Monday, December 31, 2012

Year In Review - 2012

At the beginning of the year my goals were pretty simple:

1. To participate in both the Colette Patterns Spring and Fall challenges.

 Accomplished - There was not a fall challenge this year, but I did participate in the spring challenge.

2. To make my first jacket and first coat.

Accomplished  50%!   I did finish my first jacket, but my coat is still a pile of muslin in my sewing basket.  The coat will need to carry over into 2013.

3. To make my first quilt.

Accomplished 50%!  I was able to complete the quilt top, but will now need to complete the final steps in 2013.

4. To knit my first cardigan.

This goal got completely lost in my memory!

I did finish 20 items ranging from Star Wars pajama pants for my husband, lots of pretty dresses, and a pretty polka dot jacket.  I figure considering I had a six month hiatus caused by overload at work that this isn't a bad haul.

I think I will keep my goals for 2013 simple as well, but aim to look back at them during certain points of the year to remind myself of what the goals are and why I set them in the first place.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Fabric Friday

I am not much of a winter gal.  Maybe that is because I live in Southern California where it never really feels like winter.  As soon as fall is over, I am ready to put away the coats and long sleeves away and begin dreaming of spring. 

I am guessing that is why I am already dreaming of pastels and springy fabrics. 

The top print is a Nani Iro and would make such a pretty blouse!  I really need more separates in my wardrobe!

I am a big sucker for red and pink color combinations. The second print is something I would not normally gravitate towards, but wouldn't this make a gorgeous blouse or dress - maybe even for Valentine's day. 

I am determined to sew up some of my stash before I purchase anymore fabric, but if these are still around in the next few months they just may be calling my name.

What are your current fabric inspirations?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Craftsy Block of the Month - August

Yay! we are picking up steam again and rolling right along into the Craftsy Block of the Month for August!  I am so excited that I am nearly complete, as my goal was to finish this quilt in 2012.  While they are only a few days left, I should at least have the quilt top to show for my efforts.

By the way, since my return I know I have posted more on quilting than anything else but pending the weather holds up I should have some garment posts after this weekend!  I won't spoil the surprise, but after months of almost complete inactivity I am back at it again.

Back to the August blocks, the theme for this month instead of being focused on a skill was a type of block - the star.  The block pictured above is called and Ohio Star and it is pretty easy on the eye without much effort.

I don't have a whole lot to say about this one besides it would probably look best if you had something to "fussy cut" for the center block which I did not.  For non-quilters, fussy cut is to cut out a specific motif from your fabric like a large rose such as to showcase it in the block.  What a fun term right?

This second block is a just a star within a star, but the sharper angled triangles are called flying geese and are used in many blocks.  This block, and well flying geese in general take a lot of cutting work!  This block was much more time consuming then a lot of others I have made in this class.  The instructor also mentioned using highly contrasting colors for the three portions of the star and I broke the rules a little by using background fabric for the middle of the star, but with my fairly earthy/neutral pallet I felt it gave it a really nice look. 

That is also one of my favorite things about quilting so far, just because an instructor or pattern design tells you something would be a preferred method or give a more desirable affect there is lots of room for improvisation and changing it up so it is visually pleasing to you.

Lastly, sewing Helper has not been as enthusiastic on my return to sewing and was snoozing on the job (in the lining for my uncompleted Sew Colette Licorice dress).  This project runway contestant was clearly going to have to send her model down the runway in an unfinished garment!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fabric Friday

Awhile back when I was blogging more regularly I had just started Fabric Friday posts.  These posts were fabric that I had found in a store or online that caught my eye.  Maybe I decided to buy it or maybe it was on the wish list.

This Friday I am showing a pale blue lace from my local fabric store Baron's.  They are the place to go for fashion / designer fabrics.  I really need to take a picture next time I am there!

The Mr. allowed me as part of my Christmas gift to go to Baron's and buy myself some pretty fabrics.  He knew I was taking some much needed time of work between the two holidays and might find some time to sew. 

While there I noticed they had a table of these One of a Kind Sample cuts. These sample cuts are one of a kind pieces (usually about 3 yards) given to fashion designers from fabric companies to make up their samples.  My fabric store is able to get their hands on some and offer them at really nice prices.

So, even though I was there with a few specific things in mind (wool for making a pencil skirt, a nice silk for a portrait blouse and a double knit for the bow-tied blouse all from Gertie's book of course!), I saw a few of these that I just couldn't pass up.

I am thinking the blue lace would be great for making the Chantilly lace version of the Portrait blouse in Gertie's book.  Sadly, my fabric does not have a scallop edge, but I am thinking I might be able to gently cut around the scallops at the bottom.

Do you have a place that sells samples like these or a local fabric store you just love to go into?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Craftsy Block of the Month - July

We all know the old saying "Christmas in July" - what about July in Christmas?  It just doesn't have the same ring, but somehow that is where I am at currently.

One of my main goals for this year was to finish my very first quilt while participating in the Craftsy Block of the Month class with instructor Amy Gibson from Stitchery Dickory Dock.  The class is great and I have learned so much!

The July blocks used a Dresden template which is a pretty traditional quilting method. I am pretty sure most of us have seen this before whether we have quilted or not. 

I'll tell you a secret, for being such a beautiful block, it is easy!!  I did make a few mistakes along the way - in my rush to finish the block shown above was only supposed to have 20 petals.  I cut too many and planned to take out the ones that didn't look right, but forgot!  I ended up having to make a larger circle for the middle to compensate.

In the class the second block is a more modern Dresden which ends up being a large wheel shape.  I understood the concept but really wasn't so fond of the final product.  I ended up making another standard Dresden block but only used two alternating colors.  Since this block reminds me of a flower I have nicknamed this my "he loves me" - "he loves me not" block.

The instructor also encourages you to play around with your stitching types. So, while the top was hand appliqued the bottom block was put together (sorry picture is somewhat blurry) with a zig-zag stitch. 

Keep your fingers crossed for my success! I am currently halfway through the August blocks with September and October to go before I start stitching them all together and finish up the quilt.  Can I get this all done before January! - I guess time will tell.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Permanent Bandaids

When my husband and I purchased our home about 2 years ago we realized the lovely built-in shown above did not have doors and looked unfinished.  We searched the local hardware stores for "off the shelf" cabinet doors that could be purchased. 

We were unable to find any and had to turn to the Internet.  We did find a company that sold doors that you would need to paint and install yourself - no problem - right?  Well, one thing led to another and we put the doors on hold.  The first time we had company over I draped a large curtain over the area (not pictured here) so at least what was being stored in the cabinets wasn't showing.  This two years later was a somewhat permanent bandaid that had yet to go away for something nicer looking.  It is funny how life gets the best of you and find that something that seemed so easy - just didn't get done.

Well, we hosted our first ever Thanksgiving for the family and wanted to have the nice cabinet doors installed and ready to go.  No more procrastinating for us!  Well, being a buyer you think I have originally paid attention to the lead time for fabrication. It was eight weeks and I only had two weeks till Thanksgiving.

We still wanted something nicer than the old curtain.  So, what you see above is my "fix" - maybe another permanent bandaid- hahha! I went to Joann's and got some nice coordinating home decorator fabrics.  They match a wine rack and candle holder that we received as a gift when we got married.  It is sort of hard to make out in the photos but the middle fabric has all the colors.
To provide the desired sturdiness I cut two squares about an inch all around larger than the holes in the built and basically made double sided squares which then were applied with double sided sticky Velcro (extra strong - works like a charm).  This gives the cabinet and the room a much nicer appeal and still allows access to the hordes of video games we have collected!

This was so simple and my very happy with the results!  It is amazing what a little fabric and thread can do! 

PS.  I believe this post will officially mark my return to blogging and spending a bit more time doing the things I love.  This year I spend a lot of time at work and the rest of the time just being too tired.  I am determined to try to ensure a better work-life balance for 2013!  I have missed all of you - so I hope you have missed me too!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

I've been awarded a blog award by my friend Corina of Geminae. This is one of those chain awards that spread the word about other blogs.  I have really enjoyed and found several good blogs this way. 
Thank you Corina!  I urge any of you that have not already to check out her blog!  The things this lady can do with fabric or an old piece of clothing leave me amazed.  I am always eager to see what she is doing next.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link to them in your post.
  • Share seven unknown things about yourself.
  • Nominate other bloggers and blogs you like or admire.
  • Contact the bloggers you nominate to let them know and to link them back to your post so they can read “The Rules,” too.

7 Things about me
  1. I was in the United States Marine Corps for eight years.  This usually shocks people since I am pretty much a girly-girl!  I was even teased about being too much of a girl in bootcamp (by the other girls).
  2. I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy movies/books.  Anything from Star Wars to Game of Thrones.
  3. I play video Games most specifically online games such as World of Warcraft.
  4. I own 3 sewing machines including a Pfaff 260 Semi-Industrial sewing machine.  It is amazing, but I don't use it often enough.
  5. My music interests vary from popular music all the way to classical but absolutely favorite group is a Power Metal band named Kamelot.
  6. I own a zoo! Not really, but I have three dogs and two cats and some days that feels like zoo!
  7. Besides my pets, I have three favorite animals elephants, owls and bunnies. They are all three just so darn cute!
Now my nominations:
Rochelle from Lucky Lucille! Everything she makes is gorgeous and has the prettiest little details.  She also has one amazingly cute pooch!
Suzy from Suzy Sewing!  Not only does she make super cute garments, but she has also made her own patterns!
I hope you check these blogs out and enjoy them as much as I have!
PS I hope to be back full time within the next week or two!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sewing Room Makeover

My sewing room is in desperate need of some organization and some on the walls to make it feel prettier.  That coupled with the fact that I have been loosing weight and do not really want to jump into garment sewing again until I have reached a plateau, has pushed this to the front of my list of things to do.

                                                                        image source

First up on my list is a fabric covered cork board from the Liberty Book of Home Sewing.  I plan to do a solid background with a patterned bias tape running across it.

I would also like to make the machine apron and organizer from McCalls 5871 (for carrying any hand sewing activities around).

Also, an ironing board cover - I have McCalls 6051 but I have also seen tutorials out on the web.

Lastly, I would like to install some nice thread racks.  This one matches my craft table, but I might also try the DIY method and paint some cheaper ones.

That will at least be a start and then I need to organize the storage space! I still need to decide on colors and of course it wouldn't be a makeover if I didn't show you before pictures!

 Are any of you working on any office or home decor projects right now?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Craftsy Block of the Month - June

For the month of June the Craftsy Block of the Month focused on the modern 9 patch technique.

The first block pictured is the Octagon Block.  This block really just used techniques learned in past classes.  It was a slam dunk - not much to say here.

The second block is a Greek Cross.  This block had a bit more cutting and piecing together but another straight forward technique.  Despite its simplicity I am pretty impressed with the overall outcome.  I definitely could imagine doing an entire quilt based on this block.

That is it for now.  I have some great posts to get up, but the weather has been way too hot for outdoor pictures and I am not great at taking indoor pictures.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Giveaway Winner Anounced!

The blog birthday giveaway winner is Miha!  I'll contact you shortly to get the shipping information! Thanks to everyone who participated! It was so much fun looking at every one's ideas for a birthday dress.  I can't wait to host my next giveaway - when the blog reaches 25 members.  Spread the word!

Random numbers generated Aug 12 2012 at 15:8:26 by 
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Friday, August 3, 2012

Blog Celebration and Giveaway!

I am super excited!! My blog is celebrating its first birthday this month!  That is right - I made my first blog post back in August of last year! I can't believe how time has flown and how much my sewing has progressed!

To celebrate with all of you I am going to host a giveaway that includes one of the first completed dress projects I ever posted on this blog the Lonsdale dress from Sewaholic Patterns, and also a belt kit from A Fashionable Stitch Shop.

To win you must first be a follower of this blog and then leave a comment in the post below with what dress you would make for your own birthday party. Entries will be accepted until 12:00am PST Friday, August 10th. One entry per a person - please spread the word!  International entries are accepted.

(For my blog's birthday I will be finishing my Ice cream Sundae Obsession dress, which I feel is fitting the occasion).

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Craftsy Block of the Month - May

The Craftsy Block of the Month class featured log cabin style logs for the month of May.  It has been awhile since I put these together, but I am pleased to finally be posting about them.

The first log cabin block is called a floating frame block.  I really like the concept of this block, but I am not sure I had the best fabrics to feature its strong points.  I think this block would be best if you have a strong focal point for the center, something that really draws you inward and really ends up looking framed.  I also thinking going somewhat smaller scale on both the middle block and the different frames would be best. I wanted to do something large and chunky, but I don't think it translated as well as it could have.

The second block is a wonky log cabin block.  This block was creative, random and fun.  I could see doing a quilt with nothing but this block and every block still looking unique and fresh.  This is another block that is great for showcasing a focal point fabric, which I was able to do since I decided to start the middle of the block off with a smaller print.

I enjoyed the May blocks and I am looking forward to catching up on June, July and August!  After I get caught up there will only be one month of blocks left -  September.  The remaining months of the year will be spent piecing together and finishing off the quilt! 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Been away for far too long

Wow! I can't believe how long it has been since my last post.  While I have been gone - I hope I have not been forgotten.  As I mentioned previously the girl I was working with quit leaving me the only one at my company doing my job.  We have a very large project going on which has kept me busy and while we still have not found a replacement for the position I am finding some very small junks of time to sew.

As someone who has never had an issue before finding time to sew, it has been challenging for me to be on the other side of the fence.  For me having something that normally just takes a few minutes of my sewing time be all I get done in a day (ie. trace and sew the bust darts) has been very disheartening and distracting!  However, I just can't stay gone any longer!
For August, I am going to keep it simple but treat myself to some hard earned sewing time!  I am going to finish the last project of the Sew Colette challenge (better late than never right?) and finish my Cherry Fabric truffle dress that is cut out and part way finished at the moment (bust darts complete lol).  I am also going to finish my Ice cream Sundae Obsession dress and catchup on my Craftsy Block of the Month class, and lastly join Sew Colette 2.0 and sew the Macaron dress.

I am hoping since the first two items are about 75% complete and normally I could have finished each of them in a day that this won't be too much!

I also want to branch out from just finished garments and add some more meaningful content to the blog.  However, at least for the next week I'll be posting up the remainder of my Spring Palette challenge items that completed before my break.

Pictured above is an IPAD case that I made using one of the Craftsy workshops with some modifications.  The case was a mother's day gift for my mother-in law and I am pretty happy with the overall results, but wish I had made a mock-up first.  The case was pretty heavy into machine quilting which while I don't mind using that to piece what would be the block portions together - I found machine quilting the design or actual "quilted" portion to just look poor.  I would much rather have put the effort into hand stitching.  The instructions also were not great and found that due to the instructions not being complete nor clear that I ended up with unfinished edges inside the bag. However, at the end of the day mom is pleased with her gift so I am as well - next time you can bet I will be doing a mock-up!  But it is pretty darn cute isn't it?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Liebster blog Award

I am so excited to announce that  have received my very first blog award!  However, before I get into the details I have to apologize for my lack of posts.  The other buyer at my company moved onto a different opportunity leaving me as the only buyer, and I have been extremely busy at work and unfortunately it has taken over some of my home time too.  I do have some posts that I will be catching up on in the next week and some sewing to do! Now onto the Award details...

I received the Liebster Award from the Corina of Reverse Clothing. Corina's blogs is one of my favorites she writes about her reversible designs which she sells on Etsy, refashions for her entire family and super cute crafts (such as a decoupage trash can from pattern pieces).

And here is a custom order 1940's style suit that Corina made for me actually! I have been meaning to do a post about it - as I absolutely in love with it!

As part of accepting the award winners are require to spread the love among other bloggers whose blogs are new or small (less than 200 followers). By the way Liebster comes from the German word for beloved, dearest or favorite. 

Official Rules:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you and thank them.

2. Post the award to your blog.
3. Give the award to 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers that you appreciate and value.
4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award.

First up is Melissa from Craft Rambler, who started her blog just a few months ago but already has made and shared some of the cutest crafts and sewing projects!  Everything from elephant pincushions to the dress shown below.  She has such cute style and great attention to detail with embellishing - which is something I am really striving for with my creations.
Next up is Honeybee's Knees her blog posts are always a surprise everything from sewing projects, crafts, and photography.  Her photos and quick stories are awesome and we share a lot of the same interests.  Check out this super cute Icecream dress she made.

