Tuesday, December 24, 2013



I almost didn’t post this… Damn this pic is unflattering. I look like an old fat woman. But I’m smiling (told you I could do it) at my spoiled cat. My photographer really needs to stand when he takes my pic. It makes a big difference. And I know it’s the dress….. And that is what you are suppose to think as well.

I won this pattern from a giveaway a few months ago. It’s OOP. But there are other patterns that are similar. I haven’t really been sewing a lot these days. I started taking classes to become a midwife. It is very distracting… And once I become a practicing midwife, my need for non-uniform clothes will go way down. So I haven’t been making a lot of clothes. Also, its winter and I hate winter clothes. I have excema and the cold, the artificial heat and the layers required to keep warm all exacerbate my condition. It’s bad every year somewhere…..

So behold my Christmas dress. To be worn to work on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas day. And no, I don’t celebrate xmas, but I will go to Mommie’s house and hang out with the peeps. This is really funny… I’m an AKA. We are taught to dislike and not wear red. I don’t wear red. This is the only red dress I own! I decided to break out of my pattern.

Shall we?

Pattern Description:
Princess Seam dress with attractive neck drape. I made it with sleeves.

Pattern Sizing:
I cut a 24 but it was really very loose on me. I probably could leave it 24 on the top and grade down to a 20 everywhere else

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
They were. I had no problems. It was a bit murky with regard to the collar but not so bad

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the style of this dress. I have come to learn that when using a pattern with bells and whistles, use a solid color. Plain patterns can handle fancier prints.

Fabric Used:
Ponte knit! I really love this stuff. It is the knit that I will want to use over and over.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

My biggest concern was whether the pattern was long enough to cover my knees. I’m righteous and display 3/4ths. I really would have preferred that this dress be a midi. But the reviews I read said nothing about lengthening this dress for it to be at least passed the knee. One particular blogger who reviewed the pattern had said in passing that she was my height and she didn’t mention needing to lengthen the dress so I figured a little length would work. (I know I needed to do a muslin, but I had no time….) So I added an inch to the length of the pattern. I knew that my boobs and hips would cause it ride up a bit. The thing is… I lengthened the dress 2” but when it came time to hem it, I needed to cut off about an inch to make it even. SMH… I can’t win. So it comes to about my knee. And I HATE my knees.

Would you sew it again?

Would you recommend it to others? I would. Next time, I would like to use black ponte knit and I will do the sleeveless version and it will be a LOT longer. That will be my LBD

My new years sewing resolution is to follow the pattern recommendations on the back of the envelope!

Whatever holiday you celebrate make sure it’s a safe one.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

The 36th Chamber of Shaolin


It’s Halloween!!!! I’m excited. It is one of my favorite holidays and I treat it just like a holiday. BUT…. This year I didn’t make myself a costume. I know…. The neighborhood I live in doesn’t see any trick-or-treaters and my boss pissed me off so I decided not to dress while at work anymore…. (hopefully this is my last Halloween at this job). But the God needed a costume for his job’s celebration. So that’s where my machine worked this year.

Meet my Shaolin Monk….

Isn’t he a cutie pie? That is his tortured happy smile. Neither of us know how to smile for pictures. The costume was his idea. I wanted to do Despicable me and he be Gru and I could be a minion. But…. He is a big martial arts buff. He actually practiced some version of it because he had the pants and boots. He made me watch some movie so I could see the outfits in action. I fell asleep and he paused it until I woke up. It was something about 36 chambers of something. IDK…

Here is the inspiration...

This costume was ridiculously easy to make. Simplicity 5152. I got this at a thrift store for like a dime. It was already cut to a medium. And I had already made the 7 a tunic from this pattern before so I knew we were good.

Changes I made included opening the sleeve to make it wide at the end and adding 10” to the length. The 7 has freakishly long arms but he wanted it to be open like that. I added 22” to length of the garment but kept the side splits at 16” from the sleeve. I didn’t add the front or neck facings. I wasn’t sure I had enough fabric to do that. I just cut both pieces on the fold and added a collar an inch thick. I changed the front a bit to. It called for a deeper opening than he wanted.

I used a yellow linen looking fabric that was in my stash. I intended to make a dress from the fabric. But…. Yellow on darkskinned people is a bit off putting. I know. I’m working through that. It was easy to work with and it has some stretch to it. The red scarf is 3 yards of uncut red cotton. He was supposed to draw lines on it like were in the movie but he chickened out last minute. I’m not sure if you can see it but on his legs there are like these white cuffs? It was part of the uniform and I have no clue what they are for. A yard of fabric cut in half with about and inch folded over and a bootleg drawstring. By bootleg, I crocheted a strand and ran it through. It’s dark and no one will be able to see it. And I even strung those beads.

When making costumes…. I don’t put a lot of thought into finishing or making sure seams are secure. Especially if it’s loose. My personal requirements are that everything is neat and doesn’t explode at some odd moment. It’s going to be worn 1 day and forgotten afterward. I put a bit more effort into this garment because the people who see this may become potential clients. So…..

All in all he’s thrilled. He claims that this is going to be his costume for all his costume needs for years to come. Now I wish I had finished better. LOL. there is always next year. And I am happy that I could play a role in seeing him so happy


Monday, October 21, 2013

Cultural Appropriation?


It’s been awhile has it not? I made another skirt version of B5760. I have come to some serious acceptances…. Pencil skirts and A-line skirts look best on me. So I’m not doing the full skirt trend. I just don’t want to look big as a house. B5760 is my TNT pencil skirt pattern. I have made this pattern so much that I can get it up and running in an hour from start to finish with completely satisfying and predictable results. So I’m not going to review this skirt I’m showing you. But it does bring out questions…..

