Saturday, January 19, 2013

Thrifted Tank Top

It's been really hot some days. I mean like 40degrees (104F) hot.
It's like stepping into an oven. The other day it reached it's hottest in history, a sweltering 46degree celcius (114F) in some place furthest from the sea, west. Needless to say, we stayed inside and I sewed. I ignored the cleaning and I sewed!!! It felt really, really good.

I had this size 14 shirt in my stash and I really didn't want to throw it out. I knew I could make something pretty cool from it. It was a nice beige/sandy coloured cotton shirt. So, I turned it into a tank top. I only have two other tanks in my wardrobe and I dislike wearing those tight fitting ones too much. They're kinda unflattering. I'd come across a thrifty tutorial on converting a shirt into a tank. So simple but yeah, it was time consuming as I still had to handle the kids.

I laid the shirt out and placed my only other pink tank top over it. Since they weren't that different in size I decided to keep the bottom and only cut out a neckline and arm holes and keeping the shoulders intact.

 I also used the sleeves to make my own binding so I could a binding like this tutorial on Plain Facing. I decided to make single fold binding and I cut out just over 1inch strips, (3.2cms to be exact). I put them through the bias tape maker (after wondering where in the world I stored them), ironed my bias strips and happily started to pin the binding on. The neckline was pretty easy but I found the armholes much harder and had to rip out my stitches a few times.
This is a close-up of the binding. It's about 1.1cm wide. If you used a 12mm already made binding that would be the perfect size. Plus you don't have the hassle of making your own binding if you are time poor or impatient like I usually am.

 I'm quite happy with the result though. I just realised afterwards that I may have still been using my quilting needle instead of a regular cotton needle or universal needle which would have helped me sew the binding on better. Oooops. Better results next time I suppose. I also need to fix that gaping issue. I'm wearing a t-shirt bra and it's making me rather, ummm perky. I wish they had bras that weren't so padded.

 This is the back view of the tank top and below the front half.

I'm hoping to be able to make up a few more of these so I can wear them to work on really scorching hot days. I could even pop a nice cardi over them if it was cooler. I'm so excited. I don't have any other spare shirts but maybe I'll try to make my own tanks.

In other sewing news I finally decided to jump on the Wiksten Tova bandwagon and downloaded the printable pattern. It's just $10 and I hope I can make a few of those as we slowly approach Autumn/Winter.

Now I am quietly waiting for some other fabric mail. It was kinda of a consolation buy as I just had news that my sister has been diagnosed with AML; a type of Leukaemia. Thankfully it is mild and she will start chemo on Monday and we'll be all supporting her as we did with my nephew who just finished his hospital doses and is now on tablet form. I think we have to have these kind of struggles to keep us closer to God and together as a family. 

Wishing you all happy and healthy vibes for this year!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bahn Xeo or Asian Crispy Pancakes

 I will admit it, I dislike thinking about dinner. The thought of having to cook while making sure the kids aren't destroying the house or creating more mess for me to clean is in my head while I think about dinner time. How about you? Is it the same in your household or are you organised?

 I trawl through the internet food sites looking for inspiration. Sometimes I come up with nothing and sometimes I print out a few recipes I think I might like to try one blue moon. Today the blue moon showed up and I decided to try a go at Banh Xeo or Asian Pancakes. Mum makes them and it's a special treat for us when she does. I always thought they must be very hard to make. I'm not sure why but these are soooo easy!

 You just need rice flour ( I bought some ages ago for such an occasion), ice water ( I used plain cold water), sugar and tumeric! I bought some tumeric at the shops because I had like a 5yr old sachet and I thought it best to throw it out. I mixed up the ingredients in the morning, went for a play date and came back home wondering if this would work out.

The first one two I made broke up when I tried to flip one half over the pork mince and I texted my friend asking for some suggestions. After a while we both figured out perhaps a little longer in the pan would do the trick and from then on it was smooth sailing. You can tell it's ready to flip the half over the mince when the edges start coming away from the wok. I leave the glass lid on after I pour in the mix with a ladel so I can see. You kinda have to swirl the mix around to make it a pancake (so to speak). When hubby came home he was excited and said it tasted good. The kids didn't like it so much (boo to them) but more for us! We love it served with sliced cucumber, lettuce ( I had no mint) and chilli sauce (mums special recipe). Yummmm. 

The ingredients listed by Taste were enough for me and hubby and probably one other adult. You could end up with about three per person and if you lived with my family that is not enough. We'd need about 5 per person. I hope that has inspired you to try something new or an old favourite. 

Do you have any good food websites to share???

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Into the New Year

 We've been savouring the warm weather and holiday season with days at the pools and relaxing at home. It's finally getting warm now and summer has definately made it's appearance with some days reaching highs of 40degrees celcius (104F). The kids have been more confident in the water (even with their floaties) and that is fine by me. I don't expect them to be swimming on their own just yet but the eldest daughter certainly is getting there in small distances.

 We did have a lovely Christmas and St. Nicholas even made an appearance at our house! Thanks to a loving uncle who dressed up and came in while the kids hid in the hallway. Their faces were priceless and they could not believe such a thing would happen to them. It was a joy to see their excitement that St. Nick did visit. Now I can use that excuse next year to get them to do their chores!

 The wee ones also had a ball (pun intended) with an outing to Clown Town. I like that they don't charge for adults unlike other places and we had free passes as last time we went they were closed for a private function (boo) so make sure you call up if you are not sure if they are open.

 Little Miss 3 is enjoying her new fairy outfit given to her by her Godmother. She is talking a lot more now but still some of it is gibberish. I hope the child care place will help her to use proper sentences and I'm waiting on that for this year.

Not much else is happening apart from a bit of Getting Ready for School, which means uniforms, school shoes and thinking about school lunches again. Next week I am going to a GLAD Masterclass in sandwich making and I'll share what I learnt with all you mums out there. I've been visiting Nicole's Planning with Kids blog for ideas on school planning.

I'll be going back to work part-time in Feb so that should be interesting. God willing that everything else just falls into place and things run smoothly. In the mean time have fun and enjoy them while they're still young. XOX.