Saturday, December 15, 2012

More fabric...........

Those of you who follow this sad pathetic excuse for a blog, will no doubt notice the incredible lack of sewing being done. So, why, do I persist in purchasing fabric? I just can't resist a good buy on fabric. Can't do it. I am getting close to S.A.B.L.E. (stash accumulated beyond life expectancy), especially since I have no intention of slowing down on the purchasing of fabric. Fortunately my niece has graciously volunteered to give it all a good home after I die. Lovely girl.

Case in point. While killing time today, I wandered into one of my favourite thrift stores (charity shop to you Brits), everything was half price. You can guess the rest.

Gray polyester crepe, 150 cm wide, 4.2 meters for $3.25, I love this and I don't usually even like Miss Ester (some of you know may her by her first name, Polly) but it is lovely and drapey and suitable for a dress or pants or many things.

Cream cotton twill, 150 cm wide, 2 meters for $2.00-this is the best photo I could produce. A nice medium weight, good for pants or shorts. If you look closely you can see some dog hair, apparently Barney felt it could use some accessorizing. He is thoughtful that way.


Black and white tiny houndstooth, 150 cm wide, 4 meters for $4.00 (could be wool), a nice medium/heavy weight, good for a coat, jacket, suit etc.



Navy and white cotton check 130 cm wide, 3.5 meters for $2.50, great for a summer shirt for The Husband.


Black knit with crushed velvet pile, 150 cm wide, 3 meters, $3.00, this is velvet like, but the raised bits are looped not cut, and it is a nice weight. I used this photo because the sheerness shows. I don't have any idea what I will do with this, no matter, it is likely to age  awhile forever anyway.


Black fleece, 150 cm wide, 1 meter $1.75-which I am not going to post a photo of because everyone knows what fleece looks like and all it looks like is black fuzzy stuff.

So, let us do the math, 17.7 meters of fabric for $16.50, that's less than $1 per meter. I am pleased. Now I just have to get sewing. And hide it all from The Husband in the fabric closet of requirement.




PS-My heart and prayers go out to the victims of the horrific incident in Newtown, Connecticut. Like everyone else, I am overwhelmed and heartbroken.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Phase 6 of a project

Gratitude and relief that it is done. Along with a little bit of regret that it is finished. Which is not a feeling that I expected. Anyway, without further ado, here it is. The Project. The very very warm robe for S.



Lined to just below the waist with fleece and the hood lined with minkee, which is lovely
and soft but a PITA to sew.

Yes, it is oversized, very large and blanket like was
the way S wanted it.


Hood up.

Hood down.
The colours of fleece are black, steel gray/blue, oliveish gray, cream, navy blue, medium brown and lime green.

I am pleased with it. I will post in a day or two more about the details. 

Edited-Happy Thanksgiving to my American Friends.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Phases of a project

First Phase Inspiration and Enthusiasm. The idea comes to you. You have no idea how you will begin or complete the project. It is all very exciting, you spend every waking moment thinking about it.

Suggested DVD to play while working: Something happy, like The Gilmore Girls    



Second Phase Conception. You begin to plan and visualize. You are still excited and enthusiastic. You draw, you doodle. Fun fun fun. It's all rainbows and sunbeams now.

Suggested DVD to play while working: something amusing and fun, like Eureka


Third Phase Execution. The idea begins to take form, still fun, still exciting. You celebrate, it is finally coming together. WOO HOO. If you blog, this is when you blog about it.

Suggested DVD to play while working: Something adventurous, like Lost or Heroes



Fourth Phase Reality. A little less fun. You are discovering the contingencies that you didn't plan for. You are entering the "it isn't perfect after all", stage. But you soldier on.

Suggested DVD to play while working: a drama, something like, Nip/Tuck, Medium, Sopranos



Fifth Phase.  I hate this effing thing and how fast can I get this effing thing done and out of my sight stage. This is when you unintentionally hurt yourself by staying hunched over the sewing machine or serger far longer than you should because you just want to be done with it. You have made some boo boos and it is no longer "art". Your sewing dungeon looks like it is home to human sized gerbils who use fleece as nesting material. Pieces of fleece are everywhere, as are serger tails and pins. You have run out of black serger thread and you finally have to stop sewing until the next day, which of course is Sunday and the useless excuse for a fabric store doesn't open until noon on Sunday, which is probably a good thing after all, because you have come to think of Advil as being it's own food group.

Suggested DVD to play while working: something where people die and there is blood and gore, something like Dexter, Dead Like Me, Six Feet Under


Sixth stage. Madness. You are so close to being finished, you start to get a little giddy and giggly, you stay up too late sewing and you begin talking to yourself in (what you think are) funny accents and voices. You finally complete the project, lapse into a coma and stay unconscious for 12 hours.

Suggested DVD to play while working: something a little crazy, the less sense the show makes the better, Little Britain, Fawlty Towers, Monty Python      




Does anyone else experience this? Or is it just me?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Eureka!

No, not the cancelled TV show (which I loved and I am very annoyed that it is no longer on the air), eureka as in this:


Recently someone anonymously commented on my blog and told me where I could buy Burda magazines in Kelowna! I didn't see the message right away as because the message somehow went into my spam folder.  Thank you anonymous reader.

For the legions of my Kelowna readers (notice the change to sarcastica font), you too can buy magazines that you will never use. That is if by using you mean sewing. I intend on fondling them. I went to this wonderful establishment today and they kindly gave me a choice of the magazine in either German or English, as I don't speak German, I chose English. Aren't I clever?

This is the place to go for Burda magazines in Kelowna, Illichmanns, on the corners of Gordon and Sutherland. I mean really, why wouldn't I immediately think of a German bakery and delicatessen as the purveyor of sewing porn? Seriously, if you want the magazine, you can go the store and they will add you to their list and will call you when it comes in. Awesome service, I must say.
Illichmann's Meats, Sausages and Gourmet Foods Ltd.

They also make great pretzels on Thursdays and Fridays. Actually all their baking is great, but I love me some pretzels.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A project I am on the fence about

The husband and I share our home with 5 dogs and another human. She is commonly known as rubber duck PJ friend, S. Sometime ago I promised I would make her a warm robe from fleece. Problem, neither of us felt like putting out $ for fabric for it. I have a fairly large bunch of fleece fabric in various colours, in smaller bits and pieces. I decided I would piece the fabric, but it took a while for me to visualize the completed robe.

Last Friday, it sort of came together in my mind (while being forced to be in a meeting on my day off and feeling very annoyed and passive aggressive about it) I doodled, what I thought was a great idea. It would be Art. Everyone would gasp in wonder at the beauty of it. Of course now that I have started it, I have been having doubts about it. Of course. Don`t you hate that?

Fortunately for me, S has lower standards than I do for clothing (she would agree), and she says she will wear it no matter what it looks like anyway. She is very easy to sew for, far easier than I am actually. I wonder why I don't sew more for her? Hmm.

So anyway, back to the robe. It is Burda 2653, I made one already in July for myself, it really was a muslin for this one. I wear it every day, I love having a robe that is actually full length. So, here are some photos of what I am doing. I basically am assembling bits and pieces of fabric and when I have pieces large enough I will cut out the fabric. We decided on the serged edges being on the right side, so as not to potentially have ridges poking into the fibromyaglia riddled body of S.

 This is the fabric cut into strips.

This is smaller pieces of fabric, serged together. The serged side is the right side.
 A panel of the fabric.
With the lens cap, so you get an idea of scale.















I don't usually ask for opinions, but I want yours this time. Is this going to be the fugliest thing ever made, suitable only for washing floors with. Or will it be Art? Or something in between,  I am convinced it is all three, my cycle of confusion runs about minutes for each opinion.  Be gentle with me.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad


Today is my Dad's birthday. Or was. My Dad died 12 years ago. This is for you Dad.


I grew up in what I thought was a relatively normal family. I know no one is normal, but whatever. Dad worked, Mom stayed home, I went to school. Dad was caught with another woman. My parents divorced.  You know, the usual. It was only when I got older I realized what a character my Dad was. He lived his life by his own rules. He could have written the song I Did It My Way.

Dad was born in Glasgow, Scotland November 11, 1926, the oldest of four children and from what I hear the apple of his mother's eye. I don't know the year he came to Canada,I know it was in the 50's. The circumstances under which he left Scotland I won't divulge, as some people could have their feelings hurt, and I am not sure the information I have is 100% accurate anyway. I have two half brothers from Dad's first marriage, that we know of anyway. There could be siblings scattered throughout Scotland as well, one of my aunts has seen younger men (younger than her anyway) that look remarkably like my Dad. Both of his sons (my half brothers) bear a striking resemblance to him. One aunt upon meeting one of my brothers, announced "clearly a DNA test isn't required ".

Before I was born, Dad and his good friend G were working in a camp in northern BC and when the camp closed for the summer (due to fire hazard) they went to Alaska (this is before it was a state), they had full wallets and a thirst for alcohol. I don't know what they did, but they got kicked out of Alaska. It is really hard to get kicked out of Alaska. Really. Really. Hard. Even now. They were escorted on the only direct flight to Canada from Anchorage, it went to Toronto. Apparently the bender continued and somehow or other they ended up back in Glasgow, Scotland where apparently the bender ended. They didn't have enough money to get back to Canada for several years. There are other stories that I would love to tell but can`t as people's feelings could be hurt.

