Thursday, March 16, 2023

It Feels Like Spring

The clocks have sprung forward an hour.  It's light longer and here on the East Coast it's been a relatively mild winter.  I, for one, haven't missed the snow piles or the bitterly cold days. So it's with a happy heart that I'm emerging from the darkness of winter and thinking of Spring.

My company has updated it's work from home policy and we're now required to be in the office 4 days a month. Since I absolutely HATE carting my laptop back and forth, I'm going to be in the office 2 days a week from now until at least October/November...which has made me want to sew some new garments.

I've been looking at the spring/summer offerings online, saving pics of items that caught my eyes.  These two interpretations of the same dress sparked an interest.

Probably because I've made it before and this dress is still hanging in my closet. 

It's from an out of print, Simplicity 2894 pattern. When I made it in 2017, I had planned to make more.  That never happened but I really want to make a few this year because it was an easy to wear, very comfortable dress.  I have several printed linens that would look amazing in this silhouette.  Of course I will maximize it since my ankles don't look as good as they did in 2017. 

I've been thinking about what I want to sew for spring.  Again it won't be a garment a week because I don't have the need even with going back to my office.  However, I'd like to add some different dress silhouettes to work with the dresses I made last year.  I'd also like to add some tops/blouses and toppers to wear over jeans. Realistically it doesn't get dress warm until late May/early June so a couple of those would be nice to add to my wardrobe too. 

Those are my thoughts as we roll further into March with Spring on the horizon... always more later!

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Floral Pleather & Black Knit Wexford

I've hoarded this pattern since it was introduced for the Cashmerette Club. While it debuted last summer, I always knew I wanted The Wexford for a winter top. It reminds me of my Pembrokes and this white cotton top that I wear all the time.

Rambling through the fabric collection, I found this floral pleather that I used in a denim dress in 2016 and some black knit I bought from StyleMaker fabrics in 2021. I've used the black knit before in one of my house dresses.  

Seems like this black knit was purchased to be the assist in garments instead of the star player.  

Here are the players for this version...

This is an easy sew complicated only by the pleather fabric I chose for the front.  I like everything about this even though I did lengthen it 2" and may lengthen it 2 more inches for future versions.

I use to have a policy where I wouldn't wear a garment until it had been photographed.  Since I'm no longer always up to pictures, I wore this to work 2 weeks ago.  This was one time I wished I'd taken the pictures first because then I would have realized that my pleather was bad.

The pleather separated from the knit backing at the side seams and it fractured in other places on the front. It was so much that I was shedding white confetti or pieces of pleather EVERYWHERE.  The black knit pants I wore with the top were covered in white sprinkles.  Even my black sneakers looked like a box of confetti had blown up on them.

A Few Pictures of the Damaged Top  ~

This was definitely a fabric fail and not a pattern fail.  This top was very comfortable to wear and I will be making more. Actually have one cut out to sew now. 

This pattern is part of the Cashmerette Club of which I'm a member.  I don't download the pattern every month but the ones I do I really like. I really like this one so plan on seeing several more versions of it. always more later!

Friday, February 03, 2023

I've Been Sewing

My sewing resolution for 2023 is to take my time, create more involved garments, and enjoy the journey more.  

My reasons are:

  1. I don't need a lot of new clothes.  I have a few holes that need to be filled but not enough for me to create large amounts of clothing.
  2. I want to explore the technique driven side.  Not just sewing techniques but fabric manipulation, dyeing, printing, quilting, the techniques that take time and aren't accomplished in a weekend.
  3. There have been some ideas that have been floating around in my mind that I've always said, when I have more time.  And as the saying goes, "You MAKE time for the things you want to do."  So I'm making time.

While I'm concentrating on making tops, because that's what I NEED right now.  I'm making tops with fabrics and techniques that need special handling. I want to take my time and enjoy the journey.  Sewing this way is going to slow my making way down...and I'm good with that!

I may even do more progress posts so my finished posts aren't so long and involved. I have one top finished, waiting for buttons and buttonholes and one top that I've just started.  However, the fabrics I used are what makes each top so distinctive and enjoyable to sew.

This is the first tunic I worked on in 2023. It's a MimiG Katie tunic that I've made several times before.  However, it's the panel print I used that made this sewing journey so enjoyable.

My second piece is a pleather and knit top from Cashmerette Club called the Wexford.

