3/4 Circle Skirt with Vintage Fabric

I’ve had this vintage fabric for a while, four yards of a poly blend. It’s very light and airy and I love the colors. I bought it at an antique flea market about 2 years ago. Obviously fabric like this I made sure I would make something that I would get a lot of wear out of. I initially wanted a full circle skirt but in order to save precious yardage I opted for a 3/4 circle skirt, using only about 2 yards.

I flat lined the skirt in a fun purple and Hong Kong finished the one and only seam. I hemmed it all up with navy blue purchased binding giving the skirt a bit of flare. An invisible zip completes this perfect summer skirt.

3/4 circle skirt

Kinda love this skirt

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Butterick 5893 + Velvet = Awesome Pants

I’ve wanted to make a pair of velvet pants for a while and have seen gorgeous inspiration around the web.

Earlier I made a faux wrap dress in a stretch burn out velvet that went really well. This is my first time working with a more traditional velvet. Being a newbie to the temperaments of velvet, I read Katherine Tilton’s recent McCall’s post on working with velvet and relied heavily on her expertise. I also found this great blog Historical Sewing additional tips and I read the BurdaStyle Ebook (which also has patterns) for even more! Know your frenemy!

For my first time with this kind of velvet I decided to purchase the less expensive kind (JoAnn’s). The purple velvet is a polyester content which is easier to sew with than the much more expensive silk and rayon types. First thing I did was throw it in the wash even though the bolt instructions said Dry Clean Only. Turned out fine.


I think the best advice came from Tilton’s blog post. She swears by using a spray adhesive on the seam allowance. All through out the construction I would try different tips to see what worked best. I used Sulky KK 2000.

I used Butterick 5893 pant pattern with modifications. I used a single layer cut out for the pants which was time consuming. I did a double layer for the pockets. As long as I pinned them  a lot, I didn’t have any problem with shifting on a double layer. Marking was difficult. Chalk didn’t show up that well. I just pinned into the fabric where the notches are. I deliberately used a pattern that had very few details. The polyester velvet did shift a lot during sewing. I have a Pfaff sewing machine and the IDT worked well but using the spray adhesive was even better as you can see from the photos.


Some of the in and out seams are weird and it almost seems like the fabric is off grain or something. I think it’s not noticeable, but kinda bugs me if I think about it too much.

One special note the pockets are really deep!

The pattern normally would have taken me about 3 hours from start to finish. Using velvet it took approximately 8-10 hours, this includes testing the fabric on my machine, experimenting and confusion on the pockets, ripping out etc. etc.. The cost of the velvet and silk thread was $34.68. The pattern I’m sure I got for $1.99.

Jumping for joy!

Butterick 5893

And, that’s a wrap! I love my velvet pants and think I’ll enjoy wearing them for a long time!

Pattern Review: McCalls 7513 Close Fitting Jacket with Peplum

I’ve been wanting to make a jacket for fall 2016 and McCalls 7513 was the one.
Front 7513 mccalls

This pattern is a wearable muslin. The fabric is from an American Sewing Guild Denver fabric sale last year. It’s a wool blend of something, very nubby. I lined it with two different shades of silk from my stash.

The pattern sews up very well. However there are a few things you might want to be aware of.

First is the sleeves. I cut a size 8 for the bodice tapering to a 10 at the waist. I have noodle-y arms that are on the skinny side. I was surprised at how close fitting almost ‘tight’ the sleeves are. If you have more toned arms you might want to do some measurements or a quick muslin of the sleeves before cutting into your fashion fabric. The jacket itself is close fitting, I don’t think I’ll be able to fit a long sleeved T-shirt under it, at least comfortably.

The pattern calls for a lining of the bodice portion so it’s good to pick an appropriate lining fabric. I lined it with a chartruse green silk I had in my stash. Instead of trying to insert silk charmeuse sleeves I simply created a pleat at the top and I think it looks nice.
Lining 7513

Another aspect of the pattern that I liked was the very high armholes. In so many patterns the armscye is ginormous. Not here, the higher position gave better range of motion, but not as much as I’d like. If I raised my arms up over my head I’d probably rip out somewhere.
McCalls 7513

The adjustment I would do on the next one is a narrow chest adjustment. I usually require one, but for some reason I didn’t do it here. I added in a little padding at the shoulder to compensate.

The instructions did not have a lining for the peplum, so I put one in. I would think if you choose one of the alternate views, the ones with the waterfall hem, you would want to line that. I didn’t have enough silk to line both the bodice and the peplum. Fortunately, I had more green in my stash but it is of a slightly different hue. But it works. I also have enough of the rust wool tweed to make a skirt. I hope to get that done before spring time. I will have my first me made suit.

All in all I like the pattern, it was really easy to sew up, the sleeves went in really easy. I had no trouble with this pattern. I would, and will sew this up again!


The New Colorado Fabrics Is Here!

I was fortunate to get a peek at the new Colorado Fabrics Aurora location on Wednesday night. It is everything and more.  Laurel the Marketing Manager said it is an additional 8000 more square feet than the old space. Plus, it has a meeting/conference room, a lovely and spacious classroom and a dedicated space for scissor sharpening. Here are a few pics of the new space. I hope you enjoy visiting, shopping and learning at the new space.
Night C F

Here’s the space before the move. Click on the image to enlarge

And, now here’s a quick tour.

Long arm quilting room
Colorado Fabrics

Brand new cutting tables with cushy mats for the employees to stand on.

Colorado Fabrics

I really liked the new classrooms. There’s a space at the head of the class for the instructor
Sewing room 4
Sewing room front

With ironing boards and lots of outlets. Plus the ironing boards fold up and close with a mirror on the front of the door.

