2.28.2011

Kid's underwear sewing pattern

I feel like my life is going to be all about potty training for the next couple of years.  I have one who's almost out of pull ups and two that are about to start their training.  I HATE potty training.  I was going to do it without pull ups (because Super Nanny doesn't like them and I'm a big fan of Super Nanny, she's pretty much the only person who I will take parenting advice from because I'm stubborn like that). BUT... after going through an entire package of underwear in a day (or half a day) I gave in and got the pull ups.  Anyway, I"m getting off track.

The point here, was you can never have enough kid's underwear and I don't like to spend a lot of money on something that may get tossed int he garbage from a bad accident (because I have a sensitive gag reflex and soiled underpants are high on my gag list).  I knew there were a lot of sew your own underwear tutorials out there but I didn't think I could do it, until I saw this tutorial at Kitschy Coo on etsy.  It's the easiest pattern I've seen and sews up really quickly.

The pattern (as you can see above) uses very few pieces so it really cuts down on the sewing (and time!).  And get this, it uses old t-shirts! (or you can use new knit fabric if you prefer).  I started with a plain T to test the pattern out but I'm really looking forward to using the kid's shirts (with their favorite characters) they they have outgrown.  That huge pile of outgrown kids clothes now have a whole new purpose!  Not to mention I'm now able to put characters on them that are hard to find (like Bullseye from Toy Story, my son really likes him and it's hard to find anything, let alone underpants, with that horse on them) with a bit of iron on transfer and a white shirt!

The quality of your finished product will of course depend on the quality of the fabric you use.  I plan on only using nice, soft, shirts.  The underwear are unisex and provide room for boys while not being to baggy on girls.  This pattern is for sizes 2-6 so you will get your moneys worth of use from it.

You don't need any special equipment.  She suggests a serger if you have one, but it's not required and I don't know how to use mine yet so I used a plain old sewing machine and it turned out great.  I will be learning to use my serge machine so that I can really whip through these babies!

I had just gotten a bleach pen (have you seen all the fun bleach pen projects out there lately?) and when I asked Hudson what he wanted on his new undies he said a paper air plane.  I scratched my head for a second then remembered the bleach pen, perfect opportunity to try it out!  Well, it failed.
There was a big air bubble in the pen when I was drawing the plane :(  So I ended up with this....
BUT I plan on going over it with some fabric paint and all will be forgiven.  Either way, I will never have to buy a pair of store undies for the kids again!

Also from Kitschy Coo, how cute is this jacket!
Just sayin.  I think it's adorable!  Pattern in my size please!!!

You can also check out the Kitschy Coo blog for sewing inspiration here.

2.27.2011

Shabby Apple Dress WINNER!

I hope you all had a nice weekend.  Ours was filled with Alumni basketball and hanging out at home with the kids.  I also FINALLY took the serger my grandmother gave me years ago (after getting to frustrated to use it herself) out of storage determined to at least try to use it.  I only got as far as setting it up and running through a couple scraps to test it out, but it I'm already in love.  Really it couldn't have come at a better time as I'm trying to make more kids clothes (and buy less).

But that's not why your hearing from me this Sunday evening.  We have a winner of the Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway! 
Lucky 147
The Gibson's 147 said... I love the Feel the Rhythm, when you posted the picture of them on your blog, my heart skipped a beat! I love peek toe shoes and those are just GLAM!

Congratulations! I will be e-mailing you with your coupon code for your Cider dress! Lucky girl!

2.25.2011

Rolled Roses Bib Necklace DIY

Don't forget, today is the last day to enter the Shabby Apple Dress giveaway!

