Dottie Angel Frock

When I first spyed The Dottie Angel Frock had to have it.  I thought to myself, “This is the ugliest cute dress I have ever seen”.  Finally, I made my very own first one.

Shopping my stash there was no doubt she would be a bedsheet project.  Save for the patch pockets I used sheets for the top and bottom halves.

Dottie angel employs french side seaming and a buncha bias tape.  I love working with bias tape.  The wider the better.  Get this, it is all on the inside; no one will see it, but me.

Then again, I guess you will see it because I just posted it.  I went with gold between sections and the sleeves and green for the hem.

When I read a review of this dress somewhere it seemed to be difficult or maybe fussy is a better word due to the french seams and the biased interior.  Thankfully I decided to go with the instructions because it was not hard to make at all and was quite fun.  May I label this dress whimsical even?

The one thing I did change was at the advice of a predecessor and doubled the pockets.  She said it imparted strength for carrying things; i.e., cell phones.  Will I do so for upcoming dresses, I do not know.  I am leaning toward not doing so.  Speaking of strength, I need to get into the habit of backstitching at the end of my seams for one of my pockets is coming loose where I did not do that.  I’ll have to fix it when I take it off to get dressed for worship later.Project wrap-up:

This was a fun, easy, and inexpensive project.  Every bit was shipped from my personal stash.  That is always a plus.  I highly recommend this dress to others.  I will be making more of these.

Shortly after cutting the fabric I realized I was making it too large.  Since this is a house dress of sorts I decided not to sweat it and simply make the next one a skosh smaller.  Basically the hip area is fine, the upper portion is too large in the XL size that I cut.  Also, I may lengthen it so that when I sit down my knees are covered.  When I look at the sleeve area compared to the pattern and other lovely sewists’ projects mine are way too big.

The original is this lil cute cap-like sleeve. Mine feel like elephant ears!  But, it sure is comfy!

The scoop on the front is too low also.  I expect all this will be addressed with a smaller size Large cutting.



Response to “Be Your Own Cheerleader” by Robbie of My Journey Through Eden

Just had to share this with my friends.  My comment on my girl’s blog:

  1. Robbie girl,

    I don’t even know what to say (mostly because I blog on the public library’s computers and I have only 15 minutes left, bwahhhh haaa).

    “Do I want to be skinny? No, I just want to add more productive years to my life, enjoy my grandchildren, travel without having to pay for two seats, be able to see my feet, tie my own shoes, fit comfortably in a tub, avoid knee replacements, etc. When I look in the mirror, (most of the time) I like what I see. I don’t feel abandoned or cheated because folks are having weight loss surgery. Would I get discouraged or angry if they had a breast reduction, tummy tuck, face lift, knee replacements? ”

    My mamma brought me up to love myself. I think I use this to make excuses for not exercising and eating right. As a matter of fact not two hours ago I mentioned to a girlfriend “There is a bunch of stuff which will keep us out of God’s Kingdom. High cholesterol and being fat ain’t two of ’em”. That is true. Even more reasons why I do not overly sweat my health status.

    Now, like you, I am in pre-diabetic mode, my A1C is 6.3 when last checked.  I am grossly overweight. I think they call it “obese” at 5’6″ and 202.5 lbs. I had joined Anytime Fitness last year and was working out regularly. Six months ago we moved here. These Southern women can COOK do you read me, girl!!!! I have been eating like a big ole hog. Six months ago I was 179 pounds (though that may be large) check me out now at over 200! Not cute atall. (Rolling my eyes).

    Those who get the surgery . .. . “turned in their fat/curvy/thick cards”. Girl, please. Folk need to quit hatin’. I WISH I could get the surgery. I’m too poor (the pay here is horrendous, the cost of living a tad bit lower for us though). And, I know the best way to to move, move, move. Sewing and sitting don’t help, LOL. Still, I would love gastric bypass (maybe I need to get a “Go Fund Me” account and beg for donations).

    ”When I look in the mirror, (most of the time) I like what I see.”

    My sentiments exactly. Somebody pass the peach cobbler . . . .



