Sunday, November 24, 2013

Fall Projects Finished

Fall to Winter

     Since winter is about to descend upon us, I think it is time for me to post the few fall sewing projects I managed to complete before I left on a dream trip to Paris, which I will tell you about later.
Sandra Betzina's skinny pants was a perfect match for

Sandra Lee's silk blouse made in her Craftsy class.
I used another Sandra Betzina blouse pattern, lengthened it to make it a dress

I also added drawstrings on the sides in order to be able to draw up the sides and make a tunic to wear with pants.  I was really happy with the final result and will make this dress/tunic again.

Sunday, August 11, 2013



Last September Threads issue # 162 did an article on the use of mesh chiffon, and Susan Khalje and Kenneth King were two of the contributors to the article.

I fell in love with the print and tried to find something similar to make myself a summer jacket but was unable to find anything that even came close.
     I have been lucky enough to study with both Susan Khalje and Kenneth King in the past, and last October during one of those training sessions I mentioned how much I had liked the print.  The next day Susan brought me her leftover fabric from the project she did for Threads.
      My "Threads" fabric jacket.

Love the jacket and I made a belt to match.
 This is my summer wrap sundress that also makes a great cocktail dress.

I love the draped neckline
     This photo is to show how the back print needed to match.  When I purchased the fabric it was rolled on the bolt unevenly.  I asked the clerk to unroll and reroll it so it would be even, but she refused and said it couldn't be straightened out, that it was supposed to be that way.  Apparently she didn't understand that some things other than plaids have to match.  I bought extra fabric to make sure it matched and it took all the extra fabric to do so.
                                                   A summer linen Chanel-style jacket
I quilted the silk lining to the linen, and of course, put a gold chain along the hemline.

A jersey knit wrap blouse

That is the end of my summer wardrobe for 2013.  Will start on fall things soon.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Summer To Do List

I took the summer off work from court reporting to spend quality time with friends and family at our lake house.  I also had two projects on my "To Do" list.
         One,  make some fun summer clothes.
        Two,  use up as much of my fabric stash as possible.
Surprising enough, I have actually done a pretty good job of accomplishing both.
 This is actually a gored skirt and a draped blouse that I made from a pattern I drafted in a draping class that I took with Susan Khalje and Julien Cristofoli.

 It's difficult to see the draping in a picture because of the fabric.  I have no idea why I ever purchased this cotton knit print, as I rarely wear prints, let along a flower garden!!  I know that I will wear each piece, but most likely not together.  I don't want to look like a walking greenhouse.
Side View showing the contrast on the sleeve.
I made this out of a piece of white cotton knit that I had in the stash, but when I cut it out, I didin't have as much as I thought, so I pieced it with a tan cotton knit on the front of the sleeves and embroidered an anchor in the same tan on the front.  I think it will look really nice with a pair of khaki jeans or cutoffs or even a skirt.
This is a blouse pattern that I make quite often.  Which is quite unusual for me because I don't generally make the same pattern more than once.
It's just a very simple draped neckline with long sleeves.  Will be really nice under my navy suit that I hope to get made this fall.
Don't know how this picture got in here again and don't know how to get it out.  Delete doesn't seem to work. 
I love Sandra's patterns and her website Power Sewing.  Her video training is wonderful.
 I had some eyelet that I have had in my "stash" for many years, and decided that this skirt pattern would be perfect in the eyelet.  Once again, I didn't quite have enough fabric, so I took plain white cotton and used it on 1/2 of each of the panels along the hem, as well as putting it behind each of the slotted seams.  It turned out really nice.
I liked the pattern so well that I made it a second time.
This top goes really well with both skirts and with white cutoffs.
This is a simple panel of fabric from JoAnn's that has the top already shirred with elastic.  One seam down the back, a hem, add double ribbon straps and I was finished.  It took about 1/2 hour in total.
I had some fabric left over, because I am short, so I made a scarf to wear.  Doubt that I will really wear it with the sundress, but it is a nice scarf to wear with sweaters in the fall.
 I don't do a lot of embroidery, but I do have a Designer I with all the capability of embroidering, and once in a great while I tackle a project.  Since I was having several court reporters and other girlfriends for a "Girls Retreat" at our lake house, I decided to make everyone a signature T-Shirt.
Three of the five that came for a few days to play on the lake with the boat, jetski and kayaks, and me.
I still have a few other things that I have made this summer, but I don't have the pictures.  When I get pictures, I will post them, but in the meantime, I have one more sundress cut out, and a jersey top to finish, then it will be time to start on fall things.  And I am happy to say that I have used up my summer fabric stash!  First time ever.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Looking Back in Time

The First Dress for my First Granddaughter

My first granddaughter was born in May, 1989.  In the spring of 1990, my daughter wanted to enter Nikohl in a baby contest.  I was receiving the magazine Sew Beautiful, and on the cover was the following picture:
I wanted to make the dress in a size 18 months for her for the contest; however, there was no pattern available for me to purchase.  So I set about copying the picture and making the pattern in a size that would fit Nikohl. 
Later in the year The Bunnykins Heirloom Sewing Collection came out, and the dress was one of the patterns, but it started with a size 5.
Here is the pattern book:
At that point I had already made the dress, and here are pictures of the one I made:
 The bodice yolk with the shadow embroidered roses and rabbits.

