It’s done!

I have finally finished my very first dress! It doesn’t look as nice as all the dresses I see posted on the blogs I follow, but I’m still proud of it for a couple reasons! The first is that I actually finished it. I have a hard time finishing projects that take more than a few hours, things I have to put down for more than a night or two. The second, is, of course, that with a little help from some of you, and a lot from my Aunt Lisa, I managed to make something that is meant for just me! I’m always making things for my girls, or other peoples kids, but nothing is made for me. I’m okay with that; I am a mom and a wife, my kids and husband come first. But it sure does feel nice, knowing that I made something for me.
I can’t wait to start on my next project for myself! I think I will try something without a collar this time, since it gave not only me, but also my very experienced Aunt, some issues!Image

The pockets are really low on this dress, but I think that is because I’m so short. I’m keeping an eye out for coupons and sales so I can invest in a dress form. I really think I need one in order to make things fit me properly. I’m unproportional, so it’s hard to find the right size in ready-made clothes, it’s also tough to alter handmade clothes without a dress form. Until I can find a good deal on a store bought form, I’m researching how to make my own for a lot less!

Have you ever made a duct tape dress form? Do you know of someone who has? As soon as I make mine, I’ll be sure to post it! 


Important sewing terms for all beginners!

I feel like I haven’t posted in forever! It seems like every other week, I or someone in my family come down with something; this past weekend, it was food poisoning (not from my cooking and only three of us, thank goodness); a couple weeks before that, it was bronchitis; before that it was a head cold. Now that Spring is finally here, all the windows are open in my house and we are feeling better! It has definitely been a long Winter! 



Anyway, I figured, since I need to take it easy today (recovering from the food poisoning seems to be taking me a little longer than two of my daughters), I would come up with a list of some of the key sewing words you are bound to come across as a beginner sewer (sewist? which word do you prefer?) and what they mean. I’m trying to put them in alphabetical order, since I couldn’t think of a better way to list them. If I leave something out, or incorrectly define something, please feel free to add it to the comments and I will go back later and edit them in if I can! 

Back-tack (aka backstitch): to reverse direction of the stitches to lock them in. Wicked simple! You just use the reverse button on your machine!

Basting stitch: a long stitch used to temporarily hold pieces together (baste). This can be done by hand or by machine.

Bias tape/binding: looks very nice added to the unfinished edge of fabric. I’ll let The Haby Goddess explain this one! I will openly admit, I have a very strong dislike for bias tape! 

Bolt: a roll of one type and print of fabric. When you go to a fabric store, you choose a bolt of fabric, then have your yardage cut from it. There are different widths of fabric, such 32″, 45″, 54″ and 60″ (I’m sure I missed a few). You will need to choose the fabric type (refer to the pattern you are making, it will always recommend a fabric type/weight for the project), the fabric width and the fabric print. Don’t forget to ask for help when choosing the correct fabric if you need it! 

Dart: a v-shaped marking, used to help shape the fabric to better fit bust or waist curves. Sew It Love It is the place to go for dart instructions!

Edgestitch: to stitch 1/8″ from finished edge of fabric. I believe you don’t usually backstitch unless the pattern tells you to.

Feed dog: the teeth under the plate that “feed” the fabric under the needle to be sewn.

Gather- to make a longer piece of fabric fit a shorter one; to make ruffles. These are also fairly easy to do once you get a little practice! Again, I’ll refer to Ilse, from Sew It Love It! She really knows her stuff! 

Seam allowance: the amount of fabric between the edge of the fabric and your stitches.

Here are some simple tips for beginner sewers/sewists:

  • Always read the instruction manual that comes with your new machine. There could be some very valuable information in there!
  • Follow a maintenance schedule. You want your machine to last for as long as possible, so you need to take care of it!
  • Read a few sewing blogs. They can be very inspirational and informational!
  • Invest in the proper tools! A cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter are very important, not just for quilting! You will also need a measuring tape, thread, bobbins, a stitch ripper, stitch gauge, marking pencil or chalk (specifically made for fabric),  hand sewing needles and of course fabric! I suggest old pillowcases and sheets as practice fabric!
  • HAVE FUN! Try new things and don’t be afraid to make mistakes or ask for help! All sewers/sewists (seriously folks, which stinking word do you prefer??) have been beginners at some point! 

