Sewing Days

Every now and again I am able to schedule a sewing day complete with a bit of childcare. The creative break does me good. Here’s a top I made on one day. The fabric was “run” so I got it for free. I was able to cut the sleeves with the “run” down them and the shirt didn’t have any mars. A cute, pretty quick top (I just eyeballed/drafted a pattern) is what I’d call a successful day!

I got a few great wears out of the top, then the fabric grew and/or I shrank, so I passed it on to someone else to enjoy.

I’m Just a Girl

So self-photography is difficult. Especially when the only mirror in our house is in the bathroom. So if I want a full-body shot, I have to stand on the edge of the tub and duck under the shower curtain rod and angle my head just so. It really is a bit insane.

My latest sewing project is this fabulous skirt. I totally love it. I drafted the pattern from scratch–including making a KatyRenee-sized block. Which isn’t nearly as difficult as I would have thought. I’m totally kicking myself for not doing this earlier. What was I thinking?

Pretty Ruffles

Here’s the “gamble shot.” I essentially held up the camera and took quite a few betting one would work out. The skirt is a pretty pink rib with lots of pleats in the front.

Mirror Shot

So please ignore the obvious crazy bathroom ugliness. And the spots on the mirror–I swear it looked clean until I saw the photo. But the skirt is so cute I couldn’t give you a preview before I get someone to take better photos for me.

Check Out Those Skills

Check out those skills. There is an invisible zipper in the side seam and a curved intersection that matches up perfectly. I was quite pleased with myself. And I loved enjoying the party in my fancy new skirt with no one even guessing that I’d made it. Such fun. Thinking about stocking an Etsy store with some of my fashions. What do you think?




Eric’s ordination is coming up quickly. Less than a month, now. The stole is finished!

Now I’m thinking about sewing for myself. Since a lot of Eric’s family will be in town for the event, we’re going to take some family photos. I’ve asked everyone to wear a white shirt and denim or khaki bottoms to a party being hosted on Saturday evening. Ordination is on Sunday. Since my denim skirt is all but sewn, I’ve got bottoms and am thinking I might be able to make a top out of this Italian shirting I bought a while back. I’m debating if it is has too much color, but since I made the photo “rules” up, I can break them, right?


Here’s my sketch. I’m still undecided on sleeves. and how tight this will be–i.e. if it will slip over my head or need a closure.


I hope to knock this out this weekend so I can get started on the dress I will wear next week. Here’s the material I hope to use on the dress. The lace is from Paris! I’ve been hanging onto it to use on something special. It was 50-100 Euro a meter! My mom and I picked it out when I was there in 2003.




Sake decided to sit on the fabric this morning. Lovely, and such smugness. I gently removed her and draped the fabric over the chair. The last thing I need is a snag caused by cat toe-nails.


Scotch wanted his photo taken too. It is only fair, right? He is enjoying the gorgeous day and our opened door.  I’m still working on ideas for the dress. I may use the lace as an accent or as a sheer top over the dress. We’ll see. Here’s where my sketching has taken me so far. I’m not really loving anything, but know it is a start.


In other news, I picked up the most recent edition of Stitch. It is not as good as the first edition. The dress patterns they share are okay at best and one photo/dress looks downright awful in the magazine styling. Ew!

I’m still feeling off today, but have heard the 24-hour flu is making its rounds at our school. Yippee. I don’t feel THAT bad, just off. I think my three-hour afternoon nap today is helping head in the right direction.


My Babies…

In the quest to put my mark on the babies of the world and offer helpful gifts to their parents I’ve been at it again. I’d like to think that I’ve “grown up” a bit from the pee pee tee pees and booties.. but maybe not. Side note: Whew, I got quite distracted finding that link and reading my older blog entries.

If you don’t recall, ten little ones of my dear friends are here or coming soon! Here are gifts for babies one, two, and three! I tried to be fancy with the photos, but am realizing I need a bit of help. I’m no stylist, and haven’t mastered Eric’s umbrella lights yet. And while my camera is great, it is not good for product shots. Side note: Eric is loving that comment because he’s been trying to convince me to let him upgrade to the Nikon D90 and offered to let me have his current camera. Now he has more ammunition in that debate! Enough with my excuses. Enjoy!

Keep in mind these are all made from recycled T shirts a la Alabama Chanin. And all of the stitching information is a part of their awesome compilation, Alabama Stitch Book. In case it isn’t clear, I heartily recommend that book and perusing the Alabama Chanin website!


100_0693More cuteness.

100_0706Lots of cute.

100_0702Cute close-up.

100_0721Cute details.

100_0720Cute baby sleeves.

100_0713Cute little stitches.

100_0712Aww, how cute!

As you can see they still need snaps, but I’m waiting for next weekend’s notions sale at JoAnn’s so I can afford them all! I’m a bit worried the neck might stretch out too much and I am debating adding a neck ribbing. So what do you think? I was going to work on a tutorial if anyone is interested. I’ve got plenty more to make for babies four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten! And there are sure to be more babies after that too. Let me know.


