Sunday, January 30, 2011


This weekend, Laura and Thomas drove down for a visit and to introduce us to the newest members of their family, Ella and Sam. We were so excited to meet this little brother and sister pair, and it went amazingly well! And, of course, they are SO cute!

This is not a great picture, but it accurately depicts the pups! This weekend went by in a blur of fur, with everyone getting along swimmingly. My 2, but especially Teddy (the big black one in the picture), were especially fond of the little guys. You really want to see them, though don't you?!

Meet Ella (in the new green sweater that I just finished this afternoon) and Sam, chi-weenies (a chihuahua/dachshund hybrid):
The sweater is actually for Sam, and I added sleeves after the photo shoot here. Ella's will be pink with green trim.

Even cuter than the sweater on the kitchen counter, is a video of Sam doing a bit of modeling!

Finally, can it get any better than this?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Finished Object Friday -- Week One

Well, it was only on Wednesday that I declared that I would finish one sewing and one non-sewing UFO that is cluttering up my life, so you'll have to cut me some slack. I picked 2 really easy projects. Not to say that these hadn't been hanging around awhile. Oh no. For instance, my non-sewing UFO.

Looks innocent enough doesn't it. A smallish grocery bag with some stuff in it. I think hope you've all done this. Company is coming and your kitchen desk is a mess. You stuff everything in a bag, and stash it in the laundry room. I distinctly remember that this bag was filled before the dinner party we had in December 2009. Let's hope there were no unpaid bills in there!

Luckily, no. As you can see, I ended up with 3 piles, the biggest of which was the trash. Next came stuff to file (some was already in folders), and the quilting calendar that has some good pattern ideas. I'll cull through those at a later date. Yeah, you heard me. I'm moving it to another place. For now. The 3rd is that great UGA banner that we hung up for Laura's graduation party, held in August 2009. I'll see if she wants it for those football watching parties she and Thomas like to host and if she doesn't want it I'll tuck it in the Goodwill box I've started. Someone here in Atlanta can make good use of that great decoration.

For the first sewing UFO I tackled, this falls more into the mending category, but it has been haunting me for awhile.
Poor Snoopy! Somehow his ear became separated from his head, and no live dogs were involved in this mishap. The good news is:
Week One of my UFO challenge can be declared a success! Next week, I'll try to have a little more to show for my efforts, lol!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ruh Roh

So our fabulous rescue dogs are not so well behaved after all. One of them, in fact, is a chewer. One of the first victims is pictured above. I was going to just chuck it, and then thought that perhaps I'll just remake it. How hard can it be? So, let's call it a WIP right now.

Now that the raincoat is finished, I'm feeling a bit unorganized, but finally just impulsively bought a new sewing toy. Something I've been wanting for awhile. I'll reveal it later, but it has prompted a massive reorganization and clean out of what I call the "basement" part of our basement. It's the part with the cement floor and the storage shelves, but also the part that houses my cutting table and fabric stash among other things. It's been 3 years since the last big purge, and you know how these kinds of areas get. Well, let's just say that I'm not quite a candidate for Hoarders Anonymous, but it's pretty cluttered.

So furniture is being pushed around, garbage bags are being filled, the shredder could possibly be working overtime, and the Goodwill pile is growing. And while this is happening I've decided to tackle my UFO's, both sewing and non-sewing. My challenge to my self, that I'm putting out here in cyberspace, is to finish one a week in each category. Friday is going to become Finished Friday. Embarrassingly, more than a handful of my sewing UFOs are items destined for my Etsy shops. Non-sewing UFOs will mostly include some organizational projects, but right now I'm calling the basement studio a WIP. Good thing I'm allowed to make up my own rules!!

Look! Someone ate the painter's tape! It wasn't me!

Yep, I realize that now Friday is the day after tomorrow, so I'll cut myself some slack and pick a couple of super easy projects. Sadly, there are a few of those that just need a teeny bit of finishing and they'll be ready. Sheesh *slapping my forehead*! This, of course, does not mean that I won't be starting new projects, too. In fact, a new knitting project will be cast on tonight. Dog related, though not for one of my dogs. That's all I'm saying about that right now.


 Teddy, surrounded by his stash of approved toys. He's quite the hoarder.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Raincoat, Finally

And just in time for a forecast of rain! So sorry to have gone MIA, but life feels so complicated these days. The raincoat took about a week longer than I had wanted it to, but that must have been because I could only get up the energy to sew about 30 minutes at a time.
Flat covered buttons, denim blue topstitching. I made the large and altered the sleeves just a bit to make them bigger, and dropped the armhole. I also shortened the sleeves. More than necessary it turn out. Oh, sure, they look ok, but I wish I had made them a bit longer so I could turn them up. As it is, I like this next look for when it's warmer.

