Thursday, January 31, 2013


Because UPS is full of brilliance lately, I had to buy one from Target for more money than I should have paid but I was dying here, okay?

So now that we've moved past this unfortunate incident, let's talk important stuff.

My pudding pop is one year old, yo!!

It was a dark and stormy birthday. Yes, yes, I'm working on the new camera thing, I promise. Anyhoodle, isn't dis behbeh da cutest behbeh you ever did see? And he's not such a baby anymore either. Booooooooo to growing up, yo!

But he does look rather cute in his little hat, does he not? It was my Sew Simple for the week along with the embellishment I did on the long sleeved onesie and corduroy pants he wore to church that morning. I'll supply pictures of that later.

And here's a very blurry pic of him side eyeing his cake. But boy tells lies. You see what he did to that beast, yes? 

His cake turned out awesome, if I do say so myself. It was a chocolate buttermilk cake with banana icing because what's a monkey cake without bananas, amiright? 

Monday, January 28, 2013


I would love to show you pics of the amazing cake I baked and decorated for my ONE YEAR OLD little boy. But alas, UPS left my amazon package in the garage.

I have no garage.

So here's a cat instead.

Is it just me or does it look dead?

Here's a cuter one.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wedding duds

1920's wedding portrait

There is no date given but the veil tells you all you need to know. It's called a cap veil, usually made from lace or silk tulle or a combination. Lace has never been an inexpensive fabric so between all that froth and mr man's Cotton Club stylings, I'd say these two were off to a good start in life when they tied the knot.

I love finding new things

As I was bouncing along the interwebs, looking for something to do, up popped Heather B showing off her son's snazzy dragon jams. After reading her glowing report on the pattern maker, I thought I'd swing by and wouldn't you know it, I fell in love.

You see, I've been trying to decide if I should sew a swimsuit, Burda's Alison pattern to be specific. I added it to my library when I first discovered BurdaStyle but the very idea of sewing a knit was intimidating at the time, much less swimsuit fabric so it joined the massive stash where a hot mess's grand plans fizzle away into nothing. It was briefly awakened by the discovery of an absolutely perfect white on red polka dot swimsuit fabric from Michael Levine Inc but faded again when I found I'd have to buy a full yard of the stuff and let the rest languish. I mean what are the odds that I'll find another use for swimsuit fabric?

By now you're probably wondering what this had to do with dragon jams and for that, I wholeheartedly apologize. I'm pretty sure I'm high on albuterol at this point so you'll have to bear with me. What was my point again?

Yes! Discoveries. Heather B's blog lead me to my new best friend, the Peekaboo Pattern Store because what else should one do with swimsuit fabric besides make another swimsuit, yes?

So here's the plan. I'm going to make my throwback retro suit from the blue and use the white on red for the bust. I'll be needing you keep your fingers crossed that between a structured bra insert and some modification of that back strap I'll be able to keep the sisters in check. Meanwhile, Pinky's suit will be made from the white on blue with navy ruffles to make it entirely too cute. 

Do you think she's too old for ruffles on her butt? Yeah, I really don't care. She's getting them.

Also on my mind from Peekaboo, these baby patterns.

I can't decide which one I like more. The Lazy Days Romper pattern could resolve that issue of never having anything to sew for baby boys that is cute enough to rival what I can find at a store for about the same overall cost. But at just 2/3rds of a yard, maybe less, I could definitely whip up a few cute ones for the bood (rhymes with food.) There are a ton of cute little boy knits out there just calling my name. Like these from The Fabric Fairy.

Fabric Fairy also has some really adorable boardshort fabric that would look really cute in the Pier 49 pants, wouldn't you agree?

This will all have to wait until closer to summer though as we there is waaaaaaaayyy too much crap on my dining room table, too much stuff recently arrived from exotic locals for me to even think about adding to the mess. You can stop laughing now, I really will try. Besides, I'd hit my max for a while. Let's turn out some stuff first. How about that?

Okay, fine. I do want to know. Are nine year olds too old for butt ruffles? Will you feel sorry for my child? Don't bother making the argument that other children will point and laugh, pinky doesn't care. She already takes crap for her Avengers lunchbox. The kids at school say it's a boy lunchbox and therefore, must be one of pete's hand me downs.

Have I mentioned that kids are stupid?

Yes, indeed.

So yay or nay on the butt ruffles?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lazy heifer, that's me

le sigh

The procrastinator strikes again.

I got my grocery list done on time but my lazy behind didn't leave the house until noonish. Also I forgot my ID to go on post so I decided just to hit up wallyworld where I ended up buying more crap than I needed at higher prices than I should have because I didn't bother to comparison shop between Kroger and Walmart and buy accordingly the way I usually do when I don't go to the commissary.

Did you get all that?

So uhm, yeah, what should have been a cheaper run since I had a lot of the stuff on hand, including $10 worth of salmon on sale at Food Lion, ended up costing me about $140 for all the groceries plus the $20 produce box. Add in the aforementioned salmon and we are at $170 all because I didn't feel like getting my ass off the computer and/or looking for my ID card.


So here's the rundown:

Thursday: Char siu and pork fried rice with garlicky green beans - because none of this was cooked last week. Pete had a slumber party and I was feeling lazy so mr man ate leftover and the pinkermeister and I chowed down on some quarter pounders.

Friday: Sausage w/peppers and egg noodles - also a leftover meal from last week as the enchiladas and spanish rice lasted until the next day.

Saturday Breakfast: Applesauce pancakes, ham, and apple cider

Saturday: Chicken and corn chowder with bread sticks and salad

Monday: BBQ Chicken, Twice baked potato casserole, and corn

Tuesday: Ginger Soy Salmon, rice, and roasted brussel sprouts.

I'd love to ramble on about this week's shopping trip but I've just been informed that the girl child launched a box of bisquick in her brother's direction, which would be all find and dandy had not the box been previously opened and the bag holding the bisquick been rolled down.

You people are going to think I don't even like them, aren't you?

See? I like them . . . usually.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Miss Sara Forbes Bonetta

Born in 1843, Sara Forbes was raised as Queen Victoria's goddaughter after being presented to the queen as a gift from King Ghezo of Dahomey.

As extraordinary as Sara might be for the times, I'm far more interested in the Kingdom of Dahomey, a country that lasted 300 years, from its founding around 1600 until it was abolished by the French in 1900. Not even one hundred and fifty years later the vast majority of Americans have never heard of this nation and yet we think our country immortal.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Eenie Meenie

Because I love contests and because I've yet to sew up anything from the wonderful reproductions over at Eva Dress, I'm doing this.

So . . . which one should I make?

A sweet little wrap dress with side buttons,

1943 Wrap Dress

Or a sweet little tennis-ish dress with side buttons?

1935 One Piece Sports outfit

A few thoughts to help you along,

I have fabric for the first one. In fact, I think I have oodles of possible fabric choices to choose from and I possess the perfect covered button kit to finish it off with. If you're wondering, yup, the short sleeved version. I can't resist a cute little cap sleeve.

For the second, I would have to buy some fabric. I have 1.5 yards of white linen but that would only be enough for the skirt. I could probably find a bit more linen to make up the rest. However, the Dreamstress recently posted details of Challenge #8 for Sew Fortnightly.

Everyone loves a day at the beach, and the sea has inspired and influenced fashion for millennia. This challenge is all about nautical fashions, whether you make BC pallas and stola to wear at a Roman seaside resort town like Pompeii, something for Cleopatra to lounge in as she barged down the Nile (rivers count as nautical), an outfit for a Viking to keep them warm on a longboat as they explored Newfoundland, a ship to perch on a towering 1770s hairdo, a chemise to be worn in a Regency bathing vehicle, mid-Victorian seaside promenade dresses, late Victorian woolen bathers, or 1930s beach pajamas to wear on the sands of the Cote d'Azure.

I think you'll all agree that in a crisp white linen with navy blue topstitching, this would be perfection. But I think you'll also all agree that the first dress could very well make a girl's life in a nice, floaty silk charmeuse.

So tell me, my people. What ever shall I do?

Also, tell me what you'd make if you were/are entering. You can find the rest of her patterns at Eva Dress.

Maybe this would be a good time to do my first giveaway. Leave me a comment telling me which dress I should make for a chance to win . . . a whiny baby who needs to go to bed. How could you resist an offer like that??

No, really. I swear. I shall do a giveaway. How about a pair of tea towels I can't post pictures of? Yes. Let's do that. Valentine tea towels in argyle no less. You'll have to take my word that they are fabulous. But if that's not good enough, I'll leave the contest open until January 31st, giving you a chance to see the fabulousness of said tea towels before you make up your mind to end.

For additional entries, tell me what you would like to sew from Eva Dress's patterns (or have someone sew for you), share this blog post on twitter, share it on Facebook, or become a follower of my blog. Come back and leave me comments and I'll put in an entry for you on each comment left.

Was that English? I can't always be trusted to properly articulate what I mean. Let me know in the comments if you're confused. (And no, that's not an extra entry, sorry.)

Monday, January 21, 2013

For the record

I did finish my Sew Simple for the week but alas, no one can find the damned card reader.

I'm starting to think he really did eat it.

Babies are so overrated.

