Oh Baby Deer

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We have spotted these tiny young deer in our yard, in our neighborhood, and on trails. There seems to be a baby deer boom all of a sudden.

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The Mamas are always near by.

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They are so much fun to watch!

What wildlife do you have in your yard?

Using up what is there

When I organized my sewing closet the other day, I came across a HUGE pile of clothing in there, meant for refashioning. Honestly, it made me feel sad to look at that stuff sitting there, not being used, and I really didn’t want it to go back in the closet. SO, I took it out, plopped it down on my sewing table, and made decisions whether or not to keep each garment. I even took it one step further by deciding right there and then what the ones I kept would be made into.

Then I made them into things!

Most of them, I just need to make simple adjustments so that Falafel could wear them. I cut a lace dress and made a cute skirt, in minutes. One of The Bee’s old shirts, actually fit Falafel as a dress without any alterations.

The one I am sharing today was also super easy, and only really took about 10 minutes to make. It started with a pair of fantastic yoga pants made from organic hemp and cotton that someone gifted me. I could not allow myself to get rid of them even though they were FULL of unrepairable crotch holes. And although that fabric is super worn (I wore these all the time), it was too precious a fabric to let go. I mean how often do I get to buy organic hemp/cotton? Uh, never.

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I traced a pair of leggings that fit my girl. Left the existing hem on these pants. I added a yoga band at the top by sewing a few pieces together.

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The seam on the band doesn’t line up with the one on the pants, but I am OK with it due to the trickiness of salvaging fabric when refashioning. C’est la Vie.

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Then she had to try out some yoga poses.

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And made up her own.

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I cannot even tell you just how good it felt to reduce that pile in my closet, and to just stop procrastinating. I know that those kinds of projects usually get pushed until “later” because they are not as glamorous or fun as sewing something new (uh, like bathing suits). But “later” can turn into weeks, months, and years. It feels much better to be rid of that baggage.

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And now she has some very cute yoga pants, amongst other easy-to-wear-and-be-a-nut clothes.

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What have you done today?

And it is Summer

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Right after an early dinner, we went down to the beach for an hour or so, yesterday. It was just the thing to kick off our Summer vacation. Despite the freezing water, my Falafel was enjoying it all by herself. She splashed around for the entire time with such enthusiasm that I couldn’t help  but smile at her.

There were two dogs on the beach that shared her enthusiasm for playing in that frigid water. They all had such a nice time.

What have you done to start your Summer?

Last Day of School

We are here. Last day of school.

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This was the two of them on the FIRST day of school. I cannot believe the whole school year has flown by so quickly.

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This is them the night before the LAST day of school.

We’ve had teeth fall out and come in, a haircut or two, a new boyfriend,  ears pierced, piano and fiddle lessons, many arrows shot, jam sessions, and we finished paying off those braces. Plus all the countless minute triumphs and accomplishments and struggles for our family. There has been growth of the academic variety and also the physical kind (and let’s not forget the emotional roller coaster growth). We have ALL had another year of learning and experiences and I’d like to think we are wiser for the wear.

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 We have funny little traditions that I don’t even know how they got started. The kids always get to choose what we have for dinner and dessert (this year they chose this incredible cashew cream ice cream that even I can have!) on the first and last days of school AND I always surprise them with a small gift (usually a book).

Ultimately, at the end of the day, we will now have a High School Sophomore and a 4th grader in our house. Wow.

*letting that sink in*

Now… BRING ON SUMMER!

What is in our world right now and a garden update

Before school is out for the Summer, and the kids are home full time, I am taking on many little projects. I completely organized my sewing closet (it felt SO good), and then got into a bin of photos that span decades. I had just dumped them into a bin without order, and this weekend I made sense of them all. Piles and more piles. And our poor second child has almost no hard copies at all. When she was born, we switched over to digital and I hardly ever print them out. So it looked like she only had a few (when in fact, there are thousands of digital ones on our computer).

