Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Done With the Easy

I might be able to come up with one or two easy sewing projects from the stash left in my closet, but for the most part I have completed all the quick, easy projects I can. This next week I will still try to sew on some projects, but these will be a bit more involved then a few seams in pajama pants.

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I love these sweet pajamas. I love the monkey fabric with cupcakes sprinkled around. I love the bright pink "bloomers". I love the pattern. Butterick 6659. Now this pattern would not be classified as "easy" but it is fairly straight forward and I enjoyed making it. Honestly though, sewing these pajamas was the first time in quite a long time that I actually enjoyed sewing for sewing. I enjoyed the process of sewing. More on that in another post though. For now we will just see more sweet pictures.

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I really wanted to sew matchy-mathcy pants with this fabric for Chloe and I. She wanted me to as well. But I just could not squeeze two sets of pants out of it. Chloe is a bit disappointed, but I told her I might buy some Christmas fabric closer to the holiday and sew up some matching pants for us.

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Can you guess what pattern I used? Yup. You got it. McCalls 3019. I mentioned last time I made these that I was thinking of trying out the smaller size of the pattern. I did that on these pants. They fit absolutely fine. And you can see that I am still able to strike ballet poses in them.

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I am in desperate need of some simple but stylish skirts to wear. I have gotten quite tired of wearing black or brown skirts every day with pretty tops. I want some pretty skirts with brown or black tops now. Hence this next skirt. It is the third one I made last week with color in the skirt. Hooray! Now I won't be boring!

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This is McCalls 5431. I opted for a two tone skirt. I love how it came out.

I need to get some pictures and show you the progress I have made on my New Year's Resolution. Maybe I will work on that this afternoon. I am quite pleased with the progress myself and thought you all might like a glimpse of it. Also, I would like to buy some fabric this week and I need to prove that I am justified in doing so. But that is a topic for another post. I have a little one begging to start school so I must be off. And coffee calls!

Have a breathtaking day.

Monday, August 30, 2010

An Anniversary Getaway

We are going away! It's our 12 year anniversary next month and we want to go away. We have not spent an anniversary together for 3 years and so we feel the need to get away. But where to go? We've narrowed it down to West Virginia or Cape Cod Massachusetts.

My favorite place so far would be this cute A-Frame Appalachian cabin out in the boonies, complete with hot tub! I have a sneaking suspicion this is where we will be headed.

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But then I see this cabin and it looks like it could be fun, although not quite as secluded and without a hot tub.

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A bed and breakfast might be a nice option. It is extremely hard to find a child friendly bed and breakfast though. Apparently, some would consider children un-conducive to romance. Hmmm....

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What a beautiful house. But again, no hot tub and not as secluded as I might want.

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Oh goodness gracious. What's a girl to do? I have more options I am looking at as well, but these always seem to pop up at the top of the list. Now I just need to choose. Ack! I will let you know the decision later this week.

Friday, August 27, 2010

More...

Greetings and Salutations, my friends! And what a morning it has turned out to be so far.

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You know it's going to be one of those days when you find yourself pouring French Vanilla Coffee Creamer into your child's cereal and you think, "How did I get here? I thought I was still in bed." Yup. It's definitely going to one of those days. (at least she liked it, right? Should I not have fed it to her??? If I can drink it in my coffee, will it hurt her to eat it in her frosted flakes? It's not like I was being mindful of her sugar intake this morning anyways. She was eating Frosted Flakes, after all.)

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I just had to make myself more pajama pants. They are so stinking comfy. Never mind how quick they are to whip up. Less than an hour, I tell you. Anyone could make these things.

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I think next time I will make the small size. These are medium and I have plenty of room to strike ballet poses and whatever else I dream possible in pajama pants. Again, I used McCalls 3019. (sorry, it's out of print. They really are super simple to make.)

So, do you recall the other day I mentioned creating a happy skirt for myself during my "dark night"? Well, first I tried creating a happy dress. I put together the bodice and went to sew the skirt on and lo and behold I was missing the back half of the skirt. YIKES! Not good on a dark night such as I was experiencing. I put the happy dress aside and made the happy skirt instead. The next day I ran to the store and after some panicked searching was able find a yard of the fabric left on the bolt. I immediately ordered 3/4 yards of it and promptly finished the dress yesterday.

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Looking back, I wish I hadn't used brown thread for the top of the bodice. It takes away from the overall professional appearance of the dress. Chloe loves the dress regardless of the visible brown thread.

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This is another McCall's pattern. M6062. I am loving McCalls lately. They have come out with some adorable patterns in the past couple of years. Either that, or I just happen to always catch them on sale for 99 cents at JoAnns. Either way, this dress is adorable. And incredibly easy. I skipped the underskirt though and just attached the ruffle to the bottom of the dress. Saved fabric (which I would have needed to make a third run to JoAnns and I didn't want to) and time.

