Ps 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Simplicity add-ons

Well I had taken a break from this plaid dress for a couple of reasons. First, I put the zipper in twice and the plaid material is a little slick so it was off. Second, I cut it too short so I had to figure out waht to do to make it long enough for me to wear in public. For the zip, I ended up hand picking the zipper and it turned out pretty good. First time I've done that and it was a 22 inch zipper. Second problem will be solved by adding a bias cut ruffle at the bottom. I cut one that is about 8 inches wide. I have it pinned right now. I need to even out the gathering so that it fits just right before stitching, but I think I like it pretty well. I have the dress belted on Shirley and added the bow tie. This material is a bit thick for the full bow so I just knotted it. Hopefully it will be finished soon. It seems to be medium weight suiting, so it will work for early spring too.

McCall's 6100

We have two cute little sisters at church and I decided quite a while ago that I wanted to make them a little outfit. Hancock Fabrics had their McCalls patterns on sale 5 for $5 this weekend so I bought 6100. It is super simple and so fast. I have finished 1 minus the hem (waiting to try it on her). I plan on cutting the second and sewing tonight or tomorrow. I want to do a couple more of these with the tiers. This is some of the material I bought at Walmart (5 yards for $5), so it is cheap, but it should definitely hold up for spring and summer. The girls grow so fast that they won't be able to wear them long. This fabric is super soft, so it will feel nice when the weather gets warmer. It has a lined bodice and an unlined skirt. I did a little topstitching along the top of the bodice to keep it from rolling. I hand stitched the lining in. You can do the simple straps or make longer tie straps. Altogether I only spent $3 to make 2 dresses. What a deal!

T Shirt Headband

I found this cute idea at Craftsnob for a comfortable headband.  Who doesn't have worn out T shirts that could be given new life? This looks pretty simple and would make neat gifts! tshirt headband tutorial

Friday, February 25, 2011

Crewel Embroidery

My daughter is taking a needlework class through 4H in addition to sewing. The first class was to be held Wednesday, but her teacher was stuck in another city with car trouble. We are to makeup the class this coming Thursday I believe. I am looking forward to learning yet another stitching skill. I have already seen the sampler pillow they will be doing and I found a couple of web shots that are similar patterns. They will be using a lovely green wool on a cream background. I found one of the images at which has the cutest little crewel project for a spring/summer skirt. The other two photos were borrowed from Flickr pools (sarachung & rickies). They did a lovely job on their pillow tops. The other photo I stuck in here is one with sashiko embroidery like I have been doing but with different colors of crewel wool-Awesome! Can't wait to start!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I have been doing a little more applique for my mom. I brought these squares home with me last year after the quilt retreat and I haven't finished blanket stitching them. I would really like to give them to her complete when I see her in April, so I am going to have to pick up the pace!

Things to do today....

If your schedule isn't too busy and you have a little moment here or there, here are a few things you could do: Need CHEAP fabric for a quick end of winter project or some seersucker for your new spring/ summer project?? I found many great fabric deals yesterday. Some are only $1.74 a yard. Great practice material. Cheaper than muslin and if it turns out right you can wear it. Scan Looking for a great pattern giveaway? Easy to enter and east to sew? Head over to to get a chance at a Pendrell blouse pattern kit complete with material and thread! Looking for deeply discounted shetland wool for next year's projects? I am totally in love with the yellow check pattern. I know it is cheap for wool, but I still haven't bought any yet. We will see. Check out Fabric Mart discounts here Browse through all the pillows of February here . Sew Mama Sew has been making pillows all through the month of February. You might just get inspired to make one too! Looking forward to Spring? The warm weather and rain make me think of fresh flowers and fresh veggies. Here are some spring gardening tips from Martha Stewart. Looking for a cool chemical free furniture oil? I found this yesterday and I would love to see if it would help all the nicks and scratches in my coffee table. I call them character marks, but the table is getting just a little too much character for my liking. So here are several quick links to some things that might be useful for you and yours today. It is raining here today. School is on tap for the day and then a little more sewing on my Simplicity project.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Project

I cut this dress (view 2) out last night after I finished my owl softie. I got this material (probably 5-6 yards of it) for free from the lady I bought my Pfaff serger from. It feels pretty good. Seems to have a little stretch to it. I thought it would be great testing grounds for this simple pattern. I have serged all my pieces and have done the darts on the front piece. More to come....