Thank God Almighty

"I think at many points she educated me. When I met her, she was very concerned about all of the things that we are trying to do now. I never will forget that the first discussion that we had when we met was the whole question of racial injustice and economic injustice and the question of peace. And in her college days, she had been actively engaged in movements dealing with these problems. So that I must admit, I wish I could say, and satisfy my masculine ego, that I led her down this path. But I must say we went down together."
  -- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1967 interview (video here)

I don't think we give this grand lady near enough credit for her extraordinary life. It would have been easy to say she didn't want to do this anymore. But not only did she support Martin, she worked tirelessly beside him and after his death, all the while raising children with strength and perseverance. So on this day, I want to wish a heartfelt thank you to Coretta, for all that you did and all that you were.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Lovely Nina Simone

I am utterly embarrassed to confess that I've never heard of Nina Simone until I signed up for Pandora. I somehow feel deprived that I'm only now discovering her music, her life, and that voice!

Now how about you go get yourself a cup of tea to shake yourself up a manhattan, sit back, close your eyes and have a little listen.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Glamorous! Flossy, flossy!

Bear Allen yelled at me for failing in my blog challenge by skipping Thursday. She made me promise I'd make up for it by posting something faboo yesterday. Well fie on her!

She's going to have to settle for a double post today, one of which is to introduce a new segment to the old bloggity blog. As you probably know, I have a soft spot for both vintage and historical fashion. The Rate the Dress segment of The Dreamstress's blog is one of my favorites as is the website, A Dress A Day. There are a host of blogs dedicated to showing real life examples of the fashions of the day, however, there is one thing most of them lack, and that is women of color. 

When we think of black women and fashions of the past, well, let's be honest. I don't think most people think of black women and fashions of the past. We tend to think of black women of the times in one of three ways.

Arkansas sharecropper, 1936

Maids, slaves, and/or poor and downtrodden. Obviously, given the social climate, many women did live in these circumstances. However, that doesn't mean all black women did nor does it mean those who did gave no thought to fashion or dressing well. Far from the truth actually. Though the images are less common than their white counterparts, many of whom also worked as servants, maids, and in other poor, less fortunate straits, black women were just as interested in their manner of dress and spanned all sorts of socio-economic lines.

Don't get me wrong. There are some sites out there that shout out to my beautiful sisters of color. My current favorite is the Vintage Black Glamour tumblr site. But there aren't near enough and since this blog focuses on sewing, housemaking, and vintage/historical fashion, I thought it would be nice to do my part to fill in the gap. I'll also be adding women of other colors as I find them and provide whatever information I can find to go along with it. 

Shall we get started?

Bessie Coleman, the first black female aviator
Aida Overton Walker,
The Queen of the Catwalk

Somewhat related but if you haven't read Cane River by Lalita Tademy, you really should. You should also read this article and perhaps even The New Elegant Black Woman's whole blog. I'm not really sure how I feel about her viewpoint as I just found it and haven't had time to digest but on its face, there are definitely some things there to make you say hmmm.

Hopefully, you'll all love these pictures as much as I do and if you don't,


Payback is a you know what.

You want it?  You can't have it because I just bought it.
But DiscountSewingSupply has more.
Go look!

I have this friend we shall call A. A decided quite a few months ago that she wanted to learn more about garment sewing. Like the good little stashaholic I am, I showed her all the things. We fill out our facebook messages with ages and ages of sewing discussions. She is hooked.

Yesterday, she came across a tutorial on jelly roll race quilting and now it's over. Now I must make one of these beauties.

A quilt made from precut strips of fabric with very little thought involved that promises to turn out an entire quilt top in an hour?? Yeah. It's done. I'm hit. Sign me up. This is totally what I get for showing A Fabricmart and, isn't it?

Have any of you made one of these before? Would you like to make one along with me?

Are you taking bets on whether or not I'll finish it? Pete's baby quilt is still floating around here somewhere in desperate need of binding. Yes, I said pete's quilt, not pudding's. That's twelve years. Maybe I'll finish in time for pudding to take it with him to college.

In all seriousness, I really want to make this happen, even if I have to take it to the quilt shop and pay them to finish it for me. The top won't be any trouble at all and it will be a welcome distraction from wrestling with my stays, seeing as I adore distractions.

You know you wanna make one too.

What colors would you use?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tasty, tasty food!

It's quite possible I've used this blog title before but since I'm doing this once a week now, you'll have to forgive me. I think this is the part where I'm supposed to type up something witty. Instead, all I have for you is utter exasperation that the pudding pop would not stay seated in the little steering wheel capped grocery cart and kept trying in vain to climb into the basket and nibble on the cardboard box containing his father's requested frozen breakfast sandwiches.

Yes, I feed him. It's not my fault the kid has a bottomless leg with which to stuff unlimited quantities of milk, cheerios, popcorn chicken, banana cookies, taquitos and whatever else he sees fit to mooch off his parents.

I was going to show you a picture of his chubby cheeks stuffed to the gills with chicken from the other day, but alas, I think he might have eaten the card reading. I last saw it clutched in his grubby paws so either he stuck in his belly or is saving it for a midnight snack. You'll have to settle for an old picture. 

Judging by the look on his face, he was looking for food so, still related to the topic at hand.

As to this week's menu, we're just going to call it lazy, fat thighs week ftw because, really, look at this crap.

Thursday: Hamburgers and french fries with broccoli slaw
Friday: Tater tot casserole
Saturday Breakfast: Eggs Napoleon
Saturday Dinner: Enchiladas Verde with vaguely mexican rice
Sunday: Chicken cutlets, mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, and sour cream pound cake with some kind of strawberry-orange sauce I plan to make up so keep your fingers crossed
Monday: Sausage, peppers, zucchini, and potatoes
Tuesday: Char Siu and pork fried rice with broccoli

And what is char siu, you might be asking? It's that red sticky stuff on the Chinese food menu better known to most of us as boneless pork or Chinese pork spareribs. There are a ton of hits on pinterest for making the marinade but in keeping with the lazy heifer theme of the week, I picked up some marinade in a package from World Market.

Oh, look, you can buy it from them online too.

Fair warning, the stuff looks like jello powder, okay? And it doesn't improve once you mix it up either. You'll be looking at your bag of marinade and asking yourself why in the hell you let some blogger talk you into marinating meat in a concoction that brings back childhood memories of warm handisnack jello snacks and poster paint. But I swear to you it all pays off in the end.

This week's menu took a little more effort to put together as, in addition to trying to use some things I had on hand, I recently signed up for a weekly produce box from a local store. This week's haul consisted of broccoli, green beans, zucchini, an onion, strawberries, oranges, and apples. Add this to the bag of french fries, frozen peas and carrots, frozen mixed veggies, lettuce, tomato, potatoes, and the package of chicken sausage sitting in my fridge and there you have it.

I spent $113 at the commissary but that includes a $15 can of formula and something else I can't remember that was somewhere in the neighborhood of $5. (I worked it out in the parking lot as dude shoved the groceries in between a big old box of craigslisted fabric and the box of christmas ornaments I bought on sale but never managed to hang on the tree and still haven't put away.) Throw in $20 for the produce box, $10 for an olive oil run at World Market, and voila, another week under $150.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Give an inch

and this hot mess girl child of mine wants a damned mile.

I was sitting here working on her damned stays when this little blond thing pops out of her room and sidles up to my shoulder.

"Mommy, will you make this for me?"

"Which part?" I ask.

"All of it," came the dreaded reply. "It's so preeeeeeeeeeetty!"


She better be grateful I love her. Do you think it would cute in flannel for a winter dress? Who am I kidding? I bought the pattern for a reason (for $1 off some craigslist, former Hancock's employee, fabric hoader.) So yeah, I'll totally make it. But first . . . have I mentioned my etsy addiction?

Because I totally have an etsy addiction. I've been working hard to resist temptation but when one comes across mother-daughter cobbler apron patterns???

Via Maryworld

via Platypus Dream

So yeah, totally done. I did manage to resist the urge to "make it worth the shipping" and browse through the rest of each shop's offerings. But what shall I make in? I prefer Connecting Threads for apron sewing because the stuff is thick and plush and yet not expensive but nothing is standing out for me. The pinks are quite abysmal and I see nothing in aqua that inspires me.

Red and white maybe?

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A resolution I never mentioned

I've decided this will be the year to grow my holiday decor collection. And by grow, I mean start one. I have some Christmas stuff but aside from one sad spring-like wreath and its matching styrofloral cousins, I got nada. The plan is to wait until after each holiday and hit up the clearance rack. But since I have the patience of a puppy eyeing a chicken treat, I also plan to make a wreath to suit the holiday.

First up is Valentine's.

I need to come up with something awesome for St Paddy's because I cannot imagine loving anything more than I love this. I think it's the teal/aqua business going on in there. What's to hate when my favorite color is involved?

I used about a yard of gray gingham homespun from Joann's. With my handy dandy glue gun, I wrapped strips around a straw wreath form, also from Joann's until everything was covered. Using three fat quarters in complimentary colors (wait, are they complimentary? IDK, but I liked the way they looked together, so there), I made three types of fabric flowers. The dark pink ones are rolled flowers and the pink and gray ones came together like so. The aqua ones involved sewing but since they are my favorite and not just due to the color, I'd say it was worth the effort. So yeah, go do this, now. Then I used two floral picks from Michaels as filler. They originally stuck out from either side all gracefully and grandly and such but after gluing on all the flowers, they looked more like pearl tipped spider legs. So I twisted the pieces around and bent them to my will with the aid of my glue gun until they no longer offended me.

Here's a closer look.

And here's an "action" shot.

Now go forth and create!

And show me pictures. I love pictures.