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I don't know what I was thinking when I purchased this fabric. I picked out a pattern (during that 99 cents sale) and bought this fabric to make the dress. I got to looking at it yesterday and realized it would look absolutely revolting next to my face. What was I thinking?

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I knew I would not be happy with it if I went ahead with plan A so I quickly thought of a plan B. I liked the fabric well enough. I wanted to use it. Just not up against my face. So...plan B? A skirt! And not just any skirt but the one claiming to be a "1 Hour Skirt". McCall's 5430.

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Let me tell you...any pattern with 7 pieces to cut, interfacing, buttonholes and the like IS going to take you MUCH longer than 1 hour to complete. Now, I am not the most advanced seamstress in the world, but I am no beginner either. It took me almost an hour just to cut out the skirt. 7 pieces, 3 of which need cut multiple times, just takes time to cut out. But the skirt turned out cute, regardless of the length of time it took to make.

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I am off now to visit the coffeepot for some much needed caffine. I can't very well spread coffee creamer on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or they might commit me. I need coffee! I also need to clean. I can only go a day or two without cleaning or I start to go crazy. Jittery crazy. Yea. It's weird. I know. But such is life in my household. (Don't you feel sorry for my husband who must put up with me and not have me commited? He loves me...what can I say.) Have a fantastic Friday, all day long. I think I hear some Buttermilk Bread with Sour Cherry Jam calling my name.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Productivity

Good morning!

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We had quite the productive day yesterday.

After a bit of afternooon shopping, I settled down in the sewing room with Bernina. The two of us got along together famously yesterday and we accomplished quite a bit.

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I love matchy-matchy with Chloe. (Yes, I know "matchy-matchy" is not a word but I like the sound of it so I use it.) I have no idea where this fabric came from or how it got into my closet. Don't you just love that? It would seem that when you have a near unlimited stash, fabric multiples while you sleep. Anyways, this fabric made perfect matching pajama pants for Chloe and I.

I used McCalls M6225 for Chloe's pajama pants and they literally take less than an hour to make. That would include choosing the fabric from the closet, cutting AND sewing time. For my pajama pants I used McCalls 3019 which sadly is out of print. Again, a super quick project which took less than an hour. Pajama pants are perfect for a beginner.

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Because these pants were so stinking easy and quick, I whipped up another pair for Chloe in a fabric she picked out.

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One foot up...

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...and then the other. Ballet pose.

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Chloe then asked for a twirly skirt. I tried and failed.

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To make up for the lack of twirl in the otherwise completely ordinary and insanely boring skirt, I added a touch of frill and flower.

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A couple of years ago I came across the cotton fabric in the red tag sale at Joann's. I bought scads of it.

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Is it any wonder that I adore this fabric? Can there be a stronger word for adore? I do though...I really do. I adore this fabric.

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I made myself a retro 60's dress with it using a retro 60's pattern. Unfortunately, I did not realize at that time that vintage patterns used different sizes than we do now and so the dress did not fit. What a shame, what a shame. So much fabric. Such a waste. I couldn't bear to have it in my closet, taunting me so I gave it away. Well, the leftover fabric stayed in the sewing room, waiting for me to figure out what to make with it. Inspiration struck yesterday as I realized there was just enough for aprons.

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Again with the matchy-matchy. I love it!

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So, all in all...a good day. I must be off to school now. And then...I am in the middle of sewing something truly spectacular. Something so adorably cute and..well...hmmm...you're just gonna have to wait until tomorrow to see it. Have a fantastically sunny day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Okay. Cooking from scratch trumps canned food every time, hands down...no questions...the end. They cannot be compared because they are not the same. I don't care who you talk to...Campbells cannot hold a candle to Julia Child's Cream of Mushroom soup.

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Just look at those slices of mushrooms floating in my tureen. And those are just on the surface. Below the surface lurks a plethora of mushroomy goodness.

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Cream of Mushroom soup happens to be James favorite soup. The man loves mushrooms!

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To aid in the preparation process, I decided to measure out all the ingredients beforehand and line them up in the order I would need them. It really did speed things up for me during the cooking process. I didn't have to think, "Oh no...I forgot to slice the mushrooms and my butter is browning in the saucepan!!!" Nope. It was all taken care of.

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This is the soup, barely simmering before I strained it. Look at all those stems chunks swimming in there. Such delicious flavor!

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I found that a gloomy, dark, cloudy day is the perfect day to serve Cream of Mushroom soup. And my entire family enjoyed it. Even Chloe! (who asked for seconds)

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It was such a cool day yesterday I was able to open the windows and freshen the air. What a lovely gift. I sure appreciated the fresh breeze. So did the kitties. They each took turns jumping into the window and feeling that sweet, cool air against their fur.

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I am off to find something to do. I am sure it will involve cooking, baking, sewing or school...or possibly all of the above. I will chat at you more later about an idea I am toying with. Well, actually a couple of ideas. But more on that in another post. Cheerio!