Saturday, 20 December 2014

Drying Citrus Fruit for Christmas Decorations

This year, I supplied some of the dried fruit for the Christmas wreath.
I have purchased dried orange slices in the past, but it's so easy to do.  No special equipment is necessary.
I used oranges, lemons and limes, but the oranges were the most successful.

Here's how to do it:

  • Slice fruit thinly.
  • Blot with kitchen paper.
  • Place on wire racks on top of baking sheets to collect any drips.
  • Put in a low oven (140C) for 3 to 4 hours, checking that the fruit does not go brown. 
  • (Fruit should be a little soft when it is finished, to allow you to put wires or ribbon through it.)
  • Remove from oven and let cool.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Make Do and Mend - Putting in a False Hem

I'm still here.  I was without a computer for two months after my old one decided to quit on me. I'm so happy to be back on line.

My daughter asked me to lengthen a beautiful pair of 3/4 trousers from &and other stories. She wore them all summer as they were, but decided that they needed to be longer for the winter so they would just skim the top of her boots.  She could also wear them as shown, with beautiful flats or heels.
The trousers are made of a good quality polyester, which looks like wool crepe and they were lovely to work on.
Luckily they had a very large hem and I was able to let this down and create a false hem to give the trousers the same good finish that they had. A false hem gives a bit of weight to the trouser legs and also allows for a  hand-stitched invisible hem.
Here's how it was done:

NB It is important to use a pressing cloth to avoid making the fabric shiny.

Take down the original hem and measure it.

Press the fold line out of the trouser legs with a damp cloth.

Press the old stitching line out as well.

Measure the width of each leg, double it and add seam allowance.
If the trouser legs are narrower at the bottom than the top, allow for this

Cut lining strips to fit.

With right sides together pin and stitch along old seam line.

Finish raw edge and fold lining into place.

Under stitch  near the bottom of the hem.

Pin up hem and then turn to wrong side and do an invisible hem stitch.

Check that hems are even, then press with a damp cloth, making sure that you press in the creases as well.

A closer view