Monthly Archives: September 2006

No big surprise – I’m mostly right-brained

You Are 25% Left Brained, 75% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you’re left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you’re right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

Are You Right or Left Brained?


Filed under Miscellaneous

One last time – McCall’s 5137

I hadn’t planned on making this dress yet again but when I tore the hemline of my magenta dress, I decided to whip another one up yesterday. You see, I’m headed to the beach today for a couple of days and these little rayon dresses are so nice to toss on. The fabric is a rayon challis with a hand-painted look that I purchased from Elia’s Fabrics in Miami a few years ago. Oh yes, I’ve heard the rumors that this style is going out fast but am blissfully unconcerned! This is, after all, a summer dress with a short lifespan. Be back in a few days – I hope to return refreshed and rarin’ to go. Stay tuned for the Hot Patterns Sunshine Top!

PS: My email box is jam-packed! If you’ve recently sent me an email, I am going to try to get through all of my mail this week. No emails about Project Runway, please! I won’t get to see this week’s episode until Friday. Auf Wiedersehen!


Filed under McCall's

Tutorial: Convertible Collar with Yoke

A few days ago I was asked to republish the convertible collar tutorial that I had on my now-defunct site – here it is! As always, it’s so much easier to use 1/4″ seam allowances in this area. Your stitching will be easier, more accurate and you won’t have to trim. Here, I am using Kwik-Sew 2935 which includes 1/4″ seam allowances throughout.

I’ve increased the seam allowances in some areas (the side seams and sometimes the armscye) to give me the option of using flat-felled seams or even plain seams, depending on the project. There’s nothing wrong with using a 1/4″ throughout but I think that larger seam allowances and other seam finishes add more perceived value to the garment. Still, all of your enclosed seams should be 1/4″ – always, IMO.

With the exception of the collar, do not press anything until the end.

Step 1: Construct the collar. I always put a large X with chalk on the undercollar so as not to mix them up.

Step 2: Construct the inner yoke/front facing unit. The inner edges of your facings should be finished in some manner. Here, I’ve simply turned in 1/4″ and edgestitched.

Step 3: Attach the outer yoke to the front and back sections.

Step 4: Sew the collar into the neckline with a 1/8″ seam (so that you won’t have to remove any stitching later). Once you get the hang of this you may be able to skip this step. I still do it because I’m not a big fan of pinning. Having the collar sewn into position gives me one less piece to keep an eye on. Make sure the under collar is next to the outer yoke before sewing.

Step 5: Attach the inner yoke/front facing unit to the shirt/collar unit. I often sew this in two steps, first stitching across the neckline/collar and then down the facings/front edges.

Step 6: Now you’ll need to sew the front yoke seam. Many pattern directions will tell you to slipstitch or topstitch this seam. I sew it by machine from the inside. Hold the raw edges together as they should be sewn and fold the shirt inside. The outer edges will be easy, it gets trickier as you get close to the neckline. You only need to concern yourself with stitching just past the facing edge – don’t worry about getting right up to the neckline because you won’t be able to.

Step 7: I’m sorry (again) for the blurriness of this photo. This is the front yoke seam pinned and ready to sew.

Step 8: Once this seam is sewn you will have a small unsewn area next to the collar. I just leave it as is. If it bothers you, you can certainly sew it up by hand – if you’ll be edgestitching the yoke that will take care of it as well.

Step 9: Lay the shirt out flat, right side up, with the front facing you. Roll the back of the shirt up into the outer yoke area.

Step 10: Pull the fronts off to the side and bring the inner yoke around to meet the outer yoke.

Step 11: Here’s what it will look like – ready to be sewn.

Step 12: Turn everything right side out. Now you can press!

Finished! A nice, neat collar/yoke area completely finished by machine.

My hunky model. ;-) Notice that the design matches across the button opening. I always think that’s a nice touch – and it’s so very easy. Material for a future tutorial?


Filed under Tutorials


Good morning, my fellow sewing enthusiasts! Ah, so much to post if only Blogger would let me upload photos! Even Mozilla Firefox hasn’t been able to help me the past couple of days. I have one long tutorial to post – don’t get too excited as it’s a repost of the convertible collar technique from the defunct site. I was asked to repost it here and am only too happy to oblige. Then, there’s my Sunshine Top. I hope I’ll be able to upload before I head to the beach on Sunday! Grrrr.


Filed under Miscellaneous


So I spent a very boring and frustrating day in the jury pool yesterday. I was called for a panel just before lunch but put back into the pool because the case settled. There were about 4 or 5 cases that settled after jurors were selected for the panels. My best friend is a lawyer who represents the insurance companies in personal injury cases – I bet most of the cases that settle at the 11th hour are PI cases. The plaintiffs hold out until the very last moment in hopes of being offered more money. I guess that either the defense offers a bit more money or the plaintiffs take the money on the table and run.

At around 3:00 I was selected for another panel. I immediately had a bad feeling that we were dealing with a criminal case because 50 jurors were selected for the panel. I was right – murder in the 1st degree! The defendant was charged with murdering a woman during a robbery. People close to me know that I am very opinionated about murder and the death penalty, with good reason. You see, in 1989 a very close family member was murdered during a robbery. This is a happy blog so I won’t go into it any more than that – I’ll just say that not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and how much I miss her. Naturally, I was dismissed two hours later. I was very relieved as I think it would have been too much for me to handle emotionally. Today I am back to thinking happy thoughts! :-)


Filed under Miscellaneous

Almost finished!

First, I want to thank all of you for your wonderful, generous comments! I’ll admit I was feeling a bit down but who could possibly feel bad with so many encouraging visitors? Certainly not me. Thank you all!

So, what am I almost finished with? Well, I’m very nearly caught up with my work. I have been literally working day and night! I’m still working right now, trying to get a few last minute things finished as I’ve been called for jury duty tomorrow. Hopefully, I won’t be needed. I served on a jury for an entire week a few years ago. While interesting, it was a personal nightmare because I can’t sit still that long. I have two speeds: high and off. So, we’ll see. I just always wonder what’s going on with jury selection – I don’t know one other person who has ever served on a jury besides me.

Provided they don’t chain me to a seat in the jury box, I will be sewing on Wednesday, Thursday AND Friday – yippee! I am doing the happy-happy joy-joy dance right now! I’ll finish up my Sunshine Top and probably cut out another one. I’m headed to the beach on Sunday for four days. The hand-beading I have planned for the next Sunshine Top will be a good take-along project. I’m also going to try to get something cut out that doesn’t need a serger and take that along as well. My DH will likely be running back and forth to the restaurant so my Bernina will be my surrogate companion for some of the time. ;-) I no longer have a portable serger and don’t feel like taking *that* much stuff with me anyway. Maybe I’ll fit and cut out a shirt before I go and plan on making flat-felled seams. I know it sounds weird that I’m taking sewing to the beach with me but I’m not much of a sun-lover so my big Panama hat and I won’t be spending more than an hour or two on the sand with a good book. I’ll be the pasty one slathering 40 SPF all over herself – under an umbrella. ;-)


Filed under Miscellaneous

Mrs. Know-It-All

It never fails. Whenever you feel pretty good about yourself something happens that makes you feel very, very small. I’ve been a member of an online sewing community for the past five years. I absolutey loved the site and it’s members and spent many happy hours there looking at people’s projects, showing my own and chatting about sewing. I even ran the Expert Forum (a title I was never comfortable with because I’m certainly not an expert) for several years – until my work load became so great that I could no longer handle it. Still, I was very active on the message boards when I was able. I’m certainly not a sewing expert – I will be the first one to tell you that. Instead, I consider myself a sewing student – always studying, always learning, always experimenting. Sewing does come naturally to me, that I will admit. Even back in Home Ec my fellow students always asked me for help. Not because I knew everything but because I was always finished before everyone else.

I’m no longer participating at the site but am still lurking, looking at people’s projects and keeping up with what’s going on. Now I wish I had just made a clean break. It’s pretty humiliating to find out that while you thought you were being helpful, answering people’s questions, so many thought you were just being a know-it-all and blowing your own horn. I wish I could go back and delete everything I’ve ever written. Actually, I could – but that would be entirely misconstrued. Then people would say that I was worried about someone stealing my ideas. They aren’t my ideas at all, just things I’ve learned over the years. Luckily, the way the site is growing I know that I will disappear into cyberspace in short order – a small comfort.

Last week, Mary Beth and I were joking that, if left to our own devices, we might become sewing hermits. Right now, that sounds like a pretty swell idea. I have a small note hung to the right of my desk that reads “sewing washes from the soul the dust of everyday life”. Now that’s good advice. Time to buck up and sew something.


Filed under Miscellaneous