Catching Up.. Fall Fun

I have been so busy this fall, actually having fun! I wanted to share some pictures with you that I hope you will enjoy.

In front of my house.

Village Peddler shop
Plano IL

Village Peddler shop
Plano IL

Fall festival of crafts Sandwich IL

Halloween tree in Sandwich IL

Fall festival of crafts Sandwich IL

Cutest cake ever!

Natasha from Esther's Place with her sheep
Big Rock, IL

Natasha has a fiber art studio and store
Big Rock, IL

Natasha's shop and guest rooms

Corn fields in Big Rock, IL

Plow Races and Fall Festival
Big Rock, IL

Plow Races and Fall Festival

Natasha's Farm

Shopping with my friend June
Oswego, IL

Natasha and her sheep

Display in Natasha's shop
needle felting

Display in Natasha's shop
Needle felting

Needle felting pumpkins
I've been making

Supplies and kits from her store

Display from her store

Natasha's garden
 Hope you are enjoying Autumn too!
Michelle / Simple Pleasures


How to Sew an Amish Dress (Suit)

 A suit includes a dress, cape and apron. In my community suits are made of all one fabric and color (customs vary from community to community). Suits are worn by the girls and women to weddings and funerals. Married women also wear suits to any formal social gathering such as reunions, visiting and so forth.
For church it is standard, in my community, for the women and girls to wear a white cape and apron with a colored dress rather than a full suit of all one color. A suit may be worn when visiting neighboring churches.

The men’s standard wear for churches, funerals, formal social gatherings and so forth is also a suit. Their suit is made up of pants, vest, suit coat (called a mutza - pronounced "moot-zuh") and a white shirt. The men’s suits are general black though dark blue, gray or brown is sometimes used.
Sewing a suit is pretty time consuming, but an enjoyable process.
  1. Cut out all pieces according to patterns. Iron out any creases.
  2. Pin and sew dress bodice front to dress bodice back at shoulders. Measure, pin and hem sleeves to desired length. Pin and sew pleats in to skirt front and back pieces and into apron. Pin and sew darts into cape back. Pin and sew cape front to cape back at shoulders.
  3. Press all seams. Press 5/8 inch seam allowance along edges of cape and sides of apron. It sews up nicer if you press the seam allowances first and then sew.
  4. Cape – Pin and sew facing onto cape neck edges. Pin and sew all around pressed edges of cape. Cape is done except for final ironing.
  5. Apron – Pin and sew pressed seam allowance on sides of apron. Sew belt onto apron. Sew belt stiffening into belt. Measure, pin and hem apron by hand. Apron is done except for final ironing.
  6. Dress – Pin and sew facing around dress neck edge. Gather sleeves to fit sleeve opening. Pin and sew in sleeves. Pin and sew front and back of skirt to front and back bodice pieces. Sew elastic into waist. Pin and sew along side seams, beginning at sleeve edge and ending at skirt bottom. Measure, pin and hem dress by hand.
  7. Press all seams and iron out any wrinkles in the cape, apron and dress. Now you are ready to wear your new suit.
*Article courtesy of by Viola

Michelle / Simple Pleasures


Oh Fall, How I Love Thee....

Images courtesy of "Country Living Made Beautiful" on facebook.





Michelle / Simple Pleasures


How to Drive in Amish Country

  • In the summer months thousands of tourists descend on Amish communities such as Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Holmes County, Ohio, Shipshewana, Indiana and Arthur, Illinois, and elsewhere. For many visitors, this may be the first time driving around horse-drawn vehicles. There is something quietly magical about seeing a horse and buggy driving down a country road and hearing the horses hooves clip-clop in the distance. It allows us to imagine life in earlier times, when life moved a whole lot slower.
    Unlike automobiles, horses are not machines and can be unpredictable, spooked by noisy exhaust pipes on cars or motorcycles, loud noises from fields or parking lots, and other things we among the “English” might not consider.

    • Try not to rev your engine when pulling alongside a buggy horse. The loud noise could spook the horses, causing the buggy to suddenly move into your lane, or into the shoulder causing damage and injury to the horse, buggy and people inside.
    • When approaching a buggy that is stopped at an intersection, be sure to leave plenty of room between your car and the buggy. Horses can get nervous at intersections and sometimes back up, which could result in damage to the front end of your car.
    • If there is sufficient room in your lane, try not to veer into the center road buttons or rumble strips, which can make a startling noise.
    • When possible, do not pass too close to a buggy, because if something spooks the horse from the shoulder of the road, the buggy could lurch into your vehicle or your path.
    • Slow down when driving over a blind hill, especially if there isn’t a buggy lane; there could be a buggy on the other side of the hill, making it difficult to avoid a collision at high speed.
    • Buggy horses are faster than you may think; some can reach speeds nearing 18-20 MPH. When passing a horse and buggy, remember that they may be slower, but they are still moving at a good clip, so be sure to give them room if you’re facing oncoming traffic.
    • Be sure to leave ample room for passing. Many car/buggy accidents are caused when a driver tries to pass too closely and too fast. If a car’s bumper catches a buggy wheel it doesn’t take much to flip the buggy, causing serious damage to the buggy and injury to its occupants, not to mention the horse.

    The best advice is to use caution and common sense when driving in Amish country. It will make your visit all the more enjoyable for you and your new Amish friends.

    *Article & picture courtesy of

    Michelle / Simple Pleasures

    Amish Pin Keep ....

    Wendy had her pin keep swap again this year and I was happy to enter! I received my pin keep on Friday and was beyond thrilled, because I received a lovely Amish girl pin keep, and you guys know how I feel about the Amish. lol  My partner was Linda  from she is unbelievably talented, you have to check out her website. She also made me a lovely bookmark with my name and a handmade bead, (she makes her own blown glass) and they are sooo cool. Without further ado...

    Isn't she the cutest! Thanks again to Linda for being such a great swap partner and to Wendy for always hosting such great swaps!

    Michelle / Simple Pleasures


    Thrity Black and White Accesories ...

    I really like my plate rack/quilt holder in my kitchen, but couldn't find anything to fit in the narrow rack except... what it was meant for, a plate. lol  So I found these cool felt keys on clearance at Hobby Lobby for $1 and added them to a .99 platter from Good Will. Simple and cute, if I do say so myself.

    While I was at Hobby Lobby I found theses rub on decals and thought they would be awesome for a candle, also .99.
    And my neighbor gave me this little kids bench and of course I painted it black and thought it would be perfect for Nico's bowls.

    Hope you are enjoying your long weekend! I'm off to a local thrift that is having a 1/2 off sale.
    (Because I need more stuff, NOT!)
    Michelle / Simple Pleasures