Vogue 7862: “Today’s Fit by Sandra Betzina”

This was my first attempt at making a bag. I chose this pattern because it seemed pretty simple and the overall outcome would be a functional side-sack that I’d actually be able to use. There are two bags within this pattern. I chose the larger size as I thought that it would be the most functional for my needs. It’s large enough to slide in an ultrabook or any other thin size laptop.







What’s a good starter machine?

Ok, let’s be honest with ourselves. When we inquire about starter machines, what we really mean is, “I’d like an inexpensive machine that is top of the line.” No one admits to looking for a really *cough* easy on the pocket machine, but that’s pretty much want us novices mean. Think about it for a moment… Why would we want to invest a small fortune in a sewing machine on the basis of some claim made in a Facebook group or by the commission-collector at the big box store that’s got an agenda which includes a sales quota? Husbands aside, who spends money on something that they don’t understand and to which they are not truly committed? It’s the equivalent of a marriage proposal from a one night stand or mowing your lawn in the snow because your grass may still be growing. Newbies want to make informed decisions.

Along the way, I was given all sorts of advice on the type of machine that I should purchase. Here are some of my all-time favorites:

  1.  “Buy the most machine that you can afford.” – Does this actually make any kind of logical sense? How much a person can afford has nothing to do with the functionality of the machine. Sewing machines should not be purchased on the basis of what you can afford, but on the basis of what you would like to do.
  2. “Don’t buy *INSERT BRAND HERE* because you’ll regret it.” – Really? And why is that? Will  every *BRAND X* machine work exactly the same? Doesn’t that sound a bit like, “Don’t date that guy. When I dated him, he…” No basis is provided beyond that ONE person’s bad experience.
  3. “I own *INSERT BRAND HERE* and I love it!” – Seriously? Ummm, ok.  Maybe, no.
  4. “I’ve owned  five sewing machines in my lifetime. These worked best.” – Sure.
  5. “I’ve heard that *INSERT BRAND HERE* makes pretty decent machine.” – Of course they do, dear.

The “helpful” advice provided above all have the same thing in common: no information. So what’s a good response? There isn’t a right response, per se… But there are numerous ways to NOT provide a thoughtful response (see list above). Consider asking the person what it is that they want to sew. Reference some of the features that you find important and explain why they are important. Explain whether or not you are a casual sewist, enthusiast or if your ability to sew provides an income. This type of information can be quite useful  in helping a person make a decision on their sewing machine purchase.  Keep in mind that more expensive does not equate to better value or greater opportunities to the new sewist because it’s JUST a sewing machine and not THAT big of a deal.

Burda 6992

Talk about an easy-peasy pattern! Two pattern pieces a couple of hems and it’s a go! This patten took less than an hour. I serged the two pieces together and used a really thick wool/knit blend.




An unbiased truth about True Bias

I attended a sewing event recently and one of the attendees mentioned “true bias” when describing the very beautiful linen mandarin jacket that she had made. “True bias?” I thought, “what the heck is that?” And it was off to Google I went. Goggle defines true bias as:


Because I can actually read, the definition makes sense, but how exactly does that fit into what I am trying to accomplish with my sewing? It’s all a about the flow, baby! Perhaps “flow” isn’t the right word, but let’s make it fit. A garment cut on the bias has the 45 degrees flowing down over the body. Cutting fabric diagonally across the grain, causes the material to drape fluidly and elegantly across the body. It’s an expensive way to cut due to it’s inefficient use of fabric and is often used for silk or satin dresses for maximum slink factor.

Even after my elaborate understanding penned above, something was missing. It wasn’t until I spoke with Natasha over at HousefulOfNicholes that things made sense. She said, “Rememeber that skirt that you made that fit kind of funny?” Then the lightbulb went off. The skirt was cut ALL wrong and fit like a
wet sock on a cabbage patch kid.

McCalls 6552




Dude, where’s my mojo?

I need more hours in the day. I need more hours in the day. Did I mention that I need more hours in the day? I’ve got to REALLY get back to sewing… starting yesterday. I do not lack equipment. I do not lack any kind of resource that could be purchased from any of the big box stores, eBay or Amazon. I have a craft room and it is filled with EVERYTHING that a crafter could want (and it has a door). I simply lack the time.

I have a family, dog,

Feeling the love

Every now and again, I am reminded that I actually provide a service that people love and appreciate. I actually do something good. I was given this cake from one of my clients and her daughter. They snagged the picture from my Facebook page.


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