Sunday, December 28, 2014

Hot/Cold Rice Hand and Neck Packs

I finally got a sewing machine that I can use! My grandmother gave me a Singer Feather Weight 12 years ago but I never got the hang of using it. For Christmas this year, my husband bought me one. I got a Brother CS6000i sewing machine. I love it! My first project was making some hot/cold hand and neck warmers for Christmas gifts. Over the course of 3 days, I made 6 neck warmers and 9 hand warmer sets of 2. Here is a picture of a few of them. I made some in a few other colors but forgot to take a picture before giving them away.

This was a great first sewing project. I'm just learning how to use a sewing machine and I thought these gifts would be personal and useful. To make them, I cut cotton fabric at the length I wanted for the neck warmers and the length I wanted for the hand warmers. I also cut flannel to line the inside of the warmers. I sewed them inside out like you would a pillow. Then I turned them right-side out and filled them with rice. Then I sewed the end up. To use, you heat the neck warmers in the microwave for 1 minute. For the hand warmers heat for about 20-30 seconds. You can also put these in the freezer in the summer to cool you down. I loved my first sewing project and hope you do too!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Maxi Skirt, my first sewing project for me!

I have always loved the idea of having and making custom clothing. I really don't like shopping for clothes because half of the time I don't see anything I really like. I am loving my new sewing machine! I am teaching myself how to sew thanks to the internet and Pintrest. After making Blue Rock some shorts, I made myself a maxi skirt! It seriously took about 30 minutes and was very easy. I bought some cute, stretchy, on the expensive side, fabric from JoAnn's. Since I spent $16 on the fabric after my coupon, I really didn't want to mess this up. I took a skirt that fits me around the waste. I laid it over the fabric. I cut a little extra around it on the sides. I then laid on top of the fabric to measure how long I am. I'm sure there are other ways to do this. Then I finished cutting the skirt out. I sewed along the one edge inside out. Then I put it on to check how long to make it. I hemmed the bottom. Then I put the skirt on and folded the waist in. I sewed two stitches to secure the waist. Since the fabric is stretchy, I didn't need elastic. I just made my own waist band using the skirt itself. This was a fast and fun project! I think I'll wear it to church on Sunday.

What do you think? I think I'm going to either make another skirt or try making some yoga pants. I bought some black stretchy fabric as well. I love the feel and flow of this skirt. Another skirt or pants, it will be a tough decision.

Lay the skirt you own on top of the folded fabric

Cut in the shape you want

Turn inside out and line up the edges and pin

I pinned the bottom and did the same with the top to hold the fabric in place

All done! It is the perfect length with my boots, which I'm not wearing.
First clothes- son's shorts and my skirt

How I sewed boys shorts without a pattern

I made my first clothing item for my son today! I made him a pair of shorts. I bought some flannel to line the inside of my rice hot/cold packs and my son wanted shorts made out of it. I have always wanted to learn how to make clothes. I love the idea of custom clothing. I don't know how to read a pattern, yet, so I took a pair of his pajama pants and studied them. Then I cut some fabric and sewed it together.  When it was almost done, I put the shorts on him to see how long/short I wanted them. I hemmed them and then added an elastic waste, which was easier than I though it would be. The whole project took me about an hour. I think they turned out cute and my son loves them, which is the most important thing! He wore them the rest of the day!

First Christmas as a Family of 4!

This was our first Christmas as a family of 4. Princess's 1st Christmas was very nice and Blue Rock loved having someone else to play with. It was almost like they got double the toys because they were both interested in what each other got as well as what they got. It was so cute and fun to watch!

One of my good friends came over for breakfast Christmas Eve. My hard working husband worked half a day and then as a family we went out to lunch. Christmas Day we spent with my family. Overall we had a wonderful time! I feel like I was the most blessed this year. I have two beautiful children and one on the way. I also got a sewing machine and a serger. There will be lots of fun projects in my future!

This was our first Christmas without my father-in-law being on this earth. That was tough. I really wish my mom-in-love lived in our city or was closer but I am so glad she lives close to one of her sons. 

I hope your family had a wonderful Christmas and has a blessed New Year!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Traditions with Kids

We are really trying to make Jesus the reason for the season of Christmas. Here are some of the things we're going to be doing as a family at home.

25 days of Christmas stories. We've done this the past few years. I wrap 25 Christmas books and everyday my child (now children) get to open a book to read. On December 25th, we read the story of Christ's birth.

We started celebrating Sankt Nikolaus' Day when we lived in Germany. We're adding a little different twist to it now that we're back in America. On December 6th, our children will find their stockings full of Christmas cheer rather than their boots.

We're going to be going through The Jesus Storybook Bible advent-style with our church. Everyday we read a passage from the Bible that leads up to Jesus' birth.

I'm going to read and go through The Donkey in the Living Room, starting December 15th. That's when the kids will find a different piece of the nativity scene in a special place. We'll read about the person and why they are part of Christ's birth.

We'll be doing lots of fun crafts. Today Caden and I made a Christmas countdown chain. We'll be counting down in lots of ways, including with the chocolate advent calendar. 

Have a Polar Express night. Our church has a movie night every year featuring the Polar Express. Since we unfortunately will not be able to make it, we'll watch it at home as a family movie night with Caden after Gracie goes to sleep. Then another night we'll surprise our kids with tickets to go see Christmas lights. I even bought little bells to give them. Originally, I was planning on us riding the train to the north pole but decided to wait until Gracie was a little older.

Lastly, we have added a cute little Elf to our Christmas traditions. He will help guide our children in the Christmas spirit. Everyday he'll be up to something and have with him our daily Bible passages to read. To start with, he left a note for the kids asking for a name and telling them about himself. He's hiding in our Christmas tree. Do you see him?

What are your Christmas traditions?

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