Shalwar Kameez Kit

Seaform Salwar Kameez

This project was truly an interesting feat.  Long ago I fell in love with African/Indian shalwars and kameez outfits.  They were to be had economically on eBay which was a boon for me.  They are so ornate that I would only wear them on “special” occasions.  Thankfully I have grown out of that nonsense.  Now, I wear them whenever I feel like it.  Sadly, I gave about 20 outfits away some years ago.  Well, I am on the mend and working to replenish my stock.

Seeing me wear them to work a Muslim co-worker was delighted and stated she would purchase me an outfit.  Hey, who am I turn turn down a double blessing (her for the giving and me for the receiving).  Time passed, I figured she had forgotten about it, no problem, right.  Well, lo and behold, my girl Hazmat brought me this project to work one day.

Kameez Shell

So, check it out . . . I thought this was a salwar/kameez outfit, right?  Well, it was sorta, kinda.  I was all smiles as I opened the cellophane package.  The seafoam green is truly stunning.  My cell phone did no justice to this outfit.  Anyway . . . as I am taking items out of the package.  This is what I also found . . .

Salwar Fabric
Up close of the salwar fabric

Hazmat had brought me a salwar/kameez kit if-you-will.  I had to put the kameez together and make the salwars.  I had to hide the surprise from my face.  Thank gawd Mamma taught me to sew.

Seafoam green salwars

Now, I am a big girl (read that size 16 ready to wear, size like 20-22 big four pattern companies).  Sew, there was not enough fabric for the salwars.  Shopping my stash I found some ivory colored squares of fabric that I got from a house sale.  They felt divine and have the feel of linen and silk.  No clue as to their content.  I sewed two of them together with a narrow hem and used them for the yoke of the salwars.  I figured they would be under the kameez anyway.  Who would know?  Ooops, I forgot.  Yaw’ll will know ’cause I can’t keep a sewing secret.

Sleeve Fabric
Sleeve fabric

Really I should have pressed the stuff before photographing this, duh.  It looked so pretty when I pressed it before actually sewing it.  Anywho, you get an idea here of what I was working with.  Yikes, slinky, silky fabric is not my forte.  I have got to work on that I suppose.  So, above is what I used for sleeves for my kameez.

Seafoam Dupatta

The beautiful dupatta kept sliding off my shoulders last night at the Memorial Celebration event that we attended.  Note to self:  Next time you wear this discreetly pin it where you desire it to stay.

Shopping my stash again, I found a sleeve pattern piece that I thought would go well with this design.  I also already have a couple salwars patterns.  The next time I make salwars I am going to add a crotch gusset.  I saw one on another African pant pattern and I think I could use one with my big behind.

From what I understand the word “salwar” means “baggy pants”.  How cool for that is exactly what they are.  However, being made with such exquisite fabric I like the term salwar better, LOL.  Dupatta is Indian for “scarf”.  And kameez is shirt.




Shorty Got Low, Low, Low, Low


Here we go, “Apple bottom jeans, boots with the fir, everybody lookin’ at her.  She hit the floor; next thing you know, shorty got low, low, low, low, low, low, low”.  Don’t ya just love the movie Zookeeper?

Okay, on to my good news.  Just left weigh-in no. 4 (I think); 179.3 lbs.  YAY!!!  I do not know the last time I was one seventy anything!!!!  That’s 7.2 lbs down from when my job’s “Biggest Loser” contest began.  I know this is a vintage style sewing blog, but I am really excited about this progress and me thinks writing in public adds another level of accountability.  Plus, thankfully, I am surrounded by positive well wishers like YOU.

Now, gang, I’m going to need you all to pull together and send good vibes, strong will my way.  I go home next week.  And, ahem, at home I can get things like bean pie, peach cobbler, and fried white bass fish.  The good things is, we have Anytime Fitness at home and oh yeah, I WILL be a workin’ out.  Can I get an “amen”?




A Biggest Loser

the biggest loser

Okay, ladies (and any really cool gents who may be readers of Sew Lyrically Vintage), they say confession does something for the soul, whatever.  My job has a “Biggest Loser” contest going on and I decided to play along.  I asked a fella to take  these this morning just after the weigh-in.

Lyric Big Skirt 4-21

Weigh-ins are every Thursday until May 26th.  The grand prize $500.00 (mamma needs a car to get to the ministry and work).   I am not even scheduled to work today but I got my butt up at 0600 and prepared to drive to the weigh-in.  This is the third weigh-in.  Last week I went up 1/2 lb.  Hey, check it, my husband treated me to an impromptu luncheon and my congregation took us Pioneers (full time ministers) to a luncheon.  The increased weight was worth it, don’t you think?

Lyric 4-21

Try for the life of me I can’t find the post when I blogged about making this skirt.  I could have sworn there was one.    I was away from my Tabitha and thus made the skirt by hand while visiting family either last year or the year before.  I tell ya, time is going so fast.  A small person could fit in there.  YAY!!!

I have decided whether I win the $500 or not I will be “a biggest loser” for ME.  In March my friend encouraged me to join a local gym with her.  We even hired Matt, the personal trainer.  When I first when to the gym I was at least 189 lbs.  In a month’s time I had gone down to under 185.  I love it and I do not want to go back to the 190s.

Now, hitting the 170s seems to be a reach.  But I AM GOING TO DO IT!  Lifting weights, behavior modification, next to no McDonald’s (I have enjoyed the snack wrap, no ranch sauce, and the small parfait).  This from a McDonald’s-a-holic.  I used to eat there daily and I am proud of myself so far for exercising restraint.  Basically instead of eating sweets with wild abandon, I am watching what I decide to put into my mouth.  I ask myself often, “Is it worth it?”  When I think of the money I spend to workout at Anytime Fitness and the fact that I am only part-time; i.e., not much money, I refuse to waste all that I am doing for a stupid pastry.

I am working toward viewing my “choices” not as deprivation, but sensical (is that a word) choices for healthier living.  I was almost 200 lbs., with body fat of over 45%, pre-diabetic and hypertensive ; i.e., a disaster in the making.  When I last visited my doctor my LDL had dropped 24 points (that is the bad one, right)?  My hope is that my next visit in August will remove me from the one medication I am taking.  At the very least go from the current 10mg down to 5 mg.

Apparently I should be drinking a gallon of water a day.


Still working to get to that.  It’s not that I do not enjoy water, it’s more of remembering to drink the stuff.  At work, I’m busy.  While in the ministry, I’m busy ministering, LOL.  I’ll reach it though.  By “choice”.  Hey, perhaps I should do this!

water bomb drink water

Stay with me on this successful journey to health, reduced weight, and Sew Lyrically granny styled cuteness to the max!

Yours in good health and happiness by “choice”,


Looking Back Before Moving Forward


Sankofa is often associated with the proverb, “Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi,” which translates as: “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.”

As I reviewed last year’s beginning of the year blog post I am glad that beating a dead dog is not part of my personality, LOL.  I suppose for the most part I did accomplish more of what I intended than not.

For instance, I have put a small dent in adding vintage style garments to my wardrobe.  I remain encouraged and recommit to that endeavor.  Being committed to increased sewing skills including couture techniques is ongoing and sew much fun.  The Sewing & Quilt Expo is coming up shortly and I am making plans to attend at least one of the days and take a class or two (or three).  One of them is dedicated to decorative seams, apparently inside and out.  I’m real excited about that one.

As a thrift store lover I admit to having succumbed to sale priced pants wear.  Shame one me.  One of my goals was (still is) that of ridding my wardrobe of pants in favor of dresses and skirts.  In my defense I have since re-donated many of those said pants.

Several months ago my “replacement” digital camera basically died.  It was one of those Kodak auto digital cameras.  The hubby brought it trying to do a good thing.    I figured I’d simply use my cell phone camera.  Long story short, it ain’t good enough.  Better blog photography has been on my mind ever since I lost my real camera, a Canon Rebel.  Needless to say, I will try again this year to purchase a real replacement for I truly believe the photos are the best part of a blog.  No, I won’t “try”; I need to commit to purchasing a decent Canon digital camera.  As they say, “a photo is worth 1,000 words”.

As a sewcial person I found it difficult to resist sew-a-longs last year.  I joined a couple featuring garments I did not even like simply to play along with a group of wonderful gals.  I’ll need to curb that this year . . .  yeah right!  ‘Nuff said.

One bit of good news.  If you’ve been following and paying attention to my blog you’ll remember last year this time I was gleefully unemployed (as I called it to mentally cope).  You see, in this country, an educated women with a master’s degree is not supposed to be unemployed with outstanding student loans.  I am glad to report that last March I was offered a modestly paid position on as as-needed basis.  Happily since then I applied for and was offered a part-time position at the same job.  Oh, get this, I had to take a CUT IN PAY for going part-time (more hours) from prn (as needed).

An interesting anecdote about the job situation . . . I applied to be a full time minister last January which requires funds (gas for visiting people, food).  It was not until I applied to Pioneer (full time minister) that I was offered a job after looking since 2012.  I choose to believe Matthew 6:33 of the Holy Scriptures came in to play.  🙂

Consequently, one of my sewing plans for 2016 will be to sew a wardrobe of skirts (many plain ones because I have so many printed tops and full circle styles) along with complimentary comfortable tops to wear while engaging in my ministry.

Here’s to a stitching happy 2016 to you all as I continue to incorporate the words of our Yeartext, “Let your brotherly love continue“.



All Coiffed Up!

Cut Hair
“Take it off; take it all off!”

I could take it no longer.  It’s been a long time coming.

Cut Hair 2

Edward’s boss told him he had to close the shop last Sunday after he told us he would cut our hair in about an hour.  Bless his heart, he allowed us to go to his home to fix us right up!

Cut ProCut Pro

Ain’t nothing like a fresh hair-do.


Mmmmwuah, thank you, Edward!




Lyrical She Shack: Sewing Room Renovation

The concept of “She Shacks” have been on my mind for some time.  Of course I didn’t know they were “she shacks” until I saw that moniker on Pinterest or some such site.

It’s decided.  I am going to have to shape up my sewing area.   A sewing room renovation is definitely in order.  To top it off I will have to do it on a serious shoestring budget. I was hoping soap, water, and paint would do the trick but that’s too good to be true.  I am working with an old 48′ x 12′ park model trailer with two pop-outs. There is a bedroom, bathroom, main area and kitchen.  For now we actually use the kitchen to eat (rolling my eyes); the bedroom area holds my stash and my clothing, a desk for study, and sewing notions.  The main area is where I sew (treadle and hand crank sewing machines), a cutting table, thread holder, and again, the kitchen with normal kitchen stuff including a stove with broken oven (another story all together).

The proper thing to do would be to show you what I am working with, right?  One day I just might get up the gumption to do that.  You see my sewing area is “tow up from the flo up”.  Do I need to translate?  Okay, my sewing area leaves much to be desired and I am embarrassed as ever to show it to my cyber friends.  Not many IRL friends have seen it either to show you how embarrassing it is.

You see, we live off grid which I have learned if you have money is cool – we don’t.  I was looking for at least one photograph to show you of my sewing area and came across this which reminded me to count my blessings.

hip hillbilly farm banner

That’s what we call our lil living place.  That is the banner I used for a blog I was writing when we first arrived on our land, 2011, here in the “kuntry”.  Listening to Mr. Lyric I was idealistic about living off the electrical grid, sigh.  Now two of the children are gone, I’m older, finally blessed with a less than part-time job, and working to be a thankful person.  Wait, I digress . . . . this post was to be about remodeling a trailer into a “She Shack”, right  :-).

These “She Shacks caught my eye – click the photographs for their story:

Ashlee She Shack


“A Husband Gave His Wife An Old Rusty Trailer. Wait Until You See What She Did To It”.  The story above was the straw that broke the camels back for me.  That’s it – I must do SOMEthing with my sewing area.   I figure if I write about what I want to do it will solidify my desire and increase accountability in not continuing to work in an unacceptable environment.

Way out of reach but oh so pretty!

In my thinking the pop-outs need to be torn away and destroyed.  Mr. Lyric says that would make my space very small and that I may not like it.  Here’s the thing, there is yucky mold on them and the wood is, how do you say, nasty.  I’ll have to think about that.

Trailer Sew Room Remake
Bright, bold, sassy, colours appeal to me.  Then again, when I see the fruity,  pastel,  50s “Happy Days” colours used in vintage style decorating, I like those too.  Thankfully, I don’t have to choose today.

vintage housewife

As an honorable mention, how cool is this . . . .

Shab 2 Fab

I’m not finding as many online vintage-inspired sewing room makeovers as I had imagined.  It’s okay for now because I do need to do some demolition before getting to the good parts.  In the meantime if you know if any sites I may visit please holler.  I’m looking for 40s and 50s colour themes.

My thoughts are to host a give-a-way to the one who comes up with a swanky, cool name for my She Shack in the future.  Stay tuned as I hash out this project and thanks in advance for your support.



Curly Good Hair

hair 10303174_661473900630475_2911878064605441044_n

 1 Corinthians 11:15 – ” . . . “but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her instead of a covering.”

If I had a  dollar for every time I was told that I have “good hair”; I would be rich.  “Good hair” is hair that does what a person wants it to do in my opinion.  Seriously, as a former cosmetology student I was taught that hair comes in three types:  straight, curly, and wavy.  There was no category called “good”.

Lately, not sure exactly when and where, a popular hair typing has come about and is discussed all over the Internet.  According to some charts my hair falls between 3B and 3C.  Oh, before I forget, let me state at the outset that my hair is natural.  Now it seems “natural” is defined differently depending upon whom you speak with.  What I mean by “natural” is I have no product that has aided in straightening, waving, nor curling my hair.  I don’t say “chemical free” because as you know, even water is a chemical, and I use it judiciously on a daily basis.  My locks love them some water.  Oh, and I moisturize the heck out of it.  Leave-in moisturizers are comprised of chemicals, yes/no?  Not wanting to reinvent the wheel here so if you want the skinny on hair typing check out this popular blog Naturally Curly (according to this site my hair is 3B).  Here is a chart for your quick reference:

Hair Typing ChartHair Typing Chart

Lordy, ain’t modern technology a hoot?  I had this posted pre-scheduled, now I see it posted and I wasn’t even done writing it, bwaahhh haaa.



Graciously Grey Hair


long grey hair

While rolling down Interstate 95 to Savannah several weeks back I decided to take up writing about hair care drama, revelations, and the “other” journey I am on of growing my hair to mid-back length. . . again.   My daughter sent the above photo to me with the caption, “This could be you IF you stop cutting your hair”.

An old blog of mine, “Graciously Grey” discussed subjects of growing grey with style and grace.  However, writing two blogs with finesse is a bit much for me with my other sew very important pursuits.  It occurred to me that since this is my blog I can simply add another category and write about my hair journey as well as the trip to daily vintage wear that is Sew Lyrically Vintage.  And, oh, the possibilities of victory rolls and other 30s-50s hairstyles that I can wear once I reach my hair length goal.  Yes, I’m giddy, giggling.

Often I am asked, “Where are you from?” with the person looking at my hair.  Every now and again a person will want to touch it.  The look on their face when they feel it’s softness is priceless.  I remember the first time I allowed Mister Lyric’s children to touch my hair.  It was the first time they had touched a Black person’s hair.  They were surprised at how soft my hair is.  Prejudices and assumptions, I tell ya (shaking my head).  Yet, I digress, as my hair journey continues I will document it’s growth and development from a bald fade:

Bald fade as a blonde – 2010

Seriously, I love wearing a bald fade (see photograph above).  It is so, so, freeing.  To get my hair lifted up that light I bleached it about five times over two to three days.  With that orange apparently I needed to keep on bleachin’.  I am surprised I did not go bald (no pun intended).  To mid-back length:

More bounce to the ounce

Hopefully my hair won’t reach terminal length before reaching mid-back.   Around 2006 or so thanks to nature and articles I read on Long Hair Care Forum (a website dedicated to women of colour interested in growing waist length locks) my hair reached a length of approximately 4″ above my, er ah, how do you say, let’s just say my bum or rather the part that separates each side.  You feel me?

As mentioned, in keeping with this blog’s vintage theme I plan on wearing victory rolls, hair scarves 50s style, and a host of other vintage hair styles in day-to-day living.  There seems to be paucity of articles and photographs of Black women in vintage hair styles.  If you know of any sources, please pay it forward and share a link.  Meanwhile, as a middle-aged Black woman I have no problem repping.  It will be fun to see what I come up with on the journey.