Thursday, September 27, 2007


I received my invitation today. I haven't gone to check it out yet and probably won't until the weekend but my ID is BonnieCrocker (in case that means anything to those of you who are also members.)

Who Knew??

Dawn of The Secret Pocket tagged me for the "tell eight things about yourself that most don't know" meme. That was sweet of you to think of me, Dawn!

Now, call me crazy but maybe I don't WANT people to know the things about me that they don't already know. LOL. Just kidding but I am going to have to think hard to come up with something interesting. Or maybe I'll just invent some cool things. How would you know if I was telling the truth?? Hee hee.

1. I lived in Montreal for two years.

2. I lived in Milton Keynes, England for one year.

3. I'm a consultant. Specifically, a financial planner for airports; primarily domestically; occasionally internationally. I help airports figure out how to pay for major capital projects.

4. In spite of my girly-girl ways now, I was quite a tomboy as a kid, growing up with three brothers and a neighborhood of all boys. I played tackle football, basketball & baseball and got into more than my share of physical scraps with the boys, usually initiated by me. "Bonnie the Bully"

5. Tomatoes are one of my top five favorite foods but sun-dried tomatoes make me want to retch.

6. Mimes and magicians annoy me.

7. I've never in my life been on a blind date. Cidell's hilarious speed date experience made me think of this! (The illustration of a true dumb*ss .)

8. Until 18 months ago, I did not like dogs. I now own two and can't imagine life without them.

I just tagged people for the Rocker Girl Blogger so I hesitate to tag anybody specific again so soon. If you're reading this and you have cool characteristics that people should know about, I tag YOU.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Real Coat

I'm just about finished my "muslin" version of Vogue 8346 so I went ahead and order the pink coating to make my real version. I decided on a knee length version. I wanted to do a fun lining so I'm considering the brown & pink polka dot shown above.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Wearable Muslin & Sewing "Class"

Sunday Sewing # 1:

Dontcha just love when you end up with a wearable muslin????? I have wanted a pink wool coat knee length for more than a year. I never found exactly the style I wanted in RTW. I envisioned a fitted bodice and flared skirt. After seeing lovely wool coatings at Gorgeous Fabrics, I thought, "What the heck! I'll make one!" The fabric investment would be significant enough that I wanted to make sure I didn't blow it. So I decided to do a muslin using Vogue 8346 - the EXACT style I had in my mind although I'm not sure if I want the length in view B or D for my pink version. I need to decide before the end of day tomorrow to take advantage of Ann's 10% off deal.

Now, I love the idea of a muslin but honestly, hate the idea of spending time sewing and fitting a garment that ends up in the trash. So whenever I decide there is a need to "practice" a pattern by creating a muslin, I always select a fabric that is not only cheap but might end up being wearable. I found this pretty oversize herringbone tweed in the JoAnn's clearance and thought it would be terrific. Don't tell anyone but it's 100% acrylic. (Ick.) But it was only $4 / yd. This is not an heirloom quality coat but the fabric gives it sort of a trendy look that I won't want to wear forever anyway. I mentioned in an earlier post that I underlined it with some flannel to make it more substantial as well as stabilize the very ravelly nature of the fabric. I finished the body of it tonight and LOVE the style and the way it fits. I will start the facing and lining next but I can tell already, it's a keeper. I can't wait to finish it.

Question 1: The pattern calls for shoulder pads. I did not put any in yet. I'm tempted to omit them. Do you think that would be ok?

Sunday Sewing # 2:

One of my friends recently got married and she had a sewing machine on her registry. Well, HELLO! Of course, that's what I'm going to buy her! She has never even sewed a button but decided she wants to learn to sew. (Yes, the machine is a cheapy from the big box store and I'm skeptical but no point in spending lots of money before you know if you like sewing. Right?) Anyhoo, in addition to the sewing machine, her gift included sewing lessons from me. I read on The Secret Pocket blog that she likes to start her beginner students on a nightshirt like McCalls 2346 rather than the traditional skirt as a starter project reasoning that fit will not be an issue because... well, because it's a nightshirt that you'll be wearing in the privacy of your own home. This particular pattern is very basic with no zippers or buttons that might frustrate a new sewer.

I met my friend at the fabric store today and she picked a pretty pink flannel for her nightshirt (which is NOT pictured above) and some gathered eyelet trim to attach to the bottom of the gown and sleeves. She talked me into buying the same pattern and some fabric because she thought it would help her to have me sewing the same pattern at the same time. I bought the frog fabric to make my niece (and Goddaughter) some jammies and the purple cat fabric to make some for me. It was fun spending time together in the fabric store and then we went to lunch at Don Pablos afterwards.

Question # 2:
I'm so accustomed to using my serger for finishing seams that I don't know how to have my friend treat her seams. The fabric is a woven flannel so it won't be extremely ravelly but I wondered if anyone had a suggestion for how to finish the seams? I honestly don't remember what I did before I owned my serger.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Book Update

I hadn't updated my book list on the sidebar all summer so I did that this morning. A couple that I really enjoyed and recommend:

Eat Love Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert - The subtitle of this memoir really tells the story: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
At many points in this book, I felt like I was looking in a mirror.

Without a Map by Meredith Hall - Terrific memoir about a woman who became pregnant as a teen in the 60s, was forced to give the baby up for adoption and the subsequent ramifications on her life. Interesting look at forgiveness.

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani - Cute, quick read by the author of the Big Gap series, which I also loved. About a young Italian woman in the 50s who is torn between marrying and giving up her seamstress career.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Rockin' Girl Blogger

How cool is this???? Lori named me a Rockin' Girl! She is a great sewer and her garden gives me complete garden envy! She and I have made similar projects on several occasions, completely independently (sometimes I simply copy her cool ideas! hee hee.) Thanks, Lori!

So now I get to nominate five more Rockin' Girl Bloggers!

The first one was easy: Allison has become a great friend and we have found many (sometimes scary how many) things in common. She is one busy girl (very successful attorney by day, wife and mom to three by night) but she still finds time to create and blog about some great projects. And her photography (love the flower shots!) is awesome.

Next up: Gaylen also know simply as G. has also become a good friend via blogs and email. She's a great mom and a wonderful sewer and one of the most thoughtful people I've ever met!

Third is a sewing inspiration: Laura lives in Romania and is an incredible seamstress! I love what she creates and she always has great tips on her blog.

Fourth is an actual face to face friend! I met Nancy at a knitting group a couple years ago and she is a lovely person. She is always helping family and friends and almost everything she knits goes to others. Check out the beautiful shawls on her blog.

Finally, I want to nominate a new blogger. Marcia and I were on the same team for Dishrag Tag (Cotton Commandoes Rule!) Marcia was the spirit of our team, always urging others on with shouts of encouragement. She didn't have a blog at the beginning of the race but she did by the end. And not only that, she had a caricature created that captured the essence of our Cotton Commandoes military theme; It became her icon for the race. That is definitely one Rockin' Blogger!

Ladies, consider yourself nominated!!

Although already nominated by Lori and probably others, I wanted to also give a shout out to Debbie (incredible bags!!) In addition to her great style inspiration, we have a lot in common and have been able to get together in person a couple times and had a Rockin Good Time!!

[Now... so I don't have my membership stripped... can somebody tell me how to post that Rockin Girl button on my sidebar?]

Saturday, September 15, 2007

What I'm working on

First, I won something!! Lori held a drawing for an issue of the gardening magazine Backyard Living and I won! Thanks, Lori. I need all the help I can get.

I've been working on the muslin for Vogue 8346 , View A, in anticipation of making one out of some of the yummy wool coating from Gorgeous Fabrics. My muslin is a loosely woven blue/black houndstooth acetate fabric from JoAnn's (dirt cheap!) I actually like the look of the fabric very much so I'm hoping it ends up being a wearable muslin. Because of that, I decided to make it a little warmer by underlining it with some flannel I had in my stash. I get the added benefit of stabilizing the main fabric. Don't worry.... the underlining will not show at all. If the muslin works out, it will be lined in a solid black fabric.

And of course, I've been tempted by the sound of another fun project - The Great Trench Coat Sew Along hosted by Eme at Pattern Review. I have been admiring all the great trench coats that started showing up last spring and have wanted to make one with a little zip. I had envisioned a bright yellow but couldn't find a suitable fabric. (Would probably not have been suitable for autumn anyway.) Instead, while browsing in Hancock's today, I found an tan upholstery fabric that I think will be perfect! I purchased a sagey-olivey green silky lining and it accents the main fabric beautifully. I haven't bought the pattern yet but I'm pretty sure I'm going to make Simplicity 4084 , view A, I also like McCalls 5525, View E. Both are classic trench coat styles. The sleeves on M5525, View B are adorable but a coat with 3/4 sleeves would bug me to no end!

I plan to spend the rest of my Saturday night in front of my sewing machine.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Knitpicks Options - now in wood!

I'm probably the last person in the world to know this but Knitpicks has come out with an interchangeable needle tips for the Options set in birch wood! I love the nickle plated tips but there are times when I'm using a slippery yarn that I would prefer to use wood needles. The tips are multi colored and crazy looking. If anyone has tried them, I'd love to hear your opinion. Here is a link to the item in their catalog.

A skirt design contest

I just received an email from that they are holding a skirt designing contest. Here are the basic guidelines:

1. Pick from the following Favorite Things patterns:

Cute Skirts

Hip Skirts

Little Hip Skirts

2. Then let your imagination run wild! You can alter it, trim it, cut it, paste it, sew it, tape it, glue it or decorate it any way you want to – your imagination is the limit!

3. You can submit a photo of your project in the “Flirty Skirt Contest” album in the Sew & Tell Gallery by October 15th (click here for instructions).

Compete details/rules here.

Voting is by the general public and the prizes are generous: $300, $150, $75 gift certificate to for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd place winners, respectively.

The skirt patterns are cute with enough variation in the pattern to make it a versatile pattern to own. There are five reviews of the Cute Skirt Pattern at Pattern Review and all indicate it's a good pattern. is offering 15% off the pattern right now.

I'm not creative enough to enter but I can't wait to see the entries and hope to see some sewing bloggers I recognize in the contest!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fun Contest!

Check out the contest at Tea Time Ramblings! The details:
  • This give-a-way will consist of 5 knitted dishcloths in various colours and patterns.
  • The contest will be open until September 7, 2007 at 12:00 PM Central Standard Time. A random draw will be made from all entries.

Click on the picture below to read more about it and enter!

A Knit Alternative

CathyCate left me a comment that she wishes she could knit something similar to the V2980 top. Funny you say that Cathy as I remembered a top from Knitty that I've had on my to do list for ages. Doesn't "Tubey" look similar to the knit top (picture is from the website - I hope that's ok)?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Vogue 2980

I have been wanting to make a black knit top to go with my kiwi skirt I finished a few weeks ago. I was planning on the S4076 Twist Top but then I saw Sharon's ADORABLE TOP and changed my game plan. I thought the bolero style top (Vogue 2980) was a little retro looking and would look nice with the 60's-ish flower power print on the skirt.

I purchased a thin poly knit from JoAnn's (total cost $3.00 - no lie!) You really do need a thin knit for this as the sleeves are doubled and the front is self lined. The seam around the armhole has 4 layers of fabric for most of it. A thicker interlock might be too bulky.

The pattern is very clever. It's only 4 pieces and fits together like a puzzle. The pattern is designed by Sandra Betzina and I believe she actually wrote the directions, which are very clear and take you slowly, step by step. I still goofed up connecting the front to the sleeve and the bolero but since I basted everything, it was easy enough to fix. I will be making this again in the long sleeve version and maybe even another short sleeve version. Now that I understand the directions, this will go together in a flash.

I will make it a little larger next time. I don't usually have a problem with tops being too small (that's an understatement!) but even though the smallest size in the pattern was dead on my measurements, it's a little snugger than I like.

(Forgive my tired eyes and the burnt Hostas behind me. It's been a long, hot summer. LOL!)