I hope to inspire and entertain you with a lot of sewing and a little of everything else!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Chicken Chat

I thought it would be fun to give a chicken update. They are doing great! Rosie, Andy, and I are the ones who take care of them and play with them. The other kids tolerate them, but don't like to hold them. So, this weekend, Rosie and Andy put on their farmer overalls and we took some pictures.
It was quite a trick to round up all 3 at once, since they love to run free!
This is Benedict, or "Bennie." We initially wanted to get 3 Bantams (mini chickens) but if I wanted all girls, I had to mail-order a minimum of 5 and they were expensive. Since it was our first time out, we decided to get 2 regular size hens, which we ordered at our local Agway. When we went to pick them up, Rosie fell in love with this little Bantam, the tiniest chick in the bunch. We figured we had a good chance of it being a girl, but no, Bennie is a rooster. He started crowing this morning at 5:45, so we'll see how that turns out. Bennie is extremely sweet and likes to be held. He is very gentle, so I hope he doesn't get too loud!
Here is Sheldon Cooper PHD (pretty hen deluxe) or "Shelly" for short. She is a beautiful girl. She is a Rhode Island Red and is a girl. So far, the chickens love: corn on the cob, sunflower seeds, garbanzo beans, and bread. They do not like: watermelon, grapes, yogurt, apples, or lettuce. I have read lots of info on "Backyard Chickens" and I think they will like more foods as they get older. They are only 10 weeks old so far.
Meet Blackie, our Barred Rock Hen. She is wonderful to hold. Her feathers are so soft- actually they all are! Blackie is our "wild one" according to Andy and she is the ring leader. She often leads the others around the yard. Their favorite place to go is in the woods. We have forest chickens! We have quite large front and back yards with woods in back and along the sides of the yard (between neighbors) and they love to scratch around in there. I let them free whenever we are outside, but I keep them in their coop when we are in, so that no predators get them. They have a grassy area on the downstairs of their coop and I move it to fresh grass every day. I think they are happy chickens!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sewing School 2: Trio of Totes

For our second sewing class, one of my students wanted to make a tote bag for her little boy's preschool adventures. This particular nursery school prefers totes to backpacks. My kids use backpacks, but I always need a good sturdy bag for winter boots, snow pants, etc. during the all-too-long winters around here. This red bag is the one I made for Andy. It is a nylon (quick dry) canvas from fabric.com and I really like it!
Here's a view of the square bottom. My friend was amazed how easy this was. She thought there would be extra gussets sewn it. She loved my magical method!
I used flat-felled seams, which look nice and are very sturdy!
Here's the bag my friend made. It has her little boy's initials embroidered on it, too! Don't you love the truck twill??
Here's the prototype I started with. This is a beautiful "town toile" for Tampa, Florida. I found it at a discount store for $1.99/yd!! This bag is larger, more for the beach. I didn't buy enough webbing, so the straps end at the side, rather than going underneath. This one needs a little sturdy plastic to line the bottom.
I had a hard time getting a good picture of the fabric, but it's very pretty! Visit towntoiles.com for more of their fabrics, but not for $1.99/yd!!
Last, I share a view of the harbor in Maine. We took the kids to York's Wild Kingdom this week and this was our view at dinner: gorgeous!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Russian Boy's Suit

From about 1900 to 1925, a popular suit for boys was the "Russian Blouse" or "Buster Brown" suit. This type of suit consisted of a tunic style top, often with buttons in front and with a belt around the waist or hips. This was worn over straight knee trousers or gathered "knickerbockers."
Patterns for these suits are not too hard to come by. Boys generally wore these suits from ages 2-6, sometimes even up to 8. The collar and front-opening variations were many, from sailor-type to double-breasted, asymmetrical or pleated. They often had a tie or large bow around the neck.

There are many vintage images of little boys in these adorable suits. Here are some to enjoy:

This little fella is handsome in his suit with straight trousers and the requisite black stockings. I like the bodice detail on this suit.

It was also common to see these suits in white- maybe more of a summer style? I love this little guy's shoes with the 2 straps. What about that haircut??

This little fella is so cute! He has curls like my Andy- I'll have to try combing Andy's hair like that! I like this lighter gingham suit with white collar and trim. It also has short sleeves, which seems to be less common that long sleeves on these suits.

Here's a suit with an overlapped front. I can't tell what type of fabric this stripe is.
I would like to make one of these suits for my little Andy. It is on my LIST! What do you think of these suits?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Children's Fashion Catalog, 1930s Style

I found this fabulous 1930 Lane Bryant catalog this week. It has children's and maternity fashions. There are some fabulous illustrations here that I would love to recreate. I will share a few pages at a time. This page is the cover. My favorite here has to be the hand-embroidered blue romper. I'm not sure if it was meant for a girl or a boy- what do you think?
I also love the pink silk coat and hat set, also hand-embroidered. The linen sailor suit is wonderful, too! Don't you wish you could find clothing of this quality today, especially at these prices!?

