Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Skinny

Well, today's the day.  Today I stop eating junk.  Today I start exercising and eating right.  Today I will start to lose weight.  And to be accountable and keep myself motivated, I have created yet another blog.  Not only will I be posting pictures of myself every other week and updates on my progress every week, but so will my mom.  We'll also be having lots of guest posts from our friends (blog world, real world, and otherwise) and family that will share great recipes, fitness tips, success stories, and other motivational and helpful things to help us all be a little healthier.  So come check out The Skinny.

Want to be a guest writer on The Skinny?  Leave me a comment here telling me so or e-mail me. 

Monday, December 28, 2009

On This Day

One year ago today I found out I was pregnant with the big O.


And two years ago today I married this guy.





Happy 2nd Anniversary Bryan! I love you!

Dear Blog World Friends,

I promise I have not forgotten about you. I have just been ditching you in order to spend fun time with my family and friends. But I promise I'll be back soon. To hold you over until Christmas break ends, I'll leave you with this. I've been thinking a lot about new years resolutions. I've been pretty inspired by my friend Melissa. She has made me believe that it really is possible for me to get rid of the extra body fat that I don't like if I truly commit myself to it. I'd really like to get rid of my pudge, which, let's be honest, is about 40 pounds. Wow. What a lot! It sounds really discouraging, but at the same time it's really been liberating for me today to realize that it's possible for me to have a concrete goal. Now I know that the number on the scale doesn't matter as much as the healthy body, but I think at this point in my life focusing on a number could do me some good. So please answer me this: what are some good things I can do to accomplish this goal of mine? I think my main problem is eating way too much junk. And I know the answer sounds obvious: just don't eat it. But I think it's more complicated than that. It's more of a social problem than that. I hate to be at somebody's house and have them offer me something they've slaved over and then decline. And it's awkward to say, "Umm... well I'm trying to lose some weight. I think we'd all agree I need to." But is that just what it comes down to? The other problem is that I don't get enough exercise, but I think that is getting better since my friend Sarah and I have started going on walks every day. I'm excited for her to come back from our home town where she's spending Christmas with her family so we can really hunker down and get skinny together. Anyway, I'd really love any nice comments with helpful suggestions. What works? What have you tried that doesn't work? What do you suggest? I'd like to know.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Drawstring T-shirt Bag


The big O has a train set coming her way for Christmas, but since it doesn't come with a storage box I thought I'd make a little bag for the trains and railroads to live in. So... let's begin!

Get an old t-shirt.


Fold it in half lengthwise.


Line the folded edge up with a line on your cutting mat.



Cut off the bottom of the shirt.

You could leave the bottom of the shirt attached and just use it for one of your edges if you want to. I chose to cut the bottom off of the shirt I was using because the shirt had been well worn and the bottom edges didn't line up very well anymore.



Cut off the top of your shirt.


Unfold the remaining middle portion of the shirt. Your shirt should now just be basically a tube of fabric.


Cut along one of the side edges of the tube. Open tube. You will now just have one long strip of t-shirt fabric. Turn it over so the wrong side is facing up.


Decide what you will use for your drawstring so you will know how big to make the tunnel that it will run through. I used some left over skinny twill tape I had lying around.


With the wrong side facing up, line up one short edge with the ruler on your cutting mat.


Fold the edge up. The amount that you fold up your edge will depend on how wide your drawstring is. My drawstring was about 1/4" wide, so I folded my edge up one inch in order to give myself plenty of room for the drawstring to run though.


Pin in place.


Repeat on the other corner.


Pin across the middle. Repeat on opposite short end.


Change the stitch on your sewing machine to a zigzag stitch.


Sew edges, making sure to back stitch a couple of times as you start and finish your seam. This will reinforce the places where your drawstring comes out, making your bag more durable.


Change the stitch on your sewing machine back to a straight stitch.


With right sides together, line up the top edges and side edges of your bag. Line up your edges with your cutting mat ruler. Using a pin, mark just below your drawstring tunnels. I pinned mine an inch below the top of my bag.


Pin the rest of the edge. Repeat on opposite side edge.


Starting at your marking pin, sew side edges together. Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and ends for reinforcement. DO NOT SEW THROUGH YOUR DRAWSTRING TUNNELS.


This is what your bag should now look like.


Turn your bag right side out.


Measure and cut a length of drawstring. It should be a little longer than twice the width of your bag.


Pin one end of your drawstring to a safety pin. The bigger the safety pin (that will fit through your drawstring tunnel) the easier.


Feed your safety pin through your drawstring tunnel.


When you come to the end of one side, feed your safety pin through the drawstring tunnel on the other side of your bag and keep on going.


Once you drawstring is though both sides, take off your safety pin.


Pin drawstring ends together.


Sew back and forth across drawstrings.

This step isn't really necessary, but since this bag is going to be used by a child I'd rather not have the drawstring pulled out and have to re-thread over and over again for the rest of my life.


Tie a knot close to your stitching. This will put the bulk of the strain on the knot instead of your stitching and will help your bag last a long time.


Ta-da! You're done!


Scrunch up your drawstring and go!


Wait. Not yet. It needs a little something more.

Go rummage through your scrap bin and find something fun. Pin it on. (Be sure you just pin it though the top layer of your bag so you don't accidentally sew your bag together. Or you could be really on the ball and do this step before you sew your bag together. Genius!)


Sew your fun little scrap on.


Now you're done!


Right?


No. It still needs just a tiny something more.


Grab a teeny tiny matching scrap.


Fold it over a single strand of your drawstring.


Pin.


Sew--carefully so that you don't sew your scrap to your drawstring.



And now...

Ta-da! You're really, truly, actually, completely finished!


In closing, I would like to tell you why t-shirt bags are great:
-they are eco-friendly (recycle, reduce, reuse!)
-they stretch any and every way you want them to
-they are really strong (can hold a lot of weight)
-they can fold up really really small
-you can use t-shirts that you have worn out, but still love
-t-shirts are cheap (or free!)
-knit fabric (t-shirt fabric) doesn't require seam finishes since knits don't fray, making for quick, easy projects

For another great (and mega mega easy--even a million times easier than this) tutorial, check out my grocery t-shirt bag tutorial HERE. Looking for something fun to do with the scraps left over from your t-shirt bag? Go make some of THESE. Enjoy!