Categotry Archives: instructions




Here’s the promised tutorial for making fabric necklaces!

These necklaces are an easy project that don’t require much skill. The only sewing required is one long, straight seam. This project is also great for using up a scrap of a special fabric that you don’t want to toss out. It can be done in a group, possibly with sewing the tubes beforehand (do the turning together!) and also makes a great Burning Man gift.

beaded fabric necklace DIY

AND I think they’re beautiful. Much prettier than regular Mardi Gras beads!

beaded fabric necklace DIY

fabric necklace DIY

Depending on the size of your necklace, you’ll need a strip of fabric 5-7′ long and about 2-3″ wide, enough to wrap around the circumference of your beads with room to spare, plus seam allowance. Oh yeah, you’ll also need beads. Like everything else, this varies based on your actual supplies, but you’ll use up to about 50 beads.

As a New Orleans native I inevitably have tons of Mardi Gras beads lying around, so I cut those up. At this point I’ve made so many necklaces that I’ve had to have more beads sent out to me in LA.

If you don’t have a huge bag of cheap plastic necklaces sitting in the back of your closet don’t worry. Just about any craft store will sell loose beads. You could also use wooden or glass beads.

I like to make these necklaces out of thin fabrics so that the bright plastic beads shine through. I normally use silk chiffon scraps, but for this example I’m using a poly-chiffon print. If you’re also using a print, keep in mind that the knotting will obscure your pattern, so smaller designs may work better. I’ve also used less-pretty beads and gorgeous opaque fabrics and they always turn out beautiful.

Tying the knots takes up a lot of fabric, so your finished necklace will be about 1/3 the size of your starting fabric. You need to start with a strip about 7′ long to fit around your head when finished. If your fabric is short you can sew two strips together, and disguise the seam with a knot. My fabric is the length of the bolt (5′) and I will be attaching a chain for extra length.

fabric necklace DIY fabric necklace DIY

Measure the circumference around your bead. I like to have my fabric tube be a little bit wider than the bead; this makes it easier to insert the bead and doesn’t require my width to be 100% exact. In this case my bead is 1.5″ around, and I’ve cut my tube to 2.25.”

beaded fabric necklace DIY

I usually sew the seam on my serger, only because I like having the narrow seam allowance bound, and it feels faster than my regular machine. For this example I’m using my Pfaff. I sew very close to the raw edges because I don’t want extra fabric from a large seam allowance to bulk up my tube.


tube turner tube turner tube turner

tube turned tube turned

Once your tube is sewn you need to turn it rightside out. There are special tools for this, including this medieval-looking device, which works well and quickly. It also makes the tube look like a little fabric shrimp.

But no need to drop precious money on a specialized tool if you’re not going to use it often (mine was free anyway). You can turn tubes using just a safety pin.

turning a tube turning a tube turning a tube turning a tube

Attach the pin to one open end of the tube, at least 1/4″ in from the raw edge. Inset the pin head into the tube and grasp it with your other hand, using it like a needle to scrunch up the fabric around it. Keep up this inch-worm action until you get the pin to the other open end, and then pull the tube completely out.

Another way to sew these tubes is on a serger (or you could zigzag stich on a home machine) with wrong sides together, right sides out. You don’t need to turn the tube at all; just leave the stitching exposed. Coordinate your threads to the fabric so that it becomes a ‘design feature’.


beaded fabric necklace DIY

Once your tube is turned you should tie a knot in the middle of it. If your sewe two strips together, make sure the knot is over or immediately next to the seam. You don’t want it to bulge over a bead, where the seam allowance would be very visible.

Insert a bead into either open end of the tube…

beaded fabric necklace DIY

…push the bead down to the first knot…

beaded fabric necklace DIY

….and tie a second knot tight against the bead.

beaded fabric necklace DIY

Now do this about 30 more times.

beaded fabric necklace DIY

Stop when you have about 4-6″ of fabric left at the ends of the beading.

Test the necklace length to see if it can fit over your head. If it’s big enough, then all you have to do is tie the loose ends to each other. They can either be tied in a knot to each other or sewn together.

beaded fabric necklace DIY beaded fabric necklace DIY

If your beaded section is too small to fit around your end, tie each end to a small length of chain.

beaded fabric necklace DIY

I like the way the ends look sticking out, but if you want a neater look you could also stitch these ends down. One could also attach a clasp to the necklace ends, but I prefer the over-the-head Mardi Gras style necklace.

beaded fabric necklace DIY

This technique is open to lots of interpretation; this is just the way I do it. If anyone has any creative ideas or questions don’t be afraid to post!

I taught my niece’s NOLA Girl Scouts troop how to make these necklaces, and we all had a lot of fun. I usually have a few of these ready to give as little gifts. They also make charming headbands or belts!




While it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of rainbow, when it comes to my non-Burning Man underwear I’m a little more monotone. I prefer to keep it simple, so that’s why my new undies are all the same easy to care for color: black.

black panties black panties

black panties black panties

They are awkwardly modeled by a pillow, and yes, the pillow has pubes.

They’re really more of a bikini-style cut than they look on the pillow. I was able to get five pairs out of about 1 yard of slinky cotton jersey from Fabric Planet. I made the pattern myself a few months ago and have finally gotten it tweaked to perfection. I’m able to make the most comfortable undies that fit me perfectly without ever seeing a label or size. The different elastics keep things from getting too boring in my top drawer.

black panties black panties

Since I sew for hours a day at work my at-home production has gone down somewhat, but I’m still keeping busy and making all the time.




When my lovely friend Gigi came to visit us in March she wowed us with the vegan quiche she whipped up. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen so I decided to try my own.

vegan quiche pie crust

My I got my crust recipe from my mom:

2 1/4 C cold flour

2/4 C shortening

7 T ice water (possibly more)

1 t salt

Mix flour and salt; cut in shortening. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork or beaters. When the dough is mixed (it may still be crumby) roll it onto a floured surface. Fold flattened dough in half, roll out, fold again, and continue about 4 times. Roll the dough about 1/8″ thick and press into pie pan. Trim the crust and poke with a fork. Prebake at 375º for about 15 minutes. Continue reading →

I’ve seen lots of different recipes for the filling, but this one is a combination of what Gigi used and what we had in the fridge. All of these measurements are extremely approximate.

vegan quiche ingredients


1 14-oz pack firm tofu

1/2 C plain almond or soy milk

1 T turmeric

1/2 T paprika

Use either a blender or food processor. Don’t be afraid to the let thing run as long as you need to make sure everything’s smooth.


vegan quiche ingredients(in olive oil or margarine)

1 leek

1/2 onion

1/2 lb oyster mushrooms



Mix the tofu and the sauteed vegetables and pour into the pre-baked pie shell. If you want to be fancy, top the custard-ish mix with some slices of red bell pepper. One could also sprinkle a colorful spice, namely paprika, although I would recommend stopping short of actual rainbow sprinkles.

vegan quiche vegan quiche

Bake for 45-60 minutes at about 375º. You’ll want to let the quiche set for about 10 minutes before cutting into it. At this point, it will be pretty deliciously gooey. If you’ve got any leftovers they will be firmer after sitting in the fridge for a few hours, and it tastes wonderful eaten cold.

There are no photos of the cut quiche on our plates because we were too excited to eat it all up!

surprise apple pie

If I’d rolled it out thin enough, I could have used the dough to make two quiches. There was certainly enough filling to split between two pies. But I really like my dough thick, and with the excess dough from the single quiche I made a little apple pie for a surprise dessert.

Needless to say, the entire meal was delicious!

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