Evening in the Country...

Evening in the Country...
...a gorgeous view of the WV mountains I get to enjoy everyday. Also the place Bri proposed earlier this year! [Not taken on that day.]

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ten Stupid Things Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives

Dr. Laura Schlessinger wrote this book many years ago. I wish I would have read it many years ago. Already I have made just about every mistake. Since I am only 23, I still have time to change and readdress my own issues amd what I need to be doing with my life now.

I am currently back in school and taking other classes on the side (sewing) and finding time to be by myself.

Dr. Laura explains that living together before marriage does not mean your marriage is going to last longer. I can see why she explains that this is a mistake and you are making yourself much too much available to the man. Am I giving Brian the "let's see if this feels good today and everyday for the time being" issue? Definately. I agree with you Dr. Laura. I do feel I am way too available and giving him this daily "test" yet this is what I chose to do and this is my commitment I have already made and will keep to a very respectable and honorable man.

Marriage? That is way too much for me to even think about at my age. Then I ask myself: am I committed to this relationship? Yes, faithfully, emotionally and physically. I love my boyfriend and we've already started this and we plan to finish - until death do us part. Do I ever want to be married? I haven't a single clue.

Dr. Laura is a controversial radio talk show host. An amazing, intelligent woman. A woman who has helped millions of women. Read her books, she offers sound advice and you, too, will soon find your "ah ha" moment.

I highly recommend this book for every woman from 16 - 99!

Sewing Sites

I am huge on organizing and while browsing I found this wonderful sewing site at sew-whats-new.com. They have an excellent article on a sewing room:

Check it out! You may find some tips that you need!

They also have fun sewing games, forums, blogs and videos.

Other sites:


Monday, September 29, 2008

1131 Designs

A good friend of mine has a fantastic design business named 1131 Designs. She is just wonderful and so very talented! I want everyone to check her out her blog:

I'm sure you will love how artistic and clever this lovely lady truly is! You should see how gorgeous her home is decorated, when time will allow we'll have to begin on my house!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Adding to my Dressform

I had to add to my amazon.com dress form. It's a Japanese brand and I cannot remember the name. It has dial adjustments for the waist, hips and bust in three four places. I still had to add padding for the waist and bust. I began with batting and duct tape and lots of printed research from the internet.
Here you can see that I began by widening the shoulder. It takes a lot more batting that I thought I would have used and even had to make an extra run for additional duct tape.
I adding batting to each side until it became the 17 inches I needed.
Another hint to mention is to secure from all sides of the areas you are adding to. In this second picture you will notice I used longs strips of duct tape from the top of shoulder past the underarm and down the side of the dress form. Additionally, I decided to add a horizontal strip of duct tape at the side of the dress form to secure the area even more. Alternating layers of horizontal strips of duct tape and vertical layers of duct tape will help increase the security also.

Here I began to add to the bust area. I had to go through several ways of adding batting until I found the most appropriate. I started by making sure the sides were at the correct width and then I added a bra that fit snug around my bust. I placed this bra on and began to duct tape my body (with help) with vertical and horizontal layers until I had my chest area covered. Once carefully removed, I had a "bust" of my bust! I secured this onto the dress form and began to fill the areas with layers of batting.

Here you can see my finished bust on my dress form. It has duct tape from one side of the neck down to the opposite side of the bottom of the rib area (halter style) for extra support. You will notice a lot of perkiness and this is because it is fitted with my favorite Calvin Klein bra. You will also notice the finished shoulder width. At a later date I will be adding detachable arms. A dress form that fits you properly is wonderful because you can also use it to re-form your bras after a wash.

Lastly, I added a small bit of batting and duct tape to the rear to match the same area of my hips. You will notice that this dress form doesn't go very far down the hip area, so I only had to copy the top half of my butt! Although, it has been a month or so and I could use a tad more padding. : )


It has been a relaxing weekend. Of course, I was not able to do the sewing I was in high hopes for (my skirt!!!) but I did manage to practice the tips from the couture class and finish Season 3 of Project Runway (yes, I am far behind on cable TV). Practicing narrow hems, strong spaghetti straps and gathering techniques. All of which I have found are super easy.

I was hoping to make it to PA this weekend for Wicked, but it seems that I need to take care of other things around home.

