Category Archives: Uncategorized

Jeans to Dress remake

Yesterday was a rainy stormy day, so I started to clean my closets, well one thing lead to another and a pile of give away jeans turned into a new shift dress.

(yes, my dress form is crooked, I broke a plastic part on the inside and it wobbles to the left.)

I started by openning up the legs of the pants, and randomly sewing the pieces together to create a fabric in which to layout the a pattern piece. I then added darts for shaping where it needed to be.  I tried on and off again a bunch of times to get the dress to hang the way I wanted it to and then the fun begins. I love to add bobbinwork embellishments. I had some grey crochet perle cotton and wound about 10 bobbins, then started to sew away! One pair of jeans had a screen printed a floral pattern. It was only on one leg so I got out my paint brush and painted a sort-of matching pattern with a cheap grey acrylic pant I happen to have. Best part, every dress must have a pocket!

I have this pile of scraps left over so I’ll save them for a matching purse of some sort. I’ll be posting that when I get around to making it.

Go be fearless and create!



Needle in a Haystack Retreat and Fabric outlet Barn

I had to write about this awesome place. I actually got to teach here!!! This beautiful old dairy barn was wonderfully restored into a sewing retreat! Can you believe it? Brilliant!!  Judy Fenton has created heaven on earth and has shared it with the sewing world and now me too!

Everything, every detail is welcoming and magical for a wonderful retreat spot. Who wouldn’t love to get to sew in this space?

Perfect tables, comfortable chairs, great lighting and a delicious luncheon served either out on a flower bedecked patio or inside in a separate dining space.

Not only does she have this terrific space upstairs for the classes, but downstairs the rooms for staying over night are filled with quilts and charm to fill your dreams with inspiration! If that’s not enough there is also a fabric outlet retail space on the other end of the barn! Too perfect for  words.

Linda and her sister Roberta were quests one evening and it was so much fun to chat with ladies outside of a class setting. It made it perfect for the next days class to already know people.

We started altogether in the morning on a sample to learn the technique, then in the afternoon they took off. I wish I was more aware, but I didn’t take as many pictures as I should have of what ladies were creating. I like to live in the moment and pictures slipped my mind. I was really having a great time teaching.

There were turtles and flowers and all sorts of creative projects started.

From the moment I stepped off the plane these three absolutely fabulous ladies took care of me! I can not explain what an honor to not only teach but to meet these rock stars of sewing!  

I mean, how many times do you walk into a store with the designer and author of the current magazine cover?? Totally cool!!

Best time ever!!



SATB 2018 Bobbinwork Pincushion/Caddy

This is an updated class and one that I was asked to teach again. I am happy to offer my recycled soup can sewing caddy. This time I merged it with the ever popular by-the-machine waste container. Last time I focused on embellishing with decorative stitches, this time my focus is Bobbinwork.

If you have never used bobbinwork as a technique this is a perfect learning project. The final project turns out to be a useful pincushion and caddy for all your sewing supplies that need to be handy while sewing.
Supplies needed for class: Sewing machine in good working order. Extra bobbins If your machine uses a special bobbin case specific for bobbinwork, please make sure to bring to class. White construction thread. Basic sewing supplies standard for a successful and comfortable sewing day.

Check with for dates time and all the info for a terrific sewing retreat and school celebrating 25 years!

SATB 2 Day Knit Class for 2018

The class listings are going up at the end of the month for Sewing at the Beach 2018 and I want to add more photos of the classes I am offering. I will post each class individually so it is easier to find and update as SATB gets closer. Here is the Link for any and all information:

The two day workshop for Knits:

Students have a choice between a t-shirt (sleeveless or short sleeve,) 4 panel skirt, or pillow. These below are a few ideas. Yardage will be provided for this class and the colorways will be announced at a later date.

We are all familiar with Alabama Chanin and her beautiful intensive hand work and design using Jersey knit fabric. I take inspiration from her work but create my garments using the sewing machine and machine embroidery. Come to this 2 day workshop and learn reverse applique and working with knits using our sewing machines, sergers and embroidery machines. However a machine embroidery machine is not required and the designs can be manually stitched for the same effect. Student will be given yardage for the one of the projects being offered. The options are: Knit Skirt, Knit T-Shirt, or knit pillow. Knits are wonderful to create garments with and the embellishments can turn a simple T-shirt in to Haute Couture. What ever you choose to make, no two garments will be the same. These will be one of a kind art wear!
Yardage fabric will be supplied. The pattern will be created the first morning, the design layout will be the first afternoon. The second day is dedicated to stitching and creating!
Bring your best fitting T-Shirt to copy the pattern if you want to make a t-shirt.. I want the best fitting and favorite wearing shirt for you, especially at the neck and shoulder seams. If you would like to make the skirt, the pattern is a simple four panel skirt made with your measurements
Tissue paper/ drafting paper, or crafting paper to trace and make your pattern pieces. Paper scissors and marking pencil/pen and tape measure.
Good sharp scissors for comfortably cutting and trimming. Lace applique, blunt tip ginghers or havels, everyone is different so bring a couple. SHARP is essential!
Basic sewing supplies, Machine in good working order. Embroidery Unit and assorted hoops. Extras like clover clips, needle threaders and favorite readers for better viewing, all help!
When you sign up for class please tell me your format for machine embroidery designs and your email address for receiving the designs ahead of time.


