October 31, 2008


Simplicity 2804 Turned out not only to be a good fit and comfortable but also gained me lots of compliments today. I don't just make things to get compliments, but they certainly don't hurt. Compliments confirm what we are already feeling about something we've made. My students were amazed because this was a knockoff of what one of them wore last week. The students inspire me too (sometimes - lol). I think I'll make another one these, I can see myself getting a lot of use from this pattern.

October 30, 2008


Soooo after working on several projects that I think took way too much time to complete, I'm focusing on a mini quest to "Sew Quick and Easy" for just a little while at least. To me sewing quick and easy translates into knit projects - especially knit tops. Last weekend I set out to make three new knit tops, but was only able to crank out two. That third new top was still weighing heavy on my mind when I saw Kim with her new top made up from Simplicity 4076 . Seeing her knit top reminded me of the short sleeved version of the pattern I made back in the spring; the fit was really good and I remember thinking that it was so easy and would make a great TNT tee pattern. Sooo I pulled the pattern, laid it out on Tuesday night, and made it up on Wednesday night.

Marking patterns continues to pose a challenge but especially on knit fabrics. My marking pencils and chalk quite often don't show up, or have disappeared when I need them most. My solution, using these page reinforcement circles. It's easy to mark circles, squares and all the other pattern markings, and they are such a time saver too.

The TNT pattern turned into this top with bell sleeves. The simple pattern design was just right for this sequin-like fabric. I think that when the fabric is fancy the design should be simple. Well at least that's what works for me.

This shiny new top was just the thing that I needed to give this suit that I've had for several years an added lift.

I've been trying to get to the weekend - I'm almost there!

October 27, 2008


I really trying to get use to taking pictures wearing the garments that I make. Today I wore my new blue criss-cross front knit top with the gray pinstripped pants that I made for the fair exhibit earlier this month. This was the first time that I wore both pieces and they were really comfortable which is really important to me. It really does feel good to wear something that I've made and have it fit so good.

Today I received this BFF Gold Card Award from my new internet sewing friend Amy. Thanks Amy, I will try to get back to finish the requirements for it this weekend after I'm finished with work and two nights of math class.

October 26, 2008


As usual I was in a rush to get to the weekend. First I needed to stop by Hancock's to pick up this pattern because Vogue patterns were on sale for $3.99 again. I had noticed this pattern before but failed to buy it last time. I was attracted to this version of the class wrap front tee. I've tried several other wrap tops, but wanted to try this one because it's designed just a little differently as the wrap part is closer to the neckline than the others. I made it in a powder blue to match the gray stripped suit that I made as an entry for the fair. The sheer ruffled blouse that I made to go with the suit will have to wait until next summer, so I needed something a little warmer to wear with the suit now. The top fits very nicely and the slackness in the wrap area that I had experienced with the other sursplice tops is eliminated by this pattern. I am sure that this pattern will become my new TNT for tees because the pattern offers 5 views and includes crew and vee necklines.

The only thing that I will change about the pattern next time is the elimination of the side slits at the hem area. That will also eliminate extra seam finishing work in that area.

Last week one of my students wore a knit tunic similar to this pattern. To achieve a knockoff of her tunic I had to combine two views of this pattern. I wanted the neckline from view D and the band and sleeve from view B. Not a real problem except - I was in a hurry to get the pattern cut out so I could join sewing buddies Lisa and Ebony for an early evening "Sew A Long", and secondly I was talking on the phone when I was trying to choose my a pattern pieces and didn't choose the correct ones. Then I misjudged the yardage of the fabric which meant I had to scrimp on the layout and even do some patching to get the look I wanted due to not having enough fabric...uggggg! Here's the way it turned out. The fit is good and I tried to place the seams where I patched in inconspicuous places so they would not be seen. I think I can put my perfectionism aside enough to wear this less than perfect top. I didn't have enough fabric to make a self belt but that's ok since I not a lover of self belts anyway. I'm showing it without and with a belt. I think I'll be wearing it with the belt.

Sewing this up would have been super easy but it took some time to figure out how to piece fabric to get the collar and hem band cut out. So I'll call it a wrap for this weekend. I figure I'm successful because I have two new tops to wear to work this week which means easy dressing in the mornings....

October 20, 2008


I made this "Quick and Easy" knit last night from my New Look 6735 TNT pattern. I made this pattern last winter and really loved the fit so I know I'll be making this one again and again. I bought this geometric print when I was on vacation in New York this past summer. It sewed up so well that I wish I had bought enough of it to make a dress...oh well, hind sight is 20/20.

I found a photographer this afternoon...I have eye strain here because the sun had me.
I thank her for taking it for me!

October 19, 2008


Where in the world did the weekend go? I try to hold on to it, but it just slips away from me. I have a paper weight on my desk that says "WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND". So that's what I do each week - work for the weekend.

I'm on a Quick and Easy Sewing Spree right now. And I think I'll be on that spree for at least the remainder of the month. What Quick and Easy means to me is sewing mainly knits. I do have a small collection of them so that is what I'll be working on for the remainder of the month at least. Here's my second quick and easy cowl neckline dress of the weekend. I made this one for myself and combined two patterns to get the look I wanted. I used the cowl neck enhancement from Butterick 5247 and the remainder of the dress from McCalls 5519 view D minus the bust darts because with this knit fabric the darts did not press flat enough for me. I think it fits fine with the darts. This is a gray mystery knit that I purchased on a recent fabric trip with Ebony and Lisa. I also wanted this dress to have set in sleeves rather than dolman sleeves.

Combining the two patterns was really easy. All I had to do was cut the front neckline of the McCall's pattern a little deeper and of course add about 5" to the length of the dress. I am planning on getting a lot of wear out of my boots this fall/winter so I'm making dresses and skirts a bit longer so they don't just meet the top of the boots but cover the top of them. I also changed the tie belt just a little by increasing the width of just the back of it to add some detail. I also used this style belt for the dress that I made for my Mother but forgot to take a picture of it.

I have one and a half yards of this fabric left and was thinking about making a shrug wrap but there is not enough fabric for that. I'm thinking about making a straight skirt with it. What's up next? I'm not exactly sure, but I do know it will be Quick and Easy for sure!

October 18, 2008


Thank God for weekends! Even though this was a short work week it seemed to just drag on and on. I got one of my students to play photographer for me on Friday so I could show my new knit top from Vogue 8477.

I had cut out Butterick 5247 on Thursday night and couldn't wait to get home on Friday afternoon to stitch it up. The pattern is called Fast & Easy, Fashion Express, one hour pattern, and that it was. It did take me over an hour to complete, but only because I serged the seams and coverstitched the hems of the sleeves and bottom. If I hadn't done that it would have been an hour tops. But I made this for my Mom so you know I couldn't skimp on the seam finishes. We had seen this pattern made up by Toy a month or so ago and I had mentioned that I would make it for her them. This cowl neck dress is the same green light weight ponte knit used for my cape outfit.

Of course I'll have to zip this same dress up for myself, especially since I can do it in a little more than an hour. Lord knows I need some Fashion Express sewing going on up in here after all of the long drawn out sewing I've been doing. So I'll be looking for quick and easy stuff for at least the remainder of this month....

October 13, 2008


Well, I FINALLY finished my Chadwick's inspired cape. This seemed like a never ending project. All my fault though with the underling, the lining, and the covered buttons, not to mention all of the hand sewing that I did. It's not perfect, but I had to call it quits at some point.

Here's the pencil skirt I ma
de to match the cape. Made from my TNT McCall's 3830 pattern with the back hem vent. I like the cape but I am really pleased with the way the skirt turned out and it fits like a glove. I made sure I kept the length suitable to wear with boots but not to long. The outfit is made from a hunter green pointe knit. I used the bias tape waist treatment that Lisa taught me during the sewing class and following the notes that I took during the class - it turned out really smooth. Not bulky like like it often does with a facing. I really like this treatment.

I also used an invisible zipper in this skirt. I think it looks really good especially since the foot that I bought does not fit my machine (I had to order another one), and I used a really skinny regular zipper foot.

Now that this project is finished I FINALLY feel free to move on to other things, simpler construction, quick and easy project

I always need new tops to change things up a bit so today I made this Vogue 8477. First I made a muslin and I'm glad that I did because it turned out a little to tight
in the arms and the side
s. So when I cut the fashion fabric I cut it a size larger and
eliminated some of the gathering at the bustline. I found this fabric on the 60% off table at Hancocks and bought enough to make another wrap dress because it was such a good price. I'll wear this top to work tomorrow to make me feel brand new (lol).

