Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fall is HERE!

It's that time again.  Cleaning out the stash, planning the sewing and knitting, getting my act together for another season.  Oh, do you Pinterest?  I'm big into this now for sewing/home dec/cooking inspiration.  Check me out:)

First it starts with the magazines.  What is going to on trend this year?
  1. Scarves- they are in again but include silks, velvets and cottons.  It's not only about the knitting.
  2. Long skirts- gored, godets, flowing.  This is a rather touchy subject for someone as short as I am.
  3. Peasant tops- gathered sleeves, wide necklines
  4. Boots, boots, boots- all types
  5. Kitten heels- love these shoes and still have some from when they were in vogue years past.
  6. Bright colors- does this remind of the '80s?  
  7. Lace and layering- lace over or under as a top/jacket or cami
  8. Ponchos/capes- I personally think this is going to be bigger next year but what do I know.  

Photo Bergere de France, poncho 119.921 shade 8013
Knitting this poncho in Cascade 220.   I know bright colors are on trend but staples are always necessary.  Add a bright handbag to make it pop. (Tano)
Boots- Frye
Frye Boots- Jane (Photo
 Sewing plans:

Vogue 8751 pants

Fabric from Fashion
Olive Green wool tricotine suiting
Taupe wool suiting

Wool/silk suiting
Camel wool suiting
(Is it obvious I need pants?  Being in the field I am, skirts aren't really conducive to work in and dresses are really only for going out.  Since we've cut back financially, it's not necessary to sew going-out clothes.)

Next, come the tops.  Jalie has just come out with a new pattern- LOVE it!!!
I'm thinking about a sateen shirting in the royal blue (again from

Speaking of new patterns, I've been doing Fusion Fitness and now need some cool tops.  This one spoke to me right off the bat.  Being that I've never had kids, the nursing portion isn't necessary but I do like that she has that option for those who need it.

This is a good start to fall.  Now it's time to clear out the closet of things I haven't worn in years. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Inspiration on a shoestring budget

Ok, I should be rich.  I want to be rich but reality is, I'm not.  So, I'm sewing this skirt for $14 and not $78.  Yes, my time is worth money but with a serger I estimate the time will be about 30 min.  Here's my inspiration:

(Photo courtesy

I didn't find the exact color but something beautiful anyway- this is a close color but the one I picked is sold out.  It is an 11 oz. Rayon Jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics.  I love their knits- soft and light- just like RTW.
(Photos courtesy
The pattern I selected was Simplicity 2184
(Photo courtesy

Simplicity 2184

I'm making view E.  The Garnet Hill skirt has godets so this pattern was perfect.  If you have average length legs then you will want to make a longer view to get the same effect.  It's short but so am I.  I would like the skirt to hit right above my knee.  This view has the model wearing socks with the boots (have the boots already) but I'm going to knit a pair of "boot toppers".  This might be the answer to leg warmers but they don't make the leg too warm and keep the boots from feeling sticky where they fit close.

Time: Cut-out- 10 min
           Threading the serger- 30 sec
           Piecing it together- 5 min
           Serging- 30 min
           Hemming (with narrow zig-zag)- 5 min (after hanging the skirt)
Total Time: 45min (It's a 2 hr sewing only skirt)
$14 fabric
$1.99 pattern
$25 time (ok, I want to pay myself a lot per hour:)
Total cost: $39.99 (*$78 plus shipping for the original garment)

Changes to the pattern:
I love skirts which have a wide band at the top so you can wear it shorter or longer or even roll it over the skirt.  So, I made a waistband 3" wide to add on top of the skirt.  Gentle gathers on the sides were added to make the turn-down more gathered. 

Conclusion: Time to find a nice cardigan.  I'm so glad they are back in vogue.  I used to be called "twinset girl" because that's what I always wore.  They are back again and perfect for so many occasions.  I have an embroidery design of a Koi fish that would look great on a nice dark cardigan.  Time for some shopping for things I won't be making!

More photos when it's finished.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

I've let myself go.  Ok, it feels better to say it.  Where did the woman go 15 lbs ago in such a short period of time.  Ok, laugh.  My friend did Boot Camp and looks like a million bucks!!  I'm jealous and a little ashamed.  That was me a mere 5 years ago.  Now, I work long hours and can come up with many excuses.  Who wants to sew for the "new" person I've become?  Sigh.

