Tuesday, February 23, 2010

change is in the air

what odd photos huh? but they were the only ones I had that showed the hat and scarf and coat...so ingnore poor Lily's bizarre/forlorn expression...thank you
so, back to the change the title of this post alludes to...I can feel it... spring is coming...even though it is still cold out...despite the snow and rain forecast for the next 4 days...somehow the air just feels softer, fresher...it makes me think of Easter and being small and dressed in a new pastel dress, hat and coat and still being a liiiiittle underdressed for the temps outside.Maybe it's just because 38 degrees seems to feel warmer in late February than it did in November...because you KNOW the winter will be over soon. Whatever it is...makes me happy and makes me itch to sew a new wardrobe for the babe and BUY a new wardrobe for myself (but THAT'S not going to happen soooooo...back to the sewing thing!) . The spring coat above is made with the famous (if it's not, it should be) Asymmetrical Reversible Jacket pattern from Kitschycoo and the beautiful Amy Butler Fabric so generously given to me by onlinefabricstore.net. I used some light blue quilted fabric that I already had for the reverse side. Then, since I didn't have a hat to match I made a little beret out the rest of the blue cashmere sweater that I seem to have used for so many different projects...I made a short scarf too and appliqued them with little bits of the remaining Amy Butler fabric. Now Lily's all set for the cool, windy spring that we seem to get here in Salem. I'm on to sewing some jeans, sailor pants and skirts to finish up Lil's spring clothes and then...on to MY new stuff...a light wool jacket and of course the skirt that I will do for Kitschycoo's Sew Along! Lot's to do, lot's to do...
hope you are having a good day and if you're not, hope you have some wine and chocolate ;)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Cool Girls' Club

Amanda from Kitschycoo , one of my most favorite pattern makers/tutorial sharers/bloggers has put together a sew along. Check out the link to Amanda's blog for all the details. The link is supposed to be in my sidebar but Blogger is not being cooperative with me today and I just don't have the patience to try again...plus, I have some solitary, Sunday afternoon sewing time that starts right...about...now! and I don't want to waste it fiddling with the damned computer.

This comes at a good time for me...I have been feeling very seamstressy lately...been wanting to up my skills in the dressmaking department, plus, I need some new spring clothes, have a very strange shape (no waist at all...pregnancy with third child seems to have put and end to that bit of anatomy) and very little money to buy anything new with. So, the project is a skirt and I am so excited! I ordered the book (Design it Yoursef Clothes by Cal Patch) yesterday and have some good linen to use...maybe try to make a Boden esque kind of skirt...with circle appliques or something. I just realized that Flossie Teacakes also recommends this book check out this post.

So, want to be a "Cool Girl"?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Amy Butler Fabric!!!

ok, so I'm not sure if I should feel bad about this (because I read so many blog posts by people agonizing over whether they should accept compensation for mentioning products on their blogs) but I have to be honest, I had not one moment's hesitation when I opened an email I received from a very nice guy named Andrew from Onlinefabricstore.net. Andrew wondered if I would like to have my sewing students choose $25 worth of his company's new Amy Butler line. The deal is that they will sew something from the fabric and I will write a blog post featuring their creations and, of course, mentioning onlinefabricstore.net. I accepted immediately and gratefully and the next evening my Tuesday night students made their fabric selections. Well, the fabric came in the mail the other day..such a nice feeling to get a package in the mail...and I was even more delighted because Andrew had actually sent 4 yards of fabric, instead of 3 and the extra yard is just perfect for a project that I have in mind! The top photo gives a little sneak peak of that. I have never used Amy Butler fabric before and I do have to say, it is GORGEOUS in person. Such a nice drape to it and the colors and patterns are so sophisticated...I am definitely a convert. So, thanks so much Andrew and I look forward to showing you all the beautiful things my sewing ladies come up with!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Mustard Green and Chickpea Curried Stew

A quick, cheap, really nutritious soup that uses frozen cooked squash to thicken it...love the frozen squash...I use it in so many dishes, even as a pizza sauce on whole wheat dough with feta cheese and Greek olives...but I digress...here is the recipe, such as it is, for the stew:

1 onion diced
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves minced
splash of white wine or stock
1/2 cup jarred marinara sauce or you could use some canned tomatos
1 block frozen mustard greens
1 block frozen cooked squash
1 large can chick peas, drained
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander

saute onion and garlic either in a bit of oil or I just simmer them in a bit of water and the splash of white wine till softened (I've made this stew with oil and without and I see no difference so I just forgo the oil to save the calories) then add the tomato sauce or dice,add the spices, throw in the still frozen greens and squash, add the chick peas, add some hot water, about 2 cups I think, cover and bring to a boil. This will take about 10 mins since the frozen stuff is in there...after it boils turn it down to a simmer and let it bubble away, covered, for another 10 mins...and there you go...lunch

Saturday, February 13, 2010

trying to find the positive

A little something I made for my Dibby for her birthday...Dibs is my ex-mother in law and she's the kindest person I have ever known...Dibs taught me how to sew a looong time ago...she's a fabulous seamstress and is kind of like the McGyver of fabric...she can make anything from some fabric, a sewing machine and a glue gun. She made me who I am and is the person I call when I need advice. Love her so much. Dibby loves to accessorize and is always so well dressed and perfectly put together...so, a little scarf made from some AMH Little Folks voile with a purse pin to pull it together...

