December 31, 2016


...with new project plans.  Don't you just love visiting Vogue Pattern's website? - I do!  Of all the Big 4 it's classy, and intriguing, and always yields excitement and surprise (IMHO).  There is always something to go ahhhhh about when you click on that site.   I am so very glad that I finally got over the fear of using Vogue Patterns!   For my next project I'll be using this pattern to make a midi length cape for my Mother
using this Taupe Wool and this bright Silky Print as lining.

What will be your first project for 2017???

December 27, 2016

2016 WINTER COAT PROJECT COMPLETION...'s done ya'll!!!  Nineteen days start to finish.  Nineteen days start to feel like forever when you are working with the same fabric. Some days I only worked a little, and I did take 2 full days off because I just needed a break from the checked pattern.  I LOVE the coat making process and the results that it yields; just wish it wouldn't take me so long to complete the projects.

This years pattern & fabric choice: I became intrigued by this pattern after seeing it floating around sewing blog-sphere.  I loved it's oversized easy boyfriend style and it was just what I wanted for this years coat project.  The fabric was gifted to me by fellow Pericrafter member Timesa Spencer-Johnson from Fresno, California.  I knew this fabric would become a coat when I first unboxed it.
The Silvia Coatigan Pattern Review:
I found this German brand pattern very true to size.  Of course I used a conversion chart to help me translate the pattern's centimeter language to inches.  I was a little concerned about the waist and hip measurements so I added 1" to the side seams only have to remove the excess after fitting.

Pattern Instructions:  Sketchy with no diagrams or pictures AT ALL.
I had to call on previous coat making experience throughout the entire construction process.  Working with 3/8" seam allowances (which is what I hear is used across the board in industry) opposed to my usual 5/8" was a little strange. I had to constantly remind myself to use 3/8" (I guess 5/8" is engraved on my brain).

Alterations made to the pattern:
Added 2 1/2" to the sleeve length.  I have long arms and didn't want to chance coming up short (something that happened on a previous coat project).
Added 1 1/2" to the width of the lapel and collar as suggested by Nancy K (Nancy K Sews), and I think it was a wonderful suggestion; and the red lining per Marianna (Foxgloves and Thimbles).  I might add choosing the check over a taupe fabric I had was the general consensus of commenters.    Oh yes, and don't forget all the encouragement I get from my Mother, Inell!  It takes a village to build a coat folks.

Would I make the coat again:
I love the pockets on this coat and found them unique.  They envelope right up into the horizontal seam in the coat front.  I would definitely make this boyfriend style coat again.  I think it would be a breeze to make up in a solid fluffy weave wool of some type.  ANY FABRIC SUGGESTIONS???

December 21, 2016

UGLY-PRETTY...'s kinda ugly - until it gets pretty!  You know me, I like to show the whole process of my winter coat-making shenanigans.  I truly do not mean to bore you but it's good documentation for future reference.  It took 2 trips to Joann's to finally decide on the lining for this coat.  I was stuck on having a red lining as suggested by Marianna in this post.

I'm still not familiar with Joann's setup.  I had looked for lining fabric in the wrong place on the first trip.  I am trying hard not to complain about Joann's, because at least we have A fabric store.  Oh by the way, has anyone ever used satin fabric to line a coat???, just wondering...

On the second visit I was able to find a nice weight red Peach-skin.  I choose peach-skin because I really didn't want anything too shiny for a lining in this coat, I think it will work nicely.  Have you ever used peach-skin as a lining before???

I know that I'm putting myself out here with this picture - showing my secrets - I'm honest to a fault.  As in many cases, things are a little ugly before they get pretty; especially when you decide in mid-process that maybe you should remove some of the fusible interfacing - ugggh.

I am a firm believer that the insides should be as pretty as the outside, but truth is - it doesn't ALWAYS happen that way...


