Welcome to the Garden

I like to think that this is your site. A place where you feel welcome to learn and grow in your expertise and ability. A place where your craft is cultivated and you can ask questions. Chances are if you have a question, others have the same question. So ask!!! And please feel free to leave comments. I’d love to know how this site has helped you!

Enjoy strolling around The Sewing Garden. I hope you find it a beautiful place where your questions are answered and you feel empowered to jump in and tackle the sewing projects in front of you. I hope it helps you bloom in the part of the world where you are planted!


Happy New Year!

I can’t believe its been 6 months since I posted last!

2014 was a very challenging year and perhaps I’ll write more about it soon, but I just wanted you to know I haven’t forgotten about you and I thank you for all your prayers and encouraging emails for our daughter and granddaughter.

Our granddaughter is doing wonderfully. She is growing and developing at warp speed and we love her to pieces!!! She is so much fun. Those of you who are grandparents know what I’m talking about.

Our daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease and she is on some medicine to hopefully put this disease in remission. So, we appreciate your continued prayers for her as this is new territory. She and her husband are handling this all so well and trusting the Lord each step of the way.

I know many of you struggle with health issues as you’ve written and shared your stories. The Lord is good and we know that He will work all this out for good. It’s just hard to see your kids go through difficult things as you would rather carry that burden for them.

As we head into 2015, I’m hoping to get back into writing more sewing posts. I continue to get many great questions in your emails and I hope to answer many questions on future posts. I figure if one has a question, many more probably do as well.

Thanks for your friendship. It feels like I have thousands of sisters all over the globe!!! How fun to study the year end report and see all the different countries you log in from…some I have never heard of. I had no idea how far the Internet reaches!

Do you have any New Years sewing resolutions? I’d love to hear what they are. And I’d love for you to email me pictures of your most challenging alteration this year. It would be fun to post them for all to see. Be sure to include a little paragraph on why it was so challenging.

May 2015 be a wonderful year for you and your family!


It’s Official…I’m A Grandma!!!

Just wanted to stop by and let you know that our precious little granddaughter has been born! She came a month early and weighed 3 pounds, 10 ounces. She and her mama are doing well. She was born a little over a week ago and will be in the NICU until she can feed with consistency. Otherwise, she’s perfect! Her mama and daddy can’t wait to get her home! Please keep them all in your prayers as they learn all things premie and mama recovers. Thank you!



Readers…..Chime in!

Hi everyone,

I got a question from a reader yesterday that I thought would be great for you all to chime in and help answer.

I think we’ve all had to fix this problem at one time or another.

Here is her email:

Hi Linda,
Thank you for your blog!
I am working on my daughter’s bridal gown and will soon begin on the bridesmaid dresses.  My question deals with the invisible zippers in the dresses.  The bridesmaid dresses are strapless with simple a-line skirts in the back.  There are three layers: chiffon, charmeuse, and lining.  I have always struggled with getting a completely smooth transition to the seam at the bottom of the zipper, often getting a little bump.  Since these navy colored dresses have nothing to help hide an imperfect installation I would appreciate any tips to achieve a flawless look.
Thank you for any advice!
Have a great day,

How to Choose Boning for Your Dress

Each day, I receive many emails with great questions and today I thought I’d post one I received yesterday as well as the answer to it.

Here’s the question:

Hi Linda,  I am making my daughter’s strapless wedding dress.  I used the fabric store feather weight boning for the muslin corset .  We got it fitted very well but I am wondering when the weight of the dress gets connected if this is the best boning choice.  I have been researching the topic but am still undecided.  Can you tell me what would be the best choice so she isn’t always pulling it up.  We will be using a waistline stay but I want to do it right the first time!  Ha!  Thanks!  Love your website.  It is so helpful and very interesting.  Mom with Question

First of all, kudos to this mom for making her daughter’s wedding dress! What a cherished memory for you both.

There are a couple of things I wanted to address in this question.

First, lets talk about the strapless dress in general and then we’ll address the boning issue.

Brides and their mothers often hope to find the perfect strapless dress that will not need to be “hiked up” at the bodice. Unfortunately, that is a rare find because gravity will always win in the end. Because the bust area is larger in circumference than the waist, it will always travel the road of least resistance and want to gravitate down towards the waist.  There are some dresses that need tugging less often, and that has to do with the design of the dress and how it fits the bride. First, those dresses are designed with a high bodice. In other words, the dress sits high above the largest part of the bust (think: no cleavage and sitting closer to the collar bone than not. Certainly, it is not up to the collar bone, but it sits higher above the bust than most dresses) and second, that high bust area should fit snugly around the chest and underarm area. When altering the dress you have, just make it fit as snugly as possible, without being uncomfortable, and go with that. The bride will still have to tug, but not as often. She can experiment using double stick tape to hold the dress to the skin and see if that will help the problem. To eliminate the tugging problem altogether, you’ll need to add straps to the dress, but many brides don’t like that look. That’s why they bought strapless to begin with.

