Archive for May, 2012

Dress Chronicles: Episode 4

May 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Some preliminary modeling showed that the bodice was definitely going to be way too wide, so I took in the sides and back a bit, figuring that it’s not extraordinarily difficult to take in more later.

With the various sections ready, it’s time to put everything together!

Not shown:

  • Sew together the upper skirt, lower skirt, and lining (including netting)
  • Gather the top of the skirt assembly

Lessons learned:

  • Taking in the bodice but not the skirt meant that the gathers on the skirt were insufficient to match with the bodice circumference, so I had to add some tabs to fake it
  • Tabs are ugly and hard to sew, but seem to be pretty well invisible
  • My sewing table doesn’t have enough space to the left of the machine for that much skirt!
Categories: Sewing Tags: , ,

“The Best” Perogies

May 30, 2012 Leave a comment

K’s all-time favourite supper is also a great one for weeknights: perogies.  They’re fast, easy, and we always have the ingredients on-hand.  One of the speeches at our wedding also called them out as being the best ever.  I haven’t braved making my own yet, but some year I’ll give it a shot.

“The Best” Perogies


1 small bag Perogies (we like the No-Name brand potato/cheddar)

1 small sweet onion (or 1/2 large one)

1 Tbsp bacon fat (if you don’t have any in the fridge, just use more butter)

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

2 Tbsp(ish) real maple syrup

Optional garnishes (amounts to taste):

Homemade bacon bits

Shredded utility cheese – cheddar or mozzarella both work, but you don’t need to use the good stuff for this – the cheap bricks in the dairy section at the grocery are fine

Sour cream

Chives or green onions



  1. Put a big pot of water on to boil – I like to use a pasta pot with removable basket
  2. Melt butter and bacon fat in a large non-stick skillet on med-high heat
  3. Once fats are melted, add smoked paprika and stir until well mixed
  4. Add sweet onions to fats, tossing to coat – stir occasionally, reduce heat if it starts spitting
  5. Boil perogies until they’re all floating (about 5 minutes)
  6. Drain perogies and toss into skillet – spread them until they’re in one even layer, or as close to it as you can get
  7. Drizzle maple syrup on top
  8. After 1 minute, flip all perogies
  9. After 1 more minute, dish onto plates and garnish as you like

Rain already!

May 29, 2012 Leave a comment

We’ve had thunderstorms in the forecast listed at “12-36 hours from now” for the past week and a half.  I’ve been watering each time I go out to plant, but last night I finally gave up and gave everything a good soak.  Need to pick up a new hose though – I have one corner that I can’t quite reach from either tap, and the slide for the climber is right where I used to put the sprinkler for full coverage.  I think hose wrangling is one of my least favourite chores when it comes to backyard management – even behind weeding…

Dress chronicles: Episode 3

May 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Cut pieces in hand, time to put them together.  With an hour or so of work each day, each section came together pretty quickly.

Not shown: lining for skirt

Categories: Sewing Tags: , ,

Found treasures

May 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Big C got the crushed limestone out of the back where the interlock used to be yesterday, and we filled it in with the rest of the dirt we got last weekend.  While I was weeding the bed for the tomatoes & peppers, I found a few things that apparently grew either from last year’s seeds or from plantings that I thought the bunnies got:

  • One red onion
  • Three tomatoes (can’t remember what kinds)

In went the blueberry bushes (Bluegold and Reka, I think), and the purple pepper.

Today, in went the rest of the tomatoes and peppers, as well as the marigolds.  Not much left to go!

Categories: Gardening Tags: , ,

Dress Chronicles: Episode 2

May 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Materials in hand, time to get cutting.  Since K is kind of oddly proportioned, I stuck with size 6 (biggest size on the pattern) across the board, figuring it’s easier to take in than let out if alterations are necessary.

Pretty daunting for a first major sewing project.  I think I’ve done more ironing for this project (just on the first dress!) than the rest of my life combined.

Dress Chronicles: Episode 1

May 25, 2012 Leave a comment

My brother-in-law (T) is getting married this summer.  K is going to be one of three flower girls.  T’s fiancée (D) is very particular about the look for the girls’ dresses – colour and style.  Since all three are small (K, at 4, is the oldest), these dresses won’t be getting a lot of use, and since I’m off work for the summer, I suggested that I could help with shopping (since K’s last flower-girl-dress was found on super-sale at Zellers) or failing that, I could make something.

So I did some shopping back in March/April.  No luck finding anything in the colour or style she wanted, let alone both.  So I looked up some patterns, made some suggestions, and she picked Simplicity 3943-H.  After a roundabout adventure in getting it, we went fabric shopping and I got to work on K’s dress.  First because she’s the biggest, but also because if I mess anything up I’d rather it be on hers than either of the others.

Did I mention that I’ve never sewn from a pattern before?

Or installed a zipper?

Or sewn anything beyond some basic repairs & simple pieces for myself, with mixed results?


The pattern came in, and D and I went fabric shopping.  She found something that was “perfect”, so we bought it and held off on lining & netting, since I had enough left over from a (failed) earlier project to do the first dress.

Materials for Flower Girl dresses

Flower girl dresses: Step 0.1 – Materials!