December 18, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME...'s that time of year again folks - you know, the most wonderful time of the year!  Happy birthday to me today, and then just like clockwork, seven days later it'll be Christmas Day.  It always happens, and it's ALWAYS been such a joyous time of year for me.  I could write a book about my wonderful memories of birthdays and Christmas' past -  but never fear, I won't do that here.

As you may have noticed, I've experienced a recent sewing slump, and I'm pretty sure that the stress/ excitement of the craft fair brought it on.  If I'm nothing else - I'm one-tracked when it comes to focusing on a project.  All that time I spent working on those scarves I would have much rather been sewing for myself.  But, alas, I committed myself, and I had to see it through.  Only thing is - all that one-tracked focusing put a dent in my sewing motivation.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I DO want to sew.  It's the getting started part that's holding me back.

You know me, I'm the type that will force sewing motivation.  I tried doing just that this week and it yielded me not 1 but 2 pair of ill fitting p.j. pants.  I was sure that making a couple pair of quick and easy pajama pants would do the trick for me, and it would have - if not for the wrong fabric choice.  I made knit p.j.'s, but used a knit that grows and grows and grows some more with were.  I wanted to learn to make yoga waistbands and thought p.j.'s would be a good way to practice my technique.  How disappointing to say the least.  Last night I was thinking of canning both pair, but today I'm thinking "cut that band off and stitch in some elastic", what a downer. Nuff said.

I also thought about making a new birthday dress, but that didn't unfold.  But low and behold a package from Vogue Fabrics was waiting on my porch for me this afternoon and that cheered me up sewing wise.  A surprise gift of 2 beautiful yards of bamboo knit fabric from my friend Cecil!!!  She me tricked ya'll during our weekend sewing/pattern/fabric talk.  But what a wonderful trickster she is.  I've never had bamboo knit before.

The first thing that come to mind was pairing it up with a brown ponteroma knit magic pencil skirt.  What do you think?  Got to find just the right pattern for the bamboo knit top.  Thank you so much Cecil, what a beautiful birthday present! 

If recall, I did have some scarves left over from the craft fair.  This week I sold 5 of them and also made two special order scarves.  That made me feel real good!

Only one more day til Christmas vacation - how wonderful!  I've already closed out the records for the College, and tomorrow I'll finish closing out the High School.  It's really been a great semester.  Now to see if I can get this sewing thing cranked up...

December 9, 2012


...My Reindeer Marketplace experience has come and gone! I'll have to admit that participating in a craft fair for the very first time was a bit stressful.  I just didn't know what to expect.  It's so hard knowing how much merchandise is needed, or exactly how to price items.  I decided to just go with my gut and try to price these scarves so they would SELL - and not have to come back home with me.

Interacting with all the customers was interesting - I just tried to make the whole experience as much fun as possible.  I think I sold a little more than half of what I had which isn't bad at all.  I learned some things, and can't say that I won't do it again next year.  I know that if I do decide to go it again I'll start production by the end of August and not be stressed with last minute preparation.   

I think the fact that I focused on only one product genre helped my sales, but making all these scarves within the last three weeks did get rather boring.  Thought I'd post a picture of my humble booth since ya'll have had to read about this for several weeks.  Uploaded through Picasa this time so I hope I'll have no further picture posting problems.


I am such a one-track minded person that I have not had time to focus on garment sewing AT ALL during this process.  Now, finally, I can get back to the type of sewing that I love so much - sewing for myself...

December 2, 2012


 "The Reindeer Marketplace Craft Fair"
DATE:  Saturday, December 8th
TIME:  9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
LOCATION:  Houston County Career Academy
                        1313 Cordor Road
                        (Corner of Corder Rd. and Russell Pkwy)
                        Career Academy entrance from Corder
                        Middle Georgia Technical College GED component entrance from Russell

...Happy December every one! Seems like I blinked, and poof - it's here already!  It's been quite a weekend to say the least; but I'm staying calm and moving on!  On top of everything else, I had a little glitch with Picasa's storage limitations as referenced in my last post.  It's still not fully resolved yet, but I did get GOOD answers to my call for help from Lynn and Carolyn re:  picture size and revolving slide shows on my side bar.  In an effort to reset my camera to use less pixels I accidentally deleted my entire memory card.  Oh well...  I'm also sorry to say that I had to remove all slide shows from my side bar, but I guess that has allowed me enough storage space to be able to post pictures here.  Obviously, I definitely need to find out more about how Picasa works in the very near future in order to continue to operate this blog.  I won't go into my other woes here - I'll just say "it could have been worse"... 

Moving on --- you may recall me mentioning that I'll be participating in "The Reindeer Marketplace Craft Fair" at my school next weekend (I'll be so glad when it's over).  I committed last year, but the pressure got to me and I backed out of it.  Being my usual glutton for punishment self, I not only committed again this year, but encouraged two of my friends to participate.  Let me tell you, I've felt like backing out several times this year. I did reach my self imposed quota of scarves:  16 silky print infinity scarves,  12 fur snoods, and 2 big button scarflette neck warmers.  Hope there will be 30 marketplace attendees who feel the need of having fashionable scarves to keep their necks warm and BUY up!  Anyway, thought I'd share photos of the fur scarves I worked on.

What fashionable lady wouldn't want one of these fur beauties to enhance her wardrobe???

If course I'm very eager to get back to my selfish sewing.  Sewing, but not sewing what you really want to sew creates stress in ones life.  Needless to say I've had enough of that for a long while...

HELP NEEDED RE: Picasa Storage Quota....

...while trying to upload pictures for a blog post this evening I discovered that I've used up 99% of my free 1 GB of Picasa storage quota.  The notice says that I still have 10 GB Gmail and 5 GB of drive still available, but that I can purchase more space.   I'm confused.  Can I now use the Gmail and drive for storage????  Or do I now need to start purchasing additional storage for a monthly fee.

Has anyone else experienced running out of space??????? 
Can anyone advise me on this?????
How can I avoid paying a monthly fee for additional storage????

November 28, 2012


...continues to be a  source of inspiration to me.  That's a good thing, right?  Yes it is!  Other People's Stuff causes me to have an ever growing "List of things I want to make or try".  Seeing the creativity of others causes me to s-t-r-e-t-c-h or challenge myself to greater heights.  It's exciting!, and I always thrive on excitement.  When I'm really excited about a project I seem to do my best work - and that makes the time spent in my sewing room a sheer joy.

I've spent all my sewing time during the last two weeks working on SCARVES, since I committed myself to an upcoming craft fair (December 8th) a school fundraiser.   I've been going a little bonkers.  I'm thankful for the constant stream of  inspiration provided by other sewing and crafting bloggers (and of course Pinterest)  Other than this I wouldn't have had much excitement lately.

I've wanted to learn how to create a blog collage for a long time and finally got around to it today.  So I'll  share my weekly source of inspiration here in my very first college.  

1. Virginia's Sew Blessed Daughter's Working Girl Cargos
2.  Cotton and Curl's Week of Leather
3.  Erica B's Team Spirited Houndstooth coat
4.  Kojo Design's J-Crewy wool tweed skirt

Happy rest of the week ya'll...

November 24, 2012


... if not, you simply must drop in to peruse her blog.  It's ALWAYS filled with such wonderful things and I'm sure you will think so too.  She has two blog features in particular that I look forward to each and every week:
  •   Fabulous Free Pattern Friday and,
  •   Sleeves on Saturday
I just visited her blog this afternoon and found this Fall Gem posted:

So fashionably cute, and reversible too!

I've got far too much plaid in the fabric closet to pass this one up; just need some fur, and I know exactly where to get it from.  Thank you Rhonda...

November 23, 2012


...would you believe  - Today I shopped on Black Friday for the first time ever.   I've always managed steered clear of all the madness.  But today, for the very first time I ventured out because the Vogue Pattern sale FINALLY started at Hancock's.  Seems like I waited FOREVER for this pattern sale.  But does this really constitute Black Friday Shopping.  I did think that there would be a crowd of people at the pattern cabinets, but that wasn't the case at all.  I didn't have to fight for patterns, but rather shopped at my leisure.

What were my choices???  All of the new ones of course, but these were the ones that came home with me...
V8845 - had to have this Claire Shaeffer beauty

V1327 - and this darling Anne Klein dress

V1329 - love my self some Kay Unger, she designs such classy dresses
V8865 - hope my butt can handle this bustle peplum

V8859 - I need skinny pants pretty badly, got to try some soon.  These look easy, but I'm not too sure about Tilton girl patterns.  We'll see.
V8849 - Who can resist this interesting design?  When I first saw it, it so reminded me of a dinosaur or some sort or reptile with that elongaged ruffle peplum sewn down the back.  Don't know exactly what I'll do with this pattern, but it was so darned cute.  
V8861 - Thought this coat was very interesting, especially worn with those elbow length gloves.

I didn't get this one - it can only be obtained on line.  But I just want to ask - "What is this?", or better yet, Why is it?"  Am I missing something here or what????  I'm just saying...

November 18, 2012


Who in blogland has not virtually met Sheila?  Well if you haven't happened upon her blog you should really make it a point to do so - you can find her here.  I've been reading her fabulous blog for a number of years now, and find her to be so multi-talented in that she sews, knits, and crochets just like a pro.  There's another thing about Sheila; she ALWAYS thinks enough of my humble sew-a-longs to join up and submit some of her beautiful designs.

For example, here's a picture of a design she submitted on the recent (and still ongoing) Carnival of Skirts Sew-a-long.

Her skirt made from the most interesting embossed faux leather using her favorite TNT (and also mine) pattern - McCalls 3830
When I saw her completed project weeks ago - of course I had to comment, but also made note that her fabric put me on the hunt for it in my local fabric stores to no avail.  To my surprise I received an envelope from Sheila last Thursday that contained 1 1/2 beautiful yards of this same fabric.

Can you hear me shout YAHOO!!!  So I have to send a shout out and a big THANK YOU to Sheila for her generosity! Needless to say, you will soon see me posting Sheila's skirt twin on my blog - so be on the lookout!

Guess what NEW PROJECT SUNDAY finds me working on?  Not a garment, but rather a bunch of infinity scarves for a craft fair called the Reindeer Market Place to be held at my school on December 8th.  I could KICK myself!  And you know that I've been procrastinating on getting them started.
Making one or two of the scarves for wardrobe enhancement is nothing at all.  Try making 25 or 30 of them.  Can you tell that boredom has slowly set in???  I'd much rather be working on Sheila's skirt twin.

I just noticed that today is November 18th - exactly one month from my birthday.  God willing I'll be at another milestone, and I really need to start planning a special outfit for that day.  Any suggestions???

November 12, 2012


This Sunday's project, although not as planned, found me working with Vogue 8815 yet again.  I know, I know.  How many of these do I need?  I love this top and love wearing them - so there might be even more.  I was so intrigued with Erica's and Rachelle's knit versions that I felt I needed one for myself.   I was a bit timid even though I've made 3 of this pattern with woven fabric.  I toyed with going down a size, but after talking with Rachelle about it, went with my regular size.  I did not use a zipper and things work out just fine - HURRAY for that!  I finished the top this afternoon, which by the way feels a lot like Sunday even though I know it's not.  Been wondering all day long if I should have gone to work  - I know, sad right?

Black Ponte de Roma from Hancock's 30% off  - because I am a bit obsessed with this fabric.       Added 2" to the peplum back and front.
Increased the width of the front peplum to add a set of four pleats on the left side.
Used a self Single-Fold Binding technique from "The Dressmaker's Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques (Linda Maynard) because I needed to try something new.  Title can be found here.

Now I'm feeling the need of some off-white (I'm still not free yet, but I am working on it ) skinny leg pants.  Boy oh boy, inspiration will sure keep you working... 



November 5, 2012


...I have been sewing; however, slowly.  I guess I can call myself a slow and deliberate sewer.  All of my projects seem to take forever.  My slow production could be attributed to my watching so much television while sewing.  But I really don't see that changing anytime soon - it's habit and I really do enjoy it.  Last weekend I I started a project that had been floating around in my head for a while.  A  novelty suede animal print peplum (Vogue 8815), paired with a faux suede pencil skirt (McCall's 3830).  I finished the top during my Friday night sew-in, but only worked on the skirt a little bit on Saturday because I sacrificed sewing time to give my house some semblance of order.  Can you believe that?  The skirt was finished on Sunday night.  It's underlined as well as lined because it gives the faux suede more weight  - which is more to my liking.

