Little Black Scarf

I put this scarf together last night. I started with a light see thru black material with 22 inches wide by the width of the fabric. I serged the edges and ran 3 baste stitches down the centre of the scarf and 2 inches from each side. I was lazy when I gathered and went with a single baste row & thought I would take my chances against the thread breaking. After it was gathered, I ran a 3 step zigzag to hold the gathers in place.

It has been a cool summer here and my office is as cold as a fridge with the air conditioning.

The next time, I would make it slightly more narrow and longer. I am thinking 16 inches by 60 inches. But it will do the trick as is!

I also got my swap package mailed this morning. It should arrive in 6-12 days!



Notions on my mind…

I was quite excited to receive an email from Kat | Modern Vintage Cupcakes this morning. She is collecting measurements for a pattern & notion swap which is part of the sew weekly 2013 reunion – My recipient is overseas so I want to get my package mailed tomorrow to account for travel time. I spent quite a bit of time trying to find the perfect pattern. Clothing is such a personal thing so I hope she likes it. I think we are both new sewists, so I want a feminine dress, without a lot of complex construction and the correct size. I ended up purchasing a printable pattern from Butterick.

I buy a lot of PDF patterns but this is the first time I was not given a PDF but instead I had to download software and print off without saving. The whole experience was enough for me not to purchase like that in the future. I was under a time crunch this time!

Now I have notion ideas floating in my head. I think I have come up with the perfect plan…a needle book. I hope to get some sewing time in tomorrow to finish my package up before the post closes. Crossing my fingers or it will be plan B. Either one will be fine!


Five Dollar Finds – Hem Marker & Sewing Box

A great find was had on the street I grew up on! I was helping my mom and when I drove away, spotted a yard sale. I always ask the same thing on arrival ‘Any sewing items or guitars?’ The guitar question I ask on behalf of my son.

Here is what I found. A sewing box in great condition. Wood, large, made in Poland. I have a smaller version of this box from university days, taking art class. I love this new box on legs and it was $3. I spend a Friday night, with a glass of wine organizing my notions – yes my life is the life of envy 🙂

The other contraption I first read about in Gerties Book of Better Sewing. Love the book and it is chalked full of information. It’s a vintage hem marker which can be set to a length of 7 – 24 inches from the ground. A partner clamps and pins around the skirt hem for more precise hemming. There is a small place within the clamp to place the pins. This handy device was $2.

The yard sale owner said she sold her dress form last year – arghhh. One day….I will find one.


Pattern Wants!

I keep a running list of pattern pins on my ‘Sewing Clothes’ pinterest board. Often when there is a $1.88 sale and I will go thru and see if there is anything pinned on my wishlist. I do have a long wishlist, and plenty patterns waiting in the wings to keep me busy. Here is the current $100 list which doesn’t fall into the McCalls 2 dollar sale.

  1. Cake patterns – Tiramisu
  3. Sewaholic – Tofino Pants, Cordova Jacket, Renfrew Top, Cambie Dress, Alma Blouse
  5. Victory Patterns – May have to have a couple of these too!
  6. My list keeps getting longer. Easy, knit – Lady Skater Dress


Ruffled Foot

I have several ruffler feet which I seem to be collecting with each sewing machine I acquire. A few weeks ago I spent the evening with a glass of wine and the idea to master the use of this funny looking foot. I found out the foot has three settings. It will gather at every 3rd, 6th, or 12th stitch. Now the geek in me thinks this is really cool so I made samples of all three setting.

The mechanics of this foot is basically to attach it to the sewing machine by hooking onto the needle holder. That’s it. I created an a-line skirt which I used this foot to create THE most uniform pleated gathers to add to the bottom of the skirt hem.

I was very excited about what I learned and passed along an extra foot to another sewist friend. Not many people share the same enthusiasm for these vintage gadgets. I just can’t believe what kind of person invented this foot? Truly a time saver for anything needing gathers. Too bad it is still not 1980! I will have to be discrete in which projects I will use this attachment for. 🙂

Although some say ruffles are back!

