February 7, 2019

Paying Homage to Black Pattern Designers...

...for years February has been set aside as a special time to learn about and recognize accomplishments of African Americans and other people of color.  This year in celebration I jumped on the #bhmpatterndesigners Instagram challenge.  This challenge, sponsored by Myra @onesewsweet, and Nateda @naturaldane and is open to all genders and races internationally with a great bounty of prizes associated with it.  Joining this challenge has been a great way to learn more about familiar Black Pattern Designers as well as those I've never even heard about.

I soooooo wanted to make up a vintage pattern, like one by Willi Smith or Willi Wear that I've loved for years, but of course didn't have one in my stash.  I just didn't have time to search and source one out.  So I've decided to go with something more readily available.  I chose Vogue 1596 by Tracy Reese.  I must admit that although I have several of Reese' patterns, I've actually never made one.

 Choosing this pattern allowed me to practice a split collard neckband which has never been my strong suit.  I was willing and determined, and the neckband was applied in one sweep I'm very happy to say.

No one told me that this tunic is almost dress length.  I did hack Tracy's pattern by omitting the front pockets, and creating my own balloon sleeve and a regular cuff (I don't think Tracy would mind that at all).  For more information on the challenge just click on the sponso'rs IG links above.  I'm so glad I had a chance to participate, and there's still time if you would too.  Now on to the planning stages of my next project...  

February 3, 2019


PACO PERALTA ROVIRA - Barcelona, Spain
International Fashion Designer and Teacher Extraordinaire
 I am greatly saddened by the news of my good friend Paco Peralta's passing on yesterday.  My prayers are extended towards his family, friends, and the fashion/sewing community.  I called him friend!  We communicated virtually and by mail for over a decade.  I gleaned from his extensive knowledge, and he truly touched my life personally through his giving spirit.  I will forever hold the memory of our friendship dear to my heart, as well as cherish the gifts that he shared with me - they will always have a special place in my sewing room... 

January 27, 2019

Shedding a Little Light on the Subject...

...working with black on black or even blue on blue stitching can present quite a bit of a challenge in the sewing room for most of us, especially at night.  At times a magnifying lamp comes in mighty handy.  A friend told me about this nifty lamp so I wouldn't have to spend lots of $$$ but still meet my need of a magnifying light.  So if you need one too and haven't heard about this nicely priced lamp, here's some information:
This desktop version is what I have, and it is $25.99

I had this for quite a while, but kept forgetting to pull it out of the closet to use.  It's not going back in the closet!  Here's me working with the desktop lamp.  LOVE IT!
This clamp on version is $39.99
Love the prices and Harbor Freight seems to always have a 20% off any purchase coupon.

January 25, 2019

Finally Vogue...

...because this Christmas gift card has been burning a hole in my pocket!

VOGUE 1614  WHY? Because there aren't many of the Tom and Linda Platt patterns that I don't like.  Sleek and Lady-like and just right for Church or even a wedding.

VOGUE 1619  WHY?  Because every pattern stash deserves ALL the great Paco Peralta designer patterns.  European design lines by a great friend that I've followed for years. 

VOGUE 9355  WHY?  Because it's darling! Slight off shoulder gorgeousness!
VOGUE 1620  WHY:  Why not?  I keep telling myself to make wide legged pants.

VOGUE 9361  WHY?  Because I've been wanting a pair of culottes forever and a day.

VOGUE 9365  WHY?  Another great suit.  Would be great in any color for Easter.

VOGUE 9367  WHY?  To add to my growing trench coat/jacket collection.

VOGUE 1613  WHY?  Because I'm slightly intrigued by the softly gathered skirt and the unique princess seamed bodice.

Of course all of these might not get to come home with me, but we will see.
What are your Spring picks???

January 22, 2019

#SewTwistsandTies w/ NewLook 6345 & Butterick 6621...

...this is a catch up post of sorts.  I have been doing a little sewing, and as a matter of fact jumped in on a new challenge called #SewTwistsandTies sponsored by Meg of CookinandCraftin because it sounded like an easy and fun challenge.  I had just recently purchased Butterick 6621, had had NewLook 6348 lurking in my stash for quit a while, and wanted to put a slight dent in my infamous
knit stripped fabric collection.
I've already figured out that I am a bit obsessed with knit stripes!

