October 28, 2016


...you can't imagine how good it feels to get back into my sewing realm!  Two projects completed in one week - although they're from the same pattern.  First, Work Wear Wednesday
Red turned out to be just the right color for me and went well with existing self made black slacks.  Red and black is such a winning combination - my red Vogue 9201 and my new black 2017 Jaguar XL.  (Just kidding) $74.000 for a car is a deal breaker for me (hahaha).

Nothing like a little fun...
Sewing Update:  As I said, two projects completed this week.  A repeat of Vogue 9204
 It was a little tricky sewing this Ditzy Silk that's actually 100% polyester - it was silky smooth, but quite slippery and did not press well at all - but I made it through.  Now I can file this pattern away for a while and move onward with my next project.

SLEEVE CONSTRUCTION TIP:  You might already know, but just in case you don't, always sew with the sleeve down - next to the feed dogs.  The feed dogs actually help to ease in extra fullness while sewing...

October 25, 2016


...i ALWAYS make sure that I return ALL pattern pieces and instruction sheets to it's rightful envelope after a project is completed.  I HATE LOSING PATTERN PIECES.  So just before starting to neatly fold Vogue 9204 to put it away, I thought "you know you like this top enough to make another one - why not go ahead and do it now and keep this sewing thing moving".
 I went ahead and CUT again last night, but before I did - I made an adjustment to the sleeve cap that gave me a little fit when making the first top.  To quote Sandra Betzina, " No matter how skilled you are at sewing, it's difficult to create a professional looking garment if the sleeve cap is too big for the armhole.  You end up with obvious puckers along the seam line".   I HATE A PUCKERED SLEEVE! I too find that many patterns are drafted with too much ease in the cap.  Betzina says that sleeve caps can measure 1 1/2" to 2 inches larger than the garment armhole around the cap.

So I pulled out my trusty Power Sewing Step-By-Step reference book.

I've used Betzina's "Trick of the Trade" method of removing excessive sleeve cap ease numerous times, especially when installing knit sleeves.  I love this method, and the times that I didn't use it, I regretted.  I know that there are other methods, but this one has worked for me.

So my next project is all CUT and ready to go for the next sewing session, that's the way I like it.
Inquiring minds would like to know - How Do You Deal with Excessive Sleeve Cap Ease???

October 23, 2016

Vogue 9204 with Sleeve Modification...

ME:  I'm having the hardest time getting back into my sewing mood. I just can't make up my mind what to make.

MY MOTHER:  Why don't you just make a top.

That was a wonderful suggestion, thanks Mom!  So enter Vogue 9204. A pattern I fell in love with at first sight when it was first released.
This pattern coupled with a gorgeously drappy fabric (I actually don't know the fabric type, or fiber content) that was gifted to me by my sew friend Brenda, Ms._bystyle from Alabama. I just know that it's pretty, and fit my need for a pop of much needed color for my new Fall wardrobe.

My modified bell sleeve

Finally a finished product.  I really think I'm going to enjoy wearing this.  Now on to the next pattern...

October 22, 2016


...if it doesn't happen today - I'm not going to be able to remain my normally sweet and pleasant self; and it's not going to be a very pretty situation!  I've been caught up in a long period of "over thinking, over researching, second guessing, and can't seem to be able to make up my mind about anything" sewing wise discombobulation.  It's a miserable situation to be in, but sadly to say this does happen to me every once in a while.  It's way pass time to break this cycle
so today - I CUT...
 What do you do to break out of sewing discombobulation???

October 21, 2016


...it's been a while since THE SEWING GOURMET made an appearance.  She's back with a real goody this time.  I thought I'd share my 14 Layer Chocolate Cake
The beginning process

What the cake look like after placing it in the teacher's lounge before 8:00a.m. this morning.  Needless to say, it was all gone by noon (and I was glad - I love it when people enjoy my food).  I'm proud to say that I only had one normal sized slice myself.  Got to make sure I keep this girlish figure (hahaha)!  This was my second time making this sweet southern delicacy - it is a real labor of love I'll tell you that!  Just in case you'd ever like to give it a try one day yourself here's the calorie loaded recipe.  

