Ladies Afternoon Tea

tea_party Ladies Afternoon Tea is calling me.  This is the first time I have been invited to a tea party.  Suffice it to say I am thrilled.  The invite could not have come at a better time as I am in the process of reading Elegant Woman blog and I am sure to benefit from a nifty idea or two. When RSVPing I found there is no dress code and the mood will tend toward the casual.  I did inform my hostess that I would indeed be wearing a dress and that her invitation gave me yet another excuse to sew a nice frock to celebrate the occasion.  Between us girls I was looking forward to donning a pair of cute gloves.

Pride Mag - Gossip Girls; Photographer:  Joseph Sinclair
Pride Mag – Gossip Girls; Photographer: Joseph Sinclair

Thinking about what I will wear seems almost as fun as attending the event.  A second swirl dress is the chosen frock that I made with bed sheet fabric as the skirt portion with a pieced fiping bodice.  Talk about good stash busting.  I didn’t realize the bodice fabric was in small pieces.  Thankfully I got the idea to join them asymmetrically with fake piping (fiping) to create fabric yardage.

Stay tuned for photos of the Ladies Afternoon Tea event next week.

ETA the next week:  A small rant!


I was so excited about this event and could not wait to wear my second swirlishous dress.  Well, I asked my friend to take a photo of me with my swirl dress, shoes and matching bag and THIS is what came out!!!  Excuse me.  I promise you I do not look this unattractive IRL (or do I?). First of all she was initially standing a football field away and I asked her to come closer; I did not want to look like an ant. I’ve asked this gal to take photos of me another day, this would be the second time and the experience is driving home two points: 1) People get sick of you asking them to photograph you. I’ve already burned out one daughter; and 2) SOME people really have no concept of photographic composition.  I had hoped explaining that I blog would be sufficient explanation for why I need at the very least decent photographs.  This is getting frustrating for me and I must figure this out and early in 2015, mind you.


Finally, I get to carry this thrifted vintage bag.  I am sure it was stuffed with way more than the original woman would have carried. LOL

Our hostess has a beautiful tea set.


This was handed down to her from her mother, who got it from her mother, who got it from her mother.  It is beautiful, a soft grey with silver rimming.

Tea Time

I went ahead and put this less than flattering photo in for two reasons:  1)  I had a lovely time at my first Ladies Afternoon Tea; and 2)  I promised to show the good, the bad, and the ugly on my blog.  Again, the photographer gave me no heads up about my hair.  I could have thrown some water on it and fluffed it up or SOMEthing.  If I recall my posture was on point therefore I need to revisit the need for proper foundation wear.  I will be talking about corsets in the days ahead.




Two-Toned Swirl Dress

Two-Toned Swirl Dress

We are wrapping up the Swirl Dress Sew-A-Long, hosted by darling sewist, Beccie, of Sew Retro Rose.  Seeing all the ladies personal take on the basic Swirl dress is great.  Especially for a person like me with no imagination.  Piddling around in my sewing room I wound up straightening out my stash.  Read that, an excuse to handle and look at my small but growing stash.  Next thing I knew I was planning and cutting out another swirl dress!

A two-toned swirl dress is in order for Lyric and why not feature it in the December, 2014, Make A Garment A Month Challenge?  Yes, I believe I will.

magam button

Check out the one above.  Gorgeous!  I really should have taken some pics of the stash-busted fabric that I chose, but I was so into the process I just didn’t think of it.  I will tell you this it is being made partly from a repurposed bed sheet.  Yay!  I always get kind of excited when I’m able to use them.  Hey, a dress for under $3.00!  That’s something to get excited about.

Choosing just the right button

Another thing that I’m thrilled about for this project is that I found six pieces of a cotton blend fabric in my stash.  It was folded and I did not know that it was 45″ wide by approximately 12 or so inches.  Thus when I unfolded and saw that it was pieced I was bummed out.  Then it happened . . . I got an idea.  What would it look like if I joined the fabric panels with piping or even “fiping”.  That’s what I have decided to call fake piping.  I am sure there is a word for it because Rochelle, of Lucky Lucille told me about it.

