July 28, 2012


...I needed a quick way of getting some project information out to my friend Deanna Moses.  A blog post seemed the most efficient way of getting this done.


McCalls 2163
VOGUE 8764

VOGUE 8764
VOGUE 8764
VOGUE 8413

VOGUE 8413

vogue 8408


  •  fabric used for all projects was 60" wide
  • all skirts were made of wool, but could also be made from other woven fabrics or stable knits
  • extra yardage is required for stripped or plaid fabrics
  • used a matching 9" zipper for all skirts
  • most dresses used a matching 22" invisible zipper
  • NOTE:  I was able to locate your waist, hip measurements, but will also need your bust measurement for dresses. 
  • Let me know what you like and we'll go from there...

July 21, 2012


... I were more creative.

While traveling around blogland I see so much of it - creativity that is.  Seems I never grow tire of oooooing and ahhhhing.   Not to mention the multitude of amazement that can be found on Pinterest.  There are so many ideas I'd like/plan to copy (you can tell by my ever increasing pin boards).

I guess there's really no need to complain about lack of creativity when it's perfectly legal to steal ideas from others.  I'm sure people don't mind being copied.  Why else would they be so generous with tutorials?

I first noticed Sachiko's (from Tea Rose Home) tutorial for taking a plain old T-shirt from drab to fab back in 2010.  Every now and again I'd go back to take a look at it - then summer 2011 I purchased two inexpensive T-shirts to make one for myself.

Fast forward Summer 2012 and Sachiko is featured on My Craft Channel showing the tutorial once again.  I took this as a "it's time to get this shirt done" clue.  Now I can scratch this project off my mental to do list.

Those fabric flowers ... not as quick to do as I had thought. Guess with a little more practice I could manage to do them faster.  Feels good to have this project off my list.

On another note.  Look what happened to me this morning!!!

This is a BURNT UP desk lamp.  Doesn't look that bad from the pictures, but I promise you  - was like 4th of July fireworks (red, yellow, blue, maybe even green  sparks/flames)!  This is the lamp from my computer desk, and I've had it for a few years now.   It hardly ever blew a bulb.

The first warning was a pop, then some sizzling, then a full blown FLAME.  I didn't know what to do!  First word out of my mouth was "JESUS"!  I was even afraid to snatch the plug from the wall.  Fire and smoke and soot all over my paper laden desk and MY COMPUTER.  By the time I gathered my nerve to pull the plug, it was all over.  Wheeeew!  No more leaving lamps on while I run to the store.

Gotta get new lamp.....................

July 15, 2012


...I wanted to knock my subliminal nautical challenge out as quickly as possible.  Especially because my sewing motivation has been waning.  I've wanted to make something striped the last two summers, and since I have lots of striped fabric on hand - it was high time I got around to it.

I went straight for this Palmer/Pletsch boat neckish top pattern right away because a boat neck always speaks nautical to me.  Only found one Pattern Review on this top.  The review was quite thorough so I used her good advice and omitted interfacing the facings.

Question:  Is nautical only red, white or blue?
I've had this bargain table Joann's striped knit for at least two years and decided to use it for my nautical top although it's brown and white.  Think I paid $2.50/yard for it.   I have lots left, and the remainder could easily become a dress or the maxi skirt that I've been contemplating.

The five pattern pieces that went together without a glitch.  I chose View A with the 3/4 sleeve.  It's nothing really special - I call it an easy going top.  Fits well and will go with brown or white pants.  I just might make another easy going top in a solid color.



One nice thing about sewing is finishing the project so you can move on to something new...

I wanted to show the new additions to my sewing library that were thrifted for me by my Mom. 

 I've review all four.  Good sewing resources never really grow old.  Thank you MaMa!!!


...I think I can say that I gotten my money's worth from this pattern
I really thought I was finished with it after making view C three times already.   This time I decided to give view D a whirl to FORCE JUMP START my sewing motivation into action.  Construction of "D" was very similar to that of view "C" so this top went together very quickly.  The instructions are straight forward and easy to understand.  I still think 6 pattern pieces are far to many for a knit top, but I keep getting drawn into it anyway.  I used a smooth jersey knit that I got at Metro Textiles several years ago.  This the second top I made from this cut, and I still have enough left to make a tank top (I plan to use every last drop of it).  It must have been a 3 yard piece originally - can't remember.  You do know what a huge knit top fan I am, right?  Such easy dressing - never ever needs ironing.

....I'm sewing without any kind of plan - and have been for a while now.  Sewing without a plan is good in a way; no restrictions, no commitments.  But not so good in another way; because I keep running into snags as to what project to start next.

This afternoon I went back on Terri's blog  (you know her, Virginia's Daughter), and read her response to a comment I had posted last month.  The jest of it went something like this:

Me: I love Nautical Stripes and have planned on making something for the past two summers, but it hasn't come into fruition as of yet. Just can't get roundtoit.

Terri:  Think you'll let three summers go by?????

Thanks a bunch Terri, your question to me was an eye opener!, and somewhat a subliminal challenge for me - which I am accepting.   I've got plenty of stripped fabric stashed so I'm searching for a pattern to make something nautical this evening...

July 9, 2012


...something very dear to my heart


I'm pretty sure I've never posted her before.  She's been living in the hall closet, and has not been out of her case for years.  Although I haven't seen much of her in years, I do often think about her and the fun times we use to have together.  Yes, I have very fond memories of the very first sewing machine that I ever purchased for MYSELF.

Couldn't remember exactly what year I purchased her, but a little research revealed the Singer Diana 560 Electronic was first sold in 1975, and was one of the first electronic machines that Singer produced.  I do remember that my daughter was in grade school at the time of purchase.  I'm not sure if I knew exactly what I was buying, I just knew that I wanted a new sewing machine, and that I wanted to buy it MYSELF.

I don't remember how much I paid for it.  That's funny because I always remember exactly how much I pay for everything.   I do remember that I had to order her, and that delivery was delayed for three months because of some dock strike down in New York City.

Use to pull some all nighter's making my Daughter's school clothes on her.  By the time Alondra (DD) reached 11th grade, Diana had starting acting a little funny.  When I took her in for a checkup I was told that the cost of repairs would far outweigh her worth so I just bought another machine.  But, I vowed that she would always have a home with me - because I loved her.

I had been gifted two vintage cabinet machines that I procrastinated getting fixed. Recently I finally got up enough energy to remove both from their cabinets to take them in for repair.

WHITE 660-9733 complete with attachments 
SINGER TOUCH & SEW complete with cams     

Aren't they beautiful!  My repairman, Mr. Baggette got them  clean, shiny and purring like kittens.  I LOVE THAT MAN.  Think I'll get a picture of him to show him off on my blog.  Since he did such a fantastic job with these, I thought I'd ask him about fixing Diana - and he did!!!, for only $63.00.  Mind you, he's the one that told me years ago that Diana wasn't worth fixing - go figure???

I checked Diane's current value and found that she would sell for for $89 to $100.  I would never sell her; she's priceless!

Guess you can tell that not much sewing has been going on here.  Sewing slump always seems to follow vacation for some unknown reason.  I have got to get my motor revved up and get some more summer things sewn...

July 7, 2012


 ...Three posts in one day - I'm trying to catch up here!  Could be a diversion to deep cleaning my sewing room.  I'm sending up specific prayers for the motivation to stop procrastinating on getting it done.  Additional prayers welcomed!

I haven't done a Dollhouse Delight post in quite some time so I decided to share a kitchen related project that I worked on this morning.  Yesterday I was gifted me a 8 pound bag of pre-shelled fresh baby lima beans (quite costly), some fresh okra and a couple of fresh tomatoes.  Can I tell you how much I heart fresh green veggies.  It's one of the best things about summer in the south.

