Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet: A Review

I am on my annual sewing vacation!  Every year I take off the week that The Sewing & Stichery Expo happens.  The first half of the week, I am sewing like crazy so I can wear something new and fresh while there.  This year is going to be a little different however.  I am going to be helping out at StyleMaker Fabrics Booth!  I am super excited to be among some terrific fabric and company.  If you are planning to attend the expo, stop by and say hi…Michelle curates some terrific fabrics….not to mention her website is super helpful with choosing fabrics based on what you want to make :).

Excuse the chalk mark…sheesh!

Continue reading

More Harriet Bra Fun!


This week has been full of lingerie making. I know bras are all I have been sharing lately, but it’s just s fun 😍. I swear, every time I go to cleanup my studio, I see some lace scraps and get completely inspired. And it helps that we’ve just had Valentine’s Day…what better way to celebrate than with some new handmade pretty things 😊.

I’ll share the most recent edition, a bra with panties to match. This lace is spectacular but I can’t recall where I bought it, although it was either ArteCraftShop or TailorMade.

Harriet version C, Watson Bikini

The next is a satin and lace beauty. The lace was left over from the halter bra I made that can be seen here and the satin was from SewSassy. I even had enough lace for 2 different panty styles. The first is with my fave Watson Bikini and the other are Esme by EvieLaLuve.

This bra is the most comfy and well-fitting underwire bra I’ve ever had.

Thanks for indulging me. ❤️



Corsets: a new/old fashion discovery

For a long time, I have wanted to make a corset. I bought the boning and tips 2 years or more ago. I do this with many things needed for specialty type projects. They then sit in their places in my sewing studio awaiting their turn in my work. I was not sure why I wanted to make a corset…would I actually wear it? I think corsets can be very beautiful and extremely flattering on any woman.  They just seemed really complicated…the stitching…the fit…the boning. Continue reading

Lovely Lingerie! Madalynne x Simplicity 8228

This weekend I’ve been on a lingerie sewing binge. Cloth Habit released 1003 Harriet bra and I was smitten. I’ve made so many Watsons, so I was sure to love the new underwire and you can see it here..  Madalynne x Simplicity 8228 has been in my lingerie notions drawer for quite a long time because I bought the PDF and had been dreading putting it together. After Harriet was finished and fitting well, I set out and suffered through cutting and taping about a third of the 8228 PDF before realizing each size was separate. Whew!, I quickly thumbed thru and found my size and had the pieces cut out. Continue reading

The Perfect EveryDay Bra! Harriet by ClothHabit

I’m on a roll with filling my undy drawer with freshness!  I guess one could say it is part of preparing for Spring :). As soon as the email announcing her new Bra pattern, Harriet, I hopped on over to Cloth Habit and made the purchase.  Something about this one had me hooked.  harriet-bra-pattern-cover_grande

The Harriet’s classic style features a lovely balconette neckline, supportive scoop-back straps, and a 3-piece cup seam design that lifts and centers.

Views A and B feature supportive, unlined cup fabrics and an optional lace upper cup. View C has a partially lined cup and fully lined cradle which gives you opportunities to play with lace on the front of the bra. from

I haven’t yet had terrific success with the other underwire bras I have made. That is not to say that they didn’t fit, they just weren’t exactly the right feel.  The girls didn’t stay happy for more than a few hours.  I set out to select my size using the instructions.  She explained that the sizing is not the same as with Watson, which makes sense I suppose considering this is an underwire and the Watson is a soft bra.  I came up as a 30DD!  Um yah…no way. So instead of making a tester bra with this size, I thought I would pin-fit it so to speak.  What I found is that the cup was way too big…projection-wise. Here is a picture showing what I mean.

