Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tutorial: zippered wet bags

We are so fortunate that our son's daycare takes cloth diapers (so many do not!).  At the start of the week (he only goes three days), I provide clean, folded diapers from our service and a bunch of these wet bags, and each day, they give a full bag of dirty diapers back.  Often, I'll get a second bag of dirty clothes, too.  It's like a gift exchange :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Homemade frozen pizza

Pizza is a weekly occurrence at our place, usually on Friday (like everyone else, right?)  Every week, I have the same dilemma--the pizza crust recipe makes two rounds and we only eat one.  Sometimes I freeze the uncooked ball of dough, sometimes I par-cook the crust and put in the freezer, sometimes it's baked with olive oil as flatbread, but sometimes *gasp* it gets thrown out.  I know, why not just halve the recipe?  (Answer: the dough is difficult to work when there is such a tiny ball.)  My other dilemma is that the sauce I use (a tiny can of Hunts tomato sauce) is also unfinished.  Sometimes we find other uses for it, or it can last until the next week, but it often suffers the fate of other leftovers and gets tossed after it's refrigerator life has expired.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Final entry for 2012

Squealing in just under the time limit, this is my final entry into the Spring Top Sewalong.  Four (actually five) tops for myself in a month (making up for the other 11 months out of the year where I've historically done very little sewing for myself!)  The fabric is cotton voile from the Prince Charming line by Tula Pink for Free Spirit.  

Readers' choice!

Wow!  I am so honored and excited to have been chosen for the Readers' choice selection for the 3rd week of the Spring Top Sewalong.  So many great entries in the field!  Thank you to all who voted, and to the other seamstresses for the tough competition!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Top of the tops, time two!

I had a feeling Rae would post some finalists today, so I excitedly checked her website (after finishing a rousing lecture on DNA replication) and YAY! my "Gauzy summer top" was chosen for this week's Top of the Tops!   So please, go over there and vote!

I can have one more entry into this year's Spring Top Sewalong (4 is the max, with my entries #1, #2, and #3), and I have one finished and one in the works.  The big decision will have to be made soon, though; entries are only accepted until this Sunday. (Here's a view of the finished one--believe me, it looks better on!  The band around the bottom is tight on the hips, with the rest loose and blousy.)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Make it today: Leftover egg and lentil salad

A week isn't too old for a hard-boiled egg, right?  I hope not, since I just devoured one in this lentil salad!  Looking for a way to use up all those Easter eggs, I found inspiration from a few websites to try a lentil-egg salad with vinaigrette.  Most call for using a fried or poached egg, so I improvised my own version.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring Top Sewalong #3

Entry number three for the Spring Top Sewalong!  I had a gauzy top from H&M that had seen better days (I don't even want to photograph it, it's so dingy!   See below for the side-by-side comparison!), but I love the shape and feel of it, so I decided to use it as my template for a new version.  Not that I'm ever going to wear it again (in public), but I didn't disassemble the shirt; instead just traced parts of it on Swedish tracing paper.  Unfortunately, parts like the button placket, banded neckline, and even the sleeves were not really "traceable", so those bits I recreated on my own (and the neckline and sleeves more than once!).   I eye-balled the tiny pintucks (there are some on the back, too), but I wish I had put in a few more.

Since I had never sewn one like this before (let alone create the pattern), the button placket was the most challenging part.  I used this tutorial to draft and sew the one piece placket.  And it only took one try!

I wrangled a rounded hem, adjusted the sleeve openings at the shoulder and, as usual, took in the sides to make it less boxy.  In the end I love this top. LOVE IT.  I can picture it getting as "well loved" as the original.

 Fabric is crinkled gauze, purchased at Fabric. com for an absolute steal (like $4 a yard, if I remember correctly).   This gauze was fun to work with and extremely forgiving.

Okay, by request, I have added a photo of the side-by-side comparison!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My top made the finals!

I'm so excited and honored to be among the "Top Tops" this week.  Even if you don't vote for mine, go vote and be part of the action!

And to think I almost didn't submit this top to the Spring Top Sewalong!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Spring Top Sewalong Top #2

When we went to Tokyo 2 years ago, my souvenirs of the trip were four pattern books (two women's clothing, a children's clothing and a handbag book).  Since then, I've occasionally pulled them off the shelf to browse the pretty pictures, but other than some adorable monkey pants for my baby, I hadn't made anything yet.  I've admired the interesting neckline detail of this one and decided to give it a try for the Spring Top Sewalong: