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Little did I know that when I published the post about the magical day at Biltmore, that would be the last day that felt of any normality.  I have been oh-so-sick..... the sickest I can ever remember and even though it was a struggle to take these photos this morning, it felt good as I'm trying so hard to return to my 'life'.
Wanting a fresh new outfit to wear to the Biltmore on March 15, 2019, NewLook 6292 view D with view C long sleeves was cut out on March 11 and finished on March 14.
The pattern was mostly chosen because I'd recently made it, below, and knew it'd fit and more importantly be long enough in the back to cover the derriere well with the new pair of leggings/skinny pants I also made specifically for the special day.  I wanted to be comfortable with all the walking, stair climbing and getting around the Biltmore Estate without worrying about uncomfortable clothing concerns.
This outfit was a great success on all accounts.  Decided to keep the hi/low hem thing going on even though I continue to not necessarily like this 'look' on me.
I just really wanted the coverage in the back.   Today I am also wearing the new leggings/skinny pants made specifically to go with this outfit.
It was unseasonably cold this morning and I look cold here.  Fabric came from my favorite only-open-once-a-month-to-the-public-textile outlet center and is some sort of lightweight polyester quite similar to the feel of the green/brown tunic fabric above.
Here, as at the Biltmore, I am wearing it with the white Itch to Stitch Hepburn Turtleneck made last year.  It was a cold day at the Biltmore, and it's a cold day today.  Also.... for some reason.... this placket turned out lower than the green/brown version and needs something underneath for modesty purposes.
Wanting to show you, below, how proud I am of not only centering the medallion design well, but cut and sewed the placket perfectly centered.
A little tricky process, I took a few photos during construction with the iphone to share a little of what I did.  Here I am beginning to line things up.  The instructions have you trace the placket sew lines and cut lines on the interfaced placket piece.  Here I am trying to find my center using the cutting mat.
Next I pinned the center cut line.  This would be the most critical point to line up.
Once I thought that was looking well..... I kept checking the pin points on the front and shifting things around in the back..... I added the pins to mark my sewing lines.  If you look carefully you'll see they are all pointing 'up'.  That's because I sewed this in 2 parts..... beginning at the neckline and sewing to the bottom of the placket, lock and snip threads.  Then sew the other line beginning at the neckline and sewing to the bottom of the placket, lock and snip threads.  This will keep the fabric from distorting while sewing.
One last check of the pins before sewing.  You can see the middle pins, marking the cut line, goes perfectly through the center of the medallion.  The other pins, marking the sew lines are centered on the medallion well.
One last look.    Hopefully I'll be posting about the little crossbody bag I made soon, as well as the leggings/skinny pants.
For now I'm still trying to get well.  I've lost quite a bit of weight and the brain feels fuzzy.  Test results show I have the Flu Strain A and boy it has been a doozy.  The doctor also thinks I'm battling a couple of other virusy type of things as well.  A sweet friend suggested I put the c. 1965 lined jacket aside as it's been too much of a struggle to work on..... thank you Sarah Liz..... and try to work on easier projects.
  The skirt is done and fits p-e-r-f-e-c-t-l-y. 
I followed her advice and finished 2 home dec pillows one afternoon using leftover sweater fabric from the recent Ottobre cardi.....
 .....complete with invisible zippers.  Why have I not put invisible zippers in my home dec pillows before?!!!  Super easy!!
It was nice to complete those home dec pillows that also gave me a sense of accomplishment.  Now I'm ready to take another look at that jacket.
Happy Sewing All!  :)
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We have the great good fortune to live about an hour's drive from Asheville, North Carolina, where the magnificent Biltmore Estate is located.  Completed in 1895, George Vanderbilt's French Chateau spans @178,000 square feet and is furnished with the most opulent tapestries, furniture and artifacts he collected from all over the world.  But what I was interested in this day was to experience the embedded exhibit of garments recreated from the original garment, if available, and/or using historical photographs, paintings and sometimes newspaper clippings to glean information of the Vanderbilts, their family, guests' and servants' clothing.   'A Vanderbilt House Party The Gilded Age runs through May 2019' is worth the time and effort to visit.  I'll include links at the bottom of this post for those interested in learning more about the history of this grand home as well as how to purchase tickets.  Btw, this is not a sponsored post. :)
Edith Vanderbilt's Engagement Gown
George Vanderbilt's wife
Having honeymooned at the Biltmore Estate 12 years ago, how could one not fall in love with the history, architecture and stories this grand home holds.  When my husband asked what I wanted for my/our honeymoon 'momento', there was no hesitation to pick out 2 books detailing the construction and history of the house and family.  And I read and devoured them both!  There's not been an opportunity to return and time sort of moved on.
Winter Garden Ceiling
Until this current exhibit captured my attention.  A few weeks ago, at the Tuesday morning Ladies Bible Study I attend, the subject of Biltmore came up as some of the ladies had just been with their families.  This jarred my interest to the front of my mind (and mouth!) and before I knew what I was doing..... found myself asking one of my friends, who I knew used to sew her clothes, if she'd like to see this exhibit with me.  Out of the blue I hit her up with this.  Oh I felt so badly afterward because I kind of put her on the spot and she sort of "ummmed' about needing to check her schedule, that she was really busy right now, and not sure...... and...... you get the picture. 
Edith and George
So imagine my complete surprise when earlier this week my friend texted that she had free Guest Passes that expired on Friday, she'd cleared her schedule and was I free to go.   Yes!!  Yes I was!!!  Oh great joy was had!!!
Meanwhile another NewLook 6292 tunic top had just been cut out and it was decided then and there, that this event was so very special, it deserved a new complete outfit to wear for that day.  And if that wasn't enough.... when the top and leggings/skinny pants were complete, I realized all my handbags are huge and I really needed a Crossbody type of bag because there's a LOT of walking at the Biltmore.  So..... I made a new Crossbody Bag.  Perfectly perfect.  Little did I know my outfit and bag would match Biltmore's Guide Book.   Anyway, I'll write a post of all these details at a later date as this one is all about the Biltmore. 
So the special day dawned gray and rainy.  Not a drizzly sort of rain..... but a downpour from the time we got in the car until we arrived.  It continued raining there and there's a lot of outdoor walking and standing in shuttle lines to get to the house.  Little did we know we'd picked one of the busiest days to visit with Biltmore expecting over 10,000 visitors in the home this day.  So there was much more organization and security all set up in tents outside, which was fine and no problem but all this to say..... we got drenched.  Not wanting to cart an umbrella all over, I wore my hooded black rtw raincoat, which was perfect, but did not want to take any personal photos. 
Let's talk a little about the Exhibit.  Biltmore did a fabulous job of not only recreating the garments, but embedding them throughout the house on mannequins posed in realistic ways. 
George & Edith Vanderbilt at the christening of their daughter Cornelia
They even customized the self-guided audio tour to include tidbits about the 'people' we were seeing..... almost as if we were a part of the gathering too.
Not much was spoken about the garments............
Isn't she adorable
....nor was it easy to see fine details in the subdued lighting..........
...but that became almost secondary as one was swept up in the moment, feeling the home brought to 'life' by this lovely Exhibit.
Edith Vanderbilt
We spent 4 hours in the home.
Mesmerized.....
..... transported back to another time.....
..... and way of life.
The rain ended and skies were blue when we completed the tour.
Bowling Alley - don't the red socks look fun!
We both very much enjoyed the self-guided audio tour.  One can take all the time one wants.  We'd put the earbuds in to listen to the commentary, then remove one so we could discuss each exhibit.
Swimming attire in the large indoor swimming pool
 that would've been filled with heated c-c-c-c-old mountain water
We both weren't too sure about this one, below.  A woman 'working out' in the Gymnasium?  But the short video at the end of the Exhibit assures one all is authentic and explains a little more how the garments were pulled together.
Gymnasium - Workout wear
We finished in the Banquet Hall and seems I took the most photographs here. 
Banquet Hall
Loved this butterfly dress
So glad Biltmore allows photography now.  They only ask to not use the flash.
Banquet Hall

Banquet Hall set for dinner
See the mannequin in the balcony by the Pipe Organ?  She is representing a woman who is singing for the Vanderbilts and their guests during their dinner. 
Massive Pipe Organ fills the balcony of the Banquet Hall

Gathering in the Banquet Hall

Grand Table in the Banquet Hall was set with the more
glorious fresh flower arrangements
Hard to see but the engraving in the Banquet Hall reads:  DA PACEM DOMINE IN DIEBUS NOSTRIS....
'Give peace in our time, O Lord'
that translates to:
Give peace in our time, O Lord.

