Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January Monthly Goals - Update

I'm not ready for this month of January to be over, yet!  Seems to me I didn't get around to achieving half my goals!  

Spiritual:  The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life.

- Continue with daily prayers and gratitude - Done; every morning, one of the first things I do is turn on the altar lights and say a quick prayer of thanksgiving (for a safe night, for waking up and being alive, for being granted another day); every night, the last thing I do before going to sleep is say my nightly prayers, including gratitude for the blessings of the day (for being alive, relatively healthy, unhurt and unharmed, etc.) 
- Attend the January monthly prayer gathering, if possible - Done; I learned of Mary, Untangler (or Untier/Undoer) of Knots, for the first time.
- Continue to focus on joy, gratitude, abundance, and blessings - Continued on a daily basis by specifying each day's blessings in prayers and lists of daily gratitude, incorporating joyful activities from my joy list, focusing on abundance by eating mostly from the freezer and pantry, by altering the clothes in my closet rather than buying new, etc. 

Environment:  The goal is a clean, tidy, uncluttered house and a well-maintained garden.
- Focus on cleaning and tidying, one room at a time - Let's just say I focused more on maintaining, this month, rather than cleaning and tidying, although I did a bit of that, too!
- Take down and put away holiday decorations -Not quite!  Christmas tree is still up!  I'm thinking of keeping it up all year and adding hearts for Valentine's, eggs for Easter, etc.!
- Declutter as I go - Very little decluttering was done.

- Continue to spruce up the garden - prune and transplant roses; plant succulents where the roses were. - Roses were pruned; we haven't transplanted them, though.  But we got lots of rain, so the garden is looking a little better.

Daughter:  The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her. 
- Stay in touch by phone and computer - Done!  Lots of time spent video chatting, talking on the phone, texting, etc.  :)

Family:  The goal is to keep in touch with various family members.
- Call and wish cousin and aunt on their birthdays - Done.
- I'll see some of the family members at the January prayer gathering - Done; it was held at an aunt's house; was given a ride to and from by a cousin and her daughter; saw several family members at the gathering.
- Respond to holiday/New Year greetings sent by family - Not quite; spoke with several family members on the phone, but didn't send any cards this year.
- Exchange holiday gifts with family members I didn't see in December - Did some, but there are others I haven't seen, yet! 

Friends:  The goal is to keep in touch with friends.
- I'll be seeing some of them at the monthly prayer gathering - Saw several friends at the prayer gathering; attended my neighbor's funeral mass; spoke on the phone with some friends and exchanged emails with others.

Career:  The goal is to continue to do work which I enjoy (for the most part) and which enables me to support myself.
- Continue to work from home for a bit longer - Most of the month, actually!
- Prepare to return to the office, eventually - Went into the office a couple of times.  Altered some clothes so I have a few outfits to wear to the office.  
Finances:  The goal is financial security.
- Continue budgeting and spending mindfully - Came under budget in most categories in January. I tried to eat from the freezer and pantry and that helped with the grocery budget.  I altered some of my clothes instead of buying new clothes and that helped with the clothing budget. 
Health:  The goal is good health.
- Attend the appointments with my various doctors - 2 scheduled, so far, in January - Done.
- Continue to monitor blood pressure and sugar levels as requested by primary care - Done; resulted in the dosage of one of my medications being halved.
- Continue to focus on a healthier diet, drinking enough water, exercising regularly, and getting sufficient sleep - Tried; I have been drinking 8 glasses of water.

Time Management:  The goal is having enough time to do all what I want to do!
-  Organize myself and put routines into place so I have enough time for work and for play! - Didn't quite manage to do so!

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Me-Time:  The goal is to relax doing something I enjoy doing for the pleasure of it.
- Listen to more music - Done
- Read a book (or more) - Does re-reading a couple of favorite books count?

I am happy with what I was able to achieve on some of the goals, but didn't do as well as I would have liked in other areas.  I will continue to work on these same goals in February, too.  Did you make any goals for January?  If so, how did you do?


