Tag Archives: Sewing

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–February 2, 2020

Rob made bird house kits for the 4H club to hammer together at their meeting this week. All the boards were donated to him for this purpose by one of his friends who owns a small sawmill, so our project was very inexpensive.

The kids had so much fun. Jake was very happy because his daddy agreed to come and help the kids with the hammering. Even I got roped in, although I’m not very good at using a hammer.

Patsy, on the other hand, is very good with a hammer and so she made her birdhouse the day before and helped the younger kids on the day of the meeting. Ones who knew how partially hammered some nails in and let the younger builders hammer away, driving the nails the rest of the way in.

Some didn’t need much help, others lots of help.

Then, we all went back into the house and made little baggies of home-made hot chocolate mix and ate dinner. Then Rob hauled whoever wanted to go down to the church for the youth/childrens’ activities and I cleaned up the mess. It comes in handy to have a 15-passenger van–no one has to feel left out. There’s room for them all!

I finally got the blouse sewed for Patsy, just in time for her to wear to a wedding.

The wedding was beautiful, and so tastefully decorated. I wish I had taken pictures of the decor. They used a woodland theme, and sticks were cut from friends’ property and little lights were put all over them. There were large branches for a backdrop and small ones for centerpieces for the tables. The way I’m describing it does not do it justice, but it was absolutely gorgeous. There were candles in the shapes of birch logs, and circular wood chips sprinkled around the main table. It was lovely and elegant. The family catered the reception themselves and the food looked amazing and was displayed in dishes surrounded by wooden boxes they had built to add to the woodland theme.

One of Jake’s best friends, Willow, is one of the bride’s sisters, and he loved sitting by her at the reception after she finished her bridesmaid’s duties. As you can see, they had donuts as one of the main desserts. They were on plates and on dowels on a rack that hung on the wall behind the table. You could take one with a tong. Jake and Michaela ate 2 each!

The bride and her family are close friends of my sister and brother-in-law, so they helped out most of the day, while we kept Jake busy at our house.

We really enjoyed the ceremony and reception. We didn’t stay late, but instead came home and got some rest.

We cooked many items over the weekend in preparation for a busy week ahead. They are in the fridge to grab in a hurry– soups, BBQ’d pork, thinly sliced turkey breast and chicken and other goodies. We don’t have a meat slicer, but have been having a lot of success with Rob-sharpened knives. We have been making our own less-salty and less-processed lunchmeat this way lately.

Rob made me a crate and I filled it with a few goodies for a bridal shower I actually could not attend, since I was at wedding No. 1. It’s crazy that we’ve not had a wedding for a long time, and this month, there are 2.

I put in jam, salsa, measuring cups and spoons, a set of pillowcases I made, and a cute towel plus a bundle of dish cloths. This gift was for the shower I could not attend, so I had Rob drop the gift off at the young lady’s house ahead of time. For the wedding itself, Rob made a wooden cutting board and will pair it with 2 super good knives. He did the same for the bride and groom for the wedding we just attended.

Recently, Rob picked up 3 bags of “Unicorn” white chocolate chips–they had rainbow colors on them. They were on the clearance rack for 99c/bag. When we tasted them, they were very bitter. I wasn’t worried about it because they were so cheap, but I did e-mail Nestle to let them know the red food coloring taste was coming through loud and clear, and not in a good way. I threw them away. I was very happy and surprised when the man I was live-chatting with wanted to send me free coupons for more chocolate chips. I explained they were on clearance, but he insisted, so I said “thank you.” I dug the bags out of the trash, sent him the barcode numbers as requested, and I got these coupons in the mail this week. There are 3 free bags of Nestle chips of any flavor and one $1/off coupon.

We have a very busy week ahead, and it feels good to be as prepared as we can be so we can get through it all, and still stay frugal! At least that’s the plan:). I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Sewing a Christmas Nightgown–Simplicity 9505–December 2018

IMG_9813

I wanted to sew a nightgown for Patsy for Christmas.  Several years ago, I ordered quite a few pieces of flannel on Thanksgiving night from the JoAnn’s website.  Then, before I knew it, we were packing, living in a camper, moving into this house and my fabric was stacked in the shop, in bins.  I am now able to access it easily, and pulled this piece out for this project.

img_9816.jpg

I started with this really old pattern.  I’ve used it time and time again.  But this time, I wanted something a little different.  I cut view C, but made the bottom straight instead of curved.  I also widened the skirt out quite a bit, tapering from the armholes down to the skirt bottom–I probably added 4 inches on each side to give it some fullness (so that’s about 16 extra inches of fullness because I cut it on both front and back).  Then, I cut a wide ruffle about 1-1/2 times the measurement of the skirt bottom, which I gathered and sewed onto the bottom.

It went together quickly and my only concern is that I cut that ruffle too wide, and the nightgown will drag on the floor.  That’s easy enough to remedy, if that turns out to be the case–flannel usually shrinks, so after it is washed a few times, if it’s still too long, I’ll cut it off and re-hem it.  I always put a ribbon bow on the front of these nightgowns to show which side is the front so getting ready for bed is fast and easy.

