throwback thursday {halloween edition}

On Thursdays I pull from my archives of posts and today in honor of Halloween I share with you the easiest costume ever. If you are scrambling today, October 30, for a quick costume have no fear. Grab a black shirt, some felt and throw some wings and a mask together and voila! You have a bat. This is back from 2012 and was the last costume I made…until this year. :)

My daughter is insanely indecisive. Given a plate of food in front of her, she will struggle to figure out what to eat first (unless there is cake of course!) So when it is time to make decisions about things…themes for parties, what to wear and by all means what to be for Halloween she is enough to make you pull your hair out.

After looking online at a few costumes and listening to her hem and haw for weeks I finally told her she was going to be a bat. Thankfully she stuck with it.

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This is probably the easiest costume I have ever put together. Obviously I have huge felt reserves in my house, so the materials were all here and essentially free. The tutorial and pattern for the mask can be found here

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I did alter things a litle bit. The tutorial has you use fabric and then felt with boning stuck in for the wings. I used felt and then made seams for the bends in the wings. I used two layers of felt so the wings are fairly stiff, but not too much to make the shirt uncomfortable.

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The mask in the tutorial is made of paper and I knew that wouldn’t fly on my chick, so I used the same felt with some other scraps and sewed it together.

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I used a ribbon instead of elastic, again because I have crazy picky children and I knew she would hate that tightness on her face. (and we have a serious licking our lips issue going on…any tips?)

I was a little worried that Miss. Indecisive wouldn’t like it, but she loved it and threw it all on as soon as she came home from school yesterday. Score one for mom!

Now, if we can get Bilbo Baggins dressed, Hallween 2012 will be off to a great start!

Happy Halloween!!!

tipsy tuesday {pattern review: lane raglan & plantain tee)

I few months ago I traded in my old serger for a newer one. I had heard raves about Juki sergers and I finally broke down and bought one and honestly I’m beyond happy that I did. My original serger was Husqvarna Viking and not only was it insanely loud it was a bugger to thread. I know, what serger isn’t? But seriously, it was horrendous. The first time I was shown how to thread the Juki I was dying it was so much simpler. Since then I’ve been branching out and learning about sewing knits. I’m still very ignorant when it comes to the types of knits etc, but the more I sew the more I absolutely love it.

Deer and doe plantain tee

The first project I  delved into once I got my serger was the Plantain t-shirt by Deer and Doe. It’s a free pattern by this awesome french pattern company (don’t fret! It’s in English too!) and the knit was one that I had in my stash from way back. I’d been saving it to make a maxi dress or something and still haven’t gotten around to it. I have to say that this t-shirt came together like a dream. I had read a few reviews about the fit and sizing and the sewing angels were over me that day because it fits like a dream.
It’s sort of a scoop neck shirt, but it doesn’t come down too low and it will definitely be a standard t-shirt pattern in my repertoire

Lane Raglan Tee

My most recent knit garment was the Lane Raglan by Hey June patterns. I came across this fun knit at Hobby Lobby and restrained myself from purchasing it the first time I saw it. The second time I was in the store I realized that I had to get some. It feels divine! They have a couple of different color-ways and I had the hardest time figuring out which one to get, but decided the blue was the safest. I wasn’t sure what kind of shirt this would turn out to be, but in the end I really think it turned out super cute. I love, love, love this pattern so much. I’m a sucker for a great raglan t-shirt and this one comes together like a dream. No sewing machine needed: it’s all done on the serger from beginning to end and it’s super simple. My only struggle was with the fit. While I really feel like the overall fit is great, the arms are super long. I need to go back and cut them off a little, but honestly it’s an easy fix and something I know now. I’ve got a couple more yards of knit I’ve gotten my hands on and I’m hoping to make another one asap!

throwback thursday {house}

On Thursdays I throwback into my years of blogging archives and dig up some oldies but goodies (at least in my opinion). When I was going back through my last 7 years of Octobers, I about fell out of my chair looking at this post. While we are still deeply entrenched in the remodeling of our home, looking at this photos from 4 years ago when we first moved in are a good reminder of how far we have come. I’ll have to do an updated post with recent photos so you can see the difference. But for now…here’s a look back from 2010.

Front of our New House

So a couple of weeks ago we moved to a new town (kind of a suburb of the city we lived in) and into a 50+ year old house. It’s something my husband and I have been praying about and longing for for years. We live literally across the street from a park with a greenway that leads all the way to the next small town. If we decide to go public school again, we can walk to school. And we are in an old house with “character”.

Kitchen (plan is to at least redo the doors, if not all the cabinets)

The road to this house though was really, really tough. Our old house was not the best built house and we ended up having to pay to have a bunch of stuff fixed in order to even sell it. But we knew that we were on our way out. The house that had prompted this whole decision to move at first (a foreclosure) ended up selling before ours did (don’t they all!). And when we first attempted to buy the house we bought the first time, they promptly turned us down. We hemmed and hawed about money and budgets and making it all work and honestly in the end it all panned out. The move was slow, but good. We bunked at my parent’s house (sans the parents) for a week prior to moving in and they came home from their trip just in time for us to have a week to move in and get settled. Then things started falling apart again.

Dining Room (view from the kitchen…plan is to paint!)

Among other issues that have come up (such as 1/4 of the wood floor in our master is missing due to a room expansion that happened years ago!) we basically found out this week that our main sewer line was filled with tree roots and practically inoperable (this after our basement semi-flooded with sewage). Something that hadn’t been fully disclosed and led me on a path of anxiety attacks etc for the last few days and eventually (where I should have gone first) into the shelter of the Lord’s wings. It hit me this morning, the root of these anxiety attacks that I’m prone to have at times, is that I go into myself and into my ability to “fix” things instead of straight into the arms of the One who can fix things.

Front of Den (another of the large bay windows in the front…plan is to paint!!)

This morning the kids and I were reading about Moses crossing the Red Sea in this Bible (which rocks if you haven’t seen it). The Isrealites are up at the Red Sea, Pharoah is storming down on them and they are freaking out. But the whole time, Moses is standing there telling them “God will provide a way” and you know that he believed it (even though his knees were probably knocking too). God will provide a way and He is. The money for the repair is being provided and things are going to be ok. I just pray that the next time my knees start knocking and my heart starts freaking out that I’ll stand there and look fear in the face and just remind myself that “God will provide a way.”

The Basement

(this room has already undergone the first part of the transformation. We had to move all the furniture out last night and the hubs removed the nasty carpet. Obviously the plaid is going next, then some paint and tile and this will hopefully be our school/play/sewing studio…as soon as the sewer line is fixed!)

tipsy tuesday {amazing applesauce bread}

I recently had a bushel of apples in my house and spent the better part of 3 days making gobs of applesauce. While we are doing a pretty darn good job of going through these jars of sauce I had a hankering to make some applesauce cake.

I don’t have too many cookbooks that I’ve hung onto since I was first married almost 18 years ago, but I do have one: The Fannie Farmer Baking Book. It was gifted to me by a family that I had babysat for years at a shower and I’ve treasured it for the memory of that family and also because it’s just a great baking cookbook. I have started altering some of her recipes a bit (mostly becase I don’t use vegetable shortning) and this is one of the recipes I played around with a little. It turned out amazing and was even better 3-4 days later. So enjoy!

Applesauce Cake
adpated from the Fannie Farmer Baking Book
makes 2 loafs

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup oil (I used olive oil, but you could use whatever)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat (or you could use 2 1/2 cups all purpose)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp cloves
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups hot applesauce
1 cup raisins
1-2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease two 8.5×4.5 loaf pans.
Mix together the butter, oil and sugar, beating until smooth. Add the eggs and mix well. Mix together the flour, salt, soda, and spices and add to the creamed mixture along with the applesauce, raisins and walnuts. Beat until the batter is well blended.
Spread evenly in the pans and bake loaf cakes for about 1 hours (check after 45 min) until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool in pans.

learning to sew: tic tac toe roll up

Roll up cover

My second level of sewing classes started this week and in this series we are doing a machine AND a hand project in each class. I’ve been searching for a good machine practice project for a while and see paper mazes all the time on pinterest, but I just wasn’t sure I wanted my students sewing through paper on the machines. The original plan was for me to trace a “maze” onto some fabric, but after doing a little more research online I ran across this great project on the Sewing School website (home of the great Sewing School series of books). I took the idea of a tic tac toe bag and altered it some to meet my objectives. It turned out to be a great project and is an easy one for you to recreate at home.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

You need some muslin for the front (or any other solid light colored fabric) and some craft felt for the back.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Cut the muslin and the felt into 6×8 rectangles.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Using a ball point pen and a ruler, draw your lines to make your squares.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Set up your machine on the lines and using a straight stitch, sew from end to end.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Use a zig zag stitch to sew the muslin to the felt. Make sure to leave the top open for your pocket!

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Cut an 18″ length of ribbon, fold it in half and sew the folded end to the inside of the felt.Count out 4 buttons each of 2 different colors and throw them inside the pocket.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Roll it up from the bottom and wrap the ribbon around and tie it up.
Throw it in your backpack and have a quiet little game to play with a friend where ever you go!

After the girls were done sewing their little pouches they each received a “sewing machine driver’s license” that I found online. These were such a hit and we had a lot of fun celebrating!

Random Other Things…

If you grew up in church youth group in the 90’s you know all about the music of Rich Mullins. There is a movie out about his life and a coordinating album that is filled with covers from some great artists. In addition to Rich Mullins, you might also remember Sixpence None the Richer. Leigh Nash has an amazingly haunting voice and I never knew that she did her own album of hymns. It’s beautiful. So set up your sewing machine, have a listen and take a trip down youth group memory lane :)

throwback thursday {of the garment sewing kind}

On most Thursdays I go back through my blog archives and pull an old post that is a little dusty and needs to be blown off and cleaned up a little. This Thursday’s post is back from 2008, back when I could sew and dress my chick in whatever I wanted…six years later that isn’t happening. This is a Children’s Corner pattern that I wish they made bigger because I think I would love to sew it again.

flower/gingham front

The past few days I’ve been trying to finish up this outfit. The baby has been sick since Sunday, so time for sewing (or really much of anything) has come hard to find.

flower/gingham shirt

I made the shirt on Saturday before the baby got sick and really had so much fun sewing it, although I made some pretty silly mistakes! I spent some found time yesterday fixing those mistakes and finishing it up. The shirt is Macy by Children’s Corner.

flower/gingham pants

Today I made these little pants to go with it. They are just simple gaucho pants and I added the trim around the bottom.

flower/gingham shirt

I absolutely LOVE this outfit and can’t wait for the baby to be well enough to take her out and show it off!!