a very easy summer fun dress for me!

I'm very excited to actually have made myself a dress!
Notice the gathered pocket with button close and the ruffled straps. I'm ready for some summer fun!

the back: 

want to make your own? It's very easy.
  • Measure around your chest and then the length you want (under armpits to your chosen length). I was 32" around the widest part of my chest and I wanted it to be a few inches above my knee. so I cut 2 rectangle 32" x 30"
  • hem your top and bottom of each rectangle. be sure to make the hems even - It makes for much less work when sewing the rectangles together.
  • Then you shir the top of each piece to just under boob
  • Next you sew the 2 rectangles together
  • Now cut out your straps. I did 2 that were 4 times the width I wanted by the lentgh needed. 4"x19"
  • and for the ruffle I did 36" x 2times the desired width. Since I folded the ruffle pice in half (hotdog way) and then basted and gatherd. Now put the ruffle in your straps which you've ironed in half, brought the ends into the middle and then folded in half and ironed again. 
  • sew the straps on where you wan them to be. I had my dear husband help me pin thestraps in place on the back
  • If you want to do the pocket check out the gathered pocket tutorial by "made". I did the shirred version.
and that's it! A very easy summer dress for moms! Now maybe I'll make my babes a matching one and we can wear them for Mother's Day. I mentioned that thought to my hubby and he called me a dork.

getting ready for fall!

I made another simplicity 3511 dress (I really do love that pattern). I made this dress for babes fall wardrobe and since I live in a place that has more cold weather than warm I made a jacket that can go with it (or not)!
note: I love making my own covered buttons!

The jacket! I used the idea of the 3511 dress as inspiration for this jacket.  As you can see I did a much higher and rounded neck hole, and kept it open in the front. I kept the elastic at the bottom of the sleeves idea since this meant I could make the sleeves a bit longer so the jacket fits longer. The jacket front looks a bit wonky in this pic - but it's not really, I just took the pic with one hand at an angle while the other hand was trying to keep babes away from my pattern pieces

and due to our cool fall temperatures I did a fleece inside layer - sew cozy! I'm also quite proud of how neat and tidy the insides look.

and here it is with the dress - a perfect match and yet they both look good on their own!

Babes fall wardrobe is really shaping up to be a cute one!

Sweet Easter Buns!

One of the things I love about Easter are the Easter buns! or paska as my family calls it. Now I have tried MANY paska recipes in my time and had much difficulty with some and then some work every now and again. However, as anyone who does breads knows a fool-proof never fail recipe is very important (1. becasue wasting time is no fun 2. a recipe that always turns out is a sanity saver - no more staying up til the wee hours trying that recipe again to get it right!)

Here is the recipe and how to:

  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 3/4c. water
  • 1/4c. sugar
puree till smooth. NOTES: I want to say that if using the actual fruit scoop out and use the insides (without seeds). I've seen and tried many recipes that say to use the entire or to grate in the rind - but I've found that often leaves a slightly bitter after taste to things and these buns should be sweet. 
I used scooped out orange and 3Tbsp. lemon juice and 1c. water. I found the easiest way to scoop out an orange is to use a grapefruit spoon.

  • 2c. scalded milk (I used vanilla rice milk and they turned out better than the "real" milk version)
To scald milk means to bring it almost to a boil. Don't let it boil though.
  • 2Tbsp. yeast
  • 3/4c. water
  • 2tsp. sugar
stir, dissolve and let rise while you do the next bit. When it's'risen' it should look like the picture below:

  • 6 eggs
  •  1Tbsp. salt
  • 1 1/4c. white sugar
  • 1/4c. melted margerine + 1/4c. oil
  • flour.
Beat eggs, add sugar and beat again.
Add margerine, salt, juices, milk, and mix
Add yeast mixture and stir.

Keep adding flour and kneading to make a soft dough (I use my kitchen aid with dough hook for the first 7cups of flour and then switch over to kneading the old fashioned way with a big stainless steel bowl).
The key to great paska is a very soft dough. It should be a bit sticky, and feel soft like you want to add a bit more flour but aren't quite sure.

Cover and let rise (about 1hour) in a warm draft free place (I turn my oven light on and put bun dough in there). Then shape the buns, let rise for a bit again (another hour) and then bake.
Here is the 'how they grow' breakdown: 1/3dough + 1/3 2nd rise + 1/3 baking rise.

