Monday, December 29, 2014

This is that awkward post.

You know that awkward communication when you haven't been in touch for a while? You know, the one where you have soooooo much to say, but don't know what to start with or how much to say. Well, this is that post.

It is amazing how quickly the last few months slipped away, but the sewing has been slow. Only a couple garments, some quick little projects for a friend, and a little knitting and crocheting for Christmas gifts.

Remarkably, I have been able to stay on the Ready-to-Wear Fast. I was actually willing to break it at Thanksgiving. I had taken my boys to find something presentable to wear with a houseful of relatives that we just don't see often enough. In fact, I actually looked and looked for something, anything new that I could wear for Thanksgiving. No luck. I couldn't find anything that I thought was worth

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Women's Ottobre Autumn/Winter 2014

I've gained weight these last few months. This tends to stop my sewing. I have a couple of projects to blog about, but right now I want to look forward.

Since I will be homeschooling this year, I won't need a huge wardrobe. My clothes will need to be more on the comfortable playing around the house, going on outings, going to church and church activities and of course driving the homeschool bus.--I saw the bumper sticker somewhere and loved it. We just don't do bumper stickers.

I'm not sure if the oversize, long shirt is good for my short body, but the jeggings are on my my list
to be made. In fact, I have aleady bought the fabric. The look on the right is also on my list. I have  been
mentally going through my stash for the fabrics. I have the tights, but I will need to use different boots. 

I had been thinking about making a more comfortable knit based wardrobe for fall. Ottobre Design's Womens' issue

Friday, August 22, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel #4--All About Boys!!!!

Boys Vest
Who can resist a boy in a vest?
I have started so many blog posts in the last few weeks, but I'm finishing about as many projects as posts. Life has been crazy busy and sometimes just a bit crazy.

Adult Daughter has moved back home after an illness. Unfortunately, when she moved out a few months earlier, we gave Youngest Son back his room. He also had a room makeover. He is still expecting some pillows for his reading corner. The fabric is cut, the stuffing is out, and the machine is still on the shelf. The poor child also requested a new quilt. I reminded him that that can take months or years. He's okay with that.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Pink, White and black quilt
The finished birthday quilt for my daughter.
It is queen size. The bottom of the picture
shows the zebra print backing.
At the top, you can see Ollie.
He "owns" all quilts in the house.
So much has happened since my last post. Today, I will share the birthday quilt I made for my daughter.

I definitely didn't expect to be away from my blog for so long. I have been working on a quilt for my one and only daughter. It was a UFO (UnFinished Object) that haunted me for over two years. I wanted to finish it for her 24th birthday.

I was afraid I put it down and I didn't want to blog about this quilt, so I told myself that I would not blog until I finished. With all of the family drama wearing me down and the hot Sacramento weather (it is currently 108 degrees at 3:55 in the afternoon), it just took forever.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Repairing Shoes at Home

My favorite sandals before repairing.
Its a nice summer afternoon and you pull out you favorite sandals. You notice that they just don't feel quite right. You take them off and realize that the sole has decided to separate.

Now I know many people who would toss the offending shoe. I, however, am not made of money. I would also like to dispel the myth that our children have created about the money tree. It doesn't exist.

Now the trick I am about to show you can also be used on other shoes. In fact, I frequently use it on my sons' shoes. You know how the shoe is less than a month old and the sole is no longer attached and the kid insists that be needs new shoes? Yeah, I just fix them. I make my kids out grow their shoes.

I know. I'm a mean mom. Guess what. M.O.M. is Mean Old Mom.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Two Pairs of Jalie 2107 Cargo Shorts

Cargo Shorts
Four shorts I made for youngest son using Jalie 2107.
I've been gone for a while, but I am back. The family drama is now a little less dramatic and taking up less of my energy and time. I'm also feeling better.

I am also working on a secret project that will be unveiled within the next month or so. It has taken up a lot of time, but oh so worth it.

