June 25, 2008


....this will be the last time I post before I leave on my trip (I don't know though (lol)). I love seeing what all you other ladies make, and I also love showing what I create. I had enough fabric to make another taupe tank (only shorter) to go with my tiger PJ's so I made it Tuesday night- added a bow on the pj top for a little DETAIL.

And from these I made ...

This top last week;

These white capris last night:

And this white knit cami tonight because I thought I had a white camisole but they all turned out to be light beidge. I needed this to wear underneath because the top is so sheer.For this total look.

Oh, don't I wish I could take my sewing machine on the trip with me...

June 23, 2008


Many of you may already use this method, but I thought I'd show it just in case. I use paper page reinforcement circles to mark patterns. They are inexpensive and usually come in packs of 25o. You can even reuse them if you so wish. I use them on fabrics that are hard to mark with tracing paper/wheel or on light fabrics that I don't want to take a chance of leaving a irremovable mark. It's a quick marking technique. One note though, I don't suggest sewing through them as I have had problems removing the circles after doing so.

Well, it's time to start packing my suit case. I'll be off to upstate New York this weekend. (Can you hear me smiling!!!!!!!) The time came so quickly and I'm still sewing. I guess I'll be sewing right up to the time to leave (lol). Here's my wearable muslin city shorts or walking shorts (who keeps changing the name of things!), McCalls 5391. I made them out of some type of poplin material that I had on hand (taupe) and didn't plan on going this far with them but they fit really good and matched my tunic so well that I finished them off. I used tab belt loops that button down just to see how that worked. Each tab is sewn down with a button. I just love little details like this. I used a pocket facing application that I learned from LISA, that of facing the pocket with a fun cotton fabric. Another little detail that no one know is there except me and that makes them special. Thanks Lisa (she's full of details and she lets me steal them).

I wanted shorts for vacation but decided to cut the fashion fabric long enough for capris because I also n
eed to think about work clothes too. I can wear capris to work but not shorts so this seemed like a wiser choice. I used regular belt loops on these because it took more time to sew buttons on each of the tabbed ones. I cut the capris too long so I cuffed the hem. The negative thing about them: I forgot to interface the fly front - didn't realize it until the zipper application was finished and because it was a near perfect zipper application I wasn't about to take it all out. And I goofed on just one of the belt loops. The really positive thing about them: These pants fit extremely well, and I was able to easily convert the shorts into capris, sooooo it shouldn't be hard to cut them longer and end up with a TNT PANTS PATTERN. Lisa helped me develop a TNT pants pattern when I first met her, but I still crave pockets and darts at least in the back. This pattern has both, and the crouch is an excellent fit...SO THIS JUST MIGHT BE IT!

Two pattern pieces, four seams, narrow hem the bottom, arms and neckline and volia a fitted tank top in less than an hour. I needed something to go under my tunic so I made this Butterick quick and fast knit top that matches all of this just fine.

Funny thing about the knit top, it looks just like one that I use to have (don't know what in the world happened to it) that matched my tiger print silky PJ's. And since it only took about 45 minutes to put together and I have plenty of this fabric left, I think I will make one to dedicate as a top for these PJ's.

So this is what I'm
packing in the suit case tonight. It all goes together really good. I just need to add a pair of sandals and I have two outfits ready to go. Four handmade pieces....wait a minute could this be a June Capsule? It's four pieces, there's no black...I'll have to check the rules again to see if it is.

June 21, 2008


THE SISTERS WITH SCISSORS made another excursion to the Atlanta area early this morning. Our first stop was to a newly remodeled Hancock store in Morrow, Georgia (right outside of Atlanta) where we received a grand tour. (Remember, my three sisters are all Hancock employees.) It was such a beautifully designed store. I did take pictures there but don't know what in the world happened to them.

Our second stop was Gail K. Fabrics in Atlanta and oh my goodness. Of course I have only seen a store like this on the internet so I was too overwhelmed. FABRIC WAS EVERYWHERE, even towering to the ceilings. Several weeks ago we had made a trip to Atlanta only to find that Gail closes her store at 4 p.m. on Saturdays. It was worth the trip back up there just to be able to see all of this.

We ended our trip at Super Joann's in Fayetteville, Georgia, not without talking about future sewing plans, excursions and sew-a-longs though. It was quite a day, and now I'm back home ready to hit my sewing hard and heavy once again.

June 20, 2008


Can someone explain the bust/hip indicator pattern symbols. (The round circle with a cross in the center with measurements for each size of multi-sized patterns. Threads Magazine gives this definition: This symbol indicates the bust point, waistline and hipline measurements.
and the Vouge Sewing Book gives this definition: Bust and hip indicators Circle with enclosed cross. These handy pattern notes give finished measurement of garment all around at hip and bust. Bust symbol is generally located at point of bust. Hip symbol is located at hipline (about 7 in. down from waist). Refer to bust and hip indicators to quickly determine amount of ease in pattern.