Here are a few samples.




Another Bag!


I have finally ran out of silk ties to sew with. All I have left are 2 inch squares. After making a large bag from my favorites, I also made a small bag for my mom’s birthday – Forgot to snap a photo. This is the final bag which is a combination of up cycled navy trousers and the last of the ties. I like the colors. The pattern is super easy and not sure how many more bags will be a result. I seem to have brain lock on making these bags. And other ideas of how I can re use ties to add accents garments or other projects are swimming in my head. Taking suggestions on something else to create?

I used the retired pattern by Michelle’s patterns – the cross over bag.

Where I Sew 2013

I am in between projects, so now is the perfect time to post photos of Where I Sew – Just looking at the 2013 Where I Sew photos by pink chalk, gave me a lot of inspiration. Each space is differentand that is what is so neat about it. I would love to move my sewing space upstairs to a spare room with a larger window but will have to wait about 10 years!

Until then, I have created my space in the family room downstairs. Therea many positives to this despite the lack of natural light. It is the place my husband spends his extra time and my kids too. We have an open concept large room each divided for our own purposes. Media, exercise, computer, and sewing of course. My space is the second largest which affords room for my supplies and my SMAD – sewing machine acquisition disorder! I like to collect vintage machines, fix them, and use them.

I also have a few machine cabinets playing double duty as side tables upstairs in case there is a teen sleepover that takes over the basement. I hope you enjoy the pictures of Where I Sew.




Sewing for Profit

Do you have any sewing books which are essential?




Sewing for Profit – Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences Scranton, PA

I found this book at the local used bookstore.  It is part of a textbook series mostly published in the 1930’s.   I was only able to get one book in the series.  The whole thing is available online to read – both sewing & cookery. It is truly a peak into another time!  There is a ‘Specializing in Sewing’ section that will be my weekend reading material.

The cookery ones can be found here:

Centennial Featherweight 1851-1951

I have been lurking over a craiglist posting for a singer featherweight. The owner sent a pic and the machine looked like it was in good shape. It had a piece of wool over the arm of the machine so I didnt see the badge.

When I went to view the sewing machine – I lifted the wool off and saw the 100th anniversary blue rimmed badge.

I paid and couldnt get home fast enough. Just my luck. She is called ‘moon’ after her original owner. The machine had one owner and was the families machine. A shame no one in the family knows how to sew or wants it.



Brainlock – Cross Over Bag

It all started with a bag of thrifted ties for $5.99. I really wanted to buy all 4 but thought that might be too greedy. Plus I have about 3 quilts started but not finished.

I decided to create the cross over bag from Michelle’s Patterns. I purchased about 6 retired patterns she was clearing out. This pattern comes in size medium and small.

The first bag I made turned out great! I love the silk tie look and used the tie label on the front of the bag. All the ties in this bag are non-diagonal and have a very retro look. If only the ties could talk!

The second bag made was small. I love the look of the bag using all diagonal stripped ties. I dont have an image because I gave it to my mom for her birthday.

I am now on my third bag – a small bag which is part tie material, part recycled cotton. I am running out of ties!

Not bad for $5.99 🙂

Here is the pattern. But it can not be purchased anymore as it has been retired.

Bag 1 Image



Karma – Serger!

‘Today is your lucky day’ is what Cindy from Cindy-rella’s Sewing & Quilting said to me!  She gave me SUCH an incredible deal on her serger, I still can’t believe it. Knowing very little about sergers, I  had to do a bit of research when I got home.  To be honest,  I didn’t even know what the proper tension of the stitch should look like. 🙂

I wasn’t really satisfied with the resources online so I decided to buy another Crafsty online course instead of waiting for an in-person course –  Beginning Sergering.  I really like how she takes you thru a 40 point check of the machine and uses 3 different models.  And by the end of the course, you have a handful of resources and you build a binder of samples which you add to your materials.  Later when you need the same stitch all the details like stitch length, width and tension dials are recorded.

