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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Supah fast chicken nachos! on: May 02, 2010 08:59:28 PM
Since my husband Patrick and I are trapped in our apartment, due to excessive flooding in Nashville, our menus are limited to what we have in our fridge. Luckily, we went grocery shopping earlier in the week, so we're not gnawing on the furniture.

I peeked around to see what ingredients we had, and came up with this little beauty.

Quick Chicken Nachos

You will need:

Butter spray
Chicken (canned or leftover)
Mexican seasoning (like Emeril's)
Tortilla chips
Cheese, shredded or sliced
Sour cream
Salsa (I used mild tequila lime)

Now you have to do this:
If using canned chicken, drain and break up large chunks. If using cooked chicken (I used leftover butter roasted chicken from the other night), dice into small pieces. Toss in a skillet coated in butter spray, sprinkle with Mexican seasoning, and cook until thoroughly warmed.

Spread tortilla chips on a plate and cover with cheese. Microwave for about a minute or until cheese is melted. Top with cooked chicken, sour cream, and salsa.

(I accompanied mine with a glass of cold pineapple juice.)

It made a lot more than I expected, but P loved them and finished them off for me. I'll probably end up making them again!
2  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Enough colonial garb for a small army! (image ginormous) on: May 02, 2010 05:05:07 PM
Back in December, I was tapped by my theater department to cast and costume about 20-30 people for Lighting of the Green, a Christmas event that my campus hosts. I needed to dress everyone in 18th century clothing. The trouble was we had virtually nothing on hand in the shop!

I ended up making four pairs of knee britches, two short gowns, ten dresses, eight petticoats, two aprons, and half a dozen pinner caps in the span of 2 1/2 weeks. I spent nearly every waking moment that I wasn't in classes or rehearsal in the theater with my sewing machine...and after it broke, my sister's boyfriend's sister's machine.

Instead of relying on patterns, I went to some of my favorite sources of colonial clothing- Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette film and the Felicity Merriman doll- and drafted my own for most of the outfits.

I took all these pictures after everyone had spent four hours walking around campus in the cold, so everything's rather disheveled...but here are some of my favorites!

This one was based on one of the four dresses we had in stock. The dresses were lovely...but far too small!


This one is most definitely based on the Felicity doll's Christmas dress. The actress even had a few girls recognize her! I think it's because she has the perfect red hair...


I based the dress on this gown that Kirsten Dunst wears in Marie Antoinette: http://costumersguide.com/ma10.shtml. It's absolutely gorgeous in person...but it took me all three Pirates of the Caribbean movies to make it. It has seventeen and a half yards of ruffle work!


Another Marie Antoinette dress, based on this chemise a la reine: http://costumersguide.com/ma48.shtml I might make one for myself...


I broke five machine needles on this bad boy...one hit me in the eyebrow. The fabric was awful, and I have since relegated this sad excuse of a gown to my scrap bin.


This one is, hands down, one of my favorites! The gown is made of flannel left over from my sister's production of Seussical (she used it to make the Cat in the Hat's vest). And it totally fit her perfectly.


I have more outfits...but I figured I was babbling enough. If you really want to see all of them, they're on my blog. http://goodcallbabydoll.blogspot.com/2010/05/colonial-deluge.html

Also, it's going to be a while until I can make another colonial dress! My eyes, they burn with stomachers!
3  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / What's a Kafka? Why am I a Kafka?! on: May 02, 2010 09:01:50 AM
For my directing final (way back in December of 2008), I directed a production of Words, Words, Words by David Ives. It's about three monkeys who have been stuck in a laboratory with typewriters for years while scientists wait for them to eventually type out Hamlet. It's a good time.

I did everything for this show- casting, rehearsing, lighting design, sound design, set design...and costume design! Since my three principals were simians, I wanted to dress them in something that evoked performing monkeys of old timey circuses. And since I had almost no budget, we went to Goodwill.

The two boys- Milton and Swift- picked out corduroy pants that I hemmed into knickers. We cobbled the shirts, bow ties, suspenders, and vest from the meager pickings of the theater department. Swift wears red and darker colors because he's the angry and decisive monkey; Milton wears pale green and khaki because he's total suck up to The Man.

I found an orange and gold salwar (I think that's what it is...) at Goodwill for Kafka. Originally it had long bloused sleeves and shoulder pads, and the pants were very long and flowy. I sewed long princess seams (front and back) to make the dress fitted but still loose and took out the shoulder pads. The sleeves and the pants legs were cut off and elasticized to make them into puff sleeves and bloomers, respectively. Then I used a pants leg to make a hair bow.

And this is how it ended up!




People still come up to me and tell me how much they liked the show. I think that's because it had a real tire swing on the set...
4  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Do NOT buy from Opelika Sewing!!! on: February 06, 2010 03:54:26 PM
I've had a blog for about a year and a half, and I recently posted an image of a sewing machine. I received a rude anonymous comment from someone claiming that the image, while they had taken it from Singer, was from OpelikaSewing.com and I had to remove it right away. Despite their rude tone, I complied and edited the entry.

For the past several days I have been getting anonymous comments about how they liked the Bill Murray picture. I didn't know what they were talking about, so I checked the entry of origin. Apparently the entry had not been properly saved with the changes, and I still had the Opelika image.

However, they had changed the link to an image of Bill Murray saying that "Look how lazy I am! I, *insert my real name here*, steals images from Opelika Sewing!!"

I was appalled. This is a juvenile tactic and it's blatant harassment. I have since removed the image (and verified that it was properly saved). However, I would never, ever trust that company with a purchase. Professional companies shouldn't stoop to cyber-bullying.
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Eyelet wedding shower dress on: January 23, 2010 07:26:45 PM
I'm getting married on March 13th (after being engaged for three years!!) and I need a pretty dress for my upcoming shower. So I made this!

I used McCall's 5578, view A, but didn't do any of the contrast details. I just really, really, really wanted it to have an eyelet hem.

The dress is also completely lined in a light blue cotton. That's because I'm a DORK (my wedding colors are sky blue and yellow).

The back looks like it buttons, but it actually snaps. That's because I don't have a buttonhole foot for my machine, Oh, and I'm lazy.

I think I might have made the skirt too full. Part of me likes it, because it has that retro garden party look, and part of me thinks it looks somewhat akin to a queen-sized bedskirt...
6  CLOTHING / Costumes: Discussion and Questions / 11 gowns, 6 waistcoats, and 4 pairs of knee britches...by December 1st! on: November 22, 2009 07:54:09 AM
Every year my university hosts Lighting of the Green, a big event for the Nashville community. Last year, they asked the theater department to provide characters to walk around. Since I'm the only person in the department who sews a lot (and I have a TON of costumes), I dressed everyone in Disney and Dickens costumes and we had a ball. It was freezing and we were rather disorganized, but it was fun.

This year, they want everyone in colonial-era clothing. I was told this on Thursday, November 12th. We already had 20+ people signed up. So I was like "sure, I can get everyone dressed." Come to find out, there was very little in the costume shop that I could pull. I had three dresses, a couple pairs of knee britches, and one super awesome faux leather frock coat and britches set. That was all.

So I pulled what I could from my collection. Still not much. My costumes are more Victorian than colonial. So what do I do to solve it? I decide to sew everything. Now I have to make:

-a blue and gold pet en l'air and petticoat

-a brown plaid shortgown and petticoat

-a blue gown and pinner apron

-a pink and white chemise a la reine

-a purple stomacher gown and purple pansy print petticoat (say that ten times fast)

-a blue-gray-lavender taffeta frock gown

-a blue and white lacy stomacher gown and petticoat

-an aqua floral gown with faux panniers

-a red and white striped zone front gown and petticoat

-a pink satin stomacher gown and petticoat

-a chemise, two petticoats, and a yellow velvet gown

-a cream and maroon floral gown and striped petticoat

-four pairs of knee britches (caramel, gray, brown, and cream)

-six waistcoats

-six pinner caps

I started the day I received the assignment by pulling all sorts of fabric from my stash that I knew I wasn't going to use, and then made a MASSIVE JoAnn's run (thank goodness I'm not paying for it!). Now I have all of Thanksgiving break to sew. Some of the steps, like the closures on the stomachers, will have to wait until November 30th when I'm back on campus so I can fit the pieces properly to the people wearing them. Therefore, the pieces I'm posting are only parts of the ginormous work in progress.

The first piece I finished was a pair of caramel colored knee britches.

I used a pattern piece for pajama pants to get the leg shape, then made cuffs so they would taper at the bottom. I'm not going for complete historical accuracy, because these costumes will probably be used in later shows, and the pieces need freedom of movement and accessibility for quick changes. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Yesterday, I finished two outfits: the blue and gold pet en l'air and the brown plaid shortgown.

Apparently "pet en l'air" translates as "fart in the air." Who knew?

I modified Simplicity 4092 for the bodice. The sleeve cuffs are lined in the same gold satin as the stomacher and the petticoat (which isn't pictured). I'm using my sister's mannequin Flora (named after the fairy in Sleeping Beauty) and she has only a 32" bust, which is much, much smaller than all the pieces I'm making, so please forgive the bagginess.

This is the back of the brown plaid shortgown. I wanted to show off the tabs on the hem. The front closes with white frog loops. I also finished the matching green petticoat (the plaid is brown, orange, yellow, and green). The bodice was from Simplicity 4092, but I cannot tell a lie...the dress was based on this:

Up next: the blue pinner gown, the blue floral pinner apron, and the pink and white chemise a la reine!
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Bluebird of Happiness nightgown (and matching skivvies!) on: October 07, 2009 08:05:52 AM
I made a yoga bag (http://charmypants.blogspot.com/2009/09/yoga-bag.html) and still had fabric left.  I have a TERRIBLY BAD HABIT of having lots of leftover fabric and saving it for a rainy day, and then there's a drought, and that's why I have a 5' by 3' bin full of fabric scraps. (We call it the coffin.)

The bird fabric was just too cute to languish in a coffin, so I whipped up this little nightie. The buttons came from the tabs of my fiance's old curtains, and the cream fabric was in my stash. The pattern was just a tee-shirt that I cut up to use for a bodice guideline.

And there was still fabric left, so I made up my first pair of skivvies! A noble pair of Hanes sacrificed itself for the cause.

But it still looked rather bare, so I added this on the cheeks:

What do you think?
8  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Retro print yoga bag on: September 14, 2009 11:39:15 AM

Pattern: McCall's 4261
Fabrics Used: knit print, light green fleece
Made: September 2009
Time: About an hour and a half
Cost: About $12.00
Made for: Fitness Yoga class


This went together pretty easily. I'm probably going to make some more of these!
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