An African patient came into the office and she had on an “African print” garment that I admired. I will freely admit that I don’t know what to call them. Everyone seems to call them “African Print” so I will too. I admired it because it was beautiful. The next time she came in the office, she gave me an entire outfit; top, shirt to wrap and head wrap. I adore it. Here is the print.

I don’t really have an occasion where “African Print” is the required dress code. When I used to go to church and we would rock these prints on a Sunday in February. But I don’t do church anymore. I suppose I could wear it to a parliament but I don’t like to get that dressed up for them. I tend to wear this outfit for a special occasion (a wedding, presentation, for when I don’t know what to wear but feel like I need to dress up) and sometimes to work.

Another African patient saw me in my AP outfit and she got mad at me. Her exact words were, “I want to fight you. You don’t wear that to work. You wear it to a party or special event!” Well I didn’t know that. And now that I know that, I realize it doesn’t make much difference. I would not wear it to a party because at parties I dance. I’d be worried that the safety pin that was holding the skirt together would fail at the most inopportune time. I’m no longer a Christian so church is out (I see Ghanaian people wearing this type of print to a church in my neighborhood). I suppose I should throw it out?

No I’m not.

I was in African store that sells fabric. I found the fabric that I made this B5760 skirt from on sale. I have wanted to make the skirt I made, and out of this particular print. I have been waiting for it to go on sale. The African woman who was ringing me up asked me if I was from an African country. I said no (just because I’m Black doesn’t make me African). She asked me what I was going to do with the fabric. I said make a skirt. She asked where I was going to wear said skirt. That’s where it stopped for me. I asked her if she was willing to sell me the fabric. She did. We were done.

Here is my question…. Am I appropriating another’s culture by wearing their fabric? I LOOOOOOOVE saris and would love to wear one as Indian women do. But I don’t because I’m not Indian. I see how that is disrespectful. BUT... I would wear a garment made out of sari fabric without thinking about whether it was appropriate or not. I would never wear a Native American headdress, but I would wear their jewelry. I might have worn a burqua before. It wasn’t because I was trying to be modest but because I was trying to prove a point to someone. I like to think I’m culturally sensitive.

My see is it’s about the garment and not the fabric. Fabric is objective where the display is subjective.

How do y’all see that?


Monday, September 9, 2013



It's been a while since I posted. I have nothing to report. I'm a be super honest.... I don't like my sewing room. This house that I have been living in for 2 years, is a step down/ half the square footage from/of the house I lived in previously. So I have to share my space with the 7. I think he keeps his area a mess and he feels the same about me. Coupled with the fact that there is refrigerator, his microwave and other foolishness in there... I just don't feel super comfortable in there. It's hard for me to get in sew mode. But these questions have been all over my news feed so I thought I'd build on them for the post. LOL!!!!

1. Do you cut with your fabric RS out or WS out?
Took me a minute to figure out what WS and RS was. I think it means right and wrong side. If it does, I always cut the fabric on the right side. BUT... I don't always cut with the pattern on the right side. I use whatever is convenient.

2. How do you make your pattern markings?
Another question I don't quite understand. If it means how do I transfer marking from the pattern to the fabric.... I use a pen or a pencil. For real. If your gonna sew and fold it after sewing your not going to see it anyway. So...... I have occasionally used a sharpie. And everything has always come out fine. Don't judge me!

3. Do you follow the cutting layout in patterns?
Until this very post... I never even considered that those pictures were suggestions on how to cut out the pattern. I don't know what I thought they were. Maybe just artwork? And I have been sewing for over 30 years!

4. Are you obsessed with re-folding your pattern tissue on or very close to the original fold lines?

YES!!! Absolutely. And I'm good at it. Even after I iron a pattern down I can refold it back to the factory fold. I'm proud of this ability

5. Do you make all the markings?

Another Question I don't get. I make all the marking that I'm supposed to make. Now as far as those things on the pattern that stick out or in... I don't make those. They are ridiculous to cut. Again... Everything always comes out fine.



Monday, July 22, 2013



The God and I went out with 2 of my friends. He doesn't have friends here without me, yet. We don't really have a lot of couple friends. We both have these social yet anti-social tendencies. Plus for some reason, in our Culture functional relationships are not the norm. Who knows.... But we had a double date with married friends of mine. These friends are really important to me. We became friends when I 1st moved to GA. They had been friends with me and my late husband. Then they were church friends. I had a lot of those. But when I left that particular church and started to attend another... I lost all the friends I had there. You know those friends who claimed to be ride or die friends... This couple remained close. When I left the church all together, they still remained my friends. I adore these people. But... I guess I found their limits. Since the God and I have been together they have become distant... Oh well. They invited us to attend something and we went.

The biggest thing that keeps me from going out, is I don't have a lot of going out clothes. the clothes I acquire are work clothes. Now my job is very casual, and there is very little I cannot wear so my limitations usually have to do with 3/4ths. I don't club. So when I "go out" it's usually to some function. See? this is getting more and more convoluted. Every summer I get a going out dress. Since when I do go somewhere it will always be with different people. I can wear the dress over and over again. My idea of a perfect "going out" dress is one that will shift from day to evening. Since I will get the most use out of something I can also wear to work. M6553 fit the bill.

I have had the pattern for some time now. I bought it when it 1st came out. It's a loose fitting dress and on big girls loose fitting is synonymous to sloppy. I don't do sloppy. I bought the fabric 2 years ago to make a shirt dress. Where shirt dresses have their place... that place is not on my back. My clothes need to be just a tad edgy. But I have seen so many versions of M6553 that I had to give it a shot. I'm glad I did.

Pattern Description: Misses Dress and belt

Pattern Sizing: 14-22 (I cut 22)

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes and no. Essentially they were but the instructions about where to place the belt vent was not there. I read them and re-read them. Folk have pics with them put in so I had to guess. I wish I had put it in higher. I still can but I wish to have done it the way I wanted up front.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I was surprised that something so loose fitting would work for me
I didn't like the lack of vent instructions

Fabric Used: Blue rayon. I don't like fabric that frays like this. Enough said

Yardage: 3 yards

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I lengthened it an inch. I need for my knees to be covered. It kind of worked and kind of didn't. Everything lined up except the front piece. I am certain that I lengthened it an inch like I did the other pieces but it was exactly an inch short. That's why my knees are out. I don't know if it was supposed to be like that. ALSO.... I lost a pattern piece for the back yoke. I re-drew based on the directions and the pattern pieces that were there. I don't know what to say about that.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and Yes. I applied and interviewed for a ptj. And if I get it, i will be required to wear black. I found 3 yards of black fabric in my stash, I will use that to make another one but this time in a smaller size.

But my question is how many of this dress can one have in one's wardrobe?

I really like it.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

What's Going On...

Peace Y'all!

Tonight starts the newest installation of Project Runway!!! Woo Hoo!

I have been all over the Lifetime website learning what I can about the new designers. I already have my favorites. Just to make the cut is amazing. I know I couldn't do it.

My only PR rant is its a bit predictable. The basic challenge is how fast can one make a couture dress. It used to be way more fun, but I suppose that's hard to keep up. But I still find it a solid show. It's helpful to see how much drama goes in making garments from people who do this for a living. If they never did those challenges with car parts or candy or whatever, I'd still watch.

I will be sitting there with my popcorn and grape soda. I will route for the self taught home sewers and/or the Black people. Hey! It is what it is.

Who is going to be watching?

I have some sewing plans of my own. KiKi is not 100% She is more like 62%. I need a new bobbin case. This I know. And she is has this funny smell. It smells like alcoholic oil. It might be from what the maintenance people did. IDK.... I have a 60 day warrantee on it so I'm a ride this out to see what gives.

My family reunion is the weekend of 8/2. I need a dress for the banquet. I have yellow fabric and red fabric. If I use the yellow it will be S2588 the floral version on the cover. If I use the red it will be M5972 the b version. I have to bar tend at the reunion so I need to be comfortable... Long story. I also have M6533 qued to make.

At some point, summer sewing must cease. It is mid July and eventually I will want to start fall sewing. But it won't get cool here until November. I really shouldn't be concerned, but you know how it is....


Monday, July 8, 2013

KiKi Lives!!!!! & NL 6463


Clearly I was premature with the death report. So many of y'all were so kind during my bereavement. I took her to 2 different repair people and called a bunch more. No one wanted to touch her. Said she was too old. I have been making plans to get another machine. I was even ready to move on one of these new-fangled sewing/embroidery machines. I had a conversation with an older woman who I knew sewed and lived in the city. I was Building with her because I knew she had multiple machines and I was wanting her to give me one. I'm not proud, but I was desperate. Or at least sell me one. What she did give me was some advice and a phone number. I called this man and he said that he could fix KiKi. Really?

So I took KiKi over to I had seen that place before. It's near a thrift shop I frequent. But it also sells and services vacuum cleaners. That's why I never thought to take her there. I was told if I got her there early enough, I could get her back the same day. I took off work to do this. The repair man took 1 look at the machine and told me what was wrong with it. And he was right. I have mixed feelings about this... On one hand, I am super excited to have my baby back working just like she did before. On the other hand it cost $80. I could have bought a new machine for $80. See my conundrum? And it's not like anything was broken or repaired. He said it was "gunked up." That $80 bucks caused me to be overdrawn in my checking account AND I got a ticket (for an out brake light, that requires me to go to court) behind the repair. I feel some type of way.

Well.... I got some sewing done on Saturday. I made 4 garments in 8 hours. I had a lot of pent up mojo inside. These garments came out quick too. I finished the patriotic dress, I made 2 skirts and a top. They weren't really that hard. Most were patterns I have made before. The only pattern I hadn't sewn before is NL6463. Let me tell you something... That is a very easy pattern. So easy I'm ashamed to review it.

I used the rest of a Wal-Mart fabric from which I made a blouse. I had always planned to make a skirt to match. Everything went together so easily that I was finished with this skirt in 40 minutes from cut to hem. Seriously. I wanted a skirt with some flounce at the bottom. This fabric is supper bold. I wasn't sure if I wanted it all over so that's why I chose to make separates. the skirt was super easy I mean SUPER easy. I added 3" to it... and that is where the drama begins...

The finished waist dimension for this skirt say that for the size 18, which is the largest size, it should be 34". Well my waist is 43". Don't judge me.... Seems like I should have added 9" to the skirt right? Right? had I been a newbie sewist I would have. But since I have a bit of wear under the hood, I measured the pattern directly. I only needed to add 3" vs the 9" the pattern would have had me add. That is a pisser right there. This is why newbies quit sewing. But other than that it was a very easy and satisfying pattern to whip up.

So back to this machine thing..... I have always serviced my own machine. I'm a continue to do so. $80 is a lot of money. Think about this... I could have bought a brand new machine for $90! And since I have been handling my business for all these years, I'm going to continue to do my own maintenance. I'm still getting more machines. Definitely a cheap back up for when KiKi has to go to the doctor. Let's face it. She is 30. There will be more problems. I probably need a new bobbin case. I want to get into embroidery. The issue is do I get a combo embroidery/sewing machine or an embroidery only machine and a sewing only machine? Either way, I'm still getting a cheap basic machine; but it will need to be brand spanking new. So many issues......


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

RIP KiKi....


I have not been sewing. I was in the middle of making a new patriotic dress (a dress to be worn on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor day and any other day where I need to rep the USA) and my baby of 30 years slowly just gave up the ghost and died. She died doing what she loved.

I got KiKi, my Kenmore Ultrastitch in 1984. My mother bought it for me for my 8th grade graduation. It's the only machine I have ever owned. Everything I have ever made came through that machine. I'm not sure I can sew on another machine. I tried to have her fixed but the repair man said he didn't have parts for her. Sniff..... Pour some liquor out.

We know this isn't the end of me sewing. I will have to get another. Unbeknownst to me the God was planning to buy me a ridiculously expensive machine that does more than I know how to do for my Born day. But... my Born day is in November and he has only saved $200 towards that machine that costs $1000.

I have been doing the Knowledge to differnet types of machines and I think I want this one....
She makes 600 stitches. It has everything KiKi had and more. It does some embroidery, but it isn't an embroidery machine. The reviews are way better than the other machine the God was going to buy. I'm excited. But I don't have the $$$ to buy right now. It costs more than $200. You see... I live close to my paycheck. All my mad $$ comes from my side gig which includes sewing that I can't do because I don't have a machine! I am a notary and have considered raising my fees to $20... Think someone will pay that? LOL!!!! I'm not waiting until November.

My mother said she would give me some $ for a new machine, and said I need to get another machine like KiKi. Mommie said if my next machine lasts another 30 years, chances are I won't be sewing when I'm 72. LOL! But I don't like taking money from other people and that includes my parents. I'm grown. I behave that way. I need to find a spare machine from somewhere. I have been to thrift stores. Those machines don't work and/or they don't have all the pieces. I have been to Craigslist and yard sales but folks want to sell their used stuff like it was new. I am in a bit of a conundrum.

But I have learned valuable lessons from this experience (otherwise why have them)... I have often wondered why people have several machines. I figured they didn't get the one they wanted. I only have 1 car. Why do you need a bunch? But now I see you need a spare in case something goes wrong with one, you're not out of business... like I am. I think I will get a dedicated embroidery machine next. And I'm on the fence about wanting/needing a serger. They so don't look user friendly.

Anyway. Just wanted to let you know why I went ghost.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Wearble Wadder


I’m suffering from repeated brain farts today. So if this seems a bit disjointed…. You know why.

Anybody on Sew Much Talent? Well… For the March challenge folks were supposed to try a pattern from a company they have never sewn before. I chose Burda 7349. I have never truly been moved by a Burda pattern before. I see other folks sewing with them. I look at them as much as the other companies. They were just never my taste; coupled with the fact that they rarely go on sale makes them unattractive to me.

I like linen. Who doesn’t? Summer is linen season. Last summer I made a tangerine jacket that I have been getting some good wear out of. But I am ashamed to take it off because of the naked raw and unraveling seams. I neither lined it nor did anything to finish it off. Looks nice outside but the inside is horrible. This year, my linen plan was to either learn how to finish it off or make things that you wouldn’t see the inside of. So that is what I attempted to do with this jacket. I used French seams to join the upper and lower parts of the jacket. The problem is… I didn’t make them well. They leak a bit. It’s not super noticeable because of the print. I’m not surprised since this is my 1st attempt. I also covered some of the exposed seam on the inside with bias tape. I am not ashamed to take this jacket off. But I should be.

I liked the pattern, (Burda 7349) actually for the skirt. But I didn’t make the skirt. I made the jacket. Now this is where I screwed up. I have read that Burda does not do seam allowances. I didn’t quite understand what that meant. I don’t perceive seam allowances so I didn’t get what this meant even after cutting the pattern. I don’t know why I didn’t do a muslin for that reason alone. But I didn’t. Instead, I cut into $12/yard linen that the 7 bought for me. SMDH…. And guess what? It didn’t fit when I got done. The sleeves were too tight and the bodice sides acted like they were mad at each other and REFUSED to come together over Cocoa and Puff. Luckily there was enough left over from my 3.25 yd purchase to make a pencil skirt that I have worn the hell out of already. I had 2 choices: (1) fix the jacket or (2) take it apart and make something else. I just couldn’t waste fabric like that. And though the linen skirt was nice, it wasn’t worth $36+tax. I decided to persevere even though I picked out a top jic….

Problem #1: There was a 6” gap in the front.
I opened the side seams and put in a 4” insert on both sides.

Problem #2: The sleeves were too tight from the shoulder through the bicep
I cut the insert to have an additional 5” triangle at the top of it. I’m certain there is a word for it, but I don’t know one.

So that’s how I got the jacket to fit. Which I knew would work. I learned to sew because I had to accommodate the girls. Because I’m short, I could always take length off a garment for fabric. That was an old trick. Plus the fabric is printed. Printed fabric hides a multitude of flaws. That’s one of the reasons I chose it.

I also ironed small strips of interfacing along the periphery of the jacket and the sleeve opening. I rolled them twice before sewing them down. I am hoping that that will keep the fraying down to a minimum. So… what do you think?

I do not know how to smile for these pics....

Pattern Description: Jacket with angled front section seams and slightly flared, pointed hemline.

Pattern Sizing: 8-20 (I cut a 20)

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

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. There are elbow darts. WTH is an elbow dart for? I googled it and got no clarity!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The concept of no seam allowance still makes no sense to me….

Fabric Used: printed linen

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I hade to open up the sleeves and sides

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? No and no. Anybody want it? I’ll send it to you. Be mindful it’s cut

Conclusion: I don’t’ like it. But I will wear it. Does that make sense? I like this jacket enough to wear it now that it’s finished, but I could have made something similar and equally as satisfying out of other patterns I already own.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Phyllis' NL 6130.... again


I call this shirt the “Phyllis” shirt. My friend wanted a white blouse to be a judo referee in. So we went to Hancocks and got a pattern, fabric and buttons. Why did she decide that she didn’t want a white blouse anymore? She said I could keep the fabric. I did! And do you know what??? I don’t own a white blouse. I must be the only person. You would think since I work in a professional environment that I would. I’ve tried to make them before but they always turn into wadders. Since I’m top heavy, I don’t normally wear white on top; especially since I stopped ushering. I have always been told it will make Cocoa and Puff look even bigger. But they can’t be hidden.

I have done this shirt 4 times now. And I am still not satisfied with the fit. The 1st time I made the sleeveless version it in a black knit. The 2nd time I made it with the fuller sleeves in tweed. The 3rd time I made it again the full sleeved version in black knit and this last… and I mean last… time I made it with cap sleeves (I hate the cap sleeves) in a white cotton with absolutely no give. In my 4 attempts with this pattern I have never quite gotten it right and frankly, I have no desire to keep trying.

All of the knit versions were made right out of the package. I can usually wear NL patterns right out of the package with minor adjustments. But these tops fit funny across the waist. They don’t come in correct and they lift completely over my boobs when I raise my arm. The tweed version only fits when I wear a full body shaper. The God calls it my bathing suit. LOL! So when I made this one, I did a FBA that added 6” to the top. I figured since it fit out of the package in tweed, 6” should be fine to accommodate these 40J’s. I did a muslin too. But…. The muslin fabric had a bit of stretch to it. I look and feel like a sausage and I know it. What I don’t understand is why people keep telling me I look nice. Am I so busted in my regular life that folks feel like they have to lie to me????

Anywho…. Here is my review…..

They look like 2 hogs fighting each other....

Pattern Description:
Misses' Sportswear. Misses' peplum top with neckline and sleeve variations, slim pants, pencil skirt and tie belt.

Pattern Sizing:

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Actually I did follow instructions, because I didn’t quite understand how to make the cap sleeves.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It just isn’t the right pattern for me. I am NOT satisfied with any of my versions. Although I wear all of them, I’m not satisfied with any of them. And I don't like these cap sleeves. Not because I don't like cap sleeves. I do. I don't like THESE cap sleeves

Fabric Used:

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
A 6” FBA… and it still wasn’t enough! Maybe if I release the darts in the back it will fit better?

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
No and no. I know other folks are having more success with this pattern than I am. IDK… maybe I’ll get the Vogue 8815

I’m done with this….


Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Peace Y’all,

You know how I was all like “I’m going to do better with how I dress” and shit? Well…. I kind of blew off the 1st week. Not that I was busted. I am never truly busted. I’m entirely too vain for that. But I am not always at my best and that was what this challenge was about. To be at my best for a month. So that after that I would feel uncomfortable if I wasn’t at my best. Any who…

I’m working on another version of NL 6130. This will be my 4th. And I wanted to use black interfacing. I don’t just keep that laying around so I had to go out and get some. The 7 heard I was leaving the house in a car and asked for something from a grocery store while I was out. Hancocks is about 20 miles from the rest in a different part of the city; and it was a warm day. I just threw on an over dress, some sandals and bounced. To my defense I did shower. Had I not run 4 miles in the morning I would have been busted AND funky. I don’t really have ‘weekend clothes.’ When a work garment gets sort of disheveled, it becomes weekend wear. That used to work for me, but for some reason it isn’t anymore. I hate to have clothes with only 1 function. I have a BUNCH of denim skirts. I consider that weekend wear but for some reason I don’t’ want to wear them like that. I’m thinking my lack of tops is 1 reason.

It has been shown and proven by several of sources that when you look slack people treat you that way. Hancocks is in Buckhead; a pseudo ritzy section of Atlanta. I say pseudo because a lot of those homes got repossessed and the area still hasn’t truly recovered. Those big homes where being appraised for millions and were only worth a few 100K. There aren’t as many upscale people living there as there once was. But this is a Hancocks in a strip mall; not Neiman Marcus.

I should have taken care getting dressed and I didn’t. Not only did I have an altercation with the Hancocks cashier. (After waiting patiently on line, a manager decides that when I get to the front of the line, my cashier should go on break with no one to relieve her. And I should go to the back of the other line? Before I jumped across the counter to slap said manager the cashier told her ringing me up was the right thing to do since I had been waiting. I wonder if I had been dressed well would the manager have made the same statement.) Then I ran into one of my office’s patient’s in the grocery store while looking like a stock person. Damn. She was gracious but she did the up and down thing. Lesson learned…. Today I look much better and intentional.

I have been doing my sewing thing thing. I have a bunch of still relevant fabric from last year and I have pulled all my spring summer clothes out of the trunk. I lack tops. I am ready and very motivated to sew. This weekend I made 1.5 tops. I would have finished the white NL6130 if TV wasn’t so juicy last night. So all I have to show is this one top.

I had to take my own pics this morning.

Pattern Description:
I made the top. But I’m planning to make the bottom and the jacket

Pattern Sizing: 12-18 (I cut a 18)

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I know I have said I don’t like Simplicity patterns, but what I have come to learn is I don’t like their directions. Keeping that in mind, I read them over but didn’t follow them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked how easy it was. It went together start to finish in a hour or so. I was watching a movie. And I’m sure with the proper motivation; I could have gotten it out quicker. It has only 2 main pieces and 2 facings.

Fabric Used:
Cotton from Wal-Mart. The God says that I like patterns that look like they should be curtains or sofa covers. And he’s right. I like big and bold prints. And for my body type and how I styled it, I think it works.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I did a FBA. Even though it’s a loose fitting top, but I have learned that FBA’s aren’t optional. And I just do them now without even considering it.

Would you sew it again?
Not sure. I like it and all, but I don’t know if I need another one. It’s easier than a shell. It doesn’t need to be a knit, and I already have the FBA set in paper. Maybe. Look at this should detail...

Would you recommend it to others?
Yes. Especially for newbies.

I’m over my Simplicity hate. I’ll be more specific in the future.


PS: I’m adding an extra week on to my look good challenge. Doesn’t work unless I do it.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Making it up....

Peace Y’all.

Here is some pics of me… be kind… before and after.

I’m a bit of a bobble head; meaning my head is larger than other people’s head that are my height. I can tell when I buy hats. I have to wedge the hat against my forehead. And it’s not my locs either. My hair is not super thick and I had the same problem when I was permed. I just have a big head. It’s cool. That means I can carry more weight without looking disgusting….

The foundation I use is a 2 product system Bare Minerals ($27/product). Avon makes a cheaper option ($8-12/product) that makes you look a little more made up. I don’t know why it works like that. Neither one breaks me out…. yet. I use the Original powder in the dark shade. I use medium dark when I tan in the summer. I like it. I can sweat and not break out. It allows my face to breathe. And it works it way off my face by bedtime.

This is with absolutely no makeup. A clean face…

This is with just the bare minerals.

I don’t put the both of the Bare Minerals all over. I use the brown powder just on my eyes (because of circles) and nose (because it tends to be different colors and I don’t know why)

And this is me with mascara, lip liner and gloss. I tend to use lighter gloss but it didn’t’ show up in the picture. This is my day face. I strive to look like me so I don’t scare people when I don’t have anything on. Including me.

When I want more, I will line my eyes. I haven’t found a blush doesn’t break me out yet and doesn’t make me look like a corpse. I stay away from anything metallic or glittery. I am so naturally ashy that glitter makes me look ashier. The painful bumps I get when blush breaks me out is not cute. And they don’t go right away. And they have the audacity to scar. No. I can wait. I saw some hypo allergic stuff in the health food store but they look like a dead woman’s makeup. I ain’t going there.

That’s not so bad. A near natural face to keep my boss happy. I’m expecting a raise on my next review….


Monday, April 1, 2013

Start the Month Out Right


This is a quickie…

What Constitutes good grooming in Serenity’s book?

Good Bag
Good Wrap
Appropriate Makeup
Appropriate Jewelry
Polished Shoes
Nails Done: Fingers and Toes
Wrinkle-Free Clothes
Reduction in Ashiness
And all thing flattering… even if it requires shapewear

A lot of this I already do. I match my wraps to my outfits, I keep my bags in good condition and my fingernails are ALWAYS done. But the other categories is where I tend to drop the ball.

I don’t even know how to polish shoes. But I’m gonna learn this month!

Ashiness is a problem that has plagued this Knowledge seed since conception. I am never not ashy. I have made New Year’s resolutions to be less ashy. I carry all manner of lotions and potions with me. Nothing works for any length of time. Vaseline comes close. It’s not just a visual problem. My dry skin HURTS! I have tried everything including Rx products. I have given up. I just cream up the exposed parts.

I hate shape wear! You have my mother to blame for that. It’s one of the things she insisted that I wear as a teenager. I couldn’t leave the house without at least some lycra on. And why? I wasn’t fat as a teen, I didn’t have a big jiggly ass or rolls. She was like proper women wear girdles. I learned to loathe them. And they are one of things I refuse to wear. Do you know I was the only chick in PE with a long line bra? But…. Things are different now. I recognize that I could benefit from some shape wear. So I got a light version. I ain’t fooling nobody with the girdles. They know it’s there.

I don’t wear certain articles of clothing. So I can’t wear all kinds of shape wear. A waist cincher will cut down, not erase the back fat and the tummy. I have tummy because I have outside fibroids. Big ones. I have backfat because I’m cursed by white Jesus. The lower parts will smooth the hips and shape the behind. And since I don’t wear short skirts I can wear one down to my knees. I never realized how expensive they are. Look my store bought item!

My finger nails are always done. I stopped doing my toes because of running. But it makes me ashamed to wear open toe shoes. But I mostly have open toed summer shoes so I am going to have to remedy that.

I suppose my big thing is ironing my clothes. I swear I hate ironing. That coupled with my sewing room is 2 floors below my bedroom and closet means…. I ain’t ironing. And ironing a week in advance won’t work because I change my mind often. So to rectify the situation, I got a steamer. Clothes not crisp but not wrinkled either. Who says I can’t have 2 irons and ironing boards? That’s stepping in tall cotton!

This ain’t no April Fool’s joke. Happy April y’all


Simplicity 2588

Peace y’all.

I have been sewing a lot. More for others than myself. I have gotten real efficient about using my time effectively. But I took a break to make myself something for Easter.

I’m no longer a Christian. Haven’t been in some time. Technically I shouldn’t celebrate Easter. But there has never been a year I didn’t get a new outfit for the holiday and I’m not planning to stop that particular tradition. I suppose it’s a case of “Eat the chicken (new outfit), spit out the bones (religion).” Unfortunately is cold as a witch’s tit in Atlanta so I won’t be wearing it any time soon. Oh well. Tradition preserved. It’s not like I had somewhere to go on Easter. I should have made a new jogging suit since that’s what I’ll be doing!

Simplicity 2588

Apparently this is an older pattern. Everybody has it. Vogue 8867 was the pattern that I wanted but I got tired of waiting for it to go on sale. This simplicity pattern was cheaper ($.99) and had more options. I have already have plans for other versions. Shall we?

Pattern Description: Misses Dresses Misses and Miss Petite Dresses Project Runway Collection

Pattern Sizing: 12-20 (I cut a 20 in the green version)

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I don’t like Simplicity pattern directions. Keeping that in mind, I read them over but didn’t follow them. Still came out fine. ALTHOUGH… the envelope called for more fabric than I needed. It’s still cool, but I like to be close to the actual amount. A remnant that big is money on the floor…..

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It was the exact style of dress I wanted. Even though it was Simplicity

Fabric Used:
Cotton as per the store. But I doubt it. Didn't look like pure cotton. I scored this fabric at a local mom&pop store and I had to take the cutters word for it. I go there a lot. They know I only want natural fibers. If I start itching, I’ll know they lied. They aren’t above lying to my face.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I did a FBA in on a princess seam. I must freely admit, I started sewing because I’m top heavy and needed to alter my own clothes or my mother promised to stop buying clothes for me. I’m self-taught without so much as home ec. They discontinued it by the time I got to high school. So my bootleg FBA’s were pretty much just adding panels or gussets. Since finding the online sewing community I have come to learn proper FBA techniques. And I appreciate it. You should see my bootleg sway back adjustment…..

Would you sew it again?
Absolutely. I’m a do a sleeveless version with the thicker collar and fuller skirt.

Would you recommend it to others?
Seems like everyone already knew!

Should be in everyone’s stash!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Killing it in April!


I am back at the challenges again and again I am back onto my appearance. I can’t let this go…

I have a coworker… who I strongly dislike… But I would shout if something foul was about to happen to her (I have another whom I wouldn’t). But she used to truly dislike me for no good reason. And that no good reason in particular was, “She think she cute!” Ebonics and all. Now… I don’t think I’m cute. I know it. I am a “Scriven” after all. B.U.T. She doesn’t hate me as much anymore. She has even started to speak! Imagine my surprise. I heard her talking and she was basically saying that I have been slipping in my game since I joined the cult. REALLY?

I must admit, parts of my game have slipped a bit since I came into KOS and started taking on lessons. I started wrapping my head and observing 3/4ths. That isn’t the issue so much for me, because I am well aware that one can be modest yet look really good. Contrary to popular belief, I’m a girly girl. One of the things I have been going back and forth with is makeup. When I 1st went under instruction, the male educator I had said absolutely NO makeup, ever! Now… he is a man. He doesn’t really get the what’s, how’s and why’s of makeup. Nor should he. Also, I have a lot of allergies and I develop new ones every day. I started to develop an allergy to my makeup at the same time I started my lessons. When I took the break, my skin relaxed so I didn’t go back to it with full force; a little lip gloss here and there and even that can cause a reaction. And I haven’t had a raise since…. 2 reviews, no raise. If I was fucking up that bad I’d have been fired. And my boss mentioned my lack of makeup at both reviews.

I swear I see more Earths wear make up than don’t. Not saying that Earths can’t. I just don’t think that it is something that we should do the way it is portrayed in the media. We have no business wearing it to look like Nikki Minaj or a drag queen. That makes us look other than self. But refinement is about putting your best foot forward. And, no matter how you feel about this, there are times when it is appropriate. Plus, I’m in my Culture Ciphers. I admit that I need some help. I just can’t wake up and fall out of bed looking like spring. Without makeup, I look tired. And constantly looking that way makes you appear old. They say “Black don’t Crack” But it does. I have never had an acne problem. I have eczema which is extreme dry skin, so my skin doesn’t have the oil in it that people with acne have. So I can see stages of pre-cracking.

I cannot tell you the last store-bought garment I bought. I really can’t. I make my own clothes and that doesn’t at all bother me. Though I don’t really want folks to know. It’s a hobby I enjoy and it’s useful. But it’s personal unless you want me to make something for you. Then it’s business. That needs to change to a small extent. When I make clothes, I strive to not get that “Beck-Home-Eccy” look. I peruse blogs and websites, but not stores. That needs to change. I need to go out a bit more and buy a few more items. I’m never striving for that low budget look. And I don’t think that’s what I get, but really. I need to do better.

My late husband used to be an intense fashion plate. I recognized that when I was with him I had to step up my game so we looked right together. It’s one thing if a man is a pig and the woman is super duper fly; but it’s a problem the other way around. He used to say that he had no problem being the most overdressed person in the room. He used to think I was the most slovenly female because I owned 10 pairs of jeans and 3 pairs of sneakers. He owned 1 pair of jeans… that I bought for him… that used to cut the grass. His sneakers came from the gas station. He only used them to cut the grass as well. I came up, but I suppose I have slipped in the years since his death.

Precise is a guy. A guy raised with a bunch of men and his mother. No sisters to soften him and teach him the ins and outs of girl stuff. You know green stuff on the face, having 50-11 purses, stressing out over belts, etc. He often doesn’t get my frustration. I think he thinks I’m crazy. He loves being comfy in sweats and jeans. I cannot count how many pairs of kicks he has. It’s a little disturbing.

I say this to say, that when I upgrade myself it will be because something within me says that I have issues. Not because I’m trying to piss off my coworker, not because I’m trying to re-live my glory days, not because I want a raise… well I do want a raise. You know what I mean…. Not because I’m trying to look good for a man. But because I need to feel like my best self and I haven’t been feeling like that for awhile. When I stepped in a room, I owned it. Now I feel invisible. This is got to stop.

