Confessions of a Fabricholic

When do you realize that you have too much fabric?  When do you realize that this is where all your money has gone?  When do you realize that at your time allotment of sewing that it will take you 20 years to sew the fabric you have on hand?

But you want so much more!!!!!

My husband needs to get into my sewing space as we are getting our electrical re-wired in the house.  Since the fuse box is in my sewing room, I need to clean our my space to get the work done.

Therefore, I have had to move all my fabric off my 3 shelves.  I never knew I had that much fabric.

Now I cut swatches of each fabric that I buy and put how many yards, length and type. So it never seems like so much.  In fact I keep thinking I have no knits, but…….

here are my knits that I actually do have:


Wow  have plain and printed as shown below:


But that’s not it, i also have suiting pants:


And dressy fabric


Cotton and jeans, wool, jacket material


And so much more:


And so I have realized that I need to stop buying fabric.  I have so much that I need to focus on using up my stash.  I have made a goal that after Mother’s Day, lol, I will not buy anymore fabric unless it is lining.

Thank goodness my husband is not here to see this!!!!

Who Elise has a fabricholice obession????

McCalls 7542 Top Review

Hi Everyone!

Sorry, I have been so busy lately with work, taking care of little one, appointments, and trying to sew.

I have finished what I believe is going to be my favorite Spring/Summer top of the season.

I have been eyeing this material at JoAnn’s Fabric Store from the Endless Sea Collection for a few months now, but being priced at I believe $16.99 a yard, I just couldn’t do it.  I needed the right sale to get me to buy it. I believe I got it for 40% off plus a 20% off coupon that spirialed me to purchase it.  I am glad I did as it is now gone and I am not sure if they are going to replenish it.

Sorry, I don’t have a picture of it and I can’t find it one their website, but you will see it below.

I had to find the right pattern for it.  I seen on Inside the Hem (YouTube video), she had done a review of how she used the same fabric and I love the top.  Here is the link to the video if you want to see

She used the Seamwork top pattern, I liked it but I wanted something different, plus I wanted to use something from my stash!

On the hunt!!!

I found it, McCalls 7542:


I liked the bottom and thought it would work well with the material.  I also liked the sleeves in View A, I thought they were different from what we have been seeing lately.


Here you can get a better view of A.  I used the E top and added 3 inches to make it longer.  I also used the A sleeves.  I cut a 14 at top and graded out to 18 at hips.  I had to do a couple of tissue fittings to get it to work.  I have making muslims as I don’t have the time, so tissue fitting is the next best thing!


Here it is finished.  Don’t mind the dress form my favorite one was being used for something else.  As you can see, I also lowered the neckline into a soft V, as the one on the top seemed just a bit too high for Spring/Summer.  But I don’t like low cut necklines as with a 3 year old, I am always bending over and I like to have coverage.

I used a facing, but next time I think I am going to try to do a self draft facing and longer like I seen in the Suzy Furrer class on Craftsy called Patternmaking + Design Creative Darts & Seam Lines.



I just love the way the sleeves hang.  This material is a linen material.  It does wrinkle, but it is so flowy and comfortable.  It is also very cooling when it is warm.  Although next time I might underline it with a light cotton, as I have to wear a tank top underneath for coverage and that adds to the heat.


I love the length of it, it is just perfect.  I think I might lower the neckline just a little bit more though.


In all, not bad.  I even have enough material left over for a Ogden Cami by True Bias.

Okay, now I gotta do some sewing for my little one, a batman cape for both him and his cousin.

Until next time!

The Kalle ShirtDress 2nd Version

Hi Everyone!

Sorry I have been away.  My little was still having issues with his tonsils and after 3 separate doses of steroids and a bottle of antibiotic’s, he can finally breath when he lays down.  It has been so scary lately.  His tonsils were swollen so large that when he laid down he would stop breathing.  On top of that he had strep throat.

But all that is gone now!!! So much better!!! He still doesn’t sleep much.  He just turned 3 and only sleeps between 6 to 7.5 hours a night and about a 1.5 to 2 hour nap in the afternoon.  Not much time for Mama!!!

Anyways…. I have managed to make a 2nd version of the Kalle Shirtdress.  If you missed the other post here is the first version:


As you can see, I made the tunic length out of cotton here.

