Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Simplicity 3775, birthdays, etc...

Yesterday was my birthday! Happy birthday to me! Hubby got me a popcorn maker which i've been begging for for like, forever.
Then we went and had a big fat steak at the steak house. Yumm!

Simplicity 3775 and the odd sleeve cap...

So, I went to make S3775 for the second time. I originally made view D a few months back. This time I decided to make veiw A, because I wanted a longer sleeve. When I went to cut the fabric for the dress, I see that there are two different sleeves, with two different caps. Hmmm.

Why is that? I ended up just extending the sleeve from view D, and the sleeve fits fine, and there doesn't seem to me a lot of extra ease because of it either. The bodice pieces are the same, so I can't see why the pieces are different. Any ideas?

Oh yeah, here is a pic of the finished dress. I just love the fabric!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday!

The kid got more crap than she knows what to do with! I thought I was done shopping for her a few weeks ago -- like before Thanksgiving. Anyway, for the last 5 weeks, all she's been talking about was getting an accordian and an easel from Santa. So, guess who was out 3 days before Christmas buying an easel? Yep, me. So, she's happy, and now we can just sit around being over fed, and happy.

Hope yours are a good one!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pattern Exchange

Pattern Exchange on Yahoo

Someone on Pattern Review started a Pattern Exchange group on Yahoo. I think it's a good idea, so i'm posting it here. This site doesn't have meny members yet, but I think it's a good idea. It's also benificial for people who are not paying pattern review members since you can't post in the classifieds.

In this group, you can either trade, or buy patterns from other members. If you have patterns you need to get rid of, I say this would be as good as place as any to start.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Moving company...?

Well, since I know that there are plenty of you visiting my tiny blog (thanks Fark). I figure a few of you might have an opinion (unpossible!). I may be moving across country soon, and I need a mover. I've read so many horror stories about how people were quoted a price of $1500, but then told because there was an underestimate of stuff that was to be moved, it's going to actually cost $5000. This is apparently after they have your things on their truck. I can't afford for this to happen. And U-haul is not an option for me.

Please, if you have any expierence with this, or know someone who has, please leave a comment.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Visit with Santa

Over the weekend we took Rachael to go see Santa. We go down the GM RenCen in Downtown Detroit. We go there because it's never busy. Which I find suprising because they have a pretty good setup there AND it's FREE! (I can't figure out how to fix my pictures. Google is croping them, if you click on the picture, you can see the whole pic)

My daughter is 4, and she has yet to sit on Santas lap. She's not having any of it! lol For a month, she has talked of nothing else. She was going to ask Santa for a accordian and an easel. Well, here is the inital meeting...

After much talking and showing of Dora the Explorer stickers, we managed to get ONE picture of Rachael without one of her parents in the picture.This was short lived though as she quickly realized that I had stepped away.

The one thing I really like about Santa at the RenCen is that it's not busy, so Santa is able to give a little one on one time with the scared kids. This is where Rachael was able to tell Santa of her Christams present wishes.

I still don't think she's buying it though. Look at the look on her face! lol

The funny thing was every time I would back up an inch to try to remove myself, she would back up right with me. These pictures are exactly the same from the last two years. It's weird because my kid is really outgoing. I guess I should be thankfull that my kid isn't so gulliable that she'll sit on a strangers lap.

After Santa, we went to go see The Polar Express at the IMAX theater at Greenfield Villiage. I highly reccomend that if you have small children. I was afraid she would be afraid of it, and she was at first, but she loved it. I highy reccomend The Heney Ford Museum and Greenfield villiage if you happen to be in town. There isn't a lot to see in Detroit, but Greenfield Villiage is one of the few things we have.

As for sewing, well, I have to admit, i'm not really in the mood. I did manage to cut Simplicity 2774 View C But when it will get sewn, I have no idea. I have a ton of embroidery I need to do for Christmas presents and we still haven't got the tree up! I'm just not on top of things this year.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm pregnent!

Well, now that the family has been told, I can finally announce it to the world. I'm pregnent! Wee!

In May, I had a miscarriage when I was 18 weeks pregnent. That was hard to take. But so far this pregnancy seems different already even though i'm only about 6 weeks along. With the last one I had a lot of pain right from the begining, not so with this one. As a matter of fact, I don't feel anything at all. Well, I'm really tired all the time, but other than that, nothing. I'm trying to decide if I want to document the next 8 months or so with pictures. Posting pics of my big belly makes me rather nervous. lol

Wednesday, December 10, 2008



Norton apparently got it's act together. We can now enjoy the interwebs again....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Beef Barley Soup

Yes, well, when I created this blog, I had no intentions of posting recipes. However, last night I accidentally made a soup that turned out so good that I figure I just have to share it.

Beef Barley Soup

1 pound round, skirt or flank steak cut into half inch cubes.
2 Tbl of flour
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 med onion diced
meat tenderizer

Soup ingredients
32 ounces (4 cups) beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes drained
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup diced carrots
1 beef bullion cube
*1 tbl oregano
*1 tbl basil
*1 tsp garlic salt
*1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup quick cook barley
1 cup frozen peas

[*NOTE: spices are approx. estimates. I don't cook with actual measurements, but this is about how much I use. Taste the broth after it simmers for about 30 minutes to see if you need to add more]

Spray dutch oven with cooking spray or spread enough vegetable oil to cover bottom of pan.
Add beef, cover with meat tenderizer.
Cover with flour, pepper and minced garlic and onion. Mix well. Cook until beef is cooked through.

When beef is thoroughly cooked add all the soup ingredients EXCEPT quick-cook barley and peas. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add barley and peas. Cover and let simmer for 25 minutes.

Serve with a hearty bread. Yumm!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Embroidery woes

About a year ago, I bought a embroidery machine. I bought a Janome MemoryCraft 300E. This machine gets great reviews, that's why I bought it. I bought it used, and it still wasn't cheap. Anyhow, they don't tell you there is a learning curve to embroidery. I am still having problems with my technique, although it's getting better.

I have Embird sortware with their font engine and digitizer. There is a learning curve with that too.

Anyhow, most of my problems have to do with lettering. I couldn't get a decient letter sample until about a week ago. I'm still not sure what i'm doing right to improve my techniques, but something is working.

So far, I am trying to use the rubber shelf paper in the hoop. Technique from embroidery Library..

I've been through a half dozen different stableizers. And so far the best options have been to use a medium weight on the bottom and some sort of sticky tear away on the top. Although, anyone who has ever used tearaway on the top knows it can be a real bitch to get all that paper out of your design.

I bought some wet-n-set from JoAnns a while ago.(not to be confused with wet-n-stick, which I have never used) This stuff is terrible. It holds like cement and you can't get it off of your design.

I just ordered 5 yards of water soluable from I should be getting that in a few days. However, I may not always what to get everything I embroider wet to remove the stableizer. So, i'll be looking for another method as well, I suppose. Suggestions are always welcome.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Quitting smoking

So, three days ago, I decided to quit smoking. The first two days went well with no cigarettes, I had two today. :( It could be a lot worse, hubby has left a pack of smokes laying on the counter for the last three days, and I didn't get tempted until today. Go me! I'll be drowning them tomorrow if he doesn't hide them.

My most recient sewing project is McCalls 3830. A pencil skirt. I got the zipper in and tried it on. Looks great EXCEPT that it really tight and I haven't got the darts in it yet. Looks like this one is going to be a wadder. Which sucks because I used some of my better twill. Bummer.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cat bed for attitude cat!

So, I made a cat bed for my cat. I make these every now and again, because they're easy and cheap to make. Plus, the cats love them. They take about a yard of fabric, and I normally use the box that bottled water comes in as the base. I decided I would document the process here for your entertainment.

Step one: Cut a piece of fabric that will fit all sides of the box that you have.

Then serge elastic around the edges. Stretching well as you go.

Smack the cat in the head...repetedly...because she's chewing on the elastic.

Get attitude from cat.

Add fill of your choice:

Add dopey cat: Volia! Cat bed!

Monday, December 1, 2008

My naked dressform

My poor naked dressform. :(

She sits there naked because I have no love for her. I'm noticing something strange as I read other blogs and read reviews on Pattern Review. People NAME their dressform! WOAH! I even saw a picture of a dressform all dolled up for the Thanksgiving holiday! So I thought, 'how cool is that'?

Then I started feeling bad for my dressform. There she sits, all naked and alone. Not even a cheap muslin to keep her warm in my rather cold basement. How sad! So, I sit here and think about naming her, but i'm completely drawing a blank. Not even any ideas for rejected names.

I'm interested to know what you call your dressform. How did you come up with that name?

How does Rhoda sound? Nah...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's Caturday!! Again...

I just love Caturday!

Hope everyone had a good holiday!

I'm part of a sewing group that meets every other Saturday. I normally get very little done because i'm too busy running my mouth. This week was no different. In 4 hours I managed to cut out three patterns: One pair of pants (with all of 3 pieces), A simple dress (another 3 piecer) and a coat pattern. Oh, and there was a 4th pattern that I kinda looked at. Boy, I am just cruzing right along! lol At this rate, I should have one of those patterns sewn up by Feburary!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving all!
Hope everyone and their families are well!

