Yellow Floral Dress


Pattern? Why did you choose it? I used a Kay Unger Design for Vogue 1353. It’s a lined, sleeveless dress with front neckline pleats, scoop neckline, close-fitting bodice (slightly above waist), princess seams, pleated skirt, thread loops, and invisible back zipper. The hem is topstitched in place by hand. I chose it because I liked all of the fine details that make it more than just a quick sew, but a dress with extra features that are worth taking time to do.


What fabric did you use? Why did you choose it? I used a printed cotton seersucker sent to me by the wonderful folks at White Tree Fabrics in Leicester, United Kingdom. I’m a proud member of the blogging team and enjoy sewing up sample garments using their unique collections of patterns and fabrics. This summery print is a lightweight orange, yellow, and black floral. If you want some the SKU is 436245-15.

IMG_1766Would you recommend the pattern? Would you change anything next time?  I love the fit and style of of this pattern. It turned out wonderfully. I’m already imagining how I could change it up, by gathering the skirt, and altering the neckline. I especially love how the lining is attached at the top of the shoulders and how the skirt lining is attached to the bodice lining and hangs freely like a slip. It feels delightful to wear.IMG_1778Any interesting details? There are quite a few interesting details that you would never find in RTW garments. The  hem has a separate lining, that is hand-stitched with two strands of embroidery thread. This took over an hour to do. I knew it was going to look fantastic so I didn’t mind spending the time on it. It also has crocheted belt loops to hold a purchased belt in place.IMG_1761What do you think of your finished garment? I’m very pleased with the fit and style. I love all of the unique details that make it so special. I’ve since purchased a narrow patten-leather belt to highlight the black details of the dress for next time.IMG_1784IMG_1812.jpgFirst worn? I wore it for a get together with my two youngest daughters on Mother’s Day. We stayed at the Flamingo Inn in Santa Rosa. My youngest, humored me by taking these pictures while we were there.FullSizeRender


Thank you, White Tree Fabrics!

Happy Sewing!


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I Remember Mama

Thinking about Mom today and to all the moms out there…Happy Mother’s Day!


I Remember Mama

Yes, I fondly remember Mama. I’ve spent weeks thinking about my mom and trying to remember everything I could about her. You see, my mom passed away when my youngest daughter was just over three years old. Mom was only 68 years old. Unfortunately her health declined rapidly in her later years and she died during surgery.  One thing I distinctly remember was that my mom did not want to end up in a nursing home, old and needy, so I guess it was a blessing that she left us before that. Still, even as I write this, emotions well up inside me, because she could have been her now, and not missed so much of our lives and we her’s.

Mama and Me

I remember a lot of this and that about Mom, she was born and raised in Mass. in a big…

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Knit Top Kraze!


IMG_1451I am getting ready for a vacation to Alaska! With the date fast approaching, I’ve made  several knit tops from uniquely designed fabric from Spoonflower, a yard from Mood in New York, and a yard of stretch knit from the bargain table at Beverly’s.IMG_1450For my first test pattern, I used McCall’s 7059. I realized that I don’t like the seam allowance of 5/8 inch for knits. It is awkward to sew when using a serger. It’s much easier with patterns that are designed for knits and have a smaller seam allowance. The stitch line is easier to calculate underneath the cutting device.

For the next two tops, I used the Idllywild pattern by Itch to Stitch. This has a a more fitted shape, different sleeve options, necklines, and lengths.IMG_1495 It can be made into a dress  which I have a pictures of in this post. I have to grade the pattern between sizes to get the right fit for my pear shape. This is a pieces of fabric that I brought back from Mood in New York several years ago.IMG_1486

I used a Spoonflower design by Badger and Bee for this unique top! I know I’m the only one in the world that has a top like this. That is kind of amazing, isn’t it?IMG_1536IMG_1550

This cute top is made from Spoonflower fabric also. It’s designed by LittleSmileMakers and is one of my favorites.IMG_1516IMG_1523It’s easy to make and has an interesting crossover back detail. The  pattern is McCall’s 7127.

Happy Sewing!


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My First Sampler Quilt

Block3bI love learning new things, especially when it involves sewing. At the beginning of the year, I joined The Splendid Sampler Quilt Along hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. These two are experts in their field! They are teachers, bloggers, book authors, fabric designers, and of course, quilters. I love the structure of the quilt along. It’s superbly organized, and each block pattern is beautifully written, with clear directions and colorful graphics.Block9 Each week we receive two patterns for an original 6.5 inch square that has been designed and shared by different quilters. I have my basket of coordinating fabrics ready, and soon after the pattern is published, the excitement begins with the selection of the fabrics, then the measuring and cutting, and lastly the construction.  Then comes the surprising and pleasing result!block14A gullsReaders, if you want to jump in and learn over 100 different quilt block designs, it’s not too late! We are only 15 blocks in at this point. At the end of the year, we will all have over 100 blocks to put together into a quilt. The best part is that the quilt along is absolutely free!Block 15

Happy Sewing!


