Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Let's give this a try shall we? I have just downloaded some very excellent dictation software designed for people much worse off than myself and I'm finding that this broken arm has its conveniences.  Well, not really, but let's face it, I'm not typing this I'm speaking it with my arm propped up on a pillow  so something went right.    But what is a girl to do with a broken useless arm and no sewing capability whatsoever?  Why, tell other people what to do, of course.
 I'm not even cooking.
  So, what to do with all that downtime?  I have no freaking clue.
The other day though,  I did manage to get some presents very poorly wrapped with one hand. I did make them look a lot better by employing a few helpful tips from, yes, you guessed it, Martha Stewart.com.
Here are some really great gift tags that you can print out from  her clip-art collection:
 You can also make your presents look really fantastic by topping them with some of these great ideas for ribbons, bows, and pom-poms.

   And did presents ever look so good?
 These beaded monogram embellishments make me wish I had the use of all of my fingers right now.
Wouldn't these make great Christmas tree ornaments?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Yummy Lingerie Project

This will be short because I'm slowly and clumsily typing with one hand (blast my broken arm) but I just had to pass on this incredibly gorgeous camisole tutorial by a lovely and talented fellow military wife, Casey of Casey's Elegant Musings. You all must know by now how I feel about lingerie by now and this design makes me swoon.
Photo from http://blog.caseybrowndesigns.com/  
Casey, you're my new favorite blogger!
This project just made it to the top of my to do list once I get the use of my arm back. (This is going to be the longest bloody six weeks of my life.)
Photo from http://blog.caseybrowndesigns.com/2009/08/1920s-chemise-inspired-top/

It comes in a really user friendly pdf format so download, enjoy, impress your friends with your mad skills, and check out Casey's gorgeous blog!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I broke my damn arm. And I can only type using one hand. Talk about crappy timing , it was 30 minutes before I was supposed to leave for my first day back at work. So for the next couple of weeks or so, till I can move my other fingers again, no blogging for me. Boo.
I'm going to look into some software that lets you dictate and types for you. I seem to hurt myself enough to make it worth the investment.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bad Anna

I know, I haven't been blogging and I feel like a jerk, especially after I vowed to make this into a cool, successful sewing blog. But Dammit, my shoulder hurts and typing makes it worse so the blog will just have to wilt for a while in my absence.
Or I could just make a few quick comments and turn you guys onto the cool things I've been finding every time I hit the "stumble" button on my browser.
Since I mostly read in my sick leave time these days, here's something useful:
Image from Woman's Day Magazine, I wish my white couch was still this white.

DIY Pocket Throw Pillows. Click on the link for the super easy tutorial.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cute Stuff for Baby Kitty.

This will be little Vincent's first Christmas with us and since Christmas is my drug of choice, naturally even the kitty has to have a stocking of his own, and presents to play with on Christmas morning. So in a rare 45 minutes without shoulder pain (I'm trying like hell to convalesce, to not move so I can get better and back to work) I stumbled upon the easiest little sewing project I've found in ages.
I love these, as I love anything that involves instant gratification.
This great little pattern came from MarthaStewart.com, naturally, because she's brilliant.

And I couln't help myself, I had to give it to Vincent straight away.
 Like I said, I'm all about the instant gratification.
First he looked at it like, "What is this? Just pet me already."
And then he realized he had gotten a present.
And he went crazy, and had a blast with his new mouse.
And he's a bad kitty and we love him for it.

So I made him another toy, this one loaded with catnip and then promptly stuffed in his stocking so that I would stop feeling guilty about my lack of patience when it comes to presents.
 This is fishy, and he's stuffed with catnip. He likes to have a good time. He's a good-time fish.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Apologies, people.

I'm sorry, I'm totally failing at my goal of spreading the blog love at least twice a week. My shoulder injury makes typing hurt like the dickens so instead of painful ranting (I can't really sew right now anyways) here's some love.
Here's a sewing dictionary and glossary for those confusing terms.
That and even though it will decrease my chances of winning (meh) here's a month full of giveaways coming soon from Burda!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Feeding My Christmas Habit.

If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE Christmas like a hungry lady loves cake. So of course I've been planning the decorations, the tree, the table settings, the tree skirt, and the stockings.
I made these out of silver silk dupioni lined with platinum slipper satin and added a tiny flourish.
My machine has an embroidery attachment that I've been too intimidated for two years to plug in and try. No more intimidation, this baby rocks!
So I monogrammed them.
This was almost too easy and after a little preparation, it looks like I need to stock up on stabilizer and embroidery thread 'cause I'm hooked. It took everything I had not to monogram everything in the house.

For the original large stockings I used an easy to use pattern that you can find here.

So I made one for me, one for Mike, and naturally, one for Vinny the Cat.

For Vincent's cute little stocking I used this great mini stocking pattern from a Martha Stewart project.
Can you tell we decided on a silver theme? God, I love Christmas so freakin' much. Now I've got my eye on these great but pricey stocking holders from Crate and Barrel.
But $60 plus for 3 of them? I'm having a hard time justifying that, habit or no habit.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I saved the boobies!

Well, not really, but they are looking happier now that I've given my granny bra a face lift.
Here's what I started with:
And as we discussed, it was frighteningly massive.
So I did a little scribling on it with some chalk and a snip, snip, sew sew later, here's what we have.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Granny Boobies.

My shoulder injury has been keeping me from sewing more than a few minutes a day so this project has gone excruciatingly slow but I've finally finished.