Mom told me some stories about when her and Dad were dating. When they met he drove logging trucks in logging camps on the coast of BC. Most, if not all logging camps are very remote and only accessible by sea plane or boat. My Dad was in camp and he would phone Mom and always ask her to call him. So one time she did, and he responded by asking "what do you want?". This apparently annoyed Mom, and she reacted in a perfectly normal manner. She moved, changed her phone number and didn't tell any of their friends where she lived. When Dad couldn't find her or or where she was, he behaved in a perfectly normal manner too. He quit his job, came to Vancouver, and sat in the lobby of the BC Telephone Company building where Mom worked, for four days, until she showed up for work. At that time he took her purse, her keys and her coat so she couldn't sneak out, and waited for her to get off work.

Another time, when Mom was living with one of her sisters, her and Dad had had a big fight, he came to the apartment building to see her, she wouldn't let him in, so he kicked in the window (it was a ground floor suite), climbed in and carried her out to the bar, where she had to stay because she had no shoes, purse, coat etc. Aunt M and Mom were evicted from the apartment.

Dad was only 5'7", but very broad and muscular. One of his friends we will refer to as R, was big. Well over 6 feet tall and even broader than Dad. The two of them got into a drunken fight once, they put each other in the hospital. Broken ribs, noses, concussions etc. The hospital staff made a big error in judgement and put them in the same room, so when they woke up they started fighting all over again. The point of this story is, Dad gave as good as he got in a fight between him and a much larger man. When he was older, if you slapped his face, his nose would break, because it had been broken so many times.

Sometime after I was born, Dad became a lineman/electrician, he worked on building the transmission power lines all over the province. He was never home for dinner every night, every weekend if we were lucky. Usually he would come home Friday night, usually under the influence, one time he came home and he had been drinking (like always) and had had an accident. He was bleeding all over the place. Mom, as usual kept calm, asking "was there anyone else involved?" He said no. She replied, "good, stop bleeding on the carpet," and then "Elle, go to bed".

After the divorce, Dad moved to Washington State. He continued to be a lineman/electrician. It was after the split from Mom that Dad began to develop even stranger habits. He stopped dressing like a grown up, would only wear jeans, cowboy boots and t-shirts. He got too lazy to shave, so he grew a beard, which he never trimmed that I could see. He didn't like driving, so when he had to drive long distances he would pick up hitch hikers and make them drive. This still makes me laugh, I mean really, who does this?

He always worked on contract, so once when his contract was up and he had no work on the horizon, he decided he wanted to go to Hawaii. A normal person would see a travel agent and book the plane ticket, hotel room and rental car. Oh god no, not my Dad. He got up in the morning, packed his suitcase and drove to the airport, and walked around till he found the next available flight and bought his ticket. He rented a car in Hawaii, drove around the island, found some kids living on the beach drinking wine and smoking pot and hung out with them for a few days. They were probably scared of him.

When I was visiting him, I noticed he had an award from the governor of the State of Washington for saving someone's life. I asked him about it and all he said was and I quote "Aw, I hate the bugger I should have let him fry". I found out what happened after he died. There was a bunch of men working on the tower, it was hot and the hot wire had been tied down. Somehow it came loose and charged the tower. Doing so, it threw everyone (including my Dad) off the tower and one man was still in contact with the charged tower. A good friend of Dad's told me the story at his funeral. He too, was thrown off the tower. He was unable to get up and watched my Dad get up over and over again.  It seems it took three tries, but my Dad eventually pulled the man off the tower, and the man made a complete recovery. This is something that all the experts say you should never do, as you run the risk of killing yourself. When the award was given at an annual dinner by the Governor, Dad wouldn't go to the dinner, he got someone else to go and accept it for him, he couldn't be bothered to get dressed up to go.

Dad and I had a difficult relationship, I always knew he loved me, but he was never emotionally supportive or available. I don`t think he knew how to be there for someone else. He was always very generous with money however, if he had it and I needed something, there never an issue, I always got it. Period. He was very giving with Mom as well, even after they were divorced. I remember one winter, he was in town and thought Mom's winter coat wasn't warm enough, so he gave her $200 to buy a new one. This was in the 70's and that was more than a months rent. Like I said, he was generous. He did what he could.

He had a very quick tongue and never hesitated to speak his mind. Once when I was in high school, I was visiting him, and he took a good look at me and said "Jesus Christ you're getting fat". I replied, after having a good look at him said "well I come by it honestly, don't I"?  He wasn't too pleased with me over that comment. Keep in mind at that point I was 16, 5'8" tall and weighed 125 pounds, definitely not fat, he just liked keeping people off balance and defensive. It pissed him off no end when it didn't work.

He had a lot of vices, drinking to excess (he could put away a dozen beers by noon and not even appear to be drunk), smoking to excess, gambling to excess (I heard about one weekend in Vegas-he lost $10,000), chasing women (probably to excess, he was married four times and I know he lived with at least two women as well), eventually smoking killed him, he died from emphysema. Because of his death, I quit smoking. Ten years now. Thanks Dad, I would likely have emphysema by now if not for you.


