Friday, September 9, 2011

from someone else's scraps to a 1st day of school dress...

My oldest daughter had her first day of pre-k this week, and I whipped up a new dress for her the night before.  We're in LA, and our summer heat is just getting started.  A sundress seemed most appropriate.  Plus, she LOVES them.  I am always shocked when I make something for her in total secrecy and it ends up fitting (I do use clothes that have a similar fit as a guide when cutting fabric, and she still has a board straight little girl body...)!  

I have been wanting to make a dress for her out of the bottom fabric for a couple of months.  I got both fabrics from a very special source who gives me lots of amazing samples and scraps that she no longer has use for.  I kind of think this might have been a pillow case originally from the way that big hem was done...and, it had a tag inside.  I love repurposing things that already have usable hems!!

I made a casing for the straps to go through so that they could be adjustable.  

I love the circles and dots on the bottom.  

She was very excited to put it on for her first day of school and even was willing to pose for the camera!

There goes my big girl.  

Monday, August 8, 2011

from old-fashioned slip to belted skirt

Five or six years ago, I found a old-fashioned slip at an antique shop in Harbor County, Michigan (I think it was in Three Oaks).  I love that part of Michigan.  It's only about an hour or so from Chicago.  The beaches are beautiful with crystal clear (salt free!) water.  Besides the beach, there are great restaurants, pretty places to bike ride, and antique shops.  That's pretty much it, so it's very relaxing.  I live in LA, and I'd take the beaches of Michigan any day over what we have here.  Any way, I bought what I think was some kind of antique slip for $10.

I used to wear it with a belt around the waist and cowboy boots, and I loved it!  It started getting kind of scroungy looking around the neckline, though, so I decided to turn it into a skirt.

I chopped of the torso and folded over and stitched the top of the the skirt part.  I also saved the in-tact parts of the neckline by cutting it into panels to make belt loops.  

I also made a belt out of a wide strip that I cut off of a cotton-linen blend pair of pants that I shortened.  I trimmed the edges of the belt with more of the lacy detail from the dress. 

 I hardly had anything left over when I was finished!

Friday, July 1, 2011

from ladies sundress to little girl skirt, top, and sundress

I have a lot of clothes that I bought for my pregnant body that weren't technically maternity, but I still can't bring myself to wear them in my post-natal life.  Pregnant women can get away with wearing things that the rest of us can't.  They're so cute, and we give them a break since they're carrying around a 20 pound bowling ball under their skin.  

I forgot to take pictures of the dress before I cut it up, but it basically looked just like this except much bigger and with a wide ruffle at the bottom.  I cut off the bottom, took in the sides, and moved the straps to make a sundress for my oldest daughter.  She's already grown out of it (she's like a weed lately), so my 20 month-old daughter is wearing it now.  

My older daughter loves to be girly, so she'd much rather wear a flowy top like this than a t-shirt.  I made it with half of the bottom of the dress.  I shaped armholes, made a casing for straps that tie on one shoulder, and closed up the side that was still open.

  I love refashioning because I can save so much time by using details that are already in place, seams, ruffles, hems, etc.

I don't have a serger, but whoever made the original dress did.

I also made a skirt out of the bottom of the dress.  I made a casing and shimmied elastic through it for an easy I-can-do-it-by-myself fit. 

Here is the mini-collection I made from a ladies sundress.  The girls love to wear matching clothes.  I just have to make sure that my older daughter doesn't wear the skirt and shirt at the same time.  It's a bit much.  

Thursday, June 30, 2011

from old sweater to wool pocket planter

I saw this planter on Apartment Therapy and thought that I'd like to try to make it.  I have a small stash of old sweaters that I've felted to make ready for all sorts of projects.  

Here is the sweater after I've cut it up a bit.

There were several holes in the sleeves and sweater body.

I flattened out the sleeves and cut off the part toward the cuff.

I sewed a hem into the top sleeve, sewed the two sleeves together, right sides facing each other, and turned it inside out.  I left a three inch section on top for hanging hardware.

I flattened out the two body pieces and trimmed off the rounded part of the armhole. 

I hemmed one edge, then folded the piece up, leaving a three inch rectangle for hanging hardware.

I sewed up the sides, turned it inside out and stitched up the middle, making two pockets.  I also used a make-shift bias tape out of nylon to reinforce the hanging hardware.  

