A Thanksgiving “Hello” from me to you!

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Sewist: The New Sewing Social Network


It’s been a little over a month since the new Sewist.com site opened. It’s a place where members can share sewing and crafting projects, review and comment on projects, and socialize in groups. You can search through hundreds of patterns in our growing database of patterns by designers. You can also store information on your fabric stash, and your projects. Plus, view sewing videos, and upload your own sewing videos.

Here is an example of my account within Sewist. Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 8.04.16 PM

Independent and corporate pattern designers can list their patterns with photos, information, and links to where they can be purchased online. Best of all, it is free! Just set up your own account and add information! If you need assistance contact info@sewist.com. Natalia or I will be happy to help.

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 8.03.05 PM

I’ve been busy sending out invitations to designers all week and I’m sure I’ve missed somebody. So if you are a pattern designer, big or small, we encourage you to stop by and take a look around, and if you are a sewing or crafting enthusiast, come and join in the fun! Let me know if you would like me to send you an official invitation. But it’s not necessary, you’re all invited! Just set up an account and get started!

A snapshot of the projects page.Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 8.02.11 PM

Here’s info from the official “About Page”

“Sewist is a comprehensive community-driven social platform for those who sew and an organising tool for your stash, notions, kits and sewing patterns by other brands.

Our mission is to create a free social network for those whose passion is to sew, quilt, dye fabric, create sewing patterns, clothing, accessories, making designs for fun or going into production. 

Sewist is currently in beta stage, being coded and tested by users and developers.

Anyone registered with Sewist gets full and forever free access to all features provided by the platform:CommunityComprehensive user accounts, forums, groups, stash organiser, pattern library, online design tool are at your service. You can become friends with other users, start or join a group, chat in forums, exchange private messages, et cetera.
We would expect a selected number of Sewist members eventually become trusted editors and moderators to help us keep the platform nice and spam-free.PatternsAny member can add a pattern entry to Sewist database. Patterns are united by sources (books, magazines, booklets), or are added by designers themselves. You cannot add actual pattern pictures or scanned pattern pieces if a pattern doesn’t belong to you. We shall contact the main brands for permission to post cover pictures for patterns, but this will remain at their discretion.”

SEWIST social network
Posted in Blogging, crafting, crochet, Customizable Sewing Patterns, DIY, Dressmaking, Dyeing, Fashion, Lekala, photography, quilting, sale, Sewing, Tutorial, vintage, Vintage sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

So Long, Marianne!

IMG_0049I love this cute knit dress designed by Christine Haynes. The Marianne has a 60’s vibe and can be made up easily in a variety of knits and styles.

marianne-dress-front_compact marianne-dress-back_compact  The one I’m wearing is a practice muslin that I made to  check the fit and style. I decided to play around with an old lace top that was gifted to me. I cut the front yoke from the back of the lace top and the back yoke from the front of the top so that I could use the existing button closure. I also used the lace cuffs with the buttons on the end of the 3/4 sleeve.


IMG_0061My daughter happened to be visiting so I took advantage of her adorable cuteness for a photoshoot.


She agreed, but wanted the dress made a little slimmer and shorter. Later I would make a second Marianne that I entered in the Super Online Sewing Match hosted by Sew Mama Sew. You can see and read all about that dress here.


The wild jersey print was a mystery blend that I purchased on the sale table at Beverly’s Fabric. It’s hard to find inexpensive knit for muslins in my tiny part of the world, so when there happens to be something worth getting, I usually stock up. :)


I am busy working with Natalia on her new sewing social site Sewist.com, so my actual sewing time has been cut in half these days. But that’s perfectly all right with me. I’m very excited to be a part of Sewist and all that it has to offer. I hope you will stop by and take a look around!



Our mission is to create a sewing site that promises to be a useful tool for all those who enjoy sewing and creating with fabric.