3 different cup sizes…using sister sizes 30DD and 34C Plus 34B as my normal size
30DD projection...smooshed in after placing over my boob
30DD projection…smooshed in after placing over my boob

The 34C seemed to be the closest to a good fit, so I set out to make it up using a scrap of some duoplex. I didn’t have any black plush picot elastic, so I decided to use FOE to finish the neckline.  I removed the seam allowance in order to maintain the correct size.  The fit was darn near perfect except for a tiny amount of excess fabric in the upper cup at the apex. I really like the overall look of this bra and for left over materials/notions…I do like the finished bra!

sorry I am not wearing it...too sheer to post in public
sorry I am not wearing it…too sheer to post in public 🙂


I removed a total of 3/8″ from the apex; taking 1/8″ from the upper cup and 1/4″ from the lower cup pieces.  The other adjustment I felt it needed was to add 1/8″ the to bridge width.  As for design changes, I did not want to use picot elastic at the neckline, so I decided to self line the upper cup by placing the seam-line on the fold.  I then attached clear elastic to the inner layer to stabilize the neckline to be invisible.  It worked like a charm! harrietinsides harrietfront harrietbackclosed harriet2nded

I found the instructions to be written and illustrated very well, although I kind of went my own way.  I have no issue with the order of construction used, but just prefer my own quirky order of things. 😉  One thing I want to point others to, is the underwire.  I did not have the size wire suggested, so went through those I had and low and behold…the Plunge wire size 36 was a perfect fit for this bra.  You can get them at Emerald Studio on Etsy.  Unfortunately, I live in the US and the shop is in Canada, so I set out to find an equivalent if not the same.  I believe I found the same wire sold by ArteCrafts; she has a PDF with actual size wires of all types she sells.  I ordered them and should get them soon and am hopeful!

I just love this bra, it is so comfortable, easy to make and super versatile. I have a kit sitting on my cutting table ready to cut out…it will be the lace version. I am so excited!  Anyone else out there sewing up this beauty?


COMPLETED: Sophie Swimsuit

The blog has been veeerrry quiet over the last year…no excuses, but the creating has been nonstop.  I figured why not begin the new year with posting about a swimsuit, its been in the teens and 20’s here in the Pacific Northwest…makes sense right? 😉

Its not really swimsuit season, but I have finished this beauty finally.  Last summer, I was on a swimsuit binge in my studio.  I made three Bombshell suits and then Sophie came out.  HeatherLou is so talented with her pattern offerings and I had to partake.

Before last summer, I had never made a swimsuit before and frankly was a little intimidated.  Not sure why, because I have made a boat load of panties and several bras.  There really is no difference other than a few of the notions are different materials like rubber elastic, for instance.  Heather has produced an online course for the intimidated among us and I thought why not!  I enrolled in Sew Your Dream Swimsuit right away and never looked back.  I don’t know about any of you, but I am sort of an online sewing class junkie.  I can’t even count how many Craftsy classes I have and with YouTube, I am always tuned into some sort of video production about sewing and clothing design.  I love the internet!


I had a lot of fun making this suit, the drafting is perfection and the sizing is done similar to CCF other patterns, however the cup sizing is unique.  Heather does a fantastic job explaining how to select you size so there really isn’t any confusion.  I read through the printed instructions and took my measurements. Then I watched the videos and measured again.  I selected the closest size according to my commonly used underwire and measurements.  I chose the halter style with the high waist bottoms using foam for the cups.  The suit went together very easily and rather quickly too.  My machine was not cooperating at all with the top stitching and I kept getting skipped stitches.  So frustrating! I had just gotten my machine serviced and I think they messed up the timing because I have NEVER had any problem with skipped stitches. and Yes, I know…use the appropriate needle, thread….yadayadayada.  I checked, and changed and adjusted and nothing helped.  I still need to get her back to the shop and have them address it.  I mean really…I sew everything on this machine that you can imagine.  I got her done and it is good enough.

if you can zoom in, you can see the skipped stitching…everywhere..booh!

