A blog about my adventures in sewing & crafting

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pickling Weekend

This weekend we have made over 45 jars of pickles.  We've made dills, relish, bread & butters, watermelon rind, and half-sour pickles.

Half-sour pickles are a fermented pickle that takes about a week to make.  They are my favorite type of pickles.  They are easy to make.  I re-use 2 gallon pickle jars.  I pack in as many young pickling cucumbers as I can fit into it.  I add 1-2 crumbled bay leaves, 3 cloves of garlic, 3 whole peppercorns, 1 tbsp dried dill, 1/2 tbsp dill seed, 3 tbsp course salt and boiling water to fill.

Cover with a cloth and store in a dark place for a week.  Everyday skim off the foam on top.  Today was day number 3 and I noticed that the jar was boiling.  The fermentation process is at work. These pickles take no vinegar, no sugar and no packaged pickling spices.  All natural!

Day one- half sour pickles

Day three half sour pickles
I always called these pickles Jewish pickles.  I craved them with Boy F when I was pregnant.  I can't wait to taste them.  Only 4 more days to go!

Pickling Weekend
I have done some sewing this weekend too. I take some pictures and get to that later. 

Until next time.....


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

McCall's 9676

Girl M. saw this pattern and wants me to make her View B in the Navy Blue Swiss Dot fabric.  This McCall's 9676 is from about 1969.  I bought it this weekend at a thrift shop. 
McCall's 9676

Muslin pattern pieces
I thought I would make a muslin out of the top part to see if it would be ok on Girl M.  I cut out the four pieces and once started to read the directions I was totally lost!  I can't figure out how to put these four pieces together.  I feel like the directions are in another language.  I'm not sure how I feel about this pattern.  I put it down last night and thought I would try again this evening with a fresh start.  Maybe I was just tired?

On another note, Girl M. made Safety Patrol at her school for next year.  She was so excited to get her belt yesterday.  So today I had to take her picture.

Girl M. safety patrol
Only 1-1/2 days of school left!  I can't wait!  It will be nice to be off on Mondays & Fridays with the kids and not have to drive them to school!  Now I don't have any reason to leave the house for 4 days straight!  I'm such a hermit!

Until next time....


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Weekend Sewing

This weekend I made Girl M. another Simplicity 2986 top.  She saw a red and white polka dot top at the store last week and I knew that it would be my NEXT project.

She was suprised when she saw it.  I did piping on the yoke front and back.  This was my first time using piping and it was so-o-o-o-o easy!  I found her skirt/shorts at the thrift shop on Friday for $3.99.  What a bargin.

Simplicity 2986
I think Girl M. will get alot of use out of both the top and the skirt. 

I did finish the Butterick 5195 for me.  It turned out great and I have alot of capris and tanks to mix and match with it.  I think I will get alot of use out of it this summer.

Front View

Side View

Back View
I went to lay out the pattern pieces for Simplicity 7896 on the navy blue swiss dot fabric and realized there was not enough.  So now I have to find another pattern for that fabric.  I have narrowed it down to....
Butterick 5722? View A

Butterick 5709? View A or C

I only have 2 yards of the navy fabric.  If you have any suggestions please feel free to let me know.

Until next time....


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Where do you sew?

I know most people don't have a designated sewing area.  I have sewn on the floor, on the dining room table even on our porch.  I finally decided to carve out a little sewing area in our dining room/entry.  Our oldest is 19 and I can probably almost count the days until I have an extra bedroom.  It will be a sad day but it would be nice to not have to clean up every night before bed.

Sewing Area
This space might be a total of 5'x3'.  I try to make the most of the small area.  I am thinking of getting IKEA shelves to replace the cabinet.  I feel there is alot of wasted space.

Guess what's in here.....

Patterns, patterns and more patterns.  Shhhhhh don't tell the hubby!

This is my cutting side.  I have my computer on Pandora Radio and the drawers are full of things too.  The dining room table in on the left.  I moved alot of the cutting stuff over here since it seems like I was carrying it from one side of the room to the other.  See my brown paper roll I use for patterns.

This is kind of the scary side.  These are all the things I have on Etsy and on Ebay.  Clothing, patterns & pillowcase dresses.  The cabinet on the right is our craft cabinet.  We have papers & pencils & markers & bills & computer stuff & Christmas cards &...... the printer is on top of this cabinet. 

I am thinking of the Ikea shelves on this side too.

What would I do with all this space?  I love the ones we put in Girl M's room.  I know I can fill it all up too!

None of this included the fabric.  That is another post since it's in our bedroom and growing by the minute.

Don't forget to look at items I have for sale at etsy!  http://www.etsy.com/shop/Bigwheel179?ref=ss_profile

Happy sewing until next time.....



I had just enough leftover sheet fabric from my Simplicity 7896 blouse to make Girl M. a top too.  She just loves it when we match.... No, really, she doesn't mind as long as we don't wear them on the same day, Like TODAY! 

It only took me about 2 hours to complete her top.  I did have to increase the size for her.  I added 3/4" to the side seams but left the yoke shoulders the same.  I guess you could say I did a bust adjustment for a 10yr old.  This pattern is so easy so I just retraced it onto brown paper for future use.

Simplicity 2986

Completed Simplicity 2986
 Not good lighting in the dining room at 9pm.  The sheet fabric has a light pale pink background with red, dark pink and brown flowers with a white flower shadow.

Girl M. wearing Simplicity 2986
 That is not her usual look on her face, she burned her finger while straightening her hair this morning so this is the only look she would give me. I think she's telling me to hurry up!

As much as I hate to have my picture taken I did ask Girl M. to take a picture of the Simplicity 7896 blouse on me.  The top is very comfortable and I have to admit I was worried about the button up front.  I am busty and I hate in when buttons gap.  This top is doing great so far.  No gaping, the armholes don't show any bra and the length covers most of what I like to hide.

