Monday, June 29, 2009

Camoflauge Tankinis

I have to say that I debated on whether or not to post these suits. A few weeks back I bought some camoflauge swimsuit fabric, mostly so that I could have some "boy" fabric in my stash to make baby speedos, jokingly, when friends of mine have baby boys. I usually make little baby girl suits for shower gifts. The one time (so far) I have made a little speedo I knew the mom (and dad) would think it was hilarious. And they did. Even if the baby never wears the speedo, it sure makes for a fun time at the shower. Also, my C. wanted that fabric for himself so I could make him a suit.

However, when I brought it home my girls thought the fabric was great. I'm not sure what it says about them that they are all excited and thrilled about wearing camoflauge swimsuits--either they are really comfortable with themselves and their choices, or they are completely whacked!

Regardless, I have been doing some last minute sewing before we leave for our family vacation later this week. Next week we are having a family reunion at Island Park, Idaho and one of the planned activities is a float trip down the river with all the family crew. I haven't made my girls tankinis this year, before now. But I am thinking that especially as we are floating down the river that tankinis will be much easier for bathroom breaks and wearing life preservers, etc.

For L. I used Kwik Sew 2868, which is a basic tankini pattern (women's) with either boy shorts or a panty bottom.

Crossing the straps makes it so that you don't have to worry about them falling down your shoulders as you are swimming. That I can say from experience. I've even gone back and changed straps on suits after one wearing so that we can avoid that annoyance.
Detailing on the neckline and straps.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE using a double (or twin) needle!!!

For the other 2 girls I just tweaked the swimsuit patterns that I already had for them. All my girls like their tankinis especially long--so that when they raise their arms there is still NO skin showing on their bellies.

And as an added side note. We did make C. a camo speedo. His older brother thought it was awful that I did that. But I reminded Z. that when we was 3 yrs. old he too wanted a speedo---only he wanted a leopard print one.
Click HERE and HERE for previous swimsuit posts and tips on making your own.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies

This is one of our family favorites and one that our Mom made for lots of years. This is one of the easiest recipes you'll come across and it is great when you need a quick treat or a chocolate fix. And since they are "no-bake" it is also great when you don't want to heat up your kitchen.


In 2 qt. bowl put in:
3 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. peanut butter (I prefer crunchy, cuz I'm a little nutty myself)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Set aside.

Combine together in a small saucepan:
1. c. sugar
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. milk
3 Tbs. cocoa

Boil above 4 ingredients for 1 minute and then pour over remaining ingredients. Combine all together and then drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Let cool and eat. (We sometimes stick them in the freezer for a few minutes if we can't wait that long to eat them.)

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Monday, June 22, 2009

2+2 blouse and pleated skirt

here is my 18 month old wearing the outfit. not listening to me....not turning around. but you can see the cute buttons down the back.

You've already heard my feelings on the top. The skirt is great, but those pleats won't last past the first washing. Total bummer. It will just look like a full skirt which kind of defeats the purpose of making all those pleats in the first place. But I'm still a huge fan of these patterns.

see pattern here

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Simplicity 2724

I have been in need of revamping my dress wardrobe. I am tired of some of the things that I currently have and/or I've had them since my oldest daughter was born (12 years old) and need a bit of a change to help my mood a bit. I found Simplicity 2724 and had a couple things in mind before I ended up with my final project.
I wanted something new to wear to Church as well as try and find something to fun to make out of one of the pieces of fabric that I received in our last fabric swap. So a big thanks to my swap partner, Bonnie, who was nice enough to send me this gorgeous piece of fabric that she had from Hong Kong.I already had the black piece for the top and just bought the little black piece and fuschia piece for the border at the bottom. I wanted it a little longer than using the print alone would allow.
Here is the detail of the fabric and ties above. I think after wearing it once I am going to make the belt loops and tack them on and see if I like it better that way because I think that I will always wear it belted.

Below is the sleeve detailing. I didn't do it exactly like the pattern directed. They wanted you to make a facing and understitch it inside. I didn't really didn't want to do it that way.
Neckline detailing below. I've been wanting to try this detail on something for a long time.I had to fuss a little with it before it fit me the way I wanted. I'm happy to say I had to take it in after measuring and cutting the pattern size accordingly. I also had to add 1" in the bodice length for myself. You probably wouldn't have to do that. All in all I really do like how it turned out and it is very comfy to wear, which is also a plus.

Monday, June 15, 2009


If you haven't figured it out yet...I always make things in multiples. It's just easier and faster for me. And I like easier and faster!

Here are some other versions of the same skirt I made for S while I was making bird skirts:
They are quilckly becoming my girls "go-to" clothes of choice.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

More T-Shirt Transformations

Getting ready for the family reunion and working on our 70's night get-ups. Miss M. was more than happy to help out. We used the tie dye kits that come in boxes at either Jo-Ann's or Michaels. They do a couple different shirts at a time, but I still don't think that they can do as many as the box says. Also make sure you use gloves when you are removing the rubber bands before washing. I didn't the first time and ended up with colored hands. The directions don't tell you to wear them during that process, just during the dye application.Don't be afraid of bright or bold colors after you unwrap it from the plastic. The pictures both above and below are both the before washing pictures.
Same shirt after washing below. Personally I would rather they stay the darker/brighter colors, but I haven't figured out how to do it. Just leave the colors on as long or longer than the directions say to.
Here are the shirts all lined up and ready for the reunion. Mine below is with the iron-on decal.

