Happy Birthday to Mama and Seeester

Happy birthday to my sister (yesterday)!  Below is my favorite picture of her of all time.  It's hard to contain your excitement when you're walking into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Trust me.  I was making that same face, I was just behind the camera.

And happy birthday (today!) to my mom, who is looking very tall and tan in this picture.  It's an accurate portrayal; she really is both tall and tan in real life too!

Growing up, I always felt sort of left out because my sister's birth had been like a day-early birthday present for my mom.  I wanted an October birthday, too!  But it turns out, all three of us have plenty of other things in common, even if it's not birth month.  Like this:

Love you, Mom and K!  See you in 24 days!


Homemade Halloween

This year for our Halloween costumes, Scott went store-bought and I went "I-already-have-these-things-in-my-closet-let's-make-a-costume-from-them."  However, last year, back in the days before I had this little blog, I sewed a costume up for Scott completely from scratch, like a good wife :)  (Also, I was unemployed at the time and sort of bored).

A few weeks before Halloween, Scott and I had gone to see Where the Wild Things Are, and Scott decided he wanted to be Max, the main character.  I drew my inspritation for his costume from the illustrations from the book:

And the costuming from the movie:

What I actually ended up doing was taking a pattern for scrubs, made the top long-sleeved, cut the placket for the buttons open down the center, and then attached the top to the pants.  The gloves were a little bit trickier, and so was the hood, but eventually we got it all together and I think it ended up looking pretty alright!  He probably could have rolled around in some dirt to make it a little more authentic, but by the end of the night out in New York City, it was looking pretty dirty anyway!

Let the wild rumpus BEGIN!!!!!!!!!


Pumpkin Palooza

Spooooooooooooooooky, right?

Last night Scott I took the A train downtown to the Prepster apartment for a little pumpkin-carving, Halloween-treat-eating, Rocky-Horror-Glee-Show-watching extravaganza.

Almost the first thing I saw when I walked on in was Brian sticking the horns on these guys:

DEVIL'd eggs!
I probably laughed way too long and hard about that one, but I love deviled egggs, and I love puns, so needless to say I ate about 8 of these.

Eventually we got down to the carving.  Scott and I had come up with what we thought was a fairly ingenious idea on the subway ride down that was basicallly going to turn out insanely awesome or fall completely flat.  The only way to find out was to get out the knives and start slashing!

And everybody else got down to carving too.

After much sawing and griping and popping out of pumpkin pieces, we finally were able to reveal....


Get it?!  It's like regular jack'o'lantern features, but all messed up like a Picasso!  (Also, 4 of the 9 people at this party have a master's degree in art, so we were sort of playing for the crowd with that one)

And even better news:  we tied for 1st place!  YEAH!  And our prize is a year's subscription to any magazine from Hearst Publishing that we want!!!!  (We'll probably go with Esquire, for Scott)
From the left - Sophie's first pumpkin EVER, Brian's OU pumpkin (boo), Jill's spider pumpkin, Laura's super-evil scary pumpkin, Pumpkasso, Melanie's pumpkin with a bow (that didn't quite get finished)
Halloween is fun :)


The wonders of technology these days.

You can stay connected with lovely friends who live in a different state, and even get to watch this adorable, precious, chubby child grow up before your very eyes.

She might be a little bit scared of me after that face though....


Project Runway Secrets (or did everyone already know this except me?!)

As I was making the rounds of all the sewing blogs I like to read over the weekend, I found something REALLY interesting on Grosgrain:

Did you know that at the final Project Runway show at Fashion Week, they actually have everyone in the top ten create a collection (instead of only the top three) to help make sure the identities of the finalists aren't given away?!  Well, I surely didn't know that, so I considered it possibly the greatest discovery of all time that you can actually view everyone's collections online HERE!!!!  <-----click there!  Do it!

Now, I know the actual finale of Project Runway doesn't air until Thursday night, but if you want to cheat a little bit and take a peak at the collections beforehand, visit that website!  I've been looking at all the contestants' collections over and over again, and you may or may not be surprised that I'm especially drawn to Valerie's (it looks like a rainbow!).  I just feel a connection with her.  She's a twenty something woman from the Midwest.  Her first name is Valerie (ooooobviously).  And look at this picture I just found of her wearing a BLACK AND WHITE STRIPED SKIRT THAT IS PAINFUL TO YOUR EYEBALLS!

I think she is my sewing soulmate.

Too bad she's not one of the top three who could actually win!  I'll be watching on Thursday, though, and crossing my fingers for sweet little Mondo.  :)


Mending and Slight Alterations Weekend

I always have a gradually growing pile of clothes that either need mending or alterations of some kind on the back of my sewing chair.  This weekend, I tackled it, and came out with four (semi) new things to wear!

Exhibit A:  Floral ruffled dress from Target, circa 2008.  

The Problem:  There's nothing wrong with this dress, per se, but I just never wear it as it is.  It's one of those things I think I would get much more wear from if it were just a top instead.

The Fix:  Literally just cutting off the bottom ruffle.  

Exhibit A redone:

Exhibit B:  The Dead Flowers Tunic, which you may remember from Day 15 of Self-Stitched September.

The Problem:  Weird gaping around the neckline, probably due to the fact that I made this without a pattern and, well, I don't really know how to do that.

The Fix:  I gathered each strap and sewed the fabric together to create a sort of cinch.