I have quite a few projects to blog about, but will try to do one at a time.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Striped Maxi--McCall's 6559

There is nothing like a little life getting in the way of plans. A little (actually a lot) family drama and some spring cleaning put me in bed with a rheumatoid flare and a pair of worthless hands. My poor husband and kids were having to fend for themselves for dinner--not a pretty sight. I was also eating comfort food that wasn't helping me get better.

M6559 Striped Maxi dress
McCall's  6559
Striped Maxi
I attempted to stay on track with my sewing plans, but didn't do too well. I missed a few Me-Made days while in pajamas or sweats. But worse was that I couldn't type! It isn't very easy to blog without typing. Middle Son was also becoming annoyed at being asked to take my picture everyday.

So, I'm back. I'm taking it slow and attempting to pace myself. Pacing is not easy for me. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why can't Joann's carry decent fabric for men? My fabric shopping rant.

I had some extra time today and really needed a fabric fix. I was out and about and somehow did not have my ever present Joann's circular. I had a 40% and my Mystery 60% off coupons. I ran into the house, grabbed my coupons and a scrap of fabric to match some thread.

I wanted to get some fabric to make Mr. Toad the newest pattern from Thread Theory, their FREE Arrowsmith Men's Tank Top. Unfortunately, I could not find a jersey that did not have a feminine edge to it. Pink and teal is not a good color for Mr. Toad. Neither is a lacy or metallic strip or pattern. I couldn't even find a decent jersey. I finally settled, yes settled, on a blue ribbed knit. I really am not pleased with it and will probably order something from

I think I looked everywhere except for the wall of fleece and the huge section of quilting cottons, and the special occasion fabrics for some inspiration.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

McCall's 6559--The back up plan

McCall's 6559
One of the advantages to being able to sew is being able to whip up a dress when having one of those days that end up with most of your wardrobe thrown on the bed because you just don't want to wear anything you own.

Now, in the past, this would have resulted in a shopping trip. However, with the ready to wear fast, I only had my stash of patterns and my stash of fabric.

New Brother 2340cv Cover Stitch!

Links may be monetized. Please read my disclosures & privacy policy.

Just when I had convinced myself that I can wait to get a cover stitch machine I had an interesting conversation with Mr. Toad.

Last week Mr. Toad had taken a day off and asked me if "those underwear (the Comox Trunks) would be easier to make with that machine you want." 

I wasn't sure how to answer. I just replied, "Maybe. I don't because I haven't tried using one yet." 

He polite responded, "Let's get it for you for Mother's Day, and get those attachments so you won't need anything later."

Saturday, May 10, 2014

More Sewing with Knits--skirt and pull-over hoody

Links may be monetized. Please read my disclosures & privacy policy.

hoody sewing with knits
Sewing with knits hoody.

I've been doing a lot of sewing with knits. Part of it has to do with Me-Made-May and needing some basics quickly and The Monthly Stitch March Challenge of Sewing Knits. I've been getting some of my knits from the Craftsy class, Sewing With Knits (affiliate link).

I've already written about the tee and the yoga pants. Here are two more, both were quick and easy. They are also quick and easy to wear. Comfy casual should be a clothing term.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mrs. Toad is Getting Social

Okay, I've put it off long enough. I kept thinking that this social media thing is just a fad, but it just won't go away. So, I'm finally giving in to the pressure and have set up some social media.

Now, I gave in to my personal Facebook earlier this year. Since I was using my personal Facebook for everything, but have decided that my real world friends really could care less about flat fell seams and how many times I have had to rip out a seam to make it lay flat.

So, I set up a Mrs. Toad Sews personal blog page on Facebook.

Before I set up the Mrs. Toad Sews Facebook page, I had set up

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Comox Trunks--Mr. Toads New Drawers

Comox Trunks Cheetah
Cheetah wearing Comox Trunks watching
How serious can we be when sewing a pair of underwear for our guy? It is one of those delicate subjects that either needs to be discussed delicately or with complete humor. I will attempt to be mature in this matter.