Eenie, meanie, miney, moe

I cut 1″ strips of the bed sheet fabric (the part used for the skirt) and sewed them between sheets of the fabric to be used for the bodice and pressed the seams down.  Voila!  I had a sheet of fabric large enough to cut out the bodice front and back.  Having a thing for the asymetrical and diagonal shaping I laid out the fabric so that it would be diagonal versus horizontal, but in a random way.  My thoughts are that this strip of fabric will pull the outfit together.  Since I had portions of the strips left over I am going to trim the sleeve edges with it.  I just may also trim the edge of the bodice back with these strips too.

Two-Toned Swirl Back
Rear view


Two-Toned Swirl Sleeve
Sleeve view


Having promised to share the good bad and ugly I went ahead and posted close-ups of my swirl dress.  Another thing I need to learn is how to sew an even top-stitching line.  Hey, practice makes perfect and I’m up for more practicing.  Can anyone say, “More fabric, please?”  I am happy that I thought out of the box and made fabric” by means of the fiping.

My two-toned swirly girl will make her all starched up debut in January when I attend my first “Ladies Afternoon Tea Party”.  I am sew excited to have been invited.  Come back and visit and check out my swirl dress!  I will be sure to get a full length shot.

Two-toned Swirl Dress Eye Candy from the original Swirl Dress Sew-A-Long:

These sewing sisters are beau coup sew talented!  I was in the company of greatness with that sew-a-long.

Rachel Styled Two-Toned Swirl Dress
Janine Style Swirl Dress
Two-tone swirl tie
Jane’s Swirl



The Swirl Dress Sew-a-Long was a blast.  Here is my first swirl dress.   Trust me, this dress is addicting and oh so easy to make.  Stay tuned as I complete another Lyrically styled Swirl dress for the Make A Garment A Month Challenge.  There will be more from me and Tabitha, the hand crank sewing machine.




Fabric Stash Organizing: Get Your Scrap Therapy On!

Lyric’s way cool fabric stash

The picture of my fabric stash should probably cause embarrassment to share with you all.   Doesn’t everybody use repurposed USPS shipping boxes to store their scraps?  Hey, I promised the good, bad, and the ugly of this journey of wardrobe recreation so there it is.  The, ahem, organization of my fabric stash has always begged attention especially since I began learning how to quilt.  Then when I was given a beat up trailer (oh, did I say that) I meant sewing studio, I figured I had it made in the organization department.  Then I was shown this book that I devoured in one sitting, of course:

Apparently there are myriad of books on organizing fabric scraps.  But since Joan Ford’s is the first one I read and it made sense I might as well go for it and give her Scrap Therapy program a try.  Thank goodness for the public library system as I found out about a subsequent book that she wrote.

Actually I read ScrapTherapy® Scraps Plus One!before ScrapTherapyTM Cut the Scraps!: arrived.  Now that I have read both books I plan on purchasing her first book because I like the Scrap Therapy method and she included instructions for a tote bag that uses this “magic” stuff that shrinks fabric and gives an interesting surface texture.  There may have also been another quilt that caught my eye in the book; I don’t recall this second.  The second book repeats the Scrap Therapy method and does add a little something-something extra.  I suppose that’s the “plus one” of the book.

Stay tuned as I go from the photo above to something like this:


Not!  But ain’t it purty?  I’ve got a thing about Mason jars that’s why this Pin caught my eye.   I am kinda feeling this with neat piles of fabric, of course:


Stay tuned for my version of Scrap Therapy.




Sobriety from electronic sewing machines since 2012


Hand Sewn Regency Day Dress


For a period I will be sans my Tabitha sewing machine.  This will be a good time to make a hand sewn regency day dress.  It’s something I have been thinking of doing for about a year.

Back View

Comments:  Halfway through the project I realized this bed sheet fabric (most def a cotton blend) is HOT!!!!!  My goal in making this day dress was to have something cool to wear while working on our land and chilling out at the homestead.  When I realized it was a hot fabric, my interest dropped 50%.  But, I am in a sewing challenge so I persevered on.  Oh, I admit to not hemming one of the sleeves – I was so done with this project once I decided I would not be wearing the dress  :-|.

Front View: Sorry for the blur

One arm is a tad bit tighter than the other.  Not so much that I would not wear the dress had I chosen another fabric.  I am chalking the difference up to perhaps not hand sewing in a straight line.