I made the hood less gigantic. I always hate when the hood is so big you can't really see where you're going. So that's good. Besides the sleeve length, I'm not in love with the pocket placement, and the belt loops are just a hair low. That's just being nitpicky though.

Finally, my friend, Denise, is hosting a fabulous giveaway over at her Blue Gardenia blog. Do you love vintage patterns? Silk? Red fingernail polish? If the answer is yes, you must check it out!

Friday, January 14, 2011

We Have Giveaway Winners!

This will be short and sweet.

Winner of the Vogue Pattern is Sophie Miriam.

Winner of the rick rack is Mrs. Chronic-Shock.
{Shameless plug here: if any of you that didn't win the rick rack are interested in a great deal, contact me through my Etsy shop Down the Street Creations with which color or colors you're interested in and I'll give you a great deal! Let's talk!}

Winner of the suede bird purse is Stevie.

Looks like I have contact info for all 3 of you, so look for an email shortly.
CONGRATULATIONS!! And thanks to everyone for following!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Raincoat Sneak Peek

Do you remember this pattern that I previously made for Laura?
Well, I've been working on mine all week with finally something to show for it.
I'm using the same black raincoating fabric that I used for Laura's, so this, obviously, is the lining. Originally, I had purchased this Amy Butler twill for a vintage shirtdress, but the reality is that the color is all wrong for me, and actually, I kinda don't like it. However, I do kinda like it for a lining. I wanted the sleeves to be slippery (lesson learned after I made Laura's), and had this silvery silk (poly?) charmeuse in my stash.

For the exterior topstitching, this is what I'm going with (ignore any wonky topstitching that you might see... I'm goin' with it):

And one final, nagging reminder to comment on the giveaway. I'll announce the winner(s) tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Sweater

Feeling a bit better this morning, I dug around and found my yarn needle and finished all the little "finishing" bits that you have to do to knitting. I even managed to take some pics, but they are headless, lest you run scared from your computer after seeing the dark undereye circles, red nose and cracking lips.
The button was originally chosen for the Lady Grey project, but I really like how the blue grey goes with the blackberry yarn.
There's a glaring flaw across the middle of the back. Do you see it?

Some other knitting skill disclaimers: there were definitely times when I was just "making it up". My pattern reading skills are extremely suspect, and I have a heavy reliance on the tutorials on KnitPicks . This pattern reading deficit is hampering the choosing of my next project. The patterns in Knits Men Want, for example, are written in some kind of cryptic graph form filled with numbers. Then there is the subject of gauge. I know what it is, and why it's important, but am I checking it correctly? Undoubtedly, I'm not.

Anyway, this sweater was knit from a free pattern found on Ravelry. the Shalom cardigan. Scroll down and you'll see the model and pattern on the right hand side.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway. Commenting ends tomorrow night at midnight, Eastern Standard Time.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Some Fun Reading

Not too much sewing has been happening here, so I thought I'd share some of the fun books that I received for Christmas and my birthday. I love reading, and was really excited to get a Kindle for Christmas, but some books just must be read in book form. Books like these:
Yes, my sister is totally enabling my new knitting habit. Speaking of knitting, I've almost finished my sweater. All that's left is to weave in the yarn ends, do a little blocking and find a great button. Here's a sneak preview (in it's non finished state):

I am rambling just a bit. My body is fighting off some cold germs, and it has made me a little ditzy. Or maybe it's the strange snow day we've had making this an unscheduled long weekend. Maybe I'm confused because my hubby is making sugar cookies while we watch the Auburn-Oregon football game. And they are really GOOD!

Oops, I lied. There has been a little sewing going on here. I did make a muslin of the Amy Butler raincoat which I would really like to finish by the end of this weekend. I think I know what I need to do. It's those darn armholes and sleeves again.

So, I'll stop here, and flip through the knitting books to decide on my next project. Don't forget to enter the giveaway! I forgot to mention that I'll ship worldwide, this is open to everyone!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Another Giveaway

No, I haven't lost my mind. My giveaway is still open, and right now there's still plenty of time to comment. No, I'm talking about the giveaway over at Handmade Jane. She has a book and a bundle of fat quarters to choose from, so don't delay because her giveaway is ending soon!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The 100 Follower Giveaway!

Finally! Well, you know. I've been busy. Today I talked to a friend on the phone for an hour and a half! Yes, you read that right. And I semi-successfully gave Teddy (the black pup) a bath. They gave him a "bath" at the kennel, but he still had a lot of that good ol' Georgia clay on him. So, without further adieu...

