Thursday, January 31, 2013

Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop

Let me introduce you to Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop. It is the only place I've ever bought patterns online. - really! If you are looking for a pattern shop with something new coming out ALL the time{100 and counting}, this is it. If you are looking for super cute and fashionable patterns - Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop is the place to go. Did I mention that the prices are great too? On top of her great prices, Amy's always got sales going on.  Check out her blog, Naptime Crafters, on Thursdays for featured patterns for $4.

I happened upon Naptime Crafters about 2 1/2 or 3 years ago. A whole new world was opened up to me on that day. Before that, I did not know there was such a thing as a craft blog. Since then I have faithfully followed her blog and then started my own.   I've done many of her tutorials and bought and made some of her patterns too. When I saw that she was starting an affiliate program, I jumped on it. What better company to affiliate with than one you truly believe in?

Here are a few of the patterns I've made from Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop:

This is the Sea Breeze Dress. This was one of my first posts on my blog. Of course it doesn't fit my youngest any more{it was about 1 1/2 years ago that I made it}, but luckily I made one for my older daughter too. I think that one will fit my youngest this summer.

Next up is the Vivienne Dress. These were the Christmas Dresses I made last year. I've received SO many compliments about them.
  *Note - I did add the flutter sleeves - they were not included in the pattern*

When I saw these Olivia and Oliver Pea Coats, I knew I needed to make them for my girls to go with their church dresses.

There are so many patterns to choose from. Head over to Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop and take a look around.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winter Dresses!

I always like to make my girls dresses for Christmas. You can see the ones I made last year by clicking here.  This year I decided to ease the stress of the Holiday season by making them after. That was a great idea, if I do say so myself.

Originally I was only going to make one for my oldest daughter, since my younger two have so many dresses. She helped pick out the material. I ended up having a lot of fabric left over. So I went through my fabric stash and found some black fabric that I thought would go well with the blue. I also had to grab a couple more zippers and some ribbon.

I'm super happy with how they turned out and I hope you like them too.

This one is my three year old's. I used the Butterick pattern B4115. I changed up the overskirt a bit. I just cut out the overskirt exactly the same as the skirt. Then added the ribbon to the bottom.

*A note about adding ribbon - DO NOT CUT the ribbon before you sew it on. I learned this the hard way years ago. It's hard to get exactly the right length of ribbon. I sew it on directly from the spool. When I get to the end, then I cut it with an inch or so extra to fold under itself.*

For my 5 year old's I used Simplicity Pattern 5223. I pretty much followed the pattern on this one. Other than the ribbon - I did not add any around the waist, but instead at the bottom of the skirt. Oh yeah... I also lined the bodice which was not called for in the pattern, but my girls have this thing about itchy dresses and a lined bodice helps a lot with that.

Before, I show you the last one, I have to share my goof up. Luckily noticed this before she wore it anywhere, but she did try it on several times without noticing. See how the seam is on the outside of the sleeve? I was patting myself on the back that I hadn't had to unpick anything this time - then I noticed this. I guess the good thing about sewing is that you can usually just unpick things and fix them.

The last several years I have been trying to improve my sewing skills, by making more complicated dresses. My oldest daughter usually gets the brunt of this experimentation. Usually they turn out well, but there was one that ... well let's just say she doesn't wear it. I think I did okay this time around.

This dress was made from McCall's pattern 4246. I altered the skirt to make it smaller to fit her tiny waist. I should have adjusted the top a bit too. I also added ribbon to the bottom. One thing she doesn't like is that it is two pieces. When she bends over her back shows and she doesn't like that.  I might sew them together - I'm not sure I have enough thread left though. Another thing she didn't like was the itchy sleeves{the raw seams inside the top of the sleeve}. I think if I had a surger that would help, but I don't. On Sunday, I just taped the raw edges so they wouldn't itch her. I need to figure out a more permanent solution. Overall, she loves it and got lots of compliments on Sunday.

Well what do you think? Was it worth the time and effort? Sometimes I think it's easier to just buy them dresses. But I really love the sense of accomplishment I get from making them.

Stay tuned, I'll be sharing my two cents on patterns and how to not spend a fortune on them.

Linking up at Lady Behind the CurtainTidy MomLife as a Lofthouse, Or so she says..., Homemade Ginger, 
Whipperberry Adorned From Above

Monday, January 28, 2013

Terrific Tuesdays #49

Have you done any Valentines crafts yet? I finally pulled out my decorations today, but I haven't made anything new. Do you need some inspiration like me?

Here are a few of my favorite Valentines links from last weeks party:

I'm loving these topiaries from Life on Lakeshore Drive. The roses are so pretty!

This Felt Heart Garland looks so easy to make! Go check the tutorial over at Huckleberry Love

How creative is this?! Our Pinteresting Family made the heart out of old rulers. So cool!

If you were featured grab a button!
Also check out my facebook page, I post additional features there from time to time.

