February 2009

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So before I went on my holiday to Adelaide at Christmas, I made a skirt.  Which didn’t fit, and so didn’t go on the holiday with me.  Which was a shame, because it was a CUTE skirt, with a border of this fabric from the “Sew Girls” range by Loralie Designs:

Loralie Designs Colourful Manequins

Loralie Designs Colourful Manequins

And it was this skirt pattern, View A:

McCalls 5591

McCalls 5591

Seriously cute, yes?

But at the time I was still suffering badly from swelly belly (which I’m very glad to say has settled down considerably with a different HRT regime and the new-found love of gym) and so had to add an ENORMOUS amount of width to the front to compensate.

Now – I’m taking the width OUT again!  But since I didn’t want to remove top stitched angled pockets on the front of the skirt, nor did I want to make a centre seam, I’ve had to get a little creative.  Which has involved unpicking EVERYTHING except the front with attached pockets, and the side seams under those pockets.

My sweet wonderful friend Sue *mwah, sweetie!* gave me a book this week – out of the blue – and it’s so INSPIRING I have to jump about when I’m trying to tell anyone about it!

This is the book:

Forty Nine and a Half Sensational Skirts

Forty Nine and a Half Sensational Skirts

(Aussie readers will find the same book under a different cover)

The artist is just … wow.  Talk about really exploring an idea!  Talk about your working in a series!!  So many pieces that share elements but are each unique –  love that!

This isn’t just me going off on a tangent – really!  – because one of the ideas Ms Willoughby explores in the book is cutting new seams in reclaimed (or new) skirts to add embellishments or other features.  That neatly solves my problem – I can make 2 new cuts in the front of the skirt (thereby making it look intentional from the start!) and reduce the width by the necessary amount without an ugly centre front seam.  AND I get to add more splashes of colour to the plain black body of the skirt, so it will look even better with that colourful border!  Très clever, très chic, oui?

Why now? Well, another friend is launching her new business on Friday night – and what better excuse to get this skirt finished than to wear it to a sewing teacher and designer’s party! I’m pretty sure I can get it done.  But not if I don’t get to bed NOW – got a gym class in the morning, then lunch with the girls…. eeek!  GOODNIGHT!!

Sorry to  have been absent – I swear, this sinus/migraine headache pattern is NOT FUN!!  And I have been doing a lot of sleeping again, which is ever so boring to blog about.

However, I did play photographer for Sue one day last week – her sewing is awesome, I think she’s just getting better and better!!!

I took a heap of patterns around to her place the other day to sort out – and discovered that I keep buying similar things!  So it’s WAAAAAAAAAY past time to make up: *deep breath* A pencil skirt, a pinafore, a puffy sleeved blouse, and a tailored jacket.

Possibly this is next up: Do you think the straight skirt or the swingy flared version is that way to go?

Simplicity 3673

Simplicity 3673

after months of no migraines – 2 in 3 weeks.

Pardon me while I go throw up again.

Caity was nøt happy with Hørse and yours Møøsely.

“You are hiding too much.”

Such complaint from her. It is enough to drive a Møøse into hiding again.

But, for Caity, the pleasures of the chase are introduced. (After all, my way is subtle.)

Is picture of Hjørse in hiding:

And I am øver here… can you see me?

Dø yøu think Caity will post when she has finished løøking? Mayhap!

Møøse has been sighted here and there.

  • Hitched over the top of the big wall map in the Krappenhause;
  • Hidden in the folds of an apron hanging on the pantry door;
  • Lastly in an undisclosed location (Caity does not know where Møøse may be).


Hjørse is far less subtle, and has been found in many places, even vexing the Teabot 5000™ by impersonating a lump beneath the covers, while the cold-blooded Teabot 5000™ slept on top of the bed again.