The Elizabethan Seam will be used throughout the construction of the dress. This was my first time trying this seam style. I like the seam but I do not like mine – make sense?  No doubt more practice is in order.

I am pleased with the bodice back of the dress.  In general; however, I do not like this dress, LOL.  Bottom line, I am chalking this project up to a non-wearable muslin.  At least I got to try the pattern out for future Regency day dresses that are sure to come from my dear Tabitha.

I did promise to share the good, bad, and the ugly in my journey to vintage land.  Thanks for hanging in there with me on this one my dear sewists  😉






Sobriety from electronic sewing machines since 2012

June Make A Garment A Month – Hand Sewn Regency Day Dress



Finally, I am going to tackle a Regency Day Dress. The Elegant Lady’s Closet is the pattern of choice by Sense and Sensibility for the June Make A Garment A Month Challenge.

Talk about going retro. Regency is the period of Jane Austen. You know period movies such as Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility to name a couple. Those ladies did everything in their long, gownish dresses from cooking breakfast, working the fields and crops, taking care of the children, everything! Sew, I figured hey, let’s give the wearing of such attire a try in my own wardrobe while living on our little farm-in-the-making. Plus, I heard tell that wearing dresses and skirts is way cooler than pants and jeans.

The neckline of choice is the one on the upper left-hand corner. It’s similar to the style that Emma Thompson wore as Eleanor Dashwood. I have always enjoyed asymmetrical and cross-over styles for necklines as well as hems which makes this view the natural choice for a first try with this pattern. I am thinking of stopping the sleeves at my elbow with this project.


One really cool thing about this project is the fact that I will be using a flat bed sheet as yardage to complete this Regency day dress. When I first spied this thrifted bed sheet – “Regency day dress” immediately came to mind. Even the hubby agreed it was a good fabric pattern for a day dress.

Another reason June’s project will be a true “challenge” is because I am making this dress entirely by hand using Elizabethan seams that I discovered at Extreme Costuming. Additionally, I will not be making a muslin (I know, the nerve of me; just who do I think I am?) I will be flat fitting the bodice pieces and doing long, hard praying. I have read the instructions to this pattern over and over again and I believe Jennie Chancey says I am to have “proper stays and underpinnings”. Well, I ain’t gonna. I know, I know, a recipe for disaster maybe? I’m not claiming that; oh no. The thing is . . . for now, I have not the money or wherewithall to make Regency stays and such. I am wearing this dress to be comfortable in my home (or even if I should choose to go to the store or Mickie Dees) and my girls will just have to behave themselves and act proper when I have this baby on.

This is sure to be a hoot, so stick with me, follow me on Bloglovin, link in my sidebar or below so you can check out the finished garment and let’s just do the thing!!!

magam button






P.S. Oh, I should share the motivation behind June’s project. I am visiting my daughter as we await the birth of her special child, my grandchild and I have no sewing machine here. Rather than not participate I thought this an excellent time to do really what my web page is all about, taking it back.

Hadassah Charm Tote


Clearly I have stumbled upon another favorite quilting project: tote bags. They’re cute, some are clever, definitely practical, and they are easy to make. Now to stock up on Decor Bond, Warm & Natural batting, and Inn Control (or Soft & Stable).

Pattern and charms for the Hadassah Tote

I’ve also got a thing about naming stuff. Not just any old name either. It’s got to have meaning to me.The name Hadassah (Heb. הדסה) was one of the names of Queen Esther, the heroine of the Purim story, and is now given to Jewish girls. The name is of biblical origin, first cited in the Scroll of Esther (2:7), “And [Mordechai] had raised Hadassah” ~

This beautiful batik charm pack was shared with me via one of my cyber quilting buddies, 1stladygigi. I was blown away when I opened the package this afternoon and immediately set out to think of what I could create with it.  I chose the name Hadassah because I will be using this charm tote bag to carry books and materials for weekly worship. Here is another shot of the lovely charms.



I think I’ll take another shot at getting photographs of my charms because this one doesn’t do them justice. They are absolutely gorgeous!

While it’s on my mind, check out this new book about bag making that I just found out about. Nicole M. is really into bag making and people are giving her kudos. It’s at the top of the list for my creative library.


