Tuesday, February 26, 2008

BWOF 08-2007-117

I have wanted to make this blouse for the longest time, ever since I saw Christina's and then this cute one. But then, Summerset, posted a terrific review with some tips and the best tutorial for the sleeve placket. I couldn't have done it without her and her detailed pictures helped me figure out some other little things that BWOF forgets to tell you. Thank you, Summerset!!

I have to admit the buttons bore me. I really wanted to jazz it up with some rhinestone buttons or something else fun but my oldest daughter told me that would "tramp it up" or something similar. I did see these really cute clear glass buttons with a little gold glitter in them that I thought would have been fun but I heeded my daughter's suggestion.

I really like the wide button placket and the pleats and mock wrap create a flattering silhouette. The fabric is a woven cotton with just a touch of lycra in it. It's going to be a bear to iron!

I saw the cutest pair of giraffe print pumps at DSW the other day that would really complete this outfit. They were very comfortable in spite of their 3 1/2" stiletto heels and pointy toes and they looked HOT! They were on sale but really... how many times can a gal wear giraffe print shoes? Hey! I just found the exact shoe at Zappo's. Aren't they cute?! (Zappo's price is $73 but I think they were marked down to about $35 or $40 at DSW.)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sassy Apron Swap is ready to go

I finished a ballband dishcloth to go with the apron. I hope my recipient likes blue and yellow together! I also included a cookbook for the "Total Homemaker" package. LOL. I still need to confirm her addres but I hope to mail the package tomorrow or Tuesday. Woo hoo, way before the March 1 deadline.

And I have to show off my bargain. I purchased these shoes at 50% off their $50 price tag and also applied a $10 DSW "coupon" I had. I realized when I was trying on shoes last week that I didn't have a pair of brown pumps that I like so voila, for $15 I do now!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Another Apron Swap

If you regret missing out on the Sassy Apron Swap, head over and join Shawnee's apron swap - the Flirty Apron Swap! Hmmm.... should I join another one?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A chance to win the Emmeline Apron Pattern

Remember this cute apron?

The Apronista is sponsoring a contest in which the winner receives the Emmeline Apron pattern. Go here and read the rules to enter. (Of course, y'all shouldn't even waste your time because I'M GOING TO WIN!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Poof! It's gone.

Remember just a little more than 24 hours ago how I was relishing in the nice day with the 17 yr old daughter? Remember, too, how I said those moments are fleeting? Well, it fleeted.

Background to this conversation. I have been bugging my daughter for two weeks to finish her profile on the College Boards website so I could sign her up for the March 1st SAT test (already missed the regular deadline; knew I would have to pay the late fee.) The profile includes identification of the type of college you want to go to, size of school, type of major, other interests, etc. Logged on this morning only to find out it is now too late (even with a late fee) to sign up for the March test.

Fast forward to text conversation with daughter:
Mama: You know, if you think you're going to get into the college you want, you better start taking this college stuff more serious.
Daughter: Well actually, I plan to be a stripper so I think I'm fine. [did I mention sarcasm is big in my house?]
Mama: Seriously. I had to fill out your profile for you. Just in case your career counselor asks, you are interested in agriculture or religious studies. [I didn't really.]
Daughter: Ummmm, how do I change that?
Mama: Figure it out, genious.
Daughter: Next time you try to be sarcastic, the correct spelling is genius.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Adorable Apron!!

This is THE cutest apron pattern I have ever seen. The pictures at the left are from the designer's website. I plan to order the pattern at some point but I'm on a self-imposed sewing/knitting spending freeze at the moment. (Darn Banasch's Fabric and Hancock sales did me in!) The pattern is called Emmeline, designed by Montessori by Hand and may be ordered for $11.95. It is reversible and according to Stacy, only takes a yard of each fabric.

I found another bleach "stain" on a sweater yesterday that must have happened while I was cleaning. 'Cuz, you all know what a cleaning fanatic I am. (Not!) But anyway, I realized that I ought to be wearing an apron while I clean, too; not just when I cook.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Ramblings & V8351

This was a terrific weekend. Nothing monumental happened. I barely even left my house. But many things went right and sometimes that's all you need for a "terrific" day / weekend instead of just an ordinary day / weekend.
  • I finished all the work I brought home from the office in the time I budgeted (that NEVER happens).
  • I got a lot of baking and cooking done - something I've been neglecting and missing. I posted recipes for Potato Soup and Italian Pineapple Cream Cake on my recipe blog. I also baked the Pecan Wedding Cookies that I've been craving for weeks and a batch of chocolate chip cookies (see photo.)
  • Not new to this weekend, but DAMN, I have incredible kids! Not the reason I'm stating this but when I arrived home at 9:30 Thursday night (Valentine's Day) from a business trip, I was greeted with the pretty flower arrangement shown in the cookie photo as well as other gifts. This has been a rough year for me and my kids are so in tune! I have tried to shield them from my personal feelings but they continue to amaze me with their thoughtfulness and kindness.
  • I made it to Mass two weeks in a row (after a year hiatus.) Sometimes, all it takes is a reminder to look at the glass half full to turn things around - that's what I get from Mass and what I have missed.
  • I finished V8351. I look... ahem... large in these photos but I don't think that when I look in the mirror. What's up with that? (see more below)
  • I finished a pair of sweatpants that have been sitting for weeks in my sewing room for no good reason. They only needed a hem.
  • I finished all the cleaning I intended to do for the week (another thing that NEVER happens.) That includes putting all the laundry away!
  • Middle daughter and I were only ones home today and had a very nice day. (She's 17. "Nice" days tend to be fleeting. We're at that extreme high / extreme low stage of mom / teenager relationships.)
  • My good friend and co-worker is celebrating his birthday this week (hence the Italian Pineapple Cream Cake.) We have been through a lot over the last twelve years and are looking forward to developing good things with our segment of the company. (More to come on this....)
  • Dogs did not poop on the floor one time. Yes, they are two years old. Do you have a point?
  • The sun came out (ever so briefly) this afternoon.
The negatives are that I didn't get my taxes done and I didn't finish my dishcloth to accompany the apron - I had hoped to mail tomorrow morning. I also thought I would get another piece sewn but DANG! I can't decide what I want to do next! I have WAY too many projects on my to do list.

So V8351.....

I posted a poll to question whether the hem length I was considering was appropriate and whether this would look better with pumps or boots. The results were inconclusive so I decide to stick with the hem length I originally considered and wear it with either boots or pumps depending on my mood. After closing the poll, I received three emails saying boots are best. I do like both looks but my daughter and I decided the pumps (shown on the right) should be worn with tan tights or neutral panty hose.

I hope you all had a great weekend.

Hem Length?

Edited to show results on 2/17/08:
Thanks to all of you who voted in my poll. I am feeling a little like the Presidential-hopefuls Al Gore and George W. Bush in 2000 when the election results in Florida were so close it took days to resolve. (Ok, maybe that comparison is a bit dramatic.) Here are the results from my not-so-scientific poll:

Web Poll Powered By MicroPoll

Although hardly a landslide, I'll go with the hem where I proposed it and will pick the shoe depending on my mood the day I wear it! Thanks again for your opinions.

[This is the beginning of the original post.]

I'm just about finished Vogue 8351. I used the neckline (with modifications) from View A and the long sleeve from View B. All I have left is the hemline and I need advice. Does it look too short? Or should I go an inch longer and hit the knee? This will be a dress for work so I want it to be on the conservative side. Also, pumps or boots? (Nobody was home to take the picture so I did the typical blurry bathroom mirror picture. I'll have someone take a good one when I'm finished so you can actually see what the dress looks like!)

Let's do a poll, shall we?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Snow is not always a bad thing

Because of the snow and ice storm we experienced today, I had to cancel two trips scheduled for today and tomorrow. (Long story but itinerary changes were going to cost a fortune. Delta's grip on the Cincinnati market is unbelievable!) So, although I participated in the first 4 hour meeting via conference call, I avoided 3 hours of auto commuting and 6 hours of air commuting. That's a whole day I gained! Woo hoo!

So as soon as I logged off my work computer, I headed straight to my sewing room to use my "found" time. I decided my next project is going to be Vogue 8351, a morph between View A & B.

I am going to do the scoop neckline from View A with the longer sleeve from View B. I raised the neckline an inch and brought it in from the sides about 1/2 inch so it was more suitable for a work dress. Dominantly male industry + professional woman in low cut dress = disaster!!

I am using the fabric shown below, which was also used for Lori's top (Girl's in the Garden) and this dress (this exact fabric is used in the Simplicity pattern photo.) I purchased the fabric from JoAnn's clearance rack for $3 / yard.

And on another note, since I was home for lunch, I used up the leftovers from French Dip Sandwiches I made a couple days ago to make beef and noodles.

Gotta run... My son just called me - "Dinner's Ready, Mom". Ahhhhh, what a great day. Life is good.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

New Butterick

I was checking my spam folder as sometimes "good" emails end up there and found one from Butterick (and Vogue and McCalls!) with their new spring patterns. I always love their dresses and they have some cute new ones that are perfect for everyday kind of dresses. And darn the luck, Hancock's had a 99 cent Butterick sale LAST weekend.

Some of my faves:







The following two are interesting but I'll have to see if someone else makes them first!



Sassy Apron is done

I am really swamped at work right now. I left the office at 8:30 Friday night and worked another six hours yesterday and six today. But I couldn't go the whole weekend without at least a little sewing. I already had the apron for the Sassy Apron Swap cut out so I took an hour and sewed it together. All I know about my partner is her name and address. She indicated no preferences and she doesn't have a blog so I was working with a blank slate. The theme of the swap is Spring so I figured this fabric looks pretty springy. Yes?

