Anyone in Cleveland?

Well, Youngstown, OH to be exact. I’m visiting my middle school BFF this upcoming weekend and I’ve begged for stops at the Rock and Roll Hall or Fame and the West Side Market.  If you’re in the Youngstown area and have any suggestions for fabric shopping (not that I’m buying but I’m always curious) or other such craft endeavors in the area, please let me know!

I’ve been absentee :(  Work has been all-consuming.  I didn’t have heat in my house for over a week and slept at friends’ . The alley behind my house was too icy for the oil delivery truck and about four feet of snow and ice were covering the delivery spout. There has also been no satellite TV for the last three weeks since the ice filled gutter pulled down my power line and my satellite dish. I do have power now after calling BGE TWICE, but DirecTV can just suck it.  I have about $2,000 worth of damage to the house from the snow and ice. And, again, work is all-consuming and dicey.  Ahh, the life of a spoiled American :-) No TV! No heat! Busy at work! LOL.

Oh, one last thing. Are any of you in a community with Meijer??  Because.. *cough* they sell nail polish that I can’t find here :) I thought I would do it in Youngstown — but they don’t have one. Mission accomplished!! TY

And, I have not forgotten about the trench. It is drafted and partially muslined. But, with no heat… I couldn’t take sewing in my basement. Brrrr. I *think* it’s coming along well. It’s going to be a fit issue right now. I *think*. It’s slow sewing. But, I don’t plan on finishing it until mid April.

For Ohio or Meijer, you can e-mail me at miss celies pants at gmail dot com. THANKS!

What does a grown woman wear to ballet class?

Thank you for all the suggestions for my office bake sale!  My co-worker and I are still going through the recipes to figure out what we can make — and make well for Friday. I will definitely keep you posted! But, pretty celophane, ribbon and tags have all been ordered.

Are you ready to be a part of my online therapy session? LOL.  Growing up, I very begrudgingly took 12 years of piano lessons when all I really wanted to do was dance, sew, take pictures and do theater. I can now play Sweet Hour of Prayer from memory. And if VERY hard pressed can play for song service at church if there aren’t more than two flats or sharps. That’s about it. I showed little-to-no promise in that arena and my parents finally let me quit my freshman year of high school.


But, I’ve always wanted to dance. I’ll devour every bad movie about dance. It started with Dirty Dancing as a kid and continued with Centerstage, Step it Up (1 and 2), The Way She Move– you tell me there’s dancing and I’ll see it. I almost put my back out last year showing off  the Single Ladies dance.

So, last Saturday I started an adult ballet class. Partly because I stopped working out this year and it shows. But, mostly because I wanna DANCE (insert jazz hands)!  It’s my second week and I lurv it! I feel like I’m finally doing something I’ve always wanted to do for myself.

My  biggest dilema going in was what in the world was I going to wear? The London Ballet-trained instructor insisted on a leotard and strongly suggested pink tights. After consulting with Leslie (she of the amazing ballet legs), she reminded me that nothing shows cellulite more than pink tights and I promptly bought the black ones! I also had to cover my rear end which cannot be constrained by a leotard. I didn’t have time to whip up a skirt. But, H&M’s tiered tutu to the rescue. And so to answer the question of what does a 30 something wear to ballet class… Voila:

Yes. I’m clearly rocking the drunkface. But, I was on the phone when my friend snapped it for me. Then, the room filled with lithe 15-year-olds and I wasn’t going to take my photo again in front of them and their gazelle-like legs and skinny thighs.

When I signed up for the class, the instructor asked me what my goals were. Others in the class said ‘to go on point’ or ‘to perform in a recital’. I told her blunty, ‘I want dancer’s legs.’ He reply, ‘That’s going to be up to you’. So, I’m registered through December with the next session starting in January.  I’ve now got the Jalie pattern for leotard and skirt in my cart on I’ll probably do one with sleeves next time as I feel a little swimsuity in this. But, trust. There’s always going to be a fun tutu on the bottom. I swear half the fun of this class is coming up with the outfits!

Ahhh, and I haven’t been keeping up with my nail polish photos. The weather’s crappy and I like to take pictures outside. But, I’ll throw this one out. It’s China Glaze Cords with China Glaze Techno layered on top. Both can be found at

And so you understand the glittery goodness, here it is blurred:

Ok. Toodles for now. I’m meeting a friend for drinks this afternoon and need to clean, clean clean because Marji from Fiber Arts Afloat flies in tomorrow! Tres cool, right?  She’s visiting for a few days. The list of things I have for us her to work on is boundless. Sloper, pants fit, new measurement, SWAP. The mind truly reels.

Anna Maria Horner Winner!

Is Belinda, who said,

‘To me a purse is what a woman holds her money in, you carry your purse in your handbag and carry a bag to hold your shopping, books, luggage and other larger items. Although sometimes a ‘bag’ can be short for handbag. A man keeps his money in a wallet and carries a bag.”

Loved all the commentary. My mom even called to tell me what she called a purse growing up in Grenada and what she called it when she moved it NYC. And, it if wasn’t 6:00 in the morning, I might actually remember right now.

It’s fitting a pattern is going to Australia because I FINALLY got the last two seasons of the original Kath and Kim. Either I don’t get Sundance anymore or they didn’t pick up the last couple of seasons. Bummer. Last Friday at happy hour, I met an Australian woman who worked at the Police Department. She’s got every season on DVD and I have a new best friend. Now, if Project Runway Australia would come back, all my Aussie dreams would come true!


A Sinking Feeling

I might be too old for Anthropologie…

ETA: ** I’m not being nuerotic or fishing for compliments :). I work in a suit and tie every day (unless you’re wearing a dress) environment. And, I like pink, puffy sleeves, and loads-o-trim. So, I’m careful about dressing my age. Which for those who don’t know is over 20 but under 40. 

Specifically, these dresses. Not that I can afford their clothes. But, I do love them.  They have the best details and trims! Which I personally think justifies their cost. Not that I’m spending the money :)  I plan to do a lot of copying this summer. In particular, I think this Modern Gallica Skirt is a great step to a new cocktail outfit. I just have to get to the one near me and see if this is in yet. Gotta check the details!

We have Good Friday (tomorrow) off. It doesn’t make up for the days at a time I had off for Passover at my last job. But, it’ll do nicely. I plan (ha!) to get my Tudor on and start this blouse from the April 2007 BWOF. By “plan”, I mean consider sewing after thinking about it every 20 minutes. And by “start”, I mean roll out of bed and away from the DVDs and consider tracing and possibly cutting.

What are your coping strategies?

First, thanks for all the positive comments on my last two garments. The yellow maxi is on it’s way to Queens and the brown dress is in the closet. My mom called and asked me to wait to cut it until she could try it on. My mom is quite a bit smaller than me in the lower body. I mean, really, who loses weight in retirement from the Army? The colonel. That’s who.

I tried to look at the pattern again and I think the A-line chorus is right. Just adding to the thighs won’t cut it. And, you’re right.  I’d be a fool to wear Spanx in the summer. Also, lining with a knit.  I also just want to clarify. I think the dress looks fine. Just not my best.

Moment of therapy: I remember being in 3rd or 4th grade and a new Aunt came to visit and made several comments to me in front of my family about the size of my rear. I mean really, who tells a not-fat/ healthy kid in elementary school they have a big butt?  So, yes. I’m sensitive, but not neurotic about my figure. Of course, this does not stop me from putting down a Five Guys burger and fries.

The last few weeks I’ve had several conversations with my online friends about the number of sewing blogs and pattern reviews out there. I think it’s great we’ve taken our craft public! But, I’ve been asked and am asking how we’re managing. Here’s what I’ve figured out for myself:

1. I read a lot of blogs on my Blackberry on Google Reader. My company has outgoing links blocked, so it’s difficult for me to go to blogs and leave a comment. Plus, blogs are not PDA friendly so Reader is the way I go.

2. On PR, I tend to comment / read just the BWOF/ Patrones / Knip Mode reviews. They are what I sew the most of and are more likely to appeal to me. And, honestly, it’s impossible to read every single review and blog.

3. I am a comment ho. I love them. It lets you know you’re not talking to yourself. But, I realize that I don’t always respond. I apologize for that. I am not ungrateful. I love to hear from people. I used to spend an hour once a week combing through and trying to answer questions or respond to certain  comments. But, I’ve gotten lax the last month. Imma get better!

4. I don’t blog as much as I used to. But, I’ve stopped feeling bad about it. Blogging is my therapy, but it doesn’t pay my oil bill. One twice-a-week class is sucking up a lot of my free time. I’m also not as prolific a sewist as I was because I’m working longer hours to make up for time in class.

There have to be some time management specialists out there. Tell me, what are you doing to not feel overwhelmed with all the sewing information out there? Continual lurking? Trimming your blog roll? Reading only once a day or once a week? Posting less to your blog? Do tell!

Sewing Updates and Weekend Plans

Here’s a photoless post for you:

The errant Weekender zipper is on it’s way to me. It was in the ‘problem’ file with the company, but I had to call them to find out it was a ‘problem’.  My maxi dress is almost done.  It’s basted together and needs hemming. Two hours left on it max. I’ll start a blue version for a friend this week too.

