January 31, 2010


As I mentioned before, I had committed to making three more pairs of pants in January for the Pants Challenge. Well, I only got one pair finished, that's sewing life for you. I finished the wool blend tweed pair last night after a little tweaking, serging each seam, lining, hemming and doing the buttonholes. It was a slow process for some reason, but I am very satisfied with the pants, fit and all. I ended up with only a minute amount of wrinkling on the left side. The pants feel really good wearing and sitting and the lining makes for ease in pulling them on. This is officially my TNT pants pattern now. Although I really do not mine all of my pants being the same style, I think I will give Simplicity 2700 another go just to try and conquer the contoured waistband. (I do hate for something to lick me.)

I took a picture of my hem showing my hem tape. My friend asked me why I use it. I know that it's not absolutely necessary, but I after I've made something that I think is special I like to add this little touch. Yes, nobody knows it's there except me, but that just adds to the specialness - you know what I mean I'm sure.
The jacket and skirt are to follow. I have the jacket about 1/3 finished; at least the shell is sewn together and has been fitted - which is part of the battle. Now for a little tailoring, the collar, the sleeves and lining. Should I shoot for an estimated finish date of next weekend...mmmmmm, we will have to see.

Additionally, just passing this breaking news along....

It is always such a pleasure to know that people find your blog interesting, maybe a little informative and actually enjoy reading it. I received a email from Janome last week announcing not one but two contests that they are running concurrently. The contests are called "Pass It On" and the prizes are FABULOUS! I am thinking of entering! For one of the contests you enter with a younger person and you both win prizes. I have just the younger person in mind too. The contests end March 31st, so there are two whole months to work on it. You can read all of the details at www.janome.com.

January 27, 2010


I was able to meet my goal of three pair of pants made up during the Month of Pants SewALong in December. Well, the challenge turned into the Month or Two of Pants and was extended over into January. I really thought I'd be able to make three more pair this month, but that didn't happen. With four more days until the end of the month, I am determined to finish one more pair.

I am so in love with tweed and purchased this brown herringbone from my friend Ebony in early fall. It has flecks of yellow, teal, red and beige in it. I think it has many possibilities since I can wear it with four different colors of tops (you know what a top person I am). I purchased 5 yards of the 60" wool blend with the idea that I'd be able to make a jacket and matching pants from it. To my surprise there was enough left after cutting the jacket and pants to cut a straight skirt - thus I'll have a three piece mini wardrobe when it's finished.

I'll need to line the pants because the wool blend is a bit scratchy, but the lining should make them a breeze to slip into. Of course the jacket and skirt will also be lined. I'm sticking to my slightly vintage Simplicity TNT pants pattern and after trying them on three times for fitting purposes here are my results.

Only slight wrinkling on one side of the front this time - yippee! After the lining is attached I'll take Gwen's advice and pull them up until the wrinkles disappear, mark a new waistband stitching line and they should be good to go.

I'll be back with the finished product real soon....

January 24, 2010


I simply cannot get my Amazon widgets working today. However, I've been wanting to review this new book for several weeks now and decided to go ahead and review now, and fix my widgets later...

By now you have probably figured out that I am an advid reader, howbeit not so much of fiction, but mainly of self help books or those that will teach me practical things. Recently this pretty little book called "Ribbon Crafts" found a way into my collection.

I must say that there are numerous projects/techniques (and not just bows, although I like them too) included in this book that I am seriously think of incorporating into some of my sewing projects. For instance:
  • gathered flowers
  • serpetine gathered flowers
  • looped petals
  • continuious petal flowers and indiviual flower petals
  • ribbon roses
There is even a section on ribbon embroidery with instructions so clear that it looks as though even I will be able to pull off successfully. I'm really excited about this, I can see this ribbon embroidery being added to my next chanel jacket. This is a great book, and in reviewing it all kinds of embellishments for my fashion designs are floating through my head. I think "Ribbon Crafts" would be a welcomed addition to any sewist's resource collection.

There is also a section on making up some unique ribbon trims. I'm thinking about running out to the fabric store to pick up some gray ribbon to add to this newly finished project....

This is my latest cowl neck top. I really love this top, it's the third one that I've made from this pattern (adding the Hillary Duff collar). I'm going to need to trace off a new Simplicity 4503 top pattern because it's out of print and I'm killing my pattern (l0l). There is nothing like a good old TNT pattern.

Now here's my new cardigan. (And yes, I am in love with twin sets - always have been.)

I used the same McCall's 5978 cardigan pattern but so wanted a rounded neckline instead of the V neckline. I was quite successful in morphing this pattern with McCall's 8155 (which I'm sure is OOP) at the center front and neckline to get a different version of the cardigan (a new feat for me). The following picture gives a look at the rounded neckline hidden by the cowl collar.

My friend Lisa picked out my buttons when I couldn't make up my mind. She did a good job, I think they are so cute. Making buttonholes on this fabric - not so cute. My practice ones kept coming out perfect, but the ones I put on the top not so perfect. After putting the project in time out for a couple of days I finally decided to try making them using another machine (thank God I have others). I was finally able to get them in suitably last night. I'm in love with the set!, and will be wearing it to work tomorrow with black or charcoal pants - haven't decided yet.

Is there another set if twins in my forecast? Yes, indeed...

January 12, 2010


I've wanted to make THIS cardigan every since it first came out in the fall but I just could not get to it. When SHELIA made it up I fell in love with it even more. Well I finally got "A ROUND TUIT" this weekend. Am I pleased...yes! I had this nice charcoal gray knit several months ago and knew right off the bat that it would become McCall's cardigan twinset. I thought the cardigan would be a great place for some of the black rose and lace trim that I had left over from my Chanel jacket project. I love it on this project too. I still have 2 1/4" yards of the trim left so it's bound to show up on another garment eventually.

This is a repeat of the cowl neckline razer top that I made during the Month of Tops where I drafted a McCall's Hillary Duff pattern to a Simplicity pattern.

My kids are trying to teach me how to do model poses (lol).

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm, let me see what's up next........

January 6, 2010


SOMETIMES, yes sometimes mind you, I love getting mail. Look what came in the mail for me today.
  • Sometimes the perfect fabric catches your eye and demands to be bought, but you do not have a particular pattern in hand. How much should you buy?
  • These reference cards will help you estimate as accurately as possible, by providing tables that summarize actual fabric requirements from real patterns, broken down by outfit size and fabric width.
  • Over 2,000 patterns were used to build the tables, including patterns from Simplicity, McCalls, Butterick, Vogue, Burda, Neue Mode, Kwik Sew, Hot Patterns, & New Look.
The cards are available at this link. I've wanted these ever since I first heard about them. They are so cute and will not take up too much room in my purse (I already carry an overloaded purse). I think the cards will help me a lot with good on the spot estimates in purchasing fabric I love but don't know exactly what pattern I'll use for it. There's a card for everything I sew: dresses, jackets, tops, skirts and pants. What a Great idea!!!

January 3, 2010


Well, I finished the skirt for my Chanel suit today! So this completes a goal set in 2009, making a suit from fabric my Mother gifted me. It feels good to have it finished, I kept feel as though it was a UFO even though it wasn't even cut out yet. Too bad I don't even feel like putting it on TODAY, so pictures will follow as soon as I am able to find some boots that fit. I WANT BOOTS, and I'm having the dickens of a time find low heeled ones that fit.

I opted for a centered back zipper because I didn't think I could line up the plaid with an invisible zipper. So that means I'll have to make more skirts to get some invisible zipper practice in. I have exactly 3/4 yard of this fabric left. I saw that Barbara made a Chanelish like purse with a chain out of this type fabric so maybe one day I can get one made up.

January 2, 2010

2009 RECAP...

I thank God for 2009. I must take the time (even on my sewing blog) to reflect that although 2009 was a hard year, He graciously FILTERED it for me, my family and my friends. Without Him things could have been a lot harder. So with that in mind I've entered 2010 asking for His continued filtering and protection....Now on to sewing related things:

Total Garments made: 53 (I am definitely a jacket and tops person)
12 Jackets
22 Tops/Blouses
3 Dresses
8 Pants
8 PJ's

I started 2009 with a simple list of 5 things that some how expanded to 10 at some time or another. So let's see how I did:

1. Add more color to my wardrobe.
I did do better in this area, but need to constantly stay conscious of adding color so my wardrobe won't be so drab.

2. Practice the stand collar application.
I must admit, fear makes me refile any pattern that I pull out with a stand collar. I've made some really ugly ones in the past and just don't want to see another ugly one. This goal moves over to 2010.

3. Practice Welt Pocket application.
I did purposefully schedule 3 welt pocket sessions. I did m
anage to get them in on one of the jackets that I made. Paco even sent me samples of two of his expertly done welt pockets all the way from Barcelona so I could see the technique up close. I will do others.

4. Practice invisible zipper application
I didn't make any skirts last year or dresses that needed an invisible zipper. This one moves to 2010.

5. Practice Hong Kong finish.
I didn't address this item - over to 2010.

6. Practice bias tape making.
Discovered Cindy's method and bias tape making is a succes

7. Experiment with Burda and Patrones.
Thanks to Angela and Paco for sending me magazines. I ma
de 2 BWOF tops and 1 Patrones top and a Jacket.

8. Make a Chanel Suit from the fabric my Mother sent me.
Although a big challenge, the Jacket was a success. Started
the skirt yesterday.

9. Perfect pants pattern.
Of the 8 pair of pants made this year my last pair was the best fit. I joined the Month (or two) of Pants sew a long, and that helped me focus on pants last month. I'll move this goal to 2010 and attempt finding my perfect fit this month again - I thin
k I'm almost there.

10. Ahhh my secret sewing goal.
I didn't even get a chance to address this item. Not sure that I'll move this over to 2010 as of yet.MY FAVORITE 2009 GARMENT

As for my 2010 goals:

1. Practice sessions for:
. Invisible zipper

. Collar application
. Honk Kong finishes

2. Continue working on Fitting Pants.

3. Focus more on 4 to 6 piece Capsule sewing.

4. Try (a little) Home Decor.

5. Concentrate on sewing things that I really, really, really like more.

Besides my goals, I like to take the time to thank all of my sewing friends for visiting my blog. Especially the 123 bloggers who have signed up to follow my postings. DO YOU KNOW JUST HOW SPECIAL THAT MAKES ME FEEL??? You h
ave not gone unnoticed! I'm checking you out too! My wish for all who visit here is a year filled with many happy and productive sewing hours; health and prosperity; and much sharing and learning for us all....

Additionally, the very productive Linda
awarded me with this lovely Sugar Doll award. Thank you Linda!
To accept the award I need to list 10 things about myself and award it to 7 other bloggers. So here goes...
1. It's the New Year so I'm planning a major closet overhaul and overall house reorganization... feels like I've been here before.
2. As much as I sew, sometimes it seems that I haven't sewn enough.
3. I'm the oldest of 4 siblings (3 girls and 1 boy)
4. In my family you have only 1 child or 4. That's been the pattern for over 5 generations now. My daughter is an only child, and she has 4 children.
5. I feel the need to start living by lists again. Goal setting is so important in my life.
6. I'm a real spring/summer person even though I was born in the fall.
7. I love to cook gourmet style, but I love southern home cooking just as well.
8. I need to get motivated to redecorate my home.
9. I love to travel, but I've started hating to drive. I need to find me a driver.
10. I need to plain and make a special dinner for my friends - it's been a while.

I'd like to present this award to the following bloggers:
Ms. Choize

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