Monday, November 14, 2011

look! 2 posts in one day! My Hummus recipe:

I went on what seemed like a scavenger hunt looking for the main ingredient in Hummus, "Tahini".  Well, after searching every isle of every grocery store in Ponca City, I finally ended up at the only one I hadn't been to and what should have been the most obvious choice, Food Pyramid on 14th street.  I found it on the international food isle by the peanut butter.  So, today I made the hummus and it was well worth the hours of searching and the $10 jar of Tahini.  This stuff tastes way better than any hummus I've ever purchased pre-made from the store.  I found a good recipe, but it was a little too dry, so I added olive oil and more lemon juice to the mixture.  Here is my altered recipe:

1 15.5 oz can Garbanzo Beans (chick peas), drained
1/3 cup tahini
the juice of 4 lemons
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
about 1 Tbsp olive oil
sprinkle of paprika and parsley flakes

Place the garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, salt, and garlic into a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Transfer mixture to a serving bowl.  Drizzle olive oil over the top and sprinkle with paprika and parsley.

It was really hard to get smooth in my blender.  I had to keep stirring it up and still ended up with a few beans not blended, but it tastes so good.  It would probably be better in a food processor, but this is definately THE recipe to keep.

mumu to tunic in about 30 minutes

I recently went shopping in Ponca City for maternity clothes and came home very disappointed.  There is absolutely no place to buy maternity clothes except for the second hand stores and pickins are slim!  I found one actual maternity top in my size in all the stores I visited.  I did, however, find some pieces I could repurpose.  I found this great mumu for $1 at My Favorite Things.  It was a great color and the fabric had good weight for fall/winter and i loved the details on the sleeves.
I started by cutting off the gathered skirt piece at the bottom.  I also cut off the elastic hemmed into the sleeves.  I then, by luck, found some matching thread that I had already purchased for some other project, and hemmed the bottom and sleeves.

I then pinned some elastic to the inside to make the waist empire and fitted.  The easiest way to do this is to put the piece on inside out, pin the elastic to the sides and mark with a tailors chalk where you want the elastic to hit, then take it off, stretch the elastic and pin it down in even increments to make sure it gathers evenly.  I then sewed the elastic on with a straight stitch across the top and bottom edges of the elastic, stretching while I sewed.

Voila!  now I have a cute maternity top that took me $1 and about 30 minutes.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

What to wear on Sunday morning

What to wear to church on Sunday has always been an ordeal to me.  I never like to wear the same thing 2 weeks in a row, or even every other week.  I know God doesn't care, it's just my preference.  So, I always end up picking my outfit the night before so I don't have to spend the entire time I have to get ready just on picking an outfit.  Besides, God does want me to shower before church too.  So, it's getting colder and my slacks are not really nice enough any more so I have to make something a little more "fall" to wear tomorrow to church.  My mom is already asleep so she couldn't help me take pictures, so sorry for the iphone self-shots. 
I have had this hideous 80's dress in my closet for about 5 years now.  I got it at a second hand store very cheap and couldn't resist the 80's pattern and red zebra fabric.  However, I have never once worn it in public, so I decided that if I messed it up, it wasn't that big of a loss.  Here's the before pic.
I started by cutting off the awful piece attached to the top of the skirt.  I cut it as close to the garment as possible.
Next, I cut the top away from the skirt and black elasticy waist part.  I left about an inch under the top of the dress because I thought I may be able to use that later.  I hemmed the top part of the skirt down, making sure to fix up the zipper so it would be a good waistband for the skirt.
 I tried the skirt on and it fit perfectly as a nice trendy pencil skirt.  Right to the knee, perfect for church. :)

 I decided to try the top part on backwards and it worked really cute as a short jacket to match my skirt.  I pinned the zippered sides under, sewed them up, and voila! a matching bolero!

 I think it looks much better than the 80's dress that it has been for the last 30 years or so, and I'm excited to wear something new and original to church in the morning.

Monday, August 15, 2011

upcycle a big shirt into a dress/cover up

I found this size 4x woman's cotton shirt at a garage sale and thought it would make for a very cute cotton summer dress.  It's very casual and perfect to use as a swimming suit cover up also.  Here is the before:
 my computer won't let me rotate these pictures :(
I started by cutting off the sleeves leaving a little around the seams so I could hem the edge.
I turned it inside out, put it on, and pinned the armpit where it would fit me.  Then I took it off, pinned down the side at an angle to the bottom hem of the shirt, and cut off the excess.  
Next, I pinned and sewed down the raw edges all around.
That's it. It's cute and comfy.

The reversible American Vest

I have had this vintage polyester patriotic fabric for a while now and never knew what to do with it until I found out Osama Bin Ladin had been killed.  I decided to make a vest.  I didn't have a pattern and couldn't find a good tutorial online, but I used several different tutorials to make my own pattern. 
 I drew the vest out on a piece of newspaper by using a loose fitting tank top as a guide and cut the pieces out of both fabrics.
Now, you lay the pieces wrong sides together and sew them up the side seams.  You will end up with 2 pieces.  Do not sew up the shoulder seams just yet.
Lay the pieces out flat, wrong sides together and pin around them.  Sew all the way around the arm holes, neck and the long curved edge, leaving about a 5" space in the bottom so you can turn it inside out.  Leave the shoulder seams open.  Once turned inside out, pin and close the space in the bottom of the back of the vest.

Now to sew up the shoulder seams...  Turn the back shoulder seams in about 1/2 and inch and put the front shoulder pieces inside of these.  Hand sew these in place for an invisible seam or just machine stitch across like i did.

Now wear your reversible American vest with pride!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

the dirty chair meets the vintage sheets

     I got my white chenille rocking chair and ottoman out of storage this week and put it in my daughter's room.  It was extremely dirty from being in storage for 2 years and from my daughter coloring on it with hot pink sharpie when she was about a year old.  I took some cleaners to it and washed the covers for the cushions.  The cushions came pretty clean, but the ottoman and the arms of the chair were very stained and none of the pink sharpie came out at all, so I decided I was going to make slip covers.
     I really don't like slip covers.  I think they look cheap, but I don't have the energy to re-upholster the whole chair, so I'll try to make it look not cheap.  There was lace at the top of the flat sheet that I had chosen to make the slip cover from, but it was coming off here and there so I sewed that back on first.  I pinned the sheet straight to the ottoman and used my tailors chalk to draw a line where to cut.  The lace wouldn't reach all the way around so I make a little placket out of one of the pillow cases, which also had the lace on the end.  I cut a piece quite a bit larger but the same shape that I needed for the top and pinned it to the top of the sides, (wrong side out, by the way) pinning the fabric together instead of into the ottoman.  Then I slipped that off and sewed it all up where everything was pinned.  I made a big bow (and I did this blindly, with no pattern, so I can't really explain how I made the bows, but it's similar to a bow tie and tied the same) and sewed that to the front and it just so happens that the bow was perfectly sized to cover the placket that I had to add.

     The arms of the chair were very dirty.  I wanted the lace at the bottom of the arm covers so I used the 2 pillow cases.  I cut them open down the side and bottom seam and placed them over the arms of the chair.  I pinned them directly into the chair all the way around, marked with my tailors chalk and cut the excess off.  I then made 2 pieces slightly bigger than the front of the arms of the chair and pinned that to the fabric, marked and cut.  I took the pins out of the chair and sewed the arms up, hemming all around the raw edges.  I used ribbon to hold the backs of the arm covers tight.  It ties into a cute bow in the back.  I made 6 more smaller bows and tacked them on each of the covers. 

     I think it looks quite nice and it's very comfortable. :) I may make a throw pillow out of the rest of the sheet.
close-up of the bows:
and the finished product:

I was featured in my favorite blog!

I read this blog almost every day and It was really my inspiration to start a blog showing my own creations.  Kylee's tie dyed jumper made the page on father's day.  I can't believe I missed it!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kylee's new rainbow canopy

I went to Hobby Lobby for some retail therapy after a day of DRAMA on Facebook and decided to make a rainbow canopy for Kylee's bed.  I always wanted a canopy over my bed when I was growing up and every princess deserves one. :)  I bought 3 yards each of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple tulle and a sky blue embroidery hoop.  I cut each color of tulle in half lengthwise and looped it over the hoop leaving about 3 inches and pinned each piece.  I put the other part of the hoop on and tightened it up then hand sewed around the whole thing so that if the hoop came apart for some reason, the tulle wouldn't.
I took some 24 gauge silver colored copper zebra wire that I had in my beading supplies and wired the hoop shut in 4 different places.  I used the same wire to attach the hoop to the ceiling over the bed.  I put nails into the ceiling leaving them out a little bit in 4 different places so that there would be a nail on each side of the hoop in 4 places.  I looped the wire around the nail, then under the hoop, and around the other nail, then I hammered the nails all the way in.  It seems very secure.
My daughter saw it for the first time this afternoon when she came home and she said "Thank you so much, mommy!  It's so wonderful!"  (she uses big words for a 3 1/2 year old)  She kept saying her room was Awesome and Beautiful and that she loved it.  She is very excited to sleep in her new rainbow bed tonight. 
Now I just need to get her some matching sheets...

Monday, April 4, 2011

tailor the polyester shirt

My mom gave me this 100% polyester blouse because it had some ink stains on the sleeve that we couldn't get out.  It was way too big for me, but I thought maybe I could alter it to fit and I could shorten the sleeves to get rid of the ink stains.

I started by cutting of the sleeves very carefully because I was going to re-attach them once I got the shirt to the right size.  I then put the shirt on inside out and pinned it to where it fit me (loosely because you don't want a skin tight shirt with no stretch).  Once I took it off, I straightened out the pins so that the side seams were the same.

I sewed up the sides and put the shirt back on to make sure it fit correctly, which it did.  The shoulder seams would be too long if I left it as is now, so I used my fashion ruler to draw and cut a new arm hole onto the shirt.  (I didn't take pictures of this). 
On a side note, I want to thank my grandmother for giving me her fashion ruler.  It is my favorite sewing tool and I always keep it handy.
the ruler shows you exactly where on the ruler you can trace your armhole curve.

I cut the new armhole and pinned the sleeve on.  The sleeve was much larger than the new armhole, which I expected.  I made tiny pleats in the top part of the sleeve to make it fit the new armhole and puff the sleeves up a little bit.  Gotta make it a little more girly.  After the sleeves were on, I put the shirt on and marked where I wanted the sleeves to hit with a straight pin.  I cut the sleeves off there.  I then cut another strip about 4" wide for the cuffs that go on the bottom of the sleeve.  After sewing the cuffs on, I inserted a piece of elastic into the cuff and sewed them shut. 
Sorry I didn't take pictures of any of that.  :(  I was having a bad day.
Anyway, the shirt fits perfectly and is super cute. 
Thanks for the new shirt mom!
I have another camp shirt to upcycle.  I decided this beautiful color palette would make a beautiful summer dress. 

I started by cutting off the sleeves and the top of the shirt right under the collar.

I removed the top button, pinned and hemmed the top edges.

I put the shirt/dress on inside out and pinned it down the sides to fit.  Once I got to the waist, I took the dress off and pinned it the rest of the way down angling out to the bottom corners.  I sewed each side and cut off the excess.

I turned it right side out and it fit perfectly!  No need for straps I was afraid I was going to have to add.

Upcycle shirts into pants

I read a few (very few) blogs daily.  One is and it gives me the most inspiration to do things with the clothes that don't fit me anymore or that people give to me.  While reading this blog, I stumbled upon a young girl who also upcycles, sews, and makes tutorials.
 I made 2 pair of pants from one of her most recent blog posts which included a small tutorial.  These pants are super easy to make, super comfortable, super cheap, and super cute!  So, here we go.

This is the shirt that I started with.  It's not a t-shirt, which is what she used in her blog, but i thought it would make a cuter pair of spring culottes than a camp shirt.  So, you start by cutting off the top right under the neckline, then the sleeves, then cut the shirt up the middle on the front and back.

The back of the shirt had a little tuck or whatever you call it that added a bit of extra, so I cut that out.  In hind sight i could have left it in for a little extra room in the hips.  I cut the button strip completely off the front and also the strip with the button holes.

So, once the shirt is all cut up, you have your pants pieces all cut out.  Sew each piece up the outside edge(which was previously the center of the shirt) right sides facing.  turn one right side out, put it inside the other leg and sew the crotch together.  I left the front open about 7" or so, enough to make a button fly because there's no stretch to the fabric. 
Next, I took the button strip and the button hole strip, cut them to fit the fly, and attached them to the opening I had left before.  I hemmed down the top of the pants only about a half inch because otherwise they would've been a little too low and sewed the elastic in.

here's an up close pic of the fly

So, as I said before, the Girl in the Heart Glasses said to use a big t-shirt for this project, so out of respect for her (and for more to do), I found an old t-shirt and made another pair.  This one was much easier.  I started with a long sleeved super soft t-shirt.  The shirt was already cut up the middle in the front, splitting the design in half, so I cut the shirt up the sides to the arms also.  This gave me 4 pieces, but I re-attached the front design (actually cutting out the "A" in the name DELANCY that was originally on the shirt, but who cares?)  I finished sewing up the legs, then the crotch just like the other pants, but didn't leave an opening for a fly this time.  I made a casing for the elastic in the top of the pants, inserted elastic and voila!  perfect lounge pants!