Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year Resolution

I went to Jo-Ann today to purchase a few Vogue patterns that was on sale. Can you believe I only bought 3 lousy patterns.

As I left the store, I was thinking that I owned over 250 + patterns and I manage to have an extensive SABLE. With the current state of the economy it has become necessary to monitor how, when and on what I spend my money.

I was reading Ms Carolyn's blog over at diary of a sewingfantatic -and her goals for the new year were along the same lines as mine.

Last year I made lots of resolutions, some I accomplished and other need more work, but overall it was a good year.

Here are my 3 goals for 2009

1. Limit the amount of money I am going to spend on patterns and fabrics

2. Improve my pants fitting skills

3. Rediscover my love of quilting, knitting, crochet and cross stitch

Spending less is my most important goal for 2009. I don't know what to expects in 2009 so I must save and sew from my sable. Now that does not mean that I am not going to spend on fabrics and patterns, it just mean that I am going to cut my fabric and pattern spending by 70%.
I am going to impose a 90-day moratorium beginning January 1st and ending March 30, except for the needles, threads, linings etc.

The second goal is to work on my pants sloper. I need to work on the front of my sloper for a better fit.

My 3rd goal- I am going to re-discover my love of quilting, crochet and knitting- I also have an extensive collection of quilting and knitting stuff.

There is more, but I will write about it in another post.

Happy New Year and God Bless you and your family

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sewing Books


My family and I went to the mall on black Friday just to walk around and enjoy the holiday atmosphere. We went to the Palisades Mall in Nyack, New York; it's a 30 minutes drive from my home. There is a new bookstore that only sells Japanese books. I decided to see if there was any sewing related books and I found several. I bought this one for $22.00.It has 4-5 jackets/coats with the patterns and great photos covering detail instructions and techniques

The books below I did not buy; however on my next trip I might buy the one on the right.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Survey Fun
Here’s what I want you to do:1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Mark any items that you would never consider eating.

1. Venison- would not eat
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos Rancheros
4. Steak tartare – would not eat
5. Crocodile -forget about this one
6. Black pudding -
7. Cheese fondue -
8. Carp -
9. Borscht- absolutely not
10. Baba ghanoush.-
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart- never
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn or head cheese - no, I don't think so
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda- don't know what this is
31. Wasabi peas- NO
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi -
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar - I don't smoke
37. Clotted cream tea - this sounds disgusting
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo- never had this
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects – I’m not eating them – whole or parts
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky
46. Fugu-
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel - only in sushi (unagi)
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi -
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst - no, but we were brought up on liverwurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beigne
68. Haggis -
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill - not eating it
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail - did I mention that I'm becoming a vegetarian?
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom Yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee- had this coffee not all that great
100. Snake –

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What Is Your Level of Sewing? Part I

Is it beginner, intermediate, advance, gifted or master of the craft?

After reading Carolyn’s blog I have been thinking this over. I read the comments to Carolyn's post, and I agreed with others viewpoint.

I used the calculations and I fared horrible.

Well, my sewing is not awful; however I am not an expert or a master of the craft. I consider my level of sewing intermediate. I have been sewing since the 9th grade. I sewed window treatments, slipcovers, my weeding gown and bridesmaid’s gowns, my girlfriend’s weeding and bridesmaid’s gown, I sewed my daughter’s christening gown etc.

I have learned some great techniques such as zipper insertion (lapped and invisible), making bias binding and pattern drafting.

I strongly disagree that time spent is an adequate measure of my sewing skill. Some folks are gifted; they can draft and create a beautiful garment with little effort and without dedicating a lot of time. Other like me honed the skill through practice and research. Your skills will not improve if you are not willing to experiment and take risks in order to take your skills to the next level.
There are a wide range of sewists, from those that have the "gift"(masters of the craft) to the ones whose sewing is awful. In the end, whether you are a born with the gift of sewing or you are struggling to master simple techniques, the most important factor is to enjoy the process and sew, sew, sewwwwwww

Do I think 10,000 hours equals expert?"

Carolyn posted an article asking this question. The original article was posted at a dress a day.

This was the formula giving:
Number of hours you sew a month x 12 months x the number of years you've been sewing equals _____________ hours. This number then designates whether you are an expert (best of the best), good or mediocre.

