Thursday, December 31, 2009


2009 has been wonderful for me - other than the 17 year old son who continues to try to test our patience beyond all capacity, all while having a driver's license.

This year I started school again.

This year I met my mentor and I am amazed how much easier my schooling and business life can be with him.

This year I got my first of many IT certifications!  Totally excited and proud of myself for that!

This year, my husband made the E-8 list for promotion (think 1st Sgt).

This year, my 14 year old daughter recieved her Young Woman Recognition Award.. She has been working hard on it for 2 years!

This year, my husband bought me a new sewing/embroidery machine.  Which I love.  Which I use all the time.  My poor other machine only gets used occasionally now.

This year my first child lost both his front teeth at the same time!  He is the first child out of the 6 we have to have accomplished this!

This year, that same little boy learned to read - all on his own.  He was tired of his bigger brother reading without him.

This year, my other little guy got his Wolf in Cub Scouts!

This year, I went on my first cruise.  The cruise was nice.  The people on the boat - not so much - especially they were drunk from before the cruise started until after they got off.

This year I have sewn more and more clothes for myself and my family. Which I really enjoy doing. I would give a count, but I don't keep count.  I sew clothes as they are needed and wanted.  But I did do something new - I made 2 coats - not fleece - for my 14 year old and myself. 

This year I have only done alterations (the bane of my exsistance) for 3 people, beyond my family's needs. Thank goodness.

I have lots planned for 2010.  First starting with a much needed vacation to visit with friends and my mentor. I also have a new wonderful sewing project to work on this spring.  Which I will tell you about in 2 weeks...

I will post on my 2010 goals next year ;)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Break

Christmas was wonderful.  Nice and quiet with our parents and children.  We spent the morning leisurally opening presents and eating breakfast (cinnamon rolls and gluten-free cinnamon rolls).  We then spent the rest of the morning playing on our new Wii.

We went over to our parents' house (mine technically, my husband's parents died 3 years and 1 year ago respectively) for dinner and movies.  We had a simple buffet and watched A Christmas Carol with the Muppets.  Then we introduced the grandparents to the Wii.

The rest of this week will be spent putting away Christmas decorations in preparation for New Year's Day and for our trip out of town.  I also will be sewing a little.

I finished all my Christmas sewing gifts.  And everyone loved them! 

I finished J2's Christmas dress - which is lovely - and she loves to pieces.  This was an heirloom dress and will be saved for my granddaughters one day when she out grows it.

I also finished my winter coat last night!  I wore it to church today - for some reason the heater always feels like the AC in the church building.  I was warm and comfortable during church today.

I made a beautiful pink fleece coat for J2 also - she outgrew her 2 jackets within 2 weeks of each other.  It is very cute with pictures to follow.

On my list for sewing this week is finding and readying a new dress to smock for J2.  I am thinking something peach or blue.  I haven't decided yet.  I also have a new white blouse that I need to make for myself. 

We are treating the children to a trip to California this next week. We will be staying and hanging out with friends of ours there!  The kids are excited to go to the beach, the Zoo, and just hang with our friends (who have no kids and 2 Xboxs - need I say more?)

 As the younger 4 are still home-schooled and our oldest daughter is a freshman in high school, we will take her out of school for the week. Our oldest has to stay here to work and do school work for his senior year. 

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Almost done and ready for Christmas!

Whoo.  I have been busy.  And I am awake for some strange reason at 3:15 am. 

I have finished J2's new dress.  She has been in the need of new dresses, as most of her dresses may cover her bum - but then she moves - and then one gets a peep show of her panties. 

I also made a turtleneck smaller through the side seams and cut the sleeves into 3/4 length, and lettuce hemmed the edges for A2.

I also worked on another project for a friend quickly.  She needed names put on the new family stockings - this is important as they are a blended family and she wanted stockings that were all the same.

The 2nd party is all done.  We served 200 people and everyone enjoyed it (so they keep telling me!).

I have my dh's shirt cut out and sitting in my basket.  I also have my coat part way done.  And I have a new white blouse and a new red wool skirt waiting to be sewn.

But, J2 needs a new coat - it appears that her coat from last year doesn't quite fit in the arm length any longer.  So, I have some gray wool with pink/purple embroidered flowers already prewashed and dried along with purple lining to make a new coat - and I think I will make it one size larger so that it will fit next year too.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas checklist - almost done! Again!

Mom and Dad - new pillowcases

M1- new hoodie sweatshirt

M2 - new hoodie also

A1 -  Robe

A2 - Robe

J1 - Robe

J2 - Robe

Husband - new black Cuban shirt

J (my sister) - something she can take with her....

Stocking stuffers - personalized pillowcases like I made my friend!

My client's dress Wow!  It took over an hour to cut and rehem the dress.  Must have something to do with the 7 layers of tulle....

write another paper - revised and waiting for pass notice....

and plan 1 christmas party on the 18th - planned and have shopping and to do waiting to do on Thursday/Friday

Oh - and I have to finish my coat! Still.
And I have 3 new classes starting in January - about 14 credits worth.  CIW Database Specialist - more computer geek stuff, Organizational Behavior & Management, and Healthcare Eco Systems I....and my textbooks, used!  will be about $200.  Fortunately, 4 of them can be used for the fall semester. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas checklist - almost done!

Mom and Dad - new pillowcases (hey - be surprised if you read this!)

M1- new hoodie sweatshirt

M2 - new hoodie also

A1 - new oriental blouse for church      robe instead (so she quits walking out from the bathroom in a towel)

A2 - Robe

J1 - Robe

J2 - Robe

Husband - new black Cuban shirt

J (my sister) - no idea - she is deploying to Afghanistan before March

Stocking stuffers - personalized pillowcases like I made my friend!

My client's dress is almost done - the zipper and shoulders should be done next week and then I just have to hem the whole thing - nothing major - just 7 layers of tulle, 2 fabric layers and the netting for the petticoat.

and to revise my paper... done & passed!

write another paper - only 5 pages this time  submitted and waiting for either revision or pass notice

and plan 2 christmas parties...on the 12th and then on the 18th

and help my mom sew 2 costumes for her and my dad for her party...

make 8 costumes for the Bethlehem Christmas party Sat night

Oh - and I have to finish my coat!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My to-do Christmas List...

Mom and Dad - new pillowcases (hey - be surprised if you read this!)

M1- new hoodie sweatshirt (he fell in love with the last one I made him - hmmm, maybe a picture is needed?)

M2 - new hoodie also

A1 - new oriental blouse for church

A2 - Robe (they will probably all be out of flannel or cotton - it isn't always cold enough for one here - but it does help to take the chill off when getting out of the bath!)

J1 - Robe

J2 - Robe

Husband - new black Cuban shirt

J (my sister) - new blouses

I also am going to make pillowcases like I made my friend!

My client's dress is almost done - the zipper and shoulders should be done next week and then I just have to hem the whole thing - nothing major - just 7 layers of tulle, 2 fabric layers and the netting for the petticoat.

So - off to sew...

and to revise my paper...

write another paper - only 5 pages this time...

and plan 2 christmas parties...

and help my mom sew 2 costumes for her and my dad for her party...

I love being busy for other people!  Especially if I get to sew!

Oh - and I have to finish my coat!

Monday, November 30, 2009

It has been awhile, huh? Paper writing is not as easy as it was 14 years ago...

I have a 15 page paper due at the end of this week and then a 7 page paper due by Dec 9th.  So, writing those, home-schooling, Thanksgiving, my little sister's visit, and some sewing I have been super busy!  I might have to go writing once per week and posting pictures of what I have sewed during the week.

But I have sewed all this during the last 3 weeks....(most of it in the last 5 days)
for my 14yo daughter - black corduroy coat with silky lining for our "cold" weather
5 pillowcases, with embroidered names, for Christmas presents for a friend
11 pillows for my Mom - some for Christmas and some to replace the formal living room pillows
5 tablecloths for my Mom (she is having a party this week)
9 new ornaments for my Mom (her family is all western and needed some new ornaments to match -they are made from matching pillow fabric)
2 new fleece exercise coats for my mom and I
the sleeves, collar, sleeve tabs, back tab, pockets, and pocket flaps for my new winter coat...

And I have things cut for Christmas presents - new shirt for my husband, 2 blouses for my sister, a new  fleece coat for her (she asked), 10 pillowcase (with embroidered names) for my family and my parents, a new Christmas dress for my 4yo daughter, a new blouse for my 12 yo daughter, a new stuffed penguin for my 14yo daughter, and 2 new vests for my 9 and 7 yo sons.  I don't know what to make my 17 yo son - any ideas? 

Oh, and I have a client's dress to hem (formal dress with about a millon layers of netting) and the zipper is broken and needs to be replaced and moved as the dress is a little big in the upper back area.

Wow.  When is Christmas again? 

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Halloween (AZ style)...

It has been in the low 90's/high 80's for 2 weeks now. Very unusual. We have actually new weather records this past week because of the heat.

So, as normal, we didn't have to worry about anything under costumes, save for a sweatshirt.

So, here are my younger 5 (the oldest has a job and was working that night):

From left to right: Prince Caspian, Queen Lucy, and High King Peter (do you see the theme they came up with?)

And here are my new Charlie's Angels:

And while husband and I were going to dress up, we spent all day Saturday working on the kitchen - leaving us in a 'not wanting to dress up mode'...

As for candy? We have an all you can eat day the following day! Everyone is allowed as much candy they want all day, starting after breakfast. The next morning after that, all the remaining candy is given away to Nana - who stores it for treats in her home (except for the lollipops that I keep for shopping trips)...

