Friday, May 30, 2014

A Little Sewing Inspiration...

I did do a little window shopping while I was in Chicago.  While in Neiman Marcus, I found this linen skirt in the Eileen Fisher department:

Sorry, it is not a great picture but I was trying to get a picture of the stitching.  This skirt was on the bias with decorative machine stitching.  Very simple.  Very expensive.  My husband couldn't understand why it was so expensive or for that matter why any of it was so expensive.

I also was able to check the St John's knits department.  Wow!  Absolutely beautiful clothing.  Such attention to detail.  It was all priced of my comfort zone for clothing but a girl can dream.

We also visited the Ralph Lauren store.  Here's a picture of the leather jacket that I found there:

Loved this jacket but I'm not willing to spent $4000 on a unlined leather jacket.  Here's a close up of the stitching detail on this jacket:

Wouldn't that be easy enough to duplicate even in leather?  Some day I hope to have enough courage to re-create this jacket in leather but in the mean time I could try a different fabric.  I think all the major sewing companies have a pattern similar to this.  I have the Silhouettes version in my stash.  Maybe I could plan something for fall.   Since this was an unlined jacket, all the seams were bound in what looked like leather.  Really it was all the stitching that catch my attention.

Hope your inspiration!

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

This N' That...

Not much going on here.  We spent 4 days in Chicago for our 30th wedding anniversary.  We sent our son to spend the weekend with my brother.  Our weekend was full. One day we went on a food tour and then met a niece for dinner.  Another day we just went from place to place visiting museums and gardens  Between Saturday and Sunday, we managed to walk a total of 20 miles.  Sadly, Monday came too quickly. It was back to the airport and hope that our son's flight made it in time for the next flight home.  We were just a little worried.  All went well with the return trip.

I received two knitting books for my birthday and I've been reading the one of top down knitting.  I really need to purchase some basic yarn and practice some of the things that it talks about doing.  I also finished the last of the knitted dishcloths. They need the ends woven in and they will be ready to use.  This has me looking for my next knitting project.  I thought that I would do this project:

Thinking that it would be very simple.  However, I knitted the first row and then the instructions didn't make sense to me.  Now if it had said pull the yarn tightly, it would have made sense to me but as it was written it felt like I was going to have a lot of loose yarn to deal with.  This project is a freebie from NobleKnits Knitting Blog. If you have made this, please contact me.  I really want to understand what this is telling me to do.   So, that means that my next knitting project is going to be the top-down sweater from Craftsy:

This is the top down knitting that I have been wanting to learn.  I do finally have all the bits and pieces assembled. I just haven't have the courage to start.  I don't want to mess it up because the yarn was so expensive.  I suppose I should have more confidence in my knitting.  Maybe I should just start with the gauge piece.

Also, I will be getting back to the Diane Kimono dress.  It has been cut out for over a week and I keep forgetting to pick up interfacing.  I remembered the interfacing today.  With any luck, I will get the actually sewing started tonight.  There are still a few decisions that need to be made but I can make them as I'm working on the dress.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Cooking....Skillet Ziti

As I have stated before, I'm always looking for quick and easy recipes.  I certainly found it in this:

This is Skillet Baked Ziti.  I just used the recipe as a guide line and it turned out wonderful.  I didn't feel like going to the grocery store that I normally go to and just visited the little neighborhood store to pick up the ingredients.  The little neighborhood store didn't carry the hot bulk sausage suggested so I purchased the fresh store ground sausage and added an additional 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.  The neighborhood store also didn't carry the ziti so I substituted another small tube-like pasta.  The last substitution was that I used Half & Half instead of heavy cream simply because that is what was in the refrigerator.

The next time I make this, I will be trying the just put the lid on it and let the cheese melt rather than using the oven.  I know the cheese won't get brown and crispy but it will be melted and gooey.  Just the way my son likes it.

I will definitely be checking out the cooking blog that this came from to see what other wonder creations can be found there.

Happy Cooking (and Stitching)!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Third Muslin of the Diane Kimono Dress

Here's the third muslin of the dress pattern:

I think this version looks a little better.  Not as tight through the bust area.  The only thing I'm uncertain about is the gathered area in the front.  I really do not like that and may just spread the gathers out a little more.  I suppose I could pin it in and see what I think in the fabric that I have picked out for the dress.

