Gail's Nest · Refashion

Refashioning a Too-Small Skirt

One of my favorite Ithaca, NY stores on the Commons is Petrune. It’s a vintage clothing store. You never know what you’ll find. My latest visit turned up a 70s skirt whose pattern I loved but whose size was too small!

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I immediately noticed the length and the large hem. The light bulbs went off! I could take out the hem, thereby lengthening the skirt further, and then cut the whole skirt off below the zipper in the back! So I spent the $8 and bought it.

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As I enjoyed a favorite television show I unpicked the hem.

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I discovered that the hem had been doubled up so when I unpicked there was another hem already in place. When I lowered the hem I saw the “rest of the picture” of the print. So pretty! Now it just needs a good ironing.

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I carefully measured the length of the dress from the bottom of the zipper to the end of the hem. I marked the measurement (happened to be 18 inches). I did this all around the skirt so I would cut the top off evenly.

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I know – it’s scary, isn’t it? Once you cut into a garment there’s no turning back.

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Now I have a skirt that is long enough and wide enough to fit me. All I need to do now is make a waist casing for elastic.

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I simple folded over the top of the skirt a layer that would be wide enough to insert the elastic. When you sew it in place, be sure to not sew it entirely closed! Leave an inch or so opening for the elastic. When the elastic is through then you can sew it closed.

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And that’s it!

Well – I also indulged in another purchase at Petrune. I found a top that happened to have a similar pattern and color and I thought would look so cute with the skirt. But I was aghast that it cost $24! But these places sometimes will negotiate so I was so pleased that the gal working there that day accepted my offer of $18.

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Blessings!

–Gail

Gail's Nest · Refashion

A Refashion of Wrap-Around Pants

My mother-in-law gave me an outfit she had bought years ago from a trip to the Caribbean island of Antigua. It is silky and cool, but odd. She wore it a few times and then gave it to me suggesting I refashion it.

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When I laid out the pants they looked like this:

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It’s certainly a clever design! You have straddle the opening and then it wraps around the waist. Anyway, I knew I wouldn’t wear them as is, so I found a skirt pattern in my stash that I thought would work well with the fabric:

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And so, it was an easy thing to lay out the pattern pieces on the pants – there was plenty of fabric. I simply pinned and cut!

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This is an extremely easy pattern and so I just followed the sewing directions and it came together rather quickly.

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Refashedit

The matching top was a little big on me so I took it in on the sides. It’s a nice cool, updated outfit for our upstate New York summer!

Blessings!

-Gail

Gail's Nest

Blanching Vegetables

It’s the time of year that garden is producing more than your family can eat and so preparing your veggies for the freezer will give you great satisfaction in storing up food for the winter! If you don’t have a garden, consider stocking up on that fresh locally grown food you can purchase at farmer’s markets.

Freezing is a great alternative to canning if you have the freezer space. Blanching and freezing locks in as much nutritive value as you can possibly get next to eating fresh from the garden. Canning takes a lot of equipment, lots of time, and poses some risk for botulism if done improperly. Freezing, however, is safe, simple, easy, and quick.

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The steps to getting a package of cooked vegetable into your freezer for the winter are as follows:

  1. Wash and cut up your vegetable.

 

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2. Ideally use a steamer or stock pot to place your cut veggies in. This allows you to immediately pull out the veggies without draining the boiling water.

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3. Get your water to a rolling boil. I usually put the lid on the pot to get it to boil faster.

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4. Place the steamer with your veggies inside the pot of boiling water, cover and boil for 3-4 minutes (check a cookbook for accuracy of the timing for the particular veggie you’re doing, but usually it’s 3 minutes). You don’t want to overcook or you’ll lose nutritional value and you’ll end up with mushy vegetables that won’t freeze well.

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5.  While that’s boiling, fill your clean and sanitized sink with cold water and add ice cubes. When your timer goes off, immediately take your steamer out of the pot and plunge it into your icy water. This stops the cooking process.

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6. The last step is to put the vegetables into freezer bags. Label them with the name of the veggie (because you know you’ll ask yourself in 6 months, “What is this?”) as well as the date (not good to keep more than 18 months).

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Your water is still boiling so do another batch!

There it is! There’s something very satisfying, very cave-womanesque about storing up food for your family for the winter.

Blessings!

-Gail

 

 

 

Gail's Nest · Refashion

Refashion Challenge Reveal

Our mother/ daughter refashion challenge is partly finished! Here is my big reveal…

First, you may recall that Lydia sent me very large burnt orange pants and a cute sundress:

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Sooooo…..

