Thursday, April 27, 2017

Handmade in the Wild: Hometown Pride

We've now lived here in Mitchell, SD for almost three years, and we have just been loving it! 

One day last summer, they were serving free ice cream downtown... we definitely took advantage of that! Ev loves driving past the Corn Palace every chance we get ;) 

We host a rodeo in town every summer, and there is a free meal served the night before the action truly starts. I'm hoping that we finally attend one of the real sessions this coming summer! We loved going to rodeos when we lived out in Great Falls, so now it's time to introduce the kiddos to it!

Of course, there is the Corn Palace Festival - complete with carnival rides!! Ev loves rides, and James will be right there beside her next year! So much to look forward to!!!

Peekaboo's 4-in-1 Sunhat with stash fabrics (blog post)
A modified Riley Tank from Made for Mermaids using a ruffle fabric from either Hancock or JoAnns.
A simple tank dress that I was testing for Simple Simon and Co, but it never was released - fabric is from Art Gallery and Walmart.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Repurposing T-Shirts

I guess saving all those shirts throughout the years has payed off ;) 

For a cousin's new baby... to remind them of the connection back to Sinai, SD!

There's only a few people that I can sew using shirts that has my maiden name on the back!

Patterns: Peekaboo Pattern Shop's Lullaby Bodysuit and Patterns for Pirates' Playground pants.

A fun reminder of the hours playing T-ball and softball under the summer sun!

Pattern: Peekaboo Pattern Shop's Lullaby Bodysuit

It was a hard year for my high school graduation class - this fall, one classmate lost her husband to a hard-fought battle with brain cancer. Two months later, we lost a classmate in a tragic hunting accident where he and his younger brother both lost their lives. I graduated with about 40 other students after spending the previous 13 years together in the same building... so we're a tight-knit class, and these losses were very hard to deal with.

Well, that classmate who died in the hunting accident died about a week or so before his birthday. On that birthday, his little girl was born. I wasn't quite ready to cut up my senior shirt, but thankfully a classmate mailed me his, so I could make this bunny for the new baby. May she always know the love of her father and the support from his classmates.

Patterns: Bunny Lovey by UnlikelyNest

I also made this outfit for her - the top uses a shirt that my mom decided was too small for her (she still teaches at our school). 

Patterns: Peekaboo Pattern Shop Violet Tunic and Go-To Pattern's free baby legging pattern

These were made for a benefit for that same family. I was thankful that I could do something to help!

Pattern: Peekaboo Pattern Shop Violet Tunic 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Handmade in the Wild: She likes to match...

The little girlie likes to match! It is inevitable that when I make something for myself, that she will ask several times if she gets to have something that matches! Truth be told, I'm not huge on matching... I feel a bit silly and too-cutesy-cutesy for my taste... but she won't want to match forever, plus it gives me a way to use up some scraps, so I'll continue to make a few more matching outfits every now and then :)

Top picture: Peekaboo Pattern Shop Violet Tunic and Hey June's Lane Raglan using an Art Gallery Print and grey solid... both from Raspberry Creek Fabrics on Etsy.

Bottom picture: See here :)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Halifax for Me!

This was definitely my favorite top to wear last fall and this winter. It's so cozy and is a step up from a typical sweatshirt that I would normally wear :) I hope to make a few more for next year!

Pattern: Hey June Halifax
Fabric: Solid French Terry (Charcoal) and Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannel, both purchased from Raspberry Creek Fabrics on Etsy.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Handmade in the Wild: Hiking, Hiking, Hiking

We hope to instill a love of the outdoors with the kids, and we look forward to lots of outdoor adventures as a family!

Enjoying the trails around the local lake... this was probably after Dan took them both out on the kayak first. Don't ask me why he's not wearing pants because I can't remember!

My parents have a small trail that winds through their shelter belt. We love hiking it during the spring, summer and fall! I'm thankful that my dad has taken so much time to create this trail!

Ev is growing up! She insisted on pulling her brother in the wagon while we were on just a short walk around the neighborhood. Little brother always appreciates the attention :)

Skirt: Blog Post
Grey Floral Pants: Made for Mermaids Bonny Leggings made from clearance leggings from Walmart
Sweatshirt: Hatteras Hoodie pattern from Hey June Handmade using a upcyled flannel pillowcase and oatmeal french terry from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pretty in Peplums

Remember when I tested two different patterns for Sew Much Ado Patterns last year? Well, Abby (the designer) gifts each pattern tester a free pattern from her collection as a thank-you for helping with the process. The first pattern I chose was the Schoolboy Vest, and then the second pattern I chose was the Pretty-in-Peplum top and dress. Let's just say that I went crazy with making these once I received the pattern!!!

Here's one in Springs Creative princess knit and Art Gallery knit for the sleeves... we gave this as a birthday gift to one of Evelyn's friends. 

