Sunday, March 31, 2019

March 2019 ~ End of the Month Recap

I know I've sewn this month but it doesn't feel like it. So I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I have four completed garments. 

Monthly Fabric Update ~
Let's talk fabric accumulation first. Cause seriously in the first quarter of the year, I'm losing the fabric buying situation. It does feel like the fabric is multiplying in the Sewing Cave! Which is all on me...I mean 65 yards at Fabric Mart after the other 9 yards I purchased earlier this month means a total of 74 yards of fabric in.

(Shirting shelf that was reorganized)

I did rearrange things before going to Sew Camp...putting fabric in the shelves instead of just piling it up...making the piles smaller behind the cutting me some space for new fabric. Cause honestly I knew I was going to fabric shop last weekend, there had been something brewing inside me and I just released the valve.

MTD Totals ~                                           YTD Totals ~
Fabric In:  74 yards                                    Fabric In: 134.75 yds
Fabric Out:  14.5 yards                               Fabric Out: 54 yds

Garments sewn this month ~
I've made four garments this month - finishing off the Sew Camp garments this weekend. I'm really proud of the fact that every single garment I finished this month was made from deep stash fabric. Yeah for making space for all that new fabric coming in! LOL!

Since I spent the beginning of the month finishing the crocheted blankets, I thought my finished garment output this month would be lower than it actually was. These garments will make their way to the blog later this week. Need to schedule time with my daughter to get them photographed since the weather is getting warmer and we can head back outside. 

I'd like to note here that I'm grateful that I have my daughter to take my pictures because not everyone has someone. I also appreciate the time she takes to do this. I think the pictures she takes turn out much better than the ones I take of myself, she catches something that I can't alone.

I participated in two sew-along/challenges this month.  The Sew Your View monthly sew-along featured McCalls 7912. I liked the pattern. I'm really interested in adding more toppers/layers to my wardrobe and I thought this one would work for me. I'm still on the fence about the finished version, though.

The second challenge was the SewcialistsMiniChallenge. For this challenge I made a Pembroke Tunic using a knit from deepstash. That one will get some wear before the weather totally warms up.

I still have the pink linen shirt hanging around. I got caught up on how to make the tie work. I've figured that out now so will work on it a little this evening. Hopefully I will get it finished this month, its warming up so a linen shirt will be perfect for spring.

Going forward ~
April has some unselfish sewing in it. I will be making two outfits for my granddaughters to wear in my Mother's church fashion show. I'm not making an Easter outfit for me this year. I have something in the closet I can wear. While I have lists of things to sew for spring, nothing is grabbing me creatively yet. However, that can change when the weather does!

I do know that I'd really like not to add any fabric to the collection for the next two months. I'm headed back to Sew Camp in June with more fabric shopping so except for some special occasion fabric that I need to purchase, I'd really like not to add any more before then. We shall see especially since this seems to be the "Year of the Fabric." always more later! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

#carriagecornersewcamp March 2019

This is gonna be a long post.  I have a lot of pictures and I'm being lazy so one post just tap out when you've had too much! LOL!

The March Sew Camp is 2.5 days starting on Friday going through Sunday afternoon.  However, some of us more experienced campers show up on Thursday. Yes, there's a charge for staying an extra night but Gaylen usually gives us a discounted rate.  And honestly, it's nice to come in on Thursday evening and get settled.

Thursday Night ~
This year most of us came in on Thursday evening. When I arrived, Cora Lee and Marji were already set up and sewing.

Marji found this border print on the fabric giveaway table
and had completed a long sleeve dress by the time I arrived!

Cora Lee was working on a Sapporo Coat

Karel came all the way from Austin, TX to sew with us!
She's using one of the machines Gaylen loans out.

Fabric on the giveaway table

After the new arrivals got ourselves together we went out to dinner. It was the only dinner we had away from the B&B.

When we came back to the B&B most of us set up and sewed. I will admit I was the last to go to bed and turned the lights out at 1ish am.

Friday and the trip to Fabric Mart ~
The last of the Sew Campers showed up at breakfast time and we left shortly after that.

