Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy birdie birthday

Little sweets turned three this February. Wow that was fast. For her birthday we had a small family celebration. The theme was birds and I had a lot of fun getting together the decorations and activities.

 I made the floral arrangements from tissue paper and wooden dowels. I used make these types of flowers all the time as a kid so it fun to do them all over again. I also cut out a small happy birthday banner and put it on the table along with a few river rocks.

The flower vases are cut off soy milk containers with animal and plant pictures decoupaged with mod podge. They came together quickly and it was a good use of an old calender and recycled cartons.

The felt blue bird masks were a big hit. I made those using a pattern I purchased from Handworkstudio on etsy. I sewed the masks with eco felt using a sewing machine. They came together really quickly. The cape pattern is from Biglittle on esty. I used a variety of fabrics including satin, knit and vintage sheets. We did a little circle time activity and everyone had fun running around and pretending to be birds.

Speaking of birds, the favors for the party were bird seed ornaments. I found a recipe from Eclecticallyvintage for the ornaments that did not contain gelatin. I made the ornaments in muffin tins with hemp twine in the middle. 

 Wall decorations included birds of course. My hubby has access to a big plotter and he printed out some lovely bird photos. I also hung up water color prints from little sweets that were cut in the shape of birds. The birthday banner is from her first birthday. We will see how many years it works but it definitely fit in nice with this years decorations.

Her big brother decorated the chalk board with lots and lots of happy birthday wishes. He also made her an origami yoda and a fortune wookie. She was very happy with both. 

I made gingerbread cupcakes with fluffy vanilla frosting. I tried to make cupcakes in a heart shape by putting a marble in one end. It would have worked fabulously if I hadn't overfilled the cupcakes wrappers. They were yummy though and lovely with the little creamy heats. The recipe is from Vegan cupcakes take over the world which is my go to book for birthday cupcakes.

Little sweets had a great party and of course enjoyed her cupcake. So much that I wound up giving her a cupcake with candles for two more days after her birthday. Always good to make a few extra cupcakes. Little sweets is wearing her 3 crown that I made for her older brother when he turned three too. It is so fun to pass things down and she looked lovely in her crown.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Goldenrod, chamomile and lavender cold process soap

I finally took the plunge and started making my own soap. I am sticking to the cold process method and only using natural ingredients for scents and colors. I have made quite a few batches of soap including goldenrod and lavender, eucalyptus and almond, and lemon balm and lemon grass.

My latest batch is goldenrod, chamomile, and lavender. It is my first attempt at a layered soap. Very excited about the results.  It smells lovely and has a wonderful golden color on the bottom and a beautiful green on the top. I used dried goldenrod flowers that I picked from a nearby field. The kids went with me and we had a grand adventure to find goldenrod. The smell of the flowers is really wonderful. It has a fruity mango scent that goes nicely with the chamomile and lavender. My inspiration for using goldenrod is from The Nerdy Farm Wife. I also bought her soap making ebook and it is a really great resource for making natural soap.

To make the soap I first infused the olive oil with the dried goldenrod. I filled a small mason about half way loosely with the flowers and poured olive oil on top. I then put it in a water bath on the stove for an hour and allowed it to steep over night. I did the same thing to make a goldenrod  and chamomile tea using water instead of oil. The next day I strained everything. The tea smells really wonderful. I added the spirulina powder by first mixing it with two tablespoons of reserved oil and then added it at trace. The candelila wax is optional but I think adds hardness to the bar and reduces the curing time so a nice addition. Below is the recipe I used to make the soap. Please make sure to use all the safety precautions for making lye based soap including protective gear and plenty of ventilation.

For this soap I used two wooden molds made by the sweet hubby that measures 2.75" x 2.75" x 6.5". If you have a different size then feel free to use a soap calculator to adjust the quantities.

Goldenrod, chamomile and lavender

Ingredients in ounces

olive oil with goldenrod and chamomile

organic coconut oil

castor oil

almond oil

candelila wax


6% 6.83 48.2
goldenrod and chamomile tea

lavender essential oil 2 tablespoon

Spirulina powder  2 teaspoon

Btw, I am selling the soap in my etsy shop Natural Violet. So if you are looking for handmade soaps that are vegan, palm oil free and all natural then feel free to check out my shop.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sweet little recycled sheet dresses

 Pattern is playgroup dress by Fresh Stitch Patterns

So what I have been up to this Summer sewing wise? Besides all the fun pool and kiddo things I managed to sew a few more sheet dresses for little sweets. It is so fun to find colorful sheets at the thrift store and reuse them to make cute little dresses. Here is s quick sample of a few of the dresses modeled by little sweets of course. The main body of all of the dresses are from recycled sheets. The prints are cotton quilting prints. Too fun!