December 18, 2016


...yes today was the day, and a very nice one I must say!  My birthday always signals the the start of Christmas Vacation so I spent the weekend working on my 2016Winter Coat Project.  It already seems like the coat taking forever - even though it really isn't.  Looking back at blog posts it's only been 10 days from muslin to now.  I am a slow but impatient sewist.  Is that an oxymoron?
Fabric prep, pattern tracing, layout and muslin

Matching checks/plaids is easier said or done.  

I really had to fight with myself not to pad stitch the lapel and collar because this coat was designed for soft tailoring.

Finish Line List:

  1. Construct lining and attach to front facing
  2. Attach lining and front facing to coat
  3. Hem sleeves and coat bottom
  4. Make buttonhole and stitch on button 

Maybe, just maybe I'll be done before Christmas...

December 14, 2016


...firstly, thanks to everyone who tunes in to watch my 2016 Winter Coat Project - The Silvia Coatigan.  My last post about the coat asked you to help me decide which of 2 fabrics to use for the coat.  The majority of commentators said go with the checked fabric, so checks it is.

I thought it best to use a single layer fabric layout.  Using this layout is more time consuming, but will help in matching the checked print of the fabric.   As you know that means that each pattern piece has to be laid out twice.  To facilitate, I went ahead and traced the five pieces of the coat shell again.
Fours pieces lain, six to go but now it's time to go to bed.  I'll leave the rest for yet another day...

December 13, 2016


...although Christmas is about two weeks away I feel as though this gift is last minute. Why?  Because I've procrastinated of course.   I've thought about making it for a while but didn't think I had enough fabric for the pattern I had in mind.  When I finally decided to give the pattern a try, I discovered that it was no longer living in the sewing room but had been archived  in a "I know I won't be using these patterns any time soon" box in the attic.  OH HOW I HATE GOING UP IN THE ATTIC!, but I had to do it to retrieve this pattern
Simplicity 2804 circa 2007 
 It's an oldie but a goodie slightly oversized tunic or top pattern that I'd used once before.  Just the right pattern to use when you don't know how to make the full bust adjustment needed for the person who'll receive the gift.

I made view C (top with a bottom band) because it required less yardage.   

A knit fabric with a glitzy gold zigzag stripe just right for the upcoming festive holiday season.  I did the best I could on matching with the amount of fabric available for the job.  All and all I think it turned out well.  A quick make that helped me alleviate one more present from my last minute list.

Fabric gifted by Timesa Spencer-Johnson of Fresno, California.  Guess you can say I'm a bit of a Fabric Whisperer myself...

December 11, 2016


... just wondering about tee shirt patterns.
There's been lots of talk about these two Independent patterns:
Sewaholic Renfew
Grainline Lark Tee
 Or maybe a pattern from one of the Big 4.

December 8, 2016


...i stopped procrastinating and starting working towards what I hope will be my 2016 Winter coat before 2017 gets here.  I'm still a little undecided - but it's time to get moving. 
The Schnittchen Silvia Coatigan is what I'm shooting for.  You know, a cross between a coat and a cardigan.  It has dropped shoulders that gives it a relaxed-cozy effect.  Of course I wish I could have a peachy colored woolen fabric just like this, but with limited local resources I must work with I have.

I decided to just take this project one day at a time - inch by inch anything's a cinch (or so they say).  I'm still trying to make a final decision on the fabric to use. 

Check or Taupe

So on Sunday I pre-treated both fabrics using the dryer steam method (wet steamy towels in the dryer with the fabric for 45 minutes.
On Monday I finished tracing the pattern,

and on Tuesday I cut the muslin and stitched on Wednesday and Thursday.
I like this coat, especially the pockets.  Actually I just wanted to see if I could put it together because the instructions included are really sketchy.  My muslin looks slightly like a lab jacket but the fit is really good.

Which fabric would you use???

December 5, 2016


... on starting the 2016 Winter Coat project (I really need to be ashamed of myself), I thought I might as well make something easy to keep the sewing juices flowing.  I think this gray light weight sweater knit funnel neck shirt will round out the colors I needed to add for the Fall/Winter season.  I used the Style Arc Debra Zebra pattern again since I like the design,  and hadn't gotten around to putting it in storage yet.

I purchased this light weight sweater knit during Hancock's come on and get it cause we're going out of business sale back in early summer.  I must have liked it a lot and had great ideas for this fabric because I bought 6 yards.  It fit the bill in closing the gap on my turtle/funnel neck top series.  I now have white, black, brown, tan, navy and gray and that ought to do it for keeping me casual and warm when the real winter temperatures reach Georgia.

What do you sew to keep your sewing juices flowing when you are between major projects???

December 4, 2016


...when ever you see any type of communication from "THE FABRIC WHISPERER", aka Carol Ware (you read about her here), it usually contains a picture of a jet plane - something like this...
This symbol of "The Fabric Whisperer" is fast becoming well known in the sewing community. It means: send your fabric to my house pronto!  Most of the time when we see it the response is: Ha, that'll be the day!  This time the jet plane was sent to my house!  Imagine my surprise when I found a package from "The Fabric Whisperer" stuffed in my mail box that contained this...
2 2/3 yards PolkaDot Silk Jacquard  (the good stuff)
and 2 yards Cream Poly Chiffon

Although I was just kidding when I said "Send Fabric" this beautiful fabric will be cherished and put to good use!  How many people can say that they've received fabric form Carol's bountiful stash????

December 3, 2016


...happy December every one!  It is the most wonderful time of the year indeed.  So many birthdays, Christmas, two more weeks of school.  It seems that December is just one big celebration!  Ahhh birthdays!  First up my Mother's birthday (it's on Monday ya'll, December 5th).  It's pitiful but I have to come clean and admit - I am always LATE sending my Mother's birthday gift.  I know, shame on me!  I ALWAYS have the best of intentions but then life happens, time goes so fast, Thanksgiving happens, then bam - it's December 5th already, the serger thread breaks, and I have to mail 1,000 miles away.  Here I am again - LATE!  I wish you knew my Mom, gracious, understanding, peacemaker that she is. One has to be a peacemaker when you have four kids!   Her children arise and call her blessed (Proverbs 31:28).

Conversation earlier this week:
MOM:  You know what I'd like?  I'd like a new Infinity Scarf.  I wore the one you made me to Church last Sunday and received soooo many compliments.

Me:  No problem! Here you go, all sizes and colors, knits and woven (however, ever late).

I was just talking with a friend who just purchased her first serger.  She's afraid of it; I remember that feeling.  She was telling me that her thread had broken, and I tried to walk her through re-threading - over the telephone mind you.  Same night I'm working to get these finished when all of a sudden my Serger thread breaks!  Hasn't broken ALL year long!  WTW!!!

Of course anyone can make an Infinity Scarf.  I can actually make them in my sleep by now.  There are all kinds of video available, but I used instructions from the October/November 2010 Vogue Pattern Magazine.

What types of scarves are you using to embellish your hand crafted designs this season????    

December 1, 2016

#FAYE'S SEWING LIFE - A Turtle or A Zebra?...

...i've been wanting to make a few turtleneck knit tops to fill a wardrobe gap.  I made the first one (here) using oop Kwik Sew 1287 that fits perfectly.  However,  I wanted to use a different pattern for the second top - this time I wanted a funnel neck instead of a turtle neck.  I toyed with the idea of trying to redraft the Kwik Sew pattern making it into a funnel, but couldn't wrap my brain around doing that.  A little research lead me to StyleArc's Debra Zebra top.  I've never worked with StyleArc patterns before but went ahead and downloaded it anyway. 

The jury's still out about me liking PDF patterns, but with a strong cup of coffee and lots of scotch tape I was able to make it through.  I choose my size range based on my bust measurement, but afterwards wondered if I should have used my high bust measurement instead.  Hind sight!  I choose a colorful ITY knit to use as a muslin.  The results:  I'm in Love with my muslin and the neck is really comfortable.  I'm sure that this will not be my last StyleArc pattern.
I didn't realize that the paisleys were so large until after the top was finished.

My wearable muslin adds a much needed pop of color.
Have you ever made a funnel neck garment???

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...