Some Decision-Making


I had off today and must admit that it feels good just to be around the apartment drinking coffee and catching up reading some of the books I purchased over the past couple of weeks.  I am still waiting for my yarn order from Knit Picks to get started on the cowl sweater I blogged about earlier in the week.  The order doesn’t arrive until the weekend which means I have to wait until Monday because the order is being delivered at my office.  I am not home during the week to receive the package, so having packages shipped to the office is the best way.

Last night before coming from work, I made a stop at Whole Foods to pick up some groceries and start shopping for Thanksgiving.  I brought some butter, flour, pie crust, and spices as a start.  I still have to plan a menu for turkey day, and thinking about making Brussels Sprouts with bacon and garlic.  My dad wants Collard Greens, but probably will make them next weekend and freeze them.  I have some decision-making to do.

I brought another book yesterday, “Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit – Using the Rub-Off Technique to Re-create and redesign your Favorite Fashions”, I think the title is longer than the actual writing.  I am kidding, but why are titles so long these days?  I am will be reading this book over the weekend because along with knitting the cowl sweater, I would like to make a pair tweed trousers.  I love tweed, and was also thinking about a dress and skirt.

wl-187

I found this wool tweed on Trim Fabric’s website, and tweed seems to be the trend for the fall.  I think this tweed will coordinate well with the purple I chose the knit the cowl sweater. I also love knit and it’s probably the reason for me learning how to knit so that I can make something like this Jonny Rotten jacket from “Brave New Knits”.  Blue is my favorite, this is another reason why I like this jacket and buttons are just great.  With my luck, I probably will not find these buttons, but fabric covered buttons could work as well.

Wednesday Shopping 009

I purchased the Interweave Crochet Accessories issue, and the crochet jewelry pique my interest.  I especially like the crochet belt because it would coordinate great with a tweed or charcoal dress.  The crochet wired bracelet is lovely as well.

Wednesday Shopping 004

That’s all I have for the moment, ciao for now.

Advertisements

Bag Passion and Fabric


I haven’t had the opportunity to purchase a cover for my laptop, and thought it would be better to just to make one.  I picked up a copy of the current issue of Sews News and it happened to have a project for a laptop cover last week, and finally made it to Purl Soho today to get some fabric and wool felt to make the cover.  I making a couple of adjustments to the pattern.  I decided not to use snaps and use Velcro, and not add a strap because the laptop does not leave the apartment.

Yummy 005Yummy 001

According to the instructions, the project should take under an hour to make.  However, I am not sure about the instructions suggesting a yard of fabric to make the cover because I think the fabric is enough to create two laptop covers.  I will see this weekend when I get to work on it.

I wanted to post my first bag purchase I have made in a five years.  Since animal print is the trend for the fall, I decided to get this bag.  I am bringing out my wild side.  Ciao for now.

Yummy 004

 

Some Vintage Inspiration


As I went through my Google Reader list the other day, I read a blog entry from Burda Style and saw a dress that one of the members posted  onto the site.  It was a Butterick pattern 9029 from the 1950s, and it is a classic yet so modern.  The blogger made this dress from linen fabric and it has a long sash that drapes around and ties in the back.   This pattern is not available, but a sewer could make adjustments to an existing pattern with a similar style, and sew a fantastic sash to wrap around the waist.  This dress is also can create a waist and de-emphasized a belly.  In additional, I imagine myself wearing such a dress.  The author choose linen has her fabric, but I can imagine this dress made in a knit, wool gabardine and perhaps silk/linen blend.  I would have to make a necklace and think about more of a scoop neck.  I think the inspiration will can a person many places including making the sleeves three-quarter length.

DSC_3646_largeAnother dress that gives me a couple of ideas came from the online store Mod Cloth.  The dress is no longer on the website, but thought about the interesting cowl neck.  Again, you probably could take a pattern that is similarly close to this dress and create this dress.  The dress could be more tapper at the knees, not add the faux belt, one could add sleeves are leave dress sleeveless, and thinking that perhaps knit is a good fabric choose for the dress.  The buttons can be changed, and could create a brooch.

021809_21_LI just thought I would share these dresses and think out loud how I would make these dresses my own.  Ciao for now as I feel my head nodding.  Time for some slumber.

Mid-Week Musings


I was thinking about my blog post on jewelry making, and certainly will write the post before the week is over.  However, I wanted to post a photo of a necklace made tonight.  This is not my photo of the necklace, but it is a creation from Fusion Beads.  I actually purchased the supplies for this necklace several weeks ago, but I forgot what to do with the materials because I had it in my head that there was something missing.  That was not not the case.  It did take my while to bead this necklace because it called for using 11 and 15 seed beads which are teeny tiny tiny.  I suspect I will need a stronger prescription lenses next year.  The colors are copper findings with brown and purple beads.  It is an easy necklace to make, but it will require some patience due the size of the beads.

Forgotten Necklace 004I picked up a copy of fall issue of Sew Stylish, and found some of the projects in the magazine very interesting.  Designing your handbag caught my eye, and would be open to make that project.  I know faux fur is one of the trends for fall, but I have a thing for handbags.  I really like this bag and made a copy of the pattern supplied in the magazine to make it.  The bag will be cheaper than buying out any store in Soho (New York, NY).

Forgotten Necklace 006 This is a short post tonight because it is late, so I am going to say ciao for now.

A Book and A Couple of Magazines


Today, it has been raining for most of the day and I decided to make a trip to Borders to pick up the new Knit Simple and Knit Scene magazine.  Actually, I did not know the magazines were at Borders, but I needed a trip to the bookstore.  I am inspired about some of the projects in both magazines.   It’s in my mind’s queue to knit, and I think the hat is nice for the fall.

Book Review Photos 007 Book Review Photos 006

Book Review Photos 009 Book Review Photos 012

I also saw a new sewing pattern book, “Sew Serendipity” by Kay Whit.  She is the owner of Serendipity Studio with a line of patterns she created.  She has created 18 patterns for the new book consisting of dresses, jackets, skirts, and tunics.  The books gives great instruction of how to make the projects including techniques needed sewing a finished garment.  She also wanted the reader who decides to make any of the projects to customized the garments to her liking. 

Book Review Photos 001 Book Review Photos 002 Book Review Photos 004

Book Review Photos 005 Book Review Photos 003

I am going to more reading of this book over the weekend, and make a do list of what I want to sew along with some ideas of my own to make the garments my own.  I do want to make the tunic dress as I like to wear it pants as well.  I am going to turn in for the night and get some rest for fresh start in the morning.  Ciao for now!

Budget Monday – Fabric Shopping


On the first day of my staycation, and I finally had a chance to visit a fabric store in my neighborhood.  This revelation could be precarious for me with the consequence of having a huge fabric stash before I know it because the store sells fabric wholesale prices.  I purchased five yards this nice cotton black and white fabric for $3.00 a yard.  The store also has blue and white strip fabric for $3.00/per yd as well, and I doing everything in my power from not returning to the store again today because I am thinking PJs with that fabric.  I am thinking about a dress with this black and white print, and probably will have some left over to make something else.  I am not wasting any of this fabric.

2010-06-14 14.17.51

I also purchased three yards of gray fabric for a pair of trousers or a pencil skirt, and the fabric cost $4.00/per yd. 

2010-06-14 14.18.38

I watching the Martha Stewart today, and saw a segment on making your own craft table.  Martha has a partnership with Home Depot where you can buy Martha Stewart Living Alder 35.88 In. High x 24.13 In. Wide x 11.89 In. Deep Laminate Stackable 6 Cube Organizer for $44.97 each.  Martha demonstrated on the show that you can buy a hollow door for $25.00, paint or tack oilcloth and you can have a craft table for under $150.00 compared to the Pottery Barn craft table priced at over a $1,157.  However, I have to note that BP’s table is on sale for $959 (still too much money).  The great thing about the craft table on Martha Stewart is that you can make it portable if you are like me living in a one-bedroom apartment and space is valuable.  Use as storage and a table, great idea.

There is another project on Martha Stewart online for dyeing wooden beads for necklaces, and found a couple of websites where you can purchase beads.  One site is Craft Parts where beads can come in quite a few sizes.  You can also buy wooden craft buttons, and dowels should want to make a bag or your own knitting needles.  Another resource is American Wood Crafters Supply where beads are sold at a good price.  You can purchase the dye from Rit Dye, and instructions for dyeing beads are at Martha Stewart.  It’s time to get crafty, so I am going to end this blog and get ready a craft extravaganza at the library (I will not return to the fabric today).  Ciao for now!

Staycation and Some Creative Ideas


Reader beware!  This is a long post entry with quite a few photos!

It is that time of year for me again, staycation!  Every year in mid-June, I take a two-week vacation where staying at home is the thing to do when money is tight in this rough recession.  I also have a chance to make more blog entries during this time, and catch up some finishing and starting some knitting projects, reading, and visit a museum or two.  I also have the time to listen to some podcast and just relax during the two weeks.  The previous year came with me having the flu and lying in bed for almost two weeks, this year comes with a stiff lower back if sitting for too long.  However, I it will not prevent me from relaxing or going to see the King Tut exhibit (looking forward to seeing that).

Yesterday, while doing some web surfing and listening to a couple of knitting podcasts, I came around this vintage knitted “Blood Red Dress”.  This 1940s vintage dress was knitted by ChopChop of the My Spicy Yarn blog.  She purchased a Corticelli Hand-Knits Fashions no KP 27 that she purchased from E-Bay.  I tried to find this pattern book without success, but did asked if she wouldn’t mind selling me this pattern.  She also mentioned in her blog that this pattern was a quick knitting, but think she is a fast knitter.  I think it would take me a while to knit considering one would have to use lace weight yarn for the project.  However, I think she did a great job with knitting this dress and who would love to add a knitted dress to her wear closet.  The color and style of dress just screams out sexy kitten without having anything hang out.  I am amazed at that even though this dress is vintage, yet feels modern and stylish to wear now.  This dress is eye candy and may give me enough inspiration to create a knitting pattern with this style in mind since I am unable to find the pattern.

IMG_0585

Yesterday, I went to a jewelry-making class at my local library.  I typically go to the class to meet other crafty people than learning anything new.  The class is mostly bead stringing, and I would like to get more into bead weaving and some wire work.  I always to go for the more challenging and pushing my creative side.  I met a woman there who wanted to know if I have sold any of my jewelry.  I told her no, but I could end up with more bracelets and necklaces I could possibly wear.  Who I am kidding, one could never have enough pieces of jewelry, but I can still sell jewelry by making extra pieces.  It is a win/win situation.

New Yarn and Necklace 006

Friday, I could not leave for vacation without making a trip to the yarn store.  I went to the Lion Brand Studio in New York City with a co-worker of mine who needed to purchase yarn for cardigan she is making for a couple who just had little baby girl.  There is nothing like making a little baby pink cardi, well certainly nothing precious.  I decided to knit a shawl for the office while on vacation because my workplace is a like being a side of beef hanging in a meat locker.  It is freezing and you need to wrap yourself in a blanket, but a shawl is more practical.  I love this yarn with the copper highlights and could see making a fabulous shell to wear on a night out.  I was just thinking how great it would be to wear that vintage dress on a first date, I digress.  The yarn is Vanna Glamour and it comes in a few more colors including platinum and topaz.

New Yarn and Necklace 009

I am fortunate to have a magazine store that carries Burda Style Magazine near my job, and managed to get the May and June Issues.  I wear plus size clothing, so finding clothes that are great looking is difficult to find (reason for making your own clothes).  May’s issue had Italian inspired dresses what are very sexy, especially the red dress.  The collection in the magazine is entitled “La Dolce Vita”, and think it is the perfect title for the dresses.  There were only a couple of things that caught my eye in June’s issue like the the tunic and pants.  There is a jumpsuit that I am going back and forth on liking it or not.  I think the problem is that the model is wearing a terrible hat and it makes her look like a cougar.  The jumpsuit has a 70s feel, perhaps too much so.

New Yarn and Necklace 005

Vita Dolce 002

New Yarn and Necklace 003

My back is beginning to relax, and I am coming to the end of writing this entry.  I am going to start knitting my shawl and watch some TV on a Sunday with Drop Dead Diva, and My Fair Wedding with David Tutera.  I love that show and it is great to see a wedding show other than Bridellizas, and besides he does fabulousity with receptions.  I will able to write quite a few entries during my staycation, but Ciao for now!

Book Reviews and Some New Finds – Part Duex


I am back!  I am having an easy Sunday as my father prepared breakfast for us and had to stop writing momentarily until we have eaten and I washed the dishes.  Hey if someone cooks, the very least another person can do is wash dishes.

In my previous blog were the two book reviews and now I have some new finds that may interest some of you reading.  I discovered that blog stats has more than 22,500 visitors over the past three years and think that is a good thing, but never mind that for the time being.  Last night, I was giving my January’s issue of Martha Stewart a cursory read, happened upon the home keeping section of the magazine, and saw two items that caught my attention and interest.  It is a step-by-step guide to a cleaner and healthier home.  The two products are for the kitchen and find the money-saving potential something to consider.  One product is making your own fizzy water and the other to purify your water.  Prior to the advertising and marketing onslaught, people drink water from their faucet.  People were convince that purchasing bottle water was better for you, but neglected to mention that we are adding more garbage to the landfill.  Essentially, the advertising and marketing gurus convinced us to purchase an item was already free, and brainwashed into paying for water.  We do not have pay for water just purchase a water purifier and we can once drink free water and not add to the landfill at the same time.  The reality is that these bottling companies are selling us tap water that they have purified themselves.  Spring water could be come from the springs a city water system (I am just saying).  The water purifier mentioned in the article is GE’s Full Flow Water Filtration that you can attach to the cold-water line beneath the sink (from $80, GE Appliances has more information).  The cost savings of drinking tap water is about $500 per year and each filter last approximately six months.  I think that is a good cost saving. 

Another product is making your fizzy soda or water at home again saving money and keeping plastic bottles ending up in a landfill.  You can store it on your countertop and turn water into seltzer.  There is a carbon dioxide cartridge that can make up to 110 liters of soda just mail it back to the company to be refilled.  The price varies for machines, but for more information about the product is at Soda Stream USA.

I have some candy eye sewing/fashion goodness to share.  When I signed up for Facebook a few years ago, I joined a club called The Sewing Studio.  It is a company in Toronto, CA that teaches sewing classes at all ages and skills level.  Yes, I live in New Jersey, but in this age of technology, I would at least receive a newsletter and read the blog.  I received a message from The Sewing Studio last night that announced a new online magazine dedicated to sewing and fashion.  Of course, I had to look at the site Love Sewing and the magazine is fabulous.  My advice is to see for yourself and if you become inspired like I did.  There is one featured designer, Michi Calica in the magazine’s “Get Inspired” column.  I think some her designs are wonderful, Michi creates vintage-inspired with a modern twist.  She also does wedding dresses and creates different sizes for her clients.  One dress is the white orchard linen dress.  I love the simplicity yet elegant and feminine look at this dress.  Michi has this dress on Etsy Shop for about $280 or if you are sewing, who is inspired can probably create something along this line.  I think this is a good price for the dress, but that is for you to decide.

clip_image001clip_image002

Another dress the designer has on her shop is her wavy hem dress that is another creatively simple but elegant dress that seems fun to wear.

clip_image003clip_image004

Michi Calica has other pieces of clothing including evening bags, jewelry and other accessories at her Etsy Shop.  I think some of you may fall in love with her designs.

Those the some new finds for the time being.  I am going to spend this week testing out a couple of recipes I read in Martha Stewart’s January issue such as braised red cabbage and a kale and roasted potato salad.  I think those recipes fall in line with me being healthier and getting down my blood pressure.  I am still thinking about getting shape for a 5k run, that will fill in my exercise goals as well. Ciao for now.

 

Book Reviews and Some New Finds – Part One


It seems that I am keeping up with my resolution for blog entries, and testing new font sizes so bear with me.  I am keeping the font color because blue is my favorite color and yet I do not own many articles of clothing in that color.  Although, I have to say that next to that nice crisp cotton white shirt, the next color would that nice crisp french blue color shirt.  I am digressing.  Back to the subject I want write about.

I am incessant information hound and the Internet is my pearl in finding new and interesting finds.  It does not matter if I am doing a search on history or finding the perfect pair of shoes I am on it.  However, before getting to the finds, I am going get to a couple of book reviews I wrote about in my previous blogs.

I picked up two books (well more than two, but who is counting), Blogging for Bliss – Crafting Your Own Online Journal and Design-It-Yourself Clothes – Patternmaking Simplified by authors Tara Frey and Cal Patch respectively.  Although I started my blog a couple of years, not many read it.  Of course, I have a couple of people who comments and I love them for it.  I am appreciative of people who leave a comment because it lets me know I gave them something to ponder.  I think I could be more personal in blogs (not too personal, lol) thus the reason for purchasing Tara Frey’s BFB book.  I am still a beginner blogger despite the fact that my blog has existed for more than three years.  I have to tighten up on my technical skills with a background and photos, and take a headshot so people will know what I look like.  With that aside, I found Frey’s book helpful in my goals in being a better blogger.  I do very little editing with my blog entries as I tend to write with a flow and my thoughts come while writing.  One can say that I am spontaneous writer.  Frey guides the reader through the reason for blogging, tools of the trade, learning the ropes, and how to create beautiful blogs.  She features more than 50 bloggers that include Alicia Paulson: Posie Gets Cozy, The Angry Chicken, and Knit and Tonic as inspiration for the new blogger or a blogger who has been blogging for a while.  For more information to connect with Tara at Blogging for Bliss.

My next review is a patternmaking book.  Clothing designer, Cal Patch worked for Urban Outfitters and Free People before creating her own Hodge Podge label.  I believe that she currently teaches patternmaking and sewing in New York City and recently purchased a farm in upstate New York.  She currently blogs at Hodge Podge Farm and has an Esty shop where she sells her crochet projects.  First came across Cal Patch while listening to the Craft Sanity podcast with Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood about her new book, career, and life living upstate.  At the time of the interview, Cal had not purchased her farm but in the process of doing so.  I purchased the book at month later.  I thought would be a good idea to create my own patterns than always purchasing them and Cal made a great point during the interview, the patterns you make will be more tailor to your body type because it will be exactly to your measurements (as long as you do not lie about them, loll).  Cal guides you through the process of the tools you need to make patterns, making your own patterns from taking your measurements, customizing, fitting, and grading.  She even explains how to make a pattern from your existing clothing.  I found this book as a helpful guide that is much easier than reading as Cal says those dry textbooks.  She gives directions to make basic skirt, dress, jacket, and pants patterns.  However, her goal for the reader to use her book as a guide for you to create your own clothing, make it what you will.  She does not want you to find the exact fabric or for that matter change up the pattern if like.  She is providing you will the tools to create your own wardrobe.  Become looser and bohemian because you do not have to look like everyone else and that is one of the ideas of sewing your own clothing be unique.

I realized that I have written a lot in this blog entry and will continue with another entry about the new finds when I am done eating breakfast. I shall return.

 

Holiday Weekend in Charlotte


I spent my Thanksgiving holiday at my brother’s house in Charlotte.  I should have known better when he told me that I needed to do was bring myself and don’t worry about cooking.  When I arrived Wednesday afternoon, I discovered that he hadn’t cooked anything.  So I got to work with cleaning and cooking collard greens, making cornbread for the dressing, cranberry sauce, giblet gravy and dinner rolls.  He did manage to make macroni and cheese and sweet potato pies which he claims it taste better than mine but it really taste the same as he used the same recipe as I use.

It has been a nice holiday here in Charlotte, I managed to see the movie Precious on Friday.  The multi-plex is at the mall, so we had to deal with shoppers on Black Friday, and it was crowded.  I do not fathom the concept of standing outside of any retail store or mall the night before to get on an early deal on a product when there are only five in stock.  Perhaps I am not a shopper and may never understand the need to participate in shopping as a sport, but to each it’s own.

I managed to get some knitting while in Charlotte, but have some newfound interest in sewing.  Ever since the move to the new apartment, I have not got into sewing and I need some new clothes to wear as I do not like shopping to get them.  I also purchased some new Vogue patterns online as they have a $4.25 per pattern ($3.82 if you are a member).  I generally get very easy patterns because I am beginner and it just suits my lifestyle.  I also purchased the book “Making Trousers for Men and Women” at Overstock dot com.  Fabric dot com and Fabric Mart dot com has some fabric I like to purchase, and probably will make a trip to M & Trim in the garment district in NYC for buttons and other accessories for the knitted and crochet hats.

Well I have to return my packing and getting my newphew to complete his homework before the trip back to New Jersey.

Spring and Summer Projects


I wrote in my blog entry the other day about starting another sweater project, and will tell you that I had unraveled it at least four times before getting the texture stitches I wanted. After re-working, I finally like the stitches and now continue the process of doing the first section of the sweater. I have been laxed in the sewing and for some reason do not understand why I cannot get into gear to even cut out the fabric. I know once I get started, I will be able to get into a roll and may not want to stop. There are times when I do become obessive on working projects that day will turn into day before making the realization that I should perhaps stop and take a break. I will work on something for hours whether it’s knitting, reading, cooking or having a political discussion with someone.

