Archive for May, 2010

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OT Weekends: the fleetingness of good bubble tea

May 29, 2010

I am a foodie. I am a foodie married to a foodie so together we’re kind of scary. On multiple occasions we have caught ourselves sitting at one restaurant raving about the food only to start raving about other good food we’ve had and what good food we should have soon.

We also have a deep love for bubble tea and much prefer going out for bubble tea on a saturday night to going to a bar even though the J-Pop commonly heard in bubble tea shops isn’t quite to either of our music tastes.

So when we moved to our new place, we were very excited to discover a classy looking little place a few blocks away that served bubble tea and pan asian cuisine including some fairly decent sushi.  The tea was excellent with the pearls hydrated perfectly: not too chewy and not frozen like I’ve experienced on unpleasant occasions in the past. They even had a  high quality chocolate milk tea that I have yet to find elsewhere in this city.

The place was called Soban which according to the results of a google search is classical Chinese for “a small table.” I suppose this makes sense as it seemed like a good place for a small meal or a snack… or just bubble tea.

We finally had a late night place to go in this city and I felt the most at home I have felt since moving here. We began  to bring friends to this place and raved about it to others, inviting them to come soon.

Well, when we came back from our trip on  the weekend, we arrived in town late and decided to go to our little corner bubble tea place.

….Only to find that, without any warning, the place was dark and the name sign was gone. There was a note on the window that I could not read but the one that I could indicated that a Crazy Wings would be opening soon.

Now I don’t have anything against wings. I know they’re quite popular and I’ve even enjoyed them in the past… but right now I am too saddened by the loss of my bubble tea place to consider giving it a try.

When you want bubble tea, the best wings in the world aren’t going to quench that desire. So the quest has begun for a new late night hang out. I will let you know when I find it.

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SWAP in Review #6: The Dress

May 27, 2010

My choice entry was a jumper style dress that I really loved making and the results of which I’m quite proud. The pattern I used was Kwik Sew 3576 which was a bit of a trick for me to track down as I discovered to my dismay that my local fabric retailer does not carry Kwik Sew patterns. I really liked the dress when I saw it because of the belt on the hips. I thought it went along with the theme of my SWAP fairly well since I intended to pair it with my lace top as shown in the picture

I bought the fabric right near the end of my SWAP process when I noticed that the stripe pattern reminded me of a calico apron I wore when I worked in an historic village one summer. I am naturally drawn to things historical and Victorian so I leapt on  the fabric. It’s a stretch woven so I needed to do some extra fitting to ensure it was flattering. 

I cut the pockets diagonal to the grain because I thought it would add a bit more whimsy to the look. I also chose to do the belt in black instead of the dress fabric  because I felt like I needed something to break up the stripes.

It was the last outfit I completed for the SWAP and it’s the one I’m the happiest with.

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Sewing for summer

May 26, 2010

Well since my SWAP (reviews will continue) was so winter focussed, this week’s massive heatwave has left me with the realization that I now have a shortage of summer work clothes so I need to step up my summer sewing. I was going to spend the week finishing up the dress I had hoped to wear to last weekend’s wedding, Butterick 5176, but I think that summer pants and shirts are likely more important right now as my job often involes hauling boxes of books to and fro so skirts and dresses aren’t always that practical.

So the next bits of sewing on my list are to make a pair of pants out of the green suiting fabric from my not so exciting sale and then to make

The Rachel Comey blouse from V1170.

Unfortunately family life is intruding at the moment so my sewing may slow for a bit. I hope not though. I don’t want to be going to work naked any time soon.

I will keep you posted as to my progress.

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OT Weekends: Out of Town

May 22, 2010

It’s a long weekend here in Canada and I’m probably not going to get much sewing done as I’m off to a wedding in Montreal.

When I got married a couple of years ago, I surfed the net for ideas. My favourite site was Offbeat Bride. Authored by Ariel Meadows Stalling who wrote a book of the same name, it’s all about the fun, non traditional things people decide to make part of their weddings these days. The advice is great, but my favourite part  is that she profiles some truly spectacular nuptial parties. The dresses in particular tend to be just fabulous to look at.

I leave you with one of my favourite photos from my little wedding. The dress is McCalls 4444

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SWAP in Review #5: Grey Gabardine Pants

May 21, 2010

My office is cold. It’s a basement in a building from the sixties with a poor air temperature control system. Since my SWAP was all about winter work clothes, wool pants seemed like a good idea.

Last year I attempted to make Vogue 1053 as an interview suit. The result was not so impressive. The blazer was a bit of a wadder. Really, it’s not the greatest style for my torso. The pseudo vest sits too low on my frame. I loved the way the pants turned out but then I went and dropped 20 lbs so they were suddenly much too big and had to be passed on to Goodwill. I  missed them so I made them again for this SWAP. They’re simple enough: fly zip closure, pockets. They have buttoned belt loops and I lined them so they’re warm and comfy.

here they are on their own:

And here they are with the vest and lacy shirt:

The only problem with them is that I’m always getting a static shock from the office doorknob.

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SWAP in Review #4: Striped Wrap Blouse

May 19, 2010

With the recognition that Butterick 6768 is so OOP it’s been taken off the site, comes the realization that, I should really invest in some new patterns. I always thought I was a pattern junkie but now I’m starting to realize that I, perhaps, don’t buy enough of them. Still, I had a soft spot for wrap blouses so I knew I needed to give the pattern one more shot. This will probably be it for this one though as I find that it adds bulk to my midsection, which is a part of me that does not need any such additions.

After attempting to match the subtle pin tuck stripes on the black blouse and realizing just how difficult that was going to be, I thought that the even size and regular spacing of the stripes on this fabric would be a breeze.

As you can see, my “simple stripe” was far more complicated than I thought. This image is proof that I have plenty of bad sewing habits, not the least of which is that I will often develop my own layout for my pattern pieces in hopes of using as little fabric as possible (pattern Tetris).  This can be okay when dealing with woven solids and can even be vaguely advisable when they’re being made into low (or no) budget costumes for a play that will run for a week at most. However, I clearly have some work to do if I’m going to successfully give up my bad habits once and for all.

I did get it right eventually though.

It is worth noting that this SWAP was really my first shot at truly matching stripes. I’ve done it on pants before but always in a fairly serendipitious fashion and I’ve gotten lucky.

I’ve actually made more pairs of pants for  myself over the years than I have shirts. I find I get more mileage out of a pair of pants as they tend to wind up wardrobe staples.

I’m far more likely to buy a cute top I see somewhere than a cute pair of pants and the instant gratification factor is much higher with pants as I can generally sew them much faster and with fewer pattern alterations – and I’m much happier with they way they fit.

The blouse will do though.

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SWAP Winners!

May 18, 2010

The SWAP winners have been announced! Check them out over at Stitcher’s Guild . I’m not one of them but that’s okay as I loved doing the challenge and I learned a lot. I am no longer afraid of stripes…perhaps someday buttonholes won’t terrify me either.

Congratulations to the winners!  Your work is beautiful.

I especially want to congratulate Grand Prize Winner Carolyn whose blog Diary of A Sewing Fanatic I’ve always found to be incredibly informative and inspirational. I love following her sewing endeavours.