Category Archives: House

HP Deneuve Heirloom Shirt – Final!

I’m so happy that I finally finished this up last night! With all of the other things going on it felt as if I’d never have time to get it done.


I added a Swiss insertion at the side seam for fun.


My original plan had been to have a gathered sleeve but I didn’t like the way it looked during fitting so I opted for a tuck on each side of the opening instead.


I was going to start on the new HP Kaleidoscope blouse next but I think I’ll make a quick dress first. It’s unbearably hot right now and I’d like to have a cool dress or two to toss on.

Things have slowed down on the landscaping front. We are exhausted and just enjoying the fruits of our labor. When I came home last Friday, Bryan was waiting for me with a surprise: a double Christmas palm that had been on my wish list for this corner of the house! I’ve planted it with Coontie (Zamia pumila) which is a Florida native and related to the Cardboard Plant that I love so much. I was kind of limited here because of the meter but I think this is going to look really nice when the plants mature.


I have some pretty flowers blooming too! Here’s the “Drunken Sailor” (quisqualis indica) in the courtyard:


and the beautiful Siam tulips (curcuma) behind the waterfall out back:


Parting shot: Someone’s very mad at her mother! Jess’ girlfriend, Dr. Kelly, gives her long-haired cats a lion cut every summer so I let her shave Ricki too. Ricki is not happy about it (but how cute are her little Ugg boots?)! We’ll just call it payback for what she’s done to my couches…



Filed under Hot Patterns, House, Kitties

I’m back!

Back in town and back in the sewing room – yay! My honey and I spent the 4th of July holiday in Keystone Heights (near Gainesville). Bryan spent his childhood summers there at his family’s lake house. It’s a sleepy little place, far away from the hustle and bustle of south Florida – perfect for a weekend getaway but I don’t think I could live there!

Since we came home, we’ve been really busy finishing up my backyard. The sod has been laid where the old stone patio used to be. It’s greening up nicely and should be ready for a mow this week.


The mulching is also about 50% done.



Bryan’s mother gave me some pups from her giant Staghorn fern. They are very slow growing so it’ll probably take a couple of years for it to grow over the basket.


This is the part of the backyard that I now call the Bad Yard. Every bulk pick-up day I rip out some more stuff! I don’t know what I am going to do here but, whatever it is, it’ll have to wait until winter. I can’t see it from the pool so I’m going to pretend it doesn’t exist.


Yesterday, I started another HP Deneuve Tuxedo shirt, this time in white linen. I thought it would be fun to use up some of the Swiss embroideries that I’ve had in my stash for ages. I’ll use the beading on the bib, not sure if and where I’ll use the edging.



Filed under Hot Patterns, House

Simplicity 2443 – Part VI

I mentioned what I like to call the “Magic Placket” a couple of days ago. I learned it from Nancy Zieman eons ago and I think it’s been around for some time. It is super easy but works best with lightweight fabrics (like fine shirtings). My linen was borderline too heavy for this technique but it wasn’t anything a couple of whacks from the clapper couldn’t fix. I apologize in advance for all the little threads – I don’t know why I didn’t notice them before I started taking pictures (maybe because I’m too vain to wear glasses…).

Here’s my sleeve pattern. Notice that the placket area is a box. If your pattern is different, just draw your own box. The stitching line would be the finished width (I like 3/4″ to 1″ but you can make it narrower if you like) and then you just add on 1/4″ seam allowance.


How wide to cut the placket piece? You will cut a strip twice the width of your finished placket plus two seam allowances. For instance, if your placket is going to be 3/4″ wide you would cut a piece 2″ wide (3/4 + 3/4 + 1/4 + 1/4). I like to cut the piece longer than what I need and trim off the excess when I’m finished.

Before you begin, turn under 1/4″ on one of the long edges of your placket.


And staystitch the top of the placket box and clip into the corners. I confess that I only staystitch on loosely woven fabrics and don’t usually bother on tightly-woven shirtings.


Now you can straighten out the seam and stitch. I like to sew the right side of the placket to the wrong side of the sleeve so that I can do my final edgestitching from the right side. If you prefer to do it the opposite way, that’s fine too.


Once the placket has been attached, press the seam allowances towards the placket.


Turn the sleeve over and just cover your stitching with the folded edge. Edgestitch and press.


Now for the magic part:


Finally, you can topstitch the placket any way you wish.


Isn’t this so much easier than this?


And, to prove that good things come to those who patiently wait, my friends Jim and Tom found this gorgeous slab (oops, it’s a little wet from the sprinklers) for my bathroom vanity for practically nothing! I had originally chosen a brown granite but I decided that a light countertop would look better on the dark vanity. With sinks and labor, this will cost a fraction of what I was quoted. I just love it when a plan comes together!


Parting shot:

My bottlebrush tree is blooming! This one’s still a baby. I lost my old one during hurricane Wilma (some of you may remember that it crashed into my car) and it took two years to find another one. Every time I look at it, it makes me happy.



Filed under House, misc., Simplicity, Year of the Jacket