Tutu Tutorial

A couple years back, tutus became very popular!  I bought my little girl a couple here and there from various kids’ clothing stores that I frequented…mostly ones on sale.  Then, I was introduced to Etsy, an online site where you can buy and sell handmade items or supplies so you can get crafty.  I started seeing a lot of people selling handmade tutus on Etsy and they were expensive…some were selling theirs for as much as $50!

At first, I thought to myself, “I’m sure I could make tutus and make a nice chunk of change like all of these people.”  I proceeded with a Google search to see how to make these adorable tutu skirts so girls all over could look like the princesses/ballerinas they dreamed of being.  There are a few different ways to do them and I gathered the info I needed from videos on YouTube.

Then, reality (and chaos) smacked me upside the head.  I didn’t have time to be churning out these tutus!  They’re not terribly time-consuming or difficult but the thought of orders coming in and the pressure of filling them got the better of me.  I could certainly make them for special girls in my life though!

My first tutus were for my dear friends’ daughters for Christmas.  I didn’t want to just make them tutus though so I made them shirts to go with them 🙂

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Next up, a tutu for my special girl 🙂  The NY Giants were in the playoffs and she needed a tutu to show off her team spirit!  This tutu was also worn for their Super Bowl win and extra-added bonus…she can wear it for 4th of July.

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Would you like to know how to make a tutu for the special little girl in your life?  Next up, is an Easter tutu for my daughter, and I’ll show you how!

Supplies: (I purchase my supplies from fabric.com…they have a great selection and really good prices)

  • tulle (I purchase the 6″ wide spools that fabric.com sells…these will make your tutu making experience sooooo much easier)
  • elastic (mine is 3/4″ no-roll; you can go up to 1″ but I wouldn’t do any wider than that)
  • good, sharp scissors
  • cardboard cut to your desired length (you’ll see…)
  • needle & thread (don’t worry…there is just a smidge of sewing)
  • 2 rubber bands or large hair elastics (has to fit around the cardboard)

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How-To:

  • Decide on the length of your tutu and then double that.  For my 5 1/2 yr. old daughter, I wanted the skirt to be roughly 10″ and for my friends’ girls, who at the time were 2 and 4, I did tutus that were about 9″.
  • Get yourself a sturdy piece of cardboard that is at least 8″ wide and cut it to double the length you want the finished tutu.
  • Take a roll of tulle and wrap, wrap, wrap it around the cardboard.  Don’t wrap too snugly because you want to be able to slip your scissors in easily.  Just do the whole roll.  If you have extra, you can store it in a bag labeled with the length for future tutus!

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  • Place a rubber band around each end of the cardboard so that the tulle is held securely in place.

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  • Cut through all the layers at each end.  Make sure not to pull up as you’re cutting or your tulle will come out different lengths (if they are slightly different it’s not going to be noticeable so don’t stress too much).

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  • Voila!  A bunch of strips of tulle cut with a couple easy steps!  I cannot take credit for this great trick…I saw it on YouTube.  I wish I could remember where so I could give credit 😦

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  • Cut your elastic to the size you need.  Either wrap it around the intended recipient and allow for slight overlap to sew it into a circle or measure the girl’s waist and cut to length, adding a bit for overlap.
  • Sew the ends of the elastic together to form a waistband.

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  • Place the elastic around your thigh.  Yup.  This is the easiest way to keep it somewhat still while you get all your tulle on.
  • Take a piece of tulle and kind of gather it and fold it in half so you have a loop on one end.  You’re going to be making a slip knot around the elastic.

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  • Place the piece of tulle under the elastic with the loop facing you.
  • Wrap the ends over the elastic and pull through the loop.

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  • Pull snug!

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  • Continue along your merry way 🙂  The closer together you put the tulle, the fuller your tutu will be.

Use one color…2…5…team colors, holiday colors…the possibilities for cuteness are endless!

Oui-Oui!

