Monday, January 31, 2011

Rudy's Determination

One of my favorite movies is Rudy. The movie is based on the true story of a young man who is determined to not only go to Notre Dame and gain a college education, but is also determined to play football for Notre Dame. Everything that could be against him, is, but he overcomes every obstacle and is triumphant. If you've never seen the movie, rent it, on second thought, buy it. It's a movie that is worth seeing over and over.
I just returned from a ski trip to Colorado. We had a wonderful time. The snow was great, a little too much at times. There were a number of avalanches. Sadly a young man was killed while doing some back country snowboarding. He was found, with his dog by his side.
I had every intention of posting my weekly feature, Rectangles, Squares, and Circles. I took everything with me, had my husband take the photos one morning and yet when I got back in the evening, I was just too tired. At this point, you are probably wondering where the reference to Rudy comes in as I obviously didn't have his determination with my posts. I will make up for my laziness this week and catch up on those posts.
While I was in Colorado, I noticed on Facebook that BurdaStyle was sponsoring a contest, Are You The Next Sewing Star? What you were to do is download a pattern for the Charlie Bag, make the bag and do a 3 minute video of yourself. The winner gets to do a spot on the new television program, It's Sew Easy. I thought the contest sounded like a lot of fun, but I was in Colorado with only a laptop. Then I saw a commercial for the movie Rudy along with a clip. As I thought about it, I knew that Rudy wouldn't let any obstacle get in his way. So now, how could I make this happen? I didn't know anyone with a printer, but by asking questions, I found out that there is a library in Fraser, CO, lovely I might add, and you can use their computer and printer. The copies were only 10 cents each. Great. So the first hurdle I was able to cross. But now I needed a sewing machine. I could go to Denver, but I couldn't get down the mountain. The locals were saying that they had never seen it as bad as it was. At one point, Berthoud Pass was closed for two days, and even once the pass was cleared, it wasn't a good idea to venture into Denver because no one knew when the next avalanche would happen. Then I remembered that there is a small fabric shop in Grandy which is about 20 miles from Fraser. So off I went. There I met Lorene Linke. Such an interesting woman. She owns The Fabric Nook and has for about the last 35 years. She also taught Home Economics at the high school in Granby. She and her husband own a ranch about 20 miles out of town and with all of this, she was able to raise 7 children. An incredible woman, to say the least. I told her what I wanted to do, and before I was able to get my entire story out of my mouth, she said yes. Another obstacle overcome. Now I was getting excited, but I still needed to make the video. It just so happened that a friend who lives in Fraser for the winter season had received a video camera for Christmas and just happened to have it with her. Wow!! She was very excited about helping me. By now the time was growing short. The deadline was on Monday, the 24th, I only had Saturday to get this done. On Saturday morning, as luck would have it, we were having another snow storm, but I was determined. Off I went to pick up my friend and managed to get stuck going up the hill to her house. Once we got the car out and were loaded up, we were off. As we were driving down highway 40, the winds were howling, snow was blowing, at one point we could only see the hood of the car. My friend asked if I was comfortable driving in this weather? I told her that we were in it now whether I was comfortable or not. We made it to Granby and had such a lovely morning. I ended up making three bags. They take all of about 10 minutes to make.
Lorene's shop is such a delight. Not only is it her fabric store, it's her studio. On the back wall of the shop she has flannel boards where she works out her quilt designs. She has 26 grandchildren and is in the process of making a quilt for each child. I asked if she would adopt me.
At this point you would think that I would have accomplished the task, but no. Now I had to put my submission together. I had to download my video to YouTube. I needed a high resolution picture of myself and a resume. Thankfully, I had a picture of myself on my camera that Threads Magazine had used. I don't know if it's a high resolution photo, but I thought that if it was good enough for Threads, it should be good enough for Burda Style. Finally, I had everything together. As I read about how to submit everything, it said, email submissions[at]BurdaStyle[dot] com. I understood that a portion of the address should be @BurdaStyle.com, but I needed more than that. I tried everything I could think of, and every time the email would bounce back to me. I couldn't believe it, I had managed to overcome every obstacle and here I was at the very end and I couldn't send it out. I decided to wait for my husband to come back, I had looked at this for far too long and was too upset to even think any longer. After a few tries, my husband suggested that we try submissions@BurdaStyle.com. It worked. I was so happy. I can't even explain how happy I was. We went out that evening for a glass of wine and some dinner. No one carried me off the football field on their shoulders, but I was so proud. I stuck with it and did it, against everything. Now who knows whether or not I'll win, but at this point I feel that I won. I have not watched the video. You are welcome to view it if you like. The link is www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmzCKAeGYhY.
Once it was all over, thoughts began to creep in that I will not even repeat here as I would rather not give them any power. Then I remembered an audition I did when I was 14 years old for the DuPage Youth Symphony. I left the audition thinking that I had completely bombed. A few weeks later a letter arrived, not only did I make it, I had won first chair. Incredible. This picture is from the highest point on the Winter Park mountain. It's called Panoramic, and that 's just what it is. You really feel that you are on top of the world. A nice reminder to never give up. There's so much more than what is just in front of you.
If you would like to get the free Charlie bag pattern, go to http://www.burdastyle.com/, become a member. Once you have logged on, go to the blog and then click on competitions. Click on "Are You The Next Sewing Star." From there click on the script and then you should be able to find the pattern.
This is one of the 3 bags that I made. I gave one to Lorene and the other to my video friend.
They fold up into this neat little pocket. Once it's unfolded, it's great for your purchases. Great to take on vacation for those extra purchases. They also make great thank you gifts and a nice little hostess gift as well. As I said before, they take no time at all to make, so you can make up a dozen or so and have them on hand anytime you need a little gift.
I think I am going to rename the bag The Rudy Bag!! Enjoy.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011


The time is finally here. I am finally starting my pattern line!! I'm very excited. The name of my line will be a play on my name, Bussted, as in you've been found out. We've all seen the look of shock on some one's face when they've found out that we made what we are wearing.
The first pattern is a vintage inspired jacket. The jacket has the look of being a vest and jacket, but the vest is actually just two panels that are attached to the shoulder seams of the outer jacket.
The "vest" portion is held to the body by a fabric covered elastic belt.
The sleeves are a dolman shape. The front hangs fairly flat against the body, but the back has quite a bit of fullness and hangs beautifully away from the body.
The first view of the jacket was made in wool crepe and lined in a cotton.
The second view was made in velvet. I decided to have some fun with the vest.
I cut strips of my backing fabric, cording and black velvet ribbon, sewed them all together and then backed the "vest" in velvet. The coordinating fabric has an antique purple cast to the fabric.
This photo gives a better view of the fullness in the back.
So, how do you get a pattern? Well, here's the surprise, I'm giving away 25 patterns! Yes, the first 25 are free, but as we all know, nothing is really free. In order to get one of the patterns, you must be a follower on my blog, not a secret follower, but actually sign up to follow the blog. I am also asking that you will commit to making the garment. You will be helping me by giving me feedback.
So to receive the pattern, first, become a follower on this blog. Once you have signed up, send me an email, rhondabuss@hotmail.com. Once I have received your email, I will respond that I have received your request and that you will be receiving a pattern. I will be sending the patterns out the first week of February. What if you aren't one of the first 25? The patterns will be available on Etsy February 7th. The launch price will be $10.00, and the $10.00 price will include shipping.
The patterns are in Small, Medium and Large. If you buy a medium piece of clothing, then you will order a medium jacket.
I am so very grateful to those who have always believed in me. Thank you. I am also so very grateful to my grandmother who so patiently sat and taught me to do so much. I know I talk too much, but I just have to share this story with you. When I was around 4 years old, I told my grandmother that I couldn't wait to have grandchildren. She thought that I didn't quite understand and explained that I had to have children first. I told her, "Oh, I understand that. I just can't wait to have someone love me as much as I love you."

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Rectangles, Circles and Squares

Welcome to a new weekly post. I have said in the past that I have a passion for people learning to sew. The problem that many run into is making something that will fit. Over the next year, I will be posting something that can be made using either a rectangle, a circle or a square. Most of the posts will be garments, but some will be fun accessories. So to get things started, my first post is a square, a tablecloth actually. Two summers ago I had the opportunity to go to the most enchanting island off the coast of Maine, Monhegan Island. The week was magical. Fifty-six people live on the island on a year round basis. When I first arrived, I knew I had to return. Within a few days, a simple return trip of a week didn't feel like enough, I needed two weeks. By the end of my week, I wanted to experience an entire winter there. In order to call my husband, I had to climb the hill toward the lighthouse where I sat on a rock and made my call. By mid week I realized that I had not seen a television, heard a radio and much less had been on a computer. I told my husband that I had no idea what was going on in the world. Before he could give me a report, I told him that I had no desire to even know. It was while I was on the island that I found the tablecloth "fabric" for this skirt.
To get started, the tablecloth that I purchased measured 58" x 58". I made a yoke from a skirt sloper that fits me, I thought. I assumed that it was fine only to find out that it was a bit too big. Usually good news, right? Well, not this time. I had already sliced the opening in the tablecloth and now the opening was too big. So heed my advice, make sure! The hip measurement of your yoke will be the measurement you will use to cut an opening in the middle of the tablecloth, minus 1" for a 1/2" seam allowance. So if your yoke hip measurement is 37 you will fold the tablecloth into quarters in order to find the mid point. 37 minus 1 is 36. Divide this number by four which in this case will be nine. You will slice the fabric 9" out from center or mid point.

I cut a seam at what would be center back in order to make it easier to install a zipper.
If you do make a mistake like I did, sew seams in what would be the side seams of the skirt portion and then reinstall the yoke.
Unless you make a mistake like I did, this is so very quick and easy to do. Once the zipper is installed,line the yoke and you're finished. There is no hemming since the piece was already finished. This is not a project for a beginner, but it is so quick and easy. I have had people stop me and tell me that my skirt is great. When I tell them that it is a tablecloth, they look puzzled until I grab the sides and hold out the skirt. I especially liked this piece because of the pattern in the fabric and the border print. The skirt flows when I walk. Actually, any square piece of fabric will work.
Good Luck. If you do give this a try, I hope you will enjoy yours as much as I do mine.
I just had to include this picture. In the corner you can see my little dog waiting for me. She's so funny. Sometimes I feel that she thinks we should be attached at the hip.
Make sure and come back tomorrow as I will have something fun to share with you.
Thanks for stopping by.

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