Soaking Up Saturday

Eric has practice weekend for his triathlon. Which left me car-less and home alone for the weekend. Friday afternoon, I set up a pedicure date with a friend. A few more people decided to come and then we went browsing at the local Home Goods/TJ Maxx. It was a lot of fun. I got home and worked on ripping up some thrifted T-shirts. It only took a year, but I’m finally delving into my Alabama Stitch book projects! That and I am overdue on several baby gifts. Pun not intended, but then lefted left because it is pretty cute. 🙂 As in I have ten babies to get something too!! Thankfully, three are due in May or after. But five of them are from seminary friends, and I’d like to get those wrapped up before we head up to St. Louis!!

I’m also trying to get that darned denim skirt finished. Which I am super excited about, but I always get wrapped up in the next project before finishing the first one. Can any of you relate?? Lastly, I’m working on Eric’s stole for his ordination. I think it is a bit odd that I work on multiple things at once, but realize I do that in a lot of areas–books I read, projects for work, etc.

Here are some stole examples from the church,
and my material laid out.

So in keeping up with my multiple project routine, I’ve been working on other things this morning too, like Finny and Donk’s Craft-a-long. I’ve never participated before, but was very interested in finding a good pizza dough recipe. I’ve tried one other recipe and it was not good.

100_0645Here’s my dough rising.

Since I was in the kitchen anyways and had tomatoes that were rapidly expiring, I also decided to try my hand at this tomato sauce. I switched it up a bit by roasting onions too, and adding minced garlic to the tomato tops. I didn’t have any basil either, but it was still REALLY good.


Roasting in the oven.


The sauce mixed. I improvised with a blender.
Makes me wonder how much food dye is in the sauces I buy!

So after a bit of waiting for the dough to finish rising, here’s my pizza cooking. I added some frozen veggies–I love the Hodge Podge mix from Trader Joe’s and a bit of shaved parmesan and fat free feta in addition to some cheddar jack cheese.


All finished and out of the oven!


Finally dished up! The crust was so crunchy compared to our usual pizza dough. Very good indeed!


This was only a quarter of the dough. So I froze half and am saving the other quarter for post-church pizza tomorrow!

In other news, I went to run club yesterday morning. I was supposed to meet a friend there, but she had to cancel last minute because her daughter kept her up most of the night. We ran 2 miles, did drills mostly involving sprints for about 20 minutes and ran back. My legs started to feel it last night. That continued into today. I was going to get up and walk to the gym (a mere 2 miles each way) for a 7:30 am Group Power class, but because of Scotch’s night time antics and my legs feeling like they might fall off, I skipped out. Do you have any weight lifting resources that you like to use? I like the Group Power class, but the timing is so inconvenient for me.

Here are my gorgeous flowers, still happily blooming even after Scotch’s loving.



Testing Out Tofu

I didn’t realize how cheap tofu is! I think it was around $1.25 for all this tofu! Crazy. I really wanted to make this recipe, but I couldn’t find coconut at Trader Joe’s. So I asked around and was too impatient for a response and made it my way. I dried the tofu between some paper towels and coated it in Soy Vey Very Very Teriyaki.


Here’s the Teriyaki bottle. Yum, it is local to San Francisco too.


I popped them in the oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Thank God, I read the part about putting Pam on the cookie sheet.


Um, yeah. It is as bad as it looks. Thankfully, the tofu came up fine and tasted okay, but the cookie sheet is nasty. I’m hoping the dishwashing fairies have pity on me and that soaking this in water and dish soap will loosen up everything. We’ll see.

Sarai, sent me this tofu suggestion. I definitely plan on trying this out.

In other news, I’ve been devouring Shane Claiborne’s books. I read Irresistible Revolution last week and finished it yesterday. I started Jesus for President, but haven’t gotten too far. I’ve made it to the gym two afternoons in a row, and been heading to bed earlier because of it.

I’m also determined to get moving on some of my UFOs (unfinished objects). There are too many to count. Here is the lay out for the denim skirt muslin. Yay!


Not much to look at, but closer to a skirt! Also, my parents are finally coming to visit in March. They had tickets to come in December, but my grandfather’s stroke happened. I’m excited to introduce my dad to my new home and work on further home decorating with my mom. There is also the obligatory visit to the Winchester Mystery House. Eric has already opted out of this. He says it is all just too mysterious. I love it. What a fun, crazy, silly story and weird house to go with it.

Since I started knitting socks on the unplanned trip to Texas in December, I figured I needed to get them at least to the point where I can work on the heel with my mom in town. She’s a pro–having made 2 or 3 pairs already. I got out my knitting for the first time since I’ve been back tonight. I’ve never knitted at home. I’m quickly realizing why. There is nary a moment when the yarn isn’t flossing Scotch’s teeth, or he’s using a knitting needle like a toothpick. What a nut. It is too cute, but not conducive to knitting. Here’s how far I’ve come so far.


I’m relieved that I remembered how to knit/purl okay. I’ll just have to figure out how to knit without Scotch’s “help.”

I’m enjoying a glass of wine, but not the hiccups I’ve had for the past thirty minutes. I haven’t given something up for lent in a long time. This year, I plan to forgo alcohol and sodas. Should be interesting–It always is.


Katy ^_^


Here is a photo of one of Eric’s delicious creations this week. He grilled NY Strip Steak, made a curry sauce with Splenda, yellow curry, and soy milk, and added crisp French green beans on top. Yum.

Here’s what the sewing room looked like right before Eric video-taped me sewing. He is planning a Nooma-inspired video for the Wednesday Advent services. I’ll try to post it once the video is finished or after the advent service.

There was a birthday today. So I wrapped up one of those chocolate bars. Yum!

Lastly, I finished my draft. Here’s me taking self-portraits while standing on our bathtub. The skirt is a bit difficult to make out since it is flesh-colored.

I didn’t iron so… But I think it’ll work. I

Also, we finally got Eric’s test results in. They are better than July’s. So we’re celebrating. It is so difficult though. He earned a black belt at 16, and was a varsity wrestler, so he is no stranger to working hard. Yet, he gets winded so quickly when we work out together. It is hard to see how weak his body has gotten. Also, he gets sick a little over half of the time he eats. Which is difficult for him. It is hard to watch. And, when we’re out socially it is difficult to explain that to others.  Sigh.


Katy ^_^


Here’s my drafting images for now. I’m a bit worried. I’m thinking the front should have larger dart than the back, but none of my resources are helping much. Too bad I’ve gained 2-3 inches since I drafted something 4 years ago. Arg..

Here are the kitties. We didn’t get another one, they are just sleeping next to a similarly colored teddy bear.

Something I found. There’s a birthday to celebrate this week. And, I may need to break into it before then!

I had to clear these off before I started. Do I have too many needles? They were out from my wisemen sewing stint.

Lastly, here is some eye candy for skirt ideas. Thanks, for the tip, Jill. It is fun to see fellow bloggers getting featured in these kinds of publications.



Warp Speed

It feels like days are flying by. Here’s the low-down for the past few. I’m trying out some new skins for WordPress. I hope you like the new style.

We went for a walk yesterday. I’m obsessing about purple and greens. Like these beauties.

No news on Eric’s test results. Still waiting…

I got a physical at the doctor–it’d been a few years. I am totally healthy, which is something to celebrate. The doctor did say I could stand to lose 10 pounds. So far so good. We joined a gym and I’ve made it to two 5:50 am classes so far. Eric and I go two nights a week too. Here’s a delicious salad I made. Eric is being a sport. It means he’s lost his nightly wine-buddy.

We purchased our first Christmas tree today. It is a wee thing. Here’s the trimmings. We hope to get it up soon. I realize that is WAY early, but I’m beyond excited. We’ve never really had room for a tree before. We chose a blue theme.

An added bonus is the fact that we have a fireplace and mantle! Here’s the current look. I hope to make it festive too!

Jill created a Flicker group for our photos with the draft a long. I will post my progress later this evening. I plan to spend the rest of the day (it is already 3:30!!) drafting and working on sketches to apply for graduate school. I also want to use them in a portfolio I intend to send blindly to a few fashion companies around here. I’m not sure if I’ll do the school thing, but I do want to have everything ready so I can.

If you need a laugh, check out Cute Overload. I don’t think I can repeat this video too many times. Amazing.


Katy ^_^

Catching Up

It has been a bit of an “off week.” Lots of blah-ness going around. Friday afternoon Eric and I headed for Half Moon Bay and drove down Hwy 1 to Santa Cruz. The road trip took about an hour and a half. It was fun. The view was spectacular. We stopped at a historic lighthouse. At the lighthouse, everything North was dark and foggy, everything south was sunny and radiant. I didn’t think about taking photos until after that stop. Here’s Eric driving.

Here’s a photo looking over a cliff toward the ocean. In the middle is clouds/fog and then the sky starts. Amazing, but the photo didn’t do it justice.

Yesterday, was lazy and wonderful. Today, I caught up on some sewing. I have re-purposed thrift store graduation robes into Wise Men finery. Here’s a shot of one of them.

I switched purses. This is one I purchased the summer I worked in Paris. It looks like an old-fashioned doctor’s bag. It is dark green. It makes me have such happy memories!

Well Jill over at Inside My Sewing Box, and I are working on a project. We’d love to have you join along if you are interested. First step, that was supposed to be done a while back is to draft a skirt block. I think we’re hoping to complete that by this Friday, November 14. Next step is to create a skirt from our block. The deadline is Friday, November 28. Believe me, we’ve not been good at deadlines. Jill is preparing for a show, and well, I’m just being lazy. I created a cute icon in Illustrator. It looks quite dated (mid-80s) at least to me, but it is a start, right? I’m having difficulty saving it–so hopefully it’ll be up later.


^_^ Katy