Sunday, February 27, 2011

McCalls 3006 done, and New Look 6034 muslin

It's been weeks since I've sewed. I wanted to pick up with an easy, guaranteed success, my TNT pj top pattern, McCalls 3006.
I was basically recreating this pj top I made 4 years ago, which has been worn so much, it's pretty much worn out:
Flower detail, 2007-02-18

I had thought about daisies:
next project

but went with roses instead:
McCall's 3006

McCall's 3006

McCall's 3006

McCall's 3006

I like to wear pj tops with a t-shirt underneath. The turquoise is stash flannel; the rose trim was from Joann's clearance; it came up 10 cents a yard!

I used the feather stitch for the hem.
McCall's 3006

Then I made a muslin of New Look 6034, view E:
New Look 6034 view E
Look at how close the leggings are to the model's body.
I went with the 18 because it matched what I thought were my hip measurements.
They came out looking like carrot pants:
New Look 6034 view E
I measured my hips and will make the 16 next time as the 16 more closely matches my hip size, as it turns out.

Here's a closeup of the rouching on the pant legs:
New Look 6034 view E
And I decided, after 23 years of sewing, it's time to try the "cut-on waistband with topstitching" technique as it securely sews the waistband down (unlike the casing/stitch in the ditch method which still sometimes results in waistband flippage). Someone recently had a tutorial on her blog about how to do this; I thought I remembered who it was but I was wrong. So I used the directions in the Singer Complete Photo Guide to Sewing book instead.

Lesson learned: You really want the elastic to go to the edge of the fabric when first sewing it on to the fabric, otherwise when you flip it to the inside, you will see the elastic.
New Look 6034 view E

So the leggings are too big and too long so I will wear them as sleep pants and possibly take them apart next weekend to cut them down to the 16.

Ok, eating.  I made chicken tacos from Cook This Not That 2011:
Chicken tacos from Cook This Not That 2011
I said "made", not "cooked". The chicken is a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket. The salsa verde is from a jar; the tortillas from a package. But the cilantro was fresh chopped and the lime is fresh. It also has feta cheese.

As for the rest of my vacay, I visited my great-aunt; had the worst back flareup since November; saw my chiro; was really, really tempted to buy a dress in a store (something I haven't done for years) but ultimately decided not to because I felt it wasn't well made; went walking a lot; had my ab/kidney get better, then worse, then stabilize; have some new problem with the pad of my foot/middle toe feeling weird/numb which comes and goes; slept for 7 blissful continuous hours two nights in a row, then reverted back to waking up once a night; had a really bad headache; but as you know I sewed finally and that was great!

It's back to work tmw; good night!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vacation day 5

First off, so glad to hear Mary Nanna and her crew are ok in NZ!  And thanks everyone for your kind words.

So, how could I forget to post this picture from day 4: my favorite cupcakes from LaBon bakery? It's on the way to the Joann's in Colonia. Their frosting is SO GOOD:
La Bon cupcake

Vacation day 5:
Top Chef night! Is anyone watching it? How cute was it the week that I made chicken pot pie, that Wed night Carla (my favorite next to Fabio) won with her chicken pot pie???

Today was passport renewal day, lunch with a former coworker, and an early afternoon buying a new dryer which won't be delivered til March 6. I really really wanted one of those red dryers advertised on tv all the time, but alas, it will not fit in my laundry closet.  I also got a price adjustment on the fridge I bought last week--very exciting!

I'm getting closer to sewing something! It might actually happen soon!

I registered for Sewing Pattern Review weekend Chicago today. If you're going, now's the time to get on it.

Oh, and I took a nap today. Another glorious nap.  and a walk outside.  I love being home during the day. I could definitely get used to this!!

Spring, it's coming:
4:30 pm ish, 2/23/11 
Good night!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It feels like ages...

...since I've blogged.

First, my NZ bloggers, are you all ok?  I'm looking at you Mary Nanna and Miss Smith.  I read about the earthquake this morning and hope you and your families are ok.

I'm on vacation all this week, to try to help my body heal itself.  Thanks for all your warm wishes, I really appreciate them.  My ab is slowly healing, but it's heading in the right direction!   I wake up just once during the night now, and driving over bumps in the road is not a big deal anymore.  I'm still wearing stretchy gym pants all the time; it's just more comfortable.  The pain is intermittent.

So for being on vacation, I've been doing lots of chores...
Day 1: A set of new grippy tires for my car
my new tires
Tread, I love thee.
Also, the snow has finally melted to the point I can use the passenger side of my car again, first time after 6 weeks! 

Day 2: I did my taxes and got a haircut.  My new bottom freezer fridge arrived. This is such a huge win for my back. It's so easy to see everything in the fridge, and to put things into and get things out of the fridge. My Brita water pitcher is no longer a struggle.
my new fridge

Day 3: Acupuncture, trip to library, and cooking!  Also walked on the treadmill at the gym and talked with my gym friends.

Grilled cheese and ham on wheat with scrambled eggs and broccoli for lunch:
grilled cheese & ham on wheat with scrambled eggs and broccoli

Chicken cordon bleu from Cook This Not That 2011.  I don't have an official meat pounder thing so I used a sturdy glass jar, it worked very well.
chicken cordon bleu from Eat This Not That 2011

Minestrone from Cook This Not That 2011:
minestrone from Eat This Not That 2011

"creamed" spinach made with Greek yogurt.  The left side is done properly; the right side I messed up.
"creamed" spinach made with Greek yogurt

I actually cooked after having dinner last night, so tonight I had the chicken--really good, and that sauce is excellent!  I'll try the minestrone tmw night.

