April 29, 2009


I'm just peeping in to let everybody know that Angela shared her Burda February 2008 magazine with me. She is so generous! Thank you again Angela! I received the magazine on Monday, got it traced last night, and if it wasn't for an English paper being due tomorrow - that puppy would have been sewn up tonight. Oh well, first things first. Hopefully I'll have it done with pictures before the weekend is over.

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions you posted concerning my quest. I love you all and I HEART your comments!

April 22, 2009


HELP YA'LL....................
I need to issue an A.P.B pattern alert! My morphing project is not going as well as expected. Hate it when things play out perfectly in my mind, but then reality throws me a curve ball!

Trena suggested that I try Burda Magazi
ne's February 2008 issue for a pattern for my Speigel knock-off blouse, which is almost an exact replica. I checked BWOF's archive but they only offer back issues in German and that won't help. I checked Ebay and didn't see that issue for sale there. Does any one out there have that issue that they would be willing to sell?... maybe at a price lower than the cost of the blouse (lol).


Maybe this OOP Butterick pattern #4996 that has a blouse of a similar style?
When I get a particular style stuck in my head it is so hard to get it out.

April 16, 2009


It is so nice to have sewing friends to bounce ideas off, gather ideas from, and be inspired by. I just could not make up my mind what pattern to use for the blouse I need for my new raspberry suit. Lisa came to my rescue and described a top that would really highlight and dress up the suit. So with her description I set out to find my pattern. When the Speigel catalog came today - I found an exact replica of the vision she had placed in my head.....
I am soooo loving this blouse! But even searching all nine; that's right nine pattern drawers (but they are small drawers) did not produce a suitable pattern. However,....I was able to come up with two patterns that I think can be morphed together for the look I want.

My plan is to use the Hillary Duff pattern as the base for the project because it already has the band collar with the tie. I'm thinking that I'll need to cut right down the middle of the front to add enough ease for the gentle pleats of the Speigel blouse rather than use the gathers of the Duff pattern. Rather than use a sleeve, I'll incorporate the racer sleeveline from the McCalls 5336. Lisa suggests that I first make a QUICK AND DIRTY muslin to try out my ideas.

I am really excited about the project, especially the morphing part. Can you tell I've been reading Carolyn's TNT pattern process? This, for me, is taking a risk, stepping out of my comfort zone once again...BUT, IT'S A GOOD THING!

P.S. Don't you just hate it when they don't put those little small line drawings on the outside of the pattern envelope?

April 12, 2009


First of all (HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY TO ALL) ! By now everyone who reads my blog knows that I am quite wordy. But since I normally only post once or twice a week I tend to take that liberty - so please bear with me while I get it all out:

I'm sending a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all who stop by to see what I'm doing. It means a lot to me to know that you are interested. I need your encouragement and helpful advice so keep those comments coming!!!
  • I'd like to reiterate how much I love my resource books, and find them so helpful in doing my sewing projects. When I first started sewing again in 2006 I never dreamed that I would want to go deeper and deeper into sewing. I called myself a humble beginner or re-beginner at that point and was honestly scared of the phrase "Intermediate Sewer" and God forbid an "Advanced Sewer". I guess my greed for information and learning pushed me on over into the Intermediate level, and now I'm finding that I want delve into the Advanced sewing. The word "Couture" seemed to scared a word for me to utter, but guess what, not any more! I'm ready to move forward and this is just the book to help me do that.
  • I heard about this book only a short time ago, but immediately thought that it was one that I should include on my "Books to Get List". Today I'm reviewing "Cool Couture - Construction Secrets for Runway Style, by Kenneth D. King".
The title says a lot about the content of this book; let me explain:
  • it was created for today's fashion-forward sewer (that's me) since I am now ready to take my sewing to another level, this is the book for me.
  • it is an easy to read and understand guide to professional, designer-quality construction and finishing techniques.
  • in it the author shares his techniques for creating runway style garments.
  • it contains lots of clear close-up photos.
  • I've already found several of his techniques that I know I will be incorporating into the very next garments I'm planning on making.
  • I knew from the cover that this was going to be a fun but informative book to read and to use.
I think I started working on the muslin for this jacket on March 21st and it seems like it has taken me a month to finish (well it did take 9 days short of a month). I really don't like it when projects take such a long time to finish. But I do have to take into consideration: that I don't actually sew everyday, I did work on the practice pockets alone for several sewing sessions, regardless I am always adding techniques that aren't including in the pattern in order to get the look I want.
I am quite pleased with my results and I'll put the jacket
in the cleaners tomorrow to get a professional pressing.

I'm off now to find a pattern for the blouse/top to match my suit. I was talking with Lisa today and she suggested a racer type design for my blouse. I'm thinking that I already have a pattern with that detail - at least I hope so.

OK, back to books. Here are some books that my friend Brenda shared with me recently. I am totally in love with the one on Fashion Illustration. Here's my first attempt with fashion illustration, and I am so loving it. I plan on going out to buy a special set of coloring pencils tomorrow to work with this some more. She also shared two wall plaques with me that have found a home right over my sewing table. THANK YOU BRENDA!!!

Wheeeeeeeee, I knew was going to be another long post....Thanks Again for Reading! Now I'm off to find that blouse pattern and prepare for the new week............

April 7, 2009


I've had an obsessive love of books since childhood . It's a family thing; me, my Mother, daughter and now my granddaughter all suffer from this wonderful disorder. We all LOVE books! Through the years my book obsession has jumped from one subject to another: Gardening, Cooking (I'm still obsessed with cookbooks) Decorating, Quilting, and now I'm back to Sewing books again. I am a firm believer that something can be learned from any book you pick up.

I am currently reviewing "Singer Perfect Plus" by Kathleen Cheetham.

This book comes fully equipped with 4 patterns that can be used to make over 50 garments that mix and match and are all designed for plus sized women. It also contains information on color and fabric selection that I think is very valuable. This book will really help me on my quest of creating a cohesive wardrobe; meaning one where I can just walk up to the closet and pull out clothes that not only match in color but also fit well and be off on my way to work. The book is crammed full of good information and sewing techniques.

Over and over my blog proves to be a great source that keeps me on track with what I should be doing on my sewing projects. Here's the "To Do" list I created for the in my last post for the jacket I'm working on:

. tweek fit in back princess seams (DONE)
. sew up sides and sleeve using 1" seam allowance (should have made the jacket a size smaller. (DONE)
. attach shoulder pads (DONE)
. attach lining to front facing incorporating piping (HAVING SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PIPING) (DONE - ELIMINATED PIPING)
. attach lining/front facing to jacket (DONE)
. insert sleeve lining (DONE)
. work buttonholes in front and sew on buttons (DONE)
. hem sleeves and jacket (DONE)

I've only got 5 more areas to complete. An overwhelming sense of accomplishment is sweeping over me - it feels good!

April 5, 2009


...I am continuing with Butterick 5288, an easy jacket pattern that I've taken to another level by adding double welt pockets, but first of course I had to do the practice sessions and that took some time. I'm also thinking about adding a little piping to the inside of the jacket at the lining and front facing, and the lining and the collar area. I just thought it would add a nice finishing touch to the jacket. I've had to take it nice and slow with this project because of a lot of other things going on; I'm not sidetracked, just a little distracted. So I wasn't able to finish the project this weekend as planned.

I like to make a list of what's left to do on a project so I can see how I'm progressing since I'm not following the instruction sheet exactly.
. tweek fit in back princess seams
. sew up sides and sleeve using 1" seam allowance (should have made the jacket a size smaller.
. attach shoulder pads
. attach lining to front facing incorporating piping
. attach lining to jacket
. insert sleeve lining
. work buttonholes in front and sew on buttons
. hem sleeves and jacket
With this list it will probably take another week to finish it up (gotta go to work you know). I did find a georgette like print to make a matching top for this suit but have not settled on a pattern/style yet. This light purple/raspberry (shoot, I don't know what color it is)suit addresses one of my sewing goals: Add More Color to my Wardrobe. Here's a picture of the jacket in progress (minus the good pressing) and the print I selected for the top.

I don't want to rush this project, but I am ready to move on to more spring/summer sewing. I want to start on the the fabric I purchased on my sewing expo trip. I've got some ideas for a Mini SWAP with 8 pieces that I'll call "THE BLACK AND WHITE OF IT" that will include the following pieces:

.White Pants
.Black Pants
.Black and White Jacket
.2 Print Tops
.2 Solid Tops
.Black Skirt with White Embroidery Design

Hope everybody is have a relaxing weekend!

P.S. What in the world is wrong with my Blogger? I have lost the tab that changes the font size. When I click on the bold tab, the add a link tab, or the add a picture tab it posts a code instead of just doing what it usually does. This is strange; is there any one else experiencing this.

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...