Friday, October 29, 2010

Week 2 Challenge

Okay for week 2, I decided to make a sweater dress for Alea. I love sweater dresses for kids and when Emme wore one of hers the other day, Alea said that she needed one like it. I had gotten this sweater at the thrift store for $8, it is 50% cashmere and 50% silk, sooo incredibly soft. I was originally going to re-design it for myself...but you know how that goes.

First thing I did was wash and dry it. The main reason I did this was because the care label says "Dry clean only" and I wanted to see what washing and drying would do. I can tell you that there is no way I am going to make (or buy for that matter) my kids any clothes that I will be dry cleaning. So, I think it barely shrank, it seemed just barely smaller, maybe.

I tried it on Alea and luckily the length was perfect and the neck opening was good too. So I have a basic dress pattern that I made out of one of Alea's dresses and then I adjusted as needed.

I cut off the sleeves on the dress side of the arm pit. I marked and sewed the dress width to fit. Then I took one of Alea's long sleeve shirts (the dress pattern I have is short sleeve) and matched it up with the sweater sleeve. I matched up the cuffs, so I would not have to mess with making/changing the cuff. I cut the sleeve where needed and trimmed up the width to fit. Then I re-attached the sleeves and viola! There was my dress!

Of course I had to embellish it a little. So I took some cotton/linen type material and cut 3 pieces the width and length of my yard stick. I sewed a strip of clear elastic down the center of one of the pieces and then sewed it around the dress in the waist area. Then I took the 2 other pieces of my fabric, sewed them together to make one long strip , then sewed clear elastic at the bottom edge of the fabric. I rolled that fabric together to make a rosette. Then hand sewed the bottom of the rosette, hand sewed a piece of felt over the bottom of the rosette and hand sewed the rosette to the dress. It took about an hour, so it's definitely a nap time project. When I do projects, I time them by how many nap times I need to make it :)

What do you think?? I made it a little big so she could were it all winter and also so she could wear a t-shirt and leggings underneath.

And if you are wondering where my Mom's challenge projects are, well they are coming. She is not so great with computers...we are working on sending me the pics and info :)

Please ignore the goofy poses, this is the best I could get :) Have a great Halloween weekend!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Week 1 Challenge

This week I made several things since I got so inspired by these great sewing and crafting blogs, my favorite is this adorable Ruffle dress with leggings made out of these shirts I got on sale at Gap. It is all about "re-fashioning" clothes. Now I have a huge pile of tees, sweaters and anything else I could find in my closet to redesign.
I made my own pattern from a dress and leggings that Alea had in her closet. I used the hem of the shirts for the hem of the dress and leggings. I just cut strips of fabric and made the ruffles. I just added the ruffles where-ever. I have been dying to figure out how to make these rosettes out of fabric and found a website tutorial that explained it. So I definitely had to add a rosette. The shirts were super soft, the first thing that Alea said when she put it on was "this is soft, Momma!" This outfit only took about 2 hours from start to finish. The only thing I wish I would have done better was lining the stripes up. Next time I will. Here are a couple of the websites where I got my inspiration. Be full-warned that you will be going through your closet and finding things to redesign! I hope you are inspired!

Sutton Grace

How Does She

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Recipes! Yumm-O

Yum! Tried and true recipes!

Lasagna Florentine with Turkey Sausage

You know I only make lasagna every couple of months. It just takes too long to prepare. This was until I discovered no-bake lasagna noodles. I have always known they made them but had never used them. I guess I just thought they wouldn't taste as good. Well they taste just as good and they make lasagna so easy to prepare! This is my favorite lasagna!

1 package turkey Italian sausage (I use Jeanie-O, they come in links and I promise you it doesn't taste like turkey)
2 jars spaghetti sauce
1 box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 15 oz low-fat ricotta cheese
3 cups part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
1/4 to 1/2 onion (I like yellow)
2 tbsp olive oil

Chop garlic and onion. I use a large pot and saute with olive oil until opaque. Cut casing off of sausage and put in pot and crumble it as it cooks. Once sausage is cooked add spaghetti sauce. Mix 2 cups of mozz cheese, ricotta cheese, spinach and egg. get large pan and layer starting with sauce, then noodles and cheese, repeat layers ending with sauce. Top with remaining cheese. Grab a piece of aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray (So the cheese won't stick). Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 min. This is so yummy and good! The no-bake noodles make it sooo easy!

