Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas - may you be blessed beyond measure!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Burda WOF does it again...

With another fabulous pattern (#101 from the 9/2007 issue). I'd seen this top reviewed on Pattern Review several times and then LoriV made her version recently and I just knew I needed one too. It was pretty quick going, tho WOF does often have weird directions (they would be doing themselves a favor by hiring a better translator). I muddled through and viola, I have a new top to wear to Christmas dinner at my parent's house tomorrow. I actually think it looks cuter in person, but the picture is a fairly good representation of it. I tried belting it up too with a cute belt I have worn over the top and I like that look too. It's just a nice twist on the usual t-shirt ~ a little more dressy, tho the unfitted look will take some getting used to for me. For all the details, check out my review. :-)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Come for a ride on the Gingerbread Train!

It's finished! To be honest, I was actually kicking myself that I suggested to the kids we make a Gingerbread Train (I usually buy a kit at Costco for the house which is WAY easier since everything is ready to go). I saw the idea in Family Fun Magazine last Christmas and clipped the article out. I promised we'd make it once school let out for Christmas vacation and holding true to my promise I made the dough Tuesday night so we could make the train Wednesday. We got off to a rocky start with my rolling pin handle breaking so we waited for Grandma to come over and bring her rolling pin so we could get the dough all cut and baked. Then this morning I assembled the train and the kids went hog wild decorating it. I turned out to me much more fun than I anticpated and I'd really like to have the Gingerbread Train become a tradition we do every year. And keeping my post "sewing" related, I covered a cardboard bolt from the fabric store with tin foil for the base for the train. :-) Click on the above link if you'd like the instructions on how to make your own train, it really is easy, just more time consuming than buying a kit at the store.

P.S. Okay I'm really a huge dork - I just see now that online they have templates you can print out for the train and here I had my ruler out drawing all the pieces yesterday - well that makes it WAY easier! LOL

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pants for me

I finally got my pants finished today - talk about s-l-o-w progress, but nonetheless, they are finished and I even wore them to my daughter's Christmas concert this afternoon. I'm pleased with how they turned out (tho they could be a tad longer, but I used every square inch of fabric so this is the best I could do). The pattern required some tweaking to get them to fit my tush, but pants are not the easiest thing for me to fit so I wasn't at all surprised. I even made two muslins (something that is rare for me)! The final pants were still a little off in the waist and I think that is due to the stretch of the fabric (it's a stretch woven with some lycra in it). So I ended up pinching out some in the back waist to get a better fit which resulted in scooping out a little more of the crotch so I didn't have a wedgie. All in all, I'm very pleased with how they turned out and I feel like the style flatters my figure. I really do need to get myself a TNT pants pattern that I can have as my master pattern and then change up the design elements to create different pant styles. If you have a swayback, you know what a pain pants fitting really is. Anyway, here is my review on PR if you'd like to know more.

Of course I just had to make my daughter a new dress for her Christmas program at school. I bought some panne velvet at Joann's a few weeks ago to make myself a dress for hubby's work Christmas party, but decided that fabric might not be the most flattering for me so I didn't make the dress. DD fell in love with the fabric and kept wrapping herself in it and begging for me to make her something so I decided to make her an Olivia hoodie dress (it's a European pattern brand called Farbenmix). It's such an easy and cute dress and she has several more in her closet that she loves so I knew it would be a hit. Well it was definitely a hit and she hardly wants to take it off!

Last, but definitely not least (and the reason why I didn't finish my pants sooner) was because I was making the kids their Christmas pj's. I started a tradition a few years ago of making the kids pj's for Christmas that they get to open on Christmas Eve right before bed. The above picture is obviously DD's pair (the top is a basic t-shirt from Ottobre and the pants are McCall's 4708 ~ I made these for her last year too and she really liked them. For the boys I used Simplicity 8493 for the pants (also made of flannel - a race car print) and the shirt pattern from my favorite KS knit pj patterns. Sorry no picture of the boys pj's - I must be sneaky so they don't see.

Next up is.....I haven't a clue! I seriously have this huge long list of things I want to do, but I need to be realistic. We leave for our cruise in a month so I should be thinking ahead to that. Problem is I haven't a clue what the weather will be. We're going from LA to northern Mexico and according to the average temperatures it will only be mid 60's (brrr!). So I guess it will be more like a summer Alaskan cruise! LOL I honestly haven't a clue what to take. I doubt I'll be lounging poolside in my bikini. When we're a week out I can see the forecast better, but until then I guess I'll have to think warmer things, tho mid 60's may feel like a heatwave to me in a month! ;-)

Tomorrow I think the kids and I are making a Gingerbread Train so no sewing will probably be happening. Hopefully we can get the train made with minimal mess - go ahead and laugh, impossible with four kids!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Questionnaire (I've been tagged!)

I've been tagged by my friend Rhonda of Rhoto's Rag to answer this Christmas Questionnaire, so without further ado, here ya go ~

1) Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper, tho I occasionally use a gift bag. Wrapping paper provides no peeking, so it's better in my house!

2) Real tree or artificial? I honestly would love to have a real tree, but we have an artificial one and have since we got married.

3) When do you put up your tree? Right after Thanksgiving - well within a week or so.

4) When do you take the tree down? Usually a few days after Christmas. By then I'm sick of it and am ready for things to get back to "normal".

5) Do you like eggnog? Yes, but rarely have a glass.

6) Favorite gift received as a child? I think the year I got my first Cabbage Patch Kid! I was elated and my dad well threw a lot to get them for my sister and me (no beating up people, but visiting Toys R Us daily until he got them, thankfully it was close by his business).

7) Do you have a Nativity scene? Yes ~ a pretty one I bought at Costco right after I got married.

8) The hardest person to buy for? Usually my step-dad, not sure why.

9) The easiest person to buy for? I think my daughter. She's such a girly girl and I'm a girly girl too so it is easier and getting more fun each Christmas!

10) The worst Christmas gift you ever received? I don't know actually, must have not been too awful because I can't think of one!

11) Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Mail, and usually I have them ready to go by Dec 1st.

12) Favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Story

13) When do you start shopping for Christmas? There is no definite time, just when I see something that is perfect for someone on my list - it could be February, but serious shopping by the beginning of November. I don't like to deal with all the crazy people out unless it's on my terms, not because I'm in dire need to find a gift.

14) Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, but in my defense it's been for our family gift exchange and it's like a white elephant thing.

15) Favorite things to eat at Christmas? Just about any kind of sweets.

16) Clear lights or colored on the tree? Our tree is prelit with both clear and colored, but I prefer clear lights.

17) Favorite Christmas song? We have a Frank Sinatra CD and I love his version of "Go Tell It on the Mountain" - there is just something about it. I don't really consider it a Christmas song, but it must be since it's on the CD

18) Travel at Christmas or stay home? We stay in our local area, but travel to our parents' homes for holiday festivities (they both live about 20 minutes away).

19) Can you name all Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, & Rudolph (not sure if I spelled them all correct tho!).

20) Angel on the tree top or a star? We actually have Mickey Mouse on our tree (we bought it for our first tree and plan to use it every Christmas - this is #12 he's topped our tree!).

21) Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning, tho the kids do get to open one gift on Christmas Eve (pj's I make for them).

22) Most annoying thing about this time of year? The commercialism that has come to ruin the holiday. It actually makes me ill when I think about it. It has just gotten so out of hand.

23) What is the "corniest" family tradition you do or miss doing? I'm not sure it's really corny, but we love to drive around and look at the lights together with Christmas Carols playing on the radio in the car. I also love to bake and decorate cookies with the kids - oh and gingerbread houses if we have time.

24) Ugliest Christmas decorations ever invented? Anything that has only all blue lights - there is something about all blue lights that just don't jazz me (sorry if I offend you - to each his or her own, right?).

25) Which looks the best...theme trees or homey trees? I actually love both. We have a homey tree with all the ornaments the kids have made at school, from places we've visited, and other "milestones" like first Christmas, etc.

26) What does Christmas mean to you? To me, Christmas is about celebrating with my family and friends and remembering the birth of Jesus. After all, he's the reason for the season.

All right, hope you made it through the list - I'm tagging Stacy of Stacy Sews since I know she's doing anything to avoid packing so she can move into her new home! :-)

Merry Christmas to everyone, may you have a peaceful and joyous holiday season!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Lady in Red

Last night was hubby's work Christmas party. I had decided since it was so cold out I'd wear the black trousers I was working on along with my McCall's blouse. After mentioning it to him, he comment how he thought a dress was more appropriate for the party, so I dashed in my sewing room like a crazy lady and made up this red dress! I didn't even have the pattern cut out when I went in there and my father-in-law was due to arrive in about 2.5 hours, so it was truly a race against the clock. I even had a few challenges along the way (all my own fault), but I got the dress done just in the nick of time! The only bad thing is I didn't even end up taking my coat off at the party because the room it was in was so stinkin' cold. Oh well, I have a pretty red dress that I will be able to take on our upcoming cruise in January. Of course I posted a review on PR with more details if you're so inclined. Oh and the boots are probably a big "no-no" with the dress, but I had no black dress pumps in my closet, just black sandals ~ talk about unprepared!

On Friday we went to a party at my friend's house. She was making pizza and requested the guests bring something sweet. While I love to bake cakes, pies, and other desserts for the holidays, I decided that a finger food would be a better choice since it can just be nibbled on. Last week I got a catalog from Dale & Thomas Popcorn in the mail, but after I finished drooling all over the pictures, I saw the pricetag - ouch, that is some spendy stuff. While I am sure it's yummy, I am pretty good with baking, so I decided to make my own version. I googled around the net and found a super easy carmel corn recipe and kicked it up a bit. Below is the result (and it was a huge hit at the party and with my family!).

The recipe is super easy and is all done in the microwave even using microwave popcorn, tho I have a Stir Crazy Popcorn popper and opted to use that. I honestly was a bit skeptical becuase the recipe has you put the popped popcorn in a paper bag and then into the microwave with the carmel on top. Amazingly enough, it works like a charm! The recipe calls for nuts, but since I didn't have any on hand, I added a few handfuls of pretzels instead. Honestly you could add whatever you like and dress it up to suit your tastes. I melted both chocolate chips and white almond bark for my version ~ really the possibilites are endless. Here is recipe if you'd like to try it. I know I'll be making this a few more times before Christmas!

Lastly, here is a picture of hubby & the kids before he drug the tree all the way over the edge. It's much easier to see the magnitude of how big that tree was when my 6'4" hubby is standing in front of it.

With any luck, I'll have my pants done tomorrow. I just need to finish sewing the waistband down on the inside (hand sewing), add the buttons, and hem them. I think they are going to be great pants and can't wait to get them all finished.

Friday, December 07, 2007

A little sewing and more

Yes, finally I got some sewing accomplished. Just minor sewing, but still it's sewing and I am proud! Last weekend I worked on a raglan tee for my oldest son - it's from the 1/2003 issue, # 31. I made a little patch using my embroidery machine on the arm that matched the design in the print so that was fun. I have another top cut out and ready to be sewn up for him, I think he's entering another growth spurt (he eats like there is no tomorrow and is always hungry!). I did post a review on PR if you'd like to read more ~ review for 1-2003-31.

Then I made two more pairs of pj's for my youngest. I used up small pieces of knits which felt good too. They are made using the retired Kwik Sew 2315. It's been a workhorse pattern for me, I have made countless pairs of pj's using it.

A while ago, I also made my oldest son a hoodie shirt using Ottobre 4-2005-34. It turned out really cute and finally posted a review about it too ~ review for hoodie.

Also in the sewing department, I'm working on a pair of trousers for myself. They are Simplicity 3686 (view B). I made two muslins the other day and had just a few minor fitting issues with these. I'm keeping my fingers crossed I'll like the end result.

Now for a more "Susie Homemaker-ish" thing, my middle boy had to bring a snack to school on Monday, so I made a fun cupcake tree for the class. He was really excited about how it looked and I'm sure the other Kindergarteners enjoyed it too. It was really easy (obviously) and the idea came from my Cupcakes: From The Cake Mix Doctor book. The book is really neat, tho I don't like it as much as the two original cake mix doctor books because there are not pictures of each cupcake. I need visuals to be inspired in cooking and this book just doesn't have that. The other book has little thumb nails in the front and I wish they would have done that in this book. It's not as effective as a full color picture next to the recipe, but it's better than nothing.

Now many of you have heard about the terrible storm that traveled through the Pacific NW last weekend and early this week. It went right through our area and was very dramatic. Horrible heavy rains and winds like you wouldn't believe for about 48 hours. Thankfully the only damage we had on our property was our big maple tree falling. It was over 100' tall and held the rope swing my children adored swinging on. It was at the bottom of our driveway close to our house and praise God it fell away from our house and down the bank. I don't even want to think about the damage it would have done to our home (mainly the garage). Here are a few pictures, tho it really is hard to see the magnitude of how big this tree was compare to actually looking at it.

Lastly is a photo (a very sad photo) of a town about an hour north of here where my good friend lives. So much of the town was flooded (some places had 10' of water). In the picture is Kmart (building on the left), a strip mall (in the middle), and Wal-Mart (on the right) and then the road going over the water is actually a freeway over pass (that is I-5 under it). Thankfully the freeway is back open now tho there was damage to the road that is going to take time to repair. And of course there are now lots of displaced residents of the area trying to figure out housing. There were many other hard hit towns all around the area, but particularly on the coast line ~ any still don't have power almost a week later. It's so sad ~ my thoughts and prayers go out to these people. Thankfully my friend's house sustained no damage, but many others definitely weren't that lucky.

