Monday, November 23, 2015

Karen Lewis Stash Additions and a Marvelous Sale!

I returned from Sewtopia to find a *Few* stash additions waiting at my door. As you do, you know...
This luscious Full Panel Club Bundle had arrived from Karen Lewis Textiles. I love how well they go with her pattern from Issue 16 of Quilt Now (available from Pink Castle Fabrics). I adore this mag!! Every single thing in it is first class.
These are her actual screen printed fabrics. What luscious colors!!! And I adore that she has made them herself, and sent them along. I really admire that artistic spirit. I don't think I'll achieve her brilliance, but Someday, I'd like to try my hand at screen printing, wouldn't you? In the meantime, you can join the fabric clubs for half or full panel bundles every two months, or sign up for a full year. If you sign up for January, you will be part of a fun project Karen has going on that includes these desperados!!!
Hee Hee!!! You better bet I already signed up!!!
And these fabulous bundles of Blueberry Park Joy (Bright and Neutral) happened to fall into my bag over at Sewtopia... Or that's the story I'm telling. Not the story where I spotted them across a crowded lobby and lunged like a rabid Vertblatten to reach them before anyone else saw them... And don't you tell that story, either!! 
Now all I have to add to my collection is the Cool Colorway, available through Suppose Fabric Shop. I cannot tell you how much I love this Mother Daughter fabric shop. I'll have a whole post about them, for you, later :) 

But what I REALLY wanted to tell you about is the Cyber Monday SALE that is going to happen over at Calico Cat Fabrics!!! Holy smokes does she have some lovely fabric!! Tanya and I have three coupons for you, so write them down! 

CYBER25 - $25 off of any purchase of $100 or more. (Christmas gifts, anyone??? That's 25% off!!)

CYBERFREE - Free domestic shipping on any order between $50 and $99.99. (See what she's done there?! Saved you a bundle on all of your smaller orders, ya?)

INTERNATIONAL10 - $10 off of shipping on any International order of $95 and Up. In my experience, that's almost half off of International shipping!!! Unless you can buy even more than I can, which I DARE you to try to do!! 

So what should you do??? Write these coupon codes down, and head on over to Calico Cat Fabrics, Now, to see what you just can't live without, and be ready to jump on that fabric bandwagon first thing Monday morning 11/30/15. Wooooooooo! 

We've finally had snow over here in Alaska. First real snow of the year and a hopeful start to a fabulous winter. At last!!! 

Wishing you and yours a Wonderful and Peaceful Thanksgiving!!!


Thursday, October 29, 2015

How to encourage and support those with silent chronic conditions. Show the Love!

So there I am, lying on the floor of the workroom, pins sticking into my arms and legs, covered with thread and the piecing I am  hanging on my design wall, the bruising ladder across my body. A yardsale scrabble of everything from the sewing table is scattered across the room. The iron scorches its way through my cutting mat.

"What the hell", I think?? And then, 'Ow", but, "What the Hell??!"

How did I get here? Why am I on the ground? Did we have an earthquake? Where are the cats??? Did I break anything? 
I pick up the iron, remove all of the pins from my arms, and thighs, and apply liberal amounts of neosporin. I am glad not to have landed on any with my face. My pins have been everywhere. Everywhere. On that romantic trip to Maui, to the Galapagos, to visit my Sis in Yuma... on jaunts during a life being lived.
Strange, I think. I must be dehydrated. 

And then it happens Again. Cross country skiing on a sunny blue bird day with the Dawg and the Hubster. And then Again that same day, on that same family outing. My husband can't understand why I am so stiff. Neither can I. The Dawg keeps refusing to leave my side. The cats have become barnacles, fastening onto me the moment I am still. 
I am so stiff, I can barely move. Exhaustion overwhelms me, permeates my soul. I need help getting up from any sitting position, am too tired to stand to iron. Can't get out of the tub by myself. "Dammit!" I think, "I've got work to do!!"

