Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Betsy Button Princess Dresses!

Tomorrow nite is the nite!  February 27, from 6pm EST to 10:30 pm EST, Betsy Button page on Facebook will have a whole lotta character fun for sale.  There will be Bambi and Tink and Cinderella and a whole bunch of other favorite characters from fairy tales we all know and love.  I will have these two for auction.  Starting bid for these lovelies will be $30 plus $3 shipping with USA.  You can bid in increments of $2, tomorrow night. 

Aren't they lovely! These are Tie Dye Diva Ruffle neck dresses but with fully lined bodice and an underskirt with ruffle and ribbon trim.  One is size 4T and the other is a size 6-8. The Betsy Button page will have dress measurements on each listing. 

I love them. I wish I was 6 years old again!  Please check out the auction tomorrow nite!

PS Betsy Button is a Facebook store run by myself and some friends.  Founded by our dear friend Kristi, this is our way of selling you a real variety of goodies, all with a theme! So, look for all sorts of fun stuff, about twice a month!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ottobre sewalong Funny Faces Dress Done

Are you participating in the Ottobre Sewalong at sewalong over at SewMcCool?  I finished my Funny Faces dress and here it is!  I thin it turned out great!

The top is made from Fresh Produce Floral Circles jersey knit.  It has a slight bit of stretch to it so I cut the binding bits a tad longer than recommended. I knew they would need the extra length since they don't have much stretch to them. Had I not cut them longer, they would not have pulled nicely and they would have created a wavy neckline. 


I made view B, with a woven cotton skirt.  The skirting is Jennifer Paganelli Lucky Girl Maggie in green.  The colors go so nicely together!  

See how nice the neckline looks!  I am quite proud of this one!

 This pattern has sleeves that are slightly bell shaped. They come to a gentle gather and cuff and have binding to cover the gathering.  It creates a lovely fullness.  I think it turned out quite nicely.

The pattern was simple to follow and cut out and I enjoyed putting it together. As usual, I highly recommend Ottobre patterns for the advanced beginner seamstress on up.  They are a tad too complicated, lacking in complete directions, for a beginner.  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ottobre summer woman sewing

I have not been universally excited for an issue of Ottobre woman (2/2014) the way I am for this one! I just looked at the preview and I am excited about every single thing in this issue! 

Look!  I love this summer dress and shrug! I have some Jennifer Paganelli fabric coming that will be perfect for this dress! I am not sure what the shrug will take but I will figure it out.

These dresses are to die for lovely!  Again, I am thinking Jennifer Paganelli.

I have a 30th high school reunion to go to this summer and I think I found some dress possibilities!!

Waiting eagerly for my Beauty Queen fabric and Ottobre to arrive.....


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ottobre Sewalong - pattern tracing and cutting

Do you know how to trace Ottobre patterns?  Today, I am guest blogger at my friend Deanna's blog, SewMcCool, talking about how to trace Ottobre patterns! 

I got my sewalong dress all cut out today.  Remember, we are using #25 from the current Ottobre, issue 1/2014.  Next week, Deanna will show YOU how to lay out your pattern pieces and cut. Here's what mine looks like, for now.

I think it is going to be very pretty!!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ottobre sew-along - reading an ottobre pattern

Today, Deanna at Sewmccool blog is talking about how to read an Ottobre pattern magazine.  Be sure to check it out and join us for the Ottobre pattern sewalong!

We are going to be sewing number 25,  funny faces, from the most recent Ottobre, 1/2014.

I have already picked out my fabric and plan to sew view B.  I got this luscious knit from Banberry Place fabrics a while ago and I think it will look beautiful as the top with Jennifer Paganelli's Lucky Girl Maggie in green as the skirt.

On Thursday, I will be the guest at Sewmccool, talking about tracing!  Hope to see you there!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

What you need to know to sew Fabric Content

A few days ago, I was at Joann's fabrics, here in town, for some muslin.   I just needed a few yards of it because I had run out and I am lining some potentially itchy, glittery fabric on dresses.  While I was in the muslin section, another lady was looking back and forth and all around, very confused. She asked me where to find the colored muslin.  I showed her the wall behind us, floor to ceiling with colored broadcloth. "I think that is the only colored fabric close to muslin," I told her. We conversed about sewing clothing and types of fabrics until she commented that all she wanted was something to make burp cloths! I pointed her towards the terrycloth fabric and she thanked me for my help. 

That experience made me realize that sometimes we don't know the names of the types of fabrics! I have a slight brain fog when it comes to remembering terms. I am practically a genuis at describing color and feel (at least I think I am) but remember the terms is hard for me. So, I have decided to launch a series called "What you need to know to sew" or, simply, "know to sew" for short! For my first post in this series, I am going to to explain the different types of fabric!!

 Have you ever been to's glossary of fabric terms page? Oh my goodness, look at all those types of fabric! How do you know for sure what you need for your project? Well, your pattern should tell you, for one, but what if it gives you options? How do you choose? Let's start, first, with what fabric is made of, otherwise known as fiber content. 

Fiber Content
Fiber content refers to the raw material making up the yarns and fabric. It can be natural, such as cotton, wool, linen, alpaca, and other specialty fibers; man-made from natural plant products, such as rayon or acetate; or synthetic from petroleum products, such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, olefin, or spandex. Fiber content affects appearance, comfort, durability, costs, and care of fabrics. 

Most of us probably know, in our heads, a bit about cotton. We know that it comes from a plant and it used to be grown a lot in the USA and now is mostly grown in India.  The history of cotton is part of the history of the labor movement, in the USA.  It used to be picked by slaves, spun by children. Now, we have labor laws and civil rights. But we still have cotton!  It is my favorite fiber.  It is versatile and durable and comes in many different weaves.

The history of silk is equally fascinating. The method of taking the cocoons of worms and turning that fiber into the most beautiful fabric in the world was founded in China several thousands of years ago. The silk road, the road between Europe and China, refers to the extremely long trip men would take to travel to and from China, simply for this exotic fabric.  And how on earth did the Chinese figure out to take the silk worm's cocoon and boil it and unravel the fiber and then weave it into amazing fabrics? It's almost unbelievable that they did figure it out. Silk is a very durable fiber but doesn't hold up well when exposed to light and moisture.

 Linen is one of the oldest fibers. Its use dates back at least 4000 years.  Linen comes from the flax plant, the same plant we use for flax seeds and lineseed oil.  Today's linen is very strong and varies in quality and price. Slubs indicate lesser quality; however, that should not stop you from owning this marvelous fiber. It does wrinkle easily but that just means you can overlook ironing. It is linen, after all!  I am not sure exactly how they take this plant and turn it into a fiber but it somehow comes from the stalk.
 Hemp fabric is made from fibers taken from the cannabis plant. The kind of cannabis used to make fiber is different from the plant used to make marijauna. The two should not be confused. You cannot smoke your hemp teeshirt, for example. Well, you could, but it would only make you annoyed at the loss of your tee.  Hemp has many uses.  Fabric is just one of them.  Hemp, as a fiber, is remarkable versatile and strong.  
And it is legal to use.

 Nylon was invented as an alternative to silk.  It is a polymer, basically a plastic.  It can be used in many forms, not just in fabric. It was first popularized, as fiber, during World War II, when the war machine needed an alternative to silk for parachutes. Women were encouraged to turn in their nylon stockings and go without.  Nylon is stretchy, resistant to mold, durable, melts when exposed to fire (as opposed to silk with burns), and is cheap to make! Nylon is added to silk and cotton to make it stretchy.


