Thursday, December 30, 2010

Doot, Doo, Doo...Looking Out My Back Door...

That's what it looked like when I opened the back door yesterday. Wood pile covered up...predicting another 8-10 inches.  We headed's what the pass looked like:
And then it looked like this:

Scary for me, but my hero got us home safe and sound! Weird weather patterns though...saw this heading North on I-5, just before we headed into the squall:

The trailer broke a spring and shredded a tire, but thankfully we were close to home and not on the snowy mountain pass when that happened! All in all it was a great time. I read 4 books, cut out 3 patterns, played alot of dice, did a little work on the homestead and played in the snow, had Christmas with the Godchildren and surprised my Mother-in-law with a spur of the moment visit.  Also beheld nature in her finest:

God is good! Regularly scheduled sewing will resume soon!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Is anyone else as tired as I am? I finished the last of the baking and wrapping presents and I can do no more! I love this time of year, but right now, all I want for Christmas is some time to be still and relax. Tomorrow we leave for snowy LaPine, so I will be scarce for awhile. It is the first time we are taking the cat with us...should be interesting in the 5th wheel with the Chief!!! Heading to bed to recharge for the last big push! Good night!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Step Forward: Vote for Colt!

Hey everybody! Proud Gram here...please go vote for our Colt from our daughter's blog: A Step Forward: Vote for Colt!: "I entered Colt in the American Baby Cover Contest over at, and he's in the running to become one of the weekly Reader's Choice F..." Thanks dear blog friends! Mary

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pendrell Dress on a Real Girl...

So I have been trying to be better about taking pictures of my clothes on me...I'm not sure if wearing a dress tomorrow is in my best interest, so I threw on the Pendrell this morning before work and took a few shots. I really hate having my picture taken, but it is good for seeing things that need to be changed. Not the Pendrell, mind you, she's great, but I took a picture of the pants I finished this morning and realized that they really were too long (that's a new one on me). I made a lot of pants as a teenager because they didn't make long pants for tall girls in the 70's. My RTW pants were always too short! Anywho, back to my story...I ripped them off, cut them off, and then ran them around the machine with them blindhem stitch and voila, all better!  I don't use the blindhem enough.  I used to use it all the time in high school, when I didn't have a cool foot with a guide that makes it a snap to make your hem straight, but somewhere along the way I stopped using it so much.  I am one of those strange birds that enjoy handstitching, so it may be that I started sewing all my hems by hand because it gave me something to do at night while watching TV with the family. Enough 'bout some pictures? I present to you...Pendrell...the dress:
Here are the pants that took like three years to finish. They are Palmer/Pletsch the Perfect Pant pattern. They seem to fit pretty well, but the waist is higher than I would like, almost like the dreaded "Mom Jeans". It's funny...I used to not like lower cut that's what I prefer. They are comfortable though and don't look too bad (although it took about a dozen pictures to get one I would even consider posting!) Here you go:

The fairy dropped today, so I hope to get a few projects done for the cutest baby in the world...

He loves Rudolph...just like Gram!

Weekend Wrap up

I'm not confused folks...this is the end of my "weekend" and I go back to work this afternoon. I completed the finish work on the Pendrell dress and may wear it tomorrow for graduation. It depends...they are calling for snow early and I have to leave for work at 5:30 in the morning. Don't want to risk getting stuck out in the cold in a dress. I could take it and change at work I suppose.  I did an embroidery job...twice...well, really one and a half times. The embroidery machine ate the first T-shirt, so I had to run to town to get a replacement. There goes my profit on that job! I started with the same brand shirt as the proto-type I did a few weeks ago, but the fabric seemed thinner (it was).  I probably could have prevented the big whopping hole had I changed the needle first, but maybe not.  I looked all over town for a long sleeved navy crew T-shirt that would not rip apart with machine embroidery.  Old Navy came through. I was able to go see the bear suit I bought online for Colt too...super cute and looks warm. The guy at the checkout asked me for my email address so they could send me specials. I told him I had just recently dropped over $100.00 in baby clothes from Old Navy me got my email! I constructed a custom cover/belt for a heating pack for a friend at work. Pat always brings me unusual jobs...hell, everyone brings me challenges to sew, but I love a good challenge! After finishing the "have to" jobs, I decided to work on the UFO pile.  I was down to 2 garments cut out waiting for sewing and I'm proud to say that after I get off the computer and put some closures and hems on the pants I whipped out yesterday afternoon, the pile will be down to one vest!  Good thing, because my order should be here soon and I just got my hands on a copy of the new sewing magazine My Image and there are a couple of things out of there I want to make right away. Guess I better get cracking...more later...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wearing What I Sew

I have been taking the easy way out when it comes to taking photos of my garments. They're on the dress form anyway...why not snap a picture of them? Saves brushing the hair and actually putting a look together. I really do wear the things I make and slowly, but surely my wardrobe is becoming more saturated with made-by-me garments. Here I am wearing the Vogue cowl tunic at work.
I admit I'm not comfortable on this side of the camera. I much prefer taking pictures than being the subject matter. My hair is always a mess no matter what I do and I usually have a goofy look on my face. Guess I need to spend a little more time with Sal over at Already Pretty! As for this sweater, it has been super comfortable and warm, which was very important today as the weather was horrible...we even had a tornado down towards Salem. As I mentioned before, this fabric was purchased at the thrift store and it was a fairly large cut. I threw it in the washer because that's what I do with all fabric I buy used.  I did not see it when bundled, but there were scattered holes all over the yardage that had to be worked around to cut this sweater out.  It was dicey at one point, but I am so happy I was able to make it work! Well, break time is over, so back to work for me...catch you all tomorrow.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stand and Deliver

Here it is...the Pendrell dress...all that's left are the hems as predicted.
Fabric is a mystery fiber. I received it in a bundle from Fabric Mart a couple of years ago. Feels like it might be a wool blend, but I'm not sure. Lining is a cocoa poly from Double shift tomorrow so finishing will probably be on Wednesday unless I get a second wind after work tomorrow night. Hawaii Five-O is heating up...better go focus! Later kittens!

Pendrell the Dress Pending

I had a bunch of errands to run today, so I didn't make it to the sewing studio til after 4:00. I know that because Oprah was already in progress. When I finally settled in, I had to change the Evolve from Coverstitch to Serge and change the thread. I was able to get the Pendrell staystitched, shoulder seams done, sleeves pressed and basted, plus complete construction of the lining, including pressing before I broke for dinner at 6:00 p.m. I'm heading up now to get back to work...maybe I'll get her to hems by bedtime...catch you later! :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sewing ADD

I think I have it. Sewing ADD, that is. I get so many ideas and plans going and I start projects and then start new projects before the old projects are finished. Sound familiar? I did accomplish quite a bit today, but I was scattered. I needed to change the thread on the serger before starting the Vogue cowl tunic, but I wanted to finish the aprons I started a couple weeks ago, so I did that first. Since I was spending some quality time in the studio, I had to throw some things on the embroidery machine. I embroidered a new towel with a retro Grandma's Kitchen design plus another potholder with the Urban Thread's design "Coffee-You can Sleep when you're Dead". Next I whipped up the cowl top in a wool jersey knit that I picked up at the thrift store.  I have to say that this pattern is a real winner...soon to be a TNT! Here it is on Valentine:
I had an Indiana Jones marathon today. It's hard to believe how long ago those movies were made. I forgot how handsome Harrison Ford is. This evening I watched Sarah Palin's Alaska. Kate Gosselin and kids came for a visit and the Palin's took them camping. Kate Gosselin was miserable and packed up her brood to head back to civilization after lunch. Sheesh!!! What's a little rain? It looked like they had an awesome camp set up...I want to go camping with the Palin's in Alaska!

Forgive Me for I have Sinned

I caved.  After putting things in my shopping cart at a couple days ago and taking it out, my dear sweet Hunny asked "Why?" Well, because I have lots of fabric in the closet. "So?" I have been clearing out alot of fabric. I cut out the Pendrell dress last night plus my first Vogue 8634, raglan cowl neck sweater. I did want to pick up some of that cute baby blue camo fleece to make Colt something...ooh, and I need some chocolate colored fleece for his bear hoody...and while I'm at it, I must fill the cart up to $35.00 for free shipping. It doesn't take much for me to justify a trip to, does it? I did get some pieces for me...a couple of knits for tops (I'm a sucker for knits!) which include a darling giraffe print (eat your heart out Kim!), some houndstooth (WWMD? what would Mondo (or Mary) Do?), a hunter green knit for another Vogue 8634 and a beautiful red slubby jersey blend knit to do the Jalie cardigan. That pushed me over $35.00 for free shipping, but then I had a coupon for 15% off, so that made the total a hair over $30.00 Not bad! Thanks to my Hunny and Colt for pushing me over the edge! Now to get busy clearing out room in the fabric closet. I just heard a crash upstairs so I better go see what the Chief is up to! Happy Sunday!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly...

Cue up the music...I would add it to my blog, but blogs that have blaring music when I open them up annoy me, so I will refrain. have the ugly.  My blog chronicles not only my sewing adventures (and mis-adventures!), but is a little slice of my world, raw and unvarnished. So this next story is kind of bad.  My husband's stepsister got married yesterday. No big surprise, we knew she was engaged and the wedding was to be this Summer. I was going to make a dress for her sister Gabe to wear...something chic, but appropriate for a young lady. Apparently all the wedding preparations started getting too overwhelming and they decided to have a simple ceremony at the justice of the peace.  That's cool...I applaud their decision to do what is right for their life. I didn't even mind reading about it on Facebook, which seems to be the way we all communicate these days. Lottie said they would like to have a reception or maybe an anniversary party later on...CRAP!!! This is the bad part! I looked at my husband and said "I think we forgot our anniversary this year!" He got the same deer-in-the-headlight look and said "I'm sure glad you forgot too!" We kind of laughed about it and agreed that we still consider April 15th (our first wedding) as our anniversary! But here's the good...we celebrate our union every day. So what if we forgot what day it was that we officially said "I do"? The important thing is that we do! Here's an example of what our union helped bring forth...the cutest reindeer in the world!
Regularly scheduled sewing posts will resume tomorrow.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pendrell Love!

The first Pendrell is finished! The fabric was a little fiddly, as all silky drapey fabrics can be, but the pattern is very well drafted and the instructions are very clear. I finished the seams with the serger and I think the next one I will use the 5 thread serger stitch to do the majority of seams.
I can see making this many more times. It sews up quick and the sleeveless version will be very versatile to wear under jackets. I have some aprons to finish up and then it's on to the Mondo dress!

Another One

How many sewing machines are too many? I know...stupid question! At least in my house. Yesterday I woke up at 6:00 a.m. with a start wondering if I had remembered to turn in my time sheet (I hadn't), so I made an unexpected trip to the office so I could get paid next week. I had a few other errands to run, including paying an overdue fine at the library (I'm really forgetful this week).  I had to pass right by the thrift store and had no plans to stop, but something told me to just drop in to say hi to Linda.  Sitting outside the door (in the rain, no less) was a Kenmore 1941 with a bag of attachments and manual.  There was a note pinned to it that she sewed okay, but needed some tension adjustment.  Four dollars. That's all they were asking for the poor little machine sitting all alone in the rain.  I took her in and jokingly asked Linda if she had any patterns (I took a ton of them in last week) Out of all those patterns, she said they only had 2 boxes left.  That's pretty impressive! Anyway, without further Penny!
Why is she called Penny, you ask? Because her maiden garment (the fingerless glove toot doesn't count) is the new Pendrell blouse. I just finished the muslin of view A and it is fabulous!!! Tasia really nailed it! I made a muslin because I wasn't sure how a woven without buttons or a zipper, but the muslin fit perfectly right out of the package.  I will be cutting into the fashion fabric soon.  It is a rainy afternoon here in Oregon...just perfect for a Twilight marathon.  I've watched Twilight...New Moon is playing now and we'll finish with Eclipse. It's a very good day!

