21 September 2015


I love podcasts. I listen to them while sewing, riding the bus, at work, and while I'm doing things around the house. And because I love finding curated lists of podcasts by other people, I thought I would put together one of my own.

NPR 5 minute hourly news summary. This is what they play at the top of every hour and it allows me to get a quick news update whenever I update my podcast feeds.

Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten. Slow German news. It updates daily with about 10 minutes of slow read German news and I love it.

Tagesschau. More German news, but at a regular speaking pace.

Slow German. Slowly spoken German podcast about.. anything. The latest one was about having Coffee and Cake with friends and family on Sundays.

WDR Hörspiel-Speicher. I LOVE Hörspiels. They are German audio plays that can be disturbing, funny, strange, or historical. I have noticed two things though - a lot of people die (Er ist Tot!) and people apologize a lot to the point where the bad guy saying "Es tut mir NICHT leid, ha ha ha" was quite amusing to me. This podcast has a series of shows right now called Klaus Barbie and from what I could make out, I thought it was a detective going around to different cities around the world helping solve crimes or something. Well, it wasn't really and Klaus Barbie was not just some fun loving German detective and I don't REALLY know what I was listening to.

SWR2 Hörspiel. These are more documentary dramatizations Hörspiels. The one they did recently about Hurricane Katrina was really interesting to listen to.

Homestorys. I recently subscribed to this podcast, but it seems like they interview a different person every episode in their home and they just talk to them about their life. I like it so far.

Interesting people having conversations
Longform Podcast. One of three people will interview some sort of journalist about writing, gathering stories, and the process of creating. This is another recent addition, but I enjoyed the last couple of episodes.

Death, Sex, and Money. A WYNC podcast about... Death, sex, and money. The host, Anna Sale interviews famous people and no so famous people about really intimate things in their lives. They did a series of stories with people in New Orleans that were all amazing, but I especially liked Terri Coleman's episode. Also check out the Siblinghood episode.

On Being. This used to be called Speaking of Faith and Krista Tippett would interview a lot of priests, rabbis, theologians, etc. But with the name change, the format was changed to focus less of spirituality and more on passion, although there is still a lot of religious talk. Check out: Katy Payne, acoustic biologist who decodes elephant language and whale songs and Gordon Hempton, acoustic ecologist who records "silence" in nature.

Criminal. They interview a "criminal" or someone who knew the "criminal" every episode and tell their story. It isn't so clear on if the people are always criminals or not. Petrified Forest Thieves and the woman who acts an exit guide are a few episodes that I liked.

Strangers. Lea Thau interviews normal people so they are no longer strangers. She did an interesting series where she interviewed her past boyfriends to see what went wrong in their relationships. Or check out this episode with with a booker for Court TV on her job.

I'll blurb all the rest of my podcasts at a later date, but here is a list of them for reference.

Science Vs
This American Life
Planet Money
On the Media
Note to Self
Ask me Another
Snap Judgement
Slate's Double X Gabfest
Slate's Political Gabfest
Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything
99% Invisible
The Heart
The Allusionist
Reply All
Mystery Show
What's the Point
Best of the Left
Above & Beyond: Group Therapy
Deep House Cat

05 July 2015

The Wedding Dress

Goodness, it has been a bit over six months since I last posted. A lot has changed - we moved from our downtown-y apartment to a rental house in further out SE Portland (where I have a private sewing studio!), after 11 months of underemployment I started a job in June with a local non-profit health insurance company where I do fun data analysis projects, and I made my sister's wedding dress!

This post is about the wedding dress.

I started with Lekala Little Atlas Dress #5199 in her measurements. It is a bit unweildly to make a wedding dress when she lives in Texas, I am in Oregon, and the wedding was in Las Vegas, but we made it work through photos and chatting on the phone.

I used the bodice of the Lekala dress and drafted a 1/4 circle skirt according to her measurements. My sister crocheted an overskirt (and shawl, but it was too hot to wear it) which was so pretty.

