Sunday, February 27, 2011

Stew Pot Sundays.

Well I've decided to turn Sunday into Stew Pot Sundays on my blog.  Every Sunday I will have a one dish meal, made with the crock pot or the stew pot on the stove.  Hows that for lazy goodness?!?!

Today I had a birthday party to go to from 2 till 4 for a friend of Ashton's.  I was not looking forward to getting home at 4:30 with 4 kids who were crashing from all the sugary cake and icing, ice cream and pop AND then trying to deal with the fall out while simultaneously cooking supper.  Not my idea of fun!

So instead I took out 3 bone in skin covered chicken thighs, defrosted them and whipped out my crock pot.  I thought at first I was gonna do a stir fry type dish, but soon found out my pantry and fridge disagreed.  I removed the skin from the thighs and started to debone them and decided it was a wasted effort, as the slow cooking was gonna make the chicken fall off the bone anyways.  I chunked up 3 stalks of celery, skinned and chunked 1 turnip, chunked a few potatoes skin left on, and threw in a few handfuls of baby carrots.  Topped it all off with 3 cups of water and 2 knorr chicken bouillon cubes.  I turned the crock on high for 4 hours.

When I got home the house smelled so yummy and I had 15 minutes left on the clock for cooking time.  Hows that for timing!  I then added 2 tbsp of cornstarch to 1/2 cup COLD water and then added that to the pot so the juices would thicken up into a gravy.  We don't really do a thick thick gravy so if you like it that way you can add more cornstarch.

And of course since I died from how wonderful it tasted and how easy it was to make, I just HAD to share it.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Evolution of the Casaquin

I have been pretty busy these past few days,  I have put together half of the main body pieces of the Casaquin.  Then as I was putting the one side of the comperes front together, I decided that I was gonna embroider a few flowers onto it. 

Silly girl.

I love how I CANT do anything simple...LOL

Here is a little preview of what I have done in since yesterday.

I used for reference and she has wonderfully easy how to videos for beginners.

Starting out.  I used the stem stitch on the vines and the french knot on the flower.
On the purple flower I used a loop and catch stitch, and on the rose buds I followed the instructions on her site and used a bullion stitch.
Almost done!

The back....not too messy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Intoduction to Dressmaking is a go!

Well I`m excited!  I received confirmation that my proposal for Introduction to Dressmaking class has been appoved and submitted into the Community Use program at the local High School!   OMG!!!!!!  I`m gonna be teaching!

*does a little happy dance!

Here is the Blurb:

Introduction to Dressmaking

If you are new to the sewing world and would like to learn how to create one of a kind unique pieces that fit you, this is the class for you. In this course you will learn the techniques required to construct a simple garment of your choice. You will learn the elements of a sewing machine, fabric and fabric choices, pattern selection and interpretation, cutting and layout, fitting and construction. In the end you will have garment that you created and fits you perfectly. Machines and bobbins will be provided. Space in limited so please register early.

Instructed by: Katy Williams Registration fee: 80.00 per session

Monday and Thursday 7:00 to 9:00 pm;

Session 1 April 7, 11, 14, 18
Session 2 May 5, 9, 12, 16
Session 3 June 2, 9, 6, 13

If anyone wants to join you can contact Allison Hallett @ 875-2831 or

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Time to Buckle Down.....

So I MUST be ADD or it must me my Gemini nature, but I just realized I have like 4 bazillion sewing projects going on simultaneously and none are getting anywhere fast!

Here`s the list:

(hopefully its not as big as I think it is)

1.  Transitional stays for everyday wear.  I have done many mock ups and have finally gotten to a good working pattern for a modern cup, but would still like to figure out a gathered cup version.  I should finish these as I noticed after taking off my bra last night the lovely red marks and indentations left by band and underwires.  I though to myself I really want to get these finished.

2.  The Casaquin in copper silk.  I`m still slowly working on it.  I have the interlining cut out but I`m stalled as I keeping thinking about all the hand basting that is gonna be involved in order to attach the silk too the cotton.  Groan!

3.  Knee Breaches.  The pattern and mock up are done and have been sitting around for at least 2 weeks waiting for a man to try them on.  I did however ship them off to Mrs. S down the road and am waiting on the verdict on how well they fit her Knight in Shining Armour.

4.  Partially boned front lacing 1780ish stays for Mrs. S.  The toile and pattern are done I just have to cut them out or good fabric and start.  I`m a little intimidated by them tho.  I have done my own, although not finished and more of a toile than actual finished project, but I`m still daunted by the work that needs to go into these.  After all they will be my first finished set of stays....I know silly reason eh?

