Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thanks! And why I'm not as productive as I should be...

Thanks so much for all the encouragement on the dress-gone-bad post. I couldn't email all of you who left comments but I do appreciate the tips and encouragement. And you are all correct in that I forgot to interface before putting the zipper in. I do that EVERY TIME! I'm going to let it sit for awhile and return to it. It's a flattering dress style so I should persevere. It has more of an autumn/winter look to it anyway so maybe it will be my first FO of autumn 2008!

I am working on my trench coat (S4084), which requires a lot of concentration and precision. (Yeah, I know... smart move going from a failed project to this one!) I have taken advantage of my whole sewing room. Using all the counters to hold various pattern pieces and just giving myself lots of space. I was trying to sit at my cutting table to do some hand sewing and marking but it wasn't too successful. Why you say? Well, looking at this shot, it looks like I should be fine.

But I have a "helper".

And yet another "helper" (look under the table.) She is whimpering to jump on my lap!

Worse than kids, I tell ya.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


I put the zipper in my dress (V8904) today and it is awful. It screams "home ec sewer." The top back bodice is all scrunched up and the mid-bodice band is not properly aligned. I was so careful cutting out the fabric so it would all line up but the fabric was a loose weave and it was stretching as I sewed it. But delusional me just kept thinking, "it won't be noticeable." I lined the bodice with a fabric that did not stretch - hence the gathering.

I also don't like how the crossover lays in the front. I think I could fix that by simply tacking it down but I don't know if I have the enthusiasm to fix the back. Plus, because it's a woven fabric, it is not very comfortable. Although it fits perfectly through the waist, hips, butt, it still feels odd because there is no give at all. I've been spoiled with knit dresses.

This will go on a hangar as a UFO until I decide to take it apart and re-sew the bodice. And the biggest irritation is that this was THE MOST PERFECT invisible zipper installation. At least it was the best I've ever done.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Furniture Delivery

I just got off the phone with the delivery firm and my furniture will be delivered on Tuesday. WOO HOO! I can't wait.

And on another note... I just found out from Debbie's blog that PR is having a mini wardrobe contest. I've always been tempted to join the wardrobe / SWAP contests but realized that I can't control my work schedule and I would probably not be able to finish. But this one sounds manageable - 4 pieces created in a month. I attend a conference in Florida every July and even though the dress code is "Resort Casual", women tend to dress a little more formally than the men. I thought this would be a good opportunity to make a coordinated ensemble with a "Resort" theme - perfect for The Breakers in Palm Beach!

Here are the rules:

Pattern Review’s Mini-Wardrobe Contest
May 1 – May 31, 2008

This is a contest to create a 4-piece wardrobe in 4 weeks. Those pieces should fit one of the following three frameworks:

1) 2 bottoms and 2 tops - 1 may be a jacket


2) 1 bottom and 3 tops - 1 (no more than one) may be a jacket


3) 1 bottom, 1 dress or jumper, and 2 tops - 1 may be a jacket, and the top or jacket *must* be wearable with the dress or jumper.

If a jumper is made, it should go with both tops (i.e., function as a bottom).

All pieces must coordinate with each other. A coat may be substituted for a jacket, but also must coordinate well with all the other items in the wardrobe.
Patterns may be new, never sewn before, or TNT. Self-drafted patterns are fine. Patterns may be drafted, tweaked, and muslined before the contest date, but fabric for the pieces entered cannot be cut till the start date of the contest (May 1).

Each entry must be made as a storyboard or composite of all garments included in the wardrobe. It is suggested, but not mandated, that participants draw up a storyboard and post it as a WIP that can be followed, updated, amended, etc… during the contest.
Final garments may be pictured on a dress form or worn by the garment’s intended owner. Please consult with the contest moderator if neither of these is feasible for you, and options will be discussed.

Any individual piece entered into this contest may be simultaneously entered into another contest as long as it meets criteria for both contests.

This wardrobe/ensemble may be created for men, women, or children. Sorry, doll clothing is not admissible.

Accessories, while they may be made and showcased with the wardrobe, are not a part of this contest.

Swimsuits, while wonderful, are not considered admissible to this contest. Workout wear is admissible within the above parameters.

WINNER: to be determined by popular vote. Official voting criteria will be posted at a later date, but will be based on (and these are listed in no particular order): wardrobe versatility (is it wearable and do pieces complement each other well?), garment construction/ skill of designand craftsmanship, designer creativity, and presentation.

PRIZES: One first prize: a sewing machine donated by Greenberg and Hammer (thank you! )

And because a post with no pictures is boring... How about this cake? It's the largest carrot cake I have ever seen! 11" in diameter and 5 " high. It felt like it weighed 15 pounds. My assistant bought it for my birthday last week. It was delicious; in fact, I'm going to have a piece right now.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I made good progress this evening. I was a little skeptical the dress was going to fit. It seemed tight in the bodice but I think it's going to work. All I have left is the zipper and hem - my two least favorite things to do! Depends on how late we get back from dinner tomorrow night. The fabric looks a little distorted but if you click on the photo, it is very clear. It's a glen plaid in brown with green highlights. (BTW, the beads are from my sweety apron partner, Laura.) I love the sleeve style of this dress! I thought a little button would be a cute accent. Which buttons look best? White pearls (left) or beigy flat ones (right)?

A parting shot of my HB banner. Gotta love that same 17 year old who usually thinks I'm an idiot. (Of course, I usually am!)

No Pictures; Just a shout out to all my bloggy friends

I am bored by blog posts with no pictures but I have done absolutely no sewing or knitting since my last post... Ok, since BEFORE my last post. I panicked over nothing. My furniture is not here yet and based on the tracking, I'm thinking it will take at least another week. But in the meantime, I painted my bedroom a very soothing shade of blue. Kind of a robin egg blue although my oldest walked in and said, "Cool, looks like Tiffany's blue." LOL. I also painted the ceiling (first time I've ever done that and let me tell ya... I don't like doing that so much!) and all the trim and I bought a yellow comforter set and a new mattress set. Now, I'm just waiting for the furniture. I realized that switching from a king bed to a queen bed means I need new pillows, too. It never ends... I am holding off posting pictures until I get everything.

Thanks for all your sweet emails. My birthday was low key. In fact, the kids and I have not "officially" celebrated yet due to conflicting work schedules. But I did walk in to a very sweet Happy Birthday Mommy banner on Friday after my 3 days away. We're going out to dinner tomorrow to celebrate.

I just came down to my sewing room to return to my V8409 dress, which I had hoped to wear to a presentation in New York on Tuesday but it's not looking good. Let's see how ambitious I am for the rest of today.

Finally, Happy Easter! I hope you were all able to share some time with family and friends.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I know I shouldn't complain....

Aside from a mattress on the floor and a tv on a little stand, my bedroom has been empty for several months since the big D. I've been sort of leisurely shopping for bedroom furniture for several months, however, there are definitive advantages to my current arrangement:
  • I don't have to worry about falling out of bed and breaking a bone.
  • No furniture to dust.
  • Herschel (with his 3" legs) can easily jump on and off the bed. [Hmm... that's not really an advantage.]
  • It's quite easy to vacuum with no furniture to move.
But I digress...

I decided that it was time to quit living like a college student and get some furniture. After some looking, I found something I liked that would not break the bank. I ordered it Sunday knowing that it had a four to six week delivery time. One of the pieces was even identified as being back-ordered (what do I care, I've lived without for months, right?) It was all good - gave me some time.
  • Time for the tax refund to arrive to pay for said furniture.
  • Time to sand and prime the feather dusted walls (Dear Lord, was that ever really a good look?)
  • Time to browse for some decorating ideas.
  • Time to buy the painting supplies.
  • Time to find bedding and accessories.
So what did I find in my inbox after arriving home from work today?
Dear Bonnie D. Thank you for your order from 'We're just kidding' Furniture Distributors. We shipped your entire order today.

Umm... that's two days. Not four to six weeks. [Yeah, I know.... Quityerbellyachin', Bonnie.]

My arms already ache from the sanding I did this evening but I'm just about done. Can somebody come help me paint? I'll make you a nice dinner!


Oh... what does it look like you ask? Well, here is the bed....

Monday, March 10, 2008

I hope I don't offend....

