Monday, October 29, 2012

Barbarian Warrior

Pattern: Simplicity 5520
Size: 3
Total fabric cost: ~ $15.00
Shoes: Walmart mud boots $15.00
[Pattern does not include pants, sparkly black leggings size 4-5 girls, Walmart $4.97]

This year's Halloween costumes were pretty much decided on in the spring when I made a Renaissance princess costume for Monkey Pants school festival. The pattern I bought, Simplicity 5520, had a costume for a knight and a warrior, which I figured would work out just great for the two little brothers. I even bought all the fabrics for the other two costumes and they've been waiting for me to make them all this time. However, last month, I was at Costco and they had a slew of pretty fantastic costumes for about $24. There were two different knight costumes and I folded and bought one for my older son. I was planning for his birthday at the time, and this seemed like an excellently intelligent choice which would save my time, energy and sanity. Right? Ok, maybe not save my money, though.
I was quite surprised by these totally non-directed poses from my 2 1/2 y.o.  Normally, he just shuts his eyes or looks away when I try to take a picture.  There were even more menacing grimaces and stances but the knock-knees weren't as intimidating in those shots.

Still, there was the warrior costume to be made for the little guy. I was not looking forward to it too much. It seemed pretty involved. I traced and cut the pattern out Thursday night, started cutting out the fabric Saturday and figured on tackling it a little bit at a time each night until Halloween. Then my friend calls me and tells me she's having a Halloween party Saturday night. Scratch the leisurely sewing plans. I worked on it pretty much all day Friday. Why does it have to be like this? That's OK, it got done and it turned out fabulous. The only sad thing is that he'll only be able to wear it this year as the size 3 unexpectedly turned out to be quite snug on my, uh what is he? --32-month-old. I would have liked to have gotten more mileage out of it.
Immediately goes for the de-capitation axe swing. This boy doesn't even know what an axe is.  I guess some boys are just born barbarians.

Ok, this costume, compared to the queen costume, much more time consuming. But it was so different, that I didn't mind it.  I didn't use the silver lame fabric for the chest plate the pattern calls for. I used a stretchy metallic instead.  It worked just fine. The fabrics were fun. I will say, I think this pattern fit too tight. The helmet goes on top of another head piece which was way small on him and couldn't fasten with velcro around the bottom of his chin.  I left it hanging and it's not a big deal.  Luckily, the helmet fit OK as the pattern combines sizes three and four for that.  I wasn't able to put velcro on the back of the armour and had to use small hooks instead.  My son is not large or too rotund for his age, so I didn't expect this. I also omitted the buckle on the belt part just because I thought it looked better without it.

Ironically, now I really want to make the knight costume, but have no need or reason to except that I already have all the fabric.  This is NOT a good money-saving strategy.

Knight costume from Costco, Renaissance princess and Warrior sewn from Simplicity 5520.

We added some jewelry, a scepter, and a crown, to step it up from princess to queen for Monkey Pants costume.  I wish the crown was gold, but no such luck this time. We didn't have time for make up, but we might do some fake eyelashes and a little sparkle for Halloween.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Marinara Sauce

Two years ago, I decided to make a small square foot gardening area in our back yard.  (If only I could find the pictures).  We're not huge lovers of vegetables, but we try.  This was our second year of tomatoes, and this time, I planted less and decided I would try to can them instead of trying to eat them all once they were ripe.  It was the year of canning, I guess.  I ended up canning apricot jam from my mom's back yard (also hurt my back for a month after picking those), apple sauce from my mom's back yard, and marina sauce from our tiny garden.  It was a hot process.  Next year, maybe I'll try freezing instead.

Time for involved things like this is scarce.  It usually comes down to, "Oh no, the tomatoes we picked last week are going to go bad.  We need to do this today!" So, I found a simple recipe online. You put the following ingredients: tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, salt and pepper in the oven and then blend them. (That was mostly so I wouldn't have to peel them).

My sauce turned out kind of an orange color rather than a deep red.  I think it's because I put the tomatoes in the oven instead of in a pot over the stove.  But the taste was surprisingly good.  Simple and very fresh tomato-y.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Velma Vintage Skirt

Fabric: Heather Bailey, Nicey Jane, Picnic Bouquet - lagoon (less than a yard)
Fabric Price: ~$10.00
Size: Oops, I don't remember
Child's Age: 7
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This was a pretty simple skirt to make.  A large floral pattern is a must. It still calls for a hidden zipper, but other than that, the construction was quite fun, I think mostly do to the rick rack.  I don't use that very often, and of course on this pattern, it really makes the skirt.  It was tough deciding what color to use.
Monkey Pants used to be a skirts only girl, then a leggings only girl, and now a shorts only girl.  But she will make an exception here and there.  This pose was quite unexpected.

I didn't make the top so we had to make do with this plain, boring white t-shirt for the photos.  I also didn't have the yardage called for the width of skirt and didn't want to cut into a whole new yard of the fabric so it is slightly less full than it should be. I didn't want to have side seams interrupting the floral print either.  This is probably the "cutest" thing in her wardrobe right now.

Loved this when she wore it to a symphony in the park with the cabled taupe sweater.