Thursday, April 23

Back in the Saddle... er... Sewing Chair

Pillowcase Dress
After I finished up my sewing ecourse, I took a pretty long break from the machine.  Like anything you pour into, it's good to take a break and build that inspiration back up.  This week I found myself intensely missing being at the sewing machine, so I decided to whip up a simple little dress for Poesy.

Pillowcase Dress
Chances are, you've seen pillowcase dresses once or twice around the block.  Mine isn't made from an actual pillowcase, but it's the same general idea.  I began by cutting out my fabric into two 16"x20" rectangles.

Pillowcase Dress
Sometimes when shooting from the hip (which is my favorite way to sew), mistakes are made and you have to go back for a redo.  The next step in this dress is measuring down 5 or 6 inches and sewing up the sides.  If you look at the picture, you can see that I made the mistake of stitching the top first.  There was no way to finish the edges of the casing this way, so I pulled out that ol' seam ripper and undid the hem.

Pillowcase Dress
After the sides seams were sewn, I folded the arm holes over the seam and pressed in place.  This way, when you fold the top portion down to create the casing, the edges will be finished and not raw.  Topstitch these folds in place.

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Press your seams open and fold the top down to create your neckline.  I folded mine under twice so there would be no raw edges or fraying around the neck.

Pillowcase Dress
Feed ribbon or a fabric sash through the neck casing and hem the bottom and you're all finished!  Actually, I added a bit of elastic to the middle of the dress to change it up ever so slightly, but that step is totally optional.

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Next, I'm planning to change this up a little and make a lady-sized version with ties around the neck and center-back.  It feels good to be back at it, friends!

**Hello Kitty moccasins from Minnetonka.

Monday, April 20


Snapshots Snapshots Snapshots Snapshots Snapshots Snapshots Weekend Snaps Weekend Snaps
I haven't been great at using my DSLR over the past couple of months.  Most of my Snapshots posts have been iPhone pictures because... well... I always have my phone with me.  Sometimes I forget the importance of using the "big camera", but then I see memories like these and I'm inspired all over again.

**Storing my winter coats and Poesy climbed up on them like a cat and went to sleep.
**Beautiful patterns from my friend, Tilly.  I'm working on the Miette right now.
**Hope's last gymnastics competition for a while.  I love the look in her eyes here.
**Assembling my new bike from Papillionaire-- more on this soon!
**Poesy just drumming along while Hope practices her piano songs.  This kid has the music in her.
**We spent a good deal of time planting things in the garden this week/weekend.  It's a good feeling.
**After lunch one day, we posed for a picture and Johnny caught the exact moment Poesy was goosing me.  (My glasses are Skunkboy for BonLook.)
**Daddy's girl.  100%.

I hope you all had a great weekend!  We worked a little, played a little, and soaked up every second of the lovely weather we could.  Happy Monday, friends!

Thursday, April 16

Cooking With the Little Gals

Blue Apron
My girls LOVE helping out in the kitchen.  Whether we're making dinner or baking something sweet, they both adore pitching in.  We've been using Blue Apron off and on for about a year now, and it has been great for our family.  They ship entire meals with fresh ingredients right to our house, and we can choose a 2 person meal or family plan, depending what we decide to order (my girls are selectively picky, you know).  Last week, the girls helped me make these mushroom and vegetable pot pies.  The recipe called for one large casserole dish, but we thought these would be fun in small ramekins.  Spoiler: we were right.  They were fun AND the perfect portion size.

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Poesy REALLY loves cutting.  I like to let her use a butter knife whenever I can, but this was the first time she ever got to use a sharp knife.  She felt like a serious big kid.  :)

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Rolling the biscuits and pressing them on top of the ramekins was probably the most fun for the girlies.  They couldn't really figure out what was going to happen once the pies went in the oven-- I'm pretty sure they expected big fat biscuits to be sitting on top.  Once we pulled them out there was a big, fat "oooohhhhhh".

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A couple other recipes I've been really wanting to try are the spinach and ricotta calzones (*high five* Ben Wyatt) and the moo shu vegetables.

I love that cooking tasty meals together also equals quality time spent.  I remember cooking with my mom when I was a kiddo, and I'm really glad my girls enjoy it like I did.  Actually, my favorite thing is when they cook with Johnny.  He's a really good cook and I want the little ladies to know men and women can both be great (or horrible) in the kitchen.

**Blue Apron is offering the first 50 readers 2 free meals with their first order!  Just click here!  

Tuesday, April 14

Getting Back to Gardening

Garden Days
I've been thinking a lot about what I'd like to grow in the garden this year.  Last year I didn't have enough time to really devote to my little garden like I had the previous year, but this year I'm all in.  I'm so ready for the days of walking out back and picking things straight out of the garden to prepare for dinner.  I can't wait for the cool mornings where the girls and I spend the first hour or so watering the plants and snatching strawberries along the way.  I spent a good bit of time looking back through my old garden posts here on the blog, and here are some of my favorite memories:

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(This was the very first day we cleared out the weeds and put some love into the outside of our house.  Hope and I spent a VERY long time pulling up all of those weeds!) Garden Days Garden Days Garden Days Garden Days
(The last photo was taken by Sarah Rhodes for our greenhouse and bakery date.)

I've already gotten some things in the ground and our strawberries are blossoming like crazy, so that's getting us all excited!  Tomorrow I have a seeds/plants buying date with my gardening soulmate, and I really can't wait.  If you'd like to see my past gardening posts, you can click right here.  Alright, time to do some planning!