April 18 – Books

Over the last six months I have been collecting books on sewing. I search the local thrift stores, I visit goodwill (both my local store and online auctions) and estate sales. My acquisitions are growing larger but I have a few that are my favorites.

 It all began with a 1940′s book that I got from Goodwill. Paid $2.00 for it. Complete Book of SewingI have to admit that all of the information that they provided then is a pertinent today. There is hardly any color photos in this book but the styles are great.


Another great book shows fashions of the seventies..Pant suits, scarves, florals, so much fun!

SimplicityColor blocking with denim, pinafore dresses for little girls, they are all fun


 The Sixties gave us the Better Homes and Gardens Addition.

BhGThis a great book, full of advice for fittings, seam finishes, pattern selections.


Love how it helps you accessorize your suits.

I even managed to pick up a Couture Handbook

It is from the early 2000′s but one day it will be vintage won’t it. I use to be young and I am certainly vintage now.


It gives great finishing techniques and hand stitches.



Another relatively new book but one that I reference a lot when I begin a project with fabrics I have never sewn.

FS -1 No matter what fabric you have this book gives you recommendations for needles, interfacing, thread.


All these books give great advice, from zippers to seams, if you have a question the answers are here.

So what books do you have in your library?


April 17 – Nothing to report

Do you have one of those days when you have not gotten anything accomplished but you have rushed around all day long. Today is that day. I have been working on a what I  thought was a great post but my pictures turned out like crap, my words will not come out right and I know that it is a lost cause. New pictures will be taken tomorrow and perhaps things will be slower. Oh wait, it is Friday.. Oh well, there is always Saturday.. Oh wait, I work on Saturday too.. Well. I will find the time.

Easter is just a few days away and I did succeed in getting most of the groceries bought and  the girls Easter Boxes done. Yes.. they are 24 and 21 but they still want the Easter Bunny to leave them something and he always managed to make sure they are not disappointed. This year I used decorative photo boxes to make them and filled them with a few things that they like. Yep, contents are the same. They have to be.. If they are different one might think I love the other more. Silly girls. But age has not changed that and I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Ash, she is a girly girl.

Ash, she is a girly girl.


Stef, she is down to earth and practical

Stef, she is down to earth and practical

Good night all, hope your Friday goes well and your weekend is filled with sunshine and happiness.




April 16 – Sewing App for Iphone/Ipad


My first confession: 

I am a hoarder, not just an ordinary hoarder, I collect patterns, trims, notions, threads, fabrics, books. If it is sewing related I own it or it is on my wish list.

My second confession:

I have a terrible habit of not cataloging my patterns, my fabrics, my notions, … well you get the picture. I don’t have a lot of room to store all my supplies neatly so I live out of cardboard boxes, plastic tubs, and what ever else I can find. In my world this makes me sometimes forget what I have, where it is.. yada, yada, yada. I keep projects in my head,  I might have a pattern at home that I want to make but I have no idea how much fabric it takes, do have matching thread, do I have the zipper or the buttons I need. You get the idea, I have no organizational skills. I started out with a notebook but it quickly became too large to carry around or I didn’t have it in the car when I needed it.

A couple of years ago I found an app for my IPhone, it is called Sewing Kit HD and it can make you an organizational wonder.

Sewing Kit HD(You are going to have to excuse the pictures, my IPhone no longer takes screenshots so I have to take pictures with my camera of my phone)

And before you get too excited this app is currently only available for Iphones and Ipads.

Sewing Kit HD


Track all of the information you need about your sewing patterns. Automatic download of envelope images from Simplicity, McCalls, Vogue, Butterick and more! Scan bar codes and add patterns quickly and easily! If this option does not work you can always take photos and add them to the app


Take photos of your fabric, add the amount you have, fiber content, Fabric width, woven or knit. You can also add storage location.


Here is the perfect place to store measurements, likes and dislike of each person you will be sewing for.


Link to People, Patterns, Fabrics, Threads and Notions. Take photos and track your progress.


You can scan bar codes here or just take a photo and always know if you have the correct spool of thread on hand.


This option also lets you scan bar codes or take photos to see which books you have in your library.


Again this lets you bar code scan or take photos.


Add your serger, sewing and embroidery machine here along with the date of purchase, length of warranty, and any service records that you have.


I love this category. Maybe it is a Blog that gave you an idea for a garment, a building that inspires you to make a striped pair of pants or a dress you saw at Macy’s. You can photos, the idea, blog addresses and more.


Whether it is lace, piping or strings of rhinestones you have a place to store the types and colors you have along with the yardage.

 Sewing Kit Photo


Now you can get you manage your sewing stash and it will always be at your fingertips, whether you are in a fabric store, flea market, estate sale or where ever you get a chance to score another item to your sewing arsenal.

 Yeah, you have to use it, it takes time to put all that you already have into the database, but it is easy to use.

What techniques do you use to organize your stash?




