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.

Tuesday, April 29

New Pattern Review

I submitted a new pattern review on the Purrfection/Dana Marie Designs PACIFIC NORTHWEST SWEATSHIRT.

I quite liked the ease of making this top. In fact, I made it twice - once in pink and once in white. You can see the photos in the slide show at the bottom of the page, or you can go to pattern review and read the review.

Friday, April 25


Have you visted the 2008 Sewing With A Plan contest page (link that shows all the wonderful outfits made by ladies across the world? The idea is that they make coordinating seperates as an overall plan. The results are very inspirational. Lovely, lovely things made. I am impressed with the number of teal combinations - seems that teal works for so many people. I'd vote for everyone if I could.

Tuesday, April 22

Fabric Frenzy - Again

How much fabric is too much fabric? I am not brave enough to total the yards in and the yards out like some other bloggers. I just get what I want. Which isn't always a good plan. Last week, I got some fabrics from JoAnne's clearance sale, plus an order from AND there is a box coming from Fabric Mart too. I have to get on my horse and get some sewing done. I copied the Hot Patterns Deco Vibe Cosmo dress and am working on the Xceptional top. My plan is to get some cutting out done tonight and some sewing done tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 19

Laura Ashley Pattern Binge

M5316 M5619 M5517
Our friends at JoAnne's had a pattern sale this week - McCalls. I am a big Laura Ashley fan - have always loved her designs (and yes I know they are no longer "her's" as she has been gone for years now). So I looked through the pattern book and found these three. Now the size stops at 20, so I'm going to have to enlarge them, but I think they are all great candidates for a beautiful summer dress.
I especially like the first one of these - M5316. After I got it home and looked at the directions, they were a bit "wonky". So I checked pattern review - the only person who made this was Sharon M, and she had problems. So after reading her comments and looking at the directions again, I think (and I emphasize think) I may have an alternative way to construct the dress. But it will take some time to do, so I don't think it will be the first project. I am thinking that the first summer dress I will make will be the elbow length sleeve dress (yellow in the picture) from M5517.
Later, I will photo my fabric "finds" and post about them.

Pink Pacific Northwest Sweatshirt & Planning for Sewing(?)

I have not gotten myself coordinated enough to post a Pattern Review on this shirt as well, but thought I'd give you a peek at the pink one. I haven't got a photo of the white one as yet and this isn't the best, but there you go!

I came home from work on Thursday night, all ready to make a top. I went upstairs, got the pattern out (3990 in the v neck version) and selected some cotton fabrics with an oriental design. Brought them downstairs, got everything out - and went and sat down to see something on the news. Well that was the end of sewing on Thursday night.

Friday was an entire day devoted to our CQ group. It is an informal group, and most of us have been getting together for approaching 9 years - maybe 10! This time four of the six got together. I worked on my hand sewn 8 pointed star blocks (which are also approaching their 9th anniversary), while others worked on CQ. A lot of chatting and some good food, and good friends.

Along the way, I managed to pop into two JoAnne fabrics to shop their sales. I got some nice light blue linen-rayon mix for a dress, a deeper blue for a skirt, three different fabrics to make dresses and a piece of cotton that was mainly aqua. I also got a order that included a Hot Pattern, which I will post about later.

Monday, April 14

Old Buttons, New Acquisition

The closest thing to sewing happening here - In an effort to delay having to do my taxes, this Saturday DH and I took in some of the local Antique Malls. The Ohio Valley AM is a newly opened shop that seems to be doing great business. While travelling along the aisle, I found this big gallon jar almost full of buttons. There are a number of Mother-of-Pearl, some big coat buttons, some different designs and sorts of colors, and some just plain old plastic. Lots of good stuff here. Here are some views.

Friday, April 11


Sunday, April 13th marks the 29th birthday of my dear niece, Jennifer. I was there when she was born, saw her when she was only minutes old, took care of her while I was in grad school, and have had a "psychic connection" with her all her life - or she has with me! When she was a baby and little girl I sewed for her all the time - smocked nightgowns, clothes, dolls. But that was a long time ago now. And my plan to be "Aunt Emily" to Jennifer, Kristie and Kimberly went by the wayside.
Jennifer is concerned about turning 29.
I remember that my 28th and 29th birthdays were the worst for me - I was more focused on what I hadn't done that I thought I should have, not on all the accomplishments and achievements until then. I saw 30 as a real watershed. In retrospect, this was silly and in the ensuing - gosh 25 years!!!!!! (almost twice as long as the age I was approaching) - I've found that all things come when you are ready. When I actually turned 30, I had a wonderful time. When I turned 40, I didn't want to - so we spent 10 days in London so I didn't have [a strange theory about the time difference meaning I really hadn't been born if I was there] - and 50, well for the first time ever, I thought "I wonder when I'm going to die?"!
What about the rest of you? Was turning 30 the worst time of your life? Or did other ages inpact you more?

No Sewing But A Lot of Thinking

This week has been hectic - I've been trying to recover from my trip, then had to finish a big grant project and along the way deal with a severe hit of stomach flu. So no sewing being done right now, no photos of finished things done - in short, survival mode.

However, before I left, on some website that I can't find the reference for right now, I found this photo of a white trench. I immediately thought about my pledge to refashion for March and April - and my cream colored trench. This looks like an interesting refashion. I could cut the length and use some of the material to re-fashion some cuffs on the sleeve. New buttons and buckles - hum, sounds interesting.
But I'm thinking my next project (after I finish off Zman's quilt) will be the Dana Marie X shirt. I might use that great pink and green japanese cotton I got in Victoria for the X, with a plain white or pink for the sides and short sleeves. It would make a great spring/summer top. What do you think??

Friday, April 4

New Pending Project

My aunt has a Japanese doll she received as a child from a friend's father who had travelled to Japan or Korea. She is not is the best of shape. So my assignment is to make her a new kimono. She picked this orange cotton for the main body. I will find a blue to match to make the obi and the under kimono. She needs some new hair too. The colors were selected to match the Turkish carpet in DA's apartment.

Fabrics from Victoria, British Columbia

While on my trip, I took the advice of the people who'd posted at PatternReview and visited Gala Fabrics in Victoria, British Columbia.

Karen, our sales woman, was wonderful and I was able to add quite a few bits and pieces to my fabric stash. I tried to go for things that were foreign or that I'd never seen before.

Remnants - Gala has a large remnant area. I picked these up:

Very light aqua stretch cotton - 1.9 metres. Poly organza with embrodiery - 1.8 metres.
Silk with red flower print 10 x 40 perfect for a scarf. Ivory brocade with pink and lime stripes sized 8 x 42 - a yoke perhaps?
Four yards of cotton sateen - a great summer dress or perhaps a robe? Two yards of Japanese cotton - part of a great top or jacket?
Shangrala by Timeless Treasures(??) which is available here, but I've never been able to find it. Love the peacocks.
Three yards of a corded cotton from Japan. Actually a light pink and a dark pink, not purple as it appears here.
I also picked up two baggies full of embrodiered, sequined and beaded laces in various colors for crazy quilting! Can't wait to dig in here.

I'm Back

Vancouver was beautiful. The mountains, the sea, the sky - just wonderful. I am ready to move!
But instead I'm back to reality. So watch for more sewing coming your way.