About Me

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As a Martha Pullen licensed sewing teacher I love to learn new sewing techniques and I equally enjoy teaching sewing techniques to others.  You can also find me teaching Bernina Customer Courses at my local Bernina dealer.  In addition, I demonstrate Stampin' Up products.  I am a servant of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, wife of one, mom of two, and grandma of five.  Welcome to my sewing and crafting studio!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Coat Sew Along

Here we go sewing peeps.  I've committed to Gertie's coat sew along.  The schedule is to have our muslin sewn and fitted by Monday (October 1).


I've not ever participated in a sew along before.  Why?  I'm not sure.  Perhaps it is the stress of accountability.  Will I be able to keep up with the schedule?  What if my garment doesn't fit properly in the end, what if it just looks stupid, what if my color/fabric choices are pathetic?  I must get over my insecurities and dive in with fortitude.  I know the end result will be greater sewing experience and many, many lessons learned.  So it will be a win, win either way.  What about you?  Do you like to commit to challenges or sew alongs?

In the opposite sewing realm, I am busy quilting my grandson's twin size quilt.  My daughter indicated she would simply like straight-line quilting, so rather than using my quilt frame and short-arm quilter, I am using the walking foot on my sewing machine and quilting straight somewhat straight diagonal lines.  :)


Have a great weekend.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sassy Librarian Blouse

Have you enrolled for any classes at Craftsy yet?  If not, I do highly recommend them.  I've taken several classes including cooking and sewing/quilting.  Christine Haynes offers the Sassy Librarian Blouse via Craftsy and I wanted to sign up as soon as it became available several months ago.  Well, my patience paid off and the class went on sale last week for $19.99, so I quickly signed up.  It is definitely geared toward beginning sewers, so you may ask why I would be interested. I must admit, my interest was in the pattern not necessarily the class.  But Christine Haynes is a talented pattern designer and her instructional videos are very easy to follow.  I really enjoyed watching the videos and following along with my project.


I cut the size 8 and tapered to a 10 at the hips.  I ended up taking in an extra 5/8" on each side seam.  I also sewed the vertical darts two inches higher than the pattern called for because I wanted to accent the waistline a bit more than what the original pattern allowed (it was a bit boxy on me).

The collar is difficul to see as it blends into the bodice fabric, but here is a close up:


And of course, I used my serger to finish the inside seams and front facing:


I really like the pattern.  It pays homage to one of my favorite TV wives - Laura Petrie.  I believe I will style my new top with leggings and ballet flats (ohhhhhhhh Rob!).  If you are a beginning sewer or you are simply interested in this pattern, I highly recommend the Craftsy course.  I would love to see your version if you are so inclined to share.  :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Midsummer Night's Bloom - Bed Runner Follow-up

Good Friday morning all my sewing and blogging friends!  In preparing to share my quilting with you all, I had to go back to my previous projects so I could reference the original post on this bed runner.  Wow!  Has it really taken me 3+ months to get this topper quilted?  The blog doesn't lie.

So here is "A Midsummer Night's Bloom", finally quilted, bound, washed, and lounging on the bed.


I must confess, I am not necessarily a pastel color kind of gal.  And I had my doubts even after I completed all the piecing for the top.  But now that it is quilted, I'm really liking this bed runner.  I think it is that pop of chocolate brown that draws me in.  DH mentioned three times how dark brown was the perfect choice for the binding color.

I used several different quilting motifs.  The quilting shows up best on the back, so here is a close-up:


In lieu of a completely solid backing, I like to add a strip of coordinates from the quilt.  I also like to machine embroider a label for my quilted projects.  Here's what I did on this one:


The wording on the label doesn't show up very good in pictures.  I used a pinkish peachy thread for the lettering.  It looks great in person, but not so great in pictures (unfortunately, my photography skills are lacking).  But you get the idea.  :)

This week I also sewed up a new blouse which I plan to wear today.  After I get it photographed, I'll meet you back here.  Until then, happy sewing!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Burda Style Magazine 02-2009-125

No, I did not recently complete this top.  But when I wore it Sunday, I realized I never shared it with all of you because I wasn't blogging when I made it.  And it is too nice of a pattern to keep all to myself!  The blouse has somewhat puffy sleeves with a sleeve band that includes a functional button, it has a collar and it buttons up the front.  Princess seams add shaping detail so it is not a boxy fit.