And then Again, in the snow on a hike, out in the glorious backcountry. 
Seven miles from home. 
Just me and the Dawg.
It takes me four hours to stumble and stagger my way back through the foot deep snow. A twenty something laughs at me as I near the trailhead, and home. Thinking I am drunk. Or something else, more shameful. The Dawg patiently props me at her side as I try to lift a leg out of the snow to take a step. Then, exhausted, subside into the cold wetness to rest. Then struggle up to take another excruciatingly slow step. And then another. And finally up the hill, 150 feet and 30 minutes, to home. 
No one offers a hand or expresses concern to see someone's Mom struggling to return to home and safety. Bizarre, I think.
I am embarrassed. Deeply, Deeply Embarrassed. 

Then, out of the blue Again, two solid months spent laying on the floor, Vertigo spinning and rolling like a runaway carnival ride from one of those awful '70's monster movies. Lights flashing and sounds warping. Barfing like no tomorrow. Every day, all day. Unending. Nights spent on my side, at the edge of the bed, so that I could roll slightly to throw up in the garbage can placed on the floor, at my side.  My friend Loretta comes to hold my hand and empty the clear fluid from the trash can, for me. I get vertigo, too, she says. Does it last this long, I ask? Concerned, she shakes her head. I make an appointment with an Ear Nose and Throat doctor (ENT). My own doctor says it's just menopause. "What, do you think? You're special?", she says, "Do you think you don't have to go through this like everyone else does?" She's been telling me this for Four Years.  She tells me I am a hypochondriac for wanting to see another doctor. I go anyway. I am not a Freak. Begging for attention. At least, I don't think so...

I cancel my first appointment, because I am too dizzy to drive. My husband travels for work. My son lives thousands of miles away. I make another appointment and wait 2 months for it to arrive. There are no doctors who specialize in Vertigo, in the entire state of Alaska. The one who did, has just retired at the age of 78.

As I wait for my appointment, half thinking I am a lunatic, and half angry for believing that, I have increasingly frequent vertigo and lose the hearing in my left ear. I cannot walk upright. I cannot read. I cannot use a computer. I cannot hear on the phone. I cannot meet my obligations. I break a finger when I accidentally close it in a drawer when I have a sudden attack. I spill a pot of boiling soup over my hand and get third degree burns. I begin to go out less and less. I spend the two months home-bound, not able to drive, too embarrassed about staggering and stumbling everywhere, to go out without my husband, and his arm to lean on. Using the computer becomes an impossibility as the light and typing make the vertigo much worse. I begin to drop things more frequently. I stumble to the end of my road and back, 3/4 of a mile, several times a day, in order to get outside, where the vertigo is less. One of my neighbors begins to come out as I go by, and leer at me. I ignore him and continue on with the Dawg at my side. It is my fervent wish that she will bite him. If she doesn't, I think, I just might. His ankles anyway, since I'll be laying on the ground. 

Having unexplained and unexpected vertigo is like being mugged. Something comes out of nowhere and takes everything you have worked so hard your entire life, for, for no reason, and leaves you shaken and mauled, on the ground. Then you get up and tell yourself that you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. That you shouldn't eat this, shouldn't do that. Slowly, your life returns to normal, and you can work again, albeit less. Slowly, you forget what being mugged was like. The terror. The Fear just after, everywhere you go, everything you do. Slowly, you get most of your life back, although it will never be the same. A different life now, but maybe one almost as good. 
Then it happens again. Out of the blue. Everything gone. Everything taken away. And you struggle to your feet again, bruised and bleeding, and with less faith. You pare your life back so that what you think you did wrong, won't cause this to happen again. You go out less. You worry that it will happen again, and that it's your fault. You wonder what of a million possible factors that may or may not be under your control, contributed to this awful event happening again. Then it happens again. And Again. AND AGAIN. Many people with silent illnesses never venture out. Many, many, take their own lives. 

My appointment arrives. I park in the parking garage, the sequence of poles making my head spin. I stagger up to the front entrance, where the attendants smile kindly, and open the door for me, telling me how to get to the elevators. There are three floors of glass enclosed stairs in front of me. A vertiginous nightmare. I am overwhelmingly thankful for their kindness, and for the fact that they haven't laughed at me, or treated me as if I am a freak. It's just an ear infection, I think, perpetuated by the broken nose from the car accident. I'll get this fixed in a jiffy with some antibiotics and, maybe, nose surgery.

I sit in a cold, empty room, eyes closed because the fluorescent lights make me dizzy and nauseous. Palms sweating because I am certain he will tell me I am a hypochondriac, and that this is all in my head. The door opens and the doctor walks in. He looks at me, slumped, deaf and desperate. Three seconds later he asks me, "Do you have a thyroid problem? Have you ever heard of Meniere's Disease?" Three seconds to make the diagnosis that gives me most of my life back. And allows me to come to peace with what can be of my life, and make more beauty out of the rest. Three seconds to act like a human to someone lost and in need. Three seconds to re-teach me something I have known all of my life. How to be kind to others. How to care even if you don't know what they're going through. How to have empathy. Three seconds to humanity. 

It's been several months now, and every day, three times a day, I do vestibular rehabilitation, so that my brain knows where my body is in space and time. I have changed my entire life around, to make it work so that I can do what I want to do. What I NEED to do. To not let others down. To perform at my best. To be reliable. To do what I say I am going to do. 

To not cancel my life and exist in Fear.

Fear of failure. Fear of missed opportunity, Fear of what others think, if, no WHEN, they see me stumble, Fear of disappointing others and what they want to see me do and become, Fear of having a sudden attack and killing someone's beloved family with my car. 

Fears big and small, Fears real and unreal. Fears to freeze and inactivate, Fears that lead to a despair so deep that many with chronic disorders can't get out, so drown. Fears perceived, Fears that deceive and lie, Fears that dominate. 

Fear is no place to live. Fear is for dying. Little by little as it pares away at your soul, and who you are. I refuse Fear. 

I Refuse to Live in Fear. This is My Life. The only one I'm getting. I will not exist in Fear of failure because I will have an attack and miss a deadline. I now know and have practiced how to schedule my time so that that will not happen. Fear of missed opportunity. Strange, how life teaches us our lessons, whether we want them or not, isn't it? I have had to learn to take life at a much slower pace. To live in the moment, to cherish that moment. To be where I am and with whom I am with. I notice color and smell so much more. I enjoy life fully. I rest when I need, and run every day. I deeply regret working two jobs and going to grad school while raising my son as a single parent. I now know, even more than I ever did, that time spent with him is worth more than any grocery or sport at school. But sometimes, you need do do what you need to do. But I wish I had the knowledge then, that I have now. Opportunities are there. Plan how to take advantage of them in proper time. Stick to the plan. Time is precious, don't waste it. Be present. BE. Be you. Don't let what you think others will/are thinking keep you from going out and living your life. Do your best. Take time. Be loving. 

When you see me out and about, I will not be using a cane, so that people can know why I stumble. If they want to know why, they can ask. I will be moving through life as if it were a ballet. Because I choose to see the beauty in each moment, and choose to dwell there, rather to rush from task to task and thing to thing. I may stumble, I may look a wee bit crazed. I may take a brief break to stabilize myself. But then, Won't you come join me for a walk in the flowers, or a cup of joe and a chat about the fam?  A making of a quilt and a memory together? You'll find me in the midst of things, hearing people's stories, occasionally gripping a table edge, and Happy to be there. With You. Living.

Here are several other silent chronic disorders. This is not an all inclusive list, but folks with these disorders look perfectly fine from the outside. Won't you touch their hand and smile into their eyes and tell them you're there? Click on the link to see what you can say to them, or to learn more.

Meniere's Disease
Arthritis and chronic pain
Autoimmune disorders such as Type 1 Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Rheumatoid Arthritis
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Migraine
Crohn's Disease

You can expect to see lots of quilting, and pics, and love over here at SewPsyched! in the coming years, but you will also see some pieces that I am doing to help increase awareness of vestibular disorders. I hope that they help to spread the word so that people can live their lives more fully. 


Friday, October 9, 2015

SewPsyched! How to Auction a Quilt: Tips

 I auctioned the Being Charming Is A Plus quilt, in my SewPsyched! CareAlong II, last week.
We raised $112.50 for charity, and $30 ($52 minus shipping for the quilt) towards the next projects for charity. Woo!!

Last year, I auctioned off several stash alotments, over on Instagram, and they were very successful. This is the first time I have auctioned off a quilt. I thought I would send along some tips and lessons that I learned from the process :)

1) Choose your dates, carefully

  • Include weekdays, especially a Monday, and tag large fabric companies in your posts, so that they can share your post and increase the number of people bidding. 
  • Be careful about holidays, etc. I had forgotten that September is back to school month, since, well, the Kid hasn't gone back to school in a thousand years ;0 So, I reduced the number of folks who could bid on my quilt, as they had spent the budget in the previous month on necessities. October is also Halloween in the US, and that means buying or making costumes, which is also expensive. Note to self... September and October are poor months during which to post sales or auctions. 
2)  Take a variety of pics, in a variety of settings, to show the size and quality of your quilt.
  • It was raining like the dickens here, and I think my pics didn't show the colors as well as they could have. I now have bright white lights for photography. Amazon!! So cheap!
3) Have it be fun!
  • I tried to start a little friendly competition between my followers, and we all had a lot of fun with it. Even folks who weren't bidding, were having fun egging other people on :)
4) Have a purpose.
  • The purpose for my auction was to donate to charity, and to add to the fund for making more items for future charity auctions. I made no money for myself on this auction. If you were looking for dollahs for stash acquisition, and not charity, you might have that be the theme of the auction. Mama need some new stash, yo!!
5) Follow through!!!!!
  • I cannot emphasize this enough. You MUST follow through and contact our winner (s) immediately after the end of your auction. Then follow through with an invoice, and a thank you. 
  • I immediately let the winner know that she had won, and contacted her donation recipient so that she knew I wasn't going to rip her off, and keep all that green for moi.
6) Be grateful!!
  • Please please please remember to thank all who participated and bid on your object/quilt. There is nothing less inviting than a person who takes and runs. Know what I'm sayin'??? 
The recipient of our donation had this to say:

Oh my God I had no idea!  Seriously? Wow, that is so amazingly generous! I cant even believe that. Thank you with all my heart. Really!

People have simply amazed me at this horrible time. I never had any idea that there were such good hearts out there who cares for strangers. It really just has me in shock.

Thank you very very much.  Bless you "
 This Mom has recently lost her daughter in a horrible accident. If you'd like to learn more, or send along your love or a donation, check out her blog. I am warning you, it is a hard read, and completely heartrending. Oh Mom!!! I wish we could make it better for you.

Or check out @auction4caitlyn over on Instagram

I just adore the quilting community and how supportive and generous you are. Kuddos to you, you lovelies!!!!


Thursday, October 1, 2015

SewPsyched! Plus Quilt Auction for Charity

It's time for the SewPsyched! CareAlong II!!

Today, I am auctioning off this lovely lap sized, rainbow, Being Charming Is A Plus quilt.
This quilt is made entirely from Kona Cotton Solids. The background is Silent Film (greys) and the backing is Chartreuse. The binding is Ombre Greys.
The Being Charming Is a Plus quilt on a queen sized mattress. The perfect size for family snuggling,
She is super soft already,
The Being Charming Is A Plus quilt is made entirely with 50wt Aurifil threads. Grey 2600 in the bobbin, and a variety of rainbow colors in the Wonky quilting.
Her colors are so bright!! Perfect for a kid to read a favorite book, upon,
The Ombre Grey binding makes her shimmer. 
Crinkly goodness Front and Back!!

