The Rest of the Weekend

Jennifer just headed home to Frederick, Deepika is at the airport set for Boston and Cindy is at the train station for her ride to North Carolina. It was wonderful having them all here and I thought I would share a few more photos in this post.
Apparently I need a laptop, because I was the only one without! But, Deepika and I were just as bad with our crackberries.

I mentioned the aquarium right? I haven’t been to the Baltimore (or is it National?) Aquarium since the summer before my freshman year of high school!

The dolphin show was wonderful and as I mentioned, Deepika insisted on sitting in the splash zone.

We also cracked ourselves up trying on the dolphin masks in the gift shop.

This morning we grabbed some breakfast at our Farmer’s Market and headed to the Baltimore Museum of Art. For me, the highlight was seeing an orginal Mondrain, which influenced the infamous Yves St. Laurent dress.

“Yves Saint Laurent: ‘Mondrian’ day dress (C.I.69.23)”. In Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2006)

There is also a terrific exhibit on African patterns in art and textile there. Below are the stamps used in the Congo to create prints on fabric.

And what did I get over the weekend? Very little. Some pink pima from G Street for a shirt. The other two prints are for handkerchiefs.

The poly stretch charmeuse below is for my formal! I didn’t forget about the poll. I just needed to sort out what colors. The brown is for the bottom and the blue is for the neckline. Although now that the pattern is in front of me, I *think* I may make the Butterick. The colors I chose may work better for it. We’ll see. Fabrics below are from A Fabric Place in Baltimore.

The silk below is for a BWOF blouse I’ve wanted to make since 2004!

Whew. I’m now going to curl up with the latest US Weekly. Also, this month Deepika has a story in Threads about sari fabrics. I can’t wait to get my hand s on it. Oh! She brought some FABULOUS fabric for me from India. But, I need to photograph it. I’ll do so after I get lost in some mindless celebrity gossip.

I’m a hostess

For the second time in five years, I’m actually *hosting* people at my house! Hence, the radio silence this past week while I’ve excavated the house so it is habitable.

** I see the photos are a little to wide for this Blogger template and I’m too tired to reconfigure. So, here’s the slideshow!

Deepika, Cindy and Jennifer (PR Moderators) all came in to Baltimore on Friday and we’ve been running around and having fun every since! Unfortunately, Carolyn and Sharron weren’t able to make it. :(

Friday we went to the National Aquarium.

Going up to the Australia exhibit at the Aquarium (don’t miss it) after the Dolphin Show. Deepika insisted on sitting in the ‘splash’ zone.

Today we started at A Fabric Place in the Mt. Washington neighborhood of Baltimore where we met up with over 20 other members.

Lori was in the area from California and came by!

Karen and Kisha (below) carpooled from Philly. Karen is also now in possession of all of my Patrones. Just on loan!!

I told myself there was NO WAY I could buy this $30 a yard border silk. Despite it being dropped from $89 a yard. Despite me looking at it every time I go in for the past year. I wanted three yards for a cap sleeve shirt dress. But, I resisted. It was hard. It’s still hard, lol. Maybe I should delete this photo from the blog. Sigh. I *really* want this fabric.

I do rather like this silk twill below. What great lining it would be!

Barrie and I bought the same silk!

HUGE thanks to Michael and his nephew for hosting us at A Fabric Place!

Karen (left) and Deepika

One of our local reporters is also on PR!

From there, we went to lunch at Dogwood Deli in the Hampden neighborhood with the PR girls.

After that, we trouped about an hour to G Street Fabrics in Rockville (30 percent off sale!) where I also showed enormous fabric restraint but bought more swimwear elastic than I may need in a lifetime. We also saw a few more PR members who had the same idea (and extra 25 percent off coupons!)

An amazing quilt hanging at G Street

I did buy about five yards total of fabric, but I’ll post that later. It’s about 2:00 a.m. and I have got to get some sleep! Deepika gave us henna tattoos in Hindi and mine is about dry! Will show that tomorrow too.

A Clown’s Muslin

That, my friends, is how Marji described my two-tone coat muslin after I e-mailed her a photo. How, you may ask, did I end up with a muslin that’s two colors, too small and with seam allowances that don’t know if they want to be in or out?

Well, Saturday night I slept with my front door open waiting for the paint to dry. The security door was locked and the alarm was on. But, I had trouble sleeping. So, when I woke up around 3:00 a.m., I decided to make a muslin.

This, is why you don’t sew at 3:00 a.m. The white stuff is pattern ease and the red is some twill from the stash. I couldn’t get the red muslin to work (because I was drunk with sleep) so I sewed up the actual pattern I traced off so I could double check my measurements and markings. Ummm, brilliant.

Oh, and those pants? Those are my gardening / painting overalls. I’ve had them for seven years.

Marji suggested I, “make it one color, mark the thing with a center seam she could see, and put on the skirt” so I would have something that she “could actually look at”. The email and follow up verbal reinforcement had me rolling. At any rate, I traced off the new size this morning before work and did a flat measure. The sizing is better. Hopefully I’ll get some time this week to actually cut and sew a new muslin.

I probably have lead poisoning

Gah. This was a lot of work! You try putting up an awning by yourself!

First you have to strip 60 years worth of paint. It took me two weekends because my hand and back were sore after last Saturday’s go at it. I stripped rather than sanded because the paint was flaking off. I also used an electric heat gun instead of chemical stripper. I’m 100 percent in love with the heat gun. This fall I’ll do all my window sills too.

As I was sweeping up the old paint, it occurred to me that it was probably lead paint. Oh well. At least I wasn’t eating it.

So, next year I’ll add window baskets to the house. Joanns actually has some nice ones that will work. Maybe end of season clearance.

Now, I just have to put some order to the inside of the house.


Glasses and the Internet

There is a very interetsing piece in today’s New York Times about the ‘all black’ issue of Italian Vogue. I promise you I will be first in line at my local bookstore to purchase. It just kind of shows that the world is watching what’s happening in the US presidential election.

Today, I ordered new glasses. From Hong Kong. Trena totally turned me on to this website where you order glasses from overseas. Optical4less lets you try them on virtually.

At $29 a pair and free shipping, it was still several hundred less than I paid for one pair three years go.

Now, I just have to wait it out two weeks!

P.S. I usually wear contacts all the time. But, have spent the last six months squinting at everything from cans of Mountain Dew to street signs on the corner. I just don’t see as well out of them as I do my glasses. So, why not get some specs that can be changed to match my outfits, right?

Mid Course Correction

I’ve decided to make a different coat for the Coat Sew Along. Why? Well, I’m short the fabric I need to make the full-length trench I had my heart set on and I decided to find a pattern with raglan sleeves since the fabric might be difficult to ease.
Burda Easy Fashion Magazine, Fall 2007/ Winter 2008 edition (sold out from GLP News, but maybe available through GCNEws?
I’m going to make this coat #1F. I’m going to extend the sleeves to full-length. The origami trim will be the reverse of the fabric so I can show off the stripes. Easy Fashion is only available in German and Russian from GLP News. But, I am sure I can sort this out (I have the German edition).

I should get cracking on that muslin soon, hunh?

I also made a muslin of swim shorts today from a 2005 Patrones (July-August #234). It took 5 minutes to trace and 5 minutes to construct on my serger. Attaching the elastic on my zig-zag maybe took 20. I had no idea swim shorts were so easy. It’s just ONE pattern piece! There is *no* side seam!

I’ve always wanted to wear swim shorts, but they never seemed to have enough coverage over the cheeks and always seemed so tight around the thigh (think sausage in casing). There is some wrinkling in the crotch (believe me, the direction of the stripes down there were unintentional) that I wouldn’t mind eliminating. But, I’m not sure the cause.

These were made using some sweatshirt fabric I had laying around.

  • I added 1/2 inch to the length of the leg and two inches to the center back seam to accommodate for my full seat
  • Removed one inch from the center front so they would sit a little lower on the waist
  • I traced the largest size, a 48.

I don’t know that these are the MOST flattering for my body type. But, I love the coverage, the no-ride factor and the sporty feel. I’ll work on a muslin for a top soon.

My water is back on! But, I’m still stripping paint from the front door. Maybe painting by next weekend.


Tonight I pre-treated my rain coat fabric. First, I washed the tan I purchased from Denver Fabrics to keep in the stash for a future project. The instructions say the stuff is machine washable. Cold water, gentle cycle, delicate dry. Lovely.
Then I put in my four yards of red from Michael’s and the additional two from Denver Fabrics (I needed the extra to make my trench). Again, the Michael’s fabric washed up lovely. But, the Denver red??

It separated into two different layers before it made it to the dryer (that’s the inside layer you’re seeing). I am so pissed off.

And they are sold out of the red on the website.

And were closed when I called to scream bloody murder. So, I had to settle for an irate email telling them I had a defective cut.

I guess my coat will have to be shorter than I want or I’m going to have to thread baste / underline these two yards together to make it work.

In case you were wondering what makes it waterproof — there is a layer of plastic something or the other sandwiched between.

I am going to do something else now so I can stop thinking about this.

But, let the record show: I AM PISSED. And someone (that would be YOU Denver Fabrics) owes me $15.50 + S&H.

A *great* find

I have no idea when I’m going to get back to my sewing machine. My NYC plans this weekend are busted (just too much going on and have to get the plumbing done Saturday), and I owe Trena a visit Sunday afternoon.

So, in the meantime, this will be a ‘wishful sewing’ and ‘home improvement’ blog.
Below is a photo of part of my front door. It’s pretty much weathered and cracked like this all over. I’ve needed to take care of it for the past two years. But, you know. There was sewing to be done instead.

And a big THANKS to Carol Trendall.  She pointed out in yesterday’s comments that the brown heart swimwear I picked up from Spandex House for $8 carries the Roxy logo. 

$48 bikini top from

The Miracle of Photoshop and the Kindess of Others

Click to enlarge

Dude. Debbie Cook is awesome. She photoshopped different colors for the front door. Hunh, just noticed that she also added my awning, lol.

I should point out that the windows and doors are covered in siding. So white they will stay. I also have two rectangular flower boxes in the same yellow as the porch furniture. I’d like to do some shade plants in those.

How I wish for the window boxes of flowers that I used to see as a kid in Germany! Might make the lovely window unit less obvious.

So far I love the bright lemon on top and deep gold on the bottom. Which is funny, because I thought the cobalt blue *would* be my favorite. I also like the inclusion of the West Indian blue on the bottom because a Tiffany blue had crossed my mind. I’m still letting it marinate before a final decision and will pick up paint tomorrow after work.

Overall, your opinions were awesome becuase ALL were colos were colors I wouldn’t have even considered! I was at a total loss.

What color should I paint my front door?

While I love clothes, color, fashion, etc. my strength is in matching fabric to pattern. I’m not confident at home decor and matching colors. So, I turn to you my friends and ask: What color should I paint my front door?

My porch furniture is pale yellow and white.

My awning (which goes up this weekend) is white with green and purple/violet stripes.

I do have a white security door though (the metal thing on the door).

The only colors I don’t want are forest/dark green or dark red. And the mailbox (hauled all the way from Italy) and street # sign could be painted to match I think. Other than the green / red bit, I’m open to suggestions / ideas.

I might love me some Spandex House. I swim three times a week and go through swimsuits like shampoo. While I found a decent outlet where I can get them for about $30 a pair incl. shipping, it’s still kind of pricey when you think that it’s about one yard of fabric for a suit. It’s also been a crap shoot on how they will fit (cover) my rear. Plus, I’m pitching suits every couple of months.

So, I ordered a couple from Spandex House before lunch and they were waiting at the house the next day. They had a ZILLION to choose from on their site. I picked two for muslins and two to make suits from. I do realize you see a flag. But, don’t think of it as a flag. Think of it as my Wonder Woman Underroos from the early 80s. I see that there is now an adult version. But, maybe I’ll live out my inner Olympian in the muslin phase.