About Me

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I’m a diy, penny pinchin’, first time home owner, wife to my amazing helper of a husband, one sweet little type 1 diabetic daughter and one smart creative little boy(or should I say young man!). There isn’t a thing I won’t buy if I think I can make it myself. So I hope you enjoy my attempt to save a little money and share my attempts to make our house a home.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sneak peak ;O Kids Bathroom

A few more finishing touches need to be made but really just a few so far I <3 it!!!!

Once a funky gold mirror - now my true coral love!
The before picture is still stuck in jpeg land :D but imagine large contractor mirror and pukish colored walls that about sums it up :O when it's all done I will be sure to provide a before so you can appreciate how refreshing the after is! Happy Spring Break!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Obsessed, addicted, Can't get enough....

Goodwill!!! I HAVE to go there at least once a week! I literally begin to have withdrawls. I am not sure why I feel that way...I often think I am missing out on something and if I don't go NOW it will be gone. And the truth is just that! I have tremendous luck there but I think it's because I go there sooooo often I know what to look for, I know the in's and out's of the place. If you don't second hand shop and often, chances are your probably missing out too! This week ( and I hope to do this post twice a month at least) I found a pair of boots I have been eying for 2 years! The first year a co-worker(yes I used to have a real JOB!) came in wearing the cutest gray tone boots. Real leather, just enough heal, not to pointy or round toe and of all places she got them at Target! For...get this... 50 bucks! So I rushed down there and NOTHING. I was heart broken....so I went on line not my size, and have yet to have that color in my size. So this week strollin' a long with not much luck I meandered over to the books with the little miss, she gets a book every time we go amongst other great things. On the way to books we passed by the shoes and what to my wondering eye did appear???? The BOOTS, the boots I have been dying to have in mint condition, size sticker on the bottom still attached, they fit like gloves....for feet of course and were $7.99(goowill pricing is soooo random!)!!! I am sure the people in the store thought I was crazy squealing with delight at a pair of used boots and little miss was like sheesh...."find me in the books woman" I pranced around in the store wearing the boots happy as could be, I  decided to keep looking after all my "new" boots need a new outfit....right?? So this weeks find.....

Brand new target brand fair isle skirt XXL yep I still bought it and altered that baby! 6.99
Awesome like new gray Old Navy sweater - 4.99
and the BOOTS! 7.99
Yes I LET my loving husband take this picture which he HATES doing - its WWII every time!

Little miss got a great leap frog toy, brand new cream with black dot tights and book, no surprise there...I also managed to find a gray rosette'ish neck line long sleeve tee( we have snow on the ground spring or not) and a leopard print sweater which I have been keeping my eye out for - my grand total 38 and some change!!!

You may not always do as well as me since I seem to have the goodwill gods shining down on me ;) Good luck thrifting!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Making Diabetes Comfortable

We have our insulin pump start fast approaching and to prepare Ava we have been having her wear the pump around to get used to it. The only problem we have encountered is bed time. She has NO desire to wear it to bed and I don't blame it's a little bulky for a little one and she sleeps like a tornado always laying on her front back and sides the one night we tried it I went in after she fell asleep to find it on the floor. Now mind you it will be tethered to her which in my mind causes a bigger issue! Having to replace an infusion set when the darn thing gets thrown across the room ;) so I brain stormed some ideas with her a pocket in her jammies....NOPE, a stuffed animal....NOPE and pocket on her pillow....NOPE a comfy soft waist band to help reduce the bulk....MAYBE plus she can wear it under dress's and what not so really whats the loss?! Nothing! We will keep trying till it works for her but she is pretty pleased with her Yoga band pump holder :D It was super basic so I documented how I did it. Just in case anyone else out there needs one and has a talented friend or mommy to make it!

Yoga Band Pump Pouch Tutorial

Supplies: 16 inches of knit fabric
Velcro the softer the better some can be really stiff I happened to have some cheap quieter softer stuff

Sewing machine and what-nots - Insulin Pump or measurements will help too - if not Ava's is about 2x3 and about 1 inch wide (it's a junior size)

Cut fabric 16 inches by waist measurement plus 3 for Ava it was 16x23" (20+3)

1: Fold fabric in half so it's 8x waist and sew/serge long edge (my sewn edge was the 23 inch measurement)

2: Turn it right side out so now you have a long tube about 8x W (waist)

3: pres seam open or to one side if you serged it

4: fold with seam on the inside of the fold Serge or zig zag stitch the short edges shut - now it should measure about 4x W
Serged short edges

