Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Member of the Istmelaniedarling Sew Family: Singer 14T970C Coverstitch Machine

Well I did it Sew Family.  I bit the bullet and purchased a coverstitch machine this weekend.  I've been eyeballing them for sometime now, but wasn't sure exactly what I wanted.  I recently came across the Janome Coverpro 900cpx and was sold on it based on the reviews and the fact that I have the Janome Memory Craft 6600p sewing machine, which I absolutely adore.  

The price of the Coverpro was not in my price range so I was hoping over the Christmas holiday there would be specials and it would be marked down.  I even saved one in my cart on Amazon.com just in case, but I didn't find that the price changed anywhere.  

While at my local Joann's this weekend, I was shopping for fabric for a clients project and while waiting for my number to be called I perused the sewing machine area.   Not to purchase just looking at what they had.  I began talking with the sewing machine area sales person and I expressed to her that I couldn't wait to purchase a Coverstitch machine.  Her eyes got big and she said "if you are interested in purchasing a machine today, we have a closeout special on the Singer 14T970C."  I told her if the price was right I was interested.  She showed me this particular machine, and explained a little about its functions.  I wasn't sold immediately, because I wanted to know the price before I even got interested.  She explained that the machine is regularly $699.00 and that it is now a closeout and will not be offered in the U.S. any longer, and I could get it that day for $290.00.  They only had one more .  I then asked about why it was no longer sold in the U.S., and she explained that this particular model didn't sell well in the U.S. but overseas they sold lots.  Hmmmmmmm was my first notion.  

My number was called for the cutting table so I walked away and told the Sales Person I would think about.  Still nervous, but the price was right.  I said, what the heck, this could be my blessing.  So after my fabric was cut, I went back over and told her I wanted the machine and asked about the perks.  She allowed me to play with the floor model while she went to get the one I was purchasing, and I found it was easier to thread than my Brother 1043d.  

I looked on the internet to get reviews and information (yes after I purchased), backwards I know. Couldn't find very much at all.  Actually several people noted that as well.  I did find this review: S14T970C Review, which was very long but very informative.  


Yesterday was actually my first day playing with my new machine.  I threaded it and re threaded it to get that hang of it.  I know already I am going to have to play around it to get comfortable with it. The similarities of a Coverstitch and a Serger can be confusing, but I am excited about learning. I actually have two 1/2 Sergers so I only needed a Coverstitch only machine, Here are a few pointers I've noticed so far:

Things I like so far:
  • Its not very noisy at all. 
  • You have to thread one difficult area
  • Easy to thread

Things I don't so far like:
  • The placement of the lever to lift foot sucks
  • Not very much room under presser foot

As my friendship grows with my new buddy, I will let you guys know how it goes, until then, Happy Sewing!

Monday, December 29, 2014

McCall's 7020: That Hooded/Cowl Neck Tunic/Dress Thingy

I refused to let my long weekend go without sewing something for myself.  I had a couple of client projects I needed to finish, and I did but I vowed to get something done for myself.   When I first saw McCall's 7020, I was excited about it all.  It looked boxy and I thought it would very unappealing on me, so I payed no attention to it at all.  Then I saw the post of Mimi of Mimigstyle wearing it and how she styled it and I really knew I wanted to make it, with the modifications she suggested:


I added 8 inches to the Hood/Cowl and stitched the pockets to the front of piece of the tunic so they wouldn't swing about inside.

I paired them with a pair of leather side trimmed tights or skinny jeans and booties.  I really like both looks. 

Happy Sewing!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Selfless Sewing: Giving Back and Sewing for the Youth of My Church

I belong to a small community church in Orlando, Washington Shores Presbyterian Church.  Our congregation is small but rich in history.  Our members are older, and most are either community leaders, and retired educators.  I think that is why I love it so much, I feel at home, and it is not overpowering but nurturing.  Because my Church is dead smack in the middle of a inner city community and right next door to an elementary school, we have children that attend our church who parents do not.   

Every Sunday our church provide a hot meal to the children when they come.  A good hot meal with, eggs, bacon, toast, biscuits, grits, sausage, well you get the picture.  We have members that really reach out to the children in our community and we love having them.  

I was asked to help with the Annual Christmas Program, and if I would provide my sewing services and make much needed costumes.  I was glad to be apart of giving back to these young people who has given our church so much life.  

Here are a couple of the costumes I made:   


and I will share more when with the children wearing them when I can.   I was tasked to make 4 Angels, 5 Wise Men and 5 Shepard's.  

I thank my wonderful coworkers for providing sheets that I used to make most of the costumes.  I work with a wonderful group of people who are always eager to support. 

Happy Sewing!

Self Drafted Batwing Top - Thanksgiving

This top was actually made in November, but I'm just catching up on my blogging.   I was inspired by my friend Shari Williams of My Daily Threadz.     

When I saw hers on her blog, I knew I had to have it.  I wanted something cute that I could wear on Thanksgiving day with my family.  It was a cool day, in the mid 50's which is cool for Florida especially in November.  I don't get to wear fall gear that much because of our weather here, but I look forward to those cool days and nights when I have an opportunity.  


Added my favorite pair of Steve Madden Boots and my ensemble was fashionable and functional:


It was really quite simple to make.  I just used a top I had already, folded it and traced it on the fold.  I added the cowl neck and sleeves, and walla!!!!!  

Happy Sewing!

Oh What A Busy Month!

My Husband and I celebrated our 10th Anniversary at the Dreams Palm Beach Resort, Punta Cana , Dominican Republic, (All Inclusive) early this month.   The trip was amazing and we had wonderful time.  We were able to share our trip with my cousin and his wife who was also celebrating their 6th Anniversary. They are authors of this trip as they visit the Dominican Republic every year to celebrate their union. We were thrilled when they invited us to share.   I am so very blessed to have a husband who is so very good to me and my son.
Happy Anniversary Babe!


12/14 Punta Cana

12/14 Punta Cana

12/14 Punta Cana

12/14 Punta Cana

12/14 Punta Cana

12/14 Punta Cana

Quick Review of the Resort:

Food:  Amazing, several different restaurants to choose from.  No reservations necessary.  Food being served poolside all day, and on the beach. 

Service:   Awesome, the waiting staff was eager to accommodate and refresh.  We tipped a lot so we had staff almost at our side every moment. 

Room:   Absolutely beautiful.

Only Con:  Mosquitoes in our room was out of control the first few days.  We complained to the hotel, and they fumigated immediately.  It didn't help at first, but after a couple of days it was much better though we didn't really get rid of all the mosquito's though.  Next time we will take our own spray. 

Summary:   I loved the country, the resort and had a great time!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Simplicity 1661: Animal Print Tie Front Top

Another day, another top.  Its getting quite lovely when I open up my closet door and see all my lovely new tops.  I have incorporated more colors than ever and to add a little splash, I've thrown in a lovely silk animal print top.  

This top has great potential, just because of the little details.  I especially like that I can tie the tie high on my neck or let it hang lower depending on the look I'm going for.  I also can see a few more of these in my closet come spring.    There is a little flair with the hi-lo effect and and penguin tale (what I call it).   It was every easy to make and from cut to finish took me about 2 1/2 hours.  

Another crappy mirror picture of me :


Happy Sewing!

Simplicity 1280: Pink Polka Cross Body Top.

As you may be aware I have been sewing tops to rebuild my wardrobe after donating a lot of items this past month, so I decided to make November my month of tops and make both casual and dress tops.  

When I came across this pattern: Simplicity 1280, I knew immediately that I would be making this more than once.  I saw so many different color and fabric options for this top in my head.   

I was gifted this particular fabric from a co-worker who Mother passed and she was seamstress.  She gave me a little over 3 yards so I wasn't sure I wanted to make a whole garment like a dress or pant set in this particular design, I thought it would be way too much.  So when I came across this pattern, this piece of fabric came instantly to mind, plus I am a nut for Polka Dots.  

It was fairly easy to put together, though I made one modification.  I extended the sleeve length, because I didn't care for who short the fell on the model on the pattern front.  It just looked a little out of place for me.   The pictures also look a little red, but the fabric color is actually a really deep pink.

Here is my Polka Dot Cross  Body Top:


Here I am wearing it, and yes the picture quality suck, sorry!:  

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I Don't Do Kid Sewing and I Don't Do Costumes: Doc McStuffins.

I don't sew for little ones, I have no desire to sew for little ones.  I just don't even get excited thinking about it.  I also don't do costumes but was asked by a family member if I would make a lab coat for her daughter who is under sized.  She's three years old but still wears a 12 month - 18 month clothing. She was preemie, so its been tough for Mom to find things to fit her.  