So this is in no way original, but I've finally jumped on the band wagon and made some rolled rose bib necklaces.  I haven't decided how to string them yet, I am thinking ribbon, but am still open to suggestions. I know there are a lot of tutorials out there on this so I'm just going to go through the basics and if you need more details you can ask.
Lay out your rolled roses on a piece of felt how you would like them.  With your favorite fabric glue, tack each one down with a good amount of glue. The glue will help stiffen your bib so as long as you don't get messy you can't have to much (in my opinion). 
Allow to dry, then trim as close as you can so that the felt is not seen from the front.
As I mentioned, I wasn't sure how I wanted to string my necklace so I put rings on each end that will allow me to attach pretty much anything to it.  To attach the rings I used a glob of the same fabric glue with the ring half on the felt.  (that will make more sense when you see a pic of it coming up).

I also knew I didn't want to leave the felt exposed as I didn't want it to pill.  I used a scrap of white cotton fabric, covered the felt with fabric glue and sandwiched the rings between the felt and the cotton.  Allow to dry and again trim.  When you get to the rings (if you choose to use them like I did) cut a little extra tab in the cotton and pull through the ring.  Fold over and tack so that your ring is even more secure.


If you want you can use a bit of fray check on your roses or on the back cotton. You can also add a bit of sparkle in random centers, or leave plain, I was torn with this one and think it looked great either way. I used enough glue that I didn't need to.  I can't wait to wear this one with a white T or tank and jeans.  I was thinking maybe a yellow ribbon to string it, the yellow I have on hand is to wide and didn't lay nice.

I also made this one the same way...
The white rose was done the same way as the rolled roses but instead of twisting the fabric I was gathering. Again, not sure if I should use ribbon or chain on this one.  Suggestions?

2.23.2011

Beginning Photography, figureing it all out

I took photography courses at a local college way back when we used film, remember that?  Okay so it wasn't THAT long ago, but I was bummed when the class focused more on the developing of the film than teaching me to use my camera.  It left me so confused that I became afraid of the manual setting on my camera for year.  Recently I mentioned to you guys that I was done being afraid.  I took my camera off auto and have not looked back.  Maybe you've noticed my photos have improved, maybe you haven't because I used to use photoshop to brighten every single image I took!  I still love photoshop, but I'm amazed that I don't need to edit 90% of the photos I take now!  Yay!  That means more time in my day, which is always a good thing.

I started out going through some tutorials on different photography blogs trying to learn the basics.  I scoured the library and book stores for books that would really break it down to a beginner level.  Something that would make all the jargon click in my brain, that "Aha" moment.  I found a TON of really great books, but nothing that would really focus on getting started.  Breaking down the terms enough for me to really retain the information.  FINALLY I came across a photographer who put it all in basic terms, takes your hand, walks you through it, and put it all in one handy little pocket size book for me! Seriously, basics! If your comfortable with knowing what F-stop, ISO, and shutter speed are, how they work, and how to best use them together then your beyond this little guide.  But if your just getting started and want to understand these things well enough to retain the information and really build a foundation than let me introduce you to Kristen Duke Photography and...
The e-book is $10 and is e-mailed to you directly (purchase on the sidebar of her site).  Kristen suggests that you print it out and bind it so that you can take it along with you while you practice.  There are a lot of great images that show you not only the desired result, but the results you get when your settings need to be adjusted.  That is what gave me my "Aha" moment.  I'm a very visual person, so the examples that show exactly what goes wrong if you do this or that really helped me soak up the information. 

If your ready to take your camera off auto with just some really basic knowledge that gives you the foundation to build your skills I really recommend this e-book.  It's short (18 pages, including 6 that are strictly photo examples), but well worth the investment and a heck of a lot cheaper than a college course!

2.21.2011

{FREE} Printable Camera Poster

I ♥ printables!  It's no secret, I have a whole shop full of them.  The other day I saw this cute shirt on Pinterest and it inspired me to create these. 
*Update 2012- I'm sorry, this download is no longer available :( The account I had used to share the files expired and I didn't back them up so I no longer have access to the files either.  Sorry. 

Click here to download Blue
Click here to download Orange
Click here to download Pink

Sized to print out on standard paper and fit an 8x10 frame.


