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Monthly Archives: April 2012

RePurposed Layette

Before I had my daughter I knew snaps on any nightgown was not going to be good.  I am sure in haze of not sleeping I would become very frustrated at changing a diaper so I registered for the elastic bottom layettes.  It turns out I didn’t really use these much either because at first they were so big on my daughter and then she would have one leg hanging out or get tangled around in it.  So I thought since the top of the layette still fit her that it would be a good time to repurpose.  Here is the how-to using the measurements I used.  You should measure your child for a proper fit.

You will need:

1 layette (the top still needs to fit the child)

20 inches of Rick rack (10 for each arm hole)

14 inches of 1/4 inch elastic, cut in half

36 x 8 inches contrasting fabric–I used a pale pink broadcloth

54 x 2.5 inches tulle


Ok so I began with this layette that I think my daughter wore a handful of times.  I first put the layette on her and measured where her diaper line hit on the layette and marked it with a erasable marking pen.  I did the same markings on the arms where I want to cut them off.  Keep these extra pieces if you want the complete outfit.

Cut at your markings and you should have 4 separate pieces.

Ok you are ready to sew and make a super cute dress for your darling little one.  This layette was made of 100% cotton so try not to pull too much when you sew.

Measure your rick rack around the arm hole and cut.  Be sure to leave a little extra so you can fold down your end.  I even sergered the ends or use zigzag stich.  Rick rack will fray bad.  I think maybe some no fray solution might help but not sure how that works when washed.

Pin your rick rack to the right side of the gown matching the edge of the cut armhole to the lowest edge of the rick rack.  Make sure to fold your end over to meet underneath the arm hole.  Sew.  Flip your rick rack under and top stitch.  UPDATE: After I was done with the garment I decided to go back and add a second line of top stitch to hold the rick rack down.

Serge the long end of the contrasting fabric.  If you don’t have a serger then you can just zigzag but not necessary.  Next sew the short edges of your contrasting fabric together to make a continuous piece of fabric for the skirt.

Iron the seam down.

Next is gathering the tulle.  I wasn’t sure if this was going to work and I don’t think I will be signing up to gather a lot of tulle for dance costumes in the future but here is how I did it.  Tulle can get stuck in your needle and make a mess so I put a piece of white tissue paper on top and bottom of the tulle and sewed using the longest stitch on my machine.  Be sure to leave yourself a tail of thread to pull.  Then pull the tissue off the tulle.  This is a tedious process so if you find an easier way please let me know!

Gather your tulle by pulling one of the strings. Next sew your tulle onto the right side of the skirt.  Turn under, press and top stitch.  I didn’t have a problem top stitching with the tulle in my machine.


Next you will need to turn the top of the layette inside out and shove the skirt (tulle end toward the neck) into the layette so the raw edges meet.  Right sides will be together.  Sew those two together.

Press and you have a super cute re-purposed layette!  Now your cute baby will need some leg warmers that were once the sleeves. Fold down the raw edge for the 1/4 inch elastic.  I measured my baby and 7 inches worked for her legs.  Check your sweet nugget for an accurate fit depending on how high you want them to come up on the leg.  Thread the elastic, sew the ends together and close opening of the leg warmer.  Done!

But wait we still have the bottom half of the layette.  Let’s make a diaper cover.

Use the elastic as the waist.  Cut some leg holes.  Just eyeball this.

I turned my seams under and sewed the leg holes and the crotch.  Now you could use elastic thread and maybe even put snaps on it but no one else was going to see the diaper cover under her dress so I thought this worked for me and we had to get to a volleyball tournament!

Get lots of ooohhh and ahhh from everyone around.  My volleyball team played this weekend so the leg warmers came in handy in the cold convention center!

Enjoy making a new outfit out of something used!

RAD Mama

Recipe- Jalapeno Cornbread–20 Minute

My hubs loves jalapeno cornbread and I don’t always have time to make it from scratch.  So here is my version made from a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix.  I don’t normally cook from boxes and cans but this is delish, so we have added to the dinner time rotation.  This is ready from start to finish in 20 minutes.

