Thursday, June 17, 2010

Straw ... Flapper ... de Lights

Today the PYO strawberry fields are open for the season.

We ran out of strawberry jam in the middle of the winter, and I am determined that the same won't happen this coming winter. I told the girls, "rain or shine" we were going berry picking today.

The rain held off just long enough for us to pick twenty-six pounds of strawberries.

We'll go back for more ... a LOT more.

But it was a good time.

After berry picking, we came home and I took this dress (we found at Goodwill, and of which I failed to take a picture) cut off the bottom and used the top (after I trimmed a bit from each side) to make a dress for Big Little Sister. Then, I cut the bottom half in half (it was pretty wide at the bottom) and made two more dresses.

The end result is three recital dresses for my girls for the Father-Daughter dance.

And then, we experimented with making oil lamps, but I let Deus Ex Machina share that cool experience ;).


  1. We're going picking next week. How many quarts did that end up being? How much preserves do you think you'll end up with? This weekend I plan on working out some estimates, but it'd be nice to hear your numbers. Do you use granulated sugar or another sweetener?

  2. Love the dress refab! Is that stretch velvet? I'm still trying to get over my annoyance with sewing knits.

  3. Mmmm, berries! I've frozen the batch from my first picking. I may have to pick more this weekend since I've been sneaking into the frozen ones already...

    I LOVE those dresses! How creative! And how fortunate to find one item that can become three. Excellent re-use! I tip my shabby hat to you. :)

  4. I am determined to go all out on strawberries this year. 26 ounds?? Wow.

    Those dresses are FABULOUS! And so thrifty:)

  5. Kevin - per my rough measurements, 1 qt = 1.5lbs. So, we picked about 17 quarts. The (modified) recipe I use (from Back to Basics, which uses only strawberries and sugar, but no pectin), makes about a pint per quart. Of the 17 quarts we picked, the seven quarts that are left (not frozen or eaten yet) will end up as jam, which will give us about a third of what I estimate we need for the year. I use sugar - either regular white sugar or raw sugar, or a combination ... depends on what I have on hand. At some point, I'd like to try making a few pints with honey, as we have bees, now, but I'll wait until next year to try it ... when we can do so with our own honey ;).

    Kaye - The material was some sort of velvety material, and it was a b*tch to sew ;). Fortunately, I don't know enough about how various fabrics work to have any biases (ha! ha! - no pun, intended, seriously) toward any particular fabric. Mostly, I'm just winging it ;).

    Thank, Farmgal. I have been truly inspired by some of your reuses, and as I was designing these dresses in my head, I was thinking of that bike shirt you made. The dresses aren't even close to the skill you displayed in making that shirt, but I did want you to know that I was thinking about what you did ;).

    Fleecenik - thanks! I had a blast dreaming up and making those dresses. They weren't so thrifty though when we add in the cost of the fringe - which was kind of expensive. Twenty-six pounds of strawberries isn't so much. We'll need more ;).

  6. Nothing is worse than running out of Jam in the dead of winter! We also ran out but I think (hope) we planned better this year... I was up to my elbows with strawberries!
    You are so creative! I am loving the dresses!