#MMM17- Jersey Tunic Top


Hi sewists, for this Me-Made-May 2017 post, here’s a sweet little tunic top I recently made based on New Look’s pattern S0172.


When I decided that this would be a sleeveless version, I made some changes using View B as my base pattern. First in the armscye, I dropped the bottom of the armhole about 5/8″, moved the shoulder seam in and then opened up the overall shape of the armhole curve in the front and back creating a less constricting opening. I also lowered the neckline about 3/4″ in both the front and back.


For the top half of the back of the tunic, I carried over the same fabric from the front and for the bottom section, I used a remnant piece of gray and royal blue striped jersey knit, from my stash. Btw the main fabric is a lightweight, 2-way printed jersey knit from Mood Fabrics NYC. I loved the colors and design that mixed florals and cool lettering graphics. This easy tunic paired well with a light sweater, jean leggings and booties on this cool, overcast Spring day at the Jones Family Farm Winery,


For more information on Me-Made-May17, click here.


#MMM17 Asymmetrical Knit Tunic Top



Loving my knits! I purchased this Craftsy online class that features Marcy Tilton’s Vogue Pattern 9057, view B. This was round one so to speak. The class offers many ways to incorporate different knit fabrics into one top: using neckline, sleeve and length variations. This top, using only one fabric, was my test drive. I used a lightweight, printed, two-way stretch knit from Mood NYC. This top is perfect for cool spring days. I paired it with skinny jeans and suede booties. I’m looking forward to sewing up another and trying two or more different knits!

For more information on Me-Made-May 2017, click here.

Craftsy.com offers many wonderful online sewing tutorials at reasonable prices. Check them out here.

This picture was taken in The Magical Gardens, Philadelphia PA by hubs.


Me-Made-May 2017, Neoprene Take 2


Since May has been a month of temperature extremes, I’m going for one more #MMMay17 post about using Neoprene also called Scuba Knit.


Love this pattern, McCalls 7122. A perfect choice for this heavy knit. Neoprene, as I mentioned in a previous post, works best in a garment with less seaming. This little pullover dress has a modified, sweet “fit and flare” type silhouette: fitted a bit more through the bodice and flaring out like a skater dress. I used dress view B with the long sleeves from view A. The shoulder seams remind me of a baseball practice jersey! I made the neckband using a bias strip of Ponte knit.


Neoprene is so cozy! I scored this fabric from Mood NYC. I enjoyed wearing yesterday when I spent the day shopping with my Mom and daughter. We have a tradition of “Malling” the day before Mother’s Day. A perfect day to be inside as the weather was awful:  a rainy and windy spring Nor’easter!

Since today is Mother’s Day, I’m wishing all a very happy day!

For more info on #MMM17, click here.

Photo credit to Tess

#MMM17 Still Jumper Weather!


Hi there sewists! Time for another #MMM, Me Made May 2017, post.  According to the calendar it’s Spring but when the temps dipped into the mid 40’s, making it quite nippy this morning, I was all about wearing this jumper to school!

I have had this mid weight, cotton linen blend in my stash for quite a while. It’s olive drab in color with horizontal lines and threads slubs in other earth tone colors. I made it up based on McCalls pattern M7120, view D. It’s a pullover style jumper that is semi fitted.  It can also definitely be belted. And of course it has “must have” on-seam pockets, large enough to hold my cell.



The jumper has a shaped high-low hemline.


The armhole are low enough so that I can wear a top underneath or not!

Love this versatile transition dress!

Photos courtesy of JJ

#MMM17 Begins!

Hi there sewing enthusiasts! It’s that time of the year for Me-Made-May.

For those of you familiar with New England/Northeast weather, you will totally appreciate this garment, as my first post for #MMM17!

I’ve been hankering to work with Neoprene and this jacket was a great choice. Neoprene or suba knit has a pretty hefty hand and so creating a garment without a lot of seams made sense. I used McCalls MP285 as a starting point. It is described as a “very loose fitting hooded jacket with sleeve, pocket and length variations.” And change it up I did! I opted out of the 3/4 length sleeve for a longer one, added overall length and enlarged and lined the pockets. Another lil detail was to create a bias tape to encase the seam where the hood meets the jacket. I used that same snazzy printed knit to line the pockets.

Neoprene is water resistant and makes a nice toasty layer for those damp spring days.

These photos were taken in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia by my patient hubs! If you visit Phily, make a pitstop to Pizza Brain in Fishtown for some the most delicious pizza ever!

For more info on #MMM17, click here, http://sozowhatdoyouknow.blogspot.com

Organic Dyeing with “Blood Madder” Concentrated Powder Extract


On a wintery day during our February school break, I did some organic fabric and fiber dyeing. This time I used “Blood Red Madder,” concentrated powder extract. My source for this vegetable dye was Organic Plus.


I decided to try a little experiment. Two dye baths were set using the same selection of pre-washed and mordanted fabrics:  cottons, linen and cotton canvas. The first dye bath,  set up in a stainless steel pot, stayed on my heated stove top for the entire dyeing process. Fabrics from that bath are pictured above. In the second dye bath, set up in a 5 gallon bucket, I used hot water but did not cook it on the stove top. Those fabrics from the second dye bath are pictured below.


You can see that the fabrics from the first heated dye bath did produce slightly darker, richer colors, but honestly it wasn’t a significant difference. If I had enough large stainless pots, I would probably keep the baths on the constant heat, but I was also pleased with the dyed fabrics from the second unheated dye bath. Good to know, in a pinch, that you can still get some beautifully colored dyed fabric samples without the constant heat and cooking!




I also dyed rayon bias ribbon, cotton Cluny Lace and bobbins of cotton embroidery floss, pictured above. What a yummy bounty of warm and cool pinks and rose blushes. I am thrilled with the range of colors from both my batches of fabrics and fibers.

Can’t wait to incorporate these goodies in sewing and stitching projects!

What kinds of colorful makes are you creating these cold winter days?!

Creating Valentines 2017

Less than one week til Valentines Day and the studio has been humming with heartfelt creating. Hand-painted papers and fabrics are at the ready!

What treasures are you working on?!

New Years Organic Dyeing


To welcome in the New Year, I decided to set another organic dye bath, this time using an extract of Cutch. According to Kristine Vejar’s amazing book, The Modern Natural Dyer, Cutch “has more than a thousand  species…achieving colors ranging from copper to terra cotta.”  Linen, cotton and rayon fibers and fabric went into my pot.


Here’s my bounty! I was thrilled with the results. My color range was from a fawn to a mocha, subtle shades with warm rose brown undertones!

Happy New Year! What have you done to artistically/creatively herald in 2017?!

Merry Christmas Make & Give!



Merry Christmas Everyone! There is one more post of Make & Give and this one is a repeat recipient. Up the street we have neighbors where Mrs. is a RN, Mr. is a firefighter and one of their sons serves in the military, he has made several tours overseas. Every year we decorate a tree in patriotic colors to commemorate the family’s service to community and country. Their daily acts of bravery make my heart swell with civic pride. On the steps above this year’s mini spruce you can see trees from previous years…how nicely they have grown! A very Merry Christmas to these neighbors and to all men and women who serve our towns, states and country in every way.

Thank you for following this my third year of Make & Give. I hope I have offered some inspiration to encourage your own versions of making and giving during the holiday season. I am often asked where I find my ideas for my M & Gs. By just keeping my eyes and heart open, I find loads of inspiration. This year there were many extra M & G’s that I didn’t have enough days to include them all in my daily posts. Hmmm that brings to mind a new idea! Stay tuned!

Merry and Happy Holidays to you…B- and Stay Inspired!


Day 25 of My 25 Days of Make & Give: Playing Santa at the ER on Christmas Eve/Hanukah!


Years ago, I was a patient at the emergency room of one of our local hospitals on Christmas Eve. While we waited for what seemed to be an eternity, a family came into the Waiting Room and went around to every child and adult and gave each a little Christmas present, (mine was a toothbrush!) But what was most memorable was the gesture behind the gift. I remember saying to my husband that one day I would love to come back to return the favor.

This afternoon was that day!

My family and I were escorted around the different wings of the ER/Triage and were allowed to knock and enter rooms to distribute treats and peppermint candy canes. A few weeks ago, John and I went out shopping for coloring books, crayons, toiletries and candy. One afternoon while watching football games, John wrapped every single gift:  what a guy!

The ER was thankfully not too busy when we were there. We did stop in to visit and gift many people, who were delighted by our holiday cheer. The hospital coordinator told us that after midnight into Christmas morning the ER will be packed with patients, so we left all the other wrapped gifts for the staff to distribute as they saw fit.

I was so happy to establish this tradition and to do so with the support and presence of my hubs and two children.

Is there anyone going through a rough patch that you can reach out to over the holiday season? A few minutes of your time and concern will mean so much!

Merry Christmas Eve and Happy Hanukah to all!


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