In case you're interested, is was the process.  How did I learn this - by watching my Granny years ago.   We use to pick vegetables, peaches (for our own use only),  and cotton in the scorching hot fields during the summers.   No, I wasn't a slave (lol).  I'd like to say that we worked soooo hard to buy our own school clothes, but that wouldn't be the truth.  We actually worked for play money to buy 4th of July outfits of our choice, flip flops, and to defray the cost of the county fair each year.  Junk money.  Although I don't pick vegetables any more (praise God) I do enjoy preserving some of summer's bounty.   My process is from the memory of how my Granny did things, but it always turned out just fine.

Thoroughly wash beans three times in cool water to remove garden trash and any sand.  Baby limas use to cost about $15.00 per bushel.  I shutter to think how much these cost now and didn't even ask!  Pre-shelled always cost more anyway - got to increase the cost to cover the labor.
Plunge into a large pot of already boiling water to blanch (extends freezer life I think).

Boil for exactly three minutes then drain and rinse in cool water.
An already waiting large bowl of iced water.

Blanched beans plunged into a shocking ice bath for three minutes.  Drain afterwards.
I use this really large spoon to fill my bags.  2 and 1/2 scoops then seal the bags.

Now for the okra.  Thoroughly wash, then carefully cut the tops off at an angle to keep the okra from ozzing all it's goodness out.  I know for many okra is an accrued taste but not for me - we were raised eating it.  I use to eat it right out of the garden raw with salt and pepper - didn't even wash it before eating.  You did notice I said use to.  My grand-children even love it fried and will quite often request it.  My grand-children are a little different than most children in that they LOVE green veggies thank God.

Blanched in hot water for 3 minutes.

Drained and towel blotted.

The results of my mornings work:  12 small bags of baby limas and 4 bags of okra.

The 16 bags placed in a black bag for identifications purposes (so I won't have to search for them later).  All tucked nicely in my little chest freezer.  There's nothing like being able to pull a bag or two out to cook for a Sunday winter comfort meal.
These arrived this afternoon.  Banana peppers and a few more tomatoes.  Got my kitchen smelling rather hot!  I'm not big on peppers, but I don't plan on letting them go to waste.

So that's whats going on in my hot summer world today.  What's it like in yours...


...seriously, they really do call me that.  I'm a real life long learner, ever seeking new information.  In fact, I've just enrolled in a new sewing school, and you can too.

Ann Steeves, owner of Gorgeous Fabrics has recently opened her new Gorgeous Fabrics University where she shares valuable sewing information.  I've got my notebook and pin (I'm a avid note taker), and have watched each of the three videos that she has available on YouTube: 

Matriculation can be soooo much fun...

I'M BACK....

....oh right, you didn't know that I was gone?  Yes, I back from a 11 day trek for my upstate New York/Twin Tier vacay with my   family- what a privileged and blessing to be able to visit with them this year.  No NYC fabric garment district shopping for me this year, but truth be told I still have plenty of stash left over from my two previous trips. But there was:
    •  lots of fashion conversation while there,
    •  managed to hit the Joann's McCall's pattern sale chauffeured by Jerome (baby brother),
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    •  I scored three nice fabric pieces from their local WalMart while shopping with Inell (Mother).  Couldn't manage to get it to fit in my return home suitcase although I tried r-e-a-l hard.  Pat (baby sister) will deliver on a visit later this month,
    •  There are actually three sewing machines at my sister Brenda's (middle sister) house so I choose one and gave it a little road test by working up a muslin for New Look 6130 peplum top,
    seeing that I did manage to get my sewing kit tucked in my suitcase for the trip in an effort to keep my sewing MOTIVATION reved up (it tends to slump without continued use).

    • At the last minute I did QUITE a bit of alterations for Brenda which I really enjoyed.  It was a labor of love and actually a lot of fun...
    • I managed to escape last week's torrid southern heat while relaxing in my Mother's beautiful back yard; however I think I made up for that yesterday when 98 degrees felt like 1,010 - wow!  By the way, we used this Pinterest tip while enjoying the back yard.
    Pinterest suggested using only one penny, but we had an entire line of them across the bottom of the bag.  Hung two bags to the sunbrella - IT WORKED!!! 
    It's good to be back safely, but I'm sincerely missing my family .....

    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...