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    This is the second version of the Katie that I'm sharing first because I used this amazing fabric from Elliot Berman.

    Now I wouldn't call myself a funky or unique dresser but every once in awhile, I'm inspired to move a little away from my clean-line, unfussy styling and add a little funk.  This is definitely bringing the funk!

    After figuring out the pattern I headed over to Elliott Berman's looking for a piece of fabric to use to make it. I specifically wanted this piece...

    ...but once Eugenia and I rolled it really wasn't me. We walked around looking at other cotton pieces...and I touched some beautiful pieces...but nothing really made me catch my breath until she pulled this piece.

    Now I know this looks nothing like what I've posted before, but believe it or not, I own two other pieces like this in different fabrications, because I love this type of design.

    Supply List ~
    - Red Linen by way of the fabric collection
    - Gold Buttons purchased from Lauren Trimmings for this shirt
    - Interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoeller
    (I ran out of interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply and picked up a couple of yards of this fusible midweight interfacing in the garment district while I wait for my next order to arrive from FSS.)

    Pattern Alterations ~
    My first change was to the front piece.  I had to figure out the best spot to end it on the front to effect the dramatic high/low hem. I did this by holding the pattern piece up to me and marking where I'd like it to end. Then I folded the pattern piece back upon itself to reflect the change. I also changed the front button band to reflect this change too.

    Then I got the brilliant idea to add 2" to the back piece...well truthfully I was always going to make that addition...after making the first version. However, I added it much lower than I originally thought I would...and I was scared silly that I'd added it too low. Turns out it worked out alright!

    Construction ~
    The body of the shirt came together with no problem. Then I questioned using the red linen for the accents but eventually became okay with that. My challenge was the sleeves. In Mimi's shirt, she has long sleeves with cuffs and that was my original intent.  As you can see it's not what I ended up with and I don't know why my original sleeves didn't work.  However, this is my punt and I'm okay with it.

    Like I said, it was my intent to make long sleeves with cuffs but somewhere along the way I lost my way and couldn't make my sleeve work. There was a problem with the cuff and then I cut the sleeve too short after I started messing with it. I ended up with the red linen ties to salvage the situation...and now I'm wondering why I was going in another direction because these are perfect for the shirt and for me.

    Sleeve Construction:

    • I made a pattern sandwich using the sleeve from the original Katie dress and the sleeve from my TNT shirt pattern to make a new sleeve for this shirt.
    • The new sleeve pattern was cut a little fuller so that I could gather the hem into the cuff. 
    • Since I made my cuff too small and then realized that I'd drawn the sleeve too short, I had to come up with a new plan - thus the tied band.
    • To make the tied sleeve band, I cut a strip 3" wide and 12" long. 
    • Folded the band in half and topstitched it on...leaving about an inch of the sleeve without the band attached. 
    • Oh and I started the band on the underside of the sleeve so that the tie would be on the outside.

    It was a simple process and anyone could do this!

    A Few Pictures ~

    Conclusion ~
    This is a statement piece.  You will see me coming and going and it's all because of the fabric. This was an interesting piece of fabric to work with because it's a medium weight fabric with some body and stiffness. When I first showed Eugenia the pattern I wanted to use, she wasn't sure that the fabric had enough drape. However, the fabric got softer with pretreatment.

    Now when I picked this fabric I did not realize the price per yard. I actually learned it when I linked to it for this blog post. While it's pricey ~ I have 3 yards of fabric in this shirt.  It means the final cost is over $150 with buttons and interfacing. This is on the high end of costs for me but if you want to own some of this fabric, go for it. It's a quality fabric that will make a very distinctive garment. However, if this is a little rich for your blood, there are more cottons on the site in the new arrivals section that will work just as well.

    One more quick thing - this is really not a middle of the hot steamy summer wear. I was DYING taking these pics outside in 90+ degree weather. It will become a staple in my fall wardrobe and yes I'm going to wear those white pants in September after Labor Day! 

    I won't have another Elliott Berman sew until late fall...already have the wool for that one! But there are two more versions of the MimiG Katie Dress up next on the blog. always more later!

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  • 08/10/18--21:00: The Dark Floral Katie Dress
  • This was my first version of the Katie Dress made straight from the download.

    As originally sewn

    Worn with black capri leggings

    Supplies ~
    The fabric is a cotton/linen print purchased from Fabric Mart last month. It was from a special offering to Premium Members and I bought several of these prints then. They are now online here but the print used in my dress has sold out. 

    The black linen is from the collection probably from Ebad Fabrics in the garment district purchased years ago...back when I kept black yardage on hand for basics.

    Finally the buttons are from M&J Trimmings.  I bought them after I placed some stash buttons on the dress and posted it to Instagram. Some of the comments made me think, so I went shopping and found some different buttons to use.

    A little backstory ~
    Before I headed to banking land and an entirely corporate wardrobe, I use to sew ALOT of prints. So much so that my sister, who was a recruiter for a major corporation at the time, told me when I went to her for advice on getting a new job, to lose the bold prints. This was about 20-25 years ago. I was coming out of garment district jobs where I could basically wear what I wanted...trying to move into a corporate job with some serious benefits. 

    So I toned down some of my wilder prints. Then I moved into a banking job where I had to tone them wayyyyyy down! Now that I've finally dislodged all of that corporate noise from my creative brain, I'm wading back into the deep with deliciously loud prints. See I'm actually a bold color and print sewist who likes simple shapes. I hate ruffles and ditsy little prints. I love a bold primary color and I also love a great menswear influenced garment. A little contradiction for sure.

    Construction Info ~
    So this I said earlier its made straight from the pattern and it worked. One of the things I love the most is the faced hemline. By adding the facing, you give the hem weight so that the fabric hangs the way it's supposed to and doesn't rise up or float around.

    The changes I made were creative and not structural.  The front buttonband, collar and sleeve hems were all cut from the black linen. It was to give your eyes a place to rest. It also makes the floral print POP! 

    The banded sleeve is a technique I've used over and over again but if you want a step by step tutorial, check out this blog post. Disregard the piping info or hold onto it for a future make! And I omitted the sleeve ruffle because seriously I'm tired of this trend. Can it go away already in sewingland? Cause I hardly ever see it on the streets of NYC anymore and I work in the heart of the garment district!

    For the next dress, I'm lengthening the front and back by two inches so the dress front will cover my knees and the back dip will have more drama. You know I LOVE a dramatic high/low hemline!

    A few pictures ~

    The first photos are of the dress as's a little short and shows my knees...and I'm just not comfortable showing my knees at my age.  Now this is me and says nothing about other women my age...just MY preference.

    The next set of photos are of the dress worn with black capri leggings under a tunic...and how I will wear the outfit! 

    Y'all Imma be honest, I hate my arm fat pads in this picture...but a friend of mine said I was making my sleeves too long. So I'm including it so she can see why I make them longer. I was doing it to cover these fat pads & Imma go back to making my short sleeves longer to cover that area because I have to be happy with wearing the garment. Sorry...not sorry! *LOL*

    This was the first of the Katie dresses but I'm posting it out of order because of the EB more version to come to the blog!

    Parting Shot ~
    This was my daughter's favorite I'm including it because she's so patient and giving of her time to take these pics for me. We did these late one evening because with four kids, a full time job, and a partner, I take her when she has time! always more later!

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    I think of projects in this is my third Katie Dress.  

    The difference this time is that I sewed them one right after the other! I am done with this pattern for awhile because I have three amazing dresses/tunics in a sleeveless, short sleeve and sleeved version.  That's not to say another shirt probably won't make it into my wardrobe come fall. I still haven't made the shirting version of this pattern which started this journey...but for right now I am done.

    Each version has presented a sewing challenge but in a good way.  Each one has allowed me to use a technique or to change a detail. They've given me design, pattern alterations, and construction challenges which I love. All of which makes a great sew for me.

    I chose a solid color with colorful accents for this version because after working with the other very bright & colorful prints, I needed something a little toned why did I choose a bright sky blue linen...*LOL*

    Supply List ~
    - Linen from Fabric Mart's couture line 
    This has been in the collection for a couple of years. They put it on sale one year and I bought all the colors...don't judge! *LOL* However, there is still couture linen on sale at FM so I've linked to one that's similar in color to mine.
    - printed cotton fabric from Zooks Fabric in Intercourse, PA
    - shell buttons from the button stash
    - Fusible Interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoller

    Pattern Alterations ~
    - I added three inches to lengthen both the front and back pieces. My original dress was just a tad too short showing my knees and I wanted a dress that fell in a spot that I liked.

    - I also raised the underarm seam a 1/2" on both the front and back pieces. More on this further down in the blog post.

    - The front facing also had 3" added to it to lengthen it.

    That was all of the pattern alterations for this version.

    Construction ~
    There were no changes to the construction process...just omitting the sleeves and adding a bias binding to finish the armholes. However, I stretched the armholes out when I was applying the binding and they were too long, exposing my bra under my arm.

    *Sigh* I also didn't take into account the linen's qualities when I was changing the underarm. I added a crescent piece of the cotton print to the underarm seams to cover the extra space.

    When I first put the crescent in (made by taking the dress, putting a piece of tracing paper in the armhole and tracing the opening, then adding seam allowances all the way around) it didn't fit. It was wobbly and stuck out away from my body. My solution was to take a tuck in the center of the crescent and stitch it down. Now it works and I love that it's made from the accent fabric.

    If I were to make another one (maybe next summer) I would make the armhole snugger so that it fit closer to my chest. I like the full shoulder coverage though others might make it a little more cut-in. 

    Design Changes ~
    I had fun adding details to this dress to make it mine. Of course the inner collar stand is cut from the printed fabric...

    as is one of the front button well as the crescent underarm inserts.

    The front and back hem facings were also cut from the printed fabric and where I started this journey. I had it in my head to add coordinating facings to a solid color fabric.

    I used shell buttons for the front of the dress. I also left a small sliver of the printed fabric band by sewing the buttons over a 1/4" which exposed the print and added a slimming effect down the front of the dress.

    The final addition to the dress front is a small breast pocket with a square of the printed fabric. I wanted to cut down on the wide expanses of blue fabric and all of these details assist with that.

