Saturday, June 26, 2010

Stockings for the troops

My congregation's Releif Society has been joining up with a group called Soldiers Angels to help make this next Christmas (Ya, I know it's quite a ways away.) a great one for deployed troops. Last week I tried to go to the church building to sew some stockings. Maggie wasn't having it and I eventually had to leave with her crying with a few scraps of fabric that I had gotten cut out. After I put the girls to sleep I make the stockings and used the fabric I brought home as a template to make some more stockings with some of my own fabric. I tried to make all the stockings a little diffrent. It was fun and I look forward to making some more.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pizza Night book Review & Recipes

I've decided that the best way for me to stay on top of things around the house is to have a really good schedule. Part of that is meal planning. And we have tried several times to come up with a good rotation of monthly menus, but we always get off track and drop the ball. So now we do just a weekly menu rotation. And Monday night is Pizza night. So when I found a pizza cook book I was excited to think that this rotation might last a little longer if we try some new types of pizza regularly instead of making the same old kind each week. The book is called PIZZA NIGHT; Top it, stuff it, twist it- The easy way to go with refrigerated dough. All the recipes use a refrigerated Pillsbury dough, but you can make your own if you want. they all seem simple and sort of dummy proof. It's great for us because the point of our pizza night is so we don't have a lot of prep time and so the kids can help us making it more of a family night.
The first recipe we tried was for mini pizzas using biscuit dough instead of pizza dough. I thought it was great because I have a good baking powder biscuit recipe that I like and we don't get stuck with leftovers. If we make a whole pizza, we always have leftovers and when Sam is not around, no body eats them. at first I was worried that it would just taste wrong to not have real pizza dough, but we enjoyed them and will make them the next time Sam is not home on Pizza night.
The next recipe we tried was called Fruity almond Dessert Pizza. The recipe can be found here.
Yes it was good, and yes, we want to make it again! We left the almonds out because we didn't have any. At first glance, I thought that we might need to add icing like on Little Cesar's dessert pizza, but it is just right the way it is. I hope you enjoy it too.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cheerios cookbook review

I went into a big lots on Tuesday and felt like a kid in a candy store. It was the first time I had been in a store like that in a long time. (Living in the middle of the desert for 2 years sort of does that to a person.) They had a bunch of books for $2, $3, and $5. I got a few recipe books and will be trying them out here. This recipe is from the cheerios cookbook. I liked the cookbook. It was kid friendly with lots of recipes and some craft projects. I thought that the crafts were sort of predictable, but there were a handful of recipes that got me excited.

Today we tried Honey Nut Stacks of Snacks.

They were SO good. Personally, I like almost anything with brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. It was yummy to snack all along the road to completion. It uses natural ingredients (Brown Sugar, butter, cheerios, oatmeal, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.) It is obviously still a dessert, but I like to know what I'm eating and that I am eating some good stuff along with the sugar. We will certainly be making this one again, but will probably cut the recipe in 1/2 or 1/4 if we don't have anyone to share it with :)

The recipe can be found at the Betty Crocker Website Here

We have also tried the Roly Poly PB-Chocolate Balls that can be found here

They have potential, but the recipe needs to be tweaked a bit. I think that they would be better if there was less of the peanut butter/syrup/powder sugar mixture. This could be accomplished by adding extra stuff to the mixture, like more cheerios, or raisins.

Next time I plan to still follow the recipe directions for the chocolate, but use the following ingredients/ratios for the peanut butter balls.

2/3 cup Peanut Butter

1/3 cup powder sugar

1/3 cup honey

2 cups cheerios

1/2 cup raisins

**update** 4/14/2011

this week we made 2 new recipes from the cheerios book. we liked them both and they were easy to make. PB-Chocolate Bars on Cars and Caramel Crispies. I liked the PB- Chocolate Bars best, but Sam loved the caramel crispies the best. They were both delicious and we might just make them again. Now I feel like I've cooked everything I'm interested in, so I will probably put the book into my donation box.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ultimate full coverage Bib/Smock

This is absolutely the BEST bib in my book. I can use it on the kids for at least all three meals instead of having to get a new bib for every meal. I call it a FULL COVERAGE bib because it keeps the neckline of their clothes clean, and it is long enough to cover their lap. and it wraps around the sides so everything but the sleeves are covered. I use a really heavy denim-like material that I hunt for in JoAnn's clearance fabric section. I normally find it for $1 or $2 a yard. My Mom made the pattern and shared it with me a few years ago.