Jalapeno Cornbread

Here is the recipe:

1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix

1/2 can (12 oz) cream corn

1/2 jalapeno, diced

1 egg

cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix muffin mix, cream corn, diced jalapeno and egg with a wire whisk.  Spray 8×12 pan with cooking spray and pour mix in pan.  Sprinkle with cayenne pepper to taste and swirl with knife.  Bake 15-20 minutes until set.  Let cool and serve.


RAD Mama

Recipe- Apple & Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins–Dessert

I was craving something sweet and pulled out some items out of the refrigerator that needed to be used and came up with this.  These dessert muffins turned out better than expected and the butterscotch topping is simple but really adds a great topping.

Apple and Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins

Apple and Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins

Here is the recipe:

Yields 12 Muffins

3 medium apples

1/2 cup fresh or frozen Cranberries

1/4 cup freshly squeezed OJ (1 large orange)

2 tablespoon sugar

4 tablespoon butter, melted

1 package of honey graham crackers

1 tablespoon vanilla

2/3 cup powdered sugar

10 ounces cream cheese

medium muffin tin and papers

Pre-heat oven to 350.  Pulse graham crackers and melted butter in a food processor until the consistency of sand.  Evenly divide graham crackers and press into muffin tins.  Bake 8 mins.  Take out of oven and cool.

Peel apples and dice.  Squeeze 1 large orange.  Cook apples, cranberries, sugar and oj on medium heat until soften and cranberries pop.  OJ may need to be adjusted if using frozen cranberries.  Begin cooking and slowly add juice if mixture is too dry.  Cool.

With a hand mixer beat the cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar until combined.  Gently fold the fruit compote into the cream cheese until well combined.  Evenly divide fruit-cream cheese mixture on top of graham cracker crust.  Bake 18-20 minutes.  Cool completely on wire rack and place in refrigerator.

Serve cold with a butterscotch topping.

Butterscotch Topping

Melt butterscotch chips with a splash of heavy cream in a double boiler.  Drizzle the melted topping over the muffin.  Could use carmel in place of butterscotch.


RAD Mama

Re-Purpose Wedding Sweater

I had this sweater in the closet and hadn’t worn it in over a year, prior to being pregnant.  My new rule is longer than a year (not including bun in the oven time) and it needs to go or be repurposed.

old sweater from closet

Well I saw icandyhomemade had a repurposed sweater with her cute circle skirt and I thought this one from my closet would go with my new skirt.  So I used this idea and made a nice top even though it was 85 degrees in March!  I didn’t follow her directions exactly because “winging it” is more fun and my sweater was a bit different.

First step, I measured to find the center of the sweater.  Now this sweater has ribs so it made it easy to follow along in a straight line while cutting.

Next be brave and cut!  I know this is scary but you will be better on the other side.

Now I finished the edges with some pink bias tape.  I pinned the bias tape to the wrong side (raw edge folded over) and sewed on the right side of my sweater.  The ribs on the sweater helped sew a straight line.

Easy right!  I also added a hook and eye to the top because I prefer that look.

I would love to see your re-purposed clothes.  Feel free to leave a link.

Happy Sewing,

RAD Mama

Tutorial–Wedding Circle Skirt

My first tutorial!

Hubs, baby and I are attending a wedding and I need an outfit and of course nothing in my closet will work in its current state!  So I saw this circle skirt tutorial on icandyhandmade and MADE.  Now I couldn’t get any cute striped knit locally or online in time for me to construct an outfit while taking care of a baby. I decided to keep it simple with some navy knit that was on sale at JoAnn’s but after I started it was too simple so I added a color block.  Here is my tutorial for the wedding circle skirt.

What you will need:

Approximately 1 1/2 yards of main color knit (May be able to get away with less.  Just take pattern pieces with you to the store and lay them out on the cutting table to measure)

1/4 yard of alternate color knit

rotary cutter or scissors and mat

tape measure

freezer paper or wrapping paper*


*I had a picture framed and it came wrapped in this thick brown paper.  Worked great for pattern pieces but you could use several pieces of freezer paper taped together or the opposite side of some cheap wrapping paper.

I followed the tutorial listed above for cutting out the pattern piece and produced this.

Circle Skirt Pattern Piece

Next I placed the pattern piece on my fabric and cut it out.  I bought 2 yards of the navy knit not really knowing how much I would need.  I am taller than the average person (6’1) and I figured I could make something for my daughter if I had scraps (which I did).    

Next I decided that I needed some sort of other color so I picked up some green knit for a nice contrast.  Now I experimented with this shape and ended up choosing a V shape.  Here is the pattern piece for the V.  I was going for a V with the alternating color.  The skinny part of the V should be on the fold of the fabric.  Also you may have to adjust the size of V to fit your skirt.  I am 6’1 so your skirt will be smaller if you are shorter, therefore your V will be smaller.

If you decide to fold over the edges about 1/4 inch, cut a small slit in the V .

Small slit in V

Iron down the sides for a cleaner look if you choose.  Knit won’t fray but I thought it would look better and I could cover up any cutting imperfections.  Pin V onto 1 piece of the main color of the skirt.  I took my time during this step and played with the location.  I wanted the edges of the V to match up with the edges of the skirt.

Time to sew!  Sew the alternating color to just 1 piece of the skirt.  This will be the front of your skirt.  Sew as close to the edges of the V as you can.  Then put right sides together and sew/serge your side seams.  Again knit won’t fray so serging is not necessary.

Next you need to make your waist band.  

Sew side seams together.  Fold in half, iron the seam if you would like and pin right sides  of the skirt and waistband together matching fray edges or waistband and skirt.  You should have 3 layers (2 from the waistband and 1 from the skirt).  I followed the direction for the waistband from the tutorial but it was still too big for me.  I added some 2″ elastic in the waist band.  Just wrap the elastic around your waist and cut off the amount that fits your waist if you need the waistband to be tighter.  Initially I thought this was too much fabric but after I put the 2″elastic to cinch in the waist the skirt looked much better on.  I didn’t hem my skirt.

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I was very happy with how it turned out and it was super comfy.  Paired with a white tank top (from the closet), an up-cycled sweater, and a homemade necklace.  Tutorial for the re-puposed sweater and baby outfit out soon.

Dead Singer…..

So I start my blog with a dead sewing machine! Very big sad face! So I knit….

I had this lovely machine passed on from my mom and not sure where she acquired it from but it made curtains and all kinds of outfits. It is now ready to rest in peace in the sewing machine graveyard or my closet just in case.

Up side is that I need to shop for a new machine. I headed down to a local shop Sew Much More. I walked in the door and knew I was in heaven. Just about every model of Elna, Bernina, and Baby Lock sergers, embroidery, and sewing machines ready to take for a test drive. Mary Kay spotted me and introduced me to Miss. Elizabeth. I knew we would become BFFs but I had to talk to the hubs first.

Day 2 to sewing machine shopping lead me to the Sew Much More Outlet which happened to be the Grand Opening! I knew it was fate that not only was JoAnn’s having a sale but I was now standing in an outlet store for machines, notions and furniture.  I have been wanting a serger for sometime and finally found a great place to purchase a starter one.  Cynthia showed me around and long story short I ended up with the below machine and 2 lessons!

Elna Serger 634

I went back in forth over a machine to just get by with or to spend some cash and get a good machine that I can pass down to my daughter.  After much discussion over the right sewing machine I ended up with Miss. Elizabeth and unlimited private lessons.  The ability to do numbers and letters really sold me.  Now this machine does so much and probably more than I can use right now but I have decided to try and learn all of its functions since I have unlimited lessons!

What machine do you have?  Learned any new functions lately?  Please share.

Now off to sew.

Happy Sewing to all.

RAD Mama