Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Skirts From Old Jeans - The Video

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Don't you love it when you get an idea, figure it all out, and THEN find out YouTube has videos that show you step-by-step what to do? No? I am the only one who forgets the great and wonderful Oz that is YouTube?

The skirt that I made the other day is super easy, but you might want a video to see it actually going together. I found two that are good.

This first one is done with two pairs of jeans, but you simply skip the second pair of jeans (hey, make a second skirt - woo hoo) and use fabric instead (or use the second pair and go totally denim!). My only advice on this video is to ignore her when she says you can't use skinny jeans. My first skirt I made was using skinny jeans and it totally works. You just need a little bit more fabric.




Next is a video of a Mom (I think I heard a little in the background) making a skirt with fabric like I did. It's short but she shows you how it's done.


You should know, I have become a massive fan of this process and how these skirts fit. I rummaged through my closet yesterday to see if I had any more jeans that I could deconstruct in this manner and found a set that the rise has always been a bit shorter than I liked. With a skirt, rise doesn't matter! I spent a bit of time after my kiddos went to bed and ended up with a second skirt that's fuller. My first set was made from skinny jeans. This set was using wide leg with a fun accent on the pockets. 



Sunday, May 21, 2017

Do We Call Them Jerts?

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I have a pair of jeans that are the best. Oh, they are soft, fit me like a glove, move how I move, and are like buttah (in my best Jersey accent). It's like they were custom made for me.



Then I dried them in the dryer a few times, instead of hanging them up like usual, and they shrunk in the length.

No biggie. I wore them with cute flats and pretended they were supposed to look like that. I LOVED these jeans.

Then I lost over 25lbs and they fell off of me ... quite literally.

OK, time to toss them in the donate pile.

Or should I?

Instead I decided to make a skirt out of them.

Here's the process I am going through, all I have left is to stitch them and I will have my finished project.

Step 1: Lay your jeans out and find the inseam. Starting at the ankle, cut up the seam just to the INSIDE of the natural hem that's already sewn into the pants. You can see me doing it below. Yes, you can seam rip, but it's just not as pretty, doesn't give you the same finished edge, and it a lot more work. Scissors take a few minutes. Cut right around the crotch (know there's quite a bit of fabric there, so use quality fabric scissors) and down the other leg to the hem.


Step 2: You will have a place like the below picture where the crotch met the zipper/rise. If you don't not alter this, you will end up with a funky pokey out part (yes, that is a word, just don't look it up in the dictionary - lol). So, you need to cut that to the LEFT of the seam the way you did the inside of the seam on the legs. You want that nice finished seam showing. Repeat for the back or you will have a tail.




Step 3: Once you make this cut, lay your pants out and smooth them out on each side, front, and back. It doesn't have to be perfect for this next part, just flat. Your jeans will look odd now, like they aren't quite finished. This is what you want.

Step 4: The piece you just cut under the zipper is important. You want to now lay the right side (the one with the pretty finished seam) over the left. Make sure it's very flat. If you have a small pucker, cut a tiny bit higher (do a little at a time so you don't have to sew extra). Do this snipping until it will lay nice and flat. Pin the flap down. Repeat this in the back with the flap you made there. 



Step 5: You need to have a contrast fabric. You can also use another pair of similar jean and just cut the legs off as close to the back pocket as you can, cut down the leg the same way you did with this, and use that open flat piece as your fabric. You can have fun with this. I chose a nice color similar to my jeans so I could have a lot of options for shirts and accessories. But chose a funky fabric, a contrasting color, whatever suits your style. 

Either way, cut a piece of fabric bigger than your opening and make sure it's long enough for a hem. How nice it is does NOT matter. You won't see any of it so no biggie. Lay it in the opening and smooth everything out. You want to pin it all the way up and around. Start at one hem at the bottom, pin it up and down to the other hem, making sure it's smooth with no puckers. 

Step 6: Do you see the jeans factory hem going down both legs on the front and back? You will want to follow that hem. Just stitch right over their stitching. You have a few choices. You can use the jean thread that comes on most jeans, choose a blue thread so it blends in, or choose a funky color if you want that exposed stitching to show. I will be using navy as I want the jeans and fabric to be the star.

Make sure you stitch down the flap you made cutting below the zipper and you are ready to hem. all you need to do is hem the new fabric. The rest is done for you since the jeans are already hemmed. If you have used a second set of jeans to make the entire thing denim, you don't even have to hem. You are ready to go onto the final step.

Step 7: Hem your fabric. this is the part I do not have finished yet and will have to show you once I take a picture of my entire skirt on me. You simply want to fold up the fabric, pin it to the length you need to match your denim, and hem it with a coordinating thread. I will be using navy since it matches my denim and also coordinates with my print fabric. 

That's it. You are done. You have made a skirt. This can easily, easily be done in an hour. Imagine the possibilities. You could find old jeans second hand and have a fun time making a whole new wardrobe cheaply. 

I popped around the internet to find you some inspiration. Check out these cute skirts. 