    A few pictures ~

    Conclusion ~
    This is my favorite of the three Katies. I love the flow of the dress. I love the pockets - who is dis woman?! *LOL* Cause I'm so not a pocket person. I love the length and the drama of it...and it was perfect when I wore it on a 90+ degree, hot and humid summer day. I was cool, comfortable and it was so humid that quite a few of the wrinkles fell out as I walked to the bus station to go home.

    As I said earlier I'm retiring the pattern for a minute. Though I will admit that I almost went back and added short sleeves because of the underarm issues. I just love that I improvised all of those details. They weren't in my original plan for the dress but they made it perfect...adding drama and interest and elevating the look of it.

    Next up on the blog is my denim chambray version of the Myosotis dress. Indie month continues. always more later!

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    I knew I was going to make this dress again after I wore the first one. It was such an easy wear and sew. For this version, I made the straight skirt and omitted the pockets.

    What makes this version distinctive is that I used a Telio Denim Embroidered Floral fabric that I'd used before.

    I bought the fabric last year and made this dress (the StyleArc Marilyn)...

    ...I really liked the fabric so I bought it again this spring with the original intent to make a version of M7470. I rebought this fabric because I got it in my head to make a shirtdress with an embroidered eyelet border after seeing a designer version. 

    I had a totally different piece of embroidered cotton in mind to remake this dress. When I pulled the fabric from the collection, the embroidered edge wasn't as wide as I'd remembered, so it wouldn't work for what I had in mind. My hand touched this embroidered fabric and the search was over.

    Additional Pattern Alterations ~
    I made a couple of changes to the bodice front. One I lowered my dart by a 1/2". The second change was to add 1/2" to the lower half of the dress front. I mentioned that the bust dart was a little too high in my original dress post. However, I didn't notice that there was a little pull in the button band until I wore it and saw the pictures. I want the button area to lay flat so I added some to the front to achieve that.

    The last change I made to the dress was to cut the dress skirt 6" longer.  On the first dress I only added 3" which placed the hemline right under my knee.  This additional 3" makes the dress hit a spot that I'm more comfortable wearing. In all honesty though it changes the look of the dress. The first version looked young and hip, this one looked a little dowdier.  

    So after assembling the dress, I went back in and removed an inch from the top of the dress skirt. I also used a 5/8" seam allowance on the side seams of the dress where previously I'd sewn them with a 1/2" seam allowance. After adding the extra to the button band, the top was a little too loose. I liked the more fitted top of the original dress but wanted to eliminate the pulling. I think I accomplished that by sewing a deeper seam on the side seams.

    Otherwise there were no other construction changes. I sewed this up exactly as I did the first version just omitting the pockets. 

    A few pictures ~

    Conclusion ~
    I can't guarantee that I won't make another one of these before the summer is over. I keep wondering what it will look like as a maxi dress. Or if I need to make three tiers to make a maxi look work?  So there may or may not be a third version of this pattern.

    This version is all about the embroidered fabric. I think it was the perfect choice for this simple silhouette. always more later!

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    This is a constant conversation in the sewing community.  At times it can be as polarizing a conversation as whether we call ourselves sewers or sewists. There are zealots on both sides of the divide - some sewists swear by an indie pattern for directions, trends, patterns that highlight their lifestyle, easy downloads vs. the Big4 where there's always the "ease" conversation, lack of clarity in the instructions, sizing, etc.

    So let's talk about this. First lets define Indie patterns and Big4 patterns ~ the Big4 are Simplicity, Vogue, McCalls & Butterick and I would even throw in Kwik Sew here since they are all owned by CSSI. For this discussion we're just not going to talk about the fact that all of those pattern companies mentioned are now under one umbrella.

    Indies are anything that doesn't fall under that umbrella. I understand that since there are so many new indie pattern designers on the market, we sometimes forget that they stand on the shoulders of the indie designers that came before them. Many who are still designing.

    If you will allow me a minute, I would like to pay homage to one of my favorite indie designers who has passed on...

    Fred Bloebaum who designed LaFred Patterns 

    Fred didn't produce a lot of patterns but they were basics with an interesting twist that could be sewn over and over again.  Actually an entire wardrobe could be made from her patterns by choosing your fabrics carefully.

    So this is the Question of the Day.  Do you prefer Indie Patterns or the Big4 and why? If Indie, what are your favorite pattern lines?  They don't have to be the newest, brightest and shinest ones to qualify. I mean if you're a Loes Hinse woman for example, speak up and let us know why. Or if you prefer one of the newer indie designers like True Bias, let us know and why? Finally, if you're like me and sew primarily the Big4, tell us why.  Truly I want to know!

    This is the Question of the Day so thanks for talking back to me! always more later!

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  • 08/27/18--21:00: Indie Month Wrap Up
  • Of the four Indie Patterns I featured at the beginning of the month, I only made garments from two patterns. Part of that is because I lost my mind and made three Katies.  Another thing is I let one weekend go.  I just didn't feel like sewing so I didn't. Then the following week I struggled...seriously struggled. So at the end of the month I've only halfway met my goal.

    The Katie Dress ~

    I loved this dress...loved...loved...loved it! It was the kind of pattern that let me play. Gleefully play and I went a little crazy with the Katie love. So much so that there is one cut out waiting to be sewn and fabric bought from a recent trip to Joann's for another one. Yes, I know...but I don't care! LOL! I love this pattern!  

    So this month I ended up making one sleeveless dress, the original that was cut as a dress but I wear as a tunic with black capri leggings and the dramatic shirt version. Before fall begins, I'm sure I will have five versions finished to wear through late summer and into fall.

    Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress ~

    I made the original dress from an embroidered gingham from Hobby Lobby. Even though it was short, I loved that dress so much that I made it again. My second version was made using an embroidered border print. Because seriously border prints and embroidered fabrics are so my thing right now that of course I went for fabric that married the two.

    Can I tell you that I have another one waiting on the sewing table to be cut out. In my defense, I don't have a maxi version and I've been seeing this maxi, collared version in my head. So I have to make it...have to!

    The Perth Dress ~
    This is where I struggled. I used an entire weekend to make a pattern work and wanted to cry the Saturday evening I called uncle.  Bundled up all of the pattern pieces and put them in a folder.  See I ignored two of my sewing rules ~ one, never grade a pattern up to plus sizes. Nevah, evah, evah. I'm not a pattern maker and while I can do a few pattern alterations that's as far as my skill set goes.

    Two ~ I'm a card carrying member of Team Tissue. All pdf patterns aren't created equal. Though I do have to say that one thing I did like about assemblying this one is that you taped three pages across and down then back up to add the next three tiles.

    I'm crying uncle on this because Carolyn has released it as a plus size pattern and a tissue pattern is winging it's way to me from New Zealand as we speak. I will revisit it when I receive it because I really like the uniqueness of this dress. 

    Kalle Dress ~
    Ummm three Katies, a Deer & Doe and a failed Perth left no room for this pattern especially since we were out and about last weekend. Its on the cutting table with its fabric and will be sewn in September. This is good because I really wanted the version with the longer sleeves that I can wear over my skinny jeans and/or leggings.

    Conclusion ~
    That's my Indie Pattern month round up.  I have a few more Indie paper patterns (Style Arc, Hot Patterns) that I want to sew before it gets really cold. This year I've decided to try wearing a few skirts with tights and long sleeve Concord Tees and cardigans (RTW and handmade) with ankle boots for fall. Boy has my look evolved from those Corporate America days! *LOL* Right now I'm seeing more shirts and toppers for winter sewing but truly that's so far on the outer edges of my creative brain that they're a very low priority.

    Now to talk fabric in/out goals. I'm not doing well here folks. I bought 12.5 yards of fabric this month before my weekend trip to Lancaster where I added another 10.5 yds. I sewed 10 yards of fabric (2 Katie dresses and one sewing fail). Which makes my YTD totals, 144 yards out of the collection. Thank goodness for the donation otherwise I'd just be breaking even or drowning. I continue to hope to have a few more fabric-less months but it hasn't been working out.

    I have a couple of days off to sew for Labor Day Weekend and then I have a really busy September (work-related). But look for the Kalle, Katie and Myosotis to make an appearance on the blog during September. always more later!

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  • 08/30/18--21:00: Buying Fabric Online
  • There are soooooo many quality online fabric sources available now and I honestly look at 90% of them to see what their selling. Cause say it with me now, "I LOVE FABRIC!" LOL!

    photo courtesy of

    Honestly as much as I love fabric - I've spent some time destashing quite a bit so while I look I don't buy much these days. However, when I do look at piece of fabric to buy it has to pass these points to make it into the cart ~

    1. Do I presently own something like or similar to it?
    You would be amazed at how many pieces that disqualifies - or maybe not. *LOL*

    2. Do I have an idea of what to make with it?
    No idea...can't come home with me. I own loads of pretty fabrics already I don't need more of them.

    3. Do I really need it?
    This is a tricky question because do I really need fabric...but every now and then I do need to quench the fabric thirst. So the question probably should be does this fabric satisfy my creative & fabric urges.

    4. Is this fabric at it's best price?
    Peeps if you visit a lot of online fabric stores, you will see alot of the same fabrics over and over again at various price points.  So while you may like a particular piece of fabric is that the best price for it?  That stops me from purchasing some pieces too cause I hate overpaying for fabric.

    If it can pass those four questions, then I really think about buying it. There is one final test it must pass though. If I'm really hot for it, I leave it in the cart for 24 hours unless it's a buy of the day. If I can't stop thinking about it 24 hours later, I buy it. Oh and that 24 hours can't fall during work hours. I'm no longer allowing myself to buy fabric at work because most times it's emotional buying and I'm trying to curb that! 

    This new order of business has really reduced the amount of fabric making it's way into the sewing cave. Cause let's be real, I'm never going to stop buying fabric but I do need to be smarter about what comes to live here now.

    Finally, do you have favorite online fabric stores that never disappoint? They always have something new?  Or they have the fabric that works just right for the season we're in? And, they ship fast with good tracking information?  If so, please frequent them.  Honestly, the days of the brick and mortar fabric stores in almost every town (in the US) are pretty much over. These new online fabric stores provide a much needed resource to us as sewists, so let's support them as best we can!

