Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Stephen Burrows Challenge Coat

Today is cataract removal day :(  I was told to call the day before the surgery to find out what time I should arrive. To my great disappointment, I have to wait until 3 this afternoon to arrive, so the surgery probably won't take place at least until 4. Here I sit, hungry, thirsty, and thinking. Regardless of what everyone has told me about it being such a simple procedure, it's concerning when it's happening to you. Oh well, I've been through worse, and this too shall pass. 

I had promised to share my Stephen Burrows coat that I did for the Haute Couture fashion show. This was such a fun project!

The 2 pieces below are the original garments designed by Stephen Burrows. I've read conflicting stories on the piece. Some call it a coat, while others called it a coat dress. I decided that I would make the piece as a true coat as I would get more wear out of it.  

The first step was to find the fabric. I went with merino wool, so the colors are not as vibrant as those that Stephen Burrows used.

Next was the pattern. In retrospect, I probably should have drafted it myself, but I came across the Butterick pattern below, 6143. With some changes, I thought I would get the basic shape that I wanted. 

The skirt of the coat was far too full, so I pinned out some of the fullness to get the shape that I wanted.

For the bodice, since it is knit fabric, I ended up using Londa's Creative Threads Terrific 'T" pattern as a base. The shoulder was changed a bit. Below you can see how I laid the sleeve over the sleeve of the original coat pattern. I used the width of the sleeve, and lowered the cap to halfway between the top of the t-shirt sleeve and the coat sleeve cap.  

I used a fusible knit interfacing on the knit fabric where there were not multiple layers of fabric. Since I made a coat rather than a dress, the fabric needed a bit more stability.

I determined where I would use the different colors. The green knit was laid over the yellow, and then the band of navy blue knit was laid in place. I sewed the navy to the green and then flipped it over and hand sewed the bottom edge to the green.

The same process was done on the bodice. I also basted all the pieces together around the edge so that everything would remain in place.

With all the stripes coming together at center front, it makes inserting the zipper a little bit of a challenge. To ensure that the stripes did come together at center front, I basted the zipper in place prior to stitching. Once the zipper was stitched in place and I was happy with how the stripes matched, I did a catch stitch to hold the seam allowance in place.

Then came the challenge of the lining. Since the coat is a knit fabric, I needed a knit lining, but I still wanted to have some slip to it as a typical lining has so that it would slide on over whatever I wear underneath. A few years ago, the Haute Couture Club of Chicago celebrated our 50th anniversary. One of our members, Renee Liepins designed the fabric you see below. If you would like to see some of her other wonderful fabric designs, you can find them HERE on Spoonflower. This is a lovely knit that has a very nice slip to it. The only problem was that I didn't have enough to do the entire coat. But, I had the solid gray that matched, so all in all it worked out. 

Here's a closeup of the knit fabric. Look closely and you'll see the HC in the pattern. 

The back of my finished coat.

 The front unzipped. 

And finally, the front zipped. I really did match the stripes :)

I so enjoyed this project, so much so that I think I would like to copy another design. If I can find complimenting stripes, then this little outfit is in my future. I know, I know, I am not supposed to be shopping for fabric!!!

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Monday Morning Inspiration/Studio Progress and The Luxury of Sight

Happy Monday from a very rainy Chicago! My garden is bursting with all the rain we've had. Always a silver lining :)

I apologize for not keeping up with the blog the last few days. Life! 

My studio cleanup project is coming along. Although, I felt as though I had made very little progress, until I watched the first video I shot. So, I have a bit of advice for those of you who are riding along in the same cleanup boat that I am in ;), do a before video! I realized that as I have gone along, I quickly forgot what it looked like before, and all I could see was what still needs to be done. So yes, do a before video. When I went back and watched the pre-cleanup video, I was able to celebrate my accomplishment, at least my accomplishment to date :)   

For those of you who may have missed the first video of my studio, here it is in all it's disastrous glory.

