Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

My friend gave me a gift card to Hancock’s for Christmas so I’m going to blame her but I have cut out 4 projects to get done in as many days. The first will be McCalls 5469 View B, out of a brown stretch knit that I purchase while in Texas.

Next will be Butterick 5283 View B I have a dark forest green stretch knit that I plan to coordinate with the jacket from McCalls 5398. I apologize that there's no picture for 5398 but I kept getting an error when I tried to upload it. It's just a short shrug type jacket and it's breaking one of the fashion rules I set for myself, which is at my age I shouldn't buy a half of nothing this is why I have avoided the half jackets and shrugs for as long as I have but this one really got my attention and rules are meant to be broken lol.

And lastly I will make Butterick 5254 view C out of a hot pink fleece that was
purchased with the gift card. The jacket is lined, at first I was going to omit the lining but then I ran across this white with pink polka dot fabric that I’ve had so long I can’ remember when I purchase it but the label was still attached. I’m thinking this was probably a yard sale find and this definitely will help add some color to my wardrobe.

I don't know if you can read it but it says 6 yds no flaws for $3.00.

Well there you have it my first sewing projects for 2009, wish me luck I would hate to get off to a bad start.

I wore the jacket the other day, here are some pictures. I really like the jacket but I hate the convoluted Butterick top it just didn't work with the jacket and will probably go to the goodwill. I resorted to the standard black turtleneck.

The Christmas tree and all the other holiday decorations are finally down. Every year I put up my “Happy New Year” sign and print out the year and make everyone that comes over take a picture under it wearing a party hat. My kids hate it but the hat is not optional.

My Grandson is the only one who still thinks this is fun lol. He's wearing one of the 6 pairs of pj's that he received for Christmas, he is pj crazy.

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year's. Every year I make resolutions mostly just to be a better person, attend church more regularly, save money etc, but I don't think I'm going to do that this year, just going to take life one day at a time and try to work on all the things I've promised myself and God throughout the year.

Be Safe and Be Well

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Something for Me

Once I finished my marathon Christmas sewing it occurred to me that I would have a few days of free time so I got busy on this.

I know another jacket with a peplum, I think I'm in a rut but I like it here. I had purchased this pattern at the last Vogue 1.99 sale and when I went to Texas I found the perfect fabric. The pattern was horizontal but the fabric has great two-way stretch and I preferred the pattern to be vertical so that's the way I cut it out. This fabric was $1.50/yd at the Wal-Mart in Atlanta, TX. I think one of my New Year's resolution's has to be to add some color to my wardrobe. I'm color phobic; I tend to stick with either black and white or earth tones.

It's very New Year's Eveish, the picture doesn't really show how sparklely it is, maybe it will motivate me to go to watch night service this year.

Initially I was going to make the Vogue top but I didn't have enough black fabric so I went with this Butterick B4347, style D. I thought this neckline would work well with the collar on the jacket. I wasn't really happy with this top, I think it's a little convoluted. The collar isn't attached and the pattern calls for a zipper but since my fabric was very stretchy I didn't add the zipper. I still think the construction is odd.

The jacket was SUPER easy, the longest part was hand sewing the facing down but other than that it was a breeze. I usually sew my seams on my regular machine and then serge, I tested this fabric and found that serging it was sufficient and worked great, which definitely helped cut down on time. I used a lot of the fusible hem tape to stablize the hem and collar and then sewed the hem because this fabric was really stretchy and I didn't want that wavy hem thing to happen. You will have to wait for a picture of me wearing it because I look a hot mess today; Mammie scarf and all lol.

I didn't think I would use my old machine since I purchased the new Kenmore, (hereto referred to as E2) but I am finding it very handy to have both machines. There are things about my old machine, (hereto referred to as E1) that I like better than on E2. I perfer E1's blind hem stitch, sewing on buttons, snaps and closures E1 can't be beat but she has to concede defeat on the buttonholes which is why I purchased a new machine E1's buttonhole stitch quit working. E2 kicks butt on button holes, I haven't used the automatic buttonhole but the manual was awesome. There are no buttonholes on this jacket but I used it on my friends jacket and I was very impressed. I'm very glad that I have my very long sewing table where all three machines can sit comfortably and be ready to use.

