2013 ESSENTIAL TOPS SEW-A-LONG FINISHED PROJECTS

December 31, 2015

GOODBYE 2015, IT'S BEEN REAL...

...and hello 2016.  To all my fellow bloggers, sewers and PeriCrafters


December 26, 2015

SHAKING MY HEAD...

... the new

website has me shaking my head!!!  Either I don't know what I'm doing, or the website is hard to maneuver.  I just want to delineate and look at the "NEW PATTERNS", not all 9,000 listed on the site.

Am I the only one have a hard time maneuvering the new site???

December 25, 2015

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS...

...

As I reminisce on happy Christmas' past, and take the time to reflect on the enormous blessing of Christmas present, my pray today more than ever before is for PEACE ON EARTH AND GOOD WILL TOWARD ALL MEN not just today but in the year to come...

December 19, 2015

FRIDAY BIRTHDAY WEAR...

...
Not quite enough candles on my virtual cake, but it was such a lovely day.  Received ALL but ONE of my most important birthday calls (poor thing - he forgot!).  The first call was from my MaMa, and we talked about the day of my birth!  I learn something new every time we have this discussion.  Today I learned my birth weight, and how the mid-wife weighed me - (yes, mid-wife), interesting.  And I thanked my MaMa for birthing me!
WORK WEAR FRIDAY:  Jacket:  Simplicity A1738 -  Made in a pontederoma knit.  An easy Wardrobe Staple believe me!  I need to make another one in a bright color.  Didn't like this jacket when I first made it, but LOVE it now and get so much wear out of it. (Just grab it - throw it on and go.   Skirt:  Colette Mable Patterns - Mable of course - Made in a polka-dot pontederoma knit.  Needed to add red as my pop of color today for a school picture.     
Believe me, I thank God for living to see another brand new year and celebrating yet another birthday. 

TELLER AT THE BANK TODAY:  "Happy Birthday"!
ME:  How did you know?
TELLER:  I'm looking at your information.
ME:  Oh, why thank you!
TELLER:  I hope I look as good as you when I turn that age.
ME:  (Crickets... realizing she actually knew my age) (Big smile, realizing it was indeed a compliment) I hope you do too hun-ty!!!!

December 17, 2015

SERIOUSLY WRAPPED UP IN MY LOVE...

...I wanted to make something nice for my Baby Doll Alondra, not a Christmas present per se, but rather something to wrap her up in a little bit in her Mama's love on chilly days.  As mentioned before, I made McCall's 6209     
poncho/wrap/coat (or whatever you want to call it) for myself  twice last winter and seriously LOVE both of them to pieces.  I remember asking my daughter if she's like a poncho. She answered, "no, not really" because she just didn't think she'd wear it.  But again this year these things are trending and she is seeing more and more of them being worn.  Besides, I sort of insisted she have one and purchased this loose weave wool blend from Hancock's in the summer while it was DIRT CHEAP with this pattern and her in mind.  (Mama always knows best!.)
Really, I love this one just as much as two that I made for myself.  If it wasn't earmarked for my daughter I'd change my mind and keep it for my selfish self (haha).  Here's the trio that I mailed to her earlier this week.
I hope she knows that she is ALWAYS seriously wrapped up in my love...

December 15, 2015

#SEWING LIFE...

... a whole lot of things happen in my sewing life, for instance:
  • Patching a pillow sham for a friend
  • Replacing a zipper in a pair of pants; hemming pants,
  • and of course you also know I delve into an occasional pattern or two -  constructing garments for my daughter and myself.
But every now and then a little excitement comes out of my sewing room. Recently I had the pleasure of making a custom skirt for this young lady.  I'm just loving her festive Retro Vibe.

Photograph courtesy of Mandy Shuttleworth 

Her name is Ren and she is part of a local group called Roxy's Vixens.
 Photograph courtesy of Mandy Shuttleworth
The group recently participated in an event where they sang carols on Carroll Street down in downtown Perry, Georgia - how Christmas-y.  You can check out their Facebook page here.  Ren gave me an opportunity to step outside the usual realm of my sewing life.  Hopefully I'll get to do that more, and more in the upcoming year...

December 14, 2015

LINDA'S TIPS...

