Saturday, November 23, 2013


I had the privilege to test another pattern, the Madelaine Shirt by the designer Parnuuna of sewing patterns. You may remember the bright pink Lucinda skirt that I tested earlier this year. (View here: Pink Happy Thoughts Lucinda Skirt)

The new design is the Madelaine raglan sleeve shirt with beautiful lace on the lower sleeves that is extra long so it can be scrunched around the wrist. The shirt features a tantalizing applique of your choice of Ravens (I reduced my Raven by 25%) and body and upper sleeves of the shirt is made from jersey or knit fabric. (Pattern link at bottom)

Fabrics used :
*Black knit jersey from
*Black knit lace from
*Stripe knit jersey for raven from

 *I used the size 40 for my model.
 *Available in a large range of  Sizes: 34 – 50 (European sizes)
 *Found sizing for my model to be true to measurements given.

Digital Pattern Details: 3 PDFs:
 *A 18 pages Pattern + 1 test page – ready to cut out when assembled.
 *A 31 pages step-by-step picture tutorial to guide you through the whole       process.
  *An 8 pages printable description

The Madelaine t-shirt design is appealing by 16-year-olds in vintage high-tops, to the 20somethings or even the more mature group who wish to look fashion forward. If you're looking for a T-shirt alternative, this knits-only pattern is a fantastic option. It comes in a large range of sizes (34 – 50 European sizes) to suit many figure types. It can be worn with jeans or the complimentary Madelaine skirt, also available at for free. (pattern link at bottom)

       This pattern features many options such as having two different Raven applique’s to choose from or no applique at all. The separate sleeve pieces could be pieced together to make the sleeve in one fabric instead of the lace and fabric combination. The pointed hem can be changed to a round or straight hemline based on your preference.

     The instructions are very detailed with photos for every step. Trust me there is no guess work with these instructions! Any beginner that is comfortable sewing with knits would be at ease on this pattern. It's easy, fast and you get such a fabulous and professional looking result.

The big pattern companies could take some tips from BeMyGoth designer!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Nap Time Blanket and Pillow For Kindergarten

Here is another' long ago creations' that I made for my little boy when he started kindergarten. He is now in the Air Force and is greatly missed at home. This is a little blanket made from all cotton fabric with a race car print mixed with solids red and blue. I made a matching little pillow from the race car cotton. When I made this for my son, I had hoped he would remember that mommy made it for him and that I was kind of there with him during nap time. He always loved taking this to school and then it became his travel blanket over the years till one day I caught him wrapping it around his regular pillow on his bed  when he was just 13. That's my boy!!! haha It's now put away in a safe place so that one day when he is ready for it again, I can give it back to him good as new. Enjoy the project but enjoy who you're making it for more!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Nathan's Toddler Bed Sailboat Quilt

This little quilt was made for my son years ago when he moved into his toddler bed. I used a nautical themed cotton fabric and 12" square sailboat blocks. There is a rope trim around the edges. I had also made window valances that matched the nautical fabric, but do not have a photo of the room. The quilt block pattern is from a Georgia Bonesteel quilting book from the 1980's. All cotton quilting fabric was used with cotton quilt batting. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Upcycling A Fur Coat into a Hat

Faux Fur Hat Made From Fur Coat
Upcycling A Fur Coat into a Hat

I always love going to costume party's. Last weekend I attended a party that required us to dress up as a character from the old Pink Panther movies. I chose the character Olga, the Russian Spy. She was wearing a long fur coat and fur hat in the movie. Well, first problem, I didn't own a fur coat or hat, so I headed to our local Goodwill and found two fur coats that were the same. One to wear as is and the other to make into a matching hat. (note: not real fur). I used this tutorial by Love To Sew:  Here are photos of the before and after:
Faux Fur Russian Style Hat made for party.
Faux Fur Russian Style Hat made for party.

Coat before the Hack
At the party as Olga the Russian spy
Olga (The Russian Spy

Olga The Russuan Spy
Inspector Clueseau with Olga Russian Spy
2nd coat hacked!

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Second Mind Body and Sew Patterns Dress!!

This weekend was my twin daughters 25th birthday and flew home to celebrate with their parents. On their birthday I have them go thru my fabric and patterns to choose a garment that I will later mail to them. Well, they were having no part of mailing this dress and wanted it before they had to go back to the airport. WHAT!!!  I've made two of these dresses and the second one in about 4 hours. Getting faster with each one I make. haha 
My daughters chose a pattern that I was testing from  SEW ACTIVE PATTERNS ("Face the Sun Wrap Top/Dress Pattern) and some really cool jersey fabric that had purchased from ( and had in my stash. 
Now about this dress. Before you board your flight  4 hour wrap dress. 
The grey, black and yellow hexagon fabric looks like one fabulous maze.  Complete with a surplice style neckline and flattering, tie-wrap waist. Its a formfitting silhouette with quarter-length sleeves that has a flawless look. 

Photos by: Hannah Brasher(daughter) and Model is: Gwendolyn Shearrow(daughter)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mind, Body & Sew Patterns Knit Wrap Dress/Wrap Top Pattern Review


             Knit Wrap Dress/Wrap Top Pattern Review

 This style of dress is very appealing to me because of ease of dressing with
a flawless look and the variety of fabrics available in knits. The pattern is not
complicated in it’s design. However, since it does not include line drawings
or photos of steps I would not recommend for a beginner (Designer has added diagrams since reviews and would be appropriate for beginners). If you are an
intermediate sewist, it does come together rather easily.

The instructions are written in a conversational manner. I think it would
make most sewists feel comfortable. Overall the pattern is well written., with
just a few suggested changes for clarification. There were a few times when
attaching the binding was not clear without rereading a few times. This part
could have been addressed a little better so you understood that these
pieces will be showing on the outside of the finished dress/top.

This pattern has no images or diagrams, but since reviews has added diagrams. I do believe that photos can sometimes make a pattern easier to understand although diagrams can do
the trick. The pattern relies heavily on understanding garment construction.
The pattern pieces are labeled and easy to understand.

Like I stated earlier, this is a easy little dress for a Intermediate sewist. It does come
together rather easily, but you have to be ready to take your time and read
the instructions carefully. You also need to be able to sew a very straight
line to attach the binding/trim strip. Just take your time…

The fit seemed a little on the small side but not un-wearable. I made the XS
for my model, U.S. sizes 0-2 and body measurements were at the lowest
part of the measurements on the sizing. My model wore a lace cami under
the dress for modesty but could be worn without. Sizes range from XS (0-2) to XL (16) and can be made into a top as well. 

Overall this dress is fun to sew and will get easier the more often you make
it, as with any pattern! Take your time and sew slowly and precisely. I am
very pleased with the finished dress and am sure you will be too!

Dress/Top pdf pattern can be bought for $9.99 here: Face The Sun Wrap Top/Dress Pattern
My fabric was from "Laguna Stretch Cotton Jersey Chevron Yellow here:

Photos taken by Gwen Brasher-Shearrow (daughter)
Model is Hannah Brasher (daughter)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Oscar De La Renta Look a Like

As you may know, I tested a pattern for a few months ago. The Lucinda skirt pattern, available here: I used Oscar De La Renta fabric from Mood Fabrics. Well, recently I ran across a very similar skirt by Oscar De La Renta here: , for a whopping $1290!

Here are the two skirts, they are both the same color but my photos look slightly different:
Oscar De La Renta Skirt $1290

Skirt I made using Oscar De La Renta Fabric and pattern $30

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mixed media sewing 

Mixed media sewing - The creative processes of tearing, burning, staining, layering, image transfers, knitting, crochet, sewing and using unique design materials such as plastic bags, photographs, yarn, paint and more. (Why not use all of them!?)

More than ever before, sewers are discovering the thrill of combining sewing with mixed-media, showing the world that stitches are not just for fabric anymore!
Here is an example of using this technique in clothing:

Whether you're already a rule-breaker or you're looking to improvise by creating fabric and designs that explodes with color, pattern, and soul. I challenge you to liberate your sewing! I give you the green light to make surface design and mixed media art by breaking the rules. This could satisfy your deep down need for justification for NOT sewing on the straight and narrow.There is no right or wrong way of creating. 

How many of you have considered trying to make a piece of wearable art? How do you feel about this type of sewing? Do you have a recommendation for mixed media websites to check out? And what is your sewing style?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


I have to be extremely honest with myself on the subject of sewing. The excitement and creativity seemed to hit a all time low for me until this skirt pattern, Lucinda by BeMyGoth. Available for download here: For some reason the details of this one really appealed to me and my mind began to swirl with fabric and trim ideas. Since I was doing a pattern test for the designer on this one, I decided to go with the simplest of details .  I also did not use the pockets due to the fabric being to stiff for the design. (Make note to self: make again in different fabric to use pockets). 