It was love at first sight with this pattern, yet it has lingered in my stash for quite some time.  So now was the time to get it done.
Who doesn't love a great stripped knit skirt - I know I do.

The students said they liked it too.
I thought I'd love the wrap but turns out I didn't,

So I just cut it off and loved the tie just the same.
It's a good sewing year thus far, now to keep it up...

January 7, 2019

Inspired to make McCall's 7660, View A...

...when my sew friend Sheila CKT made this pattern last week, not once but twice I thought it was marvelous and just had to have one for myself.  It so nice that we can find inspiration in the work of others, and if we really like it - we can make one up ourselves.  Now mind you, every inspired make doesn't work out so well for me, but thank goodness this one did.
I've had this pattern since it was first released, I think early in 2017.  Though I liked it, I didn't make it because I actually thought it needed to be made in a sweater knit and I didn't have one that was suitable.  Then Sheila mentioned that she made it in a regular knit (ITY or Jersey), of which I have plenty.
I eliminated the collar and installed a neckband instead.  I used the single fold neck binding method from Lynda Maynard's book "The Dressmaker's Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques" page 40

works perfectly for me every time so why do I even bother with others? No measuring, no formulas, no stretching, no rippling. I just start with a 30" 1 3/8" rectangular strip - stitch and cut off the excess. Works every time.  I think this black ITY was perfect for this pattern.  This was easy make, but attaching the gathered sleeve to the cuff (whee) that was a little rough... 

January 3, 2019

Demystifying Pattern Ease...

...I still don't all there is to know about pattern ease allowed for different silhouettes, so I did a little self-study this afternoon.  I found the pattern ease chart for McCall's, Butterick and Vouge on the Butterick website but was not able to find the one for Simplicity Patterns.
  Can anyone tell me where to find a Simplicity Ease Chart???

I started a new Pinterest Board to keep up with the information that I did find here if you are interested.

January 2, 2019


...believe me, Christmas vacation is such a wonderful thing!  Times of not knowing what day of the week it is, and not even caring.  Days when you can spend the entire day in your sewing studio if that is what you choose to do - and that my friends is just what I did.

I also got to talk with my Mother each and every day of my vacation.  As you may have guessed most of those talks centered around sewing.  I must say that for a person who doesn't sew, my Mother knows and understands an awful lot about it - which is amazing to me!  I don't think she ever bores with sewing talk.  On New Year's day we talked about the time I went on a #2 Pencil Skirt making spree, and she mentioned that she'd like to have another one herself.  I was more than happy to oblige her and got to work on making two of them for her.

I pulled out a Tried and True golden oldie McCall's 6654
Just two pieces for me because I used my trusty serger application to attach the elastic and folded down then top stitched to create the casing, which eliminates using the separate casing pattern piece. I added a label and blind stitched the hem - Easy peazy! 
I still believe that every girl needs a #2 Pencil skirt in her life.

White and black snow leopard, and grey and black houndstooth check both from my stash.
Easy pieces just the length my Mother likes.  I hope she will get tons of wear from these two with her winter boots.

I got these done quickly so I could get them in the mail to her right away, but was able to save the cost of postage to her because my baby sister Patricia came to Georgia just for the day and stopped to pay me a short surprise visit.  What a welcome treat!

My new year has started out just right with sewing and family!!!

December 30, 2018


...I love pretty things, especially pretty night and lounging wear.  Additionally, I am always in need of some decent pretty night wear.  I did make a great summer set a couple of years ago (here) that I still love.  This time I decided to jump on the Instagram #sewyourview December pajama challenge and I'm so glad I did.

Notched collar, piping, cuffs on the top and pj bottoms
 I choose a jersey knit curved the shirt hems at the back and front because I prefer a curved hem opposed to a square shape.  I eliminated the bottom shirt pockets and added my own pipped breast pocket.  I also eliminated the pants pockets because I didn't figure I'd be using those.

  I'm totally in love with this pair and do plan to make this pattern again.

Paying Homage to Black Pattern Designers...

...for years February has been set aside as a special time to learn about and recognize accomplishments of African Americans and other peopl...