Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Building a Fascinator

A number of you asked me to do a tutorial on building a fascinator. I absolutely love wearing something in my hair. For me, it's like icing on the cake.
I have a number of them that I've made.You saw this one just last week.
There is a lot going on in this piece, 5 different types of feathers, silk ribbon, a silk flower, and a few wired crystals to catch the light.
The one below was made for Christmas 3 years ago. I've worn it a number of times.
The center of the poinsettia was accented with pearls(fake)and gold beads that were wired. A crystal was glued to the gold bead to catch light.
 The poinsettia was backed with a glittery netting.
 I've worn it with the red leaves hanging down.
 But the piece can also be turned so that the red leaves extend upwards.
Another fascinator that I made to wear at Christmas time. There are 3 poinsettias used in this piece. They were left over from the one I made the year before.

 This one was made last summer.
 I wore it with the zebra dress.
I wired zebra print beads, smokey crystals, 
and in the center is a striped ribbon that I twisted and knotted to give the piece a base, break up all the black and accent the dress.
The first step in building a fascinator is to collect the pieces. In my book, more is more with a project like this. When building a fascinator, it's really all about just allowing the piece to come alive under its own terms. That may sound crazy, but that's exactly what always seems to happen. So to allow the piece to come to life, you need to have enough pieces to play with.
I like to go to my local craft/fabric store(Joann's). They have a decent selection of floral items to choose from. Be sure to take your fabric along when choosing items for the facinator.
Just to refresh your memory, here is the fabric I'm using for my dress.
  And here I've begun to accumulate my pieces. 
I will probably take the stamens out of the flowers and replace them with some of the smaller crystals that I have in my hand. I'll also add some gold beads along with some flat crystals.
The glittery gold piece is left over from a previous project. I will be cutting the flowers off the stem so that I have individual flowers. The feathers and the gold/glittery whatever it is will also be cut away from the main stem.
 I also have some ribbon and a piece of iridescent organza.
 The wire is very important for creating new stems. I will also use the flat crystals.
The wire is a 24 gauge wire and it can be purchased at a craft store. For those of you in the United States, it can be found at Joann's.
Now that I've collected all my pieces, my first step is complete. Even in a heap it looks rather pretty.
Tomorrow I will begin to put the pieces together. I always love watching them come together.
So I'll see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

OOTD/A Patchwork Party

We've been melting in Chicago today, 100% humidity and temps above 90 degrees. Now, I know, I really shouldn't complain as I know that for some of you, this would be a cooler day, but for us, it's hot! My hair is limp, my strap is about to fall off my shoulder and my necklace is crooked. Such a pretty sight ;) Oh well, I tried!
Anyway....I made this dress some time ago. It's one that I so enjoy wearing during the summer as it takes minimal effort to look nice. Very minimal effort!!! Unless it's really hot and I completely fall apart from the heat of the day!
Five different fabrics were used to create the patchwork skirt. The hem of the skirt is anchored with two fabrics, but three bands.
I used two fabrics for the midriff. They were folded into strips and then woven together.
The bodice is also done in patchwork squares, but much smaller than the squares that I made for the skirt.
The straps were made with three narrow strips of fabric that were braided together.
This was one of those projects that you do just for the love of doing it. I'm sure you have one in your closet too :) 

The Final Summer Breeze

The Hot Patterns Summer Breeze sew along has come to an end. 
The dress is finished, but Betty looks a little crooked! Who knows, maybe I was crooked when I took the picture ;)
 The blouse with the added sleeves is finished.
 And finally, a picture of me in the dress. I'll post a picture of me in the top later.
And now I have a dilemma, which shoe should I wear???? Such a problem, right? ;) I would appreciate your suggestions.
I added a free form ruffle to the neckline and the armholes. Very easy to do. I explain how I did it in the blog post.
You can see the final post for the dress and the top here on the Sew News blog. There is a final video that will hopefully get added later today. For some reason(computers, love them or hate them!!)there was a technical issue with the video.
If you are working on your own Summer Breeze, check out the Flickr page and post your pictures. We would love to see them! You can find the Flickr page here.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Morning Inspiration


 Good Morning Everyone and welcome to a new week!
 Have you seen the lovely collections that are coming from Dior? I absolutely love the tailored looks for fall  along with the bright vibrant colors. There is also a lacing detail on many of the jackets that I especially like.  If you would like to take a look at the fall collection, you can see it here. But today, I wanted to showcase  the Cruise 2015 collection. It's floaty, yet structured and assymetrical. I've pulled out a few of my favorite  looks and I've attached the fashion show at the bottom of the post. So grab a cup of coffee...or tea :) and  enjoy!

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Night Reflections

Calmness of mind,
is one of the most beautiful jewels of 
                                                                                                         James Allen

Paletas, A Wonderful Summertime Treat

I can't believe it was 2 years ago that I shared this recipe for Strawberry Paletas. Paletas are Mexican Ice Pops. They are a wonderful summer treat. 
My nephew is always on the outlook for something fun and different to give me for Christmas. I have had so much fun with this book.
I absolutely love Hibiscus tea. You can find it in the tea section at your local supermarket, but it's also easy enough to make. I buy the dried flowers from a Mexican market. Soak them overnight and you'll have the most beautiful red liquid the next morning. You can serve it hot, or add ice and you'll have a very refreshing summertime drink. I like to add a little stevia and a slice of lemon.    
To make the tea, soak 1 cup of dried hibiscus flowers in 4 cups of water. As I said, simply let them soak overnight. Easy!  
Another lovely Paleta is made with the hibiscus liquid/tea,
Hibiscus-Raspberry Paletas 
2 cups of Hibiscus tea
2/3 cup of sugar
4 cups of fresh or frozen raspberries

Mix 1/3 cup of sugar with the hibiscus tea.
Pour 1/3 cup of sugar over the raspberries and allow to sit for about 30 minutes or until the raspberries begin to express liquid.
Combine the hibiscus tea with the raspberries and their liquid. 
Pour into molds or container of choice. Add popsicle sticks once the mixture has begun to set a bit. Allow to freeze for approximately 4 hours before serving.
For a fun dessert, pour the liquid in champagne glasses. Unmold before serving, but place them back in the glasses to serve. The pops will drip, so be sure to serve with a plate. 
If you can find a market that sells dried hibiscus flowers, I highly recommend giving the tea a try. And if you like the tea, you'll love the paletas with raspberries!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

OOTD, The Gathered Insert Top

I've been asked to post pictures of me in the things that I share with you, so just a quick picture of me in the top that remade with the gathered inserts. It's not the best picture, but hopefully you get the idea of what it looks like on a body.
I'm so glad that I chopped up the top as I just love how it looks now. If you missed the tutorials on how I did the gathered inserts, you can find them here. 
Hope you're having a great weekend!