Saturday, October 31, 2015

Seeing Double - Halloween 2015

This year both kids wanted to be Pikachu for Halloween. It seemed odd to me that they both wanted to be the same thing, but when it came down to it, all I wanted was happy kids, so I made two Pikachu costumes.

I actually ended up making three Pikachu costumes. The first on I made for my daughter was huge. When she tried it on the crotch was down by her knees. Needless to say, I ended up making another one. The first one was so gigantic, it almost fits me. 

The biggest challenge for me this year was making those those tails. I ended up using foam core board and covering them with fabric. (Which then attached to their backs with velcro.) The spray adhesive held great until we got home; it finally gave way when we walked in the door after trick-or-treating through town. Talk about perfect timing!

I hope you and yours have a wonderful time tonight. We're just hanging out waiting for dusk before we head out to trick-or-treat...

Saturday, October 24, 2015


Fall on Mackinac Island, is by far, my favorite season. It may have been chilly and wet today, but with umbrella and rain gear in hand, I still enjoyed my time outside...

Sunday, October 18, 2015

In Case You Were Wondering...

Mackinac Island kids love field trips. Off Island adventures are probably a little more challenging for us than they are for mainland schools, but we still take field trips when we can. We just have to plan around the boat schedule when we are thinking about a trip.

Believe it or not, the Mackinac Island Public School owns a bus. Well, we own half of a bus. We bought it with the St. Ignace schools - they use it most of the time, but when we need it, it's there. Occasionally parents will drive for trips, but more often than not, we take the bus.

I took this picture on Friday when we took the 4th, 5th and 6th graders to Palms Book State Park near Manistique, to visit the Big Spring. It was a great learning experience or the kids, full of words like topography, sink hole, spring and hydrostatic pressure. After visiting the spring, we stopped at the Cut Rive Bridge for a picnic and a few more geology lessons...

You can read about two of our other field trips here and here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Pikachu Pants

My son loves Pokemon these days, so I shouldn't have been surprised when he asked to be Pikachu for Halloween. I love that he had a very clear vision of what he wanted to look like, "I don't want a Pikachu suit. I want normal clothes that make me look like Pikachu. And I want ears; ears on a headband, not on a hat or a hood."  I kind of got the vibe that he wanted to look cool. He is 11 after all, and I have to remember that when you're 11, you often worry about what your friends think...

I knew he didn't want a pajama style pant, but I had never seen a pattern for blue jeans. Until, I found this Skinny Jeans pattern. It was perfect, but the only fabric I could find was lemon yellow. No problem... 

A packet of this in the kitchen sink and I was good to go. The best thing about this kind of pattern, is there was no trip to the fabric store. Go to Patterns sells downloadable pdf patterns that you buy and print out at home. Let me tell you, that's a wonderful thing when you live on an island and the nearest fabric store is a 30 - 45 minute boat ride and then an hour drive away. So, once my fabric was the perfect Pikachu yellow, I just printed out my pattern and got to work. Sure I had to cut out the pieces and tape them together, but it was super easy, and it took a whole lot less time than a trip to the store.

I quickly sewed up a pair and S tried them on. He loved the pants, except he didn't care for how low cut they were in the front. As you can see, the front was two full inches lower than the back, and he didn't like how his underwear was visible over the top of the waistband. (Plus he is so thin, he has no behind to help hold his pants up.) I was surprised when he asked me if I could just add in more fabric to make them come up higher. Thank goodness I bought more fabric than I needed and I had enough to make a second yellow pair. (Yet another instance where being a fabric hoarder has been a good thing.)

In about 15 minutes I drafted a new pattern piece to raise the front up so it was about equal with the back. (I had to alter the shape of the pocket inside too, so if you want to know more about that email me, and I can go into more detail for you.) 

Just to be sure that the pieces all worked together, I made a second pair out of denim I already had stashed away.  It ended up being a really good thing because S told me those were his favorite pants ever and that he was never taking them off...

That was, until he saw the pocket on the next pair I made. As soon as he saw that pocket, the denim pants got demoted into second place and he christened these his "Pikachu Pants." Thank goodness my daughter will not wear jeans, because if she did, I'm sure I would not have been allowed to sleep until she had a pair as well.

If you're looking for a jeans pattern, Peekaboo Pattern Shop's Skinny Jeans pattern is a dream. The instructions are incredibly clear and it sews up fast - with a serger I made the third pair in less than four hours - including cutting the pieces and all the top stitching. You can find the pattern at or just click here

I'm glad my son thinks it's cool that I make things for him and I think he'll get a of use out of these, (even if they are yellow!) Sometimes it can be so hard to sew for boys. 

Do you have any boy patterns you love? If you do, please let me know...

I was given this pattern at no cost, but the opinions presented in this post are my own.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


October is here. 


I love October. September is always such a hectic month for me; it's not a bad month, it's just an incredibly busy month. September means the kids and I all head back to school. All three of us do well with the routine of school, but sometimes it takes  a few weeks to  adjust to the new normal, that's all. I always feel like I can slow down and breathe again once October hits. Plus, by the time October rolls around fall is here: the nights are getting cooler, the  leaves are starting to change, and that lovely earthy leafy smell is in the air. I would have to say that October is probably my favorite month on Mackinac.

Those are Jim's pumpkins, growing near where the Carriage Tours' horses get their daily showers. They always seem to grow well there. Every day, as we walk home from school, S and K marvel at how big they grown and contemplate which lucky island kids will get to carve faces into them for Halloween...