Well duty calls. We have a Christmas party to attend tonight and tomorrow night so I need to get ready for the weekend. I have no clue what I'm wearing tomorrow night (the fancier one - DH's work party) so we'll see what the weather and my mood brings. I wanted to sew something new, but it's just been too hectic around here so atlas I'll have to wear something I already own. I thought about my Vogue 8386 , but it might be way too cold. Time will tell.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

When it rains it pours....

Seriously, my family must be on a streak of bad things happening - this truly must be it for a while, right????? All went well on Thanksgiving. We had a lovely dinner, but then about 9pm that night Andy threw up all over the floor. At first we thought it was a fluke, that maybe he just had a full tummy and went to burp and instead had a little "accident". Well definitely not an accident. We had a few more episodes and he finally fell asleep about 11pm. So by this point, Chuck & I are panicking a bit because we've been to this movie a time or two. It always starts with Andy and then 2ish days later the whole rest of us have it. Well low and behold, yesterday it started with Will, then on to Jack, and then on to Hattie. Thank the good Lord, Chuck and I don't have it yet, but I'm not sure we're out of the woods. I've been Lysoling everything they touch and washing my hands to death, but either I'm going to get it or I won't. I'm full on in the middle of this so the chances are good I'm next.

I'm not sure how the kids (or rather Andy) acquired this lovely bug, but it was either one of two ways. On Wednesday Hattie was complaining of an ear ache, so I made an appointment to get her in for a check at the pediatric office. She had an ear infection and since we were already there I figured I'd be wise to get them the flu vaccine. So either A) Andy touched something at the doctor's office on Wednesday (but we were one of the first appointments of the day and were in the waiting room for maybe two minutes) and that is where he got this gunk or B) it's a reaction from the vaccine. Now I know they say you don't react like this to the vaccine, but it seems all too weird they'd suddenly come down with this and it makes sense to me that Andy might get it first because he is smaller than the others. It's just my wishful thinking that it's the vaccine so I'll be free and clear from the gunk, but it's probably a bug he picked up there. I just pray that Chuck & I will be spared the misery of puking our guts out in the next day or so.

I surely have paid my dues with bad things happening lately so this really MUST be the last thing right???? And I'm having major withdrawls from not sewing for so long. I'm not sure what I'll get done this week because the kids have early release due to conferences on Tues-Fri and tomorrow they probably won't be going to school at all. I feel like I'm here waiting for a death sentence, I just want to get this over with if it's going to happen - ugg, being sick just plain sucks! :-(

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

May you all be surrounded by good food and good family and/or friends on this special day. I am so thankful for all the blessings I have in my life and know you are too. Have a wonderful & safe Thanksgiving day! :-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

And all is well with the world!

My sister and brother-in-law came and got the boys a little bit ago and all is well. They felt so bad that we had to deal with the finger incident, but of course were not mad (actually they kept laughing about the whole thing and saying accidents happen). And they were reassured all was okay when they saw "A" perfectly happy and no worse for the wear. He was excited to show them his "big finger" and he new pink medicine (antibiotic prescription). My sister did say she was happy I didn't tell her on the phone because she would have wanted to come back. So it turned out I did the right thing by not telling them and all is fine. I knew it would be, but since her kids are younger than mine, she hasn't experienced as many bumps and bruises as we have (or even stitches yet), so I just wasn't quite sure how she'd take her baby being hurt (well not the technical "baby", but one of her babies). So atlas I can sleep peacefully tonight knowing my sister knows and also for the fact I won't have a stuffy baby down that hall who can't breathe and keeps thrashing around in his playpen because he's can't breathe well. In other words, I'm going to sleep like a rock tonight. :-)

P.S. Thank you ladies for your sweet words yesterday, I appreciate your kindness while I was freaking out! ((hugs))

Monday, November 19, 2007

No good deed ever goes unpunished...

that is how the saying goes and I believe it's true. A few weeks ago my brother-in-law emailed me asking if I would please watch my two nephews for two nights so he could surprise my sister with a little getaway to their favorite spot. It's been over four years since they have went away alone and have never left their boys overnight with anyone. Knowing how important it is to nurture your marriage and feeling so grateful I have in-laws that LOVE having our kids come over for sleepovers, I thought what the heck they need a break and this will be good for them to have some alone time.

Fast forward to yesterday, they dropped the boys (ages 1 and 3) off about 11am and set off for their fun vacation. All went well until 5pm when my oldest nephew got his finger shut in the door!!!! With all the kids screaming and blood dripping everywhere, we peeked at it and it was cut pretty bad. He was crying that it hurt and we just de the executive decision to take him to the emergency room just to make sure he didn't need stitches. Well after a few hours in the emergency room and one brave boy, we found out "A" had a broken finger tip and they were going to close his wound with Steri-Strips. Of course I'm a freaking out a little bit the entire time and questioning DH why is this happening??????? I try to laugh it off because my brother-in-law said he hoped my boys put him through the paces because of the things he does to his little brother, but seriously, this is just not fair (and I'm sure my BIL was not thinking along the lines of the emergency room)! Here I willingly take care of my precious nephews and one gets hurt in the first 6 hours of staying with me - simply not fair! So of course my sister calls last night to see how everything is going. I am still freaking out that this happened, but decided there is nothing she can do about it, so why ruin her trip. He's fine and happy now, his finger is all wrapped up with a splint on the end of it, so what is the point of making her worry and want to come home early? Then she calls again this morning - ugg, stop calling me sis! She only asked me how they slept last night, which is all I told her. Hey I haven't lied to her, I just didn't disclose the entire truth, just answering what she asked. She never asked me if "A" went to the emergency room, got hurt, etc., so hopefully when she calls again later today, she'll ask easy questions. My only question is, is she going to come unglued and be mad at me for not telling her? What do you think? Please say some prayers for me she's not mad, but in my defense, my in-laws, my parents, and my friend all agree that it's best to wait until she returns. She'll see "A" is fine and that he's no worse for the wear (I hope she sees it that way). I'm just thankful it wasn't worse and we didn't actually have to have stitches put in his finger.

So there you go, remember no good deed ever goes unpunished! Have I learned my lesson? I doubt it, I will still do good deeds, but next time I'll pray for angels to surround us and keep us safe.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sew Yummy!

Well this isn't a sewing post today, but instead a *Susie Homemaker* post. This morning the cookie jar was empty; not something anyone in my family likes much. So what cookies to make today - a decision that is getting tougher for me lately because I feel like I make the same thing over and over again. I have a few basic recipes that I jump back and forth between. They are tried & true favorites in my house and I can bake up a batch almost with my eyes closed.

