Friday, November 14, 2008

The Sweatsuit Alternative

Last time I posted a sewing boo-boo,the Connie Crawford pants,and as many of you advised,I quickly moved on to the next thing.I purchased this Vogue1020 pattern,the same day as the Connie pattern.I was drawn to the tie front jacket and the pants.The rest is a little too close fitting for my fluffy figure.

I wanted a sweat-suit alternative,because I will throw on sweat pants and a over sized t-shirt to make a run to the grocery store in a heartbeat. It is not a flattering look and when I run into someone I know,I'm usually embarrassed. So I decided to make a few knit pants that are just as comfortable as sweat pants,but look much better. I think I have winner here.
The jacket is a novelty knit from my stash and the pants and top are made of matte jersey from Hancock Fabrics.I used this Butterick 4819 pattern for the t-shirt underneath.I went to the grocery store and work in this outfit and I was comfortable and feeling confident and wouldn't you know it...I didn't run into anyone I knew.
This entire outfit was easy.There are no buttons,zipper or interfacing.Fitting is wasn't a problem because knits are forgiving. I will make all these pieces again. Next time I will pay more attention to the pattern instructions because,I put the ties on the jacket incorrectly.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hello Funny Pants

Today was my day off from work.I decided to make a muslin for pants from my weekend pattern purchase,Butterick 5192.This is a Connie Crawford Long,pattern.It boasts "modern fit with ready-to-wear sizing",which appealed to me,because sometimes I'm lazy,and don't want to do a muslin.However.something in the back of my mind said,"make a wearable muslin"and I'm glad I did.

I took my hip and waist measurements and cut out the appropriate size and put together my muslin. I make them Capri length because I was limited in fabric and figured if they fit I could use them next spring.This was not to be.They are waaay to big.
Have you ever made something so funny looking,that you could get mad,because you were laughing so hard? When I turned and look at the butt in the mirror,I almost fell out...laughing that is.
Look out!
The center back of the waistband has a little hill in it.I think that is for extra butt room so that, when you sit,your pants don't slide down.
I'm going to go back to one of my TNT pants patterns.I'm not knocking Connie Crawford Long's pattern,I'm just telling you that this one runs extremely large and it was far from the "ready-to-wear"pants,I've ever worn.
I'll try the jacket from the pattern some other time.Right now, I need pants.
Oh well ,back to the sewing room.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Great Weekend

It has been a great weekend,even though I had to work on Saturday.Friday afternoon,I cut and sewed up this sweater jacket from McCall's 5485.The fabric is a chenille knit from my stash.This jacket was so easy to put together.There is no interfacing or buttons.Sewing with knit is the way to go,when you need something quick and easy.I needed something easy after struggling,for two whole weeks, with this jacket,from McCall 5188.I used dark brown crepe fabric and lining fabric from the stash.I had a very hard time getting the sleeves in properly and had to take them out twice.Not one notched lined up during the whole process.I'm not too happy about the fit but,I'm think I can slide by with wearing it,till I make a better one.
, Saturday morning I went to a huge yard sale and found this Rowenta iron,practically new and in the original box with the instructions,for a cool $2 bucks.It will be great to have one for my classes and sewing getaways.After the yard sale,I went to work for a few hours,but my weekend fun continued after that.I got off from work at 4pm,picked up DD for a little fashion shopping for her and pattern shopping for me. I picked up these. I spent the evening sewing,talking and eating pizza,with my friends,Linda and Ebony.Time spent with them is always a pleasure. After seeing their beautiful creations,I'm filled with all kinds of ideas for the next few projects.They both love sewing with knits and have gotten me addicted too.
Today,I went to church and spent the day relaxing with tea,magazines and a little more sewing.
I'm totally renewed and ready for the week ahead.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The "Real Fit For Real People"Jacket

Way back in July,I began working on a jacket,using the Palmer and Pletsch book,"Real Fit For Real People".(see this post) As I was going along,getting a good fit,I decided to learn tailoring techniques using a book by Cecelia Podolak,"Easy Guide to Sewing Jackets".Both books are loaded with techniques that are well illustrated, easy to understand and best of all ...they work.

My jacket was finished and, after I made a pair of matching pants,I entered it into the Georgia National Fair.Now I have my suit back,finally and here it is. I wore it today,for the first time.

The jacket is from Vogue 8042 and the pants are from Vogue 8157.Both pattern are recently OOP but you might have them in your pattern stash.I plan on using it again and again.The alterations I require are:
  • FBA
  • Reduction in the shoulder area for slope shoulder.
  • Increase at the sides
  • Shortening the sleeves

While DD had time to take a few photos,I threw on the garments I made during my last "sew-in"with my friends,Linda and Ebony . I made the black pants from ponte knit and cut out the jacket during our gathering.I finish the jacket and top the next couple of evenings.