It's a very cosy space and I'm really glad that I reclaimed it from the kids. The computer is right next to my sewing table so I can listen to my favorite jazz station while I sew but most of the time the TV is on and I'm half listening to it.
I won't go into what I received for Christmas but suffice it to say that I felt very blessed and I am very proud of my children. Christmas let me know that I've raised thoughtful giving children and really that's the best present of all.
I hope everyone has a great week, mine will be short, I'm only working Monday and Tuesday of next week so you can bet there will be some sewing going on.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm Done with a day to spare!

I finished the jacket and that completes the Christmas sewing marathon of 08. I hope she likes it. I had her try mine on and it was quite snug so I cut a size 16, mine was a 12 so this should fit perfect.

The scarf was claimed and a matching had requested so this is off in the mail and will not be regifted lol.

Since I couldn't regift this I made an emergency hat and will probably make a couple more for those I didn't know you were coming people that I want to give something.

Well it's been quite a run and I'm really proud of all my Christmas sewing/crafting/crocheting. I really didn't spend a lot of money this year and that was one of my main goals. I purchased fabric and yarn throughout the year and made a lot of gifts from my stash. But once again I'm going to promise myself to get started earlier next year, we'll see.

Now just some marathon cooking tomorrow.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

That may be what little girls are made of but after making these footie pj’s I’ll stick with the boys. It took me longer to finish these two pair than it did to complete all 3 of the boys. The pattern used is McCall’s 6288 which I’ve had for years so I don’t know if it’s still in print. I don’t know what happened with the zipper’s they’re off and the perfectionist in me really wants to take them out but I’m more tired than I am a perfectionist because I’m not taking them out. I got lucky with the Christmas fabric I found it at JoAnn’s for 1.00/yd but of course they didn’t have much left just enough for this. The other fabric is all from my Wal-Mart stash so it was .74/yd.

The last one on the right should look familiar it's the same fabric I used to make my Father's robe and pajama bottoms last year.

I wasn’t going to post the preemie gown because it’s for my friends daughter, the one I made the layette set for, she was born early and has complications so I want to be respectful as they go through this difficult time but she is a beautiful little angle so I made this to match her sisters pjs. I put snaps on the back and added ribbon ties that can be used to hold the tubes in place.

Front view

Back view

I love these snaps but they are a bear to put on, you have to use a hammer but if you hit them to hard they will crack.

I have been crocheting too, I made another hat for the baby, the first one was too big and I finished this scarf for my friend that moved to Colorado but if she doesn't claim it before Christmas it will be regifted lol.

Since the girls pj’s took so long that put me a day behind I don’t know where I’m going to find the 6-7 hours I’m going to need to finish my friends jacket but I’ll figure something out.

This is a picture of my buffet table which is one of my trash to treasure projects, this use to be a dresser I took the mirror off and covered it with fabric and now I have a very nice buffet table and I don’t care if it gets dirty because I can just change the fabric. Since it use to be a dresser it has all those handy drawers that I use for storage. I’m dangerous with a glue and staple gun.

And the plant stand next to the table was $5.00 at a yard sale. I’m just so thrifty.

I guess I'll go wrap some presents. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas.

I won't keep you in suspense I will post the jacket once I have it finished.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sweatshop Sewing

This has to be what it feels like to work in a sweat shop. So far I’ve made 11 aprons and two pairs of PJ's. I have 3 more like this to make and two pairs of girls footie PJ's.

These were the same size so I don't even cut my serger threads I complete all the seams for the cuffs, neckband and bottom band at the same time. I have been making these for so long I don't even need to look at the guide sheet and it only takes about an hour to complete a pair. I usually buy flannel whenever it's on sale and I hit the Motherload when Wal-Mart discontinued their fabric department, this flannel cost .74/yd, now that's a deal.

I am so tired of these aprons but I stand by my decision and I think it was a good Christmas gift choice, everyone that received one really liked it.