I have a few more tops queued up with fabric and patterns pulled and there are two more housedresses I want to add to my "house dress collection."  2023 is going to be an interesting sewing year and I hope you hang with me on my sewing journeys. always more later!

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Do You Jelly Roll???

Let's start out by saying I'm not a quilter.  Even though I've made several "quilting" projects, they're not my top must sews.  However, I love jelly rolls.  The thought of them, how the fabrics play so well together, how they can become so many different things.  

Whenever I see one, the possibilities of what the new yardage can be inspires me.  Especially black & white jelly rolls.  So while I'm not a quilter, I was inspired to buy several jelly rolls and make two yards of fabric from them to create a top.

Supplies used ~

2 packages of black & white Ankara strips purchased from Cultured Expressions.  Each package had 20 strips.

1 yard of solid black cotton fabric from StyleMaker Fabrics for the strips, sleeves and back insert.

7 3/4" buttons purchased several years ago from Pacific Trimmings

1/2" black bias binding also purchased from Pacific Trimmings

First let's discuss making the fabric ~

Honestly, this was the most tedious part of the sew and took me about 4 days to complete. I whined through this part because not only was each seam sewn but they were pressed open, then flat, and serge finished.


Here's how I made it ~

1.  Sorted the strips into piles.

2.  Determined how I wanted the layout of the strips to look.

3.  Sewed the strips together using a 1/4" seam. My sewing machine has a 1/4" foot with guide and one without a guide.  Using the one with the guide was SOOOOOOO helpful!

4.  After 11 strips were sewn together, I added a black strip cut in the same dimensions (2.5" x 45") to differentiate the sections.

5.  When each section was sewn, I pressed the strips to the left side.  Then each strip was serge finished. I did this because my yardage will be used for a garment and needs a cleanly finished inside.

6.  Continued this for 3 sections to get the yardage I desired.

You can see I made this yardage during my Christmas break!

Once you decide how much yardage you need - I needed 2 yards to make the top front, back, front facings and sleeve bands - then you can start your garment's construction process.

Since I had all of those seams, I chose a pattern that didn't have a lot of pattern pieces. I didn't want to cut apart the fabric I'd just sewn together. So I started with Anna Allen Clothing's Anthea Blouse.

Design/Construction Changes ~

I need you to know that while this pattern goes up to a size 22, in my opinion, it's not size inclusive. The hip measurement on a size 22 is 51" way below the amount of space I need for a flowy hemline.

I made some simple pattern adjustments to get the top to fit me.

  • I'm bigger on the bottom than the top.  So the shoulders and bustline on the size 22 fit with no problem.  My challenge is my abdomen and waist.
  • I also had no challenges with the sleeves since the design is for very wide sleeves.
  • On the front pattern piece I did a slice and spread from the abdomen to the hemline - spreading the pattern 1" at the hemline.
  • To add width to the back, I went with a design technique to get the necessary width. Especially since I needed to go from 51" to 65" at the hemline (this includes ease for wearing). 
  • I added an 8" insert to the back that when opened, gave me more than enough space in the abdomen and hip area.
  • The back pattern piece says to cut on fold. I cut them as single pieces adding 1/2" seam allowance to both. 
  • Then the insert was sewn to either side of the back pieces using a 1/4" seam allowance. 
  • I chose a point about 6" down the back and stitched the original two back pattern pieces together using a 1/4" seam allowance. 
  • Press flat and open and walah, extra width and cool design feature.
  • The last design feature was to cut the sleeves from the solid black fabric and the sleeve bands from the jelly roll fabric. 

A few more things ~

- I did lengthen the blouse by 3" because my comfort level is that everything adequately covers my abdomen and backside.

- I didn't want topstitching to show on my blouse front.  So I hand stitched the bias binding down and didn't include topstitching on the front facings.

- The pattern tells you to double roll the hem and topstitch it down. I used a bias binding to finish the hemline because the bulk in double rolling the hemline would have distracted from the finished look.

I have this thing about "corralling" patterns so your eye has a place to rest. I think it makes the finished garment more appealing to the eye. That is why I used the black sleeves, black strips, and black back insert.

Here are a few pictures ~

I did make a few design decisions that affected the end result but everything was done to highlight the beautiful fabric made from the jelly rolls. This was the only thing I made during my Christmas break.  Making the fabric took 4 days alone, then construction took another 2. I was fine with this project taking up the bulk of my sewing time.

