26 June 2012

I Need More... Pinpricks [Clover Wonder Clips]

My mother send me these little gems recently and holy cow have they changed the way I sew!  Well, not actually the way I sew, but definitely how I hold things together as I sew.  The Clover Wonder Clip replaces the straight pins that have, for years, pricked my fingers.  
Use them just as you would regular sewing pins.  They stay put and won't snag your delicate fabrics!  Plus, when you accidentally drop one on the floor, you aren't panicking to find the lost pin before someone steps on it!  Ouch!

REVIEW PROS: They hold like a pin without puncturing your fabric.  They come in a hinged storage box.
REVIEW CONS: They are much pricier than old fashioned pins at $6.99/10 or $32.99/50.  (Be sure to use a coupon when purchasing these little beauties!)

21 June 2012

I Need More... Cute Kid Clothing [dolman sleeve shirt]

Why is it that little girl clothing in stores for four to five year olds is still designed as if they are either: 1) still 2 years old, splattered with unnecessary glittered butterflies (I so hate butterflies) or 2) way overpriced for just how quickly little kids grow of their clothing (Crewcuts... I'm looking at you)?

Why is it that I hoard ideas for fashionable childrens' clothing, am a fairly experienced seamstress, and yet my daughter's wardrobe still comes from the store?

Okay.  Thanks for playing therapist for a moment.  Now back to the creation at hand.  Let's start with just about the easiest piece of clothing to sew.  Ever.  Kindergarden - meet the dolman sleeve tshirt - because my daughter will be wearing one of these babies every day.

A basic tshirt that your kid wears now as a rough pattern
Jersey knit fabric (unwanted adult tshirts work beautifully for this)
Sewing machine, thread, scissors, etc.


1. Lay your child's tshirt on top of your new shirt's fabric as a guide.  Cut around the existing shirt, allowing some breathing room.  A dolman shirt should be a bit roomy.  HINT: To get a perfectly symmetrical shirt, cut half of the shirt and then fold your fabric in half to cut the remaining half.  Wildly helpful!

Cut out an accompanying waistband, 4-inches wide and a few inches shy of the bottom of your shirt's measurement.  This will rely mostly on how stretchy your fabric is.

2. Serge (or zigzag) the necklines and sleeve openings, fold under about 1/4-inch, and hem.  Be gentle here, you're working with knit.  Too much tug and you have a ripply mess; too little and every time Janie puts on this shirt your likely to have a seam pop.

3. With right sides together, serge the shoulder and side seams.

4. Sew waistband fabric into a tube and then fold in half.  Turn your shirt right side out and pin waistband piece to main shirt.  Serge.

5. Pat yourself on the back.  You are so done!

19 June 2012

I Need More... Words [What Doctors CANNOT Tell You]

Over dinner not too long ago, our friend casually mentioned, "I now have 5,000 copies of my book in the garage." Hold on.  Rewind.  "5,000 copies of what book?"  

Turns out, Kevin is one of those rare people who do what they say they are going to do.  (Oh, to have that feather in my cap.)  In his case, it was "write a book".  He handed me a copy, right off of the aforementioned stack, to read in advance of it's official launch date - 26 June 2012.
Let me introduce you to a brilliant doctor turned author, Dr. Kevin Jones.  Kevin is a orthopaedic surgeon and researcher at the Hunstman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, UT and a mighty fine musician, I might add.  Following an undergraduate degree in English Literature at Harvard University and medical school at Johns Hopkins, he pursued orthopaedic surgical residency at the University of Iowa then fellowship training in musculoskeletal oncology at Mount Sinai Hospital and the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children.

And his book?  Well, I plowed through it.  And now I'm here to shout it from the rooftops!  If you've ever visited a doctor, if you've ever worried about needing a second opinion, if you've ever headed to the internet or library to dig a little deeper into a diagnosis, if you've ever struggled with a medical decision, or if you just want a deeper, better educated view of your personal health but have no idea how to get meaningful conversations with your physician started... then you NEED to read this book!  Read more about it at www.doctorscannottellyou.com.

Or better yet, buy a copy for yourself.  What Doctors Cannot Tell You is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle edition, Barnes & Noble in paperback and Nook book, and from Kevin's garage.  :)

REVIEW PROS: Following each chapter of the book, you'll find 67 questions that patients should be asking their doctors at different stages of treatment in order to become as knowledgeable as possible about their own health.

REVIEW CONS: Your initial thought might be that your doctor is withholding information from you.  Ever thought that maybe your doctor cannot tell you more because you're not asking the right questions?  Put those conversation-starting questions to work for you!  Yep, the ball's in your court.


09 June 2012

I Need More... Hacking [IKEA Overlays]

First of all, do you say 'dresser' or 'chest of drawers'?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way...

Oh.  My.  Goodness.  Have you seen these?  Brilliant is all I can say.  They are called O'verlays (www.myoverlays.com) and two friends envisioned potential in inexpensive fretwork panels designed to give basic IKEA chests of drawers a stunning custom look.  And through their custom department, it doesn't stop there!  You can "O'verlay" just about anything.  (end tables, windows, etc.)  Take a look at their blog.  Brilliant!

The O'verlays are made of a lightweight composite material that allows greater flexibility and less splintering (thank you for thinking of that, ladies) and come in multiple sizes and patterns.  They are also paintable.  Brilliant!

I am ridiculously excited about ordering some of these babies because just last month we purchased two IKEA Malm dressers.  We chose them for their price (affordable) but I hesitated at the register because they seemed almost too simple (blah).  Don't get me wrong.  I love simple and clean.  But dressers are such focal pieces in a bedroom that I wanted to make a statement with mine.  Thank you, O'verlays, mission accomplished!  (Well, once I order and install them.)  Brilliant!  (I told you that was all I could say.  One more time... brilliant!)

05 June 2012

I Need More... Pinterest

Actually, I probably don't need more Pinterest.  I spend way too much time on that site as it stands.  But it's such a fabulous place to search for inspiration that it certainly deserves mentioning here.  

But I have a pet peeve when it comes to this wonder of the web... THAT PEOPLE DON'T SITE THEIR SOURCES.  Yes, I just yelled that.  And yes, sometimes, a photo will serve to remind me of the perfect, secluded Balinese bungalow perched in the ocean that I'd someday love to visit, but what about the clever crafts that need bit more explanation than just one photo or the to-die-for stilettos that I want to drop the cash on but haven't a clue who sells them (or what their brand is, for that matter).  Grrr...

So, I'd like to re-post section three from the official "Pin Etiquette" from the Pinterest website.  Please to enjoy...  (and then I'll shut up)

3. Credit Your Sources
Pins are the most useful when they have links back to the original source.  If you notice that a pin is not sourced correctly, leave a comment so the original pinner can update the source. Finding the original source is always preferable to a secondary source such as Image Search or a blog entry.

01 June 2012

I Need More... Reasons to Celebrate [National Donut Day!]

I am not ashamed that I LOVE DONUTS (or doughnuts, whatever).  And that makes today a day to celebrate!  Did you know that way back in 1938, the Salvation Army set aside the first Friday of June to honor the women who served donuts to soldiers during World War I?  Lucky for us, historians record noteworthy events like this so that we, in 2012, can forget our silly diets for a day and cram our faces with deep-fried glazed goodness.  I may have gotten a little overexcited with that last sentence there...  No matter.  How will you celebrate National Donut Day?

In honor of this momentous day, I give you a darling (April Fool's Day) craft idea - Donut Seeds.