The Sutton Blouse Goes Boho!


Hello friends! Here’s my entry for the first round of sewing in the Super Online Sewing Match II. Our patterns and gift certificates for fabric arrived on June 24 and we had 7 days to make our version of the Sutton Blouse by Kelli of True Bias.


I immediately went to Hart Fabrics online store to shop for just the right fabric. I fell in love with this bright turquoise, red-orange, yellow, and black rayon print. It’s buttery soft to touch, feels light and breezy, and sews up beautifully. Needless to say, I was very happy with it. Hart Fabrics is such a great store and seems to be well-curated. I  appreciated the fact that they will send you matching thread. That’s a helpful service for me, since I live 20 miles from the nearest fabric store.


The fabric itself spoke to me, and said, “lengthen the Sutton Blouse so you can enjoy wearing it alone and not share the stage with anything else.” It’s been hotter than H around here so less clothing is more comfortable….. I made the shift.


I cut and sewed a muslin first, and knew right away what modifications I needed to make. For me, the neckline needed to be a little larger. I also chose to make a small row of gathers, instead of the pleat in the back. I thought it would look better with the vertical stripes.


One of the challenges I encountered was pattern placement on the fabric. I had to think through this very carefully, because of the center front seam. I wanted the design to be centered and equal on both sides. As you can see, time to think it through and measure more than once, resulted in a red stripe right down the middle that was just as wide as the other red stripes. I’m pleased with that!photo 1


Styled with wooden slat belt and vintage boots

photo 2

French Seams…. ooh la la!

I loved all of the French seaming! I hardly ever do that, because I usually just serge all inside seams, but it feels and looks so couture. I didn’t finish the side seams as Kelli instructs, but just serged the raw edges and left it at that. When I made the muslin, I found that turning the seam allowance under and stitching it down, resulted in added bulk under the arms, and didn’t press flat along the curve.

Version 2

I prefer to topstitch side slits and the hem in one continuous stitch instead of crossing over the perpendicular stitches and using backstitching. I start at center back and go all the way around, up and down the slits, and back along the hem meeting up with where I began.

photo 3

When I tried the shift on, the length was just about right, but if I turned it up an inch it would be too short. I elected to use bias tape to face the hem. I cut a 1 1/2 inch bias strip from the left over fabric, ran it through the little bias tape maker, and pressed it as it came out. I unfolded one side, and sewed it to the bottom of the dress. I made the little corners on the slits, by sewing the bias tape right sides together with the dress, clipped the corners and turned them out. From that point, it was an easy finish, just press and topstitch. Since you can see the underside of the back, the diagonal print of the bias tape adds a touch of interest.


I thought this was an excellent first challenge. It was exciting to work through the pattern first as a muslin and then put all my ideas into the final version.  I’m really happy with how it turned out.


My youngest daughter happened to be here for the afternoon and she happily modeled for me. She looks so lovely and did such a nice job that I think I’ll probably gift her the dress. I’m having lots of fun and I hope the other contestants are too! Thank you, Sew Mama Sew for the opportunity! :)

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I am a contestant in the “Super Online Sewing Match II” !

I threw my hat in the ring at the last minute and was very surprised to receive an email saying that I was one of the 10 sewers out of almost 100 auditions selected to compete in the Super Online Sewing Match II by Sew Mama Sew! The 10 of us will be competing over the next several months. There will be eliminations after each round, so in order to stay in the competition, I’ll have to amp up my sewing mojo! It will be great fun, and seriously entertaining and informative. I hope all of you will follow along, and perhaps participate in the challenges set up for everyone. The grand prize is a Janome Sewing Machine!

SOSMII2Cruise on over and meet all of the contestants and join in on the fun!

Happy Sewing!


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A Rose by Any Other Name….

IMG_1061What pattern did you use? For my New-To-Me dress I chose the Cambie Dress by Sewholic.  I liked this pattern because of the sizing that is made especially for the pear- shaped gal. Now that’s me! I’m always grading smaller at the top to larger at the bottom.1202line

  • What fabric did you use? I used Gertie by Gretchen Hirsch, 2014 for Fabric Traditions which I picked up at Joanns for less than $6.00 dollars a yard. I bought all they had, which was close to 6 yards. I still have some left for a blouse I’ll make someday using one of Gertie’s patterns. Gretchen used to be an independent designer but now her patterns are sold through Butterick. She has an awesome sewing blog Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing which I enjoy visiting.


