2013 ESSENTIAL TOPS SEW-A-LONG FINISHED PROJECTS

August 30, 2011

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU DECIDE TO ACCEPT IT....


  ...you've probably already guessed by the lack of finished garment posts that my sewing motivation has successfully eluded me now for weeks.  Yes, I am still interested, but the motivation that it takes to:
  1. decide on a project and fabric,
  2. commit to said project, and then
  3. actually sit down to stitch said project
seems to have been playing cat and mouse games with me.  I know we all go through this thing from time to time - so I guess it's normal.  But guess what?, I HATE IT!!!  I saw where one blogger said she last saw her sewing motivation headed down some highway with her machine strapped to his back.  What a dismal sight to even imagine, but it describes my situation to a "T".

HOW DO YOU SNAP YOURSELF OUT OF A SEWING SLUMP???;
 OR DO YOU JUST GO WITH THE FLOW UNTIL SAID MOTIVATION FINALLY DECIDES TO COME BACK HOME AGAIN?

Well, I've come up with a simple plan designed to snap me out of this sewing inactivity.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to join me here as I slowly unveil my scheme.  Sometimes you have to resort to a little trickery...

August 29, 2011

WELL SAID MY FRIEND...

Positive anything is better than negative nothing.
...Elbert Hubbard

August 26, 2011

..It's not unusual for me to beg, borrow or yes, steal a good recipe to add to my DOLLHOUSE DELIGHTS collection.  As a matter of fact there are very few real originals, but rather those lovingly adopted, and later tweaked and modified to fit my taste and style.  I do have two rules about these types of recipes:
  1. Give credit to the source;
  2. Follow the recipe to the letter - at least the first time that I make it; and
  3. After the third time you make it, the recipe is yours.   
I usually make this as a warm up dish during fall or winter, but I needed a little comfort food for my tummy after ingesting a bad MOCHA FRAPPUCCINO (won't tell you where I purchased it from) on Wednesday; so I thought Chicken and Dumplings would fit the bill.   I borrowed this recipe from Mommy's Kitchen quite some time ago, BUT because I like it, I haven't changed it at all - I just use less chicken. 


Chicken & Dumplings
3 - 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (cooled and broken into pieces) or
1 - Whole Fryer Chicken
1 - 10.5 oz can Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
2 - 14 oz Cans Chicken Broth
3 - Tablespoons Margarine
2 - Cans Pillsbury Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits
Flour
salt and pepper to taste

Cook chicken in about 3-4 cups water for about 30 - 45 minutes. Remove, cool and break into bite size pieces. Place both cans of chicken broth in a medium to large size pot. Add cream of chicken soup and bring to a boil. While mixture comes to a boil open biscuits and cut into pieces, and break your chicken into bite size pieces or shred. Add about 1 cup of flour to a small bowl and dip each biscuit piece into flour. Shake off excess, drop into hot broth one at a time. Continue with remaining biscuit pieces until you have dropped all of the biscuits into the broth. Using a wooden spoon or a spatula push the biscuit pieces down gently under the broth. try not to stir the mixture to much just every once and a while push the dumplings down into the broth. Cook for about 10-15 minutes and then add the 3 tablespoons of margarine and the chicken stir to mix and cook an additional 10 minutes. Keep warm and serve.


Turned out to be the perfect thing for my ailing tummy; think I'll take some for lunch today...

August 20, 2011

LESSON LEARNED, I DIDN'T KNOW THAT...

...Good SELFISH SATURDAY morning dear hearts!!!  Just wanted to peek in to share some more of my weekend antics and thoughts with you.   Allow me to preference this post by saying, "I DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING", although I've often been mistaken as a know it all.    It's just that being the life-long-learner that I am, there is lots of information stored in my head and it's my nature to want to share.  But, I don't know everything.  Matter fact, what I don't know could easily fill an Olympic sized swimming pool or some other large reservoir I'm sure.

I've only been involved with mental sewing this week.  I've just finished my third week of back to schoolness, and a sister has been tired.  I have; however, been seriously contemplating my next project. Today I want to share something I learned during lunchtime sewing related reading,  something that prompted an aha moment for me.  I'm probably the last sewist to add this book to her library...
Although I wanted this book for a long time, I kept procrastinating purchase. 
RE:  pages 106-107 Stitches and Seams - Darts in Interfacing and in Underlined Garments.  I can't EVER remember adding a dart to interfacing - I just ironed the fusible interfacing right over the dart in the fashion fabric.  Does it fit the garment piece afterwards - NO IT DOESN'T!  I just trimmed the excess interfacing off.  The book gives three methods of dealing with darts in interfacing.  As for dealing with darts in underlining, I always stitch the darts in separately, although I've often wondered about stitching through the two layers.  I just didn't think it would be right to do the latter.   Learned something new here! I also learned that I should baste the underlining to the fashion fabric prior to stitching in place.  Doing this would keep the underlining from shifting while stitching to the fashion fabric.   Pretty sure a lot of you already knew these things - BUT I DIDN'T KNOW THAT, and I will underline a garment in a minute - I love the results it produces, now I can get even better results.