Next we have Lux per Diem which is another blog that contains sewing, fashion and photography.  What I really enjoy about Paige's blog is that she has a really modern aesthetic.

See below this cute drop cloth rug she made.

Next is Schildi's Welt whose blog is in German! (you can run it though Google translator and get the general concept of the posts even if the translator isn't 100% correct).  I really enjoy her blog, it is nice to see what someone else is doing on the other side of the world and that sewing and blogging unites many of us from such different backgrounds.  Please click on the link to her blog to see pictures of her work.

Lastly, I want to throw a special shout out to Lucky Lucille! I am absolutely in love with everything Rochelle makes!  And she also has an extra special Sewing Helper  (in the form of a pup) like me!

**Update - My apologies I can't figure out why some of my writing has the white background and the rest of it doesn't!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Little White Camisole (LWC)

I have been searching for the perfect Little White Camisole (LWC) much in the way a woman searches for the perfect LBD.  It is even more of a closet staple as some of us wear them almost everyday underneath our blouses.  So, why is finding the perfect one such a challenge?

For me, it seems like the lacy ones always end up too bulky and do not sit smooth underneath my clothing.  However, the sporty ones which sit smooth tend to ride up.

Do you have any of the same problems?  Do you go for girly, sporty or both? Do you have a brand you love and trust or are you still searching like me?

Top Picture Image Source, Bottom picture Image Source

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Polka Dot Minrou

I am excited to show off my very first jacket - the Polka Dot Minrou!  This jacket has been several months in the making.  I purchased both the pattern and the fabric in late December when it released but waited until the Sew Along, hosted by Tasia the pattern designer, started in January to begin sewing.

The Sew Along went at a comfortable pace and I stayed on track for the most part but near the end Tasia ran out of thread and it was about a week before she was back on track with the posts. Sadly, it was just enough time for me to start on something else and lose my steam towards finishing. I finally picked it up last week and finished the last few steps!

I chose to make the version without the hood, but also did not add the cuffs.  The cuffs give the jacket a more sporty edge, but I preferred not to use them and turned the sleeve over and followed the instructions similar to the bottom hem of the jacket. The fabric I used was a cotton canvas from Harts fabric and the lining is Rayon bemberg also from Harts.

I would love to make this again maybe even a raincoat version, but I live in California and our jacket season is short and our raincoat season almost non-existent.  I am going to wait and see how much wear I get out of this one first!

Monday, May 7, 2012

What happened to Violet?

As part of the Spring/Summer Palette challenge I originally intended to make a Violet blouse to go with my pink Iris shorts out of this Nani Iro fabric. I have noted that I need more beautiful blouses to go not only with the shorts I was making, but also with all the wonderful skirts in my closet and even the few pairs of pants.

However, I have been crazy addicted to the Hazel pattern.  The fit and aesthetic of the pattern is just so me.  In a moment of weakness I gave in and here it is another Hazel dress. 

I have been thinking more and more of challenging myself in my sewing and with doing something other than picking a fabric and a pattern and coming up with a basic dress.  I wanted to challenge myself to tastefully and with a discerning eye add embellishment and notions.  I think Project Runway and Tim Gunn saying "this concerns me" and "is this really necessary" but know I also need to individualize my garments to set myself apart.

I love love love lace! A lot of the garments I have purchased in the past have things like lace, embroidery, bows.  I think I dabble in a lot of trends, but my person style tends to always come back to being more whimsical and romantic.  Since these are the things I feel best in and feel are more me.  I should embrace that!  So, I ended up purchasing this cream colored lace trim to go around the bottom of the dress.  I pinned the lace in place around the bottom of the hem and lace fell right around my knee cap and looked very old lady.  I tried experimenting and shortening the hem so the lace fell right about the knee, but that just didn't look right either. After playing around with the lace for a bit I finally decided on a belt/waist type embellishment.  I am glad that I did!  I believe it ended up giving the dress the romantic feel I was going for while still being a bit modern.  What do you think?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sliced Bread

Have you seen this new Liberty of London fabric available for pre-order on  It has to be the next best thing since sliced bread.  Unless of course your sliced bread already contains the cutest little image of Hello Kitty herself!

Hello Kitty was the first stuffed animal I ever had as a baby.  It was the early 1980’s and Hello Kitty was not really as popular in the United States as it is today, but my dad was in the Navy and had purchased it while overseas.  When we moved to Georgia most of my childhood toys were left at my grandparents.  I am not sure where that Hello Kitty plushie is today, but I hope she is making someone else smile and not sitting in a box!

As for me I never really outgrown her – I have several Hello Kitty plushies, they are in my sewing room!  I even have the same toaster as pictured above that puts Hello Kitty’s face on your lovely slices of bread!

What are your thoughts?   Is this a match made in heaven or will you be passing this one by?

Image sources: Hello Kitty Toaster, Liberty of London Hello Kitty Fabrics

Thursday, May 3, 2012

SPC - Hazel #2

Have I mentioned enough how much I love the Hazel dress pattern?  I think I am just going to consider it my summer stash buster. I don’t have a large stash but I am trying to keep it fairly small due to my home’s space constraints.  I am thinking a handful of special fabrics that I can’t resist and maybe the next couple months’ worth of projects.  I had bought some small yardage of cute cottons when I first started making garments and this would be a perfect way to use a few of them up.

I saw this fabric on Gertie’s blog and had to have it!  I was so excited that Paron’s in New York would allow me to mail order it!  I didn’t really do any embellishing allowing the gorgeous fabric to pretty much speak for itself, but I do have some great accessories to pair with it.  My photographer cut off my feet (shame on Mr.) or you would have noticed super cute, green wedges that look great, as it stands you can just barely notice the green strap, but I promise they are great!

This is my fifth completed item for the Spring/Summer Palette challenge.  I can’t believe I am so far long along already! Next up is my second pair of shorts in a pale pink! 

Have you been following other bloggers participating in SPC?  Here are a few of my favorite finished items for you to check out.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Candy Pink Ginger Skirt

This pretty, pink Ginger skirt has been sitting in my sewing room waiting to be finished for a couple months now... wait I take that back it was finished!  I even wore it once!  However, the zipper broke and I ended up having to take apart the waistband, and rip out the zipper to put in a new one.  Then it sat there waiting for me to do some cleanup and hand stitching.  I guess with all that extra work I sort of lost my steam, and wasn't so excited about the skirt anymore.  But here it is - as good as ever and just in time to wear with my Spring Palette items!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Simple Summer Sun Dresses

I made the dress pictured above out of some preshirred fabric I found at Joann's!  I am told this fabric moves really fast and is gone before summer ever hits.  However, as I was purchasing it many woman waiting in line to have their fabric cut had the same thoughts of how cute, how easy, but were all reluctant to purchase because they didn't like being left without straps!  Of course, I have the same opinion, but I had come up with a solution - adding straps!

Due to the shirring the fabric is really stretchy but gathers at the end of the shirring giving the rest of the fabric a good deal of fullness.  Because of that you really only need to have a cut of fabric that is your bust size.  After prewashing you would then stretch this fabric around you and pull it tight (especially if you intend it to be strapless) if there is any excess mark where to sew/serge and you cut the excess.  Go ahead and sew it up!  What I did  - to add the straps - was to purchase a length that was about 4" - 5" wider than my bust measurement.  After preshrinking ( and due to the mentioned gathers) this gave me a little over 10 inches that I could use to make straps.

since these are just simple easy to wear sundresses, I kept it simple and cut two 5" wide lengths of that I then folded in half and half again (more similar to making purse straps then dress straps) and then stitch slightly less than a 1/4 inch in around around both sides.  I like the thickness this brings to these straps.  After that you would put the dress on and pin the straps into place where they fit you best.  I made sure to have one of the bras I would normally wear on and pinned the straps so they covered them up.  Then I sewed them on using my machine (see picture below) making sure I stitched over one of the shirred lines disguising the new added stitches unless you are close up. It is hard to tell in the photo below but if you look really closely you will notice the extra thickness of the thread in the area I sewed on the strap.

Now I have my simple sundress and straps to ensure I am ultra-comfortable!  Instead of using fabric you could use ribbon (as shown in the picture below) or maybe even bias tape if you wanted more of a spaghetti size strap.

And lastly a picture of Sewing Helper protecting the dresses!