Sewing room2
Of course plenty of space for all kinds of fabric.

Click on the image to enlarge and look around.
Colorado Fabrics

The new dedicated space for scissor sharpening.

Colorado Fabrics

They are finishing up on the dedicated conference/meeting room. Stay tuned for more!

This space is amazing and wonderful. I’m sure that we’ll all have many hours of fun fabric shopping.

Visit the store and let me know what you think!


Kenneth D. King Workshops Are Coming To Denver

Sewing & Design School has announced several Denver dates for Kenneth D. King Workshops! If you love garment sewing and want to refine your skills and techniques from a pro check out these workshops.


Please visit the Sewing & Design School website to register, information and more.

All classes for Denver location are:

 Holiday Inn & Suites

6900 Tower Road

Denver, CO 80249

Attendees have a Courtesy rate of $159 for Single or Double Occupancy at the Holiday Inn & Suites.

Cool Tricks Take Manhattan

Based on his newest CD Book, Kenneth will demonstrate and students will construct samples of their favorite techniques.

When: July 14, 2017 9 am – 4 pm


  • Improved Seam Roll
  • Sewing with the bobbin thread
  • A new scarf edge
  • Sewing inside curves to outside curves
  • Cutting loosely-woven fabrics
  • Boning from the hardware store
  • Recycling/Upcycling a jacket
  • Restyling worn coat edges


  • Working with lame’ fabrics
  • Staying necklines and armholes
  • Staying curves with crossgrain muslin
  • Inside miter for Hong Kong binding
  • Bias binding to finish armholes and hems
  • Lapped seams on a sweater
  • Seams in bulk fabrics
  • Double cloth patch pocket
  • Double welt pocket for felted wool or leather

Drafting and construction details:

  • Moving fare in a skirt
  • Skirt fly front/pocket stay
  • Surgeons; cuff
  • Cut-on gusset-Norfolk jacket
  • The action back jacket
  • The loden coat
  • Flange yoke detail
  • The hybrid lapel facing
  • The stand-away collar

A $25 Kit fee will be collected at the classroom.

$225 Includes lunch.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: April 20, 2017. Please go to Sewing & Design School for more information and to register!

Kenneth D. King’s Trunk Show

When: July 14, 2017

6:30 pm – 7 pm Reception

7 pm – 8:30 pm Trunk Show

Kenneth will present a trunk show of his work and the techniques used to accomplish them.

Door Prizes!

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: April 20, 2017. Please go to Sewing & Design School for more information and to register!


$20 if you take the Trouser Drafting Class

$35 for ASG Members

$40 for non ASG Members

Drafting a Custom Trouser/Pant Pattern

When: July 15 & 16, 2017. 9 am – 4 pm

Students will Draft a custom trouser/pant pattern. Using your own measurements, you will be taken step by step through the process of drafting a trouser/pant pattern.

Kenneth teaches the system of drafting trousers (for men and women) from measurements. After taking the proper measurements (which is covered in the notes, the text, as well as on the video on the CD), we cover calculations for the draft, and drafting the trouser. Once the trouser is drafted and made, common adjustments that might need to be made to the test the fit in the muslin to ensure proper fit. Finally, after a well-fitting trouser muslin has been made, the directions for adding style, such as pleats, pockets, waistbands, and the like, will be discussed.

$20 Kit fee will be collected at the workshop

$445 includes lunch each day


3 Day Weekend with Kenneth D. King

Drafting a Custom Trouser/Pant Pattern & Cool Tricks takes Manhattan

July 14, 15, & 16, 2017

9 am – 4 pm

A $45 KIT FEE will be collected at the workshop for all the fabric samples, drafting paper and notes.

$645 Lunch is included


The Loss Of My Mighty Zeus

Zeus walked into my life about seven years ago. I was not excited about having a pet of any kind. I knew that I would eventually be the one that was going to take care of it. I hadn’t taken care of a dog or cat in years, and really wasn’t very thrilled about the prospect.

Flash forward to today and I can barely keep the tears in while writing this post. I loved our time together, he brought more joy to my life that I ever thought possible.  So, indulge me a bit here, and I’ll tell you about my mighty Zeus (aka Zeusy).

thecat1Zeus would usually meet me at the door when I got home from work. As kids get older you find this a great source of joy. You feel loved and needed in a very blatant, in-your-face way. Continue reading

#Project3:33 Fall/Winter Months

I’m surprised as anyone that I’ve actually gotten a post up. Good news, I am still following the 3:33 plan and I’m having a lot of fun with it. More to my surprise I made it three months and went a little bit longer so that I could start my next three months at the start of November 1.

Project 333

Our November here in Colorado has been very mild to say the least. Many of us have been wearing shorts and flip flops until only recently. But, I put away all my spring and summer clothes and made the clothing transition to fall and winter stock.

This time I stuck with 38 pieces of which I feel I’ll be editing down that number before the three months are up. Still have not been able to edit my accessories. I love scarves and jewelry too much. Shoes are off limits too.

I have added some basics to my wardrobe. Two Breton striped tees are in the mix now. I bought them at Target and they are incredibly soft with a bit of Modal in them. These were 9.99 on sale, quite a steal considering J. Crew had them at 24.00 and I’ve seen them as high as 40.00!

Below are a few wardrobe pics from the last round. I found the beige circle skirt I made from a vintage Vogue is way versatile. And, of course I wear a lot of jeans, but I pair them with sewn blouses.

Stay tuned to what I come up with for fall and winter! Plus, I’ve added in a sweater coat and some really amazing pieces that I recently sewed, can wait to show off them off.