Archive for October, 2008

The 501st

I bet y’all didn’t know that the 501st Imperial Legion, Darth Vader’s select battalion of troopers, live right here in the Northwest?  Yep, and here’s some pictures to prove it.

Happy Faces

So.  Do you see them?  Yes, I actually finished all the kids’ Halloween costumes a week early this year!  I couldn’t believe it myself, but I did and they look great.  Ms O is supposed to be Leia, but since her white robe is NOT(!!!) pink, I can’t get her in it.

The boys love their Jedi robes and have been wearing them since before they were completed.  Last Sunday, when I read that the area’s chapter of the 501st were going to be present at the latest Star Wars book signing at Powell’s, I knew we had to go.  What better timing?!


And even one of their favorite characters, (I don’t know, something about a jet-pack this one has that makes him SO COOL!), Boba Fett was there.

You think they’re all calm and cool in the photos, but really they just about peed their pants!

In other Halloween news, I’m in the middle of making these, but of course, mine look nothing like hers.  We made some ghost and pumpkin garlands which I love.  And tomorrow, I’m having a party making a mess with flubber, hiding paper pumpkins and a pictionary game with 2-3 year olds drawing.  It will be SO FUN.  😉


Fall Flavors

Around here Fall = Mushrooms!

Mommy's Porcini

This one is mine.  I found this beauty and two others while heading out of Fort Stevens the other day.  I actually spotted them from the car.  I love porcini’s just for that reason.  They grow in meadows, brush and under trees.  They are picture-perfect.

We also went for chanterelles a few weeks ago and brought home a bunch.  Ms O was totally into it.


She had so much fun.  We even initiated one of Augie’s little school buddies.  I still think his mom never cooked them up and thinks we’re a little weird because we were so excited by our bounty, but that’s okay.

Overall, I think people are afraid of mushrooms.  You really do have to be careful of what you find, but a little research is all it takes to bring home $14.99/lb flavor for free!  If you’d like to start hunting for your own, I highly recommend these books.  The author, David Arora is a little freaky, but funny.  Our copies are well worn and purchased several times over because we’ve left them in the field many times.

Tonight I’m making this and I can’t wait.  Hopefully, I’ll stay within my points today so I can have a little extra at dinner.


I love weekends.  I sleep in, eat too much, let my house pile up around me and usually sew a ton.

Beach Ride

This weekend was a little different.  We’ve just about made this weekend an annual October event at the beach.  As I said last time, it’s not the best time of year to be at the beach, but we lucked out and scored one night in a yurt.

Yurt at Fort Stevens

I LOVE these things! They are equipped with a bunk bed and a fold-out futon, table, chairs, lights, and a heater.  We left Portland at 5pm, checked-in at 7pm, and headed out razor clamming at 8pm.  After a long, very wet and windy night clamming, we were able to warm up in our little yurt with some hot cocoa and a dry bed.  Aaaah.

You have to reserve these things way early, (the reservations open up 6 months prior and you have to reverse it fast!), but at $30/night, it’s well worth it.  We only had the yurt for one night, but it happened to be the only rainy day of the whole weekend.  The next night was spent in our little tent and I loved sleeping while surrounded by our kids.

Ms O & Dad

We had a great time and came home with not only 60+ razor clams, but a few porcini’s as well. But, you’ll have to wait for my mushroom post tomorrow.

I just know you all are dying with excitement!


Infant Kimono Outfit

Yup.  This outfit cost me $2.99 in fabric.  No, I didn’t include the bias tape, thread, needles or any of that stuff because that would ruin the $2.99 fun.

Joann’s was having a sale and Fini couldn’t believe I bought more fabric, but come on!  Two dollars and ninety-nine cents for a yard of this SUPER cute flannel?  I had to have it.

And now for the nitty-gritty sewing details and problems with this outfit:

1.  The pattern is Simplicity “It’s So Easy” #3941.

2.  No, it’s not so easy with all that darn bias tape and criss-cross-crap.

3.  You can see ugly seams on the inside of the kimono top.  It really should be lined.

4.  The pattern is for xxs-L which turns out to be newborn to 18 months.  Aren’t you not supposed to have string around a baby?  I wanted to use my snap press, but the part that you push down into the snaps is the wrong size.  I tried to find a die that fits or snaps that fit, but I think my snap press is just too old to find parts for…  dang-it.

