Spring Cleaning

I hate cleaning, HATE it. So I’m not one of those people who every year around this time has a big spring cleaning frenzy. But this year, I’m having one of those “throw out everything!” tantrums that I’d previously only heard about. First stop on that is my sewing room. It feels so good to throw away a bunch of scraps and trash that have been cluttering the space for a long time, but at the same time it does feel a bit wasteful to just toss most of it in the trash. I don’t have a textile recycling center near me though, so everything that isn’t a quilting cotton (to one of the quilt stores) or a yardage (to the DAV) is going in the trash. I considered listing some of it for sale on etsy or just IG, but meh. There’s not enough of it to bother with, so it will be easier to just donate it. Things are starting to come together in the sewing room, but it’s a bit of a slog to get through it. I’m determined to finish before I quit and start doing the sewing that I’m suddenly excited about again (seriously, I had hoped that cleaning would help, but I had doubts. Now I don’t.)

Outside of the sewing room is a bunch of clothes and such from the boys–previously, I had kept all my eldest’s clothes to give to the youngest, but I’m quickly learning that the 7.5 year spread is too far for things that have elastic in them. I don’t mind changing out some of the elastic, but honestly, I’d rather just pass it on to someone who can use it now. It’s also nearly time for clearing out some of the outgrown toys–keep a few in a tote labeled for future grandkids, and donate the rest. The boys play with very few toys, I don’t know why I need to keep them all. I’m struggling with whether to let them choose the toys they want to keep, or if I should just do it while they are gone some weekend and hope they don’t notice (they absolutely will–this is just the lie I tell myself.)

I briefly contemplated having a garage sale, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it. It seems like a lot of work for not a lot of benefit, and I’m not sure we really have enough stuff to justify it.

Anyway, it took me forever, but here is the finished results of on and off for like 3 weeks. Now I should probably take care of all the rest of the house I neglected in favor of this one room. Wish me luck…

They let me guest post…!?!

Over at the Sewcialists blog I posted about a few of the bloggers that inspire me in preparation for August’s Tribute Month. If you aren’t already following them, go check it out!


Wardrobe planning, if you can call it that

Since my last post, I’ve been doing some poking around through my stash and on the internet to see what options look like they would work best for my time constraints and my fabric stash–I’d like to avoid buying more fabric if possible. I’ve got plenty in my stash already, and some of it has been “marinating” long enough.

I have a fair amount of rayon challis and stretch cotton wovens, so I’m starting by deciding what sorts of patterns work best with those. (Hover over the pictures to see the pattern numbers.)

I’m really smitten with the woven tee and the shirt with the boob flaps. (I’d probably skip the boob flaps on mine though? Depends on how hard it would be to remove them.) I have the JJ Blouse, which is similar to Lekala 4370, but it’s going to take some work to get it to fit me again. The one with the knot intrigues me, but I suspect that the opening below the knot will go clear to my belly button.

In my stash, I have a few Big 4 that might also be appropriate.

I’ve made both S1589 (Love!!) and S1614 (It’s pretty, but meh. I wear it as a nightie sometimes.) 1589 is actually desperately needing to go to the trash, but I haven’t had the heart to toss it yet. Challis is fairly “reversible”, so if I have a big enough piece, I could probably make M6991 (can you believe it’s OOP already?!). And I really love S1373, which might work for one of my stretch wovens that I’ve been hoarding.

So that’s already a lot, and I haven’t even started on my t-shirt selections! I’d like to weed it down to two or three and add a knit tee or two. Anything in particular catching your eye?

Wedding Guest Outfit Idea #234256

So ever since that last post, I’ve been deliberating (and sewing, HOORAY, but not for this, unfortunately). And in my deliberations, it was suggested to go for some palazzo pants. I liked the idea of palazzo pants so much that I kind of set myself on them….until…I saw this:

This is a jumpsuit from the April 2016 issue of Burda. If I can figure out the perfect fabric (it says it’s for jersey, but I’d really rather use a floaty woven with a bit of spandex–rayon crepe perhaps?), this decision is made. I’m aiming for royal blue or teal, silver heels, a sticky bra, and some sort of simple hairstyle that will likely be determined by the weather.


