I regret that I had to take advantage of the new comment security here on lifewithchrist.com. But I truly got swapped by spam comments, sometimes 30 at a time. So, now if you want to post a comment to my post, you have to answer a question. This is to block automated spam robots. This is only for those who are not a LWC user. I realize that this complicates the commenting a bit, but it is necessary at this point. I might try to turn it off at some time and see if I can get by without it. But until then, thank you for understanding this security feature. I hope it won’t stop you from commenting.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Before leaving for camp, I managed to finish an UFO (unfinished object) I have been avoiding for a while. The first time I tried to put in the zipper, I failed and then it just got pushed aside. Well, this time I managed to sew in the zipper well and take the skirt to camp. I wish I could say that I am totally happy with the skirt. One thing I am really proud of, is the quality of sewing on this one, especially the top-stitching. I don’t have a lot of sewing experience yet and usually I mess up a bit on top-stitching. But this time that really worked out well. Here is a detail. I used a plus size pattern from Burda WOF 8/2004. The smallest size is 44 and according to my measurements that should have been just right. But the fit is not really good. First of all I never worked with stretch woven before and now I am thinking that this should have less ease than regular woven. Second, the plus sizes seem to be drafted for a woman with large frame, not just added padding (as it is in my case). So, the darts are in the wrong place. Although in the back they seem to-fit right. [img align=right]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v359/TalyQ/stretch-denim-skirt.jpg[/img]The skirt is supposed to be below waste, but even there the top of the skirt seems to be too wide (although in the hips it is just right). The denim is kind of stiff and it sort of puffs up under the front darts. Here is the drawing of the original pattern, but I couldn’t make it that long, since I didn’t have enough fabric. It took me a while to figure out how to do those top-stitched godets and I made at least 5-6 miniature tests. But in the end that turned out to be the best part of the skirt. I did change the pattern in moving the zipper into the back seam and eliminating the front closure. I am happy about that, because the last thing I need is a zipper sticking out on my belly. I am not sure what to do about this skirt. I would like to take it in somehow but am not willing to take the whole thing apart. I might just wear it as long as I can this season and then see what I can still fix. BTW, my mom made this skirt before me. Her’s was also too wide, but she took it in on all seams before sewing on the waistband. So the darts ended up better on hers. I didn’t think I needed to take anything in, since I am a bit bigger than she is. I would like to make this pattern maybe in the future, but would have to figure out a way to alter it for a better fit. This is my second attempt to use the full figure 44 from Burda and I can see that I won’t be able to use those patterns, because I have a much smaller frame. I do like those plus size models better often, because they are more modest and not as extreme as the regular models. The shirt I am wearing the above picture I got second-hand, but it was too long. So, I shortened it and now it’s one of my summer favorites.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
I got this recipe from my SIL in New Zealand a few years ago and it has been my favorite stand-by summer recipe since. You can use almost any fruit in season, or even drained canned fruit in winter. The batter is very simple to make and you don’t even need a mixer. Simply stir together 1 ¼ cup flour, ¾ cup sugar, 120g melted butter (way too expensive here, so I use margarine or oil) and 2 eggs. Spread in a small greased round cake pan (or 8x8 square). Top with about 4 cups of sliced seasonal fruit. Press in a bit with hands and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake at 180C for about an hour. Serve with whipped cream or custard (or alone). Batter in round pan (I like to use baking paper – less mess) Unbaked cake with fruit on top. I used apricots, pears, blackberries and raspberries. Baked cake. I am blessed to be able to use my mom’s little oven on my balcony in front of the kitchen, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to bake anything in this heat (can’t afford to heat the kitchen, since we don’t have any cooling in the house and temperatures are around 36C (97F) these days!
Saturday, July 15, 2006
This morning we picked up one of our daugthers at camp and had a short [img ]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v359/TalyQ/black-shorts.jpg[/img]family outing in the city. When we came home, we were hot and tired and so took a break. We needed to pack the older girls who are going to camp tommorrow. But my oldest was also begging me to help here get some shorts for camp. She didn't want any in the beginning of the summer, but changed her mind now. So, I had her cut out some simple knit shorts (from the PJ pattern we made for her in the winter). She messed up the bottom cutting line, but I was able to fix it somehow and quickly sew them together. She loves them. She also had a pink shirt with straps that she loved, but the straps were too long and the shirt gapped under her arms. So, I took it in and shortened the straps and voila - a fitting shirt. [img align=left]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v359/TalyQ/modified_denim.jpg[/img]As I was finishing this, she said she wouldn't mind having another pair of short, not as plain as the knitted ones. So I said: "Do you have jeans that you love on the top, but not the bottom?" She immediately knew which ones to bring. They were very straight and narrow on the bottom. So I cut them off above the knee, sewed two straight lines with contrasting thread (I didn't have any orange thread) and fringed the bottom edge. It was a bit challenging, because even though the hemline seams to be straight when she wears the pants, it wasn't exacly on the crossgrain. But I managed and I literally have a "happy camper"!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
We had ordered a shipment of coal several weeks ago, but they couldn’t deliver for some reason. Yesterday morning we got a phone call that they can bring the coal, but the price just got higher. We weren’t happy at all, but knowing that the price is just going to be higher from now on till fall, we accepted it. Soon a large truck came in front of our house and dumped 6 tons of coal on our sidewalk. Our children were at their grandparents, but hubby went and picked them up in the afternoon, because we needed their help. Also my brother and father joined us later, because this was a larger shipment then we usually haul into the basement. The children worked really hard, but it still took us 4 hours to get the job done. Our youngest ones had a blast playing and sliding on the coal and taking rides on the empty carts. The older girls did a great job taking turns with me and my brother shoveling coal into the carts, pushing the carts or pushing the coal down the shoot in the basement window. Hubby and my dad got the toughest job being in the basement and moving the coal around there, so we would fit it all in there. In the end they were barely recognizable from the sweat and black coal dust everywhere. But we did it! And now do not have to fear winter (although I sincerely pray that heating season is very very far away still). Last night after we were done at 9 pm, my main concern was to give the children something to eat, wash them all, then shower myself and drop on my bed =). I left all that dirty clothing outside to deal with this morning. Well, when I saw it in the daylight, I knew there was no way I could just dump this in the washer. So, I pulled out a household soap and washed all the clothes by hand first. Some of them were totally black. Then only I put them all in the washer. As I was washing the clothes, I was reminded how in the past my grandmother (and my mother for a bit part of her life) had to wash all the men’s working clothes completely by hand and I suddenly had a new appreciation for my (although not great working) washer. The clothes are now clean again and hanging in the attic drying. I have lots to be thankful for.