This is the new Comox Trunk from Thread Theory. I wasn't sure if I would buy this pattern, but when they were having a sew along and it was discounted I just had to buy it. It is available as a pdf and as a downloadable pattern. I seem to be a glutton for punishment, so I downloaded it.

Of course I downloaded it and attempted to print before I realized I was almost out of ink. This stopped me in my tracks. I think my printer is almost as important for my sewing as my sewing machine and serger. I decided to use the horribly almost out of ink pattern and it took some guesswork in cutting out the pattern.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Sewing with Knits Yoga Pants

Links may be monetized. Please read my disclosures & privacy policy.

With Me-Made-May started, I've been evaluating what I really wear. I don't wear silk jersey to clean the toilet, change the cat box, or drive kids to and from school. Being a Mom is not glamorous. 

Yoga Pants
My yoga pants have pockets!
In all honesty, I have been known to throw a coat over my nightgown and slide my wool sock wearing feet into Mr. Toad's flip-flops to run the kids to school. Yes, I do worry about having car trouble dress like this. I really try to be dressed and presentable, but this is the reality.

Me-Made-May is helping with this. The weather is also. What I really wear in this spring-almost-summer weather are jeans, yoga pants (the new sweats), t-shirts, shorts, and skirts. 

I have a few pairs of jeans and pants that are presentable and appropriate. I have now made a couple Sorbetto tops and a couple quick tees. I needed some super comfy hang out yoga pants. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Two Super Quick Sorbetto Tops

Links may be monetized. Please read my disclosures & privacy policy.

Sorbetto Top #1
Sorbetto Top #1
Yesterday I said I started on a Sorbetto, a free top pattern from Colette Patterns. Can you say "quick and easy?"

These were tremendously fast to put together. The longest was in pinning the bias tape. I made both in less than 3 1/2 hours.

The first was from fabric that I bought earlier this week. I found it on the Red Tag table at my local Joann's. It was marked down to $5 a yard and was 1/2 off. So, for $2.50 a yard, I was okay with a potential wadder. A wadder is a project that is so frustrating or hideous that one wads it up and tries to forget it ever existed. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Two Quick Tees

Links may be monetized. Please read my disclosures & privacy policy.

Doesn't this fabric look like brownies?
One of my boys says it looks like
dinosaur skin. Maybe they need
One Tuesday, with only a couple of days until Me-Made-May starting, I decided that the best way to avoid being topless in May, was to make some quick tops. I had made a list of what I have that I can be worn in May and what I need to have complete outfits. I then proceeded to the fabric store to fill in the wardrobe.

I am rather proud of myself, I have managed to sew 3 of the six fabrics that I bought. I have one more on the cutting mat and the pattern next to it. I also have one in the wash and one in the dryer. I'm on a roll.

A few months back, I had bought a Craftsy class called  Sewing With Knits (affiliate link). Its focus is on five wardrobe basics. There is a dress, yoga pants/shorts, skirt, pull-over hoody, and tee. The tee has a v-neck and scoop

Monday, April 28, 2014

Only 3 days Until Me-Made-May!

When I didn't see my list of new patterns in the drawer,
I asked if they were in the box on the counter.
The guy let me raid the box!!!!
I love nice people!!!!!
This weekend I while folding and putting away clothes, I decided to see what I have to make outfits for Me-Made-May. I'm in trouble! I might be wearing only a couple of tops with pants that don't match. I will look like my daughter when I let her choose her clothes when she was in preschool.

This lead me to write out what I have that is appropriate for May. Since I live a rather casual life, I don't need much. Mostly jeans, casual pants, know, the Mom Uniform.

Of course, Sacramento goes from cool to HOT sometime between May and June. So, I am going to need some transitions. I won't need everything at once, but it really could happen over night.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Trying to Choose a Coverstich Machine

Links may be monetized. Please read my disclosures & privacy policy.

