Dreary Sewing Magazines

Why are they so drab?  Why are they so boring?  I have yet to find a sewing magazine that is forward-thinking, modern, and interesting.  Am I alone here?


They typically have great pictures on the front cover, tempting us sewists with their promises of better looking and professionally made garments along with sewing tips and skills.  They catch my eye and I pick one up as I wait in line at the fabric stores (of course, that is why they are placed there to begin with – for dupes like me) but invariably, I am always disappointed once I get home and start to look through the articles.


You’d think I would have learned by now that these magazines are full of projects that end up looking like Becky-Home Eccy outfits.  How many clutch patterns or back to school accessories can one sewist really make?

Granted, not all sewing magazines are bad.  The Burda Magazines with the patterns are great and have patterns that I might actually make (if I ever get around to it).  The patterns are quite good, in fact, and I can picture myself wearing the styles.  I also love Colette Patterns online magazine, Seamwork.  It has all the things that I want and expect from a sewing magazine – thoughtful commentary, wearing your handmade garments, focus on famous (or infamous) designers,  and great patterns.  In addition, they use models of all ages and sizes.  HUGE PLUS!

Otherwise, the sewing magazines that I see in the stores are mostly Threads or quilting magazines (I very rarely quilt) and typically filled with the ugliest clothing known to man.  I mean, honestly, who would wear this:


Unless you are a size 0 model, I can’t think of one woman who would look good in this top.

So, tell me.  What are your thoughts on sewing magazines? Is there a magazine that you love?  That you hate?  Please, I’m all ears.







Happy 4th of July!

Hello, everyone!  I feel so blessed living in America! I hope you have a day inspired by freedom and family and filled with all good things.

I am feeling very inspired this July 4th so I figured I would wear one of my favorite tops.  I made this from Kwik Sew 3766 about a year ago and it has become my favorite tee pattern.  No matter what fabric I used, it fits me perfectly!  So, I make it over and over again because it is pretty much a no-brainer.




The fabric is very appropriate for the holiday not just because of the color but because it is also a print of British places and sayings in very 1776 script.  I purchased it from Gorgeous Fabrics years ago and it is a lightweight knit that has great recovery and has kept it’s color and shape over the past year that I have worn it. I can also dress it up with slacks or down with jeans and it never fails.  The sensible part of me just loves a piece I can mix and match.  The epitome of practicality and in-fussiness!



You can also see the difference pattern choice can make.  The last top I featured was cute but didn’t do a thing for me.  I wasn’t the right shape for me and I felt it just didn’t do me any favors.



This one, on the other hand, looks pretty good. The color combination also suits me.  It can go with just about any color pant/skirt/short.  A total win-win.

Much like living in the U.S.A.!


Have a wonderful day!



50-Something Exercise

“Getting old is for people who don’t know any better.” – Tony Horton

I am a firm believer in that statement.  I honestly feel that exercise is the fountain of youth.  Sure, my skin is more like paper these days and the rolls around my midsection are indicative of motherhood.  And yes, I creak and crack more than I care to admit.  But, people are often shocked that I am over 50.  They say, ‘You don’t act like someone over 50!’ or, better ‘You don’t look 50.’  I really appreciate these words more than these people will ever know.


However, like so many people I tend to run hot and cold with fitness.  My entire life, I went with 8 months working out everyday, eating right, and losing those extra pounds only to taper off and become sedentary for the next year.  Then, I would look at myself in the mirror in shock at how I had let myself go.  The cycle then began again – exercise everyday, eating right, etc.

As I have aged though, I have realized that I can’t do that anymore.  I find it mostly with my diet – I cannot tolerate larger meals that produce bloating, gas, and indigestion.  I’m much better when I stick to smaller meals – no gas, no bloat, and I can fall asleep without Rolaids.


I find that exercise has also changed for me.  With two bad knees (my doctor already told me that I will need knee replacement surgery sometime in my future) from being a runner and dancer in my youth, I have to be careful what I do. I need these knees to last me a bit longer.  Any exercise I do needs to be lower impact so I need to concentrate on lifting weights and being more deliberate in my interval training.



So, if I want to be fabulous and look like this…



…I need to get off my butt and get working out again but this time, stick with it.


Have a wonderful day!




Summer Harvest


The summer harvest is on!  I not only have red and green grapes but I have green figs and yellow summer squash.  It is such a treasure to be able to work on something and then reap the rewards like this – beautiful, fresh produce picked from my own backyard.

The summer squash will be roasted along with bell peppers and broccoli on the bar-be-que.


It is especially fun that I have grapes.  Our crop was almost decimated by a white powdery mildew that I had to cut away so that it would not infect the remaining bunches.  I had feared that the entire crop would be a no show this year but no sooner did my husband say, “Honey, come look at the grapes!” that he had his hands full of these lovelies.  They are so sweet!


The figs are also extremely sweet.  I have been considering making fig newtons, of course, but I am also seeing that Italians love them in frittatas.  I found this great recipe here from  I think this is a winner.

Rustic Fig, Cheese, and Avocado Frittata

2 figs
75 g smoked cheese
1/2 Avocado
1 Tbs Rosemary
35g Ricotta
4 eggs
1 Tbs butter
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC (350F).
  2. Melt the butter on a small skillet over medium heat. Prepare a medium sized casserole and spread the melted butter on its bottom and its sides.
  3. Whisk eggs and ricotta in a medium bowl. Add fresh rosemary and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the casserole. Slice the smoked cheese, avocado and figs into thin, 3mm slices. Spread them uniformly over the egg mixture.
  5. Bake the frittata for 30-35 minutes until the edges turn golden-brown and become crunchy. Take the frittata out of the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Have a wonderful day!



Finished: Lark Tee


This is my first foray into Grainline Studios patterns and I am intrigued!  This is the Lark Tee and I really love it.  I am always in the market for a good tee pattern because I wear the darned things so much!  They are so versatile that you can wear them to work at the office or in the garden.  I can never have enough tees!

I shamelessly copied the boat neck version in the navy stripes from the website.  But, I have read over and over again that is exactly what you should do when choosing fabric for  sewing – use the same fabric on the pattern picture.  So, that is exactly what I did and I am so pleased with it.


I cut a size 12  but I wish I would have cut my usual size 10.  I think this is a bit too loose on me because you can see lots of fold around the neckline and in the mid-section of the top.  But, the good thing about tees is that a quick run through the serger or a quick hem and voila! It fits better.


In addition, this tee is VERY long – another reason for the folding in the middle of the top.  If I had pulled it straight, it would have been more tunic length.  I typically add 2″ to every top I make because I have a very long torso.  But, before making this adjustment,  I measured the length and saw that it was plenty long enough.  In fact, after all was said and done, I could easily have shortened it.


This is me joking with my husband about the pictures.  It was early before the direct sunlight hit our backyard.  He was tired and battling the flu but very graciously took the pictures anyways.  What a guy!


I have some new fabric that I want to make another Lark Tee with but I think I will try to make the v-neck version.  I have never made a V-neck tee before so it will be a challenge.

Have a wonderful day!