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Conversational Threads

Challenge (for the occasional sewer)

Lynnelle | Posted in General Discussion on

I peg myself as an inconsistent sewer.  I sew from time to time – starting projects but never finishing them.  I absolutely love reading the discussions on sewing, but fail to deliver on my own.  This has sparked a challenge for me that I present to you:

I have many patterns – some never even opened/unfolded.  I am challenging myself to make at least 1 garment per month (I have to start somewhere =)) from an unused pattern.  I will try to keep a personal daily log of my progress (I don’t know how to blog…suggestions on how to start a blog are welcomed.)

I need some inspiration, so I hope that someone will join me in the challenge!  If we need to increase the garment number, then let’s do it!

Will you join me?  If so, let’s pick a start date, pattern, and get to it!




  1. Fiona | | #1

    Hi Lynnelle

    We just moved from MI to AL and I am finally unpacked. Last week I cut out a pattern (from my stash) and this week (or so) I am trying to sew it together. Now that I am in the deep south I need more skirts and summer dresses. I will join you in your challenge, I need the encouragement. The pattern is Vogue 8182, short flared skirt with sleeves version.

    My distractions are my 4 year old son, almost 7 year old daughter, new house to take care of, 9 week old puppy, and a (great)husband. Hopefully I can get it done soon.


    1. Lynnelle | | #2

      Hi Fiona,

      Thank you so much for joining my challenge!  I look forward to giving and receiving encouragement!  My distractions are exhaustion from work and caregiving of a parent.  I am really excited to get started.  I will post my selected pattern very soon (it is 8pm and I'm still at work (yaaaawwwwn.)


      1. User avater
        blondie2sew | | #3

        Hi LynnelleI so can relate to you and I came into my own about a year and half ago!!All you said about distractions and wanting to get to those patterns that just sit there unopened and such..Wow! What changed with me!! Well it was I just forced myself (from all my distractions) one day to get back to my machine and I fell in love all over again..I feel peace, I feel an escape when I am sewing!! It is like breathing life into something with every stitch I take!! I make the time now..even if I have to put it down in my palm pilot I do!! I do have a 5 and 10 year old Daughters! Of course they distract me however now they are getting into the sewing thing...so that has been wonderful.

        I am involved in a monthly Sew Fun Group at our local Dealer and we get to bring Show and Tell's!! So I have challenged myself to take something every month!! Sometimes it is more of a project that I have been working on for awhile or just some really easy sewing project that I got done for that instant gratification!!So I just want to encourage you to keep on keeping on!! And do what you love!! Now I won't let things get in my way of sewing!! Blondie

        1. Lynnelle | | #6

          Bless you Blondie for the wonderful jolt of encouragement.  I feel the spark to sit at my machine and sew something to completion.  I have to do as you did:  make the time to do it.  I have to make a commitment to make progress on the project every chance I get.  Sometimes I work very late and when I come home, my first thought is the bed!

          On my off days, I will commit to doing something - even if it is minor, for every step of the journey leads to the end.

          I hesitated starting this thread.  I am sooooo glad that I did.


    2. fabricholic | | #5

      Hi Fiona,Welcome to Alabama. That is a cute dress. I hope you will post pictures of it when you are finished.Marcy

  2. dionna | | #4

    I had that problem in the past here's what I did i found a nice spot in my home and i closed the door.or i waited until every one was sleep for the night and i started to sew or if i had time during the day i whould take a few minute here and thereand get some time in

  3. jane4878 | | #7

    Hi Lynelle,

    I'll try as well.  I started Folkwear's Armistice Blouse last weekend.  I'd taken almost 2 weeks off to do some sewing and ferry my kids back and forth to the local music festival.  I had half the pattern traced and the tracing cut out (I always trace my patterns onto a sort of light fabric with printed grids--not sure what it's called--to save my patterns) and I got called back to work--a staff member had a family emergency and no one else could work.  GREAT!!  :^(((  Now I'm working my second weekend in a row and I've lost the rest of my days off.  I'll need some external prodding to keep me motivated.  I work fulltime including a third of my life on-call and I work every third weekend.  I have 3 kids and a 6 month old poodle puppy.  I resent not having time to do sewing and play the piano--both are "fun" things I took up for myself recently.  I work Easter as well, but then I have 5 days off and I'll set a goal for me to be done that blouse by April 15th.


  4. dressed2atee | | #8

    Hey count me in....I sew for everybody but me these days.  I am squeezing time in from my prom gowns to make myself a spring coat.  I'm almost finished!  I'll post a pic when I'm finished.

    1. Lynnelle | | #9

      Woo hoo!  Alright, folks.  I thank you all for joining me in the challenge.  I think one garment per month is very reasonable given our demanding schedules.  As long as we commit to doing something toward completion of the garment, we can view it as a success.  From laundering the fabric...to pressing it...to pinning the pattern...we can do it!

      I've decied to make New Look 6179 View A.  I already have the fabric from my stash (which is another reason why I needed to get back to sewing...).  It looks like a simple enough project that I can do.  I will keep you posted on my progress. 

      Please keep me updated on your projects as well!


      1. dressed2atee | | #10

        I making Very Easy Very Vogue 9321 out of a fabric I purchased last summer! 

  5. User avater
    TwilaTee | | #11

    Dear Lynnelle,
    Oh do start a blog, it's too fun! I use LiveJournal. If you sign up make me your "friend" we'll encourage each other with our sewing. Here's a link to my LJ
    I have commited to make Simplicity 3877 I have some lovely blue linen for it, and I am planning on doing some ribbon embriodery around the neckline! -Twila

    1. Fiona | | #12

      Hi everyoneHow far did you get this weekend? I started on the bodice. The upper part is three layers and then there is a cumberband type piece that attaches to the top part and the skirt. I just got the top part done and the sleeves attached. I was surprised by how much I did get done yesterday and today.Cannot wait to hear how others are doing.Fiona

      1. Lynnelle | | #13

        I laundered and pressed my fabric.  I will cut out the pattern pieces tonight and review the directions again.  I have a busy couple of days ahead of me, so I won't get to do some sewing until Thursday. =/


    2. solosmocker | | #14

      I have so wanted to start my own sewing blog so thank you very much for the referral. As far as the challenge, right now I am on a blitz for Easter clothing but once that is done I really have to face sewing some casual clothing for myself. I will check back in with you all after Easter.

      1. Lynnelle | | #15

        Yes, thank  you Twila for the referral.  I joined LiveJournal and added you to my friends list.  I am glad that we have a forum to talk about what's on our mind.

        Here are the participants and garments for our challenge:

        dressed2atee - Spring coat V9321

        TwilaTee - S3877

        Fiona - V8182

        Jane4878 - Armistice Blouse

        Lynnelle - NL 6179

        Again, thank you ladies for joining me in my challenge.  I feel more inspired now than ever to complete my garment.  I even have ideas for my next couple of garments!  Jane has given herself a deadline of 15 April.  I am giving myself four weeks (23 April) to totally complete my project.  It will not be added to my basement closet of 'incompletes.'  Feel free to select dates by which you want to complete yours as well. 

        Speaking of the incompletes, maybe that will be our next challenge:  to take no more than one or two weeks to complete something we've already started.  What do you think?


        1. jane4878 | | #16

          Ooooow!!  I'm falling behind already!  Maybe the end of April will be more feasible. :^)  I haven't been able to get at anything yet.  I'm a novice and I REALLY need the family to get off my back while I work or I make mistakes.  Hopefully I'll have better news tomorrow.  Jane

          1. Lynnelle | | #18


            Don't worry about falling behind!  This is why I chose to attempt 1 garment/project in 1 month.  I have a lot going on in my life right now and I sometimes don't have the time, motivation, or energy to sit down and sew.  So, if I can commit to making small steps at least some of the time, I know I will finish the project.

            So far, I have laundered, pressed, and cut out the pattern pieces.  My goal today is to adjust the pattern.  Truthfully, I am so tired right now, I may not even get to do that.

            Just remember that we are all here to support each other.  Please do not feel bad for falling behind as this is not a race or competition. 

            You will complete your project, I know it.


        2. ctirish | | #17

          Lynelle, I am going to join your challenge starting with April. I wasn't sure I could do it, my dgd who I take care of 9hrs X 5 days has been sick since 3/7 with the rotavirus. All she wants is for me to hold her most of the day and I spend my day hugging and holding and trying to get some fluid into her. We now have 3 days with no vomiting so I am hopeful we are on the upswing.

          I hope to use this challenge to do some of last years Christmas's  gifts done - better late than never. When I didn't have them done for Christmas' I lost motivation. So, Lynelle I thank you for starting this challenge.  It is realistic and positive.

          For April - Butterick 6725 - boys pullover jacket

          This is for my 3 yr old grandson,  I am making it in Malden Mills -Noah's Ark

          I did manage to finish a pair of pants for my dgd.  They came out cute too, I just realized I gave them to my daughter without taking a picture. 

          So, to my fellow challengers, may we all finish with increased confidence in our abilities.



          1. Lynnelle | | #19

            Welcome, ctirish!

            I am glad to see that you are putting forth the effort to return to what you love.  I am sure that we all have reasons for not sewing as often as we would like. 

            I have read threads and posts from people who sew every day or make wardrobes of garments and other projects per month.  Realistically, I just can't do that.  I started to think that  being a good sewer meant one had to generate and complete many projects.  This thought further fueled my lack of motivation.  Then one day, I had a revelation:  who cares how long it takes me to complete a project!  As long as I am content and enjoying it, it was well worth the wait.  Maybe it is the newness of the Spring season that brought me to this point, I don't know.  But I am here and excited.

            So, again I welcome you!  Let us raise our pinking shears in a toast to increased confidence in our abilities and utter joy and satisfaction with the completion of our project no matter how long it takes!



          2. jane4878 | | #20

            I'll be OK...it's just been an obnoxious couple of weeks.  I pre-washed and pressed pretty well all of my tiny little stash, so other than a quick press to get the fold lines out, I'm ready to go.  Tonight I'm on call and tomorrow is this stupid concert I have to go to.  Then I'm OFF for the weekend!!!  I'm trying to get my son a really nice clarinet on e-bay tonight--so wish me luck!  That'll be a big stressor of my list.  I was TOLD I had to get him a very good clarinet by his teachers and the adjudicator.  ......now if I could only get the kids to clean up........

          3. Fiona | | #21

            Hi Everyone,Well I attached the gathered lower bodice to the upper bodice on the dress. And I hate it. It does not fit right in the front. The V is too low and bunches funny. The shoulder straps are too narrow for me.I don't like to make a muslim pattern first - very lazy. But in this case I should have. Now I am thinking of just creating a waist band for the skirt portion and call it a day. I have put it aside for a couple of days so that I just don't trash the whole project. This happens regularly with me. I love a pattern, put it together and then just hate the way it fits. I don't have that much time to sew and I am a self taught sewer so I am not good at altering patterns.Oh well vent over.Fiona

          4. thehat | | #219

            first things first measure your self or have a friend and pick patterns that you feel good in if you can draw take your shape and sorta draw the out fit on it  I say do not go by the size go by the measurement and love the skin your in bekind to your self

          5. ctirish | | #26

            Lynelle,  Well, I think I am off to a good start,  dgd has started screeching with laughter and smiles again when she is happy about anything.  This rotavirus is brutal, it can live on objects and clothing for long periods of time.  After washing everything in the house I possible could and ran the toys through the dishwasher I managed to get the fleece for my dgs pullover,  washed, the pattern laid out and it cut out.  Today, I am going to put in the zipper down the front of the pullover.  Does that sound positive and motivated?  


          6. Lynnelle | | #27

            Indeed it does!  You have had your hands full with taking care of that nasty virus.  Keep up the awesome work and progress!

            I have been meaning to ask...what is dgd?  It is an acronym of which I am unfamiliar.


          7. User avater
            Becky-book | | #33

            Acronyms  (I am so lazy)

            DGD = Dear GrandDaughter  and so on... DGSon etc.

          8. ctirish | | #35

            There are a few acronyms that appear here just for ease of typing.

            dgd - dear grand daughter

            dgs - dear grand son

            dh - dear husband

            dd  dear daughter

            sil - son in law

            once you realize they are usually relatives they are easy to figure out even if someone puts a new one in there. It just seems to take forever to type out all the words when we are rushing to get news to someone. lol - laugh out loud. I don't know the ones people use in blogs these days.   jane.

          9. Lynnelle | | #36

            Aah, thank you, Jane.  I sort of figured out the 'gd' part, but was a bit unsure about the first 'd.'  As I do not have use for any of those acronyms, I will create one:  ds for dear self. =)

            As for the challenge...well...yep it's challenging.  I have not even cut my fabric yet.  I have everything ready, I just need to just do it! 

            How is everyone else doing?

          10. jane4878 | | #37

            I've been side-tracked (the story of my life:^))  My husband decided to paint our bedroom and walk in closet last weekend.  I spent the entire weekend dragging clothes down and up from the basement.  Now it looks like I have to finish the shades before the blouse :^(   I bought material, hardware and a pattern to make 2 Roman shades.  On the bright side however, I asked for the last week of April off to make up for the vacation I lost in March, so I may make it yet.

          11. ctirish | | #38

            I am not doing as well as I had hoped. Didn't put the zipper in yet, I am hoping for tomorrow or Sunday. My dd brought the dgd laundry to me this week, I forgot how much work there is in getting stains out of kids clothing. 

            Did Amber post a picture of her garment - I forgot what she called it.. jane

          12. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #39

            Ok finished my skort everyone!! So see the pics in the photo gallary!!I know you guys can do it!! Keep smiling when life gets you and then just get back to your sewing machine...and tell the world to leave you alone for a bit!! I know you can I know you can I know you can!!! You know you can!!

          13. jane4878 | | #40

            Too cute, Blondie!  I have a daughter roughly the same age, but she's not so cooperative about trying stuff on and posing.  Very irritating trying to fit stuff on her--she's wiggling all over the place!

          14. Lynnelle | | #41

            Way to go, Blondie!  Very nice job on accomplishing your goal and making a very cute skort for your daughter. =)

            Thank you also for the encouragement.  I truly can need it now.  I got a bit discouraged after cutting out my tunic pieces.  The fabric is sheer, slippery, and not-really-trying-to-cooperate.  Also, I do not have enough for the pattern and had to do some creative placing of the pieces (creative meaning introducing a center back seam to a piece cut on the fold).  I don't know how this will look on a tunic, but I'll soon see.

            Anyway, congrats again on your success.  What will you work on next?


          15. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #42

            Thanks Lynnelle...
            But I have to say this thread you started is a great source of encouragement!! So sometimes things don't go right but hey this is where you can take a break (not too long ha ha ha) and re group and re fresh yourself!! My next project well I will be at another mini skirt bag for a girlfriend..and then I am thinking I might make a few more skorts for Abigael...But I do want to make some great hanging organizers for the barbies and such..so at this point undecided..but I will let you knowBut as for your challenge with cutting...I know that I have learned from one of my seminars with Coni Crawford..she says to cut out your material
            with paper underneath..I think that is how it went..then she said that you get a true cut especially with very slippery fabrics!! I hope this tid bit helps and who knows maybe someone else can tell us more about this!!

          16. LindaFaye | | #43

            I'd like to join the challenge for April!!!  I started sewing again last fall and have actually done a lot taking my work schedule into consideration.  Lately I've been sewing for my Daughter Alondra, but now I will sew just one thing for me during the month of April.  Not sure what yet, but will post that when I decide.

          17. Lynnelle | | #44

            Welcome LindaFaye!  Thank you for joining us.  As you can see, we are quite the determined and supportive bunch.  We all recognize our hectic schedules sometimes prevent us from sewing.  So, we committed to making small steps in hopes of completing one garment per month.

            To others, this may seem like an easy task.  But I find that progress comes in many forms and whether one spends 10 minutes or 10 hours sewing, the goal will eventually be reached.  This is not a race or contest.  It is an adventure easily accessible to anyone with any schedule.

            So, again, I welcome you and look forward to sharing your experience!



            I checked out the photos on your blog.  Very nice job!  You are truly an accomplished sewer. 

          18. LindaFaye | | #45

            Accomplished sewer - NOT!  I'm actually trying to learn all over again and it's really not like riding a bicycle!  I joined this challenge as a way of staying on track to get back to a craft that I use to love so much.  I agree, nice and easy and without stress.  I'm still working on my blog, I've seen so many nice ones.  Blogging is new to me too, but I do like learning new things.

          19. solosmocker | | #46

            Well, I am stepping up to the plate. I went thru my patterns last nite and settled on a neat pair of pants that I will make out of olive colored linen. They are these strange pants that wrap around thru the crotch and look like they tie in the front, hard to describe. I will hunt down the pattern later and let you know what it is. I will make this my April project while continuing to sew my childrens clothing and samples. Cross your fingers.

          20. Teaf5 | | #58

            If they are those wrap-front/wrap-back pants, you may end up loving them and living in them; I made a pair in the hippie days and adored the flowy comfort--they have the grace of a long skirt but the practicality of slacks. On the back wrap, I used a tab closure rather than a tie to make them less confusing to put on because, if it's the pattern I'm thinking of, the side seams were open, and the front and back halves look nearly identical. It's not a bad idea to store them with the tabs and ties fastened, too, to avoid confusion when dressing in a hurry!When I stored mine unfastened, if I tried to put them on before I was fully awake, I'd sometimes have to turn them every which way before I figured out how to get them on. My husband found it hysterically funny; thank goodness we didn't have a video camera back then, or I would've been on YouTube.

          21. ctirish | | #47

            Lynelle, you won't believe it but I have written this post three times already. When I go to post it and my cursor goes over the bottom bar for some reason my PC would go back to the postings page without submitting it.  That was last night and I am hoping tonight will be different.  I finally got the zipper put in last week and I was hoping this past weekend I could sew all weekend. 

             I started putting the hood together and I kept having problems with my serger stitches. The overlock seam would stitch nicely with the stitch meeting right at the intersection of the threads. But the stitches were off the edge of the fabric- it was making me crazy.  I adjusted and rethreaded everything I could possibly change and it didn't help at all. Finally I reset the settings one more time and rethreaded and it worked. So, I sewed the hood seam and in one small area it the loops were off the edge of the fabric. So I decided to just resew over that one area...lol - well, by the time I was done it looked terrible. So I ripped it out and restitched it and it came out fine and then using the sewing machine I stitched the seam down so it wouldn't tickle him if he had the hood up. I then sewed the shoulder seams with tricot tape so they would be reinforced, they came out nicely.

            So, now it is time to sew the hood to the neckline of the pullover. I thought this would be easy. Well, I was wrong... I sewed the hood to the neckline and for some reason it just wouldn't sew correctly.  The fabric kept moving on me and the stitches started sliding off the edge of the fabric again. So I ripped it out for the first time and marked it and tried to sew it again.  The thread I was sewing with didn't break but the seam kept breaking and I couldn't figure out why. So, I took it out again and sewed it in again and it looked pretty good. So, I look at it closely and realize the the distance from the zipper to the beginning of the hood is different from one side to the other.. not a little bit...it is over an inch different, I sit down and rip it out again. 

            I must say I am very good at taking out serger stitching at this point.   I fix that little problem and I think I am golden.  The sleeves go in before I sew the side seams or the sleeve seams. So I stitch the sleeves to the shoulder and front and back pieces. This only takes me two times to get them right. So I am feeling good; I sew the side seams and the sleeves seams and I am getting excited.

             Last night I am excited all I have left to do is do the hem of the sleeves and the bottom of the pullover.  As I am sitting here last night and looking at my work and thinking about putting trim around the hood at the face line and maybe some elastic. As I look at it I realize the pattern looks a little funny to me. I am still not sure if it is or not but it did cross my mind.  Then I realize something else....the stretch does not go from side to side it is vertical - when you pull the top and the bottom you get all of the stretch.....whoops... this is the first time I had sewn with Malden Mills fleece with a pattern. So I need an opinion.... did I cut this out incorrectly - I think the stretch is supposed to go from side to side - Correct??

            When I realized it was wrong - I started laughing...just laughing for the longest time.. I do need confirmation of my errors.... I think it will still fit him for this year but I will order more fabric to make a new one for fall.

            So, I know this week is going to be better than last week..it has to be.. Today is Tuesday and I need to have something to send with a friend when she goes to see her grandson for the first time next weekend.  If you have any ideas for quick and cute for a boy, let me know... jane

            Edited 4/10/2007 10:52 pm ET by ctirish

          22. fabricholic | | #48

            My goodness, you have had a time with that jacket. It sounds like me, but I would have given up. I admire you like you wouldn't believe, for sticking with it. I think the stretch is supposed to go from side to side or horizonal, because that is where you usually need it. All of you inspire me. I am working on a dress for my DGD and I am finally at the point where I can start sewing on it. Yay!!!Marcygo sewists, go sewists, go sewists, go sewists, go sewists

          23. From my Stash.... | | #49

            Wow, I would have given up by now. You are correct, the greatest amount of stretch goes horizontally. A good way to remember this is with the following image (this told to me by an sewing instructor):

            When she first started working with stretch fabrics, she made a casual pair of pants and found thatover time they kept getting longer on her - all over, not just in the legs. She had the stretch going vertically. We were in tears laughing about the image of this short middle-aged woman describing her pants with the crotch near her knees and the cuffs way too long. 

            Good luck with the new version of the jacket - I hope it goes alot smoother.

          24. ctirish | | #50

            Thank you to you and fabriholic for making me laugh.. I was looking at it today and I have enough fabric left to start over with a new jacket for Sean my dgs and then I can use the fabric in the original jacket to make a small one for my girlfriend's new grandson. She needs it for Friday for her plane trip to see him for the first time. I hope I have enough experience making this pattern so I can do it easily tomorrow.
            Thanks for the memories... jane

          25. LindaFaye | | #51

            Will we be posting pictures of our "garment of the month"?

          26. Lynnelle | | #53

            I would love to see the garments we make.  As I do not have a digital camera or scanner, posting my pictures may take me a while.  I am working on it, though.


          27. Lynnelle | | #54

            I have experienced a setback =(.  The fabric I am using to make NL 6179 is really trying my patience.  It is very slippery and extremely uncooperative.  Just cutting out the pattern pieces has been a real pain - so much so that I have decided to abandon this fabric.

            I am still commited to making this garment by the end of April.  But I have to select another fabric that is more willing to cooperate - perhaps a nice cotton.

            Sigh.  I have another garment that I am anxious to make, but I refuse to do it before completing this tunic. 


          28. LindaFaye | | #56

            I know the feeling about the wrong fabric.  I was making Butterick 3784 view D in a lovely lavender knit that really gave me a real fit.  First it called for 1/2" single fold bias tape to be applied around the neck line and down the front and of course I did not have any in that color so I decided to make some out of matching fabric using my "bias tape maker" that I have never used.  I guess bias tape should not be made of stretch knit???? (please advise on this if you know for my knowledge and future projects) cause this DID NOT WORK FOR ME!  It was hard to apply, kept twisting and I just could not get it sewn on to look right.  In addition, I did not have enough lavender thread and having started this project late at night and wanting to get started right then - I used white thread.  The white thread clearly showed on the outside of the garment on the bias tape and the hems of the sleeve and bottom.

            The twisted bias tape made me sick so I just hung it on a hanger planning to throw it away later - why I did this I don't know.  All this happened last Thursday evening and I really didn't think the failure of the project affected me, but I guess it did cause I didn't sew a stitch again until late Sunday evening when Friday and Saturday are my biggest sewing days because I was actually depressed about it.  Well to finish this up, on Sunday evening I took the blouse down intending to then throw it into the trash but instead started removing my stitching - serging stitches and all not sure this would work since this was a light weight knit.  Well I did get the stitches out without too much work and redid the bias tape this time with the right color purchased bias tape.  I still used the white thread in the top stitching which some may think was gaudy on lavender.  All and all I think it turned out pretty good. 

            Now, on to my April challenge project!!!  May we all find a little time in our week for sewing! 

          29. jane4878 | | #57

            Hi All,

            I'm actually making progress.  I have the Armistice blouse fitted and the fabric cut out.  Now for the fun part--sewing.  I'm also getting ready to make 2 fairly large Roman shades.  My husband is really on my case about getting that done ASAP. 3 more days off!


          30. ctirish | | #59

            Linda,  Maybe we should cancel this week due to the "Attack of the Fabric Demons". 

            Your top looks lovely, you did a good job completing it. I would be you can barely see the white thread used for topstitching. If you think it shows, make a lace design in white and attach it to the top near a shoulder. Maybe even just pin it on so you can use it on something else later.

             As for using knits or stretchy fabric for bias tape, I  know you can use knits for bias tape  but you don't fold it - you just stitch it one one side and then wrap it around the edge and stitch the width you want. Then you cut away the excess bias tape with applique scissors.  That is a synopsis, it is more complicated than I made it sound. One last thing- most sewers use a bias Lyra tape that is made for this purpose and has more control than using the fabric from the rest of the top.  I can't remember where I learned this information. Probably on a fabric store site - maybe fleece4sale.com or wazoodle.com

            I like the pattern; do you know if it is a current pattern?  I am thinking I could make the view with the lace down the front of it.

            Today, I tried to embroider a diaper to use as a burp cloth and my lack of brain cells continued. I wanted to get it done prior to the arrival of my dgd; so it was about 6 am and I had the design picked out, but the diaper was one of those prefolded with the little bit of padding down the center. It was the simplest design, three balloons one of each color. It never occurred to me that little bit of padding might be a problem. So I am stitching this design and for some reason it isn't covering the way it usually does and the thread keeps breaking.  So after the thread breaks about 4 times, I break a needle and I am trying to figure out why the foot keeps dragging on the fabric. So, I go to change the needle and realize I never put the embroidery foot on the machine, I was trying to embroider with the regular zig zag foot on it....lol.....what a week I have had sewing, I can't wait for Sunday and a new week. Needless to say, I did not get the burp cloth completed -or the bib -  and  "todays lesson"  is do a stitchout every time you stitch a design on a new fabric even if you have used the design a trillion times.

          31. LindaFaye | | #60

            Thanks for the info on knits and bias tape.  I'm sure I'll get to use that info very soon.  The pattern is a current one - bought just a few weeks ago.

            Yes, it has been a week and a half.  Over slept for work twice and just barely made it there on time.  Our receptionist got sick and that doubled my work on Thursday and Friday.  Finally got the things I made for my daughter in the mail, and the pants are way to large.  Sinuses still acting up.  Been sort of a rough week, but then only one thing out of whack can mess up your week.  Guess it could have been worse, thank God it wasn't.  Well, HAPPY NEXT WEEK!

            Edited 4/14/2007 7:57 am ET by LindaFaye

          32. ctirish | | #61

            Every topic has someone or multiples who have not had a good week.  It must be the weather or the moon.  If anyone had a good week, let us know...lol

             At the last minute I have been invited to a dressy affair tonight.  I looked in my closet for something to wear and "voila' I found a dressy top and long skirt that actually fit.  Could it be the tide is changing and this coming week will be better. I hope so, I have not started my income tax yet and it is due on Monday.  So, today is taxes. 

             Tomorrow I am going to an event at a local store where BabyLock is coming to show us all the new widgets and things to make us a better seamstress.   Have a great day...

          33. Ralphetta | | #62

            the tide HAS changed...taxes aren't due until Tuesday this year!  Monday is a holiday in Washington D.C.

          34. rsolish | | #63

            It must have a hard "sewing" week. i had it for more then 3 weeks! was very busy at work, worked over time all for a good cause but... had to clean entire apartment for passover ( with 4 children eldest are 6 1/2) and could not even think of sewing (never happened) so now passover is over and after taking a 2 day break and reading all the posts and can't wait to get back into sewing!! yay for all you ladies !!!my sewing projects are: 2 flower girl dresses for my girls, a dress for me, 2 vests + ties for my boys - all this for upcoming weddings of my brother in laws. wish me luck!! Raya from Netanya

          35. Lynnelle | | #64

            Hi Ladies!

            Yes, this week has certainly been trying for us all!

            I don't know if many of you have heard all of the buzz about The Secret.  Well, I decided to see what it was about and picked up a copy of the book from my local library.  To summarize, it is a book that teaches us that we are in control of our destiny through our thoughts through the laws of attraction.  That is, our thoughts can be used to attract positivity or negativity.  The 20 (or so) pages that I've read have helped me to become aware of what I was thinking.  I realized that even the smallest negative thought produces negative outcomes, behaviour, etc.  I am a caregiver for a mentally ill relative.  It is a daily struggle to cope with the occurences that happen.  However, I realized that the more I think negatively about what's happening around me, the more I invite negativity to happen.

            In light of all of our bad weeks, we are still surrounded by good.  Believe me, I think I reached a new level of stress (one that I never knew existed!).  At the same time, I have also reached a new level of acceptance, perserverance, and calm through understanding that good things are yet to come and that bad days don't last long.

            I think I sort of lost where I was going with this, so I will conclude here.  Be encouraged and of good spirit!

            On to sewing...

            I shared with you my troubles with the fussy sheer fabric.  I decided to abandon that fabric in search for something more cooperative.  I found the fabric on Thursday, but did not launder it until late Friday night.  In the meantime, I decided to cut out the pattern pieces for my next intended project (Butterick 4463 http://store.sewingtoday.com/cgi-bin/butterick/shop.cgi?s.item.B4463=x&TI=10006&page=4).  When I came home from work late Friday (10 pm), I cut out the pieces and interfacing.  On Saturday morning, I cut out lining pieces, interfaced the pieces that needed it, and began to sew.  I added the undercollar to the yoke pieces and constructed the facings.  I was so excited to be at the machine that I lost track of time.  I have "work" work to do, so I have to put the garment on hold.  I will get back to it sometime this week.



          36. jane4878 | | #65


            I hope things are getting better for you.  I've heard of the Secret--It sounds like rather simplistic packaging of cognitive behavior therapy which is a very effective way to alter your ingrained negative thoughts and behaviors and replace them with positive ones.  I live life with 2 thoughts:  "It can always be worse!" and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!" :^))  That's rather simplistic but it helps to keep things in perspective.  Years ago I had my home flooded and lost over $100,000 in damage and stuff.  But we all survived and it all was OK in the long run.  I miss photos I can't replace, but the rest of the stuff was just stuff.  As I age I'm getting better and better at enjoying life in the moment and weathering the hard stuff.

            My month has been OK, but very busy.  Yesterday I got really rolling on my blouse and I'm now about 1/2 done.  I had a really rotten time with my bobbin tension last night, but finally got that straightened out.  I couldn't get the self fabric tie turned inside out, so I cut my losses and ran out and bought ribbon to use instead.

            Thank you for starting this--it motivates me to sew, and the more I sew, the more I learn and the more I enjoy it.


