Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas presents

My daughters had some Christmas money and bought Guitar Hero III for Nintendo Xbox 360. We are having a blast playing this, I had a 111 note streak last night! I am hoping to play a couple of songs tonight.

Also, spent 5 hours at the mall for exchanges. I did a very poor job on sizes for my twins. They are in-between girls and junior sizes. On a positive note, they were able to get many more items for their dollars. We found some great sales. I had to buy some birthday, too. My 17 yo daughter will be 18 on New Year's Day.

Also, decluttering - the twins and I went through each of their bedrooms. Their rooms and closets look fantastic! I started on my room tonight.

On a not-so-positive note, I have to go back to work tomorrow. Only a half-day, yea!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Luke 2:8-14

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

Isaiah 9:6

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Theme Thursday

Stacy at The Land of K.A. is having a photography theme with tips. This week is windows lighting and here is my take on the theme. I didn't have a live model so I used the artificial Christmas tree in the living room, east light and it was late morning. I played with aperture a bit, then did some Photoshop. Do you have a favorite?

If you are interested in photography, check out Stacy's blog, you will find a wealth of information and inspiration.

Doll Dress

My last Christmas present. An American Girl doll dress for my niece. Now to finish a bit of wrapping.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Cookie Sunday

My daughters and I made many cookies on Sunday and then finished up on Monday.
Here is a recap:
Triple batch of sugar cookies, cinnaman nut clusters, pinwheels, toffee, pecan bars, Germantown oatmeal, candy canes and chocolate chip.
Then the girls decorated the cookies and this involves much mess and lots of silliness. I will be running the vacuum for the next year to get up all the sprinkles.

We don't make masterpieces in the decorated sugar cookie department but the girls are original. Let's see on the bell - 17 yo daughter put a crack with icing, like the Liberty bell. This daughter was trying to think of something to write on her stocking cookie and at the same time another one says oops as her cookie flips over. Well, that is what is on one stocking "oops". Original cookies and always one daughter has to ice a snowman with yellow icing. That brings about the laughter and talk about the dog being too close to the snowman!

Here is a picture of our work.

These are in the freezer now, I would have them all eaten by Christmas Eve, no probably tomorrow if the truth be told.

Sewing - I finished the last Christmas present tonight, a purse.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Amy Butler's In Town and Some Inside Decorations

My high school daughter needed a couple of presents and being the broke student she is, I volunteered to make some purses. I participated in a Holiday Swap and this pattern was in my box - Amy Butler's In Town Bags. My daughter liked the drawstring bag and we picked out fabric.

Pink had to be one of the colors - so here it is. This is a small bag 10-1/2" square, so be warned. That is fine for this friend but the other friend carries an very, very large bag. I will probably double all the measurements for this one. Only change to this bag is lengthening the straps. The pattern calls for short handles, the type you would just carry in your hands. I made my straps 20", so this could be a shoulder bag.

A bit of decorating. My grandmother's silver tray with a flea market dish. I added beaded garland and glass balls.

A side view (still working on my photography)

Small tree in my bedroom.

My mantle, cross-stitch made by my mom. I love this sampler. I made the stockings.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Nighttime Pictures

We have a very slick sheet of ice all around our house but I stepped out this evening and it was beautiful. A bit of fog, the ice and the glow of the Christmas lights, I had to take some pictures. A perfecto opportunity to practice some of what I had learned in my photography classes. I was so nervous carrying my nice camera and slip sliding around!

Some of our trees.

My living room tree

The single tree, I played with this in Photoshop quite a bit

Next two are playing with aperture.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Twins are Teenagers

Happy 13th birthday to my twins.

Here they are at 2-1/2, aren't they so cute?

Here they are talking to Santa on the phone. They were 3 in this picture and I made both of the jumpers.

Not the best scan -I used the oval cutter from Creative Memories, way back when and these don't scan the best.

I can't believe they are 13, it brought tears to my eyes last night as I was telling them goodnight. They were all excited not to be 12 anymore and I was sad. They said, "Mom, you aren't going to cry are you?"

Well, back to work on the birthday dinner celebration. They are setting the table with the china.

They had a great birthday gift - snow day - no school. Their day was spent with their dad (my wonderful hubby) - shopping and going out for lunch. His birthday is tomorrow. He keeps talking about what a fun day it was.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Aprons Hanging Around

I was looking for a handmade gift idea to sew for several presents. I wanted something that didn't take too long to sew but the recipient would appreciate. I checked out Sew Mama Sew's Handmade Holiday and decided on aprons and used the tutorial by Crystal for the half apron. I am very happy with my choice, a cute gift and I was able to make one apron in 30 minutes. I embellished with ric-rac, ribbon or ruffles (the 3-R's!). I also made 3 potholders to go with some of the aprons.

