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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

"M" is for Magic

     "M" truly is for Magic.  It has been a while since last blogging.  I recently changed my occupation and so far it has been satisfying.   I actually enjoy going to me that is magic. 

      So, what is all this magic about?!  About a month ago, I volunteered for our weekly Story time, since my co-worker had a conference. (background) I have never worked with children in my life, and have never done a story time, so I asked my co-worker what I should do..........Her reply was, "It is your story time, you do what you want."     Well, it didn't take long for the wheels to spin in my mind and a production is what I wanted.  

      The letter I chose was "M" for magic.  I found three incredible easy to read magic books (My favorite is The Magic Hat), and of course I would be a magician.   Every magician needs a cape so I decided to sew one up along with a magic hat. Besides, living in New Orleans believe it or not a woman needs a cape in a her closet!

      For the cape I chose Simplicity 1294 Pattern A.  Fabric:  Crepe back satin from JoAnn Fabric.

       I made a few adjustments to the pattern.  Instead of using gross grain ribbon for the front ties,  I cut  a 2 inch strip of my fabric, folded with right sides together and made my own ties. I used my handy dandy tube turner for this and all went well.  I did use a beautiful 2 1/2" trim for the collar (not venetian lace) and I omitted the feathers along the front.   I was able to sew the cape together in one day.  What took the most time was the 5/8" hem all around......which really wasn't that bad.

       For the hat I chose Simplicity 8361 View B. 

       Now, I did have to make some changes to the pattern  for my magic trick: which I pulled a bunny out of the hat.  Basically, I followed the sewing directions and once completed,  I added a second lining with a small opening. The bunny laid in-between the original lining and the second one.  When I showed the children the inside of the hat, with no bunny, I made sure the opening was covered by my hand, and then when it came time to pull the bunny out,  the inside of the hat faced me.  All they saw was no bunny and then a bunny. The children were over joyed and one said........."she really knows magic".  It was hilarious and fun.  Of course they helped me by saying the magic word, Abracadabra.

       Check out the photo collage: 

        Oh, I did want to share this little wool needle felted Minnie Mouse I made for my co-worker.  I forget how I found out about wool felting but as soon as I saw little animals wool felted on the internet, I decided I must do this.   Anyway, Minnie Mouse is only about 2 1/2" inches tall.  I found the teacup from a flea market, and  sewed her little skirt and bow. Also, I used pipe cleaners for the body so her arms and legs are moveable.   Enjoy! 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Another Butterick 5951 in Gertie's challis fabric

       About a year ago, my Mom, my sister and I had to run up to Baton Rouge for an errand.  On the way back home, I mentioned that I really needed to stop in the "large" JoAnn fabric store so I could look at Gertie's fabric. (Yeah, our local store doesn't carry Gertie's fabric, bummer).  My Mom and sister know that I have a fabric addiction, and that I would pester them until we went to JoAnn's we did.  I ended up purchasing this beautiful Gertie"s rayon fabric for Butterick 5951  Currently both the bodice & skirt are ready to be sewn together.  Yeah, I took the extra time to line the skirt with black bemberg.  I mean if you are going to line the bodice why not do the skirt too!


       Here is my work in progress: 

bodice in Gertie's rayon fabric

      Please note: this fabric does run. So, make that muslin test first, because when you seam rip the fabric awfully runs.

      Oh, here is  little decorative pillow I did for a former co-worker.  Yes, I even did embroidery on the front on cotton, with trim, and home decor fabric from Hancock's on the back.  Now I just have to get it to her. Check it out:
front of embroidered pillow with the word "Autumn"

       Here is the back of pillow:
backside of pillow

    So, I still have a little time before work............I think I will continue sewing  my dress.  

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Simplicity 2215 Skirt Version & McCalls princess seam blouse

      What's a girl to wear?  This month I had to attend a Home & Garden Show for work and I really wanted to wear something light, comfortable and forgiving....especially considering I would be moving around all day. Also, I had to make sure I wore nothing low cut or too short.  I didn't want any distractions!  The choice was simple: a black and white gingham blouse with already adjusted pattern and Simplicity 2215 skirt version.

     The blouse was easy peasy since I had  just finished one.  The gingham fabric is 100% cotton and very lightweight.  I did use a special coarse sew in interfacing for the collar and cute pearl rose buttons.........I love decorative buttons.  Since the pattern was already adjusted, I sewed this up in no time. 

      For the skirt:  I choose a 100% cotton twill black fabric (From the stash).   I love how easy the twill holds the pleats, and again it is very lightweight.   I cut and sewed a size 16 pattern.  Normally I do a muslin test for a new pattern, but I  sewed it on the fly and did have to loose a front pleat and extend the waist band an inch so I would have a little more room. Fortunately the pleats are not evenly spaced, so loosing a pleat was no big deal.  What I truly love about this skirt is the pockets!  Side zipper pockets were a mystery to me, but  the pattern's instructions were really easy to understand.  Overall the pattern was easy to sew and went together quickly!  

     Check out the photo from the Show.  I wish I had put my hands in the pockets to show them off..........but I was working and this was quickly photographed.  Of course I would have straightened my blouse too!

B&W Gingham blouse with pleated Skirt


Friday, February 17, 2017

McCall's 6124 in Purple Cotton Gingham with Pearl Buttons

     Even though most of the country is dealing with winter; aka cold, & snow...down in New Orleans we are busy preparing for Mardi Gras in springtime weather.  Seriously our azaleas are blooming right now.   So the timing was perfect to photograph my newest blouse.....MCcall's 6124.

Look at those azaleas blooming 

      This particular pattern gave me lots of problems, especially where the back of the sleeve seam meets up with the back seam.  Although I did a few adjustments to the pattern, I still was unable to get those two seams to meet up. And after two years of adjusting and readjusting,  I said to hell with it.  However, I don't think anyone will notice, except for me or those sewing enthusiasts. 

MCCall 6124

      Fabric:  a beautiful purple cotton gingham from   
      Buttons: sweet little pearl buttons from my stash.

    Adjustments and sizing:  Typically I cut a size 18 for McCall and Butterick. Adjustments: shorten sleeves.......however, I did shorten them 1/2" too short, but   I already lengthened my pattern for my next blouse.  Enlarged sleeves for my upper arms. A little increase for the back.  I didn't have to do a full bust adjustment but I did have to increase by about 3/8". ( Also, the blouse is a little tight right now b/c I gained weight since sewing the blouse.  Yeah, got sick, a cold of all things,  for 3 weeks and now I am finally back on track with working out and dieting.  ) 

detail of button 

   Now that I finally got this pattern adjusted for a good fit, I am very happy to have it in my collection.  Already I am sewing a cute black and white larger gingham print in cotton.  In addition, I know I will continue to sew up this is a classic.

    Happy Mardi Gras!



Sunday, January 8, 2017

CC made treasures

         Now that the holidays over it is time to take a breather and start focusing on this years sewing goals.  Mostly, I plan on sewing more warm weather dresses and coordinating outfits......lets face it in New Orleans you may wear your beautiful sweater only three times a year.   (Although, right now the temperature is currently 29 degrees! today is one of those beautiful sweater days.)  

        In addition, I have containers upon containers of beautiful lightweight fabrics that I plan to sew first before buying new fabric.  Already, I have a cute black and white gingham cotton fabric cut, marked and ready for sewing.  I love having a pattern that has been already adjusted to fit me. 

      Moreover, before I start my next sewing project, I decided to do something dangerous....I unscrewed the top part of my machine and cleaned around the tension wheel and the parts in between.  I have never cleaned the top part of my machine, thinking that it needed to be professionally cleaned and after sewing with it for 3 years now I knew it needed to be done.  Yikes! It was filthy, and my fear of taking the top off is now alleviated........I know I can clean it without destroying it! 

     Now onto the little holiday treasures I sewed: 

    First up:   Simplicity 1441 . I made the butterfly rag pillow.   

Review:  This pattern is very easy. The sewing time was only about 3 hours. What took the longest was cutting all the pattern pieces.  Each pattern piece needs 3 to 4 layers of fabric. I used cotton flannel so I could only cut a double layer of fabric at a time.  If using flannel, I wouldn't suggest cutting all the fabric in a day, cause you might pull a muscle or bruise your hand.  Electric scissors would have come in handy for this project.  Overall I think the pillow came out cute. 
front of pillow

back of pillow

   Next up :  functional drink coasters, using Sweetly Stitched Handmades  book, by Amy Sinibaldi

front of coasters

back of coasters

 Review: First things first.  I love this book.  The photos are beautiful, and the author gives you wonderful tips at the beginning of the book.  In addition, the templates are in the back of the book. I will sew more of these lovely projects.

Sewing easy. Although, sewing the ric rac even on the coaster takes patience. In addition, the author suggested using interfacing in between the fabric; however, I used flannel.  I read somewhere that flannel sandwiched in between the outer cotton fabric will absorb moisture that is what I did. In addition, I added top stitching to the coasters.  

   Next up: pillow with hand embroidery.

You can check out the link to the last pillow I made. 


detail of embroidery 

      Last but not least, a little bib.  Again, Sweetly Stitched Handmades, came in handy. 


      Looking forward to sewing cute outfits, and blogging about them! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Simplicity pattern 2305 / Cynthia Rowley design

        It has been so long since I last blogged that google thought I was an imposter...seriously. Anyway, I managed to get logged in and am so ready to write about my latest sewing project......Simplicity pattern 2305  view b.

       Cynthia Rowley is my all time favorite designer.  She has such a youthful, easy aesthetic that resonates with me.  Here is goes:

      Fabric: black linen for fashion fabric and  lightweight batiste for the underlining for skirt part of dress. 

      Design elements: scoop neck, kimono type sleeves, gathered waistline, side zipper, top stitching on sleeve band and skirt band. 

      Alterations: just widened the waistline a bit and used a 9" regular zipper because it was what I had readily available. 

      Struggles/None: this pattern went together easily and directions were simple to follow. 
detail of zipper and skirt part of dress

     Changes I would make in the future. Nothing on view B; however, I did make a muslin for view A, and will have to make some changes. Will have to make a  full bust adjustment and shorten the band on the sleeve.  I did make my muslin test in a cotton; however, I can see both dresses in a beautiful silk crepe de chine. 

     Investing in lots of linen and cotton is one way to survive New Orleans heat.  I love this linen dress because it keeps me cool, its comfortable, looks great with high heels or a pair of comfortable sandals.  Ultimately it is easy to wear.....which works for me!

     Hopefully, I will have a new blog sooner then later. 

      Le Bon Temps Roule!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Decorative Pillow for Gift Giving

     Now that the holidays are over, I can blog about a decorative pillow that I made for a close friend for Christmas.  Recently, she re-decorated a guest bedroom and I really wanted to make something special for her.  The bedroom has several black and white photos and I was inspired by the steel gray colors that are predominant in the room.......Off to Hancock.

     Actually having some time to shop at Hancock; which I have few these days (too much over time) I wondered into the craft section of Hancock.  I was immediately taken in by this cute book: "Modern Primitive Embroidery"    I knew I had to incorporate one of these simple designs.  So with the book in my basket, I made my way over to the decorative fabric section.

    To my surprise, I found some gorgeous gray fabrics and was as if Hancock's merchandiser had me in mind.  Love the gray linen and silky decorative brocade. So, with pillow, trim , fabric and book in the basket I was off to start my project.

    First things first, I always go to Cottage Magpies  tutorial on sewing decorative pillows.  Angela does a wonderful job explaining and photographing step by step details on making decorative pillows.  

   After cutting and overlocking the  fabric 's edges, it was time to embroider.  With my new little book, I picked out a cute vase and flower design.  I really appreciate that the author presents her designs in three sizes; which make it quite simple to trace the size you want and start embroidery. I traced my pattern onto tissue paper and then embroidered carefully over the tissue paper and then pulled the paper off in the end.  Method isn't hard, but it did leave tiny papers everywhere. Next time, I may try using a fabric pen. Also, the stitching instructions are easy peasy. Over all I am happy with the design, but I did deviate from the original design a little......I simplified it even more. 

Finished results: size approx: 12" x 16"  Fabric: 1/2 of a yard of linen and brocade. Trim: 5 yards. Time: Embroidery: around 10 hours, and sewing pillow, a day. 

Check out the gift/ pillow : 

Decorative pillow front 

Detail of embroidery

Backside of pillow