I have a love affair with Nordstrom Cafe’s French Dip sandwich!  I’ve had several others and none really compare.  Nordstrom Cafe’s has a delicious garlic aioli and the beef is tender and flavorful…mmmmm!  I got an email from allrecipes.com with a recipe for Easy Slow Cooker French Dip and I figured, “sure, why not?”  The reviews were great and plentiful with many suggested variations on the original recipe.

Feel free to check out the original recipe but I highly recommend that you follow mine (or something close to it).  Unfortunately, when I deviate from a recipe, I kind of just throw things in and don’t measure but I will try to approximate 🙂  The result was tasty but I still need to play around with it…it could have been better.  For one, I did not pay attention to the fact that the recipe called for the beef to be in the slow cooker on low for 7 hours…I didn’t have 7 hours so I did mine on high for about 4 hours.  I am not sure if the meat would have been more tender if I had done low for 7 hours or if I had used the exact cut of meat called for or if I were a deli with a big meat slicer that could have sliced the meat thinner than I could with my largest and sharpest chef’s knife.

I don’t want to share only complete successes with you.  There are plenty of us out there that try a recipe and fail.  Well, I wouldn’t call this a fail but it did not meet my high expectations.  The au jus could have been saltier (maybe I shouldn’t have used fat-free, low-salt beef broth) and I could have melted a bit more provolone over the top when assembling the sandwich.  I bet this recipe would benefit from seasoning the meat liberally with salt, pepper and garlic powder and then searing in a pan before placing in the slow cooker.  The true saving grace was the garlic aioli I made…follow this recipe exactly!

O.K., so let’s get to the recipes!

Easy Slow Cooker French Dip (adapted from allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds rump roast (I used a 3 pound eye of round beef roast)
  • 1 Tbs. garlic powder (more or less to taste)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed French onion soup
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle dark beer
  • Several shakes of worcestershire sauce
  • French rolls (I just cut up a long baguette)
  • Provolone cheese (optional)
  • Garlic aioli (optional, recipe below)

Directions

  1. Trim excess fat from the rump roast, and place in a slow cooker*. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder to-taste. Add the beef broth, onion soup, worcestershire sauce and beer. Cook on Low setting for 6.5 hours. Remove the roast, cover with foil and let rest 10-15 min. Slice the meat across the grain and return to the slow cooker for an additional 30 min.
  2. Split French rolls and place the meat and provolone on one side and place under broiler until cheese is melted. Spread the garlic aioli on the other half of the roll.
  3.  Put the sandwich together and serve with the au jus for dipping.

*I would recommend seasoning the roast liberally with salt, pepper and garlic powder and searing in a pan before placing in slow cooker.

Garlic Aioli (from allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (I just used my garlic press)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
 Directions
  1. Mix mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes* before serving.
*It is very important to let the aioli sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 min. so the flavors can come together and the tartness of the lemon juice can blend in and lose some of it’s bite.

Let Them Eat Cake!

For my son’s 2nd birthday, I decided to try my hand at using a Wilton shaped cake pan.  Not sure why it was this particular birthday that made me decide to do this but he had a thing for trains and that was the theme so I was going with it!  I had seen a couple people do it for their kids and figured, “I can do that!”

I wasn’t going to make things more difficult on myself and try to make a cake from scratch so I just used a boxed cake mix.  I also purchased Wilton Ready-to-Use Decorator Icing and gel icing colors.  I also recently started using the icing tubes if I need a deep color like red or black.  I have made a couple cakes since my son’s train cake and even ventured into one involving cupcakes and a small round cake and a semi-homemade one that was so moist and delicious!

I don’t have any “during” pictures but enjoy the pictures of the results 🙂  I hope they inspire you to try some cakes for your special someone(s)!

My first cake!

 

Cake I made for a friend's baby shower

 

This is the cake using the delicious semi-homemade batter.

 

Hungry Caterpillar for a special girl in my life 🙂