I'll be sticking close to home today.  Can't go out shopping carousing every Selfish Saturday as it would kill my budget.  I will; however, be making my one day trip to the




Bronner Brother's Summer Hair Show tomorrow.  Got to meet my Professional Development requirements in as well as pick up a fresh supply of hair care products for my personal needs.

August 16, 2011

WELL SAID MY FRIEND...



Just because you don't see the way...
doesn't mean there is no way!!!

... JOEL OLSTEN

August 15, 2011

BOOK REVIEW BY REQUEST...

...I received a request to do a brief review of one of my new sewing books.   I've only had it a short time, but here are my immediate thoughts on the book:

  • I purchased this book mainly because I like the other two books of the set; just thought I'd complete the set of three.  Really, the book on Couture is good, but the one on Tailoring book is extreme (IMHO).  I had put off purchasing the book in question because I felt my other basic sewing references were more advanced, and after perusing it - I was correct.
  •  What I do like about the book is the little chapter on pattern adjustments and the chapter on the order of construction assembly.  The later would be great for a beginning sewist, or to use in teaching a beginner.
That's about it on first review.  I'm not downing the book at all, but I think it would be best suited as a beginning resource.  Just my opinion...

August 14, 2011

EASY LIKE SATURDAY MORNING...

... "I LOVE MY JOB", but after a full week of ripping and running there is nothing like an easy breezy Saturday morning when I can make selfish decisions to either:
  • skip breakfast and sleep in;
  • roll out of bed and roll into the sewing room;
  • or hit the road Jack.
Yesterday I chose the later, and though my adventures are plain and mundane, you'd be surprised how simple things really make me happy.  (Really, I think it's just being able to do whatever "I" want to do that makes me happy.)  It's a carry over of being the wildly independent oldest child syndrome I'm sure.  See, I find that it's always better to analysis yourself rather than let someone else do it for you - ha ha!

FIRST STOP:  I had to make a trek way cross town to our one and only post office (since they closed the one nearest me) to pick up a parcel that the post lady refused to leave on the porch or with my neighbor.  I've joined the Crafter's book club and I wanted my books NOW.  There's nothing like a good sewing read now is there?



SECOND STOP:  It was off to Macon where I cruised through a little Saturday Craft Market.  Only ended up buying three cookies and a jar or the most magnificent homemade salsa (got to break down and make some of this stuff being the Suzy homemaker that I am - lol).







THIRD & FOURTH STOPS:  What self respecting seamstress could resist not one, but two fabric store sales: Joann's and Hancock's.  Here's a picture of my haul, I've really been exercising control in these areas for the last couple of months.  Not stopping mind you, just controlling - I'm sure you understand.


 FIFTH STOP:  Our State Farmer's Market to add to my fresh vegetable stash for the upcoming long winter's haul.
purple hull peas and baby lima beans
FINAL STOP:  My local fish monger for my Saturday night dinner.  No picture of that, but after I cooked it up - fantastic as usual!  

Thought I'd have some sewing energy at the end of my day; however, strained from the heat of the day, none could be found.  Sewing cave progress has been very s-l-o-w with school starting back.  I did FINALLY finish my fully lined navy linen suit.  I'm sure you'd like to see a picture of me wearing it, which I'll show, but just a over the door picture for now.


I am truly in love with it!  Now I'm trying to figure out what style top I want to make to go with it - after all, a new suit deserves a new top don't you think???

August 2, 2011

FASHION MAGAZINES (WHAT'S YOUR BEST FIT)...

...Due to my insatiable hunger for information (on a number of different topics) I've had to seriously curtail magazine subscriptions and purchases.  They just pile up accumulate so quickly!   I've been forced to dig my way out of the situation time and time again.  


I've been doing pretty good with this lately, but who doesn't LOVE a great fashion magazine???  It's almost time for the all so famous and fabulous FALL ISSUES to hit the news stands so
I'm looking for one that is just the right fit for me.  When I was a teen, it was easy -  
was the way to go, and fit my needs just fine.

In early adulthood, 

fit the bill; and gosh, believe it or not, I even got my very first great lasagne recipe from Glamour.

But now there are so many more fashion magazines to choose from.  Mind you, there is absolutely nothing at all wrong with magazines that feature the most extravagant of styles, shoes, bags, accessories, and of course price tags.  But, I need a magazine that is more in-tune/realistic to my lifestyle, fashion sense, and of course my budgetAt the moment,
is ranking high on my list and I was wondering "WHAT'S YOUR FASHION MAGAZINE FIT" and "WHY"???  Just wondering...

BOOKS ACQUIRED

  • Pants Sewing Guide
  • Denim Revolution
  • Pants for Real People
  • Jackets for Real Peopls
  • Easy, Easier, Easiest Tailoring - Palmer & Pletsch - Gifted
  • The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook
  • Ribbon Crafts
  • Professional Sewing Techniques for Designers
  • Successful Serging
  • Making Trousers for Men and Women
  • Couture Sewing Techniques
  • Singer - Perfect Plus
  • Cool Couture
  • Couture, The Fine Art of Sewing
  • Singer Sewing Reference Library - Tailoring - GIFTED
  • The Perfect Fit: The Classic Guide to Altering Patterns - Creative Publishing International
  • Fit for Real People
  • DK-The Complete Book of Sewing