Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Fat Free "Fried" Potatoes

A few years ago Iposted the recipe and this pic about how I cook my "fried" potatoes and after talking ot someone about it this morning I dedided to post an updated version of how I do it now.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel, slice and wash potatoes as you usually would for fried potatoes. Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Put in a microwave safe bowl adn cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. potatoes should be tender. While the potatoes are steaming spray a skillet heavily with cooking spray-- I prefer cast iron.Carefull remove the plastic wrap. Be careful of the steam.Spray the potatoes well with teh cooking spray and toss to coat.  Spead in the skillet and spray well again. Toss.You can add oniions or peppers as well if you wish. Cook the potatoes in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes stirring a couple of times while they cook.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Butterick 5682

When I saw that Pattern Review was going to have a contest for making a pair of jeans I decided to enter. I thought it would give me a nudge to get another pair of jeans made.I have made several pairs of jeans using this pattern and really like the pattern. I have used all the views in the pattern as well.

 The denim I chose is  a heavy cotton denim. Probably a 9 ounce denim. I prewashed and dried the fabric twice to help soften the denim and to shrink it as much as possible before cutting.

The last pair of jeans I made using this pattern was also the flare leg view and the legs were too wide. I adjusted the legs of the jeans but failed to adjust the actual pattern pieces. I removed about an inch or slightly more beginning at the hems and tapering all the way to just below the crotch.

I did my normal sway back adjustment to the pattern.

I used the gold  cotton topstitch thread and a jeans needle for the topstitching. The inside seams are all serged.I just used a regular dual duty sewing thread for the other seams.The pockets in the pattern are plain so I made a template and traced lines for decorative stitching on the pockets. 

Rivets on the pockets

I lined the pockets with a cotton print which serves two purposes. It is pretty and it also reduces the bulk in the pockets that 2 extra layers of denim would add. I used a jeans zipper and shortened by using the pliers in my husband's Leatherman.

When I made my first pair of jeans and was doing some research on the internet I found that a block of wookd and a hammer are your friend when sewing jeans. It helps to literally beat some of the bulk into submission. Just be sure to layer your jeans between to layers of fabric to prevent the hammering from leaving a shine on the jeans.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Vegetable Soup

Homemade Vegetable Soup
2- 15 ounce cans diced tomatoes
2- 15 ounce cans Italian diced tomatoes
1-8 ounce can tomatoe sauce
2 cans chicken broth(4 cups)
Small bag frozen mixed vegetables(thaw in the microwave)
5 beef bullion cubes
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 med onion chopped
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained (I use 80/20)
Put everything in the slow cooker and cook on high 3-4 hours. 
I like to freeze in 1 cup servings. After freezing dump i to gallon freezer bag. Heat one servi g as a time if you wish. I place in a bowl and microwave 2 minutes in high. It will still be somewhat frozen but not frozen solid. Using a spoon break up .microwave abother 2 minutes on high. Enjoy alone or with crackers or cornbread. Thus is a frequent lu ch meal for me.

Ruffle Dresses

I was in Hobby Lobby Saturday and this pastel ruffle fabric caught my eye. I decided to cut it crosswise so the ruffles would cascade and I like the effect. The peach one is for Abby age 4 and the mint green one is for Bella age 3.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

This was recently made for Emma Kate.

These were for Bella.

The red isfeatherwale corduroy and teh monogram is empire.

The "fabric" for the top was what was leftover from a sheet I had bought at Goodwill and used for another project and the black chevron was in my stash.

These next three were made for Madsion and all the fabrics were from stash as well.
The t shirt top was an upcylce from a knit top I made for myself a couple of years ago and is now too large.
This peasant top is also from a sheet from Goodwill. It is so soft.

Kwik Sew 2974

After doung some re ent sewing for three of the granddaughtes one of the grandsons asked me to make something for him. His mothere said he could use a shirtto wearwith a bowtie that he has. I have used this pattern many times and love the RTW details that it has. It has good easy to follow instructions as well. 

I think the sleeve placket may be my favorite RTW detail.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Fabric Headband

While perusing the Matilda Jane website the other day and admiring the fabric headbands I decided to make my granddaughter one to match an outfit I had just made her. I did a search on Pinterest and on Google and don't remember where I found the tutorial so I can't give credit for the specific one. There are a lot out they and they are all just about the same. I used the measurements given and cut my own pattern and made my own directions.

The pattern is cut on the fold. At the fold it measures 2 1/2 inches wide and at the narrow end it measures 1 1/4 inches and is 6 inches long. The elastic recommended and that I used is foldover elastic which was left unfolded. You will cut 2 pieces of fabric on the fold and a piece of elastic 10 inches long.  Where I differed from the tutorial is that I interfaced one of the pieces of fabric. Next time I will interface both pieces. 

After interfacing I sewed one long side with the fabric placed right sides together. 

Press that seam.

