Wednesday, October 20, 2010


                                           Setting the table.
                                           Creating the perfect centerpiece.  Yes, that is a scarf
                                           wrapped around the vase of flowers.   And the stem
                                           of the water glass  is wrapped with sparkly garland.
                                           Handmade place cards always add a nice touch.
                                           And let's not forget a bit of seasonal decoration.
                                           Everything is ready but Papa.  He needs a manicure.
                                            And his hair needs a little attention too.

                                           We will later discuss the specifics of serving.
                                           We make a toast to our evening with sparkling
                                            grape juice in Waterford toasting flutes.


Our time with our sweet granddaughter Grace is limited so when we are together
we make the most of every moment.   We plan the time around  her and do pretty 
much what she wants to do.  One of her favorite things to do is to have a "fancy"
 dinner.  She enjoys setting and decorating the table and I encourage her be creative
and impose no rules on what she chooses for her tablescape. However, she  does
 know the proper placement for silverware and napkins!  It is sad that much of the 
art of entertaining is a thing of the past so I throughly enjoy sharing this with her.
Perhaps one evening, years from now she will set the table in her own home for a
"fancy" dinner and will think of all the times that she had dinner with her Papa and Mammy!

After a quick photo we went to the theatre to see Treasure Island.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


The last stop on our two month trip out west was Moab, Utah.  I was exhausted from traveling and sightseeing  and could not wait to get home. Even though our motor coach is fully equipped with all the comforts of home- a dishwasher, washer and dryer and a king-sized bed, it's not home. I tried to talk Jim into bypassing Moab and heading home but we already had reservations and he really wanted to go so I reluctantly agreed.   I am so glad my powers of persuasion are limited!  We loved Arches National Park and did two awesome hikes in one day - we slept well that night!  Our second hike was a Ranger led 3 hour hike in the Fiery Furnace,  a permit only area.  Put this on your to-do list if you are in the area.  One of the things I loved the most was the contrast of color- deep  red-orange rock against a vivid, clear blue sky.  Our next day was a back country tour in a Hummer riding over  steep and  narrow rock cliffs!  Can you believe that there were also lots of folks riding their bikes up these rocks!  I am glad my transportation had a motor.

Monday, October 4, 2010


When "the girls " are at the farm they endorse wearing helmets, sleeping in and riding 4 wheelers.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Without reservation I can say, "I am a collector." Over the years I've had many collections; carousels, dishes, crystal. bells, pottery, purses and compacts, just to name a few.  And of course there is a collection of fabric and sewing items.  I have also managed to accumulate a rather nice collection of vintage clothing. Recently it hit me that I've got to start making plans for all this stuff because it just doesn't seem fair to put that responsibility on someone else.  I started by taking photos of my home and it's contents, making a list of everything and then began the process of deciding who would enjoy what.  I even called a few people and asked them what they would like to have when I'm gone!  My close friends were not surprised by what might seem a strange question.  It is a well known fact that I am borderline eccentric.  But as I was going through some things, especially the vintage clothes and family heirlooms I decided that the time was now.  Why wait until I'm dead and gone?

So my first item, a 1950's mouton jacket,  that was boxed and shipped went to my niece, Tuesday, a 23 year old college student at the University of Arkansas. She loves vintage clothing and I know she will love this jacket and I hope she will think of her Aunt Lizzie every time she wears it.

Now Tuesday you need to send me a photo of you wearing the jacket.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


is finished.  I saw this Coach jacket and loved the pocket treatment, lining and the cuffs.  I had to have it and couldn't find it anywhere.  So what's a girl to do? Well, if she sews- she makes it.  I used Simplicity 2810, which I definitely will use again.  The instructions were fairly good and it was well drafted.  I think it ran a little bigger than other Simplicity patterns I have used recently.  I cut a size 10 and tapered to a 12 in the hip area, whereas I usually need a 14.  I purchases all fabrics from Denver Fabrics and was very pleased with my purchase.  Although the jacket will be dry cleaned I hand washed the fabrics prior to construction to pretreat.  The cuffs are detachable so that I can just wash them separately without cleaning the jacket.  I used Petersham to trim the pockets and the jacket cuff.