Polyster is a man-made fiber, created from esters and long-chain polymers.  I don't remember my high school chemistry but here is more information on that process.  Polyester can be used in just about ever fabric venue, from furniture covers to socks to underwear to suits. It is durable, cheap to make, and does not wrinkle. It lasts a very long time.  I am a huge fan of polyester fleece. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we all wear  fleece from head to toe at least half the year.  My favorite brand is LLBean (no they do not sponsor me, I just like their products).

 Rayon is a fascinating fiber. It is made from wood pulp. You got it, from trees. How on earth they figured out how to make a fiber from pulp is beyond me. Somehow, it has to be related to toilet paper, but that is about as far as my brain can go.  Viscose rayon is basically artificial silk.  Rayon, however, can also be made to feel like cotton, wool, or linen. It can be woven to have many textures. Rayon is durable but it does not absorb body heat. So, it is a great fiber for tropical or warm climates. Rayon has low elastic recovery when wet. That means it turns hard and looks odd when it is wet. Let it dry and iron it and it will be just fine.

 Bamboo is a fascinating fiber. It's popularity is soaring we people realize that bamboo fabrics are amazing. Bamboo is a fast-growing plant, which means it counts as sustainable. The fabric is made from the stem. The process is similar to making paper but the bamboo produces a softer fiber, which makes it ideal for fabric. Bamboo first became popular as a fiber about 10 years ago and is soaring in popularity. You can find it in almost every aspect of fabric production, from diapers to tees to skirts to pants. It is everywhere.

There are actually many more forms and types of fabric but I am going to stop here because this is what most of us choose from when sewing for our families.  If you want to learn more, I highly recommend you consult wiki!  Check the sources at the bottom of each page on wiki for even more information. 
 Next week, please join me as I talk about types of fabric: charmeuse, chiffon jaquard,  velvet, velour, denim, grey, satin, knit and more. 
Look for this "know to sew" series, every Wednesday or Thursday!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sew McCool Ottobre/Euro SewAlong!

You may already know how much I love Ottobre sewing pattern magazines!  For example, you may remember the layette I made a couple of years ago, from Ottobre patterns. Click here to check that out. In the past year, however, I have let my love for Ottobre take a back seat to pattern testing for friends.  Today, I am happy to announce I am helping to host an Ottobre SewAlong, starting next week!   Hosted by Deanna, of the SewMcCool blog, I will be showing you how to trace your patterns and what types of materials you can use for tracing.  Deanna will show you to choose fabrics and sew it up.

But, first, a bit of info.

Ottobre is a pattern magazine from Finland, published in many different languages. There are women's pattern magazines and children's.  Each children's magazine comes with about 30 patterns, in various sizes, from baby size to tween.  The women's magazines have less than that but still a good selection.  I have subscribed to Ottobre for about four years now and I have always been pleased with the patterns.  The great thing about Ottobre is that for about $15-22, depending on exchange rate and where you purchase, you get a large selection of patterns in different sizes. How do they do that? They don't give you pattern pieces to cut out.  They give you a pattern map!  And this is what I will be sharing with you, next Thursday, February 13th.  I will share the pattern map and how to trace and cut out the patterns. 

We’re using the latest Ottobre, 1/2014.  It’s Number 25: Funny Faces. If you have the magazine, you can see it on pages 13-14. The instructions are on page 31. You can buy it in the States from Wooly Thread!

Next Tuesday, Feb. 11, Deanna, of SewMcCool, will talk about the sizing conversions from European sizes (shown in the magazine) to U.S. sizes, as well as conversions for how much fabric to purchase. (For a head’s up – this pattern is suitable for a size 2T to 10.)

On Thursday, Feb. 13, I will teach you how to trace your pattern and what types of supplies to use for tracing.

On the remaining Tuesdays in February and the beginning of March, Deanna’ll show you how to sew up this cute, cute dress.

Please join us! Follow Deanna and I on bloglovin, so you don't miss any posts.

P.S. – If you haven’t sewn with knits before, please check out Deanna's free, downloadable tutorials.