September 15, 2011

Zoey Post!

Here's a post just for Zoey because she's been pretty cute lately. 

 Here she is trying to help me with my sewing.  What a real help she is!

 Sometimes she thinks she's a person and will sit and watch TV as such.

 She just got a new chew toy.  He's missing his shirt right now, but she still looks pretty happy.

 And now she's got a buddy to snuggle with at night.

I'm not sure what she's doing now, but she kept it up for a while!

September 13, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Pork...

Here’s my recipe for Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin in a Red Wine Reduction Sauce.  This was a fabrication from last week when I didn’t really know what to make with my pork loin and I started finding recipes that looked good on  I combined the seasoning from a pork loin recipe, the bacon wrapping from another, and the red wine reduction for yet another.  It ended up turning out really well!


Pork loin
Olive Oil
Red wine

Cook bacon in microwave for 2 minutes.
Cut pork loin into inch thick slices.
Season pork with sliced shallots, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, parsley.

Wrap bacon around pork and slide onto skewer.

Preheat oven to broil.
Flip every 4 minutes for 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Melt butter in pan.

Mix wine, parsley, thyme, and shallots in saucepan.

Simmer until thickened and syrupy.

Pour over pork tenderloin.
Let pork tenderloin marinade for the last few minutes of cooking before serving.


September 11, 2011

Finished Comforter!

I finally finished the comforter! 

After ordering fabric, not getting enough and having to order more… hurting my back, and having to wait to let it recover… it is finally done.

Side A:  Yellow and Blue Patterned Comforter.  The middle is a yellow patterned cotton.  Next to that are strips of suede that I sewed pleats down each an inch apart.  Then it is a brown silk fabric that matches the bed skirt.

Side B:  Striped Blue Silk Comforter.  This was the easy side.  It was just sewing two pieces together so that it was big enough to make the full comforter! 

The bed skirt was really easy to work on.  I haven’t added any buttons to it like I wanted to.  I may have to go back and add that later.

The pillows are where it really gets fun.  The main pillow shams are a gold silk fabric sewn into a lattice pattern.  The smaller pillow is made from extra batting I had leftover from the comforter.  I used the same suede fabric as the comforter too and brown silk.  It’s simple, but a great addition.  I just have to make sure the fiancé removes them from the bed each night… 

By biggest trouble was not ordering enough fabric originally and hurting my back.  Have you ever done the math and bought your fabric only to come home and be totally confused at where you got your numbers from?  That’s what happened to me on Side B of my comforter.  Oh, and then there was getting back spasms from the pleated suede.  Luckily I didn’t have that problem on the second side, as I was careful not to cause too much stress on my back. 

My only complaints would be that I wish the yellow fabric would have been a better material.  It is cotton which would look fine, except that the rest of my fabric is suede and silk.  And I also wish that the batting would have been thicker.  The batting I ordered claimed online that it was twice the thickness of regular batting.  I love thick comforters… if I was making this just for myself, I probably would have added another layer or two of the thick batting.  But as it stands it is still nice and warm.  Zoey had a great time last night snuggled underneath it.

September 8, 2011

Work Cake!

I got a cake at work last week... (I'm posting now because I already had other posts written to post over the past week...)  A bunch of women in the office have gotten married this year and our pastry department made each of us a cake.  I got to take home the mystery cake.  There was a chocolate covered cheesecake, a red velvet cake, a chocolate cake, a lemon and berry cake, and a mystery cake.  They couldn't remember what it was.  Haha!  I decided to be up for the surprise and it was a nice thick chocolate cake.  They must have made two of them... but I don't care, it's still yummy.

I didn't take photos until I got home so it sort of lost some icing on the way... oops!

I ate a piece and then froze the rest to wait for my fiance to get back from his bachelor party road trip.  But I made sure to take some photos of it.  Doesn't it look so good!  I'm drooling just thinking about it.

September 7, 2011

Bridesmaid’s Dress Redo?

I mentioned previously in the blog that I had a long black a-line skirt that I was supposed to wear as a bridesmaid.  The outfit was never worn and it had sat in my closet for years.  I finally decided to make it into something and choose a pleated skirt.  My results were meh at best.  I cut it short, added pleats, added pockets, and put a new zipper in.  It just looks big and poofy on me.  I’m going to brainstorm ways to make it look nicer.  Right now it looks very homemade.  I’m thinking of sewing the pleats down a little bit to see if that would help.  Though I’m not sure if I’d do short lines horizontally or long ones vertically along the folds.  We’ll see.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  Now I just have to come up with an idea on what to use a hot pink tube top for…

September 6, 2011


I thought about making some more flowers with burnt edges.  I grabbed one of my favorite vintage fabrics, but it kept catching on fire...

So I instead just sewed all of the petals together to make a different version of the flower.  I think it still turned out pretty nicely.  Though the edges to all fray...

September 5, 2011

Sewing Injury

I have a sewing injury… I was working on my new comforter and hurt my back.  I don’t have a sewing table, so I usually just cut and pin on the floor and then move to a table to do the sewing.  Well I’m putting pleats in one section of the comforter and I needed to pin each line then sew it, and repeat.  My back was hurting a little bit that night, but it often does after I go crazy sewing.  The next day I could barely move.  And still today it hurts…

Looking it up online, it sounds like I have back spasms.  Here is the definition of it… (My favorite part is the bolded part)

A back spasm is a sudden and involuntary contraction, or uncontrollable tightening, of a muscle in response to strain, overuse, weakness, or muscle pain related to injury or a disorder. Back spasms often occur near the spinal cord or near the nerve roots that lead in and out of the spinal cord. This can put pressure on one of these sensitive nerves, causing quite severe pain.  It is common for muscle spasms to occur when you are exerting a lot of energy or are straining, such as while performing heavy lifting, working out, or engaging in a strenuous sports activity.