I didn't make the complete costume, just the lab coat.  I think her Mom did a Marvelous job piecing together the rest of the costume.

Doc McStuffins

So here's the little Doc McStuffins.  Doesn't she look adorable. 


Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

McCall's 6886: The Most Versatile Pattern Yet!I

I am not much of a dress person, but I have had my eye on a few styles.  I am really into the Sweater Dress and I think it is very versatile.  From a tunic to a long dress, with boots or leggings, a sweater dress can be styled so many different ways. 

Here a are a few styles I found on the Internet that I can see myself rocking:

I have seen this pattern used to make almost everything, from a Jacket to a long sleeve tunic.  I love a pattern where I can get the most use from.  Being from Florida you we never really get a winter until maybe late January early February were we dip down into the 40's and maybe the 30's a few days here and there. I made this very light weight sweater knit dress to wear on those cool nights out with my Mr. on a date.  I can see me pairing this with some cute kitten heeled boots and a suede jacket.  

I added a neckband instead of folding over and finishing edges as the pattern suggested, and sleeve cuff.  I am very please at how it came out, and will share pictures as soon as wear it.   Here it is:


Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Top - A - Thon So to Speak!

Last week was a very productive week kind of.  I didn't complete my goal of getting 7 garments sewn in 7 days, but I did get some garments completely done.  I have been in a need of adding some simple tops to my wardrobe.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I do a major closet purge every year this around this time.  So, when I do have many holes to fill and specifically tops.  So I started a 7 day Sew - A - Thon to fill in some gaps in my closet and had some lovely remnants and leftover fabrics that I used to make these two tops:

I used one of my favorite patterns, my TNT, to make this top, New Look 6273:


(Quick Review:  The pattern requires you to cut the back in two pieces and add a button closure.  But Since I used a knit, I just cut on the fold removing 5/8 inch from the fold to get desired look.)

I freehand this top using a T Shirt I already own, and just traced it and gathered the sides to give it a little Shape. 

Happy Sewing!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Simplicity 1463: Silver Striped Bling Tee!

I am in love with this Tee Shirt. It feels amazing against my skin and it was quick and simple. The pattern was straight forward you don't even need instructions.  I can see having a few more as wardrobe fillers.  A quick Tee to grab and go with jeans or even dress up.    

Silver Striped Bling Tee:


Happy Sewing!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Simplicity 1618: Starlite Starbrite Pants!

Cozy comfortable, that's my motto.  I found this fabric last weekend at my local fabric store, The Sewing Studio.  The store is about 20 minutes from my home, but not a straight shot.  I have to travel through a couple small cities to get to it.  The prices are also hit and miss and can be a little pricey, so I only go when I am in that area or if I am looking for something specific.  So, since I had a few minutes last weekend and I was in the area I ran in to see what they had in their remnant bin and came across this lovely fabric. Its a Challis and it wasn't a remnant which I specifically went in to look at, but the price was okay at $7.00 a yard, so I got a couple yards.  

Simplicity 1618 is my TNT for flowy pants.  The legs are just wide enough and the fit is right wear I wanted it to be.  I almost added pockets but I decided against it at the last moment. 


Happy Sewing!

Abstract Remnant Top! Quick, Easy, and Simple!

I have a hard time throwing away fabric.  Even when I know there is not much else I can get out of the 3/4 of yard that is left from sewing a garment, I still try and hang on for as long as I can. 

This week I decided to do my annual purge and donate, which I try to do as close to the Holiday Season because I know this when people are in need the most.   So I removed everything from my closet that I had not worn or touched in a year, gathered it all in bag and contacted the Disabled Vets to come pick it up.  Both my husband and I are Veterans and he is also an Disable Veteran from Desert Storm.

While cleaning out my closet I found a bag of remnants.  I don't even remember what I made with the original fabric.  In the bag was this particular piece and I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with it, so I went to my pattern app and Pinterest to see if I could find something quick and easy. There was  only a little over a yard of fabric, so I knew it would be some time of top. 

Here is what I came up with:


Quick Review (reviewed also on Pattern Review.com):

Pattern:  New Look 6273 ( View B).
Modifications:  Cut back on the fold adjusting it to take away 5/8, instead of two pieces as pattern piece instructed.  Since I was using a knit I didn't need the opening and button closure.
I used a double needle for hemming.

Happy Sewing!

Vogue 7997 - Modified: Houndstooth Off the Shoulder Sweater Top with Cape!

My version of Vogue 7997 with many modifications.  I decided to make my band more of a cape because of my large bust.  After reading the pattern reviews and staring at the pattern sheets, I knew I didn't feel I would get the coverage I needed.  I am also not a huge fan of off the shoulder for myself, though I find it is so flattering for others.  I am really self conscious about my breast so I try to give them maximum coverage.  

Here is my version of 7997:


I'll post pics in it soon.   

Quick Review:

I added 5 inches to the band and the bodice, and 3 inches to the sleeves.  I wanted the sleeves to cover my palms for those cool nights.  

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Floral Sheer Sleeve Top: Another Theirs/Mine Copy Cat Creation

I am quite please with how my blouse came out, even with the wonky neckline.  I thank you all for your suggestions on how to make a better knit neckline, and will be practicing these methods.  

I decided I didn't want my neckline as wide as the original.  



Quick Overview:

I used McCalls 6886 for the body and sleeves.  Instead of contouring as the pattern piece is constructed I boxed it and took out the contour.  The neckline, cuffs, and waistband was made of Ponte Roma Knit.  In hindsight, I should have used a not so tightly woven knit.  

Happy Sewing!

Monday, October 20, 2014


Yes, you got me this time, but I am coming for you and I will be the victor.  I will conquer you!  Be prepared for defeat.  

I've been working on some of my Pinterest Inspiration projects.  As I find garments that I want to recreate I quickly pin them to my "Things I want to Sew" board on Pinterest.  I have been eyeing this top for months, and finally I found (already had actually) the perfect fabric to recreate this look. 


The Top is found here:  Sugar Love Boutique.

The fabric is a very stretchy Jersey Knit.  Its been in my stash for months but I never paid much attention to it until just recently when I saw this top.  

Ok so now come the issue, THIS NECKLINE.  Here is my version so far and OH my the neckline is is killing me:


Needless to say, I am going to take this apart and redo it.  I can't stand it and it is going to cause me all kinds of angst and heartache.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, October 13, 2014

For the Not So Cool Florida Nights: The Cocoon Cardigan

When I found this sweater knit fabric it was in the remnant bin of a local fabric store.  It was a little over 2 yards and the price was right, so of course I had to have it (I need no reason at all to buy fabric).  Immediately I knew based on the weight that it would be some sort of sweater or outer garment. 

When I first came across this tutorial on Pinterest, I knew I had to make this and immediately my sweater knit fabric popped in my head.  I literally couldn't wait to make it.  The Tutorial is from  Kelli of Truebias.com: DIY Cocoon Cardigan.  She did wonderful job explaining how to make this quick and easy cardigan, and I plan to make many more.  Here she is:


Back View:


Side View:


The tutorial was very easy to understand, and everything went together quickly.  I am not exactly happy with the the gathering at the top/back, but I can definitely live with it.  I may pick it apart later if I feel inclined too, but for now I am happy with it. 

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Vogue 8968: Mishaps, Messups and Oops

What looks so simple sometimes can be more than a notion (play on words, ha).  My dear cousin Kendra asked me to make Vogue 8968 for her a couple of months ago. Yes, I am just getting started sort of.  I actually started a few weeks ago, but I had a few mishaps. 

First let me say, this is why I am very selective of what and for whom I sew for.  Not that my dear cousin Kendra is a problem, but my mistake letting her pick the fabric.  A very ravelly (is that a word?), a silky not so pleasant fabric to work with.  

I was half way through getting it done when I made a huge boo boo.  Yes, I cut right through the middle of the darn dress not paying attention.  

A gash so huge I couldn't recover from:


so needless to say I had to go buy fabric and start all over again.  On to my second attempt, and again I was not paying attention, and I did't add the extra length in it as I was asked to do so, so that the dress would be a little longer. Back to Joann's I went and again, I had to start all over.  Not to mention the freakin dress requires that you slip stitch the entire bottom section inside the dress. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.  Why do I continue to do this to myself.  

So tuned, hopefully I will be done today with this nightmare this evening. 

Happy Sewing!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Party Sewing: Off the Shoulder Mermaid Flared Bottom Skirt Dress (woo what a name)

I had the pleasure of making a dress for my dear friends 50th Birthday celebration. The the theme was "A Crimson Affair".  