Like I said yesterday, something for everyone. This is a 3 item giveaway, so something for everyone. Please feel free to enter for each item. One comment is plenty, just indicate which item or items you'd like to be in the running for by name or number. And there will be no jumping through hoops. Only thing I ask is that you are on my follower list. Comments will close one week from today, Thursday, January 13 at midnight EST, and I'll announce the winners (chosen with that random number generator thingie) the next day. Oh, please make sure I have a way to contact you. That's it! Here ya go:

Item #1
Vogue 8556, size BB (8-14)
originally in the running for mother of the bride dress last year, it didn't even make it out of the shopping bag. I think a short version would look adorable in a pretty cotton voile.

Item #2
30 yards of Rick Rack
I scored this bounty of rick rack when a local fabric and trim shop was going out of business. Really, what was I thinking? I've used some, but now it's perfect for giving away. This is for 5 yards of each color. The white, dark orange, and dark yellow are 1/4" wide, and the pale yellow, navy and periwinkle blue on the weird (easily removable flange) are 1/2" wide. Perfect for craft projects, kids clothes, aprons, pjs!

Item #3
Ultrasuede Coin Purse 
I originally made this for my etsy shop, but here it is in my giveaway! The ultrasuede is vintage from my mom's stash and it's lined with a batik cotton. The frame is 3-1/4" wide and it's about 4" tall.

Let the commenting begin!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Meet some new buddies

Not so fast though. I just want to say thank you to all my loyal commenters and followers. Maybe this is silly, but it really does mean so much to me to read your comments, and lately, they have seemed especially supportive. (Oh sure, I love a good "what a great dress", too! Does wonders for the spirits, won't lie about that!) There were several new names and faces that responded to our new family situation with Kyle's illness, and you all have my heartfelt thanks for that. By the way, he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder (at least tentatively), and has been participating in an outpatient program. Tomorrow we are switching him to a different program here in Atlanta, but still outpatient.

And... tomorrow, to show my gratitude and appreciation for all my followers (all 100 and TWO... I know, I promised this at 100), I'll be posting my giveaway. There will be something for everyone, so if you've just been lurking and haven't clicked the follow button, now would be a good time!

And in the meantime, today, I was really wishing I had my Amy Butler raincoat made because it's rainy and gray, but instead the last two days have been all about these guys:


Kyle and I picked them out yesterday at Clover Run Rescue in Jefferson, Georgia. Danny is Kyle's and is a corgi/shepherd mix, and Teddy is mine and is a gordon setter/retriever(?) mix. They are about 18 months to 2 years old, and both boys are as sweet as can be. Their first night home, after going out for pottying about 10pm, they retreated to their little mats and didn't get up until 7:30 this morning!

Oh, sure. They aren't complete angels. Danny has already rolled in poop, and seems to adore the softness of a couch. Teddy has contemplated the day bed, but so far resisted. They both love a good belly rub (who doesn't?) and lots of attention. Danny is not so good about sitting, but can dance, and Teddy is a great sitter. Neither like baby carrots. And so what if my eyes are itchy today!

Edit: Almost forgot... only one more day for the sale at The Blue Gardenia! I'll be shopping tonight and buying something for myself for my birthday! See ya later, Denise!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Perfect PJ's

Do you have that favorite thing that you always wear, that fits perfectly, and, when it starts to wear out, you think, hmmm, I think I can make a new one? That would describe my favorite pair of flannel pj pants, and early last fall, I bought the flannel, but never got around to them (what with Lady Grey taking over my sewing projects... and, ok, a few other things). Then I read about the press and seal pattern copying method over on Lindsey T's blog. Great!

But then, I ran into a wee little problem. These pj's are worn, and the cotton is stretched and distorted. I could tell when I drew the crotch seam that this was just not going to work. I pressed on though, because I have a pj pattern.
Well, I couldn't actually find the instruction book, but I found the pattern pieces, XS-XXXL all on one page. Great! But my RTW pants fit perfectly, so I just lined them up and traced the shape that most readily fit. No measurements were taken in the making of these pants. Get this... for the front piece, I traced the XS! You read that right. eXtra Small! For the back piece, I traced the large, for the waist width, but used the crotch seam for the small. And I narrowed the leg width on the back. Due to fabric limitations, I had to make the capri length. It would have taken several adjustments with a muslin to come up with that configuration, so using the perfectly fitting RTW as a guide worked great. At least for a simple garment like this.

Over at K-Line, Kristin is trying to reproduce her favorite bra, and it took some destruction. But I didn't want to go that route with my pj's, so I'm happy to show you, for about 4 or 5 hours of my time, start to finish:
Got 'em on right now!

And with a tummy full of blackeyed peas, here's hoping the rest of my 2011 goes just as smoothly, and yours, too!


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