December 30, 2013


...I didn't use this pattern again this season, especially since I was willing to fight somebody to get my hands on it.
McCall's 6844

So I thought I'd give it another whirl using this floral sweater knit that I picked up at Joann's Fall of 2012.
Thus the fabric has had plenty of time for marination, and since I'm a cardi type of girl I thought it would be perfect for this pattern.  I used an Aztec pontederoma print my first time around with this pattern, (you can read about it here) but knew this floral sweater knit would be perfect for my second version.  Surprise!, turns out I was right.  It was a little shaky there at first because my sewing/fabric and size selection radar has been a little off lately yielding one failed coat muslin, and a dress that the jury's still out on.  When things don't go right in the sewing studio - guess I should just take a break from it - but you know me, I pressed on in spite of...

This time I went down a size from an XL to a L.  I don't know about you, but patterns with that sizing (s,m,l,xl,xxl) are sometimes a little tricky leaving me unsure which size to choose.  Yes I used the XL for the first jacket and ended up taking it in quite a bit.  This time I knew I needed to go down a size, but was still unsure because of the differences in fabric.  Two recent failed projects lingering in your memory tends not only to cause sewing paralysis, but complete terror when starting the next one.  I tell you - I prayed at the start of this simple cardigan - Imma start praying over EVERY PROJECT from now on.  Should have been doing that anyway!

I want to mention that I did not interface the band/collar of either cardigan, because I wanted the whole thing soft and cuddly.  I plan on adding a snap closure at the front of each one cause I like the look of having it closed.  I use steam-a-seam for the hems (no serging) just applied, flipped up 5/8" and stitched down.  All interior seams are serged however.

Front view
Back View
So finally something turned out right!  I do plan on making a navy pencil skirt to match...

December 18, 2013


...that's tomorrow's forecast - but as for today - it was 40 degrees when I first woke - stayed that temperature the entire day.  Not too bad seeing that it was 10 degrees higher than yesterday.  Not a cloud in the sky, just a seriously beautiful hump day if you will.  

This morning I asked my Mother if it was really cold on the day I was born.  She replied that she really couldn't remember seeing that she was busy with the process of giving birth to her very first little baby girl, that being me; and she really didn't have much time to be concerned about the weather.  She said that I was born well after 10 a.m. on that December morning.  It seems we reminisce every year about my birth, and I never fail to learn something new and touching about the event.   I love my Mother so much, and yes, I await her birthday call every year.  I also never fail to feel all mushy inside when she tells me about that special day - it reminds me how wonderful it is to know that you were wanted right from the very start.  I have the best Mother, and she thinks she has the best children.  After all - it's a poor frog that doesn't praise her own pond!

I didn't make a new dress for my birthday, but I think my color blocked Kay Unger Vogue dress, paired with my Simplicity jacket was very fitting for the occasion.  I've never been able to think my birthday without thinking of Christmas; or Christmas without thinking about my birthday so a picture next to the tree seemed all together fitting and proper.  I'm wearing the wrong boots in the picture (had on a higher heeled dressier type earlier), but these arrived just in time for my birthday this morning so I had to try them on to see how they fit.

I know Christmas is not about the tree, the dress, or even me for that matter; it's all about commemorating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I'm just blessed to have been born during this time of year - it just makes my birthday all the more special.  It's just 7 days away you know...

December 16, 2013


...29 degrees this morning!  I could hardly believe it - but winter does start this weekend after all.  I love dressing for Fall/Winter, but do so I hate going out to warm up the car.  I wanted to make sure I'd be toasty all day long so I test drove my Missoni-esque knit midi dress made earlier from McCall's 6612.
I love that I underlined the body of the dress, as it made wearing it without a slip possible.  Just when I developed such a dislike of slips I cannot remember, but whenever I can go without one, I do.  The dress has a HUGE cowl that could easily be worn as a hood, but it's comfortable and controllable.

Some sewing has been going on in the form of a muslin of a project that I'm considering ditching.  I need just the right inspiration to spur just the right project.  I'm still looking...

December 13, 2013


... I've been caught right in the middle of indecisiveness as to exactly what my next project will be - seriously not a good place to be.   I did manage to get a whiff of inspiration from Pinterest yesterday when this simple color combination caught my eye.

I immediately knew I could pull something similar off.

I teamed my black knit version of Vogue 8939's turtleneck dress made in late August with a blazer I've had in my closet for a very long time.  I haven't worn it in years because it's such a bright color, but the Pinterest picture inspired me to make use of it today.  The blazer is 100% wool crepe by JH Collectables that I purchased way back when my daughter was still in high school.  It was actually an investment piece when I bought it, and I could never bring myself to part with it.  It's just hung in my closet in a plastic covering for many years.  Everyone at school thought it was a brand new piece, and were surprised when I told them that it's actually older than my grand-children.

I did manage to make another black knit pencil skirt from McCall's 6654.   I already have a black knit pencil, but it's a real form fitted longer length that I think looks better all dressed up - heels, jewelery and the like.  I needed a black knit pencil skirt made for my simplier life - a little roomyier, and a little more casual that would look good with even flat boots - you know, a throw on and go comfy type. McCall's 6654 to the rescue because I've made it at least 5 times before.  I like it and it works well for me. I didn't bother taking a picture - it's so simple - but will go with so many things that I already have in the closet.

Well it's almost the weekend and just maybe I'll be able to break through my indecisiveness and get my next project started.  Keep your fingers crossed for me...

December 5, 2013



...sick and sewing just don't mix.  At the end of last week while recuperating from dental surgery I came down with a really B-A-D cold.  I was feeling miserable needless to say, but still wanted to get some sewing done.  Well, I should know by now that for me -  sewing while sick is not a good mixture.  When my head is all stuffed up my sewing judgement and motor skills are all out of whack.  I wanted to make a trendy, glitzy, baseball like glam tee, so this simple NewLook pattern looked like just the right option.

Since I've tried lots of NewLook patterns that just didn't work out well for me for one reason or another, you know me, I'll make a muslin in a minute - even for a knit top if I'm not sure of the pattern.  So I made one of this top planning on using it as a PJ top and I was so glad that I did. The neckline on this pattern was just too wide for my comfort so PJ top it is.  I've never altered a neckline that included a raglan sleeve; however, I thought I might be able to make the neckline narrow, but at the time just didn't feel like working it out.

Not wanting to give up on having my glitzy top I looked for another pattern and this is what I came up with:
Vogue 8670 view B but added the long sleeve
The fabrics:  a glitzy silver drenched stretch knit that I found in the bridal section of Hancock's for 50% off and a black matte jersey

Back View

No muslin this time, but the fit is really good.  I'm not much of a bling girl, but I felt like adding something sparkly to my closet.  The bottom hem is blind stitched, and I just turned up and machine hemmed the sleeve.  I was very unorthodox with this top in that I omitted the bust darts because I HATE bust darts in knit garments.  I didn't fold them out, but rather stitched the side seam and worked out the difference at the hem.  Told you, very unorthodox, but I really don't think it makes that much difference at all.

Per the pattern directions the neckband is double stitched on, then the seam just pressed down.  Duh!, how's that supposed to keep the seam down in place when wearing???

I think I'll be storing this top in a ziplock bag and in a drawer because sparkly stuff is already all over me,  my sewing room and everywhere else for that matter.  So there it is, my contribution to the world of glitz for the season...

December 4, 2013


...Last month I bought the new BurdaStyle winter 2014 magazine.  What can I say?, after all I am a confessed pattern-a-holic.  Besides, who knows, I just might get a notion to trace off a pattern or two  and actually make something from it.

I've perused the entire magazine and cannot find information on how to find and use the 20 free digital downloads that come with the magazine.  What am I missing?  Can anyone help me out with instructions on how to find them so I can download them to their own little BurdaStyle folder on my pc???

Thanks in advance!

November 30, 2013


... life got in the way!  I thought that since it's the very last day of November, I'd better get a post in or you'd think I'd fallen off the edge of the earth.   I have to ask, "WHERE IN THE WORLD DID NOVEMBER GO???"   Work related busyness consumed me and because: I do love my job; am so thankful for it; and always want to do my very best, I had to put sewing on the back burner.
To culminate the month's activities I had dental surgery on Monday, I've been recuperating all week so I'll be able to return to work next week. Seven days of house sitting has the tendency of making me a little spacey, (I did get a little hallucinogenic on Tuesday when it rained none stop all day long, and even though I couldn't leave the house anyway - felt even the more trapped).  I figured it was a combination of the narcotic pain pills and a case of feeling sorry for myself (hate when that happens).    

BUT FOR TODAY, I had planned my escape and at 6:10 a.m. (with head and face fully covered) I was sitting outside of Hancock Fabrics (joined by my friend Cecil) waiting for the doors to open for the $4.95 wool fabric sale.  That's right, clocks were set, and my Mother gave me a wakeup call to make sure I got there in time.  There was no way I could miss out on this sale, and this is what came home with me:
Glorious yards of herringbone tweed (blends) and 100% wool crepe.
And of course a few patterns found their way into the bag.
During my imprisonment I did do a little reorganizing and cleanup in my sewing room so I'm ready to sew as soon as a few project decisions are made.  I also made four knit leopard print infinity scarves for my three fashionista nieces and me, and six chevron knit special order scarves.  I also managed to finish a striped knit skirt (started prior to all the busyness) inspired by Candice - Sew My Time.

Now as for this afternoon, I need to cleanup my kitchen and then it's on... cause I've got a real serious case of the SEWS - that's what I call it when I need to do some sewing really, really bad...

November 14, 2013


Lord please forgive me...YES I DO!!!

Do you own pieces that you love so much and think are so beautiful that you don't even want to cut into them?


November 10, 2013


... with frequent chilly 32 degree mornings, and the switch back to standard time where you get to drive to work in the in real sunlight rather than in utter darkness hoping that you don't run over somebody's children; but have to rush home in the afternoon so you're not caught out in the dark having the feeling that you have no evening at all.  (Ugghh, and I think I am the only person in the world who dislikes it!, cause it seems that everyone else is rejoicing.)  I use to think I disliked Fall, but found that it's not Fall that I have a strong dislike of, but rather it's the time changing thing!!!  I LOVE it when we're on Daylight Saving Time...

WHAT'S THE POINT!!!, OF CHANGING THE TIME?,  unless its just to throw my body clock all out of whack!!!"  Wasn't it designed to give the farmer's more daylight hours?  I still don't understand, just know that I don't like the change at all.  Seems I would have gotten use to this after all this time - but I haven't!   There's just no pleasing some of us humans all the time anyways, is there?  So there,  got my rant out, now back to talking about Fall and chilly mornings....

I am so glad that I did get a little jump start on my Fall Sewing this year.   I started back in hot August even though I knew I wouldn't actually get to wear the pieces until late October/early November.  It's wonderful know I can just walk to the closet and pull out something new.  So last week I pulled this outfit out
I forgot to pair it with the belt though, but oh well, me and belts seem to have a love hate relationship, so it all turned out well anyway.

The outfit wore very well and it was a great Fall day!

November 4, 2013


...with temperatures at a chilly 32 degrees this morning (although Jack Frost didn't make an appearance),  I was happy to have a warm new dress to wear to work.  It made my Monday morning just a little bit more palatable.  I choose my Vogue 8939 black turtle neck knit dress.
Not too bad for a camera photo

The dress garnered several remarks like:   "Did you make that one too?  Oh my goodness you are so good."  My response  - it was only four pieces!  If they only knew just how easy making this dress was, minus removing the original turtle neck and replacing it with a larger one, they'd try their hand at dressmaking too - maybe.

The body of the dress is fully lined so thus negated wearing a slip - love that.  It made getting dressed and out the door this morning just a little bit easier.  The dress wore well all day long.  The Fabric:  a slightly ribbed value knit from Hancock Fabrics that was intended to be a muslin, but instead turned out to be the actual dress - because I liked it.

I really love my clothes.  Being able to make my wardrobe is such a wonderful blessing for which I am very thankful...

November 2, 2013


...when a jacket and a skirt is made from the same fabric,  do they then become a suit?  For me that is usually the case, but in this situation - I think not?

