Friday, August 30, 2013

Denim Skirt Reprised

Daughter #2 wanted a denim skirt.  She wanted the same pattern as the denim skirt I made myself last Summer.  AND she wanted to make it herself for a Young Women personal progress project.  Excellent! We raided denim from my stash and she went to town.

One little trick when sewing with denim.  Sometimes the multiple layers are just too thick. So instead of using the denim to line the yoke, she picked out a fun floral piece of cotton.  It reduced the bulk and gives it a fun little surprise inside.

  • Simplicity 2152--view E lengthened slightly
  • You can also check out the previous post on this pattern for some hints and tips.
  • Denim from the stash---at about $2/yd.
  • Coats & Clark Dual Duty XP Heavy Duty thread--or just call it denim topstitching thread.  It comes in a variety of colors.  This time around we used the color SPICE (#7450)  There is also a lighter color gold (#7430).  
  • We could've used a 6,0 size double needle to topstitch (or a 4,0 size). Instead she just stitched a straight line twice using a denim/jean needle.  The thing about double needles is that when you use one on the backside it appears as a zigzag.  For a good portion of the topstitching (i.e. pockets and yoke band) we didn't want that on the other side.
  • Blind hem stitch for the bottom hem.  She could've done a topstitch on the hem also, but opted not to.

NOTE about topstitching
Even though we did it this way, I don't recommend you have beginners use contrasting thread on their first topstitching projects.  It does take a little practice and any deviation is amplified with contrasting thread.  Try a project with matching thread first, or do lots of sample practicing before trying it this way.  I ended up doing about half of the topstitching for her as her A type tendencies were annoyed with some of her own topstitching.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wheat Free Zucchini Bread

I happened upon this version by accident.
Hubby has been bringing home LARGE zucchinis from work.  Apparently a few people are bringing their extras (you know how zucchini can overtake everything in your garden) and then leaving them out for others to enjoy.  We have been enjoying them, for sure.

I made some zucchini bread for us and then needed to make a loaf for our #2 daughter who needs a wheat free diet.  The recipe I normally use makes 2 loaves and since I was messing around with a recipe I didn't want to possibly waste 2 loaves if it didn't turn out, so I used another recipe I had but had never made before.

Here it is:
Sorry no pictures but I forgot and they all got eaten.

Wheat Free Zucchini Bread
Mix together:
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 1/2 cups WonderFlour (this is not a GF flour, but you could substitute your AP GF flour instead)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. Xantham gum
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded, shredded zucchini
Mix well.  Spoon batter into greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.  Makes 1 loaf.

I turned these into zucchini muffins for my daughter instead of a loaf since she is the only one eating this version.  That way we can freeze them and she can grab one when she wants. It makes about 21 muffins (filled 3/4 full) and I baked them for about 30 minutes.

  • WonderFlour is a combination of equal parts spelt, brown rice, and pearled barley ground into a flour mix.  You can order it online, but I grind my own.  I buy those items bulk at my local Whole Foods Market.  You can call ahead and they will order 25# bags, for example, and then you also get a 10% discount for ordering bulk.
  • The first time we made these muffins I used applesauce instead of the oil and the taste was fine as was the texture.  
  • I normally use stoneware pans and find that I have to bake my items a bit longer than the recommended baking times.  Usually an additional 10-15 minutes on loaves.  Maybe 5 more minutes on the muffins.

The original recipe had additionally:
1 tsp. lemon peel
reduced cinnamon to 1/2 tsp.
1/4 tsp. orange extract (optional)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional--which I am usually the only one at my house that wants nuts in the bread)
and then obviously no Xanthum gum and regular AP flour

Monday, August 26, 2013

Drawstring Backpack

The other day my oldest son showed me this backpack that he had found on Pinterest.  Then he proceeded to ask me if I could make one for him.  Well.... first of all he may need to be banned from Pinterest as I don't need any more inspirational pins to add to my to do list.  Second, the pin site and instructions are in German.  And thirdly, I'd rather not make the pattern if I already have one that is close enough to satisfy me or my kids.

So he picked out some neon orange lightweight denim-ish fabric from my stash.
I found a pattern from my stash that is very similar to the pin and I got to work.
We edged it, and lined it with royal blue broadcloth--also from the stash.
It took longer than both he and I would've liked, but that was due to other things occurring at our house that took precedent over the backpack that he doesn't really need, but just wants.

Straps are not adjustable, per his request.

  • Butterick 6678, view A (discontinued)
  • 1/4 inch double fold bias tape (from the stash) for outside edging of pockets.
  • Bought D-ring buckles for the closures on the pockets and made the straps.
  • Bought 12 ct. gold eyelet (grommet) kit using Jo-Ann's 50% coupon.  

Basic dimensions:
  • Cut front and back pieces 19 1/2 inches wide by 18 1/2 inches tall.
  • Fold over top hem 1 3/4 inches to form drawstring band.
  • To make the bottom oval piece cut 14 7/8 inches by 7 7/8 inches and round the corners.
  • I made the straps to fit the D-rings that I bought--about 1 1/4 inches wide finished.  
  • Pocket and flap you can adjust sizing as desired.

Monday, August 12, 2013

How to Freeze Corn

....otherwise known as stocking up when fresh corn on the cob is in season and on sale.

This past week or two I've noticed that most of the grocery stores here locally are running sales on corn on the cob.  $.10-.17 per ear.  Most have a limit per purchase too, which I find annoying when there are huge bins of corn just sitting there.  There are 7 people at my house...limit 10 or 12 doesn't even give us 2 ears each.

I work around that though and bring my kids or hubby with to each purchase their limit, OR I go thru the self check-out lanes and do a number of separate transactions.  I think that my kids think I am being dishonest this way.  Maybe.....anyway, I do it regardless.  If I didn't do it that way I'd just come back every day and buy my limit.

In anticipation of canning more vegetable soup in the upcoming weeks, I froze some corn to have it ready to go once I am.



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