A skirt I can wear out of the house!

23 11 2008

I did it!!  Using this free pattern from Stitch magazine, and the zipper tutorial from Kate McFaul as seen on Threadbanger, I have actually made myself a skirt that I will proudly wear out of the house.


Ok, so honestly? I hardly followed the pattern at all.  I used the pattern pieces for the front, and 2 back pieces and that’s pretty much the only thing I did according to the pattern.  I should have measured the pieces before cutting because it’s small…but if I allow it to be a high-waisted skirt (not that anyone will ever see with the sweater I plan on wearing it with), it’s great.  To finish it, I applied gray bias tape to the outside (crazy!) very near the top, and I did 2 stitches at the bottom hem; 1- 2 inches up and 1 right at the hem line.  I think I may do a decorative hand stitch from the Alabama Stitch Book between the 2…

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I’m so glad this worked out.  I found the fabric and the Fabric Outlet down the street and love it’s soft texture.  And the dark teal color is wonderful.


New hobby

23 11 2008

When we bought our 1st home a year ago, J and I were very lucky in that we scored a back yard.  In the city.  In our favorite sunny neighborhood in San Francisco.  And so, after years of absolutely no outside space of our own, we have a yard almost as big as our indoor living space.  I’m learning to garden!

We’ve been clearing out pavement stones and bark, pulling weeds, removing unhappy trees, and other necessities for a year.  We also put in grass in one area for the dog and her friends to play and sunbathe on (which is not doing so hot right now but I have faith it will rejuvenate with the rainy season).

Yesterday, I raked and mowed the lawn, spread new grass seeds, pulled up the remaining sod remnants that had been rooting in the area that our vegetable garden will go, planted a lemon tree and a ton of tulip bulbs, and weeded the rock and succulent garden that our fabulous upstairs neighbors put in for us:


Gorgeous right?

Some of these succulents are from their balcony and some were actually left by the previous owners.  Or perhaps by the previous, previous owners, since the guys that lived here before us had let the entire yard be overtaken by ivy.

Here’s my lemon tree:


I hope it likes its new home; I will soon be flanked by two 4×4 veggie planters.

One of our other new additions has yet to find a permanent placement.  My mother, who has been an avid gardener as long as I can remember, accidentally crossed a rose when I was a little girl and she named it after me and my grandmother – it is called the Emma rose.  Very fragrant, this small beauty has a light, peachy pink color, and a loose petal formation.


It doesn’t actually glow like that. 🙂 But the lighting hasn’t been great with the foggy weather.

Thanks Mom!

Who’s that blog?

21 11 2008

Check out this fun link, fellow bloggers, and find out if you blog like a girl.

Soft and snuggly love

21 11 2008

I am making a scarf for my sweet hubby.  I’m new to the knitting thing and I was unsure of the width, so have pulled it at least once to re-start, but I’m loving the simplicity of just perling the entire thing.  And the color is wonderful.


I need to follow a pattern

21 11 2008

I am on my third not so successful refashion (hubby’s shirt, undies): a skirt.  I was hoping to take an old favorite pairs of jeans and the bottom of the legs of another pair and turn them into a skirt.  But I was thinking I didn’t want to do the old standby of unstitching the inner leg seam and connecting in the middle, in part because I’d cut out the crotch to patch the crotch of the other, currently existing as shorts, jeans. (Why can’t they make pants that can sustain normal, run of the mill, thigh rubbing?)

To start, I cut off the top of the jeans and measured across the raw edge.  I divided that number by 8 and added an inch to each for seam allowance and cut out skirt panels an inch wider at the bottom than at the top. These are all very blurry so I’m making them small:

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I sewed the panels all together and then sewed them to the top of the pants.  Horrible:


So then I ripped off the top, tor apart the panels, sewed 7 of them together and sewed a section of old t-shirt on top as a waist band, and left it unfinished on the bottom because I’m never leaving the house in this:


And now you’ve seen my booty.


21 11 2008

Ugh.  What a week so far.  But I just got my exam score and I got 100%.  Yay!!

On to more interesting things.  I have been growing my own onion sprouts for a few months now.  The whole thing started when a friend mentioned how fantastic the onion sprouts were from the Sprout Man at the farmer’s Market.  I love sprouts!  I had to meet this Sprout Man.  The friend was right – the sprouts were delicious – but at $3-5 a bag I couldn’t justify it.  So I decided to sprout my own; I’d heard it was quite simple but had never done it.  And there were no onion sprouting seeds at the local co-op so I ordered some online and have just not stopped.  Here is the newest thing I have made room for on my counter:


The hubby is such a converted fan that I’ve started keeping two offset batches going at once for continual sprouty goodness.

Favorite uses are in sandwiches – goat cheese, strawberry & onion sprouts on sourdough; cream cheese, apple & onion sprouts on wheat; swiss, dijon & onion sprouts on an onion focaccia (I’m sensing a theme).

To grow, put a layer of sprout seeds in the bottom of a wide mouth jar with a sprout seed attachment or use a piece of screen cut to fit and a lid ring to secure.  Add plenty of water, swish around, and let soak for a few hours.  Drain: I invert mine over pyrex ramekins. Twice a day, fill the jar partially with water, swish around to moisten all seeds, and drain immediately.  Usually ready to eat in a week.

I keep mine on the counter in partial sun but I’ve been told that if you keep them in the cupboard until a day or two before you are going to eat them, they will be less pungent and produce less chlorophyll.  But they’re onion sprouts, so I say, be pungent!

A (humorously) failed project

11 11 2008

Hilarity.  I tried to make underwear.  Angry Chicken has been making tap pants and knickers for a couple weeks now and I had some very soft cotton leftovers from my skirt project that I thought might make perfect boy short undies.  In the end, the fabric wasn’t anywhere near as stretchy as the undies I used as my template and so the 1st try is a bust.  But I believe that I can turn this puppy around with a little experimentation and start cranking out undies like nobodies business.  And I can dream about that serger…

Here’s my process:

Cut undies on the side seams, lay on tissue paper, cut out pattern shape with seam allowances where necessary.  Cut out additional crotch area. (Yes, I said crotch.)


Using patter, cut out jersey fabric; piece together and zigzag stitch (this may be another area where I’m getting things wrong).


I then sewed up the sides overlapping the front of the undies onto the back, and then stitched around the leg and body holes.


They were cute but too tiny to get above my knees.  I hopped around a little trying to make it work but no dice.  Anyone have any thoughts?