Carolyn got many responses. The overall consensus was “the number of hours spent sewing did not determine the type of sewer you are”.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Only In The United States of America

My fellows blogger, yesterday we saw the citizens of this great and magnificent country participate in a historical event. I am proud of everyone who waited on long lines for hours to cast their vote. I am proud of my fellow citizens who stood on long lines to vote early. I does not matter if you are a Republican or a Democrat we the people spoke loud and clear.

I am proud of my country and I congratulate all my fellow citizens. Let us join together and work to restore America's credibility and self respect in the international community. Let's roll up our sleeves to help rebuild our economy.

The road to recovery is not going to be easy; however we the people have shown the government the price it will pay if it does not put we the people's health and well being on its agenda.

Now, back to my favorite topic SEWINGGGGGGGG

Thank You

Thanks for your comments on my last post. I am still working on organizing my sewing room. I created an index of sewing and non-sewing related items in 2003. This binder helps me keep tract of patterns, articles, books etc. I will post more about this binder system later.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Organization My Sewing Space

A while back I wrote about an article that was posted in threads magazine about how to organize your fabric collection. Here is the article

Here is my interpretation.

80% of my fabrics collection are in this binder. The sheet protector,the paper and the double sided tape is acid free.

This was another article I found in Threads magazine. It required that you take pictures of your patterns with a digital camera and create a visual catalog of your patterns. Below is the article

This was a time consuming process, but in the end it was worth it. I also organized by patterns by name (vogue, butterick etc) and by number. I found 2 or 3 of the same patterns and/or patterns with the same numbers; however the style was different. I used a small binder and each sheet protector held 8 photos that was crop and reduce to fit. This was one of the best things I did. Now I can take the small binder with me when I going to shop for patterns or fabrics. I discovered that I own 400+ patterns. Here is my interpretation:

Organizing your sewing space is a a good thing, because it has help me accept the fact that I need to do less shopping and more sewingggggggggggg

Friday, October 24, 2008

Too Many Pattern

Cennetta and Carolyn wrote about their pattern collections. Carolyn's love of patterns is contagious. I have been reading her blog for over a year and I know that she loves patterns with great technique and details to add to her a fabulous wardrobe. Cenetta loves to buys pattern that offer techniques to challenge and improve her sewing skills. Also she has a fabulous wardrobe and her sense of color is awesome.

Why do I buy patterns?

1.I buy patterns because I love to sew
2.I buy patterns because I love the styles and I have good intentions to sew every pattern I buy(unrealistic)
That is why I love to buy patterns and I have been buying patterns for 30+ years.

Reading so many sewing blogs has been fun and educational at the same time. I bought 3 patterns in the last three months ; my goal moving forward is to buy patterns that are going to challenge and improve my sewing skills.

I have been working on organizing my extensive pattern collection. This was an eye opening experience. More about that later.

So my question to you is why do you buy patterns?

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Hello everyone, Its been a while since i posted anything. Well I felt overwhelmed, I felt like I was spreading myself so thin that nothing was getting done.I looked around and all I saw were the things that need to be done around my home and at work.

My lack of blogging did not prevent me from visiting you guys blog.It has been three months since I sewed. The last thing I made was a pair of black pant. I did not buy any fabrics or patterns in 3 months.

Well, I'm beginning to feel like myself again. This time I plan to take my time and try to not take on more than I can manage. In the past month my husband and I started getting our home ready for the holiday. Thanksgiving dinner will be at my home. We painted the living room, the kitchen was remolded last year, however we had plywood over the cabinets as conter tops. Well, my corian counter tops were installed on Friday.

I am still working on organizing my home and the sewing room. Work in progress.

Photos later.....

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Project Runway Australia

She is goneeeeeee, that witch was eliminated in episode 7 of project runway Australia.

I cannot remember the name of the blog that introduce project runway Australia,sorryyyy. Anyway, i have been watching it on You-Tube once a week.

Cidell wrote about this designer that change her model because " she had too much bootee and a swayback". Well, when i read that I went to You-Tube and watch that episode.

I could not believe that this woman was on national television expressing such bias remarks. I was pisssss off, because In my opinion her design are not for the woman with curves.

Project runway Australia became an obsession, only because i knew that she was her own enemy and it was only a matter of time for her to eliminate herself.

Well, guess what that bias witch won the challenge in episode 6; however episode 7 was her demised. Kelly Rowland a former member of Destiny Child was a guest on episode 7. The challenge was for the designers to create an outfit for an upcoming performance in South Africa.

All the designers knew who Kelly Rolland was and they were excited with the challenge, except for Ms witch, who said that she did not know who she was and although a portfolio was giving to all the designers to get a feel of Kelly's style, it was very clear to me in her comments, facial expression and the garment that she created that this woman has no respect for women of my race. Although Kelly told her that the garment she designed is not something that she would wear, she sent the model down the runway looking like a high class "PRETTY WOMAN" this was the judges comments.

In the end the judges saw through the woman and she was eliminated in episode 7.

Now folks, you know that this really pisssss me offffff. Anyway she was kick off. I hope that once she gets over the shock of elimination, and she has an opportunity to see all the episodes, she will realize that her demise was her bias attitude that kept her inside the box and prevented her from growing. Somehow I suspect that she is so full of herself......

I started watching project runway US in its 3rd season, when Michael Knight and all those great designers was on the show. But, it was not until this season that i realized that sewing a well fitted garment is time consuming. I have a better understanding of how much time it really takes to put a garment together, especially if you want it to look great on the inside as well as the outside.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Black & White Swap

I am still working on my black pant, I removed about 1/2" from the front crotch curve and the fit improve. I need to remove another 1/4" and hopefully that should take care of the fullness in the front. I am somewhat slow in my sewing because fit is important to me.

I know I said in my last post that i was going to control my spending, well i sort fell off the wagon. Butterick patterns were on sale and I bought 5.

I have been organizing my sewing space because it is somewhat messy right now.

As far as the sewing coat projects I will definitely not meet the deadline. I will complete it hopefully, before thanksgiving.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Shopping vs Sewing

I am working on phase-2 of my black & white swap. I made 2 pair of black pants, i am working on my last two pair. I altered front crotch curve by removing 1/2-inch . Now it fits much better.

Carolyn wrote about Sybil Connolly and I love vintage patterns, sooo I went on a shopping pattern frenzy. Oh me gosh, too much spending. I am on a strict budget starting now. The patterns below are now part of my vintage pattern collection.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Thank you for your well wishes. To Cenetta, Erlisa, Carolyn & Paco a big hug. I was incapacitated for since the first week in July. I worked on a Pant muslin in May and here is the result

I started a Black & White swap last fall and i sewed 4-skirts (2-black, 1-leopard print and 1-navy blue). That was phase 1. In phase 2 I am planning to sew 4-black pants. I need to work on my pants pattern a little more.

The great coat sew a long, my goal is to start and finish my muslin over the Labor Day weekend.

Last, but not lease, i did not do any sewing during the time i was ill; however i visited E-Bay and kept up with everyone' s blog. I bought quite a few vintage patterns. I could not help myself Ms.Carolyn is to blame.LOLLLLLLLL.

Anyway i will post pictures at another time. I am going on a very strict pattern diet. No more shopping for patterns, except its absolutely necessaryyyyyyyyy. LOLLLLLLLLL

Monday, July 7, 2008

Missing in Action (MIA)

I have been MIA, I'm not feeling great, I had the flu and I don't know if the medication that was prescribed to treat the flu caused my immune system to go off. I was started on new medication and i am hoping that this will end sooner than later

Sewing Library

These are additions to my sewing library

Sewing and The Great Coat Sew Along

Dang! Can someone explain to me why the health God and the sewing Goddess have join fores against me? LOL

My health t has affected my sewing mojo. Think about this; I had a 5-day weekend, (yes you heard it right), I was off Thursday-Sunday. My plan was to complete my coat muslin, finish sewing a couple of pants and have a holiday cookout with my family. Instead i spent the time in and out of emergency care. Dang!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Vintage Patterns

I know its has been a while since i posted; however i was busy reading every one's blog and working on a pants muslin for my self and my DD.
Thanks Cennetta and pacoperalta for your help. I will post more about that later.

I bought these on E-bay last month. The last batch of patterns i bought, the pattern envelopes were torn and not in great condition. The pattern and the instruction are in great shape; however it was somewhat disappointing to see the condition of the envelopes. Every pattern I bought on was about 30-40-years old and the envelopes were in perfect condition. Any way i have one more set and i will post those later along with sewing books i purchased from

I Was Tagged by Erlisa

One of my favorite blogger tagged me. Mmm I will answer her tag in another post.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Coat & Other Projects

I posted my fabric choice here:coatsewalong.

I am working on a pants muslin. Thanks to themahoganystylist and pacoperaltarovira I was able to correct the fit. I will post photos soon

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Great Coat Sew-Along
I joined The Great Coat Sew-Along that Marji has started up. I joined because its my first attempt to sew a coat. Last winter i sat on sidelines and watch several blogger create beautiful coats. I have two challenges to overcome, time management and the project itself.
There are so many beautiful pattern available, I choose a simple coat pattern because i want to focus on the process and techniques needed to create a well fitting and wearable coat. Here is my choice

I have a hound tooth fabric in black & white. I think it will make a beautiful fall/early spring coat.

Designer Yves Saint Laurent died last weekend at 71

Saint Laurent was born August 1, 1936 in Oran, Algeria. The iconic designer died at his home in Paris. His chic pantsuits changed the way women dressed. He reworked the rules of fashion by putting women into elegant pantsuits that came to define how modern women dressed.
Mr. Laurent was a towering figure of the 20th-century fashion; he was widely considered the last of a generation that included Christian Dior and Coco Channel.
YSL can be credited with the tuxedo and his trim pantsuits to see-through blouses, safari jackets and glamorous gowns. In 2002, Yves retired at age 65 and he closed his Paris-based haute couture house he founded 40 years earlier.
YSL was one of the designers who influenced my sense of fashion as a young child. The demands for Haute Couture clothing has dwindle, for two reasons; the first is that there is a small number of rich women who can afford to buy and where couture only; and the second is that the new rich has no interest in buying couture only clothing. Also, women tend to dress more casual today. YSL died; however his fashion’s influence will be part of the fiber of fashion for many, many years.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Very Easy Pants

Butterick 5044 a great beginner pattern that is quick and Easy

This was so easy. From start to finish including pressing was approximately 1 hour. The time excludes cutting out the pattern and making alteration. The only alteration I did to shorten the crotch depth.

This is a keeper and a great beginner project

Friday, May 23, 2008

Butterick 5044- Easy Pants

I bought this pattern last week. It consist of 1 main pattern piece. I made a muslin and I am satisfied with the fit in the back.The pant has an elastic waist.
I took in a 1/2 inch in the front and 1/2 at the inner seam to take some of the fullness out of the pant leg. I have fabrics in my collection that i can use. I decided on a grey broadcloth. This fabrics has been in my collection for at lease 10 years. I don't have enough to get a full lenght pant. More about this tomorrow.

Simplicity 2965

In my previous post i wrote about not having enough time to sew. After completing a time study i found out why?
Since then, i made a decision to decrease the time i spend on E-bay by 75%, stop buying patterns at Jo-Ann even if they are on sale ( except when the sale is 10 patterns for $ 10.00). I am happy to report that i visited E-bay only once this week and read blogs twice this week.

Here are the results:
Simplicity 2965

Monday, May 19, 2008

Not Enough Time to Sew

I am feeling very blue right now. WHY? not enough time to sew. Why I don't have enough time to sew?

Well, I decided to do a time study to see why and here are results:

1. I spent most of my free time on E-bay, buying patterns and magazines at Jo-Ann, reading you guys blogs and surfing the Internet

2. I am overwhelmed by the large number of unfinished projects I have sitting around

3. I sew for my home; my daughter; and myself. In addition I love to sew quilts and i just don't have the time to do it all

4. I have a full time job that requires a 2-hour ( beack & forth) commute to the office. Thank God I am only required to be in the office for report writing and meetings. However, there are times when I must be in the office for a week.

What can I do to make my free time more productive?

Well for starters I need to:
1. Drastically cut back on the time i spend on E-bay , surfing the Internet ( except for reading you guys blogs)and at Jo-Ann Fabrics
2. Monitor my time so that I can set realistic goals and deadlines
3. Plan my sewing in blocks of time, instead of waiting for a large chunk of time

The moral of the lesson: The responsibility of a job and family life can become overwhelming at times. Therefore, its better to plan and sew in small increments of time. Some sewing is better than "NO" sewing. What is your opinion?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

No Sewing and Ramblings

I visited monkeyroom's blog last month, and she wrote about "SABLE". It was the first time i came across that term and the article was sooo on target for the following reasons:

1. I will never be able to sew all the fabric I owned.

2. I bought each fabric for a particular project; however, somehow I was unrealistic about the time and effort I will have to invest in order to complete the project

3. I am a perfectionist, I know how garments should fit and I refused to settle. That is a major problem because I take way too much time than I should to complete a project.

4. Part of my stash has become dated and I refused to divorce myself from my dated or rather vintage stash. LOL

5. Sometimes I become anxious because of UFO, and not having enough time to sew.

6. My extensive pattern collection is overwhelming. This year I added Burda patterns to the collection. P.S. I have a list of the new McCalls and Simplicity patterns I am going to buy when they go on sale at Jo-Ann next week. LOL

7. Yes, indeed she gave me a lot to think about

More Ramblings
I visited monkeyroom's blog today and I was surprised to see that both of us spent our time organizing our patterns. Mmmm telepathy?

Threads magazine published an article maybe 3-years ago regarding how to organize your patterns.
The instructions were as follow:
1. Remove the pattern from the envelope and place it into a yellow mailing envelope

2. Write the pattern number and the company on the yellow envelope and file each envelope by the number and Pattern Company

3. The original pattern envelope was place inside a clear sheet protector and store in a large binder. My patterns are store by categories such as: blouse, skirts, slacks, jackets, sportswear, coordinates, semi-formal etc.

This makes finding a particular pattern very easy.

Two years ago hubby gave me a digital camera with a printer for Xmas and last year I bought a laptop.

Technology has invaded my sewing room. I scanned and printed all the patterns I bought in the last 2 months. Then I filed the patterns by number and Pattern Company. The patterns were left in their envelope and the printed copies were store in a new binder. I think I like this system better because the binder is not bulky.

Moving forward as I used the old patterns I will scan and print the pattern and return the pattern pieces to their original envelope. This will take less space in the file box and I can recycle the envelopes for another use.

I will post pictures on the next post

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


This is my next quick sewing project. It's a shrug to wear with my instant gratification dress. Actually, i am sewing two shrugs. One is going to be for Shahi.
Mmmm should I make the shrug out of jersey knit ( part of my stash) or should i use cotton since the dress is cotton with a bit of polyester?
What do you think?

Instant Gratification

I bought these two pieces of fabric a Jo-Ann's. The dress on the left belongs to Shahi and the one on the right is mine. All you have to do is sew it together. It only takes 5-10 minutes. This was a boost to my sewing mojo.

Here I am. I absolutely love this easy summer dress


Monday, April 21, 2008

Simplicity 2965

My daughter and I were in the mall three weeks ago. We did a lot of window shopping and we took pictures of RTW including this blouse for $15.00-20.00 depending on the department store.
I cost me $5.00 to make.
Pattern description- It's so easy.
Size A 8-18
Fabrics: cotton/Blends, Silky Types, Double Georgette. I used cotton gauze.
Likes : The instructions were simple except for how to attached bias binding to the armhole.
The finished blouse looked like the illustration. I like the blouse very much. It's simple and it will keep you cool during the hot summer months . You can use almost any fabric that is soft and drapery.
Dislikes: 1.The instructions on how to partially attached bias binding to the armhole is somewhat confusing for a beginner. Because, only about 2/3 of the armhole will be covered with bias binding and the other 1/3 the raw edges will be expose
2. I did not like the instruction for attaching the back yoke and front yoke facing. The technique somewhat awkward.
Corrections: 1. I sewed the upper back yoke and the front yoke to front and back pieces. I attached the self lining, proceeded to sew the sleeves and attached bias binding to the entire armh0le. The bias binding covered all the raw edges and gave the armhole a much cleaner finish.
Conclusion: This is a very simple pattern. However attaching the self lining and covering the armhole raw edges could present a challenge for a beginner sewer.
My Pattern rating: beginner- intermediate
Sewing techniques: 1. understiching and topstiching
2. I made the bias binding out of the fashion fabrics.
3. Interfacing- muslin, to support to front and back yoke since gauzy fabrics are not very strong.

Answer to comments

Thank very much for taking the time to comment about my pattern collection. I am going to try not to buy any more patterns lolllllll.

Anyway i bought a vintage style pattern book on e-bay. I soon as it arrives i will post a pic.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Shopping post 1 of 2 E-BAY

These are vintage patterns I bought last month. In the 1950's and 1960's patterns were $0.25 an$0.65 wowwwww.

I was determined to get this pattern because I was outbid once.

Finding My Style