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