Pattern is Clara without the arm ruffles and reduced width skirt by Violette Field Threads

Pattern is another Clara without the arm ruffles and full skirt by Violette Fields Threads

Pattern is from Burda Kids Style Special magazine Spring/Summer 3/2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

Recycled sheet Celestial Dress and the less than a dollar dress

Here is my less than a dollar to make dress. Well, technically the dress cost more than a dollar to make if you include the pattern purchase and all the sewing goodies. However, the fabric was less than a dollar. I found the 100% cotton plaid sheet at the local thrift store for a dollar and tax. I used about half of the sheet to make the dress so the fabric cost qualifies as less than a dollar. A little about the sewing pattern. It is the Celestial Dress from Pattern Fantastique. I made the size 8 and it fits perfect. The dress comes in different length options from top to maxi. I made the midi length and added a band. I am so happy with how it turned out and I matched the plaid so that is a bonus. I love the pattern. It is really comfy and also modern. The directions are great and the bag pocket detail is a clever and unique design addition. The whole pattern is actually very creative and well designed. I plan to make more in different lengths which will reduce my cost point even more. I can wait to make the sleeveless version in the maxi length.  So much fun for the summer and really cost effective. Who says sewing has to expensive. Happy stitching!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dresses from recycled sheets

I decided to use a few sheets I have laying around the house to make dresses for both me and little sweets. I figure if they are comfortable for sleeping then they are going to be awesome for clothing. Also, they are free and what is better than free fabric. I did take a trip to the local thrift store and found a few more cotton sheets to add to my stash. They were $2 a piece so I can make a dress for about $1 if I stick to the sheet fabric only. If I add in a quilting cotton for contrast then it is still really inexpensive.

I used pattern from Tina Givens for my dresses including the Sugar Slip and the free Bloom Dress. I love her style. It is so romantic and really comfortable for summer. I did make a few adjustments to the patterns since everything is over sized to start. For the Sugar Slip the only thing I did differently was shorten the straps by a few inches and raised the back yoke. With the Bloom dress I wound up removing 2 inches from the the middle of the dress and then resizing the neckline. I also curved the sleeves a bit to make it easier to sew with the serger and bound the edges. I really like both dresses and I plan to use the use the patterns a lot this summer. For fun and also for practical reasons I made the free Pilka pants to go under the dresses. I did make adjustments to this pattern. I took off a 2 inches from the bottom and the top. I also made the back a little wider than the front. I added a frilly border and now I have some sweet bloomers peeking out from my dresses.

For sweets I made her a sheet dress using Fresh Stitch Patterns Playground Dress in size 2 and the remainder of the blue sheet from my dress. The bodice is from a button down shirt. The dress is a little big for her so the next version will be a size down. The second dress is made with Too Sweets Baja Dress. It is also a bit big for her so I will need to size it down a bit with the next version. The floral sheet is from the thrift store and great find. I really love the flowers and butterflies. She looks so cute in her comfy dresses. I have plenty of the floral fabric to make more. I will likely combine it with a cotton print in the next version. I also need to make her a few pairs of matching bloomers. Great start though for her summer wardrobe.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Start of Summer and Alice Dress

I am finally back to posting again about my sewing adventures. One more week left before summer vacation starts for the little guy so maybe this will be my one and only summer post. It has been a long time since my last post so probably best to not make any promises. I do have an excuse though. I have been sewing a lot for Jouby. Since I last posted I made over 150 pairs of baby shoes. Crazy I know. Well, it will come as no surprise that I have decided to stop making baby shoes. I am having a hard time motivating myself to sew another pair. I still have a few pairs to complete and It is taking a lot of will power to finish those so on to new projects. My son is also going to be on summer vacation soon. His little sister and I am really miss him a lot during the day and it will be nice to have him home for the summer. I am of course feeling pressure about keeping them both busy and having fun so we will see what great adventures come our way.

My focus this summer is sewing for the family. I am well on my way to making a new wardrobe for both me and the kids. I am a bit addicted to buying pdf patterns. They are so convenient and instant gratification. Before I buy a bunch more I really need to use the ones I have already purchased. I also need to post about patterns I used during my no post on the blog hiatus. First up is one of my favorites so far, the Alice Top and Dress from Tessuti Patterns. I have made several versions of this dress and I love it. The fit is loose and comfy but not too big. I wound up making the size XXS. This size fits really well in both the dress and top even though I am still nursing my daughter. So on to the pictures. We bought a fantastic new camera so my pictures will be a lot better or at least they will be once I figure out how to use the camera.


The first dress is made with a lightweight grey chambray from Fashion Fabric Club online. The second one is made with Bethany Reynolds Stack and Whack cotton print. The third version is a top and it is made from a recycled button down shirt and Cynthia Rowley Paintbox. The final version is made from a recycled cotton spandex maxi dress and Tina Givens Opal Owl Bark. Happy sewing!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

End of summer and Jouby news

I have been on hiatus for the summer. I spent the summer immersing my self in being the mom of two incredible little beings. Summer was really nice with both kids home and I really miss my little guy now that he is back at school. I know little sweets misses her big brother also. It has given me time to get moving with my new business venture Jouby. I am primarily selling through my Jouby Facebook page, but plan to sell on Etsy again soon. If you are on Facebook then please come over to my page and see all the fun things I have been sewing. Here is a peek at some of the items I have made over the past few weeks.

Teeny knicker pants

One size fitted cloth diapers

 Baby and toddler shoes