The Dressmaker’s Technique Bible

This book has been invaluable to me. As a beginner in sewing, techniques like darts, french seams and linings were complicated aspects of commercially made clothing that I figured I would simply never be skilled enough to accomplish. Just as The Bible is sort of a ‘How to do everything in Life’ for Christians, The Dressmaker’s Technique Bible is just as comprehensive for the novice seamstress.

Information about essential tools, a guide to body shapes and fashion silhouettes, a glossary of terms and a fabric guide are all included. With easy to follow instructions that include pictures and illustrations you will learn about how to create sleeves, tucks, pleats, collars, embellishment and much more. In many cases, it is explained how to complete a technique by hand and with a machine. Even useful resources beyond the book including websites and magazines. If you’re a beginner or even intermediate sewer there is plenty of helpful information in this book. I definitely recommend it.

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Holy Cows and Hog Heaven

When will I learn that finishing a book at a reasonable pace is going to be out of the question at least until crafty baby is of school age (four more years…ugh)? I was able to finish it yesterday but had no time for this post. So, I give to you now my 2 day belated review of Holy Cows and Hog Heaven by Joel Salatin.

(Pardon the blurry picture. I am still learning my camera…)

First, let me tell you a bit about the author, Joel Salatin.

As a traditional and holistic farmer in Swoope, Virginia, Joel Salatin has become an advocate for local and, as he calls it, beyond organic food. He has written many books on the subject of farming and spends a significant amount of time giving lectures about his beliefs and farming techniques. He has been featured in documentaries such as Fresh, Food Inc., and Farmageddon. As an outspoken and unapologetic member of his community he has attracted plenty of praise and criticism. His writing style is easy to follow and peppered with his own unique sense of humor…and if you watch any of the docs I mentioned above you will agree that as serious a message he is trying to convey, he does so with unmatched humor and wit (it helps that he wears the biggest suspenders ever and simply put, looks exactly like  you would want a farmer to look).

Holy Cows & Hog Heaven The Food Buyer’s Guide to Farm Friendly Food is just that, a point by point guide for the reader on how to release yourself from the dreadful food industry of today’s America. How to source local and ethically raised meat, poultry and dairy. How to find the tastiest and most nutritious produce by looking beyond the shelves of the big retailers and focusing a little closer to home. You will learn the true cost of cheap food. The personal, social, financial and environmental ramifications of the industrial food system. At one point Salatin lovingingly speaks of one of his cattle, her name is Number 10. I’ll describe it as somewhat of a monologue where he gives insight to just exactly how he feels about his animals.

I wanted to keep this short so I’ll just finish by saying that I didn’t just receive valuable information from this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it as well. It makes me wish I lived close enough to do my own shopping at Polyface Farms. I also can’t wait to read Salatin’s other books! If any of you have read it or plan to please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Perfect Summer Snack

 

This is not only the perfect summer snack but it makes a fantastic breakfast or lunch. It’s cool, refreshing and super tasty. It’s certainly nutritious from the high protein and good bacteria in the yogurt to the antioxidants in the blueberries and the immune boosting effects of local raw honey with, of course, the well documented health benefits of almonds. It comes together quickly, too which I think we can all agree is important.

The possibilities are nearly endless as you can create different combinations of fruits, nuts and sweeteners to add to your yogurt. Here is a short list of yummy variations.

Fruits

Peaches, strawberries, bananas, oranges, mangoes, plums, pears and blackberries

Nuts

walnuts, cashews, peanuts (not a true nut but still tasty), pecans, macadamia, pine nuts and hazelnuts

Sweeteners

maple syrup, molasses, stevia and agave nectar

 

…And now my stomach is growling so loud that the little one is hovering around me and patting my belly asking “hungry mommy?” over and over again. I think we’ll go have a snack 🙂

 

Enjoy the rest of your day and check back tomorrow because I have a book review to share that I think you’ll appreciate (if I can find the time to finish the last few pages today).

 

Happy Snacking!

Our Trip to the Farm

Yesterday the kids and I took an hour trip north of home to visit Circle N Dairy farm in Lindsay, TX. What a neat experience. We wanted to see the cows and the farm but the main purpose of making the trip was to buy some real milk. It’s only legal to sell in Texas from the farm where it is produced so off to Lindsay we drove.

We were able to love on some babies and spy on the mommies as they chilled out in some much-needed shade, fans and misters (105 degrees in TX right about now). Ava walked around mooing the WHOLE. TIME. And Jonathan was in charge of the camera, my future photographer 🙂 Here are some of my favorites he snapped.

I promise it only LOOKS like I’m eating my hair…and of course Ava is mooing 🙂

the one pic I took 🙂

 

sweaty me

 

sampling the chocolate milk. it was delicious!

 

Ava with the farmers’ grandson

 

mad that it was time to go

 

 

 

 

Turn a Lined Skirt Into a Dress

 

My Grandma gave me this skirt she found at a thrift store. It’s an Old Navy skirt that looks brand new since there is no fading at all. It was a little too big and an unflattering length but it had a great coral lining and I knew I could do something with it. Here’s how I turned it into a dress.

 

1. Turn the skirt inside-out and separate from the lining with the lining inside-out as well. Determine how wide you want your neckline, mark the middle point of the bottom edge of the lining (which will become the shoulders and neck) then measure out your neckline evenly centered. Pin and sew each edge up to neckline marks backing over beginning and ending stitches to secure.

2. Figure out how big you want your armhole to be and measure down from shoulder seam then cut the outer seam off creating an opening. I finished my armhole by just doing a zig zag stitch along the edge but you could fold over and hem if you like.

 

3. Measure a straight line down from your middle mark and cut in from top to open up the neckline (cut only on the front of the dress).

4. Zig zag stitch along the raw edges or hem.

 

5. & 6. I added a personalized tag by using a t-shirt transfer and  ironing directly onto the inside of the dress.

 

7. Measure and mark the desired hemline and cut.

8. Finish the edge as you have done the others and you’re done! (by the way, I lightly ironed my “collar” outward to achieve the look in the final picture)