My Dad was a veteran of WWII. He lied about his age, joined the Green Berets and parachuted into France. He was shot and captured, then escaped by killing a German soldier. I only found out about this after he died. He never talked about the war. At least not to me.


Rest in peace Dad. Love you.

© 2012 Elle C Sews

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I love Vogue patterns, I hate Vogue patterns

Last month Vogue had a sale on their patterns for $3.99, a good deal, right? Nice people those Vogue folks, helping us obsessive compulsive out of control pattern hoarders buy every pattern in our category of choice, and we get to feel virtuous doing it too, cause like you know we saved money. The last sale they had, I even enabled someone from another country, I ordered them and had them shipped here, then I will forward them on. Aren't I an evil enabler  a nice person. Of course because I was buying some already, it only made sense to toss a couple in the basket for me too. It only seemed right.

Today, somehow my mojo came out of the dark place it has been hiding for months (thanks Shams, your last post did the trick!), the mojo doesn't know what it wants to make so instead of going downstairs to the sewing dungeon to get the patterns to take upstairs to the fabric closet of requirement, I decided to go to the BMV website where I found this:


When I say my heart sank, I am really not joking. This means endless hours this weekend on my laptop, checking the website against my spreadsheet on my computer, wondering if I really need that Claire Schaeffer pattern, or the Koos, or the (insert name and or number here). The mojo is worried that sewing won't be done this weekend because I will be obsessing about the pattern sale. Of course if I put it off until next week all the sizes and patterns will be gone. Oh gawd. A lost weekend looms.

This is why I love Vogue patterns and I hate Vogue patterns.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

I haven't posted in a long while, I have diagnosed myself with lost mojoitis (with the assistance of ReadyThreadSew). It is, fortunately a rare condition. I have felt no inclination to be creative at all, no sewing, no interesting cooking, no needlework, no polymer clay, no playing with my camera, etc etc etc.  Just torturing dogs with grooming tools (torture according to them, that is). However, this post isn't about any of that.

Like most people in North America I have been glued to CNN watching the storm beat the crap out of the east coast. I just want to say that I am praying for everyone at this difficult time. May the night pass quickly and safely.

Take care everyone, be safe.

Friday, September 7, 2012

captcha rant

For those of you who read Jilly Be's blog, this post will look familiar. It is an exact repost from her blog. Reposted with her permission, of course. This is part of a campaign to get rid of word verification. Thanks Jilly!

Warning:  uncharacteristic bitchy rant follows:  (sometimes a girl's gotta say what a girl's gotta say....)

If you're still using the  impossible-to-read-and-copy captcha images on your comments, I respectfully BEG you to consider the alternatives.  Even moderating all of your comments, if you're that concerned with spam, is (somewhat) more tolerable (to me, anyway) than forcing these old eyes to focus THAT closely, still knowing that I can only guess at some of the illegible letters....
Oh I dunno....15 easyscratches?
errrrrstitches?

How about sucksur number?  No?
sisters 17?
eur...eic...cri...e.....WTF?????

I exaggerate only a tiny bit - I hope you get my point...

Some people are simply refusing to bother with comments on your captcha'd blogs...I quit after two failed attempts, and I'm beginning to wonder if even trying it once is worth it.

If you are on blogger, here is a previous post I did with detailed instructions on how to get rid of the dreaded Word Verification.   You may even have it set, and not know it - you might want to double check and make sure.... (just because YOU can comment w/o a captcha on your own blog does not mean that others can....you're already cleared to comment on your blog, so you won't need to jump through the hoops like the rest of us)

I'll just toss another little mini-rant in here.  I get that you like your privacy, and you dislike spam.  I really do.  But when I enter a captcha code and then I find out that you are moderating my comment on top of it, it makes me feel...wellllll..... I won't go through all the silly Freudian flashes that zip through my feeble brain....let's just say I don't feel like my comment is very much wanted or welcomed, so I often pass at that point.

I find that blogger catches nearly every spam post I get - I still have to delete it from both my email and from the blogger comment spam list, but it takes a couple of seconds to do that.  Just not an issue.  Also, maybe I've just been really, really lucky in that I've never had a published comment that upset me (lordy, I hope I'm not opening myself up with that comment lol!), but I've certainly experienced my share of upsetting experiences in 3D life.  My tendency is to treat them like what they are - a FOG (F*ing Opportunity for Growth) and I move through it as gracefully as I can (which is often the clumsiest vision of non-grace ever, but hey....that's life.)

It's OK with me if you don't respect my attitude, but I know I'm not alone.  I think that most of us blog both for our own, personal reasons, AND we're putting our words out for public readership.   It just seems right to me to have some thoughtful consideration for our readers.

...Putting a smile back on my face, and going back to my regularly scheduling blogging.....  :)

P.S.  - per a request, you have my permission to re-post all or part of this post on your blog :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

animal house

My life is a little crazy right now. I'll explain why. We have four dogs of our own, it goes without saying we love all of them dearly. Actually we love all dogs. Which we are known for far and wide. As you will see.
From left to right, starting at the top.  Barney, Max, Jasper, Ricky. All permanent residents.
Karma and Fu oops I mean Tucker. Jasper and Tucker are littermates and Ricky is their father.
I may or may not have mentioned I work in an assisted living facility, where the residents have varying degrees of independence. One of the residents (we will call her D) had a daughter who passed away, the daughter has/had four children and a dog. The children would be fine, the two younger ones were going to live with another relative, the two older ones would be living on their own, but the dog had no place to go and the younger kids were having a melt down over the dog, so Grandma took Karma (the dog). Well, Grandma is in an assisted living facility for a good reason, she was ill equipped to deal with a young active dog. So after D explained that the older kids were planning on renting a place that would allow dogs and she was only going to have Karma for a short while, I offered to take Karma. I assumed it would only be for a short time. It has now been three months and it looks like she is here to stay. Not a problem, we have all fallen in love with her, with the exception of Ricky. We don't know why, but Ricky hates her. That brings us to five dogs.

Then we took a litter mate of our baby Jasper for a few days, his name is Tucker. He is an only dog and therefore a little spoiled and I am sure if you put your mind to it, you can imagine what we have called him several times during his stay here. Rhymes with. That makes six dogs.

A friend just called and needed a favour. I couldn't say no. An emergency came up and she needed a place for her cat to stay for a few days. Her cat is blind.

Six dogs and a blind cat. Oh yes, and our friend who lives with us is allergic to cats and our large dog Barney loves cats, he thinks they taste great. Should be fun. No? No.
This is Jacob, the blind, stressed out and extremely pissed off cat. Sorry it's a bad photo, but he wouldn't cooperate.

Did I forget to mention that three of the dogs are not reliably housebroken?

Please send any positive energy that you have to spare to me. I think I may need it to survive the week.

Meanwhile, I have been trying to rearrange and reorganize the sewing dungeon. Something tells me that keeping six dogs from eating the cat for the next few days will take up most of my free time.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Weight loss update!



I know I said a while back that I wasn't going to make my poor excuse for a sewing blog into a weight loss blog, but this week I made a significant milestone. Twenty point three pounds! Yup 20.3 pounds. Since June 8.  An average of two pounds a week. Needless to say I am pleased.

I am at least a size smaller and so many clothes I haven't worn in a while have made their way back into rotation. There are also clothes that are unwearable. I destroyed three pairs of pants this week, turning them into rags. Why would I not take them to a thrift store you ask. They were so worn that even homeless people wouldn't want them, besides it was cathartic. It is a little disconcerting (in a good way) when every time you wear something it fits differently than the last time.

Oh, by the way, food does so taste better than thin feels.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Once again, Offshore Labour

For some reason people haven't been able to access this radio program. I don't know why, I know the CBC allows international listeners,

It really is worth listening to, so let us try this again.

1. go to http://www.cbc.ca/

2. Do a search for Offshore Labour, you should get a page that looks like this:


3. Click on the first link, it works for me and I am hoping that it will work for you too.

Please let me know if it works.

I won Vogue 8756!

I won a giveaway from the incredibly talented and prolific sewist and blogger Carolyn, I received The pattern in the mail this morning. Some time ago, I did my first giveaway and Carolyn was the recipient of one of the items. It took months to get to her. Months. I think Canada Post put it in a row boat and had someone row it across the Pacific. Australia Post was much much better. It was stamped the 16th of July and it got here today. Way to go Australia Post!

What is it about winning a pattern that makes me (maybe you too) feel I have to make it as soon as possible?  Unfortunately I can't because it won't fit the size I am now, but it will fit the soon to be thin as a supermodel me.

I love the jacket and the pants are a nice traditional cut. Very nice pattern.

In other news, the comments issue on my blog have been resolved. Rubber duck PJ friend who loves a challenge, managed to fix it. Should this happen to you, reset everything to default and it should straighten it all out.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Offshore Labour

I love lavender.  There is no purpose for this photo, except for the rule that
all blog posts must have a photo. Hey, I don't make the rules.
Taken with a Lensbaby Composer.

Today Robin of A Little Sewing wrote a post about cheap clothes made in other countries, and other things. I am not good at splaining things right now as I have a mild concussion* and thinking is harder than usual. Read her blog. 8-D

Some background on this. I am a CBC Radio addict, for those of you who are not fortunate enough to live in Canada, CBC is our national radio station. It plays some music, but my unnatural love for CBC is because of the really good arts programming (Q with Jian Ghomeshi), current affairs programming (The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti) and independently produced documentaries, along with many other great programs. I am sure my IQ goes up when I listen to CBC regularly. Good news for everyone, you can listen online.

Recently while listening to CBC there was a really good program on, and I thought some of you might find it interesting.This is the description of the program, directly from the website.


Offshore Labour
In this episode, we ask an economist, an activist, and a former sweatshop worker a question: as consumers, can we help improve the lives of sweatshop workers by boycotting sweatshop goods? You'll hear their answers in Episode Six.


This program really changed the way I think about buying cheap clothes. I am not going to tell you how, have a listen (it is 27 minutes long). Enjoy, and I would love to know what you think.

Off shore Labour

*I hit my head on a cupboard door in the laundry room. Hard. Real hard. There was blood and everything. The cupboard doors have been removed and will be replaced with adorable curtains when I feel I am capable of using a tape measure and a rotary cutter.

**Edited August 12, I am having difficulty getting Disqus off my blog. 8-(((. Once again I thought it had worked but now the ability to comment has disappeared. Insert scream of frustration here. Please bear with me.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Funniest thing ever

Have you seen this? It should be shown to anyone who ever asks you to sew for them.


Enjoy.

PS-R if you read this, you didn't ask, I offered.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Discussing DISQUS

Apparently legions of my fans stalkers followers have had some difficulty commenting on my blog since I added DISQUS as some sort of mediator/filter something or other. It worked, no more spam. However, this will NOT do. I have removed it, it may take up to 48 hours to go away. You all should have no more issues with commenting on my blog.

Big thanks to Darling Anne for bringing this to my attention.

PS-for those of you who are envious of my pattern collection, I just received my latest fix from BMV.

Current Count

Butterick 25
Vogue 103

Hey lady, wanna buy some Vogue's? Cheap.


Once you buy from those people, they will stop at nothing to get you to buy more, emails every day reminding you they are just a click away. They are almost as persistent as purveyors of other products that are not quite legal. They also know when they have you in their grasp.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Frosting, Cake or Bread


There has been a lot of talk in the Land of Blog recently about sewing "cake" versus "frosting". The first one I noticed was Tasia of Sewaholic patterns, her post was about how much more fun it is to sew pretty shiny flowered tops and dresses etc (frosting) and things and how you can end up with nothing to wear with them, ie plain skirts or pants (cake).



Steph from 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World  has launched her new pattern company Cake Patterns (which is awesome, congrats Steph), aiming to help women make clothes that are wearable basics, hence the name Cake.



Which got me to thinking, what am I sewing? Since beginning my blogging career, yeah right blog, I have made panties for me, camisoles for Aunt Edna, many pyjama bottoms for me and one pair for a friend, two sleep Sorbettos, a bathrobe for me, a jacket- Vogue 7907 (too hot to need a jacket) along with a Skirt formerly known as The Tablecloth skirt and the top from Vogue 1247, which I have never worn.  The skirt could be described as cake, I have been wearing it and it is a nice casual summer skirt, the jacket would be cake too.  One could hardly describe panties, pyjamas, camisoles and a bathrobe as cake or frosting, could one?

Don't you just love referring to yourself in the third person?



I think I have been sewing bread. Clothes one needs (here I go again), or has to have. One needs to wear underwear, clothes to sleep in, a robe (dressing gown for you Brits) to cover your body with after a shower. Stuff that isn't thrilling, but necessary nonetheless. All part of my plan to eventually sew my whole wardrobe. Until I have achieved my goal weight, I do not want to put a lot of time and effort into producing clothes that will not fit my current body very long. So until I am there I will sew bread and not bake any (which I am very good at btw).

What do you sew? Frosting? Cake? Bread?

What qualifies as each? For instance, for me jeans should qualify as bread, they are a complete essential in my wardrobe, but they feel like cake. Sort of.  Is an easily altered elastic waist skirt cake or bread? T-shirts?

What do you think? Do you ever sew bread?



It isn't the best idea to spend time looking at photos of frosting, cake and bread before you have eaten breakfast. Just sayin'. 




Monday, July 23, 2012

Procrastinating, Netflix and housework

Or how Netflix helped me procrastinate and helped me do housework.



I still have a fleece Koos style bathrobe on the mental design table, I can't quite see it in my head yet and I don't want to start another project until I get this one done.  I have been procrastinating. I admit it. You saw the jam making, but there have been many other incidences of putting it off as well. Many hours of blog reading for instance.

Then I read House of Pinheiro's spectacular example of procrastination. I am truly impressed, procrastination as a blog post, and a pretty good one at that. Her post is stunning, with pie charts and colours and everything. So there was nothing for me to do but to create a spreadsheet of my patterns. Company, Pattern #, Description (ie designer or easy, or whatever), size, garment (skirt, coordinates etc), year printed and other notes. Very satisfying.

For those you who are interested get a life, I have a total of  206 patterns.

1 Akasha 
1 Betsy Ross
8 Burda
23 Butterick
2 Carol Lane-Sabre
1 Favorite Things
4 Folkwear
1 Jalie
1 Kandel
13 Kwik-Sew
1 Material Things
18 McCalls
1 Merchant Rag
4 New Look
1 Revisions
1 Sewn
1 Silhouettes
22 Simplicity
1 Stretch and Sew
2 The Sewing Workshop
1 Trudy Jansen
3 Unique
96 Vogue

If you want, I can also tell you how many of those are Marcy Tilton, how many are dresses, and that I have two patterns for gloves. Why? I have no idea.  

Hello my name is Elle, and I am a TV addict.

Saturday, on a whim I signed us up for Netflix. We had just finished Season One of The Wire. OMG that is an excellent TV show, if you haven't seen it you should and probably without your kids. I was hoping Netflix would have it, that is why I signed up, we needed our fix. Alas, it was not to be. There is however many worthwhile programs I have never seen, that are worth my viewing time and therefore capable of assisting me with my procrastination program.

However, on Sunday, I was sitting down, ready to embark on another day of accomplishing nothing. The thought then occurred to me that I can do housework and watch TV via Netflix on my laptop, so it (it being housework watching TV) isn't such a waste of time. I spent almost the whole day procrastinating cleaning. Very rewarding and now I am on a mission.

I, Elle C, Will Have A Clean House Before My Friend Terri Comes to Visit in August.

Because of Netflix and procrastination. 

Hi Terri.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The BEST method EVER for tracing off patterns-IMO

I know some people don't buy Threads magazine, so this post is for them. In the recent issue of Threads, Kathleen Wagner of Seattle Washington wrote in a tip for tracing patterns that I think is the most brilliant thing ever. Ever. She won for the "best tip". Well Duh. I think she should win for the Best Tip Ever of All Time.

By now I am sure you are all sitting on the edge of your seats screaming at your 'puter. "What is it already?"  Here it is. She traces the pattern on the back of the pattern with a child's wax crayon,  and then IRONS the traced pattern onto pattern paper printed with light blue dots so grainline marking is unnecessary. I would use Swedish tracing paper or some of the roll of blank newsprint I am hoarding have on hand or whatever you use for your patterns. You could also use different colours of crayons for circles or whatever.


I'm not sure how well it would work for Burda, it would depend on how much of the wax comes off the paper after pressing with the iron.  You could test it and find out, if needed. If it worked, would this solve the issue of Burda patterns being somewhat difficult to trace? I haven't sewn with Burda magazine patterns yet (mostly because no one sells them where I live) so I don't know.

Is this idea as brilliant as I think it is? Tell me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rest in peace Sadie bum


On Monday July 9, 2012 one of the gentlest souls to ever walk this planet made her last trip to the vet. Sadie wasn't my dog, but I loved her as if she was. I am spared the pain of coming home and expecting to hear the thump of her tail and the sudden shock of disappointment of realizing I will never hear it again. I feel the loss of her nonetheless. My good friends H and B were fortunate to have Sadie come into their lives. I don't know what they ever did to deserve her, but it must have been something great because she was a wonderful dog. Truly one of those special dogs you find once or twice in your life if you are very lucky.

I hope you are having fun with Puss and Zoe at the Rainbow Bridge Sadie. We will all see you again one day.



The Rainbow Bridge


Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....


Sunday, July 8, 2012

I sewed something!


I sewed this weekend. I know, I know. A sewing blog with a post about sewing. So confusing. I will give you a moment to gather your thoughts.

I am no longer a Burda virgin. I made a robe this weekend, from Burda 2653.

It is super easy. Really super easy. I actually made it in less than a day, and I am a slow sewist. It is made from thrifted 100 % waffle weave cotton.  I ran out of fabric for the facings, so I used an old sheet, the colour is light green too and it works well. A sleeping Sorbetto and PJ bottoms are probably going to make an appearance soon too.  The fabric is perfect for a summer robe. Which I need now that we finally have summer. Summer came with attitude, it is making up for lost time. Last weekend we had floods in our area because of the rain. Now the forecast is for 36 C, or 96 F, Sunday. Hot. Damned hot.

Back to the robe. I made A, which is full length (a novelty for me) with a hood, and I made it in the largest size, so it is big. I always think robes should be oversized, don`t you? With the hood up, one looks like Obi Wan Kenobi would if he had his colours done and he was told he was a spring. 

This is not the sewist you are looking for.
The lightsaber is in for repairs.


