Monday, September 30, 2013

Sewing Summit 2013 Recap

I returned from Sewing Summit last week and it was a blast! If I were to describe the experience in three words they would be: pleasantly overwhelming, inspiring, and exciting! Pleasantly overwhelming because of the 300 or so skilled attendees/instructors whom I had to introduce myself to and how much there is to learn about everything sewing, inspiring because of all the cool projects everyone was working on, and exciting because of how big the sewing community is and to be part of it! 

Because I was a Sewing Summit newbie, here's what I'd suggest for the first-timer going.
Sewing Summit Newbie Tips:
  • Step out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself! This was probably the most "overwhelming" aspect of the event. Many of the attendees already knew each other and were busy chatting away, so it took some courage to go up to people and introduce myself, but it's worth it! The next point in this list may help with this as well.
  • Do some prep work of who's going. Start to look at the blogs of the class instructors and of some of the other attendees so that when you get to meet them in person, you'll know a bit about them and maybe get to expand on common interests. 
  • Make business cards! This seemed to be common knowledge as everyone would swap business cards with either their contact information or their blog site upon introducing themselves. I didn't have one and wished I did! See some of the cool ones I received below!   
  • If you want to buy fabric, be sure to sign up for Shop Hop! You can sign up online beforehand for a spot on the shop hop bus tour of some cool fabric stores. I thought there would be other opportunities to go fabric shopping, but I did not have a car and there were not many fabric stores walking distance from the hotel or ones that were open after our classes. That was probably better for my wallet though! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sewing Summit 2013

I'm going to Salt Lake City, Utah tomorrow for Sewing Summit 2013! I can't believe it's finally here. I first heard about this sewing/blogging conference last year, but it was too late to sign up so when registration opened up this year, I hesitated a bit (only because of the price, tickets are like $300) but ultimately decided to go. I don't know a single person going, and I've never been to Utah but I am excited! 

What It Is
Sewing Summit is a 2.5 day (half day for registration and opening reception) sewing and blogging conference for the modern sewist. There are hands-on workshops, networking events, lecture-based classes, and speakers. The first conference was in 2011, so it's only their 3rd year doing this. 

Who Goes
Anyone in the online sewing community, or with an interest in sewing. Their FAQ section even encourages people who are traveling alone to go, which also spurred my decision to go. Whenever I tell my friends and coworkers about the conference, they immediately think it's going to be a bunch of grandmas, but it's really not! I'm ok with grandmas being there too though! Just by looking at pictures of past events and who the teachers will be, it's mainly a group of I would say 20-30 something year olds who go! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

DIY: Stenciled Moroccan Rug

It has been quite some time since I've had a new post... I've been meaning to put this one up for a while since I made the rug before I moved into my new apartment and it's been several months since I've moved! The picture above is my living room with the "new" rug (not so new now) I stenciled!

To make the rug, I referenced several blogs, which I'll link below. Total time probably took me around 15 hours... I know that is an absurd amount of time, but I learned some things along the way so if I did this project again I don't think it'd take that long.. Total cost was about $50-$60.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

DIY: How to Hem Your Dress Pants

What a relief it is to be able to hem my own pants! No more taking them to the tailor to be hemmed for $20! The last time I got them professionally hemmed, they were still a little too long and then I tripped on them in the parking lot mid-sentence while talking to my manager! I'm actually surprised he didn't burst out laughing because I would have! I ripped my pants at the knee, scraped my palm, and bruised my ego... but I was more upset at the wasted cost of getting them professionally tailored! Well, no more of that wasted nonsense because I can do it myself! Now... if I can just start a side business of hemming my coworkers' pants I could made a side fortune...... hmmmm haha 

This was the 4th pair of dress pants I hemmed myself, and it really boils down to a couple steps.
- Cut off the excess fabric while accounting for the seam allowance
- Zigzag stitch the raw edge of the fabric to prevent fraying
- Hand sew the hem
I'll break down the steps now in more detail.

Here's what you'll need.
- pants you'll be hemming 
- needle and matching thread
- seam ripper
- fabric scissors
- pins
- chalk
- ruler
- seam gauge
- iron (not pictured)
- shoes you'll be wearing your pants with (not pictured) 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

New Orleans Gumbo

I got this recipe from Taste of Home magazine's Heartwarming Soups December 2011 issue. I modified it a little to make it a bit healthier using brown rice and turkey kielbasa. It was delicious! It had a nice spicy smoky flavor - if you don't really like spicy food, I would suggest modifying the amount of pepper and cayenne pepper you put in.

- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup uncooked rice (I used brown rice)
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained. (I used 2 tomatoes, chopped)
- 1 pound chicken breasts, cut into cubes
- 1/2 pound kielbasa or Polish sausage, cut into 1/2" slices (I used Turkey Polska Kielbasa)
- 1 pound uncooked peeled shrimp
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup minced parsley (I used cilantro since I like it better)

Cooking Time: 30 min. prep, 30-40 min. cooking
Servings: 8