November 25, 2015


 ...if you've been kind enough to tag along with me during my 30 Day #BLOGLIKECRAZY Challenge, you've notice that I've done several "FIRSTS":  my first series of INTERVIEWS, and now, the first of several GUEST POSTS.  It's been an adventure doing some of the things I've wanted to do for a long, long time; and finally stepping out on FAITH to ASK blogging friends to assist me.

On that note, I want to say a great big "THANK YOU" to the ladies who took time from their busy schedules to help me.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart of hearts...

Sew Crafty Chemist - Nakisha Smith

Hello! I'm Nakisha and I blog over at sewcraftychemist.blogspot.com. I'm a 'self-taught' sewer who has become absolutely addicted to this craft since I got my first machine in January of 2013. I cannot believe it's been almost 3 years and I have enjoyed the journey immensely.

I almost exclusively sew garments for myself but can be persuaded to sew for my daughter. My absolute favorite items to sew are pants and jackets and I've started coming around to skirts and dresses. I have over 550 patterns in the stash and untold fabric yardage.  Some of my favorite patterns are Vogue 9032, McCall's 6886 and 6996, and Simplicity 2369. 

If you follow me on IG you know that I am almost always wearing something handmade. I sew a lot and have nearly 250 projects recorded on Pattern Review!  Whew! I also have three closets that are mine, all mine. My family doesn't know that that isn't normal. Shhhh. Don't tell them!!

I am really active in the sewing community mostly because - addicted!!! I have had so much fun participating in contests and challenges - 2nd place in the Fabric Mart challenge last year! 1st place for PRs fitted blouse contest last year! 2nd place in this year's Wardrobe contest on PR! And now a Top 50 blogger for BurdaStyle!  It really helps me stretch myself and go outside of my comfort zone. And really, I get a lot out of just participating. Any sort of a win is a bonus. 

For the next few months you can find me once per month or so on the Fabric Mart blog. In those posts, I will try to show any fitting and construction steps that I think may be interesting; vs just showing the finished garment. 

I am often asked if I do tutorials or anything on my blog. Unfortunately, I don't. I will try to help answer questions when I can but I am just not the teacher type! The technical aspect of sewing comes naturally to me and I have a tough time explaining things to others. I do have a list of tips that I tell newbies who want to get started sewing!

Here are my beginner tips:

*First, it's just fabric. Really. Try to not to let the wadders get to you because EVERYONE has them. Even the really accomplished sewers!

*Be confident.  Can you do this? OF COURSE! Will you do it perfectly the first time? Probably not. Is that ok? YES!!

*Read the pattern instructions BEFORE you start the project. You may need to research techniques and it'll be much simpler if you're prepared before you get stuck on something. YouTube is invaluable.

*Fit your tissue paper. It's quick and simple. Fit for Real People, while the photos are outdated, is easy to understand and covers many fitting issues!

*Be amazed by your iron! AMAZED!!!!! The pressing of a seam completely changes the look of the item. And please press your knits! 

*Use like-RTW items to help you! I have used many RTW garments to understand certain aspects of construction!

*Practice. I know. I know. But you'll be more confident when you tackle the real thing! This goes for everything from sewing straight seams to buttonholes to welt pockets!

*Lastly, recognize your own progress.

One thing I like to do is compare remakes of patterns. Butterick 5678 (now OOP) is one of my TNTs. When I began sewing, one of the things I wanted to make so badly was a buttonfront shirt. In 2013, just a couple months after learning to sew, I attempted the pattern. About a year later I sewed it again without the atrocious collar stitching :-p. This year, I sewed it again, feeling fully confident with my (expensive!) Italian cotton shirting. 

What you don't see in version 2 is that I have snaps inserted between the buttons at the bust because I had MAJOR gaping! :) 

Comparisons like this really boosts my confidence as I tackle more complicated garments! 