1 stick butter
1 c. oil
6 eggs
3 c. self rising flour
2 T. vanilla
1 c. milk
2 c. sugar
Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together.  Grease skillets (flat thin skillets) and pour 3 tablespoons batter into cast iron skillet.  Bake three (3) minutes only!!!, baking longer will cause the layers to burn.

6 heaping T cocoa
1 c. evaporated milk
1 c. karo syrup
2 ½ c. sugar
1 ½ stick butter
Bring to a slow boil and continue to stir until mixture reaches a thick consistency.
Allow cake layers to cool, then ice.  Serve, enjoy, and then run around the block 3 times…

October 14, 2016


... a whirlwind trip, over much too soon, yet full of family time and bonding.  I've always said that if I ever won a trip to Hawaii I'd trade it in for a ticket to Up State New York instead.  I'm glad I got to visit in October because New York is so beautiful during this time of year, so unlike my home in Middle Georgia.  My little vacation wouldn't be complete without seeing remnants of my Mother's summer garden before she beds it down for the winter months.

All in all this was such a wonderful trip...

October 12, 2016


...of course the hills are alive with ALL the colors of  Fall

would you believe that all these rich Fall colors make me think of fabrics of all types...

October 11, 2016


... my Mom and my Sister Pat are both avid ornithologists. So this morning we made an early morning  excursion to local Mill Pond to track down a Wood Duck that they had heard frequented the area.  Quite exhilarating with this morning's 35 degreeish temperatures.  The ducks (mallards) really were beautiful!  Later we visited Cornell's Lab of Ornithology.

Great Mother, Daughter, Sister bonding time...

October 10, 2016


...after being away from home so long it's always so nice to get back to visit family and see some of the things I miss that are not  readily available in Georgia. Of course we have deli's in Georgia - but they are just not the same.  There's  nothing quite like a New York style deli...

October 8, 2016

Catch 22...

... it amazes me that when I'm at home in my sewing room I have the hardest time finding just the right fabric for a particular project.  It makes me feel like I never have enough fabric.  Or, is it that I never have the right fabric?  But, when I'm away from home, away from my sewing room  - all I can think about is all the wonderful pieces patiently lying in wait for my return. Do you think about your stash when you're away???

October 5, 2016

Work Wear Wednesday...

... needed to wear pink today in support of our Health Care Sciences Department's Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign.  I also needed a light topper to cover my arms for the 65 degree temperature early this morning.  65 is chilly here in Georgia folks.  There's not much pink to be found in my closet, but I remembered the knit jacket that I'd made back in July for days like this.  Simplicity A1738 oop I'm sure to the rescue.

October 4, 2016

News Flash: Independent Pattern Designers - Add Insult to Injury...

... just when I thought I could stop lusting over independent patterns - look what's being released tomorrow by Closet Case Files
I was able to far-go her Morgan Jean pattern; and from time to time I still wrestle with my frugal inner self over her Carolyn Pajama pattern.  However, I think it might a be a little tossing and turning tonight caused by Heather Lou's new Kelly Anorak jacket pattern. You best believe I'm going to present a strong case to frugal inner self over this one, because I've wanted something like this in my life for a long, long time.  I don't know if it's Sallie O's  illustrations or Heather's actual pattern designs that grab my attention so strongly. Although I don't have a little puppy to take for a walk, I can already see myself wearing this jacket on a Winnie the Pooh type blustery winter day in the misty rain and falling leaves.  You get the picture right...

October 2, 2016

Please Deliver Me From Independent Pattern Lust...

...never mind, just kidding - I'm really not fully ready for intervention yet!  But I am always soooo attracted to interesting Independent Patterns.  I can't help myself!, the design lines hook me and reel me in.  For instance,

Schnittchen Silvia Coatigan

Schnittchen Mantel Malu
These are just a few of my current independent pattern loves.  With the right fabric selections they all scream "HAPPY FALL YA'LL", don't you think?
What's on your Fall/Winter pattern wishlist - independent company or big 4 wise ????

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...