Especially since this is my last post as a Janome Maker.  I've been a Janome Maker for almost three years and it's been a privilege and an honor to rep one of the best sewing machine companies out there. I'd like to thank everyone who worked with me at Janome to make this one of the best experiences ever! always more later!

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

It's 2023...

At times during 2022 it seemed like it was flying by and at other times it seemed to drag interminably.  No matter because the 365 days that comprised 2022 have passed into history and we're now moving forward into 2023.

Since I was trying to finish off 2022 posting makes that hadn't made it to the blog, I didn't do an end of year sewing review. For someone who thought they didn't sew much, I did end up completing 20 pieces. Which is a lot for the laid back lifestyle I live now especially since it's not that long ago when 40-50 garments were sewn every year.  Boy has life changed!

Let's recap, shall we...

My favorite make of 2022 would be:

This is another Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress. I love this silhouette and received a ton of compliments on this particular dress every time I wore it. I'm sure it's the fabric choice which I also adored. This dress was in the post, The Replacement Three.

The pattern that most surprised me - McCalls 7969

So much so I made it twice. This was one of my favorite summer dresses and I felt beautiful in it every time I wore it.  My last version was made late into the season and I didn't wear it out and about but it will definitely be worn in spring/summer 2023.

My favorite new top for 2022 - Simplicity 8658

I made two of these in 2022 but this one is my favorite.  I'm sure it has to do with the fabric I used. It cheers me up every time I wear it. It's also comfortable, a statement piece and it exemplifies what my lifestyle is now.

My least favorite make - The Cashmerette Club Gilmore Skirt 

My dislike has nothing to do with the pattern but with what I wanted and didn't get from the pattern. I completed the skirt, tried it on and thought yuck. It just didn't look like I wanted and that's not the pattern's fault.  That's also why there are no pictures of me wearing the skirt and probably will never be. It went straight into the donate pile.

Unselfish Sewing -

I used a scrap quilt that my Mother had originally sewn together to make this lap quilt as my May Janome project. It was an interesting sew that once again confirmed I'm not a quilter *smile* but remaking something my Mother originally sewed was a real full circle moment.


1.  I sewed several Style Arc patterns last year and I have a few more on my list to make in 2023.

2.  2023 will start off with me in top creation mode.  I have several I want to make and add into my wardrobe for winter and early spring.  Especially since I will be going back into the office twice a week.

2.  I've receded a lot from social media for a variety of reasons but mostly because I really just want to sew...not influence anyone, not sell anything, not front for another business, etc.  Because somewhere in there the joy of creating got lost in taking the best pictures, learning to make reels, and pushing garments out to have content on my or their pages.

3.  To me sewing what I want to wear, not always using the latest patterns or the trendy fabrics to create have a much higher priority.

4.  I also want to sew more from my fabric collection because I really don't want to add a lot more to my collection. I've spoken several times about trimming it down some and that is definitely the plan in 2023.  I've also accepted the fact that I will probably buy a piece of fabric every now and then until the day I die.  I just don't want to accumulate it at the pace I've previously accumulated it.

5.  Which brings me to the fact that my contract with Janome has expired.  My last post for them goes live in a couple of weeks and then I'm done.  It has been wonderful to be in partnership with them and I will get to keep my sewing machine so I'm thrilled about that.  Hopefully, I'm parting ways with them on a good note and I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the program.  If you're interested in repping an amazing sewing machine company, you should apply to them.

In conclusion (sounds like Your Honor should go there!  hahahahahaha), I want to find my joy in sewing again.  Make what I want.  Take flights of fancy.  Take my time and marinate in a project. Use some techniques that have been hanging out in the back of my brain because if not now, when? Dive into my fabric collection and pull out some of the treasures but most importantly I will continue to blog.

Yes, I'm sticking with blogging because honestly it's how I like to communicate my sewing with the world best.  Don't know how frequently I will do it but I plan to continue sharing here. I will keep up my IG page too but when I want and how I want.  I'm not trying to buck IG's algorithm - find me, don't find me, I'm good.  I will NOT be getting a tik tok page. I like to share my makes but it's the creating I desire more...and I want more of that on my own terms in 2023. I hope you'll still be hanging out with me here... always more later!

