Monday, March 30, 2009

Simplicity 3835

I wear too many t-shirts and I need to remedy this. I need one of those hip and groovy mom looks that some people manage to have--no not "mom jeans" but cute stuff. Hip little shirts with nice jeans and some ballet flats--or something... I dont know what or I would be wearing it already. I have trouble finding shirts that I like because my torso is like 500 miles long. With as many costumes and the like as I make I have learned that I have to drop the waistline 4 inches to get the fit right. Very annoying. So, I went and got a couple cute, easy patterns to make a couple and supplement my Target tshirts.
This is the shirt I made today. IMG_6098
It was a trial version--done exactly like the pattern told me with no improvising or altering. The ubiquitous Simplicity 3835 from Built by Wendy. IMG_6093
You can google this pattern and find a billion versions because it is a much talked about and well loved pattern with modern crafty sewing girlies. I used some paisley-esque cotton that I had lying around. I still LOVE some paisley--any color, any style--because I am a good 80s girl. It is this guy's fault.
This pattern is very easy-peasy. It only has 3 pieces and an elastic measurement. I cut the arms out a little wonky because the dresses have the same body as the shirt. I had to fold the pattern all bunchy to not cut off the dress part and it pulled the edges up funny.
I will fix this next time.

Getting this neckline perfect was the hardest part but even it only took a few minutes of fiddling.

I will share my favorite tool in the whole entire world with you here. Essential for threading elastic and drawstrings through casings.
This is called a bodkin and it is the bomb.
I used it for the neckline of this shirt and I use it constantly for costume making. They are cheap and everyone in the world needs one.
Anyway, I like the shirt and I will make more. Good everyday shirt and takes hardly any time at all.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fancy Bun

So, yesterday I was in Costume mode and looking up--wait for it--BELLY DANCING HAIR! I came upon this technique that i thought was about the most awesome thing I have ever seen in my life. I thought perhaps this was common knowledge among people who actually take time to fancy up their hair but, upon discussion with my work peeps, I have found that it is not. So, let me be the gal to enlighten you!

And then, if you are full on lazy and cheap like me, you can peruse this little beauty so you can get the donut thingy on the cheap out of your own closet! This video has captions for the words since i think this chick is speaking some Asian language we would not otherwise understand...just go with it. Oh, and use a brown sock for heaven's sake. And one sock is plenty unless you have some super-long hair.

Cool, huh?! Told ya!

Friday, March 27, 2009


This is in my Mowing stinks.

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Snacks on a stick!!

Snacks on a stick, originally uploaded by Rowetopia.

There has been an insane amount of interest in my birthday on a stick from February, so I decided to post some more pictures, some previously unseen in public, so that the snacks can be more closely studied for better copy-catting...I am a big fan of copy-catting.

Snacks on a stick
Going from right to left we have cheese cubes on a stick and green grapes on a stick. My sticks were purchased at Party City and look like these only much more colorful. They come in a multi color pack of about 20 for pretty cheap. Less pokey than the bamboo skewer. Other options would be chopsticks or the plastic swords for shorter "sticks". Or chop the sharp end off the bamboo skewer. Also, the cheese cubes were originally intended as "dinner" and were going to share their skewer with some little smokies. I then decided that the hot skewers would be a pain in my be-hiney so i quit that idea.

Snacks on a stick
Here we have Rice Crispy squares cut into cubes alternated with marshmallows on a stick and then pretzel sticks rolled in white chocolate bark and then in some sprinkles. These are sprinkles look all fancy, but what they really are is all the little remnant sprinkles from the bottom of about 5 different bottles in my cabinet. This process uses a heck of alot of sprinkles so be prepared for that. Put the sprinkles on a plate for rolling. The Rice Crispy squares are the store bought ones because they seemed like they were more likely to stay together....and because i was too lazy to make the real ones.

Snacks on a stick
There is not really a good picture of the cup on the far left, but this one and the top picture sort of show it. It is a combo cup. Some of the skewers are pink marshmallows alternated with white marshmallows. The plan was to paint Kirby faces on the pink ones, but honestly....i gave up on that one pretty quickly. The other one is the piece de resistance--the Milky Way on a stick. That's it....really. Just one on each stick. Snack size.

Click on any of the pictures for the flickr feed of more pics!!

Corsets for toddlers!!

Corsets for toddlers, originally uploaded by Rowetopia.

So, as I otherwise accomplished absolutely nothing yesterday and was feeling out of sorts over it, I thought I would tackle some costume prep for the Tennessee Renaissance Festival in May.
The one place i did manage to get to yesterday was Jo-Ann Fabrics--which is a store I LOATHE but is a necessary evil if you are going to sew anything since fabric stores are a dying breed in the world. Dont get me started on that....
Anyway, I found this linenesque fabric and i do love me some embroidery that i dont have to take a needle to, so i bought two yards in hopes of making something cute for the Baby Girl out of it.

Corsets for toddlers

My basic method was lots of rectangles. I measured under the armpit to the waist and waist to floor. Did a double layer of fabric for each--for easy lining. The most oddball part was getting some sort of strap that made sense. Ribbons would cut into her shoulder too much and she is a pain with untying ribbons at the shoulder, so I just did a simple wide strap that meets in the middle of the back. I wont get into how much it made my brain hurt to get these positioned correctly between the layers of fabric--inside out and upside down.