Somehow or another there are vertical wrinkles radiating from the neckline of my top when worn by Lady Faye.
  But they don't show up nearly as much when worn by the real Faye.
I lowered the neckline about 3/4" from the center front - tapering to nothing at the shoulder seams (advice taken from Smoking Needles) because I was hesitate to do so.  After making this pattern twice before I did know that the neckline is just a little bit too high (almost a bit of a choke factor if you know what I mean).  I added thread belt loops at the side seams because I might want to wear the top with a thin black or brown belt.  I also took designer's liberty and lengthened the back part of peplum 1 inch.  I like this top and couldn't wait to make it in this animal print.  Now I want to make a long sleeved knit version.

My closet is sort of smooshed up  - guess I need to do a bit of a purge.  That closet will just have to make some room for my new suede outfit, and all those yet to come...

October 31, 2012


 ANNOUNCEMENT:  It Ain't Over Til It's Over...

As you know, initially, the Carnival of Skirts Sew-A-Long was scheduled to end tonight, October 31st.  However, because we all have such a good time creating new skirts - the end date has been extended.  UNTIL WHEN???  Well, it ain't over til it's over.  Sew at your own pace and post when you have completed.  

If my count is correct, 29 skirts have been submitted this far.  If you'd still like to participate just post or continue to post pictures of your completed projects and they will be added to our slide show.

I just think that it was wonderful that you thought this challenge worthy of your time and effort.  We've seen some creative work displayed - and hope to see more.  I've had a load of fun with this, and have learned some things from youThank you so much for sharing...

October 28, 2012




I will continue to monitor the blog and will keep it open for as long as it takes you to finish your skirts and post.  The purpose of the sew-a-long is to MOTIVATE people to sew, not to add additional stress to your lives.

Let me take the time to THANK you all for participating and making the sew-a-long an informative and fun event.  I set it up, but it would be nothing without your  participation.  

Who knows I might even do up another skirt or two myself.  After all there are still several hanging around on my inspiration board...


....have you EVER seen a sewist make such a ruckus over a skirt???  It's so rare that I find sewing inspiration that really IGNITES passion, but when I do,it becomes a real OBSESSION.  I get sooooo excited when it happens and I immediately set out to make it happen.  And not just that, I show it to EVERYONE, talk about it endlessly (to the point where it probably makes them nauseous), and even offer to make one for them too.  I know crazy - right!

After one failed attempt (posted here) I attacked the project again early Saturday morning.  I started all over from scratch.  I had to re-draft the front of the pattern and cut it up for color blocking.  I picked the first skirt apart in an effort to salvage as much of the original fabric as possible.  I salvaged the entire back of the skirt, and one big block of gray from the front.  I re-cut the back to a smaller size (zipper had already been installed).  After a full day's labor of love my skirt is finished, and I am so happy with it.  Here are some pictures of my process.

 Here is an un-adorned picture of my second Carnival of Skirts Sew-a-long project.  I've ordered a red twinset and black booties to complete the inspiration look so I will be taking more pictures wearing it later.

It's been a fun skirt ride for me since September 5th, and although I've got more than enough skirts there are still 3 or 4 left on my inspiration board that I'd like to attack.  You just might see me working on one of them before too long.  I've completed my 2 skirt quota for the Sew-a-Long but now this dress calling my name.

It's a pattern I used a long time ago but I still so love my dress.  I'll be making some alterations to the pattern this time to close up the neckline just a little bit.  This time I'll be making it in black...

October 26, 2012



 ...I so wanted to get a post written up this week - but wanted to have my first Carnival of Skirts Sewalong projected completed before I did.  I just couldn't make it happen.  First of all, remember my "ADDICTED TO LOVE SKIRT" (so named by MARY).