Monday, December 26, 2022

A Floral Rayon Romey

I have a thing for comfort. Gathered full skirt dresses with raglan sleeves work for me and are what drew me to the Sew House Seven Romey Gathered Dress pattern. Not only does this have a full skirt but it also has outside pockets that look to be sewn into the seams of the dress. I love this feature much more than in-seam pockets. I also love that this pattern goes up to a size 34 so accessible to a wide range of sizes. I made mine in a size 26.

I used a bubble crepe purchased from Fabric Mart at least five years ago.  I've been sewing with so much new fabric lately that it felt good to pull this from the shelves.

Construction Notes ~

1. The button loop pattern piece cut out was too fiddly for me. I purchased some small Goody Elastics several years ago to use for loops. I saw this tip on Katherine's blog years ago and have used it ever since. It has a good return and I don't have to fiddle with small pattern pieces. BTW, I'd picked out a button to go on the dress but never got around to adding it...and never missed it!

2. The pattern tells you to flat fell the seams. If I was working with a sheer fabric, I would definitely follow these instructions. However, I didn't see the need to do this with my rayon bubble crepe fabric. Let me state here that I'm not a fan of unnecessary finishing techniques when a simple serger finish will work.

3. Putting the neckband on was fiddly. I followed all of the instructions except the one where you fold it under and stitch down. Instead I clean finished the edge by serging the bias neckline piece. I didn't fold the entire neckline piece under.  I understitched and topstitched it down. I mean everything inside is serge finished so I had no problem with this.

4. The pockets ~ I put those pockets on twice and removed them twice, finally leaving them off. I had two issues.  One I couldn't understand how the directions tell you to put them on. Two I believe the pocket pattern is too small for the larger extended sizes. But mostly, I believe this is a ME problem and not a pattern problem. So whenever I make the next one, I will try adding the pockets again.

5. Maximized ~ the last thing I did when cutting out was add 4" to the hemline to make it a maxidress. Cause you know a midi dress wasn't working for me. I added 4" to the hemline because there wasn't a lengthen shorten line in the body of the pattern. Next time I will add one more inch because I like my maxis a little long.

A Few Pictures ~

I will make this again...probably several times!  I love raglan sleeves and this sleeve has some ooomph. It was the perfect dress for those hot & sultry last days of summer. It also received compliments every time I wore it. I highly recommend this dress pattern. always more later!

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Think Twice, Cut Once...

Originally I titled this post, "Remaking" but as I got into it I realized that Think Twice, Cut Once is way more appropriate. As you know fabric drives my creative spirit...and I've been looking for a fabric like this for awhile. It reminds me of some Dolce & Gabbana dresses from a few seasons ago.

Anywhoo, I found this RTW duster on HSN for sale. The fabric was everything I'd been looking for but hadn't found for an exorbitant price. So I purchased two of the largest sizes which were a 2x.

They arrived in a few days and I spent a couple of evenings ripping them apart. There was enough fabric to make a short sleeve maxi dress...the summer maxi dress of my dreams.

That was the easy part.  Deciding exactly what pattern to use, making sure that there was indeed enough fabric for my hopes and dreams, and then pinning and laying everything out, going over it several times, before finally taking a deep breathe and making those first few cuts...

Here is what I ended up with...

Now how did I get here...

First the pattern:

I used my Christine Haynes Verano bodice for this dress. The skirt is made from the two back pieces of both dusters.  They had the length and width I needed plus a bonus they were already hemmed. 

This is the third time using the Verano pattern so I would say it's reached TNT status.  The title of the post, Think Twice Cut Once, is because I had to cut the backs twice. I thought I had two different backs but ending up cutting two of the same side.  Not good.


Fabric ~

Using this fabric is like working with a border print, so I had to slow down the construction a little to think about how I wanted the finished dress to look. Also what I was willing to put up with since I had no extra fabric to pattern match!

To cut out the fronts, I used the already cut, interfaced and topstitched fronts...

The backs came out of two of the duster front pieces. I used the remaining front to cut facings.  Yes, facings.  

Piping & Buttons ~

In my mind's eye, I'd seen the bodice with piping and matching/coordinating orange buttons.  I just KNEW I had both in my abundantly equipped notions stash. Well yes and no...

I did have an orange ribbon that had polka dots on one side and was solid on the other.  I could make the coordinating piping using the ribbon and some purchased piping as the insert.

