Posts Tagged ‘Sewing’

I came across a NY Times article about big companies like Frito-Lay jumping on the local food bandwagon.  Claims that their chips are local (to some places) because the potatoes were grown there, for example, there is a processing plant in Florida, and a farmer that provides potatoes to the company also in Florida.  This makes Frito-lay potato chips "local food" for Floridians…hmmm.  I guess the following quote from the article shows how grossly some folks are missing the point:

“You know the locavore phenomenon is having an impact when the
corporations begin co-opting it,” Ms. Prentice said. “Everyone should
know where things are processed. The ‘where’ question is really

Hmmm…food being processed is really the problem.  Food should be grown, farmed, picked, slaughtered, harvested, cleaned, raised, cooked, canned, frozen….but processed?  Point….missed.

Some would say it's good that big companies are seeing that the local food movement is a to be taken seriously…I say, double edged sword.  Now that they know what people want they have to manipulate the masses into thinking the company is offering what the consumer wants…when that fails, they will need to take down anyone that really is providing the consumer what they want…enter programs like NAIS.

Onto some crafting, which I haven't shared in a while.  I did stitch up a skirt yesterday, and over the weekend I finished off a shirt.  Today were a couple pairs of baby pants.  The skirt was made with a great one piece pattern by Diane Ericson that I bought probably 10 years ago, never used, and pulled out the other day to give it a try.  I used a lovely neutral creamy goldish color linen.  The skirt is fun to wear and lays nicely.  I'm seriously considering adding patch pockets on the front.  I'm kind of lazy about details on garments and tend to go for the basic cut, stitch, go method, but pockets are so darned handy, I might make an exception to my lazy stitching style.  The Shirt was made with that out of print pattern that I love so much.  The little pants are just a Simplicity or something.  Nothing noteworthy, but they are simple, cute and fit her well, even with her HUGE cloth diaper butt!  I need to make something for MIni.  She still fits into many of her clothes from last year, they are just shirts instead of dresses, and her Grammy's have been shopping for her, so she's not in the same dire straits as her sister and I, so she's been left out of the sewing, but I don't want her to feel left out.


I love how clothes look on the line.  So peaceful.

Speaking of the whole pocket thing, I'm realizing the great practicality of aprons.  I can't count how many times in the past few days I've thought, gee, if was wearing an apron I could use it to carry, hold, clean, wipe…whatever it was.  I think I need to start wearing one.  I know there are groups of gals who have gotten into them more as a fashion accessory and while I'm cool with that, and have done so myself on occasion, I'm really seeing the practicality of them.  Especially for ladies who spend a good chunk of their day at home tending to duck, chickens, kids and cooking.  Hmmm…maybe I'll have to dig out from my stash, or find, a good apron pattern.

Other Apron lovers:

Angry Chicken's Tie One On


An Apron a Day

Apron Memories

Chicken Update:  For anyone wondering, Babs laid her egg in the duck coop again.  The duck laid her egg in the swampy part of the habitat.  Babs did avoid another encounter with her less than hospitible neighbors, but after yesterday's altercation one would think she would have avoided them alltogether.  The others continue to lay in the garage hay bale.  Crazy birds.  Husband pointed out it was better they lay there than in the woods…true.


Elizabeth on the left, pushy neighbor, Babs on the right


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I did it!  I finally made an article of clothing for myself.  I have been procrastinating in this area, but I plowed through and completed this.  I was inspired by a dress by the Etsy designer I love so much, Sarah Clemens.  I have 2 dresses on order, with the help from my In-laws and a lovely gift certificate, but I knew I could make this one, if I focused, and I had the necessary linen, so I really needed to try.  This dress was constructed much like sculpting with fabric.  I didn't have a pattern, and did not make one before I started, which is what I usually do if I want to make something that I didn't buy a pattern for.  However, this time I was winging it the whole time.  It felt good, scary, exhilarating and frustrating to work this way, but in the end it was successful, I went outside my comfort zone with the medium, which is always good.  I think the finished garment is adorable and very fun to wear! 


It looks kind of shiny, which must be the lighting/flash because the fabric is a not shiny linen.  I'm having issues with my computer right now so I'm dealing using another one that doesn't have my software so pictures are an issue right now…quite frustrating.  Hopefully the geek squad will fix my regular computer quickly, so I can have my regular tools back!!

Jane update:  She tolerated her confinement well, so tonight we are took her 4th wall off, so she is free to move about the box at will, and to eat and drink as she desires.  We have replaced the Easter eggs with the fertile Ancona eggs, and now we wait.  In 7 days we will candle.  This is the process of holding a light up to the egg, in a dark room, to see inside the egg.  So unless something unusual occurs the next Jane Update will be Sunday, April 26.  I didn't take any pictures as I didn't want to stress her out with the flash, but she looked very cute all hunkered down and ready to hatch some babies.

Sunday, April 26, is also Duck and Geese school.  Yellow House Farm is hosting this class to teach people how to raise these other poultry options.  I'm planning on going to that class, as we are going to be acquiring a set of Muscovy ducks that are ready for breeding.  I got to see them when I was at the farm yesterday and they are beautiful.  I am very excited.  I can pick them up as soon as we have the housing ready for them.  I'm hoping that can be ready when I go to Duck School so I can bring them home after I get all the great education that day!  We'll see.

Duck Egg Updated:  The scrambled egg "recipe" I shared from Joseph yesterday, was fabulous! The eggs were a different texture, and flavor, but very similar to chicken eggs and still pleasant. 

Garden Update:  More transplanting going on.  Cole Crops are done and the tomatoes will be once I get the pots from my parents.  The peppers tolerated the transplanting well and look quite happy.

Knitting Update:  I'm starting another soaker/diaper cover for the baby.  I'm thrilled with how well cloth diapering is working for our little family. I picked up some liquid lanolin from the herbal pharmacy today to lanolize the cover my friend made for me.  Liquid seems easier than melting the solid, so I'll try it that way this time.  Husband has been doing a great job of keeping up with the laundry, even with drying them on the line we are still well supplied with diapers.  Yay!

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I’m thinking I should have been more focused today.  I may have gotten myself into some trouble.  I decided to take my friend Kim’s comments to heart and just cast on a couple of projects that I wanted to start.  The theory is that having started them I can get them out of my system long enough to move forward on the projects I need to finish.  I’m fearing a huge derailment now that I have the tempting little goodies on needles!

I have been wanting to make something for my husband for awhile.  He’s not a fan of cold weather and has been so encouraging in my ideas of keeping the temps in the low 60’s to save fuel.  So I have wanted to make him a cozy knitted item to encourage him during this cold time of the year, and to keep him a bit warmer.  Problem is finding a project that he’d like to wear when it’s done.  The Fall Knitty had a fun sweater vest called Mangyle. Hubby liked it, liked the colors it was made in even, and so I picked up some Galway in the brown, gold and cream on Monday.  I cast on today, and have the band done and few rows of the back.

So far all that did was make me want to start the adorable hat I saw on Ravelry the other day.  I have the perfect yarn in my ‘stash’ and the pattern has been released.  I figure it should take very little time to whip it up, and I’ll look so cute and be so warm this weekend, wearing it to all my outside activities.  So grabbing another set of size 7’s I cast that on too!  I also stayed up until nearly 2 working on this…see where I think the trouble is coming in?

I also managed to cut out the pieces for that shirt I showed the pattern for yesterday.  I hope tomorrow can be the day of finishes since today just seemed to be the day of starts!

I guess I did finish one thing… the little bag that I intended to make for the ornaments.  I was going to make bags for each ornament, and I still may make more, but for now I have one bag that I will reuse each day with a different ornament each time.  Mini liked the surprise and is loving the consistency and I think also, the ritual, of the advent time.  Next year I will definitely make the bags, numbered, so that I can hang them up and take one down from their spot each day, so there is more to the counting down.  She’ll be 3 so I think that will be more exciting at that age.  Right now, I don’t see that it’s that crucial and I do have a few more ornaments to embroider and Christmas Gifts to make…so maybe I’ll work on those bags in January!  That way I can still pack them away with any other ornaments we unpack, but not have the pressure.


Day 3

Genesis 3:13-15

Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”

“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”

Then the Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this, you are cursed
more than all animals, domestic and wild.
You will crawl on your belly,
groveling in the dust as long as you live.
And I will cause hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.

The “He” referred to Jesus, the son of man, who would defeat evil once and for all.


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I’ve been wanting to make more project bags forever!!  I finally did it today.  I spent time with my friend Kim and we, using 1 sewing machine between us, made project bags.  We used the tutorial from Drago[knit]fly Blog, and while it served as a way to get us going, we both found it a bit confusing.  So I can’t rave about the tutorial, but it was still helpful in keep us from having to start from scratch.  I’m pleased with the results and thrilled that my Mother-in-laws scarf no longer needs to be crowed in the same bag  as my current sock project!  I used my horded fabric from Urban Chicks.  I loved that whole series and bought a bunch of it, and have been hording it since then!  Occasionally I pull out a bit for this, and some for that, but I’m quite stingy with it.


I also had the amazing and RARE opportunity to try on a garment before I made it!  Not talking a muslin here, an actual finished garment, that I did not have to make.  A number of years ago Kim made an adorable shirt from a McCall’s Pattern #7583.  I saw the pattern in her sewing room and she graciously let me try on the shirt (off her back, mind you) when I saw the pattern and raved about how cute it was.  She wears the shirt a lot and I thought it was cute on her, but she usually wears a jacket over it, so the full effect is lost.  But I got to try it, it’s adorable and fits fabulously, and if that wasn’t all great enough, Kim lent me the pattern!!  I’m hoping to have time to make it up tomorrow.  I looked online to find a link to a vintage pattern site, or something (it’s copyright 1995), but the only patterns with that number, I could find, was a vintage dress pattern from the 50’s or 60’s, and a picnic bag from the 80’s.  Not sure what happened to this little number, but I’m so thrilled to be able to make one for my very own self!


Knitting has not been as much fun lately.  I need to finish the two Christmas gits so I can pick something inspiring to get me out of this funk!  Here is my progress…

Mother-in-law scarf:


Mother shawl:



Day 2

John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.  The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.


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You may remember the little embroidered girl that I finished a few months ago.  It was a pattern from Wee Wonderfuls. I have been wanting to use it to decorate a book bag for my little reader to carry her books to and from her daily library trips.  Hubby brings Mini to the library nearly every day it’s open.  She loves going and I’m all for encouraging her enthusiasm for books.

I finally sat down to make, what is in my mind, a reality.

Mini loves it!  If you’d like to make one for your little one, I made up a tutorial!

Library Bag Tutorial

You of course don’t need to add an embroidered embellishment. You could also draw or paint one if you wanted, or omit that part all together.

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I did it!  I finished the whole outfit.  It was touch a got for a while.  A nap was trying to overtake me.  I considered eating one of the few Pumpkin Swirl Brownies that remain on the counter, for a little sugar pick me up, but resisted and instead worked on cleaning a bit of my craft room.  In the process of that I pulled down from the shelf my serger.  It prompted an idea…as well as gave me a very easy way to hem the bottom of my top.  Since it’s linen and the outfit is kind of unconventional, I don’t really care if it has a hem, but I also don’t want it to fray, so a serged edge gives a decent look and takes away the fray!

I used the serger to make strips of the black linen.  Then I ran a basting stitch up the center of the 2.5″ strips.  Pulling the threads to gather the strips, I created my decoration for the bottom of the dress.  I pinned the strips on and stood back…asking my husband for his opinion before stitching them down:

Me: “Does this look cool, or does it look like a black blob threw up on the left side of my dress?”

Him: “No, not at all, it looks like fashion is slinking up your thigh.

I stitched along the basting line I created for the gather, to adhere the decorations to the dress.  I’m very pleased!

The pattern used was Burda 8220, which can be sleevless or with sleeves.  However the sleeves they had were tapered, and looked to “tunic-y” for me, so I made the wide and put and elastic at the cuff.  I like it much better that way.  Other than the decoration I added the pattern was made as it called for.  The fabric is fabulous black linen from the Fabric Fix in Manchester, NH.  If you’re local to NH, it’s a great place for dress fabrics, including linens, wools and silks.  Great stuff from NYC.

It looks great with the bloomer pants I finished the other day and I’m putting the last 10 or so rows on the cowl that I made to accessories with!  I’m so excited to have finished a whole outfit.  As you know, if you follow along very much, I don’t tend to finish the sewing projects as faithfully as I finish my knitting projects.  Remember the brown dress… I did find that, along with the last few pieces necessary for completion, while I was working on my sewing room.  So maybe I’ll ride the high of finishing an outfit, right into completing that dress, too!  Maybe…it could happen.

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I’m very jealous of these undergarments.  They are beautiful! She made them herself! Where does one even find fabric and notions like that?  Certainly not Joann’s.  I might have to start searching for such lovely items to make up my own special underclothes.

I hope this enthusiasm for sewing, I’ve experience lately, continues with great fervor for at least a little while.  I have so much fabric that really could be put to far better use than simply taking up shelf space in my craft room.  Homemade clothes, like most every other homemade thing, are so special and so unique.  I just wish I didn’t ebb and flow so much with the craft.  I found out there is a studio that teaches lessons in my own town! Actually, better than that, it’s less than 5 miles from my house!  I might need to get hooked up with a class or two to fine tune my self taught technique, and to help keep me motivated to sew.

When writing the title of today’s blog I realized that there is only one day left of this month.  The last day of the month always makes me a little nervous…thoughts such as “Did I pay all the bills that were due this month? Did I fill out all the paperwork that was due this month? Did I properly finish all the loose ends necessary for the closing out of another month?”  I’m left with the reply to all of those… “Gee, I hope so!”

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