Friday, March 20, 2015

the best of intentions and a new jacket

How many Craftsy classes have you bought, started, and not finished?  I have many, and while it is not a moral issue for me to spend money on something I don't complete, it drives me cuckoo to have loose ends on creative ventures.  If I get excited about something, I trust that feeling and follow through as best I can.  Some things get set aside for a better time, and some get discarded.  Some even get finished!

And so it is with this jacket class by Janet Pray "Sew Better Sew Faster-Garment Industry Secrets".

This class intrigued me with the focus on industry techniques and the claim that pins were not necessary.  Having been a teacher, I am NOT an easy student and I have a few Craftsy classes which I cannot even watch as the presentation is so disjointed or the teacher so uncomfortable with the camera.

That is the complete opposite of Janet Pray's classes and her teaching style.  Janet has a well thought out plan for presentation, all her work at the sewing machine matches what step she is teaching at the time, and she is able to sew, describe process and give reminders all at the same time.   The lessons are straight forward, the construction steps are broken down into easily managed chunks, and the booklet follows the video almost perfectly.  I was able to follow her instruction to get very nice welt pockets, professional looking topstitching and a linen jacket which will be a great addition to my riding wardrobe.

I enjoyed this class so much that I bought 2 other Janet Pray classes, and organized a sew along on PatternReview.  If you are interested in sewing this jacket, the sew along is still active, with some people following their own schedule now.  Jacket Express sew along  I reviewed the pattern here-Islander Sewing Systems 218 -and included a number of photos to show detail.  Both these links provide lots of helpful hints on making this cute denim jacket.

Here are some featured jackets from PR members who sewed along with the Craftsy class:
Rubyla-foil jacket w/applique


detroy-denim minus collar

ldill31 in Las Vegas!

Samantha82 in warm grey twill

Jodi Lynn has a wonderful version with a straight band-you can click through to see it via the sew along thread-pg 30  Sorry Jodi Lynn but all the competing software defeated me :-(

I hope your spring sewing plans are full of creativity, fun and success!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Heat is On

                            written by Glenn Frey in 1984 for the film "Beverly Hills Cop"

I am thinking about summer.  The heat came on last night right before I fell asleep, and it was so warm and comfy in my room.  As temperatures rise, though, I'll be listening to the AC cycle on. 

It's time to think about cool clothes and coverage.  

I have a plan, one of those wonderful SWAPs we all love to dream about.  It is not set in stone, and in fact, I really don't have more than one or two particular patterns I'd like to include.  All I know is that when the heat is on I'd better have loose, cool, coverage.  

Fabrics: soft linens, cool cotton voiles, romantic gauzes.  I sent some wonderfully thick and interesting fabrics to Theresa of Camp Runamuck, leaving room for lighter fare in my closet.  

Colors: in the process of adding back in my normal winter colors of blue, teal, cool reds, lavendar and white.  Do you remember my hair fiasco when the stylist turned it blonde?  I wore those blonde streaks and sewed a brown SWAP to match.  Those browns, taupes and greens are leaving as they age in my closet.  

Style inspiration: I have been pinning lots of styles which feel right to me and I see some commonalities-casual luxe, sporty, light knits, linen and cotton blends, loose on top or bottom, solids a palette for jewelry and accessorizing.

I don't want to limit my movement and activities because of what I am wearing-I want to wear clothing which allows me to do what I love to do and look stylish at the same time.  

Patterns: The above two looks will be fun to duplicate using simple tank patterns, a maxi skirt pattern, and a capri pattern.  I also want some dresses and here are a few I love.   ,

A simple knit dress can go anywhere depending on fabric.

A maxi dress provides some coverage from UV and the tie is cute.

The new Marcy Tilton dress and cardi combo will be fun to work with and the cardi pattern will be a staple for me. 
This is a great shape for loungewear or a pool coverup.

Moving to a new locale is invigorating and eye opening.  I am interested to see what changes I will make in the future.  I have added more color to my accessories, I wear my cowboy boots more often (though not with dresses), and my days are filled with classes, social activities and caring for my self and my family.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

and we have the winners....

Nick's baby picture  ahhhhhh

I missed my deadline of Friday morning-so sorry for those of you waiting with aniticipation.  I slept really poorly for some reason, so I got up in the night and gathered my little dog for a snuggle on the recliner.  That was just the right thing to do...we woke up at 9am and I wandered around in a daze for a few hours.

So here it is on Saturday and you want to know whether or not you won.  I used a draw straws application by David Goodrich (found at and the results are: 

KS 2212--------> Becky of Sew and so blog (Becky, please email me with a mailing address.  My email is in the sidebar.)

DOS Collar Confection blouse--------->Louise (Louise, please email me with your mailing address.)

Jalie 2795---------> Alison (Alison, I emailed you asking for your mailing address.)

KS 3618---------> kathy of Running with Rocket blog (kathy, please email me with your mailing address.)

Thank you to everyone for helping me find new homes for these patterns.  I appreciate you visiting my blog-knowing readers are keeping up with me helps me stay motivated to share my daily life, my successes and my challenges.  

Until later, Mary

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Free patterns and trades

I embroidered this little trailer a few years the time I was done, the trailer looked like it had been stored in a vacant lot for years.  But you may have better luck with it.  The page associated with it is
The further links are incorrect.

I have some uncut sewing patterns which need new homes.  After living here in Tucson for 2/3 of the year, I know I will not ever use these beautiful patterns.  Here's the deal-if you want one of these patterns, just ask for it in the comments section.  If more than 1 person wants a pattern, I'll randomly select.  I will announce winners on Friday 2/6/'15 in the am. 

Jalie 2212 Multisport top
 Decades of Style Collar Confection blouse
 Jalie 2795 Hoodie (or not)
Kwik Sew 3618 vest 
But wait, there is more to this blog~I am looking for 2 patterns.  I would love to find B 5361 OOP and Textile Studio's Barcelona dress.  If either of these are languishing in your stash, perhaps we can make a deal.   

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

warm and cozy

KS3644 did not disappoint.  What a nicely drafted pattern, and good instructions.  The longer I sew, the more I appreciate Kwik Sew.   Yes, the envelope art is stodgy but I can see past that now.  Every single KS pattern I have made has been successful.  

Here is the final result-I took photos yesterday morning when I got up.  I was unable to channel Sally Field and be vivacious.
Pretend we are sharing an apt and I just made coffee for you. 

The piping took extra time but really adds to the overall look of the robe.  After wearing it for 2 mornings, I was right to spend extra on good flannel.  The weight of this robe is just right, and I'll be able to wear it through spring. 

I'll get a review up on PR this week sometime, but wanted to share with you first.  Here, I poured you some coffee-it's on the counter next to the sugar.