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

Thursday, May 8, 2014


I am in the process of starting to sell again. I decided to come up with a new name, Jouby. Cute I think. It is a combo of my two little sweets. I plan to make teeny pants, cloth diapers, dresses and quilts of course. We will see how it goes. The process is slow at the moment, but fun to think about possibilities. I registered my business and name so I am legal. I completed the paperwork and record keeping so my business is fully compliant and meets CSPC guidelines for selling products for children. If you haven't read up on the newer guidelines then please feel free to do so. The process is not too complicated and it feels good to have the business compliant. If you would like to receive updates on Jouby then please follow me on my Facebook page. I am still going to blog under Natural Violet. Here are the quick links to all the fun stuff for Jouby.

Jouby Facebook Page
Jouby Hyena Cart
Jouby Etsy Shop

Happy Sewing!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Homemade soy milk, soy yogurt and okara lemon scones

I bought a soy milk maker finally. Very exciting news. It is a Soyajoy G4 and it is fabulous. It not only makes soy milk but also hemp, almond and rice milk. I bought it a few weeks ago and I have made just about every variety of milk so far. The Fat Free Vegan blog has a post on homemade soy milk and also for making tofu. She suggests adding a few tablespoons of oats along with salt to reduce the bean taste when making homemade soy milk. I haven't made tofu yet but it is on my list.

I do make yogurt now though using all the wonderful homemade nondairy milk varieties. The recipe is based on the one from the Artisan Vegan Cheese book. I use a nondairy yogurt starter by Belle+Bella.  I start by pouring hot water in two quart mason jars along with the lids. I then add 1 teaspoon of agar and 2 tablespoons of organic corn starch to a saucier pan along with a half a cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes until the mixture is thick. Add this mixture to a blender along with 2 cups of nondairy milk and 2/3 cup of soaked cashews. Add this mixture to a sauce pan along with an additional 1 1/2 cups of nondairy milk. Using a thermometer, bring the mixture to about 105 F. Turn of the heat and check the temperature again. If it is over 112 F then let it cool a bit before adding the starter. If not then add the starter and pour the mixture into two quart mason jars. Cover with a warm blanket and let it sit for about 24 hours. Put it in the fridge and enjoy.

The interesting thing about making all the of the nondairy milks is I am left with quite a bit of pulp. Since I make a lot of soy milk it is typically okara. I have a composter in the back yard so that is definitely an option but I also like to bake a lot so I figure why not add it to scones. Here is my recipe for okara scones. It also works great with almond pulp from making almond milk which by the way tastes fantastic and is so much better than what I used to buy at the store.

Okara Lemon Scones

2 cups of okara or almond pulp
1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
zest of one or two lemons
1/4 cup of maple syrup, agave or brown rice syrup
1/2 cup of nondairy milk
1 tablespoon of chia seeds, hemp seeds or ground flax
1/4 cup of canola oil or nut butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of whole grain spelt flour
1 cup of oat flour
1 cup of white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Add the wet ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Add the dry ingredients and mix again but don't over mix. Using a 2 inch cookie scoop place the dough on a oiled cookie sheet or use a silpat. Bake at 400 F for 12-14 minutes until the edges are golden brown.