Wednesday, January 6, 2016


I am taking Burda's "Sewing and Designing Your Own Jeans" course with Meg Healy. I've taken several online classes with Meg now, and I enjoy her enthusiasm and teaching style. I loved the slopers course I took with her and though I've yet to develop my own patterns from the slopers, I do use them often as a base for other patterns - to make sure I take into account fit issues. And I learned a bit about how measurements affect the finished garment.

Anyway, this is my denim laid out and ready to be cut. This fabric is left over from another project, a denim skirt. It's not the best quality, but I figured I will have an around-the-house pair if nothing else. So, I wanted to make sure I had enough since it was iffy; I laid the pattern pieces on the fabric and I was short. I kid you not, I needed about 4 more inches of material. I had room for everything except a waistband. Are you kidding me? 

Me - Great, now I have to go order more fabric before I can make my jeans. 
My daughter - Mom, can't you just make capris?

Well, duh. So, I shortened the pattern to capri length and sure enough, I now have just barely enough for all the pockets AND the waistband.

This is one of two pair of pants I'm working on. I've never made pants before, so I'm looking forward to seeing how they work out. The first pair is actually nearly done, so maybe I'll have a post very soon to share about those!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Inspiration Board

Thought I'd share my inspiration board with some of my current/future projects. I just got the corkboard, so it's a work in progress, just like just about everything else.

It's just an 18"X22" cork board. Starting at the left corner, and going clockwise, is a crown of a hat from interfacing that I accidentally doubled, so I have an extra in case I ever make another fedora. To the right of that is a bra cup pattern and some swatches of nylon lingerie fabric. I have not tested this particular bra pattern - I lost my favorite one in a move a year ago and I have not reordered it because I keep hoping that it will show up.

Below that is just a card with a note about the pattern and where to find it; also a little sketch, though you probably can't see that. It's a surplice top from Burda in their Modern Essentials book. I have made one that I need to get around and show. I love the one I have and plan to make another in some beautiful heather grey jersey from Mood Fabrics. (No swatch as the material is about to be put through the wash.)

Just below is a card that says Cigarette Pants from Gertie's Casual Vintage book. There is also a zipper. I have some brown twill on the sewing table with the pattern all ready to be cut out.

Below (right bottom corner) are some lovely swatches from Mood - a couple of nice coatings and a black twill).

Go over to the left and you have my pushpins and a small picture of a hat and purse combo out of wool. As a weaver, one of my goals in life is to be able to sew something from my handwoven fabric. I'd like to weave a purple plaid from wool and make a hat and purse, so that is more of a longterm goal.

Above that is a card from my in-laws with a lovely piece of batik. I coincidentally bought some batiks that I think this would go with, so I'm thinking another bag with this featured as one of the outside pockets.

In the center are cards for Burda's Lace Cardigan and a corset. I have a corset going; I've done a mockup which fits really well, so the next steps are to decide exactly what I need and to order it up.

Although nothing is up there yet, I am taking a jeans-making course from Burda and just finished tracing out the pattern, so that's another project.

I keep a few binder clips nearby so that I can clip entire patterns together and pin them to the bottom of the board.

So those are some of my projects over the next couple of months and beyond. What are some of yours?

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Basic Bag from The Better Bag Maker

Yeah, it's just about like me to start a blog and ignore it for three months. I haven't been idle though; I have quite a few projects in the works and even one to show.

This is the Basic Bag Pattern from Nicole Mallalieu's The Better Bag Maker. I needed a new purse as this one I made around three years ago from The Burda Style Sewing Handbook was sadly wearing out. 

This is quilting fabric and I loved how the black and white fabrics worked together. The author's directions were pretty clear for most of the bag. I do have to admit that I had a lot of trouble with the zipper instructions and just ended up not being able to figure out her directions. I ended up following these directions for the zipper. I also put in a LOT of compartment pockets. In fact, there are so many, that most of my stuff is in pockets with just my wallet at the bottom of the purse :-)

I used a light woven cotton interfacing and may use a heavier one if I ever make this particular bag again. 

