Sunday, October 28, 2012

Vintage Butterick 3067 With a Little Thrift Thrown in for Good Measure


Is this not the most darling cowboy boot inspired shoe design you've ever seen?  $4.99!  I will get to that in a minute.

But first, several months ago I posted about a back-to-school pattern that I wanted to make.  Butterick 3067. I'm a little behind schedule as usual, but at least I got the blouse finished. 

I finally got the shirt completed.  It wasn't difficult, although I am glad I made a muslin because I changed the bust darts about 4 or 5 times.  I also took in the sides, but there is still a great deal of ease.  

I did not opt for the pointy sleeves although I love the pointy collar.  The only design element I didn't like was the neck facing.  

You can see it showing through the fabric so I trimmed it down.  It just doesn't lay right where the two collar pieces meet.  It is probably only noticeable to me.  The fabric, by the way, is a small Swiss dot from Yellow Bird Fabrics.

I'm planning to wear this as a staple in my wardrobe, but doesn't it look fabulous with this vintage Bill Blass suit I found for $9 at the thrift shop? The color is more orange than the photo shows.  I had to add the hair and glasses for Halloween. Let me be clear that I am not wearing the suit to anything but Halloween celebrations.

The suit is actually a nicely constructed, wool, lined piece of clothing.

Speaking of thrift stores, I have found some other great deals lately. First, I found this lined, wool, flared skirt for a song.  I paired it with a Lands End blouse (on sale, of course) in a color that I don't usually wear but gave it a shot anyway.   I had to take the tank part of the blouse up 3 inches and take the sides in a total of 4.  It is still too baggy.  Lands End clothes seem to have an incredible amount of ease.  So while I am easily a large and sometimes extra-large, a medium is what I should buy from this company.

This brings me back to the beginning.  Those cute, cute, shoes.  Good Will.  $4.99.  What a bargain.  Don't you love those great thrifty deals when you can find them?

My husband took my pictures and told me to 'work it, work it.'  I don't think I'm the model type.  Judge for yourself. The best photo is of the shoe!

This is me "workin' it."  It just doesn't work!

Linking to Sew Retro and The Train to Crazy

Friday, October 26, 2012

Carving Pumkins

My sister-in-law had a pumpkin carving party at her house the other day.  Here are our creations.

This skeleton was my creation.  Where did I get that perfectly skull shaped pumpkin?  Murray Farmer's Market, of course.

These two were carved by Mr. Foster Reviews It.  The one on the right is Jack Skeleton.  No one could tell what the pumpkin on the left was.  Mr. Foster Reviews It indignantly let us know it was Yoda.  Oh, I can see it now.

My niece Devyn made the smiling face with the bloodshot eye.

The haunted castle was created by my sis-in-law.

And the best of the evening was my son's cannibal pumpkin!

Unfortunately, we carved the pumpkins much too early and it was too warm for them to keep all the way to Halloween.  That little bit of ghostly film in the eye of the skull is mold! Yuck! But the decaying teeth look great!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Pillow For My Sister

My sister's birthday was 1 week ago and I just finished her gift.  Not only that, I told her she couldn't have it until after my November quilt meeting's show-and-tell. Some sister I am, eh? So Elly, here is your gift.  I hope you like it in person after the first week in November.

I made the pillow from a fat-quarter collection of yellow and gray fabrics from Connecting Threads and a pattern from Quilt Etc.'s previous Block-of-the-Month.  

Notice that I obviously did not use all of the fabric from the collection.  That means there is more to play with!

Before deciding on the ruffle, I bought a yellow pom-pom trim.  Just after the clerk cut it she said, "This reminds me of the Dee's clown."  You locals my age or older know what she was talking about.  So I bought the yellow pom-pom trim knowing I would never use it.  Darn clerk.  The fabric ruffles are cuter anyway.  

Dee's Hamburger Clown.  Grrrr.

State St at Winchester St, 1979 (CountyLemonade) Tags: sign restaurant utah clown hamburgers direction saltlakecity shield interstate 1970s murray statestreet dees fashionplacemall i215 winchesterst deesrestaurant 6400south
Taken in 1979 in Murray on State Street. 29 cent Hamburgers!

Happy Birthday, Sister!

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Year on Ladybug Farm

A Year on Ladybug Farm by Donna Ball was "chick lit" for sure.  I kept asking myself, "Do I like this book?"  When I was finished with the whole thing, I decided that while it wasn't a real thinker, it had its funny passages, and I was interested in some of the secondary characters.

The story takes place in the Shenandoah Valley where three friends, women in their fifties, buy a rundown farm with a large home and plan to restore it.  They make a pact that they will give it one year before they decide if they were going to stay or not.

