January 30, 2016


...It's the fourth and final week of my Kicking Stash Sew-A-Long Challenge.  This week's assignment:  Outer Wear or Accessories.  Right up my sewing alley since I love making outer wear.  To make sure that I was able to complete a coat in a (week), I had to choose an easy (simple) unstructured pattern with few pattern pieces.  I wanted to make this pattern
Vogue 1479

but after a review of the pattern's instructions felt it would be a little too much with my time restriction - maybe next time.  So I opted to use this one

Only 5 pattern pieces, no lining, how simple can it get???  Now for the big question:  Can I, Linda Faye Thomas Lewis, make a simple, unstructured coat without adding ANY tailoring techniques?  Nope!  I  tried, but I  just can't seem to help myself!  It's so hard to unlearn what you've learned, especially when you love the results it yields. 

For starters I picked this beautiful piece of  gray fabric gifted to me by my friend Ebony, you remember her from The GlamDolls.

Taken from her stash that neither of us can really identify it - but we think it's a piece of  kashmir fleece that Hancock's carried several years ago.  My description: really dense and yummy feeling.  Tailoring:  so far I've added a front shoulder shield and back stay

Back Stay

Making the front should shield
and am toying with the idea of doing some light pad stitching of the enormous collar and lapel areas.  Oh, and let's not forget the addition of my lining in a gorgeous silver color.  Trying to get this all done within my time limit of 11:59 p.m. tomorrow night - keep your fingers crossed for me...

January 27, 2016


... Friday, oh Friday you seem so far away,
 but in the meantime it's WWW (Work Wear Wednesday) again.  In homage Sew Much Talent's Kicking Stash Sew-A-Long I wore a top created during Week 1, and a skirt created during Week 2; and after having the pictures taken discovered this on my phones camera
Smart phones never cease to amaze me...

January 24, 2016


...the first three weeks of the year have really flown by - wasn't it just Christmas!  This week's Stash Kicking assignment was all about pants.  I really thought I was going to have bail this week, because I just wasn't feeling making pants, not even with my good old TNT pattern.  But when I found out that anything that split and had legs qualified I was able to pull it off by making my favorite leggings.

I literally LIVE in leggings during the winter months, especially if they are comfty and cozy.

McCall's 6173 
 I made View c from this patterns a few years ago and we are still in love with each other.  I wanted to make others and this was the perfect opportunity.
The pair on the left are made from a soft light weight sweater knit that I got from Girl Charlie a couple of years ago; and on the right a stretchy azetecy value fabric from Hancock.  I used the same serged elastic waistband treatment that I used on my skirts last week.  I also got the bright idea that the leggings could be hemmed using the waistband treatment as well.  The results:  a cuff like hem that I really like- who knew???

I actually thought I'd also get a pair of TNT slacks completed today but changed my mind because I didn't want to do a rush job.  I used 1 3/4 yard of stash per pair for a grand total of 3 1/2 yards used (if my math is correct).  Me and fractions never could see eye to eye.

The 4th and last week of the Kicking Stash challenge starts at midnight - Week 4 will be all about outer wear and or accessories.  Care to guess what I'll be making???

January 20, 2016


...I have several animal print tops and skirts, but had really been hankering for that print in a dress since seeing one made over at TellTaleTasha's over a year ago.  Her dress resonated over and over in my head, and although that Vogue pattern did not work out for this particular fabric, I still achieved my animal print dress vision using the McCall's Pattern.

My kids took my cell phone pictures when I wore my new dress today, and by the way they loved my dress.

 I got so many compliments on this dress during the course of the day that I completely forgot about my pattern placement mishap in the bust area of the dress.

 I love the dress and will definitely be using McCall's 6886 again in the very near future...

January 19, 2016


...I think it was at 11:55 p.m. Sunday night that I clicked the submit button with this entry.  Week 2 was all about skirts and dresses.  I managed to complete two knit skirts on Friday and Saturday and barely finished my dress on time on Sunday.  The "Kicking Stash" week runs from 12:00 a.m. on Monday to 11:59 p.m. Sunday evening (that's eastern standard time).

