May 31, 2008


So, what do you think? This is my modified version of Simplicity 2996. It's not yet finished as technically this is made from old JoAnn's fabric that I don't particularly love. But as JB and Carolyn pointed out - I'm using it as muslin rather than tossing it. Anyway - Bonnie said that to her the line drawing looked a little bit matronly. So, I'm wondering - what do you think? I went ahead and used the Simplicity pattern because it was closer to my size than the McCalls. While my shoulders are a size 14 or so, my bust is much closer to a 16 and the hips are off the chart! I always have trouble making a nice smooth transition from the pattern size to my size and usually end up with the dreaded jodpur hip. However, I think I successfully avoided that this time. I wanted a dress that buttoned down the front - all the way, not just to a waist seam. So, I simply extended the button band and the facing to the bottom. I didn't add any length and while this length is okay if I never hem it, it needs to have slightly more length to have a nice finished length. So, do I finish it and move forward with the Navy eyelet or do I test the McCalls tomorrow? Tonight I'm getting ready to make risotto and pork chops and then I'm knitting.

It's A Jungle Out There!

This is a picture of our upper back yard. This is the section of the yard right behind the living room. Truly it's a jungle out there. See that rhody? Right next to it is our little fire pit. The weeds are winning the war.
That pretty little yellow flower is really a weed I think. It's on the path in front of the pond. I'm sure tomorrow I'll be out pulling it.
Not part of the jungle - but there's an iris. There are only two purple irises growing in our yard. I'm not sure why JB hasn't planted more - they are really pretty.
Here's a view of the block wall
behind the pond patio. It's a jungle out there too! There is an old rusted stove part (JB has a strange collection of stoves as yard art) up there along with a two person bistro set. I can't wait until this portion of the yard is cleaned up and usable. Unfortunately it's not really visible from the front yard so it's the last to get done. Hopefully next weekend by the latest.

May 30, 2008

Decision's Made

Last night, I sat down with JB and the pile of coat patterns - okay so there were only 5! After discussing the options I decided to go with V8346. I'll be making the red view - that length, that collar, everything. This morning I called Ann, and ordered 4 yards of the Princess Red Wool Flannel. I still have to decide about lining. I don't think I'll need to interline my coat as it never really gets cold in Western Washington, but I'll ask for opinions at my next ASG Neighborhood group meeting. To keep JB happy - I also asked Ann to send me swatches of the August Green, eggplant, and bright peony wool flannel. Who knows, I may end up making more than one coat. I'm feeling slightly (okay really more like I'm drowning here) out of my element here. I just hope I don't mess this up.

May 29, 2008

Patient Dogs

This is a late Dogs on Thursday post. This week I have started seriously working out again. I have treadmilled consistently at a 4.0 pace or above for 3 miles plus add weight training back in. While I really like the idea of the M2, I just don't use it. What I do like and use is Gunnar Peterson's Core Secrets workouts. This week I have done a 45 minute workout twice. So, what does all that have to do with the dogs, you ask? Well on weight days, I workout after work. So the dogs have to stay out in the yard even after I am home. I workout in their space. Really - it's theirs, they just let me use it occasionally. That's Miss Abigail being seen through the screen, sitting in the yard, waiting for the doggy door to be opened. The other part of this equation is that because I workout right after work, dinner is a little bit later. In a past life the dogs ate at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. They still eat at 7 a.m. most days. However - that 7 pm is negotiable based on how our dinner is coming along. Right when this picture was taken, it was about 7:30 and JB was cooking the scallops and I was doing sides. They were making sure we knew they were there and that they hadn't eat yet. As soon as the scallops were turned, I fetched their kibble. Even though I try my best to time their dinner so they are eating at the same time we are - they were finished before we could even dish up! (By the way Chan - it was a tooth, just not Beauregard's. I don't even want to contemplate where it came from!)

May 28, 2008

What's Next?

Next up is more of the New York fabric. If I remember correctly, both of the pieces pictured on this post were purchased with the thought of a shirt dress.
But - my memory is faulty these days, so who knows? Carolyn?
This is what I'm thinking. Right now I have cut the tissue for Simplicity 2996. I like the lines of the short dress, but no longer have the knees to wear a skirt that short. I also like the sort sleeves. So, I'm thinking lengthen the pieces for the short dress and use the short sleeve. The only thing is - it isn't a true shirt dress since it doesn't button all the way down the front.
The other option that I have is McCalls 4769. I like the collar on this one a little bit better. I love that it buttons all the way down the front, and although I shouldn't really wear sleeveless anymore (see photos in last post) I love it!
So - which will make the best use of those beautiful borders? The top is a Navy Eyelet with a scalloped border. Carolyn and I talked about lining it with black batiste to make it a dressier dress or white for a more casual dress. I could always line it with a blue - but I think it would have to be a navy blue because anything else would be too - Ugh.
So, once again, I'm looking for ideas, suggestions and opinions. Thanks. g


Mostly finished. This was cut out long ago. I say it's mostly finished because if I decide to finish it, it needs to have the neckband facing handsewn down and hooks and eyes applied to the neckband. I have a couple of issues with this top. First, it's a little short for me. I think. Second - what do you wear a shiny polka dot top with? Third - see those gaps at the underarms? What causes that and can I fix it on this top? I was thinking of taking a little dart in the armhole. Fourth - in the name of all things on the planet - what style of bra do you wear with a top like this? Even my racer back shows with this top. Strapless? UGH! So, the pattern is Butterick 4996. I like the way it looks on the envelope - not sure I love it on me. Thoughts, suggestions? Do I finish?

May 27, 2008

I Won!

So, in case you're wondering - I won the battle with the sewing machine. In case anyone is wondering - when the problem is on the top of what you're sewing - it's always an issue with the bobbin. If the problem in on the bottom - it's the needle thread. Backwards of what everyone thinks - but true. So, I finally got it sorted out - thanks to a tiny set of screwdrivers designed to repair eyeglasses. That little tool is now living in the accessory box of my machine. The pattern is one of my favorite skirt patterns. (Jess did I send you this one? If so - make it!) It's Kwik*Sew 3337. I have made a few modifications to this pattern, but not many. The fabric is the first piece to be sewn from my New York Shopping Spree - lined with white muslin.

The first modification is that I cut the front panels on the fold. The very first time I made this skirt, I made it out of an Amy Butler print and made it according to the pattern. If you follow the link you will see how the skirt sticks out in the center front. I love this skirt and still wear it often, but I'm not thrilled with how the center front hang. So, I now cut it on the fold - laying the top 5/8" from the fold and taking out the smallest bit of fullness down at the hem. I like it much better this way.

This time, I folded the waistband to the inside and top stitched it down. I always wait until the skirt is finished and ease the skirt into the waistband finished to my measurements.

What you can't see from either of these pictures is that the red bled into the white a little bit. Isn't there a product I can wish this with again to remove some of the bleeding - or did I blow that by drying it already?

May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

This is my friend who I went to see on vacation. He is currently on his second tour of duty in the Middle East. While he's still alive and well - let's all please keep him and his family in our thoughts that he makes it safely home to his family! We love you J!

More Options

Yesterday, I stopped by Hancock Fabrics to look for the OOP Vogue coat pattern. They were good about pulling their old patterns, so if I really want it, I'll have to buy it online.
Anyway, I picked up McCalls 5247. It has all the elements that Marji has suggested are important in a coat. For awhile still you can see her posts on the the Great Coat Sew Along by following the link.
I also picked up McCalls 5060. While I like most of the details - it's an armhole princess rather than a shoulder princess. And it only has a one piece sleeve. So, it's probably out for this round.
Next, I picked up Vogue 8346. I really like the short version (which is view A, shown in the back), but again - armhole princess and one piece sleeve. The last pattern I got, is also most likely a no. It's Vogue 1266. While I love the collar on View A (far right in the pattern illustrations), I'm not sure I'm up to welt pockets along with everything else. The length is way to long - but that's fixable. Finally it has a 2 piece sleeve, but again - armhole princess.
I wonder if I could take the sleeve from V1266 and use it with V8346, the short version with the shawl collar - maybe even in pink?


I have an older version of this sewing machine. I used to love it! Now I want to use it as a very expensive anchor! Not quite 2 years ago it had a recall that I had never had fixed. I took it to local dealer and it has never been the same. It has taken me almost 3 weeks to make the red skirt and it's still not finished. It's a simple skirt - so why haven't I finished yet? Well - because after sewing all the seams in both the skirt and the lining I went to install the invisible zipper. They're easy, I can almost do it blind-folded, when the machine cooperates. But for some reason the tension is off. I have taken the machine apart - cleaned everything. Rethreaded everything and changed needles. I'm at my wit's end. It's a very sad day when my cheapo Wal*Mart back-up machine works better than my good one.

May 23, 2008

The Great Coat Sew Along

Marji was involved in a discussion on Stitchers Guild regarding the making of a wool coat. She brought it up on her blog when showing the wool blanket she's knitting through the summer. Crazy girl! Nothing like a pile of wool in your lap when it's warm out. Anyway - that prompted the set up of The Great Coat Sewalong. I have decided that I want to play - first I want a wool coat. Not as much use for them in Western Washington as I had when living in Missoula, Montana, but still.

I am at a loss. I have One, yep only one coat pattern. It is a Simplicity Threads pattern and has all the elements that Marji has indicated are important for a first coat. But having looked at other patterns, I don't love it. And maybe I want to make 2 coats. I don't know! Of course, I had the pattern in my handbag and now I can't find it!

Here's my first delima. Deciding upon a pattern - I have the threads one (with no pattern number or link). I'm also considering Vogue 7979, Butterick 4665 (I love the collar), Butterick 4875 (I like the off set closing, rather than the double breasted). I'm going to stop by a local fabric store and see if I can find any of these.

Second - what color? I was thinking of making a grey coat. Carolyn met JB and listened to him grumble about how all I wear is bland, boring, earth colors. So, why am I thinking grey? Well - because! Most of my wardrobe is brown. I have a nice brown raincoat as well as a short brown leather coat. But I don't know what to wear when I wear black. I do not want a black coat - so I was thinking grey. But then my ASG friends said if I like brown to make a brown coat it goes well with black.

Last week at dinner, I was talking with JB about this coat project and he said - red! Make a red coat. (The top photo is princess red). All fabrics are available from gorgeous fabrics. I can't really tell how red that red is, so I'm leery of it. I don't want a tomato red, but a rich burgundy red would be lovely. I'm also thinking pale pink - because well pink would be beautiful with all the browns I wear as well as black.

Opinions anyone? On pattern and/or color?

May 22, 2008

Spa Day

Last Sunday was Spa Day at our house - for the dogs! Yep, you read that right, it was doggy spa day. First we took the big guys for a long walk to tire them out. It works best if they are tired, they don't fight and try to run away. Then one at a time, they got their individual spa treatments. First up was Miss Lucy. She sat with JB on the front porch and got her nails done. Then it was my turn - I cleaned ears and started brushing. They all got brushed twice - once before and then once after their baths. I didn't take alot of photos - because we were working with hostile dogs and water and I wanted my camera to stay working. That's a far way photos of Abby the Clean dog. Prior to her spa treatment, she rather resembled Harry the Dirty Dog. Finally - there is a distance shot of Dudley. He's making sure he's not close enough to be touched with water again. He hates water! After he was done he spent a good 45 minutes rolling, in the lawn on the road - anywhere he could to get dry. He hates water! I'm not sure you fully understand. It's no Purlin'Goldens method of bathing, buy it works for us. Happy Dogs on Thursday (follow the link, go, go now - it's Sissy!).

Real Estate

At the beginning of January, my job changed. At that time I sat in the front office. I work in a small, but very busy law office. With the changes to my job that came with the promotion - I was no longer able to really get my work done sitting in the front office. Too many people going by, too many distractions, no privacy. So, around the beginning of April, right before we went on vacation, I decided I was taking over the file storage room as my office. it was much smaller and the real estate that I had to do my job would change dramatically. But I was okay with that - in fact I was very excited. This was big undertaking, boxing up all the old files, finding storage for them, moving around filing cabinets and supply storage. I had to find a desk that I liked, order and build it (actually I bought JB lunch one day in a bribe to get him to build it). Last Thursday, the phone system guys came and set up my phone. Yesterday the IT guy moved my computer and check printer. Over there <---- that the side of my desk right under the window. The printer sits on that raised portion - for now. The final picture is a view of my office from the door. Yep, I have a door I can close and I am so excited. Yes, I did loose lots of space for stuff on my desk. What you can't see is to the right of the door there is a vertical file cabinet with in boxes on it. The nice part about having a tiny desk - I have to do one task and finish and put it away before moving on. Otherwise - papers get mixed up and that's never good. Since I'm dealing directly with client files too much anymore - this is working for me. I will be bringing in another small shelf either under the window or on the wall behind my chair.
I am a happy camper :)

May 21, 2008

Another Finished Knit

Tonight I grafted the toes on the Pink Princess socks. These were originally started right after the first of the year. I had The Princess look through Favorite Socks and mark a few patterns that she liked. My friend D started calling these the 'peppermint candy' socks. This pair went on vacation with us last month - but I wasn't very far along. I did 7 patterns of the lace on the leg, then made the heel. My goal was to get the heel turned and the gusset completely decreased before coming home so The Princess could try them on. I managed to get that accomplished, but didn't get an process pictures of her trying them on. They are long enough in the leg for her and fit through the heel and gusset. You can see that they are too big for me. The kid wears a size 10.5 shoe! These socks are long. Pattern: Merino Lace Socks by Anne Woodbury from Favorite Socks. Yarn: Maxime Print by Filatura deLarosa, 2 balls Needles: Addi Turbo, 40" US1s, magic looped both socks at the same time from the top down. Time to complete: 3 months! Ugh - apparently I need to focus more :)

May 19, 2008

Design & Creativity

My local ASG chapter hosts an educational event every May. This year they brought in Diane Ericson. I have to say that while the clothing she makes is beautiful - it's totally not my style. While I loved looking at it, none of it inspired me enough to even purchase a pattern.
I did have a few moments of - OH! and Hmmm. But unfortunately I did not leave inspired. Oh well, not everything has to work for everyone.
The one thing she did that I really liked, was the art collage. She would start with inspiration photos - generally from architectural magazines - and then pull fabrics, trims, bits and pieces to get the same feel of the inspiration piece. Sometimes those elements then became a garment or an outfit, but sometimes they just remained swatches on a piece of paper. I did like that.

May 18, 2008

Destination: Yarn

Up and down the I-5 Corridor in Western Washington, yarn store owners got together and set up the 2008 LYS Tour. Up there, that's Miss D from the comments to who posts as 'anonymous.' The picture was taken at Seattle Yarn.
So, I travelled with Miss D, Roseann & Marjorie - all of whom are blogless. We met at my house at 9:30. Our first stop was Renaissance Yarns in Kent. It was a beautiful store, there were brownie bites and bottled water. If you spent more than $25 you got the tour bag free.
My only goal while shopping was to purchase yarns not available at one of my truly local yarn stores. So while at Renaissance, I bought some Duet sock yarn in a very different for me colorway. I really like it. For some reason I'm very attracted to yellows and golds lately. After Renaissance, we headed to The Knittery and then onto The Yarn Stash (neither of whom have an internet presence.) I didn't purchase anything at either shop, just got my stamp, picked up the one skein pattern and headed up the road.
After that we went to So Much Yarn in Seattle. This was another very nice shop. I was wanting some Dream in Color Smooshy for a project I have in mind, but couldn't pull the trigger on the purchase. If I had realized that the project yarn was on sale - I might have gone ahead - but oh well. We also had lunch while we were downtown. Back into the car, next stop - Bad Woman Yarn, then the weaving works where I bought two skeins of Louet gems in a green and white tweedy colorway. It's a very soft mint green.
After that it was Acorn Street, Let It Rain, and then Spin-a-Yarn. I was impressed with 2 of these three shops and will go back there again. At Spin-a-Yarn I picked up two hanks of the Great Adirondack Yarn Company - the yarn is 52% cotton/48% rayon and the colors are to die for! The official name is 'Casino Honeydew Hattie.' Each hank is 700 yards and will be more than enough for the project I have in mind.
Our last and final yarn store was Village Yarn & Tea Shop. Their one skein project was a lovely pair of lace socks with a ruffled edge. They brought in Claudia Hand Painted Yarn for the tour and I bought one in the blue and brown colorway. I love it. I will actually make the project socks from it!
So, in case you were counting, in a little less than 12 hours - we managed to see 11 of the 24 yarn shops. We did take a little bit of time at each shop, wandering around, visiting with the staff. I did stop at one more store on my way home from work on Thursday, so made it to half of the store. Next year we are planning on spending at least 2 days and a hotel to get to all of them.

