Pattern Drafting adventures: Pants or skirt?

Later this afternoon, I’m hoping I have time to draft a pattern for a maxi skirt or pair of pants.

I already have the fabric set aside for the outfit. The only things left is to set aside the time to actually get that accomplished. Of course, that means pulling out the drafting paper, getting my rulers used for drafting, pencils and laying everything out on the large table. I already have the top that will compliment the pants or skirt. It’s that ruffled shirt that’s still waiting in the shadows for inspiration.

You know what would be awesome? Having time to actually start sewing the garment today. This new article of clothing will be a mix of machine and hand-sewn stitches.

Embroidered medicine bag…

This machine embroidered bag was a fun project to create.

Last evening, I could not come up with the proper name for it, but earlier today, while I was hand stitching the opening, I realized that I could call it a medicine bag. No… not the mainstream medicine, but natural medicine. This tiny bag, makes the perfect compartment for storing small amount of dried herbs from our garden to keep or that could be gifted to a loved one. Additionally, the bag would also  be a great place to tuck in some heirloom seeds. However, this bag is being used as a place to store my daughters iPad charger and ear plugs. Yes, she claimed it! No worries, I’ll be making another just for me.

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Embroidered Medicine bag- Water soluble stablizer is still covering the design

Inspired by the fallen leaves of autumn, I added the colors I see around the house to some of the leaves on the embroidered design. There is still some work to be completed on the above bag. For example, the white twill tape is temporary. I used it because it was the only thing I had on hand. It’ll be darker. In the next few days, I’ll be purchasing dark brown, green or orange ribbon. Additionally, I’ll put a metal clamp at the front of the closure also.

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Self lining

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this bag was lined with the same fabric. The cotton is very tightly woven. In fact, one of my serger needles broke when I was going through about eight layers of thickness.

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Embroidered Medicine bag


The opening was hand stitched with some of my machine embroidery thread. I double-knotted the thread and closed the raw edges using the buttonhole stitch.

I’ve already posted this tutorial on how to make the buttonhole stitch, but it’s so good, it deserves a repost.


Urban Threads – Tree Goddess

A heavy iron…

4x5 originalMany of my sewing accessories are vintage. I use them because of their quality. I often wonder about the history of the items I own. Who used them before? How often did they use them and what was their life like?

Recently, I finally got around to purchasing an “new to me” iron. I like an iron that is heavy. I also favor metal instead of plastic. At times, it seems you have to search long to find an iron with that trait. Take for example the one I have. It’s mainly plastic, and I’ve had it for a few years, but at times it can be unpredictable. Sputtering and spitting steam all over the place when it doesn’t want to cooperate. When it does, it smooths out the wrinkles, but without the added weight that I adore.

Often, I found myself drifting back to the old Proctor Silex steam iron that I used when I was a child. It was my fathers iron before he married mom. He let me have it since I loved it so much and so that iron followed me from elementary school well into my twenties. I only discarded it because one time I forgot to remove the water and when I turned it on, a few weeks later it sprayed out rusty brown water.  I held onto it for quite some time, hoping it would recover, but it never did and so sadly I tossed it aside.

I’ve decided, finally, that it’s high time that I replace my modern iron with an antique heavy iron.

American Beauty Iron
American Beauty Iron – 16 pounds


I immediately went to Ebay, found a reputable seller and purchased this iron.

Sadiron – 20 pounds


Almost a week later, I went back to Ebay and placed a bid on the above sadiron. It weighs 20 pounds and was made in the 1800s. Yesterday, I was thrilled when I received the notification that I’d won!  I should be receiving both later this week. With the sadiron, I’ll be using a new technique (to me) on some of my garment construction. Immediately after using a my dry press iron, I’ll follow with the sadiron.

I first heard about sadirons when I read Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Little House on the Prairie. I was seven and had been handsewing for one year.

“Then Ma took the sadiron out of the wagon and heated it up by the fire. She sprinkled a dress for Mary and a dress for Laura and a little dress for Baby Carrie, and her own sprigged calico. She spread a blanket and a sheet on the wagon seat, and she ironed the dresses.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie


In the above video, Rory Duffy (bespoke tailor) talks about this technique shortly after the one minute mark. I’ve watched his The Making of a Coat video several times and I always seem to glean additional information. Take for example, using a paintbrush to apply water to the cloth. I’d been using a spray bottle. I’ll definitely try the paint brush on some of the garments I’m making and see how it compares to what I’m already doing.



