Friday, January 29, 2010

A Change of Plan

I have this really nice gray poly suiting with  lt. pink/dk. pink pinstripes:

I was going to make another pair of the S5205 80's pants, but I decided to go with this pattern instead:


Last year I had adjusted the pattern and made a muslin that I wasn't totally happy with, and put them aside.  I found the muslin in the back of my sewing closet and tried them it . I  was pretty happy with the fit this time. Who knows what happened in the last six months...I think my working out has shifted some things around.  Anyway, I decided to go with this pattern.

I just finished putting in the zipper, so the facing and hem is all that is left to finish up this weekend.  They worked up really fast - no pockets, no waistband - super simple.

I have 2 other projects picked out and in the que for when the pants are complete. Next up will be B5331 in this magenta stretch twill.

I made a wearable muslin of this last year, View B, aalthough I'm not sure if I will do flat feld seams on this one. We'll see but I  need to get it completed before it's too warm here to layer things.  I think it will play nicely with the above pants or jeans with a pale pink tank or tee underneath.

After that I really need a lightweight robe for spring/summer, so I am going with M5248 and this fabric:


This is just  Michael Miller quilting cotton.  I am going to use both fabrics, one being the collar/facing and also making a contrasting faux cuff. I will probably inter-line it with batiste just for a little more body.

As much as I would love to get on pattern sale going on at BMV I am holding the line on patterns and fabric.  In cleaning out my sewing room last Saturday I figured I have enough to play with for a while, more sewing less shopping!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Today Is My Birthday..........

Happy Birthday to me..............................

Mmmmmmm, birthday cake!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Lily!

Our little girl is 8 today.......

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

First Garment of the New Year!

Simplicity 5205

I guess this would be considered a vintage pattern, although a little young, 1981, by most standards of vintage.  This was my first vintage pattern and I must say what a difference from today's patterns in the quality of the pattern itself and the fit of the garment.  I made View 4, the gray pair, using a black poly suiting with a cerulean or peacock blue pinstripe.

The pattern size is 14 but to be on the safe side I made a muslin and added 1/2" to the side seams. After trying them on I took the seams in 1/4" and liked the fit so cut my garment fabric with 1/4" added. This was the first time I had worked with a stripe in a pant, but try as I might, I couldn't line everything up perfectly, but unless you where really looking you wouldn't notice.  The poly suiting really frayed so I finished the seams with a zigzag stitch. I know I really need to work on my finishing techniques, but I get so impatient to finish the project sometimes.

All in all, I am happy with the fit. I don't really think I need to add the 1/4" to the next pair as these were quite roomy. But it just seems that the fit on the older pants pattern is more in tune to the real world, or perhaps it is just the style. I remember having several nice pairs of RTW  pants just like this and they fit very nicely.......who know the 80's were good for something!

So here are my pants, sorry the picture isn't great. I'm trying to work on better pictures but you get the idea.  The pinstripe is the EXACT same color as the cardigan....and if I had taken a picture from the tush looks AWESOME!!!

I am actually going to make another pair of these next, in a heather gray poly suiting with a fushia pinstripe.  And I have redrafted the pattern without the front pockets.....I know, I know......most everyone loves pockets but I am not a big fan.  I may also take a little fullness out of the leg, I'm not sure yet.  What I do know is that if I don't get them done in the next few weeks the cooler season here will be done for and these will be regulated to the far end of the closet!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fido Friday


 Enjoying a little sun....


Monday, January 18, 2010

Perfecting the Pan Pizza

Chicagoans love their pizza and this is so true in our house.

I was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago where thin crust pizza ruled. The Husband was born and raised on the Northside of Chicago where the pan (deep-dish) pizza was pretty much invented.

I had never had a pan pizza until The Husband took me to his favorite place Lou Malnati's. This is the ONLY pan pizza I will eat, all the others are too doughy for me. After all I am a Southside Girl, where thin is in.

Lou's pizza is very, very good.  We use to eat at the original Lou's in our town of Lincolnwood about once a month. We use to get par-baked pizzas to take on the road with us when we RV'd. It is a very, very good pizza.

The recipe for this pizza is closely guarded. The pizza has been featured on several of the Food Network shows and Mark Malnati is adamant about not giving out the recipe.

Now, The Husband has pretty much got his thin, crispy pizza down pat, but re-creating Lou's Pizza has been a lot of trial and mostly error!  The dough is the issue. Lou's is not at doughy as most other pan-pizzas and the sides are somewhat crisp.There have been several internet recipes that he has tried that tout they are just like Lou's but none have been ever quite right.

Until now.................

This pizza was the closest The Husband has come to re-creating Lou's. It wasn't too doughy and the side crust was nice a crisp. He just needs to tweak the sauce and add more pepperoni (Lou's does not skimp on the meat) and it will be there!

Mmmmmmmm GOOD!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fido Friday

 Sleepy Head Ed

"You want me to get up?"

"Nope, ain't happin'."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Husband and Julia

A week before Christmas The Husband and I watched the movie 'Julie & Julia'. It was great, Meryl Streep was wonderful.  Anyway I realized that though The Husband has a large collection of cookbooks he didn't have 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking'. So being the good wife that I am, and thinking of all the delicious things he could make me with this book I got it for him in time for Christmas (along with 2 other cookbooks!).

Rapp Morv Andelle ( Gratin of Shredded Potatoes with ham, eggs and onions)

This smelled soooo good when it came out of the oven we dug in before I could snap a picture. It was heavenly, light but rich with flavor. We had it for breakfast on New Year's Day and had enough left for a light lunch the next day.

This was his second recipe from the book (no he is not going to cook every recipe in the book, at least not in year......I still don't know how she did 564 recipes in 365 days!).  The first recipe was Soupe A L'Oignon (Onion Soup).  Frankly we were disappointed in this, maybe we were just expecting too much. It took several hours to make (simmering the onions and all) and wasn't really worth it.  We'll stick with The Husband's recipe.  Oh, well they can't all be winners!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009 Sewing Recap

2009 marked my venture back into sewing garments after about a 30 year layoff.  I had been a quiltin' fool for the past 18 years or so and just totally burned out on it.  Really you can only make so many quilts.

I had no goals or expectations this year so I wasn't too disappointed with my final garment total of 19 pieces for me.  This breaks down as follows:

4 - dresses
6 - blouses/knit tops
3 - jackets/vest
2 - pants/capris
4 - skirts

I also made the following items for other people:

1 - dress (for my grandniece)
4 - aprons (1 child, 3 adult)
2 - purses
1 - UFO quilt (a UFO is an unfinished object, this was a quilt top that I finally finished for one of my brothers)

Of course I would have liked to have completed more items but all in all looking back I am pleased. Some of the garments I made for myself worked and others didn't.  I actually tossed 1 blouse and 1 dress.

Here are a few items I finished toward the end of the year that I never showed pictures of (sorry the pictures aren't that is a GOAL for 2010, better pictures!)


Although you can not tell from this awful picture this blouse turned out very nice.  The collar construction was a little fiddly but I learned from my muslin the best method for me. I also learned from the muslin how large this pattern runs. I normally cut a 12 add a little at the side seams but this one I had to actually cut a size 10 on the final garment.  I love the way this blouse fit except for the sleeves, which is what drew me to this pattern.  The cuff portion is just overwhelming (as was the collar which I took in a bit) . But it looks great on and the blue/green print looks great with jeans. I have gotten a lot of nice comments when I wore this.


This top was my second attempt at sewing with a knit. It turned out much better than my first attempt perhaps because the fabric had a little texture to it and wasn't so darn slippery.  I really like this top except the neckline is WAY too low.  I will definitely make it again but redraft the neckline.


I LOVE this vest. It is made from a stretch embroidered pinwale corduroy from Denver Fabrics.  It is fast and easy. I am having trouble with the buttonholes on this so it is not completely finish.  I managed to get 1 buttonhole complete then the thread started shredding.  I practiced on the same fabric before hand and had no trouble so I am not sure what the issue is, and it is almost impossible to pull out the half completed buttonhole. I've washed it again to see it is softens up a little and will try again. I just love it and hate to ruin it.

When I was cruising Denver Fabrics one day I came across some fabric I absolutely fell in love with, but it was a little pricey for my meager budget and somewhat of a fancier fabric that I would not wear much to justify a purchase.  When I started my new job one of the first things they told me about was their Christmas party....well I would need something nice for this little shindig and my thought made a beeline for the fabric at DF and how nice it would look in this simple vest pattern without the collar.

The fabric is embroidered silk brocade, but since I haven't solved the buttonhole problem on the corduroy version I didn't dare try to make them on this version. I really wanted to wear it to the party with a simple black silk turtleneck and a wide-legged black pants. Maybe next year ........(sigh).

Here is a close-up of the fabric:

I love dragonflies! I have a small dragonfly tattoo!  I love this fabric!

My favorite pieces that I have made this year are the above vests, blouse B4659 and B5331 which is kind of a short-sleeved jacket vest.

I never got to my winter coat, which is a pity because for the next 4 days our nightime temperatures will be in the 20's ( I know, not very cold for some of you but this is FLORIDA). It would have come in very handy this year. Oh, well maybe next year.

On my sewing table now is a muslin dress pant  from a 70's pattern.  I have two nice poly suiting fabrics, one black with a cerulean  pinstripe and a heather grey with a double pinstripe of pale pink and fushia. I really need a few nice pairs of pants so I'm hoping to get the fit issues worked out on the muslin this weekend and pop these puppies out pronto (try saying that 3 times really fast).

So that's my 2009 wrap-up! This year again, I make no promises to myself except to enjoy my sewing. I am going to make a concerted effort to finish up 1 or 2 UFO quilt projects if for no other reason than to just get them out of the house and out of my sight!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Starting the New Year off right!

I have been a very lacks blogger the past 3 months, life has just been a little "out of sorts" for me. But this is a new year and a new decade so let's see if I can do better.  We'll start out with a regular feature......................


Even four legged kids enjoy Christmas!

Ed has learned quickly that good things come out of Christmas stockings. Even after Christmas he continually checked out the stocking to smell if something else had been put in.

Lily checks out her new Everlasting Fun Ball and treat. Honestly this treat lasted all of 15 minutes. Does anyone make a treat that will hold up to Rottweiler jaws???  At least they didn't eat the Fun Ball!

Ed enjoys a Christmas treat, Sweet Potato Jerky.  This treat was not one of their favorites, but being dogs' they WILL eat anything!

Lily checks out her new Zebra friend.

Ed got a new Giraffe.

We had a nice and quiet Christmas. The "kids" had a great time with all their new toys and treats.