Wednesday, July 31, 2013


" In every gardener there is a child who believes in The Seed Fairy."
~Robert Brault

I found a few minutes to slip away and post some pictures from our garden. Aren't they just beautiful? There are two more common butterflies that have been dancing about our flowers, but by the time I run in the house to grab the camera, they're gone. And yes.... the summer is flying by just like the butterflies. We're busy making good of what is left before school starts in a measly two & half weeks. As I'm planning out more of a self-sewn wardrobe, I promise more items will be entering the etsy shop and this blog as craft ideas are taking list form. Until then...
Happy Trails :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Alison Bathing Suit

Let me start off by saying it's a true compliment when your spouse looks at you and says, "You bought another bathing suit?" As soon as I heard my hubby utter those words I knew I was successful.


First and foremost, I'm not a fan of printing patterns at home. But Burdastyle gets an A+ for this one. It was soo easy to print and put together. You have a four inch test square that helps you gauge if it printed correctly. If not, check your printer settings. The directions, however, are another story. You definitely need a little sewing experience for this project. And the reason... To know what to do when the pattern leaves you hangin'.

I can see how the ratings for this suit are a mere 3 out of 5 stars. (And to think, I just thought everyone was being soo mean when I read the complaints about this project.) Before attempting to create this  ~ I read, re-read, and re-read the patterns instructions. There were a couple things that just didn't make sense to me but I figured, ehh...I'll get it. The center tab is not thoroughly explained very well along with attaching most of the separate pieces.  I went along... of course tweaking it to my liking and I love what I ended up with.

Once my pattern was cut out,  I attached the front to the back right sides together. I decided to completely eliminate lining the bodice, so for me I didn't need a half yard of Lycra lining. A quarter will do just fine. I only placed lining in the crotch area because the chest area is already lined. (You will fold over the fabric for that piece.)

For the crotch area, I simply attached my pieces with the serger and stitched them to the bathing suit.

It's starting to look like the suit!

Next, for the chest piece, create gathers as the pattern explains. But DO NOT attach it to your bodice yet.  This is the time you place your cups in the chest if you need them. I wish I had done this. A little lift is always nice. I completely pieced my bra top together, notch and all before attaching it to the bodice. I loved working with it this way. I was able to attach it in sections with slow stitching unlike the pattern which calls for top stitching.... which can look a little sloppy if your not used to working with stretch fabric.

Attaching the band was pretty simple and went along great. I opted to eliminate the back strap for comfort and well... I just liked the way it looked:)

The leg holes were serged and stitched inward. You could attach an extra band for a boycut, but I didn't want that either. The pattern is created to sit a little low naturally.

That's it! Project complete. Time to hit the pool!

As for learning... What was gained? First, a better knowledge for manipulating stretch fabric. Second, bra cups are priceless. They keep your puppies in place. And third, I gotta say I'm totally hooked. Next on my want list ~ a high waisted retro bottom with a simple bandeau top. That is... after I make some for the girls:)

Happy Trails!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Re-Purpose That Cute Shirt


Don't you just hate when a cute top gets a stain or a hole somewhere on the sleeve? With kids, it happens alot. This time, the shirt was too cute to land in the trash can. Here's what we did & you should too!



I made this,  just as before, like The Make-up Bag. You can check that out in April 2013 section.
This is a great way to re-use, re-purpose, and recycle those adorable items we hate getting rid of.
The girls love it and found it the perfect size for their lip glosses.
A few things that are good to know:
~ I never pre-measure the old shirts. I cut the most of what is usable.
After, is when I hunt down the perfect size zipper.
~ If your using t-shirt fabric, lining is a good thing. It helps your pouch keep
the perfect shape.
~ If you don't have a serger, use your zig-zag stitch after your straight stitch.
This will keep your ends from fraying and it looks alot neater.
Happy Trails:)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Garden Party Favors


Poppies, bachelor's button, calendula, & sweet william are done with their first blooms which means time to catch those seeds! Every year I grab a collection from our garden in hopes that the following year will be just as beautiful, if not better. I thought of a great and pretty way to stash those seeds. (So pretty you could use them as a party favors.) All you need is some crafting paper, your sewing machine, scissors, a ruler, double sided tape, & a few seeds.
I started off by folding my 12 inch scrapbook paper to leave a 1 inch lip on one side. Using a grid, or a ruler, cut the paper into 4 inch sections.
Sew your paper on either side. Stitch length should be set to two for optimal seed storage. If you choose a smaller, tighter stitch, you will most likely tear your paper. Too large of a setting will allow tiny seeds to escape.
I added a little curved corner. Place your seeds inside and a fold the lip over and seal with double sided tape. Don't forget to label!
All seeds you save should be completely dry and keep them away from sunlight and plastic bags.
"It is like the seeds put in the soil ~ the more one sows, the greater the harvest."
Orison Swett Marden
Next...time to host a garden party!
Happy Trails:)

Monday, July 1, 2013

It's Already July?

Summer, please slow down! I beginning to think I can't keep up. Some stitching is finally underway along with all the gardening. And by gardening I mean dabbling my hands into cuttings. I found this recipe on Pinterest and had to share it on the blog for all you green thumbs that don't check that site out too often. Did you know you can make your own rooting hormone? Well.... I didn't. That's why I felt the need to experiment and check this out for myself. All you need is a large glass container, nothing you use for food, and two cups of weeping willow leaves. Place the leaves into the jar and pour in 1 gallon of boiling water. Cover it with a lid and let it sit for 24 hours. That's it! I was stunned when I opened it & smelled rooting hormone! We have a couple different types of lavender but there's only one I'm interested in multiplying. I haven't been able to find it at any local garden centers and it's the only one I use for the sachets I sell in The Mint Needle shop. The liquid is great for promoting healthy, disease free roots:) You just gotta give this a try!

On another note ~ Do I dare tell you I've made the BurdaStyle Alison swimsuit? Yup, and you'll hear all about it soon enough. But for the time being, I'll let you have a sneak peak. This awesome fabric screams retro. Palm tree silhouettes playing against a rainbow sunset... I loved it!