Wednesday, January 13, 2021

A Unique Vintage Opportunity

I received a message from a sewing friend who has decided to let go of a few of her vintage magazine treasures. Here's a sampling;  

The above photograph is from the book pictured below, an entire publication devoted to furs. While many no longer wear the real thing, I think the pictures provide inspiration for working with faux fur. 

The pictures below are from Les Parisiennes, such lovely French magazines.

The collection includes 8 magazines, including Vogue and Simplicity. Such a lovely opportunity to develop a library of vintage fashion.

You can find the Ebay listing HERE. If you go to the site, you'll see other pictures that I have not included. If you think you're interested, don't delay, the listing ends on Tuesday, January 19, 2021!!! 

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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Keeping a Record

 A few years ago I started keeping a record of the books I read throughout the year. What prompted me to do it was while looking back over the year, my first thought was that I had not accomplished much, and that I had not read anything! :/ But, once I began to really think about the past year, I realized that I had done more than I gave myself credit for.  So, for the last few years, I have kept a record in my yearly planner. I also keep a record of what I've knitted. But, I have not kept a record of what I've sewn. Go figure!!!

So, this year I've decided to not only keep a record of my completed sewing projects, but I've decided to keep a lovely notebook with details about each garment. 

I went online and searched free sewing planners, and found a few that I really like.

The planner that I will most likely go with is from Simple Simon & Company. You can find it HERE.  I like that it's very clean, and detailed enough, but not overly so. 

So far this year, I have completed 3 projects. Trust me, they were all quite simple. I have the swatches on my pages, and I'll get the details filled in later today. I think it's best to do it right away while the project is still fresh in my mind.

Another planner that I found that is quite nice is from Sewing and Quilting Club. With this planner, they have included a notions and accents section where you can just circle rather than having to write out everything. You can find their planner HERE

I also found a wonderful planner from Seamwork,which is free. This planner is based on developing a collection rather than just 1 garment.

There are pages that can be used as a sewing record.

But, if you would like to actually plan a mini wardrobe capsule, the planner will walk you through the entire process. You can find the Seamwork planner HERE

I'm really excited about keeping a sewing diary of sorts. I have a feeling that I am in for a learning experience. We'll see!!! :)

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Monday, January 11, 2021

Monday Morning Inspiration/Purpose

A very late Happy New Year!

When our world as we knew it seemed to end last year, I had my moments of shock, and then I decided to focus on what I could do, and not on what I couldn't. As it turned out, I had a spectacular year. Yes, there were moments that were especially difficult. Some of you may remember that a friend of mine died on May 6th(not from COVID), and I am the executor of her estate. Trying to get anything accomplished was so very difficult with all the COVID restrictions. There was one moment when I felt that I just could not do it. But, I allowed myself the moment, then grabbed my boot straps, and figured out ways to accomplish what needed to be done. I'm not finished yet, but close.

Although I had a wonderful year, I have questioned my life, and have had moments where I have felt great despair. Maybe you have as well. I came across this, and it spoke to me in such a profound way, so, for my first post of this new year, I thought I would share it. I hope that it will touch you as it has me :)

"What is my purpose in life?" I asked the void.

"What if I told you that you fulfilled it when you took an extra hour to talk to that kid about his life?" said the voice.

"Or, when you paid for that young couple in the restaurant? Or, when you saved that dog in traffic? Or, when you tied your father's shoes for him?"

"Your problem is that you equate your purpose with goal-based achievements. The universe isn't interested in your achievements...

Just Your Heart.

When you choose to act out of kindness, compassion, and love, you are already aligned with your true purpose."       

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Monday, December 21, 2020

Celtic Dreams/The Flipping Pleats Skirt

It's the week of Christmas. I'm sure that many of you are like me, feeling as though something is missing. While Christmas is not about the parties, the gifts, and new dresses, it is about celebrating, and I think that  not being able to celebrate as we typically would just leaves us feeling a little lost. Rather than allowing myself to get caught up in what I can't do, I've decided to focus on what I can do. I have started leaving a little earlier when I take Berkley out for his last walk of the evening, and I explore streets where the holiday lights are especially pretty. I love how the glow hits my face, and it makes me smile.

Another thing that I have decided to do is put on a pretty holiday feeling garment. Who cares if I can't go to a party?!! And...why wait for a special occasion that may or may not happen? We should celebrate each and every day as they truly are a gift. 

My husband and I typically take our holiday picture at the American Opera Society's holiday gala. But, of course, this year, no gala. So, we got dressed in something that felt like the holidays, and took pictures on our front porch. I recently made a pair of red plaid tights. I have been wanting a pair of red plaid tights for a very long time. I also decided to go all out and make a matching red plaid turtleneck. I look like I just fell off the Celtic boat, but so what, it makes me happy ;)

I paired the tights and the turtleneck with a red pleated skirt that I made for my Fabulous Free Pattern Friday series. The skirt has a hip yoke. I just used my favorite pencil skirt. The pleats are a series of 8 rectangles. The magic is in how they are folded at the hem.

This is a picture that was taken when I originally posted the instructions.

The hem of the skirt is folded at an angle.  

You can find the instructions to the skirt HERE. It's really quite easy to do. As you can see in the video, the pleats swish about making it a truly fun skirt to wear. I can't believe that I made this skirt 10 years ago!!! And, I still have those boots! 

I hope that you are finding ways to celebrate the season. I'm breaking out Berkley's Christmas collar today. He may hate me, but it will make me laugh!!!


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Sunday, December 20, 2020

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Tea Towel Totes

If you've followed the blog for a while, you may remember the summer bucket list that my husband found in the alley a couple of summers ago. It had been written by a teenage girl. At least the items on her list were things a teenage girl would like to do. The list was fun, and interesting. My husband tried to see if he could find someone and return the list, but no one was to be found, so he brought the list home to me. I was so inspired by her list that it prompted me to create 1 of my own. What really inspired me was the fact that she was so looking forward to summer, with intention, and with goals. As I read through her list, I realized that I allow time to just go by. Yes, I have goals, but the very focused aspect of her list is what inspired me to do 1 of my own.

When I sat down to work on my list, I decided that rather than just write it on paper, I would paint something and make it all the more special. Here is what I did, a bouquet of cone flowers.


After I finished the piece, I decided that I would like to see about turning it into fabric. Off to Spoonflower! There I was able to upload my piece and create fabric. I did do a yardage piece that ended up becoming part of a bag;

As well as pillowcases for my bed;

I also had tea towels printed. I took 4 of the tea towels and made them into totes. I've made 2 and I just love how they turned out!  

Forgive the light peeking through the door :) I just love the size. So often when I go to the store and buy a long loaf of bread, I end up carrying it in my hand as it won't stay in the bag. This bag will hold a long loaf of bread without a problem. 

The handles posed a bit of a dilemma, but I had some fabric that worked beautifully.  

I also used the fabric to cover chip board which gives the bag a sturdy bottom. You can purchase chip board from an art supply store. 

I think tea towels make the greatest bags for gifts. You can really tailor something to the likes of the person you are giving the bag to. If you go to Spoonflower, you'll find lots, and lots of tea towel designs. If by chance you like my design, you can find it HERE. I recommend the Linen Cotton Canvas fabric for tea towels and bags.

Now that the bags are made, I can't wait to give them away!!! I know that both recipients are going to love them. Isn't it just the best when you know you're giving something you've made to someone who is going to love it?!!!  

Happy Sewing!


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Monday, December 7, 2020

Monday Morning Inspiration/Chanel Le Chateau des Dames

Earlier this fall I went to a party. Of course parties aren't like they were:( This one was held out on a driveway so that we could all be outside, and distanced from each other. And, we had to bring our own beverage and glasses. Wow, have times changed. Enough with the lamenting. 

Anyway, I can't remember what I wore, but it wasn't anything haute couture, by no means. There was a lovely woman there who was just in awe of what I was wearing. She asked me if I had gotten my sense of style from a relative. I told her that for as long as I could remember, I LOVED clothes. I dreamed of being able to have a closet full of pretty things to wear. Being poor, my only alternative was to create it myself. I still remember an outfit I made when I was in the 8th grade, a hot pink bodysuit with a lime sherbet and hot pink plaid maxi shirt. I felt like I had arrived!!! At what, I'm not sure ;), but I felt like a million bucks in that outfit. Sweet memories, for sure.

I recently saw the new collection from Chanel, and I fell in love. I've attached the video of the fashion show below. It is gorgeous, the music, the staging in a castle, simply magical. It's only about 11 minutes long, and so worth the time spent.

Here are a few of my favorites from the collection. There are so many things that I love about this collection, but 1 in particular is the use of leggings. Wow, talk about taking leggings off the running track and making them full blown couture!

While watching the fashion show, I saw the back of this jacket. It actually has a hood. Look closely and you'll see that you could easily use the Wilder Gown from Friday Pattern Company to create it. I rather like the leggings too. Different for sure, but interesting. 


Talk about a throwback piece! Reminds me a lot of Geoffrey Beene. Love the mix of patterns. 

I absolutely love the sheer extension of the skirt over a pair of leggings. 

Not sure if this is a cat suit under the vest. Remember those? ;) The large diamond patterned vest over the smaller diamonds of the leggings and top is fabulous. 

The embroidery on the sweater works so beautifully with the fringe on the skirt.

What grabbed my eye with this piece was the touch of fur on the lapel. What a fun way to use just a scrap of faux fur. Oh, and on the opposite cuff too!!! 

I found this long tunic over the leggings and top to be so pretty.

Love, love, love this skirt!!! And then for it to be paired with a sweater set! Take note of the chain belts. I am so very happy that I saved mine!!!

And finally, this piece. It's just so lovely. I love the long dress over the leggings. What a great at home piece. Not in sequins maybe, but then again...why not?!! ;) What I have adopted is if I want to wear something, wear it!!! There may not be a tomorrow, so at least I've enjoyed it today. 

A quick story before I go;

When my niece was about 5 years old, I took her out to buy a new pair of shoes. I was thinking practical, but not her! We looked and looked. Finally, she said, "pick me up." I did, and she pulled a pair of the loveliest glitter shoes off of the shelf. They truly were so pretty, but what she needed was a pair of shoes that she could wear to school. That is the one purchase I still regret not making. My philosophy now is, if you want to wear glitter shoes, by all means wear them!


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