Sunday, September 27, 2009

More Moose

This is for those of you who are interested in that whole Moose-butchering-process thing. This is not for Kathy or Jules who think living off the land (hunting) is horrifying and shocking. Please skip this post if you don't like hunting.

To answer a few questions about the moose and its meat.
  • Yes, we eat it. All of it. The organs we don't eat like the kidneys, liver, and tongue go to friend of mine. She'll eat anything that comes out of a moose. She says it's delicious. Overall, it tastes kind of like deer with much less of the "deer taste". You wild game eaters will know what I mean. In fact, moose are just exceptionally big deer. For us, it's the same as beef without the hormones and chemicals.
  • I've never known anyone to save and tan the hide. I'm sure it can be done but the hair would certainly have to be taken off. It's rough and stringy and would certainly not be luxurious.
  • We also hunt grouse, ptarmigan, black bears, caribou and Sitka Black-tail Deer. The deer are small, like big dogs, and plentiful so the limit is pretty high. I think it's 5 per day per person. Most of the deer are found on islands in Cook Inlet.
  • Being born in Alaska, this time of year is filled with hunting and gathering. Alaska is different than more temperate places. We don't have different berries at different points in the summer. Because of the extremely short growth season things all ripen in a one month period. Hunting, gathering, and storing are all part of fall in Alaska.
  • We will turn this moose meat into steaks, sausage, hamburger, stew meat, and roasts. I will pressure cook the ribs so they are tender and then we'll freeze them. When we are ready for some BBQ ribs, we'll thaw them and stick them on the BBQ for a few minutes. I'll preserve some of the meat by corning it (my favorite!). I'll can some of it into BBQ "beef" sandwich meat and other quick meals.
  • Some of the bones and the lower jaw will be taken to my classroom so we can look at the joint articulations and anatomy. I have a tank of Dermestid beetles in my classroom. The kids love it.

This is to give you an idea of the size. I am standing next to a rear quarter. It weighs more than I do and it's almost as tall as I am. You can see some of the other quarters hanging next to me. You hang meat so that it will be tender when you eat it. There are still chemical reactions going on in the muscle even after the animal had died. The oxygen gets used up and that produces lactic acid. It hurts when it is in your own muscles but it helps break down tissue in a dead animal. If you left it this way for a long time it would rot, of course. We usually hang our meat for a few days but it really depends on the temperature. If it's hot, we don't hang it, we process it right away. Right now it is 45 degrees which is perfect hanging temperatures. He shot it on Friday so we'll probably start butchering it tomorrow.

Chanel Jacket 5 - Trim

This is part II of the Chanel jacket trim saga. Here' s the black ribbon that people didn't like. What I finally ended up with is soooo much better than the black. So, thank you very much for the honest feedback.

I also tried a thick purple grosgrain ribbon for trim. I didn't like that either. It was too thick and too bland.

Then, I decided to go to my local fabric boutique, Seams Like Home. They had this fun ribbon with glitter and ruffly edges. It matches the goldish-yellow in my boucle. I had Paulette helping me and we both thought that it was too bland by itself.

Then we started stacking trim on this ribbon and . . . DING, DING, DING. We have a winner. We tried it with gold and red (too christmas-y), gold and green (too dark), gold and pink (Paulette loved, me hated), gold and just-about-every-color. It does look very bright when the trims are apart but I think they look nice when overlapped. And, it will be easy to go around the corners because the blue can be manipulated pretty easily due to the open weave.

Well, what do you think about that trim?? It's pretty bright but I love it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Free Range Moose

This will be a pictureless post because my husband has the camera. I do have a blouse to show you. I finished 06/2008 #105 and it's really nice. I plan to go shopping for Chanel trim today. I agree with you guys that I need something different for my jacket. Hopefully, I'll have some photos of both trim and shirt tomorrow.

The big news though, and it's literally big news, is that my husband shot a moose yesterday. Woooo hoooo! Moose are between 900 and 1600 lbs. A typical bull moose yields a minimum of 700lbs of meat. It's a very lean meat and it'll keep us stocked up for winter. It's my favorite game animal to eat. We still plan to shoot some deer later this fall but now we can be a little more relaxed about it. But, it also means a lot of hard work. The meat has to hang for a few days and then we start cutting and butchering. I'm the packager and labeler. I try to stay away from the very sharp hunting knives. We'll make sausage, hamburger, steaks, roast, etc. My husband is a great butcherer so we'll have great meat.

Can you tell I'm excited? It's been a few years since we've had a moose. Yum.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chanel Jacket 4 - Trim

I am slowly working on my Chanel-style jacket. I have it cut out and partially put together. I want to add the trim before I sew the sleeves together. I think want something black like this because the fabric itself is so loud. There are two problems, maybe. One, how in the heck am I going to get nice sharp corners for the edges of this faux-sleeve vent and pocket flaps. Two, does this ribbon look cheap? I think it's polyester.

Here you can see that I've pressed it down. I would then hand-stitch the trim to the sleeve vents, pocket flaps, and around the jacket.

Here's a close-up. It's going to be very difficult to make sure these are perfectly symmetrical.

