January 30, 2008


Well, I got my VERY FIRST invisible zipper in! I followed the tutorial at Sewing Divas. There it's suggested that you sew the two pieces together first (in my case it was the two back sections of a straight skirt). The method uses a regular zipper foot instead of an invisible zipper foot which I do not have. I actually should have done a practice run first, but I think it came out pretty good - especially since it was my first try. THANK YOU SEWING DIVAS!!! I had to use a 12-14 inch zipper instead of the 7-9 inch that the pattern had because that was all Hancock's had in black. Hancock is changing over to Coats and Clarks from YKK zippers AND THEIR SELECTION IS STILL LACKING! I've been having problems finding the zippers that I need for several months now. I am truly glad that we still have the store, but I really wish we had some competition here.

The invisible zipper application was not on my list of sewing goals for 08', but I decided to add it because I really LOVE the look. I think I am going to buy this zipper foot for one of my machines since I like the look so much. I think it would be a bit easier to get right up close to the zipper teeth with it.

I've added a list of sewing goals to my sidebar (that are subject to change) just as a reminder to myself that I need to break out of my norm and try something new every now and them. I've complished two goals this month. The french seam and the invisible zipper (got to work on this some more).

I wore my Vouge dress (the Darn dress) to work today. I was in an ALL DAY meeting with our State Board testing agency and wanted to feel special about the way I looked. Being in a room with about a 100 other cosmetologists can be intimidating when it comes to the way one is dressed. I love my dress! I saw a lady in a short double breasted jacket with the same collar as my dress. I think my collar can be added to a jacket pattern with a little work. Maybe combine the collar from the darn dress with the pea coat look of the pattern my sewing buddy Lisa gave me. Hmmmmm, it might work but definately need to do a muslin first.

January 27, 2008

Some Sewing Progress

Well, my January 21st Sewcation didn't go quite as planned because I had to break up my day with a dental appointment. But I did get a little bit of sewing done. I finished "THE DARN DRESS". The long sleeved version. The dress was named the Darn Dress because the barrier I ran into with hemming it. First I used a binding which was called for in the pattern instructions - didn't work. Took that out and used a hem tape - still to bulky. Took that out and just hemmed the thing on the sewing maching - which I was trying to avoid. Anyways....I LOVE THE DARN DRESS! I wore it to Church last Sunday and later at a resturant a lady stopped me to ask where I had bought it. It really, really made my day to tell her that I didn't buy it, I MADE IT! The only problem now is that I don't have my new camera yet to take a picture of it. Will post pictures later. I made the self belt with this dress, but opted on wearing it with a clunkly leather belt swung low on my hips (lol). This one was a sweet success!

I've started writing alteration notes for each pattern I make right on the pattern envelope instead of trying to remember just in case I want to make the pattern again. With this Vouge dress pattern I need to cut the bodice part to a size 16 and increase out to size 18 in the hip area. I added 4" to the length of the dress inorder to wear it with boots. Still not long enough so I noted to add 8" next time.

I'm almost finished with this pattern - the long vest to which I added 2" to the length and the pants. Both made in a beidge stretch suede like material. All I need to do now is hem the pants and it will be ready to wear.

Also made these PJ bottoms for my two younger grandsons. One in plaid flannel and the other in a checked homespun.

Next up is a straight skirt for my sister Brenda.Found some really nifty instructions for inserting an invisible zipper at The Sewing Diva's site. I love the look of the invisible zipper in skirts and pants and really need to practice this one. I plan on using it on the "LBS" little black skirt for Brenda.


January 13, 2008


Boy a lot has happened in my life since my last post on January 2nd. Let me just start by saying "GOD IS GOOD - ALL THE TIME!!", and he filters trouble even before it even gets to us! We can often look back at trouble and see God's hand in rescue, deliverance, healing, provision - you name it...God has his hand in it.! I won't go into the trouble my family and I experienced during the last two weeks - maybe later, but I am still really praising God!

I've only sewn physically just a little here in the new year (been sewing mentally mostly).

. I did get me a cutting table; its not as long as I would have liked but if fits the space I have for it exactly. I bought a four foot long table that folds in half the size of a card table for storage. It has a handle that makes it easy to move around. The good thing about it is it is adjustable to a height of 36" which means that I no longer have to bend over the bed to layout and cut my patterns - which was murder on my back! I could no longer stand to layout and cut on the floor like I use to do either. Layout and cutting problem solved until I one day get my dream custom made cutting table.

. I ordered a new digital camera - bad news is...it's back ordered!!! I can't wait to get my hands on it. 7.1 mega pixels - what ever mega pixels are. Think it's got something to do with getting better quality pictures, which I need desperately. I guess the one my sister so generously gave me was just tired. She worked on it when she was her for the holidays to no avail so I had to spring for a new one. I order a Cannon powershot, after getting advice from my sister and Adrainne.

. I hit the pattern sales at Hancocks-of course. I got seven new McCalls, one Vouge at 70% off (couldn't wait for the $3.99 Vouge sale cause the pattern I wanted was always out of stock - had to get it while it was finally there); and one vintage Butterick pattern. Now all of these as if I needed a new pattern at all - just can't resist.

