Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Laundry Kind of Day

DS has been fighting a sinus infection all week; it finally got him down today so there will be no Christmas shopping foray for Mom.

I reckon I'll do some laundry instead....

I do need to make a quick run to Hancock's for a long black (preferable invisible) zipper. Our little church drama troup is doing a skit for enterainment at the Deacon's Christmas Party and, whilst I will hold off on particulars, I will say that I've got to make the Nazgul-looking version of Simplicity 5512 for DD to wear in the, um, production. It doesn't actually close, but I'll want a closure on it so I'm going to seam up the front and stick a zipper in it. There's also a possibility I could have to make a quick pseudo-kilt, although I'm trying to talk the party involved into renting one from the local costume shop instead. I don't have much faith in any local fabric shop having any tartan-looking fabric actually in stock.

The party's a week from tomorrow... ;)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New Magazines

Well, my shopping foray yesterday got me no farther than the local Toys R Us and Books A Million (they're side-by-side). I'll just say I did better than I expected at those two shops, but I broke one of my Personal Christmas Shopping Commandments:

Thou shalt not buy anything for thyself.

But I figure I'm pretty safe; my 'for me' purchases were two magazines: Australian Stitches (I couldn't find a website name in my issue) and Belle Armoire. Of course, I'd heard of Stitches a long time ago, since I've participated in all three of Timmel Fabrics' SWAP contests. I've even perused a copy or two, but held off purchasing. Belle Armoire is fairly new to me; I saw a post about it on one of the boards and thought it looked interesting. Lots of boutiquey-looking art-to-wear; dunno if I'll ever really attempt any but it's wonderful eye candy.

I've only just skimmed over them so far; it's quite an adjustment to read an Aussie sewing mag, in which Spring '06 is the current season. I've been trying to figure out if the fashions they're seeing now will be what is in our stores in six months, or if it's what was in our stores six months ago, or if the designers do separate collections for the Southern Hemisphere. I suspect the Aussie Spring '06 is a preview of the Northern Hemisphere's Spring '07...but I'm really a fashion klutz, so don't take my guessing seriously! the interest of full confession, I also bought a copy of Dell's latest collection of Logic Puzzles. I'd rather work those things than Sudoku...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

'Tis the Season

To hit the malls.

I'm not a big shopper, but I do like buying gifts and shopping will be the focus this'd be great to get as much of the Christmas gifting taken care of as possible. I've done a little, but I've still got a ways to go.

So...I'm gonna make my list, check it twice, and head for the square (as in Madison Square Mall...)

The hunt is on ;)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Still off our Feed...

Curioser and curioser.

I've discovered that there are other (as in non-blogger) blogs that have been experiencing the feed problem, so the idea that it is a Blogger problem has been pretty well shot down.

I posted a topic on Stitcher's Guild to discuss the issue, since so many of the blogs I check that had errors belong to folks who hang out over there, and it was really interesting. It may be a problem w/individual accounts at Bloglines.

Or not.

Anyway, I sent an inquiry to the bloglines people...we'll see if they unearth something.

Meantime, I'm into Christmas decorating, budget balancing, laundry, and planning some urgently needed garments suitable for DD to wear to church...she's down to one outfit. Time for Mom to sew for her. ;)

I did manage to transfer the alterations from the Hot Patterns skirt to the pattern; it's officially ready for the 'test garment' stage ;)

Sunday, November 26, 2006


I finally managed to get on-the-body photos of the projects I finished up this week; the teal slinky Sewing Workshop 'Cityscapes Dress' and the red plaid Silhouette Patterns 'Robin's Jacket':

I realized this morning that the Cityscapes dress is the perfect dress to wear to church on the Sunday after Thanksgiving... ;)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Hot off the Press

Or rather, hot off the ironing board...

I wanted to post after I finished the jacket...but I kept wandering off and doing other stuff, so the jacket didn't get finished until late. I'll post a real picture of it on my body in the next day or two, but here's a quick glimpse of the finished product:

I made a little scarf, too. When fabric is in the neighborhood of $30/yd, ya don't wanna waste any... ;)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Turkey Prep

I do things differently...I'll be cooking and deboning my turkey today; boiling down the carcase for broth to use in the dressing tomorrow. I can't make true 'stuffing' in the bird, and there's no nice pretty presentation at the table, but with the meat reheated in a sprinkling of the broth it's moist, and, best of all, there's no messy carcase to deal with on feast day. My grandmother always make her turkey and dressing this way, and as a kid I felt deprived because we never had the traditional-looking table on Thanksgiving. But once I grew up enough to cook a turkey myself, I learned rather quickly that my grandmother (who was a professional cook and ran a country-style restaruant for a while) was on to something.

And yes, it will be yankee-style dressing with stale white bread. The first time I ate cornbread dressing was after I married and moved south. It was at a church carry-in Thanksgiving dinner...and I really believed that the lady that who'd made the dressing had messed up somehow. I'd never eaten gritty dressing before. I thought everyone who was complimenting her on her wonderful dressing was just being polite, and I was relieved that they were being so nice. But it turned out that she had made some especially good cornbread dressing. Live and learn.

But, I spent the bulk of the day yesterday scrubbing my kitchen and dinette floor (I won't embarrass myself by telling you the last time I really cleaned it, as opposed to swabbing it down with a wet Swiffer). As a reward, I let myself spend the evening sewing, and I got my Cityscapes dress done and a good amount of progress made on the holiday jacket. Here's a preview: I put one of the fronts on the scanner so as to show off the totally sharp pocket binding. ;)

I anticipate some sewing time today while the turkey cooks; my goal is to finish the jacket by Friday afternoon, so I can wear it in the required Annual Family Picture. But I won't sew (or post) tomorrow, so I'll wish everyone a happy and joyful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Please say a prayer

I don't know if this made any is, of course, the only news being discussed here in the Rocket City.

Yesterday, a school bus taking 43 students from their high school to the city's tech/voc ed school had an accident on the access ramp to the interstate, and as a result, the bus struck and went over the concrete railing...and hit the ground 30 feet below nose first.

The bus driver was apparently ejected somehow...he was left on the ramp with a broken back.

Two girls died at the scene; a third died at the hospital shortly after arriving. A fourth student was, according to a hospital dr who was in DH's Bible study last night, in very critical condition and may not survive. 13 others remain hospitalized with injuries of varying degrees but are expected to survive.

The driver of the other car involved was another student from the same school, also going to the Tech school. He was not seriously injured...but, oh, my, what he's going through. A witness thought he may have blown a tire or something; he apparently lost control of his car as he was passing the bus and swerved into the bus, which caused the bus to careen off the wall.

Anyway, any prayers on behalf of the folks involved would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday Miscellany

Still no progress on the feed problem...I've checked all my settings and it is properly set to allow the full feed; but there appears to be no consistency in the error. Bloglines is getting errors on both atom and rss feeds; but there are blogs that are syndicating w/both those that are coming through ok. All Blogger blogs, too, btw; and I think some of the working ones have switched to Beta, (Gaylen? Yours is an atom feed that's coming through ok...have you switched?) so I can't say it's Beta that's causing the problem. But it does appear to be a Blogger issue, since I don't think/haven't noticed problems on non-blogger blogs. Sigh. Maybe I'll have to join the blogger google group so I can report the problem...

But, on the sewing front, I got the holiday jacket cut out over the weekend, using my spiffy new ruler. Contrary to expectations, I haven't located the old one yet, but I did get very nice 7/8" wide strips of the faux suede with the new one.

Maybe I'll get some sewing time while the turkey's cooking on Wednesday... ;)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Feed Problems

I discovered that Bloglines is not getting the updates from my blog and a few others; the problem appears to be with the atom.xml (I think that's what it was) feed. Bloglines has errors in that feed (it shows up as a red exclamation point at the top right of the screen when you try to see the latest feeds from a particlular blog). Anyway, it says that the feed is apparently not in existence. I don't know if that's Bloglines' problem or Blogger's problem.

The Bloglines button on the sidebar doesn't seem to be involved in the feed process; I think it must be a Blogger thing...

But, as I said, I'm not the only one who's getting this error, so if you're checking bloglines and your favorite blogs do not appear to have been updated, it might be a feed problem...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Good Question...

I've confessed to a life of disorganized chaos; today is one of those days it catches up with me.

Company's coming for dinner at 6:30; these are folks we have not really met before (long story).

The house is a wreck from one end to the other.

And I didn't get home from my volunteer stint at the radio station until nearly 1:30.

So why am I sitting at the computer?

Good question...

Um, maybe I'll get the jacket cut out tomorrow. ;)

I'm off!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bought the Ruler

With the 40% off coupon, and including tax, it was about $8.50. Now I won't have to wait until I find the other one to get going on the holiday jacket. All I need now is a chunk of time to cut it out.... with this jacket, I fully expect the cutting out to be about half the time (gotta match those plaids while cutting...).

If Murphy's Law is in action, my old ruler should turn up over the weekend, without even looking for it. I'll find it while doing laundry or vacuming the carpet or some other completely non-sewing-related task....

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It's a Random Week

One of those with lots of unrelated things going on....

I finished my bedsheets, but probably won't get much done on any other projects; tomorrow and Friday I'll be taking pledges for our local listener-supported Christian radio station's fall fund drive...there's a church drama team rehearsal on Thursday evening...(I'll 'splain about that later)...and somewhere I need to work on the usual yada yada yada of laundry, budget, dishes, floors...

But I switched the thread in my serger; I'm planning to stitch up the teal slinky dress while I wait for the opportune moment to cut out the red holiday jacket.

I *will* wear that jacket this December! I will I will I will....

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

To SWAP or Not to SWAP....

...That is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the pins and needles
Of disciplined, planned sewing
Or to revolt against the restrictions of the story board
And by so doing, generate multiple unrelated garments that fill the closet.

To plan, to restrict no more,
And by casting off such planning to run freely through the stashes
Of fabrics and patterns, choosing that which doth the fancy take
And make a midden of the coordinated wardrobe of days of yore.

Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished, and yet
the camaraderie and inspiration of sharing the journey would be lost.
Aye, there's the rub, for what is the fun to toil alone,
With no milestones of accomplishment to display upon the boards?
And by what standard shall the choice be made, with all the stash to choose?
Shalt one return from the attic, with choice in hand
Or shalt forever be there ensnared, endlessly turning from one to another to another,
Never to decide what to cut next?

For who would bear the paralysis of analysis, when she
Might her decision make with a rotary cutter swiftly applied?
But that dread of something after completion...that a better match of fabric and pattern could be found
Puzzles the will, and makes cowards of us all
And Ensembles of great style and moment, with this regard, turn awry
And stay forever yardage in the bins....

Monday, November 13, 2006

Howdya find a clear ruler?

My nice 5" wide ruler with the little lip on one end for square cutting has been AWOL for several weeks now. I've looked in all it's usual hiding places...under and behind and beside tables, chairs, cabinets, etc., and it is still missing. I'm beginning to wonder if it went home folded up in someone elses' cutting boards after our last cut-a-thon at church, but I really can't definitely say that's when it disappeared. It has disappeared before, and turned up in a place I have looked...looked right at it, in fact, but didn't see it because it's basically clear.

But I really do need it now...I've been thinking about my Holiday Jacket; the one to be made from Silhouette Pattern's Robin's Jacket, and I realized I couldn't just put plain ol' Wright's cotton/poly bias tape around the edges of my nice wool/lurex blend fabric. I experimented a little w/some embellisment on the tape, but it didn't work at all so I began to look for alternatives.

