Friday, April 29, 2011


I have had a sudden traffic spike and am now at a whopping 25 followers! Ok, its not much but small victories, right?

So I'm thinking of having a give-away in celebration. I have tons of vintage buttons/lace/othernotions and I'd like to share. I'll post late tonight, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, here's something cute:

(Meet Nurgle, the Plague Bringer. One of our new hamsters.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Non-Sewing Update

I have finally been able to move my Mom into a MUCH nicer nursing home! Hooray! She is much closer and on the way home from work, not in the opposite direction. This will mean more sewing time for MUAH.

I wish everyone else happy news. Keep sewing!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

So. Close.

I have to be honest with you, I'm not sure I'm in love with it. If nothing else, I can say its been a huge learning experience both in fitting and in construction techniques. The shoulders may still drop a little too much. On the hanger it looks flat and lifeless, and it wrinkles like crazy.

But I am proud of how the piping turned out and once its completely done, hemmed, and styled it might look OK. I won't know until I get there. Other things I changed was doing cap sleeves, which are turning out to be more like tent sleeves, but thats OK cause I like those sort of sleeves. Maybe I'll use the little bit of red heart lace left over from my daughter's red circles skirt and gather it into that. Hmmm, that might work.

Left to do:
  • other sleeve
  • finishing off all unfinished seams
  • hem
  • sew on buttons
MAYBE I'll have pictures of it by this weekend? I don't know. Depends on if I can get Mom moved to the new nursing home or not (oh there's a book long rant...).

That's all for now, I'm up way past my bedtime.

Priceless Offer


Those of you that have been around for a while know that I've recently had a very large upset concerning my parents. My Mother is now in a nursing home and on hospice care. She is 'terminal' but unlike I thought a couple months ago she will be around for a bit longer. Though she is going a bit stir crazy for something to do. One of the things she's always been amazing at is needlework. Crewel embroidery to be specific (I have several amazing framed pieces of hers). Earlier last week she was talking about wanting to do something with a single, or maybe two colors so she doesn't have to do so much thread sorting. Instantly the above pattern popped into my head andI asked her if she'd be willing to embroider on a dress I make. She said yes!

Its one of my vintage 40's patterns that still has the transfers, which are too old to work but I could trace on to the fabric. I showed it to her and she said that it'd be a lovely thing to work on. I went SQUEE!

I'm thinking I want it in a dark linen (probably black, maybe navy blue?) with white thread. If she's willing maybe a second dress in green, with red embroidery, for Christmas. :D

So what about you, dear readers? Would you jump on an offer like this? I think it would be nice to make the dresses extra special, couture even.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Vintage Dress Update

I DID IT! I figured out how to get the piping in and I'm very proud of myself. I've stayed up way too late hand stitching the facings to the interlining. Since I've stabbed myself about three times I decided its time to give up the notion that I'll have it done before I go see Mom at the nursing home tomorrow. Oh well.

Also, a "What I did when I wasn't sewing" update. My kids got their green belts! I'm showing off, here's some pictures.

Posing to show off the new belts after the testing.

p.s. Happy Zombie Jesus Day Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

For the Vintage: Interlining

Hello! I see I have recently gained some new readers. Welcome to my little corner of the asylum world. See, I had signed up some time ago to be a part of the Great Vintage Sew-a-Long. Supposedly we were to have our project done by the end of February. HA! That was funny.

I did a good bit on fitting adjustments, I already had my fabric picked up and I had to do an interlining. I have another project in the works where I was going to help some long-distance friends sew there first dress. One of them mentioned the fabric being semi-sheer. I suggested interlining and so now I'm here to explain what that is.

As you can see, my fabric is a somewhat sheer cotton lawn. I decided to use a light weight cotton batiste* for the interlining.

First I cut the pattern out of the interlining. Then I placed that on top of my fashion fabric (or shell, whatever you want to call it). I know I could have been a bit more frugal in fabric placement, but in this case I wanted the design to line up a certain way.

In most instances one would hand-stitch the two pieces together in the seam allowance. However, that takes forever (and machine stitching makes the two pieces to bunch and not line up properly). So I took a page out of Gertie's book and used fabric glue in the seam allowance instead. Works like a charm! Also, I put all my markings on the interlining before gluing and cutting.

Now I just treat them like they are one piece of fabric and sew it together!

*Please note that the color of your interlining can effect the appearance of your fashion fabric. I highly recommend taking the fashion fabric with you and trying it over several different colors. One can also use silk organza or really any other similar/lighter weight fabric. It really depends on what you want the end result to look and feel like. I personally can't stand polyester anymore as all it does is stick to you in hot Georgia summers. And my skin complains by breaking out. Not fun.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Stark Raving Mad

At least that's what I think I've gone. Crazy. Bonkers. Insane in the Membrane. Why?

Cause I want to make one of these:

View A to be precise. I love the side buttons. I love the way that it almost looks like a two piece. And it also reminds me of a few things I saw in the D&G Spring collection.(on the right)
I thought the play suits were kinds of cute, though not for me. I AM in love with their floral chiffon gowns. But this 50's play suit might just work for me. Outside of that I love the shorts in view D. I might start with those. I'm not sure what fabric to use. I guess as a muslin I can use some purple linen/poly blend I bought ages ago at JoAnn's (before I became a fabric snob).

But first I'm gonna start on finish those sew-a-longs.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunset by the Lake Dress

HAHA! Not only did I finish it today, I had just enough gas left in my car to drive the two miles to the lake and make my husband take pictures right at sunset. NEENER NEENER NEENER!

This was a fairly easy dress to make once I figured out how to do the lining. Its view C of Simplicity 3503. I had wanted to make this dress for the beach LAST April but I did not yet have a grasp on FBA's. I have since had an AHA! moment and find them much less daunting. I also have a serger. This is a cotton jersey knit that I got during a super sale at It drapes wonderfully and is scrumptiously soft. I did try adding in a clear elastic when serging the long side seams but it ended up puckering very badly and I had to rip it out and redo it. So the top few inches above the pockets have the clear elastic and I think that helps for stability but still allows it to drape.

I do need to tighten up the back elastic a good bit. It 'droops' and I have to adjust. Not so cool, but an easy fix. I would also like to share a tip in sewing knits. In the halter portion there are pleats at the top. They have to be sewn and pressed. When pressing, use as much steam and heat as the fabric type can handle and then let it sit until COMPLETELY COOL. Do not touch it. Don't even be tempted to touch it. Walk away if you have to, but this works very well, trust me!

Alright, that's all from me now. Time to get ready for my work week. JOY!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Detour - Halter Maxi

Sometimes you just gotta let your creative ideas run and make that detour you'd been thinking about. I actually bought this pattern two years ago and the fabric last summer. I kept seeing all these awesome maxi halter dresses everywhere and wanted one.

Two problems. 1) RTW just doesn't fit right and 2) it took me a year to find a halter bra IN MY SIZE that didn't suck. Having this kind of rack just isn't all its cracked up to me. A friend, in an attempt to motivate me to work out (I asked) mentioned jumping jacks. I looked at him like he'd lost his mind. "Seriously? I'd give myself a black eye!".

Joking aside. Reviews on Simplicity 3503 say that the pattern has a lot of design ease, and it does. However, I still had to do an FBA. Its for knits, so fairly forgiving but to avoid flashing too much it needed a bit of width and length in the best.

I went from this:

To This:

I'd like to thank Patty for all her detailed note taking on FBA's. Also note the back bodice piece I added a bit of width to as well(or is that length?). This isn't surprising given my normal tendency to have to lengthen things in the waist. Now I just need to master the art of lengthening waist + sway back adjustment. But that's for later. I cut this in a size 18 and then did the midriff and skirt portion in a 20, but I have a feeling I'm going to end up taking it in some. I'm also going to use some clear elastic in the long side seams. This is a wonderfully soft cotton knit but it also pulls under its own weight and so I'm going to need it for retaining shape.

Anyway, its all cut out and ready to be stitched up. I also have this crazy idea for a lace top and its all Tanit-Isis' fault.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What's More Important Than Sewing? Saving Libraries.

(My daughter reading by the fountain)

This week started off with quite a jolt. The county commissioners released their budget the day before voting on it, and in that budget we found out that 13 out of the 17 libraries were slated to be closed. By May FIRST!!! WHAT!!!??? Close my libraries? Are you crazy? I know that my fellow sewists are highly intelligent people and understand what a travesty this is and that I couldn't just let this go.

Well, a lot of my fellow neighbors felt the same way and a real quick protest was put together in Marietta Square. Show up and read. Ya'll, I took my kids too. This was their first lesson in civic duty. The right to peaceably assemble and to petition our government. This was even more important considering I had just voted on a tax increase FOR the parks and libraries in my county.

(This was just before they were spotted by the news)

The grass roots movement started on facebook, and moved to the blogosphere and twitter. People were emailing and faxing about how unacceptable this was to them. The news covered the story. In the end, they changed the budget last minute to keep the libraries, but we're still having to make cuts. Everyone is, but that's how things go in a down economy.

So that's what I was doing instead of sewing. How about the rest of you?

(Tired of reading, er, protesting, the kids retired to the playground)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blog Award, Ya'll!

Goodness, this makes me feel all shiny. Farah of Farah makes Stuff has passed on the 'Liebster Blog' Award! The award goes to up and coming bloggers that don't have a lot of followers but certainly have a lot of passion. Go drop in on her and see what she's up to. She found me on BurdaStyle and her parents are practically neighbors.

The rules of this award are simple.
  • Link to and thank the person that passed along the award
  • Pass the award on to five of your favorite blogs that have less than 100 followers.
So, going in alphabetical order, here are my five;

  • Atlanta Street Fashion - A fashion blog in my very own backyard. Atlanta definitely has its own sense of style and this man takes pictures. I also love that he's a bike enthusiast.
  • Kelepso Design Studio - Here's a man on his way to Project Runway. I really want to see him there and I want to see more of his men's clothing. I'm very surprised he doesn't have more followers.
  • QuirkyPrettyCute - I love her unabashed enthusiasm for tackling a project.
  • Sewin' in the Rain - I love this woman's retro style.
  • Unsung Sewing Patterns - I have no idea how many followers she actually has but I love reading her blog as it is full of historical information. It brings to light the more utilitarian side of sewing of days gone.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I'm really sorry for the lack of sewing posts of late. I am still trying to find my Mom a decent nursing home near me which involves medicaid. And I have a new work schedule and some projects that have been heaped on me. And some intense work with my daughter to get her caught up on reading. So, in the meantime here is a restyling of my Chantilly from Colette Patterns and a little girl chasing bubbles.

Love to all!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Images of Spring

(Click to Embiggen)
This is my first Sunday off in... over six months! My schedule is changing to something like normal people have(but only for three months... work politics. OH GOODY). Which is good in that I have weekends off, bad that I don't get large chunks of time at once. So, today I am tweaking my muslin for the Great Vintage Sew-a-Long. I'll post more on that later. For now, enjoy this picture taken with my new camera. :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Everything Old is New Again

I found this gorgeous silk at Gail K's some ages ago and there was maybe 1.3 yards of it left. I was trying, for the life of me, to find SOMETHING I could make out of it. The only pattern was this silk tank/blouse thing from an old McCalls pattern (#4525 image here) that was floating around in my stash. I had to do a full bust mod, and also widen the back a bit as it is non stretch and its gotta go over the girls. The fabric is scrumptious and drape-y enough that it hangs beautifully, but I really prefer it tucked into my vogue skirt. I even made my own bias binding! Happy day!(see, bias binding)

I wore this to work with a RTW jacket I've had in my closet for a while now. It matches the skirt quite well. I got tons of compliments on the outfit, which made me very happy. Of course its always nice when people appreciate the things you work hard on. And this particular item has been in "the works" for weeks. Maybe months. Well since before Mom had to go into... yeah. Lets not talk about that, k?

A few notes; 1) I'm wearing shoes I JUST got in the mail. Those are not the ones I bought at work, but I heart them much. Now that I can wear heals again I seam to be on a shoe-buying binge. 2) I'm also wearing my favorite pair of tights that have polkadots (click to make bigger). Though I fear they are at the end of their life. The necklace is thrifted.

I'm not really sure what the blog title has to do with this, maybe the pattern being old and making something fun and fresh out of it? Or maybe a reference to spring? You decide. In the meantime, all ya'll northerners get a view of my lovely azaleas! Its springtime here, ya'll!
P.S. Oh Oh! I just have to edit one more thing in. I used some of the ancient cotton thread my Mom gave me that she got from somewhere else. I found out if I took off the top layer its JUST FINE to use. This meant I didn't have to go out and BUY thread. SCORE!