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Giveaway Winner(s)!

4 Nov

A Hometown Sunset

Howdy, friends! Sorry for going off the grid for the last month. I’m back with a quick post to let you know who won the giveaway I hosted on this post. Since it has taken me so long to get around to writing (travel and life happens, you know), I have decided to declare two winners. I am happy to announce that Rachel from Lavender Lane is the winner of the Gertie patterns and Kristy C. who posted on Facebook will be receiving copies of two of my favorite patterns. Ladies, please contact me (email address is over on the side bar or just leave a comment with your email address on this post) and I will get them out straight away!

I hope to be back soon to share some of my recent sewing and knitting adventures with you. I hope your creative pursuits are making you happy!

Spring Sewing Swap 2014

13 Jul

Hi, everyone! I hope your weekend has been fun/relaxing/productive according to your wishes. I’m here with just a quick note to share my Spring Sewing Swap parcel with you. This year I was paired with Jinju over at Toile and Trouble. We were a great match because we have similar (read: expensive) taste in fabric. We chatted via email for a while before selecting and sending our gifts and I really enjoyed making a new sewing acquaintance. And I am very jealous of the Liberty lawn Jinju finds in the $4 bargain bin at her local quilt shop!

So without further ado, here is the wonderful package I received the mail.




1. New measuring tape, which is great because the measuring tape I got in last year’s swap just broke 😦

2. Vogue 1241

3. Three lengths of fabric: two of cotton lawn/voile and one of a beautiful silk cotton floral print

4. Vintage hand sewing needles

5. Zipper and notions for making included pattern

6. My favorite, homemade green and white polka dot bias tape

7. A sweet handwritten note


I am so grateful for this wonderful package of surprises which suits me perfectly! Thank you, Jinju! And thanks to Kerry for organizing the swap again!


Vogue 8747 — A Classic White Blouse

31 Mar

Hi, friends! I hope your week is off to a good start. I have another finished sewing project for you tonight — a classic white button-front blouse. This shirt fits a definite hole in my wardrobe. While I have several white shirts, none of them would be considered the classic, wear-with-anything staple.




I have had this pattern, Vogue 8747, in my stash for a while. The current Pattern Review Fitted Blouse contest is what convinced me to pull it out and sew it up. Fortunately, my muslin didn’t reveal too many alteration challenges.




I cut the size 14 with a C bust cup and the fit was pretty close to perfect right out of the gate. I made a 3/8″ high round back adjustment and moved the shoulder seams forward 1/2″. I shortened the bodice 1/2″ above the waistline. The sleeves were a bit too wide at the wrist so I took them in about 1″ tapering up to just above the elbow. Finally, I added 1″ to each back princess seam at the hem tapering up to the waistline since my hips fell in a larger size. I meant to add the width at the side seam but got my pattern piece backwards when making the adjustment. Fortunately, it looks fine like this!




The pattern is pretty straightforward to sew up. If you have made a few shirts with button bands, collar stands, and cuffs, you won’t really need to look at the directions. And I prefer the directions in Pam Howard’s Craftsy class for shirt construction if you are looking to make a button-down.





The fabric has been in my stash for a little while — a white cotton sateen from Theory. I got it from the roll ends section of Emma One Sock (surprised?). She described it as a bottom weight fabric but I think it is perfect for a dress shirt since it is not so sheer to require an under layer. If you have ever felt a Theory dress shirt, you know how soft that cotton is. This shirt feels like a dream!




For construction, I decided I didn’t like the look of top stitching on the fabric, so I used my stitch in the ditch foot to invisibly finish the cuffs, button band, and collar stand. I also used a downloadable sleeve placket instead of the included pattern piece. There are great instructions for placket insertion on the Threads website. As with most commercial patterns, the sleeve head has too much ease so I put the excess into little gathers at the top to match the gathers on the front of the shirt.





Finally, I used my new button-hole cutter to open the button holes. What a great little gadget!





Enjoy the rest of your week. I hope to be back later this week with something tasty!



Susie Homemaker Does Housekeeping

28 Apr

Well, ladies and gents, I may be the last one jumping on board the Me Made May train but I am officially a passenger now.

‘I, Katrina of the blog Susie Homemaker, MD, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavor to wear one item that I have made, mended, or altered each day for the duration of May 2013.’

