Beautiful things for you and your home!

Lots of homely thoughts on sewing, baking, papercrafts, gardening and all the things that go towards making your house a home

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Sewing a Blind Hem

I did it! I did my first blind hem and it looked fine! This is something that has always baffled me because of the whole folding it this way and that thing that goes along with it. Until I found this video. It explained the folding bit so well that it made you think - what was I worrying about?

I forgot to take a picture before I gave the skirt back to my Mum (for whom I was altering it) but it really did turn out well. I was pretty chuffed with myself. I did use a blind hem foot which came with the machine and I can see that not having this would make it more difficult as you wouldn't have the little guide that special foot has.

It really has made me happy that I got this done - I've had the skirt there for ages and whilst for much of the time, I was without a machine and therefore unable to do it, I was also a bit nervous when I did have one as I didn't want to mess it up, as it's part of a suit. I unpicked the lining and just did a normal hem on that, as had been done on it originally. I nearly cheated and did a normal hem on the main fabric but I really wanted to learn the technique.

Now I have done it once, I'll hopefully be less intimidated another time.

If this is something you're struggling with, I'd highly recommend you take a look at the video I mention. I watched it at 4am whilst unable to sleep and even got it then, so that must say something about how well she's explained it!

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

New Sewing Machine - Eek!

Well, I finally decided and now have a shiny new sewing machine. I have to say that I haven't had much use of it yet, but I did actually manage to get the bobbin wound, in and working yesterday. I rummaged around and found a skirt I cut out more years ago than I care to remember - and due to that fact am not sure I'm even going to fit into anymore! :(  which is this one from New Look.

New Look 6300
As you can see, it's noted as 'Easy' which makes it even more annoying that I couldn't flippin' work out some of the instructions! I sewed the back together yesterday and it originally had a vent...well, not anymore. I'm hoping it's just because I'm out of practice and not because I'm actually being a bit dopey! So, having edged and hemmed the vent, I couldn't work out how it was supposed to lie, so I ended up hemming the back seam all the way down from the bottom of the zipper area and chopping the vent bit off.
The view I'd chosen and cut out is the one the model is...well, modelling in the picture. This is also throwing up issues for me. I'd cut all my skirt out of some really nice faux suede I'd got from Croft Mill years ago in brown and a beigey/creamy colour. However, when I've got to patch it together, it seems like some are going to be the wrong side up. I thought I'd cut them out wrong but having looked at the cutting layouts again yesterday, it does seem that I've followed them correctly. Which is why I ended up sewing the back together first.
So, at the moment, it's sitting in a pile until hubby who although not a seamstress, has a very clever and logical mind, can look at it with me and see if it's me or them. As I say, all this might be academic because I'm not the skinny girl I was so it might not even fit, but I did think that I might be able to put some panels down the side if things start looking that way, bearing in mind it's a pieced look anyway.
If anyone has had any experience with this pattern, I'd be happy to hear from you (more than happy!).
Any whilst it probably wasn't the best project to start out on a brand new machine after a long gap away from, being shiny on one side, and grippy on the other, I did at least sew a few bits of fabric to another few bits so it's a start!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Plum Crunch Cake

More baking! Although I have to admit I made this one a little while ago but didn't get around to putting it up on the blog.

It's an excellent recipe for using up some fruit that might be looking past its best a little. I actually had some plums to use up, but I should think it would work just as well with something like apricots, and even apples.

As you can see, I made two and froze one. It froze really well - no complaints when it was time to be pulled out and eaten. The recipe itself was torn from a magazine and had been sitting around for a while so I was glad of the chance to try it out.

The sugary syrup is poured one when they come out of the oven and then left to set, hence the 'crunch' part of the title. Of course, you could leave this bit out if you wanted to cut back on the sugar content.

The only downside with this cake is that it's not so great for transporting - probably not the best for lunchboxes (although hubby did manage it just fine. I can't say if all of the bits stayed on but they certainly got eaten, detached or not.)

Any other fruit you could think of that would be good for this recipe?

Friday, 2 November 2012

Chutney Surprise

I have never made chutney before but I had a bunch of green tomatoes, and a few reds one that really needed using so I went rummaging for a suitable recipe and this is the result.

First you have to chop up all the onions and the tomatoes, add a little salt, and then let it sit for 24 hours.

After that, it's a case of adding the rest of the ingredients and cooking it all down. I ended up halving the recipe amounts, just to make it tally with the amount of tomatoes I had, but I'm glad I did as I still ended up with about 5 jars and I think that's plenty for now, especially as it's an untried recipe!


I've tucked them away in a cupboard for now, but wondered if anyone knew what the best amount of time to leave them is before you start tucking in?

All info gratefully received!