I plan to go to Seams Like Home, the local fabric boutique this weekend and check out what they have. I'm just concerned that it's going to be very hard to make corners with anything more substantial than ribbon.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Burda 03-2009 #101B Tunic Top

This is item #6 for the Wardrobe Contest put on by Making a coordinating wardrobe is a great motivator for those of you who have never done it. And, when you finish you have all these fun pieces that go with each other.

This is a tunic from the March 2009 Burda magazine. I have already made it in the dress version so there was no tracing and no altering this time. Talk about fast! I cut this out on Thursday night and sewed it up Friday night. I finished the hems and belt yesterday. The pleated front overlap part took the longest. This is made out of wool challis which is a fun material to work with. It's got a lot of body but it's very thin at the same time. It's like a stretch poplin with a much, much looser weave. Kind of crisp but maybe not that crisp. This is another fabric purchase by my husband. He goes to High Fashion Fabric when he is in Houston.

I love waist belts.

I could also wear it unbelted but I don't know if I will.

Here, I clumsily drew in the details. It's hard to see with this print.

Here's the back with it unbelted. You can see that I pressed the pleats all the way down to the hem. Because it's not a very drapey fabric, the pleats didn't want to lay down correctly. But, because it's a wool, the pleats were ironed in perfectly and will stay there. Do you know wool is my favorite? I'm an Alaskan girl through and through, even when it comes to fabric.

This is to show you how much fabric is at the bottom of the tunic.

It's fun. Now, on to the Chanel-style jacket. I have it muslined but I'll have to thread trace some parts and that always slows ya down.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bwaaaa haaaaaa haaaaaa . . . .

If you go to, you can upload a photo and "try on" hairstyles. You can either try on movie star hair or you can try on the regular old hair in your own color. I mostly spent a lot of time trying on Kate Winslet, Riana, and Paris Hilton hair and cracking up. Obviously, I've been thinking about getting a haircut.

I could so never be a blond.

Well, then there is this. Tee heee.

If I was a drag queen, this is what I would look like as a man dressed as a woman.

Another not-so-hot look.

This hair, now, I've had this hairstyle. I was also trying on make-up and then I couldn't get it off my face. It is kind of distracting.

I do like this hairstyle. You can one with make-up and one without. It works well with my very square jaw.

This is bridesmaid hair if I've ever seen it.

Come on, blogging buddies. Try it. I dare you to post photos on your own blog. Angie, ya know you wanna. If nothing else, it's freaking hilarious.

Cool YouTube videos

I don't know if you guys have even seen these videos. They are short videos of Pfaff sewing feet. There are 55 videos in this collection and some pretty cool feet. Have you guys ever seen the ruffler foot in action? It almost looks like an alien. If you've ever wondered about a specific foot, this is a great place to check it out before you buy. Of course, they are Pfaff feet but they'll give you an idea of how it works. I found these because I am looking for Nechhi topstitching feet. I found some awesome industrial feet on eBay thanks to a comment. I love my readers/commenters!! Thanks you guys. (eta: I'm having some odd text problems because of these embedded movies. I hope it is better now.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jalie 2908 - Black Jeans

They're dooooone. I think I'll wear them tomorrow with this same shirt. You can't have a bright-ass butt without a bight-ass shirt, right?

I finally broke out the knee-high boots too. I have four pairs and love them all. I wear them all winter with wool skirts, layered dresses, and pants. DUO boots is my favorite place to buy boots. I have my eyeballs on this pair and this one. I plan to wait until they go on sale in December. The prices are a bit steep right now.

I did all the topstitching with my Necchi. It goes through denim with thick thread like nobody's business. I used Gutterman upholstery thread (which I adore) with regular thread in the bobbin. I don't have a topstitching foot for the Necchi. Do any of you know of feet like that I could buy for the Necchi? I like the topstitching feet with the metal or plastic guide that sits next to the seam. The embroidery is from Embroidery Emotions and it's a freebie. I left out several of the sections of filler thread and made most of the design white.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hey, look at me! Look down here!

The jeans are done. I'll post actually pictures of me wearing them tomorrow. They are totally ass-centric pants. I feel like my butt is blinking in them and screaming, "Hey look at me. Look at ME!" I do really like them though. Details will be forthcoming tomorrow. Tonight, I'm just whooped. Hopefully, I'm not getting another cold.

How fun is this lining? It's left over from this jacket.

I'm halfway done with my entry for the Wardrobe contest.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jalie 2788 Twist Top

Here's item #4 for my wardrobe contest entry. I'm sure you guys think I'm just screaming through this wardrobe. I have been so far but that's about to stop. I have been doing knit tops which are easy and already TNT. It's easy to go fast when you know it'll fit. Now its on to the hard, more time-consuming patterns. I have the jeans cut out and the pockets are embroidered and attached. My grandparents are coming into town so I'll be taking a sewing break for a couple of days.

Here's the Jalie twist top with a thin shirt under it. I used a Gorgeous Fabrics knit I purchased about a year ago. I think I've finally used it all up.

I just love the back of this shirt. I'll probably wear it just like this to school tomorrow. I love the red peaking out in the front and back.

