Spring Stripe Shorts

Although spring has barely sprung in our neck of the woods, I'm feeling like summer. So I've been sewing up light shorts for my daughter and experimenting with sweet cotton bloomers for beneath her summer skirts. The bloomers are still in the prototype stage, but here are some shorts that were simple to put together and in size 3, took less than a fat quarter's worth of fabric.

I didn't bother finding a pattern, just laid a pair of shorts that fits her on the fold of the fabric and cut around it with a generous .5" seam allowance.
There are some really great tutorials on how to construct pants and shorts out there... I learned how to do it online, at other mama's blogs! So I'm not making this into a tute,  if you Google "kids pants tutorial" you will be amazed at how much information is out there, and later on you will be amazed how completely easy this is once you do it a time or two.

 Stripes just don't photograph well, do they?

But apparently they are good for playing on the patio...

and climbing "trees" (shhh, don't tell her they're just shrubbery!)

 My thirty seconds of cooperation by my lovely model is over - bye!

More Imke Love

I haven't blogged all the times I've made this pattern, but suffice it to say, It Rocks!! I use it for my son and my daughter, using the boy/girl options the pattern gives so that they each can get the "look" they want. Here's my latest Imke - incredibly easy in fleece, because if you don't want to hem you can skip it. Yes, that's the latest Mini Boden catalog on my table there - not because I'm a customer, but because I'm a copycat! It is a great place to see what's trendy for the season and a lot of the styles are very basic. So it isn't that hard to rip off get inspired to make a few things of your own with that Mini Boden flavor. Right now I'm eyeballing that swim cover-up on the front there -  it's a simple tunic length hoodie made from toweling material. I could do that!! Anyhow, back to Imke:

This would be a good choice for a beginner to try sewing a shirt, because having a hood instead of a collar makes it easier to finish the neckline. Collars take practice! Either way, I seriously recommend using a basting stitch to attach the hood or collar because you may need to adjust it. If you don't baste, you could find yourself spending lots of time with your seam ripper! Not that I would know anything about that.

So there she is - I just love the sweet flared sleeves and bodice. And I love how easy it is even more!

A Menu Mailer Giveaway!

One of my favorite traditional food blogs, Cooking Traditional Foods, is having a giveaway - a full year of their incredible traditional foods menu mailer. The bonus is that the menu is Gluten Free and Casein Free too, and on top of that (as if that weren't enough!) it comes with prep schedules and shopping lists for each day's tasks so you can keep on top of them and not fall off the plan due to lack of preparation. Plus, the winner will receive access to the Recipe Archive which contains over 500 recipes!!

Their menu mailer, whether you win it or subscribe to it (which I have done in the past and highly recommend!) will definitely help you gain confidence and make progress with integrating more traditional foods into your life.

Menu Mailer Giveaway Here!

Recipe Cost Calculator

With grocery costs soaring, it's more important than ever to keep a tight rein on the grocery budget. But do you know how much your favorite recipes cost you? With this spreadsheet, you will. I am changing my monthly menu plans to include three or more meals per week that are even more frugal. This will help me know for sure that I'm knocking dollars off the weekly budget with my new plan.

The spreadsheet is made in Excel and is fairly basic - I have no idea how to use Excel, but I was able to easily input a few ingredients and try calculating a simple recipe in just a few minutes. I found it online while I was browsing through blogs for recipes. The author is asking one dollar for the spreadsheet, and emails it to you after receiving your payment. I felt comfortable risking a dollar on it, so I decided to give it a try. I don't have any relationship to the author other than as a customer so I can only say that it seems like a pretty good deal to me so far! Here is a link to the blog page where you can get your own copy -

Recipe Cost Spreadsheet