I’m excited to announce I have a new article, Animal Instinct, published in Creative Machine Embroidery, September/October 2015 issue. The six page article covers the steps to create an embroidery technique I created, called Ghost embroidery.
Author Archives: MDesign7
Published Again Excitement
This has been an exciting year for me, I am excited to announce I have been published again. This makes three times this year in Threads Magazine and one time in Notions, a magazine for ASG, American Sewing Guild, members only. I am truly blessed!
Dressing Downton at Biltmore Estates
Downton Abbey meets The Biltmore Estates – This is a trip I will never forget!!
What a wonderful event!! Dressing Downton at The Biltmore Estates, in Asheville, North Carolina. 40 costumes from the PBS show Downton Abbey were on display throughout the Vanderbilt home. The eye candy was incredible.
Prom Dress in Threads Magazine
I am so proud to announce that the gorgeous prom dress I made for my granddaughter is featured in the Reader’s Closet of Threads Magazine issue # 178, May 2015.
How exciting it is to see something you made in print. Check it out in Thread’s Magazine.
To see all the exquisite details of the dress and the process I went through to make it, read With Love – Prom Dress.
Browse through my other articles and if you like what you see I hope you become a follower.
Here are links to some other articles you may like:
To see many more articles, go to my homepage and scroll down to the bottom, stopping to view what articles that catch your eye. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you become part of my following family. I have many fun things to share.
Chunk’s Story – A Survivor, Diabetic Cat…
Chunk has an incredible life story to tell. He is a true survivor, an orphan, a forgiver, a love, and a diabetic. His life started as a litter of four, abandoned in a box by a dumpster, at 3 or 4 days old. This is where I came into his life and his story begins.
On page 12 of the newest Thread’s Magazine is one of my Tips. “Check back fit without twisting”, look for the March 2015, number 177 issue.
Making a corded bowl is Fun and Easy to do whether you are a beginner sewer or an expert. You decide how the bowl is formed, you choose the colors, and if you make a mistake, who cares it just adds a unique character to your creation.
There are many videos on YouTube demonstrating how to make the corded bowls, so I am just going to show you some of the techniques and things that I learned from making them. The picture above is my second bowl I made, I thought the bowl needed a creative edge so I just played around with it, and this is what I came up with. It was easy and it was fun.
Fashion Show 2014
The Atlanta Chapter of the American Sewing Guild celebrated September, National Sewing Month, in style with a Fashion Show. All the fashions were designed and/or made by our talented members. Anthony Williams, Designer, and known from Project Runway Fame, was our guest speaker and MC for the show.
What can I say about Anthony, he is extremely talented, professional, endearing, and HILARIOUS. We all had so much fun!
For those that didn’t see the show, and for those that want to relive the fun, enjoy the following pictures.
Fashion Show Invitation
Anyone in the Atlanta area, you are invited to the Atlanta Chapter of the American Sewing Guild Fall Fashion Show. September is National Sewing month and we are celebrating in style. Anthony Williams from Project Runway is our guest MC. All the fashions are made by ASG members, students, and future designers. I am currently working on a fabulous outfit to model and I will blog about it in the future. For tickets go to this Atlanta Sewing Guild link. The deadline to purchase tickets is this Friday, August 29.
I hope to see you there.
Red Silk Sheath
There is something about a simple sheath dress that states sophistication. The classic sheath can be dressy or casual, but even in a casual fabric it is still classy.
One day at Gail K’s, I was shopping for fabric to make a prototype for one of my husband’s inventions, I found this beautiful red tone on tone silk. I love silk so I just had to have it, my immediate thought was to make a simple sheath dress, and this is what I came up with.
Not too long ago a friend from ASG sent out an email about a free downloadable pattern from Marfy Patterns. I had never heard of them before so I thought I would check them out, who doesn’t like something that is free. Right? On the website there were three free patterns, a top, skirt and jacket. I felt like I had hit the mother load. LOL I downloaded all three of them and decided to make the cute top. In this article I will show you the steps in how to tape the downloaded pattern together, because there definitely were some challenges that I will explain. I will show you the solutions I came up with, and the link to the free patterns, if they are still available when you read this.
What I have learned about Marfy from their website is that they are an Italian pattern making company. They hand make each pattern and are known for their workmanship, styles and precision. Find out more about them here. I personally can’t wait to try one of their actual patterns (not a downloadable one). Their styles are fabulous!!!
Fashion Ladies Skirt
I love embellishments and little decorative details on fashions and that is why I love embroidery. I have a Bernina 200E/730 that I bought years ago and I still love this machine. It has the capability to do hundreds of decorative stitches and to do machine embroidery so I can create one of a kind fashions.
One year when I was at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Atlanta I discovered this embroidery company that does their own designs, which have an Asian design flare and not a lot of stitches per inch so the embroideries come out light to the touch and not stiff, which makes their designs perfect for flowing fabrics, light weight fabrics and knits. Momo-Dini Embroidery Art is owned by two sisters, Momo and Dini, Fine Art Professors originally from China, they do their own artwork and sales and they have won many awards for their paintings and designs.
I look forward to seeing Dini Yan at the Expo every year not only to see what new designs they have created but because she is so nice and friendly. This year I was really excited to be able to show her what I created with their embroidery designs.
One year they came out with these designs called Fashion Ladies and I immediately knew what I wanted to make to show off these designs. Unfortunately the design CD went into my “stash” like so many other fabrics and embroidery CDs do, but this year I made this skirt a priority on my sewing list. And I am so glad I did because it is beautiful and fun to wear. For some reason I feel like a little doll wearing it. It makes me happy.
Just a quick post… I’m now on Twitter. Follow me for quick sewing tips and hopefully some fun. Please excuse my errors because I am still learning to Tweet. Let’s laugh and have some fun.
March Madness – Sewing Style
I love March Madness, but not the same way that sports fans do. I have my own March Madness, every March I attend the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Atlanta. It is an expo just for sewing and quilting enthusiasts, where you can shop, take classes, watch fashion shows, view the beautiful quilt exhibit, and just absorb all the energy from all the friendly sewing people walking around. It is so much fun. If you don’t live near Altanta they also have the expo in many other states, just visit their website above to see their schedule.
The Expo offers a variety of classes and workshops, some years I take classes and some years I don’t. This year I decided to take four workshops spread out over three days. From past experiences I have learned to take a maximum of two workshops in a day, otherwise my brain gets tired and then I can’t truly enjoy the third workshop. I like to only take workshops where we are actually sewing, these are called “hands on”, because I am taking the class to have fun, if I learn at least one thing than that is an extra bonus. You don’t have to bring your own sewing machine, the sponsors supply them, so I got to sew on a Pfaff, a Viking and a Brother, which was great because I sew on a Bernina at home.
Jacket Pattern Alterations
I think the reason most people give up on sewing fashions for themselves is because of fit. Fitting yourself can be quite a challenge, especially if you don’t have someone to help you pin, measure, take a tuck in, etc. To be honest it can be quite a hassle, depressing and a very long process. But if you would take the time to get that perfect or almost perfect fit it can be so rewarding. It makes you feel and look great in your well fitted outfit, much better than a store bought fashion. Also the more you fit yourself, the easier it becomes, then the more enjoyable the sewing process will become.
In this article I am going to show you some of the steps I took to alter the jacket pattern for my Reversible Jacket. We are all made of different shapes and sizes, so I know you won’t have the exact altering issues that I have, but I hope you can learn from these examples and apply them in some sort of way. Example, if I had to add to a curve, you might have to take away from a curve. Same basic process, I add and you subtract, basic math and geometry.
About 25 years ago I found a vintage Forstmann 100% wool bouclé jacket that was my husband’s grandmother’s. It was about to be thrown away and I saved it. I had it cleaned and I wore it a couple times, and it inspired me to want to make a more modern version of the jacket. It took 25 years but I finally made one.
I am not a “wool” person so I knew I didn’t want to make the new jacket out of wool.
One day while fabric shopping for another project, this beautiful synthetic faux Persian lamb jumped out at me. It came in three colors, and I fell in love with two of them. I couldn’t make my mind up which was the prettiest, so I thought, why not make a reversible jacket, then I can have them both. Here is the process in making this extremely soft and comfortable jacket.
Christmas Decorations 3 – Boudoir Tree
This is my last article on Christmas decorations for this year. I hope you enjoy some of my decorations on the main floor. I really edited my photos a lot, so you won’t see everything I have made, otherwise you would be bored to tears, I will just show some of the main things.
I will also share my most favorite Boudoir tree, the best way to describe it is to quote a song from the movie Burlesque, ” …a little bit of naughty is a little bit of nice…a whole lot of glam, sweat, sugar, sex, spice..”. LOL I created this tree out of my mind, I personally have never seen one anything like it. I am sharing my secret tree so that you can create your own, if you dare. The camera really does not do it justice, but I did the best I could to capture it. I truly hope you enjoy it.
Christmas Decoration 2
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house, I have the bottom floor of our home finally finished so I wanted to share these Christmas decorations and tips with you. You will see a 10′ tree, a stuffed animal tree and fireplace mantle along with a few easy to decorate swags. I hope you enjoy them.
Christmas Decorations 1
I love Christmas and so does my husband, therefore I go crazy with my decorations. I have to start decorating before the season even begins so that I can get it all up in time to truly enjoy it. I will be posting several articles sharing my decorations as I decorate the house. I hope you enjoy them. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
Mixing Fabric Prints
Mixing prints can make or break an outfit. It can be fun and it can be challenging. It is a matter of your own style, your comfortability, your ability to take a fashion risk, your confidence, and your own taste. Many years ago, mixing prints was taboo, it was considered atrocious but now you see it everywhere, even being done by the best designers on the runway.
Wearing mixed prints fashion is not for everyone, because you will draw attention to yourself; therefore, when you wear fashion that is made up of mixed prints – you must
HOLD YOUR HEAD HIGH AND WALK WITH CONFIDENCE.
In Home decor we mix patterns all the time, but for fashion it is a little more difficult. In fashion you don’t have the large area to create a “breathing space” or “pause” between the prints, like you do in a room.
If you want to try mixing fabrics but don’t have the confidence, then start out slowly by mixing your accessories. For example, carry a patterned purse with a striped dress. Or animal print shoes with a pair of african print pants. Or like this picture, she has an animal print purse with a plaid skirt and a sweater wrapped around her waist, all in the same tones.
These are the guidelines that I have discovered by playing around with fabrics.
Fabric Cutting – Paper or No Paper
I have been sewing and cutting out patterns on all types of fabrics for decades. Over the last few years I have heard about cutting out your patterns with a layer of paper underneath. I have always dismissed it because I didn’t see why it was necessary. I finally decided to put this theory to the test.
The theory is to lay paper down on your table, lay your fabric on top of the paper, then lay your pattern on top of the fabric and pin through all three layers. The paper on the bottom is supposed to grip and support your fabric better and keep everything from shifting; therefore, your pattern when cut is more accurate.
The first thing I had to do to test this theory was to have an open mind. Continue reading
Easy Knitted Ribbon Scarf
For those of you that follow my blog, you know that I am not a knitter, but these scarves are so easy and pretty that anyone can do it.
When I went to the fabric store I didn’t set out to get yarn to make another scarf, but this Red Heart Ribbon Yarn was sitting on an end counter (great marketing) and when I looked at it I thought, wow, I think that can be knitted like the ruffled scarf I made.
I bought a couple colors and in a few hours I had two beautiful scarves.
Here are a few tips I learned. (Not step by step instructions.) Continue reading
Awesome Gift Wrap
The other day I was needing to wrap two pieces of jewelry for gifts. I went to the store to purchase two cute little gift bags and I went down the wrong aisle, and what did I see but some really cute socks. Immediately I thought, why not wrap the jewelry boxes in socks. This would give the recipient an extra little gift, a pair of socks, very practical. After choosing two pairs of socks I walked down the aisle and on the end of another aisle I saw these beautiful fluffy feather pins or hair clips. I looked at the clips and thought these would be perfect to hold the ends of the socks together. Brilliant, now the recipient has another cute gift. This is how I did it. Continue reading
With Love – Prom Dress 2013
Boo Hoo, my grandaughter Angelica is a senior in high school. That means it is my last year to make her a prom dress; therefore, it has to be spectacular. This article is all about her prom dress I designed and made. It is full of pictures showing some of the sewing processes, the thought processes, and many couture details of the dress. I hope you enjoy the beauty of the dress as much as I enjoyed creating it. Continue reading
Project Boxes – Organization
I have been busy, busy, busy sewing. I have so many projects going on at one time my head is spinning. I have been drafting pants, sewing service projects, making prototypes for my husband (he is an inventor), preparing to teach classes, going to American Sewing Guild meetings and events, and most of all I am in the midst of making the most exquisite prom dress for my grandaughter. I hope to be able to share the prom dress with you in a couple of weeks. I didn’t have any patterns for this new design so I have been really working my brain. The dress is almost done, I have a couple more fittings with her before I can add the embellishments. I am hand sewing all the embellishments on (no glue for me). Just the sleeve alone took 25 hours to make. I can’t wait to share it with you. Continue reading
What Fabric are you?
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE lace!! There are so many different types of lace, so I can’t say that I have a favorite.
Lace can be very elegant for wedding gowns, lingerie, evening wear, or it can be dressed down. Lace can be mixed with all types of fabric including velvet, denim or leather. It can be made with cotton, silk or wire. I don’t care what it is made of as long as it is lace. Ahh, Lace!
Lace is romantic, provocative and sexy. Lace can be the whole garment, appliquéd on, as a decorative accent, or it can just peek through. It can be plain, simple or embellished with beads, sequins or feathers. It can be country, victorian or royalty. Lace can be sweet, demure and innocent.
I think lace is the most versatile fabric there is, because there are so many options on how to use it.
If I had to describe myself in the use of fabric I would probably describe myself as a piece of French silk lace hand embellished with exquisite beads and sparkling gems.
What Is Your Fabric Saying?
Fabric speaks to me, LOL. Sometimes I have an idea and I search for fabric, other times fabric jumps out at me and inspires me or challenges me to come up with a design just for it. That’s what happened with this fabric.
I don’t know what the fabric is called, or what it is made out of, it was a remnant I bought many years ago at an American Sewing Guild event.
The fabric is very soft, kind of spongy, stretches, and has a unique gimp looking pattern. When I looked at it, I thought hand cut fringe. I decided on making a coat out of it that would allow it to flow as I walked.
When I wear this coat, sometimes for special occasions and sometimes with jeans, I get a lot of compliments on it from people I don’t even know, asking where I purchased it. To me, that is one of the greatest compliments a seamstress can get.
Preview of Things to Come
In this gallery article I want to give you a little preview of some of the things that I will be blogging about throughout the years. I will not limit us to only these creations, they will be filling in, between other new designs, ideas, organization, and thoughts I have along our journey.
I love to sew and I tend to sometimes think outside the box. I like to push myself to try to out do my last project. I also like to just make something easy and simple, kind of like cleansing my sewing pallet. I am not in competition with others but with myself.
I love the appreciation and admiration that the sewing community have for each other’s talents. We are all at different levels and we all have a different flare for fashion, but yet we all inspire and help each other “grow” our sewing skills and our confidence in our sewing and confidence to wear our creations. I hope I can be an inspiration to you.
Let’s have some fun together creating! Remember to laugh at your learning mistakes, making them into a creative challenge, and to dance at your victories and throughout the sewing process.
Gail Patrice Yellen Workshop
I had a great opportunity last weekend to participate in a Gail Patrice Yellen Workshop, sponsored by the Atlanta Chapter of the American Sewing Guild. What a fun time I had. Gail is very talented, fun, knowledgeable, and she was very well prepared.
Friday night was a trunk show where she showed us her beautiful embellished fashions. Saturday, was a full day of serger techniques, and Sunday was a hands on day where she shared some of her unique techniques while we made samples.
Here is a picture of her felted skirt made from sweaters. I love, love, love this skirt; I am on the lookout for some sweaters now so I can make one too. I also took pictures of some of her other embellished skirts that I will share with you.
Knitted Ruffled Scarf and Comparison to Crocheted Ruffle Scarf
When I went to my Jazzercise class last week, a friend brought in several beautiful ruffled scarves she had knitted.
They were made out of the same thread as the crocheted ruffled scarf in my previous article and I thought I need to challenge myself again. Since I had made the scarves by crocheting, when I had never crocheted before, why can’t I make the scarf by knitting? I didn’t know how to knit either, so who cares, just try it.
In this article I will share some of the things I learned with the knitting process. I will also show a comparison of the finished crocheted scarf and the knitted scarf. Then you can decide which one you want to make.
One thing I like about sewing is being inspired by others. At American Sewing Guild meetings we have what we call Show N Tell, where members bring in things they have been sewing. At my last meeting one of the members brought in a beautiful ruffled scarf that she had crocheted.
It really inspired me and I do not even know how to crochet, I thought, I can do this. ( Now my mom has done some incredible crocheted masterpieces that I will share some other time. They need to be in a museum )
There is a video by Maggie Weldon called Crocheted Ruffled Scarf on You Tube that shows you step by step how to make this scarf. It is very informative and she gives some great tips, especially for someone that doesn’t even know how to crochet.
Every few years I have to reorganize my sewing room. It is not something I really want to do, but I have to out of necessity, due to not taking the proper amount of time when putting things back after or even before a project.
My sewing room is small, I have every possible space taken up with something needed for sewing. My sewing room is connected to my husband’s game room, now there lies the real issue. I don’t have enough room to cut things out properly in my sewing room, he has a 9 foot billiards table, see where this is going? He even has empty space under the billiards table … I have inched my way into and taken over his game room, 90% of the year. Continue reading
Dress for a Prom Queen
I was so excited when my grandaughter asked me to make her prom dress. I knew it had to be perfect, especially since she was nominated for Prom Queen. But where to begin?!
First, I had her email me some pictures of dresses that she liked, then I looked through patterns, vintage and new, to see what I could start with to create our custom design. She wanted something above the knee, with a full gathered skirt that would stand out, corset style top, and of course sparkles. Continue reading
From time to time I will post pictures of fabric and trims that inspire me. Some fabrics will be from my stash and some will be from stores. When the fabrics are from stores I will post where they can be purchased.
Check out the Fabric Gallery from time to time for new updates.
I always have some type of a Sewing Assistant helping me. They help me pin by holding the fabric down, they help me move the fabric by jumping up with a running start and then sliding the fabric in place. I especially like it when they add extra holes to the pattern paper. I do have to watch one of them carefully so she doesn’t get hurt, because she likes to take the pins out of the fabric. They do give me such pleasure, even when they become a sewing challenge instead of an assistant.