Thursday, October 31, 2013

Master Sewing And Design Professional Certification Progam

It has been a while since I have posted about my journey of working through the MSDP program.
As I shared with you in this post, I will be working on the certification process and hopefully finishing it by the end of 2014. Each participant is given a two year time frame to complete the process. I would like to clarify that this is not a course. There are seven modules that you are tested on,
Fashion Illustration
Garment Construction
Pattern Development
Professional Practices
Each module has guidelines. The module that I am currently working on is Fabrics or you might refer to it as textiles. Here are a few of the areas that I will be tested on;
*Describe the differences and similarities of woven and knit fabrics
*Identify five different types of natural fibers, and the advantages and disadvantages of each
*Describe the different types of silk
*Describe five different fabrics that have a nap or pile.
*Predict the fabric performance of six knit fabrics based on the fiber and knit type.
There are fourteen areas in total, I have just given you a sample. There is not a textbook provided for the certification process. It is up to me to find the material that I need to answer the questions and with other modules to do the tasks that are required.
The fabrics module is an online test and even better, an open book test. As I prepare for the test, I would like to share some of what I learn in order to pass the test. One that I think you will find particularly interesting is;
*Describe the expected result of a burn test on the listed fabrics.
There are eight fabrics listed. I'll actually do a real burn test and show you what happens. Hopefully I won't burn my house down!! So come back by next Thursday for the burn test post. If you've never done a burn test, I think you will enjoy seeing what happens to different types of fabric when they are burned and how you can determine if for instance a fabric that is marked as 100% wool really is 100% wool.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Swimming With Da Fishes

Another hokey little blog title :) No sleeping with the fishes here though (from the movie The Godfather), just swimming though dream land!
Ilse sent in another 6 pillowcases for the Mary Bridge Children's Hospital pillowcase drive. They are so bright and cheerful. Ilse, please forgive me if I'm wrong, but I think this is Ilse's third donation to the project.
I just love this print and I've never seen anything like it. What bums me the most about it though is that I'm working on a jacket and this print would make a fabulous lining. Don't worry Ilse, I won't cut up your pillowcases!!!
The sun setting in the background. Rather appropriate I think since our quest is also winding down. With Ilse's additional 6 we now have 841 pillowcases, only 59 more to go. We are quickly closing in on 900. I just have a feeling that we will hit 900 this week! Dreams do come true.
Until the next batch arrives, dream on!!!

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The Wednesday Showcase

I'm going to take a little different twist on the Wednesday Showcase this week and share a few things that I have found that I'm really enjoying.
A few weeks ago, I found a link to something on Facebook that caught my eye called www.creativebug.com. They were offering an online class on building a creative brand. Check out the video.
This course covers the fundamental aspects of building and elevating your creative brand. From finding the essence of your brand and business basics, to licensing and book publishing. This series is for any aspiring creative.
I have found this course to be extremely informative and thought provoking. The videos are very well presented. Each week a new video is released along with a workbook that can be downloaded. There is also a live chat on Thursdays that lasts for just about an hour. If you are thinking about making whatever your creative endeavor may be into a business, I highly recommend this class. 
Although the class started a couple of weeks ago, you can still watch all of the videos and the videos will continue to be available for four weeks after the class ends. This is not like a Craftsy class where the videos are available indefinitely. The cost of the course is $125.00 with the promo code, CREATIVEBRAND. 
In case you are wondering, this is not a paid endorsement, just something I found that I'm truly enjoying and would like to share :) 

Next up is  http://www.designsponge.com/. This is a fabulous website. I signed up to receive their daily email newsletters and they are just a wealth of information. I LOVE this website. Sometimes I scroll through and find nothing and then there are days when I scroll through and find something that I can't wait to try. Once a week they have an article called
Love the graphic :) Each week there is an article focused on helping the creative entrepreneur in some way. Today the article is all about branding your blog with your photos. Photography is not something I know much about, I'm pretty much a point, shoot and hope for the best kinda photographer ;) You can find today's article here,  http://www.designsponge.com/2013/10/biz-ladies-three-ways-to-brand-your-blog-with-images.html and if you would like to take a look at past articles, here is a link, http://www.designsponge.com/category/biz-ladies Warning, you may want to just tab this link as there is so much information here that you might find yourself sitting in front of your computer for days!!!

One last little bit of inspiration for a Wednesday. If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you know that I LOVE Vogue magazine. It's like a creative escape for me. Of course some issues are better than others, but I find the most interesting articles and great fashion inspiration within their pages. As I thumbed through the recent issue, I came across the following pictures and they reminded me of something. Can you guess what it is?
 Check out the little welt pockets on the above skirt. Great little accent.

If you guessed Paco Peralta's Apron Skirt, you would be right!  
You can find his blog here, http://uniquedesignerpatterns.blogspot.com/ and his Etsy shop here, https://www.etsy.com/shop/bcnuniquepatterns?ref=pr_shop_more The last skirt pictured above reminds me so much of the beautiful skirt that Ann of Gorgeous Fabrics made with Paco's pattern. You can see the post here, http://gorgeousfabrics.com/blog/2013/01/08/pattern-review-paco-peraltas-apron-skirt/  Ann has a lovely blog and I'm sure you know all about it, but in the off chance that you don't, check it out, you won't be disappointed.

I hope something here will get your creative juices pumping today!
Have a wonderfully creative day!

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hello Kitty, Would You Like Ride In My Car?

I told you the other day that I am having the best time of coming up with the titles for the pillowcase posts!!! They are a little hokey I guess, but they're still fun :)
Dolores, a fellow Haute Couture member sent me a note and said that she had dropped 6 pillowcases in the mail. I will see her on Saturday, but I think she just really wanted to get them to me. They are so precious.  
 For the Hello Kitty cases, she picked up the light grey in the pattern to accent the cases. So delicate.
 The cars are all boy, bright fun colors.
If I were Hello Kitty and Lightening McQueen and came racing up and offered a ride, I think I just might get in the car ;) People always talk about how much boys like cars, hey girls like cars too!!!.
 So another 6 to add to our numbers. We now have 835!! Thanks so much Dolores!
I've received a number of emails in the last few days and I think we will reach 900 maybe before the week is over. We'll see!! Now I'm wondering who will make the donation that hits the target goal. Exciting, exciting!
As I said in the last pillowcase post, I am no longer asking for donations as we are right at meeting our goal. But, if you would like to donate, that would be wonderful. The cases will not be sent to Washington until February and, as I also said, the hospital goes through 900 in a month so the more the better. If you would like to make pillowcases, here is a link to the instructions, http://www.rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-simplified-pillowcase-instructions.html
Thanks so much for all so many of you have done to make this project come to pass. I never could have done it without you.

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Happy Feet!

I opened my email this morning and this is what I saw! Mommy and Me slippers!! They are in the newest edition of Sew News. Yea!!!

Mom & Kid Easy Sew Slippers

Rhonda Buss
Mom & Kid Easy Sew Slippers
Sew up these easy to make slippers for an adult and you'll have time to make a toddler size pair.
Find the pattern HERE. Get all the how-tos in the latest issue of Sew News magazine.
Purchase the latest issue at shopsewitall.com. Don't miss out on these and other great projects, click HERE to subscribe to Sew News today!

You may remember the slippers from this Fabulous Free Pattern Friday post.
This updated version has soles. I used the platform from flip flops. I also did another version without the platform and used a glow in the dark paint to create a non-slip bottom. The updated version also has a cuff. I was so pleased with how they turned out. 
Here is a link to the Sew News Newsletter where you can see all the projects that are featured in this edition,  http://link.news.sewnews.com/YesConnect/HtmlMessagePreview?a=5h4bUeq3pRqqKmTtqkk9RjtQ
Make you fee happy with a new pair of slippers!!!

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Night Reflections

The piece that I'm posting tonight is a little different from my usual Sunday night posts, but I think you will truly enjoy it. This video was written and produced by Michele McGovern a very gifted musician. She is the flutist in the story. If you enjoy silent films and beautiful music, you are in a treat.