I've loved Vogue 1314 since it's release and finally decided it was time to make it.

I really wanted to make the dress in a animal print so I choose a leopardcheetah (I really don't know which) sweathery knit out of my stash for the project.  Ahhhh, wrong choice!  The fabric was the right print, but did not have the right amount of  SNAP or spandex content necessary to pull this project off.  I should have known better and quickly came to the conclusion that the dress in this fabric was a complete wash.  I had even (I think) convinced my Mother who hates me chunking ANY project that ditching the dress was the right thing to do.  I comforted myself by promising to cut it up and make another project one day (yeah right).

Then after seeing several people make McCall's 6886 

recently I had a light bulb moment.  Why not just re- cut the Vogue dress to the McCall's patterns.   I only needed to make a few adjustments by sliding the pattern down re-cutting the the upper bodice part, and removing some of the length and voila - this is what I came up with
Besides a little bit of pattern misplacement in the bust area I am really pleased with the results of this SAVE.  Finishing the project is FAR better than having an UFO floating around in my sewing room.  

Now I'm off to do some cutting for Week 3 projects - IT'S ALL ABOUT PANTS...

January 16, 2016


...I had high hopes of using up a whole lot of fabric during week 2 of the Kicking Stash Challenge (SKIRT WEEK).  Of course my work week was off the chain, and things just didn't turn out the way I  planned.  Sewing for the week did not start until Friday night - but I just had to make sure I got at least a couple skirts completed this week for the challenge. 

I know I've mentioned time and time again how much I LOVE KNIT SKIRTS! How many skirts do I have already???  Interesting question!, I really can't tell you.  But what's a couple more going to hurt - they make daily dressing so easy, and every girl needs several essential knit pencil skirts, (that's what I call them.

During this "Kicking Stash" challenge when I pick a piece of fabric yardage from my stash the plan is to completely annihilate it - so I went ahead and made two skirts.  One for my greedy self, and the other as a gift.

Left:  Trusty McCall's 6654 - Right:  Pamela's Magic Pencil Skirt pattern independent pattern   
Tried a new elastic waistband treatment learned from Charlene Steward's Periscope last night and I love it.

Now to see if I can get at least one more skirt completed before 11:59 p.m. tomorrow night...

January 10, 2016


...you all know that weekend sewing is priceless to me, especially since I've joined the "Kicking Stash" sew-a-long for the month of January.  Week one that started last Monday, January 4th has been all about TOPS (who can't use more tops -right).  Of course, I  initially thought I's be able to crank out a top a day, but that was unrealistic with my work schedule.  I have; however, finished top #4 and am well satisfied with it.
Vogue 1465
Yes, I did a replay of the Vogue 1465 view C top.  Yes, it's sleeveless, and yes I'm making it in the winter time - But I'm such a jacket person that it works for me especially when I'm have one of those occasional "personal summers".

T0P #4 - 1 yard of fabric used
I'M IN LOVE!  The fabric, the fit, everything. I love the slight racer cut of the armseye, and most of all the side seaming that curves to the back.  That curve actually gives a slimming effect.
 When I got the puckering on Top #3 I was ready to throw in the towel.  If I had, I probably wouldn't have tossed the pattern, but probably would have never made the top again.  I'm pretty sure the puckering was due to my error in over stretching the neckline when attaching the collar.  With that experience, I cut the collar of top #4 longer thinking that would eliminate the need to stretch - and it worked.  I attached the collar and then just cut off the excess.

I highly recommend the pattern and might take it over into the summer.  All it would take is a little redesigning of the neckline and eliminating the turtleneck collar of course...

January 9, 2016


...have you ever fallen in love with a pattern immediately upon it's release?, well that's what happened with me in regards to the Vogue 1465 by Donna Karan - I just love everything about this suit (the fabric and the design).
So I made this top for the "Kicking Stash Sew-A-Long.  The pattern suggests rayon or cotton spandex for the top - it needs a lot of SNAP, I went with the rayon.  After choosing a stretch needle, the actual sewing went really smooth, with no skipped stitches.