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March Marches On


Watercolor Quilt Wallhanging 40×40

I have several things to share with you that I have been working on during the first few weeks of March. First, just let me say that I tried out for the position of a Bernina Ambassador, but I wasn’t selected. I knew they would be snooping around the blogs, so I kept the last post up longer than I usually do. While waiting on pins and needles to see who they might select, I kept myself busy with gratifying and creative endeavors.

I have been busy making samples for Lecien Fabrics using Radiant Girl Fabric:


Crop Top Vogue 1486 and Lekala Skirt (New Design) trimmed with Radiant Girl Fabric by Lecien Fabrics

teaching sewing lessons to young and old:IMG_1165and faithfully working on each The Splendid Sampler blocks, that are posted every Thursday and Sunday.IMG_1250I can’t tell you how much I enjoy everything I am learning while creating each block.  Which includes selecting the fabric, precision cutting, and scant 1/4 inch sewing of the tiniest pieces that make up each 6 inch block. All together I will make 100 blocks this year! And I’m not the only one, another 20,000 or so people are also making these blocks. We’ve got a lot to share and talk about on the social media sites related to The Splendid Sampler.

I have finally finished a quilted wall hanging using a Watercolor Quilt Kit that I purchased last year. I enlarged the original quilt of the sewing machine with boarders and spool blocks. Next, I did free motion quilting and decorative stitching to quilt and finish it. I made  6 inch wide continuous binding, folded it in half, stitched it to the front, then slip-stitched the folded edge to the back. Finally, I made two narrow sleeves along the top, so that I could slip a dowel inside and hang it from the middle, just like a picture. IMG_1256


IMG_1257One other long term continuous project that I am working on is called a Temperature Blanket. I crochet the low and high temperature of each day according to a color scheme that I made up. So far, I haven’t missed a day since January 1st! IMG_1252

Happy Sewing!


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A Bernina Ambassador

Snug as a bugI’d love to be a Bernina Ambassador! Please follow the link to “heart” my projects on Kollabora and I might have a chance.


Follow this link to VOTE for a Future Bernina Ambassador 

Thanks ever so much!


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Little Bunny Phoebe

“Little Bunny Foo Foo Phoebe Hopping Through the Forest….”

IMG_1009Pattern: Phoebe Dress by Colette Patterns
Fabric: Radiant Girl by Lecien Fabrics
Year: 2016
Notions: thread, zipper, buttons, interfacing
Time to complete: One day to cut, one day to make
First worn: By my granddaughter in February
Wear again? Yes, this will go to a trade show and then come back to me.
Where to shop: Google Radiant Girl by Lecien Fabrics to find a store that carries it.

IMG_1020This is one of several samples I’ve made this month for Lecien Fabrics using the Radiant Girl line of 100% high quality cotton fabric made in Japan.

IMG_1014For this look, I used the new pattern Phoebe by Colette. I selected a bunny print on black and a coordinating plaid for the lining. I made a size 6 which was perfect for my teen granddaughter. She really likes the dress and I will give it to her when it returns from the Spring Quilt Market.

IMG_1018Lecien fabrics will have a booth and feature my samples along with other Radiant Girl items. I am honored to be chosen to sew samples for them. Last year I made 7 shirts for the Japanese executives that attended the International Quilt Market in Texas.  You can visit my post about the shirts here.IMG_1767The new Phoebe was an easy dress to make. The instructions we clear and straightforward. There is even a sew-along for the Phoebe if you need explicit directions. Colette does an excellent job explaining how to fit and sew both versions of the dress.IMG_1053I opted for version 1 with the button up front. I did not make buttonholes, but sewed eight large red buttons, instead of 10, to the front. IMG_1045While Colette has you line the bodice, the skirt is not lined. I chose to line the skirt since I was using quilting cotton and I wanted it to have good body and a finished look. I actually attached the lining right sides together along the hem line and then stitched the two layers to the bodice.IMG_1031My other samples from the Radiant Girl line are a skirt using Lekala Pattern 4381Lekala skirt and running shorts and top using McCall 6848IMG_1062

Happy Sewing!



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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!


Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 1.56.31 PM

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


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