And there is no extra candy to tempt me anywhere!

Friday, November 6, 2009 is an actual sewing post! Church trousers for a child...

So, in the midst of the bathroom leak, and the kitchen leak, and my son getting suspended, my 9 year old needed a pair of new trousers for church.

So, I bought some nice Khaki Chino from and went to town...

the front:

close-up for the front waistband:

Close-up of the inside of the back waistband:

What you see there is buttonhole elastic. While I am still trying to lose weight (35 lbs left to go), my children are all extremely thin. My 9 year old has the leg length of a 9-10 year old, but has the waist of a 6 year old!

So, I normally cut his pants patterns (and my other 2 little ones) 1 size larger than they are in the waist, and then cut the length based on their inseam. However, because these are church trousers, and not worn everyday, I also add a 2 inch hem, which I cuff up.

So, I add a 2 buttonholes in the waistband facing, near the side seams, insert the elastic, and sew on 2 clear buttons to hold the elastic. This work much better than havin to see him winch his trousers tighter with his belt!

I have been doing this little trick on skirts, shorts, and trousers for my younger children for a couple of years.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I passed my A+ exams!!!!!

I am now a certified A+ Technician and A+ certified for IT work.


Friday, October 30, 2009


My senior son was suspended from school (on assault charges) for 10 days! 

He has a hearing before Nov 13, to determine if he can return to school.

Because he stood up for his younger sister, when another young man who has been bullying her since school started, started calling her a liar - right where was my son was standing.

What makes this worse - is that we go to church with this family.  And this young man and my son have already been involved once before in something similar, because this same young man shoved another girl into the door extremely hard (thus hurting her) on his way (he was shoving everyone) to get to dessert that night at youth group.

I am not denying that my son did this - he and his sister told us right away what happened.  However, given this young man's actions in the past (ugly things said to her and to her friends, hitting her in the face with his binder, zip-tying her backpack shut and to the desk)...

can we blame my son for responding the way he did?

We have decided that there is no punishment for him being suspended - as he was standing up to a bully in defense of his sister.

You know - he may not be the perfect child.  As a matter of fact, he has been acting like quite a jerk lately, but he did what was right - when it was needed...

and that is what matter the most.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

No sewing here...again...

Mostly because my kitchen is non-exsistant - except for my stove and microwave.

We are using paper dishes, instead of doing dishes for 8 people, 3 times daily in the bathtub. 

But - it was bad.  We had to remove all the cabinets on the wall where the leak, which was in the celing near the water heater, all the drywall, all the insulation, and the obviously the countertop, dishwasher and sink. 

We only have to replace the drywall and insulation.  The cabinets only need the hardboard at the back of them replace.  And all the wood holding the cabinets to the wall and floor.

Not too bad, moneywise...but the stress from going to one leak, to the next, combined with my A+ exams in not good.  So, I won't be doing much sewing this week, while I study full time for my exams.

So...on to more studying...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More leaks...

Sewing?  Sewing?  The only sewing going on here was for Halloween (thank you stitch witchery!) - with pictures coming at Halloween. 

I did finish my Haiwian blouse (with no stitch witchery).

But leaks?  Those seem to exist at random in our home.

The latest?  The huge leak spray that was in the ceiling.  In the kitchen.  Above the water heater.  That has been there for so long that there is wet insulation.  Wet drywall.  Wet everything.

I am cutting out a muslin to Simplicity 2508.  I am cutting out the green jacket on the left front.  I have decided which sleeve yet.  So I will make it up with both the straight sleeve and the gather sleeve.  Then I will decide.

I have several things to make while tweaking the coat.  A dress and blouse for my mom.  2 new shirts for my A.

Oh.  and a wall to fix.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Where have I been?

At home.  And not sewing.

We have fixed the leak, via our neighbor who is a contractor (and he would only charge me for parts!), re-tiled, re-grouted, caulked, sealed, re-drywalled, taped & mudded all seams, matching the texture as well as possible, primed, and am now finally painting the family room and bathroom!

I have managed to get the other sleeve on my Halloween Haiwaiin shirt (which is also a muslin for some other pretty fabric for the winter - note to self - add 2" to the length of the shirt) and I have tailored MD's new work pants (heaven forbid they be too baggy!).  That is it sewing wise.

Fortunately, husband has been home to work on this - yesterday and today have been the only 2 days I have actually worked on this repair - otherwise I have been studying.

Oh - and repairing the wall where the cabinet fell off in my sewing room (we won't talk about how the previous owners were NOT very good at home improvement things)...and replaced the cabinets with some nice shelving.  Which I like even better than the cabinet!

Sewing posts hopefully coming up in the next few days!

Monday, October 5, 2009

What I did today (and yesterday) and YES! it involved some sewing!

I cooked more all day yesterday:

15lbs of ground beef
3 lbs ground sausage
1 ham (which we ate partly for dinner and froze enough for 2 more meals)
1 turkey breast
5 lbs round steak (now shredded)
5 lbs fish

Everything is now frozen in our new freezer (thank you Lowe's and their next day delivery!).

So then I sewed!  3 new knit shirts for my younger boys!  Yeah!

And this afternoon, I had a client show up quickly with a bridesmaid dress for a wedding (she was an emergency substitution) to be altered before Wednesday!  Almost done - all I have left to do is move the zipper some and then it will fit perfect!

So - I got to sew!  Yea!!!!!  Go me!

And now?  I'm taking a break from studying...

and the "replacing the drywall and re-tiling project that has to be done now because of water damage"...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

No sewing going on here - just cooking, cooking, cooking....

Yep - nothing but cooking.

Our freezer is dying.  We inherited it from my husband's father last year when he died.  We really didn't realize how old it was until we starting adding the years together while on the way to buy a new one - it was almost 20 years old!

Anyway - I caught it tonight, as I went to get tortillas out for dinner tonight (bean burritos).  2/3 of my freezer was thawed!  UGH!!!

Needless to say, with the help of 4 ice chests, very nice neighbors, and a little re-arranging of my 2nd freezer (hey, with 6 kids, what do you expect - this one is full of veggies, cheese, and pork), we were able to store most things.

Tonight, we went and bought a new freezer - from Lowe's!  They offer free next day delivery with hauling away of the old freezer, plus they gave us a 10% discount on the price of the freezer because my husband was in his military uniform (he was coming home from work and didn't change so we could go and buy the freezer right then)!

The new freezer will be here tomorrow morning - and ready to add food hopefully by late tomorrow night - or Monday morning.

Tonight we cooked:
8 lbs of ground beef
12 chicken breasts
1 whole chicken
2 pizzas
4 stuffed baked potatoes
8 pork chops
2 steaks
2 hamburgers

and the ham is still in the roaster - it was only partially thawed - so it will be there through the night cooking.

They did eat the pizzas - and 1 of the steaks!

Tune into tomorrow for what we cook on Sunday!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


A friend from a chat board that I belong to is selling all her smocking things - pleater, patterns, plates, thread, etc...

And after talking with my husband - I am going to buy it from her!

I love smocking.  I taught myself 2 years with my daughter's dress.  But to have it pleated, I had to send it to a friend in San Diego, who owns a pleater! 

I haven't done any more smocking because I don't like to impose like that - again.

So, soon, I will have my own pleater!  I have a dress, a nightgown for me, and a blouse for me and daughter already planned in my head!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cruise clothes, Part II

Here are the pictures from the cruise (that's the ship we were on above!)

This would be the capri pants and matching shirt I made.  The shirt is not pink, but rather a baby red/white gingham check gauze.  Nice to sew, however it does ravel a little - even at the seams.  I added a white modestly panel as I don't like other people seeing my underthings (no matter how cute they are!) !

This was the new hawaiin shirt I made my husband.  He loves it.  I made it for this trip and while I was making it, he realized that I had enough fabric to make myself a matching shirt!  So, for Halloween this year, we will be going as "tacky tourists" with matching shirts and everything! 

And here is a cute picture of us in Mexico, trying to avoid all the flea market people.  And our bright yellow tags don't identity us as tourists, at all, do they?

All in all, we had a great time.  It was a nice early anniversary trip for ourselves.  We spent all the time together and then also with our friends from my husband's work.  (they were not allowed to talk shop at all!)  We were able to pretend that we were a couple again, with no children for 5 days!  However, as soon as we started shopping in Mexico, guess what I did?

Yep!  Bought presents for my 6 children, my mom and dad.
And none for me!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My 6 children -

People always ask me 3 questions about my children:

1) You have 6 kids?! (yep, that's what I said)
2) Are they all yours (DUH! of course they are all mine!)
3) I can't imagine having 6 children! You do know what causes that, right? (yea, we finally figured it out and bought a TV to keep us busy at night ;) )

I love being the mom of 6 - they keep me busy, on my toes and laughing for the most part. There are always interesting conversations at dinner and after school - between 3 teens and 3 younger ones, it can be quite confusing at times.

Here I am always talking about my 6 children, but not always posting pictures of all of here they are:






and last but not least, JP

That's all of them - all 6! They make my life fun and complete!

Friday, September 25, 2009

My sewing to-do-list...

My sewing to-do list seems never-ending, but by my choice. So far, in the last week I have finished a matching sundress (it matches mine) for JP (4yo), a knit t-shirt (pictures forth coming when I download the camera) for JT (7yo), and a denim mini-skirt (pictures not yet taken) for MM (14yo).

And sitting and waiting for a waistband, belt carriers, and hem/cuff is AP's (9yo) new church trousers! I will finish all but the waistband completely, as I am waiting for buttonhole elastic. Seeing that most of my children are super thin (hmm...wonder what my problem is?) but have long legs and crotch lengths, I often sew their size, and the put in this type of adjustable elastic. Then they can adjust the waist to their liking.

I also have a pair of khaki trousers to finish for AM (12yo) also. I have several other things cut - some are put away until winter, and others I have put away until my mom wants them sewn up.

I have a shirt to make my husband for his birthday - a very nice black cuban style shirt with pintucks and embroidery - his favorite type of shirts.

The rest of my list are clothing that needs to be made: jackets for our slightly cold winter, jeans for JP, oj bottoms for most, some new blouses for me for winter, and also in line are new bags that my mom and I plan on doing together.

So, no pictures today - maybe tomorrow or Sunday!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Little girl vintage (or my daughter who loves poufy skirts!)

I love sewing vintage! I find that the patterns are well put together, the directions are simple (often only 1 page, not 4-5) and that the styles are perfect for those of us with an hourglass figure.

I also love sewing vintage for my daughters. They have all been blessed with an hourglass figure - and they each love to wear beautiful clothes in their own way.

I recently made JT this new dress: Simplicity 4158 from the 50/60's.

My pattern is a size 3 - which is still a little big on her! I took up the 4" hem and it still comes to her knees - not above them!


My son, MD, choose this fabric - found at JoAnn's. It is a cotton muslin with pintucks sewn on the diagonal. I lined it with ecru bastiste from Hancock's Fabrics. The skirt is puffy because 1) she loves puffy skirts! and 2) I used netting on the skirt lining to create a permnanent petticoat!


This is the apron/pinafore (don't laugh, but I found the fabric in the $2 section of Wal-Mart! it's just a cotton/poly blend) - it comes apart into 2 pieces. I covered my own buttons, as the fabric is quite busy and I could not find anything I liked to go with it! There are, count'em, 10 buttons alone, on the pinafore, along with 11 buttonholes! (thank heaven for my automatic buttonholer on my Brother sewing machine!)


Here is the dress without the top of the pinafore/apron. And one more just because my mom takes great pictures (she used to do this all the time - and is startin to get back into it - don't they look better than mine?):


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Birthday Dress and the Birthday Blouse...

My youngest, JP, turned 4 last month. And as most 4 year old girls go, she is into princesses and the like. So I took a pink t-shirt from the dollar store, 1 yard of disney princess material, a little embroidery from my sewing machine (and the princess card) and voila! A princess dress for my princess:


I embroidered a castle on the front of the shirt


and made it slightly longer so that she can wear it next year also.

And finally - here is the birthday white blouse I made for my sister, being modeled by Suzanne (the mannequin) as my sister lives on the East Coast:


While it bothers me that the fabric is "slightly" see-thru, she loves it! I was all worried, but it was exactly what she wanted (and she has now commissioned a purple and a black blouse with 3/4 sleeves for the winter!). Fortunately, she won't be here until Thanksgiving, so I can get all my schoolwork done and then sew her blouses!

Not much sewing at the moment - I have to take my A+ examinations by October 5th, so I actually am spending my sewing time studying and reading for the next several weeks.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sewing for older children

I have been sewing for my children (all 6 of them!) since my daughter, MM, was born. Her brother MD, was 3.

Anyway, they are now 17 (MD – the boy) and 14 (MM – the girl). There are 2 more girls, AM who is 12, and JP who is 4; there are then the 2 little boys – AP who is 9 and JT who is 7.

So, the standard questions I get about sewing for my older children are:

What do you sew for them?
How do you get them to wear it?

What do I sew for them? Everything!

My daughters enjoy me making their dresses, skirts, shirts, and pants. I don’t sew everything – sometimes it is a much better deal to buy something rather than sew it. However, I do know that most high-end things they want, I can replicate. Here is my process:

1. Window shop! My daughters and I go window shopping with our cell phone cameras and notebook in hand. We take notes, sketches, and sometimes, pictures. I write down type of fabric, colors, and key designs.

2. Home to dig through patterns that have similar features that can then be re-designed into the look they are looking for or to the store to purchase a new pattern.

~ Patterns for older children are a completely different thing. I use misses patterns for MM – because they have bust darts and such in them – something she likes (and needs now). I often will make a muslin for her – to correct the shoulder, bust and waist, and overall length (she has a long torso). She often designs her own clothes, giving me the drawing of what she wants based on what she has seen lately.

~ I also use misses patterns at times for my 12 year old, AM. She loves very simple, classic lines for her skirts and dresses – things that are definitely hard to find in girls’ patterns! (why the big 4 pattern companies think that my 12yo wants to dress like my 4yo is beyond me!) I will cut the pattern to either her waist or bust and then make my corrections from there on the muslin. I often save her muslins, as she tends to like the same patterns used again and again.