The top green one goes to my cooking daughter, she makes wonderful cookies and cupcakes. The next one on the left is for a dear friend, she is like another grandmother for my girls and spoils them rotten at Christmas time, a matching potholder, too. The red apron is for my favorite aunt and she will get 2 potholders. The dot fabric is for my friend and hairstylist, she does quite a bit of entertaining and likes jewel tones. The light blue one is for my mom, she loves blue.

A picture of this corner decorated for Christmas. I made the quilt in 1990, during my quilting phase. I wasn't sure what to do with this vintage birdcage so I added glass balls. I need to get some greenery and a pretty bow for the top.

My girls are very happy, no school due to an icy roads. I still have to go to work, maybe, it is suppose to ice more tonight. Maybe a play day for me, too. I would love an entire day in the sewing room.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

BWOF 9/2007 #101

Pattern Review

Pattern: BWOF 9/2007 #101

Description: With a plunging neckline, feminine tie-collar. This figure-hugging blouse is full of class.

Sizing: 36 to 46, I made a 38

Instructions: Pretty good instructions for BWOF but this is basic t-shirt construction. The only exception is the tie. The neckline is clipped between the front markings, this is only a bit on each side of center front. This small area is turned to the wrong side and topstitched down. The finished part is where the tie is knotted. I thought this was the only tricky part.

Likes/Dislikes: I liked the look, a dressier shirt but still very comfy fabric!

Changes: I added 2” to the neckline, I did not want a plunging neckline. I also added length. My top wasn’t figure hugging to start with, I did take in the side seams to make it more fitted. I really was pleased with this as I can make this top from a woven. The directions instruct you to set the sleeves in the round but since this was a knit, I did flat construction.

Fabric: Rayon jersey from Joann’s. This fabric feels incredible but this color is so see-through. I will have to wear a jacket, cardigan or sweater over my top at all times!!
Conclusion: Cute top, I will probably make it again.

Do you like either of these looks?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Book Winners

Pam Erny wins the Serger book
Marty wins the bag book.

Pam, I have your address but Marty will you me email me your address.

Thanks for all the wonderful comments and congratulations to the winners.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Jalie Top 2682 Again

I made this in February 2007 and loved the results. I found a nice knit at Hancock's so thought a nice red top for the holidays.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Simplicity 3624

Pattern Review

Pattern: Simplicity 3624
Description: Misses’ Tunic and Top. Sleeve variations and length variations.

Sizing: 6 to 22, I made a 10

Instructions: Basic shirt construction instructions (wow, rhyming). I followed Simplicity’s instructions for the bodice and after that did my own thing

Likes/Dislikes: I liked the tunic look without the fullness of a tunic. Loved the shirred bodice and the sleeve variations

Changes: Let’s see:
*I added piping to the bodice seam. I thought my Missoni style fabric needed some solid fabric. A bit easier on the eye!
*I basted the piping to the bodice and then gathered the lower front. I pinned these two pieces together and stitched along my basting. Note: no sewing past midnight for me anymore. My gathering was all on one side. Talk about a lopsided top! I went to bed and the next evening, I did some frog-stitching. I decided a pleat might look better and I do think so.
*If you notice on the pattern drawings – the shorter shirts (D-E-F) have back ties. I liked this look and thought it would help if my tunic was too full. I used the solid black to make small ties.
*I added length to the lower front and back and also to the sleeves. I didn’t need to add it to the body of the garment. Easier to cut it off is my motto.
*I added ½” to the neckline but should have gone a full inch. Also, my shirt’s neckline appears to be wider at the shoulders. I would add more to the entire front neckline for a bit more coverage.

Fabric: Great Missoni style knit from Fashionista Fabrics, sorry I bought all she had. My intentions were a wrap dress but not quite enough fabric. The black knit is matte jersey from a Loes Hinse swing skirt in my closet, I wasn’t wearing it anymore and decided to repurpose the fabric.

Conclusion: Fun top, love the print and the style. I wasn’t sure about the pattern when I started but thought why not. Cute top with many ways to change the basic design.

Front view by my Christmas tree

Pleat and piping

Back view with tie

To a good home

Anyone want some fabric? I have been organizing my fabric and planning future projects.

This pile of knits - some are scraps but some are yardage (approx 1 yard). Send me an email (under my profile) or leave a comment. The knits are gone

Okay, small stack of wovens - probably 1/2 yard or less of each. Same thing send me an email

Off to watch Fashionably Late.


Any suggestions?

What should I make with this rayon knit? I love it but not sure what to do with it. If it looks familiar, it is a jumper on a Threads pattern. I have 2 yards.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ottobre Jeans FInally hemmed and Photographed

Remember these? Well, I finally had time to take some pictures. They have been finished and waiting for me!

