Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Sneak Peek

Good Morning and my apologies. I have been so busy and I have not had a chance to concentrate on the next pant drafting post. Please stick with me, it will come, I just need to make a little more progress on a project for my class at the American Sewing Expo.
The American Sewing Expo's focus this year is on costumes. There's a lot more going on, but costumes are the focus. Cosplay and costumes in general are huge. So the class I am doing next Thursday will focus on creating a rather over the top sleeve, but there is a dress that goes with the sleeve, and here's a sneak peek. We will also talk about creating the dress as well. I like to pack as much into a class as I can.
The dress is made out of wool crepe and it's all underlined. I just couldn't help myself. I figure if I'm going to do it I may as well do it right :)
The gown is a little "Morticia Goes to the Ball," but I really like it. There's more coming, obviously!! The big sleeve will only be on one side. The other side will get a different sleeve. The dress has not been pressed by the way.
I should make great headway on the gown today, so please do stick with me on the pant post. As I said, it is coming, I just need to get this project off my to do list.
Remember to sign up for the contest to win a 1 year subscription to Sew News. You can do that here. Remember, you must live in the United States for this one and you must be a follower of this blog. So sorry, I wish I could offer it to everyone.  
Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday Morning Hello

Happy Wednesday Everyone!!! I am in the throws of getting ready for the American Sewing Expo and I still have a lot to do, so no Wednesday Showcase today. The next pant drafting post will be up later today.
I thought I would show you the third ribbon weaving project that we'll do in the Ribbon Weaving Class (page 7 of the brochure) at the expo. This one makes you think a bit, so it's a good exercise for the brain ;)
The piece is backed with a piece of velvet. It will become a skirt. There will be beads sewn into the intersections of the red ribbon. I am super excited about this piece!
Although I am not doing a Wednesday Showcase post today, I would still like to give a shout out to Mel of She just sent me the loveliest note to let me know that she had used my tutorial for drafting a peg skirt. Here's her note,

"HI Rhonda, can't thank you enough for putting together this tutorial, love the yellow dress in part 1, and the step by step drafting help with the mini paper pattern pieces. I was very happy with the way my skirt turned out following your tutorial, I've posted it here and linked to your blog a couple of times. Can't wait to give the dress a go."

And here's her beautiful creation,
with and without a belt. Didn't she do an amazing job?!!!
Be sure to hop over and check out her blog. If you would like to find the peg skirt tutorial, you can find it here and here. It thrills my heart to know that I've helped someone grow a little in their skills. Thanks so much for giving the peg skirt a try Mel!!
May we all have a wonderful and productive day!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Colette Patterns Clover Pant Sew Along and a Little Surprise!!

Week 3 of the Colette Patterns Clover Pant Sew Along is up on the Sew News blog. This week we are talking about markings as well as assembling the pant. You can find the post here, and I added the video below if you would like to take a look.

Now for a fabulous surprise, I'm giving away a 1 year subscription to Sew News!!!!!! That's right, an entire year, not just one magazine!!
There are a few restrictions;
1. You must be a follower of this blog either through Bloglovin or sign up to the follower list.
2. You must live in the United States. I always like to include everyone, but this time I just can't, so sorry.
3. Leave a comment on this post and tell me how you follow the blog either Bloglovin or through the follower list. The follower list is the box on the right hand side of the blog that says, "Join This Site."

What a wonderful giveaway!!!
I will announce the winner this Saturday, September 20, 2014.
Good Luck!

The Winter Coat Part 2

So many of you seemed to enjoy the coat inspiration post I did yesterday. I'm so happy that you did! One coat seems to have stood out to a number of you because of the collar.
It is a very pretty collar.
You may remember the outfit I did for the Passion For Fashion contest I participated in 2 years ago. The collar is bigger, but basically the same principle.

