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.



Sew Chic Starter Skirt

Sew excited here (pun intended) to be writing about my very first Sew Chic pattern project – the Starter Skirt.

Touching sew chic pattern
First time touching a Sew Chic pattern!

You see, I have been amassing Sew Chic patterns for probably over a year now with the Tia dress as my first purchase.  Recently, I found out the owner/designer, Laura Nash has made herself available on FB via a creative sewing group dedicated to Sew Chic pattern projects.  Truly, it is thrilling for me and good business sense on her part to be available this way.  Her warm, friendly personality inclined me to purchase (and continue to purchase) Sew Chic patterns.  As a matter of fact, the Petticoat shall be next to join my collection.

Sew Chic Pattern Collection
Lyric’s Sew Chic Pattern Collection

Psst, we hear Laura is working on a new design to debut early fall, I think.  Try as we might she is not letting the cat out of the bag much on this story.

With all the buzz at our lovely FB group I was itching to do some stitching of a  Sew Chic pattern.   So, I decided on the Starter Skirt and shopped my stash to make a wearable muslin.  Ahh, this will do nicely and I have enough yardage. Kinda sorta.

bedsheet fabric
Still in the works. Bedsheets and table cloths sure make nice circle skirts.

My no-name serger was used for the first time.  Yay!  Boy had I forgotten the joys of electronic sewing.  Many of you know we used to live off grid last year before relocating here.

The panels of this baby went together lickety split with the serger.  The skirt went together like a dream.  I really must give her a name and soon.  Sally Serger is goofy.  Any suggestions?

The Starter Skirt pattern is a level 2 (I think); great for beginners.  The 12-gore view tickled my fancy this time along with the wide waistband from the other view.  I like the wide waistbands to have something for my cinch belt to cling to.  I should be embarrassed to share that I sometimes do not add hooks, eyes, or buttons because they would be concealed by the belt anyway.  I know, do better Lyric.

It seems with each if my projects there is a glitch.  This one was no different.  There was not quite enough bedsheet for this skirt.  I believe this one was for a double sized bed.  As it turned out there was only a corner of the pattern piece that was not covered.  A 20″ narrow triangular shape piece of sheeting to fill the area did the trick.  Since this is a full skirt the area is concealed where I sewed that patch of a corner.  Way to go for a $2.00 skirt especially considering I just laid $35-$40 for a Moda by Sandy Gervais cotton to make my next Starter Skirt.  Note: I combined two project posts – my Starter Skirt toile (the green and white skirt) and the second one the pretty Moda fabric skirt.


The Starter Skirt is easey peasey to make.  I thoroughly enjoyed working with this Sew Chic pattern and look forward to additional projects by that indie designer.  I even learned a new technique with sewing the waistband part.

Let me give you a heads up.  In June, Laura Nash is hosting a Fantasia Sew-A-Long.  It begins June 6 and is going to be heapa buncha informative.  So get your hiney on over to Facebook and check us out.



Simplicity 1080: The Dottie Angel Frock

The Dottie Angel frock is country chic at its best.  When I first saw this pattern it was love at first sight.   We were living on a homestead in the South trying to build a small family farm and it spoke to me.  Simply perfect for a house dress to be worn while doing chores and even while chillaxing at home.  Even the hubby liked it (which makes sense because he likes homely looking dresses).  This dress screams “homely”; don’t you think?


As one who enjoys repurposing this is a good project for a bed sheet design.  I am curious as to what this will look like on a granny such as myself.  Tickles and giggles!  When we first arrived at our new home I purchased a pair of black ankle boots.  A photograph with this frock and those boots out by the woods should will be interesting.  As for Spring/Summer wear I have a pair of silver thong sandals that put me in the mind of Birkenstock knock-offs that I think will be cute paired with this dress on a sunny day!

Somehow getting the hint that the Dottie Angel is a big deal I Googled to see what I could find.  “House On Hill Road” was one of the sites that featured the Dottie Angel.  Apparently there is information on Pinterest too though I have yet to visit them.  The pattern reviews that I did read indicated the instructions to not be on point with confusing steps which make the construction of this dress needlessly difficult.  Ay yi yi!  The dress looks so basic on the envelope.  I decided to read over the instructions for myself before cutting into fabric.


I confess – I will not be making a toile.  I will; however, tissue fit and check the tuck placements along with checking for appropriate length.  Mine must be below the knee even while sitting.