I had mentioned in a past post that I had fallen in love with this pattern and mostly the print used on the pattern envelope.  Folks I've been feeling a little aztec-y lately.
McCall's 6844
So I immediately started looking for a nice aztec print.  Of course I could not find this exact print, but I did find one that I thought was suitable for my jacket. It's made of a nice pontederoma - one of my favorite fabrics in the whole wide world, because it's soft and so easy to work with.  I seriously considered making this jacket in a sweater knit but could not make up my mind - so wishy/washy!  I think the next one (and there will be a next one) will be out of a sweater knit.
My Version of the jacket (wild huh) paired with a black MimiG pencil skirt made last Fall.  There is just nothing like a nice #2 pencil.

But I also wanted to make a pencil skirt from the same fabric - thought it would make a wonderful addition to my Fall Wardrobe.
Aztec print pencil - another one from the MimiG's tutorial.  How easy does it get!
The print is so bold that I would nevah consider wearing the two together.  So I plan on wearing the jacket with my black skirt or pants; and the skirt with a cream colored top and black jacket.  I'll be able to come up with several different combinations using the two pieces separately - which in my book is a winning situation...

October 28, 2013



I said:  I think the neckline should be narrower.

She said:  No, it's just right.

I said:  The sleeves could be shorter.

She said:  No, I like my sleeves this length.

I said:  The fabric's so clingy.

She said:  I love that it shows I still have my curves.

I said:  The animal print might be too wild for you.

She said:  No, No, No.  I love animal print.

I said:  If you don't really care for it you could use it as a PJ top.

She said:  I love it!!!

And I'm so glad she does!  Here's a picture of her wearing my rendition of a modern maternity top for a modern girl - who by the way is having a girl.
Megan Neilson Ruched Maternity Top MN1006

Add caption


October 27, 2013


...I made a maternity tee shirt for a co-worker who is also a very good friend.   I've loved  Megan Neilsen's ruched maternity shirt - (MN1006) since it debuted - I always thought it was so very cute.  So when my friend announced she was expecting, I really wanted her to have one of them.

Besides, I was really interested in knowing more about the anatomy of Neilson's unconventional maternity top; i.e., how the pattern's design accommodates a baby bump since it's really just a tee shirt.  Curiosity got the best of me, so I sprang for the cost of the pattern, (found it on sale at in case anybody's interested.)  I choose a light weight cheetah or leopard  print (never can distinguish the difference) because I thought it would make a jazzy maternity top.  Although the print is pretty, this was not a great fabric choice.  It's the type of fabric that sticks to itself making it difficult to manipulate - sort of like constant static cling ughhh; and random cut thread is attracted to it - like a magnetic double ughhh.  I went ahead and finished the top, despite the quality of the fabric, to enable me to check the fit when I see her.  I'll tell her that she can use it as a clingy PJ top while I choose another fabric for the post fit version.
See how the sleeves are stuck to themselves???  I hate fabric like that, but didn't pay close enough attention to that when I selected it.
Of course I tried on the clingy top - just to see how it would fit.  Mmmmm, I not sure, but I might need to go up a size or two with the next one; and maybe make the neckline a little narrower. . .

October 20, 2013


...sometimes patterns dance in my head - sort of like visions of sugarplums.

Insert patterns instead candy
 McCall's 6844 was just such pattern.
It debuted just as I was preparing to go on vacation a few weeks ago, and I knew right away that it was a MUST HAVE for my ever growing collection.  You know every now and again a pattern hits that you love so much - you are ready to throw caution to the wind and literally fight for it at the pattern counter (been there, almost done that) cause the store only stocks two or three of then.   I know, it's such a simple pattern, but something about it really excited me.  I know now that the something was the print of the lead view on the pattern envelope as well as the cutsie style.  Needless to say, when I went to JoAnn's in New York they didn't have the new patterns - what a bummer and a let down!

As soon as I returned though I was off to my local Hancock's to snatch up that beauty (and a few others on my list) but M6844 was my main objective.  I was on a mission and really should have been wearing a sign that said "Danger, danger!" upon entering the store.  "Look out ladies, don't get between me and that pattern drawer"!!!  Or maybe I could get some of that crime scene investigaton tape and rope the area off.  But thank goodness the coast was clear when I arrived in the pattern area.  Two other ladies saw me frantically pulling and slowly made their way to me.  Although busy with my work I saw them in my peripheral vision. The fact that I may  have been  murmuring "My Precious, My Precious" to myself just a little bit as the patterns flew might have attracted them, I'm not sure.

The best looking picture I could find of Gollum

But they both inched closer to see what the excitement was all about.  They stood there for a minute, pretending looking in other drawers, meandering around, undecided; unlike me, not really knowing what they wanted.  Both of them kept looking my patterns as I pulled my list.  They started picking them up and commenting about about them as I piled them on top of the cabinet.  I think they were trying to confuse me ya'll, because they started asking questions, like:
  • which view are you planning to make
  • what fabric are you going to use
  • what attracted you to this pattern
  • oh my, you've got a notebook and already have your patterns listed.  You must go on the internet ahead of time????
Questions, question, questions!  I wanted to say "hey ladies, no questions, I can't pull and answer questions too!" or  "pull for your self ladies, these are all mine"!  But don't worry -  I was friendly!  "Yes, I'm linked to the pattern sites and get notifications when new patterns are released so I can compile my list and not have to spend time looking in the catalog when I get here", or "I have close patternaholic friends like myself who call me with the heads up".  They both commented, "You are so smart"!  "Yeah, yeah, yeah, flattery will get you no where, now let me get back to my work!", (thought to myself but not said - hahaha).

I did find time for a few nice-sa-ties!  What's your name?, Where do you live?  Found out that they were not together but lived in different towns and had to travel to my Hancock's because they don't have resources.  Soooo sad! 

Now, back to McCall's 6844, the No. 1 pattern of hot pursuit. Although I love the pattern I kept getting a daja vu feeling about it.  I just knew I'd seen this pattern before.  Just like the Bible says, "there is nothing new under the sun".  I even consulted Ebony, one of my #1 pattern experts, and she couldn't come up with anything similar.  Fast forward one week ahead where I find myself culling through ALL of my patterns in an effort to downsize and get ready for a SkillsUSA yard sale at school next Saturday and low and behold, look what I found...

MCCALL'S 5529 from circa 2007
I KNEW IT!  It's not exactly the same but it soooo very close.  This view of the line drawings show the differences - vertical darts in the back bodice, and raglan sleeves. 

The Daja vu mystery in my head is solved.  The most amazing thing is that I remembered this pattern from 2007 although I never used it.  It's been marinating in the pattern stash for 6 years.  Moral of my long drawn out story:  May I have many, many more years of pattern pulling interest and sewing capabilities; and may my mind always be this sharp in the name of Jesus, Amen...

October 18, 2013

DON'T YOU JUST LOVE IT WHEN A PLAN COMES TOGETHER... matter how simple - I just love it when a plan comes together!  What was the plan?  Well back in early September Sheila of Sheila-CTK did a post asking about our cardigan style preferences.  She included this picture in that post
and - I fell in love with the skirt.  No I didn't have this exact fabric, but it did start me thinking about a yard of fabric that I had left over from this dress that I made back in August when I started my fall sewing
and, I had enough to make a Missoni-esque pencil skirt - so that's just what I did. I decided to use
McCall's 6654 knit pencil skirt pattern that I tried last fall with good success. I underlined the pattern pieces (there were only two) by hand basting tricot down the center and the side seams to give the fabric a little more body.  It took me two nights to hand stitch the pressed open side seams because I didn't want them flapping around and bunching up after washing.

And, despite the fact that it took me almost an ENTIRE WEEK, the skirts an easy make (two seams, elastic waist, and a hem.  I wanted to play up the fabrics pretty turquoise stripe and was able to find the exact color in a twin set that I purchased during my NY visit my family vacation.  About the only thing I purchased during my visit this time - yes I was frugal and it's a good thing because IMMEDIATELY after returning I had to buy an new HVAC UNIT.  Can you help me say YIKES!  It will take a SERIOUS chunk out of the fabric budget for quite a number of months.  Oh well, I thank God that I was able to get it installed and it's working like a charm.  It's a lot to be thankful for after sleeping in a sauna for 6 nights.  At least I got my turquoise twin set says my female reasoning.
I couldn't decide on the skirt length, but went ahead and put it at mid calf because you know I plan on wearing it with boots.  I figure if this lengths not right - I can always cut if off shorter.
I have this same fabric in a different colorway and plan to make the skirt again.  I'll wear it with a chocolate twin set that came in the mail yesterday from my sister Brenda. THANKS A WHOLE BUNCH BRENDA!  I DO LOVE YOU SO!   I may or may not wear this belted (or I might try a thinner belt) -  I just wanted to see how it looked.  What do you think, belt or not???  Thanks for the skirt inspiration Sheila - and BTW, my cardigan choice is a jewel neck...

October 13, 2013


....what can I say folks???  IT IS SO MY SEASON!  And since it is, I thought it was high time to wear one of my new fall dresses.  My sister Brenda agreed to be my photographer during my recent visit to Up State New York.  What a beautiful Fall Season up there!  The Fall foliage color palette was just starting to unfold.  It's been such a long time since I visited New York in the Fall.  I decided it was time to test drive my new Kay Unger color blocked dress, and the fit was superb!  I did find myself wishing that I'd gone ahead and inserted the invisible zipper in the back seam though - would have made on/off access just a little bit easier, especially since the dress has a white yoke.  Oh, well, that's what I get for cheating or short cutting with zippers.  Hind sight is so 20/20.

That day it was just a little bit too warm for that jacket, and the boots too, but oh well - "Tis the Season".  Pontederoma is soooo soft and almost wrinkle free.  I didn't even need to press it after it being folded in my suitcase - turned out that this was just the dress to take on my trip.   With it  being fully lined there's no need for a slip so what's not to love.  This dress is a winner as far as I'm concerned, and I felt soooo good wearing it....


... my new sewing friend - Diane from Remembering OZ - a brand spanking new sewing blogger.  Doesn't it seems that sewing and blogging just naturally go hand in hand?  Diane has just opened  her new blog and I AM SO VERY EXCITED FOR HER!  She has two great machines, and is ready to take on all the AWESOME POSSIBILITIES lying wait in her sewing room.

Stop by and read her introductory post and learn all about "Oz the sewing machine" when you get a minute.  Diane, we'll be looking forward to seeing great fashion designs coming up!

I feel like I have a fabulous new friend in the sewing blog-sphere...

October 9, 2013


...  every now and then I learn am taught something new.  That's one of the things I like about myself - I love learning and never tire of it.  A couple of months ago during one of our sewing conversations, Cecil mentioned that she thought I might be using the wrong pattern size through the shoulder and bust area.  She pointed out some information in Nancy Zieman's book "Fitting Finesse" that shows how to choose the correct pattern size for the shoulder and bust area.  Of course the book was already on my bookshelf. 

Information found on page 9

So I switched pattern sizes  - from size 16 to size 14 (when sewing knits).  I must admit t that I think I'm getting a much better fit.  Just goes to show you me what a wealth of information we I already have at my fingertips that I'm not taking full advantage of.  Shame on me!  Thank you Cecil for pointing this information out to me!   It's made a world of difference in the way my knits fit and look.   Now I've got to give it a try with woven garments...

September 25, 2013

September 22, 2013


...WELL, IT'S FINALLY HERE!!! FALL THAT IS!  I feel so good about having gotten a little bit of a head start on the new sewing season for a change.  I'm four dress up ya'll - isn't that wonderful!
I figured with impeding cooler weather that is bound to get here one day in the future, my new Kay Unger dress, being sleeveless would need a jacket.  So I gave her one.  I've admired Simplicity A1738 since way back in June when I saw Lynne B at Wonderfully Made, and Natelea over at The Fearless Seamstreess also made the jacket way back in March.  I thought how utterly cute and simple.  I rushed right out to WalMart to pick up this 97 cent beauty that had so much possibility as a cool topper for my wardrobe - kinda like a cardigan alternative.

I've put off making this jacket because, well really, I wanted to make it in some beautiful bright popping color, lets say yellow- definitely not in BLACK.  I wanted want it made in pontederoma or some similar knit, but I've searched HIGH AND LOW and cannot find pontederoma in YELLOW!  I've been STUCK on a certain color - paralyzed with making the jacket because I couldn't find the fabric in YELLOW.

BUT my Kay dress needs a jacket for Fall, I had to give in and make her one in BLACK.

Oh well, that's the way the color cookie crumbles.  On a positive note the jacket was so simple to put together and fits real good, I know there will be another one in a BRIGHT color added into my Fall Sewing Lineup (as soon as I can find and choose that special color)...

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...