Fingerless Fleece Gloves Tutorial

You asked for voila! Here it is! I apologize for the slight delay...I was slightly distracted yesterday by my thrift store find, which I will blog about in length a little later I'm sure, but now on to the tutorial so you busy elves can make some fingerless fleece gloves too!

Start with 2 rectangular pieces of fleece. I have found 11"X 8 1/2" works well to make a medium size glove. I use 9 1/2" wide for a size large. You can adapt the width of your gloves by measuring around the palm of your hand (do not include the thumb) and add 1" to the total width to give you a 1/2" seam allowance. I find that is adequate and gives enough ease to slip your hand into the glove.
Fold the rectangle right sides together in half along the length, giving you a piece approximately 11" X 4 1/4" to work with. Measure 2" from the top and mark (or pin) and then measure another 2" from that point and mark (or pin).  That space is where the thumb opening will be.  Sew from the top to the first mark or pin.  Be sure to back stitch at that point as it will be a high stress area pulling the glove on and off. I suppose you could use a stretch stitch, but I have made hundreds of these with just a straight stitch and have not had any problems with stitches popping.  Raise the needle and presser foot and pull the glove 2 inches to your second mark or pin. Restart your seam (with a back stitch to reinforce) and sew to the end of the piece.

Turn your glove right side out. The fleece does not ravel, so I don't worry about finishing the thumb opening. You could also leave the ends unfinished, but I think a hem makes the glove more stable and it looks nicer. Fold up 1/2 inch to the wrong side and stitch around to hem both sides. You can use the free arm of your machine if that is easier, but I just whip it around.  You could use decorative stitching to embellish if you want. Your gloves are finished!

Here's what they look like on
Jazz hands to see the palm side!

Lastly, another variation of this project is that you could sew the entire seam and cut a thumb opening on the opposite side. I have done it both ways, but think that having the opening in the seam looks better and the backstitching adds more strength to the strain area. So there you have it! I hope you can make lots of warm fingerless gloves for your loved ones!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Clearing the Plate

Yesterday I finished a kajillion pairs of fleece fingerless gloves before heading to work.  I had an order for a vague "let's start with 10", but usually that ends up with a barrage of "Can you make some for me", so I went large and cleaned about 6 yards of fleece out of the closet. (Does that mean I can buy more fabric? just kidding!) In truth, I didn't make a kajillion, but I think there are about 50 pair in there. I will do a more accurate count and take them to work so Jaymin can pick out what she wants and then we'll see how the rest go.  These are very simple to make and are nice stocking stuffers. If there is an interest in how I make them, I would be happy to throw together a quick tutorial. They work nicely for any outdoor activity where finger dexterity is required (like working a guide dog!) Anywho...we have company coming into town this afternoon and then it will be on to the Pendrell and Mondo dress.  Because the Mondo dress will be very fitted, I have decided to do a muslin first (Gasp! I know!!!) I want it to be Mondo worthy! In other news, we received two, count 'em, two new Colt videos yesterday. One was a candid movie of Sir Chats-a-Lot telling Mama a story. Sara angled the camera so we got a profile of Colt, so he did not know he was being filmed.  She put the camera on him in the end and said "Say goodbye to your Grandparents" and he immediately clammed up! It was like "Mom! Have you been secretly filming me???" Love it! My friend Kelly, who is blind, asked how Colt was doing and I pulled up the video for her to enjoy.  She was so excited! She said "You know I have never been able to see the pictures of him...this is the first time I got to see Colt!" Aww! Happy Monday to you all!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas is Coming!!!

And the gift thing is in the bag! I am feeling very comfortable in the gift giving category and can concentrate on other sewing for me.  I finished the digitizing project yesterday afternoon and discovered that I really need to practice more often with the program. As with everything that you don't use very much, I forget the little tricks that make the process easier. I also figured out something I didn't know while completing that project, so it was a worthwhile venture. Plus it felt good to present the sample design and tee shirt to receive big hugs and appreciation (no monetary compensation required!) I also spent an hour playing my keyboard, which was a lot of fun (and frustrating). It's hard to learn a new skill, especially when you are a perfectionist and as with all new skills, it takes time to develop. The keyboard has the capacity to play one-key chords, which I know is cheating, but makes it easier to focus on the melody line. I am learning the chord positions as well, but it is fun to play something that sounds remotely like a familiar tune! The keyboard also adds in fill in accompaniment, so it sounds pretty good with minimal user input.  I like it...I like it a lot!!! Anywho...what to sew first...the Pendrell or the new Vogue cowl top...Or how about that new Maggie London??? Decisions, Decisions...I picked up my copy of Eclipse this morning...perhaps a Twilight marathon is in order. After the Civil War game of course.  Go Ducks...Go Beavers!!! What??? I ride the fence!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sew Excited!!!

It was a good mail day today! My Pendrell pattern AND my BMV patterns all arrived today! Plus I knocked a whole bunch of Christmas shopping out at the Holiday Bazaar in town and I don't have to cook dinner for the boys at the firehouse tonight (well, I do have to bring a salad, but how hard is that???) Just finishing up lunch and it's back to the sweat shop! Loves to all! :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sew Day!

