Mark Your Calendars for the Handmade Arcade!

Saturday, December 2nd is the Handmade Arcade! This is a not-to-be-missed event that showcases the cool and crafty side of Pittsburgh (and surrounding areas) in one convenient location.

The Handmade Arcade, founded in 2004, is Pittsburgh’s largest independent craft fair. You can browse and buy handmade, locally produced, and one-of-a-kind items from more than 150 vendors. It will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center downtown from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm and admission is FREE!

This is an amazing event and is truly worth a visit. Come see what’s new and exciting, shop, eat and be inspired!

Check out the Handmade Arcade’s website for more information.

See you there!


Pattern Review – Simplicity 1692

One of my sewing goals for 2016 was to use up my fabric stash AND finally create some lovely things with the boxes of vintage patterns I’ve been hoarding.  By coincidence, an acquaintance gave me this lovely floral rayon fabric that looks EXACTLY like the print used on the front of the Simplicity 1692 pattern envelope!

I was a bit hesitant to work on 1940’s pieces as they are not usually flattering for curvy girls right out of the envelope.  I knew I’d have to make a few changes, but I think all in all it turned out pretty well.

I eliminated one set of back darts, added a bit of ease at the waist to make it a pullover style (no side zipper needed), and altered the cuffs to mimic the neck binding.  I liked the cute little bows so I kept them at the sleeve hem.

I think I will definitely make this again, but next time I’ll alter the pattern to add more ease in the sleeves, change the bodice back to a button closure, and add a bit of length to the hem.

Now I need a flirty white linen skirt to match!

Vintage Pattern Review – 50’s Blouse with a 70’s Vibe

I’ve had vintage Simplicity 2127 in my stash for a while, but I was torn as to what fabric to make with it.  Since my theme for Pittsburgh Fashion Week was hippie/mod/retro, I thought this blouse was perfect for the look I was going for.  It’s actually a 1950’s pattern, but the style has withstood the test of time so it was perfect for my 1970’s themed outfit.

The top is see through lace fabric, off-the-shoulder style with elastic in the top, bottom and sleeves.  The bottoms I created from a pair of Old Navy jeans that I cut off and added three rows of the same fabric gathered in graduated widths to make bell bottoms.

I think this look is SO cute! It’s a little bit funky and perfect for summer!  I should have had my lovely model wear a flower garland in her hair, but didn’t think of it until it was too late.  😦

Thanks for looking!


Vintage Pattern Review – Caftan & Shorts

Here’s another vintage look I created for Pittsburgh Fashion Week.  It’s also ‘Take II’ of vintage Simplicity 7441.  This time I lengthened the pattern to make an ankle length caftan with deep side slits up to the waist and placed the facings on the outside instead of the inside for a cheery splash of color.  The fabric is a lightweight linen-look ivory fabric with a colorful retro stripe cotton for the shorts and facings.

I LOVE how this set turned out and I think that my lovely model Melissa totally rocked it with hot pink sandals and bright bangles!



Pattern Review – Butterick 5982

I actually made this dress for Pittsburgh Fashion Week last year but never got around to posting pics.  However, here it is!  The fabric is a medium weight atomic print woven cotton gifted to me about two years ago.

I really struggled about what to make with it but finally I decided on a mod 1960’s style dress.  I love the look of petticoats so I added a strip of orange trim around the hem to fool the eye.  I also added the V in the back, but otherwise followed the pattern exactly.

I really love the way it turned out and even found a little clear plastic purse to match at Goodwill! Judy Jetson would be proud! LOL

Baby Love: Dakota

During one of my sewing “breaks” I decided to work on one of the reborn kits I’ve been hoarding.  I promised myself that this is really my last break, because I MUST get some dresses cranked out before summer is over.  We will see how that goes….

In the meantime, may I introduce Dakota.  He is a sweet 17” newborn sculpt by Michelle Fagan.   I thought his facial expression was so unique, almost like he is going to let out a tiny little “pick me up and cuddle me” cry at any moment!

I tried a different technique for his skin tone as I was trying to create a Native American look.  While I’m not convinced of the authenticity, I really like the way it turned out.  (Now I just have to remember what I did. Lol)  This time I used almost straight, jet black hair rooted extra thick and dark bluish-grey for his eyes.

I had a lot of fun picking out his little layette.  The baby blues highlight the color of his eyes very nicely.  Dakota is a slight small for a newborn, so pre-shrinking of his clothes was in order to get the right fit.

I think he is SO adorable and I hope you agree!


Repurposing Neck Ties Into Bow Ties

WOW!  Is it June already?  Where has the time gone?

This post SHOULD be titled “Liar, Liar” because when we last spoke I vowed to spend at least SOME time sewing for me…

Well, that has not happened yet.  I have to admit that I do get distracted for good reasons sometimes.  Which brings me to my newest obsession: Repurposing neck ties into bow ties for my hubby!

I think he is right on trend with his love of bow ties because of late I have seen scores of celebs rocking them.  But ouch, the price of the really nice ones!  So, I went shopping for ones I wouldn’t mind cutting up (just in case things went badly), and followed the Make It & Love It tutorial on how to do it.

I took a few pics before cutting the neckties and a few more after.  Even I can’t believe how well they turned out!  I’ll probably never make a bow tie from scratch again and he LOVES them!

Thanks Ashley for the awesome tutorial!

Vintage Pattern Review: Assymetric Wrap Skirt

I don’t know about you but I ADORE wrap skirts.  They are so easy to wear and can be created in an endless array of colors and (even normally avoided) prints.  As of late, I have been hooked onto this sweet number 4287 by Butterick, circa 1969.  It has extra long wraparound ties, two side pockets and a funky asymmetric hem!

This pattern is so quick and simple to whip up with only 4 pattern pieces.  I only had to make a couple of minor adjustments to accommodate my non-size 8 body, but no other changes were necessary.  I thought the pocket a cute feature as it doesn’t require a separate pattern piece, you just fold it back and stitch it to the skirt body!

I did one skirt up in a funky cotton tribal print, one in a lovely peacock print (wish I had more of this fabric), one in a retro circle print, and one in a poly satin stripe.  I’m thinking next I might do a lightweight corduroy for Fall or cotton eyelet for summer.

The swimsuit however, being a size 8, is completely out of the question, so…