Roses for your Birthday!

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Happy Birthday TMS! What a great year it has been too. I appreciate all of your time and effort in creating and managing this wonderful site. You have given us the opportunity to come together and share our common interests.  Thank you so much for all of your hard work in promoting, producing, and hosting such a great community.


My eyes lit up when I saw that The Curious Kiwi had put together a cake inspiration post and featured one of Lekala’s patterns in the loveliest rose theme.

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Even though I had ordered the cutest cake themed fabric from Spoonflower, I just had to make this look instead! I have about 10 yards of rose fabric in my stash which is white with pink toned roses. All I had to do was dye it Baby Pink, to make it work. I used white rayon/cotton for the bodice and the tie, which I also dyed Baby Pink.

1694_small_image_10313Fabric: Hand dyed Roses on white background 100 % cotton
Pattern: Lekala 4368
Year: It has a retro look, especially with the tie
Notions: invisible zipper, Porcion Baby Pink dye
Time to complete: about 10-12 hours
First worn: August 23, 2014 for photos
Wear again? Absolutely!
Total price: Under $20.00



I underlined the bodice front and back with the same fabric, and also made the sleeves double, just to give it more body and not be see-through. It has a side zipper so that the tie around the neck is not interrupted. It looks really neat and finished.


You kind of have to carefully wiggle it on though. I strongly suggest that if you make it, you put your makeup on and do your hair after you have the dress on. I found my makeup on the white bodice after I took it off to put on a different bra.


It’s really a cute pattern and is very flattering! I’d love to see some of you try this one. At Lekala we are adding pictures of outfits made by our customers! It’s nice to see how something looks on a real person. Don’t you think? I hope you will share some of your Lekala makes. Just send your pics with the pattern number to the Lekala email address on the website.


I’m planning a random giveaway of few handmade items in appreciation for my bloggy readers when I reach 350 followers or when I write my 400th post, which ever comes first, so follow me if you don’t all ready!

Happy Sewing!

Posted in Blogging, Customizable Sewing Patterns, DIY, Dyeing, Fashion, Lekala, Sewing, Uncategorized, Video Production, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Steam Punk Refashion and Upcycle!


It’s time for our annual Kinetic Carnivale here in our little town of Willits. This year I designed a steam punk skirt using Lekala Pattern 5434 and the yoke from Lekala Pattern 5266.

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 2.06.05 PM

865_small_image_4286All of the materials and lace were purchased from the thrift.  It probably came to less than $10.00, but took hours to make.  I spent all day making the skirt and then hours finding a top that I could refashion to go with it.


The reason it took so long is that I decided to try some fabric manipulation. It really turned the plain muslin into something quite unique!  I sewed row after row of 1/2 inch pleats, then sewed horizontally across them, folding the pleats in opposite directions. I only had enough patience to do the front panel. I used the part I cut off from the front dip on the back yoke as kind of a faux bustle.


I think it ties the back and front together. I used the circular flounces from the pattern, adding more trim to the bottom of each. I went crazy with the lace, I’m sure it must have cost someone a fortune at one time, but I used it like it was endless and free!



For the top, I used a RTW top that I’ve had for a few years. It has a textured yoke with fabric swirls and lots of metallic do-dads. I chopped it off to meet up with the top of the skirt yoke. I didn’t want anything to cover that cute bustle in the back.


I also rummage through my purse making supplies and found a small piece of leather that I made into a pouch to wear on my belt. For the belts, I used one black belt and a few purse straps with metal hooks to go around my waist. I have this great pin that a friend gave me that represents sewing! I pinned that to my skirt.



Other accessories include: a headband with a flower and feathers, pearl beads, red bracelet, and silly sunglasses. I glued buttons around the rims!


I’m more than ready for tonight’s Kinetic Ball! Should be lots of fun!

I’m planning a random giveaway of few handmade items in appreciation for my bloggy readers when I reach 350 followers or when I write my 400th post, which ever comes first, so follow me if you don’t all ready!




Posted in Blogging, crafting, Customizable Sewing Patterns, DIY, Lekala, Sewing, Upcycle, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Revisiting The Catalina 40’s Dress


Do you ever look in your closet and wonder why you haven’t worn a particular dress you’ve made? I had some time between editing for Lekala, and doing alterations, to try on a few of those dresses that just stay in the closet, but never are worn. They stay because there is something about them that I love, it’s either the fabric, the style, or both. In this case, it was both. What I didn’t like so much was the fit. That’s why, it hasn’t been worn. When I tried it on, the front of the under-arm sagged out a bit, and didn’t fit closely against the body.  The back stretched across the grain, and slipped down exposing the strapless bra. I knew just what I had to do to fix it.


I flipped out the facing, which luckily I had not under-stitched, and sewed stay-tape (a woven tape 1 cm wide) to the seams. As I sewed, I gently pushed the fabric ever so slightly toward the needle under the stay-tape. Not enough to pinch the fabric, but just enough to take out any possible ease. I under-stitched, and topstitched all the seams, 1/4 inch from the edge at a 3.5 wide stitch. This did the trick! I wore this dress to a birthday party, and received many compliments. It’s a keeper!

The Facts:
patternFabric: Red and white print cotton from Beverlys
Pattern: Retro Butterick  B5214
Year: 1947
Notions: invisible zipper
Time to complete: One hour to cut and a day to make it
First worn: June 25, 2012 on Catalina Island, again in 2014!
Wear again? Yes!
Total price: $15.00

july-catalinaI made this dress in 2012 as a weekly contributor to The Sew Weekly. You can still read the entire post and see more pictures over here.


I’m planning a few giveaways when I reach 350 followers or when I write my 400th post, which ever comes first, so stay tuned!

Thanks for looking and happy sewing.


Posted in Blogging, DIY, Lekala, Sewing, Travel, Upcycle | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Little Geometric Gem Poncho


I’m going to make the deadline! Over at The Monthly Stitch it’s a monochrome sewing challenge and I have accidentally, on purpose made an unlikely garment for myself. While visiting my daughter las week, she handed me this lightweight stretch knit fabric and Simplicity SewSimple pattern A1639, along with the fabric for the Poncho Atitlan  that I made last week.


I would have never imagined how cute and comfy this particular cut would be. I’m in love! I usually choose more fitted and structured looks for myself, but I’m glad to have “sewed outside the box” and stitched this little geometric gem together. Lucky for me too, that it fits the monochrome theme.


It’s an easy construction, just two pieces, back and front, plus neck facings. I decided not to face the neck edge as the fabric is very thin and instead, I created a neck band from some black cotton/lycra that I have in my stash. The most time consuming  part was the lower edge. I serged it first, and then I tried out my new Janome cover stitch machine for the first time.


I had to change the sample thread to black, which was a new experience. You have to thread it perfectly or the cover-stitch won’t look right. It was a challenge, but I didn’t give up. My fabric is very lightweight so I also had to adjust the tensions. I couldn’t figure out if the smaller numbers or the larger numbers were the tighter stitch….and I still don’t know for sure. Do you know? It wasn’t even in the manual!


Anyway, after much trial and error on scrap fabric, I pressed up the edge and topstitched it with the perfect two row stitch.


This was a test run of this pattern, and really this is just a wearable muslin. I don’t know what will happen once it is washed. The fabric is not top quality, but it sure does have a great geometric pattern! I have a few more yards of it too!

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I’ll be delivering this top to my daughter who owns a bohemian gift and clothing store called “Gathered” in the destination town of Healdsburg, California. It’s in the heart of the wine country! Great wine, delicious food, a tourist event almost every week, and  beautiful countryside, dotted with vineyards and wineries. What’s not to enjoy, right?



I think I would look very stylish wearing one of these ponchos, with a glass of wine in my hand. ;)


I’m planning a few giveaways when I reach 350 followers or when I write my 400th post, which ever comes first, so stay tuned!

Thanks for looking and happy sewing.


Posted in Customizable Sewing Patterns, DIY, Lekala, Sewing, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Poncho Atitlán

IMG_8668A Guatemalan scarf found it’s way from the thrift to my sewing room via my daughter, who has an artistic eye and great fashion sense. We decided to make a simple pullover poncho, that would show off the traditional woven border on this light grey cotton blend fabric.IMG_8695She also had some thrifted trim that we used around the neck and the bottom edge. It was a quick and easy sew, and the finished garment is simple in design. All we did was cut out a section in the middle, so that the length was right, sew the shoulder/sleeve seam, sew up the sides, and cut a neckline.

IMG_8686Ponchos are very trendy right now. I have another version that is almost finished, and was cut following a pattern. I’m anxious to see if it has a more flattering silhouette.  This one just does its own thing! What do you think? Do you like ponchos?




Thanks for looking and Happy Sewing!



Posted in crafting, DIY, Family, Sewing, Upcycle, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

In case you missed it!


In case you missed it, here’s the interview I did for The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month Event. I talk about the Indie Pattern Company that I work for, Here’s the interview! Thanks for looking. :)



Posted in Blogging, Customizable Sewing Patterns, DIY, Lekala, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thank you for your votes!

Even though I didn’t win during The Monthly Stitch Sewing Challenge, it was great fun to play along. Many of the sewers had outstanding and creative garments in the weekly challenges, so it was really hard to choose. I appreciate any votes you may have cast my way.

As an editor and sewer for, my goal was to share with readers how a few of the patterns look on a real person. On behalf of, we just want to say how much we enjoyed participating and contributing prizes to the winners.

Please visit our diverse collection of styles and see what you might want to sew up! Just put in your measurements, your printing preferences, and within minutes you’ll have your pattern! If the pattern says, “Edited by a native speaker” at the top, you’ll know I’ve made it even easier to understand. If you have any questions about the directions, I’m happy to help you out, just email me. You can do that on my sewing and alteration page. I’ll get back to you just as soon as I can. In the mean time, happy sewing!




Posted in Customizable Sewing Patterns, DIY, Lekala, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment