December 31, 2014

HELLO 2015...



... it's beginning to look more and more like an actual coat, especially since I've got the sleeves in.  After a slight snafu in trying to substitute a two piece sleeve (oh, how glad I am that I had residual fabric) I decided to proceed with the original one piece sleeve.  You will notice a caving at the upper back sections, but I am positive that this will be corrected with the insertion of shoulder pads.  I lightened the pictures so the completely (lintified) black coat would be more visible in the pictures.

Indentation at the lower back of the coat spreads out correctly after my hips and butt are inserted into the coat (lol).
I'm happy thus far, but will of course arrive at a point of utter over-joyment when the project is finally completed.  In an effort to see light at the end of this outer wear tunnel, I've updated my finish line list as follows:
.  install sleeve headers and purchased shoulder pads
.  install bias cut horsehair canvas in sleeve and lower hem areas
.  install front facing
.  make and insert lining
.  hem
.  make button holes (which, by the way, will not be bound but rather double stitched machine worked)
.  sew on buttons

Note:  I'm always confused as to using the word "installed" when referring to a sewing application.  Should I say install or insert???

I am trying to complete this project ahead of the next cold snap which I know cannot be too far off even though we've had temps in the mid 60's this week.  So keep cheering for me Mom and my other support team members I'm trying hard to get to the finish line before you all tire from reading about this winter coat project...

December 30, 2014


...With 2015 knocking at the door my heart is filled with joy, thanksgiving, gratitude and ANTICIPATION!
Really, my mind is overflowing with thoughts of the endless POSSIBILITIES God has placed within each of us.  Sometimes just thinking about them makes my heart race, and it makes me feel a little hyperventilatey (self-created word) (calm down girl)!
Can you imagine someone getting that excited sitting in a sewing room?  Of course possibilities extend beyond sewing and the sewing room; but I’m just saying, even a pattern envelope contains endless possibilities if we take full advantage of it.
I pray that I will have the gumption to step out on just a few of those possibilities in the New Year – if so, how wonderful that will be!

December 23, 2014


...working hard on knocking down my "FINISH LINE LIST":

.  Padstitched undercollar
.Padstitched and taped lapel
Thanks to a tip I got from Erica Bunker on using my machine's serpentine stitch

in a grid formation, padstitching takes just a fraction of the time it would take to hand stitch.  Now, finally, on this totally cozy rainy day I'm ready to move on to construction...

December 22, 2014


...finally finished all of that underlining, applied a layer of interfacing to the back, front, and front facing.  Now it's time to move on to applying a little more structure to places that need extra strength and places that might cave my coat in in certain areas.  This is my first time using horsehair canvas interfacing - I always told myself that it was just too expensive.  But after discovering that you DON"T have to interface the entire coat with the stuff, I decided to give it a try.  I made the coat's back stay and a shoulder stay pattern and cut those from the canvas.  Wish I had purchased fusible because my fingers are finally showing wear and tear from all my hand stitching.  (I don't feel comfortable using a thimble to my demise.) I'll also use the canvas for my hems because I am SURE that will make a difference in my finished project.
Looks a mess with all that hand stitching BUT thank God for linings.  Next I'll pad stitch and tape the lapel since I may have to delay my trip a couple of days because the weather outside is frightful...

December 21, 2014


...every year I can't keep my memories from  trailing back to the sights, sounds and tastes of long ago Holiday Seasons.  That's how it is when you had a good childhood.  Approaching Thanksgiving and or Christmas my Daddy (actually my great-grand father) made his wonderful Brunswick Stew.  It was such an exciting time, and he always made a big production of the whole thing so it was more like an event. I remember the whole thing - opening all the cans of vegetables, the slow methodical cooking process, and of course us gathering around the kitchen table to savor his magnificent stew.  Oh how I loved my Daddy - he had a way of making the simplest things extra special.  Some years ago I came across a little cookbook that contained almost his exact recipe.  Everyone in my family agrees that it is a reasonable facsimile.  To continue his Holiday Tradition I make it every year - I've actually made it twice this year (I think it's a wonderful rainy day or cold weather comfort food).  My Daddy's stew was so good that other people in the neighborhood would ask him to make it for them too.  Mine hasn't reached that acclaim yet, but I have shared the recipe with several others who enjoy it.   My blogger friend Diane of "Remembering Oz" asked me to share it so here goes.

 1 – 2 pound Boston Butt
2 ½ to 3 Cups Water
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Seasoned Salt
3 Bay leaves
1 can Diced Tomatoes (not petite)
1 small can Tomato Sauce
1 can Whole Kernel Corn, drained
1 can Sweet Peas, drained
1 large onion, chopped coarsely
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 – 24 ounce bottle Ketchup
3 Tablespoons Worcheshire Sauce
Hot Sauce to Taste (I use half a bottle)

Place Boston Butt in slow cooker or pot on top of stove with just enough water to cover; add salt, pepper, seasoned salt, garlic powder and bay leaves.  Cook slowly until meat is fork tender.  Once meat is done, place on a plate or cutting board and shred with a fork or cut into bite size pieces.  Discard bay leaves but reserve liquid.