The Sew Campers taking the traditional end of shopping spree picture with Julie.
Left to right: Bernice, Cora Lee, Melanie, Karel, Gaylen, Marji, Shenetha, me & Julie of Fabric Mart

Julie graciously allowed us to bring our treasures out to the cars
in the cart. Cause only Shenetha shipped her fabric home.

After fabric shopping was lunch at Crave the cafe up the road from Fabric Mart. Marji left us after lunch, she had a prior family commitment, but the rest of us headed back to the B&B for some afternoon and evening stitching.

The Dining Room table with all of our purchases laid out

Bernice started working on 1 of the 2 blouses she made that weekend

Shenetha is working on a bomber jacket using a McCalls pattern

Melanie fixing a UFO

Cora Lee and Gaylen talking sewing with the group

Again, I was the last one up and turned off the lights.

Saturday Morning ~
We're staying at a B&B so the breakfasts are always amazing. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! 

With full tummys we descended to the sewing area and spent the day sewing. Helen, a Daytripper, joined us in the afternoon to sew along with us. 

Bernice, Helen & Cora Lee

Yes, if you live locally, Gaylen has rates for daytrippers.  Just contact her at to find out what they are.

More pics from the day...

The sewing table with the sewing machines
(Can you see the Mountain Dew at the far end - my spot! LOL!)

Melanie checking grainlines

Helen managed to get a picture of all of us sewing

I took this picture of the day's completed and items worked on hung up. So endeth Saturday...oh and I turned the lights out for the final time!

Sunday the Final Day of Stitching ~
After another great breakfast for the last day. The majority of sew campers were leaving that afternoon. I'd originally to head back to NYC on Monday morning on Amtrak but Melanie lives 20 minutes from me and offered to bring me and ALL of my fabric home.

Some final pictures...

Karel working on her dress

Karel's dress was so pretty I had to take a close up!

Cora "Hollywood" Lee working on a pair of Thurlow Pants

A weekend worth of stitching!

A final photo of the Sew Campers

Conclusion ~
It was another successful sewing weekend filled with fabric, laughter, conversation all about sewing and more sewing and meeting new sewists who brought some color and interest to my life.

I will be back in June for the 5 day Sew Camp. This one is sold out already but September is looming. I will tell you that when Gaylen opens registration for Sew Camp, using her mailing list, it sells out in 48 hours. So if I were you, I would send a note to Gaylen and get on the list. Cause really do you wanna miss out on the sewing fun?

Next up on the blog will be a few newly sewn pieces... always more later!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Fabric Satisfied

I love Sew Camp! I love the camarderie, the conversations, the laughter and seeing what other sewists are making. But mostly I love the Friday trip to Fabric Mart. To me its the DisneyWorld of fabric stores. I usually have to restrain myself from buying too much because of the quality of the fabric and the fantastic prices.

This year Fabric Mart bought out all the stock of Rosen & Chadick, a fabric store in the NYC Garment District that recently closed. Rosen & Chadick was an upscale fabric store that started on 40th Street and moved twice after the garment district was invaded by other businesses and the rents increased three-fold. I have fond memories of Rosen & Chadick on 40th Street and the couple of pieces I purchased there along with the garments made. So sorry that I don't have any pictures of those pieces.

Anyway, I was so thrilled to be able to shop some of those Rosen & Chadick fabrics. Especially since Fabric Mart left the original prices on the bolts and discounted them 60%. I need you to understand that these are some of the finest quality fabrics even if it's old stock.

fine wale printed corduroy

cotton sateens - love the mod print on the left

Printed linen and navy linen
These were the only purchases from the website

A navy & gray suiting - this piece is amazing!

A printed plaid shirting

I bought 16 pieces of fabric for a total of 64.75 yards...

The dark pile

The light bright pile

There is shirting, denim, linen, corduroy, chambray, cotton sateen, eyelet and a gingham in the piles.

I know...I's a lot of fabric. BUT the regret from only purchasing 5 pieces last year fueled this year's fabric orgy.  As each new garment showed up on social media from last year's campers, my regret grew. Especially since everyone doubled and tripled checked with me to see if I was SURE I didn't want a piece.