The jacket is from McCall's 5241 .The tank top underneath I copied from tracing a RTW top.I used cotton interlock fabric from Hancock Fabrics, for the jacket and top.I'd like to try a lighter knit, so that maybe it would drape closer to the body and create a more flattering effect.The necklace was given to me by Ebony.She made it! She is very talented.

Well I'm heading back into the sewing room.Since "Project Runway" season is over,I've got an extra hour to use for sewing time.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Quick Quiz

Check out this little quiz. It's super fast, just 2 questions.

Here's my result.

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are an Ingrid!


You are an Ingrid -- "I am unique"

Ingrids have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me
  • * Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.
  • * Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.
  • * Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.
  • * Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.
  • * Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!

What I Like About Being an Ingrid
  • * my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level
  • * my ability to establish warm connections with people
  • * admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life
  • * my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor
  • * being unique and being seen as unique by others
  • * having aesthetic sensibilities
  • * being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me

What's Hard About Being an Ingrid
  • * experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair
  • * feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved
  • * feeling guilty when I disappoint people
  • * feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me
  • * expecting too much from myself and life
  • * fearing being abandoned
  • * obsessing over resentments
  • * longing for what I don't have

Ingrids as Children Often
  • * have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games
  • * are very sensitive
  • * feel that they don't fit in
  • * believe they are missing something that other people have
  • * attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.
  • * become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood
  • * feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)

Ingrids as Parents
  • * help their children become who they really are
  • * support their children's creativity and originality
  • * are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings
  • * are sometimes overly critical or overly protective
  • * are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I've been tagged by Sandy of Sandy's Sewing Niche. Thank you,Sandy.Here are seven facts about me.

  1. I took my first sewing class in 7Th grade and did not learn a single thing.The teacher spent all her time with 3 of her favorite students and totally ignored the rest of us.

  2. My Mom taught me how to sew after the sewing class fiasco.I still didn't want any part of sewing.I made a couple of things because she forced me .Thank god for mothers.

  3. I love watching horror movies,while eating Lemon Heads,buttery popcorn and Coke

  4. I still read comic books between the "serious reading"novels,spiritual,motivational and how -to books.

  5. I began teaching my own sewing class this past August/Sept. This was something I've always dreamed about doing. It is fantastic. I think I may have found my passion.

  6. I think have too many hobbies.That's why I had to get a job.LOL. Sewing,painting,knitting,doll making,reading...there just isn't enough time in the day.

  7. I like to cook from different recipe books .Today I made a Humming Bird Cake from the book,"Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott.

Now I'm tagging:





Sunday, October 05, 2008

State Fair Sewing

The Georgia National Fair has opened and my friends,Linda and Ebony were so excited.We entered items in the sewing competition for the first time and guess what? We won ribbons and ca$h. Here are Linda and Ebony with the fabulous pant suits they entered and won ribbons for.I'm truly blessed to have these ladies as friends.It made this experience absolutely fabulous.I won 3 blue ribbons(1st place). One for this pantsuit.It is the one I blogged about here
back in July.
One blue ribbon for this trench coat.
I won a blue ribbon for my jeans which are not pictured and red ribbons(2ND place) for this jacket,a pair of coordination pants(not pictured) and a rag doll.
This post is not about boasting or bragging. It's about encouragement. I think that when we put our works out there for others to see,it says,"Hey you,this game is fun! Come on and play! "
It was nice to see so many others participating in this sewing competition. I wonder if any of them blog?
After all of that walking around and looking(4 hours) and 30 extra minutes of me trying to find my car(I went to the wrong parking lot),and long drive home,I had no energy left to sew.
I went to bed with a Threads magazine,a Coke and a smile.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jacket Drama

I'm currently working on another jacket. I have had a really hard time with this one.Not because of technique or pattern flaws,but because I keep working on it when I'm tired or stressed.
I didn't realize this until I looked at my "sewing commandments".You may have seen these floating around the Internet a few years ago.You may even have them posted somewhere in your sewing room.

The commandments "Thou shall take a break when stressed"and"Thou shall remember to break for sleep,food and personal hygiene"are the ones I have neglected to keep.Now don't turn your nose up yet.I take care of the personal hygiene and I eat,but as far as sleep...I'm up sewing or reading about sewing(blogs,books and magazines) until 2am.lately. Believe me,this isn't working,at least not when I have to get up early the next morning.Late night sewing is so peaceful.Everyone else is asleep and its just me and my sewing.However,I'm going to have to remember to cut it off and get my sleep.

