Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009!

I haven't done any sewing this past week. With Christmas and my hubby home, it's hard to get much done besides playing "maid" around the house cleaning up after everyone. I did get a few goodies in the mail tho which is always so very fun.

I had planned to do a post on my sewing of 2008, but I need hubby's help to make a graph. I will still try to do that in the next few days. If I can't get the graph, I'll at least share what I've sewn. I've enjoyed reading what other bloggers have accomplished during the year. My list actually surprised me and is quite long, but many were TNT patterns and things for my kids so those are less time consuming than starting from scratch.

Be safe if you're going out tonight and may 2009 be a year filled with wonderful things.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

I love the time leading up to Christmas. The anticipation is so fun and the glow on the kids' faces is priceless. This morning we forced our children go slowly with gift opening so we could savor every moment. And look at this picture, they are all smiling and it was the first (and only) picture I took of them in front of the tree today. Apparently cooperation occurs when they want to know what Santa Claus put in their stockings. ;-)

The kids were all thrilled with their gifts, but I think my daughter might be on cloud nine still. She has been bugging us for well over a year for a Sleep & Study Loft from Pottery Barn Teen. It's a little too rich for out beer budget at $2,000 (shipping included) so my uber talented hubby built her one! It was hard to pull off the surprise. As you can see, the thing is huge (it's a double bed up there). The project was started the day after Thanksgiving so it's been weeks of torture for the kids wanting to know what dear ol' Dad has been up to. The kiddos all went to my in-laws for a sleepover on the 23rd and we got busy getting the big surprise ready.

She has been going on and on about wanting pink walls with polka dots too ~ wish granted. It was fun to get her room ready for the big reveal, but the icing on the cake was her reaction. She was more than thrilled and burst into tears. And seriously, I can't believe I went to the ends of the Earth to find a pink office chair for her, she better appreciate me from here to eternity! lol And without further ado....

I received many lovely gifts from my family, but the best one of all is just being together with my family. May God's blessings be bestowed upon you this Christmas Day and always. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Old Man Winter Has Arrived...

with full force in the Pacific NW. Just a few photos I took around our house over the past few days. I have no idea how much snow we have. It just keeps on snowing here tho. Yesterday from the time we woke up until nearly 10pm it snowed nonstop. Today it's been on and off and it just makes me giddy!

I've been sewing some, but my seam ripper and I are becoming BFFs. Maybe I should walk away for a bit, but I want to get the top I'm working on done. They are dumb mistakes too considering I've made the top twice already. Tis life.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More sewing

I feel like I've been making good headway getting things cranked out lately. I'm using up fabric I have and getting different gifts made.

First up is a garment for me. It's one of my favorite patterns, BWOF 10-2005-114. I actually purchased the fabric in November when I was taking my pants fitting class. I can't remember the blend, but it's a sweater-y knit of sorts. Not that stretchy, I guess more like a fancier fleece. It has a nice texture to it and the colors are berry. The photo is a bit dark, I think it's prettier in person. So cozy and a welcome addition to my wardrobe.

I also made one for my sister out of a sweater knit I got from Joann's a long time ago. It too is prettier in person (Is this a good enough reason for a new camera since I have such crappy shots??? If so, please email my hubby and tell him! lol). I was going to get rid of the fabric, but when my sister saw it in the pile she really liked it so I decided I'd make her a sweater too for a Christmas gift. We're the same size and she'd tried on another one I made so I'm sure it will fit her. The fabric is definitely her colors and not mine. This is a "what was I thinking" purchase.

And a few box bags from this tutorial ~ thanks to Stacy for pointing out the tutorial on her blog. I will post a review on PR of this pattern very soon. The directions are a little confusing, but the pictures help. I also found a helpful post on this blog about how to do the corners in an easier manner. Below are the fruits of my labor. I made the black one larger for my SIL - you can see it matches the Weekender Bag she'll get for graduation in March.