To shape I took a few pictures to try and show you how to work the dough through to get perfect buns:

 pinch off and they are shaped

Bake at 350 degrees farenheight for about 25mins. the first 15mins bake uncovered and then the last 7-10 mins foil cover the tray and finish baking. This recipe gave me 55 buns and 1 loaf of bread.

once done baking ice them and sprinkle! I used basic vanilla, but a lemon icing is also VERY good.

The mild weather jacket!

I'm so proud of myself right now! I have been making my babes summer/fall wardrobe recently (as seen in previous posts) and this is the newest piece!

I made my own pattern from scratch for this, the jacket would be reversible if not for the buttons - but at least that means no untidy seams on the inside. I LOVE it! It is a perfect 12-18month fit!

flower or no flower?

I made this top today for a 2nd birthday party we are going to next weekend and I'm not sure whether I should put a flower on it or not... thoughts? I could also put the flower on a hair elastic for a ponytail I suppose.

and the back of the top - I love the buttons. Yay for thirft stores selling brand new cover your own button packs for 20cents!

I also did a sew along with craftiness is not optional for this next top! I LOVE this fabric and the yellow bias tape. However, I learned that tiny bias tape is no fun to work with and that I made this top much to large for babes. I think it's more of a 2t-3t size. oh well, into the grow into bag it goes.

Tutorial for the invincible bib or art pinny - which ever you prefer

Now you're ready for any "I want to feed myself" babe or art loving toddler! Admire your work! The front:

the back:

Hello springtime!!

What do you do when the weather outside is frightful? Get ready for spring of course!
Introducing a cherry blossom headband!

Today we had no power or water for 2hours (sarcastic yay for rain turned sleet turned snow). This meant I couldn't sew, or really do much at all and so I decided to make a rather large spring headband for my girl! I think this headband will be the inspiration for the next dress I sew babes! I may need some more fabric - or at least bright pink bias tape... (read as "I'm itching for a trip to a fabric store")

Anyways enough of that, want to make your own headband? Then it's time to get out your felt stash!

I cut out patterns for my flat flowers, since I wanted 5 petals per and I've got no skill at freehand cutting odd shapes. You can see I did a few different sizes

Cut out flowers, for the top flower I cut little half-moons in each petal and then pinned onto an opposing color of felt and cut around the flower - leaving some room so you can see the 2nd color. To finish off do a few french knots in the center of each flower. Hope you can see how they done are in this picture :

For the opened cherry blossoms you cut a shape like seen on the bottom (I do 7 'petals') of this next picture and then simply roll it up, stitch in place and fluff out your bottom petals.

stitch your flowers to a piece of felt the desired shape of your headband piece (I cut a genral foot ish shape and then trimmed after) and hot glue, stitch your headband and elastic together and hot glue another piece of felt over you elastic coming together and sticthed to headband part so everything looks tidy.
Now admire your work - I tried to get my very active girl to hold still but she wouldn't.

a sweet treat and crafty goodness all in one!

prudentbaby.com had this contest running to make something along the theme of sweets and it had to be a paper craft and you could win a new printer. I need a printer !
and so I created!

Brownie Bots

I am so curious to know if I'll win - or even make the site... There are so many crafty peoples out there, I have to wait till April 5th though to find out the results!
(update: made the slide show of features, but didn't win the contest)

ps. those brownies are ooey gooey good! and here is the recipe:

Bite of Brownie (named since one bite will solve your sweet tooth - even though I can't stop at one bite!)

4oz. unsweetened chocolate (4 baking squares)
3/4c. butter or margerine (not low fat)

2c. white sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1c. flour

1. microwave the chocolate and butter till smooth - stir
2. Stir sugar into the chocolate mix
3. Blend in eggs and vanilla
4. mix in the flour

Pour into a well greased (or in my case heavily sprayed with cooking oil) 9x9 pan OR you can also put into mini muffin tins for true bite sized brownie - use cupcake liners though - much easier this way - trust me!

Bake at 350 degrees farenheit for 12 ish minutes. I know they are done when I put a toothpick in th middle and the toothpick comes out with some stuff on it - but isn't runny like raw batter.. A clean toothpick means they are overdone, and a wet toothpick means they are underdone.

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