Monday, January 1, 2018

Ending 2017 with a Bang!

As always, I was quite busy the last few weeks of the year!

I entered yet one more challenge...a coat challenge! It was sponsored by Alethia Hudson and the Admins in the Sew Much Talent Group! It started as an Admin Challenge and was then extended to the entire group!  And boy did we respond!  There were sew many entries! At the time of this post, there is about 1 hour left to complete a coat and enter it.  Mine was completed last week, but I didn't enter it until yesterday when my photos were taken by my Granddaughter, Charly.

I used McCall's 9576 - which is now an OOP (out of print) pattern.  Both sides of this reversible coat were made with fleece.  The solid is from my stash, the print is from Joann's Fabrics. It is so, so warm and cozy!

This coat was an easy make and has in-seam pockets on both sides...which I absolutely love! I used a white with silver dotted fat quarter from my stash for the pockets.  And...if you can believe it, I did not hack this pattern at all!  LOL!  It is perfect just the way it was designed.

  I love both sides of this coat!
 I also made a fringed scarf - gotta use up all those scraps, right? 😃
Surprise!  I also made a reversible hoodie scarf!



I started teaching my Granddaughter, Charly  to sew when she was 8 years old.  Since then, even though she lives out of state, we have sewn together whenever possible.  She recently told me that she wants to make several outfits, so I invited her to visit for a week or so before school resumes so that we could start working on them.  What a blast it has been sewing with her these past few days.  I now consider her to be an intermediate beginner.  I'm a proud Grandma!

Her 1st choice was to make a duster.  We used Vogue 9123 and an Ankara print fabric purchased from my friend, Femi's website

We did some hacking of this pattern. We eliminated the lining and buttons, added darts in the front and back for additional shaping, shortened the sleeves and lengthened the coat by 4 inches.

Charly learned several new skills while making this duster...grading patterns, serging without fear, sewing curves, adding facings, understitching and proper pressing.

Look at that smile!
We had a blast...we sewed, laughed, took and posted pictures, uploaded videos to her YouTube channel: Charly with a Y, my FaceBook Business page and FaceBook Group page as well as my Instagram page.


She designed and finished her pants today (Dec 31st)! We used a previous pattern that I'd drafted for her. 

We hacked it a eliminating the side seams as we didn't want to distort this pretty Ankara print! And we tapered the legs and added elastic to the ankles (Charly's design).
Happy girl!

We have a few more outfits to get done, but only one more day we will make one more piece before she heads home. And I will complete the rest for her.  She has a ton of pictures for me! Watch for them as I attempt to bring her vision to life!

This year has been quite eventful for me in many ways! I look forward to new adventures in 2018!
My sincere thanks to each of you for your support, encouragement and prayers!

I hope the New Year brings love and joy to each of you!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

My Red Dress


I hadn't had a red dress in many, many years.
I've had and made red jackets and blouses, but no red dress.
I even whined about it on FaceBook!

Then lo and behold...I found some red Sophia Ponte knit in my stash that I'd purchased from Vogue Fabrics a few years ago! And the cutting began! I initially wanted a fit and flare dress, but I did not have enough fabric and I was determined that I would not not buy more red fabric.  This just had to work! So no fit and flare!

While cutting, I decided to use some black Telio Scuba knit for the sleeves.  The fabric was purchased from and was left over from the last dress I made for my daughter.

These two fabrics played nice together, both stitched well separately and together.  Most of the construction was done on my serger with 4 threads.

I used and hacked McCall's 7501. I made view A with the bell sleeves from view D. I also lowered the front and back neckline.  I've come to really like the look of lower, slightly curved back necklines. If you take a look at some of my previous makes, you will see the lower back necklines as I almost always lower them on tops and this dress was no exception.

I ran into a problem with the sleeves!  I rarely have to shorten the sleeves of commercial patterns, but these ragland sleeves were much too long!  Of course I didn't discover it until after the sleeves were added and I'd tried it on. Yes! I do several fittings for myself!   😄

Then looking at the sleeves and trying the dress on a few times, I realized that I couldn't simply shorten them.  If I shortened them the 3 inches from the bottom that I needed to, I would essentially have no bell.

So I put the dress aside for a day to think about it. This allowed me time to put on my engineer's cap (aren't we all engineers in this craft?) and come up with a solution.

I decided/realized that I needed to shorten it somewhere above the bell.  So that is what I finally did.  I tried it on again and marked it for the cut at the mid bicep point. But who wants a seam in the middle of their sleeve?  That would not have worked at all. LOL!