More baby bibs! I just love the Valentine one.

And another throw pillow for my couch from some leftover fabric (ivory chenille on the back side). I got smart this time and put a zipper in it. This is soooo much better than hand sewing the pillow shut because it's faster, plus I can take the pillow out and wash the cover. I might go back and redo the other pillows I did earlier in the year.

So that my friends, is what I've been sewing. Actually I also made two more aprons from my Grandma's apron pattern to put in my "ready to gift" box. I forgot to take pictures of those, but I surely don't need another apron right now since I already have three in rotation plus a Christmas one. Oh and I made my youngest a pair of pants from Ottobre too, but they are set aside for Christmas. Nothing exciting, just blue twill, very cute nonetheless.
Today the kids are home for a snow day. The Pacific NW is getting hammered with Arctic air and now snow. In the Portland area the kids have been out all week, but we didn't get the snow they did over the weekend. Now we're all getting it and it's just beautiful out! It rarely snows here anyway and when it does, it's here for a minute and then gone. The extended weather report is snow off and on and below freezing temps through Tuesday (as far as the weather forecast goes). We might be in for a white Christmas afterall!!!!

Thursday, December 04, 2008


If you any children, you know the pains of labor fade into the sunset once the baby is delivered. Well the same is true with making the Amy Butler Weekender Bag. In my quest to give more handmade gifts this year for Christmas, I decided to make my SIL and daughter each a Weekender Bag. Well what the heck was I thinking???? Apparently I don't vividly remember all the blood, sweat, and tears it caused me when I made myself one in January. I need to be declared insane!

Now after starting the bag, I'm not fully committed to finishing it in time for Christmas. I'm reconsidering this might be a good graduation gift for when she graduates nursing school in March (that gives me a little more time). I think I suck at big projects. I like more instant gratification projects. Possibly I'm longing for a few new things for me, so I will set this aside for a bit and bring it back to the machine soon. I will finish it, the question is whether it will be in time for Christmas - that is still to be determined.

Here is the bag in it's sad state~

Now onto my other sewing projects that I promised to share in my last post. First up is the outfit I made to wear to DH's work Christmas party. Of course you can just call me "Last Minute Lucy" on this one. I seem to have this theme every year. I want something new to wear and don't start it until the day of the party. I had purchased a black knit with subtle silver sparkles in it when my local indy store went out of business in January. I never knew what I'd do with it. It's a pretty stable knit with not a lot of give, but something kept drawing me back to it so I got 2 yds to toss in my stash. Well here is the end result, a Jalie Crossover top and a little A-line skirt I quickly drafted out of the scraps. I lightened the picture to help see the details better, but it's still hard since it's black. What I liked about the outfit was that I wasn't freezing. They always have the air cranked up and if I had any sort of sleeveless dress or top on I'd freeze.

I also recently made myself two black skirts. One I still need to photograph, but here is the other one. Forgive the lack of a full body shot; the ones my daughter took were horrible and there was no way I could post them. The skirt is from Simplicity 3631. I had Marta fit this pattern on my at my class in October because I really wanted to have a flattering straight skirt. She seemed to think the size 12 was perfect, however once I had the fabric cut and got started, I found this skirt too big. I ended up shaving it down to about a 10. I still wasn't happy with the result so I pegged the hem in about 2" and I like the look better. I'm happy I have a basic black skirt, tho I'm not sure if I'll sew this again. Quite frankly I think that A-line skirts look much better on my shape than straight skirts. The other one I made is too straight too, oops!

So here is the front view (btw, my knees are even tho the picture looks like one knee cap is way higher than the other, must have been how I was standing)~

And the back view (nice bruises on my leg, huh?)~

Here is my middle son in his new Kwik Sew 2894~

And pj's galore~

And finally I have a few bibs for my son's teacher. All my children have had the pleasure of having this wonderful lady be their teacher and she's finally bringing home her baby from Vietnam! The little girl is almost 11 months old and figured a few chenille bibs would be a welcome gift. As a mom, I know you can never have too many bibs. It was a good way to give my embroidery machine some love too.

