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 Summertime…time to can some things. I just can’t tolerate buying a quart of strawberries in the winter for $3.99! I got a bunch of quarts at Aldi’s, two weeks ago, for 99cents each, and needed to make more strawberry preserves (to last a year). Well, I forgot which recipe I used last year, and so I did it wrong. I ended up with a dozen, strawberry sauces! So, let me know, friends, if you’re in need of some strawberry topping for your ice cream! Ahem.
I tried again, and successfully canned about 6 pints of jam. I usually like to buy more strawberries to just core and put in my deep freeze. So far, I’ve neglected to do that too. For the blueberries, I made a light sugar water mixture and canned the blueberries whole (hot pack). Both are really simple and easy to do (when you have the right recipes! Ha!). 
 A few weeks ago, Steven made Nathan this AWESOME DIY Weed Whacker…that really works…mostly anyways! It can blow dust and already-cut grass around. Steven saw Nathan’s current passion for mowing (with his bubble mower), and thought he needed a weed whacker too. So far I haven’t discovered even one DIY kid’s weed whacker online, so I’m trying to talk Steven into making a tutorial for you on this. (Hint, hint, Honey!) He used PVC, foam, a battery pack, wires, and mini motor from Radio Shack, a CD, tape, glue, and a cool whip container. 
Nathan just loves this thing! He now follows up the mowing obsession with a good weed whacking…outdoors and indoors! The top button is so easy for Nathan to push, the foam blades safe for use (and easy to replace), and the whole unit feels so lightweight at only a few ounces. Nathan went through 3 sets of double A batteries on the first day he had this, so we switched to rechargeables! 
Love it! And great job, Daddy!!!
 I found this spectacular and FREE unisex infant hat pattern by the Purl Bee online last week. And here’s a very similar free one on Prudent Baby. It’s so cute! These two hats (0-4mos) barely fit who I was gifting it too, so I think I need to make a few more, in a bit larger size. So fun, and quick to make. I added velcro-ed chin straps to them, since every baby tends to pull these adorable hats off.

 Oh, I just love free patterns, and it’s so rewarding to make gifts for cute babies! Oh, and my favorite free pattern for my toddler: The Bucket Hat by Abby of Sew Much Ado! I’ve made Nathan about 6 of these so far, and think it’s a great pattern!

 And speaking of cute babies: my friend’s sister has one that was most recently turning ONE! How fun! To test my free shorts pattern out (coming sometime this summer), I was excited to make this matching outfit, using some thrifted red dot cotton and an up-cycled red men’s t-shirt. For the shorts, I followed Dana’s tutorial on using bias tape to make racer shorts, and relied on my fav t-shirt pattern from Rae. So fun, again! Can you tell I just adore making kid’s clothes???! I do. They are fast, easy, and you can style your kid how you want to…for less! Happy one year, little Emily! 
We have been making a LOT of salads so far this summer with the bounty of salad mix growing out there in our garden. While some of my plants have yet to start vegetable production from those flowers, the salad mix keeps coming and coming! So far, my favorite salad to put together is this mix, with strawberries, a little dill, a few snap peas, and a tasty vinaigrette. Well, here is the recipe I adapted: So delicious!!! 
While I’m not super-styling it this summer with my 6mo+ belly bump, I have managed to make my own pattern for a maternity tank top. I just copied the pattern from a tank I had from Old Navy. The tank is just two pieces, with a neck band, and two sleeve bands. Anyone out there interested in a free pattern on this?..size small, for right now. 

Some stylish wall art for a friend. Wrapped a canvas with blue linen, stapling it to the back. Freezer paper stenciled the boat on, and painted it with white acrylic paint. And used Aileen’s Tacky glue to adhere a “waving” flag piece of cotton (leftover from my quilt), for the sail. Simple, but cute.

And somewhere in the last week, I’ve made my own cloth diaper pattern
I have been cloth diapering Nathan since he was 6 months old (he’s now 2 1/2), and have loved it! ….esp the extreme amount of money it has saved us! Well, for baby #2, I needed a “middle-sized” diaper to get baby boy through, until he can wear Nathan’s AIOs (diaper talk for diapers that are adjustable with snaps to fit babies sz 2-5). I currently have a collection mostly of Bum Genius AIOs, ALVA Baby, and 1 Fuzzi Bunz
So, I collaborated from my favorites, to make this size 1 pocket diaper. I’m so thrilled! It’s very easy to make, and with the fabric readily available at JoAnn’s, super easy. Price breakdown coming soon too… A regular cloth diaper is between $10-22, so i’m going to save you money!… I’ve almost got the pattern ready to go (as well as my Sofia pattern!). Can you tell I’m being ambitious to get stuff out to you before baby #2 arrives in October??!!! I’m so excited to share these patterns with you! If I can make your kids happy, inspire you to keep you sewing, or help to save your family money, then I’m all in! 
Happy “Makings” this week!


Joy2Sew is a sewing business specializing in bridal alterations, custom costume creations, sewing lessons, and pdf patterns for children's costumes.

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