Sunday, October 30, 2011

Two finished items in a week!

I have a bad habit of taking on very complicated sewing projects, which means that they tend to drag out forever and I start to lose interest in them because I've been simply staring at them for too long (processor quilt, anyone?). After my last complicated project (which I will post about soon), I decided to do something much, much simpler so I could have a finished garment to wear right away. I thought Vogue 1179 was a good candidate; it only has three pieces and wouldn't be heavy on the fitting since it's drapey. I also had the perfect fabric for it in my stash, a printed silk jersey that I bought ages ago from

And here it is! It came together super quickly, even though I don't usually sew with knits and there were a few things I had to figure out here and there. I don't have a serger, and I'm still a little bit intimidated by sewing with knits on my regular machine. I ended up stabilizing the neckline with some ribbon to keep it from growing, and I did the armholes with clear elastic as the pattern suggests. The armholes are a bit high on this pattern for me. I took an extra half inch or so off of the armhole at the bottom, but it still feels a bit snug after installing the elastic.

For the seams I used a narrow zigzag, and that seemed to work fine since the jersey didn't have a lot of stretch in the length. I wasn't sure what I should do for the hem. I thought about using a twin needle, but I haven't been all that happy with my twin needle attempts. I'm still getting the "tunneling" effect no matter how much I bump the tension down, and the resulting stitch is not all that stretchy. I hemmed a RTW shirt with my twin needle recently, but it snapped after a few wears because the stitching just didn't have enough stretch. So for this dress, I stabilized the hemline with some stretch lace on the inside before sewing it. It makes it less stretchy (and therefore less comfortable), but also less likely to break.

I always end up smiling too much when the SO takes my picture. This is me trying to make a serious face, and ending up just looking goofy!

After my success with the dress, I immediately whipped up a tunic length version in another knit that I had in my stash. It looks great with skinny jeans and is very comfortable. I think I'll wear this outfit tomorrow on the plane as the SO and I set off for Cleveland. Bon voyage!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More adventures in mass cooking

It seems the preserving season is not over for us yet! We visited the St Jacobs Farmers' Market with my parents last weekend, and it was overflowing with good produce deals (and people, since it was the long weekend). We went intending to get some apples, which were there in abundance. We bought two big bags of mixed apples for sauce making for six dollars a bag. Here's one bag, with a paint can for reference:

We've now made two batches of sauce, one batch of apple pie filling, and one apple pie. We bought a food mill while we were making all of our tomato sauce, and the food mill is fabulous for making apple sauce. Just chop up the apples, cook until mushy, and then take out all the seeds, stems and skins with the food mill! A few random little bits of things still seem to get through, but I'd say it's worth it to not have to peel and core all those apples.

The apples weren't the only cheap items at the market, and we ended up coming home with a giant bag of carrots as well (about 30 pounds for six bucks). A few stands had similar quantities of peppers for sale, and if I'd been able to figure out what to do with that many peppers I would have bought those as well. We're still working on using up those carrots. After making giant batches of Zeus' thai carrot soup and a morrocan stew, we're stumped. Anyone have any recipes that call for about ten pounds of carrots?