New To Me Goods

I spent way too much time trolling through Esme and the Laneway recently. I fell in love with this trench coat (among other things, I’ve pinned half a dozen of them) and then spent additional hours searching Etsy for something that could approxaimate it. It suddenly occurred to me that my location in Brooklyn borders thrift shoppers havens on two sides. I should just go look in person. Duh!

I didn’t find an Esme coat, but I struck gold nonetheless! Here are some of the spoils.

Lady Like

Gloves $3 each
The pink pair is suede and wool, and brand new with the tags still on.
Scarf $2
It’s some sort of faux cashmere that is DEAD soft.

Ralph Lauren Leather Gloves $2

There were tons of leather gloves in this place. But their previous owner had the tiniest hands ever! Most were too small for me to get on.

Zara Purse $10

Zara $10.
I was looking for a new huge bag like this! But I am too cheap for a new or fancy one, so this is perfect.

Granny Clip Closure Purse $7

Clippy Granny Purse $7
I was hunting on etsy for these. I’m so glad I waited to buy. I avoided the shipping fees and had tons to chose from.

JCPenny Traincase

This traincase is what lead me to the new to me shops. There was an Etsy seller that gave the option of picking your item up if you were local. He was based within walking distance from my house. On the way there I spotted all of these stores. I could go broke within a three block radius.

I have a few more goodies to show you (including a non-Esme trench and two new vintage suitcases that nearly broke my arms getting them home), an update post about my kiddies (the twins were FIVE yesterday!!) and hopefully some mending and updates to handmade and thrifted goodies that will get them into rotation.


Librarian Hat On

Friends, I have already broken my “no personal reading when assigned reading is to be done” rule. I don’t know why I bother trying to limit myself. I love books and reading too much to ever stick to it.

Instead of trying to catch up on sleep last night, I was reading. I found this on a trip to the library with the kiddies. My oldest son loves the Mouse and Mole series and the branch had the rest of the books available. I will have to buy these for him, as he is already dreading taking them back.

Anyway, we were waiting for someone to finish in the restroom, which is right by the YA section. I picked up The 39 Clues Book One: The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan* who also wrote the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. This book was right near it. The title and unique cover drew me in. I’m so glad I checked it out.

A Drowned Maidens Hair

A Drowned Maiden’s Hair by Laura Amy Schlitz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A feisty orphan is taken in by a household of mysterious ladies in this intriguing, engaging novel.

Maud Flynn is known at the orphanage for her impertinence, so when the charming Miss Hyacinth and her sister choose Maud to take home with them, the girl is as baffled as anyone. As the mystery gradually unfolds, Maud’s intelligence and daring join forces with her compassion and conscience to help her find her way in this lively, atmospheric gothic tale.

Maud will win you over! Don’t read a more thorough description of the book as it will spoil the plot entirely! If you have a soft spot for YA books and orphans who are lovable despite being sarcastic and plain, just trust me and read this book.

* I really respect and admire Mr. Riordan for both his rapid output and the vast amount of research that must go into creating them. From reading his personal blog, he also seems like an incredibly kind person.

Fallen off the wagon. HARD!

I really wanted to work with the stash for my future sewing projects. But it just couldn’t happen. Or, rather, I was too tempted by these fabrics to stick with the program.

Row 1
Stretch Rayon Blend Jersey Knit Stripe Grey :: Rayon Blend Suiting Navy :: Wool/Cashmere Blend Melton Suiting Midnight

Row 2
Wool Blend Suiting Darkest Navy :: Navy Stretch Cotton Sateen :: Stretch Rayon Blend Jersey Navy

Row 3
100% Crepe Wool Suting Teal :: Stretch Charmeuse Satin Navy :: I Heart Linen Blend Cute Bots Pink

Row 4
I Heart Linen Blend Cute Bots Blue :: Celebrate Seuss Allover Yellow :: Michael Miller Children at Play Balloon Aqua

Lots of blue!! I like a nice dark navy more than black. And I love suiting fabrics, wool and things with stretch. There is one fabric (a navy and green herringbone) that was missing from the box. I order from a LOT and this has never happened before. I contacted them today, they had more and have sent it off already.