As for the book, it's an excellent book. Other than the zipper instructions (which I plan to try again at some point), I was very happy with the detailed pictures. I think something that may have helped with the zipper instructions were the pictures. Her pictures for this are all done with white material and it's very hard to tell the difference between the right and wrong side of the fabric.

In the book, Nicole starts with the easiest pattern and each pattern builds on the last. I really do want more than one bag, so I am going to try and do around a bag a month. This was mine for December.

Hopefully, I'll try and be a bit more consistent on my posting. Other projects I've been working on include a corset, a couple of tops, pants, and a jeans-making course from Burda. Hopefully, I'll have more to show soon!

Have a Happy New Year!

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Welcome to my Sewing Blog! This isn't my first blog, but I haven't updated my knitting blog in quite a while (three years!). I'm still knitting a bit, but sewing a bit more, so I've started a sewing blog. There will probably be some growing pains as I try and figure out Blogger again. If you are interested in checking out some of my old stuff (knitting, weaving, a bit of sewing), feel free to hop over to Alianne's Blog and see. If you dig around, you'll find quite a few knitted shawls and socks, some woven scarves and towels, and a little sewing. I will be posting some of my current knitting as well as sewing, but as I sew and knit mostly clothing (and weave a lot of scarves), they do sort of go together.

I hope to start really posting next week, complete with pictures, but until then, a little about my sewing and crafting history. I am a lifelong crafter. You name it, I have probably tried it at some point. My current loves are all fiber related: knitting, weaving, spinning, and sewing. Someday, I'd like to spin fiber to weave into a fabric and sew something spectacular.

Specifically to this blog, sewing: I learned to sew when I was about 8, a bit over 3 decades ago, on my grandmother's sturdy Singer. This was one of the big ones that required a sewing cabinet, not one of the portable ones. She sewed most of her life, both in factories and at home. She used to sew me the fanciest Easter dresses. And she taught me to sew Barbie clothes.

My grandma was a very talented sewer, but I am a very detail-oriented person. I have to know why you do certain things, and I used to drive my grandmother crazy because she would tell me to do things a certain way, but couldn't really tell me why it was supposed to be done that way. When I was in high school, I made a skirt with her help. I kept asking her why you lay the pattern this way on the selvedge. She couldn't tell me why, that laying it on the grain in a certain way made it hang a certain way; that's just the way it was done. It ended up being a lovely wrap skirt (I still have it), and was done perfectly, but I went away from the project without any more real knowledge. I picked up sewing here and there, but it never really stuck until recent years.

Recently, I've really made an effort to hone my skills. I've learned quite a bit from books, blogs, and experimentation. I've taken a couple of sloper-drafting courses from Burda Academy with great success. I hope to share some advice I've learned along the way.

Next week I hope to get pictures up of a lovely fedora I made. I am also getting in some new brown twill fabric which I hope will make a nice pair of pants to match the lovely Forest Path Stole I'm knitting in a nice lovely forest green. (For the record, green and brown are not my usual colors; I'm trying to expand my palette; you'll probably figure out my favorite colors after a while on this blog or digging around on the old one.) The shawl is nearly done and will look beautiful with a brown pair of pants and cream shirt. Just in time for fall.

I'll leave you with this:

Sewing Advice #1
Category: Supplies

Scissors: Have at least two pair with different colored handles in your crafting area. One is for paper; the other is for fabric. If you're lousy with colors, then take a Sharpie and write "FABRIC" on the handles of one and "PAPER" on the other. I actually only have one ugly orange-handled pair that I use for paper and several fabric shears in different colors. Make others fear to use your scissors without explicit permission; they will use your fabric scissors on paper, even if "FABRIC ONLY" is clearly written on them. (If you yell at them a few times for this sin, they will be scared to touch any scissors that do not belong to them without asking first. At least in my experience; yours may differ.)