This is a template you can use to make your own pattern. You can copy, paste and print it. It's proportions should be 8.5" x 11".
What you will need-
  • 3/4 of a yard denim-like heavy fabric
  • matching thread
  • your sewing machine
  • needle
  • snaps (The ones you can use instead of buttons or velcro. There is a Picture of them in the directions. They can be found in the notions section of your fabric store.)
  • your iron and ironing board.
  • scissors
  • newspaper/pattern making paper
  • my template
  • pen

How to make the pattern-
  1. Print out the yellow pattern template. It is 8.5"x11". So make sure it prints out as such. Cut along the black line.

  2. Now get some newspaper or large paper and cut it to be 18"x24". Fold the paper in half so it now appears to be 18"x12".

  3. Round out one of the open corners with scissors
  4. lay the template on the other open corner and trace
  5. The template is a little too small, so you will need to continue the curve in a downward motion on the fold as shown in the picture below. Cut the paper pattern out.
The bib-
  1. Pin the pattern to 3/4 of a yard of prewashed denim like heavy fabric. Cut out 2 pieces of fabric.
  2. With right sides together, sew around the edge of the fabric leaving a gap at the bottom and at the front shoulder seems. As shown in the photo below.
  3. trim and clip the curves about 1/4" from stitching.
  4. Turn right sides out and press. Stitch around the edges again, closing the gap at the bottom, but leaving the gaps at the front shoulder seams.
  5. Insert the back shoulder into the front shoulder opening and stitch into place. Repeat for remaining side.
  6. Hand stitch the snaps on to the back for a closure.
Now you have a reversible bib :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Flower Girl Dresses

I Do-
My brother-in-law is getting married next month and I'm going to make some cute matchy dresses for the girls and their older cousin. My sister to be, has picked out this pattern (Butterick 3351). Here are some of the ideas I have for the dresses. Let me know what you think.

Her colors are red and black, so when I picked up the pattern, I also got some red satin blanket binding. I used it to make these cute rose hair clips. After I've made a few more maybe I can type out some directions for them.
Here is a blank copy of the pattern so Erin can get her creative juices flowing if she doesn't like my ideas. Which would be totally fine, it's your day sweetie. Just tell me what you want, your wish is my command ;)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

cross over dress with flutter cap sleeves

As mentioned in my last post I HATE putting in zippers and buttons. (Something I will have to face soon on my next project) but for now I made another frustration free dress. I used a new sheet set I found at Ross for Cheep. I made a cross over dress out of the same pattern I used for my petal sleeve/tulip pocket dress but this time I did flutter sleeves.

I think it turned out great, but I wonder if the sleeves are a bit too large. Do you think I might be able to get away with it because aren't big shoulders supposed to be coming back into style? I'd love some comments on them.

Anyway, here's how I did it.
the Cross Over Dress-
  1. Take your dress pattern and fold down one shoulder of the dress front top pattern piece. Making the line of the fold from the remaining shoulder to the bottom corner of the pattern.
  2. Lay out all the pattern pieces. you will need 2 of the back, 4 of the front top, 4 of the front bottom, and 4 of the sleeves. Make sure that you have 2 pieces of the dress front top that have a right sided shoulder and 2 that have a left sided shoulder. (All the other pieces are mirror images so it doesn't matter what direction the fabric is facing when you cut it out. If you don't have a right or wrong side to the fabric, then it won't matter what direction the shoulders are pointing when you cut them out.) Cut them out.
  3. You now basically have pieces for 2 dresses. To assemble the 2 dresses I began with sewing each front top and bottom together. Repeat for all 4 dress fronts. Then sew one right sided dress front and one left sided dress front to a dress back. Make sure that for both the right and left hand sides you leave about a 1" gap in your stitching where the dress front top and bottom meet and that your stopping and starting points have been back stitched. This is where you will string the ribbon through the dress to keep it from falling off. Repeat with the other pieces.
  4. Optional-If you are planning on adding details to the dress like embroidery, ribbon striping or any other trimmings, this is a great time to do it. I added a thick white ribbon along the bottom of the dress. To add it, trim the bottom edges of the dress with some scissors to make sure they are all even at the seems and then find a mark or make a mark on your sewing machine that you can follow as you sew the ribbon on. (I used the edge of the metal plate that has the seem allowances on it.) Sew the bottom edge of the ribbon on while making sure the edge of the fabric is lined up to the the mark on the machine. Then go back and sew the top edge of the ribbon in place. (If you are using rick rack, you normally only need to sew one line in the middle of the rick rack.)
  5. take only one of your dresses and pin the corner of your ribbon to the corner of the fabric where the dress front top and dress front bottom meet. Make sure that the edge of the ribbon is at the corner and the yardage is against the main body of the dress. You can pin it down if you would like. (This will keep the ribbon from getting sewn over when you hem the dress.) You need a ribbon on both the left and right side of the dress front.
  6. Now pin the dress with the ribbon to other dress with right sides together and sew the edges together, except for the bottom. (This will need to be open so you can turn the dress right side out.)
  7. Go over the seems with scissors making little clips at the curves and cutting off any extra fabric at the corners. Pull the dress right side out and iron the edges, making sure that they are crisp and follow the seem line. Line up the side seem gaps for the ribbon, If they have trouble lining up, make any necessary adjustments. Then sew a rectangle around the hole so that the holes are always lined up. Repeat for the other side.
  8. Now hem the bottom edges however you like to. I did a double folded edge and sewed it with the machine. But I kept the bottom open instead of sewing the two layers together. I think it helps it fit better to let the two layers move freely of one another on the bottom.
  9. Fold the edge of the shoulder front into itself. then insert the back shoulderinto the front shoulder and sew the seem.

  10. Sew the outer edge of the dress about a 1/4" from the edge
  11. Decide what side of the cross over front looks best. On the side that the ribbon is not strung through, string a ribbon that is about 8" or so. Take it through the arm hole and back in the side opening. Stitch a bar tack to keep this ribbon in place. This makes a loop to string the front ribbon through. If there is no loop, the front panel of the crossover will slide down and make the bottom hem of the dress look crooked.

Flutter Sleeves-

  1. Put the dress on and put some pins in the area of the arm hole where you want the sleeves to start and end. Take a step back and make sure that the left side pins and the right side pins match up. Make any necessary adjustments.
  2. On one of the shoulders, measure the length from the front pin to the end pin (5"). Double that measurement(10") and mark a straight line on a piece of paper (10").
  3. Draw a long skinny oval that is 10" long. Cut along the 10" line and one of the curves.
  4. Now use this as a paper pattern. cut 4 out of the fabric.
  5. Sew 2 together along the curve and repeat
  6. Adjust the stitch length on your machine to be long. Sew along the straight edge of the fabric but do NOT backstitch!
  7. Pull the threads to ruffle the material. When get some good ruffled put a pin the the edge and wrap the thread around the pin. Begin pulling the other end, put a pin in it and wrap the thread once the ruffles make the sleeve reaches the desired length (5").
  8. Pin the sleeve onto the dress pointing towards the neckline. Sew all around the armhole. clip any extra thread or fabric hanging over the armhole.
  9. Sew over the raw edge of the fabric with a zig zag stitch.
  10. fold the sleeve back over the zig zag stitching and iron into place. Pin and handstitch the fabric into place making sure to only go through one layer of fabric.