Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Feedsack envy

After Etsy's recent feature on feedsack fabrics (here, if you missed it), i decided i needed to get around to sharing this 1953 brochure on sewing with feedsacks.  I got it in a wonderful lot of oddball sewing items - a few commercial patterns, a homemade brown paper mystery pattern or two, a heap of 4-H sewing booklets (which will get their own feature one of these days...), and this:

It's a little after the heyday of fabric feedsacks, but it's fun to see how many bags are needed for different dresses and useful to learn how to play around with pattern layouts to use your fabric as efficiently as possible... a skill that's especially handy for those who sew from vintage patterns, where the fabric widths on the layout chart may not correspond to what you can get easily today.

Wonder if i can convince the feed mills i buy from to switch back to cotton sacks... i'd sure love to have a little extra fabric packaging the stuff i have to buy anyway!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cue the fanfare, please...

I've started a new Etsy shop for the block prints i've been doing!  I've only got a few items listed so far, but hope to have more up before the day is out (with other designs to follow soon) - drop by and have a look at PressingNeeds - i'd love to know what you think!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Serious snack food

You know that point in the afternoon, 'long about 3:15, when you just can't quite face the next task?  This is what you need:
Suzanne’s Everything-but-the-Kitchen-Sink Granola

4 ½ cups oats (regular, not instant)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup each of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds
scant ½ cup of cashews (i got unsalted, for this)
¾ cup of dried cranberries (maybe more if they look thin - or
½ cup each of cranberries and raisins)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup softened butter +
1 cup honey +

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Toss dry ingredients well in a good-sized bowl. In a separate bowl, cream the butter, honey, and vanilla (you might pad the amounts of butter and honey called for – i did, since i’d added all those extra seeds and things, and it’ll help it hold together a bit). Add the honey mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. It’s very stiff to mix, so take your time or take turns (a mixer might mash up the seeds, but you could try it...).

Press the granola into a greased 9"x13" pan and bake for about 20 minutes. I gave it a few minutes to set up, but cut it when only partially cooled, which seemed to work fine for the most part. You’ll want smaller pieces that what you’d get with a store-bought granola bar, because this is much more dense. A cold glass of milk is perfect with it, especially while it’s still a little warm from the oven. 

This is my "default" version, but the great thing about this recipe (which i adapted from one i found on another blog, and i wish i'd saved that link, so i could give credit - if you recognize it, let me know...) is that it's completely mix-and-match-able.  I've made it with dried apples and crystallized ginger instead of chocolate and cranberries.  You could swap in different nuts, maybe pumpkin puree or peanut butter or applesauce, spices or other flavorings - i think almost anything might work.

It's great for an afternoon snack, because with all the whole grains and seeds, it sticks with you for a while, but has enough sweetness that you feel like you've had a treat.  I also love to take a tin of it along on a road trip!  (Yes, there are some crumbs, but not as many as you'd think, once it's cooled...)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Consolation prize

I stopped in at one of my pet thrift shops yesterday, hunting for a replacement coffeepot for the coffeemaker. No luck on that front, so (tragically) i'll have to visit other thrift shops.  But i did find this lace:
It's a Chantilly-type galloon lace, in a light beige-tinged rose color, five inches wide, and according to the tag (i admit, i haven't unrolled it all the way yet), there's a total of five yards in two pieces.  It's also a cut-apart lace, so if you split it along the wavy line between the motifs on each side, you'll have twice the yardage in a shaped edging lace.  It's a nicer quality than i expected at first (it was rolled up and tied face in), and it cost me all of 50 cents.

I'm thinking it needs to be applied to a vintage slip, perhaps a variant on this pretty 1940s Advance pattern from my stash: