Sleeveless Sloper V2

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Sleeveless Sloper

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Spring Pants

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We had a week or so of wonderful spring-summer weather. It started me thinking about summer and got me sewing a 3 Piece Coordinated Blouse set.  First, although sewn 2nd, is this camp shirt:

using a Rayon Challis and Connie Crawford 5047.  I like the fit of this and don’t plan further changes.  I do realize that different fabrics may affect the fit and of course, I do want to copy details from RTW. But it’s good. Just like it is.

Next, although sewn first, is this flirty, layered, quarter-sleeve blouse

I used my basic block developed from Connie Crawford’s 1201 and two silks. Lower level is a pongee that is darker and has a subtle nap. The upper is plain weave, light weight silk but I don’t know what it is called.  I had fun with this garment. Spent a long time playing with the layers and tucks.

Last sewn and shared, is a sand-washed silk blouse

for which I modified Louise Cuttings Hearts A Flutter shell.

All 3 blouses make a grouping appropriate for my life style and climate. I’ll wear the camp shirt a lot during the next few weeks (late spring) transitioning to the quarter sleeve and tank tops as the weather warms.  At that point, the camp shirt won’t be put away. No it will become a summer jacket much-needed in highly air-conditioned spaces like doctors’ offices.

Worn here with black jeans:

but this 3-some works well with my blue and brown basic bottoms which for summer are light-weight, long pants and shorts.

I’ve been sewing ‘collections’ for so long that it’s the way I think.   I mean I look at the fabric and envision not only what it will become but what I will wear with it. Consequently, I do find that most of my collections become extensible i.e. I planned to wear these with navy bottoms but quickly accepted that the black and brown collections were also possible.  I have a few yellow garments that will mix nicely with this set as well. I found a pair of olive-y green pants that I thought orphaned, also look nice.

I think putting together a wardrobe is multi-faceted. You can’t just choose your colors. You also need garments that work in your life. For example, I have no prom gowns. None. Because I’d never wear them. You also need fabrics that work for your lifestyle. I have few wools and even less fleece. I love wool. But I’m not willing or easily able to provide the care wool requires. As for fleece, let’s just say it has limited use. A little more casual than I prefer.   Then there is fit. My nemeses. You can have a beautiful wardrobe but it looks ugly when it doesn’t fit. So when I look at this collection and say I’m happy. I want you to understand, I’m really happy even if I can make some criticisms. It’s my color; my style. Fits relatively nicely and works well with other garments in my closet.

Aren’t I just too cool?


Posted in 6PAC, Wardrobing | 4 Comments

The Embroidery

I  love machine embroidery. Make no secret of it.  I enjoy talking about it. Telling my secrets.  I’m always surprised at how unimaginative people are when it comes to machine embroidery. I don’t intend to be demeaning. Just that I’d like to encourage use beyond plagiarized Diz^ey  or childish cartoons; more than patches and emblems.  Although I have an embarrassingly large collection (hey I’ve been collecting since this first home machine was introduced), I know it isn’t necessary. It’s a matter of examining the designs on hand and making the most of them.  I decorated the center front tuck of yesterdays’ tank top

with a variation of this original:

I purchased the above neckline design over 20 years ago. The individual who sold it is no longer in business.   I split the design at CF; rotated and arranged in a straight (more or less) line before changing colors. My end result

was absolutely stunning, to me. I tested this design. Stitched it on a scrap.  The digitizer was a professional but my editing can change things; even on a well thought out design. I also tested colors before committing to the garment. I tested first to be sure I had chosen the closest possible match with — my camp shirt.

I wanted this tank to coordinate with the summer camp shirt. Using a scrap from that shirt and a decorative stitch on my Brother Dream, I stitched long lines; switching colors until I was happy I had the best match.  But I still wanted the embroidery to show up. That’s a 10,000 stitch, 3-thread design. Why run the machine and rethread it 3 times if the embroidery doesn’t show? So another scrap this time of the silk and a few more minutes at the Dream to know this

will show up and still be coordinated.

I stopped my experiementing and test with

but I could have done more or something else. Another simple change would be changing all colors to one. Like all gold:

or all white

I could have eliminated the final color

creating multi-colored bubbles. Or made all the bubbles one color and created rows

Did you notice the original digitizer was working with multiples of one design? This one:

He started with that and made rows, which were then shaped into a wide scallop. Duplicated. Mirrored and formed into a neckline. He could have also chosen to repeat this design in other shapes.

That shape can be modified even more. Heck, I can so see it, in my colors, sprinkled across my sand washed silk.  Repeated, it would make a wonderful hem border.

My point is, and I do have a point, is that even though you buy or download a single design it has multiple possibilities.   Embird most certainly helps with creating different designs and allows you to preview at the PC which saves lots of time. Most of the embroidery machines sold today have at least some editing capability. It would be a pain to rehoop to stitch that single design several times. But it is a possibility and it is what we did with our original 4×4 machines. Using a single color is a simple as pushing the “go” button without changing thread.  Skipping a ‘thread’ when stitching out is pretty easy too. On most machines you’d simply touch the icon by the next color. (Your machine may be different.)

I want to encourage everyone to see more potential in their own collection of designs. Color alone changed a 4th of July design into a feminine detail. What would you do?



I confess I spend way too much time in Embird. It’s not unusual for me to spend 8-10 hours choosing and editing before I even get to the machine for testing.  I make use of Embird’s Density Map and Xray as well as checking the layers.  I put a lot of thought and effort into embroidery.  I don’t want a bad design – and I’ve had some – totally ruin a project.  I recommend Embird’s Manager and Editor (the basic) along with an alphabet or two for most new users. You don’t need font engine unless you know you will be doing a lot of custom lettering – and no, just forget about  possible auto-digitizing. It takes an expert to create a great auto-digitized design. Get familiar with Manager and Editor before decided that Studio (digitizing) is right for you. Not only will it save you money initially but you’ll find that you can do most of what you want done in Editor.  No one asked me to make this recommendation. I’m not receiving any form of payment.  Just another satisfied end-user — so satisfied that I won’t buy a machine that isn’t compatible.

Posted in Embellishments, MachineEmbroidery | 2 Comments

Sand Washed Silk Top

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Summer 6PAC: Camp Shirt/Shirt jacket

I know I promised this post 2 days ago. I ran into the issue of ‘best laid plans’.  First I thought I’d have the whole next day for sewing. Didn’t. Then I bought a new SD card to hold my embroidery files (for travel).  It tied up my computer for a long, long, loooooonnnng time copying the 9GB of files to a pristine 32GB card.

Nonetheless, read my full post about the Camp Shirt for my Summer 6PAC HERE

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6PAC Shirt

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Golden Apricot Blouse

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Done and Gone

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