Mis-Matched Reglans

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Mis-Matched Reglans

I didn’t make time to blog about the projects I managed to finish during KCW, so I’ll try my best to roll them out quickly now that we have reached day 7. Starting with…….

Mis-Matched Reglan T’s

lemons are for licking

Some of you might be saying “what is mis-matching?” Its what I call it when you make outfits that go together but don’t totally match, by changing up the trim like here or having a theme fabric like these ones here and here. I absolutely love doing it and think it looks so cute ! (I will even admit it makes me smile when folding their laundry – weird I know.)

lemons are for licking

Following the KCW theme of travel, I pulled some jersey knit from the stash that has little cars on it. The accent fabric is up-cycled T’s, so I was able to utilize a few existing hems.

mis_match_pocket2

The pattern is Field Trip Cargo Pants and Reglan Shirt from Oliver and S. It was in size 18m-4T, so I did have to adjust it to fit my now larger boys (and realized how long I’ve been doing this sewing thing). The adjustments where easy ones just a 1\4 inch on the fold of the shirt pieces, and adding length to the bottom.

mis_matched_brothers

I had some major frustration with the neckline on the red shirt. The cute car fabric has minimal stretch for a knit, so even though the pattern piece had been adjusted for the added width, I didn’t compensate for the difference in stretch that ribbing would have had. I ripped the neckline out twice trying to get it to strech around evenly, then tried re-cutting a new piece. When that didn’t work I gave up on perfect. I ripped out a few inches the third time and cut the neckband to add what was needed. So there are 2 seams in the neckband and one of them is on the side not the back. Oh well embrace imperfection and move on because the boy wearing clearly loves it !

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The sleeve length turned out good, I was going for a 3\4 but am happy with how they look on the boys sitting just at elbow length.lemons are for licking

The best feature according to E is the pockets and what he can hold in them.

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They had so much fun taking these photos. I usually have to bribe them and struggle. I guess it helps that they were aloud to climb all over their sisters truck :-P

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Mr.K was full of ideas and came up with the Run DMC style pose :) and lil’ E was all about what he could put in his pocket. There are so many cute photos from my usually camera shy boys I might just do a photo- shoot post.

PS: yes those are also new shorts from KCW more posts coming on those soon, and you can check out all the fun of KCW by clicking the button below
kid's clothes week

KCW Update

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I got off to a great start this session  of Kids Cloths Week, and ran out of steam a bit as the week rolled on. I did sew for an hour each day except for Thursday.

I have not had time to photograph the boys in thier new shirts yet or do a propper post. So that means you all will have some posts with photos to look forward to :) I also haven’t updated my project page on the KCW page, or had a chance to look at what everyone else is doing.
So to be  realistic, there is no way I will finish  all that I set out to sew. Sitting down for an hour a day has made me think that I might want to dedicate  a few hours a week to sewing for the rest of the summer.

Hmmm ….lets say 2 days a week for a minimum  of an hour. Bet I could breeze threw my fabric stash and finally buy more (weeeee fabric spree!!) Totally  do-able goal, and I can build the kids summer and fall wardrobe  as well as my own.

KCW day 2

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Just a quick update. I managed to get my pair if mis-matched shirts finished today. It took much more than a simple hour, there was lots of fussing with the neckband on the red one. It was too small, see I had to adjust the size of the pattern for my boys (they have grown out if the Oliver and S field trip pattern I have) and I didn’t estimate the neckband well.
There was much seam ripping and re- cutting and Frankensteining today in my little sewing corner. But it got done yay!

How Does My Garden Grow

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Before I get all wrapped up in KCW I figured I should do a quick update on the garden.

It is beautiful

lemons are for licking

All the planting is based on square foot gardening. Which is a high density planting plan that is supposed to reduce weeds and yield good crops. In the left bed we planted pumpkins, squash, and zucchini  at the back; peas, Beans, carrots, beats, and lettuce in the front of the first bed. The second bed is full of tomatoes, and they are just massive; more lettuce, swiss chard, beats and onions. There are also some bell peppers in there and space left open for more planting. The plan is to plant more carrots and beats lettuce, that way we can have a continuous harvest throughout the summer and fall, instead of 50 carrots maturing at the same time.

lemons are for licking

We’ve been able to eat a few things from the garden for about a month now. mainly lettuce and swiss chard.

lemons are for licking

We over crowded the spring mix lettuce so that we could eat the baby leaves as we thinned it, Our first harvest looked like this and we added it to our store bought salad.

lemons are for licking

now we are harvesting whole heads of romaine :-D the boys are accually tired of hearing me spouting off things like, “Have more salad its from our garden, this is the food you planted” I get a “I know Mom” back lol

lemons are for licking

The tomatoes have been the thriving, my Dad gave me some pointers on pruning them so that the plant would put all its energy into the fruit. And I just love the smell of tomato vines !

lemons are for licking

We have also been able to nibble on our blueberries already when we’re in the back.

