Knipmode birthday skirt – Final

Well, I had to put in a few late nights but managed to finish my skirt a few hours before my birthday dinner. There is a small section of binding in the back that needs a little tweaking but I can take care of that after the mad holiday rush is over.

I am so happy with how this turned out! It is definitely a showstopper and sexy without being vulgar. I would love to make this again sometime in a more summery fabrication.

I apologize that I didn’t take more photos of the sewing process since I was in such a rush at the end. I honestly didn’t think I would finish!

Thanks for visiting and a Merry Christmas to those who celebrate. The baby is spending the night with us tonight so that she can spend Christmas Eve Day with us. Our meal will be simple this year since I don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen. Babies don’t keep, after all.


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Knipmode birthday skirt – Part 3

I made excellent progress tonight. I was able to fine-tune the fit and stitch the Princess seams. Because I am pressed for time, I installed an invisible zipper (photo lightened to sow detail) on the left side instead of two shorter zips in both back Princess seams. I have very little curve between the waist and hip so I can get away with it although I don’t prefer it.

I am usually terrible at sewing under pressure but the sewing gods smiled upon me today – I did not have to do any reverse sewing! Tomorrow, I will re-pin the right side seam and do a final try on before closing up the last seam. Then, I will cut a lining and stitch the petersham waist stay. Thursday will be the big night as I’ll be cutting into my lace.

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned!


Filed under Knipmode

Knipmode birthday skirt – Part 2

Today, I finished taping together the 78 pages (!) of the pattern and fitting my muslin. My hips measure exactly a size 38 so I cut a size 40 thinking I’d have a bit extra for fitting but, yikes, I was barely able to squeeze into my muslin. I am wondering if the pattern is intended for stretch fabrics. I will have to check on that when I have time.

Once I worked out my fitting issues, I thread traced the seam lines on all of my pattern pieces. Sounds tedious but I find it rather therapeutic. The fabric is a beautiful wool crepe that’s been in my stash since the 1990s.

Tomorrow I plan on getting the main skirt put together and the zipper installed. Then I’ll get the flounce cut out to check the fit. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

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Knipmode birthday skirt

So, I am needing to take a break from the devoré sweatshirt (sadly, I have been too busy to finish it up!) to make a skirt for my birthday dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant next Saturday.

I recently purchased this stunning embroidered Swiss lace from my friend Ann at

And when I saw this Knipmode pattern, I immediately thought they would make a perfect match!

I will get the pattern taped together and make a quick muslin to check the fit today and, hopefully, get this cut out and started tomorrow . I have no time to make a top so I will just wear a black off the shoulder sweater with it.


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Woven sweatshirt – McCall’s 7195

Either last year or the year before – 2020 is still a bit of a blur – this pattern caught my eye. A sweatshirt pattern for woven fabric? That might come in handy some day!

So, I’ve been going through my stash, clearing out fabrics I know I’ll never use and I came across this quite fun sheer fabric with raw-edge flowers loosely applied throughout. What was I ever thinking I’d make with this? Heaven only knows. It was in the donate pile when I remembered this pattern and thought this might be a fun thing to have in my wardrobe.

I made my usual adjustments (FBA and shorten sleeves by 1”) and also lowered the neckline by about 1.5”. I am not a fan of jewel necklines with my round face and short neck. Instead of ribbing at the neck, I used a binding. The requisite ribbing was used on the sleeves and hem.

My thought was to wear this over a white tank but, next time, I will underline the body instead. Turns out I am not a fan of layering! I still have quite a lot of this fabric so maybe I will remake it as the ribbing is also not as white as I would like but it was what I was able to get quickly online.

Because I planned on wearing it over a white tank, I bound the darts with white net. To prevent show-through elsewhere, I bound the seams with a nude net. The fabric actually behaved pretty well going through my 1” binding attachment.

Believe it or not, I found both at JoAnn Fabrics and they were perfect for this project and not horrible to work with. I also bought some white poly chiffon at JoAnn also thinking it would be okay for binding but it is just too horrible to be used for anything except maybe a Halloween costume – yes, it’s that gross – so out it goes.

I’m now working on another version of this pattern in a silk velvet devoré that has been in my stash for a very long time. I won’t kid you, it is not going together quickly as each seam must be hand basted because it simply refuses to behave, even with a walking foot. Hopefully, I will have enough time next week to finish it up as I think it would be nice to wear on thanksgiving with skinny black pants.

That’s all for today, have a lovely weekend, everyone and thanks for visiting!


Filed under Blouses and Tops, McCall's

Wool jersey dress – Butterick 5313

I have been wanting a Chanel style knit dress with a flounce so I pulled out this oldie but goodie pattern. The charcoal grey wool jersey has been in my stash forever and I was so happy to delete it from my inventory!

I previously altered this pattern for a full bust but knew I’d need more circumference since the wool jersey has much less stretch than the knits I used previously. I added 1/2” to each seam tapering to nothing at the sleeve hem. I also added decorative bands at each seam and finished the neckline and sleeve with bands to tie it all together.

My original plan was to embellish tue dress with black pearls but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that what I really needed was a simple, basic dress so the bands were my way of taking it a bit beyond the pattern without making it too distinctive.

This pattern is pretty easy to pass over, I know, but I’ve made View B four times now and it’s a nice, simple dress that’s very flattering, goes together quickly and pairs well with various jacket styles.


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New Sewing Studio reveal

Yeah, I know, I’ve been absent. I honestly have no idea where the time has gone. Work has been extra busy and there has been little time for much else!

Anyway, a few months ago, we decided to play musical rooms here. B really wanted to take over the garage to avoid having to store Christmas stuff in the attic – going up there becomes more of a chore every year. I had just given up my exercise room for a much-needed proper office since I have been working partially from home for the past year and a half. So, how to make this work? How to merge two sewing spaces (2-car garage and a 14×14 bedroom) into one? My brilliant idea was to move B’s Man Cave to my office, move my office into my small sewing space and then combine the two sewing spaces into the old Man Cave. To make this work he had to give up a significant amount of space and I had to give up a significant amount of sewing stuff.

Moving my sewing rooms has taken months of daily work but I am thrilled with the end result. The purging was really hard and I still have an industrial machine to sell but I feel like I have gained so much. I’m right off the kitchen, have tons of light and have everything but my fabrics and books at my fingertips. It’s nice to sew a few seams while I’m cooking dinner or doing laundry! This should do wonders for my productivity.

Without further ado, let’s start the tour! Feel free to leave suggestions on how I can make better use of the space. I’m always open to new ideas!

Main sewing corner with two of my Berninas. It’s nice having a big TV!
Singer Rocketeer that I use as my buttonhole machine. The sturdy plywood counters were salvaged from my old sewing room and cut to fit the new space. They are not perfect – I have a few little cosmetic fixes to take care of – but they are far superior to any particle board counters that I could have purchased new.
Presses, specialty threads, zippers, rulers and some of my patterns
Serger and heat press on top of my pattern cabinet. Slat wall holds threads, scissors and baskets with miscellaneous supplies
Cutting table. The wood cabinets were already here and are super handy
View from the other side. My walking foot machine sits to the right of the cutting table with my blind stitch. I don’t use either all that often so it works.
My industrials. This was a bit like a puzzle getting everything to fit but it works well. The most used machine (Consew with the right-angle binder) is easiest to access but I have adequate space to use the other machines when i need to. I’ve already used the cover stitch three times and felt perfectly comfortable.
Cone thread on the wall and more slat wall holds longer rulers. I love slat wall because it’s so easy to change up as your needs change. I’m considering selling my Jiffy steamer but, for now, it’s out of the way. A 5-gallon bucket in the bathroom holds rolls of pattern paper and a spare cutting mat.
I did lose my large pressing area but I am doing perfectly fine with my Laurastar. If I need a larger pressing surface, I can put my big pressing board on top of the cutting table and wheel the boiler iron over.
Of course I made space for my supervisors, my childhood stuffed animals.


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Burda Style 09/2016 #115 Bomber Jacket – Part VI

It’s been slow going here. Still suffering with insomnia so I haven’t trusted myself to do too much sewing. I felt kind of energetic today so I thought I’d get the collar and cuffs attached, at least.

This is really nice, medium-heavy rib knit that I ordered from Pacific Trimming. It’s the perfect weight for a light jacket but not heavy enough for an outerwear jacket.

I am glad it’s starting to come together. Hopefully tomorrow I will feel up to attaching the waistband then I will have to set this aside for a bit, which I *hate* to do but I’m doing a sew along in the Hot Patterns FB group and our deadline is Thanksgiving! I don’t like starting something new before I finish but I’m so anxious to wear this jacket so I think it’ll be okay. 🙂

In the past when I’ve sewn with leather, I’ve used paper clips or binder clips to “pin” things together. I bought these cute little Clover clips on a whim awhile ago – I think they are for quilting – and they worked so perfectly here!


Filed under Burda Style Downloads, Jackets

Let there be light!

I am never satisfied with the amount of light I have for sewing. My newest sewing machine is a 1997 Bernina and, with the exception of a few industrials, all of my other machines are quite a bit older. Lighting on vintage machines pales compared to that of 21st century machines.

On Saturday, I saw an advertisement for quite pricey ($45 and up) LED light strips for sewing machines. Knowing that LED light strips are generally very inexpensive, I hopped over to Amazon and found very similar light strips for under $8.

They arrived today and I am just so excited about them! They are self-adhesive and dim-able (not sure why you’d want that…) and easily cut to fit. I ordered one for my Bernina 1530 and one for my 500A buttonhole machine. Wow, what a difference!

I’m generally not a fan of sticking things onto my machines but I’m less of a fan of sewing in the dark. Once I turn on my LED light to the left of the machine, I will be able to see so clearly!

Here’s the link for the strips that I ordered. At this price, you can buy one for every machine!

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Filed under Attachments, Uncategorized

Burda Style 09/2016 #115 Bomber Jacket – Part V

It’s been another busy week and I am still not sleeping. Consequently, I haven’t done much sewing until this weekend.

The zipper has been installed and the fronts and back have been joined.

I took the side seams in 1/4” and may take them in a bit more. This style has a lot of ease which can easily overwhelm me.

I am also toying with the idea of adding some random beading. This bead collection called ‘Natalie’s Mix’ from Alabama Channin goes very well with the colors of my jacket.

However, after making a small sample, I have decided that I really only like the bronze colored beads and maybe the occasional dark sequin. The light sequins and beads jump off the fabric and make it look too busy. What do you think?


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