Saturday, 23 December 2017


”Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,  and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

Luke 1:39-45

       Hello everyone:) I hope everybody is enjoying the Holiday Season so far! I've been a little MIA lately, lol. I'm about 4 months along right now and have been a bit tired and unmotivated to do much sewing. I really wanted to participate in the #thelittlereddressproject this year though, and it definitely helped perk me up. I feel more excited to sew now overall & I have a maternity friendly coat pattern that I'd like to get at once Christmas & New Years is over.


    For my dress I chose this beautiful stretch crushed red velvet (Fabricville) and used a McCalls pattern I've had in my stash for a few years now. Its unfortunately out of print, but I think burda has a similar one available. I had already cut my pre-pregnancy size 10, so I made a quick muslin to check the fit. I was able to just use a smaller seam allowance on the side seams and front under the twist and I was fine! I had to add a curve to the back, otherwise it looked like a sack, lol.

    I used a new blade on my rotary cutter & my trusty cutting mat. I definitely found it helped reduce slipping to have the fabric right side against the mat and cut in a single layer.

    This is one of the front crossover pieces that I trimmed a bit of the SA off, then overcast the edges and just turned over once to hem (with the help of wash away wonder tape).

The recommended double hem was too slippery so I found this worked better for my particular fabric choice.

     I reduced the back-waist length a bit and forgot to add a bit of length to the skirt. I wish I had made it an inch or so longer:/ I had to make a very small hem. Not sure what the proper way is to hem velvet, but I used a simple machine hem (plus I was in a rush to wear it to church the next day Sunday!). I overcast the edges of the skirt  and used my 1/4" hem foot, just eyeballing it. I think it works:) I did the same for the sleeve hems. I used a straight stitch throughout and stretched my fabric slightly as I sewed. I probably could have used that method on the neckline, but I was winging it as I went, lol. If you're using velvet for the first time, definitely practice on some scraps first.

     The front twist is pretty plunging so I tacked to keep it modest for church:) I may take the stitches out and re-tack it slightly lower though. I received so many nice compliments on it. I realized its not often I sew solids, I usually gravitate towards prints. I'm really liking this deep red & its very "Christmasy":) I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

See you all next year!:) xo

Monday, 18 December 2017

Member Spotlight

"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (which means "God with us".
Isaiah 7:14
"You (Mary) will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus."
Luke 1:31

Hello my beautiful friends, I hope you're doing well today!:) I was recently asked to answer some questions for a "Member Spotlight" in a Facebook group I'm in. It was fun to participate & I thought I'd do up a blog post and include some photos with my Q&A.

My sewing group has monthly challenges. This one was made for a recent M6886 Pattern Hack challenge.

  1. What is/are your DIY craft(s) of choice?
Sewing. Mainly garment sewing but I do enjoy making plushies & Barbie doll clothes occasionally. I love Pinterest and do other DIY stuff from time to time. Sewing is my first love though
2. How did you learn, and how long have you been practicing your craft?
My mom taught me the basics of using a needle and thread & how to use a sewing machine. My Grannie (dad's side) sewed with her treadle Singer for as long as she was able to. Her love of sewing left a lasting impression on me. I didn't seriously pursue garment sewing til I was in my 20's but I always knew I wanted to make my own clothes. As a kid I was a big fan of Archie Comics & one character, Betty, made her own stylish clothes. I was amazed by her. I've been making (wearable) garments since 2011

Singer sewing machine like Grannie had:)

Plushies I made for my sister:)

Barbie clothes I made a few years ago for my niece:)

***I tried to find an image of Betty & a sewing machine but nothing came up. There was one story I recall where Betty re-created a bunch of Veronica's Paris Originals, lol. Not sure if this image is from a similar story, but I decided to include it here anyway:) Betty was definitely a talented sewist. It was so cool to think I could make my own unique creations or copy designer looks;).**

Fun maternity dress, modified V1314

Canada Day dress 2013

3. What is the most important thing you have learned about your craft?

Have fun with sewing and enjoy the process.  Learning to sew and improving your skills takes time, practice & patience. That being said, anyone can learn to sew if they have the desire and will put the effort in to learn. My non-sewing friends often comment, "Oh I couldn't sew to save my life". I always say, "If I can learn to sew, anyone can." I didn't do very well in high school sewing (I was an insecure, self-conscious teenager). My mother put me in a sewing class when I was young, but I hated it, lol. Learning as an adult on my own & at my own pace was far more enjoyable.

