Monthly Archives: August 2013

DIY Chevron Skirt

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ImageSo chevrons have to be the most popular pattern going right now. Poor polka dots have taken a back seat. So when I saw this beautiful chevron skirt at Anthropologie I thought I must have it! And then I remembered that I can’t afford anything from Anthropologie, so I decided to sew myself one! Also I’m an amateur seamstress at best, so I had to come up with an easy way to make a stylish skirt. I think it turned out well, but I do have to pull it over my head (since I have a big butt, I cannot lie) , because I didn’t put in a zipper. That’s just a small price I’m willing to pay for looking good in my skirt! Maybe I’ll wear it on my first day of school. 🙂

First you need to get your materials. I used a yard and a half of the chevron fabric and a yard of lining fabric (no one should wear a see-through skirt). Also I got a yard of thick elastic and two yards of black hem lining. And of course some black thread for my Singer.

ImageThen lay out the chevron fabric face down and place the lining in the middle of it.

ImageFold the fabric in half horizontally (hamburger for those of you that aren’t sure what I mean).

ImageThen fold one more time in half, this time vertically. So basically you have a giant fabric greeting card.

ImageHere comes the tricky part. Measuring. My method is purely my own, and you might have a much better method. Mine’s a little bit of guess and check, but I’ll tell you whaat I did. You need to know the smallest part of you, and the widest part. I like to wear skirts high at my natural waist, so I measured that. 32 inches. Then I divided that by 4 (remember that our fabric is in fourths) and then added one (for hem) so I measured 9 inches at the very top of the fabric starting at the fold. Then for my widest part I got 44 (told you big butt), and divided by 4 and added 1, so I got 12. I measured that from the fold and then continued along the same angle, using pins to mark my measurements.

ImageHopefully this picture will give you a better idea of what I’m saying. I cut along the line I made with the pins so it looked something like this.

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Then I opened up the fabric, cut the fold at the top and turned the whole thing inside out.

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Then I pinned the skirt along the sides on both sides. Then I started sewing!!

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And then I flipped the skirt right side out and checked out my seams. Obviously not perfect, but totally works on a homemade skirt like this…

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Then I measured the elastic by putting it around my waist and then cutting it where I wanted it. Then I pinned it to the top of the skirt and then got to sewing.

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Lastly (and most time-consumingly) I ironed the trim and pinned it on. Then I got to sewing. This step is optional. You could just hem the bottom of the skirt. But I feel like the trim gives it a more polished and not so homemade look.

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Then I tried on some outfits with my new skirt! Best thing about a black and white pattern is that it’s almost like a neutral (at least I wear it that way). Here’s my three favorite new outfits with my Chevron skirt. The first one with polka dots and the red cardi is my fav. Next up, a math skirt!!!

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Vanity Vanity

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When I was little I traveled from Indiana to Pennsylvania to visit my grandparents. Since they lived in a different state I didn’t get to see them very often so this was an exciting trip. I was so young that I don’t remember much about the visit, but I do remember sitting at my Grandmother’s vanity. I would watch her get ready, and then I would sit on the stool and get ready myself, brushing my hair and putting on fake makeup. When she passed away my family got the vanity. Since then it’s been through a basement flood, and moved with me to Connecticut.  I loved the vanity for sentimental reasons, but it’s also a really practical piece of furniture. It holds a lot of my makeup/hair accessories and jewelry. It also holds some of my clothes. I still sit in the stool to get ready. Even though I used it daily and loved it, the vanity was in need of a serious upgrade.

I decided to repaint the vanity and recover the stool. After reading some blog posts about how to repaint furniture and a trip to Home Depot I got to work. I wanted to share my steps and results with you. I was really pleased with how the vanity turned out. It doesn’t look perfect, but it looks soooo much better. It was fairly easy to repaint and if you’ve got a piece of furniture you want to redo, or you find one at a used furniture store, I say go for it!

Before pic:

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The vanity was also very cluttered and in need of some organizational upgrades also.

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Notice all the stains and scrapes.