Indulging his propensity for bedclothes, Hjørse retreated to an unused quilt, only to be discovered by a cold, sore Caity…

… the very same Caity who has proved impossible to dislodge from bed this morning. It would seem Caity gets lunch in bed, as well as breakfast, today.

At least her new hair colour is Teabot 5000™ approved.

And way of Møøse is subtle.
With jodphurs and whip and chair, oh my!

With jodphurs and whip and chair, oh my!

Today Sue and I wrassled our overlockers (sergers for my US readers).


We did have help:


and this one:


I thoroughly recommend both books.  The ABCs of Serging is a great basic book with clear line drawings and great information on the basics. (And since it was published in 1992, reminds me a little too much of the clothes of my misspent youth – frills!!  And MORE FRILLS!  And let’s stiffen those ruffles with FISHING LINE that would catch a marlin, yeah baby!!)

The Easy Guide to Serging Fine Fabrics is exactly the quality we sewing enthusiasts have loved in Taunton’s books: Clear text, informative pictures, and techniques that really lift your sewing out of the ordinary.  (WHY they aren’t reprinting this yet I just don’t know!)

The instructions for making bias tubing in the Fine Fabrics book had us rolling on the floor –  not because they were WRONG in any way (in fact, we’ve both decided that this is THE way to make those tricky little filled cordings) but because Ms Benton instructs that once you have your turner-looperer- thingummy (ok, she used the real name, I don’t have the book in front of me!)


hooked at the end of the tube, you put the circle handle end over one of your thread spool holders and “Back away slowly” to turn the tube through.

“Don’t spook the sergers – they’re skittish beasts!”

“Maybe if we blow in their nostrils and offer them a carrot?!”

“*snort*” (that was me making an unladylike noise after too much giggling, not the sounds of the unruly overlocker!)

ANYWAY, the point is that while we may not be qualified Serger Whisperers yet, we can now at least approach from the correct end and saddle up the beasties.  WIN!!!

And now – I shall tackle threading the upper looper with *drum roll and audible intake of  breath from the crowd* WOOLLY NYLON THREAD.


If I’m not back by sunrise, bury me with my boots on.

Way of Møøse, as Caityreaders know, is subtle.

Møøse was seen in this region four days ago. When he was departing, it was said that he would not be seen for a week.

All was quiet in house. Kitchen was quiet. Bedroom was quiet, if sounds of snoring Teabot 5000™, hypervigilant Poodle, and (whatever Caity does) are not taken into account.

Toilet was mostly quiet.

Until, from behind the packet…




Way of Møøse is subtle, and he will probably not be found for two days.

So Teabot 5000™ was looking for pack of rice-crackers, which may have Møøse DNA, as they are sometimes hard to find. He reached for the cereal packet, to look behind it, and…

had a Godfather moment.

Contents may be unsettling during handling!

Our intrepid pair thank you, and the odds on Hjørse being found are something like six months.


Gøød Night, and remember: Way of Møøse is subtle.

(Still haven’t found the Møøse!)

Did two hours at gym today  – I need to remind myself that I feel SO GOOD when I get done, it’s worth dragging myself there!  Also it was my first day without the ankle brace – woo!  I’ll definitely be propping it up on the upturned washing basket for a good hour or so before I sleep tonight, though.

This week:

SEWING: – yep, this is the week Sue and I are going to CONQUER our overlockers, oh yes indeedy! (Provided we can fit it in around other appointments – I have another busy week, *sigh*)

Coverlock 4862

Coverlock 4862

I WILL MASTER YOU, oh Coverlock 4862!

Also – hoping to cut out at least one top, and finish a pair of yoga pants for wearing to the gym.

I have a medical for the Weight Loss program this week  – that’s going to be interesting! I’ve been able to stop my blood pressure medication completely, which is AMAZING considering I was on 16mg a day this time last year.

