December 31, 2009

MY LAST 2009 POST...

I had planned on getting some year end sewing done today to complete a couple of my sewing goals. But, as you know, things don't always go as planned. During my long drive home from my visit with my daughter I had fond visions of closet cleaning and some major de-cluttering going on up in here. What I didn't plan on was coming down with the creeping crud! In spite of all my handwashing, dressing properly and the rest I still got it.
My mind wants to do some productive things, but my body is screaming "get some rest". I did make a pot of beef stew (comfort food) rather than a pot of soup - and it did hit the spot.

On the sewing side of things, I did make 5 pairs of PJ bottoms while on vacation. My Mother says that working with all of that flannel may have aggravated my sinuses - I tend to agree with her especially since they produced so much lint when I pre-washed and dried them. But I'm so glad that I got them done. My kids really appreciate the handmade jester. I call it creating memories. I also did some repair work while I was there. Replacing buttons, mending and even replaced a front fly zipper in a pair of pants - which is not an easy task for me. I am so glad that I took all of my sewing stuff with me. Me and Bessie (sewing machine) felt right at home in my Daughter's dining room.

Still didn't make it to Mary Jo's Cloth World. They closed early on Christmas Eve (I had called before hand to get their hours) so I didn't get there on the way up. And traveling back I wanted (needed) to get past that Charlotte morning traffic as quickly as possible. I drive, but I don't do heavy traffic very well. Lord help me! Maybe I get to Mary Jo's the next time I go up for a visit.
As you can imagine, I really didn't need anything anyway - just wanted to have a look.

My Daughter did take me to both Hancocks and JoAnn's there in Greensboro. I picked up a nice piece of black ponteroma that I've been wanting and was unable to get here (used my one and only 40% coupon on that) and also a nice weight taupe knit. I got in on the zipper sale - think I got 6 or 7, picked up thread and a few buttons. I also got a clear embroidery foot, a pin tuck foot, and a joining foot, because I'm trying to build up my collection. Now all I need is that ruffler, a walking foot and a rolling foot - unless there are others that I don't know about. If you know of any more - please let me know.

I'll review my '09 sewing year as soon as I feel a little better. Until then Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year...

December 23, 2009


Just how many times did I try on these pants in the construction process! I wish I had actually kept count.

Originally I committed to three pair of pants for the Month of Pants Sewalong. This my third pair. In my last post I wrote about the trials of picking loose all of the stitched and serged seams. Talk about thread everywhere! I even laid down a big beach towel to catch thread and afterward took it outside and shook it off. I think that work paid off though as you can see here in my third pair. Much, much better than pairs one and two thanks to Gwen. I have minimal wrinkling on the right side. I guess I must have marked the waistband area a little crooked on that side - thus the wrinkles there. I cut into my buttonhole at the waistband (dang), but all and all I don't think they are bad at all. Glad I finally get to say that! I have ALMOST reached total satisfaction! On my next pair I think I'll wait until I have help caulking the waist seam and I know the next pair will be even better. Having this good of result lets me know the technique really works. Sometimes even when I know the answer to fixing a problem I still can't figure out in my head exactly how it's going to work. It's always so nice when it actually works.

Wrinkling on the legs should disappear wearing real shoes

I haven't had cuffed pants in eons so I decided to add them to this pair for variety. Since the sewalong has been extended through January, I plan on making 3 more pair that will, like this pair, have matching jackets eventually.

Only a few more days left to work on my goals. Me and Bessy (my sewing machine) will be traveling tomorrow, and we'll be making PJ's for the four grands while visiting. In addition, I think I'll pack up a couple of things to work on for myself while there to try and knock out a several of my lingering 2009 sewing goals.

Don't think I'll post again until after Christmas so in the meantime, please be safe and enjoy your families!

