February Slump

The month of February brought two major snow events to The Manor (and seven days of closed school, plus multiple delayed starts). Between the miserable weather and a full week of stomach virus, I haven't done much around the house. 

This weekend, I did manage to complete two projects, while BIll began another. Let's start with me.

Reusable Paper Towels

I saw this tutorial on Pinterest, and thought it would be a great way to use up some of my fabric stash. And who doesn't like the idea of using fewer paper towels?

I used diaper cloth for the backing, which has an absorbent white cotton weave that should hold up well over time, and will take repeated washing with hot water.

I opted to skip snaps/velcro, since the diaper cloth has nice "grip" and holds on well when wrapped around the tube. Besides, I was never going to snap up 15 towels each time I ran a load through the laundry.

Spring Dresses

I've continued my crusade to fit out Sarah's spring wardrobe with handmade pieces. I lucked out with a 3 for $5 pattern sale and stocked up on a variety of new dresses and separates. The one I whipped up today is actually a shirt, but turned out to be tunic length. (We'll add some leggings under this one for "real life.")

The pattern photo shows a much more ruffled panel, and so next time I'll add more width to the fabric to make more substantial gathers all the way around. (There are virtually no gathers in the back at all.) Still, Sarah is pleased with the result. 

The back buttons up, which is a cute way to add a little personality with contrasting colors. I also opted for contrasting top-stitching.

Next up, I'm going to use the same pattern to create a bubble dress -- I've always wanted to try one and finally thought to look up a simple tutorial. I can easily use the bodice of this pattern, which fits well now but also has room to grow, and play with the bottom sections -- adding more ruffles, a bubble bottom, or a proper skirt length. 

While I've been sewing, Bill's decided to tackle a totally different project...

He's decided that The Manor will be greatly improved by fixing up the trim throughout the house. The previous owner was a bit slapdash in throwing a coat of paint on the doors, trim, and paneling, and it shows. 

We're starting with a single transom window over the master bedroom doorway. This is a test to see how long it takes to strip the old paint (and the best way to deal with lead paint layers), whether we can strip and re-use the old hardware, and whether our finished product actually looks better than what we started with. Keep your eyes peeled for another post from Bill detailing the process.