December 31, 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR - 2018... all of my readers:  Thank you so much for tuning in to Faye's Sewing Adventure all year long.   Interaction with you makes maintaining my blog well worthwhile.

Proverbs 3:5-6  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not onto your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.

 I leave you with a parting picture of what I worked on most of the day - my sewing table.
 It's crowded but well organized. It's been dusted, de-linted, and scrubbed down. Machines cleaned, oiled and ready to go. This clean-up effort was prompted after becoming sick last week while working with fur fabric.  I just didn't think about wearing a mask to prevent inhaling fur particles, ending up with a case of what I'm calling self induced bronchitis. This cleanup was part of my effort to get rid of the fur residue in my sewing rooms.   I do not understand why some people are more susceptible to allergens than others.
Moral of the story - please wear a mask when working with fur and other like fabrics.
I'm getting better day by day, still not 100% but wanted to take a moment to issue this information just in case someone didn't know.
Happy New Year
Looking forward to us making lots of pretty things in 2018...

December 22, 2017

FALL'S SWEET SIXTEEN... you remember my plans for a Fall Wardrobe Collection?  I talked about it here, here, and here.
"Fall's Sweet Sixteen" (was named for Project Runway's Season 16 that has now come and gone).  My dream was to stitch up 16 garments that would yield countless wonderful outfit combinations for Fall and Winter.  The plan was to see if I could pull of a simple, non-stressful wardrobe capsule.
This was the plan in a nutshell:
  • 4 Outer Wear Garments (Coat/Jacket/Vest or Cardigan)
  • 4 Tops/Tunics/Blouses or Tees
  • 4 Pants
  • 4 Dresses and/or Skirts
    Here are the results so far
Clockwise: Kwik Sew 4197 Jacket, OOP Vogue 8323 (top), Blackwood Cardigan by Helen's Closet, A Modified Rendition of  Simplicity 1916, and McCall's 7249 (top)
All five pieces are wearable, and all have been work except for the Kwik Sew Jacket - waiting for the weather to cool off again for that one.  I did start and finish Vogue 9032 pants (remember, I WANT IT ALL) , but they turned out to be a dud for me with the back princess seams twisted and contorted - I have no idea what happened!  And although they are still in the sewing room they will not be worn; I need to remove my zipper and place them in File 13.  This was an awful disappointment since I had seen so many others be so successful with this pattern.  The jury is still out as to whether I will try that pattern again.  I just don't know!

With 5 pieces of the capsule completed and 11 more to go I have felt like scraping this plan all together and never mentioning it again.  However, I am such a stickler for completing what ever I start that I feel I have to see it through to the end.  It's such an unstructured plan so I'll just keep right on sewing and hopefully I'll end up with 11 more pieces before the season's done.

In the meantime, I'm teaching myself to use CAVA as a collage maker and photo editor.  I desperately need to do something to improve the quality of my pictures.

December 21, 2017


... I WAS TOLD THIS PATTERN HAD JUST UP AND LEFT THE PLANET, but I just refused to believe it!  Why I didn't buy this pattern when it was released? - I just don't know!  It's the ever elusive Vogue 8601 jacket pattern that so many people are also searching for too.
I've had a picture of this pattern on the sidebar of my blog several years ago under the heading of "ON A MAD PATTERN HUNT FOR:" and it just sat there with no results at all. I remember doing at least a couple of blog posts about my search in the past.  This year I got bold and posted several All Points Bulletins for the pattern in several Facebook Sewing Groups, on Instagram and on Twitter. I just figured that "you have not if you ask not".  I had several bites, but still no pattern.

Then in late November at Thanksgiving time I received two direct messages with offers to let me use the pattern.
Vogue 8601 in both size ranges
Sooo I have to take the time to give BIG SHOUT OUTS  to Miranda Vorres and Carrie Rhinier (both from the Sew Much Talent (gr) Facebook group) for helping me end this pattern search!  Thank you both from the bottom of my heart!  If all goes as planned information about this jacket  construction WILL be making appearances here on the blog very soon!!!

