Boss Up Lyric!

Good morning, good morning, people.  I am having church up in here today (the Lady Lair; i.e., my sewing studio).  I stumbled upon Mr. MJ Harris on my daughter’s social media page and by golly he is hitting home runs in his assessments.

Perhaps you or someone you know may benefit from his motivational words.  I know I will.

Boss up yaw’ll,



Getting My Sewing Mojo Back

After our recent traumatic move and all that it entailed getting my sewing mojo back is a priority TODAY, right now!  This morning I have been touched by the hard hitting words of MJ Harris relative to what I do with my time and what I choose to do as a “career”.  I was moved, captivated and motivated by this young man’s message and it’s been a long time coming.  Listen to his message if not for yourself then for the someone in your life that needs to hear what he has to share. It is not a long presentation and won’t take up too much of your time.

To that end my new calling cards have arrived. There is something about having calling cards that lends itself toward service legitimacy in my mind.  Nothing worse than explaining what you do to someone, they ask for a card and you don’t have one.  Then again, I am always impressed by folk who state they do not have a card because “all their business is by word of mouth”.  Must be nice.

On the immediate horizon is getting a dot com and web page up and running to show what it is that I am offering.  Marketing and locating “my tribe” is at the top of my list of most necessary things to do.

Thanks to you for kind words of support over the years with my sewing projects.  A big giant hug to those who have supported and are supporting my venture, SkirtingIt!  Here’s to the future, here’s to success and women dressing like ladies.




Inspiration for the Yasmeen Skirt

Oh yes, I will be in Lady Lair making an Ankara version of this baby for starters.


The Yasmeen skirt was born from our desire to have a statement skirt that introduces a hint of the the over the top feel of the 90’s runway shows into your every day wardrobe. Its design lines celebrates women’s curves, in a way that we hope is reminiscent of the King of Cling, late Azzedine Alaïa.

While the skirt has definitely a special occasion feel to it, your choice of fabric and styling can transform it completely. For a very dressed up version of Yasmeen, choose a fabric with a sheen to it. The drape will dramatically affect bottom of the skirt looks. In a taffeta the flared bottom will tend to stay out and give a very formal look, while in a more fluid fabric such as silk, the volume will only appear with movement.

There are also plenty of ways to make your skirt more casual. In the…

View original post 161 more words

Pen Mightier Than Sword – Journaling

Chic Sparrow Creme Brulee
Crème Brulee

It is said that writing is cathartic.  Certainly it is enjoyable and so I will be taking up journaling in a travel notebook, affectionately known as a TN.  Specifically, I will be using a bullet journal format.  Lo and behold there are communities of folk who use the TN for all sorts of things like keeping lists, collecting junk (yeah junk), writing their thoughts, budget, habits, you name it.  If you have been following me you know what we have been dealing with.  Too bad I didn’t start journaling before all that happened.

Let me tell you about the anatomy of a travel notebook.  It is a piece of leather with elastic string that holds notebooks inside.  They may be made of any material; but, there is nothing like a leather journal.  Artisans that create them are as numerous as the different styles on the market.  Videos explaining how to make your own are available too.  Why even the smell of a leather TN is devine; not to mention durability.

Artemis 2

My cute TN above is being used as a wallet.  It is an Artemis Nano by Chic Sparrow that I picked up last month.  Add a wallet insert and a lined notebook and I was good to go.

Nano Artemis
Artemis Nano

I vowed to only purchase one TN.  And here the Artemis is actually my second.  Got it on sale after buying my first one which is to be used as a bullet journal.  This TN is an A6 and after it arrived I knew I would need more room to write all the things on my mind and heart.  So, this journal, called Isabeaux, is going to be a surprise, written to my daughter and granddaughter for the first six months of 2018 and then I am going to present it to them.  In my mind it will be a beautiful testament; a legacy if-you-will.  I am going to write to them about my love for them, thoughts of peace and good will for them, and anything that comes to my mind and heart.  Oh, and I made the charm on the spine.

creme brulee

But, that means I still needed a TN!  A company, The Leather Guy was mentioned at a Facebook group and I ordered pre-cut leather to make my own TN.  Yes!!!!!!  The leather is $6.95 versus $60.00 plus.  Did I say, “Yessssss?”  Get this, I ordered a piece of leather to make a size B6 TN.  When the leather arrived I just knew, again, it was too small for what I have to say.  Back to the drawing board.  I then ordered another piece of leather to make a size A5.  Let me give you some perspective:  an A6 is 4″ x 6″; the Nano is 3.75″ x 2.5″; and the A5 is 5.8″ x 8.25″.