This video was shot after a week and a few days after my beginning. I am not overwhelming myself with the cleanup effort, if I have an hour, great, if I only have 30 minutes, that's great too. 

I shared with a friend of mine that I was a little apprehensive about doing a before video. There was a little (a lot!) of shame involved, I'll admit, but there was also the fear of judgement. What surprised me was how many of you wrote back and shared your own stories of clutter and disarray. Thank you. 

Now for something truly inspirational...

Kristina from Ann Arbor, MI sent me an email last week and told me about a young woman whom she heard speak at her local library. Her name is Camilla Chiriboga and she is truly a young woman on a mission. 

I will let her introduce herself and share her mission as she does it best :)

"My passion lies at the intersection of fashion, health and technology. I design to provide the tools for people to simply enjoy their bodies and lives. I believe clothing should be made for everyone to enjoy the luxury of looking good and feeling comfortable and confident. I seek to celebrate people who are usually underestimated, and in this way, help boost their self-confidence to enjoy a fuller part in society, while feeling more highly valued and respected. Design for me is the tool to provide functional features that will improve daily lives, creating garments that will serve to empower our bodies and minds. This way allowing us to confidently embrace who we are and shape who we want to be through fashion." 

I especially loved the video below. It gives you added insight into what Camilla is doing, as well as the beautiful stories of those who have to deal with the loss of sight. 

You can find Camilla's website HERE. Click on the tabs across the top of her site to see more of her work. 

So many of us take for granted the gift of our sight, and the "luxury" we have of being able to create, show the world our style, and feel good in our clothes. I hope meeting Camilla has meant as much to you as it has to me.

Have a wonderful week!


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Thursday, May 17, 2018

And The Winner Is...

Good Morning!

I apologize for not getting to the giveaway yesterday. Sadly, our internet went down, and quite honestly, I did not feel like hiking off to Starbucks, or the library. But, we are back online, and all is right with the world once again ;)

The winner of Londa's Terrific 'T' pattern is Linda T of Seams Well. She has not been blogging too much lately. Maybe this will nudge her along ;) 

Congratulations Linda! Email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com with your info so I can pass it along to Londa. 

I finished my Stephen Burrows inspired coat for the Haute Couture fashion show. I'll be back a little later today with pictures and how I put it all together. 

My studio clean up is coming along. Not where I want it to be...yet, but coming along. I'll have a little video of the progress up tomorrow. And then on Saturday, look for a new T-shirt Tango post. 

Have a wonderful day!

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Monday Morning Inspiration/Carolina Herrera and Embellishment

It seems like the more I delve into my studio cleaning process, the bigger mess I make! At one point, I had a big space cleaned off of my cutting table, then I tackled a pile of things that needed to be organized, and the table is once again cluttered. Although I am farrrr from having the project completed, I am making progress, and that feels so very good :) A new video later this week.

We all have bits and pieces of fabrics that could be used for something especially creative. 

I wasn't able to find where this picture originated, if someone knows, let me know in the comments as I would love to showcase this person's work. Absolutely amazing embellishment. 

The rose on this t-shirt from Dior is just denim scraps that have been appliqued. Such a fun idea, and it really steps up a plain white t-shirt.   

This is a bit time consuming, but such a lovely embellishment. 

I especially love the work of Carolina Herrera. I decided to take a look at her Pre-Fall collection. You can see it HEREMany of the pieces are embellished with a combination of embroidery and applique.

I think I would put this flower near the hem of the coat, it would make less of a statement. Love the sleeves!

The coat on the left below features cross-stitch embroidery, while the dress on the right is a combination of embroidery and applique.

Love the cross-stitching that was done along the edge of the jacket. 
Take note of the sleeves on the black top. A nice take on the bell sleeve. And again, embroidery and applique are featured on the skirt. Love the aline wrap skirt too!

I included the picture below to point out the sleeves on the orange top. So pretty.


The dress on the right below...why not go bold?!! Take note of the white lining, a little "made ya look" touch to the dress :)
Now, I am REALLY going to date myself, I rather like the white go-go boots ;) 

I love embellished pieces. It takes them from, oh that's nice, to WOW! So, if you are clearing out and cleaning up as I am, just choose a few pieces that you think you will use, and then let the rest go. Just remember, if you are sewing, you are always creating scraps, so no need to keep everything :) Something I am repeating over and over to myself...there will be more, there will be more, let this go :) 

Have a wonderful week!

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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sunday Night Reflections

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Sunday's Soup/Lentil Harvest Soup

I am SOOOO excited!!!

As I've shared many times, I enjoy the blog, Design Sponge. A few weeks back, there was a contest sponsored by Design Sponge to introduce a new cookbook, Coconuts and Collards.

For a chance to win, the challenge was to share what food reminds you the most of home. Here is what I wrote;

When I think of home, I think of my grandmother's kitchen, a rather sparse space in comparison to today's kitchen, a small enamel topped table, a large Hoosier cabinet, a sink that stood on legs, and a massive stove. She loved to make muffins with Malt-O-Meal cereal. She kept them in a pan in the lower section of her Hoosier cabinet, always on hand for that unexpected visitor. Just the right amount of sweet to accompany a cup of tea.

I thought the recipe was lost once she died, but to my surprise, it's on the box, and called Magic Muffins. Such a fitting name.

I do not keep them on hand as she did, but when I need to feel her presence, I make a batch, sit down with a cup of tea, and she is there, if only in spirit. 

What an honor it is to have been chosen the winner. 
Once the book arrives, I will share lots more of what's inside. Can't wait! :)

Today's soup recipe is just a twist on other soups I've shared. When I've had to eat things for a period of time that are a little rich for my diet, be it because of having guests, or traveling, I begin to crave something that's basic and nourishing. That's what this soup is, very basic, but quite nourishing. And then, there's the added bonus of...it tastes really good! I'm calling it Lentil Harvest Soup as there's basically a harvest of garden vegetables, with lentils providing protein.

The recipe is simple and quick enough for a weeknight meal. Be sure to add the sweet potato. Adds just a bit of sweet which is so nice. Leftovers are great for lunches! 

Lentil Harvest Soup
printable recipe

1 cup red lentils
1 large onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 28 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
3 large carrots sliced
2 cups chopped kale
3 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
6-8 cups vegetable broth
salt and black pepper to taste

Begin by placing the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions and cook until tender. Add garlic and continue to saute for another minute to bring out the flavor, but not burn.

Add lentils, cubed sweet potato, carrots, tomatoes, kale, dried oregano, and 6 cups of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, approximately 20 minutes. The lentils will absorb some of the broth, so adjust once lentils are tender. 

Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Serve and enjoy! 

When I eat a bowl of soup, I am so bad about drinking the broth out first and then enjoying the vegetables. 

As always, if you decide to give it a try, I hope you enjoy the soup!

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

T-Shirt Tango/Cowl Neck Tee

Thanks so much to all of you who sent such supportive messages on my post about my extremely out of control studio. Stay tuned for next week's video. The cleanup will not be completed, but progress will be made. Some of you asked questions. I will answer those questions when I do the next video. 

The beginning of the T-Shirt Tango posts! Always fun to start something new :)

We'll begin with the Cowl Neck Tee. As you'll see, it's very easy to do.

I'm using Londa's Creative Threads Terrific T pattern. If by chance you missed yesterday's post, I am sponsoring a giveaway of the pattern, so be sure to visit THIS post and leave a message for a chance to win.

I like this pattern as it's truly a basic pattern. I am using the round neckline that sits just at the base of the neck. Her pattern offers a straight side seam which gives a relaxed fit, or a tapered side seam for a little more fit through the waistline. 

I took the basic pattern and created a sloper. To do this, I removed the seam allowances and then transferred the pattern to a piece of poster board. By removing the seam allowances, I will never be confused once I begin manipulating the pattern as to where I need to add seam allowance and where the seam allowance was left on the pattern. I know that I need to add seam allowance to each and every seam.    

Now that I have a basic sloper, I can trace around it to begin my design. 

I did not want my cowl neckline to fall too far below my bust area, so I measured down 3" below my armhole and squared a line across the front bodice pattern. 

Cut on the line from center front to the side seam, being careful not to cut through the edge.
I spread my cutline open 3 1/2". For a less dramatic drape, 2 1/2" will be fine.

Rather than cut the entire pattern all over again, I simply taped the piece I had cut onto another piece of paper to develop my cowl. 
The center front edge of the pattern was extended up.
I did not want the neckline to be close to my neck, so I marked the shoulder 2" from the shoulder edge. From that point I developed my cowl facing. 

In the picture below, you can see that my ruler is resting along side the center front line that was extended from the original pattern. From the neckline to the top of the cowl facing, measure up 7". From the 7" mark, round a line back to the mark that was made to establish a 2" wide shoulder seam.  

The final pattern. You do not need to cut the pattern as  a full front as I did. The pattern can be placed on the fold of your fabric. 

Remember to reduce the shoulder seam on the back pattern to 2" as you did the front. 

If you would like construction instructions, let me know and I will be happy to do a video and walk you through it.

Cowl neck tees are wonderful to have in your pattern collection. This tee can be worn with jeans, and paired with a skirt. The pattern can also be extended into a dress, so it is extremely versatile.


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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

My Studio, and a Giveaway!

I can never buy another piece of fabric for the rest of my life!

I spent 3 hours in my studio yesterday afternoon clearing off shelves and organizing fabric. Here's the worst part of it, I am no where near finished!!! For quite some time, I have wanted to clean up and organize my studio. For far too long, I've gone from 1 project to the next without cleaning in between. 
I am beyond mortified to share the video below. You will see that even Gracie holds her head in shame. 

As I went through my fabric, I realized that I own some of the most amazing pieces. The idea of not buying fabric is heartbreaking, but what I have vowed to hold true to my goal, and not purchase anything until September 1st. At that point, I will assess how I am doing and go from there. That's 3 months, so that should give me plenty of time to begin to look into my soul and discover a little more about my obsession with fabric. Stay tuned for more posts on my progress. As some of you know, I have tried to set this as a goal in the past, and failed. This time I am taking a little different approach. Rather than try to find a huge block of time to clean, I am giving myself a small pocket of time each day. I had planned to only do an hour yesterday, but became immersed and just kept going. That's okay. Today I will may only do 30 minutes. 

Since the beginning of the year, I have had a goal to read through certain books of the Bible. The goal I set for myself was to read the books of Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Job, Ecclesiastes, the books of Wisdom and Sirach(from the Catholic Bible), and finish out the year by reading through the New Testament. By setting small daily goals, I have finished Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Wisdom, and I am currently reading through Job. Now, reading books from the Bible is not for everyone, and I understand, but what I have learned from my goal is that by setting small daily goals, it adds up to big goals accomplished. It's just amazing! So, I am translating that same goal setting strategy to my studio space. 

Now for something fun!!!

Londa, of Londa's Creative Threads is sponsoring a give away here on the blog. Some of you have already purchased her Terrific T pattern, so whoever wins will have the opportunity to choose from her Terrific T

OR, her Trendy Tunic Tops pattern.

I will begin a new segment on the blog tomorrow on using a basic t-shirt pattern to create lots of fun tops. Londa's tee is perfect for this. But, if you've already purchased the t-shirt pattern, you can still enter the giveaway and try for the Trendy Tunics pattern. Very generous of Londa :)

To enter, just leave a message on this post. I will announce the winner next Wednesday, May 16, 2018.   

Good Luck!

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Tuesday Check In

The fashion show for the Haute Couture Club of Chicago was wonderful. I so enjoyed the day! A couple of highlights...

I had the opportunity to meet Mary Ellen of Mary Ellen Sews. Such a delight. For some reason, I thought that she was maybe 5 feet tall, but she is model like in stature. So lovely. Sadly, the day was quite busy and I only had a few moments to talk. Be sure to check out her blog if you have not. I know you will enjoy getting to know her. She has family living in the Chicagoland area, so I am hoping that she will return, sooner than later.

This was just the best!!!...

A young man by the name of Emmanuel designed the cover of our program book. He is working on a bachelor's degree in Fashion Illustration and Design at the Illinois Institute of Art. 

As I was going around to each table, saying hello, and thanking everyone for coming to the show, one of the ladies commented on how lovely the booklet was and that it was actually frameable. She had gone over and asked Emmanuel if he would sign the cover, which he did. Hmmm, that gave me an idea. I decided that this was a moment for him, so I brought him up on stage during my opening remarks and introduced him. After the show was over, I had a few moments to sit down with him. He told me that at one point he was going to get up to leave, he turned around, and there was a line waiting for his autograph. I LOVED it!!!! 

I have yet to post anything, but I did sign up for Me Made May this year.  

My plan is not to post a picture each and everyday. Once a week is fine. My primary goal is to weed out my closet and keep just the items that I truly love...and wear. So far it is going fairly well. I have packed up a number of items that I am going to put in our neighborhood garage sale in a few weeks. If they don't sell, they are headed for the resale shop. But, I plan to purge quite a few more pieces. Look for an upcoming closet post. I've cleaned out my drawers, and oh my does it ever feel good. When you see them, you are probably going to gasp at my collection of scarves and gloves, but I do wear them, so a large collection is fine if it is used. 

I haven't participated in Me Made May for a few years. In the past, when I have, I've learned a lot about myself, as well as my wardrobe. I'm interested to see the revelations that come from this experience. Be sure to pop over to Zoe's blog to see her Me Made May progress. If you are on Instagram, check out all the fun photos of the Me Made participants. You can find them HERE. And last, but not least, check out the podcast that Zoe did with the gals of Love to Sew , and hear her thoughts on Me Made May.    

I will be announcing a fun giveaway tomorrow. We haven't had one for a while, so it's time :) And I will also begin a new segment on using a basic t-shirt pattern and reconstructing/redesigning it into so many fun styles. I think you'll love it. I hope so anyway. 

Have a wonderful day!

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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Sunday Night Reflections

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Fashion Show Sunday!

Happy Sunday!

Today is Fashion Show Sunday for the Haute Couture Club of Chicago! Always a fun, and crazy day :) So much work goes in to pulling off this show. We are not professionals, so making it all come together is quite an undertaking. I think there will be about 90 garments in the show, all made by our members. So many come to our show because they love the fact that we are real women, in real clothes, and then the icing on the cake is that we made those clothes.

I thought I would just give you a quick glimpse of what I will have in the show. You've seen most of it before.

My denim, hoodless, Waffle Patterns Pepernoot coat with a little skirt and striped shirt. I love this skirt. The pattern in the fabric is airplanes, locomotives, and steamships ;) I have a pair of red boots that I will wear with the outfit.

Love this saved lining skirt. The fabric was found in an old fur coat. I especially like the name that was embroidered, Jetta Jones.  

This skirt was made with a piece of vintage brocade from Hawaii. Great big pockets on the sides add interest and fun. I have a pair of black and white striped shoes that I will wear with this outfit.

I made this outfit to wear to a summer wedding last year. The fabric is from Tessutti Fabrics in Australia. Such an amazing piece of silk.

I think we will have 8 umbrellas in the show. We will all come out at the same time for full impact. Should be fun.

And finally, my Stephen Burrows inspired coat. My colors are not as vibrant as the original coat. I will get better pictures and share more about the coat in tomorrow's post. What a fun project to do. The lining is a piece of fabric that the Haute Couture club had made for our 60th anniversary.  

And finally, a fun pair of floaty pants that I will pair with a purple knit velvet top. Hopefully I will be able to get a picture of me in the pants so you can get a better idea of what they look like.

Have  fabulous day!

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