Now let’s talk about boning. This mom asked about whether her featherweight boning would  be appropriate in her daughter’s gown. That depends. I would buy boning based on the weight of the fabric you are using. If you are using a heavy satin, you’d want a heavier boning. If you have a lightweight chiffon, a featherweight boning would be appropriate. The reason here is that you want it to function as much like the fashion fabric as possible.

But let’s look at another facet of the answer.

First, boning is inserted in a dress to give it rigidity through the vertical portion of the bodice. Without boning, the dress would have little support, much like a house needs walls to give it structure. However, thinking about the law of gravity again, boning only helps with the structure or the rigidity of the dress. It doesn’t keep the dress from falling down. With boning inserted, it just means that the dress moves with gravity all at the same time. It doesn’t slump down in one area and leave the rest smooth. Does that make sense?

You will also want to make sure that the side seams are snug, giving the bride a snug fit which should also help with keeping the dress up. Here’s a link to How To Take In the Bust and also one on How To Take in Side Seams with Piping.

Here is a link to my post on Fixing Boning Issues. It will give you a little more insight into some boning issues you might come across. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Thanks to all of you who have written in asking questions or leaving comments. I appreciate all your sweet words and I thank the Lord that this blog is such a wonderful resource to you!


Update on Zambia

Sewfordough readers,

My daughter, Michelle and I, want to thank you so much for your generosity and give you an update on what is happening with the incredible donations for the mamas in Zambia.

Michelle sent this email for you yesterday:


I just wanted to email you and thank you again for blessing us with the sewing supplies and donations that you have sent in!

We have more supplies on the way, but these are the supplies I packed up yesterday:

Our Mamas in Zambia will be so blessed by your donations and we couldn’t be more blown away by your generosity- the boxes just keep pouring in!

My husband and I leave in 12 days and we would greatly appreciate your prayers as we head out. I hope to take many photos of the Mamas and these wonderful supplies! We have received approximately $1600 for the sewing machines (which is about $500 short of our goal for purchasing the machines….$2100 is the discount price if we buy them all at once), which is another HUGE answer to prayer! I hope those funds will continue to come in as we are on the ground in Africa – maybe the Mamas will even get machines while we are there!

Again, thank you so much for donating. Please know what a blessing this is for all involved. God continues to move and amaze us through this ministry.

May God continue to bless you as you look after the orphan and widow (James 1:27).

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks again!

Michelle Jackson

Sponsorship Relations Coordinator

Every Orphan’s Hope

3245 W. Main Street, Suite 235/332
Frisco, TX 75034

If you’d like to know more about Every Orphan’s Hope, and what they are all about, please visit their website at:



Celebrate With Me…It’s Free!

Today is the 3rd  anniversary of this blog and I thought you might like to know how it all started.

About seven years ago, a customer came to my door needing his suit jacket altered. As I spoke to him about the changes that needed to be made on it, he asked me if I had written a book on how to alter clothing. That was the spark. After thinking through the details, I realized that with the incredible amount of photos it would take to do the job well, no publisher would touch the project. It would just be too expensive to print. So, I put the idea on the shelf of my mind.

It wasn’t long after that when my friend, Sharon, asked if I wanted to take a blogging class with her to learn how to start a blog. I thought it would be fun to learn something new, but really didn’t think I would ever really follow through with it. The instructor asked us to each create a blog designed around a passion of ours. He asked us to think of some subject that we were interested in or that we knew something about. He also said it would be beneficial if our blogs were on a unique subject that not everyone else was writing about.

That’s when it hit me that I could blog about all this information that I had stored in my head just waiting to come out. There were a lot of details to setting up the format and learning how to use WordPress, but it wasn’t too difficult. The next challenge was coming up with a unique name for the blog.  So, on April 27, 2009,  Sewfordough was born! (This blog got a new name and face lift in the fall of 2017.)

This site is the culmination of 45 years of sewing experience.  Most of the techniques you see here were learned from just doing what seemed to make sense. As you know, there are hardly any books on these subjects and the ones that are out there, don’t have enough pictures in them. So, the goal of this website was to make each step of every technique easy to follow and understand.

Many people ask me why I don’t charge for all this information and instruction. When I was setting up the blog, my husband helped me process through that. He is great at that. And great at helping me to set goals, looking at the motives behind what I do.

