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Profile for deChez - Threads


Michele deCesare, Castro Valley, CA, US

Michele deCesare is an independent sewing instructor, and garment decorator.

craft interests: embroidery, fashion, gifts, restyle, sewing

my etsy page:

Member Since: 04/11/2010

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Tank Top Remake

This light-weight vest, or cover-up was fashioned from a flared bottom tank top that was once attached to a blouse. The shoulder seams had to be cut in order to remove it, and I was afraid that...

Guitar Straps

I just wanted to make something different, and while browsing around for inspiration I found a banjo strap someone had made. It was designed, and constructed quite differently from the straps I made...

Reversible Hat

Linda74Sews inspired me with her black/animal print fleece swing coat. I thought the fabric combo was great, so I decided to use it for my Mimi Hat, and a scarf. It's my new fave!

Ribbon Flowers

These little ribbon flowers are fun to make, and have so many uses. Tutorial from Screaming Mimis Sewing Room can be viewed at

Mimi's Fingerless Gloves

I just had to have some fingerless gloves to go with The Mimi Hat. Fleece for Winter...knit for the Fall and Spring. And again...I've created a pattern. Very easy to make!

The Mimi Hat

Several years ago I purchased a reversible hat. It quickly became my favorite. Last year when I made myself a yummy green fleece coat, I used the left-over fleece, and some velveteen from my stash to...

Another Stash Blouse

A few days ago, I came across a project that caught my eye. The maker had created a lovely fabric with little scraps, and then fashioned a case for eye glasses with it. That inspired me to dig out...

Vogue Tunic

I bought a piece of off white knit a few months back, and finally decided on Vogue pattern 8731 (which I'd had my eye on for about a year). I modified the horizontal tucks slightly, and instead of...

Stash Blouse

I'm calling this my "Stash Blouse" because it was made from materials, and supplies that were in my sewing stash. The back and center front were cut from a super soft doe skin ultra-suede I had left...

Ultra-Suede Doe Skin Western Style Shirt

This shirt was made with a soft doe skin ultra suede, and a textured polyester bias cut plaid for the yoke. The long sleeve (shown rolled), has an extra wide cuff to complete the retro western look...

One Yard Wonder

The print fabric was given to me by one of my sewing students, so I took it as a challenge to create a simple garment with just one yard of fabric. In order to make the skirt long enough, I added a...

The Lilah Dress

A friend gave me several pieces of vintage lace from her late mother-in-law's sewing stash. I thought it would be fun to use a few  pieces on something for my friends grand-daughter. I used New...

Crazy Shirt

There's a reason why it looks like I mugged a couch, and drapes to make this shirt. I purchased this fabric on-line to make a pillow, but once I had it in my hands, I wanted to wear it. I used...

Cowboy Shirt

Just another simple shirt for my husband. He loves the crazy shirts for performing, and this fabric has been getting alot of attention.  As usual, I used Simplicity 2741.

Green Jacket

I just got a new Babylock Ellure Plus sewing/embroidery combo. I'm so excited! This is my first project with the new machine. It looks much better on the body, than it does on the dress form. The...

Fleece Coat

I started with Vogue pattern 1129, but modified the drape so that it's attached only at the shoulder (instead of all the way across the waist). I also made the scarf portion (what was originally the...

Spring Peasant Blouse

Needed a little Spring in my life. I found this fabric at a little indie fabric store in my neighborhood. The only change I made to this old Butterick pattern was to sew the elastic directly on the...

Vintage Fabrics

More from the box of vintage fabrics I was given. I love the way these fabrics drape so softly, yet shape so nicely.

Sumo Shirt

I was given a couple of boxes of vintage fabric (Craigslist freebies). As I was looking through it, I came across these 2 pieces of sumo wrestler prints. I didn't know what I would do with them until...

Old skirt meets old jeans.

The jeans needed some personality....the skirt doesn't fit anymore....why not?

Thread Painting

This is my first attempt at thread painting (aka free motion embroidery). This was all done on the sewing machine using a straight stitch, and a modified zig-zag stitch. I completed most of the...