Corsets for toddlers

Once the straps were on I just used the proper length of the rest of the fabric and gathered it at the top, sewed it to the front of the bodice and flipped it. I pinned the lining to the back of the skirt and sewed it at the waist kinda in the ditch. I wish in hindsight that I had made the bodice a hair shorter, but oh well.

Corsets for toddlers

So, an hour later and at least the outer part of her costume is the finished.

Corsets for toddlers

She still lacks a shift underneath, but I got some really cute green crinkle gauze for that. Crinkle gauze is somehow a requirement to go to Renaissance Festival--they check you for it at the gate, I think.

Corsets for toddlers

I mean, really...lacing on a toddler is just the best. And I think the embroidery pattern turned out quite nice. The open front will be good at keeping her from tripping in the dirt while walking but I am going to get some thicker ribbon for the lacing---maybe in red or orange to stand out against the green shift and yellow bodice. I just used what I had on hand for the pictures.
Overall, I am happy with it and Caris seems to like it fine....she wore it for hours because it looks like a "crown lady" dress and she does love one of those.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Baby chicks on order!!

I ordered the spring baby chicks today. We are splitting with Heather this year because we certainly dont need 15 more chicks. I am trying to diversify my egg colors this year so I have chosen the following...

Salmon Faverolles-
These are a French breed and have a nice feathery beard as well as laying tinted cream colored eggs. I dont have any light colored egg layers at the present so these will be pretty.

Next are the Araucanas or Easter Eggers

These, of course, are my personal favorites because they come in a variety of feather colors so you never know what you are going to get AND because they lay blue/green eggs.

And then lastly, the Cuckoo Marans. This was my big debate this year because I do NOT like roosters. These only come "straight-run" which means they just pick up random ones and put them in the box without differentiating between females (pullets) and males (annoying rooster cockerels). I like my chicken "girls" to just be able to lay their little eggs and go about their business without any big ugly roosters clawing them on their backs and harassing them.
Unfortunately, a rooster or two is inevitable when you order straight run and I have two already.
Such was my dilemma, but I caved. Why you ask?

Because these eggs are the coolest!!

And this chick here is the only one who's got them!

I am willing to put up with a couple stupid roosters to get those super nifty chocolaty looking eggs. I cant wait!! There had better get at least 3 of 5 being pullets or Cackle Hatchery and I are going to have "words".

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Monkey dress

Monkey dress
This is the fabulous monkey/guitar/nannerpuss dress. Miss Babygirl and I went to Textile Fabrics which quite possibly the coolest place on the planet and found this just-perfect-for-her material. I had just bought Simplicity 3511 the day before with the intention of making some cutie summer dresses for her, so that is the pattern i used.

Textile Fabrics has just a terrific selection of cute contemporary fabrics, but it is extremely pricey. This particular print was nearly $20 per yard so i went with the bare minimum of 3/4 yard for the whole dress...i had intended to use a contrast for the yoke, but was lazy and didn't. Thank goodness, too because this pattern gave me hell. The dress is simple really but the directions were atrocious. I thought I was following them at first but realized I had pieced the thing together completely wrong half way through and had to rip it all out and start over.
This is the finished project.
Monkey dress
It is really cute on her and nice and loose and cool for summer. I will use this pattern again since it has other sleeve options and also a shirt/pant option but i will cease to read the useless directions. Just winging it is what i should have done in the first place.
Oh, and as a testament to my scrimpiness with this expensive cotton, here is the tiny bit of leftover...not even enough intact to make a matching headband. Monkey dress

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Garden Planning

So, I have this little quirky thing that when i drive on a long trip ...I sit there and think up a million things that i want to do and, unfortunately for him, most of them involve putting Chris to work.
On my trip home from sunny Florida where it was all warm and green and all growy, i was planning out a veggie garden in my mind. It looks something like this one.
I have more land than i could possibly ever use up out here so I am thinking 30 X 30 or so...maybe a little less. I want tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, pumpkins, cucumbers and peppers as well as some herbs and fill in with a bunch of flowers.
This is the layout of the garden above.
I dont see me talking the husband into the arches (they are very nice though...i LIKE!!) ... even the fence will take some convincing. I need some kind of fence to keep my gigantic and veggie loving Molly the dog out. She loves to pull an almost ripe tomato off the vine and play with it. If she ate it it wouldn't be so bad, but she just mocks you with it as is sits pitifully on the porch. It is not nice.
The biggest problem i have with this at the moment is that i have one of these.
It is not working because my boredom with the summer heat last year and complete refusal to go outside even one more minute made me leave it out under a tree all winter. Now it has to have an overhaul. More things to talk the hubby into doing...i may have to read the manual myself and at least start this portion of the project on my own. (Incidentally, my tiller is included.)

Better yet, we have one of these that is getting rebuilt at the moment.
If we could just get this back, that would be SWEET!! My problems would be would be good...all of that. And i could make Chris do it ALL!!

Friday, March 13, 2009


Lets see if this wonky little booger works or not?