    Tomorrow is September 1st and September is National Sewing Month.  Come back to the blog to see what I am planning to celebrate National Sewing Month because believe me, you don't want to miss out! always more later!

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    As has become my custom, I'm celebrating National Sewing Month for September! 

    In previous years, I've done a mixture of discounts and giveaways but this year I have a pretty busy month. So while I still want to celebrate the month, I don't have as much time for the blog posts and follow up.

    To that end I will share an abbreviated celebration and I've concentrated on online fabric store giveaways...not discounts but actual gift card giveaways. Cause y'all know I love fabric more than ANYTHING! That's why the previous post was about how to buy fabric online. My favorite fabric stores are offering gift card denominations from $50 - $100.

    Each Monday, I will announce a new fabric store and you will have until Friday at midnight EST of that week to enter. Entries left after midnight, will not be considered for the giveaway. Winners will be announced on Saturdays.  Listed below are the rules to enter each giveaway.  If any of the rules are violated, your entry will be ineligible for the giveaway. 

    This give away is open to everyone, as long as the online fabric retailer ships to you. If you're not in the US, I would check that information on their websites before entering the giveaway...most have it in their Q&A sections. 

    Rules for Giveaway:
    1. You MUST leave a comment on my original post on Blogger ONLY.  Any entries left ANYWHERE else and this includes bloglovin' or another reader, are ineligible.

    2. If you use "Unknown" as a way to enter the giveaway, and your name and/or email address is not included in the comment, your entry is ineligible.

    3. If you win a giveaway, please do not enter any of the following giveaways. IF you leave a comment on subsequent posts, I will delete it.

    4. All winners have until 7 days after the announcement to send their name to me at cnorman underscore 98 at yahoo dot com. If you DO NOT do so in that amount of time, a new winner will be picked and exceptions.

    5. Winners will be chosen by the Random Generator and I will list the number picked out of the number of entries, along with the winners name.

    6. Once the winner's name is given to the online fabric store proprietor, all subsequent interactions are between you and the owner.  I'm not responsible for shipping problems, fabric quality, etc.  But may I say right here that I've only chosen to work with online retailers that I trust and know the quality of their goods as well as their shipping methods. They are ALL reputable small business owners!!!

    These are not all of my favorite online fabric stores. I could have easily held 10 giveaways instead of the six that will be shared. However, as I stated above I have a busy month so this is what I can handle. 

    Now to the good stuff...these are the six online fabric stores that have chosen to participate and the dates the giveaways will start.  Mark your calendar so you don't miss any of them!

    September 3rd - Elliott Berman 
    September 8th - Winner of Elliott Berman gift card will be announced
    September 10th - Blackbird Fabrics
    September 15th - Winner of Blackbird Fabrics gift card will be announced
    September 17th - Sewing Studio
    September 19th - Emmaonesock
    September 22nd - Winner of Sewing Studio & Emmaonesock gift cards will be announced
    September 24th - Smugglers Daughter 
    September 29th - Winner of Smugglers Daughter gift card will be announced
    September 30th - Fabric Mart
    October 5 - Winner of Fabric Mart gift card will be announced.

    Good luck and don't forget to enter...cause as they say in the lottery, you have to be in it to win it!

    Happy National Sewing Month!

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    People I could sing the praises of Elliott Berman loud and strong for days at a time cause that's how much I love them!  I was first introduced to them by Meg from McCalls Patterns. I've loved them since.  Some of my most memorable garments have been made from Elliott Berman fabric.

    I started with a few cardigans then I made a designer knock-off dress. This year,  I became a Brand Ambassador for them. 

    Since joining forces with them, I've made two amazing shirts from shirting fabric...

    (You can buy this print here)

    A Duster in cotton voile

    ...and a dramatic shirt in a designer toile

    All from the amazing collection of fabrics they offer.  Now you can visit Elliott Berman if you live in the NYC area or if you're visiting from out-of-town for garment district shopping. However, they're only open from Monday - weekends. But if you need a fabric fix, they do have a website plus active Instagram and Facebook accounts.

    To me if you're looking for interesting upscale fabrics, Elliott Berman is the place to go! So the first giveaway for National Sewing Month is a $100 gift card from Elliott Berman.

    How do you win this gift card?
    1. You must leave a comment in the box below. Remember only comments left on this post on blogger will be acceptable for the giveaway. Comments left anywhere else will NOT be eligible.

    2. You must follow Elliott Berman on Instagram.  So when you leave your comment, leave your Instagram name too so we can verify that you follow them.

    3. You must leave the comment by Friday, September 7th by 11:59pm EST

    All of these rules MUST be followed to be eligible to win the gift card. A winner will be announced on Saturday, September 8th.  You will have until Saturday, September 15th to send me an email.  If I don't hear from you by then, I will pick another winner.  Also, please refer to the rules that were stated in the initial post for National Sewing Month.

    Ready, set, comment and Good Luck!

    Happy National Sewing Month!

