Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sewing Room Gadgets

Let's talk gadgets shall we... I'm not one to venture into that area of my local fabric store probably because I head to the pretty fabric like a moth to a flame! I just can't help myself...I can't.
Now, husband on the other hand... when I drag him into the fabric store, he browses the gadget wall and then come Christmas I find lovely and useful new toys in my stocking!
These may not be new to any of you but they were once new to me and are now valued tools in my sewing escapades.

  1. Pressing Block- Well that's what I call it anyway.( I think its actual name is a tailor's block) My family teased me mercilessly for buying a block of wood. The boys said they could have made me one easier. Poo poo....I use this all the time! I use it immediately after pressing while the fabric is still hot and the fabric cools while it still has some weight on it and leaves a very crisp press.
  2. Here we have a point turner/button gauge that was a gift from my mom and I blogged about this gadget before here. So helpful for hemming jeans or sewing over any lumpy seam! 
  3. This tailor chalk is great for me because my solid one was never sharp and often didn't leave a sharp line for me. But this beauty lays down a perfect line every time and husband keeps the refills coming every year.
  4. The snips I use are pretty cheap so I received and entire box of 12 of these at a time! They are always at my side while I sew.
  5. The gadget in the middle of the picture is a bodkin. I had never heard of this one before but it does wonders at turning sashes, belts or ties right side out. Also awesome for threading elastic through a casing. You can get a little peek of it in use here
  6. Then there is this little beauty... bias tape maker. I just made this jacket and wanted to give it Hong Kong finishes inside so the bias tape maker came in handy! I slid a one inch strip of fabric cut on the bias of course and as it comes out of the other end you just press it. After I press it, I like to use my tailors block to put more pressure on the fabric while it cools so the tape keeps its shape. And voila! You have bias tape so quick and easy in any fabric you choose!

Magic right there! So what are your favorite toys or gadgets in the sewing room?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Oh Deer

Oh knew I had to go with that title! I planned that the very day I first saw this sweater knit fabric. I wanted to bring this fabric home that day but didn't because I wasn't willing to pay full price for it. Fifteen dollars a metre just wasn't worth it in my mind, so I was patiently waiting for a sale. When it didn't go on sale in my local store, I just put it out of mind mind thinking that it wasn't meant to be. 
Then one afternoon I was in another town about an hour away and thought I would drop into the fabric store there. I wandered around for a bit and then noticed four young women of about college age buying up lots of fabric. When I say lots...I mean LOTS and LOTS! I was intrigued so I was eavesdropping as inconspicuously as I could (I'm sure I was doing a bad job of it) to find out what projects they were working on. One of them gleefully said " I can't believe that all this fabric is 99 cents a metre! We are so lucky!" At that point I could care less about their project and was on the hunt for this 99 cent deal! Move out of my way people!!
Long story short this sweater cost me a whole $2. Worth the wait? Yup. Always is.

My Review: 

Pattern:  McCall's 6844

Fabric used: Polyester viscose Novelty Knit

Instructions: This sweater was rated as easy and easy it was. It was a very quick make.

Changes I made: I made view A and didn't make a single change. Oh that's a lie...I used stay tape at the shoulders to prevent them from stretching.  I cut out a medium and would likely make a small next time but the fit is still fine.

Repeat worthy? Most certainly! I enjoyed this make especially because I used my new coverstitch machine. I highly recommend this pattern.

Sweater:self made M6844
Turtleneck: Joe Fresh
Jeans: Calvin Klein
Shoes:Calvin Klein(thrifted)

Today is an exciting day for me. Why you may ask?? I'm guest posting over on another blog! A first ever for me. 99 cents fabric and guest posting. This is a good day people, a good day!

 Take Six is a lovely blog that features inspiration for many aspects of a woman's life. Go visit and stay awhile.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My Thrift Style... Tweed Leather and Plaid

With fall weather on us and the winter weather just around the corner, I am pulling out all my typically fall and winter wardrobe. Plaids, leather, cozy sweaters, boots and tweed. I picked up this dress and leather jacket at my favorite thrift shop and like the two paired together. Then again, what doesn't go with leather?

I have had a few style fears over the years...I used to be afraid of leather in any form, real or faux because I didn't want to look too "tough" or unladylike. At heart, I love a classic or preppy style but the leather look has grown on me and I wear this jacket all the time. Another shoes. I know.. weird right! I'm not sure why. But now I have both of these elements in one outfit. Fear conquered!

Is there a trend or style that you were or are still afraid to try?

Jacket:Wilson's Leather(thrifted)
Dress:Banana Republic(thrifted)
Scarf:a mystery
Shoes: FrancoSarto

Monday, November 18, 2013

Simple Simon Delivery!

Hey you guys!! Remember the Project Sewn graphic print sewalong I entered that you guys were so nice to vote for me and so I won.... I opened up my mailbox to find a great prize! 