I love it, but I wanted to see how this would look if I used a fabric that had more drape to it.  Since I already had the pattern ready, I thought it would go fast and it did!!


Excuse the dress form, my favorite it being used (stay tuned for a future post about a store bought dress form vs. making your own).

I used this blouse weight woven fabric from Fabric Mart that has been in my stash for a bit.  I don’t see it on the Fabric Mart website so it must be sold out.


I did not do the sleeves like I did the first one.  Instead I used self made bias binding like I did for the hem.  This helped a lot as the fabric is slippery and harder to work with than the cotton.

I know it’s hard to tell but I alternate between black and white for my top stitching just to add some depth to the garment.

I kept the box pleat in the back like the first one as well.


I must say that I am not in love with the color or the way the print lies on me.  It seems like the blue one I made first goes better with my complexion.  I also feel like the pattern is adding more width across my middle.  Maybe a wrong fabric choice.

Oh well, I still wore it to work Monday, who cares, it is comfortable!!!!

Coming up on a future post, I just placed an order for Nutrisystem to help me on my journey.  I am looking at just losing 20 lbs, as I am finding it difficult to keep up with my little one.  Also then, I can get back into my me made clothes I made all last year!

I will keep you posted on how that goes!!!  Until next time!

My Favorite Dress I Have Never Been Able to Wear – Tia Dress

Hi Everyone

Well my goal of writing a post a week has failed.  My little guy has been having some upper respiratory issues and suffering from tonsillitis as well as just having a 3rd birthday party during an ice storm!!!! Ahhhh, what more!!!  I guess that life, lol.

Needless to say there has been nooooo time for sewing.  Dreaming, yessss, sewing, nooooo!

So this is a review of a dress I believe I did in January 2017.

I took the Crafty class ‘Sewing Vintage The Flirty Day Dress With Laura Nash’.  The class walked you through step by step using the Tia Dress pattern that came with the class.


The pattern is what the dress looks like.  It is a retro 1950’s look dress, with puffed sleeves, princess seams in the front and a petticoat.


Here are other variations of the dress:


I through the class was really good.  Laura showed you all the vintage tools used back in the 50’s like battery operated scissors.  Unfortunately I don’t use anything vintage, I am a little spoiled with all the new gadgets.

I do have a 1950’s sewing machine I bought off of someone for $20 but have been too afraid to turn it on, not sure if it works or not.  One day.  For now, I love looking at it and it’s on display in my sewing room.


I don’t even wear vintage clothing.  I took this class more so to learn the construction techniques rather than the design itself of the dress.

I knew that if I made the original design of the pattern I would never wear the dress.

So I took to pintrest to come up with ways to hack the pattern.

In the end this is what I made:


So as you can see, I kept the concept but made it into something I would wear.

I found this blue taffeta a Joannn’s in January 2017.  I also had in my stash some black duponi and some black lining.  I seethed out my design first.  Looks like I lost that picture, darn technology……..

Well, you get the drift, I ended up with a sketch that looks like the picture above.

Laura did a great introduction and followed all the steps in order to construct the dress that I was able to hack the dress with no issues.


As you can see she used a vintage machine.  She also had samples in the background so you can get further inspiration.

She also showed you how to make a petticoat:


This was the first time I made a petticoat.

I thought this was a good course, again not a design I would originally make but something I could make into my favorite.

Changes Made:  I shorten the dress.  I also added my own belt, I omitted the pockets and sleeves.  I added bias binding to the sleeves and did black trim on the top and bottom of the dress.  I also shortened the contrast binding near the breasts so it wouldn’t be to large.  I also sewed the petticoat to the dress.  In the class the petticoat is separate.


Lol, I didn’t even realize my dog was in the pic!!


This si the petticoat sewed in if you couldn’t tell.  I sewed it to the waistline.


Here is the bust.  You can see the princess line on the bust and binding shortened.  Laura did a great job showing you how to do these cups perfectly.


Here is the bottom of the dress, I did keep it the bidining the same size as the top so they would match and keep in alignment.


Here is the back of the dress.  I did the back in black and lined the bodice in front and in back.  I wanted to add some contrast to the blue and make it dramatic.


Here is the side.  You can see that I did the shoulders in black too.  I also narrowed the shoulders just a bit as I have narrow shoulders.



