I actually used my sewing machine

I’m really falling apart over here🙂 I can’t find the charger to my camera. Quite frankly. I can’t find my camera. So, my first trip to the sewing machine in a month is chronicled with a camera phone picture of garment on the table. Better than the floor, eh?

I generally don’t wear standard issue, boxy tee shirts. I don’t look good in them since my best feature is my waist to hip ratio. And, I get a LOT of tee shirts. I’m not comfortable sleeping in them and I don’t love them for the gym (when I go).  For a while I just started turning them down. For a bit I thought about a tee shirt quilt for all the sorority and work shirts. But, after this — I’m just gonna refashion them.

I had this BWOF tee traced out for about a year. It took me less than an hour from start to finish to make this. To be fair, I didn’t iron/press, I didn’t make a seam allowance and I whipped it up on the serger — with brown thread. Hey, what can I say. It’s 10 at night and I have to be at said festival at 7:00 a.m. all day for two days.

I specifically asked for an extra large shirt and managed to cut the front, back and sleeves from it. But, I had to take an old (and I mean at least five years old) red Volvo Ocean Cup staff tee shirt for the waist, collar and sleeve bands. I’ll try to get a photo in it tomorrow🙂

Wanna see some fun photos? Check my friend’s photography blog for baseball pictures (scroll down to the end of the post). Did I mention Japan beat us 17 to 1. Brutal.

You’ll Always Be BWTF to Me

We‘re making some changes! Beginning with our August issue, burda World of Fashion will be called burda style. We have modernized our image, but you‘ll still find the selection of stylish fashions to sew yourself that you expect from Burda. (emphasis mine)

— July 2009 Burda e-newsletter

Of course. Calling Burda BS also kind of makes sense sometimes too.


Super Busy

Sewing is great, but, it doesn’t currently pay the bills. I’m not sewing and honestly probably won’t until September. Right now, I am coordinating a week-long baseball camp between Baltimore and Kawasaki, Japan.

The boys are all 15 and very nice.  Baltimore lost the first game, but our second game is Tuesday and we weren’t slaughtered Sunday — so, I have high hopes. Even better, my counterpart in Japan and I have developed such a great relationship, that all the gifts from the Japanese delegation are sewing related!

First this silk from the delegation

This piece is from the interpreter

And this?? Well, this my friends is from my counterpart in Kawasaki! She was in Tokyo and picked up a tape measure and pattern tracing wheel for me (I have the duller marking wheel but the red Clover pattern tracing wheel is new to me!).

Funny from the weekend?

That’s $500 worth of Rogaine on the floor of my car. It’s apparently hard to find and expensive in Japan. I was asked if I could buy some and handed  six $100 bills. After choking out a ‘yes’, I hit four stores to find about 10 boxes. Which, considering I have an entire collection of red Clover tools from my sewing friends like Ginevra and just asked Melissa to buy me BarryM nail polish, I’m not complaining at all!

Book Review: 500 Quick and Easy Decorating Projects and Ideas

Country Living 500 Quick & Easy Decorating Projects & Ideas

This book was a delightful and generous gift from LindsayT who picked up on my love of the now defunct Cottage Living and Domino Magazine. I’ve always called my personal decorating style Urban Cottage and this book will easily help develop it. Country Living is also where my favorite bake-at-home cake recipe is from.

Despite being a total city girl, I’m in love with cottage / country decor. What I love about the country / cottage looks is the extreme use of fabric. What appeals to me about this book is that the aren’t trying to tell you that you can do anything when you can’t. Rather, they just want to show you the possibilities. This is not a book of how-tos, but rather photos with short descriptions of the how the color, fabric, flowers, etc. work for that room.

There is minimum text and beautiful photos straight from the pages of Country Living magazine. It covers Entries and Hallways, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Living Rooms, Dining Rooms, family and Great Rooms, Bedrooms, Kids’ Rooms, Home Offices, Small Rooms, Laundry Rooms, Porches and Outdoor Spaces, and Seasonal Decorating. But, some of the sections like Outdoor Spaces are all of two pages long.

What it will also do is make me crave:

Pink kitchens. Seriously. I think I petted this page.

More quilts and a long banister. I love the use of quilts to decorate.