And if you haven't already, make sure to enter to win the Shabby Apple Dress!

2.18.2011

Knee Socks to Toddler Tights

First off I have to give credit where credit is due.  I saw this idea on Thrive, she has a tutorial on how to make woman's knee socks into tights for girls (if your child is older, hop on over to her tutorial for a larger version than the one I'm making here) oddly enough we used the exact same socks, total coincidence.  Since my child is a bit younger I had to modify my version a bit so I will share a tutorial with you for the toddler size.  Thanks for the inspiration Thrive!

What you need-
Pair or woman's knee high socks, mine were like two bucks at Target
Old leggings or tights (or child size boxer briefs)
Sewing machine
Child's foot

First you will need to turn your socks inside out and put them on your child's foot.  Line the child's heel up in the heel of the sock and mark where the toe ends.  With that mark as your guide, cut the toe of the sock off mimicking the round curve of the original toe. Sew the new toe shut.
Cut the legs off your old leggings or tights just below the crotch.  If you don't have old leggings or tights that you are willing to sacrifice, child size boxer briefs would work perfect!
Trim the top band off each sock, the part that would go around your knee.  

Turn your socks right side out and your your leggings inside out. Insert a sock into each leg hole (right sides together) making sure to point the toes of the socks to the front of the leggings. Pin and sew around with a zig zag stitch.

Turn the whole thing right side out again and voila! Tights for your little one.

I was completely surprised that the feet of the socks weren't way to wide for my two year old, but the heal fits perfectly and they turned out adorable! The length of the legs and the stretch of sock material even gives her some room to grow!

2.16.2011

Works in Progress

I don't have anything completed to show you today.  Well kind of.... my main focus has been on my etsy shop this week as I'm getting ready to share some hopefully big news with you soon! So the shop has been getting a makeover.  Much cleaner looking now, and all digital!

I've also been using up some scraps and making rolled roses for the first time. They are just as easy as all the tutorials say.  I would have made up a tutorial, but there are already a ton of great ones out there. Like this one!  I will add things to the centers as I use them on projects.

And doing some simple stitching from some great typography inspiration I've been gathering on my Pintrest board.
I ran out of this color floss with one letter to go, grrrrrr!

What are you working on right now?

Don't forget to enter the Shabby Apple Giveaway

2.14.2011

Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway!

The girls over at Shabby Apple stopped over to offer you an amazing opportunity.  As readers of MJ&G they thought our styles were very similar, vintage with a modern twist, and they were absolutely right!  This was the first time I had been to their site, but I was delighted to find Shabby Apple has vintage influenced woman's dresses and dresses for little girls along with amazing jewelry, accessories and really fun shoes.

I'm completely drooling over these....

And I know Galoshes would fall in love with these.....
I also really want this dress for N....
 Now that I have you all drooling all over yourself, maybe twitching a bit with excitement, before you all go stampeding over to Shabby Apple you will want to hear this....  You can win your very own Shabby Apple dress right here at MJ&G.  To be specific, you can win THIS to die for dress that I personally picked out (I tried to pick something that I thought could flatter a variety of figures, because I'm a curvy girl).  I hope you love it as much as I do!

The link above takes you to the page that tells you more about this particular dress.  I think it looks really versatile.  It could be worn with w belt and sweater for casual or heels on it's own for a night out. 

How to win-
You guys know I like to keep it simple without a ton of hoops to jump through.  So you have two chances to enter.  Either/or/both it's up to you.

1. Go to Shabby Apple and tell me which shoes are your fave, because I'm a shoe girl.
2. "Like" Shabby Apple on Facebook!(Leave a separate comment saying you did)

Giveaway ends February 25th at midnight, central time.  Good Luck! Winner will be chosen at random through random.org

But wait! There's more!  LOL.  I should have been a pitchman.  
Shabby Apple is graciously offering MJ&G readers 10% off any purchase.  Just use coupon code
mjandg10off
at check out! Now go get yourself something fun, you deserve it.

