Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Novi Sewing Expo

Last weekend was the American Stitches Sewing Expo in Novi, MI and a few of the members of the Loose Threads Quilt Guild took a field trip! The Michigan weather was spectacular, so of course a tailgate was in order:

What you can't see in this photo are all the shopping bags.....with goodies purchased from the vendors at the Expo. I returned to the Expo alone on Saturday to take two classes with Kenneth D. King on tailoring tips and tricks. We learned about faced flap pockets, welt pockets and bound buttonholes, piping and sleeves/sleeve caps. The classes were very informative, he is an engaging instructor who was very willing to share his vast tailoring knowledge. I met up with a friend in the evening for the Passion for Fashion fashion show, a runway show with contestants who participated in a Project Runway-like competition that spanned the weekend. It was a fun weekend, and I did my part to help the struggling economy, making purchases at Vogue Fabrics, Haberman Fabrics and Fabric Gallery just to name a few! Now if I could just have a 36 hour day, and the energy to go with it!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

PatternReview-McCall's 5591

I have been a member of the online sewing community at PatternReview for several years now....and have finally posted my first review! Another of the 'what I did this summer' garments for my daughter Libby, this cute little cotton skirt was fun to make. Libby picked the fabric....an 'uncanny':-) resemblance to the skirt shown on the pattern envelope, View A:

She loved the fit, especially the way the pleats fall close to the body. And the faced pockets are a nice touch.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Vogue Fabrics

Things have settled down here a bit, so I thought I'd update this blog with what I have done over the summer. I made a quick trip to Chicago to see my daughters. My daughter Kristen works in Evanston, so what's a girl to do but make a stop at Vogue Fabrics!
Don't be fooled, this is not a 'fancy' fabric store in the least, but who cares? People like me who love fabric go there for one reason...for the fabric! This was my first (and certainly not last!) trip to Vogue Fabrics, and I wasn't disappointed. Good thing I left room in my suitcase to bring home some goodies:
From top to bottom: a lusciously soft knit, black menswear with a subtle pin-stripe, blue lycra knit and a lightweight woven. Hopefully, I will be posting finished garments made with these fabrics in the coming months!

After work, Kristen met up with my oldest daughter Libby and me for dinner, and her recommendation to eat at Praire Moon was spot-on! The beer menu at Prairie Moon is outstanding.......at least that what my daughters said (gee-give me a pale ale with a slice of citrus and I'm good to go!). It was fun that our waiter Alex really knew his beer too, and so we ended up doing a 'beer-tasting' along with our delicious meal. Let's see, it started out like this:and ended up like this (take note that now it's *dark*outside....guess we stayed awhile!):

Spending time with my kids always means so much to me, and I'm flattered that they let me into their world once in awhile. Trust me, had you asked, I would never have said that I would drink a 'black' stout named Dragon's Breath! But, what's that saying, "when in Rome...."??


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How I spent my Labor Day weekend.....

Started out with these...the tools of the trade.....I vacated my usual sewing area to be right in the middle of the action! And these lovely fabrics.....a gun-metal silver-grey with a subtle black slub which looks like silk but is really polyester.....and the white lining, nothing special there....
























This is the "BEFORE" of 3 of the 6 full-length windows that run along the back of our home:
And here is the after, with 3 down and 3 to go:
Considering the initial quotes for blinds/shades for the 6 windows fell anywhere from $2000.00 to$4000.00, the roughly $350 I've spent for all 6 windows is right up my alley! And I must say, hats off to my husband Ken, who was my right hand on this project helping me with the measuring and the hardware installation. :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm back!

Wow....it's been quite awhile since I've posted!

Been busy celebrating our oldest daughter's graduation from DePaul College of Law. We hosted two parties to honor the graduate: one in Chicago for her friends on graduation weekend, and another one back here in Michigan for family and friends the weekend after she sat for the Illinois State Bar. What can I say....we are a couple of proud parents!
We also managed to do a little camping, all in Michigan: Warren Dunes State Park and Harrisville State Park. But don't worry, I've managed to do some sewing along the way:


Love this picture of my two daughters! Libby on the left is wearing Butterick 5179, made from a poly blend fabric from JoAnn Fabrics, with a blue satin-type fabric for the round collar. She was the guest of honor at this backyard swim party!





















Love the way this blouse (Simplicity 3887) turned out! Lovely, light cotton from Gorgeous Fabrics, a site that is fast becoming my favorite online fabric shop. You really can't appreciate how pretty this fabric is in this picture, but it is a dusty lavender, with a very subtle thread of gold woven in here and there. I was pleased that my daughter Kristen liked it! Then there is this cute little number (Simplicity 2896):



This jacket was made from white eyelet that had aged in my stash for quite awhile! Actually, Kristen had picked out this fabric back when she was in high school....let's see, that would be 6 or 7 years ago (!)....for a cute little summer dress. Well, I think it makes a stylish and trendy summer jacket. It's lined with a very soft Kona cotton, and the closures are done with snaps behind the large buttons. The sleeves are also gathered into the lining, no elastic. Very clever! She's smiling, so I think she's happy with it!

There has been some knitting happening also. I've got the body knit and am ready to pick up stitches for the neck and armhole ribbing using this pattern:

It's the Ms. Marigold pattern from Zephyr Style, knit in the yarn specified: Knit Picks Elegance in the colorway Grass. No, I'm not knitting in the little ruffles on the shoulders.....I've already knit one of their patterns, the Green Gable, and although it was a fun knit, I should have knit it a size smaller. So, I went down a size when knitting Ms. Marigold, and now it looks to be too small. Oh well, it will fit one of my two daughters if it doesn't fit me!



Tuesday, June 24, 2008

U of M Football Stadium renovation

If you are a University of Michigan fan, alumnus or city of Ann Arbor resident, I'm sure you have an opinion on the renovation of the Big House! Is it a good thing, or a bad thing? Well, as a good friend told me: "It is what it is"......and I guess not a lot we can do about it :-) Check out this video of the project:

And check out the webcam, it is fascinating to watch:

I am a little sad to see the changes, bigger is not always better IMHO. But I will welcome the restroom renovations, that's for sure! Go Blue!

Brownie Pops!


Take a look at the yummy dessert I made this weekend for my niece's high school graduation open house. Pretty simple really, just a brownie on a stick dipped in chocolate and topped with sprinkles. I think the key is the idea of putting the brownies in the freezer (after they have cooled) for about an hour to firm them up before putting in the stick. They were well-received at the party!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

June 3


Happy Birthday to ME!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What the.....?

Memorial Day almost always finds us doing yard work, and setting up out outdoor living spaces: wicker furniture on the front porch, patio furniture on the back patio and around the pool. Well, imagine my surprise when I took these cushion covers out of the washer to hang on the line:

thank goodness the zippers were sewn in with stronger thread, because those were the only seams that didn't need re-sewing! Just the kind of sewing project I like.....NOT! Altho easy enough with my serger.
I am still working on my daughter's trench coat, but since DD the eldest was home for a week (and available for fitting) I made a quick little summer dress for her using Butterick 2179, view B w/out the jewels:


She picked a pretty blue for the round collar, and a blue/white print for the dress. I'll post a picture as soon as she sends me one since I was hand-sewing the facing as she was leaving out the door :-)!


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rip it out and start something new

Okay, I can admit defeat...! I started (a couple of times, actually) the cropped cardi from the May 2008 Creative Knitting magazine. "Cute little cardi, great for summer," I thought to myself. Hah!
For some reason, I was not feeling the good knitting karma with this one. Rather than submit to more time of less-than-fun knitting, I started the Amble instead, in navy blue:
I'm thinking this will be WAY more fun!!!!!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

It's a fine Spring day!



It's a beautiful Spring day here in Michigan, tho a little windy and cool. I took this picture just a few minutes ago, and tho I don't have any current pics of *my* handiwork, I thought that God's handiwork made a breathtaking photo!

April has been a busy month! I was able to spend 4 days at a quilt retreat with my local quilt guild, the Loose Threads quilters, and then traveled to Chicago the following weekend for the International Quilt Show. Best part of that weekend was the time I got to spend time with my twenty-something daughters who live in the city!! I came home with lots of inspiration from both of my weekends away......

I have been sewing, tho! Our high school drama dept's spring play was Alice in Wonderland, and I got to help out by making some costumes: the Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, the Red Queen and the White Queen. It was totally fun, and a nice break from my usual sewing, that's for sure :-)

I have been working on a new quilted wallhanging with pieced 'rings', and also a lined trench coat for my daughter, and I managed to cast on for a cropped cardi for myself. More info and pics to follow...stay tuned!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Shrug

More knitting content! Here are some photos of the shrug that I made for my daughter Libby, I think last summer :-) using Lion Brand Cotton Ease and the pattern from the book Lace Style, Pam Allen and Ann Budd (Interweave Press): Retro Redux Shrug by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark.



A wardrobe mainstay of the 1940s and 1950s, shrugs helped ensure warmth when sleek, backless dresses were all the rage. Because good ideas don’t go out of fashion, shrugs remain popular accessories today. Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark worked this shrug from cuff to cuff in a two-row brioche stitch that’s more closely related to ribbing than to traditional lace. Worked on relatively large needles throughout, the pattern takes on a lacelike appearance, especially where it stretches across the shoulders. Mercedes worked the entire body of the shrug on a consistent number of stitches but shaped the curved lower back and neck edges by changing needle sizes.–Description from Lace Style by Pam Allen & Ann Budd

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thorpe- earflap hat

Finally, a post with knitting content! This is my daughter wearing the earflap hat that she requested: pattern is the Thorpe hat by Kirsten Kapur. Made with Paton's Shetland Chunky.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sewing accomplishments

First up was McCall's 5184 made for my daughter Kristen:I really wanted to make View E (the red one on the pattern front), but this wool that I had ordered online from Fabric Mart was very drapey and I didn't think it would hold the pleats. I was very pleased when she tried it on and it fit perfectly, and she liked it! "like a Ralph Lauren" was her response! I plan to make the pleated version in the future, maybe out of denim??

