For when it’s warm

My sister has correctly pointed out in the past the I don’t always wear some of my finished projects.  True, so I began thinking about what I do wear.  I wear a uniform (work), sweats, knit dresses, knit tops, some blouses and jeans.  Occasionally a skirt or two gets worn, but unless I start making my own sweats (that would really be a sweatshop) for maximum sewing utility, I decided not to worry that I don’t wear alot of what I make.  I enjoy making stuff so that will be the goal.  No fun, no go.

In an effort to make something I do wear I made this top.  This is Burda 7519 and it’s a super easy top.  I reviewed it over on Patternreview if you’d like the detailed lowdown.  FYI, if you’re a sewist and unfamiliar with Patternreview go check it out.  It’s like Ravelry for sewing.  I looked at the posting on this pattern and there seemed to be mixed success with the pattern.  Some said they found the pattern ran large (it does) and some didn’t get a good result.  I surmised this may have been based on their fabric choices.  My fabric is a tissue cotton knit, very light and fluid, a great candidate for a cowl.  I measured the pattern, chose my size based on the fit I wanted, adjusted the length and cut away.  This top is a two hour top, no fooling.  Basic sewing skills required and a serger helps.

I was so happy with my top I’m thinking about making another one, with a bit of further tweaking.  And in case you’re wondering, I did indeed wear this one to see Bridesmaids (funny!) so that’s a successful out-o-the-house outing for this garment.


Skirt on my back


When I came across this skirt at a thrift store I thought back to some pretty totes I’d seen beautifully made by the talented blogger Saidos da Concha.  I scooped up the floor length pleated kilt-type skirt (it’s a tiny lady’s skirt) and set it aside for a bit.

I picked the skirt up after a month and thought I’d have a stab at ripping it apart to give me some useable material for crafting.  I ripped and ripped, pulled threads and on and on it went.  I was going nuts with it all.  It ended up taking about half a day to rip this skirt apart, but there was a lot of material on that skirt!  Since I was well over the skirt by then I thought I’d throw the repurposed material in the washer to get the thrift store funk off of it.  Mind now, this material is 100% wool and I was a bit reckless because  I was kind of sick of looking at the darn stuff.  If it went wrong, oh well.  Turns out that skirt washed up just fine.  I even threw it in the dryer for about 5 minutes.  I know!  But wet wool smell is not pretty and I’m a gambler.  So now what to do with this clean wool plaid?  Tote, clutch, pouches?

I came across this Leisl backpack tote pattern and thought I’d give it a try.  I used some stash remnants for the lining and only had to buy the hardware and interfacing.  Not a bad use for the repurposed skirt, no?

The sewing of the bag isn’t hard, it’s just fiddly.  I don’t like fiddly sewing.  This is all about the fiddly.  But I persevered and put my newly tuned up Bernina to the test sewing through about nine layers of fabric.  No worries, my Bernina is a star.

So now I’ve got a “tote that converts to a backpack” or “how to wear a skirt on your back without getting stared at in public”.  Good times.


No that’s not an homage to that emaciated praying mantis stylist woman, I just think bananas are delish.  In fact my days of leisure prompted me to make a Banana Cake.  Please note this recipe is a cake, not banana bread, and is from Baking:  From My Home to Yours (D. Greenspan).  I regularly check this book out of the library and should really consider buying a copy.

If you’ve got bananas to use up this is a good candidate.  I used unsweetened coconut toasted, fat free cream and the rum (natch!).  I baked it in a bundt pan for an hour and it’s delish.  I like to cut it into nice slices, wrap in saranwrap and freeze so I can grab a slice if I’m heading to the airport at 3am.  Breakfast on the go.

Now I must go finish the fiddly bag I’m sewing.  Cute but…

Suggestions welcome


Apparently I’m very suggestible.  When looking over my recent crafty endeavors I see that the most were projects I’d seen on blogs that provoked me to say “me too”. 

So what have we got here:

Upper left is Baked Oatmeal.  Seriously.  I hate oatmeal and love this baked version found here.  In fact I loved this so much I just ordered the cookbook whence it came.  If they’re all like this it’s got to be a winner.

Upper right is a Tiny Pocket Tank first spied on this site.  This is one easy tank and it’s even been worn out of the house, so that’s a success.

Lower left is the beginnings of Liesl + Co.’s  Day in the Park Backpack Tote.  It’s a tote bag that converts to a backpack.  Cute!  I first saw it here and immediately ordered the pattern.  I don’t even particularly like making bags, too fiddly!  I’m making this one though and have pawed through my fabric stash already looking for useable materials.

The lower right is my idea in that no one inspired me to make my usual socks.  They are short row heel/toe socks to my recipe and this yarn is exactly the color of a Diet Mountain Dew bottle.  No, I would never drink such a thing but the woman next to me was and hence I made my discovery.

My sewing machine will be sprung from the awesome sewing shop tomorrow (just a minor repair) so crafting will begin in earnest.  Must do something useful on my days off…

San Diego dreaming


I am rather fortunate to have had a nice long layover in San Diego and I forget how lovely this place is.

My hotel room view is of the harbor and on my walks around the surrounding Little Italy neighborhood I managed to find a spectacular bougainvillea and a darn good hamburger.  Now I must sleep since I have to work the overnight flight (boo/hiss).  Sleeping while it’s sunny is just wrong.  Hope your day was lovely too!