          37. Lynnelle | | #66


            Thank you for partaking in the challenge.  Knowing that there are others who struggle to find time to do what they love actually comforts, encourages, and motivates me.  Knowing that there are others committed to the challenge keeps me in step.

            I am still learning how to live in the moment and weather the difficult times.  You are absolutely right in saying what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.  Plus, adversity breeds character.


          38. jane4878 | | #67


            I was on too much of a roll I guess.  I took a break because I was getting a bit stressed with the sleeves and decided to bead the lace trim on the collar, vestee and eventually the sleeve cuffs.  Well, DUH! I beaded the underside of the collar!  Serves me right for getting a little cocky!  No biggie, I'd only done a bit.  Thank God for seamrippers.

          39. ctirish | | #117

            Jane, I know you wrote about this a while ago, but I am rereading to catch up on things. Have you ever seen the Fasturn notion. It is a set of 4 or 5 tubes that have a turner and you use it for turning ties and things. I was a skeptic until I saw it used and I really like the way it turns the tubes inside out. My dad used to talk about having the right tools for the job and he was right. Having the right tools makes a huge difference. The problem I find is I purchase a lot of tools that turn out to be the wrong tool for me anyway. jane

          40. MaryinColorado | | #120

            I have a Fasturn, it is a great tool!  Beats the heck out of using safety pins, etc.  Mary

          41. jane4878 | | #124

            Thanks Jane (nice name BTW).  I'll look that up.  I was using the traditional long metal turner with the hook on the end and it ate up my fabric.  I'm not quite done--I just have to put the sleeves on and finish beading.



          42. Josefly | | #69

            Being a caregiver is a wonderful thing, full of blessings, but difficult as all get out. I'm glad you have sewing as a hobby because, though it too can be a mine-field, it is full of wonderful opportunities to learn and expand. You deserve lots of pats on the back.

          43. solosmocker | | #70

            Lynelle, I was in a similar situation. Bless you for your efforts with your relative. Isn't it great to have the support and friendship of this board? I am in the program now. Last week I decided on doing the SWAP thing, Sewing With A Plan. I have NO, NO decent summer clothes. I spent the last couple of days working on a pants muslin and hope to get that cut today or tomorrow. Once that is fine tuned it will be production pants sewing. I am debating making a pants liner or lining them. My fabric is mostly linens, and the jacket and one pair of pants will be navy. Other colors will be taupes, tans, and some white or turquise. So pants will be first and my first pair will be navy linen. Keep you posted. The encouragement here is phenomenal. I also have major company coming in the next 2-3 weeks so will be dealing with that as well. Thanks for letting me get in on the program at this late date. I did have the sewing witches hit me last week with one of my heirloom garments, but it all worked out OK. I will get the buttons today, and after that I can post some pics in the gallery.

          44. Josefly | | #71

            You mentioned a pants liner, and I'm interested. Are you thinking of a separate garment which could be worn with more than one pair of pants? Have you done this before? What kind of closure and waist finish would you use?

          45. solosmocker | | #72

            I did this many years ago. Yes, it's on the idea of a petticoat for pants. You make the same pants but sew down any pleats into darts and finish the seams and press them back where a zipper would go. You just hook it closed with a hook at the waist. The waistline is turned and stitched or bound. I was thinking of doing this in a nude color. I have a thing about ironing pants and get frustrated when the lining makes wrinkles on the linen pants when I iron them. This way I can get a nice crisp crease. I had totally forgotten about this but was reading my old "Pants for Any Body" last night and the liner was mentioned and my brain went bingo! I went shopping today and did get some navy lining for my navy linen pants. I may sew this inside, not sure yet. I also like to flat line things. That's something I learned from Threads about 13-14 yrs ago and a great technique. So I am toying around with these thoughts as I get ready to commit my muslin to a real pair of pants. Keep ya posted!

          46. Ralphetta | | #73

            Have you tried the tricot long "linings" made by lingerie companies?  I haven't bought any recently, but have some that I used to wear.  Maybe they just didn't fit as well, or maybe they don't make them anymore, etc.  I th ought they worked okay.

          47. Josefly | | #74

            This is a great idea. I too hate to try to iron linen pants with a lining - besides getting a nice flat crease in the linen and avoiding the wrinkle "show-through" from the lining, I worry that my iron, set on the highest setting for the linen, will damage the lining. Besides, I often like to iron pants inside out, except for the creases, so I don't get the seam impressions on the outside fabric. I'd think a non-stretchy fabric would be best for this, to provide the protection stretching and bagging that a traditional lining provides. Bemberg rayon, maybe?

          48. Crazy K | | #81

            With regard to the pants liner.  I remember way back when.......my mom had some of those to wear under wool slacks that perhaps weren't lined...........also added an extra layer of warmth during our frigid winters.  Hers were just like a half-slip made of tricot but with legs....full length.  They worked great.  They were light weight and didn't cause extra bulk..........of course, mom wore her slacks loose.........at the time, 'baggy' was my definition but then I was a young whippersnapper!! ha LOL

            I have no idea if they sell these now but they surely would be easy to make............helpful or not, its my two-cents worth!


          49. MtnBoy | | #83

            You're taking me back in time. I used to own the separate undergarment pants liner. It was made like Pettipants, only full length. You can still find pettipants at http://www.vermontcountrystore.com. If you need all the construction details you could buy a pair and make a pattern, lengthened to full length from them.

          50. Josefly | | #86

            Were the petti-pants made of lining fabric or tricot?

          51. Ralphetta | | #87

            I believe that i mentioned the pants early in this discussion.  They were made of nylon tricot and in some cases had three seperate strips of lace sewn about 3/4 inch apart at the ankle so that you could easily remove a row to make shorter if necessary.  I've got a couple of pair in a drawer but they're too little for me now.  I thought they were a lot easier than lining, but got them to wear under slacks that were too see-through.  Several major companies made them, they came out about the same time as pettipants, but I believe they lasted a lot longer.

          52. Josefly | | #92

            I apologize for belaboring the point about what fabric the pettipants are made of. I too remember seeing ones of tricot. I was curious about the ones at Vermont Country Store, hoping that they were made of something else. I think the separate pants liners are a good idea, reducing the stress on un-lined linen and woolen pants which might stretch in seat and knees. But though the tricot would reduce the see-through effect, it is stretchy, and might not be stable enough to prevent stretching and bagginess in the unlined pants. What do you think?

            Edited 4/24/2007 9:31 pm ET by Josefly

          53. Ralphetta | | #93

            I wasn't really thinking of the stretching but you are probably right about that.  I think it would control it a little, but not as much as another fabric.  Sorry, I guess I wasn't any help.

          54. Josefly | | #96

            Oh, no, it's ALWAYS helpful somehow, if only to rule something out. The three layers, or rows, of lace at the bottom are a good idea, IMO, for shortening if necessary. It's made me wonder: if I made a liner would I want the pants legs to go all the way to the ankle, or would it work okay if just below the knee? Assuming show-through is not a problem?

          55. solosmocker | | #97

            Today I baste fitted the actual pants. I got the bum to fit really well, which is usually my problem area. I also decided to add an additional dart in the front. Took them all apart again and now I am ready to do the zipper. The pattern as well as original pants both used a fly front zip, but I would like a back invisible zip. Does anyone foresee any problems doing this now that the fit issues are resolved? Would I be better off doing a center slot zipper? I am going for the flat front look. TIA for any feedback. ETA: Just wanted to beat that horse one more time. The reference and photo of the pants liner is in Threads #93, March 2001, page 10. Found it last night. solo

            Edited 4/26/2007 10:39 am ET by solosmocker

          56. Lynnelle | | #107

            Hi All,

            I am almost finished with my jacket.  I have to set one sleeve, hem the bottom and do the buttonholes.  Hmm...now that I think about it, I actually have a lot to do!  Anyway, I took a small hiatus to relax and do some more outdoor activities.  I hope to resume again this weekend.

            Happy Sewing all and keep up the good work!

          57. User avater
            Becky-book | | #132


            Thank you for starting this post, I have been 'lurking' here.  I had several promises to keep for others and no time to work on 'my' stuff so I could not commit to finishing a garment in a month. (was going to sign up for May)

            Now with the wall painting I did (1 1/2 days) and everything else, my Dr. says I have pinched a nerve (dominant arm gone weak and tingly) and should not do much of anything for awhile! So I guess it will be lurk some more and hope for June!


          58. User avater
            TwilaTee | | #133

            So I finished this project. I don't like it. It was supposed to be a pattern that was "customizable" but as usual..... not so much. The pattern has different pattern pieces according to cup size. I chose my size but the bodice is still way to big. I "should" take it apart and resize it, but I think what I will take it to a seminar that the American Sewing Guild is having this month on altering pre-made garments. I think I will get some good advice on altering this dress there.

            Anyway to make a long story short. If you decide to make <!---->Simplicity 3877 make a muslin first. Don't believe the hype.<!---->

          59. Lynnelle | | #147


            I have always been a bit suspect of those 'sized for B, C, D cup' patterns.  I actually bought that very pattern but returned it.  I mulled over it for so long and decided it used way too much fabric for one simple garment.  Plus since I am short, I wasn't sure how it would look on me. 

            I have another Simplicity pattern that is sized for other cups.  I have yet to make it, though.  When I do, I will definitely make a muslin first.  Thank you.


          60. MtnBoy | | #88

            Nylon tricot. Here are some full length ones I found by googling "pants liner":http://www.frish.com/index.php3?SCREEN=item&item=900&department=788

          61. solosmocker | | #89

            I'm figuring a nude colored pants liner would give you a lot of mileage. I decided my navy blue linen pants will have a navy traditional lining. I think the others will get a nude stand alone liner. I have to work out fit on this navy pair of pants but all of the others will be taupes and khakis so the nude liner would work great. I finished my last UFO this afternoon so am ready to fly with this challenge. Solo

          62. MaryinColorado | | #99

            You are so productive and such a talented seamstress!  I love seeing photos of your work! 

            I have some silk long underwear, it is wonderful in both summer and winter as it breathes and isn't staticy.  I think they sell them at http://www.dharmatrading.com

          63. Josefly | | #68

            Question, please, Jane? I thought that the tape trim for knits was cut on the cross-grain of the knit, the stretchiest part, and then sewn on the way you described. Are you saying it is cut on the bias of the knit fabric? I know nothing about sewing with knits, but am trying to accumulate the knowledge ( and courage) to try.

          64. ctirish | | #75

            I have had directions for both the cross grain and the bias.  I  had directions for cross grain for trim. Then I read an article where it talked about using the bias, I wish I could remember if there was a reason for it, a pattern or something that would look better cut on the bias. I would check several sewing sites online for directions on sewing with knits and build a little book on your computer with all of the info on knits. I am always reading and checking books and I still can't seem to get it right.


          65. Lynnelle | | #76

            Thank you all for your unyielding support.  In caring for my relative and in the wake of the Virginia Tech incident, I have come to learn and appreciate the fragility of the mind.  My relative is suffering from serious paranoia/schizophrenia and every day is a challenge.  Things are made more complicated since my relative does not believe there is a problem.  Also, it is very frustrating because I feel as if there is little that can be done, medically.  So, I press on holding on to the faith that God has something good in store.  In any event, I am very fortunate to be surrounded by people like all of you.  It really helps to have a venue to talk and feel supported.  Again, many thanks.

            As for sewing, I made much progress on my jacket.  I still have yet to cut out the pieces for the tunic because I've been so engulfed in finishing the jacket.  Yesterday, I was a busy little bee!  I went swimming in the morning, raked last year's leaves in the back yard, mowed and edged both the back and the front yards, cleaned my flower gardens, walked the dog and sewed for two hours!  Needless to say I am exhausted, but very satisfied.  I pieced the under collar/back yoke and upper collar/front yoke together and attached that to the fronts and back sections.  I double topstitched one side of the front yoke.  I don't like the way it looks, so I will probably just use a single line of topstitching.  This is my first garment with an upper and under collar and I am really impressed at my own self at how it came out. =)  I just hope the rest of the garment comes out nicely as well.  I may not have time today to work on it.   I should be able to return to it this weekend.


            Welcome!  I think it is safe to say that this challenge has open enrollment. =)  You don't need permission or anything.  Just commit to something and do as much as you can, when you can.  That's it.  I think the ladies here have incredible spirits and offer exceptional words of encouragement.  Keep us posted on your progress.


          66. jane4878 | | #77

            God bless you Lynelle.  You must have incredible heart to deal with that.  My sister is pyschiatric nursing practioner (she has her Masters as well) and she specializes in schizophrenia.  It IS so difficult to treat.  My family has a lot of depression and bipolar disease and that's a lot easier to treat.  Take care of yourself and keep safe.

            I managed to take next week off (in replacement for what I lost earlier) and the kids are out of the house, so I'm hoping to get tons done.  I've been on call this week, so I haven't done much sewing.  I'm up to the sleeves and I have one sleeve ready to put the cuffs on.  I've been plugging away at beading the lace trim.  Very tedious--I have a whole new appreciation for those who handbead lace. 

          67. solosmocker | | #78

            Got my muslin to fit with a little tweaking. In comparison to the pants in the pattern envelope, it looks way different, but thats OK 'cause I need what works for my shape. I am 5'0 tall or rather short, and find I can get a pattern to fit in the torso but the legs are always so baggy. I don't have skinny legs, either. So that was really the difference between my muslin and the pattern. Hope this works out OK because if it does it will be production pant sewing. I got my linen cut out last night for the pants. I have to rethread the serger next and have a cleaning agenda today. So later this weekend for the sewing. My motivator is one of the blouses I am going to make. I think it will be darling. It is a fitted puffy sleeve eyelet type of blouse. I won't attempt that until my pants are done. Talk about coincidence! Last night I picked of an old Threads, 2001, to peruse and what was in there but a hint on making a pants liner. There was a picture and what this person did was put flat buttons on the inside of the waistband and little buttonholes on the liner. I thought that was clever. I knew I had to tell you all about it today. work. The one I did eons ago was simply hooked up with a hook and eye, so a lot less work. I have to think about this one.

          68. Josefly | | #79

            Thanks for passing the idea of the button-on pants liner. I'm not sure if my subscription goes back that far, but I'll look for that article.Sounds like you've made good progress with your pants-fitting. Congratulations, and I hope you can get into production-mode right away. I resolved to accomplish same this year, but the project has been set aside, with most other sewing, because of other demands, and now spring in the garden. But I'm determined to get back to it eventually. Look forward to seeing your pants.

          69. Fiona | | #80

            I have been quiet on board but busy sewing at home. I turned the dress that I was going to make into a skirt. I just have to hem it now. I then made myself a pair of gauchos, made my daughter a pair of Ottobra pants (but cut them short for the summer) and my son a pair of shorts all out of the same brown broadcloth. Then I cut out a blouse for myself and a shirt for my son out of some beige mudcloth. My son's shirt was finished in time for his birthday party. I am almost done with the blouse.For my next sewing projects I am trying to use up my stashes. I have some pink jersey that would be great as skirts and tops for my daughter and myself. It hs been fun reading everyone's trials and tribulations.Fiona (in AL)

          70. solosmocker | | #82

            Great job, Fiona. You are way productive, oh my! Keep up the good work.

          71. Lynnelle | | #84

            Very well done, Fiona!  I love how the pockets match the shirt.  He is just TOO adorable!

            You have definitely been busy and productive!  Please, do keep us posted on your progress and share more photos when you can.


          72. User avater
            TwilaTee | | #90

            Oh *sigh* long time no post, but here is what I have done so far!I have not attached the skirt yet! I have put one of godets together wrong. In all my haste to do french seams I didn't think ahead to the skirt, (with gores and godets ARRGG) I put one together backward and am taking a break from it for a couple of days. Curses!!!!I have already cut the seam allowance!! ARGG! RazzanFrazzan!! I might just serge that one and cut my losses...... what do you think? -Twila

          73. Josefly | | #91

            Oh, the bodice is so pretty! Take a break on the skirt, and then maybe you'll feel like re-doing the godet. Nice work.

          74. MaryinColorado | | #100

            Absolutely beautiful and unique!  I love it!  Great accomplishment! 

            Are you "overthinking" and "overstressing" about the skirt?  Maybe a little break from it would help.  After all that work and excellent outcome on the top, maybe you are trying too hard on the skirt because it is so important to you. 

            The top is a work of art, lots of "right brain" activity, when you overthink the skirt you are using your "left" or logical side of the brain.  Maybe you are interfering with your own creativity?

            Listen to some music, play awhile, then go for it!  With your obviouse abilities, it will be beautiful!

          75. User avater
            TwilaTee | | #102

            Yes, of course you are right. I am taking a break. I'll work on it again on Monday..... I have almost decided what to do. I think ripping it apart, very carefully, and trying again, is my best bet. Although, I worry that the 1/4 - 1/8 inch seam allowance is VERY small. Ho Hum... like I said "almost decided".and really I just like to say things like CURSES! "evil villiany" and RAZZAN FRAZZAN "ol Yosimite Sam like" I have a strange sense of humor. I enjoy laughing at my missery. :) -Twila

          76. User avater
            Becky-book | | #131

            Such a lovely bodice, so much pretty embroidery!!  Good job!  With such an eye catching bodice no one will notice a little glitch in the skirt; take a break but don't give up!!


          77. Josefly | | #85

            Your son's outfit is great, and it looks like he's enjoying it too. Nice work. I love the mudcloth print.

          78. MaryinColorado | | #98

            Your young man looks pleased!  I love the mudcloth shirt and trim on the shorts!  I used to make those for my son when he was little.  He's 25 now and requesting Hawaiian style shirts again.  I finally found one large enough for dh at http://www.clotilde.com yeah!  It is fun to sew for the guys, not so many fitting problems! 

            You did a very nice job!  Mary

          79. fabricholic | | #104

            Very cute outfit for your little guy. I believe he is very proud of it. I am not familiar with mud cloth.Marcy

          80. dionna | | #154

            I love the outfit and my son loves it also  he wants my to make him one now I  have to find  a nice print for him his shorts will be made from denim. I purchased the denim on sale.

          81. Fiona | | #155

            Thank you for the complements. My son is so funny. If I sew something for my daughter he immediately starts in about what will I sew for him. Last year he would not wear shirts at all, just t-shirts. This year he will wear the shirt I made. I have another pair of shorts cut out for him, but I just have to buy material to make the matching shorts pockets and shirt.I cut out and almost completed a skirt for myself today. I made my daughter a t-shirt last week but I don't like the way the neckline came out. Too wavy. I really want to figure out how to make t-shirts so I can make shirts and t-shirt dresses for myself and my daughter. I just need to read more about sewing with knits and practice more. I keep trying to use the t-shirt material for the ribbing. I am not sure if I need to buy specific ribbing material for the neckline. I have a knit dress pattern ready to cut out and I think it uses the clear elastic at the neckline. I am hoping that works better for me.I have a serger and electronic sewing machine so I know I have the proper tools. It is just "user error".Good luck everyone with your projects and keep plugging along.P.S. whoever asked what mud cloth is, it is a way of making/dyeing fabric used in Africa (but I am not sure what region or country) .Fiona

          82. dionna | | #156

            Hi fiona go to http://www.nancysnotions.com they have premaid ribbing for t-shirts I can't remember the price. If it's not on the site the number is 1800-833-0690 and they also have sewing advisors 

          83. LadyTaraC | | #157

            You may also want to consider using foldover elastic at the neckedges of your t-shirts.  I've never constructed a tee from start to finish but I have removed a neckline and finished it with foldover elastic just for practice.  The elastic comes in many colors and widths, also in shiny and matte versions.  It can be attached with a twin needle or a 3-step zigzag.  Here is one seller http://www.sewzannesfabrics.com/e-foldoverelastic.html  with quite a selection.  And, there are many others.  Here is a tutorial about sewing with foldover elastic . . .  she is using it around the edges of a diaper but I'm sure you will understand the concept.  http://www.chloetoesboutique.com/store/WsPages.asp?ID=3

          84. From my Stash.... | | #159

            Re your wavy neckline on the T-shirt. I suspect that the amount of stretch in your fabric was greater than the amount of stretch recommended for the t-shirt. what you can try is to remove the neckband and try it again with a shorter length which should remove the excess and have the neckband curve into the body. 

            By the way, try measuring the amount of stretch in the fabric (example a piece that is 4" long that stretches to 5 and 1/2 is said to be 25% in spite of the math being off). If you record this detail as you make your t-shirts, you will probably create a table useful with any of the t-shirt fabrics you use and will take the guess-work out of it.  As you say, just keep practising.


          85. solosmocker | | #160

            Wanted to say that after a week of a houseful of company I am back in the fray. I am currently sewing a pair of jammies for DGS and hope to have those off in the mail by the end of the week. As soon as company left I also had to hit the pressing yard work. DH and I purchased our retirement home a little over a year ago. It is in the wilderness up here near the Canadian border. It is a lovely location and property but we love to garden and are starting totally from scratch. It is quite a challenge but it is great creating our gardens and "taming" the wilderness. Just today, DH jumped off his tractor, called me to look, and two deer had just walked in front of us. They hung out in the yard while I worked in the beds. We have found deer up here not at all skittish about humans. Anyway, I digress,,,,So its jammies and then back to sewing for myself, a blouse and more pants. Keep ya' posted.

          86. solosmocker | | #161

            Last night I adjusted my pattern for the blouse. I haven't made a blouse in a couple of years so did my measurements again. I took a size six pattern because of being petite but did a FBA, waist and hips. Sounds like a lot but I have small bones and the neck/shoulder/armhole area will be fine with no adjustments. If I take a larger size pattern to accommodate my measurements those areas are too big. So this is what works for moi! Today it is all cut out, marked and shortly I will sit at the machine ang get going. Jammies are done and on their way.

          87. Crazy K | | #162

            You mentioned Canadian border and I got curious since I live in Minnesota.  I see you are in the Adironacks.  We visited a daughter and her family who lived in Saratoga Springs for a time.  They took us for a drive to Lake Placid.  It is beautiful there.  You are fortunate to have all that beauty around you.

            O.K........nothing to do with sewing.......sorry.  Just had to mention that.  It brought back some very nice memories!!

          88. Lynnelle | | #163

            Hi All.  I hope all is well with everyone.  I have settled into a bit of a slump with my Butterick 4463 jacket.  I can't seem to finish it!  I have to add the buttonholes, topstitching and finish the bottom hem.  The machine is ready, my sewing area is clear, but I just can't sit down! 

            I do not know what the problem is.   Well, maybe I do.  I finally bought a curtain rod for a valance that I've been meaning to make.  I took out the fabric, cut it and made my measurements.  I also bought some fabric for some pieced tab-top curtains I am making for my library/TV room.  I am in the process of remodeling that room and anxious to get started on the curtains.  I think the prospect of starting new sewing projects won't let me finish the old one! 

            Has anyone else been in this position?  If so, pleeeease tell me how you handled it.  I need help! =)


          89. Crazy K | | #164

            Yes, I have been in that spot.  I found that sometimes giving myself permission to jump ahead and quickly do the new project gave me energy to go back and finish the old.  Maybe not the best way to handle things but at my age...........whatever works seems to be what I do!!  Of course, if the waiting project has to get done, that's a different matter.  I often have many projects twirling around in my head and often don't know which to do first...........and then I am in trouble.  At that point, I often go off and do a quick something totally different to get my thoughts and energy back in line!  Weird, huh?


          90. User avater
            Becky-book | | #165

            I "handled" it right into the back of the closet and did the curtains anyway!  Unless I really need the item of clothing NOW, I do not push myself to finish it; made way too many goof-ups trying to hurry through one project so I could get to another.

            If I just need a little motivation to finish, I appeal to my lazy side and say "Self, do you want to thread and re-thread both machines just because you don't want to do those buttonholes right now?? just do it and get it over!"  Sometimes this is all it takes.  (overstate the consequences of delay)


          91. ctirish | | #166

            Lynelle,  It has been a while since I was here. About starting a new project when you have an old one to finish.  Sometimes I have to start a new one to get the motivation to finish the previous project.  When I start a new project I make a promise to myself and anyone else who will listen that 1st. I can't wear or hang the new project until the old is complete. I also promise myself a fabric purchase when I finish both projects.  2. I figure out when in working on the new project I can fit in steps to finishing the old one. For example; If I have a dress to finish and I want to start a jacket, I have to do the sleeves of the old one before I do the sleeves of the new one and so on for the side seams, pockets, and hems.  It helps a great deal if you are using a neutral thread. 

            As for me,  except for a cast on my left lower leg and foot I am healthy.  I still have not finished my April project but I finished my May project. It is two pair of pajamas for my DGS.  We are having a belated b-day party tonight for him since I was sick for his party.  They are both from the same Kwik Sew pattern 2315 for knits. The sportswear set is made in Siltex knit from Nancy's notions. the yellow set is heavier and a cotton knit from my stash. Hopefully, there are pictures here for you to check out.  I had problems with the waist casing on the Siltex and I am still not sure whether it was the needle, fabric or sewer error. I had to take it out three times because the serger stitching was not right and the fabric kept tearing and running. 

          92. LindaFaye | | #167

            I joined this challenge back in April and then fell into a slomp after some pieces that I made for my daughter didn't fit her properly.  Well thank goodness the slomp is over.  Here are a couple of pieces that I just finished this weekend.

            Not perfect, but I will keep trying and trying and trying.

          93. ctirish | | #168

            6523.167 in reply to 6523.164 

            Lynelle, This is a copy of a message I already posted. When I came back to add the pictures of the outfits I could not do it using the edit feature. So I copied the message and then deleted the one that was there. 

             It has been a while since I was here. About starting a new project when you have an old one to finish.  Sometimes I have to start a new one to get the motivation to finish the previous project.  When I start a new project I make a promise to myself and anyone else who will listen that 1st. I can't wear or hang the new project until the old is complete. I also promise myself a fabric purchase when I finish both projects.  2. I figure out when in working on the new project I can fit in steps to finishing the old one. For example; If I have a dress to finish and I want to start a jacket, I have to do the sleeves of the old one before I do the sleeves of the new one and so on for the side seams, pockets, and hems.  It helps a great deal if you are using a neutral thread. 

            As for me,  except for a cast on my left lower leg and foot I am healthy.  I still have not finished my April project but I finished my May project. It is two pair of pajamas for my DGS.  We are having a belated b-day party tonight for him since I was sick for his party.  They are both from the same Kwik Sew pattern 2315 for knits. The sportswear set is made in Siltex knit from Nancy's notions. the yellow set is heavier and a cotton knit from my stash. Hopefully, there are pictures here for you to check out.  I had problems with the waist casing on the Siltex and I am still not sure whether it was the needle, fabric or sewer error. I had to take it out three times because the serger stitching was not right and the fabric kept tearing and running. 

          94. rsolish | | #169

            I love the pj!! hope your leg isn't painful.my projects are almost done!! i am sewing 3 dresses for my brother -in laws wedding (for myself and 2 daughters) and it just took forever, the first wedding is on Sunday and i also need to shorten the pant i bought for my sons.
            will post pictures when finished if anyone is interested.

          95. Josefly | | #171

            Your pj's are great - I'm impressed, Jane. What is Siltex?

          96. Lynnelle | | #172

            Well, I have been a little sewing bee the last couple of days!  I decided to place my Butterick jacket on temporary hold to construct drapes for my soon-to-be-repainted den.  I felt that this project was more in need of completion as I want to paint/remodel the room before I return to work in a few weeks.  Plus, I bought a really big mirror that I would like to see on the wall and I only have a month or so to return it if I don't end up liking it. =)

            For the curtains, I am making them reaaallly long (~90").  I made one panel in its entirety to see how it would look.  I seamed two separate colours (chocolate brown with a slight red tint and beige) and attached a rust/copper coloured ribbon on top of the seam.  I also lined the panel with a light weight drapery lining.  I hope to get a camera soon so that I can post some pictures.

            I also helped my mom construct a full-length linen skirt.  She used to sew when she was younger but has since moved away from it.  It was truly a task, but we completed everything except the hem.  Next, I will help her make a blouse to accompany the skirt.

            I'll keep you posted on the progress.  Pictures to come soooon!


          97. solosmocker | | #173

            Lynelle, I can't wait to see your window treatments. They sound yummy. I think it is totally ok to re-prioritize your sewing. The idea is to stay motivated and creative and that's what matters. Good luck with your project. Linda and CTirish - I love both your projects. Linda your outfit is really nice and I bet looks nice on. Congrats on finishing! Same to you CTirish! The jammies are darling. I finished my blouse and it came out pretty cute if I may say so. I really need DH to do the pics with them on me to get the effect because being so light I don't think it will photo well by itself on a hanger. So this month's projects are many. I am starting on my wedding projects and they will have priority. I am making the flower girl dress and a little jacket to match, the ringbearer pillow, and hopefully my dress, in that order. I will keep you posted on the progress and need for encouragement, LOL! I am just back from some time in New Hampshire and Cape Cod so I have to get back in the saddle. Tomorrow, if the weather is not garden worthy, I will start on my new projects.

          98. ctirish | | #175

            The window treatments sound great, you are so good with putting ideas together. Take you time though, what is that saying, 'haste makes waste'. I am trying to slow down and remember to check twice, cut once... since I cut out a pair of shorts for dgd out of stretch denim with the stretch going the wrong way. I am glad I am not the only one who has trouble with the garden calling when I need to sew. A friend was here yesterday and helped me with some overgrowth that was running over the garden. I try to get everything done by Memorial Day and I have everything done but two window boxes. then, all I have to do is water and dead head every day.

          99. ctirish | | #176

            Solosmocker, do you live in New England?
            You have some big projects coming up. When is the wedding? Do you know what patterns you are using for the flower girl dress. I was just looking at the pictures in my Sew Beautiful magazine of little girls in wonderful dresses. And your outfit, I never had the courage to make my outfits for my daughters weddings. I made a flower girl dress back in the seventies for my sisters wedding. That was when I thought I could go anything. I had no idea what I was doing was designing a dress and making patterns and then making a dress. I was just combining pieces of patterns, cutting and shaping to make a dress that looked like the bridesmaids dresses. The wedding I was at Saturday, had two ring bearers and a flower girl - the boys were ages,four and three and the girl was three. They were so cute - coming into church went fine but when it came time to leave with all of these people looking at them - they weren't so sure. One of the boys started to take off in front of all the pews, a groomsman caught him and grandma managed to get them all to hold hands and they almost ran down the aisle to the back of the church. Keep us posted on developments with all the goings on....

          100. solosmocker | | #177

            Hi! Thanks for the interest. I have lived in NH for 30 years and in northern NY state near the Ontario border for the last year and a half (retired early, dh still working). The wedding is August 25th and will take place in an apple orchard overlooking the ocean. The setting sounds lovely and will be a definite garden type wedding. I am stuggling with my flower girl dress as we speak. DGD is very slender in her torso and a size one actually fits her just right at the moment. I don't think it will by end of August. I am going to cut a size two get all my work done on the skirt, and bring tthe bodice for a fitting before putting it all together. The brides gown is very classic and simple and the flower girl dress will be a knock off of that with a periwinkle blue silk sash. The dress is organza over satin backed crepe with three tiny ribbons around the skirt hem and above. There will be pintucking and more tiny ribbons on the bodice from neck to empire waist. The color is ecru. I am making her a little jacket of the periwinkle satin backed crepe and ecru lace. The lace will make up the jacket and the satin will be "chenilled" in a diamond pattern all over. It won't actually be worn in the ceremony but is a cover up if needed. I am just dying to try that technique. The dress will be tea length which I love on little girls. The ring bearers pillow will be ecru linen with a big monogram and the names of the couple and date of the wedding. I am going to embroider it by hand with the same color floche. It will be carried by two little boys so I am going to shape it rectangular so they can each carry two corners. My dress, at least my latest design, will be a Duro dress with a cap sleeve and crossover v neck, high waist and gathered skirt. The fabric is a pink and cranberry paisley georgette with a pink georgette underskirt and lining. Its more medium colored than pastel. I have some geometric ribbon in the same colors that I will run around the empire waist and along the v neck. That's the latest plan any way. Being that I will make it last of all, my plan may change by August. I also put in a large vegetable garden and the landscaping on this house has been a start from scratch deal so that is beckoning also. I hope to do some sewing tonite on my little jacket so am going to head down to my "pink cave". That's what I call my little studio! Will keep you posted and pics of course! I so appreciate seeing all the pics here. It is so great to be able to illustrate a point or share a success or problem. Just want to add that I can't believe your foot problem. I hope it all gets better for you soon. Been there done......solo

            Edited 5/29/2007 7:58 pm ET by solosmocker

          101. ctirish | | #179

            Everything sounds wonderful. The fabrics, and your designs and techniques. Take lots of pictures during the project maybe you can do a write up for Threads when you are done. You make everything sound so sweet and easy. I hope it goes that way for you. Except for my body falling apart, things are good here. My DGD is talking all the time so she has a high entertainment value. She says things like 'up, please, and down please... 'tank you" and all right. When I can't run to her right away, I tell her I will be there in a minute. So, now when I ask her to do something or not do something - she says - in a minute - gamma. I asked her to do something three times last week and I heard this loud
            sigh and and an "all right gamma." I was going to sew today but it is too hot in my sewing room, I need to figure out a new solution for this problem. I am also going to post a question on knits, I went to cut one out today and almost cut it the wrong way again, I think. Have a great day. jane

          102. solosmocker | | #180

            Jane, she sounds so darling, out of the mouths of babes! This chenille technique is really giving me a hard time. I did sample on the lace with the CBsatin for the chenille. I put it in the washer and dryer, then brushed it. It would not fluff up at all. Then I realized that maybe the twist of the crepe is not coming undone enough, so wrong fabric. I went back to the store and got two more fabrics with a much more open weave, one a cotton, one a linen. No go on those either! So this AM I decided to not cut the fabric on the bias as you are supposed to and just cut it straight. I did a sample of all three fabrics and they are in the wash now. I hope this works. If it doesn't i will have to come up with a different design. I was so discouraged by this that I started on the ring bearer pillow in the meantime. Had to work on something! I got my padstitching all done and a little of the satin stitching. I hope this is less frustrating than the chenille attempt. So far it is. So thats the latest update on my projects.
            My this thread is getting long. I wonder if we should start a new one and maybe attract some others to join the challenge. Opinions?

          103. ctirish | | #183

            Hi, I have a thought about the chenille. Are you using 100% cotton fabrics? Whenever you don't use 100% cotton fabric, the weave isn't quite right for bias or for brushing.  Flannels work really well for chenille.  I hope this helps.

            fyi. I saw a orthopediatric md about my ankle and he put it in a better boot cast.   It is secure now so at least I can't do it again. 

            This afternoon I am taking an online sewing class at Pattern Review on Knits. I hope it helps expalin why I am having so much trouble with sewing knits.  The cute sports pajamas I made for my DGS for the May challenge are coming apart at the waistline.  I had problems with the needle tearing the knit when I did the coverstitching and now the stitches aren't holding.  I must say though my dd loves the siltex fabric, it washes like a dream they are keeping their shape and get softer with each washing. She actually requested a couple more pairs for her son and daughter.

            I am hoping for the June challenge to make at least one top.  I bought a couple of Threads patterns - Simplicity 4180 - and I hope to get that one made. 


          104. solosmocker | | #184

            Hi, Irish! Thanks for the thoughts on the chenille. Last week I was fortunate to meet one of my cyber sewing friends in real life. She is from California and here I am in Northern New York. She and hubby are doing a two month motor home trip and stopped by and visited DH and I. It was a thrill to meet her. We had a great visit, commiserating in my studio and she suggested I go out and buy the cheapest, thinnest flannel I could find and use that. Well off I went for Joanns cheapest. I brought it home to make one more sample and it worked like a dream. So her visit was quite fortuitous. I am in the throws of working on that but for my own June project I have lined up a jean jacket for moi. It is not denim. It is a Tracy Porter home dec fabric, kind of a funky retro print, white, brown, and turquoise. It will look nice with some white summer slacks or jeans. that's tonite's plan anyway! I have a big day tomorrow planting my veggie garden so any sewing will take second place to that chore. I am as passionate about gardening as I am about sewing, but I think a lot of sewists are. Thanks again for the suggestion. It was spot on.

          105. ctirish | | #185

            I am glad it worked out for you. 

          106. ctirish | | #186

            Does anyone have pictures of their latest efforts for this Challenge?  We could use some motivation for the middle of the month..  ??  

          107. Lynnelle | | #187

            I posted some pictures of my panels a few messages ago.  Better, distant pictures of the panels can be found if you view my blog and look at the very last two links (labeled one and two).

            Edited 6/11/2007 8:33 am ET by Lynnelle

          108. ctirish | | #188

            I found your panel pictures and they came out beautifully. What did you use for the trim between the two colors of fabric? I like the shiny look and it may give me an idea or two.  Did you stitch that on top of the seam line from the two fabrics or did you create a seam with the trim too? 

            Thanks, jane

          109. Lynnelle | | #189

            Thank you kindly for the compliment!

            I used ribbon (~ 3 yards or so) found in the dollar bin at Michaels.  I seamed the two colours together first and then topstitched the ribbon in place.  The side edges of the ribbon are tucked within the seam allowance and hidden by the lining fabric.  I will post some more pictures showing the lining and tab top.


            Edited 6/11/2007 2:10 pm ET by Lynnelle

          110. ctirish | | #190

            More pics would be great.  I have seen this look in some magazines for high end rooms and liked it.  I love to see the guts of the work..... lol  ........jane

          111. Lynnelle | | #195


            I am going to post some more detail pictures shortly. 


          112. solosmocker | | #196

            Wish I had some more pics but I am in the midst of so many projects with the wedding and all. "and all" being some great news I had this past weekend. I am going to be the grandmother of twins!!!Yippee!! So to honor my daughter I am making two pair of little booties with bullion roses and some painting. I could not let that go without some special acknowledgment so that is the current state of affairs. I will finish these probably tonite or tom'o. Then it will be picture time for you picture hungry comrades! LOL! Once the booties are in the mail, it will be back to the wedding projects at hand, Oy! I am still playing with my dress and it is changing a bit but I won't say until I start cutting because it will probably change again. So pictures coming!!!Lynelle, I am on dial up and twice have tried to open the pics of your window treatments. I am dying to see them. Sometimes I have a hard time opening pics with high resolution. Let me give it one more try....

            Edited 6/14/2007 7:51 pm ET by solosmocker

          113. ctirish | | #198

            Congratulations. I am so happy for you.  I think twins are the best. Two parents two babies at least at night. My sister has twins - gosh - we still call them that - the twins - they will be 40 on Saturday...lol.. we have a lot of twins in my family and they are all so much fun and they are always happy, I think because they have always had a playmate.

          114. ctirish | | #199

            I know it is late, but for the end of June I am going to try and have a new knit top completed.  I am going to try Kwik Sew Pattern - 3497. I have been taking an online class on Understanding Knits on Pattern Review and it has been interesting. I am learning a lot and the instructor is Sarah Veblen and she had done a couple of videos for Threads a few years ago on knits. They have been a great help, good closeup work and excellent audio. I have watched them a couple of times, for reassurance.  I have some black and navy blue interlock, so I hope to make two and see what happens.  I have learned there is a lot to think about when working with knits because each one is a different animal.  I'll keep you posted..jane

          115. MaryinColorado | | #200

            Oh twins!  How exciting and wonderful!  My best friend has twin grand daughters who are adorable!  Yay Grandma!!!

          116. fabricholic | | #192

            I can't wait to see your hand embroidery. Did you ever see the woman on Martha Pullen's show that did the monogramming. She had white hair and I believe her name was Martha also. I didn't know about pad stitching, until I saw her. All I can say is Wow!Marcy

          117. Lynnelle | | #181

            I finally have pictures of the panels I made.  I just finished most of the trim yesterday.  I have only the floor trim left to do.  In the meantime, here is a small glimpse of the panels.  The panel on the right is a little shorter than the one of the left.  I suspect that it is due to my lazy hardware-hanging skills.  I used pre-existing measurements and eyeballed it from there.  I guess I could use a yardstick and level to make sure everything is even.  =)  Also, the panels need a good press.  They are hung temporarily for me to see how they look with the newly painted walls.

            Once the room is complete with furniture (yet to be assembled...mmmmm Ikeeaaa), I will take more pictures.

            Hmm...upon preview, the images are quite large.  I will try to correct this...um...later. =)

          118. Lynnelle | | #182


            By 'trim' I meant the wood trim in the room.  I just completed painting the room and trim within the last couple of days.  The panels were completed about two - three weeks or so ago.

            Does anyone know how to minimize the picture scale?  I'm new at this posting-pictures-on-the-web-with-a-digital-camera thing.

            You can follow the development of the panels as well as view better pictures on my blog:  http://yousewgirl.blogspot.com/2007/05/den-curtains.html

            Thank you all for your support!


            Edited 6/10/2007 10:01 am ET by Lynnelle

            Edited 6/10/2007 10:11 am ET by Lynnelle

          119. fabricholic | | #193

            I think the panels look great with the wall. The last picture, I can see much better. Blast it with some light next time. I like seeing the details. The pictures do not look too big to me. You must have fixed them. Great job on the panels.

          120. Lynnelle | | #194

            Thank you!  Little by little, I think I am getting better with taking pictures with my new camera.  I will keep working on it!

          121. solosmocker | | #197

            Got to see the drapes! The colors are great and that shot of ribbon in the bright color really sets them off. Very creative with the banding. It took a while to load, but was worth it. I went to my room, worked on my booties, came back, and there were these lovely window treatments. Very nice!

          122. Jaderaven | | #201

            Hi :)I love the colour choices with your curtains. I need to make some (eventually) for our bedroom. I had thought to make them all one colour and fabric but after seeing yours I'm considering doing 3 different colours that'll compliment our green paint. Thanks for the inspirations!~K

          123. Lynnelle | | #202

            Thank you for the compliment!  I am not quite sure where I came up with the idea.  Ctirish (I believe) mentioned that she saw the same type of construction before. 

            I chose the rust/red trim because it is the colour of my kitchen.  Each room in my house is a different colour and my goal is to have the same colour introduced in every room of the house as accents. 

            Once I've completed the room, I will post more pictures.  I am in the process of making some simple sheers to accompany the two panels.


          124. solosmocker | | #203

            Last night I finished one pair of booties, kind of cute ;)! After I was done, it occurred to me that I wasn't and had to make another pair! I will get used to this "twin" thing. I'll post pics soon as I am done.

          125. ctirish | | #174

            Hi, My foot is better but I twisted my ankle - yes, the one in the cast. I took off the cast to go to a wedding on Saturday and while I was in church I looked down and saw my ankle is swollen. So. tomorrow I call the MD to see what he would like me to do next...? Our state ASG is having a field trip to NYC garment district in early June, but now I am thinking it might not be a good idea to do all that walking. Siltex is really the manufacturer - I was just checking the web site (siltex.com) and it is listed under their Bare Knits trademark. It is 100% cotton or you can get it in a blend. It is so silky and soft, it is amazing. I am not sure of the correct language to describe knits. I realized you can buy fabric right from their site so that will be good for me. I did sign up for a class on knits at Pattern review. I am hoping I will learn enough to correct the problems I had with getting a run in the knit fabric. I went up to a store in MA called Osgoods - they carry lots of different materials. Their main focus is Home Dec, but they carry a fair amount of fashion fabric too. I was hoping they would have a good selection of interlock knits. They had some but when I asked about their selection I was told they but their knits in boxes in NYC. Just whatever they can find - they don't order any of it. So, they don't know anything about any of the fabric - the content or washing instructions, nothing. I was hoping with the closing of other stores they would have a good selection of knits. So, from there I thought I will stop in at the Hancock's that is in Springfield, MA. When we get there, there are signs everywhere, they are closing the store. Evidently the entire chain has financial problems. I did manage to get some great buys on buttons, clear elastic, and some some Sulky stabilizer. At this rate, there won't be anything but quilt fabric stores left in Connecticut. Today, I tried to sew but spent most of the day getting ready to sew. tracing patterns, trying to decide what colors, knits and patterns went together. When I was finally organized, I went upstairs to sew and the temperature in the room was about 85 F; to hot to sew in there. Hopefully, I can get some sewing time in tomorrow morning. All I want to do is get some play clothes, t-shirts and shorts made for Bridget to wear when she is here.

          126. fabricholic | | #191

            Those are adorable.

          127. solosmocker | | #204

            The jammies are darling. Is that a cover stitch I see or do you serge and double needle like me?

          128. solosmocker | | #205

            today I finished the booties and also the chenille jacket. I put pictures of the booties in the gallery but will also share here. The chenille jacket needs to hit the wash and dryer so keep those fingers crossed, please! Will let you know how it goes tomorrow. I have a front and back of the booties. The edges have all been softly painted and they are embroidered with bullions. Hope you like. They were such fun and will go out in the mail tomorrow.

          129. MaryinColorado | | #207

            Darling booties!  What did you use to paint them?  Mary

          130. solosmocker | | #210

            I used an acrylic paint called Soft Paint for fabrics from Joanns. I used to do a lot of more elaborate painting years back and used oils for the most part. But the wooly texture of the felt worked well with this soft paint and I will use that again. I am on a roll. I just finished the little chenille jacket. This will be in case of a chill at the wedding and will go over the flower girls ecru organdy dress. The dress will have a big sash in the blue color. Hopefully I will start on that little gown next week. I will be travelling to Maine for the bridal shower this weekend and will fit Sophie. Then back home to start her gown. I am going to put it in the gallery and heres the jacket here:

          131. MaryinColorado | | #214

            The little jacket is another of your unique one of a kind delights!  I'm not surprised to hear that you also painted.  There are so many ways of expressing our inner Muse.  May she continue to inspire you!

          132. Lynnelle | | #209

            Awwww how cute!!  Ya gotta love twins!!

          133. ctirish | | #211

            the booties and chenille jacket are adorable. You have wonderful ideas. I am sure the booties will be a big hit.  You have some busy times ahead of you. I suggest you rest now, you won't have time later.

          134. solosmocker | | #212

            Great idea! Only problem is I just layed out my jean jacket and hope to get it cut tonite. Then I can dive right in tomorrow. I would like to bring this to Maine with me to wear. Keep those fingers and toes crossed!

          135. ctirish | | #213

            Could you send some of that energy and motivation my way. I do not know what bloomed in CT this past weekend, but my allergies are driving me crazy.

          136. solosmocker | | #215

            I suffered from awful allergies when I used to live in NH. I can sympathize. You can barely see straight and they can also make you feel exhausted. Put a cold wet cloth on your face and go lay down. That used to help me some. I have never breathed so clearly in all of my adulthood as I have here in NY in the Adirondack area. That alone made the move worthwhile.

          137. solosmocker | | #216

            I'm off the hook! My June project, the jean jacket is done minus buttonholes which I will do today. If I have time I will post a pic. I just got my Coldwater Creek catalogue and it is loaded with jackets on this idea, jean jacket with contemporary fabric and print. That's exactly what I made. So now I have to make my two muslins to bring with me to Maine to fit my little flowergirl and get packing. Back next week!

          138. MaryinColorado | | #225

            Godspeed!  Have a wonderful time!  We will miss you!  Mary

          139. Lynnelle | | #217


            Happy Birthday!  I am a member on Pattern Review and saw that you're celebrating a birthday.  Hmm...I am also assuming that there is only one ctirish. =)

            I had awful allergies yesterday.  I must have sneezed 20 - 30 times throughout the course of the day.  I never know what triggers a reaction.  My allergies flare up something awful on one day and then I'm fine for a few weeks.

            I added some additional pictures to my blog.  I really don't know what types of detail pictures to add as I did not film the construction (no camera back then...).  However, I will be more than happy to answer any specific questions you may have.

            I have been working on Kwik Sew 2788-B and Simplicity 4885-A.  KS2788 is a fly-front skirt with a contoured waistband.  I have sewed and taken apart this skirt so many times I actually have a rhythm.  At first it was too big, then it was too small, now the waistband is waaay too small.  I had the hardest time inserting the fly-front zipper.  I inserted and removed it at least 3 times.  On the final try, I got it right, it looks great and feels great.  But wait...when I cut the top of the zipper, I zipped the tab right off the track.  Of course, I can't get that damn thing back on either. =)  So, I decided to make this a snap-fly front. =)

            As for Simplicity 4885, it is a princess-seamed top with straps.  I traced the pattern, made some fitting adjustments, and then made a muslin.  The muslin fit is terribly.  I have a lot of work to do on that top. 

            What's my point?  In the past, I would have scrapped both of these projects because they were giving me so much trouble.  But, I made a commitment to not be defeated by these challenges!  I have been working (from time to time) on both pieces for the last couple of weeks and I'm still going strong.

            So, if I can do it, you can too!

          140. solosmocker | | #218

            Lynnelle, I admire your "sticktoitness". That's how we learn. I have finished my jean jacket, the June goal I set for myself. It really was a pretty straightforward pattern with no difficult details or fit. Based on that I would definitely recommend it. I was determined to finish to wear to Maine this week and I did. Interesting what motivates us! So I will check back with you all next week when I return.

          141. Lynnelle | | #220

            Thank you for your admiration!  I am trying my best not to give up.

            I LOVE your jacket!  You did an amazing job and it looks great on you.  Very nicely crafted and constructed!

          142. user-217847 | | #221

            Nicely done, congratulations. I also love the print. Have a safe and productive trip, hear from you on your return.


          143. ctirish | | #224

            Your jacket is beautiful, it fits nicely and the colors are perfect. It looks lke it should be in the Coldwater Creek catalogue.  The pictures may have just motivated me for the next couple of hours.  Enjoy your trip.


          144. LindaFaye | | #228

            What pattern did you use for your jean jacket?

          145. dressed2atee | | #229

            Wow, that jacket is adorable!  I have a similar pattern and you have inspired me to dig it out! 



          146. solosmocker | | #230

            I am squeezing in a quick post at my sister's and will be back in NY tomorrow night. Thank you all, all for the lovely comments. Got to wear my jacket this weekend as it has been cool at times. Linda, the pattern is McCalls 4385. It is easy to fit and sew so give it a shot. Gotta run but will update when I get settled back in NY.

          147. ctirish | | #223

            Thank you for the birthday wishes.  The day was good, sunny and nice so I enjoyed it. My dgd didn't take her nap until 3 pm by which time I was exhausted. 

            Anyway, I love your willingness to rip things out and redo them. I want to get a couple of basic patterns that fit well and then adapt them for necklines and sleeves from there. Of course, if I stayed the same weight and shape for more than one year it would help too.

            I am glad to hear there are other people who take measurements, make adjustments and then make a muslin that doesn't fit.  Some day I am going to go away and take a week long class somewhere just on getting patterns to fit.

            Well, I am going to go sew while no one is here. I wanted to sew all weekend but my other daughter and family are coming up and staying in my sewing/spare/office/computer room.  That makes a 3 yr old, a 1 yr old,  one Labrador retriever dog, mom and dad and me in four and a half rooms.  It is cozy...

          148. MaryinColorado | | #227

            HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!  Go treat yourself to a nice bubblebath!  Or margarita or .....something you enjoy!

            I forgot, what part of the country are you in?  I would love to go to a fitting retreat!  Wouldn't it be fun if Threads had one?  Lots of us could meet and have a great time learning together.  Not to mention relaxing after. 

            I hope to go to Pullyap, Washington next year.  Blondie to Sew and some of the other gals met there.  I hope to go to Oregon for vacation this year and be mesmerized by the ocean.  Kayla Kennington has small group classes there that I really would love to do!

            Is the lab yours?  I have a big yellow lab, he stomped his feet and shook his head when DGD and I came home from shopping and gave DGS new sunglasses.  He was jealous that he didn't get a present!  (He's my baby)  He was happy with a bisquit, so easy to please them!!!

            Enjoy your day!  Mary

          149. ctirish | | #231

            Hi, Thanks for the birthday wishes. I have been trying to buy a new printer for sewing, work. personal;everything. I finally bought an all-in-one printer, copier, scanner, fax machine.  After reading all of the reviews, I decided I wanted a Canon printer but I wanted to connect to my wireless network. That was interesting, I don't know what I was doing wrong but it has taken me two days to get it working the way I want it too.  It is worth it though if I can print templates for embroidery, pictures, and just print without any of the problems I have had over the past year. 

            The dog is my daughters, her name is Madeline.. I had a Golden Retriever -her name was Crystal. The woman next door to me has a little purse dog - she is cute and white and her name is Crystal.  She doesn't bark a lot, so I am happy. I do miss my dog, but I have no idea where I would put her at this point.  I hope everyone had a good weekend.  I hope to sew tomorrow after I take dgg to the pool in the morning and hopefully tire her to the point where she will take a long nap. She is getting into everything. Yesterday she took the flowers out of a vase and proceeded to drink the water.   In the morning I thought she was eating her blueberries and she was chewing on a purple crayon. Today, she decided that her legs needed stripes like some fabric I had out. So, she took a pen and made these lines all the way down her legs over and over again.  She must really like the fabric.  Then she helped me water the flowers outside, I don't know what happened but she came back in the house dry and I was soaked. So I decided she needs more exercise so she isn't so inquisitive and energetic in the house.

            Have a good night. jane

          150. MaryinColorado | | #232

            She sounds adorable and inquisitive and also extremely artistic for her age.  I hope taking her to the pool helps, it sure helped me when I had six preschoolers every day. 

            My son was a very "challenging" little boy, we couldn't blink or he'd have some sort of adventure.  In fact, very creative and often exciting times.  Dh put a ladder up and by the time he got to the top and turned around, there was our son, just reaching the roof and only 15 months old!  His guardian angel was always there, thank God.  He is 26 now and very calm, successful, and mature.  Everything with him suddenly fell into place when he was around 12. 

            I remember he wore me out, and I was much younger then of course!  He wouldn't take naps but we always had quiet time so Mom could "rest" and have a Pepsi.  Mary

          151. ctirish | | #234


            Six kids, you sound like me.  I did day care when mine where little and I think it was easier.  First, we didn't own anything of value so there wasn't anything to worry about. Then we had a bedroom that was a playroom so everything was contained, and they played with each other.   The pool didn't work out, she went in for about ten minutes and then wanted to play on the equipment.  She loves slides, except you can't slide down a slide with a wet bathing suit. The swings were too hot so they didn't work out.  So, we can home and she took a good nap. 

             I did manage to get a pair of shorts completed for her for June and a top for me.  Not the top I had hoped to make for me but I finished one and that is what counts.  I hope everyone is having a good weekend. 




          152. MaryinColorado | | #235

            Maybe someone will invent a treadmill for toddlers/preschoolers, lol.  The trick would be to make it safe and fun. 

          153. ctirish | | #236

            I like that idea.  She loves to play, ready-set -go.  She runs from wherever she is about 20 feet and then comes back.  Oh well, tomorrow is a new week.  I spent today cutting out patterns and tracing patterns so I can make more little outfits for Bridget, Cate, and Sean.  Things I cannot do when Bridget is here.  Who knows what this week will bring, it will be interesting I am sure.  Have a good week... jane

          154. solosmocker | | #237

            Hi! I was just reviewing some of the posts and realized I never told you happy B-day! I hope you had a wondereful one and maybe sneeked some sewing in too. May you celebrate many more in great health! Well, July is here. My goal for July is to finish Sophie's gown for the wedding and my dress for the wedding. Her little dress is coming along but it has been a design challenge. But it is working. I had a bodice front and bodice back, totally plain, jewel neck, sleeveless and that's it. All of the rest I have had to figure out on my own. I should finish it this week and will post pics as soon as done. I have a book that has been a tremendous help, the "A-Z of Sewing for Smockers." It has info in it that I have never seen anywhere else. It actually had a chart of how long to cut each sash that would go in a side seam for what age from 6 months to about 12 years. It has helped me a lot. As soon as this is done it will be my dress which will start with a muslin for sure. It has a crossover v-neck which surely will go to my navel. I like v-necks but at 5 feet they do tend to fall way to low to ever wear, RTW or sewn. So that's my July goal. Once wedding outfits are put to bed I hope to make some school, as in pre school, clothes for my DGD. Does anyone think this thread should be restarted? I am afraid it might discourage some newbies from joining in the challenge due to its length. Lynelle, if you are out there what do you think? We could do a monthly thread. Just a thought.

          155. Cherrypops | | #238

            Hi, I have just finished reading this thread. Now I must get back to my other work. It took a long while to read this discussion, but i enjoyed it.

            I must agree with solosmocker, beginning a new thread is a good idea.

            We do have many new members since this thread was started. Maybe a quick note by those who were involved in this thread on what they achived, would welcome the newbies to the Challenge.

            Solosmocker, I like your Monthly suggestion.

            Keep up the good work.



          156. Lynnelle | | #242

            On starting a new thread:

            I am all for starting a new thread as I got lost in this one myself!  In fact, we can start a monthly challenge whereby at the beginning of each month (or some other agreed upon time), we acknowledge our upcoming projects for that time.

            In the meantime, I am happy to share the progress I made on my den.  I added some sheer panels to the tab-top panels I made about a month ago.  The sheers need to be shortened some as they are longer than the panels.  Also, I will probably lower the curtain rod a bit so the the entire dressing falls closer to the floor.  I made the futon cover a couple of years ago.  I like the colours, but they no longer fit the 'urban chic' look for which I am going.  I was thinking of making a futon cover out of dark dark brown faux leather.  But, I don't know.  I'll think about it some more...  Any suggestions?

            To see some pictures, please visit http://picasaweb.google.com/sewl2sewl/FromDenToNow

            I have also been working on Kwik Sew 2788-B.  Everything is about finished (including the hem).  The zipper issue has been resolved...there are now 4 nice buttons in its place. =)

            My plan is to sew at least two more versions of KS 2788 so that I can get the fit and zipper installation set.  I will detail my July plan in the newest thread.

            Edited 7/2/2007 1:07 pm ET by Lynnelle

          157. ctirish | | #243

            Wow, they curtains look great, the room looks great.  I love the chair rail and the colors. I am sure someone has asked you this, but did you say the trim is sewn over the seam for the two colors of the curtain.  I seem to recall something about that but I thought I would check again.   Looking good, now as they say you just need some chotsky's - whatever they are. 

            The monthly challenge, have you thought about naming consistency. so each month it is named the same with the month name changed.  It is the computer geek in me that likes naming conventions. for example 2007 Challenge - July and then 2007 Challenge - August, etc.  it will just make finding it easier and keep them grouped together if someone does a search. 

            happy 4th, jane

          158. Lynnelle | | #244

            Hi Jane!

            Thank you for the compliments!  It was a lot of work, but the hardest part of redecorating the room is over.  Now, I need to hang some pictures and shelves as well as assemble some bookcases.  I haven't decided how tall I want the cases to be yet.

            Yes, the trim is topstitched over the seam but before the edges are finished.  So, in order of construction:  seam the two colours, top stitch the ribbon, fold long edges under twice (1/2"), press, sandwich lining under first fold, pin all layers in place, stitch.  The bottom hem is just as simple.  The top edge, with tabs, was not as simple. =)

            As for the challenge, I will make sure to change the name of the thread in August as I already started the thread for July.  I think your way of naming is very practical and easy to follow.  Thank you!


          159. solosmocker | | #245

            This is so close to done and looks great already. Keep up the good work,you decorating diva, you! Please post pics when all the accessories are up and around. Thanks for sharing. solo

            Edited 7/5/2007 10:11 pm ET by solosmocker

          160. Lynnelle | | #246

            Teehee, thank you Solo!  I will do just that!

          161. MaryinColorado | | #239

            When I babysit my little neighbor girls, I have them pretend they are different animals.  It alows me to sit awhile and is so entertaining.  I took them to the park one day along with my 13 yr. old dgd who babysits alot, they still wore me out!!! 

            Something else that was fun, I had a "costume" box with outfits for boys and girls.  It was alot of fun, after Halloween every year I went to the sales and bought the accessories like rubber pirate swords, wings, etc. 

            Our birthdays are close.  I will be 55 on 7/5 and my first grandson will be 16.  It is fun to share our day on the 4th every year.  We usually go to the fireworks together too.

          162. ctirish | | #240

            Hi, Well, Happy Birthday a couple of days early.  Fireworks for your birthday every year; sounds good to me.  

            I have saved all of the costumes my girls wore through several years of dancing lessons.  Maybe during the fall and winter I can let her play with them. Although, at this point I don't know if I will be caring for her in the fall.  We shall see....

            Have a happy birthday and Independence day.  jane

          163. MaryinColorado | | #241

            Thanks for the greetings!  Vincent always thought the fireworks were special for his birthday, the other kids wanted them too!  It was difficult to explain to little ones.  Mary

          164. fabricholic | | #233

            Happy birthday and sorry I missed the day. Your dgd sounds like mine. I had to laugh reading your thread. It seems as soon as I take one thing out of her hand, she has something else she isn't supposed to have in the other. On top of this, my husband refuses to put his stuff out of her reach. He wants to fuss if she breaks something of his that he left out. ARRGH. Hope you get a chance to sew in between the family. I know you wouldn't take anything for them, just like I wouldn't take anything for mine.

          165. MaryinColorado | | #226

            Good for you!  Glad to see this challenge is working!  I haven't started on my June project yet but am taking a pinweaving vest class next Thursday.  It won't count though because I just found out it is 2 classes and the next is in July!  oops, guess I better get busy!  I have been to two fabric shops with DGD and spent too much $$, of course! 

            If you take the bottom crosspiece off the zipper, you might be able to slide the pull piece on from the bottom up and then reapply the crosspiece.  That has worked for me in the past. 

            Congratulations on the fly front zipper!  After the first success, it gets easier because it makes more sense.  I had difficulty the first time too.  Mary

          166. ctirish | | #206

            I serged and then did a cover stitch with the serger.  This weekend I was going to make a to with some nice navy blue knit. It is cut out and the shoulders are sewn. Now I am trying to decide if I should put some embroidery on it. I just can decide what to choose. So if anyone has any ideas, please offer them.  The fabric is a interlock knit and I made it with a scoop neck in the front and back.  I was thinking of something around the neck or maybe over the shoulder.  Although with the double scoop neck, maybe that is enough..


          167. MaryinColorado | | #208

            I think little red or pink hearts or maybe white stars would be sweet on the navy.  You could emb. the word "shining" and then emb. a star.  Or "sweet" and a heart design, etc.  Patriotic is also nice.  I also like yellow on navy.  No wonder you can't decide, the options are many.  I have a crescent moon with tiny stars design that would be darling too.  So many choices!

          168. ctirish | | #222

            I agree too many choices.... I can't decide...

          169. Josefly | | #170

            Wow, it looks like you're out of your "slomp". I love the colors you used for your outfit - rich blues are my favorite. What kind of fabrics did you use? Thanks for sharing your photos with us.

          170. Majick | | #126

            Hi LindaFayeI would be inclined to cut the neckline finish "bias tape" out of the self fabric all right, but I would cut it either with the stretch so that it has give or..............parallel to the selvages if I wanted stability, little bulk and colour match.If you cut it perpendicular to the selvages the "tape" will be very stretchy and will not stabilize the neck. Thus you must stretch the tape much like a ribbed edging or as if you were putting elastic along the edge of the garment. This will gather the piece strongly or softly depending on how hard you stretch the binding and ease the body fabric. You must also cut the "binding" about twice as wide as called for to take into consideration the effects of stretching a thin fabric strip. I usually cut a piece about twice as wide as the required strip, fold it in half, press it, applying no pressure so as to avoid setting a stretched alighnment. Then I sew onto the wrong side. grade, clip, press and reverse the fold to the front. Sometimes I understitch just as for a facing to really flatten the layers. THEN I HAND BASTE THE CLEAN FOLDED EDGE IN THE PROPER ALIGNMENT and topstitch. Hand basting is a much under-rated technique and is a darn sight faster and more accurate than pin basting and/or sewing over a wad of pins. If the fabric is a light colour or I am really serious about no construction possibly showing, I use a matching thread to baste with. Obviously if you want the band on the inside of your garment you would. reverse the process, sewing the raw edges of the band to the front of the fabric.If you go with the "straight-grain" parallel to the selvage orientation, just fold and press, stretching the folded strips to set whatever stretch is there. You want to generate less than two inches extra length per metre/yard. Then pin, baste and sew as per pattern. Why the press/stretch? Because you can then ease a little over curved edges and still have a flat finish. You can also really keep it taught over biased design lines for stability and to prevent gape-ing or stretching. If you just don't want to be bothered, Dritz or others make a knit tricot seam tape. You can use it folded or as a single stip. It makes a nice clean fine flat edge. It usually comes in the basic white, beige and black tricot.You cannot make a true bias tape out of a knit because - in 20 words of less - it will stretch and twirl like a mad thing. Knits were not meant to be cut on a bias for structural support or edge finish purposes. It will ultimately fall apart. In a knitted fabric, the ribbing of the knit provides the stretch that one obtains with a bias cut woven material..(This is meant kindly - ) It would be worth your while and save your nerves to read up on the mechanics of wovens vs. knits; straight grain vs bias and the innate qualities of each type of fabric. Then just stop and have a cup of tea, do a little mental testing of each type of fabric and voila what you need by way of the originally called for bias tape will appear to you in a puff of burning machine oil. The day will be saved and you get a nice soothing bath as a reward. Bias is used to generate a great deal of give from a conventionally woven fabric with little or no give. Knits have give............lots of it.......at least in one direction.Keep your chin up... you can do it

          171. LindaFaye | | #129

            Majick; Your advice is really helpful.  I have copied and pasted in my sewing tips, and believe me it will be used.

          172. Majick | | #135

            Dear LindaFayeI am pleased to have been of service. Good luck with your sewing. I cannot emphasized enough the value of two things in sewing. Hand basting (surprise?!) and sitting back with a comforting beverage or in a nice bubble bath mentally reviewing the look and feel of your fabric as it applies to your pattern. Sew long for now(cheesy, I know)

          173. LindaFaye | | #136

            Might sound cheezy - but if it will work - I am game.

          174. Majick | | #125

            Hi Lynnelle
            About your very slippery fabric:..........well I cut all my patterns out on the dining room table so I must always worry about the surface upon which I am cutting. Nonetheless, I usually line up selvages with the edges of the table and then weight the length of fabric like crazy. Across the top and bottom edges with wine bottles placed about every 5 inches so that none of it slips around when one or more pieces are cut out. I also just weight the large pieces before cutting, abandoning the pinning altogether. At other times when I am being my patient self, I use a stylus or a dull pencil and actually trace the pattern cutting lines using Chaco paper (grease-less tracing paper or regular tracing paper, then happily cut away unimpeded by paper bits.What is your fabric by the way?Regards
            That ol' Majick

          175. Lynnelle | | #52

            Wow!  Though I have not had problems posting to this site, I do acknowledge and feel your pain about garment construction.  I, too, would have given up at that moment.  Most likely, I would have set it down for some time (months) and then revisit it later.  I admire your perserverance and thank you for your encouragement.

            The nice thing about your experience is that it is a lesson to remind all of us that we all become better through adversity.  Without this experience, we (I most certainly) would not have learned about carefully identifying the direction of stretch.  So press on, my sister! 

            Unfortunately, I do not have any ideas (quick or not) for a boy.  I have rarely been around children, so I have not one idea as to what to make for them. =)



          176. Ralphetta | | #55

            I think it is healthy to be able laugh really hard at your own mistakes!  It amazes me that some people cannot laugh at themselves and assume you must not be too bright when you laugh about something dumb you've done.  I find those things funny because I KNOW I'm not stupid, I just did a stupid thing...big difference.

            As for the boy, you didn't mention how old is is.  Aren't the boys still wearing those really wild, wacky print knee length, drawstring-waist short pants in the summer? I haven't paid attention, so they may be out of style.

          177. MaryinColorado | | #95

            I got a real kick out of your post!  Murphy's Law...

            On knits the stretch almost always goes from side to side.  With fleece as in velvets, you need to cut it out with the "nap layout" instructions on the pattern, unless it contradicts the "stretch" going side to side, then just think it through and it will work for you. 

            I have found that if I wait to long to make another garment of a pattern I had problems with, I end up making the same mistakes as the first time!  lol

          178. JanF | | #28

            Oh dear - this is a tall order - I want to know how far back u r going with the patterns?
            Ive got some going back to the 60's - I know they r fashionable now - but fit was so different then they would look miles too tight!
            I think I'm only going to go back to patterns bought in the last 2 yrs - and my first is a pattern from Kayla Kennington - Fantasia Jacket-but my deadline has got to be 2 months - I have too much to juggle at the mo!
            A jacket for Whitsuntide??

          179. MaryinColorado | | #94

            Oh Jan!  I have that pattern too!  I bought it when it first came out on her website but have been trying to decide what fabric to buy for the test run.  Any suggestions?  I love Rayon and want to make it in silk, but would like to make the initial one out of less expensive but wearable fabric. 

            Any suggestions or comments on your progress and tips would be appreciated!  Mary

          180. JanF | | #101

            Hi Mary - true to my form - still not started!!
            Still going back and to to the hospital with ageing Dad etc!!!
            i hope to start it soon 'cos I do work better under deadlines!I also want to use a silk chiffon + any other silk Ive got that will fit in - only 'cos Ive got bits i want to use up!! - can't shove any more under the bed!!!
            So it could look disastrous - or great. I'm such a creature of habit I only buy fabric in colours I can wear these days - so it will be in shades for Autumn - nearly had my "colours" done at Colour me Beautiful but i cheated and bought a book for school and we did our colours for school as a lesson!
            I already had some idea of what suits me anyway - no black or white for me!
            I'm thinking of joining the pieces with a stitch to look like leaves?
            I will get started soon!
            - What do you fancy doing it in? I think the shape is great but i dont want it to look too wide at the shoulders - so might adjust it.
            Keep thinking and let me know what u decide

          181. MaryinColorado | | #103

            I look best in Autumn colors too.  My roots are silver, so I wonder if that will change?  Am 54yrs young and thinking of having my hair streaked silver to blend with those roots.  I don't like the way it looks against the dark brown but don't really want to dye the whole works and have the same problem in two months. 

            I haven't sewn with silk in years so it will be an adventure.  I wish I could see it made up on an actual person.  That would help alot in figuring out the fit.  So far, her patterns have been pretty easy to adjust, even at the last minute.

            I love the idea of a leaf stitch for joining the seams.  That would be beautiful!  How would you do it?  I was looking at the stitches on my Designer 1 and thinking of maybe doing a decorative stitch onto ivory Seams Great and then joining that to the seams of her vest pattern.  Like lace insertion is done.

            I almost went to Oregon last year to one of Kayla's retreats.  I still want to but am a bit shy about going by myself so we'll see.  It looks like such an incredible location.  Mary

          182. JanF | | #105

            Hi Mary - my hair is never silver!!! To be honest I have been touching it up for a while - thinking of trying one of these new colours supposed to add different tones in at once - I know a flat all over will look decidedly Elizabeth Taylorish!but getting fed up of streaks and the hairdresser doesn't always do it the way I would like it - I'm 57 this Autumn - but like to think I dont look that bad for my age but "mutton dressed as lamb" I have no wish to be!
            After saying that, bought a dinky pair of yellow shoes from New Look (a local cheapish shop - very young really - but has some good stuff)and have loads of kids at school say "like ur shoes miss!" so still cant be that bad!
            Just need to address the few extra pounds creeping on!
            That is one of the problems with Kayla's jacket - not sure if the too loose effect might make me look a touch "big". I know the style will be ok as long as the fabric is not too solid.
            I'm thinking of doing either a set machine leaf stitch over dissolving strip of fabric - or doing a more freer design using free motion embroidery - something I like to do. However - I think I would hve to check how it looked first - could look a bit naff all over the seams - might have to select a few to decorate and the rest to do plain!
            I'm determined to use the pattern though - cos it appeals to my sense of wearing something different.
            However my problem is always that i have these ideas - do them - and then chicken out of wearing them - cos I'm not that keen on being the centre of attraction really- and I suspect it might cause a few comments. I should be a little more confident at my age and in my line of work (teaching) - but under it all I can easily think "I look a posing pratt!"
            so heres to us both having the b...s to be up and at it!

          183. MaryinColorado | | #106

            I feel exactly the same about actually "wearing" the things I love to create!  I made Kayla's Angel Top out of a beautiful Bali hand dye mixed with a solid Raspberry and a canary yellow rayons.  The Joining stitches are contrasting turquoise, raspberry or yellow 30 wtSulky.

            I made a long skirt of raspberry rayon with turquoise thread joining stitches.  The skirt is slit on both sides to above the knee and has couched multi Perle Crown Rayon drizzled down and across the front.  Same technique on the top left side.  It is too too over the top for me! 

            I have decided to disassemble it and reuse the fabric on her top and vest pattern which I hopefully will be more comfortable wearing!

            DH loves me to wear these colors but I prefer the autumn tones.  All that work, whew, lesson learned!!!

          184. dressed2atee | | #34

            Well put...try to do a little something everyday and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.  I always sew for others so this challenge has inspired me to fulfill my New Year's resolution to sew myself clothes from fabric I already have!

            Happy sewing ladies!

  6. AmberE | | #22

    I finally found a spot in my small NYC apt where I can keep my sewing machine set up at all times, and I've made a resolution to work on something each day---if only for a few minutes. It's amazing how much you can get done with 1/2 hour or hour a day, if you don't have to pack and unpack the machine each time! In this week alone, I've cut out two garments and constructed the majority of two! And it's so relaxing---an enjoyable way to wind down the day. I feel like I'm finally making headway in my many projects. I'll keep you posted! Thanks for inspiring us!

    Amber Eden, Editor Threads/Sew Stylish

    1. Lynnelle | | #24

      Thank you for being an inspiration as well!  I too am trying my best to do a little each day.  My goal is to wear this tunic and a newly constructed skirt on an upcoming trip scheduled at the end of April.  So far, I have my pattern pieces ready to go.  Yesterday, I learned how to do a rolled hem on my serger.  So, I'll practice some more today and pin the patern pieces to the fabric.  That's about all I will have time for today.  Consistent steps (small or large) will eventually lead to the same wonderful end!  Woo hoo!! 


      1. AmberE | | #29

        I'm wearing my new cardiwrap today!

        1. User avater
          blondie2sew | | #30

          Hey girl,I know I didn't officially voice my joining your challenge way back when I posted to you...but I just wanted you to know I am keeping a wonderful atta girls to all of you and I guess I am a silent joiner..ha ha haBut I wanted you to know that I just posted some finished Dresses I just made my lil one...So go and check it out under the Photo Gallery...By the way my next project will be my other Daughters skort as part of her Easter Outfit so that would be done this week..so there you go..I am in with everyone here!!

        2. User avater
          blondie2sew | | #31

          And tons of compliments I am guessing you are recieving today too!!So are you going to post your finished garment in the Photo Gallery?

          1. AmberE | | #32


  7. kalypsew | | #23

    You know, at one time I sewed everything I wore.  Now...not so much.  I am making a jacket, the first thing I have made in years.  For my birthday, I gave myself  ALL seven margaret islander videos!  I like me.  Anyway....they are inspiring.  I feel the sewing bug coming on.  I will finish the jacket this week.  All I need to do is put on the front and neck facing and buttonholes.  Hem too, I guess.  I will join your challenge.   I will finish my JACKET!  BY GOLLY!

    1. Lynnelle | | #25

      Kalypsew (love the name!)

      I like me, too. =)  Welcome to the challenge!  I am so glad that you can join us and are excited about returning to sewing.  Please keep us all posted on your progress.


  8. spicegirl | | #108

    This has helped me - Nancy Zieman's 10-20-30 minutes to sew.  It is amazing how much you can accomplish my organizing first. 

    As soon as I bring the fabric home I pretreat it as I plan to care for it after it is completed.  I prefer washable fabrics, so for me the first stop is the laundry room.

    I gather everything I will need:

    • Pattern, fabric, interfacing, preferred cutting tool, marking tool preference, paper tape, pins or weights if you like to use a rotary cutter and mat at the cutting table.
    • Thread, zippers, elastic, buttons, snaps - whatever notions you will need at the sewing machine.  Keep a pair of snips here too.
    • Iron and ironing board nearby along with distilled water for the iron.

    Now you can begin, if it is only 10 minutes to select which pieces of the pattern you will need (hate this step).   The the next break you get, lay out the pattern.........so on and so on (better yet -  sew on and sew on)! 