I have sewn and un-sewn each sleeve twice. I have sewn over stop dots several times.I have caught other parts of the garment in seams and stabbed my fingers on forgotten pins.All this drama makes me want to hurry and finish before I get sick and tired of looking at it.

I have the day off, tomorrow and I am determined to finish my jacket.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


My DD is back in good health and able to resume her roll as my fashion photographer.Here are the pictures I promised.
This Butterick pattern is a super fast and easy.If I wouldn't have had a problem finding the perfect buttons,I would have finished this fully lined jacket in a few hours.

Here is my jacket.I even put on gloves for effect.By the way it is about 80 degrees in the daytime in Georgia,lately. It is made in a short pile novelty fur.I used my walking foot attachment for the first time.

I had a difficult time finding matching buttons so I purchased bright green buttons and painted the with acrylic paint and sealer.The sealer protects the paint(no chipping)while adding texture and sheen. This jacket is from Simplicity4082(OOP).It is unlined.Next time I will line it or extend the front facing all the way to the side seams. That will keep it from hanging up on my girls.I will have to wear it with a smooth texture top to avoid that problem. Hey,that a good reason to make a few silky tops.
Last of all here is the white tie blouse from Vogue 7935. Please excuse the bad bra. I didn't wear it out in public.
Now ,I'm heading back to my sewing room. I think I've got jacket fever.I'm working on a blazer and I'm struggle with the sleeves.It's seam ripping time.(sigh)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Latest Creations

My DD is still not feeling well and is not up to take my pictures for me so bear with me and my photos of Claire.Claire is wearing the white blouse from yesterday's tutorial.

It is from Vogue 7935 .I believe it is recently discontinued.The attached neck tie can be tied up high or low or to one side as shown here.
Next up is a swing topper from Vogue 7935 which is also discontinued.

Here is Claire in view F on the pattern envelope.I wore it to church this morning an I think it looked better on me than on Claire.
Both of these pattern were easy and fun to sew.I plan to sew both again.The blouse fabric (georgette) was given to me by my friend Nancy.The jacket fabric(suiting) is from Hancock Fabrics.
I plan on taking pictures wearing these garment along with another jacket.It's been a good sewing weekend.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tool Tutorial--That's Awl Folks

I just finished this blouse and thought I should do a tutorial on,one of my favorite sewing tools,the awl.
This pattern features loop and button closure.Placing the loop under the presser foot without it slipping from the proper position can be difficult,because you can't always get your fingers in close enough to control the fabric loop.This is one of many cases when an awl is just the tool you need. I have three different kinds. Pictured from left to right,a finger tip awl,a long handle awl and short handle awl.
I like the finger tip awl best.Kinda like Freddy Kruger of "Nightmare On Elm St" or Wolverine from "The Xmen".Sorry my inner child is trying to get out.
For the next pictures I'll use the short handle awl because it's easiest to find in any fabric store,just in case you want to run out and buy one.
Simple use this tool as if it was a long sharp finger.Place the point on to the loop and with slight pressure guide the loop and bottom fabric under the foot as pictured here.

With an awl you can get right under the presser foot without losing control of the loop or the fabric. Please do not sew over the awl.Remove it after the sewing machine needle pierces the loop.
Now your loops are in place.I hope this was helpful to some one.

As I said earlier,I finished this blouse today.I worked on the garment this week and finished all of them. My DD is not feeling well and she is my photographer.I try to get DH to take pictures tomorrow.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm Back

I know it has been ages since my last post.I probably have set some sort of record. I have slapped my own hand ,for being a bad blogger.
I lost my sewing "mojo"for a really long while. It began while I was working on this jacket .The fitting was going well and then I decided to learn tailoring techniques at the same time. The whole process became overwhelming. There was a lot of ripping,re-sewing and whining.I had also started teaching sewing classes.This has always been a dream of mine.The classes were going along wonderfully and my students were delightful,but at home, there was sewing.
But...I did knit my first wearable sweater.This is from Vogue Knitting magazine.It is for my DD,Ashley.
I got my sewing "mojo"back after a visit with my friend Linda .After hanging out in her sewing room and seeing her newest creations and plans for future creations,I felt renewed and ready to finish my jacket.Not only did I finished my jacket,I made matching pants and ended up with a great fitting suit. I went on and made another pair of pants and a top. I enter all of these items in the Georgia State Fair Sewing Competition,this past Saturday. I'll post the pictures of my suit when I get it back from the fair. Here is a picture to show that plenty of people are sewing in Georgia.

My friends Linda and Ebony entered the competition too.We ended up making it a day of fabric shopping,lunching and fun. After hanging out with these talented women,I was filled with all kinds of sewing ideas. They are so inspiring.(Thanks you both!)

Today ,before going to work,I had time to work on my current project,another jacket.(less work involved this time) I'm making the one shown in pink, on the pattern packet.

Remember September is "National Sewing Month". Enjoy it.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Sewing Week - Jacket Part 2

Now for the continuing story.Using the techniques found in the book,Fit For Real People by Pati Palmer and Marta Alto ,I move happily on to a great fitting jacket.The first pin fitting on the fashion fabric reveals that this technique is working for me.I'm amazed that a smaller pattern and a few alterations could give me this fit ,with room to tweak.
The fabric I'm using is white w/beige pinstripes.It is twill,given to me by Ebony during her stash reduction. She's a diva with a halo.
The one thing I'd like to suggest is ,stay stitch all curved and horizontal seams before pin fitting to prevent stretching that may occur. Here is the back view. The wrinkles at the shoulders are pinned in darts. Looks like I can afford to take a little up in the center of the back seam.(notice the sag wrinkles)
I will show all pattern alterations used during a later post.
I've decided that I'll need to interline this jacket because the interfacing will show thru.
More tomorrow.It's late and I'm sleepy.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Sewing Week Jacket Part 1

I've decided to work on a jacket this week.I'm going to use the fitting technique from the book titled,Fit For Real People by Pati Palmer and Marta Alto .
This book teaches a Pattern tissue fitting method as an alternative to making a muslin.One of the things that made me want this book was,it features many different sizes and shapes of women ,who actually have used the recommended techniques to create their own garments.
I decided on a casual, princess seam,lined,blazer.I'm using an OOP Vogue 8042.It's real basic.
I will work on this all week and post my progress daily.
The book advises buying a jacket pattern by the high bust measurement instead of the full bust measurement.Cut the pattern and pin the pattern together (front,back,sides and sleeves) and observe the fit before making any adjustments. I'm sharing these, roll exposing pics with you in the name of fitting perfection.I was doubtful of the whole plan after looking at these initially.
See how incredibly small the pattern is. My fitting issues are: full bust(D cup),pot belly,sloped shoulders,broad back and full upper arms. Check out the back.Remember this is before any changes.
Now after this,I had to un-pin the pattern,press and make the suggested adjustments and try it on again. After the adjustment were made,this tiny looking pattern actually fits! My doubts began to subside.
I have to work on this a little bit each day during my work week.(got to make money to buy more fabric,right.)
Tomorrow ,I'll share the adjustments and more.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

My First Burda

I finally got around to sewing a BWOF (Burda World Of Fashion)pattern.This skirt is from issue 1/2008.It looks like a wrap skirt but it features an overlay.This appeals to me because I don't have to worry about it popping open.I also like the diagonal line,which is suppose to have a slimming affect.Hey,I can use all the help,I can get.
My sewing buddy,Faye and I got together and traced,marked and cut our first BWOF patterns.She finished her skirt long before me.I finished mine this morning.
Now ,I'm a believer.Great fit.No adjustments needed.
I didn't have many problems putting it together other than not reading through the instructions first.I kinda jumped the gun and made some tiny mistakes.But what's a sewing adventure without some un-sewing. I will sew more BWOF patterns in the future.The pattern tracing is a pain in the butt.However,Burda has the coolest styles. If you haven't tried Burda World of Fashion patterns,put it on your "To Do " list.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Pants Details

As promised,I'd like to highlight some of the details of my pants.
The contour waistband is a one piece with carriers (no side or back seams).I decided to top stitch in a beige colored thread because I saw a pair of pants in Figure magazine with same treatment.
I use a fly template made from cardboard to trace my fly top stitching lines.

This use of a contrast fabric for inner fly and pocket lining is a fun treatment. I learned this from reading Debbie Cook's blog,about a year ago,and I have been doing it on all my pants,ever since.The back has a yoke and back pockets.I left the back pockets off.The top stitching is a little off,but I'm wearing them anyway.I'll be more careful next time I make a pair.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A New Outfit

Being around other women who enjoy sewing,is one of the perks of my job.They often share the joy by giving.
This pattern is an OOP,Vogue 8092. It was given to me by one of my co-workers. I made this during a sew-in with my sewing friends. I made the pants(a longer version featured in a previous post) from Mccall's 5592 ,during our second sew-in. I wore both to work yesterday and I was cool and comfortable.

The top is made from a light weight linen blend, given to me by my friend and co-worker, Ebony. It is so comfortable and the folded drape hides some of my folds. :) The pants are twill with a bit of Lycra from Joann Fabrics.This is the second time making the pants and there will be many more.They have a fly front,side pockets,back yoke,and a contour waistband.I'll post pictures of the details later while I make a third pair.I think sewing may be the only way I can get a great fitting pair pants.