Thursday, May 31, 2007

Help me decide!

6/6/07 - I'm closing the poll today. The votes are evenly split between yes and no so I am still not sure what I'll do. Thanks for your input!

WHEW!!!! Just when you voters were starting to create self-doubt about my love for polka dots, I stumble across this and realize all is good in the polka world.

Fashion Fabrics is having a sale (ok, they always have some kind of sale) and I saw the cutest crepe de chine. See it here in yellow with blue dots and blue with yellow dots. (I LOVE polka dots!) I have wanted to make this cute Vogue blouse with a flounced bottom and thought the polka dot fabric might be a good match. But it's kind of extreme so I'm second guessing myself. Let me know what you think by answering the following poll!

Should I make Vogue 8362 in polka dots?

YES! Make it in yellow with blue dots.

YES! Make it in blue with yellow dots.

NO! You'll look like Minnie Mouse!

Current results

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Good Read

One of my favorite all time books is The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. I read all her subsequent books and although I enjoyed them, they didn't come close to comparing. Although they were not sequels, each of the books focused on various characters from The Other Boleyn Girl. The Boleyn Inheritance is truly a sequel and picks up where The Other Boleyn Girl left off - i.e. after the death of wife #3, Jane Seymour. The story is told from the perspective of three women - Jane Boleyn (George's sister and Anne & Mary's SIL), Anne of Cleves (brief wife # 4) and Katharine Howard (teenage wife #5). Gregory gave each of these three woman intriguing characters and I thought offered a realistic perspective on how they might have viewed life. Lots of subtle and sometimes dark humor in this one.

Monday, May 28, 2007

More Sewing

I started New Look 6429 this afternoon and made great progress. Isn't Lola looking lovely?! All I have left is sew the sleeves on and hem the dress (and buy this to ... ahem... hold it all in. Darn kids....)

And thanks to the bloggers who wouldn't quit showing off the $0.99 Simplicity patterns they bought at the JoAnn's Memorial weekend sale, I ran down to JoAnn's this afternoon and picked up a few more:

New Look 6468 This wasn't on sale but I saw THE CUTEST VERSION of this dress over at Pattern Review and had to have it. I bought a hot pink embossed stretch twill that I'm hoping will work for the strapless dress. Clearance table - $3.75. Thank you very much!

S3797 - I'm picturing Dress A with jacket E for work functions.

S3837 Yet another knit top pattern that I had to have!

S 3961 - I bought some brown stretch twill from Gorgeous Things recently and have been looking for a gauchos pattern. Version E will look cute, I think.

And finally, S5329. My 13 yr old son and I cleaned out his room this weekend (hello, Goodwill!) and one of the things we got rid of was a bathrobe that he has always loved. Just a simple fleece wrap robe. I picked up some blue furry fleece that is very soft and should make a nice replacement robe.

I love paisley!

This was a quick little tee made from Simplicity 4076, view D. I haven't sewn a knit item in many years and I forgot how easy and fun knits are to sew!!

Serged seams and a twin needle hem and voila! A professional looking garment in minutes. This fabric is one of the many I've purchased from Gorgeous Things recently. If you've been eyeing the fabrics but haven't yet purchased, I highly recommend her store. The fabrics I've received are awesome and her service is wonderful.

Next up is the mock wrap dress I've been thinking about for weeks in this fun funky print.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Knitting Reality Check

I've come to realize that I am completely irrational when it comes to projects. I have never been a monogamous sewer or knitter but things have really gotten out of control. I'm not talking about simply stockpiling yarn, fabric, patterns, etc. I'm talking about having too many projects going at once. I decided to inventory again since I haven't made great progress on the UFOs that I identified at the beginning of the year. I've only completed ONE of the items on that list yet I've started TEN new projects since then. To my credit, I have finished seven of them. I am taking a serious look at my projects and the likelihood that I will finish them. I'm definitely going to finish five of them but the other five may be frogged, put on hold or considered to be long term. If you have any comments on what should stay or what should go, let me know.

