Friday, July 31, 2009

BWOF 7/09 #116 Maxi Dress

Here is a fuzzy (sorry) picture of my new maxi dress. I tried to snap a few pictures while Tom was in the shower. Yesterday afternoon was a crazy flurry of activity after I got off work getting ready for vacation. I could have started on the shopping and cooking a few days earlier, but I preferred to sew. Henceforth I was up until 11:30 last night cooking and baking and putting together meals for 10 days! Nothing like waiting til the last minute...sometimes I like it that way! Anyway, on to the dress as I still have to go cut up a watermelon and 2 pineapples! I modified the pattern some because I wanted a little more coverage for the girls and not such a low cut neckline. I added about 2 inches to the bodice and the neckband. I also added a little to the sides originally, but ended up taking it and a lot more out before all was said and done. I guess I think I'm bigger than the tape says...gotta do more work on that body-mind image thing...LOL. The main fabric is a rich paisley pattern knit and the neck band and bodice lining is not knit! I am such a rogue! I wanted more stability and that's what I got. I also made a small casing in the back and ran some lastin through it to get a nice secure fit. All and all it turned out pretty well. Hopefully Tim likes it! :) We will be back briefly on Sunday and then it's back out on the road to the high desert home. My Father in Law is coming over to help Tom fall some trees and go fishing with us. I made macaroni and cheese for one of the dinners. This will be a full circle moment because when Tom and I were newly married we went camping with Dad down on the Rogue river. I was cooking a simple dinner...Kraft mac and cheese and hotdogs...hard to screw up, right? The salt was in a little tupperware shaker. The water took forever to heat up in the camper and I accidently poured too much salt in the noodle water. Not wanting to start over I went ahead and boiled it in the extra salty water. Ugh! It was the worst mac & cheese ever!!! It was so bad a fly in the camper dropped flying over it! This mac & cheese is a homemade delicacy and I want to prove to Dad that I have indeed mastered mac & cheese! to carve fruit! You all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Quickie Post

I have been one poor correspondent lately...perhaps it's the heat...106 here yesterday....ugh! I did finish another maxi dress last night...more on that later. I have to leave for work in a minute...I'm teaching CPR this morning, finishing up a few details and then the summer sun...YEAH!!!! That's for all of you old enough to remember that song! One day til Tim McGraw...Yee-Haw!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Purse Give-Away

Check out this great giveaway that gives a lot of good information regarding Guide Dog ettiquette Also visit Sheekoo's website and learn about their vision and philosophy

Monday, July 27, 2009


My August BWOF came today. When I arrived home from work I parked myself on the couch to peruse the magazine as I do every month. My husband was looking through some of the other mail that had arrived today. I informed him that BWOF was making some changes and it will now be known as "Burda Style". He got a wry smile and innocently asked "So now are you going to start referring to it as "BS"? Gotta think about that one!!! :)

FREE SHOES!!! Savvy Mode: Crazy for Bow Shoe Giveaway

Savvy Mode: Crazy for Bow Shoe Giveaway
Shoes...Free Shoes...Go look quick!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Good Day's Work-Simplicity 2647

My daughter came to pick up her babies today and we had a nice visit. She shared her tales of the Ragnar Northwest Passage relay race and we went down to the station to have crab salad for dinner with the boys. One of our volunteers brought in 4 crabs and the boys actually cracked it before we got there. My contribution was to make a batch of french bread to go with the salad. Even with all that going on I was able to crank out my Jamboree halter dress. Here is the pattern review:
Pattern Description: Designers Inspiration! Several options for evening and day wear dresses. Short or maxi lengths. Faux wrap with side ruching or an empire bodice with varied sleeves

Pattern Sizing:Sizes 12 through 20

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?It looked exactly like the photograph

Were the instructions easy to follow?I glanced at them and then did it my way.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?I love the side ruching. It is very slimming and comfortable

Fabric Used:I made this up in a special jersey I purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics. I had been saving this yardage for something special and I knew this was it when I saw the pattern.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:I chose to line the bodice and add bra cups for support. I did this by tracing the upper bodice after I basted in the ruching pleats. I fit the bra cups and added elastic to the bottom of the left front to make a shelf bra and hold the lining tight against the body.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?Absolutely! It made up quick, it is comfortable and becoming. I would like to give the other view a whirl too.

Conclusion: This is a great dress pattern and I will be rocking this new dress next Friday when I go to see Tim McGraw!!!"

Pleasant Valley Sunday

Not!!! It's supposed to rise up to triple digit record heat today, so what's a girl to do??? Stay in the nice air conditioned confines of the studio and sew! I have lots of projects started (in reality and in my mind) so I plan to use the day to get some of these done! I have ideas about my giveaway project (and hey...I have another joiner...thanks Amy...I will email you after I post!) So what do you all plan to do with your Sunday?

Friday, July 24, 2009

I Heart my Sewing Machine Mechanic!!!

Last night my serger took a dump! Right as I got down to sewing my projects...the air jet threading...not working!!! The lever to pick the chamber to thread...definitely not okay. So I resigned myself to a trip to the dealer after work today and at least a 2 week wait. With just a week til vacation I told myself it would be okay...I could still work on alot of things with my regular machines. Good gracious! How did I function before I had a serger??? So after work I headed into Portland and in to Montavilla Sewing. Adam greeted me warmly as he was helping someone else at the moment, so the other guy took a look at it. Of course he was going to log it in for the long wait, when Adam asked "Are you working on something?" Well, always, but I wasn't going to be neurotic about it. He asks if I have time to wait because he thinks he can fix it. An hour later I was heading happy customer with a repaired serger! Faith renewed in good service! Now I can finish my outfits for the Jamboree...Hallelujah!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm evil...

Or or both!!! I mowed the lawn this morning first thing because it just didn't work out yesterday. The lawn mower acted like it was broke and then I spilled a little oil on the driveway (kitty litter to the rescue), so I shelved that idea until Tom came home. Of course it fired right up for him, making me look like a big ol' slacker!!! So today I got the chore done and then treated myself to an everything bagel with my coffee while I read email. Damn!!! They know how much I love knits and sales!!! 30% off of knits with the code "KNIT709" I have been producing alot of things out of the studio lately, so I'm sure this fabric will not sit idly by. Go check it out my friends...wonderful knits for sale...mwuaaa-hahahahaha (or however you spell evil laugh!!!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Almost Forgot...

I wanted to mention that Josh over at Trendy Fabrics is having a customer appreciation promotion offering free shipping this week! I don't know about you, but I heart not having to pay shipping, which can be kind of expensive. Have you ever checked out how much some of those big boxes of fabrics cost to ship??? Yikes!!! Anyhoo...I am not associated with Trendy Fabrics in anyway except a satisfied customer and I am not receiving any perks by passing this on, but if you haven't tried Trendy Fabrics before...go give them a look-see. I have been totally happy with all the fabric I have purchased there so I feel comfortable passing this on! Go forth and shop victoriously!

Lazy Daze

I cannot believe it! I slept in til 9:00 am! That is really sleeping in for me! And bless my Hunny and Jo's big hearts...Tom took Jo out shortly after 6:00 am when he was getting ready to go do a frame swap. Jo came back upstairs and curled up next to me til I uncoiled from my cocoon to awaken. We then wandered down to pick up the paper and retrieve the garbage can, big fat cat trailing behind us. It cracks me up...I have this entourage in the morning...Jo on leash, Kodi wandering around behind us, usually with some kind of toy in his mouth that he drops halfway down the driveway and refuses to pick up and bring back, Figaro, the big ol' half blind geriatric toddling behind. Fig usually makes it to the gate by the time we are heading back to the house, so he turns around and starts following us back up the driveway. It's good exercise for him...the cat who has made lounging a sport! Anyway, a nice leisurely breakfast consisting of coffee and frosted mini wheats while reading the paper eased us into the day, followed by catching up with my bloggy peeps, more coffee and contemplation of the day. I think I will kick it up a notch and mow the lawn, pick some more raspberries and make some jam. What? No sewing you say? Have no fear...when it gets too warm I shall retreat to the air conditioned coolness of my sewing studio, not to come out until it's time to make dinner! You all have a pleasant day too!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What I did before I went to work today...

Please excuse the glazed look. I took my pictures after a long day at work and I really should be in bed, but Conan and I are hanging...

Here is my pattern review:

Pattern Description: Knit top with front yokes and varied sleeve options

Pattern Sizing:Size 4-22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Not exactly because I changed some details to the bodice.

Were the instructions easy to follow?Jalie instructions are very easy to follow with lots of visuals

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?I like how quick and easy this top is to make. Instant gratification! Nothing to dislike.

Fabric Used:A poly knit from JoAnns and white 5/8' Fold Over Elastic

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:Instead of doing the front gather on the bodice, I modified the top front by cutting the bodice pattern apart and adding a ruched panel at the top. I had to grade the bodice top smaller since I didn't have the gather in the center to pull the bodice down to make the yoke fit better.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I have more cut out and I love the basic pattern so much I'm sure there are many more to come in one form or another!

Conclusion: As other's have said before me, this is a great basic wardrobe builder. Jalie's patterns are the best!!!"

Monday, July 20, 2009

Killing Time

I should be doing something constructive before I go to work, but playing on the computer and drinking coffee seem much more enjoyable! Here are some scenes from our trip to my happy place:

Jo and Daddy on the way...

Home Sweet Home...

Daddy trying to avoid the camera...
Piles of bitter brush I anihilated...Ahhh...relaxation time!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I tried to ruin it...

In spite of my best efforts to ruin this top, I finished it this morning and was able to wear it to work. The pattern is Butterick 4985 view B...the one with the puffy banded sleeve. Because of my late night mishap, I needed to revamp the sleeve, and to be honest, I am much happier with what I did because I didn't care for the poofiness anyway. That's how I got in trouble with the sleeve in the first place! Because I didn't have any extra fabric to cut a new sleeve (or band for that matter), I cut the band that had not been trimmed twice by my mistake and cut it in half lengthwise. I placed the trimmed sleeve on top of the good sleeve and graded it. Since this sleeve had gathers in the head and bottom it worked fine. If it had been a fitted sleeve...well, it would have morphed into a sleeveless blouse. See, there's always a way to fix a boo-boo if you stare at it long enough! To finish the sleeve I took a tuck in the bottom to make a comfortable fit around my arm and then cut down the bands to fit. I basted the tuck flat so it released into a nice pleat towards the sleve cap and bound it with the bands. I put buttons at the sleeve pleat for accent. I am pleasantly surprised that this top went from a wadder to a winner! It is comfortable and suitable to wear to work. Brown seems to be my neutral now, so I gravitate towards shades of brown and orange when I buy fabric. How often do you "change" colors?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


That's what I've been muttering to myself all morning. We are going to LaPine tomorrow and will spend our days off over there. That's a good thing. It does however seriously impede my sewing time, so I thought I would treat myself to a couple of hours of sewing before I went to work. I have been very good getting projects done for others and I have several things cut out for me that I would like to finish. I replaced a zipper in a sweatshirt for a friend yesterday, so I thought I would begin with a nice blouse for me. The Evolve was set to coverstitch, so the first order of business was to change it back to serge. Not a big has the jet air threading which is super easy...not that threading a serger scares me...I was the elastic girl at Jantzen and time spent threading was money lost, so this girl was fast with the thread changing! Anyhoo...changeover done and test seam sewn...WTH??? Looks horrible! So I fiddle around...could it be I stuck the needle in wrong? How'd I do that??? Needle test seam...WTH??? Still has problems...check the threading...lower looper thread over the guide instead of through it. How'd I do that??? Fixed that and new test seam. Sews fine...start on the garment...the chain stitch thread pulls out...WTH??? Old cone of serger thread...replace with good thread...test seam good. Start sewing garment wrong pieces together...WTH??? I think I'll just blog about it while I eat my lunch and go to work. Hope this bad karma doesn't stick with me one wants a nurse with a black cloud over her head! Perhaps the sewing Gods will smile on me when I get home tonight. Hope you are all having a good sew day!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fell 4 Fashion: Fell 4 Fashion's First Giveaway with!

Fell 4 Fashion: Fell 4 Fashion's First Giveaway with! Check out this great giveaway...

Coldwater Creek Knock Off

Here is the original top that my boss brought me to knock off
Here is the muslin for my version of the Coldwater Creek wrap top knock off. It really turned out very close to the original version with the exception that i did not line mine. I used Lastin elastic to stabilize the neck line. It is a looser fit faux wrap than Burda types and although it looked like it was going to be low cut to my navel, it is not. the gentle ruching at the left side is very flattering and all in all it is a very comfortable top to wear. I can see why my boss would like some more. I also copied the lining which was flat witout ruching, so this will be a good base pattern for morphing into other faux wrap styles. All and all it was a good experience.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Toot-Toot Tutorial...

I spent the evening watching "Field of Dreams" and sewing maxi dress BWOF 7-09 #124B to demonstrate how I made the shelf bra. I am sew in love with this pattern! I know I do not need a closetful of maxi dresses, especially not with halter necklines, but this dress is so comfortable. I used a poly knit that was left over from a Maggie London twist dress I made a couple years ago. So on to the tutorial.
First I cut out the front of the dress
The next thing I did was take measurements for the shelf bra. I looked at several different shelf bras in RTW garments. The type of fabric used for the bras varied depending on the purpose of the garment. My exercise tops had shelf bras constructed with powernet. Some had bra cups, others not. For this dress I chose to use a Lycra jersey with a small amount of spandex. There is a little stretch across the grain, but along the grain is stable. The two measurements I took were from the top of the bodice to the bottom of my bust. The other measurement I took was side to side measurement below my bust. This measurement is a skin tight measure because you want the shelf bran to hug your body and support the girls.

Next I cut out the shelf bra using the shape of the bodice and the top of bodice to below bust measurement. I added 1 inch to allow for the casing that would be turned under for the tie.
I then cut 1/2" off both side seams. I did not grade the armscye as this portion will be smaller by virtue of the side seam grading. The curve is on the bias of the shelf bra so it eases in nicely. At this time you could add bra cups if you choose. Next I add the elastic to the bottom of the shelf bra. I use the side to side measurement minus 1" for the elastic. I used a nice non-roll 1" elastic. Next I attached the elastic to the bottom of the shelf bra using a coverstitch. It will be smaller than the shelf bra so you need to hold tension on the elastic to evenly gather the fabric as you sew it on. You can also use a triple stitch zig-zag if you don't have a coverstitch machine (I sometimes do that when I'm too lazy to change from serged seams to coverstitch) Either way gives you a nice finish.

Baste the shelf bra to the top of the bodice with the finished side of the shelf bra towards the body. Next I sewed the side seams catching the shelf bra in the seams. I finished the armscye and back by turning under and coverstitching along the edge. I attached the ties and finished the sides of the wrap in the same manner. Lastly I turned under the halter casing and stitched with coverstitch and finished the hem. Here's what the finished shelf bra looks like.
Here's the finished dress. I think I will retire this pattern for awhile.

What's going on...

Got you humming Marvin Gaye now, didn't I? I love Marvin Gaye, but that random tidbit is not why I'm posting. My plan is to work on the shelf bra tutorial after work today. (Damn work interferes with sewing!) Interestingly enough, the other day Tom and I went to town to run some errands and our last stop was at the steel yard for Tom to get some materials to make a new ramp for his trailer. I sat in the truck and waited. Thinking it would be a good time to jot down a few notes for the tutorial, I started rummaging around in the glove box for some paper to write on. I found an important piece of paper that Tom had been looking for! He was so happy he said "You deserve a new sewing machine...oh yeah, you already got one!" I had considered working on the tutorial yesterday, but my daughter was still at the house yesterday when I got home from work and I chose to spend the time with her rather than holed up in the studio! She told me that Bryce got his official orders and that they may be leaving the first part of September rather than the latter part as previously thought...Waaa!!! Okay, I had my pout, I guess I can be happy for them about their exciting adventure. But I sure will miss those kids! We watched a movie, went to the library and then flung food at each other via Facebook. I then cooked dinner and we flung craisins at each other til Papa made us stop! It was just like old times!!! Jo was excited about the flying craisins...he loves dried fruit...especially pineapple...crazy little dog! Other sewing plans today include a revision of the CWC was good but a little big...also in line for construction are some of the tops I had cut out in preparation for the Evolve's return. As an aside, I must say I am very impressed with my new Babylock Espire! It sails over bulky seams like no tomorrow and is quiet and smooth...the painful memory of the old Brother is fading away...Now to get through work and on to the studio! Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A good sewing day

Today I got to spend some quality time in the studio. I finished one of the maxi dresses for the jamboree...BWOF 7/09 124B. This dress sewed up sew quickly and was a good project to warm me up. I added a shelf bra to the dress because the girls needed more support and I hate to fiddle with strapless bras. I used a black and white poly knit that I picked up on PR Portland weekend. I consulted my fashion stylist (Sara) on the ties and she gave 2 thumbs up to the red. I'm really glad I went with the is more distinct and gives the dress more pop. It is really comfortable and I have no worries about the wrap opening up in the back. I forgot how much I loved to wear maxis. Of course, the last time I did was back in the 70's. I also did some work in the studio. I had some shirts to embroider and I sewed up the Coldwater Creek knock off shirt for my boss. It sewed up nicely, but I'm not sure about the sizing. It is big on me and it was copied from an XL top. I usually wear a medium or large. We'll see when she tries it on. Besides sewing I made up a batch of raspberry jam and went downtown for a little while to run errands. I finally got my fabric order from Fabric Mart. I bought a mystery fabric bundle and I was pretty underwhelmed with this bundle. The last one I bought had some beautiful fabrics. We'll see...I have a few ideas. I also got a bundle of lingerie straps...those are pretty nice and I should get some little camis done soon. It's late now and I am feeling sleepy so I think I will just call it a day...A good sewing day!

Monday, July 6, 2009

I Have the Bestest Husband in the World!

I have been (im)patiently waiting for my serger to come home so I can use it on some projects that have been cut out for a couple weeks. I expected it last week, but due to the holiday I imagined things had gotten backed up, so I took a chill pill and did other things. Today I thought a reasonable enough time had passed that I could call to inquire about when it would be done without sounding like a neurotic anxious mother! What do you was on the tech's bench as we speak and would be done later this afternoon. Having to work this afternoon, I thought "Oh, I'll just go pick it up tomorrow". My darling husband came in and said, "Gee, I wish your machine was ready to pick up...I want to go drop those heads off at the machine shop and I need to pick up the parts for Sara's car". BOING!!! He took the ticket and it will be waiting for me when I get home from work. What a Sweetie! Of course, he knows I am a neurotic anxious mother, so it's probably self preservation, but it still means alot to me. Those are the things that are important to me...the little kindnesses that make my life easier. So tomorrow I plan to start on one of my maxi dresses. Look at what a great job Kristine did with hers. I hope to be sitting on the deck in my maxi tomorrow afternoon. Well, maybe not sitting on the deck...the meteorologists are predicting rain tomorrow, but you get the idea. I plan to put the pedal to the metal! Sara also will be coming out to retrieve her "kids". I have truly enjoyed her kitties and look forward to caring for them in the interim before they move to England with the kids. I got the Grandma Jones going on!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I'z a MeerCat...Really

Chief is having a great morning...stalking the birds...stalking the dog...stalking the birds...I swear she has kitty ADD! It's fun to have a kitten in the house. I guess we will have to adopt one once the grandkitties go to England. Yesterday Figgy and the Chief were playing rock-paper-scissors kitty style. I think Figgy is enjoying having some fresh kitty to play with. Lola is still upstairs but did come out for the catnip cigar! Baby steps! In sewing news, I have been cutting out projects but anxiously awaiting the return of the Evolve...maybe tomorrow. I have a Maxi ready to sew for the Jamboree from July's BWOF...I can start on it without the serger (if I step away from the computer!) Maybe I'll go do that now...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hail to the Chief!

We are hosting our grandkitties for the weekend since our daughter is in Texas visiting her husband. It has been fun babysitting, even if we are talking cats. I am doing my best to spoil them (isn't that what Grandmas do?)
Sara commented the other day that she must have a lot of Grandma Sarah's genes in her (my Mother). When I asked why, she replied that she likes to take pictures of her animals. My Mom was notorious for taking only pictures of animals. An old friend would get so mad when my Mom would come to visit me and would return with only pictures of my animals!!! Yep, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! Chief is an adorable, obnoxious quirky calico...I'm not sure which she enjoys more...stalking the dog or terrorizing the birds! It's all good. Lola is much more reserved and shy. Here she is sitting on the Chief, showing her who is boss. Look at the grin on Chief's face...I think she kind of likes it! Lola has been spending most of her time under the guest bed, except for her little hide and go seek maneuver when she crawled under the water bed...good thing I'm not claustrophobic! The waterbed entry portal has been blocked and she is back in her safe spot! I went to Petsmart today to get more treats and I found some catnip cigars. I brought one to Lola a few years ago from a business trip to Berkley...she loved it so I'm hoping a little catnip cigar will help her chill out and feel more at home. No worries about the Chief...she has taken command of the household! Hope you all have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I Want to Play

Julia at Julia's Sweet and Special posted this unique giveaway and I thought that sounds like fun, so I want to play too...Do you want to play? Here's the game/giveaway:

Do I have five readers?

Here's how it works.

The first five people to leave a comment on this post will get something from me.
But in return, you have to do the same thing on your blog and make something for five other people.
The details are as follows, and if you want to play, copy the following onto your blog and leave me a post:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get.
2. What I create will be just for you, with love.
3. It’ll be done this year (2009).
4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be.
It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber.
It may be weird or beautiful.
Or it may be monstrous and annoying. Heck, I might bake something for you and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that’s for sure!
5. I reserve the right to do something strange.
6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to your blog post.
7. Send your mailing address - after I contact you.

Okay get busy and leave me some comments so I can get busy making you something.

Project Dress a Girl

For the past couple of years, I have made dresses for Project Dress a Girl Around the World, in part thanks to the campaign launched by Mari...