Friday, February 26, 2010

A Giveaway ... Just Because

I made a few things to giveaway here on my blog and they are just because....
  • You leave such nice comments
  • I had 10 people participate in the  Compliments Guaranteed Party (join in if you would like and check out the garments others have linked)
  • I made a super-flop of a top this afternoon and it is not going to get me down (I repeat it is not going to get me down)
  • My oldest is going to have a birthday in 1 week and 2 days
  • The sun is shining and March is almost here (come on spring we need you)
  • The last home varsity basketball game is tonight, Kaitlyn is dressing varsity.  Meredith and I are going to eat Mexican before the game. 
  • I have a pile of fabric and patterns on my cutting table, some nice transition type garments for early spring
  • I saved money at Joann's. I went to get a few McCalls and Vogue patterns today after a doctor's appointment.  I couldn't get to the McCalls patterns, a couple of customers in the pattern drawers and they had big lists, too!  I couldn't stay, had to get back to work.  No patterns, no fabric. 
So here are the giveaways, don't get too excited, little things, easy to mail things

First up a set of four cloth napkins. 

If you would like to make your own cloth napkins head over to Film in the Fridge for a great tutorial (and better pictures)

Next up 2 potholders in the green color family:

then two more potholders in the red/blue color family:

So leave a comment to win a little something, made include your just because in the comment.  I will draw on Monday, all comments through Sunday will be in the drawing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Compliments Guaranteed Party

Okay, I thought about this at work.  Let's have a Compliments Guaranteed Party.  You are asking, "what the heck is that?"  Well, it is a garment you have made and no matter where you wear it, this garment always garners compliments.

This is my Compliments Guaranteed Garment, Simplicity 2804.  I have worn this to work, school functions, shopping at the mall and people always say, "I like you top, it is so cute."  or "Great top" or "fun top".  Makes you feel good about what you are wearing and the fact you made it.  Usually, I just say thanks but I so want to say, "Thank you, I made it"  My favorite compliment was in a store my 20-something daughters shop and the salesclerk (another 20-something) said, "great top."

I am always surprised the attention this top gets, it was super-easy and I don't find it to be that wonderful.   Oh, well, I will take the compliments and will go back and make another garment from this pattern.

So please link up a post of yours with the garment that Compliments are guaranteed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ottobre 2/2009 # 9 Pearly Skirt

Description: Draped pleats on the front and darts on the back. The skirt has a narrow waistband and an invisible zipper and lining.  Picture is on the right.

Sizing: 34 to 52. I made a 38 but it is a bit big in the hips.

Instructions: Wonderful, incredible, terrific. Made this lined skirt so easy to sew. I found nothing confusing about the construction and this skirt was quick to construct.

Likes/Dislikes: I liked the slim look of the skirt. A dislike is the pleats, it might be my fabric but it just gives too much emphasis on the stomach area. I think a silky fabric would drape better and the pleats would be more attractive. There is a different pattern piece for the front lining, darts instead of pleats. As I was constructing this skirt, I thought, next time I will use the lining piece for the front skirt piece and have more of a pencil skirt look. Then I reached the end of the pattern instructions and here is what Ottobre states, “Tip! You can use the pattern for the lining for making a narrow basic skirt.” Guess I should have read all the instructions before starting!

See the pleats aren't too attractive:

Changes: I used a trouser hook for the waistband closure instead of a button.  Next time I will make a 38 in the waist and a 36 in the hips.

Fabric: A plaid from the Vera collection at, bought 2 yards for $1.95 each. It is a type of suiting blend.

Conclusion: A good pattern with great instructions, just be sure to choose fabric with drape for the pleats. Otherwise use the lining piece and have nice darts instead of pleats. I will always wear this skirt with a sweater or top on the outside to hide the pleats.

Now pictures with a sweater over the pleats:

Somewhat a side view:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Simplicity 2472

Description: Dress in two lengths or tunic, belt and tie-on ruffle bib. 