Then I remembered that I have some lightweight faux suede leftover from trimming my Sewing Workshop Sandra Betzina's Coat. Since the faux suede is not woven, and it has a slight give in the crosswise direction, I cut the binding for that coat across the fabric, rather than along the bias, and I've got a nice piece leftover. But it won't take much...three 7/8" strips cut the width of the fabric will be plenty for the jacket. And it will look ever so much nicer than the cheap bias tape.

But I've got to find my ruler...

I may just have to go to Hancock's and get another one....eek...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Cold Front + Warm Flannel = Cozy Sleeping

I put the new sheets on the waterbed today and posted photos to the review...

Not any too soon, either, the temperature will be dropping all day today.

I've got another set made of regular sheeting about 1/2 finished; then I can get back to some fun sewing ;)

Friday, November 10, 2006

I switched!

I finally made the switch from the old Blogger to new Beta Blogger; I guess it will be a good thing.

I thought switching would bring back my pretty script print and print on the brown background, but it didn't. A little investigating...and I think part of that is that my filtered ISP is blocking the images; they have issues with blogger/blogspot and I've had to individually clear anything that comes with a blogger dot com address. So, I give up. I guess everyone but me can likely see the pretty background, so I'll just live with the boring ol' brown that I see. (Question: CAN anyone else see the flowers on the brown background?)

And I'll manually switch the labels to italics...or maybe the script font is available to me; I'll have to look.

Meantime, I've got a BUNCH of past posts to go back and's a little tedious, but not as bad as I expected.

Oh, for Bloglines subscribers...I've heard that switching to Beta has messed up some feed subscriptions; you might just check and make sure everything switched ok.

I finished the flannel sheets last to come....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pattern Acquistion Day

I had to go to Hancock's to get some light blue thread for the sheets (I decided I wanted the top hem on the top sheet to be sewn with matching thread). Just my luck that three --THREE!!!-- pattern lines were on sale: Vogue, McCall's and Butterick. I managed to resist any McCall's, but I had to have Butterick 4929...I have some printed stretch cotton lycra that I got from Fabric Mart a few months back that will be PERFECT for the pointy-back version. And while I was there, I also picked up Vogue 8319, 2926, and 8323

Now I just need to find some nice stretch lining to go under my stretch cotton... ;)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Little Domestic Sewing....

I finally got the extra wide flannel put through the washer and dryer three times; I think it shrank about 3" in width...I didn't check the length.

It's getting chilly...I want my warm sheets!

So I measured and tore the whole set yesterday and, since the other chunk of sheeting I've had sitting around waiting to be turned into sheets is also light blue, I tore it into appropriate sized chunks, too, and I'll just make both sets of sheets this week.

I'll have my nice flannel sheets by the weekend (I hope), and 13 yards moved from stash.

I'll take some pictures of the process and post them when I'm done.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

First Tuesday in November

It's so easy for a SAHM to forget to run out and vote; if I hadn't gotten an email reminder I might've forgotten that today's the day....

Just a reminder! Don't forget! ;)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Preach it, bro

I tried, I really tried, to find an online link to our local paper...but I didn't have any luck. So I'll just have to paraphrase my way through it...

I imagine most local papers do what ours does; once a week, they devote a page to articles written by local teens. My oldest DD actually was one of the contributors her senior year; it's kind of a neat little opportunity for the kids to have real-life experience in essay/op-ed writing. Today's offereings included an article by a young man who is a home-schooled senior, and, as it pertains to clothing and fashion, I thought I'd share a bit...

He opens his article with a quote from Oscar Wilde that I don't think I've encountered before: ...[fashion] is usually a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.

The author then relates an experience he had while clothes shopping for a sports jacket. He found a blue one he liked, but the sales clerk told him he shouldn't wear it with the black jeans he happened to be wearing. The young man asked why not, and the clerk gave him a spiel about dark blue not contrasting enough with black, casual and formal wear shouldn't be mixed, yada yada yada. The kid's internal response was, 'Now, that's not terribly far-fetched; it's just that I didn't care.'

