Thursday, June 9, 2016

Summer Sewing Retreat!!!!


Friday, August 12, 2016 through Monday, August 15, 2016 (begins 1 pm – ends 2 pm)
Dickerson, MD

Cost: $380 (non-refundable) 
   **includes: double occupancy & 9 meals**

Garment sewers, quilters, crafters, needle artists, etc. All experience levels. Join us for fellowship and fun! Bring your machine, supplies, and creativity!  A sewing slumber party!!!

Accepting: VISA, MC, Discover, AMEX or Paypal (select friends and family option)

Questions ask Tee at

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A dress for me!!!

In May we celebrate Women's Day at my church. We always have a color scheme. This year it was Turquoise and White.  
Turquoise - Love, Patience, Loyalty
White - Faith, Purity, Truth

Because I was in the throes of wedding alterations and making prom gowns I choose this simple pattern to make my dress.  I think I got t at an ASG stash sale!!!  I love working with multi-cup patterns. They usually work out gray fit wise for me if I use the "C" cup sizing.  

I used a white poly shantung Fabric from Oriole Textiles, NY, for the base of the dress.  The lace overlay is from Walmart. It's a very easy to follow pattern.  Love how it turned out!!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

2016 Proms Galore

Wow I can finally come up for air! I made a total of 5 prom dresses/gowns this year.  Here I will blog about 3, all jr. proms.  I'm awaiting pics of the other 2.  All of the girls brought me pictures and ideas.

#1 - This lovely little lady is my church granddaughter! I drafted this dress in PMB Wildginger software

I selected shoulder princess seams, leg o mutton sleeves, and a circle skirt.  For the bodice I fused a woven interfacing to the dress front bodice to give it more body and lined it with self fabric.  I added 4-inch horsehair braid to the skirt hem. The final dress fabric is Casa satin from Joann Fabrics. The poly lining has gathered stiff tulle attached from the knee down to give it a lift. I inserted an invisible zipper in this dress and attached a rhinestone broche to the center of the collar front.  Unfortunately, it barely shows in the pics.

#2-Top drafted in PMB Wildginger software. I followed this great tutorial on You Tube to make the hi/lo circle skirt.
It's pretty ingenious!
The bodice front and back are underlined with stretch taffeta.  I used the lapped zipper insertion.
fitting muslin

Black tulle was added to the lining mid knee and can be seen when worn for drama!
The final dress is made from a beautiful lace fabric purchased at A Fabric Place and the floral embellished mesh is from Metro Textiles and the skirt is underlined with black taffeta purchased from the Fabric Wholesale Direct.

#3 -  This little lady is very special to me...she's my oldest granddaughter.  I blogged about our fabric shopping adventure in the NY Garment District; however, she did not use that fabric.  She changed her mind several times before choosing this sequined animal print fabric from A Fabric Place in Baltimore, MD.

I modified the top of  OPP Vogue 8191 (View A).  Her skirt is a double circle skirt made with mystique satin, the overlay is silk organza -- both from A Fabric Place.  I gave the hems a serged rolled hem. ARGGG!!!!  I had issues with the thread rolling off of the organza so I cut strips of organza and placed them along the skirt edge, serged the two together, and trimmed the excess.  That eliminated the roll off threads.  I decided not to use an invisible zipper in the dress because it was so close fitting.  I sewed a lapped zipper and hand pricked the zipper where the organza skirt began.  It turned out nicely.  She was very happy with the final product!!!  

I won't be able to attend the "prom send off" of my other two young ladies.  I'll blog about them when I get the pics!  Happy sewing!  

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sandra Betzina

In January I became the Special Events Chair for the Maryland Chapter of the American Sewing Guild.  I wanted to bring a "big" name sewing talent!  So I contacted the great Sandra Betzina and worked with her wonderful assistant, Lissette, to get bring her to our Chapter in April.  ASG members from Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, North Carolina and Florida join us for a fun-filled weekend!!!