Sizing: 4 to 20. I made a 12, based on this review . I am not pear shape, more straight up and down but thought it would be easier to take in that not have enough fabric. I didn’t change this at all, my knit does not have a great deal of stretch. It is a narrow dress, so keep sizing in mind if you use a woven.

Instructions: Good instructions but this is a very easy garment.
Likes/Dislikes: I like the look of the dress, a bit loose but not oversized at all. I looked at the pattern and thought great for knits but actually it is for a woven fabric, too. The neckband and sleeve band are cut on the bias for the wovens.

Changes: I changed the length of the neckband. In fact, I did a Neckband tutorial while I was making this tunic.

Fabric: A knit from Joann’s it was a bit of texture.

Conclusion: I had high hopes for this pattern. I really wanted to purchase this  Hot Patterns dress pattern
but that isn’t in the budget at the time. Simplicty patterns were on sale thought this one was similar. The pattern did not disappoint, it is fabulous and I really like my finished tunic. The girls helped me find a belt and necklace, which was a fun and made me look at my tunic in a new light. You know that idea you have in your head and then someone(s) help you get a new idea.

I place on making more of these tunics, the dress would be fabulous but I rarely wear dresses.   I don't plan on ever, ever making the bib, in fact, those pattern pieces are in the trash.

The last picture is trying to use Sew, Style and Shoot article from Pattern Review, making my grocery list.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Knit Neckband Tutorial

Here is a tutorial and it is very picture heavy but you know what they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

This is how I put on a neckband on a knit garment.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pattern Review - McCall's 5887

Description: Misses lined vest in three lengths; Vests A, B, C and D are close-fitting, princess seams with back slit; Vest B has collar; Vests C and D have welts; Vest E has detail seaming; back darts, collar with lapels; side front pockets and optional purchased belt.

Sizing: 6 to 22.

Instructions: Very easy to follow, this is a quick and easy project.

Likes/Dislikes: I liked the many views this pattern had to offer. Several options and with these options you can go to a simple and quick vest to one with more design options and a more construction time.

Fabric: The $1.95 a yard Vera collection from I used this for a skirt (review soon) and had just enough left to cut out a vest. .

Changes: I didn’t want my vest to be that short, so I added 2” at the lengthen/shorten line. With this in mind and the fact the description states close-fitting, I cut out a size 12 and then tapered to a 14 at the hip area. I thought with the extra length the bottom of the vest would be ending at the high hip area. This was a good change.

After reading my Sandra Betzina book, I added easestitching at the front bust area and the front armhole area. She stated to add this stitching to pull the vest to the body.

Some changes for lack of fabric:

1. The side front is cut on the bias as I didn’t have enough to cut it straight of grain

2. Interfaced the front pieces (as stated on the instructions) and interfaced the side front also. Thought the bias needed some stabilizing

3. The pattern calls for the front piece for the lining to be cut from fabric, I didn’t have enough so it is cut from lining.

Conclusion: A fun vest, that I hope I will wear. I probably will wear it buttoned up or with only the top button. Using lining for the front piece instead of the fashion fabric isn’t the best option for wearing it unbuttoned. The lining shows as you wear it and that doesn’t look so good.


Unbuttoned, don't mind the goofy smile!

Bias side front:

Note to self - time for a new white blouse !

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Monogram Pillows

Here is the last of my pillow making spree.  I had made these pillows in December for the holidays but needed something non-holiday for the bed.  I looked and looked but could not find anything I liked and this is one of the rooms we painted during our bit of remodel.  So I pulled out the osanburg from the fabric cabinet and embroidered our initials. I used the same pillow forms from the holiday pillows so my cost was around $6 (couple yards of fabric).  I am pleased with these.  I had the blue and brown pillows in our living room and they work perfectly with these mongram pillows.

I am sharing this onThe Shabby Chic Cottage's

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Desk Area and Dollar Store Pails

This is my old desk area, my trusty red desk.  A wonderful red desk, it has been mine forever, my childhood desk.  When I needed somewhere to put my laptop, I painted my desk red and put it in the kitchen.  It has served me well all these years but it was time to retire this poor desk

Welcome to my new desk area, isn't wonderful?  Cabinets from a local cabinetmaker and very reasonable.  Two desk areas for the girls to do homework and projects.

I needed something for all the pens, pencils, highlighters and Sharpies.  I found these pails at Dollar Tree:

In the Pottery Barn catalog, you see things numbered quite a bit.  So I thought that would be perfect for these pails.  I bought stencils, since I can't paint a straight line but the stencils were 4" tall and I needed 3" stencils.  Lucky for me the girls' best friend was over last weekend.  She is quite the artist, so I asked her to paint numbers on the pails for me.  I think she thought I was crazy, but did it very quickly.   She outlined the numbers and Meredith painted the inside:

Here is a bigger view of the desk with the pails.  I am still working on what to put behind the glass doors.

Here is what the desk area was before:

Sharing this on:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day 2010

We had a very nice Valentine's Day at home.   A nice lunch with the table decorated for the day.  This past week the Pioneer Woman had some wonderful information on aperture and shutter speed.  I practiced with this shot:
Here are the articles about aperture and shutter speed:
Article 1
Article 2
Article 3

Here is more decorations for the table. 

We hung our Valentine Cards:

And I used my husband's grandmother's china.  Isn't it so pretty and perfect for Valentine's Day.

Our big project of the day was homemade donuts.  The Pioneer Woman posted a recipe for donuts earlier in the week and I really wanted to try them.  Kaitlyn did, too.  I tell you they are delicious, super-delicious. 

You can find recipe for donuts here
Happy Valentine's Day,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jalie 2806 with Adjustments

Here is the first Jalie 2806 I made and it is a great top.  I have been wanting to try it again but the sleeves were just a bit tight on the Jalie pattern.  I took out my trusty Simplicity 4076 top and compared the sleeves, granted the sleeves on the Simplicity are a bit belled shape.  Ages ago, I had redrafted this to be a basic long sleeve.  Well, back to comparing, there is more room in the Simplicity pattern but the armsyce looked the same.  With this new knowledge, I used the Simplicity 4076 sleeve pattern and I can say it is a much better fit for me. 

Here is the new top, fabric from, a lovely border print.  I couldn't use the border since it runs the non-stretch direction!

close-up of neckline.

A bit off-topic.  Washer broke last night, repairman out and he can fix it but parts are approximately two-thirds the cost of a new washer.  New washer delivered tomorrow.  Then on the way to town about an hour ago to take the twins to basketball practice.  A flat tire!  We were a half-mile from home, so I ran home to get hubby's old farm truck.  The girls were on time to practice and four new tires were put on my SUV.  Things happen in three, not looking forward to that third thing.

Off to cut out a pattern, that will make me feel better.  New brown slacks, they will match this top.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pottery Barn inspired Nest pillow

I have become such a fan of the Pottery Barn catalog and in their latest couple of catalog's one of my favorite pillows is the Nest Sentiment Pilllow at Pottery Barn.  Well, it is a little pricey and if you click the link, it is sold out.

So I studied the picture in the magazine and at Pottery Barn's website.  I can recreate this with my embroidery machine and they will be perfect for a couple of new chairs in our great room.  Using some osanburg fabric and some brown embroidery thread here is my version, sized 12" x 16" not the 12" x 24" of Pottery Barn's but pretty great all the same:

Remember I said two chairs, well I did not want two Nest pillows.  I went to and used the thesaurus to decide on another word for Nest.  I went through several and decided on shelter.  Why shelter?  I liked the definition the best.  So here is senitment pillow number 2:

Now I am heading to sew a garment.  I need to make two more pillows but I did not have time to get the fabric today, so pillow sewing is delayed until tomorrow. 

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Onion 5038

Finally, I have time to put up a picture of my Onion 5038 top on me. 

Now that the painting is complete and the house is clean, I have been making pillows.  A picture of a couple, the floral ones were made on Sunday.

More to show later.