Michele and I belong to a wonderful organization that promotes women in music. What I love most about this film is Michele. Rather than sitting back and hoping for some big break, she is actively pursuing her dream. I have seen pictures from her upcoming video. It is quite different, very edgy. When it is live, I will share it as well.

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Sunday's Soup

Today's soup is a lovely alternative to a tomato soup. It's Panera Bread's
Smoky Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup
One of the things that I have enjoyed about the Panera soup recipes is how easy it is to put the soups together as well as how little time it takes. The ingredients for this soup may seem a little strange, like pomegranate and orange juice, but it works. If you would like and you have the time, you could roast your own red bell peppers, but I followed the recipe and bought a jar and the soup went together in a snap. As I said, this is a soup that is a great alternative to a tomato soup and would be so nice paired with a grilled cheese sandwich, perfect for lunch. You can find the recipe on the Panera website here.
The ingredients;
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups roasted red bell peppers
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 Yukon Gold potato (about 4 ounces), peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice, plus a few drops for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream

Step 1.

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and cook until carrots soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add bell peppers, broth, and paprika, and bring to a boil over high heat.

Step 2.

Tie thyme and parsley sprigs with kitchen string or a clean twist tie and drop into soup along with potatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 3.

Remove thyme-parsley bundle and transfer soup to a blender or food processor (in batches, if necessary). Add pomegranate juice, orange juice, salt, and pepper. Puree soup until very smooth, about 2 minutes.(I use a hand held mixer and puree the soup right in the pot) Rewarm over low heat, then remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Ladle into bowls and garnish each serving with a few drops of pomegranate juice. 

I did not have smoked paprika, so I added a few drops of Liquid Smoke once the soup had cooked. Be careful with the Liquid Smoke as a little goes a long way. If you like a smoky taste, add a drop and then carefully add more to taste. I also added quite a bit more black pepper, but then, I like pepper...A LOT!!
If you are going to freeze the soup, do not add the sour cream prior to freezing. I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe, interesting ingredients that work well together. A lovely fall soup.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sleeves On Saturdays

It has been far too long since I've done a sleeve post. I still have my Dream Weaver sleeve to post. You may remember that it's the one that actually came to me in a dream. Pretty bad when you're dreaming of sleeves :) I wanted to finish the top before  post it, and it should be easily finished by next Saturday.
Today's sleeve is really just a continuation of the post I did on Thursday,  http://www.rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-passion-for-fashion-outfit-my-dirty.html. In the event that you would like to draft a Leg-O-Mutton Sleeve, this is a simple and very fast version of the drafting process. One thing to note, the fabric that I used for this jacket is a stretch pleather. Gives the look of leather at a much reduced cost. Remember, I only had $100.00 to spend, so leather was not in my budget. Typically, this sleeve would be drafted from a fitted sleeve with an elbow dart, but, because I was using a stretch fabric, I could get around this by just tapering the sleeve to give it the fit I wanted.
Don't think that this sleeve is just for wedding gowns or out of date prom dresses. Here are a couple of examples that I found that I thought were especially pretty.
 So pretty paired with a cowl neckline. Notice that the sleeve is pleated rather than gathered.
To draft this sleeve, begin with the basic sleeve pattern.
 Determine where you would like the fullness to end, usually at the approximate elbow area.
Divide the cap as you see below. Be sure to number the the sections.
Begin by cutting down the middle and then across to the sides.
 Cut between each section and spread. Of course the more you spread, the fuller the cap will be.
The rule of thumb for adding height to the sleeve is for every 3" that were spread, raise the cap 1" The sleeve I did for this jacket was spread 9" and I raised the cap 3".
 The final pattern.
I lengthened my sleeve as I wanted it to be longer at the wrist. I also tapered the sleeve so that it would fit snugly around the wrist. The last thing that I did was to add the point. It is not exactly in the middle of the sleeve.
 You can see the point in the picture below.
This is not the best picture, just one that I took before the fashion show, but you can see the sleeve fairly well.
Hope this helps if you ever want to give this sleeve a try.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Bart, Did You Eat Those Daisies????

