What are you?

Sweeping my sewing room floor can be a boring, tedious exercise in futility, or it can be an exciting trek into another world. Today was that other-world experience.

I delved into realms hitherto unknown (behind the trash can) and discovered the mysteries of the miniverse (under the sewing table). It felt just like being a space explorer! Of course, that’s only conjecture on my part, since I’ve never actually BEEN a space explorer, other than the space right around me.

There are creatures down there that are quite fascinating. I found this one and brought it back to the light of day to examine more closely. What could it be? I had to ask!

are you a bird?

are you a bird?

not likely!

 a little horse? cough cough

a little horse?

cough cough

a bat?

a bat?


an alien, then -  you must be an alien!

an alien, then – you must be an alien!

are you kidding me??


Well, aren’t you ANY of these things?

What did he answer??

Wait for it…………………..

No, I’m a frayed knot.

a frayed knot

I think I’m tired

How long have we been traveling now? Let’s see . . . I think it’s been 12 days. No – 14 days. Longer?? I think I’m tired.

But it’s been fun so far, even with the little quirks in the GPS, and the quirky little navigator 😆 who makes certain miscalculations (quite innocently, I assure you!), and the pilot who is patient with his navigator’s bossiness – and the rather interesting places and people we’ve encountered.

We’ve gone through about 13 states so far, had lots of ‘experiences,’ and made memories. We’ve climbed to the pinnacle…


descended to the depths…

Indiana Jones? No, Indiana Caverns

Indiana Jones? No, Indiana Caverns

gotten caught in thunderstorms…

soaked in Dollywood

soaked in Dollywood

outran tornadoes, gripped the steering wheel during high winds, and made huge inroads into developing our farmer’s tans.

The sewing machine is relaxing in the back of the car. I haven’t used it since making the curtains, but it performed well for that time in its life. Now it’s getting a free ride home while we cruise the countryside.

I just wanted to share a few pictures that represent the total experience. How has your week been going?

Road trip, road trip, here we come!

Doncha just love road trips! This is one we’ve been planning for a few years, and it’s (giggling in excitement) about to happen!! Any day now.

Now, what to take, what to take?? I’ll need jammies, toothbrush, dental floss, hairbrush, some…uhm…unmentionables, some mentionables (several of those), sandals, camera, computer, chargers, sewing machine, puzzle books, pills, snacks, purse, iPhone, Kindle, pillow, chewing gum, music CDs, hair dryer, travel iron, ear plugs, swimsuit, travel mug, and a case or two of water – nice, cold water. I’ll have to clear the car of empties before we head out, though. Thankfully they’re recyclable.

What?? What was that?

Why, yes, I did say sewing machine. Isn’t that always included on any cross-country road trip? Seeing this is my first one, I wasn’t sure, so I had to consult the REmissionary Road-Trip Novice Handbook. Right there it was, on the very first page:

If you are new to cross-country road trips, please read this section carefully! In order to fully savor the road-trip experience, make sure that your sewing machine is included, so that you feel at home no matter what part of the country you visit. This may raise the eyebrows of more seasoned, non-sewing trippers, but rest assured, you are proceeding according to correct protocol.

Now, that’s a direct quote! So there, seasoned road-trippers!

I’ve finally stopped skirting the issue

Some things are just out of my realm. Show me a purse, and I can usually figure out a way to make it, or at least something similar. Tortilla warmers, bibs, mug-rugs, oven mitts? No problem. Even aprons are within my Hmm…I think I can do this realm. But clothing?? Nah. Not without a pattern and a clear set of instructions.

Until today.

I seem to have an issue with making clothes, especially for myself. I haven’t done that since high school Home Ec!! But, after reading a whole bunch of It’s easy, you can do it clothing tutorials on allfreesewing.com, I finally decided it was time to stop skirting the issue. So I made a skirt – with issues. OK, so it looks homemade. I can live with that.

Several of the tutorials were about making simple elastic-waist skirts, so I thought, “Hey, maybe it IS so easy I can do it. I’ll give it a try.” Naturally, I had (count ’em!) none of said tutorials in front of me when I embarked on this adventure, so I did it purely from memory and makeup. I remembered a few of the pointers, and I made up others as I went. Not bad for a first try in ____ years, eh? Here’s my attempt at my own It’s easy, you can do it tutorial. If you can make a skirt using this, I will be very, very happy. If you can’t . . . well . . . reckon I’d better get busy and do a better job on the next one.

First thing was to figure out how big it had to be. I wanted the skirt to be loose fitting, so I measured the biggest part of me (not my mouth!) and added about 16 inches. For the length, I wanted it to come just below the knee. Anything longer than that makes me look about 2 feet tall and 4 feet wide. I don’t like being a 2X4.

I added 3 1/2 inches to the length, to allow for the hem and the elastic casing. That meant I needed a piece 60X26. I marked the measurements on my fabric and cut one large rectangle. That meant I only had to do one side seam, making the rectangle into a tube. I had intended to use a 1/2-inch seam allowance, but ended up at 1/4-inch. So to fix that and try to avoid fraying, I ironed it open and stitched up each side of the seam at 1/8-inch. Next was the hem. I folded it under 1/2-inch and ironed it down. I sewed that down and turned it under again at 5/8 inch, sewing about 1/2 inch in from the fold. That gave a nice clean finish.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On to the casing! I measured 1/4-inch from the top, ironed that down, and folded it again at 2 1/4 inches for the 2-inch elastic. I sewed that down about 1/8-inch from the edge (I just noticed I said 1/4-inch on the picture. Wrong! It’s 1/8 inch), leaving about 2 1/4 inches open to feed the elastic through. 

Using a safety pin to feed the elastic was a big help. Many of those tutorials had suggested this step, but I did it because that’s how my mother used to do it. She could make anything! I inherited many of her traits, including her ability to use a safety pin for feeding elastic. I also inherited her wisdom in pinning the other side of the elastic down so it didn’t feed right on through before its time.

After I got all the elastic fed through, and the two ends pinned together, I sewed them with a zig-zag stitch and eased the sewn part into the opening. Then I sewed that opening closed, making sure I had the elastic out of the way. After that, I evened out the gathers and paraded around the sewing room in my brand new skirt.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here’s the finished product. I haven’t ventured into the great outdoors clad in my fancy new duds yet, but I will. I will.

definitely not a model

definitely not a model

tucked or untucked?? untucked!

tucked or untucked?? untucked!

where the sponges live

I’ve got a cottage cheese bucket on the sink – doesn’t everybody??

I started out with a Cool-Whip ® container (emptied of its original contents, just so ya know). Why would I have these things on my sink? Well, for sponges, of course! A Cool-Whip ® container makes a great holder, but gets a little water-logged. The drips from the sponges collected in the bottom and made it necessary to empty and clean more often than I wanted to fool with. Being the frugalist that I am, I just couldn’t bring myself to actually spend money on a fancy dish to contain those wet sponges. What about poking holes in the bottom of the Cool-Whip ® container and setting it inside a bigger container? Well, that worked better, but it was kinda ugly – made the sink look cluttered. What about a cover for the outer container? Yes. That would work. So here’s what I did!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.