Friday, April 30, 2010
A pattern with no seam allowance-make your own-(I kind of like those already figured in)
All-in-one facing-I think I will like the finished look once I get a better handle on this one
Invisible zipper-so far I haven't met any zipper I really like
Ruffles-this part was fun and I am already working on another ruffle project!
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I am also working on View D of this pattern in synthetic! Wow those things are slippery. It is funny how every sewing book basically says "Leave this to the professionals, mam" and scares you to death. I have sort of successfully cut out my pieces and that was pretty difficult. I can see where using a rotary blade would be good. I have sewn the loop closure for the back and managed to get darts in the front. I also have the ruffles ready to pin. So far- So Good. I am planning to use my serger for as much as I can. I reset the tension (yay me) for the synthetic material and it works great. I had more trouble setting my sewing machine. Hopefully it will still resemble a sweet flowing blouse and not a connect the dots activity when I am done!
Yesterday was day one and I had my pattern printed off and cut out. It was very easy to piece together. I chose a bright yellow for the dress and a pretty floral for the ruffle. I also cut out a sash in the same floral. This is so fun sewing along with all these people you don't know. They can't see your mistakes or your "angry eyebrow" faces when you have to rip something out! It is motivating though to have others doing the same project. It somehow heightens your desire to proceed. I can't wait to have a finished dress. Hopefully it will fit me. I NEED that dress form. (Need is a pretty strong word). Today I have much to do for the banquet, so I am hoping to get the bodice work done along with Kathleen at http://grosgrainfabulous.blogspot.com/. It is not too late to start. Print off that pattern and get sewing!
Happy Birthday to you baby sis--Woo Hoo the big 40! I will be sending you the coffee mug that mom gave me last year that says "when you are 40 that just means you are twice as sexy as you were at 20!" Have a wonderful day kiddo! Love you "to the moon and back"!
Tonight is our banquet to support the crisis pregnancy center in our area. I have volunteered the last couple of years to help with the homemade desserts that are served at all 800+ place settings. We have 3 teams who help coordinate and secure desserts for the evening. Last year I made quite a few of the 240 pieces I was responsible for. It is an easy way for me to give to a great cause. This year many of the moms who are in my co-op group have sweetly volunteered their services and "yummy" baked goods for tonight. I made 8 bundt cakes yesterday--I know one is missing from the photo-- we ate it! Bundt cakes are very easy and you can add things to them to enhance their flavor. Have you had a bundt cake lately? They are moist and very easy to slice. I made 8 different varieties, but one of our favorites is triple chocolate.
1 boxed chocolate cake mix
1- 4 ounce pkg of INSTANT chocolate pudding
1 3/4 cup of milk
6-12 ounces of chocolate chips
Combine all ingredients by hand and pour into a well greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes depending on your oven. The cake should spring back to the touch when it is done--if you don't have a cake tester. You can eat this as is and it is wonderful with coffee. For an added sweetness-dust with powdered sugar(very pretty). If you want a chocolate overload make a ganache to drizzle over it. Wow! That is some serious chocolate!
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Walked around our farm this weekend and took pictures of our creek before all the rain. I saw several weeds and wildflowers and couldn't help but take their pictures. Even a dandelion, as much as I hate to see their little, fluffy, white heads, is so intricately designed. God is perfect and I just thought I share some of his handi-work with you!
Wanted to post these so I don't forget. Surely to goodness no one could forget this jacket. It is another one of those pieces of clothing you wear once a season because they are MEMORABLE! It is not like a comfy sweat jacket or a cute little khaki number. This walks in the room before you do. I will make this pattern again-hopefully in something a little less statement making. Do you see my nifty serging stitches in that close up. That thing is so fun!
Well this one is better. I was doing the math and if you use 4 strips that are 9 X 2.75, then you have 11 total inches. You would need to take 2 inches off to make it a 9 X 9 square. Oh well, all that to say that I think I figured out why my other one wasn't quite right. This one is not too bad. The printed fabrics are from the M'Liss fabric line at Hancock fabrics. I think a quilted table runner to match would be too cute for a summer table.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Well these are just GOOD cookies! They are soft and chewy and stay that way for as long as you can keep them around. In our house that is not long!