Then, guess what . . . I saw THIS:

Crisdori Autumn TN
Crisdori Autumn Travel Journal

I done fell in love all over again.  Click the photo above to check out Crisdori Studios.  Their leatherwork is gorgeous.  I can just feel the softness of this leather through the photo.  If you like hefty leather they have those too.  She comes with stitching and extra pockets inside.  Oh my goodness I am so glad I stumbled upon Crisdori Studios while visiting Dawn at Enthusiastically, Dawn.

I have no idea what I will name this TN; but, it’s got to be something special.  For now I am thinking she will be dedicated to all things Sew Modest Styles, my cottage venture where I make garments for women and teens that want to dress like a lady.  Truly, she will be a chunky monkey.  Many journalers put all sorts of stuff inside their journals.  This one will have ephemera galore.

Autumn openLook at the color – gorgeous!  I ordered the Personal size at 9.50″ wide by 7.50″ tall.

Autumn TN Flat

Check out that reinforced spine.  And Christine, one of the owners, has choices in the elastic of brown, black or white.  You know what, thinking about the measurements, I just may make my Crisdori my EDC (that’s “every day carry” in journalese), make it a chunky junk journal so I can look at it and feel it up daily, LOL.  Then, the one I make from the pre-cut leather can be the one for my Sew Modest Styles that no one will see but me.  Yes, that sounds like a plan.

Can you tell I am excited about journaling?  If you ever thought about writing, even a little bit, check out travel journals, visit a group online about it or view a video that can motivate and get you started.  I am telling you anything goes when it comes to bullet journaling.  I can’t even paint, but I have gone and purchased water colours after visiting Ali Brown’s You Tube Channel and saw how there is no wrong way to watercolor my journal pages.  I can not WAIT to get started.

Keep me posted if you decide to jump down this rabbit hole with me.  It’ll be fun!



What Can I Say – Speechless!


I gotta tell you some “stuff” since  my last post.

You may or may not know that not quite a year ago we relocated from the sunshine state to southeastern Georgia.  Long story short, a friend’s husband went on to glory after 20 plus years of marriage.  This was his hometown, she sojourned with him back here after his retirement.  She did not want to live in the marital home any longer and desired to return North.  Seeking a better living space, thinking it would be our last; we contracted to purchase her home so she could vamoose.  This was all done on an owner carry contract.   Wait, I digress, one of the first questions I asked her was “Is there ANY children that would be interested in the house?”.  She stated, “No, none of them wanted to live here”.  The agreement was so amicable we just knew it was a prayer answered.  Even she thought her prayers had been answered because she desperately wanted to leave and go back North.  The weekend we visited to look at the property and talk turkey she stated another couple was to come, but they did not show up.  She said she had been sitting on the side of her bed crying wondering what she was going to do and then here we come!  Blessing on both side she says.  This was November, 2016.  I said long story short, didn’t I?

Fast forward August, 2017.  An attorney contacts us and her, representing his daughter from a previous union, with mumbo jumbo about her husband’s estate (which we were told by several people had been settled).  We attempt to find legal counsel.  No Legal Aid for probate cases.  We simply did not have an extra $3,000 – $5k.   We go, get a copy of the will which states wicked step-daughter to receive four parcels of land elsewhere, the marital residence [one sold to us] was to go to the wife, and the wife was made executrix.  There was a court date.  I could not bring myself to attend for fear my mouth would say something not cool.  The husband attended and did best he could in speaking on our behalf.  The seller nor her power of attorney showed up (they both live up north).

September, 2017 we get a notice from said attorney to vacate the premises by September 29!!!!!  Oh, yeah, er ah, we spent ALL our resources to leave Florida and relocate here.  Not as simple as “get out”.  We stay put.  True ’nuff, within two weeks the sheriff’s deputy delivers a summons or whatever it is called saying things like we are “holding over” the wicked step-daughter’s property!!!  Excuse me?  My friend, married until the death of her husband, lived in the marital house that SHE PAID FOR WORKING THREE JOBS, and now all of a sudden it is the wicked stepdaughter’s!!!!!

We answered and another court date was set for November 14.  She had attorney, we did not.   This time I went to court to take notes and I was more than a little curious as to what law/scheme these Georgia (I won’t go there as a Christian woman) __________ would come up with.  On that date we were given seven days to leave the property!  Something about “tenants in common”, my friend not having the right to sell HER property; blah, blah, blah.  Since we were in a contract agreement with the owner, paying a mortgage to her, the house (4 bedroom brick home, 28 acres) has been stolen from my friend and us as party to the purchase agreement.

Oh, and to show you what a work the wicked stepdaughter and her attorney are, the first court hearing . . . he had my friend removed as executrix of her husband’s estate and gave it to the wicked stepdaughter.

Now, you know I had just started a small cottage venture hoping to somehow support myself.  I have yet to find a job (I am only master level degreed, that’s all) and still unable to find permanent employment here.  I work PRN in the medical field and substitute teach with the county schools.  The one pays $8.00/hour the other even less. :-(.

At this point I want to leave this place and return to the north.  I am fed up.  The husband loves the country and wants to stay.  Sigh.  Besides, I now have a three year old granny that I want to hang out with, take roller skating and a heapa buncha other stuff.  Maybe even teach her how to sew.

For 20 years that my friend has lived here she said NOTHING endearing about this place which is why I never visited and would only call.  Truly, I thought she may have been exaggerating.  Well, guess what, she wasn’t.  The main city’s claim to fame is a public square in the middle of town where negroes were sold as slaves.  they are quite proud of it.  😦

The only thing I like about this area is my congregation.  They are so loving and welcoming!

The husband wants to continue this fight.  I am done . . . emotionally and mentally.  Ready to move on to other things like returning my attention to the building of my brand.  Not looking to be a mogul or the next big fashion designer.  Simply want to sew modest garments for a few females.  Enough to quit wasting my time with this $8/hr. job and definitely to quit substitute teaching and give more attention to my Bible education ministry.

And, I have a new hobby.  Gotta tell you about that!




Life Update



It has been a while I know, ladies.  SkirtingIt! has me sewing at a whirlwind pace.  I have not been idle.  Much time is being spent getting the word out and putting my product “out there”.  Publishing photographs of my garments on social media, blah, blah, blah.

I was of the opinion that when I could afford to get my dot com up and running (I do own the URL; however, hosting is another matter) that I would discontinue using FB as a medium to advertise.  Well, recently an advertising director told me I need Facebook in addition to my webpage.  Rolling my eyes for I truly am spending entirely too much time on social media.  Initially I only joined Facebook to keep up with my family in other states.  To date I have two customers.  Okaaaay, I did meet one on social media.

Anyway, I thought I would bring you all up to snuff with what is going on in the Lady Lair and what I have been sewing in the name of SkirtingIt!.

White Rita
Rita Blouse

This top is one of the two patterns offered by the new indie pattern company Charm Patterns by Gertie.  It is a peasant style top with a fitted waistline.  And, here’s the cool thing . . . it comes with several cup sizes.  Yessss!!!   All patterns should have a variety of cup sizes, that needs to be standard.   I’m jus’ sayin’!!!  Right now there is a sew-a-long going on with this pattern.  I have clocked three of these babies over only a few days and in between other projects.  That’s how easy peasey it is to make.  Check it out on Facebook and Gertie’s blog.

Trumpet Skirt

I can not believe what a hit this outfit was last weekend.  It was also easy peasey to make.  Well, then again, the skirt was ill-fitted but, giggles, no one knows because it’s under the peplum.  I swear peplums are my new best girlfriend for they cover a multitude, did I say a multitude of sins.  The reason the skirt was so hit is because I semi-drafted a pattern.  Ladies, I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to that sort of thing.  I use patterns.  Doggoneit, why reinvent the wheel if there is a pattern.   I needed this outfit when I needed it though and a nice cyber gal/friend helped me with how to do it.  The wait is humungous though.  The thing is I have this “stuff” below my waist but above my hip.  Have you ever heard of that baby pouch or whatever it is called?  Well, mine is humungous, ginormous.  I need lipo, sumptin’!!!  Anywho, this skirt is kinds slim at the top for lack of a better explanation.  So, anyway, the waist is too big but its hidden, snickles.  I have since purchased a trumpet skirt pattern and that won’t be the case next time.

Black Challis Rita

Okay, this Rita Blouse was featured in an earlier post but I believe it bears repeating.  This is my first Rita Blouse with a fabric I have had for months awaiting Charm Patterns launch.  It is made with rayon challis and is seriously comfy.  I see maaaaany a Rita blouse coming from the Lady Lair.

Absolutely I feel in love with this Ankara print.  So far everyone that has seen it has also.  My first customer ordered a Maxelle midi skirt in this print also.  I think it goes well with my black and white hair.  Definitely many more of these coming up perhaps with a larger sash like MimiG.

That ought to hold you for a while.  I just didn’t want you to forget about lil ole me.  At this point I am thinking along the lines of separating my personal blog from the professional website when I get hosted and up.  That will mean more time publishing than sewing so time management really needs to be implemented.  I have not abandoned my love of vintage style for daily wear but I have a conundrum in that I also need to wear what I offer.  Either way I shall be stylish, yes?




My Deer and Doe Luzerne Trench Coat

Er ah, I see another trench coming up in some cutesy, girlie color. yup!!!

Sleepless in Bavaria


EN: A few weeks ago I was walking around the top floor of the Bullring in Birmingham, when I came across the most amazing blush lace trench coat by Burberry, needless to say it was way out of my budget, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was in dire need of a new trench coat, my old one is 8 years old and way too small… so I started looking at different patterns from Burda to McCall’s to Vogue to the Robson Coat, but none of them really appealed to me. I think one of the reasons was, that thy all looked a bit too classic (and some looked a bit dated, to be honest…) Then Deer and Doe and wonderfully chic French sewing label released their new spring collection, and would you believe it, they had a cute, modern trench coat that ticked all the boxes for…

View original post 896 more words

Rita Blouse by Charm Patterns

skirting it rita blouse

Lovelies, there is a new girl on the block.  Charm Patterns by Gergie.  I am so excited to  witness the launching of this new independent pattern company.  Notice that my pattern is signed!  Gertie had a kick-off for her pattern company where people were invited to donate for start-up.  If I recall, her goal was something like $8,000 by a certain date.  Check it . . .in about a two week span her friends and fans donated something like $32,000.  Yesss, talk about a blessing.  Different levels of giving received thank you gifts.  For a $25 donation in addition to helping Charm Patterns get off the ground I received the Rita Blouse pattern signed by Gertie!  Click on the link and see what else Gertie has going on.  I won’t spoil the secret.

Gertie is chock full of  designs, professionalism and style as she features modern vintage with class and pizzazz.  Truly you will feel ultra feminine and ladylike in her designs.

lyric rita blouse

Let me dish the tea on this Rita Blouse.  Miss Rita is a peasant style blouse.  The kicker is . . . . the waist area is fitted!  None of that blousy, baggy look as with normal peasant blouses.  This adds a sleek, classy look to what I always felt to be a casual top.  Gertie has taken the peasant blouse to a new high.  For the daring gal in you try wearing this top off-shoulder.

It is super simple to make with less than two yards of fabric even with a 45″ wide piece!  And, you know I’m a big girl.  If I had to guesstimate it probably took about two to three hours to make this.  It is difficult to tell when a body is doing more watching of Austen style videos than sewing.

The chosen fabric for this top is rayon challis purchased via eBay.  There is a side invisible zipper that goes in oh so easy.  I tell you I have fallen in love with the invisible zipper.  Finally after all these years this morning I ordered the special foot for installation.  I am wondering if the install will be picture perfect every time.  Sometimes with my regular zipper foot I must rip and make adjustments (usually from me rushing or not paying attention).

The bottom line:  Yes, I will be making more of the Rita Blouse.  Oh, there is a sew-a-long being formed as we speak.  You have GOT to get in on it.



Skirting it! Blessings and Praise!

A blessing was received last week that I just must share.  Yaw’ll know I am feverishly working to get Skirting It! off the ground.  Well, I set up a Go Fund Me account which is a platform where you may ask friends, family, whomever to support your dream.  Well, while sitting around one day it occurred to me a couple of family members who are not on social media and whom I had not contacted with my Go Fund Me link.  My big brother came to mind and I decided to ask him for some money to help with my venture.  Then, I promptly forgot about it.

Some weeks went by and two weeks ago I sat down and wrote him a letter telling him my situation (described at the original post) and thoughts.  I made sure to tell him this was not a pity party; no, that I have plans!  Years of research has led me to know I would do well with a dressform and gravity feed iron.  Therefore, specifically, I asked him to please send me the money for them and told him the price range.

After waiting a very short period of time I remembered that I had made the request, but I had not heard anything.  Then, I got chicken so called a cousin to ask her opinion.  “When I call him, I said, do I get right to the point or beat around the bush, make small talk, before asking IF he had read and is considering my request.  Did he feel like being philanthropic?”  She felt like me, “Don’t beat around the bush get to it”.  Then, LOL, I made the comment, “If I were him I would have read the letter and immediately sent the check in the mail; or sent a declination letter.”  Sew, I got up the nerve and called him . . . NO ANSWER!  Geeesh, then I got really nervous.

What do you know about THE NEXT DAY a letter came in the mail WITH a check and his best wishes for my venture!

All praise to Jehovah God and thanks be to my big brother for his love and kindness.  Now, I want to get a photo with “Riyaaz” (the dressform) and my unnamed gravity fed iron (a boy) and send it to him.  He’s 81 so don’t know if he’s into getting photographs via his cell so I am going old skool and printing out a photo to send to him AND to place one in the Lady Lair, my sewing studio.

I am so happy, excited, and can’t wait to bring you pretty, lady-like, way cool skirts and more from Skirting It!.  And, did you check out the motto/by-line?  “Modest excess within control!”  Yeah baby.

skirting it



Skirting It!

skirting it

Much to-do is going on over here.    My Precious ones I have some good news, no better than that, great news!  But first, let me tell you the how and why of it all. Me and hubby left Florida to begin anew in southern Georgia the end of last year.  He loves rural living so we went from one country town to another an even smaller kuntry town.  Cost of living, okay.  Jobs, not-so-much.

The Deal

Imagine, having played the education game, earned a masters level degree, moved to the south, can’t even get a JOB at McDonald’s. It’s been 8 months and I am underemployed, working less than part time at a local hospital for . . . ready for it? Drumroll . . . $8.50/hr. Less than PART TIME!! Yeah, I’m screaming.  No pity party here though.   I absolutely refuse!

For years various ladies have been in my ear about the inability of finding modest garments to wear.    And, for years various people have inquired about my sewing for hire.   A concept I fought vehemently, LOL.  Why even a couple of months ago my daughter asked what I would charge to make her a maxi skirt.  With all the discouragement I could muster I turned that job down.  Guess what, she went to a local to her woman and paid $80.00 for an Ankara maxi skirt!  Between that, the promptings of a friend, and my pitiful prospects of self support where we now live, I have been persuaded to sew as a means of support.  “Skirting It!” at your service.

The Beginning

I am at the beginning of this cottage industry venture.  Busy researching web hosting (that won’t charge me for a year or more up front; ain’t got it like that yet), the dot com is in place, and just purchased a dressform and gravity fed iron so my garments will look crisp and professional.  Keeping an eye out on what ladies are wearing.  A strong presence on Instagram will be developed. Etsy is looking out of the picture for now because they would own the shop, not me, and that’s not the direction I want to go.  Also researching and meditating on paid hobby vs. business status.  No money for a tax attorney (right now) before anyone brings that up.

The Vision

I am thinking of offering up to nine pieces, made in standard US sizing to ladies, teens, and little girls.  Mommy and Me lines seem big and that is definitely something I can do.  I will displaying a variety of fabric swatches from my suppliers for customers to choose along with the style garment they desire.  Each garment will be handmade individually, expressly for said customer.  Meanwhile I am building up my wardrobe of samples for daily wear so that local people can see what I offer.

The hope is that the styles I choose will be evergreen; i.e., skirts.  Skirts are my chosen IT to feature.  I will offer an accessory or top or two here and there as a little something-something extra for flavor.  Have you seen an Ankara Obi belt?  Lovely!   I found this one online and went gaa gaa.  Thought it might be a nice accessory to offer.

Obi Belt

But, seriously, I want to focus on skirts.  I will be the skirt lady!  After Skirting It! gets off the ground I will add vintage style dresses in Ankara to the mix.   That will be a special look for sure.  Oh, I forgot to tell you Skirting It! will feature Ankara/African fabrics, Indian fabrics and Middle Eastern (if I can find them) textiles.

black and white ankara
Recent acquisition. Can not decide vintage style dress or maxi skirt?

Here are two skirts I found on Pinterest.  Personally, the one on the right has got me swooning.  I must make one to show off.  In case someone did not know what Ankara is and why I am crazy about it I thought I would share these.

Peplum and Flounce Skirts

Here is an Ankara garment I made for myself last spring.  The fabric was given to me by a Christian sister of mine whom I have yet to meet face-to-face.  We somehow got together via social media.  Wasn’t that kind of her?

African Fabric Assembly

Here is my latest acquisition.  She shipped today and I can NOT WAIT to sew her up.

Ankara Spheres
Can you say “Maxelle Skirt”!

This photo does NOT do the fabric justice.  When I complete my garment I will have to do better!  Anyway, I just wanted to give you a taste of what’s to come with Skirting It! fashions.  How can you not be happy with such gorgeous, colours that pop?

I’m excited, a tad nervous, but on I forge.  Any helpful suggestions are warmly welcomed as I embark on this creative venture.