Overall, this seems to be a very quick dress to make.  I am very slow at sewing.  I will try to time how long it takes from cutting to finishing and let me you know.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

More Fabric Hopped Into My Stash

I'm not sure what has gotten into my lately but more fabric has arrived from  Hopefully, it will not stay in the stash too long.  Here's my latest acquisitions:

This is a Grey Houndstooth Ponte De Roma.  I purchased 1 yard and my intent is to try the Magic Pencil Skirt pattern by Pamela's Patterns.  This has been in my pattern for a long time and it's time to give it a try.

This is a black Ponte Fino Knit.  I purchase 2 1/2 yards of this with the intent of trying either the 3 Piece Yoga Pant pattern or the 5-Piece Yoga Pant pattern from Silhouettes.  Both of these patterns are in my pattern stash.

This is the Marble Grey Hatchi knit.  I purchased 2 1/2 yard of this with the intent of trying the Sweater Set pattern by Silhouettes.  Again, this is a pattern from my pattern stash.

Now, I'm being a little bit boring.  This is Marble Purple Hatchi knit.  I really liked this print and it is the only colored item I purchased.  There is 1 1/2 yards of this and the intent is to the use the Sweater Set to make a long sleeved top.  This is something that you see Peggy doing a lot and I thought that I would give it a try. It will give the pattern a double use.

Now, I have some of the black that I missed with the last order from  My goal is to have most of the sewn up by fall.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2nd Muslin of the Diane Kimono dress

I have finally gotten back to the Diane Kimono dress pattern.  The second muslin is the largest size available.  It is sewn according to the directions except I was playing around with how the skirt attached to the band:

Here's the same top with the shoulders pinned for sloping shoulders:

I think that the second version has a little bit better fit.  With that in mind, I retraced the the front and back bodice changing the slope about 1/2".  Here is the change to the bodice:

I used the pivot and slide technique to modify the bodice.  You can see in the picture above how much the change affected the sleeve.

There is still some of the loving pink fabric left to produce another muslin. So, it's off to make one more muslin.  I get a little tired of the patterns by this point.  I hope that third time is the charm and I can make the dress.  What do you think of the differences in the second muslin?

Happy Stitching!

Monday, May 12, 2014

New Pattern Possibilities....

I just checked the new pattern offering at the large pattern companies.  I know I'm running a little late this year.  The offerings were such a disappointment.  There were many cute items but I didn't feel that they were something that I should be wearing.  I don't want to look like I'm trying too hard to look young.  Big and baggy, no thank you!  Here are the few patterns that I found interesting:

I liked the look of McCall's 6959 wrap dress.  Doesn't it look like quick & easy sewing?  It does come with a couple of necklines, 3 sleeve variations, and 2 skirt variations.  It reminds me very much of the Ramona Dress pattern by Serendipity Studio, which is already on my to do list.

This is a Maggie London design for Butterick,  It is #6053.  This dress has some beautiful seaming and is already graded for the cup sizes.  Is the drafting good for the different cup sizes.  Notice it also has pockets.  Who doesn't love pockets?

This is Burda Style 6905.  First glance and this is a skirt but look again.  It's called a pant skirt.  I can see a lot of possibilities with this skirt/pants.  In fact, I can see this becoming a wardrobe stable.  I love wearing skirts in the summer and this has that look.  I may have to drive over to JoAnn's and get this pattern.

For the younger ladies, there are lots of flowing items, and jumpsuits available.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Cooking...Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup

With the everyday something soft for my son, I thought I would share another family favorite. It was found at  It is Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup:

This is soup that I make when I have lots of little pieces of broccoli in the freezer.  I use the recipe as a starting point.  The changes that I make are not starting with boiling water, add an additional chicken bouillon cube, quantity of broccoli is different every time I make it, and quantity of cheddar varies.  The version I make isn't as chunky as the picture.  Even with those changes, it is a quick soup to make.  

Happy Cooking or Sewing!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Do You Have a Favorite Notion in Your Sewing Area?

I do. In fact, I have two favorites. Both of these items are used a lot when I sew.