Up next? Good question. I should be working on that darn bag, but I think I'll set it aside. I have a pillow that needs a cover and I am in desperate need of some tops.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

First off, my apologies for being two weeks between posts. It is never my intention to go so long, but I seem to blink and days fly by. I have been busy sewing and will detail more about that in my next post. My progress includes three skirts, two tops, and pants (all for me!), one shirt for my middle son, 7 pairs of pj's for my boys, three pj pants for my daughter, and finishing a UFO for my youngest son. I still have 4 pairs of pj's cut out for the boys and two shirts for my oldest son that need to be sewn, plus I need to cut out one pair for pj's for my daughter. So as you can see, my silence hasn't been for nothing. ;-)

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving. My family is blessed beyond measure and I hope the same holds true for yours. Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day!

I want to extend my most sincere *thank you* to all our veterans as well as those currently serving in the military. My family doesn't take this duty lightly and we recognize that it is because of these brave men and women that we live in the land of the free and home of the brave. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service to our great country!

A few days ago I received a nice surprise in my mailbox. Don't you just love surprises? Well the wonderful folks at Ottobre magazine somehow found out that I'd won the PR Sewing for Children contest and sent me these goodies! Now how sweet was that? All the way from Finland - it totally warmed my heart. Included with the card were three little buttons for my children to wear on their clothes, backpack, etc. and a beautiful 2009 planner/calendar. Thank you Ottobre team!!!!! See I keep telling you all they are so awesome, they seriously have the best customer service and not to mention the best kids patterns.

So my ironing board cover was getting a little ratty. It wasn't that bad, but the ironing board I got came from Wally World. I really wanted an oversized ironing board so I upgraded earlier in the year. I had looked at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, but they wanted like $80+ for the ironing board and I just couldn't see spending that much money. So I happened to be at Walmart (my least favorite store) one day and saw they carried the oversized ironing boards too. I can't recall the exact price, but it was $40 or less. I came with an extra cover which I have no idea where I put. I could have dug around to find it, but I found the cover always wanting to grab what I was ironing and shifting around. Plus the pad it came with is ultra thin. The bottom line was this ironing board needed a makeover!

I have seen others make ironing board covers on their blogs and figured it couldn't be too hard. I found some off white denim in my stash and figured that would be perfect. Durable, yet light colored so I wouldn't get any bleeding of the cover onto a garment (wouldn't that be a nightmare!). Then I picked up a package of 100% cotton batting at Joann's over the weekend.

To make the cover, I first traced around my ironing board leaving a 2" margain around the board (let me say this now, you need more than 2" to do it my way, I think 3" would have been perfect).

Next I cut out my fabric.

Then I serged around the raw edges of the cover so the edges wouldn't ravel. After serging, I pressed a 5/8" SA, stitched the pressed edge down to form a casing in which I fed 1/4" elastic through the casing. I put it on my ironing board and adjusted my elastic to get the fit right. Once I got the length of the elastic where I wanted it, I sewed the ends of my elastic together and closed the casing up.

Lastly, I placed my ironing board upside down again and traced the shape onto the batting. I cut two layers of the batting plus I used the original batting/pad as the bottom layer on the ironing board. I have a total of three layers plus my cover and it seems like the perfect thickness.

Here is the finished board. I would have liked the elasticized edge to go under the board a bit more, so next cover I will trace with a 3" boarder so I have enough extra fabric around the edges. I actually didn't have enough fabric to make it any wider tho since what I had was a small scrap. Oh well, live and learn.

Here is the underside. You can see it's skimpy on the sides, but I got it pulled up more in the front for better coverage of the cover. In all, a quick and easy project, tho I did start it yesterday but was interrupted by having to get the kids from school and take them to swimming lessons.

I hope this inspires someone to make a new cover for their ironing board. Such an easy project!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yummy Mail!

Who doesn't love a good mail day? My mail lady has been good to me the past few days - check out the goodies I found in my mailbox!

I got my latest issue of Threads magazine. It was fun to cozy up with this new issue. Inside was a fantastic article on fabric shopping in Portland, OR - coincidentally that is where the Pattern Review Weekend will be. The date is TBA, but will be sometime in May 2009!

I also got my latest issue of Ottobre Design and like usual this didn't disappoint. Well it is disappointing I don't have a little baby girl to sew for, but nonetheless there were some great garments I will be able to sew for my kids and maybe even myself. Yes, you read that right, sew for myself from an Ottobre kids issue. I actually fit into the size range of the tween/teen girls and I've seen many designs that I like in the past, but haven't pursued sewing anything for me yet.

Then the new Burda World of Fashion showed up! Even if I don't get around to sewing something right away from my BWOF, I still enjoy getting it every month. There are always at least a few garments I can see myself wearing, but it's so fun to look at. The November issue didn't fail me either, I see many things to my liking. I also love it that when I need a pattern, I can go back through my notebook and look for something that fits the bill. I am getting quite the collection tho, I have five full years now. I honestly have no reason to even buy a pattern at the store!

Lastly, but definitely not least, I got the BEST surprise from a sewing buddy - the famous Vilene Bias Tape which BWOF recommends sewers use to stabilize fabrics!!! I have wanted to try this product for so long, but anyone who sews BWOF knows, it's not available in the US. Well my dear sewing friend went to visit her family in the UK and brought some back for herself and decided to share with me. If you're reading this Abi, thank you again - you hit the nail right on the head! I'll post once I try it and let you all know how it works out, it's sure it's fantastic!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween (albeit a little late)

Yes, I'm days late, but here are a few pictures of the kids. Only two of the group turned out well and then all the individual ones didn't turn out well at all. So this is all I have to share. :-( The first two of of my youngest and we took them the day before Halloween so I could enter his pumpkin costume in the PR Costume contest.

The above one is from Halloween night. Here we have a blue Lego, Pirate Girl, Pumpkin Boy, and Mr. Baseball (all made by me which is a first, tho the Lego involved no sewing).

In other excitement, I had my all day sewing pants session that I started with the Palmer/Pletsch sewing school on Saturday. I can't even express how exhausted I was when I got home that night - it was a long, but fun day.

My pants are fitting very nicely and with minimal alterations. I still need to unbaste the side seams and put on the bum pockets, then restitch the side seams and apply the waistband. I think I'm going to like them. Tricia (my teacher) is so sweet! We ran out of time in class, doesn't everything always take longer than anticipated, so she's having her open sewing class on Wednesday and invited us all back so we can finish our pants during that 3 hour time block. I'd like to go, but am not 100% sure if I can make it at this point. If I was really ambitious I would have another pair of pants cut out and started so she could fit those for me too.

On the pants I picked, my alterations included removing some of the inseam from the from only (about 3/4" tapering to nothing at about the knee level), scooping the seat about 1/2", a slight swayback adjustment in the back seam as well as in the back of the waistband. It was pretty painless so hopefully now when I make pants I'll know what to look for, or I'll just make a gazillion pairs of these if I end up liking them a lot after I have them all finished.

So up next is to finish the pants, work on PJ's for my kids (who are in dire need of new ones), pants for my youngest, shirts for my oldest (and probably the other two boys too), oh and some stuff for me. Guess I better get busy, huh?

Also, thanks for those of you who emailed and posted comments about the Accutane. I'm still on the fence about what to do.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Totally OT...Accutane

This is totally off the topic, but I am interested to know if anyone has used Accutane for their acne? And if you have, what was your personal experience with it? What was it like during the cycle, did your acne get way worse before it got better? How long until your skin cleared up? Has it lasted for you or did you have to repeat your treatment? What other side effects did you have? After you were off the medicine, did the side effects go away?

I ask this because I saw a dermatologist a few weeks ago about my acne (which is mild). I requested Accutane since my sister just finished a four month cycle of it and now has gorgeously flawless skin. We both have similar skin, so her acne was mild as well, but my skin is definitely oilier than hers.

The derm I saw wasn't too gung ho on prescribing Accutane, but since I requested it he said he would prescribe it. He said he's rather try other alternatives first such as antibiotics and topical medicines. I went in with the mindset that I wanted Accutane. I have tried all other methods without success and after 20+ years of dealing with acne I want to put an end to it. Well now I'm getting cold feet about taking it.

As a female, you have to wait 30 days before you can start it to make sure you're not pregnant so I'm in my 30 day waiting period. While taking the course, you must use two forms of birth control because it causes very severe birth defects. The birth defects aren't the part that scares it me, it's the other stuff such as the potential to have depression, bad headache, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, seizures, stroke, hearing problems, vision problems, lipid problems, well the list goes on. Then at the end it says, the common, less serious side effects are dry skin, chapped lips, dry eyes, and dry nose. I can deal with the common side effects, I'm just paranoid about the others. I realize if we all had to read a thick book about each and every medication we took that it probably wouldn't be so scary to me. My sister experienced the common side effects as well as had some joint pain that was minimized taking Advil daily. I had another friend who had the same complaints while she took it. I just don't know anyone else who has taken it and want some feed back.

If you'd rather not post a common, please do email me - noboty at

Thanks for any insight. I'm still deciding on what to do.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What I learned from Marta...

First off I want to express my most sincere thanks for all the wonderful comments left about my son's jacket. Truly heartwarming. :-)

October has been a busy month for my family, but taking the fit class just added to the craziness. My last class was on Wednesday and I will declare it here, I'm now a HUGE advocate for tissue fitting a pattern. I used to just wing it and just hope for the best. Well I'm here to tell you, I now think that "winging it" is a total waste of time (not to mention a waste of fabric too if you ruin your fabric. Some will say, make a muslin. True you can do that and surely there is still reason to do that on occasion, but honestly tissue fitting doesn't take that long and it helps you see exactly what needs to be done before you even cut your fabric. After tissue fitting if you'd like to see if there are any alterations that still should be made since different fabrics behave differently (for example dart ending placement), you can then pin the garment together to making sure everything looks perfect before you start sewing.

From class I learned many things about my body and how to fit it. Remember this class was only tops, dresses, and skirts and not pants. Things I learned about fitting myself:

1) I am a "B" cup and don't need an SBA! This was totally shocking to me. Shocking!

2) I wear a size 8 for tops and a size 12 for skirts.

3) I need a 1/2" broad back alteration. Every pattern I altered in class (that would be at least a dozen), I needed a 1/2" broad back so that appears to be the norm for me. If you have the FFRP book, it's on page 118 and I use method #2.

4) I don't always need a sway back or forward shoulder alteration like I thought. Trying on the tissue will tell me if I need either and how much. I needed a 3/8" forward shoulder on only two things in class and a the sway back was only a tiny pinch on two things.

5) Sometimes I need a broad shoulder adjustment as well, tho most of the time the 1/2" broad back will cover it.

6)I also learned it best to trace a pattern onto tissue paper for tissue fitting. I usually use Pattern Ease when tracing a BWOF or Ottobre pattern, but PE it's too heavy and stiff for tissue fitting.

If you have the opportunity to take a class from Marta, I highly recommend it. She's personable, helpful, and most of all super nice. She is filled with so much knowledge and is so eager to share it. She really wants everyone to be success and to love sewing and fitting as much as she does. The class I took is geared for local sewers because it's weekly for four weeks, but Marta & Pati also teach a four day fit workshop and people fly into Portland from all over the country.

Overall, it was well worth the $100 I spent. Last night I even tried tissue fitting a top I want to make by myself and I think I got my alterations right on the money. Guess I'll know for sure once it's sewn up.