So a week's worth of detailed work and what is the result? Granny boobs. I mean full coverage, sew it when I'm 25 and wear it when I'm 80, might as well be a t-shirt bra.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Really Annoying Things:

Really Annoying Things:

Making bias tape by hand.
Working really hard on a pattern only to find it's incredibly unflattering.
Shoulder injuries that limit my sewing time to less than an hour a day.
Ongoing sinus infections.
Cat's that get malicious pleasure out of waking you up several times a night with noisy toys, then running away, toy in mouth, only to come back again until you take said noisy toy away.
Bad kitty.
I'm currently sewing (baby step by freakin' annoying baby step) this (seemingly) cute Du Barry 5720.
Except I just finished the bra and it looks like a very pretty blue FULL COVERAGE GRANNY BRA.
I'm working on the matching tap pants which I hope to have more luck with.
I absolutely hated making yards of my own bias tape for the edging in the project which makes me want one of these BADLY...can you hear me Santa?
Simplicity Bias Tape Maker

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Norwegian Craft Fair

My dear readers, I thought you might be interested in what a Norwegian craft fair looks like. This one was rather large, and wonder of all wonders, the admission was free! There are so few free things in Norway! I went this weekend, camera in hand, so that I could show you what the craft trends look like here. Most is rather old fashioned still, and most booths featured very skilled knitters, painters, and jewelry makers. There were very few hand sewn goods available, much to my disappointment.

The RV's parked in the lot outside made me think of working antique shows on weekends with my mother, helping her unload, set up, and then wandering by myself through the  aisles of dusty treasures to greet the same dealers we saw yearly, all of whom felt like my other family.

This was only half of the first room full of table after table of lovingly made goods.
 Before we leave Norway, I'm going to make sure that we purchase some art by this artist. I see her work often in this area and badly want some for myself.
 These nick knacks are painted in the traditional Norwegian Rosemaling. Every region in the country has it's very own pattern, much like we have state flags.
 I just loved the wall of color created by these beautiful hand woven scarves. The same woman made the lovely leather purses below:

 Lovely hand-sewn Christmas ornaments.
 These heart shaped ornaments are from soft, felted local sheep's wool.
 Hand made purses and clothes at this one booth in particular were my favorite. Mostly because I recognized a few of the fabrics from my own collection.

These lovely little gnomes and trolls are my favorite part of Norwegian culture. These little guys were everywhere! Here, you are hard pressed to find a Norwegian who will say they don't believe in trolls. They are very good luck and I find myself looking over my shoulder on some forest hikes, wondering if I'll see one for myself.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Jeans are cool.

I sorta wanna be this guy. His sewing room is cool, and his tools are awesome.
This video shows how much work goes into making a pair of jeans. It also makes me reassess the massive amount of mental complaining I do at the cost of a pair of jeans when I go shopping.

Roy's Jeans - Video by Self Edge from Self Edge on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Linen: From Crop to Couture

This is a fascinating short film that follows the creation of linen, from the flax crop in France to the various productions that lead it to the dress form.
With the green revolution, where everyone wants to buy sustainable and natural products, linen, that has been around for centuries, is fitting the bill nicely.

BE LINEN MOVIE from Benoit MILLOT on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Some fashion is just not feasible.

If she fell on her tush trying to walk down the runway, there's a good chance it's because it's not something meant for a woman, but rather a mannequin.
My gift to you today:

Models falling
Uploaded by lapeano. - Have a look at more lifestyle videos.

Monday, November 1, 2010

German Pattern Paper Peril.

Making a look from a vintage German pattern magazine can seem like a very daunting task, especially if you don't speak German (Don't blame me for my ignorance, blame Colorado public schools.) My Mad French skills are useless so instead I used my mad google skills to find a few useful articles written by those who have been in my shoes and lived to tell the tale.
Don't be scared, I managed to do it and it didn't hurt one bit!
December 1936, Hilter is newly to power and German fashion is light-hearted and optimistic looking.

First you'll need to choose the look that you wish to recreate from your pattern magazine. The size is what comes in important here. Usually, the bust size will be printed either underneath the pattern number featured with the drawing, or it will be above the instructions on your pattern sheet. The patterns are only printed in one size so you may need to size up or down after you've traced your pieces.
 I chose a very simple bra with only 4 pattern pieces to work with. It was a good start and didn't require any special skill or technique.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


This weekend I set myself quite a challenge and boy was it worth it! I recently purchased some really amazing German pattern and fashion magazines from the 1920's and 1930's on ebay. The instructions and patterns are like Burda Style Magazine in that they all come out on one very large sheet that you must trace your pattern from. Only these were in German. I don't speak German.
So I chose a very simple pattern that was luckily in my size and began the long process of tracing and translating (yay google translate!) to figure out how to sew this baby. 
I chose this great little bra pattern, and adjusted it a bit to make it a tad more wearable.

German word of the day: Büstenhalter. Roughly translates into busts-holder.
I will create another post outlining the process of using one of these magazines for those who wish to attempt it. I found it definitely worth the work. Here's how she turned out, my lovely büftenhalter.
 I used some lovely unidentified fabric that I snagged at a thrift shop in the states, some salvaged vintage lace, made my own bias tape, and lined this little baby with black satin.
 I also had to add a couple of tiny pads to fill out the 'bullet-bra" shape that my... um, girls, didn't quite fill out.

 I used a button closure in the back because I like sewing on buttons, and am lazy and didn't feel like fiddling with hooks and eyes until my fingers hurt.

I'm hoping that I have enough fabric left over to make a great pair of matching tap pants from another pattern in the same magazine.
On another note, I went as a pin-up for Halloween and while I only got to wear my get-up for a somewhat disappointing hour and my pictures came out poo, I still had fun dressing up and shellacking all that red on my lips.
Happy Halloween.