Friday, June 1, 2012

Pirate Dress

We were on our way to Disneyland for the day and I wanted my daughter to have a pirate dress, as we were meeting her friends from preschool (boys) who were dressed up like pirates. I have never seen any pirate dresses for girls. Therefore, I created my own.

This dress is fairly easy to create. I used a halter top pattern and made it into a dress. I make tops into dressed by both cutting the pattern two to four sizes larger than my child (keeping seam allowances) and then extending the length. I added the handkerchief tier, in red, to the bottom of the dress for that added pirate effect.

The red belt is simply a piece of red cotton spandex fabric I cut in order for my daughter to hang her sword.

This was my first run on the pirate dress. If I do this again, I will shorten the length of the red handkerchief tier and re-work my make shift belt.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Mod Kid Skirt

This is my first attempt at the patterns from Patty Young's Sewing Mod Kid Style book.

I made yoga shorts and the gored skirt.

I have made the Mod Kid Kimono several times but this was my first attempt at other Mod Kid fashions. I love the use of the cotton knits that I use for some designs in my Leotots shop. Before I give my pro's and con's, here are the two creations:
My pro's on these two Patterns by Patty Young: 
  1. These are very cute casual wear
  2. The yoga pants flair is very true to yoga pants and I like it that she has this for kids. 
  3. The gored skirt does look like a yoga skirt in person. The photo does not do justice to the yoga look of that skirt. I can't say enough about how cute that skirt looks in person.
  4.  Patty Young has my vote on easy construction on the gored part of the skirt. The skirt sewed together quickly and easily until it was time for the awkward application of the waist band. 
The Con's on these two patterns 
  1. The fold over waist band is a pain to apply. I don't like having one piece of fabric (the waist band) smaller than the other (the shorts) and trying to give tension to one piece of fabric  (the waist band) that evenly distributes stretch while not stretching the other piece of fabric (the shorts/ skirt). 
  2. The fold over waist band is not too easy to work with when trying to get my daughter dressed. Getting the fold just right seems like more attention than I want to give to a waist band. I guess the bigger sizes, for older children, don't put the parent in this position. For the little kids, messing with that waist band isn't fun. 
  3. The waist band calls for two pieces. WIth the shorts being made like leggings, I didn't understand why she calls for two pieces on the waist band. The seams on a two piece wast band should be on the sides of the body. The leggings style seams in these shorts create seamless sides. Why impose seams on the sides of the waist band when there are no seams on the sides of the pants/shorts? Also, with the skirt, the seaming on the side of the waist band would not match the skirt sides and intersects oddly with the gores. I used a single piece of fabric for the waist band. 
  4. The book wasn't specific about the shorts needing stretch fabric. I use stretch fabric all the time but wanted to use french terry on these shorts. The first pair of shorts came out three sizes too small (using pattern size 6) because the patterns seems to be geared to only cotton spandex. The book doesn't say which type of fabric that the shorts/ yoga pants patterns is specifically geared toward. However, the book text does mention that yoga pants should be stretchy but this is a comment made in the introductory text rather than in the "you will need" section where I want specifics about fabric type. I guess I expect more specifics from a pattern when I get information from the photos show baggie shorts but not enough information about the shorts from the text that pairs evenly with the information I am getting from the photos. Since I have done copy editing for books in the past, I notice things like harmony between photos and text. In this case, the editorial staff could have made some suggestions along the way. 
Overall, Patty Young has cute stuff in the book and I'm going to attempt every pattern. These are just my experience with the skirt and yoga shorts. I did make the yoga shorts bigger and the are cute. I made the shorts without any seam allowance and one size bigger to get a loose fit for no-stretch french terry. I did use the fold-over waist band but I am going to modify the pattern and get rid of that waist band for the next pair of shorts. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Corkscrew Hair Bow

I followed the tips on how to make cork screw hair bows on Cherished Hand Made Treasures today. My desire was not for a hair clip but a hair bow on a rubber band. So, I used my own approach in apply my cork screw ribbons to a rubber band.

