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Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday Morning Inspiration/Shock Wave

While I was in Denver, I had the opportunity to go to the Denver Art Museum and see a wonderful exhibit on Japanese designers who began a fashion revolution during the 1980s and 90s.  The exhibit is entitled Shock Wave. It was fascinating and I found it quite interesting as to how many of the pieces are still relevant to today's fashion.

Since I enjoyed it so much, I thought you might as well. There are 70 pieces in the collection, so it's a fairly large exhibit. I'm showcasing just a few of my favorites.

Loved this simple piece, basically just rectangles.




The gathered neckline on this dress made for the most attractive and feminine design.


Structure and drape combined.


From Rei Kawakubo, bias dress with matching gloves. Spring/Summer 1994  



This is a very different piece, but interesting and inspiring. From Commes des Garcons, entitled, "Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body." The sections and drape of the skirt is especially interesting. 



Loved this pieced and structured bustier.



Interesting tweed suit. I really liked the sleeve detail.
  

From Issey Miyake. Pleated fabric with a play on stripes. Beautiful.


There was a section devoted to pleat detail. While the shirt is interesting, I so wished I could have captured the skirt, but the lighting was just too dark.



This skirt was paired with a different shirt. Take note of the tie that is attached to the waistline of the skirt and then wraps around the waistline. This is a fairly heavy skirt, so the tie helps to hold the skirt in place. Love the pocket detail.


From Issey Miyake. Spring/Summer 1989. What caught my eye was the amazing sleeve.


This dress has the feel of a kimono, but given a modern twist with the neckline and sleeves.



And finally, I just couldn't take enough pictures of this dress. From zippers, to buckles, to drapes, so much inspiration.


The exhibit runs through May 28, 2017, so if you are in or near Denver, I highly recommend the exhibit.  

Hope you enjoyed this little taste!
Rhonda



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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Night Reflections





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Sunday's Soup/The Best Tortilla Soup!

It's no secret that I love a bowl of soup :) I love the melding of flavors, and the warmth. A bowl of soup is like a comforting warm hug, at least for me.

I recently had lunch with a friend and ordered a bowl of Tortilla Soup. It was good, but it made my mind begin to race, and I thought, I think I can make a better bowl of soup. 

So once in my kitchen, I gave it a try and if I say so myself, it was the BEST tortilla soup I've ever had.


It's a very simple recipe. I used 2 large cans of fire roasted tomatoes. The soup I had at the restaurant was basically just a tomato broth, I wanted something a little more robust, so I added shredded cabbage and sliced carrots.


While the basic soup is good, this one is all about the toppings. I topped it with some tortilla chips, sliced avocado, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and added a slice of lime.


If you're like me, it's just not quite complete without a kick, so I added some freshly sliced jalapeno to my bowl.
  

To eat, just take your spoon, crunch up the tortilla chips and avocado. Stir in the cheese and squirt the lime juice over all. Then dig in!
   

If you would like to give it a try, here's the recipe;

Tortilla Soup

2 25 oz. cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups slivered green cabbage
3 medium carrots sliced thin
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 cloves garlic minced
1 jalpeno pepper seeded and chopped (optional)
8-10 cups vegetable broth
(The broth should be quite thin)

Toppings;
tortilla chips
sliced avocado
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
(Mexican chihuahua cheese would also be great)
sliced jalapenos
sliced lime

Simply combine everything into a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender. 
Ladle into bowls, add toppings and enjoy!

If you would like a non-vegetarian version, top the soup with a little shredded chicken.

This soup could also be made in a crock pot. Just combine all of the ingredients. Set on low for the day and enjoy when you arrive home tired and hungry. 

If you give it a try, I hope you love it as much as my husband and I did!
Rhonda 



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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Little Something Unexpected

Just a quick post this morning :) 

Whenever any of us begin something new, it can be scary and intimidating. Not everyone will like what you're doing, and some will criticize. 

But then...there are those who will support, and cheer you on, regardless of whether they feel it's a good idea or not. That's what so many of you are for me :), and I cannot begin to express my true gratitude. 

