Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Holiday Sewing Plans

I'm almost to the limit of allowable accrued vacation time. So I decided to take the week before Christmas to catch on my sewing. Can't wait. BIG plans..., Yeah uh huh sewing. My hope is to complete the Urban College Girl Collection before Christmas. BTW - I finished four of the knit tops, working on reviews. I would especially like to have the coat done. I have five more pieces to finish. The coat being the most diffcult. I ordered the fabric from Georgeous Fabrics. I can't wait to receive it. Ann really has a lot of nice fabric. Take a look. You'll definitely want to buy something. See link to the right.

Vintage Pattern Give Away

I asked my DD to scan the first set of patterns for me. After she was done, she kindly replied, "The June Cleaver Collection. By the way, I want something made from three of them. So please keep these. Thanks."

So ladies here is the first set of vintage give away patterns:

Background: These patterns were purchased from a thrift store a few years ago. Most of them are size 14, which translates to a size 10 by today's standards. The average copyright date is 1959.

If you want any of the patterns below, post a comment selecting the pattern(s) that you would like. Then send an e-mail to me at with an address to send patterns to. Thanks, Happy Sewing!

Size 12; cut

Size 14, uncut

Size 14, partially cut

Size 12, partially cut

Size 16, uncut

Size 12, partially cut, no instruction

Size 14, uncut

size 14, cut

Size 14, cut

Size 14, uncut

2 patterns: Sizes 14 and 12, partially cut

Monday, November 26, 2007

Jersey Girl! McCall 4547 and Butterick 4973

This is the first dress of several that I plan to sew this season. At the beginning of the season, I started designing a fall collection that would include a variety of garments. It was hard to narrow down a few pieces to compliment what I already have in my wardrobe. So I decided to create a dress collection as a sub-set of a larger collection for myself.

Pattern Description: This is a out of print McCall's pattern, 1989, size 10. Misses's Dress - For Stretch Knit Only: Close fitting dress with princess seaming has raglan shoulder pads, side zipper closure, front neckline ties with or without contrast and trumpet shaped skirt.

Fabric Used: blue/purple matte jersey. I love jersey. It's easy to care for and very comfortable to wear.

My version of the dress did look like the photo and drawing. The instructions were easy to follow. There were no confusing or complicated techniques involved in the construction of the dress.

I really like the style of this dress, particularly the trumpet shaped skirt and versatility of wearing the tie. Nothing to dislike.

Pattern Alterations: I made several alterations: my usual sway back, board shoulders, and FBA. I omitted the side zipper. The neckline was wide enough to slip the dress on without the additional side opening. When I purchased this pattern I was between a size 8 and 10. Now I'm size 12/14. so I had to alter the pattern pieces to accommodate my current size. I used M4930 as guide to make the adjustments, including a little extra room as I don't like my clothes too tight. (Normally I add two inches to the length of dresses. In this case I didn't. It was very long to begin with.)

I probably would not sew it again. It's unique enough that I wouldn't want the same dress again unless I changed the tie and neckline.

Conclusion I had fun making this dress. I like the style options and it is very comfortable and easy to wear.

Pattern Description: MISSES’ DRESS: Dresses A, B are below mid-knee, slightly flared, have high waisted bodice with elastic casing, skirt and sleeve variation. A: gathered sleeve with sleeve band. B: three-quarter length sleeves with elastic casing, lined skirt with gathered lower edge and elastic casing.

Pattern Sizing: (8, 10, 12, 14) I made view A, size 12 with alterations.
I used a macroon matte jersey.

My dress did look like the photo. The sleeves on the model were loose at the arm band. My was snug. I think my arms are a little thicker than the arm size drafted for this dress.

The instructions were easy to follow. I didn't care for the bulkness of the method noted for finishing the elastic casing. So I modified it slightly to suit my preference. I trimmed the bodice seam allowance to 1/4 inch as instructed. Instead of turning under 1/4 inch on the skirt seam allowance, I finished the raw edge by overlocking. Then press and form the casing.

Like: It was simple and cute. I thought it would be a easy dress to make. Dislike: The neckline is too low. I wish I had thought to bring it up about two inches.

Pattern Alterations: I did a FBA, added 3/4 inch to the shoulder seam, and added 1 1/4 inches to the side of the front skirt to match the increase in the bodice front. I lengthen the skirt by two inches following the pattern instructions.

