Zipper Pouch

The class I’m teaching next week is a zipper pouch.  I want to expel the fear of zippers for people who have some experience sewing, but don’t think they can put in a zipper.  First, I had to refresh my confidence with zippers so I made a sample of the pouch we’re going to be making in class.  My anxiety was unfounded and I was successful even though the tutorial was in French.  Here’s how it turned out.

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It’s a great little pouch with tons of pockets….24 to be exact!  The finished size is approximately 7” by 11”.  It was actually very simple to make.  Here are the steps I took…in English Winking smile.

1. Convert the measurements from cm to inches.

2. Cut out pattern pieces in proper sizes.  I used 2 coordinating fabrics from my stash.

3. Cut and press 2” strips for homemade binding. 

4. Sew binding onto the pocket pieces.

5. Layer and pin together inside and outside pieces including pocket pieces.

6. Sew pocket stitch lines.  Mine were 4” apart because fabric started out 12” wide.

7. Sew inside and outside pieces to both sides of the zipper. 

8. Turn inside out and sew edges together.

I serged the seams to make it look nice.  I followed the pictures in the original French tutorial the best I could.  This is just a rough summary of the steps I took.  It turned out great and my daughter did a super job taking the pictures.  We both like this bag so much that I’m going to make a couple more.  While I was digging through my zipper stuff, I found two zippers that need to go into sweatshirts that should have been done last fall, one for my son and one for my mother-in-law.  I guess I’ll be doing those next. 

A, I did not forget about your hand stitching tutorial.  I’m working on it and it should be ready tomorrow night so tell your mom to keep looking. 

Have a great day everyone!  Try something new today!

Julie

Homemade Waffles and Happy Memories

As I was looking for my waffle recipe this morning, sorting through my loose recipes and finding some of my mom’s, I decided that I need to start working on “Mom’s Recipe Box” (MRB) again.  I’ve been thinking about it, but now that I’m back to blogging it’s more prominent in my mind.  The whole time I was making the waffles I was remembering little things about my mom and cooking.  I don’t like to cook and my mom loved to cook.  I do much better if I plan out a menu for a week, with recipes, shop for the groceries, and then the follow through is easy(er).   I had to rewrite my waffle recipe because the card was all stained and faded and barely readable, which got me thinking about handwritten recipes, and passing favorite recipes on to my kids, and teaching them how to make each one. I edited the recipe as I went with the substitutions that I’ve made over the years.   I started thinking about creating my own family recipe book, which led back to my mom and now you know how I got there. 

That started the memories of my mom and cooking.  She hadn’t made homemade waffles since we were kids and I think they were actually from a box.  This is coming out all jumbled when it was so clear before.  As I was separating eggs for the waffles this morning I remembered my mom showing me how.  She never used a fancy tool, she just cracked the egg in half and poured the yolk from one half of the shell to the other.  The yolk stayed in the shells and the white fell out into a bowl.  That’s still how I do it.  That started me thinking about showing my own kids simple tips and tricks and incorporating it all into a family cookbook.  I think if I work on Mom’s Recipe Box and my own at the same time it will be more efficient and possibly spark more memories. 

Today was the first time I felt good and happy with memories of my mom instead of sad or angry.  After four years, I finally felt like I could look back without crying and be thankful for all the memories she made with me, instead of missing all the memories she won’t make.  Thanks for the memories, Mom.  I hope our cookbooks help people remember you for centuries.  I love you.

As a bonus, here is my homemade waffle recipe.


Basic Waffles

2 cups sifted flour                 1 Tbsp. baking powder                  1 Tbsp. sugar               1/2 tsp. salt

3 eggs, separated                  1 1/2 cups milk                              5 Tbsp. veg. oil

Mix and sift dry ingredients.  Combine beaten egg yolks, milk and vegetable oil.  Add to dry ingredients, beating until smooth.  Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.  Pour batter into waffle iron and cook.


Enjoy!

