Kid’s Clothes Week: Days 3,4,and 5

The goal during KCW is to sew an hour a day for your children. I am not sure if I made an hour or not on Wednesday, but I picked out the pattern and fabric. I also cut it out. The material was from a dress I had picked up to use a LONG time ago. It takes a little longer to cute out something from an re-purpose item, but sometimes you make it up during the sewing stage. I was able to use the original hem on the skirt, so no hemming again! Yippee!

My pattern is the Miss Madeline dress from the Handmade Dress. I won the pattern in a giveaway. I was quite thrilled. The pattern is a pretty simple peasant dress. It sewed up fairly quickly. I sewed most of it Thursday and worked on the waistband and elastic today. The skirt on mine might be a little wider than the original since I used the existing skirt and it is cut on the bias. This makes the drape really nice! My only problem was that the original brown trim on the dress was not usable. It had faded in some spots. I found a pair of brown pants in my re-purpose pile that matched nicely. Unfortunately, I realized after I had sewn it on that it was a bit too heavy and doesn’t look as nice as I had hoped. It is a play dress so not a big deal. Lillon is quite pleased with it and had a ball posing for the pictures! She wanted to wear the necklace she purchased recently some money she got from Great-Grandma her birthday. I think she looks irresistibley sweet in these pictures. It makes my Mama heart swell up with love!

 


kid's clothes week

 

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Kid’s Clothes Week: Days One and Two

It is hard to believe it has been so long since my last blog post. I keep thinking of posting, but I ran into a series of “difficulties”. My nicer camera died- a “lens error”. *sigh* Now I have to use a small, cheap camera that my Mom gave me when I was pregnant with Richie over EIGHT years ago. I am thankful I have something to take pictures with! My battery charger also died. No pictures with the cheapie camera for a while, either. Yeah,  I am a little slow so it took a long time to get a new one. After a trip to Walmart, I have a new battery charger and an ancient camera so I am good to go! You don’t want to hear me boohooing anyway. ;) On to the sewing!

The theme for Kid’s Clothes Week this year is “Kid Art”. I didn’t follow the theme. I think all sewing is an art. I just made a list of things my kids needed and went from there. Abigail needed some warmer pj’s. I didn’t realize we were going to have such a cool summer, so I thought she could get by with just a onesie most of the time. The weather did not cooperate ( thankfully!) and it has been BEAUTIFUL- mostly between 70 and 80 degrees. I am in heaven!

For the Peachy Pj’s I used two different patterns. The shirt on the pj’s is made from the Fast Stash Onesie pattern. It is a pretty basic pattern and after the first one went together pretty quickly. The bottoms are made from the Leena’s Leggings pattern. It is FREE. Can it get better than that? I added cuffs to the bottom for longer wear. The peachy fabric is something I picked at an estate sale in a box of sewing goodies. Estate sales are wonderful for finding fun sewing stuff! For some added fun I took a monkey I cut from a worn out stained t-shirt and stitched it on the front. I am in love!

Lookin' good in the Peachy Pj's

"Do we have to take pictures?"

 

For the purple pj’s I used the same patterns but changed things up a bit. I hacked the shirt pattern up and turned it into a long sleeved raglan. The fabric is a wonderfully soft t-shirt that has been in my re-purpose stash for too long. I wish I had pj’s made out of it! I used a purple thrift store t-shirt for the leggings. It made for a really quick sew since I was able to use the t-shirt hem for leg hem. NO HEMMING! Yay!

Snuggling with Teddy

Too cute for words!

Also sitting in my re-purpose pile was a tube top I picked up for just such a purpose as an adorable baby t-shirt. This was also a hack of the Fast Stash pattern. I just shortened the pattern so it didn’t have the snap bottom on it, and re-used the pretty, wide hem on the bottom of the boob tube. The bra lining had enough fabric to make the collar.

No more Pj's!

This is my favorite thing I made up this week. The coral color makes me smile every time I look at it.  Abigail wore it to a party already! We had a cookout last night with friends for some visiting missionaries to South Africa. They were so nice and had a baby Abigail’s age. There ended up being a whole pile of kids there. The adults were vastly outnumbered! I have a dress on the cutting table for Lillon, so hopefully I will get that up here, too! I also am hoping to give some updates on my critters and garden soon.
kid's clothes week

Are we done, yet?

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Pattern Testing: Puffer Shorts

Well, it isn’t quite shorts season here, but hopefully summer will come. I am beginning to wonder if it will ever warm up! I had an opportunity to test some shorts for Abigail. She will need some if/when it warms up. ;) ( Note: I tested these last month.It has warmed up this week! Yay!)

These Puffer Shorts are from Whimsy Couture. They work great is shorts or under a dress. I love that you can have fun with your fabric choices and have lots of color or just a little bit. I think the pockets on the outside are just awesome! A bonus is that they fit over cloth diapers. Abigail is wearing cloth diapers under them in the pictures. I am always on the look out for clothes that fit well over cloth.

The instructions were super clear and I really liked how they turned out. Abigail looks a little less than impressed in the pictures, because it was COLD out that day…and everyday. She also did not want to stand still! Most of the pictures were taken on the run. She has a blast whenever I turn her loose outside.

While Abigail could care less everyone else gave her new outfit their seal of approval!

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Spring Farm Updates

Spring has finally come to the farm! This year we got turkeys and chicks again this year. They were tiny and cute a few weeks ago. They looked like this:

Soft, Fluffy, Cute!

 

In just four short weeks, they look like this:

Turkey Poults

These are my turkey poults. They are a blast at this stage. Turkeys are much more personable that meat chicks. These ones have been following us around as we work on various projects. Here you can see them eating asparagus! If one of the kids goes running across the lawn, seven turkeys can be seen running along, too! It is a good thing they get less cute as they get older.

This turkey is looking at her reflection in the window.

 

Abigail really enjoys the critters on the farm. We were working on pitching last year’s manure out of the goat pen. You can see the turkey again hanging out where all the action was!

 

My Menagerie

 

Speaking of manure, I am glad to have Richard around to do the grunt work! He has been abusy guy helping with the manure, setting up my clothesline, and trying to get the rototiller back into working order. Hopefully, I will be planting my main garden soon. In the mean time, I have been busy with things like lettuce, beets, carrots, and radishes. My radishes will be ready in a few days! Yippee!

 

Grunt Man

 

 

Our place has lots of apple and crab apple trees. I look forward to when they bloom every spring. We have three full size apple trees, two smaller trees that I planted recently, and six crab apple trees! That is a lot of beautiful flowers! Their scent hits you when you walk out the door.

 

Crab Apple Blossoms

 

 

Linked up to:

Homestead Barn Hop | The Elliott Homestead

 

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Just Peachy ( or How to plant a tree in a hundred easy steps)

My birthday was recently. ( okay, maybe not. It was 2 months ago, but the tree just came recently.) My Mom asked me what I wanted and one of the things I requested was a peach tree. Growing peaches is pretty iffy in zone four, but I decided I want to give it a try. The tree I got was “Contender”. It is cold hardy to zone four, though we will see if that just means “will be alive when winter gets through” or if it means “it will thrive and bear fruit”.

Contender Peach- Will you grow for me?

 

The first step in planting my new tree was finding a spot. ” Richard, where can I plant a tree where it won’t get run over or mowed over?” He waved in a general direction and said, “Over there somewhere.”  Hmmm…okay.

 

Step two was gathering tools and children. They wanted to help me. I rarely refuse help!

Children and Tools gathered

 

Step three: Dig a BIG hole. Richie enjoyed helping me dig the hole. The girls made sure it was deep enough.

 

"Is it deep enough, Mom?" Not quite...

 

A little deeper…

 

"Now, Mom?"

 

Yes, that looks good. Now where did we put that tree?

Step four is the part we have been waiting for! Put the tree in the ground. This is where those extra hands come in errr…handy. ;) Richie held the tree straight for me, and we started step five…

 

My littlest helper

 

Add lots of dirt and water! The wheelbarrow holds dirt and aged manure. We alternated dirt, manure, and water.

 

LOTS of water

Ta Da!

 

Impressive, huh!

 

Okay, not quite done! We didn’t get it mulched. It started pouring rain. I packed the kids and tools and made a mad dash for the house!

 

I have to add this picture, because it is just too cute to l eave out!

 

Linked to:

Homestead Barn Hop | The Elliott Homestead

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SewMamaSew Giveaway Day

One of the funnest days in blogland is here! It is the SewMamaSew Giveaway day! This year I thought I would join in the fun and giveaway some fun things. I couldn’t make up my mind what to giveaway, so I have THREE options! There will be two winners.  This year I will be limiting the giveaway to North America since I have no clue what shipping is internationally.

You can win by leaving me a comment saying which prize you would like to win. For a second chance you may leave me a comment letting me know how you are following me.

You can follow with FACEBOOK, PINTEREST, Feedburner, or email. ( last two can be found on the sidebar)

When you are done entering, click the SewMamaSew button at the top of the page to find LOTS more giveaways!

Option ONE Vintage Sewing Lovelies(needle book, wooden spool, snaps, seam binding. doily not included):

 

Option TWO Vintage Kid’s Patterns ( size 2)

 

Option THREE Dress/Slip/Tank Pattern(xs-xl) and Coloring Bag:

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you come back and take a look around when the giveaway is over. Winner will be picked on May16th after 5pm Central Time.

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Tummy Talk 5: The Last Installment Weeks 4-8 and Beyond

Better late than never, right?

If you want to read the first four posts in the series you can find them here:

The First Post

My Tummy History

The Beginning of My Diastasis Journey

A Four Week Update

I finished the Tummy Team program on March 20th. It has taken me a while because I am still putting the pieces of the puzzle together and figuring some things out. I didn’t want to give an update until I had thought a few things out. Our bodies are fascinating to learn about and we could spend a lifetime learning how it works! God is truly a marvelous Designer!

During the last four weeks of the program, I learned some great stretches. I found out that I was holding A LOT of tension in my shoulders and my pecs were super tight from nursing four babies. My pecs were pulling my shoulders forward making it nearly impossible to not be hunched over. It was wonderful to learn ways to stretch that tension out and be FREED from it!

My diastasis went from a 5-4- too shallow to tell on the bottom to a 3-2-still not sure during the last few weeks.  I started to wean from my splint. It was a relief not to be wearing it so much. Even though my diastasis closed moreI didn’t see much change in my measurements after I started weaning from the splint. My measurements when I started the program were:

Waist: 33.5 inches

Belly Button:36.5 inches

By week 4 they were:

Waist: 32 inches

Belly Button: 34.5 inches

My end measurements were:

Waist 32 inches

Belly Button: 34 inches

As you can see the last four weeks didn’t show as much dramatic inches lost. I think those last weeks my belly was adjusting to not wearing a splint. I also think I may have weaned off the splint a little too quickly. ( Can anyone say FREEDOM?) But I still closed up some more of my gap! Yeah! Some of the other improvements I have seen are MUCH better posture, my core activating on its own without me telling it to, my bra band size went down, less bloating, and I am fitting into a smaller pants size.

One of the things I like about the program is that you can continue to progress after the program is over. You are given all the tools you need to succeed. If you have questions, you still have access to the Facebook group even after your access to the program is over. Also, make sure you don’t wait until the last day to go over your videos again. You can’t access it on the last day. I made the mistake of waiting and missed out. Thankfully, I have my folder of information I printed out. A recent ( good)  change in the program is that you get 10 weeks access now instead of 9! I could have used the extra week!

My photo for the end…which looks pretty much like the week four picture. I am happy that I have maintained my progress! For my previous progress pictures you can go HERE and HERE.

My gap is not closed yet, and may never be. That is fine with me. I know I still have some progress to make, but I have come farther than I ever expected to come. I have come out stronger and much more knowledgeable in how to care for my body. I am so thankful for Kelly Dean for her wonderful program!

The first picture is about 3 months post-partum, the second is 3months after starting Fit2Be ( diastasis friendly exercises, great program, but not rehab), the third is in January of this year at before starting the Tummy Team Rehab, the fourth is 4 weeks into the program, and the last is this morning- 8 weeks after ending the program. Besides the obvious tummy changes, I noticed that my back is more curved and my tail tucks under less. Sorry about all the wild lounge pants pictures that you have been exposed, too!. Stripes, plaids, polka dots, oh my!

If you are interested in the program, the Tummy Team is having a Mother’s Day sale on the programs, splints, and Skype sessions! Use the code WELOVEMOMS2014 to get 30% off. It ends on Mother’s Day so be quick!

Fit2Be is also having a sale for Mother’s Dy. You can get 50% off a year’s membership with the code mothersday.

 

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Pattern Testing: The Jennifer Sue Cardigan

Here is Wisconsin it is still COLD. It has “warmed” up into the 50′s most days- about 10 degrees colder than normal for this time of year.  When I was asked if I could test the Jennifer Sue Cardigan for Grits and Giggles, I jumped at the chance! Yes! We still need warm clothes here!

For my fabric, I chose a thin knit that a friend had given me. She told me she has used it for a project 25 years ago! It is soft and colorful. Just perfect for a little girl. The pattern was simple and a fairly easy sew. My knit was a bit rolly around the edges. To keep it from rolling into a  tube on the ruffle I used some starch on it- lots of starch.  Hopefully, when I wash it, it doesn’t roll badly. I think even if it does roll some it will still look okay.

 

The edges of the cardigan are not finished so be sure to do a nice, neat job attaching the ruffle. The inside seams will show some. I suspect they would show less with a heavier knit.  I really like the gathered sleeves for cute factor. Next time I make it I might add ruffles to the cuffs. It took me a couple hours to make this and probably would have taken less time, but my sewing machine has been a pill lately. I think it is time for a cleaning!

This is definitely a pattern I will make again. I can think of some fun things to do with it, and I have no lack of little girls to sew for! I have tested three patterns this spring ( two from Grits and Giggles!), so you will be seeing a couple more pattern reviews on here soon!

You can see more tester versions of the pattern at the Grits and Giggles Blog.

 

 

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Five Ways to Keep Your Kids Well

In spite of eating relatively healthy my family has struggled with staying well. When you have small children they just seem to be germ magnets! Mine all have bad habits that tend to make this worse. I have one (constant) nose picker, two thumb suckers, and one finger sucker. All are at the age when hand washing is not automatic. Not to mention my house is dryer than the Sahara Desert due to heating with wood most of the time. Winter came early this year and so did the battle against the common cold. From October to January my kids had at least two- three colds a MONTH EACH.  Colds that involved coughing, congestion, and waking up at night. This led to some serious frustration on my part. Here are some solutions I came up with that helped.

1. Hand washing. I had to get pretty mean Mom about this one. Hand washing is the number one thing you can do to stay well! I made firm rules about washing before meals, snack, and after using the bathroom. I had to be much more aware of what my kids were doing. When you have four, it is harder to know what everyone is doing! When we were at church I made them wash their hands before they ate or drank anything and as soon as we got home they had to wash their hands. Proper hand washing is with SOAP for 20 seconds and rinse well with running water. To help my younger children remember this I had them sing the ABC song. Now it is fun to hear them washing their hands!

2. We cut back on sugar. Now we don’t eat huge amounts of sugar at our house and almost no processed sugar. The kids were eating the sugary snacks set out on Sunday mornings at church. These were banned until my kids were healthy for three weeks in a row. Here is what Web MD has to say about sugar:

“Eating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few hours after downing a couple of sugary drinks.”

Since church was the place the kids seemed to be catching their cold from since we didn’t go out much due to having sick kids. The kids and I would go every other Sunday when we were all well- and they would invariably catch something. Having sugar could have been part of the issue. Now that they are not getting sick we can go do fun things!

3. Boost their immune systems. In desperation I did a search and asked friends what worked for them. One friends suggested making some immune boosting tinctures from herbs. I was ready to try anything at this point. She suggested the recipe found in the ABC Herbal. ( it is in the older addition but not the newer ones) I was giving this to them every evening for the first two weeks when I remembered that it should really be given just before you are going somewhere you are worried about getting sick. In our case, this was church. I give them their “medicine” in the evenings starting on Friday or Saturday and go until Monday or Tuesday.

4. Elderberry Syrup. I am also giving them Elderberry Syrup. I used the recipe from Deep Roots at Home. I gave this on  the same schedule as the other Immune Tincture. Three out of four of my children think this is wonderful. One is not impressed, but he likes being well so he takes it!

5. Keep fingers out of noses, mouths, and eyes. I taught one of my children to stop sucking her thumb with a chart, band aids for the first week,  and a reward after 4 weeks. She was so pleased that she did something hard and was able to stop. I am hoping that this will work some of the other bad habits that are floating around in the family!

In the last eight weeks we have had two (milder than normal) colds TOTAL, and those were in the first two week after I started the herbs. There are six people in my house and four in the seven and under crowd. Not bad! Normally my children are still frequently sick until the end of April, so this can’t be because it is later in the cold and flu season! I am so thankful that I found something that works. Now I won’t be dreading next winter- well, not quite as badly anyway.

 

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Sneak Peak

Last week I got to test a pattern again! Here is a sneak peak. You can see the rest when the pattern is released.

 

 

My current project I am working on is an Easter dress for Lillon. I am hoping to get all the girls a new dress made. That isn’t too likely, but I need a goal to work toward! The pattern I am using is a vintage one that I picked up from the thrift store or a garage sale. Isn’t it cute? I am doing view 2.

I found a couple extras in the envelope. There were some directions for another pattern and a pattern piece for a doll dress bodice with fabric still pinned to it! After reading through the instructions I realized that vintage patterns have way more hand sewing in them than modern ones. This should be an interesting challenge! Maybe I will learn something new in the process.

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