Sunday, October 31, 2010


I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween if you celebrate. Stay safe!'s almost here! A little over 13 hours to go here in CST.

I'll be staying home and passing out treats tonight, waiting patiently for midnight so I can begin! (Ha. If you know me, you know that at midnight I'll be in bed snoozing, but come TOMORROW night, be ready Nano! Because I'm ready for YOU!)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

saturday again.

I have a serious love of Saturday.

Oh. And have you seen this?

The most fascinating thing I've watched in a long, long time. Highly recommend its placement in your Netflix queue.

Neeexxxtttt....We have a new Joann's! Er, we now HAVE a Joann's. Previously the only source for fabrics/patterns near me was Hancocks, a few indie quilt shops and Hobby Lobby. I made my first stop yesterday. My thoughts...too much "crafty" stuff (more than half the store) and too much fleece. Messy dress fabric section with mostly synthetic fabrics.

So basically it's my local Hancock's, better lit, with fewer buttons. Ah well. It's still nice to have another option! Hope it makes it longterm.

I didn't have trouble finding something to buy, they were having a 50% off most fabrics sale. I got these two plaids: (poly/rayon blend)

Some lightweight white linen for another "anthro" top (yes, I'm going to finish this one and make another. Shut your snark.)

This brown "boucle"-ish fabric (and some brown Bemberg to line):

Yummy moss green rayon knit (brighter and mossier than this photo):

Don't have a clue what I'm making with any of it but the white linen, but probably (in order): skirt, skirt, top, jackiet, top.

I have a real desire to sew today, so I plan on doing that in some form or another once I unpack and start some laundry. I've been away at a conference for a few days. I love Saturday's, but I HATE unpacking!

Have a good weekend!

Friday, October 29, 2010


Don't read if you haven't watched the Project Runway finale.

Unspoiled peeps gone? Ok.

Here are my favorite tweets culled from the random THOUSANDS that got tweeted in the minutes after the finale aired.

"Seriously, who is going to wear Gretchen's adult sized diapers? Being organically dyed doesn't make them wearable. "

"everybody better get in line for their granny panty-diaper style bottoms because apparently that's ~the future~"

"If Gretchen's finger is on the pulse, the body must be a corpse. "

"Nina should be forced to wear Gretchen's clothes all next season for allowing her to win"

"Nina: While you put Gretchen in Marie Claire, Anna Wintour will have Mondo in Vogue."

, you are dead to me."

Yup, that pretty much sums it up.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

shoes, wonderful shoes.

It's no secret I have a thing for shoes. Is it?

Lucky for me, I'm teaching through my planning period for a few months, which results in a little extra shoe shopping money. yay! Here are a few I bought and I few I still want. It's pretty much neverending!

First in the "bought and wearing" category...Red patent leather ballerina flats.

Super 1940's-esque black pumps. These are VERY retro in person:
The new Naya brand at Naturalizer, expensive (ouch) but gorgeous and I love love them!Now for the "I really, really want" category...

More Naya (although I seriously want the blue colorway of this one, the black is awesome too):
These oxfords are perfect. Satin ribbon laces? Be still my heart!
Oh, and the beautiful outfits I could create just for these suede pumps...
And brown ankle boots are, like, a necessity of life. Right? ESPECIALLY if they have a little rosette detailing. I'm pretty sure I'm right about this.

Darn kids and their Christmas presents to shop for, and, oh yea...the satellite bill and the gas and the phone bill. I could SO have these boots (and the suede pumps! Or the oxfords!) if it weren't for pesky little details like that. Hmph.

Monday, October 25, 2010


...About my tickets to see this:

Me, Lu and my sister Desiree are beginning the 30 day countdown TODAY.

Super wish it was Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, but we'll take what we can get. Hmmm. What do I need to make (in green of course) to wear??

Start your planning engines!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

oh, esther.

I'm currently enamored with Esther Williams.

I've got all of her movies in my Netflix queue and each weekend I get a new opportunity to sigh over her beautiful hair, costumes, and perfectly 1940s makeup.

So far I've seen Thrill of a Romance,

Easy to Love,

and Bathing Beauty.

Million Dollar Mermaid is next.

She spends most of her movies in (darling) bathing suits...and I'm not likely to be cavorting around in one any time soon. Still, there's something about her very easy to watch movies that lends a little magic to my quiet weekend afternoons.

The costumes she wears (briefly) during the movies are wonderful examples of 1940s fashions and I never walk away uninspired.

Hope you're all having a great weekend! I'm still plugging away at the anthro blouse. I'm frustrated, so it is taking me longer than normal. I might be setting it aside to work on a non-stressful project for a few days but don't despair, I will prevail!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

quick baby gift.

This morning I completely forgot my cousin's baby shower (later today!) and I had to come up with something cute and baby-friendly in a jiffy.

I keep a bag of cloth diapers on hand for just this type of project. For this gift, I used 3 diapers and created a cute package of coordinated boutique burp cloths. Each is decorated with a strip of fun cotton print. I had some Jennifer Paganelli and Amy Butler in my scrap bin! Yum! I tear my strips of fabric 6" wide, and use the length of the diaper to cut the length (add 1" to turn under ends).

First, turn under the sides 1/4" and press well. Next turn under the ends so the strip matches the length of your diaper exactly. Pin in place! (I use alot of pins because the birdseye weave of the diaper tends to shift around when you stitch).

Straight stitch all around. I usually start in the MIDDLE of one end (not on a corner) or on a side near the end. That leaves you a bit of wiggle room when you sew all around the fabric strip and find the diaper has shifted and your end is now too long/too short.

A cute variation I've also done is to add a strip of contrasting rickrack down the sides. SO sweet. Sadly, I was out of rickrack today.

To package your finished burp cloths, fold each neatly (I pressed again first) and tie your bundle with a coordinating fabric strip. I tear my strips because I like the raggy edges!

Now wrap it up! I love a clear cellophane baggie for these gifts. Sure the surprise factor is gone, but everyone loves the packaging anyway. I tied the cello bag with matching blue seam binding and made a green ribbon loopy bow.

Then I scallop punched a matching cardstock circle for a hand-written hangtag and pinned it to the ribbon with a silver charm.

From start to finish the entire process took an hour, and I have a sweet, handmade baby gift that I love more than anything I would have found in a local store!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

anthro shirt: still in progress

I had to set this one aside for a few days in order to preserve my sanity. The collar band/front placket/ruffle treatment I envisioned was giving me FITS on finishing. I almost ruined it at least 4 times.

So of course the prudent thing was to step away until I could see clearly again. Here's where we are now:
We have ruffles! And a collar band attached, albeit a little worn and ragged around the edges (but really, who's going to be that close to my neck?)

Here's a picture showing just how "off" the front neckband is going to be. See that weird dip? Yeah, I'm past the point of caring now! :)

I decided on double ruffles and I folded the placket to the outside (the reverse of what you would normally do). I'll topstitch it into place, hopefully later today. Then I have sleeves and handstitching on the collar, hemming, and I'll be done. Still sounds like a lot so no promises it will be this weekend. Just picking this unfinished thing up each day and looking at it wears me out!

Honestly the only thing spurring me to finish it at all (by now I would have tossed it normally!) is that the fabric is gorgeous AND vintage, and darn it, the ruffles are looking super cute.

I did cut out that Vogue skirt I mentioned, and altered the tissue. It will need a muslin before I can cut into the blue linen though. I had to grade up and there are several pieces that need checked. Maybe I can find the energy to do that too.

Meanwhile, I've filled those empty (avoidance) stitching hours with some machine embroidery! I haven't done much of that since getting the Mac about 15 months ago. I have been having a ball planning some holiday decorating & gift projects. Here's one stitching up right now:

The design is so cute, a primitive snowman hat embroidery design from Heartstrings Embroidery. It's called "All Flakes Welcome". I think it will become a pillow for my couch, but I also need a mantel scarf, a door hanger, and some new kitchen table accessories would be nice too! I'll be sure to keep you updated on this project too.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

saturday agenda:

Here's the agenda for today, class:
  1. Post on the Literary Girls.
  2. Finish anthro top.
  3. Alter this pattern and *CROSSES FINGERS* cut out (Vogue 8701):

I'll be making the pretending-to-be-a-vintage-pattern-dress:

using this amazing fall plaid:

Note the tiny bit of green in the plaid in this close up...

Ok, so I did say a "tiny" bit of green.

Gotta finish that anthro top first. And somewhere I need to squeeze in time to cut out that blue skirt to match! Yikes. I need a vacation so I can work on all these projects!

FO's tomorrow! (still CROSSING FINGERS)

Monday, October 04, 2010

anthro shirt: in progress

Ok, so just an itty bit of progress, but we'll take what we can get, right??

So far I've adjusted the pattern (it's a crazy frankenpattern now! I'll take a picture in the daylight tomorrow if I remember to upload next post). I've also cut it out, and sewn a few seams!

The darts are sewn on the front bodice, shoulder & side seams sewn, and the neck stay-stitched:

I also added a bit of topstitching to the seams:

This beautiful red/royal/navy fabric is a linen and cotton blend from the 1940s. It's only 36 inches wide, so some creative layout was necessary. I bought 3 pieces from the same ebay seller, and man, I could have cleaned her out... if only I had unlimited funds! Her shop is empty of this type of goodness right now, but if she restocks I'll let you know!

After I buy what I want first, of course. ;)

I think the most exciting part (next to the part where I'm actually sewing) is that I have the perfect royal blue linen to make a skirt to match! I have no idea what pattern I'll use, but probably something simple like a pencil skirt. Actually this "Emma Pillsbury" skirt from J. Crew has long been a fave, so maybe TWO knockoffs are in the works.

Right now, I'm sleepy. Night!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

the anthropologie shirt.

I've been lusting after many a variation of this anthroplogie shirt for a couple of years now.

They keep reusing this same, basic pattern.

Tweaking it season after season.

Anthropologie is just using what sewists have been doing for ages...pulling out the "TNT".

Yes, Anthro...the gig is up.

Add darts, take away darts. Swap out sleeves. One ruffle, two ruffle, three. Add skirt.

You can't fool me. It's still the same TNT. Which's ripe for the pickin's. And guess which New Look pattern is a "dead ringer"?

Time for a knockoff! And I have just the quiet Saturday to do it. Stay tuned!

Future Anthro knockoff candidates (otherwise known as the pictorial that proves it's a good thing I sew):

And this one. O.M.G. Not Anthro, it's Kate Spade, but totally in love with it.

Repeat after me: Think tweed. Fall & Winter are coming. You do NOT need a sunshiney yellow stripey twirly skirt of LOVE. Even if it has a bow.

Whew. That was close.