Reuse, Recycle

I had a couple of coffee cans that I emptied recently-hallelujah for java! I hated to throw them away, so I covered them in some pretty scrapbook papers and I use this one on my sewing table to hold scissors and other necessary tools. Isn't that little pin cushion adorable by the way. A sweet old lady gave that to me about 6 years ago. I think it is knitted-with something as tiny as toothpicks. The other coffee can is larger and now holds zippers (upright) and rolls of elastic. In my dream sewing room, somewhere off in the distant galaxy, I would love to have a bunch of these in coordinating papers all labeled on shelves to hold all my little sewing treasures. What about you? Where and how do you store your sewing goodies? Do you have a sewing room or are you shoved in a corner or closet?

4H Year 3 sewing

My daughter becomes rather ambitious each year sewing class comes around. The first year she did elastic waist gauchos and last year a cute pencil skirt with a pleat. Last year's skills were a waistband and zipper. Her skirt won several awards. This year she has to do buttonholes. She has chosen a Project Runway pattern that is really cute and will make a great Easter dress. It has a zipper so she will have to tackle that skill again which is good. It has a neckband, piping (which I have never done), armhole facings and a keyhole cutout in the front. We shall see if the machine survives her wrath when everything doesn't work the first time. I should learn some new skills along the way too. Last night as I was reading through her pattern I realized the buttons are just decorative-no buttonholes-HA! We are going to be doing the buttonholes on the overlap anyway. That's hilarious. She serged all of her pieces yesterday, which gives her a head start on the next class. There are only 3 sergers and 10 girls. This way she will be ready to sew. She is using a "dry clean only" linen look material from Hancocks. I will try to post her progress.

My Owl Softie

Last night I put together one of the owl softies that I posted about yesterday. I did mine in boy colored soft flannels. This will also be a gift for the new baby boy in our church. This was pretty simple to put together. Probably about an hour long project from start to finish. He is so soft and cute. I zigzag stitched everything except when I sewed front to back. I also rubbed the edges of the flannels pretty hard after I stitched so that they would fray a bit. I like the already soft and worn look. I used buttons instead of another piece of fabric for the centers.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Owl Softies

Photo from Ucreate website.
I found this cute little thing on UCreate last week and I have been meaning to post it on here. This would make the cutest little baby gift or birthday gift for a little one. I have already cut out most of the parts for one. I am using some flannels and felts. I ended up emailing for the cut down pattern. I didn't really want to make the big, thick owl pillow-just the little softie. You can go to this link to get the full tutorial or go to UCreate and look for owl softie tutorial.

Real Simple

I bought a magazine subscription from the boyscouts not too long ago and none of the magazines were all that interesting to me. They did have Real Simple which is pretty fun to look at. My first one showed up this weekend. I usually feel envious of all the organized homes and work areas and closets and kitchens, etc etc. Maybe someday? Until then I will store some of these cool ideas in my head.

Beach Dress

I found a border print black fabric at Hancock fabrics recently and it was a 2 yard remnant. In my vocab that means "cheap". They always mark their remnants to 2.99 a yard, even if they were much more expensive on the bolts. I have never worked with border prints before so this took a little figuring. I decided to make a long dress that I could wear at the beach over my suit or by itself. All I did was create a tube with the serger and add an elastic casing. I am playing around with straps now on Shirley. I like the straps meeting at the back and then forming a short knotted bow. I will keep playing for a while before I commit to anything. Any suggestions on how to make this simple dress have a little more flair??? It is a lightweight slick material that should dry very quickly if I wear it over a wet suit. I thought the black wouldn't be quite as obvious if it was wet. I really like the print though. What do you think?

Baby lap quilt

We have another new baby in our congregation as of Sunday night. A sweet little baby boy that I hope to get a peek at this week sometime. I recently cut out tons of quilt squares for my sister in law's baby quilt. It is a mixture of cottons, flannels, suede and chenille. I had quite a few extra squares so yesterday I got a top put together. It still needs ironing and squaring up. It will just be a small lap quilt, but I think it will be cute just the same. I think I am going to use sheeting on the back and the same baby blue blanket binding to finish it off. The squares look cute together. I am not a quilter but want to learn to make them. My mom quilts constantly and I am once again looking forward to my quilt retreat in April with her. I was glad to have a 1/4 inch foot that came with a walking foot for my Kenmore machine. I couldn't use the snap on 1/4 inch foot because my Kenmore is a screw on low shank machine. So yay that I kept it because it was a huge help yesterday!

