Monday, December 15, 2014

Talking Back


Before I put finger to keyboard to write this post... I had a moment. The nature of the post could be considered incendiary. But then I thought... Screw it.

Ever since blogging became a thing, I have noticed that blog comments only tend to be something positive. I KNOW for a fact that folks don't see everything I post as positive. Folks who know me personally will complain to my face regarding something I wrote, but never is that disagreement posted in the comments. I am guilty of this as well. I follow the if-I-can't-say-something-nice-say-nothing philosophy as taught by my mother. But that is not completely right and exact.

If someone posts foolishness... and you don't say anything.... then you agree with said foolishness. For silence grants consent. Especially if you will comment on something you agree with with and/or like. How is that being a friend? In my personal life I will cut any and all people who only want to be around me when things are going well, but when I need them because I'm going through something they disappear like the trader That confirms we aren't really friends.

What prompted this was something I saw on one of the sewing blogs I follow. Folks will use the most horrendous fabric to make a garment and think they look cute. It doesn't matter how advanced your skills are... if you sew up a garment with ugly... non-matching... cheap looking... fabric... IT WILL BE UGLY. But I'd never say to someone...”Wow. That is some super ugly fabric!” I have no nice way to put it other than, “Is that a muslin?” IJS

Another sewing related pet peeve I have is plain vs detail. If you have a pattern that has a lot of detail on it, you shouldn't use a highly printed fabric because you's never notice the said details. It will be overpowered by the print of the fabric. If the pattern is plain like McCalls 6886 you can use any fabric you choose. And my problem is I recognize patterns. I can look at what someone makes and say... “Wait, that pattern has ruching” or “That has a feature” and see that the said feature is obliterated by the print. But who am I to say? I'm not a designer. I am just a person who is obsessed with art of fashion and garment construction.

Since I can't speak for everybody, I'm a speak for me.... If I post something that you disagree with, I openly invite you to post your view. Just be respectful and don't be anonymous. And be mindful there is a difference between interacting and trolling. I have had people tell me I'm too fat to wear something I made... anonymously. I would have posted it had it not been anonymous. I had another response of I don't know what I'm doing when I sew. Okay. I'll take that action. I admit there are people who have been sewing longer than the 31 years that I have so I am open to constructive criticism. When I blog, I blog with the intention of having a dialogue with others. I have noticed on my righteous blog that no one says anything about what I post. I will get private messages from people who don't real know anything about NGE and assume that the way I do it is the way ALL of NGE does it. Well what do you expect newbies and looker-ons to think when no one ever disagrees.

I said all this to say.... Talk back to me!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Abbreviated V2900 - Wearable Muslin


Ok. I have been searching for a full skirt that won't make me look as as big as a house. Also.... I have a lot of patterns already. Once you get a certain amount, you kinda feel like everything you need should be found in the collection. I mean a pencil skirt is a pencil skirt. A button down is a button down, and so forth. I have lots of full skirts in my collection. Something has to work.

Well something did... Vogue 2900! I've had this pattern for a minute. Once I purchased it, brought it home, opened the package.... I realized it had too many pieces. I ain't one for a lot of pieces. So back in the box it went. While perusing my stash I realized that this was the skirt I was looking for. I like that it has a drop waist... So I know it won't suffocate me... and pockets. It's full but not too full. I don't twirl. I don't need that option in a skirt. And it's long enough to meet my 3/4th requirement. This is a good skirt.

The fabric... I don't know. It doesn't seem like an external fabric or maybe it's for coats? It's too heavy to be quilting fabric. It's a little heavy to be broadcloth. I don't know where it came from either. I opened the armoire and there it was. For all I know fairies could have placed it there. I don't know what it is either. I burned some and it's still inconclusive. In some light, one side looks like cotton. The other side looks like cotton ironed too much. And on that note, my iron broke! It's not totally dead but the hoops required to get tit to work are frustrating and it doesn't last long. It keeps turning itself off. Phooey!!! this is not the time of year for money-out expenses. I also promised myself that my next iron would be an expensive iron. These damn Sunbeams are not irons for grown folks who sew. Because of the fabric, I consider this skirt a wearable muslin. But wear it I shall!

So here it is... my Abbreviated V2900 wearable muslin

Pattern: Vogue 2900, Misses dress

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the envelope?:Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow?:
No. At one point I was completely lost and just decided to make the skirt in a way that made sense to me. Which caused me to be left with extra pieces.

How long did it take from start to finish?:
I'd say.... 2 hours. It went quick once I actually started sewing and stopped watching H2GAWM and playing solitaire

What did you like/dislike about the pattern?
I didn't like the directions. The pocket directions totally confused em and I ended up using a method that made sense to me and left me with extra pieces. Also there is a seam right down the center that I don't understand. I left it there because I was changing so much about the skirt that I wanted to keep a bit of it's integrity

Fabric used?:
No idea

Pattern alterations or design changes made?:
I abbreviated the dress to a skirt. So I had to add facing and interfacing.

Would you sew it again?:
I cannot wait until the summer so that I can make this dress in chambray

Would you recommend it to others?: Absolutely

Conclusion: Yay!!!! I got a full skirt!!!

For someone who NEEDS tops, I sure am making a LOT of skirts....

I made the top too. It has a matching skirt. That review is sitting in a queue just waiting on me to get a good photo. The stripes must make me dizzy because I keep dropping food on it.

Pro tip: crop tops are NOT for the buxom.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014



I'm not big on UFOs. I normally finish what I start. I made this skirt back in September but it just chilled in the sweat shop until this morning when I decided with 40 minutes to dress for work that I would hem said skirt. Do other people make these types of bad decisions? Strangely enough, I wasn't late for work. I was going to blind hem it... But I didn't really have time to fool with it like that so I bound the edges and ran a straight stitch. There will be other blind hemmable garments to perfect my blind hem. I'm sure....

I don't also usually stash. But this fabric has been in my collection for over 15 years. Do you know what that means? It means it was purchased in NJ, moved to GA moved 3 more times while in GA and found it's way to this skirt. That's a long time coming. Smelled like mothballs. The problem is... I don't really like it like that. I have another skirt (pencil) that is similar in fabric to this one. So much in fact that if worn the same week folks would swear it was a repeat.

I wanted a skirt that was close near the waist and flared, gently, at the bottom. I got that. Am I happy with how it looks on me? Not so much. But that's not the skirts fault. I'm old. My body is changing and doesn't look like it once did. I get that. I will need to figure how to dress this current body to my satisfaction. I swear... once you get something down. pact... everything changes!

Here we go.....

Pattern: Vogue 9030 Misses Skirt – C version

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the envelope?:Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow?:Absolutely

How long did it take from start to finish?: 1 hour

What did you like/dislike about the pattern? Simplicity and style

Fabric used?: I don't rightly know. Something woven

Pattern alterations or design changes made?: Nope nothing

Would you sew it again?: Maybe

Would you recommend it to others?: Yes

Conclusion: I'm not sure how I feel about this one. It's just okay. Maybe I will keep the pattern and do the high/low version in the summer. We shall see.....

I have 1 more UFO on the counter..... But its a spring garment.


Monday, November 10, 2014

My Birthday Suit! McCalls 4862


It's my birthday!!!! You do know what that means? A new outfit to wear! I insist on having new outfits for my birthday and Easter. It's Funny because I'm not even a Christian! But since it's a Serenity tradition it stands.

So I decided to give McCalls 6842 another shot. I used my Birthday machine to make my birthday suit! I made it before in the summer, but I wasn't crazy who the skirt came out. I was actually downright disappointed. I only wear it on the weekends in the house or short errands. But a lot of the bloggers whom I follow made the skirt with way more success than I got. This time I hit it. I love my skirt and I'm going to wear the hell out of it.

Issues I had with the previous skirt vs this one.... (1) I used the wrong fabric. This skirt need a substantial fabric, not shirting. And (2) I really think I didn't line up the panels correctly. It gets confusing and dicey. And the pattern pieces don't say where the enter pieces should go. You kind of have to figure it out. I think I did and labeled the pieces in case I wanted to make this skirt again.

I tried something new. I tried a machine blind hem. I googled all kinds a videos and my new machine had the foot for it, so why not give it a shot? I was 50% successful. It worked for 50% of the garment. Since this is a circle skirt that's a lot. I hand hemmed the parts that didn't take. I got to work on that. I have another circle skirt that is waiting on hemming.

So here we go.....

The top is a newly thrifted silk blouse. I like that it's not matchy matchy. My boobs always look so big in pictures.....

Pattern: McCalls 6842 Misses Skirt

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the envelope?: Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow?: No

How long did it take from start to finish?: 3 hours.

What did you like/dislike about the pattern?
I like the style of it, but the pattern pieces could have been easier to read. I wish they would have put center front and back on the flounce parts so I knew I was lining them up correctly

Fabric used?:
Teal wool. I don't normally wear wool because it makes me itchy, but I have on a slip and a long sleeved blouse.

This pattern needs to be made with a HEAVIER fabric so that it falls properly

Pattern alterations or design changes made?: None. It came straight out of the package. Makes me feel like a smaller woman! Happy birthday to me!

Would you sew it again?: I would

Would you recommend it to others?: Sure. It's cute

Conclusion: I should be making tops and uniforms. Because that's where my needs lie but this is a really cute skirt


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

September Issues....


This is my thoughtful time of the year. I keep wanting to buy magazine after magazine after magazine… But I’m showing restraint. I REALLY only NEED the Vogue. I save them. I have every September Vogue since 1998. I would have had more but I lost a lot during a move where someone else packed them and decided that they were trash. We no longer speak…. I don’t subscribe to Vogue… and I suspect they aren’t putting them on the newsstands until September. By then I will see everything that is inside it from other magazines. But I will still buy it and I will still love and cherish it.

I have already begun to start planning what is getting made for the fall…. And it’s really not what you might think. I work in healthcare, but I wear my own clothes. But I’m planning on changing jobs soon and I will probably need some scrubs. If I don’t I can’t envision my need to dress at the level that I do now. I also don’t wear pants… really… so I will probably need to figure out some dress-scrub options…. But I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

I didn’t really sew a bunch of things this summer. Do you know why? I have a solid wardrobe of basics in the trunk already. I only added the things that I really wanted. I would like to have that same experience for the fall… but I can’t. I don’t have “fall basics” ready to go like that. That needs to change.

The immediate plan is to go skirt crazy in the month of September. I need green, brown, teal, cream, brown denim and wine (maybe) pencil or a-line skirts. That will be the basis for my fall wardrobe. I have the other colors (black, blue, purple, gray, etc). I want that finished by October. This is Atlanta, and the weather isn’t truly fall-ish until mid October.

Other garments I’m considering include: bomber jacket, black denim jacket with a peplum, wrap dress, ponte knit black dress with a flounce on the bottom, and a bunch of new tops. I need new tops because my body has changed. Yes… I’m getting there. My body has morphed from a glass coke bottle in my teens and young adulthood to a thicker plastic coke bottle in my thirties to now an apple. No amount of p90x, dieting and running has been able to curb the progress. My mother’s ass showed up on my last birthday. Most women would hate to turn into their mothers and I am no different. What are you gonna do?

I made M6700 over the weekend on my new sewing machine that Precise bought me a few months ago. I’ve been scared to use it, but finally got my nerve up. Of course the Brother LB 6800 is better than my 30 year old Kenmore. It’s a learning curve. It seems to take a LOT of bobbin thread. I wonder if I should be using the same stitches on it that I use on my Kenmore? The fact that I lost the direction book doesn’t help. I assumed that I might lose the direction within 5 years, just not in 3 months. It’s got to be in the house somewhere. If I can’t find it, I’ll have to learn Spanish since I still have the Spanish direction book.

I haven’t posted pics of M6700 because everyone has made it. You know what it looks like. I do need to hem it more. I had already deleted 2 inches off bottom of the pattern and it still is too long. How’s that for short? And I did a 2” FBA that I probably didn’t need. I cut a 24 and could have gotten away with a 20. It’s just not my favorite dress.

So that’s me……


Monday, August 11, 2014



I have been doing things in my sewing room. It’s hard you know. Precise has taken up DJ-ing again and uses the same space for his hobby. Since we don’t share the same taste in music, I strive not to be down there when he is. That makes it hard since we work the same hours. But this weekend I bit the bullet and went into the room while the God was mixing and made my slice of heaven.


(That's the back. the front pick got lost somewhere in the cloud and I can't retrieve it. the front has the print down the center)

I have been hesitant to embrace the full skirt trend. I’m a big girl and big girls look better in pencil skirts. B.U.T….. I wanted to try it at least. I have had this print fabric for years!!!! I found it in a thrift store. It came a big piece of fabric which I was trying to wear as a skirt. And a smaller piece that I wear as a head wrap. The smaller piece gets plenty of wear because it’s my favorite head wrap. The print is navy based. But I couldn't find a piece of navy dark enough to look right. But I bought several pieces of navy fabric to contrast it and it didn’t look right. I was wearing something black and I looked better with black so…

It broke my heart to cut into my printed fabric. I love it soooo much. But I get absolutely NO wear out of it the way it is or was. This way… I get a skirt out of it and a purse. That’s more mileage than it was getting. Shall we?


Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes it did

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I’m not sure. I read the directions and thought it was a stupid approach to the construction. So I did my own thing and it turned out fine

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like that it was a full skirt. I wanted to experiment with that and color/pattern blocking. This came together FAST. From cut to completion it was less than 2 hours. And I was fooling around with Precise the whole time.

Fabric Used: cotton.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I don’t think I made any. I was gonna though. The finished measurements made it seem like I needed to add 6” within. But after I measured the actual pattern pieces I knew I wouldn’t need to.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes because it was upper easy. I went from cut to finish in less than 2 hours. Who wouldn’t want a 2 hour skirt?

I do like it, but this particular skirt (a) does make me look bigger and (b)in it's current form is not really a good "work" look. That's ok. I wore it over the weekend to a cookout and then to the grocery store with bootleg converse. I'm satisfied.

I'll make it again but next time all one color.


Monday, July 14, 2014



Good people its Monday morning!!!!!

Frivolity aside… I was a-sewing this weekend. I have wanted to make several frocks and tops for months. And I have had the time, just not the inclination. That mojo thing is tricky. My mojo has been gone for so long, that I didn’t even know that the PR website had changed! But this weekend I had an event to attend and nothing to wear (also I hadn’t done laundry) so off to the sweat shop I went.

I made good on my word and went with a true plus sized pattern in M6073. I decided to be bold (also I didn’t have the time, since I stated cutting at 8am and I had an event at 3pm) and not make a muslin. I had ample fabric to remake parts if they were too small.

I have to say… I’m not mad at how everything turned out. I was able to make this dress out of the envelope with only small tweeks. I didn’t even do a fba! That was shocking.

This dress is all black. I don’t think I ever mentioned this before, but I’m a widow. When my husband died, 11 years ago, I wore black for one full year. It was one of the things that brought me back to sewing. I needed all black clothes and I couldn’t really find exactly what I was looking for. Once I came out of Black, I stopped wearing it all together. It reminded me, literally, of a dark time in my life.

Pattern Description:
Pullover dresses A, B, C, D are above mid-knee, mid-calf or ankle length with bodice and skirt gathered into front midriff with elasticized raised waist and stitched hems; dress B has midriff; dress D has contrast bodice and front midriff.

Pattern Sizing:
18W-24W. I went with the 24W according to the finished measurements

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Pretty much. Like a lot of the reviews, the binding was stupid and if I make this dress again I won’t do it that way again.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Liked: I liked that it fit my J-cup boobs without a FBA and I don’t look scandalous. I like that it is a maxi dress.
Dislike: the binding directions, I didn’t like the midriff piece. And the directions were murky on this. The pattern said cut 2 but you only used 1? Was I supposed to interface one because I didn’t? I used them both. My rationale was it would provide a little stability (plus it was already cut). Just using 1 piece was asking a lot from my fabric. And if I was going to make it a contrasting color, it would look funny with just the midriff in the front.

Fabric Used:
This fabric was NOT cotton. I buy a lot of fabric from a mom-and-pop store. I have explained to them, how I need to only have cotton touch my skin for various reasons… They ASSURED me that this fabric was cotton. The lighting is bad in that store. And I took their word for it. (It wasn’t written on the bolt) Did a burn test. This is CLEARLY some type of polyester knit. BUT….. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Thankfully I’m just hot and not itchy yet. Hot polyester will make you smell like a fat girl….

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I shortened the long version by 2” and it is still really long. I have to wear 2” heels or the skirt drags the floor. I may shorten it even further. I want to wear it with flats but I don’t want my shoes to show. I didn’t gather the shoulders. I was going to, after the fact… but I like how it looked without. No worries about my bra showing. (I know you can see my bra in this pic… that’s because I washed clothes late last night and didn’t have a black bra that was dry. The white bra is my 1 emergency bra, otherwise I only wear dark colored bras)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely. I plan to wear maxi-dresses until I die. Seriously. It is in line with my Culture and they’re comfortable, so why not. This is a TNT maxi-dress pattern. I can see me adding sleeves to this for a cold weather version.

I guess Plus sized patterns work better with my body. I can admit that. But the selection is wanting. So I will probably be making Misses sized patterns still, but the plus sized ones will be my go to’s. This dress seems slimming….. I don’t know if that’s me or the black….. Anywho, I love it!