Monday, July 14, 2008

I'm aching to sew!

We just returned from a week long vacation in Delaware. My parents own a small home on the Indian River and my brother lives right on the beach just south of Dewey. It's a fun place to go and relax and spend some time on the beach. In addition to my parents, all three of my brothers (that's us to the left) and their families were there so it was nice to spend time with everyone.

I was able to read two books while lounging on the beach - The Zookeeper's Wife (by Diane Ackerman) and Beach House (by Jane Green). I recommend both although they are certainly two very different books!

On one rainy afternoon, we saw the movie Hancock with Will Smith and Charlize Theron, which I really enjoyed but my son thought was stupid.

Remember the outfit I made for my niece. well, I think she is quite possibly the cutest one year old EVAH!

So now, I'm catching up on laundry, cleaning, work, etc. and haven't had a chance to sew even a stitch. Before I left, I cut out this cute dress (McCalls 5660) in a lightweight yellow twill. I hope to get just a few minutes to sew tonight. Fingers crossed!!

Oh and in case you have been living in a cave and hadn't heard.....

Project Runway starts in two days!!!

How lucky am I?

Is there anything more fun than receiving a gift package in the mail? YES! Receiving a SURPRISE gift package in the mail. I am the lucky recipient of not one but two fabulous packages over the last few days. On Saturday, after returning from vacation, I found a box that contained FOUR! sewing books. Sweet Jennifer (amazing knitter and mom extraordinaire) recently emailed me to ask if I would be interested in a book on fitting since she doesn't sew too much any more. I was thrilled as I really need to improve my fitting techniques and accepted her generous offer to send it to me. Imagine my surprise when I received not only the book she mentioned but three other great books. Also tucked into the package was a yummy chocolate treat which... hmmmm.... can't seem to find when I took the photo. Where ever could it be???

Fast forward to today... I arrived home from the oral surgeon after my 17 yr old's wisdom teeth removal (poor thing is not doing well!) to find a fat envelope in the mail box with Allison's return address on it. Now, Allison, in addition to being an amazing knitter and photographer, has the wonderful gift of finding sweet little presents for people but it wasn't my birthday or anything so I was curious what could be in the envelope. Well, turns out not Allison but her MOM! found this adorable apron 'kit' in a quilt store and picked it up for me. How sweet is that???!! Can you see the little ant border. TOO adorable! Allison and Mom, I can't thank you both enough for the thoughtful gift!

What a great way to boost someone's mood!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Post-Vacation "Diet"

I didn't think I ate badly on vacation but when I got on the scale this morning, it said I had gained 3 lbs. Hmmmm...... I did snack a lot so I bet that's what happened. I haven't been eating all that healthy lately anyway so I'm going to try to get back on track. I browsed some websites this morning (some great menu ideas at the Good Housekeeping Good Sense Meal Plans website) and put together a menu for this week as well as a grocery list. I only scheduled the menu through Thursday so I can see what kind of food I have left at the end of the week. Here is the menu along with some links to recipes and some lower calorie snacks that I enjoy:






Banana Berry Smoothie

Tuna salad on Pita bread

Mediterranean Fish

Brown Rice

Mixed greens and grape tomatoes


“Egg McMuffin”*


Veggie Vegetarian Chili

Greek Chicken Kabobs with grilled pita (grill mushrooms for tomorrow’s lunch)

Cucumber Onion salad (use non-fat yogurt instead of vanilla)

Brown Rice


Yogurt with Raisin Bran

Tomato, Mushroom, Feta Pita with Greek Tzatziki - cucumber yogurt sauce

Egg & Goat Cheese Frittata *

Fruit Salad

Whole Wheat Baguette


“Egg McMuffin”


Veggie Vegetarian Chili

Basil Shrimp Summer Salad

Whole Wheat Baguette slice


Peanut Butter on English Muffin


Leftover Frittata

Sliced Tomatoes

Grilled Portabella Sandwich

Roasted new potatoes



* Egg beaters, reduced fat cheese, slice deli ham, Thomas Light Multi Grain english muffin

** slimmed down by using Egg Beaters


Black Bean & Corn salsa with chips (Baked Tortilla)

Veggies with hummus

Apple with Peanut Butter

Bananas / Strawberries with chocolate syrup

Almonds & dried cherries

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Me Meme

The deal is to answer the following questions with one word answers.

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your significant other? unidentified (but hopefully, he's out there somewhere!)
3. Your hair? straight
4. Your mother? complicated
5. Your father? recuperating
6. Your favorite thing? family
7. Your dream last night? secret (hee hee)
8 Your favorite drink? martini
9. Your dream/goal? happiness
10. The room you’re in? sewing
11. Your hobby? neverending
12. Your fear? dying
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? ocean/lakeside
14. What you’re not? bored
15. Muffins? pumpkin
16. One of your wish list items? cabin
17. Where you grew up? Newark
18. The last thing you did? laundry
19. What are you wearing? shorts
20. Favorite gadget? computer
21. Your pets? many
22. Your computer? sloooooowwwww
23. Your mood? happy
24. Missing someone? yes
25. Your car? convertible
26. Something you’re not wearing? makeup
27. Favorite store? fabric
28. Like someone? absolutely
29. Your favorite color? purple
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? unsure

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Remembering my manners!

I meant to say thanks to those of you who gave me feedback on the Jalie patterns via comments and emails. Except for Lori, who is a bad influence on me! Akimbo and Elaine - thanks for the pricing at PR and Jalie.

Also thanks for the comments on the red/white Butterick dress. I wore it around the house all day yesterday and I guess I like it after all. Although dang, I forgot how bad challis wrinkles!

Nancy (nanflan), thanks for the idea to change up the sash for one closer in color. Although I wanted the contrast originally, I think having all that extra white with the knot and sash ends was throwing me. I tried a red belt with it and liked it although it's not quite the right red. Hopefully, I'll find a white belt this week that will keep the contrast but tone it down.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Butterick 5177 - the jury is out

Happy Fourth of July! Ande and Toy made adorable versions of Butterick 5177. I'm not so sure about my almost finished version (just needs a hem). I cut this dress out last night and started sewing early this morning. Even though it looks like a quick and easy pattern, it is taking me forever. The casings for the drawstring neck were odd and time-consuming. And as the title reads, I'm not sure this is a keeper.

It's definitely too big so I'm going to take in the sides a bunch as you can clearly see in the unbelted version. I'm not sure I'm lovin the sash. I like the white contrast but it's just too much... too much somethin'. Can't figure out what. I'm going to pick up a wide wide belt today and see if that would look better.

Forgive the bra straps and flip flops - I'm in sewing mode, not modeling mode! I thought this would be a perfect dress for today but it's supposed to rain all day. Oh well, if it ends up being a keeper, it will make a nice vacation dress.

Ok, I took an inch off each side seam and repositioned the sash so the knot is in the front. I like this better.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Can you smell the cute?????

I stole that title from Ms. Ande's comment in the last post. As the mom of 21 and 17 year old daughters and a 14 year old son, I have soooooo missed sewing for little girls! Here is the hat to accompany the dress I made earlier. The bloomers are just about done, too. The pattern is actually McCalls 2213 . I posted the wrong pattern number in the last post. I'm just awaiting a phone call from a friend with a one year old so I know how long to make the elastic in the waist and leg casings. I will be seeing my niece in two days and unless this outfit is ginormous on her, I'll take a picture of her wearing it. She is tiny and I had no idea what size to make so I suspect it might end up too large.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day! And a request for input

Today is Canada Day. Happy Birthday, Canada!

In honor of the holiday (and encouraged by an unnamed enabler), I think it is the perfect occasion to finally purchase some of those adorable patterns from the Canadian company Jalie! But since I am known for overbuying because I can't make up my mind, I am seeking other sewers' input. My three top choices are 2794 (that neckline is flattering on everyone!), 2788 (how cute is that cascading ruffle down the front?!) and 2804 (love the ruching on the sides). But there are many others that I like, too! So help me out, sewing buddies... Have I overlooked any other patterns that I MUST HAVE! If I was only going to buy two.... ok, let's be realistic... no more than four, which ones should I buy?!

OH, I assume the best place to purchase is from the Jalie company directly?