Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Winter Is Coming!

Oh, I love to ski and I love just about anything from the 1940's. I have a wonderful pair of ski pants from the 40's that are very similar to the pants in the above picture. As much as I love the style, I like the new fabrics that have been developed for warmth. The pants are a very heavy wool, great looking, but so heavy.

Enter the 60's, sexy, sexy, sexy.
I was recently in downtown Chicago and I happened to walk by a Jill Sander shop and I saw the sweaters pictured here. I love these sweaters. A real throw back to the 60's.

The patterns are just wonderful.
I'm really into hats this year. I came across this hat. I'd like to copy it. What a great hat for keeping your head warm. The cape is fabulous as well. Check out the cape that Margy from A Fool 4 Fabric made. So dramatic!

This one is similar. Funny, the hats are a throw back to the 60's as well.

Now for a little confession. See the aqua blue in the model's hair....well, the last time I saw my hairdresser, I had her put some of the same color in my hair. It wasn't out in front, but underneath so my hair had to move to see it. I really loved it. Hey, we only live once!!!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Patterns

So many have emailed and asked for the Pointsettia Napkin Ring pattern. What a lovely Christmas it is going to be for so many tables. It has been such a delight to receive your emails and hear how you will be using the napkin rings. They will be gracing tables at banquets, teas and then of course the tables of so many homes. The pattern will continue to be available throughout the holiday season, just email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com and I will get it out to you.

I also have my Clam Shell Wristlet pattern up on Etsy. You can find the pattern here. It's a PDF pattern, so no postage and you'll receive it quickly. The cost of the pattern is $5.00. The bag makes up quickly and is great for an evening out.
To introduce the pattern, I had a little giveaway and Dei of Sew Hot Mommi won the purse. She did a lovely blog post about the bag. You can see it here. If you've never checked out her blog, do so. She did a post on her Jazz Brunch Dress , talk about hot ,hot, hot! I don't know how any musician could play with her, in that dress, in the room. Beautiful.
Coming up on the blog.......I almost can't wait. I HAVE MORE FREE (really free) patterns coming up. So keep coming by.
I would like to say welcome to the new followers. I'm so happy to have you!!

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Morning Inspiration

Donna Karan On a Mission

The story of desperation in Haiti began long before the earthquake hit in January 2010. For years, children have been denied an education because they couldn't afford the uniforms to attend school. Many here in America have made uniforms that were sent to Haiti in the hope that if the children could be educated the horrible cycle of poverty could be overcome. The earthquake was the devastating blow that finally caused the world to notice the desperate need in Haiti.
Anyone who loves fashion knows the beautiful clothes that Donna Karan has designed since 1985. She now has a new passion, Haiti. She first visited Haiti just a few months after the earthquake hit. Her mission is to empower the artisans by promoting their work. Karan's organization Urban Zen is carrying jewelry and household items made by the artists of Haiti.

You can see more items here. The pieces are spectacular.
Years before Donna Karan entered the picture, people were working to try and empower the people of Haiti. Caribbean Craft  is the only Haitian craft company with a presence here in the United States. Their items are sold at West Elm and Pottery Barn.
Apparent Project is a faith based nonprofit organization started by Shelly and Corrigan Clay. In 2007 the Clays came to Haiti to adopt a child only to find out that most of the children who were available for adoption were given up by their families because they just could not afford them. Rather than adopt on child, they adopted a village. The Clays decided to set up a craft center where the local people are trained in sewing, bookbinding and jewelry making. This fall Apparent Project's beads sold out at the Gap. Karan's Urban Zen is carrying Christmas ornaments this season.
Americans have donated $1.4 billion since the earthquake, but corruption is still rampant and the need is staggering. So, what can we do to help? The old saying, Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime, really says it all. By empowering the artists of Haiti, we are giving them the opportunity to feed themselves for a lifetime and hopefully change the tide of corruption and lack of education that the Haitian people have suffered from for so many years.
Visual reminders are a wonderful way to remind us and others of the need in Haiti. If you only have a little to spare, a t-shirt may be a great way to help. T-shirts can be purchased here. Yes, Donna Karan has given a powerful voice to the need, but the real power comes from the sacrifices of The Clays who saw a need and started Apparent Project and the Dresses who started Caribbean Craft long before the earthquake hit.
And now for a little fun. Donna Karan's Spring 2012 collection is inspired by the tribal influences of Haiti.

You can see a more of the 2012 collection and a video of the fashion show here.
Wishing you a wonderful week.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Night Reflections

During an early 7 a.m. morning mass in a small church high in the mountains, the sun began to rise and shine over the mountains as the organist played the song Amazing Grace. Whether Christian or not, most everyone knows the words to this song. Played at funerals and services that invite us to reflect, few of us know the story behind the song.
In 1725 John Newton was born, his father the commander of a merchant ship. His mother died when he was seven and soon his father took him along on voyages. Once his father retired, John was pressed into duty on a man-of-war ship. Finding the conditions intolerable, he deserted only to be found and publicly flogged. Finally, at his request, John was exchanged into service on a slave ship. The ship took him to Sierra Leone where he was captured and became the servant of a slave trader. Brutally abused, John was finally rescued by a sea captain who had known his father. Ultimately, John became the captain of his own ship which supplied slaves to the trade. While at sea during a very violent storm, John cried out, "Lord have mercy on us." After the storm had passed and John had time to reflect on the event, he made the decision to change his life.
Self taught, John Newton ultimately became an ordained minister. A very popular minister, the church had to be enlarged to hold the ever growing congregation. In 1767 John Newton and the poet William Cowper met and became close friends. Together they collaborated on over three hundred songs of which Amazing Grace is to this day the most popular. John Newton influenced many, one of which was William Wilberforce who became the driving force behind the abolition of slavery in England.
We know that John Newton wrote the words to the song Amazing Grace, the origin of the melody is unknown but is thought to sound like a West African sorrow chant. A song that at one time meant one thing to me now holds a very different meaning. When I hear the melody, I think of the slaves and the fear and desperation they must have felt as they were forced to leave their homes and families. As I hear the words, I hear the great sorrow that John Newton felt for what he did. This is a song of redemption, a life forever changed.
The words, "I was blind, but now I see," are very powerful. It's easy to judge another life and even ask how someone who caused so much pain to other lives could not only find redemption, but be granted redemption. Yes, it is easy to look at another, but difficult to turn the mirror and look at myself. When have I been blind to the pain of others? More often than I would like to believe I'm afraid.
Amazing Grace also reminds us that we are all the same, each with a special purpose to fulfill in this life and hopefully leave this world a better place.
A beautiful video that gives even deeper meaning to the song can be watched here. Enjoy.

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Past Meets Present

As the week draws to and end, I thought I would post a few pictures that will give the mind a little break from the week that is now behind us and the hectic days of December that are before us. Some of the vintage pictures I found on Pinterest and sadly did not write down who posted them, so I cannot give anyone credit for finding them. So whoever found them, thank you, they are lovely. 

The fitting lines of this suit are incredible. Talk about making a waist look tiny!

The button detail on this jacket really sets off the princessline seaming on the jacket.
This coat is quite dramatic. Notice the sleeve detail and the back pleats are sensational.
There's a LOT of work in this coat, but I think it would be worth the time spent to copy it. Make sure to notice the detail of the belt.
The cape/coat is so dramatic. What a wonderful idea. Maybe not the hat though!!
The double collar on this jacket is so feminine. Lovely.
Such a lovely suit with wonderful lines. I especially love the pleats on the skirt.
And the past meets the present. An absolutely incredible dress. The draped sleeves are so lovely.
This dress looks like it stepped right out of the 1930's. I especially like the draped neckline and the caplet sleeves.
And finally, this little suit from Chanel. Such a lovely, feminine suit.

Hope you are all having a lovely, and as peaceful as it can be weekend.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday

The Felted Necklace
I hope that all of you who are here in America have survived the Thanksgiving holiday. This morning on the news they talked about a woman who brought pepper spray with her in order to get the item that she wanted. Well, happy holidays. Incredible. One more reason to stay out of the stores and make lovely gifts at home.

This is such a simple necklace to make and yet I think it looks incredible.
You will need 4 colors of wool felt. I found a great resource for merino wool felt here. Felt On The Fly has some wonderful colors. Merino wool is so soft and unless you are allergic to wool, you shouldn't have any problems with it being itchy.
You will also need beading wire, a closure and 2 crimps to secure the wire. I used two beads at the ends of my necklace, but this is not necessary, your choice.
Begin by cutting strips of the felt 1/2" wide. Lay 2 strips together,
and begin to fold.
In the crease of the fold, lay the 3rd piece of felt,
and continue to fold. I would not fold more than 3 pleats as it gets a little difficult to hold. Cut the 3rd piece of felt so that it will stop at the crease of the last fold.
Fold up the 2 pieces of felt,
and cut.
Push the beading wire through the top section of the folded felt with a strong needle.
This is the beading wire that I used. I bought it at a local beading store. I'm sure it's available everywhere.

As you can see, I started off with folds that were about 1/2" and then increased the size as I went around. I also did mine in an asymmetrical shape.

On part of the necklace I kept the light gray on the outside,
and on part of it I changed things up a bit and put the black on the outside edge.
You can also add a little punch of color. Where I used the red, I made only one fold and put 3 layers of red felt inside the fold.
Once you have the shape and length that you desire, add the clapse.

And you're finished. Really quite easy, it just takes a little time to do.I think it took maybe 2 hours, so not bad. 
Have some fun with the idea. I think some beads between the folds would be really nice.
Good luck if you decide to give it a try.

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