Friday, February 27, 2015

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday

While looking for some webbing at my local chain fabric store today, I just happened to notice this free pattern tutorial. This was meant as a promotional to sell the faux fur strip that was used to make the collar. I thought it was rather cute and something that I could use, so I tore off a sheet.
I made this coat quite a while ago. It's perfect with skirts, pants and even an evening gown, but the problem is that my neck gets very cold. I could wear a scarf with the jacket and I have, but a scarf is just not quite right.
 The back has a lovely swing.
When I arrived home, I immediately began working on the collar and I am so pleased with the outcome. It's just perfect for the jacket.  As I said, the tutorial was created to sell a 4" wide strip of faux fur. I made a few changes to the tutorial,  quite a few actually, so I will walk you through what I did.
54" long strip of 4" wide piece of faux fur
1 yard of 1" wide ribbon
A small amount of fiber fill for the pom poms

Most people will cut their fur with a pair of scissors. You should not cut fur with scissors. It cuts the hair and makes a mess. Use a razor blade to cut the fur. The blade will cut the backing fabric, but not the hair..
Begin by cutting 2, 4"squares from the end of the fur strip. Set the 2 squares aside for now. Cut the remainder of the strip down to 3"wide. Fold in half and cut into 2 pieces. Take 1 piece and hold it up to your neck to check the circumference. If the strip is too long, cut it down at this point.
Lay the 2 pieces together. Push the fur inside and sew along the edge with a zigzag stitch. Fur should not have a seam allowance.

By sewing the seam with a zigzag stitch, and pushing the fur fibers inside the seam, the fur will cover the seam and look lovely from the outside.
On the other side, leave an opening for turning.
Cut the ribbon in half. I used a velvet ribbon for my ties. Thread the ribbon into the collar and pull it out the end. Zigzag the edge. Be sure to go back and sew a straight stitch across the ribbon to help secure it in the seam. Turn the collar to the right side.
For the pompoms, round off the edges of the 4" squares, and create circles.
 With needle and thread, do a running stitch around the edge of the circle.
Pull the stitches up. Prior to closing the circle, stuff the pompom with a little fiber fill.
Insert the end of the ribbon into the pompom and securely stitch the ribbon into the pompom.
Stitch the side opening closed by hand.
Tie a nice bow and wear the collar with pride.
The collar goes together quickly, in less than an hour. It's just 2 rectangles and 2 circles. Girls of all ages would love this collar, so they would make great gifts. I know this girl is going to enjoy wearing hers ;)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thrifty Thursday

Well, at least it's still Thursday in America :)
I came across this cute raglan sleeve t-shirt pattern from On The Cutting Room Floor and decided to give it a try.
The pattern is quite simple, just 3 main pattern pieces. A band for the neckline is included as well as a bottom band of the top. The pattern is boxy with no real shape at the waist, but I knew that could be easily changed.  

My finished t-shirt. I'm very happy with it. I used a sweater knit for the main body and a stretch velvet for the contrast. As you can see, I gave the top some shape along the sides. Just a matter of pinching it in at the waist. The band was left off of the bottom. I felt it gave the top a more casual look and took away from the overall look of the top.
I rarely use the neckband if it is provided in a pattern, as I would rather make my own. I cut a 2" wide strip for my neckband.
The fabric pattern matches fairly well. I could have been a little more precise, but all in all, it looks rather nice.
If you decide to give the pattern a try, pay attention to the scaling and make sure that the guide box measures out correctly after printing. I didn't pay attention when I printed out the pattern the first time and the pattern was a mess. My fault, not the pattern's.
The style is great for just about anyone. It's quite easy to put together. There is an instruction sheet, but I didn't use it.
You can find the pattern HERE. On The Pattern Room Floor has a number of free patterns that you might want to take a look at. There's a couple that I think I will be giving a try.Just click on Sewing at the top of the web page and you will see a link to the patterns.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Wednesday Showcase

We haven't had a Wednesday Showcase post for a while and it's time to get back on track!
Before we begin, I would like to showcase a lovely lady who lives in Australia. She does not have a blog, but I think her efforts deserve to be showcased. Here's the note I received.

Hi Rhonda,
I am a self taught beginner, and was delighted when I opened your blog on Saturday morning (Aussie time).  I had downloaded the Libby pattern last week and bought material, but I wanted to line it.  Needless to say I had a big smile on my face, with you by my side I had the confidence to start cutting.  This was my first invisible zipper, the Tessuti instructions were very helpful.
Sunday it was finished, but I lost the light to hem, so finished it off this morning.  
We have a B&W dress policy at work and I am going to wear it tomorrow, my princess took a photo so I could send to you.  
Again I can’t thank you enough.
Best wishes
Liz and her finished skirt.
I love the smiling face of someone who is wearing a garment that they have made. Congratulations Liz on your masterpiece!!!

