Sunday, September 22, 2013

An Ending & A Beginning

It is time to officially tie off the ends of this blog.

But with the end of From Scratch comes the beginning of The Haberdashery.

The Haberdashery is a brand new baby business venture that my fiancé and I have birthed.  It will be a supply shop, educational center & regional hub for homesteading skills in Easthampton, MA. I will also be picking up where I left off with From Scratch on our blog, and in time it will be even better than before, I'm sure.

But before we take the big leap, we need your help. We are running a crowd-funding campaign to raise the money we need to open our shop.

Every little bit helps!

Many thanks from our home to yours.

With love,
Melody & Figge

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Farm Life

Little chickies at 3 weeks

First field trip! A tour 'round the blueberry bush with Grandma Bess.

Figge, Fancy & Bess in the garden

On Mothers Day, our first egg!

Sizzle, sizzle!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I'm just now finding the time to post last week's photographic updates. It's unbelievable how much our little girls have grown since I took these pictures 4 days ago. They're big girl feathers are all growing in!

Gossip around the water cooler.

Leader of the flock.

One lone chick.

Fancy & Bess, BFF's 4 LYFE!

Me & Fancy: she's not so sure about this.

Cecil & catnip: he's TOTALLY sure about this.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

1 yard. 30 minutes. Skirt!

I haven't done much experimenting with jersey, but I think it's high time I started. I had some leftover jersey lying around, so I made a tube skirt out of it. Probably the quickest, easiest, and most wearable thing I've ever made. And it's sexy by suggestion, rather than by skin, which is my favorite kind of sexy.

All you need is one yard of a good, stretchy jersey, and 30 minutes of your time.

Cut 1 rectangle for the waistband, your waist measurement minus 5"x 8"
Cut 1 rectangle for the body of the skirt, your hip measurement minus 5" x your desired length plus 1".

Use a serger if you have one. On a regular home machine, use a stretch needle (it has a blunter tip than a regular needle to prevent it from attempting to puncture those crazy, spandex-y fibers) and the stretch stitch (pictured below), paired with a zig-zag on the edge to prevent it from rolling, which can add extra bulk to the seam.

Sew up the back seam of both waistband and skirt.

Fold the waistband in half, wrong side to the inside, and sew it to the top of the skirt, matching the back seams together.

Slap on the hem of your choosing, and you've got a skirt!

With love,


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Embroidery Hoop Clock

I love making things that are practical, things I will definitely use. And I love clocks, both for their aesthetic and practical offerings. I especially love making clocks because it's as easy at slapping a movement and some hands on anything you can sandwich in between them.

Your clock face must be:

Flat enough for the hands to move freely, 360 degrees.
Thin enough to receive the shaft of your movement (which come in a variety of lengths).
Penetrable enough for you to make a hole through.

Movements and hands can be purchased online or at your local clock shop. Now start sandwiching your way to a home full of beautiful and intriguing clocks!

My most recent clock creation, and my favorite to date I made on a embroidery hoop.

What You'll Need

Embroidery hoop
Fusible interfacing
Embroidery floss
Sewing needle
Graph paper
Clock movement & hands

1. Begin by fusing your interfacing to the back of your fabric with a hot iron. Place your interfaced fabric in the embroidery hoop and fasten until taught.

2. For cross-stitched numbers on a fabric that isn't clearly gridded, you can use graph paper to block out your numbers.

  • Pin these blocked out numbers to the appropriate place on your clock face (take note of the grain of the fabric and align the numbers with it). 
  • Embroider through the paper.
  • Tear away the paper from finished numbers.
  • Tighten up any stitches that were loosened by tugging at them from the underside.

I wouldn't recommend this method for any design denser than mine, as it may be difficult to remove all the paper. For more intricate designs, it's best to use cross-stitch fabric.

3. Measure out and embroider the ticks between the cardinal numbers.

4. To finish the back, trim the edges of your fabric to be a circle big enough to enclose the back without overlapping at the center (which would create too much bulk and prevent your clock from hanging straight on the wall). Add the batting. Make a long running stitch around the outer edge of the fabric.

5. Pull your thread tight so that the fabric gathers up towards the middle of the back. Wait to tie this thread off until your movement is in place.

6. To make the hole in the center, be very careful not to make too big a hole. I started my hole with a awl, pushing the fibers apart, instead of cutting them. I then eased the shaft up through the hole, making four tiny snips around the edges so that I could get it all the way through.

7. Finesse the movement, batting, and backing until everything sits nicely. Add hands and you're finished!

With love,


Friday, April 19, 2013

The Day the Chickens Arrived

As both a document of their development and a personal photography challenge, I will be posting weekly updates on the newest members of our family. On Wednesday we came home with six little cheepers. Just this morning two laying hens arrived from a farm where they were getting picked on by the other ladies. Fortunately for Fancy & Bess, they will be the queens of the castle here!

Little Cheepers, Week 1

Fancy & Bess

Happy Friday!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Granny's Quilt

The other day I was, quite literally, up to my elbows in a job I recently took on--finishing my client's dead grandmother's mostly-complete quilt.

Stunning isn't it?

So there I am, stitching confidently along, when I paused to read my weekly horoscope from Chris Flisher:

"Cancer  (June 22 - July 22)
You may be up to your elbows in a project that has you stumped; but only for the time being. This process is part of the job and the job is this process. The grunt work does have value especially when you see the shiny finished product. You are deep into the detail work."

And I thought, "Gee. That couldn't possibly be more right on. Except that this project never had me stumped, silly horoscope."

Another hour or so of stitching goes by until I decided to stop and compare my work to dead grandma's work.


When I was only looking at my work, I thought it looked pretty damn good. But by comparison? Measly and pathetic! 

Touché, horoscope. Touché.

Take a look. Mine...


I suppose it's partially the decades of practice. And, to be fair, her stitching isn't all this tiny. But seriously, how DID she do it?

With love,

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A New Beginning

Yesterday we started our first seeds of the season.

And you know what that means... spring is nigh!

Since spring is everyone's metaphorical new beginning, I thought it was about damn time I drag myself out of this "sabbatical".  A few months ago I had an incredible amount of momentum behind me and I totally amazed myself. Then life got in the way and my blogging velocity puttered to a halt.
As the physicists say, objects in motion tend to stay in motion and objects at rest tend to stay at rest.
So I'm just going to start pushing like hell. I know all that creative juice is somewhere inside me, I just have to get moving and trust that it will start to flow again.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Looking Forward: 2013

Making a New Year's resolution is not something I'm very good at. I've only made them a few times, as far as I can recall. And this year just doesn't feel like a resolution year. I am already in the midst of vast and incredible change in my life. I am moving to a new place to be with the love of my life, so that we can start building our future together. I don't know yet what the challenges there may be, because from where I'm standing, everything is rose-colored. The most I could hope for is simply to continue as I am, pouring myself into my passions, chasing after my dreams, and loving fervently. I couldn't imagine being in a better place. It's an especially welcome change after a rather difficult 2012.

Things have really slowed down around From Scratch since the start of the holidays, and things won't truly pick back up again until February. That feels a little sad, because I had worked up so much momentum. But I can't do everything at once, it turns out! In the end, however, I know that From Scratch will be a huge part of my 2013. I've got so many ideas for this year I think my head just might explode, so don't go away! I'm hard at work...

Wishing a wonderful 2013 to everyone!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Best of 2012

As a final word on 2012, in order to send the year off properly, I present you with a round-up of y'alls favorite posts of 2012. Thanks for joining me! I hope you'll spend 2013 with me, too, because I've only just gotten started.