After a full day with this serger – it became a love hate relationship.  By now I intimately know the ins & outs.  I also realized some new features on other sergers I would really like, rolled hem capability and differential feed to create a wave effect!  Maybe one day.  Thanks Cindy! When I save my pennies I will buying my 2nd serger at your store – I am so grateful to you.

Here are a few projects made out of vintage silk ties I pulled together on the serger once I got going with the machine.




Honeycomb Quilt


I thought I would give the Honeycomb precuts a try.  Having never worked with hexagons, I found the moda bake shop YouTube video and 1 PDF  instructions very helpful.  It’s coming along nicely and I am very greatful for my sewing machines…tie offMon feature which helps secure all these hex points.  The finished product will be wall hanging size.  I thought I would use over size running stitches in contrasting DMC floss and vintage buttons in each hex for the quilting size of it.



Baby Blue

I have a couple more machines – both BLUE.  One of them will be given to a local quilt group!  A singer & a white.  Both we donated.  It looked like the singer had never been cleaned…it was a fabric bunny haven when I took the machine apart.  The white required a full day of cleaning and scrubbing – and I eventually had to use steal wool the oil was so caked on.  The white is just incredible with a great straight stitch.

Singer Before


Singer After


White Before


White After


Patchwork Draw String – Birthday Bag Instructions

I needed to create ten treat bags for an upcoming birthday party and procastinated until the nite before. I had a bit of an assembly line set up. They took about 2 hours total. Each bag is:

Supplies needed: 6 charm squares, ribbon for the drawstring.

-sew 3 charms squares together in a row
-cut the row in half down the middle charm
-re-arrange & re sew into small panels
-make two panels for each side of the bag
-face panels rights sides together
-sew around the perimetre, leaving 2 inches from the top on each side unsewn. Clip corners
-iron the top sides 1/4 inch back & sew – which will finish the edge of the casing nicely
-Optional – I folded the tips of the corners, iron, stitched, and cut the corner tips off to create a box bottom.
-pull ribbon thru the casing





White sewing machine

This machine came to me in rough shape. I tried oil to clean but the old oil was so thick and discolored I ended using steel wool!

She looks great and sews even greater. The tension is perfectly set now and am surprised at how quiet she is. I was going to fix up and give away, but after an entire day of cleaning this clone is going to stay here! The cabinet is beautiful too. I might paint a linen wash on the bottom half of the cabinet but something is stopping me from doing it. I have a hard time painting natural wood.



I found this pattern online and needed a small project for tonight. I had some really great material with scanned barcode images that lends itself to shopping and money. The holder was meant for a small pad of paper but who writes stuff down anymore! I have been using ‘notes’ in the cloud.

Here are pics of the inside and out. I travel lite with very few cards – can’t be bothered with locality programs.



From Texas

A nice surprise came to my door after work. Thanks Olita! And here is the story. Very touching: And greetings from Texas.

‘Here is your mug rug, made with you in mind. Of course I patterned it after several things that I saw when visiting Sault St. Marie Ontario, ( which I know is not the area in which you live). I hope you like it as I had a lot of fun making it. I do have to admit there are some glitches here and there and I have to blame the RA as sometimes it is rather hard when handling small squares etc.
The maple leaf block represents the fall foliage that was just beginning turn colors while we were there.

The bear claw block represents the bear prints I saw while stopped at a national park as we ,(Richard and I), rode the Algoma RR into the forest.
And of course the flying geese blocks represent the beautiful geese that I saw in Sault St. Marie. And we had a pair spend a few days here at my apt. complex a few weeks ago. I suppose they wanted a rest and our little pound looked good for them before moving on along home.

The light blue in the geese pattern represents the clear waters in the streams, rivers, and waterfalls, we saw while riding the train.

And lastly the red represents the red maple leaf in your flag.