I want a coverstitch machine. I like to sew knits for my kids, my husband and for myself. A coverstitch would help me to get the professional finish and in less time. But what would Dave Ramsey say?
Brother 2340CV Cover Stitch
Affiliate Link

However, a coverstitch is what Alton Brown from the Food Network calls a "uni-tasker." While the coverstitch mostly is used for hemming, it is also used for decorative stitching on seams as well. It also can add binding and elastic.

I already have a serger, but a coverstitch maching is different. Some sergers also have a built in coverstitch, but from what I have read, I don't want to have to change my machine over when I want to switch from serging to coverstitch and back again.

There seems to be a tension release issue on the Brother, but reading on, there are work

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Modified Vogue 8759

V8759 Front
Vogue 8759-Front
I finally finished Mr. Toad's Easter shirt--a couple day's late, but done. I started with planning how I would match the plaid before I even cut the fabric. I had run into some buttonhole trouble, not the usually kind. I actually had problems with the color of the thread. The blue I used looks really good for the top stitching, but when I finished stitching all of the buttonholes, it was extremely bright and just not okay.

So, I spent a few hours looking for my little embroidery scissors to cut the stitches. This usually works best for me. I am embarrassed to say, that I have spent way too much of my life removing the stitches from buttonholes. I was unable to find the scissors, so I used my new seam ripper. I still prefer my embroidery scissors, which seem to be lost.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sunshine & Shine On

Awards are such an honor.  I was nominated for the Sunshine and Shine On Award by The Sewing CPAThis award is meant to help you get to know your fellow bloggers better and network with other bloggers, as well as reveal fun facts about you to help your readers know you better.

Sun Shine and Shine On

Sunshine and Shine On Blogger Award

The Rules -       a) Use the

Fabric Eating Bugg

Our Little Bugg
This week marked the one year anniversary of us finding our loving chihuahua, Bugg. Mr. Toad had texted me that there was a dog laying in the gutter in front of our house. He was on the way to a meeting and had me go out and check on it.

We seem to be the house where lost dogs go until their owner shows up. We have a neighborhood with almost every house having at least one dog. People also walk their dogs in our neighborhood. We have returned many dogs in the neighborhood and have extra crates/kennels to keep them until their owners get home.

Well, when I went out, this skinny, nervous chihuahua would stay about arms length. If I approached, he moved away. If I backed away, he came closer. It wasn't until our miniature dachshund, Ollie, came out to see why I was giving attention to another dog.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Anxiously Waiting for Ottobre Design Summer 2014 to Get Here!

Front Cover April 2014After years of indecision, I finally subscribed to Ottobre Design. I subscribed to both the kids and the women's. I now have two editions of the women's and anxiously waiting for the first kid's. It seems a little ironic that I am finally subscribing when my third child is just outgrowing their sizes and that my youngest is entering the largest sizes.

But, hey, better late than never!

It is now mid-April. I have been waiting very patiently. I mean, hey, I've been waiting until the mailman has walked away before pouncing on the mailbox and fumbling through it looking for my Summer 2014 issue. I finally decided to go to the website and found the pictures and the layout. I'm using this to drool over until the actual magazine arrives with more details. In fact, the publish date for subscribers is today. So, the impatient me wants to know where is it! Even though I really don't have time to sew anything from it right now.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Vogue 8759 & More Matching Plaid

Vogue 8759
I guess I haven't had enough button down shirts or of matching plaids. Before I begin shorts for the boys, I decided Mr. Toad needs a new shirt for Easter.

I've had 8759 since it came out. It has been cut and ready to go. It even had water spilled on it by a kid who left their water class near my sewing.

I have multiple patterns short sleeve shirts for Mr. Toad, but they have one piece collars. Mr. Toad has a longer neck that looks better with a collar with a separate sew on collar band.