As I am working on my current sweater, I am wondering what to make that will go with it. I have fabric to make some skirts and summer dresses, but need to get to them. It probably would a good idea to become a little more structured with creating a schedule to work on my projects. I know that it may should like a job, but knitting and sewing are things I enjoy doing and it is worth the effort to do some time management.

Another goal I have on my mind is getting healthy. It is time to make that routine visit to the doctor. I need to go to the doctor and talk to her about mediciation for my allegries and asthma. However, I want to get my blood sugar checked as well. I have a genetic predisposition to diabetes and want to see where I stand. With that note, I need to watch what I eat. I am bringing my lunch to work with my these days and keeping a shopping list of things I need from the supermarket. Most of all, is the need to get eight hours of sleep which I do not seem to achieve on many nights. For some reason, I wake up at 5:30am during the weekday, 7am on Saturdays, and 6:30am on Sundays. Every night, I tried going to bed around the same time 11p. I think if I change my eating habits and exercise, better sleep may come for me.

I saw the new Butterick summer patterns, but nothing really jump at me saying sew me. Although, I could make some changes and create something different than what the pattern calls for. I make changes to the crochet and knitting patterns like place different collars or sleeves. It is another thing to think about. Enjoy your day.

Is it Possible to Make Money from my Hobby?


Some people take a while with finding their passion and I am not an exception.  As you know one my of biggest hobbies is knitting and crochet along with being a beginner sewer.  I have often thought about having a side business because it is a way of keeping myself occupied and possibly making some extra money on the side.  I thinking more and more about taking my hobby combining with the idea of simplicity.  I want to make unique things for people to buy, yet functional, practical, and aesthetically pleasing.  I also want to make, but price my products that are affordable.  I am thinking along the lines handcrafted items with a Target perspective.  If am not willing to pay $150.0o for a baby sweater than I do not think the average consumer will want to do the same.

I have a business idea of creating custom items and some ready made.  It would be a great idea people who like to do something in advance such a baby blanket for baby shower gift, creating organic baby t-shirts and diapers kits, or just handmade gift for other special occasions such as graduations (such as knitting a sweater as a present for my niece), bridal showers, and weddings such as hankerchiefs, approns, tea towels, etc.  I guess it would be a custom gift-giving business. I am still hatching out the idea.  There are a few things I have to do to make this work.  One, is horning in on my craft because it is important to be good at what I do and take pride in it and this mean taking a some classes, second, do some research and create a business plan (I am a left-side and right-side thinker), and third is craving out time to make this happen (time management and organizational planning).  I already have a name for my side venture, Henna’s Place which I think it’s catchy.  What do you think?

A Good Foundation


I have something to write on my wish to sew list.  I listened to Laurie’s podcast from the Sewforthnow blog back in March 2008 interviewing Anne St. Claire about bra making.  However, such as life, the thought about making a bra went into an archive file deep within the recesses of my brain until about a week ago while reading Liana blog’s Sew Intriguing about her bra making experience.  Liana’s inspiration came from reading the Sigrid – Sewing Projects blog as the blogger has sewn what seems lot of bras and lingerie.  The blog also has a sewing tutorial for making bras, pattern and bra making supplies information.  I thought about the process of making a bra and the cost factor.  I learned that it does not take much fabric to make a bra, and from Ann’s estimate it is about $10 – $15 to make a bra and thought to myself that it is a huge difference because I have put more than $65.00 for a bra to give the girls good support and are unhappy when they are not provided with good lift.  I also need to get back into the practice of wear a slip again.  There is a reason for wearing a slip just in case that dress or skirt you are wearing happens to be sheer.  Making a bra and lingerie will be on my sew to do list, and printed an past article from Threads Magazine about constructing a bra

Believe or not, I am still working on my journal of all the projects I want to work on in the next year.  I still have not received my Jalie patterns, but they probably will come in the mail today.  I still have to get to the notion shop to purchase some thread, buttons, and elastic before starting any project.  I am also thinking about purchase some beads and lace to embellish a skirt.  It will be a plain straight skirt, but it will need a little extra to add interest.

What’s in your Dream Bubble?


Like every morning, I entered into the elevator to reach my office.  While I am waiting to get to the 7thfloor, I look at the little screen for news information, weather, and sports score.  The screen is called Captivate Network, and it is certainly is captivating to say the least.  Yesterday, I noticed the ad for the Mega Millions for Friday and there is a picture of a bubble with a caption inside reading “What’s in your dream bubble?”  Yes, it is had ad to entice you purchase lottery tickets in hopes that you will win millions of dollars to filfull that dream.  Now the chances of winning such a lottery is one in a million, but can you still have a dream bubble?  Do you need millions of dollars to make your dreams come true.  I do not deny winning $78 million dollars would make my financial life easier and would not complain if I did win, but I still have dreams.

On my way home from work, I do have a tendency to have several thoughts flooding into my brain to the point that I may not even hear you call my name while walking down the street.  I am in as some may say another state of mind and yesterday afternoon was not different.  Thoughts will really do come flooding in while I am doing something else like figuring out a Ken-Ken puzzle.  I often think about owning a business of something I enjoy doing and may incorporate traveling.  I think of ideas like having shops around the country serving customers withproviding their needs (I am being vague about the idea).  I do not think about being super rich, but creating a life that give me financial freedom to pursue my interests.  I also had another thought this morning about creating a space with a Moroccan theme because I love the blues, greens, and golds with the lambs, pottery and rugs.  It could be a bedroom, den, or sewing nook.  I have other things in my dream bubble such as the garden I want do, a trip to Argentina, Spain, Italy, Kenya, etc.  Writing is my dream bubble being a better writer as I do not have most perfect grammar in the world.

This is gives me an idea to write down all the things in my dream bubble and turn into realities.  On a side note, I received my fabric.com order today and it makes me a happy camper.  The sweater knit is soft and has a nice drape.  I also purchased the Crafty Chica’s Guide to Artful Sewing and has some nice ideas on low sew projects.  It’s always nice to make some embellishments to your current wardrobe or sew a plain skirt or dress.

Another Rainy Monday


I think spring will be filled with raining every other day and today is no different. Does it always seems that it only rains at the moment you step out of the house? I am having one those moments today.  A torrentialrain came just as I got off the bus this morning to get the train and my only wish that it would not continue to rain like after arriving into the city because I have a ten minute walk to work from the train station.  I was lucky as the rain did slow down enough for me not to use an umbrella to make my way to get my daily cup of java.  I made a stop at the magazine store and pick up the current issue of Sewstylish Magazine and it put a smile on my face.

I started knitting my scarf last night for the felted foliage scarf project.  It seems that I received a second wind at 10 at night to start it and managed to knit a few inches of the scarf before going to bed.  I am a bit of a perfectionist by doing a ripout and starting over before finally getting it right to my satisfacation, but here is the self-reflection I did not have to start over because I can cover my mistakes when I sew on the foliage leaves to the scarf.  Admission, I gave myself a headache and sometimes it is just fine to let it go.  Getting back to the magazine.  I am going to read Sew Stylish on my commute home to work.  There is an article about interfacing basics, and Daniel Vosovic, the former contestant from Project Runway wrote an article fabric 101, and the Crafty Chica contributes as well by transforming a men’s shirt into a flirty top.

I know it is only Monday, but feels like Friday as wave of sleepiness seems to blow in my direction and cast with heavy eyelids while I write this blog which probably is a sign for me to call it a day in the writing department.

Friday and the Weekend


Hooray, it is Friday!  However, it is also raining and do not know if I am going out at lunch time.  I came into the office this morning to repot my plants.  I did some shopping yesterday after work with stopping by at Purl Soho to pick up some felting for my scarf project.  I purchased an assortment of green colored felt for $20.00 and two skeins of Casade 220 yarn for $14.50.  I am not going to use all of the felting and probably will have enough felt to make another scarf.  I am going to do an on-line purchase for some Red Heart for a sweater that I am knitting for my niece as a graduation present.  She can definitely have the sweater as her college wardrobe.  As I am writing this blog another thought has to come to mind instead of using the Casade 220 yarn for the leaf scarf project, but still processing that thought in my brain.  I am going to send my niece a text message and ask her sweater size before buying the yarn because I like to measure twice and purchase once.

wr1797

I tried to order the yarn for the sweater hoodie after getting niece’s size and because of the popularity of this particularly yarn, I am unable to purchase today.  I am not disappointed and will wait a couple of weeks to see if there is a new shipment of yarn.  Until that time, I am do some work around the house this weekend like knitting and stop by the bookstore (I really need to get my NYC library card).  I purchased my Jalie Patterns today and hope to receive them next week.  Well that is all have to write about at the moment.  I am still working on researching different types of fabric such as hemp and lyocell and write about it in the future.  Until that time, enjoy your day!

Online Bargains


I signed up for Fabric.com email alerts for new fabrics or sales on its site.  The company sends me “Deal of the Day” and today I decided to take the offer along with the free shipping for orders over $35.00.  The deal of the day is sweater knit for $2.39 a yard which I do not think anyone would beat with a stick.  I purchased 5 yards of each of the dark green and charcarol fabric.  These will go into my stash to make some wrap dresses for next fall/winter.  I also purchased some metro stretch denim and used the pattern review discount, and will purchase the Jalie stretched jean and classic trousers patterns also through Pattern Review.

large_bw-970  large_ca-030

I treated myself to a new tape measure from Fabric.com and think that this is it for my fabric buying for the month unless I find another deal that pique my interest enough to purchase it.  I am going after to work to purchase the felt I mentioned in my blog entry from yesterday, and need to get some potting soil for my plants now that it has been a week since their arrival to the office.  It is 65 degrees today and I am happy about that, but am a little warm because I am wearing a cashmere cardigan sweater in addition to my trench coat due to the forcast of possible rain.

This is going to be a short post today as I am preparing to leave and run some errands, but it has been a bit of a long day.  So I am going to get some dinner in the process, go home, and relax with watching some TV.  Enjoy the rest of your day!

What’s New?


It is Wednesday and I am looking at another cloudy day with the chance of rain by this evening as reported by the news this morning.  I was catching up on blog reading this morning, and found out that Vogue has posted new patterns onto its website.  I took a peak and saw some that I would like to purchase.  I am still in the learning stages of sewing, so I go for the very easy or easy patterns.  I posted the ones I like and thinking about adding to my pattern stash (I have a collection of patterns).

v8571   v85731

v8583   v8587

v8580      v8586

I really the dresses in the location particularly the dress with the bow-tie in the back, and the flouncy skirt that I like as well.  I have to thank Michelle Obama for making cool to wear dresses.  I know women were slowly getting back into wearing dresses as I can see from the various blogs I read, but maybe Mrs. Obama will influence more women to wear them.  I do not have a problem with wearing pants, but it’s nice to wear down the street in a nice dress.  I am thinking about making a maxi dress.  Mimi Goodwin  made one over a week ago in a tutorial of how to make one for yourself.  I need to have thicker strips as I have the girls to think about, and perhaps putting a band along.  I am still mulling over the idea.

I walked over to Purl Soho today to their fabric shop to check out their felt fabric because I am going to do the scraf from “Sewing Green” book.  I like the because it’s whimsical, adds textual and interest to my accessories.  I think if I purchase three or four 18×24 cuts and purchase some yarn to knit a garter stitch scarf.  I am going to try my hand at felting the scraf.  Another idea comes to mind of knitting a hat and cut the felted leaves and sew onto the hat, and a border of leaves at the bottom of a skirt or coat.  I may go felting crazy.  I am going to purchase some yarn from Lion Brand and haven’t decided on the color for the scarf.  I have it down to these colors.  I am lending towards the first swatch, but probably will make up mind by tomorrow.

820-132b  820-171b150-126b  820-123b

51i9s3rehnl__ss500_1

 I was thinking of the ways I could make some extra money.  I have a habit of downplaying my knitting, but it could be a way for me to make some money by making some small things like hats and scarves.  Someone noticed my hat with the button on the side and loved it, and I wondered if people would be willing to purchase such items.  Who wants a plain hat, when they have it embellished with buttons, ribbons, beads, and felted leaves?  Something for me to think about.  Enjoy your day!

A Sewing Book Review, Nice Finds and What’s Wrong with Repurposing


It’s a beatiful day and the only unfortunate part of it is that I suffer from allegries during this time of year.  I am allegry to just about everything such as grass and tree pollen, dust mites, roaches, ragweed, horses, dogs, cats, feathers, and a few others things I do not even remember anymore.  However, let us just say that from the months from March to November can sometimes give me some difficulty.  I also have a weird allery to rice, mustard, and green peas which means I can not eat these particular foods very often, and grains like quinoa, amanath, wheatberries, and barley have become my new staples.

Well that is my little side note before getting to real purpose of what I want to write about today.  A couple of blog entries ago, I mentioned that I purchased a book called “Sewing Green” by Betz White.  The book has 25 projects made with repurposed and organic materials along with tips and resources for earth-friendly stitching.  Betz gives very useful and old-fashioned advice on repurposing materials as way not only to save money, but be kinder to the environment.  If you or I thought about it, our parents and grandparents would constantly tell us about the importance philosophy of waste not want not.  We can refashion a skirt by adding embellishments to give it a second life.  I will tell you a little secret, I do not have a problem with going into a thrift shop and finding a good quality coat or jacket and creating something new from it.  Is that not the point of being crafty and creative?  We do not always have to create something new, but create something different as well.  In addition, I do have scraps of fabric and yarn that can be used for other projects.  There is one project in the book where you can make a auto sunshade from empty drink pouches such Capri Sun or Kool-Aid Juicers.  Actually, I think that is a very good idea if you have children who drink those juices, just save them and make the sunshade.  This way you have less trash and your carseat can remain cool, it’s a two-fold solution.  Betz also recycled pillow cases by making them into either skirts for women, or sundresses for little girls.  If you have an old denim skirt, you can create a shopping bag as people are beginning to bring their own shopping bags to supermarkets.  I do not know if anyone knows this, but Whole Foods Market will deduct 15 cents from your grocery bill if you bring your own bag.  I think Sewing Green is a good reference book to have for those who like or want to recycle and reuse.  I have a question, does anyone reuse, buy secondhand, and recycling clothes?  If so, how do you do it?

I have a couple of nice finds today.  Last week, during my weekly knitting club at work (there are some crafty people at my job and we meet on Thursdays afternoon to knit or crochet for an hour) one of my co-workers went to Rhinbeck, NY a few months back and purchased some yarn from Brooks Farm Yarn.  It’s called Four Play which is 50/50 blend of fine wool and silk (it is so soft), approximately 270 yd/4oz. worsted weight (7-9 US needles).  It is $18.00 a skein, but less than $100, you could knit a nice sweater, or just brought two skiens for a scraf or cowl.  Yesterday, I picked up a copy of Sew News to read the article about sew green ideas.  There were a couple of articles, one on sewing with bamboo, and what does green mean.  Sewing with bamboo gives the basic on how to sew with bamboo with choosing fabrics, benefits of using bamboo, and some resources of where to find bamboo fabrics.  One website I like is The Bamboo Fabric Store which had a selection of knit, knit with loop, and flat woven fabrics, and if you like working with hemp fabric, there is The Hemp Fabric Store with a selection of hemp fabrics.  Another website for bamboo fabrics is the Bamboo Textile Store which as a selection of fabrics as well. 

Here is some information about bamboo and hemp fabrics:

Bamboo fiber is softer than the softest cotton and has a natural sheen to the surface and feels similar to silk or cashmere.  It has a very high soil release value and is so durable that you can throw it in the washer and dryer.  Bamboo is breathable, comfortable and thermal, so it can keep you cool and dry.  It absorbs and evaporates perspiration faster than any other fabric.  Bamboo is anti-bacterial and order free which prevents cultivation of yeasts, molds, and fungus on your clothes.  That remains me, I am allegric to mold.  With people who have allegries like me, it’s hypoallergenic meaning it’s non-irritating to the skin (I have asthma and eczema), and something I did not know bamboo fabric protects you from UV rays (who knew).  In addition, it’s environmental safe as it does not require pesticides, insecticides, and fertilizers, and it’s biodegradable.  Bamboo fabric does cost more, but it is a very durable fabric so it lasts for a long time which is a long-term savings.

I am going to end on this note.  Considering that I do have some medical issues, it may behoove me to check out different types of plant based fabrics such as corn, soy, lyocell, and tencel.  I am not fabric or yarn snob, but I think it is a good thing to check out other fabric options and work with them.  I will do some more research on the plant-based fabrics and write them in future blog posts.  This also means that I should stop writing because my entry is getting a little long again, and if you are like me you have more blogs to read with subscribing to goole reader.  Enjoy the day!

Is it Spring Yet?


I woke up 6 this morning and turned on my radio to listen to NPR with a discovery that it was 31 degrees outside.  I know it is spring, but 40 degrees are not yet behind us in New Jersey.  I write to mention that I visited the Lionbrand Yarn Studio to pick up some yarn.  SinceI was going to the studio, co-worker asked me to pick up some yarn for her as well.  Lionbrand just put out a line of yarns within the past three months called the LB Collection.  One of the reasons for liking Lionbrand Yarns is the price factor, the company manages produce yarns that does not break your budget and still has quality of nice stitch definition.  In my blog about fabric and yarn snobbery, I am not a snob just as long as it is good quality.  In fact, Lionbrand has this mircospun yarn that I like because it creates a nice stretchy fabric.

Lionbrand is getting on the green bandwagon and has in its collection organic wool, recyclable cotton, and bamboo.  It is all about sustainability and reusing old materials to create something new.  I have an old wool sweater that has a hole in it and resusing to make either a bag.  Let us face it, we have to make our dollars stretch as much as a possible.  I think the recession has taught us an important lesson that it is not wise to waste anything and we need to not only saving money, but reuse.  My grandmother use to recycle old jars, and I am doing that now with reusing them as containers for buttons, ribbons, and grains that I purchased in plastic bags that I need to store.

I am digressing a bit, but let me get back to my visit at Lionbrand.  I purchased five skeins of the LB collection of cotton bamboo yarn.  Initially, I was going to crochet a shell that the company created to use for the bamboo cotton yarn, but I changed my mind about the pattern.  I have a pattern in mind and just think about it until I purchased the yarn with thinking about it over the weekend.  The Favorable Cardi from the September/October issue of Crochet Today.  I like the shape of the cardigan and probably can wear it for three out of the four seasons and think the cotton bamboo yarn from LB will be great to use for this project.  This will be my first crochet cardigan project, and crochet a sample gauge last night to see how it will look.  Since, I only purchased five skeins, I have to go back and get the contrasting color.  I purchased the hyacinth which is a dusty blue color, but probably get four more skeins, one more of the dusty blue, and three to four skeins of the snapdragon or spring green yarn.  I am not going to do three colors.  I think two colors are enough for the cardi, and just use contrasting color for the buttons.  I think if can if this project, I can wear with the nice blue cotton fabric I purchase for the Michelle Obama dress and just use a contrasting color for the ribbon on the dress.  If you do not mind, I am actually thinking out loud and writing into the entry.  There are times while I am writing, I am also editing, but this is not one of those moments.  Lion Brand’s LB collection includes, LB 1878, LB Collection Cashmere, LB Collection Organic Wool, LB Collection Superwash Merino, and LB Wool Stainless Steel.  You can go onto www.lionbrand.com to see their yarn collection, and www.crochettoday.com for more information about the magazine and its projects.


487-107b  487-174b

0908_cover

Of course the week could not go by without visiting the bookstore.  I purchased two books one entitled “Sewing Green” and other “Simple Style”.  I knew that first book was going on sales a couple of months ago, and decided it may be a good book to have because I do want to re-work some of the pieces in my wardrobe.  I also wanted to experience with working with organic fabrics such as bamboo.  Adrienne from Real Life: Live & Unscripted http://adrienneslittleworld.typepad.com/ and she used bamboo fabric to make tunic dress.  She told me that it was nice and soft.  I have a confession to make, I like knit fabric because of its drape, easy to care for, and you can dress it up or down.  Back to Sewing Green, I looked through the book and like some of the projects.  There is a lunch bag and sandwich wraps that I would like to make for myself as I need to save money.  Working in New York City, you can spend as much as $15.00 for lunch.  That is a lot of money and I can take that lunch money to purchase other items such as fabric and yarn (lol).  I really like  the project on the cover.  I have some leftover yarn that I can knit into a simple scarf, find some felt fabric from Joann’s, and a nice whimscal scarf.

51i9s3rehnl__ss500_

The other book I purchased is a knitting book from Interweave Publishers and part of the style series.  There is Wrap Style, Color Style, Scraf Style, etc.  Simple Style is based on patterns that are simple to knit and even have a couple of skirt patterns.  There is a wrap project that I would love to knit from the book, but there is a cardigan that I thought would be good to have my closet.  I really need to just go to the library and borrow these knitting pattern books, then I can just make copies of the patterns I would like to knit and save my money to purchase yarn to knit the project (yes I am thinking aloud again).

iscaossbrm1  isca7f6nv0

I was going to write about some current knitting and sewing magazine with a green theme, but I think I am on the verge of writing more than thousand words on this post again and you the reader my be a little tired of reading at this point because I am getting tired of typing.  I am going to write a blog about green sewing and knitting by the end of this week as this will give me enough to do so more research, reading, and find resources in case you may want to green your world.  Enjoy the rest of your day.