This was my first hack to a pattern and I do’t think I could have done it without the class.

Pattern rating:  5 out of 5.  I felt the instructions were good, but have to admit I more followed the class rather than the instruction book.  I felt that the dress fit me good and the measurements matched.  I cut a size 12 at top and 14 for waist and hips.  There is a invisible side zipper (sorry no pics of that ).

Class rating:  5 out of 5.  I felt the class was well executed and Laura took her time and explained everything.  Even though I didn’t follow it to the T, she did a good enough job that I could hack the pattern.

So now you are wondering why it has never been worn????  Well, when I finished I had intended to wear it out on a date night with my husband.  That has never happened because our little one is so picky and doesn’t do well with babysitters.

we still are waiting for our date.  Maybe 3 is the lucky year when things change.  However, I am now a 14 on top and a size 16 to 18 in hips.  Hmmmm no such luck in getting it zipped up!!!  that’s life, up and down.

I am learning that knits may be the best for me, lol!!!!

Now I just need to master my darn cover stitch machine!

Okay, until next time!

The Kalle Shirt from Closet Case Patterns

Hi Everyone!

Let me start off by saying I never had any intention of making this shirt.  I love the patterns from Closet Case, but i dind’t think this style would suit my body type.

But it was the March item to make for the Stye Sew Me 2016 challenge.  I participated for the Sunny Dress in January, but didn’t do the coat in February as I knew I would not have the time.

I received the discount code for the Kalle Shirt, but still didn’t intend on purchasing the pattern.

Then I listened to the Love to Sew Podcast of “My Favorite Things” Http://

Helen from the show said that this shirt was one of her favorite things.  I thought hmm she is similar to my body type.  So I thought why not give it a try.




If you choose to do PDF, be aware it it 46 pages.  For me that is not a problem.  I usually tape my PDF patterns together on my lunch break.  Easy sewing thing to do!

It was supper easy to cut out, not the issue is what styles to decide.  There are many different options to choose from:


I was originally going to do view C, but decided to do the popover packet verses the standard placket.  I did add 1″ length to it as well.  due to all the ease, I didn’t feel it was necessary to do any other adjustments.  In the end, I did change it to the tunic as I thought that style suited me better.

I used this great cotton linen fabric from Fabric Mart.  I love the print.


The instructions were great and easy to understand.  I also found the Kalle dress sew along on Closet Case blog that was awesome and I actually followed that for the most part versus the instructions.

For the Yoke, the sew along blog was great.  The only complaint with the sew along blog is that at times it was difficult to tell which was right side and which was wrong side as they sometimes looked the same.  But if you look at the instructions you can easily tell.

This was pretty easy to sew up and I love the collar installation instructions on the blog, so easy!!

The fabric was also a dream to sew with, although it does tend to wrinkle easily.

Here is the finished top.  I did the box pleat and decided to add the front pocket.

Let me just say I love this.  I plan on wearing it all spring with leggings and flats, or I could do Capri leggings and sandals for summer.  I love how it feels and I like how it looks on me.

Pattern:  Kalle Dress from Closet Case Patterns

Size Cut:  14 at neck and arms, 16 at waist, and 18 at hips.

My size: 40 bust, 33 waist 44 to 45 hips on a given day.

Style used:  Tunic length with popover placket, box pleat and front pocket.

Pros’:  easy to do, instructions were great, lots of different fabrics that you can use to add a variety, looks great, can do a dress or short top as well.

Cons’:  I don’t really have none, although I am thinking about doing another one in a more blouse weight fabric that is more flowy.

Here are the final pics on me:

That’s it for now, until next time!!!

The Motor City Express Jacket

Hi Everyone!

I have recently taken the “Sew Better, Sew Faster: Smart Construction” class on Craftsy with Janet Pray.


I usually only buy the classes when they were on sale and I think I got this one for $19.99.  However, I just purchased the Craftsy unlimited on sale for $105.00 for year, and I must say I love it so much better than purchasing individual classes.  I think by purchasing for the year, I am definitely getting more value out of it.


I love Janet’s attitude and tips that she gives.  She gives a lot of instutry techniques that makes your sewing faster.

I love her tips and find her techniques very useful.