I used Tulip® T-shirt Transformers which I bought on clearance at Jo-Ann's for $.97. I think it was well worth the bargain price. L. is actually coveting my shirt and she'll probably get it once the reunion is over...maybe.
And since we still had a little bit of dye left over we went ahead and colored this bag that we store our baseball bases in. I don't think we'll lose it, do you? I really just wish it would remain this bright once it gets washed. Oh well.......long live tie dye! O.K. maybe not.

One of the kits we bought also had some glitter spray that you add at the very end. All 3 girls wanted that on their shirts. I would've taken a picture but you can't really see it that way. Let me just say that they love it. It does look cool in the sunlight. We also bought some glow-in-the-dark spray for the boys' shirts. It works! We tried it out.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hobo Bandana Bundle

My 2 big girls wanted to do a sewing project and this is the one they picked from the book, Sew & Stow by Betty Oppenheimer, that we had checked out from our local library. We didn't have any bandanas around that either of them wanted to give up and use, but we did have fabric--go figure :) So we made the Fabric Remnant Bundle version as it is called in the book. (see pgs. 91-92)

Here is a nice tutorial that is basically the same that is shown in the book.

The concept is really easy. Lay your bandanas wrong sides together at a diagonal--with eight points showing. Sew a circular casing around the bandanas. Thread your cording and cinch it up.

Materials Needed:
Cording: 2 pieces 36" long each
Fabric: 4 - 23" square pieces of cotton
2 Bandanas of your choice

One of the nice things about this little bag is that it is reversible--change your bag depending on your mood. However, using the fabric version it is a bit thick once you cinch it up tight (think 4 layers of fabric). I think that with using just bandanas it would cinch up more tightly and securely.

Either way you try it they are cute. The girls were happy with them, and the next 2 in line (Z. & B.) were quite jealous and wanted one too. We'll have to save that for another day.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tie Dye and An Experiment

As part of our family reunion activities this year, we are having theme nights each night. We've all been busy working on our "get-ups" for each of the nights.
For 70's Night it's all about the Tie Dye! Here are all my shirts!

Since I was dying so many shirts, I opted for a solid color tie dye. It was a lot less messy and way less stressful for me. I'm sure the neighbors wondered what rainbow hippie died in my backyard when I had all my shirts hanging up to dry. It was quite the sight! But all the neighbor kids were like "cool shirts!"

My husband and I will never wear ours again, I'm sure, but our kids on the other hand couldn't put theirs on fast enough! I think they'll wear them every possible day they can. The reunion should be hilarious with 30 different shirts going on. I think we should change the night to "Ugly Shirt Night" or "Neon Night." Seems a bit more appropriate than just "70's Night."

I decided that I'd experiment and try dying some white fabric along with my shirts.
After washing and drying, my fabric came out a bit lighter than I had hoped, but not too terrible for a first time experiment.

The blue had the worst amount of this marbling look to it, but again, I can live with it. The yellow came out the best.

At this point, I don't have a particular project in mind. (My pieces were half yards.)

Anyone else had any experience dying fabric? Or any tie dye stories you want to share?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday Poetry

Miss M. was bored this afternoon on a cold (52 degrees) and wet Sunday and decided to write some poetry. This is what she came up with:

Summer Sun
Run, Run, Run
Play all Day
Hip, Hip-hooray!
Green grass
Fish for bass
Summer, summer, summer

So, if you need a little idea for the out-of-school kids at your house, maybe you could have a poetry lesson/contest/reading....whatever comes to mind. You might come up with something great to share, and chase away the rainy day blues at the same time.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Easy Father's Day Cards

If you haven't seen these yet, they are super easy to put together and there's lots of space for the kids to decorate a card for dad. :) I would recommend having them color on the piece of paper before folding it into the shirt. Also, using thicker paper like card stock, was harder to fold. I would use construction paper or just regular white paper.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Simplicity 3546

Simplicity 3546
We've made this pattern before as shirts--check out Here and Here. This time we made dresses.
L. continues to be on a "blue" kick. But at least this plaid has a little pink thrown in--just enough that it doesn't bug her. I used satin ribbon at the neckline and white cotton for the contrasting waistband/ties.
Here is another one for her--slightly different version. I really like a contrasting band at the hem. This is more like a really long shirt for her--she wears it with leggings. I couldn't find the exact color brown bias tape to do the contrasting facing topstitching, but oh well...she still likes it.
M. is our fashion diva, and it shows in this. I found this fabric and immediately thought of her. You should've seen her eyes light up when I showed it to her. I used contrasting turquoise fabric and then pink bias tape. LOVE how it turned out!!


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