Sunday, January 14, 2018

One Pattern, Two Styles

My latest sewing projects use the same dolman sleeve pattern. The first is a sweater dress with extra long sleeves and cuffs and a leather corset belt. The second is a crimson top with 3/4 sleeves, long cuffs, and lace-up side detail.

Both projects were super easy and took only 1 day (with the exception of the corset belt which didn't turn out right the first time, and I am still not 100% happy with it).

My Assistant

Thrifty Find to Bathroom Art

I imagine not many people would find an old brochure from Yellowstone National Park and see art for their bathroom, but that is exactly what I did with my $0.50 thrifty find. I purchased three Ikea picture frames with white mats at around $3/each, separated the three panels of my brochure, folded them to fit, and done! Super easy, and I now have art for my bathroom that is interesting to look at and perhaps a bit of a curiosity.


We went thrifting over the weekend and found a number of interesting/strange/down right creepy (see picture above) things.

Old medical instruments... chicken anatomy... ancient periodic table... All of these items speak to the scientist in me. I actually would have bought the periodic table if it hadn't been scribbled on. It just wasn't worth the price in that condition.

The only thing I bought was this old brochure of Yellowstone National Park. It was 50 cents. I have plans for it... :) Stay tuned!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Cajun Seasoned FIsh

Super simple meal. This is one of my emergency meals. As in, whenever I'm starving or home alone and just don't have the energy or desire to cook.

I keep some sort of frozen fish in my freezer for just this occasion. Fish is loaded with nutrients, including those omega-3 fatty acids everyone is always talking about. Why buy a pill whenever you can eat the source? Keep your brain and stomach happy and healthy.

What kind of fish? That depends on you. I use the following consumer guide from Seafood Watch to ensure my choices are good for the environment. 


  • 4 fish fillets (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning (I use this brand which is available at my local supermarket)
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp oil
*I recommend assembling side dishes prior to beginning; the fish will take <10 minutes.
  1. Rinse fillets and pat dry.
  2. Combine seasoning, flour, and cornmeal in a large bowl.
  3. Coat both sides of fish in seasoning mix.
  4. Heat butter and oil until sizzling.
  5. Fry fish for 3 minutes on each side until golden.

Side Dish Suggestions
  • side salad
  • sauteed zucchini slices
    • just add salt and pepper to taste and fry in layers
  • roasted potatoes
    • golden potatoes quartered, coated in oil, salt, and pepper and roasted at 425 degrees for 20 minutes
  • sauteed spinach and garlic
    • fry freshly chopped garlic in olive oil until fragrant, add spinach and saute until wilted

Bhindi Masala (Okra Curry)

One of my favorite dishes. Bhindi Masala is an indian okra curry. Serve on a bed of rice with a side of naan (optional). This is the reason I am going to be growing okra in my garden next year.

I use this recipe.

Total prep and cook time is 40 minutes!

Oh, and it's vegan, gluten free, and soy free if you're into that sort of thing...

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Hemming Curtains (on the wall)

I have been harboring a secret for several months... hiding it behind chairs... tucking it under and pretending it doesn't exist...

*queue horror music soundtrack*

Eeek! Unhemmed curtains! D:
We had absolutely no curtains whenever we moved in. Or curtain hardware. Or bathroom hardware. So, after installing every window with rods, every bathroom with hooks and toilet paper holders... I was tired. I didn't care that the curtains in our living room were too long... but it did annoy me.

This Christmas, I rearranged furniture to accommodate our rather large tree and came face to face with the wrinkled, cat hair infused mess that was the bottom of my curtains and could stand it no longer.

But I am still pretty lazy...


Disclaimer: This is the brand I used and the only brand I've ever used.
I am sure there are plenty more out there. They don't pay me to advertise it.

Warning: Extremely sticky. I recommend not using on thin materials as it will stretch out the material if you mess up and need to peel it off to reposition.

Lazy Lady Tutorial for Hemming Curtains:

1. Measure how much fabric needs to be removed in order to float above the carpet. Mark with a couple pins.

2. Position bottom of curtain on ironing board. No, don't take them down. That's too much work.

3. Fold fabric up and then back down (S shape where the bottom of the S is the remainder of the curtain hanging on the wall, and the top of the S is the end of your curtain). You want the top of the S to be the length that you are removing.

Keep in mind the width of the tape and add this to the amount.

4. Iron the curtain pressing the seam where you are going to add the tape well.

5. Fold up. You should now have a U shape where the left side is attached to the wall, and the right is the remainder of your curtain including that which you will be removing.

6. Cut a piece of fabric tape to the width of your curtain and carefully press it under the iron line.

7. Carefully fold your fabric back down. Reach underneath and slowly begin removing the paper backing on the tape. Go slow and press down with your opposite hand to hold the fabric in place as you pull.

8. Check for bumps. Carefully reposition if needed. Press down firmly all along seam.

9. Cut off remaining fabric below taped seam. Done!



Cozy Cat Bed From Old Jeans

I've been saving old jeans for a while now. These are pants that no longer fit or have multiple holes from age (some are 10+ years old). Snickers (pictured above) loves jean material, and I have been meaning to make her a bed out of the old jeans for a while now. She really likes it. :)

Materials & Supplies

  • old jeans (I used 4 pair)
  • scissors
  • sewing machine

Step 1: Cut jeans into rectangular pieces while keeping most of the seams intact. This doesn't have to be perfect, and they don't need to be all the same size. Just close.

I ended up with 12 rectangular pieces.

Twix doesn't like jean material as much as Snickers,
but she always helps me in the craft room.
Keep the scraps! The point of repurposing is to reuse what you have. These scraps are perfect for stuffing.

Step 2: Start sandwiching pieces (right side together) and sewing along one side. I alternated which direction I positioned the jean seams: parallel or perpendicular.

I ended up with 6 - 2 piece blocks.

Step 3: Stitch three of the 2 piece blocks together to make a 2x6 block. Repeat with the other three 2 piece blocks.

Step 4: Lay both 2x6's on top of one another and trim edges even.

Step 5: With right sides together, sew around the outside of your pillow leaving a good size opening for inverting/stuffing. Be sure to trim your corners.

Step 6: Invert and stuff with jean scraps!

Step 7: Hand stitch the opening closed. Done!

I hope your baby loves it as much as mine does. :)
Happy New Year!