The engineer side of my brain told me to hack the sleeves by adding a red strip of fabric at the point I'd cut the sleeve. Sew...that is exactly what I did!  And I'm pleased to say that I was excited with the result!

I finished the neckline by first stabilizing it with stay tape, then added a self binding, a narrow hem on the sleeves and a blind stitch on the hemline.

After I finished the dress, I heard about The Little Red Dress Project on Instagram.  Sew...because we all know that I love challenges, I entered my dress in the challenge.  This challenge was to bring awareness to sewing. I couldn't resist! 💕

I hope you are enjoying my sewing adventures as well as the tips and tricks that I provide here.  If so, please feel free to subscribe so that you don't miss any of my posts. Your email address will never be shared.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Sewing Photo Challenge

I've become a bit addicted to sewing challenges.  So I joined in on a November Sewing Photo Challenge. It was hosted by blogger Amanda of Bimble and Pimble and titled SEWVEMBER.

It was different from other challenges that I've done. No sewing was required! The challenge was to simply post photos on Instagram that best identified various themes.

Well, it really wasn't that simple!  It was thought provoking!  I had to put some serious thought into each day's theme.  As you can see, I didn't post photos each day, partly due to travel, other times due to not having enough time in each day aka life.

And...I'm still thinking about the theme #30 - 2018.  I know that my theme for 2018 is "Goals" -  but I don't have a photo to properly represent those goals! Not yet, anyway! LOL!

I hope you enjoy walking through this photo challenge with me!  It was sew much fun to post photos, but even more fun to see what other sewists, designers and bloggers posted!

 # 6 Bargain - This self-drafted top was made from a beautiful stable knit that was a gift!

 # 9 Refreshments - My sewing refreshment is water.
 I love this cup that my friend, Lisa bought and personalized for me!

 #10 Everyday - These girls are running almost every day!

 #11 Sewing Buddies - These are my sewing buddies/friends/sisters, Lisa, Rhonda, Reen, Molly and Sandy! Although we live in 4 different states, we are great friends! We have sew much fun when we are together.  I love them like sisters!

 #12 When I'm Not Sewing - I'm reading!

#13 Shortcut - I don't really like to take shortcuts, but I often put my serger to work to help with narrow hems. After serging, I use that "line" to fold over and press a narrow hem...once or twice.  then I can easily stitch it.

 #14 Tricky - It's "tricky" to use my cutting table for 2 sewing projects and 1 embroidery project at once!  LOL!

#15 Mix It Up - Mixed-up aka Pattern Hack aka Scrappy Tops.
I hacked my own pattern by slashing the front.  Sew fun! 😄

 #16 Stash Pride - Zippers!

#18 Color Palette - I love jewel tones - I wear them all year round!

 #19 Motto - What's that you have in your hand? I can use what I have! The top pic is a finished jacket. The bottom pic is from my stash - it will be a dress.  They will be beautiful together!

 #20 Luxury - Some of my silk stash gifted to me by friends! I love my friends - they get me!!

#22 Soundtrack  - Just a few of the sounds I listen to while I'm sewing. Music IN my happy place!

#23 What Was I Thinking?  I wasn't!  I was rushing! I sewed one of the sleeves to the side of the jacket. But all was not lost.  I posted my blooper on Sew News' Facebook page and won a prize package!  LOL!

#24 Texture - My daughter loves texture and being comfy.
 So I made this quilt for her with 3D flowers. And yes! She uses it!

#25 Finishing Touches - Sometimes a Hong Kong finish is the only way to go.

 #26 From Where I Sew - The view from my sewing studio. The trees are full and glorious in the summer.  The sun glowing here reminds me of this Scripture:
For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and the hills shall break forth into singing before you.  And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  ~ Isaiah 55:12 NKJV ~

  #29 No Limits
Growth - No Limits - No More Limits!
Website is up and running!

Friday, December 1, 2017

My New Website

I finally did it!
  I launched my website!

I actually worked on this off and on for over a year and finally got over the fear of failure/fear of success and pushed the "publish" button.  I fully intended to launch it on Black Friday, which turned to Small Business Saturday...neither of which happened.
I'd neglected it for so long, that I had to reload most of the content and all of the settings.  That was hours of work and phone calls for technical support.

Even with the technical support, I still had a gazillon technical issues before it was ready. So I ended up working on it most of the day on the day before Cyber Monday - and finally pushed the button at about 11:00am.  Whew!  I made it in time for Cyber Monday - before noon! Of course I spent even more time after the launch posting it all over the place....except here!  LOL!  

