Trek Outfit #1

We continue to prepare for the pioneer trek.  It is traditional to wear period-suggestive (not period authentic) clothing.  We’re glad the pioneers were tough, but I am grateful for modern sewing machines, elastic and, when on the trail, tennis shoes.

Truly, the dressing up is part of the fun and really helps you get in the spirit.

Here is Daughter’s first complete outfit.


The shirt came from a yard sale, but it is Eddie Bauer linen (AND, a terrific color).  The skirt came from the thrift store.  It was a size much-larger-than-Daughter, but we took in the waistband and it is nice and full now.  The apron and bonnet are hand-me-down pieces from the fabric stash.  I really like the eyelet.  Total cost:  $4.
All pioneers should be comely and thrifty, don’t you think?

Christmas For The Grands: Twin L.

The second half of the twin set L. and V. is a 3-1/2-year old boy who loves his cars, tools and other noisy and construction oriented things.  Some of you might remember that last year he got a tool belt.


This year’s gift is a little different…All rolled up…Guess  it…


This year he gets a car caddy race track. Don’t you want to play, too?!


Thanks to this very good tutorial, I was able to whip it up in no time.  I did a number of tweaks, of course.  The main one was changing out the felt track for canvas and iron on tape.  The track is now smooth and fast for those little cars.

Christmas is still a month away!  How is this granny going to wait?

Pincushion Play

This weekend I took some time to attack the overflowing ironing-and-mending pile.  There were loose buttons, torn beltloops, holes in elbows–you know, the usual.  And, many wrinkled shirts, pants and napkins.  All that was taken care of in about 3 hours of diligence.

After that I deserved a little play time.


This small pot (about 3-1/2″ across the top) was a yard sale find for 25-cents.  CUTE!


I make a whirl of wedge shaped pieces a little over twice the diameter of the top.  They were 3-1/2″ long and 1/2″ wide at the skinny end (two seam allowances) and between 2 and 2-1/2″ wide at the base.


Some gathering and stuffing and a button later–Ta-dah!  A pincushion.  It was play time for me and a  fun result.


Hopefully I will have a little more play time before back to school Tuesday…I hear fabric calling!  For now, though, it is time to walk the dog.  She is fun,  and keeps me from making exercise excuses!

Summer 1964–Now THAT’S A UFO

In one of the recent house cleanouts, I found a lovely bundle of fabric–Linen and butterflies.  How could I leave it?  It was so very pretty I set it aside, hoping there would be enough there to make something.

This last week I got the bundle out and unrolled it.  It had been cut, but the pattern pieces (not the pattern package) were still there.

A brief internet search showed me that Simplicity 5409 was this dress. Publication date 1964.

It was in a size I was certain would fit Daughter.  So, nothing to do but sew it up.


Ta-dah!  A lovely summer shift.


Only 51 years in the making.


We had to add some darts to better fit Daughter’s shape, but overall I think the effect is lovely.


UFO no more!

Why Quilters Can Make Costumes

It has been said of quilters that they take perfectly good fabric, cut it into hundreds of little pieces, and sew it back together again, and think that is perfectly normal.

Well, sometimes costumes are a lot like that.

I hesitate to even show these pictures as they are not very good and the work is still in progress, but I was struck this afternoon by how much I love my children and how many small pieces there are in these costumes.


Young Son is the wizard.


Daughter is the cowardly lion.

The wizard hat is a lot of little pieces  of assorted green satin and velvet sort of foundation pieced onto heavy interfacing.  The lion costume has nearly 400 separate pieces of tulle in 8 different colors.

They both look terrific, but, then, I am probably biased.

There are many things about being a parent I am probably terrible at, but I hope my children will always remember that I chose to spend time on them and the things they cared about.  It isn’t always perfect.  There are sometimes harsh words and hurt feelings and stress, but I still hope that somehow out of all the little moments we make a life of worthwhile memories.

Little pieces into bigger pieces and patterns–quilters can make many things, including costumes.

The Head Munchkin

The costume craze continues-this time it is a Head Munchkin costume for Daughter.


We started with a thrift store find–it was $10.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was probably a dress for a fancy dance of some kind (shudder).  We can’t imagine wearing it for that purpose.

But, it had potential!  The basic fit was right, the zipper worked, the corset was already installed and it was the desired color scheme.


First we picked off all that lacy trim and beading.  As bad as it was to take out, I can’t imagine how hard it much be to sew it on.  By hand.

We were looking for hot pink, lime green and polka dots.  Most of this came from my Big Pile of Junk (all the handy bits and pieces none of us can bear to throw away).  We bought the narrow ribbon and the buttons.   The polka dots were created with fusible web on a cotton/poly solid scrap.  Don’t look too close but the buttons are attached with hot glue.  Plus she has on black leggings.  Those will NOT be part of the costume at performance time.  🙂


Total cost:  $14.


She will be waving Dorothy down the yellow brick road surrounded by all of her little munchkins (3-year old dancers) in June.  I can’t wait!

REFASHION: Dress Shirt To Dress and Tie

I am on spring break from school and using my time to get all sorts of things done.  The family and I set a goal to (besides our regular daily things) do something extra inside, something extra outside and something fun every day.  It has worked out really well.  Much needed chores are being marked off of lists and no one feels too put upon because that “something fun” is out there.


I am not sure if this project qualifies as a “something inside” or a “something fun,” but, when it comes to sewing, maybe they are the same thing. A really good grandma would have had these ready and in the mail long before Easter, but this grandma is just doing her best.


I started with a men’s dress shirt and ended up with a springy dress and tie for the twin nearly-three grandchildren.  It doesn’t show very well in the pictures, but the shirt is a cream color with a wide blue stripe and two narrow yellow stripes on either side of the blue one.  Spring, but with a vintage feel. The pin on the dress is detachable.  I haven’t added the velcro to the tie but will mail the pieces for momma to attach in the best position.

They will go in the mail tomorrow along with a few little things for their soon-to-arrive sister.


The dress is a combination of patterns and making it up as I went along.  The buttons from the front are now in the back and the skirt used what was left of front and back plus the sleeves to give a lot of fullness for spinning. I am concerned that the bodice is a little wide.  Granddaughter is a slender little thing.  The tie was based on THIS TUTORIAL.  It worked very well!  I’ll make more of these in the future.

More projects to share soon.  Time to get back to more “something fun” for the day.

ps–Yesterday Daughter said, “This ‘three somethings’ has worked so well for spring break, maybe we could do it all summer?!”  Works for me!