Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cardigan Progress

This is a current project that I've been busily crocheting lately. It really feels like it's taking me forever to make it but then again I had no idea how long it would take. I just know that I want this done for this winter for me to wear and I'm not going to toss it in to my unfinished projects pile. I'm determined to get it done however long it takes!

So far I have the back done (don't mind those little green things, they are just markers which show me the right and wrong side of my work) and the left front. I love the color detail of the front!

Now I'm working on the right front. After that I'll make the sleeves then sew the whole thing together. This is not your typical 'grandmothers' sweater project. Or at least I hope it's not. ;)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Progress on Our New Fence

I first wrote about our new fence, HERE. That post explains everything about our 'neighbors from hell'.

Progress has been slow on our new fence because of some health issues my husband has had and because of him being out of town. He did, however, get the first portion of the fence done. This sits between our house and the neighbors we don't particularly like.

We live in a small town and as most all small towns go gossip is big. I've heard around the block that our fence was a long time coming because we're not the only ones who think the way we do about our neighbors. That's pretty sad but true.

Anyways, my husband always surprises me with his knowledge of building things. I suppose that comes from growing up in the country and living in a farm town.

We decided to go with a 6 foot privacy fence and on top will be an additional 2 foot lattice. The lattice isn't there yet but hopefully we'll be able to get it put up soon! The front corner of the fence tapers down and we'll eventually put up a nice fence along the front to go along with it.

Ian helped quite a bit too. Justin had him carry most of the fence slats while he was working on putting them in.

Jameson helped too by inspecting everything.

He taste tested some grass and sticks too just to be sure everything was just so.

It all looks great to me so far and we can't wait to get the rest of the fence finished!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pattern Drafting 101: Resources

Here is a list of Books and Websites I'll be referencing in my Pattern Drafting Series. Feel free to browse through them.

'How To Make Sewing Patterns' by Donald H. McCunn

-This is the first book I got and started out using. It is one of the best books I've found in explaining how to measure yourself. It may be a bit confusing for the beginner as it is more technical in it's language. I would still recommend it as a foundation book for your pattern drafting library.

-Where to purchase (Although I purchased mine from I'd recommend purchasing directly from McCunn's website as you will get the most up to date edition and they are all about the same price.)
Donald McCunn's website

Donald McCunn's Yahoo group. I recommend joining for extra help.
Donald McCunn's YouTube Channel has tons of helpful videos which I'll be referencing in future posts.

'Make Your Own Dress Patterns' by Adele P. Margolis

-I really recommend this book for beginners as it has tons of illustrations and lots of explanations in how to create all kinds of fashions and how to alter existing patterns. However it does not have any explanations on how to measure yourself so you will need one of the other books to fill in this important topic.

-Where to purchase (I purchased mine from
Barnes & Nobles

'Make Your Own Patterns' by Rene Bergh

-This book is another good one for beginners. It has a section on measuring yourself and some nice illustrations. It doesn't have nearly as much pattern drafting information as the book by Adele Margolis.

-Where to purchase (I purchased mine from
Barnes & Nobles

Wings Over Whiteman 2010

Over the weekend the boys and I went to the air show Wings Over Whiteman at Whiteman Airforce Base in Knob Noster, MO. Whiteman AFB is where they house all the stealth bombers plus countless other planes that I have no idea the names of. My husband could probably name them all. At the main event we saw the US Army Golden Knights, The Sky Soldies, and the Lima Lima Flight Team.

Here are some pictoral highlights. Enjoy!


Monday, September 20, 2010


I'm in heaven
And my heart beats
So that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find
The happiness I seek
When we're out together
Dancing cheek to cheek

Recently I acquired my step-mother in laws fabric collection. She was an avid quilter but has been ill for quite some time and is no longer able to sew. I recieved so much fabric and I spent weeks washing, folding, & putting it all away. I even had to get another bookcase to store it all in. This isn't really a problem. It's more of a fabriholics dream. And as the songs says, "I'm in heaven..."

Here is my fabric collection, some of which is wrapped in mini-bolts. I had to add the center bookcase as my collection has grown too.

Here is the majority of my step-mother in laws fabric collection, all clean & stored in its new home. I think this is as straight and organized as it will ever be. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pattern Drafting 101: A Historical Timeline

     I didn't think it would be appropriate of me to start a Pattern Drafting 101 Series without giving you a little history of the sewing pattern. History is a great tool from which we can learn. I found this to be a fascinating topic and I hope you do too. I'll just be providing some of the highlights but if you would like some further reading just follow the links in the resource section below.