After many summers trying to make melt-in-your mouth ribs, I have finally perfected my recipe. Since they are so freaking good, I want to share the love. Try these bad boys!

Melt-in-Your Mouth Ribs

2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 onion powder
1/2 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

Mix all spices in bowl and rug on top and bottom of ribs. Put grill on low setting. Grill ribs about 10 min each side. BE CAREFUL, brown sugar burns easily, keep a close eye and make sure not to burn! Take a cookie sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Then lay another large piece of foil and wrap ribs tightly. Oven to 350 and cook for 2 hours. Pull ribs out and bast with sauce both sides and flip ribs upside down. Cook for 20 minutes. Pull ribs out, pull on one rib in a thick area. Rib should easily fall off if done. If they aren't quite done, cook additional 20 min. Repeat process until the ribs fall apart when you try to flip them over. Top with any remaining BBQ sauce. Seriously these are amazing. I used to get ribs when we went out to eat, never again, these are better than any restaurant! Thanks Mom for the cooking help!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Challenge

Most people know that my Mom is very crafty. I learned to sew, make, create and everything in between from her. I grew up making things constantly and I of course still love to. Since our lives tend to be so busy, many times you find it has been weeks even a month before you realize that you haven't made anything for fun. Obviously, I do make things for work but unless I am designing something new, I don't count it. This past week I have come across a few awesome websites/blogs where these incredibly talented women talk and write tutorials on what they create. Well I was incredibly inspired to get back into the fun, designing world. So, I called my Mom up and asked her if she was ready for a challenge! Each week we had to make something for fun. Every weekend we would email each other pictures of what we made. The one stipulation was that you could not buy anything, you had to use materials that you already had. The exception to this rule was you could go to the thrift store (you will understand more in later posts) Just a little something to keep us creating, since it is what we both love and enjoy. Well this was Friday afternoon, I sent her a couple of the links of the sites that I was inspired by (I will share them all with you as I post things similar). Needless to say neither one of us slept a wink that night excited to create new goodies. Well I finished my project in an hour and a half Saturday afternoon. I have been wanted ot make these wide leg pants from this fabric that I like. I got a pair of my pants that were the style I wanted to use and made a pattern from the pants. Actually I didn't make the pattern (If you know me I am a little impatient and that takes too long but now I love the pants and wish I had the pattern on file). Anyway the pants turned out super cute, just what I invisioned! Here are a few pics, I promise they are MUCH cuter in person. It is hard to take a pic of yourself! and I am not a great model! They are your basic wide leg pant with a wide waistband. I know the fabric is a little funky but I love them!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I did it!

You know when Alea was a baby we rocked her to sleep until she was nearly 2. Yep every nap and every bedtime. Finally when she almost 2 I decided since I was pregnant and she was running out of room on my lap that she needed to go to sleep on her own. Thank goodness she took to it pretty well and it wasn't too painful. I meant to have her go to sleep by herself much younger it was that before I realized it she was 1 and could scream Mommy, Daddy come get me! That was all it took for us to go get her and continue to rock her. Now that she is nearly 3, you just never know what you are going to get. Sometimes she is so tired and will drift off into dreamland before we shut the door. Other times, well it sounds like there is a full-on circus in her room. Did I tell you about the day she somehow, somewhere found an old bottle of spray tan? Yep, her body, her clothes, the floor, the bed.... And don't forget the time she got into the laundry room and got a bottle of Downey fabric softener (thank God it was almost empty) and dumped it in her bed? Just in case you were wondering Downey stains when used without water. Needless to say her room smelled great!

When Emme was born I decided that she needed to go to sleep on her own much earlier. I have much less time and I remember the countless hours I spent rocking Alea. So when Emme was about 5 months I started her. Luckily she took to it pretty well and most of the time falls asleep without even a whimper. The other times (since she has just sprouted one tooth and has another just about to pop through) she cries and I bring her back upstairs and it can be quite the ordeal.

If you are wondering my point... there are those days when both girls give me a break, take a nap at the same time and fall asleep without a peep. I sit on the couch with a huge grin on my face and think I did it! I definitely don't turn on the TV, sometimes I work and some days I don't do anything, I just revel in my accomplishment! Sleeping children is such a sweet reward!