I really like the design of her Jacket.  The class came with Janet’s pattern called “The Motor City Express Jacket”.  I paid for this class about a year ago, but just got around to making the jacket.


I liked the look and style of it, even though I tend to not wear jackets.

I thought that I would like it in wool felt.  Last summer my family went to the Detroit Zoo in Michigan.  Just a couple miles from the zoo was a fabric store in Royal Oak MI, called Haberman Fabrics.  I had seen their name advertised in a Threads magazine, so my family accompanied me to the fabric store (great support!).

They did have some great fabrics and too many to choose from.  Well I found some wool felt and asked for it to be cut.  The sales lady said that it was $89 a yard!!!  Wow, I don’t think I am ready to cut into $89 a yard fabric just yet!!  For that, I know I would have to make something couture and something I would wear a lot, like a nice winter coat for years.  But truthfully, I don’t have that budget for that either, not with a 2 year old in daycare!

Anyways, I did end up purchasing this purple denim fabric for $11 a yard.  I love purple.  I initially thought jeans, but then I thought how about a jacket!

I did end up making a muslin to determine the fit.




It turned out pretty well, I liked how the seams lined up and the arm fit good.  I did have to do a sway back adjustment and pinch out some excess fabric in the back and a little in the front.  I am glad that I made the muslin.

I believe I cut out a size 12 at neck and shoulders and graded to 14 at hips.  I did shorten it a little as I wanted it to come up and hit my hips at the right spot.

The class guided me through all the construction aspects of making the jacket.


Here you can see my full bust adjustment on the front.



Here I had to put the zipper on the gusset for the sleeve.  The book instructions were great, but I was really glad I had the class to follow.  This is the first jacket I have made like this and with all the zippers.

Here is my finished jacket:



I used black duponi for the contrast to add some style to the jacket.  I also used fashion zippers to add more style to it.

I had purple lining I used for the inside.


Here it is on me:


Pattern used:  Motor City Express Jacket by Islander Sewing Patterns

Size cut:  size 12 at neck graded to size 14

Adjustments:  did full bust adjustment, sway back, make a 1/2″ shorter.  I have a pear shaped so I ten to always have to do the smaller shoulders with larger hips.  My measurements are 40-33-44.

Pros’:  glad I had the class, easy to follow instructions were clear.

Cons’:  not sure I love the fabric.  It does feel too stiff even though I washed it and it feels rough to wear.  I love the purple, but it has not stretch and just doesn’t move well.  Maybe jeans would have been better.

I all, I love the way it looks, turned out great, but I don’t love the way it feels.  I must admit I have only worn it once.

However, I am not really into jackets right now, as with a 2 year old, I mostly do knits and easy to move clothes.  At work it is very casually and I tend throw on leggings, knit dress and sweater, again for ease and comfortable.

But I hope as he gets older I will get back into being into style and can wear this jacket!

Until next time!

What’s Going On???

Well not a whole lot of nothing is going on!!!  Life has gotten ahold of me and things have been so busy.  I came down with the flu and haven’t been doing too much.

Also my boss retired at work and we are still in transition (meaning, I got a bunch more work for no extra pay or rewar).  Thus meaning working through lunch instead of sewing 😦

But I have been thinking about sewing a lot, I mean a lot.

One perk is that depending upon the project I am working on, I can sometimes listen to some sewing podcasts or listen to my favorite you tube videos.  I can’t watch the you tube, but I listen.

Soooooo what have I been listening to, you ask??

Love to Sew Podcast:


This podcast is great!  It is Helen Wilkinson from Helen’s Closet (which I love my Blackwood Caridigan, and Caroline Somos.  I love this podcast.  I think I have listened to each one.  My favorite is when they talk about their sewing summer camp experience.  But I think I found a new favorite.  Mimi G.  They just interviewed Mimi G (who is great!).  If you haven’t heard it you need to check it out over at Love To Sew.

My favorite on You Tube right now:


That Sewing Blab hosted by Dawn from Duelling Designs and Myra who has instragram and blog at One Sew Sweet.  They just had their interview with Elizabeth from Elizabeth Makes This regarding the Day and Night Challenge.  I have watched almost all of their interviews.  I think my favorite so far has been Kenneth King!