Equestrian Shirt

This shirt was made for a young horsewoman to wear for shows. Actually, this one is rather plain compared to some of the pictures I've seen. It was made from a stretch knit that had little silver...

Simplicity/Threads 2591

A friend sent me some vintage fabric she found in her attic while preparing to move. I set it aside, and waited for it to tell me what to do with it. I came across Simplicity's pattern 2591 from the...

recent comments

Re: Vinyl Bags

Those are great! Beautiful work, and I love the designs & colors. May I suggest using blue painters tape when it's feasible use tape to temporarily secure on the outside. It will come right off when you're done sewing, and it doesn't leave a sticky residue.

Re: Fleece Swing Coat

I just this morning saw your coat on the Craftsy site, and just loved the look of it. I was lucky enough to find a piece of the leopard print fleece in the remnant bin today that I'm going to use with some black fleece for my Mimi Hat, and perhaps a cuff on my fingerless gloves (both posted here in the Readers Closet) you see, your lovely work has inspired me. Thanks for sharing!

Re: Vintage Style Hostess Apron

So cute...the style, the fabric...nice work.

Re: My New Sewing Studio

I'm green with envy!

Re: Wedding dress

Beautifully done!

Re: Double Coth Jacket

Beautiful job...what a lovely jacket.

Re: BOOK GIVEAWAY: "Sweet Stitches from the Heart"

I'd love to have this book. Even though I am a somewhat experienced embroiderer, I always love to see other techniques...and who doesn't want more patterns?

Re: Non-sewer Dad Promises to Make His Daughter's Wedding Gown

I made my daughter's wedding dress. She didn't want a traditional white gown, and wasn't finding anything close to her vision, so we decided to go for it. We found some beautiful beaded lace at our little local fabric store, and we were off and running.

As a sewing teacher, I love that this man began with the concept that his building construction skills would translate to garment construction...his instincts were spot on.

Re: Back Detail

Very cute. I especially like the yellow one. That yellow fabric was a bold choice...and it looks great! Nice job.

Re: Steampunk Coat

Great looking all those little details that you so carefully incorporated. Very nice job.

Re: My Vintage Inspired Party Outfit

Wow. You did a beautiful job on this. I love the style, and accent color as well. Looks very cute on.

Re: Phrase's shirt

Great shirt! Nice work.

Re: Space Ranger

Cute costumes...even cuter kids! I hope you'll be entering those in the costume contest...they look great!

Re: my wedding party dresses

Absolutely lovely! I especially like the dress you made for your daughter -- what a clever way to incorporate your mother's wedding dress into your own wedding.

Re: EvaDress 1941 Necktie Apron

You did a beautiful job putting all those panels together. I love everything about it.

Re: BOOK GIVEAWAY: "Couture Sewing Techniques" by Claire B. Shaeffer

Oh how I would love to have this book! Shaping is something of a challenge for me. Who wouldn't like to have "a private couture instructor right in your sewing room!"

Re: Blue velveteen vest

Very nice...looks sharp. I'm liking all of your stuff! You must be having big fun.

Re: Yasmine Inspired

Well I love everything about this blouse. Yes, that collar works very nicely with your pin-tuck design. You've inspired me...

Re: Vintage Upcycle

Cute Cute Cute...I'm a big fan of everything mid-century retro. Very clever how you transformed the table cloth...nice work.

Re: Peas & Carrots Romper

Just darling! Acutally, a beautiful work of art.

Re: Retro Inspired Swimsuit

Love it!

Re: New Sewing Show, "It's Sew Easy," Starts June 30 on PBS

I'm looking forward to this. I love to watch sewing shows -- even when the host is making something I already know how to make, it's always a learning experience. As a sewing instructor, I love that there is a fresh, new show coming to inspire more people to learn the craft.

Re: Mary U's sewing projects

Nice work! Love the style, and the color too.

Re: "Buck Rogers" jacket

Beautiful work! Very nice deco. And what a brilliant idea using the embroidery module for the button holes! Thanks for that tip.

Re: New York Gown

Very nicely done. Love the color too.

