Sunday, December 31, 2006

Focus Pocus

Someone over at Artisan's Square mentioned that they had Sewing ADD (SADD?) Ya. Me too.

Contrary to previous post (although I did make the tweed LH Morph Pant...which were a great fit but poor fabric choice), I went pattern AWOL and worked on everything BUT my weekend sewing plan!

First...I cut out this bag, a freebie from Hotpatterns:

LaRue Bag

Then, I sauntered over to Fayetteville to visit Hancocks (McCalls patterns are 99 cents through tomorrow, and Vogue's are 75% off) and Hobby Lobby. Neither store had any worthwhile fabrics of course. BUT, I did pick up this McCalls for comfort clothes:

I also got some turquoise stretch velour and a PERFECTLY MATCHED separating zipper. Huh? Yep, Hancock's had a fabulous selection of separating zippers. If I had money to burn, I'd pick up several in each color (like hot pink, tangerine, lime, turquoise). Those colors are difficult to find on the net, much less in my local Hancocks!

Back to Hotpatterns for a minute (SADD kicking in)... Lots of people love them for their styling, etc. And they do have up to the minute style details. But lots more people have held off using them because of drafting mistakes, shipping (LONG ship time initially, better now I hear) and multiple fitting difficulties. Not that I wouldn't pay more for a great fitting pattern with less alteration (most sewists would I think.) But, since you have to alter anyway, people (like me) are less than savvy about spending upwards of $20 per pattern. Which leads me to...

Hotpattern Lookalikes. I've been searching for patterns that give the same fashionable LOOK, but in a much more reasonable price bracket (and local availability is nice too.) It's been surprisingly easy. Here's a few examples:

Being a vintage pattern lover, I adore this capelet from HP:
and here's a current McCalls to satisfy my capelet envy:

I love the Ruche Me Baby skirts from HP:

This one is a little trickier to find an exact "match", but in reality a much simpler pattern. The skirt above is a simple, darted, slightly a-line skirt. We all have one of those in our stash. The design element (ruching, or "puffing" which essentially is just a strip of fabric gathered on both sides) adds the interest and is SO simple to do. You could use basically any pattern that you have to add the puffing strips. Placement might be an issue for you, so here is a tiered skirt from New Look (6565) that is similar and you could use the 'tier' placement to add puffing strips:

New Look actually has 3 or 4 candidates for this skirt, one is even a darted, side-zip version. (Both of these are elastic waist.) Another choice might be NL 6593:

Not that I'd ever have anywhere to wear it, but I also covet the HP Bollywood dress:New Look again to the rescue, with this stunner (6644):

I LOVE the B/W version in the NL pattern, with the saucy bow?!

Still searching for a few of my HP faves...Stay tuned!


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sewing Agenda

On the cutting table (i.e. the living room carpet) today...

A morph of Loes Hinse Oxford Pant leg (bottom pic) with the Cruise Pant (top pic) upper pattern pieces. The Cruise Pant fits me perfect, right out of the package so I'm using it for all my pants now! Because of the relatively slim fit of the Cruise Pant, I can also morph on a fly front onto it for a Euro Pant too!! yay!!

I've got several pant-weight fabrics in my stash, including a nice tan tweed with burgandy and navy accents, and several charcoal and black fabrics (that's one of my ruts...too much BLACK!)

I'm in another rut with tops (ok, I'm in a rut with bottoms too, but they're so much harder to fit!) SOOO...I've decided to break out of my usual "Sweater Set" and "Cowl Top" tops and venture into uncharted territory. I'm going to give these a try...

New Look 6407 is uber popular over at PR. I'm not typically a fan of button front tops (the girls tend to cause all sorts of button gaposis problems), but I'm willing to give it a whirl. Probably not as my first top effort tho... No sense getting discouraged from a wadder right off the bat, right??

Instead, I'm going to do this little shrug for from Simplicity 4664 (View E):

(and yep, this is an older Khaliah Ali pattern. LOVE this pattern!) I plan to make the dress later in the spring, but I'd like to have a couple of the little shrugs to throw on over simple knit cami's or tees.

and I want to give New Look 6405 a dusting off (its been in my stash a long time!) Love little knit tees, and let's face it, running around a classroom from here to there (including time on my hands and knees under the computer desks to fix something) calls for comfort clothing! I'm thinking view E (red), although I love the Oriental version View D too...

Finally, I need a couple more of Kwik Sew 3378 too. These are SO fast and look so great on! I love this tee!!What's on everyone else's sewing agenda this week?


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Literary Musing

I have always been a reader. (and a writer for that matter.) I was reading books in my every waking hour at the age of 7. I read Gone with the Wind at 10.


When I was a preteen/teen, my friends and I read First Love by Silhoulette books by the dozen. Anybody out there remember those??? They debuted in the early 80's and were numbered. They were publishing new books right on through my teen years, only to disappear forever when I was in HS. I particularly loved Elaine Harper, and read EVERYTHING she wrote. This was my favorite:

I also loved the "Cheerleader" series...anyone remember these??

Caroline Cooney wrote a lot of the Cheerleader books (and some of the Silhouettes) and I loved her too. I had a whole set of them. To this day I love the name "Gemma", which was Mary Ellen's kid sister's name. (Mary Ellen being the beautiful cheerleader, who was really poor, but trying desperately to hide it from everyone until she could find a way "out".) Pres was the handsome, rich, preppy guy.

Then there was a book called "Beautiful Girl" by Elisabeth Ogilvie, and I didn't know at the time she was a long-time author of many, many adult fiction books. (She has since passed away.) This book was made into an After School Special at one point. It's on Amazon for $6.19 right now and I'm dying to have it.

How bout the "Couples" series? I LOVED these! They were quite racy for a young teen in the mid-80s ;) (You GOTTA love their 80's hair & clothing on this cover!)