So out of boredom, today I decided I'd make something different. Usually I flip through my recipe file, but today I reached for a cook book my mom gave me for Christmas a few years ago. It's a really neat cook book, but I honestly think I've only baked a thing or two out of it (shame on me, but I do honestly get in a rut of baking the same few cookies). The cook book is called Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Cookies ~ it has 5 stars on Amazon.com so I really need to snuggle up with this cook book one evening and mark a few more to try. It has 475 cookie recipes, so it's really the only cookie cook book you'd ever need plus it has lots of color pictures (something I really like in a cook book). I'm not sure how the cookies will go over with the kids, my youngest loves them, but the others can be picky so I'll know after school. I had one and I really loved it! So without further ado, here is the recipe (not word for word from the cook book for the directions, my cooking slang instead):

Cranberry Jumbles

1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 Tbs orange or cranberry juice (I used orange)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Using electric mixer, in large bowl cream together shortening and brown sugar, beat in egg and orange juice. Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and flours and mix until combined. Stir in cranberries and almonds. Drop teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet (recipe says ungreased, but I always spray mine with Pam). Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on wire rack, then drizzle with orange frosting (see recipe below). Makes 32 cookies according to the recipe, but for me it only made 21.

Orange Frosting

1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 tsp finely shredded orange peel
about 3-4 Tbs orange juice (enough to make it drizzling consistency)

Mix all ingredients together then drizzle over cooled cookies.


On the sewing front I got NOTHING done over the weekend. I didn't sew a stitch. I feel like it's a tradgey too because my hubby took the two older boys to a NASCAR race in Phoenix so I only had two of the kids for 1.5 days. Instead we had a belated birthday slumber party for my daughter with a few of her friends, then the two kids and I went on some errands the next day after the guests left, so I was busy doing things, just not sewing. Oh well, tis the way it goes sometimes. And now I'm off to fold a mountain of laundry that has appeared on the kitchen table - oh joy!

P.S. Check out my new side bar, it shows my five most current reviews on Pattern Review - pretty cool new feature on PR!!!

Friday, November 09, 2007

A little Burda Sewing

I love Burda WOF. Why I don't sew more out of the issues I have (the past three years worth), I honestly don't know. That is actually part of my New Year's Resolution (well I don't really make resolutions, but something I'd like to work on doing) ~ sewing at least one garment from each issue. It seems pointless to subscribe to the magazine ($80ish/yr) if I'm not sewing from them. I think most of the issue at hand is the I sew for both myself and the kids and I just don't have enough hours in the day to do it all. I really enjoy sewing for the kids and I want to continue doing so as long as I can, but with the four to one ratio, it seems I'm always the one left out. I know there is going to come a time when they aren't going to want anything to do with my sewing, so I have to take advantage of it while it lasts.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I was reading fellow PR member Christina Sonja's Assorted Notions blog and saw her adorable rendition of a top from the 10-2005 issue of WOF. I honestly hadn't looked twice at the pattern (I think I need to dig out all my back issues and give them a good look through) and just loved hers. I knew I needed one, so that moved up to the top of the list and I got to make it yesterday. It was so quick to make and I love how it turned out. The fabric is a sweater knit I picked up at Joann's or Wal-Mart a long time ago. It was a clearance or bargain fabric and at the time I had no idea what to do with it, but thought it was worth the few bucks I'd pay for it to be able to experiment with a sweater knit fabric. Well much to my surprise it was very easy to sew, so now I'm on the hunt for a few more. Got any good sources? Please let me know! I posted a review of my shirt on PR if you'd like to read more about it.

I'm not sure what is up next. I was working on the stylish short jacket from Simplicity ~ pattern 3631 this week (casual in a nice dark denim), but I am not 100% sure I'm in love with it or if it's really my style. I cut a 10 (my usual size) and it's really pretty big through the chest plus the sleeves are definitely ultra wide. Maybe it's just that I'm not used to the style. I did some very nice topstitching using Jeans Stitch thread, but unfortunately I can't get the bobbin thread to look very nice (it's crooked no mater what I do) so I am going to have to rip out all the topstitching and redo it with some regular thread (maybe two threads in the needle). I just was uninspired, so I set it aside for now. I would like to finish it up soon tho as I hate to have UFO's hanging around.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I finished my McCall's 5471 blouse yesterday. Overall I've very pleased with how it came out. I had a little trouble with the collar and stand, but it was actually my first time making a collar & stand (all the others have had a collar only) so really I can't expect perfection (tho I always want it!). The directions for the blouse were very well written, so no problems there, just my novice-ness getting in the way and possibly the fact I was trying to work on it while a bored preschooler was being a twit! ;-) I also liked that the pattern had separate cup sizes - A/B, C, & D (it's McCall's Make For You line). It does confuse me a bit that there aren't separate ones for both A & B since there is a big difference between an A & B cup (ask me how I know!). So I had to alter the bust area a bit to accommodate me, but it really went together very smoothly. I posted a review on Pattern Review.

Also, I made two aprons last Friday for my mom & sister's upcoming birthdays. I entered them in the Pattern Review Holiday/Gift sewing contest. A new apron is always a welcome gift and since my mom and sister haven't received one in a long time, I figured it would be much appreciated. I used my TNT apron pattern that is my late grandma's. I posted a review last year on PR, so if you'd like to read it, here it is ~ apron review.

I'm not sure what is next up. I have a few things I'm toying with and Jack is in desperate need of pants again. Suddenly he only has two pairs in his closet, ugg! So the good mommy would sewing him at least one pair of pants first, right????

Monday, November 05, 2007

A Blouse & Christmas Sewing Ideas

I had a fairly productive weekend. We went no where (which was fine by me, I'm happy staying home), so I worked on something for *me*! I have wanted/needed a white blouse or two in my wardrobe for ages (tho I might regret white since I have four messmakers that live with me - five if you count daddy). I recently picked up McCalls 5471 because it's a great blouse (pieces for A/B, C, & D cup sizes) and lots of great variations for the sleeves. I made view B with the puffed sleeves and it's turning out lovely. I have to finish the collar and then add the buttons so I'm on the downhill slide. Maybe it will get finished today after I get my housework done.

The countdown is on for Christmas and it's time to start sewing for your friends & loved ones. For the month of November, Sew Mama Sew will post a new gift sewing idea each day (30 in all ~ 5 have already been posted). So pop on over and check it out, there are some great ideas and tutorials available!

Also, I'd like to bring your attention to a podcast I recently found and absolutely love. It's called Sew Forth Now. A fellow PR member (LoriV) hosts this podcast and each show has a wealth of information for sewing fanatics like myself. You can visit the Sew Forth Now blog to read the show notes for each episode as well as download prior episodes and sign up to have the upcoming shows downloaded when they are available - all for free of course! Her most recent show was also on Christmas sewing so there are lots of good ideas there too that you'll want to check out too.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Finally some pictures!

Yesterday I tried to upload some pictures, but had a heck of a time so I decided to try again today. Halloween was a blast for the kids and they got their fair share of candy while Trick or Treating. Below you can see them all dresses up (click the picture to enlarge it)!

