Master Sewing and Design Certification Program

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sew Independant/And a Pattern Bundle Opportunity!

The first part of August, I told you about a wonderful opportunity to support not only independent pattern companies, but a very worthwhile cause, Women for Women International. Women for Women is an organization which helps women dealing with violence, poverty, and marginalization due to war and conflict.
The second bundle for Sewing Indie Month is up and ready to go and there are so many wonderful patterns in this bundle.  
From SeamstressErin Designs, a fabulous bathing suit, with options.
http://seamstresserin.com/shop/nautilus-swimsuit/
Check out this great hooded sweatshirt from Paprika Patterns. Be sure to click on the link below to see all the options. There's a dress too!
https://www.paprikapatterns.com/shop/jasper-sweaterdress/
From MIY Collection, the Walkley Vest and Dress Pattern. This pattern makes for a great start to lots of fabulous design ideas.
http://www.miycollection.com/collections/sewing-patterns-digital/products/walkley-vest-dress-pdf-pattern
From Closet Case Files, the ever so sexy Nettie Dress and Bodysuit pattern.
http://www.store.closetcasefiles.com/products/nettie-pattern
Whether you work out, or just like to look the part ;), the VNA Top from Fehr Trade.
http://shop.fehrtrade.com/products/vna-top
An adorable skirt with great lines from Maison Fleur.
https://maisonfleurpatterns.com/product/6101-fit-and-flare-skirt-pdf/
The go to, live in all the time Pinot Pant from SBCC.
http://www.sbccpatterns.com/products/pinot-pants
A brand new pattern from Kate and Rose, the Kinga Skirt. The skirt is pictured on the pattern bundle sketch above. It's on the second row and second from the left. A short and long version is included in the pattern.
http://kateandrosepatterns.bigcartel.com/category/sewing-patterns

The queen of the no waste pattern, Soma Patterns, is out with a brand new coat. The pattern has not been released to the public and the only way you can get it now is to purchase the pattern bundle.
http://mysomapatterns.com/
So here's the deal
Pricing:
Pay what you want for the bundle! The more you pay, the more rewards you'll receive. 
  • Pay $25 or more to get the VNA Top, 6101 Fit & Flare Skirt, Bess Top, Nettie Dress & Bodysuit, and Pinot Pants.
  • Pay $32 or more to get the Walkley Vest & Dress and Jasper Sweater & Dress.
  • Pay $38 or more to get the Nautilus Swimsuit, the NEW Kinga Skirt, and the NEW April 1962 Coat.
Pay at least $38.00 and you get all the patterns included in the pattern bundle. I think that's an incredible deal! Click HERE to shop.
Remember the Kinga Skirt by Kate & Rose and the April 1962 Coat by SomaPatterns are brand new patterns that are being released with the bundle. During the sale you can only buy them as part of the bundle. 

  • The sale will run from Tuesday September 1st through Thursday September 10th.
  • 20% of bundle proceeds will be donated to Women for Women, which helps women dealing with violence, marginalization, and poverty due to war and conflict.
  • Sewing Indie Month (SIM) is a month-long celebration of indie sewing patterns where designers collaborate to bring you fun blog posts and informative tutorials. This year SIM is taking place in September. It's accompanied by a sewalong contest with fantastic prizes. Since the patterns in the SIM Bundle 2 are mostly knits, this sale gives you time to make quick projects for the contest while supporting small women-owned businesses and raising money for charity.
Now, pop over to Sewing Indie Headquarters to read all about the contest and prizes that are included  with this month long celebration. Just click HERE!
 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Morning Inspiration/Diane Von Furstenberg

Do you ever look at something and see an image that probably, no one else sees?
I was actually on Pinterest looking for some stripe inspiration when I came across the first picture and it immediately reminded me of a whale. I know, crazy, but look at the pink image, it could be a fish tail that's up in the air! Well, at least in my imagination :)
I was curious to try and find the dress, and as it turns out, it's from the 2013 Diane Von Furstenberg Fall Collection. The search lead to Style.com where I found a lovely and timeless collection. It of course includes the iconic wrap dress, but in suede.  The prints are a little wild, but lots of fun, so take a look.







I included a picture of Diane as I love the dress she is wearing.
The fashion show really brings the garments to life. It's a little less than 10 minutes long, so worth a coffee break.

And for a little more Monday Morning Inspiration, I found this video on the beginnings of the Diane Von Furstenberg brand. It's just a short little 2 minute video, but quite interesting. Take note of the wrap dress that she is wearing in the video and the fact that she is wearing a camisole underneath it!

Wishing you a fabulous start to your week!
May your imagination lead you to unexpected places :)
Rhonda

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Night Reflections

The quieter you become,
The more you can hear.
                                                                                                        Ram Dass
*click on image for artist info

Sunday's Soup

This is such a glorious time of year! The farmer's markets are absolutely alive with color. I walk in, and I'm like a kid in a candy store, I want it all!!!
On a recent trip, I was tempted by the rich purple colors, purple onions, purple cabbage, purple potatoes and purple cauliflower. So pretty!
My mind immediately went to soup. The temperatures have been a bit cool, so all the more I'm wanting a good bowl of soup.
What I decided to do was quarter the potatoes and break apart the cauliflower and then roast it. I love roasted potatoes and cauliflower.
I chose the smallest head of purple cabbage and then chopped it, but not too finely.

Here's my recipe;
Purple People Pleaser Soup

1 small head purple cabbage chopped
 About a pound of small purple potatoes, quartered
1 purple onion chopped
1 head purple cauliflower broken into florets
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt
black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence
6 cups water/chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup cream or half and half

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Quarter potatoes and break apart cauliflower. Combine in large bowl. Salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with garlic powder and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir well to coat. Place in oven and roast until fork tender and browned, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Pour remaining tablespoon of olive oil in pan and saute chopped onion. Once tender, add chopped garlic and continue to saute for approximately 1 minute.
Transfer onion/garlic mixture to a large soup pot. Add chopped cabbage, 6 cups of water or broth and Herbs de Provence. Add roasted potatoes and cauliflower. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until cabbage is tender, approximately 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of cream or half and half, simmer for another 10 minutes, being careful not to allow the soup to boil.  
Dish up and enjoy!

If you don't have Herbs de Provence, use a combination of basil and oregano. After all, cooking is all about doing a little experimentation :)
The soup was so good and the purple colors were so pleasing to the eyes. Nourishing for the body and soul.
Enjoy!!
Rhonda

Friday, August 28, 2015

Even a Doll Likes a Flirty Dress

Good Morning!!! Well, my morning is starting off much better than it yesterday. 
I enjoy telling crazy stories about myself. I enjoy laughing, and just a little insight into me, I especially enjoy laughing at my own jokes and even at myself :) So with that said, you won't believe what I did yesterday morning.
My husband and I have been a little worried about our dog Gracie. She came to us a stray, an absolute mess. She was starving, in fact, so thin that when she laid on the floor, her stomach would completely collapse to nothing. She was missing hair on one side of her body and she also had a rather large cyst on her side. Long story a little shorter, a little TLC and she has become just a lovely dog, a dog that can run like the win, and a beauty to watch when we're out on a hike. But, she has continued to have some stomach issues.
When I came downstairs yesterday morning, my husband had already had the dogs out for their morning walk. He said that there was still concern with Gracie and when she walked in the door, she vomited. So a call to the vet's office. The receptionist said that he would most definitely want to see her and they really needed to see a stool sample. Oh great!, my husband walked them at 6:00 and who knows where he disposed of the bag! I made a quick phone call and he said that it was in our neighbors garbage and it would be easy to find as it was the only thing in the can. Alright, so off I went with a stick. When I looked in the can, there were 3 bags! Oh great, which one is it??? So I fished out all 3 and waited for my husband to come back, hoping that he would remember the bag he used. Of course, as fate would have it, while I was standing there fishing the poop bags out of the garbage, one of my neighbors drove by. Talk about adding insult to injury ;) While at the vet's office, I told him the story. He loved it and enjoyed a good laugh at my expense, me too :) I said, "well, you know you love your dog when you're willing to go fish poop bags out of the garbage!!!" At this point, we're waiting for the tests to come back. Gracie has received lots of kisses. If only kisses could make everything better ;)
Now, for something precious. 
I receive some of the loveliest messages and they are always such a surprise as well as a delight. Back in April, I received a message from a follower who told me that I had given her the confidence to start doing a little pattern drafting. Her passion is doll clothes. She said that she has no interest in "people size clothes." Her pattern had just been published and so she wanted to share her success with me. I was so touched, but then, curiosity got the better of me, and I really wanted to see what she had created. She gladly sent me a picture and said that if I would like to give the pattern a test for her, she would be so happy. Well, so much for testing, remember, the pattern was sent to me in April! Thankfully she is a very patient person. 
When I received the pattern, I was really intrigued with the bodice of the dress. The shaping is quite nice and rather different whether for a doll pattern or a full size dress pattern.
A sample of dresses made by the "real testers." You can see the bodice a little better in the picture on the right.
 The instructions are incredible. Absolutely step by step, with photos, so you can't go wrong.
Please forgive my little model. I don't have an 18" doll, so I borrowed my little neighbor's well loved doll. Once I finished the dress, my husband even commented on how cute it is!
 An up close picture of the bodice.
 The construction of the bodice may seem like it would be a little daunting, but it is so well thought out. The shaping lines are basically tucks. The lining is drafted as a stay with no tuck lines or princess line seam .
 The bodice and the waistband are fully lined.
The dress was a breeze to put together, and I had so much fun doing something a little out of the ordinary.
As I read about how many have started sewing, time after time, they began by making doll clothes. If you have a child that would like to learn to sew, I think this would be a great pattern, and here's why. The pattern is so well marked, notches exactly where they should be. I'm a big stickler about notches! As I said earlier, I love the fact that the instructions are so well thought out and that there are so many pictures accompanying the instructions. Makes for a perfect teaching tool.
If you would like to take a look at the pattern, you can find it HERE. This is a pattern that I plan to make again. Do a puff sleeve and a long, full skirt and it becomes a wedding dress, lots of  fun possibilities. Since my little neighbor was so generous with her doll, I think it would be nice to add to the doll's wardrobe.
For those of you who enjoy making doll clothes, Pixie Faire is a great website to check out for patterns. They offer free patterns on Friday, and if you think you might like to take a stab at drafting some of your own doll patterns, they offer classes.
Have a wonderful day!
Rhonda

