New video guys!
I’m soooo excited about this one.
So get ready to sttttrrrretch your sewing skills….

That’s right….we’re talking all about KNIT FABRICS!
And we’re going to sew them on a standard sewing machine.
So if you’ve ever been afraid to sew with knits, today is your day!

I’ll show you a variety of stitches to use, the right and wrong way to do it, and then we’ll sew my favorite stretchy headbands!….cause if you know me in real life, you know that there’s always a headband on my head.
Then we’ll show you some fun ways to style them.
Wow.

Just hit the play button below and enjoy!

MADE EVERYDAY with Dana is a fresh new sewing show, where we create everyday items you will love and use.
To watch other episodes:
• Click the VIDEO tab at the top or….
• Subscribe to my Youtube channel so you’re updated as soon as the episode goes live.

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By Lucy: Frida in a Can

by Dana on February 19, 2015

How come no one talks about how much more fun kids get as they get older and older??   What I mostly hear is “enjoy them while they’re little”!   And don’t get me wrong, I totally have.  I’ve burned special baby and toddler moments into my head that I never want to forget.   And every time I look at old pics, part of me wishes they were tiny again.

But man….watching them grow and learn and develop their own talents and passions??
It’s so cool!
They have these giant, exciting lives ahead of them!
And so much to learn and discover.
And they say the funniest, cutest things.
And we have conversations about history, and how the universe works, and how people create cartoons, and why blue cheese is blue.


Just this morning while getting ready for school Owen told me he needs to keep practicing his drawings because he’s going to be an animator for a big film one day.  “So I think I’ll start with Frosty the snowman….I’ll keep drawing him and get him just right.”
Oh Owen.

Isn’t parenting great?!
These are the payoffs for the rough patches we all go through.  These are the moments you could never get anywhere else in life.
So I thought I’d start documenting some of the things my kids make and do, mostly for myself so I can always remember them.  Because they just make me smile.  Maybe they’ll make you smile too.

Lucy (9 years old, 3rd grade) loves art, just like Owen.    She’s really loves reading, and she spends hours making her own books, researching topics online, and illustrating her pages.  This month she’s been bringing home “bobble head books” (as she calls them) from school, which are a cute series of biographies on different historical figures.  She’s read about Abigail Adams, Maurice Sendak, Harriet Tubman, Michelle Obama, and Frida Kahlo.


Last week her teacher gave them the cutest assignment based on the books called Biographies in a Can.  Each student was assigned a different book from the series and had to create that person’s face on an oatmeal or coffee can, write a report, and then include 3 items inside the can that represent that person.

Lucy, of course, was thrilled to get Frida Khalo the famous Mexican artist.  So we pulled out some supplies and got started on her Frida head.

First she had to brainstorm ideas and take notes from the book.
Then she drew a sketch of what she wanted the face to look like…..and seriously, could an oatmeal can have been more perfect for the project??  It was the perfect color of her skin and hair!


I helped her with the hair, and—as I’m learning with most school projects—it’s an experience for me as well, trying to balance how much input I should I give to help pull ideas out of her, and how hands-off I should be so she discovers on her own.  I try to ask her what ideas she has and see what direction she wants it to go.  Then I throw out a few suggestions or ideas and she plays off of that.

And when it comes to a hot glue gun….I tend to take charge.  So she helped me wind the yarn into very long bunches and I glued the pieces on the top of the oatmeal can (sorry no photos of the process—we worked on this late one night).  We basically made long straight strands hanging off each side of the can.  Then Lucy pulled the hairs to each side, made two braids, and I glued them around to the front of her head just like Frida always wore.  And of course Lucy wanted bright pink flowers and some leaves right in the middle.

Then she drew the face on the front, colored in the lips.
I love her face! And the eyebrows of course.
I gave her the idea about the ears….saying it was kind of like carving a pumpkin and she thought that was perfect.

Then she picked out a bright floral fabric from my stash, and we tied it around her neck.

She was done!
Friday Kahlo, in a can.

