Friday, July 29, 2016

Happy Birthday Mommie!!!!


I'm really grateful to have my mother. Really. We DON'T get along. And neither of us is about to change. My immediate family was mom dad and brother. I've lost daddy and brother. Mommie is all I have left. Yes I have a husband... But still my Cipher is tiny.

I made this basket for her. She absolutely hates any gift I get for her. And tends to regift. So I hope this makes it easy to pass on.

Love you Monmie!!!!


PS: she actually spells it Mommie...

Friday, May 20, 2016



I've been wanting one of these skirts for a minute. They are all over Pinterest. Why would I buy something I can make?

I made one a few months ago. But when I tried it on, I knew it wasn't my silhouette. The flowiness made me look extra big. I know some women don't care and wear just what they want, but I like to look good in my clothes. That's me.... Confidence is good, but confidence alone won't make you look amazing if the clothes don't flatter you.

A classmate needed a skirt made quickly. Her daughter is graduating today and there is an Agrican theme. Since I'm not working, (I lost my job of 13 years on April 6th. I haven't mentioned it because I was still a bit bitter...) I told her I could help her out. She gave me the fabric on Monday and I gave her this skirt Thursday. I actually had it ready on Wednesday. 

You like? I didn't use a pattern. I freeballed it. And my client seems very satisfied. 

The client actually wanted it shorter. Like a high-low with it really high in the front. So high, I had to shorten the pockets. I like it better longer.

The class I'm taking is in Ifa. I'm not going into an explanation of what it is or why I'm taking it. But I went to a bembe on Sunday, and I saw people in clothes I KNOW they didn't buy at Macy's. My client is deep in the culture and I'm hoping to get the word out that I, a member of their own community, can custom make their ritual clothing. Now that I'm out of work, I could use the money....



Monday, May 2, 2016



Now that Hancock Fabrics is closing, where am I supposed to purchase patterns and notions? I never liked Joanne's, plus there isn't one close to me. The closest one is 30 miles away.

Who has pattern sales? I'm not paying full price for them.... Where do you get notions?

I'd appreciate any comments...


Wednesday, April 6, 2016



I haven't been sewing... more on that later. But the last thing I have sewn was this.....

One of my dear friends is adopting a child. I wanted to make her a baby quilt. Baby quilts are all I have the patience for. Anything else will cause me to quit right in the middle of the job. I have a larger baby quilt on the UFO pile that I made for one of my line sisters... 2 years ago! I put her son's name on it and everything. That's what happens when quilts get too big on me. I don't enjoy the process. I plan to finish the UFO.... if I can find it... and pick the name out of it. Whoever has the next baby is going to get that quilt!


Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Peace y'all!

I hate winter. I'm okay with fall and spring. And I adore the summer. But I sincerely hate the winter. I hate being cold. I hear people say they can get warm if they get cold but they can't get cool after being super hot. I am the frank opposite. Once cold... I'm cold for hours. I'm not saying I don't warm up. I'm saying it takes awhile. Maybe it's because I'm severely iron deficient. And try as I might, I can't seem to come out of the anemia. I have been on IV iron and it just doesn't take.

I moved to GA for a number of reasons. But my main PERSONAL reason was because I wanted to live somewhere warm. And I WAS warm for the 1st 10 years. But my blood acclimated and I'm back to being cold again. This is the pits. Luckily GA is only truly cold about 2-3 months. Then we warm up again.

Since I hate winter; I hate winter clothes. And closed toed shoes are the worst! I like my feet to breathe! I have been struggling to find a pair of shoes. I wear a 10.5. Those are few and far between. 11 are too big, 10 too small. these feet have the unmitigated gall to be narrow! My feet are hurting right now. I will be miserable until... say.... April. So just know that.

Anywho..... I have decided on this January 5th... that I am going to begin to sew my summer clothes. I may not be able to wear them, but I can dream..... So when you see some weather inappropriate posts... don't call the looney bin on me. It's me getting ready for the season I prefer the most!


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Birthday Suit: S1276


It's my bornday y'all! And you know what that means. It means I had to send out search party for my mojo (I think it was in the witness protection program) and make me a brand new garment to celebrate!

Since I last Built with y'all, The God and I decided to get married. Getting legally married is not something that is common within the 5% Culture. Our righteous compadres have been looking at us side ways. But it's fine. They always look at us like that. We don't fit the standard mold for God and Earth. One of many reasons we got hitched is because we are striving to purchase a house! We thought we had one. But the inspection came back scary, so we passed. But we loved the house so much initially, that we started packing. I had packed up my sewing room. I had to unpack it some to make this garment.

