozen blueberries 

1. in large bowl combine dry ingredients
2. in med bowl combine eggs, milk and coconut oil, quickly whisk then add all at once to dry ingredients. Batter will be a bit lumpy
3. fold in blueberries

Bake until edges and top are golden and toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 3-5 then remove to wire cooling rack.  Then step aside as the stampede of hungry children invade the kitchen to gobble up the homemade yumminess!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Week 6 Project Run & Play: Signature Style

It's the last week of this Project Run & Play session and I have totally loved it!  I am using fabric from my stash, trying new patterns and challenging my skills.  This week we were to show off our signature style.  Straight up, with being an at home mom to 4 kids 7 and younger, homeschooling, keeping the house from total disaster land, serving up healthy food, and having a smile on my face and joy in my heart, I don't have heaps of time but I love to sew.  I do my sewing on my 1960's Singer, it does a straight stitch and is such a workhorse; I love it.  So, I go for classic, clean patterns that my kiddos can get some good wearing out of.  I make some adjustments or blend some sizing for my kids' body types,  add a pocket or ruffle, but mostly I am focusing on letting my fabrics and notions do the talking.  I love me some high quality USA organic fabrics that I pick up on sale, unique vintage goodies and all the thoughtful gifts of fabric that have been given from experienced seamstresses to this crazy one!

In the spirit of challenge, I went with a new-to-me pattern by Fishsticks Designs, the Everyday Camp Shirt, and in the spirit of completing the outfit this week, 2 other patterns I have sewn before!   For fabrics and notions I used a brown/black Italian suiting wool with light blue pinstripes I was given by my sewing instructor about 5 years ago when I first started sewing, a lovely textured natural colored organic cotton, a beautiful espresso organic hemp silk charmeuse and some sustainably made buttons to create my Signature Style.

I have made Jacob quite a few vests from this vest pattern.  I love how it fits high and boxy, and depending on fabric choices it can be an everyday boy outfit accessory or part of a dapper little outfit.  Add some pockets and it's an explorer's vest....that's on the list of summer projects!  I really wanted this ensemble to fit him for a while, maybe till next fall?!  So I cut a 5T, this pattern seems to run a bit small and short for my 2 year old, and I wanted it more formal so I lengthened it 3 inches so it would overlap the pant waistband.  Pinstripe wool outside and fully lined in hemp/silk blend.

He really wanted to wear his train whistle bubble blower...I thought it was the perfect accessory :)

Rosewood Buttons

The Everyday Camp Shirt pattern did not disappoint!  Easy to assemble, sized well, clean design that let's the fabric be the focus and it would have only taken a naptime of sewing if I didn't put myself on a wild goose chase to find these buttons!  Dang those little catch-all vessels I have around the house! Anyway, I used the natural color organic cotton and fun green buttons with leaf details I bought at NearSea Naturals years ago.  Jacob's eyes are browny-hazel so these colors look real sharp on him.  Love Fishsticks patterns, they help me create great clothing that become staples in my kiddos' closet.  

Everyday Camp shirt 2T....I can't tell you how excited he was to be outside in short sleeves, my little boy who is always pushing his sleeves was like Christmas!

Close up of the green buttons with leaf detail and a peek of the hemp silk vest lining

The Little Heartbreaker Pants in size 2/3 are from Sewing for Boys I mentioned in this entry and my 2013 self challenge.  I sewed up a pair for Jacob's Christmas outfit and I learned a few lessons for this second pair involving lining up the facings correctly and serging every seam for serious durability. They went together well and I am quite pleased.  Italian wool suiting with hemp silk on the back waistband facing and pocket facings, I love those subtle touches.  Now that I've sewn these twice and love the fit, I have to get some button hole elastic that is called for in the pattern to make them truly adjustable for all the growing this little boy does.

can you see the hemp silk pocket lining peeking out?

The hemp silk and wool are both slick and slippery fabrics.  Just when you think you're cutting out a nice straight facing and lining you look again and it's all Wonka vision but thankfully it didn't cause much calamity and it is so worth it to use nice, quality fabrics. They are both rather light weight fabrics but nicely warm.  I think it'll make a great Easter suit!

And now some action shots....

inspecting a "neat" piece of metal he found

pulling the fish tote rope

throwing the rope

"all done sit"
Signature Style for this sewing Mama is all about a unique but simple look in quality fabrics while letting kids be the little explorers they want to be!
So go check out all the awesome sewing at P R&P!  I am also linked up with Train to Crazy's Make it Wear it, happy weekend!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mid Week Munchies

So every once in a while I get on this kick of wanting the same snack over and over....does that happen to anyone else?!? I really try to feed my family as non processed as possible.  It's healthier and easier on the food bill.  We eat real basic and mostly our food fits in one of these groups: it's in it's natural form of how the good Lord made it, I've baked/cooked it, or it is packaged and has REAL ingredients in it.   It's pretty easy for meal time, but snacks can be a tough one. Anywho, I was out grocery shopping with the kiddos and saw these rice cakes on sale and all of a sudden my brain concocted the most perfect snack to accompany my afternoon tea, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Rice Cakes!  These are like ten thousand times better than the pre-packaged name brand ones, plus you get to spread on as much peanut butter and chocolate goodness as you want!

I really appreciate the Lundberg company and had been buying their rice for a few years....until I couldn't find it in bulk anymore :(...anyway, they are organic and USA from seed to product, nice.  Occasionally I buy Teddie Organic Peanut Butter because we all love the taste of it, just peanuts and salt, but it only comes in this small glass container and the six of us totally eat it all up in like 4 days!  Wish I could find a larger container of peanut butter with just the 2 ingredients....not a big fan of hydrogenated oils and corn syrup on my lovely rice cakes or home baked oatmeal bread.  I bake a decent amount so we buy all our baking supplies in bulk, hence the 3.5 pound bag of chocolate chips (it's a bit more conservative and nicer to look at than the 20 lb. box I have in my pantry!) and these say they are responsibly sourced but they don't give any affiliations with groups so I don't know, but they are yummy!

