Friday, May 31, 2013

Simplicity 6761, McCalls 5394 and a Birthday Boy!!!!

Today is an ESPECIALLY SPECIAL day!!!! Today's my Hubby's birthday!!!! I'm so excited!!!

I love this guy, he's my best friend, a wonderful Hubby, great Dad and my biggest supporter. He's joined me on my sewing journey 9 years ago and has never looked back. He's watched me make the prettiest and not so prettiest garments. He's helped me those late sewing nights as I struggled to meet a deadline. And he's always encouraged me to keep going even when I was so close to giving up (more times than I can count). Because of him I don't even have to sneak fabric into the house. He just turns a blind eye, allowing me to do what I need to do. He critiques my garments and offers good advice. Now some things have changed over the years. He's not likely to be caught dead in any Jo-Ann's--- not unless it's on fire and he's got to go in and rescue me LOL!!!!

So I thought I'd get cute for his birthday. You know do a little something, something (wink, wink). As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I found some really cute-bright-colored legging fabric from Jo-Ann's. I just knew it would make a cute pair of leggings. The fabric feels great to wear and has just the right amount of thickness. Because the leggings are so bright in color I needed to pair them with the right top. Unfortunately I didn't have anything in my closet that would go really well with this so whipped up this cute little top. I'm learning to never underestimate the power of a cute, simple little top in the right fabric. It can really go the distance. And that's that---a quick and cute outfit for my Hubby's bday. He absolutely loved it, especially the top. We went out to dinner and had a great time. I've already reviewed the leggings pattern HERE. Here's the review for the top.......

Simplicity 6761
(This pattern is out of print. I recently received it as a gift from someone.)

(Photos taken at sunset. Unfortunately the colors aren't truly represented (the leggings and matching flowers in the top are actually a bit darker & more vivid as this bathroom photo confirms......

.....see what I mean?)

Time to Sew:
I think from cutting to sewing took about 2 hours. The top only has 2 pattern pieces!

Sewing Ease (scale 1 easy to 10 difficult):
I'd give this a 1. Almost like sewing a pillow case. Yes just that simple.

Pattern Description:
Top with gathered neckline and tie.

Pattern Sizing:
I cut the size 8 for the top and graded to a 12 beneath the bust to the hem. I wanted mine a bit looser on the bottom.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Love the simple style and knew it would go great with leggings.

Fabric Used:
Rayon/poly knit with multicolor floral designs from

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I originally cut the back on the fold failing to take into account how the back tied up. To fix I just cut the top center back about 4" down and continued with the instructions. It was an easy fix. I also sewed the side seams all the way to the bottom and didn't make the slits. I used narrow gold rope for the neck ties instead of ribbon.

What would you do differently next time?:
Cut the back pattern piece as 2 pieces and do my usual short back alteration removing 1" from center back and tapering to the sides.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Wardrobe Versatility:
It's a cute little top that can be paired up with short or a skirt also.

Cute little top!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Weekend Sewing Queue.....

Oh where, oh where did the month of May go???? Wow, we've found ourselves already at the end of another month. Crazy, huh? Well here's just a quick little update. Well in addition to some client work and home improvement tasks (which have seriously been competing with my sewing time) I'll be squeezing in some sewing for myself. Here's the patterns I'm using. I should be done with 3 pieces by tomorrow (2 pairs of leggings and one top) and will work on the Vogue top on Saturday. Here's the patterns I'm using.....

Let's just say that all 4 items will be extremely bright and colorful. I found the legging material in 2 awesome colors. I'm not afraid of color---it makes me happy:) Can't wait to share. What about you, got some exciting sewing plans for the weekend????

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sewing DVD Reviews.....

Ok, I've been promising to review these Silhouette Pattern DVD's, I bought a couple of months ago, for quite some time now. I took a few notes on these a while back and lost my notes. But because I love you guys so much I re-watched them again (sorta skimming through the materials) to give you my honest opinions/ratings. I bought these during a sales event so that was an added plus. I kinda knew their quality would be good given the fact that I own majority of Peggy's videos. Ok, enough about that...the reviews are below.....

Darts are a Girl's Best Friend
Grade A+++

Pros: Lots of demonstrations of various dart manipulations on the flat pattern level.
Cons: No sewing/draping. Only flat pattern manipulation.

