Monday, May 7, 2018

Pinterest Interest Winner!

I entered the Sew Much Talent Group's 
March 2018 Pinterest Interest DIY 

and to my surprise, my name was randomly chosen as a winner!

I won!

The challenge, which was hosted by Alethia of Sew Much Talent Group was to choose a picture from Pinterest that inspired us and duplicate it. It could have been anything crafty and DIY related, i.e., clothes, shoes, jewelry, home decor and/or furniture.
But of course since I sew, I chose a garment. 😊 

The garment in the Pinterest photo I chose was a red Swing/Trapeze dress. But I easily admit I was really inspired by my fellow sewist and blogger, Faye Lewis of Faye's Sewing Adventures 

She'd made a black Swing/Trapeze dress for a Day and Night challenge, which was hosted in January by Elizabeth Farr of Elizabeth Made This.  

I absolutely loved it on her as well as her much so that it made me wonder if that style would work with my body type.

So off I went...going through my pattern stash! I found and locked in on Simplicity 8383
Then of course I hacked it a bit.

I lowered the front neckline as well as the probably know by now that I really like to lower my back necklines whenever I can! I also lengthened the sleeve and made it a bell sleeve.

I used a stretch crepe from Joann's and did a self binding on the neckline - of course after stabilizing this knit with stay tape

Back to winning! I was the lucky winner of Ayana Glaze's Designs stunning Ena Necklace! The name Ena means fire in Hebrew and is part of her Shekinah Spirit Collection. It is even more beautiful in person!  Check out her website to see all of her beautiful pieces!

I do love the dress, but am not quite sure about the length.  For now I'll leave it as it!

Thanks for stopping in! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

2018 Make Nine Challenge

Well!  I've done it again!
As crazy busy as I am, I've entered another sewing challenge!


The good news is I have till the end of the year to complete them. Easy enough, right? Ha!

The not so good news for me is that I had to commit to the 9 projects I'd make - that was not easy because I change my mind a lot about what I want to make!

But I took the plunge anyway!  Who knows! This may improve my focus!  LOL!

The better news is that I'd just finished this McCall's 7240 dress - I hacked the neckline and did some serious print matching with this ITY knit - But the end result was so worth it!

The even better news is that I already have most of the fabric I need in my stash! Ha!

Watch for my makes on Instagram, Facebook and here!

Wish me luck!

Photo Cred: 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Dress For A Special Day

I had the honor of making a dress for my friend, Delilah's 20 Year Wedding Vow Renewal!

She presented me with a photo of a similar dress and we collaborated on bringing her vision to life!

It was wonderful working with her! She did a total of 4 fittings - one of which was a muslin fitting - all in the midst of her commutes to and from Hawaii. Each time she saw the dress, she had a huge smile of her face.  It always makes my heart glad when I see the smiles on the faces of those I sew for!

As she was leaving her 2nd fitting, she touched the dress and prayed over it and a 2nd dress that I was working on for her.  I didn't hear all of the words of her prayer, but it touched me.
I pray about most of the work that I do, but to know that someone else prayed, touched me deeply.

The dress is a stretch lace with a satin lining.  As we all know, most knits are challenging to work with, so I used a ton of weights. Using weights to keep the fabric in place is so much better than pins that would have just gotten lost in the lace.

I also used tissue paper on my cutting table to prevent the lace from shifting while rotary cutting (I rarely cut any lace with scissors - unless I'm doing appliques).

Don't they make a beautiful couple! 💕

The lace moved beautifully!

Can you tell she was quite happy with her dress!  😃

The entire event was so much fun and all the vendors did a great job! Check them out via the links below:
Her hair and make-up was stunning - Hair and make-up by Starr Status Creations
The DJ was on point from beginning to end - DJ services by Daron Gross
The food was amazing - Culinary by Tawanna Devine
The photographer was wonderful - Photography by Diamond Gant

And of course - The dress - Dress by Endless Dzns by Carrie

Delilah is the owner of Delilah's Downloads.
She is a motivational speaker and will be hosting her 1st Yellow Dress Breakout, Women's Leadership Conference on May 19th in Chicago, IL.
  I will be one of the vendors there!
  There is still time to purchase tickets for this event!
You won't be disappointed!
Click on the link above for more information!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Prom Dress 2018

I've been quite busy during prom season, but this was my favorite one...because it was for my Granddaughter.  She rarely asks me to make anything for her, so when she asked I felt honored.  

When she selected the print, I thought it was a bit dark for her and for prom, but I think you would agree that she is absolutely glowing in it! 

This was the 2nd outfit I made for her using an African print (Ankara).

The top was made using the pattern I'd drafted from her previous hi/low top I made that was posted in my blog earlier. I adjusted it to make it a closer fit, eliminated the sleeves and cut the shoulder back to make them narrower.
The skirt is a self drafted circle skirt.
I love playing with print placement and this print did not disappoint!

 I added an inverted (upside down) invisible zipper.  When I sent her a picture of it, she mistakenly thought it was the front! LOL! That was some serious print matching!

I created a neckline facing and added fusible interfacing to take full advantage of the print and to ensure I ended up with a perfect "V".  The colors are so saturated in Ankara fabrics that you don't have to be concerned with the facings showing through the garments.

I shipped it to her (I wished they lived closer) and when she received it she called me and was gushing an abundance of thanks!  That call made my heart glad and I again found myself thanking God for this gift.  My daughter (her Mom) calls it "Them Hands". 💗

I surprised her by making this 5x7 bag and adding her initial on it.  The bag design is an Embroidery Garden In The Hoop (ITH) design. My Granddaughter didn't think it would be big enough for her, but to my surprise, she ended up taking it to prom!

