Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Pineapple. No, really, a pineapple!

I was at the grocery store earlier this week and while waiting for the produce clerk to cut a quarter of a watermelon for me, I looked around at what they had and saw some miniature pineapples. It piqued my intertest because this is my fave fruit juice:

It contains no added sugar:

The pineapples were soo cute that I went to take a closer look. They were on sale for 39 cents a pound. At that price, I definitely wanted to buy one. The only problem is that since I've never bought pineapples before, I didn't know how to pick one. I've eaten fresh pineapples, but I've never had to buy or clean one before.

When the clerk came back, I asked him about the pineapples. Whoa! He gave me a whole lesson on how to pick pineapples! I'm not kidding!

He taught me and now I'll teach you.

1. He had me smell two different ones so I would know how the good one smells. When you smell it, it should smell like a pineapple. If it doesn't have a smell, it's still too green.
2. And then he showed me how the pineapple should look--it should be the color of the pineapple in my pic. The pineapple should look like that all around. It shouldn't have any green spots. If it has green spots, you'll have to let it ripen a little after you get it home.
3. And after that, he told me to feel it. It should be firm. He told me to feel it all around and that if it's soft anywhere, don't buy it because it will be mushy inside.  
4. After that, I asked him how to clean it and he said to just pare it like an apple.

He was spot on on all points.

He picked my pineapple--it's the one he used to compare. And I have to say, it is perfect! It's sweet and it's also juicy! And it's not mushy at all. When I cleaned it, I did exactly what he said, and it turned out perfectly! That guy knows his stuff! I really appreciate when people know their stuff!

And here's the watermelon I bought. I seeded it and cut it:

It's Summer and all sorts of fruits are around right now. There's no need to stick to just run of the mill fruits like cherries, pears, apples and oranges. Branch out.

Buy your regular snacks, but also definitely buy fruits. When fruits require a lot of preparation, clean them and put them in containers as soon as you get them home so they'll be ready to eat whenever anyone's hungry and needs a snack. If you do this, who knows, you and your family might start eating healthier without even meaning to!

If you want to see similar posts, just search my blog for the word food.
Make this day a good one!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Instructions for my Westwood inspired top

This is the Westwood original:

Here's a pic of my top:

And here's the pattern info for my inspired top:

I made this top using the bodice of a TNT wide square neck dress pattern. I rotated the front waist darts and front side darts to the neckline to make the cowl, extended the front shoulder section so they'd be short straps, removed the back shoulder section to accommodate the straps, removed the back waist darts, attached the front facing, twisted the front shoulder straps inwards once, pinned it to the back, attached the back facing and . . . whew! It was perfect.

I redesigned the way the front shoulder attaches to the back because I didn't like the way it looked on the inspiration top. It looks like an afterthought.

I have to say, though, that if my straps weren't as wide as they are, they would have twisted the back bodice. Because I made wider straps, they lay flat. I now understand why the original was constructed as it was.

This is the pattern I started with (bodice only)--Vintage Simplicity 3994. I picked it because of the wide shallow neckline.

These are the adjusted main pattern pieces:

Adjusted bodice front with darts moved and the center front cut on the fold:

Bodice back:

I also drafted front and back facings.

I used the OOP McCalls 5278 for the gathered peplum.

That's it!

Make this day a good one!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Another Westwood inspired top

Of my July sewing projects so far, my piece de resistance is a Vivienne Westwood inspired top. I made a solid gray one last year and loved it. This time around, I made a plaid one!  Here is the Westwood original:

I wanted to make an exact knockoff this time, but I used fabric from my stash and didn't have enough yardage. I ended up making the top with a standard gathered peplum. I used the gathered peplum piece from OOP McCalls 5278.

Because I didn't have much yardage to work with, the plaid isn't perfectly matched. But the mismatching doesn't really bother me and I am happy as pie with this top! The peplum is rather plain compared to the original, but it works for me. I really like this top. Here it is, first on me:

Then flat:

This is a style that goes with everything--jeans, shorts, dress pants, skirts! Here it is with a skirt that I made earlier--the color of the top in this pic looks like the color IRL:

If you're interested in making this top for yourself, check back tomorrow. I'm going to repost the instructions then.

Ty--Thanks for the compliment and for your support! I let that garbage affect me for too long. No more.

Well, that's it for today!

Make this day a good one!