Saturday, October 31, 2009

Final Elvis' Costumes (minus Alcohol - McCalls 5734)

Finally, here are the finals pictured. . . .

I have attached Jonathan bedazzling the costumes and our final looks (well, we are going to do something with the wigs on Jonathan's head - and I am dieting after these picturers - I tried to stand like ELVIS - but it is decidedly unattractive:))  But Accurate. . .

We also have two dogs that dressed up as Elvis' though I did not make their costumes . . . .

Elvis Update 1

Finished the second costume last night:)  Hurray!! Now, I only have to bedazzle (or I'm planning on using a stud puncher)  -  I'm so happy - Jonathan  painstakingly bedazzled his costume.  More fun pictures tonight - but the second costume was so much easier to sew.

Btw, tried my first zipper  - it doesn't look great - thankfully it's a costume- my cutting in the chest area is a bit wonky:)

The next photos later today will feature all the accessories. . ..

Thursday, October 29, 2009

One of Two Elvis' McCalls 5734

Thanks goodness I finished one of two Elvis'.  This costume is nearly done and I'm so happy  - J is going to help and finish the belt (why is the belt with the pattern so costumey??).

He claims to be also skilled with a bedazzler!!  Yes, it's true.  A man and his bedazzler.

Quite frankly, I'm swamped at work and cannot wait until these costumes are done so I can do some fun sewing without a deadline! (Why are there so many deadlines in my life right now).  Both personnally, well, let's just say I'm 43 and not getting younger!

Seriously, I'm not sure you feel this way - but when I have a deadline - it's really tough to make it fun - maybe it's just my rebellious nature!

So, in summary this is one of two costumes on the hangar:

On J (Great technique!!):

Test of a belt that did not work out before collar and sleeves set in:

And, with a test belt (J. is in charge of the belt(s) and bedazzling!):

Saturday, October 24, 2009

This weekend is all about the Elvis'

I will finish the Elvis Costumes this weekend (or get them majorly done!). I can't wait to start my next projects:  Will the Elvis' ever be over - I'll post my progress at the end of the weekend!

Here is the list of some selected projects in my stash:

Kwik Sew 3271 (View B - picked because I wanted some soft and light stretch denim pants with some elastic in the back and a straight front - easy wearing).

Kwik Sew 3070 (J. wants some scooby flannel pants for around the house!)

Simplicity 2603 (the famous and TNT Cozy - I'm a bit late to the party:)).


Kwik Sew 3576 (I normally look good in this style and can even wear this to work (well - if it's in grey or black:)).

I do want to do more "vintage" pieces and eventually tackle more complex projects - I've just picked sewing back up (based on all the "time" I have now that I'm retiring from what basically was a second job). . .I'm starting very slowly with projects I know I can do! I've got some great patterns waiting for me in my stash and I can wait to do them and tell you about them, but first, one step at a time (darn it!).

But, first the Elvis'. I've pin fitted the tissue on J. and now to cut and sew the main pieces. . .

Monday, October 12, 2009

Anthropologie Dress

I love this dress; but it seems rather pricey for the asking price.
It's a simple knit dress with ruffles - maybe $40.00 in material (more likely
less than $10.00 in industrial/commercial prices) - but it's so flattering on!

Crazy - what do you think - would you buy a dress that was overpriced if it
made your figure look sublimely skinny and very fashionable?

I'd like to make this! I'm tempted.

McCalls 5734 / Two Elvis'

What can I possibly be thinking. Two Elvis' costumes before the end of the month!

This is McCalls 5734 pattern. We had the great idea to have an Elvis costume (for both J. and I) - a zany approach to Halloween - I have bought the fabric (almost 14 yards of stretchy velvet knit fabric) but I'm worried about getting this done before then - knowing my sewing skills.

More to follow on this but I've been a bit too ambitious I think!

Test of Freeze Dried Foods for Backpacking

Hi - Just a short note. We've been on a buying spree of backpacking goods after donating our own older but nice North Face packs - we bought some Osprey Talon 44s and some day packs from the same company that we love. Most recently, tonight we're testing some freeze dried food - I have quite a few MREs in the house - when I was in the Gulf - we loved them - but then again I didn't have any warm food (I was a oceanographer on small boats). We just tried them again (I bought a case for emergency preparedness (earthquakes)) - and yuck - not good - or not as good as I remember. I'm attending a conference in Yosemite this coming weekend - and although it's too cold to be backpacking - this has inspired our night of tasting.

Two reviews:
Natural High - Chicken Enchiladas. **** (four stars out of five). Tasty and fairly quick to make. Very savory but some reviewers have claimed that the food is too salty. The directions called for 2 cups of water and that seemingly was correct! Especially good with hot sauce. We would take this backcountry.

MaryJaneFarms - Wild Forest Mushroom Couscous. What is up with the name "Mary Jane Farms?" Apparently, the designer and developer of freeze dried food is Mary Jane. This dish however, was not good. Not palatable. Hint of an "organic-y" aftertaste. No flavor whatsoever and I can't taste the mushrooms. To be fair - some of her freeze dried options have gotten great reviews on the website - we'll keep trying them.

I'm glad we're trying these out before we go backcountry - last time our MREs were not as flavorful as I remember them.

Finally - one more gear review - JETBOIL personal stove. Fantastic - made both freeze dried foods above in less than three minutes (which consisted of boiling the water). Great device - can't wait to use in in the field.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Kwik Sew 2605. Easy Breezy Confidence Building Skirt

Well - I know I haven't disclosed this on my blog - I'm stuck on a Vogue Shift Dress that gets very mixed reviews on PR. The muslins I made look like a bag on me. I think the main problem isn't the dress - rather it's the actual dress on my body shape - I have a inverted triangle/strawberry shape - when I'm in shape I'm a rectangle. So, a Shift Dress that is very blousy up top is not doing me any favors!

So, as a result of this halting of the first garment for me that I have sewn - I'm doing an "easy to sew" pattern. It was super easy!!

My pattern review for this is at

I've posted some pictures of the skirt - it's very simple - no topstitching or decorative stitches - it is what it is! Next time I might drop the back hem a bit (rather than a pattern alteration). Pants and skirts much more easy for me. I have problems with bodices, mostly because I have to do a high back adjustment and forward shoulders (not to mention they are very large!). Pants and skirts (I'm straight) - no curves = easy!! Well, almost no curves:)