I baked my ribbon, wrapped around my son's chop sticks, in the toaster oven at 250 degrees for approximately 25 minutes. This baking process set the ribbon.

Then I cut the ribbon into the lengths that would give me about 4 to 5 inches hand on either side of the center location where I attached the ribbon to the rubber band. When I was finished cutting the ribbon, I had 10 pieces of ribbon about 8 inches long.

I used needle and thread to bind all the pieces of ribbon together. Finally, I used the shortest piece of ribbon to bind all the other pieces to the rubber band by simply wrapping the short piece of ribbon around the rubber band and the center part of my corkscrew ribbon bunch. I added one final stitch to the bunch for security and I was done. The final result is this new hair bow that will coordinate with pink and black outfits.

I spent $4 on ribbon. Had I used a coupon on the ribbon, I could have spent less money. I have enough ribbon remaining to make one more hair bow. So, the cost of this hair bow was really $2.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dalmatians Dance Costume

I created a Dalmatians Dance Costume for a custom order through my Leotots ETSY shop. I had to share. This is a two piece set with skirt and short sleeve leotard. This is only the second time I have worked with tule in a skirt. I am getting better.
The leotard is a straight forward short sleeve dance leotard. The skirt is actually a simple tier skirt. The bottom tier is made with two layers of tule.

The waistband on the skirt was cut at 2 inches but after the attachment to the tiers and the fold over pocket for elastic, the waist band ends up 3/4 of an inch. I pulled the waist in from 30 inches, unstretched, to 17 inches unstretched. With a flexible piece of elastic, this will fit the 19 inch petite waist perfectly for the dance recital this outfit was ordered for.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hand Rolled Cake Pops Recipe Review

Today is my daughter's last day of winter session preschool. I signed up to bring mini-cup cakes but my daughter asked me to make cake pops. Since I refused to attempt cake pops for her birthday, I decided to honer her request this time and attempt cake pops.

I went to my local retail store and looked for a cake pop pan. I found that a cake pop pan for 12 pops was $12. Since I have to make 24 cake pops, I realized that it would be a long process or it would mean $24 for the pans. Then, I priced the electronic cake pop maker. For $20, I could get a countertop electronic cake pop maker that produces 6 cake pops every 10 minutes. I almost purchased this electronic unit. 

I took a quick google search, on my smart phone, to look for a cake pop recipe. I found a recipe for hand rolled cake pops at . I immediately put the electronic cake pop maker back and spent $8 on the ingredients to make hand rolled cake pops, including sticks. 

Little did I know that my journey was just beginning. First, making the cake part is inexpensive and simple enough. I have to say that I used a boxed cake mix and not the recommended cake recipe found in the link I provided. I didn't have the time to make a scratch cake.

The candy coating was another world of problems. First, I purchased chocolate chips and not bark. I didn't want to spend too much money. Well, this chip choices was both good and bad because it was an inexpensive learning experience and the white chocolate I burned was an cheap loss. 

Next, I don't own a double boiler. I had stainless steel mixing bowl I stuck in a small pot and created my own double boiler. This method was unable to keep the chocolate at an even temp and I was unable to roll my pops evenly. I tried microwaving the white chocolate and it burned. Luckily, I had only paid $2 for white chocolate chips and didn't waste too much money. 

Since I didn't want to bring ugly cake pops to the preschool party, I had to search the web for the electronic candy melting pot. I found that Joann has a sale and I picked up the Wilton Chocolate Melting Pot for $20. Then, I had to go find white chocolate bark. I went to Vons and found white chocolate for baking. It was $7 for two bars. I needed three bars. 

Here I am trying not to spend a fortune and I have already spent $28 for about thirty three cake pops. Add the white chocolate, and I spent about $38 for thirty three cake pops. The real cost for giving out cake pops is actually only $18 because I get to keep the Chocolate Melting Pot for future use. Still, I read the recipe and figured $10 max. I was wrong. This was a time investment and a bit costly. 

What I end up with is actually good after investing in the melting pot. You can see that the double boiler produced unattractive cake pops. The melting pot made it so much easier to coat the pops and make the pops stay round. 

As for working with the cake, I am not impressed. The cake pops are slippery on the cake stick. Since the cream cheese and butter mix with the cake, you end up with little slippery balls on the plastic sticks. The cake itself tastes really rich but good. I have had high end cake pops. This recipe is different. The inside tastes more like cross between cake and fudge. 

I originally thought I wouldn't use this recipe again because I didn't like the consistency of the cake. However, after I let the cake pops sit at room temp for about 3 hours, I liked them much better than when I tried one cold. I must note, out of fairness, that I only tried them later on after the preschool event because these pops were the only food at the event that was all eaten up. I had saved my husband 5 white cake pops and took one when I got home from the event. The one I took from my husband's stock was very good and not being cold made all the difference.

In the end, These cake pops were a crowd pleaser and my daughter loves them!!

As an update, I have discovered that I can improve this recipe by: 
  1. Using an extra egg in the cake recipe and using milk instead of water when making the cake. I watched a youtube video and saw a mom read a tip from a cake pop book suggesting that the cake mix will firm up with the additional egg and milk. 
  2. Adding extra cake to the recommended proportion of cream cheese and butter 
  3. Using a cake pop mold to make my pops perfectly round. I found a cake pop mold at The Ally for $2 and will use this mold next time I make these cake pops. 
  4. placing a bit of candy on the end of the stick before I puncture my cake pop and before dipping the pop in the melted candy. I saw this tip in a you tub instructional video. 
  5. I am considering using the scratch cake recipe in the original link provided above. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Upcycle T-Shirt Dress Tutorial

This tutorial explains how to take a boys character shirt and transform it into a girl's dress.

Things you will need:
1. A character shirt that is one to two sizes larger than your girl's typical clothing size. You want a larger shirt because a dress is typically wider than a girl's shirt.
3. Sewing machine
4. Contrasting fabrics: decide which two fabrics you want to use for the bottom of your dress.
5. Pins

Starting with the original boys t-shirt, remove both the sleeves by cutting on the inside of the sleeve seam.

Next, remove the hem. I simply cut the hem off my garment. I made my cut directly above the stitching.

Next, measure the bottom width of your shirt. Let's say my shirt was 30 inches in width. I decided to add 20 inches to my width. I added those inches by cutting my front and back pieces, of each tier, 25 inches wide. I made the bottom tier 8 inches long and the top tier 4 inches in height. Therefore, I cut two pieces of zebra fabric measuring 8 x 25 inches and two pieces of solid black measuring 4 x 25 inches.

After I was finished cutting my tier pieces, I sewed the front and back sides of the tiers together.

I did not choose to make one long 50 inch piece of each fabric because I didn't want the joining seam in the middle of the back of the dress. I chose to make two pieces and join the pieces on either side in order to create seams on both sides of the garment.

Next, each tier needs to be gathered at the top. Gather the tops of the tiers by taking each top and sewing a straight stitch, set at the stitch length 5, across the length of the top of the tier.

Gather your tiers so that each tier has a width that matches the width of the bottom of your character shirt. 

Lay the top tier over the bottom tier and then baste stitch these two tiers together. Be careful to insure the top edges of the gathered fabric are not twisted and bunched under. Make sure your top edges remain fresh on top of your basting stitch.

After your tiers are basted together, turn them inside out. Next, place the character shirt  bottom inside your tiers so that the right side of the character shirt is up against the right side of your upper tier. The wrong side of the bottom tier should be facing you.

Next, pin the garment together, ensuring that the top edges of the gathered skirt are fresh on top. Also, make sure to start pinning at the seams of each side of the tier skirt. You want to ensure your sides line up at the side of the character shirt.

When working with gathered skirts, I go pin crazy at first. I want all my edges to make it into my serger without sticking out the other side of the garment and forcing me to seam rip out areas to get the edges into the sewing machine. So, you should start out by doing a lot of pinning.

However, when it comes to sewing, to get started serging your garment, you will have to remove a few pins to get the seam area into the serger.

Your finished seam should look like the photo I have included. You will end up with a successfully attached tier skirt.

Next, measure the width of your arm holes. My arm holes were 13 inches in circumference.  I used fold over elastic and just capped the edges of my sleeve holes. I know most people don't make potty training pants and don't keep fold over elastic at home. If you don't have fold over elastic, go ahead and make yourself some bias tape or purchase bias tape at your local fabric store.

You can cap the edges of the raw sleeves with bias tape. Then, sew the bias or FOE onto your arm hole.

Ta Da! You have your upcycled character shirt.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Magic of Circles

This was my daughter's second birthday cake. Her first character crush was Elmo. Since her official birthday fell on a date we hadn't scheduled the the party, I whipped up a cake in the shape of her favorite character.
This cake is simply one circle cake, two full cup cakes and one cup cake top.

I simply set the two cup cakes on top of the circle cake. The eye can be held close to the cake with two chop sticks or skewers. Since we didn't have to move this cake, I didn't use reinforcements.

I started decorating with the mouth and the pupils (thus starting with black). My next color was red. My third color was white, around the eyes. Finally, I cut the top off a cup cake and positioned it where you see the nose in the photo. There is frosting underneath the nose, as the frosting helps makes the cup cake top nose stick to the eyes and the face. Finally, I frosted the nose in Orange.

My daughter was so happy. This is an easy pleasing cake for any two year old!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hello Kitty Summer Dress

My daughter just hit the age of Hello Kitty. Anticipating the Hello Kitty craze, I has purchased some Sanrio fabric over a year ago and had the fabric sitting on the shelf waiting for my daughter. Sunday afternoon seemed like the perfect rainy day to make my girl a summer dress with the Sanrio fabric.

I have a previous post on how I made this dress pattern from a tank top. For an explanation on how to approach a simple tank dress such as the Hello Kitty dress in this photo, please click on my DIY Summer Tier Dress post. In that post, I gave step by step instructions on how to make this type of dress.

In this latest dress, I added some new flair. I made my own cotton jersey bias tape and trimmed the top with black. Also, my bias tape is done in two pieces. The chest has one piece of bias and the back, including the straps, are all one piece of bias tape.

The skirted bottom on this dress is a different approach from the DIY summer tank dress. These bottom tiers were cut from the skirted bottom of a simplicity dress. These tiers are not straight rectangular pieces of fabric, as was the case with the DIY dress. These tiers have an arc shaped pattern and a diagonal edge cut in order to produce the bell shape.

I am not completely satisfied with this dress and consider this pattern a work in progress. In any case, this dress looks much cuter on my daughter than in these photos.

Friday, March 16, 2012

DIY Child Sherpa Lined Insoles Tutorial

I am an ebay shopper for children's seconds. Sometimes ebay purchases are a problem because the condition of the child's clothing (or shoes in the case) is not accurately described. This tutorial arose from just such a problem; I ordered a pair of fabric lined Crocs from a seller claiming the shoes were in Excellent Used Condition. I received shoes in trash condition. I wanted to keep the shoes because I needed a pair kick around shoes that can get dirty and don't require socks.

My first refresh on these shoes was to remake the insoles. The original insoles were lightly fabric coated. The shoes arrived with the fabric coating completely worn off and the insoles hard as rocks. I solved the problem and improved the product.

This tutorial is a post hoc production. The photos are taken using examples of the exact sole I made.

Things you will need:
1. cotton sherpa or any kind of fabric used to line the raw insole.
2. air foam insoles, these are adult size and very inexpensive
3. a cutting devise
4. adhesive spray or glue gun
5. old insoles from your child's shoes
6. sewing machine with zig zag stitch
7. thread

First, I used a pair of air foam insoles. These insoles cost $2. Next, I used the old insoles to cut the pattern of the new insoles. Simply lay the old insole over the new adults size insole. Then, cut the child size insole to match the shape.
You end up with a new child size insole.

This photo is of the insole after I cut out the child's size shape I needed. Again, this is a post hoc tutorial and I hope the reader understands that the old insole was laid upon the top of the new insole and then I made the cut that produced the photo.

Next, you will need some cotton sherpa fabric. Really, you could use any fabric. In this case, I used cotton sherpa fabric that I had laying around from making potty training panties.

Lay the new insole on top of the cotton sherpa and cut the sherpa into the shape of the insole. Make sure you cut the sherpa while the fabric is laying right side up. In so doing, you will ensure the looped sherpa side of the fabric will be against the child's foot.

 The photo on the left is an example, as I already made my insoles and put them in the shoes before creating this tutorial. In this photo, you see I have laid the insole on top of the sherpa to cut my needed shape.

The product: You end up with your insole and your sherpa in the same shape.

Next, you will need to grab your adhesive spray.

Turn the cotton sherpa over to the wrong side and spray a bit of adhesive on the wrong side of the cotton sherpa fabric. This spray does not need to be exact but it does need to be in the center away from the edges. I do not sew on something with adhesive directly under my needle because the adhesive goo can stick to the sewing needle, creating a mess and sewing machine problems.

After applying adhesive, place the top of the insole onto the bottom of the sprayed cotton sherpa and press down firmly. You end up with the cotton sherpa stuck to your insole. This process will keep the sherpa stuck in the correct position while you sew the edges of the sherpa to the insole.

It is best to sew the edges onto the insole because the moisture from the feet, inside the shoes, can loosen the adhesive leaving the sherpa free to move around under the feet during use. This is not our desired goal and sewing is needed to seal the deal.

Place the edge of the insole, sherpa side up, under your presser foot with the machine set to zig zag stitch. Sew the entire edge of your insole with the zig zag stitch.

You end up with a new sherpa lined insole in child size.

The cotton sherpa lined insole, as photographed, refreshed these otherwise throw away shoes. Making your own cotton sherpa insoles can be done to replace ugg boot insoles as well.

In my case, I was taking a product that was not usable and making it work. Now, I have a pair of crocs my daughter can use for the beach or other events with lots of dirt or sand while needing good thick shoes without socks.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Lined Long Sleeve Kimono Dress

I just wanted to post my latest Kimono dress. This dress is already sold through my etsy shop but it's precious and has to get a photo in my blog.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Years ago I picked up a magazine with the photo of the muffin body on the left. I was immediately taken by the logic. I thought "if I eat a muffin, will I really look like a muffin?" So, I used that logic and made an apple. If I eat an apple, will I really look like an apple? If you eat one muffin, will you really wear it around your middle?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

DIY Tier Dress with Instructions

I made this tier dress using a vintage McCalls tank top pattern. I did make some adaptations the tank's top and obviously turned it into a dress.
In order to use the tank top pattern for a dress, I cut the dress 1 inch wider than the tank top called for by placing the pattern 1/2 inch away from the center fold of the fabric. As I cut the fabric, I increased the length of top by about 5 inches, using the same hip slope of the tank pattern.

Cutting the bottom edge of the upper portion of my dress was done using the tank top pattern specification. I simply moved the pattern down, realigned it 1/2 inch from the center fold, and cut the bottom using the arc provided by the pattern. I repeated this same method for the back of the dress.

I sewed the top portion of the dress before attempting to cut the bottom tiers. Once the upper dress was sewn, I measured the width of the bottom edge. I cut my bottom tiers 13 inches wider than the dress width. If I had to do this again, I would cut the tiers about 18 to 20 inches wider than the width of the dress.

For the tiers, I approached each tier differently. The bottom tier was cut at 6 x 40 inches and the top (outer) tier was cut at 3 x 40 inches. Both tiers were cut in two pieces and sewn together at the sides. From this point, I approached each tier differently.
The bottom tier was gathered about 3/4 of an inch from the upper edge of the fabric before attaching it to the top of the dress using the overlock machine. After attaching the bottom tier, I removed the thread used to do the gathering. Finally, I gave the bottom tier a traditional 1/2 inch hem.

The outer tier was given a rolled hem on top and bottom, using my overlock machine. The top edge was given an extreme lettuce edge effect and the bottom hem, a mild lettuce edge effect. Once my top tier was hemmed, I used a single need straight stitch, on stitch width setting 5, to gather the top edge of the outer tier (approximately 3/4 of an inch from the tip of top hem). After gathering the top edge of the top tier, I pinned the gathered top to the seam where the bottom tier was attached to the top of the dress. I used the gathering thread as my guide for pinning and sewing the outer tier to seam joining the bottom tier and upper dress.
I used a cover stitch machine to attach the outer tier to the dress. Once I completed the outer tier, I removed the gathering thread.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My First Tank Top

I got some fabric from Girl Charlee today. It took about 20 minutes for me to start making a pattern and whipping up a tank top from this lovely print fabric.

This is the first attempt I've made at a tank top. I adapted a vintage pattern from McCalls by: adding length, dropping the neckline by about a 1/2 inch, and adding elastic to achieve a more taut and gathered neckline.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

DIY Baby: Baby Food Recipes

Sweet Potato and Mushroom Puree

1 Medium Sweet Potato
1/5 cups sliced mushrooms

Peel and dice medium size sweet potato. Cover the sweet potato in water and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer about 10 to 15 minutes until tender. As soon as the sweet potato is tender, add the 1 and a 1/2 cups mushrooms and simmer for five more minutes. Drain well.

Put the vegies in a bullet blender, food processor or other food mill with formula or baby milk and puree until you reach desired consistency. Makes about 17 tablespoons.


Turnip and Carrot Puree

1 small turnip
1 small carrot

Peel and dice one small turnip and one small carrot. Place in saucepan, cover with water, and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Drain when the vegies reach desired consistency. Place vegies in food processor, bullet blender or food mill with baby milk or formula combined and puree to desired consistency.

Friday, February 10, 2012

DIY Baby: Baby Food Starter Recipes

Mashed Potato with Carrots

peel and dice one medium potato and one medium carrot

Cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes, until cooked and tender. Puree in a blender with some of the water from the boil until reaching the desired consistency. You can use formula for extra liquid if desired.


Root Vegetable Puree 

1 medium size sweet potato
1 small carrot 
1 small turnip 

Peel and cut all vegies. Cover with water and bring to a boil. After reaching boil, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked. Retain some of the water from the simmer and use to puree these vegies together. You can also use formula or baby milk to puree with in order to add more liquid. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

DIY Baby: Baby Food Recipes 1 Stocks

When I had my son in 1990, the thought of making my own baby food never occurred to me. When I had my daughter in 2008, my mother-in-law gave me a book about how to make your own baby food. I used that book and ended up making all my own baby food.

There are nutritional facts that anyone entering the world of baby food needs to learn. This blog is not a nutritional text book so if you use these recipes, do so with the nutritional information that you can get from any public library.

So, to make your own baby food, you need to start with three broth options.

1. Vegie Stock/ Broth
2. Beef Stock/ Broth
3. Chicken Stock/ Broth

இڿڰۣ-ڰۣ—...இڿڰۣ-ڰۣ—இڿڰۣ-ڰۣ—...இڿڰۣ-ڰۣ—இڿڰۣ-ڰۣ—...இڿڰۣ-ڰۣ—இڿڰۣ-ڰۣ—...இڿڰۣ-ڰۣ இ

1. Vegie Broth:
Makes about 5.5 cups

1 large onion, sliced 
2 carrots, sliced 
1 leek, sliced 
3 celery stocks, chopped 
1 small turnip, diced
1 small parsnip, diced
1 bouquet garni 

Add 2 quarts cold water and stir. Bring to boil and simmer for about an hour and a half. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface during simmer. 

You can add other vegies as well. This is the recipe I used. 

Strain the stock through a strainer and freeze the stock in cubes or small portions for mixing with puree vegies and baby food recipes. 


2. Beef Broth 
Makes close to  cups 

1 lb shin of beef on the bone 
1 lb beef or veal bones 
1 onion 
1 carrot 
1 turnip
2 celery stalks 
1 leak, cleaned 
1 bouquet garni

Put the meat and the bones in a pan and brown, in the oven, at 425 degrees fora bout 30 minutes. Transfer to large saucepan with 2 quarts water. 

Peel and slice the onion and the carrot; peel and dice the turnip; chop the celery and leek. Add to the saucepan with the bouquet garni. Stir to mix. 

