Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Family Photos

I just finished up an Etsy order for a family (some of my extended family actually) who is having pictures made. Three boys and a girl. A GIRL! I got to do ruffles...

Lots of ruffles...

And use some fabrics with flowers and pinks thrown in there. It was so fun!

 I used Simplicity 2171, I think it's a little Matilda Jane'ish. Love it! I liked the pattern, I'll do a review soon and let you know what I changed.

My aunt also ordered a baby photo book (See others HERE and HERE). She requested that I add 'taggie' details, a great idea, I thought.

Fun textures, bright colors, faces they know and's a baby's paradise!

Have a great day!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Knitathon: Chevron Baby Blanket

I have been super busy this past week: working on Etsy orders, hanging out with P, and packing for a move several states away. It's full-on summer here in NOLA, 100% humidity and in the 90's most days. We go outside, but it's quick and usually either a sprint from car into other air conditioned places or playing in the water-popsicles are required.

I'm also busy with a project. I have to confess, this is something that I've been obsessing over for months and months now. It's a chevron, knit baby blanket. I haven't been able to stop looking at the pictures and glancing over the tutorial since it first popped up on Purl Bee.  I pinned it right away, then again when Dana at Made was knitting her own version. I finally took the leap and ordered 8 balls of worsted weight, cotton yarn when it was on sale at Joann's a few weeks ago, along with a pair of size 11, cicular knitting needles. I have been a devout supporter of crochet up until this point, so it was an absolute miracle to me when I started to see the pattern emerging in those first few rows.

Now, I'm completely addicted and I might never go back. While crochet might be easy to shape, there's something about the feel and look of knitting that is beautiful and rewarding. I am seriously thinking about making a garment or some socks next...yikes. Just because I'm thinking about it doesn't mean it doesn't scare me! One thing I love about knitting is how portable it is. Sewing is not portable, even embroidery requires all kinds of tools, different threads, needles, etc... But this! I can stick it in my purse and take it anywhere! I am looking forward to knocking out several stripes during a long car trip next week!

Isn't it awesome! There's a little something retro about the colors and pattern, but still modern. This picture doesn't really do justice to the colors. The orange is "hot orange" and the yellow is almost neon. Is anyone NOT obsessed with neon colors right now? I just bought hot pink highlighter nail polish yesterday! 

These are the other colors. Stripes in graduating colors from hot to cool, I am trying to find a nice light gray to go between the white and robin's egg. I think that will make it absolutely perfect. Since I'm using 120 yard skeins instead of the 150 yard that Purl Bee's tutorial calls for, there will be 8 different colors instead of 7.  

I'm in love...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The best thing I ever ate...excepting Praline Bacon

Last week, I was grocery shopping and realized that all the organic baby spinach was sold out. I started scouting around for a replacement, and spotted some greens called "Organic Girl." Still no spinach, but they had a baby spinach/arugula mix that looked good. That's a pic of arugula on the right, kinda looks like oak leaves.

baby spinach & arugula - 50% baby spinach & 50% baby arugula
These greens are soo, soo good. I hope I can find them when I move back to KY. They have stayed fresh and bright (no slime) for more than a week, no gritty stuff to be found, and I am now a humongous fan of arugula. I've eaten it like twice a day since last Monday on sandwiches, in salads, all sorts of green goodness. (good for little baby too).

You might not know this about me but I love sandwiches. I could eat one for lunch and dinner every day of the week and not have even an inkling of 'ennui.' Hot, cold, grilled, sweet and name it. Arugula on a sandwich was a bit of a revelation. One day last week I made this...

That bright, crisp, herby, almost anise flavor of the arugula was absolutely to die for paired with hearty wheat, oven roasted turkey, fresh, perfect tomato slices, salt, pepper and plenty of mayonnaise. I really can't say enough. I've been recreating this sandwich, every day around 12:00 pm for the past seven days.

Yes, there is a large bite out of that sandwich. else was I to know it was one of the "best things I ever ate?"

Anyway, get ya some arugula and don't forget the tomatoes.

Friday, May 18, 2012

DIY Secret Fit Belly Panel: A Tutorial

I know everyone has different preferences with regard to waists on maternity pants, shorts and skirts. I personally like the ones with a stretchy panel that covers your entire belly, I find the low, stretchy band really uncomfortable.

I decided these couldn't be that hard to make, given the right materials, and I had been wanting to make a few maternity things. One maxi skirt and one pair of lace shorts later, I think I've got it!

You need: *1/2 yard (or a little more depending on your size) of "Poly Interlock." I got mine at Hancock's, Joann's probably has it too. Mine is neude, sorry it blends in a bit with the carpet!

*A garment that you made or are repurposing

*A maternity garment to use as a template (although it wouldn't be too hard to just look at these pictures and take a few measurements on your own body, just remember the belly panel needs to fit snugly to keep your pants on comfortably)

*Sewing machine, matching thread, etc...

1) Lay your piece of poly interlock on a flat surface, fold it so that the grain runs up and down and you have two layers with a fold on one side. Now fold your templace garment in half as shown, that puts your seam in the back and a fold in the front (matching the fold of the poly interlock). Using the existing belly panel as a template, cut around the top and back, then along the curve of the bottom, leaving room for seam and hem allowance on all sides (don't cut the fold!).

2) Now that you have your pattern piece cut out, fold right sides together and sew along the back. Be sure to set your machine to a stretch or zig zag stitch, it's also helpful to use a stretch needle and increase your stitch length to about 3.0. Turn right sides out, fold the raw edges to one side and topstitch. It looks more professional and adds a little durability!

3) Now, hem the top edge of the belly panel. Remember the curved edge fits under your belly, the top edge is straight. There's no use trying to iron and pin this stuff, it's so slinky. Just turn under about 1/4", then another 3/4" or so as you sew. This seam is against the grain (the stretchiest part of this type of fabric) so it's essential to keep using a stretch stitch or the seam will just break when you try to pull it over your belly.

4) Be sure that whatever garment you will be fitting with the belly panel is prepared: lower (under belly) in the front and with finished raw edges. My garment had a lining so I basted the two layers together and finished with a zig zag stitch since I don't have a serger. This fabric doesn't have to be stretchy.

5) Obviously the stretchy panel is a good deal smaller than the non-stretchy garment, so we will need to quarter pin. With right sides together, find center back and match that to the center back of the panel, pin. Next find center front of garment and center front of panel and match those, pin. Do the same on each side. Now, you should be able to see that the slack in your non-stretchy garment is pretty evenly distributed, if not, fix it. You can either continue to pin, using the same method of 'matching centers' or go ahead to the sewing machine.

6) As you sew these two pieces together, you will need to stretch the poly interlock to the width of your garment. The first picture below shows the poly 'unstretched' and the second picture shows the way you should stretch it as you sew. USE A STRETCH STITCH and match the raw edges.

7) Last step! Fold the raw edges toward the belly panel, and topstitch (still using a stretch stitch) and stretching the poly as needed.

Sorry this photo is weird, I was trying to take a picture of myself and it was not particularly successful... I am really looking pregnant... Still, you can see that the fit is nice and smooth and it's really comfortable. I think the neude will be invisible under shirts. I'll add a photo of that when I can get somebody to take one!

Toddler imagination...

Last weekend, W and I took P for a walk on his bike. It's one of those fun trikes that has a handle for parents so you can steer for him. He loves it! Family walks are one of our favorite things so we enjoy it too.

W and I were walking along talking when we realized P was talking himself.



"Leo?" (our dog)

"Ahh-sahide?" (outside)



He went through these many times over, we were laughing so hard once we figured out the gist. He was listing all the things he loves and asks for a hundred times a day then filling in what we would say (totally unfair because I usually say "OK," except for the Elmo thing).

It's amazing, isn't it? He's not even two but he's having imaginary conversations about his thoughts and feelings on what we let him do. Unbelievable! Can't wait for those teenage years.



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Girl?! Boy?!

I bought two baby things before we found out what we were having...

This little confection. It's a baby swimsuit, have you ever seen anything sweeter?! I am crazy about the colors and mix of large and small polka dots. I would totally wear this swimsuit...maybe if it was in my size with a little more support up top... 

I also bought a set of light gray and cream bodysuits at Old Navy, with a tiny pair of striped sweatpants and a little hat with ears.

            Well, I won't be using that little swimsuit anytime soon, we are having a boy! I am so tempted to keep it though, it's 6-12 months so there is a good chance a girl born in any season could wear it at some point. We are so excited about a boy, a little brother for P, another mischief maker, someone to hang on my other leg while I'm cooking dinner and beg to go "ahh-sahh-ide" (that's the way P says outside).

I think this soft, little hat is so cute. Can't wait to put it on a fuzzy, baby head.

I'm going to be working on a quilt for this new guy. It will match the one P has (oranges and teals), but with some different colors and patterns. I'm using a few prints from Moda "Grow with Me." These trucks and a really cool light gray geometric pattern. I'll post more on that later. I'm using THIS PATTERN by Jaybird quilts. I think it will be really fun and modern, I'm thinking of doing a self binding (like on my picnic blanket HERE) and doing the actual quilting by hand, YIKES! I've just fallen in love with the look of it and Purl Bee is super inspiring-possibly to my detriment.  Look at those teeny tiny stitches?! It's an art form.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Vacation in Review

We had a really nice time visiting friends and family last week. I'm pretty sure P's face says it all! He literally went from truck to tractor to boat (which he calls "Bope") the whole time we visited and was completely spoiled by the grandparents and "Auntie Coco and Uncle Back."

We got to visit with friends and get the babies together, finally meeting C's Baby V, there's nothing I love better than a sweet smelling, solid chunk of baby boy! And guess what?! This group is going to increase by three before the year is over. There are three more babies due by the fall-two boys and one undecided :). I'm anticipating lots of trouble once all these boys are here and figure out they outnumber the mamas, good thing there is at least one sweet girl to keep them on the right side of civilized.

Oh, Curious George, we love you, especially at Chic-Fil-A...

And of course we love fried green tomato BLT's from Stella's...

And fun times with good friends...

And the best birthday cake in the world!! The same lady who made our wedding cake made this, it was amazing. Notice how Grammy is afraid P is going to burn his face on those candles.

I just realized half of my vacation memories are food related...but that's just the way it is I guess! Yours would be too if you had gotten any of this cake before we devoured it.

Vacation in Review

We had a really nice time visiting friends and family last week--celebrating a couple of birthdays, cooking out, and getting all the babies together!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

If you haven't noticed...

I'm sure you regular followers of my blog (all 10 of you, you are each fully appreciated) have noted that the tunic top tutorial was on my homepage for about 10 days. Sorry...I know I'm always a little disappointed to see the same post for days and weeks at a time on my favorite blogs. I can't wait to see what they will post next, new ideas, projects or cute kid pics. We've been traveling and so I'll be back in the groove in a few days. Those lace shorts I've been talking about are done and I will post a soon, along with how to make those 'secret fit' belly panels for maternity garb. I've done two practice versions and they are super comfy and I love them!! Maybe I'll do a "Get Your Bump On" Series. Haha! 

I've also got some baby and toddler sewing projects with summer and July 4th flavors have been fermenting. You know all the best things in life have to ferment for a Ultra with Lime...

See you soon! Happy Spring!