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Announcing a New Craftsy Class and a Chance To Win

Surprise, surprise, two posts in two days!!! I actually have a lot of wonderful things to share this week, so you'll be hearing from me quite a bit :)
I would like to introduce you to a very dear friend of mine, Helen Haughey.
You may remember that she and I taught a sheath class in Nashville back in June. I originally met Helen when she was in Chicago with Susan Khalje. As I'm sure you know, Susan loves wonderful fabric and to be honest, if you are going to put the time and effort into making a couture garment, you really should have wonderful fabric. Helen is not only an incredible couture seamstress, she also sells some of the most incredible fabric that you have ever seen. She was in Chicago with Susan, showing some of her wonderful fabrics. She and Susan came to the Haute Couture Club year end luncheon, gave a talk, and showed us the luscious fabrics. Of course, I bought fabric, but even better than the fabric, Helen and I became friends.
I was so happy for Helen when I found out that she had been asked to do a Craftsy class.
Here's a little about what is included in the class;
Choosing a style that will flatter your figure
Choosing appropriate fabrics for the design of your garment 
Muslin
Laying out the pattern/cutting it out
Basting together to adjust fit
Order of construction
Neckline, armhole & hem finishing
Zipper application
The class is geared toward creating a couture dress. 
Helen's work is impeccable, so I know that you will walk away from her class with a wealth of knowledge.
To kick off the class, Helen is offering a a free class. Just click on the link below to enter,
Someone is going to win, so why not you?!!!
The drawing will be held Sunday night, August 30, 2015, and the winner will be announced on Monday, August 31, 2015. So be sure to jump over quickly and get your name in the pool!

If you would like to learn a little more about Helen, visit her website HERE.  

Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday Morning Inspiration/Black, White, and Red For Fall

I love the combination of black, white and red. It's always fresh, and great for anytime of the year, whether it's spring, summer, fall or winter. The pieces that I'm sharing this morning are from a Vogue article that was actually printed last year. But the shapes are really timeless, so I thought you might like to take a look. I think I need to copy the red scarf in the second picture!
Black on black is always a little difficult to see, so I thought I would try and findthe top and see what it really looks like, It's from Simone Rocha.
Simone Rocha Jersey Frill Short Sleeve Top
Simone Rocha Jersey Frill Short Sleeve Top (see more ruffle tops)
And here are the pants.
Simone Rocha Jersey Frill Trousers
Here's the scarf that I would like to copy. Look closely and you'll see that her hand is actually in a pocket. 
White with a pop of black is always great.
A little low cut for most of us, but I do like the sweep of the skirt and the surprise of the cream underside.
Now this is a style that I think just about anyone could wear and look fabulous in.
Such an interesting design.
This dress is from Prada.
Absolutely love this. A wonderful wrap skirt with black on the underneath side,and a great wrap jacket.
Sadly, I wasn't able to find a better picture of the top pictured below. It's from Narcisco Rodriguez. Very architectural.
A silk and leather cutout top from Louis Vuitton. I think I would forgo the hip cutouts!!!
While looking for the ruffled Simone Rocha top, I came across this top from Marni. Fun design. I included the black and the grey so you can see the lines.

So throw on a little red before you pop out the door and have a fabulous day!!!