Sunday, February 20, 2011

Adventures in Shirring..

Fabric that is!

I'm on a new quest to create some new cute stuff for my girls.  I've always wanted to learn how to shirr fabric, so I searched through some tutorials and gave it a shot.  I must have gone back at least 5 times, because I'd follow the instructions, but it wasn't stretchy!  Finally I happened upon another tutorial that said to steam iron the fabric after sewing.  Ok, gave it a shot, and POOF! Whaddayaknow.  What a crucial step to leave out!

So anyway, I'm going to leave my simple steps, in layman's terms.  I don't know why I couldn't find clear directions in one place, so I'm leaving them here in case I forget (or you want to know)!

Choose a lightweight fabric. I'm matching mine with a tutu, so I chose a satin. Your cut of fabric needs to be 2.5 times the width.  So for example, a chest measurement is 24 inches.  24x2.5=60.  Hem all sides, or in my case.  I folded over the top 1/4 inch, and zigzag stiched.  You can just zigzag the other edges too to prevent fraying.  You will be working from the right side of the fabric, so you might want to make a starting line about an inch from the top with a marking pen or chalk.  the shirr lines can be anywhere from 1/4 inch to an inch apart.  Some people prefer to use the edge of their foot for a guide, but I found it easier to mark my lines.  For mine, they are 1/2 inch apart.  So starting from the first line down, mark every half an inch.

Now, set your tension to 3 and your stitch length as long as possible, for me, 5.  You will need to wind a bobbin with elastic sewing thread.  You must hand wind it, so you don't overstretch it.  A little tension is ok, but not too much.  Insert your bobbin and get ready!  Make sure the top thread matches your fabric or is the color of your choice, as it will be seen, again working on the topside.

So let's get started!  Line up on the first line, take a couple stitches, backstitch, then follow the line.  Backstitch when you get to the end.  Turn, then do the same on the next line!  do not stretch your fabric or anything, just let the machine do the work. 

So, once you are done stitching, here comes the fun part.  This is the part that was left out and had me soooo confused, because my fabric wasn't stretchy!  Hold a hot steam iron about an inch from the fabric.  It'll do this shrinky dink thing, and woosh! It's stretchy!

Note:  Some people like to use 1/4 inch elastic on the top.  Instead of just hemming the top, create a pocket for the elastic.  Insert the elastic after shirring. The same canbe done for the bottom hem if preferred.

Another Note:  Another method instead of backstitching each start and end of each line is to pull the top thread to the back and tie it and the elastic thread together.  I think it is to prevent fraying the elastic thread, but backstitching worked fine for me. 

So anyway, here's the final product (shirring anyway)!

Now I must say, once I FINALLY got the directions all together, it was so easy!  I was worried that my machine was going to eat my elastic thread, but not once did it get caught up. I am so excited to work on some cute projects now!

Monday, February 14, 2011

You are in Control...

So a few days ago, someone told me that only I can control the things that happen in my life, and not to stress about the things I can't.  Easier said than done, right?  Then I came across this quote earlier today.  I don't know who the author is, but it is something like this:

"When you really matter to someone, that person will always make time for you. No excuses, no lies, and no broken promises."

How true this really is.  I've been on a self-journey of discovery.  I've been learning what is really important in my life, and that I don't need to keep searching for the fulfillment of self worth or approval.  All my life I have always felt like I needed approval, like I needed someone to tell me that I'm doing something right, that I need to do what they want me to do.  The only one in my life that can make me happy and self worthed is me, and not to let anyone take that away from me.  I am in control. 

So back to the quote, these two things sort of relate.  Myself  (and a dear friend that I love so much), both need to keep this in mind when we pick who we hold dear.  I (we) am worth it.  If they don't think so, then they are not worthy of me.  Only I can control how I feel, and who I associate myself with.  If I choose to have people in my life that make me feel miserable all the time, that make me feel like I have to prove to them that I am worthy, than they are not worthy.  They are not worthy of my time, dedication, and unending love.  No person should be made to feel less than a person, less than cared for, adored, respected, and loved.

Happy Valentine's Day to ALL those I love and hold dear to my heart. 

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Power of Prayer

Do you pray?  I'm not one that prays routinely, but I do like to "Keep the Faith".  It helps me get through the long and tough days. A friend of mine made this for me, a prayer book.  Do you pray or know someone that does?  Something like this would make a great gift.  It's made from pretty scrapbook papers and lightweight cardstock.  The first section is lined paper, so it can be written on.. a specific prayer.  The rest of the book is pages and pages of Bible verses. It's embellished with an angel charm and a beaded dangle. Something like this could be easily made, if you have someone in mind!

Breakfast.. It's What's for Dinner!

It's superbowl Sunday.  I'm tired, sick, and really not in a mood to cook.  There's nothing in the house that sounds good.  Then it hit me, I have hash browns and ground pork sausage in the freezer.  I searched around for some recipe ideas on, and came up with my version of several concoctions.   What's better is this recipe is perfect for a breakfast meal or an easy dinner! I do not typically add salt to my recipes, unless I feel it's necessary.  In this case, there's plenty of it in the sausage and crescent rolls. 

Hash Brown Breakfast Bake
1 pkg crescent rolls
1 lb ground pork sausage
3 cups cooked hash browns/shredded potatoes
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, mexican, parmesan, etc)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. roll out crescent dough in an ungreased 13x9 glass baking dish. Smoosh the seams together, basically creating a crust on the bottom of the dish.  Prebake this for 5 minutes.
3. Brown up ground sausage in a skillet.
4. Cook hash browns.  I used a cheater kind, Betty Crocker's seasoned hash browns.  It had onion in it, so a little extra flavor.  It comes in a box and needs to be rehydrated.  Worked great for this purpose!
5.  On prebaked crust, first layer the cooked sausage.  Then layer the hash browns. 
6.  Top with 1 cup shredded cheese.
7. Whisk eggs with milk. Poor over the top of the conconction.
8. Top with remaining 1/4 cup of whatever cheese you felt like using at the time.
9. Bake for 25 minutes or until the eggs are set.

Enjoy! Since this is pretty much a full meal, serve with fresh fruit and juice.  Feel free to add whatever else, onions, green peppers, garlic, etc.  Whatever suites your mood at the time!