This is not what I initially intended for my birthday suit. I wanted to make a cream corduroy skirt and a black knit top. But for some reason I couldn't find the pattern for either. (Found the top pattern after I was done making this one) So as I was going through the Air Jordan boxes that I keep my patterns in I came across S1276 and thought, why not? Now that I have a stash.... I went to see what could work.

Out of the big 4, simplicity is my least favorite. I get more wadders from Simplicity than any other pattern. If I'm using Simplicity I allow extra time just in case I need to sew something else or buy something. This is not my 1st attempt at making this particular brand of simplicity pattern. I made a capsule wardrobe for a friend using S1167. These patterns work for some folks. I don't think they really work for me. I wanted to be supportive. When I made S1167 it was a lot of confusion. The tutorial didn't help. The instructions were hazy and at some points contradicted the tutorial.... Just a bad time. I don't' know if my friend even liked her capsule. We've not discussed it. So with MUCH hesitation I went on and made S1276.

I don't hate the dress. I don't think color blocking works for me. I've tried it a few times and never like the result. Even this simple Black and white combo. I was worried about the light band across the middle. And I was right. Whatever. I don't' mind the top and the “peek-a-boo.” You can't see it. If I make this in the future (because I don't discard patterns unless they piss me off) I won't make it with a band. Just solid all the way down.

I didn't make many changes. I made it out of knit so there is no zipper, nor did I interface the neck facings. I need to be able to get it over my head. To keep the facing down I tacked it. But you can't really see the tacks unless you were looking for them. the directions were really vague about what pieces to cut out. My suggestion if you decide to make the peek-a-boo version is instead of cutting a front facing, cut a second front piece and use the entire piece as a facing.

I used ponte knit. I love this stuff! I have finally been convicted after 30+ years of sewing that the good fabric, sews better. No pulling, no getting stuck in the machine, stitches stay in and it's just a pleasure to work with. I've heard that before, but I finally believe it. I never wanted to PAY for the good fabric. But you get what you pay for. I realized at the end of construction that I wasn't even using the correct needle. But even still, everything went smoothly.

From the completed pics of other folks work, I noticed that the waist was elongated. So with my breasts, I didn't think I needed to add the 3 inches that I normally would. I guessed correctly. This white band hits at my waist. I'm not sure I like that. No. I don't like it at all. But it is what it is.

I added 2” to the skirt. I really need for my clothes to pass my knees. If I take that big band out then the skirt will be too short. I might replace the band with just a black one. But I don't' really want to putz with the dress.

I'm still mourning. But 6 months will be officially over on 11/12. I'll transition into wearing brighter colors. Hopefully, if I feel up to it, I can be festive around the holidays. It will be my first holiday EVER without my brother. My brother always called me at 12:01 on my birthday to be the 1st to wish me a good day. I hate to say this.... because last time I said this I ended up needing it for that purpose... but this dress will serve as a winter mourning dress. I hope I don't have to use it.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015



This pattern is from the 1993. Clearly it's out of print. (I refuse to use the acronym for out of print... because I'm an AKA) That means it's vintage!!!!! I can't. Nope. I ain't ready! According to the interwebs... anything over 20 years is vintage. Damn.

I got this pattern in a mystery bag. This now defunct mom-pop shop used to sell like 10 patterns and odd notions in a mystery bag for a $1. Every time I'd buy some fabric from them (And I went like once/week) I'd buy a mystery bag or 2. Why not? I was always more curious than anything what was in the bag. There were a lot of baby clothes, doll clothes, bags and stuff that I don't wear. The sizes were super small too. But it was a dollar mystery bag. What do you expect? Some of the patterns I gave away to people who CLAIM they want to learn to sew but really just like the idea of sewing rather than the practice. But occasionally they had something in the bag for me. Usually 2 of the 10 patterns I could use. That's worth a dollar, right?

I sooooo remember the young woman I was in the 90's. I turned 21 on a Sunday in college in SC. LOL! Was super mad I couldn't buy alcohol on my birthday. My friends all came through with bottles for me to drink legally from. I had a drink from every bottle that came in the door that day and even went to an underground speakeasy. I was so hungover that Monday. I graduated college (92) ready to take on the world. I attended dental school until 96 graduation. Got married in 98. A cool wild ride of a decade. First (legal) drink to 1st car to doctorate to wife!

I remember how I looked too... It used to scandalize my mother. I did “Black-Girl-Grunge.” Grunge was a 90's thing but you know Black people do style their own way.... I had Janet Jackson/Patra Poetic Justice braids. Actually. I wore my hair braided/cornrowed all while in dental school. Black hair takes a lot of time. I needed that time to sleep, eat, study and party. I wore the dark lipstick and also that green stuff that changes color... the baby doll dresses.... the Dr. Martens.... My mother used to tell me that I didn't look like a woman.

My favorite go-to go-out outfit was a thrift store man's suit that fit my bottom and closed in the front. (I've always had large breasts. And that is ALWAYS a big concern for me) I cut the pants into shorts took them in in the waist and put a professional looking cuff on them. I rolled up the sleeves of the jacket and actually tailor tacked them down so they would stay like that but not look altered. I wore this suit to every party! Either in pieces or all together. I changed out the top, hose and shoes. I had a kente cloth sleeveless tank with a pussy bow... I had that peasant white top with the big lapel that makes you look like a painter... Some times I wore the blazer with no top at all. I used to rock tall boots with platforms... another with stiletto heels. (my mother used to rock tall boots in the 70's and she used to keep them in her closet. She couldn't war them anymore, but wouldn't let me have them. So I'd steal the boots and leave the boxes)When I wore the suit with my DMs, I'd get that thick granny hosiery and tear big holes in it. My mother would have a hissy fit watching me get dressed. But she'd laugh it off. I promise you I had more fun than was allowed. That's why I'm not a 40-some woman not lamenting my lost youth. I just wish I had the energy to party all night and still be able to work or go to class then next morning. Now I gotta got to sleep before 10 or I'm no good for work the next day. I did what young people are supposed to do.


My goal with this dress was to have something black to wear on the weekend that wasn't super clingy. My fibroid is growing and becoming super noticeable. At first I was gonna make M6559 but that seemed more form fitting than I was wanting. I made M6559 a few years ago and I liked it.... but I just wasn't feeling it for this summer. I also wanted to have a high-low dress. Vanity, forced me to google high-low to see if it was still a thing. When you sew for yourself, you tend lose trends. That lends to looking homemade. High-low shirt is still hanging on... but by a thread. But High-low tops are trending. I decided to high-low the dress and leave the front a midi thereby making the trend current!

The fabric was a remnant that I got at Fine Fabric for $1.99. I assumed that it wasn't long and had planned to make a top out of it. Imagine my surprise when I unrolled it. It was enough to make this dress and plenty of fabric left for a headwrap that I don't need because I have a lot of black knit headwraps. FF just keeps on surprising me. I hope they never do anything to turn me off.

B4545... loose fitting tunic/dress/separates. I made the "E" version pictured in the green dress

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the envelope?:
Sort of. I made a few changes

Were the instructions easy to follow?:
Didn't bother

How long did it take from start to finish?:
Several days. For some reason, I just didn't finish it. IDK why. I'd sew a seam and something would catch my attention. And I'd be gone for a few days. Then I'd come back and do something else and then get distracted. I did run out of black thread. That took a few days to correct. I think the dress was TOO easy and just didn't keep my attention.

What did you like/dislike about the pattern?
I dislike that the 90's is considered vintage.....

Fabric used?:
soft Black knit so sweet I keep feeling myself

Pattern alterations or design changes made
I made a lot...
1. Instead of cutting the pattern pieces all separate and having a seam running up the front and back.... I just cut it in 2 pieces
2. the pattern comes with a facing... that I decided to not use
3. Since I didn't use the facing I needed to add on something around the collar and armscye
4. and I made it a high-low

Would you sew it again?:
YES! If I like a pattern, I will sew it about 3 times then retire it.

Would you recommend it to others?:
If you can find it

I'm old. I planned to wear this dress only on the weekend, but I find myself wearing it belted to work. Belting it makes it a bit high. But not belting it makes me look a bit pregnant. I wish I still had my Dr. Martens....

I have been making some other garments. If I blogged them before I don't see the reason to reblog it. Like I said earlier, 3 garments from 1 pattern is enough for me (unless it's a TNT basic). I'd planned to make 4 more black dresses for the summer. I probably won't. My eyes have turned toward the fall and when that happens I lose interest in summer clothes. That happens in the spring too. I'll be in mourning at least until Thanksgiving, probably until the end of the year. I bought some things from the thrift store. A few tops... a skirt. A bathing suit for parts. All Black. My boss asked me how long I was going to publicly mourn. I told him. He told me 2 things. (a) It was a nice and fitting tribute to my brother (He lost his sister recently) and (b) I'm really making it look good. I appreciate that....