Wednesday, November 12, 2014


My church had it's annual spaghetti supper fundraiser.  I usually make the sauce for the whole dinner and serve in the kitchen during the dinner.  Mr. D works out on the floor serving all the lovely people.  I've been wanting to make aprons for us for quite a while and thought no time was like the present, so I worked up a couple of aprons for us.  Mr. D is a big Star Trek fan as am I so when I found Star Trek fabric at Joanns' I knew what it was screaming to be.  I found dark blue baltic fabric to trim it out in.  He liked it.

I looked for fabric that related to sewing or music but did not see anything I liked so I went with dragons instead.

The pattern I used was Simplicity 2691, a reversible apron.

Since I didn't have another fabric I wanted to use on the reverse side, I just used white muslin.  I widened the apron about an inch to an inch and a half and lengthened the apron by about 2 to 3 inches.  Overall I love both aprons and it was something I wanted to do for quite some time.  It also is bringing to mind things I want to do and make for the upcoming holidays.  I have a few friends that like to bake and cook, so this may be a great present as well. 

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Elvis is in the Building

Or at least for Halloween he was.  A friend of mine I met from singing out and about likes to channel her inner Elvis.  She had some Elvis tribute thing to go to last month and wanted to dress-up for the occasion.  Her way of dressing up of course was to look like the King.  She had been eying this costume for a couple of years, but it only came in an extra small and for some of us ladies, that is just not a size we fit into.

She knew that I sewed and asked me if I could replicate it, and I told her I could give it a try.  I did make her aware that this original version was a jumpsuit and she said that would not do.  So I then suggested that I could replicate the outfit as two pieces and pull it together in the end so that it still looked like the picture.

To pull this look off I used four different patterns.  For the bodice I used McCall 6793.

It gave the length on the bodice I was looking for without the extra piece of course, and  the neckline was deep enough without showing too much cleavage.  It reminded me of the jumpsuit, just without the zipper.  I added sleeves to the top and flared them out so they looked like the ones in the picture.

For the pants I used the pants from McCall 5890 which is Nancy Zieman's coordinates collection.  They are a loosing fitting pant but I took off quite a few inches to get a more fitted and tapered looked.

The third pattern used was Simplicity 3629 for the cape with modifications of course.  She asked for a longer cape so it covered her bottom. 

I used the collar from Simplicity 3685 to modify the original cape.  I also tacked down the edges of the 
 collar to give it that Elvis look.

I self drafted the belt to pull everything together, it is covered the two pieces nicely where you can't tell that they're separate pieces.

Side view of the pant leg with the trim.

One happy customer.  From what I heard, she got it wear it three different times.  I'm so glad I got a chance work on this outfit.  It make me think a little and get the creative juices. flowing.

Monday, May 26, 2014

BurdaStyle 09-2010-109C - The Tuxedo Blouse

Burda Style Issue 9/2010 I think is one of my favorite issues ever. 

If I could get a second copy of it I would.  I have made the turtleneck from it so many times I have stopped counting.  For quite a few years I've had a few other patterns picked out from the issue, with stash fabric choices as well, and have just never gotten around to making them.

One of the things I like about PR Weekend is the sewing I do for outfits I want to wear while there.  When I was getting ready for the trip I thought it would be a great idea to revisit the September issue as I was not sure how the weather would be, and I'd have a few clothing choices/options for chilly or warm weather.

Pattern 109C was one of my choices to take with me. 

Two of the things that caught my attention when picking out this pattern was the mandarin collar and the bib front detail of the bodice of the blouse.   It reminded me of a tuxedo blouse.

I thought the blouse would be very flattering and beautiful at the same time.  I also must add that while I was making this blouse, I happened to be flipping through my television stations and just by chance, saw the character Rayna, played by actress Connie Britton, on the show Nashville, wearing a similar top.  Their version even had the cuffs just like mine.

 If that wasn't a sign to finish making this blouse, I don't know what was.   A big shout out to Connie, who took my pictures.  Thanks Connie.

 I hope my review below is very helpful.  If you have this issue and haven't tried any of the patterns, please revisit this issue, you won't be sorry you did.

Pattern Description:

Blouse with bib insert and cuffed sleeves.

Pattern Sizing:

38-46. I made a 40, and it is very roomy.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

It did very much.  I was very pleased with the outcome of this blouse.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Burda's instructions can be very confusing most of the time, but these were okay.  I had to search through the pattern a couple of times in order to find the instructions on the length and width for cutting the cuffs.  The bib or as Burda calls it the Plastron instructions were a bit confusing at first but then I had my a hah moment and it all made sense.  I actually have to admit that I like the way they constructed the bib. It was very easy and the technique is one I wouldn't mind using again.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

This is a beautiful blouse and one that can easily be dressed up or down.  I don't have any dislikes about it.