Burda's fabric suggestions are for light weight shirting.  I used a great batiste fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics.  If you are interested in this pattern, I posted a review of it on Pattern Review way back in 2009 when I made it.  So if you have the February 2009 Burda World of Fashion magazine in your archives and decide to make this blouse, I would love to see your version.  I just might make another one in the upcoming months.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Simplicity 1761


I desperately need lightweight jackets that I can wear from fall into winter, and I prefer to be able to dress them up or dress them down.  I will defintely be able to do that with this jacket.  Hancock Fabrics had the fabric labeled as ponte, but trust me, this is much lighter weight than a ponte knit and it has a very soft drape.  It was my plan to wear this to church yesterday, but with the temperature still in the low 90's, I opted for a short-sleeve blouse (made by me) with the black skirt instead.  So here I am sweating perspiring just long enough to get a few shots of the jacket.  Sorry the pics are not the best quality.  DH was in a hurry to get back in front of the TV so as not to miss one of the rare games where the Redskins were actually scoring!!!

Here is the pattern description from the Simplicity Web site:  "Simplicity misses' & plus size jacket has shaped armholes, side seam pockets and top stitching; skirt in two lengths has asymmetrical yoke and front cascade. Pullover knit top has 3/4 sleeves. Khaliah Ali pattern collection."  I beg to differ with the shaped armholes.  The pattern has dolman sleeves, which is why I chose it because the dolman sleeve seems to be a big trend this season.  Okay, there is a seam that could give the armhole some shape - that is if the sleeve circumferance wasn't so dang large.  No, I didn't make a muslin.  Next time I will take in those sleeves a bit so the jacket is not so overwhelming.


I'm thinking if I belt the jacket, or add a couple inconspicuous hook & eye closures just below the bustline, it might accentuate the waistline a bit and draw attention away from the huge armholes.  Maybe, I'm just not used to the dolman sleeve anymore.  It has been out of style for a number of years now, but it is making a reappearance this year.  So, with all that said and after seeing the above photo, I decided to restyle the way I wear the jacket. 


Deep in thought, I contemplate other ways I might style this jacket.  Belted over a black sheath dress might be another option.  Hmmmmm, do I have a black sheath dress in my closet?
So what if I don't have that LBD in my closet - I can always make one.  After all, I do know how to sew!!!

This jacket does have some great lines to add topstitching and other embellishments.  Here is a close up of the seams with toptstitching.  It looks like a pocket, but it is not.  I also added self-made cording between the front facing and the body.  I wanted a faux leather trim, but alas, my local store did not have any pleather.   As I passed the Halloween costume section, a shiny, black, leather-looking fabric caught my eye.  So, yes, I used cheap thrifty black (very thin and stretchy) costume fabric for my cording.  It actually looks very much like leather trim.  :)


This knit fabric was misbehaving under my presser foot.  The top layer was bunching up and not feeding properly.  Unlike quilting and home dec projects, this is a garment and it is three dimensional so I did not want to use my walking foot.  So I used my teflon foot and it worked beautifully.


Today was quite warm again, but very rainy and overcast.  Tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same.  Yay!  Another no guilt, stay inside and sew kind of day.  Yard work, beh!! 

Do you feel guilty about spending time sewing when there is outdoor work to be done?  Or, perhaps you are lucky enough to live in a condo or apartment and somebody else takes care of those chores.  :)  However you might be spending your time, have a pleasant week.