5: place pump in side long folded fabric and mark along the sides from top to bottom to create a pocket so the pump won't slide around the whole waist band
Pins mark where seam is going for pocket
Leave enough room on sides to accommodate pump width
6: Sew the top layers together minus the area you marked for the pump

7: sew from top to bottom where you marked for the pump pocket - mine isn't directly in the middle as I assume she will wear it to the side slightly but anything works it will end up being a tube really ;)

8: attach velcro to the back making sure soft faces in, scratchy out, I did an additional soft strip to make up for clothing and what not being on or off
9: sew velcro to pocket area to hold in pump leave room for tubing to stick out I did about 4 inches on a 6 inch gap.

DONE! Sorry if it 's hard to follow trying to zip through this to make it to the new story time hour :D Please email me if you have questions :D

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Twirl skirts, a little girls dream come true

Ava took a scrap and put it on Sunny's head and said "look she's an artist dog" ;)

I make: A LOT: and I have been holding hording this polka dot fabric for something fabulous for the little miss. And wouldn't you know I had plenty of fabric and just the right amount of black elastic for this tutorial: http://www.danamadeit.com/2008/07/tutorial-the-circle-skirt.html

In case you are wondering Ava is about a 4t and her broke down measurements according to the geometry were 3.8 inches for the waist(22+2, don't judge she's got a nice layer of baby fat;)  and 13 inches in length =) The wide elastic probably should have been longer but I used 19 inches(that's all I had left) 20" would have been great!

This was super easy because I slightly cheated and opted to only serge the edges rather then trying to fold and hem a curved line(so frustrating for me but totally do-able) and fast. Fast and easy + DIY = ME!

She is so super excited to wear it too! Oh and of course twirl for hours....it's a weird thing she does daily anyways :) This tut was easy to follow, the math yes scary but really NOT that bad and I can only imagine how much funner this would be with an additional layer....coming up next ! Thanks Danamadeit!

**Actions shots**

Check out that hot pink hair!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Barbies....getting to that stage of life already

Ava is on the heels of her 4th birthday and is really getting into imaginative play and BARBIES seem to be her toy of choice the last few days....maybe because she can talk her big brother into playing with her (I think it has something to do with barbie eye candy but gross! Let's just say he's s super sweet hunk of a brother!) She has a random assortment of barbie stuff all bought by her grandparents :D I decided if she was really into it how hard can it be to make her some non-scandalous dress's turns out NOT thanks to craftiness is not optional's tutorial! She is totally in love with the first dress I made and I see many more in our future. I made a few slight modifications but in general this is a great tutorial and definitely a great way to use up all my scraps of fabric! Off to find some shoes today for her random barbie collections to coordinate with all the new dress's we've dreamed up!
Lining up her barbies - so toddler and taking their picture :O so me!
what a GREAT brubba!
Muah! These 2 really love eachother

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Great beginner clutch or makeup bag

Finished product measures 8 1/4 x 5 closed on flat bottom

This fold over style bag uses very simple sewing technique to construct and very little fabric. It would be great for makeup, it's super light weight so you can keep it in your purse or luggage. Makes a quick easy gift..Bridesmaids perhaps!

2 pieces of outer fabric 9(W)x10(L)

2 pieces of liner fabric also 9x10
 **I used decor weight for both if your using lighter fabric cut 2 pieces of fusible interfacing 9x10 and fuse to wrong side of outer fabric

3-4 inch piece of cord elastic or 1/4 inch what ever you have on hand - a hair tie would even work :)

1 button any size or style just make sure you elastic will loop over it comfortably.

3/8 inch seam allowances (more then 1/4 less then half or any of those will be fine this one isn't seamstress science)

1: Sew outer pieces right side together along the length sides and bottom(not the top!) set aside
 Repeat step 1 for lining.

outer and inner fabric cut to 9x10
2: Press all seams open and line up corners for pleated bottom, measure 1.5 inches down from corner and make a straight line and sew along the line repeat for lining. Trim 1/2 inch from sewn lines press open with iron.
Pinned and marked 1.5 inch from corner seam

3: Place right sides together matching side seams. Pin along the top leaving a spot for a 3 inch opening in the front CENTER of the bag(either part is the front for now) for turning.Sew 3/8 inch from edge except for the 3 inch opening.
sewn top edge with 3" opening for turning
4: Turn bag through opening it will look like below....then gently push lining into outer, lining up all the seams and bottom.

turned with right sides out

5: Press top seam carefully lining them up and the 3 inch gap seam allowance. Form a loop with elastic placing raw ends in the gap in the center front of the bag (to find the center I lined up the side seams and pressed the center line with my iron) pin or hold elastic in place and begin sewing the top shut with a 1/4 inch top stitch from edge all the way around back stitching a couple times across elastic to secure. I added an additional small back and forth zigzag stitch to secure my tiny elastic loop ;) 

6: On the center front of the bag measure 5 inches down and make a mark. Sew button directly over you mark going through both outer and liner. Tie off button from the inside and trim ends(I used fray check to hold the knot, I  use it for everything ;)

Marked center and 5 inches from top for button

  Done!! Now make a bunch and enjoy!

Folded closed complete bag!

opened and standing on flat bottom

Alright Universe I'm Listening.....

Example of a more recent sewing project - toddler messenger bag - padded, lined and handmade ruffle
If you sew it they will come?? Well maybe if  I offer to help them sew it they will come ;) As many of my friends and family know it has been my dream since being unemployed to teach sewing to ALL ages, preferably beginner because I think EVERYONE should know how to sew,of course I would love to help people beyond their imaginations.
Sew...I mean, so today while on a family outing we ran into Hancock fabric to get some gray fabric(really that's all I was looking for) and came across a couple scoping out some discontinued sewing machines for their 9 year old daughter who wants to learn to sew. One thing led to another and then I was offering up my services to teach their daughter to sew....and they informed me the manager of Hancock Fabrics is looking for someone to to teach classes but hasn't had the right person come along...Me!
Is it possible I was being summoned to follow my dreams? In the middle of a fabric store....(Ironic)
I really had put my dream on the back burner not knowing the need, but sewing is such a modern trendy thing to do(and my PASSION), it's popping up every where, for all walks of life. It only makes sense that in this PO-dunk town with little options(and high cost) that I offer to teach as well as give people more variety, personalized services and a modern perspective of crafting and sewing in today's modern world, none of this shirt making CRAP that's so old SCHOOL! People want to know how to sew and create what ever their heart dreams up, not some white collar boring stuff...Did I mention I couldn't pass up the killer deal on the same sewing machine I convinced that couple to buy?! So not only did I get gray fabric but two new sewing machines and the fire to get this dream started! So with out further a-do! I am officially embarking on my dream....Sewing lessons for all ages(well, almost all) private, groups and classes. My first priority...Beginners!

My sewing space in the midst of renovation...
Reclaiming the whole bonus room rather then the corner!

Beginners Sewing Lesson(ages 8 and up) $35 - (approx: 2.5 hours) List of supplies provided and limited sewing machines available if you don't have one. (private lesson or bring a friend/small group  I will do my best to work with your schedule for the lesson)

Class outline:
How to use a Sewing Machine:  Bobbin winding and loading, threading a machine, stitch length, needle alignment, using the presser foot and back stitching. How to sew a straight line.

Sewing Notions:Supplies to get you started, what you need, how it works and why you need it as well as tips on how to buy said notions.

Tips: How to clean and keep you machine clean and running, troubleshooting common sewing problems and how to keep sewing simple 

Selecting Fabric: How to select fabric based on skill , project and type.

Beginner Project: Envelope Pillow Cover. This project will include basic sewing skills to get you started. Pre-washing, cutting, pressing and sewing.

This Class is designed for someone BRAND new to sewing or curious about learning to sew or purchase a machine. If you DON'T have a machine please let me know as machine use is limited.

READY to LEARN?? e-mail me The Mrs. aka Rachel @Sewwithrachelbend@gmail.com

Happy Sewing! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

I'm that girl!

I'm that girl, that goes to estate sales and buys that funky old (oddly smelling)bedding and hides it away in my closet and until recent I feared my children would be selling it at an estate sale in my honor....well, I finally bit the bullet and cut into one of those bad boys and the outcome is simply amazing! I also manage to collect buckets of vintage trims, ribbon, bias tape and random sewing goodies for next to nothing. Which I also put to use on this adorable top! I peeled it open and read the back of the paper wrapping and I could send in  a whole $2.50 and 50 cents for shipping and receive a bag of trimmings for other projects, like for baby dolls and doll hous accessories....I am pretty sure in my previous life I was a 50's southern house wife sippin' on sweet tea and sewing up dreamy items for my children and their toys, because I can picture it all perfect in my head and I am odly ADDICTED to sweet tea :) so if your new to sewing or happen upon an estate sale, collecting vintage bed sheets is the way to start with out breaking the bank and maybe some day you'll actually turn something out worth while...till next time ya'll - OH and I am thinking of listing one of these tops in my etsy shop so if your interested hit me up and maybe I can accommodate your lil' chitlins size too! Did I mention I made the leggings too! Trying out that fang dangled knit fabric so my little lady has some comfy leggings these were simple and fit like a dream!

