Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sewing is Fun

Or at least it should be. As I sit here in my cozy flannel pj's that cost less than $5.00 to make I'm quite satisfied and very happy that I can sew. This will be the only pic, you probably don't want to see me in my pj's anyway lol.

I hope to be able to say that about knitting one day. I can't even remember how many times I've checked this book out but I'm not giving up. I can cast on (yipee!) but that's about it. I'm going to keep at it and once I get the hang of it I'll decide if I want to buy the book. I never buy books, I check them out of the library several times and then I might buy it.

I think I will cut out the McCalls 5759 jacket tomorrow; it won't be a quick project but I still should have it finished by next weekend.

If anybody has any pointers on learning to knit I'm open to any and all suggestions.

I wanted to say this was my first "blog awards season" and it was a blast. I love the nominate 7 other blogs I found a lot of new blogs to visit because of all the nominations, what fun! I think I'm hooked on blogging I didn't know if I would get bored with it but I really enjoy connecting with other sewers and the fact that everyone is so willing to share their construction techniques.

That's about it for me. Happy sewing, stay safe and warm.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snowy Day Dinners

No pics but I just had to share my menu planning over these past few days. I usually keep my pantry pretty well stocked but some things you're going to run out of, like milk.

Yesterday I made a big pot of chili and some cornbread, good meal for a snowy day. I was also feeding my neighbor, who is a young bachelor and probably can't find his way to the kitchen. Well as I was dozing off to sleep I overheard my DD and DS arguing over who ate the last of it lol.

So tonight I was determined to have more than enough. I knew I was going to fix chicken fingers, I usually fix fries to go with this but I wanted to make sure there was more than enough so I debated between spaghetti or waffles. Everybody voted for the chicken and waffles. I was very slow on milk and didn't have any buttermilk which is what I usually use. I always keep a can of evaporated milk on hand for just such emergencies. Let me tell you the chicken and waffles were excellent. I usually put my chicken in buttermilk, then flour before frying. Didn't have any buttermilk so I used the evaporated milk, diluted with a little water and egg and did a double dip before frying. I'm sure this is how good recipes start.

Just had to share. I do love to cook and also love a challenge so tonight I did both together. Food Network are you listening, I think this is a great idea for a new show.

Snowbound Day 3

Well this is Day 3 that we've been snow bound. So far we've avoided a "Hereeeeeeeee's Johnny" type of episode. That's a reference to "The Shining" for those of you who are not Stephen King or Jack Nicolson fans. Here's a picture of my poor little japanese maple all covered and weighed down with ice.

This was yesterday morning, when we finally received the last snow from this storm. I think we have over 8 inches but that's what the weatherman says we got.

This is my home office, what you say it looks like a laptop sitting on a box on top of a tv tray. I've improvised here. I use to work downstairs and hook my laptop up to my home monitor but now that we have wireless internet I just roll out of bed and I'm at work. I bought the shelf at a yard sale for $2.00 but it comes in very handy. I need someplace to keep my beverages, work cell phone, ophs is that the tv remote. I'm busted and my crochet, I can get a few rows done while waiting for files to load.

This is what I've done to keep myself sane these past few days. I made another pair of slippers, I didn't want to wait until my current pair had a hole in them.

Here's my long term project, my first afghan. I have a lot of varigated yarn so I'm using it to make this afghan. So far so good.

Here's the picture from my Crochet magazine. The pattern is for a bed skirt, I don't think my bed needs a skirt but it could use an afghan for these cold winter nights.

I haven't done any sewing because I didn't have the heart to kick the kids out of the basement. They had a little cabin fever too so I just stayed in my room crocheting and I had a hard time deciding on a project, since I can't make a quick run to the fabric store I had to have everything that I need on hand. But I'm going to make me and my DD some pj's out of this flannel that I got at--you guessed it--Wal-Mart, it was 75% off the 2.57 so that's .64/yd.

I'm going to shorten view B for the top, and make the pj bottoms.

My DD braved the elements today because my grandson needed some cough syrup, I wonder if all that sledding he did has anything to do with that, hmmmm. Oh well, I think the worse is over , we survived and I think we still like each other lol.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


My Grandson finally got the chance to use the sled he got for Christmas.

My DD is going to kill me; that's what she gets but my grandson looks adorable.

He loves to shovel the snow, he didn't do all of that, that would be my DS.

What do you do when you can't get out. You get dressed and make your kids take pictures of your latest creation.

I was really on the fench about this but once I put it on with the belt--it was love.

I really need to take the timestamp off, because I was supposed to be "working" while we were taking these but in my defense I was experiencing technical difficulties.

Now the really scary stuff is starting, sleet and ice, I can take snow but ice scares me to death, at least I don't have to go out in it and I think it's only supposed to sleet tonight. I guess I'll go scope out my stash for some more inspiration and make good use of my snow days.

Happy sewing and if you're in the Midwest take it slow and be careful.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I finished the black and white plaid caplet—TaDa

I’m very happy with it, my plaids line up, yippee! Most sewer’s are hesitant to work with plaids and I’m no exception, for one you usually need more fabric to match the plaid and your layout is critical if you cut it out wrong you’re toast.

This is the front, I've had these buttons forever and thought they went well with this fabric.

The back seam is a fraction of inch off but now I'm just being neurotic. If anybody is close enough to tell then they obviously love me and won't care lol.

Here are the side seams.

I did line it with black lining fabric which I had to piece together because I didn't have enough but it worked and you can't see my patch work.

And here's the finished product. I cut the belt out but I think I'm going to go with one I already have; I don't want to push my luck with the plaid.

This probably means another AM photo shoot. I will post a pic wearing it soon. So don't be afraid of those big bad plaids they can be tamed and even fun to work with, I'm so lying here I wouldn't say it was fun it was very nerve racking but the finished product is very satisfying.

I even finished early now I can rest and relax with my first attempt at an afghan, so far so good it should be finished by next winter lol.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Kreativ Blogger Award – My Very First Award

I was nominated for this award by Faye and I am just blown away. I’m also blown away by the fact that “The one and only Erica B” is now following my humble little blog. She and all the other blogger’s have been a huge inspiration to my sewing and creativity. Part of the award is that I have to nominate 7 other bloggers, that’s the hard part but here goes:

Erica B – How could I not, her stuff is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad
Adrienne – I can always depend on her for a laugh and her endless list of talents. (Painting?whoa)
Sheila – Another woman of many talents, she sews, crochets and knits and has given me personal help on a project.
Lesa - I love her recon’s, crocheted items and her self drafted patterns are always amazing
Andrea – She’s my learn to knit motivator
Cidell – I love her blog, I like the everythingness of it (I know that’s not a word)
JC – a newbie how exciting to watch the process of someone new to sewing.

I was going to nominate Carolyn but somebody beat me to it, she’s very detailed and I love her pics.

I was going to post a complaint because people were giving me grief at work today because I don’t sew for other people, one lady said that was very selfish and I said yes it was; I use to sew for people years ago went my children were small and it was nothing but grief and hardship with a few rare exceptions. People were horrible and treated me like I was some type of lowly servant and I hate to say this but church people were the worse. Now if I have the time after working two jobs I sew for me only (except at Christmas). And I refuse to do alterations with the exception of my family because people always want you to do the impossible and then they’re never pleased. People that don’t sew can’t appreciate what goes into garment construction. They want Saks Fifth Ave. construction at K-Mart prices. Well there’s my rant but the award did wonders for improving my mood.

This is what’s on the sewing table for tomorrow. I’m using a black and white flannel, the pattern doesn’t call for lining but I’m going to line it. It’s a caplet so the underside is going to show, I think it needs to be lined. It’s McCalls 5764. I really need to start doing pattern reviews; I started one but it felt like work so I didn’t finish it but I think they’re helpful so I’ll give it another try.

I was flattered that my friends step-daughter wants me to help her make a halter dress, that should be fun. I wish my own DD would show an interest, well maybe one day.

I really appreciate the award and all your kind comments on my projects. Sewing Bloggers Rock!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Winter Coat Wrap

I finished my coat and I’m very happy with it. Last night I had to add the buttons, snaps and hem it so I was able to take it for a test run today and I’m happy to say it’s very warm.

I used heavy duty snaps but had a hard time due to all the layers in the coat so on the right side I applied them to the facing only and used a small piece of the flannel so that they wouldn’t be loose. Having the right tool for the job is true no matter what you’re working on and this little kit of pliers that I purchased at Home Depot, (my next favorite place after a fabric store) came in very handy. You have to make sure your placement is exact or you could have a hard time trying to get the snap off to realign them. I didn’t have a problem with the snaps they all lined up great but I did have to reapply a couple and the pliers worked great in straighting the snaps out.

I like the fact that you can't see the snaps when the coat is closed.

I was talking to my son about sewing and he asked me what was the very first thing I made, and here it is, isn’t it pathetic but I was so proud of this bag. I took sewing in junior high but I would bring my projects home and my Mother would finish them for me (I know shame on us, of course I got an "A") and by the time I decided I wanted to learn to sew my Mother had passed so I was on my own. I’ve come a long way and I know she would be very proud. The picture doesn't show how grungy it is, but I guess that says something about the construction I've had it for over 20 years lol.

