Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ending 2009

 Me at the Virginia House.

I only bought a few notions, a few yards of extra knit fabric from the niece project, some lining fabric for this Colette pattern, and four vintage patterns. I even sold some four yards of my stash fabric so I was pretty good.

I was amazed at how my feelings about sewing are different than they used to be; I LOVED sewing when I was younger, the more difficult a project, the better. Now I have no patience....NO patience whatever! It's amazing. I hope in the new year I will get that love back as I can't keep away from a good sewing blog but with that comes disappointment in myself. Not particularly healthy, no?


In 2009, after five years, I finally went to all the doctors one is supposed to see regularly like your dentist, etc. Which proves without a doubt that I've been scared to really live my life since I moved back here. That crap is going to stop in 2010.

Happy New Year!

The New Year Prophecy

Some years ago I got it into my head (and still can't get it out) that what I'm actually doing on New Year's Eve, when it hits midnight, would influence the coming year. I want to stop doing that, as it's a lot of pressure, but every year or so it turns out eerily so.

Check this out from last year's post on my New Year:

...When I got home, I turned up the heat, had soup and toast, and laid down for a short nap. I woke to see on the clock 8:20 PM, vowed to get up but the next thing I saw was 3:20AM on the clock! Oh well...I sure hope this doesn't mean I'm doomed to sleep through 2009...

As it turns out that is exactly how I would describe what I DID DO with this past year. I sleep-walked through the whole thing.

So tonight, wish me luck.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Sorry, I didn't post this message earlier but I was too busy having a great holiday to blog. YES, despite my melancholy this season and the like-minded posts I wrote about it, I had one of the best holidays I've had in awhile. I didn't even need to make a Bingo card* this year.

Excerpt from a November New York Times article on holidays and tension:

Betsy said her cousin also complained of holiday meal tension with her own family, so the two devised a strategy to help each other cope. Each made bingo cards, but instead of numbers, the squares were filled in with some of the negative phrases they expected to hear during the meal, like “That outfit is interesting” or “Your children won’t sit still.” As comments were made at the separate family celebrations, each woman would mark her card.

“Whoever fills up a bingo row first,” Betsy said, “sneaks off to call the other and say, ‘Bingo!’ ”

I not only met new cool people, got to talk to my great-aunt about sewing (she made my mother's wedding dress!), played with little kids, three dogs, and two cats, ate great food every three hours practically, but I also spent up to two hours with either a loving, purring kitty or a four-month old baby on my lap. Hoo-boy, this was a fun holiday! Hope yours was great too.

Here's to 2010 being even better!

*The Bingo cards are an excellent idea; wish I had them years ago! Thanks for letting me know about them, ATG!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Elegant Maternity Dress - Vogue 9277

It is finally done. After seven years, yet!

Of course it doesn't really fit me (well, it wasn't supposed to be for me) but the important thing is I have finished that project and it is no longer weighing me down!

Despite my whining about working with the material I turned out loving it. So maybe in the future, once I get back to really enjoying sewing again I'll make something else in velour. Maybe some lounge pajamas and a comfy robe?

Pattern: Vogue 9277

Pattern Description:
Misses' Maternity Dress, Tunic, Skirt & Leggings, View A

Pattern Sizing: Sizes 12-14-16, I made a size 12

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it did.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, very much.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the versatility of the pattern. Even though this pattern is from 1995, every piece is still wearable and wouldn't look dated.

Fabric Used: A stretch velour, which is exactly what the pattern suggested.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made no pattern alterations. On all hems and the neckline I did do a second row of stitching 1/8" from the first row to give it a professional twin-needle look. This was also the method that they wanted you to follow for all the interior seams.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes. If anymore of my friends have babies this would be an easy but elegant and practical sew. However, it seems everyone I know have already had their "after-40" babies.

Conclusion: A very easy and comfortable knit pattern for expectant mothers that can be done in less than a weekend by anyone that IS NOT ME.

From back From side

These pictures are proof that this was meant to be a maternity dress and the main reason I probably will never wear it. I'm thinking of selling it in my shop, what do you think?

Images: My own photos.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Grandma's House?

This is brilliant! I just had to share.

From the creative mind of Not Martha. What else will she come up with?!

UPDATE: She's made some changes!


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let It Snow

It started snowing yesterday at 5PM before I left work. I had to dust off my car before I could start off. Luckily, I had gone to the grocery store on Wednesday so I could go straight home. You see, the people in this city go into Armageddon-hoarding mode whenever there is a snow/rain storm advisory.

I planned to wake up this morning and clear off my car, but hey, that didn't happen. So right now, my hatchback looks like an adorable little igloo from my third-story window. And I've spent the day half in bed and half in front of the computer catching up on my blog reading. I could have spent the day nestled up in blankets on the couch but there was nothing on TV (no cable) , I had already finished reading Cold Mountain Thursday, and I'm saving the movie A Very Long Engagement for tonight or tomorrow afternoon.

Oh, and right now I'm eating another slice of Marie Callender's Coconut Cream pie, which luckily I bought on Wednesday. Oh, YUM!

By the way, I finished a UFO and will take pictures tomorrow. I also need to finish my holiday dress for a party on Tuesday night. So, take care everyone and have a great (and safe) weekend!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ooh, pretty, pretty

Behold the Oscar De La Renta Pre-Fall 2010 collection.

I love his use of color and pattern and even though I'm not a big fan of pink I could definitely wear these outfits though the pink cardigan in the first look would be changed out for red or the pale lettuce green in the dress. I swoon the one with the orange cardigan.

Adore the sheer beaded dress with its faux necklace! The last dress is fine too, but what I really like are the earrings. They look like they might be enameled flowers; just like the jewelry I'm always lusting after at

Oh, how I wish I were the person who bought that necklace by Bionicunicorn.

Images: and
Bionicunicorn's Etsy shop.

Monday, December 14, 2009

S Is For Sucky Health Insurance

Well, I have to get a crown for my tooth. But I wasn't able to get it Friday. Why not?

Get this. My insurance company could not be reached. The receptionist tried to get through to Member Services first for a half hour while I waited in reception and then continued trying while I was being examined. Yup. Can you believe that? Some message said the department was not available and in a meeting? At 9 to 10AM in the morning. Whaa?

So my dentist will be calling me Monday IF they can get through to this HUGE insurance company and let me know how much it will be. Then we reschedule so I can take even more time off of work ( I get paid by the hour!) to get it taken care of.

So I sat all weekend with a hole in my mouth.

Some good news: I did do some sewing this weekend but nothing was completed. Hopefully soon.

Friday, December 11, 2009

D Is For Dentistry

By the time you read this post I will be in a dentist's office finding out what they can do for a tooth that split apart last night.

The fact is, I was eating cheese popcorn but it happened with so little fanfare that I think it would have happened with anything. There was and has been no pain, I just suddenly tasted metal (my filling) and that was it. It even took a few minutes for me to find the fragment in my mouth. Basically because of the filling in the middle there wasn't much "tooth" left there anyway. Luckily, it was the back half of the tooth so I don't look any different. However, my tongue can't help seeking out the ragged edges of the exposed filling constantly.

I am writing this so that you can wish me luck that this will be a simple and hopefully reasonable fix for this. If not, I may have just bankrupt myself. Merry Christmas! I already hit my insurance cap this year and unless the cap for the dentistry part of my insurance is separate there's no more money until February 1. (VISA card, do you have any room left?)

I think they should warn you when you are getting low on coverage. "You have the equivalent of $300 left for the year, we at Aetna suggest that you forgo that next prescription and just take care of your flu symptoms at home with Advil. Thank you very much and have a nice day!"

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Discovery - Rediscovery

Fashion in Harmony patterns - This company creates patterns based on the bias and all their patterns use it towards flattering results. As an owner of a bias gown bought years ago that still looks good despite me gaining a few pounds (or ten) I can attest that a simple bias gown is "a good thing".

Hark! A Vagrant - The comics of Kate Beaton. I first discovered her "younger self" comics where she interacts with...duh! her younger self. Then I realized that she created all these great "historical comics" involving the Brontes, Marcel Duchamp, Queen Victoria, and the like but with a very modern and irreverent voice. Check her site and by the way she has a book available too. There are so many great comics and the best way to search through them is by using her archives here.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Wearable Art

Throughout my years reading blogs; from 2006 to now, I've followed a lot of long-term wearable art projects - from Little Brown Dress, FiftyRX3, States of Dress to The Uniform Project. (I so want a version of that dress!) From a mention at Colette Patterns, I was directed to another project I now want to follow...

The Makeshift Project

It's creator, Natalie Purschwitz, has taken on the task of creating every single item of functional clothing that she wears, from underwear, tights, outerwear, shoes, with a few accessories also thrown in the mix. Check out the great big bag below and the rocking "moon" boots that she made here!

I love her diagonally fastened sweaters and coats; some that criss-cross in the front, and her asymmetrical skirts, especially that draped one with the doubled flap seen below.

It's a very ambitious project, I want half of everything she's made, and those lace-up shoes she created for herself are beyond wonderful! I look forward to seeing her full-on winter wardrobe as I love woolly, sweatery things the most.

Outerwear - love, love, love.

She is now three months in, so there is still plenty of time to get hooked on her daily posts.

Oh and before you ask...she does have a clothing line, Hunt & Gather, where items like this dress (!) are available.

P.S. Doesn't she remind you a bit of Bjork?!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

More Holiday Truth...

I forgot to mention the other holiday item I found last weekend. On my drive to my dad's house on Thanksgiving I came across a radio station already playing holiday music. Ugh! I was about to change the station when they announced the next song, Hard Candy Christmas sung by Dolly Parton. I had never heard of it and since it wasn't one of the traditional songs I gave it a listen...and loved it.

You can pretty much always depend on Dolly to keep it song lyrics, that is. (As it turns out, she didn't write this one, but it has her sensibility.)

It's a holiday song for those who aren't too thrilled with the holiday season, their lives, and how they're doing at this time of the year. Here's the song:

And here are the lyrics*.

* Home sewers check out the third stanza!