A Blog For The Farm Happenings And Whatever Else Strikes My Fancy.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

'Tis The Season

I am currently working on projects left and right, cool projects, fun projects, projects that make me want to post tutorials and share them with the world! However, I cannot post a single on of them, and I find myself feeling this as a seasonal frustration. I am making Christmas gifts, and Christmas gifts have to be kept a secret, and therefore should not be posted on the web for the world (my family and friends) to see. 

Before and After

With that rant over, I will post a dress I just altered. I don't have a tutorial for what I changed on the dress. It really was very basic though, except for the fact that I added pockets. The pockets though were way easier to do than I expected them to be. I do have a tutorial for the pockets HERE. Other than that, I shortened the skirt, gathered the back a little to take it in, and sewed the shoulder's closed where they had a quite unnecessary and super outdated buttoning thingymabob... I don't even pretend to know what I'm talking about.

Close up on the pockets
If you have a longing for pockets, I would definitely urge you do go for it and slice into your favorite dress. Agian HERE is my tutorial, and there are others online for different styles. 

Back With Gathering 

Maybe after Christmas I'll post some of the things I've been working on... That doesn't usually happen though, does it?

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Adding Pockets to a Skirt or Dress

I admit, going into this project I was pretty intimidated. I knew I wanted pockets, but I also knew that once I started there was no going back. And as I really liked the dress, failure was not an option. However, this came together so much more smoothly than I anticipated. I did get thinking halfway through that I should probably have gone off of someone else's tutorial for my first attempt. I did, basically, make this up as I went. Nonetheless,  I am quite satisfied with the final product and I see myself doing it just the same in the future. 
I realized an amazing aspect of adding your own pockets. They can be as big as you want them to be! Now, how many of you have pockets that won't even fit your hand? I know I do. And most skirts and dresses don't even have pockets! Anyway... I'm sure you've picked up on the fact that I'm pretty excited about this. 
So, the pockets in this tutorial I guess are what you would call Welt pockets. Maybe not, I don't know my pocket styles very well. I'm hoping to eventually do a side seam pocket, I feel that could be added to a wider variety of garments, as (hopefully) they wouldn't be seen unless your hands were in them. 

well... here goes, and god luck following my instructions. If you have any questions leave a comment, shoot me an email, send a carrier pigeon; I'll make sure to get back to you.  Also, I do appologize for the quality of the pictures - I feel I say that an awful lot. That's what I get for working on these things too far into the night. 

Also, keep in mind that your garment doesn't have to have two pockets. If getting two to match perfectly makes you faint-hearted just do one. 

Step One: I started by making the piece of fabric that will go over the pocket. The only bit you'll see from the outside. I happened to have some of the same material as the dress and used that, but if you don't have the exact same fabric, fret not. A complementing fabric would be fine. If you went with something contrasting I think that would look amazing. Perhaps a colorful print on a solid or, if the skirt is a busy print, you could go with something solid and bright. Don't be afraid to make the pockets pop!
My pockets are 5 inches long. I cut the material 6 inches and folded the ends over a half inch. As you can see in the picture below, the top of the strip is a clean hem and the bottom is a raw edge. The bottom will be sewn under, so it's okay if it's not pretty. Height-wise they are about an inch and a half, with a half inch or so of seam allowance on the bottom. The measurements for the height don't have to be too exact, as long as the two pieces match, the length definitely does have to be exact. 