I made the final dress out of Silk Dupioni lined with rayon bemberg. It was my first time using either fabric and while I liked the feeling of the bemberg, it was a bit of a bitch to sew due to the the shifting while cutting and sewing! On the other hand, the silk was fantastic to sew with because it had a bit of texture and did not shift around.

Here are the practice dresses:

Muslin #1 - Bed sheets from my mom's fabric stash. (Thanks, Mom!) My sister wanted the strap on the left, just narrower.

Muslin #2 - Fabric from JoAnn's. I used the straps from the Cambie Dress, but they were toooooo wide, so I took them in by 2-ish inches for the final product.

I have made this dress a total of 5 times - 2 linings and three fashion fabrics and I am now able to bust it out in about 3 to 4 hours. Doreen, if you ever need to renew your vows in the same dress, I can totally do that for you. : )

Here are a few more final photos (with Elvis. It was Vegas after all! If you are going to get married in Vegas, it probably should be done by Elvis). The straps should have been sewed a bit shorter, but at the final fitting, it looked like they were fine. My mom did the hand sewing to attach the straps to the dress (Thanks again, Mom!). I dislike hand sewing a lot.

Her bouquet is made out of "zipper roses". A friend from her work made all of them and she assembled them onto the foam ball. It looked super cool.

The immediate family.

Everyone who came to the wedding!

Here are a couple of photos from the after party:

Sister Selfie time!

Doreen is drinking all our wine!!

My siblings (minus my brother :( who wasn't able to make it). We all look the same and different at the same time.

I didn't make time to construct a new dress with working my new job, so I went to Nordstrom Rack to pick up a new dress. It was so novel that having a completed dress didn't take many complicated steps (scheming, cutting, constructing), long hours, and swearing - I just tried on a few dresses and picked the one that fit me the best. My sister, Beth (on the far left), though, made her dress, and did a super great job!

FYI: It is a terrible idea to go to Las Vegas anytime that it might be hot. The weather ranged from 27C to 42C+! But, as everyone kept reminding me, at least it was a dry heat. However, it was so hot, that I don't think humidity played a part in my uncomfortableness! Also, I recommend going to the Hoover Dam and taking at least the Power Plant Tour. It was really neat to learn about the history of the dam. Although, I think the idea of the dam providing endless water to the surrounding states is flawed, it really is an engineering marvel.

TL;DR: The wedding dress came out well, the wedding was so much fun, and Las Vegas was hot. A++ would do again.

As a side note, my husband has the same waist size as my sister, so I had the dress on him to trim up the unevenness from the quarter circle skirt. I wish I had taken a picture of him in the dress, but alas, the memory just stays in our heads.

02 January 2015

2014 Sewing Round-Up

I didn't sew as much this year as I desired to. We moved in the middle of the year and while being VERY happy about the move, I have been a little sad and directionless. I'm doing better now that I have more of a life plan made - anyone want to move to Oregon and join our Space Science non-profit? I am also giving myself permission to sew and not think of it as time wasted because I am not looking for a job. The things we get in our heads sometimes...!

Here is a round up of my favourite things I made this year and the not so favourite things. I gave away a lot of my handmade clothes to friends because it fit them better than me, so I don't have photos of all the clothing I made.

Belated San Francisco and Christmas write-up!

I was in San Francisco for a conference a few weeks ago. Well, to be clear, Matthew was there for the conference and I went along to see my space science friends, see the SFO sights, and go to sewing shops. While I was there, I saw a post on Carolyn's blog that she was \ in San Francisco for the same conference and was asking if anyone wanted to meet up for fabric shopping/coffee, etc. After my husband encouraged me to email her, we got together and went to Britex fabrics! It was my first time meeting up with another person who is as obsessed with garment sewing as I am. We had a great time chatting and walking through the fantastic fabric shop. Carolyn is friendly, super talented, and makes wonderful clothes. I'm glad I got over my social awkwardness to send her an email. Thanks for fabric shopping with me!

After our shopping excursion.