May 17, 2008


So, on Friday 3 of my bff's got together and started Destination Yarn. But more about that tomorrow. Today - I want to tell you all about the box that was waiting for me when I got home.
Susan was my spoiler. There was a box sitting on the bench right inside the front door. After thanking my friends for a good time and talking with JB for a bit, I finally had the energy to open the box and snap a few photos.
Look at all the goodies that were packed into one box! I feel very spoiled indeed. Along with some Starbucks, were two little sample packages of flavored coffee - since I have given up cream, I adore coffee with a flavor. There was also a cards, a note pad, a bath package, coffee mug, sugar & cream in oranges, bright orange sock yarn, chocolate coffee beans, and a wonderful green bag (I wish the pattern had been included!).
I don't know what it is about orange lately, but I love it! Look at that yarn - isn't it beautiful. It will make a lovely pair of socks for me. One of the girls asked me yesterday what I would wear a certain sock yarn with yesterday - my response was 'does it matter? I'll wear them with jeans - nobody will see them but me.' I'm already thinking something lacy - maybe the leaf socks from Favorite Socks?
Also - check out this market bag. First - let me just say - I love the color! .L.O.V.E. .I.T. It's just so bright and springing and I can't wait for an excuse to use it!
Second - it's hand knit - won't it be fun to take to the farmer's markets in town and fill with fresh fruits and veggies? Oh, I'm so excited! Sarah, thank you so much - I love the package - all of it!!!
I have a sewing guild event today and I'm already running late - I'm outta here!

May 16, 2008

Close, But No Cigar

This is the pinwheel baby blanket. I decided to knit a blanket for our IT Guy at work. He's a sweetheart and "they" are expecting their second child. According to my ravelry account, this was originally started on March 15th, but I wasn't happy with it, so on April 2 I ripped it and started again. This blanket is not a world traveler - it did not get to see 5 states and 2 countries with me while I was on vacation. These parents know the sex of the baby, but have chosen not to share, the only information I could get was that the nursery is decorated with a 100 Acre Woods Theme from Winnie the Pooh. So the main yarn is Cascade Sierra Quatro - the 4 colors in it are green, yellow, green and white. I accented with Green and Off-white.
I also chose to break the pattern up a little bit. After finishing the bulls eye center in green, I then established a pattern. I would knit according to the pattern, but on every 3rd straight knit row I would purl around. It gave a little ridge and made it much easier to know when I was done with a solid row. I worked 4 sets of the multi and then 1 solid.
It still needs to have all the ends woven in - the back is ugly! It also needs to be washed. Then it will be ready to go. The baby is scheduled for delivery on Father's Day and the last day that IT Guy will in the office is the 20th to move my computer to my new office and install new software - so I better get busy bathing :)

May 15, 2008

My Dogs

are not allowed on the furniture.
Can't you tell by the way he's draped over JB?

May 14, 2008

For Sure*

*JB's favorite saying is "You don't know that for sure." Anytime you say anything, he comes back with 'you don't know that for sure.' Well, here's a list of things I DO know for sure: :: I love that man. That's JB who was getting tired of being asked to try on the first pair of toe-up socks I ever made, so he tried them on as ears. :: I love to sew and knit, enjoy being able to make my own clothes, and the creativity that the process brings. I really love the friends I have made with this blog. :: My current weight is weighing me down - physically and emotionally - and I don't like it. :: I enjoy eating fruits and veggies and next to vodka - water is my favorite beverage. Sugar is the enemy. :: My preferred workout time is 5:45 am. :: I am going to take time for me again - starting right now!

May 13, 2008


Busy hands between races
Alchemy Yarns of Change - approximately 1 skein
US size 5 double pointed needles
Still needs a button

May 11, 2008

Sunday Morning

Good things on/for mother's day. Pots of blueberries and rhubarb.
Raised herb/veggie garden.
My Great Grandmother's pitcher filled with Maple Syrup from New York.
Live plants from The Princess and The Musical One.
It was a good day :)
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