where sisters, sibling rivalry, and creativity collide.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Simplicity 4947--Review

I've been sewing clothes lately and have only recently stepped into the black void of pattern sewing.  Sewing from a pattern has been an interesting trip--I find I am greatly inclined to do what I know how to do, sewing to my strengths and whatnot.  But when I cut out and assemble a pattern, I have to do other things--zippers, darts, etc.  Things I would never actually choose to do.

I really like vintage patterns (so much funner to sew something you KNOW you won't find at the store) and this one, found in the GW rummage bins for, like, 50 cents, said 'Jiffy'.  (That's for me!)  It was a awesome, awesome pattern to make my first dress on. Very simple and quick to do but classic.  It could look a ton of different ways based on the fabric and the accessorizing. 

I love the look in that blonde model's face. ("The secret plans for the nuclear weapons are mine, finally mine!  I will crush them all!")
"Hey, Floral Print. (blows cigarette smoke into her face) Nice hair. Why don't you make me some coffee while I take over the world." 

I had five yards of an off-beat Navajo-inspired print I picked up at the great GW for a song--I didn't love, love the print but figured it was cheap as dirt and...well, that's it, really.  It was cheap as dirt.  I wasn't going to cry if I botched the job.  I began cutting at 1pm in the afternoon and finished up that early evening (with tons of downtime because I had to make a run to JoAnne's for a zipper and pick Jonah up from scouts).  I left the hemline below the knee because Zac likes to roller-derby on my lap during sacrament meeting.
Box pleat!

But the neckline.  I had added some inches to the pattern to make it fit my curves which was all well and good for my hips but the subtle boat neckline was bowing out like the lid of that carton of cottage cheese in the fridge, a month past its sell-by date.  Kylene (a skeptical-of-my-Navajo-pattern Kylene) suggested a box pleat.  Instant awesome.  Zero effort.

Still, it needed a name.  The print, as I mentioned, has a little Indian-style Southwestern thing going on which reminds me of 50s sweater-girl Jane Russell.   
The 18-hour-bra for us 'full-figured' gals!
 I saw an interview of her on the Larry King show, maybe 10 years ago.  She was dripping in Southwestern turquoise.  In my callow youth I was icked out.  Turquoise.  Only old ladies wore turquoise.  Time has brought me around on the subject of turquoise.  The rock has grown on me.  And so has the idea of being over-dressed for Larry King. 
I call this "The Eighteen Hour Dress"

Maybe this means I'm an old lady now?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Roasted Beet Balsamic Salad

Roasted Beet Salad

1 1/2 lbs baby beets, red & yellow (you can use full sized but cut them in half for roasting)
Extra Virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (optional)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
4 ounces feta, goat or other semi soft cheese


1 shallot, finely minced
5 Tbls balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbls maple syrup
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Combine shallot, balsamic, oil and maple syrup in a small jar with a tight lid, shake vigorously until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400'. Wash beets until outer skin is rubbed clean - and mostly gone. Trim off both ends. (If regular sized beets cut in half.) Cut two 12" x 12" pieces of foil. Place one piece on a baking sheet. Spray with non-stick spray and place beets in the middle. Drizzle with a small amount of oil then seal with the other piece of foil and seal the edges. Roast for approximately 1 hour or until a knife pierces beet smoothly (do this through the foil). Take out of oven and cool for 20 minutes. Cut beets into bite sized pieces. Place beets in serving bowl, pour dressing over and mix. Sprinkle on cheese and toss lightly. Serve warm or cold.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lauren Makes Dinner

Chicken Parmesan

4 boneless chicken breasts - pounded to 1/2" with mallet (Optional but increase cooking time)
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 large eggs beaten with 2 Tbls water
4 Tbls oil
Marinara sauce (We like Barilla)
8 slices mozzarella, thin sliced
1/2 cup shaved or grated Parmesan
1/8 cup basil or parsley

Preheat oven to 400'. Season chicken both sides with garlic salt and white pepper (black is fine), Dredge each breast in flour and tap off excess, then dip chicken in egg and let excess drip off. Dredge on both sides with panko crumbs.
Heat oil on high in large skillet. Add chicken and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes each side. Transfer to baking sheet and top with tomato sauce and a couple slices of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes depending on the thickness of chicken breasts. Remove from oven and garnish with basil or parsley.