Our weekend with Sandra Betzina was priceless!  Sandra is so down to earth.  The three-day workshop was held at the Holiday Inn and Suites and the Catonsville United Methodist Church in Catonsville, MD.   To my surprise, Sandra was born and raised in Catonsville.  So she was eager to arrive and truly enjoyed seeing her old stomping grounds and the many, many changes!!!

On Friday, the first workshop was held.  Sandra discussed each chapter and went cover-to-cover demonstrating/lecturing about the vast tips in her Power Sewing Tool Box series.  We learned so much about the little details that make custom sewn garments look professional!  Fitting tips, fabric and pattern choices, and details, details, details are very important factors to consider before taking scissors to fabric!!!  Sandra also shared quite a bit of techniques that were not in her Toolbox series!!!

Saturday's trunk show/lecture was awesome. Sandra continued to discuss her Toolbox Techniques. We had the luxury of inspecting her garments up close and personal.  What a difference seeing the patterns made up in luxurious fabrics vs. the pictures on the pattern envelope.


Sandra changed into a few different outfits during the Saturday lecture.

On Sunday, the class was limited to twelve participants.  We each brought in a Sandra Betzina jacket pattern.  Sandra helped each of us make pattern adjustments and we all came home with a great muslin.  We plan to make our jackets and wear them in our Chapter's Annual Fashion Show/Luncheon Meeting in October!

Sandra is planning on retiring in the next couple of years!  I highly recommend taking a class or attending one of her fabulous retreats!!!  You won't be disappointed!!!!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Hey sewing friends

Wow it's been a while since my last post! I've been super super busy!  

Wedding and prom seasons vary for me.  I don't advertise.  My work comes by word of mouth, and a friend who has a full time sewing business sends folks my way when she is booked.  

This year they came early and strong!  I've hemmed four wedding gowns and a mother of the bride gown.  The gown feature here was gorgeous!!!!  It required a lot of taking in of the dress portion of the gown. The bride purchased it secondhand for a great price.  It was too big all over and too long. The dress portion had a heavily beaded/sequined/pearl lace overlay.   No matter what you do when working with this type of fabric needle breaks are bound to happen.  I also had tons of beads, pearls, crystals, and sequins to deal with!!!   After taking the dress apart, I found that it had already been altered.  Funny thing was, the alterations were all done by hand.  Someone had literally hand sewn the seams without cutting the sequins and pearls out or trimming the seams. They were just folded to the back!!!!   Looks like the previous owner purchased a larger size for her bust, because there were no alterations made to the top.  After two fittings we were all set.  Hemming the gown was easy.  I just removed a layer of the ruffle, cut and hemmed the lining and shorten the tulle! I did most of the seaming by going into the side seams of the lining.  I didn't want to take the skirt off the dress!!!!!  Taming that bottom skirt was a bear, but I got it done.  Luckily the lace was not seamed, but stretched over the dress.  I love it when that is done because you don't have so many seams to remove beads/pearls/sequins from.  She was very pleasant to work with and happy with the results!

On to the next project!!!!!!  Happy Sewing!!!! Thanks for stopping by!!!!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Academy Awards

This is one of my favorite gowns from the Academy Awards!
Halle is absolutely gorgeous in this gown.  Jim Suzio, a sewing/embroidery instructor I met at the Sewing Expo in Chantilly, VA, many, many years ago did a great knock off of this gown.  
This is his version worn by a model and his daughter, Merri! He nailed it don't you think!  He embroidered the lace appliqu├ęs and didn't use stabilizers. He used spray starch to stabilize the organza and simply washed it away when the embroidery was completed!  Amazing!!!!!

I'll be watching tonight drilling over the eye candy!!!!!  

I had surgery last week to correct my left thumb which had trigger thumb.  I'll be all set to sew prom gowns next week they remove the stitches. The thumb was in pain pretty much all of Feb!!!! curtailing my sewing quite a bit!  

I'm feeling better already!!!

Enjoy this beautiful day!  It's supposed to be 65 in Baltimore!!!!