November 30, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 30: Done.And Done.....

...another 30 days of showing my blog some love, connecting with my community, exercising my mind and my writing muscle.  #BlogLikeCrazy is quite a challenge!  Was posting every day easy?  Yes and No.  The first 15 days or so were easy.  Initially I kept at least 3 posts in queue, but then life happened.  Interruptions, lack of ideas and extended work schedules knocked me off track a little during the later part of the month.  But with determination and  help from those who watched and cheered me on, 30 posts were logged this month. 

A big  THANK YOU  to those who stopped in to read, those who commented, and those who wrote guest  posts to help me meet my challenge quota this mongh!  You are very much appreciated!  I hope that my content was enjoyable, interesting and hopefully helpful to you in some way.  You are the best!  Thanks to Javacia Harris Bowser of See Jane Write.bham who calls me out of my comfort zone by sponsoring this challenge every year. 

So I bid you adieu until December (which by the way is only 15 minutes away)...

November 29, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 29: Sew What You Know......


I mentioned last night that I would be using NewLook 6415 because I had had recent success with it using a stretch Panne Velour.  I had never used this fabric before so I was a little timid.  But after figuring my fit (size, particularly through the neck, shoulders and bust) this top turned out really good.  The only thing I'd really change the second one is lowering the neckline just a bit.

 I pre-treated the fabric last night and had all intentions of cutting but ran out of time.

I did manage to cut tonight, but no actual sewing took place.  Well, after all tomorrow is another day...

November 28, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 28: Reviving SEWJO - Sew What You Know...

...yesterday I wrote about Claire Kennedy's recent post on retrieving your "Sewjo" - should it go missing in action.  In order to get sewing motivation moving again, one of the things she suggests is making a quick TNT pattern.  Something you've successfully made before.  A pattern that has already been fitted, you've worked out all the kinks and love wearing.

Comments on yesterday's post revealed that other sewists also use the TNT method to ignite their sewing passions again.  For my next project I'll be doing the same - sewing what I know.  I had relevant success a couple of weeks ago with New Look 6415.  I've already worn it twice which means I really like it a lot.   Other people like it as well.

I'll be making View D with long sleeves rather than 3/4 length sleeves again, in this red variegated sweater knit (Hancock stash).
I'm cutting tonight so hopefully this top/sweater it will be completed before the weekend, so stay tuned.
I am very interested in knowing what TNT pattern you use to coax you Sewjo back home - do tell...

November 27, 2018


... every since I started sewing again (circa 2006), I've heard sewists ask the age old question, "What Happened to my Sewjo?"!  Returning to my passion for sewing after being away from it for so many years, I just couldn't imagine not wanting to sew! - until it happened to me!  Thereafter I'd lose my sewing motivation at least once a year - usually after returning from a vacation away from home.

I hated those times! And then it seemed to start happening more and more; at least two or three times a year.  In it's absence I was lonely and miserable, and would have tried almost anything legal and moral to get it back.

I tried forcing it back, but the results were not always successful.  I worried about it like a woman with a lost child.  Some people even suggested "just relax and take a break from it".  But I really didn't care for that solution at all.   What's a sewist to do?

Last night I read a post at written by its author Claire Kennedy.  Her post explained in full detail:
  • what Sewjo actually is
  • what happens to Ms. Sewjo
  • why (she) up and leaves
  • what coaxes her back, and 
  • how to convince her to  stay!  

Claire Kennedy is an excellent writer, sewist and teacher.  I highly suggest paying her a visit soon at the to learn more about nurturing your Sewjo and many other interesting things...

November 26, 2018

#BLC 2018 2018 - Day 26: My Happy Place...

...I've sewn in many areas of the different houses or apartments that I've lived in.  I've sewn in a closet of my bedroom.  When that closet started closing in on me I moved a six foot table on one wall of the carpeted bedroom that took up an entire wall.  I use to tell people "enter at your own risk because there may be pins that stuck in the carpet".   My bed became my cutting area (that was a pain in the back) after I could no longer take cutting on my knees on the floor.

I've sewn hoovered over a coffee table while sitting on a couch.  My kitchen table became my sewing area for four entire months once while my now sewing room was being renovated.  That table was cramped and crowded but I made it work.  I actually made my first tailored jacket in that kitchen.

 I am now blessed to have a dedicated ROOM as my sewing area.  Of course I don't think it's big enough and it is constantly spilling over into other rooms; BUT it is better than that closet!😊

Why scrolling through an archive I ran across some pictures of my sewing room (in a really clean state no less).  I thought I'd share some pics of my happy place, the place where I create...


As sewists it really doesn't matter WHERE we sew; what matters is THAT we sew!  My motto is "have electricity, will sew"...

November 25, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 25: Eye Candy and Sewing Inspiration...

Marc Jacobs

when we look around we can find fashion inspiration everywhere we look.  I look forward to monthly sneaky peeks of Burda Style Magazine.  Since we are headed into the Christmas season so of course the December issue has a rather festive flair about it.  I've included a video of that issue here for your Sunday afternoon viewing pleasure.


November 24, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 24: Another Simplicity 8557...

...before I put the pattern back in the drawer I thought I'd make another a-line knit dress combined with the sleeve flounce from Vogue 9123 - this time as a gift.  Different fabric this time, a solid ponte that actually gave me a bit of a fit.

This ponte did not want to be sewn, and gave me a problem with skipped stitches.  After much trial and error the solution was: change machines, a stretch needle, increased machine presser foot tension, and Guterman thread.  I don't usually buy Guterman, but I was blessed to have just a few spools of it in the sewing room.  Maybe I should invest in a few spools to add to my bag of tricks...

November 23, 2018

#BlogLikeCrazy 2018 - Day 23: NOTABLE MENTIONS 9...

...  nifty sewing and other DIY information that I ran across while exploring the net this week:

 @kingdomdaughter from Instagram shared this YouTube video series called The Beginner's Guide to Sergering with me today because one of my sergers is giving me a fit with stitch width:

This E-Book might be helpful to all us who are looking for more information on pants fitting:


 There was an interesting article at Grainline Studio on the "Anatomy of a zipper"
Diagram courtesy Grainline Studio
Fashion yourself some fabulous DIY Faux Fur Mittens just right for the season.  Complete tutorial at

Photo Courtesy of
There is so much information available to us and I love it!  I think adding them to my posts and Pinterest boards is a great way to catalog my finds.  I hope that some it proves valuable and helpful to you.  I always include links...

November 22, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 22: HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY... all my loved ones and friends both near and far may the Good Lord rest, rule and abide with you this holiday season

From Faye's Sewing Adventure

November 21, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 21: My Very First Mimi G Style Make... name is Linda Faye Lewis and I am a collector of patterns (much like many other sewists I know)!  I especially hoard collect Big 4 Designer Patterns.  To name a few: Paco Peralta, Kay Unger, Michael Kors, Cynthia Rowley, Leanne Marshall, Kathryn Brenne, Bagley Mischka, and Mimi G Style.  Although I have managed to make up a few of these, they mostly just linger patiently in my stash.  A few of them do make it to my inspiration board to act as constant reminders that one day, they would like to get made.

This week I was stopped in my Instagram scroll by a simple but distinct Mimi G Style knit top made by @1oh6vintage.  I really liked her top a lot.
I had seen the pattern but had not really noticed the unique asymmetry of the shoulder design until I saw it on Instagram.  Since I have a good stock of stripped knit fabrics on hand I thought I would give this pattern a whirl.

I honestly didn't know that I had this many knit stripped fabrics stashed.  There are probably a few more tucked back in hidden places that I will run into one day.

I thought this would be an quick and easy make, and it was except for my fabric. This knit turned out to be the kind that "loves itself" just a little bit to much - meaning that it sticks to itself.  I didn't realize this until I began cutting.  It was an uphill battle all the way, but I did the best I could to complete the top.

This is a brown and white stripped (some kind of knit), sorry but I just don't know which.  Simplicity 8750, View A is comprised of 5 pattern pieces. The front is one single piece that is gathered and attached to the yoke to create the right shoulder seam and complete the right armscye.  My stripe matching is not perfect, however, I did the best I could.  I'll count my first MimiGStyle pattern a success, and it will get worn...

November 20, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 20: Make it Simple, But Significant...

...I'm glad no one has ever asked me to define my personal style.  I would have bounced back and forth between dressy casual, to business casual, to I don't even know what else.  Truth be told I've never really done the work to find out what my personal style aesthetic is.  I am; however, a true admirer of fashion.  I love to gaze at beautiful and glamorous clothing all day long. I like many different designs of style, but liking them doesn't always mean they are well suited for me.

 WHAT PROMPTED THIS PARTICULAR TRAIN OF THOUGHT:  Several weeks ago I saw a lady wearing a simple A-lined dress with long trumpet sleeves.  I admired her dress and of course immediately thought "oh, I can make that".  So I set out to make this "simple" A-Lined dress.  In talking about the project with Andrea of SewtoFit, she suggested that I add a little something, something to make the dress stand out.

When it was time to think of a title for this particular post I needed something other than I made a simple dress.  Then I happened to run into this quote by Ron Draper...
This quote expressed exactly how I felt about my dress!

To give my dress a little something, something,  I used a black and brown animal print pontederoma from my stash.   I frankenpatterned Simplicity 8557 by using the flutter sleeve from Vogue 9923.        Added piping to the flutter sleeve, and when the piping didn't work the way I wanted at the neckline, I substituted fold over elastic as a trim that worked like a charm.

Piped flutter sleeve
Fold Over Elastic neckline trim 
I know, I know its a mannequin picture!  I will post pictures wearing this "Simple but Significant" A-Lined dress when I return to work next week... 

November 19, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 19: Let Them Eat Cake!!!

...maybe you've seen me post about my sewist friend Marjie who lives in Pennsylvania.  We met in sewing blogsphere and have interacted throughout the years.  She been a participant in many of my Top's Sew-A-Longs  and I've read her blog MODERN DAY OZZIE AND HARRIETT for years.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite times of the year to peek in on her and her marvelous family and all their festivities.

A Sewing Gourmet like myself, Marjie wrote a post for me during my 2016 BlogLikeCrazy that detailed her magnificent Thanksgiving that year.  In case you missed it you can read it here.    Marjie took time from her busy schedule again to help me with this years 30 day blogging challenge.  I asked her to share one of her favorite holiday cake recipes with me; and she shared not one, but two of her delicacies - one chosen by her boys and one chosen by her girls (9 in all).

 "2 Color Cake":  Selected by the Boys

1 box yellow cake mix, divided in half
2 boxes of jello, regular or sugar free, different colors
3/4 cup water, divided in half
1 stick of butter, softened, and divided in half
2 eggs

Beat together half of the cake mix, 1 box of jello, 6 tablespoons of water, 1 egg and 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) of softened butter.  Beat slowly until combined, then at medium speed for 2 minutes, until the batter is smooth and creamy.  Pour into one greased 8" round layer cake pan.  Repeat with the other half of the ingredients, and pour into a second pan.  Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Note: the tops of these layers will be flat or even a little sunken.  That's OK.  Let the layers cool, then assemble using whipped cream between the layers and as frosting.  Refrigerate until it's ready to be served.

I usually use orange and yellow or orange and red jello for the layers at Thanksgiving, and then always red and green for Christmas.  The colors don't look to vivid when you look at the layers, but when you cut it, it's just a burst of color!


 Lemon Sponge Cake:  Selected by the Girls

4 egg whites
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)
1-1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder.

Beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar until they're stiff, and set aside.  Beat the egg yolks until they're light yellow, then beat in the remaining sugar, water and lemon juice.  When it's smooth, add the flour, salt, lemon extract and baking powder; beat another minute until smooth.  Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.  Scoop the batter into a greased bundt or angel food pan, then bake at 325F for 30 to 40 minutes.  Let it cool, then sprinkle confectioner's sugar on top of the cake.

This is really light and fluffy, which is why I love it.  Also, with this recipe, since you have baking powder, you don't have to worry as much about the egg whites falling and thus the cake not rising.

No one should be without the proper deserts for the holiday seasons - so I say, let them eat cake - Compliments of Marjie McDonald...

November 18, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 18: The Glam Doll...

... every year the weekend before Thanksgiving is a very exciting time for me.  It's the time that my friend Ebony, creator and owner of "The Glam Doll" comes to town.  I met Ebony about 10 years ago when her husband was stationed here at Robins Air Force Base.  Our  unique friendship began after we were introduced by a mutual friend.  Ebony became an amazing inspiration to me; always full of new ideas and dreams of entrepreneurship.

I watched year after year as she formulated her plan working through one trial after another until she was able to launch her successful business "The Glam Doll".  She has a beautiful Esty Shop that is stocked with wonderful 18" doll clothes made from patterns she designs herself.  Now Ebony and her husband make the long trip from Oklahoma to set up her store at the annual Mistletoe Marketplace.

 It was so wonderful to be able to see my friend again this year and look on as she had three successful days of sales...

November 17, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 17: Not Preaching, Just Real Talk...

... as we fast approach the day that we've set aside as a nation to give thanks, I am reminded of things I thank God for not only during this time of year - but daily.   It is so easy to take the good things that have been bestowed upon us for granted. The Bible advises us in 1 Thessalonian 5:17 to pray without ceasing; constantly and recurring. One of the things I pray for AND thank God for daily is pain freedom.  Such is the prayer of people who live with chronic illnesses.  People who have experienced debilitating pain still remember that pain - even on "feel good days".  It is in the midst of remembering that I am prompted to be thankful - does that make sense?

I ran across this little prayer today that asks God to bless hands, mind, strength of body and passion of heart and it was so meaningful to me that I thought I'd share it here.   

Each of these components are vital to the execution of my craft - I need to also add vision to the list.  I realize that all the tools, supplies, fabrics and patterns in my sewing room with which I have been so richly blessed are useless without the blessing of all the rest...

November 16, 2018

#BLC 2018 Day 16: What Sewing Means to Me & Others...'s Happy Fri-yah, and I hope that yours has been fabulous!  Although several people tried to throw a monkey wrench on my "Yah" today, but it didn't keep me from longing for the sweet purrr of my sewing machine.  My thoughts were sort of like a cartoon caption that I saw recently that read:
All kidding aside, you'll find me doing a lot more thinking about sewing than actual sewing.  But thinking about it is an important part of the process for me.  Really, I don't think I ever go one full day with thinking about sewing.  That's what we sewist do!

I run into so many like minded people on social media, and as you know I've become quite the fan of introducing some of them on my blog.  I happened upon Iris Acevedo in the SewMuchTalent Facebook group recently, and couldn't help wanting to know more about her sewing process, and why it seemed she felt so passionate about her craft. I did find out that she also has a sewing blog so of course I wanted you to meet her too.  So I reached out to ask what sewing means to her...

Iris Acevedo, author of The Modest Life Blog

Sewing to me means purpose, creative expression, freedom, opportunity, financial prosperity, connection, sharing and I could go on.  My call to sew came over 13 years ago.  It was something that I always wanted to do.  Even as a child I found myself wanting to learn the craft.  But I was a bit of a shy child and afraid to really try.  Instead I found myself lost in the world of books and doodling 2 dimensional images of fashion dancing models in dresses or skirt sets. I went to catholic school as a child and wore uniform so my sense of fashion didn’t develop until high school. I remember spending some of my evenings sifting through my closet and finding new outfit combinations.  I still do that from time to time. Its fun and helps me to organize my sewing projects.  

When I gave my life to Christ over 13 years ago, I not only got in tune with God but I began to connect with myself in a deeper way. That led me to learn that sewing was going to be more than just a hobby for me.  Prior to starting my sewing business, I was a full-time academic advisor.  I liked what I was doing but it didn’t give me the same level of personal fulfillment or sense of purpose that I felt when I was sewing.  The opportunity to sew professionally came after the birth of my son.  It was through this process that I learned that you could use your talents and gifts to create your dream job.  While I knew that it was possible, I always saw that as something other people could do.  But God gave me the opportunity to see that I too could work my dream job.

I started The Modest Life blog as a way to creatively express myself, focus my craft and to share what I know with others.  I hope to inspire others to pursue their dreams and provide tools and knowledge to help that dream come true.  

I encourage you to drop by to visit at Iris and her Modest Life here:

Instagram: @themodestlifeblog

November 15, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 15: Blogging

...a year ago I wrote a post (here) and talked about why I sew and why I blog about it.  I went back to review that post today and still agree with the reasons I noted at that time:
  1. to keep a journal for future reference of my projects, process and progress
  2. to stay connected to the virtual sewing community
  3. to exercise my writing muscle (thus my participation in the annual BlogLikeCrazy Challenge)
The thing that resonates with me today is that I use the blog to journal my sewing process - from start to finish.   From planning, pattern selection, pattern adjustments, construction, to finished project.  This is all important to me, and very beneficial as a reference to look back on for later use.  This lets me know what went right with the project, and what changes need to be made next time.

What is your method of documenting your sewing process???



November 14, 2018

#BLC 2018 - Day 14: What Sewing Means To Me & Others...

...sewing means so much to me; it's my happy place even when every stitch isn't perfect.  I find solace in my sewing room at the end of a stressful day even if I don't end up sewing a stitch.  It helps me release pressure.  I could go on and on about what sewing means to me; but I'm also interested in knowing what it means to other sewists like myself.  So I reached out to the sewing community to find out and wanted to share their thoughts here:


Sewing is my place of PEACE. It allows ME to be Me. I was in a relationship where I wasn't able to express myself, and both my natural and artistic voices were silenced. Even though I was eventually  able to escape that relationship, I wasn't able to free my mind from years of bondage. Once I began to sew I found my voice and I learned so much about myself. Whenever I feel myself getting down about anything, I get in front of the sewing machine, get to work, and all the negative energy begins to dissipate and I am able to get into my PEACEFUL zone.

You should see all the beautiful things Mesha creates in her PEACEFUL zone:
Instagram:  @keamesha

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...