Julie

A Little Bit of Everything This Week

Wow! I had a great week since my last post!  It’s been busy busy, but so much fun and so satisfying.  My husband and I went fishing twice over the  July 4th weekend and caught a bunch of crappies and bluegills.  We now have a few meals worth packed in the freezer.  I also managed a day of yard work in between the rain.  Two of my flower beds look great now, but my vegetable garden looks like it should be mowed.  It looks like we have two good days in a row for today and tomorrow.  As soon as my pond yard drains we can mow again.  The lawn is a little sketchy this year with all the rain, but I can’t really complain about a little grass when the farmers are pretty much chalking this year up to a loss. 

All is well at the boutique, ReChic Unique.  I had my Wednesday morning class with A and her skills are coming along nicely.  A is a 9 year old girl who is a riot and a half.  She is very smart and creative and on a good day will talk your ears off.  She seems to be really enjoying learning to sew.  I think she likes using the machine better than hand sewing, but who doesn’t.  So far she’s made a stitch sampler  book, a pot holder, and bandanna skirt.  We worked on some applique too, both machine and hand, which is how I know she doesn’t like the hand sewing.  Smile  It takes a little practice for hand stitches to look nice and I think she was upset by how they looked, but she’s really picking everything up quickly.  This week we started on a nightgown for her.  We had a couple issues with the sewing machine, but we got them worked out.  She’s gotten some practice with sewing, measuring, cutting and pinning.  I’m not sure if using an actual pattern is a good idea yet.  If anyone has experience with teaching kids to sew, can you give me some insight on tissue paper clothes patterns, please?  I have experience teaching kids and sewing, but have never combined the two.  I’m sure I’ll figure it out and adapt the lessons to her skill level.  I did find some great practice templates for practicing stitching in straight lines, curves, and around corners on the blog So Sew Easy.  I had A practice before we got started on the nightgown and then I gave her one to take home and practice on.  She also has some applique patches to sew around by hand.   I wanted to give her something to do since I won’t see her next week.  I told her mom that I would put up some tutorials for A to read and practice with so, hopefully, I will get those up this weekend. 

I’ve also been catching up with some sewing on the homefront.  It’s actually just a pile of mending that I have been putting off for months….possibly longer.  I knocked out a bunch of the easy stuff like buttons and mending pockets yesterday.  I also got a strap sewn back on to a doggie coat.  I have to get all this mending out of the way so I can find the table in my sewing room and actually start using it again instead of trying to use the dining table.  There is so much detritus piled up that I can’t find the strap for another doggie coat that I’m supposed to fix for my cousin.  Good thing it’s not winter yet.  I also found 5 pairs of my pants that were down there to be hemmed…brand new!  Those WILL get done this weekend also. 

To round out my week of fun, I also made chocolate chip cookies, apparently not as well as Karen though, ahem, peanut butter cookies, and brownies…….and my dishes are done.  Smile

Have a great day everyone and stay tuned for the tutorials A!

Julie

Back to the Blogstone

Ok, I think I’m really ready to get back to blogging.  I’ve been focusing on sewing and getting into a routine so that I can get everything done that I need/want to get done.  Back in March I started selling some of the baby blankets and burp cloths that I make in a new boutique in DeMotte.  It’s called ReChic Unique Boutique.  It is such a great place.  Everything in there is handmade with the exception of a few chachkis (I have no idea how to spell that, but spell check says I’m wrong.) as filler, but those are getting to be fewer and fewer as the artists fill up the space.  I also started giving sewing lessons in the shop back in April/May.  Making items for sale in the shop and preparing for lessons every week has really kept me busy.  I’m starting to get into a routine now and am comfortable adding blogging back into the mix.  I’m still crossing my fingers though. 

During the grand opening event I got to meet a lot of the other artists and they all seem to be very nice, genuine people.  It’s mostly women, but there are some men who make and sell things there also.  The owners, Pat and Kris, are super great women!  They refinish old furniture using Rethunk Junk paint which they also sell in the store.  They also give classes on how to use it.  I took one on painting cabinets and it was amazing.  The two doors I painted were horrendous before and turned out beautiful.  I even convinced my husband to let me repaint the kitchen cabinets…..again.  They also let me set up a little personal sewing space sometimes so that I can sew without distractions.  It’s great!  I just go in and sew and don’t worry about laundry or dishes or vacuuming dog hair.  I really do get a lot more done. 