Regrets, I have a few.  I shortened the jacket by about 1" and I  wish instead I had lengthened it about an inch.  I also shortened the sleeves- I always do and the sleeves are a bit short but thanks to the cuff you really don't notice.  Because the jacket is shorter than the inspiration jacket and since I am only 5'3" I had to forget the upper pockets.  That made me sad- I really like that detail.  I may experiment later with additional pockets but I just don't think there is enough of me to pull it off.   I also wish I had used more traditional tailoring techniques, like taping the the front edge.

Now, it is on to finishing up my Chanel jacket.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


for Gwen's tutorial on making shoulder pads.  I have always struggled with making or purchasing just the right shoulder pad.  For that reason I have enjoyed the last few years of jackets without pads.  But everything changes and once again I found myself in the shoulder pad dilemma.  Enter Gwen, of All My Seams with instructions for making pads.  I made a set this morning and I have to say I think they are perfect.  I did eliminate the second 4"piece for a slightly smaller pad.  Thank you Gwen!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


to completing my copy cat jacket. Yesterday I received the black and white silk charmeuse lining and the white silk for the pocket and cuff trim. This was another purchase from Denver fabrics with which I was very pleased. Today I cut out and sewed the lining and made the pockets. I have also decided that I am going to make the white cuffs removable so I can wash it when necessary and not have to take the jacket to the cleaner every time the cuff is dirty. About 2:30 I took a break and went to the mailbox and discovered that my buttons from Britex had arrived. Perfect timing! I was at the point that I needed the buttons before I could go to the next step. I would like to think that i can finish this project up tomorrow. i am starting to run out of time before our trip next month. And of course I must finish this jacket to take with me because I don't have a thing to wear!


Last Friday night we celebrated Valentine's Day at home. Grace was spending the night with us and since she is so interested in France I decided to have a French meal. I thought it would be fun and educational too. I made Julia Child's Coq au Vin which I haven't made in years - probably because it uses 1 stick of butter. I used maps of Paris and a photo of the Eiffel Tower to decorate the table. While I cooked we talked about French food, fashion and lifestyle. And of course we dressed for dinner. Grace wore pearls, I wore a beret and she picked out a coat and tie for Papa.

For dessert I made our favorite molten chocolate cake and we toasted the evening with sparkling grape juice. Sweet Jim gave us a card and box of candy. He also paid me a very nice compliment and said it was one of the best meals he had ever eaten! It was a very nice evening.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


was importing, organizing and posting photos. So far it seems like everything I do is just a little easier on the Mac. This is a photo of the navy fabric I ordered from Denver Fabrics and my inspiration jacket. Coach did the same jacket for spring in different colors. This enabled me to zoom in and really see the details on the jacket and add a couple of new details to my jacket. I am very excited about the way this project is going. Now I am just waiting on the lining and the buttons to arrive.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


After a few minutes of frustration I am getting excited. I had been having trouble with my computer for the last couple of months and was thinking about replacing my pc with a Mac. Well yesterday i took the plunge so now I am a proud but somewhat frightened owner of a MacBook Pro. My computer skills are basic so this could prove to be a major leap into new skills. So here's my first post on Mac. Next up is photos.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


with my online fabric purchase from Denver Fabrics. After the previous discussions regarding purchasing fabric online I was a bit nervous about the order I placed with Denver Fabrics. But when my fabric a light weight wool hopsack arrived I was very pleased. I am going to use Simplcity 2810 and make a tailored jacket taking inspiration from a Coach jacket from the new Poppy line. And thanks to Nancy K's recent post I am going to use the techniques she referenced for the lapels. And for some reason I am having trouble with USB port so I can't post the picture. That's just one more thing to add to the always present "to do list". I want to finish this jacket and the Chanel jacket by the end of the month.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


16 years ago I had RK eye surgery and I then enjoyed 20/20 vision. Well over the last few years my vision has deteriorated so on Tuesday I had PRK, which is lasik for those that have previously had RK. It is a bit different from regular lasik in that your vision is not immediately improved, it is painful and there is more recovery time. Despite these drawbacks I decided to go ahead with the surgery but what I wasn't prepared for is the hair-pulling boredom. I got through the first 3 days by sleeping but on Friday I felt much better only to discover that there just isn't much you can do when you can't see. I couldn't read, sew or even watch much tv ( as if there was something to watch). Today I did manage to cut out a blouse and do some simple sewing which I think turned out okay. I'll know for sure when my vision returns. The whole experience has been a reminder about the incredible workings of this body God created and how thankful I am to enjoy good health. Next month I will have the other eye done and will be prepared with books on cd and maybe a couple of movies to bide the time. Tomorrow, day 7 I can wear makeup again and Jim will be thankful.

