Hello all…I’m back for another part of the Cape Jacket fitting for Mom.  In this video I am walking through the step-by-step fitting process which I take in order to make sure she is happy with the Cape Jacket before I cut the fabric and move on to the pants.  When I do a test fitting, I use a very bright colored sharpie marker and write all my notes directly onto the muslin or test garment.  This is why I only use a light color fabric for my test garments.

I know some people use whatever is available, but I consider my test garment my “notepad” for my comments on the body.  I like to take note of the hipline, waist, shoulders, neckline, etc., as they may prove useful when I look at the paper pattern later on before cutting and making adjustments. Sometimes, I use the test as my pattern and just remove the stitches and lay those onto the fabric itself.

The pants and the jacket have been cut and are waiting for interfacing at the point of typing this post.  Those will be up later when I do the video….I tend to do better when the camcorder is running while I am working.  Then I can just speed up the film.  I love watching time-lapsed videos.  Don’t you?
Iconic Patterns Cape Jacket being cut out.
The fabric for the suit is a Stretch Wool Double Cloth from SMFabric here.  
More details will be posted when I write up a proper review post of the Iconic Patterns Jacket.  Mom really loves that jacket!  Who knew?  Especially, since it did not look good on me.  Oh well.  

No actual fruit here. Just that flavor, the color of Koolaid and watermelon on a summer day. Cool indeed because it is a rayon knit that feels cool in any weather.   I just wanted to make this dress because I had a feeling for something wild and fun.  The colors of the fabric spoke to me and I just went with the design.  This t-shirt dress look was made back in February, but I just hadn’t remembered to blog about it until now that I am doing another “Wardrobe Fit-Along” The Knit Tee-Shirt.  I added the fun flirty “bell” sleeves as another way to show off the double sided qualities that got me to fall in love with this fabric in the first place.

I couldn’t decide which side of the fabric to use since it’s a reversible double sided rayon/lycra. It was a dream to sew and even more so a dream to wear. It’s not hot nor heavy.  I bought it from “Sew Much Fabric, sold out, but here are a few others that are in cue for me to sew during my Sew-To-Fit Along that I am participating in with my “IRL” and Online sewing groups.

The pattern was a Bootstrap pattern basic….a jersey dress sloper.  I changed the hem and the sleeves to get the bottom flounce and the bell sleeves.  Such a fun look.  The neckline wasn’t included in the pattern layout since it was just a sloper.  I cut the neckline to my desired size and shape based on my own measurements, and finished it off with a 5/8″ neckband.  For the hems, I just folded the fabric over twice and stitched in place.  Since it is a two-sided fabric, that created the bias bound contrast I wanted.

So, in the case only, being two-faced is a good thing.  Have you ever sewn with two sided fabric, how did you maximize its beauty?

Two weeks ago my “IRL” (in real life) sewing group, the Sewing Fashionistas, kicked off another “Wardrobe Sew-To-Fit Along” with the knit top and t-shirt as the topic of this months focus.  Alongside the IRL group, I participated in another Wardrobe building challenge/Sew-To-Fit Along with my online sewing group, the Pericrafters.  I taught class for my group here in Houston, called “Fit Diagnosis: The Knit Top” as well as created a few videos to help demonstrate how I sew my tops.  This video and blog post is the first of a series of post and tutorials you will be seeing over the next couple of weeks on how I fit and sew my knit tops and t-shirts.  
In preparations for teaching the classes, I made a host of tutorials on knit tops and t-shirts, as well as all the possible pattern alterations necessary to make it easier to help the folks in my groups.  The above photo is just a couple of the tops I have made.  You will be seeing those in some of the upcoming videos or upcoming blog post.   I have demonstrated how I make alterations for myself and my daughter using a good selection of patterns.  I hope you enjoy.
For now, here is the video on how to sew-in the sleeve using the flat insertion method I use for sewing a sleeve with a high cap.  Click on the picture above if you can not see the video here.  

Thanks for following along.  

The sheath dress fit-along has come to a close.  If you are on my YouTube channel and are part of my IRL fashion sewing group, you are well aware of all the work and fun that has been had in completing this dress. I did a complete fitting tutorial and multiple instructional videos on changing the necklines, adjusting the pattern and working your way through fitting the dress.  This all began last summer (2015) with the white shirt, then the pencil skirt, then the denim jacket.  I wanted to thank all of you for continuing to follow along with this “one-woman” shop.  I have been through a few ups and downs on the road to bring you these tutorials, and have tripped up a few times.  But each time I have reached out to you via social media, you have not let me down.  My list of to-dos, and in-completes is really long, as long as my heart is big, for sharing.  My husband is probably the most patient man in the world.  He knows how passionate I am about sewing and doesn’t complain.  Am I a “Stedford” wife?  I would say not! Because if I were, you all would not see very much of me at all….here’s to my husband for his kindness, love and unwavering patience!!