December 22, 2009


WOW, there really should have been more progress on my third and final pair of pants for the Sew-A-Long. I guess there would have been if I hadn't been doing some dreaded sleep sewing that I didn't discover until last night. I've been working on fitting the crouch of the pants to eliminate front wrinkles. I'm convinced, as Gwen suggested, that the problem is caused because the front crouch area is too long. After she made this suggestion I pulled out my sewing books to get a clearer idea of how to shorten the crouch area. I should have waited until she emailed me back with her suggestion on just how to do that. I used Nancy Zieman's slide method to shorten the crouch area 1 1/2" back and front for a total of 3". Well, this resulted in the crouch being just a little too short, and a few wrinkles still spoiling the front view.

I though I could live with the "little too short crouch", but was still unsatisfied with the wrinkles. While at work yesterday, I toyed with the idea of taking everything apart in order to restitch the crouch for a little more room (that would involve removing stitched seams and SERGER stitching in the inner leg and side seams). I decided that was too much work - I'd just deal with them and use Gwen's simple solution on the next pair. I was getting ready to attach the waistband AND GUESS WHAT I DISCOVERED??? I had sleep sewn and serged the wrong side of the pants back to the right side of the pants front! They were all sewn together including the center back seam. WILL SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME THAT THEY HAVE DONE THIS BEFORE?

This fabric is a nice quality light weight wool (unlike the last pair of pants I made) both from my New York shopping trip. So rather than chunk them in the dumpster out next to the street, I felt I had to try to rectify my sleep sewn mistake. I was up until 3 A.M. picking and pulling. My plan is to attempt re-cutting the crouch area, stitch and serge them back together with the seam allowance I have left, and make Gwen's adjustment (which is tying a piece of elastic at my waist over the pants, and just pulling them up until the wrinkles disappear, and them chalking a new stitching line around my waist. (long sentence, but I had to get that in there). Additionally, adding the seam allowance before stitching.

Gwen says she got this tip from Pants for Real People. I've started to buy that book before, but kept stalling. I went to two stores looking for it yesterday, and of course I couldn't find it. I'll get it from Amazon as soon as I can because I do need. THANKS GWEN! Now it's on with the show, I'll let you know how everything turns out...

December 18, 2009


Don't you just love Laverne Ross's work. I chose this print to show the colors that I feel every year on December 18th. Birthdays are still special, no matter how many you've had.

P.S. If I sew tonight it would be sleep sewing...I'd better go to bed.

December 17, 2009


I finished my second pair of pants for the sew-a-long. This fabric was purchased during my very first garment district excursion last summer. (I'm still thanking God that I had not only the opportunity to make that trip, but that I got to enjoy a full day in the city with my two little sisters - Brenda and Pat.) English Wool Design OC is printed on the fabric selvage. Is anyone familiar with this type fabric? I remember the fabric being much thicker, but it turned out to be thinner than I thought. I had enough of this fabric to make a matching jacket, but I don't think I like the weight or feel of the fabric enough to invest the time and effort it would take to make it.

I decided to take the slightly twisted waistband off completely and re-construct it so I would be happier with the finished product. Then while sewing sleep (you know what I mean), I accidentally cut the the length too short. I attached some lace hem tape and turned up a faux hem to rectify that problem. Instead of hand stitching I used black fusible hem tape. I knew I wouldn't be able to hand stitch the hem with the dreadful pick marks - which I hate by the way.

I've got a few wrinkles across the front that I can't explain.

I plan to start another pair tomorrow to meet my commitment of 3 pair this month...

December 15, 2009


I officially completed my degree today - Hallelujah and Amen!

I just read in a post that the Month of Pants has been extended another month. IS THIS TRUE?, IF SO...GOOD!, because I'm actually behind with my second pair. I must have missed the post about the extension. I worked on then a little last night - should have just gone to bed instead. My waistband is slightly twisted???, and I accidentally cut the length off a little too short. I started removing the waistband last night, and I think the length thing is salvageable if I do a false hem using hem tape. Moral of the story, don't try to sew when you are tired! I am going to work on the waistband just a little tonight to straighten it out or replace it entirely. I'll get them finished before the week is over.

Smoking Needles is on to something with her information on pants crouch adjustments to fit curvy bottoms. I've heard other bloggers say that they use a similar method, but had never seen it illustrated. She made the adjustment very clear with her drawing.