The Stone Ages

     Before fabric as we know it was ever thought of, archaeologists believe people hand sewed clothing made from animal furs and skins using needles made from bone, antlers, or ivory. Thread usually consisted of sinew, catgut, or veins.

The Medieval Ages

     Fabric was being used by this time but it was a time consuming process to create it. First yarn had to be spun and then woven on looms. Because of this the fabric was generally left whole in the creation of clothing as it was too valuable of a commodity to cut up.

The 15th Century to Pre- Industrial Revolution

     At the "Dawn of Modernity" in the 15th century clothing began to be fitted to the body. It was, however, a highly expensive and personal process which required hiring a tailor who could meticulously fit clothing to your body shape. Therefore, improperly fitted clothing remained for those who could afford no better.

The Industrial Revolution

     The Industrial Revolution brought about many changes in the 19th century. The sewing machine was invented making the creation of clothing much faster. Commercially mass produced patterns and clothing began to be available but they still were not fitted properly unless you had the financial means to hire a tailor who could create or adjust the clothing to fit your body shape.
     In 1863, Ebeneezer Butterick, a Massachusetts native, changed the world by creating the first graded (multiple sizes in one) sewing patterns for home use. His wife, Ellen, wished for a pattern that would properly fit their son. Butterick, a tailor, began by creating cardboard templates for men's and boy's clothing. He quickly switched to using tissue paper patterns for the ease of folding and shipping.
Ebeneezer Butterick
     In 1866, Butterick began to create patterns for women. The patterns were a huge hit and the company hasn't looked back since.
     In 1867, Butterick began producing its first magazine. Women all over the world were able to purchase patterns in the latest fashions right from the comfort of their own homes through the mail.
     In 1870, James McCall, a Scottish immigrant and tailor, began his pattern company. He also had a magazine to promote his patterns.
     Closing out the Industrial Revolution and the 19th century was Vogue Patterns, created in 1899. Vogue Patterns were first printed in the Vogue Magazine and could be purchased for 50 cents. The patterns came in only one size and had to be readjusted.

The 20th Century

     With the rise of the 20th century the pattern world saw many great ups and downs.
     In 1909, Conde Nast purchased Vogue and created what we know today as the Vogue Pattern Company.
     In 1919, McCall's began printing information on the pattern pieces making it much easier for the home sewer to use. Previously, notches and darts were marked by hole punches or cuts in the pattern.
     In the early 1920's, Butterick began including an enlarged, improved instructional sheet with their patterns.
     In 1927, Joseph Shapiro and his son created the Simplicity Pattern Company. It was their goal to have simple and inexpensive sewing patterns available for the home sewer. They are supposedly the fastest growing and largest pattern company of them all.
     When the stock market fell and the Great Depression hit in 1929, stocks tumbled and everyone took a hard hit. Fortunately, it was more cost effective for the home sewer to create clothing then it was to purchase it from the department stores. All the pattern companies quickly recovered and Butterick attained new worldwide sales heights in the 1930's.
     In 1932, McCall's began printing full color illustrations on the pattern envelope.
     During WWII, resources were limited and restrictions were made. Butterick negotiated with the U.S. government on a workable limit for fabric requirements in home sewn garments. Fashions became shorter, narrower, and with fewer details such as buttons and trims. Patterns were also created with fewer pieces in the interest of conserving resources.
     After the war restrictions were lifted and we see fashions boom with clothing such as voluptuous circle skirts which required yards and yards of fabric.
     In the 1950's, Butterick produced their best selling pattern, the 'walk-away' dress, pattern 6015. Sales were so great that the manufacture of all other patterns ceased until all the back orders were filled. (Pattern 6015 is to the right and yes, I do have this pattern and it is one of my favorites.)
     In 1961, Butterick purchased the Vogue Pattern Company. Butterick has tried to keep it a separate and distinct company to ensure each company's unique identity.

Into the 21st Century and Beyond

     In 2001, the McCall Pattern Company purchased Butterick and Vogue Patterns. They hope to continue providing the highest quality patterns for our changing needs.

     In closing, I hope to have provided you with some great tidbits of knowledge about how clothing, sewing patterns, and the pattern companies came to be. I appreciate you taking the time to read my little essay as I have put a lot of work into it. If you're interested in further reading follow the links in the resource section below.