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    I'm going to be honest.  There were 107 comments left on the blog post. I removed 14 of them because the instructions weren't followed. I don't believe it's fair to the people who did follow the instructions to keep them.  This is just to let you know that I'm going to be strict about following the directions, please remember that when you're leaving comments on future gift card posts.  

    Also, not all of the gift card posts will have requirements to be a part of social media. So make sure you read future posts all the way through for the directions.

    Now onto the part that everyone is interested in...the winner of the gift card is ~

    #48 - Linda Hutchings

    Congratulations Linda - since your account is marked private on IG, please send me an email.  My email address is in the about me section. Please use "Elliott Berman Gift Card Winner" in the subject line so I can forward your info to Elliott Berman.  Please make sure you've read the disclaimers in the original blog post about your interaction with the fabric company.

    Thanks to everyone who left a comment. If you didn't win this time remember there are five more opportunities this month to win a gift card.  Come back on Monday where the post for BlackBird Fabrics will be revealed.


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    Blackbird Fabrics is a new favorite. Caroline's online fabricbusiness is located in Canada. So you would think that getting fabric from Canada would be difficult...ummmm no! The well curated fabric selection and the quick shipping, as well as no problems with the border, are what I like so much about Blackbird Fabrics.

    I've placed two orders from them in the last 12 months because new resource and me cutting down on the fabric buying...however I made this cardigan that I wore all winter long because it was sooooo warm and the fabric didn't pill! 

    High quality, well curated selection, fast shipping and good customer service - what's not to like!

    Since they're new on the scene, I'm wondering how many of you have taken advantage of their awesome goods? Personally, I'm tempted by their amazing Instagram account...especially their stories where they show how the fabric moves with some soft jazz playing in the background! Hey give me a chilled glass of Mountain Dew, my credit cards and I'm in heaven! *LOL*

    Caroline the proprieter of Blackbird Fabrics is offering a $50 gift card to one lucky winner!

    1. You must leave a comment in the box below. Remember only comments left on this post on blogger will be acceptable for the giveaway. Comments left anywhere else will NOT be eligible.

    2. Please leave the comment by Friday, September 14th by 11:59pm EST

    All of these rules MUST be followed to be eligible to win the gift card. A winner will be announced on Saturday, September 15th.  You will have until Saturday, September 22nd to send me an email.  If I don't hear from you by then, I will pick another winner.  Also, please refer to the rules that were stated in the initial post for National Sewing Month.

    Ready, set, comment and Good Luck!

    Happy National Sewing Month!

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    After wearing the heck out of my first two versions of this dress, I started dreaming of a maxi version...

    Picture taken by the pool surrounding the Temple of Dendur

    So I made one. I used this rayon challis from Michael Levine fabrics that I purchased in June 2012. The blog post about it is here! This is the first of the four pieces I've used...why?

    I finished this dress about 10 days ago. I wanted to wear it to meet Tasha at The Met. We were seeing The Heavenly Bodies Exhibit. I knew she was wearing a new skirt that she'd made from fabric given to her from my fabric collection.

    While we were there we took advantage of the amazing backgrounds the Museum presents and took pictures of our me mades. So please forgive me but this post is picture heavy. Because of that, my review of the Exhibit will be in a separate post.

    This was a doorway that was an entrance to 
    rooms in The American Wing

    Now some details regarding the construction of this version.

    Supply List ~
    4 yards rayon floral challis 
    white rayon piping from Daytona Trimmings
    3 - 7/8" white & creme buttons from the button collection

    Construction Info ~
    Besides adding length, putting the collar back on, making this sleeveless, and adding some piping, those are the changes differentiating this from the other two.

    I will say that I did not start out adding piping to the bodice. It happened because when I assembled the front pieces I saw this and could have kicked myself...

    It really annoyed me that I didn't single cut the fronts. However, this was the first print I'd used for the dress so I didn't think of it. I would have recut one side but had no more fabric.  While I began with 4 yards of fabric, it was 45" wide so it went fast.

    The piping was added to save the front. After I started I realized that it really was needed to give the print some boundaries ~ a place for your eye to rest. I'm glad I took the time to add it. While it definitely added some sewing time, I gained so much in design.

    The last construction item I want to mention is I added more fabric to the skirt. Instead of cutting the pattern width for the skirt pattern pieces, I used the fabric width of 45". I debated about adding stabilization to the empire seamline. I went with topstitching instead and will store the dress flat and folded instead of hanging. Hopefully that will prevent any fabric growth. 

    Normally I hem the garment right away but I let it hang for two days. I wanted to insure that any growth that would occur could be cut off before hemming the dress.

    So yes, I complicated the heck out of a simple to sew dress! Thank goodness it's my last version for the season.

    Pictures of the dress in action ~

    Obviously I really love the pockets!

    Not really thrilled with my collar but I'm living with it

    A few pictures of the dress in front of some museum highlights ~ 

    In front of the fountains out front

    By the Temple of Dendur

    Conclusion ~
    The best thing about a sewist taking your pictures is the attention to detail. I love the close up shots Tasha took of my dress. This version is bold (very bold) due to my fabric choice. I received quite a few compliments while I was waiting for Tasha to arrive. It also wears differently than the first two. It has the looser fit that's all over the internet not the closer fit my cotton & denim versions have.