In a large pot add just a small amount (start with just 1 cup) of reserved liquid; the shredded meat, tomatoes, tomato sauce, drained corn and peas, onion, sugar, ketchup, worcheshire sauce and hot sauce to taste. 

Cook for 1 hour over low heat stirring occasionally so the stew will not stick to pot.  Add more of reserved liquid (in small amounts) during cooking time if needed or if you want the stew to be thinner.


December 20, 2014


Yep that's right!  A good cup of coffee and my Daddy's Brunswick Stew.  I'll eat anything for breakfast - I was raised that way!  My goal last night was to finish underlining my coat pieces (adding structure and warmth).  Well, I got soooooo sleepy and decided to just go to bed.  Well today's another day and this morning found me at it again.  I can't wait to get this step completed so I can move on to the interfacing stage.  Every step gets me closer and closer to a finished product!

Have a wonderfully blessed Pre-Holiday weekend everybody!

December 15, 2014


...after experimenting with two coat patterns and making 3 muslins I finally managed to get a fit that satisfies and so the construction process has begun.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I've come to the realization that I am in need of a full length black winter coat.  I'm so glad that this nice wool fabric was in my stash.  I remember buying it from Hancock's a couple of summers ago.  Sometimes it's really hard to buy winter specific fabric during the summer even when it's at an excellent price.  But I knew that I would eventually find a use for this piece so I purchased 4 yards when it was 70% off.
Cutting was done on Saturday, and thread tracing completed on Sunday
So tonight I started the underlining process
Hopefully I'll get to work on this a little bit every night this week after work (fingers crossed).  Real sewing progress always takes place on weekends.  I've promised myself that I AM NOT going to let this project stress me out.  I've made my "FINISH LINE LIST" already so I'll be slowly marking things off...

December 8, 2014



...have you ever heard of fleece leggings?  Well I hadn't until I ran into these at
Grosgrain Fabulous.  I love these, and honestly can already see myself making a pair of them for warm and toasty winter pajama bottoms.  She's even included a pattern/tutorial link for them here.

I've been watching this blog for quite a long time now after becoming totally amazed at her many talents back in 2010 when she did an entire month of cardigan re-fashioning.  This one being my favorites of the 30 she re-styled that month
When I first ran across SBCC I chuckled a little bit at the blog title - but this girl is no joke, and neither is her blog.   I know that I've talked here about alterations to make wide pant legs skinner, but I recently ran into some very interesting information at SBCC Patterns that sheds much more light on the subject.   We all know there is nothing quite like well illuminated instruction - right?  I wanted to share it here just in case you hadn't seen it and might be in need of the information at some point.
Having skinnyed several pairs of pants myself with just "O.K." results, this illustration in itself made perfect sense.  It lets me know why I ended up with the results I got.  If you do visit SBCC for more skinny on the subject, you might also want to read more on her "Pant Alteration Philosophy" here.
It's so much fun discovering "New to me Blogs".  Sometimes I gain new knowledge from them, and at times I just gather loads of sewing inspiration.  If you have a few minutes of reading time I'm sure you will agree that My Daily Theardz supplies both.
The blog is positive and uplifting and I'm so glad that I took a look in.

Well it's back to muslin fitting for me...

December 2, 2014


I usually don't make publicly tooting my own horn a habit, but as a friend once told me - "it's a poor frog that doesn't praise her own pond!". Today I wore my wool Ninot jacket made earlier this year. I do so much admiring and praising other peoples work but today I'm praising my own. I did such a marvelous tailoring job : welt pockets, bound button holes, padstitching, shoulder and back stays, as well as under lining. I love the jacket and am admiring my own handiwork.  

 Mmmmm maybe I should take this jacket a step further and really make this independent pattern pay for itself. Stay tuned  and see what unfolds...

December 1, 2014


... yes, like millions of others across the nation I went back to work on Cyber Monday.  Since I literally walk miles in my lab during the course of the day being comfortable, but a bit trendy, is what I aim for.  A simple pencil skirt made back in September paired with a sweater is easy dressing.  This is the second time I've worn this skirt.
McCall's 6654

Also, I have actually been working on a project.  I have decided that I am really in need of a knee length black coat.  Mom, I know, I know - I've been adamant in repeating that "I don't like long coats".   I apologize - Mom - I have had to change my mind.  The new coat process has begun and I've  been muslining.  I choose way out of print McCall's 5247.
A classic design that I plan on making a little less a-line.

The muslin is working out quite well.  I keep trying it on trying to make a decision as to if I need to cut a size larger while waiting for a new shipment of interfacing.

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