Simplicity 7896

Simplicity 7896

I tied the top into a knot instead of a bow.   I think I need to get a pair of brown capris to go with it.  I tried wearing a set of pink pearls with it but it was just a little too much this morning. 

Tonight I am going to work on a favorite pattern. Butterick 5195.  I really think that this top will go with alot of items I have. 

I am thinking of View C again.  I have made 4 of these in the past year.  They seam to be so versitile and go with about anything.  I prefer to wear tanks under most of my clothing and this let me do that.

The fabric I chose is:
It would look good with about any color tank under.  But I was thinking of using Red bias trim and Red ties.  So with a red tank it would really stand out.  This is the same fabric as my living room drapes.  I guess I really like it.

I have been selling patterns, pillowcase dresses and some of Girl M.'s clothing on e-bay and Etsy to save up money to buy the Sure-Fit Designs.  I am about 1/3 of the way there!

I will have some pictures of my sewing area on my next post.

Until next time....


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Polish Chicks

Remember when my husband brought home the Polish chicks.  I should clarify that to be Polish chicken babies.  Yesterday we let them into the big pen with the rest of the chicks, hens, etc.  They sure have grown in the past month.

Tired chicks

Only a face a mother could love

They made themselves right at home in the big pen.  They were even brave enough to hop out and scratch around in the leaves.  They are going to be a hoot when they get bigger.

On the sewing front, dear hubby is going back to night shift so I will have more time to sew.  I am almost giddy with excitement! 

Until next time....


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

No Fighting!

Boy F. & Girl M. spent the whole weekend listening to records.  The discussed the good and the bad with each album, they each had a pile of records they wanted to listen too, back and forth they would change the record and either laugh or sing along to the song. 

Boy F. loves some Grand Funk-An American Band & Funk No. 49.

Girl M. prefers Beethoven, Haydn and early Jazz (that's my girl!)

They really crack me up when they hear a new song and just stare in awe at the record player, like it will explain it to them.  They like to turn it up loud and talk over the music???? Kids....!

Until next time....


Simplicity 7896 Finally

I have finally finished the Simplicity 7896 bow blouse.  I really enjoyed making it.  The directions are easy and well explained and the top went together really quick.  I just wish I had more than a few minutes a day to work on it. 

Side View

Back View

Knotted Bow
I can't wait to wear the top.  I am thinking some white linen capri's or maybe even some orange ones.  This sheet I used for the fabric is so soft.  I love it when it all comes together and you even get an extra shirt out of your muslin.  I will be making this in the blue swiss dot but I need to get some black interfacing.  I am thinking the white will show through the semi-sheer fabric. 

Until next time....


Saturday, May 12, 2012

I have ruined my kids!

Today my kids MADE me take them thrift shopping to find a record player (turntable).  Of course we couldn't come home with just a record player.  This is what all we got for $50.00 today.

Thrift shop finds
 We made away with:  2 suitcases=free, 21 records=free, stereo with record player=20.00, bait holder=2.50, metal red toolbox (I don't see it in the picture)=2.50, 7 cloth napkins=1.00, 2 cassette tapes + Billy Madison VHS tape=free, 20 vintage patterns=2.00, bag of thread, ric-rac & seam bindings=3.00, vintage slide projector with extra bulb & 2 slide trays=17.00 & some fabric=2.00.

They crack me up when we go to a thrift shop and find a deal.  They know a good deal too!  I guess my thriftiness has ruined them.  I know I've taught them to stretch a dollar and make it into five. 

It's funny how most 12 yr old boys want video games and iPhone and for mom & dad to leave them alone, but not mine, he wants cassette tapes & vhs tapes and pepper plants/seeds.  I've got to be proud of him.  I have always believed that Boy F. was born in the wrong era.

Now we have to get to work putting it all away.

Boy F. gave me a great Mother's Day gift, he set up the slides I received when my Dad passed away.  So I got a slide show of my childhood.  There were pictures I never remembered.  I am glad my parents took alot of pictures of me.  I now have to try to convert 20 reels of slides over to pictures.... one day soon.

I hope to be able to finish my shirt tomorrow.  This moring I was able to put binding on the armholes and seam rip the sides.  I think I need smaller side seams to go around my ample middle.

Adding bias binding to armholes.
I am going to take more pictures in the daylight that might come out a little better. 

Until next time.....


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Simplicity 7896 part 2

On Friday I did a full bust adjustment on the Simplicity 7896 pattern.  I added 4"!  I am a 38G, I wish they all came pre-cupped!  I also didn't want to mess up the vintage pattern so I retraced the pattern and made all the adjustments on brown kraft paper.  I buy it by the roll.  I didn't want to cut into my swiss dot fabric yet so I had this sheet I found at a thrift shop a few weeks ago. 

Pattern adjusted & layed out to cut

I thought I would have this top finished last night but life gets in the way.  I have the tie pinned to the shirt front.  I think that I might like this top.  I did cut bias binding for the armholes since I wanted it sleeveless. 

I hope to add more pictures soon maybe even a finished shirt.  I think I have just enough of the sheet left over that I can make Girl M. a top too!

Until next time....


Back from Camping

We had a great time camping this weekend.  It's nice to spend time with the kids with no distractions.  They wanted our attention and they got it!  We have fun together.  I wish we had one more day of camping because we didn't even get to rent kayaks or go fishing.  But we ate real good and laughed and talked.

Everyone pitching in to make kabobs

They were hungry!

Kabobs on the grill

Dad telling a story while patting up burgers

Burgers on the grill

Girl M.

Boy F. acting crazy
We were ready to head home on Sunday.  I missed our house but we had a good time camping. 

Until next time....