How it works:
  • I have an opening bid of $150. 50% of that goes towards making the next charity quilt, and 50% of that (minus shipping) goes towards the winner's favorite charity, charities, or person/people. The winner, also gets the quilt!! :)
  • Leave a comment below or send me an email at givbludplayhocky at gmail dot com, to tell me your bid amount. I will be checking every 5 minutes from 8 am to 10 pm AKST, Friday, October 2, 2015 through Sunday October 4, 2015.
  • You must leave me an email in your comment!!!! That way, if you are somehow a no reply blogger, you can still win your quilt!!! 
  • OR go to Instagram and leave a comment on my Newest Being Charming Is A Plus post. REMEMBER TO TAG the person who commented before you, so that they know they've been outbid. I will be updating IG every time I receive a bid from another venue. You can send your $ to an Instagram campaign and benefit someone over there, as well.
  • If you are outside of the USA, I will pay half of your shipping costs.
  • You can purchase the Being Charming Is A Plus Rainbow Quilt and auction it off, yourself!! How cool would it be if it kept going around and gaining support for more and more charities?! 
  • HAVE ANY QUESTIONS??? email me at givbludplayhocky at gmail dot com, and I'll get right back to ya!!!
  • This auction will be going on simultaneously on Facebook, Instagram, and here on the blog. 
Good Luck!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

SewPsyched! Quilt Auction for Charity! Plus Quilt

SewPsyched! CareAlong

It's time for another SewPsyched! CareAlong, where you bid on a hand made piece, and half of the proceeds go to a Charity or Person of your choice!! Last year, we raised $400 for Charities all across America! 

This year, I am auctioning off my marvelous Being Charming Is A Plus Quilt.
This lap quilt measures 58 1/2" x 46" and is a bright bundle of wrinkly goodness!!
I used all Aurifil 50 wt cotton thread in the construction and quilting of this lap quilt. She is so soft!!
I used all Kona Cottons Solid fabrics in this Plus quilt. They are already so soft after only one wash, but because they are broadcloth, they will wear like iron and keep their colors bright, so your favorite recipient will have this little quilt FOREVER!
I love this little quilt so much, that I almost can't bear to part with her.
My Husband may never forgive me for sending her on!
I mean, just check out that wrinkly goodness!!
I quilted her with Wonky lines and outlined the Pluses, so that she is as interesting from the back, as she is from the front...
 The backing is Kona Cotton in Chartreuse. This picture does not do it justice. It is a vibrant, fun color!
The Being Charming Is A Plus Quilt is bound with Ombre grey fabric, so that she shimmers around the edges like a charming folk do :) I used Lynne Goldworthy's method of binding, so that she can take a lot of dragging or hanging around. 

Now, don't you think you  need this quilt for your favorite Math Teacher, littlest Kiddo or that favored Man in your life??? 

How It Works:
  • You bid on the quilt on Instagram, on Facebook, or by emailing me. I will be updating all three avenues, continually.
  • Opening bid is USD $150.00 This is how much it cost me to make the quilt, not including time and love :)
  • Winning bid is notified via the avenue through which you bid (Instagram, Facebook, email)
  • You pay SewPsyched! through Paypal.
  •  You choose your charity, and I will Paypal them the proceeds, immediately. I also forward you the receipt. 

Bidding begins
October 2, 2015

8 am Alaska Time
12 Noon Eastern Time
10 am Central Time
9 am Pacific Time
5 pm in the UK and the EU,
2 am FRIDAY October 3 in Melbourne

If you purchase this Being Charming Is A Plus Quilt, and are from outside of the USA, I will pay HALF of your shipping costs. Because I so appreciate folks who want to give back to others!

Let's get out there and do some good in the World!!

Last year's recipients were:

Catholic Charities
Seeing Eye Dog Program
Ovarian Cancer Research
Bat Research
Breast Cancer Research
Shelters for Abused Women and Children 
and an individual's entire stash for a year!!



Oh my Gosh!! I could snuggle up and take a nap, right now!!!!
Soooo soft!

Linking up with the ever Fabulous
Finish it up Friday :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

WIP Wednesday Teal and 241 Totes Galore!

I've just returned from a weekend retreat with my Quilting Ladies. 
Fall has come to Alaska. Glorious cerulean skies, crisp breezes and Golden Yellow birch and aspen. My quilting lady Camilla made a mid-sunday raid on the crab apple trees outside of the community library, perchance committing some sort of fruit felony? And brought us all luscious crab apple butter for our hot toast. That Camilla. She really knows how to treat a girl!!

This time, our retreat was in a center located near Kenai, and a lake with loons. Not us, the avian kind :)
I love to wander through the leaves and smell the Fall scented air. 

The roses have all made hips, packed with vitamin C. It is some sort of banner year for them, I have never seen them so big and luminous. I'm thinking a quick forage and a make of jelly is in order. What do you think? 

I'm working on four more 241 Totes. Please excuse these miserable pictures. I'll take more tomorrow, But I bet you won't see finished totes by Friday! Lol!! That's because I'm working on these exciting projects...
I'm enlarging the Modern Dogwood pattern so that you can cut all of the curves with your Sizzix or AccuQuilt cutter. They will be MUCH quicker to piece into a quilt, as this will make each block quite big. I can't wait to show you the finished quilt that I am making for you!! 
I am working on a Modern Dresden for Quilt Con. If you pin this, please reference me :) I think it will make a super fun quilt!! 
I'm also working on this Triangle Dresden for the Teal Mug Rug swap to increase awareness of Ovarian Cancer. I hope my recipient likes it!! 
And check out this SWEET basket I found at a local Value Village!! I'm going to redo the inside in Cherry and red polka dot fabric. Fun!!
My Rudbeckia's are still going strong, despite the fact that we just had a frost... oh yeah, I better get the potatoes in!! 
These red berries are favorites of bears. How do I know, you ask?? Well, you had better watch your step out on the trails just now, or you'll know how, too!! ;0 (which, by the way, answers the Age old question with a resounding, YES!)
Skookum's cousin, Bacon, is visiting us for three weeks. Man, are we having a BLAST!!

Now, don't forget!! If you head on over to Calico Cat Fabrics to steal some fabric, use the CODE SEWPSYCHED  to get FREE domestic shipping on ANY order of $50 or more. The code is good for all of September, so you had better get shopping ;0
Tanya has some Lecien on sale for $4.15 a half yard. I will literally sew for the cats, with prices like that!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Dottie Angel Frock Tips and Tutorial links

You read it here, first, folks! I've actually made a garment!! 
Meet the Dottie Angel Frock - Tunic Length!
I'll give you a short run down of what I did, as a newbie garment sewist and the World's Slowest Quilter, and link to other tutorials along the way. 
I hope you find this review useful! If there is anything more that I can do, like make three more to be sure of my tute, I'd be glad to help as much as I can;0

Blue dot linen for body
Fat 8th of Liberty Tana Lawn for the pockets
Fat 8th of linen for pocket linings
I figured linen would give me the slouchy look I wanted, and quite honestly fit in with my ethic of Never Ever Again ironing clothing to wear. 

Let's start from the beginning:

Step 1: Measure yourself. Be honest here... no fudging on the waist/hips/bust. Now is not the time for solemnly swearing that you will stick to that diet and start going to the gym every day, so the garment will fit perfectly at some future imagined date. Measure honestly, with a flexible tape. Here are tutorials on how to do that. 

Step 2: Cut out your pattern. Now, if you're like me and have never sewn a garment, let alone one from this designer, you will be faced with a plethora of choices of sizes, and three styles, from which to choose. 

  • For the Dottie Angel Frock, I would suggest going up at least one bust measurement IF you are going to do as I did, and make longer darts. For instance, I cut the 38 1/2" bust size Small (8-10), although I'm a 36. It fits EXACTLY right, with no wiggle room, in the bust and under the arms, because of the two darts. I'm moderately cushioned under the arms, so you should choose based on your bust size, and on how much extra room you will need for movement. The back of the dress is very roomy, which does give you more leeway. 
  • Honestly, I still wasn't sure, so I cut out the pattern piece I thought would be right, and held it up to me very carefully, matching the finished shoulder seam with the seam on the shirt I was wearing, and pinching the pleats... This will give you a very rough estimate of fit, and definitely tell you if the size you have chosen is too small. This is a good beginner pattern in this way, because as an A-line dress/tunic, it is very forgiving as to body part coverage. 
  • You're supposed to use pattern weights, instead of pins, to secure the pattern pieces while you cut them out... But you know that the only kind of weights I've got in the house are Pie weights, and they roll all over. Sigh! So, if you do not have any weighting mechanisms, such as vintage ashtrays, the cat or clean and empty tea mugs, pin in this manner: Begin at the top, and smooth as you proceed to pin from left to right and left to right, down the pattern piece. Be sure there are no lumps!! Place the pattern pieces in accordance with the instructions.
  • CUT INSIDE THE LINE, when cutting your fabric/pattern piece. Why? Because that's the way professionals do it, and it will give all of your future garments better fit. Here's the person who says so:  Fashion Incubator A fascinating read into why you should cut accurately, and how to do so. 
Step 3: Mark your fabric
  • I have grey and white chalk, water soluble pens, and wax pencils, to use to mark objects in the Work Room... I chose to use a grey wax pencil because I couldn't find the 52000 white wax pencils I have somewhere, and because it would show well against the dark fabric and not wipe off or smear. 
  • Here is a great tutorial all about marking patterns. Who knew??!! Professor Pincushion I apologize for the annoying 3 second ad.
  • Mark the Tucks. Measure the length of the dotted line, and draw a line on your fabric, or pin to mark this length... I used pins, and increased my darts by 2" longer at the bottom, as I wanted a more fitted look. 
  • Mark the fabric at the dot as this is where you will center your tie, later.
  •  Mark the Pockets. 
  • Do you know the Pin Method of marking a pattern?? Put a straight pin through the pattern piece Dot mark, and mark the fabric with a pencil or other marking device, where the pin touches it, as it comes out of the back of the pattern piece. Brilliant!!
  •  Mark the Fold line and the beginning of the sleeve from the side (at the dot, see below)
(See below in Sew section for more about sewing the sleeves)
  •  Mark ALL of the tabs and the pocket placements!

Step 4: Begin to sew!
Follow the steps in the excellent instructions. 
I changed the pockets because I wanted to line them to help my Tana Lawn be more sturdy so I could put my phone in my pocket, and because I didn't feel like making the top band for the pocket. 

Sew the Pockets
  • Weight/pin and cut out the outer and lining pieces for two pockets, following the layout diagram in the instructions. 
  • Mark your fabric at the pleats.

  • Place pocket lining and outer fabric Right Sides Together (RST).
  • Pin at the pleats, and around the outer edges. Notice that my pleats are marked by pins of a different color. 
  • Beginning at Marked Pleat pin, sew around the outside circumference of the pocket with a 1/4" seam. End at the Second Pleat Pin. 

  • Clip the curves. Notice that you clip a little triangle out of the fabric. 

    • Clip the corners

    • Turn the pockets through the hole, between the pleat marks, right side out.
    • Smooth out the sides and poke out the corners, Press 
    • Fold pleats at line and pin in place.
    • Topstitch TOP of pocket. If skipping pocket placket like I did, backstitch at pleat to be sure it will stay in place, then continue sewing across top of pocket. I topstitched mine at 1/4" so that the topstitching would match the seam when I sewed the pocket to the tunic. Two lines of stitching, one at 1/8 and one at 1/4, would be pretty, here, as well :)
    • Pin pocket in place on tunic front, matching dots.
    • Try the tunic against yourself at this point. Check that you do, indeed, want pockets in this exact place. Notice that I have moved mine...
    • If you have extra stomachage that you wish to conceal, place the pockets closer together. If you're looking for the waif look, place them farther apart. 
    • Extra special FYI... if you, ahem, have delicious bosoms that happen to be different sizes than each other, this will effect how the final garment hangs on you, and will make your pockets fall in a different place than you think. For instance, if you're me, one of the pockets will fall dead center on the tunic front... and the other will be lost off to the side somewhere. Go ahead and wonder clip the tunic back and front together and gently wiggle into it. Pin the pockets where you think they can't possibly be a problem. Gently wiggle out, taking care not to stab yourself with the pins! Or just unclip the wonder clips, lol :)
    • OR, you can make a large apron style pocket across the front which would not only be super handy, but cute as heck!  
    Sew the Tie
    Sew as per the instructions. I used contrasting thread so that you can see what I'm talkin about. 

