Rosepath Rag Rug

I have a long way to go here but I'm getting through.  I love the design element but I think it is too small!  

I have some more things to try  -- first a new treadling sequence for the next section and then we'll see what happens.  

I have come a long way -- it took a long time, but it takes a long time to get here from where I started!  My first counterbalance loom. 

Stunning architecture, textures, materials and surface design.
Leather, lace, brocade.  Matte, shine, subtlety, excitement, at once unconventional and familiar.

Sneak Peek!

Sneak Peek!


Mood Italian Floral Brocade
Wedding guest dress

Midtown Terrace Pink

Perky pink.  Pink Midtown Terrace house with sculpted evergreen buttons, green velvet skirting and crisp white lapels.   DSquared2 pearly pink jacket with flower brooch, denim foundation and asymmetrical entryway.

My name is Beth and I sewed this pattern.
It was summer of ...... 1992? '93?
I was asked to sew this in exchange for a used window air conditioner.
Apparently, I was pretty hot.
View A in white cotton pique with light blue buttons,
ribbon trim and wider lace than was called for.

First muslin of 2014 -- a the bust.

I have been saving this pattern --

This week, I cut it from some fabric I thought would make some cute slacks but later decided I didn't really like....

It kinda fit, but I'm not sure I like me in something that doesn't have a shaped waist.  I don't really like a top/skirt/seam at the waist real waist, but I really do like a long French dart or a set of vertical shaping darts.  I think it gives actually a better shape and a little more room to the bust area.
This straight hanging shift style with conventional bust darts made me look like a green brick with a smashed chest.  I realize it was just a muslin and I should still try this with a FBA, of course!  But, it is pretty unattractive and I may just cut my losses with this one.....and, no photo, yuk!
But, I really, really, like this pattern and I have some navy suede - cloth to make it up in that will go so great with navy tights and my brown boots. 

 I'm going to switch gears and make a muslin for a yoked skirt and see where it leads me. 
Discouraged, yet hopeful.  Sewing trash can -- so pretty!
Vintage Sewing Pattern Mens Pajama and Night Shirt Simplicity 5039 Size Medium 1950's
Productive in PJs

Fun pattern illustration!  I live in a major metropolitan area and I'm a 30 minute drive to a bad selection of zippers and thread and 45 minutes from a real sewing store!  Fabric, forget it!  Online only for me -- unless I've been traveling.  Minor problem, I guess, but I miss running out for something I needed or at least having it available to 'stop for' while I was out and about. 

The guys in this photo obviously lost a bet and are wearing their pajamas for a day, working and playing golf.

TO DO: Inspiration

Thanksgiving  --  we were rehearsing these arrangements for the wedding.

Bedside table -- broken lamp, dusty crystal, old dried flowers (oops!), tv and my little bride.

Favorite bowl -- sometimes you just have to have dinner on the floor.

Inspired and getting to it!

New for 2014

My challenge begins in earnest today!

I've been to Mood;

I'm ready to sew!


What an exciting concept!  I have a distinct memory of August coming around and it being 'schoolclothes' season.  My mom and grandma would take me shopping for some dresses, undershirts, a new slip, socks, tights, 3 packs of underpants; one solid, one striped, and my favorite one -- the one with tiny yellow rosebuds.  Always tiny rosebuds.  Ahhh, so pretty.  I was always a little distressed that the undershirts didn't come in matching prints.  They were always solid white, but I reconciled it in my little head and loved them anyway.  And, the most lovely item of all -- schoolshoes!  We would go to Devitt's Junior Boot Shop and try on shoes until the right pair satisfied what Mom and Grandma thought important and delighted me.  Oh, was I delighted, delighted every time.  One year, my choice was a dark red pair of t straps with little petal shaped eyelets cut out on the toes.  Heaven.  I got to wear those red shoes to school every day!  Every day!  And, I knew they perfectly complimented all of my dresses.  Even my gold, brown and persimmon plaid swing dress with the white collar and cuffs was beautiful paired with my red shoes.
We always bought a couple of dresses but the best thing was that my mom would make some of my dresses.  She never thought she was a great seamstress.  But, what is a successful seamstress?  One who's interested enough and dedicated enough to want to take on the making of a dress, that's what.  And, she finished them, and I wore them.  And, I loved them.  I wore lots of plaid.  I loved plaid then and I love plaid now.  Plaid comforts me and challenges me.  This is one of those dresses Mom made for me.  Not a school dress -- I need to search and find a photo of one of those!
My goal for today is to make some progress on a sewing project.  Even a little bit.  I'm happily planning to be a part of Goodbye Valentino's RTW fast for 2014.  A big challenge -- I'll need some plaid to keep me inspired, comforted and challenged!