What's your current snack kick?


Monday, February 11, 2013

First Birthday Love

I posted a few weeks ago about the outfit I made for my niece, M, who just turned ONE!  I wanted her gift to be unique, compliment her own beautiful sweetness and above all, be comfortable and easy to be a toddler in!  Her mother, Julia, is a fabulous photographer and sent me a photo shoot of M in her outfit.  Julia captures the beauty of life so delightfully, here's her site in case you're in Hawaii needing some photos taken!  Without further ado, here's Little Miss sporting her birthday ensemble!

I truly enjoy creating children's clothing that is special and also allows kiddos to be the little explorers that they are.

Happy First Birthday Little M!

Auntie Melissa

Friday, February 8, 2013

Blizzard Sewing


Did a little sewing this blizzard for Hopeful Threads February Project.  They will be going to the Loaves and Fishes International and Hidden Treasures Home. I used the free pattern from Fishsticks Designs and her little tip on serging all 3 layers together.  The front is a quilting cotton the back is a PUL fabric (moisture wicking) and there is some flannel squished in the middle for a bit of absorbency.  

Stay Safe,

Valentine Twirls

Skirts are so fun and easy and when I saw this fabric I just knew it would be perfect for my fun and spunky 6 year old niece.  When I got to thinking about how I wanted to make it special for her I thought pockets, twirly, and hearts....candy heart inspired pockets; nice!  So I think this is the second item of clothing I have ever embroidered on (the first was on a pair of mittens I made for my mum this Christmas), if you can call it embroidery, it's rather simple but it made me smile to do it and I hope she likes the extra touch of handmade love.  The pockets are a dark purple and light pink eco-felt stitched together with a little pink-variegated embroidery floss I had from when I used to make friendship bracelets as a teenager!  

My daughter Lily's only 4 months younger than N so I had her try it on to make sure the fit and pockets were right:

Love U

Sweet Heart

A view from the front...

And the back....

N lives in Texas with her Air Force Mama, my sister, so I see this skirt layered over leggings during these chillier months (does it get chilly in TX?) and light and airy for the summer time.

I know you'll rock this skirt N!



Week 5: Daddy's Shirt and Pants Upcycle for Project Run & Play

At first he wanted nothing to do with it, but now that we call it his Work Suit, he loves it!

It is week 5 in the Project Run and Play Challenge and it took me until Wednesday to decide how I wanted to refashion my husband's old flannel work shirt.  At first I thought a dress for my daughter Morgan then I thought I'd play it safe with a skirt.   Then I saw that most everyone was doing one of those in the PR&P pool so I decided to challenge myself (about 6 hours from start to finish, egads!) with a new but basic pattern and inspiration from here.

I used my Kwik Sew for Toddlers book, the Kwik Sew books are great to have in your sewing book stash as they offer tons of basic patterns that you can get a good jump from to make your own designs.  I cut out a size 4T for the jumpsuit with the neck facing and a collar.  Jacob wears cloth diapers and I wanted the coveralls worksuit to fit over a set of clothes as well so he could wear it while working with daddy in the woodshop and garage.

I cut the flannel shirt apart, laid out the pieces and quickly realized I would need more fabric to get the length I wanted.  My husband suggested using his work pants that had giant holes in the knees, but the backs were virtually perfect!  I cut the legs as shorts and then added the difference with the work pants.  I also used one of the rear pockets of the pants as a side pocket cause every kid needs a few big pockets!  I kept the sleeves and cuffs and the front pocket and reused the buttons.  Because this was a work shirt there were a lot of holes even after cutting around some so I used a thick and soft blue flannel to patch holes before I even started piecing the jumpsuit together.  It was a lot of prep over all but a fun challenge.  ALL the seams are serged so I am hoping he'll wear this A LOT!

here are 2 of the 3 blue patches (sleeve and thigh) and the reused side pocket

A few action shots.....

Love my little guy!
Stop over at Project Run and Play and see all the fun Men's Shirt Refashions and vote for your favorite!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Project Run & Play Week 4: Valentine Love for my Nieces

This week's focus at Project Run & Play is Valentine's Day!  I focused my efforts on sending some love to my two nieces who live thousands of miles away from us.

JULIA, M's birthday gift is below! :)

Little M will be one next month so this is her birthday gift.  I used a lovely hand screen painted vintage cotton for the top and matching shoes.  The blues will match her eyes beautifully!  The top is from Simplicity 2375 and the only change I made was to have the buttons on the outside in the back so I could use these sweet little German made vintage buttons!

arent' those buttons wicked cute!  sheesh, I hope those disappearing ink dots disappear!

I self drafted some capri pants in a soft light blue interlock using a pair of woven pants as a guide.  M wears cloth dipes like my kiddos and I wanted to make sure these would fit well so I made them have a higher rise than you tend to find in the stores.  I also added a heart patch pocket.   I wanted the heart to be seen while wearing the top so it's a bit lower than a pocket should be but she's going to look wicked cute in it either way!

The shoes are in the same cotton as the top and fully lined in a light blue cotton. Can you see the white on the flowers, it's like handpainted on there, special!  I used a waterproof slip proof outdoor fabric for the sole.  Oh, did I mention she lives in HAWAII!

My sister in law is a crazy fabulous photographer so I am looking forward to uber-cute photos of this outfit in action!

Now to get sewing for my sister's little girl.....I see a brightly colored twirly skirt in her future!