December 12, 2009


I finished my first pair of pants for the "MONTH OF PANTS SEW-A-LONG". I teetered back and forth when making these pants. In the middle of the construction process I was trying to decide whether to ditch the project or continue it through to the end. IT WAS THE FABRIC CHOICE, that made me teeter. It is a salt and pepper print on I don't know what kind of fabric. When I purchased it, I thought it would make a really nice matching jacket and pants. It was at such a reasonable price that I estimated the yardage to make the matching pair. I went ahead and made the pants because I had committed to the sew-a-long, but I don't think a jacket is going to materialize from this fabric. I think the pants are a good fit and I will be wearing them. I will be using this pattern again on my next pair.

In addition, I was nominated this Honest Scrap award by

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who gave the award and list their blog and link it.
2. Share "10 Honest Things" about yourself.
3. Present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged you.
4. Tell those 7 people they've been awarded Honest Scrap and inform them of these guidelines in receiving the award.
My time blogging time has been sort of limited lately, so I really don't have time to nominate 7 other people. So, any one who reads here can just pick it up for themselves.

Here are 10 Honest Things about me...

1. I hate it when people tell be what I'd better do.

2. I also hate it when people waste my precious time.

3. I also hate it when people belittle my hobby, especially when they don't even have one.

4. I hate it when I procrastinate - but I often find myself doing it.

5. I hate that I can't seem to get organized.

6. I really like to watch television, especially while I'm sewing.

7. I really like old movies. I don't even mind if they are in black and white. Last night I watched "The Portrait of Dorian Gray", have you ever seen that one?

8. I think I've read more this year than any other time in my life.

9. I was not happy AT ALL when I found out that I had to work towards my Technical Studies Degree. During the last 22 months I have cursed, cried, moaned, groaned as well as come down with a skin disorder associated with all the stress I've been through; in short, I have been a big baby about it. My Mother encouraged me all the way, I have to apologize to her, because she was the one who had to listen to all my venting. PLEASE FORGIVE ME MOTHER!!! But now that it's all over, I am so proud of my self and glad that I did pursue it.

10. I like people and like spending time with them too; however I value my alone time just as much....

December 7, 2009


I was torn as to whether grade this pattern down a size and make an entirely new muslin; OR do as Lynelle suggest and just take the existing muslin in 3/4" in all seams. I opted to do the latter, and increased all seams by 3/4". The pants fit/feel so much better. Not too loose, too tight.

(Yes, I'm talking on the phone. Everytime I try to fit something the phone always rings.)

I took David Coffin's pants book to read at break today. There is so much valuable construction information in his book especially on front fly zippers and pockets. And I am so glad the book came with a DVD.

Now I need to decide on the fabric to use for my first project for the Month of Pants, because I'm cutting them out tonight.

December 6, 2009


I need Blogger help! I use to be able to click on my pictures once posted in order to enlarge them. Since I switched computers I can no longer do that. Can anybody help me with a simple soultion to setting Blogger so I can click on the pictures in my post to enlarge them?

Does this make sense???


ANYTIME I venture into experimenting with a new pant pattern I have to make a muslin. I guess gone is the day when I can just look at a pattern's size and say "yes, this will work". That being said, I continue my search of the pant pattern that requires very few alterations. Since I have joined the new Month of Pants sew-a-long I've decided to give this slightly vintage Simplicity pattern a try. What constitutes Vintage anyway? I think I like this pattern because it has so few pieces (6 total), opposed to the last pants pattern I used that had almost 5 pieces just for the pockets. For me that just was not practical. I need as few pieces as possible, minimal alterations and a great fit. Is that too much to ask for???

I cut the pattern straight out of the envelope with only one change - increased the back seam allowance 1". I got that idea from using Simplicity 2700. I used a 5/8" seam when sewing it, so I guess that means that I added 1" to the back seam - right (There goes that math again!); baby's got back you know! This pattern was printed in 1978, and although it's multi-sized (included 3 sizes) there was no change or difference in the crouch curve printed on the pattern. I thought this was strange, but if it works - great.

I went ahead and put the zipper in this muslin and even pressed it after getting it together to get a better idea of how the pants would look.