I have a vintage coat that I've had for some time that also has a similar collar.
 This collar is basically a very large shawl collar as you can see when it is opened up.
But here's what I love. To obtain the shaping, there are a series of darts all around the collar. Beautiful.
 The collar is actually hand sewn to the back of the coat.
This collar is rather over the top, but the collar on the white coat is very sensible and pretty. I will be more than happy to do a tutorial on drafting the collar. Let me know if this is something you would like to see. The perfect coat pattern for the white coat would be the Sewaholic Robson coat. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Morning Inspiration

The winter coat, what was once something that spent more time hanging in my closet than on my body has now become one my most necessary garments. When I first came back to Chicago, I had a coat that I thought would keep me warm, but it was like wearing a t-shirt in a blizzard!! So needless to say, coats have become a very important part of my wardrobe. I need to make a new coat this year, not that I don't have quite a few, but I do need to replace one. While looking around for ideas, I came across a few details that I thought were rather pretty, so I thought I would share them.
I love everything about this first coat, pretty, feminine and fun sleeves!
Pretty collar.
A vintage coat. Great shoulder detail and I love a swing coat. Allows for lots of layers underneath.
Sleek. Check out the double welt on the pockets.
Another great collar. I love the touch of a ruffle at the waistline.

A very interesting cocoon. Love the asymmetrical detail of the collar.
Sleeves are a little short for a Chicago winter, but I love the black detailing.
A zippered back vent. Fun!
I really like this coat. Check out the sleeves.
This little coat is from Burberry. I like the unexpected flap in the skirt.
This is all out fun. The only detail that I don't care for is the pleated detail down the center front.
Not for winter, but pretty detail nonetheless.
Another not for winter jacket, but I really like the detailing on the skirt. I was thinking that this might be something I could adapt for the felted wool jacket I recently made.
So pretty.
Love the mix of wool and knit. Another coat great for layering.
I rarely wear short little coats, keeps my top warm while my bottom freezes!!! But I think this is so nice. It just needs to be stretched into a long version :) Love the bag too!
And finally, a not for winter coat as it is, but I do like the basic shape. It just needs a collar. Maybe the collar from the white coat up above.
Have you come across a fun coat design? I would love to see it!! Just leave a comment and a link.
Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Night Reflections

 Heroes are made by the paths they choose, 
not the powers they are graced with.

Sunday's Soup

I recently found this recipe for Tomato, Basil and Parmesan Soup on Pinterest. It looked interesting, so I decided to give it a try. I especially liked the fact that it was made in a crockpot. I did make a number of changes though. The basic ingredients are the same as the original recipe except for the addition of the chicken sausage. Well, you can read the original recipe and then you can compare it to what I've posted below and then decide what you would like to do :)

Rhonda's Version of Crockpot Tomato, Basil and Parmesan Soup

4 14 ounce cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
8 cups broth, chicken or vegetable, your choice
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced celery
1 cup diced onion
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 Tablespoons Dried basil
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 pound chicken sausage
salt and pepper to taste
leftover Parmesan rinds or 1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Saute onions in a little olive oil until golden. Remove casings from sausage and add to onions. Brown sausage. Add celery and carrots and continue to cook for about 5 minutes on a medium flame.
Combine tomatoes, broth, oregano and basil in a crockpot. Add sausage and onion mixture. I like to save the hard ends of Parmesan for soups. If you have some, add them now. If not, the grated Parmesan will be added later.
Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Before serving, melt butter and combine with flour. Stirring constantly, cook over a medium flame for approximately 5 minutes. The flour mixture will turn to a beautiful golden brown. Add to soup.
Warm half and half and then add to soup mixture. Add grated Parmesan cheese if you have not cooked the soup with the rinds.
Cover and cook on low for about 30 minutes, or until you are ready to serve. Remove Parmesan rinds before serving.
If you look at the original recipe, you will see that I basically doubled almost all of the ingredients with the exception of the onion, butter/flour mixture and the half and half. The end product is a hearty soup that is not heavy. I love being able to make up soups in my crockpot and have them cook all day. Such a nice and easy way to cook. We have guests coming from Italy at the end of this week, so I'm anxious to see what they think of the soup. They arrive rather late on Thursday, so I thought a soup dinner would be a nice welcome after a long journey.