Me – Made – May 2012

My grey knit skirt ended up WAY to stretchy but I improvised and cut half of it away so it would fit. I guess when the pattern asks for fabric with 25% stretch I shouldnt choose 50%. So I ended up making another skirt out of cotton, with a simple elastic waist. Used the Meg McElwee’s skirt pattern kind of 🙂 Regardless, my me-made outfit today was the grey casual skirt. Had a great day avoiding stores, people, and crowds in general. Had a cup of tea on the deck and listed to CBC radio. A good day!

I am thinking of making an infinity scarf out of my ‘Twenty-three’ fabric. Thought the orange, lime and retro images may work. But that will be for another day.




Me – Made – May 2013

Day 3 and I am still into the Me – Made challenge. Today I wore my blue hoody knit that I made using my Craftsy course by Meg McElwee.

I am sure I will not be able to keep up with pace of this challenge, but I will try to sew everyday! Tonight will be the knit skirt in black another Meg pattern…it is suppose to be +24!



My Sorbetto


I downloaded the Collette Sorbetto tank top. It was my weeknd project.

What inspired me was another bloggers post about 7 days of the Sorbetta. She added sleeves which was a big deal for me, plus I loved her 20s dress version too. Surprising how many ways a simply (2 pattern peices) can turn out – with a little imagination.

The fabric I chose for the top was a sheet set I had when I was a kid…so that unfortunately makes it 35 years old. The fabric has a wonderful worn feel, but the design was something I remember from being a kid in kindergarten. My favorite design I sparingly used for the bias collar, hem, and small strip down the front. Just could cut large chunks out of yet!

I still have to sew the buttons on…they are just pinned. Was waffling on which to pick, but the I will stick to these white ones I got at the estate sale last week.

Estate Sale – Sewing Notions

I went to an estate sale on the weekend and picked up some really useful items.

  • Henkel’s pinking shears
  • Thread nips
  • 6.5 by 24 inch olfa ruler, 2.5 olfa ruler
  • Olfa slash ruler for chenille making
  • Dresden plate template – small, medium, and large
  • Dritz Tailor board
  • Wooden sleeve board
  • Buttons, marking pens, and marking rulers for seam allowances
  • Patterns were free, so I pick up a dozen
  • And a tiny bit of fabric

Wow! ImageImageImage

Don’t Touch My Ginghers!

In my house the kids and DH included, will see a pair of scissors in my sewing roomand use them to open jelly sticks, yogurt tubes, and popcorn bagSometimes of course they wouldn’t tell me and I would go to used them and they would be either stuck together from the sugar or dripping in coconut oil from the popcorn.

Now scissors are very important for quilting. I mostly use my OLFA 45mm rotary cutter. So I have gone all my years of sewing sharing my scissors with the family. Granted, most were from the dollar store, or fabric store but most were under $5.00.

Then I started my first sewing class on Craftsy and was told I need a good pair of scissors. I wasn’t really listening and went thru the class with my dollar store specials. Here is what happened:

-there was a bit of swearing -I couldn’t cut my pattern put because my scissors would slip – my notches didn’t even look like notches

So I was on a quest to purchase a high quality pair of scissors. I started with a 5 inch knife edge ginghers, after I received those in the mail, I found a pair of 4 inch spring action embroidery pair, and this Friday my last pair arrived – my 8 inch dressmakers shears! All are made in Italy and cut thru the fabric like butter.

Now I just have to keep these away from the family!


Sewing with Knits

If you are looking for a beginner pattern, I recommend ‘Sewing with Knits’ by Meg McElwee (Blog SewLiberated) on Craftsy. Super inspiring, non intimating, and you get over 6 patterns! I started with her first project which is the hoody.

Love how easy it was to put together (1 evening & and a 1/2 video tutorial). It is so comfy and my style. I picked a waffle jersey in grey and have enough left over to make an american apparel jersey infinity scarf knock off.

Heading to the fabric store today to by 3 more metres of this knit in dark navy….to make another. I think I will sew one size smaller to get it a bit more form fitting.

