Tuesday, February 22, 2011

De-cluttering books/clothes

This title is normally a dirty word around here. I LOVE books but I scared I'm going to be one of those old people that has to be dug out from under the piles after I passed away a few weeks before hand.

Inspired (shamed?) by my friend, Joan... you know who you are... ;o) I've taken on a new philosophy. Pencilled in and subject to change because I can't commit to anything much that requires me to go against the grain:o)

If I want a new book or anything for that matter,  I need to get rid old things first.

Here's my first attempt at reducing the cook books. I haven't used these books in the last year at least and that's probably just trying to justify myself, some I've never used, on second glance I might never have cooked anything out of any of them. They just held a promise of hope, of which I never took hold of.

I'm sure more could go but it's not a bad start. I'll just keep repeating the new mantra, if I want something new....

Well it's actually catchy, the feeling of freedom or release or however you describe it. I've started on my clothes:

It keeps growing!

I feel emotionally purged ;o)

Monday, February 21, 2011

How to make a water proof library bag

Today I made the little ones library bags and as we all know how drink bottles leak and ruin those books. Here is a cute bag (two actually) with a rip-stop lining to protect the books.

I used quilting fabrics, usually they are 112cm wide, I bought 50cm so the resulting bag is 50x50cm ish.
I bought rip stop and that is 150 wide. I bought 115cm and it will give me 3 linings.

Cut rip stop 50x 110 (this size gets adjusted later but just work with it like this for now). Sew long sides forming a bag. Seam allowances about 1cm, just make it the same on the outer fabric. This bag stays as is, you don't turn it inside out, seams get hidden by the outer fabric.

One fabric I used uncut as the pattern is multi directional. The second one I have to cut in half and turn it so the pattern is correct both sides. Pictured below is the fabrics and two linings sewn up.

At the top of each gab I marked down 1 and 4 and 6 1/2 cm down. The first 1cm is the hem and the second is the turning for the casing. The 2nd and 3rd marks indicate the gap in the side seam that the cord will run through when it's all finished. Both sides need a gap if you are going to have two cords, one if you are having a single cord.

Here is the finished seam and the gap. 

Sew a little seam around the gap so the seam allowance lays flat.

Check the fit of the lining against seam or base of the outer lining and the second marked line (4 cm down) This where I'm pointing, it is your line to shorted the top of the lining before sewing together. It reduces bulk in the casing. 

Here is the cut off lining, it is pictured positioned to where it is going to sit on the outer  fabric.

Turn outer bag inside out, so you are looking at the correct side. Tuck in lining fabric so wrong sides are together. 
*Correct side of the outer fabric is out side of the bag. 
*Correct side of the lining is facing inside the bag.

Pining the lining to the 4cm mark and bring the casing down. Sew the hem and this leaves the casing that the cord threads through

Thread the cord through with a nappy pin :o)
I have only one cord but I want two. I'll have to go and buy more to match. I didn't think of it when I bought my supplies.

Ta da! Gorgeous very function bags, big enough to hold "Where's Wally?" books :o)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dusted off the sewing skills! PANTS!

I struggle to find wide straight legged pants in the shops so I bought a NewLook pattern, 6920 to be specific, and have whizzed  up a pair, they are great :o) I got so excited I have not even ironed them properly or hemmed them, this was my first fitting but I'm really happy with them.
 I imagine I'll be able to make a few in different fabrics and colours. Very exciting and reasonably priced. I think these cost about $10.

I have two complaints about the pattern. My measurements on the back of the pattern said I was a 16 :o( I cut the pattern and they looked way to big. I took my measurements and compared the them t othe pattern and I was a 12. So I made them at that and they are fine.
The other problem was the amount of fabric recommended didn't suit the layout diagram. :o( I squeezed it in as it was 150cm wide fabric, if I'd got 115cm It would have been a disaster. So I have no idea what the pattern makers were thinking. Still, These pants in a light stretch fabric are so comfortable I can't be bothered taking them off to hem and press :o)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Corn risotto, very yummy but cheap as chips

I made a salad and a risotto for tea tonight. The salad was quinoa and green things but quinoa is quite expensive so I'll share the cheap dish with you ;o)

Corn risotto from Jill Dupleix's Lighten up.

4 fresh corn cobs
1 onion quarter

olive oil & butter
1 finely chopped onion

350gm arborio rice
150 mls dry white wine

2 TBS chopped chives
2 TBS Parmesan cheese grated
sea salt and pepper

Strip corn husks of husks then chop off kernels and set them aside.

Simmer cob and quartered onion in 1.5 l of water for 30 mins.

Strain and return stock to pan, add kernels and simmer for 5 mins.

Strain again keeping both stock and kernels.

Olive oil and butter in pan and cook chopped onion until soft.
Add rice and stir

Stir in wine and boil. Add broth slowly until rice is soft and creamy. Add corn kernels, chives, butter, salt and pepper and parmesan.

I'm having formatting problems! Sorry :o-

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cheap healthy dinners

After all these natural disasters in Australia, I think we need to get even more creative producing cheap healthy meals. Here's tonight's meal made by Pooh, it feed 6 and had leftovers:
Salmon patties and salad
Honestly the photo does not do this meal justice! 20 Salmon patties from 1 $5 tin of salmon, spring onions and potatoes from the garden although there's 4 so not dear to buy anyway. We did another batch of sweet potatoes with rice crumbles. 10 of each sort from 1 tin.

The salad of bits and bobs. Lettuce, pine-nuts, carrot, cucumber, pepitas, celery, capsicum, tomato, walnut and linseeds. The dressing, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin and a hint of curry powder. A party in my mouth!

The salad ingredients were only small or left over parts but come together and make a large very tasty salad. Think of filling nutritious ingredients and not even huge amounts.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Patchwork progress

I have finally made some progress on my patchwork project from last year: 

I was given a jelly roll which was great as I was trying to use old shirts, dresses etc and it was taking ages to get anywhere! Then I looked for quilts I liked and was inspired by a coin quilt from moda bake shop.

Here are the jelly roll pieces (24) all sewn together and then cut into 5 strips.
Added white strips between.
Added white to the ends. 
I patiently waited for the red fabric to dry.
I didn't want it to run onto the white when it was all finished
The red dried and I added the last border. It is now on the old sleeping bag to check size...
Now to finish it tomorrow fingers crossed :o)