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Fleming Island Sewing Group Launched

April 19, 2019

We did it! We launched our Fleming Island Sewing Group on April 15th at the Fleming Island Plantation Amenity Center with about a dozen people attending and an additional dozen planning to join when they can. We are also joining Florida Sewing Sew-ciety to be a part of something bigger to share ideas, support charity projects, and take advantage of the amazing annual sewing conference held each year in Florida. The main point is, we are meeting every month to sew all night long if we’d like to!

We will meet up on the third Monday of each month at 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm or later for our meetings. We have a nice mix of beginners and advanced sewists in our new group. Some of the projects suggested were PJ bottoms, slippers to match, placemats, sun visor hat, small project bags and table runners.

I plan to introduce some garment construction and get my sewing groove on! During the meeting we decided our next month’s sewing project will be both PJ Bottoms and a lined drawstring bag (School of Sewing. Henderson) since they are easy ones to do. We did these in our Cool Stitches workshops and they were quite popular. It’s a great scrap buster too as it takes smaller pieces of coordinating fabric.

The “School of Sewing” by Shae Henderson is one of my favorite books to teach from (request your copy here) because the small projects are approachable and provide introduction of a wide range of techniques you will use in a variety of sewing projects. The drawstring bag featured here is one of the first projects. Useful techniques are introduced from the very first project such as French seams, zippers, buttons and closures, topstitching, sewing around corners and curves, using a rotary cutter, and more. There are online resources for teaching yourself or others.


April 14, 2019
I'd rather be sewing!
As you can imagine, I’m spending more time plinking on my keyboard and scratching my head than indulging in one of the sewing projects I have teasing me from across the room. Some of what I’ve been up to are going to yield some goodness, I promise.
I’ve gotten in one of each EverSewn Sewing, Quilting, and Embroidery machines I carry to use as floor models so you can test drive and see what you think before you order. I’m feeling pretty darn satisfied having them all lined up to check under their “hoods” and take them for a spin. Updates and projects are in our future.
Next on the horizon is a stack of swimwear and scuba fabrics. So you can imagine what a treat to see my serger and coverstitch machines lined up next to the sewing machine to keep things moving along. It looks like an assembly line in the works. I prefer having separate machines to tackle serging and then finish up with the cover stitch machine without missing a beat. How about you?
Before I have the chance to get back to my sewing projects, I need to go learn about my affiliate linking because I have been diligent about evaluating the best products and experts to bring to the table. I have them all lined up and we’ll be working together to fill you in on what’s new and exciting in the sewing world.


The last tidbit I have is our new Fleming Island Florida Sewing Sew-ciety Chapter is launching with a meet and greet event on Monday, April 15th at 6PM at the Fleming Island Plantation Amenity Center. If you are local and want to join us, please do! We will be brainstorming ideas for activities, projects, and future meetings. I will have the new EverSewn Sewing Machines on hand to test drive, and will have some goodies for participants as well.
Talk soon. Wish me luck with this website upgrade. If you have any ideas for me, please do drop me a line. Thank you!
~ Debbi

Tools, Feet, and New Additions (6 years ago on 30 May)

June 19, 2017

As I’m winding down the long weekend, I’m wrapping up my most current projects as well and admiring the finishing touches. What’s significant about many of them is the opportunity to use special tools to accomplish little feats that used to be just a bit harder to do. I keep turning the shirts I’m finishing up for Stan to this weekend to look at the pockets on the left fronts. That perfect top-stitching was made because I used a new presser foot designed for edge stitching. It has a narrow guide near the center of the foot that rides lower than the bottom edge of the foot and therefore, along the edge of the fabric allowing you to stitch perfectly straight and narrow top-stitching. It’s a beautiful thing. I think top-stitching is one of the finishing touches that when done well makes a piece look stunning, and when done poorly leaves you with something less than happy.
Another tool getting lots of use with my current projects is the tailoring tool my son had custom made for me for Christmas.

So, I’m cleani…

June 19, 2017

So, I’m cleaning and organizing after another in my series of creativity bursts when it occurs to me I may have a problem. No — not one that pops up from outside and can be dealt with by delegating or reflecting. Nope, this one is all about me and fabric scraps. Hmm. If it sounds familiar, I’m quite sure you probably won’t be able to help me. Here’s the issue. I have lots of fabric scraps. Some are small, some recognizable, and some are almost big enough to do something with that may be useful. this is not a small deal. It’s becoming a big problem! 

Constructing a Daydream

June 19, 2017

I thought I’d use this forum to journal my progress on my current project. Upon completion I’ll fill in the details you may find lacking here. There’s a reason for it.

I’m currently making a cocktail dress featuring organza, leather, layers, and a banded hem in the season’s latest colors and textures. This is all driven by my client’s design for this garment, and the model’s vibrant red locks. First step was to interview my client to learn what silhouette shape his vision took. Then we worked through a number of usual details such as neckline, sleeves, length, fit, volume, and such. We both dove into Mood’s online store to fulfill our material and supply needs.

I met with the model for overall measurements and then when the muslin arrived I created a mock up of the basic top and bottom allowing for fitting and designing. Off I went to meet the model and move our muslin closer to the final look. Perfect session. Just a few tucks and tweaks to get the fit we were after, and then our stylist used fabric markers to add design features.

While evaluating the updated muslin, the stylist introduced some leather he loved from another project. It was a challenge working all the bodice pieces in because there wasn’t enough to do the bodice in all one color. I resolved this by integrating two complementary colors and color blocking the bodice.

Leather doesn’t have a grain, so manipulating the placement allowed me to maximize the leather pieces. You can see some of the progress here. It turned out gorgeous. It didn’t hurt that my model was a dream.

This piece was featured in the MOCA Jacksonville Art Walk Fashion Show, (photographer: Stephanie Acar); and MVOPC arrived secretly and was front and center in the on-stage audience just to see it on the runway which melted my heart.

What’s New. (Post from 10/2016)

June 19, 2017

I attended the #TedxJax event on Saturday and found it to be the best thing I’ve done in a long time. The event itself was managed extremely well with everything running smoothly from registration to presentation, catering, entertaining, and stimulating conversation and thoughtful activities. The presenters were varied and provocative with a hefty agenda feeling smooth and over too, too quickly. The audience was impressive and diverse in age and all other ways to define a group of people. I left feeling encouraged that Jacksonville has some energy from the #TEDxJax community behind an amazing tipping point. I recommend you connect with #TEDxJax and partake of the upcoming salons and then next year’s annual event. You won’t be sorry. At all. Thank you everyone!! Honored to be an attendee.

How does this relate to me, and my plans.

Check In & Pattern Weights

April 23, 2015

It’s been quite a while since I’ve checked in here. It doesn’t mean I haven’t had my imagination immersed in my studio and been daydreaming through projects. It does mean I haven’t carved out time to just sit and sew. Dang it. It really leaves me lopsided as my tactile, creative side is not being exercised very much. To help balance this, I bought fabric!! Of course! Now, before it looks like fabric bingeing, let me explain how it started.

I have been exploring up-cycling. Specifically, men’s shirts altered into interesting women’s tops. I love this idea. And I love some of the great examples I’ve found. I was ready to go with a stack of hand-me-down shirts from MVOPC, of which I like the fabrics. Note, I really like shirting, cottons, and little stripes and plaids so up-cycling men’s shirts seems like a good match for a satisfying project to me. I started with a shirt I could live without just in case my first attempt didn’t make me happy. Off I went.

The first step once I had my idea sketched was to disassemble the shirt where necessary. Oh. Yeah. Then I remembered how much I dislike alterations. It’s this first step. And all of sudden this felt like alterations. It. Is. So I fiddled around with this project for a while, slowly building up my aggravation – albeit to just a low level; but aggravation is not satisfaction.

I closed up shop for the day and went off for a good night’s sleep. All I dreamed about were sewing projects, and they weren’t altered – I mean – up-cycled shirts. Refreshed, I went to the store in the morning and bought some pretty, coordinating quilt fabrics from which I plan to make some lounge wear; a pair of PJ pants, sleeveless top and cover up tunic or robe style top.

I’ll get back to the up-cycled shirts because I have some great design ideas! I’m just warming up with some straight forward construction that requires no destruction first.

PS. What do you use for pattern weights? I use these giant nuts from McMaster-Carr. They’re a nice weight, slide easily, and I can stick my fingers in them to pick up 5 at once. I have 10 of them.

Happy sewing!!