Zucchini Round-up!

Are you “suffering” from an over-abundance of zucchini? Is your neighbour trying to pawn the stuff off on you? No worries! After my incredible yield last year (we learned the, um, hard way? Don’t plant 8 zucchini plants until you are planning on feeding an army), I learned a few tricks and found a few exceptional recipes and I’m here to share them with you! (and please excuse the cell phone/instagram pics….apparently I didn’t feel the need to document this goodness with the Nikon!)

zucchini recipes

1. My top favorite recipe is this AMAZING Death by Chocolate Zucchini Cake. No one will ever believe there’s zucchini in there….

death by chocolate zucchini cake

2. Also, more chocolate. Irresistible Zucchini Brownies!

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photo by sweethappylife.com

 3. The easiest way to eat up some zucchini is by quartering it lengthwise, throw it in a plastic bag, drizzle some olive oil on it, add a shake of pepper and salt, a little italian seasoning and some parmesan cheese. Then just throw it on the grill with your protein! Flip it once….so delicious! (seen here with beets, carrots and elk steak!)

grilled zucchini

4. My favorite Zucchini Bread! Mom’s Zucchini Bread from All Recipes. Hands down my favorite. 

Zucchini Bread

5. I JUST tried this: add grated zucchini to your burgers! We eat wild meat which is VERY lean, and I never seem to be able to keep my burgers juicy on the grill. Well, enter the zucchini! I added about 3/4 cup grated zucchini to 1 1/2 pounds of ground elk, and those were the best burgers ever! Give it a try ;)

zucchini harvest 2013

Near the end of our harvest, I was grasping at straws for a way to preserve the bounty…without doing any more canning or baking! I found this great way to freeze shredded zucchini…

  • wash and dry your zucchini
  • shred it all into a large bowl
  • using a 1 cup measuring scoop, pack the cup
  • invert onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper (they should mostly keep their shape, especially if you packed them well)
  • do this until you’ve finished up the zucchini
  • pop the baking sheet into the freezer

When they are all frozen, put them in some large freezer bags. The next time you’re in the mood for some zucchini bread, take out 2 chunks, thaw (don’t drain that water – I did and found that it made my bread dry!) and use in your recipe! 

I’ll leave you with this gem :)

giant zucchini

Happy Baking!

Okey Dokey Overalls!

okey Dokey overalls

Are those not the cutest little overalls EVER?? I was lucky to be a tester for this fabulous pattern, the Okey Dokey Overalls (*affiliate link) from the Peekaboo Pattern Shop, and let me tell you, every line of topstitching on these is absolutely worth it!

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 This is not a overly quick pattern…the topstitching makes it a bit of a longer sew, but totally doable for an advanced beginner/intermediate seamstress (just don’t rush!). I used a medium-weight Japanese cotton print for these, and they are absolutely perfect for summer. I have some ochre corduroy that I’ll be making a winter pair from (and maybe even with a flannel lining – soooo warm!).

The details are amazing – classic 5 pocket styling, buttons at the side waist for easier dressing, hammer-in buttons! The pattern comes with all of the details and instructions for selecting the correct hardware for your size. 

okey dokey overalls

okey dokey overalls

There are options for long pants and shorts, and you know I’ll probably be hacking these into a jumper! You can grab your copy of the Okey Dokey Overalls here and save 15% through the end of the day today (08/21)! Hurry and snag yours now! 

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*this post contains affiliate links, but the pattern love and opinions are all my own!

 

Adding a Snap Placket to a Raglan Tee

Snap Placket for  Raglan Tutorial

I don’t know about you, but my babies have big heads. And mommy-made shirts need just a little more stretch for dressing than my fabric/serger combo can provide. Enter the snap placket! You could use this basic construction on a regular shirt with shoulder seams, just by adjusting the length of the placket. 

Here I’m going to be using the Grand Slam Raglan by Peekaboo Patterns (*affiliate links). This is one of my most often used patterns, but for my little boy, the neck opening is just a tad on the small side (this isn’t a pattern problem, merely a head to body size ratio that is “off” on the smaller sized little people….once they catch up to their head size, things all work nicely :) ) The snap placket means no fighting with your toddler to yank that shirt over their head!

Let’s get started! You’ll need a scrap of woven fabric that matches your shirt, a scrap of fusible interfacing, and some matching thread, pins, sewing machine, etc. 

