Tale Of Two Shirts Part 1

Going through my stash one day I happened upon this pretty light weight, woven fabric. Where/when did I get it? I haven’t a clue but had quite a bit so decided to make a sleeveless blouse. Thought perhaps I’d also make a short sleeved blouse as well thinking I could wear them as a twin set.  I set about looking though my patterns and found one of each that looked like they would work. Both were New Look patterns, 6266 and 6483 I had never used that brand before but hey I made many a thing and used lots of other patterns, shouldn’t be a problem. As I opened the pattern sheets up, I quickly gave a skewed look as while all were multi-sized, some had three or so in sequence, others had every other size and some had all the sizes. Quite Confusing. Unfortunately, it was at that point I made a rookie mistake. I measured myself and decided on a size according to the patterns suggestion. I did not take note of the amount of ease New Look gives their patterns and for the life of me I would never have expected 6 – 7 inches of ease for a tank top or campstyle blouse! But I will confess twas my fault on that one. Of course this was after I cut it out that I realized, no way were these the right size! Yes, I know better, not sure where my head was. Obviously, was going to have to do quite a bit of altering there! So I measured and remeasured, wound up going down two sizes, which worked out well as I could reuse the pattern pieces I had already cut and just cut out the new size.

I decided to do the short sleeved blouse first. Well then the adjustments started: I didn’t like the length of the sleeves so added a bit there and arms is one area I can certainly use the extra room so the extra ease worked well there. Not the original amount but the second cutting. I tweeked here and adjusted there until even I couldn’t keep up with the changes!  But perseverance pays off, finally done and I must say it came out rather nicely!


Sewing? or Magic?

Had time this morning so spent it in one of my favorite places, my sewing room. I am in the process of learning my serger a bit more as I make a tank top for myself. While there, cutting out the pattern, marking, adjusting, pressing, pinning, and yes even sewing, I couldn’t help my mind from wondering off on its own.  One of my thoughts: Why do we call it “sewing?” Anyone who does this knows the actually sewing part is probably the time least spent!  So what should we call it? None of the other processes work, Dressmaker? I wasn’t making a dress. Apparel Fabricator? well that’s a mouthful. Until I come up with something better I’ll just call it Magic! After all, I’m taking this flat piece of material and making it into something I slip over my head and it stays on and looks decent. That’s Magic!!

No Pocket, No Problem

I love to walk, it is definitely my favorite type of exercise. Not to mention sometimes my only form of exercise, LOL, though I have remembered my love for swimming this summer.  I try to take a walk every morning, living so close to a state park makes for a great walking destination.  Usually I have pockets in my clothing but every once in a while I head out the door in an outfit with no pocket. Well, gee, where am I suppose to put my cell phone? I have now solved that problem. I made myself a cell phone belt. I didn’t really want a fanny pack style, I didn’t need anything that bulky. I also didn’t want to have to mess with zippers, snaps or buttons. Something I could just slip my cell into and go.  I decided to just freestyle it with the idea of want I wanted in my head. Using fabric leftover from an outfit I made my grandson several years ago, a purchased length of webbing and a Parachute Buckle by Dritz both bought from JoAnn Fabrics, I went to town.

I laid the fabric out folded and used my phone as a guide, adding an inch and quarter to each side and inch and a half to the top. Turned under a half inch twice along the top edges to finish off. I then decided to play with my new serger for the sides.  Measuring in an inch from each side and down about the same I made buttonholes though both layers of fabric to run the belt though.  Sewed the webbing to the buckle adjusted the fit and Voila! I can now carry my cell phone anytime I want!

From Shawl to Caftan

I love upcycling, taking something I have and turning it into something  even better. This is a great example of that. I had a shawl that I loved but was difficult to work with at work. I was always fussing with it. I saw a clever idea for turning one into a caftan  and jumped right on it.  In the post I read at FreeNotion.com, the neckline was cut to shape but mine already had nice shaping.  Here’s what I did in a nutshell. By winging it, I decided how far in I needed to make my side seams, which was 9 inches. Also I needed to determine how far up the side seam should go leaving plenty of room for arm movement, 15 inches seemed right for me.  Now how am I going to mark my seam? I certainly didn’t want to use chalk or marking pen as I needed to do this on the right side of the fabric and my shawl is very textured. Oh, brilliant, blue painter’s tape. Don’t you just love that stuff it comes in so handy for so many different things. Having my measurements and blue tape, I laid out my shawl folding it in half (more/less) with what would become the center edges facing up neckline at the top. Measuring in for the sides and up from the bottom I was able to place my tape. Used a straight stitch for the seam and VIOLA!   I love my new caftan!

It’s National Tape Measure Day!

               Don’t you just love holidays, and for a sewing enthusiast this one just strikes my fancy. I didn’t even know there was such a day until earlier this week I read an article online at Threads. (http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/68192/celebrate-national-tape-measure-day-on-july-14?)

It appears we celebrate the lowly but oh so important tape measure on this day because in 1868, Alvin J. Fellows of New Haven, Connecticut, received the first U.S. patent for the spring tape measure.

Doing a quick bit of research, I found the Romans were the first recorded as using a tape measure, a device made of marked leather. John Chesterman of Sheffield, England, invented and patented a device similar to Alvin Fellows’ in 1829. Since that time tape measures have become a true necessity in construction, carpentry, tailors and in the home, especially the sewing room. They come in metal, vinyl, cloth and in a variety of colors and designs. There are even ones you can wear as a bracelet, pendant or keychains.

They can range ruler size from several inches to hundreds of feet, the most common found in the home and sewing room being 6′. One of the longest tape measures was given to Micky Mantle by the Northern Virginia Surveyors Association to commemorate the length of his home runs. It was 600′.

According to the National Day Calendar, July 14 also happens to be National Grand Marnier Day. A lovely cognac blended with orange, perfect for sipping on a cool summer evening. Hmm, so everyone grab a Tape Measure, measure everything in sight then sit back and enjoy a bit of Grand Marnier. I’d like mine on the rocks, thank you.




Wow, there’s a lot  to learn about getting a blog going. So much more then just sitting down to type something up. I shall figure this all out, one step at a time. Though that is a hard thing for me, I tend to jump in with both feet, come up for air, look around and say “What am I doing here!!!”  I already think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew but hey that’s part of learning. One must learn how not to do things as they learn how to do them.

My Two Machines!

These are my two beautiful machines.


My first machine was a Singer which I received for Christmas when I was eleven and that lasted til my earlier twenties. I then got a Kenmore which I had for 36 years and I finally decided it was time to upgrade. So for my birthday last September I bought myself the Brother CX205LA :http://www.brother-usa.com/homesewing/ModelDetail.aspx?ProductID=CX205LA (Is there a way to make the font smaller?) I do so love it, it is easy to use and change setting; it has had me sewing up a storm!


I just recently bought my serger or as I like to say “A little Brother”, hehehe).  http://www.brother-usa.com/Homesewing/ModelDetail.aspx?ProductID=1034D. Have only use it once but am so happy to have it and look forward to playing as I learn to use it. I want to do more with knits and while I know you can use a sewing machine I like the finishing of a serger.

With these two beauties and “Marge” my body double (more on her later) I am ready to sew into retirement!! May that day come soon!!



And Sew I Begin

I’ve decided to start this new blog as a way of recording my sewing projects and perhaps, reviews of the patterns, notions and gadgets I use for them. I read others and so enjoy them, I figure what a great way to relive my sewing life when I desire. There will also be the odds and ends of my thoughts, dreams, adventures, etc of the rest of my life. Whatever I fancy at the moment. Having started to use Instagram I came to realize how much I like having photos of what I make in one easy to access place. Also it made me want to write a bit about what I made, so going to give blogging  another go. I have sporadically blogged in the past using http://dragonfly2709.blogspot.com/ but found it cumbersome to get to as I didn’t set it up right to begin with, so starting anew.

I will be adding my projects as I do them as well as posting projects I’ve done it the past. So if indeed should anyone find my little blog, I hope you enjoy it and follow along on my new adventure where ever it might lead!  Please, feel free to comment, suggest, leave me your blog information.