Welcome to my blog! I hope to make your visit worthwhile and reward you with some new inspirations, sewing and recycling, crafts tutorials and recipes. Please add yourself as a follower, so that you will automatically be updated when I post something new! Please comment, I appreciate sharing mutual interests, like sewing, crafting, cooking and of course eating well! I am a former Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, I sub in 3 school systems and moonlight at a retail ladies clothing store. which sometimes allows me to indulge my creative energies. A wife, a mom through adoption, Christian, boomer and a member of the sandwich generation I hope to share my unique perspectives and help you with some of yours!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Refashioning for summer, Linky Party #7

Spring/summer refashion ideas

 This coral knit/crochet top was so cute when I first bought it. I adore the crochet, but the knit became pilled and kind of clingy. Rather than throw it away, I cut off the offending parts, then cut two panels out of cute cotton print, and I ran row of gathers across the top of the panels and gathered it to the crochet bodice


A simple turned up hem, and it was done! I have a number of skirts that are way too cute to pitch, with embroidery details and flouncy underskirts. Why not turn these into girly aprons, to give as gifts,wear or make for my etsy shop?  The skirt below is a gored, lined with lace edged underskirt and not a very attractive fit for me.  Rather than just donate to a thrift store, where I will shop another day and purchase, I turned it into:

A Skirt To Girly Apron Tutorial

Skirt: Simply cut the skirt in half, slicing down near the side seams, turn under the sides twice, press and sew down.

Ties: make the ties by using a complementary print, 2 1/2 inches wide and long enough to apply over the skirt front with plenty to wrap around once to make a bow on the front. I like to taper the ends into a point, but you don't have to. You will probably have to piece the sash, to make it long enough. I try to line up the seams at the edges of the skirt, so they look uniform. Fold the sash in half, then turn in both raw edges 1/4, press, then top stitch on both long edges. Set aside.

Straps: You will also need 2-2 inch wide straps, from same or another print. Measure from the top of your chest to the back of your neck plus about 8 inches to make a bow, or not as long, to secure velcro to attach. Fold each strap in half, and then turn in the raw edges 1/4 inch. Press, then sew along both edges. Put aside.

Bib: The remaining fabric from the back of the skirt can be made into a bib. Cut your shape, making sure it covers your chest sufficiently,use this as the pattern to cut a second piece out of lining fabric. Fold and press up the bottom of the lining 5/8in. If you want to embellish the bib with trims, do this before you apply the lining to it.

I cut strips from the leftover pieces to make straps for the bodice, make sure again, they are long enough by pinning to your bodice and leaving long enough to tie a decent bow around your neck. I incorporated the lace edges into the tie for interest.  Press each in half, and then turn in raw edges 1/4 inch, top stitch on each side.

 Insert your straps at the top of the bib, (inside the sandwich made by the lining piece and the outer front) placing the straps inside.Make sure you sew over the edge of the straps at the top, but not catching them in any other seams. Then, sew the lining and outside bib right sides together, around 3 sides, leaving the bottom open where it will be attached to the skirt. Trim excess fabric, or surge.
 Assemble:Then pin and sew, (right sides together) the bib across the bottom edge, keeping the pressed edge free. Hold it up to yourself, if you are happy with the result, grade seam edges, then pin the pressed edge of the bib over the raw selvage edges, and slip stitch closed, catching in the seam.

 Here you can see the straps attached to the curved waist band.  I stitched right sides together on the ends.

Of course, don't forget pockets!  I simply cut squares from the lining, with the lace at the top.  Sew pocket with lining right sides together, leaving a small hole to turn inside out, slip stitch and press.  Pin where they look best on your apron, then sew around the 3 sides, with topstitching.   

A little corsage pin, layers of cotton topped with sparkly nylon, secured with a button. I used a felt circle sew through the button and safety pin.

Please post a link of something you repurposed, recycled, redid and/or renewed! The 4RS mantra!  Add yourself as a follower, and leave me a comment if you would be so kind!  Enjoy your long weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My 101st Post, and Linky Party #6

Wow, I just saw in my post editor that I have written 100 posts to date.  I started this blog in 2008, right after I began selling my wares at the4Rs.Etsy.com.  My goal back then was simply to post slice of life stuff and occasionally a recipe or tutorial or two.  At first, I was worried about what I would say, who would care and whether or not I would have the time to keep it up.  I am happy to say my worries were for nothing!  And I never realized how much fun it was to make friendships and learn so much every time I log on!

