LoveActually- a movie I used to hate



Not apologizing for any of what I’m about to say.

I used to hear people go on and on about how much they loved the movie LoveActually. It made me vomit. I watched it with my ex-husband and while he seemed to be really like it- so much that he bought a copy on DVD- I thought it was just garbage. The only part I would laugh at was Colin Firth speaking- even English!

The other night I wanted to watch a sappy Christmas movie and I went ahead and tried LoveActually again. I wanted to see what nearly a year of being single had done to me as a viewer of romantic comedies. I’m here to say that it did a lot.

The first time I watched the movie, I couldn’t see the love stories because all I saw was a married man falling for his young, manipulative secretary. I tell you. That’s ALL I saw and my life hadn’t been blown apart by somewhat similar circumstances.

Watching it again as a single woman, I could enjoy the screenplay and it reminded me of how much I love Richard Curtis as a screenwriter. The way he writes reminds me of David Mamet and Joss Whedon (not all Whedon, grant you) and their speed and the way they make a character bumble around. There’s something about how these three write that will always capture my attention. Yes, even Notting Hill. I had to watch it. And, yes, I am a fan of Hugh Grant. Sue me.

But back to the movie I used to hate with a passion.

First off, the reason I hated the movie also contained one of my favorite actresses, Emma Thompson. She’s another one I’ll watch in anything. I’d even watch a documentary about something non-costuming if she narrated it. Her presence on screen kills me every time. So, couple that with the following words and you get perfection within imperfection.

Karen: Tell me, if you were in my position, what would you do?

Harry: What position is that?

Karen: Imagine your husband bought a gold necklace, and come Christmas gave it to somebody else…

Harry: Oh, Karen…

Karen: Would you wait around to find out…

Parent: Good night!

Karen: Night, night. Happy Christmas!

[back to Harry]

Karen: Would you wait around to find out if it’s just a necklace, or if it’s sex and a necklace, or if, worst of all, it’s a necklace and love? Would you stay, knowing life would always be a little bit worse? Or would you cut and run?

Harry: Oh, God. I am so in the wrong. The classic fool!

Karen: [voice breaking] Yes, but you’ve also made a fool out of me, and you’ve made the life I lead foolish, too!

Yeah, Thompson makes that scene happen. She’s so raw and so composed all in one. It’s quite amazing from the acting standpoint. But, again, the cheating husband angle I can’t get over.

But moving forward, onward, into rom-com enjoyment land…or maybe it’s just because it’s this time of year when everyone seems to try harder to be at their best.

and maybe that’s all it is… but I’m not a fan of Keira. Nails on a chalkboard! This story is a little cringe worthy for me. I know that staying faithful doesn’t sell movie tickets so I get why they’d open the can of worms with this guy’s honesty. The fact that he says, Enough! as he’s walking away almost makes me like him more until Keira comes out again for that kiss.

The love story that could’ve happened but can’t because of her baggage. Don’t we know that story. It’s still sweet that Karl still wants to say goodnight to her at work with all that emotional tension.

Connection despite language barriers. This was the most far fetched of all of them- that he would leave his family and fly all the way back to marry this girl. But, still, hello Hollywood. Maybe sometimes we feel like foolhardy but who actually does this? Despite that, this moment is by far one of my favorites.

Speaking of favorites. The Liam Neeson character finding out his step-son has fallen in love and it’s not the death of his mom that has him so consumed is a delight. The step-dad goes to huge lengths to show his step-son the importance of love.

As this is not a movie review, I’m just gonna cut it short and admit to how hard I cried over this movie. I did need a good cry and this was there so my logical mind tells me I used it as a means to an end. But, basically, I cried and it was awesome!

I guess it was just nice to enjoy this movie all by myself. I do feel the urge to watch Four Weddings and a Funeral- an all time favorite.

Happy Holidays! And even if you don’t celebrate anything this time of year- enjoy your family and friends!

New Years Manhattan


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I finally got pictures of my second Capital Chic Manhattan. I had the hardest time pairing it with a top in my closet- mental note: make a top to go with this skirt! But then, my daughter, who took the photos, pulled out my Lolita Patterns Olive and while I don’t think the pictures do it justice, the colors look great in person.

IMG_20141128_170937715 IMG_20141128_170949031

I love this skirt! Long in front, short in back. The jagged edge in front is my fave! I still haven’t done the exposed zipper- I keep wanting to finish the skirt before buying that kind of zipper and I buy invisible zips in bulk so I always have them on hand. IMG_20141128_171003765 IMG_20141128_171009152

I used a shiny sparkly gorgeous fabric from the shop I work at. I had to use both sides to show off the difference. I love it! Since this skirt uses so little fabric, you can definitely go stash diving and use up some fun remnants, which is definitely my plan. IMG_20141128_171105721

I also paired the skirt with the Laughing Moon corset I made nearly two years ago. (Can’t believe it’s been that long, by the way!) The bra showing is a new acquisition. It’s the Freya Deco Hatty. I’m in love with Freya. I have several of their bras and they fit so nicely. I don’t know that I’d ever wear the skirt with just a bra and corset but the look is worth exploring, if anything within the comfort of my home…and the internet apparently. Ha!

IMG_20141128_170427985 IMG_20141128_170404053

Check out my first Manhattan as well as the post about my Olive.

Happy Sewing!

Decades of Style: 1940s Empire Waist Trousers AND Blue Ginger Doll’s Bonnie


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The other day, I was minding my own business…stalking my sewing peeps when I saw Heather’s Bonnie. Not only that, she mentioned how cute the Bonnie would look with the Decades of Style empire waist trousers.

Sometimes I like being in charge. Sometimes I like telling people what to do. But lots of times I just like doing what I’m told. And everyone knows I listen to Heather. If she says go make the Bonnie with the empire waist trousers, I do it. I made the same cropped version Heather made but I added cuffs to the sleeves.

Rather than taking pictures, I opted for a video. (I do call the Bonnie the Betsy by mistake- so edit that when you get to it.)

What do you think of a video for a trouser reveal? Does it show them more accurately than still photos?

Short and sweet. I’m out!

Getting into menswear with the Negroni


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Sewing projects get bumped to the front of the sewing to-do list for a variety of reasons. I’m still working on a swimsuit for Betsy but the alterations, which always require a non-tired Leila, made for an embarrassing delay. I still needed to sew something and I wanted to sew something for men.

At work, I get several requests to do alterations and other makes. One of my friends asked me to make him an Evil Knievel jumpsuit. You know, this one:

Let’s start with something else, first, I suggest. How about a cowboy shirt? Hey, that I can do. But first, I need to make a wearable muslin. Enter the Colette Negroni. A straight forward button down shirt with great instructions and a nice cut.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been posting my initial pattern work for the cowboy shirt. I’m getting close but I still want to practice the yoke I’m making from this inspiration photo:

I’m going to have to change the Negroni collar, as well, to get that 70s point. Until then, I present you with my first men’s shirt. I got the fabric from Fabric Mart a couple of months ago. I think it’s this oxford shirting they still have in stock but I also got a similar muted denim blue twill shirting (which they don’t have right now) and I can’t quite tell the difference but they really do have similar hands.

Negroni back collar downNegroni frontNegroni back view

I wonder if I should make alterations to the back. The front fits so nicely but then the back is so baggy. I made the size medium because measurements were in between the S and the M. This is a part of menswear I don’t know well- fit. Perhaps taking out some of the width would be a good idea? I don’t know.

Negroni close up collarNegroni close up collar upNegroni right front close up

He liked the shirt with the collar up, which I think looks pretty cool. The buttons are from JoAnn’s. I want to find some pearl snap buttons for the cowboy Negroni. I might see if my boss at the dress shop knows a good place to get them. Look at all these colors! (Click on the image to see a seller I found.)

Negroni hanging Negroni close up buttonbandNegroni close up cuff Negroni close up top button

A real joy to sew, the Negroni is a great pattern. If you are afraid of making this shirt up, I highly recommend using a nice shirting- but nothing too light weight. It’ll be easier to sew, for one.

I’m off to make the 2nd swimsuit muslin and then play with the cowboy Negroni pattern pieces. I’m taking pictures and I’ll make sure to show you what I learn about getting a really nice curved yoke. Hopefully, I can pull it off.

And that’s me, now with one men’s shirt under my belt. Woot! Thanks to Eric for putting up with the measuring and the photos! You’re a peach!

Nautical Renfrew Mission (not a) Maxi


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Once again, I’m here with a Mission not-a-maxi dress. I first made one when I was visiting Gillian last year and I have yet to make the full maxi dress. I just keep making the short version. Not quite a mini but definitely nowhere near a maxi. Then it got chilly and I had bought some sweater knit in Canada and modified the Mission Maxi at the shoulders by tracing the top of the Renfrew. I love the fit in the body of the Mission Maxi but I didn’t want the racer back, obviously, because I wanted to add sleeves. So that basically became my sweater dress pattern- which, by the way, I’m eager to make again this Fall into Winter.

The only change I made on this version of my Renfrew/Mission Maxi mash-up was to finally take it in at the hips. I think it’s much better-especially if you look at the first one I made. The leopard Mission (not a) maxi I made still has the tad wider hips. I believe I just used wider seam allowances but all in all I’m glad I finally fixed that.

Anyway, it’s pretty apparent I like this pattern and the mash-up. I’ll try to keep things interesting if I make it again. Oh, and boy did this knit print roll. I did a one inch hem but serged the raw edges first just to help it behave. It’s a nice weight for this time of year but I’m still wearing it with a sweater on top. Brrr…

Nautical Renfrew Mission Maxi elbows Renfrew Mission maxi sideNautical Renfrew Mission Maxi backRenfrew Mission Maxi nautical front Nautical Renfrew Mission Maxi side matchingNautical Renfrew Mission Maxi extreme closeup

Who’s ready for sweater dress weather??

Yummy Sushi Cambie, a nod to Buffy the Vampire Slayer


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I got this sushi quilting cotton over a year ago, knowing I was going to one day make a Cambie. Life took over and I only recently started making Cambies. One day I swear I’m making some bodice alterations but it’s good for now. (I’d lower the bust apex, shorten the front and back by a skant 1/4-1/2″ and possible take in the darts in the front.) Till then, let me show you my second Cambie- a nod to my favorite T.V. show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Here’s my first Cambie in case you missed it.)

If you know the show, you know what I’m about to quote:

It’s from Season 4, Ep 14. Not my absolutely favorite episode or season, being very Riley centered but with Buffy, there’s always something good in (most) all episodes. So, when I saw the sushi quilting cotton, I knew I wanted to make a yummy sushi dress, even if the print was different from the pjs on the show.

I had to use a black pleather for the bodice- another Buffy nod, since they put her in leather pants and jackets more and more as the show progresses.

I hemmed the skirt 4.5″ and I like the length a lot. The bodice and skirt are lined but unlike my first Cambie, this one doesn’t have a lined (only interfaced) waistband. The bodice lining is a rayon blend, very slinky, while the skirt lining is a stiffer Siri sew-in shirting interfacing. I thought I was getting a lighter weight interfacing but this turned out perfect for the look I was going for with this skirt. I was already using a quilting cotton, which is by nature less drapey. Emma One Sock has more of it, if you want some. I like how stiff it is right now, making for more of a poofy petticoat-like lining.

