Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How To Make Canned Jam

Hi guys! I have been busy for the last couple of days but wanted to share a How To from my sister's blog with you. I have been bugging her (for a long time now) to show me how to can things. Well there was no time this year - we are both uber-busy, but instead she decided to make and post a How-To! I am super stoked about this one myself. Please check it out.
Here are a couple of photos I swiped from her post:

Check it out and make some home made jam for yourself!
Scrap Art by Pris

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New York City Grit - Two Tutorials

Hello Everyone!
So as you may or may not know, it is currently NYC Fashion Week. Well, this outfit embodies to me New York cities grittier side. The street mixed with the posh, leather, denim, cotton and studs. The perfect combination.

I was really inspired a lot to make some pants with leather inserts. In particular there was a spread in Nylon magazine recently that I found really interesting. Of course, being me I decided that I needed to try my hand at making some of these must have pants myself. This is the 2nd project that I have finished from my 101 Crafts to Make Challenge.
The following were my results.

This was my inspiration spread. Lots of leather, lots of denim.
So for starters, if you want to make a pair of these pants yourself, you are going to need some jeans and some leather. I had a pair of skinny jeans that I never wear anymore and a pair of leather pants that I had picked up at the thrift store. I decided to draw out my design before beginning. I really wanted to make sure that I liked the way my vision looked in "real life" before committing to it with fabric.

Old Jeans.

Old Leather Pants.

Next I tried on the jeans, and measured how high up I wanted the leather to come. I wanted to make a diagonal leather insert. I laid the jeans out on my cutting mat and measured the diagonal line on both sides making sure that it was even.

I used the portion that I had removed from the jeans to measure how much leather I would need length wise and width wise. If the jeans you are using are too long for your legs make sure you take a proper measure or the pants will end up too long. Also I made the leather part slightly wider than the jean pieces I had removed as leather that is too tight is really tough to get into.

As you can see the leather above is WAY wider than the jean. I did not make them exactly the same width but left the leather slightly larger to make it easier to get into.

Now came the sewing. It is important that you make sure you have the pieces aligned properly before you begin to sew. Double, even triple check them. You don't want to be resewing through leather as this will weaken it and cause it to rip at the seam over time. Sew through all of the layers and be sure it is secure.
Turn inside out and enjoy!!!

To go with my New York leather and denim I decided to make a tank top. Something simply but still a bit edgy. Since I had never tried it before I decided to use a technique called reverse applique. It looks really awesome and was really quite simple to do.

I started with an old white t-shirt but you could also use an existing tank top. I traced out the shape of one of my favourite tank tops being sure to leave a seam allowance.

Tracing the Tank Top.

All cut out. Make sure you have a seam allowance too!

Next I traced a pattern that I had made onto the front of the shirt. You will also need a piece of contrasting fabric. This should be a stretchy material (like another old t-shirt) as well.

The contrast needs to be as wide as the whole tank top and tall enough to cover your designs.

Position the contrasting fabric under the design that you have traced onto the front. Pin it securely in place. Now sew around the design you have traced. You should leave about 1/8th of an inch between the tracing and the sewing line.

Pin the fabric together securely.


Sew 1/8th of an inch away from design.

Once you have finished stitching around the design you will need to cut out the shape you have traced. Cut on the traced lines and keep it as neat as possible.

Now sew the tank top up at the sides, making sure you have the right sides together when you do this. Flip right side out and voila! A new custom tank top.

Brand new outfit!

I hope you enjoyed these two tutorials in one. The photos of the outfit also show my Leather Bag which was made from a Skirt. You can find the Tutorial on that HERE.

Shirt - Refashion, Pants - Refashion, Necklace - Gift, Rings - H&M/Vintage/Gifts, Bag - Refashion, Shoes - Sam Edelman.

Until next time.....

Thursday, September 9, 2010

101 Crafts to Make = Crochet Basket #80

The moment you have all been waiting for: the first craft from my 101 Crafts challenge.
So I finished this crocheted basket last night. It turned out pretty fun don't you think?

The start of the basket.

Finished basket! I am really excited with it.

The pattern says that you can use spray starch or fabric stiffener to make it stand up straighter but I like the slouchy look. I am not sure if I will make many more since it took quite a bit of time, but it sure turned out nice.
I have been working on a number of new things (all from the list) so look forward to more fun projects this week and next. The weather has been crummy so I have had a lot of time indoors to create.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Traditional and Chic BBQ Menus Tutorial

So to go along with the post HERE about making your own table linens I am providing two suggested menus to complement two very different cookouts. The first is a traditional BBQ and the second is a more chic take on a BBQ meal. I always like to use the freshest ingredients when cooking.

Traditional BBQ:
Baked Potatoes, Steak, Grilled Corn on the Cob, Green Salad.

Chic BBQ:
Marinated Steak, Angel Hair Pasta with Zucchini and Tomato Onion Chop, Green Salad
Both of these menus require a limited number of ingredients to make and will yield a satisfying supper. For the Traditional BBQ you will need baking potatoes, steaks, corn on the cob (DO NOT SHUCK – it must be in the husk still), salad greens of your choosing , carrots, onion, garlic. Prepare the potatoes for baking by washing them and cutting them into more manageable pieces. Rip a large piece of tinfoil and place the potato pieces on it. You should add butter, chopped onion, garlic, salt and other seasonings to taste. Wrap the tinfoil around the potatoes well as this will go on the BBQ. On a medium setting you should cook the potatoes evenly (flip them) for about 35-40 minutes. The corn should be placed on the BBQ at the same time as the meat. Leave it in the husk – this will keep it from drying out and helps it to cook evenly. The corn will take about 15-20 minutes so if you like your steak on the rare side you should start the corn well in advance. Make up your salad and grate the carrot on top to add garnish and extra nutritional value. Serve and Enjoy!

For the Chic BBQ you will need steaks, tomatoes (1 per person) white onion (1/4 per person), angel hair (capellini) or other thin pasta (spaghettini is a good choice), zucchini (1/2 per person) salad greens of your choosing, carrot. You can prepare the tomato onion chop and zucchini well in advance. As the name suggests the tomato and onion should be chopped into small pieces and mixed together. Make sure to choose firm tomatoes and then get rid of as much of the juicy innards as possible. You don’t want a soggy chop.

Cut the zucchini in half and scrape out the centre. You want to have about a centimetre of zucchini left inside the skin. Now thinly (very thinly) slice the zucchini.

The chop is served cold but you will need to pour boiling water over the zucchini strips. Don’t leave them in the hot water but drain them right away. This takes only a few seconds and can be done right before serving. Cook the pasta as suggested and depending on how you like your steak, put that on the BBQ. Marinated steaks can be purchased but if you want to marinate your own you will need to leave it in the fridge overnight to make sure it soaks up as much of the flavour as possible. You can make your own marinade or purchase one. Make up your salad and grate the carrot on top. To make this even more chic you could substitute mandarin orange pieces for the carrots, add almonds and then use pomegranate juice for a dressing. Delicious.

There are many other ideas out there naturally, but these are quick, easy and will keep your dinner guests pleased. For dessert you could make brownies - or you could wait for the ice cream truck to drive by and grab a few ice cream sandwiches. Either way Happy End of Summer and enjoy being out of doors as much as possible.