May 31, 2014


...when Erica Bunker and then Lynne B made their Burda 7368 tunics, of course it was something that I thought I had to have right here, right now.

That was way back in 2011!  Yep, just two months shy of three years I made this shirt sans the eleven (11) buttonholes/buttons it would take to complete.  The tunic has hung in my closet as a constant reminder that I needed to sit down and make all those buttonholes and sew on the pre-purchased buttons.  All together now, lets say - LAZY!

Finding myself twix and between projects this weekend - not really knowing what I want to sew next, today was the day to finish the dreaded 3 year old UFO.  I think I broke a record here.  Sidenote:  unpicking a misplaced buttonhole = not much fun.
I can wear it belted,

Or not.

Which do you think?????

May 28, 2014


...everyone knows that I like to name things, right?  Last year I named my summer hand crafted apparel pieces my "Summer Breezes Collection".  This year I'm calling my pieces the "Summer Dreaming Collection".  Anyways, last summer during one of my blog cruising sessions I happened upon this unique knit top - fell in love with it, but never got around to trying to imitate it.  I thought this type top deserved a spot in this year's Summer Dreaming line up.   The top is from but I couldn't find a picture of it anywhere on their website.  Guess I should have grown up to be a fashion designer because I'm always trying to morph something or another - guess I missed my calling (ha).

I started with my Megan Neilson Briar top pattern as the foundation,

raised the depth of the neckline scoop 1".  Left off the right sleeve but extended the left shoulder 13 inches.  I adjusted the front and back hemlines to a straight line omitting the concave/convex or high low shaping.

My fabric is a Wal-Mart very lightweight, sweatery feeling knit.  It was the only fabric I could find that wasn't too heavy, and that had just the right drape.  My version of the top is also black, so my photo doesn't show up that well, but it's finished, I'm happy, and now I can cross this one off my to sew list - lightening up that list just a bit.
I think I want to make a second one from a drapey four way stretch taupe knit that I found on Hancock's $3.98 table a few days ago - mmmmmm, we'll see.



...When Kyle of Vacuuming the Lawn posted about her new Vogue Fabrics Sophia knit swatches, my sewing budget (yes, believe it or not I do have one) self immediately raised her voice.  She can get sorta  loud too.  The conversation went something like this:

HER:  You know you do not need that!
ME:  Yes, but...
HER:  You don't need it.
ME:     Let me get a word in edgewise please.
HER:   But you don't need it.
ME:     But you know how much I love knits.
HER:   But you don't need it.
ME:     But I'll be able to know what the exact colors look like.
HER:  You don't need it.
ME:    But you know I'm slightly color challenged.
HER:  You don't need it.
ME:    Well it's only 5 bucks, and I'm the boss.  Click, submit!

I love Sophia knits, they are so soft, and have a very similar fiber content as pontederoma.  Now I'll know the exact shade of each color before I buy, all 28 colors.  $5.00 with no shipping cost was a great deal.  Thanks for showing them Kyle.

May 25, 2014


...yet another post about my pattern love.   Butterick 3533 took up resident on my inspiration board for what seemed like forever.  I purchased it at a thrift store for $.49 at least two years ago, maybe three.  Printed circa 1970 I guess I just really liked the illustrations on the pattern envelope.  In the 70's patterns were not multi-sized; this one is size 14.
Following Nancy Zieman's information (chatted about in this post) my measurements equate to a size 14 through the neck, shoulders and bust area, but requires increasing the pattern in the side seams, which is an easy alteration (I added 1").  I was a little hesitant about using the pattern because of it's raglan sleeve.  I thought it might be a little tight, and had no idea how to go about increasing it.   The pattern was missing the back facing, pants, skirt pieces, and one page of the instructions but I was able to construct the top without it.

I finally decided to just go ahead and make a wearable muslin - you probably recognize this fabric as I made a cowl neck top from it a few weeks ago.
 Just a simple knit wrap top but I really like it.  I'm planning on making a pink knit pencil skirt soon that will match this perfectly.

Do you have any great patterns from the '70's???

May 24, 2014


...YES, I'M AN INDIE PATTERN LOVER - it's their little details, the design lines, that little something different about them - that attracts me to them.
This time last summer it was Megan Neilson's Breakwater Collection that had my head spinning!  I had to talk myself out of  buying ALL of those patterns; and mind you, talking myself out of something is not an easy task.  I did succumbed to the Briar top pattern, and made it up three times.  Wore one of them today, and remembered why I fell in love with it in the first place.

