Sunday, November 22, 2009

Go green (jacket)

I recently made this jacket for the Warehouse Fabrics Inc. blog. Check it out for more information. It was time-consuming, but not necessarily difficult. It's lined with a white, satiny lining and has buttons I covered out of the same fabric.

McCalls 5060

Friday, November 20, 2009

The long-suffering eucalyptus

This poor eucalyptus. It's always forced to wear something or another, like this towel that my husband could not carry up the stairs but had to throw.


You all recall the undies, don't you?

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Place and Yours: Through the Front Door

Meet me at Mike's had this blogger's theme for this week.

What are you greeted by when you return home? I'm greeted by warm colors and a cozy home. My entry way is important to me. I have the little bird table from Pier One that I wanted badly, topped with a plant. I have two of our favorite wedding pictures on the wall, and a sloppy basket of newspapers ready for weekly recycling.

home repair

To the immediate right is the door to the garage. The door next to that is the coat closet. Just past that is the stairs. Straight ahead is a decorative wall that blocks the kitchen table. If you turn right, you're in the den, if you turn left, you're in the kitchen. The door up ahead to the left is the half-bath and the opening directly to the left in the picture is the living room. Wow! That little entry way has a lot of doorways to other places.

If you look straight up from just inside the front door, where I'm standing, it goes up to the second floor, and there's a sunny window up there. I love that feature.

My entry way, looking up

The plant to the left hangs waaaaay down -- I hit my head on it all the time, but all the leaves are at the bottom, so I hate to trim it or it will be rather bald.

One thing about this meme that surprised me is how many people said they never use their front door, only their back doors. I've actually never been to a house where people use their back doors instead (at least, not that I know of). Maybe it's a regional thing and we just don't do much of that in New Mexico? Most every house around here has a sliding glass door that can't be unlocked from the outside.

Adagio shawl

A friend of mine at work asked me to make a shawl for his mom for Christmas. He's paying for supplies, I offered to give my time. Only I didn't realize it would be two hours of work a day to finish it in time. Phew! It's fun to make, though. Just, nobody else ask me to knit something for them. Ever.

knitting projects

It's from a vintage pattern called the Adiago Shawl, and I'm using City Tweed DK yarn from Knit Picks in Orca. It's wonderful to work with.

Adagio shawl

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Space it out, peeps

I seem to have always been stuck in an all-or-nothing mind-set. If I can't clean the whole house at once, I'm not going to clean any of it, for example. Or I must finish an entire sewing project at once. I must paint this whole room and have it put back together in one day.

You see what I mean. It makes life really stressful.

I've really been working on "a little here, a little there." Especially with cleaning. It really works. Sweep the kitchen floor today: 3 minutes. Clean a bathroom tomorrow: 10 minutes. And everything looks decently clean. There's also still time for workouts and sewing and e-mails and blogging before work (well, I don't go to work till 3 p.m.). There's time for knitting and TV after work (I'm telling you, swing shift is the way to go if you want more hours in your day).

It's so much more relaxing and easy on me. We all need a little more peace in our lives, so I urge you to space ... things ... out.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Comfort? What's that?

Once upon a time, I bought some nice, soft, gray jersey fabric at the thrift store. I didn't know what to do with it, until I saw this Burda 7866 pattern. It's sorta '80s, I guess, but I'm starting to loosen up with my aversion to that era. You know, I lived through the horror once, already. And those "skinny jeans" ... not the look on me anymore unless I want my arse to look about 20 times bigger than it already is.


It's really comfy and soft. It has lots of room on top, with just enough fit on the bottom. And it has a tie that wraps around and around for no real reason, but it definitely adds something.


Why, what a natural looking pose.

A few things I did wrong differently: I was supposed to cut the front and back on the fold. I seemed to know this, but for some reason I got confused and convinced myself I was wrong. This was my first Burda pattern, and some of the markings and instructions are different. So, oops, I had a seam down the center front and back.

I figured I could just use it to lounge around the house if worse came to worse, so I sewed those seams. But they just looked crummy. Then I thought that maybe it's time to learn to use some of the functions of my serger. I got out the manual and changed some settings and did this decorative stitch, instead.


It's kind of like a ladder stitch from the front and serged looking from the back. It's cool because when you first sew, it looks like nothing, but then you have to grip the fabric from each side and pull, and as it pulls, this cool seam emerges. I'll probably post more about this at some point on the Warehouse Fabrics Inc. blog.

Anyway, I applied this seam style to the hems of the top and the sleeves, too. Except in some places I did not do such a good job. It seems to work best on a fold and not on a fold paired with a raw edge, because I kept missing the raw edge.

Also, for the tie, instead of just sewing and then turning the whole darn mile-long thing right-side out, I simply serged either side. I thought it gave it texture and interest.

Burda 7866

My husband saw it and wanted one for him, which I'm a bit puzzled over. Such a thing cannot be allowed.

From the pattern:

Friday, November 13, 2009

A new blog, all about sewing. Yippee!

Oh, gosh. Have I been busy. I really haven't been posting much. Well, one reason for that is because I'm posting somewhere else.

I have taken on the task of blogging for a fabric company. I can hardly consider it work, even when it takes longer hours than I expected. It's incredibly fun. I get to make stuff, which I do anyway and write about it, which I do anyway. And earn a few bucks, so what could be better? Only catch is that I use fabric from Warehouse Fabrics Inc., and that's no problem since there is so much fabulous fabric to choose from. Remember when I had Burst of Happiness, my handbag/accessory business? A lot of the cutest fabrics that I used were from Warehouse Fabrics Inc. So imagine my excitement when this opportunity came into my life.

The blog is here, so please check it out. I'm still working on formatting and prettifying, and have only done a couple of posts so far. I do new posts on Sundays.

There will be everything from sewn items with fabric and pattern information to complete tutorials for making the items yourself. There will also be sewing tips. I'll be exiting my comfort zone and expanding my skills, and sharing the process with readers. I think this will be really good for me.

I won't have as many personal projects to post on this blog, but I'll still have some. And I may link over with tantalizing teasers to the other blog.

Please, dear readers, if you sew, will you bookmark the blog and check in each week? As an incentive, there will sometimes be giveaways of the items I make. And you like free stuff, right? I'm not above bribing, people.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's Time To Play "Drunk or Crazy?"

I work for a newspaper. Phone rings last night at 11 p.m.:

Me: Journal City Desk (purposely leave name off, since anyone calling at this time of night is probably not legit.)

Caller: Hello?

Me: Yes, hello. Can I help you?

Caller: Um, there was a guy who died.

Me: (thinking she's reporting a news story)

Caller: He died of a squid. He was in the wild.

Me: A squid? Where did this happen?

Caller: He was catching alligators or something and the pointy squid got him.

Me: And where did this happen?

Caller: I don't know (talking to someone in background)

Me: You don't know where in the world or the U.S. this happened?

Caller: It was in the wild.

Me: When did this happen?

Caller: It was a long time ago. What was his name? He was like Crocodile Dundee or something, and then the squid got him.

Me: I'm sorry, I can't help you. I haven no idea. Why don't you search the Internet?

Caller: (Sounding disappointed) OK.