VANITY

Today, I discovered the craft haven here in Atlanta called Jo-Ann Fabrics. Ammaaaazzziinnngg. I was dizzy with excitement rummaging through all the different fabrics, ribbons and threads. Call me crazy but I suddenly had the urge to make my own pillowcases, skirts, dresses, EVERYTHING. Yeahhh, but none of that good stuff happened. I left the store with not a single fabric in my tiny hands because they announced that they were closing in fifteen minutes and I panicked (as usual). However, I did leave with a few pretty awesome finds and it kept me busy at my Janome sewing machine once I got home. I must add that my new machine works like a dream. It is the workhorse that people claim it to be. Sewed through thick fabrics without a glitch.

And, my camera strap went from blah to fab.

I attached the lovely white rosette trimming I bought to my camera strap. Maybe this will help me improve my photography skills. Ha! Or at least be diligent enough to carry it around now that it has a pretty strap. Mmm, rosettes make my world go round (ruffles have the same effect).

So, I’m vain. Sue me.

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NEWFOUND HOBBY

Guess what I bought?

Imagine how many things I can alter, invent, or revamp with this baby, The Janome TB12.

First project that I completed on my never ending mental list?

A polka-dot pin cushion!

Well, because my pins need a fashionable place to rest. Speaking of rest (or the inability to), I have just ended my job stint three days ago and I am already in “fidget-mode.” I’m not by any means complaining, just in case I am misunderstood. I enjoy doing “nothing much” for awhile and snoozing until it’s almost lunch time. However, I’m pretty amazed at how quickly my circadian rhythm jumped back to the “college student lifestyle.” Might as well, since I am technically a college student again in a month or so. Anyway, since I am starting this new hobby, I figured I should start it out right. With that I mean, making a fancy schmancy box to store all my sewing essentials! …and reading the sewing machine manual, of course but let’s not talk about the boring stuff.

In this project, I reused an old rectangular shipping box, a Victoria Secret paper bag with two pink tissue papers included in the packaging and some cloth I had lying around. Using my all purpose tacky glue, I was all geared up and ready to go. Here’s how to make your own! Use two tissue papers (layered one on top of the other) covering the bottom and wider sides of the box. Then, cut out the VS paper bag with its ribbon handles intact and glue it on to shorter sides of the box. When the glue is dry, trim all uneven or excess material. Use a matching cloth to line the inside of your box and secure the cloth in place with your tacky glue. Last but not least, trim the excess cloth sticking out of your pretty box or just fold them into a hem and glue it down (like what I did).

Now, my your sewing essentials won’t be scattered all over the table. :D

SWEET SATURDAY

Today was the beginning of a long memorial weekend and what better way to kick start it by sleeping in. The highlight of the day was barbecuing in the beautiful weather, just the two of us. On the menu – skewers of chicken and sweet peppers, steak slices with a tangy wine marinade, buttered asparagus, cucumber skewers, salmon, and garlic buns.

And these two piggies were stuffed.

TWENTY SIXTH APRIL

Because it was that time of the year again,

I wore the dress you snail mailed me from far, far away.

And got a surprise with a meal cooked from scratch.

Not forgetting, the kind wishes of many and sweet gestures of some.

It’s about time I started getting used to being 23.

BABY SOCKS FOR TINY FEET

Everyone has some activity that induces sheer bliss. It could be as simple as savoring your favorite bar of chocolate or as comforting as curling up in bed with a book. As for me, I find my bliss in creating things and exploring the different facets of the crafting world. Within the past month, I have stumbled on countless craft blogs and I must say that the blogging mommies really have something going for them. They are the most creative bunch I know and I can’t get enough! Unfortunately, I have am no mommy and I haven’t got babies of my own soooo, it is useless dreaming up my own baby fashion show. Good thing someone I know is having a baby though. So as a present, I made a pair of adorable baby socks to cover up those jellybean toes. I hope this tutorial helps those who need some tiny socks of their own.

Get a good pair of adult sized socks with a stretchy material,

turn in inside out and cut the sides and top away.