I loved the Euculpt top/dress pattern, the Tanya culottes, and the Virginia leggings but budgeting sense won out, and they never made it into my stash.

During the winter months I fell head over heels in love with Pauline Alice's Ninot Jacket pattern.   pdf pattern, oh boy, but nevertheless all that taping and tracing turned out to be time well spent.  Bar none, this jacket holds first place as my most favorite jacket of all times.  I'm sure there will be a Ninot #2 to follow.

This year there has been a mad toss up between Colette's Moneta and Kitschy Koo's Lady Skater dress patterns.  These three patterns are so very similar.    The Dixie DIY Ballet dress ran a close third in this race, but the Lady Skater won by a nose.  I keep having visions of  Candice's version and I think it helped seal the decision.  Just got to make a fabric decision for the summer; and I know there will be a black one coming up for next winter - I can already see myself wearing it.  Dixie your Concert Tee is still calling my name - though I'm trying hard to resist.

And what about Mable?  Oh Mable!  This Colette skirt pattern ran unchallenged.  After all, I am a real knit skirt kinda girl.
Of course mine won't be quite this short - ha ha
Of course Papercut Pattern's Ensis top pattern grabbed my attention and will not let go (how CRUEL of her).  I'm not even going to argue with myself about it - I'm crying uncle because it's beautiful.  But, although I am very appreciative of the inspiration provided by this top, I think I'm gonna frankenpattern the style using the Briar pattern as my guide - because it fits so wonderfully.  Please don't hate Papercut people; I'm absolutely sure there's some other pattern in your collection that will soon wrestle me to the ground.

And then there's that Closet Case Files' Nettie bodysuit/dress pattern, I know you've seen it.  Spanx requirement and all, that dress is gonna be mine.  And who doesn't LOVE those back neckline variations.

Pray tell, are there any indie patterns crowding your pattern stashing mind???, if so which ones??? 

May 22, 2014


...Dellia (DelliaLaughsOutLoud), recently held a giveaway in honor of her first year blog anniversary.  Congratulations Dellia - here's wishing you many more happy years of sewing and blogging.  Of course I had to enter the contest, and guess what - I won!!!

A $25.00 gift card.  Think I'll make a trip to Jo-Ann's to partake of the Memorial Day sale.  Winning feels good - Thanks a whole bunch Dellia!!!

May 17, 2014


...have you seen the Indie Iconic Sammy Cami pattern floating around blogland?

Like me, you probably already have several camisole designs tucked in your pattern stash.  It's not hard to be drawn to the word FREE, now is it?  I have a container full of camisoles on a shelf in my closet.  I often look for a particular color to wear with my cardigans, but so many colors are missing.  I need a rainbow of colors in that container.

Whether I choose a big 4 or an Indie pattern, it's very rare that I can make a pattern straight out of the envelope.  I finally came to realize that these companies don't just sit around and make patterns to fit MY body per se.  There are going to be some fit issues, even with a simple cami.  Today I wanted to make a muslin but my first issue was choosing a fabric.  So I turned to my stash.  Do you remember seeing this JoAnn's fabric.
April Johnson (Project Runway Season 8 and PR All Stars Season 1) designed Jersey knit
The fabric has been in my stash for 2 or 3 winters, I love jersey knit, but never used it because I did not want to take the time to match the design.  Today I decided that April's fabric had sat long enough so I used it for a muslin.  Here's my first attempt

What I did this time:
  • cut size 14 through the arms and chest area, tapering to size 16 in the side seams
  • Center front and center back (both cut on the fold) decreased at center neckline 1/2 inch because I often have problems with  patterns being too large in that area
  • used 10" strap measurement rather than 11 1/16" suggested by the pattern
  • added 2" to the length of the pattern
  • used foldover elastic for bindings and straps rather than self fabric
What I'll do next time:
.  cut size 12 through the arms and chest area, and taper to size 14 in the side seams
.  decrease front and back at center neckline one full inch
.  use 9" strap measurement
.  not lengthen the pattern at all

Honestly, I always been scared to try patterns with a continuous arm/strap binding. Never thought I'd be able to get that technique quite right.  It's not that hard after all.   I'd never used FOE, although I've had some in my stash for a long time, didn't know how to use it. Thanks to You Tube, now I know.

