Sunday, August 18, 2019

Pants...Getting To The Bottom Line

Best laid plans...
Four weeks ago, while at an agility class with Mr. Berkley, I somehow managed to catch my shoe on the rubber tile, and I went flying, landing with all of my weight coming down on my left knee. The trainer ran over and asked if I was okay. The impact was so powerful that I actually felt like throwing up. All I could manage to say was that I needed to take a break. (Silver Lining...I didn't re-injure my wrist!) But, me being me, I sucked it up and stayed through the rest of the class. By the time I made it home, my knee was the size of a large softball. I iced it, and sent my husband to the pharmacy for Arnica cream. It took about a week for the swelling to begin subsiding, but there was a big sack of fluid on my knee. Finally, the fluid began to disappear, but last Friday morning while making the bed, I once again managed to trip and fall, landing on my left knee. I now have an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor. I'm walking on the knee, and it doesn't hurt to walk, but it's extremely painful to touch, and going up and down stairs has been a great challenge. So, with all of that, I am a few days late with my next pant post.

The theme of our second week of our pant posts is all about the bottom line, literally...our bottoms :/ Not something that most of us want to talk about. 

Becky of Trail Balloons, my fellow challenger has a flat bottom. She absolutely loves the Flat Bottom Flos from Style Arc. While those of us who have a round bottom...like me, we tend to think that those with a flat bottom have it made. But it does pose fitting issues that are just as dire to the flat bottom girls as the round bottom girls. Becky has done a very detailed post on fitting a flat bottom in THIS post. 

My favorite pattern for my round bottom is the Barb Pant from Style Arc Patterns. And to make it all the sweeter, you can get the pattern for FREE just for signing up to receive the Style Arc newsletter. HERE'S the link!

The pattern photo for the Barb Pant looks like it was drafted for a thin and rather flat bottom. But, that is not the case.

Here's what the pattern actually looks like;

The front is on the left, and the back on the right. Look closely at the front. The crotch curve is minimal. The back has a very deep curve, and looks to be raised at the center back line, as it is. So, with the Barb Pant, the full bottom adjustment is built into the pattern. Score!!! At least score for us full bottomed girls ;)

Another aspect that I love about the Barb Pant is that it was designed for a stretch woven. With a stretch woven, you will get a much more fitted pant, and especially for a pull-on pant, that's really nice.  

Now of course, the pattern has been designed for the middle of the road full bottomed girl. Some of us have rounder bottoms, and some not so round. I really love the tutorial that was done by Colette Patterns. You can find it HERE. The tutorial walks you through a full bottom adjustment as well as adjusting for a flat bottom. A great tutorial to keep on hand.

I have made quite a few pairs of the Barb Pant. I will be back tomorrow, Monday with a fashion show of Barb Pants.

If you haven't downloaded the free pattern,be sure to do so!
Happy pant sewing!!!

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Pants...All Month Long!

You may remember that last summer Becky of Trail Balloons and I did a fun challenge making woven tees. Believe it or not, those tees have been a staple of my summer wardrobe. It was such a great challenge!

We teamed up again to do woven tops for winter, but I managed to slip on the ice, break both bones in my arm at the wrist, have surgery, and basically be incapacitated for 3 months. Oh well,best laid plans :(

This summer, we thought it would be fun to do something a little different and spend the month talking about pants. Becky and I have very different shapes. She is very long and lean, where I have curves. So we thought that with the 2 of us doing pants, with our different shaped bodies, we would appeal to most everyone. 

For our 1st week, we are showcasing our favorite pant pattern. Becky loves the Flat Bottom Flo from Style Arc. It's as if the pattern was designed with her in mind.

By far, my favorite, or at least most used pattern is the free pajama pant pattern from Martha Stewart. This is a very basic elasticized waist pant pattern. I love it because, it's super easy to fit, and it's also easy to manipulate into lots of fun designs.

You may be looking at the picture below and thinking, "this is not a pant, it's a skirt!" It does look to be a skirt, true enough.

But see, it is pants!!!

All I did was use the basic pattern, then cut 2 rectangles, my favorite thing ;), and attach those rectangles into the right side seam of the pant. Because this is a border print, I had to be careful in lining up the print, but other than that, the pants were a snap to make. 

I added ties to the rectangles so that the rectangles could be tied and held in place at the waist. 

The pant has an elegant look, and yet it's made casual with a pair of fun sandals.

If you have shied away from making pants, get an elastic waist pattern and start having some fun. Typically, the only adjustment you will have to make is to either lengthen, or shorten the crotch. 

Becky gives lots of details on how she altered the Flat Bottom Flos to fit her beautifully. You can see that post HERE

Out next installment for the challenge will be Getting To The Bottom Line. With our first post, Becky was early and I am late, but we should both be on schedule for this Friday! :)

Hope we can encourage you to give pants a try!

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

A Scarf to Celebrate My Celtic Heritage

My first weaving class came to an end yesterday, and I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome. I did very little planning, but just allowed the piece to speak to me and take on its on life.

I began with navy blue, a light green, light blue, and lavender. A purple was used for the warp.

As I went along, quite honestly, I did get a little bored, and I felt that the piece needed something more, so I added the green plaid.

When I finally finished the piece, and took it off the loom, as I said, I was pleased. Well, once again, to be quite honest, I could be more pleased. There are places were the tension is a little off. But, it is my first piece, so I decided to relax and give myself a break.  

As I looked at the scarf, I realized that it reminds me of the beautiful purple thistle blooms and the green of moss.

I have a great piece of mohair coating that will make a perfect companion to the scarf. 

I've decided to carry on. There's more that I would like to do and learn. I am so amazed with what some of the other students are doing in the class. 

If by chance you are in Chicago, and would like to give weaving a try, check out The Chicago Weaving School. You can even take a class on basket weaving! Natalie, the owner is wonderful, and truly does her best to help each student walk away with a piece that they can be proud of. Hey, I'm hooked!!! :)

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Sunday, August 11, 2019

Sunday Night Reflections

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Sunday Brunch/Decadent French Toast with Maple Caramelized Apples

We said goodbye to our precious Gracie this past week. She has been a part of our family for the past 11 years, and will continue to be a part of my heart forever. Below is one of my favorite pictures as I think it shows her gentle spirit. She was my constant shadow, always near by, but never intrusive. Going back to my studio has been so very difficult as she was my only dog who would come down and hang with me. But then too, I think she loved the cool tile floor :) I'm so very grateful for all she added to my life. 

I haven't cooked all week, but this morning, it felt right.
A number of years ago, we always went out for breakfast after we had been to church. We then began going to an evening mass on Sunday, so I started making breakfast. I am now at a point that I would much rather eat at home as I always enjoy my own food far more than anything I can get in a restaurant. And...truth be told, I also get to stay in my pajamas ;)

This morning I made a kinda sorta new recipe for french toast. My husband loved it and I think you might enjoy it as well :) Decadent French Toast with Maple Caramelized Apples. 

For the french toast, begin with 6 eggs. Beat them well with a fork.

To the egg mixture, add 1 cup of almond milk, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix all until well blended. 

For the apples, peel and slice 3 medium to large apples. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium heat. Once butter has melted, add the apples and stir well to coat with the butter. Cook until apple slices begin to brown. Add 1/2 cup of maple syrup. Stir well. Reduce heat to low and simmer until apples are tender.

Place bread in egg mixture and allow it to soak up the mixture until the bread is quite moist. Heat another pan, and add a little butter, a teaspoon or so. Place soaked bread in skillet and cook until golden brown, then turn and allow other side to become brown. Continue soaking bread until egg mixture is gone.

Serve the french toast with the caramelized apples. A nice addition to the apple topping would be toasted walnuts. Yum!

Decadent French Toast with 
Maple Caramelized Apples
serves 6
downloadable recipe

For apples
3 medium to large apples, peeled and sliced 
2 tablespoons butter, plus more for cooking french toast
1/2 cup maple syrup 
For french toast
6 eggs
1 cup almond milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 slices of hearty bread

For apples;
Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add apples and stir to coat apples with butter. Cook until apples begin to brown. Add maple syrup, stir and reduce heat to low and allow apples to simmer until tender. About 5 minutes.

For french toast;
Beat eggs with a fork until well blended and frothy. Add milk, extract, nutmeg and cinnamon and stir until well blended. soak bread in mixture until bread is well soaked. Heat another skillet over medium heat. Add about 1 teaspoon of butter per 2 slices of bread. Place soaked break in skillet and cook on each side until golden brown. 

Serve french toast with the maple caramelized apples. Sit back and wait for the compliments to come rolling in! :) Be patient as it may take a few minutes before their mouths aren't full!!!


We have a tendency to live our days as though this life will go on forever. Take a few moments to pause, look at your loved ones, your pets, think about how they have enriched your life. And then, take another moment to say thank you. It only needs to be in your heart. One thing that I have learned is that what is in our hearts comes out in everything we do.

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Sunday, August 4, 2019