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*We found out our library was showing “Mary Poppins” the other day, and decided to go. Falafel threw this costume together, herself.

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My husband came across a video recently about growing lettuce in some water, after you have eaten it. We normally buy these organic Romaine hearts, and thought we would give it a try. Guess what? IT TOTALLY WORKS! Now we have lettuce growing in our bathroom. I also stuck a bok choy in some water too (since it kind of looks like lettuce) and it is sprouting too!

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This is a total game changer for us. We had been tossing the left over stumps in the compost. Now we can grow them! I was really surprised at how very fast they are growing. That green in the photo above grew in just a few days.

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Our outside garden is growing too! I know it doesn’t look like much, but it feels so good to see something green coming up!

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We planted cauliflower from starts.

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Green beans, peas, kale, cucumbers, carrots and lettuce from seeds.

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I would love to put in a cutting flower garden too. Falafel just planted some sunflowers out in another bed, which is a start.

So there is, clearly, a lot to tend to. But I keep finding more.  My New Year’s goal was to be intentional (and I haven’t forgotten). I am trying to do that in every aspect of our lives. Just look at it, and intentionally keep it or intentionally purge. It feels really good!

I think it is just in time, since my kids seem to have a completely different goal of collecting just about everything. Ha.

What is in YOUR world?

On-Our-Shelves Sunday

We have this next book in one of my all time favorite series, on our shelves this week:

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

by JK Rowling

My youngest (Falafel) read the first book without me! She just couldn’t help herself. She was sucked into it (not literally, of course) and just didn’t stop reading until it was done. She finished it in three days. She asked if she could move on to the next one, and I said she could, only if she passed the reading comprehension test at school for it.

She got 19 out of 20 correct. *sigh*. I was truly hoping to share this one with her. I love these books so much that it would have been nice to read them again with a brand new perspective. She told me that we could still read them together, but she would read them by herself first.

I’ll take it.

What is one of your favorite series that your kids are now reading?

Fleurs

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The weather has been so lovely and perfect for anything blooming. We are still finishing up the school year. ALMOST DONE.

This weekend we are all working hard in preparing for wrapping this year up with a bow.

Happy Saturday!

Juice pouch tote tutorial

I am back to sewing with juice pouches. Ha!  I guess I am becoming predictable. You know you can either find me talking about that camisole pattern or juice pouches, lately.

I did get a request for a tutorial from a reader asking how to make the Juice pouch totes. I needed to sew up a few more, so I figured I would photograph as I went.

Let’s gather some materials to make a Juice Pouch Tote!

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To make one of the bags you see in the photo above you will need:

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23 empty, clean juice pouches.

{Read here for some helpful tips on working with this funky material}

You will also need a heavy duty sewing machine needle, a sewing machine, thread, sewing scissors, AND scissors that are NOT your sewing scissors (for trimming the juice pouches), 1 package of extra wide double folded binding, strap material (I used 2 pieces cut to 39″ each of cotton webbing), and clips (such as clover clips)

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Because we collected these from a variety of sources, there are all different designs on our pouches. I think that makes it even more fun. So if you have choices, too, lay out a row of four in the order you like.

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Take just two, overlap one edge on top of the other, and sew with a zig zag stitch, securing them together. I always lay the one on the left on top of the on on the right, but this is entirely up to you.

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It should look like this when you are done.

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Continue on until all four are sewn in a line. Then repeat with another line of 4.

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Now that you have two rows of four, trim each row so that they are nice and neat, and you will sew them together with a zig zag stitch. I sew the one on the top, on top of the one on the bottom. Does that make sense? Maybe you can say “she sells sea shells by the seashore” 10 times fast. You know, just for fun.

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Anyhow, repeat the above steps until you have two panels of 8.

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Now grab that binding and cut a piece that will fit across the top of one of them. Clip the binding, sandwiching the top edge.

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Sew it on (I used a straight stitch, but you could do any that you would like). Repeat for other panel.

