Archive for September, 2010

Stalling with pickles

I’m supposed to be finishing a dress. Instead I made pickles, the Middle Eastern kind I used to eat with chicken shawarma and garlic sauce. You pickle turnips with beet slices, garlic slices and salt-vinegar brine.

Super easy since you don’t cook the turnips or beets. Just peel and slice.

Layer. Fill with brine.

pickles getting packed

Watch the magic happen! (The left jar has brine in it, the center one does not)

pickles starting out

Seal ’em up.

pickles in the pot

And let them sit. And sit and sit and sit. About three weeks.

pickles! one hour later

The beets will sort of blanch as the turnips turn a furious fuchsia. I can’t wait.

(ps- I use a recipe from this beloved book by Tess Mallos – The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook)

Dress tried, dress needs more fitting

The back of my remade dress is still too bunchy. I never made the darts from the instructions, and on purpose, too.

dress back's still bunchy

Now that the rest is done, it’s time to figure out how to make it sleeker without wrecking the fabric’s print on the back.

dress - back's still big

The darts are still an option, only low ones in the black band so the print doesn’t get mashed up.

dress - darts?

But what about some ruching across the back with an elastic band?

dress - elastic?

Happy planter

A piece of aloe from one of Pop’s trips up from Florida. Plus a ceramic elephant planter also from one of his forages.

aloe elephant

Makes me happy is all.

How to… add simple belt loops

My new dress-from-dress came with its own belt. I didn’t want to lose the belt, so I added some belt loops which are super easy to make.

All you need is crochet thread or embroidery thread in a color that matches your dress, a sewing needle with an eye big enough for the thread and a crochet hook. (Though you can also do the crochet on your fingers if you have no hook.)

belt loops thread

Start the crochet with a long thread tail several inches long. That’ll anchor the loop to the garment.

belt - start with loop and tail

Crochet, counting the stitches, until you have a length that’s double the width of the belt, plus two stitches. Mine needed 32.

belt - keep crocheting until long enough

belt - crochet until twice the belt

(If you’re using your fingers, make a slip stitch, leaving a long tail of thread. Stick your index finger in the loop at the first knuckle joint.

belt - finger - loops

Loop the thread over your finger and wrap the loop over the thread.

belt - finger - wrap pull

Tug on the loop until the stitch tightens.

belt - finger - keep pulling until tight

Repeat until the crochet’s long enough.)

Leaving another long thread tail, cut the thread. Pull the tail through the last loop to secure the stitches.

belt - leave long tail before cutting

If you want loops on both sides, make another one the same way.

belt - loops - make two

Now thread the big needle with one of the tails.

belt - loops - thread tail on big needle

Then you sew the loop in. Some people anchor the top and then the bottom. I like the kind where the loop hangs down. So I poke the needle through from the right side and pull one tail through, and then do the same with the other end.

belt loop push needle through

Even better if you can catch the seam allowance.

belt loop back side

I knot them tightly on the back and voila!

belt loop knotted

That’s it.

belt loop finished

Then, should the belt get lost or something, the crocheted loop will cut out easily without harming the dress.

Zippety doo dah!

Huzzah! After much online shipping stalking, my new feet arrived!

A good run on etsy funded this little purchase:

  • One zipper foot for a fussy old slant-shaft Singer that would not take the store-bought zipper foot
  • One narrow hemming foot
  • and the slant shank to hold them all together.

foot, zipper, hemming, singer, stylist 776

I’m this company’s newest fan.

They charged for a priority envelope’s worth of shipping and let me cram in what fit. I called to make sure the parts would fit my Singer Stylist and the lady who answered totally hooked me up. Also when you place an order, you have to enter the machine model # you’re using the parts on. Did I mention there also was an online 20% off coupon? Looking back, I should have ordered more.

Thank you, Sewing Machines Plus.

I can finish up some stuff properly, now, like that poor little purple pocketed dress languishing in a box.

zipper waiting to be set

It was getting really lonely avoiding zippers.

Oh dress, so close!

I skipped the back darts for now. I tend to finish clothes, wear them out in the world once then go back and fix what bothers me.

dress almost done

So I left my dress-from-dress in the sink this morning, soaking in a little Woolite to get out both the red sewing markings and the vintage stink.

The finished little guy might need darts added in once it’s dry and on. I also plan to put in side belt loops I think I will quickly scrounge up from cotton crochet thread to hold the existing belt from the original dress.

So close!

Almost out of old dress for new dress

I cut out the outer pieces first from this Lorac Original, division of Lady Carol size 16 dress:

Key when cutting from very limited source.

Front. Back. Rectangles for front yoke. Back facing (see?).

This is all that’s left.


The front facing will be tight. I’m going to have to unpick the placket. Which is already interfaced. And if it doesn’t work… time to dive in the scrap bin.