2.12.2011

Did you Contact Me?

I have recently become aware that my replies to the "Contact Me" form are not getting delivered anymore.  I'm not sure why all of a sudden this isn't working for me, I am still getting your contacts, your just not getting mine.  I HATE the idea that anyone might think that I just ignored their e-mail and didn't get back to them.  If by chance you have contacted me and have NOT heard back from me, please contact me again and I will make sure my response gets to you. I'm not ignoring you!!!!  So sorry to anyone who may have gotten lost in the chaos.  Hope you having a wonderful weekend.  We are getting some fairly warm weather here this week so I'm looking forward to the break from the cold!

2.11.2011

Spring Coat...... Check!

I've been wanting to sew more clothes for my kids but I didn't think my sewing skills were advanced enough to really make anything wearable.  That's why I love tutorials and patterns from blogs and for sale on etsy.  The step by step directions along with photos really make everything easy enough for me to make some cute stuff.  So I finished Nadia's spring coat, but I love it so much I'm going to make her a few more!  I found that the jacket could even be reversible with a couple buttons on the inside so I went for it!


There are so many great, free, patterns out there.  But the one I used I purchased off of etsy, here, and could not have been happier with it.  It is REALLY well written.  I did add top stitching in places that the pattern did not call for it, I just think everything lays a little nicer when you do.  Also the extra buttons to make it reversible as I mentioned.  But I think it's very GAP looking!

2.09.2011

Dough Knots

On my last grocery trip I picked up a package of crescent rolls with the intention of making the kids pigs in a blanket for the first time..... and then I saw these on Pintrest-
They were super simple, though I suggest making twice as many knots (two tubes of crescents, you won't need double the sugar as there is WAY more than you need for a batch in the recipe). You can find the how to where I found it, on Big2Beautiful.  Everyone in my family ate them up happily and they were next to no mess for me to prepare! This will be something I definitely keep on hand for last minute coffee guests.

2.07.2011

Valentine Inspiration

I don't do much for Valentines day, just wanted to share a little inspiration. I ♥ typography, so I came up with this.

je t'aime

What I did during the blizzard



 The plan is to frame it and put it in my daughters room at our next place.  I want her room to be super girly and airy.  Not sure if I'm loving the ombre or not.  But I think once it's in a frame it should look very cute!  I found the inspiration typography on pintrest.

2.04.2011

DIY Pretty Shoes

I could hardly wait to try out this insole refashion when I saw it over at Grosgrain.  She came up with the idea to replace your insoles with pretty fabric after buying some shoes at a thrift store.  I must say the one thing that keeps me from buying shoes second hand is if their insoles are dirty.  I'm a bit of a germaphobe.  Really it was only just in the last couple years that I would buy used shoes at all.  Anyway, I'm getting off track.  Check out my new insoles.

I've actually done a lot more than just these two pair.  It's super simple and I had all the supplies I needed already (I used the spray glue option she mentions in the tutorial).  I think I will even be doing this to brand new shoes, its just too cute!  Plus next time I go to someone's house that I have to take my shoes off they will see how cute it is too! So it's not just for me, although it is a bit like wearing cute undies, makes you feel special even if your the only one who knows it's there.

If your looking to see other things that inspire me I just recently started a board over at Pintrest (thanks to a certain reader in a gorilla suit, I'm now addicted!).  I'm working on collecting ideas for Hudson's 4th birthday party (this summer).  It's going to be camping themed so you will see a section for that.  Otherwise it's a place where I will collect everything that inspires me to create the ideas I share here with you.  Stop on over!

2.03.2011

♥My Mini Oven ♥

You may have noticed I've been in the kitchen a lot more lately than normal.  It's no coincidence that I just got a new mini oven from CSN stores.  Right now I'm operating in a temporary kitchen where, up until my new mini oven, I was trying to bake in a pizza oven or my TINY toaster oven.  Every time I tried to bake something more than two inches tall the tops would burn (or worse, start on fire!).  What a pain.  I wasn't making cookies with the kids much because I could only bake one pan at a time.  It wasn't working for anyone.

