Front Slit Belted Maxi

Earlier, I laughed at myself because I made an attempt to sew this last night but wasn’t focused.  I didn’t want to waste fabric so I slowly (and reluctantly) walked away from my machine.  The lightbulb came on en route to work as I visualized the bodice (lined).

Once I realized what I did wrong, I parked my butt and focused. This time, I used pattern paper to cut out the pieces, in the event I want to make another.   (Three seconds). Okay! I want to make another!!  Personally, I love the faux wrap across the bodice and gathered waist!   I don’t know where I think I’m going at 3:27am in this but my pillow is calling my name.  

Until my next piece,  I hope that you like….
– Smooches ūüíč


SewingKit HD by Vesta Software LLC: A Sewers Review of a Mobile Inventory App

As my inventory grew, I realized that I accidentally purchased the same fabric twice.¬† Yep, same length too.¬† Most times, I order¬†duplicate notions but buttons and zippers don’t bother me as much as¬†laying out money for fabric that I¬†forgot that I have at home.¬† I longed for a mobile application that would allow me to store¬† EVERYTHING on my device but could not find one that suit my taste.¬† Low and behold, one evening during the Christmas Holidays, I read about SewingKit HD by Vesta Software (@VestaSoftLLC).¬† Vesta is a maker of several mobile applications and this is a Partnership with McCalls.

SewingKit HD is a $9 paid offering (Sewing Kit is free) that is their only utility.¬† I know what you are thinking… NINE DOLLARS???¬† Yeah a whopping nine dollars but after reading my review, you’ll know why I didn’t mind.¬† Keep in mind, that I used the free utility for weeks and realized, the paid version was the way to go.

SewingKit HD allows me to inventory the following:

  • Patterns
  • Fabric
  • People (their measurements)
  • Projects (each piece you make)
  • Threads
  • Books
  • Notions
  • Equipment (such as walking foot, specialty serger feet, etc.)
  • Inspirations (I use this to save photos of prints or garments that inspire me)
  • Trim

SewingKit Home

I won’t go into every feature, but I will provide¬†a good overview of the product and my honest opinion.¬† For instance, the Patterns table allows you to scan the barcode and will match your entry against Vesta Software’s database of various pattern makers and add the stock photos, yardage details, etc. to your iPhone or Android device.¬† ¬† If the barcode does not match, you can manually enter it.¬† The disadvantage: manual entry of everything.¬† For me this occurred on¬†5 out of 66 patters.¬† (I can live with that)

So let’s assume that you entered patterns.¬† This is how it would appear in the Patterns list:

SewingKit Patterns View

To view details such as yardage needed per width and size you simply touch the picture to expand details and select “view yardage details”:

SewingKit Yardage

That’s not all.¬†¬† You can associate pictures of fabric swatches (Fabrics)¬† and include details regarding the fabric (width, length purchased, fabric color, type, etc) or an entire outfit and store the photo under “Projects”¬†.¬† You can¬†store notes¬†and more.

SewingKit Fabric

Here’s the extra mile Vesta Software went:¬† They thought as far as “what if I upgrade or lose my device?¬† Do I need to re-enter the information¬† on the new device?”¬† Actually, you don’t have to.¬† SewingKit HD¬† allows you to backup your database to Dropbox over WiFi.¬† The great things is for those of us who have multiple devices, you can use the larger device such as your iPad¬†to work from (data entry, photos, backup) and your smaller device such as your¬†Phone to refer to when you are shopping or showing off the items that you made¬† to your co-workers at work or¬†friends over mimosas on a Friday night.

Sewing Kit Options 2


  1. The more data that you enter, the longer it takes back up to Dropbox.    At the time of this writing, backup to iCloud is not possible.
  2. You cannot create additional¬†Store Names¬†when entering data.¬† There are a number of “common” stores such as Target (why???), Walmart, JoAnn Fabrics, Amazon, AC Moore.¬† Wawak and Hancock Fabrics were recently added.¬† I guess they grew tired of my email messages but that’s a sign that they are paying attention to¬†customer needs.

Overall, I didn’t mind paying $9 versus, keeping a notepad pad of everything I have.

Feel free to comment, I would love to hear if you experienced competitor applets


Organizing Your Sewing Area

Today, my husband finally mounted my spool rack on the wall that I made last month (see older post).¬† It’s funny how simple things like this make me happy.¬† I had spools in Wawak boxes, Ziplock bags and wicker baskets, so determining if I had the right shade and weight thread for each project was somewhat of a pain in the butt.¬†¬† Although I have more serger thread than my 24″x36″ DIY spool rack allows, this is perfect.¬† The basic colors (beige, black, white) are now the only colors stored in my sewing table and those used less often are on the rack.