3. Once patterns are decided on, then we shop for fabric and notions! We always start at home with my fabric stash. Each child has their own bin of fabric – pieces that they have chosen over the last year. I also allow them (to a point) to look in my other bins (all 18 of them, and yes, they are all organized according to content – no comments today about being anal please – we will leave that for another discussion, ok?). Otherwise, we go shopping for the fabric they are looking for. I very rarely buy any fabric without them anymore (lesson learned the hard way – that bit of fabric became a dress for JP instead).

4. Once fabric and notions are in hand, they wash/dry their fabric and then help either with cutting out or with the younger children while I cut out fabric. I make sure to have current measurements and then start sewing.

How to get them to wear what I sew: I only sew things they want!

I don’t sew as much for them as I did when they were little (I still sew about 75% of my JP, the 4yo’s, wardrobe), but the things I do sew are things that they want and need. By allowing them to have control over pattern, design, fabric, and colors, they love the things I sew for them. At the moment, I have a blue jean mini-skirt cut and ready to sew this week for MM – because she couldn’t stand to spend $30 for one when she knew that the pattern only takes 1 yard for $10 plus the zipper for $1.75. She gladly bought the yard of denim and the zipper!

In the last 2 months, I have made for both girls: black leggings, 2 church dresses, 1 new knit shirt, and 1 new mini-skirt. They have a few more things that they want – new jackets for the winter and some longer sleeve shirts (plus the mini-skirt).

Sewing for my 17yo son, MD, is slightly different. He has a very distinct style (t-shirts and jeans). However, he does like the dress shirts and vests that I make him for church. He prefers me to make them at times because they are more fitted than what he can buy in the store.

So, to recap sewing for older children:

~Let them choose – everything! Style, pattern, fabric, color, and notions!

~Take your time sewing for them! While I can quickly sew, I take time and use all my skills to make my older children’s’ clothes. I want them to be impressed and proud of their couture clothing, which is exactly what I am making! They have learned to appreciate good fabric, good seams, and good techniques – which often leads them coming back for more!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Re-using shirts for little ones

One of the things that I have learned with having 6 children is how to reuse things. Recently, my husband got a yellow stain on his white polo shirt - right in the middle of his chest...thus rendering it inwearable (at least by my standards).

So, I turned it into a much needed white shirt for my now 4-year-old daughter.

And I took photos, too!


This is the shirt cut out (a Jalie pattern)

What was left over from the original shirt


The finished shirt! (before I ironed it)

Parting shot -

The smocked dress 18 months still fits everywhere - just a little shorter. In case you were wondering - my 4-year-old is 28 pounds and wears a RTW 3/4 in length, but a 2 in her waist and chest.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Something else I made several months ago...

So, I do have some new pictures on the camera to upload. But, somehow, between helping my mom and dad with their house (they are getting ready to sell) and studying and teaching school to my 4 home-educated children, and then helping my 2 teens with their homework each day...the camera is like the last thing I think of needing to do something with.



These 2 sweet mandarin collar dresses I made for my oldest and youngest daughters last fall. The little princess wasn't too fond of the black and red, however she quickly fell in love with the satiny feel of the fabric!

I used red piping and handsewed the frogs on. The girls still wear them - although less this summer, as the dresses don't breath too well in 100°+ weather that we have here in Arizona. back to our regularly scheduled CompTIA A+ studying!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cruise clothes....

I made this blouse: Simplicity 2619 I made the blouse out a lightweight gauzy, red gingham check (small so I didn't have to match too much). I am also going to make the capri pants in a white stretch cotton blend.

And this shirt for my husband: McCalls 4399 It is a lovely Haiwiian print - red with yellows, blacks, and tans. But no obnoxious looking flowers.

I am making these cargo shorts right now: Simplicity 3891 They are made from a stretch denim - something he wants to try. I have the front fly done, the front pockets (though I have to go back & fix them so the belt goes through them) and I have made the back pockets. I haven't attached them, but I have made them!

All I have left for the cruise is this dress: Simplicity 3823

I plan on making View E (the red dress). I will wear it over a white t-shirt as to be modest. I am using a white and light blue cotton print.

There are no pictures because husband is out of town this week. He will return on Friday - so maybe some then. I don't think he would like me posting a picture of his shirt on Suzanne, the sewing mannequin!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More A+ certification studying than sewing right now...

which is really sad, because I have 1 pair of shorts and a new shirt to make my husband for our cruise next month. I also have a pair of capris, a new blouse, and a new sundress to make for our cruise too!

However, my A+ certification is quickly approaching and this week with dh at home all week, I have been studying more and repainting my little guys' bedroom.

So - back to more computer technology! Sewing - next week - dh will be out of town and I will be able to sew at night.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Have you tried sewing with little kids around?

And no teenagers around to help? Wow - I didn't realize how much time and effort my older children put in to helping with my younger children at times. I don't ask them to care for them as parents, but rather they play, read, and do puzzles and games, and take them outside to play for me!

As parents, we help them do all the other stuff - chores, getting dressed, helping with laundry, etc. But seriously - I haven't had kjust 3 littles under 9 since my oldest was 5 (and then they were 5, 2, and newborn!). I am seriously out of practice with just having littles around!

So, I have only done 2 things - worked on the secret princess dress for my almost 4 year-old daughter; and I have been working on my mom's new dress. It is almost done - it is sitting beside me, waiting for me to finish hand-stitching the armhole facings and neck facing - I finished the hem earlier.

I also realized how little time I have had to have to study! I have only managed to get in about 1 hour per day - including today! My other teens (17 & 14) who are still here this weekend (my 12 year-old went on 4 day trip with my mom)...have wanted my attention all day! They always have so much to tell me about their week in school - they come home each day, eat snack, do homework, and then have dinner, do more homework and go to bed early - because their first class is at 6:20am! So they have been visiting and talking with me all day.

I enjoy it - but still....

I promise - I do have pictures - of my new blue blouse, my sister's birthday blouse, and my younger daughter's vintage dress and pinafore I have finished. Maybe tomorrow I can upload them????/

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lots of sewing going on. Pictures? Not so much.

And so is several other things - a new blue 1950's blouse for me; a new teal church dress for dd#2; a new chiffon blouse for my mother; a new chiffon blouse for dd#1; a brown/white polka dot dress that I made into a skirt for my mother; a skirt to wear over my swimsuit for our cruise; and a quilt block for a dear friend who husband recently died.

I have pictures of the birthday blouse. I haven't worn the new blouse yet (I will tomorrow though!) and I forgot to get pictures of the things I made my mother.

I will post pictures of my sister's blouse tomorrow, with explainations too! And of my new blue blouse.

Do I sew lots? Yep - all the time. I am either studying for my A+ certifications for IT technician and essentials exams (I am currently finishing my BS in Health Informatics); home-educating my younger 4 children; helping my older 2 children in high school with their homework; or doing typical mom stuff.

I try to sew every day for 1 hour, or more if I can. I seriously have no other hobbies - although I do play piano, read, and serve within our church.

Today I have also been working on birthday invites for dd#3 - who will be turning 4 soon! This is good and bad - bad because she is our baby, but good because each day she becomes more independent!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Blue Flowered swimsuit

I love sewing swimsuits! They are fun, easy and a nice way to practice sewing with stretch fabric!

I made this suit for my daughter #2. Because we live in southern Arizona, our summers start around May and end about late Sept (those there have been years when April is way hot and so is October!).

I tend to buy fabric out of season, and such was the case with this blue floral lycra (I think I picked up 2 yds for $5). I underlined each piece with some lightweight blue lycra due to the fact that the blue floral fabric was see through when wet (that would have been scary, huh?).

This is a Kwik-Sew pattern that I have had around for several years. It takes just under 1 yd for the girl size 10. It also sewed together fairly quickly, with most time spent zig-zagging the elasic in all 5 areas, and they turning each area down and more zig-zag stitching!

It has lasted her all summer - I made this in late May, here it is August, and she is still wearing it - and we swim every other day!

And yes, we are still swimming. Today it was 105°.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Finishing the finale touches on my sister's new blouse

My little sister (well, she isn't too young - she is almost 29!) loves simple clothes. So, for her birthday I am making her a white blouse. Very simple - just white cotton poly broadcloth. Simple buttons. French seams, bust darts, princess darts, etc.

After I finishing handstitching the collar down and sew on the buttons, I will post a picture of it on the mannequin - I think my girls named her Suzanne.

I might make her another cute blouse, too, seeing that her birthday isn't until the end of the month.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Silk blouse for me!

This is my new duponi silk blouse. The color is about right - it is not quite an off-white, but not quite a pale yellow; it's somewhere inbetween the two.
I washed the silk and then air-dried it. This changed the feel and look of the silk - making it softer and much "nubbier"; something I was not expecting, but I really enjoy.
I used this Simplicity 2758 for this blouse. I loved the ease of it - plus the fact that I could choose the bust size to make - meaning I didn't have to make a FBA for it!
I added underarm shields because it is terribly hot here and everyone sweats - no matter what deodrant you wear!
I changed up the buttons and added them in groups of two for interest - something that is noticed everytime I wear this blouse!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mending, mending, mending...

