Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Man Shirt: McCall 6044

This shirt was my boyfriend's Valentine's Day gift, and I miraculously only finished it three days late.  He loves it!
I used a stretch shirting from Gorgeous Fabrics, so it's extra comfy.  I did a quick muslin to check fit, and ended up cutting a M, then taking it in a bit around the waist and hips since he likes a slim cut.  The fit isn't perfect (and neither is the construction), but it's pretty good for a first effort.

I made a few improvements over the original pattern inspired by Lisa at Notes From a Mad Housewife: I changed the sleeves to be one piece instead of two, and added a sleeve placket.  I drafted a straight yoke and used the burrito method to attach it.  I also flat-felled the seams, which is certainly against my naturally lazy nature.  Must be true love if I'm willing to flat-fell seams!

The only problem with this shirt? Now he wants more...

Pattern: McCall's 6044
Fabric: Stretch shirting from Gorgeous Fabrics
Modifications: Added sleeve placket, straight yoke with burrito method, one-piece sleeve.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Foodie Friday: Mason Jar Magic (plus the Giveaway Winner)

I can't believe it's been nearly a week since my last post.  Since my class started again, my weekdays are consumed by a cycle of work, gym, class, homework, and sleep.  I'm going to try to be a better blogger than I was when I repeatedly disappeared for weeks at a time in the fall, but no promises! Maybe if I start writing my blog posts in Spanish then it will count as studying?
Aaanyway... back to Foodie Friday.  Not a recipe, but my new favorite kitchen discovery: Mason jars for the blender!

No more cleaning the big blender jar and a glass! No more extra smoothie because I couldn't figure out the right portion! And I get to drink my smoothie out of a jar, which just feels cooler. All you need is a blender with a standard, detachable blade & corresponding ring (the black plastic piece), plus a regular mason jar (not the wide-mouth one). I hear this set up works for making salsa too, which I am definitely going to try soon! And maybe dips?

 Now, just to round out this mish-mash of a post, the winner of a new rotary cutter is... fishgirl182! Thuy, look for an email from me!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

It's THE WEEKEND!!! (Giveaway Included!)

No Foodie Friday today... though I am in the middle of making enchiladas.
Because it's Saturday, it's a three day weekend, I made it through this crazy week (going to work and school is hard!!), AND my birthday is today, I thought I would do a little giveaway.

My rotary cutter definitely tops my list of must-have sewing tools.  I know they aren't for everyone, but having one (and a big cutting mat) has without a doubt made me more accurate when cutting fabric.  It's also faster and more fun than scissors.  I ended up with two new ones for Christmas, so I thought I would spread the rotary cutter love and give one away.
To enter, just leave a comment and tell me something (anything!) about your week.  Make sure to leave your email address if it is not posted on your blog or blogger profile.  I'll ship anywhere.
Happy Weekend!!

Edited to Add: Giveaway ends Wednesday at 11:59PM EST!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Foodie Friday: Chicken Curry Noodles

I made these noodles for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and it definitely won't be the last.  They were really yummy, quick and easy to make, and used ingredients that I almost always have on hand.  Another recipe to add to the weeknight dinner rotation!

Chicken Curry Noodles
Original recipe from The Kitchn - slightly modified below.
Makes 2 large servings

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 - 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste, depending on spice preference
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 8 oz), cut into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
8 ounces fresh rice noodles

Roasted chopped peanuts
Lime wedges

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and chopped shallot and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the curry paste and curry powder and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, chicken thighs, fish sauce, and sugar. Stir everything together, scraping up any curry paste that has stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles according to package directions, timing it so that the noodles will be cooked when the curry is done simmering. Drain and divide between two bowls. Top with curry and the garnishes of your choice. Serve immediately.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

On the Fly Dress

Oh, I really can't resist a halfway decent pun...

Leah recently extolled the greatness of knit dresses, and I could not agree more.  Appropriate for work, not too dressed up for after work, and it feels like you're wearing pajamas!

After seeing bird fabrics popping up all over the blogosphere, I was dying for my own.  And couldn't find it.  I found this rayon jersey while I was perusing ebay one day in November, and hinted to my boyfriend that it would make a very good anniversary present, and sent him the link.  As much as I had wanted a fabric like this, I had a hard time deciding what to do with it - I wanted it to feel like pajamas, but not look like them.

Photo from Vintage Patterns Wiki
This dress started out as Advance 5929, which my mom gave me for Christmas (off of my Etsy wishlist).  In the end, it doesn't resemble the pattern much.  I removed the skirt pleats because the drapey knit did not play well with them, and I swapped out the skirt for my go-to skirt from Butterick 5030.  I tried on the bodice as is, and opted to re-cut at the side seams to match Jalie 2921, my go-to for knits.  Then I cut off the lapel on the collar - I prefer the more modern neckline with this fabric.

The shoulders, waist, and neckline are reinforced with clear elastic, and happily I think that I have finally gotten the hang of applying it.  A three-step zigzag, while not the prettiest finish, gives me the most consistent (and stretchy) results.  The skirt is unhemmed, because skirt hems on knits terrify me, and really, why bother? The sleeves are finished with a twin needle.

This dress filled an animal print gap in my wardrobe (though I really, really, really want to make something with foxes or elephants or something on it!), and as long as the fabric holds up, I will love it to pieces I'm sure.

Obligatory swishy skirt shot.
Pattern: Advance 5929
Fabric: Bird print knit from Ebay
Modifications: Removed waist pleats, changed sleeve and armscye, used skirt from Butterick 5030.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Foodie Friday: Brownie Edition

When I started this blog I had planned to include sewing, knitting, and cooking projects; I completely failed at the last one in 2012.  So, in an effort to put the "savory" (& sweet) back into Savory Stitches, I'm going to post one food-related thing every week for Foodie Friday.  And I thought I would start with brownies, because, well, how can you go wrong with fat, sugar, and chocolate??

I have an insatiable sweet tooth, so I don't bake very often.  I have zero self-control when it comes to baked goods, especially in the comfort of my own home.  I can't eat all of the cookies at work, but no one needs to know if I do it at home, right? The potential for public shame is essential to keep me reigned in.  I did treat myself to a batch of brownies recently, and happily consumed quite a few (which is why there aren't more on the plate...)

Brownies are such a personal thing - how chocolatey, how rich, nuts or plain, chocolate chips... This is my family's brownie recipe; it's what I grew up eating, and the only one I make at home.  They're cakey, not chewy, and have just the right density.

Makes one 8" x 8" pan of brownies.
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup melted butter
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
3/4 cup flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line pan with parchment paper.
  2. Beat sugar, salt and vanilla into eggs.  For a crunchy top, beat for 2-3 minutes.  
  3. Stir in chocolate and butter.
  4. Stir in flour until just combined.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.
  6. Let cool and eat!