Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I made Christmas tree cake pops for my coworkers.  It's from Bakerella.  These were pretty fun to make.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Social Darling Frock GROSGRAIN GIVEAWAY!!!!

Social Darling Frock GROSGRAIN GIVEAWAY!!!!

Another giveaway from Grosgrain. Love this dress!

Monday, November 30, 2009

MOT #1, 2

There hasn't been much sewing going on this month... it's been pretty busy at work and no working sewing machine.  I started two Simplicity 2601 tops, but I'm waiting on my sewing machine before I can finish it.

I wanted to contribute to the MOT sew-a-long hosted by Faye so I did what I could... serging and hand sewing.  I used T-shirt Makeovers by the Sistahs of Harlem.

I made two tops from this book... a one shoulder tank and ruffled tank.  Here are the book versions of the tops.

The ruffled tank took some hand sewing, but it wasn't too bad.  The instructions are pretty straight forward.

I'm wearing the one-shoulder tank with a long-sleeve, which I don't think I'll pair together when I actually wear the tank.  Instead of doing the "ribbon" I cut-off the bottom of the shirt and serged it to the top of shirt.

I enjoyed refashioning my t-shirts.  I think I'll try a few of the other tops in the book as well.  Overall, the book has a lot of great ideas, but I don't think I could pull off a lot of the tops... some of them are backless and/or very cropped.  I like some of the ideas, but I'll have to re-work them so they are less skin revealing...

*Please ignore the white spots on my head in the photos... I'm not sure what that's from and I didn't want to edit it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Glasses

I worked at an optical for a few years in college and loved it... I loved picking and fitting frames that were perfect for the customer and had a wonderful staff to work with.  I still go the optical I used to work at, which is Eclectic Eyewear.  If you're into frames and are in the Austin area, I definitely recommend them.  They have a very friendly staff and a great selection of frames and they also have good optometrists.

For my last visit, I bought a new pair of glasses and I LoVE them!  While working at an optical, I feel in love with two frame companies, ProDesign and Lafont.  I have 3 pairs of ProDesign frames (including my new ones and wear all of them) and 0 Lafonts.  (Lafonts are on the higher end of frames... one of these days I will own a pair.)  Here are my new glasses.

I loved ProDesign so much I even thought about being a sales rep once I graduated... but I don't think I would make a good sales rep.  I would definitely recommend ProDesign frames... their quality is good, look fantastic, and have their own trademark look!  I can pick out a ProDesign frame any day.  :)

Simplicity 2603 Cardi Wrap

I made the Simplicity 2603 wrap cardigan a couple of months ago.  I've already worn it a few times, but didn't get a chance to take any pictures until recently.  (This is the cardigan wrap that is the DKNY cozy knockoff.)  There are many ways to wear it, but these are my favorite.  Hahaha... I think my poses are awkward... oh well.

There are a ton of reviews on here.  I LoVE this cardigan, and I will definitely be making it again.  I love the bold colors in the DKNY spread that Adrienne found... I just need to find the right colored drapey knit.

Some things I changed from the pattern are not adding the elastic at the neck and not hemming the edges.  Next time, I will make the sleeves full length... I tried to attach the bottom part of the sleeve but the seam was too bulky.  I ended up cutting it out.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Engine 2 Diet

Over the past several years I've struggled with weight.  There were times when I would get very depressed because I was so unhappy with it.  My eating habits have changed drastically since I first started working at Whole Foods Market.  Even with the change in my diet, I didn't lose any weight.  I grew up being pretty active, and I knew I had to exercise along with eating right.  At the beginning of this year I set out to be healthier, and to date have lost 25 pounds through better eating and exercise.

Now onto the diet I was on for the last 4 weeks... The Engine 2 Diet.  One sentence synopsis of the book:  Eating a plant-based diet will lower your cholesterol and help you live a healthier life.

Image from The Daily Spark

It is low fat plant-based (vegan) diet.  I don't like trying diets that I know I can't make a lifestyle change with since I know I'll gain more weight back after the diet's over.  I wasn't sure if I could make a lifelong commitment to this diet since it involves no animal-based products and cutting out as much oil and fat as possible.  Your choices are seriously limited when you go out.  At least in Austin there are many restaurants that offer vegetarian and even vegan options.  Also, it was easier for me to stay on this diet since I work at Whole Foods Market and our landmark store is right underneath me.  :)  Although I didn't think I would make a lifelong commitment, I decided to try for the following reasons:

1.  I would at least cleanse/detox my system by the end of the 28 days.
2.  I wanted to see if I could really not eat animal-based products for 28 days.

Overall, I feel cleaner and lighter and know that I don't HAVE to eat meat with every meal.  I also leaned on the pre-hypertension side of blood pressure, but now my blood pressure has dramatically decreased.  I wished I check my cholesterol levels before the diet began, but I didn't get a chance to get it done.  I don't think I would stick 100% to the diet, but I do have a different perspective on the foods that I eat and how it may affect the health of my body.  I'm glad I did it and I will definitely be making healthier choices.  Going forward, I will probably cutout dairy as much as possible and stay with leaner meat options (except for special occasions of course :)).

I didn't want to bore you with any long texts, but it looks like this post is already really wordy.  If you've made it this far and have any questions or would like more information just leave me a comment and I'll contact you.  :)  Thanks for reading!

Anniversary Update

I have been on a low fat vegan diet for the past 4 weeks... more about that in another post.  Because of this, we postponed our anniversary dinner/outing until yesterdat.  Before that we headed over to the restaurant, we stopped by The Steeping Room for some tea.  Then we went to Jeffrey's for dinner.  It was fabulous!!  Here are some pictures from the night.

My entree of Escolar Viennoise

Husband's entree of Ribeye

Yummy desserts...

The food was delicious and we took a picture of everything that came out, but I didn't post all the pictures because I didn't think I could name everything.  Did you notice the haircut?  :)  Here's what it looked like on Friday:

I cut over 12 inches of my hair.  I'll be sending it off to Locks of Love.  If you have 10 inches or more of unbleached hair, please donate to this organization.  Click on the link to find out more information.  Here's an update on my flowers.  There are a lot more open blooms since I first received them... hopefully the last few will open up tomorrow.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

4th Wedding Anniversary

Today's our 4th wedding anniversary.  See what got delivered to my
office! The flowers are ginormous and very pretty. I can't wait for the lilies to
bloom. Thanks, honey! I love you!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Broken Sewing Machine

My sewing machine broke this weekend.  I messed up the timing on my bobbin.  :(  Luckily my FIL had a sewing machine that I could use to finish up the last costumes.  He said he would also take a look at it to see if he could fix the timing.  I have faith in him.  :)  Looks like I need to take a break from sewing for a little bit... hahaha... at least this gives me some time to trace Burda patterns.  Any ideas on what to use to trace the patterns?  Should I just use tracing paper?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Burda Magazine

I ordered a Burda magazine from the classified section of  I've admired many peoples creations from this magazine.  It's the November 2009 issue.  This is my first one and I'm pretty excited about it.  It seems to be a little bit more work since you have to trace out the patterns and then cut them out, but it'll be a different experience.

Hmmm... what to try as my first Burda pattern?!

New Clutch

I change bags/purses about 3-4 times a week... on days I have classes I use my backpack, on Sunday's I use my messanger bag, and the rest of the week I use whatever bag fits my mood.  With all this bag changing I needed a clutch or something to hold my essentials, which are phone, wallet, and chapstick, otherwise I would end up forgetting something.  A few weeks ago I made a little clutch.

I made some labels, too!  :)

Mihee is my Korean name... it means beauty and joy.  I thought it was appropriate for this clutch and hopefully my other sewing projects.  :) The labels are made from twill tape and printable iron-on transfer.  I had read about it somewhere awhile ago and can't remember where I saw it.  I believe there are lots of different tutorials on the web about this method.

I think I may make some more clutches for Christmas gifts... but I will need to add interfacing and use a different closure... the button is inconvenient and a little annoying.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November Tops

Faye is hosting "The Months of Tops" sew-a-long, and I've decided to join in.  I'm always in need of tops and I haven't made too many of them.  I just cut out Simplicity 2601 in a black silk charmeuse, which is also part of my fall wardrobe.  (However, I've never sewn with silk so this should be an interesting experience.)  Here's the envelope front.

