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

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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 nancysnotions.com 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


...no 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...

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...