I decided to do a "soft launch" with my inventory and sample items (primarily Christmas items, bags, embroidered kitchen towels), by marking them down to 40 % to 50% off.
The sale will continue through midnight on my birthday, Dec 11th. Don't miss out!
Then of course there were the inevitable errors with my first couple of orders, which I was able to resolve fairly quickly and ship on time!
YES, I got a few orders about 2 hours after launch. Was I surprised?  You bet I was!  And excited!  I'm still excited! 

After the sale I will begin selling garments, accessories and bags (I'm currently testing a new bag).  Some will be pre-made and others will be custom orders only.  Sign up on the website to be notified of updates and new items!  Sign up here (below) to be notified of new blogs.

Many, many thanks to all who supported me and especially those who pushed me. There were many people who spoke into my life and thus, into my website/my business.  I will be forever thankful to all of you!

After reading about the launch, one of my instagram friends spoke into my life with this thoroughly blessed me and brought me to tears!  It meant so much to me...brought me to tears...tears of gratitude!

Numbers 6:24-26 (NKJV)
"The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace."

Thank you, friends!  Be blessed!

Join my Facebook Group

Follow me on Instagram

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Scuba Knit

Scuba Knit!

My dear daughter once again needed an outfit for an event.  I make a lot of tops and unique pieces for her, but this time she wanted a dress.

Of course she sent me many pictures of what she wanted and I decided on Telio Scuba Knit and ordered it from This was my 3rd or 4th time ordering from them and I'm quite pleased with the quality of the fabric.  I also decided to hack Vogue 9084 to get the look she wanted.

Since I had only worked with scuba knit once for an alteration, I decided to not take chances with this dress and it's triple layered asymmetrical hem .  So I brought out the big gun - my walking foot! That in conjunction with my serger, made this fabric a dream to sew!

My only challenge was getting the cuts right on the 3 hems (my brain does not do asymmetrical well). My last tackle of it was done during her final fitting. I literally cut them (carefully) with her standing in front of the mirror.

I top-stitched the front bodice darts to make them kinda disappear, which made her happy (she doesn't like darts).  The sleeves were cuffed as a design element, which she loved.

The 3 layers of the skirt made for quite a heavy dress, so to avoid additional weight or bulk, the front and back hems were finished on my serger with a 3 thread overlock stitch. An invisible zipper was installed in the back.

She had not decided how she would style it, so I had to wait for pictures from the event.
 I love the look of the lace leggings with her gold shoes and jewelry!

I've heard that scuba knit doesn't have a good drape, but from pictures I've seen of other garments and from my limited experience with it, I was pretty sure it would drape well.  And boy, was I right!  Check out the drape of the back of this dress!  Just lovely!

We were both quite pleased with the finished dress!

Have you tried scuba knit, yet?
 I'd love to hear about your experience with it! 
Feel free to leave your comments below.

Join my Facebook Group

Follow me on Instagram

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Houston International Quilt Fest - Part One

Oh what a blast I had at HQF!

I had the opportunity to work with Reen Wilcoxson from Embroidery Garden at her booth for all 5 days of the Festival! Molly Madison was with us as well. She is the designer of the her wonderful Artisan Apron and the beautiful SVG cut files for Reen's cork front Zipper Bags.

We arrived on Nov 1 and set up in preparation of the 1st night. 

Molly made matching Cork Front Zipper Bags for us! 😄

The week was a great experience!  I met a few people from my Facebook Group. And of course Reen met a ton of members of her group and saw others that she'd previously met in some of her classes.

The week was a great experience!  I met a few people from my Facebook Sewing Group. And of course Reen met a ton of members of her Facebook In the Hoop group and saw others that she'd previously met in some of her classes. 

It was a blast working with the AllBrands and Brother Teams!  We actually got John from Allbrands to pose wearing Reens' Cross Bag! He is such a good sport! 😊

Reen, Molly and I reconnected with several "Sewing Stars" we already knew.
 And met a lot of other "Stars" and a ton of vendors! Such fun!


 Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilts 

Brett and Mike from Durkee Hoops

Mike from Durkee Hoops and Mama's Boy Design

Cindy Hogan from Cynthia's Embroidery

Reen taught classes twice each day on the "Brother Stage"!  She is such a great teacher! Many people were intrigued by the In the Hoop process and this was a great opportunity for them to see it first hand.

That's all for part 1 of our HQF adventures! Watch for part 2 - shopping, quilts and just plain fun!

Join my Facebook Group

Follow me on Instagram

Ending 2017 with a Bang!

As always, I was quite busy the last few weeks of the year! I entered yet one more challenge...a coat challenge! It was sponsored by Alet...