Now, speaking of masterpieces, I have 2 ladies to introduce you to who both love art and incorporate it into their blogs and clothing.
First up is Janice. Her blog is not about sewing, but inspiration and fashion. She says that she is "the happiest woman alive! Working, working out, eating too much, watching rugby, and enjoying every second of it all." 
I especially like her "Start with Art" posts.
She begins with a piece of artwork and then pulls out the colors.
From there, she compiles a travel wardrobe. She gathers pieces that would be perfect for the plane ride,
 and shows the pieces that you would have in your bag.
 Then finally, a compilation of all the pieces that shows how well everything would mix and match.

You can find all of her "Start with Art posts HERE.  
There's another feature on her blog that I think you might find especially interesting. It's called Project 333 and it "is the idea, initiated by Courtney Carver, that all your need to get through a season is 33 total items.  Her plan includes shoes and accessories." Janice provides a worksheet and posts about the project HERE.
I had the pleasure of meeting Janice recently at the neighborhood American Sewing Guild meeting where I spoke. She's just a lot of fun and I think you will enjoy getting to know her too. You can find her blog here,  

Next up is a lovely lady from Germany. Although her blog is written in German, thanks to Google, we no longer need to speak another language in order to enjoy a blog written in another language. Her name is MaxLau and you can find her blog here, Her interests are reading and sewing.
When I initially clicked on her blog, this was what I saw and oh my goodness would I ever love to have a piece of this fabric!! She now has her very own Rembrandt! 
What a gorgeous coat!
 Inspired by this Dolce and Gabbana piece,
 she created this beautiful, spot on dress.
She enjoys doing these fun little sketches to map out what she would like. Take note of the lace in the corner.
I think this is such a great idea for pieces of lace you may have leftover from another project. Look closely and you'll see that she used linen to make the blouse and then did an overlay of the lace on the front panels. Lovely.
So there you have it! We have zoomed all over the world, from Australia, to Germany and back to Chicago!! Hope you've been inspired as much as I have been.
Have a wonderful day!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Pencil Case and So Much More!

Last week I showed you this adorable little pencil case from Ithinksew Patterns
Well, I made one up and I am in love!
I wanted a bag for my watercolor brushes and this one is perfect. My brushes are longer than the original pattern, so I simply added 4" to the length.  
The bag is fully lined and when open, lays nicely on the table.
I included this picture just to give you an idea of the new length of the bag. Reminds me of a giant tube of toothpaste!!!
The bag is billed as a perfect project for a teenager. Hey, I'm no teenager, but I loved it too. The bag is so fast and easy to put together. If you are teaching someone how to sew, this is a great project. The  zipper is very easy to install and the bag offers just the right amount of sewing time for the beginner. The bag would make great gifts that are quick and easy to make. They would also be great party favors for children. Just lots of possibilities.
Ithinksew did not provide me with the pattern, it's just one that I thought might be fun and since it was on sale, I decided to give it a try. And as it turns out, it was a lot of fun to make and I will be making more. The pattern is on sale until February 27th and you can find it HERE.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Morning Inspiration

It's very easy to get caught up n the idea that what is being created today is truly unique to this generation. If you just take a short look back, you'll see that as we go forward, we build on the past. I came across this Pinterest page that has incredible historic fashions and inspiration. As I scrolled through, what really caught my eye were pieces from the 1960's. I think it's interesting to take a look back, see where we were, where we are, how we have changed, and how we have stayed the same.
Below, the sun and moon from Yves St. Laurent.
 There was a lot of whimsy in the 1960's. The pocket is a purse!
Lots of space age influences. Norma Kamali did a collection a few years ago that was very reminiscent of the piece below.

Janis Joplin's bell bottom pants. Interesting use of a tablecloth.
Everything was about geometric patterns and 
Pucci was everywhere, mixing patterns and colors in such vibrant ways.
Picasso's abstracts fit perfectly on to a shift dress.

 Embellishments even had a space age feel.
 The basic forms were simple,
but beautifully designed.

 Above and below, Balenciaga. Take note that the piece below is a shift with an ethereal train.
I hope you have enjoyed this stroll through the 1960's as much as I enjoyed putting it together! 
Have a wonderful week!