Next up is a snuggle soft velour sweater I made. It turned out so well and the embroidery was all done with a satin stitch on my sewing machine. Please read the review to learn more about this project.

And the last one for now is just a simple long sleeve raglan I made. I didn't write a review for this one (wrote one for it last fall - super easy & have made it a few times) ~ it's 1-2003-27 from Ottobre.

Today I'm working on a few aprons for upcoming gifts and will post them in the Holiday Sewing Contest on PR. Gotta love the motivation to get things out of the way that need to be done.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Sorry I've been such a bad blogger lately. It just seems like it's been so busy around the house lately. I have been fairly productive sewing tho so that is good. I have no pictures to post today, but I promise to post some very soon (hopefully tomorrow!). I made a two of the kids' Halloween costumes this year. The line up for this Halloween is: a witch (Hattie) - she's wearing a dress-up dress that Grammie got her at a garage sale accompanied with a hat I got here for $1.50 at the grocery store. Jack is going to be a mad scientist (think Doc from Back to the Future); I made his lab coat. Will is dressing up like a baker/chef; I made him a cute chef hat & apron. And last, but not least, Andy is either going as a builder or a business man. Why is it still up in the air you might wonder? Because three year olds are complicated creators and who knows what his attitude will be at the time of departure! ;-)

In other sewing, I've made Jack & Andy a few shirts from Ottobre, Andy two new pairs of PJ's, and did a few repair jobs (oh joy, one was a zipper replacement, bleck!). As much as I want to sew for me, I have a few gifts I need to get out of the way for upcoming events so those will take place first, but I think they are quick enough that I can get them done without too much time to spare.

Have a wonderful & safe Halloween!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I got my "Baby" back!

Well I finally got my Baby (Lock that is) back yesterday. I will spare you all the details of the pain it caused me, but now all is forgotten. So now you ask why the picture of pillows? Good question, but I have an answer! I decided since I didn't know a time frame on the return of my machine, I would make some new pillows for our couch. The ones we had were beyond disgusting so I figured that would be a safe and productive project to do with my sewing machine. I had all the fabrics in my stash (they were all actually in the scrap box from other miscellaneous projects) so it was just the cost of four pillow forms which were 50% off this week at Joann's. So for less than $20 and a few hours (if that) of work, my couch is all spiffed up!

I have several things cut out for the boys and think that will be my next project. While I really want to work on stuff for me (haven't I been saying that forever now???), Andy needs new pj's and some long sleeved t-shirts and Jack is in need of a few shirts too. They are all cut out already so they should be pretty fast projects, unless I get side tracked by a Sudoku (my latest obsession ~ they are so addicting!).

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What's a girl to do?

My serger is still in the shop and I can't hardly take it anymore. It's been in the shop for nearly a week (tomorrow is one week) and I'm in misery! It needed a cleaning that I'd been putting off, but then the self-threading plunger snapped off when I was threading it last Friday, so I figured I'd better just take it in for servicing. Well they promised me it would be ready on Wednesday, but when I called yesterday to confirm so hubby could pick it up, the part hadn't arrived yet. So I just called today to see if it was ready as they led me to believe it would be there today - still no part. :-( And now the lady told me "don't call us, we'll call you when it's ready" and "it won't be tomorrow or Monday". Geez, in today's world, does it take more than a week for a part to get somewhere - a $5.99 part nonetheless? Needless to say, I'm so bummed. I have things cut out to sew, but they are knit shirts for my youngest that I need to serge, so what's a girl to do? My throw pillows on the couch need recovering so maybe that is what I should be doing. Ugg!!! :-(

Friday, October 05, 2007

Instant Gratification Sewing

I was needing some instant gratification sewing after having a few hang ups over the past week. My first hang up was not having the proper zipper for my skirt made from Ottobre Woman 5-2007-4. Now this wasn't a major catastrophe, but annoying because I really was on a roll. Once that was finished, I started tracing out a blouse from the 8-2007 Burda WOF #117 with the tie front. I read a few reviews about it on PR and learned the shoulders were more dropped than shown in the magazine pictures and line drawing (apparently Burda had fiddled with the blouse in the pictures and that the line drawing wasn't quite accurate). So I did a bunch of fiddling with the pattern and now I need to make a muslin, however I decided I first needed a little instant gratification hence all the knit tops. First up is Kwik Sew 2694! Yes, it's been reviewed over 85 times on PR, but it's clearly a winner. Paired my new top is my fabulous new Ottobre Skirt.

A better look at the Kwik Sew top...

Next up is the famous Jalie Crossover top - another clear winner that uses minimal fabric and takes less than 1 hour to make. I actually made myself three of these in the last two days - purple, red, and white.
Last up is a new Vogue Sandra Betzina pattern #2980. At first I wasn't sure about the top and if I was happy about how it turned out. Well I'm still not happy with the fit, but now that I've made another Jalie crossover top with the leftover fabric, I'm sure the problem is actually the fabric - I think it has a little too much recovery. So I will probably try it again when time allows. It sure is a cute twist on the ordinary t-shirt and went together pretty quickly.
In sad news, my serger has to go to the doctor tomorrow. I had a little mishap that needs repairing, plus it needs to be cleaned too. I think this will be a good opportunity for me to straight up the mess I've created in my studio and hopefully work on my muslin of the Burda top. Until next time, happy sewing!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Givin' Ottobre a Workout!

Hot of the machine is my latest Ottobre creation! It is from the 4/2007 issue (Fall) and it's just cute as can be. What cracks me up is how much my son loves putting his hands in those cool circle pockets. The sweatshirt fleece was from Mill End Fabrics in Portland, OR (bought during my recent PDX shopping trip with PR ladies), the lining fabric was a Gymboree knit blanket I bought to cut up and use as fabric, and the ribbing was from my local indy store (which may be going out of business - ugg!). I posted a review and more pictures on Pattern Review.

Next up is a pair of slim fitting jeans for my middle son. This is actually my second pair, the first pair I used brown twill and he loves those equally as well. The pattern is also from the fall issue of Ottobre #27. I even embroidered a parrot on his back pocket (he thought that was too cool) and used red Jeans Stitch thread for the top stitching. Review is posted on Pattern Review too!

Embroidery is from Designs By JuJu. I highly recommend her designs. They always stitch out beautifully, tho this one I had a little trouble with, but that was my fault not hooping the fabric well enough. Then lastly, I've been doing a little "McSewing" as the ladies on the Ottobre Yahoo group have been calling batch sewingt. DD needed some long sleeve t-shirts, so I tried to whip one up in colors that went with other things in her wardrobe. Some plain, some with embroidery (all from JuJu) - she loves them all (or so she says). The pattern is #16 from 1/2003 (for both the regular & the crossover style). I posted a review for this pattern before on PR so I didn't rereview it, didn't seem necessary. I also made her a plain white shirt and used my "Gemagic" (like the Bedazzler) to make a heart on the chest - I think that was the favorite top!

That is all for now, back to the sewing room I go. I have two more projects cut out, but I might deviate a little because my SIL's birthday is Sunday and we're going out to dinner at the Olive Garden so I thought it would be nice for Moi to have a new outfit to wear. :-)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I'm Not Tired

Here the rest of my house is sleeping peacefully and mommy is WIDE awake at nearly 1am! Why you might ask? Well could it be the caffeine I had in my diet Coke tonight??? Probably and it's all to blame on the fun Portland fabric shopping trip I took today with 3 gals from PatternReview today! I got to visit 7 shops (6 which were new to me) on our fabric tour and even bought a few goodies along the way. Then after our tour was over, one of the gals and I went to Fabric Depot and spent a few more hours there (thanks Tina!). Afterwards I figured I might as well stop by the Super Joann's on my way home, but found nothing I couldn't live without so grabbed a bite to eat (hence the caffeine) and now I'm paying for it.

So while up in the middle of the night, I decided to cruise around the net and peek at my favorite blogs and what should I find on Belinda's Blog but a "Rockin' Girl Blogger" award. Intrigued as I haven't spotted this before I read on - here is what she wrote (this is direct copy from Belinda's blog):

A few days ago Sigrid nominated me for the Rockin' Girl Blogger. Thanks Sigrid!

I've watched with interest as this award has been hopping from blog to blog. It started here on Roberta Ferguson's blog back on June 18, 2007. I first noticed it on a German sewing blog I read and I've watched as it's hopped all over blogland in recent weeks.

Now I get to choose 5 women bloggers worthy of the "Rockin' Girl Blogger" award. If you get nominated, place your pretty pink badge on your site and then list 5 of your favorite Rockin' Girl Bloggers. The hard part is coming up with five bloggers who haven't already been nominated. There are a lot of excellent sewing blogs out there so I did mangae to find five. :)

1. Debbie - Stitches and Seams. Debbie has already been nominated but as she is on a computer hiatus she may have missed it. Debbie, maybe this will encourage you to write a blog entry. I miss reading your blog. Come out, come out, where ever you are

.2. Lori - Girls in the Garden.

3. Melissa - Susie Homemaker.

4. Beth - Rusty Bobbin.

5. Trena- Slapdash Sewist. I'm not sure if Trena is back from her Big Fat Greek Holiday or if she even reads my blog but I read hers and enjoy it.

All I can say is WOW Belinda, what a treat you find my blog worth reading ~ it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! :-)

So here I post my "badge" of honor and nominate the following (in no particular order):

1. Miss Celie's Pants

2. Stacy Sews

3. The Twisted One

4. Erica's DIY Style

5. Fehr Trade

Now I did a little research and don't see that these blogs have been nominated, but if they were I'll just blame it on the fact that it's very late and I should be in bed! ;-)

So my big plan (I'm posting this to hold myself accountable), is to sew a pair of pants (or two if things go well) tomorrow for my middle son as he still only has one pair of pants to wear to school. Thankfully last week was warm on the days he went to Kindergarten so he was able to wear shorts. I have been doing some sewing - shirts for DD, but I really need to make a list and get myself organized and kick it into high gear since it looks like cooler weather is on the horizon, plus I'm itching to sew myself some stuff for fall too so I need to get these school clothes finished up.

Nitey- Nite!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Don't grocery shop when you're hungry!

That is pretty much common sense right? Apparently I *forgot* yesterday and the result was more money spent than I had planned and my kitchen overflowing with yummy treats!

So while grocery shopping yesterday everything was looking absolutely divine. I saw beautiful green Granny Smith apples and immediately thought "oh an Apple Pie sounds yummy" so I bought those, then I walked down the cookie & cracker aisle to get some crackers and saw the fudge striped cookies and thought "oh Mandarin Cookie Salad would be great with dinner tonight" so all those ingredients went into the cart too. Then on the baking aisle I saw dried Craisins and remembered the Oatmeal Bar recipe my friend had given me (thanks Leslie) and had to get those too. So upon returning home from the store I unpacked my groceries and made an Apple Pie, Mandarin Cookie Salad, and Oatmeal Bars - what a nerd, huh?

I thought I'd share a few more recipes with you - after all I want to be Susie Homemaker and she surely cooks and bakes, right?

Mandarin Cookie Salad

2 cups buttermilk
1 - 5.1 oz pkg vanilla instant pudding mix
1 - 12 oz tub Cool Whip, thawed
2 - 11 oz cans mandarin oranges, drained
1 - 11.5 oz pkg fudge striped shortbread cookies, coarsely chopped

Whisk buttermilk and pudding mix for 2 minutes, then let stand 2 minutes or until soft set. Fold in Cool Whip and oranges. Cover and chill until serving. Fold in cookies when ready to serve ~ enjoy!

Oatmeal Bars

1/2 cup brown sugar
8 oz vanilla yogurt
2 egg whites
2 Tbs canola oil
2 Tbs milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour (can use 1/2 whole wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups oats
1 cup dried fruit and nuts

Mix together all ingredients and spread into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Cool and cut into bars - enjoy!

I'd share my Apple Pie recipe, but I'm sure everyone has their own favorite and they are all pretty similar anyway. Now go and make yourself some goodies!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My "baby" went to school....

Well technically he's not my "baby", but he's one of my babies and now he's in school too! He begged me to ride the bus to school today - he's being dying to ride the bus for as long as I can remember so I shouldn't be surprised. And it was probably easier for me to put him on the bus than to walk him to his Kindergarten room. As it was, I got a huge lump in my throat a shed a few tears. Thankfully I still have one left to love on during the day (or should I say one "messmaker" still around!). I know his first day of school will be great ~ he's in good hands as his teacher is a gem (actually all the kids have wonderful teachers this year so I can't complain at all).

Today really need to get another pair of pants done for Mr. Kindergarten. He has one lonely pair of brown pants he's already worn twice this week so I must get cracking today and get something else made. Thankfully he doesn't have school again until Monday so surely I can get a few pairs whipped out between now and then. The ones he's wearing in the picture are from the most recent kids Ottobre - I forget the number, but they are the ones for slim kids and they were actually still a little too big around for him so I put buttonhole elastic in the waist (what a nify invention!).

Here is a picture of the other two on the first day of school ~

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Life in the Fast Lane (and other ramblings)

That seems what my life has been like for the past week - moving at full speed. I finally got my camera and was able to get two reviews done today for pants I made Hattie. Last week my hubby & I celebrated our 11th anniversary so we took the day and went to the ocean alone (Grammie & Papa had the kids). It was a fun time and the weather was pretty nice for the Oregon Coast - overcast and high 60's. Then over the weekend we had miscellaneous stuff going on around the house plus it was Miss Hattie's 10th birthday. So to celebrate the big double digits, we had a fun family feast at Chuck E Cheese one night and then had a girls day the actual day of her birthday where the girls (two Grammies, Auntie, & Mommy) went to Build A Bear Workshop and then had a divine ladies lunch at the Olive Garden. I can't believe my little girl is already 10!!! :-( And in other *sad* news, I am sending another one off to Kindergarten tomorrow! :-( I will only have one at home and it's making me sad. I know after a few days it will be no big deal, but I know I will still miss them. So many parents are so eager to get their kids off on their own, but not me. I sometimes think about homeschooling them so I can enjoy them longer, however that task scares me a bit. At least now I'm not totally responsible for what the do and don't ingest and retain, but if I were to homeschool them it would be my fault if they didn't learn something. I just feel like they grow up fast anyway, why do I need to send them off to school and let someone else enjoy them too???? Okay, someone chime in now and say I'm insane to want to homeschool four children, pretty please??? LOL I can't tell you how much it is killing me my "baby" is 3 already too - I just hate it!!!!!

Well I guess I should talk about something that doesn't make me feel blue so how about the pants I made String Bean Girl. I used Ottobre 1/2004 #30 & #33 (both are basically the same, just #30 has some leg ruffles added - too cute too and Hattie loves them!). But, the best part of all is they fit her better than the $40+ jeans we were trying on at the mall. Even the slim pants didn't fit her because if they fit around, they were still too short. I took a leap of faith making such detailed pants without doing a trial run and was so happy it paid off. I made her the ruffle ones first and put my heart and soul into the embroidery and getting the ruffles just perfect. And because she is digging animal prints for some reason lately, I lined the pockets and did the inner waistband facing in a cute animal print cotton - she got a kick out of that. Since the first pair fit her so well, I went ahead and made her a denim pair too. Both reviews are on PR with pictures ~ jeans & ruffle pants. I have more to review, but those will have to wait for a bit as I need to get Mr. Kindergarten Boy a few more pairs of pants sewn so he has something to wear too.

Enough rambling for today, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I **HEART** Ottobre!!!!

Okay I just had to declare my love for Ottobre (yes again!)!!! I know you all know how much I love Ottobre, but I love it even more now (is that even possible????). I've been hard at work sewing school clothes (in between my motherly duties that is - no child neglect is happening believe me! :-)) and made the *perfect* fitting pants for my string bean daughter. I could hardly believe it when I had her try them on. I had the waist all ready for the adjustable elastic and didn't even need it - miracles happen every day. So now I'm on to the second pair. I have them ready for assembly after embroidering some flowers on them today. And as soon as my new camera arrives tomorrow I'll be able to share all I've been working on.

After doing a little research on ConsumerReports, I found what seems to be a good camera to replace my old one. It's a Cannon PowerShot A630 and was rated a CR best buy. And as luck would have it, Office Max has it on sale this week for $189.99 so I ordered one today and it should be here tomorrow - yippee!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Another one bites the dust!

Today I worked on a pair of chocolate slinky gauchos for Hattie from Butterick 5064. She tried on a few when we went shopping last weekend, but I'll be darned if I'm paying $20+ for a pair of gauchos that I can make from my fabric stash. So I worked on them today and they turned out cute and she loves them (similar to the red pair in the pattern envelope photo minus the front tie since she doesn't tuck things in and I didn't have enough fabric anyway).

So I have her try on the final product so I can take a few pictures for you all and my camera decided it was time to die! :-( Now I knew it was probably not going to last much longer because the screen has been acting goofy for a few months, but I really didn't expect it to die so suddenly. I got two full body shots taken and went in for a few closeups and bam, that was it. Guess you all know what I'll be doing this weekend. Thank goodness cameras are so cheap now, I am sure I can find something pretty darn nice for under $200.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A whole *latte* nothing going on!

Gosh I feel like I've been doing a whole lotta nothing lately (well at least nothing productive in the sewing department) - been having lots of fun tho! I did get a pair of pants sewn for my middle boy who is going to Kindergarten that are totally adorable. I will post a picture shortly ~ they are brown twill from Wally World on the $1 table and were made into the slim boy pants in the newest Ottobre magazine. He is so slim that I ended up using some adjustable elastic in the back waist. That elastic is the slickest thing ever and make the pants fit perfect! Other than that, I did make Hattie two capri leggings and one shirt, and I made myself a dress too. I need to get pictures taken and post reviews, hopefully that will happen soon.

We've had one of those go-go weeks and seems like we haven't been home much. We've been shopping (Miss Hattie got her ears pierced! Daddy finally gave in last Saturday and she looks so sweet!), play dates, and Daddy & I even got to go on a date night and went to the Parade of Home the next day (talk about feeling like you live in a cardboard box - it sure put a little fire under our butts to want to spruce up our digs!).

Now I'm not sure if this comes as any surprise, but I don't like coffee. I'm not sure what is wrong with me, but I have genuinely tried and in college I even forced myself to drink coffee at dinner hoping I'd come around to liking it - well it didn't work. So yesterday at my friend's house she offers me an iced coffee. I declined saying I just don't like coffee. She insisted that I try it tho saying she thought I'd like it, well low and behold she was right! She made the most wonderful drink and I just sucked it right down. So of course I had to get the recipe and promptly made myself a pitcher this afternoon. I'm afraid this could be dangerous, so hopefully I won't get too hooked on this stuff lest I want to balloon out and not fit into my clothes. I will share the recipe tho because it's pretty tasty (at least my girlfriends like it and so does hubby).

Ice Coffee Latte

1/3 cup instant coffee
1/2 cup boiling water
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups cold water
4 cups chocolate milk

Mix instant coffee with boiling water until dissolved. Mix in the remaining ingredients and serve over ice. It makes a whole pitcher full so just store it in the fridge and enjoy it all day (or week long).

At the store today, I had to buy a can of sweetened condensed milk. To my shock it was $2.99 for a can, but they did have fat free so I got that to ease up on the guilt of making this yummy concoction. I did find in one of my recipe books a recipe for it which I'll try next time, it isn't fat free, but I'm sure it's lots cheaper to make. I'll have to check the other area stores to see if I can find it cheaper anywhere, one can is still cheaper than one Starbucks drink tho! LOL Here is the recipe for it I found for the milk, make it at your own risk tho as I haven't tried it before.

Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 cups instant nonfat dry milk
2 cups sugar
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup margarine, melted

Place ingredients in bowl. With hand blender, process until smoother. Refrigerate in covered container (mixture will thicken as it stands). One cup plus 2 tablespoons equality the 15 oz can most recipes require. Makes 3 cups.

As for what is up and coming, more school clothes. I need to kick it in high gear here since school starts in 1.5 weeks. The weather is supposed to be yucky again this weekend so I'm sure it will be the prime opportunity to crank out some goodies for the kiddos.

