Part II: PASS-THE-PATTERN ‘Issy Rides Again!’

Pass-the-Pattern is a fun sewing community event initiated by Marijana of Sew2Pro and Lesley of sewniptuck back in March.  You can read all about it here and here.  I received my Issy (from Lesley in Australia) after winning the drawing and it arrived about a week ago.  Following the rules of engagement, I mailed a stashed pattern of my choice to Lesley and just as I sat down to start this post…she emailed me that she had just received it…it is the StyleArc Poppy.  I had it in my stash for a looong time and just haven’t found the inspired fabric to make it up.  It was a freebie when I ordered another pattern and I happen to have 2 of them, well not anymore ;).  Can’t wait to see what she does with it…she is super creative and a very talented sewist.  Keep an eye out for her post.

Instruction for becoming part of this ride is at the very end of this post…read on or skip to the bottom if you just can’t wait 😀

Back to the Issy everlasting…


I haven’t had a sewing project keep me so consumed in a long while, now I can finally get a good night’s sleep.  She is done…

What a fun and exasperating ride it’s been.  My first trial Issy was actually pretty simple…no issues.  Only slight tweaking needs were found after she was finished.  I think one or two head scratching moments, but virtually no real issues.  I left the last post with needing to go to the fabric store as my overflowing stash did not show any promise for a summer-time version of this cutie-pie… a sleeveless top to show off my hopeful tanned arms.  During a sleepless in Seattle moment, I remembered I had some several yards of mesh knit that I bought when Fabric Mart was having a $1/yard sale extravaganza!

First thing in the morning after coffee of course, I pulled out my favorite, and BAM!  2 yards….hallelujah!  It is a nylon/lycra blend and very lightweight.  The adventure ensued…try approaching a raging river was in my sight.  I thought…do I really want to go there?  Or should I just bail and take the calmer waters, going to the fabric store and finding a nice and easy knit.  Naw, let’s go Issy…no turning back!  I love a challenge…I can do this!!!

I bought some Sullivan’s fabric stabilizer a couple of weeks back on recommendation from Lauren of Lladybird and it works like a charm!  IMG_1246

Here is a comparison shot…

Left = With Stabilizer     &     Right = Without Stabilizer…excuse the mess in the background!

I wasn’t sure if it would work so I tested it on a smaller piece…it worked like a charm!  I sprayed it while it was folded before cutting out the pattern…a tough wrangle but used pins in the selvage edge to keep it straight.  I used the recommendation from the can and put a dry iron over the spray to speed up the process.  I did both sides of the folded piece to ensure even coverage.

This mesh is super sheer so I cut a double layer of just the front so I wouldn’t have to where a cami under it…only a bra.  Don’t much care if anyone sees my back bra.  I took a photo of the top completed on a hanger before I threw it in the wash this morning to give y’all an idea of just how stiff it made the fabric…but very nice to handle while sewing.

see how it kind of poofs out, looking more like a cowl neck?

Having worked up a trial in the jersey, I had the weirdness worked out.  The fit adjustments I made were few.

  1. 5/8″ sway-back
  2. narrowed the shoulders 3/8″
  3. took an additional 5/8″ seam allowance at each side seam tapering to zero at the armscye (see my initial adjustments here)

For finishing the front neckline, I sewed the double front pieces right sides together between the notches which made for a really clean edge. Double bonus, it also stabilized a super stretchy fabric :).

Construction was a breeze, more or less….well until I got to the armscyes.  Here is where I began to really stress out!  I wanted to wad it up and throw it in the trash can!  I always sew before work every morning after coffee. It’s a great way to start my day on a happy note 🙂  Right?  Well, not so yesterday morning, when I so efficiently applied my favorite double-sided fusible hem tape preparing to turn under and top stitch the right armhole.  I even had time to stitch it so then all I had to do was the other side seam and hem the left armhole when I got home.  As soon as I got done, I realized that I was going to bind it properly as I like that finish much better and being mesh…it would looked terrible turned and top stitched.  Dang my impatience!

