The Mother of the Bride Dress

As I had posted earlier, my daughter didn’t want to give me the extra stress of making her wedding dress. Well, how much fun is a wedding without stress. And I really wanted the excuse to make something. So, I decided to make my mother-of-the-bride dress.

I used this McCall’s 7533 Sheath Dress pattern. I wanted to make something with a lace overlay.

I was also dreaming up an excuse to shop at one of my favorite places while we were visiting in New Jersey during our summer vacation. Stitch N’ Sew Centre has a wonderful selection of all types of fabric from garment to bridal to home dec. If you are ever offered the opportunity to check this store out, you absolutely must go.

I found this satin and the overlay fabric and was ready to get to work.


I created a test of the pattern for fit (didn’t take a photo of the first test) and then another. I was satisfied with this and began the work on the dress.



I knew I wanted a short sleeve version as I get overheated easily especially when there is high humidity and September in our area of the Mid-Atlantic is still quite warm even into October. The first attempt of setting the sleeves from the pattern left them feeling too long. Luckily I had enough extra to cut a second set of sleeves as I certainly wanted the edging as my hem.


I had a few challenges with the dress. Mainly with my impatience to get it finished. We had taken on a small renovation of my sewing room prior to my making my dress and starting the gown alterations. By “we”, I mean “me”! Hubby laid the floors while I did all the painting and trim work. In the end, it all worked out.


It was a lovely day and a happy time for all of us! And I plan to make more sheath dresses from the pattern. Did I mention the pattern has facings? How fun is that!


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Wedding Time

Life is so busy. For some reason I have always imagined that as I got older that time might slow down. Like when I was a kid and I was waiting (not patiently) for Christmas morning or my birthday to arrive. Nope! Time just goes faster and faster. Not only has it been almost a year since my last post but, our daughter has grown into a beautiful woman and is now married. (not all in the last year but, you get the idea) I can hardly believe it.

She said that she did not want to burden me with the task of making her wedding dress as she knew how busy I am with all my classes that I have been teaching and my work on the chapter advisory board with our local chapter of the American Sewing Guild and leading a neighborhood group for children to sew with the guild. I was however tasked with completing the alterations of her dress.

She tried on many dresses.  5725BD01-81C5-46C0-B63E-8F567361E8EA26020B28-80EF-433D-9D66-FAAD9E96FF8B11E43E6F-1E5E-44A1-97AC-B03AA56A94B830CD1185-3A80-4F3E-841F-B21C4DBA4520

She definitely wanted lace. Definitely wanted a train. Definitely wanted a veil.


She continued to try on dresses……and finally she found The Dress!


The dress was strapless so a lace jacket was in order to cover her arms and shoulders. We ordered the lace jacket according to her measurements. When it arrived it was way too large and the sleeves were much longer than she wanted. I did some major altering to the jacket. But, I had so much fun working on her dress.


The dress needed to be shortened 5 inches. So, I needed to remove the trim and several appliqués.


It was a slow process as the trim and appliqués were sewn on with clear thread.


My poor eyes!


I finally pinned and reattached the trim and appliqués to the gown. And yes I used clear thread and did it with my machine.


Now to bustle the train. I replaced the thread tacks from the satin and the lace overlay with clear snaps so they could be separated when it came time to bustle the two layers.


I wanted to create an under bustle or French bustle for the satin layers.


And an Over Bustle for the longer lace layer.


I also added some lace to the cleavage as per requested for modesty


Her dress hanging in waiting after the final press.


After the ceremony. The happy couple!


My wonderful daughter-in-law did all of her wedding photos. They are so beautiful.


Father of the bride walking her down the aisle.


Aren’t they a lovely couple?


It was a lovely wedding and a fabulous reception.

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More Sewing and an American version of a Robert Burns Night Celebration


I finished the Knotted Dress and submitted it for the Advanced Sewing Techniques certification with BurdaStyle. I love the color of this fabric.


The color didn’t translate to the close up of the pleats and front twist.


We went to Kilmarnock, Virginia (about 2.5 hours away) where our youngest lives and is a member of the Kilmarnock & District Pipe Band. She joined the band almost 2 years ago when she decided that she should learn to play the bagpipes. This was the band’s 20th annual Burns Night Dinner & Concert. This was the first concert that “M” played in. She also read a poem and she carried in the Haggis. Her father has now dubbed her the “Haggis Queen”.


Of course, there was scotch. One of the other guest seated at our table was sharing his. I really liked this so I took a picture just in case I could remember the name of it later. With a name like that, how could I forget?


The band is small but, they have a good time. It was a lot of fun.


A mini family photo. And yes, I do own other clothes. I just like wearing my new makes. I need a tartan for next year’s celebration.

Any others out there who celebrated Robert Burns birthday?

Happy Sewing.

Posted in Around Virginia, Bagpipes, BurdaStyle, Travels | 6 Comments

Sewing Updates

I’m staying quite busy with sewing classes beginning, American Sewing Guild Neighborhood Group for kids, my new position with our ASG Chapter position on the Chapter Advisory Board plus all the other sewing teaching opportunities I have coming up. Busy is good.

I made this Valetta top from Blank Slate Patterns a little while ago. I love the style of it but am not a fan of ties as closures or of long sleeves. Even when I where a long sleeved top I am always rolling or pulling them up. So, instead of adding the ties as instructed in the pattern I added a button with loop closure at the neck opening. You can’t see it here but I found a gold colored rose button in my button box. I just slipped elastic into a casing when I shortened the sleeves. It’s a comfy top. I have been wearing it a lot.


One of my students and some of her friends were making some of these to sell in a school holiday bazaar in December. I thought it would be a fun project for our American Sewing Guild neighborhood group. The group is called Kids Sew Too. We started the project yesterday. Our group has 4 active members with lots of kids coming to check us out lately. We had 8 kids in attendance yesterday. It was a lot of fun and they all did a great job but, we were unable to finish our Money Monsters and will need to work on that at next month’s meeting.


I am trying to work through another level of BurdaStyle Instructor Training. This time I only need to complete 2 projects. This is the Knotted Midi Dress from the 1/2018 issue. I am almost finished with it. I’ll post more pictures later. This is my favorite color. And gray and red.


Short and sweet. I’m trying to get back into blogging. I think this approach will help.

Happy Sewing until next time!

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Enjoying my embroidery machine

If you have an embroidery machine then I know you understand.


Personalized Screen


Christmas Gifts

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Sundays Seven

We went on a quick vacation, as we do yearly, to the New Jersey area to celebrate my MIL’s birthday. I started making this linen bath towel set for myself and then realized that I need a gift so hey! There we go. I love this linen and I am really pleased to gift this and make more for myself and —gift some to others.


We had a good trip other than Mr F having trouble driving with knee pain and I ended up driving most of the way and then most of the time there. So, while he was resting under the influence of ibuprofen and tylenol , I excused myself to visit the local fabric store. This fabric store Stitch and Sew Center is so fabulous. It is the most exciting fabric store that I have ever been in….not having been to anything in NYC.

I could spend hours and hours here! But, I had a list and I pretty much stuck with it.


I have plans…..

We also enjoy a sushi place in the area as well…


Ikko is located in Brick, NJ. It is a definite destination for our trips.

Beach time was questionable due to storms in the area..

We were only on the board walk during this storm as everyone on the beach was asked to leave due to lighting…

The next day we went to Bradley Beach (recommended by my sister-in-law) and it was glorious — no parking issues, no too much sand to slug thru to get to water. And not too crowded.

It was so nice…..sand in my toes and salt water up my nose…

On our way back to Virginia we happened into a rest area and I loved this find…


Now that we are home and enjoying our little area of the world I am delighted with these beautiful blooms next to my deck.


Happy summer holiday to those in this realm of life…..Charlottesville, VA was mostly peaceful this year. I have much to be grateful for!!!

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Lots of sewing going on

And lots of teaching too. Summer is a good time to get classes going and I’m staying pretty busy. Yay! Some I have taken pictures of. Some I need to be better about recording and posting.

Here is some of what has been going on…


Burda Style Sew along Dress for Success.


Simple tank from a pattern that I’ve modified so many times I really can’t remember where it came from. It may be the Blank T shirt. Modified to a tank.


Who doesn’t need a pair of pineapple lounge pants?  Modified from a copied pattern I made from a favorite pair of short a few years ago. I’ve made 5 different pairs of short/pants from this one copied version.


Grandma and Me matching tops. Mine is a Springfield Top from Cashmerette. Umm, yeah. I modified the length to a tunic. And the coverup was a project from A Kid’s Guide to Sewing: Learn to Sew with Sophie and Her Friends. I have been using this book with some of my classes.


Last one to share (photo that is) a finished hand towel that is part of a linen bath set. I have four bath towels, two hand towel and two wash clothes cut out and ready to finish. I’m excited to finish these.

I’ve been enjoying the classes I’ve been teaching and have some sewing camps coming up that will be fun. August is just around the corner and then it will be Fall.

I have already received the Aug/Sept Copy of Sew News and the cover says “Fashions to Fall for”. I just can’t right now. Not when it’s so hot outside and I still have so many summer projects on my wish list.

Are you the type person who can begin Fall sewing in the middle of summer or (worse yet) Christmas sewing in July? I wish I could. It would be nice to have all that done well in advance to not feel rushed at the last minute.

Maybe I am more of a “stop and smell the rose” kind of person than I want to admit. You know, living in the moment and all. (chuckles to self)

Happy summer sewing everyone!

Posted in BurdaStyle, Sewing, Sewing Lessons | 1 Comment