March 28, 2008


It's a bird!
No it's a plane!
No it TAILOR'S TACKS! Can't remember the last time I did these things. I can remember learning to do them back in eighth grade. I strongly disliked them then, and I'm not so crazy about them now. I often heavy handedly pulled them out accidentally, or was always afraid that I would. I decided to try them today BECAUSE I HAVE THE DICKENS OF A TIME WITH MY TRACING PAPER! When I first started sewing again I thought the problem was that my tracing paper was too old - so I bought new. I still have a problem with it showing up on most fabrics. I'm using Singer Dressmaking Tracing Paper and I also have some called Singer Platinum Collection that works no better.

I also use tailor's chalk and Crayola colored pencils. I've even resorted to a red magic marker at times. WHAT DO YOU GIRLS USE? Is there something out there that I haven't found out about yet?

My new M-O-U-S-E pad suggested by SHEILA she saved me some money!
I tried it out last night and didn't have to chase the thing one time.

I'm in LOVE with the point turner and clapper that I picked up at the Sewing Expo! Haven't tried the point turner part yet, but wish I had kno
wn about the clapper a long time ago. It works wonderfully. Look how sharp this dart pressed out. I also used it to help me press the 28 pleats out of the refashioned skirt.

I finished the Pendelton skirt. I think this was my first refashioning project. At least I can't remember ever doing anything like this. I think it turned out really good, and I'm proud of it. My Mom tells me it's still cold in New York, so maybe Brenda will be able to get some wear out of it this season. Here's the finished skirt on my bow hipped dress form. I can't seem to get this thing (dress form) set properly - the hips stick out!

March 27, 2008


I mentioned in yesterday's post that there were two techniques that I wanted to try in making my Sister's skirt...but chickened out. They were the invisible zipper application and the Fitting Finesse Pivot and Slide technique for decreasing a skirt's size from the waist to the hip area. Well, since I do have another skirt to make for her, I am determined to master this pivot and slide technique. The author (Nancy Zieman) states that in her many years of sewing she has tried numerous fitting techniques, but since finding this one has stuck to it because it works. I need super simple fitting information. I don't want to do too much math - understand, but I want a great fit! Can I have one without the other? Here are some shots of the process, and I must say that the grading from the waist size to the decreased hip size looks a whole lot better than it looked when I decreased it on the original pattern.

What I'm faced with is a larger waist size with a smaller hip size. Here is how the pattern looked when I used it to grade the sizes. Next to it is a picture using the pivot and slide method. The transition from one size to another looks a lot smoother to me - what do you think?

I do plan on adding some of the other great fitting books that I've seen mentioned on so many of the sewing blogs like, the Real Fit books but haven't gotten around to that yet. If any one out there has any REAL SIMPLE methods of fitting, please let me in on them.

So my next project for this week is the refashioning that I've started - also for my Sister. I'M READY TO CUT!!!

March 26, 2008


I LOVE SEWING NOTIONS! I'm surprised that I don't have more of them, but here is one that I got a while ago. It's a hem gauge called Tailor-Ette (movable slider with chalk). I bought it the last time Hancock's had a 50% off all notions sale back in February. I used it today to mark the hem of my Sister's skirt that I'm working on. It works pretty good! The next notion/equipment that I buy will be one of those things that you place the sewing machine peddle on to keep it from sliding away from under my foot. I swear I get tired of chasing that thing. I've got a 40% off coupon for notions for the second week in April I think this would be considered a notion???

I also love hem tape, especially the lacy kind. I think it gives such a professionally finished look to a hem.
This muslin complete with facings, hem and zipper went on a round trip to upstate New York and is now back in Georgia. Boy snail mail seems to be getting faster. I mailed made it up and mailed it to my Sister on a Monday; she received it by Wednesday of last week - then she and my Mom pin fitted it and put it back in the mail on Friday of the same week and it arrived back to me by Monday of this week.

And here's Brenda's finished fully lined "LBS" (little black skirt) made from Butterick 4613.
I must admit that there were two techniques that I wanted to use in making this skirt - but chickened out. One was the invisible zipper - thought I need to practice on it more before installing in an actual garment. So on this one I opted for a centered zipper application. The second thing was a fitting technique I've reading about in Nancy Zieman's book Fitting Finese. It's called pivot and slide. I WILL USE THE PIVOT AND SLIDE METHOD (talking myself into being brave) on the skirt refashioning project my Sisters next skirt.

