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.

Pattern Review Wardrobe Contest

I didn't even realize there was a wardrobe contest on Pattern Review until last week. A few tweaks to my Fall SWAP and I think I qualify! This would only be my second contest that I've entered on Pattern Review... I'm not sure if I'm going to finish, but I have until the end of November so hopefully it'll work out! :) I need 5 tops, 4 bottoms, and a "topper" (which is something to go on top of your shirts... coat, jacket, vest, etc.). Fabric with print also needs to be used. Here's my tentative storyboard.

PR Wardrobe Contest

The fabric swatches on top are my fabric choices for the tops, and the swatches on the bottom are the ones for my pants and skirts. Some of my fabric needs to be pre-treated still. I'm not even sure where to start. Well... I still need to finish my summer SWAP and the Cozy Cardi first. Hopefully, I find some time to work on those this coming weekend. Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fall/Winter SWAP

I'm only halfway through with my summer SWAP, but I've already drawn and planned out my fall/winter SWAP. I need a wardrobe update as well as some clothes that fit... my existing clothes are getting big. :) Instead of using line drawings of the patterns from the internet, I thought I'd sketch them out. It was pretty fun to do it this way and scan them into Photoshop to do a little coloring. (My graphic design teacher from high school would not be proud of how I cleaned up my edges... oh well...)

Fall Winter SWAP 2009.jpg

I'm going to try to use my fabric and patterns from my stash... I have too many of both of these and need to start using them. :) No more fabric buying until I can use some out of my closet.

My main fabric for the SWAP is a black silk suiting, which is the black chunk on the bottom right corner. I love the texture on it and it will used to make a 4 piece suit... jacket, skirt, pants, and vest... if everything goes as planned and I have enough yardage. I bought last year from

New Look 6190 & T-shirt Makeover

I started view B of New Look 6190 a while ago, but finished them last weekend. They were part of my summer SWAP. Hahaha... summer's almost over and I'm only halfway done with my SWAP (I've already started planning for fall/winter... more on that later.) Please excuse the wrinkles in the pants... this was after it was worn to work. :)


This is a close-up of the front band.

This is a view of the back... I'm not very good with darts, but these turned out pretty well I think. :)

Overall, it was a good first pants project. :) They were pretty comfy to wear all day at work. The only thing I would really warn you about in this pattern is to size down! (Based on measurements I should've sewn a size 14, but even the 10 was still a little bit big!) These pants are supposed to help me get my feet wet in the world of pants. Now I need to try to Vogue 1051 that everyone seems to love! Full review here.

The shirt is a refashioned t-shirt. It is the Simple Scoop Top from T-shirt Makeovers by Sistahs of Harlem. The book has some good ideas and very sassy tops. :)

Here's a close-up for the shirt.

The cozy cardi is coming along. I cutout all of the pieces, but then I had to recut one of the main pieces because I stretched it more than the other. Luckily I bought extra fabric... I'm going to try to get it done this weekend, and hopefully have some pictures up, too.