Monthly Archives: April 2008

Sewing & Dieting

The Pattern is Butterick 5159 from 1997 (Pic down at bottom of post). It’s a Mother & Daughter pattern. I like Mother & Daughter patterns because they are usually very easy to sew and have a modest, wholesome quality to them. I plan to make the blouse too, but not for a while yet. The jumpers are more necessary as I already have t-shirts to go under them. I’d like to make the blouse though, several of them in fact, because I like wearing an entire outfit that’s homemade. It makes me feel like I’m “ornamenting myself with a meek and quiet spirit”

1 Peter 3:3-4 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; (4) But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

I almost always wear empire waisted dresses and jumpers and this jumper is not empire waisted. I made up the first one to see how it looked and decided I liked it. The waist falls right above the curve of my hip so it makes my torso look longer. As one commenter pointed out, I noticed how it looked a little bit like a vest over a skirt and sort of liked that look too.

The sizes of this pattern are from 6 through 18. I made the size 18, not sure if it would fit or not, but it did. Yay! I’ve had to make a size 22 for the past several years, so it’s sort of wonderful to be sewing in the teens again. Many, many patterns go up to size 18, but no larger. It’s like a whole new world of patterns has opened up for me and I feel a little giddy about it. 🙂

This week my Mom is helping me clean out the boys room and get it ready for the warm weather. Going through all their clothes and all their toys and sports stuff and Jimminey Cricket it’s a lot of work! She’s talking about helping me paint which would be lovely, but would make the project take longer. Still, new paint is good. My Granny (85) has decided to buy the boys new beds. I’m not sure why. She takes notions sometimes and has decided this is something she is determined to do. So I gave their old bunk beds to Mom for her new house, for the guy’s bedroom there. For this week and next, the boys are sleeping on couches while Mom and I get the bedroom done. And then we’ll let Granny buy the beds (she wants to do it right now, but there’s no room to store them in the meantime). Since I’ve got my next couple of weeks busy with this project I doubt I’ll have much time to sew, but when I do I’ll blog about it.

ON the diet front, I am doing Low-Carb. I really enjoyed the comments from the last diet post. Well, some of them made me feel defensive, but most were very kind and I want to say thank-you. I’m going to try Atkins, I mean really give it my all, and see what happens. If things go like my fantasy imagination–I’ll loose 50 more pounds and then reconsider my options. I think of the weight loss phase of Atkins as a temporary measure. I’m hoping a more liberal diet made up of   moderate carb or smart carb or good carb or slow carb or glycemic index based carbs will allow me to maintain the weight loss. Not exactly sure yet. I do better when I just think about today. Today I’m on track. Today I lost 3 pounds of water weight overnight. Today I am planning fried cabbage and kielbasa for lunch. I still don’t know what to make for dinner, but am thinking of ground beef and zucchini.

Low-Carb has a few advantages that other diets don’t have. I’m trying to focus on the bright side, to make it easier on myself. These advantages are . . .

  1. Zero Hunger. Absolutely none. Nada. Zip. Zero. I love this especially because when I do low calorie I have to go so low that I find myself fighting off hunger every few hours, several times a day. With LowCarb there is no hunger. The food is especially filling and if you want a snack you just have one. How cool is that?!
  2. The food is luxurious. Real heavy cream. Real cream cheese. Mayonnaise, homemade or store-bought. Full Fat cheese of every shape and form. Brie, Swiss, Cheddar, Colby, all of them, and in large amounts. Fish with butter sauce. Chicken with genuine Alfredo sauce. Broccoli with Hollandaise sauce. I love Hollandaise sauce. Mmmm, maybe I’ll make fish with hollandaise for dinner. That would be delish! Desserts are rich, filling and decadent. I’m a little bit of a hedonist when it comes to good food, even cheap food should taste good. Peanut butter, chocolate, pound cake (made with almond meal instead of flour), coconut, pecans, walnuts. And as long as carbs are kept low, desserts do not stall weight loss. Amazing!
  3. Rapid, genuine weight loss. This is probably the best part. I usually lose about 3 pounds a week, the first couple of weeks I lose faster. But when I settle into it 3 pounds a week is my average. For a woman who has to exercise like a fiend and starve herself like a fashion model to lose even 1 pound a week, this is astonishing to be sure.

