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I promised my 16 Polar Sock class participants last night that I would post these links to simplify their searches for high quality fleece. We used the Green Pepper – 504 Polar Sock pattern and had a lot of fun! Thank you all for participating!

Green Pepper Polar Socks pattern


Some places to buy 200 wt Polartec (Polar fleece by Malden Mills, LLC) online: (Malden Mills/Polartec LLC) (Seattle Fabrics) (Pacific Fabrics) (Rain Shed) (Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics) (Fabric Mart, Sinking Springs, PA)







I guess I just get a closed mind about some things. For years I’ve stared blankly at the Burda World Of Fashion (now Burda Style, I guess) instruction pages for sewing/pressing shoulder seams. What was that wooden spoon doing in the photo anyhow?

burda spoon

Well, Deb Thompson has solved the mystery for a lot of us! Here’s her illustrated tutorial on how to attach facings (or a lining) to a sleeveless bodice! without hand stitching or top stitching.

I’ve seen this method before, but never connected the spoon drawing with it! Thank you, Deb!

I saw this on Liana’s Sew Intriguing blog and found it interesting….

Here’s my Word:

Your Word is “Think”

You see life as an amazing mix of possibilities, ideas, and fascinations.
And sometimes you feel like you don’t have enough time to take it all in.

You love learning. Whether you’re in school or not, you’re probably immersed in several subjects right now.
When you’re not learning, you’re busy reflecting. You think a lot about the people you know and the things you’ve experienced.



I’m back home from a trip with my mother to visit her brother in Kansas. Lots to catch up with here on the home front, especially since corn planting is just now finally beginning after being delayed a month or so by rain, rain and more rain.

Just a reminder to myself: draft a woven pants pattern for Mom.

I finished this Kwik Sew 3041 blouse while in Colorado last summer (2008) a few months before my grandson was born.
I have had pretty good luck with Kwik Sew patterns right out of the envelope, so I figured I could sew this one with an inexpensive cotton and have a good everyday blouse, if not better, as a result of my test garment. The fabric has faded quite a bit, but still looks okay.

I decided to post about it when I pulled it out to wear this past April when my daughter’s family came for a visit.
Isn’t this little fella a cutey? Love that red hair!

The cotton fabric is coarsely woven and wrinkles seem to fall out without needing to be pressed. I used a weft interfacing on the front placket area and collar. I thought the plaid size was so small that the blouse needed some extra interest, so I cut the pockets on the bias. My daughter helped choose the buttons last summer and I used her Bernina Activa 240 with it’s memory buttonholes, a feature I loved!

Here’s a scanned print of the Teagarden T being worn in real life!


I wonder if I’ll ever get around to finishing the sleeve hems…

I’m happy with leaving the bottom of this shirt unhemmed…it’s almost too short even this way. Next time maybe I’ll add a bit to the length. Or maybe not. I don’t really need any extra lumpy lines in this location, and this particular cotton interlock is fairly beefy.

Do you always hem your knit shirts?

Hurrah! I actually left the house today for the first time in at least a week. And I’m way healthier than I was last week at this time, which is obviously a good thing. So!

I drove to Peoria to buy thread for altering my niece’s prom dress and then stopped in at the ‘sewing get-together’ at Michelle’s house. She presented me with a copy of this photo she took, maybe last February:


So I’m gritting my teeth and hiding my eyes and posting what I think is the first photo of me I’ve uploaded. I’ve decided that if I want to share my sewing projects I’ll just have to get over the camera shyness….

It’s the SW TeaGarden T that I made last spring for the Timmel SWAP.

Michelle had also taken a photo of Kellie and me looking through M’s vintage pattern album:


She brought it down to show us when it was almost time to go home and we needed to hurry, but we didn’t want to miss anything!!

The challis has a prominent design that is printed off-grain (about 3 inches across the 59″ fabric.) I decided to follow the printed pattern rather than the true grainline hoping that the natural drape of this rayon woven challis fabric will cover the sin of off-grain cutting. Clearly it would look very bad to have the design sliding at an angle off the bottom of the skirt hem! Time will tell if I made the right decision.

The next step in making this green rayon challis skirt is to cut the front panel and the pocket bags and to get my serger set up on a table and remind myself how to use it! Oh, and change out the pink thread that’s on it for a medium gray or whatever will look best; I haven’t even looked at my serger thread stash for several years.

I plan to cut the front panel 30″ wide. I may decide to add a back center seam to the back panel, which is currently cut to finish about 58″.

OR I could cut the pocket bags onto the skirt panels…but then I’d need to make the two panels a lot closer to the same size! Hmmm. Decisions. Decisions.

Last fall my mother was wearing a skirt that she said I’d made her many years ago. It was a wool challis border print for which she’d found a new updated top. She suggested that it would be ‘fine’ if I’d like to make her more similar skirts….

So, in January when Michelle** offered two skirt lengths of a green rayon challis foulard print, I jumped at the chance! (Mom has green eyes!)

Green Rayon Challis

Green Rayon Challis

Mom, who will be 80 this fall, measured the old skirt and sent an email with the info:

  • 30″ long (plus waistband) – 2 to 4 inches longer would be better
    1.2″ waistband (serged) with elastic inside
    Pockets inside both side seams
    Bottom width: 58″
    Width of skirt 6″ below waist: 52″
    Hem: 4″
  • I also got her current waist and hip measurements and calculated that I’d need to cut the skirt 39″ long x the width of the fabric (59″). I cut the waistband 44″ x 3″, which is probably longer than necessary. I must have added some long, ‘freehand’ darts at the waistband to reduce the fabric bulk between the waist and lower hip. I really don’t remember sewing the wool challis skirt, so I know it was a quick ‘n’ dirty project, no doubt all serged.

    Initially I figured I’d have to add a side seam if I wanted to make the big pocket bags that I usually put into challis skirt side seams. Or maybe I could just stick with one pocket and one side seam; but with only one seam, I’d prefer to put that seam in the center back.

    My experience with rayon challis (compared to the sturdier wool challis) is that it might be better to make the skirt a little fuller than the original 58 inches and to cut separate pieces for the front and back. In that case, the pockets would be easy to install. I’ll probably move the side seams slightly to the front so the pockets bags will be at her hip bones and thus less bulky.

    I’ll tell you more in my next skirt-making post.

    **For the last two months Michelle has been hosting several regional PatternReview gals at her home for a Sewing-Saturday. It’s been SO much fun to set aside the time to share and help each other with various sewing projects.

    Kwik-Sew’s Sewing For Baby is a great resource! The book has multi-sized patterns and instructions for sewing and serging baby things. Also included are many ideas for adapting or updating the patterns.

    I made this sleep sack for my grandson by using the sleeper pattern and extending the bottom to a bag shape rather than fitted legs.
    The main body of the sleeper is a cotton flannel and the cuffs and neckband are a cotton lycra jersey.

    The zipper is a lightweight flexible nylon. My original plan was to add a zipper across the bottom so diaper changes at night would be easier, but I can’t remember whether or not I included it! Talk about memory problems…

    In any case, it looks as though it won’t fit much longer…

    My great aunt Martha was a tall, slender, very proper woman, born in 1896. She cross-stitched, did some white work and tatting and crochet work and had carefully saved all the lace collars and ribbons from her dresses and hats. She also had inherited a big wooden cigar box with buttons and buckles from her mother, my great grandmother Lydia. Luckily I now have some of her sewing things, among them this pincushion:


    The fabrics pinned to the cushion are 1.5″ square. The cushion itself is a red cotton velveteen, I think, that is stuffed with what appears to be unbleached cotton fibers.


    I originally thought maybe the pressed glass base was the bottom of a cake stand, but a few minutes ago I poked my finger into the cushion to verify that. The red cushion is hand-stitched below a square shaped border; when I felt something above that I thought it might be a candle holder, but I was wrong. It’s…


    … an uneven, rough-edged broken glass post. Do you think this could have originally been the base of an oil burning table lamp that had had an accident at some point?


    May 2018
    S M T W T F S
    « Nov    
    In honor of my late father-in-law