Helpful Tips

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy B'day to Me!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Little Crochet Mojo

Finished swatching for a crochet project. I have to say it felt good to crochet again. I blocked it and I'm waiting for it to dry. Can't wait to get started on the project itself. Fair Isle crochet has caught my attention. I saw it on my favorite craft show "Knit and Crochet Today." Do anyone know of any beginner projects for this techniqque? Any other fair isle crocheters out there,LOL!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"Sewing Tip "- Making Ordinary Pressure Feet Non-Stick Feet

When sewing on vinyl a regular pressure feet stick to the fabric causing a huge mess. I found a neat solution for this problem while looking through my favorite craft supply catalog, PTFE Strips by Kandi Corp. I brought these about a year ago from Home Sew Inc.
To use:
Just apply strip to bottom of pressure foot and remove any excess strip. Make sure your needle and thread can go through the hole in the foot with ease. Then sew as you would with a non-stick foot! Its that easy. I have used these strips on my blind hem foot to edge stitch on vinyl and also on my zipper foot when inserting zippers in vinyl.
I looked a saw that Home Sew no longer carries these strips, but I checked out Kandi Corps website and they are sell a PTFE 5"X 9" sheet for $4.00.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Simplicity 4736- Faux fur bag

I needed a quick and easy sewing project to get things going in the craftroom and Simplicity 4736 was the cure. You can read the review here.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Who Wouldn't Want A " FREE HANDBAG"

My thanks to Sheila for the heads up on the Free Handbag giveaway over at Handbag Planet. This is a new site launching on October 15, 2008 and they are giving away a beautiful handbag every hour for 24hrs. So go ahead and sign up for chance to win. Here are some of the choices you have:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Still Brainstorming

No sewing, but brainstorming. I am reading my fav mags to get ideas in fabric and shapes and embellishments. It is overwhelming at times because you see so many beautiful garments. I'm in the stage of picking patterns and fabrics. Just looking around the net. What I have decided to do is to plan my fall wardrobe in capsules. Doing either 2-4 pieces with a central theme to help me focus. Also within the capsule highlight one of the fall colors. What you guys think?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

What New!: Butterick and Sewstyish

The new Butterick patterns are in. Here are my picks:

The one I got-for FREE! For a limited time Butterick is giving away one free pattern just for browsing the site. Hurry and get yours!

I finally got my Sewstylish Fall 2008 issue. After thumbing through its pages my mind is turning with thoughts of great outfits that I can design myself, If I dare to be adventurous. I defintely recommend that you get yours!
Until next time!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fall Project 1: Quilted Suede Handbag

Finished V7982! This project was an easy and fun one. I love the look of this bag and its on trend. I am noticing a lot of quilted juackets, shoes, and handbags. I would recommend this for anyone looking for an easy and fabulous project. Sorry, I couldn't get a good picture of the quilting.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Checking in

Just wanted to touch base. I have finished the quilted suede except for the button that goes on the front flap. I am going to look for one tommorrow. I started the second handbag project. and all I have to do for that one is hand sew the lining in place and attach the handles. I am also tracing a few patterns out and looking for inspiration for planning my wardrobe.

Bluefly sent an email annoucing the intro of Christian Siriano's RTW collections. its worth checking out. Here are some of my favs:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

WIP: Fall Accessories Project I - Quilted Suede Bag

This bag (V7982 view C) is coming along quite nicely. I was worried in the beginning about all the quilting that is required but thank God for quilting guides.

This guide made quilting the suede a breeze. The bag is nearly complete. All I need to do is attach the facing to the lining and attach that to the bag and when my chain for the handle arrives from M&J Trimming I will attach that and that will be it. Hope to have finished photos soon.

Until next time.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Me in My Burda

Here is a pic of me Sunday in my Burda 4/2008-116 dress. I loved wearing it. I wore it with white crochet ankle tie espadrilles. Mind you this pic was taken with my camera phone.

I am now working on V7982 view c. I finished quilting the fabric yesterday and will cut out the patterns pieces from this quilted rectangle and do the marking. I still have to buy 3 feet of chain for the purse handle. I plan on getting that soon.

While site seeing, I viewed a slide show of Burda's new pattern collection called FashionLine by Burda. these patterns are due to debut in August. Check out the Burda site for the preview. Fabulous offerings- coats, dresses, skirts, and biker type jackets.

Until next time!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Finished: Burda 4/2008-116

I finished the dress. The muslin truly helped in getting a perfect fit. In the shoulder and upper bodice I cut a size 12 and fold out 1/4" in the neckline to remove gaps. I went up to a size 16 in the hip area and did a swayback adjustment. I sewed the jersey using an overlock stitch and triple stretch stitch. This was my first time using these pre-set stitches on my brother XL5700. I love this dress. I will try to get some pictures soon.
Next project- making a paper tape dress form. I definitely need one. My hope is that with a dress form I will be able to fit a pattern much easier and faster.
Until next time.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

My First Muslin

Hello. I have blog in a while. Life has been busy, but I am working on my first BWOF. It 4/200-116. Because this is the first time I have every worked with these patterns, I have made my first muslin. It is really worth the effort. I am almost finish making the muslin and already can see the adjustment I need. I am smaller on top and wider on the bottom. I need to take in the neckline area and bust area and so far look like I will need to add to the hip area. I am glad that I am taking the time to make a muslin before I cut into the pretty jersey that I have for this dress. Wish me luck.
Until next time.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Why, Why, Why!

Two weeks ago, I decided to try my hand at an easy Burda WOF dress 4-2008-116. I looked hi and lo for fusible bias tape. After consulting Cidell she recommended Design Plus fusible bias tape. Thanks Cidell! I found that sold it. I purchased a couple package and figure I was ready to make my muslin to make this simple dress. Would you know something would happen it seems to be the way things are going in my sewing room. The Burda 3 in 1 tracing that I had since the 90s fell and the chalk marker wheel became stuck. I tried to move it and noticed that the serrated edges on the wheel was scraping the muslin fabric, not good. Yesterday I got the little wheel to move, but it still scrapes the fabric, so I thought I try and replace the chalk wheel with another hoping that the marker will fit into the special slot that was for the original chalk marker. It didn't work. So today, I ordered the Clover dual tracing wheel. I am so glad Cidell and Cindy posted about this gadget.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Always Follow Your Instincts

Even if the washing instructions says machine wash/tumble dry. I knoew I should have handwashed and line dried this yellow stripe cotton lawn with clear sequins. I just knew it. But instead of following my instincts, I machine washed. Here are the results.

A mess of thread and sequins all knoted up. The fabric now have visible holes where the sequins were sewn.

Oh well. A lesson learned.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Whole lot of Shaking Going On!

Friday morning I felt as if I was living in California. The Midwest had an Earthquake! 5.4! It happened at 4:30 a.m. All I knew was the I was sleeping and the next thing I knew my bedwas shaking. I live in a small town in Illinois near the Missippi river. The epicenter of the earthquake was in another small towm on the Illimois/Indiana border. Around about 10:00 a.m. we experience a 4.6 after shock. That wasn't as bad a the 5.4. Everything has been quite today. So far.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Fun Lover Sneak Peek and Goodies

Here is a peek at the Fun Lover Tank crochet project. this is the back. I just finish the left shoulder shaping about an hour ago. There was a mistake in the left shoulder instructions, but it wasn't anything to difficult to figure out. The yarn is Patons' Brilliant in Sparkling Rose.

Next I will be crocheting the front.

Also, I had a few goodies to come into the mail today from Newark Dressmaker.
1. The Easy Fit Iron Board Cover. I was in serious need of a new pad for my ironing board. This one has a reflective aluminized finish.

2. A tailor Ham. I needed one.

3. A 1" Bias Tape maker. I figured I'll buy this size first because many pattern calls for this size.

4. Hand needle threaders. Love them. Will not hand sew without them.

5Undergarment measuring tape. I will use this to get an accurate high bust and bust measurement.
Machine sewing needles- Stretch and Universal. Can't have too many of these around.

7. Sewing machine cover. I was just using the plastic my Brother XL5700 came in.

. And as a free gift, I received these Spring flowers Appliques.Until next time. Its almost time for "Dancing with the Stars"

Monday, March 31, 2008

Tracing Wheels

Miss Dish was showing her new gadget - a dual tracing wheel that she will use for BWOF patterns. It is a great gadget. I wanted to show the Burda 3 in 1 Tracing Wheel that I purchased when I brought my first Burda pattern in the '90s.It has a removable chalk marker that can be filled with powdered chalk. It came with white and blue chalk powder. It is also adjustable in widths of 1/2",5/8,1",and 1and 1/2". Since I have a trial subscription to BWOF, I believe I will be putting this nifty tool to use.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Some Changes

I have decided to change my blog name. The other one was not working for me. I think I can live with this one. I have started a spring crochet project. I put down the Icelandic Turtleneck for spring and summer crocheting projects. This one is called the Fun Lover. It is coming along nicely. I have been planning my sewing projects and gathering the materials so right now there is still no FOs. I just been reading all my favorite blogs getting inspired.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Don't Miss This!

Head on over to They are having a spring clearance sale. On sale for $2.99 a yard jersey,gauze knit, dotted chiffon, stretch poplin, and more basics. Hurry the sale ends on March 27th. Can't beat these prices. ( I sound like a commercial,LOL).
HAPPY Easter!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

National Crochet Month

March is National Crochet Month. So all you crocheters and newbies get to hooking (crochet hooks that is).

Friday, March 7, 2008

Taking a Step Back

Well M5471 is set to the side. Why? I am going back to the drawing board and rereading Fit For Real People. I want a better understanding on how to figure out my fit challenges. I want good fitting clothes not just items to post about. But I am working on planning a Spring Wardrobe. I have some patterns picked out. I have ordered some fabric that will complement clothes that I already own. And I am planning those things that I will sew. As I stated in my New Years Sewing Resolutions that I want to learn more about the craft of sewing. I am going to do just that.
Today I made a great purchases. I found some balls of Patons Brilliant in Sparkling Rose for a $1.00 ea. at Big Lots, a discount store. Big Lots is a fun place to shop because many times the merchandise changes and there is always something new at a cheap price. So now all I have to do is find a crochet pattern.
Until next time!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Fitting Problems

New in Patterns: McCalls Early Summer Pattern came out today. Here are my favs:

Fitting is such an issue for me. I want the perfect fitting garments especially shirts. M5471 is proving to be that challenge. I knew I should have done a muslin. I tissue-fitted as out lined in Fit for Real People by Pati Palmer and Marta Alto. Usually when I hit a problem like this I give up and move on to the next project. But I am going to use this as a learning experience and not give up. I will make muslins for now on. It may be extra work, but at my level of experience (or is it inexperience?) I need to practice different techniques to learn proper fit. I plan is to tissue-fit and muslin fit. I want to learn tissue-fitting because I don't want to have to measure each pattern piece then match to my measurements. I'm I being Lazy!!! Take a look at the bodice and if you can tell me what's wrong. Pleeeeeeeeeease Heeeeeeelp!!!!!!!!! And what is the best method of fitting a sway back? After using the technique for fitting a sway back in Fit for Real People I still had a lot of extra fabric in my "sway ". Help!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Working on somethings!

Whew! it has been a little while since I have posted. I have been doing some crocheting and some sewing. Hopefully next week I will have some thing to show. I have been thread tracing M5471. It seems like everytime I try to get started life happens. Isn't that the title of Toya's blog. I agree with her totally. I made a quick project. I will also post on that next week. I did a quick project to get some sewing satisfaction. I have finished swatching my Icelandic Turtleneck crochet project and have now begun crocheting the sweater itself. For those newbie crocheters swatching is done to test the gauge. You have to make a sample swatch with the yarn and hook given in the patten. Then block it. Blocking is just wetting the sample according the pattern or yarn package. Blocking also helps to get a more accurate gauge. The sample is also a way to see if you have the correct gauge and if you don't, then you will need to make another swatch with a diffent size needle. For this sweater, I had to make two swatches and block them both. The first swatch I crocheted to tight with the hook stated in the pattern. So I had to get a larger hook and swatch again. The second was the right gauge. A good book on crocheting I broght to refresh my knowledge about the craft was Crochet for Dummies. I ordered it online at

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Well, the holidays are over and the new year is in full swing. To kept to my new years resolutions, I am planning my projects, shopping around for the materials and reading. On the subject of reading, have you gotten your new Threads? Its all about Couture. It have some very exciting articles:
Simple Steps to a Couture Dress-A little Black Dress from Start to Finish
create Couture Lingerie
You Say Underlining, I say Interlining by Kenneth D. King
I am inspired by this Threads it got my mind working.
On the crochet front, I am doing a second swatch for the gauge on the Icelandic Turtleneck. I had to many stitches in the first swatch.
Well I am off to start taking down the Christmas tree and decorations. Until next time!