This pattern is designed a little slimmer than some of my older patterns. In fact, it has prince seams in the back, replacing the back pleats. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Seersucker Short Sleeve Ethan Shirt

Short Sleeve Ethan Shirt
Another Sis Boom Ethan Button Down

Yes, You heard correctly...Another Ethan Button Down Shirt.

I'm sure you're thinking "another Ethan shirt!" 

And I would have to say, "Yep." 

This is a little different. It has short sleeves. It is a plaid seersucker. I modified the sleeves and made a cut-on front placket and flat-felled seams. 

I did the plaid a little differently than I did the gingham Ethan. Instead of attempting to match this irregular plaid, I contemplated cutting the yoke and pocket on the bias. However, because I started daydreaming, I forgot to put the yoke on the bias. I had already cut the pocket on the bias. Middle Son told me he didn't want a pocket. Yippee! I didn't even mention the option of the bias yoke. He probably wouldn't care anyway.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Another LIebster--Let's MIx It Up

Liebster Award badgeI never thought I would receive a Liebster nomination, but here I am with a second. I am very humbled by this, especially when I have seen other blogs who have had this honor.

This nomination was from Sew Much 2 Learn. Sew Much 2 Learn recently had a great series on sewing tools--a must read.

For those unaware of the Liebster award, it is meant to be a way for small blogs to be acknowledged. In many ways, I am surprised that anyone reads the thoughts I type into my laptop while I am sitting on my corner of the couch thinking about my sewing.

Now the rules are:

  1. Thank the

Gingham Ethan Short-Sleeved Finished!

Ethan Shirt Playing
Youngest Son likes to ham it up for the camera.
After much fun matching the lines and checks, Youngest Son now has his black and white gingham short-sleeved Ethan.

If you remember, it started with planning the layout to match up the pattern. Followed by overcoming problems with matching and resewing to make sure that the pattern matched.

It did take me longer than usual. Part of the reason is that I have been recovering from a rheumatoid flare, then some upper respiratory virus that migrated to a lower respiratory thing zapped my energy levels. I'm finally feeling a little better.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

McCall's Newest Patterns-Spring 2014

I only found three patterns that I must have from McCall's new spring line. I'm finding that what else is offered is either not my style or taste or I already have something similar enough.

But of these three I really want them. 

McCall's 6960
Now look at the loose tank in McCall's 6960. It just says summer to me. I am not a huge fan of the hi-lo, but I don't hate it either. This is definitely on my list for the next

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Gingham Ethan Button Down, part 2

The final front placket.
The main differences in a button down shirt. Once you determine the cut--relaxed, slim, regular there are only a few other details. These are the type of collar--with a band or without, the length of sleeve--short or long, the sleeve placket on a long sleeve, and whether the front placket is cut on or sewn on.

The Ethan has a sewn on front placket. This is great when wanting to add detailing or if for plain fabrics. Unfortunately, this time I am working with gingham. If I had thought ahead, I would have extended the center front so that it could have just been turned and sewn. But, I didn't. I could also have cut the front placket on the bias and had them diagonal like I usually do. But, nope. I didn't.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ethan Button Down--Matching Gingham, part 1

tracing half patterns to manilla folder to make full size
Using a manilla folder to make full size pattern pieces.
Make sure to transfer the marks to the new pieces.
Since discovering the Ethan Button Down, I knew it was going to be my go-to pattern for my boys when I need a button down. Since boys don't wear too many different shapes of button downs the way girls or women do, you don't need that many patterns.

Men's and boys clothes are adjusted more with fabric choices and stitching details. Middle Son chose a grey long-sleeve. This time, I am making the Ethan as a short sleeve for Youngest Son. This is supposed to be his Easter shirt and I let him choose the color. He usually wants brighter colors like his safety orange pull-over. However, lately he has been wanting black.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Using Free Patterns to Get Through Sewing Funk

Collette Sorbetto Top
Sorbetto Top
I've been cruising through sewing blogs the last few days because I just am having trouble getting into my projects. Having gained a little and having done some shape shifting, I'm hesitant on starting something that may not fit. Apparently, I'm not alone.