I was delighted to get another Christmas gift finished up, and used up a piece of fabric I’ve had for quite some time.  Even better, it’s something she really needs right now.  However, as has been happening lately, I ran out of pale blue thread. When I saw that was going to happen, I sewed everything that would show–the hem, the casing, etc.  Then, for the gathering threads, which I was going to throw away anyway, I used a bobbin of a totally different color, with the last bit of the pale blue on the spool.  It worked out, and I avoided a trip to the store today, saving both gas and money.  I will replace that color soon, to have on hand, as blues are something I use a lot of, the next time I’m near JoAnn’s.

Service Project for Christmas, 2015

FullSizeRender

Every year, our family usually chooses some kind of service project to do at Christmas time.  This year, since we have changed churches, some of the opportunities we usually do were no longer as readily available.  So, we chose one from the new church we have been attending.  It was very different because they wanted each child–well over 100–to receive the same 4 items.  They asked everyone to get a pillow, pillowcase, blanket and some socks.  They told us what age and size the child was and if it was a boy or girl.  We chose an 11-year-old girl, because that is Patsy’s age and we thought it would be fun to help out someone the same age as she is.

We were able to easily find the socks and pillow at a Walmart near the church last Sunday.  The blanket was made and tied from fleece I had on hand from a JoAnn’s sale a while back.  I am happy to report that I am now out of plain-colored fleece.  There is still lots of printed choices in my stash.  The kids voted that a hand-made blanket would be better than buying one.  They love theirs that they have made or received as gifts.  I totally agreed with them.  I love it when they can participate in the giving somehow.  I also love giving hand-made items.  It makes it more personal, to me.

FullSizeRender

Today, I was able to sew the pillowcase.  I was able to use up 2 left-over pieces of fabric from other projects, as well as some lace I had on hand.  I was able to find pretty, pastel colors and we hope the little girl that receives them will enjoy having them as much as we enjoyed making them.

FullSizeRender

Playing With Dolls

FullSizeRender

I could not resist making some doll clothes for a young friend of ours for Christmas.  Patsy has an American Girl doll and graciously offered to have her doll, Rose, model the finished product.   We had a pretty good time setting Rose up for her photo shoot.

FullSizeRender

Then I made a sleeping bag and pillow for the 18″ doll.  It was a little tricky, especially putting the zipper in, but it all worked out.

Both of these items were made from commercial patterns I have had for a long time.  I used scraps of cloth and lace, and a zipper I already had.  It was a large separating zipper.  I think a smaller zipper would work well, but that is what I had.  My stash comes from projects not completed, things bought by mistake, garage sales and thrift shops, and gifts from people who don’t want to sew anymore.  I have a large supply of sewing things, and I’m trying to use some of them up, and have been for the last few years.  Because of this, I paid no money out of pocket for these doll things.  They did, however, take quite a bit of time.  It was very fun to play with dolls, and I hope to get a few other things made before Christmas.

Michaela’s Pillow

FullSizeRender

Michaela loves the Seattle Seahawks.  Recently, she and I made a plan for her to make a Seattle Seahawks pillow from fleece.  I got the fleece and saved it for when she was going to spend a few nights at my house.

IMG_1733

I cut it out for her.  She cut a couple of corners out, but felt like it was making her too nervous.  She was worried that she would wreck it, but she did a great job on the corners she did cut.  I started with a double layer of fleece, and cut it to about 29 inches square.  I then cut out 6 inch squares out of the corners, and cut strips approximately 1 inch by 6 inches around the pillow.  Then, I showed her how to tie.  She tied.  I tied.  Her sister tied.  At last it was done, except for a couple of stray ties that weren’t.  Oops!  So, while she was in the other room, Rob and I untied and retied one side, and it was done!

We had a 16 inch pillow form I had hoped to use.  After tying it part way, it became apparent we needed a bigger one.  Rob took Michaela to the fabric store and they got an 18 inch one instead.  Notice the clever use of the scraps–she made herself a headband/hat with them.

IMG_1743

Little brother had to have one, too.IMG_1745It was a great project.  It didn’t take too long, she could tie the ties with some help, and she loves it.  She is a girl who knows what she likes, that’s for sure, and she likes this pillow.

Friday Project

IMG_1649

On Friday, Patsy finished the potholder she has been working on for a couple of weeks.  Aunt Janet came and worked with her.  The pattern was purchased at a quilt shop in Sister’s Oregon.  It was called Flutterby Pot Holders by Valori Wells.  She also chose a fat quarter to make her project with.  We purchased Insulbrite interfacing/batting elsewhere so that no one would get burned when they used this potholder.  Although the pattern showed exactly where to do the machine quilting, Patsy chose to make her own designs.  They turned out great!  Now she has her first Christmas project done.  Go Patsy!