  • Tell us about the pattern – This dress is fully lined, which makes a great finish for the sweetheart neckline and the sleeves. I chose a lightweight polyester fabric for the lining, but I chose only to line the bodice, since I have a full petticoat to wear under it.


  • Did you include any fun/interesting/new-to-you details? I thought my fabric selection was a fun choice. I didn’t make a muslin first, but tried it on at various stages. It went extremely well. The only thing I need to adjust at some point, are the straps that connect in front. They could be adjusted to fit more snuggly. There is a bit of gaping when I lean forward.


  • What do you think of your finished garment? I adore this pattern, it’s so cute! I got lots of compliments from my girls who were here today to celebrate Father’s Day.


  • What would you do differently next time you make it? It took me forever to cut out the pattern, because the front and back pattern pieces didn’t make sense. The piece labeled Front and cut on the fold is smaller in width than the Back, which says to cut two. I really think there is probably an error here. Luckily, I didn’t blindly just cut it out, trusting that of course a “tried and true” pattern couldn’t be wrong. My skirt would have been almost twice as full in the back and I don’t need any extra there, if you know what I mean. ;) I chose to draft two rectangles about 55″ wide and cut one in two for the back seam. So next time, it will be so much easier. Has anyone else here made The Cambie version B and noticed this besides me?



And then there was that Marilyn Monroe moment!

Happy Sewing and Good Luck in the contest!

See more of my sewing projects at

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Time to Vote!

I’m proud to be part of the collective over at The Monthly Stitch. We are a group that has recently reach 1000 members! Of course we all love sewing and that brings us together each month in a theme related challenge. We post our sewing contribution along with pics and comments. Some of us are more active than others. Many just follow and comment and don’t always sew every month.

Once a year The Monthly Stitch hosts a 4 week contest to recognize and celebrate independent pattern designers. This week there are 15 finalist and I am one of them with my entry “Riding That Train”! I encourage you to pop on over and look at all of the great entries. You can vote for up to 3. I would love it if I was one of your picks! Thank you!

(The Monthly Stitch)

“Finally the judges have the 15 finalists picked and now it’s your turn to vote.

Voting is open from now and closes at midnight on June 20th (24:00 UTC)

You can only vote once but you can select up to three entries before you hit the vote button.”


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Riding that Train….

IMG_0905I’m so impressed with all of the entries for the Indie Dress Contest! There are some awesome makes using unique indie patterns. Many of which are brand new to me. It’s so neat to see what they look like on real people! Here are my coordinating separates for this week’s contest.


  • What pattern did you use? The top is a staple of mine, Lekala 4284 I’ve made it at least a half dozen times. I like the decorative feature on the back. I call it the Bow Back Top. You can see one here and a few here. The skirt is Itch to Stitch Petal Skirt. Currently a free pattern.


  • What fabric did you use? I used a medium weight black cotton/lycra from the Dharma Co. for the top. They also carry white which is specially made for dying. Dying is on my to-do list as soon as the drought is over and it’s not so hot outside. I used a textured sweater knit for the skirt from Vogue Fabrics.


  • Tell us about the pattern – The pattern is made to your measurements at the Lekala Site so it fits perfectly. It’s very easy to serge together, and finish the neckline, sleeves, and hem with the coverstitch machine. I highly recommend it to you all. It’s also a great stash buster because you can color block it with bits of this and that. I don’t like my tops really fitted so I added a smidgen more ease by moving the center line of the back, front, and bodice pieces 1/4 inch from the fold of the fabric.


  • Did you include any fun/interesting/new-to-you details? The knot on the back bow is made from the same fabric as my skirt. I hope it’s not too matchy matchy! :)


  • What do you think of your finished garment? I  made a muslin for the skirt and found that I could safely make the size medium. The skirt was  quick and easy to put together. I followed the clearly explained directions and was very pleased. I really liked the instructions for sewing in the waist band and elastic.


