Just a little update

Published 05/04/2013 by Donna Kennedy

Hi and thanks for visiting my website.  I don’t often post here myself as I don’t want to have folks think I am here to blow my own horn!  But don’t think I won’t if I get a chance to!  🙂

Let’s see…..time for a little update….. Of late, the pre-teen students are beginning to come on board.  I currently have 2 ten year olds that I am working with (moms included here!) and a 7 year old in the wings that I expect I will be meeting shortly.  I typically prefer to start children at about the age of 8, but there are some that are ready sooner, it’s just so individual as you well know.  Any child that shows an interest and has the capability to focus on a task within their age range, is more than welcome to become a student.  Children will start with simpler projects, many of which involve sewing in straight lines (not perfectly of course!)  I do expect at least one parent to be actively involved here as the child needs a resource in between classes, so moms, you also get to learn for the same class fee that you pay for your child!  I consider it a win-win situation for all.  Hope you will as well!

Other developments since this website has started….  We have had an apron queen-at last count, Jessica M. had made over a dozen aprons.  Not to be outdone, next comes Andrea M. with PJ bottoms numbering at least 12 if not more.  To her credit, she took the pattern that is taught here and changed it up in size to fit the slightly more generous figures of some of her relatives.  After that, she got even more creative and has added contrasting ties and other fabric contrasts to the jammies.  Next comes Erica M. with at last count 11 potholders.  Who knows, she could have even more made by the time I see her next week!  So if you have something that you learn to do, and love to do, I wouldn’t be surprised to see your name appear here as well.  Absolutely everyone needs to be given a pat on the back for their efforts.  Next comes Hope R., who wears suits as an executive.  Her issue is in order to get the jacket to fit, she needs a size larger than her slacks.  The high quality suits she was purchasing, did not have the option to buy the pieces separately.  Last week, she deconstructed then reconstructed a pair of those pants and got them altered (with a bit of help) to a fit she could be proud to wear.  I’ve no doubt that she is going to go on to more involved and difficult alterations fairly quickly.

I will try to post a bit more often with project updates, so check back now and again for the latest news!

2012 in review

Published 12/30/2012 by Donna Kennedy

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Sewing Your Own Corset – Link Roundup

Published 11/23/2011 by ShardsOfBlue

Corset Samples

Have you ever wondered how to sew a corset? If you’re involved in Steampunk, Renaissance fairs, or other period dress-up, you’ve probably ogled those lovely corsets on sale at the vendor booths, often for hundreds of dollars.

If you’d like to save a little money and embark on a new project, here are some great links for learning how to sew them, as well as where to find the supplies.

How to Sew a Corset:

Where to Buy Corset Supplies:

Vintage Corset Ad by Deja Vecu

The History of Aprons

Published 09/13/2011 by Donna Kennedy

Author Unknown

Jenn's Apron

Photo by Eric Skiff on Flickr. Apron by JennKish on Etsy.

I don’t think our kids know what an apron Is.

The principle use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath. Because she only had a few, it was easier to wash an apron than a dress, and an apron used less material. Along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

Girl With Chicken

Photo by J E Theriot on Flickr.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.Vintage Advance Apron Pattern

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes.

Grandma Used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw. They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

*   I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron (except Grandma’s love). *

Pink Lap Quilt

Published 08/29/2011 by Donna Kennedy

A while back, my mother made the mistake of telling my sister that we’re not “frilly, lacy people”, so I decided to make her this cheerful, frilly, lacy quilt, complete with lace trim around the center square.

Colorful Quilt Fabric

Fabric for the quilt, all laid out and ready to go.


Lap Quilt in progress

Lap Quilt in progress


Finished! August 2011

Finished! August 2011


Finished back

Finished back


"Created By" Closeup

"Created By" Closeup


World's Best Mom!

World's Best Mom!


Jeans Shorts Alteration

Published 08/16/2011 by Donna Kennedy

Today we altered a pair of jeans shorts for Roxanne. Although the thickness of the denim was a challenge for her machine, the pants eventually went from “bubble butt” to perfect fit in an afternoon!

Jeans Project Before

Before - The belt is really making a bunch!

Jeans Project Pinning

Pinning it Down - You can see the chalk line where we were taking it in to.

Jeans Project, Comparing Old and New

Comparison - She had another pair just like them, so you can see the size difference.

Jeans Project After (1)

They fit so much better!

Jeans Project After (2)


Fabric Store Locations

Published 08/14/2011 by Donna Kennedy

Before you start a project, you need to get your fabric! Here are a few of my favorite places to get fabric in Las Vegas:

  • Tandy Leather near Flamingo and Pecos has a wide selection of leathers and associated supplies.
  • Jo-Ann’s Fabric and Crafts is a good all-around fabric and notions store, especially if you sign up for their email coupons. They have 2 locations in Las Vegas, one on the west side of town at Rainbow and Lake Mead and one in the southwest at Sunset and Marks.  They also have an available app for your smartphone which is great for coupons too!
  • Hancock Fabrics has 2 Vegas locations, one on the west side of town at W. Lake Mead and Decatur, and one at the south end at S. Maryland and E. Silverado Ranch.
  • Hobby Lobby has various locations about the city.
  • Home Fashions on Decatur and Oakey.  They carry a wide assortment of materials suitable for your home.
  • Heddy’s on W. Charleston between Decatur and Jones.  Heddy’s offers some specialty items that will be hard to find elsewhere.  Great fabric for costuming.
  • Michael’s also carries a limited supply of notions for sewing and has the Clover ripper/awl that is recommended.

Please take note on the back of the pattern and get the suggested notions (in addition to thread!) that are listed for your project.  If you don’t have everything when you start, you may need to make an additional trip to the store to get them.

Don’t forget to wash and iron your fabrics after you buy them.  If you are uncertain about the appropriate care for the fabric, ask at the cutting table when you have the material cut.  You don’t know who may have handled them before you!

Flowery Fabric Bolts

(Photo by Tinou Bao on Flickr)

Sewing Machine Repair Shops

Published 08/12/2011 by Donna Kennedy

There are a number of sewing machine repair shops in Las Vegas, but here are a few I’ve either used myself or heard good things about:

A-All Discount Vacuum & Sewing‎
4530 East Tropicana Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89121-6705
(702) 456-2535

Vegas Vacuum and Sewing‎
5965 West Sahara Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 364-1107

** July 2014 ***Additional note-Serger routine maintenance can often be completed in 1 to 3 days depending on time machine is brought to this location.  Call ahead for best time to bring serger in.

Tabic’s Sewing Machines‎
1000 E Charleston Blvd # 104
Las Vegas, NV 89104-1560
(702) 384-1963

Online Resources for Patterns and More

Published 08/04/2011 by Donna Kennedy

The Web is full of resources for us. For one thing, it’s a great place to find patterns, even free ones. Check out:

I recommend going to Nancy’s Notions and requesting a catalog here.

If quilting is in your future, take a look at the Flynn Multi-Frame system.

Amazon is a good source for supplies and sewing machines (limited). I suggest you look at a Brother 6000i brand, and if a Singer is in your future, contact me.

As I discuss in more detail in another post, eBay is another great source for notions and fabrics.

Finally, if you’re looking for inspiration, the photo sharing site Flickr has some sewing groups you can browse to see what other people are making.

Vintage Sewing Pattern

(Photo by Mikhaela Reid on Flickr)