You guys know I work with CSN stores from time to time testing out all the great things they offer.  Well this time I decided to test out their kitchen appliance section and ordered this little gem.
It's the Hamilton Beach convection counter top oven.  Let me just say, I'm in love.  There are two racks in it so I can bake two sheets of cookies (or two whole frozen pizzas) at once! Those cute little heart cookies from yesterday's post... yep, made them in here! It's the perfect size for my little space.  The glass door is a feature I didn't even know I wanted until the first time I used it and realized how amazingly useful it is!  You can see into this better than I can see into a real oven! Which means I don't have to open the door (letting all the heat out) a million times to check my food.

I've used the oven multiple times a day every day since I got it and I could not be happier.  We've made pizzas, giant cupcakes (seriously, they're huge, and the tops actually had room to rise), chicken, lasagna, fresh baked bread, several batches of heart cookies, you get the picture, it's an oven.  You can cook an entire chicken (or small turkey) in here!  It broils (and comes with two pans and a broiling rack).  There is also a rotisserie version of the oven if your into that sort of thing.  

Not only does it do everything a large oven can do, but it heats up faster and uses less electricity.  Have something that needs to cook at two different temps?  Use this in addition to your normal oven.  Or if you have something small to heat up or bake that you don't need a huge oven for.  I will continue to use this oven even when we move out of our temporary kitchen.  I'm smitten.

Why I love to shop at CSN stores..... There were a lot of different options when I decided to try out a mini oven.  How did I narrow it down?  Well there was one brand I ruled out right away, just because I don't care for the brand in anything they make (sorry). Hamilton Beach is a name I trust and they seemed to have the best options so I compared all the HB options.  Lucky for me CSN stores allows their customers to review the products right on their website.  It even makes it easier for me to read by having a pros and cons section right at the top of each review.  The mini oven I chose had a customer rating of 4.8 (out of 5) stars.  I read each review and ordered with confidence.

The stock status at the time said "unknown".  Usually you can see exactly how many of each product they have (which I love).  I was afraid it was going to take a while for my oven to arrive with this unknown status.  No such problem, with FREE shipping I had my oven in less than a week!  I was thrilled.

Thank you CSN stores for continuing to make me a happy customer.   I'm off to bake!  Catch you later.

2.02.2011

Whipped Cream Alternative

To me there are few things better than whipped cream out of a can.  Yeah I said it, A CAN! Despite the dirty looks my grandma gives me every time I turn my nose up at her real hand made whipped cream and reach for that beautiful sleek can of goodness, I love the stuff.  This recipe does not even come close to the goodness of canned cream people, but..... if your looking for a healthier alternative, or something fun for the kids it's worth giving a try.  You MUST however like bananas, because no matter how much flavoring you put in it, it still tastes like bananas.  Here's why-

Ingredients-
2 large ripe bananas
3 tsp sugar
2 egg whites
flavoring (optional) any extract you enjoy, make sure it goes well with banana flavor! 

Chill your bowl and bananas, use cold eggs and whip everything together on high.  Whip until fluffy, do not over whip or everything will start to melt.  Once you see it's fluffed up, your golden.
It was really to light to put between these cookies, but it looked so pretty I couldn't resist.  Plus it was fun for the kids to have some on a cookie rather than frosting (do you get I'm not a frosting person yet, I seem to keep mentioning it).  I did not put any flavoring in the cream shown, it has a wonderful buttery color to it.  I did try some chocolate extract in another batch, turned a not so beautiful brown, and still tasted like banana. But I like banana, and I liked this alternative.  Especially as a fun dip for the kids to dip other fruits in.  I think I will try it with a grape/nut salad mix, you know the kind that is normally loaded with whipped cream.  
Yum!