Lastly but certainly not least, I want to show gifts that arrived in the mail last week. This gift arrived from Angela at Sew Much To Sew, some Sew New Magazines, a Vogue Fabrics sample book and some really nice patterns that I know I will give a try. Thank you so much for sharing Angela! The jewelery came from my best friend Barbara Brooks in New York who has oddles and oddles of jewelery and decided to share some of it with me. Well, that's all for now...on with the work week....

October 12, 2008


I have to post at least once a week so people won't think I've fallen off the planet. I just got back from my second pattern buying trip of the weekend. We can just call this PATTERN WEEK, since each of the big 4 companies were on sale at Hancocks. I promise myself that I will not be going into that store tomorrow even though it will be the last day for the Columbus Day Sale. I won't even take a picture of the patterns I bought....like if the patterns won't be going on sale again next month! I can't help myself, I love new patterns.

I'll have to take some time later to go through all my patterns again to see what duplicates I have - thank goodness they will let me swap them out later. Lord knows I just can't keep up with the system I came up with to keep this from happening. SO I ASK..."WHAT SYSTEM DO YOU PATTERNHOLICS (and I know there are a lot of you out there) USE TO PREVENT BUYING DUPLICATES?" I need some help here!

I had the pleasure of joining my two sewing buddies LISA and EBONY at Lisa's house yesterday. I'll tell you we sewed, talked sewing, ate (great Humming Bird Cake), exchanged ideas, got honest advice, had a show and tell session and got to take our choice of 4 or 5 bags of fabric that Ebony was purging. Need I say it was a very delightful afternoon/evening. I don't think we left until midnight. Lisa's entire living room was encompassed with sewing stuff, ironing board, (she had two sergers already set up, one light and one dark). How good does it get! I am extremely blessed to be involved with these two ladies. I draw so much from Lisa's expertise and from Ebony's youthful creativity...it's priceless!

So where am I on my personal Sewing Adventure? I'M STILL WORKING ON MY MCCALL'S CAPE & SKIRT OUTFIT. Seems like I can't get this thing finished! I have got to get myself into some quick and easy projects. I really don't like projects to take over one week to finish. That prompts another question. "HOW LONG DO MOST OF YOUR PROJECTS TAKE TO COMPLETE!

October 4, 2008


You will remember that several weeks ago me and my sewing buddies entered exhibits at the Georgia National Fair. I entered 7 items into five different catergories. Well the fair finally opened this week so Lisa, Ebony and I went down to see the results. WE WERE SO EXCITED!!!, and this was a great experience for the three of us and even greater yet because we shared it together. This was a new learning process for me because I really didn't understand how any of this worked - it was mostly speculation on my part, but still fun.

I entered the following categories and believe it or not actually placed and won ribbons for each of my entries:

Category 88 - Ladies Suit - Second Place which is pretty good considering I wasn't going to enter this one.
Category 89 - Ladies Ensemble - I got also got a second place ribbon for my gray pinstripe swing jacket, skirt and ruffled blouse. The cute suit right next to mine belongs to Ebony. I'll let her tell you all about it.

Category 90 - Ladies Jackets - My apple green "Lucy" Swing Jacket pulled a third prize.

Category 93 - Ladies Dress - I lost the picture of my brown dress. Maybe I can get a copy from Lisa, but I think I got a second place for it.

Category 92 - Ladies Pants - and last but certainly not least, my one and only first place ribbon went to my gray stripped pants.The really big winners are the people who got Awards of Excellence which I didn't get. After seeing the garments that did win the really big prizes it was really hard to determine the criteria used for judging. We saw one suit that won and it had pinked seam finishes and was unlined; and another where plaids did not match - go figure, I'm just saying. I really don't think they take into consideration the amount work put into a garment or techniques used or skill level. Just kinda hard to tell. The people who win Awards of Excellence are the ones who win the sewing machines - the ultimate prizes. First, second and third place ribbons win cash prizes. So I'll be waiting for my check (lol).

This was a very good experience for me, it made me push and stretch past my normal limits. Will I do this again.....probably, we will see.

October 2, 2008


I need to add LISA @ Sewonandsewon.blogspot.com to my list below for this prestigeous award. I had wanted to add her before, but didn't because I had seen her awarded in another blogger's post. She never received notification so here's an award for her too, because her work also inspires me so, and I know that she offers so much pizazz to the sewing blogland. So, Lisa, this award is for you in honor of all the great designs you create and the inspiration that you offer to all of us........
I just broke a serger needle (this was a first) so I guess I'll go to bed now...

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