 

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The stool was in the worst shape of the whole piece. It even had mold/mildew growing on the bottom! (Also note the super sweet puzzle piece fabric I picked out in 6th grade!)

I started by sanding all the vanity and all the drawers. After many years of use there were a lot of scrapes and stains. Sanding didn’t eliminate all of the wear and tear, but it definitely smoothed the surface for painting. I used a large sandpaper block for this.

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Then I started painting. I bought a paint and primer in one. A little more expensive, but it saves the step of priming (especially when you’re painting something that’s been previously painted). I did a really thin first coat. I think this is really important. A few years ago I tried to repaint some furniture and I tried to paint it on really thick first in one coat. It ran a lot and is still sticky several years later. If you want the furniture to look good you have to be patient. Thin first coat, then go for a second and third if needed. The second coat goes much faster.

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This is a picture of the first coat. You can still see the white paint streaking through. Also the scrapes are still visible, but the stains and minor scrapes are covered.

 

Then I let it dry in our garage for several days, and then I covered the stool. I’m not in love with the new fabric. I wanted something with a print, but I couldn’t find anything I liked, so I’m still on the lookout. Most stools or chairs have screws on the bottom that you can remove to take off the seat. I just used a regular stapler and stapled the fabric on the pad after removing it from the stool. I think the end result is a big improvement.

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After!

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Before…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also got several things to help organize the vanity. I first got a tray to put my makeup on, and also a cup to hold my brushes and other makeup. I actually used a votive candle holder. I also got a soap dispenser that I really liked and put my lotion in it. Also I got a birdcage of sorts for my nailpolishes. I liked the look of this, and it cleared up some room in the drawers for other items, so the top of the vanity is less cluttered.

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Chilaquiles

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ImageWell (to my 2 readers) it’s been a while, and a lot has happened. I got married, moved from Indiana to Connecticut, quit my job, found a new one, and went to Alaska! I’m hoping to blog a lot more of recipes and projects as now I’m fixing meals for two, and also fixing up our apartment. This recipe is a family favorite and is a great way to use up leftover chicken. Let me start by plugging rotisserie chicken. Several Sundays I’ve gone and purchased a rotisserie chicken for around 5 bucks. Then my husband and I will eat off the chicken the first night. Then I’ll use the leftovers to make chicken salad, fajitas, soup, or this recipe: Chilaquiles. Essentially these are baked chicken nachos. You might have had them at your local Mexican restaurant. They’re super easy to make, and I think they’re que delicioso! Simple picture instructions first, followed by full recipe.

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First you flash-fry some corn tortillas.

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After the tortillas have cooled, tear them into pieces and line the bottom of a greased baking dish (I used a 9×9 glass dish).

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Cover the tortillas with about 2 cups of shredded chicken.

 

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Cover the chicken with a jar of your favorite salsa.

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Cover the salsa with 2 cups of shredded cheese and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until cheese is nice and bubbly. Remove and enjoy!!

 

Ingredients

  • 8 Corn Tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 16 oz (or similar size) jar of your favorite salsa
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I like to use Chihuahua cheese or the Mexican mix from the store)
  • Oil for flash-frying the tortillas

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large skillet or frying pan heat cooking oil to 350°F. Set out a plate with several paper towels. Spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Carefully slide one corn tortillas into the oil, and fry for about 10-15 seconds. Use tongs to place fried tortilla on the paper-toweled plate. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  3. After the tortillas have cooled, tear into pieces and  place in a layer on the bottom of the baking dish.
  4. Cover the torn tortillas with the chicken. Then pour the salsa over the chicken, and lastly sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the salsa.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cheese is nice and bubbly.

My Notes…

I used canola oil, and it takes about 10 minutes for the oil to get hot enough for frying. Just be patient, and be careful! The flash-frying is totally not necessary, but it prevents the tortillas from getting too soggy while baking. Also you can use more or less of any of the ingredients to your liking. Maybe you could also add some beans, or serve with quac or sour cream. It’s also great leftover! Enjoy!