Monthly Archives: September 2012

DIY Maternity Shirt

I have a confession to make.  I am NOT a fashion anything.  I don’t mind looking at clothes (too much, especially if I’m alone), but to try stuff on, find things that look good on me, be “in style,” nope, that’s not me – at all.  My biggest things are comfort, practicality, and (hopefully) not too much slouchiness.  (I try; I rarely succeed.)  As you might be able to imagine, being pregnant has really put me in a pickle, clothing wise.  Thankfully, my mama found a great deal at a yard sale this past spring on a bunch of maternity clothes, but I’ve really wanted some more comfortable shirts.  For awhile, I’ve shied away from the maternity shirts with the elastic in the sides.  With my record, I figured they would like some kind of melted colored marshmallow that I squashed onto myself, so it came as quite a surprise when, out of desperation to find something that was comfy and decent-looking, I tried one on and found that didn’t look too terrible.  Too bad the price was a bit much for more than one, so I bought only one.  Coincidentally, I also recently found a blog that had an incredibly simple tutorial on how to make more.  Whoo-hoo!  The original blog post that I found is called “Big Tee To Maternity Tee Refashion” on the blog Homemade By Jill.  (http://homemadebyjill.blogspot.com.au/2010/03/big-tee-to-maternity-tee-refashion.html)

Yesterday, I went to Wal-Mart for some groceries and also decided to see if I could find a suitable, cheap t-shirt to make my own maternity t-shirt.  After scouring the women’s department and men’s department for a suitable shirt, I finally ran across one in the craft department for about $3.  A spool of matching thread and a package of elastic, and I had all I needed to make a shirt for about $5 total, about half the price I paid for the maternity t-shirt (on sale) at Target.

I am on here today to make my own little tutorial on making one of these shirts.  Now, let me say, I’m not an expert seamstress by any means.  I don’t even have a sewing machine.  This isn’t necessarily the prettiest shirt in the world, but it’s not half bad.  And it gets the job done.  I hope this little tutorial makes sense to everyone!  😀

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What you need:

  • a t-shirt about 1-2 sizes too big (It needs to be a little long.  Men’s shirts work well.)
  • matching thread
  • narrow elastic (I used 3/8-inch braided elastic because it looked stronger than the rolled elastic, but in the maternity shirt I bought, it looks like they used rolled.  I guess just whatever melts your butter.)
  • pins and needle
  • something to attach your shirt to while you sew

What you do:

*Let me remind you, I don’t have a sewing machine, so I was doing this by hand.  If you have a machine, go for it.  It will take a lot of time off the whole thing and be a lot easier, too.

  1. Mark a spot, just below the bust line on the shirt with a pin.  For me, this was about 3 1/2 inches below the armpit seam of the sleeve.  Do this on both sides.  I put the shirt on, pinned a spot on one side, took the shirt off, measured the spot of the pin, and marked the same spot on the other side.
  2. Measure from the bottom of the shirt up about 2-3 inches, and mark the spot on both sides.
  3. Here’s where things get fun.  Find something to which you can safety pin the shirt and elastic.  The elastic has to be stretched out when you sew it onto the shirt, so you have to be able to secure it in a stretched position.  I used a couch cushion, but you could use something much smalled if you prefer, like a couch pillow.  (If you’re using a machine, you don’t need this step.  Just keep the elastic pulled tight as you sew.)
  4. Safety pin the elastic to one of the marked spots (also pinning it to your pillow at the same time).  Smooth the side of the shirt across the pillow.  Stretch the elastic to the other marked spot, and safety pin it down, too.
  5. Sew the elastic onto the shirt.  If your shirt has side seams, sew it onto the seam.  If it doesn’t, just sew it directly onto the side of the shirt.  Use plenty of stitches so that it doesn’t come loose, and sew the entire piece of elastic.  (If you are using a machine, a zig-zag stitch would do the trick nicely.  If you’re like me and doing this by hand, just be patient and stitch, stitch away.)  Also, as you do this, be careful to not sew the shirt to the pillow!  Patience is key when doing this project by hand.
  6. Remove shirt from pillow, go to the other side, attach it to the pillow, and sew elastic on to that side.
  7. Try on your creation, and be happy and comfy!

Tacking down the shirt and elastic to the cushion. Safety pins on both ends. Elastic stretched out.

Stitch, stitch, stitch, stitch! The inside side of the shirt after the elastic is sewn on and the shirt is removed from the cushion.

The outside side of the shirt after the elastic is sewn on. (The lighting is weird, but I never claimed to be photographer. 😉 )

Connor in his new clothes! (Never trust a happy daddy-to-be with a camera.)

A success! Whoo-hoo!

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Chocolate Muffins with Chocolate Chips

Yesterday, I made chocolate chip scones, and I took them to a family reunion, where every single one of them valiantly gave their lives for the greater good of the reunion attendees.  That left me, a chocolate-craving pregnant woman, without a chocolate-y baked good in the house.  Therefore, this morning, I decided I wanted a chocolate muffin with a dose of chocolate chips mixed in for good measure.  This led me to my ever-helpful Better Homes and Gardens Quick Breads Cook Book.  The book doesn’t actually have a chocolate, chocolate chip muffin recipe, but it does have a chocolate chip recipe that I altered to get these lovely, delicious, chocolate-y muffins.  (I have just started my second muffin, so I can truthfully declare them “Yummy!”)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups all- purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil or melted shortening

Directions:

  1. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cocoa.
  2. Make a well in the center.
  3. Combine egg, milk, and oil.
  4. Add liquid ingredients all at once into flour mixture, stirring just until moistened.
  5. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full.
  6. Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes.
  7. Dust the tops of muffins with powdered sugar.
  8. Makes 10-12 muffins.

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Chocolate Chip Scones

Hello again!  It’s been awhile since I posted anything on here.  However, I am back with a new recipe!  I’ve never made any kind of scone – to be honest, until a year or two ago, I didn’t even know what a scone is.  As I’ve learned, it is quite similar to a biscuit, just with all kinds of fun extra stuff thrown in, like chocolate chips.  The particular recipe for these scones said to cut the dough into triangles, but some of the others I looked up said to cut them in circles with a biscuit cutter.  I suppose it’s about six one way, half a dozen the other as to how you cut them up.  Just have fun with them.  These scones in particular would be really good warm with a cold glass of milk, in my opinion.  They are a really “thick” biscuits with yummy chocolate chips mixed throughout.  Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)*
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract*
  • 2/3 – 3/4 cup buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in middle of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. (The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.) Stir in the chocolate chunks (or chips) and dried cherries. In a small measuring cup whisk together the buttermilk and vanilla extract and then add to the flour mixture. Stir just until the dough comes together (add more buttermilk or flour as necessary). Do not over mix the dough.
  3. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches round and about 11/2 inches thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 4 pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk.
  4. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  5. Makes 8 scones.

*Notes:  I did not use the dried cherries, so I added a whole cup of chocolate chips.  I also did not have pure vanilla extract, so I used 2 tsp. of imitation vanilla.  I also doubled the recipe, but I did not double the chocolate chips.  In other words, for the doubled recipe, I only used one cup of chocolate chips and no cherries.  There were still plenty of chocolate chips in the scones this way.

This recipe is courtesy of http://www.joyofbaking.com/SconesChocChip.html.

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