This is the perfect garment pattern to use some recently acquired beautiful Hot Pink light wool fabric from Mood Fabrics for $30 per yard.  Sold on in the shop section under fabrics. Here:
Content: Wool-100%
Designer: Oscar de la Renta
Country: Italy
Width: 61"

Overall the details of the Lucinda were easy to follow and the pieces fit together beautifully. Smart skirt with cute corset waist detail. Zipper closure at back. This visually graphic PDF takes you through the easy steps to create this skirt, including a supply list, step-by-step charts, and Lots of photos Level: Intermediate / Advanced

Saturday, May 25, 2013

U.S. Air Force Wreath

This wreath was made in honor of my son who is serving in the U.S. Air Force. I used a wire wreath frame and a little over a yard of camo fabric. The fabric was cut into 1 inch by 8" strips and tied around the frame. I embroidered, by machine, "U.S. Air Force" & "Brasher" badges. The bow was made from about 2 and half yards of ribbon. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Embroidery Brooch Kit For Kollabora Open Lab Evening


This little embroidery brooch kit can be purchased through Kollabora here: Chained Embroidered Brooch Kit and here: Native red/purple Brooch Kit

I made this when I went to visit the office of Kollabora for work and play. I am one of the "Kollabora Community Experts" that helps out with any questions that our community might have. 

Now on to the play time (open Lab). I was traveling from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and did not bring a project to work on but was given one of these wonderful Brooch Kits by Urbahnika that they had in stock. I found it quite fun to make and think I did okay for my first one. I hope to do more soon. Simply too much fun not to.

Even more fun was meeting the wonderful friends to craft with and they were all working on their own crafts, from knitting, sewing, embroidery, leather work and chain jewelry. If you are ever in the New York SOHO area when Kollabora has their "open lab" on the first Tuesday of each month, please attend. You will love it!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I just signed the petition "Restore funding to the military tuition assistance program." on

It's important. Will you sign it too? Here's the link:


Friday, March 1, 2013

Sewing Books I'm Using and Reading

 Sewing Books I'm Using and Reading

Here is some photos of the lovely sewing books I am presently using, reading or intend to use in the near future. Also, I would like to note that I am a sewing book enthusiast and will probably need to seek help for this problem in the near future. Hahahah...

Starting from the top photo at the top of the books I will list the books and author if you wish to check on these for your self.

1. "The Dressmaker's Technique Bible" A complete guide to fashion sewing by Lorna Knight May be purchased here:

2. "Hat Shop" 25 Project to sew, from Practical to Fascinating. By Susanne Woods May be purchased here:

3. "ShapeShape" Sewing Clothing Patterns to wear Multiple Ways. Natsuno Hiraiwa  May be purchased here:

4. "Sewing Bits & Pieces" 35 projects using fabric scraps. by Sandi Henderson May be purchased here:

5. "Sewn by Hand" two dozen projects stitched with needle & thread. by Susan Wasinger May be purchased here:

6. "Couture Sewing Technique" Revised & Updated  by Claire B Shaeffer May be purchased here:

7. "One-Yard Wonders" 101 sewing project to be made with one yard of fabric. by Rebecca Yaker & Patricia Hoskins may be purchased here:

8. "Amy Butler's Little stitches for little ones" 20 keepsake projects for baby and mom. May be purchased here:

9. "The Burdastyle Sewing Handbook" 15 creative projects & master patterns. By Nora Abousteit with Alison Kelly. May be purchased here:

10. "Burdastyle Sewing Vintage Modern" Mastering Iconic Looks from the 1920's to 1980's. 19 creative projects with master patterns. May be purchased here:

11. "Gertie's New Book For Better Sewing" A modern guide to couture-style sewing using basic vintage techniques. by Gretchen Hirsch  May be purchased here:

12. "The Colette Sewing Handbook" Inspired Styles and Classic Techniques for the New Seamstress. Includes 5 Exclusive patterns from Colette Patterns. By Sarai Mitnick  May be purchased here:

13. "Sewing Clothes Kids Love" 10 Full size Sewing patterns & instructions for boys and girls outfits. by Nancy J. S. Langdon & Sabine Pollehn may be purchased here:

I wish you luck on not becoming a collector of sewing books as I have! If your already hooked then your in good company. Enjoy the books and keep sewing with a smile!