That evening…this is the view. Note the terrible monster looking expression…lol!!!

Hating on the seam ripping!

Have you E V E R tried removing 3.0mm lightning bolt stitches from mesh…..NOT FUN!!!  I could only tolerate 2 hours so I finished it this morning in better light after a night’s rest.  The result was a bit stretched out and a few tiny holes…nothing not remedied by some careful placement of binding.  When I finished…I was pleased overall.  There is a slight bobble, but I won’t point it out…if you find it…let me know I won’t be offended.  🙂  A non-sewer will never see it…teehee 😉

Here is the rest of my pics:




If you want to be part of this super fun ‘adventure-sewing’, here’s all you need to do:

  • Leave a comment by May 7th at midnight PST at the bottom of this post to go into the drawing. I will randomly choose a winner on Mother’s Day May 8, 2016.
  • The winner will be sent the Style Arc Issy by snail mail with stamps!
  • Blog about your Issy experience. No blog? not a problem, I would be pleased to publish for you, just contact me by leaving a comment on this blog post :).
  • You will then choose a new recipient from your commenters to send your Issy to
  • One addition that I have added…The Issy recipient is to add their State/Country on the piece of paper I have included in the pattern envelope…sort of like a Passport that has been stamped!!! Hope that is okay with Marijana and Lesley….
  • The recipient of ‘Issy’ should mail a mystery pattern of their choosing to the ‘Issy’ sender (you)
  • Blog/write about the mystery pattern you received in return for sending Issy onto a new home somewhere in the big wide world.

How many times will Issy be made and where in the world will it go? Can you pattern hack Issy? Help us play ‘Pass the Pattern’. Leave your comment at the bottom of this post to go into the drawing.



‘Issy’ Rides Again! [PASS THE PATTERN]

Back in March, on my birthday to be precise…I saw a cool post sharing this Issy experience and inviting readers to comment as an entry into this contest of sorts.  So I though what the heck!  And I won!!!  To be cliché, “I never win!”.


Continue reading

Back in the Saddle!

I have been absent from the blogosphere, and so soon after I jumped in. So sad 😞…

It’s funny, to me at least, because I have been lamenting this absence since December. Then this “Pass the Pattern” opportunity rose up, I entered the draw and started another blog draft post with an idea to take it a step further.  All the while thinking, Murphy’s law would rear its head….and I would be the winner and my draft would again sit in a holding pattern along with the others.  And YEP! I was the winner!!!! Yay me, I am so happy, excited and a little scared all at the same time.  Lesley’s and Marijana’s Issy posts were fun and I hope mine will be at least in line with there’s.  If you are wondering what this Pass the Pattern is, click here and here to read all about how it began.

 for the Style Arc Issy   
Back in November I had a draft of my Christmas sewing done and waiting for pictures and happily wrapped all of my handmade gifts then realized I hadn’t photographed them …baaaah! So I thought, no biggie… I’ll just ask each of the recipients to send me a pic of them wearing there prize, good idea, right? WRONG!!!! Not a one and even after I asked a 2nd and 3rd time 😢. This post is still sitting in my drafts where it will undoubtedly remain…a sort of morgue for blogging. 

Then, I had a family member with a serious medical situation and life sort of took over, so no blogging time. 

Well, now I’m ready to get back into the sewing blog saddle 🤓.  Thank you Marijana’s and Lesley!!!! Stay tuned as I wait by my mailbox for the Issy…

Gifting DIY-style!

Every year I am in a mad dash to create a “Hand-made Christmas”.  I have been doing this for years now and I think my family has come to expect a gift not bought.  Not in a bad way, or at least I hope not …yikes!  One motivator for me is, of course the creativity, but more so…the rushed timeline I end up pushing on myself.  I really do work much better on a tight pressed deadline.  Crazy…yes, I am crazy!