Now it's time to start thinking about my Christmas dinner. I'm going to do a turkey since we were in Texas for Thanksgiving, cornbread dressing, greens, sweet potato casserole, macaroni and cheese and my Grandmother's homemade yeast rolls. For dessert I want a sweet potato pie, I know I have the casserole but we didn't have pie at Thanksgiving and I want some pie, carrot cake, whipping cream pound cake and maybe an apple pie. I made a carrot cake and cheesecake yesterday for our Christmas party at work today they were very good. I'm going to really have to work out to get rid of these holiday calories, oh well I'll worry about that next year. That way the whole world will be dieting with me lol.

I hope everyone is on schedule, I should be finished with the boy's PJ's tomorrow; Saturday finish the girls and Sunday make my friends jacket. Whew! I'm going to be busy aren't I?

I mailed my Christmas cards last weekend and I'm just wondering are you sending out Christmas cards this year? I've only received about half of what I usually get, I guess people aren't doing that kind of thing so much anymore. I enjoy getting Christmas cards and always display them, I like to include a Christmas letter in mine just to recap the highlights from the year.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


♪Merry Christmas to Me ♪

There’s a new girl in town. I will call her “E2” and my original sewing machine as “E1” they are named after my Mom. I saw this Kenmore sewing machine at the K-Mart store closing sale, it was marked down 25% which really didn’t get me that excited but I checked the on-line reviews and that piqued my interest, so I went back the next day and bought her home and set her up right next to the original.

I have to tell you the reviews were right on about this machine, it has knocked out several aprons, (which I am so tired of) and I can’t wait to move on to more exciting projects. I really like the see through bobbin, so now I won’t sew forever before I realize I’m out of bobbin thread and it is very smooth it’s not heavy but it’s very sturdy and doesn’t jump around when you sew. I had planned to purchase a new sewing machine next year but Santa had different plans and I’m very happy with it so far.

Here are “my girls” modeling their aprons.

I have so much to do, I had planned on sewing yesterday afternoon but I ended up doing some Christmas shopping with my friend Gwen and didn’t get home until very late so there was no sewing done yesterday which puts me a day behind and today I’m supposed to go to see Cadillac Records with some friends and that will definitely cut into my sewing time. I’m feeling the crunch and I see some sleepless nights in my very near future but I’ll get it all done, I somehow manage to do it every year and always promise myself that I’m going to be better prepared next year. Oh well, wish me luck.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

We had our first snow on Saturday morning, isn't it pretty, we didn't get much but they are predicting more this Tuesday. I don't mind the snow as long as I don't have to go out in it, unfortunately Saturday morning I did.

Have you heard that commercial where the lady says she's getting everyone "cats" for Christmas, it's pretty funny but if you haven't heard it this won't make much sense, I feel like that but only it's apron's, everyone's getting an apron whether they want one or not. I only managed to get 3 made this weekend but I have 4 cut out and half finished, the number keeps increasing, this happened last year with the "Kitchen Britches". They are really cute and I saw my neighbor wearing one on Saturday so I know she will like hers.

Here is my DD reluctantly modeling the completed red sweater, I asked her about the button choice several times before hand sewing them on and she said they were okay, once I finished she wanted to change her mind and have the ones I used as an anchor on the front, that's not going to happen. I am so done with this sweater.

This is the second year in a row that my friend Sheree's Christmas party has been met with bad weather, last year she had to cancel but she didn't cancel this year so some of us braved the weather but a lot of people didn't come but it was still good to see everyone. Sheree use to moderate a single parent support group at our church so every year she host a "reunion" get together at Christmas. It's really fun to see everyone and know that we made it, most of our kids are grown, my son is a senior this year so I'm almost done (yipee!!!)

Christine reminded me that it's been almost 14 years that we've know each other.

I hope everyone had a great weekend, I met my weekend motto of "have some fun and get something done", now on to the work week.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Remember This

I don’t know if you remember this sweater I was crocheting for my DD, she requested a long red sweater with a hood; I posted this way back when well I’m very happy to say that it’s almost finished.