Thank you for allowing me to share a little bit about myself and my sewing journey with you! I hope you find the 'sewing life' to be as fascinating as I do!

November 24, 2015


UPDATE: 2 1/2 Teaspoons of Vanilla instead of Tablespoons
...that's right, I certainly would NEVER throw shade at grand diva Patty LaBelle.  I am always a big supporter of business owning sisters, and have always LOVED me some Patty LaBelle.  By now everyone has heard all about the Patty pies that Walmart cannot keep on the shelves.  This sister has it going on in the pie marketing arena, the pies have even been highlighted on the national news.  I'm no marketing expert, of course, but releasing the pies right at the beginning of  the Thanksgiving Season was GENUS!

You go on now Ms. Patty!  But I had to laugh out loud when I first heard about Patty's pie because our Sweet Potato Pies are called Aunt Pat's Pies.  The pie recipe that we use was developed by my expert pie baking sister, Patricia (Patty) Clark.   
My favorite picture of my baby sister Pat from her junior high school days.

Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees
NOTE:  Thaw pie crusts ahead of time
5 TO 6 Medium to Large Sweet Potatoes
(You know, they say that North Carolina has the best sweet potatoes, and I agree)
1 Cup Sugar
2 sticks Margarine or Butter, at room temperature
3 Eggs, at room temperature
2- 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla
½ Teaspoons Nutmeg, and ¼ Teaspoon Allspice OR use ¾ Teaspoon of Cinnamon
2 or 3 Regular Pie Crusts (I think Pet-Ritz are the best)
Scrub and wash then boil sweet potatoes whole in their skins in large pot of water until fork tender.
Pour off water, cool potatoes and then peel.

Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl, add butter and sugar.  Mix with electric mixer until mixture is a smooth consistency.  NOTE:  SOME POTATOES ARE STRINGY,  If potato strings get hooked around mixer beaters, remove them so they won’t get back into the pie mixture.  Beat until no strings appear around the beaters.

This is the time to taste the potato mixture for sweetness.  If the mixture is not sweet enough, add more sugar ¼ cup to ½ cup at a time until it is sweet enough for you.  If you manage to get the mixture  a little too sweet, don’t worry about it, because when you add the eggs some of the sweetness will be taken away.

Add 3 large room temperature eggs, 2 ½ teaspoons of Vanilla, Spices or Spice.  Continue beating the mixture until eggs and spices are well incorporated.  If you think the mixture is too soupie at this point, add 1 Tablespoon of Flour to the mixture to thicken.

Poke holes in bottom of pie crust.  Bake crusts just until lightly browned – DO NOT BURN!!!

Pour potato mixture into browned pie crusts. Place pies on a large cookie sheet.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow pies to cool thoroughly before slicing.    ENJOY!!!

Our Patty Pies hot out of the oven ready to enjoy!
We love them.  Wish we'd had the wherewithal to put these wonderful pies on the market!

November 23, 2015


...  I have learned so much about social media platforms this year, but there is still just as much to be learned.  My teenage students are amazed whenever I join in on their social media conversations.  They say "whattttt!" when I say oh yes, and I  ALSO have a blog.  (Although we cannot follow each other until after they graduate.)   I do enjoy social media because it sort of opens the world to me and puts me in touch with so many new people.  With all the beeping and whistling of notifications, I often have to ask myself - is social media entertainment for me, or is keeping up with all of it becoming a FULL-TIME JOB???.

I find myself involved in:

INSTAGRAM  I came late to the party buy I've actually fallen deeply in love with Instagram!.  Although I basically post (is it called posting there too?) sewing related content  I THINK  I've built quite a "presence" there as #TheSewingGourmet (lol). Posting my gourment cuisine has been so much fun.  It's sort of funny when follower's try to invite themselves to dinner after I post one of my dishes.  But the most impressive thing happened when another sewing blogger asking for one of my self created recipes by Instagram message.  I was so flattered.   So my IG posts document my sewing projects as well as the foodie side of me.

PINTEREST  And I can't say enough about the sewing inspiration, helpful hints and tips and recipes that I've found on Pinterest.  It's a virtual gold mime of categorized information.   I really need to organize my Pinterest boards but that's another story for another day.  Guess what my most re-pinned pins are?
I don't spend half the amount of time as I use to here, but I love knowing where to find my information when I need it - on one of my 105 Boards- that's where.  My plan is to connect my blog to Pinterest even more in the days to come.

FACEBOOK  Who isn't on Facebook?, it's an all time fav of many, I know.  It's quick, it keeps you updated on all the goings and comings of friend's and associates, and some people also use it to promote not only their blogs but their businesses as well.  I must admit that FB and IG has messed me up a bit with their "like/love" buttons.  It's so quick to just "like"  something and keep it moving or have the option of  commenting if you want to.

TWITTER  For some reason I've had a bit of a learning challenge in dealing with Twitter.  Working with it has not come as easy as working with the other platforms for me.  For one thing, I can't remember my password!, and when I request a reset the link always leads me to a non-working reset page, huh?  I have; however, discovered that I can use it easily from my Android so I have just recently started tweeting.  Hopefully I'll get more use from it in the days to come.

Now, PERISCOPE - now that's  a whole nother ball game.  I'm still a bit startled whenever I hear my phone whistle during the course of the day - and night for that matter.  When I hear it, I can't help wonder "who's live", even if I can't watch at the moment.  Although I've not done my first "scope" I am quite a watcher and follower (Is that a form of lurking?).  It could be my sewing teacher from Houston, Texas; or the Bridal Couturier from Augusta, Georgia; or the Fashion Designer from Charlotte, North Carolina who just made her FIRST winter coat in just 7 days when it too me a full month to make mine.  There's just no telling who it might be.  Oh my goodness, of all the social media platforms - right now this is my FAVORITE!  I've had to learn to scale down on Periscope early in the game.  As not to get pulled down the "rabbit hole" as I initially did with Pinterest, I've decided that I just don't have to watch every suggested scope - I'd never get ANY work done if I did.

And last, but certainly not least my baby, my blog FAYE'S SEWING ADVENTURE!  As you can imagine, this blog ranks first on my list of my social media involvement.  I've nurtured this platform since February 10, 2007 (almost 9 years).  Who would have thought it would have held my interest for that long?  It seems like only yesterday that I discovered sewing blogs and  said "oh, I want one of those".  I've learned so much about blogging and and have really worked on this thing.   It has grown and even evolved just a bit, and is a wonderful method of chronicling my sewing progress.   Oh, but I do have lots and lots of  plans for expansion one step at a time.  I really appreciate your tuning in to watch and read because you actually help me to grow!  

What is your social media platform of choice, and why...  

November 22, 2015


...well, it's that season!  The season when all of Ebony Jordan's (THE GLAM DOLL) planning and hard work of late night sewing sessions is put into full action. You might wonder why I take such an  interest in Ebony's business.  It's because I watched her build this successful business one step at a time over the past 3 or 4 years.  She has become quite the Doll Clothier. And even though her area of sewing is a completely different genre of sewing than mine, I always marvel at any type of sewing business.

Ebony has her Glam Doll Boutique stationed at the Georgia National Fairgrounds Annual  Mistletoe Market Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend.  I paid her a visit on Friday just to see the crowd marvel over and mix and match little 18" doll clothes.  The enthusiasm of her customers (both children and adults) never ceases to amazes me!

The Glam Doll Official Logo - branding her product.
Every 18" doll needs ample pairs of undies.
Ebony minding her store.

She also included an American Doll prize Drawing for her customers during the event.

18" Models on display.  We had to keep dressing and re-dressing them as the customers continued to buy the clothes off their backs.

If you live in the area, pay the Glam Doll a visit at the Mistletoe Market in Perry, Georgia this weekend.  If not, you can visit  The GlamDoll Esty Store for all your 18" doll clothes needs now and all through the year ...

November 21, 2015


...It's interview time again ya'll - guess orange juice should be our drink of choice this time.  Melanie Wise of Orlando, Florida is another sewing blogger/business owner that has that certain Jenesaisquoi I love the name of her blog and social media presence - "IT'S MELANIE DARLING", (Why can't I ever think of snazzy titles like that?).  But I digress, "It's Faye Darling" just wouldn't have the same ring" lol.   Melanie has so many wonderful things going on in Florida: her own business, partner in a couture apparel design company, family and full time JOB! - and I thought I was busy! Please read on to learn more about her.  It's so much fun getting to know other people who love sewing as much as I do - maybe even more - if that's possible...

Melanie have you had any formal training; or are you self taught?
Melanie:  Self taught mostly but both Maternal and Paternal Grandmothers, and Great Aunt were seamstresses.   My mom also sews (not so much now that I sew regularly).

What has been the most challenging garment you have made?
Melanie:  A lined blazer, Collars always gives me angst.

You have the most amazing (I’m jealous of you) vintage pattern collection.  If you could keep only 5 of those which ones would you keep?

Vogue 1663 (DVF)
Simplicity 6333
Vogue 8514
Vogue 8445
Vogue 1187

What garment to date would you call your “Masterpiece”?
Melanie:  I’m not sure if I have a masterpiece.  I literally love everything I make but I usually make clients pieces I wish I had made for myself.

What are your favorite fabric sources?
Melanie:  Fabric Mart, Mood Fabrics, Fine Fabrics (Atlanta)

Do you shop online for fabrics?
Melanie:  Almost all my fabric comes from online shopping.  Central Florida is not very fashion sewing friendly so there is not many sewing shops to choose from.
Fabric Mart, Mood Fabric, Fashion Fabric Club

How did your business originate?
Melanie:   Basically, just being asked by different people to make them garments.  I never wanted to sew for hire, I just enjoy sewing.

Would you please share your best tried and true sewing tip with us?
Melanie:  When making a waistband for any garment, interface over the fold line of the waistband, it will make the waistband way sturdier.  My waistbands would be very wonky and rolled over before I learned this little nugget.

What are your favorite social media platforms?
Melanie:  Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

Do you use these platforms to promote or enhance your business?
Melanie:  Yes I use them basically to show what I make casually.  I usually get a lot of inquiries from Facebook.

You recently hosted an amazing fashion event showcasing your designs.  Can you tell us a little about the event?  
Melanie:  Besides my itsmelaniedarling custom sewing business, I am also a partner in a business called Custom House Designs, with my sewing partner Kay Davis (Polished Bou). Custom House Designs was asked to showcase in a fashion show for the Beta House, which is a school here in Orlando Florida for young girls who become pregnant while in school. It’s an alternative to traditional school which teaches young ladies how to be parents while continuing their education. This was actually my first fashion show. The experience was awesome.  Kay who has done many fashion shows did an amazing job.
You can see more of Melanie Wise at:

Facebook, and on

November 20, 2015


... when I teach Cosm 1010 Chemical Texture Services I always advise my students as follows:
  • regardless of the number of times you have used a chemical product, whether it be a permanent wave, relaxer or even a hair color product, ALWAYS re-read and follow the manufacturer's directions.
How does this apply to sewing you might ask?  As I mentioned in Wednesday's post, my current project is a white with black dots Colette Mable Skirt.   I've made this pattern, what?, 4 or 5 times?  It's a simple front panel knit pencil skirt with a contour waistband.  Who needs to read the directions after making it 5 times? - indeed, not I!  Or so I thought.

Can you imagine my surprise when I tried on the skirt and it was a smidgen too tight?  What the what?  It was only then that I decided to take a peek at the independent pattern's direction booklet. Doggoneit!, 3/8" seam allowances rather than the traditional 5/8" used for Big 4 patterns.  The skirt has 5 seams so when I used 5/8" allowances I decreased the size of the skirt by 1 1/4" overall (if my math is correct).  Well whether it's correct or not, the skirt is too tight!

Guess the teacher should have heeded her own advice  - even when it comes to sewing.  Re-read the directions.  Needless to say, there's a whole lot of un-sewing going on here and my skirt project has been delayed.  My new seam ripper is really coming in handy right now...

November 19, 2015


...I lived in Southern California for a number of years  -  and except for the Santa Anna wind season and a few earthquakes that I experienced during my stay - it really was like a dream. I lived in Oxnard which is situated between Point Mugu Naval Air Station and Port Hueneme Construction Battalion Navel Base.  That was a long ago part of my life, but I still have dear friends from that experience who live in different areas of California and Oregon, and we still keep in touch after all these years.

I connected with LaTanya Fretty from San Francisco, California during the October Coat Sew-along.  LaTanya once lived in Atlanta.  Such a small world we dwell in.  It just goes to show you that when we reach out to meld with new people, we often find that we have more in common than we think.

What things excite and inspire you in your sewing and the designs that you create?
LaTanya: I get inspired by old Hollywood classic designs, I love looking at Bette Davis, Joan Crawford. Woman today don't dress the way they use to, it's too much emphasis on showing all of our assets. I love the First Lady look, i.e., Jackie Onassis and Michelle Obama.  Being half naked is not sexy nor is it fashion.

What are your favorite fabric sources?
LaTanya: I frequently shop the Los Angeles Fabric District.

Are there any sewing techniques that you have not mastered yet, but plan to work on?
LaTanya: I'm working on my tailoring skills and pattern drafting.  This is the inspiration picture of my current work in progress.

You made such a gorgeous coat recently, was this your first coat?, if not how many coats have you made?; did you learn any new techniques in your coat making process? 
LaTanya: This indeed was my first attempt sewing a coat, I just followed directions and took my time, for me not rushing and taking my time working a little everyday works for me. In the construction of the coat I really learned a lot about lining garments.

What are your favorite items to sew?
 LaTanya: My favorite garment construction technique is color blocking.

What garment or project has presented the biggest challenge to you?  Secondly, What garment to date would you call your masterpiece?
LaTanya:  I made a copy of a $2,000.00 designer dress in hot pink.
$2,000 Inspiration Dress

My first self drafted garment
 Have you had formal training or are you self taught?

LaTanya: When I was child my mother use to sew a lot, she made all my dresses.  I was always fascinated with her sewing. When I retired and became a full time housewife and baptized Christian I couldn't find fashionable modest clothing so this is what sparked my passion to see again. 

What types of patterns always grab your attention?, and what are your favorite patterns?
LaTanya: They would be patterns that contain multitude of garments. 

What sewing tip would you like to share?
LaTanya:  Always, always take time to familiarize yourself with the pattern.  Do not rush and make samples if not sure of your skill.

If you'd like to see more of LaTanya's work and designs you can catch her on Facebook page; and in just a little while on her soon coming blog that will be entitled "Sewing Topics"...


  • Pants Sewing Guide
  • Denim Revolution
  • Pants for Real People
  • Jackets for Real Peopls
  • Easy, Easier, Easiest Tailoring - Palmer & Pletsch - Gifted
  • The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook
  • Ribbon Crafts
  • Professional Sewing Techniques for Designers
  • Successful Serging
  • Making Trousers for Men and Women
  • Couture Sewing Techniques
  • Singer - Perfect Plus
  • Cool Couture
  • Couture, The Fine Art of Sewing
  • Singer Sewing Reference Library - Tailoring - GIFTED
  • The Perfect Fit: The Classic Guide to Altering Patterns - Creative Publishing International
  • Fit for Real People
  • DK-The Complete Book of Sewing