Who doesn’t love a hand made gift?  And seriously, when we are all grown up…do we really NEED anything?  I swear my Mom asked me every year up until a couple of years ago, for a Christmas List!  I have always disliked sitting down and greedily listing all the things that I wished someone else would buy for me.  However, when I was young…I had no problem perusing the Sears catalog and writing down every last toy I just had to have :).  Besides, when someone knows you, I mean really knows you, they should be able to figure out some meaningful type of gift.  Some may consider this weird or ungrateful….but I just don’t like asking for things.

Free Sewing Pattern for a curved top cosmetic bag. Love the bow detail on the frontHow To Make Homemade Irish Cream LiqueurDIY Leather Strap Clutch Tutorial // Delia Creates

DIY Leather + Flannel Snap Scarf Tutorial // Delia CreatesHomemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats - The easiest homemade dog treats ever - simply mix, roll and cut. Easy peasy, and so much healthier than store-bought!Canvas & Leather Lunch Bag

All the pictures above are from the websites/bloggers below…give credit where it’s due!

So without further ado, here is a list of some fairly easy and fun/cool things you might enjoy making up for someone on your Christmas trail this year.

Pretty Pillow Cases

Spirits for the gift maker or …

Arm Warmers…for the teen or hip chick!

Super cute, on-trend leather clutch

Yummy nuggets for your doggies!

Not just any scarf….you gotta at least check this one out.

A pretty cool lunch sack…for a dude in your life 

Rope Bowl: A gift perfect for the “I don’t know what to give her/him”

Tilly’s Eye Mask: Do you know someone who could use help getting to sleep?

A relaxing neck warmer: Here is a gift to make for yourself AND someone else…they will love you forever!

Every girl needs a cosmetic bag

If you have any others that you’d like to share….please leave a comment so I can check them out…always looking for ideas.





A little bit of WILDness!

Every once in a while, I want to make something to run around in that is a little bit crazy and outside of my norm.

On a recent YouTube webcast by Peggy Sagers of Silhouette patterns, she showed some leggings using some new fabric she has on her website…neon greenish-yellow with black animal print.  Yikes!  you might say, but they are really cool.  So I made an entire outfit that I plan to wear to an afternoon birthday party with the family at a casual restaurant and arcade.  Perfect!

Pattern and Fabric Deets:

Self-made:  Poncho/Cape click here for a tutorial. Fabric: Quilted Acrylic/Virgin Wool blended with Nylon bought at (unfortunately they don’t have it anymore).

StyleArc: Laura Knit Leggings. Fabric: Wild Cotton Jersey with stretch in both directions bought at

Jalie: 2805 Long Sleeved T-Shirt. Fabric: CottonLycra Jersey bought at Natures Fabrics

RTW:  New Boots bought at DSW (the most amazing shoe store EVER!!) I swear they pay me to shop there ;).

Now for the pictures….


this is a little Michael Jackson “Thrillerish”










If you’ve reached the bottom….thanks for taking a gander!  I had so much fun planning, sewing and wearing this today.  I had many looks and compliments [blush] :). Do you ever sew outside your normal style box? Please do feel free to comment either way….like or not, I so love to read comments.

Disclaimer: none of the links in this post are affiliate nor do I get anything for linking. I simply want to share in case it may help a future sewing friend!

ON TREND! LONG VEST… A quick make

Ooooh I’m so excited! We all know what TNTs are, but what about those times when you can use a pattern and make something completely different without having actually made up the originally intended garment.  This is one of those times for me.

I already have a Trenchcoat although it’s a casual rendition in leopard print twill.  This make is a long vest with a faux fur collar.  image

I used Barbara’s Trench which is a rendition based on the traditional Burberry Trenchcoat.  The story behind this is that it was an idea offered up by Peggy on a recent webcast.  I decided to splurge on the fabric she used in her version.  It was $29.99 per yard! Yikes…for a cotton knit.  The description is that it is dual sided…which it is, and it is black and dark gray….which it WASN’T!  When it arrived it was a sunny afternoon and I swore it looked blue, but I thought it was how the sun hit it.  I took it right to the wash so I could get my vest ASAP.  When it finished in the dryer, it still looked blue.  The flash of my camera brightens the blue tone but it really is a deep dark muted navy, if that makes sense.  I was entirely bummed, because I also bought a black, gray and white fur to use for the collar at the same time.  That was not going to happen….just look at the difference!  Not good.


I emailed Peggy right away and she was receptive…I could have returned it, but since I’d laundered it already…I thought hey why not use it. She has since corrected the listing :).   It’s wonderful rich feeling fabric with a perfect weight and drape for this make.  I searched for faux furs and took basically blind faith on the description alone….and what I settled on ended up a perfect compliment to my deep navy blue.  It is a really soft bluish gray polyester fur that washes beautifully as well!

As for the pattern changes, I cut the front a seam allowance away from the center front line, removing the double breasted-ness. All edges were serge finished, turned under and top stitched. I cut only the upper collar and attached the stand traditionally and sandwiched that unit over the neck edge and edge-stitched in place.  No closure needed. And voila!


As a bonus, now I know that the size I used will be good when I make the full version in a lovely rich wool cashmere flannel I just got from for $14.99/yard.  I should be hauled away to jail for that steal!  I know….cheesy, but hey I couldn’t resist….lol.

I’ve linked up at This is a fun way to connect with other sewists who are sharing their most current makes.

COMPLETED: Another ComfyCozy Dress…Lola of Victory Patterns

Last year I made the Jasper Sweater Dress from Paprika Patterns and I wear it often.  In my search, I also found Victory Patterns and bought Lola.  While both designs are sweatshirty, each have distinctive differences. imageLola has raglan sleeves and a flat ribbed neckline as well as roomy pockets on each side panel.  Another difference is the hi-lo waistline.  It’s sort of like an empire waist, but only in the front. Finally, the fit silhouettes my body more than with the Jasper.  My husband likes it that way ;).

I made the size 10 based on the finished garment measurements…I am really loving these pattern companies including FGM in ther patterns.  I never use my body measurements to select a size to make up anymore.  The fabric was a poly sweater knit from FabricMart…it didn’t list as such, but it is a hacci knit I think.  When it arrived, it wasn’t what I was expecting…it is a little shiny for my taste.  However, I think I like it….it worked for this make.  I didn’t spend very much…$5/yard.  It took just under 2 yards.  It’s a little lightweight for this pattern becaus it caused the pockets to droop a little…I guess I could say instead that they are slouch-pockets. Yes, I like that, it sounds like I did this intentionally ;).image

During the cutting and marking, I kept mumbling and grumbling under my breath that there are way too many notches….but I snipped every one of them.  As it turned out, it was really helpful to have all those match points!  I usually follow instructions the first time I use a new pattern….usually.  The instructions and illustrations are in a tidy little booklet, love that.  Sometimes those guidesheets from, say the Big4, require beating into submission!

As always I complete all the small pieces before construction.  That’s a sewing tip I highly recommend to all of you reading my blog.  It makes the whole project seem so much quicker, even though the time spent is probably the same if you were to track it.  But I’m not going to do that….I prefer to go on feelings and emotions. Ha!

I pretty much sewed it right out of the envelope (or box in this case ;)). The only pattern adjustment was to remove 2 and 1/4″ from the length. Initially I removed just 1″ internally.  Once it was almost done, I decided to remove another 1 and 1/4″ from the bottom.  I’m glad I did it this way because I think I like the pockets a little lower since they sort of slouch.  If they were higher up, they would add some width at my low hip area…no one wants to look wider, am-i-right?  I usually need to adjust for a sway back by 3/4″, but this fits really well at the back waist….I think the waistline seam paired with princess lines makes the difference for me on this one.  The only construction change I did was to fuse the back of the little triangle thingy at the CF neckline…it helped tame it for finishing the edges so it didn’t get stretched out in the process.image

I like it!  This dress is so comfy and could easily be something I will throw on to laze around the house with some legging or really high knee socks.  I’m sure I will make this again out of a really nice swearshirt fleece, but it will need to be of high quality with stretch for sure.  There are many design options with this pattern…like color blocking perhaps?


