Saturday, April 26, 2014

Sewing for Boys: Little Heartbreaker Pants as Shorts

The last time I made the Little Heartbreaker Pants from the Sewing for Boys Book into shorts, they were a huge hit.  They fit perfectly, and have weathered well (my younger son is in them now).  They are fun but polished.  My only beef is that I need to iron them every 4-5 wearings to keep the top front flat waistband looking flat.  I suppose it was to be expected.

I had a few issues this time, namely, that the rise in the back seems low and that I had to cut a bunch of fabric off the backs to make the hem even, then now the hems seem shorter and angled in back.  

I wonder why I didn't have these issues the first time around?  Maybe making four at a time hinders quality control?  Maybe not.

But the boys chose their fabric (my younger son got the top pair and the others are for my older son), and they love the result.

My younger son actually would love a pair of the sunflower ones. I am going to have to start buying more than a yard of fabric at a time!

One other change this time- as seen in the last photo- is that I finished all the seams.  They are all finished then turned under-- there is great care in the underpinnings of these...

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sewing For Boys: Bobby's Bathers

I made Bobby's Bathers a while ago - from the Sewing for Boys Book- and those upcycled shorts have slowly become a favorite.  

We were in need of another pair and I chose to make a few of these.  They are a bit long, but really comfortable to wear and my son likes the "treasure pocket."  I made these, knowing the book sizes large and skipping the tabs and pulls in front.

These bottom two pairs are in a larger and smaller size, and the boys have gotten comments every time they have had them on.  I mean, they are iridescent.  The boys love matching, and they love having freedom to move.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

DIY Kids Workbench

Here is our finished product!
No, I didn't choose the colors or do a lot of the painting.

But... we love it! It is sturdy and the boys can pound and screw into it, or on it, or even sit on it.

But how did we make it?

I found some scrap wood and cut sides to be even lengths with my circular saw and screwed them into the top (we did this step ages ago but the finished product wasn't all that sturdy).  

Then we cut scrap 1x4 to be side bracing (you can see the first scraps are darker, pressure treated wood and the 1x4s are lighter wood) and screwed four pieces in.

Then my younger assistant chose the paint and went at it.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds with Salt

2 T honey
1/4 c coconut oil

Melt chocolate in a double boiler.  Add coconut oil and honey.  Stir to combine.

Either dip the almonds in the chocolate and lay them on a parchment paper sheet, or add them to the chocolate and pour it out together.  Sprinkle salt.

Freeze until solid, about an hour.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

DIY Passover Matzoh Bag (for Sedar Table)

 This bag has 3 compartments, one for each ceremonial matzoh, and is used during the Passover Sedar.

It was QUICK, in fact, I made it in the 30 minutes between finishing the gefilte fish and showering before our guests arrived.

To make it, I took a box of matzoh and measured a square of fabric around it.   Then I added a seam allowance.  Then I cut a matching piece for the back.  Then I cut two other pieces for the dividers.  I hemmed all of the pieces for the top.  I did a binding for the edging by using a ribbon.  You could turn it and topstitch, or make binding.  

I loved this addition to our Sedar!  

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Monthly Garden To-Do List: April

April is already the end of Spring.  Some years, it is hot enough to go swimming outside here, and at least to start the water table and sandbox play in the garden.  The Dutch Irises bloom in the background, but the dandelions are in full bloom as well.  The pill bugs are out of hibernation, so go look under a rock and grab one.

Picking wild plums.
What else is going on in the garden in April?

  • The California Poppies are blooming!
  • Strawberries are here.  We love to pick them in our garden, and go pick them at a big farm just inland.  Mmmm. Harbinger of summer.
  • The wild plums are ready, and all over town.  They ripen at different times, depending on the color.  First are the darkest purple ones, then the red ones, then the yellow/ green ones.  All are delicious raw, or we often pit them with a cherry pitter and either make a compote or bake with them.  We've also had luck with wild plum sorbet.
  • It's still a good time to ferment cabbage in the kitchen~ making your own sauerkraut is not only delicious, but a nice way to get your hands "dirty."  There is so much variety of recipes from around the world- check out plain sauerkraut, or Latin American Cordito, or Korean Kim Chee- they are all delicious and high in probiotics.
  • It's also a good month to feed the birds.  Try making a feeder from a pine cone with unsalted peanut butter slathered on it, then rolled into wild bird seed.  You may get birds ~ or maybe just squirrels.
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