I got my Little Folks voile in the mail the other day and at first I was planning on using it to make an Easter dress for Lils...but it is just sooo silky (despite the fact that it's 100% cotton) and so fine and just gorgeous...I think it is more of a grown up fabric. I want Lily's Easter dress to be special but I also want her to be able to wear it again, on not so fancy occasions and I fear this fabric wouldn't hold up well to a 2 year old's wear and tear. So, oh poor me, I'll have to just use it to make something for myself ;) I have to gush a little more about the fabric...it's kind of sheer, but not too sheer, silky but not in that rayon kind of way, retro in the most contemporary way... LOVE, LOVE, LOVE

Check out the sun streaming through it....makes me think of summer
makes me want to sew a beautiful summer dress and wear it on a sunny, warm day....sigh...

I am on day 18 of this cold/flu/plague...and I don't seem to be getting better...despite a round of antibiotics, 2 new inhalers and endless cups of tea with honey and lemon...my symptoms just seem to be morphing...chest cold, to head cold and just endless coughing...and to top it all off, I have fractured a rib from the coughing...hurts like hell... i'm starting to lose it a little, really
But, this afternoon I made myself do what I do..I sewed a scarf for Dibs, made one for myself too and took advantage of the thin winter sunshine to take some photos...and I'm feeling marginally better...this too shall pass, right? (note of desperation in her voice) ;)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

creative space....a case of the blahs

Looks a little forlorn huh? Maybe it's just me. The mushroom colored linen looked ace for the sailor pants a couple of posts ago, but as used in this sailor dress...well.... meh. The pattern is a vintage Simplicity...lot's of dressmaker details, good things to learn...but the buttonholes...the buttonholes...Mother of God, I'm back to hating buttonholes. Maybe it's my machine, maybe the fabric is too soft, maybe my tension is off, but they just look like crap. And that is hard for me to take when I've spent a couple of hours making a dress and then to have the last step ruin the whole damn thing...collar's cute though. What do you think, should I just use snaps and sew buttons on the front as a ruse? or maybe I should just scrap it altogether?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

progress despite the consumption...cough, cough

Ok, I'm a bit type A, I'll admit it...I want to do things right when I want to do them...waiting patiently has never been a strong suit of mine. So, waiting for this weekend (from last weekend) to paint and arrange my new sewing room (mine! all mine!!) has been slow torture. Especially so because this past week seemed to last FOREVER. It's f#@%ing cold, gray and miserable out...and Mike and I have this horrifying chest cold. No one else in the house does...just us. Hacking and coughing our brains out in some sort of consumptive mating call....the hubby starts coughing, in the most annoying way a human can, I must add, and as soon as he is done I answer back with my own gutteral, rib cracking , nasty cough...sigh...all day and unfortunately all night long...for. a. solid. week. not much sleep happening 'round here these days. But, I mustered my most disciplined (or perhaps kookoo kraaazy uptight self) and got the room painted and all my stuff brought up. The boy is away at his Dad's for the weekend so I really wanted him to come home to his room empty of my sewing paraphernalia. I have been fantasizing (at night, while not sleeping) about how I will set the room up and how i will decorate it, unfortunately my sense of space seems to grow in my mind in the middle of the night. Maybe this is the same phenomena that causes the problems you are worrying about to seem huge and insurmountable when you think about them at 2 AM but normal sized and manageable in the cold light of day. Anyway, the room is about 1/3 the size I think it is (7.5' x 7.5') ..teeny, weeny. But it does have a skylight that lets in sooo much light all day long...it kind of feels like a treehouse.

As you can see from my not very good photos I tried to go with that idea by putting my Blair Witch Project (as my family calls them) branches in the skylight, along with some fairy lights...hopefully having the room welcoming and cozy at night will inspire me to find some ooomph at the end of the day to squeeze a little more sewing in.

Hope you are all having a nice weekend and now I am off to have dinner and a glass or two...
Cheers! (cough, cough, cough)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mimi gets a gold star :)

My beautiful cousin Mimi, who is also one of my very best sewing students with her new bag that she completed last night! Didn't she do an awesome job?!

Monday, February 1, 2010

sewing room news

It just struck me how lame this title is. Aren't you just INTRIGUED? But, I DO have sewing room news...in as much as I am going to HAVE a sewing room! All my own...with all my stuff...in one place....sigh...how awesome is that? Lily has been sleeping in a small, 8' x 10' room (if you can call it that, it's more like a large stairway landing) since she was born. I have my sewing machine set up in my son's room, along with most of my sewing stuff, and the poor thing has no privacy. This has been the situation for quite some time, but lately it's been clear that poor Lee's patience is wearing thin. Soooo, my 13 year old daughter offered this past weekend to share her room with Lily! So I can take the middle room/landing for a sewing room!!! Isn't that just so sweet of her?! My mind is just going a million miles an hour figuring out how I will set it up and what I will put where...so lovely...I am such a lucky Mom to have such great, generous kids. I will post before and after pics of my new work space :)

This is what I did today...sailor pants! love, love, love them