I’m hoping to actually complete my vintage dress that I started awhile ago this week or next at the latest; all I have left to do is the hem, button holes and buttons!

Have a great week everyone! 

This adventure is starting to turn into a nightmare!

I have been working on getting this darn collar on my dress (vintage Simplicity Pattern 7048) all stinking day and STILL can’t seem to figure it out! Image
Am I doing something wrong? Is there a way to change the pattern to take the collar out without making the dress look funny? Should I just scrap this and start fresh? 

Tutorial Fail!

I tried over the weekend to write a tutorial post for messenger bags. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful. So instead, I’ll just post a few pictures of the bag making process, so you can see! Hopefully I’ll get it all figured out soon, so I can share how to make this easy bag! I have another bag to make, so I’ll try the tutorial again when I make it! 
I received a special request today, for a vintage style apron with the word “Nanny” across the bib. This is going to be very challenging I think! I’ve never actually done letters on anything! But that’s what this blog is about; Adventures in sewing!

P1020412 P1020419

Snip Snip!

Snip Snip!

P1020432 P1020459

Pressing the fleece is so easy!

Pressing the fleece is so easy!

Sewing the rick rack to the front flap embellishment!

Sewing the rick rack to the front flap embellishment!

I love how the rick rack looks!

I love how the rick rack looks!

This is the back of the strip, you can see the rick rack and fusible fleece.

This is the back of the strip, you can see the rick rack and fusible fleece.

All done!

All done!

There's a pocket under the flap on the front of the bag!

There’s a pocket under the flap on the front of the bag!

Inside pockets, with two pencil slots!

Inside pockets, with two pencil slots!

Well, I’m off to have adventures with redoing my website and designing and sewing a little girls skirt! I’ll post pics of the skirt when I get it done!

Vintage 1975 Dress

I found this pattern at Savers! It's never even been used!

I found this pattern at Savers! It’s never even been used!

I am feeling really good about myself right now! Not only did I find a wicked good deal at JoAnn’s on Simplicity patterns ($1 each, sale ends today and is only in-store I think), but I also found some really great vintage patterns at Savers! The fabric I am using for view 1 is actually old sheets I found at the Sally Shop (aka The Salvation Army Store). This is my very first woman’s dress pattern; if I mess up, at least I didn’t spend a lot on the fabric!

I am not at all sure how to do these tucks and things. I think I'll be visiting Google a lot today!

I am not at all sure how to do these tucks and things. I think I’ll be visiting Google a lot today!


Tucks and Soft Pleats... Google, here I come!

Tucks and Soft Pleats… Google, here I come!

I did try to print out the unisex pj pants pattern over the weekend, so I could make those Pat’s pants for my Jim Dear, but I couldn’t seem to get it to print right! I couldn’t figure out why only some of the pages were printing; turns out a bunch of pages ended up on the floor by my printer, which is in another room! My 3yr old, Bum, was bringing me the pages from the printer, so I didn’t see the dropped ones until bedtime. Looks like I’ll have to give it another go this weekend and make sure I get the pages out of the printer this time! 

Does anyone have any tips or advice for me, as I begin my first dress? I am so excited to get it started, but first I have to visit Google I think!



Welcome to the Adventure!

I am Destini, of Destini’s Designs and a sewing adventurer! I want to share the new (to me) techniques I’ve discovered, the terms I think every newbie should know and some great free patterns, among other things. 

A lot of what I make is for my girls (I do have three of them, after all) ; but I’ve been feeling pretty adventurous lately, picking patterns for my husband or myself and our apartment, that I have never tried before. I absolutely love that feeling I get when I finish a new pattern, or learn a new technique, don’t you?

I always welcome comments, tips n tricks, and links to other blogs or sites, as long as they are constructive, not destructive! Remember the old adage “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all” when leaving a comment! 


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