Thursday, June 28, 2012


This was a fun project.  If I made it again I would use a little heavier material.  This cotton is lightweight - but will still protect clothing from splatters and that's what aprons are for - or at least one of their jobs.  :-)

Grandma's Apron

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears…
From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.
And when the weather was cold grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.
Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.
After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men-folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.
Author Unknown

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sewing, sewing and more sewing...

I truly have been enjoying my summer break and doing lots of sewing.  I made a forth skirt last Saturday and now am working on an apron.

The apron I am making with my grandmothers treadle sewing machine.   It is a Ruby by New Home.  I think it was produced around 1920.  It still sews like a champ!!  My only fuss is that it is straight forward stitches only.  I am spoiled I know but I love the fancy stitches and of course a back stitch to lock the seam at edges or strengthen an area.  While doing some reading on the net about treadles I came across something new to me.

Janome Treadle Powered Sewing Machine 712T
"The 712T allows you to sew with no electrical power. Designed for use by Amish communities, it has 10 utility stitches plus a built-in buttonhole stitch, and a flatbed design to fit existing sewing cabinetry. The top-loading bobbin system and the handy threading guide make changing top and bottom thread easy. And legendary Janome stitch quality helps make learning to sew frustration-free for students and teachers alike."

This beauty is the cats meow!
I am counting my pennies to see if I can order it...  

It does not come with a treadle table so I would have to find one of those separately.   I have been discussing with myself want verses need.  This is not a need - but it is a want.  Some wants are okay, right??

 Well I just thought I would take a break from the sewing table to touch base with the blog.  Hope you are having a great day and enjoying some fun activities that refresh your soul.
the little bird

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Our Chessie

Miss. Chessie Blue

wait I think there's something on my lip...


This our sweet Chessie.  She has GROWN as you can see.  Almost 4 months old, she goes in for her last set of puppy shots tomorrow.  I have my camera set on children and pets but who are they kidding.  I haven't seen a camera yet that can keep up with kids or pets when they are on the move.  :-)

So our Chess is a doll.  I'm so glad we got her, she truly is a member of the family.  Do you remember what she looked like when we got her?  To look back go HERE  and   HERE.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New A-line Skirt

This is the skirt that I made yesterday.  It is from the New Look 0119 pattern below.  One thing that I have discovered is that the patterns now run to the measurements listed on the back of the pattern.  In days gone by the patterns ran LARGE.  Now they have made the changes and the are very accurate to the measurements listed.  This is a great improvement!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Time for Sewing

I am off for a short summer break! This is my time of year to accomplish projects and get a bit of sewing done too.  I went shopping and bought two new patterns last week.  So the fun has started.

I made the blouse yesterday and today I made the mid-length  a-line skirt.  

Blog problems are ironed out!

I have had some blogging problems - but I think they are now all ironed out.  I really like the set-up at is is very user friendly.  So I'm HOME.

Almost Done - New Blouse

I really like this material. It is a gauze, lovely for a warm summers day. I am finished but the buttons. I think white pearl buttons will look nice. Off to the store tomorrow to pick some up.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A-Line Skirt

I never posted the pictures of my A-Line skirt as my first project with my dress form.

This is a simple A-line skirt that I made recently. I really like it and would make the same pattern in black. It does need a pop of color on top and I think the cream, grey, brown and plum gives it the zing that it needs.
I lined the skirt in a poly satin. I didn’t connect the lining at the zip so it can be turned out for pressing. My facing is a lovely soft cotton as I am not a fan of scratchy material.

I did not attach the lining at the zipper.  I like to be able to completely turn the lining out so both can be pressed easily.

I lined the skirt with a polyester satin

My facing is interfaced with fusible pellon and then cotton facing against the skin.  I'm not a fan of scratchy material.

Hollywood waist - very flattering

The most expensive part of this skirt was the zipper.  :-)

I purchased the wool as a remnant.  I think $1.00
I had the lining from years ago.  About $1.00
The zipper was $2.50

So for about $5.00 with thread I have a nice skirt for work or church.

the little bird

Test Pattern or Pattern Test

I only added four godets.  Eight would have been overwhelming in this cotton material.  This is a pattern test, 'a muslin'.  This is a sheet that I purchased from the thrift store and the godets were a pillow case from the same thrift store.  It's always nice to do a test in an inexpensive fabric before cutting into the good stuff.
This material is a bit stiffer than I would like. A drape rayon would hang better.

Will I make this again?? 
I'm not sure, I'm still deciding. 
Is it comfortable -yes. 
Lightweight for summer heat -yes
Does it look like I'm wearing a sheet -tee hee -yes.
But for hanging out in the back yard
working in the garden or house.
It will be okay.

the little bird

Gored Skirt with Godets

I am using the bossa nova gored skirt pattern.  I like my skirts mid-calf or longer; just my preference so I added a few inches to the hemline.

I also want to add some godets.

B is how wide you want your godets. A is how tall you want your godets. Add 1/2" seam allowances.

Sew the godet in as above.   You now have a swishy fun summer skirt.

I will share a picture when I am finished.
the little bird

More Free Patterns

I love free...  I am not cheap, but I am thrifty, so if I can find a great pattern for free why not share it.



Sunday, June 10, 2012

Use it Up.