It needs to be blocked so that the front will lay flat but Sheila scared me because she said that if the sweater fits and I block it then it won’t fit; I’m going to be very careful when I block it and try not to stretch it and then I only have to add the buttons. I’m a little concerned about adding the buttons, when I added them to my sweater vest I used some interfacing to give them something to adhere to but I really don’t like that because the interfacing shows through so I think I’m going to use two buttons so that they anchor each other, I’m open to any ideas you have on adding buttons to crocheted garments.

Wish me luck, I’m so ready for this project to be finished, oh and by the way the hood became a collar because after I frogged it several times I conceded defeat but she seems happy with it.

My next project is going to be something easy; like a scarf lol.
I need to get busy with my Christmas sewing but I have a Christmas social event this weekend so I don't know how much sewing I will get to do.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Crafting and Some Classic Pics

It’s my favorite time of the year, I LOVE CHRISTMAS, and I love making my gifts. With the economy being what it is, this will definitely be a “make it or bake it” Christmas, meaning if I can’t make it or bake it, it won’t happen. I usually make most of my gifts and it’s always a challenge meeting my gift criteria---no junk, must be useful, crafty, easy to make and cute. While we were in Texas I received some inspiration, my Aunt Vicky had a Christmas apron that was just too cute so I sketched it and this is what I came up with….

I will give this to my girl friends and probably send one to my sisters and niece in California. I will probably have to make some as gifts for teachers and all those other people that you want to give “a little something too”
The pattern is really simple it’s basically one piece cut on the fold two side ties and one for the neck. I used extra wide double fold bias tape around the sides and top and I had some glittery thread that I used. I think they will be well received.

I know I look a hot mess but I was still a little road weary lol.

Last year’s gift was “Kitchen Britches”, they are extremely simple and very cute, everyone always loves them. They are super simple to make, it’s just two dish clothes, the ones that come in packs of ten at Wal-Mart for 6 or 7 bucks, some ribbon, small Christmas bells and a really cute poem that goes

“Don’t be dismayed
Don’t be mislead
These are not for you
But for your dishes instead
So untie the ribbon
Undo the stitches
Now you have two dishcloths
But you’ve lost your britches”

How cute is that, it’s almost two cute but everyone loved them. I think I made about 40 pair, after pair 30 it stopped being fun lol. I’m sure I will feel the same way about the apron but the first one was fun, I made it out of some .50 cent/yd fabric since I didn’t have a pattern I wanted to do a “test run”.

To make these you just weave the ribbon through the top, joining the two dishclothes, then weave the bottom with ribbon add the bells to the bottom and add the ribbon down the front so that they look like a little pair of "britches". Pin the poem on and you're done.

Also I promised to post some of the baby pictures that my Father gave me so here they are, I was an adorable baby if I do say so myself.

And this one is just wrong, what’s with those hats lol.

The one in the upper left has to be my favorite, it is my oldest and second oldest sister, I don’t think I was born, or if I was I was a baby, there’s two years difference between me and my older sisters. The one next to that one is my oldest sister, she looks like she might be 5 or 6 and the one at the bottom is my second oldest sister (I think). Anyway these are priceless and I just might have to take up scrapbooking because I think they deserve something special.

Have fun with your Christmas crafts and let me know if you use any of my ideas.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Road Weary

Warning--long and pic heavy

I am so road weary, 14 hours and 5 states will do that to you (OH,KY,TN,ARK & TX). We had a very good trip, every year the kids say they’re not going back but by the time October/November rolls around again they’ve forgotten about the very long ride. I’m sure no one has ever heard of Atlanta, TX no I didn’t mean to say Atlanta, GA, my Father lives in Atlanta, TX and my Uncle Ronnie lives in Bivins, TX you don’t know country until you’ve spent time in Atlanta or Bivins, TX I’m talking dark like you’ve never seen, no cell phone reception, red dirt and satellite tv because there’s no cable kinda country. I thought my kids would lose it when they realized their cell phones wouldn’t work but they adjusted.