It was another sunny, warm day, with highs in the mid 70s (76F according to the weather forecast), in my area.   I did a little bit of office work even though I had the day off, took the big trash bins to the curb for pick up tomorrow morning, stripped my bed and laundered the bed sheets (still need to re-make my bed), and cooked the green beans I didn't cook yesterday.

I considered going back to the grocery store for two more packets of coffee for my daughter and another packet of the roast beef cold cuts, but didn't.  The sale ends tomorrow, so I might still go tomorrow!

Breakfast was a roast beef (cold cuts) sandwich.  Lunch was rice, green beans curry, and ground beef (forgot to take a picture).  I had a teaspoon of peanut butter for a snack (thank you, Bushlady, for the suggestion)  while my evening tea was brewing.  Dinner was rice, fish curry, green beans curry, and cucumber salad:

Dinner: Rice, Fish Curry, Green Beans Curry, Cucumber Salad

Mango for dessert.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Another sunny and warm day.
- Friends and family who email.
- Video chatting with my daughter.
- An improved appetite and sense of taste.
- Starting to feel better, again.

How was your Monday?  What have you planned for tomorrow?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Sunny Sunday: Yet More Groceries!

Another sunny and warm day, today.  Temperatures reached 80F downtown, according to the weather reports; they were at least 70F in my area, according to the temperature gauge in my car.

I spent a quiet morning relaxing, catching up on news, putting away laundry, etc.  My neighbor called and we had a nice chat.   In the afternoon, I went back to the grocery store to buy more coffee and a few other items:

January 29 Groceries

I bought two more packets of coffee for my daughter, a loaf of bread and a package of cold cuts to make sandwiches for my lunches during the week, and a packet of shrimp.  It's kind of funny how I looked at some of the same things, yesterday - the loaf of bread, the cold cuts, and the shrimp - and didn't feel like buying them, but decided to do so, today. 

2 packets of coffee @$4.99 = $9.98
1 loaf of bread = $1.00
Roast beef cold cuts (7 oz.) = $1.99
Shrimp @ $4.99/lb = $5.99
Total = $18.96

January 29 Receipt

January grocery budget = $75
Spent to date = $5.12 + $4.39 + $5.25 + $6.28 + $14.47 +$18.96 = $54.47
Balance remaining = $20.53

I hope butter goes on sale in the next week or two.  I am down to half a pound of butter; I took out one 1/4 lb. stick of butter to keep in the fridge for use this week.  Which means I just have one 1/4 lb. stick of butter left in the freezer.  Butter was priced $3.79/lb. for store brand and I am holding out to see if I can get some on sale.

After I came home and put away the groceries, I went for a walk.  Today, I took a slightly different route.  When I came back from my walk, I ate a sandwich before I lay on the sofa to watch news and that kept the shakes at bay!  I fell asleep for about 30 minutes and had a cup of tea after I woke up.

I had taken out a packet of pre-cooked roast beef from the freezer and kept it in the fridge to thaw, but I decided to cook the shrimp for dinner, instead.  But first, I had to do the dishes that had piled up in the sink and on the counters!  Then I put some rice to boil and cooked the shrimp curry.  I wanted to cook some green beans, too, but I felt tired and made a cucumber salad, instead:

Dinner: Rice, Shrimp Curry, Cucumber Salad

Cantaloupe for dessert.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A sunny, warm day
- A nice walk in the sunshine
- More coffee on sale for my daughter
- Phone call from my cousin
- Chatting with my daughter

And finally:

Dancer in his Safe Spot

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Saturday: More Grocery Shopping and Uppuma

Another sunny, relatively warm day, today.  I slept in (didn't fall asleep till past 3:30 a.m.) and woke up with a slight headache that persisted for most of the day.  Spent a quiet rest of the morning, but went grocery shopping in the afternoon, mostly to pick up the coffee that my daughter wanted.  I also bought a box of cream of wheat because I had been wanting some the other morning and I didn't have any on hand.

