A blog about my adventures in sewing & crafting

Saturday, April 28, 2012

What do you listen to?

While sewing I usually turn Pandora on my computer and listen to Jazz, Kat Edmonson, Etta James, Louis Armstrong, Michael Buble, Nat King Cole just to name a few.  I think that this type of music is soothing and allows me to concentrate.

I'm working on another version of the Simplicity 8893, I'm going to try to add the gathered ties at the waist and bust darts to give the top some shape without the elastic waistband.  I will try to take pictures the best I can remember.

What do you listen to when you SEW?

Until next time..... boop a dee.....


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sewing Simplicity 8893 Pattern

I chose the Simplicity 8893 pattern from 1978 for a nice cool summer top.  We live in Florida and it gets HOT here.  I thought that I would just make the top version to start with. 

Simplicity No. 8893 Pullover Dress or Two Piece Dress in Half Sizes vintage sewing pattern c1978
"Top V1 or dress V2 with self drawstring thru shoulder casings has V neckline and elastic waistline casing. Skirt V1 with elastic waistline casing and dress V2 have pockets in side seams."

Back view of pattern package

The instructions were E-A-S-Y!  I love how simple they are to read.  The pattern pieces were all there and they were marked with the difference seam allowances too.  I used this green and white checked fabric as a muslin. 

I cut out the size 22-1/2.  I am going to down a size.  It is loose and comfortable but I think the back is a little big.  I also didn't realize until I was almost done how short the top is.  I have a tummy (after 3 kids & a husband who can cook!) that I like to keep hid.  I added 12" to the bottom, flaring slightly at the outer edges to give my hips ample room. 
Checking to make sure it's all there

Laying out the pattern pieces.  See my weights that sweet hubby got for me at Lowe's.

Finished top on the headless seamstress

I fudged a little on the placement of the waist elastic.  I tried on the top, then lifted my arms up and marked my waist.  I thought that it would give me enough room that the elastic wouldn't slip up too much.  When I added the 12" extra piece I used a 1" seam allowance and made a casing from that. 

Drawstring shoulder close-up

shoulder/side view
 I love the drawstring shoulders.  I am not sure about a big bow on my arms though.  Maybe if I just shorten the strings and tack the ends at the end at the length I want then I won't have to worry about the strings touching/tickling my arms.
back view
The fabric is a little stiff, so I will be looking for one with a little more drape next time.  I am thinking of either a linen or gauze fabric. This pattern is a definite keeper.  I might even wear the muslin version with either a denim skirt or a pair of white capris.

I have a vintage green bead necklace that will look cute with it or maybe a daisy pin.

I hope you enjoyed.

Until next time....


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What I do on my day off!

Since I was off yesterday and needed to take a break from sewing, I grabbed my camera and took pictures of stuff around our yard.  Now I love black & white pictures.  There is something about them that just calls to me.  After I took a few pictures I adjusted them to these beautiful scenes.

I love hanging our clothes on the line.

The garden. Black-eyed peas, squash, tomatoes & onions.

Fern growing on the pump house.

Hummingbird feeder

Our cat sitting on the porch in the sun.

Birdhouse gourd hanging on the porch.

Maybe black and white pictures make me think of simplier days. Days when all that mattered where taking care of your family and sitting on the porch swing after dinner....

Until next time....


Birthday Chicks

Remember the Chicks my oldest son T. gave me for my birthday last month?  They are growing up.  They went through a really ugly stage but now they are getting fluffy and they are C-U-T-E!

Beautiful sounds of peeping chicks.

Baby silkies at 1 month
What a difference a month makes.  I think the two grey ones are the cutest.

Until next time....


Butterick 5022 Part 2

I bought this cool denim fabric from Fabric Mart a few months ago for Girl M. some shorts.  It says it is pink denim.  One side is dark and the other side is real shiny pink.
The fabric screams Girl M.  She has one pair of shorts so I thought I would make a pair from each side of this fabric.  The fabric is easy.  It has a nice hand.  I used a denim needle in my machine and used hot pink thread.

Easy to mark
With the flash of the camera it looks real shiny but the fabric is dark and when you turn it just right in the light you see the pink.  I top stitched with the pink thread so that they look like real jean type shorts.

This is the same pair of shorts one with the flash and one without.
with flash

without flash

Girl M. couldn't wait to wear them to school the next day.  I think they look great on her and they look comfortable too.

front view

rear view
The pattern is easy with only 4 pieces: Front, Back, Waistband and tabs.  The second pair I am making with the real shiny pink side I have shortened the length by 2" and not tabs on the legs.  I also added pockets on the back too.  I have to finish the waistband on that then I can take a photo.

Butterick Pattern 5022, I give a A+.  Girl M. likes it, Easy to make, not too much fuss.  Mom gives it an A+ too.

Until next time....


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sure-Fit Designs?

I am hoping that I can get some feedback on the Sure-Fit Designs.  I came across this pattern fitting solution program when I was searching the Internet on why the pants I sewed yesterday sucked. 