But this is the funniest darn thing I've seen in awhile. And I suspect many of my Midwest and New England blog friends share this sentiment.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Busy day but not much to show

I cut out the trench coat (S4084). It took FOREVER to cut and mark. There were 18 pieces of the main fabric, 18 pieces of the lining plus 6 or 7 of interfacing. I am guessing it took me several hours to do all that.

I also cut out the V8409 dress and started sewing it. I have the bodice done. I decided to line the bodice rather than use facings. I wonder... is there ever a reason when it makes more sense to use facings? I hate them and think they look unprofessional so I wonder why certain patterns call for them instead of a lining.

So no finished products but at least I made some progress.

College girl was home for dinner so I made a big dinner and the kids cleaned up the whole kitchen. Woo hoo! This is what we had:

Pork Chops with Mushroom Wine Sauce
Potato Tart
Green Bean Casserole
Applesauce with cinnamon
Dinner rolls
Blueberry Bread Pudding

I just had a taste of the bread pudding. I'm going to indulge later!

Stating the Obvious

Change your clocks, folks. I have known for some time that the clocks change this weekend. I remembered yesterday, and lamented the loss of an hour. I remembered when I compared my cable box clock at 3:17 this morning to my alarm clock in my room that read 2:17. So this morning, as I sat here fully dressed and drinking my final cup of coffee before leaving for 9:00 Mass, I got on the computer. Hmmm, I thought, my computer clock (which read 9:15) is wrong. DING DING DING!!! You moron, you STILL forgot to change your clocks.

10:30 Mass was very nice.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

How cool is this?

We ended up with about a foot of snow. I assumed I would be snowed in for a few days. My driveway is about 100 feet long not counting the top part. I figured that was too much snow for my kids and me to attack today; rather we'd wait a day or two until some melted and then we would clear it.

But while I was downstairs cutting out fabric this afternoon, some good Samaritan came by and cleared my driveway. I have no idea who it was. My son saw him leaving and said it was an older guy with a plow on his truck - I don't know anyone fitting that description. I wish I could thank him. How incredibly nice.

In honor of the Blizzard of 2008

Well, I still haven't cut out any of the projects from the last post but since winter clearly is not going away, I DID make a hat that I have had on my mind for a few months now. My inspiration was the "Lola" hat shown here but at $285, it was just a wee bit out of my price range! (I didn't think it was appropriate to copy the photo right onto my blog.) This designer has other lovely hats, check them out here and here,

I decided to try to make something similar so here is my hat inspired by Lola:

Mine was a bit cheaper:
Leftover scrap of polar fleece - $0
Two yards velvet ribbon - $2
Pattern (B4643) - $3

Grand total - $5

I had to play around with the pattern a lot to get the look I wanted. The hat part was longer than I wanted and the brim was floppier than I wanted. So, I basted and ripped and basted and ripped until I had it looking like I wanted. But after I sewed the final seams, I didn't like how wide the brim turned out. I wanted a closer-to-the-face look. I didn't feel like ripping out seams from the polar fleece (I would have gone blind!) so I improvised. What do you think of my "design feature". Hee hee.

Spring is crazy!

Remember my post a couple days ago.... the one in which I debuted my "SPRINGY" apron? It was a beautiful, sunny 55 degree day here in southwest Ohio. What a difference a few days can make. We are in the midst of a blizzard - the worst storm in many years. I think we have about 8" so far and may get another 3 -4" today.

5:00 pm yesterday.

7:00 am today (3" dog legs in 8" of snow makes for slow moving!)

I arrived home at 3:00 yesterday and don't intend to leave any time soon! It's is just BEAUTIFUL outside! And since I am homebound it's the perfect opportunity to SEW! Lori asked me what I am sewing and I realized that I didn't have a single thing in process. (I really think she is asking because she wants to know what she is going to sew next. On more than one occasion, we have found that we have made the same item, at the same time, without planning it!) So I just browsed my stacks and have decided on the following:

Skirt with pleated back (M5523, view B); black and emerald green plaid.

Spring trench (S4084); embossed taupe print with crinkle olive lining

Business dress (V8409); brown and green glen plaid with olive green lining for bodice

And finally, I was going to make this: Knit tunic (B5173) out of a fun animal print with black trim.