What am I Reading? The last


I am reading Sewing Activewar by Johanna Lu.  I got my copy off of Amazon.  She wrote this book herself and it is great.  If you work with knits, it is so helpful.  I believe I am about half way through the book and am finding it so helpful.  Johanna also has some great You Tube videos and was also recently on both Love to Sew Podcast and That Sewing Blab.

Whats up next?

Well I am trying to participate in the Sew My Style 2018.  I purchased that Kalle dress from Closet Case Patterns.  Taped the PDF pattern, made adjustments and cut it out.  That is as far as I got.

Hopefully nextweek I will have a better update for you!!

Toddler Pirate of the Caribbean Coat

Hi Everyone!

This time I have actually done some unselfish sewing.  A few posts back, I had bought some fabric for my little guy to make some sleepers with.  Three of the fabrics were superhero’s, but one fabric in particular was Pirate of the Caribbean fabric.


This fabric was more like quilting fabric and said specifically not to be used for sleepwear.

I had some great idea’s, pillowcases, curtains, blanket, etc.  I know those would last longer, but I really wanted to do something that he could wear, like a spring coat. (Who knows what he will be into in the fall, lol) Kids!!

I looked everywhere for a coat pattern that I liked.  From Indie patterns to the Big 4 patterns.  I finally decided to settle upon McCall’s 7619.  Let me tell you, most patterns are for girls!!


I really liked view D and decided to make a size 4 for him.  As a reminder, my little guy will be 3 in April.  I seen that I would need some Ribbing and Lining.  For the Lining here, they recommended ‘Lining Fabric’ and also recommended thicker fabric for the main fabric.

Since my fabric was very thin, I decided to switch the two around.  I used the cotton Pirate print for the main fabric and a snuggle flannel print for the lining.  (I just used what I had on hand for this.  The flannel was supposed to be pajama pants for my husband, but oh well!!!).


I think it took an hour to cut out, as I was trying really hard to match all the seam lines with the corresponding prints.

The jacket itself only took 4 hours to make (2 nap times, one Saturday, one Sunday!).


It turned out just as I imagined.  I used black rib knit for the bands, cuffs, and collar.  I also used black thread for all top stitching.

Here you can see the flannel I used for the lining.


Here is the back of the coat.


Here is the band of the coat


Here is a close up of the pockets on the front of the coat.


Here is one of the side seams that did match up perfectly.  Not such great luck with some of the other seams.


In all, he loves it!!!  He was only able to wear it Monday, because here in Michigan we are dealing with snow again:(

But Spring is on the way.  I have about 2 more yards left and am now thinking about making a pair of shorts for him for the summer!

But, that will have to wait.  I am going to participate in the sew my style challenge for March and make the Kalle shirt/dress next from Closet Case Patterns.  I’ll do a post on that once I get that done.  Still deciding on what fabric I want to use from my stash!

Simplicity 8511 Dress

Hi Everyone!

Well I finished my first goal of 2018!  At the top of my list was Simplicity 8511


I had decided to do view A.  To me working in an office, I thought the sleeves would work best for me.  I am sitting most of the day working with numbers, I know fun, right!


The fabric suggestions were:

Cotton Type, Crepe, Back Satin, Dupioni, Jacquards, lightweight Linen, or Taffeta.

I have recently ordered this great color CobaltBlue cotton yarn fabric from Fabric Mart.


I thought this dress would be so cute in the cobolt blue, with the sleeves and neckline being in the lighter turquoise color.  I really don’t know where the turquoise color fabric came from and I only had 1/2 yard of the turquoise.

Off to work!

Pattern Cutting:

I cut out a size 14 for my neck and graded to a 16 for waist and an 18 for hips.  This dress looked like it had more ease than it did: hint to self – next time check the final garment measurements instead of assuming.   So much to check.

I did lengthen the dress by 2″, I am 5’6″ tall and wanted it to come to my knee.  As you can see the darts are different then normal darts, but I really liked how these darts shaped my side bust area.  The back has a fish eye dart.

Surprisingly I did not have to do an FBA (Full Bust Adj), which I am currently running a D size right now.  I did do some flat pattern measurements and all seemed ok.


Fabric Cutting:

Well cutting out the fabric after washing, drying and ironing, I noticed that the fabric tended to wrinkle a lot.  So instead of lining the dress, I decided to take the lining and actually underling the dress.  I cut the same pieces out of the lining and sewed them to my fashion fabric at 3/8″ (simplicity uses 5/8″ seam allowances).  This made the lining and the fashion fabric act as one piece of fabric.

