Monday, September 30, 2013

Passion For Fashion, The Story

I'm fading fast! Actually, I've been a bit of a zombie all day today. I think the weekend took a lot out of me :) So, by now you have probably read the post I did on my eventful start to the weekend. I told my husband that he has been elevated to saint status for driving five hours just to bring me my clothes. He's always been my knight in shining armor, always rushing in to save the day. I'm lucky! I had hoped to post a little of my progress as I went along, but I was just too exhausted to even think once I got back to my room. So, a little catch up is in order.
The contest actually starts on Thursday night when we choose our models. I was so happy and lucky to once again have Gabrielle as my model. I thought for sure when I drew number eleven that I had lost her. Once we had the models chosen, we had a little bit of time to take measurements and then say good-bye to them until they would return on Saturday at three in the afternoon.
The good thing about picking a number eleven was that I was the second to choose my poster on Friday morning. At first I was going to pick the Grateful Dead poster, not because I like the group, but because I liked the poster. There was a big skull and roses, I love anything that reminds me of The Day of the Dead, but just before I chose that poster, I looked over and saw Kiss. Boom! that was it!
So what to create. Initially, I was going to create a dress. If you look at the second guy on the left, there's and arrow pointing down. I wanted to do a real asymmetrical dress and recreate the arrow down the side of the dress. As I started to drape, I began to think that maybe I should go in a different direction. So I threw the muslin to the side and started working on a jacket. The pictures that I have aren't all that good, but you can at least get an idea of what the outfit looked like. The jacket looks as though the fur is longer on one side than the other. It isn't, it's just the way she is standing.  
 It's difficult to see, but the back is longer than the front and it is also quite full in the back.
You can see the back a little better in the picture below. There are studs at the waistline and I did leg-o-mutton sleeves to keep all the attention up around the face.
 Underneath I did a bra top and a pair of skin tight pants in a snakeskin print.
We were supposed to create a look inspired by the artist in the poster for an up and coming artist. So the tricky part was "inspired by," not a recreation of the original artist. Below you can see the fur that I used and get a better idea of the print in the pants and the bra top.
I found the chains at one of the vendors booth and I even found the star. If you look at the poster,two of the guys have stars painted on their faces. I told the judges that the star represented the star that my client was destined to become. In the picture below you can also see how the back of the jacket cascades down.
All in all I was happy with what I created. That was not the story the entire time though. On Friday night I began to have a melt down. You would not have known it, but our mentor sure did. I started beating myself up for not carrying through on my original idea. I had talked myself into thinking that I had created just the worst thing. I was a mess. The next morning I was still shook up, but by then I had decided that it was what it was, so just get it finished. Actually, I was pretty much finished on Friday night. I had enough to keep me busy on Saturday, but I didn't have to panic about getting it finished. I did begin to calm down when people would come by and say, "I need that jacket in my wardrobe NOW!" The problem though is that you never know how the judges will interpret the challenge. In the end, I won third place. If I'm honest, I REALLY wanted to win, but I did my best and that is all that I can do.
The best part about the weekend were all the lovely people who came by to say hello. What a treat that was for me. Thank you for all of your encouraging words. A few weeks back, Rochelle of http://smokingneedlesknitting.blogspot.com/ had said that she might come to the expo. When she walked up to my table I immediately knew who she was. What a delight it was to meet her in real life :) She was wearing an incredible bracelet, rhinestone scissors. What person who sews wouldn't want a rhinestone scissor bracelet?!! I was joking with her about how easy it might be to get it off her wrist when she took it off, gave it to me and said, "here, I want you to have this." I wore that bracelet all day yesterday. It is my trophy. I couldn't have been given anything that would have meant more to me. Thank you so much Rochelle!!! I'll post pictures of it later this week. I'm going to the opening of the opera season on Saturday night and I plan to wear the bracelet and I will take pictures!
I also need to thank Chris, a lovely, lovely woman. On Friday morning she brought me a bag of Cliff bars. I lived on those Cliff bars for two days. Thank you for keeping me alive Chris! And last, but not least, I am so very happy that I had the chance to spend the weekend with Kristine of http://www.kbdesigns74.blogspot.com/ She is the loveliest lady, kind, giving and so very generous. Here she is with her incredible creation.
So all in all, it was a great time.
Before I close, I need to thank so many of you for all the encouragement that you sent my way. It meant so much more than you'll ever know.
So on to the next adventure. I will be flying to Denver next Monday for the taping of the Sew It All program. Exciting!!!!!