*Please note, these measurement are to create a placket that will nicely fit #20 Kam Snaps. If you are using considerably larger or smaller snaps, you may need to do some fiddling with the measurements :)

Start by cutting two rectangles in your matching fabric: 1-3/4″ x 4-1/2″ and 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″. Cut your interfacing into two 3/4″ x 4″ pieces and iron on to your rectangles about 1/2″ in from one long edge.

interfacing

 Next up, sew the sleeve seams front and back except for the front left side (from the wearer’s perspective). Do NOT sew up your side seams/arm seams yet!! Add your neck binding starting at one open edge to the other open edge (oh, and don’t be like me and forget to topstitch your neck until after the whole shirt is done. Oops! Do it now!) Are you wondering about that little triangle of green that isn’t in the original pattern? I just cut a little triangle, fused it on, and did a decorative stitch over top. Do this before adding your neck binding. 

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 Take your larger rectangle (2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″) and pin Right Sides Together (RST) to the front raw edge of your shirt (the elk pattern here) with the piece extended 1/4″ above the neck binding. Fold the bottom of your piece up 1/4″. Sew 1/2″ from the edge (the seam allowance for this shirt pattern). 

snap placket

Press your seam allowance open.

snap placket

Next, fold your other long edge under 1/2″ Wrong Sides Together (WST) and press. Then bring that fold over to the seam you just made previously. Pin in place and press. 

snap placket

 Stitch across the top of the placket piece at 1/4″. Trim your excess. 

snap placket

 Turn the placket right side out, and poke your corner out so it’s nice and square. Press. Then turn to the back and pin your turned-under seam allowance in place. It should automatically tuck under nicely because of your folding. 

snap placket

 Topstitch along the open edge and the bottom. Looking at the front now, this is how the bottom part of your placket should look:

snap placket

 Onto the top! With RST, pin your smaller piece (1 3/4″ x 4 1/2″) to the sleeve portion (the green fabric here) of the shirt, extending and folding over a 1/4″ allowance up over the neck binding and then folding up a 1/4″ allowance on the bottom, WST. (please ignore the fact that I forgot to fold up my bottom bit in this photo….you’ll see it in the next step!)

snap placket

 Sew at 1/2″ seam allowance. Trim your seam allowances.

snap placket

 Press open. 

snap placket

Now you want to line up the sleeve and shoulder portions of the shirt RST, and stitch from the armpit JUST to where the placket begins.  

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 When you turn the shirt right side out you should see this:

snap placket

 Fold the long side of the top placket piece under 1/2″ and press, and then turn the full placket under WST to enclose the seam allowance and pin. 

snap placket

Mark with chalk or a disappearing marker (or wing it!) at the 3/4″ mark for a topstitching line. Make sure that you are catching the placket underneath (you could sew from the bottom, to be sure, but I like to do all of my topstitching from the top!) Be sure to mark where the top placket piece ends, so you don’t sew past it. Do NOT pivot and sew the short part!

snap placket.

 Topstitch along that line. Then arrange the placket in the closed position (how it will be with snaps) and sew up the short end, as directed here, through ALL layers. 

snap placket

Please, don’t try to do the topstitching all in one step. You need to make sure that the seam allowances are all laying flat and the ends of the plackets are caught in your stitching. So do the long side first. Then do the short side :)

Add your snaps, and you’re done!

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snap placket

 

snap placket

 Happy Sewing!

 *this post contains affiliate links, but the pattern love and opinions are all my own!

 

Zucchini Coconut Cookies

Zucchini Coconut  Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know, I know….zucchini and cookie shouldn’t be in the same sentence together, but really, these aren’t bad at all! I was a little skeptical, and almost went with a tried and true zucchini bread, but my daughter wanted to make cookies….and I had zucchini. 

Zucchini Coconut Chocolate Chip cookies

The recipe I used was from Two Peas and their Pod, and I didn’t make any changes to the recipe, except to bake them a little longer. I like cookies that have a little crunch. Baking them longer did help for the first day, but once they were in a container for 24 hours, they went soft again. So beware, if you don’t like soft cookies, this isn’t the recipe for you :)

Zucchini Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

I imagine these would be great with some dried fruit thrown in, or some nuts!

Zucchini Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Zucchini cookies made with coconut oil, coconut, and chocolate chips. The best way to use up your garden zucchini!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temperature
  5. 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  6. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  7. 1 large egg
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  9. 1 cup shredded zucchini
  10. 2 cups old fashioned oats
  11. 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  12. 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine coconut oil and sugars, mix until smooth.
  5. Add egg and vanilla extract. Next, add the shredded zucchini. Mix until combined.
  6. Slowly add flour mixture until just combined. Stir in oats, coconut, and chocolate chips.
  7. Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or cookies are slightly golden around the edges and set.
  9. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
Notes
  1. I did bake mine until there were quite golden on top...I was hoping to get a little crunch out of them - and I did (for the first day, then they went soft again :)
The Crazy Tailor http://www.thecrazytailor.com/

Uptown/Downtown Dress Pattern Tour

dress, pdf pattern, classic

I’m so excited to be sharing with you my version of the Uptown/Downtown dress – my bloggy friend Terri’s first pdf pattern!! I’ve been watching her grow her talents, and really stretch herself and I’m so proud of my fellow Albertan! Head over to her newly redesigned blog, Sew Straight & Gather to catch up on what she’s been doing lately. 

This is such a classic pattern that you can easily modify and get creative with to suit your needs. I’ve seen Terri make it in a dressy fabric and with a lace overlay, and then others on the tour have done a fun print for a more casual look! 

uptown/downtown dress

I pulled out my knits and knew that I wanted to incorporate some of this Oh Deer! Stenzo knit in somehow. 

uptown/downtown dress

So for my modifications, I decided to use the front and back facing pieces as my bodice pattern instead, so I could do some piecework and make a chevron bodice. I added seam allowance to where the fold would be to account for it not being cut on the fold. I used this easy-peasy way of making sure my bodice lines matched up. I probably should have tried harder on the sides seams, but oh well…it’s the front you really see ;)

I then used the actual dress pattern and marked where the facing ended (which is at a slightly empire waist line), added seam allowances and cut the skirt part off. Then I added these funny patch pockets. I drafted the shape, then cut out the hand opening, and serged on some red knit binding. I then pinned them on and just topstitched them with a weird decorative stitch. SInce it’s knit, they won’t fray. Now that it’s all done, I think a kangaroo pocket would be really cute!

uptown/downtown dress

I then serged my skirts to the corresponding bodice piece, and then zipped down the sides. I also finished the neckline and sleeves with the red knit binding. It’s a bit New York Yankees-looking but the Oh Deer! fabric helps as does the chevron bodice. Bad fabric planning on my part! The striped knit had only a 2-way stretch, so as much as I would have rather had the stripes horizontal, they kinda had to be vertical. 

uptown/downtown dress

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 What on earth??! She models too many clothes…..

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uptwn/downtown dress

I broke my double needle (AGAIN) just as I went to hem the dress. Ha. I’m not sure why my machine’s default position is far left. Or why I always forget to move it. 

uptown/downtown dress

This is such a comfy dress, J loved it!

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Haha, she was done with photos :)

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Go grab your copy of the pattern here and then get 30% off with the code “uptowndowntowntour” until August 16th!

Also, there a great little prize bundle up for grabs! Enter in the Rafflecopter below for a bunch of ways to win!

Giveaway Mash up

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Golden Rippy Delilah Top Tour

golden rippy delilah top

*As a pattern tour participant, I received a copy of this pattern for free, however all opinions are my own. 

Hey there! thanks for joining me on the Delilah Tour! I jumped on this because I seriously love dolman sleeve shirts. So easy! And such a relaxed fit, so it’s extra comfy! I went with a boring black mystery knit (it looks like a slub knit, almost) that’s got a slight burnout effect to it, although you can’t tell from the pictures. It’s the perfect weight for these hot summer days! I have a white polka-dot knit that I’m going to use next!

Please shield your eyes from my lightning bolt legs…wow. Can I blame it on Alberta not having any nice beaches??

golden rippy delilah top

See that lovely gate? My hubby is right in the middle of finishing up a HUGE summer project of a fence, gate, paving stones, and a graveled driveway (with some extra grading thrown in there for fun ;) ) It’s going to be so nice when it’s finished – it already makes a great backdrop for photos!

From the pattern:

The Delilah top is a beginner Dolman style top with half sleeves or short sleeves. The drop sleeves and roomy fit mean that it’s super comfortable! 