I overslept this morning by 2 hours!!!! Shot a hole in my entire day. Not like me at all. And of course this happens on a day that is already packed. Oh well, I guess I needed the rest and things are getting accomplished, just not how I had planned them. I have just a few minutes before I need to be out the door again, so I thought I would get a pillowcase post in. I just couldn't resist the title when I saw this pillowcase with Bart Simpson posed as an angel saying, "I didn't do it,"
  and this sweet daisy filled pillowcase :)
Darlene from Whiteland, Indiana sent in 6 pillowcases for the Mary Bridge Pillowcase drive bringing our total to 829!!! Amazing! Only 71 more pillowcases needed to reach the goal of 900. Can you believe it?!!!!!
Darlene's cases are just delightful like this great vintage  cowboy print that she paired with a bandanna print,
 and cute little Lady Bugs.
 Thank you so much Darlene for your gift.
At this point, I have decided that I will no longer post a link to the pillowcase instructions. If you would like to make a few for the project, that would be wonderful and very appreciated. But we are so near our goal of 900 and I know that there are a number of donations still coming in so I believe that we will reach our goal. Just remember this, the hospital goes through 900 pillowcases every month and they are dependent upon donations, so if we go over the goal of 900 all the better :)
As with each of these posts, I just have to say thank you for helping me make this project a reality. Your generosity has been a true inspiration.
Thank you,

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Passion For Fashion Outfit, My Dirty Little Secrets!

Before I send my Passion For Fashion garment off to the model, I thought I would show you what went into constructing it. I'm sure you remember that the band Kiss was my inspiration. When I sew for a contest like this, I call it down and dirty sewing, seams aren't finished. It's about getting maximum impact in a short amount of time.
The pants were a snap. I had started to drape the pants when our mentor came over and told me that we had a McCalls tights pattern that we were welcome to use. Score!! These took me all of about 30 minutes to make. Here's a link to the pattern, http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6173-products-11288.php?page_id=114 If you want to make a pair of tights, get this pattern. It's a good one. Just a little heads up though, my model's hip measurement is 37" and I cut the small pattern.
The waist is elastic. I serged the elastic to the edge and then zigzagged it down.
The bra top took a little bit of time. I was able to tear the fabric and get this great edge that I placed along the top edge. The seam that you see over the bust was draped, so it has a bit of a curve to it.
 To achieve a snug fit under the bust,
I added a piece of elastic to the opposite side, between the two layers of fabric and zigzagged it in place. So there is no stitching line on the front side.
You can see the raw edge a little better in the picture below. For the straps, I attached grommets and then thread a tube of the pleather through them and stitched the tube together.
The jacket.
 The bodice of the jacket is just a draped bodice which follows the lines of the dress form.
 It's exactly like the first draping project you do in design school. Nothing at all complicated.
I added the stud tape at the waist to give it a little definition. You can find this tape at Soutache here in Chicago. I'm sure she would send it to you as well, if you are interested in having some.
The fur collar is 1/4 yard of fur. When you only have $100.00 to spend, you have to be very careful with your money. The fur piece is nothing but a tube. You can see my hand in the opening at the bottom of the piece.
 From the back you cannot see a seam and that is because of how I sewed the fur.
The fur should not have a seam allowance. Place the two pieces together, push the fur to the inside and then zigzag along the edge. On the right side, the fur will fall into place and the seam will not show.
The skirt of the jacket is a full circle skirt. You can find the tutorial I did on circular skirts here
You may have noticed that the back of the skirt is quite full. To add this fullness, once the circular skirt was drafted, I added about 6" by extending the skirt as you see below. This will be a total of 12" because this is on the fold. This area will then be gathered before the skirt is sewn to the top of the jacket.
The skirt is also shorter in the front and longer in the back. I waited until I had the skirt on the jacket to cut down the skirt.
The sleeves were just a quick method of drafting a leg-o-mutton sleeve. I will show you how to draft this sleeve this coming Saturday for Sleeves On Saturday. It's really quite easy.
Wow, I wish I could have put this together as quickly as I've done this post ;) If you have any questions, be sure to let me know and I'll do my best to answer them.

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