Category Archives: Uncategorized


I’ve updated my domain…

Now I’m at:

thanks for reading!



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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Uncategorized


Fashion for Plus Sizes

I want there to be a great book out there by that title… I want it to go into detail about dressing the plus size form in a way that is not just attractive, but stunning.

Yes, I said it.


I mean it, too!

Please take these away… I haven’t even read them and yet I’m bored to tears by the blah-blah-blandness on the cover. Please tell me that this is not “fashion” for plus sizes?

Girl, you should not look so happy about wearing a baggy white T and some frumpy jeans….

Oh, pink is sexy right? It doesn’t matter what font I use! And images? Who needs images? For a fashion book????

Do not even go there.


Now these? These are a little better… I may have to investigate these further…


Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Uncategorized


Bernina repair

Last week, my little Bernina minimatic developed a tic… she started dropping stitches.


Her belts had been slipping for a while, and she struggled to get through rolled seam allowances, but I made allowances because, after all, she is 40 years old, and not as spry as she once was. I also had never taken her in for a tuneup after I bought her at an estate sale.

So we took her to Sew Much More, our local Bernina dealer* and they said they’d give her a tune up, and that it usually cost $80 and would take three weeks.

Three. Weeks. Without. A. Sewing. Machine.

I didn’t have *that* much handwork to keep me busy!

I would’ve freaked out, if Mister and I hadn’t had a conversation that prepared me for this long wait. More to come on that…

So now, we have a little green suitcase that sits empty, waiting for little Hilde to come home.

*Everytime I hear “dealer” I get tickled…we’re addicts, I tell you!

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Posted by on October 8, 2011 in Uncategorized


Sorbetto by Colette

So many bloggers are whipping up the charming (and charmingly free) Sorbetto pattern from Colette, that I just couldn’t resist. I dragged my printer out of the closet and printed this adorable little tank top (and the bloomers, too, because why not?).

I laid all the pieces out, and then taped them down after snipping away the excess.


As you can see, our house is more construction zone than office space, so I had to make due with painter’s tape. That’s okay, it worked great because it was re-positionable! Once I had it all laid out, though, I did cut strips of packing tape (seriously, we do not own scotch tape, I think there must be a law against it or something) and secure all the seams down very well.

Then I cut the whole thing out.


And then I took a deeeeeep breath.

Because I wasn’t going to sew this little top up as-is. No, I was going to do my very first Full Bust Adjustment (FBA). Which I was kind of afraid of doing. But what better pattern to try it out on than the world’s easiest tank top?

So here’s how I did it (using Nancy Z’s method, from a few weeks ago).


I rolled out some craft paper and traced around the whole pattern, both pieces.


Then, I took a pin, and put it in shoulder, where the two seam-allowances crossed eachother (I had to draw these in, and remember that the Sorbetto had a 1/4″ SA on the arm holes). I had already figured out that my bust measurement was 2″ more than the size 18 bust measurement, so when I divided that by 4 (4 cut edges) I got .5, so I made a small mark 1/2″ outside the bust-area seam at the very top. Then I pivoted the pattern over to meet that line (keeping the pin in place to act as the pivot), and re-drew the arm hole.  Then I did the same thing again, but this time down to the waistline to give me a little more ease in the waist and hip.


It’s funny how scared I was to do this — because it was really easy! It didn’t even mess up the original pattern piece, which is awesome.

I repeated this whole procedure on the back bodice piece, and then I was done!


Tune in next time when I figure out how to re-position the dart on the modified front!
Now, I just need to figure out which fabric I want to use… decisions, decisions….


Posted by on August 3, 2011 in Uncategorized


Librarian’s Corner: Make Your Own Patterns

This is one of my very favorite books about sewing: Adele Margolis’s Make Your Own Patterns from 1985.


I first found this book at my local library — way back before I even knew I wanted to be a librarian. When I found it, I thought “Cool! What neat old stuff they have here!” As a librarian now, this comment by unknowning me makes me cringe — I’m surprised we hadn’t weeded poor old Adele long ago!

But I’m glad we didn’t, because she’s got some really great information in here, and while the odd image here or there is dated, for the most part, the illustrations look fresh and relevant, even today. They’ve held up well! I bought my very own copy from Half Price Books for a whopping $30… but I figured it was worth it since I’d probably checked it out a dozen times by then.

She’s an excellent teacher, too.

She starts off by describing clothing in terms of shapes. She goes through all the different shapes and shows how they would look if you used that shape (and no other tweaking) as a garment. One of my favorites is this split-front circle cloak:


Then, she says, you can add darts, to make the fabric conform to the contours of the body. She mostly assumes that her audience is women, here.  She goes on to describe all the different darts you can use, where you could place them, and how to get rid of excess ease without darts

Isn’t this a compelling idea?


You can tell already, I’m sure, that the illustrations are one of my favorite things about this book. So many great ideas!


Adele then goes on to show you how to make a sloper, and then how to make modifications to that basic pattern piece, so that you get different looks. Here’ she’s showing you how to spread a sloper to get a fuller skirt.


I really love this book. I wish they’d put it in print again, because it’s such a thorough and accessible approach to pattern design. But they’d probably muck it all up and put in photographs instead of line drawings, and we all know that photos never age as gracefully as line drawings.

I’ll finish for today with some more Collar candy




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Posted by on August 2, 2011 in Uncategorized