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Never say never

2016 January 11
by elizabeth_admin

So, um…  Yeah…  Remember when I said I wasn’t ever gonna be a quilter?

Yeah, well, never say never.

My adult students have been enjoying the home dec projects that we have been working on in the last class which finished up a couple of weeks ago.  And as I was running out of quick beginner projects, I asked if they wanted to try more involved projects like a light quilted placemat or table runner.  The response was an enthusiastic yes!

So I searched up some projects on Pinterest and found one that I thought might be good.  It was a downloadable pdf pattern with a video tutorial for a small fee.  Besides that quilt I made for a friend and the squares quilt I made for the community center’s gala auction, I haven’t ever really done any serious quilting.  So this project was a huge learning curve for me.  I made 6 instead of just 4 placemats, repeating some of the patterns.  I have five people in my family now and wanted to have place settings for six.  Quilting cotton prints are so darn cute.  I can totally see how someone can go overboard buying quilting fabric.

In working on this project the last week, I have come to the conclusion that it may be too complex and a cause for frustration for my students, but I learned a lot and will be able to help them with whatever project I do find for them.  And, bonus! I get new placemats for my family!

Here they are…



In non-sewing news, I start my painting class this week and am so excited.  I.  Can’t.  Wait.


Jammiepalooza 2015

2015 December 29
by elizabeth_admin

Happy holidays!


I made it!  I made it through another holiday and another Jammiepalooza.  I made 13 PJs altogether including 3 nightgowns and 10 pj pants.  One of those pj pants I sold to a friend after realizing that I made the wrong size for my stepdaughter.  I even made a pair for me this year!  Woo hoo!  Of course, not all the adults were that lucky, so there were some grumblings that they didn’t have any pj pants.  Sigh.  You can’t make everyone happy.   That would have added 5 more pj pants to my total.  Maybe if I started earlier…  But that’s a post for next year.

Anyhoo…  Here is the photographic evidence of said Jammiepalooza 2015.









The pj's I sold to a friend

The pj’s I sold to a friend


Next up on the sewing table?  Not sure, but I did just order some knit dress patterns for my stepdaughter.  Also, I have to plan for my next adult sewing class which starts in a couple of weeks.  I may be teaching a mosaic class this session too!  AND…  I’m taking a painting class at the university starting in January.  I will be one busy mama.

Bis später and happy new year!

A tale of two legs and revenge sewing

2015 November 30
by elizabeth_admin

Did you hear the one about the seamstress who sewed two left legs?  Yeah, me neither.  You know why?  Because it’s not funny when you sew two left legs.  And this is why…  Because then you only have two left legs and no more fabric.  Because you remember that you bought the end of the roll when you originally bought the fabric and now you want to cry.  Nope, not a laughing matter at all.  So now the two left legs mock me from their crumpled pile on my sewing table as I move them around to cut out my student’s weekly projects.  They mock me, I tell you.

So in my ignominious state, I decided to revenge sew.  Yes, that’s right, I said revenge sew.  I got out my trusty S5271 baseball tee pattern and proceeded to sew up a super cute top.  How do you feel now, two left legs?  Still trying to mock me?  I showed you!  I now have a cute top and there’s nothing you can do about it.

But let me backtrack a bit…  A few weeks ago, Susan from Knitters-delight and I decided on the spur of the moment to meet up at the National City Swap Meet to see what the LA jobbers had brought.  We went to my favorite stall and found some really good fabrics for a steal.  There was some great Italian linen, and super cute knits.  I bought two knit prints that were super stretchy and soft, and bonus, had a NYC vibe.  One even said New York on it.  I made out like a fabric bandit.  So did Susan, I might add.  We had a good old bitch session, caught up on each other’s lives, and bought lots of fabric.  Sounds like a perfect day, doesn’t it?  Ahhhh…

So fast forward to the two left leg debacle and you know I needed some therapy.  And that’s how  revenge sewing came to my rescue.


Making sushi over Thanksgiving break

Making sushi over Thanksgiving break


And that, my friends, is how you return back to the land of garment sewing after a super long hiatus.  Revenge sewing.  Of course, my pals Jeanette and Sherril also helped me figure out proportions for this tee.  Since the fabric was super stretchy, I needed to rejigger the sizing a bit and the raglan sleeves had me a little stumped.  And now the shirt is a little on the short side.  Revenge’s revenge?  You be the judge.  I did get a few unsolicitations when I wore it though, so I think the revenge worked.

The other fabric I bought might be too similar to this print to use the same baseball tee pattern again.  I might have to think up a different pattern for it.

Anyway, I highly recommend revenge sewing after a wadder.  It is extremely satisfying.

Do you revenge sew?  Did you get sweet satisfying revenge?  Do tell!


Teaching Sewing

2015 November 5
by elizabeth_admin

Since Spring this past year, I have been teaching sewing to kids and adults at my local community center.  I’ve taught a total of 6 classes which includes one whole week of summer camp.  I have had to source the projects, fabrics, and supplies.  I have had to write instruction booklets for each class as each new class had different projects.  And I have had to sew up all the samples to show the students a finished product.

It’s been quite a learning process for me as well.  I’ve learned which projects are too hard for beginners.  For example, really small fiddly sewing is too hard for a beginner.  The shoelaces and the superhero mask were way too fiddly for my students.  So I’ve taken those projects off the list of possibilities.  I’ve learned that cutting the projects out for them is absolutely a must.  Just learning how to use the machine is intimidating enough without fearing a badly cut out project.  Even pressing is something I will do ahead of time to cut down on the kids waiting on me to help them with the next step.

My first class was unisex, but I have had difficulty coming up with simple projects that would appeal to both sexes.  My last two classes have been for girls only.  I have started incorporating home dec projects as well, since most garment sewing involves fitting and/or you must have the correct size cut out.  So, even though I don’t opt to do home dec sewing on my own, I recognize that these kinds of projects lend themselves well to teaching sewing.

Here are some of the projects that I’ve taught to my students…

Fall 2 Sewing Class

Fall 2 Sewing Class

(Clockwise from top left)  Knit head wrap, cross body bag, hair scrunchy, pj shorts, bookmark, and envelope style pillow


Fall 1 Sewing Class

Fall 1 Sewing Class

(Clockwise from top right) D-ring belt, Parisian headscarf, elasticized waist skirt, half apron, infinity scarf, Halloween trick or treat bag, and turban headband.


Summer Camp

Summer Camp

(Clockwise from top left) Placemat, coaster and napkin, full apron, hand warmer, key ring, drawstring bag.


One of the adult class projects

One of the adult class projects

This was one of the projects I had the adult students make, a faux leather lined clutch purse.  It was a huge hit with the adults.  I loved making this bag; I think it’s super cute.  For the next adult class which starts next week, I have five projects lined up:  A table runner for Thanksgiving, a head wrap (like the one the kids are doing next), a coffee cozy, the envelope pillow (like the kids), and a wine gift bag.  I think it will be a great class.


It’s a lot of work coming up with the class projects, putting together the booklets, buying and pre-washing the fabrics, AND prepping the projects for the students every week.  In fact, after this session, I am taking a break from teaching sewing until at least Spring.  I don’t want to get burned out.

If any of you have any ideas for easy beginner projects, I would love to hear about them.  I think I’ve reached the end of the internet for new projects.   I haven’t listed all the projects above that I’ve covered already, so if you’re going to suggest pillowcases, I have already done that one.  😉

Halloween Pattern Review — Butterick 6267 Kimono

2015 November 3
by elizabeth_admin


So here I am again.  And this time with a pattern review and all!  Woohoo!  My new step-daughter, Alex, requested a kimono for her Halloween costume this year.  If you’ll remember, I made her an anime costume last year.  Well, we went shopping for the fabric together and she approved the pattern, Butterick 6267, and we were off to the races.  Here’s the review:

Butterick 6267

Butterick 6267

Pattern Description:  Misses’s Costume — Kimono has dropped shoulders and shaped sleeves with opening  Dress has tie ends, purchased inside tie, and narrow hem on front opening.  A, B: Fitted, bands (bias B).  Self-lined obi has bias ties.  Tie belt.  I made the Kimono and obi, as well as the tie.

Pattern Sizing:  A5 (6-14).  I made the size 6 and took off four inches at the shorten/lengthen line on the kimono and three inches off the length of the sleeves.  Incidentally, the size 6 fit me AND Alex.  Obviously it was pretty generous on her and only slightly large on me.  This is not a fitted garment at all.  So please take that into consideration when you choose your size.  Alex is 11 and has a child’s figure still.  I am busty and a much fuller figure than she is, so the fact that it fit both of us is pretty telling about how shapeless it is.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  YES!  Aside from the obvious fabric print differences.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Yes, except for one part where it instructs you to under stitch the sleeve.  I wasn’t sure which part of the seam to understitch, the band or the sleeve.  It was of course, the sleeve.  Re: interfacing, I used Fashion Sewing Supply’s Pro Sheer Elegance on the bands and the obi and it was just the right amount of support/heft for the project.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  

LIKES:  Loved the design.  

DISLIKES:  A bit intricate to cut out and sew up, but that’s to be expected with this kind of garment.  Also, the yardage that they say to buy was completely off.  I had a ton left over for the obi/bands and definitely at least two yards too much for the body of the kimono.  So that was a bit annoying cost and wastage wise.

Fabric used:  Polyester charmeuse print and solids from Yardage Town.

Pattern changes or design changes made:  As I mentioned above, I shortened the kimono by about 4 inches and the sleeves by about 3 inches.  Other than that, the pattern is unchanged.

Any problems encountered while sewing this pattern?  Not really.  Pretty straightforward pattern if time consuming.

How long did it take you to make it really? About two solid days for cutting and interfacing, and two days for sewing.

Which sewing machine(s) did you use for construction?  I used my Singer Featherweight exclusively for this make.  I pinked the side seams instead of serging.  In retrospect though, I should have serged them as the side seams still shredded quite a bit.

Will you sew it again or recommend it to others?  I most likely will not sew it again.  It’s not practical as a robe with those voluminous sleeves and it’s a pretty time consuming sewing.  I don’t anticipate needing another kimono soon.

Conclusion:  Great pattern for a kimono costume.  Not great as a kimono robe for everyday use.


And here’s proof of the pudding…



I have some other things to post but want to put them in a post of their own.  Bis später!

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