Sunday Seven – April 12 – 18

Spring 2020

Our front yard

Yeah, it’s been a while. But, with the COVID-19 pandemic going on what else is there to do. Besides mask making. And I have done quite a bit of that. Hubby is unable to work from home so, I have made mask for him to take to work and share with his co-workers so they won’t share germs and such. I am grateful that he is able to continue working. All 3 of my part-time jobs have subsided. Oh well. There is that long list of “If I only had the time I could…..”


Sewing machine

My 2 best friends. My sewing machine and my seam ripper. We usually get along very well.



My view from my sewing machine. On an April shower sort of day.



I’ve enjoyed finding fun fabrics in my stash to make into mask. My husband has a rubber ducky mask and a flying pigs mask.


Tomatoes. Ready to get planted outdoors.

One of our local farmer’s markets has started a “drive thru” market. We can order online, select a pick up time, pay and then on Saturday, go pick up our goodies. We never have to get out of our cars. The vendors bring our goods to us and place them in the back or trunk. I’ve got quite a lot of plants to get into pots. I don’t plant much veggies in the ground because we have too many deer, rabbits and squirrels to make it worth our time and effort. We’ve tried all kinds of tricks and then gave up. This year I am going to try to plant tomatoes and peppers on our deck. I may need to net the tomatoes from the squirrels but, I have yet to see a deer or rabbit on our deck.

Our neighborhood walk last night gave the opportunity to photograph it’s namesake. This spring used to supply water to the pool which once upon a time was a neighborhood pool but, is now a members only private club. I’m not even certain it will open for members to enjoy this summer. Although they are hopeful. I am hopeful. And in these times, aren’t we all???

Bye for now. Stay safe and well.


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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!

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Burda Biker Jacket 8/2017 #127


I was really excited to join this sew-along with Meg Healy to make this awesome Biker Jacket. The regular sized jacket has a really cute peplum but, there were also instructions for the plus sized faux suede jacket. Yay! Time for some selfish sewing.

I purchased this fabric from my local JoAnn Fabric store. I really like the colors and the paisley print. It’s a polyester but, oh well. I also purchased a faux suede for the accent pieces but didn’t get enough. I like that the faux suede was embossed with the paisley.


When I went back to the store, my luck as usual, the fabric was gone. They did have the tan in the same so I got some of it. I played around with the idea of using tan, black and the main fabric but later decided it would be too much going on. I was going to try the black as the inside of the lapel. But, I picked the tan. I like how it turned out using two fabrics instead of three.  I also had not planned on lining the jacket and changed my mind later. Although I had serged and finished all my seams I felt it would look better if I went ahead and put in the lining. I’m glad that I did.


There are so many pieces to this pattern. But, that is the part that I thought was fun. Working out the puzzle. It came together without any troubles. Until the lining….that’s another story.


I am enjoying working with zippers. These were really easy to install. Practice makes perfect, right? I have sewn a welt zipper for pockets before. It was quite easy. What did go wrong was when I was shortening the main zipper, I was already happily plucking off the zipper teeth when I realized that I had removed them from below my mark to shorten to instead of above the mark. “Note to self – double check directions before plucking.”

IMG_4881I probably should have shortened the sleeve zipper too. But, it’s okay. Oh, on the other story of the lining. The lining on the sleeve really through me for a loop. I was challenged to wrap my brain around the sleeve seams on the lining. At first I thought that I had put the sleeves in backwards but, the notches all matched up and the sleeve did not feel weird when I tried it on. But, the seam opening for the zipper wasn’t where it was suppose to be. Turns out I closed the wrong seam at the zipper. It was such a relief to realize that and certainly an easy fix.


I love the way it turned out and I have worn it a few times already as traces of Winter are still trying to hang on here. I guess I should make another with Spring colors rather than Fall. Or not. Oh, also. I decided not to do any of the padded patch stitching on the shoulders or upper arm. I see that in a lot of ready-to-wear and I prefer to be different.


I match my wall! It’s a comfy jacket and was a really fun pattern to challenge myself in sewing it up. I hope some of you are sewing up some jackets for transitional weather.

Happy Sewing!

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Selfish Sewing

It’s called selfish sewing. I prefer to call it “Grounding Sewing” or “Therapeutic Sewing”. You know the feeling. You get so busy with every day activities or the daily grind. You see sewing inspiration all around you. You can hear your sewing machine humming along in your sleep. But, things just keep popping up and keep you from doing what you really love.

As of lately my world has been involved in lots of sewing. Yes. Lots of teaching others to sew. It’s a good thing. I love to inspire others to sew. To create. It gives me a huge thrill to help others make projects. It requires me to hunt down new projects and techniques. I love prowling around the internet for ideas. I sew up test samples. At the same time I am looking and planning all kinds of things that I want to make for myself. It’s so hard to find the time right now to sew for me.

So today I made the time. I grabbed The Tee pattern from Sewing Cake Patterns which I had downloaded ages ago from the Craftsy website. I’ve made several before and I really need a new tee and I had a really nice dark olive green french terry jersey knit. I just had to do it.


I don’t remember where I got this fabric. I really need to be better about tracking my stash. Maybe if my stash were more manageable it would be easier. (Note to self….) But, I love the color and the weight of it. I’m hoping this Tee will transition into Spring temperatures as I made my Tee a modified version with a 3/4 sleeve.


It sewed up like a dream. And did I mention that dark olive green color? Love it!!


Not the best picture…we have had a very rainy weekend and the lighting was not great. But, it was a quick and easy sew and very, very satisfying. A wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Oh, I was looking forward to trying the bias knit binding technique from Melly Sews. When I saw her bias method for cutting the knit neck band I was so excited. It makes so much better sense than anything I’ve seen or was instructed before. And it worked like a dream as you can see from the featured photo. This will be my go-to method and the technique that I will be sharing in my classes from now on. Thanks so much Melissa!

Here’s to Selfish, Grounding and Therapeutic Sewing! There, now don’t you feel better? I sure do.

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