I’m kinda liking these shoes, though I’ll admit I was originally looking for something a bit more…delicate?

Now, if you’ve seen me comment on my fear of jumpsuits+ calls of nature, this is still a valid concern, but I’ve got an idea that involves an extra long invisible zip

P.S. None of the links are affiliated or whatever–they are so that I can finally close the tabs I have open and find the stuff later. πŸ™‚


Wait! Where did June go?!?!

Since my last post it has been crazy here, and in that whirlwind of activity I have done some sewing, but it’s all boring stuff like pillowcases and pajamas for Scotch and a couple of “neck coolers” because it’s been fucking A HOT around here. Mostly though, I’ve been doing planning–I have a brother in law getting married in early September that I helped with a shower for the bride to be, and then there was a milestone birthday party for Irish and that basically ate up June. And of course, we can’t forget harvest and swim lessons! I always tell people “we’re pretty much home whenever”, but then I look back and that never seems to ring true. It feels like we don’t have anything going on, but when I look back, it feels like we haven’t stopped “going” for….I don’t know, ever. Know what I mean?

Anyway, so when I was at my in-laws on Sunday, they were all bothered about getting hotel rooms reserved in this tiny town where the wedding will be. At first, I was all “pshh”, but then I realized that we’re basically halfway through July and I’m not sure where June went. So it got me to thinking about the fact that I have no idea what to wear to this event. I’ve been told that it’s bad juju or something to wear a black dress to a wedding, so that eliminates my Christmas Dress. I ruined my Easter dress in the wash (*sob*), it might be salvaged for less “dressy” occasions, but… 😦 I have this maxi dress, but it’s kind of itchy to wear for long periods of time (but so pretty!). And that pretty much is all the dresses I own.

Honestly, I don’t even know if I want to wear a dress or not. This isn’t helped by the fact that September on the plains is notoriously unpredictable. It could be blazing hot or windy and chilly. Well, it’s nearly guaranteed to be windy, I suppose. πŸ˜‰ If I do go for a dress though, I waded through Lekala’s website for ideas and came up with these:

Lekala 5962. Not in love with the weird hem, but otherwise it’s OK.

Lekala 5960. Another halter dress. Not totally sold on the color blocking, but I think it could be cute–I struggle with line drawings sometimes.

5463. OK, so I know I’m crazy, but I’m envisioning this with long fringe at the bottom instead of a flounce. #Redneck πŸ˜‰

4451. This one almost feels like the “safe” choice. I just worry about my belly pulling those pleats open unattractively…though, it is supposed to be made to measure, and my little 3D gal is scarily accurate…

4437. This one might be my favorite of this bunch. That neckline is scandalously low for an event with such a religious group of people though. On the other hand, I have a pretty awesome rack that won’t last forever, so maybe should I flaunt it while I still can. πŸ˜‰

I don’t know, at this point nothing is set in stone. I tend to be more comfortable in pants, so maybe I should find a nice blouse pattern instead. I just wasn’t seeing anything that screamed “wedding”. What would you do? Like any of the dresses above? Think I should find a nice blouse and rock some slacks?

First of the Knockoffs

So after finishing the stuff for the kiddo, I cleaned up my sewing room and started to work on one of the knockoff’s in my post from Thursday. And um, it’s not exactly as I had envisioned. For starters, I tend to carry all my essentials on my person. I keep trying to use a purse, but they’re just so damn inconvenient and in the way, I seriously can’t figure out how other women do it. I hang my phone on my hip with a clip holster, my keys from a belt loop (or sometimes in my pocket if I’m feeling sneaky), and my wallet sits in my back pocket. This shirt though, was WAY too long and so I had to hike it WAY up to get it over my phone clip. Seriously, I’ve seen mini-dresses that are shorter. The other issue was the neckline that is so low it makes Burda seem modest–and adding a neckband didn’t seem to fix that, sadly. I wish I would have taken the time to measure and then shorten the neckband instead of just trusting the pattern, but I didn’t (usually they end up too short to sew in, so I didn’t even think about it) and once it was serged on, I wasn’t about to unpick it. So I went all in and topstitched it so that it would stay semi-flat and just decided to deal.

