Complaint Time: San Diego and LAX Airports, what do you have against outlets?

Vigiotti Ursulina in red patent leather
Calm down. Just think about cute shoes and everything will be fine. Vigiotti Ursulina from

I was recently traveling through the San Diego commuter terminal (Lindbergh Field) and LAX.  I arrived ridiculously early to the airport, since I know that if anything can go wrong, it will.  I brought my computer so I could get some work done while I was waiting  for my flight. I’m not sure what the people at the airport have against outlets, but they have it bad.  The main terminal is kind of fantastic free wi-fi, lots of outlets, and even little desk areas for people to work at- but the commuter terminal seems to only have two or three in the entire place, and I would have had to crawl over people to get to them. Judging by the dingy rectangles on the walls, it even looks like a few outlets have been covered over.  WHY?

Outlets in the dining area: 0. Gah. (I had a beer- if the plane is going to go down, I’d like to have just a little alcohol in me).  I also had a “gourmet” pretzel.  By gourmet, I guess they mean 2/3rd burnt and terrible.  A great way to control calories).

Onto LAX, which is just terrible and run-down, and hardly has any outlets. It looks like it is a small regional airport that in some out-of-the-way place, not one of the biggest airports in the country.  Come on LA, get it together, try to have a tiny bit of pride in your appearance.

Sewing Machine Time!


brother cs6000i sewing machine
The Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine

In order to start this whole “sewing” thing, I needed to get a sewing machine.  Wrong already had an old Singer Merritt 4530 that she was using.  I wanted to get a basic-but-modern machine.  For me, getting a fancy machine would be a waste what if learning how to sew didn’t work out? But, I didn’t want to go too basic, which would just be frustrating, and it did not make sense to not take advantage of advances in sewing machines.

I went with the Brother CS6000i, since it has good reviews and was economical.

I can really appreciate the modern features of my sewing machine, since I had to deal with my sister’s old machine during the second pajama pants debacle. Loading the bobbin in her old machine was a terror, and one of the main reasons she almost stopped sewing. Loading the bobbin in the Brother CS6000i was so easy that I was skeptical, and spent about an hour reading the manual and trying to make it more complicated. (“It can’t be this easy. No. It should take like an hour, at least.”) Loading the top thread is easy, and it has an automatic needle threader.

One thing I am not happy about is the width of the free arm. To me, it just seems too big to fit things with a smaller circumference things around. I could be making incorrect assumptions about how it is used, but I can already tell that it is too small for me to fit my sleeve cuffs around. I am sure I will be able to figure out how to use it correctly, though.

The Brother CS6000i can do 60 types of stitches, and 7 types of buttonholes. I haven’t really had to use these features yet, but am glad to have them. It comes with standard accessories (several different presser feet, a few bobbins, et cetera), which is great.

Compared to my sister’s new Elna 5300, the fabric seems to feed a bit less straight, and I am jealous of her machine’s ability to adjust the height of the presser foot to deal with fabrics of different thickness, especially denim and knits. Her machine also has 3 different settings to deal with different fabric weights (ie, something gauzy vs something heavy, like canvas). But, my machine is good! I think it is a good quality, economical learner’s machine, and I think I will be happy with it for several years, at least. Plus, since her machine specifically says it can be used for jeans and t-shirts, I can ask her to make them for me!

So, the Brother CS6000i is the ideal choice for me- a perfect intersection of economy and functionality.

Grandma’s Sewing Box

A few days ago we were at our Grandparents’ house.  My grandparents were very neat and organized, so when a white vinyl storage box caught my eye, I suspected that it was likely to be something worth keeping.

I grabbed the sturdy box off the shelf, and looked inside. It was exactly what I was hoping! It was my grandmother’s sewing box, full of notions. I didn’t even know that she used to sew.

Vintage Sewing Box

The box was a nice surprise, because I have been thinking that I need to order a sewing box. My notions and supplies are either scattered around my dining room (and apparently look like delicious dog toys), or they are crammed in a storage box where they are at risk of being lost forever. I resisted buying a sewing box from my local Joann’s because they all look so flimsy. Who wants a fabric snap button closure? That’s just dumb and is going to break.

Now I have a sturdier box, plus a lifetime supply of hand sewing needles, some extra scissors, lots of old thread and pins, and a bunch of aged seam binding/hem tape (great for practicing with). My new sewing box needs a bit of repair work, but its a great way to remember my grandmother. Thanks, Grandma!

Vintage Sewing Notions
Sewing Notions

Everything is Terrible!

We can’t be the only ones to have noticed how terrible everything is nowadays, right? Seriously, the quality of goods has declined dramatically. My sister and I were shopping for some new t-shirts, which should be pretty easy to find, and could not find any decent quality shirts. Everything is made from super-thin, cheap fabric. We’re reasonably fit. Did we look good? No. We looked like potatoes.

Also, we are not convinced that it is necessary nor fashionable to wear two shirts at once just because all of the shirts are sheer or semi-sheer. Having to pay twice as much to get a terrible quality outfit? Not cool. Nope. Do not like.

We’re calling them t-shits now.

We were so distressed that we decided to learn how to sew. We’re going to make projects out beginner’s sewing book ( “Sew Everything Workshop” by Diana Rupp), and someday they will stop looking like clothes blind people made, and start looking well-made and chic. We’re also going to complain about things. Yay!