    1. solosmocker | | #109

      I love that book by Zieman and have referenced it often. It's a real motivator. Mary, I am thinking of letting my hair go grey. My own hair is very dark, Irish black, LOL! I have a grey streak, but have been coloring my hair for the last few years and right now it is red, black, and silver, pretty nasty! If I just let it go most of it will be pretty dark, so I am thinking of cutting it and just letting it do its thing. We will see if I can up the courage!Last night and this morning I worked on my linen pants. I decided to underline them and that is done. I used Sobo glue to do this. Anyone else use this technique? It's quick and easy. So next step is the zipper, a little bit done every day will give me a finished garment before I know it. I can't wait to finish these pants so I can move on to some other ideas. Just call me Miss one project at a time!

      1. LindaFaye | | #110

        I took this challenge earlier this month just knowing that I would not only make one garment, but possibly two or three - yeah, RIGHT!  The last garments I made were for my daughter and sister (I was trying to do long distance sewing using their measurements).  The pants made for my daughter and gauchos made for my sister were well made but all too big.  Then I got a little depressed because I really wanted to sew for them and I haven't been able to get back in the swing yet.

        I AM EXPERIENCING SEWER'S BLOCK!!!!   I have plenty of patterns, more than enough; and I do have a small fabric stash so I could make something.  I think I'm experiencing this block because after my last projects - which I finished earlier this month, I'm scared I'll mess up again.

        Anyone here ever go through this?  I need to get back in my saddle!!!!

        1. MaryinColorado | | #111

          I have a block too!  I want to make myself clothes but have not been motivated enough to make a muslin or tackle the fitting issues that I really thought would go away with exercise.  Normally I have multiple projects in different stages always.

          Here's what I am doing to get back in the saddle.  Not allowing myself to make any clothing until I finish a quilt and some doll clothes which are gifts.  I am not a quilter so this has been quite a challenge for me. 

          40 squares of fabric are cut out, 20 of them are machine embroidered.  20 need to be steam pressed, fussy cut to remove the 1/4 inch seam allowances all around because I forgot to add it to the other 20!  Murphys Law....

          Today I spent two hours at a privately owned gem of a quilt shop.  The owner and the instructor spent alot of time with me.  They helped me redesign, choose fabrics, figure all the measurements for each piece, and make my purchase.  These women are jewels!  I feel like I had a whole class on quiltmaking!  To top it off, the owner took the time and effort to figure out exactly the amount of fabric I need so I also saved money!!!  How's that for customer service!!!  And it was free!!!

          I am now rejuvenated and inpired!  These ladies gave me the confidence and encouragement that I desperately needed!  I was feeling so "over my head" which was blocking me from what was supposed to be helping me get over the fitting/clothing block.  What a tangled web I was weaving!!!! 

          1. LindaFaye | | #114

            Mary, part of my block is also my fitting issues.  I have gained so much weight!  I use to be able to pick up my tried and true size 12 or size 14 pattern and make all the pants I needed only needing to adjust for the length - WHAT A BREEZE THAT WAS!  Now according to my measurements I am two different sizes which sounds like it should be easy to do, but the pants turn out way to big in the thigh area.  I need to make a muslin, but have never done so and its scary!  I have several old full sized sheets for that purpose, but can't seem to bring myself to try.  But first things must be first so today I am committing to making a pant's muslin  using this old sheet.  That is what I will do today.  Will let you know how it turns out.

          2. MaryinColorado | | #115

            Best wishes on your muslin!  Let me know how it works out for you!  Mary

          3. solosmocker | | #116

            Mary, congrats on breaking your "block". It happens to the best of us, for sure. I have enjoyed working on my linen pants. I did the Sobo underlining, got it all fitted, and today did my zipper and Hong Kong seams. I have one more seam to do and then the waistband. I didn't make it for the 30th of the month but I am close! Can't wait to do the next project. I am not sure if I will continue with more pants or do my eyelet blouse. I found a cute pattern with the little puffy sleeves (I know, I'm a grandma)and a nice darted fit to the blouse. Hmmmm, I feel myself talking myself into something. solo

          4. MaryinColorado | | #119

            Wow!  You really are productive!  I think the eyelet blouse sounds perfect for summer.  How do you manage to accomplish so much? 

            What is Sobo? 

            I put away all the embroidery paraphanalia and straightened up my studio.  Leaving the mess on the floor till I'm done cutting out the rest of the borders tomorrow. 

            Pressed all the new fabrics today and cut out too many 1 1/4 inch sashing strips to count.  Hopefully it will be enough.  They will frame the 20embroidered and 20 floral  squares.  I finished the fussy cutting of the squares today after pressing them.  Glad I have that steam generator now! 

             Who knew making a simple quilted throw could be so complex?  Not me!  I was going to do lace insertion and some heirloom stitches and puffing but am running out of time.  It would be done by now if I hadn't switched the color scheme! 

            I do like the new fabrics I bought!  "Sew tired!"  Mary

          5. solosmocker | | #121

            Mary, Sobo is a fabric glue that you can find at any of the chains. It's in a white and blue squirt bottle. You squirt little dots in the seam allowance of the fashion fabric. Then you carefully lay your underlining fabric on top. Press the two together. The glue soaks in and in a couple of hours you are underlined and ready to continue your garment. I have been doing this for many years and never a problem. I learned this trick back then from a very successful dressmaker in our area. I, too, love the Fasturn. It's a pretty clever little invention.

          6. MaryinColorado | | #122

            That  is an excellent excellent technique tip! Thank you so much!  I used to use Sobo glue all the time with my children's crafts!  I forgot all about it!  Wow!  It never occurred to me to use it for underlining.  I am thrilled!  Mary

          7. solosmocker | | #123

            Ok, tonite I officially finished my blue linen pants. I took pics with a mirror and they were a nightmare. I could not get any details showing as they were so dark and didn't hang right because I was holding the camera and not really standing up straight. Suffice to say they fit and I am happy. After that was done, I transferred all my latest changes to the muslin and then traced off a permanent pattern on some Pattern Ease. Love that stuff. So I think my next adult garment will be my eyelet blouse. At least I will have a complete casual outfit. Haven't made myself a blouse in a couple of years and the girls have certainly gone south, so I am going to play with a muslin on this also, I think. I recently remeasured myself. Bum was an inch smaller, boobs a half in smaller and waist an inch bigger. Bigger than what? Well, I found measurements in an old fitting book of mine that I figure were put there in the early 90's. So things are rearranged, but I knew that. (:( Nothing is as perky as it used to be LOL!

          8. MaryinColorado | | #127

            Congratulations on finishing your pants and that they fit!  Good for you!  I am so jealouse of your fitting expertise!  I feel like an advanced sewist as far as techniques and basic skills but personal fitting is definitely my downfall. 

            I think I have been in denial so long that it was easier to "wait it out" and pretend that my added pounds were temporary.  Now that I have seen enough photos of the "real me" reality bites!  (Apparantly, biting off more than I "should" chew contributes to the problem) oh well, such is life!   '

            Step 1: confront the mirror........okay, been practicing that one, too funny!  The women in my family have either a very flat bootie or a very curvy one, either extreme, no in betweens....till now....ha ha, what a surprise!  I think I like that curve, it can stay.  ha ha

            Step 2:  take new measurements.......oh my goodness,  could I be holding the wrong end of the tape measure?  There's that " denial" beasty again.....

            Step 3.  Giggle, put on some music, and move on....

          9. fabricholic | | #134

            Hi solosmocker,I was reading your thread and saw Sobo. Well, the only Sobo I knew, was that wonderful glue. I really didn't think you were talking about glue, though. That is a great technique.Marcy

          10. solosmocker | | #137

            Marcy and Mary,Glad you liked the Sobo tip. It's one of those things I do without thinking at this point so I am glad I passed along something helpful.

          11. MaryinColorado | | #138

            The Sobo is my favorite tip for the entire year I think, although there have been so many from everyone on this site, it's hard to chose!

            If the Sulky temporary spray adhesive doesn't work for my quilt, I will be making yet another trip to the store to buy the Sobo.  I' had to go to four stores to find the Rowenta steam iron cleaning kit.  Countless trips to the quilting shop but that's my lack of knowledge about quilting.   I've redesigned this thing too many times.  Oh well, more stash fabric!  lol 

             (My mother suggested running the iron across salt to clean it, then wipe it, then heat it up and run it over wax paper and then a damp cloth to make it slick again.  I was afraid to with my steam generator though as it is still under warranty).

          12. fabricholic | | #140

            That is a good tip from your mother and I have everything already at home to try it. Thanks.

          13. MaryinColorado | | #141

            You are braver than me.  I was afraid to try the salt.

          14. fabricholic | | #139

            I want to understand this tip. Do you do this to the pattern pieces before you sew them together and then use pants and lining as one?Marcy

          15. Ralphetta | | #142

            She said underlining, I believe, not lining.  Since you work with the underlining and garment fabric "as one" it sounded like a really good tip to me.

          16. fabricholic | | #143

            Thanks Ralphetta. So this is just to stabilize the material more or less?

          17. Lynnelle | | #144

            Hi Everyone,

            I was out of town for the last week and have not been able to check the posts.  I am still unwinding from my trip and will keep this post short.

            Heartfelt congrats out to all of you who finished your projects as planned!  I must admit that I still have not yet completed my jacket.  I still have to insert the other sleeve, do buttonholes, topstitching, etc.  I will take one or two more days to vege otu a bit and then return to the project.

            Sincere welcome to all of you who have joined our challenge!  Even if you are unable to start a project, reading and responding to the posts is good participation.  The purpose of this post is to celebrate and encourage those who love the craft, but cannot devote extensive time to it.

            Happy sewing!


          18. Ralphetta | | #145

            Right.  There have been lots of discussion of underlining and it's uses.  If you "search" you can find extensive discussion.  The easiest illustration is the use of another fabric underlining lace.  It gives you something to tack facings, hems, etc. to and leaves the garment fabric smooth and untouched.  You often use a lining in addition.  I've always basted the pieces together and that is time consuming, so the Sobo would be a real time saver.

          19. fabricholic | | #148

            It's in the back of my head. I just needed a little refresher. The age thing is getting me, I guess. Thanks for your help.Marcy

          20. solosmocker | | #146

            Yes. Your underlining and fashion fabric are treated as one. I thne do honk kong seams to finish but sometimes serge them too. I have attached a couple of pictures to help explain. All you have to be careful of is not getting the glue on anything else. I place the underlining on top of the fashion fabric, WSs facing. Roll the underlining back. Do your dots about an inch and a half apart in the SA. Roll the lining back. I only do vertical seams. I don't know why, just less work I guess. Hope the pics help. solo

          21. fabricholic | | #149

            Those are great pictures. You are very smart to think of this. Thanks.Marcy

          22. Josefly | | #150

            This does sound like a great idea. Does the glue stiffen the seam allowances? Does it launder out - and do you use it only on washables? How long after gluing do you have to wait before moving the pieces and sewing?

          23. solosmocker | | #152

            The glue will only very slightly stiffen the seams. Just use little dots till you are used to it. I have mostly used it on underlined woolens and linens with finished seam edges, so I haven't noticed that seams are stiff or that the glue washes out. I have found no change in the comfort.
            Mary, I wish you and all the rest of you lived nearby too. We could have a heck of a good time. solo

            Edited 5/7/2007 11:15 pm ET by solosmocker

          24. Lynnelle | | #153

            I second that sentiment!  It is certainly nice to have this forum available for spirited conversation.  Although, it would be awesome if we all lived near one another so that we can sew and talk live. 


          25. MaryinColorado | | #151

            I have the giggles thinking of honk honk seams.  Silly me!  Your photos are always so great!  Wish you lived nearby so you could teach me!!!  Mary

          26. LindaFaye | | #128

            Thanks, Mary.  I didn't get around to it last weekend, but I'm gonna start it tonight.

          27. MaryinColorado | | #130

            Well, I redesigned my quilt again....creativity or procrastination?  I'm not sure which, but this is it!  I am moving along quite nicely working on it about 3 hours a day with lots of breaks.  Today I really accomplished alot at the sewing machine, it's the pressing that takes up alot of time. 

             I am enjoying the process again!  I cannot wait to finish this and move on to my next project.  This change has done me alot of good!!!

        2. Lynnelle | | #112

          Has anyone here ever not go through this?  I think this question will get far fewer responses!  I had a sewing block for nearly a year because of frustration with two different garments and life drama.  I started a lined jacket made of upholstery fabric in October 2005.  I just inserted the lining this February.  I have many UFOs in my basement closet, hoards of patterns and a sizeable stash that seems to keep growing.

          It is this reason that I decided to start this challenge.  I know I will not improve my sewing skill unless I practice.  So, I decided that if I take small steps and take lots of time, I will eventually finish a garment that I want to wear.  Admittedly, it has taken me longer than I originally intended, but I have made massive amounts of progress.  What started out as a cool tunic turned into a really cool jacket. =)  I intend to make the tunic, but I want to finish the jacket first.

          So, how to get back on the saddle?  What worked for me (as well as others here) is to take small steps.  Commit to doing something each day (or as often as possible) toward the completion of the project.  Don't worry about making mistakes.  My own fear of failure has kept me from having so many wonderful experiences.  I recently made the decision to say fuhgeddabout it.  We are all here but for a few moments.  I do not want to die with the thought that I could have accomplished so much more but was too afraid.   Hmm...I think I went too deep here... 

          Anyway...you will always have our support!

          1. LindaFaye | | #113

            Thanks for your response Lynnelle, not to deep at all.  Procrastination and fear has kept me from a lot of things from time to time.  Occassionally I break out of it and try something new though.  I guess I'm just "going through" a slomp...hopefully it will break SOON!

            I did pre-wash four pieces of fabric last night, something that I rarely do even though I really know I should.  I usually don't pre-wash to save time and because the fabric loses it's crispness.   But I have decided that I have to do this cause it will save me heartache later and because if I am going to spend my time sewing I MUST do what is right.

            Thanks agan, I will let you know when I'm riding again.

          2. ctirish | | #118

            I don't know what I do, but whenever I get to the bottom of the box to write a post,I hit a key and it goes back a page and I lose the note. So, this will be short. I am almost finished with my pullover for my grandson - this is the second one this month - as you remember I sewed the first one with the stretch going the wrong way. I just have to sew the side seams and the bottom hem and it will be done. I am not sure what I am going to do for May. I have been sick since March and I finally gave in and started some antibiotics. If this doesn't go away soon, I would scream - but I haven't had a voice for 2 weeks. I did cut out two pairs of pajamas for my dgs - and I have a list that keeps getting longer and longer. Maybe I will read 10-20-30 minutes to sew, I think it is here somewhere. jane

      2. spicegirl | | #158

        Speaking of the Irish - me too, never knew much about my grandfather, but relatives say he spoke with a brogue.

        I gave up trying to cover the grey (black just didn't look right on me after 50), so when I was mostly grey I had the hairdresser color it blond.  Boy, was my husband shocked.   My 12-year old grandson followed a grey-haired lady through the department store for at least five minutes before I could catch up with him.  He said he forgot I was blond!  I refer to myself as "not legally blond"....

        Apology to all natural blonds, but when I do something less than smart, I tell my husband "I didn't do things like that before I was blond".... he knows blond has nothing to do with it.......it's just an "Old F_rt Moment!

        What was this post all about?  I have lost track - not a blond moment, just an OFM!

        1. MaryinColorado | | #178

          ha ha thanks for the giggle!  I love my new "convertible" doo, it looks the same windblown as when it's styled, and the multicolors really brightened up my image!  My daughter is blonde so through the years we have enjoyed many jokes on her, she takes it in stride very well....we call them "BM's"  blonde moments not what you might be thinking!  Mary

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