1 cup salted butter
1 1/4 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
First cream the butter, peanut butter and both sugars. Beat in your eggs. Add vanilla and buttermilk. In a seperate bowl mix your flour, salt and baking powder. SLOWLY mix this into your wet ingredients. If you put it in all at once or too fast you will be wearing your flour instead of eating it! REFRIGERATE the dough for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. I use a small scoop to drop the cookies onto my cookie sheet. I can avoid having to roll them in balls this way. Dip a fork in flour and gently press in a criss-cross pattern. Do not go too deep or your cookie will end up flat. Bake in a 350 oven for 9 minutes. Watch them carefully. If you have a fast or slow oven you will have to adjust your time. They are just barely golden when I take mine out.
A glass of milk and one (2,3,4...) of these and everything seems right with the world for a moment!
I LOVE MY HOBBYLOCK! I have used it all day today. I fixed a polo for my son-the seam had come loose in the shoulder. My 18 year old daughter bought a shirt a long time ago and would not wear it because it was too A-line for her taste. I do think we revert back to A-lines from childhood when our hips get to big to look cute in our pants and skirts. I am just saying that is where I am today! Anyway, I narrowed the shirt for her. She says she will wear it now. Then I decided to put a jacket together using my new toy. I used the short jacket pattern from Chic and Simple sewing that you can find here http://www.christinehaynes.com/. I made it with a minty lime green fabric that is sort of seersuckerish--Is that a word?--It almost sounds foul. My lovely son asked me why I was making a jacket out of a disposable table cloth--funny! I will post pics tomorrow. It went really quick using that serger. I can see me using that sweet little tool all the time.
Friday, April 23, 2010
My sister and I are only 360 days apart and her birthday is next week. I have a few surprises up my sleeve that she doesn't know about, but I have told her I would make her a new purse like the one I have posted here on my blog. I found the tutorial at http://www.rufflesandstuff.com/2009/08/by-request-giveaway.html. It is a pretty easy purse to put together, so I am hoping to get to work on it this weekend. These are the fabrics I am using. My baby sis loves COLOR and she is tall and pretty and has courage to wear things I don't! She is very chic and I just love her to "the moon and back!" We live in different states, so we don't see each other very much--how sad. I will get to see her in May when I go with my mom on the quilt retreat. She is not going, but they live very close to one another. Can't wait to see her and give her a new bag from little ol' me. LOVE YOU SIS!
I thought I better get some practice in before the middle of May. I am going on my first ever quilt retreat with my mom and a lovely group of avid quilters! The ironic part of this is "I Don't Quilt!"-HAHA I want to learn how and I would love to be able to hand quilt. I have been doing some applique and I love all those little stitches. I saw this cute tutorial http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2009/04/craft_project_simple_quilted_p.html the other day on http://kari-youcanmakeit.blogspot.com/ or U Create for short. It was for quilted potholders. Well I really need some major practice or I am going to embarrass myself in May! I thought these were the cutest materials. I cut them evenly just like it said, so why in the world are they as uneven as they are???? Obviously I was not keeping up with the 1/4" seam allowance or something. Oh well, my dog likes it! Will go for round two before I give up on potholders.
Well my sweet hubby decided he would get me a brand new serger for my birthday (which is 9 days away). I did not want to spend that much money on one, mainly because I have no clue what I am doing and secondly, because I also want a dressform. I found a Pfaff Hobbylock 788 on Craigslist, but it was 2 hours away. My dear hubby said, "Send an email and find out if they still have it." They did and we drove Thursday to get it. She had pulled her maxi-locks off and was going to re-thread it, but couldn't. She was going to give it to me for free just because I would not be able to tell that it worked. She gave me a HUGE bag of thread and about 10 yds of different fabrics as well. She threw in 4 metal folding chairs too. All this for the grand price of $50. What a great blessing. My husband said he sure got off cheap! I brought it home and today I threaded it myself and had to play with the tension, but IT WORKS GREAT! So very excited for this new little addition.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
While another school year is coming to a close, I am already in the planning stages for Year 4 of Tapestry of Grace. I belong to a wonderful co-op, full of super families. We love this curriculum because it allows all of our students to be studying the same topics at the same time. The books are wonderful and they are taught to see God's hand throughout history. They also get to see the effects of sinful man-Yuck! I am encouraged each year by the depth of this curriculum. If you are a homeschooling mom and are looking for something new, go to http://www.tapestryofgrace.com and you can download a 3 week preview. Happy schooling!
I was browsing around the other day and saw a tutorial on a sewing machine skirt. Hers was quilted and I can't find it anymore. Hate wasting so much time looking and looking, but wanted to find it. Nope, just not happening. Well I ended up making a rather easy version for mine. It is great for keeping my scissors, measuring tape, hem gauge, etc. right in front of me, but not in the way! I used two rectangles of fabric. They were both scraps. I measured the width of my machine and made the rectangles 3 inches wider. The cream one, I just narrow hemmed all the way around. I folded the teal rectangle in half and then sewed it to the cream one on three sides. This left the top open. I then stitched in two lines from the top of the teal to the bottom to create pockets. Lift your machine and slide under so that the pockets are at the edge of your sewing table. Voila!
I think this is such a neat idea. The sewing circles of yesteryear seem to be long gone. Now we can have our cyber sewing circle. I printed this pattern off and it is very easy to assemble the pieces together. If you want to sew along I encourage you to visit http://grosgrainfabulous.blogspot.com/ and look for the Frock by Friday post.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Well my 12 year old decided that she wanted to sew today-(daughter)Yippee! She chose pattern 2625 from Butterick (50's/60's)-(daughter)Yay! She had to iron her lovely fabric of choice-(daughter)Groan! She had to fight with 3 yards of material and get things pinned down and then I told her she had to make sure the pieces were on the grain-(daughter)I Don't Want To Sew Anymore! I finished measuring, pinning and cutting the pattern out. I love all things sewing right now. Well this adds another vintage project to my to do list. I am sure it will be "Quick and Easy". Did I mention that I have to rip the side seam out of the Simplicity dress? The side seams did not quite match up, so I am in the process of fixing it. Then I can sew that little zipper in and hem that one up!-WooHoo! I put the pics of the pattern in with her fabric choice. It is the M'Liss Fabric line that Hancock Fabrics carries.
Monday, April 19, 2010
I have gotten my Simplicity 4615 to the point of putting in the zipper and hemming. I think I may have to adjust a little where the zipper goes in. My sides are quite meeting. I hate that. This is only my second zipper to put in and I wish it would just work. Oh well! In the mean time, I bought the Sew Liberated Schoolhouse Tunic pattern, which you can get at http://sewmamasew.com/. I put it together and I really like it. It was a relatively easy pattern, which is necessary for me as a beginner. I had read reviews on it and found that helpful. You don't have to gather the sleeves before you sew them in. The box pleats were simple to do and look nice. I decided to color block a little, so I added sleeves in an offwhite cotton. ( Had not hemmed the sleeves in the pics that make me look rather large for some reason-yuck!) I will definitely make this one again. Now back to the Simplicity sewing!!!!!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
My husband and I went to Scotland many years ago. We left our 2 young children with relatives and off we went for 2 1/2 weeks. It really is a beautiful place. One of my favorite things about that country is how every afternoon they stopped for tea. I say why just tea? why not a scone too? They had marvelous scones in Scotland. This recipe is for chocolate chip, but you could just leave out the chips and then split them open and put homemade jam or preserves on them-YUM! My kids love chocolate chip anything, so that is why I add them. I have played with this recipe over the years, but I really like the way they turn out now.
As always, gather your supplies before starting. Your hands will get messy with this one!