So, not to wallow in pity.  What in the world am I going to do to kick start myself back into what I can be? Do I commit to running nightly again?  Yep, I now run a whole mile and that's it if I get to it at all.  Eating- yeah, when I do it's dinner and then some coffee throughout the day.  I could eat better too.  See, I've fallen apart.

Well, to address other things I've been doing- dropping the Burda magazine.  I once loved it and couldn't wait for the new issues.  Now, I don't even look at them when they arrive.  The pattern sheets are frustrating and the styles are far from spectacular.  La Mia Boutique is better but I haven't traced a pattern yet.

Knitting:  I'm almost done with my first lace project.  It has been a very bumpy road.  It was frogged 10 times and is being finished with errors.  It has to be finished this time or it will never be done.  On to simpler projects.  I must admit, it wasn't hard but why did I have trouble?  On to another project of written instructions and predictable fitting/knitting.

Now, what to sew?  I love dresses but work in an environment where it is nearly impossible to wear them.  We, as dentists, must sit in a somewhat stance resembling the splits.  Yes, a long skirt is fine but try working in one and not dragging the ground when you sit.  I really don't want my skirt to drag on the floor in a dental operatory- yuck.  Slacks are fine but look at paragraph 1 and get back to me.

Yes, I could sew tops and am in desperate need of them to wear with the tight slacks I own.  How fast can I get back into shape safely?  It's depressing- frustrating, especially since my sinuses are constantly clogged and getting my breath is difficult.  Oh to be so negative- believe me, I see the glass half full the majority of the time.

Where to go from here?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cleaning up some things

When is there a better time to take an inventory of what you have and clean up a little?  No better time then when it's 100 degrees F?  Well, that's what I did.  Amazon got some listings, Ravelry got their share too.  I'm no longer a member of PR so no classifieds there.  I've decided to rid myself of a few of the BWOF.  Most of the issues I have are from 2008 to present.  If you're looking for one, message me.  I'll look to see if I have it.

Time to clean things up.  It's nice to see space where other things once occupied.  Next comes the basement...  not much to sell there.  The fabric has been destashed already.  A few skeins/hanks of yarn but mostly garage sale stuff.  Anyone need a wedding dress???

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hayley Hoodie

Finally, pictures!  The Hayley Hoodie was finished a few weeks back and I've finally taken really bad camera photos for your viewing enjoyment. It's also reviewed on Ravelry.

This is my first garment and I learned a few things. First off, mark your rows. It seems so obvious now... Next bind off in purl.

I love this hoodie and will be making it again for friends.  The hoodie is behind the garment in this shot so it looks odd.  The way the light was coming in the window it looks worn.  Really, it's the clouds.

Hoodie is behind so it's lumpy.
Photos of me wearing someday...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Time Flies

Ok, it's really been since April 30th.  The Haylay hoodie is done and I've worn it several times with multiple compliments.  No pictures- camera battery charger is MIA.

Starting on the wedding dress.  After several responses, I've decided to wear the turquoise dress from the Montana wedding but will wear the shift for dinner that night.  I feel like such a princess to be switching outfits for one event.

Knitting-wise I started this top:

Photo slurped from her website

This is something I want to finish for my birthday celebration.  I think it will cute with little cap sleeves so I'm going to try to figure out out to make them from this pattern.  I think I might just extend the shoulder portion and add increases to make a sleeve.  Still thinking on this one since I'm still very new to knitting.  It's a beautiful pattern and is knitting up quickly so wish me luck.  Oh, the yarn, it's this one by Cascade Cotton Rich DK:  (I know, no originality in regards to color...)

Pictures of the progress on the shift this weekend... if I can find the charger.  ARGH!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wedding Dilemma

Is it appropriate to wear a sleeveless black dress to a daytime wedding?  My mother-in-law is getting married in the early afternoon in a small chapel wedding and I'm contemplating on wearing this pattern.
(Photo courtesy of

Vogue 8647

The newest magazine had a great idea for a little black dress with lace overlay- perfect for summer.  So, I got black crepe and a beautiful lace with a little sparkle.  Now I'm second guessing myself.  Should I have gotten the champagne crepe instead?  I don't want to look like I'm mourning at the wedding.  