Sizing:  The suit is a tad snug and not really wearable for me.  The reason it is too small, I believe, is that the fabric being swimsuit material…the Lycra is extra strong.  I think grading out a half of a size in the hips should do the trick.  The top fits okay, but I could use a teeny bit more room in the cups as it sort of cuts into the boob-age along the top…everything else is perfect.  I wish I was brave enough to model this suit, but I am pasty white this time of year, lol!  I promise to make another suit with the adjustments and get a perfect fit so I can get photos this coming Summer.

I really like how the print is placed here, but just look at those awful skipped stitches!

I am very satisfied with the pattern and instructions, especially the quality of the video instruction.  Heather is really second to none at responding to questions as well as explaining the how to’s and why’s for everything.  I had some short lived confusion about how to select my cup size and she gave me a very detailed answer, so much so that I saved it to my computer to use next time.  She has a terrific teaching ability.

The huge bonus with this swimsuit pattern, is that it doubles as a bra making exercise as well.  The top is basically a bra made out of swimsuit fabric and notions.  I highly recommend this suit to anyone who wants to make their own suit and if you are afraid of sewing with these fabrics or just want to have Heather hold your hand through the making of your suit, enroll in her companion online course…well worth the money and time (you will have it forever).

Glad to be back with my sewing community, its been way too long! Thanks for reading 🙂

btw:  all of the links in this post are NOT affiliate 🙂

COMPLETED: my [toasty]Toaster Sweater!

I am back!  I have taken a very long break from blogging, gosh time flies.  I have been sewing like a fiend…as usual, but not taking any pictures.  As we all know, lurking is half the fun of following blogs, the other half is learning and inspiration. So here is the first of a few  posts I have planned.

When I first spied the Toaster Sweater by Sew House 7, I loved it….the simplicity of it needed to be among my Fall 2016 wardrobe.  Print

I considered using one of my TNT raglan shirt patterns to just copy it, I know that sounds horrible…forgive me.  But there was something about the proportions and the pattern photos that drew me in.  I succumbed.  Another pattern in my overflowing pattern stash.  Speaking of stash…I have had a chunky sweater knit…100% wool that would be a perfect match.  I bought it to make a pullover sweater for Mr. SABOYU 2 years ago, obviously never happened.  It is quite rough in texture, scratchy you know?! He would never have worn it so there on the top shelf it sat.

You may ask, if he wouldn’t wear it because of the scratchiness, the why would I?  Last weekend I made a gorgeous Archer with a Liberty of London Lawn liberty-tigerthat I wanted to wear under a sweater.  No sweater in my wardrobe necessitated a make et Voila!  The Toaster Sweater pattern was released + perfect color sweater knit stashed = coordinated look!



Pattern Review: Toaster Sweater #1

Description:  “This is a closer fitting, semi-cropped sweatshirt/sweater. It works best when sewn in thick, stiff knits with some body to keep the neck standing upright. It features raglan sleeves, a wide waistband, a loose turtleneck, long cuffs and falls between the high and low hip. It’s great in a standard sweatshirt fleece (with stretch) however, it’s also extremely handsome in a sweater knit to dress it up a bit.  This is a beginner level pattern.” from Sew House 7.

Sizing:  XS – XXL

The instructions are well written although because it is such a simple design, I did not need them at all.  A beginner maker would have no problem being successful.  The only advice for a beginner would be to follow the fabric recommendation of a stable thick-ish knit in order to achieve the look of the funnel neck.  If a drapier or lighter weight knit is used, the neck will fold and not stand at attention.  What drew me to this design was the neckline.  The silhouette is slightly roomy so you get the comfort level of a sweatshirt but with sophistication.  I love that there is no ease per se in the hemband which sits at the high hip.  I can see this top as weekend wear in sweatshirt fleece as well as an upscale sweater knit…cashmere perhaps??! MMM the possibilities.

I highly recommend this pattern. It is an extremely quick make at literally 45minutes from cutting to final press. Go forth makers!  and pick up the Toaster Sweater #1 or #2. (I have no affiliation with this designer)


I haven’t worn it yet…probably tomorrow, the weather is getting colder but not quite wintery so I won’t need a coat.  I have not even tried it on…admittedly I am afraid it will be too scratchy.