    I won't make another one of these before next spring though I love the way this style of dress wears. I have a few other things I want to sew and fall is looming. I'm starting to get the urge to sew shirts and jackets again so you know there must be a chill in the air! *LOL*

    Tasha - thanks for spending the day with was sooo much fun but most especially thanks for the amazing pictures!

    More National Sewing Month blog posts will be up soon!

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    Y'all I'm a museum geek. I love museums and not just for the current exhibition that's showing or interesting the collective sewing community. 

    See I love all the extra stuff that's there and of course I want to peruse it all.  Poor Tasha was so kind in putting up with my desire to see a couple of different exhibits. Especially The Armor, some of the rooms in the American Wing, the African American photo exhibit, the Sculpture Area, the Egyptian artifacts and the Temple of Dendur.

    First though let's talk about the Heavenly Bodies Exhibit since that's what brought us to the museum. Here are a few photos of the exhibit. Okay honestly here are a lot of pics of the exhibit!

    First the garments as you enter the exhibit ~

    From the grotto...

    From the main area...
    The metallic pieces on this dress were stunning!

    The jewelry was so detailed and I own a necklace similar to the one on top
    Its a necklace of pearls and a cross

    The head dress on this piece was astonishing

    My favorite piece though was something that is very wearable today ~

    I thought this part of the exhibit was meh. I mean the embroidery was amazing and the pieces were very interesting. It was staged well but I didn't fall in love with the garments as I had in other exhibits. These just seemed really out there...very costumey.

    It wasn't until we went to the Anna Winter Costume Exhibit portion and saw The Vatican Collection that I was wowed. AND I mean WOWED!

    photo care of The Met

    The handwork on these garments was astonishing. The jewels and metal pieces used in the pieces were awe-inspiring. The nuns/sisters that worked on these garments were truly artisans sharing the love of their craft with the Popes and Cardinals. Me I'm just a muddler compared to what they accomplished and BY HAND!

    After seeing those two sections of the Exhibit, I wanted to see a little more of the museum and Tasha obliged me. So a great big thank you to her for following along behind me! *LOL*

    I loved the Arms & Armor Court! It reminds me of the jousting scenes in The Tudors!

    One of the portraits in the Portrait Gallery we both admired...

    The doorway to The American Wing which housed rooms from several American homes from the 1800s...

    The Photographs of African Americans in the 40s & 50s ~
    I read about this exhibit on the internet and really wanted to see it. It was fascinating. It was like looking at my family's photo albums. However, many of the pictures weren't labelled because the film had been found and developed. So the museum is asking visitors if they know anyone in the pictures to let them know so the pics can be labelled properly.

    Finally a few photos from Egyptian Artifacts and The Temple of Dendur. I love this Temple and visit it every time I come to the museum. It also was THE perfect place to take pictures of our me mades.

    The Heavenly Bodies and the African American Photographs Exhibits are open to the public until October 8th.

    I know this has been a photo heavy blog post but there is so much to see. And of course, I wanted to share as much of my day with you as possible. If you're visiting NYC, I highly recommend that you set aside a day to see The Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as The American Museum of Natural History. They are both family friendly. Your family will then be more understanding of the hours you need to spend in the Garment District!

    BTW, today is the last day for entries for the BlackBird Fabrics Gift Card giveaway. So if you haven't entered yet, go back a couple of posts and leave a comment!  The winner will be announced tomorrow.

    Happy National Sewing Month!

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    Sorry this is so late!  I was out all day with the grandkids and their Mother doing back to school prep!  Yes, I know it's late...but the schools opened lateR in our town this year!

    Okay...and the winner is:

    #86 Gayle

    If you would kindly send me an email at cnorman underscore 98 at yahoo dot com with the subject line "Blackbird Fabrics Gift Card Winner" I will pass your information on to Caroline at Blackbird Fabrics.

    Thank you to all who participated. If you didn't win the gift card, I hope you will still take a minute and visit Caroline's online store and shop! There are some great fabrics there!

    The next gift card giveaway will be up on Monday! Oh there are two giftcard giveaways this look for them! More chances to win free fabric.


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    I chose Sewing Studio for the giveaway because Karleen just bought the Sewing Studio. She purchased it from the previous owner who had a serious illness. I'm not sure how many sewists were aware of the Sewing Studio but as a serious fabricaholic I was. I'd even purchased a piece or two from the former owner.

    It's so cool how Karleen has taken the site and grown it. How she's updated the website and changed up the fabric that's for sale. I haven't purchased anything from Karleen yet, but it's's coming. I just need to sew down a few more pieces in my collection!

    If you haven't visited Karleen's site, please surf over and take a look at the amazing pieces of fabric, the patterns and the Manic Monday sales.

    For National Sewing Month, Karleen is giving a $50 gift card to one lucky winner.

    How do you win this gift card?
    1. You must leave a comment in the box below. Remember only comments left on this post on blogger will be acceptable for the giveaway. Comments left anywhere else will NOT be eligible.

    2. You must follow Sewing Studio on Instagram. They are known as pdxsewingstudio.  When you leave your comment, leave your Instagram name too so we can verify that you follow them.