Next was Simplicity 3678, and I used the 'rings' fabric from Fabric Mart, and the blue graphic from Gorgeous Fabrics:



My daughter Libby liked the 'rings' fabric, and also liked View A in the lower right hand corner of the pattern front. This dress has the wrap front above the midriff piece. I'll be sending her this dress this week, hope she likes it and hope it fits! It was such a breeze to put together, and I had more knit fabric to sew up, so I decided to make View C (the long-sleeved version on left pattern front) for myself! This view has a the scoop neck with the gathered bodice, and I chose the long-sleeved version so I can wear it for Easter.....because, in all reality, we could have snow for Easter this year!

I can't remember the last time I made myself an Easter dress!
So, how many more times can I make this pattern up? It was an easy sew, the fit is right on, and since there is not a zipper application it is fast! I think I'll try to chop off the length next time and make it into a top!

Fabric purchases

I've been doing a little (!) fabric buying over the last few weeks. But, I have been sewing alot too! First purchase was an online purchase from Fabric Mart:

The piece on top is a lovely knit, then a very nice navy wool with a small, light blue check, and on the bottom is another wool plaid with a light green and a lavendar thread. My next online purchase was ordered from Gorgeous Fabrics:The top three fabrics are knits, I will use for dresses/tops. The khaki/white combo is a cotton with some lycra stretch. I'm not sure yet what I will use that one for, but probably a skirt or dress for the summer. I also purchase a fabric pack of Ginger Blossom from Guildcrafters quilt shop in Berkley, MI this weekend:

I could not resist those spring colors, especially since we got hit with ANOTHER winter snow advisory this weekend!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cabin Fever Insanity

I decided to participate in Pat Sloan's weekend Cabin Fever Insanity project, using up a very OLD stack of Moda brushed cottons:

I'll use this table topper this summer, when I like to decorate my front porch in red-white-blue.

My houndstooth jacket just needs a snap (see: it's pinned to the collar so I don't lose it!) and a belt:

Guess it's time to start a new project!








Sunday, February 3, 2008

SuperBowl Sunday

Getting some quality sewing time in before the big game, working on this project, made from a nice piece of houndstooth wool purchased online at BuyThePiece:

Initially, I thought I would make the trendy bell sleeves, but I've since decided against it. I will most likely wear this like a blazer at work, so the long sleeve version appeals to me more. Also, the wool would not gather too well for that bell sleeve! I plan to wear a purchased black belt with this, since I'm having a hard time finding a buckle wide enough for a fabric belt.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Trip to Threadbear

I took a road-trip to Lansing, MI on Jan. 26th with my friend Karen to visit the ThreadBear Fiber Arts yarn shop, and to participate in the photo shoot for Franklin's 1,000 Knitters project.
The trip across I-69 was a little tricky with the snow that had fallen the night before, but not enough to keep us home! It was a pleasure to finally meet Franklin, and of course I did my part to support the local economy by purchasing yarn for this project:

I couldn't resist this sweater after trying on the sample (ThreadBear has SO many samples!), so now the Central Park Hoodie has dropped down on the list of projects to knit in 2008. The yarn used is Drops Eskimo, a super-bulky, which means this will be a quick knit. In fact, I have the back done already! That wasn't my only purchase, of course, I picked up some hand-dyed in Univ. of MI colors of maize and blue, some baby yarn to knit the kimono in Mason-Dixon Knitting and a set of blocking wires to block the Cutaway Cardigan which is ready for blocking and seaming. We wrapped up the day with lunch at P.F.Chang's, and a quick and disappointing visit to Country Stitches quilt shop: my, but that store looked run-down, and the inventory has become very limited. All-in-all a very fun day spent with my knitting buddy, and we are already planning a return trip to ThreadBear!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's a new year

2008......so where did 2007 go? Every year goes by more quickly that's for sure!
The weeks fly by and sometimes I feel like I just go day-to-day without really getting anything done, but I think if I were to take an 'inventory' of sorts (this is where this blog will come in handy!) I might be surprised at how much I actually do accomplish. Not only with things knit and sewn, but also with time spent with friends and family. Of course, a new year is a time for new beginnings.....and tho this year may have started with things both fun and NOT so fun, I plan to 'take stock' if you will, and chart a road map for 2008. Okay, so January is half over......I still have half of the month of January left. Is the glass half empty or half full????
SO...drumroll please.....for 2008:

** less TV, more reading. I don't think at least one book a month is unreasonable
**more garment sewing, focusing on fit, especially for my two daughters living in Chicago
**one sweater for ME: the Central Park Hoodie is my first choice
**can you spell O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-E?? I need to sort-purge-organize my stuff

This list seems to be all about what I need to DO over the next year, but I need to pay attention to what I need to BE, and that is a deep subject better left for another post. Suffice it to say, I hope to work on being a better wife-mother-friend, pay better attention to staying healthy, and take some time to look past my own immediate circle to our community at large. Lofty goals? I don't think so.