I made the pants into a skirt. It’s tricky laying pattern pieces on the limited fabric of pants because you have to avoid the pockets and seams. So I added fabric from the dress to compensate.

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Then from the dress I made a top with an overlay to make the dress more practical and comfortable for work.

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Here’s some pics of the process:

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This pattern was my inspiration for the top.

 

 

The full effect:

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I wore a black tank top underneath since it was a little chilly that day.

And now… it’s back to you, Lyd!! What will you do with those 2 maxies?

Gail's Nest · Refashion

Refashion Challenge – The Before (Gail)

Two Nests One Tree

Lydia and I are doing a mother/ daughter refashion challenge. If you have been following us you know that I sent her 2 thrifted items (total cost: $10), that she received in the mail and it’s up to her to create something new for herself out of them.

Then Lyddie gave me 2 thrifted items and I was to do the same. Here are the items she sent me:

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Yeah. Thanks, Lyd! The burnt orange pants are huge, the sun dress is not my style and shows a little too much skin for my comfort zone. But the colors match and I think my creative juices are flowing!  Stay tuned for the reveal! Coming up later this week!

Lydia's Nest · Refashion

Refashion Challenge: The Before (Lydia)

It’s here! I got the package from my mom containing the thrift store items she picked out for me to refashion/ (Confused? Check out this post for an overview of what’s happening!) wanna see?

So these are the items i get to change. I haven’t done anything yet besides try them on.


There are two maxi dresses. They are both strapless. The animal print one is a light peachy nude color, made with chiffon fabric and an elastic waistband. The blue one is cotton and has a stretchy, smocked top. Here’s what they look like on (I kept a comisole on underneath so thats what the straps are).





I like that this dress has a nice drape.  The fabric is light and flowy, whic will be fun to work with! The top part is unlined, so that will need to change. 


This dress has a nice feel- the cotton fabric is very soft. Also, I love the print! You cant see in the pictures, but its a little short. 

I haven’t totally decided what I want to do with these yet. If you have any ideas, let me know!

Love,

Lydia

Lydia's Nest · Parenting

Baby-Led Weaning: Our First Month

Sucking on some pasta

So we have officially started baby-led weaning, and now that we’re about a month in I wanted to share a little bit what the beginning is like. There are a lot of seasoned BLW’ers out there with lots of great advice, but once you’re in it its easy to forget what it was like at the very beginning.

We started Deacon on avocado on his 6 month birthday. Since then he has had things like cucumber, roasted carrots, steamed broccoli, noodles (without sauce), banana, chicken, pork, strawberries, watermelon, things like that. He has done great, picking things up, putting them in his mouth, and tasting.

We have already given him all major allergens, per our doctor’s recommendation. They now say that early introduction can reduce risk of developing an allergy, and since there is no family history of food allergies, we dove right in.
Here are some of the things that surprised me or caught me off guard about the process:

  • They gag a lot. I knew to expect this, but it can be very disconcerting when you’re in it! however, it is normal and is actually a sign that they are learning how to eat. This graphic was a super helpful reminder on the difference between gagging and choking:

  • They make a mess. Oh goodness do they make a mess! Because they are learning how to chew, food gets spit out most of the time. Even a month in, Deacon still spits out probably half of what he puts in.

    Attempting to figure out how a spoon works
  • Get CPR certified. Before we started, I purchased an infant CPR training kit, and I was really glad that I did. I haven’t had to use these skills, thankfully, but it gives me so much peace of mind knowing that I know what to do in an emergency.
  • Make sure baby is in a good mood. We found that if Deacon was tired or hungry (ironically) he would be fussy and frustrated when he had trouble picking up food. I always try to nurse him before each meal so he is full and ready to enjoy exploring new foods.

    Peppers are tasty
  • Food waste. This was definitely something I hadn’t anticipated. When your baby is dropping and spitting everything out, a fair amount of food just goes to waste! I’m pretty frugal, and it felt strange throwing away perfectly good broccoli just because it had fallen on the floor. Some things that helped were only giving him one or two pieces of food at a time, and laying a drop cloth under the high chair so when it inevitably fell on the floor I could just pick it up and hand it back.
Broccoli is a good source of iron

So those are some of the things I learned in our first month! Hopefully it can help you be better prepared for BLW!

Love,

Lydia