Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sew Much Fun

I don’t have to tell y’all how hot it’s been lately.  Scorching!

In heat like this it’s hard to kick the monkeys outside to play in the afternoons, so I’ve been trying to supply them with a few activities to keep them busy (and cool) inside the house.  And by activities, I mean something besides TV and video games.

Ty is usually content to play independently with his Legos, Zoobs, Gears or other building sets.  He has no problems entertaining himself, building all kinds of wacky contraptions from fishing poles to mini amusement parks.

Lucy on the other hand, is a high-maintenance, hands-on kind of girl.  She wants my full, complete, undivided attention at all times, so keeping her occupied is a challenge.

Recently Lucy has expressed quite a bit of interest in learning to sew.  {Insert my happy face here.}

I jumped at the opportunity to introduce Lucy to the world of sewing!  Last week we began our “lessons,” and Lucy is loving every minute of it.  I think I may have created a sewing monster.  She begs to work on projects every day.

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The first skill we started with was sewing with a needle.  I found a neat sewing kit at Michaels for a DIY doll.  The kit included precut felt pieces with needle holes already punched in them –perfect for a beginner! 

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Lucy worked with embroidery floss and a yarn needle which were easier for her little fingers to grasp than a typical needle and sewing thread.  Of course I had to help Lucy with threading the needle and knotting the string, but she quickly caught on to the rhythmic, in-and-out motion of using a needle. 

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The doll project is taking a little longer than either one of us anticipated, but that hasn’t dimmed Lucy’s enthusiasm for sewing.  I’m proud of her for being patient with the process.  She hasn’t complained one time about being tired or bored, which indicates to me that she truly loves the craft.

Even though we are still working on the doll, I decided to go ahead and let Lucy begin working with the sewing machine.

She.  Loves.  It.

I‘m teaching her on the machine that I learned on about 12 years ago.  It’s a simple, no-bells-and-whistles machine with only straight and zigzag stiches.  Nothing fancy to confuse her.

The first thing we did was discuss some safety tips.  (Wouldn’t want anyone sewing her fingers together now, would we?)  Next I pointed out the main parts of the machine:  the presser foot, hand wheel, needle, bobbin, needle position switch, reverse lever, and foot pedal.  I decided not to teach her how to thread the machine yet. Instead I focused on teaching her to “drive” the machine.  A tip I read online was to let her begin by sewing on paper without using thread.  This worked great.  I drew lines on the paper (straight, curved, and zigzag) and let her practice following the lines.  The needle poked neat holes in the paper, so Lucy could easily see where she was going.

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Lucy worked nearly an hour with the paper, practicing how to guide material, sew on curves, turn corners, regulate pedal speed, and reinforce stitches.  I really was surprised at how diligently she worked.  Once again I expected her to get bored with the project, but this little girl stuck with it.

It’s so much fun to be able to share my sewing hobby with Lucy.  This week I took her to the fabric store with me where she pranced all over the store, squealing with excitement at how cute every single bolt was.  I’m afraid I see a fabric addiction in her future. 

I hope to post some pictures of Lucy’s first completed projects soon.  She and I have both been busy sewing this week (which explains the reason why my house is such a wreck.)  I’ve been feeling the pressure to sew and embroider as much as possible before we start back to school.  I’ve finally had the foresight to work on fall outfits for the girls in advance, so that when the seasons do change I will already have some cute, new duds hanging in the closet for them.  Maybe I’ll share a fall fashion show with y’all in the near future.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Frock for the Fourth

This is the blog post that almost wasn’t.

I’m finally getting to sit down to the computer after spilling 100% of my lunch in the middle of my living room rug, including a full glass of ice water, which shattered upon impact.  Grrrr.  And wouldn’t you know that after cleaning up the enormous mess and preparing myself a new lunch, I had to stop eating to change a stinky diaper.  So much for my “lunch break.”  Now you know why I was beginning to think I might never get around to blogging today.

OK.  Pity party over.  Time to move on to the topic of the day.

l Fun Fourth Frocks  l

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I got the idea for this top from, you guessed it, Pinterest.  I knew Lucy would have a blast making this personalized patriotic shirt.  It was super easy to create and cost me less than $4.  Best of all, it’s truly one of a kind.

After washing and drying the shirt, I created a stencil for Lucy to paint the stripes.  I love using the freezer paper method for painting on fabric.  I won’t go into the details here, but if you are curious about the process just search online for a tutorial.

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Lucy did a terrific job stenciling the stripes.  The only thing she had to remember was to tap straight up and down, no brushing side to side.

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After she was done with all the stripes, we peeled the freezer paper off the shirt, and I brushed some dark blue paint onto the palm of Lucy’s hand.

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Then I helped Lucy carefully stamp her handprint in the top corner of the flag.  This was the trickiest part of the project, since there was no “take two” for the handprint.  If you don’t get it right the first time, you don’t get it right.

Luckily, we got it right!

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There you have it!  A fun, personalized, flag T-shirt.  After waiting a few minutes for the paint to dry, Lucy was more than happy to model her new frock.  Isn’t she a cute Lady Liberty?   Now to make another shirt for Tacy Mae.

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“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”   2 Chronicles 7:14

Happy Independence Day everyone!