Next up is the pants class which starts this coming week. It's a different teacher but also with the Palmer/Pletsch sewing school. I have one evening session and then all day next Saturday where we'll actually sew our pants in class. I'm looking forward to it and will be using OOP Vogue 2812; my fabric is gray stretch sateen.

In other sewing news, I have two Halloween costumes finished, one mostly finished, and one not started (tho that is the easy one and only requires some hot glue, spray paint, & a box. :-) I'm also working on a top for myself, Butterick B5101.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

First Prize

The little pilot jacket I made my son took first place in the Sewing for Babies/Kids contest on Pattern Review! The voting ended Saturday night and so Sunday when I checked my email, I had a wonderful surprise waiting in my inbox. :-)

The voting really was hard and the final tally was so close. There is such great talent on PR and so many gorgeous things were created - over 60 entries and each member is only allowed to vote for one item!

A fellow PR member pointed out to me how cool it was that a boy item came out on top. She said it's so much easier to make cute girl things with all the great patterns available (ahh, how I wish I could still make cute girl things), but when you have a boy, it's truly hard to find cute boy patterns. What a compliment, I hadn't thought of it that way. Tho in all honesty, I really owe Ottobre the thanks because they were the mastermind behind the pattern I chose. I adore the wonderful boy patterns they produce so my sons can look stylish in their mama made garments.

A big thank you to Deepika (the owner and founder of Pattern Review) for the fun contest and Sew Baby for their generous prize. Last, but definitely not least, thank you to my readers, your comments encourage me to continue to sew.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Zipper Storage

Last weekend I was doing some organization and came across my box of zippers. It was a steal I found on eBay over a year ago, but the problem since has been how to store them. Until last weekend they were all banded together in a box, but it's a pain to dig through when you need a zipper to find the right color. Racking my brain to figure a better way, it occurred to me to put them on a hanger and band them together by color. They can't fall off the hanger and now I can see what I have very easily.

My zippers are all the same length so I chose to band them together by color, but if you have lots of different lengths you could chose to do sort them by size or color. For now, all my packaged zippers (a bunch gifted to me by my neighbor) are banded (still in the original package) by length and style (regular, metal, & invisible).

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Words of Wisdom from a Fit Class Flunky

Okay, I'm not really a flunky per say, but I did goof up on my homework for this past week's class. First up, in case you missed the info before, I started a fit class last week is based on the principles in the Palmer/Pletsch book Fit For Real People. The four session class (3 hours each class) is taught by co-author Marta Alto. Following the book's teaching, she helps each student tissue fit as many patterns as we possibly can stuff into the class time.

Our first assignment, to be brought to our second class, was to bring in a top and skirt pattern cut in our size. During the first class, Marta measured each of us and then had us try on the fitting shells. Based on the information she gathered, she told us what size we need to cut for tops and skirts (no pants are covered in this class).

Since I mostly sew with BWOF and am trying to use the existing patterns I already have, I traced off a blouse & skirt pattern on Pattern Ease from my BWOF stash. I thought I was doing myself a favor using the patterns I typically use, but instead I messed up. My first mistake was not tracing them onto tissue. I learned from Marta that Pattern Ease is not the best medium to use for fitting. There isn't much drape in PE, so getting it to fit properly is a challenge. Ultimately the fitting session with my BWOF top told me one of my adjustments was a 1/2" FBA! I knew there was no freakin' way! Thankfully I took a Butterick pattern to class with me and cut it out quickly so Marta could fit me with that before class was over. After fitting that blouse, she compared both pattern pieces and they were very similar, thus proving the tissue is a much better medium when you're tissue fitting than PE. So lesson learned, use tissue if trying to fit yourself with the actual pattern pieces. And since tissue like the pattern companies use isn't readily available to buy on a roll, simply using gift wrapping tissue paper works like a charm. It's easily and cheaply obtained at your local dollar store. :-)

For next week's class I'm going to find a handful of patterns at Joann's this weekend during the $1 Columbus Day sale and have them 100% ready to try on in class. So this weekend I will be cutting patterns (which is totally against what I typically do any more, I always trace them off), taping necklines & arm holes, and pinning them together. I really want to maximize my time with her so I'm on the right track making the correct alterations for my figure.

My blouse alterations thus far are only a forward shoulder (the pattern I used this last class was 3/8", however this can vary based on the pattern), broad shoulder of 5/8" (very common in smaller size patterns), and then I needed to let out the waist about 5/8" (this came as no surprise because she had me cut a size 8 for my top and says I need a 14 for my skirt - I am thinking 12 for skirts, but next time I'll see for sure since I'll have that ready, in tissue, to fit). I'm taking a straight skirt because I think this is the hardest thing to perfect so if I can get that down, other skirts will be a piece of cake.

Lastly, coming up at the end of the month is another class called Fit & Sew Trousers. It's two class sessions, one 3 hour block and one all day block. By the end of the second class we're supposed to have finished pants to take home. I'm not sure if we can use any pattern or if we will have a selection to choose from. I'm waiting on the supply list from the instruction, but am very excited about making pants that actually fit! :-)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I don't mean to *Gush*...

but my hubby totally rocks! Actually I do mean to *gush*; we're back in business and it's all because of his handy work. Sure we could have hired someone, but no worker would care about our family's needs as much as he does. He pays such careful attention to detail and truly, without him, the cost would have been significantly higher. As it was, a new pump and all the paraphernalia we needed was over $1200 - ouch!

So now we have an abundance of water - hallelujah!!!! At about 8:15 last night when the water came back on, I was singing his praises! I immediately started the dishwasher, started laundry, flushed toilets, and brushed my teeth! Yes, I did brush my teeth that morning with a Dixie cup full of water. It reminded me of camping when I was a kid. Thankfully I could at least brush them, but brushing with fresh sink water is so much better!

Once the pump was pulled up nearly 200 feet, Mr. Fix-It could see the malfunction occurred because the connection between the pump and the motor became striped out. Thankfully all is *well* (yes, pun intended) now and we have a nice gushing supply to fill our needs. Thank you all for your concerns via comments, email, & phone - you're all so sweet to me.

So to make up for lost time, this morning thus far I've washed & folded five loads of laundry, made Chocolate Chip cookies, hard boiled (and deyolked) two dozen eggs for hubby's lunches the rest of the week, made two batches of Strawberry freezer jam, made one batch of applesauce (the chunky kind, my personal fav), and even loaded and unloaded the dishwasher twice...and it's not even 11am yet!

Now I must get my patterns traced off and prepped for my class. Still not 100% sure which ones I'm tracing, ack!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Life's gone to hell in a handbasket...

isn't that how the saying goes? Life has been nothing but boring around here for the past week. I, on the other hand, like boring. I like thinks to stay the same. No news is good news, right?

Well all the fun started last Thursday night when I was draining the kitchen didn't drain. I've had this happen before and just used a plunger to dislodge whatever the problem is. Well the plunger just didn't give way to whatever the clog was. Long story short, a bottle of Drain-O, a "snake" tool, and climbing up on the roof to check to see if the vent was clogged did nothing. More drastic measures had to be taken, so in the dark my hubby was on a very tall ladder cutting a hole in the sofit area of the house so he could get to the water pipe that was clogged (of course it couldn't be something easy to get at under the sink). Ultimately he had to cut the pipe open (which resulted in Drain-O gushing everywhere) so he could snake the clog (which was further down the drain) and then flush it with the house. Time taken, 3.5 hours (plus an hour of cleanup on the weekend) and $40 spend.