The last photo I want to show you amazes me, I had planted a few carrots last year  in a container, and forgot about them. They froze over winter. And then they surprisingly started growing again this spring. Well now they are flowering ! I have never seen a carrot flower.

lemons are for licking

carrot flower

A Golden Pick-Axe

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A Golden Pick-Axe

lemons are for licking

My little E is possibly more obsessed than his brother with mine craft. He plays “pretend MineCraft” on a daily basis assigning diamond armor and golden pick-axes to me as we walk threw our day. While I was sewing up K’s Creeper Shorts, E started telling me what he wanted on his. A golden pick-ax

lemons are for licking

The pattern again is clean slate pants by blank slate patterns. For E’s shorts I used a straight up size 5 in width and length, sewn up with the front pocket option. The size fits him well. The material is from the stash again, its actually the accent material from K’s MindCraft shorts. The little square pattern works so well in this theme.  The applique material is jersey knit from the stash, its actually queen size jersey knit sheets I grabbed from Jysk on clearance.

lemons are for licking

Jersey knit posses some challenges when using it as an applique, its too bad I didn’t have any suitable fabric in anything other than this oober stretchy knit.  (You can read my applique tips in the previous post here,) the biggest issue is usually warping of fabric, and jersey makes that trickier because it is so stretchy. To help with this I used fusible interfacing on the main brown fabric to make it  hold its shape better. I added it before cutting out the ax, and in hind sight I should have for the light brown too, with all those tight snips. But at the time I was worried it would make the entire thing too bulky and thick.

lemons are for licking

The whole thing ended up being bigger than first imagined, because the pick-ax is designed on an angle, in order to cut it all out and make it sew-able I had to increase the size. It was a tricky one too, and I’m a bit unsatisfied with it.

lemons are for licking

golden pick ax

I mean its totally recognizable and cute, but its a bit warped and sloppy looking. Part of he problem was that it is designed on the angle and I didn’t think about that until cutting out the light brown. I  had to add a bit of overlap  or end up with 9 light brown squares. The on the fly cutting did not turn out well :( and the sewing together compounded it … so the middle is pretty warped.

lemons are for licking

see it the flap is not over the zipper

lemons are for licking

so i sort of fixed it

 

 

 

There is one other error on this project and its the zipper fly. This is only my second fly so I’m not too sure what happened. There is no real flap over the zipper. I must have mis-aligned something, even though I was following the tutorial I managed to goof. But hey its all apart of learning new stuff right !?  I fixed it by messing with the waist a bit manipulating the fabric so that it had a bit of a pleat thing, that could sort of pass as a regular fly (couldn’t explain it if I tried)

lemons are for licking

 

No one will notice that zipper anyway, everyone will be checking out the fabulous top stitching in golden thread 

And you all know what matters most ! That the boy will not take them off ! He is so excited and loves them so much.

lemons are for licking

Minecrafting

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Minecrafting

Are your kids obsessed with Minecraft?

lemons are for lickingMine are !

So naturally when thinking of summer projects for them I wanted to theme everything around those blocky characters. I had a total blast doing it too. I used appliques and some painting on this project. I love the look of appliques so will give you a lot of tips in this post.

lemons are for licking

I used the Clean Slate Pants pattern from Blank Slate, size 6 in width and 8 in length, as K is tall and slim.  I’ve used this pattern before and it has become a go-to for me with kid pants. It you haven’t ever used one of Melly’s patterns and are on the fence, jump off and grab one. Her instructions are great! I have reached new skills as a sewer by using them. And this is my first time doing a FLY !!! Her step by step instructions and photos made it easy !

lemons are for licking

my first working zip fly yay!

The fabrics are all from the stash, and so old I can’t remember where from (yay me getting through the stash.) The blue cord has been used before on capries for E, and the accent material was originally bought to make scrubs (never happened) but doesn’t it have the best little block pattern for minecraft themed projects :)

The inspiration for the pants came from a google search of minecraft images, I knew I wanted to applique but wasn’t sure what might work for my oldest K. He is getting a bit more particular in his tastes. Then I  found this little gem and it all took off . I loved the idea of him peeking through.

lemons are for licking

The creation of the applique took a few steps. First was creating the Creeper, I masked off a checker type grid with some tape and randomly painted the squares. Once the first pass was dry, I did a second sloppy grid so the that it wasn’t a checkerboard pattern but really random looking like in the game. I used the 2 shades of green and the white mixing them together for more randomness. Yes I did get totally OCD on the Creeper lol.

lemons are for licking

 Making the cut out was easier than you would think. Everything is so square it was just a matter of measuring out a grid pattern and cutting strait. I mapped it out on paper then simply used the template as a guide to cut the pants. If you do something like this I highly recommend double checking your design as you go. Make sure that its looking the way you want, because we all know you can’t uncut something.lemons are for lickingmccreep3

Now lets take a minute to talk about applique, it’s a great quick way to make a garment totally custom. The key to it looking awesome is nice neat straight lines and no warping or shifting of the cloth as you sew it on.  The tricky part is that if you have a major error your mucked up a mostly finished piece. So here are my tips…

