Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm a pretty princess!

OK, so the fabric says sweet princess, but have I mentioned how much I really like alliteration. And I have to include DD - she's a sweet princess too.  We have the lingerie that says so.  I made 2 bras and 3 pairs of underwear from .5 yards of fabric and 1.5 yards lace, through creativity (snort), ingenuity (snort) and genius luck. I am pleased with how they turned out and DD says that hers are the most comfortable ever.

I used the Danglez DB5 for DD's bra.

I used the Sewy Rebecca pattern for mine.

Sorry for the blurry pictures - operator inefficiency

And there was one more pair of panties for DD.  All panties are from my Ottobre pattern, no real changes to that except for where the lace was added.

The lace was pieced to get enough height for the back of this pair, but luckily the seam is not obvious.

So I'll remember I got the tape measure out and did some comparisons - my Kwik Sew 3300 does the best job of keeping the girls hoisted and front & center.  For the next renditions, I will be doing some adjusting on my Sewy and Danglez patterns to move the apex a little closer to the center.  Beverly Johnson's Bra-Making Manual has excellent instructions for this.  I will also tighten up the band slightly.

I am also going to trace a pattern piece specifically for the fashion fabric that is approximately 1/8" smaller so that it will stretch over the inner lining piece.  Trying to do it as I sew and baste is not working as well as I would like.

Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Congratulations, It's a Beignet

I have actually had this skirt completed for some time now.  I even got pictures, I just have not had the time or the motivation to post. 

I really like this skirt.  This is the first Collette pattern that I have used and really can't say enough good things about it.  The packaging is really nice, the drafting and directions are excellent. 

I'm 5'10", so I added about 4" to length and need to add several more (my knees need camoflauge) and need to add a FBA (full bum adjustment - lol).  Since it was a little shorter than my preference, DD has ended up with it and she is modeling for the pictures. So here it is, in navy with no discernable details -

It needs ironing, but see her knees are covered - not that her's need but she is a few inches shorter than I am.

I actually used my Geiger buttonholer on this project.  It worked like a charm, so I have 14 beautiful buttonholes that you can't see because there are no discernable details.

I will make this again, with the above mentioned adjustments.  I have material and buttons from the stash earmarked just for this.

Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I am so sewing!

I just have little-to-nothing to show for it.  I was working on the Collette Beignet skirt -

in navy, plain old navy, not navy plaid or tweed or stripe or odd patterned fabric.  Navy.  I got stuck on the buttons, who knew it would be so hard to decide on buttons.

In the meantime, I have become the proud new owner of 2 buttonholers, one Singer and one Greist.  I have a Bernina 830, (the original not the newer one) I inherited it from my grandmother.  She bought it new in 1977. I love it, but have never loved the buttonholes that it makes.  So after a little research, thought, prayer and blind luck (ebay) I bought these.

The Greist will fit on machine as is and it has 9 different cams for buttonholes.   And look what pretty buttonholes-

Oops, need to trim that thread

Never one to satisfied with good enough, I went looking for more options, the Singer has 20 different cams. Everything from keyhole buttonholes to eyelets, WooHoo!

Only problem is that the needle fork on the Singer is too thick and hangs up the machine at the top of the needle stroke.  So I have enlisted my husband with all his toys oops, sorry tools to do a little creative engineering to get it to work.

Back to work on my skirt - Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Friday, September 16, 2011

More daily outfits

So much for good intentions.... Most of what I was wearing was just bleck.  Maybe not that bad, but not good either.  So when DD was home, I shanghaied her into acting as my fashion stylist and we put together some outfits and took pictures.  I have had the pictures awhile, just haven't had time to post them.

I was reading Pam's blog and what she called her foundational five and the post really resonated with me.  You can read the whole thing here.  So I swiped, umm, was inspired by and decided to use her's for the time being.  They will probably evolve a little as I do, but I thought they were a good place to start--

  • Do I feel strong, empowered in the total look?
  • Do I feel classic, sophisticated in the total look?
  • Do I feel like it flatters my body and fits appropriately?
  • Do I feel appropriately youthful in the look?
  • Does the total look feature my creativity?

As a sewer, I probably should give more attention to some to these questions. Preferably before I cut into the fabric, maybe then I would be happier with the end product.  Although I have to say with most of these outfits, the majority of the answers would be yes-even though DD did most of the styling. The exception to the yes answers would be the sweater in the top picture - that underbust seam does not want to stay put, I felt like I spent the whole day tugging and pulling.  Well, OK then, that's a good place to start.

I actually did sew some of things I'm wearing and will blog more about them later.  You know, after I've pulled out my notes and refreshed my memory.