Here is one of the double pocket planters from the sweater body with grommets attached, allowing it to hang from simple hooks.  I love grommets.  It's holding pepper seedlings.

Here's the sleeve pocket holding two strawberry plants.  I'm really hoping that having the berries up high will keep critters from eating them before we have the chance to.

So far, the pockets are holding up well, draining at a slower rate than traditional planters with holes in the bottom, and aren't leaking out any dirt and mud.  I'll be very interested to see how long they hold up, but considering that they were FREE (since I had all the supplies sitting around already) and only took one of my twins' naps to make, I won't cry if I have to remake them next growing season.

Monday, June 13, 2011

from leftover stir-fry to thai peanut chicken flatbread pizza

One way that I regularly use up my leftovers is by making flatbread pizzas with them.  The whole 
wheat ones from Trader Joe's are a staple in my kitchen.

One night for dinner, we had grilled chicken, rice, stir-fried vegetables, and a Thai peanut sauce.  I made plenty of chicken because I love having leftover food!  How great is it to cook once and make at least two meals?  Luckily, my hungry mungries didn't eat everything I had made for dinner, so I had plenty for flatbread pizzas the next day.  It's so easy to make quick, tasty, healthy, and CHEAP pizzas this way.  Frozen pizzas are such a racket!    

I chopped up the grilled chicken.

I always want to sure that my kids are getting a variety of veggies in their diet.  One of them wouldn't think twice about eating every single thing in this bowl, but the other two have a handful of go-to veggies that they'll eat, and I'm just thankful that a few different colors are represented.

When I make pizza, I grind the veggies up so that the kids just see them as part of the sauce.  My immersion blender did this right in the bowl.  It's quick to do and quick to clean up!

I spread the peanut sauce and veggies on to each flatbread. 

Then, I covered up those veggies with the chopped chicken and some mozzarella cheese.

They're ready to come out of the oven after about 10-15 minutes at 425 degrees.  I added chopped onions, mint, and cilantro to mine and my husbands.  

They were so good!  A six-pack of these breads is just a couple of dollars. I love being able to stretch out my groceries, use food rather than waste it, and cram a LOT of veggies into our pizzas.  I also use these for traditional style pizzas with leftover tomato sauce, bbq chicken pizza (same concept but substitute bbq sauce for peanut sauce), and chicken-spinach-pesto pizza all the time. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

from yard waste and beach combing finds to woodland fairy house

Since I have a three year-old girl, it's not too surprising that we have our share of fairy play around here.  She got a Tinkerbell set in her Easter basket, so she naturally needed a proper house for Tink and her fairy friends.  The next day, we set out to find what we needed.  We took a special nature walk for the occasion, but lo and behold, the best finds were in our own backyard.

Now, she gets to happen upon this scene when she goes outside...

a fairy hideaway made from nature

with tiny details like a window made from a knot that had fallen out of a hollowed out piece of bark,

an empty nut shell serving as a bowl for pixie dust,

beach pebble tables for fairies and their tiny bug pets,

shells as flower vases and fire pits for tiny twig fires,

and a dried up weed as a fairy-sized broom.  Pixie dust just seems to get everywhere!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

from veggie leftovers to clean-out-the-fridge-frittata

I rarely run out of eggs.  I always say that as long as I have eggs, I will have a meal to throw together.  I also never like to waste food.  I love figuring out ways to get multiple meals to coordinate with the same ingredients.  Enter the clean-out-the-fridge-frittata!

Here are my leftovers.  Zucchini and potatoes-both grilled with onions and garlic...and a little bit of leftover bacon (and do I see mushrooms in there?).

I arranged my grilled potato slices in my hot, oiled skillet.  Sometimes I use torn up pieces of bread.

I whisked 6 eggs with a little bit of milk.  I've got some hungry mungries I need to feed.

I recruited some small hands to crumble up the bacon for me.

I have 3 small kids who eat some veggies pretty well, but, for added assurance, I often puree their veggies into our meals.  I used my immersion or "stick" blender. 

I mixed it into the egg mixture.

I poured it on top of the potatoes in the skillet.  Then, when the bottom of the eggs started to set, 

I sprinkled parmegiano-reggiano all over it and

put it into the broiler to finish it off.

I may have had to change one too many diapers after putting it in the broiler and let the cheese get a tad too browned.  It happens easily around here.  

It made a great dinner, though.

The best part is that our leftovers weren't forgotten about or wasted!