Pattern Review

Pattern: Ottobre 5/2007 #10 5-Pocket Jeans

Description: The straight cut 5-pocket jeans are sewn from denim with contrast-color topstitching. The waistline of the jeans lieas only a few centimeters below the narrowest part of the waist. The pattern is designed for a slightly stretchy or non-stretch fabric. Design A has flapped back pockets and bootleg cut. Design B has a patch pocket and straight legs. I made design A.

Sizing: 34 to 44, I made a 38.

Instructions: The instructions are very good. I did reference Sandra Betzina’s fly instructions. I thought the instructions were in a nice order and had good details. The flap pockets were easy to figure out and the instructions were helpful. Note on page 24 of this issue is detailed instructions for the zipper placket and on page 25 a picture sequence to aid with the front hip pockets.

Likes/Dislikes: I love the style and the fit, once I helped the fit along! The only dislike is as noted the waistline lies only a few centimeters below the narrowest part of the waist. Think ½” under your navel. This is pretty high compared to RTW jeans and what I am use to wearing. The RTW jeans are coming up toward the waist more and this will be fine. I really love the look of my jeans and the fit.

Changes: I added 2-3/4” to the length. At 5’9”, I wanted to be safe. I did cut off the ¾” and hemmed up about ¾” and still can wear these with my high heel boots. The hips seem wider in proportion to the rest of the sizing. I felt like I was in a pair of jodhpurs (riding pants). I took them it approximately ½” from the waistline to the end of the front pocket. I also took in the CB at the waist another ½”. Next time, I will trace the hip area at a 36.

Fabric: Stretch denim at Joann’s in the clearance section, cost $2 a yard.

Conclusion: These are FANTASTIC pants, I love them, love them. I couldn’t be happier with the fit and construction. I am probably going to make more – let’s see a brown denim needs to be ordered. I might try making the rise not so tall, I will have to read up on how to do this.

Okay, here is the back:

Front - My top is Simplicity 4076 and it is from a remant at Joann's, 3/4 of a yard and I just barely got the top cut out. The remnant was 75% off, so this is my 67 cent top!


I wanted a slightly different wrap top and saw a review of Vogue 8379 on Pattern Review. Well, instead of buying another pattern I used

Butterick 4976 My fabric is from Fashionista Fabric and I really like my top. I didn't attach the black tie belt, my reasoning, I could put on a different belt or use my tie belt on another garment.

Anyone interested in a book? Leave a comment and tell me which one you might like and I will draw over the weekend. One book per person.

One more question - Bonnie, are we sewing some of the same items!!??!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sewing Gifts for my College Daughter

My college daughter is home for Thanksgiving break - yea!! The two of us went shopping and dinner on Friday night. "P" was mentioning all the gifts she needed for sorority sisters and other friends. Well, I have this wonderful Hooty Owl fabric leftover from other purses. The sorority's mascot is owls.
Warning: You will be tired of the Hooty Owl fabric and the same colorway after you look at all the pictures!

First for her roommate a new purse:

We added a yo-yo for decoration

A friend is having a baby, so a Hooty Owl diaper bag. I used just a bit of the owl fabric, had to be frugal, too many projects!

Back of bag- I like this fabric soooo much and it is all gone from my stash.

I had a few squares left from the purse so I embellished a burp cloth to be included with the diaper bag.

Notebook covers

Notecards (15) for one friend, this friend loves to write notes. Yes, there is owl fabric on about 5 cards! P already had it the stack tied in a cute ribbon and bow, I didn't want to undo it.

You can find tutorials for the notecards and notebooks at The Craft Apple. The diaper bag is Butterick 4111, it is OOP.

Hooty owl fabric can be purchased at Sew Mama Sew

P also made 5 pillows from polar fleece - can you guess what was appliqued on this fleece?

And I have a well-stocked sewing room, we didn't have to buy any supplies for these projects!! Can I rationalize this to hubby? The gifts were free, sounds good to me!
My daughter was very appreciative and called me awesome!

Now, if I could get through my Christmas sewing list as quickly. I don't think it will happen, basketball season starts tomorrow and we have 3 girls playing this year.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jean Pocket

Picture of my Ottobre jeans - I just have to hem them. I will post more pictures and a review in the next few days.

Answering one question from my blouse - I used regular thread.

I'm getting DSL

I'm getting DSL
I'm getting DSL

Yes, I am excited. It was something Centurytel told me wouldn't happen for quite sometime. They called last night, and I said "get out of here", salesman chuckled. Then I said, "sign me up!"

November 26th is DSL day.

Now back to my regular scheduled podcasting and sewing

Monday, November 12, 2007

Another picture

Okay, shutter speed practice.
I worked a bit last night on my Ottobre jeans, messed up the fly front zipper, did some unsewing and then did it correctly. I will maybe get back to it on Wednesday.