The pattern is McCall's 3979, a combination of View A & View B. I've now made all but one of the five views of this apron. I took one picture with flash and one without. Neither is very good but you get the idea. The colors are somewhere in between the two versions.

I think I'll knit a Ballband Dishcloth in blue and yellow to send along with it.

New recipe blog

Stealing an idea from Janice (Hi Janice!) who always posts awesome recipes, I started a separate blog for keeping track of some of my recipes. There is only one recipe on it at the moment; I'll add recipes as I go. (No, I didn't bake that apple pie on the left but I thought it was the perfect image for my new blog. Hmmmm...... do I have apples in my fridge???)

Today, I'm making Beef Barley Vegetable soup since it's so cold and windy outside. There's a local cooking show on the radio every Saturday afternoon and when it's cold like this the hostess likes to say, "It's a good soup day." Indeed!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Online Fabrics for Children

I'm looking for suggestions for online sources of children's fabrics. I haven't sewed for children in 12 years or so so I'm out of the loop. Any good ideas for me?

And because this is a boring post, I'm adding a cozy photo. Altogether now... "AWWWWWW!" My dog, Herschel LOVES lazing in front of the fireplace. We're expecting another cold front tomorrow so that's where he'll be all day!

Are there pink robin eggs?

Rachel Iufer designed this adorable hat and named it Robin's Egg Blue Hat after the color yarn she used. I found some of the same yarn in pink in my stash and whipped one up. Very cute hat and quick, too. When I first saw the pattern, I assumed the bottom band would be knit separate and then stitches would have to be picked up. Not sure why I thought this, because that is not the case at all. Instead, you knit the bottom band back & forth in seed stitch and then join in the round to knit the top part. If you're on Ravelry, there are many cute adaptations of this hat. Go check them out!

This particular hat will be gifted to someone but I intend to make another for myself.

Yarn - Patons Shetland Chunky, Elegant Pink
Needles - I used 8s rather than the 10s called for in the pattern. I didn't swatch but I have found that I traditionally need to go down two sizes to get gauge and this time was no exception.
Button - cute flower button I picked up at JoAnn's. The hardest part of this project was picking out the button!
Time - Hard to be specific because I tend to knit in short spurts but I estimate this took me 2.5-3 hours including finishing time. Remember that I am a slow knitter so you speedsters can whip this out in NO TIME!
Revisions for next time: Several people commented that the hat could have been snugger on the head and that the stitch decrease is off. I agree with both and suggest that if you make the hat, you cast on only 72 stitches, which will take care of both the size and the decrease issue. If your head is a little larger, 82 stitches will work. The pattern recommends that you knit for 5 to 5.5" before beginning decreases. Being the impatient gal that I am, I opted for 5" but 5.5" would have been perfect for me.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

One for my knitting buddies!

See! I still knit! I finally finished the pair of Fetching fingerless gloves I started over Christmas break. They are made from Karabella Boise, a cashmere/merino blend in a beautiful grape colorway. Hey! I just realized I bought this yarn last year at a Superbowl Sunday Sale and here it is Superbowl Sunday again. What a coincidence. Anyhoo, these gloves really don't take long at all; I just kept picking them up and putting them back down.

(Note to designdreamer: I don't have your email address and your blog comments don't reveal who you are either so I'll answer your question here. I'm not sure why other people like fingerless gloves but I think they are helpful when it's chilly but I still need to be able to use my fingers. i.e. in my office when it is cold. My daughter wears hers when she is walking to class so she can still talk on her cell phone. LOL. When it's really cold, I wear my Malabrigo mittens!)

And remember this set I made and mailed on Christmas Eve to my niece? Well, how cute is she?!!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Jump(er)ing for Joy

(Note: My kids do not think I'm witty either.)

I bought the fabric and pattern for this jumper four or five years ago. I was not sewing much at that time so I don't even remember why I decided to go to the fabric store. I cut out the "two hour" jumper several weeks ago but it has taken me three weeks to finish this easy piece. Actual time including cutting and hand sewing lining was probably 3-4 hours. I just haven't spent much time in the sewing room lately.

Pattern: McCalls 4199 (oop but available here and here on ebay.)

"Semi-fitted sleeveless jumper with lined bodice, front and back darts, raised waist, slightly A-line skirt, front panel with pleats." I cut a size 10 but tapered in about an inch on each side at the waist.
Fabric: who knows? Some moleskin polyester. I added a fringe trim on the front.

In addition to my typical blurry photo, here is a closeup of the fabric and front pleat.

This is a comfortable and casual outfit for work (with tights - I was too lazy to put them on for the photo.) I like that it has a mock wrap panel in the front - no flashing. I would definitely make this jumper again.