I wanted to mention that I had a mild case of bulimia and anorexia when I was a teenager. The bulimia was brought on by a case of Hepatitis I didn’t even knew I had until I was about over it. Anyway I was bulimic for about 5 years. I didn’t throw up every day and I didn’t make myself throw up. I did throw up at least once a week though and I was terribly ashamed of myself. Did everything I could to make myself not do it, but it happened anyway. If I overate in the least I would vomit, so I developed a mild form of anorexia to keep myself from vomiting. If I didn’t eat too much, then I wouldn’t vomit. My lowest weight was right over 100 pounds at 5 ft 4″ with small bone structure. I can honestly say I was too thin. My ideal weight is between 115 and 135. To be honest, that weight seems like a fairy tale to me right now, but hopefully, the Good Lord willing, I’ll see it again before too long.

Anyway, when I finally was diagnosed with hepatitis it was a relief to know that it wasn’t memaking myself vomit so much, it was a symptom of the disease. I had a similar experience with PCOS. It made me gain weight, even when I tried so hard to prevent it. Turned out it was the disease making me gain so much so fast. That was a relief too. In both cased I blamed myself and believed that there was something intrinsically flawed in me, Maggie. When in reality both were symptoms of health conditions. There’s a lesson for me in there somewhere.

Anyway, I’m not worried about becoming anorexic or bulimic again. If those things pop up I’ll see the doc about hepatitis and I won’t blame myself. Additionally, if I eat a lot of carbs and gain weight, I know it’s from the carbs interacting with the PCOS and the only blame I’ll take is for eating the carbs when I know better.

I’ll let everyone know when I hit Onderland. That’s when the scale starts registering in 100’s instead of 200’s. Hee, I’m anxious to be there. If anyone has questions, I’m willing to answer. I’m feeling stable and secure about my decision now, so my skin has thickened considerably and I’m not feeling so tender hearted as I was. 🙂



Filed under Headcovering & Modesty, Low-Carb, PCOS, Sewing

Jumper Pics

Here are the 2 jumpers I’ve finished this week. I plan to make a few more because they sew up pretty quick, they’re comfortable, cool and look better on me than a lot of other shapes I’ve tried. I’m happy to report that I made button holes for both jumpers and they turned out pretty good, as close to professional as I’ve ever come.

They both have gathered waists instead of pleated because they are intended to be casual and pleats are more formal than gathers. Also, I like gathers better than pleats, although I’ve pleated jumpers before and it’s not that hard to do. I thought of making a tie at the waist to better define it, but decided I liked it the way it was just fine. When I make other jumpers I’ll share them too, but it may be a few weeks yet.

Many thanks for all the encouragement with sewing. I find myself enjoying it a wee bit more when I get to play show and tell on my blog. 🙂

Tulip Print Jumper  Green Jumper



Filed under Headcovering & Modesty, Sewing

The diet I want VS The diet that makes me feel best.

My ideal diet is Pescatarian or Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian. It’s inexpensive, the food is delicious and both are kind to global resources. I want to be a Veggie for the rest of my life.

However, I do not feel so healthy on a Veggie diet. As a matter of fact, it makes me a little bit sick. I thought maybe I was doing something wrong, so I went online and looked up optimal PCOS diets. They are all low-carb. Some say moderate carb (South Beach & Sugar Busters!) works for them, but many (like me) were unable to lose weight on any diet but very lowcarb. I have a lot of mixed feelings about that.

First off, when I eat low-carb, I mean really low–Atkins Style–low-carb, I feel great. I mean I feel better than on any other diet. I don’t especially like the food. I don’t especially like meat. But WOW do I feel good. I have a ton more energy. I can do more during the day, and I don’t get sleepy in the afternoons. I lose weight too. Easily, almost effortlessly, the pounds melt off.

