Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Food: My New Favorite Pizza

I LoVE the Pioneer Woman! If you haven't discovered her yet, you have to check her out. She's amazing! :) I've tried a few of her recipes and they're delicious... this is where my new favorite pizza comes in... Caramelized Onion Prosciutto Pizza. It's simply amazing!

It's pretty easy, too... all it takes is:

some pizza dough (recipe is included on the linked website):

caramelized onions... I used yellow onions because I didn't have any red ones:

prosciutto, parmesan, and mozzarella:

Then you layer all the ingredients:

Stick it in the oven and tada:

The most fabulous pizza ever!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

FO: Easy Bolero

I need some spring outerwear to wear over my tanks and dresses. I had this pale blue rib knit from fabric.com since July 2006... I had one yard for $1.94. (Yay, another stash fabric used up!) I saw this easy bolero somewhere a few years and thought I'd finally give it a try. What do you think?

With brooch (my right sleeve is not laying correctly):

Without brooch:

Back (Hehe... I'm not sure why I'm crooked.):

This dress is not handmade... I got from BCBG back in 2005. Not bad for $2, huh? As I was trying to figure out how to make this bolero, I made some mistakes and had to cut out my serged edges.


Isn't it much prettier as a flower?

The flower isn't actually sewn yet... I was just testing it out. I'm glad I can make use of my scraps... so nothing from this fabric is getting thrown out. :) Can't decide if I want to make it a headband or a brooch or both?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

FO: New Look 6470 Cowl Tank

New Look 6470 is one of the first patterns I purchased probably back in 2006... before I even took sewing lessons.  I took a stab at the skirt trying to teach myself how to sew... I didn't know there was a difference between woven and knit and that sewing pattern sizes are different than ready to wear sizes.  No wonder I was frustrated and decided to take sewing lessons a year later.

Well I didn't make or finish the skirt , but I did make view B, which is the cowl neck tank. It's only 2 pieces!! That's crazy!! :) This is a super easy tank, and I made it with the remnants from my recent Simplicity 3503 dress... yay for more stash busting. (I'm trying really hard not to acquire any new fabric and just use my huge stash... it's really hard with all the pretty fabric and spring inspiration.) I like how the two pieces fit on my left over fabric... I thought I wasn't going to be able to use it.

Picture taken at a church tennis tournament and it was super sunny. I was obviously not playing... I was the event photographer. :)

I would totally recommend this pattern. There are over 30 reviews of it on Pattern Review, and it's still available... it's not out of print based on the Simplicity website and some of the reviews are dated from 2005. I do want to make some of the other views, too.

Some notes on this pattern:
  1. I usually go one size down on Big 4 patterns, but based on the finished measurements I decided to go with my intended measured size. It is fit perfectly! Hehehe.. I guess they knew thing to two about a little less ease back then. :)
  2. The pattern does not have instructions to finish the raw edges. I don't mind this too much and it can be easily accommodated.  I did not spend the extra time to make the edges pretty because I wanted to finish before I went to bed. Overall, I think this pattern from tracing to sewing only took me a couple of hours to make.
  3. I love how versatile this top is! I can be dressy or casual.
  4. I added fusible hem tape to stabilize the fabric before I stitched.  I also added fusible hem tape to the neckline in order to keep the edge from flipping out.
  5. This is my SMOT #2!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

FO: Simplicity 4539 Top

I joined the Spring Month of Tops hosted by Faye. There are lots of great tops already posted on the blog. You should check out if you haven't already. Here's my first top for the month.

Pattern: Simplicity 4539 (out of print - OOP) view E
Fabric: from stash - melon spandex jersey from fabric.com @ $2.49/yd (ordered 3/25/08) Yay for stash busting!