I'm not sure if this counts, but I have some unfinished tops that I plan to finish.  One is the above pattern in an Amy Butler quilting cotton print.  I also need to finish a Butterick 5100 tunic.

Along with all the above tops here are the others I plan on making this month.  (They're part of the fall wardrobe plan, too.)

It looks like I have my work cutout for me.  On top of these tops my youth group is having a musical and I'm overseeing the costume/make-up team.  We need to finish the costumes for dress rehearsal this Sunday... eek!  I hope we don't have too many left... I need to re-tally all that we have.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vogue 8413 Dress

I was flying out of town for my cousin's wedding Thursday morning so naturally I had to start and make a dress Wednesday night!  :)  I already had the pattern and fabric planned out.  The fabric was already pre-washed, but all the cutting and sewing happened Wednesday night after dinner.  I used Vogue 8413 view C.  The fabric was a berry ponte double knit from  This dress was less than $20 to make!  This dress was also part of my fall wardrobe (but not my PR wardrobe).

Pattern modifications:
1.  Removed the pleats from the front of the skirts
2.  Didn't use interfacing on facings
3.  Used an invisible zipper

I love this pattern and style!  It definitely needed a belt and I don't own very many.  I ended up going to Target the day before the wedding to buy a belt and a clutch.  They were perfect!  I think it was a good buy.  :)


Because I was making it in a haste, I didn't finish my edges or hem the bottom of the dress.  I will need to go back clean those up, but other than that I love my new dress!  I received many compliments on this dress at the wedding despite my hap-hazardly construction.  See my side seams don't even match... I need to fix that, too.

Hopefully I'll have some pictures up later of the clutch and back of the dress, but I don't have any right now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Vogue 1027 Dress

I made the Vogue 1027 dress.  It had many good reviews on PatternReview.  The fabric is a poly/lycra matte jersey from Joann.  I love the large geometric print and the jewel tones in it.

Here are a couple of changes  I made to the pattern based on others' reviews.
1.  Eliminated the elastic in the waist.
2.  Eliminated the sleeve facings (I serged the edges and did a narrow hem).
3.  Cut out extra pieces of the tie ends so the wrong sides won't show.

I ran into a few snags while working on this dress.  I didn't have a large enough area to cut out the pattern pieces, which made it a little tricky.  I also found it difficult to lay the matte jersey  flat, which is mostly like due to the size of surface area.  I normally make the pattern size that is one size down from what it should be based on measurements.  However, I didn't have the smaller size and made the size I "should've been" based on the pattern size chart.  The dress was rather large.  I took in at least 1.5 inches at the sides around the waist.  I also sewed the pockets in wrong.  I didn't think through the process and made the pockets go towards the back of the dress instead of the front.  I'm not sure how to fix this since I serged it to the bodice (oh well...).

I didn't like the dress at first.  It seemed too bulky around my waist, but it's grown on me and now I like it.  I just haven't decided on the length... I like it, but I wonder if I'd like it more if it was shorter.  I don't own any dresses that are this length so maybe it's something I just need to get used to.  Overall, I'm happy with my dress.  :)



I really like the pleats on the bodice. Bodice & tie detail: (Please excuse the awkward shot.)


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

= Birthday Dinner =

My husband loves chocolate and peanut butter together. So for his birthday I looked for a chocolate peanut butter cake recipe and came across Smitten Kitchen, which had the perfect recipe! This recipe is one of the best! The cake is very moist, rich, and delicious!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Old FO - Butterick 5246

I finished this Butterick 5246 at the beginning of the year, but never got around to posting pictures or a review until now. This is only my second time wearing the dress and I still haven't decided if I like it or not.



Here are few of my dislikes:
1. The wrong side of the ties can be seen. This could be a pretty easy fix, but I didn't have enough fabric to fix this.
2. The cowl part isn't as big as I thought it would be.
3. The wrong side of the cowl can be seen if it doesn't lay perfectly.
4. The gathering at the center front under the bust is a little too poufy.

Despite all of the above... I still kind of like it, but I definitely don't LoVE it. Oh well... I'll probably wear it a few more times. Here's a full review.

Here's detail of the cowl neck.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Potluck Lunch at Work

Our team every now and then has a potluck lunch at work. The theme this time was appetizers (plus desserts) and it was amazing!! Here are the dishes.

Smoked trout with dill on cucumber...
Crab stuffed mushrooms...

Steak tartare...

Asian beef bean sprout salad...


Brazilian desserts...

Stuffed Zucchini

I made the stuffed zucchini. Sorry for the rotated picture! I'm not sure why this one got rotated and I dont know how to rotate it back. :( Here's the recipe I used for the stuffed zucchini.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Girls at Church

The little girls (~ 2nd - 5th grade) at our church decided to get together and sell bracelets made out of yarn to donate to our church building fund. It was so cute!! I had to support this handmade "non-profit" business! My purchase was a special request... so instead of a bracelet it's a skinny scarf with little tassels. It was made by hand knitting... no needles! I just love the colors!


Fun at the Machine

I bought some basic thread (white, navy, and black) at Joann's on Friday so I could play around with my new serger. Saturday morning was a lot of instructional video watching, which taught me the different features of the machine as well as how to thread the machine. The threading took a couple of tries but in the end I learned and it's pretty easy! :) I'm super happy about my purchase and I was able to finish the cozy cardi! Here's the completed piece just hanging on a hanger. I'll have to take better pictures another day.


See my scrap bin on my machine. You can tell the machine got some good use this weekend.


I serged all the raw ends of my wool pieces to prep for pre-shrinking later this week based on this blog. It's so pretty and exciting! (I'm such a nerd!)


My hubby and I went to Inner Space Caverns in Georgetown on Saturday for a date! Here are some of my favorite pictures.


Not very good lighting inside the building, but it'll have to do. Can you tell we're Texas fans?! :) Hook'em Horns!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Got a New Toy!!!

I got a new serger earlier this week!!! I'm SuPER excited about this, but I haven't had too much time to play around with it. I hope this weekend I will get some alone time with it. :)

I had bought a serger over the summer off of eBay, but it was NOT a good experience so after a long drawn out process I was able to return it and get my money back. This is what that serger looked like... there's a big crack in the corner!

I should post some of the emails from the seller... they are quite ridiculous, but I will spare you the drama.

Here's my brand new toy that was ordered from SewVacDirect. No cracked corners here. :) I hope that I overcome the learning curve very quickly and start using it right away. I think my first project on it will be the cozy cardi. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 14, 2009


I washed the black silk charmeuse the other night in the bathtub with a little bit of shampoo and my bathtub was covered in black/purple dye! Hahaha.. later I found that silk doesn't hold color very well especially dark colors (particularly black) from a website... but I can't find the website anymore.

Here are some more tips in handling silk:

I just need to press it and then I will be ready to be cut into the beautiful black silk charmeuse! I wonder if my scissors are too dull to cut into the silk... I suppose I should test it on a corner first. I'll be turning this into a silk blouse using Simplicity 2601 and it will be the first piece in my fall SWAP.

This has definitely been a learning experience. Hopefully, I can summarize my whole experience from purchase of fabric through final product once I finish my project.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Silk & The Common Thread

I went all out and bought some silk charmeuse! It's so supple and lovely! I bought some black silk charmeuse to make Simplicity 2601A and a skinny tie for the hubby.

I'm not sure what I'm going to use the printed silk for. I was thinking I would use it for the lining of my jacket in the Fall SWAP, but I don't want to anymore because I don't think it'll match. Hmmm... I suppose I'll have to stash it and find out later. :)

I bought the silks from The Common Thread here in Austin. The shop is a new local apparel fabric shop, which I'm super excited about! You can find good quality apparel fabric... I know I'll definitely be shopping there more often as soon as I use up some of my fabric stash.

While searching for tips on sewing with silk, I came across a couple of different things on the internet. (I love the internet!) I think I'm still a little intimidated to sew with such luxurious fabric!

This one is a video with Sandra Betzina. I think it's helpful! Who knew silk could be washed with shampoo?!

This one is an article at CraftStylish.