Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A New Pattern BFF--JALIE!

Introducing my new pattern BFF--JALIE #2790

Latest sewing project, nearly done....JALIE Pattern # 2790.....still need to add swarvoski crystals

I have sewn skating dresses from a couple of pattern companies and have had success with what I have sewn to date but the patterns have always been a bit basic. Additionally, sizing the patterns has been a bit challenging because my daughter wears a small to medium size but has a large girth measurement. (longer torso and rise) I am not particularly clever in the altering of pattern size per se, but lo and behold, I have found a pattern company that practically does it all for you.

Jalie Patterns--

If you are not familiar with their patterns, you should visit their website. Click Here!   It is not just for skatewear enthusiasts! There are leotards, pajamas, clothing......

The patterns are printed on very sturdy paper (unlike the tissue paper variety we are all too familiar with), and in multiple sizes. Most helpful in my daughter's case, is that you can cut out the pattern pieces according to the bust size to get the proper width and use the girth measurement to cut the size which best correlates to the extra length in either the torso or the rise.

My daughter wanted her dress to be a light pink, stretch lace (with lycra underneath) and of course there was no pink lycra to be found locally. So, I settled on white and some white stretch lace and was determined to dye it myself, to just the perfect shade of pink.

I think the hardest part was cutting out all the pieces. Because we decided on stretch lace over lycra, with a lined bodice,  there were a lot of pieces to cut out. I admit that I got a bit bored by all the cutting.

Close-up of the floral lace

My pile of dyed fabrics

Dyeing the fabric was not difficult. I used RIT Petal Pink. I was hoping for a slightly lighter shade of pink but this is really a beautiful shade. I also dyed slightly darker shades towards the bottom of the skirt to create a subtle ombre effect but it is difficult to see here.

This pattern went together easily. I was pleasantly surprised as I thought the side pieces would be a bit difficult but they went in like a snap! Easy, peasy! I have photos of every phase because my daughter wanted to see it every step of the way. She has not been here to oversee the project or even try it on! The fit will be my next challenge but I am pretty confident that it will fit her well. I went slightly larger on the width knowing that with a back sash she can pull it a little tighter if she needs to. 

I love the way it turned out! It is very pretty....I should say tres jolie! You say JALIE! I say JOLIE!

Front view....

Back view....I love this sash!

We decided that some vintage-like, self fabric flowers would look nice on this dress and they do. I will be adding pink and clear crystals along the diagonals and at the seam between the bodice and skirt.

The back details are anything but boring! The back panels are sewn into an additional triangular piece  on each side. This gives it a bit of of a corset look which for older girls is a nice fashion touch. The back panel was going to be just lace but it needed some stability so I lined it with the same nude lining that lines the bodice. There will be crystals in the back as well.....

The sash is so pretty and a loop is sewn into the skirt back seam so that each side of the sash can go through it. No need to mess with tying bows. This way, it looks perfect every time and no worrying as far as the bow coming undone during a skating performance. The stretchy loop keeps the sash snuggly in place.

Underneath the lace layer is the lycra layer....

Underneath the lycra layer, are the sewn in, attached panties.

Closeup of the lace and lycra flowers with rhinestone centers.

Here are some of the crystals that will be embellishing the skating dress soon......maybe tomorrow! Once all the crystals are on the dress, I will post an updated photo.

I am very happy with the way this skating dress turned out. Not only will I be using this pattern again, I will definitely be ordering other styles as well. Oh, and FYI, if you call JALIE with a question, there is a real live, very nice lady on the other end of the line and she is very helpful.

Regrets?.....I have one. Why didn't I find this pattern company 10 years ago?  

I was just looking at some of the woman's patterns at and I found a pleated cardigan pattern that I love. It's been a good long while since I did any sewing for myself. Maybe it is time to sew for me!


UPDATE: Bedazzling the Dress 

I used my hot fix tool to apply the swarvoski crystals across the diagonal. (Pardon the shadows in this photo)

Moved the flowers to the other side to see which way looked best. Either way looks fine to me.

I will add small crystals to fill in the gaps (at waistline) you see in the photo above--still a work in process!

I will also add additional crystals to the back to fill in the line that I have started. I realized after I got home from the store that I bought 3 packages of crystals that were not hot fix so I will have to take them back and get some more.
These crystals are very sparkly, though the photos don't really show it very well. 
......and it's all about the sparkle!

Additional photos added 4/11/2014

Linking this post up to:

Rooted In Thyme

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Corn Chowder on the Double

Easy Easy Corn Chowder!

10-12 oz baby red potatoes
1/3 large red onion, chopped (not too finely)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 15oz can creamed corn
1 24 oz bag frozen corn
6 slices of bacon, cooked
milk or cream (I use fat-free milk)
Salt, pepper, parsley, paprika to taste

Quarter the potatoes (or if they are too large quartered, cut into bite-sized pieces) and put in 3qt pot, add onion, garlic and water just to cover. Cook until fork tender.

Add creamed corn and frozen corn. Then add milk or a combination of cream and milk (if you prefer a thicker chowder) I add enough to fill the pot to within an inch of the top of pot. Add 3 slices of bacon,  and season to taste. Warm thoroughly but do not boil.

Crumble remaining bacon slices and top chowder with bacon pieces. Add additional parsley and paprika.


This is what I made for supper tonight. The recipe is not written down anywhere. It is in my head. (which is a tad worrisome--but a quick glance over the list of ingredients assures me that you will not end up with a bowl of steaming, salty milk.) 

My family loves it too; it has been a favorite for many years in this household.

It tasted so good tonight! Hit the old spot! It is very cold night and a nor'easter is approaching though it is more of a coastal storm. Being in the western part of NH, we will likely get the lower snow amounts. THANK YOU!

"Only the pure in heart can make a good soup."
Ludwig van Beethoven

Thursday, January 16, 2014

In Lieu of Valentine's Day Cards!


Black Forest Torte

Individual portions of chocolate cake layered with almond and cream cheese flavored whipped cream and cherry pie filling,
all dressed up for Valentine's Day!

These little treasures wrapped up in some cellophane and tied with a pretty ribbon and tag make the perfect Valentine. Add a matching colored plastic spoon for a touch of whimsy! What a delicious way to tell someone special "I LOVE YOU!"

I will post the recipe and instructions stay tuned!

See full post HERE !

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Week at US Figure Skating Championships

My daughter and I returned home last night after spending a week in Boston volunteering at the 2014 United States Figure Skating Championships hosted by Skating Club of Boston. It was an exhilarating and exhausting week and to say that we saw some really great skating is an understatement.

We invaded my daughter's apartment (she lives with her fiance in the area) on Jan. 7th and our volunteer shifts were at the TD Garden for the next 4 days from noon until 6pm. Prior to our shifts and right after, we would go upstairs and watch the skaters practice or sit and watch the championship events.

Highlights of the week were watching the Opening Ceremony which included the Ladies Short Programs, Ladies and Men's Championships and the Exhibition which will be televised on January 18th. We also saw some of the pairs as well as some ice dance.

My particular volunteer job was "HOSPITALITY" in the athlete's lounge. We checked credentials of everyone coming into the lounge and made sure that the food table was replenished. In addition we made sure locker rooms had boxes of tissues every day and that the lounge bathrooms had hospitality baskets full of supplies and necessities for the skaters to use.
It was a great week. We met so many wonderful people, from locals to volunteers, judges, officials, skaters and coaches. The skaters were courteous and some even expressed their gratitude to us for volunteering. These kids were impressive both on and off the ice!

The most memorable skating programs were Jason Brown's and Mirai Nagasu's. I have seen very little of Jason's skating though my daughter seemed to know quite a bit about his skating ability. I watched him practice and knew right away that he had that "special something." As for Mirai, I have loved and followed her skating in the past, watched her perform and place fourth in the last Olympics and was very happy to see her competing at Nationals and winning Bronze. She skates with such pure joy that it actually brings tears to my eyes watching her perform.

To see her disappointment in not making the Olympic team was heartbreaking. Through tears, she was able, once again to skate a flawless program at the exhibition on Sunday evening following the competition. She took her spot on center ice to begin her program and received a standing ovation before her program even began. The audience was behind her all the way. She skated beautifully to music from "On Golden Pond". At the end, she was rewarded with a second standing ovation.

Now that Nationals has ended and once my daughter returns to school next week I will return to my blogging, sewing and cooking. I have been out straight since before Thanksgiving and look forward to quieter times.

Hope everyone is staying warm. Winter seems to be passing quickly which is fine with me as I am anxiously awaiting warmer weather.