Hand Sewn Simplicity 1717 Skirt


This fabric was easy to fall in love with. When I saw it, had to have it and a cute skirt immediately came to mind.  In steps the hand sewn Simplicity 1717 skirt.  This fabric is cra-cra busy and It’s all good.  It reminds me of the semi-tropical climate where I live.  Check out the little hula girls.


If I were younger and smaller I would have made this knee length.  You may read the pattern review that I wrote here.  This is my third hand sewn garment.  I had to pull out a new needle because the one I used for the other two items got dull and I noticed the finish was removed.  Can you say, “Change needles for each project, dear sewist”?

Project Stats:

  • Fabric: Leis, Luaus & Alohas Sheeting Natural Alexander Henry
  • Purchased from Etsy:  Zeet Zeet – $9.95/yd.; and Sobrightfabrics -  $9.00/yd.
  • Thread:  Guttermann cotton – $2.49
  • Double sided bias

This was a fun, quick project to sew and I think the skirt is sassy, flirty.  There will be more rolling off my sewing machine though the next time.





Sobriety from electronic sewing since 2012

Red Pencil Skirt


Imagine my joy when I found this tutorial Pencil Skirt Pattern Draft after the arrival of  fabric for my red pencil skirt  yesterday.

Lately I have been steering away from fabrics that me and the hubby call “oil”.  However, due to budget constraints and impatience I simply have to make a red pencil skirt to go with my peplum blouse.  This polyester poplin at 60″ width fit the bill.  I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the package and the fabric was prettier than what I initially saw on my DD’s computer screen.

This will be my first pattern draft and I am excited to give it  go.  The goal initially was to make this skirt to wear this coming Sunday.  I was going to take a RTW skirt, place it op top of the fabric, add seams and cut away.  For the waist area I was considering simple elastic because it will not be seen underneath the peplum (okay, and ’cause it’s darn comfy too).  Now that I have found the instructions for drafting a pattern I dunno if it will be a Sunday wear go.  Oh, and as I am visiting DD and my new grandbaby, yes, this skirt will be entirely hand sewn.

My skirt must have a kick pleat .  Look what I found Kick Pleat tutorial. Easy peasy; now let’s get started.

Screeching brakes – a new plan:

On an errand to a local fabric store this afternoon to get elastic for my skirt waistband I got pulled in the $1.99 Simplicity pattern sale.  Ay yi yi.  I’m not going to draft my own pattern (at least not today) I’ll be making

Simplicity 1465

Simplicity 1465

View B.

Perhaps I’ll put a kick pleat in it and not feel like I completely sold out, ha ha ha.  Stay tuned for my version of a red pencil skirt.

And heeere we are:



This is my second hand sewn garment.  Thankfully practice will make perfect.  Project stats:  Simplicity 1465 review.  Hand sewing beats not sewing but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss my Tabitha.





Sobriety from electronic sewing since 2012
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Hand Sewn Regency Dress


For a period I will be sans my Tabitha sewing machine.  This will be a good time to make a hand sewn regency dress.  It’s something I have been thinking of doing for about a year.  This site may prove to be a godsend for making this dress.   Keeping things simple I have also chosen this pretty dress to be my June and July Make A Garment A Month project.


Transferring pattern to tissue

For this project I selected The Elegant Lady’s Closet pattern.  Following sewist divas’ advice to transfer the pattern versus cutting up the original seemed a good idea.  I have read Swedish tracing paper is the go to medium but I am on a budget and went to a dollar store and purchased regular old tissue paper.

These same divas also suggest making a muslin at the very least for the bodice.  Being a hard-headed sewist I did not.  This will be a bed sheet garment so worst case scenario I will have wasted all of $1.00.  I semi-paper fitted the bodice and hope that will do as I have no extra fabric.  As a matter of fact, I had to lay the bodice lining skewed to get it to fit.  The sheet is striped and obviously I will be laying the main pieces lengthwise.  Ahh, the things I do to fabrics and patterns when I sew.

Stay tuned by following along via Bloglovin’ or email as this hand sewn dress comes to life.  You’ll find links to the right in the sidebar or at the end of this post. It will be my first and I’ll be using the Elizabethan seam as found at Extreme Costuming.



Elizabethan seam, first attempt

Above is the garment back and side back sewn with the Elizabethan seam.  I can see how with the Elizabethan seam you’d better have an exact fit or else the ripping with be substantial.  I did not do a muslin and I have a feeling I may be eating crow about it.  As usual, I underestimated the difficulty of the task at hand.  Yet, I promised the good, bad, and bugly (butt ugly) with this sewing blog and will stand by my word.



Bodice Front


Bodice Back


Sleeve attached

At this point I am working on attaching the second sleeve to the armscye.

I see no problem completing this project by the end of July.  Sew, let’s see where this all takes us.  Stay tuned!






Sobriety from electric machine sewing since 2012
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Blog Roll Sewing Resources


This is my blogroll, my go-to list of useful reading when I need to learn a new skill or look up information. In no particular order you may find it a good resource too. It’s about paying it forward.

Sense & Sensibility Patterns
Vintage Patterns
Retro Chick Vintage Fashions
Wearing History Blog

Sewing How-To: Grading and Pattern Sizing
Vintage Pattern Sizing
Making Sense of Pattern Grading
FBA: Full Bust Adjustment

Sewing How-To: Vintage Patterns
Vintage Pattern Primer
Dressmaking Research

Reading Vintage Patterns
NVL Reading Vintage Patterns

Useful Tuts!
Resizing A Pattern-Jennie Chancey
Sizing Up A Vintage Pattern-American Duchess

Now you know there are myriad of sewing tutorials, advice, books on the Internet so if you have found a good one please let me know.  I’ll post it for all to enjoy!






Sobriety from electronic sewing since 2012

Regency Era Women’s Fashion Resources


Image from Mary Robinette Kowal

Some place in time I came to appreciate the Regency dress.   We’re building a small family farm and I need something practical and cool to wear in this subtropical climate.  Regency Regency Era Women’s Fashion Resources is being compiled for those of us that can’t get enough of Regency, love to wear it, enjoy reading it, want to thumb through articles about it and so on.

Reconstructing History Patterns

Historical Pattern Resources

Old Time Patterns

Nehelenia Patterns

Jane Austen’s World

Primer on Regency Era Women’s Fashion

The Oregon Regency Society

Fabulous Fichu

Chemisettes, Tuckers, and Fichus

As a challenge I am working on a hand sewn Regency day dress.





Sobriety from electronic machine sewing since 2012

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Making a Regency Gown with a Crossover bodice


Beautiful dress Tea In A Cup! I have got to remember the detail of the pretty lace on the neckline and arm edges. Sew on point!

Originally posted on Tea in a Teacup:

Regency gowns – to me – have often all looked the same. It probably has something to do with the simplicity of their design, particularly in the early Regency period when plain dresses were very fashionable. After a bit of research, I discovered the Regency bodice that wraps around and crosses over at the front, and decided to try this relatively simple bodice design for my next Regency day dress.

I have been involved in the JAFA Costume Challenge, for the Jane Austen Festival Australia (2013), where participants make a Regency garment each month. This garment was also designed to double-up and form part of my Historical Sew-Fortnightly entries, specifically for the Challenge #5: Peasants and Pioneers (making a Common dress).

The half-robe patterned in Patterns of Fashion 1, (c. 1795)

The half-robe (c. 1795-1800) shown in Patterns of Fashion 1, from Snowsill Manor.

I found a pattern for a half-robe that crossed over in front in Janet Arnold’s book, Patterns…

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My Regency Journey: Making a Chemise


Though my interests are more relaxed than making my wardrobe exactly as “they” wore Regency I feel this post is informative and may be useful when I make my own chemises.

These would make very nice night gowns too, IMHO.

Thank you, Tea In A Teacup.

Originally posted on Tea in a Teacup:

An American Regency chemise; which seems a little different in style to the English ones.

The third stop on my Regency Journey is to make a chemise to go underneath the corset. The benefit of having a chemise underneath is that is stops the corset pinching, and it protects the corset from perspiration. The chemise is also easier to launder.

Another great thing about the chemise is that it is easy and quick to put together without a pattern!

Steps to Make a Regency Chemise

Step One: Measure! There are several measurements you will need. Firstly, a measurement from the shoulder to the knee, or the length that you want your chemise, allowing a little extra for a hem. (Mine was 105cm in length, but was too long and was trimmed later.) Secondly, you will need a measurement of the length and armhole-height of the sleeve. (My sleeve was a square, 20cm by 45cm, where 20cm is the length of the sleeve…

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Sweater Bonnet Booties


Finally!  My grandbaby’s Bring Me Home crocheted cardigan, bonnet and botties are complete.  This design is by Carol Smith and I found the pattern somewhere online.

I learned two new crochet stitches for this project; cross stitch and reverse single crochet.  I would rate this pattern as intermediate in level of difficulty.  Lion Brand Baby Soft sportweight yarn in white was used from my stash.  The rainbow yarn’s sleeve is rolled up inside to make the yarn ball so I can not say exactly what brand it is.


Grandbaby is a little girl and I have been bent on not making everything pink.  Rainbow colours have always been one of my favs and this fit the bill.  Looks like I’ve got a big ball left.  Perhaps a baby skull cap is in order.  She received so many booties and footies from the shower ay yi yi it was difficult at best to complete the booties.  But, they did complete the set so I went ahead and made them.

This set may be in the running for a coming home outfit.  We’ll see what Mommy says.


Gramma Lyric



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Regency Day Dress


Finally, I am going to tackle a Regency Day Dress.   The Elegant Lady’s Closet is the pattern of choice by Sense and Sensibility for the June Make A Garment A Month Challenge.

Talk about going retro.  Regency is the period of Jane Austen.  You know period movies such as Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility to name a couple.  Those ladies did everything in their long, gownish dresses from cooking breakfast, working the fields and crops, taking care of the children, everything!  Sew, I figured hey, let’s give the wearing of such attire a try in my own wardrobe while living on our little farm-in-the-making.  Plus, I heard tell that wearing dresses and skirts is way cooler than pants and jeans.

The neckline of choice is the one on the upper left-hand corner.  It’s similar to the style that  Emma Thompson wore as Eleanor Dashwood.  I have always enjoyed asymmetrical and cross-over styles for necklines as well as hems which makes this view the natural choice for a first try with this pattern.  I am thinking of stopping the sleeves at my elbow with this project.


One really cool thing about this project is the fact that I will be using a flat bed sheet as yardage to complete this Regency day dress.  When I first spied this thrifted bed sheet -  “Regency day dress” immediately came to mind.  Even the hubby agreed it was a good fabric pattern for a day dress.

Another reason June’s project will be a true “challenge” is because I am making this dress entirely by hand using Elizabethan seams that I discovered at Extreme Costuming.  Additionally, I will not be making a muslin (I know, the nerve of me; just who do I think I am?)  I will be flat fitting the bodice pieces and doing long, hard praying.  I have read the instructions to this pattern over and over again and I believe Jennie Chancey says I am to have “proper stays and underpinnings”.  Well, I ain’t gonna.  I know, I know, a recipe for disaster maybe?  I’m not claiming that; oh no.  The thing is . . . for now, I have not the money or wherewithall to make Regency stays and such.  I am wearing this dress to be comfortable in my home (or even if I should choose to go to the store or Mickie Dees) and my girls will just have to behave themselves and act proper when I have this baby on.

This is sure to be a hoot, so stick with me, follow me on Bloglovin, link in my sidebar or below so you can check out the finished garment and let’s just do the thing!!!







P.S.  Check out last month’s “Make A Garment A Month” Challenge project.

P.S.S.  Oh, I should share the motivation behind June’s project.  I am visiting my daughter as we await the birth of her special child, my grandchild and I have no sewing machine here.  Rather than not participate I thought this an excellent time to do really what my web page is all about, taking it back.

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Hadassah Meeting Charm Tote


Clearly I have stumbled upon another favorite quilting project:  tote bags.   They’re cute, some are clever, definitely practical, and they are easy to make.  Now to stock up on Decor Bond, Warm & Natural batting, and Inn Control (or Soft & Stable).

I’ve also got a thing about naming things.   Not just any old name either.  It’s got to have meaning to me.The name Hadassah (Heb. הדסה) was one of the names of Queen Esther, the heroine of the Purim story, and is now given to Jewish girls.  The name is of biblical origin, first cited in the Scroll of Esther (2:7), “And [Mordechai] had raised Hadassah” ~ http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1769366/jewish/What-Does-the-Name-Hadassah-Mean.htm

This beautiful batik charm pack was shared with me via one of my cyber quilting buddies, 1stladygigi.  I was blown away when I opened the package this afternoon and immediately set out to think of what I could create with it.  My girl, Noodlebump, thinks the tote above is a winner.  Sew, why not?  I chose the name Hadassah because I will be using this charm tote bag to carry books and materials for weekly worship.  Here is another shot of the lovely charms.



I think I’ll take another shot at getting photographs of my charms because this one doesn’t do them justice.  They are absolutely gorgeous!

While it’s on my mind, check out this new book about bag making that I just found out about.  Nicole M. is really into bag making and people are giving her kudos.  It’s at the top of the list for my creative library.


Stay tuned as the Hadassah Meeting Charm tote comes together.  Bookmark this site over at the right sidebar or below via Bloglovin.

Without further ado, here she is:


A LQS had an assortment of buttons not unlike this one. I purchased three of the four.  This one is a lime green though you can’t tell by the photograph.  Check ‘em out here.  It looks like wood but it is not. Loving the asymmetrical shape.


Fell in love with this button

Going on a limb (for me) I decided to make the other interior pocket larger.  The 5″ charm square just seemed a tad small for my needs.  I was not disappointed and thankfully I had more charm squares on hand.  The off white of the lining is a repurposed bed sheet – oh yeah!  I wanted to be able to see into the bag so as not to fumble around looking for things.


Hadassah Charm Tote Interior Back Pocket

The pattern called for four charms sewn together and halved to make a double pocket.  I chose two charms from the packet that were my least fav, giggles.


Hadassah Charm Tote Interior Front Pocket

My love affair with batik fabric continues.  Would enjoy dying fabric myself some day.





P.S. Click here to see more cute quilted totes.

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