Thursday, February 27, 2020

A Wrap For Every Season

Back at the beginning of the year, Style Arc Patterns made their Salma Wrap pattern available as an incentive to raise money for the devastation that was caused by the bush fires. All proceeds from the sale of the pattern, for a 2 week period were donated to the Red Cross Bush Fire Appeal. What a wonderful way to do something worthwhile, and gain a little reward as well. So I jumped on the opportunity. The wrap is a great throw it on garment for whenever you need a little something to keep you warm, add a little spark to an outfit, or a cover-up for the pool.

I've made 2...so far :)
The first was made from a piece of lightweight wool tweed that I've had forever. A great way to use up some fabric! I like it. Great for cool days.

Because it's a woven fabric, it doesn't have a lot of drape.

The second was made from a fun knit fabric.

As you can see from the pictures, it has a lot of drape. It's great over jeans, a dress, and this one can actually go to the pool!

The placement of the arm opening is quite nice, and adds to the drama of the garment. 

What I also like is how packable the garment is. It literally folds away to nothing.

Thankfully, the fires are over. At least I hope they are. Sadly, with all we have going on in the United States, the news from Australia gets put on the back burner. 

Although the proceeds of the pattern no longer go to the Red Cross, it's still a wonderful, easy to make pattern. And too, it's one that you can make as gifts and not worry about fit! This is one pattern that you can get a LOT of mileage out of! 

Happy Sewing!

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Pattern Testing/Naughty Bobbins Patterns

Back in December, I had the opportunity to test the new Bon Matin dress pattern from Naughty Bobbins Patterns. So, I have been sitting on this dress for quite some time. What I especially appreciated was that Coco really wanted the input of the testers, and the pattern was not finished until she had received the comments. 

The sketch of the dress gives the impression that it is a little high-waisted. It is not. It sits beautifully at the waist. The dress is quite feminine, and because there are no zippers, or button openings, it's one that you can literally throw on and be out the door in minutes.   

Pictures of me in the dress will soon follow, but here is what I made. I had a little fun with the pattern of the fabric, using it horizontally for the bodice, and vertically for the skirt. As I said, the waistline is elasticized, and the skirt features side seam pockets.

The sleeves(and you know I love a good sleeve!)are 3/4 length, slightly gathered at the shoulder, balloon out at the bottom, and have a small edged finished. 

I absolutely loved how the neckline was finished. The binding is serged on 1 side, but the end of the tie is sewn and turned. The process is very well explained in the instructions. The neckline is feminine, and just a bit alluring with the opening and the tie. 

I had thought that I would order a red belt to wear with my dress, but I remembered the Sobi Obi Belt pattern from Pattern Union. I have some leftover red suede, so I think that will work out just fine :)

I just ordered the pullover and stirrup pant pattern from Naughty Bobbins Patterns. Really looking forward to putting this one together!

By the way, the Bon Matin dress pattern lends itself to some wonderful hacks. The bodice would be lovely lengthened into a tunic. I actually have it on my cutting table :) Hoping to finish it over the weekend!

Happy Sewing!

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

One Small Act of Kindness

I am having the BEST winter! :) If you've followed the blog for a while, you know that I love winter, the snow, dressing in layers, wearing fabulous boots, making mulled wine, cheese fondue...and the list goes on and on :)

As much as I enjoy being out in the winter, one thing that I have never done is go cross-country skiing. My husband loves to downhill ski(as do I), but has absolutely no interest in all the work that goes into cross-country skiing. He says that he likes letting gravity do all the work. On the other hand, I like a workout, so last week, I called and arranged a lesson. I had thought that since I downhill ski, I wouldn't have an issue. Well, I looked like a bird that was trying to learn to fly, sliding all over the place. I'm accustomed to downhill skis, bindings and boots that weigh a ton. Not so with cross-country gear. Comparatively, it's as light as a feather. We came to hill that I had to traverse down. Well, I fell, and looked a little like something on a bloopers show. Didn't get hurt. Wasn't going fast enough to get hurt. All in all, regardless of the frustrations, I had a blast, and I'm going back next week. Learning to cross-country ski was on my goal list for 2020. So very proud of myself for pushing forward and realizing the goal :) 

You haven't seen me in a while. Laying in a pile of snow after downhill skiing and loving every minute of it!

Many of you may remember the campaign I did a number of years ago for a children's hospital in Washington state called Mary Bridge. With the help of so many, from all over the world, we made over 1000 pillowcases that were then distributed to children who are admitted into the hospital.

Before I packed up all the cases and sent them to Mary Bridge, I hung them all in my yard, and took a picture of the extravaganza. What a sight!!! Sew News magazine even did a featured article. So nice :)  

A friend of mine has the loveliest fabric store in Granby, Colorado, Tina's Fabric Nook. I actually did an interview with her a few years ago.
I absolutely LOVE her store! It's such a gift to the community. Like most of us, I have quite the fabric collection, so just buying fabric, while a nice thing to do, is just not a viable option on an ongoing basis. So, I've thought of what I can do to create a little revenue for her. What I came up with was pillowcases, not for me, but for anyone who happens to visit when I am in the mountains. I take my guests to Tina's, and let them pick out their fabric. Each and everyone has surprised me with their choices. They NEVER choose what I think they'll choose. She has these beautiful William Morris reproduction prints that I have been dying to use. Can't talk a soul into choosing those! I may have to make a pair for myself!  

Below are just a few of the cases that I've made.

The pair below went to Montana.  

I made 2 sets for a friend who lives in Seattle, a flannel pair for the winter, and a cotton pair for summer.

This pair went to a friend in Wisconsin. Love the starry night aspect of the batik.

I've made quite a few more, just forgot to photograph all of them. I just recently made a pair for a little 7 year child who received a bearded dragon lizard for Christmas. Tina had a gecko print that fit the bill close enough. She was thrilled with her pillowcases! Everyone seems to enjoy the cases so much, I enjoy making them, and I generate a little business for Tina. So a win all around.

You may remember the pillowcases I made using the fabric I had printed at Spoonflower from a painting that I did.  

I made a coordinating pair of cases and used the leftover fabric from the pair that went to a friend in Wisconsin for the trim. Even Berkley likes the cases ;) I have actually had friends tell me that they sleep better when they use the cases that I've made.  

I love this quote;

There's no such thing as a small act of kindness. 
Each act creates a ripple with no logical end.

What a lovely promise :)

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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Sunday Night Reflections

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Sunday's Soup/Rustic Potato Soup

I have really neglected the blog of late. Everything's fine, just life. I have been sewing, and I have been cooking, just not posting. 

The soup recipe that I'm sharing today is a favorite of mine during the cold winter months. Although, I don't make it that often as it does contain butter and cream. But, it's one that makes my husband smile, so from time to time, I figure, a little butter and a little cream is not going to be the end of the world ;)

Rustic Potato Soup
I call this a rustic soup as the skin is left on the potatoes, and it's not your typical creamy, potato soup. 

This soup came about because I had leftover small boiled potatoes. I'm sure the soup will be just fine, and taste just as good if you begin with raw potatoes. But, you will need to adjust the liquid as the raw potatoes may absorb more of the broth than the pre-boiled potatoes.   

I began with 1 pound of small golden potatoes that were previously boiled, and then sliced. Small red potatoes would work just as well. 

Heat the oil and the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion. The butter will turn the onion a beautiful golden yellow. Saute the onion until tender. 

Add 1 cup of sliced small portobella mushrooms and cook until tender. They will turn a lovely dark brown. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic, and saute for about a minute just to release the flavor, but not burn the garlic. 

Add the sliced potatoes and allow them to saute in the onion and mushroom mixture until they just start to turn a little brown. This will only take a few minutes. To be honest, you could actually stop here and just enjoy the potatoes as they are :) But don't!!! I think you'll love the soup! 

Add 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped stalks of celery, 1/2 cup wild rice, and 6 cups of vegetable broth. Stir in 1 teaspoon of rosemary, thyme, and sage, along with 2 bay leaves. Bring the soup mixture to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and allow the soup to cook until the wild rice is tender, about 45 minutes. 

Once the wild rice is tender, add 1/2 cup of cream. The rice and the potatoes will thicken the soup, so adjust the consistency at this point by adding in more vegetable broth. Two more cups may be needed. Heat the soup over a low flame, and do not allow the soup to come to a boil once the cream has been added. Before serving, remove the bay leaves. 

Rustic Potato Soup
downloadable recipe

1 pound boiled small red or golden potatoes sliced
1 large yellow onion chopped
1 cup sliced small portobella mushrooms
2 cloves garlic minced 
2 large carrots chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1/2 cup wild rice 
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
6-8 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup cream
salt and black pepper to taste


Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until tender. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until tender. Add minced garlic and saute for another minute to release garlic flavor, but not burn. 
Add sliced potatoes, and stir well into onion and mushroom mixture. Allow the potatoes to slightly brown. Add chopped carrots, celery, wild rice, and vegetable broth. Stir in sage, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat and cook on low heat until wild rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Stir in the cream, and adjust the thickness of the soup by adding more vegetable broth. Both the potatoes and the rice will absorb the liquid and make the soup rather thick. Up to 2 cups more of the vegetable broth may be needed to thin the consistency of the soup. 
Add salt and black pepper to taste. Simmer the soup on a low heat until heated through. Once the cream has been added, do not allow the soup to come to a boil. Before serving, remove bay leaves.

Ladle into soup dishes, and enjoy!

This is a hearty soup, perfect for winter. Serve with a nice slice of hearty bread.

This is a soul warming soup, at least for me. I hope that you'll enjoy it as much as I do.

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