Friday, April 29, 2011

Easter shirts.

Stash busting again.

I've had this bunny fabric since two Easters ago. I had to get it used up before it got too young for Hannah. I wasn't up to making dresses in the two days I had, but I told them I'd make them Easter shirts. That they couldn't wear because of the @*#&$#@ weather.

(For example, this was Gray going out to milk with me this morning. He was not overdressed in the slightest.)


But back to happier thoughts - the Easter shirts. One for each girl.



Gray didn't get one because I haven't figured out buttonholes yet. It's on my list of stuff to learn this year. That, and how to install zippers without swearing.

For Hannah's shirt, I used McCall's 5797. I didn't have enough of the fabric to make it into a dress, though that would have been easy enough - it's just a longer cut than the shirt with this pattern. The pattern itself is beyond easy - a similar (nearly identical) front and back, a tie. Sew the sides, hem the bottom, finish the armholes, make a tie casing, make the tie, you're done.

As I said, I was worried about the yellow bunny fabric being too 'young' for her, so I tried to age it a bit with some gorgeous, but never used, green fabric in my stash. I used the green fabric for the tie at the top.

It's a really big bow. She's undecided on whether or not to make that smaller.

I made bias tape from the green and added a strip around the bottom - aged the outfit and didn't have to hem. Woo hoo!

We also added pockets. We didn't use their pocket templates - she wanted to try some cute, gathered pockets she'd seen on an outfit, so we winged that and then added some flower buttons I've had in my stash for ages.

Both of us really liked the way the shirt turned out.

Ainsley's shirt was made using the Oliver + S Ruffled Halter free pattern.

I thought it would be a pain putting together the pattern pieces, but they were very clear and it went together really quickly.

The shirt itself was also *so* easy. And so cute finished. She got layers of blue bunnies and pink flowers. The pink flower material is from a flour sack. Seriously. We have a lot of Hispanics in this area who prefer to buy their flour in cotton flour sacks, so I grabbed one a year or so ago, washed the fabric after we'd used the flour and it's been sitting there, waiting for something. It looks really darling with the blue fabric.

I didn't realize from the pictures on their website, but this shirt has elastic on the back to help it fit better - that's a nice touch.

I used pink cotton from the stash for underneath the front where it's not often seen - didn't need to use up cute bunny fabric there.

The only thing I don't like about this shirt is that I have to tie it for her each time. That's a pain for her, but she loves it so much that she doesn't mind it as much as I thought she would.

Four more fabrics used - and some buttons! Stash busting success.

Should I mention that my husband came with me to the fabric store last week when I was picking up diaper fabric and the girls walked away with SIX new fabrics? They know when to ask for stuff. Stash busting fail.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Two skirts for Ainsley.

I made these two skirts for Ains awhile back but she's only recently started wearing either of them. The other night she grabbed them and said "Let's take pictures. You hold the camera and I'll tell you what kind of picture to take."

"Graceful."


"Sweet."

"Surprised."
That skirt was made from a sweater of mine that I never wear anymore. I just eyeballed the lines when I cut it, using the bottom of the sweater as the hem of the skirt so that I wouldn't have to hem it. I only put elastic around the back so that it wouldn't show in the front where the belt wouldn't meet. That was a mistake because the sweater fabric stretches, so I ended up adding elastic in a fabric casing to the front. Now it fits ok, but fits much better with cute pants underneath - which is just as well in this weather.

She didn't like it too well until I added the embellishments on the front - little iron-ons that I had picked up awhile back on super-duper clearance.

Then we moved on to the next skirt.

"Pretty."


"Dancer."

"No. Wait. This is the dancer."
This skirt was made from the Can Can pattern by MADE. It was a beast of a skirt to make the ruffles on. Two 80 foot lengths of a fabric that I'd had for the last 4 years and loved but had no use for. I borrowed my sister's serger, made the strips, turned them, ironed them, and sewed them on.

Turning them was less of a bother than you'd think because I did it on a day with a small breeze so the 80 foot fabric tube was billowing across the driveway pad and the kids were playing in it "like it was a fairy strip".

I made it as her birthday skirt, and it turned out so cute. This is the original iteration of it.


The problem was, it was too heavy so she never wore it. That sucks.

In February, she pulled it back out and tried it on, but it barely covered her bum, so I took out the elastic waist, added on a larger muslin waistpiece and put the elastic back on that. Now she wears it all the time. That doesn't suck. :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Teaching the kids to milk.

Each of the kids get their own goat when they show interest and are helping with the animals daily. Hannah got hers two years ago and has had escalating duties each year - this year she was to start helping process the milk but wanted to also start milking. Ainsley got her goat last year and was supposed to help with the grain and taming the babies this year. She wanted to do that but also wanted to be milking.

I taught them how and we've been working on it, but their hands are not up to it yet, so they get frustrated. We didn't want them to quit, and we also wanted to have an option available for me to leave the farm (I have several goats this year without babies, so they need to be milked daily, even if I want to go on vacations) so we bought a Henry Milker. This milker is not electric, but hand-powered, so Ains' hand still gets a bit tired pumping, but she can make it through one teat.

It is wonderful! I taught the girls about the pumping, about the pressure, and now they're milking. It's not as fast as hand milking, but it's much easier for them. We're thinking of getting another one so they can each milk one teat on the same goat while I milk another goat.

They are so proud of themselves to be milking the entire bag out instead of just 10 or so squirts before they get too tired.

They even come running out in the middle of playing inside if they hear I'm milking.

Then they're off again, playing.

Which is perfect.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kid pictures.

I asked Matt to take the camera with him when he fed the animals so that he could get some pictures of the new arrival. This is what he came back with.





I'm thinking he left the camera in the truck. Yep, there he goes.

Now he's closer to the action, but the camera isn't.

Ah, here we are. Closer anyway.

Can we move around her?

Isn't she sweet? She's already been named, even though she's not ours. Rosalina.

Even though we've been telling Ains for months that this baby wouldn't be ours, she was still in tears this morning when she looked at the real thing and was told again. It's easy to say "Pssh. I don't care." when it's a big horse tummy, but when it's a gangly baby filly bouncing around? Oh, it's got to be yours.

But we have her until she's weaned. That should be fun.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I have accepted it.

Spring is not a mini-summer. Spring is a mini-winter.

Yesterday was another cold, rainy, windy day of winter blowing out, so we spent our day staying busy inside. I worked on cutting out fabric for diapers. This was my view.

Monday, April 11, 2011

What we're doing these days.

Helping Mother in the garden starts room.

I want to call it my greenhouse, but sadly can't.

Giving the humans mournful looks because the snow keeps coming.

Showing some serious farm style.



Talking Daddy into things.