Goodbye Valentino, Hello Needle and Thread

Love Sarah's blog and am joining a blogging network who have all committed to one year of abstaining from buying Ready-To-Wear!

I'm looking so forward to it, I drove over 30 minutes today in holiday traffic to purchase patterns on sale.  I will not be heading to that store again for a long time.  It was a nightmare!  I may subscribe to the Vogue pattern catalog at home and it will be so worth the money compared to that trip!  My first project is going to be a dress, but I want to incorporate some of the fitting techniques I've been studying through online sewing classes.  I love the online learning platform -- Craftsy.  I don't really like the name Craftsy but it's a successful and thriving business, so, I guess it's just me that's a little put off by the name.  The quality of the education, and web design in both look and ease of operation are truly first class.

Cocktails in her Apron!

Mom and Dad were expecting company, perhaps the Bridge Club?  She had some lovingly crafted appetizers ready to serve and was anxiously awaiting the arrival of her guests!  Enjoying a cocktail in her apron -- which she made for herself, of course!  This is such a great little girl memory for me!
Velma Dinkley, so fun! 

Scalloped Corn Casserole

The ingredient array.  corn, crackers, egg, butter, salt, pepper, and a dash of sugar.
 Beat the eggs
 Combine beaten eggs and all the corn

 Add the sugar, salt, and pepper
 Distribute pats of butter evenly
 Gently mix keeping the butter evenly distributed in the pan
 Add crushed crackers

 Gently mix, keeping some of the crackers on the top of the casserole
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes uncovered and let rest 8-10 minutes before serving

New Vogue!

Took a few minutes and glanced through my new Vogue today.

forever now

"Forever Now"
Icons of Heritage: The green and red Stripe

Guess by Marciano featured cognac leather shorts cut on the sides like athletic shorts worn with sleekly styled turquoise jewelry and a tan. A few pages later, to my delight, I glimpsed the holy grail of chic -- a silk scarf tied and worn as a smart halter -- with orange jeans! (BTW, the Tiffany sterling cuff is getting even wider) Hilfiger showed cognac, mulberry and fucsia all together and the combination grabbed my second look, and a third, and then, it hit me. I'm now thinking of that delicious trio of colors and then adding some sleek turquoise (set with yellow gold) jewelry, carefully edited, of course.

And, finally, some interesting text. "Unconventional Chic" boldly stated by LaCoste and "Are you a Collector" asked coyly by J Crew.


Trusty little bag, never gets searched when I take it through security checkpoints. It's solidly ladylike and and even a bit demure but don't let it fool you, it's bad ass. I didn't even expect to love it, I just thought I needed a black bag without gold trim, something a little less formal than an evening bag and I love the shape, the frame, the distressed black leather, and the gunmetal color of the hardware.
I pack it as my wallet when I travel, putting money, ID, and cards in the zipper pocket and lipstick, a retractable powder brush, a hankie, and dump some candy into its main compartment. It even clicks shut, never underestimate the satisfying feeling of a kiss lock clicking shut, it's powerful. I Put the whole thing into my bigger bag and I'm ready to go. And, yes, I just dump the Good 'n Plenty and Hot Tamales right down in there. That's why candy is better than chocolate.
No one's ever asked about it, complimented it, or wanted to borrow it. But I've seen them staring. I love this bad ass and trusty candy carrier.

Which came first?

My mom made the yellow dress I'm wearing in this photo. A nice little yellow shift. My favorite style to this day. Which came first, though. The yellow fabric or those heinous yellow tights? Certainly, one wouldn't choose that fabric and say to oneself 'I'll just go pick up some matching yolk colored tights for her'. I need to ask my mom about that! I hope she remembers!

I Finally did It!