Here's another great page, this time showing brother-sister sets. Not only the clothes are cute, but look at those beautiful illustrations of children.
Here's the description for the suspender outfits: "In just a minute they'll scamper off to play, but before they go just see how adorable they look in their smart little two-piece suspender costumes." Isn't that sweet?
How about the poem on this page:
Jack and Jill
Go Out to Play
Bright with Laughter
Young and Gay
Dress'd alike They
Show Their Glee
Proud of Mother's
Taste, You See
The bottom outfits are wool jersey, probably a fine knit fabric. It's interesting to me that they are the most expensive, though much the simplest in construction. It seems the material was more of a cost factor than the labor in 1930. I hope you enjoyed these catalog pages- I will share more soon!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Farmyard Fun, $1.99 Fabric, and Trying to Find a Winner!!

 I always rope you in with the cute baby!!
We visited a kid's farm this week and we had a fabulous time!! We saw cute baby animals:
Andy washed a huge turtle:
We rode down a long hillside on burlap sacks:
There was a terrific kids' water park and it was warm enough to get wet, but not hot enough to be unpleasant!
We went with my friend and the Divine Miss Ella wore the froggy outfit I made her. She is soooo cute and was happy the whole day!!
Nearby there was a $1.99 Fabric Store! Yes, everything in the store was $1.99/yd. It was not a good place to bring 2 little boys, but I shopped quickly and found these:
 Fruits that look like those old tole painted trays, 2 retro Jack & Jill prints, kids' numbers,
 5 different paper doll fabrics- the black one is little boys!! I love these and should have bought more!
 2 Dinosaur Train prints- Andy likes that show.
2 nice shirtings and a pink woven stripe that was in home dec, but I thought it looked very AG Felicity!

I am going to choose one more winner. I seem to have a hard time giving things away!! Our third winner is:
Hopefully, I can reach her!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sewing School 1: Pillowcases

I was delighted that 2 of my best friends, Sally and Carol, expressed an interest in learning to sew. We were able to get together last week and do our first lesson, a basic pillowcase. They chose 2 fabrics and learned many techniques: measuring and rotary cutting, seams and seam allowances, overcasting, and the basics of threading and using a sewing machine. I had fun, too! I made one that is the first item in my Christmas present stash (shhh- it's for hubby):

 I was thrilled to find Star Trek fabrics at Joann's!! Here's the one Carol made for her daughter:
This is the one Sally made from flannel for her little boy:
(They are straight, but I took the photos on the curved back of a couch.)

We all had fun sewing while the kids played together. Our next class will be a canvas tote bag. I am looking forward to it. If I can't find friends who sew, I'll have to teach them!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

It's How I Roll...and Another Winner (or two!)

Lots to share this morning. Sewing has been rather slow around here for the past week as I have been car shopping. This is the fifth car I have driven, fourth car I have owned (the one I learned on was my Dad's car). I'm proud to have driven about 400K miles in my driving career with no accidents (and only one ticket- ever!). Anyway, this is the first car I chose totally on my own. My Dad helped me choose my first car and hubby and I chose the next 2 together. This time, I brought an assorment of my kids with me, but since Hubby and Dad were working, I did the work by myself. In 8 days, I looked at about 30 used cars, test drove 6, had 2 double-checked by my own mechanic, and bought one!
I got a 2006 Honda Odyssey, a newer version of the 2000 Odyssey I had. This one has lots of toys and we are enjoying it very much!

I also chose a new winner in the Rabbit Rabbit Give Away, because the first winner never contacted me and I have no way to get in touch with her. Our new winner is:
 Elizabeth blogs at The College Seamstress, so I can contact her. Congrats!!

There's a fun footnote to this story. I just received an email from Jasmin at Rabbit Rabbit that I won a free pattern of my choice in her PIF give away!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Winner of the Pay It Forward Give Away!!

I enjoyed reading everyone's stories of how they have "paid it forward." I try to live my life with an "attitude of gratitude" and I have much to be grateful for. Here's my little PIF before I announce the winner:

http://www.karenprell.com/Films_-_Animation_files/GeriCropWeb_small.jpgMy parents spend a lot of time at the beach and my kids and I are lucky to be able to visit them often. When we go, we are totally spoiled with activities, attention, and yummy food. We often eat out and it's always my parents' treat. The area they are in has amazing antique architecture and also terrific restaurants. One of our favorites is a traditional American restaurant with a simple, seaside decor. They have early-bird specials which include salad, entree, dessert, and coffee. It's always quiet, delicious, and great service. On the night in question, my parents, my 5 kids, and I were eating there. My Dad (at 70ish) was the young adult in the place, I felt like a teen again, my kids were the "babies". We had fun joking about it. My daughter Katie and I noticed an old man at a table near us who was eating alone. We quietly commented to each other how much he reminded us of my late father-in-law (who just died a year ago). He was just so "cute," yet we both felt a little sad to see him alone. I snuck out to the reception area and asked the girl there if I could give her my credit card and pay for his dinner. They thought it was a great idea and shared that he eats there once a week for the early bird special and lives all alone. We were at our table when the waitress told him someone wanted to treat him to dinner. He kept asking her who it was. She said, "if you look around, you might figure it out." We were seated pretty close, but my back was to him. Katie could see him looking around, obviously figuring out which lady had a secret crush on him. He never even considered us! It was really fun to do and Katie and I fondly remember the man who reminded us of "Grandpa".
Now, on to the winner!!
Made by Rox said...