January 28 Groceries

I bought:
2 packets of coffee @$4.99 = $9.98
1 cream of wheat = $4.49
Total = $14.47

January 28 Receipt

January grocery budget = $75
Spent to date = $5.12 + $4.39 + $5.25 + $6.28 + $14.47 = $35.51
Balance remaining = $39.49

There was a limit of two on the coffee, with the store loyalty card, and I didn't ask if I could purchase two more as a separate transaction, the same day.  I will go back to the store tomorrow and see if I can purchase two more.  According to my daughter, the lowest price she has seen for this coffee up where she is has been $6.99.

Since it was such a nice afternoon, after I came home and put away the groceries, I went for a walk around my block and the next block.  Then, I rested and watched a TV program. 

Although I had eaten the last half of the bread roll sandwiched with some of the fried chicken around 2:00 p.m., before I went grocery shopping, by the time I had returned from my walk and had rested a bit, around 5:00 p.m., I began to feel the need to eat again.  I wasn't feeling hungry, as such, but I could feel the beginnings of the shakiness, which I am learning is a sign of low blood sugar, for me.  So, I ate most of the mango I had in the fridge and then, I made myself some "uppuma" with the cream of wheat.

Uppuma is an Indian dish, made with semolina (although I have always made it with cream of wheat) and eaten mostly as a breakfast food.  I had been wanting some the other day, which is why I bought the box of cream of wheat today.  There are many recipe variations to make uppuma, but basically, one dry roasts the semolina/cream of wheat in a saute pan (I used about 1/3 cup) until golden brown, adds sauted onions, chilies, mustard seeds, salt, etc. and water (I added about 1 cup), and stirs until the water gets absorbed:

Uppuma Made with Cream of Wheat

 I also roasted some cashew nuts and sprinkled on the top of my serving:

My Serving of Uppuma

One could add sauted vegetables to it, as well, but I didn't.  I ate the uppuma and drank a cup of tea.  Then, I watched the evening news and took a nap on the sofa!

I woke up at 7:30 p.m., when one of my friends called.  After I got off the phone with her, I did a load of laundry, just so I could say I was productive!  My daughter called while I was hanging up the laundry and I've been video chatting with her most of the evening.

I wasn't very hungry for dinner (the uppuma filled me up), but I opened a can of garbanzo beans and sauted the contents with some onions, mustard seeds, etc. and had a serving for my dinner, followed by a banana.

Today, I am grateful for:

- People who have shown they care
- A hopeful heart
- Sunshine after the rain
- My daughter
- Being alive

Friday, January 27, 2017

January Grocery Shopping - Week 4

Another sunny day with the highs in the mid-60s. I had taken a day of vacation from work, today, in order to attend my neighbor's memorial mass.  Afterwards, I put gas to the car to fill it up.  I had less than half a tank, but more than quarter tank; I could have driven to the office and back a couple of times, next week, with what I had in the tank, but I like to fill it up before it gets to the quarter tank level, just in case there's an emergency, such as an earthquake and the power goes off.  Besides, now I don't have to worry about stopping for gas when I am coming home after work and it is dark or raining (more rain expected, next week).  Gas was $2.55/gallon; I spent $25.20 on gas, today.  So far, I have spent $57.17 on gas, this month, but, once I start going to the office 4-5 days a week, I anticipate needing to fill the tank with gas every week.

After that, I went grocery shopping.

January 27 Groceries

I bought:
2 bread rolls, @$.50 = $1.00
1 cantaloupe = $1.50
Bananas, @$.69/lb = $.99
6 pk. soda = $2.49 + $.30 CRV = $2.79
Total = $6.28

I also bought a bag of cat food which cost $10.99 + $1.21 tax = $12.20 (but that's not part of my grocery budget).

January 27 Grocery Receipt

January grocery budget = $75
Spent to date = $5.12 + $4.39 + $5.25 + $6.28 = $21.04
Balance remaining = $53.96

My grocery spending this month has been very unusual, partly because I have been eating from the freezer and the pantry.  I have now finished all the uncooked chicken and the fish I had in the freezer; I still have a rather large bag of cooked honey sesame chicken that my daughter cooked (too sweet for my taste) and several packages of cooked roast beef, plus a package of cooked pork chops.  I want to finish those before I buy anymore meat.  However, I did look at the meat, chicken, and fish at the grocery store today, but didn't feel like buying any, so I didn't.

