nobel pleat prize

I can’t believe it’s finally time to start talking about the Red Velvet collection… I’ll tell y’all, I really didn’t know what I was headed into when I started working with Steph a few months ago. This process was a BLAST. Watching her do her thing with designing and drafting and taking ultimate care with little details, then getting to participate in refining instructions, rounds of polishing, sewing tests and samples – I’m hooked. I’m so excited to see the garments that sewists start making from all the patterns

I really wanted to jump this fence and take pics on the old train...

The hub of the collection is the Red Velvet Knit Dress, and this is my second make from it. I used a medium-weight cotton/spandex jersey (no longer available) from Girl Charlee. It’s lovely stuff, so soft and comfy, excellent recovery. Using a fabric like this does come with its risks though, Continue reading

chicken dinner

Wow, I feel like I’m about to lose twenty pounds! Actually I am…

pick a giveaway any giveaway

For choosing the patternfall winners, I was going to use the random number generator thingie, but then not all entries were for all categories and just huh?… anyway, by the time I would have figured that out, I could have written this post, selected the winners, and waited in line at the post office already. So old-fashioned drawing out of a hat (or ramekin, whatever) it is. OK, here I go with my best Oprah channeling… “YOU get a package of patterns, and YOU get a package of patterns, and YOU…” Continue reading


I’m kind of backwards with seasons. Seasonal Affective Disorder, which usually strikes people during cold, rainy, gray times, affects me during the summer. (It is hot and humid here and I’m allergic to mosquitos, so I tend to be outside during Texas summers for whole seconds at a time, and only when I can’t help it.) Spring means dread for me — it lasts about two minutes before the triple digits begin. So the energy burst that some folks experience at the start of spring? That happens to me at the start of fall. I get so excited about the prospect of going outside in the sunshine without sweltering…of cool nights…of even *considering* a longer sleeve.

she smells the snowy sky

Elphie’s first snow, February 2011

I completely embrace #sewdontclean. Totally, fully, and without reservation. But this time of year just does something to me. The spring cleaning that some people get up to… hits me six months later. Continue reading

leveling up

During a conversation this past weekend, I mentioned (as I sometimes do) that I am not a very advanced sewist. Miss Lulu got annoyed with me! She told me that she didn’t want to hear me say that ever again. She wouldn’t even hear my protestations. :) It got me thinking…

me. thinking.

I often talk to people who I believe are far more skilled than I am, and yet they don’t feel well-versed in areas that I frequent confidently: knits, zippers, bust adjustments… When I think of the techniques that I feel good about now but was intimidated by a year or two ago, it’s clear to see how far I’ve come. Yet, I still think of myself as an “advanced beginner.”

Continue reading

notes from a mad moonthirty

I can’t remember exactly why I wanted to start a blog. I have been a blog reader, especially sewing/crafty/foodie ones, for about 12 years, and I thought about writing my own for practically that entire time. I know I had lots of reasons for wanting to, but what I never anticipated was the friendships that would come from it — and the impact they would have on my process…

One of the friends I’ve made through the blogosphere is Lisa from notes from a mad housewife. She and I met through comments on each others’ blogs, and then we began connecting elsewhere, as you do. We share similar tastes in patterns and fabric. We exchange recipes. I think of her and chuckle anytime I hear someone say combination of hard and soft.  I am regularly motivated by her creations and tutorials, and lately she’s had me crushing hard on chambray. So I already knew that I was being inspired by her when I bought this fabric, but I didn’t realize quite how much until I started adding it all up.

Bolt end from Hancock's. It was 50% off. And I don't dry clean.

I am what I like to call “selectively frugal.” Continue reading

second verse not the same as the first

I have a friend in my local sewing group who adores the skirt pattern in Vogue 1247 — she’s customized it for her taste, altered it so that it fits her just right, and has now made it like 14 times and counting. I have no doubt that I’ll eventually catch up to her with the Hummingbird. Since making my first one, I’ve worn it like 3 times per week (don’t tell), so it’s a really good thing that it goes with so much. This one started piecing itself together in my mind shortly after that one was finished, and this week, I finally got the chance to execute it in actual fabric.

piped linen hummingbird skirt

I made this skirt from a heavyweight linen that I got locally from The Common Thread. I don’t do dry cleaning, and I really love how soft linen gets as it’s washed repeatedly, so I gave it a head start by prewashing/drying at least four times (I lost count) before I cut my pattern pieces. It’s no longer crisp but still has lots of body, and will only continue to soften more over time. Love linen. Continue reading