Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Here and there, in between journeys to Mongolia, Beijing and back to Mongolia, I've been sewing.  Especially therapeutic during the weeks after the girls left and I found myself having to re-establish activities and relationships due to the constant flux of life here in UB.  This makes me appreciate long-standing relationships so much more than I would have if I would have never left the US 8 years ago.  

Mr. M has spent this entire Sunday afternoon working on this baby:

I bought her, reconditioned, on the spot when I picked up my daughter's serger from the repair shop back home.  Mr. M insisted on taking it back to Mongolia with him--as carry on.  Is this love or what?  I got a real deal on her and she has worked like a charm.  Until today.  Granted,  we took a chance as  I didn't even plug her in before moving her across the world.  --but Mr. M was leaving for Mongolia the next day.  Early.  Besides, what could go wrong?   Stay tuned.

Those who know him, know that he can fix ANYTHING.  Seriously.

Before things went pear shaped with the serger, I managed to finish the following--all now Tried & True's--TNTs!   AND!  The really fun and gratifying thing is I'm wearing these things.  A lot.  Pat on back.

I keep finding great fabrics at my UB shop--I wish I would have brought more patterns!  I've tried to download a few--does anyone else have problems with getting PrintSew to actually print???

Anyway....bear with the self-pics taken with a timer...

Am loving this sweater!  I found a gorgeous, fairly stable ribbed knit here (no labels, here) that sewed up beautifully.  August has been cool and rainy so I wear this a lot and it has not pilled a bit.  Looks great with skirts or whatever.  Will make more.

From McCalls 6408. I wasn't at all sure this would look good on me--but I think the ties coming in from the waist are really flattering.  

Next, a wearable muslin (that I wear constantly!) from Simplicity 9158, (OOP)
I ran out of main fabric (a nice soft cotton), so used coordinating fabric for the facing.  I think I should have done the collar in the pink, too.  Oh well. I really like the fit--and how the arm syncs are not huge and revealing that Over 50 Underarm Stuff!  I did a FBA and did a 10 through the neck and shoulders and a 12 on the sides.  I have a black one planned next.

Next, I made Kwik Sew 3478 out of a nice drape-y fabric I found here.  I'm guessing it has some rayon in it.  All that's left is sewing on the covered buttons.

Last for this post:
Simplicity 5259, also OOP

I made the one without the front slit (though tempting! ;) Just a basic skirt with a back center zip.  I narrowed it at the bottom hem and found that more flattering with my bird legs :)

I used a fun grosgrain ribbon for the waist facing and am so pleased with it!  Worked great--lays nice and flat and stays put.  No bulk.  Hope never to do a facing again. 
I even found some grosgrain ribbon here!  Things are changing for sure.  For the better--from a sewist's perspective.

Here's the skirt in a rather ditzy photo.  I made it from a white twill lined with a poly/cotton batiste.

I actually have more to share.  !  Amazing.  I think garment sewing is to me right now what quilting was when I first started--lots of challenge.  Learning new things.  Resulting in something to use and enjoy.

I leave off with a picture out my sewing room--some of the Tuul River is disappearing from my view with every floor they add.  Life is full of change, hmm?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Boppin' Around Beijing

What a time we had in this city!  Given that the 3 of us pretty much HAVE to eat roughly every 2 hours and the fact that I was operating off of a guidebook obviously written just after the Olympics in Beijing (meaning that the restaurants we tried to track down are now closed), Get Lost-Eat-Repeat was the order of the days we were left to ourselves.  

For two days we enjoyed tours of all the must-see sights.  The sights were stellar, the obligatory sales stops at a pearl market, tea shop, jade shop, etc. wore a little thin by the end of the 2nd day.  But we tried to be a gracious captive audience.  OK, the grace factor wore a bit thin at the end--who knew my girls could say "no.  thank you.  no." with such steely-eyed determination.  By the time we got to the silk store, they simply glided right past the sales staff and made for the exit.

On our last day there, we were relieved to get back to our Get Lost-Eat-Repeat routine.  Who knew that  our hutong exploration plans would go amok because Tianamen Square was closed due to a China/Africa conference?  Certainly not the hotel staff who helped us with directions.  Alas, this is China.

I suspect that one more day there and the taxi companies were going to put an alert out to avoid the 3 of us.  We seemed to constantly make them upset.  ??

Here's some of my favorite pics:

Our 1st attempt to locate a great restaurant 

The hour + Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was worth the disappointment of finding out the restaurant is closed. We had Hagan Daas instead.  And took a taxi back to the hotel

Happy Horse!  found him in the Temple of the Horse tucked away by the Great Wall.  I was wandering while the girls climbed.  :)  Did that twice in my late 40's.  Check.

Note the glazed looks as well as the body posture.  And the sweat.  It was hot and humid.  
 Sales Resistance Personified.  

Our tour guides with whom we spent 2 10-hour days.  

Our Best Buddies in the Lounge Restaurant.  Despite many valiant efforts, we ended up here pretty much every night for dinner.  Hot, tired and waving a white flag.  The last night, the cutie with the glasses told the girls "we were waiting for you!"   They even started replacing Michael Bolton with Jack Johnson.  I think they liked us.

Happy Trails!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Asia Through New Eyes

I'm a wee bit after-the-fact with this post; but alas, a large deal of my life is taken up with trying to get enough sleep on either side of the 15-hour time difference I am constantly throwing at my body.  Sleep is essential to brain activity with me.

Anyway!  Our two beautiful daughters recently journeyed to Mongolia with me to see the world their Dad has worked in for the last 8 years.  Mind you, UB is more civilized now than it was not so long ago.  Still, it's waaaay different than the US, which is what 3 flights entailing almost 30 hours of travel deserves, right?  Right.

The week flew by and then just us girls flew to Beijing for almost a week.  China, too, is a bit more civilized, though still definitely China.  Nikki was frothing at the mouth by the 2nd day of internet connection sensor (FB is illegal, for starters).  I think it's been 6 or so years since I've even flown through China.  Just too much drama and too little English for a woman traveling alone.  Especially when Seoul is so much the opposite.  

Since Nikki already posted--check out her version at Fancy That, I'm going to try to just put up my favorite pics.  Hard for me as I'm wordy.  Let's see how this goes.  

Here's our time in Mongolia (next post, Beijing)

We all 3 connect in San Francisco :

Visit to Wagner Asia to play with the Big Stuff:

Who could not love that face???

Little Nadaam Warrior :)

Shaggai & Ulzimaa joined us for a bit.  The Girls are here, the party can start ;)

Meeting up with the Blue Guy.  Scary even when he's not dancing

Jana peeking in at a Buddhist uh, service (?)

Fabric Nirvana

Latte at a French bakery in Mongolia with a few Friends from all over

Off into the Steppe...