My New Stove

So, yeah. I got a new stove. And it is magical. Wonderful. Amazing. Well, not really. It’s just a regular stove. But I’ve been cooking on a nearly-dead appliance for about 5 years. So this new one is like magic.

I really wanted an electric one. But the way my house is set up…. I settled for this gas stove and I absolutely love it. Admittedly, I’m a bit obsessed with keeping it clean. I scrub it two, sometimes three times a day. It must stay clean! It must stay clean! It must!

My current cleaner of choice.

My new appliance has given me a better appreciation for my time in the kitchen. I’m enjoying myself a lot more now that I don’t have a big grease monster fire trap stove taking up space. (I would show you a picture of the old one but it’s too embarrassing.)

I’ve dived head first in cooking books and online recipes. Pretty soon I’ll have my own cooking show!

My Self-Drafted Shirt

This past weekend I decided to test my skills and create another self-drafted shirt. I’ve made one before and it turned out fabulously. So, I figured I’d do it again.

Using my previously-made shirt as a pattern I measured, cut, and pinned as best I could. They I said a few prayers and took the garment to my sewing machine.

After it was sewn I crossed my fingers and tried it on. OH HAPPY DAY! With the exception of being a little snug in the midsection, the shirt is a success! But I think it’s best if I enroll in a pattern drafting class soon. My luck won’t always be this good.

My Fancy Cooking Apron

Just recently, my stove went kaput. I wasn’t surprised. After 14 years and 2 busted burners we hauled it away and made room for a brand new unit. Along with a new stove, I got new cook wear. And since I’m being all fancy now in my kitchen, I thought it only proper that I get a brand new apron!

I searched online for aprons and was just about to order one when it dawned on me that I could make my own! Duh!!! It was my intention to create a new apron using this pattern, but I didn’t have enough fabric. So I decided to draft my own.

Even though I’ve been sewing for two years, I still consider myself a beginner. So I was a bit nervous about drafting this pattern. I pushed through my nerves and decided to add pleating and a fused pocket.

Thankfully, everything turned out great. I originally had a denim pocket (with the wrong side of the fabric showing). But I wasn’t pleased with the look of it, so I fused a decorative fabric on top of the denim pocket to give it a softer look.

After it was complete I figured I should give it a fancier belt that the elastic one I originally decided on. So I used some left over fabric from the pocket and sewed it onto the ends of the elastic belt.

In all honesty, this garment looks more like a stylish springtime skirt more than a cooking apron. So, maybe wearing it will encourage me to become a more skilled cook….we’ll see!

Organizing My Pattern Stash

 

A few months ago I went on a fabric buying binge. Joann Fabrics had a major sale and all of their Simplicity patterns were $1.99. So of course, I had to buy ALL THE PATTERNS! Shamefully, my pattern stash got thrown in a corner where they sat for weeks and weeks.

I’ve finally decided to organize them in my sewing room. I wasn’t sure how to display them. I thought about buying a file cabinet or storage drawers. But since my pattern stash only consists of about 20 patterns, a storage container really wasn’t necessary.

I found two small decorative crates that I’ve had for years and thought these would be perfect to display my patterns. And it worked! Don’t they look great? Now I can easily access my patterns when I need them. How do you store your patterns?

And I’m Back!

Initially, I wanted to start this post with a long explanation of where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing since the last time I posted (which was like, 8 months ago!) Instead, I’ll just direct your attention to the above picture.  That, my friends, is my sewing room. So, where have I been? You may ask! I’ve been behind my sewing machine stitching, hemming and pinning!

Since my last post, I’ve written another book and reopened my Etsy shop! As you can imagine, promoting a book and maintaining a product supply for a business can be taxing. I’m a bit spent. But 2017 is off to a great start.

Now that I’ve recalibrated things, I have a chance to post here more often. But just in case I start slipping, you can always find me on Facebook and Instagram. Like both pages so we can connect!

Also, be sure to check out my Etsy shop. There are some great new items recently added!

Redemption

IMG_1711 b

Several times this week I’ve wanted to throw my sewing machine from my second story window. I’ve had terrible luck with my garments over the past few days. But I was determined to work past my failures and learn from my mistakes.

DIY shirt pattern

I’m so happy that I kept trying because I finally completed a shirt. I am so very happy with the results. I used the “failure shirt” as a guide because even though I messed up the hem and neckline, the cut  accurate. But I did add a little bit in the hip area because….well, you know.

DIY shirt pattern

Since the straight stitch repeatedly got stuck in my machine last time, I tried using a zig zag stitch…which didn’t work at all. So, I rethreaded my bobbin and went back to the straight stitch, which worked beautifully this time.

