McCall’s Fall Into Fashion Challenge

You could say I’ve been pretty quiet around here lately, but honestly, I’ve just been too busy DOING!  Quilting projects, projects for the grandsons, projects for the husband.  Perhaps I’ll blog those one day.  For now, I wanted to share something fun.

McCall’s Pattern Company recently issued a challenge to create what I consider to be a Fall sewing plan.  Because I SO need a plan, I found myself neck deep in no time at all.  You can read the details of the challenge here.  I’ve created my Pinterest board and started some idea boards on Photoshop that I’ve pinned as well.  One thing that is confusing me is the requirement not to “show trademarked images and other brand logos”.  I’ve removed some Pendleton vintage plaid jackets I’ve had posted.  Hopefully everything else is safe.  Since posting inspirations are encouraged, there are some garments by brand names.  Hopefully that’s safe.

I’ll show you a few of my favorites….

Don’t you love this version with the pencil skirt??  Or maybe it’s just me?

Love the taupe/khaki pencil skirt and green plaid!

And this vintage pattern I purchased recently.  Great jacket and skirt!

I’ve promised (and promised!) myself to adapt a blouse that REALLY fits.  It’s past time that happens.  And I want a shirt dress as well.  No reason those can’t happen together.  Love the vintage Vogue pattern below and think the McCall 6696  below will work nicely.  I’m seriously thinking of moving those darts to mock the vintage pattern.  I’m looking at some lovely Italian cotton for both the blouses and the dress.

Shown below are fabrics from Mood and Emma One Sock.  That floral is seriously Gorgeous online!




In my search, I’ve stumbled across Farmhouse Fabrics in South Carolina.  They seem to have one of the widest ranges of Italian cotton that I’ve seen.  Yes, I did break down and make a purchase(s)!  I’ll let you know what the fabric actually looks like when I get it.  :-))

Here’s a shot of one piece that I purchased.  They have some nice bundles at great prices.  I bought a 3 yd bundle of a fine check (not shown) for $18.  Fantastic price per yard.

60′ Superfine Italian Cotton Shirting

Of course, I’ve chosen current patterns as well.  Some T-shirts are on the list.  That floral fabric pattern may be too large, but I just love it!  Fabrics shown are from Marcy Tilton.

Shopping for projects is so much easier than actually getting a project done.  I recently took a week off and barely made a dent in my sewing list.  It was very disheartening.  I need a better plan for sewing during the week (around a full time job!)

Do you have any suggestions??  I hope you’re being more productive than I am.  Have fun!



Happy Birthday to Me…

My birthday rolled around the way it always does and it was pretty awesome.  I thought my husband and I would do the dinner and movie thing.  But my family had other plans.  After moaning and apologizing for not being able to come into town for my birthday, my daughter walks in the door that afternoon.  What a great surprise!  But that wasn’t enough.  The whole family showed up as well and cooking a wonderful dinner.  The best way to spend a birthday.

CraftsyCaptureAnd today, this shows up in my email…

How totally awesome is that?!  Thank you, Craftsy!  You know how to make a girl feel special.

If you’ve spent any time at all on this blog, you know I’m a huge Craftsy fan.  The biggest problem I had was choosing only one class!

I’m currently taking Suzy Furrer’s, Patternmaking Basics: The Bodice Sloper, and have Kathleen Cheetham’s, Adjust the Bust and have enjoyed them both for different reasons.  Suzy Furrer’s classes are focused on creating custom patterns using actual measurements, while Kathleen Cheetham’s classes are focused on adjusting patterns to create a better fit.

I’ve had my eye on two classes by both of them:

In the end, I just couldn’t decide… so I flipped a coin!  The Skirt Sloper won.  But honestly, the other class will make its way into my cart sooner or later.   It’s just a matter of time.

Craftsy, if you’re listening, a men’s tailoring class would be fantastic!   Video instruction for men’s tailoring is pretty tough to find.  I’ve found quite a few good texts on the subject, but it isn’t the same as watching the techniques being performed.

For now, I have plenty to keep me busy…and happy!  Craftsy, thanks so much!  Just another reason to love you.  😉


Marfy Wishlist … :-D

Okay then!  Let’s see if this post works.  I’m pulling photos from Instagram and Pinterest and I will be interested to hear if the images are showing up for everyone.  PLEASE, if you aren’t seeing them, let me know (and let me know what browser you are viewing this in.)  Thanks so much!