I finally did it, made my Betty Rubble dress! Wish I'd have thrown that ribbon to the back and fished my rock pendant out from it's hiding place and posed so you could see my bow a bit better...............but, this is what I got!
So fun, I love costumes! Next year, I'm going Velma Dinkley. Glasses and all! Looking for brown loafers and orange knee socks already!

No title.

This is a nice dress. I didn't have the right bra with me for the occasion -- but when I wear it again in August, I'll be ready! Aiden Mattox. Saks.

Waiting for some dresses I ordered online from Neiman Marcus and a cute navy felt suit from Bergdorf Goodman. I will choose from among them what's to be worn for my interview next week. I hope it's the suit. It will be a bit warm for it but it's amazingly chic.

Tried on all my jeans. Failed to try on the grey dress in question. All jeans are a 'go' for all different reasons. Now, I just have to make a point to wear them all! Except the two I already knew I was going to part with. One too big :( and one too embellished ;) Good news, going to Schaumburg Saturday, badish news, need to be there @ 9:30 a.m. Will shop --

Special Events

Every special event in my life always has some sort of sewing project in an emergency state preceeding it. Usually, a hem.


I just tried this dress on - the red one. Lots of pins still in it. Sorry to Jane and Maggie, I remember you being so angry about me making you try on dresses with pins in them. It hurts. Sometimes it can't be helped.
Vogue 8241, the blouson sheath! I took it up another 3/4" or so to remove the green bar from around the hem. Looks much better. That bar was weighing down the bottom half - on grain - of the dress. This is a great pattern! I would like to make it again. I believe the whole thing would be nice cut on the bias. Depending on the fabric, of course, but, yes, I would definitely try that next time. With something lightweight. Challis, silk, that's it, wool challis or silk. Faille....................'s a.....

Worked on a red tartan blouson shift - yes. Blouson shift. It went from a piece of folded yardage politely waiting for me for almost a year to a heap of red plaid pieces all tangled up in my machine and then, magically, voila! I turned it out and it was a DRESS! Can't wait to wear it come fall!


Cacophony, Catastrophe, Calphalon, Concoction, Conundrum.....what's the word I'm thinking of? Oh, carillon, that's it! Oh, how lovely it is to walk from my car in the morning taking in the smell of freshly cut grass and silence cushioning the happily melancholy sound of the carillon playing earnestly for the campus.

Dress #1

Dress #1 arrived today. It's gorgeous and fits like a dream. It will be a fun one to style with shoes and accessories. It will look great with the wedding colors and I'll be able to get Joe something stunning to wear that will compliment it very beautifully. It's just so pretty. Pretty. The neckline is soft and sweet. It does need about 3 inches taken off the hem. But what dress doesn't need that alteration? Dress #1: check


Believe it. People who find out I sew ask me to rude excess if I will 'teach them to sew', 'make them a dress', hem their pants'. NO, no. No. But, on one occasion, to one such request, the biggie in fact: 'will you make me a dress?', I answered 'yes.'

This was also a dress I had to pay for. Construct. Deliver. And, there was even a DEADLINE. What? This dress is precisely why I say no, and the experience had to be turned around in my reality, pronto. Stat. This couldn't have happened to me! Well, the gratitude and satisfaction of a job well done, a pleased young girl, a thankful, inspired, and humble young girl would make it all worth it, right? The money, in excess of $100, the time, no less than 20 hours, the fact that the time was carved out of my schedule according to her deadline, priceless. I was preparing for my own wardrobe needs and wishing to make a frock for Miss Jane, my dear, thankful, humble, polite, joyful companion and friend, Janie-the-great.

No gratitude. No proper thanks. (a quick thank you so much upon delivery was all that was offered). No photo. NOt an email, text, twitter, FB message. NOTHING.

I did it for me. To share, to give, to please myself. For the love of creating. In total.

Watch [that] Plaid

My newest dress project is looking a little Amish. That's all I see. Amish-ness. I'm still confident that all it needs is a belt, some boobs, and to be shortenend within an inch of its life. Can't wait to accomplish those things! I hope to yet this week and when I do, I think the picture I post will be a significant improvement over this:


Metallic muted gold and dark carnation pink brocade ............. shorts! I love shorts. Dress up shorts are my specialty. LOVE them. I hope these don't have just a wee bit too small waist. I thought they would sit a little lower....need to make them again. I won't bring the top in so much and instead let it sit on the hips a little more. The crotch is short enough so as to accommodate such an adjustment. I believe I'll wear these with my pearl colored silk camisole or they might just look funky cool with my navy schoolboy blazer and a scarf. With flats. Heels if i wear the cami.


Frock Frock Frock
I'm captivated, no, fixated, no, consumed by dresses lately. Looking at photographs of them, trying them on, designing them, wanting them, wearing them, making them, even looking at the goods with which to make them. Frock Frock Frock

Be they pretty, provacative, playful, practical, proper, prudent, pretentious, or preposterous, I'm passionate for them all.
This dress is one I own. Mine is brown and I have the perfect pair of metallic brown patent pumps to wear with it. I had it hemmed three inches, it's a size 2 and it fits me like a glove. It looks better on me than the model. I had a nice time in it on the non symphony date Joe took me on in February 2010. We had a lovely dinner at Duck City Bistro and made the discovery that I love red wine and chocolate for dessert. Joe was dashing in a sweater and sport coat. I felt special -- because I was special to Joe. That dress is ready to go out again.
I wrote this over a year ago. I like it.

When I got home I cleaned in preparation for Thanksgiving at my house and did laundry. I had originally set the day aside for lunch and some shopping with Mom and Margie -- they wanted to celebrate my birthday but it was too hectic for Margie and it was cancelled on Friday. That's how I ended up with a whole Saturday free. I got dressed up anyway and had fun on my own. I inadvertently grabbed a pretty melancholy mix cd from my ipod collection to listen to in the car but, hey, it wasn't the radio at least. It was pretty grey and windy. I wore a grey sweater dress, tights and boots. I left my coat in the car. I wasn't in the mood to Christmas shop, so I didn't.

I blog now

I raced a storm on my way back to Moline early this evening. Victory is mine~! (sayeth me) I do not bring this to light to brag but to seque into a description of the inspiring sights along the journey. In my rear view mirror, only black, save the construction worker in his monster truck still wearing his neon green tee; in front of me, only blue sky with billowy white clouds just barely aware of impending domination. The wind was kicking up its heels, swirling its skirt and calling out a do-si-do to the leaves and they did their best to spiral, dip, and dive for my amusement. Deep, vivid greens and blues were the backdrop for the leaf dance -- even the browns and greys were captivating and deserved to be noted. So noted.
I never lack for inspiration, always notice and consider the baubles nature provides for my pleasure.
Never lack for inspiration, instead always seek and consider the baubles nature provides for our pleasure. Quotable, I am.


Surface Design

I am extremely motivated and inspired toward exploring some of my recent surface design ideas. Lightweight, or not, wool or wool blend tweed with sequins - clear - strewn about. Bright tartans either covered in translucent sequins or pattern specific designs. Application of silk ribbon in random squiggly patterns across silk faille or wool dressweights.
The Secret Life of Bees


Care. Child Care. Extended Care. Careful. Caregiver. Skincare. Healthcare. Tender, Loving Care.

Big Decision

Shoes. I am preparing to search for leopard pumps, pointy toes, highish heels, calf hair uppers, leather sole. The shoe that will go with everything by virtue of matching nothing. The red tartan dress. Go. Jeans, a graphic tee topped with a cashmere cardi and pearls. Match. Pencil skirt and Brooks Brothers oxford shirt - any color. Perfection. Work. Yes. Play. Of course. Air Travel. Oh, heavens! Summer in Arizona? Screech! Perhaps not. But, do think of them with a white mini and a navy sleeveless shell and a new Louis Vuitton Speedy 35 in damier canvas. Holy Crap.

what to wear

While I am in AZ next week. Can I possibly wear separates to Mastro's Ocean Club? OR, do I need a new dress?

Progress I Made Tuesday

I looked at vintage patterns online, I looked online for fabric, to no avail. Have you ever noticed that most everyone uses the words 'available' and 'availability', but no one really says 'avail'? Curious. I've made the decision to abandon, no, set aside, my summer sewing projects and sally forth on my fall/winter pieces. If I don't, I fear I'll be doing the 'set-aside' on those instead come February or March and then will have spent two seasons, a whole year, not wearing what I've designed for myself. The notions and fabrics are chosen, and I believe that the patterns are close enough to fitting so that no muslins will need to be made for these next three projects.