Sew the sides and leave a small gap at the top unsewn.

I hand stitched it but of course, if you have a sewing machine, use it!

Your stitches would look more professionally done, unlike mine.

A sewing machine is definitely on my wish list now (hint hint).

Measure an elastic around the sock and sew it into a ring that is slightly smaller than the sock’s diameter.

In this project, I used what I had lying on my vanity – my elastic hair band.

Place it around the sock and fold the unsewn flaps down and start sewing inconspicuous seams.

You will end up with something like this.

Time for some rosettes! I used a whole collar and some scraps from my cut-up cotton T-shirt.

Cut the collar into half and start the decorating process on your first sock.

Make a straight line with wide seams at one end of the collar and pull to create pretty ruffles.

Then, stitch the ends together to create a pretty rosette.

You can make it more elaborate by using more material scraps and repeating the same process.

Sew the two rosettes together and add more embellishments if you like.

I added a freshwater pearl in the middle.

When it is pretty sturdy, turn your sock the right side up and sew the rosette to the front side of the sock.

When you are done with one side, repeat the whole process on the other sock. After that was done, I also sewed a ribbon on each side because baby girls cannot get enough of ribbons, flowers and fairies.

Aren’t they just adorable?

SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN

The title of this post is a little deceiving because I did not make the sweet and sour sauce. I used a pre-made sweet and sour sauce by Lee Kum Kee and kudos to that brand for making cooking easier on us. Tee hee. Anyway, the highlight of this dish would be my fried chicken because if you knew me in the kitchen, you would know that I have a problem frying anything. Everything that was supposed to be deep-fried ended up either grilled or pan fried. I think it is because I have a problem with the amount of oil needed to actually fry something. So, to make the perfect battered chicken that goes with the sweet and sour sauce, I decided to toughen myself up and pour out that oil! The oil should be enough to cover or submerge your meats. To prepare the chicken, cut the chicken meat into small chunks and coat them with flour mixed with some salt, white pepper and a pinch of cumin. When that is done, place the chicken chunks into the oil until they are lightly browned. Then, remove the meats and drain out the oil using paper towels. To make the sauce, use about a tablespoon of olive oil and fry the minced garlic until fragrant. Then, add in some water and the pre-made sweet and sour sauce. When the consistency thickens, toss in the fried chicken and allow it to simmer for awhile. When that is done, the dish is ready to be served with yummy white rice.

DIY TANK TOP

Ever indulge in an impulse shopping episode where you buy something that is not really your size but it’s so darn cheap you find yourself buying it anyway? I did. I got this really cute striped T from Old Navy for about three bucks after discount but it was just a tad too big. So I decided to grab a good pair of scissors, my ol’ trusty sewing kit and got my creative juices flowing. I initially decided to recreate it into a simple tank top by cutting out the sleeves but because it was a size too big for me, I forgot the arm holes would be equally too big for me. It was too late when I realized that very important detail and I was left with a super revealing tank top but lucky me, I had an idea. This great idea of mine would be to re-recreate it into a gathered racer back top because by gathering the back of the tank top, it would immediately shrink it into a smaller size. It’s like magic! So, what you will need in this project would be a top of a bigger size, a sharp pair of scissors, a needle and thread in the color that matches your top.

The first step would be to locate the seams connecting the sleeves to your top.

Then, you cut the sleeves off without touching the seams to avoid fraying.

You will end up with something like this.

Open up one of the sleeves.

Take that sleeve and fold it once.

It is up to you how thick you want the band (that gathers the back of your top) to be.

Sew a straight line across with your matching thread.

Cut a straight line below the seams and the excess cloth on both ends to form a flat “tube”.

Then, turn the “tube” inside out so that the seams (white dashes) are not visible.

Wrap the “tube” around the back of your tank top to form a nice gather.

You can make it a loose or tight gather depending on the length of the cloth from your sleeve.

Then, stitch the two ends of the “tube” together and sew this gathering device onto your top.

Make sure you get the stitches to stay in the wrong side of the top to avoid visibility of the seams.

And there you have it, a diy gathered racer back top!