So Marfy just released a few more patterns from their 2014 catalog.  It reminded me of the patterns on my wish list.  😦  I may break down soon and place an order.  Just saying…

Want to see some of my favorites???   😀   I knew you did!

Here goes ….

I love the simplicity of this next blouse.  Even busty, I think I may be able to get away with this style.  I may have to give it a try anyway.  Part of me says I can take a blouse that fits and create my own flounce.  Part of me says use the pattern that has been tried and tested.

Don’t you adore the next suit?  Maybe it’s just me.  And Marfy is really choosing colors and fabric patterns that just call my name this season.  Have you ever noticed the difference it makes when a pattern is shown in a fabric or color that speaks to you.  I have totally discounted good patterns until I’ve seen it made up  differently.  The power of the psyche!

The sleek lines in this jacket are awesome.  I’m constantly reminding myself that fitting a (way too) curvy figure causes disruptions in those nice lines.  Doesn’t stop me from wishing.

This has been on my wish list a while.  It just looks like a comfy, knock-around jacket, doesn’t it?

I Have Got To Have this next coat pattern.  I may need the plaid fabric as well.  Love, Love, Love it!

I’m looking for a pattern that is something like these two:

They appear to me to have kimono sleeves and an a-line silhouette.  (And the color of that teal(?) wool is absolutely awesome.  I’d love to find boiled wool in that particular shade.)  These next two Marfy may be candidates.  Modifications to the sleeve and/or collar may be needed.  What do you think?

I stop every time I look at this next coat and I have finally figured out it’s the fabric.  The fabric pattern and colors are fantastic.  I’m drawn to that blue and that oyster(?) color.  I definitely need to keep an eye out for something along those lines.

And just because….I want to try a pair of Marfy slacks.  Really like the lines of this next pair.

Honestly, I have a few more on my list, but I think that’s enough for today!  Meanwhile, I may need to finish the projects on my table instead of dreaming up new projects.  What do you think??

Question:  How do you control the number of projects you have going at any given time??  I need to find a better solution.

Hope you’re sewing something awesome and having a blast,


Jamie Jeans … 1st make

There is an online group called The Monthly Stitch which consists of a great group of seamstress.  It has been fun watching all the makes and participating in the chatter online.  February’s challenge is “Smarty Pants”.  I have a pair of slacks in the making I hope to finish for this challenge, but in the meantime, I have finally finished the Jamie Jeans.

When Named Clothing came out with their first patterns, I was taken with quite a few of their styles.  Particularly the Tyler blouse and the Jamie jeans.

Tyler Shirt and Jamie Jeans

I have made a muslin of the Tyler blouse, but I’m not happy yet.  I had to enlarge the pattern and make a FBA which changed the style of the blouse more than I wanted.  It is on my list to try again.

I decided to make the Jamie Jeans for my baby girl since she would be an easier fit.  The fit of the jeans was really good on her.  She has stocky thighs and rear end and some jeans look a little tight through the hips on her.  These really looked good and gave her a leaner look.  Unfortunately, I could not get photos of her modeling these jeans.

Instead, her older sister (Jamie, oddly enough) modeled them for me.


For the first make, I’m happy with the way these came together and pleased with the fit.  For Jamie (above), I might fit the leg a little closer.  The yoke also looked very flat on Jamie.  In these photos, it didn’t bother me.  In person, I thought it should be adapted to show more ‘V’ shape.

I used a method for the waistband taught by Kenneth King in his Craftsy class, Jean-ius.  The waistband is cut on the cross grain and steamed into a curve and set on the waistband.  This method didn’t work well with these jeans.  The waistband has too much room in it and stands up from the back.  The pattern calls for a curved waistband which I will use next time.

I also used what Kenneth King called the “Burrito Method” to install the waistband.  I wish I knew how to explain it because it gives a very neat look to the front edge.  Next time I will try to take photos to show.  He gave a great tip for matching the right and left side of the front waist band so the waistband is level.  There are a lot of wonderful nuggets of information in this class.  Kenneth King has a wonderful teaching style.