  • I am going to make another one for my daughter which may be posted in a later contest if I don’t get overwhelmed with work! Everyone who needs something sewn, mended, or hemmed as found me. It’s a good thing though, because I like the pocket change.


Happy Sewing and Good Luck in the contest!

See more of my sewing projects at

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Fun in a Field of Dandelions Dress


Here’s my entry for the Indie Pattern Month Contest for Dresses. I hope everyone is having fun sewing up all their entries for the contests this month. I know I am!

  • Pattern? Why did you choose it? I used Lekala Sewing Pattern #5124, a sleeveless blouse pattern for the neckline and because I wanted my personal size front darts and back darts. Then, I excluded the button up front and added a seam in the back for a zipper. The skirt is just 2 rectangles gathered at the waist. I also added side pockets.


  • What fabric did you use? Why did you choose it? I used a light-weight cotton blend from my stash. It’s a pretty green/blue/orage floral that I thought would lend itself nicely to the 50’s look I was going for.



  • 1123_technical_drawing_5576Would you recommend the pattern? Would you change anything next time? In theory, the bodice worked out well, but next time I think I will just choose a bodice that doesn’t have a button down front. It will probably save me some time.


  • Any interesting details? I lined the bodice which makes for a flat finish along the neck and armholes. I turned it right side out by pulling the backs through the shoulders. Then I under-stitched as much as I could. I went all out on the belt. I used a belt buckle from an existing belt, and several layers of very thick interfacing to form the belt. I used orange thread to sew decorative stitching along the edges. I even made orange eylet buttonholes.



  • What do you think of your finished garment? I love it! It has a a great swish and twirl!


  • First worn? We walked around the block and found a field full of blooming dandelions. My husband is really getting to be quite a good fashion photographer!

IMG_0862Happy Sewing!


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Me-Made-May for Him

His and Her for Me-Made-May

His and Her for Me-Made-May

I have made my husband a few shirts, but non of them were winners in his book, either because of the fit or the fabric choice. I was determined to get it right this time, and make him a great shirt that he would wear. I was successful this time! Yippie!

IMG_0702Just after I finished the shirt, I took measurements of the changes that I made and applied them to the paper pattern. Then, in order to make a good reusable master pattern, I ironed the tissue pieces onto freezer paper, punched a hole in the top of each piece, inserted a book ring, and hung it up. It sight and in mind!IMG_0705


  • Pattern? Why did you choose it? This is McCall’s 2149, An easy men’s casual shirt, with no button stand, or collar stand.
  • What fabric did you use? Why did you choose it? I used a 100% cotton, thread dyed, woven fabric from Joann’s. (My husband leans toward blue and blue plaid shirts, so I wanted to switch it up a little by including some yellow.
  • Would you recommend the pattern? Would you change anything next time? I like the pattern because of how easy it was, but I changed a few things which I will also change when I make it again. First of all, I added a back yolk by cutting the back pattern vertically about 6 inches down from the neck and then added seam allowance. Second, because the size is for a 42-44, the shirt was a little big for his 42 inch chest. I took in the sides almost two inches! When I adjusted the pattern for next time, I took out 1/2 inch through the horizontal middle of the front and the back, and then adjusted the sides by curving inward from under the arms and down the sides (that way, I saved the the armhole curve).
  • Any interesting details? I used a double needle to topstitch everywhere, I attached 6 buttons, not just five. I also made vertical buttonholes instead of  horizontal. Also I took care to match the fabric pattern on the sides and on the pocket. There is a bit of bias cut trim on the pocket, as I ran out of fabric and had to make do!
  • What do you think of your finished garment? If he’s happy, I’m happy. It was a successful project. Now I can buy better quality fabric and not be worried about it not turning out.
  • First worn? We went for a walk during Me-Made-May 2015. He wore his new shirt and I wore one of my Lekala dresses.

IMG_0700Happy Sewing and don’t forget about Indie Pattern Month weekly sewing contests during June on The Monthly Stitch! There will be lots of fabulous prizes!

Hop on over to my blog for more sewing adventures:

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