This book had its charming parts, its funny parts, its colorful characters, a ghost, and a sprinkling of family drama.  But the thing my book club and I could not get over was the lack of financial sense these women had.  The house was a money pit.  One of the women was a realtor and come on, she didn't have the sense to know that she should get a home inspection? None of them have any money coming in from anywhere and in the end of the book, they are able to come up with more money from various sources.  Now here is what killed me.  The former school teacher cashed in her retirement so they could continue to stay in the home.  Ahhhh. How dumb was that? Maybe I'm just too practical.

This finance issue stressed me out enough that I considered reading the second book to see if the ladies fared any better.  As I was looking on Amazon to buy it, I decided I really wasn't that interested and wouldn't read the two books that followed.  The fact that I wasn't willing to read the sequel tells you right there that the book was just OK and not fabulous.  

Three out of five stars seems reasonable for this book.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

When I told friends and family members that I was reading Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford for September's book club, they all said, "I read that.  It was great!" Or, "I really loved that book."  Well, where had I been?  Why hadn't I heard about this great book?  

I will agree with their assessments.  This was a great book and I loved it.  It is the story of a young Chinese boy, Henry, in Seattle during WWII who falls in love with a Japanese-American girl, Keiko from his school.  She and her family are sent to an internment camp.  The story jumps back and forth from an older Henry in 1986 and the young Henry.  Both stories focus on the father and son relationship.  

The hotel comes into play as the location where many Japanese families left their belongings for safe keeping. The families never returned for their items and thus, the belongings were discovered when the old hotel was undergoing renovations.  Henry is able to recover an old jazz recording of a song that he an Keiko heard in a jazz club one evening.

This book is a sad reminder of a time in American history where we treated our own citizens as the enemy.  I found it terribly disturbing  when the author describes how families burned photos and clothing and mementos that had anything to do with their heritage in order to hide that heritage and prove their patriotism and loyalty to America.

This story was a wonderfully written piece of historical fiction.  I give it five out of five stars!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Plum and June Blog Hop and Tutorial

After visiting many wonderful blogs on the Plum and June Blog Hop, it is my turn to introduce myself.

Plum and June

How long have you been quilting? Off and on since about 1998.  My husband actually suggested I might like it since I enjoyed sewing, and bought me a beginning quilting class for Christmas. I love all kinds of sewing, not just quilting.

Favorite quilting tip(s): Basting spray rocks.  Oh, don't spray it in your basement without proper ventilation.

Favorite blogging tip(s): Don't worry about stats--enjoy yourself.  And if you don't have time to promote your blog with Facebook or Twitter, no big deal. Enjoy your blog and don't stress over it.

Favorite fabric: Can't pick just one.

Favorite craft book: Sew What? Skirts.

Favorite book: Today it's The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munch.  Tomorrow It may be different.
Favorite quilting tool: Have I mentioned basting spray?
Binding - by hand or by machine? Machine.

If I'd only known - what you wish you knew about blogging before you started your blog:  I should have looked at more blogs to see what I liked before I jumped in the fray.

Here is my tutorial for curved strips. I turned my strips into a placemat but you can use this technique for just about any project.

 1. Measure a placemat that is the size you like and add one inch to the length.

2. Cut strips 5 inches by the length you chose.  Mine were 5 by 21 inches.

3. Overlap the fabrics by 3 inches, right sides facing you.

4. Make a curvy cut in the three-inch overlap being careful not to go to the edge of either fabric.

Note:  If you want bigger strips don't overlap as much.  However your curves won't be as wavy. Cut bigger strips if you want big strips and big waves.

5. Remove the left side of your top fabric and the right side of your bottom fabric. The other pieces are what you will sew together

6. Now put right sides together and match your top edges to begin to sew. It doesn't seem to match because your convex and your concave waves are now going opposite each other.  But don't worry, it will work.

7.  Don't pin your fabric together. Slowly begin sewing and moving the fabric to match as you go. Look forward only slightly farther than your presser foot.  Don't think about the rest.  The key here is to stitch a few slow stitches, pause, adjust, sew, pause adjust, sew.  

8. Finger press toward the darker fabric.  Press with an iron.

Note that the outer edges aren't straight.  This is ok. You will square everything up at the end.

9. Continue the pattern with the next strip of fabric.  Cut an stitch as many strips of fabric until you get to your desired width.

10.  Square up the uneven edges.

11. Baste, quilt, and bind as desired.  

Here are the two placemats I made.  One has seven strips and the other five strips.  I experimented with the widths and curvy cutting.  

The back of the placemat

You may wonder what to do with all of those other beautiful, curvy scraps.  I put mine together to make a hot pad.

Thanks to Beth at Plum and June for hosting this Blog Hop.  It has been a blast.

Don't forget to visit the other blogs featured this week.  I'm so glad to share my day with Amy from Sew Incredibly Crazy.  I love her blog and she's a school teacher to boot!

Oct 9
         Amy from Sew Incredibly Crazy
Oct 11
       Chrissie from madebyChrissieD
        Marit from Sew, love, live