Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Unmentionables Mentioned...Again

I have been sewing some new unders as part of the Ooh La La Sew Along, and I finished a pair up.
Technically, this wraps up the sew along, but I'm just going to keep on-a-sewing. I did not sew the corset, but I did make a bra, an almost finished bathing suit (using the bra pattern), and a pair of Bettie High Waisted Panties using the new pattern from Ohhh Lulu.

When it came time to sew on the elastic, my machine started giving me fits. Skipped stitches drive me crazy, so I unpicked a couple inches a few times, but then I just went for it. This pair was supposed to be the muslin pair anyway, but I decided to sew 'em up because I liked the fabric combo- they are some kind of gauzy fabric for the center panels and a thin double knit for the side panels. I used a white/blue picot edge elastic, and all three were from stash (I've had both cuts of fabric since we lived in Florida! Eeeep!)

As for the pattern, I love it. For me it cut very close to perfect. I need to lower the back a bit on the next pair, and that's it. Yeah, they look huge compared to modern underwear when you are sewing them, but I am so tired of having my extra bedtime snacks show through my clothes as hip chub where my skivs cut in. These don't do that- they go right up to the skinniest part of my waist, and I'm looking forward to trying these purties out with a dress. It is a lovely pattern. Buy it!

Okay! Enough about my skivs, right?

Hopefully soon I will have a finished bathing suit to show...JUST IN TIME FOR SNOW!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Don't cry, Nancy Boy- The 100 Push Up Challenge

A couple of months ago, I was joking with my husband. We had taken on a daily regimen of push ups, and I came up with an idea. "Wouldn't it be funny if I challenged dudes to match me in a push up contest, and I had practiced enough that I could totally lick them and make them cry? You know, like they'd do 30 push ups and feel cool, and then I'd do a hundred consecutive and squash their manly egos to smithereens. Plus, I would bet them money. Wouldn't that be funny honey?" Sometimes I'm not exactly nice and also extremely juvenile.

"Muhhhrrrr." My husband replied. Often in his responses he sounds like a cow put out to pasture.

Anyway. I'm going for it. I started the 100 Push Up Challenge yesterday. The first thing you do is test your max, and I can do about 35 consecutive push ups already (no, not from the knees), so I start at week 3.

It's a 6 week program, so in 3 more weeks I hope to be crushing little male egos right and left, and also raking in the dough. Yeah.

And really, it's not about crushing male egos. That would just be an added benefit. It's about being my personal best. Anyone who would care to join me is more than welcome.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Who are you callin' Big Mouth?

As y'all know, I like to thrift. As part of our daily/weekly routine the baby and I make our regular rounds. All of the nice little old ladies who volunteer in the shops dote over her, and she gets to root through the toy bins. I buy mostly patterns, fabric, vintage clothes, clothes for the kid, and sometimes sewing machines (yikes!), but I also try to keep an eye out for things that are just unusual to list in my Etsy shop or on eBay. Last week, I found this.....

Neat, huh? It's a Rolling Stones Big Mouth Phone circa early 1980s. Circa my birth. It's vintage now. Ancient history. You remember though, right? Remember the days when phones used to be attached to the wall instead of attached to our heads? Yuk yuk.

Anyway, I knew I'd never seen one of these before, so I bought it. I put it up on eBay and it sold in a hot minute! Guess there are some hardcore Stones fans out there. I like them myself, and sometimes we could all use some Mother's Little Helper, eh? Like today when the hubby worked way late and everything the baby said she said not once but 25 times. "You thirsty Mommy? You thirsty? You drinkin' water Mommy? You thirsty Mommy? Is that your water Mommy? You got some water mommy?" Gosh, I love that kid, and she wears me out! "What a drag it is gettin' old......." On this note, I'm off to bed.....

Monday, April 16, 2012

Overnight Camp at Standing Indian

Last Saturday, we threw our jammies and some food in the camper and rolled off for a relaxing night camping at Standing Indian Campground in Nantahala National Forest. 
(Click image for source)
Now I've heard my sister and others question the fun of camping- what's there to love about  reeking of campfire smoke, cooking over a fire pit, getting dirty, fending off bugs, and sleeping in a little box? I'll tell ya. Some of us.....okay me, I have a really hard time slowing down. I am often doing a million things at once- entertaining a two year old, cleaning house, working on my Etsy shop, sewing, trying to maintain some personal hygiene (my nails used to be so beautiful!), etc. etc. When we go camping, the "house" I clean is only 10 feet by 7 feet, the cooking is often done in just one pot, the baby entertains herself by filling cups with gravel and dumping them over her head, and I can just forget about all of the "productive" stuff I could be doing if I were home. Of course, I did bring my embroidery and ukulele.... 

Here are some shots of our fun.
Turkey, rice, broth, garlic, onions, spices, and lemon. This cooked to perfection in about an hour. 

Putting rocks down her pants for fun

A quick set up

Setting a simple table

My man was a Boy Scout


Jiffy Pop! We like food. 

The little one was sooooo tired. She went right to sleep without any fuss. 

Standing Indian campground was great, and although we were only there for a night this time, I know that there is plenty to do and see out there, as we have hiked out to Big Laurel Falls as well as a couple others that are close by, and we always like to visit Albert Mountain on the A.T (check out this panoramic view from the tower! Yes, I live in this beautiful place! Yipeee!) We'll be headed back very soon. 

How about you? Do you like to camp out? Or do you prefer the great outdoors in smaller doses?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

More Roadside Botany

Yesterday I was very excited to find two wild orchids in the forest. We're off in the Shasta! Will be home tomorrow.

Roadside Botany

Here is a lovely pink Trillium we spotted while out driving today.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In Progress- Reversible Vintage Style Bathing Suit

I have been working on this suit slowly but surely for the last couple weeks. It uses the bottoms from McCall's 8331, which I was delighted to find fit me rather well straight from the pattern. I tightened up the leg holes a little and made a few other tweaks to make them more beach appropriate, but the chances are good that I'll be sewing a few pair straight from the pattern just to wear as shorts.

Both the top and the bottom have a blue side and a striped side- I only flipped the top for these photos because getting the bottoms on the dressform was a pain.

I still need to attach straps, hem the shorts, and sew in the closures, but it's coming along! I am a slow seamstress anyway, so throw in a holiday, some family fun, and a trip to the Biltmore, and I'm just moseying along.... no rush, just when we thought it was already summer we'll be having lows in the thirties for the next few days! Brrrrrrrr!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Finished Bra, Spring Purging, and Ice Cream

I finished the bra I was sewing as part of the Ooh La La Sew Along. My fit isn't perfection, to say the least. I made the band too tight, and am going to pick it apart and re-sew it tonight. But, in the tradition of not focusing on my flubs, I'm going to bask in the glory of my rather tidy elastic application.

I sewed in a small tag with my initials and the date. Though it looks rather utilitarian in these admittedly awful iPhone photos, I think the silk makes it pretty in person.

I have a reversible vintage style bikini in the works that uses this bra for the top. I hope to finish it up within the next few days, but the closure for the shorts has been a slight hiccup. Any suggestions on how to make them so the closure can be worked from both sides? I am leaning toward snaps.

Other goings on at the homestead involve a major purge. I got tired of the clutter, and I loaded up 3 full garbage bags of baby toys and clothes, my clothes, linens, etc. and took them to a local charity based thrift store for donation. I had to move fast, as I have been known to root around in the bags and pull stuff back out if they sit too long. Getting rid of this crap felt great, and though the house is still a cluttered mess, I lightened the load a little.

It was really neat to look into my closet and see that I had 9 dresses hanging that I sewed myself!

On a totally unrelated subject, does anyone make their own ice cream? I found a very nice ice cream maker at the thrift store recently, and tried my hand at a homemade frozen concoction. I made banana pudding with soy, and then I churned it in the ice cream maker. It was a big hit at my house- we ate it with chocolate chips on top.

What I really like though is salty sweet nutty ice cream flavors, like pecan praline and butter pecan. And I have an itch to try out this recipe for Guinness ice cream soon too. What can I say? I love Guinness. And ice cream. If I decide it's too much of a pain, we have a local creamery that makes fabulous ice cream using their own milk. Things are good here in rural America!

How about you? Any bathing suit sewing going on? Any advice on closures for reversible garments? Any tips on making ice cream? Recipes? Do tell!