Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Very First Award!

I'm so excited...I just received my very first Blog award!  I have to say it really made my day too!  Faye of Faye's Sewing Adventures, was kind enough to bestow this very nice gift on me.  She has been one of my great inspirations since I participated in Spring Month of Tops (SMOTS) last month.  She continues to send those inspiration faeries tingling down my spine! 

If I understand the award correctly, I must tell 10 things about myself and present this award to 5 other truly deserving individuals.  Talking about my self is a little I'll do this on one condition...that my readers promise to come back if I bore them this time! :)  Here goes nothing...
  1. I'm a very happy Wife, Mother and Grandma who loves playing with her grandchildren.  Unfortunately, I don't get to see them as much as I'd like to. (they live out of state)
  2. I was born in Illinois and lived in Tennesse, Michigan, Wisconsin and now Florida's my home.
  3. I absolutely adore sewing.  Some women shop for shoes when they get depressed, I shop for fabric! (and I love shoes too, just love fabric more!)
  4. I don't really like shopping for clothes.  I much prefer making them...besides, I can never find anything when I shop for myself! 
  5. I love trying to keep myself stylish and now I'm trying to exercise regularly and eat right so I can have a long healthly life too.
  6. I like TV just to keep me company when I'm sewing, but my favorite shows are Project Runway, CSI and Criminal Minds. (I can't sew when they're on!)
  7. Fishing, biking and crocheting are dear to my heart too, but they don't get nearly enough time on my calendar these days!
  8. I love to eat and love to cook just as much!  That's why it's a necessity to exercise!!
  9. I'm a cruiser!  Can't take enough cruises to exotic locales!!  I've only been on 8, so I'm still somewhat of a novice.
  10. ...and last but not least, I love jazz concerts!  In the park, on a cruise or just hanging out with some great friends and good food!
Here's my list of award winners...

Laure - Painted Thoughts
Victoria - Ten Thousands Hours of Sewing
Andrea - Knit Knac
Omega - Sewhooked
Marilyn - Mazzygirl, sewing and craft addict
Off to continue my "Memorial" weekend of sewing and hope you're enjoying yours too!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Weekend Sewing!!!

Now this is going to be a beautiful weekend!  I just received my FABRIC HAUL (all knits) from today.  They were having a HUGE sale on these great Tee Shirt knits (stretch rayon blend) starting at $2.39 per yard.  All of the fabrics I purchased were between $2.49 and $2.99 a yard!  $31.52 is all I paid for this stash!  I am so in "fabric heaven" right now and do have plans for every single piece!

The weatherman is predicting scattered showers and thunderstorms for this weekend, so it's a perfect one for all crafts, sewing, crocheting, sketching, painting or whatever you fancy.  I plan on making a serious dent in my Ten Thousands Hours of Sewing this weekend and hope you do too!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Nice Summer Skirt

I was sitting in my sewing chair this morning looking all the left over scraps of fabrics I had from some recently completed projects when this cream colored knit caught my eye.  I only had about 1-1/4 yards of this fabric (in two pieces).   I believe it's a cotton lycra knit I got from JoAnn Fabrics for a jacket I made a few months ago.  I decided to make a skirt with it and choose New Look pattern 6898. (I made and reviewed this pattern on Pattern  This pattern was created for woven fabrics, but I knew I could convert it easily.   So I selected View C with the ruffle, but decided to change a view things.  Here's the first view of my completed project:

The first item I changed was removing the zipper in the back.  It really wasn't needed since this is a knit.  To do this, I placed the back pattern piece on the fold of the fabric extending it 5/8 inch beyond the fold edge. I also elected not to make the ruffle in the back, so I had to extend the hem of the back pattern piece by 4 inches to accomodate the space where the ruffle would have been.  Now we have a seamless straight back which is a very nice look.

 The last change was the waistband.  The original pattern had a small 1-1/2 inch waistband connecting with the zipper in the back.  I added a folded waistband similar to those on some jogging pants. The waistband only has one seam in the back which is shown below (front and back view).  This change made the skirt, ohhhhh so comfortable!

All in all, I'm very happy with my changes to this pattern, they helped turn my few scraps of fabric into a fabulous skirt for summer!

Friday, May 21, 2010

One More Try...

I loved this fabric when I first saw it and just knew whatever I made with it, would be just great.  Well I was kind of right.  I decided to use Simplicity 3786 (View E).  I have to tell you, this is a really easy and very quick pattern to make.  I came home from work last night and completed it in a couple of hours!  It turned out very well however, the bold print of the fabric doesn't really allow you to see the details of the pleats in the front. 

Here's a close of of the front pleating.  There are actually 5 pleats on either side of the opening...

...and very nice overall shaping on this top.  The small bit of elastic in the center back really adds to the great fit.

I'd really like to remake this one in a solid color so the details can be seen better and plan on doing so soon.  Especially since the most time consuming part of making this top were the pleats!  I want those to be seen! :)  The fabric is 100% Crinkle Cotton Gauze.  Perfect for summer!  I highly recommend this pattern!

Now, off to decide what my next project will be.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Did I please the legendary Ms. Boop??

Whew, all done!  Now that was a REAL challenge for me!  I truly need to spend more time practicing the great art of Draping!  It took me a little longer than I believe it should have to complete this simple night gown.  Of course there was no pressure knowing I'd already promised to post it when finished!!!  All in all, I think I made Ms. Betty Boop proud...

This time the gown actually looks better on me than my dress form!  Usually, that's not the dress form seems to have the better body!  It's very soft and comfortable.  I added just a small amount of elastic in the front under the breast area and in the back for ease and comfort. The lace edging in front, was added last and wasn't part of the original plan, I just thought it would add a nice touch and was right, it did!  Here's a snapshot of the back.