I hope you might have enjoyed this blog post as it's a little different than what I usually share.  And if you are ever in the Western North Carolina area, whether this exhibit is still in place or not, the Biltmore Estate is a 'must see'.

Links to explore more about the Biltmore:
Behind the Scenes of the clothing Exhibit
Biltmore History from the Biltmore website
Biltmore History from Wikipedia
Biltmore Estate main website
How to purchase tickets..... be sure to include the audio tour in your visit

Next post will be outfit details.
Happy Sewing All!  :)
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Fabric purchased Friday afternoon.  Cardi began and completed Sunday afternoon.   Cardi worn Sunday night.  One of the fastest things I've ever made. 
Ottobre 02/2015 #13 Knit Cardigan has recently been made 3 times, with 3 different fabrics and now this unique sweater knit makes a 4th.  So to say I was familiar with the pattern would be an understatement.  No closures, no interfacing, front is simply turned back after being caught in the neckline seam that finishes it all off nicely, all pretty much sewn on the serger.  A nice quick 'n easy make.  Hmmmm, not sure why I traced a size 36 when I'm a size 38 in Ottobre, but that's okay as it fits me well.  It's always good to doublecheck sizing as I'm a size 36 in Burda, a 38 in Ottobre and a size 12 in the big 4. 
A friend and I made the trip to Williamston, SC Friday to All About Fabrics, for the open-only-once-a-month-to-the-public textile outlet mill where I always come home with lots of treasures.  There was no disappointment this time either!  Such FUN!  The minute I saw this chunky sweater knit fabric, I knew it had to be another Ottobre cardi.  Fabric cost @$7.50 a yard.
Guess one could say this is a t-n-t for me now.  Tried-n-True Pattern.  A couple of hours from cut to final seam and it was being worn.  And it's wonderful to (finally!) feel like there is a small arsenal of t-n-t patterns in my 'collection'.   This pattern has a nice 'swing' to it that is fun to wear, with a gentle taper from front to back with the back covering the backside well that also makes it a great layering piece when wearing leggings.  Wearing old Ottobre pants today with the Itch to Stitch Hepburn Turtleneck from last year.
Don't know why I've been struggling with my camera recently.  As I'm trying to show you the lovely back of my cardi, the silly camera focused on our distant mountain.  *sigh*
It's a little milder today and no rain.  Hope that means it'll soon be time to enjoy more walks in the woods.
Happy Sewing All!  :)
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Basics..... particularly exercise basics are soooooo boring aren't they?  In fact, they are so boring this post almost didn't get photographed and written because you know..... who wants to read about a humble t-shirt when there's so many pretty dresses floating about blogland.
The mission of this blog is to journal my makes, so to stay true to myself..... I present my new lowly t-shirt.
After posting a few recent (unblogged) t-shirts on IG, bemoaning the fact I hadn't found that 'perfect' one.....  @marjoriesews on Instagram  encouraged me to take a look at some of my Ottobre Design Woman patterns...... that there are some good basic t-shirt designs there.  And she's right.  Totally done with sewing a V-neck t-shirt..... this Ottobre Design Woman 02/2015 no. 17 Jersey Top, below, looked like it was just what I needed.  Reminded me of the (free) Kirsten Kimono Tee pattern from Maria Denmark with a few differences..... the neck is not a boatneck, the shoulders have a neat yoke type piece there instead of traditional shoulder seams and the armholes are bound as is the neckline.  And Ottobre usually fit me well.
To prove I'm on a basic t-shirt kick.... here's just one photo, below, of a bit of fabric purchased recently at Hobby Lobby when they were having a sale.  This is the blue, mid-way down that is a poly/rayon/spandex content with a 2-way stretch.  Only needing a yard, I think this was less than $5.00.  By the way.... I LOVE my local Hobby Lobby store!  The sales clerk in the fabric department recognizes me now and it's so nice to chat with her about what we are making as she cuts my fabric.  Kind of like the stores of long ago. 
Back to the pattern..... not really much to say except I am so glad I double-checked Ottobre's size chart before tracing the pattern as I'd forgotten I'm a 38 in Ottobre.  So this is a 38 with no modifications at all. 
