Sewing Pattern Reorganization


Why is it that I can’t seem to ever put away my sewing patterns?  I mean, I even wrote a huge blog post about organizing your sewing patterns.  You’d think I’d have this Sewing Room Organization thing under control.  No such luck.


I have turquoise binders,


pink binders,


and some more pink binders.

Did you count all the pattern binders?  Yep…there’s 18 of them! 5 Turquoise binders and 13 Hot Pink binders.

And that’s it.  I’m not buying anymore binders.  The bookcase where I keep my sewing pattern binders has 3 shelves which neatly fit 6 binders each…I’m maxed out at 18 binders.  There simple isn’t anymore room for patterns.

And I’m not buying anymore sewing patterns either.  Seriously…I rarely use any of them.  I buy them to read the construction details.  I’m always looking for a quicker way to do a sewing technique, etc.  Tell the truth—you do it, too, right?


I had dozens and dozens of patterns, some old, some new, laying around all over my sewing room.  It was time to finally reorganize and try to consolidate my pattern collection.  I was able to part with a whole box of patterns and will give them away on my local Freecycle website.


I used my Silhouette SD Electronic Cutter to make some vinyl labels for the pattern binders.  How cute!


I was tempted to paint my ugly old faux wood bookcase, but I’ll have to save that for another day (or year).


I keep the patterns I use most often on professional pattern hooks for easy access.  They hang from the basement rafters next to the sewing pattern bookcase.

I feel so much better now that I’ve reorganized my sewing patterns.  Only problem now is my fabric pile of shame.  Don’t laugh…you have one of those, too!

Happy Sewing!



Sewing Tutorials I Must Try

As soon as I get a few spare minutes, I’m dying to try these sewing tutorials!ruffledcamerastrap

Ruffled Camera Strap from Crap I Made


Jazzy Ironing Board Cover from Sew4Home


Collapsible Storage Baskets


This is by far, the easiest tutorial I’ve seen for making Pettiskirts.

Happy Sewing!


A Few Quick Christmas Sewing Ideas

Can’t believe Christmas is right around the corner!  Here’s a few things to make for the holidays!

I love this method to making stockings!  How clever!

What a quick and easy project.  All you have do is be able to sew a straight line.

With an embroidery machine, you can personalize it~

These socks are simple to sew.  I’ve made dozens over the years.


Check out this quick Crown Tutorial by Jessica Levitt.  Also be sure to take a look at her gorgeous new fabric line, Timber.


Need a gift for your favorite Shutterbug?  How about this neat Patchwork Camera Strap?


Love this easy Laptop Sleeve tutorial!  I really need to make one of these for Marielle.

Hope everyone is doing well!


The Making of a Christening Dress


I should have smacked myself upside the head.  I’d had a month to get the Christening gown for Sophia completed, but ended up finishing it just a few hours before her Baptism.

Beyond my usual procrastination, I have a habit of “designing as I go.”  I usually have an idea of what I want it to look like.  However, I continually change design elements and always end up with something totally different from my original design.  Am I the only one who does this?


Working with silk shantung is challenging to say the least.  And trying to set the tiniest gathered sleeves is beyond nerve-wracking!


Then I sewed lace and tatting to tulle.  At least I was smart enough to do it flat (before sewing up the side seams of the skirts).


But the worst was trying to gather 6 skirt layers (1 cotton batiste, 3 tulle, 1 netted lace and 1 silk shantung overskirt) and attach them to the tiny silk shantung bodice.


Whew! DONE!  To give you an idea of size…this dress bodice is a size 3 months…LOL!  It just looks bigger in photos.  Ok, so the dress is huge…I think it measures about 48 inches.  And oh my…it was HEAVY!


At the last minute, I decided to do these silk dupioni spider web roses.  I’ll post a quick tutorial this week (once I get another manicure), so everyone can make some, too.


To make dressing the baby easy, I used large sewn-in snaps and covered them with no-functioning rhinestone buttons.


Here’s a close-up of all the skirt layers.  I’ve made several special occasion dresses, but never a Christening dress.  This was a first.  I’ve been collecting vintage laces and tatting for ages and loved using them for such a precious little girl!


Meet Sophia, daughter of my dear friend, Diana (aka Diana of Not Just Bagels)!  The Christening gown fit Sophia perfectly!    It was such a feeling of accomplishment to see Sophia in the Christening dress.


Sophia enjoyed sucking on the big silk roses.  Isn’t she beautiful?


Diana loved the dress and is going to put it in a huge shadow box to display in Sophia’s room.

Wishing everyone a Happy 4th of July!


Designing a Christening Gown, Finding a Treasure and Happy Birthday to ME!



I was so terrified honored when my dear friend, Diana (you know, the one who made all the delicious caramels apples for the big BBQ), asked me to create the perfect Christening gown for her new daughter, Sophia.

She decided on a simple an over-the-top ivory silk shantung gown with an underlay of vintage lace. 


Diana is even going to let me add a big vintage pink silk sash which will be tied into a big bow on the back of the dress and embellished with Swarovski crystals.  Luckily, I have one of those cool hot fix crystal tools from Hot Fix Suzy™!


As much as we both loved the alençon lace, it was too glitzy for the Christening gown we’ve envisioned.


We decided on the perfect lace which has a soft hand.


The abundant tulle underskirt layers will be trimmed with various vintage laces…some ivory and some pink!


But before I can start on the Christening Gown, I’ll need to tidy up my sewing room…ugh!  Prior to sewing any special occasion dress (especially whites), I always give my sewing room the Mr. Clean treatment.  DONE!

Seems I started 14 pair of lounge pants for my daughter, 7 onesies for above new baby and various other sewing projects.  Off they all go to the UFO (Un Finished Objects) pile…LOL!

Sophia’s Christening is June 28th…so I had better get moving!



Kathleen of Fashion-Incubator recently posted about a defunct company, East-West Musical Instruments Co., which created the most unique leather jackets.  These jackets are a work of art.


And wouldn’t you know, I’ve had this beautiful one they created back in the 70s.  It was given to me by my childhood housekeeper who received it from Edgar Winter.


I certainly made a fashion statement as a teenager as everyone went nuts when they saw this silver leather jacket.  I didn’t realize it was valuable.  Check this one out.  Elvis’ jacket went for over $30,000!  It is marked jacket #432, I believe!


I can’t imagine the hours of pattern making and sewing that went into creating this masterpiece.




Last week, I celebrated my 46th birthday (May 22nd) with a delicious Mocha Butter Cream cake (thanks to my sister, Linda).  I had cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner for two days..haha!


And no…that’s not my front lawn above…although it is not below me to get one of those!  I did, however, display the obnoxious amount of fresh flowers Mr. Diva surprised me with in the front window.  It pisses off all the other housewives in the neighborhood.

Now to get to work…hope everyone is having a great week!

With friendship,



How CPSIA Impacts Small Businesses

Yesterday, the House Small Business Committee, Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight held a hearing on The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and its impact on small businesses.

Rick Woldenberg has a post up about the hearing and subsequent press release of the committee.

In other news, the CPSC voted yesterday on  NAM’s request for stay of enforcement on Tracking Labels.  It was a split decision between Nancy Nord and Thomas Moore…ugh!  That means it was denied!  NAM says labeling fosters confusion.  More posted on Amend the CPSIA here.

Oh…I’m missing Quilt Market with Lady M™ and Mary the Craft Addict™ this weekend!  I should be there in Pittsburgh, but I’m not.  DRATS!


And a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Patty Young (aka ModKid Boutique)!  She, too, will be at Quilt Market (Booth #2531) having a blast without me!  Be sure to stop by her booth and check out her new Mezzanine fabric line for Michael Miller!

With friendship,


organdonormiracles Sew Much Fun Sweepstakes


Enter HERE!


Easter Basket Sewing Tutorials and a Sweet SWAP


With Easter just one short week away, I thought I’d share some Easter Basket sewing tutorials found around the web:

J. Caroline Creative’s Easter Basket Tutorial

Dabbled’s How to Make a Fabric Basket

Retro Mama’s Fabric Easter Eggs

Embroidery Library’s Fabric Easter Basket Tutorial

Cranston Village’s Easter Bunny & Chick Baskets

Speaking of Easter Baskets…I received an awesome Easter SWAP from Heather of Little E Designs!


OMG!  I love the zebra basket!


Filled with all my favorite sweets…DOTS, Milk Duds, Yellow Bunnies PEEPS, caramel eggs and lots more!


Heather even made me an adorable bookmark!  Thanks Heather!



CPSIA–Just When You Thought it was Safe to Get Back to the Sewing Room…


Guidance on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) for Small Businesses, Resellers, Crafters, and Charities

Nothing like waiting until last minute?  Unbelievable!


Not sure how the rest of you feel, but this whole CPSIA stuff continues to mentally and physically DRAIN me!  I spend a tremendous amount of time reading, bewildered, rereading, twittering, disseminating information, testing, retesting, and banging my head against the wall.

It has all knocked the life out of me.  Some think it’s no big deal.  But the reality of it is another story.


Read the latest 7 items from the CPSC from this past Thursday and Friday.  Now before you get all excited and think you are off the hook, perhaps you should read some of the thoughts around the web:

Fashion-Incubator:  3 Days Until National Bankruptcy Day

Senator DeMint:  Congress Turns Toy Story into Nightmare for Small Business

Rick Woldenberg:  The Emperor Has No Clothes

Rick Woldenberg:  CPSC Commissioners Speak Out

Rick Woldenberg:  CPSIA More Serious Message

Overlawyered:  CPSIA Roulette

Overlawyered:  What Will Be Enforced?

Overlawyered:  CPSIA Fifty Stars and an Asterisk

Overlawyered:  CPSIA Chronicles February 10th

The Common Room:  There’s a Difference Between a Policy and a Law

The Common Room:  CPSIA and State Attorney General

The Common Room:  Open Letter to NRDC

Shopfloor:  Ambiguous Enforcement-Certain Disruption

CPSIA by Numbers (Part 1):  How Much Safer Will CPSIA Make Us?

CPSIA by Numbers (Part 2):Stochastic Approach

CPSIA by Numbers (Part 3):  Scary Sounding Chemicals


(Note:  Yes, I did eat the tires off my first carriage….LOL!)

Honestly, I don’t have a game plan yet.  I rented an XRF gun to lead test my boys’ clothing line and everything else in my sewing studio (over $400/day).  All fabrics, elastics and trims passed.  Problems occurred with some snaps and zipper heads (thankfully I have lead-free substitutes).  Not sure if the reflection of the silver on these items gave me false-positive results.  So what I’ll need to do now is have these items in question re-tested by a professional (more $$$).

But the good news is I can continue to sell for the next year.  Yet, unless the CPSC decides to allow component testing next year, my business won’t be able to survive the high cost of third-party lab testing.  Kathleen of Fashion-Incubator sums up how I feel.

With friendship,




CPSIA Stay of Enforcement-Thoughts Around the Web


I know everyone in the children’s business is jumping for joy.  I’m not–at least not yet.  The CPSIA problems are far from over.  The CPSC has issued a “stay of enforcement” meaning they aren’t going to enforce the new CPSIA law just yet.  However, they are allowing your state’s attorney general to do so.

The law still applies.  The CPSC, however, is not requiring third-party testing at this time.  Yet, you are still  not allowed to sell children’s products outside of the new lead limits.  Seems the law hasn’t changed–just the testing requirements and enforcement for the time being (and only Congress can change the law, not the CPSC).


Another thought that comes to mind is wholesale accounts (children’s boutiques).  I seriously doubt boutiques want the liability and will want some type of proof that your children’s products are lead-free.  They’ll want to have all incoming stock to be certified prior to any amendments in the law as they are unsure how this will all play out.  Stores won’t want to add products that might not be sellable in the future.


I’ve decided to go ahead with my XRF lead testing tomorrow and have GCCs issued to ensure the safety of my boys’ clothing line.  It will only add value to my products as not all of my competitors are doing so.

Now for some CPSIA links around the web:

National Bankruptcy Day:  Cautious Optimism CPSIA Stay:  Part I CPSIA Stay:  Part II

Z Recommends:  Seller Beware

CPSIA Cheer:  Touchdown!  We Scored!  But It’s Not Even Half Time

Senator Hatch Wants Senate Hearings on CPSIA

Reform CPSIA  Temporary Relief

Boutique Cafe:  Breathe Easily and then Call Your Representatives from Heather of Lilliputians

Kenneth Ross, Attorney at Law:  Summary of CPSIA Stay

Scholars and Rogues:  No Child Product Left Behind

How Much Safer Will CPSIA Make Us?

Nancy Nord of CPSC:  Letter to Congress regarding Stay

The Smart Mama

I think what everyone should be doing at this point is contacting your local members of Congress and ask them to support Congressman DeMint’s Bill to amend the CPSIA.

One last thing, my mentor, Kathleen Fasanella of, deserves a big THANK YOU from me and the rest of the children’s apparel industry.  Kathleen has worked countless hours (and continues to do so) on the CPSIA and its affects on sewn products.  I don’t know what I would do without her.  Seriously.


DORKA THE EXECUTIONER by wacky artist David Gross

Hope everyone’s enjoying a wonderful weekend!  I know Mr. Diva will be.  He and his passe are awaiting the limo to take them to Atlantic City, NJ for Super Bowl Weekend.  Oh, what a wonderful wife I am–LOL!


Disclaimer:  Although I consider myself extremely bright, I have no legal background (other than a paralegal certificate…LOL) and therefore, the above post reflects my personal opinion and should not be construed as legal advice.

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