Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good-bye 2008, Hello 2009

Well, the last few hours of 2008, can you believe it? I am getting the house ready for a few friends for the evening and then tomorrow it will be daughter #2's 19th birthday!

I have been thinking about sewing goals for this year.

  1. I don't have much of a stash but I need to sew from it first. With a daughter #1's wedding coming up and daughter #2's college tuition, this is a nice resource. Plus, I have only worked 2 days in the last 2 weeks, things are SLOW at work.

  2. When I do buy fabric, thinks solids or calm prints. My oldest daughter has the most wonderful wardrobe, and I was trying to figure out why that is. Well, she rarely buys a printed top, she goes for solid sweaters and tops. With this in mind, she can dress them up or down. You readers are probably in shock with this one, most of my knit tops are prints.

  3. Sew more for me, things have been hectic here and I haven't been able to get to my sewing room. I see 2009 as calmer so hopefully more sewing time.

  4. Find some TNT patterns other than Simplicity 4076, just patterns you can go to and have success.

  5. Put more time toward the podcast - ideas and interviews for new episodes.

In closing, thanks all the wonderful comments on my blog and for taking the time to read it. I am blessed to have this sewing community and feel fortunate to be part of it.

Happy New Year to all

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Style Me, Please

I have made this pattern twice now. First in the short version and it is a wadder, I will get pictures of me wearing it so you can see for yourself. The neckline is very wide and shows the bra straps all the time. The sleeves are very tight all over, this isn't what the pictures shows.

The second time, I made the tunic from a sweater knit. I like it but I think I need some fashion advice.

Here it is:

Now tell me what to do to make it better, fire away I can take it! Dye the tunic? Throw it away? New belt? Let me know, please.

Now to help my ego, here is a picture of hubby and me on Christmas Eve. I just got a new haircut and I love it.

I drew names and posted the winners from my 300th post. I mailed Virginia her pattern. Can the rest of you email me at with your mailing address and I will get you your patterns:

Virginia - Butterick 6678
Mary Sarah of Croshique blog - Butterick 4148
Karen of Little House in the Prairie - Butterick 3796
Dana - Vogue 633

Finally. thank you, thank you for all of the congratulations for college daughter and her graduation. We are so very proud of her and she is enjoying her time-off, finishing up a cross-stitch Santa. Also, I am taking her sewing machine to get a tune-up, she wants it in her apartment. Hurray!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Summa Cum Laude

Our oldest daughter graduated from college today, she finished in 3-1/2 years with honors. We are so proud of her and all the accomplishments these past 3 years. Her degree is Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and she starts her job on January 5, 2009.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hot Patterns Metropolitan Sweater Dress

This is a super easy pattern, so I am just going to write a few lines. The neckline is fabulous, I love the wrapped v-neck look. I did staystitch the "v" and then followed those lines when stitching the neckband.

The sweater came out way too boxy, so I altered the side/sleeve seams. I used Paint to recreate the lines on the short sweater. Click on the image below to see this.

I also removed the bottom band, my sweater knit was very stretchy and the band just didn't look so good.

Here is a picture. I think it is super-cute and fun, not sure the picture portrays this. Hubby told me several times how nice I looked. The sweater looks cute without the belt, too.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Year in Review

It has been fun to read others post their sewing year in review. So here is a picture collage of my winners (click on it to see it larger)

Now the losers of 2008

Simplicity 2892, love it on the dressform, can't move my arms when I am wearing it. The sleeves are gathered and lined with the fabric. I believe I constructed it incorrectly. Good news I made the sleeveless version and love it.

This Christine Jonson tie back top. I just can't get past how the ties wrap right under the boobs!

Simplicity Project Runway jacket, it looks like I am wearing something of the twins!

Finally, the winners in the purse category, since I do alot of that type of sewing.
Amy Butler's Weekender bag and Sophia bag

There were a couple of other losers but it is late and I think I will focus on the positive.

My resolution (I posted it on a sewing email list) was to enjoy the sewing process more and not rush through projects. I do believe this was achieved. I really took my time on my garments (for the most part) and enjoyed creating garments.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Simplicity 2804

Pattern Review

: Simplicity 2804

Description: Knit tops and dresses

Sizing: 4 to 22 , I cut a 10 and then took it in some

Instructions: They were easy, I didn’t look at them too much. This is a quick, cute top.

: Fast construction was my first like. The ability to really make it “your own”. I used the sleeves from View B, the band from view C, and the neckline from View D to get the look I wanted. The dislike was the arms are very big, it felt like I had wings!

