Showing posts from January, 2014

Lemony Beans and Greens Soup with Pesto

I cook a big pot of something on Sunday evenings and have it for lunch at work all week.  A couple of weeks ago I wanted a soup with white beans and kale and lots of lemon, and surprisingly couldn't find a recipe like that, so I had to improvise.  I kept track of my ingredients and process while cooking and it was SO INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS that I had to share the recipe.  I looked forward to lunch all week.  The lemon works really well, and the pesto is an incredible addition.  It also answers one of my perpetual questions:  what to do with pesto that doesn't involve pasta.

I am not a food photographer, so it doesn't look as good as it tasted.  You're just going to have to take my word for it.  I promise you won't be disappointed.

Lemony Beans and Greens Soup with Pesto
Makes 6-8 servings

1 pound dried white beans (canellini, navy, etc.), soaked
3 bay leaves
1  tsp dried rosemary
or 3 15.5 oz cans white beans

2 tsp olive oil
3-5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
(The mushrooms are …

Brisbane Meet Up - 30 March 2014 ...

Kat, from Petticoats and Peplums, along with Liz from Busy Lizzie in Brizzy, are organising a Brisbane meet-up.
All the details can be found by clicking on the very tempting cake below ...

I am not sure how many sewing bloggers there are in Brisbane, but it would be a great way to meet some very creative and talented people from our beautiful part of the world and catch up ... J

Premmie Baby Gowns

I got involved in making premmie baby gowns through facebook when a local lady organised a sewing bee to make them. It was definitely an eye opener talking to some of the mum's who've had premmie babies, I was lucky enough to have full term healthy babies so I never realised what it was like to have a baby in the NCIU. 
So onto the gowns, they are bright and very practical, they open at the neck and shoulders with a plastic press stud so they don't have to be removed for x-rays (like they would if they were metal studs). Made out of cotton so they can be washed and dried in the industrial hospital dryers.
I make them very similar to this tutorial here except that I leave on the seam allowances and cut around the pattern.

A couple of tips; I cut them out double layered with the lining and the main fabric right sides together, use a rotary cutter on the straight parts and then trace the curves with either chalk or a pen and cut the curves with scissors.Make sure your topstitc…

Butterick 5495, Gather Waist Border Print Knit Dress

Cidell and I had a little tug-of-war over this fabric on our Pilgrimage to Fabric Mart in November 2012.  I won.  :-P  I figured I should sew up the fabric so that I wasn't being selfish for no reason.  It's ok to be selfish if there's a reason, right?  I perhaps should not have been so cruel as to force her to do the fashion photos, but a blogger's gotta do what she can to get good photos and she is my best photographer.

My first instinct with a border print is to go wrap dress, but I felt like that was too predictable so I dove into the pattern stash.  I made the Knip Mode version of this top in December 2008 and it is still in my closet but I don't *quite* love it as it is a little shapeless through the waist area.  From the PR reviews, the Butterick looked a little less bulky and more fitted.  After much consideration, I decided I would take a chance on Butterick 5495.

I like the idea of the pattern with its belly-disguising front gathers, but my first order of b…

Music video made with ...

... would you believe ~ SEWING IMPLEMENTS!!!

It is directed, filmed, and produced by Christophe Thockler, and the clip itself uses 10 000 photographs of needles, thread, cloth and embroidery, mixed with clever lighting techniques to produce a fun video for Favourite Place, the latest track by US pop rock band Black Books.

So sit back, crank the old computer volume up, and explore the world of sewing in the modern arena in a 4 minute array of fun ...

Could it be made into a ...

... shirt, a dress, maybe a skirt, or quite easily a pair of PJ's! 
If it is to be a shirt, would it become a tunic, more of a blouse, or have the trendy kaftan look happening ?!? 
Or it this was to be made into a dress, would it be an A-lined, vintage, maxi, baby-doll or a muumuu style ?!?
As for pants, the very 'in' harem style, or a more classic tailored look ?!? 
Or, dare I even suggest, the new-look onesies style for this fabric ?!?
So many choices, but at least I could rule out using this fabric for a summer bikini !?!
Why am I actually asking all these questions ??? 
Well, it appears that I have over 12 metres (around 40 feet) of this fabric living in my stash! And at 145cm (60 inches) wide, I could make make whatever my heart desires ...
I could even go into crazy-sewer-mode and whip up some matching family outfits with this amount of fabric ... 

And still have enough left over for new curtains or a doona cover! 

The possibilities are mind-blowing ...

But seriously, I think s…

StyleArc: Monica Pants and Jess Polo Top

Jess Polo Top

I've had the fabric and pattern for this sitting around for nearly a year and finally sewed it up.
I cut a sz20 with a 1.5" upper arm adjustment but otherwise the fit is out of the envelope. I'm not really happy with it I have to admit, I'm counting this as a muslin as it doesn't fit quite right - I can see the pulling at the bust, its too short and it needs a forward shoulder adjustment as it keeps tugging itself backwards. I will sew it again, the StyleArc patterns are a bit too expensive to only sew up once and I really do need a couple of nice fitting polo tops!
Fabric is a waffle knit from The Fabric Store and the buttons are shell ones.

So the good: I think the sizing is pretty good, it fits just like a sz20 RTW polo does and it doesn't worry me that I need to do a couple of adjustments before I'm really happy with the fit.

The bad: The placket instructions are awful, I know they are always a bit sparse but this pattern has some illustrated …

Selfless Sewing: Tote Bag for Mom

Although the Selfish Seamstress *purports* to be selfish, she actually sews for other people all the time.  I, dear readers, am truly entirely selfish--to the point where it's actually almost a character flaw.  There are only a very few people for whom I make an exception, and my mom is at the top of the list.

You may recall that last year I made her a jacket. This year was a tote bag.  I got the quilted faux suede in a Fabric Mart bundle and was stumped as to what to do with it when it arrived.  It was not my style, but at the same time it is high quality fabric, and with the pre-quilting saved an interfacing step.  It finally dawned on me that purple is my mom's favorite color and that she might like a bag.  Perfect!

The bag is made with two rectangular sides and then a long one-piece gusset.  The dimensions below include 1/2 inch seam allowances.

Front and back:  16 wide x 14 tall
Gusset:  42 long by 6 wide
Handles:  5 1/2 wide by 49 long for a 22 inch drop (my mom is petite li…

Silk Tops for Fall/Winter: Side Border Print Pullover Woven Tee

If you know me, you know that when the weather gets cold I start to whine because I don't have any cold weather tops.  This year, as always, I was determined to deal with that situation.

I looooove silk, but I can't wear it when it's the least bit warm because I sweat like crazy in it.  So Fall/Winter is when I get to indulge my fiber love, at considerably less than retail--like this GIULIETTA Silk-satin top, $475 from net-a-porter.

For my winter silk tops project I am loving my pullover woven tee pattern, perfected from a base of Burda 12-2007-123 as described here.  The pattern still isn't perfect--I changed the dart to an angled one after this project but I don't have the length exactly right--but it is SO NICE to just cut it off the pattern as is and sew it up, knowing it will fit and is the right length.  I marked the pattern with "skirt" and "jeans" hem lengths (the jeans length is about 1 1/2 inches longer, as skirts are worn at the waist a…