Friday, December 30, 2016

Special sewing additions

Hello everyone!

It has been so nice to wind down at the end of this year!  The weather has been delightful (60s), and my days have been a bit lazy since we got back from vacation. I welcome not having to get up super early each day to get the kids ready for school, and am glad that has been replaced by enjoying one another and catching up with friends we don't get to see often.

In essence, the holiday season and busyness has winded down.  And it comes at such a beautiful time for me...the soon unveiling of a new year!  Last night my littlest son even rewarded us with a FIVE hour stretch of sleep! Yay! I pray for more of those kind of nights.

Anyhow, I hope you are getting a chance to relax into the new year as well.

I wanted to take the time and share a few amazing sewing gifts I received recently.  I have a dear friend who traveled to Nigeria to visit family, and I had the pleasure of talking to her before she left for her trip. She mentioned, in passing, that her family would have a one hour layover in England, which immediately perked my ears. England?!?! I ordered a sewing magazine from there! So, I told her about the magazine I ordered, and asked if she could possibly bring a few back for me (I would pay her, of course).  She said she would take a look, and see what she could find.

Three weeks later I get a text from her saying she found the magazines, and two days ago she dropped these gems off at my home:

Oh me, oh my! The newest issues of Love Sewing and Sew Now magazine!!! I couldn't wait to tear open the plastic and read them! The content is SO GOOD, too!  From my understanding, Love Sewing came before Sew Now, but Sew Now is a sister magazine to Love Sewing that focuses on high-fashion, on trend sewing.

Either way, I am hooked! I'm not sure if the FREE patterns included with the magazines are any good, but I will have to make one up and see.  Right now I have a total of three (including these two), and they are all aimed at the adventurous beginner.  I will definitely let you know when I sew one up!

My other sewing addition was a LONG time coming.  You see, year after year, I have seen posts about dressforms.  And year after year, I have pined after a dressform.  Well, I finally decided to do something about it.  I started to research dressforms for sewing, and at first, couldn't decide what I wanted--an adjustable one like they sell at places like Joanns, or a professional one that cost hundreds of dollars? There were so many pros and cons to work out. Finally, I decided on a professional dressform for the following reasons:

  1. Pinnable
  2. Drapeable
  3. Ability to fit without the distortion created from adjustable dials
  4. Quality
I found a website called The Shop Company (featured in a recent Burda magazine) that sells prof. dressforms, and they are quite affordable. I began saving for one earlier this year, putting money aside, and waiting until I had what I needed to purchase the dressform and Fabulous Fit kit to pad it well. Here is what it looks like:

I haven't padded it yet, but I seriously LOVE my new dressform! It is so clean and beautiful! And the quality is super. Every detail looks meticulously crafted, and it is hard to believe it belongs to me!!!

I will say that figuring out the size was a bit complicated since I am not pre-pregnancy size yet (and don't know if I will ever be), but the representatives at the company were so helpful. They told me that as long as the dressform was always smaller than me, the padding would work just fine. I found some measurements I took of my bust, neck, shoulders, and back waist (my hips are always going to be larger), and compared those numbers to where I am now.  My measurements went most closely with a size 6.  

I bought the Fabulous Fit padding in a size L so I can pad "her" to mimic my shape.  I never quite understood why people named their dressforms, but now I do.  Let me introduce you to Rosalyn!

 My guys got to work putting assembling her as soon as she arrived, and everything went together easily. 
 Now I just need to add the padding. The package has a cover that fits over the form so you can pad where necessary. For me that will be abdomen, hips, and buttocks. But, yeah, I can't wait to use her! I like thinking that I invested in a form I will have for a long time. As my sewing skills grow, I won't outgrow Rosalyn, but she will grow with me.

If you are interested in purchasing your own dressform, you may want to check out The Shop Company (not affiliated with them in any way).  Also, if you have a form already, and you would like to share your own experience with me, please do! I would love to know how it helped. I admit, I am mostly looking forward to not having to undress a gazillion times, lol!

Stay sew filled!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Hello everyone!

I have been relaxing and spending some time away with my family, yet I did not want to let the day go by without wishing you all a


Here are some photos of our holiday session this year. It has been around 6 years since our last holiday photo, and it was well worth the effort of trying to get five people to smile AT THE SAME TIME! LOL!

I may not always get to make the sewing garments that I want, but I am so grateful I got to make these three precious gems. That God would grace me to mother them and grow ME in the process brings tears to my eyes.  They are uniquely gifted and full of potential, and I pray they will use in great ways.

2016 was a mixed year for me, yet I am grateful for God's gifts in my life: my husband, children, and the birth of my saviour Jesus Christ.

It is with awe, wonder, hope, and great expectation that I enter into 2017, and look forward to all the year with bring. My goal is to go from hope to action, and I would love for you to journey with me!  

Until soon, stay sew filled!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sewing Chitchat: November

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all doing well!

About November...well, it really kicked me in the butt! If it wasn't household sickness and activities, it was getting our littlest guy on a schedule to sleep through the night. So, my November plans have fallen by the wayside. But the good news is, I plan on keeping the same plans for December.

I think I may need to streamline my process a bit more, and maybe that will help.  I tend to go step by step for each project (prewash fabric, cut out pattern/make adjustments, cut out fabric, sew pieces), yet I think it might be more helpful to do EACH step for ALL of my projects first. So, prewash all my fabric first, cut out all my pattern sizes together, etc.  If you have tried this and find it helpful, can you let me know?  I am trying to use some shortcuts as well as maximizing blocks of time.

Anyhow, I thought I would start blogging sewing chitchat, so you may see more of these posts in the future. It will be a way to let you know some of the sewing-related things going on in my life while I am working on various projects. And there is always a lot going on! So, here is a bit of the cool things I have bought, found, or am just really into for now:

Sew Now Magazine

Sometime around last month I was putzing around online, looking at the overseas sewing magazines available. I mean, I like the local mags, but I haven't found anything here that is on trend, to my liking. So of course I was purusing Burda and other publications, and happened on this magazine that just launched in the UK.  It is a branch from their Love Sewing publication, and it features a FREE sewing pattern with each magazine, as well as 6 .pdf downloads.  Their goal is to focus on sewing and craft trends (with a strong emphasis in apparel sewing), while staying on trend. YES!

Here is the pattern for the launch:

I can't give you a full on review yet because I have not had it long, but I can say that my inital impression is very good. I love the pattern that came with it. It is from Simple Sew, and a beginner sewing level. It has lots of visual interest, and clean lines. You can sew a dress or top. I want today, lol! But, I do not have any compatible fabric in the stash for this.

There is also really good advice inside from experts in the fashion sewing field. One really good article showcases things to be aware of when sewing different fabrics.  Another great feature was called Shop it or Sew it. On this page, it shows some stores found currently in stores (RTW), and the corresponding pattern you could use to sew them. Love this! I tend to do this a lot while shopping, or pinning on Pinterest.

The only downside for me is the .pdf patterns (YEP) and shipping time. I will brave a .pdf pattern, don't get me wrong, but I would much rather have a paper pattern to work with.  For shipping internationally, my magazine took almost a month to get here (yikes) even though it was supposed to take 6-14 days. I paid a little over $11, which I didn't find bad at all. I did see that there was a warehouse moving issue that delayed the magazine shipment, so I hope when I order the next issue (and I plan to) it will be here in a more timely manner.

It also came with an Accessories magazine as a bonus:

You can check out More Mags if you are interested in ordering!

Sewing Labels

I got a new sewing label ya'll! And it is so purty!!!!!!!! I wanted to FINISH a project and show it off, but since I haven't been able to do that, here it is:

I ordered it online from Dutch Label Shop! Carolyn from Diary of a Sewing Fanatic recommended them, and there was an online ordering code at the time so I figured it was worth a shot.  This is really an updated version of my original label. I kept Sweet Ness, which comes from my nickname, "Ness," and the fact that people always say I am so sweet. It can also mean sweetness. I like the double meaning. And the Rose icon is my middle name. I plan on using these LOTS!

Sewing Books

If you don't know already, I love books!!!!! Usually I check them out at the library, and the ones that I find myself checking out OVER and OVER again are the ones I purchase for my own personal book library. You see, I am an Amazon Prime member, and enjoy shopping on They make it super easy to buy used books at great prices. Actually, you can even find great prices on new books too!

So I definitely ordered this book to help me choose fabrics. One of my goals is to sew different types of fabrics. I usually sew knits, but some ones on my list to try are rayon challis, peachskin, and cotton lawn. Who knows? I may even discover a new fave! 

I also got this BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook because it was just so darn cute, and I have a weak spot for books that have master patterns included.  I plan on fitting the main pieces to my shape, and making adjustments from there.  Ultimately, creating a wardrobe would be ideal, but I know I buy so many other patterns too that I can't guarantee that. 

Now this one right here is my homegirl! I have never tried a Colette pattern, but the ones included in this book are lovely, AND the instructions look really sound.  I definitely look forward to a future sew from here.

That is all for sewing books. I am goal setting for next year already, and I am pretty sure I am going to have to choose a month to ONLY sew from my pattern books. I have amassed quite a few cause I just love looking at them, but I don't think I have sewn one. No, not even one.

New Craftsy Classes

The craft of sewing always keeps you learning, right?  Well, as an adventurous beginner in apparel sewing, I have been keeping my eyes on Craftsy sales so I could use them as I learn and grow. Here are the ones I acquired:

I was intrigued with this class when Candice from Sew My Time raved about it. Well, she is right! What an awesome class where you learn so many wonderful techniques. I got my Islander Jacket Pattern about three weeks after I purchased this class, and it looks like a flattering jacket for all figure types. This is a definite sew for the future.

I am really excited about this one because I find that I often run into this dilemma: I see a plus sized pattern that I LOVE, but I don't know how to size it down to fit myself. Well, here you go. You can learn to grade any pattern up or down so that you never have that problem again. Have you ever went to a pattern sale, bought a particular one, and later realized that you bought the 6-14 in error and you really needed the 16-24? Ha! I've done that more times than I can count! Then I have to ask myself if it is worth it to go back and get the right one. So, yeah, I am curious about this one for sure.

I have never sewn a jacket, SO I need help when I do sew one! This class is for that reason! I really want to sew more outwear because I normally wear a lot of it in my wardrobe.

And last, but not least, I have purchased a lot of Suzy Furrer's patternmaking classes. The main reason is because I started on a sloper journey a few years ago that I never finished. I just needed some more handholding in order to accomplish it. I have watched some of these, and she appears to be a great teacher. I love that this class goes over making a bodice/pants sloper for wovens, and ALSO includes the adjustments needed for a knit sloper. If you are only interested in one vs. the other, I have seen Craftsy classes a little cheaper that have that option. But, it is awesome that she includes BOTH.  I grabbed most of these classes with the "all classes 17.99 sale."

Of course I don't think I will be tackling this anytime soon, particularly since I am still steadily losing baby weight. But, it is included in my 2017 plan for sure.

Sewing Patterns

I have purchased loads of patterns in the past month or two, probably more than I ever have. And I haven't even touched any of the winter/holiday styles!! There are some really great ones out there. I won't bore you with dozens of my picks, but I will share with you my two standouts:

I am definitely late when it comes to "popular" sewing patterns, but I am jumping on the bandwagon! I FINALLY bought the Sewaholic Renfrew! This pattern has always appealed to me, but I just never justified buying it because I felt like there were comparable things within the BIG 4. Well, there are, but who cares?!?!? Other people really love this one, so I am going to give it a go!

Have you seen the Kelly Anorak popping up online???? I have, and this was LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT! I just had to buy it, I just had to! I am glad I did because the instructions look fantastic, and there is more insight on the Closet Case Files blog. I already bought all of my materials, and want to finish this jacket for spring. Technically, I would have loved to start on it this month, but I am moving it to Jan. or Feb. instead.  As long as I finish it by then I should be able to get some good wear out of it. This is my BIG project! :)

Youtube channels

Lastly, do you all follow any fellow seamsters on Youtube? I recently discovered a few channels, and have been binge watching to my delight, ha, ha ha! Since I haven't been able to sew myself, I love watching what other people are making. I wanted to share two faves with you:

INSIDE THE HEM--This is a duo that sews and converses. You can check out their plans and makes for each month, as well as their faves.  It is always great to have a friend who crafts with you, and these two definitely show that dynamic.

LISA EMERITA--This woman is a dressmaker with serious skills and personality! I love watching her videos because she has such an infectious way about her. It doesn't hurt that she is always talking about her latest collection, and one month she sewed 27 items!!!!! What?!?! I am struggling to sew three, lol! She is definitely talented, and you will thoroughly enjoy her videos.

What a wonderful sewing community we have!!!! Whether it is blogging, vlogging, Facebook, instagram, Periscope, or whatever else, let's make sewing trend! Just a few years ago I kept hearing how sewing was dying out, but I argue that it is now on a full-on surge, and continuing to rise!! Let it rise! I love being a part of this community, and seeing the other inspirational people around me.

I hope you enjoyed this "chitchat!"  I am ready to wash off the drudge of November, and start afresh this week!  Who's with me?

Stay sew filled!