January 31, 2012

I'm Hooked

I mentioned in my last post something about tons of crochet this month.

Big Brother Little Brother Hats

Maybe it just feels like a lot to me because I've made or finished 6 crochet projects this month, and one more will be done today. That's huge for me since crochet has been a little on the back burner for sometime. It always seems that my crochet projects end up being the ones that travel with me and get done during 'waiting times', and for some reason I'm always making a blanket (and I finished one of those this month too).

My ROYGBIV Ripple is DONE!!! More on that later...

I found a really cute pattern on Ravelry, Earflaps Hat for Kids, and I LOVE it. Of course, I only made 2 that were by the pattern, but made 3 others that were bigger just by adjusting the pattern.

Brother & Sister Hats

There you have it, I made 5 hats this month and am finishing one for me (yes me) today. It's just like the little pink one pictured above, funny cause I think pink is my least favorite color but I love how this one looks! I rarely ever make something for myself, and this month this is the second thing I've made for me. I feel like I'm spoiling myself.

January 27, 2012

A Great Gift

You know how there is always someone in your life that gives you the best gifts, and they're always so humble about it?

Well, this year for Christmas I was given a massive jar of buttons from said person.

Yes, buttons. My 2 youngest and I played in them for at least an hour; matching, sorting, and finding treasures was all too much fun!

Now, I know most of you are thinking 'a great gift?', but seriously I was grinning ear to ear. You see, I LOVE buttons. I have another jar with at least this many in it, and another small box with buttons still on cards, and a pint sized jar with one of those boxes of random buttons they sell for crafts at JoAnn's in it.

You see, I love buttons. There, I said it. The jar is pretty rockin' too may I add.

I'm hoping tomorrow to make some great things with some of these babies, maybe naptime will be a productive one.

I've also been crocheting up a storm lately, it seems to be one of the things I can do to wind down and relieve some ankle/feet swelling at the same time. More on that soon, the crocheting of course.

PS: Sorry that I've been MIA for about ohh 2-3 weeks, you see I have 4 children (ages 9, 6, 4, and 2) and they decided to share a bit of a stomach bug. Being pregnant and dealing with that is just not good, not good. Then my computer decided to have it's own version of the virus. Fun times I tell you.

January 11, 2012

Pattern Review: Simplicity 5382

When looking for a pattern for a girls nightgown I came across Simplicity 5382. I really wanted a somewhat old fashioned nightgown for the girls, and I absolutely love the options for this one.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Surprisingly, it did. I don't say that because my things turn out horrible or anything, but most of the time the drawings on the front don't seem very realistic to me (maybe I have issues with the artwork of it...).

Written Instructions:
Everything was very clear. There were also plenty of picture throughout each portion.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  

First of all, I only paid one dollar for it, so it's fantastic just for that. But really, the best part about this pattern for me is that it has short or long sleeves and separates options. The pattern pieces are the same with just different cutting lines for the sleeve/pant lengths, which means I only have to transfer the piece once to thicker paper and can use it for a few seasons. There will be some summery nightgowns this year for sure!

Fabric Used:

I decided to use flannel backed satin since for some reason I had some, and 2 yards of 2 prints is quite a lot of some. I can guarantee that I will not be making nightgowns with flannel backed satin again. Maybe pajama pants, but that's about it. It was not fun to work with: didn't ruffle well and didn't stay lined up well even with pinning.

Level Of Difficulty:  
Beginner to Intermediate (depends on how much details you're adding).
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: 
I hemmed the bottom about an inch shorter for my 2 1/2 year old since I made a size 3 for her, I wanted to be sure she wouldn't trip up the stairs. Also, instead of making a loop for the button at the end, on the second one I used some elastic cord (like the kind that holds shoes in pairs when you buy them). Tie a knot, them sew it in on the step when you're sewing the ends of the yoke together.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? 
Yes, I would sew it again. I love how it turned out and both my girls really like them. The next ones I plan to make will definitely be with either some linen or eyelet that I was gifted this last summer. Can't wait. Definitely recommend this pattern.

This pattern is good for a beginner, not very complicate and you can omit all trims to make it more simple. The nightgown itself is very comfortable (from what I've been told), and keeps the girls nice and warm with the fabric I used. It is also loose enough for them to play in and not rip it.

January 9, 2012

Handmade Christmas Gifts Part 2 - Purses

These were one of my favorite projects from December. They came together quickly and I used some fabric that I loved but never reach for when quilting (still not sure how/why that happens...).

I used Martha's Reversible Purse pattern, and I quite liked the sheer simplicity of it. I think I would like to use a heavier weight fabric for one of the fabrics the next go round just because there is no interfacing or lining to these and they seemed kind of light.

There is a blue one I made for me (not pictured), a little Christmas gift for myself. Love it.

January 6, 2012

Sausage and Tortellini Soup

It's no secret that I love soup, I even have an entire Pinterest Board just for soup.

I found a few different recipes for versions of this soup, but really didn't follow any of them. Most of the time I look up recipes to get a ballpark idea of what goes in it; for example the sausage, tomatoes, and noodles in this one. Luckily, this soup was an instant hit with the whole family! I think my husband commented on it over 3 times, and that's quite a lot for him.

- 1 lb. Turkey Kielbasa
- 1 can stewed tomatoes, un-drained and chopped
- 3 cups water
- 1 1/2 tbsp. French onion soup mix (or 1 pack)
- 1 beef bouillon cube
- 1 14oz carton beef broth
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
- 2 cups chopped cabbage
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 16 oz. frozen tortellini
- Parmesan cheese

Slice sausage and brown in dutch/french oven.

Add all other ingredients except tortellini and cheese. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes.

Add frozen tortellini, raise the temperature and return to a low boil. Boil for 8 minutes or until tortellini is done.

Top with Parmesan cheese and enjoy.

I served this with warm crescent rolls, but I think I would've preferred some homemade dinner rolls (typical).

January 4, 2012

Handmade Christmas Gifts Part 1 - Pajamas

It was kind of hard for me to wait until after Christmas to blog about the gifts I made, especially since some of the recipients actually check out my blog occasionally. So, I'm gonna dish on the few things I managed to whip up for Christmas gifts this year.

After the holidays each year I always wish I would've been better about planning ahead to be able to have given more handmade gifts. Ahh, maybe this year right? 

Either way, I love making my kids pajamas for Christmas, even though I always end up working on one set the week before Christmas. Never fails, no matter how early I start.

This year I went with some easier ones for the boys, just fleece pants. I did make some pants for their build-a-bear guys too, they were a hit.

For the girls I used the Simplicity pattern 5382. I'm thinking I need to do a review for that pattern, there are a few notes I want to remember for sure. The first one is: do not buy flannel backed satin unless your life depends on it (no, it really isn't that cute), it doesn't ruffle well and sucks when trying to keep things lined up.

They all came out well, and all the kids were very happy with them (bonus). Bad pictures though, I still need to work on my indoor lighting for taking pictures at night.
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