So all in all, my resulting cami is a little too large in the side seams, and a little droopy at center front and back.  But I've taken in the straps one full inch, and this cami will work just fine as a PJ top.  There will be other colorful Sammy Cami's in my container...

May 11, 2014


...  it's wonderful being your first born child!!!

and Happy Mother's Day to all my blogland friends...

May 8, 2014


... It's Thursday evening again, and the long, dry, lack luster season of Project Runway withdrawal has begun.
Talk about branding!  The Project Runway trilogy has become such an integral part of my life and has    added lots of posh, style and embellishment to my Thursday night entertainment.  Yes folks, I am hooked.  Even though when asked, "do you learn anything about sewing by watching the show?".  My answer is always, emphatically "No", it's not about learning sewing technique; it's about the sewing DRAMA!  I unapologetically love each show/season.  And I miss it too.

This is the way Thursdays usually go for me;  I call my Mom (or she calls me) to see if each one is planning on watching.  Why of course we are, so why do we even ask!  The main reason for the call is to see if we each think we are going to be able to stay awake for the duration of the show.  I have to admit that I've nodded out on multiple episodes, or even fallen completely asleep.  When that happens I watch via internet on Friday or Saturday.  My Mom on the other hand rarely makes it through (she's the go to bed with the chicken's type) so she tapes and watches on Friday mornings.  Then we have another phone conversation on Friday afternoon to recap, theorize, talk about who should have gone home, predict who's going home next week, and laugh about the craziness of the  night before.

I propose that the brand expand into one more venture ala Project Runway (something or another), to afford me year long television viewing entertainment.   This is what good old Google had to say about the matter:

Lifetime Announces 'Project Runway' Season 12 Premiere ...
Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen, and Tim Gunn are back and ready to rule the “Runway.” Season 12 of “Project Runway” will premiere Thursday, July 18, at 9/8c, Lifetime announced Friday, with a host of very fashionable changes in store this season.

 I guess Michael Kors is never coming back...sigh.

 That's my late week life in a nut shell.
 If you are a Runway Addict like me, what are you watching through this long dry season???

May 4, 2014


...When McCall's recently released their new fitted cowl neck top, and you know that I, Ms. Patternaholic had to have it in my collection.  Nice and easy, four pattern pieces, made for knits with 4 variations. What's not to like?   I can see it being a great wardrobe essential, and a way to add much need pops of color and or print for spring/summer.

This pattern even has a built-in swayback adjustment line.  I've never seen that in a pattern before.  Nice pattern, BUT nothing's ever 100% perfect. I can tell by the model depiction on the envelope that this pattern as probably going to be cut much too low for my taste.  Leaving me looking down at my bra ALL DAY LONG, wondering if everyone else is looking there too.    I HATE THAT!  Now, how in the world do I fix that problem???  Enter Google to the rescue.  I visited the new to me Sew Everything Blog that spelled out two methods of pattern adjustments for raising a much too low cowl neckline.  I used method two because there was much less math to contend with.  Thank you Samina.

I made a wearable muslin to give this alteration a try and decreased the cowl depth by 1 1/2 inches bringing it up to a comfortable wearing position. 
I ended up with a 1/2" horizontal wrinkle at center front that I will need to work out if I decide to make it again.   Mmmmm undecided at this time.  This pattern does run on the large size.  I made size 16 and had to take in the side seams considerably.  I also lengthened 2 inches, but ended up cutting that amount off before hemming.

May 3, 2014


having a diagonally overlapping neckline or closing.
I don't know exactly why I'm attracted to this design, but I am; it just doesn't seem to work out for me fit wise.   But....... every now and then I give it a try again.   Aggggg! when I learn?, or am I just a glutton for punishment?

Last year it was this pattern.  Not in love with the top I made but I do wear it because I love the fabric.

This week I decided to try a different version of another pattern I used last spring
Last year I made 2 of view F.  This time I opted for view C.  About this pattern, first of all I DID NOT understand the part of the instructions on how to construct the ruched side of the top.  Just made up my own way to get the top finished.  I also forgot that the racer arm shape is really severe.  I did use Myra's directions to raise the neckline 1 1/2" to keep the front from being far too low cut.  That worked out fine, but I'm still not 100% satisfied with the surplice design.  Guess it's just not for me.  I will wear this top as well, because again I'm in love with the colors and print of the fabric. 
What's being stitched in your sewing room this weekend???

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...