Now it is time for me to go back to housework before the new episode of Family Guy begins.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Muslin Fitting

I finally cut out and completed my muslin yesterday and it fits great! I cannot wait to cut out the fashion fabric and begin putting the skirt together. The information from my "Top Ten Couture Techniques" class with Susan Khalje gave me information on doing the grossgrain waistband. I had previously learned about it in a class with Shannon Gifford ("How to Build a Better Skirt") and she taught me the basics but Susan gives extra tips that will help me make my skirt perfect!
As you can see I want this to be very girly. Now that I have an excellent pattern (made by yours truly!) I can many, many of these! My plan is to use a rayon lining to give it that extra oomph!

Soon I would like to to make a fashionable cummerbund with buttons and the like (military-esque).

The other night I went through my closet and decided to rid it of any and everything I haven't worn in forever and know I never will. Let us just say I filled a very very large trash bag full of items I plan to take to Goodwill. I also included shoes. I like to do this quarterly (yes I have a shopping problem) and give things away, it is good to give and makes me feel warm 'n fuzzy inside. Seriously.

I am getting ready to sign-up for the wool fabrics class on patternreview.com. Everything is about to get very busy for me since I begin classes at South University on the 6th of October. I am currently studying business.

I have also chosen to have my boyfriend take my Ann Taylor charge card. Considering the economy and who knows if this will lead to a depression or not, I need not spend what I do not have. Also, this is encouragement to do a whole lot more sewing.

Another project will be two pairs of Republican boxers for my boyfriend and his father. I'm just a tad scared of the elastic. But I know I can do it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Is For Apron

A Is For Apron is a wonderfully collaborative book put together by Nathalie Mornu. It includes 25 "Fresh and Flirty" designs by several designers including:
Betsy Couzins, Wendi Gratz, Erin Harris, Teresa Harrison Johnson, Samantha Kramer, Morgan Moore, Joan K. Morris, Jennifer M. Ramos, Aimee Ray, Susan Sertain, Valerie Shrader, Ruth Singer, Carrie Sommer, Joan Hand Stroh, Suzanne J.E. Toutillott, Amy Tyree and Angelina Williamson.

The book includes an introduction, anatomy of an apron (including different pocket details), making your apron have flair, apron kit, techniques, a short history on aprons and many pictures of vintage aprons.

The designs included in this book are wonderful! There is something in this book for anyone who needs an apron (and who doesn't?) or wants to practice sewing (and who doesn't?). I plan to make a few aprons for Christmas gifts and decided to grab this book as a muse.

I will say that my favs in the collection are Cosmopolitan, Deep Pockets, Josephine (which is reversible), Mango Tango, Marie Antoinette and Kaleidoscope. These are all very different designs and Kaleidoscope even includes pintucking detail.

The fabrics used in all the designs are wonderful and it shows how you can put different material patterns together for a wonderful "fresh" look.

Overall, I can't wait to begin making my own aprons, for myself and family and friends.

Monday, September 22, 2008

1-Step Buttonhole Feature

My new Kenmore has a one-touch automatic buttonhole feature. It took me a minute to realize the buttonhole switch to pull-down, but once I did I found it so very simple to use! I only practices using spare muslin but will have to see how I can get it on a garment and to be placed correctly. Seriously though, the machine does everything on its own! All I have to do is press start and watch as it makes the first lower bar tack, the left side, the upper bar tack and finished the coming down the right side of the buttonhole. Then I use my seam ripper and there I have a buttonhole the PERFECT size.

The Kenmore realizes the size it needs by the buttonhold presser foot. You place the button (up to one inch) in the back part and you Kenmore does the rest!

Another feature I loooove about this machine is the way it slants backwards on the front. It is made angular, I don't know for what reason, but it gives it a sleeker appearance compared to the box Kenmore I previously used (and still own if you wanna buy it!).

I also tried several of the fun stitches and I am IN LOVE! The options are just so wonderful on this medium-priced Kenmore sewing machine. I am enthralled by it and have found a new motivation for my projects! Perfection here I come!!!

The Weekend

I have not been able to update my posts over the weekend. Not that I was to busy, I just didn't get the chance. I did see the new lessons posted for my Top 10 Couture Techniques class on patternreview.com. From that, I have decided to make some bias straps for a summer dress I made in May. The straps currently on it are whack! It was one of my first stitching exercises but I'm ready for something a tad nicer on the dress, especially since that is the reason I avoided wearing the dress all summer! And now it's fall and too late!

I will post pictures of that.

Now, I am going to JoAnns to pick up some more muslin to finish this skirt pattern I learned from my Build a Better Skirt class patternreview.com.

I will have to get some pictures online so you can see my works in progress! Right now, it's lunch and my belly is growling!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Book: How to Alter Your Store Bought Clothes and Save Money

I recently reviewed "How to Alter Your Store Bought Clothes and Save Money!" by Joy Rogers Haugen. I borroed this book from my local library and could not find it on Amazon. It is a small sized book in black & white and only eighty-three pages. After the introduction there are eight chapters. Each telling you how to alter a part on your clothing to fit correctly.

Chapter one begins with ripping out all machine stitched seams and goes into explaining the different types of seams.

Chapter two begins with altering simple structuring of a garment: hems with different types of lengths and details (i.e. ruffles, slips, pants, tiered skirts, knits, etc.), lengthening straight skirts and long skirts, finishing the hems by hand and by a sewing machine.

Chapter four proceeds to tell you about altering waistlines. This includes making the waistline larger or smaller and if the waistline is in a dress and continues into changing a long waisted garment.

Chapter five goes into changing the hip line while six goes into sleeve adjustments. This includes different types of sleeves: unlined, lined and cuffs.

Chapter seven begins to tell you about shoulder adjustments with common problems. This includes making the shoulder narrower or if you have slanted or square shoulders. This chapter continues with explaining, "sometimes a knit dress or a stretchy material with tiny pleats or gathers on the shoulder will keep stretching and the shoulder will keep dropping off the shoulder sleeve line. A good trick to do for this is to sew a piece of tape or ribbon along the shoulder seam to hold it in place." I think this is a wonderful, especially since I am awful at working with knits. (Which means I do need to take the knit class in November on patternreview.com!)

The last chapter is the most valuable. Haugen explains about that belts made of slippery material and has no prong on the buckle can be easily fixed by adding a snap! Haugen goes to explain how to treat difficult necklines and getting a blouse to be smooth while tucked into a skirt or pants. Haugen has many more tips that the book is well worth the read and to take notes! I have not been able to find this book anywhere, so maybe my library will sell their copy and I could grab it! Check your local library or used book shop to grab a copy. It is worth the keep!

If anyone does have it and would like to sell their copy, contact me!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My New Kenmore!

I got back a little while ago with my new Kenmore sewing machine (model 16231). I listed the link in my previous post. I haven't set it up or anything but it is beautiful! While in the store I got a tad confused on which machine I would like to have the most. They also had a Kenmore computerized machine for a mere $30 more. Yet, I decided to save that cash and use it on some notion or fabric to make a project!

This machine has the ability to do different stretch stitches. It also has the pressure presser foot, so that I may choose different levels for the foot for different weights of fabrics. This machine also features the one-step buttonhole, which after reading the directions, is super easy!

I can't wait to begin practicing with this sewing machine. It seems to have all the features that I was missing on my previous dinky Kenmore. I do have quite a few feet that I will have to return or sell on patternreview.com's classifieds.

I have several projects that I am currently working on. A pair of boxers for my boyfriend and his father in a particular fabric. This fabric is something he picked out when I made him go to JoAnn with me. I also have several pillows I want to get together. I am listing what gifts I would like to make for people for Christmas. I also have several skirts to finish from my very own patterns!

I just completed the Build a Better Skirt class on patternreview.com. The class was taught by Shannon Gifford and was around $50. The information I received in the class was stupendous! I had never thought that I would get so much feedback and direction from an online sewing class, but Shannon was very thorough in her steps and explanations. The price is well worth the cost!

Now, I am waiting to begin my next class with Susan Khalje on patternreview.com. As I have mentioned before, she has much experience in the couture world and I am eager to begin on Monday.

My next class with patternreview.com will more than likely be the wool fabrics class. Especially wonderful since it is the winter season and wool will keep me warm when the weather goes down in temperature.

Also, I am looking for Threads Magazine Issue 121. If you have it, email me so we can talk price.


New Sewing Machine

When I began my sewing ventures back in May (yes of this year) I chose a simple Kenmore sewing machine from Sears. When I say simple, I mean the $70 kind! Now I need more...something that has features. And I want it now! So I have decided to use Sears.com and find a sewing machine. Found I have:


Come to mama!

I ordered online and picked am on my way to pick it up!

Also, I should mention: I am putting up the other Kenmore for sale! I am asking $70.00 plus $25.00 for shipping. Check out the classified ad at patternreview.com.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Top Couture Tips

Just signed up for a class with Susan Khalje on patternreview.com! She is well-known for her articles in Threads Magazine and teaching couture classes.

You can find more info about Susan at:

The Upper Gauley

At 23, I finally went whitewater rafting in my home state of WV! We took the Upper Gauley River with Ace Adventure and had a blast! The Upper Gauley is one of the most rapid-filled whitewater rafting anyone can do in North America. I highly suggest anyone to go!www.aceraft.com