What do you think, have you made this or similar? Share what you’ve done….I like seeing what other sewers’ come up with. :).

More Pattern Drafting

Once I got started in my new adventure…the Pattern Workshop course I blogged briefly about here, I discovered that I’d probably be more successful learning the basics of drafting the traditional way.  So I pulled up the Craftsy class, Pattern Making Basics: The Bodice Sloper that I’ve had for a little while taught by Suzy Furer.  This woman is by far the best instructor of any Craftsy class that I’ve taken.  And let’s just say I have taken upwards of 25 classes in 3 years. [blush].

I have watched the entire course at least 3 times before I pulled all my tools out on the table.  I love all the math, measuring and nerdy thinking involved in drafting.  It brought me back to my Junior Highschool days when I took an architectural drafting class.  Pattern drafting is no different, you get to use a ruler, paper, pencil and eraser…..not to mention a lot of brain-work too.

But first I needed my husband to take all the necessary measurements….he is such a good helper!  He watched the section on how to mark and measure each and did so quite accurately. I swear every day…he is the BEST husband any woman could have…and he’s all mine ;).  Finally the fun began, MATH!  There is a nicely organized chart for the measurements and calculations in order to begin putting meaningful lines on paper.  It took me about 1 and 1/2 hours to get through the front moulage.  A moulage is actually a body blueprint and is supposed to fit like a second skin.  Here she is, almost in her glory…the armhole and neckline still needs to be developed. DSCN0242

The back should be a little quicker since there isn’t a shoulder or side (bust) dart.

Just a little tweaking of the armhole, then onto tracing!
Just a little tweaking of the armhole, then onto tracing!
If you look at the outermost tracing, the armhole is really shallow and overall just wonky.  Others in the class had similar issues.  For some reason that I don’t understand is that I needed to remove 3/4″ from the cross back guideline ( from armpit to armpit). But heck…it worked!  Now the moulage can be traced to preserve all this lovely work.  Once traced, it will be cut apart to create pattern pieces for my cloth.

Look closely...aren't they pretty?
Look closely…aren’t they pretty?

Ready to cut out of my muslin...but remember to add seam allowance :)
Ready to cut out of my muslin…but remember to add seam allowance 🙂
To be continued…

Dun dun dun! Not too shabby for my very first moulage if I do say so myself :).

Thanks for joining in my latest venture!

Disclaimer: none of the links in this post are affiliate nor do I get anything for linking. I simply want to share in case it may help a future sewing friend!

I am STASH BUSTING!…making room for more ;)

After posting about my sewing stash, I realized it’s time me to go shopping and stash-bust.  There are some fabrics I’ve had for a while and a couple that are more recent. One of the @home fabric store departments I did not include in my last post was the pattern department!  How could I leave that out?  I tend to use my TNT patterns most often, so the others that I bought, cuz I loved them, needed to have the dust blown off of them.

Some of the most abundant is a collection of Silhouhette Patterns.  It took me a while to start buying them, because frankly…the photos are usually not very appealing. (sorry Peggy :/)  That said, I began to shift my paradigm when I started watching the live webcasts on YouTube that Peggy Sagers does every other week.  I have learned so much from her, from fitting using draping to making simple changes to a pattern to achieve a completely different look. Peggy Sagers is a very generous pattern maker….these webcasts are 1-hour-long and are FREE!

One of the patterns she frequently uses as an accessory is Colette’s Wrap #83.  See my pattern review here.  It’s sort of a cocoon style wrap, but the coolest change is creating an infinity scarf by inserting a zipper in the back seam!  I finally made, not one but TWO!  Sunday football on T.V. is when I need a super simple project because I go back and forth as I can’t sit for very long.

imageMy first one (view 1) is made from a holey charcoal gray jersey knit that I bought about a year and a half ago from Silhouette’s website. This fabric is really cool, it is very textured and kind of spongy.  I used an argyle printed zipper from my stash for a little pop.  image

My second (view 2)is with a taupe Maggy London rayon rib knit from FabricMart and a YKK black zipper with brass teeth.imageimage


A couple more pictures to gawk at…

imageimage image

I had about 1-1/2 yards of the rib knit left which was just enough to sew up a quick turtleneck using my TNT Jalie t-shirt pattern, shown with my wrap.  I doubled the width of the neck-band because I like a tall turtleneck, Jalie’s is really a mock-turtleneck.

Worn with my Jalie Eleonores!
oooh, my cheeks are so rosy!

My next make on the cutting table are more Ginger Jeans, blogged here.  I’ve also got 5yards of Seahawks flannel for making Christmas gifts for all our kids and grandkids, shhhh don’t tell them ;).  Then it’s on to a custom fit shirt for my son who is has become quite the on point styled young man.  I will be using Silhouette Patterns George’s Shirt.

Thanks for reading :).  Have you busted your stash lately?

Disclaimer: none of the links in this post are affiliate nor do I get anything for linking. I simply want to share in case it may help a future sewing friend!

fabric-STASH! = @home-fabric-store

What got me thinking about writing about our waxing and waning stashes, is that I’ve recently (a month ago :/) won a fabric bundle from Lauren at  It included 5 1 yard pieces of some really fun cotton Lycra (I think) knits.  I entered for the give-away and was one of the winners!  Thank you Lauren and Alyson Clair Collaboration :).image

Many of us home sewers have a stash, and wrongly give it a shameful mention when the prospect of adding yet another piece of yardage arises.  I say just shift your paradigm and redefine what a stash is.  I have.  My stash is my own curated @home-fabric-store. Curated because I only purchase carefully selected yardage that I know I will love.

Most of the time I buy fabric simply because I love the color, print or texture and know it will find its purpose one day.  On occasion, I purchase fabric for a specific make and complete it right away. However there are times my intentions change when I’m daydreaming…or night dreaming as it were.  I love when I see an inspiration and go shopping in my @home-fabric-store and get to see and feel my way through my stash to find the perfect match.  I guess you could say I’m being environmentally responsible, after all I didn’t have to use any gas, right?

I think I need to hire new help...this is a mess!
I think I need to hire new help…this is a mess!


Depending on how long a piece of fabric has been around, it may be considered free when you make it into something other than its original shape.  By that I mean it can be a garment, quilt, bag or whatever makes your sewing machine sing. My sewing machine’s favorite tune is clothing 😜.

There have been only a couple of times when my stash was less than 5 pieces over the years, but now, and really at any given time it’s upwards of 20, 30, 40 pieces. And that is probably not even accurate. Haha!image

Stashing is not relegated to fabric only.  Don’t forget nOrion’s, notions and more notions!  Every sewer needs to have an assortment of zippers, buttons, snaps and various tapes to rifle through when planning a make. I add to this section of my @home-fabric-store often.  This creates a much more relaxed planning process since I don’t have to worry about going to the local fabric store where they might not have what I need or want. Thread, needles, interfacing and stay tapes remain in more than adequate supply.  In fact I need to reorder more black tricot interfacing.image

imageTwo of my fave online sources are Wawak and Pacific Trimming for zippers, snaps, cool buttons, needles and thread.  For my go-to tricot interfacing, I use Silhouette Patterns. It is wonderful stuff.  There are other shops that I may buy from, but I won’t bore you as I’m sure you have your faces as well.  Let me know if you’d like a list of where I like to shop and I may put together a page with sources.

See, there’s no need to feel guilty or ashamed when deciding if buying that 2 or 3 yards of luxurious wool/silk suiting is necessary.  Just consider it as adding to your curated @home-fabric-store!