Sunday, July 26, 2009

blue and brown yarn

This is some super soft yarn that I bought for my sister from Windsor Button in downtown crossing. I know nothing about yarn other than some skeins have to be specially wound before you can knit it (the sales lady said these are a shape that doesn't need that). And I think they come in different sizes, but I'm not so up on what those sizes are. These ones are very soft and snuggly- I figured she could make scarves for the kids out of them. If they're good scarf knitting yarn! No idea on that front either! ;-) But they feel nice and the colors are pretty.

While I was there I bought a bit of cute whale ribbon and some neat pink buttons.
whale ribbon!


I've been eating lots of good food here. Delicious pepperoni pizza, cannoli, ice cream. And some nice morning coffee:

morning coffee

Yesterday I bought a new sketchbook in Pearl Art, which reminded me of a story from when my sister and I were in college. She was a first year when I was a senior, and I desperately needed more mat board for one of my photography classes in November. She was going into Boston for something and I asked her to stop at Pearl to pick up some. She bought about 3 boards- huge ones, like 3 feet by 4 feet or something very large and stepped out the door to walk to the T stop. It was a REALLY blustery day and the way she tells it, she had to wrestle the mat board- which wanted to turn into a sail- up the street and into the T, and then out to Wellesley. The experience nearly killed her, almost blew her out to the Atlantic Ocean, and made her determined to major in something that didn't involve wrestling huge pieces of cardboard on a regular basis. I'm sure she got me back for it somehow. ;-)


Thursday, July 23, 2009

lobster roll

lobster roll
Originally uploaded by wck

Rainy vacation!

Dan and I have looooong history in Rhode Island (he went to grad school at URI, but he picked it because we'd both been here many many times before) and we're still very attached to the state. He actually used to spend summers here with his mom.

Me, getting rained on, at the beach he used to go to as a kid.
rhode island

The ocean
rhode island

Sweet little cottages
rhode island

Tomorrow I'm off to Boston by myself... here's what I'm planning to do:
* visit MIT (I miss it to pieces. IHTFP and all that when you're there, but then you get tossed into the adult world and realize how fantastic it really is (; )
* go to Mike's Pastry in the North End
* walk along the esplanade
* go to the MFA and the Gardener
* wish I still lived in Central Sq ;-)

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Isn't this pattern adorable? It's from the 1960s, but I think it looks pretty modern with the midriff band.
Simplicity 8539

I spent pretty much the whole day making it up... this is a bit of a trial version to see if I liked how it fit, so I just used a quilting cotton. It's a bit *blue* now that it's done so I think when I make it for real I'll use at least two different colors. I feel like Grover wearing this version!
Simplicity 8539

The ribbons on the top & bottom of the midriff band are some light blue velvet ribbon I had left over from outfits for Kate & Ana- I was hoping they would break up the blue a little bit.

I lined it in navy blue silk organza
Simplicity 8539 insides

I left off the neck facings & just understitched the neck seam. The armhole facings are handstitched down to the organza. I forgot how nice dresses feel when you use organza in the bodice... it just has a "weight" to it, even though it's very light and airy. One problem, though, is at the waist. I just turned up the organza at the bottom... so I think it twists around and flips out or something when I'm wearing it, and it can get very itchy. Argh! I'm going to have to figure out what's causing it, or my sister is going to be receiving a blue dress very soon. ;-)

Pattern envelope back. I like how they used to print the pattern shapes on the back with the line drawing!
Simplicity 8539

Here's the hem... I first stitched 5/8" from the raw edge, and pressed it up, then stitched about an inch from the turned up edge and pressed up again, then hand stitched the part turned up. Quick and easy.

Simplicity 8539 hem

I wish the weekend was longer, as I bought some great fabrics in the garment district on Thursday & they're folded on the ironing board waiting to be sewn up. Elizabeth got a great "burnout" knit (not sure if it's really a burn out, but it's gorgeous in real life), which I was tempted by- but since I'd already bought several yards of black over at Spandex House I didn't get any. Anyway, if you read her post, I had to explain why I was buying trims with no swatches when we stopped at Pacific Trim. My mom has wonderful "color memory" and I either inherited it from her or she trained me well enough at the fabric store as a kid. ;-) I remembered that I'd written about it on my non-sewing blog a few years ago. The trim I was looking for when I wrote that post was for the little green and blue silk dresses I made for my nieces for their brother's christening. This is Ana in her dress:

And finally... I'm waiting for the grapes to ripen over at the farm. No purple ones yet.