The dress employs french seams and bias tape up the wazoo.  Get this — the tape is on the inside; no one will see it except me.  Oh, I guess you will because if I am going to do all of that for a simple house/work frock I am going to at least take a shot of my handiwork to show you, LOL.  Maybe I have a crazy colour in my stash.  So, I think I will make this dress as instructed by the Simplicity people this time and see how it goes.  Perhaps subsequent (and there will assuredly be some) Dottie Angels may undergo Sew Lyrically styled adjustments.

Okay, so here’s the deal.   Since it has been so long since I blogged I did not want you to think I had fallen off the world.  Been busy relocating and looking for work.  My original plan was to blog about the entire project now; but, guess what?  I left the cord for my digital camera at home  and can not upload the photographs of the fabric chosen for this project.  Therefore, my experience with this dress will be a near future blog post.

I will share this, finally I shopped my stash.  It is always so cool when I read you ladies “shopping your stashes”.  🙂  The two larger pieces are bed sheets, the pocket (small piece of fabric) is a quilting cotton.  Now, here’s hoping I have suitable bias tape for I do not feel like going through the rigamaroll of making some for this project.

To keep us all eagerly anticipating the Sew Lyrically styled Dottie Angel, let’s check out some other gals’ frocks.


By Dottie Angel Herself
House On The Hill
House On The Hill’s Dottie Angel Frock

Stay tuned with me gals (and guys if there are any following me).



Vogue 9100


Vogue 9100 Dress

I pert near died to get my hands on this Vogue 9100 dress pattern.  Why I even sewed a bust mock-up to make sure the bust area fit properly.  Yaw’ll know I hate making muslins.  Thankfully I did the right thing where this frock is concerned and persevered through it.

Vogue 9100 Project

The pattern came with multi-sized  bodices which was cool.  I cut out the “D” version and armed with Create the Perfect Fit: Measuring and Pattern Fitting for Real Sewing Solutions by Joi Mahon I took a pinch skosh in at the upper back area. I thought I was something after that.

Vogue 9100 Dress 1Vogue 9100 Dress 1
Vogue 9100 Dress 1

The weekend was so busy fun I did not get a shot of me in the dress.  Well, I did get a bit of it in the photo with one of my besties the other day.  Here’s the project stats:

  • Fabric:  Thrifted bed sheet, approximately $2.00
  • Zipper:  from stash
  • Level of difficulty:  Easy Vogue
  • Remake:  More than likely.  I love the yellow, black, and white fabric on the pattern envelope

One thing about this project, even after making a muslin and thinking it fit I am not entirely happy with the bust area.  I would like to try this again with the “C” cup and see what gives.  I wore this with a full figure brassiere and as you can see part of the bra shows, grrrr.  That was annoying while wearing my dress.  Now, I could wear another style bra that I have been sporting lately but it does not support as well as this one.  I’ll bet it would not show.  More importantly, the bodice bust area feels too big.  I mean, the girls seem to go on and on in this bodice!  Now Mr. Lyric doesn’t agree and says they’re simply big (rolling my eyes).  I keep thinking a C and 1/2 cup may fit better, LOL.

A slim belt might not be too bad of an accessory also.  What do you think?  Overall, I do like the dress and it was very comfortable to wear.






P.S.  I had one a thrifted petticoat while wearing this frock.  Honestly, I think that was the first time in my life of wearing a crinoline.  My bestie commented on how large I looked but I decided the feminine feeling I had outweighed my looking big; after all, I am big.

Portrait Blouse Afternoon

Portrait Blouse

Once again the sewing bug bit me.  There seems to be something about noon day lately that gives me a hankering to make something . .  to wear that night nonetheless.  The 1930s skirt made for a June MAGAM sewing challege still hadn’t been worn nor shown due to lack of outfit completion. As an idea-challenged sewist I simply could not envision that skirt with any other top than the one on the pattern sleeve. The only thing is I am certain this granny would look crazy in a Peter Pan collar. Portrait blouse to the rescue a la Gertie.  This book is so cool as all the projects inside have patterns  right inside the book.  Click the book to get your personal copy.  As an affiliate I do get a small compensation at no cost to you.This project took about five hours to complete.  A cool way to spend an afternoon, eh?  Finally, I get to wear my 1930s skirt and my new shoes.  The only thing missing was seamed pantyhose with a cuban heel.

Project Stats:

  • Fabric – from stash (not sure of fabric content but it smacks of a cotton bend).
  • Zipper – originally thrifted, from my stash, 18″ metal.  The pattern called for a 9″ zipper. So, I laid the zipper along the length of the side seam, folded it over at the underarm, and tacked it to the side seam. Comfort level was unaffected.
  • Bias binding – from stash.

Not sure if it was a vintage zipper or not.  Wait, let me check the wrapper for the price . . . 90 cents, J & P Coats.  There appears to be yellowing on the white zipper tape.  After the fact it occurred to me that perhaps I should have given it a good soaking.  Thankfully the lapped installation covers that.  Still, I hope it washes away.

This portrait blouse is very easy to make.  It could have been completed in less time had I omitted the stay tape at the neck edge and the hand picked the zipper.  But, as I pledged to take my sewing skills to the next level something hand sewn needed to be done for this project.  I opted to not bind the seams in favor of pinked edges.  I understand thatr is a vintage correct seam finish as I am good with that.  I am not usually overly concerned with 100% vintage correctness and shoot for vintage “style”.  It makes my life simpler with this whole wardrobe recreation that I am going through.


Let’s talk facings for this project.  The next portrait blouse that I make will not have them.  Bias binding seems a much better way to clean finish neck and armhole edges from what I can tell.  Why fuss with a facing?  I am sure there is some couture reason to use a full facing on certain garments, but I have not discovered the why in my quest for better sewing skills.  Do you know the answer?  Omitting the facing would have also saved some time.

This is a nice blouse, sans buttons, with sexy shaping (love those waist tucks), simply can not be beat.  We won’t even talk about the less than $5.00 price tag!  Now I am all ready for Congregation Bible Study.

Have a good day!


Simplicity E2906 – A Semi-Circle Skirt

Simplicity Circle Skirt Main

With a bit of time on my hands I decided at 1:00 p.m. ish to make a skirt to wear to worship tonight. Stash fabric from a vintage style shirtwaist project was calling my name asking to be a full skirt. Through the pattern stash I went; tag Simplicity E2906 made the cut.

Simplicity Pattern

I am pushing myself to make a circle skirt. As I see them on other well endowed sewists I keep thinking maybe, just maybe, I could pull one off. I would probably need the wide belt that I see the ladies couple with them and/or a decent petticoat. With 46+” hips I just can’t imagine needing a big ole crinoline. But, back to the project at hand. I’d call this a ½ circle skirt, wouldn’t you? There are no gathers or pleats at the waistline. It is smooth and finished with bias binding.

Just before I cut into the hem area it occurred to me to check the length.   Uh huh, too short at 25”. We won’t even talk about what a 25” skirt looks like on me from behind (eeeuuuu). The fabric was a king sized bedsheet and even at that large size with my layout there was not enough fabric to lengthen the hem. So, back to the stash I went. At first I kept grabbing white fabric but cream coloured is what was needed. Ah ha I found the remnant of a cream coloured sheet, yesssss. I cut the cream bedsheet fabric into a 4” wide strip to sew to the bottom of the skirt to lengthen it. Oh, but guess what . .. . it wasn’t wide enough to I had to piece it. Actually, I was hoping it would hide itself in the soft folds of the skirt.

Simplicity E2906 Band

To add a touch of couture I installed a hand picked zipper.  Thank you Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing:: A Modern Guide to Couture-Style Sewing Using Basic Vintage Techniques.

Hand Picked Zipper - Simplicity E2906

Project Stats:

Pattern – Thrift store find – .50 cents

Fabric – Thrifted Bed sheet – $1.00

Bias binding – free from stash

Zipper – Thrift store find probably .10 cents

Time to completion – 3 hours:40 minutes

Simplicity Circle Skirt Twirl
Trying to do something cool . . . yeah, right!

Pattern Review:

Skill level: Advanced Beginner (I say this only because of zipper placement)

Did the skirt come out like the envelope: Yes

Would I recommend this pattern: Yes, especially if you don’t feel like doing the math with pi to figure out drafting a circle skirt.

The skirt was a comfy wear last night. Looks like I’ll be making a top and perhaps a jacket to go along with it.  Now I have GOT go get going with the three dresses I need for the 31st, 1st, and 2nd.  The first is on the sewing table.  Check it out here.



V9100 Dress


Vogue 9100 Project

When I saw this pattern several weeks ago I had to have it. The $30 plus price tag rendered it cost prohibitive. Can you say, “Patience Lyric, wait for a sale”? That’s exactly what I did and on July 3 picked it up (and another Vogue beauty) for $3.99 each . . . Yes!

Really, in looking at it I probably already had something similar in my stash. After all, it’s a simple square necked bodice with a full skirt and pockets, right? The thing is my confidence level for “franken___“ patterns is low to say the least. I believe I did read somewhere that if you want to mix and match patterns pieces the recommendation is to stay with the same manufacturer. To get around all of that I simply buy a new pattern when I see something I like even if it is as simple as a neckline change from an existing pattern that I already own, LOL.

The model wearing this frock in the pattern book looks so cute in a yellow and white print with a skosh of black I think. Perhaps someday I will find a similar cotton or cotton blend fabric to make this dress or one like it. The in-seam pockets (I know, a simple thing to add to any project which I have done a time or two) and the shoulder area are what caught my eye about this pattern. Notice how the strap over the shoulder is not overly thick? I find the neck/shoulder area most flattering when the strap is not too wide. Years ago I purchased a tank top from the Gap that had a shoulder strap that was barely wider than my bra strap. I loved that look on me and have not seen it often since. Thankfully Mamma taught me how to sew.

The plan is to make the longer version. That way when I sit down all the family jewels will be nicely covered.  After reading Tasia’s blog today (Sewaholic) I am going to add stay tape at the neck and arm edges as well as waist tape plus a couple more couture (I love saying/writing that word) techniques.  Uuuwww, watch out dere now.  I’m getting beside myself.

This frock is needed by the 31st so stay with me as I bring it to fruition.  I am excited to tell you about the fabric, write up a pattern review, and talk sewist girl talk with you all.





Stash Busting Organization Intervention


That was the result of looking for a certain fabric in my stash for the upcoming 1930’s Capelet sew-a-long [SAL] hosted by Sew Retro Rose.  Truth be told it took some time for me to warm up to the idea of me and the particular pattern being used for the SAL.  The thing is I can’t resist playing along with my new cyber girls.  Beccie is going to teach us how to make bound buttonholes to boot!  Yet I digress for there will be another post about this uber cool event.

Things were falling everywhere as I searched through the huge rubber bin that holds the majority of my stash.  Why is it that what you want is always at the bottom?


Next thing I know I had to stack items on a step stool as I had run out of table space.  What I need is a stash busting organization intervention.  When it comes to other folk’s stuff I can be the queen of order and organization.  But my own stuff . .  .psssht.  Shelves and paint are at the top on my list for fixing this mess.

Pinterest is the business.  Check out this nifty idea by Peaceful Living.


I have already implemented this.  Now I need more cases as I have confiscated all that I can from my CD cache.  How oh how can I go from this . .  .


to this?


For those curious like me here is a nice tutorial on Fabric Folding. I am definitely going to give this a try.

Or, what about foam board?  This will work for me due to the large amount of quilting fabric scraps and pieces that I have.

foamboard for fabric folding

After reading turning*turning’s method it dawned on me that I also need a system to address fabric that I have already cut into.   You know the fabric that is larger than a fat quarter but smaller than a yard.  Google and Cut to Pieces to the rescue.  Speaking of fat quarters isn’t this a cute storage system?

fabric plastic shoebox storage

Splendid!  Plastic shoe boxes that I can get from the $ store for a buck.  They will shelter my fabrics from dust and I can see through them and know what’s inside.  By jove, that’s it for me!

Can’t wait to get the necessary supplies and get started on my little sweet stash.



McCalls 6696 – Shirtwaist Dress


McCalls 6696-Recline

Meet the pattern that would not go away, McCalls 6696 – Shirtwaist Dress.  As a lover of the shirtwaist I am surprised it wasn’t in my radar long ago.  Alas, it was not.  That is, until I joined the Autumn of 1000 Shirtdresses: A Sewing Challenge hosted by Idle Fancy.   My friend, Mary, insisted my first rendition of this lovely should be View A (sleeveless, ay yi yi).  Why this pattern seems to have a cult following, LOL.  The variations sewists have come up with are phenomenal.


McCalls_ 6696_contrast
Inside contrast

Andie, of Sew Pretty in Pink, sealed the deal for me.  In addition to choosing one of my faves in a news print (well, they call it “Kitty Chronicle” but looks like newsprint to me) fabric her silhouette reminds me of moi.  Either way, like me, she’s not one of those skinny ladies.  I’m having dreams about recreating this baby.  Click on the photo to be taken to her blog.

Photo courtesy of Andie L.

Via Google search I found this rendition of M6966:  Look at that tiny waistline . . . . to die for (or diet for, bwwhh haaa)

naturlich kreativ M6696

This is inspiring me to take my time when I get to this project; make sure I press judiciously (of course I always do, ahem); and by golly purchase some slim belts for my up and coming vintagey wardrobe.  That waistline with the belt loops and belt, slenderizing the waist make this frock a hit in my book.


I can’t wait to dive into this project.  Thankfully, Ms. Mary, of Idle Fancy shared a collar tutorial.  I am all for paying it forward so here’s the link.  Like Ms. Mary there are sure to be many of these babies coming from me and Tabitha.

McCalls_6696_Vintage_Bias BindingMcCalls_6696_Vintage_Bias Binding
Vintage bias binding

Okay, I confess to making a mistake.  Duh on me, I was supposed to sew the bias binding and turn it toward the inside of the armhole.  BUT, as one born feet first I did it backwards and the binding is on the outside of the armhole.  The dilemma:  Do I rip and re-do or leave it.  Call in Brittany, my teenager friend who happens to be my husband’s daughter.  She says I should leave it; she likes it.   Oh, wait, can you see it in the shot below?  I will either take a photo featuring it or let you see it in the final reveal.  If you think it is bad looking I can always change it to the original instructions.

McCalls 6696-Side


The challenge ended Jan. 10th and there is a give-a-way to a fortunate gal that completed the project on time.  Can’t wait to see who got what.  Meanwhile, on I sally forth in completing my first McCalls 6696.  This morning I completed the skirt side seams and it is now pinned to the waistband and bodice.  Can’t wait to get back home and sew some more.

The collar and stand was easey peasey thanks to Four Square Walls.  Check out her tutorial.

Thank you, Four Square Walls, for the collar tutorial!

I discovered I enjoy working with contrasting fabric.  It was fun to put together.  Though hard to decide what should go where.


Since my measurements are all over the place I used the multi-sized feature when cutting out the pattern.  My waist is ginormous as compared to my bust and hip areas.  Thankfully, this pattern comes with different pattern pieces for different cup sizes . . . YAY!  Consequently, I did not do a FBA as I normally would.  For future versions I will probably lengthen the skirt at least 1″.  A white, 50s style knitted cardigan would be lovely with this frock.  Do I really want to take up knitting now with all the sewing to be done?

McCalls 6696-Rear

My photos were taken in low light conditions.  When I lightened them via a photo editor it affects the quality of the photo.  It’s weirdly interesting that it brightens the photo while making it blurry.  I opted for too dark versus blurry in some of the photos here.

Project Stats:

Main fabric – Thrifted bed sheet – $1.00

Gingham fabric – eBay purchase – $ 2.99 (plus s/h)

Notions –  Thread, buttons, vintage rayon bias binding – from stash practically free!  🙂

Belt – Thrifted


Would I recommend this pattern to others:  Definitely yes!

Did it come out looking like the pattern envelope:  Yes.

McCalls-6696- Mr.Lyric

I couldn’t decide to wait and post until I could get a photo of me in this frock or go ahead and blog about it.  Obviously, blogging about it won out, LOL.  This project was due December 10, ay yi yi so I want to finally put this baby to rest.  Trust, there will be more shirtwaists coming from me and Tabitha for sure.  If I get a photo in it perhap I’ll post it and link back to this post for inquiring minds.  This project was truly a blast.  Now, on to my Minoru jacket, finally, YAY!






Sobriety from electronic sewing machines since 2012

Building My Own Wardrobe 2015


When it comes to sewing with purpose the I’m Building My Own Wardrobe in 2015 program fits the bill.  I like how the blog post calls this a “program” versus a “challenge”.  For me that takes things in a different direction than the word challenge can imply.  This will be a year-long endeavor that I believe will enhance my skills of self-perception as they pertain to fashion and clothing.  As an over weight, mature, woman of colour, I want to look as good as possible and learn to enhance what I have.  The possibilities are exciting!

It almost feels as if I have an advantage because I have not been into purchasing ready-to-wear since I stopped working outside of the home opting instead for thrifted items and fabrics. The program involves “designing a year-long program that closely follows the tenets of the Wardrobe Architect, with a strong focus on sewing a capsule wardrobe for spring/summer and fall/winter.”   Scoot on over to Coletterie, read up on the program and get started with me.

  • January – Find your core style and explore shapes
  • February – Clean out your closet and take inventory
  • March – Review and finalize your spring/summer sewing projects
  • April – Plan colors and shop for spring fabric
  • May & June – Sew for your spring/summer capsule wardrobe
  • July – Review and finalize your autumn/winter sewing projects
  • August – Plan colors and shop for autumn fabric
  • September & October – Sewing for your autumn/winter capsule wardrobe
  • November – Review and refine
  • December – Show off your wardrobe!

Let’s get started: January’s Challenge

This month’s theme is about finding your core style and picking silhouettes that best suit your body.

This is obviously going to be a learning experience.  Off to get a way cute notebook and begin!



Sobriety from electronic sewing machines since 2012