    3. You must leave the comment by Friday, September 21st by 11:59pm EST

    All of these rules MUST be followed to be eligible to win the gift card. A winner will be announced on Saturday, September 22nd.  You will have until Saturday, September 29th to send me an email.  If I don't hear from you by then, I will pick another winner.  Also, please refer to the rules that were stated in the initial post for National Sewing Month.

    Ready, set, comment and Good Luck!

    Happy National Sewing Month!

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    Emmaonesock has a carefully curated online fabric shop of high quality fabrics. I've purchased many pieces from Linda, who owns Emmaonesock, over the years. I love her customer service and how she ships her fabrics.  I've watched her business grow from two people (her and her husband) to the bustling small business it is now!

    My latest make using Emmaonesock fabric is a sleeveless shirtdress from McCalls 7470 in an embroidered seersucker...

    I love Linda's selection because it combines the necessary fabric we need in our day-to-day lives ~ rayon knits, denims and shirtings with beautiful and unusual prints, designer pieces and to die for wools.

    But you have to be fast if you find something you love on Linda's site, because she has a cadre of devoted followers buying fabrics as soon as they're listed on the site.

    To help celebrate National Sewing Month, Linda is offering a $50 gift card to one lucky winner.

    How do you win this gift card?
    1. You must leave a comment in the box below. Remember only comments left on this post on blogger will be acceptable for the giveaway. Comments left anywhere else will NOT be eligible.

    2. Please leave the comment by Friday, September 21st by 11:59pm EST

    All of these rules MUST be followed to be eligible to win the gift card. A winner will be announced on Saturday, September 22nd.  You will have until Saturday, September 29th to send me an email.  If I don't hear from you by then, I will pick another winner.  Also, please refer to the rules that were stated in the initial post for National Sewing Month.

    Ready, set, comment and Good Luck!

    Happy National Sewing Month!

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  • 09/21/18--11:07: One More Day...
  • Just want to remind everyone that there are two gift cards being given away tomorrow!  You have until 11:59pm EST tonight to enter one or both of the giveaways.

    The first gift card is from Sewing Studio and she is offering a $50 gift card to one lucky winner. The post is here with the rules for entering the giveaway. As of right now there are only 66 people entered so you have a 1 in 66 chance of winning! Me personally I would be jumping on this because her fabric selection is amazing.

    The second gift card this week is from Emmaonesock. Linda is also offering a $50 gift card to one lucky winner. If you're interested in entering this giveaway, click the link for this post. As of now, you have a 1 in 126 chance of winning!

    I need to remind everyone, that you MUST follow the rules because I'm removing entries that don't. 
    -   If you post as unknown, please leave a name or your comment is removed.
    -   If it calls for you to leave a IG name and you don't your comment is removed.

    If you're not sure, I would go back to the post you left a comment on and check to make sure it's still there. If I've removed it, please leave another comment following the rules.

    Finally, we're more than halfway through the month and there are only two gift card giveaways left. Stay tuned for the next two Mondays to see what they are!

    Winners will be announced tomorrow!


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  • 09/22/18--17:05: Today's Winners Are...
  • The winners of the gift cards are ~

    First the winner of the $50 gift card from Sewing Studio is:

    #54 - tackyscab

    Next the winner of the $50 gift card from Emmaonesock is:

    #64 - Graca

    Congratulations to the winners!  Please send me an email at cnorman underscore 98 at yahoo dot com with the subject line: Gift Card Winner.  I will connect you with the owners of the fabric store so you can claim your prize.

    One note though ~
    I had to check three numbers for the Sewing Studio gift card because all of the instructions weren't followed.  So please remember to follow ALL of the rules if you want to win!

    Next gift card will be up on Monday, September 24th!


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    I've been buying fabric from Susan at Smugglers Daughter since 2014. My first experience was with a piece she generously gave me and I made this dress...

    I met her in person at Sew Expo in 2016.  It was great to spend some time with her.  My next garment was this skirt...

    I've bought fabric from Smugglers Daughter that I used to make scarves for Christmas gifts. I've bought denim and this amazing cut out pleather that's back on my to sew list this fall. Susan has such interesting fabrics and I always find something I just have to have on her site.

    To continue our celebration of National Sewing Month, Smugglers Daughter is offering the next gift card. Susan is generously offering a $100 gift card to one lucky winner.

    How do you win this gift card?
    1. You must leave a comment below. Remember only comments left on this post on blogger will be acceptable for the giveaway. Comments left anywhere else will NOT be eligible.

    2. You must tell me in the comments about one fabric you saw on Susan's site that you would use your gift card on.

    3. All comments must be signed - if you use "Unknown" to comment you have to leave your name or email address.

    4. Please leave the comment by Friday, September 28th by 11:59pm EST

    All of these rules MUST be followed to be eligible to win the gift card. A winner will be announced on Saturday, September 29th.  You will have until Saturday, October 6th to send me an email.  If I don't hear from you by then, I will pick another winner.  Also, please refer to the additional rules that were stated in the initial post for National Sewing Month.

    Ready, set, comment and Good Luck!

    Happy National Sewing Month!

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