Saturday, April 30, 2011

Salt and Pepper Collection

I have been collecting salt and pepper shakers for quite a few years now. I don't buy every pair I see; I try to only buy ones that I really like. At some point, I will get rid of some. I find my attachment fades over time with some. 

The chefs came from garage sales, the cacti were a gift, the metal strawberries were from an antique mall and the dogs and cats came from ebay. 
 The blue dogs were from ebay, the girl and boy were a gift, the pumpkin/peppers came from the antique mall and the rest were from garage sales.
 The roosters in the back are my favorites, which are from an antique shop. My mom gave me the other roosters.
 The seals are from the antique mall. The porcelain ball is from my trip to Istanbul. I really just tried to write Constantinople. Hmm, too much world history.
 My mom gave me the cook and chef and the roosters. I don't know which roosters she gave me it seems. Oops! The jugs are from a garage sale, as are the cast iron birds. The little tribal people are from the antique mall, too.
They are a bit of clutter, but I thought I would share since they had just been dusted! I can't let myself collect too many things because then I will gradually become a hoarder! Sewing is a better hobby than just collecting things. Even if I do accumulate a ton of patterns, at least I am using them and making things rather than just collecting dust.

Would anyone like to share their collection? I'm sure everyone has something they collect...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Giant Asparagus

 While we were in Florida, my asparagus plant grew one enormous stalk. It's that spindly piece trying to grow over the railing.
 I shared it with T-Rex, who also likes asparagus. FYI, that hideous sofa is getting left behind when we move! Not worth the gas or effort!
This was from a Zephyr's baseball game a few weeks ago; I cherish any picture of both of us where we look normal. Also, RIP those sunglasses. I wore them into the ocean and then got hit by a wave and they were LOST! Second year in a row! 
I am not sewing, it was too windy and now we have guests. Instead, I am painting my table and four chairs. More on that later!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fun at the Museum

Stephanie reminded me that I never posted the highlights of the Cabildo trip. It's all Louisiana history and we took some funny pictures. 

Meet Sir No-Neck. 
 We marveled at the tiny military uniforms. They were so tiny!

 To give you an idea of the size... probably a women's size 0-2 now.
 This was from the room about all the terrible ways to die in New Orleans in the 1800s. I am replicating the statue's awesome expression.
 I swear, this exhibit was designed for people to pose like this! It's about 3 feet off the ground, with a spot in the middle for your head... how can we resist?

 My personal favorite, the Baroness de Pontalba, who really looks like a man in a dress. Stephanie said "I would have had the painter leave out the mustache..."
 So historical clothing: woman, child, man.
 This dress was very intricate and awesome.
 It's a suit, with the jacket and the fancy skirt. The skirt has shirring and the draping on the front, as well as a trim of pleats all around the bottom.
 Operating a printing press...
 To end, this is the creepiest monk ever, with a truly evil glare on his wizened old face. He is the giant portrait that greets you as you enter!
We just got back from five days at the beach, so I really haven't made anything interesting recently. I am going to work on my Ceylon dress, and I have the rest of the week off for Spring Break. I will mix that up with the fun of job hunting, whooo hooo! Ick.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Interesting Story and a New Project



My brother bought me this pattern for my birthday, the Colette Ceylon. I decided to make it out of this pink and off white striped polyester chiffon like fabric. Or something semi-sheer. I am going to underline it in off-white lining, which is on the bottom. I don't have the buttons yet, but it should be cute. I am slightly worried about the proportions, though. It seems to think my waist should be one inch smaller (and I agree!), but my boobs and hips should be two inches bigger. Hmm. Plus, I am a zero, which worries me. Then I can't cut out a smaller one if the shoulders are too big. We shall see.
 At the garage sale on Saturday, the one-eyed cat Uno  was hanging around all day. A woman came by and bought a bunch of books and was petting the cat. She started talking about how she works at an animal rescue and a few years ago they had taken in a cat that looked so much like this one. I said he wasn't mine, and he belongs to the girl across the street. She said the cat had had a terrible eye infection and they had done surgery. I told her the girl was home and where she lived, if she wanted to ask her. It turned out it was the same cat! What a small world! The only sad part was the rescue woman said the girl had promised to keep it inside when she adopted it, which she clearly does not. The girl came over to talk later and said the cat's name is Gossip because she used to meow all the time when she was an inside cat. The rescue woman called it "Wink," which is by far the best name!

This is Snickers (who recently had a buzzed belly, so I'm thinking someone fixed it) on the left and Uno on the right having a grumble. First time uploading a video, so humour me! Too bad it is all sideways and I sound like a Valley Girl. Live and learn!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New blogs to read and an award

I have received this award a few times, and I just never get around to doing it.
Let's see...seven things you don't know about me...
1. I have traveled all over the US and Europe, but have never been to Canada or Mexico.
2. I hate rosemary- the smell and the taste.
3. I have a very large head for someone so small.
4. In 8th grade, I stopped growing- 5 ft 0
5. I am slowly overcoming my fear of cockroaches. It has taken me 8 years, but now I can go to sleep if I fail to smash one to death. Before, I would lie awake at night wondering where it was hiding. On the ceiling? Right over my face? Did my hair just move? What is that spot on the ceiling? (turn on light, find glasses, realize it is a shadow)
6. If I could be an animal, I would be a red fox.
7. I used to take ceramics classes and I loved it. I wish I had the money and the time to take more!

I feel like every single person in the blog world has gotten this, but if you haven't, add you name in the comments and I will link to you. I was nominated by Lisette and Rebecca!

Here are some new blogs I just started reading:
Heather at Sewing on Pins

Those are all the good recent finds, though I may have left a few out! Leave me some links in the comments if you know some other new, fun blogs!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Green Vogue dress pictures!

On Sunday, Stephanie and I biked into the French Quarter to go to the Cabildo, which has a museum about Louisiana History. I'll post our funny pictures from the museum later this week, since there were also some excellent clothes from the 1800s on display.

I biked in this dress, although the skirt is a bit short for that. It was also the Iron Man race, so we watched people cross the finish line by Jackson Square. They biked 56 miles and ran 13, although the swim in Lake Ponchartrain was cancelled. It was pretty impressive!
Now, at first when I tried on the dress, Vogue 1207, I was shocked at how much it wanted to fall off the shoulders. The picture on the envelope does not look like that! Then I looked again.
Oh, I see, her hand is conveniently on her hip. And I can make the back look like that, but the neckline gets all bunched up. Maybe I am just too short for the pattern.
It's nice for summer. It's rayon challis again and is very lightweight.
Other than being able to see a bit too much of the top of the zipper, the back looks like the envelope. I followed the directions exactly for once, since the pattern pieces were unusual. It also has pockets, which is always nice!

I think I might make my Collette Patterns Ceylon next. I'm not sure. I have quite a few patterns and too much fabric on hand right now. Too much for me, anyways. Probably five pieces for different projects. I will NOT become a hoarder and I will NOT have a stash of fabric!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Two New Dresses!

Sale pattern from Vogue for 3.99. V1207. I cut an 8, which fits.
It fits me better than the dummy. It's made for no bra, as the sleeve fall a little off the shoulder and it has a deep V back.
Fabric is my fave, rayon challis from Hancock on sale! The sleeves are pretty awesome. I tacked them on the machine. I would say this is definitely not a beginner pattern. The website says "Average" which is the third most difficult. The pattern pieces are interestingly shaped. It is lined with the same fabric.
Numero dos:
I made view B, a tunic shirt. It looks like a dress on me, and I didn't even lengthen it!
We're going to the beach in Florida next week, so I see this as a super casual summer dress/ beach dress.
Hopefully, I will take better pictures this weekend. I'm having a garage sale on Sat to get rid of a ton of stuff!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Exciting News!

Andrew has accepted a job offer in Chicago and we will be moving in June! I am starting my job hunt now, and it's both exciting and scary. We have lived in New Orleans for almost nine (9!!!) years and I know I will miss the city. Chicago can be a new phase in our lives and will definitely provide both of us will greater career opportunities! I lived in Chicago briefly after Hurricane Katrina because my college was closed for a semester so I know a tiny bit about the city and Andrew has visited, too.

Any fun facts about Chicago, or does anyone want to offer me a job teaching high school history or geography?

I'm excited!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Military Style Dress FINISHED! w/pics

I finally finished this monster! I started this in January, inspired by this picture here. It was a coat, but I wanted to make a winter dress. I bought some olive green peach skin from Vogue Fabrics online.

I drafted my own pattern, which took some time. Due to the fabric's vague and wild stretch, I also had to do a lot of refitting as I constructed it.

We took pictures at Metairie Cemetery, which I drive by every day on my way to work, but we had never gone. It is full of very elaborate French/New Orleans style above ground tombs, which are always interesting. As someone who likes history, I like looking at the dates and names, too. Tomorrow we are going to bike around it and take more pictures. I cut this short due to the 90 degree weather!
It looks a little more brown in the sun than it really is.
The bodice and back are fitted with princess seams- two on each side on the front, one on each side on the back.The skirt has darts in the back and pleats in the front. It is double breasted with ten buttons and the bands are chocolate brown velvet ribbon. I did a double row of stitching on the machine for the hem on the skirt and sleeves. I used brown thread for contrast, since I knew it would be noticeable. So now it looks intentional.
The skirt has a nice, soft shape that balances out the top, I think. This is my favorite tomb: Lacosst born 1854 in Haut Gasconne, France; died 1913 New Orleans.
The back is pretty sleek.
My military compatriots for my photos.
The band breaks up the back and gives it a little detail. Actually, I added it because the skirt stretched as I sewed it to the bodice, making all of the pleats out of line with the seams on the bodice. That made me furious because I had spent a lot of time lining them up just so.

Overall, I am pleased with it. Unfortunately, I finished it just in time for the hot weather, so it won't see any use until the fall!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sewing Club Prototype Bag

We are making a messenger bag at sewing club, and I have never made a bag from a pattern before. I decided to make a prototype, which was a good idea because we were definitely missing a pattern piece. The one for the bag bottom.

The pattern and all of our fabric that we used was from the free stuff from freecycle.org that I collected last summer. It is great because I can use all of our bake sale money to get other things we need. I just bought an iron and some big, sharp scissors. I know that seems ridiculous that it took me so long, but I hate going to Walmart and I put it off until I have a list of at least 5 things I can't get cheaper elsewhere.
One of the (two) girls there said, "Wouldn't it be cool if we could make a reversible bag?" I said, "Yeah, but that would be too hard for us right now!" Then I finished making it and realized that since it is fully lined, it is reversible. Duh!
This is the "outside" to me, and also make sup both sides of the flap. It's a really cute 50s style print.
This is the "inside," which has pockets (to hold my precious baby phone).
The inside back, which also has a big pocket. I wouldn't say the prints "match," but they are in the same color family and are both pastel shades.
Anyways, it was really easy to make. It was the first "real" bag I have made! I need to make more and get better at it so that I could make myself a big leather purse/bag instead of paying a hundred bucks for one! (Which I will never do!)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Vogue 1102 pattern thoughts

I have been getting really lazy about posting pattern tips and thoughts lately and just posting pictures. Here are my thoughts on this pattern.

1. It was very quick and easy to make, especially with separate pieces for interfacing.

2. I shortened it about 4 inches and it still hits mid-knee. Granted, I am 5 feet tall, but for a summer dress I would like it to be shorter.

3. The ties are meant to just be hemmed, but I never like how that looks. I cut doubles and turned them inside out.

4. If you are short, you could probably buy a lot less fabric than it suggests. It suggests 4 yards, and I bought three. Since I shortened the pieces, I cut them on the fold because they fit, and I was left with an extra 3/4 of a yard or so.

5. The armholes are somewhat high, at least on me. I was definitely sweating on the dress itself in the front. That's part of the reason I have decided this is not the dress for the red silk.

6. It had good instructions for the narrow hem. I usually botch that, since I don't always read the directions. It says to stitch a line 1/2 inch in, then fold and press just inside of the stitching so that it is not visible. Then, sew it down and clip the excess. Maybe this is obvious to everyone else, but it was news to me and it worked very well.

That's all I can think of right now. I really like the drape of the circle skirt. I need to make more of those and quit with the dirndl skirts. Much more flattering!

Has anyone else made this and have any tips on the pattern, or making a narrow hem?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Parade and a Summer Skirt


I know it's not summer yet, but it was so hot! Bathing myself in sunscreen and sweating like apig make it feel like summer!

The Vogue pattern called for five yards of fabric, so I bought four. I always end up shortening things so much, that that is my standard deal. Then, I made the dress, and because I shortened the skirt so much, I could still cut it folded. I would imagine every normal sized person would need to open up the fabric and cut them singly. So, I was left with about a yard left over too!

Thus, I made a skirt. Randomly pleated, hemmed on the machine, with a skinny waistband with a little interfacing, and a handpicked vintage metal zipper I dug out of sewing table. So let's pretend this skirt cost nothing!

We all went to the Irish-Italian-Islenos parade today and had fun. I caught some excellent loot!

Hats were courtesy of Stephanie, since we were not prepared, or even wearing green.
An excellent, light-weight summer skirt.
My best loot. I got the umbrella by jumping up and down and shouting, similar to the t-shirt, except I added shirt gestures and yelled "t-shirt!" One of my students was riding in the parade, which is how I got the stuffed animal. I said "Hey! Hey! Give your teachers some beads!" Then we got stuffed animals instead.

Look at this doozy of a shirt! It's hilarious, but too embarrassing to ever wear outside.
Well, this week is standardized testing review week, so I am already prepared and have no extra school work, so hopefully I will make a thing or two to photograph on the weekend!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Vogue Summer Dress

I bought this pattern and fabric at Hancock last weekend on sale, since there is no way I would pay $30 for a pattern. I really liked the back detail and thought that I would maybe make up my red silk in this pattern.
I made it out of rayon challis, which is quite nice for the 70-80 degree spring in New Orleans. We went to French Quarter and took pictures in Jackson Square.
I shortened the skirt 4-5 inches, but I did not take into consideration the narrow hem for a circle skirt. It is too long for my taste, especially for a summer dress. It is very comfortable, though!
It has a slightly raised waist, but not quite empire-waisted. I think I need more waist definition. I did see a pregnant woman wearing a romper, which made me shudder.
The back is really pretty and I hand-picked the zipper like usual. We were going to go to the horse races, but apparently racing season is over! I was convinced it went Thanksgiving to Easter every year, and now I am sad.
So, while I will not be making this out of beautiful red silk, it is certainly a nice summer dress that will get a lot of use!

Any thoughts for a beautiful pattern for 3 yards of red silk?