5.  Felted wool booties.  I have made a pattern and many mock ups and now have a good booties pattern for my littlest Mister.  I still haven't found a charcoal grey piece of wool yet.  So these are on hold till I find something usable at the local Sally Ann.

6.  Yellow linen mitts.  I found some linen napkins at the Sally Ann and finally figured out what I'm gonna do with them.  Mitts.  So i did some research, spent all day yesterday drafting and fitting the pattern and promptly hand sewed one up.  Now I have to make another one.  What is it with me than when things come in pairs and I've learned how to do something, and it should be SO easy to do another, I get caught up in the "Gawd I have to do another one?"  LOL  Maybe because its hand sewn.  Yah thats the reason! 

Yup I have alot on the go.... I guess its time to give myself a kick in the ass and start finishing


Katy " BUT I don't WANNA!"


Katy "Fine!  I will but I'm not gonna like it!"

Really I'm not crazy, I just have two selves waring with each other, thanks to my Astrological sign.   No big deal.....I mean who else can be alone in a room with herself and be beside herself at the same time. 


Maybe now that I have everything listed I can start to focus again and work methodically through the list....Ugh....Lists.


Monday, February 14, 2011

A Little Lovin' for Mr. Guy

Dear Mr. GUy,

I have been thinking about you all day and how much I miss you!  4 Weeks is way to long to wait till I get to see your handsome face again; till I get to feel your arms around me; till I can hear you smooth voice!  You are the most loving supportive husband a girl could ask for.  You are a wonderful father, whom the boys adore.

This time apart has been horrid.  I miss my best friend and lover.  I miss my rock....

So for my valentines gift to you, even tho we cannot be together, I can share with you the secret to my mans heart.....The easy way!

I Love You!

Miss Kate

Super Easy Alfredo

Noodles of your choice
1/2 cup frozren peas and carrots

Boil water in a medium pot, add noodles and cook about 5 minutes then add frozen peas and carrots and cook until the pasta is al dente.

2Tbsp Butter or margerine
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup stinky feet cheese (AKA Parmasen)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder

Meanwhile in a small saucepan on medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter.  When melted remove from heat* and stir in flour till it makes a smooth paste**.  Slowly add milk so that no lumps happen.  Return to heat and add the remaining ingredients.  Cook until bubbly and the sauce has thickened, stirring frequently so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. 

Drain noodles and veggies and pour sauce over top.  Toss to coat noodles and enjoy!

*you remove from the heat otherwise the flour ends up cooking and clumping, ending up in a clumpy horrible sauce.

**This is called a Roux

You can also add cooked chicken.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Creating the Casaquin

Well I made the necessary adjustments to the pattern, created the lining pattern pieces and and currently cutting out the interlining from a cotton sheet.  I chose to interline the silk as it it very delicate and since there was the possibility of stress on the seams I wanted extra reinforcement for the silk.  I also wanted to give the silk more structure and body as the lining is going to be linen, which is normally has a soft drape

Hopefully next time I will have pictures of the jacket being constructed.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pretty in Pink

I just realized I haven`t posted pictures of me in my finished Polonaise!  How very bad of me.  Or typical depending on how well you know me.  I always move on and get busy doing something else.  Here it is without further ado....


And the Hair which I am EXTREMELY proud of.  It only took my about and hour or so to do and it is almost ALL of my own hair.  The long bit in the back was fake of course since I have VERY short hair.  I took apart a clip in ponytail extention which had three seperate skeins of hair.  One I ended up burning while trying to do the curl test with the iron so I balled that up in a lump of hair and stuffed in a netting.  The second one I braided and looped onto a ponytail I did with my hair at the top and then coiled it around in a bun.  Onto it, I attached the lump in a hair net and then I started Teasing ans spraying the HECK out of my hair and pinning into place.  When I got to about halfway down my head from the top I started curling and pinning the short bits into place.  After all the hair was up, I pinned on the third extension piece to create the curly tendrils.  I wet the hair and pin curled it and let it dry over night.  Some of the curls fell out, so I think I am gonna try the boiling water method of curling it.