I remember waiting impatiently for the next one to come out so I could see what happened to EACH person featured on the original cover art (about 8 teens...each story featured 1 or 2 of them prominently.)

What about the "Choose Your Own Adventure" Series??? You read a few chapters, then you had to pick which way to go with the story (i.e. Go right, turn to page 27; Go the other way, turn to page 41) I don't remember which of these I read, but I loved them!

There was also a series of "thriller" type books...a precursor to Goosebumps I guess, that I can't remember the name of. I think Christopher Pike wrote a few, because I loved him too (before he was a famous children's author! I guess I can say "I knew him when...", LOL.) One in particular I remember was about a group of teens traveling to Mexico (or maybe New Mexico) and there was a shaman, and maybe a crow??? Ringing any bells? Seems like there was one about the game Dungeons and Dragons too (which scared the bejeezus out of me.)

I'm a little brokenhearted tonight because most of these that I just mentioned (my collection of Cheerleader books, my favorite Silhouettes, my Couples series, etc.) were thrown out a few weeks ago by my mom. She didn't realize what a treasure they were, I guess.

Lucky for me, alot of them can still be picked up for pennies at flea markets & on Amazon &, abebooks, etc. Yay! A new treasure to collect!


Sunday, December 24, 2006

O Holy Night

Remembering the reason for the season.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Wishing you all a very, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

He's comin'

5 days to go...

Peeks from my tree! A few sweet & adorable ornaments I made about 5 years ago after watching a Martha Stewart Christmas episode. They were so much fun to make, I got carried away! Here's Mrs. Claus...

and the happy couple hung on adjacent branches ;o)

Here are Cinderella and her Prince...

and a Victorian Couple...

Lastly, a sweet Christmas ice skater.

Directions & templates for their clothing can be found here: Martha Stewart

Happy crafting!

Sunday, December 17, 2006


A dozen years ago 90 minutes actually, I got to meet one of my favorite people in the whole world...

My son.

My first baby. His heart is as big as the ocean. I wonder sometimes when he's hurting for others less fortunate than he, whether I'm witnessing humanitarian greatness in the making. And I feel the weight of the responsibility of nurturing such a pure soul.

Happy Birthday G-Man! Mom loves you.


Saturday, December 16, 2006


Tick Tock

I don't know how it happened exactly, but somehow Christmas is only a week away!! What?!!

I'm going to attempt to finish up my Christmas shopping today. That's a big IF of course. I'll never finish it all in one day! I wish I had more time off before the holidays to relax and enjoy the holiday season. I haven't even made any cookies or candies yet!

If you have little ones (or are just extra into the whole holiday experience), didja know you can call Santa & listen to a new message every day until Christmas?


Fun Little Extras
And here are a couple of fun little images to copy/paste into a Word document to color & solve! My kids love to color (well, so do I!) Both are from

Happy Shopping!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Out! Out! Damn Spot!

Dum da dum dum.

Last we heard from our heroine, she was green with grinch and melancholy to boot. Alas, her luck hath not turned!

In fact, she discovered this morning that 2 of the 3 new pair of pants she recently bought have been successfully delegated to the trash heap courtesy of overzealous shower cleaning while blowdrying her hair in a frantic rush to get ready in the a.m.'s.

And yet...what peeks yonder thar? (In Oklahoma, thar is a word. Trust me.)

Tis that a smile?

What brought on this miraculous turnabout?

The magnificence of this:
Didja know you could do this?

Or this?

Or even this?

(Scary tat'd muffin top not included. And totally not me. Yikes.)

Neither did I. My bleach spots always end up looking a lot more like something I need to grab a Sharpie markie to color in and a lot less like wearable graffiti.

Other mood enhancers...

1. M&Ms. Shaken, not stirred.
2. Blatant flattery. Uh huh.
3. Kitties.
4. Sappy movie on the Disney Channel about an American Girl doll character. (Ignore cringe-worthy dialogue.)
5. FINALLY wrapping some presents.
6. Did I mention I'm off 1/2 a day tomorrow???
7. Never referring to myself in the 3rd person again.

O Christmas Concert....

I'm taking the afternoon off tomorrow to go to my 11 year-old's first ever Band Concert. It's a Christmas theme, of course. (We still do that here, thank goodness.) He plays saxophone.

It should be very entertaining.

I find it interesting that they're only having the concert in the middle of the day, not at night....was this to discourage parents from attending or are they just trying to protect us? ;)

I wouldn't miss it for the world!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I can't get into the holiday spirit.

I put my tree up.

I've bought presents.

I'm tired and crabby and all in all a nice Grinchy green.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Just look at this doll baby. This set is my contribution to the Elite.Models Sweet Launch. I worked with the cutest little model!

You can view the auction here. (I think. I might have screwed up the link. Been one of those days!)

Wanted: Savvy Boutique Designer Type
I have other boutique news too...I've been asked to graphic design for a bow group on ebay, the Bow*Babes. Loved working with them on their Winter launch last month. They're a fun group! Here's a peek at the graphic I did for the upcoming Valentine's launch, coinciding with the birthday of the King of Rock & Roll...

And finally, a new group on ebay, the Pretty In Punk Boutique, has invited me to join them. They look to be a really talented mix of designers too, and I'm enjoying getting to know them! I was afraid of joining a group all this time...but it's so much more fun to toss ideas off of someone else, and I love doing launches! Gets me all creative and stuff.

And with that, dearhearts, Ms. SappyBritches is signing off.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Snow Day!

6 inches + 2 kids + 1 dog = 1 happy day.

G-man's Revenge

"I need a handknit snowman sweater."

Lu has an apparent genetic mutation & doesn't feel the cold.

Pre-Angel Warmups