Step 1
 Step Two:  Lay out your skirt and, being very precise with your measurements, determine where you want your pockets to be. If you are just doing one pocket this step isn't quite as vital. But if you'll be making two pockets you want to be sure they line up. How I did it was to measure across the waist to find the middle, measured down from the middle, determined how far apart the pockets should be, and pinned the inner pins accordingly. I then decided how steep and angle I wanted them to be at, pinned on side, measured down the side seams, then pinned the other side to match. You only need to pin each end of where the pocket slit will be.You can draw a line on the material to mark where the slit will be, rather than using pins, if you would prefer. Just make sure that however you are marking it that the slit will end up being an inch shorter than the piece you made in step one. That piece will need a half inch on either side to be attached later on.
note: Your pockets don't have to be at an angle as I did mine. They can be straight across.
Step 2
 Step Three: Cut your slit. simply use sharp sewing scissors to cut along the previously determined line. I did not have an actual line, I just cut straight from one pin to the other. You can do the same, or, if it makes you more comfortable, you can draw a line to go by.
Step 3
 Step Four:  Cut the pocket lining. You will need four individual, matching pieces. If your chosen fabric has a right side and a wrong side, be sure that two of them face the opposite direction than the other two. I used a contrasting yellow to go with my red skirt, but you can use whichever color you'd like so long as it's a light weight, stretchless material. If your pockets are going to be horizontally across your pocket linings will either be squares or rectangles depending on how deep you want your pockets. Mine are square on the bottom and at the top they match the angle of the slit. Another option would be to make your pockets rounded at the bottom. Make them however you'd like. Heck, give it star shaped pockets for all I care. Just be sure that the top is an inch or so wider than the slit. I was bad and didn't measure anything while making my linings. You can eyeball it as I did, I'm sure.
Step 4
 Step Five:  With right sides together pin the lining pieces to the top and bottom of the slit. Be certain that the angle is correct. if you lower the upper piece, do they line up and go in the direction you want them to? If not, adjust them accordingly. Also see that they go right up to the edge of the slit.
Step 5
 Step Six: Turn your dress/skirt inside-out and sew all the way around each slit, securing the lining in place. Sew fairly close to the edge. I would recommend a small zigzag stitch if either of the materials you are working with fray easily.
Step 6

Also Step 6
 Step Seven:  Pull the pocket lining pieces through the slit while the dress is still inside-out. pull them downward, into the position they will be when all is done. Line them up nicely. Pin them together if you so desire.
Step 7
 Step Eight: Sew the lining pieces together on the sides and bottom to create your pocket. You can skip this step if you would like to, but the final product will not hold your phone very well, and we all know that's why we really want pockets.
Step 8

Also Step 8
 Step Nine:  Now, pull the pockets upward and pin them in place. This is simply to keep them out of the way for step 10. Now turn the dress/skirt right-side-out.
Step 9
 Step Ten: With the pretty side down, place the little piece from step one just beneath the slit with that raw edge against the bottom of the slit. Sew it into place. Do just the same on each side.
Step 10
Step Eleven:  Once more, put the garment inside-out. Unpin the pockets and repin them in the downward position. Again, this is just to keep them out of the way so they don't accidentally get sewn where they don't belong. Turn it to be inside-in
Step 11

 Step Twelve: Fold the strips upward, to cover the slits. Iron Them flat if it seems necessary. Pin in place.
Step 12
 Step Thirteen: Fasten the piece down by sewing little rectangles on each end of it. I suppose it doesn't have to be in rectangles, it could just be lines, or zigzag lines if you like. I personally like little rectangles. As you stitch this down it may (probably will) sew the very edge of the lining just a tad. That's okay.
Step 13
 Voila.  You now have pockets. That wasn't to hard now was it? I'd love if you would share your project with me so I can see how this worked out for you.

Thanks for the visit to my blog! Leave a comment, let me know what you think.

Autumn 2016

Over the Summer I cut down my herd substantially. I have two does left: Pippi and Matilda. I do still have Rugen as well, but he is for sale, I'm just trying to find the right home for him. I decided I would have only a few goats for the winter for ease of care, and also so I had some freedom away from the farm to focus on other things for a while. My two girls have been bred this fall. YAY. and now we wait for spring. 

Our first year at the new house really was excellent. The goats, too, are so happy in their new home! We were thankful for an easy winter last year, and we are glad to now be preparing for a full-on New England winter. 

The 2017 due dates are:

Pippi: March 29, 2017
Tilly: April 3, 2017

The Buck this year is Tiny Hill Farm's Linus

Another bit of exciting news to share is that our Weimaraner Rain E Day is due to whelp the first week in December! These puppies will need loving homes within a few months. Of course, we can't know yet how many she'll have, what color, or gender... but keep your eyes open for another post announcing all that! In the meantime, if you or anyone you know is looking for puppies, do contact me and we could talk about reserving a pup to add to your family. 

A final note:  Rugen (Pictured above) is still for sale if you are interested. Or, if you know someone who is looking for a behaved wether, please, pass it along. He's such a sweety and needs more loving attention than I'm able to give in right now. 