I won this "Happy Fall Y'all" panel from Peekaboo Pattern Shop, so I purchased just a little bit of coordinating material to make a fall top for Ev. It probably didn't get worn as much as it could have because we were having difficulties understanding the difference between a one-day holiday and a full season... toddler/preschoolers... :)

She definitely wore this one a few times though - a Halloween top made from two different thrifted tops I purchased the year before. 

Last, but not least, I made coordinating tops for Ev and her cousins! I finished them in time for Kae's birthday celebration last October! The girls really do love matching, and these tops are so easy and quick! The green fabric is designed by Lizzy House, but I can't remember which fabric manufacturer she designs for. The solids either came from my local shop or from Raspberry Creek Fabrics on Etsy.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Handmade in the Wild: Mermaid Girl

I made this mermaid dress out of a remnant over a year and a half ago. She didn't wear it much the first summer, but she chose it often last summer!!!

It was perfect for Evelyn's first theater experience... we had a mother-daughter date to the area's community theater production of the Little Mermaid. She was a little scared of both King Triton and Ursula, but she still loves to talk about it every time we pass the theater!

Enjoying the bike trails!

We love how close the bike trails are to our house, and last summer we were on them at the perfect time to enjoy a train going by. I so look forward to more evenings like this once the seasons change :)

Monday, April 3, 2017

I Made Socks!

Back when I rekindled my sewing hobby after college, I never thought in a million years that I would make... socks. Socks! Really! Weird.

But, that's what I did. Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop released a sock pattern (Cozy Critter Socks), and I couldn't stop myself, ha! I dug through my scrap bag and found these cotton-lycra bits left over from multiple projects. 

They were a quick and easy project that the kids enjoyed immensely! James was just starting to recognize favorite characters, so he loooooved wearing these. 

Now that both of these pairs have had to be retired due to feet growing and holes worn in the bottoms, I look forward to being able to squeeze a few more in sometime during a break in my to-sew list :) I love using up scraps and the kids will love the new socks!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Handmade in the Wild: Pajamas!

I just love homemade pajamas!

Painting and anything artsy is a favorite for both kids. Here's E one summer morning... still in her pajamas... but happily creating!

Remember these cousin pajamas?! They still fit! It's so fun for me to see them still loving to match :)

Pony Pajamas: Blog Post
Cousin Pajamas: Blog Post

Monday, March 27, 2017

Emery's Baby Bag

I had a particularly happy phone call from a friend back in November. She and her family were moving to our town! Woohoo! 

She has a son about 9 months older than James and had a little girl in August. I usually give myself 6 months to a year to finish these special baby gifts, but since she was moving to town, I wanted to hurry and finish it for when she first visited our house - so, a baby bag finished by the time little Emery was 4 months old! (Gotta love a great reason to have a deadline!)

A big thanks to my Mom for sewing the name (as always), and for sharing her machine - hers sews through the thickness of the denim, corduroy and interfacing much better than mine. Most of the fabric came from fat quarters won from giveaways, but some of it was purchased. I loved using the more feminine decorated demin on the back which was a remnant from JoAnns, I believe. 

So, welcome back to SoDak friend!!! I'm so excited to see our kids become friends :) 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Handmade in the Wild: SD State Fair

I'm a loyal 4-H girl, and I've missed attending the SD State Fair in recent years - actually, it's been since my senior year of high school since I've been there! Eek, that's longer than I thought! Anyway, since the kids are getting bigger, we thought that this year would be a good time to start the tradition back up! It helps that we live only about an hour away ;)

We went up for one day and the kids had a lot of fun! Ev kept asking for the rides - it was really hard for her to focus on anything else, since we saved the rides for last! But, she still loved seeing the animals and a few other exhibits. 

We were surprised with James' shyness around the animals in this petting zoo, but he loved seeing them when they were in their own pens ;) 

Then it was time for her favorite part! This was her first time on a "roller coaster" and she LOVED it! 

Waving to Daddy!

She rode a few other rides, too. James will be ready to join her next year! I'm excited to keep bringing them back and introducing them to more aspects of the fair. Hopefully, they'll be excited to be in 4-H when they're older!

E's dress: Felicity Dress by Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop (blog post)
E's hat: 4-in-1 Sun Hat by Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop (blog post)
My Top: Lane Raglan by Hey June Handmade (Hasn't been blogged yet... Art Gallery Knit for the sleeves, unknown solid for the main)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Handmade in the Wild: Red Chevron

One of the first items I made for E actually turned out to be a great to for JT, too.

I loved it under overalls this summer! Our town is known for the "World Famous Corn Palace" and this was the first summer that a local 5th grade classroom (with help of several organizations and businesses) set up a learning area in the upstairs auxiliary gym in the Corn Palace. We went often with friends :) It was a great way to entertain the kids during the hot summer months (and made the Corn Palace more exciting to visit for tourists!). 

Up, up, up!

Down, down, down!

(E still loves frilly-ness and JT learned how to go up and down slides!)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

National Guard Family

We interrupt our usual Thursday post of "Handmade in the Wild" to say...

Congrats Spc Ostrem!

This fall, Dan joined the Army National Guard with goals of becoming an engineering officer. Here he is holding the kids in his first set of uniforms right after he enlisted.