And by the way, I’m bring back the “Tam” lol.

Can't wait for the weekend, more sewing time woohoo!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sometimes you just need to get started

And that's what I did; I'm happy to say that I made this light gray turtleneck to tone down the hot pink jacket. I tried to find one RTW but couldn’t and I remembered that I had tons of this fabric, again from my Wal-Mart stash it was .50/yd. The fabric is very thin so I doubled it, hey it cost .50 so why not. I really like the way it came out and I think it’s just what the hot pink jacket needed. I wanted to get the pattern Sheila used but the Butterick patterns weren’t on sale and I never pay full price for a pattern so I used Butterick 6484 which is for a body suit but I just changed the pattern slightly and it came out okay.

This is definitely a 90's pattern, I remember I made this and my babysitter saw it and requested one, so of course I made her one too.

Then I pressed on (pun intended) and made a winter coat, I used the same pattern Butterick 5254 but this time I made view B, more Wal-Mart fabric, the outside fabric is a navy blue and the inside is a light blue quilted fabric. I also underlined the front with left over pj flannel. It’s very heavy so it should be very warm. All the layers made it a pain to work with but I’m happy with it. All I have to do is add the button, snaps and hem it. All together it probably cost less than $10.00.

My GS calls it the blanket coat because he said the inside looks like a blanket. I made a coat using this fabric before, years ago when I lived in Pine Bluff, AR. I used a brown corduroy fabric that someone gave me and quilted fabric for the lining it was a very warm coat and that's what I need now so I thought I would give it another try. And I tried to remember what not to do, I interfaced the entire back to help the quilted fabric keep it's shape, after wearing the other coat I made the lining started to droop so hopefully that will prevent it from happening with this coat. I also plan to tack it to the side and should seams.

Sometimes I just over think my projects and I’m happy to say that in this case it all worked out.

I hope everyone had a nice MLK day and enjoy this historic inauguration day, have a great week and happy sewing.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What to do, what to do

I have 3 days to sew and I am not inspired! Usually I would have my projects cut out and ready to go but here I sit stalled and unable to make a decision. There are a couple of things rolling around in my head but nothing that's screaming "make me, make me". This is dangerous territory for me, if I force it just for the sake of doing something I run the risk of ending up with a so-so project or worse case a sewing snafu. So instead I will show the pics of me wearing last weekend's projects both of which I love and received lots of compliments or as my DD use to say comments, if i made her something and she didn't get any comments she was not a happy camper, that's when she was an adorable 5 or 6 yrs. old.

McCalls 5710 view C with the leg width narrowed, I love this pattern and the way the pants fit but the zipper and closure are in the back and that makes them a little funky to fasten. It's been very cold here this week, with bad words like minus and single digits being tossed around on every weather broadcast so I was very happy to wear the fleece jacket. I do want to make another fleece jacket (somebody really should stop me) McCalls 5529, yes it's a jacket with a peplum, I was thinking either purple or red. We'll see I'm checking Hancock and JoAnn's sale papers.

Since it's so cold here I really want to make a coat, I purchased several coat patterns so maybe that will happen this weekend.

I really have to stop the am photo shoots I look like I'm still asleep.

Love this little jacket and I'm happy that I used shoulder pads and sleeve heads although I like to think that all my working out has made my shoulders sufficiently buffed they definitely benefited from the added tailoring and reaffirmed that shoulder pads aren't evil it's what we did with them.

Oh well, I'm going back to my sale paper's and fabric stash, stay tuned to see what develops.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Does this hurt your eyes?

Here is this weekend's project. I was going to make a blouse using McCalls 5323 but I ran across this fabric that I've had for years and decided to make this jacket because obviously I just can't help making jackets. This is McCalls 5803 copyright 1992 boy do I feel old. This picture doesn't show the pattern, it's not hounds tooth as you might think. I was inspired by Erica B to try some tailoring techniques on this jacket. I have a severe aversion to should pads after living through the horrible 80's where we did absurd things with this simple tailoring tool. But I did conquer my fear and purchased the smallest shoulder pad I could find, made a simple sleeve head and lined it with a black lining fabric.

This is the reverse side, you can see there's a light blue stripe throughout.

Here is a close up of the pattern, don't stare at it too long you'll go blind lol.

Here's the stretch khaki pants, they're McCalls 5710 view C, these are really flare legs, they remind me of the "elephant leg" pants of the 70's so I trimmed about 1 inch from each side so they wouldn't be that flare because I don't have a pair of platform shoes with fish in the heels to wear with them.

