February 26, 2011


 ...many THANKS for all the well wishes on my 4th blog anniversary! 

I reviewed this book in this post.

The week one prize winner is....
Tanya I hope  you enjoy the book as much as I have!  Please email me your address and the book will be in the mail to you next week.

PRIZE TWO IS connected by my love of blouses and tops - 4 blouse/top Patterns from each of the Big 4 Companies. Sizes range up to size 20, and all Patterns are UNCUT.

Please comment in THIS post to let me know if you are interested.  Again, you must be or become a follower to enter.


My very first winter LBD is finished!  Started last Sunday, worked on bit by bit during the work week, final fitting adjustments and hem today.  Yes, I already have one summer LBD but really needed a winter version too.  You might not see me wearing this dress until Fall '11 ya'll because we are back up to 75 degrees this weekend.  The daffodils and tulip trees have entered stage right, pretty soon the Bradford Pear trees will make their appearance, and my sinuses acting really crazy - I think Georgia's spring is knocking at the door.  But here's my rendition of a slightly modified Vogue 8413 View D and some particularities about it:

  • I have L-O-V-E-D this dress since I first saw Angela wearing it way back in October '09; really wanted one like it too; thanks for the lasting inspiration Angela!

  • I wanted this black ponte roma knit so badly when it first hit Hancocks - that was in Fall '09 too.  But fabric had a strange thick white mark throughout the entire length of the bolt so I couldn't buy it.  They kept saying they would get more in but never did.  I bought this piece in North Carolina during my Christmas '09 visit with my kids.  It lived deep in the closet stash since that time.

  • A bit of "OVER THINKING" entered the picture at the beginning of the project.  Before I cut I held the front pattern piece up to see if the the bodice would be long enough.  Didn't think so - so I added 2" to the bodice of the pattern.  I did not make a muslin because I didn't have a similar fabric that I was willing to sacrifice.  Lisa helped me fit the bodice last Sunday and I thought it was just the right length.  Now, I'm having second thoughts about it - thinking it's too long.  I've thought about going in to make the adjustment, but I do not want to sacrifice the time it would take to do it. 
  • I opted for full length sleeves vs. the 3/4 length ones.  I'm sort of cold natured and  figured I can push them up if needed, but If I'm cold I'll have the long sleeves to keep me warm. 
  •  Working Black on Black (black fabric & black thread) is a real JOB!
  • I tried my best to figure a way to make the dress w/o a zipper, but because of the collar that ended at center back, didn't think it would look right w/o one.  I'm still not absolutely sure how far to place the zipper from the seam line with the invisible type. 
  • I MIGHT make this dress again, but if I do, I won't fool around with the bodice at all, and I'll go down a size too.
"SEWN" editor Elizabeth recently wrote about pattern company choices vs. being dedicated to one single company.  I guess I'd categorize myself as a "Liberal Arts" sewist because I like designs from and use them all, but lately I'm finding that I beginning to have a real affinity for Vogue Patterns.
    Until my next post, enjoy your weekend...

    February 24, 2011

    VOGUE 8305 FINISHED...

    ...Never thought I'd wish for a chilly day, but I so wanted to get some wear from this dress before the real Georgia weather officially arrives.   I finished this last weekend, but I knew I'd burn up in it on a 75 degree day.  This morning's temps were around 42 degrees so I got my chance.

    VOGUE 8305

    I got classroom pictures again.  The students are by best photographers - or at least they're handy when I need a quick picture.  Today they wanted in on the picture too.

    I must say I was very comfortable and really enjoyed wearing this.  I like it a lot, but I'm not quite sure if I'd make it again, but who knows I just might.  I really love ponte roma knits - they are soft and easy to work with.  I got this fabric from Hancocks in early in the Fall.


    I started my next project last Saturday, but having to work two nights this week cut into my sewing time something serious.   But by the week's end I should have two completed garments. 

    Now I'm off to see if I can get the collar on the dress I'm working on now...

    February 22, 2011


    ....if I put my mind to it - make a quilt.
    Quilting is something that I grew up with.  From as far back as I can remember there was always some type quilt around.  To "cover up with" and get cozy on a cold winter night, or to make a pallet out of for an after dinner Sunday nap, or simply just to admire.  I grew up watching my Granny quilt, so I've always know about quilting frames- even ones suspended from the ceiling, handmade quilting templates, batting of all types (and not the kind that comes all fluffy in a plastic bag), needles and thread.  From the time I was old enough, I've known how to make some type of stitch, although often imperfect.  Yes, my Granny let me quilt right along side her whenever I showed an interest, even though it meant that she'd have to pull those stitches out long after I was tucked into bed.

    The quilts of my youth were more functional and practical than for show. They were more often than not so heavy that I could barely turn over when one of them was placed on my bed at night.  As a matter of fact, I still have at least three of Granny's (actually she was my maternal Great-Grade Mother) quilts in my possession now.  Made by hand without a single machine stitch in them.  They are still intact, and one of them resides on my bed each and every winter season.

    My Mother too WAS a very diligent quilter for a very long time.  I say "was" because she's not even talking about it lately.  But for a long time we use to discuss all the different quilt patterns - you know, the nine patch, baby's block, dresden's plate, double wedding ring, log cabin and many, many others.  I've even made one or two myself.  Mind you, they did not hold up as long as my Granny's did however.  And there is still to this day something in the back of my mind that says "I ought to make another one".  Of course, for a time I had plans of making a quilt for each of my grand-children.  But with work schedules, and my obsession for garment sewing that hasn't happened - YET!  I still have that coffee mug that my Mom bought for many years ago with the inscription "I'm a quilter...and my house is in pieces".

    In 2009 I had a secret sewing goal that I told no one about (cause just in case it never came to pass I didn't want anybody asking me about it).  Smart, huh.  Two of my sewing buddies also quilt, and I'm somewhat embarrassed that I haven't made at least one quilt since I rekindled by passion for sewing.  But, I've decided that "I just might...if I put my mind to it" make a quilt.

    I guess all of this was the preamble to reviewing a new quilting book that arrived today.

    This book is filled with - as it says happy, colorful, and irresistible ideas and instructions.  It highlights:

    •  a modern and fun approach to quilting,
    •  includes small patchwork projects that take less time, and
    •  showcases traditional patchwork as an art, and a fun craft for people that aren't happy without  a  needle and thread in their hands (like me).
    So viewers be on the lookout because there just might be a quilt coming to this blog some time soon - if I put my mind to it....

    February 19, 2011


    ....well I'm really still trying to get use to it, if you can believe that.  It's so pretty, but it's almost like I'm afraid to touch anything.  I don't want my paint to get smudged (lol).  But here's a review of what I've been up to lately:

    Ebony and Keith gave me a "sewing room warming" gift certificate (wasn't that nice), and this is what I choose - a glass framed "L".  Ya'll did know that my first name is Linda - right?  I haven't hung it yet, but when I do, whenever I look at it I'll think of Ebony and Keith!

     I did some pattern organizing.  Yes, I do have an addiction, BUT I am not interested in any type of intervention as of yet.  However, some of the patterns did have to leave the sewing room area.  McCalls and Vouge are still housed in the room, but Simplicity, Butterick and New Look are now boxed up and will find a new home in the laundry room.  Not sure how this will work out.  I'm trying it on for fit right now, but I do have a plan "B" in case this thing keeps growing - build another room (ha ha).

    I remade the Vogue 8305 wiggle knit dress.  I never could get rid of a wavy side seam problem in the maroon version that I made.

    So after three attempts to fix the problem I had to ditch the project.  Yes, I was sad about it, but I've learned - "you have to know when to fold them" or quit, so it ended up in file 13.

    Here's the new version made in a ponteroma gray knit.  Can't believe I'm saying this, but hopefully the weather will cool down enough next week so I can get at least one wearing out of it before having to pack it back until next fall.  And, yes I will remember to take a picture wearing it.

    I cut out this pattern last night and want to get started on it then, but I'm finding out that after eating dinner I'm no longer fit to sew because sleepiness soon sets in - what a bummer.  I want to make two versions of this pattern.  If I can get off the computer maybe I can start them today.

    I need to hem this choir robe this weekend.  It's for the para-pro that helps me out SO MUCH at school.  I'm a selfish seamstress as such, but you just have to say yes sometimes. 
    My IT friend at school asked me to make her a pencil skirt after seeing me wear several of mine.  She fixes my computers when I'm in need so I felt I had to do it.  I just asked that she not tell anyone that that I did it.  But of course, the day she wore it to school there she was parading around the main office show it off and telling all the ladies there that I made it.  I thought I would faint!!!  I failed to get a picture of the skirt for my blog though.

    I am so guilty of writing long posts, but I have to announce that I celebrated the start of my 4th year of BLOGGING on February 10th.  So let's commence with the CELEBRATION!

    Blogging is an important part of my sewing adventure.  It provides an unlimited learning resource, and is a vehicle for sharing or giving back to the environment that actually affords me so much entertainment.  So to celebrate the start of my fourth year I will be offering not 1 but 4 give-a-ways (yeah one for each year).  Starting today I'll announce a new give-a-way every Saturday, with the winner announced the following Saturday.

    To enter:
    • be or become a follower of my blog;
    • mention why you are interested in the gift in a comment to this post;
    • mention the give-a-way on your blog (if you have one), and link back to this post.


    I reviewed this book in this post.
    This is one of the books I have in my car at the moment.  Why, you may ask?  I go out for a breath of fresh air everyday on my break.  While out fifteen, twenty or thirty minutes I need some reading material.  Said reading material is almost always a sewing resource book.  You'd be surprised at the tips you can pick up from this book.  So with notebook, pen, this book, and a little time I'm making use of every minute of my day.  Thought someone else might enjoy this read...

    February 8, 2011


    ...it feels like I worked on this simple skirt FOREVER, but that was because I took about two weeks off from it to get my sewing room put back together.  But now it's finally finished!
    • I worked out removing the extra width from the back of the skirt pretty well.  By doing so, I changed the original design from A-line to a somewhat straight style.
    •  I graded the original pattern up two sizes.
    • Practiced my invisible zipper application (still needs some work).
    • and I completed  another sew along.
    • Now that the skirt is finished, I have another wool blend plaid skirt to add to my winter wardrobe.
    I gave it a spin around the block yesterday, and it wore quite well.

    Seeing what I've made thus far this year, can you tell that I am a lover of skirts?  My CWIP (current work in progress) is also a skirt.  Another wool blend, plaid that I'm making for the friend who has come to my aid several times when I've had computer woes.  I'm hoping to finish her skirt tonight - can't wait to start in on my next project.  Did the ground hog predict 6 more weeks of winter???  I feel like I'm running out of winter sewing time...

    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...