Normally we go to my sister’s house for Thanksgiving. This year will no different. Since I have no desire to cook a big turkey, I figure I’ll share one of my recipes that isn’t traditional Thanksgiving fare.

Chicken Lasagna

3 chicken breasts cubed into one inch pieces
1 medium onion diced
1 small green pepper diced
4 cloves garlic crushed

3 14 0z. cans tomato sauce
2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes drained. (Or about 3 cups fresh)
Garlic salt
½ tsp crushed fennel seed
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

12 lasagna noodles
10 slices of muenster cheese
2 cups of mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

(I don’t normally use a ricotta cheese mixture, but if you do you need a 16 oz container of ricotta or cottage cheese, 2 eggs and a tablespoon of parsley. Mix together.)

Cook chicken, onion, green pepper and garlic until chicken is cooked through. When chicken is almost fully cooked, you can chop it further with a spatula, which I recommend.

While chicken is cooking, add sauce ingredients to dutch oven. I don’t have all the measurements of the spices, but I use quite a bit. At least a tablespoon or two of the garlic salt, basil and oregano. Mix well. Add cooked chicken to pot. Let simmer about two hours.

Cook noodles according to pkg. directions. When done, drain and rinse noodle. Layer noodles on paper towels to dry. It’s important that the noodles are dry before you assemble the lasagna or you will have a runny dinner. Yuck!

Using an 11 X 9 deep baking dish assemble lasagna.
Start with sauce on the bottom. Just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
Layer with 4 noodles.
Thin layer of sauce.
(Ricotta cheese mixture, if necessary)
5 slices of muenster cheese
Very thin layer of mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Repeat layers (you only have enough muenster cheese for two layers)

Bake in oven at 350 for about 25 minutes.
Let stand for 10 minutes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm on a roll, apparently!

Clearly, i'm on a roll. For the second time in a week, I have a completed garment! So ok, it's needs a hem, but i'll get that done tomorrow. I've completed New Look 6519, view C, the skirt. I made it in a grey suedecloth. And it's just fabulus with my black knee boots! I want to make the jacket from this pattern too, but it doesn't fit in with my endless combinations, so it will just have to wait until after the first of the year. I'm not entirely sure what i'm going to make next, but I bought my first Vogue pants pattern, and some grey pinstripe suiting to make the pants with. So, that might be my next project.

In the last week, i've made a top with some of my fitting issues solved, and a skirt that looks good. I might as well just roll with it!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

IT'S CATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!11111

I just love Caturday! I can't help it.

I should probably add: Don't bother with the commentary. Just look at the pictures. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Workin' up a sweat, or something.

I've been on a leave of absence from work since about mid-September. I have gained about 2 pounds. That really wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that all of a sudden i'm really flabby. I don't know where it came from, but boy do I jiggle everywhere. So, well I decided I was going to start working out. Nothing major at first, just some exercises with the yoga ball. I figured that i'll commit to 15 minutes every other day for 2 weeks just to see if I can even get any results with that, and then reevaluate my workout. Well, i'm on the third workout this week, and I already feel like i'm getting results! Well, I don't know about results, but I sure am sore. lol Of course, it probably would help if I stopped eating frosted shredded wheat at night before bed. BUT AT LEAST IT'S SHREDDED WHEAT, AND NOT COOKIES!!! Logical!

I cut a new skirt today. NL6433. The fabic I used is a dark blue pinstriped denim. I'm not sure if I like it, or if will go with my endless combinations, but i'm going to sew it anyway. I figure i've got time to kill, and anything that keeps me from my workout obligation is alright by me. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Finally, a finished garment.

I finally finished a garment! I made view B of Simplicity 3634. Very easy pattern. I made an attempt to tackle some fitting issues, and it worked out a bit, but I think I just created new problems with my 'corrections'. Heh.

I'm looking for a good and easy straight skirt that takes less then a yard and a 1/4 of 45 inch fabric. I'm pissed because I figured that I would finally try
NL 6300. Well, guess what, it's not in my stash!! WTF? I KNOW I had this pattern. Did it just walk away? As a matter of fact, it looks like i'm short a few NL patters. Hmmm. I found a skirt in a back issue of Burda WOF. The 11/05 issue no less. I tried to get rid of it on eBay a year or so ago, but couldn't. Now i'm glad I didn't. Hopefully I can get the skirt at least started tomorrow, if not finished. Wouldn't that be something?

Monday, November 17, 2008

SNOW SUCKS and endless combinations....