Do you like to wear wool or do you run from it? LOL

Thanks or checking out my come-back post!

xo and God Bless,


A New Sewing Studio!

One week ago today I was finishing my coffee and new that I needed to do a thorough cleanup of my studio and NOT looking forward to it. It was as if a hurricane had run through there! I’m not kidding thread and fabric bits everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE. I wish I had taken a picture of it to show you. Some of you may be able to relate, sometimes when the creative juices are flowing you just can’t stop to cleanup.


My room used to be my son’s and I took it over when he moved out. The carpeting in there was the same as when we bought the house and probably the original from when the previous owners added on to the house. So we’re talking probably at least 20 years old….just gross!  Carpeting in a sewing space is not at all practical, everything sticks to it and the vacuum takes a huge beating having all that thread tangling around the brush roller. I’ve wanted to replace the floor for a long time, but we had other things more priority than my fun space.

Saturday, June 10, 2016 at approximately 10 am, I’d had it. Here is how it went:

Me: Honey (to my husband), What would you say if I told you I wanted to move everything out of my sewing room, rip out the carpet, go buy some laminate flooring and install it.

Husband: I’d say, how can I help?

Me: Really? Great, I’m in the shower right now!

We discussed the plan and decided that it was time to sort through my fabric and create a keep box and a get rid of box. I wanted to clean out all my patterns too, but will do that another day…it’s a huge undertaking.

I won’t bore you with the rest, but am going to share my work in progress pictures and the final reveal, let’s face it we all love to lurk 😉

Flooring: Harmonics, Mill Creek Maple $26/box…we used 8 boxes

Thanks so much for sharing in my joy!!

x G

COMPLETED: Tommy’s Cargo Shorts SABOYO-style!

It was about time for some unselfish sewing! I was trying to get these shorts done for my wonderful husband to wear on Fathers Day, but I had to redraft the cargo details based on some UnionBay shorts he really likes.


I’ve patronized Silhouette Patterns/Peggy Sagers for a number of years. Recently, I’ve feared away simply because I’ve gotten frustrated with the seemingly sloppy product.  By that I mean, there are frequently errors in the printed patterns and instructions. When brought to her attention, she has been unwilling to fix them. She just tells you how to fix them or says it really doesn’t make a difference [in the finished garment]. I don’t think a $15 pattern should contain errors so consistently. Enough with the rant…sorry😳. Anyhow, she popped up with a new pattern for our men folk AND the pattern photo was a really cool cargo short…roomy side pocket detail to be specific.  I completely disregarded the technical drawing which showed a rather dorky plain flat patch pocket. I was pissed! At SP and myself for not looking closely before clicking the buy button.

So I set out to make my husband some new shorts with the details he wanted.  The pocket drafting was not complicated, but took some time.

I used waxed paper over the pockets and fingernail traced each detail. Then I trued up the lines and added seam allowance directly on the wax paper. I used my window as a light box and traced over each piece onto paper. The only challenge was creating the darted corners in the back pocket. I scratched my head for a bit until I realized, it was just a dart…easy peasy!


Here is my pattern review:

Pattern Description:  A basic cargo short with jeans styling front pocket and a yoke back. Side patch pockets with flaps.

Pattern Sizing:  Size 1 to 9 which equates to waist size 28″ to 44″

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Not the technical drawing, but the photo, yes. More about that on my blog.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  I didn’t use them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  Simply that they were copied from RTW…the silhouette, not the cargo pocket.

Fabric Used:  100% cotton twill from FabricMart. I got it as a recent Sues pick for $2.99/yard! This is the real deal in twills.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I completely redrafted the side and back pockets.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Now that I have the styling details my husband wants, it is a TNT.