I do hate trying to take pictures of myself, but hopefully they will help me determine if this pattern is a go or not by allowing me to look at different views of the fit. The pictures are awful but here goes.

All in all I think the fit is pretty good. I'm going to try it on again and sit around in it for a while to get more of a feel for them. I might take them in just a tad in the side and back seams. What do you think???????????? Yes or No? I will be pulling that David Coffin Pants book off the shelf for this.

December 4, 2009


In January I usually set goals, personal as well as those for sewing. All through the year my goals have hoovered around my subconscious, but now as year end fast approaches I need to see just how many of those remaining can be completed. I set ten sewing goals in January (SEE SIDEBAR). If I don't complete all ten - I will not be dismayed, but will simply move the uncompleted ones over into the new year.

  • Practice: Collar Stand Application
  • Practice: Hong Kong Finish
  • Practice: Invisible Zipper Application
  • Make Chanel Suit from fabric Mother gave me
  • Secret Sewing Goal

I know that I can complete my Chanel suit - the jacket is already DONE, and the skirt will not take too long to do. I could get some practice sessions done on the invisible zipper and the Hong Kong finish. Don't know if I'll get around to the Collar Stand application, and I'm absolutely sure I won't have time to tackle my Secret Sewing Goal. (Just what is my Secret Sewing Goal?...I'm not telling.) I'll will be very happy accomplishing eight of my ten goals this year.

In addition to giving some serious thought to completing my 2009 sewing goals, I have joined the newly formed MONTH OF PANTS sew-a-long started by Lynnelle at You sew, girl. With all of the tops I made last month I still need pants. I have worked with Simplicity's 2700 several times this year trying to perfect a TNT pants pattern, and I really thought this was it. After making several pairs of pants with that pattern, I'm still not completely satisfied with the fit. I'm committing to three pairs of pants for this sew-a-long, and will be trying this slightly vintage Simplicity pattern. I'll post my progress starting with a muslin and HOPEFULLY, these pants will fit perfectly the first time around....

November 30, 2009


Although November flew by it proved to be a wonderfully productive sewing month for me again. I wanted to end this years Month of Tops sew-a-long with a twist - another twisted neckband tee. The knit I worked on with my TNT pattern New Look 6735, is a light weight poly knit so I came up with idea of doubling the twisted neckband as a contrast. Initally I started with a neckband cut on the fold and folded in half, but I thought it was too light weight - so I took a chance and doubled the fabric. I actually like the contrast in weight of the neckline versus the body of the garment. I also like the look of the twisted neckline on a solid fabric.

So here is MOT #14.

This has been an enjoyable sewing experience, especially since some really talented fellow bloggers joined in with me. So, a special "THANK YOU" to Ebony for encouraging me to do a month of tops again this year. And, a special "THANK YOU" to all who joined in to give a little boost to their wardrobes with some extra tops.

I know that I will probably make at least two more tops before the year's end, but I will mainly be concentrating on other more structured sewing projects in December. The Month of Tops was a good project to take on after making the Chanel Jacket. The Chanel Jacket was a good project to take on after not being able to sew in August and September because I was taking those two classes. MY GOD, HAVE I ( S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D THIS YEAR), and have come such a long, long way in my sewing adventure since starting to sew again in September 2006!!! Many thanks to all who have watched my progress...

November 29, 2009

MOT #11 AND IT'S SPIN OFFS... thing leads to another, and then another. Such was the case Month of Tops #11. I wanted a jazzy little tunic so I was drawn to a Hillary Duff pattern - M5575. I know Duff patterns are really geared toward younger people - but sometimes I just go with my heart. To my surprise this pattern runs large, but I didn't know that so I enlarged it and it ended up much too big. I ended up having to take it in that much and much, much more. I only had one glitch with the pattern. I lengthened the bodice, but neglected to lengthen the front band and facing - not good! I ended up patching the band right in the center front area to make it work out. The busy dark print allowed me to make the correction so that it isn't noticeable.