The pattern uses an invisible zipper at the turtleneck collar/back area, and I did remember to interface the seam for the zipper which made insertion easier.  It has been quite a while since I last installed an invisible zip but all went well.  I love the top and the fabric, but I did have a slight issue with attaching the collar because it caused puckers at the front neckline. Ugggh!  I thought about removing and re-attaching the collar, but using a seam ripper to unpick stitches on this fabric is a little nerve wrecking (up-picking black on black at night ain't easy).  Other than the front neckline puckers I like the top, so here you see me  using a necklace to sort of camouflage the puckers.
Photographing black is hard.

I'm considering making another top from this pattern but using a different fabric with not quite as much SNAP.  I used 1 yard of fabric for the top.  The first week of the sew-a-long officially ends Sunday at 11:59pm.  I've got to get a little house keeping done now but I think I'll have enough time to get my fourth top completed before the deadline...

January 8, 2016


...continuing with the #Kick Stash sew-along I annihilated the remaining 2 1/2 yards of my off white sweater knit using Simplicity 8016.
I made view A but lengthened the sleeves and added a bit of lace.
This was another sm,med,lg,xl sized pattern so this time I made sure I cut medium through the neck, shoulder and bust area to get a better fit.  I'll be using Medium from now on for patterns with this sizing. 

The first week of the month long Sew-a-long ends Sunday at 11:59 p.m. so I'm moving on to Top #3...

January 4, 2016


...you know me, I'm always up to something.  This time it's Sew Much Talent's (Altheia Hudson) 
"Let's Kick Some Stash"  2016 Stash Smashing Sew-A-Long (DARE YOU TO SAY THAT REAL FAST 3 TIMES- LOL) that's taking place January 4th through 30th that has my attention.
It's an interesting sew-a-long in that the type of garments you make will change every week; and there will be a prize awarded to the participant who "Kicks" the most stash (yardage wise) during the sew-a-long.  If  you are interested in joining the sew-a-long, you'll need to contact Alethia via Facebook message (@SewMuchTalent). This week's garment:  Tops.

You all know that I am definitely a top lover, especially those made of knit fabric.  I plan on knocking out several tops this week in honor of the sew-a-long.  At least that's the plan - we'll see!

First top of the week:
Vogue 8854
I've wanted this top since last winter when I saw it on Brenda's Sewing Nook, couldn't wait to sew it up.


MY SYNOPSIS:  I've about had it with patterns sized (sm-med-lrg-xlg,xxl).  I choose my size based on my bust measurement, and what did I end up with? A gia-norous fit that's what - even the hood is huge.  I guess I'll just have to take a chance when using this type pattern sizing from here on out and just go with a size smaller.  Or, better yet, try to remember to choose my size based on Nancy Zieman's book.   Why, oh why can't I remember this information when choosing sizes???
Page 9 for information on choosing a pattern size to fit you through the shoulders and neck

Here's a picture my top after shaving several inches from the side seams.

WILL I MAKE IT AGAIN?:  The jury is still out on that one.

What is your experience with using patterns sized (sm-med-lrg-xlg,xxl)???

January 3, 2016


...could you imagine spending an entire day on a Periscope marathon???
Well, that is what I did yesterday.  Twenty (20) sewers/crafters from the new Facebook Group called the PeriCrafter's let the world have a peek into their sewing rooms.  It was a really exciting event, and would you believe that I was one of twenty.  Yes, I actually did my first "scope" broadcast yesterday as part of the "Tour of Rooms" event.

Talk about nervous!, and I think the very best part of it all was the fact that I deep cleaned my sewing room to get reading for the viewing.  It's now cleaner than it's been foreveah, to the point that I'm scared to sew in it in fear of junking it up again- but we all know that this status will not last for very long.  I thought I'd include the video link here in  case you'd like to see my room.

You might also want to check out the PeriCrafter's Group on Facebook.  There are LOTS of exciting sewing related things going on there - it's a great "no drama" closed group to become involved with.

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