Changes: I took out 2” from the sleeves. That was the only change.

Fabric: An ITY from

Cute, fun and quick. The photograph doesn’t do it justice. Neither do I, the eyes were closed in this picture. My other choice the old double chin was just too much.

Off to a Christmas party, hubby's business. I was going to wear the cowl sweater, Butterick pattern but it has warmed up today and I will just be too hot.

Winners of Purse Patterns

Okay, we drew the names this morning.

Virginia - Butterick 6678
Mary Sarah of Croshique blog - Butterick 4148
Karen of Little House in the Prairie - Butterick 3796
Dana - Vogue 633

Email me at

Thanks for all the comments recently.

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Sewing Room is Smokin......

I am home alone and I have been taking advantage of this time.

First I made this from red sweater knit.

Then I made Meredith another vest from the leftover red sweater knit. This vest is about 2" longer and slightly flared. She asked Paige for chunky, wide belts for her birthday. Paige bought her a silver one and black one. Meredith was thrilled but realized she didn't have many tops to go with these belts!! I think this one will work.

Next this pattern, using a bit from every view. The fabric is a ITY knit from

Next, this Hot Pattern. I made the short top from a burgundy rayon jersey from Joann's. I had to line the yokes in a gray rayon jersey. I used every scrap of fabric. The yoke is the dress yoke, not enough fabric to make the ties.

On my sewing table this pattern and cream ribbed sweater knit. I plan on making the v-neck sweater.

Now I am crashing on the couch and watching a Christmas movie. The remote to myself, I won't know what to do!

I will do full reviews of these tops and get pictures of me in the tops. These styles don't look so great on the dressform.
I have not forgotten the drawing. The twins have been so busy, we haven't had time to draw 4 names.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Vests and Surprises and Birthdays and Christmas Decorations

Okay, the surprise first. Meredith (dd #3) made this quilt for Erin's (her sister and dd#2) Christmas and Birthday (New Year's Day). It is a surprise and I have been sneaking around trying to finish the binding. Erin came home for semester break on Tuesday, which was the same day the we picked up the quilt from the machine quilter. Orange is Erin's favorite color and Meredith worked hard on this quilt. It is a Take Five pattern. I will get better pictures after Christmas and in the daylight.

Next a sweater vest for Meredith from the leftover bits from my tunic. The pattern is on old Lizzie McGuire pattern and it was a tank top. I just cut one size larger, turned under the edges and coverstitched. Meredith is thrilled with her vest and received many compliments today.

Speaking of Meredith, I need to add Kaitlyn's name and wish them a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY, they are 14 today!! Last night I asked them to stay 13 for one more year but they wouldn't agree.
Finally, a bit of Christmas decorations. I only had the white tree in my kitchen and it needed some company. I added a jar with some balls and greenery. Hung the JOY ornament on the white tree, sat Santa on the cake stand and added the table runner. Yea, my kitchen looks much more festive.

Off to spend some quality time with my birthday girls.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Simplicity 2852

Pattern Review

Pattern: Simplicity 2852

Description: Misses’ Knit top and tunics – 6 views, with sleeve and neck variations. I made view D – a sleeveless tunic

Sizing: 6 to 24, I made a 10

Instructions: Very good – I glanced at them for variations to a basic top and then went to my serger. It was so nice to have a quick and easy project after the trench.

Likes/Dislikes: I liked the look of the sleeveless tunic. A variation on a sweater vest and that was what I wanted for the fabric I was using. A dislike might be the way Simplicity has you finish the armholes (which is part of the bands). Bias binding is used. I had some black knit, I needed thinner than the sweater knit.

Changes: I added a small strip of black piping between the yoke and lower front. I thought the argyles might look very mismatched otherwise.

Fabric: Sweater knit from Joann’s.

Conclusion: A cute pattern and I like the look. I do think a white blouse will look better than my black t-shirt once view the pictures. I also have grey t-neck with ruching on the sleeves for another option.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Okay, I am totally wasting time right now. I am uploading pictures at Elf Yourself. My boss showed me one today at work, so I came home to make one of my 4 girls and future son-in-law. So while I am waiting for the photos to upload, I am surfing a bit. Here is Burberry jacket

It reminds me of the coat on the front cover of BWOF 8/2008
Okay, my video is done. Off to cut out a knit top. Thanks for all the compliments on my trench. It warmed up to 50 degrees today, so I wore it to work.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Never Ending Trench - BWOF 10/08 #104

Pattern Review

Pattern: BWOF 10/08 #104 Trench Jacket

Description: The trenchcoat is fashionably cropped to jacket length. Cleverly constructed, dual-function patch pockets are double layered and have open tops, fold-over flaps and zip opentings.

