9.30.2013

Just do it {or sew it} right.

Sometimes I feel like such a sewing fake. Anyone with me here?  Like, you know you should pre-wash and iron your fabric, you know you should have measured that waist line, or figured out what the heck "stitch in the ditch" means but darn it, you just wanna get this project {that looked so much better in your head} done so you can move on with life!

I find that I get started with some projects and I just get so frustrated with a broken needle or what-not that I end up trying to fudge my way through.  I finish, snap some pics, and sometimes that dumb old shirt never gets worn again because I didn't take the time to sew it right in the first place.

Tell me I'm not the only one!
Oh good. ;)
This bad habit of mine has made me resolve to do better, so for the last few projects, I've been trying to taking the time to do things right.  To sew carefully, to measure, to iron {that blasted iron} and to make sure that my poor mush-pot-up-at-3am-with-a-sick-baby-brain understands the sewing instructions clearly.  I feel like it's starting to pay off and although I'm not cranking out projects up the wazoo, I have the satisfaction of knowing that things are done right and that the quality will last for more than one week.:)
So I guess you could say that's my signature style right now.  And it's what inspired this look for Lila for Project Run & Plays final challenge.  Doing it right.  The first time, that is.  And using knit.  Because I seriously love sewing with knit.  And this little girl likes wearing knit.  Win win....win.  :)
All of the items that I sewed this time around were from self-drafted patterns based on Lou's measurements.
We'll start at the bottom.  Lace leggings  {fabric from Joanns}
And Lila's favorite gold shoes.  This girl is such a little diva.  :)
The skirt is just a basic circle skirt with a covered waistband.  
Perfect for twirling.
Circle skirt tutorials are everywhere and they're super fun to make.
And my favorite part, a little yellow ruffled jacket {fabric from Joanns}
The fabric for this is just a knit interlock, but it's super soft, which makes it perfect for this chilly fall weather we're having around here.
and it has a hooting surprise inside. {owl fabric from Hobby Lobby}
 
And now I'm off to go and try to apply my new "take time to do it right" motto elsewhere in my life....I'll start with cooking.  I'm sure Superman will be happy to read that.  He's probably breathing a sigh of relief that he won't come home to anymore burnt meals...at least for a little while.  :)

Thanks for reading!


9.23.2013

Pop of Plaid

I grew up in the country in a brick house down a long dirt lane.  Our nearest neighbor lived about half a mile away.

Now wait a minute.  Are you asking yourself if you accidentally stumbled upon a Little House on the Prairie tribute post?   No no no.  Though I do enjoy a good Laura Ingalls Wilder story myself, this post has a completely different point. :)

Stick with me here.

I didn't go to a one room school house or anything like that, but my school was in a small town where it felt like pretty much everyone knew my name.  That can be good and bad.  And my parents knew that.  Which is why they made a significant effort to help give me and my siblings opportunities to travel and learn to think outside our own sphere.  I don't think I was as grateful then as I am now for that sacrifice they made.  But those experiences helped me gain a perspective.

And now I live in Small Town, USA.  {not far from where I grew up, ironically enough.}  And although I do want to encourage my kids to have an appreciation for culture and this big ol' world, I'm grateful that we live in a small town at this stage in our lives.  I'm hoping that we can strike a good balance of appreciation for the big and the small, you know?  

Because at the end of the day, I love this cute little town where Superman and I get to raise our little minions.  I like the cozy Mayberry-esque-ness {yup, it's a word now} that comes with small towns.  I love feeling safe as I take my kids to our usually uncrowded park.  I love the little houses that line the streets.  It's just cozy.

I kept thinking about how much I love small towns as I sewed up this look for the Mad for Plaid challenge from Project Run & Play.
With a soda pop {Superman's favorite gourmet soda, btw} in hand, this little small town boy is the sweetest thing on main street.
 Of course, I'm biased.  :)
Want some outfit details?  
 
The pants are a modified version of Peek-a-boo Patterns Skinny Jeans.   
It's a great pattern, but Ezra has shorty-legs, so I had to make a few changes.  And they're still baggy enough for him to grow into over the next year.  :)  {Denim fabric from Joanns.}
 
 And it's tough to tell, but the pockets are lined with plaid.  Sneaky sneaky.
Then I reconstructed a precious old t-shirt pattern from my sister as a base for the shirt {scored the knit fabric from Walmart for $2/yard}
 
I used a completely self-drafted pattern for the jacket.  
Ezra was in desparate need of a jacket and I had a lot of brown corduroy {from an old maternity jumper :)}  
 
It's fully lined with plaid {fabric from a sheet}.
 
and just for fun, I added some little surprise "pops" of plaid on the pockets
 
 arms, 
around the bottom of the jacket, 
 
and even under the collar.
I added a blue zipper {from Joann's} and we were in business.  This was my first installation of a normal zipper {yikes!} and thank goodness my mother-in-law stopped by and gave me some much needed advice on what to do with that little beast or I would have been stuck!  
 
And the bonus of a zipper over buttons?  
 
He can zip it up himself.  One less thing for me to do.  :)
As nerdalicious as this sounds, this whole look was a pleasure to sew and it was probably the most enjoyable thing I've sewn in a long time.  Probably because I knew Ezra needed all the items for the upcoming cold weather. 
So thank goodness for small towns, mother-in-laws who save the zipper day, and precious little boys like this one.  :)
 
Thanks for dropping in!

9.20.2013

Semi-healthy Gooey Louey Cookie Bars

Let's take a little sewing break shall we?  

Before we moved, I had this neighbor who used to just randomly send her kids to my doorstep with treats and sometimes full on meals.  For no reason!  Just because.  She was just that type of neighbor. And one day she sent over these delish and half blondie bars.  I'm a soft bar cookie sucker, so after Superman and I devoured our plate of goodies, I asked this nice neighbor for the recipe..  

"Oh, my second grader brought the recipe home from school and she actually made them."  

Say what?!  These bars of goodness were from a seven-year-old?  Sure enough, I googled the recipe.  I think I typed something like "second grade cookie bar recipe" and up popped a bunch of results for the same cookie bar.  These are more commonly called Chango Bars, but my Dad said that my Grandma Lou {one of Lila's namesakes} used to call them Gooey Loueys and it made me smile.
So I adapted the recipe for our family and
 it is.

*Now a quick note about health.  I try to be healthy overall.  We use whole wheat flour and try to eat lots of fruits and veggies yada yada yada.  So I realize the sugar in this might cancel out the super healthy-ness, but I figure it's better than straight on candy or even fruit snacks.  {At least, that's what I tell myself} So I think it makes a fun dessert or after school snack. 

Start with your ingredients:
We're looking at:

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. margarine
2 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
2 1/3 c. flour {I use w.w. because that's what we're used to. adapt according to your taste buds}
1 T baking powder
1 t. salt
1 c. chocolate chips
*optional I like to add in a cup of butterscotch chips.  They're not pictured, but it's worth mentioning because it's oh so tastey....or you could add walnuts.  It's up to you.  :)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Now melt your butter and margarine in the microwave.  While they're melting you're gonna want to cream those  eggs with the brown sugar, then add the butter/margarine mixture.  Oh, and spray a 9x13 pan while you're waiting, then set it aside.
In other news, mix your dry ingredients:
Pour dry ingredients in the egg/sugar stuff and mix.  Now fold in your chocolate {and/or butterscotch} chips.
Pour in your pan.
And spread
until it's spread across the pan like so:
Now it's cookin' time.
Bake 'em for about 45-50 minutes until they turn golden. 
Let them cool {if you don't, they'll fall apart} and then cut them up.
And that's it.  Now eat up!
And have a yummy weekend!
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