Vintage Electric Irons


Machine Embroidery: Tree Goddess

Down time, cold days and weekends always make me want to curl up by a roaring fire. After I’ve been outside. It’s even better if you can do that with your loved ones. I love the outdoors and spend much time out there as possible.

Today, my daughter and I did just that.  After being outside, we spent some of the day getting toasty bonding by our wood burning stove. The only thing missing was a thick mug of hot cocoa.

Afterwards, I went up to my crafting room and did some handcrafting. I worked on the project that I’ve shown below.  Since I love autumn and the lovely leaves that have fallen in our yard, I decided to add some of those colors that I see to this embroidered design.

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Machine Embroidery – Tree Goddess


The embroidered design was created on sturdy cotton cloth and it was made into a small bag. The bag was lined with the same fabric, machine sewn and serged and a small tube (that a drawstring could pass through) was hand basted to the top to secure it in place. So you see… I was able to do some hand sewing! After the basted stitches were secured, I serged the seams and removed the hand basted stitches.

I must admit, it feels strange watching the machine doing all the stitch work. It can be hard for someone who loves creating sewing with their hands, to sit back and watch… but I’m getting better at watching the machine. Of course, there’s a lot that goes into machine embroidery before I can actually watch the machine. I need to chose the proper stabilizer, select the proper threads and hoop or float the material.

This isn’t the first time I created this design. The other two instances, when this was created, I wasn’t impressed with some of the threads I’d chosen. Yes, it was purely user error. You see… the outline thread that I chose was much too light for the fabric. The saying goes, that the third time is the charm and I must say I do adore the thread colors I chose for my embroidered bag.


Tree Goddess
Urban Threads – Tree Goddess

It’s not one of my own designs, although I do make those using my Embird software; however, this design was purchased from Urban Threads. I love their machine embroidered designs. I’ve included what their sample looks like above, and the design is called Tree Goddess.



Urban Threads – Tree Goddess

Thread Lover

Red threadI’ve finally decided to create a site dedicated to my love of threads.

To be perfectly honest, creating such a site is something I’ve been fighting for a few years, but recently my eclectic site has been getting inundated with a slew of handcrafted goodness. I’ve been blogging since 2003, and have had websites since 1998. I’ve been around for a while. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with writing about my love of many things thread related on my eclectic site, but I realized that not everyone that stops by that site wants to see the endless parade of thread related topics and so… here I am! wasn’t my first choice. The first domain, was taken. Ditto for and so I settled on Threadlover. Initially, I wasn’t too thrilled with the name. But in time, I started to like how it sounded. Thread Lover, Threadlover... ok, the name is growing on me. It seems to fit.

Whether it strands of thread, fiber, cloth or yarn… threads are my base and different mediums are used to create my handcrafted items; knitting, embroidery, sewing and weaving are my favorites; however, I also crochet and create loom woven and off the  loom woven beaded jewelry.


Knitted hat - Kitty Love hat_3-001
Knitting: Kittens in Love

My favorite portable project is knitting and so you’ll see me  knitting constantly, regardless of the season. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of machine embroidery but I’m itching to get back into sewing clothing again.

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Sewing: Ruffled shirt

My most recent sewing project is the above ruffled shirt. I’ve taken in the shoulders since this photo. Guess what?  It’s  been gathering dust for weeks since I think it’s missing something. This started out as a plain shirt, no ruffles. A simple project that would take me a day to complete, a few days tops. However, shortly after I started sewing I thought it needed something. That “something” turned out to be a ruffle. I added that. But then, I didn’t like the size of the ruffle and so I removed the ruffle, cut it down and reattached it to the neckline. The above photos was taken before I shortened the ruffle. And now, I think it need something more. Perhaps the ‘something more, will be a machine embroidered design or possibly some hand sewn bead work? We’ll see…

This weekend, and for the next week or so, I’m going to work on hand sewing buttonhole techniques. I have several machines; six if you really want to know, but I truly love the fine art of hand sewing.

Check out the above video and be in awe of a hand sewn buttonhole.  Well… perhaps you aren’t as awestruck with it as I am? I love making hand sewing buttonholes, but have not made any in a while. It’s time that I change that, don’t you think? Later today, I’m working on a small buttonhole project. I’ll be sure to post what I create here on Threadlover.