Here's the grape arbor- my grandfather built it when my mom was a kid. The stray screens leaning against the fence in the back are waiting to be deployed to patch fence holes. The bunnies have been going crazy in the gardens this summer.

Our grape arbor

Saturday, July 18, 2009

another round of the PJ factory

Warm and cozy pair

The pants are flannel and the button front top is a doubleknit.

Summer pair. Tshirt is from the March BWOF although I used a knit, then modified the neckline to use picot edge elastic instead of a placket and an elastic casing.

And another refashion dress- the skirt was from an old Simplicity dress I tried making for myself a few years ago and never finished.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Short post, because I'm exhausted. I was out in the hot sun most of the day picking raspberries at the farm... we have hundreds and hundreds of them. I always pick them in sleeveless tops because between I can't stand getting long sleeves caught in the thorns. Unfortunately, then that means that my arms get all scratched up- you get to pick one or the other. The berries are so worth it though! I came home with a bunch beets, spearmint for tea, more rhubarb and some squash as well. Yum!

My sister asked for a couple new pairs of PJs for Kate. First pair, from cotton interlock print from JoAnns.

new PJs

And here she is with Tom

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hazelnut cake recipe

Apparently I was a bit sneaky with the hazelnut cake recipe. ;-) It's the same yogurt cake that I always make, from Orangette. If you read to the bottom of the recipe, you'll see the recommendation to swap in a half cup of almond flour. For the hazelnut cake, you just use hazelnut flour there. It's super simple to make and a really flexible recipe.

I've gotten sucked in by all the underpinnings sewing going on in blogland and I spent pretty much the whole afternoon today wrangling Simplicty 5549 (from 1982!) into fitting me, and having a back band. I had to draft my own back pattern piece since it wanted you to use just elastic for the band. And then the A-cup pattern pieces were- surprise- huge, so I had to take it in quite a bit. But here we are- it fits! It's made out of some silk and stretch lace.

simplicity 5549

Here's the pattern envelope. I want to make the full slip sometime.

simplicity 5549

I also picked up Jalie 2568 recently and made a floral PJ top for myself and a purple and white one for my sister. It's a really simple pattern, so it takes all of about 30 minutes to make.

jalie 2568

jalie 2568

And finally, Declan in his furry PJs the other night. I tried getting a picture of him with his eyes closed, but he opened them every time I picked up the camera.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

two midweek BWOFs!!

You know something crazy is happening when I'm sewing in midweek. In this instance, "something" == a transformer explosion in downtown Newark that knocked out the power to our building on Tuesday. There was a huge fire as well. This was the view from our office before the oodles of firetrucks raced in:

newark fire

This was somewhat inconvenient as I'd had BeeBee's BWOF pants pattern sitting in an envelope on my desk all last week and I was determined to make it to the post office that day. Well... Newarks' post office is directly behind the building spewing black smoke there. You can guess how that went- I ended up bringing it home and stopping off at the post office in my town instead!

So since we left the office early I didn't have my usual late commute home and I sewed myself up a skirt from BWOF 12-2007-118. I'd stumbled over this pattern making a copy of the pants instructions for BeeBee and thought it looked kind of cute. I did a slapdash job on it- no lining, just a ribbon waistband, and I think a few of the buttonholes are in wonky. Thankfully I chose a busy print and black buttons... no one is particularly going to notice my wonky buttons. ;-)

And... last night, I made up a pair of shorts for Kate, from BWOF 05-2009-137. She's wearing them in the photo above, here's a closeup. The fabric is a stretch ripstop remnant that I got for $1.50 at JoAnns. I left off the front fly and just made the whole waistband an elastic waist. And I used the selvedge as the leg hem. Midweek sewing is always slapdash for me. The ribbon trim is from Pacific Trim in NYC.

BWOF 05-2009-137

BWOF 05-2009-137

And here is our dessert tonight... hazelnut cake with creme fraiche. Yum!

hazelnut cake with creme fraiche