My little helper.

Here's a close-up of the twist portion. Since it was the second time around for me for this pattern, I didn't have any problems with the knot/twist at all. It really was fast to make this. There are only 3 pattern pieces and strips for the ties. The part that took me the longest was finding the two strips I had cut for the ties. And, of course, as soon as I cut them out again, I found the original two ties. Dammit.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

JSterns -- The Tee -- 0041 -- Take Three

This is item #3 for my wardrobe contest entry. Don't you love this fabric? It's so soft and cozy. I wish they (my local fabric boutique) would buy this in a few different colors. I would buy them all. I added a neckband like last time and I straightened out the hem so it wasn't so long in front. Crazy cuffs, eh?

Can you see what I did for the neckband?? I did it just like the Jeans Gaposis Fix from Emilie. I made the band and then used a larger seam allowance in the middle so the neckband would be shorter in the middle. I'm not explaining this very well, am I?? I'll take a picture for you.

I don't know if the cuffs are too much but I like them a lot.

I hope to finish my Jalie jeans this weekend too. I did a sample for the pockets. They won't be exactly like this. I will be using red instead of orange for the middle detail. It's a free pattern from Embroidery Emotions. I left out several of the colors and skipped them so my design was not so dense.

Here's the actual size compared to the pocket size. I think I'll do it diagonally like this.

I love ZipperStop

Have you shopped at I officially love them. Not only do they have a fantastic selection of everything zipper but they have great service to go along with it. I have ordered from them a few times but I always had a hard time figuring out which color I wanted from the monitor. No more of that guessing crap for me. I bought the color card for $10 so I can match or contrast to my heart's delight. I never realized that they offered quite so many colors. Cool, eh? We do have a local JoAnn's and a local fabric boutique. I buy from them when I need a basic color but they certainly don't have the selection that ZipperStop does.

My girls were oohing and awing over this section. Then they both turned to me and announce, "Pink is myyyyyyy favorite!" Twins can be a bit creepy sometimes.

Here is the boucle I plan to use for the Wardrobe contest. I bought these zipper a long time ago. I don't remember ordering pink but whatever. I think I'll use the dark purple one.


Here's the color card all folded up.

I also bought 50 yards of 3/4" elastic. I use quite a bit of this size when I make kid pants. It is rolled up on top of the color card. It's very large. I'll have elastic for a looooong time.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jalie 2804 - Empire Cross Top

Here's item #2 for the wardrobe contest. I'm sick and have crappy hair. There. I love making knit tops. Talk about instant gratification.
This Jalie top went together easily. I have already made it several times (here, here, and here) so any fitting issues take been worked out already. I didn't put in the modesty panel. I am wearing a tank under this but it's a thin wool one to keep me warm at my school.
Did you notice the pants? They are the ones I made the other day. I hope to get another knit top and my Jalie jeans out of the way this weekend. I can't trace out any of the Burdas because I'm out of tracing paper. No worry though, I have plenty to keep me busy. Here's the cheese ball photo . . .

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wardrobe Storyboard

You'll need to click on this to see the whole thing. I'm certainly going with a basic black and white theme aren't I? I really thought there was more color in this wardrobe. I'll have Jalie 2804 done tonight and should be able to do the review tomorrow. I think I'll hit the jeans next. I feel like I can whip this wardrobe up pretty fast because most of these are TNT patterns for me. The only new ones for me are the Burda skirt, Burda cuffed pants, and the Chanel-style jacket. I have made a muslin of that already though.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Wardrobe Contest Rough Draft and Tips

For those of you who have never done a Wardrobe Contest before, I thought I would show you how I organize my thoughts. First I make a pile of fabric. I always try to start from the fabric and choose a pattern that will work for it and not the other way around. If I choose a pattern first, I spend forever finding the perfect fabric and I usually never find it. I don't have that problem if I start with the fabric.Then, I flip through my Burda patterns notebook. I make copy of the model photo and line drawing for every pattern in my Burda magazines. I put them in a plastic envelope and stick them in a three ring binder. Voila, pattern euphoria. I usually put the fabric on my lap otherwise, I get distracted by all the eye candy and forget why I'm looking in the first place. Here's an example of one from May of last year.

After I've chosen the fabrics and patterns, I figure out if they will work together. I look at necklines very carefully. I always seem to have a jacket/vest/coat that doesn't work well with the necklines I've chosen. Then, I sketch out a list of each component just to make sure it all works together. My last step is to move to the computer and actually make the storyboard. I find it easier if I choose Burda patterns because they have nice line drawings. Some of the older Jalies don't have great line drawings and you have to fiddle with them to make them look nice on your storyboard. I think Angie over at Quality Time has some of the best photoshoppy/storyboard tutorials. Here are a few I use: Mac Storyboard Tutorial, Mixing Prints Tutorial, and Storyboard Tutorial using

And here, obviously, is my poorly drawn rough draft storyboard (click to see the whole width). I did this at the table this morning at breakfast. You can see that my kids also "helped" by scribbling on it. I was going to do a vest and a dress but not anymore. I think a chanel-style jacket fits better into this plan. That, and I want to make one anyhow.