Monthly Archives: August 2008

Go Raiders!

I just got The Word from The Boyfriend that my alma mater, St. Thomas Aquinas, beat Cincinnati Elder 35-24 in the Herbstreit Classic this morning. I tried to follow the radio coverage online but couldn’t get a connection, darn. I don’t know much about football but I’m proud of you honey! I’m not really sure what an offensive coordinator does but you obviously do it well. :-)


And yes, Karla, it is the 30th and that darn dress isn’t done yet! I put in 60 hours this past week and basically came home to eat dinner and go to bed. Today I played catch-up on all the housework and laundry but, thankfully, it’s a LONG WEEKEND! That dress will be done before I go back to work on Tuesday!


Filed under This and that

Bad sewing

I was really looking forward to finishing the Kimono Dress today but ended up hemming a big pile of pants for the coaches of my alma mater’s football team instead. How did this happen, you ask? Well, a couple of months ago The Boyfriend called me from school and said they wanted to order some pants from Nike that were only available unhemmed. Since the pants would not arrive until the week before their game in Cincinnati (the Herbstreit Classic if you follow high school football) next Saturday they were wondering if I’d be willing and able to hem them all. No small job with a 17-man coaching staff! Of course I couldn’t say no, with the exception of The Boyfriend most of these coaches have been there since I was a student more years ago than I care to admit. All I can say is thank goodness I have the blindstitch machine!



Filed under This and that

Kimono Dress: Sneak Peek

Due to the weather being so bad I didn’t go to work today and spent the entire day in my sewing room instead! I’m finally getting the Kimono Dress put together so I thought I’d give you a sneak peek:


Here’s a closeup of the two fabrics I’m using:


Hopefully I’ll get this done before Saturday so that I can start a new project this weekend.

We were very lucky with TS Fay – just a ton of rain and high winds. I hope everyone else fared as well!

Oh, and if you are wondering, the purse pattern is still AWOL (I should put my jewelry in such a “safe” place, lol). I am starting again from scratch, sigh. But then I suppose there’s no such thing as too much pattern drafting practice…


Filed under Hot Patterns


Well, it looks like I’m just barely outside the Cone of Death! I may still bring in the patio furniture and the orchids, just in case. Geez, I hate hurricane season!



Filed under This and that


Look what I found on Ebay this morning! It’s not McCalls 5490 but it’s close and it’s close to my size so I bought it.


Here’s 5490 for comparison:


Mary also graciously loaned me the maternity version of 5490 so I can compare all of the bodice pattern pieces and make changes if I want to. The only real differences I see are the center front seam on the bodice and the amount of gathering but it will be fun to compare.

Funny thing is that I, for some reason, think I’ve owned this vintage Simplicity pattern. I’ve looked through my patterns and don’t see it but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hiding around somewhere! It’s true what they say: the mind is the first thing to go!


Filed under Patterns, vintage

Working on…

Today I’m working on the Wong-Singh-Jones Kimono Wrap Dress. This has been cut out for awhile and was supposed to be sewn up on Saturday but then I had that run-in with the polyester stretch satin. You know what they say about the best-laid plans! Once I finish this dress the Stripe-a-licious top will be up next – I promise.



Filed under Hot Patterns

Silk Jersey Top – Finished!

Warning, a lot of F-bombs were dropped in the making of this top. Not to worry, no one heard me. I know what you’re thinking: that silk jersey was a bear to work with, right? Actually, the silk jersey was a joy to sew. It was the !/?#**! stretch satin that I used for the (uncorded) piping that caused me so much grief! I decided that the main print needed some sort of “border” to set it off so I started searching through my stash for a suitable black fabric. In my binding bin I found an 1/8 of a yard of black polyester stretch satin, obviously bought specifically for this purpose.

Sure, it looked innocent enough but it was horrible to work with necessitating a lot of reverse sewing. In my frustration I decided to handbaste (shocking, isn’t it?) the piping because surely this would result in perfection, right? Wrong! It seemed that no amount of pressing or basting could tame this beast. I spent so much time ripping and resewing the sleeve piping on what should have been a quick project. There are still a couple of areas on the underside that look a little wonky but I decided that enough was enough. No one is going to notice! Shoot, I probably won’t even notice. Funny enough, the neckline facing went smoothly. If I had anymore of this awful stuff I would promptly toss it in the trash!

So, finally, here it is. Once I get over my trauma I know I will love this and wear it often. I think the fabric really makes it.


Neckline detail. I cut the facings on the bias for interest.


I used the Coats & Clark Fine thread on this project. You can see how fine it is here.


I did enjoy watching the first season of The Tudors while I was sewing. I picked it up on a whim a few months ago and just started watching it this week. I am hooked! I can’t wait until Season 2 comes out on DVD (October 2008 ) so I can catch up before Season 3 starts.



Filed under Fabric, This and that

Pattern sale!

I’ve had a few Vogue patterns on my list but, since I hardly *needed* more patterns I thought I’d wait for the sale this weekend. I did well, there was only one pattern that I really wanted that JoAnn’s was out of.

I am going to need a conservative dress soon and this one caught my eye. It’s conservative but still looks like me.


I thought this was pretty and feminine. I like the front drape.


A cute shorts substitute for summer.


I liked the twisted straps on this one. Besides, you can’t have too many sundress patterns – they rarely go out of style.


I’ve been eyeing this top for awhile. I buy a lot of casual top patterns since it’s nice to have variety.


Can’t have too many variations of the surplice top!


Here’s the one I missed out on:


Since McCall’s is on sale for the ridiculous price of $1.99 I thought I’d have a look. I fell in love with this dress. I think I can get away with the volume of View D if I do away with the gathers on the skirt.


It’s odd that only half my pictures show up – I’ll have to see about fixing that!


Filed under McCall's, Vogue

A few of my favorite things…

I received a request today from Diane in Michigan:

“Could you talk a bit about some of your preferences: i.e. elastic, interfacing, thread, etc. I want to stock up and have just recieved an email regarding a sale on Pro Stretch elastic, which I’ve never used before. Also, I’m looking for quality interfacing, especially for knits. What are your favs?

It doesn’t take much to get me to talk about some of my favorite sewing supplies!


*Pro-Stretch Elastic from Sew Exciting

*Stitch-Through Elastic from Casual Elegance (this is the Loes Hinse elastic)

These elastics can be trimmed down to a narrower width because they are knitted!

*1/4″ plain-edge knitted lingerie elastic – fantastic for necklines on knit tops! I can usually find it at JoAnn’s (I try to buy an entire roll if they have it)


All Palmer Pletsch interfacings – the Sheer is my favorite. It is a very light, yet crisp, knitted interfacing. I’d buy Sheer by the bolt if I could!

All interfacings from Sew Exciting
– these are a Sewing Diva favorite!


*Mettler Metrosene long-staple polyester for general sewing

*Gutermann long-staple polyester when I can’t find the right color in Mettler

*Coats & Clark Fine Thread for lightweight fabrics and fine shirtings. It’s located at the top of the C&C rack.

*Guterman silk-thread for basting and sewing wools – it melds right into the fabric

*Gutermann topstitching thread – comes in a ton of great colors

*YLI Jeans thread – Some funky colors and variegated shades for topstitching

*Woolly Nylon for use on the bobbin when twin-needle stitching

*Mettler Metrocor serger thread. It’s so smooth and fine you can also use it on your regular machine for lightweight fabrics.

*Maxi-Lock cone thread. Not my #1 choice but it works well and is readily available in a wide selection of colors – about 99% of my cone thread is Maxi-Lock.

*Gutermann upholstery thread is a wonderful strong thread for sewing upholstery, leather purses and even for topstitching. Keep in mind that not all domestic machines will like sewing with heavy thread (I use an industrial) so test first.

Other favorite notions:

*Steam-A-Seam Lite 1/4″ – I love this stuff! If you have trouble with wavy hems on your knits you can fuse the hem up with SAS before stitching. Unlike most fusible products your fabric will retain it’s stretch due to the honeycomb construction of the tape. There is a double-stick version available – Steam-A-Seam Lite 2.

*Clover bias tape makers – accept no substitutes, the ones from Dritz don’t even come close.

*Gingher Appliqué scissors – I could not live without at least two pair because I’m always misplacing them. I had the bill rounded on one pair to avoid catching/snagging knit fabrics.

*Olfa Ergonomic Rotary Cutter – don’t know how I ever lived without it! I put my dull blades in a separate cutter marked for paper use – great for trimming patterns and photos.

*Fine pins from Japan – anything else feels like a nail to me. Stock up when you find them! Clover Patchwork Pins are really nice too. Even finer than the Japanese pins, I keep a box around for chiffons.


Filed under Notions

More Fabric!

Something pretty from Gorgeous Fabrics – some Petals In The Breeze jersey for a dress!


As soon as I receive an order from Ann, I see something new on GF that I want. Sigh.

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Filed under Fabric