Saturday, March 5, 2016

Days 20, 21, 22 & 23: A New Adventure and a Cold

Wednesday was the first good day of our week. My daughter was finally in a good mood and we seemed to be off to a great start. I even was motivated enough to make some french toast instead of the usual eggs for breakfast.

After breakfast, I did my top cleaning and scrubbed down the cabinets. Lunch was served and the I started my new adventure. I am fairly experienced at the sewing machine. I am an avid quilter and I love sewing dresses and tops for my daughter. But I have only ever made myself one top. I am intimidated by sewing clothes for myself. But after reading that women who sewed would create an average of 21 to 29 outfits for themselves in a year, I knew I had to face my fears. I was not kidding when I said I would try to create 2 outfits a month during the experiment. 

Luckily, my confidence was boosted when I found a wonderful sew-along for the dress I have been itching to make. Edelweiss Patterns had previously hosted a sew-along that included a very detailed post about adjusting the pattern to fit your body (my number one problem when sewing for myself). So I began following along.

Once I was fairly confident in the fit of my pattern, I was ready to select some fabric. Being extremely economical, both in real life and in my experiment . . . I turned to my pile of thrifted fabric. This pile includes everything from large housecoats, bed sheets, curtains, and tablecloths to fabric yardage. Most of my piles has been items I have gotten for a dollar or less with only truly vintage sheets being splurged on (i.e. $5.00 or less). I came out with 2 bed sheets that seemed like they would work well together. 

I was able to get the fabric cut out but then it was time to finish making dinner. We had my husband's new favorite; Salisbury steak and his favorite green bean casserole. I could see the delight in his eyes when he peered into the oven and said, "is that what I think it is?". 

After dinner, I had to do some work upstairs to prep for our next weekend of remodeling but afterwards we relaxed with a nightcap before bed; Clover Clubs.

Waking up Thursday, I was still feeling quite good about the day before. Unfortunately, this day would not prove to be as fruitful. I thought I would be productive; I thought I would even clean out the fridge again. But, before I knew it I was racing to have the house cleaned before my hubby got home for lunch. I blame the pattern sale at Hancock Fabric's. I had been avoiding the computer during the day but when I got notification of the sale I just couldn't let that kind of discount pass me by. Plus, I am supposed to be sewing my own clothes anyway . . . 

Well, long story short, as soon as lunch was over, I was setting up my machine and getting started putting my walk away dress together. It was my first time sewing darts but it was easier than I expected it to be. Even with the constant interruptions from the kiddos. 

Look at that, it is starting to looks like a dress. I was able to get the rest of the darts and the two pieces of the dress sewn together while holding my littlest just before it was time to start dinner. 

Yay! So happy it is coming together. I am now letting the dress hang for 3 days, as Edelweiss Patterns had advised that all good seamstresses do. This is to let things settle and stretch to prevent warping after hemming. It is hard to be patient and not go running back to finish. Dinner that night was a Bacon and Ranch Chicken Casserole. 

It was delicious and I was told by both my husband and son that the recipe must be a keeper. I then spent the entire rest of my night working on my grocery list. As per the tips in my new, yet very old Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book, I was to check the sales and plan my meals accordingly. 

Remember that awesome thrift store find? Well worth it for the amazing vintage pictures and the housekeeping hints that take up a good chunk of the book. I flipped through the stores ad, keeping a note page of all the specials. Then I proceeded to flip through both old and new recipes. I will be making a mix of both this week. I again was going to attempt one shopping trip for the entire week to see if it would be more cost effective. I then wrote out all that I would need and after 3 hours of work, went to bed. 

The next morning, I woke to a sick little girl coughing and sneezing. Despite her running nose, she seemed quite determined to continue on so I decided to go ahead with the grocery shopping. I was thrilled in the end that my 3 hours of careful planning actually paid off. I saved a very significant 60 dollars over my typical weekly spend before this project began. I was floating on a cloud. I had even splurged and bought 2 new lip sticks and a small toy for both kiddos since they were so well behaved. 

Once home, I managed to serve up lunch, top clean the house and scrub down the bathroom all while holding my sweet, but now miserable little one. After cuddling her into a sound nap, I decided I had thoroughly enjoyed the pattern adjusting from earlier in the week so figured I would give myself an even harder challenge. I am going to attempt to create a waist cincher similar to those that would have been worn in the 50's. I dug out the Simplicity 1183 Corset pattern from my pile of patterns that I have bought at the $1.99 sales over the last year and half. And I got to work adjusting on the dress form. 

I got through adjusting the paper pattern and then had to get dinner going. We had some awesome tuna melts, with salad and roasted asparagus.

Then we headed to the basement and worked on cleaning up our lower level of living space. Our main floor has been looking great but I knew the toy room, family room and our storage spaces had been pretty neglected. We got some piles of garbage out, boxed up quite a bit for donating and then headed to bed. 

Today was one of those rare Saturdays that we have to ourselves. We woke up later than we should have and I got to work on pancakes and bacon. After breakfast we all washed up and piled the car full of the donations we had gathered up in the basement. Off to the thrift store we went. After dropping the donations off, we stepped into the store to see if any fun treasures might be waiting for us. I was thrilled to find that they had a freshly stocked fabric section. I found quite a bit of great fabrics for some of the patterns I had just bought on sale. And my kids were thrilled to find treasures of their own. They had done a great job of donating themselves, so I was more than happy to indulge them in some toy cars, a brand new looking Disney Sofia the First Singing Doll and light up Tinkerbell wings for dressing up. And thanks to also being able to use a great coupon, we spent a whopping $16 and walked out with a huge bag of fabric and their toys. 

When we got home we spent more time on our basement. My husband finished cleaning up his work room and I was working on cleaning up our laundry/kitchen storage area. For all the hard work we decided to make dinner easy and fun for the kids. So we grabbed McDonald's! My kids love happy meals but we only get them every once in a blue moon as a special treat. Hey . . . McDonald's was just starting in the 50's so what could be better for a drive thru meal?!

We finished the night with a scoop of ice cream floating in some bubbly root beer! At this rate I will most definitely be needing a waist cincher! Hehe.

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