What about my post title? It is in honor of this song written in the sixties:

The song was inspired by Marianne Jensen (later Marianne Ihlen), whom Cohen met on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960. Cohen said she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met.[2] She had recently been left by her husband, the Norwegian writer Axel Jensen, leaving her and her six-month-old son alone on the island. The two hit it off, and Cohen ultimately took her from Hydra back to her home in Oslo, Norway. He later invited her and her son to live with him in Montreal, an offer which she accepted.[2] The two lived together throughout the 1960s, commuting between New York, Montreal, and Hydra. (Wikipedia)

Happy Sewing!


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How to make…. A Blouse with a Bow

Hello and Happy October!

Before the weather turns cold, I wanted to make one last light-weight cotton blouse.  I chose Lekala 4452 for it’s vintage style and simplicity. There are only 5 pattern pieces, and no zipper, buttons, or facings. Easy as pie!

1781_small_image_122501781_technical_drawing_12120From my stash, I used a piece of light-weight vintage fabric left over from a dress I made a few years ago. I like to try all patterns out in muslin or in an inexpensive fabric the first time I make them. Then I can fine-tune the fit and resolve any issues before I make it in quality fabric.

IMG_1847My favorite way to receive Lekala Patterns is to order the copy shop size and have them printed on large paper. The line drawings turn out so nicely and the paper is quite sturdy. It only cost me around $4.00 or $5.oo to have a print made. A copy shop that has a large format printer used for architect drafts is a good choice.


I cut out the patterns along the outside lines of the seam allowance. Then I fold my fabric right sides together so that I can trace any darts or marks onto the wrong side. I lay the pattern out and hold it in place with weights.

IMG_1832 I cut and mark one piece at a time so that each piece fits on my cutting mat. Then I use a rotary cutter to cut around the edges and scissors to nip into the marks.


I use tracing paper and a tracing wheel to mark the darts on the upper layer, remove the pattern and trace through the markings on the fabric so that the layer underneath is also marked.


This blouse has a Peter Pan style collar that is all one piece and meets just off-center front. There is no facing, so one side of the collar is sewn right-sides together to the neckline and the inside edge is turned under and topstitched very close to the seam line. When you sew the collar right sides together, end your stitching at the seam line, so that you can turn the front edges neatly under before you topstitch.


You’ll notice that the bust dart is designed to be pressed upwards. This  is not how I usually sew bust darts, but it works just fine.


I actually cut four sleeves instead of two so that I could underline them. Each section is sewn together, then two sleeves are pinned right-sides together, then sewn along the sleeve edge. I then turn and press the sleeves, baste them together along the top edge, and make a gathering stitch for adjusting ease. Next, I pin and sew the sleeves into the blouse.


I first sew all the seams at a 2.5 stitch length, then serge them. I chose to use a safety pin to attach the bow. That way I can take it off when I wash it. You may want to make your bow a little longer if you want it to look more like the one on the model.


I’m super delighted with how it turned out and how quick and easy it was to make. Just be patient when you attach the collar. Make sure you clip into curves. Sew a guide stitch along the inside edge so that you can press it precisely to the measurement.


I hope you try Lekala 4452 and post your final looks to our Lekala FaceBook Page and to Lekala.co.


Happy Sewing!


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Infinite Possibilities

IMG_1754 Recently I was asked to make seven shirts and several bow ties for Lecien Fabrics of Japan for the upcoming Quilt Market in Houston Texas. They sent me a new line of fabric called First of Infinity. It’s designed by Fujita and Kazue Nakajima.

IMG_1755The fabric for the shirts is brightly colored with geometric designs. The fabric with contrasting circles that progress from large to small is a one way design that runs the length of the fabric. The triangles with circles is a repeat pattern. Look up #firstofinfinity on Instagram for a peek!

IMG_1742I used Vogue Pattern 8759, a classic tailored shirt pattern, with collar, collar-band, pocket, and French seams. It’s the best shirt pattern that I’ve come across so far. I love how it has a self-facing button-stand which is folded twice and does not require interfacing.