Stay tuned as the Hadassah Meeting Charm tote comes together. Bookmark this site over at the right sidebar or below via Bloglovin.

A LQS had an assortment of buttons not unlike this one. I purchased three of the four. This one is a lime green though you can’t tell by the photograph. Check ’em out here. It looks like wood but it is not. Loving the asymmetrical shape.

Fell in love with this button style

Going on a limb (for me) I decided to make the other interior pocket larger. The 5″ charm square just seemed a tad small for my needs. I was not disappointed and thankfully I had more charm squares on hand. The off white of the lining is a repurposed bed sheet – oh yeah! I wanted to be able to see into the bag so as not to fumble around looking for things.

Hadassah Charm Tote Interior Rear Pocket

The pattern called for four charms sewn together and halved to make a double pocket. I chose two charms from the packet that were my least fav, giggles.

Hadassah Charm Tote Interior Front Pocket

My love affair with batik fabric continues. Would enjoy dying fabric myself some day.




Sobriety from electronic sewing machines since 2012


Bed Sheet Fashions

Cation Designs

Bed sheets do a body good in more than one way!

The notion of sewing bed sheets into useful items is certainly not new. But, it is new to me! Really, bed sheets are simply yard goods. They just happen to be purposed for sleeping upon. Who says they can’t be used to adorn the body while in the vertical position?

Credit: Cation Designs

For my retro, vintage, 1950’s inspired purposes my sight is set on sheets that have been thrifted. Hey, I’m not too good to take direct sheet donations either. You can email me about it anytime. Half the fun is in seeing what the local thrift stores have on hand. When I think of all the vintage sheets I have seen that I thought were downright ugly I could slap my forehead because now after seeing the blogs out there I know they were a treasure trove of goodies. But hey, no need to look back it’s about sally forth and go get those vintage sheets!

Meanwhile I decided to see what other sewists are doing with bedsheets. I was not disappointed with all that is out there. My all time bed sheet sewist inspirational fave is Cation Designs.

You know I have got to pay it forward so here goes.

Regency Day Dress From Sheets
Sewing On A Budget
Vintage Sheet Blog




Look how talented she is. What a cute frock. I am so excited to get started on my own vintage/thrifted bed sheet fashions!

Since originally posting this I have made some bed sheet fashions too.






Sobriety from electronic sewing machines since 2012

1950s Shirtwaist Dress

January Make A Garment A Month challenge project

Make A Garment A Month Challenge is on for January, 2014! Sewing challenges . . . what a good way to keep the momentum of my wardrobe makeover while sharing and learning with other sewists! I think it’s time to get the lion print cotton from my fabric stash. It has 50′s day dress written all over it. Can you say shirtwaist dress? The perfect day dress in my opinion.


My day was made when I won an eBay auction for a way cute 1940′s dress and THEN, I found this cutie on Etsy. It is more fitting to my size and there should be minimal fidgeting with altering the pattern. Yay! I will be making the short sleeve version (the gal in pink with her back to us). For practical purposes I am happy this pattern comes with pockets. The skirt on this dress is not overly wide as some shirtwaists that I have seen. I’m rocking 46″ hips so don’t need extra fabric in that area unnecessarily. You feel me? Oh, I also like the look of a self-fabric slim belt with a shirtwaist dress. A black patent leather one would do nicely too.

January Make A Garment A Month Challenge

Now remember, me and hubby are building a small family farm and my goal is to delete pants from my wardrobe in favor of skirts and dresses. This dress ain’t about being cute it is simply a day dress to be worn for chores, errands or whatever. I may try my hand at bound buttons with this project. I’ll see how tasking the pattern alternation turns out and decide at that point.

I thoroughly enjoyed making this 1950s shirtwaist dress. One reason is that the collar is rounded and one piece with the lapel. Surprisingly the waist fit me perfect. If I put on a waist cincher, girdle, or corset, what out there now! The armscyce is oh so comfy and no pattern alternation there. My next shirtwaist dress will have big front pockets and perhaps piping. I love piping.

Construction particulars:

  • Fabric: thrifted bedsheet, $1.00
  • Belt: Leather a long ago purchase, will be making a self-fabric belt when I get a slide belt
  • Thread – $0
  • Buttons – $0; gifted to me

Now on to the February challenge.