Then press up about 1/4 inch to the wrong side on both short ends.
 Then with right sides together sew the other long side. Use a large safety pin or your favorite tool for turning and turn. 


Using my seger tweezers I push the end of elastic inti the opening about 1\2 inch. Stitch across the end 2-3 times to secure. Keeping the elastic straight insert the elastic the same way from the other end. 

Top stitch the long sides 1/4 inch from the edge. 

I think the headband may have been EK's favorite part of the outfit.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Shower Cake

     First, let me premise this by saying I am no cake decorator. I do,however , have a lot of hobbies in which I like to dabble . Occasionally trying my hand at basic cake decorating is one of those hobbies. There  was a baby shower at church this weekend and I signed up to make a cake. At first  planned to make a strawberry cakse and then decided to decorate a cake.
     I spent a little time browsing online and on Pinterest looking for ideas. I have a really good recipe for decorator frosting. My daughter got it when she took a cake decorating class for fun while she was in college.
One mistake I made-- or at least I am blaming it on this-- was I used 2 cake mixes to make the cake taller. I had to increase the cooking time and I think it made the cake dry. At least something made it dry and these cakes are usually moist.

     I did the crumb coating of icing first and then frosted the cake. Using tip #21 I did a shell type border on the lower edge and on the upper edge of the cake.

     I had already planned to use curly ribbon to decorate one corner because my decorating skills are limited I have to resort to "add ons". I had seen a baby carriage done on a couple of cakes and thought it was a cute idea so I decided to try to copy it.

     I used a custard cup to trace a circle on cardstock. Next I cut out a 1/4 of the the circle for he open part of the stroller. I also cut out 2 small areas on the lower edge of the stroller for the wheels.

    I laid it on the cake and took a tooth pick and lightly traced around the stroller. I mixed up a small amount of icing using a tiny tiny bit of royal blue cake coloring paste at a time to get the desired blue. I colored an even smaller amount with brown to do the wheels and handle.I think the tiny handle proved to be the most difficult to do. I pied the handle twice and neither time I didn't look right so it had to be scraped off and the icing touched up. 

In the end I almost didn't add his name because I was afraid to press my luck but it worked out ok. The mommy to be seemed to like the cake.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Fleece Poncho

I made myself a poncho like this last year when I was anticpating hand surgery. I wore it to church one Sunday not too long ago and my 9 year old granddaughter put it on. She wanted one so Nana obliged today.

I used to have a pattern like this but no longer have it. I just cut a rectangle from the fleece. I left the fabric with the fold to where the right arm will be. I serged the edges and sewed a shoulder seam leaving a neck opening of about 20 inches circumference. I sewed a "dart" at the neck edge for the right shouler to take out a little of the fullness at the neck. I turned up a bout a 3/4 inch hem and stitched. This was a quick project taking only about 1/2 hour to make.

My poncho is monogrammed on the left chest but I decided it might not be a good idea to monogram one for a child. It might be difficult for her to keep the monogram in the right place when she wears it.

This is made using the plush fleece. I hope she likes it.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Simplicity 1499

The fabric is sherpa faux fur. The pattern is for an unlined fleece vest but I lined it with broadcloth because it was fluffy but thin. I omitted the bias tale around the mandarin collar and fronts. I also squared up the ends of the collar instead of doing the mandarin collar. I omitted the pockets on this one as well.

This vest is made using anti pill fleece from Joann's . The collar was changed as described above.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Simplicity1499 made using anti pill fleece from Joann's. 

I didn't read the pattern instructions before purchasing fabric and the separating zipper. The pattern has a mandarin type collar which is finished with bias tape or binding as is the center front. There isn't a front facing. The pattern has you apply the bias or binding to the front  and collar and then topstitch the fronts to the zipper. Since I had not read the instructions I didn't take into consideratin that to do it the way I did that I would need to cut a facing and I did't have enough fabric to cut one. I used the same gray lining fabric to cut front facings that I used to line the pockets. I cut bindings from the fleece for the armhole facing. I also recut the collar to be more the type of collar that is normally seen on this type vest. The seperating zipper was not long enough to go all the way to the top of the collar. I doubt most people will notice that when I wear it. I made this for casual wear or for an added comfortable  layer at home. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Faux Fur Vest

Seeing so many of the faux fur vests on line this year I knew I needed one-- or a second one-- I made the first last year using fabric from a project that didn't go as planned.
I used Simplicity 1499 and made some changes. I omitted the collar, separating zipper and lining. I went to one of the local stores to look at faux vests before starting mine and was disappointed by what I saw. There was only one there and it was lined. Eventhough the lining had been understitched it stillpulled to  the front. As I told my DH I wouldn't have let that come out of my sewing room. The price on that vest was $70. Instead of the lining on this one I used strips of a gray interlock knit to make bindings. I turned the binding to the inside and stitched by machine. It looks fine from the outside but I may pick out that stitching and hand stitch. The inside would look much better.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Charcoal Gray Butterick 5356

This is made using polyester knit from Joann's. I used yhe 3/4 length sleeve shortening it by about an inch and adding the ruffle.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Butterick 5356

Made from polyester interlock.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Butterick 5682

These are Butterick 5682 View D- flared legs.
These jeans gave me a fit to make but now that they are finished they feel good on so I think worth the trouble. They are made from a denim with no stretch. I think it is  a 9 oz denim.

I wanted flare legs to wear with boots. Most of the trouble I had with these jeans was of my own making.I stitched the double rows of topstitching about 4-5 times until I got it as near perfect as I could. It of course isn't any more perfect than I am but it looks pretty good. After taking it out and re-sttiching so many times I realized I had sewn it to the fly lining. After I got that fixed. I tried the zipper and the zipper worked fine but the fly didn't open. I realized I had sewn the  zipper to the wrong part of the fly. GRRR I finallyhad that fixed and moved on.

You have to sew the inseams and topstitch those before sewing the side seams. When I got the side seams sewn and tried the jeans on I realized that the legs were too wide. As much as I hated to I unpicked the gold topstitching thread on the inseams. This was no small feat.
When I got that done I laid the jeans on the table and laid a pair that I like the legs on on top. I cut the sides of the new jeans legs off and restitched and re-topstitched.
I used a template made from cardstock with seams allowances removed to press the pockets aroind to get nice even edges before stitching onto the jeans. I also use cardstock to make a template ti trace off the stitching guide for the decorative stitching for the back pockets

The waistband gaped in the back. I decided to fix it with 2 little darts. They still need the rivets and I have those ordered. I will get my husband to add those when they come.
I love the way the jeans feel on and in the end they were worth the trouble.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturday Sewing

These pants are made using McCalls 6571. The fabric is a jersey. The pattern calls for stitching the elastic to the top edge of the pant's waist and the turning to the inside like a casing. Instead of doing it the way the pattern states I shortened the pants from the top at the waist and topstitched 1 1-2 inch wide elastic at the waist edge. When I get the pants made except for the elastic at the waist and hems I try them on and check to see if the waist is going to sit where I want it which is just below my belly button. If it isn't at the right place I take them off and trim some more off the waist and then sew the elastic on.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I made this for 3 year old Bella.
The pants are Simplicity 2134 with some changes. I shortened the legs to allow for the ruffle. The ruffle is 1 1/2 times the width of the pants leg.
The top is the Temily pattern. The smocking is from the christmas Handbags is piped between the front panel and side panels with whip stitch piping.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

If you like the Chicken Tortilla Soup at McAlisters this a good knock off.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 pound of cooked shredded chicken-- I use boneless skinless chicken breast
1 can enchilada sauce(I use Old ElPaso)
1- 15 oz can whole tomatoes- mashed
Med onion chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
4 oz can of chopped green chiles
1 can chicken broth( I use fat free)
2 cups water( I usually sub fat free chicken broth for more flavor)
1 can cream of chicken soup( I use fat free)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2-3 chicken bullion cubes
1/2 of a 10 oz bag of frozen whole kernel corn

 Put all in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

 When the soup is almost done If I want it a little thicker I take out about 1/4 cup of the liquid and mix with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour to make a roux and add back to the soup and stir well. If there are little lumps they will dissolve as it cooks. (Add the roux 1/2 at a time until soup is the desired thickness)

 This freezes well. I freeze in 1 cup portions for lunch. When frozen you can pop out of the container and drop all the servings in a gallon freezer bag. When ready to eat take out a serving and place in a bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes on high, It will still be kind of frozen but you can break apart with a spoon. microwave another 2 minutes and it should be ready to eat.

I have calculated this to be about 4 points for a serving on Weight Watchers.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mommy Necklaces

In an earlier post I posted the Nana necklace I made for myself. After making it I made each of my daughter's a mommy necklace. These would make great Mother's Day ,birthday or Christmas gifts.

I made this outfit for my granddaughter. She loved it. The peasant top is made from broadcloth and the pants are from a cotton blend chevron from Hobby Lobby. This is a size 12. If interested there is a tutorial on my blog for making the ruffle pants using a regular pants pattern.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

More Jewelry Making

A friend's little girl had her tenth birthday this week so I made her a pair if birthstone earrings. I had just ordered Swarosvki crystal beads so that's what I used. 

Of course for a gift I needed packaging. I made a matchbook style card for the earrings. Using white card stock I folded it in half and cut just a small amount larger that the little plastic bag holding the earrings.

 Next using rubber stamps I stamped the cupcake and Happy Birthday. I staples the little plastic bag in with the open end down so
The earrings could be removed without tearing the card. Then I punched two holes using the hole punch and using ribbon tied a bow to close. 

The gift was a hit with my friend's daughter.

I recently made a couple pairs of earrings for myself. 
Pink and Brown drop Earrings