This will be my first year to participate and I am excited but also nervous that I won’t meet the challenge.  I included the “mended or altered” condition so that I can include items I have had a hand in making wearable in some way.  The way I look at it, before I learned to sew, I would take my clothes to the alteration shop just to have buttons sewn back on (sad, I know), so anything that I have learned to do since I started sewing is going to count for this self-challenge.  I will do my best to post a weekly roundup of outfits (that is another challenge in itself!).

In other housekeeping news, I have been working with a professional organizer to get my house ready to sell/lease.  This means that we got to spend an entire day and a half cleaning out and organizing my sewing room.  Now, I have definitely cleaned and organized my sewing room before without professional help, but it has never been so functional!  I have been so motivated to sew since we did the overhaul so I will have several new pieces to show you during the month of May.




One of the things we added in the sewing room is an open bookcase for storing fabric.  Before, fabric was in boxes on shelves and the floor.  It was impossible to easily see what was in my stash and that made it hard to be motivated.  Now that I can pop into the sewing room whenever the mood strikes and pet my fabric, I find myself cutting out and stitching much more often, rather than just daydreaming about sewing.  Unfortunately all of my fabric doesn’t fit on the bookcase — I have two large plastic bins of knits and one large plastic bin of quilting/decor fabric still on the shelves.




Here’s a shot showing the cute shelves my husband put up for me a little while back.  They run along two walls of my sewing room.  I have the best husband ever!  I will show you more pics of the updated sewing space once I get it tidied up from the sewing marathon that has been taking place.

In final housekeeping news, I am probably also the last person to claim my blog on Bloglovin’.  I have never been a big Google Reader user (I prefer to subscribe to blogs by email), but I know I have Reader followers out there, so I am now claiming my little blog for Bloglovin’.  There you go.

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I hope everyone has a great week.  I will do my best to pop back in later this week with a delicious, fresh chicken pasta salad recipe for you 🙂

My Month in Review

29 Apr

I know I’ve been a very bad blogging friend this month.  I promise I will make it up to you with a really good recipe and sewing pattern review soon.  Here’s a little taste of what I’ve been up to, though…

First, I made my niece, Sarah, a Minnie Mouse cake for her 3rd birthday.  I spent every evening for a week making the components of this two-tier vanilla bean cake with strawberry cheesecake filling, vanilla buttercream frosting, and fondant decorations. 

Then, Mr. Homemaker and I went for a sail aboard one of these little ships on a long weekend getaway.  We were pretty boring — no late-night dance clubs or theater shows — just relaxing on the deck and catching up on lots of rest.  In Cozumel we went scuba diving and saw all sorts of wonderful sea creatures.  The most excitement we experienced on the ship happened one afternoon while relaxing by the pool on the 10th deck.  We heard a loud commotion right around the corner from us so I peeked out our little window just in time to see a grown man’s lower body dangling over the edge of the ship.  Luckily, other passengers had grabbed the jumper and were pulling him back on board.  It was crazy because we had met the man the day before in the elevator and he seemed completely normal.  Not sure what happened to him after that but Matt and I speculated that they must have tied him in a straight-jacket and locked him in his cabin…

The next week my grandfather had surgery to repair a slow-growing aneurysm that his doctor had been following for about two years.  He did phenomenally well and is back at home and feeling much better now.

Finally, I got to take a two-day sewing workshop with world-famous sewing guru, Sandra Betzina, at a sewing shop in Mobile.  It was recommended that workshop attendees sew one of Sandra’s patterns but I had a hard time choosing one that suited me.  Finally, I decided on Vogue 1045 but decided to make it less structured and chose a lightweight Marc Jacobs cotton voile for the top and a silky-finished Vera Wang cotton for the skirt.  I never got around to the skirt during the class but I did finish the top and will be blogging the pattern review soon.  You’re getting a sneak peek of the unfinished top in the photo of me with Sandra, above.

Have a wonderful week, friends!

About me…

23 Jan

I am a full-time pediatrician and manage my own medical practice.  In my “spare” time, I love spending time at home with my family and practicing my domestic skills.  I am best at baking and hostessing but have been dabbling in canning, sewing, gardening, jewelry making, and painting.  Through this blog I hope to share some of my creations and encourage other working women to take up the dying arts of domestication.