You may remember the Spoonflower tea towels that I purchased last November,



They are such a simple little gift, but everyone seems to love receiving them. I think that it has a lot to do with the fact that it's an unexpected gift.

Well...I have one of the sewing tea towels left, and rather than keep it for myself, I thought I would choose a name from the list of all of you who left a message on Monday's post. Your thoughts and messages gave me the encouragement that I needed!

So, I drew names, and the winner of the towel is...


Tomasa!!!

A little unexpected gift :) Email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com with your mailing info and I will pop it in the mail.

While I wish I had a towel for each of you, I am working on a little something that I hope many of you will enjoy, so stay tuned!

Have a wonderful day! I hope something wonderful and unexpected happens for each and everyone of you today :)
Rhonda



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Monday, March 13, 2017

Help Me Make A Final Decision

Well, Chicago is expecting 5 to 10 inches of snow today!!! Just goes to show, Mother Nature has a sense of humor :). A weird sense of humor, and maybe more of a "gotcha!" For any of you reading this, by all means, don't take any unnecessary risks. If at all possible, stay in, make a lovely cup of tea, and just try to enjoy the beauty. BTW, one of my favorite teas is Adagio Teas Chai Town. It's a lovely blend of flavors that warms the soul.  

I would like to thank all of you who took the time to share your ideas on the new logo for the new video series, Sew Bussted's Material Witness. I really appreciated your insight and thoughts.

The logo that came in second is below,

While I like the design, the plane was just a little too prominent...for me. 

Most of you chose this design, but wanted to see a few tweaks.


The tweaks have been made. The two designs below are my final choices. While I love the first, I think I am leaning toward the second. I like the stitched line that references sewing, but ties in the plane. I also like the plane being below the main logo. I would like for Material Witness to be a darker red as it is in the first, and I would like the shading in the needle to be a little darker. 

1.

2.

So, once again, I would love your help. Vote for one of the two designs. And if you have any final suggestions, let me know. 

Thanks so much!
Rhonda



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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Friday, March 10, 2017

Sew News and A Winner!

A BIG, BIG thank you to everyone who watched...or listened :) to the last episode of Sewbussted's Material Witness with Ellen March, editor of Sew News. I hope that many of you will take advantage of submitting article ideas. Remember, they are looking for ideas for both Sew News as well as Creative Machine Embroidery. You can find the info about submission HERE

Ellen very generously offered a FREE subscription to Sew News, so without further adieu...

The winner is;


Congratulations Carolyn F.!!!

Please email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com with your mailing info so I can pass it along to Ellen. 

The new April/May issue of Sew News is out and in it you'll find LOTS of great info.


There's a new Master Class series. This month, the featured article is all about set-in sleeves.  


For anyone who is a little timid about sewing with knits, you'll find a very informative article that should build your confidence.


Detailed instructions will help you draft this fun bag.


Having your own custom labels makes for a fun addition to any garment. Included in the article is a discount code for 15% off from Dutch Label Shop, so your subscription begins to pay for itself! 


If you enjoy sew alongs, beginning March 14th, you'll be able to join Kimberly Payne of Straight Stitch Designs as she walks you through her Ravenna Top. It will all be on the Sew News blog.


You may remember The Clara Dress sew along that I did for Sew News. You can find links to the sew alongs I did HERE.

Today, March 10, 2017, and today only, you may purchase the pattern for 20% off! Just click HERE.


It's an easy dress to make and wear. I've made 3, and they are a summer staple in my wardrobe.

During the sew along, I showed you how to customize the pattern by adding a gathered ruffle to the collar, sleeves, and hem. I also showed you how to easily line the dress.


If you would like to purchase a subscription to Sew News, just click HERE!

Happy Sewing!
Rhonda



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Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Doll That Set The Stage of My Life

Barbie is 58 years old today! 

When I was maybe 3 years old, I saw an ad on the back of my morning chocolate milk mix. If I saved however many labels, I could get a free Barbie doll. Now, I drank a LOT of chocolate milk as it was the only way my parents could get me to drink milk. So I knew that it would be easy for me to collect the labels. As we sat over our morning cereal, I told my father that I would like to have the Barbie and he said no. NO!!!! Why not? All I had to do was drink the mix, collect the labels, and the doll would be free. I was SO angry, and not knowing how else to express my anger, I stuck my tongue out at him. 


That did not go over well...to say the least. 

What I did not know was that my parents had already collected the labels and had the doll waiting for my birthday. 

I loved that doll. She was the Jackie Kennedy version with the short hair.
My grandmother made the most wonderful clothes for her, sweet dresses with matching coats. Sewing in those tiny little sleeves into tiny little armholes was truly a labor of love. 

By the time I was 7 years old, a new and improved version of Barbie hit the market. She had bendable legs...WOW!!!! A toy store in my town ran a promotion where if you brought in your old Barbie, they would give you the new and improved version with bendable legs. At the time, I had no thought that this doll would one day have value, all I wanted was a doll with possibilities. 

Now here's where the story gets funny...

Remember, all of my Barbie clothes had been made by my grandmother, so there was no way that I would give away something so precious, so I took the clothes off my Barbie and wrapped her in a blanket. After all, I couldn't take a naked Barbie to the toy store!

When I arrived, there was a man behind the counter. Oh horror of horrors!!! I was beyond embarrassed about having to hand this man a naked Barbie. Looking back on the day, the man was no man, but a teenager, but when you're 7, anyone over the age of 16 is an adult to you. So I took a deep breath, unwrapped my doll from the blanket, and handed it to "the man." My embarrassment soon dissipated with the brand new Barbie in my hands. I remember riding home and being intoxicated by the smell of the rubbery plastic, and dreaming of the hours and hours of joy that I would have with this doll.

I have a lot to thank Barbie for. My play time was an escape. Hours would melt away as I played and created scenarios for my dolls. And thanks to my grandmother and her sewing skills, I had wonderful clothes that made me dream of the day that I too would have lovely clothes to wear. I'm still a big fan of ensemble dressing. I love a coat that matches my dress. Now I know where that love was birthed :)

I still have that Barbie, and the clothes, along with a number of the other dolls that were created for the Barbie family. They are packed away along with all the imagination that they at one time set the stage for me to create in my mind. I now know where my love of story was born. So maybe it's time for the dolls and the clothes to be unpacked, released from their captivity and allowed to birth dreams in a new generation.



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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Wednesday Showcase

A few months ago, our alderman sent out a notice that we could get free rain barrels for our gardens. When I was a little girl, a number of people in our community would catch rain water and use it for their gardens as well as washing their hair. They felt that there was nothing better for soft, beautiful hair. I've always wanted a rain barrel, so I thought, why not?!!, and ordered 2. Well, I came home this afternoon and found 4 barrels in my front yard. 4!!! My mind has been twisting round and round about where I can place them, all along wondering, WHAT AM I GONG TO DO WITH 4 RAIN BARRELS?!!! Well, I think I've figured it out, so once I can spend a little time in the garden, I'll get them hooked up and hopefully start watering my garden with Mother Nature's nectar :) A fun new project.

Another fun project is always The Wednesday Showcase. I just love bringing you sweet smiling faces, fun projects, and incredible sewing skills. 

Up first today is a very sweet smiling face, Catherine of The Stylish Stitcher. She has only been sewing for a few years, but as it turns out, she hasn't fallen far from the tree. Her mother is an avid sewist. Hoping to inspire her daughter, she gave Catherine a sewing machine that ended up sitting in a corner for a while, but has now become a coveted friend. She began with pajama pants, but has fallen in love with making the cutest dresses, like this little strawberry print which was made by using New Look 6262. Love the belt!



Such a cute picture! Her cat is Oscar, and what a lovely garden. 


Catherine is an avid knitter.


She also enjoys giving other projects a try like this super cute tote bag for her knitting projects.


I know you will enjoy getting to know Catherine, so be sure to popover and say hello!


Up next is Ann of Alice & Ann Sewing Studio. Her blog title is a tribute to her mother Alice who inspired her to learn to sew at the age of 8. It was because of this inspiration that Ann went on to FIT in New York, earned a bachelor's degree of Fine Arts in Apparel Design, and then became a fashion designer. While she was raising her children, she did interior design work. The treat is that she shares her sewing and design knowledge with all of us!

Below is a lovely piece made from Closet Case Files' Ebony T-Shirt pattern. The drape is absolute perfection, and the finishing that Ann did around the neckline is so exquisite. 


For any of you who are thinking about the Grainline Studio Adler Shirtdress, check out HER POST. She made a few changes and added pockets. Just might put you over the edge about giving the pattern a try. It did me! 


You can find tutorials on everything from blind hemming,  to a mock French seam. 


Ann also shares her knowledge of home dec and interior design. You'll find very detailed tutorials on making Roman Shades and Pleated Cafe Curtains. 


Ann's blog is fairly new, but it is already a wealth of information. I know you are going to truly enjoy all she has to share.

The weather here in Chicago has been so warm. The trees are beginning to bud, and my chives are up and ready to be harvested. Now that I have my rain barrels, the weather is going to turn and we'll probably have snow into May! But, maybe not ;)

Happy Wednesday Everybody!!!
Rhonda



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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Once a Junker, Always a Junker

The winds in Chicago were so strong last night. At one point I thought I just might get blown away and meet the Wizard of Oz!!! I hope that all of you who drop by had an uneventful night as I heard this morning that there were a number of tornadoes across the United States. 

I can be a bit of a junker...you know, the person who loves to visit resale shops, junkie antique stores, and look for treasures. I've always enjoyed antiques. My very first antique store purchase was a little green cup and saucer, which I still have. In fact, that little cup and saucer grew into a rather large collection.  

There was a time when I could not afford much of anything except my rent and car payment. I ate LOTS of beans and rice, and with my few extra dollars, I would hit resale shops in search of pieces that I could either wear as they were, or remake them. Well, the joy of going to a resale shop and finding a treasure is still something I absolutely love to do. 

I talk to so many who lament the fact that it is becoming more and more difficult to shop at a brick and mortar store for fabric. More and more, we are all having to move our shopping to online resources. While they provide lovely pieces of fabric, I think that what we all miss is being able to touch the fabric. After all, there's so much more to buying fabric than just seeing a pretty piece. 

Resale shops offer great fabrics...in the form of ready made clothes. Of course, sometimes you get lucky, and other times not. I recently visited a favorite shop and I thought that before I tear the pieces apart, I would share my treasures. 

The first piece I purchased was this pretty brocade dress. There's lots of fabric, so I can experiment and play to my heart's content.



It's a little wild, but I loved the print on this knit dress. 


This sequined top might get used with the brocade for something fun. BTW, I am in a pair of my Thrifty Thursday Martha Stewart pajama pants. They are made from a piece of vintage flannel that I found in a resale shop!


This dress will probably be worn this summer just as it is. I initially thought that I would cut off the top and make a skirt, but it fits perfectly, and it will be a nice, fast to throw on garment that I can dress up or dress down.
  

I rather like the trim too. The nice thing about it is that if I change my mind, I can always cut it up at a later date. And, I'll never feel guilty since I only paid $2.00 for the dress.


On the same trip, I found this great pair of leather pants. They are teeny tiny, so unless I decide to practically starve myself to death, I won't be wearing them. I'm ripping them apart and using the leather for some bags and then whatever trim I might think of.


All of the above pieces were a total of $14.00. I think that the pants were the largest portion of the cost, $7.00, but still a steal for leather.  

Now to see what I can create!

If you haven't thrown your name in for the Sew News magazine giveaway, be sure to pop over to THIS post and throw your name in before Friday!

Happy Shopping!
Rhonda



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