Wednesday, April 24, 2013

KCW Days 2 & 3

Short and sweet - this time I mean it!  Just a few words about this cool shirt.

Pattern: Shwin & Shwin's Maxwell Shirt
Size: 5T (he usually wears a 4 and this fits perfect)
Fabric: Very lightweight cotton (seersucker?) bought from Joanns a couple of years ago

This one took me some time, but the most difficult part was convincing my model that it is in fact, a cool shirt.  Our photo shoot went something like this:

Model: This shirt stinks.  I'm definitely NOT going to crack a smile.

Maxwell Shirt

Details, shmetails.

Details

I don't care what you say, this shirt is not cool.

No more pics Mom

I can act silly in the photo shoot.  Hmmm...now we're talking!

Let me see

Woohoo!

Goofball

I WILL rock this shirt. Booyah!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Kids Clothes Week: Day 1

It's that time again...Kids Clothes Week (KCW) - a fun challenge to sew an hour a day for 7 days, making clothes for your kids.  I've done it a couple of times before and have always found it to be so motivating and inspirational.

This year I decided to set a goal to make one *great* piece of clothing for each of my kids.  Easy, right?  We shall see!  I also wanted to use up some fabric in my stash instead of buying new fabric.   Today, I finished up a couple of pieces for my girls.  I had some time to myself over the weekend so I got a head start.

Flashback Skinny Tee - Hoodie

I made this fun hoodie for Maggie using Rae's Flashback Skinny Tee pattern and this tutorial (for turning it into a hoodie).  I talked about how much I love her Geranium Dress Pattern last week and I feel the same way about this pattern.  I just love how her patterns have all sorts of little helpful tips, lots of photos, and very clear instructions.

Flashback Skinny Tee - Hoodie + Goofball

And, again, the fit is absolutely perfect!  I sewed a size 6, lengthened it a little bit (as Rae describes in the pattern) and made it a tad bit wider for Maggie, mainly because the knit fabric I used was on the thicker, less jersey side.  I'm pretty clueless about knit fabrics, and I got this one a long time ago (when I could barely sew) from someone on a cloth diaper forum (go figure).  I'm thinking maybe it's an interlock knit but not sure.  For the cuffs and trim on the hood I used a rib knit from Joanns.  I decided to omit snaps or buttons on the collar...mainly because I don't have any snap pliers...or muscles.  

Skinny Tee

I'm so happy with how this turned out and she LOVES it.  It screams cool beach nights, don't ya think? What a goof, I love her!

I made a hood! Yay!

For Lyla, I made another Geranium Dress (hey, when it ain't broke, don't fix it!) - this time a sleeveless tunic version in View B (pleated).  I made it with this awesome floral print from Tsuru by Rashida Coleman-Hale.  After seeing all of these versions, there was just no hope.  : )  It's a beautiful border print and I managed to use the border portion for the bodice and the main motif for the skirt portion of the dress.

Tiny Geranium Tunic

Pleats

Back

Sittin Pretty

Lyla wore it today over her onesie and looked ridiculously cute, as usual.  I'm still pinching my brown-eyed self that I have a blue-eyed girl!  They are a deep dark blue, but they are blue!

So, that's today.  I'm off to a surprisingly great start and have two things that are getting a lot of love already!  Woohoo!  I went to a friend's house last night and started working on a shirt for Joe (using the Maxwell shirt pattern by Shwin & Shwin).  It has a collar - eeek!  Hope to finish that up in the next day or two.

I think I'll spend the rest of my evening looking at what everyone else has been up to!     

 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Geranium Dress

Going to keep this short and sweet tonight and let the dress (and the girl) do the talking.  If you are a sewer, go buy the Geranium Dress pattern by Rae from Made By Rae.  It's perfect!  If you are just here for the sweetest, sweet potato eating, chubby feet having, little 7-month old who sits like a champ, scroll down.   She does not disappoint!

The dress.  Made with a super soft creamy 100% linen that's been sitting around in my stash.  It's a size 6-12 months and fits absolutely perfectly (still can't believe it!).  I made View A which includes flutter sleeves and a gathered skirt.  I lined it with a bright coral-y cotton couture solid.  I added the hand embroidery to the bodice and errrrr, I can't decide if it looks totally goofy or awesome.  Hmph.          
  