All the meat is kind of icky. It’s a struggle for me to turn the meat into meals that are appetizing to me. One of the ways I do it is by including lots of veggies. I miss fruit. During the weight-loss phase of Atkins fruits are limited. After weight loss they are added back in moderate amounts, like in a diabetic diet.

I have moral concerns about eating a lot of meat. It’s selfish of me to hog up a bunch of resources for myself and my family, when so many people are hungry. But I also have an obligation to my family to give them the strongest, healthiest Wife & Mother & Human Being that I reasonably can.

The cost is scary to me too. Eating up to a pound of meat a day for just one person isn’t exactly cheap, although like any diet, there are ways to keep costs down. It’s a lot of work though, while a Veggie diet is easy to keep low-cost.

So anyway, I’m entertaining the idea of spending several months (not sure how many yet) giving Low Carb the big try and doing my best to adjust it to my family’s eating habits and budget. I’m not sure how to do that yet. Not completely sure I want to do it yet.

What I do know is that I am sick of being obese and I’m sick of having full blown PCOS. The weight I’ve lost did lessen my symptoms some. And if there is a method that will allow me to attain a normal size and put the PCOS symptoms in dormancy, then I think (although I’m not yet completely sure) that I should go ahead and give it a try. I’m still working this out in my mind. I’m not completely convinced one way or another.

What I do know, and it’s not so much, is that I like having energy and I like losing weight. I know of only 1 method that has ever been successful for me. A method that doesn’t suit my ideals or my dietary preferences. I have given up dietary preferences because of economics many times in the past. I wonder if I can, or am willing, to set these preferences aside for my health and for the worthy goal of weight loss.

I’m not sure. I’m not sure about any of it. Like in 12 Step Programs they say that thinking about a lifetime of changes can be intimidating and stall us to the point of inaction. So I think what I will do is think of this in terms of one day, one week, maybe even one month and see what happens. I hope to share some of this stuff here on the blog as I go about it. I am reluctant, but I am going forward anyway, in the hopes that there can be relief from the pain and discomfort of obesity and PCOS.

When commenting on this post, please realize that my weight and attempt to find a healthy diet is a tender topic for me. I still feel ashamed for allowing myself to get so fat; frustrated and bewildered that it happened at all–even though I now realize it has been due to metabolic issues as well as my own behavior. I understand that there are many methods of weightloss that have worked for other women, but I haven’t had any other method work for me personally. Additionally I know there is plenty of controversy surrounding Atkin’s style diets, and I would prefer to avoid controversy of this nature.


Filed under Budget, Low-Carb, PCOS

Question and articles about the rising cost of food.

The past couple of weeks I’ve noticed more people using calculators and shopping with a list when they buy groceries. One family had a 7 year old daughter who was in charge of the calculator. The parents would call out the prices as they put things in the cart and she would input them and give them a running total. Seeing things like this is a personal victory for me. Everything I’ve been advocating for the past 20 years really does work and as the cost of food rises more people become willing to manage their funds and their personal food supply. Whoo Hoo! Success!

My Question is, are there things you’re doing now that you didn’t do last year, that are helping you control you grocery budget?

I’m shopping with a list every single time and doing my darnedest to NEVER stray from the list. I admit to being susceptible to impulse buys. These days I’m really guarding myself though. I succumbed to temptation the last time I was at the market, putting a couple of drink mixes into my cart. Then when I saw the little girl faithfully working her calculator for her parents I repented and put the mixes back on the shelf. I haven’t missed them either. I didn’t need them, they were just enticing and I fell in their trap, like a fly falling for the ruse of a Venus Fly Trap. I’ve even written about avoiding beverage mixes, but it’s just so easy to be tempted at the supermarket.

I’m also trying to be more faithful about planning meals. I know for some folks this doesn’t work, but for me it helps a lot.

