An Unexpected Zinnia Redo & Rant

So I was diligently finishing up the Zinnia I told you about, when I decided it would be a great idea to sew through my own finger and bleed all over my almost finished zinnia. 


I manged to break the tip off my needle (luckily not getting stuck in my finger). It’s really not that bad, and it didn’t go all the way through. I was more upset I bled all over a nearly finished project. Why must a finger bleed so much?   

After I shed a few tears over my hurt finger, but mostly ruined fabric, I went to Joann’s. I picked up some gingham fabric and came home to get to work. 

Problem number two came shortly after. I decided to try on my blood covered skirt as a fit sample before I threw it out. It was way small, which was very weird. Normally I don’t have to do much to Colette’s patterns to get them to git pretty perfectly. Well excluding the nightmare fitting process that was laurel. Since I had printed the PDF version of the pattern, I decided to remeasure the test square just in case. The pattern had scaled down and I hadn’t noticed. Cut face to palm.

I was pretty determined to get this project at least nearly done this weekend though. Having to reprint and cut/tape the nearly 70 page pattern did not sound like a good time. Luckily Colette had started offering a print at a copyshop PDF new in this pattern, so I decided to make use of it. I called the copy shop and gave them the dimensions to see if they could do it and how much it would cost. FedEx said yeah, 40×105.6 inches should be NO PROBLEM. As far as price the woman on the phone informed me it would probably be no more than ten dollars to print and just email it over. So I did, excited I wouldn’t have to tape any more pattern pieces. I get a confirmation email saying someone will contact me shortly regarding my order. I’m not to stressed time wise yet so I go to Yoga and zen out for a bit. 

After yoga I check my phone and there’s no follow up email, so I call the FedEx. The guy I talk to has no idea what I’m talking about, and says he never got any emails. I, nicely as possible, tell him that I received a confirmation, so they must have gotten something. He clicks around for another ten minutes and says it ended up in their junk folder. I can’t help but think why they would have a rule in their mailbox to send anything to the junk folder, but whatever. I ask him when it can be done and he says by four, which is three hours from now. Cool, that’s fine, just as long as I can use it today. 

Ten minutes later FedEx calls me back and says that their largest printer can only handle 36 inches wide max, and if he prints it full size then there’s gonna be some cropping. I tell him to just go ahead and print it and I’ll make up the difference if anything gets cropped. At this point I just want the right size pattern. 

Four o’clock rolls around, and I go to my new pattern. When I get there they are looking for my order for what feels like half an hour. I glance around after awhile and see it on the table right near the register. “It’s right there” I say and everyone laughs, except me. I go to ring out, a tenner in my hand. “That’ll be 21.50$” the girl says. Now I know I should have said something, how she had previously said that it would be no more than ten dollars and how I should have just left at that point. Instead I asked for the price breakdown. “It’s .75c a square foot”.

If I would have known that I could have figured out how much this would have costed without having her to quote me less than ten. So now this PDF pattern I bought to save some money has probably cost me around 40 dollars with all this printing and reprinting. But there comes a point where you’ll just pay not to have to deal with the frustration anymore, so that’s what I did. 

It cropped off more than I expected, but since it’s such an easy pattern it wasn’t hard to make up for the missed sections. 


I actually almost finished it last night. I just have to hem it. I’m going to do a hand catch stitch tonight and give it a really nice finish. Here’s a little preview though. 

I had originally sewn the pleats down, but that looked horrible, so I ripped them out. Hopefully I’ll have some proper pictures soon once the hem is complete. I think I might just start paying a bit more for the paper patterns as well. 


Ease back into sewing

I haven’t sewn anything since I completed my hawthorn dress, bad sewist! I cut out Colette patterns zinnia skirt yesterday, but didn’t actually have time to work on it. I haven’t cut out my most recent sew bossy swap yet either. I just haven’t had the time the past few weeks to get lost in my sewing as I normally do. I’ve been taking part in my local Hot Yoga studios 21 day challenge, and it has been kicking my butt! I’ve been at the gym practicing every single day, and getting crazy muscular as a result. While I think I’m going to keep up a regular practice of every other day once the challenge is over, this everyday thing hasn’t been leaving time for much else. But I’m on day 15 today, so I should have more time, and a sweet bod, soon! 

I decided to work on the newest colette pattern, zinnia, before I tackled my sew bossy dress. Mostly because it’s something easy to ease my way back into a sewing routine, and because it’s got the whole new novelty going on.  


I’m sewing it up in a really beautiful teal quilting solid from my stash. I could very well be done, or at least have some progress pictures for you, by tonight!  

Have you dear readers ever taken a physical challenge, or sewn up this new pattern? 

How to get beautiful grout.

My bathroom isn’t my favorite room in the house. It’s probably the only room I planned, and still do plan, to gut and redo if I ever have the money. But alas, I don’t have the money. I normally put on my best ignore face and carry on, but the grout in the shower has been getting to me. 

It probably doesn’t help that I’d been at my mother’s house the previous week. She is basically the closest to Martha Stewart level housekeeping I’ll ever be near in my life. She’s got a thing for sparkly clean bathrooms, and I’m seeming to develop a similar affliction.   

So I got to work and re caulked the tub. It looks 1000 times better, but then the grout looked really bad. I promise it’s clean in the following picture. It’s just really stained from the previous owners care, or really lack thereof. 

Not a good look, I know. Short of re-grouting I didn’t think there was much I could do. That is until yesterday. As Brian and I were browsing Lowes I can across this stuff called Grout Refresh. It said I could just paint this stuff on and not only would it change the color of my grout, but it would also seal the grout so it was easier to clean. At about ten dollars I really couldn’t say no.

I used an old toothbrush per the instructions to apply it to the grout on my shower. It’s a little tedious, but I just put on an episode of This American Life and was done well before it finished playing. At this point in the process it looked liked the picture below.

Now if I can offer any advice in this super simple process, it would be to try and stick the grout more than I did. The last step involves misting the wall with water, and scrubbing the product off of the tile. Because I went a bit crazy and sloppy while applying I had a lot of scrubbing to do. But overall the effect was worth it.  

IT LOOKS CLEAN! The grout looks super fresh, and I’m very very pleased with the product overall. There are a few spots where I need to touch up with a bit more sealant, but over all the application was flawless. The tiles look way less tan than before, which is awesome.  

Martha Stewart would be proud!