More classes will be posted later


Cross backed Aprons

Tuesday I went to  fabulous class at the Moore Botanical Gardens in Lake City. I will talk about that more in an upcoming post. I was so inspired and obsessed by my carpool friend, Barbara. She wore THE cutiest apron. It was steel grey linen and crossed in the back.  I had to have a new apron!

This was the first one I made. I used fabric scraps left over from altering chef coats. I dyed the white fabric pieces lavender, sewed them together in and stitched them down. That sounds like a lot, but I had already pieced the fabric together before my apron whim. All I did was cut one large rectangle for the apron, attached straps and added a pocket…I like the design, however the twill fabric is too stiff, I liked Barbara’s Linen fabric… so try number two:

I recycled a long linen skirt I had and instead of square across the front I made more of a neckline, which I really like… I used it last night to cook dinner and then again this morning (thus the wrinkles) and I’m very happy with this one! but…

I have a pile of T-shirts to reuse so, apron number 3:

A little reverse applique! I want to add some hand stitching, around the flower next, maybe. I think this will be my most useful one, not too long, easy to throw on, and it’s already spotted so I don’t care if more cooking splatters happen!

So… What’s under the aprons??? The dress form was already in use before I needed it to model the aprons. I’m creating another knit outfit and here’s a sneak peek, overlook dangling threads, unfinished hems etc….

Here’s a close up of the in process skirt, I have more freehand machine stitching to do to add petals and some hand stitching needs to be added…



Feltmaking is Fun!

Had a great day with Cindy Valentine and Friends making felt.

After making felt we let it dry and went to lunch at PF Changs. Oh yum! then we came back to her house and created little sewing/needle carriers.

Thanks Cindy for a fun day!!

Craft Bag copy

I have used the multicolored “Thirty One bag” for about 4 years. I keep a travel hand project, either sewing or knitting ready to go at all times. It’s been everywhere and it’s starting to shred along the bottom seam.

I copy ready made garments so making a pattern from this bag was just measuring rectangles.  The best part of sewing your own garments or projects is making it your own and better than the original! Naturally I had some upgrades in mind. I changed the front pockets. The original ones were an odd size, my lipstick tube would get lost down them and it was tricky getting back out. Pens were too skinny and they would fall out. I think the open pockets will prove to be more useful in my new bag.

Adding a zippered pocket was my first plan. The bag is designed to be an open design which is terrific for knitting and projects, not so good for things you might want to keep out of sight or safe. Thus the zippered pocket. I also added a long inside pocket with snap closure to keep directions or patterns for easy reach and less likely to get crumbled.

I also added a back pocket. I can’t believe the original Thirty One bag didn’t have one, so I added that too by fussing cutting a blue bike from the fabric.

I just love this fabric, I found 4 yards of it in my stash so I must have loved it when I bought it. Can not think where I bought it though. It made for an enjoyable rainy Saturday afternoon.

Fabric Pouch


I found a terrific, fast and easy tutorial on-line this morning (link is posted at bottom.) The pattern calls for 4 fat quarters, I didn’t have any that I wanted to use, but I had leftover scraps and bits in a pile on my cutting table. I pieced randomly into a shape that was larger than the  pattern.

I cut the pattern out and then decorated each seam with a different decorative stitch on a machine I was testing out for a friend. The rest of the bag went together fast and easy. In about an hour I had it finished in put to use!

This is a perfect little carrier for the handwork left on more T-Shirts!

Here is the link :

Thank you so much to Jennifer Bosworth and her tutorial. Make sure to click “Like!”

Tuck and Point Guide

I searched all afternoon for these original directions for Eloise’s ruler. I scanned them in and posted them for you to use along with your ruler.



The tuck and point guide by Eloise T. Smith…




SATB 2016 Kids Class


I don’t know how this photo got deleted from my post… but here it is….

Outstanding group!!