Simple Bounty

Finding Beauty, Grace and Sanity in a Busy World

Spring Sewing Underway March 28, 2011

Filed under: Sewing and Crafts — katieosborne @ 2:28 pm
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It’s been a long time since I’ve posted sewing projects. I made a few simple tunics for Bridget this winter, but other than that, the machine has been quiet until the last couple weeks, during which time I’ve managed to make four peasant shirts/tunics, a petal knot dress (the first since last spring), and a couple other experiments. I have also started on a couple tops for me. Ooh, yes, I guess I did make myself a couple new skirts this winter as well.

But anyway, here are the peasant tops. I just based them off of the bodice of a dress pattern I already owned, but there are also some tutorials out there if you do a search. They are super simple and quick to make. I am really hoping to do little more than buy the girl a few pairs of shorts this summer.



(Momo’s Wonderland collection, Heather Bailey’s Nicey Jane, Anna Maria Horner’s Little Folks, Sandi Henderson’s Ginger Blossom)



And this is the latest petal knot dress. Sandi’s pattern is still such a favorite. The fabric is from Momo’s Freebird collection. I just love the colors.


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A Post For August August 30, 2010

Filed under: Family Life,Food,Sewing and Crafts — katieosborne @ 3:53 pm
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I’ve never been one to mourn the end of summer. I always welcomed the beginning of a new school year and eagerly awaited the feel, smell and activities of autumn, but I have to ask: how is it that this month is already at its end? And the summer nearly too? And how is it I haven’t blogged in about two months?

Seeing a missing month in the archives bothers me, so I am finally forced to post. I don’t know why I haven’t felt like it this summer. I have almost blogged many times. Almost. And, I don’t know, I guess I just don’t exactly have heaps of time, and by the time I sit down in the evening, writing doesn’t sound all that appealing.

So, what have we been up to this summer? Not nearly as much outdoor fun as I had dreamed. We have been terrorized by mosquitoes the last couple months, and only recently have they begun to be tolerable. My garden and flowerbeds are overgrown with weeds and the tomato plants are completely out of control from lack of care. They’re growing like crazy. We’ve been getting daily handfuls of pear tomatoes for the last few weeks, but large tomatoes only here and there thanks to our resident chipmunk who has developed a keen appetite for them. I think for every one we’ve eaten, he’s filled his tiny tummy with five or six. The cucumbers have been abundant, so I’ve been doing a lot of this:


We’ve already devoured a couple quarts of our pickles and still have seven jars in the fridge. I’m not sure they’ll see winter, though.

And I’ve been doing some other lacto-fermented goodness with the bounty from our garden and the farmers market:


(Salsa and Sauerkraut)

This weekend I did some more of this:


I made most of our jam when I picked strawberries in June, but I couldn’t resist buying a big box of deliciously pinkish-red raspberries at the farmers market on Saturday. The result was Triple Berry Jam to add to our pantry stash. I thawed a bag of strawberries I had frozen and added a pint of blueberries from the store.

And all summer I have been doing a whole lot of this:

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This is cinnamon raisin bread from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and our everyday whole wheat bread for toast and sandwiches. I have tried many all whole wheat recipes and this one consistently produces the best loaf. I will have to devote an entire post to bread sometime soon. I don’t know what it is exactly about bread, but I could go on and on.

And lest you think my life is totally consumed with food and its preparation (which sometimes I do feel is nearly the truth), we also did quite a bit of this:

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But unfortunately, I haven’t done any of this since June:

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Though I was able to make myself three tank tops from this tutorial before the neglection (can that be a word?) of my sewing machine began thanks to a too-adventurous little girl whom I can barely take my eyes off:

So, that’s a bit of my summer. Maybe I’ll get around to posting more about my garden at some point. Remember my trepidation in the early spring? I have learned a lot, had some failures, but overall am pleased with my first year at managing a larger garden.


My Market skirt Is Finally Finished! April 26, 2010

Filed under: Sewing and Crafts — katieosborne @ 8:20 pm
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100_5092It took me a month, but I finally finished my Saturday Market Skirt, and I really love it. One would think that the cutting would be the time consuming part, but gathering and arranging each tier took me a few hours, I would guess, if I were to add up my bits of time. Making sure like fabrics and colors were not stacked on top of each other nearly drove me mad a couple times! But it’s done, and yay!, it is super comfy, and cute (if I do say so myself), and it fits me perfectly.

