April 26, 2014


...a couple of months ago while cutting fabric my dressmaker shears somehow just flew out of my hand.  Yep, landed about 2 feet from me on my lovely hardwood floor with a thud.  I don't know what got into them that day, but since then they won't cut hot butter.  They still look perfect - no chips, scratches or anything, but I guess I threw them off balance.   I do have 2 really good backup pairs, as well as 8 or 9 pairs of not so great ones that I don't mind using to cut paper.   But I just love cutting with my 7 year old Kai shears that never needed sharpening.  Is the word "shears" correct usage in sewing terms. 

My cutting tool of choice    
I finally got around to ordering a new pair this afternoon.  They are just so comfortable to use, perfect fit, that is up until they decided to fly out of my hand and across the room.

So, my question to you - What are your favorite shears to use for sewing????

April 24, 2014


A new way to snoop shop.  Now just how cute can you get...


...I wanted to post Gwen’s entire email where she gave me advice on eliminating the diagonal front wrinkling that plagued my pants fitting.  To my dismay – I cannot find the email.  I must have deleted it!  I can’t believe it got deleted because I save everything.  No problem though, I can share the information from memory because I use it regularly.  I’ll also point you to some other wrinkle eliminating information that might also be helpful.
My diagonal wrinkling problems radiate from the front crouch area below the fly zipper up to side seams. 
  •  In this picture you can see where I folded out and pinned the excess that causes the wrinkling (wish I had taken a picture before I folded and pinned).
  • I pinned from the crouch area, starting just below the zipper, and tapered up to nothing at the side seam/slant pocket area. I started pinning below the zipper because I did not want to alter the zipper length; and tapered to nothing at the slant pocket/side seams for the same reason – I did not want to alter the length of the pocket opening.  

  • In this picture the right side is still pinned, but on the left I’ve stitched the excess up into a long diagonal dart  
  • I measured the amount pinned out in the muslin and transferred the same alteration to the front pattern piece.  This has made a tremendous difference in the fit of this pattern for me.
I think my wrinkles indicate that my pattern’s front crouch length is too long – just guessing here because as you know – I am no expert.

Gwen’s advice also convinced me to purchase Palmer & Pletsch’s book “Pants for Real People” that I had been reluctant to buy before that time.  If you have the book, I’d like to direct your attention to page 31 (bagginess in the back).  Although this section speaks about problems with the back pattern piece, it can also be applied to problems with bagginess in the front.   Page 54 (chalk-mark stitching lines) refers to chalk marking an adjustment made at the waistline; and (the waistband) is also helpful.
P.S.  Although tissue fitting is shown in the book – I NEVER pin fit – I’m a muslin girl (just my personal preference).  I’m afraid that I will tear and destroy the pattern; I always work with muslins instead.  Hope you find this helpful…

April 21, 2014


...why?, because I hate taking pictures.  But I realize that posting pictures wearing my hand crafted garments from time to time is necessary for good blog documentation.   After not making pants for an entire year, I decided it was time to add a few new pair to my wardrobe rotation.  When the pants idea first came up I was all ready to start working on a brand new (to me) pants pattern.  I pulled out several patterns, cut the paper pieces out, and then remembered why I took an entire month last spring tweaking my same old TNT pattern.  The number one reasons:
  • limited number of pattern pieces (a two piece slant pocket is enough for me and gives me the look and feel I like).  Call me narrow, but the same goes for the waist band; a one piece waistband fits my body and needs quite well.
  • Come on Faye, why re-invent the wheel?  What you wanted was a good fitting pant pattern, that you could whip up in a couple hours sewing time.  You've worked hard to get it, so just go with it.

Since my re-emergence a couple of weeks ago I've made three new pair and decided to test drive one of them today.

Not too tight, not too loose, comfortable all day long.  Minimal diagonal wrinkling across the front thanks to information received from one of my sewing mentors, Gwen.  I will never forget the wrinkle elimination tips she taught me by email.

The other 2 pair that I call radiant orchid and turquoise (I think)
I also love the ease of wearing skirts so I revisited McCall's 6654 to add two colorful knit #2 pencils  this weekend.   I think my sewing sessions produced some much needed splashes of color to my otherwise neutral way of dressing. 

Turquoise and Coral both of pontederoma
I'm not on one of my usual all out sewing marathons (yet), but I think I'm off to a great sewing season.  I really did enjoy being able to sew the past two weekends - it was like taking a breath of really fresh air...

April 19, 2014


...let's take time to rejoice because

And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him."
Mark 16:6
Have a beautiful Easter weekend sharing with family and loved ones where ever you are!

April 9, 2014


...needed to take some time to organize, gather my thoughts, and clean up a bit.  If it's alright with you, I'll just pretend that I've been here all along and I just pick up where I left off, o.k.  It's amazes me how junkie my sewing area can get even when you are not doing any sewing.  Case in point...
this mess.  How useful can an inspiration board like this be?
or this mess.  How in the world does this continually happen?  I declare this table is a clutter magnet!

Part of my organizing efforts produced this
a useful inspiration board ready for me to junk up again.  No, I take that back, I must speak positive words in my sewing room.

and a clean, ready to use cutting space.
Even with our sporadic weather (supposed to be 40 degrees in the morning), I've had plenty of time to think about spring sewing possibilities.  I do have a little plan (subject to change), and I have pulled 6 stashed fabrics (4 wovens and 2 knits) that are being pretreated tonight.  Maybe, just maybe, if the dryer hurries up, I can get at least one item cut tonight.  Here's 4 of the pieces
Jersey knit for a top, pontederoma knit for a pencil skirt, and two gaberdine pieces that will become slim cut pants.
There's brown and radiant orchid gaberdine pieces in the dryer now, both for pants.  I think I've blog watched from a distance long enough - it's time for me re-emerge...

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...