The first attempt at a FBA covered the width, but did not provide coverage to the rib cage.

On the second try, the adjustments were adequate.

I probably would not sew it again. I have other dresses that I would like to try. But I would recommend it to others.

Conclusion Easy dress to make.

Great Holiday Weekend

Time to enjoy family and friends, time to sew, and time to do nothing at all.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Taking Inventory

I am fortunate to have today as a paid holiday. Of course, my plan is to spend most of it doing something sewing related. For starter, went to the basement to get my oldest patterns, 70's and older. My ex often shopped at thrift/antique stores in search for whatever. On a few of those hunts, he snagged bundles of vintage patterns that he gave to me. I spent about an hour looking through them deciding which ones to keep.

Sew Sista' #1 recently had a pattern give away. I'm thinking about doing the same. Since joining PR and blogging I've discovered a huge community of sewists who love to sew vintage patterns. Like Sew Sista' #1 I would like to pass some of my pattern collection to anyone who is interested. Once a week I will post pictures of several to give away. If you are interested, leave me a comment to choose which patterns you want. Then fire an e-mail to me with your mailing information. I'll ship them to you in seven to ten days.

Last night I started working on the five knit tops of DD's Fall collection. I stayed the shoulders, sewed them and the side seams. Before continuing, DD needs to try them on to check the fit.

Next, I decided to fish through my UFO's in hopes of including a UFO dress in my collection. I found one: B4849. This was cut last winter. So I overlocked the edges. I think I can finish the tops and the dress before Monday.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Fall is my favorite time of year. Don't know if it's because I was born in the fall or if it's because of the beautiful that fall brings to my part of the world. Fall is also the time of the year when Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. True thanksgiving is continuous and is more than an expression of gratitude for wealth, happiness, and prosperity. Oh, let us not forget Thanksgiving dinner. It is also about the practice of giving of ourselves, our substance, and our time.

There are so many things that I'm thankful for, tangible and intangible. It would take too long to express them all and I would probably forgot something important. But to sum it up, I'm thanksful for:

  • A true and living God, who continuously blessing me.

  • I'm still above the dirt

  • Good health

  • My sweet pea, Lauren

  • Presence of mind

  • The love of family and friends

  • Gifts and skills

  • The capacity to love and to give

  • A job and/or the ability to get a job

  • A bit of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding

  • love, peace, and happiness; good and bad times

Yesterday, I took a vacation day. Initially because I'm usually the host for Thanksgiving dinner. This year my mom is the host so that freed my day up for sewing. I was able to finish two dresses: the dress(B4973) that I started on Saturday and M4547. It was great. I'll post pictures later.

After finishing the dresses, I cooked the Thanksgiving ham as promised. >

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pandora's Radio

Check out Pandora Radio. First, test drive it.
You can do so by opening the website and typing in the name of a song or artist.
The test drive plays four or five songs; then you can decide to subscribe.

To subscribe:
Click Continue Listening button
Type in login information
Click Continue
Click Listen for Free
Click Continue
Click Create a New Station
Type Name of song or artist. It creates a radio station of similar songs and/or artists. eg., Ms. Jill Scott.
The station gives you the option to rate the songs. It's free. Free forever.



Thank you!

Thank you for your prayers. Your support is greatly appreciated. I believe God tests us everyday. Some tests are huge, while some we don't recognize. One good thing about tests is that what doesn't kill us has the potential to make us strong. Some might say that these kinds of matters are too personal to discuss. That may be the right approach for some, but I think differently. We all at one time or another will go through a stressful or life threatening situation that causes us to buckle at the knees. This morning as I drove to work I thought about the Take Your Love One to the Doctor campaign sponsored by the Tom Joyner Morning Show. The whole idea behind this is to encourage people to be more conciousious about health care by routinely going to the doctor and to increase awareness about preventive measures that improve the quality of life. My brother in law came home very ill on Thursday evening, but would not agree to go to the doctor until Saturday. Since then, we have learned that he had suffered a stroke resulting in some brain damage. Good news: he did not suffer any known physical paraylses. Bad news: he has high blood pressure, some memory loss, and a blocked vessel/artery in the brain. There are more tests to come.

I would like to encourage you, men in particular, to take time out to see the doctor. It could make a BIG difference in the quality of your life. It could increase your options on how to treat or cure the problem.