DIY shirt pattern

I tried on my garment and was completely thrilled with the outcome. The cut was perfect and so flattering. The length was exactly where I wanted it. I couldn’t stop spinning around in the mirror! I liked it so much that I sewed one of my Kozy Kase name tags in the back of it. I feel so fancy!

DIY shirt pattern

 

Two Time Loser- Another Sewing Fail

DIY shirt

This must be the week for epic sewing failures because I have floundered twice in less than 48 hours. I’ve had this particular fabric for a few months but could never decide what to make with it. So, I drafted a pattern using one of my favorite t-shirts. And figured this fabric would be perfect for it.

The shirt turned out perfectly. Absolutely perfect. I loved it. It was gorgeous. Really. So why I decided to cut three inches from the bottom I don’t know. (I guess it’s that self-depreciating thought process where I can’t actually bring myself to believe that I could make something so great- so I have to find something wrong with it).

DIY t shirt pattern

After the inches were cut off, I dove deeper into self-depreciation and decided to make the shirt a v-neck. Well, that v-neck turned out wrong. All wrong. I spent half an hour trying to correct the v-neck. But my fabric continually got stuck in the machine and jamming my needle.

After a few tears, a crushed heart and a few expletives, I decided to give up. There was nothing I could do. I couldn’t add the three inches back on. And I couldn’t make the v-neck back into a scoop neck. So I folded my cards and walked away.

I’m sure one day I will be thankful for whatever lesson I learn from this episode. Until then, I will mourn the loss of my beautiful shirt .

Epic Sewing Fail

pencil skirt

Devastated would be the proper word to describe my feelings. I had been eyeing this beautiful fabric for weeks. I’d longingly walk past it in the aisle of the fabric store but couldn’t make myself put it in my cart. (I’m not accustomed to paying $16.99 per yard for fabric.)

Then one day I decided to purchase it. I knew I could make something beautiful. Once I got it home I decided to try my hand at a pencil skirt. It would be my first time making one, but I’ve grown comfortable with my sewing skills. So, I knew I could pull it off.

pencil skirt pattern

I cut the pattern using a pencil skirt that is in my closet. This particular skirt is incredibly flattering on me and I wanted to replicate the look.

After cutting, pinning, and sewing the skirt I looked at it with pride. I couldn’t wait to wear the skirt the very next day. But first, I needed to try it on to insure a proper fit. Much to my chagrin, the skirt couldn’t get past my knees.

pencil skirt

I tried everything. I sucked, tucked, and contorted my body in all directions. But the skirt didn’t budge. I was devastated, really. After much debate I figured my daughter could wear it. She tried it on and like me, couldn’t pull it up past her legs. She even tried to make it a shirt, but it got stuck on her head.

pencil skirt

The idea then came to me to simply display it on Miss Gigi Dressform for future inspiration. But guess what….. It was too small to fit on the mannequin! This is a tragedy. I can’t believe this fabric has gone to waste. I need a hug.

*Even though this garment didn’t work out as I had planned, I did learn a very important lesson: In order to make a pencil skirt I must use a fabric with more stretch in it. This fabric would have been perfect for a circle skirt.

Learning To Sew With Mimi G.

Mimi G Sew It! Academy

My sewing repertoire is growing. Currently, I am able to create fancy pillow cases, infinity scarves, pajama pants and circle skirts. And when the mood strikes me, I can even draft a pattern for a shirt.

Since I took my first sewing class in February of 2015 I’ve expanded my skills by leaps and bounds. So, when Mimi G announced that she was starting an online sewing academy I knew I’d be signing up.

Mimi G is a blogger, business woman, fashion designer, pattern maker, fashionista, teacher and a whole lot more! I’ve been following her for years and was able to meet her at one of her Passion To Profit conferences in Atlanta last year.

Today I began my first online course through Mimi G’s Sew It! Academy and only 10 minutes into the video I’ve learned so much! It’s amazing what you find that you don’t know once things are explained to you.

If you’re interested in sewing but never had an opportunity to learn, or if you want to improve your sewing skills, check out Mimi G’s Sew It! Academy. You’ll be glad you did. Happy Sewing!

Painter’s Tape Art Work

painter's tape artwork

It’s been many months since I’ve painted. My canvases were sitting in a corner idle, collecting dust….until this past weekend. I decided to pull them away from their loneliness and break open a few containers of paint.

painter's tape artwork

I saw this technique on Facebook…or Pinterest…(or some other social media site) where the artist used painter’s tape to create a design. So, I followed suit (even though I couldn’t find my painter’s tape) and came up with this…..

painter's tape artwork

The end result wasn’t quite as fabulous as I had hoped, but I’m sure I can find some obscure location in my home to hang these….works of art.