Yummy Sushi Cambie front side viewYummy Sushi Cambie skirt sweepYummy Sushi Cambie tilt topYummy Sushi Cambie backYummy Sushi Cambie tilt skirt  Yummy sushi cambie close up front  Yummy Sushi Cambie lining and tattoo    Yummy Sushi Cambie zipperYummy Sushi Buffy Cambie floor

I’ve asked before, but I’ll ask again…any Buffy fans reading this? For those of you who are already Buffy fans, enjoy some BtVS on me tonight.

A shout to Montana of Montana Designs who urged me to take pictures when I didn’t think I had the energy to do it! Thanks, lovely.

Band Shirt Comino Cap Top


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I saw Katie’s blocky t-shirt save using the Kitschy Coo Comino Cap Top pattern and I had to try it. This is Katie’s super cute refashioned t-shirt (click on the image to go to Katie’s IG feed and follow her- she’s awesome!):

I was recently gifted a Sister Morphine t-shirt and thought it the perfect tee to mod, since I actually want to wear this t-shirt. If you’ve never heard of Sister Morphine, they were a band out of Minneapolis from 90s with some raw power. Here’s a song of theirs:

So, it’s not going to surprise you when you see my photos with my refashioned band t-shirt. Let’s just pretend I’m a rocker. K, thanks.

sister morphine comino frontsister morphine comino cap detail

sister morphine comino back   sister morphine comino pompadour

I left off the neck and sleeve bands and did a rolled hem for a more raw look to match my faux rocker presence. I added a stabilizing straight stitch to the neck for good measure.

Now, on to the leather pants I’m wearing! A friend at work gave them to me and they fit perfectly. She said that they were altered to fit her years ago and look at this! They fit me. I owe her a custom dress now! Seriously, these leather pants ooze money. They’re really nice. Adding that to the never ending sewing list!

One more thing before I go. More proof that I’m a professional dork. Air guitar! I will now sign autographs in my favorite lipstick. I’m out!

The truth, Revealed

A couple of days ago, I jumped on Gillian’s Two Truths and a Lie and posted my own. 

Here are my truths.

1. I said I owned a girl boxer in college and named her Sarita. Well, that was the lie. Here is a picture of that boxer. I never got her. Didn’t think it would be right with the theater schedule I had. 

2. My middle name actually is Mayme. Leila came from one of my maternal great grandmothers and Mayme came from the other. Btw, I love my name.


3. Yes, I do have a subscription to Real Simple magazine. It’s a gift from my ex-husband’s mother but I still have it so it is the truth.


Thanks for playing. Hope everyone had a great weekend! I actually have been spending it NOT working which is a change from recent history. It was so nice. Back to the grind. And let’s hope we all get some sewing time in! 

Two Truths and a Lie

Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow (now on WordPress!) started this. She posted her two truths and a lie and then posted people’s guesses so I thought I’d join in and do the same. So, if you wanna play, in the comments, tell me which of the following three you think is a lie about me. I’ll post your guesses later and reveal the truth about my lie- or something like that.

Two Truths and a Lie

1. I owned a girl boxer in college. Named her Sarita.

2. My middle name is Mayme.

3. I have a subscription to Real Simple magazine.

Ok, vote away in the comments. Which is the lie? Have fun and happy Friday! I’m taking my daughter to get her ears pierced this afternoon. 

Aerosmith and Swimwear



I’ve been listening to a lot of early Aerosmith lately so the swim prints that have been calling my name will be no surprise. I’ve also been listening to the new album by Merchandise. It’s so good. Super dreamy. But it’s not inspiring me to sew, so hello Aerosmith!

[Clicking on the image will take you to the website where you can buy the fabric]

omg, flames!! Or blood streaks? I don’t know but I like it!

This Harlequin print is calling my name!

Yeah, I think skulls were bound to come up! Plus, red eyes! So cool.

And more flames.

Don’t ask where this next one came from but it’s calling my name.

Oh and I just might be working on a swimsuit pattern. I’ll let you know more as this WIP becomes more of a reality. And I’ll totally want pattern testers so let me know if you’re interested.

Enjoy a little Aerosmith while I’m away.


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