Thursday, May 26, 2016

Playgroup Ice Dyed Clothing

A while back we played around with ice-dyeing in Audrey's playgroup.  I really love this technique for dyeing fabrics and usually do it in the wintertime with snow.  It's a great project for pre-schoolers.  We soaked the fabric in soda ash and warm water, like I usually do, and set the fabric in totes lined with wire racks.  Then we filled a bunch of paper cups with ice and we had the kids take turns dumping the ice on the fabric. Then we filled paper cups with the powder procion dyes and the kids took turns dumping the dyes on the ice.  I waited 24 hours for the ice to melt and the dye to set and then I rinsed the dyes out and washed the fabric a few times.  The fabric came out great! And, of course, it has been sitting in my sewing studio for 2 months waiting to become something.

Yesterday marked the last day of the playgroup before we break for the summer.  Which meant I finally had a deadline to finish up the one-of-a-kind clothing for the children. I worked at breakneck speed to get them all done in time, making dresses for the girls with the Me Hearties Dress pattern and Treasure Pocket Tees for the boys (which ended up taking more time than the girl's dresses!). I purchased the blue/green striped fabric at Mardens and it is so silky (and was very cheap to purchase!) and the boy's truck fabric is Lillestoff.  Matched up with the beautiful ice dyed fabric this project turned out perfectly. Audrey handed all the presents to her friends and they immediately put them on, which was adorable. We'll miss the playgroup this summer but are looking forward to seeing them all soon.  

Have  a wonderful Thursday!

shelby g

Monday, May 23, 2016


We were invited to a baby shower brunch at a fancy inn this last weekend and I thought.... maybe we should all match.  I think all sewing moms agree this is pretty logical whereas when you actually make matching outfits and look back on the pictures you might think, "Wow. That's a lot of stripes". Or, as my mom said, "At least you'd be able to locate your family in a crowded room".

 A while back I bought a ton of blue/white striped yardage from Girl Charlee for $3 a yard... I think I ordered 3 yards (you should check out their sales... so awesome!).  And I received a yard from Knitpop in floral scuba knit. And for some reason those fabrics found their way together... stripes and floral! I guess it's a "thing" now since I researched it extensively on Pinterest. It's a very Rococo... slightly logical, sensitive and feminine. I decided to make another Sweetheart Dress from Patterns for Pirates (along with the children's version for Audrey).  This pattern is lovely and simple to sew up and although it takes a lot of fabric to make the circle skirt (and I only had a yard of the floral), I was able to piece it together so the dress had side seams and one on the back.

Overall a success!! I will make more in the future and of course my children will match.  They are my most worn and favorite accessories, anyway, whether I want them hanging off me or not!

Happy Monday!

shelby g

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Chicks and Ducklings

A few weeks back we got an order of 30 meat birds (Freedom Rangers) and 10 laying hens.  Along with that we received ducks in the order for my sister's farm.  Mr. Meanie build beautiful brooders in the basement, complete with light hook up and removable chicken wire covers. Well, the meat birds have grown SO fast that they were moved to the smaller red coop outside at 2.5 weeks old.  In the past we have raised Cornish X, which grow super fast and are ready for the freezer in 8 weeks. But alas! Such growth comes with some really disgusting features. Their health is not the best... they are prone to heart attacks and cancer (and can't support their weight).  Whereas the Freedom Rangers, though they appear to grow fast, take 12 weeks to grow to butchering size, are very active and healthy, and if not dispatched in 12 weeks will live a fairly healthy, full, chicken life and even lay eggs.   And we plan on having them processed off the farm at a USDA approved facility... so we may even be able to sell a few to friends and neighbors.

As for the duckies, we had to give them to my sister but Audrey was so enamored with them that we ordered 4 ducklings of our own. While we don't actually have a pond (yet) in the meantime the ducks can enjoy a kiddy pool.  We can't wait until they come in at the end of the month!

Have a wonderful Saturday!

shelby g

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Finish It! Quilt

All done!  I finished up Audrey's birthday quilt (that I started long before there was any thought of Audrey) last month just in time for her birthday.  I started hand quilting and I quickly figured out that it was likely she would never receive the quilt if I continued on that course.  So a mere week before her birthday party I jumped behind the sewing machine and spent a few evenings 'stitching in the ditch'.  Although I have a nice Viking machine the quilt was a little thicker than it was accustomed to but it chugged along nicely.  This quilt is not perfect but after a wash to shrink up the fabric a bit, all of the imperfections are hidden!

We are all happy with it and honestly, the quilt stays on the couch for comfy TV watching time (for Mr. Meanie and I) and hasn't yet made it up to Audrey's room. She is still in a toddler bed but must be upgraded to a full size bed this summer.... she is a little cramped! I think at that time this quilt will fit perfectly on a big kid bed.

Happy Sewing!

shelby g

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Howdy: Sewing Round up!

So I took a little more than a month off from blogging and sewing for my shop (mostly). I just didn't feel like it! With the weather turning warm and so many things to be done outside and in the home I really just felt like focusing on our family and getting things done that matter most to us during that time! And I've started running distance again as I train for 2 half marathons, a distance relay, and a variety of road races this summer.  With 2 kiddos it takes a bit to get everyone out the door and into the stroller for a run but I am happy that my kids are so mellow (for now) and generally one sleeps while the other plays. 

Audrey celebrated her 3rd birthday in April and we had a great time coordinating her party. Since we needed backfill around the new foundation anyway, we ordered a large truckload of gravel for the kids to play in.  We hid geodes in the gravel to entertain the kids and they loved it!  Overall a fantastic day, Audrey was so much in love with having her cute little friends over.  I just can't believe she is such a big girl... 3 so far is a wonderful age. When she has a melt down it does seem to be pretty epic but that is balanced out by how articulate and smart she is becoming. 

And the sewing! So much sewing for my family. With all the custom orders and stocking diapers in the shop, in the past, I have rarely had time to sew for our own kids.  But I changed that in the last month.  As Audrey grows out of her clothing I am replacing it with mama-made clothing so eventually most of her wardrobe will be made by me. So far, so good. I have made her about 8 dresses and skirts, a few shirts, leggings, and even a bathing suit!

Here's just a sampling of what I made, including a shirt for my sister and a skirt and shirt for my sister's kids.  And you may notice that I made a bathing suit for myself!  I just finished it this weekend and while I am proud of my accomplishment I really don't love the high-waisted swim bottoms.  I have a long torso and while they are suppose to hide my mommy-tummy, I don't mind how my mommy-tummy looks and think low-waisted bottoms are the way to go for me. But alas, I made them and I will wear them.  I do have plans to make a different pair of swim bottoms, though. If you are interested in making your own bathing suit, I highly recommend the Patterns for Pirates swimsuit! It did take a bit of time to wrap my mind around the directions but I figured it out. 
Mr. Meanie and I also celebrate our 7th anniversary of marriage together (as we have been together almost 14 years! oh my!).  For this we went to our favorite local fine-dining establishment, the Chandler River Lodge, and I made myself a sweetheart dress with an altered neckline.  It was a fast sew and very comfortable... sort of like wearing a pretty pair of dress sweatpants.

And when I say I didn't sew for my shop, I don't really mean it!  During the past month and a half I have had 2 stockings on What the Fluff Congo, sewn up some group buy orders from my B/S/T page (Firefly/Serenity and Monet Water Lilies) and made a few customs for customers and for sale on the What the Fluff facebook page.  So overall I have been very busy just not the best at keeping my own store stocked! But alas, I hope to make up for that in the next few weeks. 

Phew! I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of what has been going on around here. You know, when you are busy and have lots to say there generally isn't much time to share it. Hopefully I will be back soon with more to tell.

happy sewing!

shelby g

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!!  Going on 3 years, this is the first Easter that Audrey has been truly excited for hunting Easter eggs, which is my favorite part of the holiday.  What fun time!  I was able to sew up a few fabric Easter baskets using this tutorial. Very easy and fun... I made a total of 5 but gave a few away.

Have a fantastic day!

shelby g

Friday, March 4, 2016

Farewell Cornelius...

Yesterday we bid farewell to our very first rooster, our large Dark Brahma, Cornelius. Just shy of 4 years old I suppose it was his time to go as we found him outside the coop not just 5 minutes after I had scattered scratch grains outside (to a very alive rooster and ladies).  It does not appear he was attacked by anything and after inspecting him externally he seemed fine (he came as a chick from a large factory breeder and we have since lost many of the original chickens to sudden death which we think is due to breeding).  A few weeks ago he was attacked by something and left behind many of his gorgeous tail feathers but overall seemed fine. 

It is sad to see him go. This morning we missed his crowing and I am certain that the ladies will miss his guidance. And although he was not friendly in his first few years he seemed to ignore Audrey.  Last winter he lost part of his middle toe to frost bite which helped slow and mellow him out so I suppose Audrey was just able to run away faster than he could catch her.

Yet we move on! We have already found a child-friendly rooster and hope to introduce him to the farm next week.  We feel that roosters are so important to farm life, they do help keep predators away,  create leadership for the hens, and just sound like a farm! 

farewell old buddy!

shelby g