Update: Love the drk navy in a size medium. Very cozy to wear today, especially since it is snowing this morning!

Thanks Meg. You are an awesome teacher!




Overlock Foot & Stitches

I thought I needed a serger to finish my seams more professionally. I set out to do a bit a research before going to my local quilt shop.  The question I asked Goodle was ‘Do I need a serger?’  The search results provided a list of blogs about features to look for etc.  One of those blog posts was surprising.  She mentioned advanced sewing machines having a very useful overlock feet and stitches.  I had never heard of this before and went to search the house top & bottom to find my PFAFF owners manual.  Turns out my machine does have this capability!  I tried it out on a set of sleeves I am working on and was pleasantly surprise.  I think for my level of sewing I will stick to this method as opposed to investing in a serger!  Here is a pick with my PFAFF 2056 stitch 35.


Update: Stretch knits pose a completely different challenge….might still have to consider a sergEr down the road 🙂

Overlock Foot & Stitch

Singer 127 Addition

As you know I really appreciate vintage sewing machines. This one was given to me this week. Her name is Norine. It was given to me by the most interesting seamstress who has made her own clothes since she was 19! This machine was her grandmothers. She brought it over from Europe, and it is a 1948 – 127 family shuttle machine. I gave her a good cleaning & oil and soon she will need a new belt. Other than that she is in great condition. I have found a great spot in my sewing area for this machine and it provides constant inspiration. It sometimes saddens me to think how items are made in our day as disposable. This shuttle machine will last for many more years and I will be sewing on it regularly. How lucky!



PJ Pants

Well, this is the second pair I have made. Going into the holidays I wanted a pair on spring flannel pjs. I cut the pattern wrong, so I appliquéd giant pokadots on the side that ended inside out. Between the two pairs made, I officially have the hips of the M but the leg width of the S. Think I will stay in these until Apr 8th! Occasionally shopping online 🙂 and sewing for a solid week. The kids will focus on their friends….and occasionally I will make a healthy meal.


A special box!

How lucky. I picked up a box tonight with at least a hundred vintage patterns: simplicity, mccalls, and vogue. Mostly size 12! Just looking thru I would guess primarily 60s style. It will be fun going thru them all.

I think I could be official called a ‘hoarder’ now.

The patterns I dont keep, I will use the pattern tissue to wrap my families homemade gifts in!






Sewing Pocket

I have a sewing class and needed a quick container to store my supplies in. The mini mat didn’t fit in my shoe box so I decided to create something my self. I was inspired by a link which a user on the quilting board posted. They wanted $8.00 for the pattern so I thought I would eyeball it. Here is what resulted. Taking this and a small zippered pouch for tiny odds & ends.




I found this pattern by ‘Two Peas In A Pod Designs’ on Pinterest and made a few of these so far. I sew with a pair of snips on a lanyard and was in the market for a new one. These would be cute in themed fabric for a child’s house key, or teacher gift. I treated myself to a pair of 4inch gingher scissors for mine. They are still stuck in postal land but hopefully will arrive soon. The lanyards take all about 10 minutes to make and I use the hardware they sell for the Superstore carts coins, so I can easily remove whatever item I have hanging!



Gathered Clutch

I recently made Noodlehead’s gathered clutch. It was more challenging than I expected. I love her blog and like her sense of style. She always chooses the best fabric combinations and very funky designs. That side of choosing fabrics I am stIll learning….doesn’t quite come so easily to me. I chose to make mine out of a fabric I fell I love with called ‘Saturday Morning’. As one of my favorite days of the week, I just had to buy some of this fabric. Here is the gathered clutch pattern:



Charm Square Addiction

Those 5 inch squares are so handy for making little pouches.  They could be used for all sorts of things: earbuds, change, a couple lip balms, tea bags…And best of all they take 10 minutes to sew up. With all the charms squares I get in the mail this pattern is a stash buster.  Just look in my tag cloud under earbud for the tutorial.