On to my next project!

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A cartoon legend on the cutting table!

I'm a huge Betty Boop fan and for those who don't know her, she's  an animated vixen from the 1930's.  Betty Boop made her first appearance on August 9, 1930 in the cartoon Dizzy Dishes, the sixth installment in Fleischer's Talkartoon series. She was little like her soon-to-be-famous self, however. Grim Natwick, a veteran animator of both Walt Disney's and Ub Iwerks' studios, was largely responsible for creating the character.  Grim modeled Betty Boop around Helen Kane, a famous singer, who also performed as an actress at Paramount Pictures, the studio that distributed Fleischer's cartoons.

My grandmother introduced me to Betty Boop when I was very young and I've been drawn to her every since. I love her sultry look and even pondered the notion of getting a small Betty Boop tattoo!  So imagine my surprise when I laid eyes on this great fabric at Hancock Fabrics!  It was soooo cute, a little "Baby Boop" and I just had to have it!  

It's a soft cotton fleece on one side and a shiny satiny on the other.  I purchased it and decided to do my own thing and drape a nightgown that even Ms. Betty Boop would love to wear!  I'm a newbie at draping, so I'm not that good and this is a "wee" bit of a risk, but I'm praying I won't mess up!  (I did make a muslin first!)  It's currently on my cutting table and should be done tomorrow.   Check back for the end result and wish me luck! (I'm going to need it!)

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Comfort and Beauty Too, Oh My!!!

We were having an office pot luck and wanted to wear something comfortable so I could really "grub" that day and not worry about my belly hanging out!  You know how it is when you're at one of these social events and you've eaten so much you just want to "loosen that top button" on your pants just so you can get comfortable???  So I went on the search for a pattern that was quick and easy to make and would be comfortable too.  (I knew it would not be slacks...I've missed a few workouts, if you know what I mean!!)

I found this great dress pattern by McCalls 5877 and fell in love...
 ...and as some of you know already, I really hate gathering ruffles!  Was I losing my mind or just a glutton for punishment!! (I think it's the latter!)   Well I really didn't have to go far to find the perfect fabric either.  JoAnn Fabrics had this beautiful, rich purple rayon lycra knit that would be perfect for the dress!!  I was now in heaven and couldn't wait to get started. 

This project turned out so wonderful, it's now one of my favorite dresses!!!  This is THE MOST comfortable dress I own.  It's so figure forgiving...not only did I get the comfort I was looking for, but the dress is gorgeous!! (in my opinion, that is).  I received so many compliments from the ladies at work and one of the guys even mentioned how cute he thought it was!  Now that's praise...guys usually never comment!!

The only change I made on this one was the hems of each tier.  I decided to serge them rather than leaving unfinished as the pattern instructed and used a slightly lighter thread color for a little contrast...

I would "Highly" recommend this pattern to everyone who sews and although, it turned out to be one of my nicest projects, I probably won't sew it again because it's so unique. (and because of all the gathering too!! ) :)   My pictures above don't really do the dress justice, so here's a picture of me wearing it...

So off to start my next project!  Happy Sewing!

Monday, May 3, 2010

An Oasis In A Concrete Jungle...

My husband and I wanted to do something to get our elderly neighbor (84 yrs old this year) out of her house for some fresh air, but quickly realized we needed it more than she did! So a long de-stressing weekend was in order for all of us.  We packed up the SUV and away we went in search of the perfect weekend. A couple of hours later, we found it... The sweetest little oasis of a Bed and Breakfast sitting right in the middle of downtown Orlando!

If you're ever in Orlando, you must visit this place!  The beautiful antiques, over-sized 4-post bed, fireplace (although it's not needed this time of the year in Orlando!) it was still nice to have one.  The lush tropical grounds and my favorite of all...having breakfast during the very quiet early morning hours on this gorgeous porch!  What a way to get the juices flowing again!
My husband and our friend Noel, were kind enough to pose for my blog picture, since I interrupted their breakfast!  (I'll pay for that one later, I'm sure) :)  and the view from the porch was sooooo relaxing with the sounds of the fountains on the grounds too.  There  just wasn't anything not to love!
The breakfast lounge inside wasn't to shabby either...antiques abound in this wonderful place that reminded me of being back at my great grandmothers home, complete with the great smells of breakfast cooking!  Remember that "warm" feeling you had as a child?  It was all that and more!
Wayne and I were lucky enough to stay in what they called "Dr. Phillips House" all alone...yes, the whole place was ours the entire time we were there!  I don't know how that happened, especially since there were two weddings held on the premises at the same time!  Dr. Phillip's House is just one of the homes on this property that's currently listed on the historical landmark register. 
We'd booked "Dr. Phillps Room" which was huge!!  This is the largest "non-suite" room I've ever stayed in!  and the bed was oh sooooo comfortable we were almost late for breakfast one morning.  Our friend, Noel had to call us a couple of times to get us out of bed!!! 
Noel loved her room too...she was in a home called "Lucerne" which was the first building on the property where you checked in.   It was perfect, because it was on the first floor so she didn't have to climb any stairs!  That's right, there's no elevators...I don't believe they had them back in this day.  We didn't mind the 4 flights of stairs to our room, we considered it our exercise during this vacation! 
We also treated her to the "Medival Times" castle for a dinner theatre, the food was great, the show spectacular and our deed was done...she had an awesome time! 
I have to admit this started our as a mini vacation just for Noel, however, it ended up being just what the Dr ordered for us all!  I renewed my spirit and I'm ready to face the world again!  I highly recommend this place for all those needing a quiet "get away" weekend!  Now, back to my sewing machine!!