But, not this weekend. My best friend from eighth grade is coming to visit this weekend with her three daughters. What’s remarkable, we haven’t seen each other in 20 years! We became friends in middle school when we both lived in Grafenwhoer, Germany. We’ve kept in touch through her annual Christmas letter. This year, I called after a two year hiaturs and learned her husband passed away earlier in the year and we figured it was as good as time as any for her to visit.

So, this weekend, I’m going to hang out like it’s 1989.

She’s driving down after work today with the girls and we’re all just going to hang out and catch up. Cool, right?

And, this afternoon, Trena is heading up from DC to we can stop by the American Craft Council show here in Baltimore.  I love most of the jewelry. I could take or leave the clothes (wearable art), but love love love the fiber arts. I forgot my camera today, but they never let you take photos anyway.

Kinda Kreativ

I’d like to thank  Ann, Linda, Cindy Lou, and Tanya for nominating me for a Kreativ Blogger award. But, I’m going to take the easy way out and point you to both Carolyn and Sigrid‘s posts. Many of the people I’m thinking of have already been nominated, and I’ve been a bit overwhelmed the last few weeks and have not gotten to explore the newer blogs out there. I hope that doesn’t sound cruddy because you have been very loyal readers and generous in your comments (like Carolyn, I too am a comment ho).

The one exception to my exploring new blogs is Toby Wollin’s Kitchen Counter Economics. Last night I read several great posts and immediately added it to my RSS feed. It’s good reading and if you’re short on time, I have to point you to this post and this post. I’ve been trying to clean up the house to post for a roommate. I want to reach that six month’s salary in the bank and it’s not going to happen without someone to share my expenses. I was feeling kind of… umm…. too old to have a roommate. But, her blog knocked that thought right out of my head.

I like to do drawrings….

Using the Random number Generator (and Trena as a witness):

List Randomizer

There were 19 items in your list. Here they are in random order, Reethi wins the pattern drawing!

  1. Reethi
  2. Sue
  3. Birgitte
  4. Claire
  5. Marie-Christine
  6. Heather
  7. Beth
  8. Paulette
  9. Angela
  10. Rachel
  11. Summerset
  12. Knitters
  13. Deborah
  14. Evie
  15. Kbenco
  16. Brooke
  17. MelissaB
  18. sara
  19. Gwen,

Timestamp: 2009-01-19 16:56:08 UTC

So, in deciding to make the 9-2007 BWOF pants, I decided I should make a jacket too. I realize I’ve been avoiding jackets the last 1.5 years because I want to incorporate more tailoring elements and am honestly just kind of  overwhelmed by the entire process.  So, I went and chose something I’ve made before:

BWOF Seersucker Jacket, May 2007

I popped this jacket on to check fit yesterday and found like 20 missing business cards from Egypt. I have searched HIGH and low for those cards. Why can’t my missing black knit fabric be in the pocket too??  At anyrate, I like this jacket. But, it’s unlined and has never had enough structure for me. This time I made a broad back adjustment (although in retrospect, I think I wanted to make a rounded back adjustment).

I’ve also drafted a pattern for a back stay and have cut out  a fusible weft to stabilize the front and shoulder area. I’ve cut them big lest they shrink on me during the fusing.

I’m at Trena’s now in DC although I’m not staying for the Innaguration on the Mall. She’s working on a coat and I’m tracing out Amy Butler bag patterns.  Tomorrow, I’m going to sew and watch the festivities on the telly.

Random Fashion Friday

So, I’m working on a second pair of BWOF pants (9-2007-115). This time, they’ll be in this gorgeous cheviot  wool I bought in Egypt in October. I’ve only just cut out the fashion fabric. I still need to cut the lining and, well, make them.

                                                                                                                 BWOF pantsCheviot

I bought this striped fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics on New Year’s Day to make this dress that Veronica Webb wore on the first episode of the Tim Gunn makeover show. There are two patterns (Vogue and New Look) — I own the New Look — that will work perfectly. It’ll be a great summer dress.

Veronica Webboqs2444

I have always loved this Lux Nappa Flight Bag from Calvin Klein “Calvin Klein’s Flight Bag is styled like a chic relic from the jet-set era. Though the shape is slightly retro-inspired, the gorgeous full-grained leather, subtle topstitch, and sparingly-applied hardware detailing have propelled this carry-all into the very fashionable here and now. ” It was featured in the now defunct Blueprint a year or two ago. By the time I got to Macy’s they only had a silverish and reddish version. I wanted the black, brown cream or purple.  I think I’m ready to try and find a similar shaped bag and make my own. Any suggestions on a pattern are welcome.




And, did you hear? President-Elect Obama is coming to Baltimore tomorrow! They’ve got streets shut down and are building viewing stands and bleachers. It’s also going to feel like 5 degrees below (-20 celsius). I’ll be watching it on TV.