Simple Simon & Co. sent me two yards of a very pretty polka dot cotton, an Omnigrid rotary cutter and five spools of Coats thread!! Wahoo! I love sewing loot! This fabric is a pretty addition to my stash and will be lovely to use in the spring. 

So I have two thank you notes to to Simple Simon & Co. for the contest and the generous prize package and the other to all of you who voted for me in the sewalong.


Now I am off like a squirrel with a nut to hide my precious fabric in my stash till spring!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Signature Style...What's Yours?

I couldn't put a name to mine but some outfits make me feel more like myself than others...this one just feels like me. From the skirt shape, to the graphic tee, to the leopard print clutch..... I like every piece, individually and together as a whole. So much so, that if I had actually finished this skirt on time I would have entered it in the Project Sewn's Signature Style sewalong. There were some great looks in that challenge!

 In case you are wondering what pattern this's McCall's 6707. I won't go into a full review (because I have done that already here, here and here..oh and here) but I will share with you a few details of this make. 

First, the fabric...I found this beauty in the drapery department. I can't really explain why I am drawn to a fabric but I just get sucked in. Eeeeeverytime. Even when it doesn't necessarily don't fit into my wardrobe. I lined this one with a piece of shiny polyester something that I had in my stash. I obviously need to work on my fabric identification or at least take note when I buy it...  Oh no, not me...I'm practically dancing my way out the door with my precious new fabric dreaming only of what I will make. Never thinking about its content. NEVER. EVER. ever.

I decided to significantly increase the width of the waistband to accommodate the pattern of the fabric. I love the high waisted look! I made this one according to instructions by putting in a side zip and I added an inseam pocket on the right know how I love my pockets. If I can't have two, one will have to do.

Now let me share a little secret about this skirt pattern. It is great for any fabric that has a straight repeating pattern like this one and it also works great with horizontal stripes and border prints. I think I will try a border print this spring. 

Skirt:self-made T-shirt:Sunfrog shirts Shoes:Joe Fresh Clutch:Rickis

So there you have it....what I would call my signature style. Well, at least for the moment, cause you know it's always changing. That's the fun in dressing right? It's also the reason many of us sew. We can make whatever our imaginations dream up!

What kind of outfits make you feel most like yourself?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

My Thrift Style.... Chevron Sweater

This sweater was one of those wonderful thrift store finds that keeps me coming back to thrifting. The unusual cut of this sweater is gives me a little thrill both as a thrifter and a sewer. First lets look at the print...chevron is so on trend right now. It's EVERYWHERE! and the color is perfect. The peter pan collar and front tie are just the perfect touches too. Then there is the cut...the seaming of this sweater is so interesting. I think that this would be a great sweater to copy in the sewing room.... always another project...

So I am finished gushing over this sweater and won't likely take it off until spring I'm sure. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall Fatigue

These army green fatigue jackets can be seen everywhere online and in real life. I already had one that I bought the winter before last and I wear it a lot but it is a winter jacket. Nicely lined in a warm fuzzy fabric that makes it too warm for fall and spring. 
So, when my mom passed on this piece of cotton twill when she cleaned out her stash, I knew exactly what I would make. It is nice to add this jacket to my closet rotation. 

A peek at this inside finishes.

I chose to use Simplicity 2153 for this jacket and made view C. I liked the rolled sleeves and the tabs, and thought that the shorter sleeve length would be perfect for spring,summer and fall.

My Review: 

Pattern:  Simplicity 2153

Fabric used: Cotton twill given to me by my mom.

Instructions:The instructions were fine as far as I can remember...

Changes I made: For once I didn't make any changes to this one! I did however do Hong Kong seams on this one because it wasn't lined, except for the under arm seams, where I hemmed the seam allowances because when the sleeves were rolled they would be seen. 

Repeat worthy? I really like this jacket and have worn is a lot already but I probably won't make another and move on to other coat patterns.

Jacket:Self-made Dress:Gap(thrifted) Boots:Marks Work Warehouse Necklace:Suzy Shier
I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to all of you who voted for me last week in Project Sewn's sewalong! It was a huge surprise to win. You guys are so nice.
Don't forget to go and vote for this weeks designs...this is the last week of the competition. Then go back to vote for the sewalong contributors...there are so many lovely entries to choose from. Good luck to all!

Friday, October 18, 2013

I Sewed Along Not Knowing It Was A Sewalong..

It was so nice of a lovely reader from So I Sewed This to make the suggestion that I enter this dress in Project Sewn's Graphic Print sewalong...umm..... sewalong aside for just a moment... where have I been to have missed following this contest from week one!??   Oh my gosh ...these ladies are talented!

I hope you don't all live under a rock like I apparently do and have already voted for this weeks designs that are based on a graphic print theme. If you missed voting for the designers in the contest you can still go and vote for you favorite submission in the Graphic Print Challenge sewalong... 

I am always in awe of the many talented sewists in this blogging community...go check them out and vote for your favorite!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


This dress was an instant hit with my surprise! The reaction from one was, " Mama, that dress is fierce!" Wow. I'm not sure how well I do "fierce". While I do love this dress, I think my girls will get a lot more wear out of it than I will. I'm very okay with that.

I recently received a Janome CoverPro 1000 from husband (that you can read about here), so I was excited to start experimenting with knits. This is a very stable knit, which was a good place to start to ease my way in. I loved the geometric print and looked forward to the challenge of matching it up in the back! I didn't even give a thought to the side seams though....oh well.
 During the process of cutting it out, I thought that the sleeves would be great in a faux leather...a little edgier than my usual taste but I went for it anyway!

My Review: 

Pattern: Newlook 6144

Fabric used: Geometric Print Jersey Knit

Instructions:The instructions were straight forward... a basic easy dress.

Changes I made: Taking into account that I was using a knit for a woven pattern, I cut this dress a size smaller than my usual size. I also omitted all darts. I loved the print so much that I didn't want to distort it with the darts. I also graded the waist down another size at the waist.
The sleeve openings were a bit too big as well. I took them in at the shoulder seam so they didn't poke out so much. I am much happier with them now.

Repeat worthy? Definitely! It may seem like a lot of changes to the pattern but now that I have them made, next time will go much quicker. I love the detailing at the neckline and the faux leather sleeves. 

Must fix that hair!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Thrift Style...Yeah I Do Casual

While my sewing projects are at a bit of a stand still at the moment, I will share with you some of my thrift scores. These were big  for me because both the sweater and the jeans had the original tags still attached! Score!
It's no secret that I LOVE dresses and skirts. Making them, thrifting them and wearing them...but I also do casual. It's pretty hard to spend all weekend at a lacrosse tournament in a dress. I've done it before buuuuuut's better to wear jeans. Trust me on this one.... This outfit is sooo close to being fully thrifted, here are the details:

Jeans: Puzzle (thrifted)
Shirt: Eddie Bauer (thrifted)
Sweater: Gap (thrifted)
Purse: Ricki's(borrowed from my daughter)
Booties: Old Navy
Necklace: A mystery (cast off from daughter)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall Floral

I have always been drawn to floral prints and I was immediately smitten when I saw this one. Now that my stash busting challenge is officially over...I skipped out the door with one meter of this precious print, knowing exactly what I would make.
I have had McCalls 5661 in my pattern stash for quite some time now and haven't made anything from it until this top. I bought it without realizing that the back was a button back which then made me unsure of it...but not any more!!! I love the button back, especially after Heather gave me a crash course on how to button that sucker up by myself! 
Go ahead ask her her secret... I did. :) Very helpful that one.

My Review: 

Pattern: McCalls 5661

Fabric used: Rayon

Instructions:The instructions were straight forward and easy. I especially love how the facing is attached. It fully encloses this little sleeve perfectly! I tried to take pictures of it but the lighting wouldn't give me good pictures...sad face. 

Changes I made: I did have to take in the waist of this one a good 5/8 inch on each side. 

Repeat worthy? Definitely! The little sleeves on this one are perfect for summer and fit so nicely under a cardigan or blazer for the rest of the year. 

Top:self made 
Jeans:Tommy Hilfiger 
Belt and Bag:Joe Fresh
Shoes:Franco Sarto 

Monday, September 30, 2013


I am a pretty good at talking. I can talk my husband's ear off, fortunately for me he doesn't mind but when he gave me this beauty for our anniversary, I was speechless. Completely speechless. I just kept asking, "Really? Really? For real?"
 I couldn't believe it! A true pinch me moment. You know...pinch don't...pinch me ...No! don't!
I'm feeling so blessed right now...

I am thrilled to have this  Janome CoverPro 1000CPX. I had first read about this machine on Andrea's blog over at Four Square Walls and I was hooked and wanted one... Check out her review here. It's really helpful but brings on a terrible case of what my mom calls "the gimmes and the wants". Terrible, awful disease that one!

Of course I had to take it for a spin as soon as I opened the box! So I quickly cut out this t-shirt from Newlook 6150. I had previously made a tee from this fabric but  after washing and wearing it a few times, it has a hole in it and some of the stitches snapped on me. I'm glad that I had some of the fabric left over to make a new one!


My Review: 

Pattern: Newlook 6150 view D

Fabric used: Hampton cotton poly knit.

Instructions:The instructions were straight forward and easy. 

Changes I made: I didn't make any changes but should have made it one size smaller... I was in too much of a hurry to try out my new machine so I will just ignore the baggy fit and enjoy the lovely finishes it has!

Repeat worthy? Definitely! I am now in need of some knits to be added to my stash! 

 Here are a few pictures of the lovely finishes this cover stitch machine provides. The stitches were perfect right out of the box! I thought I might have to fiddle around with it to get a nice stitch and tension but luckily I didn't. Yay! I am sorry that I didn't get pictures of my tee on and as part of an outfit, but photographers were MIA around here. 

Thank you Handsome for 21 wonderful years! Marrying you, my best friend, was the best decision I have ever made. You are my love and my life and thank you for making me yours.