This is an excellent video!!! Peggy really shows dart manipulation in an easy and unintimidating way. She uses ample examples and demonstrates changing the darts to mimic those styles. I love that she shows the flat pattern work using poster board and features dart manipulations on a bodice, skirt, pant and sleeve. She even shows how to convert darts to other design features such as gathers, etc. And in typical Peggy fashion she  This is great for me since I'm slowly teaching myself draping and trying to better understand pattern drafting. I definitely recommend this for anyone wanting to gain a better understanding on how important darts are for shaping and creating different designs.

Leather is for Everybody
Grade A
Pros: Lots of basic introductory information on the world of leathers. Mostly in a lecture format.
Cons: Not many demos.

This is actually a very cool DVD. I really did open my mind to the world of leathers and the varieties that exists out there. I received a serious education!!! Very intriguing. I had no idea there were so many varieties! The most exotic one I thought was cool was stingray!!!! Peggy gave great hints on how to calculate the amount of leather needed for your projects. Since it doesn't have a grain you can lay pattern pieces every which way. She also gives tips on needles and stitch lengths to use. She demonstrates by partially sewing up a jacket. She also showed how to finish seams to. This DVD was very informative.

Yoga Pants
Grade B-

 Pros: Great if you want to change up basic yoga pants pattern.
Cons: No pants fitting!!! Not really useful if you don't want to change up the basic pattern.

Yoga pants are all the rave!!!! So in addition to purchasing the pattern I thought I'd get the accompanying DVD. I would've loved for this to be a fitting DVD but these pants are SO easy to fit that there really is no need to. I also think Peggy may have done a webcast on the fitting part. So DVD just shows how to change the pattern up a bit. I have yet to make my first pair of Yoga pants (it's in my sewing queue)---I can't wait. Then I can look into possibly making changes to the pattern. Not certain. I personally never show my waistbands so a shirred waist won't make a difference. But for those of you who do then this would be good for you.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sewing Jots and Tittles 5.22.13

It's that time again. Time to share my sewing jots and tittles!!!! I've been cleaning my sewing studio all this week and I'm pretty much finished. I've purged lots of fabric and other stuff. I can finally get back to sewing. Here's what's been on my mind while I was locked away in my sewing room.....

Sewing, Fashion and Such.....

 This dress doesn't come in my daughter's size but I'm willling to buy it and grade it up in order for her to have it! It's too cute!!!

Mother's Day gifts wouldn't be complete without Jo-Ann's and Hancock gift cards. Hubby knows me all too well!!!!

What?!?!?!? I'm so frugal. That price is too high for little girl capris. That's around the limit of what I'd pay for mine!!!

I absolutely HATE rick rack!!!! Like with a passion. Too bad because this was a perfect match to the dress I made for my daughter on Mother's day.

Gwyneth Paltrow's dress to the Iron Man 3 premier. I love it from the front. That side shot is a whole other story! LOL!

Who knew that a non-skid rug pad would be great to use underneath my cutting boards when I have to cut large items on the floor. It provided stability and worked like a charm!!!!
Saw this online and found it quite interesting. It's Honey Boo Boo's Mom's wedding dress. Hey it's not my style per say but I can't be mad at anyone who get's a custom made wedding dress. Very unique!


 I drive my Hubby crazy with this. You probably don't notice anything strange but I'm draining freshly fried french fries on coffee filters. I LOVE coffee filters. They are SO absorbent! I use them just like they're paper towels! LOL!!!!

 Witnessed the sweetest thing during early morning traffic. Garbage truck workers parked their truck mid traffic to help a man move his disabled vehicle out of the road. Random acts of kindness always melt my heart!

 Got the BEST deal on lobster tails and crab legs a few weeks ago. You know it was one of those deals that I had to look around because I felt like I was stealing something. LOL! No seriously, I did ask the butcher if there was something wrong with them. They'd just reached their "sell by date" and had to be drastically marked down! What a steal.
So I cooked the aforementioned lobster tails and shared one with my daughter. She had the nerve to ask me why I was so excited (rolling my eyes).  I had to show her the price tag which of course meant nothing to her since she's 5. A $3 lobster tail should make anyone excited! LOL!!!!