It;s my day off and Tom is out delivering oil, so what's a girl to do? Sew I say! The studio is somewhat tidy after the great pattern purge of 2010, and once that was straightened around, I had to do something with the fabrics! My closet overfloweth with textile goodness, so I should just delete's daily propaganda, but I did spy some fabrics that I wanted for Colt later on in the 12 days of Christmas sale, so we'll see how my resolve is. If it's for Colt, it doesn't count, right??? Yesterday was a good day at work. I skipped over to Border's on my lunch break. Unfortunately the downtown Border's is closing soon (where will I go browse at lunchtime? H&M perhaps?), but they were having killer sales, so I picked up some books for Hayden and Chloe for Christmas and found an adorable baby sign book for Colt! I also picked up a keyboard lesson book and a great book of all the piano chords. I am determined to learn to play a musical instrument, since my voice doesn't cut it! I picked up an order for some fingerless gloves too yesterday. Those are so easy to knock out and I have a whole shelf of fleece, so no additional fabric purchase is required for this job.  One of our students also hit me up for a digitizing job for her non-profit company. That will be a fun project...Love Sherry! I have the movie Temple Grandin waiting for me at the library, so soon as 9:00 am rolls around I am hotfooting it over there and the post office...maybe my Pendrell pattern will be here! Happy Thursday y'all!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Giveaway Alert!!!

Steph of Three hours past the Edge of the World is having a great giveaway here. Go check it out!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thrift Store Monday

The thrifty Gods have shined upon me again. I always shop with an open mind when thrifting, because you never know what gem may present itself, but I keep a running list of things I am looking for and eventually I find that coveted item.  Last class we had an amazing pianist receiving a new dog. Every night we would be treated to the most wonderful music as he relaxed (and so did we). I said to our psychologist one night "I feel like someone should be bringing me a cocktail...sounds like we're in a piano bar!" She agreed! I have always wanted to play a musical instrument, but unfortunately I have never shown much talent for music and really not put forth the hard work to develop a talent (so basically it is my fault...I probably could do it if I set my mind to it) My daughter is a naturally gifted musician. She can play the flute like a bird (although she hasn't in a long time!). Her grandfather was a talented musician and music teacher, and her great Grandfather played with Doc Severinson and the Tonight show band (I know, some of you may be saying Who? What? Trust me...they were the tops!) Long convoluted story short...I had asked Paul about pianos and how to buy a good one, since I see them all day offered on Craigslist for free and I'm no piano expert, but I know enough to know that I probably wouldn't be bringing home quality! Plus Tom would probably really frown if I drug a piano home! Paul surprised me when he said that some of the electronic keyboards these days are a good option for someone (like me) and that the sound quality has greatly improved over the years. I filed that away and  figured if I found a good keyboard I would pick it up. Set out your desires to the universe and your wishes come true. I found a Yamaha PSS-570 keyboard at the Yellow House thrift store for the whopping price of $1.00! What??? A buck! There was no AC adapter with it, so it would need batteries, but smarty pants me had an AC adapter at home. Plugged it in and instant music!!! The cool thing for Tom is that I can plug in headphones and he doesn't have to listen to it! I went to the library to pick up some intructional material, and I have tons of music books for my guitar.  I glanced at the music for "Fields of Gold" and was able to pick it out pretty easily! On a side note, we have a new music store in town and I plan to take guitar lessons as well!  Here is my new Dolla keyboard...
You may notice some fabric piled next to my new excellent keyboard. I also scored some more fabric! The red is a silky poly that is destined to be a nice holiday blouse (or two). There is about 4 yards there! The black and houndstooth are both double knit...I'm thinking an homage to Mondo with Butterick 5554. I just bought it from BMV on their cyber Monday sale. I don't normally do BMV as I can get the patterns cheaper at JoAnn's on sale, but this was as good as JoAnn's with free shipping. I almost joined BMV as they were offering $9.99 yearly membership, but my savings on the 7 patterns I had in my basket was $1.60 and I seriously doubt I would order enough over the year to even recoup my 10 bucks, so I just paid my extra $1.60 and said thank you BMV! The grey is a slubby wool jersey which after washing I notice some holes...this fabric is old...Linda took me in the back room to go through some boxes of fabric someone donated and there were some pieces that were oddly familiar. I thought about it and that's when it dawned on me. They were boxes of remnants from clothes we made at Jantzen sportswear 30 years ago! I had some of the same fabric as they would let us take home scraps from the line cuttings. Sara had so many swimsuits as a baby, it was ridiculous! Anyway...that was a great trip down memory lane.  And then unthrift related joy...I had razor clams for lunch! Tom had several opportunities to eat the leftovers and since he didn't, they ended up on my lunch plate! Life is good! Now I think I'll go make a little music!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I should be Sleeping...

After working a double shift and doubling back on day shift I find myself exhausted. But yet I did three loads of laundry, cooked dinner for the guys at the firehouse, cleaned up said dinner when they caught a fire right in the middle of dinner, changed the sheets and a bunch of other chores. I wanted to be sewing and I will be sewing...only tomorrow. This chick has had it and is going to bed!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Looking ahead to Summer...

The headliners are set...
Colin Raye is also slated to play...Oregon I love you!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I have a lot of things to be thankful for this year. Like these folks...
And this guy...

And many more blessings including a warm house, enough food to keep me fat and sassy, good friends, a job I find interesting and fulfilling and the means to follow my creative passions. I'm also grateful for my blog friends because you inspire me daily. Happy holidays, thank you and God bless. May you always have enough...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Preparing for the Pendrell

As I mentioned before, I ordered my copy of Tasia's of Sewaholic Pendrell pattern the other day.  I had some fabric in the stash in mind for this pattern and unfortunately I could only lay my hands on one of the pieces this morning. I know the other piece is in the closet, but it looks like I'm due for a fabric reorganization, and that is NOT going to happen today! Here is my first choice to begin.  It is a poly with nice drape and sheen. It has a monochrome pansy pattern in the fabric and has these great random black stripes throughout. I can't remember where I got it...I think maybe from Marji when she was doing a fabric purge in preparation for her sailing adventure. Anywho, I think it will be perfect for this pattern and make a nice addition to my wardrobe...great with black pants or a skirt. Without further is the fabric!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Magically Delicious!