IMG_1769I had to strategically place the pattern pieces on the fabric to makes both sides of the fronts and sleeves identical, and also carefully match the pocket. For the back, I placed the center back so that the  design would be on both sides of the the princess seams. and then aligned the left and right backs next to the center back for a pleasing match. When I was satisfied, I cut out the pieces.IMG_1771Making the shirts was not difficult, but it did require time and patience. It’s always a little tricky sewing the collar-band to the neck of the shirt, and can be a little fiddly to get the front curves to look good. I did not follow the pattern directions for this, but used another way. You can several alternative ways to sew the collar with collar-band onto the shirt on Youtube.

IMG_1740I have a computerized Pfaff, which is fantastic for almost every sewing project except making buttonholes. For those, I have a standard mechanical machine with a four-step buttonhole features that lets me manually make decent buttonholes. IMG_1757I must say that this was one of the most rewarding projects that I have ever been asked to do. I’m looking forward to more opportunities like this that allow me to use my design and sewing expertise in a commercial way.  If you’re interested in my work, feel free to contact me! :)IMG_1767Lecien Fabrics of Japan produce an eclectic assortment of  fine cotton fabrics. Browse their website or just google Lecien and see what you get. It’s really beautiful! I love the new line, “First of Infinity” which will debut at the Fall International Quilt Market. IMG_1735If you’re there, you might just see the shirts I made worn by the Japanese Reps at one of their booths. The tag on the inside proudly reads: Zibergirl Sews.

Happy Sewing!


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12112014_10101987320989668_4397884618896652780_n Congratulations to all of the kind commenters during my celebratory month of September! There’s been a whirlwind of activities this past month with the marriage  of my step-daughter.  Friends and family came from all over the the U.S and as far away as Australia to attend the quaint beach wedding at Bodega Bay. I had plans to make my own dress, but ended up borrowing a dress from a friend.  There just wasn’t time!   :)


Me and daughter number three!

Before the wedding, I altered and hemmed four bridesmaid dresses, three of which were for my youngest daughter and my two granddaughters. Chiffon does not scare me any more! I discovered my own best way to hem chiffon and made a tutorial to share with anyone who may be curious about my method. If you happen to watch it, I’d love to know what you think!

Now for the winners of the Give-Away celebrating all of the wonderful followers of my humble sewing blog. If your name is listed below, you have until October 11 to email me your address and I will send you a token of appreciation. Please put Give-Away in the Subject Line so that your email doesn’t get overlooked.
Linda of Nice Dress


My oldest granddaughter

Happy Sewing!

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Let’s Start the Party with a Giveaway and Blog Hop

Party Time!

Party Time!

I have way over 500 followers either through email, Bloglovin, or other ways that you might follow, so it’s time to start the party! I’ll be giving away at least 10 cute little handmade business card holders to folks that comment between now and the end of September.

Please tell me “how you follow this blog” and you will be eligible. Also, if you would like to email me a post link of a party dress that you have made. I’ll start a list, so that we can all blog hop to your party dress post and see what each other has to share!

*****************Here’s my email: baechtel12atgmaildotcom **************************

Party Dress Links:

Party Dress by Dahlia of The Little Cave
Party Dress by CraftyCreeky

My Dress:
I wore this vintage inspired party dress to my daughter’s bridal shower. It’s made from silk chiffon and  poly charmeuse. It turned out rather splendidly, if I do say SEW myself! I made a muslin to check the bodice, then made slight alterations to Butterick pattern 6049.  Then I did a “slow sew” because I was working with slippery fabric and wanted it to turn out nicely. I used my regular sewing machine and the serger in tandem to neatly finish and hem all seams. I let it hang overnight so that the bottom of the dress would relax into it’s final shape, which was quite a sight to see! Then I trimmed and hemmed it by measuring the charmeuse from the floor up, then tackled the chiffon.

Relaxed and uneven

Relaxed and uneven

Trimming it even

Trimming it even


Invisible zipper and free overlay below waist. Tricky but worth it.


Even hemline


Pretty in Purple

Happy Sewing!


Posted in Blogging, Contest, DIY, Dressmaking, Fashion, photography, Sewing, sewing contest, vintage, Vintage sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments