Friday, July 14, 2017

Vintage McCalls 3254 (1970)

The other day I was shuffling through my vintage pattern collection trying to find something that would work with my new knit I had bought from  I was intrigued by a fabric called techno, but when I got it I wondered if it looked a little like double knit polyester with some stretch added for good measure.

I decided that it wasn't expensive fabric, that I had the perfect pattern-McCalls 3254, and it would be good practice for sewing with knits.

This dress sewed up like a dream.  The fabric was easy to work with and was forgiving.  The only thing I had trouble with was putting in a traditional zipper.  It made the fabric stretch and ruffle and it looked terrible, so I unpicked it and put in an invisible zipper instead.  

Since wearing this dress, I have received many compliments on it.  It doesn't look dated, and I guess it doesn't look like double knit polyester after all!

I love this photo.  "Hey, maybe we should take this picture over there."

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Wembly, by Seamwork

Wembly, by Seamwork, is a darling, knit jacket that I am planning on making more of in different colors.  I like it that much!

It was a delight to sew.  I don't sew quickly and I don't usually sew with knits, but this was a breeze to put together.  I even re-threaded my serger with dark thread, and I still got done quickly.  I haven't put new thread in my serger since I purchased it over 15 years ago!



Saturday, October 22, 2016


I finally tried my hand at knits.  I have a subscription to Seamwork Magazine that comes with two Colette patterns a month that can be made in under three hours. Well, that is, everyone else takes three hours.  You can double that or more for me.

I bought the suggested fabric from in the same color and here is how mine turned out.  The picture is just me in the kitchen and not as fancy as the photo above. 

This was my first foray into knits and it turned out quite well.  There is a gap in the left under panel for which I will have sew a dart, but overall I'm pleased.  I may just see if I can wash the sweater, and the gap, caused by stretchy fabric, may snap back into shape.

Techniques Learned

1. Sometimes re-threading your serger saves a trip to the sewing machine repair store.
2. Knits are easier than I'd previously thought.
3.  I learned how to make a thread chain.  According to Threads Magazine, this is a couture technique.  Yay for me. 


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Foster Without Flourish

Hello--after a three year hiatus.  I thought I'd start blogging again. Why?  I just wanted to have a way to document my creative finishes.  But this time I'm going to blog simply, without flourish.  I'm not going to stress myself out about fancy photos with a fancy camera.  I'm not going to worry about courting followers.  I'm just going to create and post photos with only a little explanation.

So here goes!

I have two finishes today.

Self-drafted straight skirt from a one-yard cashmere remnant (on sale). Lined, finished seams, ribbon hem tape, invisible zipper, blanket stitched pocket. 

cashmere skirt

cashmere skirt

cashmere skirt

cashmere skirt

cashmere skirt

Colette Brooklyn pattern from Seamwork Magazine subscription.  Purple stretch denim.  Rolled hem, front box pleat, exposed zipper.

Colette Brooklyn

Colette Brooklyn

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 1873

This was the pattern my daughter picked for her Homecoming dress.  She made 90% percent of it herself with me being the creative consultant/question answer-er/person to get frustrated with if things didn't go right.

My daughter chose a silver fabric and added a black lace overlay. We made a muslin of the bodice and found that the front fit fairly well, while the back had horizontal wrinkles from the waist down.  We made a vertical slash on each side of the center to ease the wrinkles and then transfered the additional ease to the paper pattern.  The dress turned out just darling.  


Gotta' show the shoes!

My daughter, who is a budding photographer, took these lovely photo of her friend in her dress. Much better than my smart phone photos!

copyright: 2013

copyright 2013

copyright fosterreviewsit 2013


This pattern was a great pattern and was easy to use--even for a new seamstress!

Linking with Salt Tree

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What Happened to Summer?

Here it is the middle of September already.  Well, time certainly flies when you are having fun.  

Several of my dear followers (comprising mostly of supportive relatives), who I thought forgot about me in my blogging absence, have asked when I would be popping my head in again.   Here I am to report on a wonderful and productive summer.

Custer State Park

I started with a trip to South Dakota.  Now before you say, "South Dakota? How boring." just like my kids did when we announced our vacation plans, let me assure you it was anything but boring.  Except for the Presidential Wax Museum.  If you ever go to South Dakota, don't waste your time on that.  Kitschy Americana, but the low point of the trip none-the-less. Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, Wall Drug, Reptile Gardens, Evan's Plunge, Deadwood; all great fun!
Reptile Gardens, Rapid City
Mount Rushmore

I also traveled to Seattle with my daughter and ate my first and last fried Oreo in Seaside, Oregon.  I don't recommend it!

I completed one, just one sewing project.  This lovely blouse from Simplicity 1779.  The fabric is a cotton lawn from Yellow Bird Fabrics.  This blouse was cinch to put together. 


Oooh, I have read so many fantastic (and some pretty rotton) books these past few months.  Reading everything I can get my hands on is my favorite summer indulgence.  I won't bore you with the every detail of the books, but a least you should know my least favorite and the books I absolutely loved.

My least favorite, and boy was this a bad romance, was Dear Lady by Robin Lee Hatcher.  Sorry Robin.  I just couldn't take multiple descriptions of the male character's "rugged good looks" and his "chiseled chin."  This was about a school teacher and was set in Montana.  My children kept asking why I kept reading it if I hated it so much.  Maybe it is because I am a school teacher and I read it while in Montana.  Or maybe it was because it was free at the used book store.  I guess now I know why it was free!

Let's move on to my three favorites this summer.  Catfish Ally by Lynne Bryant was a fabulous story in the tradition of The Help. I loved how the main character changes to confront her own racism.  The women are strong and have conquered many trials in their lives.  Great book.

I am generally not a fan of historical non-fiction.  My husband eats the stuff up, but I can't seem to enjoy it.  However, I loved The Doctors Wore Petticoats: Women Physicians of the Old West by Chris Enss.  Maybe I liked it because each short vignette kept my attention from wandering!  The spunk these women had is something to be admired.

By far my favorite book of all summer was Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant.  Oh my word, did I love this book!  It is about nuns in the late 16th century Italy.  Three very different nuns are the protagonists, and the book reveals their personal struggles and foreshadows the difficulties all nunneries will soon face because of "that heretic Martin Luther."   I learned so much about the times and nunneries that I never knew before, while still being entertained by a fantastic story.

It seems there is a trend here.  All the stories I loved were about strong women with their own minds.  Women who didn't need a man to be fulfilled.  They weren't "man haters" by any means, but they could stand on their own.  The books I hated were the romances.  I read three.  Very unusual for me.   

Finally, here is a photo of me tiling the bathroom.  That was after we removed the  horrible wallpaper underneath the horrible wallpaper!

Since I have taken this refreshing blog break, I've had some time to think about what I missed and didn't miss about blogging .  It turns out there were many things I didn't miss such as worrying about my photos.  I could never seem to get them quite right or in focus even though I had a great camera.  I just didn't have the time to learn. It takes a lot of time to edit and save photos and boy, it was sure nice to have extra time. (All these photos today are unedited straight from my iPhone.) I also didn't miss the pressure to post to linky parties and to keep up with every sew-along or quilt-along. The flip side to that, is that it is nice to have some focus to get projects completed.  

But I did miss writing and the process of journaling my sewing projects, books read, places traveled, and concerts attended.  I missed the community of fellow, sewists and book lovers, travelers, and artists.   I did pop by other blogs now and again, but rarely commented. 

I have to admit, I didn't miss it all that much.  However, from now on, I will just blog when I feel like writing, or when I have a great project to share.  See you all soon.