This fabric regrets! And yes, I know I'm going to the 5 day Sew Camp in June but I expect there to be new fabric then and more opportunities to own more of the Rosen & Chadick fabrics that are no longer in circulation.

I was also going to go to Zooks Fabrics on Saturday.  See they were having a 20% off sale on the entire store and I love their quilting cottons for shirts. I woke up Saturday morning, went down to sew after breakfast and just didn't feel like going. When one of the other Sew Campers asked me if I was going, I said no ~ I was "Fabric Satisfied".

While I would have loved to have walked around the store. I just didn't feel the need to touch and buy more fabric. My fabric tank had been topped off and all I wanted to do was sew!

This is my first post about Sew Camp weekend. More in the next post! always more later!


Monday, March 18, 2019


I opted to play the Minichallenge the Sewcialists were promoting this weekend. I love this account because ALL sewists matter, to the Sewcialists. They promote everyone who sews on both their blog and IG account. They fight for diversity of all types and assist anyone who needs a sewing group to identify with. They truly make anyone who sews feel welcome in the sewing community.

To participate in the challenge you had to first take a short quiz on the blog and it gave you a power word.  My word was spicy.  Y'all there ain't nuthin' spicy about me so I was stuck for a minute. SERIOUSLY STUCK!

Then I decided to think about the word literally. Spicy is a derivative of the word spice. So I went looking for some images of spice(s) on the internet. This picture inspired me...

It also reminded me that I had a knit on the shelves that looked like this picture.

Originally I was going to make a high/low cardigan but I didn't have enough fabric. I'd already cut out a Pembroke tunic to sew at Sew Camp which starts on Friday. Since that pattern was already out it was easy to cut another one.

Worn with a Cardigan made in 2012

2.5 yards of Cashmere knit fabric from Emmaonesock purchased in 2008

Besides the strips of Design Plus Bias Fusible Stay Tape that I put in the shoulders there are no other notions in this top.

- The sleeeves are shorter than the pattern and cut on the crosswise grain because of lack of fabric.

- The turtleneck is about 3" shorter than the pattern - again because I was short on fabric

- The sleeves and top's hemlines are sewn with a twin needle

Things I learned from this challenge:
1. I'm much better at the garments I plan out. 
Part of the planning allows me to think through all of the aspects of construction. To allow me to check the amount of fabric that I have and change my plans if I need to. It also gives me enough time to gather all of my materials.

2. Working on a deadline frustrates me.
When I'm frustrated I tend to drag my feet and many times miss the deadline. The only reason I didn't this time was because I chose a very simple garment to make.

3. Even my photo shoots are planned out
Working on such a short deadline, I'm in no mood to photograph a garment on myself. You know hair, make-up, shoe decisions...thank goodness for the dressform.

So I've completed the challenge. Made another Pembroke Tunic which goes with several things in my wardrobe and I will have a new outfit to wear to work this week!

I'm planning for Sew Camp now and my next post will be all about the trip to Fabric Mart (Disney World) and my adventures at Sew Camp! always more later!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Crocheting my Life Away

Last November the grandkids all got new beds.  They've reached the stage where no one needed a crib or a baby bed - so new beds. Along with new beds, my Mom bought each child a new comforter and sheets set. I couldn't be left out of this, so I told my daughter I would crochet each child a new blanket for their bed.

Now that I'm almost done can I just ask why?  Why did I volunteer to do this! *LOL* My first plan was to make four blankets by Christmas but that didn't happen...cause honestly crocheting four blankets during the busiest time of the year...not really happening!

I started the first one during my Holiday Break because I wasn't sewing. Miss Sammy's was finished first in time for her birthday on January 31st.  It was a pink and white granny square blanket.

(pictured in mid crochet)

At that time I decided I would make each of them one for their birthdays especially since their birthdays are mostly in the first quarter of the year.  Miss Aleena's birthday is in June but I made her blanket right after Sammy's because who needs a blanket in June?