Below are some mistakes I made that could've been avoided if I went with my gut instinct.
  1. I read the cutting layout incorrectly and did not cut the front and back pieces on the correct grain. (i.e. there's no stretch across the width.) I even though I thought it was incorrect while I was cutting it, but didn't think to double check.  
  2. I put on the collar inside out. As I was pinning the collar, I thought that I should baste it first, but decided I was too lazy and just serged. (By the way, pinning fabric for the serger is different than pinning for the sewing machine... in case you didn't know. I don't want anyone ruining his/her serger.) I should've just basted, then I could of redone the collar.  From the picture above, you can tell that the collar seam will be visible from the outside.
  3. Even though I pinned the collar, some of the front fabric bunched up along the collar seam. You can see it better in the picture below.

Despite all the mistakes, I still like the shirt and will still wear it.  Because of the incorrect layout it's a little tight across the bust and back.  You can see how it pulls and bunches across those areas.



Below are changes that I made and some recommendations:

  1. I didn't hem the top. I have a rather short torso and I liked the length without it being hemmed. Next time, I'll lengthen the top and top it. If you have regular or long torso, I would definitely recommend lengthen the pieces.
  2. My side seams were only 3/8" because there was no stretch, and it was going to be a little too tight with 5/8" seams.
  3. I didn't hem the collar... just because I didn't think it was necessary and I was being lazy.
  4. Double check and make sure you're cutting on the right grain.
  5. Go with your gut instincts!! :)
I think it's a great basic pattern. There's only 3 pattern pieces to this view, and it's SUPER easy. I will definitely be making this again... maybe again this month. :)

FO: Simplicity 3503 Dress

I haven't really done much sewing lately... I've seen such great inspiration through many blogs and planned so many things to sew, but when it came down to actually making it... I just didn't want to sew.  There was a wedding this past Saturday and I didn't have anything to wear. So of course, Friday night I decided to trace, cut, and sew a dress for the wedding the next day!  :)

I used Simplicity 3503, which was 2009 best pattern on PR, and it's well deserved.  There's many great versions of it here.  I chose to make view E, which has good coverage in the back.

Pattern:  Simplicity 3503 View E
Fabric:  from the stash - Robert Kauffman knit from Hancock Fabric and nylon tricot from fabric.com


I had a lot of firsts with this dress. I've listed them out below.
  1. I traced a Big 4 pattern. I usually just cut-out the tissue, but I need to grade down in size so I felt safer tracing the pattern. Also, I felt like I would reuse this pattern in the future and didn't want to ruin the original tissue pattern.
  2. I graded a size down. I bought this pattern awhile back... before my weight loss, and didn't have the size I needed.  I was really nervous about this, but it turned out pretty well. This dress was still a tad bit big, but I didn't mind. Since it was a knit, it was probably more forgiving of any mistakes that I made.
  3. I hand slip stitched the facings and linings. I didn't like the idea of hand sewing because I thought it was too time consuming, but it was actually therapeutic. The initial stitches weren't done correctly, but I eventually got the hang of it, and now I actually like to hand-sew! I never thought that I'd enjoy that process.
Some errors I made along the way:
1. Do not iron nylon tricot!  See this big hole (look below)?? I forgot that it was made out of nylon and put the hot iron directly on top of it... bad idea. Luckily it is on the inside and it isn't TOO big.


2. Instead of using tricot, I should've used the fashion fabric.  I little bit of the tricot can be seen on the outside, but you have to look closely.

3. I would use a contrasting band like Eugenia's version.  I think that the band blends in too much with the dress... especially on the right side.


Overall, I learned a great deal in making this dress. I surprised myself in finishing it, too, since I traced, graded down, cut-out, and sewed the dress all in less than 24 hours... I also got 7 hours of sleep.  I would definitely make this dress again, and I would recommend it to anyone that hasn't already made one. ^___^

I think I have a new perspective on sewing, too.  In the past I just wanted to finish an item and didn't really ENJOY the process of making it.  Hehe... I don't really know how to explain it... for example, I didn't like cutting out a pattern much less think about tracing a pattern. But much to my surprise, I liked every step in making this dress, and I think it's due to all the great sewing blogs I've been reading. They're so encouraging and helpful! Thanks! Hopefully, this is the beginning of getting back to sewing.