I made a medium, and followed the instructions exactly, except I added a half inch to the waist pieces for a bit more ease. My measurements are 27.5” and 37.5”, for anyone trying to determine what size to make. It would have fit without the extra room, but I may have had to tug a bit over my hips. I also made a facing instead of using interfacing, because I didn’t have enough and didn’t get to the store. I did use interfacing to stabilize the button holes.

I could seriously wear this every day. Seriously. I’m hoping I’ll have time to make another before summer is gone. Though, I suppose I should make one for Bridger-Boo before I get too greedy with my sewing time. I’m thinking lots of pinks and greens and blues from Sandi’s fabrics.

Thank you, Sandi Henderson, for your generosity!



Every Girl Needs a Little Tiered Dress April 13, 2010

Filed under: Sewing and Crafts — katieosborne @ 7:52 pm
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Another summer dress done. I used the bodice from the dress pattern in Amy Butler’s Little Stitches and added my own skirt. The fabric is from Pop Garden, by Heather Bailey, left over from a quilt I made my mother-in-law a while back. Such sunny, happy fabric for such a happy little girl.



Sewing For summer: Dresses for Bridget March 18, 2010


Here’s the first of Bridget’s summer wardrobe. She’s been wearing them with a shirt under for now. The top and bottom are Petal Knot dresses from Sandi Henderson’s Claire pattern. And I say the knots are ingenious – perfect for adjusting the dress as she grows. The blue and green dress is made from Sandi’s Farmer’s 100_4707Market fabric, and the top is voile from Anna Maria Horner’s newest line, Little Folks. The fabric is just gorgeous. I have about 10 more yards on my shelf; it’s what I spent my Christmas money on. It will make beautiful blouses too. I just can’t wait to use more of it.  The middle dress is modified from a pattern in Amy Butler’s Little Stitches book, and the fabric is Joel Dewberry. I have been itching to sew more dresses; they are just so sweet, but I have a mei tai that I need to get finished for someone before I do anymore family sewing. 

And a note on the voile: because it’s a much lighter fabric, I added a layer of muslin between the straps. Without it, I’d imagine they’d be way too thin. As is, they are still thinner than the dress made with quilting cotton, and they lay really nicely.

Oh, and the babe decided to start walking last week. All of a sudden she took about ten steps across the room before dropping to the ground. Since then, she’s been practicing every day. I love those halting little steps and huge, amazed smile.


a Little Of This, A Little Of That…Makes For A Very Long Post March 6, 2010

Filed under: Sewing and Crafts — katieosborne @ 3:36 pm
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The blog’s been quiet. I know. I’ve been blogging in my head the last few weeks at least. In the car – before I fall asleep – but none of those thoughts have actually made it onto this canvas. And the thoughts flow so well at the time, but I’m aware that I’ll never remember how I wanted to say what I wanted to say when I finally have time to sit down. Maybe I need to start carrying around a tape recorder. Maybe then I’d actually write about some of the things I really do want to say.

Anyway, I guess this is a “catch up” post to say, I’m still here and we’re all doing okay.

image_thumbSo, first on the catch up list: my sweet friend Lisa at Grace Upon Grace nominated me a while back for a Beautiful Blogger award, which was very kind. Thank you, Lisa.

In accepting this award I have to follow these rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated me for this award.
2. Copy the award & place it on my blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated me for this award.
4. Share 7 interesting things about myself.
5. Nominate 7 bloggers.

However, I’m going to have to bend (break?) the rules a bit, as, through the years, I have whittled my blog reading down to my four that I can’t do without because really, I just don’t have time to read everything I’d like. So, Lisa’s is of course one of those – oh, and her husband, Bob, but I don’t know that he’d be appreciative of such an award.  The other inspiring women I like to read are Amanda Soule at Soule Mama, Anna Maria Horner and Sandi Henderson at Portabello Pixie. Being that the latter three are professional bloggers who don’t read my little blog, I guess I don’t really have anyone to nominate, so hopefully no one will strip me of my award for not following the rules completely! 🙂

So, onto my seven things:

  1. My sister and I grew up in a home that was built by my grandpa. My mom also grew up in that house. It was situated in a hill that was perfect for sledding in the winter, and next to the woods which were perfect for exploring in summer. When I was about ten, he built a house on the extra lot next door for himself and my grandma. It was really special to be so close to them.
  2. I spent my childhood and youth trying hard to be a good girl, in college said “forget this, despite everyone thinking I’m so good, I’m a constant failure,” and finally met with who God really is when I was 23 and realized that being good enough has nothing to do with it.
  3. My husband and I met online before it was a “normal” thing to do. I don’t know, is it normal now? I think it was the perfect way for us to establish a relationship because I am rather introverted and somewhat self conscious with people I don’t know well, and it takes a long time for me to let a person know me. I am much more at home writing, and it was really great to email back and forth most every day for a few weeks. We talked about so many things from religion to literature and music, traveling, family – we were able to share a lot. By the time we met, I felt certain of what kind of person he was.
  4. We plan on home schooling our children. As the time draws ever closer, I’m starting to feel a bit apprehensive about such an undertaking, but I’m also looking forward to being such an integral part of my kids’ learning and learning alongside them.
  5. A dream of mine for my family is to live in a big old house in the country where we can have chickens and a cow and a big garden in summer.
  6. I’ve always been interested in personality types. I’m an INFJ, with a rather weak J…which is probably why my life isn’t more orderly. When I took the Myers-Brigg test earlier in life, I scored as an INFP.
  7. I love singing musical theater and have always wanted to be in Oklahoma! and Into The Woods. Someday yet, maybe. It’s been a long time since I’ve done any performing. It just doesn’t fit well in my life now and those two opportunities have never presented themselves.

And on the crafty front…..

I’ve finally started sewing a bit again over the last couple months. I’ve made three dresses for Bridget – pictures to come – and finished a skirt for myself last weekend. I much prefer skirts to shorts in the summer, and my goal over the next couple months is to make one item of clothing for me or one of the kids each week. I have so much fabric on my shelves; I hope to buy a few pairs of play shorts and tees for Bridget and do the rest of her wardrobe myself using what I already have.

I think I’ve finally found my perfect skirt. This skirt is so completely me. Everything about it. It’s love. Love. Love. It’s the yard sale skirt from Heather Ross’ book Weekend Sewing. I think I will feel very at home in this skirt…and the many to come! I’m not into fashion. I have little idea what’s in style. Since having kids, myyard sale skirt wardrobe consists of jeans and tees. But I really do feel good wearing something that is an outward expression of what I’m about. I think sewing gives me that opportunity so much more than shopping at the mall, and I’m really looking forward to trading in my current uniform for my summer skirts. So, perhaps it’s not so much that I’m not into fashion, but more that it’s hard to satisfy my real style at the mall….at least without going broke at Anthropologie!

Now, there is a clear consensus among reviewers of this book that it is beautifully done with lots of great patterns; however their are many errors, so many that I’ve read a lot of people who say they’ve shelved the book. I was aware before starting this wrap skirt, that it was one that needed revision – an extra panel was needed for comfortable coverage. So, I went to Heather’s errata page where it said, “at least six panels are needed for this skirt not five.”  So six it is, or so I thought, but apparently even the errata has errors because in actuality the book itself calls for six, not five. How I didn’t think this all through better beforehand, I don’t know, but apparently people have been using at least seven panels. Fortunately, my waist is pretty small, so my six panel skirt will work out just fine with a discretely placed safety pin a third of the way down the back – just in case, you know. Next time I will add the extra panel, and there will be absolutely no worries about flashing people.

Another thing I have to tell you: if you’re planning to make this skirt, you need more yardage than the 2.5 that’s called for, even if you’re not adding an extra panel. I followed the pattern exactly and used just under 3 yards. I’d say buy 3.5-4 yards – a lot for one skirt, but worth it.

The fabric is Joel Dewberry from a few years back. I bought four yards of it for a swishy sundress a long time ago, but let’s face it, dresses are just not practical when you have either a nursing little one or are hoping to be pregnant. And while I really do like the fabric a lot, it was not one that I would have been totally heartbroken over if my first go didn’t work out so well.

As far as family life goes, we’re hanging in there and hoping for spring. Winter with a three year old and a baby is long, and we’re all tired of being cooped up. Both Jonas and I have had a hard time behaving ourselves some days.