For the three items inside the can, Lucy drew a Mexican flag since Frida was very proud of her home country and often missed living there.  We printed a photo of Frida and one of her self portraits, which she is most well-known for.
And we threw in some more flowers.  Cause who can resist bright gorgeous hot pink?




We placed everything in the can and the next day each child presented their person to the class.
It was a blast to see the other cans and creations.
School is so great!
I think back on all the fantastic teachers who inspired and motivated me over the years.  And I’m thankful my kids have wonderful teachers inspiring them as well.

Good job Lucy girl.
Maybe one day some one we’ll make you in a can.

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Right?
I know.  Another skirt.
It’s so easy!
But seriously, whenever Lucy’s invited to a friend’s birthday party I spend the week stewing over what to buy them as a gift.  And then I have that “duh” moment when I pull a yard of fabric from my stash, start cutting and sewing….and 20 minutes later, the gift is done.


Yay!
One of these days I’ll need to tween them up a bit….maybe leather pockets and a faux flat front?
(mmm….tutorial?)


Everybody loves a little handmade love!

Especially when it’s made from good quality cotton.
And this pretty print reminded me of tulips….which Casey brought home on Valentine’s day.
Everybody loves flowers too!
(Thank you Casey).

If you’re making a skirt as a gift and you’re not sure on their waist-size, look online at a standard child’s sizing chart, or simply ask their mom to measure their waist.  And lately, I’ve been making my girls’ skirts 3 times their waist (rather than 2 times)….just to get it nice and full.  There are so many options.  So if you want to mix it up a bit, here are some other skirt tutorials for you:

http://www.danamadeit.com/2014/05/tutorial-sparkle-skirts-with-a-simple-satin-lining.htmlhttp://www.danamadeit.com/2014/05/tutorial-sparkle-skirts-with-a-simple-satin-lining.htmlhttp://www.danamadeit.com/2014/09/tutorial-skirt-with-a-sash.html

And don’t forget you can watch the simple skirt video here:

Then let your kids create the wrapping paper, and your gift is ready to go.


I love watching these two together.  Lucy is so patient with Clara, letting her play and tag along with whatever she’s doing.  She’s such a good sister.



Happy sewing and gifting friends!

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RECIPE: Crockpot Beef Stew

by Dana on February 11, 2015

I can never decide which one I like more: Pot Roast or Beef Stew?
They both make me happy….and my family happy.
And all that good stuff.
Cause they’re both full of good stuff!

I guess beef stew is like pot roast in a bowl, with a little bit of kick (it’s that tomato paste, I tell ya).  And it’s super easy to make!—well, they’re both easy to make.
But this is like really, really easy to make.
And if you’re not a meat person….just omit the beef and turn it into vegetable stew. Yum!
So here you go.

I’ve got dinner planned for you.

CROCKPOT—SLOW-COOKER  BEEF STEW

2-3 lbs of beef chuck
1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
3 Tbl balsamic vinegar
2 Tbl flour
3 cups water

6 small white potatoes
1 yellow onion
4-5 carrots
salt + pepper

• In a crockpot (or slow cooker) mix together the tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, flour, and water.
• Trim excess fat from the beef and cut it into 1 or 1 1/2 inch cubes.  Add to the crockpot.
• Scrub and clean the potatoes and carrots.  I prefer to leave the skins on both but you can peel them if desired.  Cut them both into bite size pieces—I cut each potato into 4ths.  Add them to the crockpot.
• Peel and cut the onion into large chunks and add to the crockpot.
• Mix it all together, place the lid on the pot, and let the slow cooker do it’s magic!

Cook on high heat for about 5 hours, or low for 8 hours.
Salt and pepper to desired taste.
And of course, serve with SWEET CORN BREAD.  Oh yum.

I’ll try not to play favorites here….but maybe stew is just a vehicle for making cornbread (with melty butter and honey).
That might be the answer to life.
Enjoy!

Check out other recipes here (or click a button below for details)

http://www.danamadeit.com/2014/09/recipe-easy-teriyaki-chicken.html

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