Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Altering a shirt that is too short

In my closet, I have a lot of shirts that are just too short for my taste. I prefer to think that over the years they have shrunk. I have toyed with a lot of ideas for turning these shirts into useful items, you know, to help save the planet and everything. I actually made Kaelan a hat and scarf set out of three t-shirts. She's not particularly fond of wearing the scarf, but if I can get her mind off the scarf, she's fine. Anyway, I digress. For these shirts, I decided to see if I could fix the length.

I started with one plain white long sleeve t-shirt that hit right at the top of my pants and one brown t-shirt that was entirely too tight to be worn in public. Anyone know how to turn these pictures around?Using my handy dandy rotary cutter and mat (to avoid slicing my hardwood floor) I cut the brown shirt right across the chest under the armpits. This creates a tube which I shortened by turning wrong sides together.
I then pinned the right side of the brown tube around the right side of the white shirt as shown below.
Make sure the yucky edges of the brown shirt (that you cut) are matched up nicely with the bottom of the good t-shirt. Next you're going to sew across the bottom of the three layers.

There are some things to note when you do this.
  • Make sure that you sew above the seam on the shirt so that it doesn't show when you're finished.
  • Make sure if one shirt is smaller than the other one that you create darts by folding one shirt over (you can see this in the picture below). I chose to do this on the seams on the sides of the shirt. If you do this, make sure that the darts face the back of the shirt and not the front.

When you are finished, you might want to trim down the extra fabric along the seam. This was my finished product. Again, anyone know how to turn these pictures around?? So sorry!!
Hopefully you, too, can help save the planet and turn around global warming (cooling??) by refashioning a shirt.

Monday, December 8, 2008

My realization

Recently, I have come to a realization. A rather simple one, really, but one that totally changes the way I look at life. God wants us to depend on Him. He wants us to look to him for everything. He wants us to be totally dependent on Him. And if He wants us to depend on Him, that must mean that He is going to completely meet our needs. Not that we need to just sit around and be waited on hand and foot, but that there is no need to worry about anything because the God of hope can make even the most hopeless situation turn around and be used not only for our good, but to bring us to a better place than before. I'm trusting that that is what He's going to do for us. I know that many families are hurting right now because of job losses and pay cuts. In a sermon I heard recently, the pastor said that we should remember that God can't work miracles when there is still a way for us to work. We must be at the end of our rope before He can step in with a miracle. I know that my family is there right now, and we are waiting, expectantly, on God to do His part.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Making Laundry Detergent

I thought I would try again to make my own laundry detergent. My first attempt produced some cloudy sludge that I used, but was not thrilled with. This attempt was better and so far I'm pleased with the results. It was super-easy and not nearly as messy as the first version. This is the recipe I would recommend.
What you need:
1 bar of soap grated into small pieces
1 cup of baking soda
1 cup of Borax

Combine above ingredients. Use 1 tablespoon per load of laundry. Ta-da. You're done.

I used Dove the first time and the smell wasn't quite as strong as I was hoping for. This time I chose Irish Springs, and I LOVE the fresh smell that greets me when I open the container (even though I don't like the smell for my showers). I grated the bar into small pieces and then put it into our blender to make the pieces microscopic. When this is done, mix with 1 cup of Borax (I found this in the laundry aisle at Wal-mart) and 1 cup of baking soda. Yes, I know that some sites suggest washing soda, but a) I couldn't find any at any of the stores I tried, and b) I read that it can be quite caustic and so I opted to go for the safest, most environmentally friendly route.

Zesty Italian Chicken

This is a yummy dish I borrowed from the Kraft Food and Family magazine I get in the mail. If you cook, you MUST sign up for this free magazine. It is wonderful!

OK, here are the ingredients you need:
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 in. pieces
1/2 cup Italian dressing (we use the low fat kind)
2 cups broccoli (fresh or frozen)
8 oz. cooked pasta, drained
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Optionals:
1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
1 1/2 cups chopped red peppers
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

We aren't big fans of onions and peppers, so I leave those out, and I never keep parsley on hand, so I just didn't use it. I used frozen carrots instead.

Directions:First, go ahead and start heating the water so you can cook your pasta. Cut your chicken into small pieces. Put it in a skillet (I used a wok so I'd have lots of room) with 1/4 cup of the dressing and cook until the chicken isn't pink. I'm a real fanatic about cooking chicken, so mine was REALLY done. Add your vegetables of choice and cook until they are tender.

Toss the results with the dressing and your cooked pasta and sprinkle with cheese, and you've got a tasty, healthy meal. Enjoy!!