It’s all Happening in Queue for the Zoo



11004IllustrationPattern: Archer by Grainline Studio
Fabric: Liberty Tana Lawn “Queue for the Zoo” SKU: ZOO-G
Year: contemporary, and classic
Notions: thread, buttons, interfacing
Time to complete: One day to cut, one day to make
First worn: January 2016 between rainstorms
Wear again? It’s my go-to long sleeve shirt
Where to shop?Fabric and pattern from White Tree Fabrics


I was very pleased with my fabric choice from White Tree Fabrics. I’ve never made a shirt out of cotton lawn before and I love it! It’s a lightweight, almost opaque fabric, that is soft but slightly crisp. The designer of this fabulous fabric is OK David, an illustrator and children’s author that together with the Liberty Art Fabrics Department designed “Queue for the Zoo”. You can read more about OK David in an informative interview on Liberty Craft Blog here.


OKDavid222blogI used the famous Archer pattern by Grainline Studios that I also received from White Tree Fabrics. I like White Tree’s selection of Indie patterns. I’ve been wanting to try this shirt pattern for awhile so I was pleased to see that Grainline Studio was among them. I appreciate the clear step-by-step instructions and great illustrations printed in booklet form. IMG_0823After ironing the pattern pieces, I anchored them to the wrong side of the fabric with my stone weights. I traced my size using a tracing wheel and tracing paper and cut each piece out one at a time, being careful to match the fabric print on the center fronts, and pockets. I like tracing the pattern on to the wrong side of the fabric so that I can keep the pattern in it’s original form with all of the sizes to use for other family members.

Sewing it together was easy until my sewing machine started skipping stitches.IMG_0778 I did all of the troubleshooting suggested by everyone on the internet including: re-threading, new bobbin, changing the needle, checking tension, and thoroughly cleaning the machine, as well as removing the plate, and getting rid of all the fuzz around the the feed dogs. Nothing worked! I almost packed up my machine and took it to the Sewing Store for a service, but decided I’d go through all the troubleshooting ideas one more time.IMG_0844Upon closer look at the plate, which I did with a magnifying glass, I noticed that the hole where the needle goes through was rough and had a tiny snag. I know the cause of the that too. It happens when you are sewing something thick and your needle breaks! So, everyone one, add that to your list for troubleshooting skipped stitches. And how did I fix it? I used a metal manicure file that fit nicely through the slit in the plate, then I filed it smooth. One day I may order a new plate, but for now everything is working fine.

IMG_0843Because of the skipped stitches in my topstitching and because I found the cuff to be too large around my wrist, I actually took the cuffs off my sleeves, altered the length and reattached them. I picked out any topstitching with skipped stitches and re-stitched it as well. IMG_0783I French-seamed the sides, used a buttonhole placement tool, and a buttonhole cutting tool for the first time, and sewed the buttons on with my machine. IMG_0776Sewing the collar, and collar band to the shirt is always the hardest part. I like the method that Grainline Studio explains and it worked out very nicely for me.

I also plan to try version 2 which has the gathered back from the waist over the hips. It may be more flattering through the back because the pleat is eliminated and the fullness is only down where you need it! :)


Meet Heidi my Sewing Buddy!


blogteamlogoThank you, White Tree Fabrics!








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Pea Coat Nouveau

IMG_0754Fabric: Navy Blue Wool and silky turquoise lining
Pattern: Vogue 8884 View B
Year: Classic (this design dates back to the 1700’s)
Notions: Gold metallic buttons with a blue center
Accessories: Hand crocheted scarf (made by me)
Time to complete: a few weeks
First worn: January 20, 2016 on a walk around the neighborhood
Wear again? Definitely! It provides just the right amount of warmth
Total price: The fabric was thrifted, buttons, fusible interfacing, and thread came to around $20.ooIMG_0686It wasn’t my intention to make a pea coat or even title my blog post as such, but after wearing it and doing a bit of research on the history of the pea coat, I was reminded of the one I used to have. The buttons on my new one add a little sparkle to the solid mass of blue and the turquoise lining would not be found in the traditional pea coat. So mine is a version on the classic pea coat that has suddenly brought back memories of being a teen in the 70’s.IMG_0715Pea coats were all the rage in the late 70’s. I loved mine, and not just because it was popular, but because of the fit, style, and the color.

We were sophomores on a school outing to the coast in August 1970. Besides taking pictures of each other, we thought the hippies in the VW bus were “far out” so they ended up in my album.IMG_0721I love my modern day wool coat because it looks so similar to the classic pea coat of long ago.IMG_0709This was a stash busting project and a pattern test. I used Vogue 8444, a pattern I’ve had for awhile, and a piece of navy blue wool and turquoise silky “something” that I bought at our local Senior Center Thrift Store. The store is a gem for people who love fabric. All fabric is $1.00 a yard, no matter what the content. Many cuts are vintage and rare. I’m always in heaven on a day when they have a great selection.IMG_0707I followed the directions to the letter, and found the construction logical and easy.  I underlined all of the wool pieces with Pro Weft Supreme Medium-weight Fusible Interfacing from Wonderful product! The lining is a really a fun color with red, gold, and blue diamonds. I like the inside surprise!IMG_0688The one thing I did do that was different from the pattern, is fuse the hem of the coat and sleeves with Stitch Witchery before slipstitching the lining in place. I don’t think I would do it any other way. It holds the hem in place perfectly, without a bump or stitch to tell the tale.IMG_0694I have a machine set up only for making buttonholes and I can trust it to make perfect ones every time. It’s just an inexpensive mechanical machine, with the manual 1,2, and 3, dial that you turn to stitch back, forward, and bar-tack. Unfortunately, my computerized  Pfaff isn’t smart enough to do a decent one. The buttons I used have a large shank, so on the side of the coat with the decorative buttons, I made buttonhole, cut a tiny hole in the buttonhole, pushed the shank to the inside and tacked them tightly in place. Now they look like they are functional and not just dangling oddly on the outside of the coat.IMG_0761On to the next project, lesson, or alteration!

