Friday, August 31, 2012

Once in a blue moon

In an unprecedented turn of events, I finished a dress (that I do not need to fix) in two days. I think this quick turnaround may be one of the reasons people get into sewing. Last evening, I ironed and cut the fabric, and today I did the bulk of the sewing during the girls' quiet time, and the balance once M was in bed. I should have taken a picture of D wearing her dress, giggling and hopping up and down. Instead, you get this:

Take a good look, because the next time I get my sewing act together may well be in 2015!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Snappy dress(er)

Last night, I had Hubby haul my sewing machine up from downstairs so that I could do my annual summer sewing. This would be what happens once a year around Labour Day, when I decide I can face fixing whatever disaster I sewed last summer, and maybe start a new disaster to fix next year.

First up, remember this little number? With the gaping armholes? I had tried to fix it before by folding the top of the dress down and sewing it in place, and even though it looked horrible and bunchy, I still put it on D to wear. She was happy with it. I was happy not to be working on it anymore. I unpicked the seam and now need to cut it and sew it back up.

The material I used for that dress was originally purchased for this one, called the Snappy Toddler Top. One problem when you sew for children, and only choose to do so once a year: they outgrow stuff. I finally got over my nervousness about attaching snaps, sewing with tiny seam allowances, working gathers... and didn't it end up being too small for D now! Good thing I have a younger daughter.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sunday roast

Hubby and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary last week, and only a few days after that, I did something I've never done in my married life: served a Sunday roast dinner. Now, we don't eat a lot of red meat around here, and when we do, Hubby's usually the one to cook it. But every now and then I like to try something new in the kitchen.

We wanted to invite some friends and family over to tell them, with food, how much we love and appreciate them. Coincidentally, there was a special at Food Basics on eye of round roast, which was 1.99$ per pound. I picked up a 7 and a half pounder and promptly researched how to cook it, figuring it would likely go into the crock pot for several hours. As it turns out, it works well to rinse, dry, and season the meat, put it in a roasting pan, and cook it at 500 degrees for 7 minutes per pound (53 minutes total for ours), then turn off the oven and leave it shut for 2 and a half hours. No peeking or anything. I actually put the oven lock on after Hubby went to check it out of habit. It cooked up beautifully, and I discovered that I quite prefer rare roast beef to well done.

One of the benefits of cooking such a large roast is the copious pan juices that you can turn into delicious gravy. I cheated and used gravy from a packet for once, but then stretched it with flour and water to double the yield. There was even a bit left over. Which leads to another benefit: despite having eight adults at our table, we only finished about two-thirds of the meat we cooked. So, my job tomorrow will be turning those leftovers into something, which will probably be some sort of beef and barley soup.

This is not a picture of roast beef, but we may bring the beef soup with us to the cottage this weekend. You can bet this kid will be spending a lot of time in this spot by the water!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Casting off

I've been emotionally done with the wedding afghan for a little while, but now I'm actually finished! I came close on the weekend, but ran out of yarn four rows from the end. We were on a road trip at the time, and on a bit of a deadline, so we couldn't be bothered to hunt down a Michael's. Here's what we were racing to see:

Those two lovely ladies in the middle are my dear friends Morgan and Sarah, and they completed a triathlon this past Sunday. Also present to cheer them on: Maggie, Morgan's roommate from first year, and her sister Shelagh. Oh, and their puppy, Gus, whose name D could recall with no trouble whatsoever, even though she just met him that day! The evening before, we were joined by Coco, Mandy, and Morgan's best friend Steph for a potluck Greek dinner at Sarah's. It's crazy to think that as of this fall, we've known each other for ten years! We met in residence and still enjoy each other's company immensely, which is pretty remarkable, given how much a person changes from late teens to late twenties.

Fortunately, I did manage to get out last night and acquire the necessary yarn, enabling me to cast the blanket off today. Now that it's been washed, dried and photographed, it's time to pass it on to the happy couple!