Pattern Companies:

Friday, September 17, 2010

No One Ever Told Me

No one ever said marriage was going to be easy. No one ever warned me about the challenges of being married to a military man or how tough it would be to dual parent. Dual parenting is my term for single parenting while still being married because your spouse is in the military and isn't home or available. I have to be both mom and dad without taking dads place and keep my husband in the loop and attempt to keep his opinions and values for our home, family & marriage alive while he is gone. It's not really that easy when he comes home either and we have to re-incorporate our family back together again. No one ever said it was going to be easy. No one ever warned me about all the things that would break while my husband was gone either. I never knew I'd be able to survive having no AC for 3 weeks, so far, and deal with the allergies to boot. Or that I'd get a flat tire the one day I needed to go somewhere or that the battery would be dead in the truck, which was blocking in my car, on the other day I had to go somewhere. Or that my older son would have an infected tooth and need to have it pulled or that he'd be struggling with reading so much. No one ever said life was going to be easy.

But now that I know, I hope nothing will come as a surprise anymore. I can always hope. People say to me, "I just don't know how you do it". Well, me either. I take just one day at a time and sometimes I can only take one minute at a time. It makes for some very long days sometimes. I say, "it is what it is".

Recently, I've needed to take a break from my Etsy sites and suspend my Facebook account. Things have gotten better faster then I expected but I've decided to leave things shut down for awhile and take a bit of a break. I have no problem with my Etsy stuff other then the need to get it all transferred over to my main website. I just haven't had the time. I have had problems with my Facebook though and it all has to do with the fact that I spend way too much time on there. No one ever told me how addicting it would be! So, I'm taking a break and may turn it back on in a week or so with limited time allowance.

I appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers during this time and don't let anyone ever tell ya that 'no one told me'!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Taking a Break

Due to some family issues, my Etsy shops have been put on vacation indefinately. I don't know when they will be back open or when I'll have time for anything other then taking care of things at home.

My blog will also be neglected for awhile too.

I hope you understand.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 31: Yay!

Today is the last and final day of my Flylady Series! Congrats for making it this far with me!

I want to encourage you to continue uncluttering your house and making it into a cleaner and happier HOME!

And as always, I'd love to hear how it's gone for you!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 30: Check your Calendar

Day 30 is about checking your calendar for the future.

At the end of every month, check the next months calendar for any birthdays, anniversaries, etc. If you need to buy gifts, cards or supplies put it on your errand list for the next time you go to the store. This way you'll never forget another birthday again!

Today is also for learning more about the Basic Weekly Plan. You can learn about it HERE.
My Basic Weekly Plan is as follows:

Monday- Cleaning Day
-Weekly Home Blessing
-Water Indoor Plants
-Wash White & Lights
-Wash Cloth Diapers

Tuesday- Sewing Day
-Wash Colors & Reds
-Wash Cloth Diapers

Wednesday- Planning Day
-Clean Out Frig
-Take Out Kitchen Trash
-Create Menu
-Write Grocery List
-Wash Darks & Dirties
-Wash Cloth Diapers

Thursday- Errand Day
-Run Errands & Go Grocery Shopping
-Wash Jeans
-Wash Cloth Diapers

Friday- Desk Day
-Clean Out Car & Check Car Seats
-Clean Out Purse
-Pay Bills
-Balance Checkbook
-Balance Business Books
-File Papers
-Wash Cloth Diapers

Saturday- Family Fun Day
-Wash Cloth Diapers

Sunday- Renew Your Spirit Day
-Wash Cloth Diapers
-Change Cat Litter
-Take Out Trash

My plan was developed after a long while so don't expect yours to look anything like mine immediately. I keep it right in front of all my Daily Routines in my Homemaker's Binder. I hope it gives you some good ideas though.

I'd love to hear about your weekly plan too!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 29: Pamper Yourself

Day 29 is about Pampering Yourself.

Every week, Flylady gives a Pamper Mission. You can see it HERE.

Today, though, I want you to get out your calendar (you have been using one, right?) and I want you to make an appointment with yourself. Pick a day every week. Then pick a time. Then write it down!

Do you need some pampering ideas? You can see them HERE and HERE.

Stick to it! Remember to consciously take care of yourself too so you can keep your sanity. As a homemaker, I know this can be tough. We think we don't have time or that 'Me Time' is bad because I'm not focusing on someone or something else. Well, I'm not telling you to ignore everything. If your children need you, then you probably need to pick a different time for your Pamper Mission. After they go to bed is always a great choice. There's nothing wrong with showing yourself a little TLC!

Remember to keep up with your Routines!

I'd love to hear how you pamper yourself!


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