(Again pictured mid-crochet)

Joshie's (the youngest) birthday is March 7th which gave me a little breathing room so I started working on it next, especially since Danny's birthday is 10 days later. Also, he's almost the same height as his mother so I would need a full adult sized blanket for him.

(Crocheted all from leftover yarn)

I finished Danny's blanket with a few days to go since his birthday is tomorrow. He will be 10 years old and I announced his birth here on the blog. It's made from all new yarn purchased from Hobby Lobby. It's the only one that's made from new yarn. The rest of them were made either from leftover yarn or a combo of new and old yarn.

...and I'm tired of crocheting. I'm sure that's why my sewing has pretty much been non-existent since I NEEDED to get these last two finished this month.

This weekend I'm cutting out my garments for Sew Camp which is next weekend and I'm making a quick garment to play along with the #SewcialistsMiniChallenge.

So regular sewing posts will be back soon! always more later!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Sew Your View - McCalls 7912

I've followed the monthly "Sew Your View" sew-alongs on Instagram almost from the beginning. Every month I see the new pattern chosen and while I love the finished garments, the pattern doesn't appeal to me for one reason or another.

For February, they chose McCalls 7912 and I thought finally a pattern that fits my lifestyle!

After thinking about it, I pulled a denim and faux leather combo from my fabric collection to make my version. So I'm already ahead because I used fabric from the collection! Yes!!!

Supplies ~
Denim from the collection
Faux leather purchased from Emmaonesock December 2015 (you can find other faux leathers here)
Denim bias binding from Pacific Trimmings

Pattern Alterations ~
I didn't have to make a lot of alterations to the pattern.  The finished hip measurement was 57" and this would close on me standing up but pull on me sitting.  So I added some space from the waistline down. 

- added 1/2" to the front side seam
- pivot and slide to back piece to add 3" at the hipline
- then added 1/4" to the back side seam.

This gave me a finished hip measurement of 65" which is more than enough room.

Construction ~
The construction changes I made were:
1. I used bias tape on the armholes instead of turning under and stitching down as the pattern instructs.

2. I added bias binding to the side seams and hong kong finished them.

3. Bias binding was also added to the hemline.

4. Topstitching was put in a lot of places to add some interest. The only thing is that I topstitched in navy thread because I didn't want to take away from the faux leather accents.

5. The faux leather accents were used on the pockets and upper collar.

6. I used the teflon foot for my sewing machine when sewing the faux leather to the denim.

Sequins are currently the rage in the online sewing community. Sequins are right up there with ruffles for me, not my thing. But give me a good faux leather and I'm a happy sewist! So my vest is a faux leather, denim and lace thing because I added the pinstriped lace shirt I made in 2017...which is so my jam!

A few sewing tips for sewing with faux leather ~
- I used a teflon foot to sew the pleather to the denim pieces. The teflon foot glided over the fabric so easily.

- Also I used pins all the way through. If a pin leaves a hole, I just smooth it out by hand. 

- And I use a steam iron to press the seams open and flat. However, I do use my organza press cloth folded over several times so that I don't melt the faux leather...but the steam does make the faux leather pliable so I can manipulate if if need be.

- The clapper was my friend. Again used the organza press cloth to protect the faux leather when using the clapper on the lapel.

A Few More Pictures ~

It took me awhile to take photos of this make because while I thought the crud was gone, I was still coughing and feeling lousy. Also as you will see in my next post, I've been crocheting my life away.

Finally, I'm not sure about this make.  One, I hate belts on me. I know others probably have a different take but this is my personal view. Alongwith that I didn't make the belt from the pattern. I've taken the belt from my denim coat because I'm not sure about the belt.

Two, I'm not sure I really like this style. I'm more a set in sleeves girl and the sleeve flanges kinda irk me. I will probably wear it and with another shirt because I think there's just too much going on in these pictures. But this vest won't be a favorite. It was fun, however, to work with the faux leather, which I have ALOT of in the collection.

So next up on the blog is my discussion of how I've spent the last three months crocheting... always more later!


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