One of our puppies from the last litter

Tuesday, 27 September 2016


Bad Lighting :/
Sorry! I have no tutorial for this one. I've just made this dress and I couldn't wait to share it. I'm loving it! It reminds me of some of the dresses that Maid Marian wears in the BBC Robin Hood series (An incredible show, by the way) 
To make the pattern I used a really simple vest pattern and basically just made it longer, as well as changing the neck line and the front/closure. I traced out the pattern onto the back of wrapping paper then added my changes. If you wanted something similar you could just use a vest pattern without changing anything but the length.
The red underskirt (as you can see in one of the photos) is not attached.  I did that so I could interchange what I wear under it if I want to. I thought I could wear a long sleeved shift with it, so the sleeves and skirt are the same color.  Or perhaps pants could be worn underneath so I could go ridding in it. That's a thought!
 I do think I am going to add some length to the underskirt (and maybe I'll iron it as well... that crease is not supposed to be there) now that I'm looking at the pictures I think I'd like it to be closer to the same length as the overdress.
I really love this, and I think I will love it even more this winter as an added layer when it gets cold. 
We can be warm And  stylish! 

And of course Lexie had to have part in the photo shoot!
She's such a cutie, how could I not make her a part of this?

3 yards for 3 dollars! SCORE
The pattern I used 

Monday, 22 August 2016

Bed Canopy with Lights

Here's a simple tutorial of the canopy I just made for my bed. I'm super happy with how it came out, It adds just the touch I was looking for in my room. I used a heavy curtains for mine, but you could use any type of material. It would look amazing if you used a flowy or sheer fabric, the lights would look especially cool with something of lighter weight. 

You'll need:
  • 2 curtain rods (I found mine for $2 at a thrift shop and spray painted them)
  • Either four curtain brackets (if they're the right kind, and will work hanging off the ceiling) or four screw hooks with a long screw would also work. 
  •  2 curtains (you can really do it with any material you have, but you'll have to do some extra sewing if it doesn't have the loop for the rods)
  • A drill and screws
  • a stud finder
  • net lighting (Like the Christmas lights you would put over a bush) you can make the canopy without the lights. If you're not using lights, just skip those steps.
  • Safety pins

Start by hanging your curtain rod brackets, Make sure you're screwing into studs. (use a stud finder)  It's important to use studs as there will be a lot of downward pulling on it. I wouldn't depend on hollow wall anchors to hold it up. Put up the brackets to that they are facing outward, that way the screws will all hide under the curtain (It will just be more attractive that way.)

I put the 2 rods 52 inches away from each other, one against the wall, the other 52 inches out from the wall. how far apart you put the brackets will depend on what size bed you have. Mine are up slightly narrower than my twin bed. 

Now, using the two curtains, you're going to be making one long curtain with two sleeves in it.  Leave one curtain the length it is (That one will go against the wall), and cut the bottom off of the other and leave the sleeve on the top. The cut one will be on the ceiling. I cut mine 55 inches from the top. If you want it to be more taught, cut it closer to the distance from the two rods. If you want it to hang down more, make it longer.

With the right sides together, sew the raw edge of the cut curtain to the very top of the loop on the other curtain to attach them. It will be a lot of material for your sewing machine to go through, make sure your machine can handle it, go slowly.

Put the two rods into their sleeves and lay the curtain on your bed the way it would be on the ceiling (With the right Side down) Spread your lights over the curtain, making sure to have the plug on the wall end. 

Safety pin the lights in place. Don't pin it too close to the edge though. you don't want to be able to see the lights or their wiring from the floor, only the light their emitting. 

Hang the curtain rods starting with the one closest to the wall, the bracket will go right over the fabric and hide behind it. Make sure the material is evenly over the rods and that the lights are arranged the way you want them. Then hang the other end. 

If your lights are like mine, you may need an extension cord.

And there you have it. A beautiful and super easy addition to your room. 

Just a hint: make certain your bed is in a place where you really love it, because this is a pretty permanent fixture. I did consider though, that if I was to rearrange my room at any point, that this canopy would look alright above my desk or maybe my dresser. But I don't foresee myself moving things around any time soon.

I love the way it looks at night!

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Refashioned Dress

After Back

I found this dress at a the White Horse Thrift shop in Ossipee for $5. 

Before Front

I removed the skirt, shortened the torso, then re attached the skirt. I also lowered the neck line and shortened the skirt a lot! I am so happy with how it came out. It's flowy and fun to wear. 

Before Back

Finished dress
The front of the bodice had this ribbon all over the front of it. I carefully removed it, But left the little pearl beads on it. They wouldn't really come off without damaging the fabric anyway. 

When the ribbons were removed the fabric had little tiny holes all over it from the stitching. I misted holes with water and used a soft bristle tooth brush to gently brush the material's threads back into place. It doesn't look like the holes were ever there now. 

I really couldn't be happier with how this project came out.