Seriously? What is this shit? I hate snow!! We got about 3 inches of it today. Fitting considering that we have just basically made up our minds to go to North Carolina. It's all a sick joke, i'm sure. Bastards! *shakes fists*

In sewing news, I have been working on
Kwik Sew 3193 for what seems like FOREVER. I just can't get into it. This was supposed to be my base garment for the endless combinations contest on pattern review. However, after reading the rules, you don't have to make your garments in order, so i'm moving on to a Simplicity top in a cool black and silver sweater knit. It should come together easly, so hopefully i'll get my mojo back. Eh, if not, it won't be the first contest i've entered and failed to meet the requirements.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Back from down south

DH and I just got back from a short trip to see my friend in South Carolina. We made a stop in Charlotte on the way back, and I gotta tell you, I love it! We actually went to Charlotte to check out the area, and we fell in love. We're really talking about moving down there. Hopefull in the spring. The weather is certainly better then this crap we get here in Michigan!

In sewing related news, I finished up McCalls 9576. It's bulky, to say the least. But if you need a warm winter coat, this is the pattern for you!

Here is a quick picture of my 4 year old dressed as a princess for halloween! What a doll! lol

Thursday, October 30, 2008

McCalls9576 and other things.

I almost have McCalls 9576 all finished up. I should be able to finish that up tomorrow.

I'm going to have to take the kid to get a new pumpkin tomorrow. Like dummies, we bought our pumpkins at the begining of the month. Needless to say the squirrles had a feast with them. One squirrle had the nerve to have his fat ass in the pumpkin eating it. My 4 year old was yelling at it "you get out of my pumpkin you stupid squirrel!!" Poor kid! lol So off to go get a new one.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Random stuff and McCalls 5651

I finished up one view of McCalls 5651. I made view I, the slip. It was real easy, and came out well. I didn't post a pic, or review on PR because it's for DH's eyes only. :D

I used a stretch lace fabic that has been hanging out in the stash for a few years. I went to iron it out before I cut, and just barely touched the iron to the fabric, when the iron scorched a big hole in the fabric! I have never had that happen before. So, I had tons of scorched fabric stuck to my iron, and I found this tip to remove it. Dryer sheets! Set your iron to high, and iron over dryer sheets. You may have to use more than one, and I HIGHLY reccomend that you put a scrap piece of fabric on your ironing board first, because the dryer sheet sent runs. I don't think i'll ever get the srong perfumy sent out of the basement.

My next project is going to be McCalls 9576. It's a reversable fleece jacket. For the last three years, i've been wearing a Detroit Lions jacket. Now theat they're 0-6, i've realized that they are losers, and I should probably ditch the jacket. Bummer.

I also need to consider making a dress to wear to my friend Jennys wedding. She's in South Carolina, and I haven't seen her in about 4 years. Well, hubby and I are heading down that way next month! YAY! Due to circumstances behond her control, she's been having a tough time setting a date for her wedding. Turns out, she's going to get married when we're down there! Soo, I need a dress. I think i'm going to use a pattern that i've already used, so that shouldn't be a problem. I'll post an update in a few days.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


This is going to be my next project. I'm thinking I want to do something simple, and what girl couldn't use new lingerie? Looks simple and easy, so i'm going to give it a try.
One thing though, on the pattern envelope, it's marked as MP257. But on McCalls website, it says that this is pattern M5651. I don't get it. I emailed them to question it, let's see if I get a response.
As for an update to yesterday; I found 105 more patterns. I HAVE NO MORE ROOM FOR PATTERNS!!! So, i'm going to have to do some purging I suppose. I'm such a horder though that I can't bear to do it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


So, well, I managed to get my 'known' patterns in the bins with no problems. 186 patterns, not too bad, but I would have sworn I had more. I went into my 'sewing lair' and found about another 100 patterns or so. UGH!

I've got over 1000 yards of fabric, probably about half i'll never use. OK, so I will probably never use most of it, since I always seem to be buying more. I might have to make some baby steps and consider donating some of it. What a crappy option.

I've only been sewing for about 4 years. Wonder what my stash will look like in 10? Damn, I don't want to know. :(

Trying to get things in order.

I'm a sewer. I'm also a stasher. I have tons of stuff. Fabric, trims, patterns, buttons, name it, I have plently of it.

Well, it seems as though all my 'stuff' is getting out of hand now. So, i'm trying to get things together. It's a slow-go. I'm going to start by rearranging my patterns. Currently i've got over 200 patterns (a conservative estimate, i'm sure) along with plenty of Burda WOFs and other publications. I've claerd out space in a large three drawer plastic storage bin, so I hope all my envelope patterns fit in there. I still have another 3 drawer bin that has most of my magazines. The Burdas may end up on eBay soon, as i really sew very little from them.

We'll see how that works out.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Heh! Well, here goes...

This is the first post to my blog. Not sure where i'm going with this. Figured everyone else has a blog, so I need one too.