She contacted me a couple of months ago and asked if I would make her an outfit.  I was honored, but shortly after her asking me, I loss my Father, and with everything going on, I loss time.  She was patient and waited until I was ready to start her project which was two weeks out from her party.  She is very tall so we wanted to go with something that would show off her long frame. 

We had the best time deciding on what she would wear and ultimately picking this very flattering Off the Shoulder Mermaid Flared Bottom Skirt:

Off the Shoulder Flared Bottom Mermaid Dress

And this is my lovely friend wearing her dress:


I also made my outfit which will be spotlighted in the next post, and our mutual and dear friend, which happens to me her bestfriend (figure that out if you will).  Her name is Vera, and she's my sons Godmother.  Here the inspiration and final garment:


And here we are in our crimson creations made by me:

The Crimson Birthday Celebration was fabulous!  I was ecstatic watching my creations on the dance floor and the smiles on my friends face!  #itsmelaniedarling #customsewing #seamstress #sewist #sewingblogger #burgundy #birthdaycelebration

Happy Sewing!

The Ultimate Pant Set: A Crimson Affair

The past couple of weeks have been a blur.  I have had so much on my plate, and I was so afraid I wouldn't meet any of my deadlines.  So after my Fathers home going celebration I jumped right into my project sewing. 

I went to a birthday party this past weekend for a dear friend and who I made a lovely dress for along with my outfit and our mutual friend.  The celebration was lovely.   Here are the details for the outfit I made for me and the inspiration which I found on Pinterest:


I had this lovely Ponte Roma Knit for sometime and wasn't sure exactly what I was going to make with it.  It was onsale though I do not need a reason to buy Ponte Roma Knit since it is my ultimate and most favorite fabric, but the minute I saw it on the Mood Fabric website and the price which I believe was $6.00 per yard, I had to have it.  It so blush and soft and I just love it.  

My initial ideas was to make a jumpsuit like my inspiration picture, but I thought where else would wear it and how much wear would I actually get out the jumpsuit.  So I decided to go with the a pant set instead with modifications.  

Pant Set Details, I used two different patterns to create this look:

Top:  I used  McCalls 6650, which is now out of print.  I used a Maroon colored organza for the Pussybow sash and added about 4 inches so that it would hang very long and flow when I walk.  I decided not to tapper the shoulders either, as I didn't think that would be very flattering on me. Opted to not put fringe on the sash so that the top could be used for any occasion like so:


Bottom:  I used my tried and true McCalls 6083, which I always get a great fit with.  I decided to make slit pockets instead of the patterned dropped pockets. I made a elastic casing for the waistband and added an inch in the length of the waist so that they hugged me a little higher on the waist.

I am so very pleased at how the entire outfit came out.  Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Thank You All So Much.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my blogging family for your well wishes and condolences on the passing of my Father.  I wish that I could thank each and everyone of you personally, and I will try and do that. But for now, I just want you all to know that I appreciate each and every one of you.

My Fathers home going service was very nice and we were surrounded by so many loving family and friends.  Death is something we sometimes can never prepare for even when we know our love ones are dying.  Death is so final, so I am going to miss his raspy voice and his constant need to fuss about every little thing.  I am so glad I got the opportunity to spend some very precious time with him before his soul left his body.  

Bye Bye Daddy, love you!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Therapeutic Sewing! Burda 7202

Sewing to take my mind off the loss of my father.  I so need to beef up my fall wardrobe so I decided to make myself a few tops and the first one I chose was Burda 7202.  I do not particularly like Burda patterns only because I find the instructions somewhat confusing.  Whenever I sew a Burda Pattern, I find myself just doing it my way based on the pattern pieces. 

Happy Sewing!

Grieving the Loss of My Dad.

I loss my Father this past Sunday after celebrating my Moms birthday.  My parents divorced when I was very young, but I was gifted great Stepparents from them both.  

Though he and I have had our issues from time to time, most recently we were closer than ever.  He has fought some major health battles this past year, in and out of the hospital, but was doing a little better when he came home last weekend.  

He had a way of making you want to grab and choke him in one moment and laugh and hug him all at the same time.  He was a Teddy Bear who tried so hard to be a Grizzly Bear.  I am going to miss you Daddy.  Rest in Peace.  

Mel Mel.

unknown author

Bye for now Daddy!