Now on a lighter note: while house and baby sitting I got to know my sister's latest family addition a little better.

This is Hudson. He loves everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Saturday - Family and Sewing

Yesterday morning I rose with the anticipation of sewing some of the knit projects that I cut out last week. I got my car washed before heading to the Pancake House for breakfast with friends. After breakfast, I headed to the mall. JC Penny's was having a sale, can't pass up a sale. lol Well after the mall, I stopped in Hancock's, bought two more patterns S4122 and S3846. I was really looking for some trim for a few of the dresses I'm planning to make. No luck. I guess I'll have to make a trip to Vogue Fabrics after work this week. So I headed home to start my planned sewing for the today. Well I was able to put the skirt and bodice together for B4973. Then I got a call from my baby sister. She had to rush her husband to the hospital emergency room; she needed me to come stay with the kids. His blood pressure was through the roof, and he suffered some memory loss. Well the doctors were able to stablize him; they've run several tests trying to figure out the problem. Long story short. Just before 6:00am she returned home very tired and very worried. We're getting breakfast and watching movies. She'll go back to the hospital later. My mother and I will probably stay another day or part of the day so she can take care of her husband. We'll learn more later about his condition.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Knit Tops and Dresses

Saturday night I was able to cut out four tops for my DD and two jersey dresses for myself. No sewing yet. Hopefully next weekend I'll get some sewing time.

Pee Wee Super Bowl - "Get Fired Up"

Wide Receiver
7 wins
3 losses

Saturday morning the family trekked over to the Hillside stadium to cheer on the Markham Patriots, Pee Wee football team. My nephew, Chris (ironman), is the wide receiver and one of the co-captains. As we approached the parking lot, we saw a few of the teams warming up. There were at least two different divisions (pee wee and junior varsity) playing. The Patriots started to warm up shortly after we arrived. The first game was already underway. Chris's team was up next. They marched onto the field. The cheerleaders took their position and started to chant, "Get Fired Up". These little guys played their hearts out. In the end, the Patriots were only medalled for playing the Super Bowl. Their opponent (East Side Bulldogs) made two touch downs to the Patriots one. After the winner was announced, the Patriots congratulated the Bulldogs and proceeded across the field for the coaches pep talk. Afterwards, the team members turned in their uniforms. The family anxiously awaited for the team to come through the gate. My heart was touched by the sensitivity of Chris's teammates. The quarter back was crying; one of the wide receivers was crying. No tears for Chris though! lol. So we all went back to my sister's home for refreshments. I'm glad that his parents are allowing him to do something that he loves. He is enthusiastic and driven, and a honor-roll student. We are very proud. Next year Chris will move to the next division, junior varsity. The following are a few photos from the game.

Patriots Marching onto the Field

Team Line Up

Cheerleaders taking their place

Roy, Chris's brother

Trice and Mom

Mom and Son

Christopher, the Ironman

Friday, November 9, 2007

Fall 2007 Collection for Me - Muslins and Dresses

It has taken me forever to decide which dresses to make, out of the fabric that I already own. I made muslins for five of the ten patterns selected. Here are my choices:

S3673: I really like view A, will make in a macroon/black chevron patterned wool blend. This pattern runs a little small. I cut a straight 12. When I tried on the muslin, it gave me the caterpillar affect from the bust through the upper hip area. OMG! I couldn't wait to take it off! Alterations: FBA and broad back -- Oh yes, I'll cut it a size and half larger.

M4930: For me this pattern required minimum alterations. I'll make this in a chocolate polyester gaberdine. This is pattern is designed by Palmer/Pletsch the Fit Experts so all of the alteration lines are drawn onto the pattern pieces.

M5269: I'm making view A. After seeing Ann's awesome version on PR, I decided to try it. Fabric: cherry red monece polyester satin. This will probably be my holiday dress ;-). Alterations: FBA, sway back, and add 2 inches to the length.

V8411: I really like this dress (B), my DD says it looks like a night gown and no fabric choice could compensate for the lack of style. I beg to differ. So I'm still contemplating this one. It's very comfortable. What do you think?

M5467: The verdict is still out on this one. The muslin was fine, but...,

Other dresses that I plan to make before Spring

Fall 2007 Collection Fabric

I have an assortment of wool, wool blends, polyester jersey knits, faux suedes, plaids and cotton blends.


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