Of course, one needs no muslin -- it just still needs to fit! My abandoned watch plaid frock featuring a full skirt, long sleeves and an interesting modified boat neck with a slit in the front. This neckline was a dog to match plaid on and it remains to be seen how I did on the skirt with my cavalier casual approach to plaid matching there compared to my insane treatement of the bodice.

Next, a deep navy sueded twill tunic with 3/4 length fullish sleeves caught with an elastic cuff -- I want to replace that with a tie, I think. Perhaps a leather .... thong ..... if you will. The neckline is once again simple and collarless and slit at the center front. This time trimmed by an applied and topstitched overlay which seems to be cut in a western style. Regardless of description, the whole thing lends itself to the accompaniment of my Frye boots, which is exactly what is expected of this garment. High Five deep navy sueded twill tunic! With deep navy tights. And a [new] LV speedy, a 30 in damier canvas, I believe. Set to become my newest child in 9 short days!

Red tartan sleeveless shift with a twist -- a red ribbon belt securing a slightly blousoned bodice. I know 'blouson' and 'shift' don't necessarily describe the same dress but, really, here it fits. Of course, to be worn with either bare legs and peep-toe pumps (red ones are yet to be mine), or tights and standard pumps.......but that seems heavy. The search for the proper red shoe is ON. I think an edgy twist with regard to jacket, accessories and jewelry is in order. Still considering. Girly sandals, diamond earrings and sorority girl pearls just seems too de rigueur, too predictable, too 'I'm 50 and I do what's expected of me'. Just saying.

There you have it. For now.

Picture or Photograph

I always prefer 'photograph' to 'picture'. I don't prefer this photograph, necessarily, but I do want to remember to discuss the day depicted here very soon. Seeing this photo will remind me!


Why do I feel like I have to feel guilty if it's 10:17 am on a Saturday and I'm sitting in my jammies surfing the internet and drinking coffee. There's no laundry in, no tub cleaner activating, no dishwasher doing it's part to help while I blog and surf....nothing to asuage my guilt even a tiny bit. :( I feel bad. I have quite the todo steno pad runneth over. Perhaps I should write 'learn to let go of guilt' on my list and see what happens when I pursue and acheive that.


what is it? My skin looks great again today! I hope it's not the cleanser I'm almost out of from the company I swore off due to poor customer service. Could it be the water I've been drinking? I've been drinking it. Could it be my more intentional, and thus increased intake of protien? Avacado? Cherries? Citrus? That I've NOT been taking Vitamin C (ran out)?


I have not rearranged my furniture, but I still want to.


Is it sleep? Is it a winning combination of cosmetics? Is it weather related? Is it a relaxed, happy mood vs. stress? Was it the sweating out of salt and impurities from running on the hot days over the past weekend? Nutrition, seasonal, determination? Whatever the reason, I like it and I want it repeated. Repeatedly. My skin looked fantastic yesterday! I'm hoping for another good skin day today.........remains to be seen but all indicators are positive.


Mommy bloggers and Craft bloggers, I've got an opinion for you.


I resemble a camp counselor who needs to look decent for the Sunday Morning Ecumenical Worship Service today. I have a half-assed updo which I have decorated with a silk scarf / headband. Sunday service with pool hair.

That being said.......

I'm ready to love this day. Yesterday was an A day. So far, this day needs to be graded on a curve to compete but, I'm hoping that I'lll ace the rest of the tests and bring it up. I put on a navy skirt by mistake with my black shoes and accessories. It could be worse. I could have forgotten fragrance, deodorant, my lunch, my phone, or my gym shoes. I could have worn something that would absolutely ruin my day. Last week, I made a bad choice. Consequently, that calamity also involved navy colored pieces. Hmmm, I wasn't aware that it was time to renew my license to wear navy. And, it looks like I'll have to take the road test if I get one more citation.


Teachers: Stop announcing the fact that you have your 'summers off' on Facebook and enjoy summer. We all know you're off.