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Night Reflections

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What A Day!

Just a little update about my first day. About halfway into my journey, I saw that the air in one of my tires was low. So, I stopped and put air in the tire and went on my way. Well, that wasn't the end of it, the tire continued to loose air so off to another gas station where I found a shop that changes oil but not tires. They sent me to a mechanic/tire guy who was able to fix the tire. It had a nail in it so it really did need to be fixed. So lucky thing number one.
Next up, I arrived and as I began to unpack the car, I realized that I had left ALL of my clothes at home. In a panic, I called my very dear husband who proceeded to throw my bag along with both of our dogs in the car and is now on his way to rescue me. Lucky thing number two.
We chose our models tonight. We won't be given our challenge until tomorrow morning. My lovely model had told me that she would be participating again this year and I really wanted her, but I drew number eleven out of twelve. Bummer. I just knew I would loose her, after all, she's gorgeous, but lucky thing number three, she's mine!!!!!!!!!!
All of the wonderful luck you are sending my way, it's getting here!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I'll try to check in tomorrow.

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Today Is The Day

Yes, the day has arrived and in just a couple of hours I will once again be off to Novi, Michigan to compete in the American Sewing Expo's Passion For Fashion contest. Pictured below is the garment I created last year. It's a little surreal to think that it is now on the cover of 1000 brochures. Just incredible and truly an honor! 

If I'm honest though, I must admit that I'm nervous. I once had a 747 captain, who had thousands of flight hours under his belt tell me that "fear is a good thing. Worry when you aren't at least a little nervous. Complacency will kill you every time."  Yes, it is good to be a little nervous, used well, it can propel us forward. I can use any and all good thoughts that you can send my way. I will try to blog my process over the next few days, just so you can see how it's going. Thanks so much for all of the support so many of you send my way on a regular basis. No one moves forward all on their own, so any success I may have is in part due to you. Your encouragement is like fuel for my creative engine :)

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Butterfly Kisses

Still catching up on posting the pillowcases that are a part of our 731 donated cases for the Mary Bridge Children's Hospital pillowcase drive. Penny from Indiana sent in seventeen pillowcases! 

The gentle sweep of butterfly kisses sounds like a lovely way to gently fall off to sleep.
She also added fun flamingos swirling through a daisy background.
And I really liked the combination of a bandanna print with the flowers.
So often we go through life, just living our days and feeling as though we don't make much of an impact on the world. You can imagine my surprise when I read this lovely letter from Penny. This was like my own personal "It's A Wonderful Life" moment. Thank you Penny for such lovely words.

So butterfly kisses and and flamingo fantasies rounds out our 731 cases. I've received two more donations and messages that more are on the way. 900 is fast becoming a reality instead of just a dream. Thank you to all of you for making this happen.
There is still time to participate. If you would like to make even just one pillowcase, it will be greatly appreciated. Here are the instructions for the simplified pillowcase instructions, http://www.rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-simplified-pillowcase-instructions.html If you do decide to participate, email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com and let me know. You can also wait and email me once you've finished and I'll let you know where to send them. Our project is becoming part of an even larger project. I'll share more about that next week. I am just amazed as I see all of this unfold!

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

An Apple a Day!

Happy Tuesday Everyone. Today I am doing another combo post of donated pillowcases. First up are five cases from Jeannie. Jeannie is such an interesting person. She spent a year in Paris, lucky girl, and while she was there she created 365 little dresses. Check out her blog here, http://www.365creativedresses.blogspot.com/ The dresses are made from all sorts of things like wheat, candy, even a bottle. If you have not taken a tour of her little dresses, you really should as they are so very creative.
Jeannie made five cases for Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. 
 An apple a day. Let's hope it does its magic and keeps the doctor away!
She also trimmed two of her cases with this delightful fabric. 
Up next are two pillowcases from Diane P. She had told me not to photograph them, but hey, when someone is so generous to make a donation, it deserves to be recognized :) I especially love how she combined the polka dots with the fabrics. Just lovely.  
Thank you to both Diane and Jeannie. Both of their donations were included in the numbers I gave you yesterday, 731 donated pillowcases. No sooner than I posted the total number, two more boxes arrived, so our count continues to grow. Exciting. More on those cases later.
So as always, here is a link to the pillowcase instructions,  http://rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-simplified-pillowcase-instructions.html If you would like to participate, email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com and let me know. Just in case you are just finding my blog for the first time, the pillowcases are going to the Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma, Washington. Each child who is admitted to the hospital is given a lovely pillowcase of their own to keep. The hospital goes through 900 pillowcases in a month. If you would like to read more about the project, here is a link to all the past posts that have been done, http://rhondabuss.blogspot.com/search/label/Mary%20Bridge
Have a wonderful day! I'm hoping to be back later today with a tutorial on the zebra dress. I have not forgotten:)

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Monday, September 23, 2013

Haute Cases

As I shared with you in another post, I told the ladies of Haute Couture, our wonderful sewing club here in Chicago, about the pillowcase project at our year end banquet. I was amazed when in September I was showered with pillowcases. 
Brenda S. donated 6.
 They are so bright and cheery. I'm such a sucker for animal prints!!

Francine donated 4.
The festive feathers are such fun and who wouldn't have sweet dreams resting their head on a field of chocolates?
 Dorothea did two lovely cases. Such sweet pansies.

 And last but not least, Brenda R. made another 6.
 Dragon flies caught in Van Gogh swirls, and lovely musical notes to dance through one's dreams.
Thank you so much ladies for contributing to the Mary Bridge Children's Hospital pillowcase project.
I took a little time this afternoon to count all of the pillowcases that have been donated. I know of at least three people who have cases which includes two more Haute Couture ladies, but at this point, I am only counting the pillowcases that I have received. The grand total stands at 731 pillowcases!!!!!! This number includes the 200 that I have committed to. 731, isn't that just incredible?!!!!! That means that we are only 169 away from our goal. Amazing, amazing, amazing!!!! I feel like dancing :)
There is still plenty of time to donate to the project. The cases will be shipped to Seattle in February. We have a sponsor who has offered to ship the cases. More on that when we get a little closer to the shipping date. I will be traveling to the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington the end of February to officially present the pillowcases. Watching this project unfold has been such a incredible journey, one that I am so very thankful to be a part of. But what I am most grateful for is all of you who have so generously donated. This project would be nothing more than a few pillowcases from me if you had not found it in your heart to give.
If you would like to donate to the project, here is a link to the simplified pillowcase instructions that I did, http://www.rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-simplified-pillowcase-instructions.html. If you would like to participate, just email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com and let me know. If you would like to read more about the project, you can find all the posts here, http://www.rhondabuss.blogspot.com/search/label/Mary%20Bridge
By the way, if you are ever in Chicago the first Saturday of the month, we would love for you to pop in on one of our Haute Couture meetings :)

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Night Reflections

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
                                                                           Marcel Proust