This is such a good practice.  My dear daughter-in-love and I were talking about this tonight.  How wasteful we can be if we don't make a conscious effort to:
Use it up
Wear it out
Make it do
Or do without

If you are not a leftover person - freeze the leftovers for a quick meal another day or an easy lunch. 
Mend if you get a small tear in a seam.
Patch if the rip isn't in the seam and wear the article of clothing for camping or gardening.
Or completely remake the item into something else.  I've gotten so I look at older items as material.  Can I remake them into something for me, a granddaughter, etc...
Before you throw something out ask yourself if there’s anything else I could use this for??

Get the full wear out of your things.  Take care and repair .

Clean and pressed makes clothes look like new again in many cases.  If it no longer fits, can you make alterations??  Or repurpose it completely.
  If it still fits and is in good repair that's okay. We don't need to have the newest fad. 

Be content.
When you have a need save your money and buy good quality.  You will enjoy it more and have it for a long time.

Being frugal can even be a game.  Did you know most millionaires live well below their means. 

the little bird

Friday, June 8, 2012

1897 The Ladies World

The Ladies World Magazine

I just wanted to share the front covers of these old, 1897, magazines. I have had them for 40 years?? They were in behind the mirror of an old vanity. The mirror was broken - in a move - or something and low and behold these were in behind.

I wish I knew how to preserve them better. I usually keep them wrapped in plastic. I am still cleaning and sorting out so came across them yesterday. They will go back in the wrap and back in the drawer. I just think they're neat and hope you will too.

the little bird

My mom emailed and said that my grandfather made the little dresser/vanity for she and my aunt.    I wish I had a picture.  I remember that we painted it white and pink for my bedroom when I was young.   It then went to my Aunt.  I bet my younger cousin then used it in her room.  Very cool history.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Some Downed Trees

The picture doesn't really show it but this is a big tree.  It snapped at the base - it looks like someone just grabbed it and twisted it off.

You can see a bit how it just twisted off.

These trees are around 100 years old.  They have weathered storms before but this time one went down.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Big Wind - Power Outage

1,400 customers are without power in our tiny little farm town alone. We had a huge wind storm come through, 80 mph winds. We lost many large branches and one tree snapped off. Our son had one of his huge pines snap off and come down on the power lines. Half the town has no power and will be out for at least two more days.

So many people are 'camping out'. Some have generators going to cycle the frig or freezer to keep things cold. Many chain saws are going to clean up the mess.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

How to Eat Healthy AND Cheap

Just some good information I thought I would pass along.

I think the biggest 'expenditure' for us can be the grocery store. So having a menu is a great way to stay on target. If you have a plan you can move forward to execute it- but without a plan you can flounder.

I will be working on some menu ideas that are inexpensive as well as healthy.
Have a great day!!

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie....

As is always the case one thing leads to another.  I have cleaned and organized my freezer, yeah!  I went through and inventoried my 'food storage' area.  Now I have started on my sewing room and clothes closet...  Eek.  I haven't gone through and tossed and/or culled for too long and it appears this is the time.  It feels great.  The coat I haven't worn in 5 years.  I think that could go to the thrift store to bless someone else.  The tidbits of material not big enough to make anything into the dumpster.  All those tail ends of candles that I have been saving are now in the double boiler melting in to a store able reusable chunk of wax, etc...

I guess this is spring cleaning time.  I'm just at the end of spring instead of the beginning. : )

the little bird

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Inventory the Food Storage

Yesterday was the freezer, today the pantry.  A part of food storage is to inventory.  It let's you know what you still have, what you need, and how much you use of different items.

canned beans - 16
canned fruit - 9
canned chicken - 8
toothpaste - 3
dental floss - 6
fluoride treatment - 2 bottles
candles -
matches -
lamp oil -
(I try to purchase when items are on sale.  Many times I can purchase enough for the year.  By the time I need it  it's on sale again.)

It would be wasteful and expensive if you didn't use what you have put by or purchased.
One of the rules of food storage is rotate, rotate, rotate.
The best food storage plan is store what you eat and eat what you store. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Cleaning the Freezer

Once a year I have to defrost my massive chest freezer. It is a big job but always one that when completed leaves a true feeling of accomplishment!

That was today's main plan.
My son - who happened by for a cup of coffee on his way to work this morning - pulled down all the coolers for me.
I take all of the freezer foods out and put it in the coolers. Thankfully my freezer has a flash defrost button. Within 15 minutes the large sheets of frost/ice start sliding to the bottom of the freezer. I get my dust pan out and start flinging the ice out on the patio. Our puppy thought this was wonderful. :-) Then a pan of hot sudsy water and give the interior a good wash-up... Other than almost standing on my head (I'm short and my freezer is huge) this is an easy process.

Now begins the putting back. I have zones in my freezer Jams -- Fruits -- Vegetables -- Meats

Since it is a chest freezer I also have baskets. It makes it easier to keep areas contained. As I put items back in I make an inventory.
Strawberry Jam - 7
Sliced Strawberries - 14
Apricots - 5

This lets me know what is available for using and how many I need to add when putting by this year. It also reminds me to use out of the freezer before pulling the canned items off the shelf.   Now I need to take that inventory and make some meal plans using what we already have. 

I also make up a schematic.  My dear husband always fussed that he didn't know where anything was - or worse he would start looking - gasp and mess up my arrangement.  :-)  So I draw up a quick map and he knows right where to go to find what he's after.  We are both happier.

Now you know what I've been up to today.  I hope you are having a great day and that a thing or two is getting checked off your to-do list as well.

the little bird


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