Friday, May 19, 2017

Mother's Day Again

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My husband's plans for my mother's day present fell through ... hard. But, I am not so sure I am upset about it. Because of that, this little beauty is on it's way to me this coming week. I already had 7 projects in the works for it. 

Photo Credit
It's been years since I used a serger. I won't tell you the exact number, but it involved a high school home ec. course. I am excited and nervous all rolled up into one. I will be practicing and figuring it out for the first few days, that's for sure.

If all goes well I will have a few projects to show you soon. If not, just look for the crazy lady running down the road with old pieces of thread and bits of fabric trailing behind her.



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day in an Alien Land

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Before I was convicted about some of my movie watching, I saw Twilight. I remember a scene where Bella and Edward and his brother were trying to get her to safety. They were driving in her truck running from a very dangerous situation. She looked out the window to see, in slow motion, her high school friends all coming out of a local coffee shop/diner. They were happy, laughing, just going on with their typical teen lives and she felt so outside of that, so removed from it, like that was her life and now this is. She felt alien to it.

That's so often what it feels like to be a special needs Mom. This weekend as families celebrated mother's day with flowers, fun meals, laughter, and more. I was giving my child with pale skin and huge dark circles under his eyes a breathing treatment trying to help him stop coughing so hard he couldn't breathe. I was giving him tube feeds because food just wasn't in the picture. I saw Moms, as I went to the pharmacy and the ER, laughing with their kids, walking with them, wearing cute skirts, and just having a wonderful weekend. I don't wish they knew this life. I am glad they have THAT life. It's just that it feels so alien to me to see such a relaxed situation, such ease, and I feel so removed from it.

Even when we were in the ER I saw parents bring in children with some typical pains and illnesses of childhood (a young girl got hurt on the soccer field, a young child woke up with a little fever and a slight cough but he was young and Mom was nervous, and a third child had a rash). I pray each of them feels 100% better today. But even then I felt so removed. I was wondering if the hospital had medicine that was safe for my son (sometimes they don't). I was contemplating how to get the medical food to the hospital because I DEFINITELY knew they didn't have his medical food for his tube feeds. I was praying we had a doctor/nurse/staff that wouldn't use the N word (needle) because that would set him off and I needed to prep him for anything that would hurt. I prayed he wouldn't beg me, AGAIN, to not "let them do this to me Mommy, please." because my Mom heart couldn't handle it.

I love my boys, as they say, to the moon and back. I adore them. I would walk this journey with them for a thousand years if that's what they needed and I had the ability. But it just seems the world keeps on turning, people keep living and breathing and smiling and laughing, and wearing cute dresses with kids in matching outfits and I am walking around with a thousand thoughts in my head wondering if anyone notices the medical food I spilled on my pants that morning as the med port of the extension popped open.

I am not looking for sympathy. It's just the feelings I have each day. I am so grateful I have a God that loves me through these raw feelings, these feelings of being so removed from reality and gives me strength to face another day of it.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Book Recommendation

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We have started to use some homeopathy in our home with our family. So far it's working well and we are appreciating the effects we are seeing in our health. We have addressed this two-fold. We are using a homeopath that we feel comfortable with her methods and we have a "self-care" book that helps us with acute issues as they arise. (headaches, stomach problems, injuries, etc)

I really like how the book I chose is set up and think its explains everything well to the common user and makes finding remedies very easy. Thus, I wanted to share it with you. It is called Homeopathic Self-Care: The Quick & Easy Guide for the Whole Family by Robert Ullman, N.D. and Judyth Reichenerg-Ullman, N.D., MSW

I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I have. Click on the picture to take you directly to an Amazon page that sells it. I get no money if you look at it/purchase it from the link. It is just provided for your ease.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sleep Issues

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From the day we brought little Linus home, sleep has been an issue. When he was an infant we would work for a solid 2 hours to get 30 minutes of sleep out of him, only to have him wake again and we would start the process over. He barely slept. Oh, I don't mean the typical baby issues of sleeping a bit less than their counterparts. I mean he BARELY slept. I don't know how you can survive off such little sleep. I should know, I slept less because I had to get to sleep after he went to sleep.

It moved to the point he couldn't sleep without touching me. Not Daddy, not big brother, not anyone else in the family or outside the family ... me. I wore him during the day a lot, just to give my arms a break.

We finally moved to sleeping in our bed even if he wasn't touching me. I worked and worked with him, trying to teach him to sleep on his own.

We put him in his brother's room, thinking company would help.

Nope.

We put him in his own room thinking he need to be alone.

Nope.

We put him in our room to go to sleep and then carried him into his own bed.

Nope.

We tried it all. We bought fun bed tents, sleeping bags, pillows, toys, no toys, special books, fun sheets, anything and everything to help him sleep in his bed.

His anxiety always won out.

We gave up for quite a while and just said sleep in our room. We were tired after years of trying. It wasn't getting us anywhere and I think we all just needed a break.