I am plus size, probably about a 20 top with narrow shoulder and a full bust and maybe even a 22-24 bottom.  I only own two pairs of pants/Capri and one pair of jeans.  I usually wear skirts or dresses.  So now I am wanting to make pants/Capri/shorts that fit ME.  I am thinking that this Sure-Fit Designs may be my answer. 

I think that the Christmas/Birthday money is starting to burn a hole in my pocket now.  I want to spend the money on something worthwhile and since I didn't win the Embroidery machine at the auction, I thought that this would be very useful to me.

I am working on watching the you-tube series online and I am searching for reviews for they Sure-Fit Designs on the Internet.  If you have any comments or suggestion, please let me know.

Until next time....


My Husband is an ENABLER

How's that for a title!

My sweet husband for almost 20 years knows me better than I know myself!

When it's time to get feed at the feed store, he always jokes and tells me that he'll get the feed so I don't bring home more baby chicks.  I have done well the past few weeks of not bringing any more home, then HE goes to the feedstore yesterday and brings me home a peeping box!!!

Inside the peeping box is you guessed it- BABY CHICKS!  Four little polish baby chicks. 

These are stock photos since I didn't get good pictures in my dark laundry room where all the new chick live until I can't stand the smell anymore.  I move them outside to a chick pen then onto my big pen.  But truthfully I love to hear the peeps!

This is what they will look like when they are grown.  Some people call them Top Hats, Crested or "Crazy Birds" as I've heard.  I'm not too sure which ones I have but my chicks look pretty similar to these babies.

I have one chick that seems like it's hips are dislocated or he got hurt on his way home.  Girl M. is excited that she gets to nurse a baby chick.  It gets around ok and it's eating and drinking so I think it will be just fine.

On a sewing note, I made myselft a pair of pants yesterday while Dear Husband and Boy T. went fishing, but the pants SUCKED!  So I repurpsed the fabric to make Girl M. a pair of shorts.  I used the Butterick 5022.  The shorts are coming together pretty easy and they are really cute.  I have the waistband left and the tabs at the legs to finish.  I will try to add a picture later of the finished shorts.

I hope that the fit is good and I can make Girl M. some capris too.  That girl has the worst time finding anything to fit on the bottom.  If it fits in the waist, it too big in the legs and too long, or the rise is not right.  She usually wears skirts to school. 

So for my day off work yesterday, I received four baby chicks, My husband & Son went fishing and left me alone to sew.  What a wonderful day!  I didn't even do housework or laundry or have to cook!  A pretty good day if you ask me!

Until next time....


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Empty Handed

After all the giddy excitement of the Auction last night, I came home empty handed.  I had money from my boss from Christmas & my birthday that I have saved back, but I couldn't bring myself to pay $475 for the machine.  Now, I know it was worth it but I have a budget and I am pretty proud I didn't go for it and blow my budget.
I saw the machine on HSN for $2,999.  Ebay has it for $2,499 but I figured that no one knew what kind of machine it was and I could go up to about $250.  Maybe things work out for the best.  There is alot of what-if on a used machine.  So maybe next time......
I am off work today and tomorrow and I have a million things to do. Hopefully I can make a dent in my to-do list and even get a little sewing in too!
Until next time....


Friday, April 13, 2012

Giddy with excitement!

Today I got an email from our local Auction House. I knew I should NOT have looked at the pictures of what's coming up this weekend at the auction, because I see......

Could this be what I think it is????  After looking for a while on, my friend, the Internet, I think it's an embroidery machine..... 
Then I go back to their website and a little further down I see this!


It's a Singer XL6000!  It is an embroidery machine!  I don't have one of these yet.  I have my Brother Sewing machine plus two other Brothers, a Singer from 1940's and a Toyota Serger I got at a thrift store for $9.00.
Now I am so giddy with excitement I almost can't control myself!
Wish me luck tomorrow at the auction!

Until next time....


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sewing Simplicity 2942 Part 1

Girl M. has a closet full of clothes.  I tell myself I am not making her anymore and then she brings me a pattern and the fabric.  How can I resist?  She asked for a dress in Green and White check.  I barely have time to wash any clothes, so here I am working full time this week, softball games, and then sewing at 10pm.

Simplicity 2942

Girl M. chose the sleeveless dress with no pockets & no ruffle.  She just wants a plain Jane sleeveless dress. I did make the yoke out of solid white.  It's coming along slowly.  I must have either bought the pattern used or cut it out years ago.  Some of the pieces are  cut to 5/6 size.  Girl M is now a size 15/16!  I am missing the back facing piece but I think I can just wing it. I might even omit it and just use bias binding for the back neck.

I will have pictures in part 2, since I forgot to take any.  Sometimes when I start a project I am so engrossed that I don't even think about blogging the sewing part, I just want to take a picture of Girl M. wearing the finished project.

Until next time....


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pet Chicken

Girl M. loves animals.  She has tamed one of our baby chicks from Valentines' Day to be her pet chicken.  She has named him Roo.  I cannot believe that this chicken just lets her pick him up and do what ever with him.  He makes a cooing noise when Girl M. holds him.
 He also plays ball with her.... well kinda.  Last night Girl M and her brother were throwing the softball back and forth and Roo decided to try to run after it.  After about four times he gave up and went off looking for bugs but it's pretty funny to see a chicken chasing a softball in the yard!
Girl M. & Roo

Not only if my husband would agree to let me make Roo a chicken diaper so that he can come into the house.....
It is pretty cool to just pick a chicken up and look at him.  We'll look under his wings and look at his feet.  He just coos and cocks his head to the side and looks at us like we're crazy.  Funny thing is that he doesn't smell.  He has a fresh air smell, but not a musky scent like you would think. 
I hope Roo stays tame and that we have many memories together.

Roo at 2 weeks old
Roo at 5 weeks
Roo at 5 weeks
Roo at 8 weeks

Until next time.....


Monday, April 9, 2012

Finding a Bathing Suit

When I    was a child in the 1950s, the bathing suit for the mature figure was-boned,    trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered. They were built to    hold back and uplift, and they did a good job.
Today's stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl    with a figure carved from a potato chip.
    The mature woman has a choice, she can either go up front to the maternity    department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like    a hippopotamus that escaped from Disney's Fantasia, or she can wander    around every run-of-the-mill department store trying to make a sensible    choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluorescent rubber bands.
    What choice did I have? I wandered around, made my sensible choice and    entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room. The first thing I    noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material. The    Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe,
    by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which gives the added    bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you would be    protected from shark attacks. Any shark taking a swipe at your passing    midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.
    I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap    in place I gasped in horror, my boobs had disappeared!
    Eventually, I found one boob cowering under my left armpit. It took a while    to find the other. At last I located it flattened beside my seventh rib.
    The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups. The mature woman    is now meant to wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed bump. I    realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view    assessment.
    The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fitted those bits    of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from    top, bottom and sides. I looked like a lump of Playdoh wearing undersized    cling wrap.
    As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the    prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, "Oh, there    you are," she said, admiring the bathing suit.
    I replied that I wasn't so sure and asked what else she had to show me. I    tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking    tape, and a floral two-piece that gave the appearance of an over sized    napkin in a serving ring.
    I struggled into a pair of leopard-skin bathers with ragged frills and came    out looking like Tarzan's Jane, pregnant with triplets and having a rough    day.
    I tried on a black number with a midriff fringe and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.
    I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would    have to wax my eyebrows to wear them.
    Finally, I found a suit that fit, it was a two-piece affair with a    shorts-style bottom and a loose blouse-type top. It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly, so I bought it. My ridiculous search had a successful  outcome, I figured.
    When I got it home, I found a label that read, "Material might become transparent in water."
    So, if you happen to be on the beach or near any other body of water this    year and I'm there too, I'll be the one in cut-off jeans and a T-shirt!
    You'd better be laughing or rolling on the floor by this time. Life isn't    about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain, with or without a stylish bathing suit!
Until next time.....


Friday, April 6, 2012

Sad Day

It's a sad day here today.  My co-worker/ Aunt-In Law's son was killed in an auto accident yesterday morning.  Josh was only 20 years old.  That is only a year older than my oldest.  Getting news like that makes me sick to my stomach.  It makes me want  to go find my children and hug them one more time a little longer.  Josh loved cars and fishing, he will be missed and dearly remembered.  I remember his crooked smile from the corner of his mouth and how he always followed his daddy around.  With a heavy heart today...

Until next time....


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate cupcake!

This has to be one of my most favorite chocolate cupcake recipes.  It will also make a cake but I prefer cupcakes because I can freeze them for my daughter's lunch later.  I had planned on icing the cupcake but they are so good I just put a little dusing of powdered sugar on them. 

One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two nine inch round pans. ( I used  cupcake pan and cupcake liners)
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Or 22 minutes for cupcakes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.               

Easy as could be and I am enjoying one right now as I type!

Until next time....


My favorite color is..... Orange!

Orange is my favorite color.  My friends laugh because they say it's the last color left on the shelf..... I just think it's sunny and fresh and I Love Orange!

Orange fabric
I had 3 yards of this beautiful orange fabric.  What to do? What to do?  I decided to make Girl M. her usual top.  Then I made myself a top too.  I used Butterick 5195, view A. 

I have made both view A and view C.  I think I have made these version about 8 times.  They are comfortable and I just wear a tank top of my choice under.

The picture doesn't do the top justice, but I didn't have anyone to take a picture for me.

Girl M. didn't want all flowers on hers.  So I used an orange sheet I must have gotten at a thrift store for the bodice and the orange & white floral for the top and back yoke. 

I made a little flower pin to pin on.  She couldn't wait to wear it to school!  That's the joy of having a girl.  Boys could care less!

Until next time......