Lovely Eh?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Casaquin Toile

This was my inspiration jacket.  Its a gorgeous Pet en L'Air.  It's pink, the fabric is fantastic, the bows, the ruffles.  It's super girly and I love it!  It also has a very interesting back.  Most Pets have a 4 large box pleats, 2 on top of each other, where as this one has tiny knife pleats.  Of course I'm a sucker for being different.  lol

I left off with pics of fitting the pattern with no SA (seam allowances) on Mrs. S and making the minor alterations and then making the pattern ready for a toile.

I cut everything out and VOILA....

My Casaquin.

You can see the thin piece on the front panel.  I had to do that in order to fit the pattern piece onto the existing jacket piece.  It will be covered by trim after so nobody will see.  And besides piecing is accurate right!?!?!  lol

The sleeve is hanging perfectly for an 18th century version.  If it was a modern jacket the sleeve is tilted to far forward.  The only adjustment I made to the sleeve was to take out a few cm from the sleeve head as it had too much ease and it wasn't fitting smoothly

I amaze myself sometimes!  LOL.  The fit is perfect and I have so much range of motion.  I'll definitely be able to run after kids and wrestle them down in it.  To be honest tho, I never have had much luck fitting myself and so have always been unhappy with the garments I've made for me.  I can fit and sew ball gowns and wedding dresses perfectly for other people, just not when it comes to myself.....UGH.  But I think I'm gonna be ecstatic when this one is done.  Yippee for me!

Stay tuned....=D

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Casaquin Anyone?!?!?

 I was given a dupioni silk copper suit jacket and skirt that is 10 zillion times to big for me.  Mrs. C Originally made it for a client of her's but the client didn't want it so it was passed on to me!

Whoo HOO!

I have hung onto this suit for a least a few years and finally found a used for it.  There really is alot of fabric in this suit and skirt so there was no point in throwing it away if I could salvage it.  Besides It's silk and silk is expensive.  Especially GOOD silk.  You can tell alot about the quality of the dupioni by the amount of slubs in the fabric.  Really textured and slubby (the ridges and bumps) the cheaper the fabric.  This is because the manufacturer is using the short, imperfect (not smooth) strands of the silk.

For the past two days I have been working on an 18th century Casaquin. First  I draped a pattern then drafted one.....

I started a a drape on Mrs. Squishypants and it was going smoothly, too!  Once i had the drape I transfered it to pattern paper and drafted a two piece sleeve to go with it.  It looked okay when I made a muslin but the fit was off.  I dug into my shoulder and wasn't very comfy.  So I tried for hours to readjust the armhole shape to get it to work.  I gave up.  As a pattern drafter, I couldn't get the shape from the drape to translate onto the pattern since I didn't have the bust line or the Arm Hole Diameter to work with. 

So I started from scratch and used a pattern this time.  Although draping is faster and works wonders with bias material, it wasn't the right application for a fitted jacket.
Basic Block  Size 8 front and back No seam allowances

I used my basic block and traced it (without seam allowances) onto a piece of white cotton sheeting.  I then used that block to drape over Mrs. S (who was is stays) to get the right fit.

From then on it was fairly straight forward to get the design lines drawn and a pattern made.

closing and transfering darts front

Back closing and moving darts

extending the shoulder seam to the back

working draft no seam allowances
fitting the front pattern
fitting the back pattern.
I ended up transferring the dart out of the back into the center back which helped the princess line in the back lay flat. 

After all the little changes where made to the pattern, I added seam allowances and put the bottom on and added pleats....Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Introducing....Crayv'n on Etsy!

Well I finally did it!  I post items for sale in my Etsy store.  I started this store 2 years I was not procrastinating....things just happened.

I've been in the fashion industry on and off for the past 6 years.  I worked an internship with Manuel Mendoza during my 3rd year in Fashion Design School, learning bridal couture techniques.  My eventually dream when graduating from University was to open my own bridal design store.  Manuel was a fabulous teacher, and fun person to be around and work for.

We moved back to my home town of Quesnel, BC, where I promptly opened up Crayv'n Designs.  I started small, creating a few pieces for a bridal fashion show and before I knew it, I was up to my ears in commissions.   2 years later I had to close my doors and follow the husband up north to Alberta.

It was a sad day.

Since then I have been dabbling here and there.  There wasn't a whole lot of space available in Fort Mac, so my sewing took a back seat.  It;s a bit to stressful to sew at the kitchen table when I have 8 little paws with chocolate and mud and who knows what else on them.

Now I've moved to place that has ample space and have started up again.....Looking forward to new beginnings and wonderful creations.  Don't forget to check out Crayv'n on a regular basis to find beautiful hand made items.