Just for fun, because it takes little-to-no encouragement to induce silliness -

AND just because he is cute -

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Yes, he is in a birdhouse in a tree - a dogwood tree - in MIL's front yard.

Happy sewing, Suzanne

Monday, August 22, 2011

Daily Outfit...

I have a confession to make, you know in the interest of full disclosure - I wore this outfit to church yesterday.  I do that a lot, the dress codes are very similar and since I don't have it on but a couple hours Sunday, it's really easy on Monday to just reach for the same thing.

I made the skirt and blogged about it here.  Everything else is RTW and Oh, Look! there is a belt, but it came with the jacket.  And because you can't see my shoes, again!

DH and DD agreed that this outfit looked really nice on me.  Of course DD should since she put it together!  DH and DD also agreed that I need to make better friends with my camera!

AND...have you seen

I am going to pre-order at least one, probably two.  DD and I both really like her patterns, several are on my fall sewing list, and since DD lives 3 hours away now, we both need our own copies, right?! Of course, we do. That's my story, sticking to it.

Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Friday, August 19, 2011

More Meh...

Today's outfit for your perusal -

And again I'm not thrilled, it's not bad, it's just not good. 

I made the top, it's from Spring 2008 Burda Plus pattern 404A. It's the second time I've used this pattern and this time I drafted some petal sleeves for it.  Sorry no pictures, but I think they turned out nice. The one thing I don't like about this pattern is the wrinkles that run from the gathering at the neckline to the underarm, even though I went back and looked and it's like that on the model too.  I will work on adjusting that next time.

And again you can't see my feet or shoes so -

So comfortable, stylish??

I'm off now to stalk  peruse some styling blogs for pictures of people who seem to have this down pat.

Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Thursday, August 18, 2011


So here is today's outfit -

you can't see them, but I'm wearing black ballet-type Sketchers.  Very comfortable, stylish? maybe.

I actually made this dress a couple of years ago - it's Simplicity 2977
Misses Sportswear
I love it on the pattern front, on me - not so much.  I think it needs to come in a little on the side seams - or something. I like wearing it, it's very comfortable.  Looking a little closer, I think I need to make another one.  The knit is starting to look old on this one.
The shrug is from the Spring 2011 issue of My Image magazine, pattern M1111.  It looks so cute on the model, so I whipped one up in a test fabric.  I think it looks OK, but I have trouble keeping it up on my shoulders.  DD did not have this issue, so I'm thinking she might end up with this shrug.
Anyway.....Happy Sewing, Suzanne 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Style Ruts

In an effort to break out of my style rut I have been reading The Triumph of Individual Style : A Guide to Dressing Your Body, Your Beauty, Your Self
Brenda Kinsel's Fashion Makeover: 30 Days to Diva Style!

It's been slow going, but so far I have decided that I am a moulded (fluffy) body type and a figure 8 silhouette, possibly leaning toward an O. I should use drapey and medium-drape fabrics, or if using stiff fabrics use patterns that conform to the curves of my body.  That's from the Triumph of Individual Style.

Also, by reading Fashion Makeover, I have been made aware to two style ruts -
  1. My use of color in my wardrobe is almost non-existent.  I think this is kind of sad, as I like to consider myself a creative person.  I don't really think the lack of color is a style statement such as some people carry off beautifully, but more of a cop-out or laziness, take your pick.
  2. My ability to accessorize sucks, I mean really sucks.  DD has almost despaired of getting me to use and/or wear anything other that basic pocketbooks and shoes.  Scarfs and belts currently do not reside in my wardrobe. 
These are the two big ones I would like to fix.

In an effort to break out of these style ruts and (hopefully!) see items of clothing a little more objectively, I am going to try and take pictures of daily outfits.  That way I can get a realistic idea of what I am currently wearing and where I should change.  This is my intention, but you know what they say about intentions and roads to bad places ;) 

So going to make friends with my camera and tripod now.

Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Friday, July 29, 2011

Something to keep in mind -

If you are afraid to make a mistake, afraid to ruin some fabric, or afraid to waste some time, you won’t ever get really good at this craft. It’s the dues you pay for becoming proficient.
                                                                                                                               - Kenneth D King


“Female fat [as] a moral issue is articulated with words like good and bad. If our culture’s fixation on female fatness or thinness was about sex, it would be private issue between a woman and her lover; if it were about health, between a woman and herself… A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but one about obedience.”
                                                                                                          ~ Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth


How is your self-image and the way you carry yourself informed by your beliefs?
I believe that God created me to be intelligent, creative, beautiful, strong, dignified, powerful, joyful, loving, prayerful, friendly, hospitable, a servant, a teacher, a mother, a wife, a friend, supportive, discerning, wise, diligent and gentle. To walk with my head down would dishonor the one who created all of that. It has everything to do with what I believe. 
                                                                         as seen on

Not all exactly sewing or sewing related, but something for me to keep in mind!

Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More lingerie

I have had these completed for a couple of weeks now, but could not get the time to get them posted.  There's nothing new here - Danglez DB5 for the bra pattern and more Ottobre panties.  I will say that this is probably the most comfortable bra I have ever worn and am considering buying more of the Danglez bra patterns in my size range.  And Dini, the designer/owner of Danglez, was super helpful when I was trying to work through this pattern and get it to fit.  She even redrafted the pattern just for my measurements, it that great customer service or what?! 

Next up skirts - from the Sew Serendipity book.  Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

And a little more...

I was working on a twisted-cowl top from the spring issue of Sew Stylish and finished it a little while back. It is a quick, simple project and I see several more of these in my future, but I did run into a couple of slight snags when sewing -

1) In the instructions it has you matching notches for the pleats on one shoulder, I looked all over that graph for notches to match - I did not see any notches, so some quick measuring and little pinning and basting, and walah! pleats. I even had a moment of brillance (sadly all to fleeting, lol) and went back and marked the notches on my pattern, so next time I did not have to go through the measuring, pinning, basting, and basically guessing again.

2) The other snag occured when I was sewing the right side seam, left one was perfect, right one not so much. Now I blame this on one of two things: a. operator inefficiency - it was late and that graph is tiny, so I could have miscounted the inches on that side or b. the pattern is misprinted (I haven't had time to check) or c. any combination of the above. It was no big deal on this top, as I plan on tucking it in I just evened up the bottom and trimmed the excess off.

Just a note - the instructions say that you will need 2 yards of fabric, but I cut mine from 7/8 yard without any trouble at all.

I have also completed a skirt - love skirts, especially in the summer. It's Vogue 8561, a Marci Tilton pattern. I have really liked this pattern since it came out and am just now getting around to making it. Now that I have, I found fabric in the stash for at least one more. I pretty much followed the directions, except I changed the lapped zipper in the center back to an invisible zipper on the side and I scooped 1/2" at the center back tapering to nothing at the sides for my sway back. Other than that, pretty much followed directions as written.

So here they are together, although after looking at these pictures, I will definitely style differently.

Next up - more lingerie sets. Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sewing for ME!

Wow, it has been a hectic month! Work has been kicking my tail, thank goodness it's slowing down now. Now I can get back to my sewing.

I got my Easter dress done - every good Southern girl needs an Easter dress, no matter what her age! This pattern is from Sew Serendipity and I think I second guessed myself the entire time I was working on it. Puffy sleeves - too young? Empire waist - so flattering for me! and on and on I go in my waffling.

Sorry for the strange stance, it had rained the night before and I kept sinking in the soft dirt. I made a muslin of this dress, a first I think, sorry no pictures of that. DH will help with measuring hems and such, if it is quick, but pictures are a totally different question. I added a center seam to the back and a wedge to add 2" to cover my ample read end, scooped out a little at the back waist, approximately .5", for my sway-back adjustment, and added .25" at each side seam below the waist for more ease. This fabric is an ITY jersey from and because I cut it so the border would be around the hem, there is very little stretch going around the body. Even so this dress came on and off over my head fairly easily, so I left out the zipper.

After wearing to church, next time (and there will be a next time, I have gotten so many compliments!) I make this I will raise the neckline .5" just so it's a little more user friendly to me and I will put the zipper in the side per instructions. Also after looking at these pictures, I don't think I have enough waist for the wrap-around belt, so I will probably do something different there.

Happy Sewing,


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Taaa - Daaa

and finally! and good riddance - oops, that was out loud wasn't it. I finally got this jacket done for my DD. It is made from NL6156 and except for a FBA and adding pleat to the back lining, it was made straight from the pattern. I will admit up front that I obsessed over the fit of these two jackets - more on the second one later - and that sucked the fun right out of them. The fringe really makes that jacket stand out - imo - and DD seems pleased with it.

And a more accurate reflection of her feelings when I said "let's take your picture!" -

The other jacket that I made from this pattern was going to be for me, but it is in time out. The fringe that I had planned did not work out and so I'm still debating what to do, because I think it need something. I wish I thought to get a picture to it too, sometimes that helps to look a little more objectively.

Next up was supposed to be more sets of lingere because I am in desperate need. But I am a sucker for a cowl necked top - and the latest issue of SewStylish a instructions and a pattern that you enlarge for a twisted cowl top. AND it's sleeveless, perfect for spring and summer under jackets. So I have enlarged the pattern and cut it out. Hopefully I'll get it done over the weekend.
Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The mailman is my new bestfriend!!

Because look what he brought me -

And I know I said (well to myself anyway) that I wasn't going to buy anymore fabric this year - my stash is starting to overrun my house - but Butterick 5559 just screams for purple and it would even if it weren't on the cover. Do I have a purple knit - No! so I have to purchase some, right? since it just screams for purple.

I can't wait to start working on some of these patterns even though I am still plugging away at jackets - sigh. As soon as those are done, it's on to one of these.

Happy Sewing - Suzanne

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just keep sewing, sewing, sewing

OK I swiped and mangled Dorie's line from Nemo, but that what I'm telling myself about now.

I'm working on NL6156 for both myself and my daughter. I did do a FBA of .5" and added a back facing and pleat in the lining.

The linings are about as far as I've gotten. The one on the left is DD and on right is mine.
I feel like I'm never going to get these jackets done. Mostly because I got bogged down in a foggy frustration of fit (ha! I like alliteration) which probably wouldn't frustrate me quite as much, except that I recently signed up for and finished a class the Continuing Ed department of the local community college with the purpose of improving my fitting skills - one of my goals for the last several years. The objective of the class was to create a fitting sloper and then use it to alter commercial patterns and building on that to design your own patterns. The last class came and went and did I have a fitting sloper? - No! As my son says That would be a negative. Although the instructor did set up meetings with us to finish the sloper, only problem was that when I arrived for my meeting, she was not there - no phone call, nor has she returned my phone calls since then. So as much as I hate to say this - this was an experiment that totally failed!

I have purchased Kenneth King's The Moulage and Lynda Maynard's DeMystifying Fit and will work through these books. A quick preview shows lots of good information and both got good reviews at Pattern Review.

Thanks Angel for the kind comments on my lingerie sets. The Ottobre panties are really comfortable, but and this a note to self - Boyshorts. Are. Not. Your. Thing. DH also had a really kind compliment, even if (maybe especially because) he didn't realize it. They were laying out on the table after the photo waiting to taken to bedroom and put up, he walks by looks at them and says "Where'd you get those?"

AND because I am a sucker for a corny joke, I leave you with -
A chicken and James Bond meet in a bar. Chicken says "What's your name?" Bond answers "Bond, James Bond. What's your name?" And the answer "Ken, Chick Ken." ;)

Happy Sewing, Suzanne

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My First Projects of 2011

And they were not listed on my to-do list earlier. BUT I am in desperate need and DD is so much fun to sew for - she sews enough to be really appreciative of my efforts. As I said before, I love a new year, so they are made in a gold Victoria Secret Stretch Satin (try saying that 3 times fast!) to remind me of all shiny new possibilities the new year brings. The first picture is DD set and the second set is mine - mine, mine, mine, all mine!

Both bras are made from Kwik Sew 3300, both pairs of boy shorts are from the Ottobre 5/2009 issue as are the panties in the second set, the asymmetrical panties in the first set are Merckwaerdigh SV32.

I mostly used The BraMakers Manual by Beverly Johnson. I really recommend this book if you are making your own bras - explicit, clear instruction and very well illustrated. It is also written to use with any pattern.

Overall I am pretty happy with the fit of these bras - a couple more tweaks and they will be perfect! I hope! The matching panties are probably the most comfortable I have ever owned. Love these Ottobre patterns.

Happy Sewing, Suzanne

PS - sorry for the ummm, well, sorry pictures. I was in a hurry and am still getting used to this new camera.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy New Year!!! - belated

I love a new year - it's so full of potential and possibilities. I meant to get this written and posted earlier - but what is about life happening while you're making other plans. Yes, well, here I am late, but I have had time to give this some thought, so --to keep myself from getting sidetracked by all the possibilities

  • I like jackets and cardigans (the selection in my closet is slim to none) and so have decided to participate in the Jacket A Month (JAM) sew-along. FUN!!
  • I love dresses and find my self sadly lacking in this area. Will try to get a least 6 on the agenda for this year.
  • I found at Cato's, on clearance, less than $10 a skirt that has a good fit (not great - I hope to improve that!) and both my kids tell it looks really good on - so I want to copy a pattern and reproduce it in many fabrics.
  • I also want to improve my fitting skills and develop some TNT's for tops, jackets and dresses.

OK think that's it for now. Happy sewing, Suzanne