Wednesday, April 26, 2017

First prom of the year!!!

I've been very busy sewing prom gowns.  Six in total.  This is the first, a junior prom!  My client, Amber said she wanted to be "elegant and classy."  My kind of girl!  So I drafted this little number in my Wildginger program.  A halter bodice and circle skirt.  I used a red stretch taffeta and a Joann fabric Casa brand poly organza for the overlay.   I love the stretch taffeta is so easy to sew, with just the right amount of stretch.  It holds its shape and does not wrinkle easily.  My source for this fabric is found here. :
It comes in many colors!
When I print out the pdf pattern I don't cut the paper.  I trace onto medical exam paper and then use it for the pattern.  I make a mock-up out of muslin for the first fitting.  Wildginger teaches to make a sloper first.  I skip this step and make a mock up instead.  I mark my changes using a sharpie and the muslin becomes my pattern.  For the circle skirt, I decided not to waist my muslin fabric and taped the exam table paper together for the fitting.  I worked like a charm!
The waist looks a little high, that's because the dress is not sitting at the correct position at her neckline. 
Doesn't she look lovely!!!!!!

She was such a sweetie!!!!  I've known her since she was a baby. 

Back to the Sewing Center five more gowns to make!  One very special gown for my GD who is a senior this year!

Happy Sewing!!!!!

Monday, April 17, 2017

New addition to The Sewing Center

While browsing Amazon for a sewing clock I saw in a magazine, I came across this darling little clock.  It's totally made from a vinyl record.  Yep, a vinyl record.  Check it out!  Isn't it the cutest.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sewing room shenanigans

In my quest to organize my sewing room I added another peg board.

I found so many pin cushions.  I didn't realize I had so many!!!!

I use this one to store barely used machine needles.  It has a strawberry needle sharpener.

My cousin, Vergie, made this multi-functional mason jar pin cushion. 
I purchased this pin cushion from Sewing Expo a couple of years ago.  Its for decoration only.
I received this pin cushion for serving as an Ambassador at the Sewing Expo.
I made this pin cushion many hears ago at an ASG conference.  The base is an empty tuna can.
I made this one also it fits right up against my sewing machine.
This magnetized bowl came from Lowe's.  I keep it at my cutting station. It catches everthing!!!

Barbara made the little chick a dee at retreat last year.  The small tomato was from a deceased church member's stash.  The wrist band one came from Joann's' and the flower pin cushion is actually has an elastic band that you wear like a ring!  I found that at Tuesday Morning's.  

This cutie was made by a friend who attended my sewing retreat.  She made one for everyone.  How many pin cushions do you have????

Happy sewing!!!

Friday, March 3, 2017

You're Invited...

                                 Dressed to a “Tee” Presents

The 2nd Annual Summer Just Sew Retreat will be held at the Hallowood Retreat and Conference Center, nestled on 55 wooded acres in scenic Frederick County, Maryland, for 3 nights!  We hope you will join us for four days of fun with your sewing friends.

Hallowood Retreat and Conference Center
7300 Banner Rd, Dickerson, MD

                  Friday, August 11 to Monday, August 14
$385 double occupancy
$435 single occupancy
(8 meals included)
Deposit (non-refundable): $100 deposit due now
**full payment can be made now**
Final payment due June 9
Make payment to:   http:\\\PayPal.Me/ivalyn

Reservations are transferable to another attendee, but not refundable.

CHECK IN: Friday, August 11, 2017 3:00 PM meet in the Lobby. Then set up your machines in the Conference Room.

CHECK OUT: Monday, August 14, 2017, 1 pm (10 am room check out)

Sleep, eat, and sew in the same building!!!!
3 nights lodging shared with one roommate
8 home-style meals

SEWING ROOM INCLUDES:   The rooms have great lighting, extra outlets, and ample electricity.  Snacks and beverages are allowed in the room, and we can sew all night! The facility is very sewing friendly!   Each attendee will have one table to work at. There will be ironing stations, cutting areas and a SWAP table.

MEALS:   Howard, the chef at Hallowood prepares wonderful meals and we are served family style. Iced tea, coffee, tea, hot water, and water for drinking is available throughout our stay.  Soft drinks & bottled water are available for $1 donation.  Dinner only served on Friday; breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Saturday and Sunday; breakfast only on Monday.