The pattern went together perfectly or it would have if I hadn't made a mistake in cutting one of the fronts. Which is odd because I cut the fronts doubled. I cut one side 3 inches longer at the front and tapered to the right length at the side. The other side was perfect. I cannot imagine how I managed to do that.

This is actually a test run of the pattern. I am in the planning stages of a robe for S (rubber duck PJ friend), she needs a ridiculously warm robe for winter as she is always cold. For her robe I am using only fleece that I have in my stash, and so therefore I will be piecing the fabric. Not in the down home quilted look, I am hoping for a cool Koos look. I almost have it in my head, not quite yet. But soon.

There is nothing like finishing a project you love to inspire you to sew more. I will be heading down to the sewing dungeon today to start another project. I know not what. Yet.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Something I made a long time ago

Earlier this year a blogger (can't remember who it was) posted about having a bought a bunch of lace, and they were wondering what they were going to do with it. I mentioned that I had made something with lace, sort of a sampler. I couldn't find them to take a photo to show them. After suffering from ennui earlier this week, I finally got off my shrinking butt and started to clean up the sewing dungeon. Think of it as an archaeological excavation and you get a clue how bad it was. Almost at the end, I found them. So without further ado, here they are.


These are all pieces I picked up here and there. They are on acid free matt board and they are attached with teeny tiny dots of acid free white glue. They are around 20 years old and there is no signs of the lace degrading, so the acid free crap high quality products I used seemed to have done their job. The frames are vintage, retouched with Rub'nBuff gold colour.  Nice for a sewing room/studio/bordello/dungeon, don't you think?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

suffering from ennui



Yup. That is how I am feeling today. It is a wonderful word, isn't it?  One that isn't used nearly enough. Let's make it our word of the week. You might have to carry around a dictionary to explain to people what it means. Unless of course you hang out with smarter people than I.

Today I have been reading (An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan, if you want to know), napping, eating, thinking about eating, thinking about exercising, telling Jasper he is the cutest dog ever, reading blogs and feeling inadequate and lazy because of all the talented people whose blogs I have been reading.

Steph has been cleaning out her sewing room. This is definitely something that needs doing, The Sewing Dungeon is in serious need of a good clean out.

Tanit-Isis went thrifting and bought a bunch of sewing patterns. This admittedly doesn't count as sewing, but at least she got dressed and left the house, which is more than I have done today. Besides we all know she spent some time with her machine today.

Simona sewed up a Cynthia Rowley dress pattern 1802. A pattern which I adore. She is planning to make another one, this time with piping so you can see all the seaming. I can't wait.

Andi has been busy trying to ship her kids away for a while. She didn't put it that way. She is a better mom than that. They are going to camp.

KC has been helping her son put together a costume for The Anime Expo. What a good mom she is. We know that because she told us.


This is the ultimate demonstration of laziness, on my sewing blog I write a post about other peoples sewing, that they have already written about. Perfect. Now I am going to finish An Assembly Such as This.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A thrifting we will go......

Look what I found today! I turned around and there it was. I am sure I heard angels singing and there seemed to be a rainbow ray of light coming down from the heavens engulfing me and my precious. Notice the price tag. SCORE. Now I just have to learn how to use it.  The Coletterie blog has what I am sure is an excellent tutorial, cause the directions that come with it are a little on the vague side. I have heard rumours of there being a Dritz Welt Pocket Maker as well, has anyone ever seen one of these, or are they a myth, something like Unicorns?

I also found these.

 I have a very old Husqvarna machine that uses these bobbins and I only have one. I have never used the machine because what if it worked better than any machine in the history of the planet and the one and only bobbin broke. Now I get to play with another vintage machine. Peter would be so proud.

Of course, I found some fabric as well. "It followed me home Mom, honest". Those of you with good memories (damn you anyway), may recall the fabric diet I am supposedly on. It only lasted a couple of weeks, alas. I haven't been posting about my finds, because I have been hiding them from The Husband (hi honey, love you).

This is a list of the stuff that is moving into the fabric closet.

Three and a half meters if what could be white linen, 4 meters of it, gonna wash it, we will see then.
Plain navy blue, I think it is rayon, 5 meters.
Black boucle, about 1 1/2 meters. 

Royal Blue silk noil, 4 meters, unfortunately only 90 cm wide. Silk noil is my favourite fabric to sew.
Camel coloured corduroy, 3 meters


Navy and white woven stripe, feels like a rayon cotton blend, 8 meters.


Last but not least black and cream woven that is hard to describe, so here is a picture 7 1/2 meters.


I am starting to feel a little foolish continuing to buy fabric, when I haven't been sewing, but I am not going to let a little thing like that stop me from shopping.

I am going to leave you with some cute dog pics, cause you can never have enough photos of cute dogs.
Jasper with his summer hair cut and our house guest (who we may get to keep) Karma.


a romp in the yard-ignore the unkempt garden in the background