If you’ve been on this blog for any length of time you know about my faith. Well, one of the things I want to do is serve others with the gifts God has given me. I feel pretty blessed that He has given me so many incredible people and things in my life and I just wanted to say “thank you” to Him for that. My hope is that you have received great benefit from all you’ve learned and it is my prayer that your sewing business (or hobby) is thriving.  So, that is my free gift to you.

But there is a free gift available to you that is much more important than this blog. It is the free gift of eternal life that Jesus offers to anyone who asks. Many people have heard of Jesus but they don’t know why He came to earth. He came to save us from our sin and give us the free gift of eternal life. But He doesn’t force His gift on us and we can’t pay for that gift by living a good life. And, we can’t earn our way to heaven because of our sin. But by the grace of God, Jesus came to earth to die in our place for our sins. Not everyone gets to go to heaven automatically. We have to receive His gift by placing our faith in what Jesus did on the cross and not on being a good person or doing good things. If getting to heaven had anything to do with us, then Jesus wouldn’t have had to come.  The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is a gift of God, not of works, so that no one may boast.” If you’d like to know more about this free gift and how Jesus can be personal to you in your life, just send me an email.  It would be my privilege to talk about these things with you.

You can reach me at TheSewingGarden@gmail.com


Wedded Bliss!

Thank you for your sweet emails and congrats on our daughter’s wedding!

It was a wonderful day!

The weather was perfect and the ceremony divine

While we’re still waiting for the photographer to give us the photos (how long do they usually take? It’s been about 6 weeks),

I couldn’t resist sharing a couple of them with you.

These were taken by our niece who was sitting in the second row.

As you can see, the wedding colors were a jewel toned blue, black and white:

Yes, there were 8 attendants on each side.

Crazy, right?

The ceremony was so special.

Amazing music from Jake’s cousins, very gifted musicians:

An amazing message filled with scripture and God’s desire for marriage:

Prayers by the fathers:

The vows:

Introducing Mr. and Mrs.!

They look so happy, don’t they?!

We ended up having 2 receptions!

One at the church and one at a golf club.

The golf club could only fit our families and the kid’s friends.

So, we decided to have one at the church as well, so that we could invite our friends to join in the celebratioin.

Here is a shot from the church reception:

We had a wonderful time at that reception.

Tomorrow I’ll write about what happened when we left the church.

We’ll get back to sewing soon, I promise!


Happy Mother’s Day!!!

A very Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there who are mothers.

As you already know, I am blessed to have two amazing daughters.

I woke up this morning  just praising God for the gift of being a mom 25 and 23 years ago.

And for all the time with them leading up to today.

Isn’t it fun to think back over years and years of memories?

Remember their first smile? Giggle? Roll over? Step? Word?

First day of Kindergarten? First play date? Friend? Favorite dress?

I could go on and on….

If you’ve got some in your home this morning, grab ’em and give them a big hug and smooch.

If they live in another location, make sure you give them an air hug over the phone today.

Then thank the Lord for His gift to you that you get to enjoy every day, not just on Mother’s Day!

Then go outside and enjoy this beautiful day that the Lord has made!


Just a few things….

Hi everyone,

I thought I’d stop by and say hi today. I hope you and your families had a wonderful and blessed Easter. It’s an amazing gift….the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To think that we can spend eternity in heaven, not by trying to be a good person, but by trusting in Him and what He did for us on the cross…. Awesome!

Thank you for all the emails and comments. It is fun corresponding with you!

My daughter and I are having alot of fun planning her wedding. We power shopped for her dress a few weeks ago and found it in one day! We both got tears in our eyes when she put it on. I guess that’s how you know it’s the one!

Some of you may be shocked that I didn’t make her dress like some of you brave souls do. Well, I made my own many years ago and checked that off the bucket list then. I much prefer alterations. Besides, with her living several states away, and not able to come home too many times for fittings, this worked out great.

However, I will make her veil. When I get to that point, I will post the steps involved. As many of you know, they are so easy to make, it’s not even funny! The one she wants retailed for between $169-$230! I bet we can make it for $25 tops.

Now, I know alot of you aren’t into the wedding scene right now, so thank you for hanging in there with us for a little while.

I wanted to mention one other thing before I hop off here. Many of you are emailing with great questions. I just wanted to let you know that alot of those questions can be found on posts I have already written. Just click on the magnifying glass at the top right of each page and type in the technique you’d like to learn about. Or, you can click on “Alterations” and find posts I have written by category. Look carefully, because there may be several pages of posts on that particular subject.

Happy Sewing!