What did you make for prom season? I'd love to hear about it in the comment section below! 😁

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Matching Accessories

Sew Matchy, Matchy!

I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I've only just realized that I've been walking around with all of my non-matching accessories that I pull out when I'm stopped by people who ask what else I make!  LOL!

I've had cork accessories, red and black and an assortment of other color accessories!  Who would get excited about that menagerie and want to place an order!  LOL!

So I finally took some time to make a batch of MATCHING accessories for myself! The fabric is another African waxed print.  This one has a very high sheen which made it perfect for me.  Did I tell you that I like color! This color combo is perfect for Spring.

All of these items were made "In The Hoop" on my embroidery machine.  The designs are from Embroidery Garden and are created and digitized by my friend and the owner, Reen Wilcoxson.  Her designs come with complete step by step instructions that includes color photos of each step.

Her newest bag is my new favorite - the Double Zip Organizer Bag!  Each zipper has a full length pocket!  So very useful! This one and the Zippered Bag are a little over 7.5"x11.5"!  I can get quite a few items in them. Sometimes I use this size as a "grab and go" bag - I don't always need a big purse or tote bag for a store run or pizza run. 😄

And yes!  That is a real glass mirror!  Check out my FaceBook business page to view the short video of the mirror being stitched.  This 3 inch mirror and case are perfect for evenings out!  Variations of this little set will be going on my website soon!  Any of these items can be ordered...just by contacting me.😊

These are all perfect for daily use, together or separate. They are also perfect for travel! This is the 3rd Luggage Handle Wrap I've used while traveling, and it has not been lost!  I will definitely be able to identify my bag with this bright, cheerful wrap as it comes around the carousel!  Yaaay!

And how often do you dig around in your bag or briefcase looking for your headset or chargers!  The Device Cord Wraps completely solves that problem! Everyone that I've made them for loves them!

I plan to make a new tote bag for all my new accessories. It will likely be a bit toned down, mostly because I used all of this print!  LOL!

Not sure if I will use one of my own patterns or a new pattern that I've been eyeing. But since I'm traveling soon, I need to get it done!

What accessories do you make? 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Sewing For My Grands

I'm a bit behind (OK a lot behind) in getting this post done, but life gets in the way!

  In my Jan 1, 2018 post, I reviewed the garments that I helped my Granddaughter, Charly with a Y make.  She has her own YouTube channel, which she used to document some of our sewing antics. LOL! 

 We had sew so much fun together and of course created more great memories!
  Click on the link above to check out her YT channel and like and subscribe...she is almost at 100 subscribers!

After our days sewing together, she sent me a list and pictures of the rest of the items she wanted me to make for Black History Month.  And of course  her older Sister chimed and wanted a couple of pieces.  And no, I could not leave their Brother out!  All of that sewing was completed during the month of January - including keeping up with my customers' pieces and alterations!  There are a couple of pieces actually missing from this post, but I have to tell you that I had 3 very happy teens when all was said and done.   

All of the fabrics used are 100% cotton Ankara African prints.


This Is the big Sister, E'Zohn wearing the self -drafted skirt I made for her. It has an elastic gathered waist and a nice, long sash and pockets. You might remember this print from my previous blog...can't let fabric go to waste, right? 😁

This is Charly in her high low top she designed.  I self drafted it. The back was supposed to be a bit longer, but she used most of the fabric in December on her duster and pants.

I created a waistline casing and added 1/2 inch elastic and used 1/2 inch bias binding to finish it.  This was a "Make it Work" top!  I was quite pleased with this top, but more importantly, so was she! 

Here she is again wearing a high waist (I love  waistbands), gathered skirt, with pockets and a sash that was also self drafted.  I used french fuse interfacing in the waistband. I have more of this fabric left. What to do with it? LOL!  Ideas, ideas!

The big sister wearing a high low top that she requested.  Her idea came from a high low top I'd made for her Mom last summer. I surprised her by finding this vibrant print in her favorite colors - yellow and purple!

She thought I was going to make it from fabric from my stash (which would not have been those colors), but since I hadn't sewn for her in quite a while, I wanted it to be special.  She was quite surprised and loves it!

Playing around with the pattern placement (even on the sleeves) was fun!  The Peplums were made from drafted donut style circles.  I added an invisible zipper in the back. I love the outcome!

Charly sent me a picture of a top like this along with all the other pictures.

Her text said, "Hey, Grandma!  This is all the other stuff I want you to make for me.  Thanks, Grams" 
Be still my heart! How could I say no?  💞

This is one of those prints where you can decide which direction the print goes.  I quite like that bold "lightening bolt" going lengthwise for this piece - it added height to the garment and the wearer.  She says this one is her favorite piece! 

And for their Brother!

Adjustable Bow Ties with matching Pocket Squares!  I'd made several sets for my website, so he had a choice.  These are the 2 sets he chose!  Of course, by now I'm sure you recognize the fabrics!

Even though I am constantly working to grow my business, sewing through the month of January for my Grands was an absolute delight!

Do you sew for your Grandchildren?  Comment below to share your "Grand Sewing Adventures"

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!

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.

Pinterest Interest Winner!

I entered the Sew Much Talent Group's  March 2018 Pinterest Interest DIY  Challenge and  to my surprise, my name was randomly ch...