Aunt Emily

Emily Bowyer Hammel was my father's older sister. She was the dearest person I've ever known. Over several adolescent summers, she patiently taught me how to sew and how to cook. I loved her. Sadly, she has been gone these few years and I miss her very much. However, I am carrying on her legacy of sewing and trying to carry on her legacy of caring.

Saturday, December 25



My 2010 flew by, with very little sewing done. And almost nothing completed. So I have have a new resolve for 2011. I am going to sew! I've cleaned the sewing room out so I can at least get into the room, bought a new sewing table for my machine, and am ready to sew.

So this is a great time to sign up for the 2011 Vintage Sew Along - January is pattern selection and muslin, February is make and share. I've got scads of vintage patterns I'd like to try.

Here are the primary reasons I haven't been sewing:

Two little elves and a pixie came to live with us.

Thursday, September 23

A worthy effort to allow you to make a direct impact on the lives of people in Iraq. PLEASE think about what you have in your house that can be used to make clothing, blankets, etc., and send it to this effort coordinated by a U.S. Soldier.

Go to: for news coverage.

Go to website at:

This is the FAQ.


What is a website if it doesn’t have frequently asked questions?

1. Is it OK if I’m the point of contact for my guild / group / coven / demolition derby team? Absolutely!

2. What APO address should I use? When you leave me a comment, I will contact you with all the details.

3. Is there specific “not later than” date by which boxes need to be postmarked? 01 October (it’s a Friday), giving the boxes time to get here and to their final destination before the winter sets in.

4. What do you mean – self contained bundles? See the page on building a bundle.

5. Can I tell others about this? Sure — send them the URL (

6. I’m not in the US. Isn’t there an easier way, than mailing stuff in the wrong direction? Nope. There use to be a way to do this, through Superhero Ken in the NL, but he’s (gasp!) retired back to North Carolina. I’m trying to find another way to do this.

7. If I’m not in the US, does it really matter what size box I use? Nope. It absolutely does not matter (for anyone!) what size or type or style box you use. The beauty of the flat rate US Postal System boxes is that they’re just $12.50, no matter the weight, but if that’s not an option, send whatever works for you.

8. What, no love for knitters? What? Of course there’s love for knitters. Send yard. Send needle thingies. Send the Yard Harlot.

9. Since I’m mailing stuff from the US through the USPS, can you tell me about this customs form requirement? Absolutely. The link with details is here. It’s a 2976-A, aka the big form. It really doesn’t take very long to fill it out — it asks for details on the sender, recipient, and contents. You can even fill it out online, here.

10. Is there a shorter URL I can use in Twitter? Yep — this this one:

11. How much time do I have? Stuff needs to be in the mail by 01 October, in order to make it there in time.

I am preparing four boxes to go. I hope you can do the same.

Wednesday, June 30

Happy Summer!! Coming Up for Air

Hello Friends:

Sorry I've been away so long - I know I've said that before! But with the new job, things have been hectic. As a matter of fact, I couldn't really even get into my sewing room if I needed to do so.

But with the long weekend, I'm hoping to get some time to sort things out so I can get in. I already moved three large containers full of fabric to the basement for "long term storage". I think I could outfit almost everyone in my neighborhood for a year.

I also think I need a different set up in the sewing room - the three folding tables are great work surfaces, but in the tiny room they take up too much space. So going to investigate one of those fold down cutting tables, so I can put it up only when needed. I saw at IKEA a nice workstation with a table attached to a larger set of shelves. That might be my solution for one wall.

And I'm itching to get back to sewing. Almost not worth making summer clothing now, but too warm to sew wool for winter. I'm sure I can find enough in my super-sized stash to keep me busy.

On the vintage pattern front, I found two stunners from the early 60's. The first is the standard Jackie K (before she was O) princess line dress with matching jacket. The second is a full skirted and neck bow with shaped jacket outfit. Neither my size, but good enough to be able to size fairly easily. Now I just need some time!

So that is the latest and the greatest from me. I can only cross my fingers and hope that I will have time this weekend.


Saturday, April 17

Sew Spoiled: Sew Spoiled Weekender Tote Sew-a-long!

Sew Spoiled: Sew Spoiled Weekender Tote Sew-a-long!

Great idea. I am joining in. I also posted info and a link on my much neglected sewing blog:

I need to get my sewing mojo back.

Great Idea

Here is a great idea! Sew Spoiled (Leah Williams) featured a large weekender tote bag in the March issue of Sew News, but was not happy about how the pattern was featured. SO...
she is hosting a SEW ALONG to make the bag.

This is a photo from her site of a completed bag:

I am going to join the sew along in an attempt to get my sewing mojo back and in operation. Here is the timeline:
Here is the Time line...
Gather Fabric and supplies- - - - - - April 17- May 1 (2weeks)
Cut out the pieces - - - - - - - - - - - - -May 2- May 8
Outer Shell Pleats - - - - - - - - - - - - -May 9- May 15
Straps and finish Outer Shell- - - - - -May 16- May 22
Pockets and Magnet Clasp - - - - - - May 23- May 29
Lining and Finish the Tote- - - - - - - May 30- June 5

Go to her blog for details: The post outlining the rules is from April 14/2010.

And the free pattern is at her website: