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(From the Archives) A Handmade Life–Sewing For The Kitchen

This is part 2 of the “Handmade Life” series here at Sunny Patch.  Today’s post involves sewing and creating for your home.

Sewing seems to be an art that is coming back to life as things become more and more expensive commercially.  The quality of factory made things really seems to be heading down hill, and as soon as you purchase a piece of clothing or fabric based item, it needs mending or ravels or rips.  Sure, there’s folks who will never get beyond the stigma of “homemade” items, but for the rest of the world who appreciates quality, a hand made high quality item is much better than the factory made.

This brings us to sewing for the home.

There’s many things in the home that are made of fabric that we can make ourselves.  Think about what you use in the kitchen: potholders, apron, tea or dish towels, dish cloths, curtains/valances, etc.  This is opportunity to not only save on expense, but also create a kitchen that suits your personality.

Today I’m focusing on potholders and aprons.

For the seamstress, making a potholder is probably one of the simplest projects one can do.  In it’s simplest form, a potholder is batting or some sort of filler sandwiched between 2 pieces of fabric and stitched together.  Of course this can be embellished, patched, made with just about any non-melting fabrics (second and third degree potholder burns just don’t sound too appealing, so use your cool polyesters for other projects).

Tipnut has a page of around 30 patterns just for potholders (free, I might add).  So why not whip out some scraps or fat quarters and try a couple of patterns out.   If you enjoy crocheting and/or knitting, this is a great time to break out some cool stitches and make your own potholders too!  I like to make mine double thickness, using 2 strands of medium weight yarn and crochet.  🙂

Aprons are also a wonderful cost effective items to sew for your kitchen.  Think about it–cooking can be messy.  If it isn’t in your kitchen..are you enjoying what you’re doing????  LOL!  I love my aprons, and really need to add more to my collection.  My son Mr. Kevin has inherited a more “manly” one to use when he helps me in the kitchen (he’s my little cook in training–he has helped make pizza from scratch, and then here recently helped make cinnamon biscuits with Christmas cookie cutters).  His apron gets flour all over it in under a second…perfect reason for him to inherit one. 🙂

Aprons are really easy to make.  Seriously.

At it’s simplest, it’s a square with ties to go around the waist.  At the more complex, it’s a fully covering garment that is as pretty as a beautiful dress.  But, the overall idea is the same–to keep the clothing underneath from getting dirty and stained up from working in the kitchen.

My own aprons are a bit complex.  I use pieces from the Country Cape Dress by Candle on the Hill to build mine.  I use the cape part of the dress and half of the skirt, add ties and a snap and have a fully covering apron.  Ok, it’s a little time consuming, but it works out for my purposes.  I follow directions similar to the ones found at Shepherds Hill with modifications to tie in the back.

Wearing these, I honestly feel more feminine, as well as tend to get more work done.  To me, this is a uniform.  My job is to tend the house and work in the kitchen, why not have a uniform that goes along with that?  I also tend to put an apron on first thing in the morning, and use it through out the day.  It helps open up the oven and in a pinch when I can’t find the potholders it becomes the potholder.  It keeps my clothes from getting totally soaked when doing the daily wash on the washboard and then doing dishes at the sink.  It keeps my handmade clothing from getting stained up and covered in sauces and flour and cooking sprays when I cook our meals.  And it makes a great hand towel when I can’t easily grab one and need it quickly to dry hands and catch the phone or help that child who has to have mom right now.  In the garden during the spring and summer it becomes a make shift basket to hold freshly picked veggies.

The kids see me in my apron, and they seem more at ease.  It’s like a comfort thing for them.  They also know mom isn’t going anywhere when her apron’s on.  They wait and watch for the apron to come off to see where I’m going…like maybe somewhere cool like the park or the store or something.  🙂

So, this is part 2 of the Handmade Life series….  I hope you’ve enjoyed a glimpse into our handmade life.. 🙂

Tip Junkie handmade projects

WestBow Press

Sweet Modesty

Modest attire is so hard to find these days.  Our world loves showing flesh, leaving little to nothing to the imagination….