My decision while I am waiting for my weight to decide what it's plan is, I will sew for my boys and some quick things for myself that does not need much fitting.

I sewed the Kirsten Kimono Tee from Maria Denmark. I have a couple more fabrics that I would like to try. I also have the Sammy Cami from The Sewing Space, the Sorbetto Top from Colette Patterns to try. These are all free downloadable patterns. I like that these are sleeveless and except for the Sorbetto, they are knit.

I might use these to lighten my fabric stash a bit.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Gearing Up for Me Made May 2014

It is coming to that time of year that has many sewists think about their wardrobe and if they have enough sewn to make it through a whole month.

The Me Made May challenge is an individual challenge based upon what each participant is comfortable with for him or herself. It is not a competition. Some choose one item each day, week or month. Others go for all outfits for the whole month.

For me, I am going to go for whole Me-Made outfits, except for outerwear and sweaters. I'm hoping this might give me a little incentive to get some shorts, skirts and tops done. A dress or two would be great as well as copying a ready to wear sweater that I have the fabric washed and already for sewing.

So here's my pledge:

I, Annette of Mrs. Toad Sews (http;//, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavor to wear outfits sewn by me or refashioned by me...

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sequin Kimono Tee

Maria Denmark Free Kimono Tee
Friday, I needed some instant gratification. After not touching my machines for a week, I needed to sew something--anything. I wanted to go shopping and buy some new shirts, but this ready to wear fast won't let me.

I had been feeling yucky--sore throat, stuffy nose, headache. I had run to Joann's to get some serger thread on sale--4 cones for $5 plus 15% off!

Youngest Son's school was having a their Cafe day, and I had promised I would try to make it. However, I was feeling really bad and left Joann's in a cold sweat. I decided to pick up a sandwich for him at Subway and drop it off, since I told him I would bring him something special.

I had forgotten that this was also the day that they were giving speeches. I arrived toward the end of their scheduled time, so they had him do his speech since I was there. His speech was a persuasive argument to have more

Friday, April 4, 2014

Comox Men's Trunks Sew-Along

I love a good sew-along. 

I love to sew for Mr. Toad.

I love a quick sew.

I have found a way to combine all three!

Jedediah pants
Thread Theory is having a sew-along for their newest pattern the Comox Trunk! I am just now getting to add this to my Patterns for Men page, even though it has been out for a few weeks. 

To be honest, I wasn't sure if I was going to get this pattern. But with the download only $7.50 and with it on sale for 30% off (until Midnight 4/4/2014), I just had to try these out. Plus, they are having a sew-along. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Pattern Magic 2 & A Big Thank You to Graca!

I received the Pattern Magic 2 book from Graca's blogiversary drawing on her blog, Sew Essentially Sew, on Monday. 

I want to give a huge Thank You to Graca. I love this book!

I may actually need to get the 1st and the one for knits.

While I really love it, it is not an open-the-book-and-make-something book. It is an idea book. 

Everything in it is a mock up in muslin. They are pinned onto a dress form or made half size for this very non-Barbie looking doll. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sew Grateful in April! What sounds are you grateful for?

Today is April 2 and is the second day of Grateful in April. Today's focus in being grateful for the sounds around us. I know that sounds make a difference in how I feel and that some noises just make me nuts.

Having a houseful of kids, mine and the ones mine drag over and three yappy dogs is a bit noisy.

In fact, with the kids at school, and the TV off, no music on (at the moment) I was thinking of the sounds of my house. The dishwasher (it is supposed to be a quiet one) is swooshing around, the dryer is tumbling and buzzing, the washing machine (on cold because the dishwasher is running) is doing its wind down tumbling. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Is it really April? & My March in Review

It is hard to believe it is April and I have finished 3 months of blogging? I actually set up my blog on Christmas morning. It sounds horrible, but everyone was playing with their gifts. I had been wanting to set it up, and it was the first quiet time in months. I really consider January as my first real month.

Oh, well. This is supposed to be about looking back at March and forward to April.

Here were my goals for March,

  1. 6-8 Neckerchiefs for scout troop (before March 4)--Done!
  2. Badge sash for 2-3 boys in scout troop (before March 4)--because of the difficulty getting the correct fabric in the correct color, I spent more time driving to get the sashes than it would have taken to make 8-9 for the price of one.
  3. Miss Bossy Patterns Challenge--Simplicity 1696 Amazing Fit Jeans--Done!
  4. Pattern Review Fitted Blouse Challenge--decided to wait because I don't need it
  5. Finish the Safari Jacket--currently sitting on my coffee table taunting me and my sore hands
  6. Make Youngest Son a safety orange fleece hoody--Done!
  7. Make Youngest Son his own

Monday, March 31, 2014

Liebster Blog Award! I was nominated!!

Have you ever had one of those exhausting and satisfying weeks that you has you on top of the world?

Then, you open your email to find that you are being recognized for something that you love to do?

Then you know how honored I am to have been nominated by Vicki at Yellow Submarine Time

While I may have been left

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mystery Project Revealed

My inspiration.
I teased this the other day and really feel bad that I didn't respond to the comments. I am horrible with secrets and wanted to share this because it is another one of those things that I can't believe I created.

There are actually two "banners" that are mirror images of each other. I am calling them banners because there is only a top--no batting or back. The borders are a mess. I didn't do them the same and considered them temporary. One has mitered corners that are only pinned.

The purpose of these banners was part of the decor for a

Thursday, March 27, 2014

New Domain Name & I Won A Drawing!

A few weeks ago, I bought my domain name: My lack of tech competence kept me from having it work for the last few weeks. Luckily, the customer service at called me and set me up with their tech department and got everything working!

Like I tell my kids: I like nice people.

I am still with blogger and don't have any plans to change at this point. So, still works, but it will redirect you to If you subscribe, I am attempting to do all of the address changes. 

Now for more exciting news!

Mystery Project

Any ideas on what I made?
I am horrible at secrets. It isn't that I can't keep them. It's that I don't like to have secrets.

I feel weird having a secret that has been taking up so much of my sewing time this week.

That and I'm done and I can't post my newest finished project.

So I am giving a hint.

Saturday, I will post the finished project and the process.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Getting the Safari Jacket Back on Track--Vogue 8732

Vogue 8732--Remember This?
Why do we put a project aside and let them become the dreaded UFO--UnFinished Object? I've been thinking about it because I have a few of these. I really want to finish my Safari jacket and am afraid if I don't get to it soon, it will fall into the permanent UFO pile.

I've been working on a few unplanned projects this month and have finished the most urgent. So when I finished putting the binding on a project that I will reveal this weekend, I grabbed my box with the jacket, pattern instructions and supplies.

Now, I don't know about you, but when I try to pick up a UFO, I have a really hard time

Monday, March 24, 2014

Vogue Summer 2014

Vogue Summer 2014 New Patterns
My Grandma Sam, who was my main sewing teacher and cheerleader, was a McCall's loyalist. Occasionally, she would have a Vogue pattern. When I was first learning to read, I called it a "vague pattern." Grandma Sam and my mom laughed and said, "It's Vogue, but Vogue is vague," and they continued laughing.

Vague Vogue is one of my favorites of the Big 4 (if we count Kwik Sew, New Look and Burda it would be Big 7). The vagueness is not as much of an issue as it once was for me. I like the styles, and with the internet, I can turn to one of many fantastic sewists who have most likely tackled these issues.

Isn't the internet awesome? You can learn to do practically anything as long as you have internet access!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

7 blankets sewn for The Red Island Project.

7 blankets for the Madagascar newborns
About a week ago I told you about The Red Island Project, in this post. So far, I have sewn  blankets for the newborns that they will be helping bring into the world in Madagascar. I have more fabric, but this is what I could do with the thread that I have. I will be getting more serger thread tomorrow.

I have a couple patterns and plan to make clothes for the newborns that The Red Island Project will give to the new moms.

I encourage you to visit The Red Island Project.

If you are interested in supporting their mission, there is information on their site.

If you are interested in making blankets, clothes, or hats for the newborns. Please email me and we can figure it out.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Continuing the Sloper--Vogue 1004 & First Fitting

Vogue 1004--Front & Back Bodice with markings.
The red wax tracings are difficult to see on the pink & white
gingham in the photo, but are visible in person.
I left off in the middle of cutting out the sloper. Before cutting, there were measuring and calculating to determine the necessary adjustments to the various lengths and the waist and hip circumferences.

Because I want the grain and cross grains of the fabric to be be evident, I am using gingham. To avoid distorting and shifting the grain, I cut each piece individually. It is important to flip the pattern piece for one of the two pieces or two right or two left could be cut.

Vogue 1004--Front Bodice
Make all relevant information--bust point, amount added or subtracted
at the adjustment lines and seam lines--basically EVERYTHING.
I also recorded right and left, date and for whom,
I marked each pattern piece using wax tracing paper. I marked the grainline, the seam limes, the length adjustment lines, dartlines, and all relevant information--including the pattern number, size, date and that it is for me. I may need this if I make another or if I need to compare.

I used the wax markings to make thread tracings of the stitching lines in a contrasting color. I used navy, because I had an old cheap navy thread that I don't want to use to sew, but just cannot throw away without a little guilt. I think I bought it in the 1990's at a drug store. It has a printed price of 59¢.

I was tracing the darts, but I wasn't sure and stopped part way. So some of my darts are marked and some are not. The nice thing about thread tracing the lines is that it is easier to line up to baste or sew because you can feel where the seam line is. It is also visible from each side.

Having the seam lines thread traced made it easier to find the seam lines since the seam allowances are different on the front and back. The front is left unstitched and has a 5/8 inch allowance, which seems narrow after having 1 inch allowances.

The darts are sewn first. With the bodice, sleeves and skirt; there are 18 darts. Nothing like a little practice sewing darts! Normally, I wouldn't iron my stitching when making a muslin, but I did. I ironed them because the direction told me to and I am doing my best to follow directions on this. The darts are ironed down or toward the center. The bodice is sewn together at the shoulders, side seams and then the back. The skirt is side seams and back. Then the skirt and the bodice are sewing together matching seams. The sleeves don't go on before the first fitting.

Getting into this was easy. Pinning shut, was not. Remember, there is minimal ease and without extra ease, it was awkward to pin myself in. I will not be able to make fitting adjustments without help, so this is as far as I am today. This is actually the middle of page 6 of 12. There is a lot more to go!

If you have any fitting suggestions, please share.

A lot of loose fabric above the
bust line.
Neckline is too big.
The bust line is a little low.
Loose fabric under the bust.
The waist is a little snug, but horizontal
The hip line is horizontal and
in the right spot.
The photo has pulling under the skirt
waist darts, but I didn't notice anything.
Hem is even

Loose fabric above bust line.
Lovely bra band lines.
Waist is snug, but even.
Lovely swayback lines between waist and hip.
Hem is even.

Above the bust needs some removal of fabric
loose fabric under bust is apparent
Definite sway back adjustment needed
A little tummy stress (where are my spanx!)
The skirt side seam is vertical and straight.
Hem is straight.

Right with arms raised
Not much different, but the bodice seam is
a little wavy.
The extra fabric under the bust is more apparent.

I just had to dance!
I had enough self-critiquing
for the day.

I am going to spend some time observing the photos and enlisting help on my fitting issues
 I am open to any constructive fitting advise.