But when i went to the Butterick webside to copy the link, look what I found:

A "serious error"?! Holy cow! That's pretty ominous sounding, isn't it? I know Sharon made it and although it wasn't her favorite look, she didn't appear to suffer any dire consequences. Hmm, Butterick, I'm going to view your statement as a challenge! LOL!

And one final photo to inspire you to slow down and relax today. This was taken shortly after Martini came in from the snow yesterday and was laying on top of my daughter in front of the fire.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sassy Apron Received!

Well, it still is not the best photo in the world but hopefully, you can see what my lovely new apron looks like! Thank you again, Laura, for such a great apron. I just love it! It's a beautiful teal-green batik fabric on one side and an orange-yellow batik on the other side. Laura appliqued some of the orange-yellow flowers on the front and look at the adorable triangle bottom! (I think that is called something in quilting but I'll be darned if I can think of it.) I just love the apron and wore it last night when I was doing my cleaning.

And while I'm looking so domestic, let me share a great smoothie recipe with you.

BTW, notice the rolling pan in my hand? It's my best sassy pose. Don't mess with me....

One more cause for glee

PR Finale Tonight, Baby!!!

Who do you want to win? I really don't have a favorite. I think all three are incredibly talented and there are elements of each finalist's style that I really love.

So are you watching? My friend is coming over to watch with me tonight. I need to come up with a good idea for an appetizer that is Runway themed!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Life is good. Life is good. Life is good.

Thanks for stopping by in the middle of my chant. If you had stopped in earlier, you would have gotten an earful of all kinds of crappy stuff I've been dealing with for the last ten days but then I remembered that:

You are full of energy. You are spirited and boisterous. True

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life. I think this is true

Ahem. So to avoid sounding like a hypocritical crankpot, I'm putting my Pollyanna mask back on and sharing the GOOD stuff that has happened to me in the last week.

Preliminarily finished my taxes and I am due a refund. Helpful after the last year.
My daughter's team won first place at a national cheer competition and received a standing ovation to boot.
Spent several beautiful warm and sunny days relaxing with my parents in Florida. And made some delicious fish for dinner. Recipe here.
Received the cutest, springiest apron around! Sent by my wonderful partner Laura Lee for the Sassy Apron Swap. She shared a very sweet story about her personal inspiration for this design, which makes the apron extra special to me. This springy apron deserves a sunny picture so I am waiting to post until I can snap a good one outside.
Anticipated some serious house cleaning upon my return today (after neglecting it for almost two weeks) but discovered my 17 year old had already done much of it for me! Biting my tongue to ask her how she knew where the mop was.
Ok, hold your surprise... These babies I was daydreaming about earlier are now mine. And I got them for less than I expected - only $25! "Bonnie" also means "Queen of Shoe Bargains." (BTW, I figure if each of you 'helpful' enablers send me $1, it will more than cover the purchase price.)

# 7
A certain man confirmed he is a dumb**s. Oops. That slipped out. Nowhere does it say "Bonnie" means perfect.

What does Bonnie mean?

I saw this on Kellie's blog and thought I would give it a try. Holy cow! My mom named me right. Most of what it said is quite true about me. Check it out:

What Bonnie Means

You are full of energy. You are spirited and boisterous. True

You are bold and daring. You are willing to do some pretty outrageous things.
Somewhat True

Your high energy sometimes gets you in trouble. You can have a pretty bad temper at times.
Very True

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.
I think this is true

You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.

At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.
Although I don't think I fall in the serious category, the second statement is very, very true

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
Laughably not true although I have learned to trust my intuition

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
I don't know about this one.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.
I'm actually not a jealous person. In fact, if I better interpreted signals, I wouldn't have been screwed over so many times in my life!

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
Laughing about this one - "Hello, My name is Bonnie and I am easily excitable."

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
True although I would say I do stick with what I start.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.
No, my biggest problem is I severely underestimate how much I can get done in a set period of time.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
I don't have many enemies.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
True to not rocking the boat, however, I'm not always "easy going"

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.
I would disagree with this one. No one has ever accused me of being flaky or irresponsible.