Here at Sunny Patch, I make clothing that goes against the world!

Miss Jess here is wearing a size 10 blouse and skirt.  The blouse is made of parchment palencia, the skirt in pink palencia.  These are light weight and perfect for spring/summer.

I’ve started making these pieces in sizes 10 and higher especially, as it’s getting harder and harder to find modest dress for those sizes.  I can’t find much of anything on the rack that is appropriate for Miss Jess, and what I do find usually has stretch knits and clings, so I have to buy 2 to 4 sizes larger in order for it not to cling to her.

I believe a little girl should look like a little girl, with sweet dress and a feminine look.  Whether it be skirts, split skirts (culottes), blouses, etc, a little girl can dress modestly and be active!

If you’d like clothing like this for your little girl, click on the pictures to go to our listings on Ebay for ordering.  We’d love to work with you!

The Handmade Life Part 4–Sewing an A-Line Skirt

Here we are at Part 4 of the Handmade Life Series!  Today we are learning how to sew an A-line skirt.

Hey–no screaming and running away!  I saw that!! (grins)

Ok, I’ve started out with the pattern from You Can Make This (dot com).    I highly recommend this pattern as it goes from girls’ sizes 6 up through Juniors 7-9.  Or Misses 0-2.  Basically very easily workable for the size and length you need.  There are no pattern pieces, just use a rotary cutter (or scissors like I do), a ruler, and go to town.

First, you figure out what size you need.  I have been at odds here, as Miss Jess has grown to a 12/14, yet the length of an 8/10.  She’s gotten a wee chunky in the belly, but is also so solid built and athletically built, so this pattern works out great.  So, go to your printed out pattern pages, find the waist measurement you need, and the length you want.  I have cut for a size 12/14 and the length of a 8/10.  Makes for an interesting skirt, but she likes them.

Then you cut your fabric pieces.  This is excellent for scraps!  I’ve blended different blues together in tea cups, butterflies, moires, etc.

Now, get your iron (and a water bottle if you like to steam press as I do), and press em out pretty.  I’m odd that way, but I like steam pressed fabric.

From there, I like to use a French seam.  This is putting the pieces of fabric wrong sides together, then doing a straight stitch.  I then clip close to the seam (without cutting into the seam) and turn the pieces where the right sides are together.

Press the seam and make it all nice and neat.

I do the French seams mainly, as I do not use a serger.  I use a Singer Fashionmate (with all the cute little embroidery stitches that mimic hand stitches),  and a 1973 Singer Scholastic workhorse with straight and zig zag only.

After you piece together your strips of fabric, go back and top stitch.  I do this after each strip is joined, but that’s my preference.

Once this is all done, cut your A line according to instructions in the above mentioned pattern.

Sew the side seams together.  I again use French seams.

Use the pattern’s instructions to make an elastic waist.  I personally fold down the top about  1/4 inch, then another 1/2 inch or 1 inch depending on the size of elastic I have on hand.  I then stitch down the folded area all the way around except for maybe an inch left open.  I slip a safety pin through the elastic and guide it through the casing and all the way around.  Then I adjust the elastic to where I think would be comfortable, and make sure it hasn’t twisted during insertion.  I then stitch the ends of the elastic together and snip off leftovers.  I then allow the elastic to slide into the casing and then stitch down the little opening.  Afterward, I go around to the opposite side of the waistband and stitch a vertical stitch across the elastic to tack it in place so there’s less chance of rolling.

Then hem the bottom.  I really prefer using bias, but you can also fold up and stitch.

There you are–a simple A line skirt!

If you like a single fabric print, simply add the number of fabric lengths together and add 1/2 inch per panel and then use that number to cut a single panel of fabric instead of the strips.

Enjoy!
Tip Junkie handmade projects

The Southern Product Queen
Raising Homemakers

A Handmade Life–Sewing For The Kitchen

This is part 2 of the “Handmade Life” series here at Sunny Patch.  Today’s post involves sewing and creating for your home.

Sewing seems to be an art that is coming back to life as things become more and more expensive commercially.  The quality of factory made things really seems to be heading down hill, and as soon as you purchase a piece of clothing or fabric based item, it needs mending or ravels or rips.  Sure, there’s folks who will never get beyond the stigma of “homemade” items, but for the rest of the world who appreciates quality, a hand made high quality item is much better than the factory made.

This brings us to sewing for the home.

There’s many things in the home that are made of fabric that we can make ourselves.  Think about what you use in the kitchen: potholders, apron, tea or dish towels, dish cloths, curtains/valances, etc.  This is opportunity to not only save on expense, but also create a kitchen that suits your personality.

Today I’m focusing on potholders and aprons.

For the seamstress, making a potholder is probably one of the simplest projects one can do.  In it’s simplest form, a potholder is batting or some sort of filler sandwiched between 2 pieces of fabric and stitched together.  Of course this can be embellished, patched, made with just about any non-melting fabrics (second and third degree potholder burns just don’t sound too appealing, so use your cool polyesters for other projects).

Tipnut has a page of around 30 patterns just for potholders (free, I might add).  So why not whip out some scraps or fat quarters and try a couple of patterns out.   If you enjoy crocheting and/or knitting, this is a great time to break out some cool stitches and make your own potholders too!  I like to make mine double thickness, using 2 strands of medium weight yarn and crochet.  🙂

Aprons are also a wonderful cost effective items to sew for your kitchen.  Think about it–cooking can be messy.  If it isn’t in your kitchen..are you enjoying what you’re doing????  LOL!  I love my aprons, and really need to add more to my collection.  My son Mr. Kevin has inherited a more “manly” one to use when he helps me in the kitchen (he’s my little cook in training–he has helped make pizza from scratch, and then here recently helped make cinnamon biscuits with Christmas cookie cutters).  His apron gets flour all over it in under a second…perfect reason for him to inherit one. 🙂

Aprons are really easy to make.  Seriously.

At it’s simplest, it’s a square with ties to go around the waist.  At the more complex, it’s a fully covering garment that is as pretty as a beautiful dress.  But, the overall idea is the same–to keep the clothing underneath from getting dirty and stained up from working in the kitchen.

My own aprons are a bit complex.  I use pieces from the Country Cape Dress by Candle on the Hill to build mine.  I use the cape part of the dress and half of the skirt, add ties and a snap and have a fully covering apron.  Ok, it’s a little time consuming, but it works out for my purposes.  I follow directions similar to the ones found at Shepherds Hill with modifications to tie in the back.

Wearing these, I honestly feel more feminine, as well as tend to get more work done.  To me, this is a uniform.  My job is to tend the house and work in the kitchen, why not have a uniform that goes along with that?  I also tend to put an apron on first thing in the morning, and use it through out the day.  It helps open up the oven and in a pinch when I can’t find the potholders it becomes the potholder.  It keeps my clothes from getting totally soaked when doing the daily wash on the washboard and then doing dishes at the sink.  It keeps my handmade clothing from getting stained up and covered in sauces and flour and cooking sprays when I cook our meals.  And it makes a great hand towel when I can’t easily grab one and need it quickly to dry hands and catch the phone or help that child who has to have mom right now.  In the garden during the spring and summer it becomes a make shift basket to hold freshly picked veggies.

The kids see me in my apron, and they seem more at ease.  It’s like a comfort thing for them.  They also know mom isn’t going anywhere when her apron’s on.  They wait and watch for the apron to come off to see where I’m going…like maybe somewhere cool like the park or the store or something.  🙂

So, this is part 2 of the Handmade Life series….  I hope you’ve enjoyed a glimpse into our handmade life.. 🙂

Tip Junkie handmade projects

WestBow Press

Hand Made Christmas Ornies

As we get nearer to Jesus’ birthday, I’ve enjoyed making more handmade pretties to beautify the tree.  The kids think it’s cool as can be that Mom makes a lot of things and they can help choose colors and baubles to put on different items.

This year it’s been taking the “shatterproof” ball ornaments and adding to them.

I’ve also learned something…they are not shatterproof.  The folks who named them that for marketing neglected to come to our home and try them out.  I have the broken pieces of these “shatterproof” balls to testify that the makers of these balls are not marketing correctly.  First, they do not hold up to a wild 6 month old Russian Blue who looks so sweet and cuddly.

Second, they do not hold up to being strung on a line and hung outside in the Kansas wind.  And being slammed by a door in the wind.  At 40 mph.

Third, they do not hold up to a 200+ person stepping on them.

Like I said, they didn’t test them in our house.  Shame on them!!!

Anyway, back to the main idea here.  I took these little ornie balls and painted some of them pink.  Or, as Miss Jessica says, “PIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINK!” LOL  I then added little satin roses to the top of the balls.

I also took the shiny ornie balls and added flowers, cameo buttons, lace, ribbon, rick rack, etc to make fru fru balls.

Other ornies in the photos are simple and inexpensive glittery pieces.  But, these pieces show best what is at the heart–the church, representative of Christ, and the other handmade pieces from the kids that are scattered over the tree.

The decorated ornie balls are a thrifty way to add a touch of whimsy.  They just take things you may already have in your stash–no need to go out and purchase a bunch of craft supplies, just use whatever you have on hand, some glue, and some imagination.  For pennies you can have a handmade Christmas ornie in no time, and the memories as well that come from family time making them!  Get your children involved, and make some fun times and memories for years to come.  The mess is temporary (unless you’re using crazy glue, and well…we all know what that’s like).

Oh…and if you’re like us, you may have 4 legged children as well.  We added bells to the bottom of the tree to act as an “alarm”.  They work well for both 2 legged and 4 legged children.

A-Wise-Woman-Builds-Her-Home

Have a Merry Christmas!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Hand Made Christmas Table Decor

It’s nearing Christmas, and as with many other families, our finances didn’t afford fancy store bought decorations and frills.  I don’t usually mind not having tons of frills anyway, but this year, I wanted to make something simple but sweet to add a little whimsy to our home.

Turns out, hubby had a crystal bowl that hadn’t been used since..well..forever.  It was sitting amongst my supplies on the shelves.  I thought it was too pretty to just let sit and collect dust, so I brought it out, cleaned out the family of dust bunnies (it was a sad good bye), and let it dry well.  Then, I added in Epsom salts (and a little Kosher salt–I ran out of Epsom after a while).  I located my tea lights, and was delighted to find some scented ones as well as the plain white ones.  For today they are set up in 4 lights, but the first night I had them out, I had 8 in the bowl.  Very pretty when lit!!!  Very simple, with just the cost of Epsom salts (which after this can be reused in my foot bath) and tea lights (that I purchased on clearance after Christmas last year at Dillon’s.)

Before I did this bowl, I broke out the canning jars.  I have had them stashed for different storage needs–buttons, tea lights, etc.  They were empty and ready to go, so I put Epsom salts in them.  The jar sizes varied, so it made for an even better display!

Please forgive the cow behind them.  That would be a vintage 3 sectioned cow canister set that holds my tea bags and sweetener packets.  The Heifer has her own special place on the table.

 

 I think maybe next year the crystal bowl may hold mini ornament balls or something colorful and joyful.  Or candy–YUM!

Easy and thrifty, this is a quick little idea you can put together in minutes!  Then turn off the lights and enjoy the glow from your table.  The kids loved it–they all went “ooooooooooooh” and “aaaaaaaaaaah” as we had the candles all lit and the tree lights on…very pretty sight!

I hope you enjoy the simple things this Christmas!  Remember, it’s Jesus’ birthday, let’s keep the focus on Him, and ways to glorify Him!

–Angie

Tip Junkie handmade projects