Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Blankets and braids

 Why, helloooo there!  See that text on the side about living on Oahu, and the sunny pictures all aboot?  See the occasional glimpses of Mrs. Domesstic wearing tanks and shorts?  See some color to the skin of the little bits? Well, ignore that.  This blog obviously needs an update ;)  Here we are in Cali- living on the Central Coast where the flowers are abundant and the cold weather is prevalent.  We have a WONDERFUL house here, and use the car about once a week because everything (EVERYthing!) is walking/biking distance.  It's chilly, but quaint.  I'm reasonably happy.  Come visit!  (Ok, if you've just stumbled upon this blog randomly, maybe let's chat first.  But otherwise, really, come visit!  We have plenty of space and even bought a new bed for the downstairs, completely separate, en suite guest bedroom.  It has wifi, a tv, and fancy mini shampoos stolen from various hotels.  My mother-in-law is a bit of a thief)

This house, being old and roomy and WONDERFUL, has a large and bright sunroom.  During the day it gets nice and warm, and the kids and I spend a lot of time there, as it is used as both my sewing room and their playroom.  This setup, coupled with the need to be indoors much of the time, has allowed me to spend a lot more time reconnecting with my machine.  I've made curtains and dresses and (almost) finished a long-lost quilt.  I've made many many oopses, as well.  I'll try to share a bit of all of it, but today is about blankets and braids.

As a mom of two, I have a ton of baby blankets.  Most are the one layer flannel kind, and I long ago learned that I could use these as interfacing or backings for things.  Which is nice because the material is still nice, and new fabric isn't cheap.  But I had a couple of these stretchy double layered blankets lying around that I just couldn't part with.  Along come the cold Monterey nights, and I finally dug them out of my stash to sew into pants.  Really easy, and so soft and comfy.  Plus, it's sweet and nostalgic to see them running around in their old swaddling blankets.
Want to try this?  Here's how:

Baby Blanket Leggings Tutorial

 Find a pair of knit pants that you like the fit of.  With side seam of pants on fold of blanket, trace around the leg shape of the pant leg stretching out the waistband to include the full fabric length. Add an extra inch at the top to encase the elastic. 

 Cut the leg out (don't cut the fold- this will wrap around the leg to create a front and back.)  Take this and put it on another fold of blanket fabric, trace again, and cut, to make two. On the piece below, the fold is to the left.  I cut my legs so the bottom of the pant hit the binding of the blanket.  Now you don't have to hem the legs!

Sew the inner leg seams on each piece, with fabric right side to right side.  A zig zag stitch works well to allow for stretch.  Also, don't worry about finishing the seams for fraying- knit doesn't fray (score!).   

Again, right side to right side, align the crotches of the two legs.  Pin together and sew the curve, like this:

Now fold under that inch of extra fabric at the top, and sew it down, leaving enough room for your elastic.  Make sure you leave an inch or so of gap to thread the elastic through.   When you've threaded your elastic, sew the ends together, then sew up that hole you left in the waistband.  

The back of my blanket had a contrasting pattern.  Cute for cuffs!  You can add little knee patches or pockets at this point, or just leave 'em be.  They are cute as is.

Now, pay attention to your kid already!


Asher was being particularly hard to photograph when I tried to get some shots of these pants in action.  So here are some dark and blurry pictures.  Use your imagination. ;)

(No we didn't get a cat.  This is "Mustard".  The kids let her in to visit daily, but she is not ours.  Not.)

And here Kenzie is modeling hers.  While I chose to make Asher's wide legged, I went with a slim fit for these.  

 While digging through my old baby fabrics stash I stumbled upon an old maternity dress.  Feeling a theme here?  I liked the material of the dress, but the fit was off and I had somehow acquired a really suspicious looking stain near the top.  I had recently seen this braided belt tutorial and thought I'd give it a shot.  It was so stinkin' easy, and so cute.  I love belts, as I have a long skinny no shape frame, and I see a goodwill t-shirt hunting day in my future.  I'll be the Girl with the Cute Belts. 

Best part of that project?  Learning to braid with four strands. I feel like I have a whole new skill set now!  I can do so much!

Like braid my daughter's hair:

And braid challah bread!

Funny Story about this bread.  I was going to (for once) follow a recipe for vegan challah bread I found online.  Why vegan?  Dunno.  Just sounded crunchy, and when in Monterey...
It called for vegan cream cheese or tofu as an egg replacement.  I kinda skimmed that part, I guess, because when I asked Mr. to help me stir in the (regular) cream cheese, he said, "I thought you said this was vegan?"  
"It is.   wait.....  um.  Well.  It's eggless?"
At that point I just gave in, and added kefir to the mix to moisten it a bit. And some maple syrup.  And beer.  So much for following a recipe (I NEVER use recipes.  Drives Mr. crazy).  I coated that loaf in smoked paprika, and sea salt.  And you know what?  It was good!!

Try some when you visit.