South Bend, IN, US

craft interests: fashion, gifts, holidays, home decorating, quilting, restyle, sewing

Gender: Female

Birthday: 10/13/1941

Member Since: 12/15/2008

recent comments

Re: What is your greatest fitting challenge?

I remember commenting on this previously but I have to tell you, I am not the absolute most challenging fit. My daughter, for whom I try to sew, is the worst! The wonderful gal was born with Juvenile Rheumatoid and by this time, (49), she has some real twists and turns in her structure. I love to please her with something I have made, and she loves to look what she calls "stylin'" so we do not ever give up. Her shoulders are forward and down, her chest is over-developed, her spine is not straight and she stands slightly askew. I absolutely must make her one of those custom dress forms. It will then be a pleasure trying to get garment seams to meet and to be at least close to fitting. I wonder how others manage to clothe their friends/children/relatives with disabilities. I have never had any advice and maybe it's time to gather information from some of the more successful people who have the same situation. I appreciate any helpful comments.

Re: What is your greatest fitting challenge?

I have several challenges fitting a garment to my body. I am narrow shouldered, small in the hips and thighs (compared to my chest and belly). I used to have large busts until my waist decided to catch up. If I fit the bust, the waist is too tight. If I fit the waist, the legs and hips are absolutely ridiculous. Any garment that fits at all around the middle usually also "hugs" the tops of my hips which are rather "boxy" at my age. The waist-fitted garment would be way too long. I have a hard time finding any clothing for myself in pants, skirts, or dresses. I have no problem with tops, especially since the "baby doll" tops are fashionable. I love them! I hate pants with elastic tops and that is what I find. They only tend to make my rear look large as they pucker just where I do not need puckers. I am quite discouraged. I have not been able to find a pattern that fits me, either. Patterns made for older ladies with a larger middle are drab and lack any color and/or style. I guess I just do not want to dress like I am totally giving up on my femininity, even though I am an older lady. I would probably like a dress that had tiers of 12 inch or larger fabric layers. I found such a top and I absolutely love it. It looks good on me, too. The only complaint is that the tiers did not go all the way around; only in the front. It has 3/4 sleeves which look good on an older lady, too. I sure would like to try a pattern like that. I would probably make it in a fabric that had body; not a silky, sheer-type such as a younger lady. It might even be a rather muted plaid or print, possibly even a little bit darker color, too. I would have to check fabrics to see what would look best. Sure wish there was such a pattern. Have surely not found one.

Re: How do you use recycling in your sewing?

I love visiting the local resale stores for many items to be re-fashioned or re-made. It gives me a kick to be able to make something very useful out of something discarded by someone else. I especially love making over sweatshirts. I enjoyed very much felting wool I found through the sweater aisles and making many cupcake pin cushions for Christmas. Pink, brown, and white made them look like the three most popular ice cream flavors. At a homemaker's special meeting last year, I made one of those little zippered "boxes" from a 2-liter bottle and displayed it as a little sewing box on the "recycled" table. I have made gym shorts into pillows, all sorts of found fabrics into rag quilts, and I am always anxious to visit again to find notions, fabric, or even special items for an idea. I have a button collection I keep separate from my mother's really old collection. I have a ton of t-shirts cut and ready to make into quilts. These shirts have a special meaning to many of the young man's friends to whom they belonged. He was a huge t-shirt collector, especially of musicians. He unfortunately passed away at an early age, so his friends will be receiving quilts and/or pillows from the collection which I was fortunate enough to have been gifted. I also have huge bags (2) of old jeans. I have several ideas for them, but so far have only made purses.

Re: How do you store your fabric stash?

We told our adult daughter we could not afford to pay for her rent while she went back to school full time so she could move here and we would provide all her room and board. We had just purchased and restored an older cape cod house and turned the entire upstairs into a master suite. It was perfect for her to have her privacy and quiet when she needed to study. In the meantime, we have crowded all her furniture into the house with ours. We have almost another year in that situation so I am stashing things wherever I can and am excited about the time I am finally able to enjoy my "new" house, even though we love our daughter dearly. My husband had already provided me a perfect sewing area in the larger of the two main floor bedrooms, so I was all set with special lighting, many electrical outlets, etc. Well, that area is now also crowded with a guest bed and dressers for clothes. In the meantime, my fabric stash is in three dressers, two plastic 7-drawer towers, and on shelves in the small closet that was original to the house but renovated for what was supposed to be the "office". I have also run out of space for all the materials, so there is one plastic square basket full with fabric, too. All my items to re-make and/or finish are in a box close to the sewing machine cabinet. I use an old office credenza for a sewing machine cabinet and it is wonderful as it has two huge drawers on the left side and another smaller drawer with a door under it which also has a
huge drawer that pulls out that holds my books and information. I will be happy to be able to organize things truly properly but I have definitely attempted to organize things by material types. I love some of the ideas above, especially the ladies who keep a file or book with samples and the ideas they had about using the fabric when they acquired it. That is my biggest problem with my material; I have so much I forget what I wanted to do with it and why I was so excited when I brought it home. By the way, I also wash all my material when I bring it home before I put it away. I have purchased the fabric organizers with the tabs but have yet to find a good place to put them. I would love to hear from any of the ladies who have used them. Any special suggestions for using them? I have the original instructions on how to use them, but many times one can find terrific ideas just by utilizing something like this. I hope to hear from some of you on this.

Happy 2010 everyone! ML

Re: Ease into the New Year: How to Make a Simply Sophisticated Spa-Style Washcloth

These are fabulous! I wish I could feel confident enough to make them. I just finished my very first project - a prayer shawl done with the help of the knitters in a church group of knitters. I presented my shawl to a lady that I know desperately needed it and would appreciate it. I told the group it was so poorly done that it had to go to someone who badly needed a shawl or loved me a whole lot! These lovely and useful wash cloths are exactly the type of knitting that is so appealing to me. I'll bet one of the ladies at the church knitting club will help me to learn to do these stitches and to follow directions you have provided. Thanks so very much. I will talk to them and get the necessary yarn. This is such a helpful site!

Re: What sewing detail do you find the most difficult?

When I must negotiate a curve with the serger. I usually get the knife into the fabric leaving a jagged, ugly area. UGH! The other day I discovered that if I can pull on the fabric in a certain way, causing the fabric to turn, it can work, but it is not a consistent result. I really must study my manual more. I imagine the answer is in there somewhere! Thanks for posing this question for us. I am not missing one answer! (Just in case I need help in other areas, too).

Re: Book Giveaway on

I have always loved ribbons and pretty trims of the feminine type. Mother made my clothes and always had to add something "pretty", especially ribbons. I have thought and thought about trying ribbon work and having this book would certainly satisfy that yearning. I am so thankful you are giving me the opportunity to win this book.

Re: Choose the Winner of the SewStylish Spring Fashion Contest

I have been sewing for 60 years and I honestly did not see the tattoos, only the absolutely terrific dress with all the stripes in just the right places! I was truly impressed! I have to admit that I did not see the tattoos until I began to read the previous (naughty) comments about them. I then scrolled back up and looked at the photo again. My, they sure are colorful. Anyway, Gertie, you are truly a great and artistic seamstress. Good for you! I would like to know how you came to learn so much about sewing. Did you take special courses somewhere? Did your mother teach you? Just wondering.