Sizing: Sizing 36 to 44, I made a 38 and I think it is big. As I am writing this review and looking at the trench on the model it does look big on her and has fullness in the middle. My fabric is stiffer than the taffeta used in BWOF.

Instructions: The instructions were pretty good for the construction of the jacket. Now for the lining you have to see style 122 and follow those directions. I had just made Voge 2614 in October so I used that pattern for lining instructions.

Now this pattern is rated 2-1/2 dots and I felt it was worth every dot. All the details of this jacket lead to a lengthy construction project.

Likes/Dislikes: When I received this issue, I immediately marked this jacket. The sleeve tabs just did it for my decision, along with the button belt loop tabs.

My dislike would be it took FOREVER to construct this. Not only the construction time but the time to gather all your supplies, especially with no sewing store closer than 45 minutes. I made 2 trips for zippers and buttons.

Changes: I used 9” zippers for the pockets, the instructions call for 7” zippers but I wasn’t able to find those. The construction process on the pockets make it difficult to shorten the zippers. Take a close look at the pockets on the model to see what I mean. This made my pockets a couple inches bigger, but I don’t think it hurts the look of the jacket.

I believe the jacket would have been more trendy, if I could have found metal zippers. The only metal zipper I could find in the 9” size had gold teeth, that wouldn’t have worked with my silver/black buttons.

An outerwear from Joann’s. I used every bit of this fabric. In fact, I made the pockets twice. First time, I totally misread the instructions and had to throw that set away. This was the 2nd trip to Joann’s for zippers and I was so short on fabric, the pockets are pieced to get the correct size.

Now I have to say, I love these buttons, I found them at Joann’s . The minute I spotted them, I just knew they were the “look” for this trench.

Conclusion: I really like the style of my jacket but I think It might be a bit big but I can live with that. I took such a long time making this jacket, the weather went from lightweight trench to heavy winter coat weather. I am sure we will have some prettier days here and there and I will be able to wear my new trench. This is one pattern I will make only once, too trendy, I think.

A bit of advice – gather all the notions and save yourself some time.

Zippered pockets

Side view

Back view - I topstiched each side of the seam, this fabric didn't want to press the best.

Check out my 300th post for a chance to win some patterns. I will draw on December 11th, the twins' 14th birthday.
What am I sewing next? Some simple, quick knit tops. I need instant gratification and my wardrobe needs some new things, especially before the holidays.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Togetherness and my 300th post

Stacy is having Theme Thursday on togetherness. Here is my entry for the theme, our annual trip to cut our Christmas tree. Use to be 4 daughters on this trip, but the 2 college girls weren't able to make it. We still have lots of fun but we do miss them. It was very, very cold and starting to sleet. We were able to select our tree very quickly!

This is the one:

Christmas decorations:

Some Santas:

This is what I am sewing #104 from 10/2008, it is taking me quite awhile, just 15-30 minutes of sewing here and there.

I can't believe this is my 300th post. A giveaway is in order, let's see....... I went and found 4 purse patterns (Big 3) and they have never been used. Leave a comment on what you are sewing/crafting for presents and you will entered into the drawing.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


No, I didn't see one, I finished one. I had this purse cut out for 6 months and decided to get it off the shelf. I bought these polka dot handles a couple of months ago and thought they would be perfect with the design.

Also, to answer a question from Rachel: Is it usually the bigger Joann's etc stores that have these sweater knits?
I found my sweater knit at the local Joann's and mine is not an ETC, just a small not so nice Joann's! I found it in with the poly knits, so your store might not know they are sweater knits only as knits. HTH

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Amy Butler - Weekender Bag

Pattern Review
Pattern: Amy Butler’s Weekender Travel Bag
Description: The perfect carry-all bag for your next getaway!

Sizing: One size

Instructions: The instructions are very good with concise steps to finish this bag. Check out some updates for this pattern at Amy Butler's website These are mainly for the substitution of Peltex during the absence of Timtex. Sounds like a soap opera! One person is missing and the other is stepping in for the limelight.

Likes/Dislikes: I love the look of this bag, it is the second one I have made. The first was over 2 years ago and the results weren’t as nice. I have learned more patience.

Changes: Let’s see, a couple of changes that were a direct result from making the Sophia first. I used 2 layers of SF-101 interfacing on all the outside fabric layers (quilting cotton weight). If you were using home dec fabric, one layer would be plenty. I think that is in the updated instruction.

I used the Peltex on the main panel and pocket. On the bottom, I did not use the Peltex while sewing it onto the main panel and sides. Instead, I cut 2 layers of Peltex the size of the finished bottom and used spray adhesive to hold them together. I place this double layer in the bottom of the outside of the Weekender (before the lining). Purse feet were inserted into the bottom of the bag, through the double layer of the Peltex and then fastened in place. This somewhat held the Peltex in place but I thought it needed to be a bit better. So I turned the bag wrong side out

again and tacked the Peltex to the seams.

I trimmed away all Peltex from the seam allowances, this helps the SA to lay flat. Also, a welt piping foot or piping foot would be a great help in constructing this bag.

Fabric: A houndstooth quilting cotton.

Conclusion: I love my bag, it has been reunited with the Sophia bag at my friend’s quilt shop. She tells me people are commenting on them all the time. Now I have to get my hubby to take me somewhere, I have luggage will travel.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Dress

Back here I made New Look 6823 in fantastic fabric. On Sunday, I made the dress again in a sweater knit from Joann's.

This fabric doesn't make the statement the first one did but will be perfect with black boots on December 20th for oldest daughter's college graduation. Here is the neckline, I used a different view.

Full length, I should have taken the picture outside.

I finished the Weekender bag today, will get pictures tomorrow.

Closing shot, youngest daughter is posing like a model, cute picture.

The twins and I went to the mall on Saturday. They tried on clothing for Christmas ideas and I took pictures of the things they liked. We printed off the picture then added the store name and sizes to the picture. We thought this might make shopping a bit easier for family.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Franzi Vest

Pattern Review

Burda Style Franzi vest. Dowload it Burda Style

Description: Short, trendy vest with lapels, faux pockets and back waist belt.

Sizing: Size 34 to 44, I made a 38.

Instructions: The instructions are very clear and the diagrams helpful. My only cause for confusion was the interfacing, did it call to interface the entire vest? Only the front? I wasn’t sure and I knew I would need interfacing for the buttonholes so I added interfacing in the front only.

The vest has a unique construction for the lining, Burda Style’s instruction are very easy to understand and by following these instructions you get a wonderful lined garment.

Likes/Dislikes: I liked the look and I loved the fact this vest was free, yes, I said free! Another like, the pattern is available right at your fingertips, no trip to a store, no waiting for a package to arrive in the mail, the only wait is the time it takes to print out the pattern. Taping the pattern together is very easy, too. Give it a try, the Franzi vest is a perfect pattern to try Burda Style’s pattern.

My only dislike is the vest is a bit short and the pattern had no lengthen/shorten lines. This is an alteration you will have to add.

Changes: I did not fold back the lapel, my lining was cheap and unimpressive. With this change, I added one more button to the front.

Also, I could not find a buckle for the back of the vest. I used two smaller buttons.

Fabric: A pinstripe from Fashionista Fabrics.

Conclusion: A great pattern that goes together quickly and with wonderful results. If you have not tried a Burda Style pattern, this is a great one to test the waters. Also, it is a sewalong on the Sew Forth Now Podcast please take a listen to the podcast and join in. I have set up a Flickr Group for the sewalong.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

BWOF 10/2008 #114

Pattern Review

Pattern: BWOF 10/2008 #114

Description: From magazine: "Clever front gathering will really make waves, the raised waistline providing a slimming effect

Sizing: 36-44, I made a 38

Instructions: They were very good for BWOF, just take it step-by-step.

Likes/Dislikes: I liked the look, the sleeves and the front gathering. Another nice feature is the darts in the lower back, helps with the fit of the top.

The dislike – it does run big and if I would have checked Pattern Review first I would have known this.

Changes: I lengthened the top and sleeves. I sewed the center front of the bodice higher, didn’t want the BWOF’s low cleavage look!

Fabric: A knit from Fashionista Fabrics

Conclusion: A cute, trendy top. I will probably make it one more time but I am first going to see how much I wear this one.

This is what I saw outside my window early one morning this week, I grabbed my camera, monopod and went out on the front porch. PJ's and bare feet - it was worth the cold, such a beautiful sunrise.