I know that these are good definitions, but they are still not really clear to me.

June 19, 2008


So many patterns look just like maternity designs. This is the second top I made this week and and it looks just like a maternity top. Lots of things in stores also look like this...but I think not...not for me at least. I added an elastic casing to this top also to eliminate that look. I did have some problems with the front yoke on this one, but like Tim Gunn would say "I made it work". This top is made from such a pretty georgette type fabric, pink and white with tiny translucent sequin type things embedded in the fabric. I love myself some pink, and this top turned out really nice - and surprise ... I have no complaints about it. The top has front and back yokes and sleeves with bands that tie. I also added a bow tie at the center front neckline, but pinned it on just in case I didn't like it on me.

I'm planning on making pink or white shorts or capris to go along with this top.

NEWS FLASH: On Saturday I mailed the black wrap dress with polka dots to my Mother as a surprise gift. She received it today and says it fits great! I'm happy about that one. She says she will wear it to church on Sunday.AND:

I've been tagged by Cennetta (The Mahogany Stylist)...

1. Ten years ago I was the hardest working salon owner/stylist you have ever seen. I ran a 11 chair salon and employed as many as 10 stylists, a barber, a nail technician and a shampoo assistant/receptionist. I owned and operated The Cutting Edge Beauty Salon for 13 years, until I felt it was time for a career change.

2. Jobs I have held:
Babysitter (but we all have probably had this job)
Art History Department Assistant
Shampoo Assistant
Donut maker/Waitress
Sales Clerk
911 Operator
Clerk Typist
Executive Secretary
Housing Counselor
Housing Rehabilitation Specialist
Housing Rehabilitation Director
Hair Stylist
Salon Owner
Cosmetology Instructor

3. Places I have lived:
Cochran, Georgia
Elmira, New York
Oxnard, California
Sandersville, Georgia
Warner Robins, Georgia

4. Favorite Snacks:
Fruit (especially during this season, Georgia Peaches and watermelons are the best). I really try not to snack that much but I do like a nice piece of cake every now and then.

Write a letter (yes write) to my friend Barbara in Sacramento
Balance (yes balance) my check book
Pack for my upcoming vacation
Finish 3 more sewing projects before vacation
Do some major de-cluttering
Shampoo carpet (if and when I can tear myself away from the sewing machine long enough)

#1. R-E-T-I-R-E
2. Tithe
3. Move to New York
4. Pay all bills for family members and buy houses for those that don't already own them
5. Finance world wide programs that assist under privileged children
7. Buy all the fabric (purchased during frequent trips to the New York, Paris and Spain garment districts) and different types of sewing machines my heart desired to place in the DREAM sewing room of my new house that would be located in a semi-remote area near water (the ocean, a lake or even a nice pond).
8. Start beginning sewing classes for all interested parties who want to learn to sew but don't think they can.
9. Initiate new "boot strap" employment training programs for under educated single parent females
10. Sew to my hearts content - because I'm retired remember!

7. People I'd like to learn more about (if they haven't already been tagged).
Jackie at Jackie's Sewing
Gold at Live and Learn
Paco Peralta
Angelia at Sew Much to Sew
Sheilaz Crochez

June 17, 2008


There are so many things that I want to make. I know it sounds obsessive but I wish I could work on three projects all at the same time (lol). Next up on deck is this McCall's tunic that I started on Sunday Evening at the Sew-A-Long that I'll talk more about later in this post. When I start a new project they always look as though they will be really quick...but so often they aren't - at least for me they're not. This tunic has hand stitched sleeve/cuff hemming and it always takes me a long time with hand stitching. A friend told me that I hem to slow. "My question, why are you timing me?" I still hem by hand the way I was taught in 8th grade, and I have actually always been proud of my hems. For one thing, THEY NEVER COME LOOSE, just like my hand sewn buttons - THEY ARE NOT COMING OFF. I could have machine stitched the sleeves, but I thought they would be nicer hand sewn-slow or not.
The pattern instructions suggest putting a casing for a draw string on the outside of the tunic. I didn't like that idea at all. I don't think I've ever seen a casing sewn on the outside of a garment (other than sportswear) and besides my casing was tacky because I ran short of fabric and had to piece mill it. When I bought this pattern I thought it had an elastic at the neckline and waistline but not it called for casing in both places. I did coverstitch the hem just to get some practice. Here's a similar tunic in the Chadwick catalog with elastic, and that's the treatment I decided to use. I'm more pleased with it than if I had used a drawstring.
Here's the finished product - back and front. I found some taupe fabric in my small stash and now I need to make a pair of city shorts or capris to match this top.
Here's some shots of our June Sew-A-Long on Sunday evening. Ebbyj and her husband Keith hosted us. We had a very productive and fun time, sewing, eating and watching segments from last seasons Project Runway. Ebony and her husband are SUCH NICE PEOPLE, and Ebony is so creative. They went out of their way to make sure Lisa and I had great time - which we did. She also allowed me and Lisa choose from a stash elimination pile of fabric. I GOT 10 PIECES - one is a coat weight.