Of course, I selected each item with a plan, let’s see if they meet their destiny. The Cute Bots Linen blend is for something springy for the kids and the Seuss fabric is for new pj bottoms. I haven’t made them any in a while. The first pairs I made are comically split down the legs and worn at the knees.

The balloon fabric is for me ;o) Check out this version of Colette patterns Macaroon and you’ll be ordering this for yourself, too.

The melton cash/wool blend will hopefully become a jacket (maybe two, it’s very wide). I ordered these two patterns from etsy that would look great in it.

Simplicity 4018

Simplicty 4799

The various suiting fabrics and the stretch sateen should work with any number of patterns I already own. There are a few I would really like to tackle (Macaroon, Advance 3372, Vogue 412, Simplicity 7796 ) and the rayon blends are always welcome in my sewing room. They are too thin for dresses, I believe. This is always a possibility when ordering online, but I will use them nonetheless. The teal crepe is a circle skirt in my minds eye and the satin’s a lovely full sleeved blouse.

For now, like all new fabric purchases, they are laid out and fawned over like  newborn babes, lol. Speaking of babes, I have a sicky poo one, a headache and I didn’t get much sleep last night as he was up and down every hour or so. Fingers crossed for tonight people.

Some Entertainment Enhancements

Hey. So, last night totally fucking sucked. I won’t go into too much detail, but I will say that

an olive oil pre-wash hair treatment
washing machine full of uniform shirts
clogged up kitchen sink

That’s what I get for trying to avoid my assigned reading….

By the time things were all worked out (with one more mishap, my blow-dryer comb does not fit the new dryer…..) it was too late to try to sleep, so I just stayed awake until it was time to get the kids up for school. I haven’t pulled an all-nighter since the twins were newborns. They will be 5(!!!!) on Monday.

I consoled myself by playing Words with Friends on my new iPhone! Guys, this is major news. I am of the opinion that one doesn’t need a new phone until the other one is broken. And that you should take the free one that’s being offered in that event. Mine was affordable with the contract renewal (I waited until I was upgrade eligible AND my phone was half broken) so I feel good about my decision to wait. One of my friends was so shocked that I didn’t get whatever bullshit phone AT&T was offering this was her comment of my Facebo*k page:
OMG you’re the reason for the snow. U have a new phone phone and threw off the universe.


Today was seen through a sleep deprived haze. I passed out on the couch at some point. I did manage to answer the door for the UPS man who was bringing me some goodies.

A case, so I don’t break the damn phone now that I’ve given in and bought it.

A case for my Nook (finally) so I can stop stuffing it in whatever empty knitting project bag I can find. It props up! So I can knit and read!

Something new to sew to. I LOVE this movie. Oh, Heath-y! We miss you!

A replacement for the one my sister lost. This is one of the few movies I can tolerate this woman in. Though, it was absolutely ludicrous to try to pass her off as Italian….

Another sister replacement….John Hannah’s voice/accent is one of my favorites.

Another replacement. I love this movie SO MUCH that I’ve worn out the first copy. The DVD simply lost the will to play, lol.

This one is a replacement, too. I consider it the benchmark for a winning romantic comedy. I have absolutely no idea where the first one got to. It could only be in the wrong case or something. How do you lose a DVD in your own house?? Weird.

I am off to iron clothes for tomorrow and read at least one chapter in my textbook. If I’m very lucky, I will fall asleep while reading it thus winning over my strange insomnia! Friend me on instagram and Words with Frinds! I’m NettieBK on both.

Back to the Grind

Well, this break has been really very nice. But, it is over. School resumes tomorrow. I have been content to have no responsibility (outside of my family duties, obviosuly) other than to sew, knit and re-watch the same movies and TV shows.