In addition, my daughter's favorite brand of coffee is on sale for $4.99 for a 10-12 oz. bag and when I mentioned it to her, this evening, she asked me to buy some for her.  So, I will go back to the grocery store this weekend and stock up on coffee for her.  She would like about 5 packets, she said, and there is a limit of 2 packets of coffee at that price, so I might just go to two stores or make two trips.  (If anyone is wondering, I'll buy the coffee and keep for her to take back when she visits next, at the end of February/beginning of March.)  Also, I might buy two more bread rolls to take to the office for my lunches, next week.  So my month-end grocery totals might be higher than they are right now.

After I came home and put away the groceries, I had half of a bread roll with some spicy onion relish for brunch.  I had the other half of the roll for dinner.  Although my stomach is much better, it is still grumbling a bit, so I don't want to eat anything with a lot of fiber for another day or so.  Just to be on the safe side!

My gardener friend came over to do the garden, this afternoon.  He cut the grass in the back garden, did some weeding, and planted some nasturtium seeds for me in the front garden.  I also picked an orange from my tree.

Still later in the afternoon, I did a load of laundry and it is hanging up to dry now.  I aired the house, earlier, but I have the heater on now, as it got cold.  It is rather windy, too.  I am wearing two sweaters, a pair of socks, a knitted poncho, and a knitted hat and my hands are still icy!

The evening hasn't been very productive.  I watched some news and read a few other news articles, had a fairly long chat on the phone with one of my cousins, and have been video chatting with my daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:

- A day of vacation
- A sunny day
- Being able to run errands
- An orange from my garden
- A working heater!

How was your Friday?  How are you coming along with your grocery budget, this month?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Come into the Garden

Now that the rain has stopped and the sun has shone for a couple of days, I decided to take a walk around the garden to see how my plants are doing.  So, to slightly misquote Alfred, Lord Tennyson,  "Come into the garden".

The Bed of Lantana in the Front Garden

I am hoping the lantana will grow a little bit with all the rain we've had.  The dusty miller and snap dragons I planted last October are doing well in the front flower bed along the walkway leading to the front door:

Front Flower Bed

 The side yard is full of "weeds"!

Weed-filled Side Yard

The back garden is greening, nicely:

Back Garden

Going around the garden in a more or less anti-clockwise direction, starting from where the above picture was taken:

The poor camellia is all but dead!  I'll keep it to see if it responds to the recent rains.  One never knows!

The Camellia

The jasmine vine I pulled out from behind the shed and potted up is growing:


 Self-seeded African daisies at the base of the curry leaf tree:

African Daisies

The paperwhites have grown quite well:


 The hibiscus plant has many new buds and new growth:


I've several clumps of crocosmia growing along the side wall:


They were growing here when I bought the house but my mother didn't like them (the leaves have a tendency to fall over and look untidy) and she had my gardener dig them all up.  But, every year, one or two bulbs that managed to escape being dug up would come up and, after her death, I allowed them to grow.  Anything that has proven it will grow in my garden despite being actively discouraged at first and then benignly neglected afterwards, has earned a right to continue growing!  There's a small sapling growing behind this clump of crocosmia (the light grey stick of a trunk; it is more visible in the picture above) is another such plant that we dug up year after year and kept returning, year after year, until I stopped trying to uproot it!   

Close Up of Crocosmia Flowers

The rosemary bush is full of flowers and the bees are enjoying them!


Spot the Bee?

Along the back wall, the euphorbia is putting out new growth, too:


It's not the popular "sticks of fire" euphorbia, but the growing tips are a bit orangey:


Some of the back garden's "lawn" is a mixture of plants other than grass!   I guess one would call them "weeds", although, some of them are edible plants.

Wild Camomile Seedlings

Henbit is also edible and the bees love the nectar of the pinky-purple flowers (barely visible in the picture, to the left):


My poor little peach tree.  I am hoping it is just dormant and not dead!  We'll find out in another month or two. 