Fabric Used:

Polyester Charmeuse purchased from Joann Fabrics back in either September or October of 2010.  I actually purchased this fabric for this blouse.  I am also very happy that I used stashed fabric.  A win win all the way around.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

None.  I had never made this blouse before so I wanted to make it exactly as it was in the magazine.  If I make it again, I would not do anything differently.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I would definitely sew this blouse again, and I do recommend it to others.  If you want something different that the typical button down blouse, then this is what you're looking for.  It's like a dressy tunic but still gives the look of a tuxedo blouse as well. 


I love this blouse and I would/will make this one again.  It's a keeper.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

What I'm working on - Vogue 1314

My brother-in-law is getting married and the engagement party is next weekend.  I want a new dress to wear so I started surfing the web and blogs for inspiration.  I was checking out Wanett of Sown Brooklyn's blog and came across her post on Reese, Beckham and Wang.  While looking at the pictures I fell for this little sexy number by Tracy Reese.

 It automatically reminded me of Vogue 1314 by Tracy Reese, which I happen to have in my stash.

I'm thinking that with a pair of Spanx and some sucking in, hopefully I can pull this little number off.  This is my fabric choice.  I like the gold flecks that are all over the fabric.  It makes it look a little more dressier I think.

I purchased it from Jomar a couple of years ago.  I'm not sure about the keyhole and don't want to mess the dress up.  There is enough fabric to make the bow.  I don't know.  Should I do the keyhole or just the bow?  Let me know your thoughts.  With a little luck I'm hoping to get it finished by the end of the week.  I've got the gathers done so far.  Hopefully I can get a little more done tonight, we'll see.  Once Upon A Time is getting ready to come on in 10 minutes and I don't want to miss it.

Happy Crafting???

Sunday, February 16, 2014

For the love of McCall 6841

I first saw McCall 6841 when Myra posted it on her blog. 

The minute I saw her version I ran, or better yet broke speed limits to get to Joann's to buy the pattern.  I knew that it would be perfect and versatile enough to work for various occasions, like gigging, going out for the night, or even wear to work.  On Thursday I had the pleasure of having a snow day (SNOW is the new four letter by the way), so I decided to work it up as I played out with the guys last night.  This is a Palmer Pletsch pattern, and lets just say, they are making sure they keep it interesting for us.  I would not say that it is easy, but if you're looking for something with drape, this baby has it tenfold.  This pattern had me from start to finish and made sure at the same time I kept my skills sharp.

 I hope you enjoy the review.

Pattern Description:

Loose-fitting, pullover tops have draped front, and back collar. Wrong side may show. A: self-lined back and very narrow hem for front hemline. B and C: front pleated drape and narrow hem.

Pattern Sizing:

(XSmall-Small-Medium), (Large-XLarge-XXLarge)  I made the Medium.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?


Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes they were.  But if you plan on making this blouse, you have to follow the directions exactly in order to accomplish this blouse.  The outcome depends on it.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I had no dislikes about this pattern at all.  If you enjoy construction garments or the intricacy of it, then this pattern is for you.  It had me from start to finish.

Fabric Used:

I think it's a Rayon Poly knit.  I purchased it from Fabric Warehouse sometime ago.  There is nothing like the feeling of stash busting.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

As said before in previous reviews, this baby is a little low cut for me so I sew the cleavage up about 1 to an 1 1/2 inches more.  I'm not bit about showing off the girls too much. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Definitely.  I've been thinking about that all weekend.  I just want to find the right fabric.


This one is a winner.  It hide all of my unflattering girlie parts.  I love the drape and the construction was very interesting and cool.  If you are a sewer and really like construction, then this one is for you.  In the end you get your ah hah moment.  It keeps you guessing from beginning to end because you don't see the end result until it is finally finished.  It's one of those that if you don't pin it together at the beginning, you just have to go by blind faith until it's finished.  I LOVED IT.  This is not a top to sleep on.  If you haven't purchased it, you should.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  I know I'm going to try to.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

McCall 6796

Well, I received a text message this morning letting me know I had a snow day from work today due to this.

I'm happy about it because I'm trying to recover from a nasty sinus infection that has now moved to my upper chest area.  I feel like crap but at least I have some pretty good drugs. 

I purchased McCall 6796 when it came out at the end of summer.

I love anything turtleneck or cowl neck, and thought this would be a nice addition to my wardrobe.  I didn't make it right away because I wanted to make the right fabric choice.  The pattern calls for Jersey, Cotton Knit or sweater knit, but in reading some of the reviews on Pattern Review I noticed that in making fabric choices for this pattern, I wanted to stay away from the more thinner knits because the collar looks a little flimsy.  I decided to use a cream and burgundy speckled ribbed sweater knit that I purchased from London Textiles over the summer. 