    Sew the  Front Darts

    •  I back stitched at the top and bottom of my darts, cause, honestly, they have a lot of work to do! 

    •  What I would CHANGE: I inserted the tie into the middle of the dart... because I forgot to check for the marking. From now on, I will insert it into the top of the dart, where the marking is, as that will give me an Empire waist look, and also work better to control the extra fabric from the back... See how mine has extra fabric under the arm? I may add elastic across the back of the tunic to make up for my bone-headedness. Try on your garment and mark where you would like YOUR tie to go. If you look at the pic on the pattern package, the tie is high up in the dart. Your final product will come out looking exactly like the pattern, if you follow the instructions. Nice!! 

    Sew the Shoulders

    •  Top-stitch on either side of the seam
    •  I pinked my seam allowances with shears. I hear there are rotary cutter pinking blades. That would work wonderfully on this pattern!
    Sew the Neck

    (Hint: Tuck the ties into a pocket to keep them out of the way :) Otherwise, I guarantee you, you'll sew them into a seam!)
    • Following @Happyzombie's tutorial over on Instagram, I chose not to bias tape my neck edges. Cause I'm lazy. Or a rebel. 
    • If you sew the neck in this way, it will make for a LARGER SCOOP... Just letting you know, as it increases the way the sleeve hangs from the shoulder... 
    • Clip the neck edge slightly less than 1/4", ALL of the way around the neck, shoulder, neck. 

  • Fold over 1/4", towards the INSIDE of the garment, press, using steam if you like
    • Fold over again, and press, holding in place with wonder clips (pins'll stab you as you go around sewing the neck)
    • Sew neck down, topstitching along edge farthest from the neck hole. 
    Sew the Sleeve tops

    • Try Frock on, marking where you want the sleeves to meet the sides.
    • Fold fabric over 3/8", between your marks, or the original marks from the pattern. Clip every inch or so along curve. Press.
    • Sew a 3/8" seam, then topstitch. I've used contrasting thread so that you can see, here.
    • Pink the seams so they don't ravel. Oops!
    Sew the Side Seams
    • Pin at marks. 
    • Sew beginning at underarm mark.
    • I didn't french seam my seams. I just pinked them... lazy lazy lazy. Or efficient, as I didn't have to worry about how to get the underarm seam to look decent this way ;0
    Sew the Hem
    • Fold the hem up 1/2", press.
    • Fold up 1/2" again, press 
    • With the garment inside-out, Top-stitch 1/8" from top of fold. I started and ended at a side seam so that I could back stitch without it being obvious. Make sure that you want your hem to be 1", if not, adjust the size of your seam, accordingly.
    I think I hemmed mine at 2", which is too short to wear with leggings... at least for me!

     I can't wait to make the dress length! I think it will flow more nicely, and be super comfortable in linens. 

    For more info on the Dottie Angel Frock, follow Dottie Angel on Facebook, and check out:

    Happy Zombie - I adore this girl!

    The House on Hill Road - Instructions on how she made her Frock. She did all of the stuff you're supposed to do a la the pattern. Her frock is stunners!

    Christine Haynes - Cutie!!

    Pleasant View School House - Two fabulous versions

    I am making at least two more Dottie Angel Frocks, in the dress length. They are addicting!! Please do let me know if you make one, I'd LOVE to see it!


    Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday. Woo!!