Now on to the next project...

March 23, 2008

The Recipe For faye
3 parts Prosperity
2 parts Warmth
1 part Savvy

Splash of Courage

Limit yourself to one serving. This cocktail is strong!

March 22, 2008



You can kill the TRUTH...


March 20, 2008


I got my computer back and I must give another big "THANK YOU" to the lady who did all the work on it for me. Changing operating systems is making my blogger act up - don't know why, but I can't drag my pictures. I did find out that I can cut and past them though.

The Sewing Expo was a really exciting event. I had really looked forward to attending with my sewing buddy and wouldn't you know we saw snow that day for the first time this year. Well at least it was the first time I saw some. I thought we might have to turn around and cancel our trip, but we trudged on and soon we were through it. That was a really cold day. But once we were inside and SHOPPING we forgot all about the weather outside. I saw so much and learned so much while there, but my real learning experience was us talking all the way to Atlanta. I got to to ask Lisa all of the questions I had, and it is so good to have someone to discuss your ideas with to see what they think. I really enjoyed the fashion shows that the independent pattern companies put on for us. It was good to see the patterns made up before you buy them. I had gone with the intention of buying two of the patterns that I saw Lisa post on her blog. The Plaza pants and the one seam pants. I got to see her Plaza pants in person and fell in love with them so I had to have that pattern.
I've added a picture of Lisa enjoying a sit down at a fashion show (I think she was sitting next to the lady who mistakenly won MY Husqvarna sewing machine, I was so sure I was going to win that thing!(lol). The only thing we didn't remember was to ask someone to take a picture of us together-we'll have to do that next time. She's sporting one of her creations, a beautifully embellished jean style jacket. (My picture does it no justice).

We even saw Carolyn's Sewing Workshop Mission Tank pattern at the expo.

I really, really missed peeking in on all my blog friends to see all that you've been creating. It's going to take me a week to catch up on sewing blogland. Let's see, the last thing I made were a pair of vintage styled capri Pj's for myself. This time I made sure I checked on the design of the fabric motif before I cut it - this time I used a floral design so it didn't matter. I know sewing up a pair of Pj's is not that hard, but I tried to make sure that I put as much thought into making them as I would any other item....I heart Pj's and plan on making several more pairs for the summer months, besides I really do need some new ones. Here's a picture of the pj's with a RTW top that I already had. Can you tell PINK is my favorite color?

Here's some more PJ fabric (I told you I heart PJ's). I love to get my sleep on (lol). Got this off Hancock's $1.99 table. Both pieces have a ONE WAY DESIGN. Got to watch out for that; I learned my lesson last time.

I made another knit top from one of my TNT patterns (New Look 6735). This was my second time using the pattern. My first version seemed a bit low cut at the neckline so I made the necessary adjustments in the back, shoulders, and front neckline to take care of that problem. I also thought that the neckband of the pattern was too thin - so stepping out of the box I decided to increase the width of the neckband for my second top - WRONG DECISION. Although the band fit, it had no support thus would not lay flat (as you can see in the picture below). I immediately removed the expanded band and replaced it with the size called by in the pattern and got SUCCESS.

I've started working on a refashioning project for my sister Brenda. She found this Pendleton pleated shirt but it doesn't fit properly. She wants a straight skirt make out of it. Me and Brenda love Pendleton wool. They use the prettiest colors and have great quality wool. I taken all 28 pleats out and removed the waist band and zipper and I steam pressed all the pleats out. To assist me in getting a good fit for her, she mailed me another wool skirt that she loves - it fits well in the hips and length, but is a bit small in the waist. I used her skirt and a Butterick pattern to cut a muslin of her straight skirt. I mailed the muslin to her early this week and my Mother help her pin fit it in the hip area. She will mail it back to me an I will make the necessary hip adjustment and use the muslin as her new straight skirt pattern. I'll also be making her a straight black wool skirt from fabric that I finally found at the expo in Atlanta. I heart my sister, can't you tell?

My next project will be this McCalls Jacket made in what I call an apple green silky wool. I love this fabric (from Hancocks) and want to make sure it is cut and fits properly. I've got the muslin cut out and plan on starting this tomorrow.

I know this has been a long, long post; but I had SO MUCH TO SAY.... I leave you with a picture of my prized azalea bush that bloomed just in time for Easter even though Easter came early this year.
Isn't it it a beautiful PINK?

