July 27, 2010

Sewing Challenge

I just wanted to give everyone an update on the sewing challenge that has been going on over at the Muse of the Day and Possibilities blogs. Carolina and Alicia decided to sew the tunic dress from Sew Serendipity and post their findings as they went along. I am thrilled to say that they have both finished their dresses AND they fit! They are both very pleased with the results. Both are new sewers, so I am even happier that the tips and instruction I gave in the book helped them to be so successful. This is just what I wanted the book to be able to do....provide excellent instruction for people new to sewing and still satisfy the needs of the more experienced too!

Be sure to visit both blogs for more information on just how it all went with Carolina and Alicia on their respective blogs. I was especially moved by Carolina's post, as she does a comparison between making a muslin and traveling to a downtown area that is unfamiliar, but how with careful planning it can become a wonderful means of discovery. I certainly could not say it better myself, and coming from a happy customer makes it all the more special! Thanks to these two special ladies who decided to take this sewing journey!

On another note, be sure to check out our fan page on Facebook if you haven't already. Lots of happy customers are posting their projects and I try to add photos from various happenings around here pretty often. Don't miss out on all the fun!

Happy Sewing!!

July 23, 2010

Sometimes, a girl just has to party!!

Hey Everyone!

Just thought I would send out a reminder about the next book signing party at Sew Southward Bernina in DeSoto, TX on Saturday, July 24th, from 11-1. If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, please drop in and see the samples from the book, have a little something to eat (this event is catered!), and visit with us a while. This is my home Bernina shop where they keep my machines humming! This is a great shop with friendly people and great service. Come on in...you don't want to miss this!

Last weekend, my dear friends Clarees and Bob threw a book signing party at their home for me. It was a beautiful event and everyone had a fantastic time! It was great to see close friends and celebrate a bit. See the photos below for all the festivities...and a HUGE THANK YOU to Clarees and Bob for a lovely night....LOVE YOU!

Here is a photo of the table where we stacked up the books. You can see my oversized poster in the background.

This is a cool circle mobile that Clarees made for decoration above the table....actual leftover fabrics from the book projects! So fun and creative!!

Check out the cutest party favor ever! These are little mint tins that were given out to guests. I LOVE these!

Here we are....the Monday Girls....Marsha, Leslie, myself, and Clarees. If you have my book and have read the acknowledgments, then you now know what these gals look like...all of them wonderful friends...the best I have had in my life!

Here are some wonderful treats from the party....that cake in the background was to DIE for...yum!

Here I am actually signing a book...I think I have finally gotten past freaking out a little when I sign these things....at first it made me a bit nervous as I was afraid I would misspell somebody's name or something else dreadful like that!! (Check out that great pen....my good friend Jane brought that for me! I am so spoiled!)

And last but certainly not least, here is our friend John goofing around as usual. John is one of our oldest friends. We were in art class in high school together, many years ago. He and Keith were actually in a rock band together back then, too! We love ya, John.

Well, that about sums up my life...I have actually squeezed in quite a bit of work over the past several days....getting pattern orders out and working on new designs for fall....so stay tuned! Maybe there will be a sneak peek or two. There is another book signing event coming in August at a great local store, more details coming soon!

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and as always....

Happy Sewing!

July 12, 2010

Summer Flower Tutorial

I had a great weekend meeting customers and signing books over at Cabbage Rose in Fort Worth on Saturday. Thanks to all of you who came out and made this a special weekend for me and the shop. Be sure to visit their blog to see photos of the event. They are also doing a giveaway of my book, so don't miss out...go over there and sign up. Maybe you will be a lucky winner!

And now......

It's finally ready! The summer tutorial!! This was originally a flower embellishment that I made for the Monique Dress neckline with a few modifications. I have added an alligator clip to the back to make it more versatile and the circle that the ruffle is sewn to is slightly smaller to make the flower a bit fuller. This is a wonderful accessory for a jacket, dress, skirt, bag, to dress up a tank top or T-shirt (neckline or hemline)...even your hair!

I use a ruffler foot attachment to make the flowers. This is a fabulous foot and I highly recommend it for anyone who likes nice crisp ruffles. Plus, you don't have to pull up any pesky threads to gather and it is super fast....they are a little expensive, but worth their weight in gold (well, almost!).

Follow the steps below to make as many as you like and have fun with them. If you would like to share your work, please feel free to post to our fan page photos on Facebook. I am working on getting a link on the blog for a Flickr group, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Here is what you will need for your flower:

2" x 45" strip of fabric
ruffler attachment for your machine (this is fabulous, but if you don't have one, then just gather the flower with two rows of long straight stitches instead)
2 - 2 1/2" squares of wool or woolfelt
1 large button for the center
several 6/0 glass beads for embellishment
1 metal alligator hair clip, about 2" long
hot glue
hand needle and thread

Cut a strip of fabric 2" wide by the width of fabric.

Trim off the selvages.

Press 1/2" to the wrong side at both ends of the strip.

Fold the strip in half widthwise, wrong sides together, and press.

Place the raw edge of the pressed strip on the right hand side and slip into the ruffler attachment, set at every stitch.

Begin ruffling!

Press the ruffle flat.

Cut a 2 1/2" square of woolfelt, then roughly draw a circle just as a guide. Notice that this is the largest circle that could be drawn, so you only lose the corners. Once you have made one flower, drawing the circle will probably not be necessary for the next one.

Begin sewing the strip to the woolfelt square. Line the stitching up with the lines that you drew for the circle and turn as necessary to continue sewing.

Once you have made it all the way around the first time, place the strip just to the inside of the first row and continue in a concentric circle until the entire strip has been sewn down...see below....

By the time the entire strip is sewn, there should not be any woolfelt visible at the center of the flower. If you do have a small amount, don't worry about it as the button at the center will cover it.

Here is the flower all stitched in place.

Turn the flower over and check your stitches.

Trim off the corners...see, even mine is not perfect, but hey...it IS the back and by the time this flower is finished, no one will see this!

Give the flower a light press from the back, flip it over and sort of scrunch up the layers a bit, then steam it a few times to fluff it.

Here is mine, "post-fluff"...

Add the large button of your choosing to the center by hand.

Then add the glass beads as you like.

Flip the flower over and add the alligator clip with hot glue. Notice how mine is just inside the outer edge of the flower so that the clip will not show during wear.

Trim down the remaining 2 1/2" square to be a circle, add it to the back and hot glue in place. This covers those stitches and trimming from earlier steps and leaves a nice finish.

Now, put that flower in your hair, on your clothes or bag and look fabulous!!

Happy Sewing!!

July 9, 2010


Hey Everyone!

Just a quick reminder about the wonderful book signing event at Cabbage Rose in Fort Worth, TX tomorrow from 10-2. Yours truly will be there wearing one of the dresses from the book (well, not technically, but one I made using the pattern from the book!) If you live in the area, please come by and say hello and have some fun...heck, you might find something you can't live without! There will be door prizes, drawings, and goodies galore....so don't miss out!! I would love to see you.....

I will post some photos here and on my Facebook page, so if you attend....you might get your photo posted!

Oh, and that tutorial I keep talking about?? It is coming.....SOON (hopefully before the end of the weekend....) I promise!!

Happy Sewing.....