Here's the finished tunic that I modified to add full length sleeves because it's starting to get cold down here in Georgia.
The neckline left no room for modesty, so I needed something to cover my chest (can't stand for my neck to be cold!). So Top #11 prompted Top #12. This is a TNT Kwik Sew 2740 turtleneck. I made sure the turtleneck was really loose because I also can't stand turtles chocking me! (he he)

Although the chocolate turtleneck looks good with the tunic - I couldn't help wonder how a black top would add up - thus Top #13. Can I say...I love this little top and can visualize more of it popping up this season. Only 3 pieces - with hemmed armacyes, no facing and no binding. I got the idea from The Selfish Sewer who has shown several just like it recently. Have you seen her blog? She is a hilariously wonderful sewer. Anyway, she also offers just such a pattern that you can download from her blog. I couldn't use her pattern because my printer is not hooked up yet. But, after a mad pattern stash search I was able to find OOP Simplicity 4503 for this razer cut shell. I must be getting braver because I eliminated the back seam and added the BIG cowl neck collar from McCall's 5699 (another Duff pattern). I have several other patterns with cowl collars, but opted for this pattern because of it's hugeness.

Now I guess I will finally have to agree with many others - "I am obsessed" with sewing. With only two more days left in "The Month of Tops" the pushed to the side, already cut out, originally Top #12 - now Top #14 patiently awaits in the wings. I must say that this has been the most wonderful SEWCATION of the year! The only interruption (however nice) was taking the time out to make a casserole and for Thanksgiving dinner. No one even rang my door bell since Tuesday! Every one knew some serious sewing was taking place in the bat cave. So today is my last official sewing day and I'm off to start MOT #14.

November 27, 2009


Almost all of my November posts have been about tops. Hope that they haven't bored anyone, but when ever I set a goal, I try my best to see it through. Mind you, I don't always succeed but as my Granny always said, "NOTHING BEATS A GOOD TRY!" I actually never revealed my goal for the number of tops I wanted to complete during this sew-a-long - well the goal is 12, and I think I will make it. THERE ARE THREE MORE DAYS LEFT in November. Here's a picture of #10, and #'s 11 and 12 are cut, marked and awaiting their turn. I also did a modification on Top #4 because I felt it was just a little too plain. I added my renditiion of a flower like ruffle at the center front.

#10 is made from a nice smooth knit from Ebbjy Fabrics. I used Simplicity 3634, view B for another cowl neck tee. The top is very simple, but what really excites me about it is the plaid pencil skirt that I plan on making to go with it. It's a nice wool flannel that I also got from Ebony.

I'm going to try to start MOT #11 tonight...

November 25, 2009


I keep forgetting what number top I'm on! But just found out that this is number 9. I made this top from Vouge 8323. I used the pattern once last year when I made a top in a deep chocolate jersey knit that feels soooo very good against my body. I was unsure of the pattern at the time, so I went with a size larger just to be sure. At first I thought this pattern was a little weird with the front and back panels and side panels. But it is a great tee pattern! The top wore wonderfully, but was just a tad big in the shoulder area. I think I have narrow shoulders. So this time I went down a size just in the shoulder/neckline area.

I'm a lover of knit tees as you can tell by now. So most of the tops I'm making for the Month of Tops sew-a-long are quite simple. Consequently, I felt that I needed to do SOMETHING different to add some punch or switch it up just a bit. I got the idea that I wanted to add a twist neckband on top #9. Now mind you, adding a twist neckband is not a real complex operation, but sometimes I let new things and ideas intimidate me so much...sometimes to the point that it freezes any amount of creativity, even the smallest amount. Such was the case with adding this twist band.

I was able to get directions from four different sources and have to give credit where credit is due: Sew News, Assorted Notions, Sew Intriguing, and Sigrid - Sewing Projects. What was I scared about? It wasn't hard at all - just something new. I am so pleased with the way it turned out that I hope I don't go hogg wild with it - but I will be doing it again...soon. The next time I will make the band wider like the one Sigrid used. My band is a little hard to detect because of the print that I used.

Marked up my table a little bit, but that's par for the course (he he).

On to #10...

November 23, 2009


I started Simplicity 2850 at our little sew a long yesterday, but was unable to finish it. I rushed right home this evening to get it completed to wear to work tomorrow. I loved the two that Sheila made from this pattern and had to give it a try. I love the colors in this fabric and have a necklace that has exactly the same colors that I will wear with it. I made a shortened version on view A also, tapered the sleeves and added a simple hem rather than use the elastic as the pattern called for. I had a wee problem getting the neckband flat, but figure it was something I did wrong in cutting - I will rectify that glinch next time because I do plan on using this pattern again.

November 21, 2009

MOT #7

I really have so many things that I need to be doing other than sewing...but I just can't help myself! I need to clean this house! The "bat cave" alias sewing room should be declared a diaster area; no kidding. And I have that test that I need to study for, but you see... Month of Tops #7 was calling to me so I just had to get her completed.

For some reason I don't use that many Simplicity patterns but I used 3624 for the first time. It was simple and with the fabric I chose, really a joy to sew up. Compared to MOT #6 which was made from a poly/lycra knit and a little tricky in sewing, the fabric I used for #7 (which I purchased from Ebbjy Fabrics by the way) sewed like a dream. So here it is. I know that I will be wearing this one to work next week.
For #8 I was inspired by Sheila's last top, and I have a idea that I'm itching to use for the neckband on that one. I'll actually be using one of the New York City purchases for the next top. I haven't gotten into that fabric at all. We'll see how it comes out.

November 20, 2009


my 200th post! An exciting milestone that took me 33 months to reach. I'll have to do something special to celebrate this ... but first I need to complete "NOVEMBER - THE MONTH OF TOPS". For now I'll just be happy with presenting my MOT #6 edition - an knit animal print twisted neckline top for Butterick 5429. This is a new pattern for me and since I do not make muslins for tops, I cut this top about a size and a half larger than my norm because I was unsure of the fit of the pattern. After starting the assembly I ended up taking 1" seam allowances to take it up because it turned out way to big. This is the second twisted neckline top that I've made, and although I'm often drawn to patterns of this type I don't think I'll make another one. This top is a good one, and the print certainly fits in my wardrobe with all the black that I wear. I'm just not sold on the twist construction.

Now to make a decision on what pattern to use for top #7...

November 18, 2009


but there are two on the cutting table ready to go. I had another mishap yesterday and decided to count my lose early in the game. I promise you it wasn't me (lol), but rather the fabric choice. I was working with a light weight sweather knit and when I sewed the first few seams I knew I'd better call it quits because the fabric was stretching all over the place and the stitching was puckering like crazy. So I didn't want to waste too much time on something I thought was going to be totally unwearable.

I know that the Month of Tops is not a contest, but I feel so behind schedule. Life stuff just keeps popping up delaying my sewing goals. I think I will be able to salvage some time though, I've got this weekend, and only work Monday and Tuesday next week. Furloughed next Wednesday and the I have Thursday and Friday free and then another weekend to work on some tops. So it's on with the show. I will have something ready to post soon.....

November 14, 2009

MOT #5

I finished this top last night after my trip got a little extended because I didn't think it was safe to continue driving after dark. This was made by morphing my TNT New Look 6735 with the cowl collar from McCall's 5699. I kinda wanted a turtleneck from this fabric, but opted for the cowl collar instead to give the top a little punch. I wanted something really comfortable and loose fitting so I cut the top a little wider. I purchased this fabric from Ebbyj Fabrics. I fell in love with it because it was such a light weight knit. The color doesn't show up that well in the picture for some reason, but the tulip print is a really dark chocolate on a sort of taupe background. I think it is such a cute and fun print. I will probably go ahead and make the McCall's 5699 in it's entirety also. Trying to make a decision on what pattern for what fabric is sometimes trying and definitely time consuming.
Thought I'd sew a little tonight, but I guess I'm too tired to start....
TO ANSWER NORA'S QUESTION: Concerning sewing the neck band flat: there is actually no bulk created in the shoulder area. I hand stitched the band to the seam so that it would stay flat. Also after stitching the remaining shoulder seam press the band away from the top, and the band seam toward the top. I then machine stitched the seam with topstitching. Hope this helps.