So, fellow sewists and non-sewists alike, is it appropriate to wear black to a daytime wedding?  

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Another Little Girl's Dress

New Look 6819 (Courtesy

I can't believe this is discontinued.  Talk about an easy and creative pattern.  This fabric is from Joann Fabric, Etc.

I can't say I looked at the directions other than to determine the length of the straps.  Adorable and easy pattern.

On to the little boy's shirt...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dress Done!

First item in months that I've started and finished.

(Photo Courtesy New Look)
The dress is made of quilting cotton, lined with cotton batiste and biased with polka dot cotton.  I love the feel of the batiste.  I lined it to help it keep it's shape, hide seams and make it less see-thru.  I always worry that a dress that is too light will not look right when worn.  Hopefully it won't be too hot for the little girl.

The buttons are pink and green with swirls and polka dots.  Boy, are buttons expensive now days...  I added a piece of ribbon on the back since I don't have labels at this time.

Finished dress.  Quick project.  I hope she likes it:)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What's on the needles, both sewing and knitting

I will force my mojo back one way or another!  After a wadder that derailed me completely, I've been promising myself to get back on the horse and forget the past.  (still waiting)  To those who have been so patient as to follow me through this frustrating time, it will pay off.

So, without preamble, I present the projects of April...

Definitely not for selfish me but rather a friend's little girl.  It will be a cotton covered with strawberries and accent piping.

Next, a boys shirt with Thomas the Tank Engine cotton.

Photos after the projects are finished.  I'm hoping to get them cut-out and done this weekend since the weather is going to be less than favorable.

To the knitting needles...

Currently I'm working on the Hayley Hoodie by C2Knits 

(Photo courtesy

This is on the needles using Berroco Vintage in Blueberry.

(Photo courtesy
I'm loving the blueberry color.  It's a deep royal blue.  The yarn is a little splitty and not twisted tightly.  This does make it nice as far as blocking and elasticity so it is a "go-to" yarn for me.  The hoodie isn't hard but being a little of a literal person, I mistook some of the instructions and had to contact the designer.  She is a huge help and responds quickly.

Next on the needles this month, is Strawberry Social from Verena Knitting.

(Photo courtesy Verena
The yarn is still up for grabs.  I'm thinking a nice cotton/silk but still unsure.  It is calling for a DK weight yarn.  My dream yarn is Madelintosh but I don't want an $80 tank for summer.  Craziness!  

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Finishing up some knitting

Ok, I'm finishing up the Queensland sweater that I've posted on Ravelry here.   I'm just about done with one front but have the ribbing and belt left to do.  It's really not bad as far as cabling is concerned but this is my first attempt.   I'm making it out of Cascade 220 Heather in Corodovan.  In real life the color is a rich mahogany red-yum.  It's not a green as the picture portrays.

Since I've gotten a little bored and ready for Spring, I have started a quick project by C2Knits.  It's called the Haley Hoodie.  Hoodie

I'm using the following yarn: Cascade 220 in Twilight Blue.  In real life it's very royal blue.  It doesn't feel like wool so I really like it.  Unfortunately I bought it when it wasn't on sale.  Now it's on sale at

On Ravelry there is a lace knit-along going on.  Yes, I'm reaching out and expanding my horizons.  Cables for the first time ever and lace this year too.

For my lace project I picked a quick one to knit from Verena.  Of course, my luck proves the same.  I sold this issue 20 months ago.  Figures!  So, now I have to buy the magazine or pattern again.  Teaches me...  It's called Strawberry Social .  I'm thinking of making it in a cotton but still not sure about this one. It's a DK weight yarn.  I did see someone make it in a fingering weight but seriously, I don't have patience for that:)

Sewing needs are still there.  Again, I need short sleeve shirts.  Honestly, I have t-shirts and that's about it.  Don't get me wrong, I love t-shirts but need wovens.  So, be on the look-out for some nice fabric and maybe some Burda blouses this Spring.

Now on to the summer sewing.  I did get a Simplicity pattern for the infinity dress.  There was a store here selling them for $98- again, easy to make and will get lots of wear out of it.  Burda has disappointed me this year and I think I'm going to stop my subscription.  La Mia Boutique is nice but I'm at a loss for what's next for me to sew.  Suggestions are appreciated.  Mojo is still missing.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Couple of Things

Saw this top in a magazine and thought, "I can make that."  Yes, it's inspiration time.

Photo courtesy of

It appears to be a tank top with an empire waist, no side seams and 2 strips of fabric that cross in front.  I don't know how the back looks but it appears that the strips continue to the back.  I'd probably rather add side seams as I can't envision how the wrapping in the back would look attractive at all.

Any pattern suggestions?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lost my sewing mojo

It's been months since I wanted to sew.  The machine sits waiting for me to warm it up and use it.  I look at it with trepidation.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  Where did it go?

I'm speculating here but think it may have started months ago.  My TNT Burda changed their pattern sheets- hit number 1.  Next, their styles became blah- hit number 2.  Sewed a few tops that ended up trashed- hit number 3. (Others have analyzed it.  They have determined I don't know what in the heck I'm doing with the other pattern companies and must be cutting out the wrong size.  Another topic for another day but surely I'm not THAT big;)  Finally, I got busy, the weather got bad, I got bored.

Hunting through patterns I already had yielded no increased desire.  Could it be gone forever?

Welcome March, Burda.  I still haven't received February, it's another bust for me but hope is eternal.  My mojo is waiting for Spring.

Hello new designs of March:

Love the peplum

Wouldn't this be pretty in a silk-dupioni?  I have a formal banquet in mid-March, dare I pair it with a little sheath dress?  Will I have time?

A knit casual skirt- ah!  I can see it pair with a hoodie and tennis shoes.  A casual and definitely dated look I'm sure but all me.
Photo from

Another drop in 1980, where's the Polo guy?

Not sure about the asymmetrical part but it looks so Springy, I couldn't resist.

I'd like to welcome back my Mojo, you've been gone far too long.  Oh, saw these cute shoes too and think they would look nice with a denim skirt... just a thought.

Shoe photos from Piperlime and clothing from

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's Snowing...

My last post was hopeful for Spring but it's snowing, blizzard conditions.  We've gotten over a foot so far.  Unfortunately I don't knit fast enough to get it done this weekend.  So, I'm not giving up on my Winter knitting.  I've found Queensland Collection Book 7.

(Photos from Queensland Collection)

The cardigan is called Florence

What I like about it is it's a comfy cardi with a tie belt.  Lots of great details and classic in style.
Now to the yarn...

Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage

A few colors I'm thinking about are:
Thunderstorm (Photos from
It's superwash merino wool.  The reviews say it relaxes after it's washed and dried.  Because of this, I'm going to make the size small.  I'm right between sizes and it looks relaxed.  Really don't want it to look like it should fit my husband.  Honestly, I'd like to make it in a fun color but really like the idea of having classic clothes that will last many seasons.  Thunderstorm looks like a nice bluish-black and Composition looks like a variegated gray, Charcoal is a blue-gray.  All are probably pretty classic but Thunderstorm looks a little more trendy.  What are your thoughts?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

This trend isn't good but...

I blogged about the Vogue top here but it ended up...

HERE! (that's not me but I know how she feels)
Two items for the year, both trashed.  I told my friend they were Wadders (not the way you'd typically say the word but think wadded up and thrown away).  Sad but true.  Now I have no desire to sew at all. 

On the other hand, my knitting is taking off.  I'm better than 1/3 of the way done with the cardigan and am planning other projects.

Nashua Handknits has some great designs:

This design is part of the Isabella collect.  I love the detail.  It's called Jasmine.  The color definitely doesn't look good on me but I thought maybe a nice navy or lavender for the Spring???

Photo courtesy Nashua

Next item to consider is another design by Nashua-
This design is called Chestnut.  (Photo courtesy Nashua  I have a favorite acrylic cardigan that is toasty warm but sadly falling apart and it is very similar to this design.  I would probably attempt to change the collar and make it without a closure.  Any suggestions?