I continue to be awed by the amazing talents of the bloggers I meet every week, and I wanted to be sure to showcase as many as I can.  The linky parties seemed like a way to make this happen, and of course my first 5 were also giveaways.  Since I have been in a purging mode lately, gifting a winner each week with a gently previewed crafting book seemed like a great idea.  And the recipients have been most grateful!  Going forward, the out of pocket costs are starting to add up, so I plan to offer up a weekly linky with a theme, and the only reward is the fun you will have traveling around the blogging world as you see links of new and familiar bloggers.  I will welcome any sponsors that want to help me offer free stuff, but until that happens, I want my 50+ followers to know I plan on keeping you all coming back for more inspirations.  Writing this blog has been so satisfying on so many levels, I hope to make it even better and better.  Bless you all...

I mentioned last post I would offer up some refashion ideas.  I have been on such a tight budget, new spring and summer clothes will have to wait.  If you are like me, you save stuff that doesn't fit, doesn't look right, too small too big etc.  Which gives me the reason to  shop my closet?  There are so many great ideas on the internet with the tag of refashion out there, there is nothing that can't be remade to be wearable right? I will post my tut, as soon as it is finished, till then, please post your links, showing how you recycled, repurposed, redid and renewed...4Rs style!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Reap What You Sew # 5 Winner

Action!Congrats to Jennifer of http://silvertears101in1001.blogspot.com/ is my random generator #12! One of her daughters is modeling a cute tinkerbell costume she posted on the linky. Check her out, she has some sweet ideas! She will receive the Painted Wooden Furniture book, pictured in the last post.  Thank you to all who have participated, I hope you will come back before Sunday each week, and post what you have been up to!  This week's theme is Spring Inspired, anything you have made that reminds you of this season...around here in Cleveland, it has been raining, and raining...wetest April on record, and I bet May is not far behind.  Your projects will help remind me of the reward at the end of the rainbow, so to speak.

Next post, watch for some refashion ideas, as I try to revive some items in my closet.  Hopefully inspire you to post the same!  And I'll put up the next linky party, so keep coming back!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Reap What You Sew Sundays #4, #5 Begins!

Sorry, my linky closed early, not sure why! Stop back later tonight to see who won!

 From last Sunday -Congrats to Sharon, lucky #5 on the random number generator in my Reap What You Sew Linky Giveaway, #4!  She wins a choice of book, and will have it sent to her after we communicate.  Her blog, http://sweetpeaandpumkins.blogspot.com/
is darling, and a tribute to her love of sewing learned from her mother.  She has some wonderful tutorials, please visit her, and let her know you saw her on my blog.

Mothers' Day is also so bittersweet for me.  Both mom and mother in law are enjoying their day in heaven, and the two birth moms that gave my two kids life, are always close to my thoughts and prayers especially on this day.  I hope that I can meet them some day and tell them how grateful I am to them for making us a family.  A big shout out to my hubby who brought me breakfast in bed, took me and my Kate to the Cleveland Zoo, (moms were free) and then cooked me a wonderful steak dinner.  My son couldn't make it, but he did wish me a happy one.  The weather today in my town was one of the very first beautiful days of spring, so we soaked up the sun and cool breezes and celebrated with throngs of families and of course the animals.  I am sitting here at my computer right now while watching Extreme Home Makeover, honoring a special mom who adopted 3 girls who didn't have caring families. It touches me deeply the deep sense of responsibility mixed with intense love.  

 I feel privileged to know the joys of motherhood, and the special relationship between mother and child, and I still get very teary watching birth and adoption stories.  Being Kate and Kevin's mom has been a real adventure, and I look forward to being a great grandma someday...not too soon!  Of course I have a teen who mostly doesn't like being seen with her parents; today was a special gift as we walked together.

 And another special shout out to my sis in law, Mary, who turns 60 today!  Her family threw a surprise Casino night party for her last night, here are a few pics.

Please stop back this week for some new tutorials and treats, and of course, each week for my Sunday linky party winner announcement  kick off for the next one.   For those of you new to Linky Parties,  I think they are alot of fun!  You get a chance to show off what neat stuff you made recently, and we all get to click the link to check it out.  I only ask that you reference my linky party in some way on your post, or side bar, comment and become a follower if you haven't done so yet.  I have code you can cut and paste at the top of my side bar, "Reap What you Sew Sundays".  Party closes on Sundays evenings, this week at 9:00 pm. where the winner will be announced, and a new one begins.  Winner gets a this gently previewed book Painted Wooden Furniture and a shout out on my blog. Lots of great paint techniques here for the beginner or advance painter...Mailed to you free.

