Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hometown inspiration…

I grew up in a rural, southern South Carolina. While visiting for Christmas, my daughter who always visualizes herself in picturesque venues requested that we stop by one of the many cotton fields that we were passing close to my parents’ home and take a few pictures.

I was reminded of a scene from the color purple where Shug Avery says, "I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don't notice it… Well, that was exactly how I felt once we walked into the cotton field. What a beautiful thing to behold.

My grandfather was a farmer and I remember helping to pick cotton from the field behind his house, either to harvest the cotton or as punishment that my Grandmother Marie would meter out. Your punishment would be to fill a bread bag (loaf) with cotton. Oh, it seems easy to do, but each time she would push the cotton down to demonstrate that there was more room in the bag to fill. I am so glad that I still remember those days with fond memories.

I have been inspired by visiting the cotton field. For me everything is a learning experience. My daughter’s desire to add to her limitless number of photos has sparked a desire in me to learn more about cotton as a fashion fabric. I visited a couple of websites Cotton – The Fabric of Our Lives and Fiber Central. What I have learned is that cotton is such a versatile fiber that can be woven with other fibers to create wonderful fabrics for fashion apparel.

I am glad my daughter saw fit to request stopping by the cotton field for one of her usual limitless picture taking events, it gave me the opportunity to reflect on fond memories of my grandparents as well as gave me a new appreciation for one of our most precious natural fibers and its fashion potential…limitless.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

To INFINITY and Beyond: Infinity Scarfs for Christmas

Guess what my the women in my family are getting for Christmas?

The Infinity Scarf can come in many different styles, textures and colors. They can be used to accessorize any outfit, and can be styled in multiple ways. I found selecting fabrics and textures fun. Most I found at Walmart.

The options are "infinte". I was able to make approximately 12 different scarves in less than 6 hours over 2 days. Talk about "instant gratification" sewing projects. As I made each one, I wanted to keep it for myself. In most cases, I bought enough fabric to make 2 or 3 out of the same fabric. Can't you imagine the style potential with each scarf?

Animal Print!

Basic Black!


 Black & White!


I want to keep them all for myself...but it's Christmas.The time for giving! I hope they really enjoy them. I know I did making them!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

SWAP 2012 - Ready for the Challenge!

I have been contemplating a SWAP for some time now. The 2012 SWAP (Sewing With a Plan) contest on Stitcher's Guild will focus on fitting, and making tried-and-true patterns or in my case figuring out what my “tried-and true” patterns are.

Sewing will begin December 26th, and all garments must be finished by April 30th, 2012. Muslins, pattern fitting and cutting may be started whenever you are ready; so this gives me plenty of time to determine what I would like to consider and develop as my tried and true patterns. I do have a few patterns that I really like, but still have small fitting issues to work out and this SWAP will give me the opportunity to do just that.

Here are the basic guidelines:

Choose any seven garments from this list:

  • Button Down Shirt w/Collar  
  • Blouse or shirt (collar is optional)  
  • T-Shirt  
  • Vest  
  • Overshirt  
  • Dress  
  • Jeans 
  • Trousers  
  • Shorts or Capri Pants  
  • Skirt
  • Jacket (jean jacket, windbreaker, hoodie, etc.)  
  • Coat (suit or sport coat) 
  • Overcoat or Raincoat  
  • Bathing Suit & Coverup
From those seven, choose four to make twice for a total of 11 garments that will work together. Those four may either be repeated garments from the same pattern, or one each from two different patterns.

It doesn't matter what styles you choose, but these should be patterns you will be using over and over in the future, so keep 'em simple with lots of room for future alterations, changes and embellishments. You will probably want to make test muslin of each pattern, so that any fitting issues can be addressed early on.

For now, I am off to make a calendar to set deadlines. I am actually quite excited!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vogue 8634 - A Best Pattern of 2010 - I just had to make it!

Front View

Back View

On my way to work

Pattern Description:

MISSES' TOP: Close-fitting, pullover tops A, B, C, in two lengths, have collar and stitched hems. A: short sleeves. B: three-quarter length sleeves. C: long sleeves

Pattern Sizing:

Combinations: Y(XS-S-M), Z(L-XL)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes, it did.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Very easy; simple and quick to sew.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I really like this pattern; the only thing I did no do that was in the instructions was to top stitch across the front.

Fabric Used:

A poylester/Rayon Jersey Knit purchased at Fabric.com.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:


Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I plan to make this in a couple of solids. I think that it is a perfect top to wear with separate pieces and under a suit.


A simple and quick sew; fits well and a great pattern if you are in need of tops to fill in your wardrobe.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

No One Told Me I Was 4'11"...

But since I actually am (my ego tells me I am 6 feet tall), I decided to learn more about petite fashion and fitting. I found this video and wanted to share it on my blog. Thanks for stopping by.
Dr. Donna

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

McCalls Facebook Page

I am featured on McCalls Patterns Facebook page. Follow the link below to check it out! Thanks,
Dr. Donna.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Red & White All Over!

Pattern Description:

Misses'/Miss Petite Dresses and Belt. Pullover Dress with sleeve variations.

Pattern Sizing:

Size: 4-12

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

I chose to sew View A. The finished dress looked exactly like the photo on the pattern envelop. I was very pleased.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

This is a simple pattern. Beginners will definitely gain a sense of confidence upon completion. A simple, yet elegant look.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I like the simplicity of the pattern and the casual fit. Regardless of the fabric, the dress can be dressed up with accessories, belts, jewelry, etc. I was able to cut it out and sew it up in approx. 3 hours. Instant gratification!

Fabric Used:

Ity Knit purchased last summer from Hancock Fabrics. I believe I only purchased 1 1/2 yards, not know at the time what I would use if for.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I did not make any design changes. I only had to make sure with the fabric patterns that I cut ensuring the the design would be symmetrical.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I will sew this one again. I love the casual loose fit. It's a dress both for the weekends and for work.


An easy pullover that can be dressed up or down for any occasion.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fall 2011 Fashion Colors

Considering a SWAP - Sewing With a Purpose

Here are the basic colors that I am considering.

I am perusing the fabic sites for a splash of colorful patterns and trendy designs to add a little punch to my basic colors. More to come on pieces and patterns.