A few years ago with my little Boris:( 

  4. In what ways have grown since you first started? 

   When I first attempted garment sewing I shed many tears of frustration and was tempted many times to throw my sewing machine out the window (my mother bought me that particular machine though, so I stopped myself;). Once I stumbled across it was a major turing point & my first encounter with the online sewing community. My skills have definitely improved since then and I'm far more likely to stick to a project until its finished (unless I'm certain its going to be a wadder, lol).

My first review on P.R. was my Nintendo Dress, 2012:)

I try not to compare myself to other sewers (especially if they're far more skilled than I) and keep in mind that we all have different sewing goals. You may want to sew certain types of, or more simple garments, someone else may make more advanced bridal wear (or whatever). Be inspired by and appreciate other sewers. Take the time to compliment & encourage. We all have something to offer the sewing community. I am continually challenged to improve by seeing what other sewers make but I won't force myself to make a garment I have zero interest in. Its only recently that I've developed an interest to make a button-up collared shirt. I haven't really made pants either (just leggings). We all only have so much time to sew, so choose wisely. Also, don't feel pressure to sew for others if you don't want to, but be gracious about it. Take it as a compliment when someone asks you to sew something for them. They probably have no idea how long it takes. 

Sewing really helped with the baby-blues. I made this Minoru a few weeks after the birth of my first son in 2014.

've certainly learned to be more choosy & thoughtful when purchasing fabric. I got quite carried away early on, (and I still have my moments ;) especially when fabric was on sale. My taste has definitely improved too, lol. When I gather items to donate, I usually donate fabric too (but only stuff I'm certain I won't use or fabric that makes me stop and wonder "What was I thinking when I bought this?").

Funny story, before I learned to sew I didn't care much about fashion. My brother half-jokingly said once, "We're going to nominate you for "What Not To Wear" Lol! 

One of my favourite dresses. A modified version of V1314.

5. Do you have one tip/techniques you can share with us?

I use up the partial bobbins of odd colours for things like basting (mostly by machine). I often baste main seams to check fit so this is a nice way to save on matching thread if I'm concerned I might run out. 

Thank you for the feature Sew Much Talent! My blog is

Monday, 6 November 2017

Peacock Print Faux Wrap, McCalls Hack #2

"Jesus answered, "I Am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father, except through Me."     

-John 14:6

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it." 

"Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them."

Matthew 7:13-16


            Good morning my lovely friends, I hope you all had a great weekend! I'm a bit behind schedule on this post, lol. I wore this dress to church last week and have been meaning to get a post up. Ah well, here it is! As I mentioned in my previous post, I have a few photos to show how I hacked this McCalls 6886 pattern to be a faux wrap.  The skirt was pretty easy but it took a few attempts to get the bodice crossover right (still not perfect, but pretty good I think!). I wore my dress with my me-made Obi belt but I still have enough of this peacock print fabric to make a self-fabric belt if I decide to in the future.

Here on my first attempt, I traced the entire front piece of the scoop front version of McCalls 6886 (adding 1/2" seam allowance at the waist). This was definitely *too low*, lol, so I had to cut a new front crossover. I re-taped the front pattern piece together and drew a new crossover line using my curved ruler (not sure why I have the second dashed line about the seam allowance line on the left side??). The crossover line is drawn so that it would come underneath the bust.

       Sorry the bottom photo is so fuzzy! This was my second attempt at the crossover front. I had to gather the sides so that the crossover would come below my bust (was a little too high). I gathered a small area but I probably should have gathered the whole area between the seam allowances. I lined the skirt in this version since the fabric was a bit too transparent!

     Above is the 3rd attempt at the crossover piece and the skirt, to which I also added 1/2" seam allowance. I also curved the waist slightly (I just laid the skirt of McCalls 7465 over top, and which has a curved waist seam, and traced that waistline). Both versions use the same skirt pattern piece.

     I cut a neck band for both dresses (2" wide and cut 15% less the neck circumference). Next time I think I'll try cutting it 10% less. On my first version I faced the neckline, on this one I left the band up (ended up being too low cut after I graded the upper body down a size and adjusted the crossover at the under-bust. I also tacked the crossover to ensure I stayed modest, lol. Its especially helpful when carrying my toddler, I don't have to worry about readjusting my clothes (and I don't like wearing cami's underneath).

First version blogged here.

   I hope all this info isn't too confusing, lol. I think I prefer how I did my first version better (or maybe something in between). Next time I'll probably just:

1- Cut a neck facing piece 10% less the circumference instead of 15%.

2- Gather the side crossover piece over the whole side above the waist seam allowance (after I face and topstitch the neckline).

Side by side comparison of my two versions:)

    Well thats all for today. I put my Heather Dress aside for the time being. I admit I'm not as enthused about it as I thought I'd be. Its a bit roomy in the waist, so I'll have to take it in some. I sewed a quick baby blanket for a friend yesterday, and will be working on matching Ollie Bomber Jackets for my boys over this week I think! If those turn out alright I think I'll make a couple more for gifts this Christmas! There's nothing more stressful than trying to sew last minute Christmas gifts in December, lol!:p Anybody else planning to sew some Christmas gifts? Have you started yet?:)

Til next time my friends! God bless, xo.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Paint-Splatter Dress, M6886 Hack

"We are Christ's ambassadors, and God is using us to speak with you. We urge you, as though Christ Himself were here pleading with you, "Be reconciled to God!"

"For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ."

2 Corinthians 5:20-21


      Good morning my friends!:) This latest make is a McCalls 6886 hack. I wanted a faux wrap style so used this this tutorial on Youtube as a guide. I made my crossovers fronts a bit more rounded. This  print was meant to be a wearable muslin, since my original fabric was a gorgeous peacock print that I didn't want to ruin further (I unsuccessfully made two different attempts with two different patterns!). I figured a basic wrap style would show the print best. I'll tweak the pattern just a bit and show more detail on my altered pattern piece next dress. I'm currently working on a Sew Over It Heather dress but I think I can easily finish that dress and cut & sew my second faux wrap this week:)

The fabric is a pretty polyester spandex I picked up at Fabricville some time ago. It put me in mind of a dress I had when I was a kid. My mom took me to pick out a dress for a School concert I think. Not sure if it was Christmas or some other occasion. What I do remember though, is as soon as I laid my eyes on that particular "pinkish/purple paint splatter" dress, I wanted it. I wasn't much into fashion when I was a kid but this dress really stood out to me. 



    I had to cut out the front crossover a second time since it was way too plunging the first time, lol. I probably could have given more thought to how I laid out my pattern pieces and I may have had enough for a self-fabric belt. I do like this $2 white thrifted belt though! A self-belt may have been too busy, what do you think? I still may make or try find a belt in a navy, wasn't much at Fabricville when I went last time. There was a cool navy faux leather but it had a thick plush backing that I wasn't crazy about.

      Well thats all for today! I usually do a review on after a blog post, but I think I'll wait till my next version is done and post both dresses together. I've done so many versions of McCalls 6886 already, lol. I noticed a review last week of another hack where the dress had an added gathered flounce on the skirt. It was a beautiful metallic scuba knit. I'll probably try that too at some point, lol!

Thursday, 19 October 2017

European Holiday Sheath Dress:)

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

          Good morning my sewing friends! I made this dress last month and took some photos but ended up tweaking it to improve the fit. There was gape around the armholes  and neckline. There's still some gape at the neckline but the fit at the shoulders is better and that make the most difference. Unfortunately adjusting the shoulders resulted in the armholes being higher and tighter. I can live with it though. I will make a few more adjustments in the future.

     The fabric I used is this colourful cotton sateen purchased ages ago from Fabricville. Its one of the first cuts of fabric I ever bought. I actually planned to make a dress with it last Summer but there was an Islamic terrorist attack in Italy at the time so I decided to set it aside. The print, with its leaning tower of Pisa & Eiffel towers printed all over it puts me in mind of a European holiday, hence the name:) Just realized "Hotel Negresco" is in Nice, France.

McCalls 8789
        I mentioned in my previous post that my first attempt at garment sewing was to try to make a fitted sheath with a square neckline. I had a similar RTW dress that I loved til it literally wore out. Needless to say I knew nothing about fitting a pattern or how to make adjustments and my dress was a major flop, lol. I recently purchased a Craftsy class on fitting (Joi Mahone) which was a good introduction. I've been trying to incorporate some of Nancy Zieman's techniques as well. Fitting is definitely a good skill to learn. I can understand why people draft their own patterns from scratch.

     I left the dress unlined but will probably wear either a full or half-slip underneath. Makes a big difference. I could have lined it but I wanted to work out the fit a bit without having to worry about the extra step. I made a small sway-back adjustment that I didn't make for my African print sheath but will do in the future.

       It was nice to finally use this print that has been marinating in my stash foreeever!! Lol. I was so afraid to ruin it, but in the end I suppose its only fabric. I really like the cotton sateen, a little stretch is nice!  How about you? Do you find it difficult to use certain pieces you've bought or do you just go for it? Any long-stashed items you've used recently or plan to use soon? What are you working on now?:) I just finished a faux wrap dress that I will hopefully get good photos for on Sunday and post about early next week:) I also purchased a Sew Over It Heather Dress pattern earlier this month. My dear husband will be printing it for me today and I'm planning to get started on it tonight!

Til next time! Have a wonderful day everybody!:)

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

African Print Sheath

"This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. But for this very reason I was shown mercy, so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His perfect patience, as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, the only God, be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen."

1 Timothy 1:15-17

From Instagram, the filter in the belt pic dulls the dress fabric colours a bit but shows the details of the belt better:)

Colours are more like this (I think I did use a filter on this one too though!:)

        Hello my beautiful sewing friends!:) This African sheath dress has been a month in the making! My sewing group has monthly challenges and September was African print/Vintage. I really wanted to make an African style dress and was gifted this great cotton by a friend from my church! She often wears fab African style clothing so I asked her if she knew where I could get a nice African print (I wasn't crazy about anything I could find in my local stores). She offered me one of her head wraps since she doesn't wear them! It was a nice big piece of fabric that was large enough for me use for this sheath dress! I must keep that in mind for the future, ordering a head wrap to use for fabric for a project!:) I used this sheath dress pattern for my European Vacation dress as well (making a separate post for that one). I made two muslins to check the fit, so now I'm kind of sheath dressed out, lol. I do plan to make more of these dresses in the future though. A sheath dress is definitely a good staple pattern to have. I plan to perfect the fit and trace a sturdy copy on freezer paper. I'd like to do a rounded neckline as well.

Belted & unbelted.

     I was almost done when I realized I could probably use a belt to break up the busy "optical-illusion" print. I used an older Mimi G Obi Belt Tutorial/Pattern. I self-lined the belt instead of just turning the edges over and hemming. I used knit interfacing on the backs of both middle pieces (not the ties) since my fabric seemed a little too lightweight. The fabric was from my stash & has a velvety feel and doesn't fray. It was tricky to press, but I managed, lol. I topstitched to reduce puffiness. I'd love to make another in a nice leather or faux leather:) A denim would be cool too!:) Even with the extra steps I took, this is a quick project that can easily be done in an afternoon/evening (or during your child's nap time:)


      I found this pattern at a thrift store (image from Google). I had some issues with neck gape/ swayback which I will work out further. I found that an 8 up top and 10 at the hip seemed to work pretty good. I **looove** finding patterns and fabric at thrift stores!:D Its so exciting, lol!

I should mention that a square neck sheath dress (different pattern) was my first attempt at garment sewing years ago. My favourite RTW sheath had literally wore out and I wanted to recreate the look. I had no idea how to make fit adjustments then & it was a total flop, lol. Immediately I turned to sewing with knits which was much easier!



     I didn't really try to line up the print in the CB seam but I did attempt to at least make sure the darker border was positioned the same on both sides. I sheepishly admit that I discovered I still had pins in the back when I got to church Sunday! Lol. At least they didn't jab me too hard;) I was in the back area so I don't think anyone noticed me taking them out!

 Well thats it for today! I'm going to blog about my other dress soon & I already have another project cut out and ready to sew tonight! A knit this time:) So how about you? What was your first garment attempt and was it wearable?;) How long did it take to sew something you could confidently don in public?:) Sewing is a skill that definitely takes practice, but its not as difficult as some people think. If I can learn to sew anyone can!

Have a blessed day everyone! xo