Now, for the goods-  “This lovely dress!!

The fabric was provided by Sew Much Fabric in support of my idea to bring to you this Sew-To-Fit Along.”   Of course we all need a great fitting basic sheath dress. I sure needed a new one in my wardrobe, but breaking down and making one took some work from me, and of course some prodding and direction from my great Wardrobe Consultant, Roz Ghaither, the owner and operator of Sew Much Fabric.  I’m not all sappy about her y’all, I just love working with people who put customer service at the top of the list.  I’m a sucker for good customer service.  I named this post “I Am Not a Stedford Wife!!” because that is the mold I felt I was being forced into when told to “stick to the basics”.  EWWWW!!!

sew much fabric smfabric.com, fit-along, wardrobe fit-along, wendybydesign

A great deal of participation, help and support came from my fun loving loyal fans and followers over on periscope for this endeavor.  I know YOU ALL are very loyal and very supportive of every single thing I do.  However, I must admit these ladies help me with my to-do list, and are constant reminder “bells” to keep me focused and on track.  That live connection is just so gratifying for me and really motivates the creative genius that I am.  As I prepared for this photo session, I asked myself:  “Can I vamp this dress up a little.” …it just reminded me so much of my “corporate” days.  I almost felt like I should have splashed a little paint on the front.  Then I decided to do a little Peri-photoshoot and get help from my live viewers.  They encouraged the pie plate and bowl ensemble.  I loved every thing about this shoot.  Even the relation to the elusive “Stepford Wife” icon.

My granddaughter was the stylist in all this to make sure I had to right shoes and jewelry for the shoot.  You know how it is when you prepare to go somewhere…it is easy to get dressed and prepped. However, doing a photoshoot takes practice and skill.  This area is not my strong suit, so I seek help wherever I can find it, even if it means trusting my “Mini-Me.”

The apron will be reviewed more in a later post.  It has its own story to tell.  WendybyDesign was the one to host an apron Sew-Along back in December that got me to sew this one.  I love it.  Thanks Wendy.

wendybydesign apron sew-along
Sheath Dress Construction Details:
This dress has been detailed so exhaustingly in videos on my youtube channel, that it is hard for me to honestly talk about its construction any further.  Please just enjoy the pictures and know that any questions you could possibly have regarding this dress is already documented in the videos on my channel.  If there are any questions you have directly please leave a comment and let me know so I can make public any content that hasn’t been release.  Trust me, it has all been filmed or broadcast on Periscope.  I only did Tissue Fitting, which is detailed extensively in my Youtube videos.  
  1. Pattern is Vogue 9025, size 14
  2. Alterations: FBA, Broad back, waist lengthened, Armhole made smaller, hips adjusted for larger rear end.
  3. Zipper excluded because fabric stretches so well.
  4. Lined completely
  5. Lowered and reshaped the neckline- video here.
  6. many more…..

  •  I don’t mean to send you on a wild goose chase.  It’s just easier at this point to direct you if you have questions, rather than go into trying to determine what might be a good topic to discuss with the dress fitting and pattern work. 

 Thanks for understanding.  Much appreciation to you all!!!!  Please enjoy the pictures!!

If I wanted to take this dress apart and knit-pic every single wrinkle, it would be ridiculous.  I could have worn a body slimmer to take care of the back rolls….yeah right!!??  Whatever, you just hold that thought.  In the mean time, lets be real, this is a ponte knit, very nice I might add.  Beefy with wonderful recovery.  The fit is wonderful, considering I did not do a muslin.   Now, I’m gonna go eat some pie. 
stepford wife

I couldn’t allow this to remain a Facebook fad.  For some reason, I was moved to share this bit of information because it is something I have been dealing with in my own world and I just felt compelled to share with all of you.  I did a final paper on the generational gap that has gotten extremely big as time has passed in fashion as well as values and dreams.  The Internet creates and permits so many passing successes due only to the number of likes and hearts.  It is so very easy for us to get caught up in the world of “cyber-friends” that we forget that life still needs “human” touch and conversation.

To “All My Children….”  This is a Public Service Announcement
to make you pay attention to a generation that has all the knowledge you will ever need to succeed in this world when I am gone.

Our “real-life” conversations are wroth with words that springboard from what we saw on the Internet.  So much so that we think we know somebody, based solely on what we saw on their Instagram or Facebook feed.  We “CHECK-In” on loved ones first thing in the morning by picking up our phone and “looking” over their feeds, not by “calling” them.  We show our support for them by “double” tapping the screen, not by patting their back, because that would take actually being in their presence.  You seek advice from other millennials, because heaven forbid you ask my advice on anything.  I don’t have anything to say that you want to hear because, I just “don’t understand!”

Pictures are NOT WORTH A 1000 words, because, unless you hear the real story from the person taking the picture or the one in the picture you really don’t know a darn thing.  All you have in front of you is a still shot of a glimpse in the space and time of an inanimate object that will never be able to tell you the real truth, the real story.  The days are still here, that you can sit down with the storyteller on the sofa, while they hold the photo album in their lap and laugh as they tell you all the back story behind the picture to make you feel as though you were there with them experiencing the moment.  Unless, you really say something to them, in their presence, accept their “idiosincrencies” and their “child whatchu say” moments, you will miss the beauty of all that is beautiful about this world today and slide into a “fake” self centered “millennium that has no connection to heart and home, nor history or truth.

I leave you with this song I found in your “hometown,” the Internet……

trash2tees blog hop 2016 #TheUpcycledTshirt  #bigballoftshirtyarn

Many, many times I talk about how much I hate to waste fabric in my sewing projects.  Which is why I enjoy using the tissue fitting method of fitting my patterns when I make my own clothes.  When you find others who see things the way you do and share the same ideals about living and being more accountable for our resources, you want to support their efforts to make a difference.
So, after meeting Jenelle Montilone, the author of “The Upcycled T-shirt Book,” I was inspired to create something with the leftover t-shirts in my own home.  I took an old work t-shirt from my husband and dyed it to color and created this cute number.

trash2tees blog hop 2016 #TheUpcycledTshirt  #bigballoftshirtyarn
My plans are to take full advantage of this free fabric resource and look into other options she has given in her book, as well as this awesome initiative for the “Yarn Ball Project” found here.  

T-shirt refashion is a big deal these days, but for me, I am moved by “reason” not fashion, although fashion is a big part of it for me.  This lady has such ideals for improving on the amount of waste created by “fast fashion”, with meaning and passion.

trash2tees blog hop 2016 #TheUpcycledTshirt  #bigballoftshirtyarn
Starting where I am, in my sewing room, I know I am making a difference.  Every little bit counts and will absolutely make a world of difference for everyone now and in the future.  Here is the funny thing….I had already been eying this book for sometime now.  Because of the sewing classes I teach, I wanted something that was cheap or better yet free, for the group of ladies who don’t have the means to buy fabric the traditional way.

What can you do to save on the fabric waste created in your sewing room.  Maybe bring in more fabric.  Wait, that’s not a ticket to go purchase more fabric.  Quite the contrary.  I say bring in other garments that can be repurposed into another fashionable garments for yourself or someone else.  For those of you who knit, maybe consider the fact that one large t-shirt will yield 15 yards of t-shirt yarn. Now, I don’t know personally how far that will get you, but, to me 15 yards is fifteen over zero, right!! Consider dying the t-shirts first the way I did, and you are off to create something wonderful.

Here is a great video in which Jenelle details how to create your t-shirt yarn for knitting.  Others on this Blog Tour have created some awesome projects with ideas presented by Jenelle.

trash2tees blog hop 2016 #TheUpcycledTshirt  #bigballoftshirtyarn

She has even given me the freedom to let one of my readers have a copy of this book, her treat.  That means all you need to do is comment below and I will pull a name next Wednesday, January 13th to name the winner.

I have been semi-MIA from my blog for way too long my wonderful sewing friends.  This new social media outlet, Periscope, has become a real goto for me because I love talking about sewing in real-time.

 Dispensing fitting help during my new “Fit Friday” scopes:

But, to do that, I have allowed my friends and family to be left behind who enjoy reading about my fun adventures in my sewing room.  So with this, I ask your forgiveness.  I am back, and you will be seeing a total turn around of blogging write-ups to get you up-to-date on my activities.   Just to name a few,  some of the fun things I have been working on include:

My wool coat and the details for construction which I shared on Periscope.

My sequin skirt, which I have been teaching about sewing on sequins.

The wonderful Christmas pajama party we had for holidays at my house.

Lest I forget my trip to Chicago for the annual Bernina USA Ambassador Reunion…

and my fantastic meet-up with the one and only Cennetta and the fun I had traipsing in the snow like a new kid.

My kids remember me and added two new charms to my lovely pandora bracelet.

In case you have forgot, or just didn’t know, my YouTube videos are still going strong.  With more being added weekly to help you fit your patterns for better fitting projects each time you sew.
There are also a few good tutorials I have written for the BERNINA USA blog WeAllSew, including the tips on making great buttonholes. 

 Until next time, have a wonderful, wonderful new year celebration and be safe.

Myself and fellow Houston Sewing Fashionistas group members are going full steam ahead working to fit and sew our Iconic White shirts with guidance and instruction on how body types matter, from our very own wardrobe consultant, Roz at See Much Fabric.  As we continue to build a great fitting wardrobe, I continue to welcome you to follow along via my YouTube channel as I fit students and group members’ different body types.

 Vogue 8772: Part 1: Fitting for Petites
Vogue 8772: Part 1- Fitting for Petites

This series of videos is of me teaching, fitting and making all the petite-able pattern alterations for Vogue 8772 for our resident Fashionista Ann, with Youtique Bridal.   We have some really talented folks in our group.  Since we don’t meet every month, these videos are meant to help members along their journey, and so that I can enjoy visiting and not just teaching during meeting times.

 Vogue 8772: Part 2- Making Pattern Alterations
Vogue 8772: Part 2- Making Pattern Alterations

The videos are of my students, friends, and members who have graciously agreed to videotape their learning experience so you can gain personal knowledge for your body type.  Thus, all areas of alterations may not be covered completely for each body type.  I will try to answer simple general questions here on the blog or in future videos.

Vogue 8772: Part 3- Final Fabric Fitting

Be sure to stay tuned, subscribe, and share, and share again.  “Pretty please.”  Click on either of the pictures to watch its related video or here to watch the entire playlist.

– Posted from my iPhone

Wardrobe planning and sewing with a plan (SWAP) has been on my mind for quite a while.  As I continue to assess my wardrobe with the help of a wardrobe consultant, we are trying to get me to the point of actually having something to wear when I stand at the door of my closet.  The big question for me has been: “How do you “plan” for a “teaching–flexible–be ready at a moments notice” lifestyle and still remain “stylish” not “overdressed” or “stuffy.”

 The Wardrobe Fit-Along on YouTube with SewToFit

I love anything outdoors, I love the theatre, the ballet, camping, and even frequent the local home repair store for DIY home projects.  But, I have suits galore and pencil skirts out the kazoo, with a few date night digs to boot.  However, when I go to the closet, I look at that stuff, and think of funerals, board meetings, and “look at me” parties.  Even church doesn’t require that type of dressing anymore.  I want to feel comfortable and still maintain my laid back, classic since of style, without working too hard.

No matter how hard I try to stick to a sewing plan on my own, I continue to make vacation wear and one of a kind outfits, that just don’t go much further than the function originally intended.  Thus, in an effort to stay focused this time,  I have sought the services of Wardrobe Consultant and owner of Sew Much Fabric online fabric store, Rosalind Gathier.   For the last few months her services have been providing me with some much needed focus to forge a wardrobe suitable for my taste, my body, and my lifestyle.

I figured since I’m working through this wardrobing project, it might be fun to also include you all in on the things I learn.  Since, IRL (in real life) I teach pattern fitting and sewing, I will use my talents as a fitting instructor and sewing teacher to share with you my journey, and bring you in on the task of fitting a better wardrobe.  We can call it the “Wardrobe Fit-along,” to make sure our new threads fit our style, our taste and especially our body.  I have created a series of Sew-To-Fit: YouTube videos to share with you what I teach to my students and to help you see areas that might help you long the way.

You can go over to Roz’s blog and sign up for her monthly “Mini Wardrobe Plan” newsletter updates, and also subscribe to my YouTube channel in order to keep current with new pattern fitting information and discussions.

For the month of August, Roz recommended we focus on the “ICONIC White Shirt.”  Thus, for the month of September, my YouTube Videos will show a few of my IRL students, and sewing group members fitting the white shirts.  Something, I so desperately need in my closet.  How I let all my white shirts go, I have no clue.  I think I went too casual at some point along the way.

I am so glad to have this guidance to help me get my act together!  You get to enjoy the benefits of my learning, because I will be presenting fitting tips and pattern alterations assistance via my Youtube channel for the patterns suggested by Roz.  Some of my IRL Sewing Fashionistas group members will even be joining to show y’all the different body types and recommended styles for each person’s style and taste.

I hope you join the fun.