Peach Tree

 It is time to prune the rose bushes, but they are still bravely flowering!

The Last Rose of Winter?

Not Quite!

And nearby, the gazanias are going a bit crazy!  They are drought tolerant, but obviously enjoy getting some rain.


The sprengeri ferns have enjoyed the rain, too, but there seems to be another jasmine vine growing in the middle of this clump:


Jasmine Vine and Sprengeri Fern

The lantana hedge along the other side wall:


And what I like to call my "meadow" - mostly overgrown grass, mixed in with a patche of day flowers (Commelina), gazanias, two "wild" roses (growing from the root stock of of the tea roses that have died) and a bed of a type of amaryllis, which are also known as Belladonna lilies or "naked ladies".

Amaryllis/Belladonna Lilies in Foreground

My poor gardener friend can't mow this area because everything is growing together and he doesn't want to damage the gazanias, etc.

More of the "Meadow"

The back garden from a different angle:  the circles used to be full of rose bushes.  Now, we want to transplant the few that are still growing into one flower bed and let the others revert to grass.

Former Rose Beds

Or, maybe I can grow some vegetables in one of them?

Potential Vegetable Bed?

Thank you for walking in my garden with me.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! 


Today was another sunny day.  According to the weather forecast, we won't have rain until later next week.  Fortunately, the ground is so wet, I won't have to water the garden before the next rain. 

I woke up feeling tired, today.  Plus, something I ate yesterday didn't agree with me.  I think it might have been the grapes I had after lunch, yesterday, because I had the same reaction when I ate some grapes earlier, during the weekend, and grapes are a natural laxative.  But I don't know for sure if my upset tummy was due to the grapes, or last night's fried chicken and coleslaw, or, more likely, a combination of everything.  Anyway, I called and spoke with my supervisor and we agreed that I'd work from home, today.  I had tea and crackers and half a banana and that seems to have settled my tummy.  My daughter was worried that I hadn't eaten enough and might experience low blood sugar, so I had a scrambled egg and half a baked potato for my dinner, followed by some jello.

I spent most of the day working on office stuff.  In between, I put away the washed dishes, put away the iron and the ironing board, listened to some music, opened a couple of windows to air out the house, and video chatted with my daughter.

This is not a very exciting post, is it?

Today, I am grateful for:
- Another sunny day.
- Being able to work from home as needed.
- Being complimented by my supervisor on the work I did on an assignment.
- My tummy settled itself.
- Access to music and videos on-line.

How was your Wednesday?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sunny But Cold Tuesday

It was a sunny day, but relatively cold for us; just 45F in the morning when I left for the office!  I called my supervisor when I woke up in the morning and told her I'll be in, but later in the morning.  I had to make some phone calls regarding medical appointments, first. 

Today, I wore the wool plaid skirt I altered over the weekend, with my purple hand knit sweater and purple jacket:

Today's Outfit

Sorry, the picture is rather blurry.  I need to learn how to take pictures without shaking the cell phone when I tap on it!  I feel I am putting together a capsule wardrobe of sorts, using items I have in the closet which still fit me or which I am able to alter to fit me.  I can already tell that purple will be one of my primary colors! 

I stayed in the office till 5:00 p.m., today.  But I didn't get home until 6:30 p.m., partly because of traffic and partly because I stopped on the way home to pick up fried chicken and coleslaw for my dinner.  The Tuesday special is two pieces of fried chicken for $1.79; I got two orders (4 pieces so I'll have enough for another meal; $3.58) plus a small side of coleslaw ($1.79).  I had almost two pieces of chicken (couldn't quite finish the second piece) and most of the coleslaw for dinner.  The leftovers will be for my dinner,  tomorrow, along with some leftover macaroni and cheese from the weekend (or maybe I'll take it for my lunch).  The total came to $5.84, with tax ($.47).