As I ate my Lucky Charms this morning (yes, I said Lucky Charms...don't judge!), I thought about how great it would be to share my Lucky Charms with a special little boy.
Doesn't that face say "Yes Gram, I would like some Lucky Charms please" or something like that? I remember getting special things at my Grandma's house that we never had at home. Like TV dinners. They were a rare treat at our house back in the 60's, but when I spent the night at Grandma's house we would go down to Konnerup's Grocery and I could pick out whatever TV dinner I wanted. I loved the shrimp...or the chicken...or even the turkey was good. Used to like pot pies too. Somehow they don't taste as good anymore! Sigh!
Some exciting sewing news to report! Tasia of Sewaholic is about to launch her first pattern, the Pendrell blouse. If you don't know about it, hop on over via the link and check it out. I ordered mine today and can't wait to try it. I already have a few cuts of fabric in mind for it.  I also ordered some zippers over at Sew True. I've talked about them before, but they have awesome customer service and they have great sales with free shipping. Check out their closeouts for great deals. I needed some zips for the Ottobre hoodie I plan to make, and I picked up some invisible zips for the stash at rock bottom prices in the closeouts.  The colors are limited, but I was able to find colors that will work with the fabrics I have waiting in the stash! Then on to's Happy Hour over at Embroidery Library which makes me happy! You need to make a purchase in the previous month to be included in this special sale, but that is not hard to do.  Urban Threads is having an awesome sale too, so I will be picking up a couple of things there as well. Check out the FSL skully snowflake! My friends will dig that on their holiday tree! I am getting so into the holiday spirit!
Jo report: Barky von Pom-Pom just had a skin infection that is easily treatable. He had a steroid injection and some antibiotics to take. His skin already looks so much better. He's rocking his R&R muscle T to keep him from licking the area (which is what got him into trouble in the first place!) He's not much into clothes, but the T is a far sight better than the cone of shame I threatened him with, so he is gladly wearing it. He may need his parka soon because they are predicting SNOW!!! Whoo-hoo! I have my snow tires on, so bring it on Snowman!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What I've been Doing...

Alas! Time flies by and I forget to post! Dear Diary...oops! Flashback to the 70's! I have been busy doing other things besides posting on my blog...working (my boss is in Maui hopefully enjoying a much needed vacation), plotting and planning Christmas gifts for my friends at work, trying out new products (my new binding foot for my Evolve...Yay!) and some knitting and reading. Plus Jo has a rash that I hope to get seen by a vet today...waiting for the office to turn on the phone! I can't disclose any more about Christmas stuff because I know some of my work friends check out my blog...Hi work friends!!! I can tell you about my new Evolve binding foot however! I purchased a collarette style B binder from Debbie Cook's ebay source and it is great for knits, even though I need to practice more to be really proficient with it.  Woven bias however did not feed through the binder at all!  I really wanted the stock binder for the Evolve, but at $70+ dollars, I wasn't just going to drop into Montavilla and pick it up. Miraculously one showed up on ebay for $35.00! I waited and watched, and waited and watched til it was within an hour of ending. I didn't want to get in a bidding war with someone. Nobody else evidently wanted it so SOLD! I am the new proud owner of an Evolve binder foot at half the price! Sweet! As for the knitting...after the high of completing the circle vest in a timely manner, I pulled out an ombre yarn that I had started another sweater last year and didn't get far.  The yarn is not the greatest for crochet because it is hard to see the stitches to place the hook for the next row.  I could do it, but I think it is better suited for a simpler pattern than originally picked out.  I saw an infinity scarf done in a faux broomstick lace pattern in the current Crochet magazine, so I thought maybe the yarn would lend itself to doing an infinity scarf in broomstick lace.  Still had the same problem with stith placement on the single crochet, so enter plan B. I got out my size 18 knitting needles and am knitting the scarf. It has a nice lacy feel and I think I will just keep knitting til the yarn runs out or it is ridiculously long...whichever comes first! On my nightstand to read is Ann Rule's latest, In the Still of the Night. I love Ann Rule. I read her voraciously even before I met her at a correction's conference and loved her even more after having lunch with her. Anyone who can admit in front of a crowd that she fashioned her outfit from Value Village when complimented is a friend of mine. My boss just about died when I high fived Ann and said "Me too, Sister Friend!" Yeah, I can be crazy like that, okay, crazy like that most of the time! Well, time to call the vet's office, so TTFN!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Latest Finished Project

No sewing yesterday, but I did finish this crochet circle vest from September's issue of Crochet.

Friday, November 12, 2010

My new guilty pleasure...

I was bored one afternoon and started looking at costume jewelry on ebay. Who knew you could find such great vintage bargains for such paltry sums??? I bought a couple lots of vintage lot of 14 for $1.99. Some of the pieces I remember seeing in my Mom's jewelry box, but hers are long gone.  I also got some necklaces and have a pair of thimble earrings on the way! This renewed interest in jewelry got me thinking I should reorganize my jewelry so that I could see what I have. I had fallen into a rut of wearing the same 2 necklaces and a couple different pairs of earrings. As you can see, I have  plenty of other options:
Here is a close up of the pins. I took a Thai silk pillow cover that a friend brought me back from Thailand years ago and made into a pin showcase:

As for sewing, I finished another Burda Style turtleneck out of a knit I picked up at the thrift store a couple weeks ago. I purchased a binder for my Evolve and have been practicing with that. God bless Debbie Cook and her tutorials! She is a wealth of information on using binders and other coverstitch accessories. Back to work tomorrow...Whoo-hoo!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Raining on Sunday

Seemed like an appropriate title on so many levels. It is actually raining on Sunday and I have been listening to a lot of Radney Foster lately. Radney Foster? You are unfamiliar with Radney Foster? He is a very successful country songwriter who does put out records of his own tunes and Raining on Sunday is one of them (think Keith Urban). He also wrote Keith's more recent hit "I'm In". I got turned on to Radney when a friend sent us a video of Angel Flight with Darius Rucker Watch this video...I'm sure you will be touched too. I had to find this song and found out that proceeds from the sale of the “Angel Flight” single benefit the Texas National Guard Family Support Foundation, which aids military families in crisis. Now on to the sewing portion of this post. I apologize for the delay in promised pictures. This would have went up last night had I not had to take Tom to Urgent Care. He slipped at work and hit the back of his head requiring stitches. That's another big long story, but all's well that ends well and he returned to work after the ordeal, proving once again that my fireman is tough! Now as previously alluded to...the goods...