Knit bindings always give me pause, and this top was no different.  So stressed!!!  Particularly with the armhole bindings.  After I sewed the last stitch on those I was so put out they were put aside to be ripped out and re-done next morning.  But by next morning I'd remembered that I've been learning about how we women sometimes put perfectionist burdens on ourselves and decided to let them be.  So glad because in actuality they look fine.
I really like the little shoulder yoke  piece.  Not wanting to break up the lovely blue, I used the same fabric there.  And by the way..... it was freezing outside when I took these photos and my arms are covered in goosebumps!   We've had rain, rain, and more rain lately which brought in cold weather  with blue-skies tempting outside photos regardless of the temps.
The back.  I wear leggings and a t-shirt to exercise at my local Y, and I usually like the t to cover the derriere.  So when I make this again I'll lengthen the hemline both front and back.  Wearing it with the Ottobre Leggings today.
Overall I like this top and think it will get lots of wear.
Thought it might be fun to share a little blast from the past here.  On IG recently, I think due to the Great British Sewing Bee highlighting the 1970s, we were asked to post photos of things we made from that era..... or things our mother made for us.  Well..... that's me in the floppy hat wearing a maxi dress my mother made for me driving my beautiful American Quarter Horse Poco who did a magnificent job pulling this little cart for a historical re-enactment c. 1976/1977 at Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville, Alabama.  My sweet friend is sitting alongside.  I did not sew, nor had any interest in sewing back then..... because... ya' know.... horses!!  :)
Happy Sewing All!!  :)
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What a fun project this has been!!
In January 2019 I wrote of a baby quilt that was planned for the upcoming birth of a baby girl at my church and that'd I'd be using the Lattice Baby Quilt Tutorial from designer Amy Smart.  It's always a maker's prerogative to change her mind, right?!  So instead chose to go completely free-form following the encouragement of my quilting friend, D, who helped me.
D is a quilter friend who also attends the same church, so she graciously donated much of her time, and fabrics!, to collaborate on this project together.  Oh what fun we had!!  See that cute bunny print below.... that's hers.  Along with the pretty multi-colored polka dots and stripes, among others.
She brought over her stash of pinks and soft colored quilting cottons and it was such a blast to combine our prints to make this quilt.  Most of my fabrics were the Waverly quilting cotton from WalMart.  D's were the quilting designer brands.  They went together well.
I'd already gotten a jump start on cutting out my fabrics into 5" squares, still thinking I would be making the Lattice Quilt..... but after D got here, we decided we wanted this to be a fun, no-stress easy project, so she suggested putting the 5" squares together in rows divided by 2" sashing and borders so we wouldn't have to match any seam allowances or points.  GREAT idea!!
She brought along her really cool cutting template so while I was piecing the squares together in rows, she was cutting and prepping for me.  We spent maybe 3-4 hours that afternoon and when she left, the piecing was pretty much done.  I had some Fairfield cotton batting on hand, as well as Waverly white cotton large enough for the backing, so it didn't take too long to sandwich and pin everything together.  I deliberately pinned everything on an angle because I knew I'd be doing diagonal quilt lines.
And this is the very scientific, mathematical way the beginning quilting line was determined, below!  Ha!  Seriously..... it took me longer to figure out the quilting than it did to pin everything together because nothing lines up on a diagonal.  So I took some twine and taped it from one corner to another marking with a Frixion pen (disappearing ink when ironed) after checking all would disappear okay on my fabric first.  And that was my first quilting line.  With a 'guide' line in place it was only a matter of lining up my Bernina's walking foot quilting guide bar to sew 1" lines apart.  This took f-o-r-e-v-e-r.  I'd forgotten how long a repetitive process this is.
After it took so long to complete the diagonal quilting one way..... when it was finished the thought was entertained to run an opposite quilting line throughout the entire quilt and was thrilled when D said this one directional line would be fine.  Whew!!  And she was right..... !!  As you can see below, after the quilt was washed and dried an opposite, 1" diagonal quilting line(s) would've been too much.
Now it was time to sew on the binding I'd prepared earlier following my own post from 2013.  Only I think I cut this 2 1/2" wide per a Nancy Zieman Binding Technique.
I am super pleased with the binding on this quilt and think it may be my best finished product ever.
It was first sewn to the front then wrapped to the back and carefully pinned in place so when sewing 'in the ditch' from the front..... it would catch the back binding perfectly.
I always machine-stitch bindings on quilts I make as I do not have the patience, nor time, to hand-stitch them on.  This one looks pretty good.
All washed and dried, stitches checked and overall quilt checked for any problem areas before gifting out.  I like to do this as 1) the quilt looks so wrinkly, crinkly, comfy all washed and dried and 2) if there are any problems, I'd like to find them and not the quilt receiver.  After washing and drying the quilt measures 38" x 48".
Last and certainly not least..... D has an awesome embroidery machine so she designed and embroidered the quilt label that I sewed into one of the back corners.  Keeping all the names off for privacy concerns, but think you can get a feel for the beautiful job D did.  This thread just 'glowed' in a silky lovely way and it is really a lovely, lovely label.
One last look at the finished quilt ready to comfort a sweet baby girl.
Happy Sewing All!  :)
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Do you ever buy a pattern.... so excited to make that pattern at the time, then find it sort of lingers in the pattern stash collection for years..... quietly talking to you every time you thumb through the patterns, yet always the one overlooked and unmade.  That's the way it was with NewLook 6292.  And now it's finally made.
As long time readers of this blog know by now, it seems most of the items I make have some sort of story to tell, and this tunic top is no different.  It was not planned..... not in the queue nor anyway near my radar until I made these gray suede stretch leggings, below, last week.  I've been fairly successful methinks in mashing up a Burda and Ottobre legging pattern to create a customized version and as I wore these to snap a photo for Instagram last week, it felt I needed a little more coverage.... particularly in the front.  The Ottobre Swing Cardi covered the back well..... but the front sort of bugged me. 
Cardi, Top, Leggings unblogged
A thoughtful search for a longer, more tunic-style length top pattern in my collection produced NewLook 6292, that looks like it is still available here.  Pattern Review has a few reviews of the pattern and is also available there.  Anyway, I thought view D..... the greenish one at the top, with it's split hem, higher in the front, longer in the back.... with the front still being over the crotch area might work.   This beautiful rayon challis type fabric came from my only-open-once-a-month textile outlet fabric store All About Fabrics..... and if you look closely there is a soft gray within the circles.  It looked nice held up to the gray suede leggings.  Though I'm not a big fan of hi-lo hems, I thought this one might work well for me. 
This fabric was all slippery-slidey so from the very beginning of pattern placement I took my time and double/triple checked before all cuts.  I am pleased and think the alignment of the fabric's print shows a quality of workmanship and higher skillset I've worked hard to achieve.  Believe it or not, this was my first split placket (is this what it's called?!) I've ever made.  Instructions were good and I reeealllly took my time with not only centering the cut, but also the stitching of the placket.  Hard to see because of the brown thread blending in..... but it is even on both sides.  The only step I had trouble with was the neckline binding/facing.  Instructions had you understitch and layer seam..... but did not have you clip the seam and think that would've helped with everything laying flat without such a headache.  Ironing had to be done very carefully because I found out quite quickly my fabric melted.  ;)
The split hi-lo hem was super easy to do.  I chose to serge the raw fabric edges of front and back pieces before stitching together.... then simply turned back twice and topstitched at the split hem.  Not sure I like the hi-lo look of this on me.  It feels like I've got some sort of weird tail back there or something.  If it bothers me enough it's still long enough to cover the derriere if I even it up with the front.  I think.  This is a size 12 straight from the pattern envelope with no modifications even though my hip measures more of a size 14.  This may be why it looks 'straight' on me when I thought the pattern envelope showed it to be a little more flowy in the hip area.  It also fits me snug through the back shoulders which I found odd as that's where I usually have to narrow patterns.  So if you are broad shouldered you might need to keep that in mind.  Sleeves are long-sleeve length with an 1 1/4" hem I simply top-stitched..... same as bottom hems.
Today I've got it paired, not with the gray suede leggings, but with a newly made brown ribbed knit leggings from the same mashed up pattern.  These leggings are so simple, and I've got it down pat now that it takes maybe an hour from start to finish.  The brown ribbed knit has been in the stash as long as the top fabric and I had always planned on doing something with them together.  Still think this will look good with the gray leggings.
These photos were snapped as I headed out to the Tuesday morning Ladies Bible Study I enjoy at my church.  And to my super delight..... out of the blue one of the sweet ladies said how much she loved my top and asked if I made it.  *insert big smile here*  They know my little secret of how I sew my clothes and this nice compliment really made my day.
We've had super weird weather lately.  A week ago we had sleet and hail covering the ground, with a lightning storm that struck our home twice the very next night..... we woke to smoke and the smell of fire in the house...... then rain, rain and more rain the rest of the week.  This was one of the first days we've been dry and even now are expecting more rain tomorrow.  The lightning strike took out our internet service and we are only just now back online.  Am so grateful all our other electronics were spared and our home was okay. 
Happy Sewing All!  :)
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Have you ever considered making a fabric face mask?  Some folks who deal with allergies may feel their only option is the disposable paper mask, but a mask of soft fabric might be something to consider.  My sweet  companion Suzi, below, is sporting a lovely pink fuzzy barrette given to her by her sweet groomer Erin and you will see in a minute how all that connects to face masks.  ;)
Top, Pants
Suzi is a high maintenance border collie mix, who not only needs a special prescription diet, has allergies to most things.... but also needs monthly grooming.  Her grooming is more than just a bath and blow-dry, needing teeth brushing, ear cleaning and anal glands expressed regularly..... a necessity for Suzi that is part of keeping her well and healthy.  So we love Erin, her groomer, who we see every 4 weeks.    I don't share with many folks that I sew my clothes..... which sounds so funny with how active I am about all that here and on IG.... but generally have found that it creates an awkward pause that most nice people just don't know what to say because it is such an anomaly in my area.  So it caught Erin by surprise when I shared a couple of sewing related things on Facebook and she texted me asking if I could make her a couple of fabric face masks because she's allergic to dog dander, and that she'd like to pay me.  Erin is the sweetest, kindest, most generous person of all..... so of course I said 'sure' and that there'd be no payment and could she send me a photo of what she'd like.  In my mind I'm thinking face mask?  Where in the world can I get a pattern for a face mask?!!
Shiny coat, bandana and barrette means Suzi saw Erin this morning
This is the image Erin sent me, below, linking it back to the Etsy shop where it was listed for sale for $17.51 + $13 for shipping from the UK to USA.  Adjustable elastic around the ears, fully covering the nose, mouth and chin.  Those are the features I zeroed in on.  And pattern.... at this point was certain I'd have to figure all that out on my own.
Etsy Listing link 
So imagine my surprise when a simple Google search provided the one and only perfect pattern!  And it was free!!   Craft Passion drafted 3 sizes in their simple pattern and provided step-by-step instructions.  Somehow I printed a little .pdf booklet, but today can only find the instructions on their website.   Anyway.... it is free.  A big Thank You to Craft Passion for providing this great service.
So leave it to me to overthink everything at this point.  *Cue rolling the eyes here!*  Knowing Erin needed these for allergies, I thought about what sort of fabrics would make the best filter.  Bottom left is a cotton gauze to be lined with soft cotton knit, bottom right is 100% linen to be lined with cotton muslin.  Those fabric contents would filter allergens well, right?
Below you can see how they made up.  Cotton knit was not a good lining as it kept collapsing on itself and honestly they were just all blah.  I was so focused on filtering, I wasn't thinking aesthetics.  And these pitiful elastics were just...... pitiful.  Wimpy, too stretchy, too flimsy.... but they were all I had on hand and could find at my local notions dept.
The blahness of the original 2 affected me to the point where a quick look in the stash provided a couple of cute 100% cotton quilting prints that became the 2 masks below, both lined in 100% cotton muslin.  These 4 masks were taken to Erin as a sort of prototype/sample for her to let me know what worked best for her.
She immediately gravitated to the cat fabric and said she loved purple.   After a few days of using, she also said the cottons worked great and were the best because they kept their shape.  She loved that it covered her nose, mouth and chin and that the pattern was perfect.  She also added that they laundered well.  She was a trooper about the disappointing elastics,  but I knew there was definitely room for improvement there.
Knowing I had a good pattern, now I turned to Etsy for cute doggie fabric.  And boy what fun I had!!  As everyone knows, Etsy is a marketplace for independent sellers and I had the great good fortune to land on The Fancy Flutist Finds site when she was selling her stash of doggie fabrics.  Such a super nice seller.  After responding almost immediately to my e-mail asking for reduced shipping charges due to combining fabrics, she asked what I would be making.  When she realized I needed such small pieces, aka scraps really, she included all the doggie scraps she had for free in my package too.  What a nice surprise!!  Isn't the envelope she made for me fun too?!!
These are the larger pieces I purchased.  It was doggie cuteness overload.  I specifically tried to buy the prints that had purple after Erin shared with me that was her favorite color.  Now it was time to sew all the face masks.
The face masks are super easy to sew..... just fiddly and a little more time consuming than one would think.  All are 100% quilting cotton lined with 100% white cotton muslin.  But honestly the biggest headscratcher was what to use for the elastic around the ear.  I purchased a couple of different types of sturdy elastic cording from another Etsy seller and initially thought the problem was solved..... until I realized knotting them was awkward.... actually they would not knot and stay knotted.... and my poor Bernina absolutely could not sew through the rubberized middle of those things.  More time was lost spent on figuring out how to attach those darn elastics until the thought crossed my mind about hair elastics.  Or better known in my world as Ponytail Holders.  :)
These are soft, stretchable and already secured in a circle..... so no awkward tying of knots or adding a cord stop.  Actually one of my originals had cord stops added to the elastics and Erin spoke of how it rubbed her ear and didn't feel good.
These certainly seemed to be the right size for the mask needs and it was fun to match colors to masks.
The way I chose to sew them in is how I've got my machine set up below.  Both sides of the mask are left open, so I simply placed the elastic within the seam allowance and slowly, carefully stitched the seam closed encasing the elastic as I went.
Fiddly but easy!!
All the insides.
Wanting to show the great curved form that covers the nose, mouth and chin.....
All done and ready to be used.
In all I think I made maybe around 10 doggie print face masks.... just forgot to take photos.  It was quite exciting to take all these to Erin as she thought the original 4 were 'it'.  :)
Priceless to see Erin's look on her face as she unfolded each one and tried them all on.  She said the ponytail holder elastics were p-e-r-f-e-c-t.    She even gave Suzi an extra spa day as a sweet thank you.
So never in my wildest imagination would I have thought the sewing skillset I have been working so hard to achieve over all these years would be used in this way.   And I am so VERY grateful for the opportunity those skills provided for this sweet project.

Happy Sewing All!  :)
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Why did it take me so long to jump on the Infinity Scarf bandwagon, I do not know, but incredibly this is the first Infinity Scarf  I've ever made and it was oh-so-easy and quick.
Using the Free Tutorial by Melly Sews, it took more time to wrap my brain around how to line up the edges by pulling the tube sort of inside itself than to actually sew this thing.  I chose to machine stitch everything closed as there's so much twisty-turny-drapey fabric that seam will not show.  It doesn't.  So no time was wasted hand-stitching anything.
Only requiring a piece of fabric 22" wide by 2 yards long, I used a remnant of the drapey sweater knit from the recent Ottobre Cardi.  This is like a freebie!!  I'm showing it to you today paired with the Itch to Stitch Hepburn Turtleneck on my dressform.....
 ..... but plan to wear it with the addition of the McCall's sherpa suede coat
And since this is such a quick post, thought I'd share a little of the baby quilt I've been working on.  This is for a sweet baby girl recently born to a couple from my church, and a quilting friend from church and I spent a pleasant afternoon piecing the top using combined "baby girl" fabrics from our stashes.  She had the cutest fabrics!!  Oh there was much fabric envy on my part..... those bunnies were hers.  ;)  After she left I sandwiched everything together and thought I'd sit down at the machine and quilt the whole thing in about an hour or two.  Ha!  Boy was that time frame a joke.  I'd forgotten how time consuming quilting is so maybe 4-5 hours later I was done.  Whew!
The pink polka dot binding is all prepped and that's where I'm at.  Soooo close.  I think.  My friend has an embroidery machine, so while I was doing all the quilting, she was embroidering a beautiful quilt label.  I'll show you that in the finished post I hope to have up sometime next week.
So on that note.....
Happy Sewing All!!  :)
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Why do some of our clothes linger in the closet?  Lonely and left out they just..... 'hang' around.  Ha!  Couldn't resist a little pun there.... 'hang around'...!  Okay, okay, please feel sorry for my poor family who has to suffer with the lameness.  ;)  But seriously.... why do some of our clothes get picked to wear time and time again and others linger?  This was one of those items that was n.e.v.e.r worn, but methinks that will change now with a simple 'refashion'.
Knee deep in my vintage Simplicity ensemble, Sarah Liz's Make a Garment a Month February Theme certainly caught my eye and made me think.  Hmmmm, from Frumpy to Fabulous.