Re: Summer Stripes!

Love it! Cute fabrics....and I especially like the embroidery detail on the inside yoke.

Re: Embroidered Jean Vest

Beautifully done! I love the embroidery design, placement, and thread colors. I think you need to find a contest to enter this's a winner!

Re: Book Giveaway: "Draping Basics" by Sally M. Di Marco

I have been sewing for 45 years, but have never tried draping. It's a technique I want to learn...this book sounds like a great tool for someone like me.

Re: Burn out velvet jacket

That looks great! I love that you let the fabric tell you what to do with it. I can see it with a pair of jeans, and some little silver or gold flats. I live in the east bay, but have never managed to get to Britex...probably because I know I would come home with a wagon-load of stuff.

Re: Fabric Basket

What a great little basket. Very cute design, and I love your fabric choices.

Re: Girly Dresses

First of all...those dresses are just darling. You may not realize it yet, but as you're making those dresses, you're learning alot about garment construction...that will serve you well when you're ready to try something for yourself again.

As for sleeves...set-in sleeves can be a bit of a challenge at first. If possible, sew the sleeve to the garment BEFORE sewing the arm seam, and side seam. Then sew front and back of sleeve and garment together with one long seam. Also, don't ingore the ease at the shoulder of the sleeve...making that row of long stitches at the shoulder, then slightly gathering to fit so that the centers, and notches match really is necessary.

Re: Organizing Your Stash

Brilliant idea! I'll be using it, thank you very much.

Re: Jacket

Love that you could see the potential in the sample pieces. The desing on the back looks great. Great creation.

Re: Oriental by accident

I like the wonky adds a little character. In this case, the project surprised you in a pleasant way.

Re: Spring Coat in full bloom

That was a bold choice of fabrics, that worked out very nicely. I love it.

Re: Happy Valentine's Day...

Lovely jacket, and beautifully made. You're so right...great fabric is timeless!

Re: Re-use Dress and Bolero

I hope this out-fit makes it to the runway. It's just lovely. I'm in the east bay area...I've not heard of this charity auction before. It sounds so great, I'm going to try to attend to preview. Good luck to you....your piece deserves the spotlight!

Re: Heirloom Hat

I see your hat made the magazine. Congrats!

Re: Book Giveaway: "1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts & Tips"

When people see items I have made, the question I am most asked is "how do you keep the stitches in such a straight line?" The trick is to keep your eye on the edge of your fabric, and whatever you're using to guide the allowance (in my case, it's a piece of masking tape on the throat plate). We instinctively look a the needle while we're takes a little time to train yourself to look at the fabric edge and guide mark instead, but once you train yourself to do this, you'll be sewing perfectly straight seams, top-stitching, etc. every time.

Re: corset top made from an old shirt

Great idea! Very nice looks great. I love doing t-shirt reconstruction...I always say I let the design on the shirt dictate the style, but I must admit I never would have thought of a corset....the design on the tee is perfect for that.

Re: Top and Pant

I love everything about it....the fabric, the style, and the way you angled the feather stitch. What weight of thread did you use for the embroidery? It stands out nicely.

Re: Blue and White Skirt and Top

Very cute. You managed to update the fashion without losing the spirit of 40's style. I can almost hear "don't sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me...." playing behind those pictures.

I'm in the East Bay....I'm guessing you took that picture last Sunday. ;-)

Re: My Granddaughter's Christening Dress precious. I'm sure it will be treasured for many generations to come.

Re: Reunion apron

Nice work. I love the idea of doing an apron for the family reunion, and your embroidered graphic looks great.

Re: Online Shopping and Resource Guide

Hmmmm...I wonder how I could get my vintage patterns site, added to that list?

Re: Book Giveaway - Sewing For Children

This would be a great book to have. My 4 year old grandson loves to watch my daughter sew, and I'm sure he would love to learn to do it himself.

Re: Measuring with What's at Hand

To avoid trying on pants when shopping, hold the waistband at each side, and wrap it around your neck...if the sides overlap slightly, the pants will fit in the waist. Sounds crazy, but it works.