Bright and early Saturday I started ironing. Pinning. Cutting. Cutting some more. Today I gathered, stitched, pinned and pressed.

And am I getting somewhere? Slightly.

Things I'm realizing - a bias tape neckline on children's garments is genius. Goodbye facings! Also, sewing assembly line style is the only way to get this done and not go crazy in the process. Sitting in a pile of pink fabric, stitching away while my machine rattles ominously (gulp, where is the machine oil), I've got my fingers crossed about getting this one done in time.


The Fruits of Your Labors

The last of the quince are shriveling up. I took a photo the other week when they were still yellow. I know quince is edible in theory, but I've never been particularly sure about the flowering ones. Are they?

I'll have to check next year.


Hello Weekend

I wrote half a dozen posts in my head this week. The only catch was none ever made it to this blog. Chalk one up to life just getting crazier and crazier, which always seems to happen this time of year. I mean, how is it Thanksgiving is next week? I feel like I was just wearing flip flops, drinking iced coffee.

But now that there's frost on the ground I am most definitely not wearing flip flops. But I am wearing slippers, oh yes indeed. In the spirit of stash busting, these are made from a felted rummage sale sweater and are so toasty warm. I'd seen this pattern over on Martha Stewart that I've loved forever, so that basic construction idea was my starting point. I used the sleeves of the sweater to avoid side seams (read: I am lazy), then only had to sew up the toes and a seam up the back by the heal. I finished everything off with some blanket stitch around the raw edges. They stretch out a bit after wearing, but a quick trip through the washer/dryer got them right back to wearable.
And here's what I'm doing this weekend - sewing nightgowns for my nieces. I'm trying to get this done in time for Christmas which makes me think I might be certifiable. Bring it I say.


Snip, Snip

Would you look at that, a rose from Wal-Mart that bloomed like nobody's business. I always get a little depressed when flowers show this incredible potential when brought home, then droop over and die tightly closed. But this one, oh it went above and beyond in floral awesomeness, and is still going strong a few days after taking this photo.

I've spent most of the weekend cutting out squares for a duvet cover. I have a lovely warm down comforter from IKEA that was a Christmas gift last year, so it's taken me almost 365 days to manage this, but hey, better late than never. Since my sister is coming home for Christmas I'm trying to get things looking tip top around here and this is part of the plan. I'm mixing new fabrics (like that Heather Ross/Mermaid piece above) with vintage sheets. I really like the contrast between the two and the vintage sheets give me a lot of yardage for a pretty good price. I have most of the squares cut out, but need to wash the new fabric. I'm always tempted to just throw caution to the wind and use fabric without washing, but then my left brain starts yelling "DANGER," so I never get much farther than reckless musings.

One of these days I will be crazy spontaneous and document the fact.


February Lady

I love this sweater. Love. Love. Love. It's the February Lady sweater pattern by Flint Knits. Knit from the top down, this thing is a dream come true for someone who hates piecing together sweaters.

The yarn is from an old store-bought sweater from college. Being on a very strict budget at the moment, I'm kind of eyeing my existing wardrobe with an eye to what can be remade/repurposed. The unraveling took awhile (and I think I vacuumed up bits of navy blue fiber for weeks) but the end result was worth it.

The only change I made was to add ribbing to the bottom and cuffs. I didn't have a whole lot of yarn to work with and would love to try it again knit to the full length.


Things That Are Good

Today I liked

1. Finding a forgotten bag of M&M's at the bottom of my purse, right when I was in dire need of chocolate.

2. Talking to my sister on the phone. Catching up on "Project Runway" gossip, house paint and all the news that's fit to print.

3. Color Me Katie's amazing street art. I want to run outside right now with paste and paper and paint the town red. Except it's dark. And I live in the suburbs. Minor details though, right?

4. Homemade apple pie that I made this afternoon when I needed a break. It looks like a disaster, but it tastes delicious. The crust is blotchy and broke off, the appley insides landed on the bottom of the stove and bubbled and smoked. I should have known better with the crust. Martha Stewart's pie crust recipe is the pie crust recipe to end all other pie crust recipes. Martha, I'm sorry I cheated on you. It won't happen again.



I made mocha au lait-s today for my mom and I. It's one of my favorite coffee drinks; it gives you a chocolate fix without the kick of the espresso shot you get in a cafe mocha.

Here's the way I make a mocha au lait. There's a lot of variety in recipes, but I like the way this tastes:

You need:
A coffee mug
Milk Frother (you can try whisking the milk on the stove,
but I've never had much luck with this)

1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon sugar (alternately you could use chocolate syrup
in place of the cocoa powder/sugar)

In coffee mug, mix sugar and cocoa powder. Pour in coffee, filling cup halfway, then stir. Heat half cup of milk in the microwave for one minute, longer if you like your drink hotter. You can heat the milk on the stove, but I'm usually too impatient to do this.

Once heated, froth milk until foam appears. Pour hot milk into coffee/chocolate mixture, using spoon to keep foam from pouring into the drink. Once the milk is poured in, spoon leftover foam onto the top of the drink. Garnish with cocoa powder.



What Tangled Webs

If you know anything about crochet, you can probably tell that I know very little about crochet. Let's just get that out in the open.

I've been knitting since I was a teenager, but been trying to teach myself crochet over the course of the past few months. Success has been limited. I managed a granny square a few weeks back, but that involved a lot of ripping out, gnashing teeth and general unpleasantness.

I've got a no longer wearable long sleeved t-shirt though that needs some revamping. I've cut it open to make a cardigan a la Angry Chicken and want to gussy it up a bit with some crochet. I'm in need of an instant gratification project and I think this fits the bill.

I'm stumbling along with the crochet making this up as I go. I'm trying to be less uptight with some of this stuff and just enjoy the process. I ended up stitching this to the back of the cardigan, then cutting away the fabric underneath. I'll get some pictures when the sun chooses to make another appearance (no, I'm not a fan of diminishing daylight).



I had coffee out with my mom this week. We both ordered the same thing (raspberry scone and a coffee), but got drastically different plates, which I love. Life is too short for matching china patterns.

The only thing I really don't like about this time of year is the lack of flowers outdoors. I'm trying to appreciate more what is in season though, hence the leaves brought indoors. I spotted witch hazel down the street on a walk today and want to snip some of that, but I need to scope out the area for poison sumac. There's also some gorgeous checkerberry in the woods right now and I'd like to put some in terrariums before the snow starts to fly.

But for tonight, I'm going to knit some more. Sock number one is finished and I want to keep moving before the dreaded second sock-itis starts. Add "The Office" and "Project Runway" to the mix, and I foresee some serious knitting going down.


Autumn Leaves

Bright blue skies and vibrant yellow leaves; it makes me wish Fall would last another few months. I'm ready to bypass snow and ice.



I told myself absolutely NO more sewing projects until I finish what I have in my basket. Viola, Exhibit A. Excuse the beleaguered expression. It was end of day Friday.

I don't know what it is, but this shirt was jinxed from the start. Everything that could go wrong did; arms seams didn't match up with side seams, the facing ended up botched, I flipped the fabric upside down when cutting, I could go on and on. I'm kind of hoping I've gotten all my bad sewing karma out of me. Oy.

The fabric is a vintage sheet I scored at Goodwill this past Spring (I'm hoarding the leftovers, needless to say). For the pattern I used McCall's M5627, which I liked a lot. The only change I made to the pattern was to shorten the back measurement (I'm just under 5'5, so this seems to help with fit a lot).

So what's on my plate next? I have a ton of vintage patterns accumulated while going to yard sales this past summer. I'm itching to start those, but I've got a plan to sew three nightgowns for my nieces (!) by Christmas, so we'll see...