Please spare a thought for the Aussies battling disasters right now66 (that was a few hours ago  – now it’s 84) people so far have lost their lives in the bushfires down south, and goodness knows how many homes… meanwhile, Queensland is 60% flooded (none down our way, it’s up north) and lives and homes have been devastated there too. On Friday the Victorian Coroner had already announced that the Melbourne morgue was full to capacity from heatstroke victims, and now these horrendous fires on top of that…

I was in Canberra during the 2003 fires, and even watching fires on tv is still very frightening to me.  Houses in my street were just – gone.  We were incredibly lucky, but so many others weren’t.

It’s going to be a very tough year for everyone – lives, homes, infrastructure and crops have all gone in fire or floods since the start of the year.  Add the world economic crises and well – belt tightening all round.

Do what you can to help, eh? If you can donate blood (I can’t) PLEASE PLEASE DO IT.  Burn victims need lots of blood and plasma, apparently, so call the Red Cross and give…

Helløø, I am Møøse.

I am living in many place inside house of Caity. My way is subtle.








Møøse now goes to new place… gøødbye!

The hunt for (un)read Ottobre continues.  (See what I did there with the lame Tom Clancy reference? Oh wait, there’s obviously a redundant word there – I mean, he was GREAT for the first coupla books, am I right? But give him dialogue or female characters and  – ewww.  No wonder he franchised himself out…)

Small diversion there while the steam escapes from my ears.  Seriously, WHERE IS THIS MAGAZINE HIDING?  (And why can’t I just LET IT GO?!?!  It’s not like I don’t have  – oh, I dunno – about a GAZILLION other patterns I could be sewing!))

And speaking of things hiding: When I was in Adelaide I bought two glove puppets from Ikea.  (Not that I can find THEM on the Ikea websites anywhere in the world, either – it’s a conspiracy! Stop me before I get back onto the Tom Clancy stuff, ok!)  One was a pantomime-y sort of horse, and the other – to my great glee – was a moose.

I have a thing about saying  “CHOCOLATE MOOSE!” and making antlers with my fingers whenever the opportunity arises to have chocolate mousse. (Obviously).  So I was having the BEST time running around Ikea saying “CHOCOLATE MOOOOOOOOOSE!” with this silly $4 glove puppet.

But as The Teabot5000 pointed out, the ways of the moose are subtle.  And moose has become quite well travelled as he lurks, hiding, until the other person finds him and squirrels (SQUIRRELS!  Nothing up my sleeve! – Oh, I just slay me.  And wasn’t Tom Clancy still a bit obsessed with Boris and Natasha types?!) him away to turn up – anywhere.  He’s already been to the gym with me, hidden in the ginger-nuts container, and developed a lovely singing voice when placed over the old doorbell chime unit.



Today I was innocently out at my Personal Training session, then lunch with the girls, and I get home to find my blog has been MOOSEJACKED!!  (tee hee!)

I’m not looking forward to tomorrow.  Mostly because I have a 9 am appointment at a different gym as part of the Weight Management Program and they’re going to make me run on a treadmill (HA!  So THEY think – I can’t run on those things!) and then keep pricking my fingers and measuring the lactic acid levels in my blood or some such, which allegedly will determine my ideal cardio training rate. Whatever.  I have to –  get this – FAST – and have NO CAFFEINE – for three hours prior to this torture.



(In fact, I suspect the Teabot 5000 actually uses a tray on a looooooong stick to deposit my first cuppa on my bedside table.  Possibly while wearing full protective gear just in case.  I don’t know this, because I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON.)

Suspected First Cuppa Delivery System

Suspected First Cuppa Delivery System

And they want to make me do their DUMB tests when I’m already HAPPY with MY Gym and MY personal trainer? GRRR! If I had liked these people AT ALL I might have started training with them at my other session of this sort of torture months ago – but they were nasty and the gym they were working out of then was vile.  They’re at a new place now, but I really resent having to go and waste workout energy on stuff that’s not MY program…

Ahem.  I may just have a teensy issue or two around this, ya think?!

And now I think I have definitely earned some raspberries and ricotta and maybe a banana as well.  Since I’m going to be clawing at my STOMACH in the morning anyway…


Caity will explain Møøse later. Probably after Caity discovers Møøse.

Went to the pyhsiotherapist yesterday, who said: WE CAN FIX YOU!!


Turns out that a lot of my hip problems are caused by very weak deep muscles – hence my balance probelms and arlaming tendency to fall down and hurt myself.  I now have a new regiem of strengthening exercises – some of them obvious, like being able to stand on tip toes with eyes closed for increasing amounts of time; and some that look like I’m just lying down but in fact I’m making very controlled movements to work deep muscles in my hips.  Cool, eh!

And my Personal Training session is today, so I can ask Gwennie for help in getting the exercises right.

(Have I mentioned how much I’m enjoying the gym?  I LOVE THE GYM!)

Ok, I'm not up to star jumps in heels yet, but I LOVE GYM!

Ok, I'm not up to star jumps in heels yet, but I LOVE GYM!

Off to lunch with the girls today – photos to follow later!

  • Made it to Pilates even though I woke up exactly 45 minutes before class start time
  • Remembered to pack both clean undies AND a clean bra to put on post-class-shower/ pre-going out
  • Went with Sue to our first time at The Australian Sewing Guild meeting at Highfields, which was worth the trip. And while there I  traced the pattern to make the tunic featured on the cover of this magazine:
Ottobre Woman 2/2008

Ottobre Woman 2/2008

(Now I just have to grade it up *very* slightly, add seam allowances, tissue fit, choose which fabric to use, and actually sew it up)

  • Did a VERY intense session with the psychologist, working with a technique that I have scoffed at previously but which today saw me burst into tears… I remember now why I don’t usually wear mascara to these sessions!
  • Managed to eat and enjoy two hot cinnamon donuts even though buying three would have been better value – I only wanted two, so that’s all I had.  And they were GOOOOOD!
  • Spent another couple of hours STILL trying to find these back issues of Ottobre Woman (so far without success, obviously, and it’s driving me NUTS)
  • Ottobre Woman 2/2007

    Ottobre Woman 2/2007

    (And then I asked the Teabot5000 if he’d seen that cover and YES, he’d saved a magazine called Ottobre  in a box that he’d mentally marked “Important Textile Magazines KEEP THESE”!!! YES YES YES!!) So now I just have to locate the 2/2006 issue somewhere in our house/shed/combined clutter and I can stop obsessing:

    Ottobre Woman 2/2006

    Ottobre Woman 2/2006

    Why were these suddenly VITAL, I hear you ask?  Well, because I am now so very very close to fitting into some of the patterns that I adored in these but which would have been just too hard (I told myself) to re-draft to fit my larger size. Now I don’t have to re-draft, just trace, add seam allowances, tissue fit, and sew!  I suspect only another delusional sewing nut would understand the difference, but trust me, it’s VERY motivating!)

  • Watched the second auditions episode of So You Think You Can Dance – you all know I LOVELOVELOVE that show, right?
  • Did I mention that part of all the work I’m doing with the psychologist is clearing out unhelpful attitudes?  And that part of this is examinning what’s really important in my life?  So a lot of PHYSICAL clutter is getting sorted through, too; and I decided that the hugely expensive machine embroidery component of my fancy schmancy sewing machine is something  I want to  – hmmm, conquer isn’t quite the right word – perhaps – feel confident about exploring?  Yes.  So I *eventually* located the necessary bits and pieces (software, dongle, serial to USB converters and so on) and – TA DA – reinstalled the software and started to learn the programs over again.  Woo, yes?
  • Tomorrow: The physiotherapist.  And maybe some sewing.  And possibly a gym workout before those things.  So I must away to bed.

PS: Several LOVELY blogfriends have nominated for awards – I will get to them soon, thank you sweeties!