...I love a machine with one-step buttonhole capabilities - which most machines have now,
that is until I want to make a buttonhole that is over One (1) Inch in size - which is sometimes the case (like with a jacket or on a coat). I have been known to FORCE a 1 1/8 inch button into this foot with pretty good results.
 
But, there are times when I want to use big ornate buttons - what then???  During times like that I am FORCED to make a bound buttonhole - which I am capable of doing.  I have made some pretty decent bound buttonholes (if I might say so myself)  but most times I'm lazy and just do not want to take the extra time to make them.

This week I'm working on another
McCall's 6209
McCall's 6209, this time for my Daughter which does not involve buttons but does incorporate four 2" buttonhole openings to accommodate the self tie belt.  I decided to make the buttonhole openings freehand on my machine without the buttonhole foot - which was a first for me, but I thought what the heck!
Don't laugh at the slightly crooked lines drawn on my stabilizer
A little hard staying on the lines, but I double stitched each buttonhole
This shows the right side of the buttonhole on this tweedy wool blend fabric
The double stitched buttonhole is sturdy, and just the right size to accommodate the 2" self tie belt.

  Many of you have probably already done this before, but I thought I'd share just in case there's someone who hasn't.
What method do you use to make over sized buttonholes???

December 13, 2015

SECOND WATERFALL CARDIGAN OF THE MONTH...

...I decided that before I filed this pattern back in the drawer,
McCall's 7262

I'd go ahead and make one I'd planned for my Darling Daughter.  I pushed the envelope on this second waterfall cardigan and used a light weight stripped knit from Hancock's (mmmmmm!).  I did manage to get the side seams matched; and thankfully the buttonholes went in much easier than with the one I made earlier.
Turned out not too bad for a pattern that isn't actually suitable for stripes.  Hope my Baby Girl likes it!!!!

December 11, 2015

#WORKWEAR WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY...

...a couple of days ago on Facebook someone pulled up a picture of a cape I made last winter - since a lot of people really "liked" it  I decided to wear it today this week:  first because there was a little chill factor going on  at 37 degrees, and secondly because I LOVE IT! Both pieces of today's WORKWEAR are throwbacks from last winter. Here's the pattern combination that was worn on Wednesday:
McCall's 6209 & 7014
My falling madly in love with the designs that two other bloggers (Tasha & Michelle) made prompted me making the pieces.  I just knew the cape was ME when I first laid eyes on Tasha's, and it was such a good thing that I was able to find some wool herringbone tweed in my stash to make a jumper similar to the the one Michelle made for her daughter - I think I would have had a complete come-a-part if I hadn't.  I JUST HAD-TO-HAVE that dress!  When I first wore it the thing that made me feel so good was when a co-worker said, "I saw a dress just like that at the Ralph Lauren store this weekend, did you get it there?"  JACKPOT! for me as far as I was concerned!



Wednesday was a very good work wear day, so on Thursday I decided the cape deserved a replay.

McCall's 5978 & McCall's 6654

 
This time paired with my "snow flake" knit pencil skirt and a racer cut cowl neck racer cut top (which was frankenpatterned because I was HIGHLY obsessed with having at the time- need to make more for sure) cardi twin set I made way back in the day.

I just love a comfortable, non-restricted work wear day, since I'm moving non-stop interacting with 69 students during the course of the day...


December 8, 2015

#THE SEWING GOURMET...

...when temperatures start to turn chilly and I need some good comfort food, believe it or not -the first thing I think of is not CHILI...it's SOUP.  Yes, good old Vegetable Beef Soup.  I usually make it using a nice chuck roast that I cut into cubes myself (per my MaMa because now a days stew beef is  trimmed far too lean to make a good really good stock - and she's right).  But this time I made soup using regular old cubed steak.  Inexpensive but, for me usually tough no matter how I cook it, but it works really well in a soup.   I thought it was an interesting recipe when I first found it  and have made it numerous times so I thought I'd share here.  Hope you will try and enjoy.
STEAK SOUP
A quick and easy meal to prepare and delicious
Drained Canned or frozen vegetables may be used instead of fresh
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 pound of Cube Steak, cut into 2" cubes (can substitute sirloin steak, or beef stew if you like)
1 Large Onion, chopped
1 Cup Carrots, diced
1 Cup Celery, diced
1 Cup Sliced Okra (Hey, I'm from the South - gotta have it, but you can leave it out if you like)
3 Cans Low-Sodium Beef Broth, OR (2 tubes of Knorr Homestyle Stock dissolved in 3 1/2 Cups of Water)
2 Bay Leaves
1 151/2 Ounce  can Diced Tomatoes, with juice
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
1 Tsp. Granulated Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Seasoned Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
Salt to taste
In a large pot, heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add half the steak and cook, stirring frequently, until well browned on all sides.  Remove steak with a slotted spoon.  Repeat with another Tablespoon of Olive oil and the remaining steak, removing steak from pot once the meat is browned.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of Olive to the pot.  Add the onion and saute about 5 minutes.  Add carrots and salt and continue sauteing another 3 minutes.  Add ALL remaining ingredients and cooked steak to the pot, and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pot to dislodge any brown bits from cooking the steak.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

I serve with shell pasta that has been cooked on the side - not in the soup and drained, and Corn Muffins on the side so it looks something like this
What's one of your "go to" comfort foods for chilly days????

December 5, 2015

#IT'S A WRAP...

...#IT'S A WRAP - my coat that is.  While muslins,  and horsehair interfacing, and padstitching  and underlining, were flying all over my sewing room for five whole weeks, this fall scene was sort of what I was envisioning.  I had wanted  a plaid coat for a full year, and it was finally coming to life.  I really wanted more of a woodsy fall back drop; but it's hard enough to schedule busy peoples time - let alone get them to go traipsing off to the forest just to take you a picture of you.  So I settled for this grassy area next to the back parking lot at work.

We finally had a brisk 36 degree morning so I jumped at the chance to wear my new creation.  I even pulled out my Fedora today in honor of my sew friend Andrea at Sew to Fit.   This is not a scowl on my face trust me - the sun had me.  I LOVE the way the coat fits, I really do - no tugging, no pulling but just enough roominess for comfortable wear.

There - here's just a little smile for you!  My lining of choice for winter coats is crepe back satin.  Love the stuff - it makes my coats look rich and luxurious inside.  Of course I incorporated a jump hem in the construction of the lining - so there's no pulling and my interfaced hem lies in placevgood and flat.

I did my very  best in matching this uneven plaid.  But try as I might there are some places that just didn't quite work out but I pressed on and kept it moving.  Regardless, I incorporated my very best effort in the construction of the coat.

Isn't "walking away" a traditional pose at the end of a photo shoot?  I thought so...

December 3, 2015

#BLOGLIKECRAZY: WHAT'S GOING ON NOW...

...as you know, my #BlogLikeCrazy challenge was officially over on November 30th.  I must say that the last week of the challenge was the toughest of all, BUT I was DETERMINED to see it through to the very end - and I did!  The thing that helped me most was my Editorial Calendar.  I'd heard of editorial calendars before, and even considered using one but never did.  But for this challenge I thought it wise to take the advice of the challenge organizer, Javacia H. Browser of See Jane Write to put one to work.  And work it did...
My calendar ended up looking a hot mess, but it helped me through 30 days of posting.

On December 1st, the day after the challenged ended, I really wanted to write a blog post because not posting made me feel like something was missing like a long lost friend - so I resisted the urge.  I've even had several people ask "if I was planning on posting EVERY DAY even after the challenge was over".  After that question you could hear the sound of crickets in the room.  Really!, I do love my blog, but I doubt very seriously that I could keep up that pace for very long.

I am one of 8 people that took and finished the challenge and we were all mentioned on the host's blog today - you can also read about the other 7 challenge completers.

Faye of Faye’s Sewing Adventure

Faye Lewis started sewing in junior high and it was tough, but she kept at it for 15 years. Then she stopped. Being a business owner was taking up all her time. “But after several years of searching for a creative outlet, it was God who whispered in my ear ‘Why don’t you start sewing again!'” Faye says. Sewing has been her passion again ever since. Now after blogging every day for 30 days, we’re hoping writing will become a passion of hers too. Follow her sewing and blogging adventures at fayessewingadventure.blogspot.com.

#BloggingLikeCrazy was so much fun and a lot of work.  I'd really like to thank the ladies who helped me by doing interviews and guest posts, and of course I'd like to thank you for stopping in and reading here...

BOOKS ACQUIRED

  • 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