Right after Christmas, he headed off to Basic Training at Fort Jackson. We used the paper chain above to count down the days until he was done - one link removed every night for just over 10 weeks.

Today, he graduates from Basic, and we get to pick him up at the airport later today or tomorrow - we are so proud of him following his dream of serving our country and we are so excited to see him soon!!!!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Handmade in the Wild: A Bad Deal

This was an interesting evening early last fall. 

We were walking up the steps to a church - we had music class for the kiddos in there that evening. The kids absolutely love the music class! JT was being stubborn and wanted to climb the concert steps himself, but he slipped and bonked his mouth on one of the steps. I immediately scooped him up and hugged his head to my shoulder. It wasn't until we were inside and I saw blood drops that I realized he was bleeding... a lot! The teacher (who we are good friends with), helped by bringing paper towels, cleaning up the drips and distracting Ev, while James and I hung out in the bathroom. Normally, you apply pressure and the bleeding stops, but it's hard to apply pressure to a 16-month-old's bleeding lip! He just would not let me keep it there! Eventually, the bleeding did stop, and we did start music class - I just wore a bit of blood on my shoulder through it all. 

Thankfully, I soaked it once we were home, and it came right out. Woohoo! JT just had a bit of a fat lip for a day or two, and he was right as rain. It definitely wasn't the last time he had a bleeding accident ;)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Handmade in the Wild: The Tea Party Peplum

The hardest thing to get E to do during the winter is to wear a sweater, so we have to have lots of long sleeve shirts that can go under sleeveless and short sleeve tops. Flashback to last summer, when long sleeves and sweaters aren't needed!

The kids love watching Daddy change the oil on the vehicles. E also learned how to ride a big girl big (with training wheels) last summer. It was amazing to watch her practice and practice while still needed us to push her to get started, and then all of a sudden she could start and turn with no help. Now we need to work on leg strength to ride on the gravel roads by our house...

Here, E is trying to show little brother how to blow up balloons (even though she can't really do it herself). He was her little shadow last summer, and some things definitely haven't changed yet ;) 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Handmade in the Wild: En Route to Wisconsin

We took a family vacation to Wisconsin this past summer. It was a family reunion of sorts with my mother-in-law's family. I hope to share more details about this fun get-away to Door County... but it may not happen until next summer ;) 

We had a few fun handmade sightings while there!

It was a 10 hour drive just to get there, so of course we had to stop at a few parks on the way to stretch our legs! I can't believe E's skirt still fits, and it appears that it will continue to do so for awhile... yay yoga-style waistbands!! She still loves how twirly it is and she still loves Minnie Mouse!

We stayed a cute resort with nice rooms and fun balconies (great distractions for the littles!) We recently had to retire the pajamas that E is wearing here, but they still fit last summer. We were thankful to have older cousins there to help distract the kiddos, too :)

The kids' first time bowling! The entire family ate out at a nearby restaurant, and the kids received free games of bowling with their kids meals. It was so fun to see the kids learning and to have their grandpa and great-grandpa showing them a thing or two. We look forward to more bowling fun soon! I think this dress was her favorite one that I made all summer. I'll have to remember the fabric combo for future creations :) 

Posts about the different outfits: Minnie Mouse Skirt; Pajamas; Pink, Black and White Dress

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Handmade in the Wild: Farm Fun

Welcome to my first edition of "Handmade in the Wild" where I share pictures of items I've sewn being loved and worn :) You see, I love sewing, but I also love seeing the items I've created out in public doing what they were intended for!

Here we are at the farm... I didn't make these items to be worn together, so it was a happy coincidence that they really went together well. 

No worries if the outfit gets dirty - that just means they are having fun! We are able to visit both grandparents a lot, since they both live about an hour and a half away in different directions. Summer visits mean lots of exploring and playing and having fun!

Patterns: Skipper Top by Sew Much Ado and Bonny Leggings with added circle skirt by Made for Mermaids
Fabric: Top - can't remember! Bottoms: textured chiffon from Hobby Lobby with solid cotton lycra from various sources

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Paper-dolls on a Quilt

Wow! Just realized that I never shared this post once I gave the quilt away! I made this quilt when I was making quite a few other baby quilts for friends (link to all posts about baby quilts), but then I saved it while waiting for someone to have a baby girl :)

A friend of mine finally had one this past summer, and this quilt made the journey to New Mexico. As it turns out, that friend actually moved to my town just four months later, right after Christmas - I am loving having my friend and her family so close!!!

The quilt was made with panels of paper dolls - I don't have any information about it, as it was a gift when we were still living in Montana. I made the corner blocks from some 30s reproduction squares that I had in my stash. The yellow was also in my stash, along with the backing fabric. Since I didn't want to machine quilt through the paper doll blocks, I did some straight line quilting around the blocks and then used embroidery thread for inside the blocks.

There is nothing like quick baby quilts for stash busting! (My goodness, she was so little... but I guess these were taken two years ago!)