And lastly, here is what I wore to work today. Not the greatest picture (I'm going to start looking into buying another camera). This is the out fit that I made on my Memorial Day SEWCATION. Now allow me to critic my work...no nothing negative, but you know we are our own best critics. I always think that I need to add length to my tops - with this one there was no exception. I added 2 1/2" and ended up having to cut about an inch off the top after I was all finished with it - which was not a good time to make hem changes since this is a crisscross top. I did make some minor adjustments where the two fronts cross over each other, because I usually get major gapous with crisscross tops. Why I am attracted to them, I don't know, but I keep wanting to make them. This is the second view I've made from Simplicity 4076 and just like the tee that I made - this top fit really great.

Now the white pants. I NEED TO REMEMBER TO ADD ANOTHER BELT LOOP IN THE CENTER BACK OF ALL MY PANTS cause I had a little gapping in that area. Other than that they fit great in the waist. I had eliminated the side pockets on these and I really missed having them today. I also eliminated the front and back darts to get a better fit. The hip area was a little large (guess I over estimate the size of my booty). The legs are ok, but I actually prefer a slimmer look in that area. This is just my way of trying to make mental notes on what to do to make the next project better, but I'd better write these things on the pattern envelope so I'll be sure that I will remember.
NEXT ON DECK because it's already cut out and because it matches the thread I have on the machine is this Simplicity 3535 tunic - only 6 pieces (sans the self belt that I ran short of fabric on when cutting) so it should go together pretty fast (there I go again underestimating the time something will take). I've still got to get back to the sundress that I cut out over the weekend but did not start.

Well, that's the end this post...HAPPY SEWING YA'LL!

June 14, 2008


I made an unplanned trip to our tiny mall today. I actually don't go to the mall often, but when I do I have to make a run through my favorite store in the whole wide world - JC Penya! I know there are better stores, there certainly are more expensive stores, but I love me some Penny's. It fit's my style and my credit card purse (lol). I also snooped at Sears today, but nothing suits my fancy like Penny's. Looking at current fashion in stores is exciting - I don't know many women who aren't excited by it. And my second tier of excitement comes when I notice that of the many things that I find that I like - I ALREADY HAVE A PATTERN THAT IS VERY SIMILAR IF NOT THE EXACT SAME! Now that's really exciting - just to know that I could possibly make garments just like the RTW ones is a real feeling of power. Knowing that if I try really, really hard I have the ability to create wearable, attractive garments that fit well is a feeling of power.

I've been piddling in the sewing room - the thing I like to do most on Saturdays. I made these PJ shorts a couple of days ago. They are from fabric left over from capri PJ's I made several months ago. I couldn't bear to throw the left over fabric away, so I used it for these. I used Leah's instructions for making the elastic casing. It was easy and makes for a nice finished look.
Now I know dog gone well that this is a dress pattern, but it reminded me of a breezy nightgown so that is what I made from it.
Chadwick's is a catalog that I've been using for inspiration lately, seeing that there's a new one in the mail once or twice a week. I really like these dresses. They look soooo cool and just the right thing for the HOT temperatures we are having to endure this month.I had about 5 yards of 42" wide black dotted swiss (I think that is what it is) that was gifted to me by my friend Mrs. Madison. It's so light weight, I thought it would make a great sundress even though it's black. I am using white piping to accent the dress (I CAN'T REMEMBER EVER USING PIPING SO THIS WILL BE A NEW TECHNIQUE FOR ME). I'm not sure yet whether I will make the tie that the pattern shows. I doubled the fabric in the bodice area because of the lightness of the fabric; I want to underline the skirt of the dress but I don't have a suitable lightweight fabric to use on hand. Hancock's only had about 1 1/2 yd of black batiste and I didn't think that would be enough so I didn't get it.

This is also a dress listed in the Chadwick's catalog - I LOVE IT - isn't it lovely! It's a pullover made from a ponte knit. It's an inexpensive dress and I could buy it, but from the looks of the picture the dress falls above the knee which would be a little to short for me. The closest pattern I can find to match this is McCall's 5655.

QUESTION: Does anyone out there know the rules for making a knit garment using a pattern designed for woven fabric??? I know that I read something about this process and I thought I read it in Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing Book - but now I can't find it. If anyone can give me some help on this one I would appreciate it.

I've been eying this pattern for a long time now but frankly I've been a little scared of it. I've seen it made up on several blogs, and earlier this week I saw Trinilove 's version and really fell in love with it so I think it will be coming up real soon.Long post I know, but let me end up with pics of some of my efforts to organize my messy sewing room. I bought these three baskets fro the dollar store today, so I hung them on the wall as a place to put some of the things that always end up on my cutting table.
Well, until next time - HAPPY SEWING!

Paying Homage to Black Pattern Designers...

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