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2-3 Tbsp. sugar (I use 2)
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup COLD butter
4-6 Tbsp. half and half
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup semi sweet chips
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, bakiing powder & salt. Cut butter into small chunks and then use a fork or pastry blender to cut it in.(pic 4) It will look like crumbs when it is right. I then beat my egg, vanilla and about 3 Tbsp of the half and half in a small bowl. Pour into flour mixture along with chips and mix. Little by little add the remaining half and half, until the mixture comes together and will stick to itself. (pic 3) Then flour a cutting board or your countertop. Dump out the mixture and with floured hands knead the dough about 10 times. The less you mess---the flakier and lighter they will be. Once you have kneaded the dough into a ball, roll or press it out into a 1/2 inch thick circle. (pic 2) Then cut it into 8 wedges. Transfer these to a cookie sheet. I seperate them. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. These are beautiful if you rub an egg white wash over them before baking. These do not last in my house. You can cut them open and add butter and whipped cream-OOOOOOHHH Man!
I am still not feeling up to snuff as they say, but I have been working on my Simplicity 4615. I have gotten it to the point of sewing the bodice to the skirt. (Both these pics are of the dress inside out. )This is a task that I have never done. I am challenging myself with this one. I thought the darts in the front and back turned out nicely. It is rather a wide neck on my 12 y old. I think if she wanted to wear it as a stand alone dress, I would have to figure out a way to cut down the neck opening. I also need to put the 14" zipper in. It will be an interesting weekend!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I have seen several tutorials on making earrings from buttons. I was at Michael's Craft Store the other day and saw these cute buttons and embellishments, while I was looking for scrapbook items. They were in little bags for 1.99. I bought the heirmloom assortment bag to get the cute ivory ones I made. The crocheted daisies were in a little bag of embellishments in the same place. I had to take the shanks off the ivory pair with a pair of snips. The daisies didn't have anything on the back, so I just took some simple earring posts and my hot glue gun and made them into earrings. There was probably 10-12 matching sets of buttons in the heirloom bag and they are all cute.
Monday, April 12, 2010
I have been rather under the weather for the last week really. I was so excited about making Katy's new dress. I have only been able to cut it out. So sad! I have had some allergy/cold/flu/stomach bug/just shoot me and put me out of my misery thing since last week. Friday I did nothing and felt better. Saturday my husband plowed our garden area 75X85. That means much work for me soon. I also helped mow our land and do some clean up. Oh well, after a full day of work outside and inside, I ended up feeling bad again. So as a result, I only have it cut out. I did use my husband's washers to hold my pattern in place. I didn't have to pin. I would love to win the pattern weights from http://sewchic.blogspot.com/. If you haven't seen her pretty pattern weights, you need to check them out. Hopefully this week I will return to my old self and will make progress.
We bought this farm several years ago, but have only lived here for 2. When we first bought the land it was all grown up with briars and just lots of junk! My husband cleaned out around this little apple orchard, but we still had to take a few of the trees down. We now only have 4 up near the house. We have been trimming them back every year, but wondered if they would ever bear fruit. We don't really know what kind of apples they are. Last year we had 7 apples! I ended up going to 2 local apple orchards and buying large quantities of Jonathons, WineSap, Macintosh and a few other varities. We put up apple butter and a ton of apple pie filling. It has been so conveinent to make apple crisp, apple pie or fried apples in about 30 minutes. I will definitely do it again this year. Oh well, all that to say this year our apple trees are covered in blossoms. I took pictures of them on Saturday, so I thought I would share our little victory with you.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
I am hoping this blog will motivate me to complete my graduating daughter's scrapbook. We homeschool and this is my first to graduate. WooHoo! She has actually attended the local college for her entire senior year, minus Latin and Economics at home. She would like this album done for her graduation ceremony, so I must persevere! Here is a page I did of her and her sister. I used rick rack and these cute little orange rivet embellishments. I have had this paper forever and finally found a use for it. The letters are rub-on. I LOVE rub-ons. They are so easy to use.