Peace, Love, and Understanding!





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Featured in Sewing World Magazine

badge7, one of several sewing and crafting social media sites, is featured in the February Edition of Sewing World Magazine. As part of the team, I’m flattered that Sewist is represented so thoroughly in the article. The website, Sewist, is the genius idea of Natalia K., my boss. I’m a consultant, blogger, social media promotor, and the expert sewist with our own pattern company, where I provide customer service to patrons who need help with their sewing projects.

Our site, Sewist is an international community of sewists, designers, and crafters, that come together to share projects, purchase patterns, join groups, use tools for storing and managing fabric stash, sell and buy patterns, find job opportunities and many more features yet to come!

The article  in Sewing World Magazine says it best!


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Read the rest in Sewing World Magazine! And visit their links here:


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All Sewn Up in 2015

Just some of the highlights of 2015!

I pledged not to buy RTW clothes and made all of my own. I posted my makes to The Monthly Stitch, Kolabora, and Sewist as well as to my blog at I worked for Lecien Fabrics, making seven spectacular men’s shirts and bow ties for their executives to wear at the International Quilt Market in Dallas. I continue to work for Lekala Pattern Company and the sister site, Sewist as a consultant, sewing expert, and customer relations manager. I also became a blogger for White Tree Fabrics.  I’m especially thrilled to have almost 1000 followers between WordPress and Bloglovin. This recognition and appreciation for my love of sewing from others brings me much happiness and inspires me to keep on sewing and blogging. In the other moments of my day, I do alterations, give sewing lessons, and spend time with my husband, daughters, and puppy.

I’m excited about 2016! What will I make? Where will I go? What will I accomplish? I’m just as curious about all of the sewists and artists that I follow too. I’m looking forward to another year of camaraderie with all of you through your sewing blogs and websites. May 2016 be filled with accomplishments in whatever makes you happy!

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Giraffe Pajama Pants

Handmade Pajama Pants for Daughter Number Three


PatternCarolyn Pajamas by Closet Case Files
Fabric: Cotton Knit Abstract Giraffe Fabric
Year: 2015 Classic Pajama
Notions: thread and waistband elastic
Time to complete: One day
First worn: December 25 by my daughter
Wear again? She loves them!

I won this fabric as a contestant in the Super Online Sewing Match II hosted by Sew Mama Sew last summer. I ended up being a simi-finalist. You can see my entries here, here, and here. For the last entry, we had to make Carolyn Pajamas by Coset Case Files. Out of the 4 remaining contestants, I was eliminated in this round. I was disappointed of course, but I was proud to have made it that far.

FullSizeRenderAnyway, after each elimination, the remaining contestants were gifted coupons from the Sew Mama Sew sponsors. I chose this cotton knit fabric with the abstract giraffe design with one of my coupons. With this lovely soft fabric, I made a pair of Carolyn pajama bottoms. There wasn’t enough fabric for the top, so I purchasedd a couple of RTW soft tee’s to go with them.


My daughter is a petite five foot two each person, so I made a few alterations to the size 8 pattern. I shortened it by about 2 inches on the lengthen/shorten line and also shortened about 3/4 inch above the crotch.






Really Cute Fabric!

Three of our daughters, along with their significant others, and our two grandchildren came to visit us during the holidays. We had a spectacular time!

I made my youngest daughter four pillows for her couch. I used  scraps I had left over from the shirts I made for Lecien Fabric. I’ll blog about the pillows very soon!


Daughters cooking up a storm!



Panna Cotta with Pear Sauce


Happy New year to all!



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Sparkly Holiday Wren

Just in time for the holidays, one of the prettiest dresses I’ve ever made!



Pattern: Wren by Colette
Fabric: Glitter Jersey, Black/Red SKU 9648-03
Year: contemporary, and classic
Notions: thread and clear elastic
Time to complete: Here and there and in between other sewing projects
First worn: December 18 for photo-shoot
Wear again? I plan to wear it through the holiday season. It’s so comfortable and swishy
Where to shop?: Fabric and pattern from White Tree Fabrics

s1033-wren-09-large-fb3bf33c96b6d64e55479fee5c2604f273690d087ddfade2741eedb6b017c1cfThis was an especially fun project for me. As a member of the White Tree Blogging Team, I was gifted this glittery jersey in exchange for sewing up something with it. I chose to make the Wren dress by Colette Patterns. I had previously made up a muslin, to check the fit, so I put together my fancy new Wren with confidence. I love the fit and the drape of the glitter jersey. It does have stretch in both directions so the fit is spectacular. It feels fantastic to wear, and looks classic and expensive.






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Holiday Stockings Using Sprout Patterns


It was so much fun designing unique holiday stockings for my family through Sprout Patterns and Spoonflower on their website. I selected colors and patterns that I thought represented each family member. Then I waited anxiously for the printed fabric to come in the mail. I was filled with delight upon it’s arrival, and got right to work cutting and sewing. I made one change to the construction of the stockings by adding a lining. A lining helps give the stocking a nicer shape and more body. Plus, the inside looks just as good as the outside. I’m happy to share my method with you if you’d like to see how I did it. Here’s a short video on the steps I used. Happy Sewing!

Zebra Stocking

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