Monday, June 2, 2014

Fun with handbags

I've been busy, busy! Handbags have been a fun adventure. Here are a few I've made lately from Swoon Sewing Patterns.




Thursday, July 12, 2012

DIY Fringe Swimsuit - Part 2

OK, the kids were keeping me on my toes but I am finally getting this posted so you don't have to go to the beach topless!

So you've got your pieces cut out for the top - one from the outer swimwear fabric and one, or in my case two, of the liner. Just as you did for the bottom, baste the liner to the outer. Cut a piece of elastic for each side of your top, one inch shorter than the length of the fabric. Same as you did for the bottom, pin and stitch with a zigzag, being sure to stretch your elastic as you go.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

DIY Fringe Swimsuit - Part 1

I was browsing the web when I came across this cute, sexy swimsuit from L*Space Swimwear.

I wanted it. Until I saw the price on that baby. There is no way I am spending $70+ on so little, and that's just for the top! I decided I could totally make it. Little did I realize just how torturous it would be, having zero experience sewing swimsuits and no pattern to work with. So, to save you from the same misery I experienced, I will share with you how I did it. And just so you know it can be done successfully:

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Best Artichoke Dip

I love, love, love this artichoke dip recipe. I always get compliments on it. It is an adaptation of Paula Deen's Three Cheese Hot Artichoke Dip. And it is yummy.


1 (8 ounces) block cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 (14 ounces) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped or 3-4 fresh artichoke hearts, cooked and prepped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Then beat in the mayonnaise and sour cream until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and stir together until combined. Transfer the dip to a pie plate or shallow dish. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and the dip is bubbling. Serve hot with crackers, tortilla chips, pita chips, veggies, or whatever you like.

I like to make my own pita chips for this dip. They are super easy!

Pita Chips:
Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix 4 Tablespoons Extra Virgen Olive Oil, salt and pepper, and one crushed clove of garlic in a small bowl. Cut pitas into 8 wedges. Brush olive oil onto pita wedges and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until light golden color. Watch carefully, as they can turn from golden to burnt very quickly!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

DIY Dress Part 2: Customizing the commercial pattern

There were a few changes I made to the commercial dress pattern I purchased: omission of straps, insertion of boning, pleated top trim, and an invisible zipper. I am going to go through the resources I used for each of them and the steps I took to make those changes.

Let's start with the most intimidating: the boning. I had considered attaching it between the bodice of the dress and a single layer of lining. But that would mean having the channels show on the outside of the dress. And if they were less than perfect, it would look awful. Plus it would completely change the look of the dress. However, if that is the look you are going for, do it! But it wasn't what I wanted. I eventually came across this information from Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing. She took two layers of lining and created channels in them, forming an inner corselet.

Monday, June 18, 2012

DIY Dress

For whatever reason, I decided a long time ago that for my cousin's wedding this summer, I wanted to make my own dress. Oh that's right, I bought some awesome coral colored shoes and I wanted something I could wear with them. And I wasn't successfully finding anything off the rack. But then I couldn't find a fabric I liked either. I gave up on the idea of centering my outfit around the shoes and eventually around making a dress at all. But then I found this great fabric from Carousel Designs! Look familiar? Yep, it's the fabric I ended up using for one of the tote bags for my daughter's teachers. For the record, I chose it as the dress fabric first and the bag fabric after. It's just too pretty!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Teacher Gifts: Tote Bags with Matching Notebooks

The end of the school year is fast approaching. That means it's time to find some crappy gift for your kid's teacher that they will most likely give away or not even burden someone else with it and toss it in the trash. I kinda wanted to avoid that. I mean, the #1 Teacher things are cute, but I am sure there are only so many a teacher can stand to have. Candles and bath sets are always nice, but I felt it was also rather impersonal and you never know if they have allergies or can't stand certain scents. I wanted my daughter to be able to give them something special, unique, and that they actually want. If you know the teacher on a personal level, it should be pretty easy to find something. But my daughter has only been at this school for less than five months and the language barrier thing kinda prevents me from getting to know her teachers too well.