5.  Sorry, is this post too negative?  Oh well, it’s late.

6.  After finishing the top and the pants, (BTW- the rise on the pants is about an inch too long.  By the rise, I mean, the length from the crotch to the waist.)  Anyway, after finishing the top, I put it next to the pants and I can already tell without trying it on baby, that it’s ***way*** too wide.  I know the newborn this outfit is meant for will be swimming in this!

7.  So now, with the top too wide, I take a look at ripping it all apart…  NO way.  Not with all the bias tape and ties sewn in all over the place.  It stays wide.

8.  For the bias tape, THIS is the BEST tutorial ever for helping you get your corners nice and tidy.  I finally get it!  (You don’t want to know how long I’ve spent on bias tape corners.)

9.  The bias tape around the pant hem was took a lot of work, but I think it was worth it.

10.  Do you all know about sewing teeny sleeves and stuff right-side out, but still sew on the wrong-side?  Really-  you must, must, must learn to do it this way.  Of course, Kathy explains it much more eloquently- “sew a circular seam from the opposite side”.  It has taken so much headache out of sewing those darn little areas!  Please check it out and yes, sit down and try it.  I promise, you will not regret it.

Okay, I hit 10 so that’s enough.  It is now AM and I’m still up.  Crazy.  This is the only way I can blog, sew and keep my house semi-clean.

Mary stop laughing.  Yes, my house is semi-clean.

Got Babies?

There was a baby void for awhile where I wished there was a baby around.  I had all these great patterns and fabric just waiting to be made into something for a little one.  It seemed like everyone was done having babies.

Baby Outfits

Then the baby bug hit and now I have three little lovelies to sew for.  I quickly whipped up some flannel blankets and a couple outfits.

Onesie Detail

I’ve heard people mention that appliqueing onesies are a pain. I think the trick with these is that you *must* keep it simple.  The owl is a very simple shape without too many corners or turns.  The elephant is appliqued to the square patch first then only the patch is stitched onto the onesie.  This keeps the actual onesie applique simple, but you are allowed to have a more complicated design.

Another important detail is to use a heat-n-bond type adhesive between the applique and onesie.  I love Heat-n-Bond Lite.  I get the big 5 yard roll in the store for about $7 and it lasts about a year.  There’s directions on the back of the package, but basically you draw your design onto the paper-side of the adhesive, iron it onto the wrong-side of your applique, cut it out, peel the paper off, iron it onto your onesie and sew.


~ Remember to reverse your design!  Since you will be ironing it onto the wrong-side of your fabric applique then ironing it onto your onesie with the fabric right-side up, your design has to be reversed.

~ Do not cut out your design until you iron it onto your applique.  I cut a piece of heat-n-bond large enough to fit my design, and cut the same size piece out of the fabric I will use for my applique.  I then draw my design onto the paper-side of the heat-n-bond.  Next, I iron the heat-n-bond onto the wrong-side of the fabric with the paper-side up and cut both at the same time.  It’s easier to handle with both adhered together and you only have to cut out your design once!

~ After ironing, don’t work with your applique until it has cooled a little.  I’ve found that the bond doesn’t adhere correctly if handled while hot.  I then have to re-iron to get the “bond” stuff to stay on the fabric.

~ My favorite zig-zag stitch for appliques is 2.5 for stitch width and .8 for stitch length.  This gives you a nice neat stitch without being too heavy for the thin onesie.

~ Some people recommend using a stabilizer for the underside of the onesie.  I have never used it because I feel the less bulk the better.

That’s all I can remember for now.  Here are some other tutorials for the same type of applique technique: Design on Post and Shim & Sons.

Hope this helps, but let me know if you have any questions.


P.S – Check out these two sewing ladies and their cute stuff!

Welcome Interruption

My latest Blog-Break is interrupted by an incredible gift which arrived in the mail:


I jumped at Heather’s generous offer to knit up some socks for me. (I guess she got tired of me always commenting on her blog about how wonderful her socks are or how I really need to learn how to knit socks or that I really need a pair…)

Who wouldn’t want a pair of these for their very own? These beauties fit me perfectly and are keeping me cozy warm through the first rounds of our fall back-to-school colds.

Handknit Socks

She went even further and sent me this little treasure as well:

Tea Mat & Coasters

I’m so enjoying seeing my tea pot on this cheery little mat and the coasters are perfect on my sewing table holding my late-night cup.  Now my cutting mat no longer has coffee/tea rings!

Thank you Heather for such a nice gift.  And I promise to have your gift in the mail soon!

Now, I need to quit lazing about and get back to blogging!  I really do miss it…