JamieJeanPocket2The pocket design was a doodle that Betsy had drawn a few years ago.  I didn’t like the way I attached the pocket and will do a neater, better job on my next pair.  I started with a single seam, didn’t like it and added a second line.  Definitely can be neater.

And then there’s the button!  I used the jean snap from  I ruined the first two trying to attach it.  I finally got one attached and it came off on the first wear!  Back to the drawing board on that one.  If I remember correctly, Angela Wolf talks through this process on her jeans class.  I will have to revisit that.

Whew!  I’m looking at this one as a muslin.  LOL!  Basically all of the issues here were my own techniques.  The pattern itself went together very well.  They were a good fit for all three of my girls.  The style is very flattering on them.

So that’s my jeans saga for the day.


Pattern:  Jamie Jeans by NamedCollection

Fabric:  Stretch denim from Hancock Fabrics

Notions:  Jeans snap and zipper from

Vogue 8498 In Progress…

We got a little ice in north Louisiana yesterday and I claimed a snow day.  (I felt like a total fraud, by the way.  Most of my coworkers showed up for work.  I just wasn’t in the mood to drive on the ice…or maybe I was just in the mood for a day off to sew.  Yep, that’s most likely.)


I did make progress on my Vogue 8498 pants.  A couple weeks ago, I worked on the muslin and sorta finalized the fit.  Want to share my frustration??  I measured the pattern hip and waist.  Waist was exactly on in back and too narrow in front.  So  what does any sane person do?  Add ease in the back and increase the front plus ease.  Result… Too Big!

Removed all the ease in the muslin which took me back pretty much to the original size!  Craziness.

So yesterday, when getting started on these, I chose a nice wool purchased at Hancock Fabrics at a clearance sale.  Saving some nicer wool for when I’m certain of the fit.  This is a lightweight, brushed wool.  It almost has a flannel feel to it.  I really like this and hope it wears as well as I believe it should.

At this point, I’m following Claire Shaeffer’s suggestion and putting the zipper in by hand.  This will be a first for me.  Looking forward to it.

Others are working on pants as well in The Monthly Stitch.  If you love sewing, you should check out their blog.  They have interesting and fun challenges, and it’s inspiring to see what others are working on.I’m enjoying sewing garments again, but I’m would really like to get some time in quilting.  Quilting has a quicker reward time to me and I’m needing that right now.

Hope you are warm and dry where you are.  And hope you get some thread time!  😉



Miss Bossy Patterns, courtesy of The Monthly Stitch

I started following The Monthly Stitch at the end of 2013, and have enjoyed watching what others are sewing.  Members vote on the theme for the month and everyone sews and posts within that theme.  For March, it was decided to spice it up a bit.  We get to submit a choice of three patterns in our stash that we have not used and the other members will vote on what we get to sew!  May be intimidating.

I’m playing it safe.  There are so many things I want to sew that I will win regardless.  I had a hard time narrowing this down to three patterns.  Let’s see if I can do that.

The first pattern takes the most planning.  I have really been wanting to add a ‘shirt’ jacket to my wardrobe.  Something simple that I could put on over dress T’s or turtlenecks.  In Louisiana’s hotter months, it allows a cooler option that is still professional.  Recently I found this light weight, worsted wool plaid and fell in love with it.  One part of me wants to use this plaid for this shirt jacket and another part of me wants to use it on a skirt with pleats.  Your vote may help me with that decision.


This plaid is large and uneven.  The simplicity of this pattern, the lack of a center band and the minimum darts should help when matching plaids.   You can see below two possible pattern placements for the front piece.  Note that the right and left sides will not echo each other because of the uneven plaid, but I believe the general color columns should be the same.

I’m large busted and I’m attempting to keep the emphasis off the bust area.  Let me know what you think.  (Photos appear washed out because I used Illustrator to do an overlay of the pattern and fabric.)


And two other options are a couple I’ve had in my stash and have wanted to sew for a little while now.  One is the Scout tee by Grainline Studio.  I’d really like to make this with a mock  turtleneck or cowl neck and thee quarter length sleeves.  The other is Cynthia Rowley’s Simplicity 1783.  I really like the pleated, blousie look of this top.  Yet the pleats at the waist and hip brings it back to a fitted look.


The fabrics shown are a sage green polyester(??), toast colored polyester, and ice blue silk charmeuse.  The green is much prettier and a vivid shade of sage green.  (Can anyone tell me why greens photograph so badly!!??  So Frustrating!)  It has a silky, almost charmeuse, texture and fall.  The toast colored polyester leans towards a caramel color and has a very nice fall and texture.  And of course silk charmeuse speaks for itself!  It has a nice weight and not tissue thin.  All of these fabrics have a nice weight and ‘movement’ appropriate for these patterns.

Well, I had this post ready and was so proud that I kept the patterns to three.  But as I was proofing it, I remembered I had this one in the lineup as well.  Hmmm.  I got close, does that count?

There’s this blouse by Marfy.  Marfy recently released a jacket, skirt and blouse pattern as free pdf’s.  To get them, you go to there site, click on ‘My Account’, and either create an account or sign in.  At that point, you can click on ‘Patterns’ and there will be a ‘Free Sewing Patterns” option.  Fantastic way to try these patterns.  There are no instructions and no seam allowance, so they can be intimidating depending on your sewing experience.  I find them intuitive and have had fun with them.


I recently picked up this piece of rayon on a remnant table.  It just shouts ‘Spring’ to me.  It is Rayon and the feel and movement of a nice weight chiffon.  There is only a yard (55″ wide) and options are limited, but it’s perfect for this blouse.

So, there you go.  You’re turn.  Boss me around, why don’t you!  😉

Feel free to leave comments with fabric selections.  Thanks for visiting and have fun sewing!


Pants, Pants, Pants!

The Monthly Stitch challenge for February is pants.  Since Fall of last year, I have intended to overhaul my wardrobe.  With the new year, there are a couple challenges that have made me really be intentional in some of my choices.  A few challenges have been Wardrobe Architect by Colletterie, Wardrobe Challenge 2014 by Angela Wolf, and 12 Pattern Challenge by Lucky Lucille.

We had flooring put down before Christmas and I boxed up all but the essentials in my closet and haven’t unpacked those boxes yet.  That’s given me plenty of time to think about what I need in my closet.  I’m rotating three pairs of slacks for work!  I have a couple more that I pull out when I have to, but I definitely need to add slacks to my wardrobe.

As part of the Wardrobe Architect, we were challenged to think about our style.  Who are our icons, how do clothes make us feel, what do we want from what we wear?  I felt I knew the answers at the start and found they didn’t change with retrospection.  I love Katherine Hepburn’s button blouses and pleated trousers.  The casual comfort of her style appeals to me!  Doris Day had a trim style that is just timeless.  I definitely want a pair of slim fitting pencil pants and a new pair of loafers.  I’m thinking a tunic length button down or perhaps a hip length button down would pair well.

My favorite way of dressing is COMFORT!  As in old sloppy jeans, t-shirts with my husband’s button down shirts.  I would like to create more things that are comfortable, but that also look decent enough to wear to town.  Being busty, my figure has always made it tough, read impossible, to buy things that truly fit.  With ‘middle age spread’, it’s just gotten worse.  So my core goals while wardrobe building are:

  • Comfortable
  • Well fitting
  • Classic/Timeless

Having said all that, the Monthly Stitch challenge comes at the perfect time.  I have three pair of pants on my to do list.  My goal for February is to choose one pair and get them done.  It would be awesome if I were to get two pair completed.  The main goal is to adjust the fit so that I have a dependable pattern to create a selection of trousers for work.  My first pair will be pleated trousers like one of these and I’m leaning towards V8498.

Vogue 8836
Vogue 8652








As I was grabbing my links for this post, I stumbled on Lucky Lucille’s post on her plans for pants in February.   It was just posted today!  (Kindred spirits for the day.  🙂)  She made a comment that could have been me to a Tee:

“I like chic menswear, tweeds, and timeless color palettes. I also like things that are soft and look like they’ve been broken in and well loved overtime – You know, Vintage-y things. Practicality also plays a crucial roll here so I’m looking for fabrics that are washable and fairly durable. I don’t want to fuss with matching plaids either. …and I really like the color green lately.”  (by LuckyLucille.  Full blog post here.)