So I will not be sewing for a bit until I can get that to stop hurting.  And I’ll have to figure out a way to do the other side of pleating (I only finished ½ of the bedspread on Friday) without hurting myself again…

September 4, 2011

Chalkboard Globe

I saw a photo of a chalkboard globe on and fell in love with it.

My only problem was figuring out a way to do it on the cheap.  I didn’t have my old globe lying around the house, but my fiancé did. 

The first step in my process was to score the latitude and longitude lines in the globe.  Most of the lines in this globe were printed on instead of actual indentations.  I cut it with an exacto knife to make the grooves.

I then covered it in a layer of chalkboard paint.  I decided to make my own since I couldn't find chalkboard paint around me.  I put some black paint and non-sanded grout together and stirred well.  It had lumps in it, but I sanded those down after the first coat.  The hardest part was not touching the places I had already painted...

It had to sit for 24 hours to dry.

And it was almost ready to go.  Just needed to be covered in some chalk and….

Once it was covered in chalk there was just one more step... wipe it off and start writing!

September 3, 2011

Pillow Design!

I need some opinions on bedroom pillows.  I have some ideas that I like, but I'm not sure what I want to do.  I know that I'm going to create two pillow shams.  I may create one or two more small ones, but I'm not sure.  I have to make sure the place is still man-appropriate.  That should become a saying... man-appropriate.  What do you think of these?

September 2, 2011

DIY Comforter

I am embarking on my biggest sewing project to date.  And by biggest I mean biggest strictly in sheer size… though I have worked on projects with more fabric.  Maybe it isn’t the biggest project, but it sure seems like it to me.  That just sounds confusing…

I’m making a comforter!  When my fiancé and I were looking for a comforter to register for, we had trouble finding something that wasn’t really boring and looked like it should be in a dorm room or was really fancy and girly with swirls and flowers all over it. 

A couple weeks ago I was in my college town and a friend was telling me how she was making a duvet cover for her bed.  This got me thinking about maybe making our own. 

I based the design on one that I had found on Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but changed the colors a bit and obviously the fabric.  I was tempted to go a fun route and create a TARDIS bed like my friend Meg… but I don’t think my fiancé would like that.  He’s not as cool as Meg’s boyfriend… This one is going to end up Michigan colors.  That should make the fiancé happy. 

I ordered fabric online, so I’m hoping that it all works out in the end.  This always makes me nervous because I can’t see the colors in person to see if they go together or if they are a good weight to use.  I’m crossing my fingers while I wait for them to arrive.  I also ordered batting online to fill it with and I’m hoping that it isn’t too flat.  I love love love big fluffy comforters.  I loved my comforter in college.  I could disappear under it all winter long!  So I’m hoping the one I ordered will be thick too.  It claimed it was twice as thick as normal batting. 

 This will be middle insert section.

 This fabric will be sewn into pleats next to the middle section.  It is suede so it will give some nice texture.

 Here is the side fabric.  It's shantung which is one of my new favorite fabrics.  It is a silky brown with black threads throughout it.

 This is going to be on the underside.  I'm hoping the colors look close enough to the other side fabric.  This way the comforter can be reversible too.

 And lastly, here's the fabric I ordered for the bed skirt.  It's a gold shantung, so it is more silky as opposed to looking like burlap.  It sort of looks like burlap in this photo...

Here is my idea for the bed skirt.  I really like buttons on it.

Has anyone else made a comforter?  Have any advice?  I also have to design some pillows.  Pinterest hasn't been nice to me lately and it keeps telling me it's too busy... I want to look at some pretty pillows!

September 1, 2011

My 1950s Dress

One of the hardest things for me over the past few years is when I know exactly what I want to sew, but can’t find the right pattern for it or the right fabric.  When I worked in the costume shop, I would see some of the seamstresses whip up their own patterns as if it was nothing.  I could do that with basic things like a straight skirt or pants, but nothing really more than that. 

A big project that I took on my senior year of college was to make a formal dress for our banquet that my theatre fraternity threw each spring.  I knew I wanted something that was styled to look from the 1950s, but I couldn’t find a pattern that I liked.  I had seen a vintage dress online that was my ideal, but that dress had sold for around $200 on Ebay, so it was way out of my price range.   

I started with yards and yards of sheer blue fabric and yards and more yards of tulle.  Oh there is so much tulle in this dress.  The skirt was easy to figure out since it was just a big circle skirt.  The top is where it got harder.  The v-neck in front wasn’t too hard.  I just drew up a pattern on some paper and made a mock up with some scrap fabric lying around.  The tough part was getting the deep V in the back right.  I wanted it to be low, but not stick out or anything like that.  After lots of trial and error, it came out pretty well. 

The part that took me the longest was the tulle petticoat.  I just sat in my bedroom and gathered tulle for hours on end to give it volume.  Looking back, it probably would have been easier to just buy a finished petticoat and put it underneath. 

After it was finished, I made a bunch of modifications as the dress looked too simple being all just one fabric.  I sewed ribbon together to create a cummerbund that I sewed to the waist.  On the back, I added more ribbon cascading down the length of the skirt.  I also sewed the shoulders together to keep them on my actual shoulders since they kept falling off. 

Looking at it today, I would probably add a broach or something shiny like that if I were to wear it again.  Though I’m not sure where I’d be going that I would need something this formal.  The dress took me around 9 months to complete, because I would keep starting and stopping it.  But in the end, I was very happy with the product, especially since I didn’t use a patter for any of it.