Oh and today I went to Joann's to pick up this gorgeous dress pattern Butterick 5079 ~ on sale for $1.99 of course! I have no need for this dress yet, but I just love it. Our 11th wedding anniversary is next Friday, so I guess I could try to whip it up for that, but I think we're going to go to the ocean for the day (without kids of course) and that isn't really beach attire so I probably won't. I think it would be the perfect dress for DH's work Christmas party - many months away tho! LOL

Until next time, happy homemaking, sewing, & latte drinking! :-)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Yes, I'm still here...

Gosh I'm a terrible Blogger lately and for that I'm so sorry! The craziness of life is catching up with me and I honestly haven't gotten any sewing done at all in the past week. Such is life I know, but I love to sew and it makes me sad when I don't have time to sew. On a bright note, I have managed to "pattern shop" my Ottobre back issues in search of clothing to make the kids for back-to-school. I also looked through some of my Burda WOF magazines and pattern shopped for myself as well. Unfortunately there are so many things I want to make and I know there is not enough time to make everything I want to (I need a battery pack so I never have to sleep! LOL).

I have managed to get a few Ottobre patterns traced out for the kids and did go through the fabrics and found most of what I will use (all stash, yippee!!! - that does say something about my stash tho doesn't it???). I really want to make all mix & match things for my daughter tho. Last year I was very bad about making this and that and not much went with each other. So this year I have a new plan (shall we say SWAP - sewing with a plan) and shall make her things that go with one another - what a novel idea! I also had her try on her old clothes and see what still fits so I can figure out how to incorporate those items into my sewing. I plan to sew in a SWAPish sort of way for myself too. I'm not sure what the color scheme will be - I really like black and pink so I might go that route. This may be hard for me because I like so many colors. Thankfully the boys are much easier - everything goes with jeans, khaki pants, etc. ~ hallelujah!!!!

Monday, August 06, 2007

I posted reviews (yes, I know about time!)...

Well I finally posted my reviews, can you believe it? See miracles do happen every day! First up we have a nightgown from Simplicity 3696 ~ so comfy and stylish!

Next up is a dress from Simplicity 3799 ~ this dress is shades of my late grandma, I just know she's love it (it's a wild & crazy print just like she always liked!).

And drumroll please, I finally got the reviews for my swimsuits up! I honestly can't believe I've posted myself in a swimsuit on the net - what am I thinking??? Look now before I change my mind and delete the pictures! LOL In the first pictures is the top from Kwik Sew 3063 and the skirted bottoms are from Kwik Sew 3330.

Then we have the same top from KS 3063 and the plain bottoms from Kwik Sew 3238 (this is the same pattern I was using that I was having lots of trouble with the top).

And last, but not least, we have Jack modeling a pair of his new pj's I made him ~ they are Kwik Sew 3234 (I made him three pair and he loves them - he's such a sweet boy!).

My next projects are most likly going to be school clothes. The kids start in about a month so I need to get cooking - thank goodness for Ottobre! The boys are in dire need of pants so that is probably where I'll start. Hattie does have stuff that fits here still so I'm trying to fill in the gaps and make things mix & match too. I still need to have the boys try on clothes and see where they stand on shirts. And then I'll work on stuff for Andy once the kids go back to school and it's just me & him. Busy busy!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy...

That is my life right now! LOL We had a little mini-vacation from Thursday-Sunday as we had a wedding to attend in Idaho over the weekend (DH's side of the family). And to make the trip even more fun, we visited Silverwood Park while we were in the area too. The kids of course had a blast and we did as well. Most of Friday was actually spent at the water park they have (Boulder Beach) and not on any of the rides. Too bad vacations are never long enough.

Now it's back to reality and a mountain of laundry. I did finish my swimsuit before we left and plan to review that and a dress I made last week too on PR this week. I'll post here when they are up.

I guess that is all the news that is the news here, just trying to get back in the swing of things after being gone since Thursday.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I love Ottobre!!!

As I mentioned in my last post, I made a t-shirt from the 2/07 issue of Ottobre Woman magazine. The first one I made was using the size 38 pattern (normally I'm a 36 in Ottobre tops), but I had read several reviews saying the pattern ran small, so I decided to just size up and avoid the pain of making a top that was too small. Well it turned out to be a mistake. While the first top is cute, it's a little loose. I then made a size 36 and it fits beautifully! It was so easy too, plus I love the scoop neck. I posted a review with more of the details about the sizing and where to buy the magazine if you don't have your own copy.

On a sad note (LOL), my new fall issue of Ottobre didn't arrive today. I was so bummed when I opened my mailbox and that gorgeous white envelope was not waiting for me, but atlas I have other projects to do so it's not like I *need* it, I just could want to lay my paws on it and see all the new kids patterns I have at my fingertips. Hopefully it will come before we leave for our little weekend trip to DH's second cousin's wedding (it surely will be here by Thursday, right?????). Sure hope so!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tank Tops and such

Bad things come in threes, right? Well I think I've had my "threes" for now. First was my swimsuit fiasco. I still don't have a wearable top and our vacation is next week! Hopefully my pattern will arrive today so I can work it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it fits and I like it.

My next thing in a group of bad threes is my Burda Knotted Tank top (picture above). I had read several good reviews about this top and decided to give it a try. It is cute and wearable, but I'm just not too sure it's my favorite. I am going to have to wear a cami under it or make a modesty panel for it. I posted a review on PR if you're so inclined to know more about why this top didn't work out so well for me.

My next (and hopefully last) bad "three" item is the banded tank top from the June issue of Burda WOF. The moment I saw this top I loved it except for the fact it had a "peep hole" under the gathered bust band. I figured that would be simple enough to fix since the band wasn't part of the actual tank top, but an overlay piece. Well I did pretty good, but the tank top needed to be a bit higher in the front scoop to keep my bra covered. I guess I should get an "A" for trying tho and DH said the white looked like I was wear my bra on the outside of my body! LOL I also posted a review of this pattern as well.

I guess we can't have perfect garments every time we sew. I have been on a run of good garments, so it was probably high time I did have some wadders. Oh well, I'm just thankful it wasn't in a favorite fabric and just good ole white cotton/lycra jersey.

On a good note, the other night I made a tee from the 2/07 issue of Ottobre Woman which turned out well. I still need to post a review of and hopefully I'll get that done in the new few days. It is a cute top and a good pattern ~ I've had much success with the garments I've sew from both Ottobre and Ottobre Woman - I love both sooooo much!

Lastly, I'm taking a class on Pattern Review called making a pants muslin. It's a fitting class and so that is taking up part of my sewing time. I think it might have been a poor decision for me to take this class during summer break because of all the other stuff that is going on with the kids home, but I made the commitment and paid for the class, so I must go forth. Hopefully my persistence will pay off and I'll finally figure out how to get good fitting pants.