Sunday, June 23, 2013

Color Blocked Skirt Tutorial

Posted by Paulette

One of the great things about being able to sew is making your own clothes just the way you want them. Often skirts are either too short, or too long in me. When I make my own, it turns out just right from the beginning.

I fell in love with this skirt. As is often the case, it doesn't even come in my size! hmph!
This skirt took less than 3 yards of material to make. It cost me about $14, including the zipper.
And now I'm going to share with you how I did it. 

The above is a simplified pattern for the skirt. To make it color blocked you will have to do some math. 

First, measure your hips.
Hip measurement x 1.5= finished width of skirt

Now take your measurement from just under your bust, to where you want your hem line to hit.

Length measurement+2.5inch (seam allowance and hem)
=finished length.

Now that you have your measurement for the length and width of your skirt, you can determine how much fabric you'll need.

Most fabrics are 45 inches in width.
( I wear a size 16 off the rack and so, I purchased 1.5 yards of each fabric.)

Now you need to determine how wide your stripes will be.
 How many stripes do you want? I wanted 5, so I took the length of my skirt, which was about 25 inches and divided by 5. That meant that each stripe would be 5 inches wide, right? Except the last one, which would have the hem. So I added an additional 2 inches for the hem.

When you sew all the stripes together it will look like this.
The broken lines at the top indicate gathers. The vertical lines in the center panel are your pleats. I made my pleats 1.5 inches across.

For the waistband, you will need your waist measurement. 

Waist measurement + 1 inch= waistband size.

You'll need that extra inch for seam allowance. (You can always make adjustments to the waistband by adding darts, before closing it up to get a snugger fit.) The length will be determined by your measurement from your bust to your natural waistline. Mine was conveniently 5 inches. One of each fabric sewn together makes 10 inches total.

Sew the pleats only 1/4 inch down. The seam should be covered by the waistband.    

You will also need a 7 to 9 inch zipper and 5 hooks and eyes. 

After you've sewn the stripes together, the skirt front to the backs, at the sides, and sewn the waistband on, you are ready to install the zipper,  the the hooks and eyes.

Hopefully I haven't frustrated you with my directions!
Good luck.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Independance Day Mantel and Wreath

Posted by Paulette

Preparations for my Independence Day mantel started early this year. It began when while shopping with my friend, I fell in love with a rustic sign at a furniture shop. I took a poor quality picture of it with my phone and then went to hunt for the perfect piece of wood to replicate it. 

That flag is special to our family. I purchased it on 9/11. We flew it every day for a year, and it had to be repaired several times. You can see where I hand sewed the hem and tried to match the original color of thread.
 Then, a trip to our local scrapbook store with my wonderful husband, produced the makings of a Liberty Banner. He was so good at picking out trims! We went with a Betsy Ross theme with the tea stained trims of ruffles and measuring tape.

My generous friend let me use her blue glitter for it. We don't talk about how I accidentally spilled half of the bottle into her garden. Shhh!

Hanging on our front door is a wreath I kinda knocked off from one I'd seen on Pinterest here. It's not an exact replica, but I'm kinda cheap that way. The original on Etsy goes for $109. Mine cost about $10 to make. Less, actually, since I still have some of the burlap left. I used some distress ink on the flag. Tea stain or watered down paint probably would have worked better.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Gluten Free Onion Rings

Posted by Paulette

If there's one thing I love, it's onion rings. I used to think that they were so good with ketchup, and then I tried  fry sauce! It's a strange  thing, fry sauce. While visiting Utah for the first time my husband to be took me to a place called the Purple Turtle. If you're ever in American Fork, UT, stop in and have some of their onion rings. You won't be sorry. We stopped in for a hamburger, some onion rings, and a shake, and when I picked up our meal, it came with this pink sauce. I asked for ketchup, (since I was the uninitiated) and the girl behind the counter looked at me strangely, and said, "you have fry sauce." What the heck is fry sauce? Well, my friends, it's a mixture of ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and sweet pickle juice. I suppose a more cultured person might call it an aioli. And it's the perfect thing to go with onion rings...but not fries! LOL! Although I've had them with sweet potato fries and I have to admit that I like that.

Sometimes being gluten free is a bit of a bummer. You miss all those foods that you took for granted. You know. the ones that contain flour? Remember the Dukes of Hazzard? You know the guy that comes into the room and says, "good news, good news!" Well that's running through my head, because I figured out a recipe for gluten free onion rings. Do you hear the angels singing? Maybe I'm a bit excited over this discovery. 
Do you want it? Do you want the recipe? Okay Okay, I'll give it to ya! Warning, this recipe makes a LOT of onion rings. It's okay, though, because you're going to want to freeze some for later. *wink*

 Gluten Free Onion Rings

4 medium onions, peeled and sliced into 1/4" thick rings
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups water
frying oil (I used a combination of safflower and olive oil)

Prepare 3 bowls like this:
In bowl #1 beat 2 eggs with 1 cup of milk
In bowl #2 1 cup of brown rice flour
In bowl # 3  (tempura batter) 1 cup of brown rice flour +1 cup tapioca starch+1/2 tsp sea salt+1/2 tsp baking soda+1 1/2 cups water

In a skillet or deep fryer, heat 1bout 3 cups of oil. Dip the onion slices first in the egg mixture, then in the flour, and lastly in the tempura batter, then in the hot oil. (You can test the oil with a bit of the batter. Just put a small amount into the pan, to test if the oil is hot enough to cook it rather quickly.) Fry the onion rings a small amount at a time, you don't want them to touch one another while in the oil. While the first rings are frying, line a cookie sheet with a double layer of paper towel. Turn the rings half way through the cooking time to ensure even browning. When they're finished, drain on the paper towel.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Homemade Granola

Posted by Paulette

At our local Winco, this week, I was looking at all of the different flavors of granola, and thinking, this should be a pretty easy thing to make. So a recipe was looked up, altered to what I had on hand and a batch was made. Sadly, it was gone within a 48 hour period. 

Much better than Honey Nut Cheerios! This was a declaration by Katie, and it doesn't get soggy in the milk. My personal opinion was that it was too sweet. I will be halving the sweeteners next time.


3 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Maple flavoring
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt 
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup craisins


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine honey, maple flavoring, coconut oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and  craisins, and mix until evenly distributed.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Just Because

Posted by Paulette

Sometimes you just gotta treat yourself with kindness and buy flowers just because.
These flowers were calling my name when I walked into Trader Joes this week. My daughter Katie was with me. As I started to gather them into my arms, she asked why I was buying them. I told her they were my favorite flowers. they would be beautiful in my bedroom. She then asked if we could buy them for Daddy. To which I replied, "sure honey. They'll be for daddy." wink wink.
Nothing fancy here. They're cut to fit into  three quart size mason jars, and then just placed into a decorative box. The week is now over and a new one has begun. I like to watch how they dry and become more saturated with color.