For the record, I ALWAYS love green.  LOL.  My go-to colors this year seem to be black and brown.  I’ve quite a few pieces of brown wool in my stash.  I’ll have to be careful to balance with other colors.

I’ve really enjoyed watching how others approach their wardrobe choices.  It’s kind of funny the things that motivate us.  When thinking of some of my favorite pieces, I remember a true red Pendleton wool shirt that was a handed down from my Dad and a canvas and leather game jacket that my brother outgrew.  I wore both of those for more than a decade.  I find favorite things and wear them as long as possible.  Mom had a heavy red coat in a vintage heavy collar and a-line style that I’m still wearing today.

There is such a comfort in favorite things.  To all those taking up the wardrobe challenge in one form or another, I wish you luck.  I hope we all create a few new favorite things.

Happy sewing,


Related Posts:

The “French” Jacket

Inna and Leisa have completed The Little French Jacket Sew Along, but I’m still plugging away at my jacket.  For personal reasons I put this jacket on hold for almost a month, but I have gone back to work on it this past week.

DSC_0184_1213Last week was all about basting the lining to the jacket  pieces and sleeves.  Today, I pin basted, thread basted, then sewed the jacket seams together.  I also used the selvage edge from silk organza to stabilize the neck and front edges and provide support for the buttons and buttonholes.



You can see here (hopefully), how marking the seam lines with thread comes together as the pieces are basted together.  At the left you should see the thread marks come together and at right you should see where I have pin basted the pieces.

It’s difficult to see in these photos, but I’m much happier with the fit than I thought I would be.  It appears to gape open here, but buttoned the jacket will be fitted and sits well.  The arm holes at the shoulders may still be a bit wide, but I can check that when fitting the sleeves.  Looking at the back photo makes me worried the back shoulder is too wide.  I may have to take another look at that.

LBJ.FittingFront LBJ.FittingSide LBJ.FittingBack

It’s starting to shape up and I hope to be very happy with it.

I really want to make a blouse out of the lining fabric.  I found it at Mood and I just love it.

I hope you have a good week and are able to create something amazing.


Marfy Sew Along

MarfyFreePatternsWhile there hasn’t been a lot of sewing going on, I’ve still been pretty busy.  The Gammill Charm I won in December was delivered and installed yesterday, so I was able to play a bit.  I also got back on my French Jacket!  (About time!)  I’ve missed talking to my bloggin’ friends and really need to get back here.  But in the meantime, I just read a blog post and had to share it with you.

A month or so ago, I blogged about the free patterns Marfy had offered.  For all of you who took advantage and are now wondering how to sew with these patterns, Leisa, at a Challenging Sew, has the answer.  She has started a sew along specifically for these patterns.

She begins with the blouse and already has three versions made and shown on her blog.  Seriously, go check it out.


Have fun!


Marfy 2014/2015 Catalog

I would like to begin this post with a disclaimer … I’m not affiliated with Marfy in any way and receive no compensation for promoting them.  I’m just a little fascinated with their style and want to pass news to those of you who, like me, don’t have ready access to their patterns.

So, having said that, I received this in my inbox yesterday.  I’ve mentioned in the past that while Marfy catalogs are dear, they include free patterns which often make it well worth the cost.  Not to mention the fun of having these style books at hand to browse and be inspired.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve pulled out my Marfy catalogs looking for inspiration on a style change I wanted to make.

Did you notice this catalog has TWENTY free patterns.  That’s many more than I’ve seen in the past.  Honestly, they are not all patterns I would use, but I think the patterns I do like make up the difference.  Here are a few of my favorites.  The center blouse is simple, classic and elegant.  I can see getting good use of that one for work.  And the dress at the far right is precious.   (The photo here is pretty small.  If you want a closer look, click the photo to go to Marfy’s site.)


And the shipping cost is fabulous!  That’s half of what I normally pay to the ‘States.  I’m browsing the patterns to see what was on my wish list so I can combine a catalogue and pattern order.  The last time I did that, the patterns did not increase shipping costs.  Crossing my fingers that holds true this time.

You know, at some point, I really need to start cutting into these patterns and stop adding to my ‘library’.  I know none of you do that, right?   There is a New Year’s resolution list building in the back of my mind.  That may have to be part of that list in some way!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!  I hope this season finds you and yours richly blessed.