Last term really kicked my ass. I do not look forward to returning to writing papers and commenting on discussion boards. As much as I am looking forward to working in a library in some capacity, I find the schoolwork as dreadfully boring as I was warned it would be.

I’ve also realized that the intense sewing from last week wore me out. Coupled with some real trouble sleeping and a lack of desire to copy any design that I actually had the fabric for and you have no Sew Weekly challenge sewing from me this week. Which is cool. There are many contributors, so I will not be missed.

Anyway. To cheer myself up I scanned all of my patterns and uploaded them to Flickr today. You know, I had been commenting around the sewing blog world that I didn’t really have that many patterns. WRONG! Lol what a joke. They are not all great, and many will certainly never be made, but I do own them. Click-y the pic for the slideshow.

I will be drowning my (first world) sorrows in the last pages of my last non-school book for a while, as my hubs watches endless Giants game highlights on ESPN ;o)

Buttoned Up Gal Friday

Sew Weekly Challegne 2 :: Buttoned Up

The "Buttoned Up Gal Friday" Ensemble

The Facts Button Challenge

Fabric: Cotton/Lycra Blend Shirting :: about 2 yards @ $1.95 a yard (this fabric was not very wide)
100% Wool Suiting :: about a yard @ $6.49 a yard (this one was very wide)
Patterns: Simplicity 3117 (1959), $6 from Etsy
Simplicity 1688 (1956), Free(!!) from the Sew Weekly NYC Meet-up Pattern Swap!
Year: The 1950’s in Twenty12
Notions: Buttons, lace, velvet ribbon, hook and eye, interfacing
Time to complete: FOREVER!! It’s possible that the alternate universe me is STILL unpicking and restitching this damn skirt. I worked on it almost non stop for 2 days. The shirt was worked in pieces over 4 days.
First worn: To take these pics on 1.15.11
Wear again?: Hell yes! After it warms up and I stop hating the skirt for all the work it was ;p
Total Price: About $20 including notions and minus the 15% off I got on the fabric. That smug feeling of accomplishment is priceless!!

The "Buttoned Up Gal Friday" Ensemble

This skirt was a labor of…LABOR! A simple wrap skirt seems so easy, right? Had I been working with a more agreeable fabric, it would have been. I started this skirt on Friday thinking it would be done in a snap. I was heady with the success of my shirt, particularly the buttonholes, so I may not have been thinking clearly.

This baby has TWELVE darts!

Wtf was I thinking?!? I hate making darts! The waistband was a disaster the first time I applied it (per the instructions), the machine hem looked dreadful. Waistband off, hem unpicked. Waist band reattached, hem hand stitched.

The "Buttoned Up Gal Friday" Ensemble
Then the wool was too sticky to work with my buttonhole attachment. Of course I was nearly at the end of the line by then, so there was nothing for it but to work the buttonholes by hand (!!!!) which, thanks to the forgiving nature of this wool, turned out rather nice!

All of the work was SOOOO worth it, though!! One of my hopes for taking part in this challenge was to produce better quality sewing. I would have NEVER taken this much time to work out the small details if I was making this to post to my blog only. In fact, I am sure that this would have ended up in the UFO pile once I realized the buttonholes were a non starter.

Cuffs sans buttonholes

I tried making this shirt before, but it was too big and the rayon I chose was not a great choice for my first try at making a proper shirt. This time, I folded out about an inch of width in the front and 3/4 of an inch in the back and chose a more stable fabric to work with. Result!

Those pleats should have been “soft” pleats, but I like the look of them stitched down. My machine could not handle the interfacing on the cuffs with the buttonhole attachment on, so I tacked them together. I hadn’t tackled the skirt’s hand stitched buttonholes yet, and doing so here didn’t occur to me. I may go back and add them. I think I would like wearing cufflinks. You can see more pics here.

Ta ta for now, peeps. I’m touching up the old lipstick before I throw on my cardi. I’m headed to happy hour with the other ladies in the typing pool! :o)
The "Buttoned Up Gal Friday" Ensemble