Five that will definitely be finished:

Not sure about these three:

Date Started

Order to finish


Name of Yarn

Sep '06


Helix Hat

CottonEase - orange, black, white

May '07


Textured Dishcloth

sugar & cream - varigated green

Feb '07


Lion Cable Comfort Throw

Berrocco Ultra Alpaca - brown rice

Feb '07


Felted Clogs by Fiber Trends

Big Kureyon & Brown Patons Merino

Mar '06


Rowan Thunder Sweater

Rowan Plaid

Jul '06



Elann Sonata - green

Feb '06


Lace Heart Scarf

Ruby Red Kasula

Sep '06


Shedir Hat

Brown Sheep CF Tangerine

May '05



Knitpicks Andean Silk Cream

Jul '06


Chicknits Ribby Tank

Manos Cotton Stria

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Dinner Club

A few years ago, my good friends and I started a dinner club in our neighborhood. The same six couples still belong. We meet roughly every 2 months. The host couple plans the menu, cooks the main course and provides the beverages. The other couples are assigned a recipe to prepare. We usually try to aim for unusual dishes or ones that might take more time than we usually are willing to spend to prepare. As a result, we usually end up with a fabulous menu but each of us doesn't have to spend an entire day cooking the whole meal.

For tonight's dinner club, I was assigned a salad of my choice. I wanted to do something a little different and remembered a delicious salad I had last year in Montreal at a restaurant called Au Pied de Cochon. I remember it had beets and goat cheese and was stacked. Don't recall whether there was anything else to it or not but it was fabulous. So I looked on and found inspiration for my salad. I'm using roasted red and gold beets, goat cheese, sugared walnuts and mesclun greens drizzled with just a touch of shallot-lemon vinaigrette. Hope it's a hit!

Sewing update: I started this top last weekend and all I had left was the hem and final stitching on the tie. I finished it this morning and will wear it to dinner club tonight. It's a New Look pattern, #6658 view A; the fabric is a silky polyester print I purchased at JoAnn's a month or two ago.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

About the hat model....

Since several of you commented or emailed about the freaky looking lips on the hat "model" in the prior post, I thought I would explain. I started making hats for Caps for a Cure about a year ago and it was very difficult to photograph them. So I purchased a styrofoam headform off ebay for about $5. Much easier to photograph as shown here and here.

But I have kids. Who love to mess with my stuff. My 16 year old thought the model was too pale and gave her a beautiful shade of cherry red lips. My 12 year old thought she also needed green eyes. Voila.... my styro head was turned into something out of a horror movie. And especially freakish looking for a baby hat.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

See! I DO still knit!

My brother and SIL had their first baby (a little girl) a week ago and I knit this sweater and hat for her. They are a little big for a newborn but I was aiming for an autumn set. The ruffled cardigan is a Reynolds pattern that can be purchased from Patternworks. The hat is Miss Dashwood from The yarn is CottonEase in Sugarplum (embroidered with pineapple, vanilla and pistacio CE.)

I also received more fabric yesterday from Gorgeous Things. I plan to make the following:

Monday, May 14, 2007

Craft night

My friend and I got crafty again tonight. I found a fun bulletin board project in April/May 2007 Sew News (pattern/directions found here). We stopped at the fabric store a few weeks ago and bought fabric and trims. Mine is for my sewing room; hers is for her new kitchen. The project should probably only take an hour, start to finish. Throw in a rough day and a couple martinis and it will take you three hours!

Raw materials:

Finished projects:
Bonnie's - The tacks were made from rhinestones and some of the daisy trim. The black polka dot fabric is actually a pocket. How cool is that?!:

Linda's - Click on the photo to see the cool double ribbon hangar she made:

Ambitious Plans!

I hit the JoAnn's pattern sale last week and they had every single pattern on my list! Woo hoo!

I purchased:
Vogue 8152 (cool twisty top C)
Vogue 8300 (not sure about the big collar - still thinking)
Vogue 8362 (cute flounce bottom blouse - C)
Vogue 8304 (elegant suit for the fall)
Vogue 8317 (special occasion suit - thinking silk dupioni)
Vogue 8351 (love view A in one of the now-sold-out knits I ordered from Georgeous Things last week)
Butterick 5029 (love view A!)
Butterick 4994 (capris with ruffle - adorable!)
McCalls 5329 (jacket with ruffle sleeves - perfect for conferences)

But before I get to any of those, I need to make these:

New Look 6429, View C in knit jersey from
New Look 6087, View D in a knit lace from

Sunday, May 13, 2007

College Fun

Fun time this weekend. My daughter's sorority hosted a parents' appreciation weekend. We skipped the cookout and skavenger hunt but had fun at the evening social and the Mother's Day brunch was awesome. It was so fun to hang out with my daughter all weekend, especially since it was also her birthday yesterday!

The evening "social" was at the top floor of a neighborhood bar. It was fun to return to the college scene but thank goodness it was a temporary trip back down memory lane - I am exhausted today.
Here we are in front of her sorority this morning after brunch.

Unfortunately, some dumb*ss smashed her windshield and car windows the night before I arrived. Didn't even steal anything. Can't wait to see how much this will cost to repair!

Saturday, May 12, 2007


I have always loved eyelet. I think it can look sweet and sexy at the same time. This top is Simplicity 4176, View E. I embellished a pair of plain denim capris with eyelet trim for a coordinating outfit. Perfect to wear to casual sorority parents' event at my daughter's school tonight.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

"Lily Pulitzer" Skirt

My girls and I love Lily Pulitzer designs. But we don't love the price. So I was thrilled to find an adorable stretch twill fabric in JoAnn's a few weeks ago that looks very much like LP fabric. Only $5 per yard! I bought a yard of it and a pattern (Butterick See & Sew 4710) and whipped up this skirt for my 16 year old. It was a very simple pattern and probably only took an hour to sew. Already had matching thread and a zipper so the skirt only cost $8. Gotta love that!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Street Sense wasn't the only winner

What an exciting race! Street Sense came from way behind to win the Kentucky Derby yesterday. I was so touched by the jockey's emotional reaction. The crowd had a beautiful day to watch the race and wasn't it fun to see all the beautiful outfits at Churchill Downs and especially the hats! Our neighborhood friends hosted a Derby party and it was great fun.

Winner #1: There was betting on the race - I bet $10 on Liquidity because he had the same birthday as me and the jockey wore purple, my favorite color. So what he came in 14th. LOL. My husband picked Street Sense and turned his $5 bet into $55 (I made him give me back the $10 I lost so I actually broke even.)

Winner #2: The food was incredible - beef tenderloin, skewered chicken, beautiful salads, Derby pie and of course, some traditional Derby drinks - Mint Juleps, something called an Ice Pick (tea + vodka). But the Bourbon Slushies were a big hit with partygoers (I found the recipe at and sent it to my friend):

Bourbon Slush

7 cups water
3 cups bourbon whiskey
12 oz frozen lemonade
6 oz frozen orange juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups strong tea

Mix all ingredients a day ahead and place in freezer. When ready to serve, take out of freezer and put desired amount in blender for a second or put in a bowl and mix till it is semi-liquified. Serve in old-fashioned glasses.

Winner #3: I won the hat contest! I had planned on making an elegant hat to go with the dress I made but when I found the rose garland and the champagne glasses last weekend, I had to do a more whimsical hat. A picture of the hat and a picture of me with my prize:

More party photos.......

The ensemble (Vogue 8182). I posted earlier that the dress was inspired by a RTW version. This dress was a pain to sew. Part of the annoyance can be blamed on me not reading directions. But I didn't like how the gathered lower bodice was assembled and attached. And I'm not at all happy with the zipper. I plan to rip it out and re-insert it.

I lasted about an hour wearing the shoes. Ditched the hat even sooner:

These are my good friends, Lisa and Steve:

They dressed as "Infield" Derby goers (for those of you not familiar with the Derby, there are two distinct areas. The grandstand and boxes where the classy, well dressed people are (ya know, like the Queen of England.) and then there is the Infield. That's the usually muddy area in the middle of the track. It tends to attract the not-so-well-dressed crowd that usually ends up crazy drunk and covered in mud. Notice the hats - they are made from Molson Beer boxes.

The ladies at the party:

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A shoe is a shoe is a shoe.....

Ok, those of you who know me know that is definitely not my philosophy when it comes to shoes. Love shoes. Buy lots of them. Usually extremely impractical ones. I've been looking for a pair of pointy red patent stilettos for some time and once I decided to make the red dress for the upcoming Derby party, I knew I had to have some. So after some looking, I found not one but two pairs.

Can you tell the difference between these two shoes? Yes, one has a wood look heel and one has a red patent heel. Other than that, can you?

I'll tell ya the difference. $35! I bought the wood heel one on Sunday for $65 and found the patent heel version today for $30. Now, knowing that I'm not going to be wearing Red Patent Leather pumps with 4" heels too, too often, I think the $30 version works just fine.

(See the red dress for which these shoes are intended on Lola in the background of the right photo? I'm about half done.)