 Well I'm sorry to report that after making a (what I thought) workable muslin of the front of the skirt I decided to cut my fashion fabrics - 3 pieces of different colors to be exact -  but the skirt just did not work out.  Guess I was rushing the process.  My self-drafted result was a skirt that was WAY TO LARGE.  Uggggg!!!  Taking it in distorted my color blocking something terrible, and to say the least really upset me.  So, I decided to put that thing aside and come back to it on yet another day when my mind and body were well rested.  Oh yes, it will be made - I'll work on it again this weekend.  Hopefully I'll be able to salvage some of the fabric from the failed attempt.

Not to waste too much time lamenting over a wadder I really needed to keep it moving and get a skirt completed for the Carnival Sew-a-long.  So up into the stash I went and found a 4 1/2 yard plaid woolen piece that I thought I could live with.   The fabric had a WalMart tag on it and I know it's been stashed for at least 4 years.   Of course I used my lovely TNT McCall's 3830 - can't tell you how many times I've used this pattern - it works so well for me.  A plain and simple go-to pencil skirt.

McCall's 3830
Without a doubt I think this is one of the most used skirt patterns in the entire sewing world.  Four pieces, to which I add my usual kick pleat vent in the back seam.

Now to choose fabric and a pattern for my second sew-a-long project...

October 20, 2012



You do know this is going to happen - right?   I'm just saying...


...I've been talking about updating my sewing space for a long time - especially the part about caroling all my sewing material in one central location.  My main objective is having a place for everything; and keeping everything in it's place.  This would be a primary goal  for any sewitst - right???  The room is small so I need to use every available inch of space effectively.

Since the door to my sewing room is ALWAYS open, using the back of it for storage seemed like a great idea.  I know  its not an original idea - I probably saw something similar on Pintrest or some other place.  Lot's of people probably use peg board in their sewing areas.  I really actually needed an effective way of storing long rulers and some other stuff.

Well, that's it for this post, got to get another Carnival Skirt made up...

October 18, 2012


...You may already know that I am experiencing slight problems getting some of the Carnival of Skirts participants signed in.  While I'd love to blame it ALL on Blogger, I have to be honest and say that some of it is my fault.  When Blogger changed it's interface (listen to me sounding like I understand computer jargon),  the process of creating a new blog and adding multiple authors also changed.  The old way was much simpler when blogger offered a feature that allowed you to double check each new addition. 

My part of the problem is that I sometimes make typographical errors.  I often enter participant email address in groups.  With the new interface, if one email address contains an error, none of the group invitations go out at all - different from the old interface.  Additionally, some of the addresses were au or ca rather than dot com. You'd think that I'd know by know that everybody in the world is not a DOT COM!

If you have not yet received your invitation, please accept my apology!!!  I am truly trying to work things out so we can get on with this sew-a-long.

That being said, these are the participants that I just re-sent invitations to.  Please double check me on your email addresses:
  •  Alethia     lovetosew at live dot com
  •  Tanya      mun3 at yahoo dot com
  •  Lynn        mylynnstudios at gmail dot com
  • Andrea     yarngirl67 at gmail dot com
  • Towanda  samtowanda at msn dot com
  • Marjie      marjiemcdonald at gmail dot com
  • Ingrid       ilensink at iweb dot com dot au
  • Kelly       onthed113 at aol dot com
I also added two new requests:
  • Lynneb    Lbrundage at roadrunner dot com
  • Inglesidebelle  nonnobi56 at gmail dot com
  • Rhonda    sewbussted at yahoo dot com (or is it Sewbussted at yahoo dot com)
Lastly, if I've omitted ANYONE (I'm sorry - it was an oversight), please let me know!!!

October 17, 2012


2 - WAYS
October 17th to October 31st

 ..... officially begins today.  There are still 10 people who have not responded to their email invitations.  A new Carnival of Skirts blog has been set up and participants have already started posting there.  Please check in as soon as you can to show us your pattern choices and maybe fabrics, and tell us about your plans.  If for some reason you haven't gotten your email invitation please notify me by commenting on this post.

Even if you are not participating - stop by and check it out.  We are all excited about this two week sew-a-long!