Here's a pic of my Father wearing the robe and pj bottoms that I made him last year. I'm going to make him and my step-mother matching robes this year. Since they don't celebrate Christmas I can wait and make them after the holidays.

The saving grace is my Uncle Ronnie’s house, it’s gorgeous, it’s a log home you can’t call it a cabin because although it’s only 3 bedrooms it is the best designed and well thought out log home I have ever seen. Uncle Ronnie designed and built most of it himself, he is a retired Army Lt. Colonel and after spending all those years in the military he said it was time for him to go to Bivins, TX, he bought up all the land so that no one could build a house close to him, the closest house is my cousin Sharon’s. There’s definitely advantages to country living but I don’t know if I could do it. My Uncle Ronnie has well water and I swear it taste way better than Evian.

He owns everything as far as the eye can see. I was trying to get a picture of the oil well horse, they were drilling for oil for years but no luck or I should say it was lucky because my Grandmother had sold the mineral rights to buy the land, so if they had found oil we still wouldn't be like the Dallas Ewings.
This is the second year that we’ve gone to TX for Thanksgiving. The food is outrageously good, Uncle Ronnie smoked a Ham and we also had turkey and a hen that my Aunt Vicky wouldn’t take responsibility for, the side dishes were too numerous to name, cornbread stuffing, oyster stuffing, greens, chicken spaghetti, green beans, corn on the cob, sweet potatoes and I’m sure I’m forgetting some, I drive all that way so that I can make german chocolate cake, 7-up cake and my Grandmother’s homemade yeast rolls. Vicky also made a whip cream pound cake which was awesome. I made two german chocolate cakes one for Uncle Ronnie and one so that Vicky’s sister could take one home, it’s both their favorite.

This is Gerred, Aunt Vicky's nephew bring in more wood for the fire.

Brandi with Aunt Vicky's great-niece.

This is the road to Uncle Ronnie's house as you can see you can't see his house, you have to drive about 1/4 mile to get to his house and you better know where you're going because you can't see it from the road.

Of course there was some fabric shopping done, their Wal-Mart still has a fabric department and had a really large selection of $1.50/yd fabric, I purchased these pieces and I have a few projects in mind but right now I’m too brain dead to go into details.

I do plan to make Christmas aprons for my friends with the Christmas pieces, my Aunt Vicky had one and I thought it was a really cute gift idea.

My Father doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving but that didn’t stop me and my step-mother from taking advantage of “Black Friday” at the local Wal-Mart and you know if it’s as country as I said Wal-Mart is pretty much the only game in town. We wanted the portable DVD player and the HP printer/scanner/copier, the DVD player was $49.00 and the HP was an unbelievable $29.00 so both were worth dealing with this crowd and waiting in line for over an hour.

Every time we go to Texas I buy my Grandson a cap gun because they still let the kids play with guns in Texas, in Cincinnati if you make the gun sign with your finger you can get expelled from school. As you can see he really enjoyed playing cowboy, my Dad kept calling him Two Gun Pete, which I’m sure is a reference to someone we’ve never heard of.

He was all into playing cowboy and really channeled that "Two Gun Pete" character.

Since we live so far from any family it’s always very nice to go visit my Father and Uncle and have a family Thanksgiving, it also helps that the food is off the chain. I met a cousin that I don’t ever remember meeting, my cousin Sharon’s brother was in town from Nashville, TN I think we had 4 states represented, OH, TN, CA and of course TX.
My Father gave me the best gift ever and now that I have the scanner I will be able to share them. My Mother died when I was 20 and that threw everything and everyone into a tail spin as a result I didn’t have any pictures of me or my sisters when we were little. My Father gave me some pictures that he said a neighbor of ours found in the alley and gave them to him so that they wouldn’t be thrown away. They are precious, I have to get a USB cord for the scanner and then I will post some of those pictures. I cannot thank Thelma and Ernest enough for rescuing those pictures.
I'm exhausted and have to do the laundry from the trip and get ready for work tomorrow. From what I've read on the blogs it looks like everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, now on to the big one --- Christmas.