First up is the Mini Dust-It:

This is such a wonderful item to have near your machine.  Cleans up all the dust in an instant.  Mine is not nearly as nice looking as the ones in the picture because they do need to be shampooed occasionally and mine is in need right now.

The second item is Double-Sided Adhesive Tape:

This wonderful little item helps hold things in place, you can sew through it without gumming up your needle, and it washes out.  What more could you ask for?  I use it for zippers a lot.  Think about your topstitching.  It the item is placed exactly where you want it with the tape your stitching will look great.  No more pins!

So, what is your favorite notion to sew with?

Happy Stitching!

Monday, May 5, 2014

The New Supplies has arrived

All the items I ordered last week have arrived.  Let's start with the yarn:

The picture doesn't do this yarn justice.  It is really a rose color and just perfect.  I also ordered two pair of circular needles.  I should have ordered the double-needles also but thought that I could get nice needles locally for less money.  I was wrong.  The pattern requires 6" needles in two sizes of the double points.  I found 7" needles.  What I don't know is if it matters that the DP needles are longer.  Any one know?

Next is the Curved Black & White Jersey with the white lining fabric:

I love this fabric and hope that I get the wrap dress made that this fabric was intended for.  I will be cutting the two fabrics out together and treating them as one.  The stretch will be based off of the white knit lining.

The final item is the Black/White Abstract double knit:

I do like this print but I'm disappointed at the weight.  The description called it medium weight but I wouldn't call it that.  I will still make a jacket from this fabric but it will definitely be a light weight jacket.  I do need to locate some trim.  If anyone know where I can get a black knit fold over trim, please let me know.  I suppose a fold over elastic would work, too.

In looking at my fabrics, I wish now that they were coordinating.  I guess that means I need to check the stash for a black fabric that is suitable for jacket, skirt, and/or pants.  I hope I find something there.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Cooking.... Chicken Stew

My son finally got the remainder of his braces on yesterday.  That calls for lots of soft food for about a week.  One of our household favorites is a Chicken Stew recipe that I modified every so slightly to cook in the crockpot:

Here's the link to Giada's Chicken Stew recipe.  The changes that I made were to eliminate the oil, toss it all in the crock pot, and cook all day.  Sometimes, I will add extra carrots.  I also use 16 oz of tomatoes and broth.  Then, I come home in the evening, shred the chicken, and mix it back into the stew.  Don't forget to add a salad to get some extra veggies in.

This quick and easy recipe leaves lots of time for sewing, knitting, crocheting, crafting in general, or weather permitting, gardening.  Don't forget to use a crockpot cooking bag to save the clean up time.

Happy Cooking or Stitching!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Still knitting....

...I have always had a love for all things dealing with yarn - knitting or crocheting.  I found the Artemisia Sweater at Ravelry and fell in love.  My goal with knitting all the dish clothes was to get my stitching even.  I think I have done that.  What I really want is to have sweaters that fit.  So, I took the leap and purchased the class over at Craftsy.  I have watched part of it  even though I don't have my supplies.  I can watch it again when it it time to get started.  This has three things that I'm really interested in:  top down knitting, bust fitting, and waist fitting.  I have no doubt that I will be learning something in this class.  I'm just hoping that it result in a sweater that fits.

When at Craftsy, I found a freebie class that is a freebie class about wools called "Know Your Wool with Deborah Robson".  My first thought was isn't all wool the same?  Well, it turns that all wool is not the same.  You need to know what your project is going to be to know if the wool characteristics you have selected will work for that type of project.  Interesting, uh?  The other thing I found out is some types of wool felt better than others.  I will most likely watch this again some evening so I can understand a little more about the wools that I will most likely be interested in the most.

Next, I had to find the yarn to match my sweater.  First, I decided that I didn't want the Craftsy kit.  The color was beautiful but I wasn't sure that was the color I wanted.  So, I read through the information that others had posted about what type of yarn they had used on their sweaters.  I finally selected a Cascade 220 superwash in Dusty Rose from Alpaca Direct.  I also purchased two sets of circular needles.   I still need to purchase two sets of the double pointed needles for the project.

With any luck, I will have a finished project by fall to show you.

Happy Stitching!