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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sewing Throwdown 2011 - Just So You Know, I Brought It

I brought my friend Martha Stewart, and she's a gangster.

Yeah, I made this. I know, you're jealous.
Just in case you didn't realize how awesome it is...

As some of my followers may recall (all 7 of you), I decided to take up sewing as a new hobby this year. I wrote this post when I first got my Singer Talent (endorsed by her Majesty Martha Stewart).

I started by making a regular pocket pillow cover by cutting 3 pieces of fabric. For a 20x20" pillow insert, I cut one piece of 21x21" linen and 2 21x15" pieces of linen.
First I made some pretty (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) seams on one 21" side of the 2 smaller pieces of linen. You just fold the edge over 2 times so it's pretty on the edge, then pin it closed and sew a straight seam along the edge. Yeah, I write that like its so easy... when in fact, it really involved me consulting my Singer user's manual and talking to myself. Oh did I mention I took a 2 hour sewing machine class at Joann Fabrics, where I purchased my machine? During the class, I pretty much just learned how to sew a few different seams and thread my needle and bobbin.
So next, I sewed the 21" raw edge of the 2 smaller pieces of fabric to the big piece. So then I had 3 pieces of fabric sewed together. Next, I folded the 2 smaller pieces up and sewed up the sides.
Lastly, I stuffed the 20x20" pillow insert into the pocket.

For the decoration on the outside of the pillows, I made 3 fabric flowers. I learned how to make them here. But I will show how I made them.

To make one flower, you need to cut 6 4" fabric circles and 6 3" fabric circles. I used bowls and lids as guides and just traced around them with a pencil. Then I cut out the circles with fabric scissors.

I folded the fabric up before tracing out the smaller circles. Then I just cut them all at once.
2 sets of circles and 2 different fabrics

For the base of the flower, you will make 6 fabric "cones" out of each fabric circle. First fold the circle in half.

Then fold that circle over like this:

Then fold it over again like this:

Here's another shot.

You're also going to hot glue the tip of each cone where the fabric folds over.
Next put a big dollop of hot glue in the center of a 2" round of felt.

Then put all the cones around in a circle to make the base of the flower.

Now make the top layer of the flower in the same way.

And for the center, use a button.

Ta Daaaaaaa!!!!

And just so you know, I made this pillow for under $20. Compare to:

This one from CB2:
I guess if you have $34.95 laying around, you could spend it on a pillow...NOT 
This one is also $34.95...

This one is a little bit better at $29.95, but mine is still $10 cheaper... PLUS it's way more unique and cuter.
  In summary, I win!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Basically I'm a Genius

I've been buying these for years...

I love them, but they're like $4 a bag

So I decided to kick this bag to the curb and create my very own!
You start with making the tasty dressing. You will need these things;

Rice Wine Vinegar, Ginger, Sesame Seeds, Garlic, Brown Mustard, Soy Sauce, and Vegetable Oil
Start with about 1 teaspoon of brown mustard and 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce with 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar and whisk together.
Add in 1/4 teaspoon of ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of sesame seeds, and 1 clove chopped garlic and whisk together
Add in 1 teaspoon honey, whisk and taste
Then at the very end, I added in just a sprinkle of brown sugar for taste

Yeah it's pretty much heaven.

It's like the store bought dressing, but like way better... way healthier, and way cheaper
Next you need to get the chicken ready. I just cut up one chicken breast and sprinkled it with some seasonings.

Coriander, White Pepper, Black Pepper and Salt
Then cook in saute pan
While that's going, get the rest of the salad together. You don't need a bunch of unique items... just some lettuce (whatever you have, I had red leaf), some red cabbage (I had left over from some coleslaw I made the week before) and some cilantro (as a result of my guacamole obsession, I always have some on hand).

Chop up small

Then add some regular cabbage and some carrots.

I cheated. Don't tell anyone
 Next we add crunch. 

Wanton Strips and Almond Slivers. I also added some tomatoes in there cause I had 'em
 Now mix it all together!

Salad Sparkles!!