Day 4:
Passport photos in the morning. Lunch with Christine. An afternoon at Joann, the big one in Colonia that I prefer:
my new patterns and sewing gauge
I really don't need more skirts, but this one I couldn't pass up.  I bought navy blue sweatshirt material to make sleep pants, but wouldn't a sweatshirt skirt be cute? 
I like the saucy little leggings in 6034 with the rouching. Thanks to Vanessa for featuring this pattern on her blog a few weeks back.  I'm a little worried, though.  The hip on the biggest size in the envelope is pretty much my hip size.  They might be too tight?  but that's just the style--look at the model!!

I think I will actually get to sew a little toward the end of this week.
Finally I bought myself a sewing gauge.

I took a big nap late this afternoon.  So nice!    I hope to have more fun and less chores the rest of this week, but we'll see!!
Hope all is well in your worlds!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday night food

Thanks for your kind words about my non-hernia news!  I am so so so relieved!  I saw my primary care doc on Friday for my annual physical.  He seemed pretty surprised about the pelvic kidney, though it was there on the MRI report I gave him last year on my initial visit to him.  He said it must be pretty close to the front of the body.  I'm still having trouble sleeping through the night so he gave me a stronger anti-inflammatory.  Finally, some drugs!  Normally I am not a drug person but I am ready for them now.  You folks with kids, I don't know how you can work sleep deprived.  It's been almost 2 weeks for me now of non-normal sleep and I don't like feeling like I'm in a daze.

So I find that when I sew in a rush as opposed to sewing at a leisurely pace, my garments suffer as a result.  Tonight, I learned the same lesson with cooking.

brown rice pilaf with mushrooms from the Flat Belly Diet cookbook
That's brown rice pilaf with mushrooms from the Flat Belly Diet cookbook. I threw in the carrots because I have some left over from last week. I rushed the rice with this one and let's say the rice has some bite! also, this truly is a side dish. It needs some more vegetables to bulk it out.

Chicken Pad Thai from the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook
That's Chicken Pad Thai from the same cookbook. Actually this tastes like pad thai, which shocked me! As I was rushing my way through this I thought there would be no way this was going to taste like pad thai.  I wish I had bought those little miniature corn cobs; I didn't think about it til I was cooking. The recipe doesn't call for them but I *love* them. And water chestnuts. Ok, next time! The carrots aren't in the recipe either but I had to use some up!  And I love the smell of limes.  They remind me of when I was little and my dad would drink gin and tonic and let me have a slice of lime.

Oh, and here was dinner last night:
scrambled eggs, broccolini, and valentine's napkin
I love scrambled eggs. The broccolini is actually from Olives in Princeton. Isn't the Valentine napkin a nice touch?

I also mashed some sweet potatoes tonight too but forgot to take a picture.  Maybe tomorrow.

My fridge is dying so I have a lot of fridge cleaning-out to do this week!

Here's my Princeton Public Library book pile for this week:
Princeton library books 2/12/11

8 Weeks to Optimum Health by Andrew Weil (middle of pile) is fantastic.  I'm really enjoying that one.  That first book on the pile is to balance out all the serious reading I'm doing.

Hope you are healthy and happy, are pain-free, and getting good quality sleep!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Not a hernia!

I saw the surgeon today and she said she does not feel a hernia!  She thinks the small bulge the primary care doctor feels (and that I can feel in the mornings!) is my right pelvic kidney (whose last appearance was on my 2009 lumbar MRI images and MRI report).  She thinks I strained an ab muscle (rectus abdominus, or the "6 pack" muscle), or that the ligaments holding the pelvic kidney in place are strained.  She said the kidney might actually move around a bit since it's not where it's supposed to be.

And she said my ab muscles are strong overall!

She said I'm to rest and listen to my body as far as daily living activities and stretching for back--advice we can all follow!  She says it will take 4-6 weeks to resolve itself, but if it gets worse or doesn't improve, she'll order a cat scan.

I am so relieved!  Thank you to everyone who sent good wishes my way and chanted the mantra of "not a hernia, not a hernia!"  It is very much appreciated!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Snow on the beach, food, ice storm pix

So my primary care doctor thinks my strained ab muscle is actually a hernia. I see a surgeon on Wednesday to disprove that theory!

Snow on the beach
I went to Sea Girt last Sunday 1/30/11 to see the snow on the beach.
Onto the beach!

Seagull line up on the boardwalk:
sea gull line up

Looking north up the boardwalk: Left to right:  Sea Girt lighthouse, pavilion, and beach

Looking north on the Sea Girt boardwalk.  From left to right:  Sea Girt lighthouse, pavilion, and beach.

Ice Storm
On Groundhog Day we had an ice storm; 10am delayed opening!
Groundhog day ice storm 2/2/11

Groundhog day ice storm 2/2/11

Food photos:
Chicken pot pie from Eat This, Not That (2010 edition). I made it tonight. I'd say it's the most delicious dish I've made this year!
Chicken pot pie from Eat This, Not That 2/6/11
Chicken pot pie from Eat This, Not That 2/6/11

I made chicken fried rice from Eat This, Not That (2010 edition) again tonight too. The bowls are my new pyrex bowls but I can't get the gray lid on either bowl. Hrm.
Chicken fried rice (again) from Eat This, Not That 2/6/11

From 1/25/11, Chicken Piccata from Now Eat This by Rocco DiSpirito. Until the chicken pot pie, the chicken piccata was the most delicious food I'd made this year. It tastes just like chicken piccata from Bertucci's.
chicken piccata from "Now Eat This" by Rocco Dispirito 1/25/11

Amy's minestrone from 400 Calorie Fix 1/26/11.  It went much better cooking the sausage the second time.
Amy's Minestrone Soup from 400 calorie fix  take 2, 1/26/11

I'd like to thank Mother Nature for the 40+ degree temperature and abundant sunshine today. I was able to take a nice long walk and hear the snow melting.  Thank you!