Exhibit B redone:

Exhibit C:  Some black Levi's cropped jeans, circa fall 2009.

The Problem:  Leg openings that are flared an uncomfortable amount.  I mean, really.

Too much flare!
The Fix:  Seam rip both legs open up to the knee, and resew so they are straight legged.  More like a cigarette pant.

Exhibit C redone  (I'm also wearing them in the picture above with both tops):

Exhibit D:  The Backless Summer Dress, as seen on Day 26

The Problem:  Twofold - I didn't like the way the back didn't meet up in a V at the bottom, and the bow was being troublesome whenever I tried to wear this with a cardigan.

The Fix:  Rip that bow right off there.  Then rip out the zipper and take it in about a half-inch on each sides.  

Exhibit D redone:
Perfect V!  Except my back looks insanely wide!
You know what's fun about quick sewing project like this?  If you guessed the phrase "instant gratification," you are correct!  Sometimes it's hard when you only have an hour or less to sew a day and it takes literally an entire week to finish something.  If all you have to do it cut a little bit of fabric to get a brand new shirt, you get to immediately feel like you made something brand new!  Yippee!


A dress fit for a 21-year old!

A few weeks ago, I talked about a party dress I was making for someone other than myself, my cute friend Sam.  Well, last weekend was her 21st birthday celebration, and I wanted to show you the dress in final form and out in full force.  Sam is ONE HOT MAMA.

Here she is from all angles:
And bringing sexy back!
* All pictures (unknowingly) provided by Kendra.  Thanks, Ken!


Work-Related Absence

People.  My head is just now surfacing above water from what can only be described as the longest and busiest two and a half days I have ever experienced, both due to work, social engagements, and other commitments.  I haven't even sewn a stitch in over a week!  Shocking.  

But I'm finally back on the internet again (it is amazing how much you can miss on the internet in just a matter of 48 hours!), and now that I have that insanity behind me, I decided to count down to a few things that I'm looking forward to:

In 30 minutes:  Sleep!

In 19.5 hours:  Work ends for the week!  I want to bang on the drum all day!

In 5 days:  Mary and Brian's Prepster Pumpkin Palooza (while watching Rocky Horror Glee Show)

In 8 days:  Heidi and Marshall arrive!

In 32 days:  Kelsey and Steven arrive in New York City, and sister and I go see HARRY POTTER SEVEN

In 33 days:  My parents arrive in NYC to complete the family gathering for Thanksgiving at our apartment

In 2 months and 1 day:  Fly home to where the wind comes sleeping down the plains for Xmas break
Oil rig + Christmas tree.  This is Oklahoma.
In slightly less than 10 months:  Two years since this moment:

In 2.5 years:  Scott graduates from dental school
This is back on the FIRST day of dental school...
In 40+ years:  Retirement


From NYC to KC and back

Over the weekend, I went to Kansas City to visit Rach H.!  After a small series of debacles involving plane travel (documented on Friday), I finally touched down around 10:30 PM Friday night.

We caught up on life, ate cookies, took a nice long walk, bought some shoes, saw a movie, ate with her parents, made taquitos, and went to Target (not necessarily in that order).  And also took this picture in a parking lot.

I didn't take a ton of pictures, but I did break out the camera when we went to visit her classroom.

My classroom was a storm shelter too!

She even let me add a real-life example to her "Math in Everyday Life" board.

We also played a little Jenga.  Rach was 3 for 3.  I'll let you decide if I mean she won 3 times or lost 3 times...

Then we met up with my parents on Sunday at IHOP!  PUMPKIN PANCAKES!!!!!!!!!!!!

My parents and I spent the absolutely gorgeous afternoon walking amongst the sculptures at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

And by "walking amongst," I may actually mean "playing amongst"...

Spending time with a best friend AND my parents in good ol' Kansas was a great way to spend a weekend.  Also, why does it get to be 80 degrees in Kansas and only 50 degrees in NY?!



Delta Air Lines flight 5825 is delayed.  Departure from New York
La Guardia (LGA) is now estimated at 8:34PM (supposed to be 5:59!) Gate 05A.  Estimated
arrival at Kansas City International (MCI) is now 10:41PM
supposed to be 8:21!).

Two thumbs down to you, Delta.


Old Top + Extra Fabric = New Dress

Recently it seems I've had a bad case of "take-old-clothes-and-make-them-into-something-new" compulsion.  Today's dress is no exception!  (Also, a lot of denim lately...)

Sweet scrub cut-offs!
That's the top that I started with for this dress.  I actually really like this top (and got it about 3 years ago at JCP for $3 - holla!).  The problem is that it cuts off some serious circulation around the armpits.  Like, SERIOUS.  Which also leads to more pit-sweat, if we're going to be honest with each other here.

So I decided to cut off the sleeves completely to give those armpits some breathing room, attach a skirt to it and make a brand new dress!  Which looked like this:

Ta da!

I used some fabric from my Granny's stash (still haven't run out yet!) to make the skirt, and I attached it to the top using the same gathering method as I did with the Good Ol' Fashioned Bloomers - two lines of elastic inserted into casing.

Here's a much better view of the print on the fabric.
I also made pockets using leftover fabric from the sleeves of the top!  POCKETS ARE MY FAVE.

And look how good it looks with my Smoking Jacket!  Yippee!  Because it is most definitely too cold already in New York for sleeveless anymore!