Bushlady had commented on one of my earlier posts asking if I had any suggestions for a small towel with shrunken band inserts, other than cutting it up to make a single wash cloth or donating to the animal shelter.  In my response, I mentioned that I currently use two old bath towels that had frayed on the outside edges (the two long sides). I trimmed the frayed edges and used a piece of scrap fabric I had in my stash to make a sort of "binding", which I sewed in place. It's not very pretty, as I didn't make a bias binding or use matching thread, etc., and the binding fabric has faded with repeated washings, but it has extended the lives of those two towels by several years and the towels are functional.  One of these towels is hanging in my bathroom, right now, and I took a couple of pictures to show what I did:

Towel with Frayed Edges Mended

The fabric I used for the binding used to have rows of tiny pink flowers and pale green leaves!

Close Up of Binding

Today, I am grateful for:
- A sunny day!
- Being able to go in to the office for half the day.
- Colleagues saying I look good in purple.
- A safe commute to the office and back.
- Video chatting with my daughter.

Today, I spent $5.84 on take out food.  I budget $25 per month for entertainment, which includes eating out and take out food.  I have $19.16 left in this month's entertainment budget.

How was your Tuesday?  Did you have a good day?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Yet Another Rainy Monday

We had more rain, Monday morning into afternoon!  It cleared later in the afternoon, but it rained a bit, again, in the evening.  It's not raining now, but the forecast says it might rain on Tuesday, too.

I worked from home, again, on Monday.  Later in the evening, I cleaned the litter box, emptied the kitchen trash, etc., and took the trash cans to the curb for pick up in the morning.  I also did a load of dishes in the dishwasher and washed the pots and pans (and my more delicate tea cups) by hand.

I ironed the woolen skirt I altered the other day and I tried on more outfits I have in the closet.  There are more skirts I can wear, so that's good.  If I can put together five outfits for the work week, I'll be set!  As had been suggested on one of my earlier posts about the difficulties of shopping for a pair of pants that I liked, skirts and dresses might be the best solution at this time (thanks, Marylynn!).

Today, I am grateful for:
- More rain for the garden!
- Being able to work from home as needed.
- Being able to "shop" from my closet!
- Being able to sew, alter, mend, etc.
- Having a working dishwasher, again!

Tuesday's To Do List:

- Office work
- Bring trash cans in
- Put away washed dishes
- 15 minutes of tidying in the living room

How was your Monday?  Did you have a good start to your week?  What have you planned for Tuesday?

Monday, January 23, 2017

More Sewing on a Rainy Sunday

Saturday was clear and partly sunny.  I spent part of the morning and most of the afternoon altering my skirt. In the evening, I attended the monthly prayer gathering at my aunt's home.  I got a ride there and back with one of my cousin's and her daughter.

It started to rain again, late Saturday night and rained throughout the night.  It was still raining when I woke up this morning and it rained into the afternoon.  There was a break in the evening and I went to the garage to start the car, since I haven't driven it since Thursday.  It started without any problems!  Then, it started raining again later in the evening and it is still raining!  We are supposed to have more rain, tomorrow.

Today, I "renewed" my half-slips or underskirts as I grew up calling them.  These are the ones I wear with my skirts and dresses, not the ones I wear with my saris.  I can't quite remember when I bought these half-slips, but it has been several years.  Long enough for me to have renewed the elastic of one of them, already.

I used a packet of elastic I had bought some time in 2015; I can't remember how much I paid for it, but I am pretty sure I bought it on sale and I don't think I paid more than $2 per packet.  I do remember I bought several packets of varying widths:


I measured out a length of elastic a few inches less than my current waist measurement and sewed it to the waists of the underskirts, stretching the elastic as I sewed:

The Wrong Side, Showing the Elastic Sewn in Place

I didn't have black elastic for the black underskirts, but that didn't worry me.  I wasn't going to buy black elastic just for this particular project.  Besides, the white elastic doesn't show on the right side:

The Right Side
I went ahead and sewed elastics on all the underskirts.  I have five of them: 2 black, 2 white, and 1 beige.  Three of them (one black, one white, and the beige one) are short in length and the other two are longer.