  • try to match fabric as best you can in weight and type – this is not always possible but if you can it makes thing easier
  • woven non stretch fabric is way easier than knits, you can still use knits and I do lots, just go slow and easy
  • speedy sewing will warp a knit applique
  • base/sew your applique in place in stead of pinning, you can either rip out the stitches after or zig-zag right over them
  • OR use an iron on adhesive to hold your applique in place – great choice for thin rolly knits
  • on your corners don’t do a traditional needle in fabric turn, take your needle right up and manually line up your fabric to get a crisp corner
lemons are for licking

ssssssssssssssssss

 

So for my creeper I based him in place, the green knit was quite heavy so slow and steady = no major warping. I also sewed all the way around my brick cut out. The two woven probably could have been done without any shifting or weirdness but why take the chance. I also have to show you all how close I came to running out of thread while working around the cut out.

Lemons are for licking

eeeks look at that thread !

At the request of K a Enderman was added as a back pocket. I happen to also have purple cord scraps around to use for the eyes. You can see here the quick zig-zag used to hold the eyes in place. The pocket is actually attached like the appliques, because the black material is a really heavy knit sweatshirt material so ironing and folding the corners in would’ve created way too much bulk.

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When you put it all together it looks like this.

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With a Creeper creeping around in front … and an Enderman on the back

lemons are for licking

Some functional side pockets and a happy small man who will pause his video game for a quick a photo shoot !

lemons are for licking

First batch of Soap at Home

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Now if you’ve been reading along for any amount of time, you probably know that I share my follies right along side with my victories.   And as much as I am excited about becoming a soap-a-teer (yep I just made that up) it does not make me good at it ;-) This first batch was definitely a learning experience. It all seemed straight forward when I had Rene from Karma Suds at my side giving me step by step instructions. However on my own was a bit trickier

Now I had bought myself cute scale, and had all my new soap making ingredients set up, (if you want more information about how it all works click here) Spent a few days thinking about my recipe and what I was going to make. I decided on a coconut and olive oil based soap, with green swirls of  olive leaf extract and blue swirls of organic colour. I chose the essential oils of neroli and jasmine – I know fabulous right ?!

making soap with lemons are for licking

Now one of the great things about customizing your own soap recipe is you get to add little extras, like shea butter or an exfoliant. For this batch I chose avocado oil, it’s so great for the skin and we are heading into those hot days of the beach where we might like a bit of vitamin A  n’ E and more moisture. Great idea but also part of where I had my learning moment.

making soap with lemons are for licking

When taking the soap to “trace” I got a bit over excited and I think I added my avocado oil a bit too soon, my lovely soap stopped thickening. And was loosing heat instead of building heat in the reaction that takes place when you make soap – saponification

In a panic I reheated the batch on the stove. I was really worried that I had messed it up beyond repair and would have to start all over :(

Bringing it back up to temperature did kick-start the magic again. I got it in my mold cleaned up and went to bed.

The next day when I removed my pretty cake of soap from the mold, it was so lovely to behold….But it was kinda soft and oily looking and well just not quite right.

making soap with lemons are for licking

beautiful to look at but odd and oily

After a few e-mails to my teacher and checking of my recipe, it was concluded that I over oiled (or under lyed) my soap. Its pretty  likely that I went wrong with the math of my lye solution, or by adding my avocado oil too early I  threw off the balance of the reaction.

making soap with lemons are for licking

can you see the odd texture?

 The good news is that it will be usable but soft and possibly mushy if left in the kids bath. It takes about 6 weeks to cure all the way so I will soon know how usable this batch is.

making soap with lemons are for licking

extreme close -up

Its all about the journey here in my lemony home, I’ve started thinking of the next batch already.

P.S.

  It took me a few weeks to get this out, and you know what? My weird soft soap is usable ! I think it would melt away quite fast if left in the shower, but its great for in the kitchen where I wash my hands like a zillion times a day.

 

 

 

The Over Grown Shrubs

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Spring sprung early here in the north-west, and after months of cloud cover and rain it is just so great to get out into the sunshine. There has been lots of work to do in our yard, when we bought  our Little House of Lemons a year and a half ago (wow time flies) the front beds were all overgrown, and the back yard had just a few neglected beds.

garden house

The only photo I could find of the front beds is from the listing. Can you believe that there are 11 shrubs in there ?!

gardenThis one is more recent but is is post mega prune.

This Spring I have almost finished tidying up that fount bed.  Those plants were all wild and growing into each other when we moved in. I have been learning about the shrubs and doing my best to not ‘shock’ them as I prune them back. I’ve been doing it in phases, the rhododendrons were last spring.

gaarden

This spring I tackled the azaleas. They were higher than the boxwoods, I did what is called a re-juvination pruning. its a severe cutting back. Since the shrubs are  mature they should come back in a nice ball shape. It looks bare now but I have hope. I’ll give you all an update on them over summser.