. Need to finish "THAT DARNED DRESS", which I coined this dress after heming it twice by hand and not being satisfied with it and having to take the hem back out.
The DARNED DRESS has front and side panels, also back and back side panels and top stitching. My dress form did help a lot with the fitting of this dress. The pattern called for a side zipper which I was able to leave out like I did on by Butterick mock wrap dress, and still be able to get into. I added four inches to the length of the dress cause I wanted it to hit the top of my boots at least; still not long enough - Oh, Well! And now the hem problem...this time I am just going to turn it up and do a small machine stiched hem. I tried using the seam binding as the pattern suggested - way too stiff. Took that out and used hem tape - still too bulky, so I guess I have not other option but turning it up and running the hem on the machine.

. My new issue of Threads came and I carried it in a bag with a water bottle and it and several others got wet. It is salvagable but I just hate when magazines get wet.

. Ordered my first copy of BWOF magazine from SewBaby.com right after Christmas and it still hasn't gotten here. I emailed them, and I'm gonna call them about that tomorrow! I want that magazine NOW! Sew Buddy Lisa has given me a challenge to try Burda. I want to try those cute pajamas that I saw on Miss Celie's and on Assorted Notions.

. I'm working on PJ bottoms for my two younger grandsons. Should have gotten them done before Christmas, but oh well, they still need them. Also got seven pair of boxer shorts cut out and ready to sew for all three grand boys. I won't try to get them all done at once, because I know I'll get bored, but since they are already cut out I will do them between other projects.

. Placed my first order with Fabric Mart today. My sister Brenda and I had been looking for black wool. I could't find it at Hancock's here and she couldn't find it at Joann's in upstate new york. I had made Brenda a straight black wool skirt in 1990 (I think); when my daughter was still in high school. Brenda says the skirt finally bit the dust. I told her I guess so!, the skirt was about 17 years old and she had worn it every winter since I made it for her. She is so disguested about this. I told her I think the fabric dry rotted (lol)! Anyways I am going to make her another LBS (little black skirt) as she calls it - straight skirt, waistband, back zipper, back vent, lined of course.

. Practiced making French Seams this weekend. Not at all hard, and I feel like I accomplished a little something here. Also practiced using my rolled hem foot.

. I had 11 days off during the Holidays! I stayed up late sewing and slept in mornings most days until my company arrived on the 29th. My Mother SURPRISED me and came with my sister Pat. We had a great time before they left on the 2nd. I've coined my days off and holidays as my SEWCATION! Got one coming up on the 21st. The only thing I have planned that day is an afternoon doctor's appointment.

. Want to get an invisible zipper foot and learn how to put in invisible zippers. I love the look of this opposed to lapped ones.

. My sisters are estatic about swing coats of all lengths. We call coats or jackets from the swing coat era "Lucy Coats" because they are exactly like the ones Lucy and Ethel use to wear on the I love Lucy Show. I tried to look up information about the origin (original designer) but couldn't find anything. I think they originated in the 1950's. I started noticing them in the fall; and was in J.C. Penny's yesterday and see that they have swung right over into spring. I saw a lovely hip length one in a bright yellow fabric I love it and think I could make it with McCall's 5276 (cut longer), and pair it with a gathered type skirt in a print - McCall's 5591. I love spring!
Would like to make this "Lucy" for both my sisters, my Mom and myself for Easter - GREAT THOUGHT!

. Addition to my personal New Year's Resolutions: STOP WRITING notes, telephone numbers, pattern numbers, etc. on little slips of paper. STICK TO A NOTEBOOK!

Well that's my sewing update....

January 2, 2008


Every site I visit has sewers charting their course - making sewing and wardrobe plans for the New Year. I think this is a good thing, and decided to jot down a few of my goals for 2008 as well. I think I did pretty well with my sewing in 2007. My biggest accomplishment was that ... (1) I KEPT SEWING! There were times when even though my mental sewing plans were grandeous - my results were not. Whether it was an issue with fitting, technique or mistakes with fabric choice, things just did not always go as well as initally planned. But I did KEEP ON SEWING (trying).
(2) I built my pattern stash, which was not hard to do thanks to Hancock's pattern sales. (3) I built my fabric stash, although not as large as some I've seen. (4) I added several volumes to my sewing reference library. (5) I met me a sewing buddy thanks to the world wide web!, and I thank God for that. (6) I learned to use my digital camera and post pictures. Now the camera has bitten the dust
but I did order a new one just today. (7) Started my sewing blog after being inspired by so many others.

Now just a few 2008 Sewing Plans:

1. No UFO's. I must concentrate on finishing one before starting another.

2. Sew A Mini SWAP. Organize my thoughts, fabric choices and plans. I'm not sure if I can commit to a 11 piece swap yet, but one of 6 pieces feels doable. This will still take a lot of concentration.

3. Beef up my sewing space by decorating it a little bit with some girly touches: i.e., curtains, ironing board cover, a comfy chair with pillows. Definately add some wall shelving and some more lighting. Keep my sewing area neat and orderly by cleaning up and putting patterns away between projects.

4. Really take advantage of my TNT pants pattern (Thanks again Lisa) by adding pockets to enhance.

5. Work more with finishes like Hong Kong and french seams.

6. Bite the Burda World of Fashion bullet. Stepping out of the box - my first magazine is on the way.

7. Embellish more. I tend to stay with the straight and narrow, nothing wrong with this, but I do feel I could beef it up a bit.

Note: Goals are subject to change.

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