Search for sewing books of yore!

What a neat service the Google Book Search, I never knew existed! I love the Dress a Day blog, and that’s where I found this gem. Click here for some sample searches.

Sewing for children :: crafts forchildren :: homeschooling

Some of my favorites:
School Needlework. A Course of Study in Sewing Designed for Use in Schools By Olive C. Hapgood

McGuffey’s Eclectic Primer

The Apron Lady Chronicles

I was so excited to attend the ASG conference right here in River City! One of the guest speakers was EllynAnne Geisel, who wrote the Apron Book and the Apron Chronicles. I recorded the talk and will have it available on my next podcast. Until then, here are two short videos I took of her.

I’ll be giving away one of her books, that she autographed in the next week. Stay tuned!

— nutmeg

Fun in the Summer!

This is more mama centered, but I’d think anyone would have fun doing these activities.

Make your own jello type dessert! I found this recipe at Taste of Home

Make your own jello flavors!

4-6 servings
15 min 15 min prep
1 envelope knox gelatin (or 1 Tbsp.)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cold water
3/4 cup sugar ( or10 packets of sweetener)
1 teaspoon unsweetened Kool-Aid (to taste)

Put 1 cup water on to boil.
Sprinkle gelatin into 1 cup cold water.
Mix in sugar (or sweetener) and 1 tsp Kool-aid powder.
Stir until thoroughly dissolved.
Add boiling water and stir.
Adjust amount of sugar and Kool-aid to taste.
Chill until firm.

I got some fun ice molds at Target and they were tons of fun! Quite yummy and it’s nice to know you can make your own food. Speaking of summr and making your own eats, how about making your own marshmallows to scarf down around the campfire? When I was a single mama my oldest and I would toast them in the fire place.

I found a recipe at How Stuff Works and another one at Martha Stewart

Makes 24

  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • 4 unflavored gelatin, (3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 Teaspoons)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar





    1. Brush a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with oil. Line with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang on the long sides. Brush parchment with oil; set aside.
    2. Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees.on a candy thermometer, about 9 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer; sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.
    4. Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture. Gradually raise speed to high; beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula. Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours.
    5. Sift 1 cup confectioners’ sugar onto a work surface. Unmold marshmallow onto confectioners’ sugar; remove parchment. Lightly brush a sharp knife with oil, then cut marshmallow into 2-inch squares. Sift remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl, and roll each marshmallow in the sugar to coat. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.

One of my favorite go to books is the Tightwad Gazette. They have the BEST section on making muffins. I’m one of those mamas dismayed at the cost of breakfast cereals. The more children you have the faster they go. She breaks down what we eat for breakfast and what it costs. The muffins are very flexible, and I’ll ask for permission to reprint it here. Until then, check out her wonderful compendium here:




Playdough. What is more fun to play with, especially when you can eat it w hen you’re done playing? Wash hands first of course! Peanut Butter Playdough has always been a favorite around here. You can find more fun art ideas for kids or yourself here.


Sewing…. I just finished my duct tape double, and I LOVE it! I made a perfectly fitting skirt for the beach in no time flat. I’m only sorry I didn’t do this before.


I finished up some summer jammies for my little girls, using a Japanese fabric “sleeping beauty” which you can find on Etsy sometimes.



I’ll be updating soon!!! I’m working on a new podcast this week, so I need to get back to work.


Thank you for all the kind words and support, I really really appreciate knowing someone is out there listening!

Inspiration! Free Ottobre Tank pattern

Download this free pattern for your child. 80-122 centimeters, which translates approximately to this chart:

80 cm 30-34 in. 20-27 lbs. 10-24 mos. 18 mos.-2T
90 cm 34-38 in. 26-33 lbs. 2-3½ yrs. 3T
100 cm 38-42 in. 31-38 lbs. 3-5 yrs. 4T-5T
110 cm 42-46 in. 37-48 lbs. 4-6 yrs. 5-6X
120 cm 46-50 in. 45-55 lbs. 6-8 yrs. 7

I used a cotton/lycra swim knit, and sewed up some Kwik Sew leggings to make a wedgie free bathing suit for my little one. It was so great, it got passed down to her sister!

Here are some other mamas who sewed it up, for your inspiration.  You can click each one for a larger picture:














Thanks everybody!

Material Mama #12

 Click to listen


I’m so glad to be back. The HoliDaze were truly tiring, and I’m looking forward to a short winter’s nap and spring.

Today’s podcast featured an essay from Shanna Moore, who writes the Caffeinated Ponderings newsletter. She’s a wonderful friend and mommy to two beautiful girls. Don’t let the self deprecating manner fool you. She is lovely inside and out.

Some other things I chatted about:

Whip-up :: Free Diaper Pattern site :: Flickr :: Creative Mom Podcast :: Coverville :: Skeptic’s Guide :: Cast On :: Podcast Pickle :: Knitty Gritty ::Craft Lab :: Uncommon Threads :: Stylelicious

Works in progress:

Sock Monkeys!

Some music at the end today. I hope you enjoy it! Take a look at the artist and buy their music!

Food by Deirdre Flint :: Talk Talk Talk Cheryl B. Engelhardt

If you get a moment, please leave me feedback at iTunes. I appreciate and read each one!

Help support this podcast for all your sewing needs. Click here! Singer Quantum Sewing Machines and Sergers Coupon Corner

Free Shipping at! ($25 order minimum) code JANFSA725

Material Mama #11.5

My Jr. Excutive is helping me today 😉

Oops, I forgot a whole section on my last podcast! Well my brain cloud is your little gift for today :). I added in a letter from my friend Amanda over at Drip Drop Designs. Copy and paste, then print out and tape to the October section of your next year’s calendar!

1. Don’t buy the kids their gifts from Santa until the week before Christmas, since they’ll change their minds a thousand times.

2.Save money all year, because that’s the one thing I always run short on!

3.Sew their matching outfits early, so they can get their picture taken with Santa before the mad mall rush.

4.Sew the kids matching Christmas Eve pjs way ahead of time, and just leave them unhemmed in case they grow.

5.Make more gifts than I think I’ll need, because there is always someone I don’t think I’m exchanging with until the last possible second.

6.Sew Christmas items for my store in the summer, because there is not enough time in December!

7.Don’t be so ambitious with making gifts, especially for the kids. They don’t notice the difference between an item that took me 1 hour, versus an item that took 12 hours.

8.Have Christmas cards bought, addressed and stamped before Thanksgiving, to be mailed later.

Boutique Cafe Creative Mom Podcast Listener Kim’s Blog

Entrepreneur Magazine had a great article, Plus Sized Opportunity

Check out Violet and Lime to see how you can help support Violet

Here is another last minute gift idea, one I’m using today. Make a small tissue pack holder! A great way to use up fun wovens. Or you can have your children decorate, then sew them up. Tissue Holder Sew Along

Yesterday I made this simple sewn cake slice. I’m planning on doing three more, adding velcro so they can cling together in the middle. You could decorate with ribbon and trim before sewing up!

Center ‘cut’ of cake. You could really go crazy with decorating this!

Back of cake:

And the potholders I’m making. Each themed to the family I’m giving them to.

Need to finish. I ran out of bias tape. I guess I could have made my own but didn’t think of it until this moment LOL.

Oh and I caved and tacked a Harry Potter Christmas by Joel Kopischke at the end of the podcast. Enjoy!

Merry Merry!