Monday, September 21, 2009

Hemming Jeans - keeping the original hem when hemming jeans

I've found a way that works to keep the original hem when I hem my pants! I don't know exactly how they do it at Macy's or Nordstrom's when you buy a pair of long pants, but this works for me and I've done it to two pairs of nice jeans. They look great!! Yes, it does take a bit longer than some other methods but this one works for me!

Step 1:
Cut jeans 1/2 inch longer than desired finished length. Then cut 1/2 inch above the original hem.

Step 2:
Unpick the original hem stitching and pull out loose threads.
Cut off hem - before and after stitching was unpicked.

Step 3:
Turn the hem wrong side out and measure on new jean length. This is to see how much of the original hem needs to be taken in. Pin the amount of fabric that needs to be taken in (bottom right) Flatten out the hem (top right photo) and get ready to stitch.

Step 4:
Sew where pin was placed - taking in the hem (generally about 1/4 - 1/2 inch). Take out the old stitch and open up seam.

Step 5:
Pin hem to bottom of jeans - right sides together. Make sure the seams on the inside and outside of the legs match up with the hem seams. Sew hem to pants. **Notice where the stitch line is (top right photo). It will be just above the original seam line. You need a bit of space to open the seam up and stitch the final stitching.

Step 6:
Once the hem is sewn to the jeans, turn the seam around and fold the seam allowance into the hem. The un-sewn side will fold into the inside of the jeans. Pin in place (bottom right photo).

Step 7:
Make sure you have a denim/heavy weight needle in your machine. This is the point I get to where I discover a smaller needle will not handle the thickness of the fabric. Change your thread to a thick top stitching thread as well. When your needle and thread are set, go ahead and stitch your top stitch finishing off the hem. Stitch right above the old stitching.
Finished hem, ready to wear.


- The thickness of the hem is a bit heavier on the bottom of your pants.
- The first 6 steps can be done with a medium needle and regular thread. Be sure to change thread and needle on step 7.
- You may need to cut off some of the seam allowance in step 6 if the hem of your pants were small. You want to least amount of bulk as possible.
- Be sure to catch both sides of the hem when top stitching. It's easy to miss the inside hem sometimes, you can either unpick it and do it over, or hand stitch the hem to the pants in the spots you missed.

*** You can also check out another one of my posts HERE with ANOTHER way to hem jeans keeping the original hem. ***

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Activity Book

I've been so busy with garden things I haven't had time to do much sewing. I did however, start cutting out pieces for an activity book I'm making for my son. We also call it a "Quiet Book" in my family. It's nice to take to church, meeting, or any other place you want your child to be occupied and not noisy and loud.

Posts on that will be coming soon!

What to do with Zucchini . . .

This garden season has been just as plentiful as last year. I can't get enough of our fresh produce! One vegetable in particular always has a bounteous crop: zucchini! I've done all I can think of to do with zucchini:
- bread
- saute
- breaded zucchini
- added to sauces
-topping for pizza's
-cooked on top of pasta
- shred and add to green smoothies
- and FREEZE (discussed here)

I purposely let a few of our zucchini's get rather large. When they're big they have more seeds inside and they aren't as tasty. I like to make bread with the large ones. But this week I've been breaded out. Instead, I grate the zucchini up and freeze it for later use.

Slice zucchini into more manageable chunks for grating.

Grate and measure into 4 cup bags.

Freeze (in the past my zucchini has lasted for close to a year - until the next season).

My zucchini bread recipe calls for 2 cups of grated zucchini. When you freeze it grated you loose a lot of the liquid once it's thawed. Because of this I freeze 4 cups in one bag hoping that it will be closer to 2 cups when it's thawed. Sometimes it is still a bit less, in which case I will use 2 frozen bags and add a bit more floor (if it goes over the 2 cups).

Zucchini Bread Recipe I use:
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar

- Mix the above -

2 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini

- Add

1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

- Add above all at once

3 cups floor
1/4 tsp baking power

- Mix in last two ingredients

Bake at 325 degree's for 1 hour in two 9x4 pans, test with knife to make sure it's cooked all the way through.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Homemade Baby Rattle

Now that my son understand the word "Shake", he loves this toy so much more. He will crawl across the room for it when he see it. It amazes me what kids will turn into their favorite toy. We can spell loads and loads of $$ on toys we think they will love, but most of the time my son goes for the simple and free.


Empty vitamin/medicine bottle

fill with:

Rice, beans, or corn

* For safety issues you may ALSO want to tape the bottle closed to ensure a tight seal. Make sure the container you choose is indeed child proof.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How to make Sun Dried Tomatoes

I love the summer months because of our garden! I don't like the heat of the summer, but I love what the heat does for plants. And tomatoes sure love the heat! We've harvested a lot of tomatoes already, but there are tons more outside we're waiting to turn red.

My husband will go out and pick the tomatoes that are just starting to turn red and let them ripen inside. That way, the don't split because of the heat and bugs and other elements don't get to them before we do. I'm still just waiting for all the green ones to turn red . . . there are so many of them, they are weighing the branches down!!

One thing I love is sun dried tomatoes. I love pastas and sauces with sun dried tomatoes included. These are not "sun" dried, we used our dehydrator. It didn't take much longer than a day of drying and they were done.

They need a good 6 or 7 hours (perhaps longer if it's humid) - check them periodically and add time if not dried all the way. They shouldn't be too crispy. There can be a little pliability in them, but if they are too wet, you can run the risk of mold with storage. I set the temperature gauge at about 135-140 degrees.

Slice the tomatoes 1/4 - 1/3 inch thick and put them on the tray. They don't need anything on top. They will turn out perfect and full of flavor just the way they are.


Slice tomatoes 1/4-1/2 inch thick
Place on dehydrator tray spread out

Adjust temperature to 135-140

Dry for 6-7 hours - checking periodically for texture

Take off tray and store in zip lock bag

***We store and use ours over the whole year. I know you will find varying information about storage time. We didn't have a problem with the taste or them going back. They may even store for over a year?***

Most of the tomatoes I've done so far have been the Roma variety. They were ready on the vine first. We enjoy them fresh as long as we can, but inevitably we have to do something when the supply becomes too great for us. I don't have canning supplies and don't especially love canned tomatoes.

Garden Tomatoes

I've been super busy lately with my teething son and our plentiful garden. Not much time to sew. . . :(

I am going to do a post on what I've been doing with all of our tomatoes later today. And no, it's not canning! It's what we did last year and they lasted all year long.

Oh how I love our garden!

Flannel Board Story Giveaway

I can't believe that I won the flannel board from this blog . I never win giveaway's, so I was really excited. She shipped it so fast and I had it in no time!

This week there is a giveaway for a flannel board story on this page .

I just wanted to let you all know.