FABRIC STORES: There is a JoAnn fabrics located in Frederick, MD (about 20-30 min. drive).  Patches Quilt store is located in Mt. Airy, MD (about 37 min. drive).  Charlotte’s Cottage Quilt Shop located in Walkersville, MD (about 36 min. drive).  A Fabric Place located in Baltimore, MD (about an hour’s drive).

Check out the Center’s website for more details:

Questions, please contact Tee Jones-Actie 410-566-1151 or

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Peanut Man

The youth put on a Black History skit at church on Sunday.  I was tasked with making something to help the youngsters represent the great inventor George Washington Carver.

As the little ones walked down the isles passing out peanut treats, they wore these aprons adorned with peanuts.  I think they turned out wonderfully!

I used a brown cotton fabric for the apron.  I free hand drew the peanut shape this cotton fabric purchased at  I lined the peanut shape with a thin quilt batting and zig-zaged around the pinked edge.

Now back to prom gowns and wedding alterations!!!!!   Happy sewing!!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

1st sewing retreat of the year!!!

Just got back from my first sewing retreat of the year!  It was a wonderful event.  There were only ten of us which meant we had plenty of space to set up and sew!!!!  The center is located off the beat and path so there's plenty of beautiful scenery and quite!!!

I'm happy to say that I accomplished quite a bit at this retreat!!!!  I brought along projects that didn't get started on at the November 2016 retreat.  Pre-cutting is key!!!!!

I also took the time to organize my sewing area at the retreat.  I placed all of my much needed notions:  seam ripper, shears, tape measure, rulers, etc in a basket and placed it at arms length on the table.  I re-organized my tote organizer that I take to classes and retreats.  Over the years it's gotten pretty unorganized, and I didn't really know what all was in it!!!!!  I found that I had too many duplicate items in this organizer.

I have had this coat pattern and fabric for two years.  My sister and I purchased them for her in Savannah, GA when I last visited her.  Why she needs a wool coat I don't know!!!!!  Well anyway I cut it out and started working on it the night before the retreat. 

When she comes this weekend, I'll fit her for the button hole placement.
The brocade lining fabric is from my deceased friend's stash.  Looks like a match made in heaven!  Get it!!!  Thanks Yulander!!!

This warm coat was started back in October---I was able to complete it at retreat.  Love the way it looks, stylish and warm!  I can wear it to church on Sunday!!!! It looks great on both sides so I was able to use that to my advantage for the facing and sleeves.  It's really too bulky to add a self fabric facing so I just left the edges raw and turned.  I love the results.


Because the fabric is beautiful inside and out===there really was no right or wrong side.  The contrast is perfect!

This cute peplum top is made using one of the fabrics I purchased in Barcelona.  It's a soft brushed stretch fabric.



I also made this simple top for a friend.  I call it the "candy corn" top!  She purchased this fabric in Ghana.


I was commissioned to make a cushion for the church bench that was recently placed in the vestibule.  I found this beautiful fabric years ago at "Ebad's" on 8th Avenue in New York.


  I love the way this turned out.  I used a wool crepe purchased in Metro Textiles in the NY garment district.  I used a rotary cutter to trim the edges---no hem necessary.

This was a very productive sewing retreat!  As always, a great time was had by all!!!

Oh last but not least, the food was scrumptious!  We were served three home-cooked meals a day!

Until next time!  Happy sewing!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 Goals

Happy New Year!!!!! It's been a long time I know.  Life got in the way of blogging, but I'm back.

I don't believe in resolutions, but I do want to make and stick to few sewing commitments in 2017!!!

 1.  Stash busting!!!!!
 2.  Unscribe from all on-line fabric stores
 3.  Clean up sewing room after each project (really helps me to be more productive)
 4.  Adhere to deadlines for customer sewing
 5.  Sew more garments for me!!!!!
 6.  Sew garments for grandkids (they have requested many)
 7.  Blog at least once a month
 8.  Donate unwanted fabric to local sewing school
 9.  Sew smarter!!!!
10. Do more sewing for community service

Well there it is----hopefully since I've documented my goals, I'll be able to reach them by years' end.

Happy sewing -  may all your sewing goals come true!!!!