March 14, 2008


Yes, it seems like forever since I've been able to post. I had to put my computer in the shop (last Thursday). I really thought I'd have it back TODAY, (not). Hopefully early next week. I really, really miss my computer - but most of all I really miss looking in at all my sewing friends around the world! I can't tell you how much I have grown to depend on just looking in.

I finally came to the library to check in to see what was going on and to post and let you all know that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I have so much to tell (especially about me and Lisa's trip to the sewing expo and all). But don't give up on me, keep checking back I'LL BE BACK SOON......

March 4, 2008


If I didn't sew, a trip to the mall would make me want to. I'm so glad that I started back! I went to the mall to pay a bill yesterday and while there did some snoop shopping. I've loved J.C. Penny for such a long time. Although it's not what most people think of as a higher end store, it's high enough for me. Meaning that if I saw something there that I felt I just had to have I can either afford to get it or charge it and feel that I could one day pay if off. But since I started sewing again I mainly just do some snoop shopping. The amazing thing is that I already have a similar pattern for most of what I saw in there yesterday. I kept saying, I have a pattern for this, and a pattern for that. Looking at the clothes there MADE ME GLAD I SEW, AND ALSO MADE ME WANT TO SEW.

The main problem that I have is the fabric choices. We have limited selection here. If I love the fabric I see used for a RTW garment, I have a really hard time finding it at Hancocks. Or is it that I was out of the fabric buying loop for so long that I just can't see the possibilities in most of the fabrics there. Anyway I was determined to use my 40% off coupon from the March flyer - especially after my coupon goof up a few days ago. I must have squeezed and felt up every bolt of fabric in the store before finally settling for a piece of stretch denim (I feel like it's time for me to try my hand on a pair of jeans). Then at the checkout my favorite sales person there gives me two more 40% coupons that have to be used between March 6th and March 9th. What's a girl to do? I really need to chill because I'm going to the sewing Expo this Saturday and with this being my first time I don't know what to expect but I do know I'll need some cash. But how can I let those two coupons expire. Decisions, decisions - all of this to deal with in the same week. I NEED A HUSBAND so I can spend his check too!

I wore my new top to work today with a simple black pants outfit and I FELT SO SPECIAL. I might have to make this one again. I got lots of complements and it fit so good. Funny how such a small thing can make you feel good about yourself. I even got one of my students to take a picture of me cause shots that I'm taking of myself ain't cutting it.

March 2, 2008


I made this twisted knit top long sleeved version today from start to finish. The twisted part was a little daunting but I worked it through. My retro print made for a real interesting design don't you think? I'll be wearing it to work tomorrow.

Next up is another version of this New Look top that will be made up out of my geometric knit print. I've got it cut out, marked and ready to go. I should be able to get it made up before the end of the week.

March 1, 2008


Can you say AMATEUR? I just finished the cropped PJ pants for my grandgirl. How come I didn't even think about the print being a one-way design before I cut out the pattern? (Check out the numbers on the right leg of the pants - they're unside down)...Uggggggggggggg!!! That was such an amateur thing to do. Oh well, at least they won't be going any place but bed. Lesson learned - look before you leap(cut) (lol).

I even used an idea from the new Craft Stylish magazine for the band at the bottom of the pants just to try it out. The magazine used the band on the bottom of the tube dress on page 18. I was trying to step out of the box just a little bit.


Well I FINALLY finished all the boxer shorts for my boys. Two pairs each for three boys. I was supposed to get them done before Christmas for presents, but oh well. Velente (13), Jamaul (10) and Malachi (7) all say that they really enjoy wearing their home sewn boxer shorts. Glad that I have these finished. They don't really take that long to make, it's just that I'm ready to move on to something new.

Next up (today hopefully) are a pair of retro cropped PJ's for my one and only grandgirl, Ashleigh (15). Can't send gifts to the boys without putting something in for my sweetheart. I found this multicolored print (pink background of course) at Hancock's yesterday. It has all kinds of girlie stuff printed in the fabric cause she's such a girlie girl. I'm sure she will love them. I found this Butterick pants pattern yesterday. Been looking for a one piece pants pattern (back and front on one pattern piece). Should be super easy. I plan to trim the bottom leg areas with blue grossgrain ribbon.

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...