This is the Ottobre sweater. The hems look wavy and wonky in the pictures, but they really are not that bad. A good pressing took care of that.

The BS turtleneck...very comfortable and good basic.
And now for some Christmas gift pictures...don't look kids!!!

Daddy and me coordinating shirts! What fun! Gun design purchased at Embroidery Library Text done by me through Embird Font Engine. I love EL and that reminds me...they're having a sale this weekend...oops, gotta go...wink, wink!! Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Sorry for the lack of pictures my friends...don't mean to tease! many times I sneak a moment here or there to blog on my netbook when I have the chance and I don't have the camera with the picture with me. I have taken pictures of both tops on Valentine and have wore them both, so they are in the wash now! The Ottobre is made of a tissue knit and is very sheer. It looked great under a tunic cardigan, but I don't think it can go it alone. The Burdastyle turtleneck is awesome! I cut another one out on my break last night and hope tohave it stitched up before the weekend is through. I work weekends, so that cuts into quality sewing time!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm a Joiner

Yes. When I see a good idea I like to jump on the bandwagon and participate. I especially like the things that don't have a concrete deadline, because I hate feeling pressured.  Like the Hepburn/Hepburn project. Nobody is telling me that my Hepburn inspired wardrobe must be done by December 1st (or insert any arbitrary date of your choosing). It's all go at your own pace. Or the Never Too Many White Shirt project that Barb just started. No rules. Well, maybe one...your shirt should be white, but that's a detail I can live with. I had been thinking my wardrobe needed some more white shirts. Plus it dovetails nicely with the Hepburn/Hepburn project.  What I have accomplished so far...drumroll please....
I have finished 2 buttondown shirts, one with short sleeves and one with long that will work nicely in my Hepburn/Hepburn project. One is plaid and the other is a great stripe, so does not apply for a white shirt.  I have almost finished a white turtleneck ala BurdaStyle 9/2010 sans coverstitch hems
This top whipped up super easy and I see it as a TNT turtleneck staple in my closet. I have a Missoni knit that I intend to make into another soon.  Cut out and ready for construction is Ottobre design Nora in a nice white thin bamboo knit, without the rosettes. This is my first Ottobre, but I think I am going to enjoy working with their designs. My husband commented that the models are real people, which is a big plus in my books. I have pulled all my white fabric out of the fabric cave and will be doing some wovens, in case you were worried that I am a one knit wonder!  As for the rest of my Hepburn/Hepburn plan, I have some trousers on the horizon as well because woman cannot wear a white shirt alone!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Advent Stocking

Gaylen asked for some more information on the Advent stocking, so I thought I'd do a post on it.  I can't take credit for the original idea because a friend of mine told me about it years ago and it sounded like fun so I started it with my kids. The concept is just like that of the little Advent calendars we used to get when we were kids, but instead of getting a piece of chocolate every night to mark the days until Christmas comes, I wrap little gifts for each night.  Now I try to be highly organized and gather things year round, so it's not OMG! I must buy or make 50 presents all at once! And I do include candy in the mix as well, because getting candy is pleasant too. The gifts range from something highly useful, like new potholders, to a new ornament for the tree, or a can of special cat treats for Lola my grandkitty, to a custom video I make with pictures from the year, or other small things the kids have asked for or need.  When they lived close I would include things like a box of a favorite cereal or dish soap...things I know they could use.  Living abroad makes it a little trickier as I have to consider size for shipping all these things, but it makes it easier because there are some things from home that they can't get in England.  We also have a little fun ourselves hiding things like little rubber snakes in the gifts for an extra SURPRISE!!!  Tom really gets into looking for snakes, etc. for the scare factor! Be careful if you start this though because your kids will not want you to stop! The first year I told the kids if they liked it I would do it again if they brought their stockings back. They were back to me before New Years Eve! I told my boss about it and she started it with her grandkids and curses me every year because that is 100 extra presents for her to wrap! I look forward to doing this for Colt, especially when he's old enough to open his own advent presents. Did I mention I love being a Grandma to this special boy???

Friday, October 29, 2010

Santa's Workshop

I love this time of year because thoughts turn to Christmas and giving.  I have been working on the advent stockings for the kids and this year is extra special because I have another one to fill for Colt.  Not that he will be able to open his presents this year, but it should be fun for Mom and Dad. I finished up his stocking this afternoon, keeping with the Rudolph theme because Grandma loves Rudolph!
I made some other gifts for the kids that I will show later...Santa's elves have been busy!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jalie Love

I promised to post some pics of the Jalie scarf collar tops that I have been cranking out.  Since I don't intend to get out of my PJs today, they are modeled by my altar ego Valentine. First the muslin:
The gumdrop top that I whipped out Tuesday morning before work:

And not a Jalie, but another top that's almost finished save for buttons and hem:
Now it's back to the workroom and more "Dirty Harry" until the Project Runway finale!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Weekend is Finally Here!!!

