Electricity Outage Oh My!

So, you know I’m sorta, kinda, maybe working toward a small cottage industry, right?  Well there I was chugging along on my client’s skirt and flicker.  Flicker, flicker, the electricity goes off.

Thankfully I had near perfectly executed this invisible zipper 🙂 beforehand.

Thank goodness for Tabitha, my 1925ish hand crank Singer sewing machine.  I pulled her out of the closet to save the day and complete this pretty Ankara midi skirt.





Brother SE-400 . . . Yay!

I am sew excited.  Last week (April, 2018) my Brother SE-400 arrived.  One of my bestie’s exclaimed, “It’s just a sewing machine, Lyric!”  Excuse me!!!  We won’t even talk about her telling her dog “Auntie Lyric is on the phone!!!!”   I told her she’d “better watch out, watch her mouth saying such things as “it’s JUST . . . “, for I would tackle her, jump on her, tickle her navel and give her a big wet kiss if she didn’t watch it, girl”.

Seriously, it has been YEARS since I last purchased a brand spanking NEW sewing machine.  Truth be told I have been kinda bagging on computerized and newer machines opting for vintage models.  Oh, don’t get it twisted, they are still my fave with their luscious, hard, metal bodies and innerds; but, I decided to take advantage of the moment and get what will probably be my last “new” sewing machine for a while.  The “SE” stands for sewing/embroidery.  I chose this model for pricing and because two features that I required:  one-step buttonholes and automatic thread cutting are included in this model.

I tell you, my hat goes off to photographers.  I attempted these photos and an unboxing video and ay yi yi . . . lighting ain’t no joke.  There is even a regular sized window right next to my sewing table.






Amongst my top choices were a Janome and I forget the other one.  Anywho, obviously this Brother won out.  As far as I am concerned the embroidery is a bonus.  Of course, I’ll have to start monogramming everything since, after all, it is included with this model.  Oh, that also means I’ll now have to begin amassing embroidery threads.  Oh darn!  Well, we wouldn’t want to be wasteful, would we; having a feature and not using it (Lyric, vigorously shaking her head).






Shucks, it’s now 5/11 and I still haven’t completed reading the manual.   I’ve even started a way cool vintage styled summer dress; still on Charliezl, my vintage Singer.  I need to quit being skurred and just get busy with Paradise.  🙂  I promise, after I complete my vintage dress this weekend I’m going to break Ms. Paradise in.  Yessssss!

If any of you are experienced with Brother in general, or the Brother SE-400 in particular; let’s talk.  Chime in with your .02.









Sewing BIG Blunder

Unpressed view; of course!


I should be shot, shamed, and disgraced for the disrespectful way I mutilated this beautiful fabric and project.  I was attempting a version of Oona Balloona’s Vogue 1239 creation; and oh my gee did I ever mess it up.  The weird thing is as I read the pattern instructions before investing in fabric and time it did not seem difficult (still doesn’t).  Golly, I do not know where I went wrong.  Wait, yes, I do. . . . everywhere!

I mean, how hard could it be to get a smooth underarm seam in a kimono style sleeve?  Seriously?  Look at this . . .   I did not have enough fabric to line the whole thing so I got this great idea to use black and white lining fabric.  Ah, yeah, genius.

Lining, underarm section

Here is a total back lining view for your edification.  Sorry for the blurry photo, but what the hey, everything else about this project went wacky.  Somehow I got the lining backwards.  It’s inside out.  The instructions had this funky way of attaching the lining then reaching in and turning it inside out or some such business. I spent hours trying to figure it out, installing, ripping and re-installing.  Then, as time became a serious factor I said forget it, nobody going to see the inside anyway, just get it in and keep it moving.  Nooooottt!!!!!


To this day I still do NOT know how to do that lining properly.

From the looks of the neck area, I guess I had totally given up at this point.  Look at the twisted serged seam.  Shouldn’t I have used pinking shears or SOMETHING for that frayed edge?

This is the outside underarm area that should have been smooth as a baby’s bum.  I don’t know what/how to correct that?  Perhaps snipping, maybe that’s it.

Same thing happened on the other underarm.

For some reason I am not ready to concede that the pattern was above my skill level.  A friend said perhaps I rushed.  I didn’t feel rushed.  But I think I started this a week before the Memorial (event to which I wanted to wear this maxi dress).  The pattern comes to the knee area I wanted to make this a maxi like Oona.  I definitely did not know how to elongate the bottom of the dress.  Perhaps I should show you the pattern.  Does this look difficult to you?  It still doesn’t to me.  Am I in denial or what?

I was so livid when I finally forced myself to concede that I literally wanted to throw this expensive pattern in the garbage.  Then, I decided to sell it. I wound up tossing it in a pattern bin. I still love, love the design.  And it would be stunning in Ankara just like Marcie’s.  Truly, I have been traumatized by this experience, people.  For real!!!!!

Showcasing this beautiful ankara print

Suppose I had sense to give up before totally finishing the project.  Besides, if I recall I needed to get to sleep that night.

For a while this thing graced Riyaz my dressform. That is, until I needed her for another project.  Then it wound up hanging in the Ladie Lair Studio closet.  I was thinking maybe cut up for a quilt.  The project pattern pieces are such that it’s a shame that I can’t repurpose the fabric. All I come up with is a quilt.  Yeah, right, as if.  Oh, of course I could make African earrings.  But, I am going to do that with the uncut scraps.  This was/is simply a *&^%() shame.

I promised sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly.  So, there ya have it.

Lesson(s) learned:

  • Yes, Joi Mahon’s pattern fitting principles should be incorporated EVERY time!
  • Make sure I can afford (have all fabric/supplies necessary) to successfully complete a project.

No cheers,


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…

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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 http://www.skirtingit.com 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!!!


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…

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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