June 29, 2011


...or should I say a day's pleasure!  I have been having so much fun y'all.  Rather than daydreaming about sewing, I spent the entire day doing just that.  Want to see the results of my day's work???  I just know you do...

First up:
You know that I flipped when I first saw the picture of this free offering  from Colette Patterns.com - the Sorbetto Tank Top. 
 I've seen lots of them made up around the sewing blog universe.  It's described as:
"the simple tank is quick to make, with no closures to sew and a loose, swingy fit inspired by the easy elegance of the early 60's."  
That description fit me to a tee and I knew I had to have one. I printed off the pattern thinking I'd get to it someday.   I just didn't know just how soon someday would be.

So I made up not one...

But two...

Mmmmmm, maybe I need to do a third in a solid color.  I'll think about that tomorrow.  I also made this cute little vest from that gloriously soft $13.00 (which I got at 1/2 price of course) knit from Joann's.  This is from Simplicity 2283.  The shoulder seam and back neckband was a little tricky but I made it work.

I'm pretty pleased with today's accomplishments, but tomorrow is yet another day...

Happy sewing y'all!

June 28, 2011


Sadly I'm was not able to make my annual trek to upstate New York so I was forced into a Staycation.  In order to sequester depression and sadness, I've turned it all into a Sewcation.  Although sewing always goes much slower than I actually think it will, I am enjoying my SW/OP (sewing without a plan) time.  That's right - whatever comes up is what I've cut out and taken straight to the sewing machine.

I noticed a top that a student was wearing several weeks ago - YOU KNOW HOW WE DO.  Where most people "people watch", I like most sewists garment watch.  I loved the top, complemented her on it, and simultaneously structured my plan to knock it off; after all - "it's all for the love of the game."  I instantly knew I had just the right fabric and just the right pattern(s).  I morphed Simplicity  4503 and the neckline of Burda 7449.  The first attempt was a disaster and squeezed me like a sausage link.   However, I had enough fabric to cut out another one salvaging the cowl collar from the first.  What can I say, I'm in love with it...

Of course it's worn like this.

I spent some time to working on my long over due sewing cave curtains and actually finished them.  These are only the second curtains I've ever made.  I'll post pictures as soon as I get them hung.

Finally made it to the peach orchard so I had to make time to peel these and prepare for the freezer (ya'll do know that I'm a Georgia Peach don't you?).  You also know I have sewing on the brain, so I picked up this cute little peach basket with a handle while at the orchard and it's already found a home in the sewing cave.  In the process of peeling peaches, I received a SURPRISE visit from my Daughter and Grand-Daughter.  So surprising that I didn't even think about taking pictures.  We had two glorious days together too.

Made this cute little apron (my first since 8th grade), using McCall's 5997 minus the instruction sheet (Lord only knows what happened to it.  I really do think it was just missing from the pattern envelope when I purchased it).  Took a little work because I not use to working with instructions.  I did manage to get it together, but afterwards checked the line drawing on the internet and found that I created a whole new way of attaching the ties.  Oh well, it works, and it's pretty.

I also refashioned a top that I made in '09 but only wore once.  
I turned this...
Into this. 
I removed the neckband and sleeves.  The cowl collar is actually one of the sleeves cut the length of the front neckline and attached and viola - now I've got a top I can actually wear.

I've got lots more to do, but there's still no concrete plan.  Not mindless sewing but rather SW/OP - and it's actuallya lot of fun!!!


June 25, 2011


SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME....I THINK I'M OBSESSED (I guess everyone has a little ocd in them and I'm no exception), OR MAYBE I'M POSSESSED (but in a very good way)!!!  At first I just had to have this - I call it Love, Love...
Photo complements of anthropologie.com
I've seen several DIY bloggers who have successfully knocked this baby off with no problem.  I digress, one of the bad things about knowing how to sew is: YOU GET TO THINKING THAT YOU CAN MAKE EVERY DOGGONE THING!  That's how I feel at times - Invincible when it comes to sewing.  I become "Super Sewing Woman" - but, alas, it's all in my mind.   It wasn't that I didn't think I could make my above listed Love, Love for my newly (re-done bathroom - a New Jersey Housewife term - those who watch them understand what I mean), but my indecisiveness prevented me from choosing a color scheme, and I could not find broadcloth in the colors that I did choose.   Then again I kept wondering if I all those ruffles would make me feel claustrophobic in my tiny bathroom.   I've been searching for fabrics for weeks to no avail and was all but ready to throw in the towel on this one.  I said to myself, "Linda just buy a nice curtain and be done with it"...

...until this morning when I discovered this beaut - I'm now obsessed with this!  I call LOVE, LOVE, LOVE...

Photo complements of anthropologie.com

Isn't it beautiful!   Just looks simpler although probably just as time consuming - there's millions of little tiny petals on it.  But it wouldn't take too much decision on the colors, and wouldn't make me feel too boxed in.  It would be wonderful with a matching window curtain!

Just wondering if anyone has any ideals for knocking this baby off????

June 18, 2011

THE 2011I IDEAL SUMMER DRESS CHALLENGE...it's been a great run!

Tomorrow, Sunday  June 19th brings an end to the 2011 Ideal Dress Challenge.  However; you are still welcomed to post your dresses even if it's past Sunday when you finish.

I'm working on a slide presentation to show case all the beautiful dresses.  Hopefully I'll have it posted on the dress blog by Monday evening - SO PLEASE CHECK BACK THEN. 

Again, a great bit THANK YOU to all who participated, followed or just looked in at the challenge.


I got to take my dress on a test run at last night's graduation ceremony, but not before going out in a monsoon-like rain storm to get there.  Thank God for the rain, we hadn't had any since April.  I managed to snap this picture in the dress after arriving back home -  me and the dress were not in the best of conditions at this point.

The red belt did make the dress pop, but the dress with the belt on me was a disaster so it was a no go.  The dress is a good fit, but didn't end up looking as I had envisioned, but it is wearable.

I've started my second dress and will be working hard at getting it finished today - hopefully.   Here's pictures of my muslin for that dress.

I'll post my progress tomorrow...

June 12, 2011


UPDATE: The 2011 Ideal Summer Dress Challenge has been extended until Sunday, June 19th.

freckle10 said...Great,I would like to participate.  Freckle10 in order to participate, you will need to leave your email address, then respond to an email invitation that will be sent out to you.

...I stand corrected.  But, plans do sometimes go astray - especially sewing plans.   That being said, although the IDEAL SUMMER DRESS CHALLENGE was scheduled to end Wednesday, June 15th, lets extend it through next weekend - say SUNDAY, JUNE 19TH

This way life, and work, and other disruptions can come what may...and we'll still have time to finish our projects.

ALL IN FAVOR say yeah....

June 11, 2011


 ...under deep cover (remember that Lawrence Fishburne movie?) in the sewing cave.

I got up kinda early to finish sewing the buttons on my Dress Challenge project.
So my first dress is now 100% finished.  Thought I'd go out shoe shopping today, but decided that will have to wait until after Church tomorrow.  (Putting shoe shopping off as long as possible. Love shoes, hate to shop for them.)  Pictures of me wearing the dress - forth coming.

I had to do some backing tracking on my last completed project - my TNT jacket.
What does the jacket have to do with the dress?  Nothing at all, just needed some place to put it.
After it was finished, I kept looking at it and something was off.  One sleeve was almost an inch longer than the other.   Now how in the world did that happen???  Removed the cuff, cut 1 inch from the sleeve - now I'm comfortable with it even though the matching pants have become a momentary UFO.
With 5 more days left in the Dress Challenge of course I figure I can complete ONE MORE DRESS.  I've loved this dress since first laying eyes on it, so I borrowed Trinilove's pictures to show here.  Besides the dress I just finished, this is my second choice of the IDEAL SUMMER DRESS.
Here is the pattern...

And here is my fabric.
It's a colorful peachskin from Joann's 1/2 price clearance table that I'm really in love with.  I'm off to cut out a muslin y'all because you know how I am when there's fabric love involved...

June 10, 2011


...This week I have been working on my dress for the "Ideal Summer Dress Challenge".  I must admit - it's been slow going.  The sewing week just has not gone as planned.  I  had plans to  finished my dress last weekend, and planned start a second one this week.  BUT to quote Robert Burns, 

"the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray".

I'm so close to finishing, yet it seems so far away.  The hand stitched hem seems to be taking forever, not to mention I didn't even get a chance to touch it last night.  The hem, button holes and buttons and then it will be finished.

The red belt is a tad too big, need to make an adjustment in it so it will fit better.
Ebony, my youthful stylist, suggested that I pair it with red accessories, and I usually 99 times out of a 100 take her advice.  She assists me in jazzing up my style a little bit, and is helping me embrace my age rather than slipping right on over into old ladyhood (lol).   When I'm on the brink, she snatches me back again.  I must admit that I probably wouldn't have thought of red, but it does make the dress pop; but it also means that I'll be forced to go out and find some red shoes.

The dress is a good fit, and I'm sure I'll enjoy wearing it.  I plan on taking it on a test drive at next Friday's graduation, so I really need to finalize this project this weekend...

June 3, 2011


I've been so focused on the dress challenge that I neglected to post my finished Butterick 5333 jacketIt took me a while because of course I added features that were not included in the pattern.  There is still a matching pair of pants yet to be finished; however, bear in mind there is still that little matter of my sewing rule to contend with - that being - finish all projects started.  So the pants will get finished, but for now I have to move on with my dress.

On with the dress.  After two evenings of working on my muslin, I must say that although not perfect, it is a pretty good fit.  If you'll remember I added one inch down the center front to ensure I'd have plenty of room for buttoning up without gaping - this means I added a total of two inches to the center front of the dress.  It worked, but I think I'd be more comfortable adding another 1/4" totaling a 1/2" increase.  
 It's just a wee bit large at the underarm seam, which will not be hard to alter at all.
I'll make these two small alterations to the pattern tonight and go ahead and cut my fashion fabric.  I'm not sure, but I think I can see myself finishing this dress before the weekend is over...

June 1, 2011


I am one happy blogger!  45 participants are accepted the invitation to "Stay Cool by Stitching Up an Ideal Summer Dress". There are still 6 other people who have not yet responded, BUT there is still time for them to jump on board.  This is the largest sew-a-long/challenge that I've hosted so far.  The fact that so many of you wanted to join in is quite encouraging - so I want to send out a big THANK YOU for participating.

Lots of inspiring patterns and fabrics have been showcased already.  It's going to be a FUN 15 days!  When you finish your "Ideal Summer Dress" please remember to share a picture of you wearing it!  I'm in the process of learning how to create a composite frame for all the finished project pictures.  If anyone knows how to do that, please let me know.

That's it for this post, I have yet to cut out my dress muslin.  Got to get to work!!!

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...