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Sequined Vest Simplicity 1943

I've never sewn with sequined fabric before- probably because I have no where to wear it to!  But when Fabricmartfabrics.com had this black sequined fabric on their Deal of the Day, I thought, "Let's get a yard, and see what it's like."  I was surprised!  It was really quite easy to sew with.  This particular one was a knit, and the sequins were sewn on.  I had read that you should remove the sequins from the seam line so that you don't break a needle, so I decided I better have as few seams as possible.

Simplicity 1943 had a knit vest pattern that only had side and shoulder seams, and said that it would fit on 1 yard of fabric!  A perfect match!
Before I went through the arduous task of removing the sequins from the seamline, I did a test with my machine on a swatch that did not have the sequins removed.  Luckily, the machine handled it beautifully- no broken needles, no sequins flying.  I did wear glasses just in case!
I did line the vest with a black IT…

An Easy Burda Magazine Blouse

November's Burda Magazine issue was a hit for me.  There are several things that I'm planning to make from it, but I haven't sewn from Burda for a while and decided to ease myself back into it with something relatively simple.   Burda has great designs, but no illustrations in the instructions, which can sometimes be a little daunting on the more detailed designs.  They can be a challenge, but I like that!

 This blouse-#131 had no collar, no cuffs, no buttons, so I decided it would be perfect.  I love the flounce detail in the center front, so even though it looked easy, it also looked interesting! The flounce isn't a separate piece.  The pattern has just three pieces- front, back and sleeve.  To get the flounce effect, you just put the fronts wrong sides together, and sew down the center front line.  Nothing to it!

Flapper Hat from Vogue 8844

Have you heard that 1920's fashions are making a comeback?  I have always romanticized the roaring 20's and especially love the fashions from that era.

Somebody said that my recently made coat looked like a flapper coat, so that reminded me of a hat pattern- Vogue 8844 that I bought specifically for View B, which looked like a flapper hat to me.   I had some leftover fabric from my last two projects- the black camelhair and mocha melton, so I decided to do a colorblock version.  

Anne Klein Cocoon Coat Vogue 1128

My family and I went to Scandinavia last summer, and when we were in the big cities, I got to snoop shop in some fun stores.  One of the stores was Acne, and they had the most beautiful coats.  A lot of them were oversized and a few were in this cocoon shape.  The price tags on them were in the 1000 Euro range.  So when I started thinking about making a new coat, I thought it would be fun to try this completely new to me shape. 

 I remembered this Anne Klein pattern from a few years ago- Vogue 1128.  It's out of print now. There was only 1 review of the coat part of the pattern on Patternreview.com, and that review didn't have a photo, so that should have been my first clue that maybe I should skip this one.


I have mixed feelings about it.  First of all, you can't tell this from the photo, but the fabric is really fantastic.  It's a melton from Marc Jacobs and is really luxurious.  I think that they called it mocha, which sounded delicious, but in reality is t…

Black Camel Hair Jacket McCalls 6172

This is my first camel hair project ever!  I have had this piece of black camel hair in my stash for a few years now, and I decided to bite the bullet and cut into it.  Camel hair is is supposed to be lighter and warmer than regular wool.  For such a nice fabric, I wanted to make something that wouldn't go out of style, and I chose McCalls 6172. And I have to say that I am in LOVE with this pattern.   The instructions are so detailed, with so many tips, that it's like taking a class!

Sewing Inspiration from Accessories

What gets you inspired to sew?  Is it a pattern, a fabric, or something completely out of the blue?  For me, it's often accessories!  I love jewelry and shoes, and sometimes don't have anything to coordinate with them, so that starts the creative juices going.
I've been eyeing this color block tote from Eloquii for a long time.  I was waiting for the price to go down, but now that it is on "final clearance", I had to bite the bullet and push "buy".  

McCalls 6600 Plaid Shirtdress

My waistline has been expanding recently.  Now if I were to look at the glass half empty, I would be very unhappy about that.  But as a seamstress, I can look at it as an opportunity to make new clothes!

Plain and Simple Iconic Shirtdress

This is my latest project- Hot Patterns 1013- Plain and Simple Iconic Shirtdress.  As you may remember, I've been having a Hot Patterns crush lately.  The ones that I've made so far, have fit me without any alterations, and I've been loving that.   This one was no exception.   This is a shirtdress designed for knits, and I used an ITY Snow Leopard Print Jersey.  It's a little bit out of my comfort zone, but I'm feeling pretty good in it so far!

New Sewing Classes Project Pics

This last weekend, I made up samples for upcoming sewing classes that I am offering through Parkland College in Champaign.  The first is Sewing for the Home, which is Wednesdays, Oct 17, 24, and 31st from 6-8 pm in my studio.  Students are always telling me that they want to make pillows, so that will be the first project!  We will be making an envelope style pillow that you can easily change according to the season and your mood.  The sky is the limit on what you can use- try satin, velvet or brocade for a formal setting, or linen, fur, suede or canvas for a more casual setting.  I anticipate class participants can make 4 pillows in the first class.



A Trio of Vogue Separates

This outfit is actually three different Vogue patterns- the top is 8831, the vest is 8777, and the skirt is 8837.  My idea is that these are good mixers- pieces that are overall neutral and will mix with a lot of other stuff in my closet! 

A Mother of the Groom Dress Butterick 5490

This weekend, my assistant Shirley's only son is getting married!  Shirley asked me to make her Mother of the Groom dress for her.  She chose Butterick 5490 and a turquoise crepe backed satin for the dress.


Sewing Studio Makeover!

I've been teaching sewing classes offered through our community college for a year.  I decided to teach the classes from my home studio because that way, students who didn't have any equipment could try out sewing using my sewing machines.

For the first year, we used the packing area from SewBaby as the classroom, so it was filled with all kinds of boxes, and mailing stuff.  Before class, Shirley and I would clear the table tops of packing supplies, and move the sewing machines in place.  Here are the BEFORE shots:


It worked, but it was not an ideal learning environment.  I decided that I liked teaching, and would continue to offer classes, so it made since to make the it a real "studio"!  

A few sheets of drywall, a few gallons of paint, some new tables and chairs, and voila!  Well, not really that easy.  The whole process took about a month, my husband and my assistant, Shirley,  deserve a lot of the credit for making my vision come true.  Here are the AFTER sho…

Faux Suede Dress Hot Patterns 1136

I have a crush on Hot Patterns.  I don't know why it has taken me so long to try them!  They are celebrating their 7th anniversary.  I've tried three of their patterns now, and each one has fit me perfectly with ZERO ALTERATIONS! 
It's like we were made for each other.  Love...

Create Kids Couture Patterns!

We would like to introduce you to Create Kids Couture Patterns!!  This pattern company is run by Shannon and Tiffany who started their business in July of 011.  They started small with just 5 patterns, but after 6 months, their love for designing blossomed into over 40 patterns!

Vogue 1313 DKNY Dress

Vogue 1313 is in the new releases from Vogue for fall, and I decided to try to get ahead of the game, and make it now before fall actually gets here!  There were several things that I liked about the pattern- the exposed zipper, the pockets, the fact that you could take it from warm to cool weather by adding a pullover and some tights, and that is is knit, which translates to "something I can sew FAST!". 

There are a lot of extra details in this pattern that I did not do because I had chosen this print as my main fabric.  For example, there are some fancy topstitching designs to go at the shoulder, and topstitching at all of the seam lines, that just would not have shown up with my print.  The fabric, by the way, is a Maggy London Double Knit that I got here.  It is super soft, and feels wonderful next to my skin.

 Here's a closer view of the zipper, and pocket area. The directions use a separating zipper, but the notions list doesn't tell you to get one that is sepa…

Pre-Order: OTTOBRE Design Woman Autumn/Winter 2012

Pre-Order the new Autumn/Winter 2012 issue of OTTOBRE Design Women's Magazine!  They should arrive at our facility by the end of August...but get your copy fast while they last!



This issue includes 20 trendy designs and complete patterns and instructions for sewing for women in European sizes 34-52.  Approximately US Women’s size 4-20.  The Finnish magazine is written in English.  The patterns are printed on a master pattern sheet and need to be traced to preserve the master pattern.  Ottobre Women’s designs are very wearable and shown on real life models. They are coming all the way from Finland!   So, if you are day dreaming about autumn & winter attire and want to get started sewing something fabulous, pre-order your copy now!








OTTOBRE Design Children's Autumn 2012 Issue

OTTOBRE Design Children's Autumn 4/2012 Issue is now available at SewBaby!!!
Get your issue here!

OTTOBRE Design is a magazine specializing in children's and youth fashion. Each issue includes more than forty trendy designs and complete patterns and instruction for sewing. The Finnish magazine is written in English.  The patterns are printed on a master pattern sheet and need to be traced to preserve the master pattern.  Includes patterns for sizes 56-170 cm (by height), which includes infant through youth sizes.  You will love having these fashion forward patterns for children at your fingertips! A centimeter to inches conversion calculator can be found here. Selected pages from magazine can be viewed here.