In fact, this shirt was kind of doomed from the start. I snapped 3 needles, one of them in the first inch of the first seam! My thread kept snagging on the spool (even with a thread net and a cone holder!) and would pull tight enough to either snap the thread or snap the needle, so I ended up throwing the whole cone away. 😦 I’ve tried several methods to get that stupid cone to work for me, and I’m glad to have finally been able to say “enough!” I really thought that the tape over the notch that it kept snagging on was the cure though, it seemed to work for a while, but I must have just been lucky. It’s OK, I’m glad to have finally been fed up enough to just toss it and quit wondering if there’s something else I can try to keep it from snagging. It’s not worth ruining my serger over.



Pink Swirl

Closeups of the details.

As you can see from the details pic, I did make a few changes, as well as changes to get the look I was trying to copy.

  • The original pattern has a gathered or pleated section in the center front. I took this out, but left as much of the volume as I could to achieve the look from the inspiration.
  • The original pattern has a neckline that is simply faced with a thin strip. I needed a bit more coverage, so I made a neckband by doubling the width of the pattern’s neckband facing piece. If only I would have shortened it while I was at it…
  • The pattern was REALLLY long. I hacked off about 5 inches to make it hit just below my hip and added side slits to go over my phone and just because I think it’s kindΒ  of a cute detail.
  • I skipped the twin needle this time and opted to try out what I *think* is the lightning bolt stitch that I hear so much about. I think this turned out OK, it’s not quite as stretchy as the twin needle, but this shirt has enough ease that it won’t matter.

So here is the final result. I think I got pretty close, close enough that I’m happy with it. I’m on the fence about how much it will get worn with the neckline being so big though, any way you dice it my bra is going to show. Hubby thinks it’s cute though, so maybe it’s not as bad as it feels to me.

Pink Swirl2So there it is. What are you working on?



I’ve been making a Pinterest board for all my casual shirt inspiration, and surprise! It looks like I should be able to make a few of them with patterns I already have with a few minor tweaks. Here’s a few of my picks for the near future (hopefully, they’ll be quick and easy!).

KO1Edit KO2 KO4 KO5

I’m not going for exact replicas, but I think I can get close enough with these to be pretty happy. And since I live in t-shirts, they should fit right in to my wardrobe. Add in a couple of my trusty V8670’s, and I should have a really good start. πŸ™‚

And while I know that many of you are WAYYYY better at this image editing thing than I am, can I just say that I’m super pumped that I managed to make these little collages? They took a freakin’ age, but they’re so useful, no?

Now I need to round up my patterns, inspiration is kind of messy. πŸ˜‰

New Year’s wishes and resolutions

Firstly, even though it’s a few hours away for most of my readers, I want to wish all of you a happy and blessed New Year! May the challenges be surmountable and the blessings many. πŸ™‚

I know that we’ve got a lot of big changes coming with the new year, with a baby due in January, a move to a new city, and a major career change for my hubby–and that’s all before Spring is even over!! It will be exciting, to say the least, so I’m going to try to keep my resolutions to the do-able level.

My resolutions for 2014 are:

  • Treat people with the same courtesy and goodwill throughout the year that I exhibit during Christmas. Why should it be limited to November and December?
  • Do a better job of giving to charity. I always give the excuse of not having much to give, but I think it will help me remember that I am blessed–I have a home, a nice car, a healthy, beautiful family, and a wonderful husband who provides for us. Far too many others aren’t so lucky.
  • Purge my closet. I have so many things that I can’t/don’t wear for a multitude of reasons (mainly they don’t fit my body/lifestyle). Someone should be putting these clothes to good use!
  • Get out of my wardrobe rut. I feel like I’m constantly wearing the same thing–I need to break free! Especially if I’m going to be helping hubby with his new job, it’s probably a good idea to dress more appropriately, just in case. πŸ˜‰
  • Get out of my sewing rut. I’d like to challenge myself with at least one garment this year–a blazer, perhaps? Or maybe a cute fitted jean/moto jacket?
  • Learn a new sewing technique, or at least master one I’ve tried before unsuccessfully.
  • Be better organized. I’m terrible about planning anything from a menu to a sewing queue. It makes my life unnecessarily hectic, and with a new baby, that’s likely to spell disaster and a blown budget. I actually did a pretty good job on that with my sewing room this year, which helped my miniscule productivity immensely, so I’d like to expand it beyond the sewing room. πŸ™‚
  • Be a better mom. I’ve got a fantastic boy who’s already 7 and growing so quickly, I need to spend more time with him and less time plugged in. Sometimes I feel like my life is ruled by my computer, and I need to switch more of that focus to my kid (soon to be kids!) and even to my sewing and home life. I guess I need less inspiration and more perspiration. πŸ˜‰

I think all of these resolutions are reasonable, since most of them are a mindset change. What resolutions are ya’ll scheming up?

Vintage Perfection

Today was our town’s “fall festival” type thing at the historical center, so like good citizens we decided to check it out. While I’m sure you won’t be interested to hear about the slow tractor race (even though it’s pretty cool), I did find a piece of vintage perfection that someday I’d love to copy, since 1) I’ll never have the figure to wear that exact dress, 2) it’s not for sale, & 3) they’d probably notice if I stole it and wore it…since it was donated from a gal in town. πŸ˜‰

So anyway, pictures or it didn’t happen, right? Check this beauty out!

Seriously, isn't it just swoonworthy?!

Seriously, isn’t it just swoonworthy?!

I love the bias cut satin, the gorgeous lacy bodice, the collar, the criss-crossed stuff under the bust….the only thing I can think of that I don’t like about it is the fact that it’s not mine. πŸ˜‰

Typically, I’m not a fan of the 1920’s styles–especially the “flapper” look. But if there was more out there like this, I could absolutely see myself wearing them (the description said this was worn in the 20’s). This is the cut that fits and flatters my body the best–it emphasizes the narrowest point on me (that’d be the underbust) without the pregnant look that a straight empire line gives. Sadly, I don’t know of many (or any new) patterns that really give this shape, and it’s pretty distinctive. 😦 Especially since I try not to look like I’m wearing the exact same blouse/dress every day. πŸ˜‰

This shows the ties on the sleeves a bit better.

This shows the ties on the sleeves a bit better.

I wish I could have been able to tell exactly how the sleeves work, but “look but don’t touch”, you know how it is. They are probably just standard set in sleeves with a ribbon bow on the top, but I’m not positive on that, because I thought there might be a cutout/slit on the sleeve when I was looking at it from a different angle, but couldn’t quite tell for sure with the distance and inability to touch. I’m also bummed that I couldn’t see the back at all. 😦 It was pretty close to the wall and I couldn’t get quite far enough to the side to see the back.

There was another pretty dress, worn by the same woman, but it wasn’t quite as awesome. I probably also should have gotten a separate picture of the red jacket with the fur collar and pockets, but I was too distracted by the dress above.


I like this dress, the sleeves on it are cute and the lace detail is lovely, but it just wasn’t the stunner it’s companion is. πŸ™‚

So what do ya’ll think? Am I crazy and this dress is reallyΒ  hideous? Have you ever seen a vintage dress in a museum and fell in love?


I looked at a few of the Burda patterns in the book at JoAnn’s the other day, and this blouse pattern caught my eye. I’m not sure I’m in love with the cutouts (I know, it’s like blasphemy or something!), but I’m wondering if it would be possible to somehow fill those in…

What do you think? It’s a woven with raglan sleeves, how wrong could it be?

Ok, I lied. I actually DO like view B, but how many of those could you actually fit into your wardrobe anyway? So should I buy it?