Bring to a boil. Then, partially cover and simmer for about 2 hours. Skimming off any scum or fat that comes to the surface during boil. 

Strain the stock through a strainer and freeze in cubes or small portions, as you will use this with the baby food recipes. 


3. Chicken Broth 
Makes about 2 and a 1/2 cups 

1 meaty chicken carcass 
6 shallots or 1 onion
1 carrot
2 celery stalks
1 bay leaf

Break or chop the chicken carcass into pieces and place in a large pan with 7 cups cold water. 

Peel and slice the shallots (onion), carrot and chop celery. Add everything and bay leaf to saucepan, stir and bring to a boil. After boiling, partially cover and simmer for about 2 hours. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface during boil. 

When complete, strain your chicken broth and freeze into cubes or small portions, as this gets used in the different baby food recipes I will add during the month of February. 

DIY Baby: Goats Milk Infant Formula Recipe

I wanted to share the recipe I used for infant formula. This recipe was given to me by a grandmother at the local health food store. She said her daughter's and grad-daughter's used the recipe without problems. I also used this recipe for my daughter.

1 cup goats milk
1 cup fortified organic rice milk
1 tablespoon protein powder
1 teaspoon baby vitamins
1/2 teaspoon flaxseed oil

I am not a physician and cannot take responsibility for the recipe. I am sharing what I used. Check this recipe with others available before making any decisions about infant formula.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sewing Stretch

Making leotards is a staple sewing activity for me. My Leotots ETSY shop was created for loetards. I started sewing simple sleeveless tank leotards out of necessity because sleeveless garments are easy when learning how to sew on a stretch fabric.

Sewing stretch fabric is an art in itself. A dance emerges in the sewing process that begins with placing the fabric on the overlock, continues through guiding the fabric through the knives and doesn't end until the finished edges are bound with the encased elastic. At every point, the seamstress has to anticipate the give, pull and tug of the machine and the fabric. Both machine and fabric move and react independently while sewing.

I discovered jersey leotards one day while I had a partially sewn tank leotard sitting next to a pattern of a jersey sweatshirt dress pattern. I walked into the sewing room, glanced over at what was sitting on the machine cover and bipity boppety boo...I thought "why don't I put the neck line on that dress into that leotard." So, I took my leotard pattern and laid it over the jersey dress pattern and made my own jersey leotard. This combination of styles is what gave my leotard sleeves.
For two years, I stayed with the jersey sleeve style. One reason I stayed on jersey leotards was to avoid any new experience. Sewing stretch is hard enough. I wanted to master the straight stitch and test the stress points on this style leotard.

Next, I wanted to develop some jersey styles in my shop. I quickly got fast at producing the jersey leo and started adding different combinations of fabrics, trimming the edges of my garments, and finally varying the sleeve styles I offered. I developed a nice varied catalog of leotards.

Finally, what I ended up with was a gymnastics leotard shop that wasn't touching on the feminine beauty I find in dance classes. While it is easy to do what I know best, it isn't that much fun staying in the same place with something I do as often as making a leotard.
This year, I am moving myself into the typical round sleeve. The round sleeve is not taking me any more time than the jersey sleeve. The product is that I'm getting a more dance style leotard added to my repertoire and developing a more well rounded catalog of leotards in my etsy shop.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

In this post, I want to show a shape view of this dress and a close up to make the decorative stitching and anime characters visible.

I love the Japanese culture and the children's anime that can communicate such simple yet powerful emotions. I want my girl to have beautiful clothes that tell a story and are not over feminine. Rather, I want empowering images. I think I brought these sentiments together in this dress.

I mixed cute mod kid fashion and art. Japanese anime characters are people of the rising sun in this artistic dress. Paired with the red, black and white brush stroke fabric, this garment tells a beautiful story with the anime characters. This dress is accented with decorative stitching that laces the entire edge of the turquoise Obi (sash), neckline, sleeves and bottom of the dress. Making this piece extra special, I coordinated the style of the brush strokes in the red fabric with the detailed decorative stitching embroidered into the Obi and the rest of the garment's edging..