Valentines Gift for Alexa

It arrived a day late (thank you, USPS), but Ken pointed out that it didn’t get lost among the other gifts. Her mother face-timed me so I could watch her open it. She liked it.


Two charm packs made a 47″ x 47″ lap quilt that will keep her comfy during TV time.


Ahhhh. Figs

As many have noted, it’s the (really short) season of figs. I love figs, but I can’t eat as many as I get in my CSA before they turn. I searched for small batch fig recipes and was nearly buried under the avalanche.

I chose the one from Food & Wine magazine. It has only four ingredients, which I tweaked because of how many figs I had and the desire to add a little somethin’-somethin’. That somethin’-somethin’ was Cointreau and rosemary.

This is not a recipe that I would recommend for canning – I didn’t test that. All I wanted was something in the fridge to stir into oatmeal and yogurt, put with cheese, or use to baste some pork.

The results are fabulous.


Fig Jam for the Fridge (Adapted from Food & Wine)

Yield: 1 pint

1 1/2 lbs figs (I used Gold Honey variety)
1 c sugar
3 T lemon juice
5 T Cointreau
1 branch rosemary

Remove any stems from figs, and chop into smallish pieces. Stir figs and sugar together in a medium saucepan, and allow to sit for 15 minutes or so.

Add lemon juice, Cointreau, and rosemary to the figs and sugar. Put the pan over medium heat and stir occasionally as the mixture heats up.

When the jam is bubbling, stir more frequently to keep anything from sticking to the bottom of the pan. It’s ready when you dip in a spoon and the jam falls off in blobs.

Put into a clean jar, and allow to cool. Store in the fridge for two weeks.


Hawthorn, finis

When last we spoke, I mocked up the new Colette pattern “Hawthorn” in muslin. And then I made it for real. 



See? I look cute. This is my favorite dress. It is also – hands down – the most comfortable dress in the universe. I’ve worn the damned thing twice already.

The mock up went together so well, but the actual garment had a complication. I screwed up. I traced all of my cutting lines onto the underlining in yellow. When I cut out the skirt fronts, I mistook the fold line of the facing for the actual cutting line. So when I realized my oopsie, I luckily had enough fabric to cut a facing for the skirt front. Sigh ….

But it all came right in the end. The fabric is a joy to work with, and the colors are brilliant. I got it from, and it’s called Kimono Voile Floral Ivory/Blue. The underlining is an ivory lawn, also from Underlining the fabric really made the colors burst forth. 




Now back to enjoying the final weeks of summer!


Mocking up Hawthorn


Jezebel is wearing my muslin for the newest Colette pattern, Hawthorn. I am in luv, my friends.


I was worried that the circle skirt would make my hips look way wide, but it is the sweetest dress. Take my word for it – I look cute. Well, you’ll see in a few days.


And it’s so easy to put together. All the seams match. Crazy! I cut a straight size 6, and it just drapes perfectly. I don’t need to adjust a thing.

I have always admired Colette patterns, and this is one cried out for me.


I found the perfect fabric at, a funky voile cotton that looks like a 1950’s Florida postcard. Stupid me did not order a voile to underline the dress at the same time, and there’s none to be found in this area.


I’m off to to find a skin tone voile or lawn. Hop over to Colette Patterns – they just started the sewalong for this piece d’ resistance!

I have the coolest friends!

I am going to Disney with my family in a few weeks, and I asked my very talented friend, Katie, if she would make me an across-the-body purse. I have two already, but they are deeper than wide, and I wanted wider than deep. I hate digging for stuff. I don’t carry a lot in my purse, but I hate digging for it. 

She asked the usual questions – size, color, features. I gave her the size wanted and the features that I would like to have. The fabrics were completely up to her. 

I love her aesthetic. She and I both work as instructional designers, and her training videos are always clever, to the point, and lovely. And everyone likes taking her courses.

Her purse and bag designs are wonderful. She had that coveted ability to put color, pattern and texture together in a way that no one else would consider but you know is exactly right. 

This is the bag that she made for me, and, no – the pictures don’t do it justice:

ImageThe front. Girlfriend was smart and gave me an adjustable strap!


ImageGenerous front pocket. I love the giraffe print with the yellow piping! 


ImageThe cell phone pocket. Where does she get these fabrics?


ImageThe back. Do you see the teal zipper? Do you?


ImageInside zipper pocket. With a pink zipper.


ImageInside the zipper pocket. The colors just flow together.




ImageIt fits me perfectly. Ahhh.

Jealous? Don’t be – Katie has an Etsy store: Redgate Ave. Get the bag that fits you. Because you can’t have mine.





I made shorts! That fit!

I would like to add my voice to the Sewaholic fan club, specifically for the brilliant pattern, Thurlow.

I have tried Burda, Vogue, Simplicity, and making a self-drafted pattern. Nothing fit, and I was beating myself up trying to give myself more room here while taking other areas in. I felt like I would never be able to sew a pair of pants for myself.

I am petite and curvy, especially in my rear. My hips aren’t wide, but my butt does do back a ways. Plus, my waist is proportionally small to my hips. That just spells trouble for fitting pants. 

Tasia designed Thurlow (and most of her pattern line) to fit pear-shaped women. When I took the pattern out of the envelope, it looked like all of the other pants patterns that didn’t work. EXCEPT it has an extension built into the back seam up to the waist. I think this may be the secret. I’m not sure, and I don’t care. With a few adjustments and damned little effort, they freakin’ fit.

I made a muslin like a good little sewer and decided to increase the crotch depth by half an inch on the front and the back.



The waist of the muslin was very tight even though I cut a size 6 in that area, so I decided to cut the front pieces a size 10 and the back a size 8. (No, really, the waist was really small on the muslin. I have a tummy.)


I bought a blue patchwork cotton that was on sale at Mood. The selvedges were really uneven, so I used the stitching lines of the patches for my grain line.

I sort of tried to match the patchwork across the pattern pieces, but I didn’t worry overmuch if things were a little off. This fabric is so busy, no one will notice. Including me.

Here is the end result:




I don’t normally tie my shirt up like that, but I wanted you to see the whole piece.

Here is my favorite part:



The waistband barely dips when I sit down. How cool is that!

Truth be told, this pair of shorts is a little large. I think lengthening the crotch solved a couple of fitting issues and gave me more room than I planned on. I’m still gonna wear the bejeezus out of them.



This pattern and these shorts are better than a basket of puppies.