April 15 – Horse racing and fashion

With the Kentucky Derby Festival underway it is now time to talk about horseracing and fashion. Normally one would not think that those words would  go hand in hand but here in Louisville
Kentucky they certainly do. Women, and now men alike, begin planning their outfits soon after the new year is celebrated and finding the perfect hat is the first step. They can go from the most opulant of
millinery creations worn by those in Millionaire’s Row and the other seated areas of Churchhill Downs to the amusing character showpieces in the more fun filled arena of the racetrack known as the infield. Spring fashions are sported by women and men alike, with the women wearing spring dresses and the men showing off wonderfully colored suits, often in seersucker fabrics.

My daughter, Ashley, Derby Hat Selection 2014

My daughter, Ashley, Derby Hat Selection 2014

There are two opportunities to show off your millinery masterpieces, The Kentucky Derby, with the 3 year old thoroughbreds taking the track and The Kentucky Oaks with the fillies running the race. If you attend the Oaks race the only dress code set forth is PINK! Both ladies and gentlemen sport pink fashions this day. This tradition began in 2006 in support of breast cancer awareness and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Horses for Hope, donating a portion of the ticket sales to the fight against breast cancer.

The hats of both the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks are as important as the races themselves. The Derby Hat Parade as it is often called, refers to the sea of colorful hats of all shapes and sizes, boasting flowers, ribbons, beads and feathers among other things worn by the women. The men also sports hats and while more of a traditional vintage style they come in many colors as well.

Luna's Boutique

Luna’s Boutique

Creation by Dee's

Creation by Dee









The history of fashion started with Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr., the founder of the Kentucky Derby in
1875. Typically most horse racetracks attracted seedy immoral people,gambling and drinking went hand in hand, so a racetrack was not a place for women or children, but he wanted more for his venue. He
envisioned a wealthy influential society that was customary to the famous Epsom racetrack in England. He and his wife set out to convince the residents of Louisville that the Kentucky Derby was a place for upper class society and with that came high society fashion. Matt Winn took over as the face of Churchhill Downs and promoted the racetrack as a place for “see and be seen events” for women and celebrities alike.

Today’s Churchhill Downs hosts people from all walks of life, locals, out of towners, celebrities, millionaires,presidents and royal family members, all wearing their hats, come to watch the ‘Run for the Roses’.



April 14 – Bolero Jacket Progress and World Book Night

Let me start with my progress of the Bolero jacket.

At midnight last night I was sitting in my chair, proudly looking at the jacket hanging on the dress form, and then I noticed it. The left sleeve looked twisted. It just didn’t hang right. I knew that it was sewn into the right armhole, because the other sleeve looked perfect. What had happened? I made the decision that I would find the problem tomorrow and off to bed I went. But I laid there, that sleeve haunting me, all I could think of is what had gone wrong, was I going to have to cut another sleeve, did I have enough fabric to do that, all those seams had to be ripped out, and I knew that i was not going to sleep until I solved this problem. I got up, ripped the seams out and reset the sleeve back into the armhole and it looks so much better. Did I find out what caused it? Nope and at 2:00 in the morning I did not care, I just knew I could now fall asleep.

Desktop12Today I began the session at the sewing machine working on the bodice and neck facings, carefully pressing under the seams so I could get a clean finish on the exposed edge. Deciding to use a fagot stitch, one of those fancy stitches my machine offered, I set off to sew. And then it hit me, what was I doing, this is not the side that was suppose to be done and unfortunately I did not discover this until I had almost completed one on the bodice facings. Now If I used a simple straight stitch the task of ripping seams would not have been hard but no…. I had used a stitch that now took me almost an hour to rip out.

Fagot Stitch on the Bodice FacingSince I am not top stitching this jacket I decided that I would stitch the seam allowance to the bodice facing. This will help keep the bodice from turning while washing or wearing.

IMG_1020I began the daunting task of cleaning up all of the exposed seams. I know that the vintage way would have been to use pinking shears. I used lace seam tape instead to make sure everything was as neat on the inside as it was the out.

Seam FinishAt this point I wish I had just lined the jacket after all. But I am in it so deep there is no going back. I still have several seams to cover, the hem on the jacket itself along with the sleeves as well as the hem on the skirt. But the end is near, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.


wbn logo no date

Each year, World Book Night is celebrated around the world on April 23.

April 23 is the UNESCO International Day of the Book, as well as Shakespeare’s birthday. It was also chosen in honor of Miguel de Cervantes, who died on April 23, 1616 (the same day as Shakespeare). In the Catalan region of Spain, the day is celebrated by giving a book and a flower to a loved one.

World Book Night was the product of a round table discussion at London’s Book Industry Conference in May 2010, the purpose of which was to imagine a way to encourage more adults to read. What better way to spread a love for reading than to inspire passionate readers to go out into their communities and share copies of their favorite books with those who don’t regularly read? Giving is an incredibly powerful part of our culture—and culture, art, and a writers’ talent are all themselves ‘gifts’.

World Book Night was first celebrated in the UK and Ireland in 2011; in 2012, it was also celebrated in the USA and Germany.