The hem with the shadow embroidery on organza circles, and the entire hem in French lace and entredeaux.
And the completed dress.
The end of the story is that Nikohl hated the dress when we put it on her, and she screamed her head off.  Needless to say, she did not win the contest, even though we were totally convinced she was the most beautiful child in the group!
The finale of the story is quite comical.  Two years later she had a baby sister, and when Becca, the baby sister, was two years old, I made another heirloom dress for Nikohl, put Becca in the Rabbit dress that I had made for Nikohl, and took them to get their picture taken.  Nikohl then cried because her sister's dress was prettier than hers!!
This is the picture of the two of them in their heirloom dresses the day of the photo shoot.  And I must add that it is my most favorite picture of the two of them.  They are now age 24 and 22.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Summer Clothes

Fun Times in the Summer

     For many years I have been working as a court reporter all year around.  This summer I have taken the summer months off work.  I now find that I have very few, if any, fun summer clothes.  I have "go to work" clothes, "hang out around the lake" clothes, "work in the garden" clothes - well, maybe I should call those "rags."  It is time to update the summer wardrobe, for sure.  
     So, I will start with some fun skirts and tops. 
     Several months ago I was surfing Sandra Betzina's website,, and found that I loved many of the things she designed, taught, showcased.  She had one skirt pattern that she had designed that I truly believed I would never make, as it simple did not fit what I thought was my style.
     However, on a recent review of her patterns in Vogue's Pattern book I found that I rather liked the skirt, and decided to give it a try.  Guess what?  I LOVE it.
     It is Vogue's V1292.
     I made it in a cotton knit, and because I didn't have enough material for the skirt to be cut on the normal straight grain, I had to cut the side panels on the cross grain.  Of course, the fabric did exactly what I figured it would do.  It began to hang out and ripple.
     So, to save face, and the wearability of the skirt, I hand quilted the stripes in the side seams about every third stripe.  It created a subtle gathered effect, which, actually, is quite nice.
      Once the skirt was completed, I realized that for the bottom flunce to truly show itself off, it needed to be in a fabric with more structure; therefore, I will make the skirt again in a heavier fabric, once I find a fabric that I like and think will work up well with this pattern.
     But, I do love the skirt and have worn it many times already, and it has only been finished for a very few days.

     I had the top that I am wearing with the skirt, but I do have a top cut out that I paired with the skirt material, so will pass that on when I get it completed, as well as several other skirts and tops for my fun-filled summer to come.

Monday, June 3, 2013



Oh, my, I have definitely not lived up to my plan of posting at least once a month, and had actually hoped to post once a week.  But I do have a good excuse.  I closed up my work apartment in Bloomfield, Connecticut and am taking the summer off from court reporting.
So, as I was busily getting the pots on my lake house deck planted and ready for summer, I realized that I was wearing a pair of cropped jeans that I had embellished many years ago.  Nancy Zieman,, has several videos on line of projects and ways to make or embellish what you have bought in a store.  So here I am in my fancy, wear to garden, store bought, embellished jeans.  I think I embellished these jeans because they had a hole in the front and I wanted to cover it!!
    So here they are:
And you can see I am busily planting away, which is why the above picture shows some dirt on the pants.  Not to mention my husband/photographer simply could not seem to get a close-up shot of the jeans.  So sorry, but hopefully you get the idea.  There are little squares of fabric placed all over and sewn on with a button in the middle.  Then I cuffed them with a gingham plaid.
Here is a nice summer dress that I made to wear in the evenings.  It was made originally to wear out to dinner at a sailing resort in the British Virgin Island, The Bitter End.  Bathing suits and coverups all day, and a nice dress in the evening.  This one is made of cotton knit with fish appliques.  I ruffled the edge of the overlay on top and the edges of the sleeves simply by stretching the fabric as I sewed a very tight zigzag stitch over the edge.


This is to give you a peak at the flowers now that they are planted.  I will try to remember to post them later in the season when they are full grown.  Also, the wall hanging is a piece of driftwood that I found on a hike in Connecticut.  It is so perfect for a lake house!!


And last but not least, if you are an Ohio State Football (Buckeye) fan, you will appreciate our hanging in with the flowers.  Our son, granddaughter and grandson graduated from OSU, and our grandson played football for OSU and not plays for the Patriots.  So we are major OSU fans!

That's it until I post again.