The Well-Meaning Jellyfish in Your Life

We’ve all had a “well meaning” person crop up in our life now and again. That person who offers you diet pills even though you never asked for advice on losing weight; the person who takes it upon themselves to tell you all about what an asshole the guy you just started dating is; the “friend” who tells you what your other friends are saying about your haircut; the aunt or cousin who tells you that you’re looking a little worse for wear these days. We’ve all got them. Read More The Well-Meaning Jellyfish in Your Life

A Womb of One’s Own: Unwanted Advice

As a person who is female, my body is often seen as a public object open for discussion. As a pregnant woman, my body is not only open for discussion, but my choices are up for debate and judgment from friends, family, strangers, and anyone else who may cross my path. These comments are often cloaked in concern for “the baby,” but it seems like it’s really just a convenient and socially acceptable outlet for people to be pushy and pass judgment. Read More A Womb of One’s Own: Unwanted Advice

Let’s Talk Sex: This Station is Self-Serve Only.

Tuesday we talked about pleasure and the first time we found out about it. Today, let’s expand on that topic and make things a little more personal: Masturbation.

When did you first start masturbating? How did you come to discover this happy activity?

I happen to know people who don’t masturbate and never have. To this I say: what? I kid, no judgment here. Nonetheless, I notice that while we can talk about sex and getting it on for hours with friends, as soon as the word “masturbate” is brought up the room goes eerily quiet. We can talk about doing it with other people, but when it comes to pleasing ourselves we clam right up. Ridiculous, I say. I first learned about masturbation from a copy of Seventeen, I believe, once again stolen from my big sister. It even outlined how to masturbate (good techniques and whatnot). I was shocked. I can do what to myself? And it feels like that? And I don’t have to wait until I’m older and over my extreme body insecurities to orgasm? Rejoice! Since that day, it’s been happy time for Ginger Gal all the time.

How To Make Cafe Curtains (and how to Make It Work when you screw them up)

This was originally intended to be a tutorial about how to make your own cafe curtains, and it still is, but it’s also a lesson in problem-solving.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a sewing project where I didn’t make at least one mistake along the way.  Those are the Make It Work moments, and there is something kind of satisfying in problem-solving a sewing disaster.

On to the tutorial:

1. Measure Your Fabric

Measure the length and width of your window.  My cafe curtains had a little 4 inch ruffle at the bottom (you can make yours bigger).  So take the length of your window (starting where you plan to hang the curtain) and subtract 4 inches for the ruffle and add 1/2 inch for the bottom hem and however much you need to make a casing big enough for the curtain rod (in my case I made a 1 inch casing, plus hem, so 1.5 inches.)

The ultimate width of your fabric will depend on how full you want your curtains.  My mistake was making the width only 1 inch bigger than the width of the window, and that’s where I went wrong.  Some patterns say to cut the fabric twice as wide as your window, but it really depends on your preference.  you can hold your fabric up to the window and use your judgment.

For the ruffle you want it 4.5 inches and the same width as your main fabric panel.

2. Cut Out Your Fabric

Make sure it’s straight.  A crooked curtain will annoy you forever.Fabric laid out on cutting mat with ruler

3. Hem Your Fabric

Hem both sides of your main curtain fabric and both sides AND the bottom of your ruffle.  You’re making a narrow hem here, so you fold the fabric over 1/4 of an inch – press it.  Then fold that over 1/4 inch to hide the raw edge and press that.  Put a few pins in to hold it.  Stitch it.  Fabric folded over 1/4 inchHemmed fabric being sewn on sewing machine

4. Make The Casing For The Rod

Fold the top raw edge in 1/2 and inch and press it.  Fold it over again however wide you need for your rod (1 inch in my case).  Press it.  Stitch it.  I did a little zig-zag stitch here because I thought it might look nicer.Image of curtain-rod casing folded over and pressed

5. Attach Your Ruffle

Set your machine to the longest stitch length.  Put the ruffle and the main fabric right-sides together.  Stitch 1/4 inch from the raw edges.  Then stitch a parallel row 1/4 inch in from the stitch you just made.  Make sure to keep the tails long on your threads, because you’re going to pull on them to ruffle your fabric.  Once you’ve made your ruffle as ruffly as you want it, stitch over the top of the ruffle to secure it.Close-up of ruffle stitching

6. Hang Your Curtains!Close up of curtain in window

7. Problem solve!

You could stop at step 6, or you could realize that you cut your fabric too narrow and it looks kind of stupid.  You know how on Project Runway sometimes they screw up and then when they are explaining their final product they pretend like they intended to do that all along?  So yeah, that’s what I did.  I looked at the curtain in my window and I said “well, I didn’t really want to completely block that window anyway.  Yeah! That’s it!  I want TWO curtains so I can pull them apart! ”  So I cut my curtain in half.  I have all manner of bias tape, so I just stitched that to the inside edge and now I have two curtains!  And the satisfaction of having solved a problem! Sewing bias tape on machine

Completed curtains in window

The Biggest Loser Wins At Sexism

Against my better judgment I have been watching this season of The Biggest Loser.  I don’t know what compelled me to watch the show this season as I had never been a fan of the show before.  I keep watching it even though I find myself yelling at the television, but not for the reasons you might expect.  Sure, there are the problems typically associated with The Biggest Loser ““ weight loss that is unrealistic and too rapid, “temptation challenges” that make food the enemy, over-exercise and dehydration.  Read More The Biggest Loser Wins At Sexism