Well fast forward to this morning at 6am. My alarm goes off and I cheerfully (NOT) get up to take my shower. I just start to put shampoo in my hair and the water stops. I turned off the shower and turned it back on, it starts and immediately stops. I try the other nozzle in the shower, nothing. Okay, out of the shower with shampoo still in my hair I frantically call my hubby at work. I couldn't believe he answered the phone, I didn't expect him to be in his office because they have a huge maintenance day scheduled on Thursday and he was having to prep a bunch of stuff.

Our conversation:

Me: "I'm so glad you're there. We have a huge problem. I was in the shower and all of a sudden the water stops. I tried turning it off and on and nothing."

Him: "Can this wait until tonight?"

Me: "No, we have NO water, do you not understand I have shampoo in my hair, there is NO water".

Him: "Okay, go out to the pump house (we have a nearly 200 foot well that supplies our water that was drilled 8 years ago) and check to hear if the pump is running and see what the pressure gauge says."

So on the phone I go to the pump house in the pitch dark making sure I don't trip of Tonka trucks or the like. In the pump house I find the pressure gauge at 0% and the pump sounding like it's trying to pump water, but nothing happening. So the not-so-happy hubby says he'll be home shortly.

Fast forward to now (6 hours later) and little progress has been made. We had our well driller come out for some guidance, but it looks like something is wrong with the pump (thankfully just the pump and we're not out of water). So my hubby is working to pull up nearly 200 feet of 1.5" pipe out of the ground so he can get to the pump and diagnose the problem. A new pump is about $800, however the wire could get damaged as well during the pump removal process so who knows how much the final bill is going to total. Not to mention $70 call fee for the driller to come provide advice. And to make matters worse, a piece at the top of the well head fell into the hole and is causing trouble, so my hubby and his wonderful father are working to get that free so the pump will pull up. Now I just wait as I live without water and still have dried shampoo in my hair.

But hey, it could be worse - it could always be worse. So I'm optimistic that this will be fixed relatively soon and that I will be able to take a shower and actually rinse my hair clean. Never a dull moment.

On a bright note, I signed up for a fitting class taught by Marta Alto of Palmer/Pletsch. Last week was my first class. We discussed fitting and each member of the class tried on fitting shells (bodice and skirt) to determine the correct pattern size. Marta is super sweet and I think I'm going to learn a lot. I'm looking forward to my next class, but need to figure out what patterns I'm going to take to alter. I do feel like I knew most of what she said because I read her book Fit For Real People, but I appreciate that hands on approach and her help to make sure I'm doing the correct alterations for my body. I'll post how the class goes after this week's session. I feel so fortunate to have such excellent fitting experts so close to home.

Lastly, the voting for the Sewing for Babies/Kids contest is going on at PR right now (through Saturday the 11th), so don't forget to vote. I will warn you tho, you'll have lots of trouble deciding on a favorite as there are so many adorable entries! Here is the direct link to the gallery where you vote.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Holey Hoodie

I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your lovely comments here and on PR about the jacket I made my son. You have no idea what a smile they put on my face.

On Saturday I worked on another little number for my baby. I made him a "holey hoodie" last fall and he loved it, but sadly it's too small now. Since he loved that sweatshirt so much, I decided to surprise him with another one. The pattern is from Ottobre 4-2007-11. It's really generously wide, so I can see getting a few more years out of this pattern by just adding some length even tho I made it in size 110 (the biggest size) .

Up close of the pockets. I used the reverse side of my cover stitch to make to stitch the pocket down.

I think the pictures show how much he likes he new hoodie! :-) I wish I could keep him little, he's so darn much fun.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Pilot Jacket (Img Heavy)

I finished my son's pilot jacket earlier in the week and was finally able to get outside and get some photos to share. I know I'm going overboard on pictures, but it's a mom's duty to gloat, so here I am fulfilling my *mommy duty*. :-)

From the pictures you can see all the details of the jacket. I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out. I posted a detailed review of the jacket on PR. I highly recommend the jacket and plan to enter the jacket in the sewing for children contest that is currently running.