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Sunday's Soup

Well, I'm very happy to say that the second Panera soup recipe I tried is a success. I gave my husband a small bowl for tasting and his first comment was, "Wow, this is good." I think it's a hit. The soup is
Tortellini in Pesto Broth
Look at that beautiful rich color!
I followed the recipe exactly as it is printed on the website with just a few exceptions, the recipe calls for 1 carrot, I used 3 because that was how many were left in the bag and I wanted to use them up. I also added about a cup of chopped spinach. Rather than using the refrigerated or frozen tortellini, I used a dried tortellini and as you can see, it is also spinach and ricotta rather than the meat. I wanted to use the dried as I think it is more readily available and I wanted to see how it would do in the soup. The bag I used is an 8.9 ounce bag or 250 grams. Here's a link to Panera's original recipe,  https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/recipes/tortellini-in-pesto-broth.html and I've also printed it below. At this point, I'm two for two with soup recipes!!
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 8 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 20 ounces refrigerated or frozen meat tortellini or cheese tortellini
  • 1/3 cup refrigerated basil pesto


Step 1.

Warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, and cook until the vegetables are just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring it to a boil over high heat.

Step 2.

Add the tortellini, and cook until they float, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the pesto, ladle the pasta into shallow soup bowls
*I added the chopped spinach after the tortellini had cooked. I also used a homemade pesto rather than the purchased. Here's a link to the recipe that I like to use, http://rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2010/07/pesto-pronto.html I like to make up a large batch from the basil that I grow and then store it in the freezer over the winter. To me there is nothing better than fresh pesto.
I've printed out 6 other Panera Bread soup recipes that I would like to try. Stay tuned and I'll let you know how they turn out!

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Saturday, September 21, 2013

See Through Ladybugs

After hanging the 450 pillowcases last week, I was a little give out(tired). Couple that with the fact that we had a good bit of rain this week, and the result is....I am behind on posting the pillowcases that have come in.
I received a note from Sandra of www.makingitwithhelp.blogspot.com, and she told me that she was sending in pillowcases and she hoped that they would arrive in time for the hanging of the 450. They arrived the day before, so since I knew that she would like to be included, I added her nine to the pile. The only problem was that I had not documented the pillowcases, so I needed to remember where I hung them. Thankfully, I did and they were put in the line up of pillowcases that still need to be documented.
So here they are.
I love how the plaid pillowcases remind me of L.L. Bean which to me means cabins, fireplaces, and snow. Can you tell I'm beginning to think about snowshoeing and skiing?!!   
 And look at how cute this is, ladybugs, bees and plaid.
 Cat faces that even Andy Warhol would be proud of.
 And lovely fans in the breeze.
When I opened Sandra's package, she had included a card and in it she said that there was a little gift for me included in the package. I couldn't have been more surprised when I saw that she had enclosed one of her sweet little see through Ladybug bags! Lucky me!!!!! She had done a post about the bag and had even hosted a giveaway, which I did not win :) You can read all about the bag here and find out how to get the pattern as well, http://www.makingitwithhelp.blogspot.com/2013/08/pattern-mini-review-and-giveaway.html
Sandra even included a little bottle of lotion for dry skin. How did she know? So in the end, I was happy that I didn't win the bag as receiving it as a gift makes it all the more special.
Thanks again Sandra for your lovely contribution to the Mary Bridge Children's Hospital pillowcase drive and a special thank you for the sweet little bag.
In her card, Sandra mentioned how much she enjoyed the simplified instructions that I did. If you are interested in contributing to the project, or would just like to make a few pillowcases for yourself, you can find the instructions here, http://www.rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-simplified-pillowcase-instructions.html
If you would like to contribute to the project, just email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com and let me know.
Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

The True Cost of Fast Fashion

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Zoe who is a researcher for a site that provides education and industry insights to current and prospective MBA students. They have produced a video that takes a critical look at how "disposable clothing" impacts the fashion industry as a whole. You may have had the opportunity to see the video as Bunny of http://lasewist.blogspot.com/ recently posted the video. I have decided to post the video as I feel that it is worth taking a look at it and if you have seen it, I think it's good to be reminded of the message.