 (There aren't too many small grocery stores you'll go in that will have chandelier cleaner. This alone gives you an idea of the demographic! LOL!

Today was career day at my daughter's school. After I convinced her that being a princess wasn't really a realistic career choice she opted to be a ballerina! Geesh! That took an awful lot of convincing! LOL!!!!

(Yes this actually happened to me. Made a quick trip to Hancock to pick up some supplies. Stopped at the gas station and finally looked down at my feet. I almost gasped loud enough for others to hear. Putting on mismatched shoes is a clear indication I'm getting old. LOL!!!

I'm currently streaming this on Netflix. So far a good movie. What I really like is taking in the scenery which I've personally seen. Between 2010 and 2012 I took 4 trips (2 weeks each) to Barrow, Alaska for research/field work. We took snow machines and sleds out on the ice as depicted in the movie. It's so beautiful on the ice and I love seeing the locals in their traditional hunting parkas. Barrow's so small that most of it is captured in this film. It's like being back there with the exception of actually feeling the -35C temperatures LOL!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sewing DVD's for SALE!!!!!

I mentioned in my last post and a few subsequent one's that I was downsizing both my fabric and book/DVD stash. I just feel like lightening my load a bit and reorganizing my sewing space. Well here's some sewing instructional DVD's for sale. They are in perfect condition and were only looked at once or twice. They're really good it's just that I already have other books and DVD's that cover this information so I don't need the overlap. Anyhow, I've priced these to sale. If you're interested please email me at For the sake of keeping this a little simple on my end and keeping the prices low I'm only extending this to U.S. Residents and accepting a PayPal payment ONLY!

$25 including shipping (regularly $75)- SOLD

$59 including Shipping (regularly $99) SOLD
The boxed set.......
.....the individual DVD's

$17 including Shipping (regularly $29.95)

$17 including Shipping (regularly $29.95)

If you've done your research you already know these are all highly recommended resources. I'd love to find a good home for all of these. Again, if you're interested in purchasing one or more of these DVD's please feel free to email me at and we can get the ball moving on the sale.

Ok, I've got to get back to cleaning out my fabric stash. Many of you have expressed an interest in the sale. I'm hoping to start posting fabrics next week. Stay tuned.......

Friday, May 17, 2013

Back to the Regularly scheduled program.....

Things have been bonkers as of late!!!! And I have DESPERATELY MISSED you guys!!!! I've got to catch up on my blog reading and posts. I've got so much to say but just haven't had the time to say it due. Well I think things are calming down a bit so it's time to get back to it.......

I've been doing a bit of work for others and hadn't got much done for myself. Here's what I plan to sew up next.....
(I love the textured orange knit. I'm still debating whether to use it to make a top or to make a dress. I thought the turquoise jegging fabric would a nice pop of color to my wardrobe)

I also have several posts I need to crank out and they must be done before the month ends. I'm just a planner that way so here's what to look forward too......

1.Questions & Answers (if you have any questions you want to ask me please leave in the comments section below and I'll include answers to them in this post.)
2. Sewing Jots and Tittles
3. DVD Review--bought 3 Silhouette Pattern DVD's I need to review.
4. Book &  Fabric Sale---I've downsized my book collection and am now working on my fabric stash. Will post stuff to sale once I'm done.
5. My Sewing Queue ---Got alot of things I want to sew for myself in the next few weeks.
6. Another Post (TBD)

Ok, that's a good bit of stuff to crank out in the next 2 weeks but it will be fun!

See ya more frequently!!!!!! Happy Sewing!!!!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Outfits---NewLook 4718 and Vogue 8815

Happy Mother's Day to all of the Mom's out there (biological, foster, adopted, caretaker's etc.) Remember you don't have to give birth to a child to be a Mother. God bless you all out there making a difference. Today is a great day for me because I get to celebrate all of the Wonderful Mom & Mom-like figures in my life in addition to being a Mom myself!!!!