No More Little Boys

I am not a fast mover when it comes to painting. I am too picky to have someone else do it and I have too much stuff to do - work, kids, primary, laundry, shuttle service, you know - during the day to dedicate a whole block of days. I had a entire week of spackling, texturizing and sanding, three days of detail brush work on the ceiling and the closet doors took two days of spray painting. SO! Six weeks later I'm as done as I'm going to be ... for now. (I have two more posters coming.) From baby blue with bugs to buttery yellow with a burnt orange accent wall. I think it turned out fabulous!! What say you?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mini Chocolate Donuts

My first attempt at mini donuts was less than encouraging.  I followed the recipe on the packaging for my Wilton mini donut pan.  It made lovely little donuts, which tasted like cardboard. Fail.

Sure, they're lovely, but they tasted like cardboard. 
Lucky for me kids will eat anything that has chocolate frosting on it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Keira's Adventures in Sewing

Debbie is a genius.  A. Genius.
How else do you explain the phenomenon of her churning out two dresses and a shirt up-cycle without laying a finger on them?
Okay.  Well, maybe I sewed them but hands were held, people.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Oh What Do You in the Summertime?

We've been very busy at Casa Dominguez this week.  Here's a sampler of our deeds (I'm leaving out Keira's sewing adventures - she'll be doing a post on that soon):
Do you use an oil-based paint pen to turn black and PINK soccer cleats into black and BROWN soccer cleats?  
Do you clean out your sister's pantry? 
Do you make darling mini donuts? 

Did you paint a picture for Marcy's birthday?
Did you make and gather stuff for seminary?
Did you create a fairy village and name it "Pixie Hollow"? Laura did.

Did you make up-cycle a dress for a 5 year old from a woman's shirt?
Yup. We were busy.  What did you do this week?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pattern Review - Simplicity 4206

I only made the top from this pattern (so far). It is a very easy top - and very easy to adjust.  I added a band to the end of the sleeves for a little interest and a band to the bottom of the bodice to make it a little more modest.

Upcycled skirt

Goodwill is SUCH a fun place to shop!  I'm wondering if I can talk Keira into one more trip this week (it's practically on the way back to her house after we drop off the teen cousins at EFY).

I forgot to take a before picture - the original skirt looked much like the one I made - only it was twice as long and twice as wide. 

Someone else went to the trouble to make all these horizontal pleats...all I did was sew one seam up the back, turn the top down (twice) and stitch an elastic casing.  I'm not quite done with the skirt - I'll have to take it back up to Washington and try it on Miriam so I can adjust the elastic length.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Upcycled dress

I found this humonguos little beauty at Goodwill.  It looked like it had  possibilities. I like the dip-dyed effect on the skirt.

I had Miriam try it on, then I pinned it about where I wanted the width of the bodice to be.

I then cut armholes and neckline (I think I used a pattern for a guide for the armholes.

I cut sleeves from the leftover fabric, using a puffy sleeve pattern piece.

The color is great on her, but I'm not thrilled with the neckline - it could have used a little something more (more than white bias tape).

For a bit of fanciness, I braided some leftover skirt material and then coiled it into a circle and stitched it together.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

All Boy (Simplicity 2319)

What? You don't believe me? I promise, this post is all about boys. Really.
Girly pattern? No problem.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Simplicity 2377 - Review and revision.

I was looking for a simple top pattern for a little girl...go ahead, look through the pattern books...I'll wait.
Yeah, they are few and far between.  Most of the tops in the pattern books seem to be store-bought tee's.  I was looking for something a little different...after making the dress pattern found in Simplicity 2377, I said to myself, "Self, you could easily make a top out of this."  I opted for just lengthening the bodice front and back pieces about 10-ish inches ( I also made it go straight down from the armhole seam instead of tapering in).  I also used the shorter neckline elastic like I did for the dress. That's it. Easy Peasy.

I lengthened the sleeves on this top about an inch.

We went from fabulous to awesome possum by adding the matching top to this cute skirt. I wish I was young enough to pull this off.

Simplicity 2377 - Review

I am so in love with this pattern...we're practically going steady.  I've made three items from this one pattern - all a little different.  This pattern seems to run pretty true to size. Let's start with the first thing I made.