November 12, 2009

MOT #4

I didn't want to have to sit around for two evenings with nothing to do so I brought my machines on my business trip. This is not the greatest of pictures, but here is top #4 for me. It's another TNT pattern, Simplicity 4095. It's another simple tee, but this time with a V neck line that has just a little rauching at the center front. I wasn't able to use the flat neckband application on this top because if the "V". I really needed a cream or off white top so this is it. I still have another piece of cream fabric in my stash that I will hopefully make up this month too.

Maybe I can manage to cut out another top while watching Project Runway...

November 11, 2009


I finally finished top #3. I had started a Vogue top several days ago that turned out to be a dud. I don't know if it was the pattern or the fabric or both because it certainly wasn't me (he he). I thought it would be best to just call it a loss. I had used a knit and the pattern called for bust darts. I hate darts in knits - they just never lay right. So I moved right along but this time with " TNT" New Look 6735. I've made this top at least 3 other times. It's a super simple tee that fits really good. It's easy - only 4 pattern pieces, and I don't need the instruction sheet at all. The only thing that makes it different this time is the way that I applied the neck band.

The instructions for this pattern like all the others I've made call for sewing the shoulder seams and then applying the neck band in the round which isn't hard to do, but I found the interesting idea of sewing it flat on this blog Actually it is easier this way and the neck band lays much flatter when installed in this manner. I had wanted to use this method ever since I read about it - and I really like it. So, even thougth this is made from a "TNT" pattern I learned and used a new method. Now it's on with the show...

November 8, 2009


The following "Month of Tops" participants still need to respond to invitations sent out to them that will allow them to post to the Month of Tops blog:

The Creative Lady
Joyce in NC

As soon as you have responded, you are officially logged in as "Blog Authors" and will be allowed to post. Thank you for your cooperation, and HAPPY SEWING!

November 7, 2009


This is the top that I wanted to make specifically for my Chanel inspired jacket. Top #2 for the month of tops. This is McCall's 5708 that I made the protype of earlier. The pattern is well drafted and goes together very well. I love the short sleeve with the little band and I can see that I will probably make this one up again. I'd like to see it done up in black - a classic wardrobe essential. I wore the protype earlier this week with a belt as illustrated on the pattern envelope.

Now on to top #3...

November 6, 2009


I've reviewed all requests to join the month of tops several times. BLOGGER INVITES have been sent out to all of the email addresses that I have. I'm new at this so please be patient with me. If I have missed anyone - please do not hesitate to comment on my blog (Faye's Sewing Adventure) and let me know as I don't want to leave anyone out that wants to be included.

NOTE: please include your email address in your comment to be added to the "TOPS" blog.

NOTE TO SUE (THE BLOOM BOOK CLUB): Please post your email address because I cannot figure out how to leave a comment on the Book's blog.

November 5, 2009


So, I figured out how to set up a blog for the participants of "The Month of Tops" blog. It can be found at

November 4, 2009


Dang it, my picture showed up sideways! And of course I don't know how to fix it. I need a Blogger class! Doesn't EVERYONE just love receiving packages (unexpected of otherwise). Well, this one was expected and even though he doesn't know it, I was sweating the mailman about it. I've had the same mailman for the last 20 years, and although he is cute, he is not the most sociable person. He does however, wear short that are toooo short in the summer (at which I laugh at).
Anyways, James finally delivered my package from Smoking Needles' give a way - I won SECOND PLACE - hurray for me, and many thanks to Rachelle. I received a stuff bucket that I'll use to carry my stuff when I go away for sew-a-longs, 4 patterns and a toiletry travel kit. I just found out that I'll be going to a 2 day conference next week so I need that toiletry kit.



The list of people interested in THE MONTH OF TOPS SEW-A-LONG has grown to fourteen (including me). IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO JOIN US! Just post a comment saying you are interested, and you are in. All participant links will be posted on my right sidebar, so those wanting to follow your progress can click right in to your blog to see what you are doing along the way.

