I guess I can sew at any time of the day, late at night or early in the morning. Although, for sure, I’m much more of a night person. So when the guy plays games, the girl sews :).
Time for some community sewing! The past few weeks, I made neck coolers for soldiers and wheelchair caddies for the elderly. When sewing for the Red Cross, I don’t use or have any patterns, I just pick up the pre-cut fabric and take a finished example home (see below) and then try to recreate it. So far, so good :), it’s not too difficult.
Next week I’ll be making baby blankets and bibs and some more neck coolers!
Yesterday we took home a big box full of happiness! I became the proud and very happy owner of my first sewing machine; a Bernina 430.
That’s like your first car being a BMW! It’s just as daunting though, I don’t want to damage the machine, and there are so many luxury options. Many many hearts & thanks to the best hubby ! ?
The machine comes with 12 hours of (introductory) classes and the first one is tomorrow morning!
Pumpkin is all too familiar with the term ‘happiness in a box’! :)
While informing myself about sewing machines for several weeks, I became a member of the American Sewing Guild (ASG). They offer local Neighborhood Groups and discount with craft stores.
And to top all of that, during Xmas the embroidery module & software will be awaiting me in the Netherlands. So excited about that as well! Many, many thanks to my most generous aunt! :))
Yay, I finished my babyshower projects! Actually, at the time this is being posted, I’m at the babyshower, so I should be able to safely reveal them over here!
The presents did take more time than I expected, mainly because I’m just too precise about details, which makes me re-do things more often than I probably should. For example, to finish off the monogramming of the hooded towel I made, I used a buttonhole-stitch. This took quite a lot of thread and time but also gave me muscle ache, because pushing the fabric forward was tough.
Dog applique: This time I managed to think before acting.
Hooded baby towel: The project requires 1 bath towel, 1/2 of a hand towel, some cute fabric, optional ricrac and this great tutorial.
(and you can’t deny it’s about time to vacuum)
…when your carpet looks like this!
(see all the little pieces of thread?)
I’m working on some baby gifts, that I can’t reveal yet, so I thought I’d post a recipe :). This recipe is by Rachel Ray and it goes well with both couscous and rice. It’s a sweet dish and my versions never turned out even close to spicy, but I really like it and so does the hubby! :)
Ingredients (for 4 servings)
- 1 butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), seeded, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes
- 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs, chopped
- 1 large onion, quartered and sliced
- 12 dried pitted dates, coarsely chopped (~ 1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup (a large handful) cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
– Preheat oven to 400ºF.- Arrange the squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat and roast in the hot oven until tender, about 30 minutes.
– While the squash is working, place a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the chicken to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown and almost cooked through, 6-7 minutes.
– Add the onion, dates, spices, bay leaf and cinnamon stick to the pan, and continue cooking until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the pan and cook for about 1 minute. Add the stock to the pan and bring up to a bubble. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened and dates are plump, 5-6 minutes.
– Remove and discard the bay leaf and cinnamon stick from the stew. Stir in the roasted butternut squash. Garnish with the cilantro or parsley and serve with Citrus Couscous alongside.
I wanted to make a little something for Omi (my grandma) that I could easily send her by mail. Surfing the internet I came across the wonderful felt work of Lupin and chose to make the Bullfinch, as an one off. I finished the birdie about 2 weeks ago, sent it a few days later and last week she got it in her mailbox. She really likes it and pinned it on an embroidery piece above her fireplace! :) Originally I wanted to sew in a magnet, but sending a magnet by mail seems always a bit tricky.
I reminded myself not to forget to take a picture of it with the good camera, but I only remembered again after dropping it off at the post office. Oh well! Luckily I did take a quick webcam shot.
After surfing the rest of Lupin’s site, I had to add this butterfly mobile (tutorial included) to my imaginary to-do list!
BTW, from now on I’ll remember to always listen to my grandma, she knows what she is talking about being a fashion cutter with 50+years experience. I failed to follow up her advise to get a thumb thimble, as I never liked the feeling of it. The past week I spent 3 days of having a very hurtful thumb, as the needle went in pretty deep. That’s a feeling I dislike even more! Needless to say that the price of the thimble (a few $) isn’t worth any pain that lasts 3 days.
I’ve been wanting to make some dresses for myself, but I’m still a bit hesistant. So I thought a good way to start would be a baby dress. I found a lovely tutorial at Made by Rae for an ‘Itty Bitty Baby Dress’. I selected a fabric which I have plenty of and don’t mind spoiling, if it happens.
Making the dress wasn’t too hard, except for attaching the bias tape between the bodice and the skirt. It was my first time using bias tape, so I used this funny video tutorial. Pretty easy! I sewed the bias neatly to the bodice: perfect, but err…. what about attaching the skirt now? I guess the use of bias tape explained, didn’t apply to this particular dress. So I ripped all seams and tried to incorporate both bodice and skirt in the back part of the bias tape. I’m not sure it was meant that way, but it was the only way that made sense to me (yet it took me several hours to get done). Unfortunately I figured out too late that I should have used the larger part of the bias tape on the back side, and the smaller on the front, because the other way around (as seen in the picture) it required 2 seams, which doesn’t look as pretty as 1 would have.
Oh well, quite some lessons learnt :) And after all those hours of struggling, I’m just really happy with how the dress looks and the yellow and purple combination turned out! Makes me want to use this color combination for myself as well :).