And if your little girl wants to match mommy, you can make her the matching Dahlia top in her size.

Includes:

• illustrated instructions

• six sizes XXS to XL

• 2 sleeve lengths

• 2 embellishment options

• printing guide

• pattern layout guide

• grainlines

• 28 page PDF pattern download to make the top

• fabric yardages for 45′′ and 60′′ widths

• pattern pieces with seam allowances

• professionally designed and graded pattern

golden rippy delilah top

The only modification I made was to shorten the top a little. Sometimes I like some extra bunchiness, but I wasn’t feeling it this time around. I made a size large and the fit is great! I might shorten the sleeves a bit next time. 

There’s a cute mommy-matching Dahlia top pattern that is also available! How fun would that be?? Head on over to Golden Rippy to find out more about her patterns. Get in on the chance to win 2 Golden Rippy Patterns in the Rafflecopter widget below. 

The Contest Rules:

  • You must be 18 to enter.
  • You can gain entries by entering the Rafflecopter Prompts.
  • Giveaway ends: 8/6/14 at midnight PST.
  • Two winners will be chosen and announced on 8/7/14.

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and don’t forget to check in on all of the wonderful bloggers for lots of inspiration!

A Vision To Remember

Fabulous Home Sewn

Amanda Rose

FriendsStitchedTogether 

Cozy Cape Cottage 

Gracious Threads 

GYCT Designs 

The Sewing Geek 

Sprouting JubeJube 

My Taylor Made 

Mimi’s Mom 

Rebel & Malice 

Stitchwerx Designs 

Pienkel 

E-beth Designs 

Growing Family

Marmalade Forest 

Ali Cat & Co 

Made by Sara 

From a Box 

Crooked Whimsy 

Daisy Chain Creations 

Knot Sew Normal 

Lulu & Celeste 

Mae & K 

The Crazy Tailor 

Blogs Like A Mother 

Bebe Lambs 

Create3.5 

Lady and the Gents 

Mara Blouse Pattern Tour

mara blouse

When Marte was organizing this blog tour, I knew I had to hop on the train! Her patterns are all so lovely and well-written. I’ve made a Mara before for Project Run & Play, but this time I did a flutter sleeve and threw in another twist! Head on over to Compagnie M. to read all the details and see more photos!

LOL Swing Top – Pattern Tour

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The LOL Swing Top (affiliate link) -what a great name for a top, and what a great top for any girl! It’s not everyday that you can twirl your TOP! This half-circle racer-back style top is great on it’s own, or even layered!

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Jenn has been working overtime getting all of the details on this perfect. Her patterns are impeccable and leave NOTHING hanging! This is a knit version, but the pattern includes all the details on making it in a woven as well. You could probably mix it up a bit and do some woven and knit! In fact, I was thinking of trying lace on the back and then a woven front and using it as a layering piece this winter on top of boring old long sleeve shirts!

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It’s hard to see with my 80′s fabric choice here, but right at the top back yoke is where the magic happens! The gathering gives the top so much SWING!

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Check out the rest of these amazing bloggers for an OVERLOAD of inspiration!

LOL Pattern Tester Tour

 

The LOL Swing Top is set to release TOMORROW at a 20% discount for the first week with the code “LOLRelease” (ps. It’s live NOW!!)! Be sure to stop in to Jenn’s shop to pick up your copy!

(this post contains affiliate links, but the pattern love and opinions are all my own)

Acai-Mango Lemonade

This is one of my favorite summertime drinks, and it tastes very similar to a drink I’ve had at Starbucks! 

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 Start with some herbal tea like this (or any mango blend you can find!), some lemons, honey and some hot water. 

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Now, a warning – making tea or lemonade is a highly individual thing, so these are just guidelines…feel free to tweak it as you go! More honey, or more lemon, it’s all up to you!

Throw three or four teabags in a pitcher. Add 3-4 tablespoons of honey. Pour in 4 cups of boiling water. Allow the tea to steep for 5-7 minutes and then squeeze the teabags before tossing them. 

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 Once the teabags are out, add the juice of 2 lemons.

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 You can even throw in a few lemon slices if you like :)

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 I like to taste it at this point and make sure it’s sweet enough. Make any adjustments to the tea now, then allow to cool a bit before putting in the fridge. 

To serve, fill a tall glass with ice, and pour the tea over. 

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Enjoy!

 

 

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