Spool Rack

Having dedicated space to sew is so important to me.¬†¬† What’s more important is knowing prior to assembling a quilt or article of clothing what I have on hand and where it is.¬† Today, everything that I need has its proper place, including my new DIY pressing board that I constructed last Sunday. ¬†I no longer need to run to the mud room to press seams as I sew, run upstairs, sew and repeat until I am finished (or drag the iron ironing board upstairs)¬†¬† Making a pressing board is simple, inexpensive and very convenient. ¬†I made one larger than the norm but what IS normal about me? ¬† The instructions are below if you are interested , in creating one ¬†I apologize that I didn’t take a video ¬† I was bored and it was after 9pm and the husband was away on business… I do crazy things when left unattended.

Pressing Pad

DIY Pressing Board

A DIY pressing board is comprised of a few simple materials:

  • ¬†One OSB Board (from Lowes, Home Depot, 84 Lumber, etc) — I suggest sanding the corners which gives it a better look and is less likely to wear through the fabric over time. ¬†OSB is softer than pine or walnut)
  • ¬†100% Cotton Batting
  • ¬†100% Cotton Canvas
  • Fusible felt
  • Upholstery stapler
  • Iron
  • Water in a spray bottle


  1. Cut the canvas 2″ larger than the OSB board so that it overlaps on the underside of the board but not too much that it prevents the board from laying flat.¬† (Cut the excess fabric after Step 7)
  2. Cut the batting 1″ larger than the OSB board so that it does not exceed the canvas. ¬†I wanted my pressing board, firm yet well padded, so I added two layers. ¬†This is merely a suggestion.
  3. Using your iron, press the canvas lightly and lay it on a flat surface, then place the batting in the center of it.  Smooth out both layers of fabric with your hands ensuring that it lays flat.
  4. Lay the OSB board in the center of both layers ensuring that both the batting and canvas will wrap evenly around the edges.
  5. Take one corner of the canvas and batting and wrap it over, holding firmly so that it is taut, then staple the corner down. ¬†Don’t go staple gun crazy. ¬†Two will do LOL.
  6. Repeat Step 5 for the remaining three corners ensuring that you are pulling each corner as taut as possible and there are no wrinkles.
  7. Fold the remaining sides holding the fabric taught and staple down.
  8. Cut the fusible felt so that it covers the stapled areas and press with the iron.  The purpose of fusible felt in this step is to prevent the staples from scratching any surface that you may place your board on as well as cover the back.
  9. Turn your new pressing board over and spritz with water and leave it to dry.  This action will slightly shrink the canvas tightening it just a bit more and voia!

Now when I turn off the light in my sewing room as I did this evening, I smile.¬† It’s¬†my lab, my favorite place in the house .¬† During the day, the sun whispers hello and brightens my day.

Sewing Room

Whenever you sew, make your work area as comfortable, organized and clutter free as possible. It decreases the spit everywhere you are mumbling profanities under your breath because you can’t find something. And you’ll appreciate it!

My First Attempt at a Jumpsuit РVogue V9116 

This morning, I sat down and attempted my first jumpsuit with a soft Handcock ITA knit fabric. Here are the results of Vogue V9116. I absolutely love this jumper! The pattern was easy to follow and can be accomplished under an hour if you pay attention to the instructions on lining the bodice and attaching the bodice to the pants.  The pants flow nicely and it are a comfortable fit.

Modifications: I added 2″ to the leg length to allow me to wear this with heels and removed several inches of elastic from the upper back because I have a narrow torso.

Would I make it again?¬† Heck yeah!!¬† If I wasn’t typing, I would be in my sewing room now.¬† I love the free flowing comfort in this.¬† I immediately tried it on for the photo and cannot wait to accessorize and wear it to a function.

Repurposing USPS Boxes Revisited

As you can see, I painted my ‚Äúlab‚ÄĚ a bright bicycle yellow on Mother‚Äôs Day. As I was putting things back in order, I realized that I have an abundance of notions (zippers, buttons, bias tape, etc.) that should have been better organized. All week, I checked Pier 1, Target, Marshall‚Äôs and TJ Maxx for decorative boxes to store them in. Nothing popped. I saw simply ordinary, blah yet heavy boxes. Early this morning, the light bulb came on. Why pay anyone $15-29 for something that I can do myself. Think, Tracy, think!!!! I measured the sides and bottom of my USPS boxes and used leftover fabric to cover the boxes myself. Now I have colorful fabric covered boxes to match my damask print valance in my brightly colored sewing room.

This chick is a happy camper!