Another Friday Five

River walk bench

It’s Friday again.  I thought the week was going so slow, and then Wednesday showed up and the rest of it just flew by.  It was our first school week at home and I thought I would have all of  this extra time to do some stuff around the house, but that whole idea was just that, a great idea and nothing more.  My housework is a bit behind and the yard is starting to look a little overgrown.  I can blame the weather on that one though.  It ended up raining on the day we were gonna get out a mow.  I also spent one day this week in Nashville and another afternoon at the state park.  Plus half of today was spent at the family cabin pressing grapes and racking wine.  It’s not like I didn’t have plenty to do.

There were a few stand outs of this week however, and so I have, once again, another one of these posts.

1.  The trip to Nashville.  I can’t think of anytime I didn’t want to go to the city and shop, even if all the shopping I usually do is just for groceries.  You see I don’t live near a decent health food store or a Costco, so getting out and stocking up on all those necessities makes for a day trip, and there is always a good chance of a nice lunch out and a stop or two into a non-food store.  The Whole Foods salad bar is delicious and Target always has great clothes!  I came home happy.

2.  I didn’t have to go to Memphis.  Actually, there is a time when I don’t want to go to the city, and that is when two days after going to Nashville, I have to go to Memphis.  It is funny how this tends to happen.  I make a trip to one or the other and then something comes up that puts me in the opposite location in the same week.  I got out of this one though because I was able to reschedule the appointment I had made for next week.

3.  Cable internet.  Yes, finally, after seven years we are up to speed, literally.  This has been a long time coming, and although we had made progress about a year and a half ago, we are speeding along for real now.  I keep looking at online slideshows just because I can.  No more waiting for those pics and videos to load.

4.  A working wine press.  Remember I mentioned earlier this week about that new press that the handle broke off of when we first used it?  Well the replacement came yesterday and just in time.  Today we moved on to step two with the wine that we started last week.  I can’t wait until it will all be ready and we can taste and see how good it came out.  And, I think I might be ready to start working on that wine blog I got a domain for.  I finally have a thing or two to write about concerning that topic.  I’m just getting started with this little hobby, but I can see it definitely turning into much more than a little thing and much more than a hobby.  It’s gonna be fun!

5.  Lastly, and this is an easy one, it’s Friday.  I am so ready for the weekend, even if this weekend of mine is probably gonna involve a little bit of yard work.  I am tired today and I am looking forward to an early night and a little later than usual morning tomorrow.

Well that is all I have for now.  I’ve got dinner on the stove and I have hardly eaten all day, I am ready for some food.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

The Thursday Thrift // You Can’t Beat Free

black white and red

budget fashion

Hello, thrifters and blog readers alike.  It is a wonderful Thursday Thrift over here where I am.  The morning is cool, the day is young, and the yard work is calling my name.  But instead of pulling weeds, I am talking about thrifting and this wonderful skirt that came into my life a couple of summers back.  Part of the allure of thrifting, for me, is the money you save when buying second hand stuff.  And in my experience, most of the items I do find are very close to looking brand new, if not even new with the tags still on.  This skirt was brand spanking new and came from a department store, plus it cost me not a single penny.  It’s like a thrift store find without the thrift store!

As I was copying and pasting my personal information into those forums over on the Lucky magazine website yesterday – those Lucky Breaks where you endlessly fill out your email, name, and address for the chance to win a shopping spree prize of some sort – I remembered something.  I wasn’t doing this for nothing, people actually DO win these things cause two summers ago, I won one of the $500.00 gift cards to Land’s End.  It was a happy day indeed, and even better than that day was the day I went to Memphis to spend the $5oo.oo card at Sears.  Yeah, I pretty much had to get whatever I thought I might wear.  There were a few choices I should have reconsidered, and a couple of items haven’t even been worn, but that card really burnt a whole in my wallet.  So on to today’s thrifty, or rather free item, this nicely, detailed black skirt that I am wearing.

I have worn it twice.  Why only twice, I don’t know.  Oh, wait, maybe the fact that it has to be ironed every time I wear it has something to do with that; and with all the stitched on details, ironing is not that easy to do.  Although, now that almost all of my guy’s work shirts need a good ironing, and almost all of my new me-made dresses do too, I am getting better at it.  I even bought a new iron, in hopes that it would help, and I think that it has.  This skirt is just too pretty to be kept in the closet wrinkled all of the time, so out it came today.  Hopefully now that the ironing board is more of a permanent fixture in the school/computer/sewing room, this skirt will get plenty more wear.

embroidered skirt details

Technically not thrifted, but at a price you cannot beat, so it definitely counts for today’s Thursday Thrift.  Anything thrifted, handed-down, or free up on your blog?  Leave me a link.  Until next month, happy thrifting!

*Details:  Skirt – Heart Soul // Shirt – Merona (clearance) // Shoes – Doc Martens

Hit and Miss

The pre-hunting season is starting over here.  It is, once again, that time of the year when the guys in my life start spending more of their Sundays out in the field rather than here at the house.  This weekend was the first of what I have begun to refer to as Sewing Sundays.  Even though lately I do a lot of my sewing on Sundays, now is the time of the year when I get to have more of an uninterrupted day to myself.  It is nice to have something to pass the time.  So on Sunday, I had a dress to make and the time with which to make it.  It should have turned out fine, I have made it before, but I think I jumped into it a little too quickly and the changes that I made shouldn’t have been made.  I also didn’t think my material choice out all the way and I wasn’t really liking how it was turning out.  So here it is, as finished for now as I think it ever will be, and one of my misses from the week.  I am not going to bother with the sleeves because I know those won’t make the rest of it look any better to me.  It’s a bit of a disappointment, but that is sometimes how it goes.  I at least have enough material leftover to make a skirt so I won’t have to say it all was a complete waste.

a dress fail

On to something else of the handmade sort.  There were a few things that came out alright; this was a big hit, that I know for sure.  It was also my first completed knitting project - if you could call it knitting.  An arm-knitted, infinity scarf (minus the infinity part).  My arms were the knitting needles, so does that count as knitted?  I’m saying it does, and so do the friends that made one with me.  We had a great time with this project and everyone ended up with something wearable.  I chose not to connect mine together at the ends, thus making it not exactly an infinity scarf, but still a scarf nonetheless.  I’m fine with it that way and that’s all that counts.  (30 minute arm-knitted cowl.)

DIY infinity scarf

knitted scarf

Lastly with the hit and miss theme from last week, two batches of wine.  Making wine was what kept me from blogging on Friday so I thought I should at least write a little something about it.  I had a team effort going on Friday, and three batches, a whole 17 gallons, got started (two batches of which being mine).  The crushing, mixing, and making was a hit, but the pressing ended up being the miss.  A new wine press came into my life last week, but unfortunately the handle didn’t want to stick around.  It broke on us as we were pressing the first, and only batch that needed to be pressed that day.  We improvised once the handle broke, so ultimately everything turned out alright, but until I get a replacement that works how it should, I am not ready to call the new wine press a complete hit, just yet…  but I’m happy to say that everything else was.

crushin muscadines

Now, for this week.  I’m hoping for more hits and no more misses.  Have a good one, everybody!


This Matches Everything!

a modern retro dress

Sew Serendipity Monique dress

geometric printed dress

Green sweater?  Absolutely.  Yellow tights?  You got it.  An orange undershirt?  Sure, why not.  This is the most versatile dress that I own, and I am absolutely in love with the pattern.  Obviously, one could argue that a basic black dress would be just as versatile as this, and you would be right, but since it’s my newest make, I just wanna be able to say that I can wear it with everything! – and I probably will.  I can’t wait for winter so that I can make it cold-weather appropriate.

I couldn’t wait until next Monday to get this post up, so here you all go, a nice mid-week, Me-Made blog post.

Recently, I seem to be making my favorite patterns in threes.  Now with this dress completed, I can say the same thing about the Monique pattern that I got from Sew Serendipity.  This is my third one, and with this version, I think I got any issues that I may have had with it out of the way.  Specifically, the fit at the front of the arm.  I don’t remember if I disclosed it at the time, it seemed very insignificant, but my last few versions were just a bit snug in this particular area.  I even went as far as to trace out another bodice this time around, adding a little more room to move.  Right before cutting into the fabric, however, I changed my mind and went with the original cut.  This material was not something I wanted to experiment with.  What I did do, was pay very good attention to which side of the arm facing I was sewing onto the dress.  I marked a big F on the front and a big B on the back.  The last two makes, I was pretty sure I had them mixed up, and at the time I didn’t think it would make any difference.  I am now going to say it did make a difference, because this time, following all the same directions, it came out fitting perfectly in this area.

effervescent print

I also went ahead and made the dress in the called for order with the exception of the zipper.  I did that next to last and only because I did not have the right sized zipper when it was time to put it in.  Initially, I was kind of worried about how the waist band would line up by making the full front first, then the full back, and lastly joining the two; but it worked out alright, and I even got the bottom border matched up just fine, which made me so happy!

One more thing I want to show you all about the dress, the middle band.  It is more than a plain black strip.  It also has little circles all over it, only they are much less standout-ish than the rest.  (Another piece from my quilt scraps, and I have a lot of them so I am happy to be putting them to good use.)

bubble fabric

Details:  Pattern was from Sew Serendipity and the material was this from  There were several color options to choose from, but I went with ‘primary.’

What do you think?  Is this the worst print ever for a dress?  Too busy?  Or are you with me in thinking that the busyness of it makes it all the more unique?  And because of all the bubbly madness, I am calling this the Effervescent Dress.  It’s perfect, right?  :-)

You can find the other two dresses that I have made from this pattern here and here.

Linking up with: Craftastic Monday, Creative Mondays, Do Tell Tuesday, Tuesday’s With a Twist, Simple Sequins and Passion for Fashion.

Rejoice for Wonderful Weekends


A good Monday morning to you all!  How was everyone’s weekend?  Mine was pretty wonderful except for that middle of the night wake up to a beeping alarm.  No, the house wasn’t on fire, just a low battery and a very loud, annoying beep.  Rummaging through the drawers at 3:30 in the A.M. for some spare batteries was a bit of a pain, and even worse, not finding any batteries to make the beeps go away!  Only after groggily unplugging not one, but three smoke alarms, did we realize it was just the carbon monoxide detector that was low, and the solution to that was simply to unplug it.  Had it not been three in the morning, we may have figured it out sooner.  So, besides that, everything about this weekend was wonderful.

A friend of ours is in town for the week and that was excuse enough to throw some food in the oven and have a feast.  I was not the one cooking – good thing, cause what I would have made would not have been near as good as what all of my friends came up with – but I definitely took part in the eating.  These two things, cooking and eating, are what my group of friends do best when company is around.  As always, there is never a shortage of food when we get together.

I also found some time to make a dress over the weekend.  I had been waiting on fabric so that I could start something new, and the UPS man showed up on Thursday with some goodies for me from  Sewing, or more specifically dressmaking, is such a great stress reliever for me lately.  I am getting good enough to not make as many silly mistakes, and what I am making is getting regular rotation in my everyday wear.  I am of the opinion that a girl can never have too many dresses.  Unless she runs out of closet space…  And in my case, my extra closet is filled with wine making equipment.  I might have to modify that statement a bit, a girl can only have as many dresses as her closet will let her have.

I was thinking about dressmaking the other day, and it is kind of like my new hobby of making wine.  It is by all means much easier to go out and buy the thing new, already made and ready to wear/drink, but then where is the fun in that?  A little bit of work makes the end product that much more enjoyable.  I am happy to keep spending some of my free time making dresses and making wine.  And speaking of wine making, I am getting nice and stocked up with grapes.  I hope I can find a good recipe before the winter is over.  The only problem is that it takes about two months to know whether the tried recipe was any good or not.  I am thinking to go with a variety of recipes and take lots of notes.

That’s about all I have to say for now.  I am excited for the week ahead.  I got some new exercise shoes this weekend, and I can’t wait to try them out in my gym class this evening.  Plus, there are a few fun things planned that I am looking forward to.  I know I said I was gonna try and post my sewing projects on Mondays when I have them, but no pictures yet means it will have to wait until next Monday, or I could squeeze the post in one day this week…

Until the next time, with whatever post I may have, enjoy your Monday.