Conclusion:  I am really glad I stuck with this pattern and didn’t let my pissyness get the best of me. They are a wonderful fit.
I compared the fit/styling with the KwikSew cargo shorts I have made a couple of times and really like the amount of ease in this pattern. They are slimmer without being tight. I’d say great for the men in our lives without much backside flesh 😉

Thanks for visiting!

image image image image image image imageUntil next time!

x G

Tickled Pink! I’ve made a T-Shirt Bra

After my last make, the fail posted about here, I told myself that I was done for a while with bra making. When I woke up the next morning, I set about to find my next up project and was sucked back into these addictive little creatures…BRAs! I’m telling you they are addictive. I had been cleaning up the bits and pieces trying to put them away as reusable pieces and found a bra I had started a couple of months ago. It is the DL01 by MakeBra. It is a cut and sew foam cup number that has been reviewed and blogged several times that shows to be well fitting and flattering all the same. All that was left to do was to apply the neckline and underarm elastics and hardware. So I finished her. It fit! That is the the culprit that put me in the bra-maker’s vortex! 🙃

My zigzag is too tight, makes for wavy seams 😩

Another bra I had going was the Elan bra, a padded-horizontal seamed lace cup with front closure. I finished her as well…I had only gotten one cup finished before putting it away so it took a bit of time to get it done. Fit not so good, it was too small. I was frustrated at the lack of instruction for selecting my size and even tried emailing the pattern maker, I believe is the maker. I probably won’t make this bra again due to the fact that you use fusible fleece for the padding and it’s just too many steps to create a bra. Sorry no pic, I trashed it too fast.

Now for the crime-de-la-crime! My beautiful T-Shirt Bra.


Isn’t she puurrty?!

Here is my review, it’s the same one I’ve posted at PatternReview.

Pattern Description:  from the website
Amanda and Alyssa Foam Cup Pattern , PB-1014
The first pattern of its kind in the world! Yes, you CAN make your own seamless cup t-shirt bras using our Angled Foam cups (MA series) or the Push-up Angled Foam cups (MP series). Two styles to choose from from in one envelope – either all fabric cups (Amanda) or lace cups (Alyssa). Both views have a fabric frame. Pattern is bilingual English and French.

We also sell a kit KM-33 with the fabrics pre-cut for the Amanda pattern. Please see the Kits & Bundles section of this website. To do the Alyssa, you would also need a piece of lace.
Pattern Sizing:
Complete size range from cup size 32 (32B) through to cup size 52 (42E) in one envelope.
Selecting your size is done a bit differently than her other patterns, but is well explained in the directions. As it turns out, I used a size 34 frame/cup and 30″ band.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
This is subjective…if you have seen a few bras and have a solid understanding of how a bra is constructed, they are well written. I would not recommend you try it without the added support from Beverly’s Craftsy classes. I have all three of them, and I referred to all of them during making of this bra.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I am so proud of how RTW it looks as well as the terrific fit.

Fabric Used:  I have a rather good supply of bra/lingerie fabrics and bits. However, since this is my first go at a pre-formed foam cup bra I bought the kit available at Sweetcups online. In hindsight…it was a rather pricey decision.
Duoplex for the frame and straps
Power net for the band
Pre-formed angled foam cups, MA (regular, not push-up)
Underwire from The Emerald Studio, France 36
Various elastics and hardware from the small findings kit at Sweetcups

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I didn’t make any fit changes, but through my haste, I forgot to attaché the straps I made from the pattern and needed to make my own straight straps. They attach to the underarm elastic that is looped to hold a ring and was a technique in one of the classes.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will most definitely sew many more and I do recommend all who want to make their own bras to give this one a go!

I love the smooth silhouette of a foam cup and will vow to never by another overpriced bra again.

Okay…here are some more pictures, I’ve tried to use some discretion since posting my boobs on the web feels a little weird 😳. I even asked my husband if he was okay with it…after all it’s not much different than galavanting around the beach in a bikini! Amiright?

image image image image image image

Thanks for reading!  Until next time,

x G