Monday, February 25, 2013

Repurposing "Buyer's Remorse"

Brush my teeth?
 I love how this dress turned out. It used to be a size medium dress from Target that never quite fit me as flatteringly in the home mirrors as the store ones. So the tags never came off. I decided the skirt of it would be perfect for a maxi dress bottom, spring, summer, and fall.
 Since the waist was already elasticized, I simply opened the casing and pulled it tighter, which created more draping and folding as the skirt falls, and cinched it in for a smaller waist. Or chest, as it is an empire waistline. I attached a front and back bodice piece on the fabric extras from the dress top that I had chopped off, and added a ribbon neckline, with casing.
 This is the original dress.
Bit of a change, eh?
OK, you can chew on your toothbrush for a bit. No toothpaste, don't want any on your dress! Now, to keep it or to sell it?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crock Pot Roast

Supper is an adventure most nights. Exploring new recipe variations, new levels of patience...early in the day I had put a roast going in the crock pot. Get a 2-3 pound roast (mine was frozen), put it in the crock pot on high with a 1.5c water, about 2tsp salt sprinkled all over, 1-2tsp garlic powder, 1tsp pepper, 1tsp Trader Joe's 21 seasoning salute (or other all-purpose seasoning blend). It takes about 6 hours for it to be tender and fall-apart juicy, so plan ahead. I also like my roasts flavorful, so if you have longer, do 8 to 10 hours on low. Or add more seasonings. Your choice.

You know that lovely picture circulating on pinterest? Of the potatoes in chicken broth, lovely crisp on the outside yet so soft on the inside? Here's a peek at my attempt.
 Yeah...I did a great job on the "soft on the inside part" but not so much on any lovely crispiness. See how they fall apart? I decided that the flavor was probably still great, so I added 2tbsp of butter and fried up the outsides a bit.
  Then I discovered my friend broccoli was a little low, how was I supposed to feed 3 people on this?
 But I remembered the chicken broth I was cooking the potatoes in...and cooked green beans in that as I steamed the broccoli on top.
 peek at the meat, shredded juicy tender savory goodness....
 Potatoes gaining a bit of a crispy shell but still a colossal failure as far as presentation goes.
 And the whole supper, plated. Yum!
 veggies taste so good with salt and pepper and a dab of butter..
 As soon as I was ready to eat, cue the wails from munchtwo. Ah...cutie. She spent the whole meal trying to grab the plate.
I think the key to the meal was actually the meat, and the juices from roasting it. I drizzled some over the potatoes and my taste buds still rejoice over the memory, hours later. Don't think you'll like it? Try them! Try them and you may, I say!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Fresh usually brings to mind good feelings, pictures of smiling children fresh from a bath, the smell of their clean hair. The smell of the world after a rain, the smell of a brand new bloom. Fresh is not so great when it refers to a bodily function, i.e. a fresh burp or...other functions. But a freshly blended smoothie is wonderful.

Throw in a banana or two, an avocado and some spinach. Pour in 2 cups of coconut milk (adjust for your own smoothie thickness preference), and toss in a bunch of strawberries, pineapple chunks, wild many as you like, for the taste you like. Yum. Breakfast or a bedtime snack, its fresh.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Boat Deck Dress and Giveaway Winner!

A friend of mine recently said she needed boat deck shoes. So I made her a boat deck dress to go with them! See it here on etsy!
Light and breezy with an incredibly light navy blue knit fabric striped with white lace. Hand set brass grommets (eyelets) with a lovely silken cord belt -- interchangeable for alternate looks!

Spring, summer, fall...beach, restaurant, hike.. I'm with you.

Congrats, Megan! You were my first comment so you won this dress! I hope you like it! Comment away, let me know inspiring topics or tutorials or questions that you would like to have answered and I may do another giveaway for an especially great comment! Help me, I help you.

How to tie knots:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

How to Set a Grommet in Clothing

Grommets are actually called eyelets when they are so small, which is confusing for me because I think of eyelet as a fabric, not a metal ring to make a fancy, reinforced hole. But they sure do make the finished product a whole lot nicer.
 To set you eyelet or grommet, you can buy a kit from a fabric store. Some grommets will be a bit different depending on the material and size, but this tutorial is for a small metal one. I was using a very thin knit for my outer layer, so I wanted to reinforce the hole, causing less stress on the thin fabric and also ensuring a nice, tight fit so the fabric wouldn't slip. I sewed up a handy little square for then inside of the garment, then marked the size of the eyelet. You can press, causing an indentation, or trace the size of the eyelet. If you are worried about the fabric fraying after you poke the hole, stitch around the hole before cutting. Alternatively, apply fray check after cutting. I used fray check.
 Here is my hole in my reinforcing fabric. I didn't fuse it to the actual garment, though you could.the eyelet has a deep and shallow center.
 Put the deep eyelet through your fabric(s) from the right side to the wrong side. The prongs should be on the wrong side.
My kit called this an anvil. Place it on a firm surface, protect it if you don't want dents.
 Place the eyelet into the indent on the anvil, again with the right side of the fabric down.
 Place the shallow eyelet half over the other, with the shallow center towards the fabric. The other eyelet half should be visible in the center (depending on your eyelet).
 Place the setting tool onto the eyelet and bang away. Gently. No craters to China, its just fabric. With a bit of metal.
 When you've set the eyelet, the prongs from the front will have bent onto the back half.
 Now you're ready to string a rope through! Perfect for a nautical adventure.
Did you know the word "tidy" come from the tides? Well-arranged and methodical... ~

Monday, February 11, 2013

How to Create a Home Studio

In order for pictures to turn out and look professional, you need good lighting. You can fudge the camera work as long as you have awesome light. Well, I am no photographer by any means, but I have light. And I need to take pictures of products, so I needed a better setup. Enter our top sheet from the set that wore out. RIP favorite sheets. *weep* Check out that light!

 We have a loft that is conveniently located right next to a window. This window happens to be north-facing, which I figured might be nice as we won't get direct sunlight streaming through, hopefully keeping the light nice and soft all the time. Down came the flag. Meh. It used to be behind a high, cherry desk and looked pretty cool, but it has been bugging me for awhile.
 Note my super safe step ladder. I don't recommend stools as they aren't super sturdy.
 I used tacks to hang the sheet on the wall, and voila.
 so you get an idea of the difference, these next two pictures are taken with the exact same camera settings.

 can you guess which is an accurate image as far as color goes? Now, if only I could be struck with some genius power that allowed me to take amazing pictures.
 Find these in my etsy shop!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Tempers and Tantrums

Sometimes it has become necessary to deal with tempers and tantrums, possibly even temper tantrums at our house. We have found a great way of calming our tempers and alleviating the need to throw tantrums.
Step one. Throw tantrum because Christmas is over and the tree doesn't fit in its box (who is throwing the tantrum here?).
 Step two: be on the receiving end of an evil glare ( guess who she learned that awesome skill from).
 Step three: take some soothing time together putting laundry going, and sit on the washer as it turns on. Works best if you have an agitate cycle. Soothing noises, fresh smells, soothing thoughts from getting things accomplished. Win.
 Step four: enjoy your newly calmed states of mind, and play dress up together.
"Do these jammies make my legs look fat?"

How to do Your Little Girl's Hair

There are a few tricks to a wonderful hairdo. The first is to make sure that your girl has long, luscious locks. Preferably with a gorgeous natural curl that falls like a dream to her shoulders. If she has that, then you are done. If she doesn't, she may have hair like this:
Now, you may be wondering how it could get much better than this. Or you may not. Your choice, really. In order to perfect the locks, have her race around like a maniac getting all warm while wearing a hat. For instance, she could go outside:

Racing is hard work. Yes, she has mittens. She chooses not to wear them. Now you are ready for the ponytail, as it hopefully will stay now:
 Or if you are lucky, the hat and racing created all the hairdo she will ever need.
Easiest method of hairdressing ever, using all natural techniques. Probably even organic.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Spring Cleaning and Easter

I am getting the urge to spring clean. Which is odd because I am so good at cleaning our house is never a mess. Spic and span always. Ha. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my sewing area looks like this:

Yes, munchone is usually there, too. Which doesn't help with the mess. On the bright side, I am almost done with the design I was hinting at in my last post. Previews are here! Soon available in my Etsy shop. Be sure to check it out again, as there will be a few fun embellishments to go along with spring and/or Easter. While you're there please buy something or favorite something of mine because my self esteem is sure wondering if I actually do have talent or a sense of style or a few people who actually look at this sparse beginning of a blog's OK. I'm strong. Anyways. :) just had to use an emoticon in case you couldn't tell if I was kidding or not. Pictures!
 At least munchtwo likes them! So comfy and light!
  I'm going to ruche the hemline. Is that a verb? To ruche? Anyway, that will allow shorter kids to wear the pants, and taller kids could wear as capris if they are very thin but very tall.
 fluff the way it puffs out.
I made another pair in the size of munchone but she disdains modeling.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Every so often I see some fabric and I fall in love with the sheen, the pattern, the weight... I fell in love with this lovely, springy cotton. It has a hint of the pastels to brighten up the warm gray, and I knew I could use it for something.
 So I am. We shall see how it turns out! I based my design on this tutorial, and will be adding some twists to make it more suitable for a no-stretch cotton.
Wish me luck!

I also bought some knits...I love knits. The extra challenge of working with them is completely worth it.
Plus the scraps are always useful. I'll be using this braid in a design coming soon on this blog and in my etsy shop. My poor husband puts up with my humor with such patience. And how do I reward that? With pics and a headband on, on my blog? But hey, I think that fabric looks pretty cool.

Spring is coming! I'm excited for my fabric and new designs!