The original dress, below, (you can read all about here) was not maybe what you would call Frumpy?.... but it certainly was not Fabulous.  This never got worn.  Okay, maybe once.... then never.  I probably made it too long, but honestly it just never 'fit' right.  The neck always pulled back hiking up the center front in a weird way.... see the center front hiking up below and that hem is perfectly even.  Trust me, I checked.
So with Sarah Liz's theme in mind I decided to treat February more as a Refashion, than a 'make a new garment that fit' because I really want to wear all the lovelies in my closet.   See that center front still hiking up?!!!!!   It's the neck I tell ya'.  You can even feel it sliding back.  *sigh* Can't do anything about that but thus forth the hemline shall be called a unique hi-lo design feature.  Those hi-lo hemlines do seem to work better in a top than a dress, no?!  ;)   I think the leggings help offset the wonkiness visually too.
Soooooo all I did was chop 5" off with the rotary cutter, machine stitched a 2" blind hem and it was ready to wear in less than an hour.
I've worn this for the past 2 days now and it feels much better as a top than as a dress.  Even the neck pulling back on me isn't as annoying, may be because it's so much shorter?  There's not as much fabric pulling on me?
Love, love, love this challis fabric and really want to enjoy it.
Thought it'd be fun to snap a comparison shot..... before and after.
Probably couldn't gone shorter but wanted to try it keep it more of a tunic length than a top length.  As a bonus it's been nice to wear a woven top with my (unblogged) Ottobre/Burda mashed up leggings than always putting on a knit.    Maybe there's a need for more woven, tunic tops in the handmade closet.  Hmm.
Happy Sewing All!  :)
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How do you feel about sewing darts?
They've always given me a sort of apprehension so as I began working on the Vintage Simplicity 5882 skirt.....
.....that has 8, count 'em 8!.... darts, I applied a new-to-me technique that I'd like to share with you today.   You can see there's 4 in the front....
Front
.... and 4 in the back.  I'm at the point of putting on the waistband today.
Back
Maybe I should first ask.... how do you sew your darts?  I'd always learned that you begin stitching at the edge of your fabric sewing to the dart point, shortening your stitch length to almost nothing at the dart point to lock it, leaving long tails then hand-stitch/hide the tails into the body of your dart using a hand-sewing needle.  Like this tutorial from Blueprints for Sewing where she also includes the anatomy of a dart, dart set up and her tutorial/technique.  Please know I am absolutely not discounting this method at all, simply wanting to share a new-to-me method I found helpful.
As the dart construction stage of my skirt was rapidly approaching, it was pure serendipity to find a handful of Nancy Zieman's books at my local thrift store, each priced at a mere $1.00.  I snatched them up without even looking at them as I knew these would be great resources to have.  So it was only when, back at home, I was thumbing through the books to see what goodies they held, I came across Nancy's technique of sewing darts using only your sewing machine in "The Best of Sewing with Nancy" book below.   It certainly captured my attention with no hand-stitching/hiding those thread tails.  May I pause for a moment here and say how much I miss Nancy.  She was such a great lady.
She calls her technique "Durable Darts" and teaches you to sew off the dart point 1" to 2", forming a chain thread, then backstitch/lock stitch it back into the body of the dart to secure.  Cut your threads and you are done.  Super easy, super quick and no puckers.  And no hand sewing.
I've modified her technique a bit..... more because I was so excited to put in practice, I neglected to read all the details.  ;)   So here's what I did:  Begin at the fabric edge, stitch toward the dart point and as you near the dart point, narrow your stitch length to the tiniest stitch length for the last few stitches.  Stop as you stitch off the fabric and re-set your machine to a more normal stitch length.  Now stitch maybe 3-5 stitches 'off' the fabric forming the little chain.  Stop, then back-stitch your little chain into the body of the dart and snip the thread tails, as you can see below.  That's it... You are done!
I even put together a little video this morning to show you, using a sample dart.  Hope this makes a little more sense seeing it in 'action'.
And recently I shared a few of these photos and information on Instagram and was surprised at how many folks, even long-time sewists, had never heard of this technique before, so that made me feel it might also interest some of you.  What is wonderful about this hobby of sewing, is that there are many different ways to put a garment together.... but most of all to always embrace a love of learning.
Happy Sewing All!!  :)
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