Well, mine is anyway.  Usually I am working while everyone else is having a weekend, but such is the life of a nurse! I did manage to finish another Jalie Scarf Collar top before I went to work this morning. I didn't have time to snap a picture and didn't feel like a photo shoot when I got home, but I am very pleased with how it turned out. I plan to make a white version for the first of my white shirt project. The Chief normally is sitting on the back of my chair or on my sewing table when I am working, but she was strangely absent this morning. Here's where I found her:

Jalie Scarf Collar Top

What an amazing pattern my friends! I cut out a quick muslin last night with a yard of fabric I picked up at the thrift store for 50 cents because I wanted to try out the burrito roll technique and check size before I cut into my prized fashion fabric! What a joy to sew! I had that baby whipped out in under an hour...before Hawaii Five-O was over! The collar trick was brilliant! If you haven't tried it, give it a shot and sew on faith.  For anyone who has ever sewed the wrong sleeve to the wrong armscye, or did some other unfortunate faux pas...this is foolproof if you pay attention to the markings and directions.  I think I will go whip out a "real" one before work today. It's my Friday and I think that's cause to celebrate with a new top, don't you?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Late Night Blog Post

I'm a closet night owl...when left alone. I don't know why I end up staying up later when Hubs is not home...I just usually do. I made some good progress on projects before going to work.  I did the majority of embroidery on Colt's stocking and cut out the basic stocking shape.  I finished the neck binding on the UFO blouse...oh, and I did the for hire job first. I picked out a few fabrics for the Jalie scarf neck top, which I hope to work on when my days off roll around.  I could go up and sew, but it's never a good idea to start sewing tired...leads to more work ripping out what you goof up! It's a stormy, stormy night here in Oregon...maybe I should just finish my sleepytime tea and try to go to sleep! G'night all!

Gone, Baby Gone...

"Beautiful girl, love the dress..." Anyone know the name of the group that's song opens with those lyrics? I gave you a hint (and no fair Sara, you know my eclectic, okay, kooky music taste!) That totally random song popped into my head as my beloved left on his elk-a-palooza adventure this morning and has left me to my own devices for a week.  I have to work part of it, but the rest is all about ME! I really miss Tom when he's gone on his trips, but I do try to make the most of my alone time to get lots of things done, and one thing that I need to get cracking on is Christmas! I need to make Colt's advent stocking and finish up the gifts for the kid's advent stocking.  I'm pretty certain I've got Colt covered for gifts (for the next 3, just kidding!!!) Being a grandma is wonderful!!! Oh, and since I haven't posted a picture of the little man in a week or two:
Love this picture! Okay, now back to what's happening in the sewing room.  I have a paying job to eek out this morning before work and then I can get busy with Christmas projects and me sewing.  There is a blouse on Valentine that should only take about an hour or two to finish up, a pair of pants that has been languishing for, um, years (better recheck the fit on that one!) and a simple vest...then the UFO train will pull out of the station, hopefully not to return soon! My morning has started out with a little FB, email checking and blog crawling, plus just a wee bit of fabric shopping...Ashley over at Trendy Fabrics is having a one day free shipping event and I LOVE free shipping!  I didn't go to hog wild...just 3 pieces that will fit nicely into my sewing plans.  So guess I better head on upstairs and get this party started before it's time to go to work. New students today...always a good time! Hope you all are having a great Sunday!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Warning: Not totally Sewing Related...

To be honest, this post will probably contain very little sewing, so if you are not interested in other random bits of life, feel free to click away right now! Let's talk about my husband's hobby, shall we? Tom is busy restoring a 1957 Willy's Jeep.  He is very excited about it and is vigilantly scouring Craig's List and the internet for parts and pieces he needs for this project.  This project started with his "little" brother (Eric is not little, but that's what Tom calls him).  They are always horsetrading back and forth and Tom brought home this jeep project about a year ago.  He was finishing up our son-in-law's classic Bronco and was itching for something new to work on.  Eric was working on a Jeep pickup and so this seemed like the thing to do. Tom stripped it down to the bare bones and welded and straightened the frame.  He got an old wrecked Toyota for parts and I'm not sure where the great transmission came from, but I've been told we have one! It's kind of like when I find a great vintage sewing machine...Tom knows I have it, but don't ask him for details!!! Anywho, there was an issue with the length of the drive line and Tom really had to do some figuring to work out how that was going to come together. He bought a transfer case off Craig's list, but discovered he needed a certain gear to "make it work" (thank you Tim Gunn!) plus an adapter.  Networking gave him a number of a guy that might have a gear, and he returned Tom's call early Thursday morning (okay, it was 7:20, I was up, but that's early for Mr. Man on his day off when He's not going hunting or fishing or something!). Come to find out, this gentleman designed the adapter for Advance and is an expert.  What a great resource! Since Tom was up in Brush Prairie close to Eric's shop that day, he stopped and took "little brother" to lunch.  They got talking engines, and evidently a guy that ERic raced with had the perfect engine for the Jeep he was selling at a good price.  So to Longview Tom traveled and now the Jeep has an engine.  Love it when a plan comes together.  I stayed home that day because I knew it was going to be a male bonding day for Tom, so I got some time to sew and cook.  I made a killer chicken pizza with my new Pampered Chef stone and it was a great dinner while watching Project Runway. It's Mondo, Andy and Gretchen...who do you think will win? I'm hoping Andy...we'll see. Didn't do any sewing last night because I had baking and cooking for Mister Man's excellent elk adventure.  I also purchased some new glasses at Zenni's Optical as my glasses that were repaired back in September are starting to fail again, so I dropped them off at the optical center for yet another remake.  I also ordered some Rx sunglasses, so I'm hoping this works out.  The price was very reasonable and the site has a feature where you can load a picture of yourself and with the pupillary distance you can "try on" the different styles to see how they look on your face. I tend to pick out the same frame (boring, I know), but this time I varied just a little bit...same basic shape but a different type of frame.  I am currently wearing my old pair of glasses that are rimless and have lasted better than the frames with rims! Go figure!  In other news, I made a new sewing buddy at work.  One of our students is a kindred spirit and she has become my new BFF! We are talking about taking a sewing tour together to NYC that is offered through Sew Many Options sewing will be me, Alice and her new guide Panama...Look out NYC!!! Well, enough rambling for now...Next post should be more sewing related since I will be a hunting widow for the next week and can spend all my free time sewing! Whoo-hoo!!!  

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Buyer's Remorse

Or more aptly, buyer's disgust! Those blouses I bought at the Rack yesterday had to go back.  I had picked them up on my lunch break and thought...white blouses in my size...looks good...lay the money down, get out, move on... When I got home last night I tried them on.  MAJOR yuk!!! The first one fit okay throught the bodice, but the shoulders and collar were about 6 inches too high. The top of the collar hit me midway up my head! What??? I thought, well certainly they both can't be bad. WRONG! The other one had the collar down where it should be, but those cute little ruffles didn't look so cute on! So back to the rack they went this morning and I will chalk it up to a lesson learned. I guess we are spoiled as sewists. We strive for perfection in fit and don't settle for "good enough" (although neither blouse qualified for that description).  I was able to get some sewing and embroidery done today. Here is my afternoon in pictures:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Taking Care of Business...

Okay, who shouted out "Everyday!"??? You know who you are, you closet BTO fans! Seriously though, I haven't posted in awhile as I have been a busy girl.  Not all of it has been sewing, but in a roundabout way it always comes back to sewing.  I have been having a great response to the patterns I listed on ebay, at least all the Daisy Kingdom patterns.  I tried a few vintage numbers that are not seeing as much action.  I may need to change my strategy where that's concerned.  I did a major cleanout of the guest room closet and had an epiphany. It's only my husband and me living in the house.  We rarely have guests stay for more than a weekend.  Our closet is crammed between the two of us.  Why not take advantage and give my clothes some room to breathe? So that's what I've done and I can now see what I have to wear. They no longer need to be re-ironed because they've been crammed in a space that is too small! Tom actually has more room for his clothes, which surprisingly enough, he has quite a few. Who knew? While we're speaking of clothes, I must admit I bought some RTW today (Oh, the horrors!) We were downtown today and I took my lunch at the Rack and Borders.  I found two white blouses in the clearance with delightful ruffles.  They were 75% off and I snagged both of them for under $15.00.  What's not to like?  The one blouse had 3" squares tacked on to make a fluttery ruffle effect that I would like to copy. It was all for research, I cried, RESEARCH!!! :) Anyway, I did purchase David Coffin's book on making trousers, which I am finding quite fascinating.  I would like to up my game where pants are concerned and I like David's style.  May have to scare up the shirt book next! Yesterday the weather surprised us and was unseasonably warm. Neither one of us felt like working outside, which is what we needed to be doing, but we decided we would tackle one project and them we could both work on something we really wanted to spend our time at (Tom working on his sewing of course) We decided to clean up the garden beds to prepare them for winter and trim up the raspberries.  It truly turned out to be an enjoyable time, and we not only did those tasks, hauling all the weeds to the burn pile with the Polaris, Tom drug the driveway with the tractor and I divided up the rhubarb in the upper beds before heading in to make lunch.  For not wanting to work outside, we got four hours in quite painlessly.  Sometimes you just have to get started...we ate lunch and messed with the stupid printer (thank you Honey for fixing it!) and even managed a nap before grocery shopping! After dinner Tom went out to the man cave to adjust the new trigger on his .270 and I went upstairs to finish an embroidery job.  I'll leave you with a picture of my last job:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Oh you love to tempt me! My fabric closet overflows, yet you continue to haunt me with emails promising bargains beyond belief! Poof! Did I just hit the delete button? Ahhh, now I can quit obsessing...til the next time!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What are you looking for???

In my last post I mentioned that I am cleaning house in the pattern department and had, oh one or two patterns to unload.  I got thinking that some of you dear readers may have some patterns that you have been seeking, or you may just love sewing with vintage patterns.  Here's the deal...if I have something in the to go files that you would really like, I would be happy to send it to you for the cost of postage. Obviously I can't post pictures of every pattern, but if you have a specific pattern you are looking for or a certain era, I can send you some pics of what I do have and perhaps we can make the connection! Happy Sunday!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cleaning House...

A couple days ago I was perusing Craigslist and came upon an ad from someone wanting to buy vintage sewing patterns...Cash they offered. I had been thinking that I really needed to weed out my pattern collection as there is no way in the world that I can sew every pattern I have ever bought, been gifted or otherwise inherited and the sheer volume has made it cumbersome to find what I want when I want it.  I thought it was a match made in heaven. So I emailed this person and diligently went through the boxes and drawers that house my patterns. At first cull, this is what I came up with:
Over 300 patterns, including some vintage gems like this:

I was prepared to let them all FREE!
That is until the emails started coming "oh, I can't drive out to your house. Can you drive into the city and bring them to me?" What, would you like me to sew them up for you too? I got annoyed with the whole deal and just told her I was going to do something else with them.  My husband said he would manage selling them on ebay, so I may give that a whirl or open an etsy shop.
Speaking of wonderful husbands, Tom installed the new washer and dryer yesterday when he got home from work! I love the front loader so far and it requires so little detergent.  I had asked about complaints I had read online about the front load machines smelling musty. The owner of the family owned business where I bought it said that is caused by using too much soap and recommended using only a tablespoon of detergent per load. Tom's work clothes came out wonderful! Crazy the things that make a girl happy!  In sewing news, I have committed to finishing UFOs before I cut anything else out.  I have 2 blouses to finish, a pair of pants and re-attachment of an ill placed ruffle before the blades can fly again.  I have great incentive because I bought some adorable knit prints from Trendy Fabrics to make some stuff for Colt.  Grandma has to get her sew on for her little man!

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...