So here is the challenge. For the entire month of April, every single day including the weekends, I am going to make sure that I look my absolute best. No excuses. This actually plays well for me, because I participate in “Me-Made-May” every year. And I will be giving my wardrobe special consideration. It’s all about me KILLING it!

Wish me luck…. I will need it.

Peace !

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I still have not been sewing. I have been cutting out patterns. But not sewing. I have been buying fabric, but not sewing. I have been making plans, but not sewing….

But let me show you what I have been doing.

My line sister had a bouncing baby boy. And as much as I wanted to make a pink and green confection that was all sugar and spice and everything nice for the new little “Honey-Don’t”, I decided to be a good friend, not soror, and make something more in line for a boy.

Everybody has been on a crochet kick so I made this sweater, hat, booties and bib. I was gonna make some shorts but I stopped wanting to crochet. I don’t enjoy it as much as people seem to think I do. It is monotonous and boring. But occasionally I do like to do it. But just occasionally. I think I might have put the buttons on the wrong side. If I did… Oh well. I know that sounds stank, but I don’t want to see any more yarn for a hot second. Remember… occasionally.

I initially wanted to make a quilt using the theme of the Jamaican flag. My soror and her husband are both from Jamaica. But I wasn’t sure that was in good taste. I could never quite shake the tacky feeling. So after purchasing everything I need for the quilt, I scrapped the idea. Those colors are dark and not at all baby-like. That is how we get stashes right? Buying everything and changing our minds. Oh well. Tell me what you think!!!!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Color Story


I have listed this blog as the website for my “side hustle” I want to make a bit of knowledge born for those that don’t know. Within a calendar year, there are 2 fashion seasons. There is a sub-season of “resort” but that is a different build. Spring and Fall are your main seasons. All your clothes come out of one of those seasons.

But it’s not only clothes. It’s colors too. Colors are seasonal. Your favorite color might be sky blue and you want to wear it all the time. But you won’t be able to find it at will because it may not be in the color trend of that particular season. This goes for everything! Including yarn, fabric even furniture. I tend to move things around in my closets. If I know something is not on trend I may not wear it like crazy. I may not wear it at all. It might stay in the trunk until it is fashionable again. My personal style is pretty classic… sort of, and my clothes translate.

Something that has always struck me as interesting is when a color has been exhausted, yet people still wear it how “old fashioned” and “out of touch” they look. It’s a subconscious thing. Their outfits could be brand new, but the color is played out. Example: My sorority colors are pink and green. 10 years ago when I’d wear these colors together, folks thought it was a costume. Then it became the color combo of the season in 2005. Everyone thought they were AKA’s. Even folks who had no business… Then it trailed off. Now when I wear P&G, uninformed folks will get nostalgic. It’s only because the combo went out of style. I’m not suggesting that you should abandon your faves for what is currently on trend. Do I still wear P&G still? Every damn chance I get! But I am giving y’all something to think about when you make your current selections.

The colors from Spring 2013. This is what you will see in the stores…..

Your gonna have to click on the image to see it all.


Chillin' in the Cut.....


I haven’t posted here in awhile. It is because I haven’t sewn a darn thing for me this year. There are a few reasons why….

(1) I have been trying to get my side gig up and running. I have decided to take on a FEW clients. It started at the nail salon. A woman was complaining that she needed something repaired and wanted to spend money with her own people. So I threw my hat in the ring. Since then I have a few clients, I have developed some business documents, got some cards, and one of those card reader things. I have been making big steps to make this a legitimate side hustle… BUT… I’m not particularly enjoying the work. People aren’t being honest and they don’t’ want to pay you for what you do. I kinda knew this going in. Folks are telling me that I’m mean and unprofessional. But I’m not making you a ball gown and procuring all the necessary supplies for $50. Also, when you try to tell folks something they clearly don’t know, or don’t want to believe they get hostile. One chick brought me a pair of pants that had a bunch of things wrong with them other than what she wanted done. Hems and seams were out; the zipper was broken, etc. When I brought that to her attention, she said I just wanted to jack the price up. SMH. Since this is a side hustle, and I have a REAL day job, I’m not taking this any more seriously than I have to. All the gold I make off these jobs, I will put in a fund toward my summer vacation. Folks like to think they pay your bills…

(2) Starting February 26, 2013, I will be juice fasting for 3 weeks. I do this every year. Obviously I lose weight when I do this that I eventually gain back. But I started running last July (and these clients don’t seem to understand that I don’t do consults when I am working out) and I’m hoping not to gain the weight back that I lose fasting. So it really doesn’t pay to make clothes that won’t fit later. Also, It’s still winter and my fast will be over in the spring. So…. There is no point in making clothes for myself right now and I can focus on these ungrateful clients.

(3) And lastly, though most importantly…. I don’t need anything. My closet is bursting at the seams. I have enough clothes that I don’t have to do laundry for a month if that’s what I choose to do. I don’t feel the pull to sew because of that.

Just because I don’t feel the need to sew right now doesn’t mean that I won’t. Mimi G made an outfit that has my name written all over it. Do you know that I had her body when I was in high school and just didn’t know what to do with it? I told the 7 that she stole my body. He told me to steal it back. LOL!!!!!! So there is a Mimi outfit that is a’coming. And while buying the fabric for that dress, I saw an orange fabric that I had to have. It was so lovely I bought it full price, which is something I never do. That will be my Easter dress. I already have shoes and accessories for it. I won a few patterns from a giveaway and I know what the orange dress will be…. So I’m here but low key.

I’m stalking y’all though……