Monthly Archives: December 2008


Every Monday, I have a column that appears on Threadbanger‘s site – Celebrity DIY Style which describes how you can ‘knock-off’ a celebrity garment for yourself. I would love to do a segment on how DIYer’s have done this themselves so I’m looking for anyone who’s re-created clothing from a celeb (I would need an inspiration photo or a link to the celebrity wearing the garment and the sewer’s finished design). If you or anyone you know, fits this description, please send me an email (it’s at the bottom of my website) – I’d love to feature them!
We’re now headed off to celebrate the holiday’s with Bret’s family – so there will be no post tomorrow. But I’ll be rearing to go on Monday! Have a great weekend everyone!


With Christmas just a few days away, I’ve been busily wrapping packages and getting cards ready to send out (they may be New Years cards instead of Christmas) – so I’ve accomplished very little in the sewing department (I do have the V-neck version of Jalie 2805 cut and ready to go). Instead of showing you the state of my current project, I thought I would share pictures of the kiddos enjoying the first ‘good’ snow of the season. As you can see, I bundled Easton up so much he looks like Randy in A Christmas Story. In fact, he’s so puffy, Easton actually tipped over and could get himself up (as shown in the photo on the left) – at least he thought it was funny.

Linky Thursday

A fantastic tutorial on how to make a traveling doll house or barn. [link via The Crafty Crow]
A variety of seam finishes when you don’t have a serger.
Want to make sure that no one wears an identical dress to an important upcoming event? You may want to check to see what others have planed. [Thanks to Bernadette for the link]
Keeping warm in style with simple shot cotton scarves.
How to make a patchwork ball. [link via Chickpea Sewing Studio]
Transform two t-shirts into a new top with a flounce!
Adorable, (free) food softie patterns! [link via Pimp Stitch]
Dress up your holiday table with these Christmas tree napkins.
Let your toddler create Christmas ornaments. [link via CraftGossip]
Not that most of us need this advice – How to build up a stash of fabric.
Need a last minute gift? This hostess apron tutorial is sure to be a winner – not only does it sew up fast, but it also only uses a fat quarter. [link via Craft]
Don’t forget your pets this holiday season! If you need a quick gift, try this no sew dog cushion tutorial.
A cute mini messenger bag – perfect for tweens. [link via Some Art Talk]

New Legislature Could Shutdown Small Businesses

Some of you may know that in addition to this website, I also write for two other sewing community blogs. I make it a point to never duplicate the information on my site and theirs (because who wants to read everything twice?), but this time I’m making an exception because I feel the cause is very important. Read on:

If you remember this time last year, thousands of “Made in China” toys were recalled due to high levels of lead found in their paint. The U.S. government has decided to take action against something like this happening again – but at small business owners expense. What does this have to do with sewing and handmade goods and how will it effect you?
CPSIA legislature (which goes into effect February 2009) mandates that all children’s products (toys, diapers, dolls, clothing, bags, etc.) must be tested for lead by a third party and labeled. The costs for these tests will depend on the each particular item but could range from $150-$4,000. While these prices may not seem like much for large manufactures, for those of us who sell goods on eBay, Etsy, or individual websites, this could mean the closure of numerous home-based businesses.
If this new piece of legislature will effect you, someone you know, or you just want to help protect the hand-made industry then be sure to write you local congressman. You can keep up with the latest news via Fashion Incubator (she has also opened up the CPSIA & Consumer Safety section of her forum to non-members) and National Bankruptcy Day.


Normally by now I’ve put up a post – so I’ll have to admit…. I’m a bit distracted. What’s the distraction? Facebook (I know, I’m a bit slow on joining). I decided to join last week and have been spending a great deal of time catching up with people I haven’t seen in years. And I’ve been having too much fun! But now it’s time to crack down – I have Christmas cards to send out, presents to wrap (thank goodness I’m finished shopping), laundry to fold, a house to clean, and a new top waiting for me to work on in the sewing room! I have the V-neck version of Jalie 2805 traced off and have selected a geometric print from picked out for the material. I can’t wait to get started!
So now I’m off to shovel some snow off the driveway and to start on my cards! By the way, if we haven’t ‘found’ each other on Facebook, let me know!

The Top So Nice…

I made it twice! I really loved the the thermal henley so much that I decided to go ahead and make another version. One thing that I really wanted to try was a flatlock along the seams of the shirt, so for my second version, I did just that. I’ve never tried this technique with my current machine so it took me a while (and lots of cursing) to get everything thing looking right…… I could have eliminated all my frustrations if I only would have inserted the needle correctly. Thank goodness everything came together without any problems after the needle issue. I finished off the hems with a serged edge, but decided on sewing the neckline with my machine – without the stitches showing. I wasn’t confident enough in my serging abilities that I could get a ‘professional’ (or ready to wear) look by doing this. I love the end results – in fact, I love it so much I’ve pretty much worn it all weekend!
One thing I do want want to comment on is the fabric. I used a gray interlock that I pulled from my stash – it just barely had enough stretch to be used with this pattern. The fit on the gray top is more fitted (a great look for jeans or pants), while the looser weave on the thermal is more relaxed (which makes it perfect for loungewear). You can see the difference between the shirts below:

Just something to keep in mind when selecting your fabrics and sizing for this pattern! Up next, one more shirt from this pattern collection, but this time I’m going for the V-neck.

The Pants Class

After a full day of working on pants, I am happy to say I have a completed pair! Even though the class was 8 hours, yesterday’s class at Needle Nook went really quickly. The first part was devoted to learning about alterations (what to alter, why, how, etc.) and the changes made to our patterns. My pants had several alterations including changing the crotch curve and depth, decreasing the width of the legs, shortening the inseam and rise, and adding pockets!
Next came the actual construction. Since Ann has her own method of sewing slacks, we scrapped our individual instructions – my favorite part, the pockets. Some of the patterns I’ve worked with in the past have you sewing the pocket edges directly to the pants front and back (then sewing together) while Ann’s method has you sewing the front pocket and creating a finished pocket edge before attaching the second pocket lining and sewing the seam (I am sure I am not clearly describing her method, but let me assure you, it creates a lovely, flat pocket).
Of course, along the way, I learned several tips and tricks. The biggest lesson? I learned how to do a proper blind hem (without the blind hem foot, even). This is one of those techniques I don’t frequently use, so I definitely needed more guidance in this area (now if I can only replicate my results in my next pair). On the left is my final result – I have to say, the fit is great and they are uber comfortable. I am planning on making a second pair in a printed slinky knit – I think that this pattern would work beautifully with the material. This should also give me some practice with blind hemming as well as adding a quick pair of pants to my wardrobe!

Off To Class

I’m ready to head out the door this morning to take my slacks class at Needle Nook. I remembered to pack my camera so I should have photos for tomorrows post….plus a new pair of pants to show off! What is everyone else up to this weekend?

Links For The Weekend

If you haven’t been entering BurdaStyle‘s daily Christmas drawings, what are you waiting for (the prizes are fantastic)?
I love this expandable Christmas stocking – too bad I already got Bret one this year. [link via Craft]
How to cut curves with a rotary cutter
Keep you baby warm this winter with this adorable strawberry knit hat.
Need a last minute gift for a sewing friend? Check out this Christmas Needle Keeper. [link via Craft Gossip]
Elfie stitchout from AllSorts.
The Apronista is giving away 2 YouCanMakeThis e-books.
I think I may skip buying a bag of bows to decorate my presents this year. Instead I think I’m making Design Sponge’s Eco-Happy Pom Pom Gift Toppers.
Quit hand basting those zippers, glue set them. [link via Craft]
12 easy sewn holiday gift ideas.
Grosgrain is giving away this adorable little girl’s tree lighting dress. I wish she had one in my size.
How to turn your recycled sweaters into a hat.
A free pattern by Portabellopixie: Birds of a Feather.
I love this necklace – here’s your chance to win it. [link via Girl Indie Blog]
Too bad Easton won’t keep hats on… I’d make him an Elf Hat. [link via Some Art Talk]
Win a copy of handmade nation.
A great craft for kids – I could see doing this during a holiday party. Need something for adults instead? Check out this cute (gum) advent calendar!
Need a quick sewn stocking stuffer? Try this sunglass case.

Thermal Thursday

Is it really Thursday, already? Besides the fact that this week has escaped me (I’m guessing because we haven’t left the house due to bad weather and colds), I spent last night happily sewing on Jalie 2805 and neglected to start ‘Linky Thursday’. Consequently, I’m holding off on them until tomorrow when I can devote the evening to posting them! Instead, I’m going to talk about my new top!
Although I’ve had Jalie 2805 since it was released earlier this year, I never attempted sewing it up until yesterday. I’m now wishing I would have started earlier – I love this design! The body of the shirt was made in a red thermal knit while the neckline is a coordinating red interlock that I had in my stash. I can’t remember ever sewing with thermal fabric before and I would like to say that it was quite a challenge. I wound up skipping using the sewing machine and switched to the serger – I found that the material stretched like mad while I sewed and I was afraid that the bottom hem would wind up at my knees by the time I was finished. The only thing that I wish I would have done differently is that I should have used a decorative flatlock on the seams – I think it would have given a more RTW henley look…. next time!
On the right is the whole pajama set put together. I’m now, officially, ready for Christmas morning!