By doing that, it drastically cut out a lot of the wrinkling.

While cutting, I realized that I did not have enough fabric for the sleeve in either color.  So time to create my own sleeve band.

I drafted just a basic band for the sleeve instead of using the pattern sleeve (truthfully, I like mine better!, just saying).

I then pinned the dress together on my sized to me mannequin to make sure it would fit and look right with the new sleeve.

I like it, time to sew.


This was really simple to sew and came together fairly quickly.  The instructions were clear, except for the skirt vent.  I had to watch the wonderful Colleen G. Lea with FSBTV You Tube video on Sewing a Vent that she published in 2012.

It worked like a charm, thank you Colleen!!!!

The dress called for an invisible zipper and thanks to the Craftsy class “Mastering Construction: Zippers & Waistbands” with Sara Alm, I have finally found the best way to put zippers in.  I love putting in zippers.  She finally made video’s that explained everything.  She had you work with small samples and let me tell you, I find them so easy to put in now.  Thanks Sara!

Just a note, this is my own personal opinion, I did pay for the class.  I have about 65 classes, not watched them all.  I do have ones I don’t like, but this one was worth the money I paid in my opinion for me.  Her teaching on this best suited my style.

I did not line the dress since I underlined the dress.  To tight on the mannequin, I should have known then that there was an issue.  I did use my Serger for all the seam finishing.

I also stitched in the ditch for the collar and neckline.  I did not like the facing flapping all over and securing it at the shoulder seams did not help keep it down.  You can’t even tell with the stitch in the ditch method.


I love this dress and it is so my style, simple and easy.  But it is too tight in the hips.  Darn you Ben & Jerry Ice Cream!!!!!

But with my weight fluctuations, I know that will eventually get in this dress and when I do — watch out!!

I do like the front darts and I think they help shape the body nicely.

Don’t mind the little head at the bottom of some pictures, No that is not your imagination, that is my little one trying to see himself on the tablet too!!!!

In all, this dress will definitely be worn a lot when I am in that size range.  Good fit on shoulders, chest and neckline.  Since I did serge I cut off excess fabric so I can’t add more room in hips.

I hate making muslins and with my weight fluctuating so much, I really don’t feel the need to most of the time.

Well, until next time!



The 10-20-30 Mintues to Sew with Nancy Zieman Book Review

Hi Everyone!

I was looking online for finding faster ways to sew in my little allotted time frames and came across this book on Amazon.

Since it was published in 1992, it was only $1.99 used.  It came to me pretty quick and let me tell you, I do think it has a lot of good useful tips!


It’s hardcover and the pages are nice and thick with lots of pictures and examples.  I couldn’t find anything wrong with it.

I must say I really like the Contents pages.

They have everything listed in categories and under each subject they have the topic and about how long each one will take.  For instance, under “Streamlined Sleeves”, they have the “Easiest Sleeve Easing” is 10 Minutes.  So if I am trying to insert a sleeve that needs easing, I know that I could do this in a 10 minute time frame.  That’s awesome, if I just set aside 10 minutes I could ease a sleeve in that time!


I really liked the tips on the sides of the pages.  A lot of the pages have a “Note from Nancy” that gives you a tip such as use wax paper and felt tip pens for altering patterns.  My favorite is that on most pages, Nancy gives you a “Timesaving Notion” tip.


Here Nancy gives quick tips on hot to do a Peter Pan Collar in 20 minutes, again with the note and timesaving notion. I like how everything is broken up into minutes.  This really helps you better organize your sewing time.


For instance, again you can see how you can sew a mistake proof center zipper in just 20 minutes.


Here is a great example how Nancy even goes into helping you with your preparation steps.  She also has a section on your Serger and working with knits!



Nancy also has a section on Sewing Feet and on patterns and helping you pick the right size for beginners.


In all, I find this book very valuable.  Does it address everything??? Well no, it would be huge.  It is small, but it does give you a lot of great ideas of how to break up your sewing into smaller segments, so  you can find more time to sew.

This book was just what I needed, what a great tool for my library!

I hope you enjoy it too!