December 19, 2017


...twas six days before Christmas, just one day after my birthday, and my 2017 Winter Coat Project is complete.  Right now I'm calling her my "Fluff-A-Nutter Coat". 

 I enhanced the exposed seaming by hand stitching the lofted side of the fabric to the exterior of the coat so more of the fluff would show - that was a lot of hand stitching - but I made it through.  You know me, I'm extra like that.  But she's done, except for just a little more hand stitching that I plan to do to the seams of the cuffs when ever the forefinger of my right hand heals from pushing that needle for two days (the result of not being able to sew with a thimble).

As you know, working with this fabric was a brand new experience for me.  As with most new experiences, this project involved intimidation that resulted in lots of procrastination on the project.  It wasn't until my Sunday morning sewing chat with Sheila CTK that my mind was put at ease and I was able to work confidently towards completion.  I should have talked with her earlier on in the project but had forgotten that she had made not one but two coats from faux sherling.  Sheila assured me that the shedding would indeed stop, and that I could feel completely comfortable in putting this coat through the wash (line drying afterwards).  THANK  YOU SO MUCH SHEILA CTK, you saved my sewing sanity once again!

When I showed a picture of the coat to a friend today she said, "where are you going to wear this, New York?"  Well, our high temperature today was 71 degrees!  Mind you it was Winter when I started the coat.  Although it's Spring right now, Winter is promised again next week so I will be ready for it when it does return.  I am really amazed how light weight this coat really is.  I have always wanted a coat like this - and now I have one.  There was absolutely no tailoring, no interfacing,  pad stitching or interfacing used in this project.

Thanks for sticking with me through the coat making process once again!!!

December 14, 2017


...time for a little update on my 2017 Winter Coat Project.  From choosing the pattern, which was really a job in itself, to muslin making and fitting, to finally getting to the point where I stopped procrastinating and cut into the actual fabric has taken what seems to be forever. 
All in all, I can say that some progress has been made.
As you know, I am a muslin maker.  It helps me maintain a level of confidence.  The purpose of making this muslin was of course fitting, but I it also gave me a chance to see how the overlapping of seams would work out.

The cutting process wasn't that bad at all and didn't create too much excess fluff.  The time I could manage to work on the project this week has been spent making tailors tacks (in blue) and thread tracing  (in white) all joining seams allowances of 7 out of the 8 pattern pieces. This process took 3 evenings, and although thread tracing was not suggested in the pattern instructions, I concluded that it was the most logical way of marking (for me) as not to cause damage to the fabric.  Don't judge my stitches, they are all going to be removed later on down the line.  I knew chalk would disappear too soon, so I chose thread tracing to facilitate proper placement when overlapping the edges before stitching.

I know I'm suffering from delusions of granular, but I foresee this coat being completed by the end of this weekend... 

December 10, 2017


...seeing what other's create with their hands never ceases to amaze me! There is no mistaking a hand crafted garment that has been given meticulous attention, time and a bit of love during it's construction.  I seem to be always on the lookout for it.  Why?, because I learn so much to help me improve my own work from others.  Expert craftsmanship just seems to pops right out at you.

Such was the case with  DIANE from DREAM, CUT SEW who happened to comment on one of my recent posts.  I ALWAYS pay attention to my comments!  They not only let you know that people like your work, but also contain meaningful advice, suggestions and help just when you need it.  Diane's comment made me automatically pop over to see her blog, and I am oh so glad that it did.

This avid sewing blogger and Instagrammer  is lighting up the internet with her amazingly planned and constructed garments.  She is what I'm looking at as a pant's fitting expert who works with her own precision sloper turning out pair after pair of wonderful pant style designs - from the same pattern.  I'm sure you will enjoy reading about WHY SHE SEWS AND BLOGS ABOUT IT...

Why She Sews
I sew because I feel like sewing and being able to create with my own two hands is in my blood.  I grew up with sewing as both my mother and her mother too were sewists.  I started at a very young age (I had a very well dressed Sindy doll!) and a love of sewing with gorgeous fabrics and of style have been with me ever since.  My mother taught me about the importance of fit and now fit is a huge reason for sewing my own clothes because I would say that over 90% of RTW garments that I ever bought ended up being altered in some way to get a better fit or to change the style a little.  Another reason that I sew is being able to see a designer outfit in a magazine and thinking, “I can make something like that!”.  I love to adapt and tweak patterns when I’m inspired by designer pieces so that I can get a similar look for a fraction of the price.  I hardly bought any RTW over the last few years, apart from a few sweaters and underwear and it’s a fabulous feeling to look in my closet.

Why She Blogs About it
Well, I’ve actually only been blogging since the end of January of this year, so I’m quite a newbie still, but I started my blog because I felt like challenging myself to try something new and as a way of adding a different facet of creativity to my life.  I enjoyed the big learning curve that came with building a website from scratch (it was a bit scary at first!) and as I’ve always had an interest in photography, I want to learn more about that as I gain experience by taking outfit photographs.
I really, really wanted to connect with the sewing community that I’d first encountered on Instagram and now I’m enjoying being able to build on that via blogging and other bloggers.  Sharing my passion, my makes and hopefully some of my knowledge, I’d like to think that people feel inspired when they read my blog, in the same way that I’m inspired every single day by other bloggers and Instagrammers…yourself included Faye!  Thank you for having me on your blog!

December 5, 2017


...once upon a time I wanted to make a cowl neckline knit top.  I had seen many people make them, but in my experience the necklines were ALWAYS just a bit too low.  Whenever I wore one of them I found myself constantly looking down, and wondering if others were getting the same view.  Not a good look at all.  I just didn't know how to make the pattern adjustment to alleviate the problem.

Determined to find a solution, I Googled upon SEW EVERYTHING BLOG published by Samina Mirza.  (Isn't that an amazing name for a sewing blog?)  Her COWL RAISING post certainly helped me solve my problem - oh yes it did!  There are a gazillion other sewing helps found over at Sew Everything Blog; you can take a look there for yourself... 

Photo by: Brian Campbell Photography

Why Do I Sew?
To clothe myself.  Let me explain: since January, 2010, I have not bought a single ready to wear item. And I like it!  Initially, the reason for pulling back from buying clothes was my huge fabric stash, but after almost eight years, making my own clothes is a habit. I still buy fabric, but with a lot of restraint. The stash, meanwhile, has a few dents in it, but still remains larger than I want it to be. The happiest moments in my sewing life are when I hang a newly made piece of clothing in my closet, the next happiest moment being wearing it for the first time.

Of course, I love the process of sewing because I’m a crafty person, and love “making” things.  (I love making cookies and French baguettes, too).  And --- I love fabric; transforming it into a pretty and useful item makes me happy.

Why Do I Blog?
Because I’m such a show-off; we sewers need others to see what we made.  For me, the added benefit of blogging is a hope that I’ve inspired someone else to take up sewing. I think that the skill of sewing is still under-appreciated, and I’m always thrilled when a new sewer starts to follow my blog.
Also, I’ve found sewing bloggers to be the most generous, kind people in the blogging world. They like to share knowledge, mistakes (so others won’t make them) and sometimes they’ll give away their sewing stuff.  I’ve found very nice bloggers who will add links to other sewing blogs (like you, Faye).   Thank you for spotlighting your fellow sewing bloggers. 

Samina Mirza

December 3, 2017


Kwik Sew 4197

Faux Sherling or Faux Sherpa - are those terms interchangeable? I'm not quite sure, but I found this fabric at Joann's and took the plunge. Every since I brought it home it's been intimidating me.  I've asked questions about working with it, and of course did some Googling so I am equipped with some knowledge: needle type, thread type, stitch length etc.,  I'm still intimidated - but moving forward.
Having to go to work yesterday for 5 hours put a serious damper on my sewing time.  But I did manage to get my coat muslin cut out and marked prior to leaving for work.
I make muslins primarily to check fit, but also to see how things go together.  It's starting to feel possible...

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...