Vintage bed-sheet peasant top

Thursday, March 15, 2012

MIA doing DIY =) classic!

I have been totally MIA from what seems like everything! What have I been doing....well feels like nothing but that's not true ;) Almost completed the kids bathroom, decided to go with a Lego theme for the boys room a forever work in progress and attempting to fix up the bonus room which BTW houses a desk area, tv, futon for guests, toddler art table, and my sewing corner it's so difficult to cram all of that into ONE room and trying to make it flow has been mind boggling.....SO I decided to work on each corner at a time and hopefully if I keep a color scheme in mind it will all fall in place (one can hope!) So here is a little taste of  where the Magic happens for me....MY Sewing corner (which is ever growing) still not complete but work in progress and the new BONES are up =) also note I put together the right book shelf, yes the one that was put together properly.....my hubby put together the left one its minor but the very top piece is upside down :O tee hee!

PARDON my cell phone pictures I was too lazy to fetch my other lens....


In Progress 

A quick break down of WHAT is here (in case you need one too!)

2 white (larger then I thought would be) bookshelves 27.84 ea @ Walmart
1 Ikea jokkmokk Table I found this one at goodwill last year for 14.99
1 long shelf(wider then I thought, from precious shelf set up) for across the top about $10 bucks :)
I squeezed the shelf's together on one unit and put in a tension rod to hang works in progress or done items.
The chair is a yard sale score that's been floating around for a while it was originally forest GREEN with a lovely country plaid seat then it was black with a not so great cream linen seat( it was at the dining room table for a time...ewe is all I have to say!) now it's white with yellow CHEVRON!
the lamp - squint you might see it is from target clearance $15 with a cheap shade trimmed in POMPOMS (luv those things!)

The whole faux built in cost under $100 bucks plus I have ample storage and room to cut and sew on!

Still need to work on organizing, and getting some pics up or a cork board....hmm...so many ideas!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Todler Messenger bag turned over night bag

so cute! my pic is a little washed out - no time to edit!
My intention was for Ava to have a small bag she could fill with diabetic supplies, snack and toys. Usually she carries around a used grocery bag ;/ which is fine, she's all re-use, re-duce but she's beginning to look like a little old bag lady these days and quite frankly she needs to be responsible for her diabetic supplies sometimes too! I am SICK of her handing me stuff to carry ALL day! I feel like a bag lady too ;) so I searched the net and came across a super cute bag http://tiptoetango.com/2012/01/16/messenger-bag-tutorial/#comment-522

I should have re-thought the dimensions(for my lil' toddler) but I didn't even question it till I held up the outer sewn pieces to her so now it's an over night bag instead. Which will be great for us when we bum our way into daddy's work things next week in Portland ;) So now this one is finished and I think I will be moving on to the one in my One Yard Wonders book ;p oy!

There is a couple things I didn't do to save time, obviously I didn't quilt the outer layers.....I did however heat and bond my felt and fabric together so it wouldn't shift.

I also didn't do any interior biz :) I did plan on it being reversible but didn't sandwich the handle right :O oops!

Thirdly this WASN'T a time saver by any means!!! I decided to make my own ruffle (I didn't want to have to shower, get Ava ready, prepare a snack and go to the fabric store just for trim, but the ruffle is what really made me decide on this bag....WARNING do get ready, get child ready, prepare a  snack, go to the fabric store  and skip making your own! tee hee! It still needs a button she has her heart set on a heart :) IF you do decide to make your own mine was made very similar to this...http://tiptoetango.com/2011/12/28/ruffle-napkin-tutorial/ I did 2" cuts for the ruffle....I know I just said don't do it but I love these napkins!

This WHOLE bag was made from bit's and pieces of fabric and felt I already had, so this could potentially be a great STASH buster project. Oh and my strap is about 9x33 which is way too long for her but great for what it is now, an Over Night Bag***

the interior of the flap

BIG Thanks to Tip Toe Tango for the adorable inspiration!  http://tiptoetango.com/