So, I’m extremely hesitant to put any blog plans out there because my plans so often go astray, but I’ll just say that I plan on doing some stories/tutorials on the classes that I teach at the shop.  The tutorials take a while for me to write mostly because of the pictures.  Pictures are not my thing so I’ve started paying my daughter to take them for me, but she’s not always around when I’m sewing so I have to take my own….when I remember.  Anyway,  I’m trying.  Now I’m off to make 3 bandanna skirts, go to quilt club for a couple hours, then hit the stores for some groceries, deliver the skirts and be back home in time to make dinner.  …….sigh……. I think I’m nuts.

Have a great day!

Julie

Sewing with Medicine Head

What a morning.  Imagine I said that with a droopy face, stuffy nose and medicine head.  I, the person who does NOT have allergies, have allergies, or rather the symptoms of allergies.  Yesterday was fun trying to drive with my eyes closed.  It was so bad that my daughter dug her allergy eye drops out of her purse and made me pull over and use them.  If she only had her permit I would have let her drive.  The eye drops did work though, obviously, we’re still alive.  When we got home I took an allergy pill.  I can’t say that it helped.  I didn’t sleep much last night and this morning I took another pill that is supposed to magically get rid of all those gross symptoms that I would rather not describe here.  I didn’t get out of bed until nearly 10:00.  That never happens!  Well, except the last time I took that same medicine and I said I would never take it again. 

So, I’m laying there in bed at quarter to 10 (I didn’t know what time it was at the time) and my daughter comes in, well not really.  She’s standing in the doorway staring at me.  She was probably trying to figure out if I was alive or not, because, like I said, that never happens.  So I ask her “What’s up?” and she asks me if I could fix her bathing suit.  I already told her that I would do it today so I ask, “Right now?”  Of course right now.  Silly me.  She wants to go swimming at her friend’s house and she has to wear that suit even though she has 2 others because she just got it (on the previously mentioned trip where I was driving with my eyes closed).  So I drag my medicine head out of bed, make a cup of tea, which I am still drinking at noon.  That’s how I make iced tea.  I brew it in the Keurig and let it sit for hours until I get to it.  But that’s a story for a different day.  I make the tea and sit down to work on the suit which only needs the straps shortened and I can do it at a seam so it should really only take about 20 minutes…riiiight.   I did finish it in about an hour…or a little more.  I didn’t even do too bad even though I had to keep going to the window so I could see better with my medicine head.

I’ll even show pictures that compare the fresh from the store seams with the ones I did.  Please don’t laugh.  I should have used a double needle and I didn’t quite make straight lines, but it won’t come apart and now it fits.

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God bless America and I think I need a nap. 

Have a great day everyone!

Julie

*I claim no responsibility for typos, misspellings, or grammatical errors.  They are the fault of the medicine head.

A Nailpolish Testimonial

I’ve never specifically given a testimonial for any product, but these nails are worth it!  I wish I were getting paid for this, but, alas, I’m not that lucky.  Here it is:

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Today is Thursday and I painted my nails last Saturday, so it’s been 5 solid days.  During that 5 days I have done dishes by hand, cleaned a bathroom, cooked, sewn, and best of all, worked in the yard 3 days!  I don’t wear gloves for any of those chores and it often takes a couple days to get the dirt stains off my hands after working in the yard, even scrubbing with a fingernail brush.  I dug in the dirt, pulled weeds from around rocks and blocks and spread mulch.  These nails held up like a heavyweight champ.  They have zero chips, even where I cracked a nail.  See the little notch on my ring finger?  The very tips of the nails are a little bit worn, but nothing noticeable unless you are really looking.    Are you ready to find out what brand this is?  Perhaps you think they were done in a salon or by someone with one of those fancy lights for gel nails?  Nope, none of the above.  I did them myself (I am the furthest thing from a professional manicurist.), at home, with no special lights or training, with……….Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish and top coat.  Yep.  Sally Hansen.  I bought it myself at Target for $7.99 a bottle. 

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That seems expensive for nail polish, at least it does to me, but it is completely worth it.  I put it off for a couple months because I didn’t want to spend that much money on nail polish, but I splurged one day. You have to use the top coat also, so initially I had to spend $16.   I decided that it was cheaper than the $50 for a mani-pedi and it would last for dozens of uses.  The color on my nails above is actually the second bottle of polish I bought and not my favorite color, but I wanted to try something different.  My daughter picked it out and it wasn’t what she thought it would be either.  On the same day, she picked out some polish for her, but on her teenager’s budget she went for the 2 bottles for $3 brand.  We have redone her nails nearly every day since.  Her comment after seeing how well mine held up was that she would have to invest in some of that.  Smart girl.  By the way, the polish on my toes (same Sally Hansen Miracle Gel) has been on for 3 weeks and is still shiny and beautiful.

On fingers and toes I used 2 coats of color and 2 coats of the top coat.  I use regular nail polish remover and cotton balls to take it off.  It takes a little effort at first, but I’m not sure if that’s because of the 2 layers of top coat or not.  I never used to use top coat.  Another thing that I noticed was that the color doesn’t stain my nails and hands when I remove it.  The first color was a reddish color called Redgy, which I love.  I was expecting the skin around my nails and the nails themselves to be a little stained after removal, but nothing.  It was all perfectly clean.  Made me smile.  The whole experience has made me smile. 

As much as I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE getting mani-pedis, I can’t afford to get them very often and Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polish is the next best thing.  Did I mention?….….No light required.  OK everyone, (both of you Winking smile) I’m done extolling the virtues of Sally Hansen.  Go out and get some so you can see for yourself!

Have a Great Day!

Julie

 

Good Monday Everyone!!!!

Good Monday everyone!

I know most people hate Mondays, but, to me, it’s the day when everything goes back to normal.  I get to control the schedule….at least between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.  During that time my house is my kingdom.  This Monday is even more special because the hubby goes back to the day shift after 2 or 3 months on night shift where I had to be VERY quiet during the day in our small house because he was sleeping and then 2 1/2 weeks of vacation where I pretty much followed a schedule which was also not entirely ours due to circumstances beyond our control.  I can now wake up at 5:00 instead of 3:45 and have everyone out the door by 6:37. The teenage girl is very particular and doesn’t go out to the bus until she absolutely has to.  I can now resume my regularly scheduled programming. 

H is also starting a class for work tonight so 2 nights a week I won’t have to have dinner on the table.  Next Monday is my first sewing class at ReChic Unique.  I just realized how far away from the blog I’ve been.  ReChic Unique Boutique is a brand new shop in DeMotte, IN.  The owners like to call it a community of women.  It’s really great!  It’s owned by 2 women, Pat and Kris, and local crafters, who make very good quality products, pay a monthly fee to sell their wares in the shop.  It’s not rented booth space.  One woman who works there is a decorator and she mixes and matches everyone’s items into beautiful, adorable displays. Everything in the shop is Made in the USA by local crafts people except for some fillers here and there to make it look nice. All the vendors are fairly local, about a 50 mile radius max, and very friendly.  I really think of it as my shop.  Anytime I refer to “the boutique” that is where I’m talking about.

Anyway, I asked if they would allow me to teach a sewing class there occasionally and the interest has been so wonderful that they have asked me to plan more!  My first class is a beginner sewing class where we’ll be making reversible placemats.  That is on Monday, May 11th, from 5-7 p.m. and it is full!  I am also planning some intermediate classes and a beginner sewing series for kids.  It’s very exciting and a little scary all at once because I’ve never taught sewing before.  I know it’s gonna rock though!!!  I bought 5 new Brother sewing machines for the attendees to use or they can bring their own if they have one.  I’ll post pictures of the projects here afterward. 

I’m feeling motivated and excited to get my day started so I’ll talk to everyone later!  I’ll say it again,

Good Monday everyone!!!!

Julie

I’m also linking this to Project Optimism which posts on Mondays.  Hmmm…that link doesn’t seem to exist anymore so I’ll open one from here.  If you wish to post about anything that makes you happy or optimistic on a Monday just tag your post with Project Optimism and link it here on my Project Optimism page and spread the word so more people can start off their Mondays on a positive note!