Entering the Matrix (for Halloween) lol

Kwiksew 3052

MOT #1, and more!

My first entry in the," Month of Tops." is NewLook 6952.

This is my 2nd attempt @ a FBA, so i think I'm getting better. I love button down type shirts so I plan to make a few more for work.

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Simplicity 2579

As I mentioned in a couple of posts back, I'm playing catch-up! This was one of my many summer dresses which I love, the color is so vibrant! Now, anyone who knows me, also knows that I kinda stear clear of color,lol. I'm a "Black-Out" chic, open my closet and that's all you get, lol!

Well, after my client asked me, do I ever wear any color? It got me to thinking, this year, I will only make and buy fabrics in color....time for a change.

McCalls 5972, and my first FBA

First off, when I saw this I thought it was adorable! I love the ruffles and of course a sheath dress is a classic. But seriously, ...I have fitting issues, ... and this is a fitted dress! I really wanted this dress for a holiday party, but I have never done a bust adjustment, ...which is really needed. Well, I purchased this pattern when it was on sale, and traced the front and back bodice pieces to practice on. I also found my only and favorite book on fitting, Fit for Real People, by Palmer Pletsch.
I followed the instructions and they were really good, but I know I need more work on this. I made several muslins for 5972, and my dart placement is still questionable, lol.

It's not complete, I still need to finish the arm holes and hemming. I'll consider this a wearable muslin, lol. Eeeew, I could just scream, the chiffon, the chiffon well it wasn't very hard to work with as I thought. A little starch and she was easy to cut and sew, however, once again I did this......

Yep, I burned a hole, right in the front..............uh, huh, yes i did. I've lost several cool points for that, lol. And, and... my darts are too, I dont know..lol.
 Basically, I'm unsure on HOW to correctly place them after the adjustment. The fit is okay, but them darts are pointing to high upwards, or something, lol.

I love the dress, the instructions overall were very easy to follow. So I will muster up the courage to try this again, the party isnt until November so I do have a lil time.

I just need to go to FBA school, before I conquer another fitted bodice that's not a knit!


Hold up! I've got a parting shot for ya, see if you can figure out what happened here, lol....

Yes, it is what you think, like I said .....muslin!

B.W.O.F. 7/09 - 117

Up until now, I've never sewn anything from BWOF, I've actually been quite intimidated by the whole tracing aspect, and sewing without actual construction pictures, lol. Well, the July issue I must say was really my style'. I heard soo many reviews on PR, about the 2/09 issue, (which I am still hunting for, btw) I was sure I missed the better issues. Then, my mag arrived and I almost couldn't decide what I wanted to try first, so I kept it simple for my first try!

I picked this top, since it was one dot and considered pretty easy, and believe me it was! I decided to use one of the vibrant border fabrics from High Fashion Fabrics, it's very light-wt and cool. The instructions originally called for 10 rows of shirring, but I seriously needed like 15 more, in a addition to that! The top perimeter band, i decided to use a rolled hem, in a contrasting black instead of hemming. It seems to pop against the red. I also hemmed the bottom using a rolled hem to match the top.

I added about 4 extra inches to the length to show off the print. It's originally tunic length, but i rock this as a dress with leggings of course! Instead of using the zig-zag stitch across the elastic, i used the elastic thread in my bobbin for shirring which worked out better imo!

Overall, I really like this simple but cute top, It's been worn several times this summer, lol.
I've got even more, pieces out of this issue that i will be reviewing coming up soon.

Fabric Store Visit (catch-upz)

It's been a while so I'm catching up, lol! Okay, months ago I visited one of my favorite fabric stores here in Houston, "High Fashion Fabrics" I scored some really nice pieces! Which btw, I've already managed to sew up.

The one on the left is a navy knit, The red which I love is dotted, with a great border, you'll see
what I've done with that coming up!

Great cotton prints which I love.

This knit fabric feels so fab, and the colors are tdf!

I can never get enuff cotton sateen fabrics and these have stretch! I've sewn
these up already as well.

Okay what ya think, I got more ......seeya!

I'm Still Here! and Coverstitch Machines

Hello fellow bloggers, I'm still around, lol!
It's been a very busy and rather hot summer here in Houston. I do have quite a few projects that I've worked on this summer, just haven't had time to post them, however I will get to that very soon! School is about to start again, (yey, lol!) which gives me mornings to sew. I've been reading some of my favorite blogs, in the evenings during the work week, which keeps me motivated ( Sunday's is my only full day to sew, btw). Between work and keeping the kids busy this "Super Hot" summer, I've managed to complete one or two projects a week! So basically, I'm still doing my thing, lol. Unfortunately, the construction of my sewing room hasn't happened, even tho I keep hinting at my DH, who also promised to get me a coverstitch.....

Speaking of which, I'm sort of torn between two models. Firstly, quite a few peeps on PR, seem to love the Janome CP 1000, and there's also a following for the Brother 2340CV. Now, I must admit that I like the extra room the Janome has, kinda reminds me of a regular sewing machine, but where do u buy those special needles? The Brother uses pretty attainable needles, and the price is good online, but some people have problems with tention and basic operating of this one. I dont kno, do I really need one? Okay, maybe it's more of a want, but I really think i need/want one! I love how they finish hems on knits and apply binding, eew, and that's another bonus too! I think I need an intervention or something, I have too many machines as it iz,....but they all do something different, ya kno.

In Memorandum....Forever the "King of Pop"

Michael Jackson 1958-2009

It's Friday....Seafood Anyone?

It's like tradition, almost anyone you call or visit on a friday in the south, they are either frying, grilling or going out to eat fish or seafood! (Well along with a card game too, lol.) I must admit that I love to cook,.... when I am not dog tired, lol. Blackened Catfish Opelousas is one of those en trees I love to get whenever I visit my local Pappadeaux's Seafood Restaurant. I've always wanted to try my hand at making this, and I finally got my hands on a pretty good recipe! My hubby loves pasta, and he must have seafood pasta salad served with this, along with dirty rice. Enjoy!

Blackened Catfish

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. each white & black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. each dried thyme & oregano
  • 1 tsp. each garlic & onion power
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 6 (40z.) fillets (trout, catfish, etc.)

In a small bowl, mix all spices together. (tweak spices as preferred) Set aside. Heat a heavy cast iron skillet on high, add in 1/4 butter. (I suggest doing this on a grill outside, because the butter will smoke, if not please turn ur exhaust fan on high!!)
Pour 3/4 cup butter in a shallow dish. Dip each fillet into butter, and coat both sides. Sprinkle both sides of fish with spices, and pat the spice into fish.

Place fish into hot skillet, without overcrowding. Carefully spoon in about a teaspoon of butter on each fillet. Cook until fish has a charred appearance, bout 2 mins. Turn fish over, repeat with butter and cook until charred.

Pasta Seafood Salad

  • 16 oz. pkg. Rotini Pasta
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (optional: I sometimes use Italian dressing instead)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons chili pwdr, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp old bay seasoning (low sodium)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (slightly drained)
  • 1 can whole kernel corn (drained)
  • 1 can black beans (drained)
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • cooked cocktail shrimp (ur choice size and amount)
  • black olives, pitted (ur choice size and amount)
  • cubed pepper jack cheese (ur choice amount)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook 8-10 min. or al dente' drain.

In a bowl, combine oil, lime juice and all dry seasonings together, then pour over pasta, stir, set aside to cool to room temp, stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Stir in corn, beans, peppers, tomatoes, cheese, olives etc. (I usually stir in a little more chili powder and old bay @ this time) Spoon into a pretty platter and garnish with any remaining cilantro leaves. Serve chilled.

Have a Happy Friday!!!

Fabric Store Visit ....

It's been a very long time since I've trekked downtown to one of my favorite fabric stores, "High Fashion Fabrics". My goodness, what took me so long to get back there? I believe it's been several years, eew! I admit, I have gotten a bit lazy when it comes to actually going, "fabric
shopping". Houston is pretty big and I try not to get tangled up in traffic venturing off my side of town, so I usually end up going to the nearest Hancock or Joann's for my fix. (fabric fondling,..don't act like you dont kno, lol) I'm always online, purchasing, wishing I could feel some of those gorgeous fabrics from some of my favorite online fabric sources, but I just place an order, wait and hope the color is true, texture is right, etc. But, there's nutin like seeing true designer fabrics in person, ya kno. I've been curious about the feel of bamboo for some time, an they have such a variety here. I've been fussin bout knits @Joann's and this

place has rows and rows and rooms. What should I pick solids, prints, 2way, 4way's, dang I need a..... Well, let's juz say I got a bit carried away, lol. This trip really helped kick my mojo back into check, unfortunately it also put a dent in my wallet. I must say I did enjoy my 4hours of fondling. Of course I did pick up a few things, but I'll post later! Here's some fabric porn...

Juz the idea's from this fabric draped on this manikin evolks naughty visions of sexiness, so I dare try not to purchase this fabric, on behalf of my sexy alter ego, lol. Well not this time anyway..

Directly across the street from High Fashion Fabric is ..

High Fashion Home. They have some of the oddest, and unique furniture pieces, not to mention Art. The upholstery fabric selection, is unbelievable, I even came across some Louie and Fendie fabric there. Now me wants to change my pillows on the sofa and try my hands at some of the beautiful sheers I spotted too! Well, until I can get to that fabulous fabric district in New York, I realize now that I'm not so limited in the fabrics, if I'm willing to travel a bit. Seeya!

Got an Award today, (yay)

A very talented stylist and fellow blogger, Faye nominated me for, "The Blogger Buddy Award"!

Thank you so much. It's very encouraging to know such a great stylist thought of me, so this indeed makes me want to be a better blogger and sewist to boot! Although I've never met most of you, it's like calling your friends up, and actually seeing what their up to everyday when I read your blogs. I am passing this love on, to other fellow bloggers whom blogs I frequent daily to get more motivation on my journey.

Studying your homework,.. yeah right

Guess who had me fooled? My dd had her homework propped up on a pillow in front of her, so every time I passed by her I thought she was studying, but nooo... she was sleeping.

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So, of course we had to get her back. While she was sleep-studying, we decided to get a couple of shots of hubby and son teasing, lol.

I think she's got the picture now, lol!


New Patterns,..well new to me anyway....

As I've mentioned before, I'm a 70's baby and I love anything from that era. I love long maxi's, jumpsuits, and bellbottoms! But of course with an updated spin, fabrics etc.
I was browsing Ebay and came across some great 70's patterns, that I just had to have!

The pink sleeveless jumper is just perfect for summer, and the maxi halter dresses are awesome, they are wrap dresses! I really like the ruffle around the neckline too! The last jumpers are cool, I love the fly collar. The change I will make on this baby is the placement of the zipper, it's in the back and it must be moved to the front.

More Mods......

Now, this one, I will be trying all views, lol. Love'em all!
Okay, I know some look pretty similar, but I just had to get them, lol.

My attempt at copying....and drafting

Although I've been M.I.A for a while, I've still managed to find time to work on a few projects. I've always wanted to duplicate some of my favorite RTW pieces, in different colors, fabrics and better fit. Because of my height, some tops fall too short on me, and of course the inseam of some pants are short too. I decided to conquer a top first.

Here's the top I'm copying, nothing fancy but I really like it.
Now, I've had this top for,.... lets say many sizes ago, lol. It's nothing fancy but I love the smocking/shirring details on it, and I've held onto it for quite some time, with hopes to one day duplicate it.
Since I have some new pattern tools, (yeah) a much needed new cutting table, and a big roll of masking paper (from Lowes), I guess I'm ready!

Here's a pic of my pieces all cut out with fabric pinned. I actually started off by lying the top down on my paper, pinning it to the paper to keep it straight and tracing around. After I traced, I added length and width where I needed, then added in my allowances.

Around the neckline and below the breast is this shirred band so I used elastic thread, hand wounded onto my bobbin to recreate the look. The funny thing is, when I attempted this on my computerized machine, it would not work, it just made, well straight stitches. So I had to pull out my Singer machine to get shirring, lol. With a long stitch and contrasting thread in my needle, it worked perfectly!

I used my serger to roll the edges on the band, before I shirred it. I also used it through-out the construction which made completing it a little faster. Here's a close-up of the top after I finished it.

The outcome was exactly what I wanted, with a much better fit!

Here's both tops

Me Lurv New Notions

I'm always excited when the Mailman or the UPS man leaves a package, especially if it's something sewing related. (or soap, make-up, hair related too,lol) Well guess what? I got some new tools and notions, on yesterday..... yeeeea!

Although it may be a while before I'll actually attempt making or drafting my own patterns, I desperately needed some tools that will assist me with adjusting and altering patterns for a better fit! I found the clear design ruler and the tailor's tacker @ sew-materialistic.com. I've always wanted the tailor's tack since I seen it in a sewing book years ago. From Vogue fabrics, I picked up, my double tracing wheel, graph ruler and another smaller design ruler ( great for armholes and necklines). From Joann's I got these great bias tape maker's.


I already have something in mind, that I wanted to draft, so I will be putting my new rulers to work very soon.