We worked on the anxiety and learned what caused a lot of it. We started to heal that. That was hard since it wasn't from a trauma, experience, or other situation where traditional therapies or meds could help. It was from food and that's hard to even diagnose, much less treat.

Finally we decided it was time to try again. But we knew just saying "stay in your room" would not work and we would doom ourselves to failure. We weren't sure how to proceed.

One morning we woke up to find our older son had pulled one of our camping cots out and had slept in the living room. He was just uncomfortable in his bed the night before, not sure why, and came up with this solution. It also gave me an idea for Linus.

I asked him if he wanted to sleep in the living room with big brother on camping cots. I told him we could work on getting him into his own room this way. I also offered a reward. I told him I would pay him $1/night for 7 nights if he could sleep outside of our room. He was all for it and big brother thought it was going to be a fun week of sleeping on cots in the living room. Win-win. We told him our bed was available if he needed it, but to try his best, that's all we asked.

Night one came and went ... no Linus in our bed.

Night two came and went ... no Linus in our bed.

Night three, four, and five, same outcome.

On night six I suggested maybe a bonus if he slept in his own bed. I told him $2 instead of $1 if he did this. He tried. He couldn't. I told him no biggie. He still slept in the living room so he got his $1.

Last night was night seven. He asked if the $2 deal was still offered for sleeping in his own bed. I told him it was. He said he wanted another chance. I think he just needed that extra day to really wrap his mind around this new change of bed location. I pulled the cots into the living room, but kept them folded against the wall. He could open them up if he needed to and sleep in there. He likes a safety net.

I will just say this, Both boys are sleeping and I am in the living room typing this post. Yep, he was successful and I am out $8. It's the best $8 I ever spent.

He doesn't know it, but the next offer will be different. He will get $1/night for 7 nights if he sleeps in his own room this next week. After that we will move to $1/2 nights, and then $2 for the whole week. We have used this type of reinforcement before with him. It's been successful when he's ready but still having a hard time with the transition. When things get uncomfortable, the temptation becomes strong, he has something tangible to help him move past it.

I am hoping for a good report when he wakes up in an hour or so.


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Well That Was A Fun Break

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I had bigger plans for the Autism Awareness Month posts but life went very wonky.

Photo Credit
My brother, for those that don't know, got married last weekend. A few months ago his beautiful bride asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. I happily agreed and we decided just I would be going as it's half way across the country. Long story short, my brother really wanted my entire family there and we all ended up flying out to be with them. Longer story short, one of the reasons he wanted all of us there is they wanted all of us in the wedding. Yes, this means I got to see my handsome men in tuxes. You can't beat that as a wife and Mom.

Being the wonderfully Pollyanna, positive .... naive self that I am, I misjudged just HOW stressful this would be with my kiddos and had my plan of attack for packing medical supplies, how to handle the trip, etc all set out.



Yep, we all got sick before we left. I was supposed to head to my Mom's the weekend before we left because said brother was coming into town for his bachelor party and wanted one last visit with us. (bachelor party consisted of his groomsmen playing old vintage video games and poker together - lol)

Too sick.

Did I mention my bridesmaid's dress had been messed up by Nordstrom's and I needed to get back for what should have been a final fitting (should have is the operative word here)? I needed to get outfits for the rehearsal dinner for my guys. Yep, canceled.

So, I had to nurse us all back to health, including me, and get out the door within 24 hours of feeling decent enough to get out of bed.

This means I had to pack 4 suitcases, 2 large backpacks, and my purse all to carry on. I couldn't risk any of it getting lost, not with my bridesmaid's dress, shoes, rehearsal outfits and shoes, medical stuff,, emergency medical kits, and more. Nope, just not an option to check bags on this trip.

I managed to get it all done, have my third set of correction alterations done on my bridesmaid's dress (I was kidding when I said they kept messing it up and in the end it still was very wrong), have a mani/pedi, and get to the airport 2 hours early like we were told to do.

Only the flight ended up being 2 hours late.

We waited what seemed like an eternity (really only 4 hours) and finally boarded.

It was a wonderful weekend. We go to spend a lot of time with my brother since, well, honestly, he's the groom and only had to pick up his tux. The bride was busy with last minute planning with her coordinators, so we spent that free time with him.

We saw Grauman's Chinese Theater, took pics of my boys pretending to steal John Wayne's footprints in the style of Lucy and Ethel, saw the walk of fame and I took my picture with Vivian Vance's star, took pics with the Hollywood sign, went to Hermosa Beach and saw a school of dolphin playing right off the pier, and more. 

Needless to say, I am back and we hit the ground running. We were wiped out from our trip (got about 4 hours of sleep each night because of fun activities tied to the wedding). I had to shop for food (for some reason my guys still want to eat) and yesterday we started final work on the goat pasture (started, did not finish). 

Oh, and to throw another "relaxing" (read insanity) moment into our month, we decided I should go to our state's homeschool convention next weekend. Why plan? Just go with it. 

And THAT, dear readers, is why I took a bit of a break from blogging suddenly. 
 

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