Created by OnlineMBA.com

Last February, this article,  http://news.yahoo.com/poor-cages-show-dark-side-142611366.html was written by Kelvin Chan showing the dark side of the economic boom in China. Below is a very disturbing photo showing the deplorable conditions that many are forced to live in.
We've created a mess. How do we fix it? Yes, I am as guilty as the next person of enjoying a bargain. But what is the cost of this bargain, and how does it affect the environment as well as my fellow man? We speak the loudest with our wallets and if we just take a moment to think before we are lured into making a purchase and ask ourselves what is the true cost, maybe, just maybe we can begin to turn things around.

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Thursday, September 19, 2013

In Memory of Cody

Last weekend I received a message from my friend Patti who told me that I would be receiving a message from Bonnie and that she would like to donate some pillowcases to the Mary Bridge Children's Hospital pillowcase drive. I did receive that email and very shortly there after, I received another message that the cases had been mailed and were on their way.
For those of us who sew, I think we applaud anyone who is able to turn their love of sewing into a business. Well, Bonnie has done just that. Named after her beloved dog Cody, Bonnie created Cody Designs, a pillowcase business. You can find her Facebook page here,  https://www.facebook.com/codydesigns and here is a link to her website where you can learn more about what she does, http://www.cody-designs.com/
The pillowcases arrived yesterday and they are so lovely. They were all rolled with ribbons around each one. So pretty.
She makes them out of a lovely washable velour. The bumps you see melt into nothing when you touch them.
 The main body of each case is velour and the bands are fun cotton fabrics like school banners,
 princess crowns and ice cream.
The cases are so cuddly and soft that they make me what to stuff one with a pillow and go take a nap!
Thank you Patti for putting Bonnie in touch with me and a big, big thank you to Bonnie for your donation!
For those of you who would like to donate to the project, here is a link to the simplified instructions that I did, http://www.rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-simplified-pillowcase-instructions.html
Here is a link to previous posts if you would like to learn more about the project,  http://www.rhondabuss.blogspot.com/search/label/Mary%20Bridge
Thanks again Bonnie. The cases are just wonderful.

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

The Master Sewing and Design Professional Certificate Program

In recent posts I have shared that I have some exciting opportunities coming up and now I can finally share one of them with you. I am very excited to announce that I will be working through the Master Sewing and Design and Professional Certificate Program. The Master Sewing and Design Certification Program is a performance based program that was developed by the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals (ASDP). The program is open to anyone with a sewing related business and is designed to provide the professional with the credentials that validate their skills and expertise. Each participant is given two years to complete the program. My goal is to complete the program by December of 2014.
The program consists of seven modules. They are;
Professional Practices
Fashion Illustration
Pattern Development
Garment Construction
In lieu of the cost of the program, I will posting my progress and giving feedback to the board. It has been over twenty years since I graduated from design school, so I feel that this will be an exciting process of reacquainting myself with many of the things I learned at that time.
The first module that I will be working on will be fabrics, or you may call it textiles. Thankfully, I still have many of my books from school that I should still be able to use at least as a starting point.
This is the book I used for my textiles class.
It has been quite a while since I have looked at the book. Oh, what a good student I was :) This is how just about every page in the book looks. So funny. I was so serious!!
As I said, I am especially exited about this opportunity and I hope that you will enjoy and possibly learn something as well, as I work through the program. I have agreed to post my progress at least two times per month. You will easily be able to find the posts as each post title will begin with MSDP followed by the module that I am working on.
When my husband and I were hosting exchange students, I would tell each of them that if they studied and applied themselves the first time, they wouldn't have to do it a second time. Well, here I am going through something very similar for the second time, albeit quite a few years later! The difference here is that as the years have gone by, there are many things that I have forgotten simply because I just don't use them. This also gives me a chance to stretch myself a bit, explore, learn new things and add to the knowledge I already have. Sounds like a winning combination to me and what makes it fun is that you get to ride along with me!!

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This