Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ahhh ... summer days

The boys (and I) are enjoying the first week of summer break.  The last week of school was fast and furious, with lots of end-of-school activities.  On Thursday, the kids had field day.
I was working the Otter Pop table, so I didn't get many pics, but this one makes me smile.

On Friday they had their last day of school, and Joel got to join Evan for the ride home on the bus.  We went to the mall to enjoy some frozen yogurt and buy some Legos.  That was pretty much a perfect way for the boys to start summer.


On Saturday the whole family went to the Bellevue Strawberry Festival.  The highlight for us was probably the strawberry shortcake eating contest.  That was the only thing that made the boys want to go, and we weren't sure if they would even compete.  But they could!

They just found out that they have to eat it with their hands behind their backs.  First one done wins.

Eat, eat, eat!!!
How did someone finish already?!?  At least they got spoons to finish it up.
Since then, they have been enjoying time together at home.  We have discussed things we want to do this summer, but they haven't really wanted to do any of those things yet.  They are quite content to stay home and play with each other.  They haven't even argued or hurt each other's feelings - too much, anyway.  They have been playing Legos, Monopoly, Wii, and reading.  Today I encouraged them to go outside and play in the beautiful sunlight for about an hour.  While out there, Joel made up a new game.  He is so creative!  I can't wait to see what God has in store for his future!  So, Joel took an empty milk jug and filled it about 1/3 of the way with water.  First he used a stick to bang it and make music.  Then he decided to use the stick as a target line and try to cross the line with the jug by throwing it backwards between his legs.  He and Evan had fun trying it out.

After that game, Joel found some more toys to make into a new game, but Evan was ready to get out of the "heat" (which might mean it is 70 degrees).   Right now they are watching Aladdin.  I started reading a version of the story to Joel and thought this movie might be fun for the afternoon. 

So, that's the beginning of our lazy summer.  Hopefully we will have more adventures later, but for right now we are just enjoying being together and using our imaginations.  I will enjoy it while I can!
Thursday, June 21, 2012

T-shirt update: fitting and ribbon shirring

I have never attempted a tutorial like this before, but as I was working on this project I started getting excited about my ideas.  I am not guaranteeing that these ideas are original, but as far as I remember I didn't see these ideas anywhere else, unless otherwise stated.

I like having team t-shirts when I go to games, so since I moved to the Seattle area, I needed a few new shirts.  The cute women's shirts are more expensive, of course, and since we are trying to economize with the move I bought a cheap men's shirt to wear to a Mariners game.  It was fine, but after seeing several t-shirt redesign tutorials on pinterest, I decided to give it a try.  Today seemed a good day since I was wearing the shirt to the boys' school for sports day/field day.

I started out by sewing the side seams of the shirt to make it slightly fitted.  I followed this tutorial.  Then I thought I might like a little shirring on the side and was trying to figure out how to accomplish that.  This is the idea I had for adding ribbon shirring by using the existing seam I had just made.

First, I made a little snip in the seam just above the bottom hem. 

Then I started threading the ribbon through.  I took a 2-foot length of ribbon and folded it in half.  (Use more or less depending on the size of your shirt and how much of a tail you want to be visible.  Mine is not very long.)  Then I made about 3-4 stitches in the top of the fold with a larger needle, but did not tie off or cut the thread. 

I used  the needle to "thread" the ribbon through the slit and up the seam. 

I decided I wanted my ribbon to start about 9 inches from the hem of the shirt.  So, I measured up 9 inches and once the needle reached that point, I pushed the needle through the fabric.  I pulled the needle and thread until the top (or fold) of the ribbon reached that point in the seam.  (It took a little work to get my ribbon through the slit but one I got the fold through, it was quite easy.) 

Then I stitched through the seam and the fold of the ribbon several times.  I tied it off once I was satisfied and trimmed the thread. 

Now I was able to pull the ribbon and decide how much shirring I wanted.  I simply tied a bow in the ribbon and adjusted the shirring to make it even.  Not much of my bow shows, so next time I might make the ribbon longer.  Or, I could cut the hem off.  Or I could make the slit a little lower.
You can't really see the bow in this shot, but it does give you an idea of the extra shaping it adds.
You can see a little of the bow in the right side of this picture.

I am still thinking about cutting out some of the neck to make it more of a v-shape.  I am not quite happy with the sleeves, either, but I am not sure what to do with them.  I need to reinforce the side seams on my shirt, too.  But it worked for today and it was really comfortable.  I felt a little more feminine in it, too. 

I hope this tutorial made sense.  If you have any questions or constructive comments, please let me know!
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