Well, after finishing my studying last night, I did some much needed mending. Mostly because the mending basket was larger than my to sew basket. Sigh. (with 6 kids, I think my mending basket is always bigger)

So, I mended. And mended more. By the time I went to bed I had finished mending or altering:
3 skirts (new zipper in 1, new hemline in the 2nd, and smaller waistline :) in #3)
1 tankini top and bottom for dd #1 (made smaller in back and neckstrap and adjust belt on bottoms)
1 pair of exercise capris (mine again - made smaller all throughout!:))

And then I remembered I needed to embroider a few things.

So I embroidered (I own a Brother Innovis 900D):
Ariel (dd#1 new shirt)
Jasmine and Aladdin (dd#3 new shirt)
Floral design for a memory quilt for a friend who recently lost her husband (a group of us are making her a quilt with each block made by one of us)

I still have to re-fit dd #1 dress - I took the seams apart to make it larger in the chest (smart mom that I am, she was so small in that area, that I left 1" seams to make it larger later - which I am now doing tomorrow).

This week I plan on starting on a new blouse for my sister's birthday - just a plain white blouse - that's what she likes!

And then I will be cutting out some new dresses for dd#2 and a home decor item for my family room...

and still studying....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A new dress for Daughter #1

Daughter #1 wanted (and needed) a new dress for church. So, she went through the Burda magazine from June 2009 (dress 128) and found this dress.

So, after tracing, cutting fabric, and trying to figure out for the life of me why it wouldn't go together...I realized I had missed a whole part of the dress bodice.

So, mistake corrected, bodice piece cut out - and - she had a new dress!

Doesn't she look happy? She chose the fabric - an orange and white small gingham with white bastiste for lining (she hates wearing slips so I tend to line all her dresses and skirts!).
This was the second thing I have made from the Burda WOF magazine and I do love their patterns! So do my children!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Most Prettiest!

I won!
There were 6 categories, plus Best of Show. I won Most Prettiest! I won a $50 gift card plus free entry ($25) into next year's competition/convention!

without further ado.....

the back of the apron (from either side)

front of apron and then the detail of beading on 1 of the panels

This apron was a fabric panel that I could do anything with. I felt that it would be perfect for a hostess apron. My grandmother used to have these elaborate, but never wear while actually cooking/cleaning, aprons. She would take off her dirty apron and wear one of the elaborate aprons for when she had dinner parties or other guests over.
I beaded 5 of the 6 18" panels over a layer of cystal organza, in various colors. I cut away the center of each flower after beading each center. I lined it with a cotton and then used the 6th panel to make the waistband, waistband lining, and covered the buttons with it also.
I cut each panel to reflect the flower petals and then appliqued the edges with off white thread.
The sewing part only took 1 day. The beading took about 6 weeks - working at nights while watching tv.
We had an ice cream party tonight to celebrate!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Whew! All done!!!

I finished the vintage apron for the sewing competition tonight. All I have to do is iron it tomorrow.

I will take pitctures of it when it is on my mannequin (Susan is her name) tomorrow. After I have enrolled DS1 and DD1 in high school tomorrow. And did the grocery shopping.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why am I so busy?

probably because I have started back at school to finish my BS in Health Informatics! So right now I am concentrating on studying for the CompTIA A+ certification exams in both IT Tech and Networks.

After that I slide into the healthcare management part of my degree work. I decided to do the hardest classes first - which turned out to only be 2 - the CompTIA A+ certifications!

The other reason I am so busy is that I have been trying to finishing an sewing art project. I have entered a sewing convention contest that gave me a fabric panel, which I can do anything with, and I have been turning it into a vintage dinner apron. I have been beading this project for several weeks now and seeing the convention in on the 25th....

More later - after the apron is done!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The start of previous sewing projects.

I know that I don't sew projects. I sew clothes. Clothes for me; clothes for my 3 daughters (ages 14, 12, and almost 4); clothes for me 3 sons (ages 17, 9, and 7) clothes for my husband; clothes for my mom; clothes for my dad (on occasion) and sometimes I get to even make clothes for others.

I do make home projects at times; you know, things like pillows, curtains, blankets, embroidered kitchen towels, the like. I also sew accessories at times for my daughters and myself.

But mostly I sew clothes.

Here is a dress I made when the youngest daughter was 2 1/2. This was Vogue 7435. I used view A. It was cut to be a 3. (It still fits her - it is just shorter on her now - can you see how petite she is?).

It was first attempt at smocking and I think I did rather well. A few lines are not completely straight on my embroidery, and to this day I am not sure why. A friend from California pleated the dress front for me. I made my own piping to match and the buttons were vintage flower buttons my mom had in her stash!

PS - don't even pay attention to the dates on my photos! This was from our previous camera and every time the batteries would start to die, the dates would be all messed up! How do I know this for certain? Because this daughter was born until 2005!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

There is more coming!

I have more to share...

with bad pictures (time to have Mom teach me how to take better pictures!)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Sewing Blog

I love to sew and create clothes for everyone. Here I will share everything I know and create.