This sew-a-long is quite simple:

•Choose your fabrics

•Choose your patterns (or self draft)

•Add a new twist to a TNT pattern

•No quotas

•No limits

•You choose how many you want;

•and by November 30th we will have a number of added wardrobe options. ...

November 2, 2009


As I mentioned in my last post, I ALWAYS find myself in need of new tops. If I can go to the closet and pull out a top that I really like - pairing it with a pair of slacks and maybe even a jacket (matching or contrasting) just makes dressing easier. A new top can give an old outfit a much needed spark and can even brighten your day...Thus "The Month of Tops".

Several ladies have already expressed an interest in joining me in sprucing up my wardrobe with extra tops. This sew-a-long is quite simple:

  • Choose your fabrics

  • Choose your patterns (or self draft)

  • Add a new twist to a TNT top

  • No quotas

  • No limits

  • You choose how many you want;

  • and by November 30th we will have a number of added wardrobe options.

Soooo, if you are interested in joining, just post here or shoot me an email so I can add you to the list. THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!

It was also suggested that we do a Spring Month of Tops; soooo April it shall be....

November 1, 2009


Last year I made a knit top on October 30th, and although I hadn't planned on it, I didn't stop making tops until November 31st. I needed to add a lot of tops to my fall/winter wardrobe, and I think I made a total of 15 of them, all knit.

Well those tops did get me through last fall/winter. But after careful consideration I did have evaluate continued wearability. Some of them had to be eliminated because of fabric choice - a turtleneck for instance definitely needs to be made from a two-way stretch fabric. Several others have been eliminated because of shags, stains, unsuitable color choice, or because the way the fabric felt against my skin. (I cannot wear stuff with metallic threads running through it.)

Anyway, my friend Ebony was amazed at the number of tops I produced last fall, and has been suggesting that I make the "TOP MONTH" an annual event. I've been telling her "I don't know about that", but she was adamant, and I do find myself needing a number of tops for the why not? I don't know how many tops will evolve this month, but I do have some REALLY GORGEOUS KNITS that are calling out to me "SEW ME UP... NO ME, SEW ME FIRST".

I recently finished the Chanel Jacket (and by the way I am ubber proud of that), but the goal was to make a complete Chanel suit. So before I hit up the bin of knits for tops, I must finish this Chanel suit. I read that Coco Chanel suits quite often included a stylish blouse made up from the lining fabric. I've had visions of this, and think that it would be so classy to do the same thing. So I got more of the shocking pink charmeuse that I used for the jacket lining (wish I knew how to spell charmeuse rather than having to look it up every time I use it) to make the tie neck blouse of my vision. I so love this blouse, but was afraid to try it in charmeuse since the pattern suggests georgette like fabrics. So I opted for this one (view C), which I also love, and that the pattern actually suggests charmeuse. First, I made this prototype from a WalMart find to get the feel and fit of this pattern. I love this pattern and fooled around with it a little earlier this year, and with just one minor adjustment it will be fine.

Ebony we'll see how the month of tops goes...


October 28, 2009


...and although there were times that I thought I wouldn't make it, or that I had bitten off much more than I could chew... I did make it to the finish line. This jacket involed a lot of firsts for me. Of course I had never made a Chanel look-a-like; never thought about quilting a lining to my fashion fabric; never truly bagged a lining; hadn't used much trim, and never completed a challenge.

My re-entering the world of sewing in September 2006 it was a God send because I really need a creative outlet. I was plenty discouraged at that time because it seemed that I had lost all of the skill that I did have after my 13 year hiatus from sewing. Three years ago I would have never even thought about starting a project of this caliber.

My Mother sent this beautiful boucle to me last September and I really had planned on making a Chanel suit from it last Fall. Well that didn't happen, but when this challenge came along I signed right up. Of course I experienced some feelings of remorse shortly after joining and even thought about withdrawing my name from the challenge. But I presevered and here is my finished project.

This was quite a challenge and I want to thank Clever Girl and Cindy for setting this up. There are plans for a matching pencil skirt and a dressy blouse made from the same fabric as the jacket's lining.

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