Now a word about my pattern picks:
For some reason I think I need a classic black ponteroma knit skirt. Every girl needs a great go to black skirt, and even though I already have two - they are both wool.  It's just still a wee bit warm here for 100% wool skirts right now.  So I'm going with Pamela's Magic Pencil Skirt again.  I've made it twice already.  The first was a big success, but the second one wasn't (due to an incorrect fabric choice).  If it works out this time I'll classify the pattern as a real TNT..  Who doesn't love a great TNT, right?

October 14, 2012


  1. ...because several people have asked me about a "SKIRT SEW-A-LONG" as related to the Skirt Carnival; and
  2. ...because I am embarrassed that I did not think of making it a sew-a-long from the very start; and
  3. ...because I just can't seem to shut this skirt thing off anyway, and
  4. ...the more the merrier!  Variety would make it a more interesting parade.  Don't you think???

  1. Mention your interest in participating in the sew-a-long by commenting on this post by WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17TH
  2. Please, please  INCLUDE your EMAIL ADDRESS here on this post with your COMMENT.  (you can use something like (dollyappleseedatgmaildotcom for example); afterwards,
  3. Be on the LOOKOUT for an EMAIL INVITATION in your inbox.
  4. RESPOND to the email invitation.  This will give you permission to post
  • pattern information
  • fabric choices
  • helpful information, tutorials, etc.
  • ask for opinions, suggestions, advice
  • post pictures of progress and your finished project
on the new  CARNIVAL OF SKIRTS 2012 blog.

SEW-A-LONG RULES (if I may):
  • 2 Weeks
  • 2 Skirts
  • 2 Ways (styles)
TNT, Self Drafted, or New Pattern, the choice is yours!  Of course you can make as many skirts as you like - there is no limit.

TIME FRAME:  Wednesday, October 17th to October 31st.

I'd like to do an official badge for the sew-a-long, can anybody help me???  I don't know how to create a badge...

October 13, 2012


...wondering what they are???
  1. I know you won't believe me, but I am really trying to turn this thing off!
  2. BUT, I'm still having so much fun with it.  There are so many skirts that I planned to make and never got around to doing - and now they are all just pulling at me - calling out to me to bring them into fruition - and I just can't ignore them any longer.
  3. Alethia of KASSMINS CREATIONS commented that maybe I should do a skirt sew-a-long next fall.  I am so sorry (and apologize to anyone who might have been interested) that I didn't turn this thing into a sew-a-long from the very start. The idea for it just popped up, and I just ran with it without thinking about anyone else.  How selfish of me!  I was too far into it to turn back.  I do know that FAR of MEMORY SEED was inspired to make her very first skirt ever!!!, and several other readers said that they were motivated to make up some past due skirts too - and that's a good thing!
I've got skirt fabric pre-washing in preparation of NEW PROJECT SUNDAY  as I speak type.  I'll be adding this colorful knit to the skirt processional using Pamela's Magic Pencil Skirt pattern again.

It's been a GREAT sewing weekend as I had a chance to spend the last 3 full days in my newly renovated space.  I didn't produce as much as I would have liked to, but I just enjoyed being in here strategically placing all my sewing stuff.

I wanted to include a picture of my new Carnival addition.  I used Butterick 5566 - think this pattern came out in Fall 2010.  I remember drooling over Carolyn's (DIARY OF A SEWING FANTATIC) skirt using this pattern where she combined a woven fabric with faux leather.  When I emailed her to find out where she purchased the leather, she offered to gift some of hers - so this skirt is compliments of Carolyn.  Of course I didn't get around to making the skirt for a long time - remember I mentioned skirts calling out to me - well this was one of them.  I'd had the leather so long I forgot when it was that she sent it.  I emailed her again yesterday to find out and she said it was March 2011.  I should have at least make the skirt last fall, but oh well...
My skirt was made using a black wool with the patterned faux leather.  I am sooo happy with the outcome!

Close-up of the patterned leather detailed front

The ever growing parade of skirts

I have a plan to show off my collection that will be coming up very soon - so be on the look out o.k.  I'm planning on making the Pamela skirt now and then move on to a dress that started calling out to me today, but who knows?????


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...