Maryland Ravens are #1 – Wheelchair Basketball

Last year my daughter and I were able to attend one of Maryland Ravens game. They used to be called the Baltimore Ravens, and although they’ve been around much longer than the professional football team (40 years if I remember correctly) the Baltimore Ravens they still had to change their name… they chose the Maryland Ravens.

The Maryland Ravens are a great group of people that can’t use their legs but still manage to participate in a sport they love, and they do it so well. I’m on their mailing list so I still receive updates.  I’m so proud to hear that currently they’re ranked #1!

I also love their motto … Ability Despite Disability. I personally know a few able bodied folks that really should apply that motto into their own lives.

Pattern Drafting for Springfield/American Girl dolls

Earlier this week, I promised my daughter we would make some outfits for her Monster High Dolls and her Springfield Doll. The Monster High dolls costumes can be a bit tricky since the dolls are tiny and have an odd shaped body.  We sewed all the outfits from repurposed clothing.

Solid Gold dancers
Solid Gold dancers

The fabric used for the Monster High dolls outfit was gold, and the color made me think of the show Solid Gold.

My daughter sewed most of the outfit for her Springfield doll. Springfield dolls are the same size as the extremely popular American Girl dolls, but the Springfield dolls are a lot cheaper. They’re sold exclusively at A.C. Moore.



First step was making a simple pattern for her dolls. My nine year old daughter is still new to machine sewing, so I didn’t want to overwhelm her. Once I drafted the pattern, it was cut and pinned to the fabric.

Pattern drafting is easy, once you know how to do it. I started when I was six years old. I’ve had years of practice since most of the outfits I make are created using my own patterns. This fabric is older than my daughter. I’d originally purchased it to make a pair of wide legged pants. I still own and wear those pants.


Springfield doll/American Girl dress
Springfield doll/American Girl dress


I was so proud of my daughter, with my guidance she sewed the dress. Didn’t she do a great job? My daughter is really thrilled with how this dress is progressing. “It’s much better than the dress she came with mom!” She exclaimed, and she was right. I checked out the original outfit, the stitching was subpar. I’m a sewer, I always look at the stitching (inside and outside).

We both thought the dress was too plain so I drafted a ‘ruffle pattern’ cut it out, gathered it and added it to the dress bottom. This was easily accomplished by setting the machines stitch length to 5. The dress isn’t finished we still need to do a few more things to complete, such as finish the sleeves and we’re still undecided about the collar.

Springfield doll/American Girl dress made from my own pattern
Springfield doll/American Girl dress made from my own pattern


Also a sash will be added to the waist. But we have time… there’s still tomorrow after church.

Bee Paper, 24" by 50 yards
Bee Paper, 24″ by 50 yards


Since this doll isn’t big, I used plain printer paper to draft my pattern, but when drafting patterns I purchase drafting paper. Why?  I like my paper patterns to have some stability. This type of paper is much better than the thin tissue type patter that most of the major pattern companies use. The majority of those patterns are paper-thin and tear quite easily. I much prefer thicker paper. Since I draft most of my own patterns I really don’t have to deal with patterns made on super thin paper.


Me with my Brother PC-420

My daughter loves taking pictures of me when I’m not expecting them. Silly girl!


Brother PC-420
Brother PC-420


All this was made possible by my Brother PC-420, it arrived this morning. Like my Brother SE-400, it’s self threading. Even through I rarely had a problem threading a machine needle, I’ve grown to really love this feature. I wanted something that was light and portable (most of my sewing machines are heavy) but still was a quality machine (at a reasonable price) that offered a lot of features. My brand-new Brother PC-420 has all of those features.

As with anything, I read numerous reviews about a variety of sewing machines before finally settling on this model. That’s normal, I always research thoroughly before spending money. I purchased an additional three-year warranty in case anything happens to this machine. Thus far, it is doing well. I haven’t had a chance to put it through all it’s paces, but I’ll be checking all 294 stitches tomorrow.


The razor’s edge…

Ginger Dressmaking shears - 8"
Gingher Dressmaking scissors – 8″

I’ve known about Gingher products for about thirty-six years…

My mother owned a pair of Gingher dressmaking scissors.  I was fascinated by them, they were stainless steel, very smooth and oh so shiny! Since the blades were razor sharp, I wasn’t allowed to use them without supervision.  After all, I was only six-years old. My mother watched me like a hawk as I carefully cut through fabric. The blades sliced through anything as if it were melted butter. Those scissors aided me in creating a lot of outfits.

Eventually my mother let me have those scissors. I’m guessing because I used them more than she? When I was a child she mainly sewed out of necessity. She didn’t seem to enjoy it as much as myself. The Gingher scissors I inherited from here are small. But, I’ve always wanted to purchase a much larger pair. I just never got around to making that purchase. I mainly use quality rotary cutters for a lot of my fabric cutting, but in some cases nothing beats good quality scissors. Well, my small Gingher scissors will now have a big sister since I purchased much larger pair of Gingher scissors!

I’m willing to spend a bit extra for them since they last much longer than the cheap quality plastic handled scissors you can purchase for a few dollars. Over time, the scissors pay for themselves since I don’t have to keep purchasing those poor quality scissors. I’ve used my Gingher scissors for over thirty years, and am looking forward to using the new pair for a long time also. Great product, excellent company.

More thread…

Coats & Clark Dual Duty Thread
Coats & Clark Dual Duty Thread

With the upcoming costumes I’m making for my Lutheran Church’s production of the Passion Play, I thought it would be a great idea to have a nice supply of machine sewing thread available.

I have a lot of embroidery thread that I use with my Brother SE-400, but I’m not about to use that for regular sewing. Based on the cost alone, it wouldn’t make sense.

No worries, I can always purchase Coats & Clark Dual Duty thread. It’s been the standard thread I’ve used since I started sewing at six years old. Over the years, I’ve been tempted by some of the cheaper quality threads available but after some unpleasant experiences I’ve always returned to Coats.

This weekend, I’ll be working on a few Passion Play costumes and I’ll be designing/sewing a dress for my daughter.  My Lutheran church recognizes Lent and her choir will be performing at next Wednesday evenings Lenten service.

Online Humor – Wrong on the internet

A few months ago, I stumbled upon this cartoon. It made me laugh.

I’ve seen my share of people interacting in various discussions where they simply have to be ‘right’ on whatever issue is being discussed. I shake my head and think to myself… You both made your point… just let it go. But no… you’ll have the same folks going round and round on the same issue, determined to have the last virtual word. A bit silly if you ask me.



I’m not sure what drove me to post this now. I haven’t stumbled upon any online train-wrecks in a while, and when I do encounter them, I go out of my way to avoid them. I dislike that type of foolishness. Then again I’m not active on any ‘drama filled’ forums/sites. The sites I do visit tend to be  drama free, so that might explain why I don’t see this behavior often? 😉

Passion Play – Behind the Scenes

Last evening my daughter and I attended the Passion Play practice.


It was a great chance to see the actors go over their lines (although I suspect many of the performers know them already) since it seems the same people play yearly. I must say that does make me wonder how ‘easy’ it would be for a new church member to try to snag a role? 😉

My daughter had a great time, watching the actors behind the scenes. There was a lot of  joking and laughter which made for a pleasant and laid back play practice. As an added bonus,  I was able to secure most of the measurements needed for the costumes I’m making.

While knitting, I got the perfect idea on how I could keep the ‘demons’ face hidden within his costume. This weekend, I’ll draft a pattern from that idea, sew it, and next Tuesday, I’ll bring it to the Passion Play practice so that it can be tested.

Vintage pattern; Vogue 8875

Vogue 8875
Vogue 8875

My mom had a lot of patterns from the 1960s…

If I look I might find some of them in my possession. One pattern that I was thrilled to see re-released was Vogue 8875.

Apparently Vogue didn’t keep files of some of their vintage patterns and so they asked folks to share some of their patterns with them so they could be re-released.

Isn’t this style lovely? These type of designs never seem to go out of style. I’m not much for trendy, but I do love classic pieces such as the one above.

Will I make this? I’ve made similar… and I’m tempted to make another outfit, but most likely if I did something such as this, I’d make the coat a bit longer and pair it with flowing wide legged pants and fitted sleeveless top. I most definitely wouldn’t wear the hat.

Asos Platform Heels
Asos Platform Heels


Besides changing the color of the outfit, the shoes I’d choose would have a chunkier heel but they’d most likely be about the same height.

Vintage pattern Vogue 8875
Vintage pattern Vogue 8875


Here’s the original pattern. It’s the same pattern, but the re-released pattern was ‘modernized’.