Saturday, June 30, 2007

It's a sad day for Lola!

My good friend, Lola, is sad today because of this.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Girls just wanna have fun

Got home from work yesterday to find my oldest daughter (on the right) and stepdaughter (on the left) "crafting" in the back yard. Considering all the kids make fun of my obsessive "crafting" (i.e knitting and sewing), this image cracked me up. "Oh Mom, you are NOT putting this on your blog."

(Ignore the brown patches in the yard. SW Ohio is experiencing a drought.)

Getting Organized & Sewing Ramblings

Added some photos:


I am just a hem away from finishing After work, I finished S3837, view B no overlay, in a turquoise knit to match the skirt I made last weekend. It also turned out way too big and I had to alter it twice as I was sewing. Then I ran out of thread. All I had left to do was wind a bobbin and thread the double needle for the hem but I ran out of steam at 11 last night so I quit. It's still bigger than I like but it'll do. I'll make the next one fit better! Not sure I'm digging the poofy sleeve. Might have to lose that on the next one.

I stumbled across this clever idea for keeping track of your fabric inventory via another blog this morning (I forget which blog... sorry!) Cut Out & Keep blog presents what is described as "A Fabric Brochure" - a page on which fabric swatches can be organized. Multiple pages get inserted into a binder. I can see that this would be helpful for keeping track of the fiber content of fabrics, usually long forgotten by the time I get around to using the fabric. I plan to also include laundry instructions for each swatch. This idea even suggests putting a corresponding tag on the fabric. I don't have THAT much fabric at this point to need this step but it would be a good one for those who have serious fabric stashes.

Debbie, you knew I'd love this idea, didn't you!!

I made a pair of white fleece gauchos, (S4237, view C) for lounging around the house. They were essentially a muslin and not very exciting to see. The pattern calls for a foldover waistband but I opted out of that and made a single layer. They turned out quite large compared to the measurements on the envelope. I started with a size 12 based on hip and waist measurements but I cut them way down and the waist could still be smaller. I will start with an 8 next time - I plan to make a couple 'real' pair from some brown and black knit fabric.

I cut out New Look 6468 in a hot pink embroidered stretch fabric, inspired by this dress (click on 'project photo' for a better look - isn't it adorable??!!) I cut this one out a size smaller than the measurements said based on the previous two experiences. Hope I don't regret it!

On the knitting front, not much is going on. I'm working on a dishcloth as training for the DishRag Tag Swap. I am a proud member of the Cotton Commandoes team and we are going to win this thing!! We even have secret strategies plotted. Hee hee hee.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Looking for input

Edited 6/26/07 It looks like S3744 is the winner. Joann's has Simplicity on sale again starting next Monday so I'll pick it up then. I'll probably also buy 4118 and make a different dress with that. Something a little more sedate, perhaps. Thank you all so much for your comments!!

I bought this cool print from Fabricmart. It's a cotton lycra stretch twill and in person, it screams 60's to me. I think it needs to become a dress but I'm seeking advice as to which one. So here's the print again and several dress options.

For 3744, I would do view B and add a black contrast trim similar to Eve's awesome version shown here.

For 4118, I like the belt from view C, the neckine shown in view D and perhaps short sleeves like view B. I would do the belt in a black contrast fabric.

So what do you think.... either of these options?

I considered the miniskirt in 3833 but I think I ruled that one out

Saturday, June 23, 2007

New Dress Patterns I HAVE to have

I received an order from Fabric Mart yesterday for the following two fabrics (both are lightweight stretch twills - What should I make???):

In the box, they put a little Simplicity flyer. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I have all the Simplicity patterns I want." Well guess what?? Not true! There were a couple cute dresses that I had not noticed before like S3877 (great work dress in version A) and S3775 (guess I'm not done with the ruching!) and S3964 (who would ever have bought this pattern based on the pattern drawing??? Ick! after seeing it in the flyer, it will make a cute fall top) and even S3882 (a cute sundress for one of my girls). I read reviews for most of these at Pattern Review and there are some adorable versions like this and this and this and this

And wouldn't you know... neither Hancocks nor JoAnns has Simplicity on sale this weekend (how rude!!) Buttericks are on sale at both for $1 (sale might end today, I can't remember.)

Friday, June 22, 2007


This is described as a 1-hour skirt but that's a bit optimistic. An hour and a half at least. And two if you sew one of the pieces on wrong and don't realize it until the end!

The details:
McCall's 5430 - View B

Fabric - lightweight cotton twill from Hancock's

This is a nice basic wrap around skirt. Easy to sew. Cute results. I will probably make this one again. Full review here.

Thanks! (And a recipe, sort of)

I have received some very sweet comments on recent posts but I don't have email addresses to be able to respond. So Stacy, Tonia, Lori, Designdreamer, Linda, Cidell, Sharon and Nancy, THANK YOU! It is so much fun to be able to share projects via the internet and your comments spur me on!

I made the following recipe for dinner last night. I adapted it from a recipe I saw in this month's Bon Appetit (specifically, an ad for Kikkomon Teriyaki sauce.)

Teriyaki Tender Salad

1/2 cup smoked almonds, finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup bread crumbs
black pepper

2-3 T oil
2 marinated teriyaki chicken breast, cut in strips (I had marinated breasts from Costco in my freezer but you can marinate chicken in whatever teriyaki sauce you like.)

Salad Greens
Mandarin Orange segments
Sliced Almonds, toasted

Honey Mustard or Aisan style vinaigrette dressing

Mix together almonds, flour and bread crumbs. Heat oil in skillet. Coat each strip of chicken with breading. Cook in oil approx. 5 minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through.

Toss together lettuce, oranges and top with chicken strips and sliced almonds. Drizzle with dressing of choice. My daughter added shredded cheese to hers.

So what's up with the pie, you ask? It's my favorite dessert in the world - Homemade Peach Pie. I baked it last night but didn't feel like eating any then so I brought it into work this morning. Perfect breakfast with a cup of coffee. (As a concession to it being breakfast, I skipped the vanilla ice cream that I usually like on top!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Butterick 5029

Edited on 6/20/07: It's done! It's done! I finished the zipper and the hem this afternoon. I can't believe how easy it is to install an invisible zipper! I've always avoided them for two reasons. First, I thought they were difficut. NOT!!! Second, I had always thought I needed the specific invisible zipper presser foot from Bernina (#35, I think.) Aside from not wanting to spend the $50 on it, the Bernina dealer is not close to my house. (Why yes, I am cheap and lazy. Thank you for asking.) I recently saw a tip that the manual buttonhole foot (#3) that came with my machine works just fine and guess what? IT DOES!

The downside - this dress makes me look huge! (Excuse the bra straps - didn't feel like changing. And I didn't even realize I was slouching so bad.)


This one is not quite done but I'm so excited at how it's turning out that I wanted to post it tonight. I still have to install the zipper (my first invisible!), hem the dress, and trim all kinds of basting threads! And re-adjust the middle bodice so it's laying evenly.

Butterick 5029, View A:

This dress was inspired by the dress below, which I saw in a Caché catalog but was never able to find on their website. I liked the gathered bodice. I did not like how tight it was. (OK, if I looked like her, maybe I would!)

Fabric: A stretch gauze from Fashion Fabrics. Similar to this but in a sold-out turquoise color. I also bought the yellow and plan to make a beach cover up from it. But wait, there's more.... Take a peek at the lining (Tutti Fruiti from Hancock's):

I loved making this dress and I love the surprise lining. But I'm still struggling with the sizes. Unlike the last item I made, this one turned out kind of big at the bust and kind of small at the waist. I adjusted the pattern to fit my actual measurements so I don't get it. I really hate the idea of making muslins but maybe I should start. This dress and the last top I posted took more effort than usual. I think I'm picking a skirt or a knit top next!

Oh and one last thing... That Ann from Gorgeous Things has cast some kind of spell on me. I can't seem to resist her fabrics. I bought this and this and this today. I've been on a yellow kick lately but I just realized as I looked at them again that yellow and black were my high school colors. How funny! Go Newark Yellowjackets!

Update on the Tire Saga

Well, I certainly am glad we were able to provide so much amusement. LOL. I guess everything DOES happen for a reason.

The rim & tire were long gone from the dumpster. So, we ordered one today. First estimate was $500 for the rim only. Online estimate was $200 + shipping for rim only. Finally, a mechanic that we use located one for $150. Adding in a tire, installation and tax and it will be just under $300.

Poor daughter is going to be broke.

Monday, June 18, 2007

"How was I supposed to know?"

For those of you with teenagers, I'm sure you've heard that phrase uttered once or twice as an excuse for shall we say unwise decisions. So picture this...

My 16 year old got a flat tire on Friday.
She was smart enough to pull over right away rather than drive on the flat tire.
She was smart enough to get the spare and jack out and opened the car manual to see if it would tell her how to change the tire.
She was smart enough to call her friend's (the passenger) boyfriend to come change the tire when the two girls couldn't loosen the lug nuts.

So what did she do when they were done? Threw the tire and rim in a dumpster. I just found that last part out a few minutes ago and she is headed to the dumpster now on the remote chance that the garbage men haven't showed up yet.

This might actually be funny if I hadn't already spent $1000 on 'broken' cars in the last month.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

New Look 6466

After a busy few weekends, the schedule was wide open this weekend and I spent much of it in my sewing room.

First, New Look 6466, View E:
Fabric: Two different silky sheer polyesters from JoAnn's and Hancock's.

I am very pleased with the results but this was a bear to sew. The fabric was annoying to work with and the pattern sizing was WAY off. I cut 4" off the bodice width and skirt and 3" off the straps. Full review at Pattern Review if you're interested.

(Yes, the hems are even. My stance makes them look uneven.)

I also made great progress on a sundress but didn't quite get it finished.

Beneath the Marble Sky

Another book recommendation...
I finished Beneath the Marble Sky by John Shors last night and really enjoyed it. There's some graphic violence in places but overall it's a historical fiction set in India in the mid 1600's. Essentially, it's told as a love story that revolves around Jahanara, daughter of the emporer who had the Taj Mahal built for his deceased wife - the love of his life. The story features Jahanara's love for her father (Happy Father's Day to the dads out there!), love for her daughter and mostly love for Isa, the architect of the Taj Mahal.

On a side note, I read Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan earlier this year which is also a historical fiction about the ancestors of Shah Jahan and Jahanara. Also a good one.

Here is how Amazon describes the book:
From Publishers Weekly
Shors's spirited debut novel tells the story of the eldest daughter of the 17th-century emperor who built the Taj Mahal. From her self-imposed exile, Jahanara recalls growing up in the Red Fort; the devotion her parents, Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, had for each other; and the events that took place during the construction of the fabulous monument to their love. Although Jahan is the emperor and has many wives, Mumtaz (he calls her Taj) is his soul mate, a constant companion and wise political consultant. She even travels with him into battle, where she eventually dies giving birth to their 14th child. Fortunately, she has the foresight to begin preparing her favorite daughter, Jahanara, by instructing the girl in the arts of influence and political strategy. Thus the young woman is able to pick up where her savvy mother left off. From then on it is Jahanara who advises the emperor, often instead of her dreamy brother, Dara, who is the rightful heir to the throne. It is she who helps with construction of the magnificent mausoleum for Mumtaz's remains and who falls in love with its architect, Isa, a man whom she can never marry. And it is she who leads a failed effort to defend the throne against a coup by her evil brother, Aurangzeb. With infectious enthusiasm and just enough careful attention to detail, Shors give a real sense of the times, bringing the world of imperial Hindustan and its royal inhabitants to vivid life.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dish Rag Tag

What a fun idea!!!!! I saw this on Jennifer's blog today and had to sign up!!! It's sort of an exchange - sort of a race! It sounds like fun. Click on the button above to read the details and sign-up. I think sign-ups are open until July 15th.

Come on.... Join in the fun! If you've always scoffed at people who knit dishclothes, this might be your chance to see what you're missing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It IS Easy Being Green!

It's been a busy couple of weeks with the end of school activities, stepdaughter's graduation, parents' visit, friend moving away and on top of it, work has been a bear. Haven't done a whole lot of knitting and virtually no sewing but I did finished up a dishcloth this morning. I needed something relatively mindless and the dishcloth did the trick. The pattern shouldn't have been combined with a variegated yarn - the pattern is too subtle to show up with the busy colors. But it will do just fine for getting dishes clean! (Those lily pads are in my pond. We are shocked how big they got this year. )

I worked a good part of the weekend and late last night so after going to a doctor's appointment this morning, I'm sort of slacking for the rest of the day. I hope to get some sewing done.

Here's a picture of me and my kids just because. The one on the far right is rotten!! I love the other two WAY BETTER THAN HER. (FYI, She just found my blog and has been teasing me about it so I need to make her pay.)


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

New Look 6429

I have been seeing this dress all over blogdom and everyone raves about how easy it is to sew and how flattering and comfortable it is. I have to agree. I finished it up last week but had to wait for my Spanx to arrive (love these things!!) I will make a long sleeve version of this for the fall. (Ignore my tired face and slouched posture. I hosted book club last night and my last guest left at 2 am but I still arrived at my office by 8:30 this morning!)

The details:
Pattern: - New Look 6429, View C
Fabric - Rayon Knit Jersey from (thanks to Debbie and my co-worker for helping me pick out this fabric)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Helix Hat

I originally planned this hat for a friend's little boy. He's about a year old and this is supposed to be a toddler size hat. But it seems a little big - it fits my 12 year old. This was a very fun hat to knit! I love the spiraling colors!

The details:
Pattern: Helix Striped Cap by JoanKnits
Yarn: CottonEase in Orangeade, Vanilla and Licorice (Cincinnati Bengals colors!); approx. 1/2 skein each
Needle: Size 5

I can check this off my "get finished" list! Next to finish is the dishcloth. (I've been diligently working on my afghan - it's my commuting project.)