Happy New Year 2017!

Dorothy's Evening Jacket 001
Gold colored Chinese silk evening jacket. Handmade knot closure

There is an old Chinese proverb that I have heard quoted, and adapted, and retold many ways. It goes something like this:

” Give a man  a fish and he eats for a meal. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime!”

My “sewing version” of that phrase says “Sew a woman a coat, and she wears it for a fashionable moment. Teach a woman how to sew, and she sews for a fashionable lifetime!”

The same can be said for teaching a man or a little boy to sew.

The sewing knowledge  usually spills over into that one  person sewing for husbands, wives, Aunties, kids + babies, Meemaw’s, Popop’s, or cousin Sue’s— many other of the “lifetimes” that cross their particular path. Better yet, the sewing knowledge  of the one spills over into that person teaching others to sew. It really doesn’t matter what level of sewing that you are at, when you teach someone else to sew, even the basics of  sewing skills,  then those others can have  potential to gain “fashionable lifetimes”.

So that is my sewing New Years resolution- Not only to try and be intentional about sewing  for myself, but  to expand more on the encouraging  on of  others as they learn how to keep the craft of sewing alive and  make it their own.

OK yeah — resolving to do more sewing for myself IS just like making that  New Years’ “exercise resolution”, but I will attempt to make it work.

Some of you may be thinking ” Cut the conversation, Tailorchick, and cut to the chase scene!!. Does that mean more  sewing tutorials on this blog for the new year?? ”  Probably. But be warned,  my opinion is that there is fundamentally  nothing  new under the “sewing sun”  that someone else has not done before or executed  already on another excellent  sewing blog. The sewing machine  technology may be new every year, but most sewing skills  and techniques needed for the job do not change.  Changing technology may change how you do a sewing technique, but having well  practiced, experienced, sewing skills in your own two creative  human hands is priceless for your own sewing  “fashionable  lifetime”.

Am I now getting too serious about sewing and taking all the fun out of it??  Hope not. Being serious about sewing and wanting to better my  core sewing skills  is my form of having fun with it all.  But I will try to keep you onlookers interested somehow with what comes out of my sewing room as I attempt to keep my  sewing resolution.

Am I an expert at this sewing thing?  Not by any means, and I think I have mentioned  that within this blog many times.  But other women and men  have taken the time to teach me the craft. I can only take some time to encourage  others  and do the same.

I trust that anyone who learns anything from me will  take it to the next creative level and  make  the skill their own.


Happy sewing to you  in 2017! May  all your sewing resolutions come true!

Happy New Year!



(Sadly )pickin’ the bones

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Went shopping at  The City Quilter for the last time this past Saturday.  Store closes on Wednesday of this week.

As I was shopping I felt like I was  “pickin’ the bones” of once meaty bird.  Bittersweet. Had good times with newly met quilting friends in this shop over the years. Also it  is sad that yet another store related to sewing and catering to sewing people in NYC is closing its doors. In it’s own small way  the shop was an extension of the quickly shrinking fabric/fashion district along  Broadway  and the garment district area. ( Yeah– Y’all, I am mourning the loss of Paron Fabric [38th st] and CHIC Fabric [40th st] as well. AND I have found out that  The Fashion Design Book Store on 27th street lost their lease and is also closing. OY- what a thing!!)

I will say in contrast, though, that I am glad  the CQ shop  is now FINALLY closing it’s doors, and ending the suspense that it wasn’t closing. This was the  LONGEST (4months-maybe ??? Felt like it!! )  store closing I had ever seen.  Usually a store will announce it’s closing and then 3weeks or 2weeks later, boom -it’s DONE.  Have a BIG sale-Doors shut! End of story.  Not CQ.  Felt like it was announced waaaay back in the late spring/ early summer ( feels like it..) that the shop was closing and the owners were retiring. I know it sounds macabre, but this felt like the longest wake and funeral of a store closing that I had ever been to. Those who know –know what I mean. Anyway…..

CQ was always a place to go and get great cottons for making summer clothes or great colorful fat quarters for making quick  cutesy little projects like the pin cushions pictured above ( and getting cottons usually cheaper per yard than I could get the cottons uptown at Mood or B&J fabrics.) Also a place go hang out with my friend Teri Lucas for a bit and talk Bernina  machine stuff. I will see Teri again- friendship doesn’t end with a store closing. Sorry Teri – you’re stuck with me.

Like most others, I will have to find somewhere else to get cottons for clothing or for quilting. After  going to Gotham Quilts here in the city, I guess I will have to hit that online trail for fabric  or hit Jersey, Queens or Upstate NY for LIVE shops. I will find the fabric to feed my  fabric addiction and keep my sewing machine humming.

Farewell City Quilter.  Thanks for the fabric. Thanks for the memories of sewing friends.

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Fall sewing fling


Happy Fall.

Been a bit since I last checked in.  Had not really sewn much for the summer after the draping class dates of the last post. Have spent  end of summer and all early fall enjoying a short break from sewing- particularly a break from sewing for other people. Spent last weekend enjoying a fall season  4day sewing fling at Camp Workroom Social.

For those of you who don’t know-there is no real physical campground named  “camp workroom social”. There IS however a sewing studio on Brooklyn NY named Workroom Social. Once a year the studio takes the sewing party to upstate NY to  host a fun and relaxing sewing retreat weekend at one of the best YMCA camps on the east coast. I had a great time. Going to this event always  feeds my “KIDULT”  i.e little  kid memories of  summer camp and the adult sense of  “get the heck out of NYC  for the weekend” and enjoy the scenic NY state fall foliage. In addition I  got to meet up with people  of all sewing levels who sew and want to talk sewing all weekend long. When we weren’t sewing , we were  doing real camp stuff like archery, zip lining, hiking, or visiting the wildlife  that lived in camp. Kinda wonderful.


Evening moon over the mountain ridge
Saturday morning hiking group

OK-  For all the feedback I heard from about 6 sewing friends who DID NOT go to the CWS weekend ( feedback like– “It was so expensive to go for just one weekend”, or ” there is not a lot of advanced sewing technique that is happening for the weekend”..) I have this to say about my best moment at camp:

There’s nothing quite like sitting around a  relaxed  fall  evening campfire after dinner, roasting  and eating S’mores ( with GOOD quality dark milk chocolate…) and talking fabric, patterns and sewing techniques– all the stuff your non sewing friends think you are crazy  for getting excited about. At camp I get to hang out  with the “sewing tribe” and do that. It did not matter what sewing level you were when you came to camp. Everyone was bound to learn something new or share a new technique from among all the different types of sewing folk who did come. Even though I already knew some of the sewing technique that was excellently presented in my class by my instructor, I put my own “spin” on what  the project was ( Yep-went a little  “rogue” and  put a little more tailoring in that Jacket than was called for in the pattern, but hey,  I was enjoying the class in my own quiet way, and my instructor was not bothered.)  For all the camaraderie and sewing good times to be had, it was worth the price. I would say start to  save your pennies in a jar starting now ( like I did last year…) and come to camp next year. It’s fun.

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Christine and Devon were great instructors !! Had good times  in class!


Weekend Draping Intensive!


Greetings friends…


This will be another time of creative “playing with muslin on a mannequin”. You will be able to drape and create the basic building blocks of clothing patterns, and be able to understand what makes garments what they are in terms of shape and in fit to the body! This can be helpful to your sewing skills as you more deeply understand how your favorite styles of clothing are created and sewn. I will teach you how to take the basic garment patterns you’ve draped and create the simple style variations to the pattern that may be your favorite style to wear. Come have fun with us this summer in draping class.!! You can register at the Workroom Social website at workroomsocial.com

Sewing Friends


Just talking about friends here in this posting.

My friend Nancy ( pictured above ) moved away to another state  recently and I will miss her!  It’s just as simple as that.

Some of you who  do more quilting than garment sewing may recognize Nancy from where she used to work at the City Quilter. Nancy has decided to take both her summer and, especially, her WINTER living to warmer climates. I really don’t blame her for that, considering the NY winters we have been having (–no, suffering through..) in recent years. I wouldn’t mind 73 degrees, no humidity, and no snow in January!

Nancy welcomed me into the quilting world and didn’t hold it against that I was  mainly a garment sewing person with a bad fabric addiction (quilting cottons make SUCH COMFORTABLE   clothing. I HAD to use them. And OH BOY- the colors!!!) Yeah- I think I have been stung by a  quilting bee. I will probably do more quilting since I discovered a whole new set of sewing friends that “come with”.

Don’t get it too twisted. I would never give up on my first love of garment sewing. On the contrary, I am now looking to see how many quilting techniques I can incorporate into garments. Turns out there is a lot  of creative things I can do in garment sewing, now that I am armed with some quilting skills. Hoping to show that off in the future as I sew for myself.

Oh yeah- the last thing Nancy asked me to do for her before her move was to make  her a corset! Sort of like a going away present. So I did! Nancy picked the fabric and I used a “fat quarter” for the binding of the corset edges and  for the modesty panel in the back of the corset. I set the grommets myself. I had a fun time making this corset for Nancy. She loved it.

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I am probably going to be doing more sewing for me in the coming seasons.  I need a rest from sewing for other people and I’m  feeling  like I am the  “abandoned stepchild” of my own sewing room and  sewing skills.  As far as sewing for others -Most people appreciate my sewing work, some don’t.  It can be hurtful to me sometimes when some don’t appreciate the work that goes into a custom made garment, but its ALL GOOD. I have learned  valuable lessons about myself, about  people and about  sewing with each sewing  encounter I’ve had.  I will DEFINITELY keep teaching sewing as others allow me to come into their creative sewing world. But I think it’s ME time.

Lastly -Nancy introduced me to two other wonderful sewing friends.  I mention them here in honor of mentioning Nancy.

One is Andrea- the owner of Gotham Quilts. Knowing Andrea has not only added a kindred sewing person to my life,  Gotham Quilts has  also  added more fabric to my already bad  fabric addiction. It’s wonderful !!

The other is named  Teri.


Teri is  fun woman!  You can see us here just goofing off for the camera. But seriously- Teri is an amazing and highly knowledgeable and skilled quilter. She is a Bernina Ambassador  and has helped me to learn and  get the most out of using my new Bernina machine.  Teri also keeps me laughing ( as you can see) and I appreciate her  lively, but dry sense of humor. Teri has a blog ( Terificreations.wordpress.com ) that I follow  not only because she is a friend, but I get to “expand my sewing horizons” by taking a look at the  news, and notes, and the links  that Teri posts there. It’s pretty good !

Well those are the two sewing friend gifts that Nancy left me before Nancy moved away. Nice to know I can still  text Nancy tonight and tell her  THANKS for  being a friend and leaving the friends to me that she has.

Happy sewing y’all.



Draping again!


Been a few weeks since my last post! Took an early summer vacation after sewing for wedding season, enjoyed being with my family in fresh air and rest. Sewing during vacation?? Hmmm… not so much!   But I am well rested and will be starting up sewing  and teaching again.

That being said:


This will be another time of creative “playing with muslin on a mannequin”.  You will be able to  drape and create the basic building  blocks of clothing patterns,  and be able to  understand what makes garments what they are in terms of  shape and in fit to the body! This  can be helpful to your sewing skills as you more deeply understand how your favorite styles of clothing are created and sewn.  I will teach you how to take the  basic garment patterns you’ve draped and create the simple style  variations  to the pattern that may be your favorite style to wear.  Come have fun with us  this summer in draping class.!! You can register at  the Workroom Social website at workroomsocial.com





Bride “B”

Last November I posted pictures of a couple of brides  dresses that I had been working on for the fall.  I featured “Bride  A” and “Bride B”. As you may recall I had not gotten pictures of ” Bride B” in her dress  – until now…  Take a peek!

As I wrote:

Bride “B” wanted an organic cotton, strapless, sweetheart neckline, A-line, lined in silk and cotton, floor length dress, with a 4 foot long (church length) train.We put a crinoline under the skirt for a gentle “poof” underneath. Bride and her mom picked out the lace for the bustier part of the dress. I thought it was a beautiful lace choice.

I am pleased at how the dress turned out and I am glad that Bride ( and  her MOM …) were also pleased with the dress.  From the message I got from Mother of the bride, the wedding day was fun  and joyous, and the bride felt good in her dress! YAY!

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Best Wishes to the happy couple!