Friday, January 31, 2014

We Have A Winner!!

The winner of my extra Sew News magazine with the article I did for the Amy Butler Beautiful Belle Handbag......
is Carolyn!!!
Congratulations Carolyn. Please email your address to me at sewbussted@yahoo.com so I can get this out to you.
The first video for the sew along should be up on Monday, February 3rd. The videos are free and you will be able to watch them at your convenience. Be sure to join the Flickr group, http://www.flickr.com/groups/2224982@N24/. I would love to see the fabrics that you plan to use!

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Rag Bin Fleece Skirt Pictures

It has been snowing almost nonstop since Wednesday night, so Mother Nature decided that I didn't need to take pictures yesterday afternoon. We have had over 2 feet of snow in the last 36 hours. Amazing!! There are still a few flakes in the air, so the dots you may notice are not lint, just snow. The pictures aren't the best, but at least you can see how the skirt fits. I really like this skirt...a lot. If you've never made a fleece skirt, give it a try. I think you might like it as much as I like mine.
Yesterday I talked about the fact that I would like to add a few more leaves. Now that the skirt is on me, I think you can see what I mean. It just needs a bit more embellishment. 
A side picture, also very difficult to see, but if you look closely, you can see that the leaves work their way to the back at the hem,
You can't see the back yoke, but you can see that the back fits nicely. I was very happy with how well the back yoke worked out.
You may remember the top that I'm wearing from this Sleeves On Saturdays post. It's one of my favorite tops. I call the sleeve the Bending Willow Sleeve. It's super easy to draft.
I left the irregular hemline that the coat had. I always like a little interest at the hem. So all in all, a project that I'm very happy with.
Thanks for stopping by!!

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rag Bin Worthy No More!

Many of you may remember the raggedy sweatshirt that I just couldn't bear to throw away :) It was left behind by one of my exchange students. It shrunk and he grew, so it was of no use to him. I kept it and wore it...a lot. It was great to throw on with jeans and wonderful on a cold morning over my pajamas. Well, time took its toll and it became stained, ugly and ready for the rag bin, at least so I thought.
I just couldn't bear to throw it away, so I cut it up and created this little skirt. It has become a favorite everyday go to piece in my wardrobe. Funky and fun!!
I received a message from a lovely lady who follows my blog asking if I would do another creation. At first I thought I would go to the resale shop and find another sweatshirt and then I remembered that I had this jacket. I am now VERY embarrassed to admit that I bought this coat/jacket. It actually looked cute when I bought it. I made the mistake of washing it, mind you, on a gentle, handwash cycle and I hung it to dry, but I figured out that the lining was not cut on grain, anyway it became just an ugly mess. 
The back of the jacket had a very full, asymmetrical half circle skirt. As I thought about a project, it occurred to me that I just might be able to save this piece.
The first step I took was to cut the back skirt away from the jacket.
 I draped it on my body and found that I didn't want the extra extension.
The extra was cut off so that the back would hang straight. The only problem is that the center area needed to be filled in.
I took the back bodice and placed it inside the open back area. The bottom of the bodice was placed at my waistline and the shoulders hung down inside the skirt. I placed pins where the two pieces matched up. I added seam allowance to the line before I did any cutting.
The skirt is now finished. You can see the back yoke in the picture below. Since this is fleece, I was able to get away with not putting in a zipper. Score!! I finished the serged edge around the waist with a 1/2" strip I cut from the fleece. I then topstitched it with 2 rows of stitching. This will give the waistline a little stability since I didn't want to add any type of waistband.
The finished front skirt. The "roses" were made by cutting circles out of the fleece. Your roses will be more interesting if they are not all the same. The largest circle is about 4" wide. The centers of the roses are sewn down in a square stitching pattern. The leaves were all cut free form, so no pattern. If you would like, I would be happy to do a page of leaf patterns. But give it a try, they are really quite easy to cut and they should not all be the same . They will be much more interesting if they are different sizes and shapes.
In this picture you can see that some of the leaves have been sewn with veins and some are just sewn down the center. This allows the leaves to have the feeling of movement  You can also see the square shape sewn in the center of the roses. My suggestion is to cut lots of shapes and start placing them on your garment. Just place a pin in the center. From time to time, pick the garment up and take a look at it in the mirror. You will be able to see what needs to be moved around and where you need more leaves or more roses. I wore my skirt a few days ago and once I had it on, I decide that I need a few more leaves that move around to the back. Not much, just a bit.
Since you don't have a jacket just like mine, you won't be able to recreate the skirt that I made. But I hope that this will inspire you to look at some of your discards in a little different manner. They just might be a wonderful garment waiting to be birthed.
I'm venturing out this afternoon to take a few pictures. So check back later if you would like to see a picture of me in the skirt.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Get Ready For The Amy Butler Beautiful Belle Sew Along

The first Sew News issue of 2014 is now available! And it is full of great information, wonderful tips, and 
 and my little article!!!! I'm so excited!!! I just realized that this bag does double duty for Jungle January!!
 I made this bag months ago and now I have it back in my hands and I can finally enjoy using it.
Just to give you an idea of the size, I've included a picture of the bag over my shoulder. You can see that it's large, but not too large.
Inside are an abundance of pockets for anyone who is always on the go. There's room for everything from diapers and a bottle, to your flip flops for that impromptu pedicure and there's even a special pocket for your cell phone! Even with all these items, you can still find room for all the other necessities that are a must in everyone's bag.
If you would like to make the bag and sew along with me, starting next week, the week of February 3, 2014, there will be a new video up each week to help walk you through the process of making your own bag. A special Flickr group has been set up, you can find it here, http://www.flickr.com/groups/sn_sewalong1. Join and post your pictures. I can't wait to see your creative fabric choices! You can find the Sew News newsletter here and the blog post here where you can get information on the sew along and how to join the Flickr group.
Now, I've saved a little treat for last, I have an extra copy of the current Sew News Magazine
and I would love to share it. So, leave a message on this post if you would like a chance to win. I will announce the winner this upcoming Friday, January 31st.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Morning Inspiration

Can you believe that this is already the last week of January!!!!! Where did this month go???  I do love winter, even with all that I have to do to try and stay warm. In fact, once I finish this post, I'm headed out for a little skiing, I hope. But, I must admit that my thoughts have begun to turn toward spring clothes. 
Everywhere I look, it seems that I'm bombarded with Peter Pilotto designs, and I really like what I see. The line is actually designed by the London based team of Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos. Not only do they have a high end line, they are now doing a line for Target. I guess that once you begin designing for Target, you have truly made the big time ;) I am being a little facetious.....actually a lot :) Regardless, their mix of prints is a feast for the eyes and nothing that we can't do for ourselves.  I've posted some of the pieces that I really like, but if you would like to see the entire line, here's a link, http://www.target.com/c/peter-pilotto-for-target-brand-shop/-/N-55hsm . Just click on the Lookbook and you'll be able to scroll through all of the designs that they have done for Target.

 An easy little shift dress with a yoke and a little flounce skirt.

 I especially love the piecing possibilities of the above dress design.

 The top the skirt, wonderful.
You may remember that Elizabeth of http://elizabethchandlerdesigns.com/ did a bag for us like the one above. You can find the directions here, http://rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2013/04/fabulous-free-pattern-friday_19.html

Love this look! Above and below.

 Great mix of a bold abstract floral print with the black and white graphic prints below.
I'm off to see if Target will be selling those black and white graphic slip-ons. I think they are super cute and I can't make them!!!!
Wishing you some happy spring thoughts today. For all of us who have been dealing with an incredibly cold winter, we deserve a little break, even if it's just a mental one :)
Happy Monday!

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Night Reflections

It Is Well With My Soul
(Original lyrics)[1]
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,a
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Have you ever heard of Horatio Spafford? His is a story of great sorrow, great resilience and even greater faith.
In the latter part of the 1800's Mr. Spafford was a very successful Chicago lawyer. He invested heavily in real estate and met financial ruin due to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. After some recovery, he was once again hit by the economic downturn of 1875. He had planned a trip to Europe for he and his family, but decided to stay back at the last minute to deal with zoning issues that had arisen after the Chicago fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship that his wife and four daughters were on collided with another ship and sank. Only his wife was saved. He quickly boarded a ship to meet his grieving wife. While at sea, the captain came to Mr. Spafford and told him when they were crossing the point where the two ships had collided and where his four daughters had been lost. It was at that moment that he pulled out a pen and paper and wrote the lyrics to, "It is Well With My Soul."  
The Spaffords went on to have three more children. Their only son died at the age of four with scarlet fever. A few years later, the Spaffords decided to move to Jerusalem where they helped to form The American Colony whose mission was to serve the poor. Their philanthropic work focused on helping the poor with no regard for religious affiliation. The colony became the subject of the Nobel Prize winning book Jerusalem. The story was inspired by a visit that the author had with the Spaffords. The charitable work begun by the Spaffords continues today in the original Colony house. The Spafford Children's Center provides medical treatment and outreach programs for Arab children and their families.

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Sunday's Soup

Some of you may have noticed that I've been missing in action for the last few days. Well, I was back in Denver taping sew along videos for Sew News. It was a lot of fun, but I think I was rather stressed as I now have a lovely cold sore on my upper lip. Isn't it interesting how the body lets us know in no uncertain way that we need to relax at least a bit?!! I listened and spent most of yesterday resting and sleeping. I feel like a new person today :)
I'm cheating a bit, as I did not make the soup that I am sharing with you. After a day at Sew News, I spent the night with a friend who lives near Denver. She hosted a party and made this lovely soup. It was so very good, so I just had to share it with you. It's called Lentil and Escarole Soup, but she changed it up just a bit by using kale rather than escarole, so we will call it
Lentil and Kale Soup
This is not an online soup, but from a magazine chuck full of what looks to be fabulous recipes.  If you would like a copy of this magazine/book, here's a link  http://americastestkitchen.buysub.com/new-releases/cook-s-illustrated-all-time-best-soups-stews-2014-special-issue.html It's quite reasonable, only $9.95. I've already placed my order :)
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 onion diced
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 celery rib cut into 1/4" pieces
6 cloves of garlic sliced thin
2 tablespoons of minced fresh parsley
4 cups of chicken broth (if you would like a true vegetarian version, substitute vegetable broth)
3 cups of water
8 ounces of brown lentils picked over and rinsed
1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 Parmesan cheese rind, plus grated for serving
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and sliced into 1/2" wide strips

1. Combine oil, onion, carrot, celery and 3/4 teaspoon of salt in Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 17 to 20 minutes. Increase heat to medium high and add broth, water, lentils, tomatoes and their juice, bay leaves and Parmesan rind(my friend did not have one and the soup was still quite delicious) Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover partially, and simmer until lentils are soft, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Note; you can put all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low all day at this point. Just be sure to saute the vegetables prior to placing in  a slow cooker. This recipe is perfect for a slow cooker.

2. Stir in chopped kale and cook until wilted.(If cooking soup in a slow cooker, add kale with other ingredients and allow to cook all day) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls, drizzle with a little olive oil and serve. Pass grated Parmesan cheese. Sit back and listed to your guests rave over your delicious soup!!!

This soup would also be lovely served with a side of brown rice. My idea, I do love brown rice ;) Give it a try, I know you'll enjoy. I did!!

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Drafting The Back Fitted Bodice

For many, drafting a pattern seems like a deep, dark, mystery. Hopefully, you are beginning to see just how simple it really is. What I would like to do is continue on with this series throughout the year. Once the bodice is drafted, we'll draft a sleeve and a skirt. Once we get a good fit, we can then move on into drafting fun designs. After all, that is what it is all about!! Now I say we, sadly this is not a classroom situation and I cannot personally fit each and everyone of you, so as I've said, for now, you'll only be able to see the changes I make in my own pattern. When I move to drafting a basic sloper for a client which is required by one of the modules for the Master Sewing And Design Certificate Program, you will then be able to see me fit another person which I'm sure will be interesting. That won't happen until later this year.
Today we will be drafting the fitted back bodice pattern.
Begin by tracing the back basic bodice pattern.
Transfer the J-K line from basic back bodice and label it as A-B.
Mark C at center back waistline.
C to D is 1/4 of waist measurement plus 1" for the dart.
Connect B to D.
Measure between C and D and find the center. Draw a right angle from C-D line at center point to A-B line. Mark this point as G.
E and F are 1/2" on either side of line G.
Measure down 1" from G and mark as H.
Connect E and F to H.

Our next step will be to adjust the front fitted bodice side seam and and true our darts. Once this is completed, we'll add seam allowances and begin the fitting process.

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