Underskirts, Ready to be Put Away

So, I guess the big question is why didn't I just buy some new half-slips.  After all, these are already several years old.  Well, there are several reasons.  One, there's nothing wrong with the slips, except the elastic had got stretched out.  They still fit me, the fabric is fine, not torn or stained.  Two, I couldn't donate them as they were, all stretched out,  I didn't want to recycle them to make anything else out of them, and I certainly didn't want to toss them in the trash to be dumped in the landfill (not at all an environmentally friendly thing to do, in my opinion).

And finally, perhaps the most important reason for me: renewing them is the frugal, thrifty thing to do!  I looked up the label on one of the underskirts and checked the price for it on-line at the store from which I bought them.  They are selling for $7.99 each.  A different brand is selling for $17 each.  Instead, I was able to renew all five of my underskirts for the price of a packet of elastic, electricity to run my sewing machine, and a couple of hours of my time.    Yes, I can afford to spend $7.99 on an underskirt.  But I'd rather save that money or spend it on something else (like more elastic!) instead!   In the meantime, my renewed underskirts will last me at least another year or two.

How was your Sunday?  What are your plans for Monday?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Skirt Alterations

As I mentioned in my post, yesterday, I decided to alter one of the skirts my mother had sewn me, way back in the 1980s, probably around 1985 or 86.  Which makes this skirt about 30 years old!  I held on to it, even when it became too tight around the waist, because I loved the fabric and the colors .  Then, as I mentioned before, several years ago, I let it out to make it bigger.  I unpicked every seam (my mother had allowed generous seam allowances), sewed narrower seams, opened up the waist band (my mother had used one piece of fabric for the front and back of the waist band; I cut it in half, lengthwise and used it to extend the length, and used a scrap piece of fabric for the back of the waist band) and made a bigger skirt.

The skirt showed a little bit of wear and tear at the time I made it bigger.  I noticed that there was a worn spot and I darned it:

The Darning on the Wrong Side

I don't think it is too noticeable - I found it easily because I knew it was there:

The Darning from the Right Side

Then, after my cancer treatment, I lost weight and the waist band of the skirt settled somewhere around my hips.  So, yesterday, I unpicked the waist band, measured my current waist, and put a safety pin to mark my current waist measurement; the waist band was 5 inches too long:

5 Inches too Long

The skirt is a flared skirt, but I thought that a couple of darts would be fine to adjust the waist, without having to unpick the side seams to take it in (I wanted to avoid having to set in the in-seam pockets, again!)

Back Darts

I started out putting two darts in the back of the skirt, trying to space them equally on either side of the back zipper.  I made each dart 1 inch wide on each side, which means the amount of fabric taken in at the waist is actually 2 inches, per dart.  Then, I decided to put two more darts in the front, as well.  Those of you who know how to sew can see where this is going, don't you?

Close up of one of the darts

I sewed the darts in place, quite happily and pinned the waist band to the top of the skirt, leaving a little bit of a tab with the button hole, to overlap:

Waist Band Pinned in Place

Sewed the waist band in place and went to iron it:


See where the safety pin is?  It should be above the top of the zipper!  I made the darts too deep!  By making each one 2 inches total, I took in the skirt a total of 8 inches at the waist!  If my mother was living, she would have told me that's what happens when you don't baste and try on!

The Tab to Overlap

Will I have to unpick and start all over again?  I tried it on:

Back to Front and Inside Out

It seemed to fit - a little snug, but not tight!  What do I do with the extra bit that's too long?  I didn't want to cut it off, in case I decided to re-do the skirt!  So, I folded it in and sewed it to the inside by hand.  Then, sewed on the button:

Reusing the Same Button

Since the button doesn't have a shank, I made one by wrapping the thread several times around itself:

Button "Shank"

And tried it on:

Back to Front

Trying not to show any midriff! 

Showing the Front

It seems to fit well enough.  Not tight, at all.  I can wear it with my purple sweater or the cream colored one.   I will give it a final ironing and hang it up, ready to wear to the office, next week!

Next on the agenda - fixing new elastic to the waist bands of my underskirts!