Now let's see all the terrific things you've been up to.
Here are my guidelines:
1. Link up any projects, crafts, or recipes you have blogged about recently. You can definitely link up several projects. No shops, or link parties please.
2. Comment, comment, comment.  My vision for this link party is not to link and go. Please comment on two other links.
3. I'd love for you to follow my blog.{This is not required, but I’d love for you to take a minute and check it out.} Also if you're so inclined, you can follow me on facebook and pinterest as well.

4. Display my button somewhere on your blog - in the post, the sidebar, or on a party page.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cheesy Corn Chowder

When it's cold outside, I love to have a warm, filling soup for dinner. This Cheesy Corn Chowder is full of potatoes, carrots and corn. It's sure to warm you up.

The recipe comes from my Grandma.

Click here for printable version.

Cheesy Corn Chowder
2 c. water
2 c. chopped potatoes
1/2 c. chopped carrots
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Cook until tender then set aside.

1/4 c. melted butter
1/4 c. flour
2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. grated cheese
1 can corn

In large soup pot melt butter, then add flour. Cook a minute or two. Add milk and stir until smooth and thickened. Add cheese and corn and cooked veggies with cooking water. Cook until heated through.

Do you have a favorite soup?

Here are some other recipes from my Grandma:
Effie's Sugar Cookies
Ginger Snaps
O' Henry Bars 
Pie Crust
Grandma's Rolls
Chicken Noodle Soup
Monkey Bread
Hot Fudge Sauce
Cinnamon Rolls
Best Ever Sugar Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Lemon Freeze

Linking up at Lady Behind the CurtainTidy MomLife as a Lofthouse, Or so she says..., Homemade Ginger, 
Whipperberry Adorned From Above

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How to Make a Scarf using Sashay Yarn and your fingers

I've been seeing these cute scarfs everywhere I go. My sister-in-law showed me how to make them. A big thank you to her! 
They are super easy to make and you don't need any knowledge of crocheting or knitting. And they only take an hour to make! Another plus is the cost. You can make two scarves with one skein of yarn which costs around $5. That's only $2.50 per scarf!

My 10 year old made one this green one all by herself. And she let me take pictures so you could all learn how too.
This is what the yarn looks like. I've seen a few different brands, but Red Heart is the most commonly found around here.

To begin, unravel the whole skein of yarn. I know it sounds crazy, but you need to cut it in half. Find the middle and cut. Now you are ready to start the scarf. Spread the yarn apart and it will look like this.

 Place your fingers in four consecutive holes. Notice how we left a little bit of yarn on the right. We'll finish that off later.

 This next round you will put 4 more consecutive holes on each finger.   It will be a bit tight, but don't worry it will get easier.

 Now pull the bottom string up over the top string and over the top of your finger.

 Repeat this with each finger.

With every row from now on, you will skip a hole between each finger. So as you start the row, grab the very first hole, but after that skip a hole between your fingers. 

 Here's another picture to help explain.

Now you need to repeat this process over and over until you run out of yarn. When you get to the end leave a few inches to finish it off.

Finishing the end of your sashay scarf:
1 - This is about how much you want left when it's time to finish off.
2 - Separate the yarn in the middle at the end.
3- Continue to unravel until you get close to your fingers.
4 - Thread one half of the unraveled yarn up through the the loop on the finger closest to the end of yarn.
5 - Thread through the next finger coming from the bottom
6 - Thread through last two fingers, coming from bottom each time and pull the loops off your fingers.
7 -Tie each piece of yarn as you would if you were starting to tie your shoe.
8 - Repeat to form a knot.
9 - Trim yarn close to knot.

Now tie off the beginning end of the scarf.

Repeat steps 1-3 above to unravel yarn in the middle. Then tie in a knot and trim the ends {Steps 7-9 above}

YAY! You are done!

But what happens if you need to quit in the middle before you're done?

 Grab a pen and use it to hold the loops. Stick the pen up through each loop. The kind of pen pictured above is great for this, it can hold the loops without worrying that they will fall off the end of the pen.

UPDATE: After receiving a comment about what the back should look like, I realized that it would be easiest to just show everyone.

Another UPDATE 6/27/13: I had a question about unraveling the the yarn when you get to the end. Hopefully this collage will help you understand how to do that better:

 1- Spread out the yarn so that you can see the honeycomb-like pattern. 
2 -Find the middle and pull gently until it comes apart. At this point it comes apart pretty easy. Especially when you use both your hands and are not trying to take a picture :)
3 - Do you see those two small little strings the arrow is pointing to? You will pull on the first string to unravel it. 
4 - Now pull out the remaining string.
5 - You will repeat steps 3 & 4. The bottom arrow is showing where you will unravel. The top arrow is the string that is unraveling to separate the pieces.
Hope this is a little more clear.

I promise you will be addicted once you make one of these scarfs. Here are some of the other ones we made.

Which color is your favorite? I really like the pink one I made my 3 year old.

Linking up at Lady Behind the CurtainTidy MomLife as a Lofthouse, Or so she says..., Homemade Ginger, 
Whipperberry Adorned From Above,