Sunday, August 19, 2018

Our first week-long retreat

I’m just back from my week-long sewing retreat!  It was sorta like heaven on earth!

There was sewing, knitting, painting, and quilting going on!!! Our group really clicked!!!  Sewers are such generous people!!!!

The food was superb as usual!!! The pics show how much fun we had!!! 

 Lots of learning going on!
 Isn't this the organizer over a mug!!
 free fabric!!!!

The whole gang and Justin the sewing machine guy!  Yep we got our machines serviced too!

 Delicious meals cooked daily!

 Taking advantage of the wonderful solitude!


Saturday, June 9, 2018

It's been a while...but I'm back!!!

I'm happy to report that I've retired!!  Yes retired!  After 39 years and 9 months, I retired from the federal government!!!!

I hit the ground prom sewing the day after retiring.  Here's what I created.

 I used my Wildginger software to design the corset.  The corset is fully boned and made of lace and underlined with flesh toned silk organza.  I sewed her strapless bra cups into the finished corset.  The appliques were cut from lace yardage I purchased in the NY garment district and hand sewn to create the look.  Her skirt is three circle skirts (taffeta, organza, and tulle).  Organza, taffeta, and lace for sleeve and bodice from Joann Fabrics.

This 2-piece white ensemble bodice was also drafted in Wildginger.  The skirt is 5 layers of Casa sparkle poly organza with tulle gathered to the Casa taffeta lining (Joann Fabric).  The white lace was also purchased at Joann Fabrics)

I also drafted this ombre gown in Wildginger (t-shirt back zipper with set in sleeves).  The ombre is silk charmuese from Mood in NY.   The hem has 4" horsehair braid purchased from

The bodice of this black gown is made with an embroidered/beaded lace.  I lined it with black mesh.  The skirt is modified Butterick 3908 from my stash.  I used Casa satin and netting from Joann Fabrics.  The skirt has 4" horsehair braid purchased at

This beautiful royal blue gown was also drafted in Wildginger (dress with french darts and set in sleeves).  When sewing sequins I want as few seams as possible.  Dress - Stretch sequin/lycra; skirt -one layer of silk organza gathered to a poly tafetta skirt.  The poly lining has gathered tulle attached for just the right amount of fullness.  The organza skirt has 4" horsehair braid in the hem.  All fabric, except the taffeta, lace (used to cut out the appliques on sleeves and shoulders), sequin trim, and the nude mesh (Joann Fabrics) were purchased online from

 This adorable hot pink two piece was created using a vintage McCalls4011  Lace from A Fabric Place, Baltimore, MD.  Self drafted Casa taffeta and tulle circle skirt with tulle underskirt for effect.
 This senior wanted a classic look.  This halter gown was also drafted in Wildginger.  I used Casa black satin and red crepe (bow facing and trim) from Joann Fabrics.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

A legend is gone...

From the Baltimore Sun via the Washington Post by Robin Givhan

Givenchy and power of a little black dress!!!

Hubert de Givenchy was that rare designer whose work reached everyone from fashion aficionados to the casual observers. It defined an era. It helped create the foundation for what it means to be a fashion icon. His work told the story of glamorous sophistication, female rebellion and the complexities of beauty and desire.
He achieved this remarkable feat with a single little black satin dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the opening sequence of 1961’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” From the front, the dress was simple enough: sleek and sleeveless with a flattering bateau neckline. From the back, it was dynamic, sexy and utterly sophisticated with its geometric cutouts and the alluring way it framed the nape of the neck.
And it looks as perfect in 2018 as it did 50 years ago. Givenchy didn’t invent the little black dress, but he gave it its enduring cachet. He infused it with meaning beyond the practical and versatile. The dress represented a lifestyle: glamorous, reckless, defiant, urbane. It was Holly Golightly’s dress. She was complicated and sad, confounding and charming. She was not Everywoman. She was exceptional, which is what every woman wants to be. And her signature dress was wondrous.
Givenchy, who died March 10 at age 91, was born a count. He had an aristocratic bearing made even grander by his 6-foot-6 frame. He loved gardens and antiques. As a designer, he came of age during the 1950s and ’60s when haute couture dominated fashion and Paris was the center of it all. He apprenticed with Lucien Lelong and Elsa Schiaparelli, but his greatest influence was fashion’s most famous ascetic Cristobal Balenciaga, who was both a mentor and friend. And when Balenciaga closed his own atelier in 1968, he directed his heartbroken clients to Givenchy.
Givenchy dressed the grand dames of international society, ranging from France’s Marie-Helene de Rothschild to Americans Bunny Mellon, Lee Radziwill and Jacqueline Kennedy. He didn’t just stitch up luncheon suits and evening gowns for them; he socialized with them and was part of their world.
His work was known for the quality of its lines. He was not the sort of designer who would try to dazzle the eye with elaborate embroidery or lavish beading. Instead, he focused on cut and proportion. His clothes exuded luxury but also restraint. He didn’t simply create clothes; he crafted a vocabulary of style. And it was that ability to seemingly build an entire world out of silk and satin that made his work with Hepburn both memorable and enduring — and allowed it to resonate with generations of women who envisioned themselves as gamines living fully and self-indulgently.
But no matter the many divergent aesthetic points of view or the passage of time, Givenchy remains bound up in the collective cultural memory of a single black dress, the man who created it, the woman who wore it. And the timeless desire for a bright, shiny life of glamour and ease.

Here are some of my favorite Givenchy Vogue patterns:


 I actually made this dress (2303) in a fushia crepe!  It was my go to Easter dress for years!!!!!