Geranium Dress

Geranium Bodice


Geranium Back

On the Girl

Yup, I told you so. : )  I'll be back next week for Kids Clothes Week!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Shop Talk

It's been a while since I've posted about my Etsy shop.  First, a few announcements:

:: It's still open! : )
:: I have a few new listings, with sneak peaks throughout this post - a couple of pillow covers, a table topper, and some new list-takers!  Check them out!
:: I'm feeling ready for a SALE!  For the remainder of this month, take 15% off all items using code "APRIL15"
:: I am no longer shipping internationally.  I apologize for this change, but it is just too costly and time consuming for me at this time. : (
:: Please contact me for custom items!  I'm having a blast with custom orders..more on that below.

Patchwork Pillow Covers

Now...It's been almost a year since I opened my shop.  I haven't exactly been the best shopkeeper.  Finding time, resources, and space to keep my shop filled with new fresh items has been really tough.  Family has always been my #1 priority, and these days I'm spending more and more of my time kissing baby toes, playing games with my little guy, listening to my big girl's stories and getting dinner on the table.  I actually feel more balanced than I've felt in a long, long time.

That said, I still LOVE to sew.  And this little shop of mine and the small amount of custom work I do allows me to pursue my hobby.  This year I set a personal goal to be much more intentional in my sewing.  To start and finish projects, to make things with a specific purpose or recipient in mind, to be mindful of my intentions in buying fabric and supplies.  So far, so good! 

Table Topper

I've had some custom sewing orders come my way, both via the shop and personal referrals.  And, I have REALLY enjoyed sewing these items.  It puts such a smile on my face to make *just* what someone wants.  Also, I really enjoy getting to know my customers a bit through the chatting that a custom order entails.  So, keep em coming!        

New List Taker

I hope to continue to add new and different items to my shop on a more regular basis.  In the meantime, I'd love for you to pop over and take a look around.   

Monday, April 8, 2013

In the Kitchen: Mangoes

I have been a crazy person in the kitchen lately.  Our days have gotten longer, but also busier...there's soccer after school, softball starting soon, and a baby that's eating!  I have to be more organized and prepared since there's a lot less free time to get dinner ready.  I feel like I am making a dent in our kitchen floors with all the hours I stand in the same spots prepping, cooking, cleaning.  But, it's all good.  We rarely eat out and nobody seems to miss it.

IMG_2785

So, on Friday, I hit up Whole Foods for their one-day sale on mangoes.  It was something like 10 mangoes for $5 but I ended up getting 2 cases which was 36 mangoes for about $15.  Gulp.   

Now, I LOVE mangoes.  I first had them when Mark and I were on our honeymoon in St John about 11 years ago.  Our favorite restaurant was Morgan's Mango in Cruz Bay where I had an amazing mango margarita.  Yep, I've pretty much been a mango lover since then.  So, in the spirit of wonderful memories and warm island breezes, I thought I'd share here what I did with the 36 I picked up...also known as how I spent my weekend. : )
 
Ok, so, first I set aside a few or 7 for salsa and snacking this week.  More on that below.  The rest of the mangoes got peeled, chopped and diced.  I thought I'd share here how I chop mangoes.  The ones I got are the yellow type from Mexico and from my experience, are softer/juicier than the typical red mangoes.  They are shaped like a kidney bean and kind of have a core like a pineapple.

Some people like to cut the sides off the core, score the fruit, and cut it off of the core.  I prefer to peel the mango like an apple first and then cut slices of the fruit off.  I begin with my knife on an angle and rotate the fruit around cutting slices off.  After getting most of the fruit off, I hold the core up and shave off those last bits.  Like so.

Cutting Mangoes

So, from those 25 or so mangoes that I chopped I ended up with about 18 cups of fruit.  And very sore feet.  : ) 

IMG_2804

I froze them in batches in these nifty silicone ice cube trays that I bought for freezing baby food.  Which, by the way, also deserves its own blog post...but as this is feeling very long winded, I'm thinking maybe food blogging is not for me.  Anywho.  Where was I?  Oh yes, the frozen cubes of mango - those will be for smoothies, and recreating magical margaritas.  They will be loved.

IMG_2808

I also made 10 cups of mango banana sauce for my girl.  Yes, ten cups...or about 25ish servings.  Needless to say, she better LOVE it.   I'm thinking it will also be a yummy addition to yogurt for the kids or smoothies or popsicles.  Lots of options for all those mangoes.

IMG_2820

We did a lot of salsa eating this weekend.  It seemed fitting as it was the first Spring-like weekend here in NC.  I like this recipe.  If I want something more sauce-y, I follow the recipe, omit the cucumber, and add some apricot or pineapple jam.  Either option is delicious on grilled shrimp, fish or chicken - and a summertime favorite here.

IMG_2813

Welp, that's about it for the mangoes.  Now I can resume my normal life again. Off to sweep up the little baby I hear babbling in her bed and brave another week.  Happy Monday!