The other thing I’m doing to save cash right now is using fabric already in my stash for all of my current sewing. I changed sizes over the winter and my summer things from last year don’t fit the same. Some simply fit better, but many are too big. I’m taking in what I can and working on new items in my spare time. Current project is a jumper made from a tiny tulip print. I’ve finished the bodice but hope to finish the skirt today. Will share pictures next week. I made it smaller than the last project (purple dress) and hopefully it will fit better. I have a blouse pattern I’m going to try soon, and am looking through my fabric stash to see what I have that would make nice jumpers. I’d like to have half a dozen because they are so easy to wear, and much easier to sew than dresses. If I get this pattern right then I’ll be able to cut out and sew up several in a row. I make each item individually instead of making several at once because I find I’m more careful and get better results that way.

So what is everyone else doing to save money at the market that they weren’t doing last year?

The Extravagant Gourmets:  Why the food press rarely talks about dollars and cents. By Sara Dickerman

Why Are Global Food Prices Soaring?

Food Price Inflation Changes How We Shop


Filed under Budget, Grocery Shopping, Low Cost Foods, Recession, Sewing

Why I wear a Headcovering.

I wanted to write out a long discertation on why and how I cover my head, but I find myself pressed for time. I promise I will write it soon, because I get lots of questions about it and I have been feeling the need to write it out. For today though, to keep my promise to Roxie, I have listed links to 2 articles I’ve written about it and 6 other resources that are comprehensive and educational.

Christian women covered their heads for at least 1,950 years. It’s only in the last 50 years that American Women have stopped. One of the links below has a pictorial essay that I found quite interesting. Enjoy!

Introduction to headcovering by Miss Maggie

Beginner’s Tips by Miss Maggie

An Indepth Study of 1 Corinthians 11:2-16

Headcovering Through the Centuries–Pictorial

Scarf of Hidden Power (free ebook download)

Let Her Be Veiled by Tom Shank

Tapes & Online Sermons from Charity Ministries

Free E-Book & Several other Resources



Filed under Headcovering & Modesty

Purple Dress Pictures

Well, the dress turned out pretty, but it wasn’t so pretty on me. As a matter of fact it made me look larger than I am which is never an attractive trait in any dress. That’s the way it goes sometimes. Luckily it was quite attractive on my Mom, so I gave it to her. I will try again, with an adjusted pattern. I made the XL and I think the L will fit me better. I always have to narrow the shoulders, no matter what pattern I make. This one was empire waisted so I didn’t raise the waist any, and I’m not sure if that helped or hurt. Anyway, Mom is pretty in it. Dad likes it and that’s that. I’ll share the next one as I get it done.

I wore a white snood in these pics so it would be easier to see how it looks. I almost never wear a white one because I think the black one looks better on me, but for summer the white one is a little bit cooler and I can see in these pictures that it’s kind of pretty when the dress it’s worn with has a lot of white in it.

I’ll write more on Headcoverings later today or tomorrow. Depends on how much the guys need me in school today.




Filed under Headcovering & Modesty, Sewing

FLDS Links

FLDS Clothing as Fashion  From the Associated press.

Scott Henson: Where’s the evidence of abuse?  From Dallas News

Captive FLDS Children  Includes pictures of the soldiers, mothers and children.

Mother’s Milk by Brooke Adams. Article about nursing mothers being taken from their babies. I can’t even express my anger and disgust over this specifically. I would have laid down and died if anyone had tried to take one of my nursing babies away from me. I would have fought tooth and nail. I would have considered all kinds of drastic measures that are inappropriate to post in public. That one act is the most shocking, the most cruel, the most downright evil that I can imagine.

For Roxie, tomorrow I’ll try to write a bit about what the covering is and why I do it. I don’t mind sharing about it. I know it’s a little weird and before I started doing it, I had never heard of it before either.

Also I have pictures to share tomorrow of my purple dress. It turned out to be a little big for me so I gave it to my Mom, who it fits perfectly. I have pics of both she and I in it and I’ll upload them in the morning.



Filed under Headcovering & Modesty, Rants, Sewing