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Goodbye 2015

2015 was a fantastic year for my family and me. There were challenges and health issues. Challenges were met; some health issues were resolved others are chronic. On the sewing front I did manage to sew some not as much I wanted. On the crafting front, I had a successful year. I manage to make quite a few craft projects. I am ending 2015 with a big bang and greeting 2016 weighing 9 pounds less than I weighed in 2015. See you next year.

Mariela Alethia

Merry Christmas

From my home to yours, merry xmas.

Before & After- Donna Karan's Skirt

The suit  was designed by Donna Karan in 2012.

Below is the skirt I made. You can read about it here. I cannot find a photo of me wearing the skirt. I wore the skirt twice once in 2012 and 2013.

And I wore it this morning.  It is still fabulous! Later.....

The Amazing Coat Sew-Along-4

In my last post I wrote about the sleeves, I sewed the sleeves and the fit was snug. I altered the pattern and increased the width of the sleeves from the bicep to my writs without changing the armhole. I had enough fabric to cut out another pair of sleeves and wallahhh all was well. I used information on Gertie’s blog concerning how to insert sleeve-heads in a jacket.



I purchased Warm & Natural Cotton Batting  from Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts Store. I’ve made several quilts in the last 16-years and that is the only batting that I used. It is a bit expensive but so worth it.
 Anyway, back to the sleeve-heads; I basted the sleeve-head to the right sleeve seam allowance. Oh my goodness what a difference in the fit of the sleeves, the wrinkles that was radiating from the shoulder to the right upper chest area disappeared. 












If you look at the right shoulder you will be able to see the difference between the right and the left. 

Next, I will hand baste the sleeve-head to the left sleeve sea…

The Amazing Coat Sewing- The Muslin-3

I was unable to work on my muslin last week. Today I sewed the sleeves. I don't like to sew sleeves, however I had no problems sewing the sleeves in. Before sewing the sleeves I realize that they were tooo snug in in bicep area. I did not worry about it because the muslin phase is where I get to work out the fitting issues. I have believe I have enough fabric to cut out another pair of sleeves after I alter the sleeve pattern. Work in progress......

The Amazing Coat Sew Along- The Muslin-2

I am wearing the muslin, it was underline and the fit is snug. After I took the photos I decreased the seam allowance from 5/8- 1/4. The fit improved in terms of ease, I still have a few more decisions to make... work in progress.





The Amazing Coat Sew Along- The Muslin

Burda 6727 is an unlined jacket with an integral collar. After checking the finished measurements I choose a size 10. I had to read the pattern instructions a few times regarding how to sew the dart and the collar. The pattern instructions are basic, interfacing is only added to the back neck and the front pattern.. I recommend that you use the instruction only for sewing the front collar, the shoulder seam and attaching the collar to the back neck seam . If you have a good sewing book, this will be the time to use it as a reference.
Fabric: medium weight purple denim with no stretch; it was underline with grey batiste. The coat was sewn and tried on and the following was noted:
 a) The fit in the neck, shoulders and upper back was good. A slope shoulder adjustment is a must for me. Correction- ½ inch slope shoulder adjustment
 b) The fit from the bust to the hip was snug. Correction- add 5/8- from the armhole to the hem
c) Add 3-inches to the length
d) Remove ½-inch from the back …

The Amazing Coat Sew Along- Fabrics, Books & Videos

Fabrics: too many choices, here are the contenders:
The purple fabric is a light to medium weight denim that I am going to use to make a muslin to check the fit.



The fabric is a wine color dark purple.

FYI- do not put iron on interfacing (fabric type) or any other type in the washing machine. Ask me how I know. What was I thinking? Instead run hot water from the faucet and soak the interfacing until the water gets cold. Lightly squeeze the water out and hang to dry.
Books and Videos Erica wrote a post concerning tailoring books that she uses. I have the same books except for the illustrated guide to tailoring. In addition to the books I will be referring to the books below. The Bishop Method of Construction- they are my favorite books to read. 



The Vogue Book of Sewing and The Complete books to Tailoring by Adele Margolis is another favorite.



Videos- Craftsy- Essential Guide to Tailoring- Structure and Shape by Allison Smith

You Tube- The Making of a Coat. If you have the time and you’re inte…

Sew- Alongs, Lessons Learned - The Amazing Coat-Sew-Along

In the last nine years I’ve joined two or three sew-along and failed at each one. When I read about a sew-along my anxiety level goes from 0-10, until, Faye had the Carnival of Skirts Sew-Along. Of course I jumped on the skirt bandwagon because skirts are my favorite garment to sew. That was my first successful sew-a-long.
The reason for my success:
1.I use a TNT skirt pattern that I’ve used countless time and sewn it in all type of fabrics
2.During the sew-a-long, I devised plan and dedicated ½ - 1 hour sewing time

 Here is why I failed in the other sew-a-longs:
1.I joined the sew-along without considering the time it would require, the type of garment(s), and my level of sewing.
2. The choice of patterns- I choose patterns that I did not work with before. This caused me to spend too much time fitting and altering the pattern. Lesson learned: choose a pattern that you have worked with before, maybe a TNT pattern. In fact I believe TNT pattern(s) shoul…

Circle Skirt

My love of skirts has been well documented on this blog. This skirt was easy to sew. I did not use a pattern. I took one of the circle skirts that I made in 2007,  made a pattern by laying the skirt on muslin, traced around the perimeter of the skirt, added 1-inch seam allowance at the side seams, ½- inch- seam allowance at the waist and 2-inches at the hem. That was it.                      The back and the front of the skirt were identical. I added a side seam zipper. The skirt has a lining that was cut from the same skirt pattern with the same seam allowance; however the lining was sewn at ½-inch and it was attached at the waist.                                                         
The skirt hem; my original plan was to do a 2-inch hem. That did not work out because the hem stood away from the skirt. Instead I did a basting stitch one-inch from the edge of the hem, turned it under and top stitch. Perfecttttt! After I made the skirt I was unsure about the color of the blouse or sh…

Happy 4th of July

Have a safe and AWESOME holiday weekend.

Pinterest (inspiration), Cowl Neck Blouse and a Gore Skirt

The photo below was on Pinterest and it inspired me to create the skirt and the blouse.   

Fabrics: knit - animal print and white stretch gabardine fabric from my stash. Camouflage white and pink medium weight cotton knit fabric was  bought in Brooklyn, NY on a fabric extravaganza trip with my sewing sister Sheila.  Notions: pinking shears, and cotton and polyester thread and a white zipper.      Construction & Sewing: The white skirt was self-drafted using my TNT skirt pattern. It’s an eight panel gore skirt. I did not try the skirt on during the construction because I’ve sewn many skirts and my TNT work like a charm. Well, surprise, surprise, the skirt was too big. I took in ¼ inch at  all the seam except for the center back seam where the zipper was inserted. I removed two inches from the waistband. I did not bother to try it on until today.                                                                                                                                        …

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms, aunts, godmothers, grandmothers and to anyone who fulfill the role of a mother. od bless you all. My awesome hunnyyyyy, did not wrap my gift, this year he choose to display it on my mannequin. Awesomeeee!

Customize Dress Form and TNT Dress Pattern

FYI- do not use old sheet, the weave it tight making it difficult to get pins to into the fabric and it wrinkles like hell, no amount of ironing takes the wrinkles out.

My DD belongs to an organization that wears white to their formal and semi-formal events. This organization has rules regarding the type and length of the garment that can be worn by the ladies. Three weeks ago she asked me to sew a dress with a jacket for an upcoming event. I decided to use a fitting pattern that I had in my collection B-6092. My goal was to work out her fitting issues in the muslin, make a customize dress form and have a basic TNT dress pattern for her.
I choose the size of the pattern based on the high bust measurement.I compared her measurements against the pattern measurements and I did the following changes to the pattern:
1.Decreased the shoulder length
2.Lowered the bust point
3.Lengthen the waist- this was done after the bust point length was adjusted
4.After comparing the slope of her shoulder and …

Photo Album

On/around September 2013 I watched a video on You Tube by Kathy Orta regarding how to construct a mini album. I spent three months watching videos by other ladies on album construction. I enjoy scrapbooking and I figured that by learning to make my own album I could get exactly what I want. I purchase Kathy's tutorial and used it to make several albums. By the beginning of 2014, I got bored and move on to something else. Recently, after I crocheted several hats, I began to think about creating an album where I kept photos of all of my projects ( sewing, quilting, home dec, needlework, etc.).  Ahhhh! and it all came back to me; create your album. Went back to You Tube and after watching a few videos, I completed this album in 2.5 weeks.
 After the album was completed I looked through old photos to find pics of items that I sewed back in the 1970's and OMG the album took a life of its own. The album was filled with photos of my college years, dating my husband, our wedding, fr…

Crochet Palooza II

Crochet Hat Palooza

In a previous post I wrote that I followed Hectanooga1's video on YouTube to crochet this hat. After I crochet the first hat ( orange), the hat grew by two inches.  I revised Hectanooga's  instructions and I am loving the results.
 (


Vogue Patterns- Spring 2015

Good Morning
I enjoy Toy's fashion and pattern reviews. She has a great eye for details and because of her reviews I am looking at patterns with keener eyes.Vogue Patterns Spring 2015 was posted on her blog today. Please check the post out. After reading her post and writing my comment, I decided to post my comment here.
Vogue 1442, love the design, as for fabric a very soft drapery knit is perfect. For a very curvy girl this could be a tricky one, proceed with caution.
9075- Wide leg jumpsuit, this is an old pattern that came out of the archives. This is very easy to recreate with an existing pattern. I will not buy this pattern; however I will add the image to my inspiration book.
9091- No, on this one. Culotte pant are flattering to most figure type. I have a Culotte pattern by Butterick.
9076- YES hunniiii! I love this one. It’s a 70’s flashback, but oh so feminine. I will check my pattern stash; I may have an older version of this pattern.
9077- Yes hunnniiiii! The front pleat e…

My first Project for 2015

Hello

This is my first project for 2015
 . My last crochet project was the crochet along that  Sheila and I did in 2013. I crocheted three skirts and as I worked on the fourth skirt I developed a severe allergy to the acrylic yarn. Sadly I gave the skirts away. Recently Sheila has been on a crochet extravaganza and I desire to crochet began to take hold. So I went to the craft store and I found cotton thread with 15% polyester. My first attempt to knit a hat was not successful because I choose the wrong thread for the pattern. This was my second attempt. I love it especially since I have a better understanding of what the thread can do.  The pattern is from one of my favorite You tuber Hectanooga1.  I choose orange because my coat is black and I wanted to add a pop of color and what better way to achieve that.