Lots of layers, white and frills. If I made my bed, this would be so pretty.

and a pink typewriter. Which has nothing to do with this book. I just want a pink typewriter. Bad.

Another Ghana Print in the Mix

Well, I spoke too soon. Last summer when the PR Mods came to Baltimore for a visit, I gifted another piece of Ghana print to Pyrose. I wasn’t sure what to do with it and she had admired my maxi dress. Well, she really made it in to something and posted it yesterday!

Trying not to be mad I gave it away because I think she really used an amazing pattern. Of course, it’s a Burda🙂

Book Review: Fitting and Pattern Alteration (A Multi-Method Approach)

Fitting & Pattern Alteration: A Multi-Method Approach Fitting & Pattern Alteration: A Multi-Method Approach by Elizabeth L. Liechty

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

‘A swayed back will be evident by the forward tilt of the pelvis; a prominent abdomen and protruding buttocks. … Other probable figure variations include shortened upper back length in between waist and hip, and an increased length of the buttocks to crotch’ — pg. 38

So, I read this standing in Christina’s computer room when visiting her in Seattle and was sold immediately. Right there in front of me for the first time, in one place, was a description of the. very. pattern. alteration. I needed to make. Remember my final project dress and how I shortened the back by about three inches out of the back? Every pants that dipped at the back waist because my crotch line wasn’t long enough? It’s because of my swayback! I put an alert on Half.com and the book was mine for under $20 in less than one month.

I am figure 3-8 and getting the shoulders of figure 3-7!

All I can tell you is that this is the most thorough book on fitting I have ever come across. I like that they acknowledge there is more than one way to solve a problem and give you at least three different methods to do so.

In addition to the multi-method approach, they show an alteration on several garments. So, if you have a swayback, they show you on pants, they show you on a blouse and they show you on a skirt the ways to fix it.  I also like that there is a discussion on what your body is doing to make the garment hang or fall the way that you don’t want.

*All* my pants do this

Oh, and I also so clearly have large thighs on the inside. Kind of excited about trying this alteration!

Excellent resource. It’s possibly too complicated for those who haven’t tried simpler adjustments first.

Book Review and Fabric Giveaway: Material Obsession (Modern Quilts with Traditional Roots)

Material Obsession: Modern Quilts with Traditional Roots Material Obsession: Modern Quilts with Traditional Roots by Kathy Doughty

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I first found this book on Kathleen’s “Little Hunting Creek’ blog. Then I saw it written up in the Spring 2009 Stitch magazine. With two ringing endorsements, I made the purchase. And, considering I rarely buy sewing books full price and haven’t bought a quilting book in aeons, that’s saying a lot.

What a pleasure this book was to both read and thumb through! I primarily sew clothing, but I have always loved quilts. This book, in my mind, marries them both. The quilts are arranged from easiest to hardest and use the most extraordinary contemporary fabrics. Using these fun fabrics, the quilts don’t look like what your grandmother would make or what you see in most homes. Instead, you have dresden plates with graphic prints and applique with modern figures. I would recommend this book to someone with much experience or very little. The book will serve you well as your skill set grows.

In addition to great patterns, they have an always useful ‘how to’ at the back. So, it also makes a great reference book for the shelves.

I ordered my copy from Little Hunting Creek. Between her great customer service and being just one state over, I was curled up in bed reading this one less than 48 hours after hitting ‘send payment’.


I’m sure you’re now super inspired to give quilting a whirl, right? If so, check out this fabric giveway on FabricWorm’s blog. She’s opened her first retail store and is celebrating the one year anniversary of the online shop.  She’s giving away three fabric prizes!

  • 1st Prize: 1/2 Yard Set of Patty Young’s Mezzanine Collection (15 prints total, 2 of the prints have not arrived yet)
  • 2nd Prize: A Collection of Holiday Fat Quarters, including Michael Miller’s Funky Christmas and the New Alexander Henry Christmas prints (17 Fat Quarters in all)
  • 3rd Place: A large selection of Heather Ross Mendocino Scraps, (4 Yards by weight)

So, go to her blog to enter to win. Make sure you t ell her I sent you🙂 And, with the money you saved in the win, you can order this book!