Better Late Than Never…

February Sewing…


February and March have slipped by quickly for me and a late March snow makes me think Spring will never arrive. But I know it is just around the corner. In February I succumbed to making Helen’s Closet’s Blackwood Cardigan and I’m so glad I did! I used a sweater knit fabric for this quick and easy make on the serger. I’m fairly new to serging and learned that next time I’ll use the differential feed to avoid the wavy stitch line on the bottom band. I will definitely make this again.



First Attempt – note the long sides

I also made a simple flowing vest called, For the Sheer Fun of It, from Judy Kessinger’s FitNice System. Fabric is 100% rayon from Joann’s. Such a simple vest took a lot of time! I used this vest to practice a serger rolled hem with Filaine thread. While it is OK to wear, I’ll improve on the next one. I’m always hopeful!  Originally, I kept the long angles of the hem line to accentuate the plaid. BUT when I saw the pictures of it on me I realized that much fabric overwhelmed me! So back to the cutting table to cut the curve on the front pieces. Also got a little more rolled hem practice.

Altered: curved front

What I learned: use a narrow serged edge instead of rolled edge; cut the curve on the front pieces to avoid the long tails. We took pictures on a sunny day and while we enjoyed the sunshine, these aren’t the best pictures. I put off posting thinking I would retake pictures. Well, that never happened!

Planning to make this is a spring sheer fabric and hoping that will speed the arrival of warm weather.



Copycat Casual Dress

IMG_5484      IMG_5332While searching for the perfect casual dress with pockets, I found this dress at I liked the cowl neck, three quarter sleeves, pockets and side vents. I planned to make it tunic length to wear with leggings, but decided I would have more options if it was a bit longer than tunic.

Last October I took the Fit Nice System class with Judy Kessinger at Austin’s Sewing Center, my local fabric store. Judy has a master top and master pant pattern that is fitted to each individual and from these two master patterns, you can make numerous variations. Lisa Niehaus was the instructor and did an amazing job helping me fit the master pattern to my body. I left with a completed shirt and felt confident I could handle making variations since I finally had a top fitted to my shoulders, bust, waist, and hips.  Throughout the day Judy constantly says, “You are the designer and it is totally up to you what you do.” This class gave me confidence in myself as I return to garment sewing. I highly recommend it.  So here you go… my copycat dress!


I liked the look of the selvage edge and used it as the top of the pockets.  I simply surged the other three sides of the pockets and attached with the Nancy Zieman wobble stitch. I used my FitNice master top pattern with a cowl neck variation. First, I decided my finished length. Then at my widest point on the pattern, I extended the side 1 inch, then drew a diagonal line from the arm through the 1 inch extension and to the hem.  The one inch was too wide for me from under the arm and through the waist and I tried it on repeatedly as I was taking in the seams.  Next time I make this, I’ll add 1/2 inch from underarm and taper to 3/4 inch at the widest point. I’ve worn it with a long necklace and heels to church and also with a scarf and boots. It is comfortable and I love it.