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Take one strap and clip on to one panel. I started at the bottom on one vertical seam and looped up and around (making sure not to twist) and down to the bottom of the other vertical seam.

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Sew down the entire length of the strap on each side of the strap. I even continued my stitches on the loop of the handle. Repeat for other panel. Then place both panels aside.

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Grab 7 more pouches to make the sides and bottom. Place them one on top of the other, but this time, vertically.

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You will sew 5 of them going in one direction, and then flip the last two upside down and sew them on.

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You will have a long line of pouches now.

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Cut a small piece of bias tape for each end. Clip on, then sew in place. Trim the excess off the ends.

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Grab one of your panels, and face it down. Lay the long strip on top facing up (so that wrong sides are together). Clip it along one side to start.

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When you get to the bottom, curve it around and clip in place. Do this all around until you reach the other side on top. Sew it down with a zip zag stitch. Start again at the top and go the length of the side. When you get to the bottom corner, stop and clip your thread. Pivot the bag so you can sew across the bottom.
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This part is a bit tricky. You will need to fold and hold it down in place to make this easier (the old fold n’ hold, eh?). Then sew to next corner, and repeat. juicetute20m

Yay! You have one side sewn on. Repeat process for the other panel. juicetute21m

You will have to learn what way to fold your bag so it is not so cumbersome and awkward going through your machine. Go slowly and stop when you need to. juicetute22m

It should look like this. Put it aside and grab the remaining piece of binding. Cut it in half. juicetute23m

Open up one side of one of the pieces. juicetute24m

Fold edge over. juicetute25m

Fold the ends back and now it looks neater. You will use this to wrap around the raw edges you just created. Start at the top.

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Clip in place. When you get to the bottom corner, turn it, and it will form a little mitered corner. Keep clipping around. juicetute27m

Sew with a straight stitch around the bag. Stop at the corners, and pivot (like you did in the previous steps). When you get to the top,  before you sew all the way, tuck in the end of the bias tape to make it neater on this side. Sew it down. Repeat for the other side of the bag. juicetutebag2m

You are done!! Get more juice pouches and repeat:) juicetuetebags3m

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Please let me know if you make one using it. I would love to see your juice pouch creations, too. And as always, let me know if you have any questions!

Another use for that cami pattern

Just when you thought I was done, I made something else with that same pattern!

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This time, I lengthened the camisole pattern and made matching shorts.

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The fabric I used is some that I was saving from my trip to the Sewing Expo. I have no idea who made it, but it is so very soft and lovely. I wish I bought the whole roll!

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I made the knit bias tape from some scraps I had left over from this dress (another one of my favorite patterns).

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The Bee took one look at her sister wearing this and said “nice pajamas!”. Well, I actually didn’t make them as pajamas, and she will probably wear this outfit in public, but yes, I suppose they could also be sleepwear!

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For the shorts, I just traced a pair of bicycle shorts that she has, and made them slightly larger (so there is room to grow). Super easy!

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I think this child has some great Summer staples, now.

Do you like to sew clothing for Summer? What is your go-to pattern?

Camisole dress

Remember that Gold bathing suit I made using the Classic Camisole pattern *affiliate link* as a base?

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I made my girl a summer dress out of that same pattern!

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I started with sewing up the size 5/6 camisole pattern. I lengthened it first, but then decided to make a dress out of it, so I cut off the excess fabric at the bottom.

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Then I made a circle skirt. I just winged it! Please don’t think I am bragging, because in all actuality I think this aspect of my personality is a mixture of luck and crazy.

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Every time I have ever tried to make circle skirt (especially out of knit), I just eyeball it. I go conservative on the waist curve (because  you can always widen it later). The length, you can always shorten.

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I also made it so that there were two half circles, and again, the side seams were fully adjustable if I needed to trim a little off.

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The sides are cut a little higher which gives this dress a dance-y feel.

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She LOVES this dress. Goodness, so would I! It is the perfect summer outfit.

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What is a pattern you have changed to make into something else?