You know I love to commemorate special days and events with something special to wear. I thought coordinating Mother/Daughter outfits would be in order. So I whipped up something quick for me and my little girl to wear on this special day.  The day was off to a good start until the tummy ache my daughter's had for the past few days worsened and we had to go to the Pediatrician. Hey you don't get a day off, not even on mother's day (smile). I'm happy to report that the doctor figured out the issue that OTC meds couldn't help and who would've thought that a tummy ache (with no other symptoms) would be the result of strept throat. And just one dose of antibiotics got her to feeling better fast and we were back to enjoying the day.
(See look all better!!!!!)

Here's the review of our outfits. I made my daughter a cute little dress and I made my 2nd version of the Vogue peplum top.

Butterick 4718

Time to Sew:
About 2 hours.

Sewing Ease (scale 1 easy to 10 difficult):
It's super easy so I'll say a 2.

Pattern Description:
Girl's dress with full faced bodice and flared skirt.

Pattern Sizing:
Size 5

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked that the pattern was very uncomplicated and was perfect for showcasing such a busy and colorful fabric.

Fabric Used:
Cotton twill with blue, white, purple, green leaves.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I added 1" to the bodice front and a satin sash:)

What would you do differently next time?:

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Probably so. It's a good base pattern.

Super cute dress for my little girl:)

This is my 2nd version of this top and my 3rd peplum (I used a New Look pattern the first time). You can find my review HERE. I made a few changes to this one. I sewed the darts on the right side of the top and I expanded the peplum skirt about 3 inches in both front and back. I liked the added flare. BTW, my fabric is a electric blue stretch denim.

So that's that! Our Mother's day outfits came together great and we enjoyed the day. Hope you likewise enjoyed the holiday!!!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sewing Room Revamp and an Eye Sore!

I don't know if it was purchasing 49 yards of fabric recently or the frequent client visits I've had to my sewing studio as of late but on last week I came to realize that my sewing studio needed a big overhaul. Actually I've been in an organizing/cleaning frame of mind for the last several weeks. Hey the Spring weather always does it to me. I've already cleaned out/organized my garage and most of the closets in my house. I'm guessing my sewing room was bound to end up on that list anyway. So this weekend I put my personal sewing to the side in exchange for downsizing my sewing books, organizing and filing my patterns, consolidating thread and bobbins, and streamlining my fabric stash a bit.
 (This is what 49 yards of heavily discounted fabric looks like. There's some major spillage going on and as you can see I really did get some pretty colors. That's a gorgeous yellow sweater knit I plan to use for a cardigan. The lavendar is wool for a coat and the blue rayon kit I plan to use for a dress. I'll show more of what I got later.)

For some reason the older I get the MORE I crave ORDER. I think I really am becoming my Mother. I'm sure many of you guys can understand! LOL!!!!

Ok, so I'm about 70% done with gutting out my sewing room. I've got lots of great books and fabric that I'd more than likely want to sale. So be on the lookout for my upcoming post on my fabric/sewing book sale. Hey it wouldn't be fair if I didn't give you guys dibs first.

Anyhow, here's some of the improvements I made....
 (I've got all of "my girls" lined up and ready to go. My blind hemmer is in the background far left. I finally put all of my threads on the wall rack and I love my maxi lock thread tree. I have a box full of pegs that I still need to add to my pegboard. Again, I've had these items for years but am finally putting them to better use.)

 (I have a file cabinet that's attached to my sewing machine desk. I did use the top drawer for some patterns and client work. I decided to make it soley for patterns and they fit perfectly and neatly. Why didn't I think of this sooner? I also have another smaller 3 drawer plastic cabinet to hold the rest of my patterns.)

 (The drawer beneath the patterns contain all of my thread. These 2 plastic boxes contain small spools of thread and are sitting on top of the maxi lock threads that cover the bottom of the drawer.)

(I went through and downsized my book collection. I'm getting rid of some really good one's but I have my favorites and backups which are more than enough for me. Again I'll do a post on the item I plan to sale really soon.)

Next I plan to get into my fabric closet and just tear it apart. I just want to lighten my load a bit. I've got lots of fabric I'm planning to sale. I'm looking forward to that task.

Although I'm still cleaning, organizing, and decorating my sewing studio there's just one part of it in particular that's a bit of an eyesore. That would be the area underneath tri-fold cutting table which kinda serves as a storage area. No I won't show you that area in my sewng room----it's quite embarassing LOL! This area truly needs to be better defined & contained.