The clerk gave up trying to get the young man to get the matching pants, but tried one more time, suggesting that he think ahead a bit, as he would want to wear light gray pants w/ the coat when spring rolls around. Once more, the young man asked for the logic behind that statement. Again, he got a lengthy answer about fashion and investing in the whole look.

I love what his written response is, "If I want to wear my blazer with my jeans, I will.... Most people who dictate fashion are trying to sell you something."

I actually laughed out loud. Point awarded to the teen!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Happy Birthday....

To both my Mother-in-Law and Sew Random! It's hard to believe it's been one year since I started blogging about costuming Scrooge. Lots of thread has gone into fabric since then!

And, I've finally got some photos of recently finished projects; the Kwik-Sew sweater coat (it's a hoodie) and the HP Cadeau:

I reviewed the Cadeau this morning; it's listed w/the 'my reviews' in the link on the sidebar. I think that will be a very cute top...made in some fabric that's not so frustrating ;).

Friday, November 03, 2006

Leaf Peeping

We're just about at peak fall color in the Tennessee Valley; I snapped this photo looking up the street yesterday afternoon.

DH took a vacation day today; we're going to do a bit of Christmas shopping while the young 'uns are in school, but we may do a little drive up the mountain...just to enjoy the color before its gone.

IOW, not much sewing today, either... ;)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Confession Time...

In the midst of today's multi-tasking mess, I found myself mentally writing today's post and decided that, after almost a year of blogging, it's time to admit some things to those of you who've decided to stop by here from time to time.

I am chronically disorganized. I've known this for years. I have the Sidetracked Home Executives card box and the notebook of A Disciplined Woman. I've got Flylady's site bookmarked. And my house is still a mess, my laundry is overflowing and all my cooking utensils are dirty. My budget is 3 months behind and I still owe graduation cards to the Class of 2004. And the numbers on my bathroom scale are starting to scare me.

I'm not here asking for help; I really and truly know what to do. I'm just not doing it. It doesn't matter how great the system is if you're not doing it.

And today was the first day this week that I really had to myself; so I'm tackling everything at once (in true Sidetracked fashion). I've sorted laundry and have got 3 loads running/in process at the moment. I emptied the dishwasher and loaded it up with what I could put in there. I found what was causing the yukky smell in the bottom of the sink and eradicated it. I basted and sewed the neckband on to my Cadeau T test. I talked to a couple of friends on the phone about some issues; one was practical, one was spiritual. I serged finished the edges of the 7 yard chunk of flannel that I got last week so I could pre-wash it before cutting it into appropriate sheet/pillowcase pieces. I ate lunch. I wrote in my journal.

And, visibly, it looks like I've done a bunch of nothing. At the end of the day, I'll look around and see 12 half finished projects and wonder what I did all day. I've decided that's the problem with multi-tasking; there are so many projects in so many stages of completion that, even when one is finished, there's no 'Whew! I'm done' feeling, because there are so many other things that are NOT finished. Several years ago, one of my (very organized) friends commented that she had a book that she was reading...'a chapter or two a day, when I've got my work done.' That was an amazing comment to me...I don't think I've ever had a day in my life (since I had kids, anyway) in which I could say 'I've got my work done'. There's always something else....

Ah, well, tomorrow's another day; maybe I'll clean my sink, put my cards in order, make my 'To Do' list, and exercise... ;)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Once more, from the top...

A post that has nothing whatever to do with sewing...except to possibly explain why I haven't done any

Last night was our annual Harvest Fest...a big community party in our church parking lot, with every inflatable family-fun-type apparatus you can imagine and a few I'd never have thought of, popcorn, cotton candy, hot dogs, singing, dancing, puppets....all free to the community.

It's fun and it's exhausting.

It rained us out. So, we all went into the sanctuary for some skits and songs and such by Master's Commission and our Kids Choir (who were supposed to be on stage in the parking lot anyway), and plans were announced to hold all the games and food over and do it tonight.

Well, it's been raining off and on all day. And the forecast is calling for possible thunderstorms yet this evening. I don't know what we'll do if it gets rained out again.

Well...we'll see!