 You don't have to be a sewer, just showcase something you made recently. (One disclaimer though, I can only send to bloggers in the U.S., as the cost is prohibitive for overseas postage, sorry, please still post links here...)

 This week's theme, is making something for someone you love.  Share with us your cool stuff, so we all can enjoy it! Here is the start of Reap What You Sew Linky #5.  Spread the word!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mother's Day Gift- Quick Crochet Collar Tut

While I no longer have a mom or mother in law to make gifts for, please see my tribute to
mom from last year...I would wager most of my readers do! I am not a professional at crochet, but when I sub long hours at school, I need something small to keep my hands busy. I was given a few crochet collars, that button on top of crew neck tops, from my good friend Connie. These are cute but not long enough to grace most of my thrifty cardigans, so I decided to use them as inspiration to create my own. This little simple collar is made with a small crochet hook and crochet thread, but I am sure it could be interpreted with a larger hook, and slightly heavier gauge thread or fingerling yarn.

My design makes up in 6 simple rows, and is not as fancy, but quick and elegant, if I must say so! Using a crochet hook, (close to size 8, or 1.5mm) and crochet thread, (I prefer cotton). This design needs an even number of chains, and the design is a multiple of 6. So if you want the design to come out evenly, chain 6 for every scallop you see, and if it isn’t perfect, you can fudge on the extra chains or reduce as you go.

Row 1:
Begin by making enough chains (foundation row) to span the length of your neckline. Turn, Row 2: chain 3, and triple crochet in each chain. Row 3: Turn, chain 3, triple crochet in the first space between triples on the previous row, chain 3, skip 2 triples, make a triple in the next space between, all the way across. Row 4: Turn, chain 3, (chain 3 makes one of the triples next mentioned) *make 3 triples chain 3, 3 more triples all in the space between previous rows triples, skip next space then chain 5, single crochet in next space created by chains, chain 5, repeat from * all the way to end of this row. Row 5: Turn, chain 3, *in space between the 6 triples previous row, make 3 triples, chain 3, 3 triples, chain 5, sc in next space, chain 5, sc in next space, chain 5, repeat from * all the say to end of row. Last row, involves a lot of sc, with “picots” (made by sc chain 3 sc). Row 6: Begin this row with 1 picot in space between first 2 triples, chain 3, sc between each triple, and in larger space, sc chain 3, sc, (picot) chain 3, sc and chain 3 across the 3 triples in design, 3 sc, sc chain 3 sc, 3 more sc in space, repeat this pattern across, with picots at the top of the triples, and over the 3 spaces in the design between the triple shells. You can be creative here, making the last row lacy or less so depending on how many spaces you create by adding chains. Fasten off and steam press, to block the design. Pin your collar to your sweater neckline. Using a large embroidery needle, and your crochet thread, make invisible stitches through the first row of triples on the design fastening it to the collar edge. I used the holes in the design to push the buttons through.

If my instructions are not clear feel free to email me, you can tell I don’t write patterns for a living. Experiment with your chains and the amount of rows you make depending on how gathered or flat you want it to look. You can’t do this wrong, since you are the creator! Try it, for those you love!

Please don't forget to post your links of simple and crafty gift ideas for the moms, grandmoms, and mother figures in your life, in my Mother's Day Linky Giveaway in my previous post, link found here.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Linky Party 3 Winner and Linky Party 4 Begins!

Congrats to my Linky Party #3 - winner Ohio Patriot Mom, sorry, don't have a name, but I notified her tonight and asked which book she might like me to send her.  Check out her great blog at http://sageendeavors.blogspot.com/

There were some amazing and very "green" projects that linked up this week.  Look at this thrifty idea, using chalkboard paint! http://condo-blues.blogspot.com/2011/04/chalkboard-juice-lid-labels.html

And why didn't I think of this? 
I have seedlings started, but I think this would speed the process along, kind of like a mini greenhouse!

Please check out the great links, previous post, and I look forward to many more.  Please join us this week as we embark on Linky Party #4 Reap What You Sew Sundays...begins on a Sunday, ends following weekend.

Please post a link of something you made recently that is a great gift idea for a Mom, Grandma, or mother figure, one which can be inexpensive or crafty.  Please add yourself as a follower, if you haven't already. As a courtesy, spread the word, grab my "Reap What You Sew Sundays" badge on top right of my blog. I am offering a choice of gently previewed crafting books, (see below link party) and I will choose a winner by Random Generator next Sunday, at 6:00 pm.

The Winner of the random generator widget, gets to choose between these two gently previewed books. Look how smiley Martha Stewart looks!
I'll post during the week, but refer back to this linky as often as you like!

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