Someone asked about the website I referenced in a comment I posted on Carolyn's blog about hair care. The website is and I actually don’t use her products but a friend purchased her book and I read it and have been using her simple techniques for the past 7+ years. Her advice is very simple and if the products she recommends in the book were not working I would probably purchase her products but Motions products work great and are readily available. Here is a picture of me from 2002 this is how short my hair was I was just coming out of the every 40+ yr. old woman hairstyle, where you cut it very short and shaved close in the back. I thought this would be a carefree hairstyle but it actually made me a slave to the hairdresser. Using her techniques has really helped my hair to grow and be very healthy and now I just wash it, wrap it and go, with the exception of the occasional “I’m going to sweat hairstyle”. I hope this helps. This is me and my sister Cesly, wow how time flies, 2002 that was over 7 years ago. I guess it's time to start planning a trip home to Cali.

I hope everyone has a great week. Happy Sewing.

Friday, January 9, 2009

New Clothes

Don't you just love wearing new clothes? I really enjoyed wearing everything I made over the holiday's this week.

First let's start with Monday. I wore the brown knit top with the khaki pants. I really like this top but I think it's better suited to Spring, it's very light weight but worked well with the turtleneck.

This is my Steve Urkel pose, I'm trying to show the waistband on the pants, it looks really high doesn't it lol. These fit really nice. I am almost finished with the second pair of khaki's and was pleasantly surprised when I realized the fabric is a stretch khaki, the pants fit very nice but I couldn't finish them because I didn't have the correct fastener (AARGH).

Since I only went to work two days this week, let's move on to the the hot pink fleece jacket. I will call this my WTH was I thinking hat. I had the bright idea to do something different, well you see how that turned out.

I frogged it and made something that I wouldn't be ashamed to be seen in public wearing, and this was the final result. Much better don't you think? I only had one skein of this color so I just made a short scarf to go with the hat.

Lastly I'll leave you with a picture of the only thing that keeps my feet warm while sewing. I use to make slippers for my Mother when I was in junior high school and now I find that I have to have a pair to wear while sewing. I literally wore a hole in my last pair so I whipped these up this week. They're crocheted because I still can't knit but I'm not giving up hope, the needle craft group at the library starts tomorrow.

I've changed my mind about my next project. I've had the fabric forever I think I made a suit out of it years ago but I ran across it and had enough left to cut out a short swing jacket, I know, I know another jacket but at least it doesn't have a peplum.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Its Been A Good Run

I finished the Butteric 5221 style D pants out of a khaki from my Wal-Mart stash. These came out really nice and fit very well. I will post a picture wearing them soon.

These will replace the McCalls 5710 which came out very nice and I was very happy with them until I washed them and this horrible streak down the front showed up. My friend suggested dyeing them and I considered it but the instructions on the dye box seem a bit intimidating to me I think I will check with the local cleaners and see if they will dye them a dark brown for me. If not I have another pair cut out and waiting to be sewn.

This will be next weekend's project, style C in a forest green $1.00/yd Wal-Mart fabric. It's going to suck only being able to sew for one or two days after having this extended period. I can't complain I got a lot done, 3 tops, 3 jackets and 1 pair of pants ain't bad.

And no one chimed in to help me with my shrug jacket, after figuring out I had it on upside down I did wear it and received a lot of compliments so I guess it's okay.

I hope everyone has a great week. Be safe and happy sewing.

Lets talk Color

I'm almost finished with my attempt to add some color to my wardrobe, all I have to do is add the buttonholes and buttons and this will be finished. Let me just say that I LOVE IT!

Here you can see the lining and I really like the polka dot, who knew. I didn't know if I would like this or not but wasn't too concerned because if I didn't no one would see it anyway but I really like the light pink polka dot against the hot pink or should I say fuchsia.

These are the buttons, they're transparent hot pink, how cool is that. I'm going to be one hot pink Mama.

And look what I found in my yarn stash, it's a perfect match so I will be trying to crank out a hat and scarf to match the jacket today but I also cut out two pairs of khaki pants that I wanted to make today so we'll see and since I was up until 3:00 this morning I'm sure I'll be crashing and burning around 2:00 today.

That's about it for now, I will post some pictures of me wearing it soon. Back to the grind next week which is going to be very difficult I haven't gone into the office for the past two week's I've just been working from home, that makes it really difficult to get up, get dressed and drive to work, it's such an outdated notion don't you think? But if I didn't go where would I wear all my clothes.