Monday, October 31, 2011
I made both of these bags out of the same pattern. The green bag came first and I really wasn't impressed with the pattern. The pleats on the front of the bag were not spaced properly on the pattern and I had to add an additional pleat to make it work.
I did some additional stitching, but other than that, (and the added pleat) the green bag went pretty much according to the pattern.
I took a break from sewing for about a week and then started up on the red bag. I ended up just making one pleat on each side, which turned out to be a lot easier. I also shortened the handles. It turns out I didn't follow the pattern correctly on the green bag. Oops. I also made different sizes of pockets on the inside.
I have another one of this style of bag cut out and three more bags of a different style ready to be sewn. I hope to get a lot more done before Christmas.
Sunday, October 02, 2011
Cora was in need of a bag for her church gear and I have been eying Alicia Paulson's Jane Market Bag, so I decided to buy the pattern and make a bag. This pattern was very easy to follow and it took me a short afternoon to whip up the bag. Some of the things that I did differently are:
1. I used canvas on the lining layer to add some more stability to the bag. I found the canvas at Mill End Textiles for a decent price and I took a chance and it worked! I have seen canvas at a lot of different garage sales and I think I'm going to stock up now that I know that it works well to add the stiffness that I want.
2. I modified the fold of the pocket just a little bit. When I make this bag again I am going to double the fabric and just fold it over to make a more finished pocket.
I usually like a longer handle on my bags, but I followed the pattern on this one. Just like a real shopping bag, this handle is shorter and is meant to fit on your arm and not over your shoulder. If you desire to carry it on your shoulder you can just make the straps a little big longer.
I was really surprised at how quickly this bag came together. The pattern was really easy to understand and there were lots of pictures to explain every step. I'm happy that I only had to rip out one seam. I think my sewing skills are slowly improving!
In a perfect world I would use these bags for all of my grocery shopping needs. I am going to try to make them one-by-one and start using them and eventually I will have enough to use all the time.
Monday, January 10, 2011
I bought my sister the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day for Christmas. I had it sent to my house and I was going to mail them to her with the rest of the family's presents, but when they came, they were a lot heavier than I thought. It would have cost me more than I wanted to ship them to her, so since I really wanted the books anyway, I ended up buying them again from Amazon and having them shipped directly to her and I kept the first books that I ordered. Merry Christmas to me!
Last week I finally had time to start reading the first book and I tried my first batch of bread. It is a really interesting concept where you make a large batch of dough and let it rise before putting it into the refrigerator.
You can keep the dough in the refrigerator for up to 14 days and take out a hunk to make your bread whenever you want. (I kept my dough in an upside down layer cake container)
When you decide that it is time to make bread, you just take a grapefruit size piece out, fold the sides under (without kneading!) and place it on cornmeal to rise for 40 minutes.
After 20 minutes you preheat your oven with a stone and broiler pan inside. Slide the dough off the cornmeal onto the stone and quickly pour water into the broiler pan and close the door. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is very brown and it is done!
It really does only take about 5 minutes. (Minus the rising and baking time when you can be doing other stuff) I was impressed with how crunchy, crispy, crumbly the crust was while the inside stayed so soft and moist. I am going to try to use less yeast next time because it did have a pretty strong yeast flavor. There are instructions on the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Website on how to do this. I also need to buy unbleached flour because my bread was a little bit dense and I read that the unbleached flour helps with this.
There are so many different recipes and variations of the one concept presented in these books. I can't wait to try more. I am especially looking forward to the pita bread and the caramel rolls.