(This is the type of cutting table that I have. I have a rotary cutting mat on top of it. I love it but would like something that had drawers and better organization space underneath.)
 I really that I just need a new sewing table- one that has sewing space that's built in and relieves the floor clutter. I've taken a look at sewing room furninture and as you guys know it's EXPENSIVE. Some of it ridiculously so. So I did an internet source and found a fellow blogger who made her own table with plenty of storage area. As they say "necessity is the mother of invention" and Brooke (who has a fabulous sewing room) came up with a FANTASTIC idea. She bought 12 Ikea mini tables and stacked them double to create the "cubbie" effect. Just PURE BRILLIANCE!!! You can see the details HERE. But here's a pic from her site.....
(That DIY cutting table has me drooling.....)

I think I will follow suit and think of a way to achieve the same if not similar affect. I'm sure my idea is gonna involve a trip to IKEA (I own several of there shelves and LOVE them). It's so cool to think outside of the box! Well I'm gonna make that my Summer project. Maybe I should just make that Hubby's project!  I've got a few "big" sewing projects coming up and would love to have my new table in place as soon as possible. I'm super excited. And of course when I'm all done with my sewing studio I'll post pics of the final product!!!!!!!!!!!! Heck, I spend SOOO much time in my sewing studio. Might as well make it pretty and uber organized!!!!

So have you been making any changes to your sewing nook/room/studio???? Do you have a sewing room "eye sore"? Got any plans to improve it???? Do share!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sewing Jots and Tittles 5.2.13

Sewing jots & tittles is my weekly/bi-weekly post chronicling all of my ideas and thoughts---whether insightful or just plain zany! Here's what's been bouncing off the recesses of my mind this week.....

Sewing, Fashions and Such

It's officially Spring! McCall's got some cute patterns this season!!!

 This thing came to the rescue at Hancock's and saved me $20+ dollars. Thank God both Jo-Ann's and Hancock take competitor's coupons!!!

 A good friend of mine bought me this cute little card and journal set. The card and journal looks like a retro pattern envelope. The envelopes have pattern pieces on them. Isn't that just the cutest!!! Someone's gonna have to be awful special to get one of these cards from me! LOL!

 The remake of "The Great Gatsby" is about to be released in theatres. I'm totally feeling this beautiful dress worn by Carrie Mulligan, one of the lead actresses. I might need to explore 1920's fashions. This dress is really breathtaking. I read the book in high school---didn't we all---so if I see he movie (likely when it hit's redbox) I'll be mainly watching it for the costumes!!!!

I'm so late! I just got my first batch of FOE (fold over elastic). Can't wait to use it. I have a tank-top that it would be perfect for!!!

 Found some money from my trip to Belize a few years back. I love looking at currency from other countries! 

 Checked out this audiobook from the library and ripped it for my IPOD! It's awesome! I highly recommend it. I love that it deals with the psychology behind procrastination and introduces it as a defense mechanism.  I sorta figured that out a few years ago when I used to procrastinate due to struggling with perfectionism and/or difficulty making fast decisions and over analyzing. Thankfully I've worked through most of my issues and am more aggressive about pushing forward. I've learned just to ignore the fears and over analysis (don't kid yourself they don't go away entirely) and push forward anyway (wink).

 Cool sidewalk art, huh???

 I know it's blueberry season but dang, looks like the one left (right next to a normal size blueberry) got zapped with some sorta radiation! LOL!

Made my famous cheescakes but in "mini" forms along with homemade strawberry sauce. Yum, yum!

Just started reading this book. Very insightful. Everyone's got someone in their life that knows how to work them up. You probably can't control them but you sure can learn how to handle yourself better (wink).

If you have to put a "shrimp allergy" warning on a bag of shrimp in order for someone to realize that the bag contains shrimp then that person is probably "not playing with a full deck". That is all! LOL!

I SOOOOO cannot wait for this! It'll be out in June. Ok, I'll date myself but I grew up in the days when Christopher Reeves was Superman. I loved every movie. I've even watched the really old black and white Superman series. I mean who doesn't like Superman. On top of that I LOVE that Hans Zimmer did the soundtrack---which you can hear in this trailer. Gives me chills on top of chills!!!!! Hans Zimmerman creates the best movie scores!!!!


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