I did have a cache of orange buttons...but none worked. That meant I was going to resort to my favorite button matching method - covered buttons.  Which I do have a stash of for moments like this. However, when I went through the plastic bin that holds my covered button making stash, I found a bunch of other buttons in the bottom.

While the buttons don't match, they do coordinate with the fabric and the piping that I'd inserted. So I used them because I'd been dragging my feet on making the covered buttons.

Next I used facings to cover the piping. Since my fronts were already sewn down I needed to move away from the instructions and figure out how to make it work. The facings solved my issues.

Once the bodice was complete adding it to the skirt was no problem...

Here are my remade RTW dusters...

I have no idea why I only have one earring on in these photos?

I thought this was going to be a quick one day project even with the piping.  However, when I cut the backs out wrong, I set the dress aside and decided it could wait for my sewcation. BTW, RTW garments whether purchased new or thrifted are a great source of interesting fabric. And in this case solved a fabric desire and ended a chase.

I'm thrilled with the finished garment.  While I wanted short sleeves, once I chose the Verona bodice, I decided I didn't want the "challenge" of making and fitting a short sleeve to the bodice. It was supposed to be a fun, easy sew and I'd already complicated it with the piping & possible covered button situation.

I finished this garment during my Summer Sewcation.  As mentioned before, I didn't feel like taking pictures earlier this fall. So here I am - sharing them now before 2022 becomes a distant memory! always more later!

Monday, December 19, 2022


Once upon a time in the year 2020, back when the plague times first descended upon the world, I came into existence. I was created to hold back some of the horror of the death and disease that was in our midst. In the home times, when we weren't allowed to venture forth, I came into being...

Now two years have passed and the world has moved on so I've evolved too. I've become a fifth of a quartet of makes. But I'm the only one that is birthed from an original Myosotis make. It is my claim to fame.

Here are my components ~

4 yards of pink chambray from Fabric Mart

1 yard of Rifle Paper & Co. from the original dress

12 pink buttons from the original dress

Please note the difference in me versus the other versions are my sleeves which were borrowed from Vogue 9266 and enlarged. Here are a few photos of the process...

Enlarging the sleeves using the Vogue 9299 sleeve pattern

The "Slice & Spread" method

Followed the instructions in this book!

Some other construction photos...

The bodice constructed using the accent fabric for the collar and the sleeve cuffs

I was almost finished when I realized I wanted the contrast print 
to not only be the bodice facing but the skirt facing too.  
This is that facing being applied.

When I FINALLY start adding buttonholes and buttons, I'm almost done!

Otherwise, I'm like my summer companions. Myosotis' who've been created to replace the ones made during the plague or in the before times when hope lived.

A few more shots of me shining...

Originally I put covered buttons on the dress front but 
after criticism by my daughters I removed them...

...and went with my original plan of reusing the original buttons!

One thing my Maker has realized is that not all creations should be donated. Some of them have more life to live and should be lovingly dissembled to bring forth a new garment. 

I am that new garment...

I've worn this dress several times.  Out to dinner with my daughters and to work but I've never gotten a picture of me wearing it. I shared it on the dressform because I really need to clear these 2022 posts out of my queue and make space for 2023. always more later!

Wednesday, December 14, 2022


Y'all I feel like I'm just coming up for air and able to breathe freely for the first time in a minute.  It's been a challenging fall but I can feel the page turning. The urge to create is strong.

I'm on Holiday break from December 20, 2022 - January 2, 2023.  Fourteen days off to celebrate with my family, relax, and jumpstart my sewing passion.  I'm going to try hard to get those last garments up on the blog before the end of the year.  I really don't want to carry those posts into the new year.

I've cleaned off my sewing/cutting table.  This was it's original state:  

Here it is now:

It's looked like the top picture for so long that to have moved things around and prepped the top to actually use is so encouraging!

I reorganized my patterns. They've been moved from piles all over my sewing room to the blue & white tote next to the sewing table.  The patterns I really want to work on next are on top of the table waiting for fabrics to be paired with them.

Moved some fabric around and reviewed my Fall Sewing List. I really feel like making some tops for this winter.  I have plenty of shirts and need some variety to wear over my jeans and knit pants when going into the office.

The last photo is of my sewing machine eagerly waiting for me...

So that's my's not an ambitious one...but hopefully it will restart my sewing journeys. always more later!


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