Another nursing blanket

I made a green patterned nursing blanket for a friend's baby shower recently and her mother told me she loves it and uses it all the time. I originally bought 2 pieces of fabric to make 2 covers for her. I was pinched for time and only managed to get one done. I wasn't sure if she would like it, so I waited to hear from her mom. I managed to get this one finished this past weekend and plan on passing it along mid week to her mom. These are so easy to make. This fabric was not the best though. It is absolutely beautiful, but it is some sort of polyester blend that my machine hated. It was a remnant so I am not sure of the content. I think in the future I will stick to cottons for these. (Sorry the picture is so blurry)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mahi Mahi

My husband LOVES fish! He normally doesn't go grocery shopping with me. It all overwhelms him. On Wednesday night after church, all of our kids went home together and he came with me to finish shopping. I try to multi-task when I do go to town. Living 30 minutes away makes you think about how you spend your time while out there. I went and did all the "dry or non-perishable" shopping before church, so that I only needed to get the cold items after. It was a little too warm to leave everything in the car for a couple of hours. So my husband ended up buying aome fresh mahi mahi. I don't cook much fish except Tilapia. I did a little looking on the internet for recipes. Most of them were pretty simple. I thought I would try a little oriental flair though. I mixed 3 Tbsp. each-honey, reduced sodium soy sauce and balsamic vinegar together. I added 1/2 tsp dried ginger and 1 tsp freshly crushed garlic. I then poured the mixture into a shallow platter and put the flesh side of the fish down. Let marinate in fridge for atleast 20 minutes. Then I used my grill pan-love love love this addition to my kitchen! I put the heat on about 7 (med high) and rubbed the skin side of the fish with a little olive oil and sea salt. Make sure your pan is oiled or sprayed and hot before putting the fish in. If it isn't hot -it will stick! I grilled each side for about 5-6 minutes. My steaks were atleast an inch thick. You have to watch cooking the fleshy side too long. The honey will get sticky and burn. I made rice in my rice cooker and used my Caphalon wok pan to sautee snow peas, carrots, green onion and cabbage. I used the Caphalon wok seasoning and soy sauce to flavor the veggies. It was a pretty meal and I thought it was rather tasty.

Quick Blueberry Muffin Tops

A couple of days ago I was out of basic items in my pantry and fridge-time to go grocery shopping! I wanted to fix something for the kids that didn't require milk-we had maybe half a cup left.  I mixed a white cake mix with the 3 eggs I had left and 1/3 cup of oil. I added 1/8 cup sour cream and a couple of tablespoons of water. After I mixed all that together I folded in one cup of thawed blueberries. I filled the little tins about 2/3 full and they were pretty good. Big but good. My oldest said they were a bit too sweet for her. Oh well if you are in a pinch and happen to have these items on hand, they make a pretty decent little muffin top. Makes 12.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Finished Simplicity 7132

I was able to get the long zip in my shirt today and finish up all the necessary hemming.  It turned out pretty cute. I didn't do a bias roll collar because I didn't have enough material in my piece to cut it that way.  I figured since this wasn't striped, a regular cut collar would work.  I love the length and the splits at the hips are a nice touch.  I would definitely make this again.  I didn't put facings in the armholes because the polyester would be just way too bulky.  I just turned them in and hemmed. I need to use a presscloth to get the back and neck darts nice and smooth.  The back looks a bit bubbly right now
 Now on to the zip in my suede skirt.  I need to get that skirt finished soon or it will be too warm to wear it! Have had 60's and 70's this week.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Skirts and shirts

Well Sunday I was quite sick and did nothing but iron my husband's shirts for the week. Monday I was feeling better (probably actually resting when sick does worlds of good). I haven't really been out of the house since Friday. I love it that way! I am stalled on my suede skirt because I need a 7 inch zipper. Plan to get that today while in town. I started another project yesterday though. It is a 1967 Simplicity pattern and so far all I have is a top. I managed to get it cut out of a thinner piece of patterned polyester given to me by a friend at church. It isn't the best color for me, but it is bright enough that it doesn't make my skin look green. Greens tend to have that effect on me. I got all the darts done yesterday and made the collar and attached it. So now I am to the zipper on it too. I have enough of the material to make a knee length skirt to go with it. Do you think that would just be too much??? If anything I can wear the top and skirt seperately. The pattern is very easy and if I like the style on me, I might make a few more in different materials.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Colette Madeline Bloomers Complete

I finally finished my cute little bloomers today! I had to run the elastic through the 2 casings in the waist and the ribbon through the casing in the legs. I love this material. These will be great sleep shorts in the summer. I do know they look better on little skinny legged people like my girls. I spared you all a pic of me in them! My husband said they are cute-that is all that matters! I was busy trying to clean out my car some today, but I am a bit under the weather and have felt sort of tired all day. I did start a new pattern tonight and did quite a bit. I was making chicken pot pie for our dinner and a big pot of veggie soup for a church family until about 8 pm. Then I decided that I wanted to make a skirt-(any reason to use my new toy). I bought 2 yards of the same butter suede I used in my baby quilt. It felt so good and I love the camel color. I am using Simplicity 4611 from early 1960's. I am making the straight skirt with pleat and side zip. I managed to get the gathering, darts, pleat and side seams done tonight and I had to cut the pattern out as well. It is going pretty quickly. Maybe tomorrow afternoon I can get the zip in and the wasitband on. Not sure-sewing? nap? sewing? nap?

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Book of Flat Pattern Making

I bought this book for $4 at Mckay's Used Bookstore in Knoxville-awesome place if you happen to be in Ktown. I am finding it interesting so far. The thought of being able to draft changes to commercial patterns in order to achieve the "perfect" fit is a wonderful thought. I have been reading the rules about darts and I can't believe there are so many. The book gives you a list of handy tools that you will need in order to make pattern changes. Thankfully I have most of these--or actually my son does. We have given him different types of rulers over the years because he is rather particular about line drawing. So, I have a flexible ruler and several French curves and a transparent 3" ruler too. I will definitely have to do more reading before I would feel confident enough to tackle a pattern, but it is definitely fun to think about!

Guernica Project & Reception

I attended a reception at our local library yesterday for 8 highschool home school students that painted portions of Picasso's Guernica. The project was donated to our library and the students and teachers were recognized. My son was one of those students, along with other students in our Tapestry of Grace co-op. It is a strange piece, but does look very nice hanging in the library. Thanks Margaret for all your wonderful teaching and patience!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mama's Got A Brand New Car-not really

I have never really been too worried about the vehicle I drive as long as it is dependable! My husband loves cars, loves buying cars that need to be fixed, and loves fussing about having to fix them! He is so sweet and really good at working on them. We have had a lot of cars!! What am I saying-we HAVE a lot of cars! I owned a silver Volvo wagon for about a year or so and it was the first car that I really got attached to. We were trying to get ahead financially last year, so when Nanny died we bought her 1994 Nissan Altima that only had 44,000 miles on it and we sold the Volvo to some friends (who also have Volvo love). My husband has since bought himself a Volvo S60 that of course needed work, but it drives great. The other night he came home from work and said he saw a Volvo V70 wagon for sale in Lexington. High miles, good price. Oh well, we called and the guy was a Christian and he and my husband started talking and he was interested in taking the Altima as a trade. SO-long story short, we drove to Lexington and ended up trading cars and now I have another Volvo V70 wagon. It is ash gold and has the third row seat as well--my other one didn't. Not that any of my granddaddy long-leg children could sit in it-hee hee. It does have a few things that of course need to be worked on, but that is the only way we buy cars. I haven't driven it yet, but I am looking forward to it! We didn't end up getting home until about 2:30 am. We do some of the weirdest things-I tell you-just weird!

Big Week

Photo from Colette patterns website
We have had quite a bit of snow around here, which suits me fine because I get to stay put in my cozy little house.I was glad the weather didn't keep the UPS man away though. My new sewing machine came yesterday-WooHoo!!!!!! I decided to sell my "newly acquired" Singer and a Euro-Pro 80 Stitch that I have. I am hoping to get atleast $60-$70 out of the pair. I made a little spending cash from doing the food for the wedding and I decided to use it on a machine that has all the bells & whistles I want. I ordered the Singer Stylist 7258. I read A LOT of reviews before purchasing a machine. I wanted to definitely stay under $200-because let's face it, if it can't do what I want for $200-then I don't guess I need it-HA! This machine has a top drop in -see through bobbin-that means I can see how much thread is left on my bobbin at all times. It has the option for needle up or down which I definitely wanted. It has 100 stitches that are digitally programmed. It came with 8-that's right-8 presser feet. It has an LED light-so I can see much better and it doesn't get hot. It can stitch without a pedal-not sure when that would come in handy-but you never know. It has auto tie off function-(backstiching at the beginning and end of stitching). It has an auto threader. It is quiet-(love!!!) It only weighs about 19 pounds, but it is sturdy enough that it does not shake while sewing. It has a speed control right on the front, which is great for Katy, who likes to go slow. All in all, I love it so far. Yes, I have already been sewing on it. I had to alter a dress for a neighbor's daughter for this weekend and I am making these cute bloomers from Colette patterns. They were a free download a while back. Their patterns are so easy to follow. Oh well, so now I can be more efficient in my sewing. I won't have to roll back and forth between machines to do different aspects of my projects-Yahoo! I will hopefully be inspired to sew more often!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fabric scraps take on new life...

Photo from My Patchwork:
I also found this link to My Patchwork on It is an adorable notebook or book cover made from relatively small pieces of fabric. This would make a neat birthday gift for someone who loves to carry their sketchbook around at all times or for a new college student's planner. Maybe you have a friend who loves to journal. Making a personalized cover in their favorite colors would be a nice gift. It is also a fun way to use up scraps! I may have to try this soon.