For the last three years I, along with my closest 24,999 other volunteers in the US, has been selected to participate in this wonderful opportunity. I have always loved books, the feel of the paper in your hand, the smell of the pages as you turn them, the ability to travel the world and experience incredible things without ever leaving your bed or comfortable arm chair and to be able to give the gift of reading is simply amazing.

My select this year is Eleanor Brown’s ‘The Weird Sisters‘. It is a tale of three sisters return to their family home, bringing with them secrets, having nothing in common and how they learn that they love each other. What a great read!

Weird SistersIf you are interested in participating next year and give the gift of reading I have provided links below.

World Book Night – United States

World Book Night – UK and Ireland

April 13 – Sewing

Today I was able to correct my mess that I made last weekend with my jacket and the pocket details. After re-cutting the bodice, the pocket facing and the front yoke pieces. The first time I did this I followed the instruction sheet and ended up with a mess.

What a mess this was!

What a mess this was!

This is how this mess became what it was

Steps 1 and 2

Steps 1 and 2

Steps 3 and 4

Steps 3 and 4

This time I changed the steps and it seemed to work out.

I did not sew all the way to the end and clip the corner as in the first page, second image. I sewed to the edge of the actual bodice cut seam.

IMG_1004-001I turned the pocket facing in and then flipped it over to the right side. I pinned the pocket bodice upper yoke in place to get it correct, then pressed it so I could make a seam to follow.

IMG_1003Using the pressed in seam as a guide I stitched it all in place before I clipped anything.

Much cleaner now, just wish my pattern had lined up better but I am going to live with it.

Much Cleaner

I also took out some of the ease on the shoulder seam, I like it much better, cleaner look. I didn’t realize I was going to do this until I had cut the sleeve out, normally I would have altered the actual pattern but I obviously did not think ahead.  My only choice was to alter the fabric to fit this. I found a helpful tutorial at The Design Loft. Worked perfectly by cutting the excess fabric at the top.

Shoulder Seams

It is now on the dress form. Please excuse the way it is lopsided but Stef is smaller and I have to work with what I have.

I had originally intended to line this jacket but after this weekend’s temperature getting almost 80 degrees I have decided to do the unlined version. I will clean the seams up with seam lace and sew in the facings. But that will be tomorrow.

Dress Form

I know Sew for Victory 2.0′s deadline is April 30th but Stefanie is going out of town the weekend before it is due so I need it done by Easter Sunday, April 20 when she is home and has time for photos as well.

April 12 – Buttonholes

Today I submit for your approval the buttonholes that the Brother LB6800PRW has to offer. There are ten different types to chose from.


#48 – Horizontal – Used for thin and medium weight fabrics – This is the one I use the most

#49 – Horizontal – This is for designed for high stress areas – Great on shirts in the bust area

#50 – Horizontal – Thick fabrics – Great for coats and denim

#51 – States it is for secured fabrics with backings – Not sure I understand but I like the look of it

#52 – Great for stretch or knit fabrics

#53 – Also for stretch or knit fabrics – Why the reason for 2?

#54 = Used for bound buttonholes

#55 – Keyhole for thick or furry fabrics

#56 – Keyhole for thick or medium weight fabrics

#57 – Horizontal Keyhole for thick or furry fabrics

I used the default settings when sewing there. I learned today that there are different buttonholes for horizontal or vertical placement. Obviously I stitched them all vertically.

Do you see the way both #52 and #53 is off on the bottom of the buttonhole. I have noticed that this happens no matter what type of fabric I use.

#62 is suppose to be an eyelet hole. All this machine does is sew a “C” and then stops. I haven’t found any help to correct this.

#58 and #59 are darning stitches, #58 for light or medium weight, #59 for heavy fabric. This is a stitch I don’t think I will ever use, if I get a hole in my sock I wear them. Or use them for dust rags!

#60 is considered a Bar Tack Stitch, I find this helpful at the beginning of a pleat or any high stress area where a seam may begin to separate

Do you have a cat partner when you sew? I know that both of mine are always beside me, whether I am stitching or cutting out, giving me a helping hand, adding a few cats hairs for additional texture to my fabrics. Penny from Dresses & Me is sponsoring a Colette pattern giveaway. Grab your kitty pictures and hurry over to her Blog and find out how to enter plus showcase your ‘Crafty’ Cats! Here is a mine!


Do you have all the pattern pieces cut out?


Don’t think you are on the grainline here.


Let’s get this thing started!

Today is the beginning of the Kentucky Derby Festival and here in Southern Indiana and Louisville Kentucky we celebrate with “Thunder Over Louisville”. I have attached a link if you would like to see one of the largest firework shows in North America. The show begins at 3:30 pm, Eastern Standard Time with different types of planes performing stunts for your watching pleasure and ends with the fireworks beginning at 9:35 pm, Eastern Standard Time. Hope you get a chance to see them. This year is the 25th anniversary and it’s theme is ‘Throw Back Thunder’.


See everyone tomorrow and have a great ‘Thunder’ Day!



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