I only had a little over a yard of fabric to work with so I had to get creative.  The sweater and the collar are cut on the grain, but the sleeves are cut against the grain because I didn't have enough fabric.  They are also short sleeved.

Since I went against the stretch for the sleeve, I had to make sure I had enough arm room for movement in the sleeve so I cut it a little big.  As an added detail, I added pleats in the upper sleeve and I thought it was a nice added design feature.

My review of this sweater is below.

Pattern Description:

Close-fitting, pullover tops have collar variations and narrow hem. C and D: button trim.  I made View C.

Pattern Sizing:

(6-8-10-12-14), (14-16-18-20-22)  I sew size 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes it did. 

Were the instructions easy to follow?

The directions were very easy to follow.  As long as you use the right fabric with this project, the finished garment should be what you are expecting.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

There are no dislikes at all.  If you are looking for a change to your turtleneck or cowl neck collection, this is it.  I am a big fan of turtlenecks and cowl neck sweaters.  This is a welcome addition.

Fabric Used:

A ribbed sweater knit I picked up at London Textiles in Cherry Hill, NJ during the summer.  I think it's Donna Karen. but not sure.  I know it's a designer knit.  The buttons used are ones that I had in my stash that I purchased from Jomar a few years ago.  I only had three of these buttons left which was perfect as I only needed three buttons for this project.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I didn't have enough fabric to cut out all the pieces right so the sleeves were cut against the 1-way stretch, or as they say, against the grain.  When I did that, I cut the sleeves a little wider to insure that I had enough arm room. I also made the sleeve cap a little wider.  This enabled me to add a little detail to the sleeve and I added two pleats at the sleeve cap area.  This changed the look up a little, and I was able to jazz the sleeve up a little.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes, but not too many of them as the top is very distinctive.  I would highly recommend this top to others. 

                                ( I have a new photographer at work.  I'm still working out the kinks.)


I love how this top came out.  I'd like another one long sleeved though.  If you don't have this one and you like turtlenecks, you need to add this one to your collection.

Oh, I wanted to share with you one of my new likes.  Instead of a candy bar I just started eating these. 

They are a nice alternative and you still get your chocolate fix.  Have a good one.  If you're in weather like mine, please stay safe and warm.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

McCall 6168

The very first time I saw McCall 6168 was when Mimi G. first posted her version of the pattern back in 2012.

I knew then that I wanted to make my own version of this pattern and drove over to Joanns during their next McCall pattern sale only to find out that the pattern was out of print.  I patiently waited for the out of print patterns to go on sale online and as they say, patience is a virtue.  They eventually did and I purchased the pattern only for it to sit in my stash for 2 years.  During this time I thought about how I wanted my version to look.  I knew that I wanted some leather involved.  Below is my review of this timeless and I mean timeless cardigan.  In doing my research on the pattern, it looks like it was first released in 2010.  It is now 2014 and it hasn't gone out of style yet.  Mr. D says I look a little like a Star Wars character with the leather pants added in.

Pattern Description:

Cardigans A, B, C have long sleeves, stitched hems and shaped lower edges; cardigan A has front pockets that do not lay flat; cardigans A, B have front button closures; cardigan C has optional button closure, wrong side of fabric will show; purchased tops, bottoms and optional belts.

I made view C - Size 16 because I wanted to wear this more like a coat.

Pattern Sizing:


Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes it most certainly did.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

I did not follow them as the pattern pieces fit together nicely. And I might add that at the time I couldn't find the directions only to learn later that they were in the bag that I carry to work.  I guess I put it in there for some light reading during my break time and forgot to take it out.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I have no dislikes about this pattern at all.  It first came out in 2010 and is still in style now.  That alone should say something.

Fabric Used:

Sweatshirt fabric purchased from my very first visit to Metro Textiles.  I used the inside of the sweatshirt fabric because I loved the way it looked.  The texture of it was very pretty to me.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I lengthened the cardigan by about 2 to 3 inches.  I also added pockets in the side seam.  I'm learning now that I like to sometimes have a pocket to throw a set of keys in or to carry my phone or tissues. 

Instead of doing a regular sleeve.  I chose to do my sleeves in leather for a funkier look to the cardigan.  I also added an obi belt made out of the same material I cut the sleeves out of.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes most definitely.  I'd like to make a few more in a sweater knit and rayon or cotton knit for warmer days.


I love this cardigan.  If you happen to come across this pattern because it is an OOP now, pick it up.  It's a nice way of dressing up an outfit.  I can wear this cardigan as a sweater or a coat.  It's nice to have this option as I'm dreaming of warmer days or the beginning of Spring.


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