Friday, January 22, 2010


in this skirt. I made this in the fall, wore it once and didn't like the way it fit. I have made this pattern before so I was surprised that the fit was not right. I took it apart and took it up about 1 1/2 inches. I wore it again and at the end of the day it was huge! I inherited the fabric from my mother's stash and I thought it was 100% wool but apparently it is not or it wouldn't be stretching out like it is. So what appeared to be a winner turns out to be a wadder. I'll take out the zipper and remove the petersham on the waist and throw it away. Oh well, it just reminds me of the importance of knowing the fabric content.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


31 years ago when I met my husband he was introduced to me as a "nice guy". Well, that description still applies-- here he is cleaning the snow off our neighbor's drive.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Overall it was a pretty good year for sewing. I didn't think I made that much until I went back over my list and was surprised to discover that I made the following in 2009:

3 Dresses
2 Pants
1 jeans
6 skirts
11 tops
4 jackets
1 coat for Grace and 1 purse

There were 5 items that stand out as sewing if onlys- that is if only everything I made turned out to be as satisfactory as these items I would be a very happy girl. But after 45 plus years of sewing I am realistic - it just ain't gonna happen.

My first if only is a pair of jeans from Vogue 1034. It is a Sandra Betzina pattern and not only do I love the fit but since jeans are a important wardrobe staple and I have major difficulty buying a pair I like they are on top of my list. Next time I make them I will change a few things but they are definitely on The List for 2010.

Next up is a pair of black wool pants I made for the ASG competition. I had not made pants in years because I could not perfect the fit. I bought this tightly woven, textured wool in Paris with the intent of making a coat but somehow it became pants and I think they will be a long wearing classic. I initially used Simplicity 2938 but after the competition was over I redrafted them using a pair of ready made pants that I cut apart and a self-drafted sloper. I just hope when I am ready to make them again I can figure out what I did!

Then using a knit that I bought on sale several years ago I made Vogue 2980, another Sandra Betzina pattern. This top fit like a charm and went together in an afternoon. That alone is enough to make me love it but it is a perfect top for my style - simple and classic but with a little touch of drama. Not only is it on the The List 2010 but at the top of the list. (My photo does not do this top justice.)

The number 4 if only was inspired by a picture in the Oct/Nov 2009 issue of Vogue Patterns. This wool tartan has been in my stash for over 20 years just waiting to take life!. Yes, I know it is only a straight skirt with a pleat but it is so on trend and I felt good wearing it. And I don't think I could have found a more perfect belt. This is another self drafted pattern and rather than use a petersham waist treatment I used a waistband - something I haven't done in ages and I liked it for a change. It gave my waist more definition.

And my last item is a Cynthia Steffe pattern for Vogue, number 1151. It is made in a charcoal ponte knit from Joanns and is another on trend item to jazz up my sometimes boring wardrobe. When I saw Erica B's version I knew I had to have it too. (I have decided that Erica should be my personal stylist.) This dress is not only comfortable but a bit sexy and that combination is rare. I wore this dress Christmas Day and cooked dinner then cleaned the kitchen and still felt good about how I looked. Possibly I'll make it in navy for summer.

Now that I think about it and survey my closet I wish everything, not just the garments I made but those that I purchased as well met the same criteria as these 5 pieces. And since one of my ongoing goals is to simplify everything about my life, including my wardrobe, I wish I had a formula to insure these results. So in 2010 I will keep working towards that end- a much leaner closet filled with clothing options that I love to wear, fit perfectly, make me feel great and are appropriate for my lifestyle.