Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sew Liberated, Week 2

A glamour shot!!!!! A picture of what the set actually looks like. Maybe not so glamorous, but lots of fun nonetheless! 
If you have started following the videos for the Sew Liberated Clara Dress Sew Along, this week's video is ready to view.

There is a blog post that accompanies the video and you can find it here, http://www.sewnews.com/blogs/sewing/2014/04/28/clara-dress-sew-along-week-2/
Next week we will begin the actual sewing. I'm adding a lining to my dress and I am also adding a trim to the collar and hem. So be sure to come back to see what I add!
Check out the Flickr page and post your fabric choices! You can find the Flickr page here, https://www.flickr.com/groups/sn_sewalong2/  I would love to see what you've chosen.

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Men Of The Cloth

Last night, I had the most wonderful opportunity to experience one of the best documentaries that I have ever seen. Part documentary, part movie and part love story, it was in short, a very moving experience.

"MEN OF THE CLOTH shows how the values embodied by these master tailors -– pride, authenticity and passion — exist in stark contrast to those embodied by technology and mass production. The philosophy of an artisan-tailor is rooted in a “pre-capitalist” ethos, and so he naturally identifies with the clothing that he creates. In the words of one sociologist, “it’s his soul, it’s his intellect, it’s his essence.” Among the questions the film raises: What is the price of progress? What is the value of handmade clothing? And is it viable in a global economy?"

As I watched, I was taken by how professional the men were, always dressed in an impeccable pair of slacks, shirt and tie. They embodied respect for themselves as well as their profession.

The documentary will be available for purchase. It is truly a must see.

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Monday, April 28, 2014

Just A Little More Inspiration For Monday

I came across an article from Elle magazine. They were showcasing what they thought to be 50 of the best dresses for spring. I thought they were rather interesting, a few a little strange, and some not so nice, but in case you missed the article, here's a link, http://www.elle.com/fashion/trend-reports/50-spring-dresses#slide-1 
I posted my favorites below.  
I love mixing prints.
Not my favorite gingham dress, but I think I need to get one made up so that I'll stop posting pictures of gingham dresses!!!
A little different, but I do like the mix of colors.
Great color blocking.

Wonderful use of a border print fabric.
Now this is just a little strange, interesting, but strange.
I really like the pieced and yet modernistic aspect of the dress above.
And finally, this was not part of the 50 best, but I saw it on the Anthropologie website and fell in love with the print.
Hope you've had a great day!

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Monday Morning Inspiration

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while know that am an avid Vogue Magazine reader. Now, I'm like everyone, when my magazine arrives, I quickly thumb through to see what fashion treasures lay waiting among the pages. But my true joy comes from the articles...really!!! So often I am touched by what I read. My May issue arrived last Saturday and it did not disappoint. I came across a very short article that touched my heart and I think it will yours as well.
Meet Phoebe Dahl.
Originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, she learned to sew while working with her grandmother who owned an antique store. Her love of sewing took her to San Francisco where she studied fashion design at The Fashion Institute of Design. From there she went on to the London College of Fashion. After graduating, she was assisting a designer in Amsterdam. Her job involved trips to Tokyo and Nepal. While in Tokyo, she discovered the most beautiful linen fabrics, but it was in Nepal that her career was rerouted. Phoebe saw extreme poverty and she learned that an education is often out of reach for families as they are unable to afford the required uniform needed to attend school.  Her love of fine linen and a desire to make a difference birthed her company Faircloth. With each garment that is purchased, a uniform is purchased for a child in Nepal enabling them to attend school. Without an education, girls are thought to be worthless, and their parents often sell them to sex traffickers.
Faircloth is a simple, but directional line of organic linen. Her easy to wear drop-waist dresses, bloomers, cropped shirts, and smocks have attracted everyone from teenage girls to middle-aged and beyond women.  

You can see more of her designs here, http://fairclothsupply.com/collections/shop.
If the style is not yours, but you would still like to contribute, you can do so for as little as $12.00.
You can find other opportunities here, http://fairclothsupply.com/collections/fromnepal
Who would have thought that a little girl making hats and scarves in her grandmother's antique store would go on to make such a difference. Now that's inspiration!!

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday Night Reflections

The worth of a life is not determined by a single failure
or a solitary success.

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Sunday's Soup

I love a good cream of spinach or cream of broccoli soup. So what could be better than the two combined?!!! Today's soup is from Martha Stewart with just a few tweaks from me. It's very creamy, and yet there's not one drop of cream in the recipe. As long as you have all the ingredients, you can make it in less than a half hour. You can find the original recipe here, https://www.yahoo.com/food/martha-stewart-a-lean-green-deliciously-comforting-81583747503.html The changes that I made are highlighted in red.
Broccoli-Spinach Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 leek, white and pale green parts thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock or water(I added a little more water)
1 bunch broccoli, chopped (6 cups)
6 ounces baby spinach (6 cups)
(I used a mixture of kale and spinach rather than just the spinach)
1 jalapeno seeded and chopped, I wanted the taste of the pepper, not the heat
 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons tahini
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leek and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add stock; bring to a boil. Add broccoli and cook, covered, until bright green and tender, about 2 minutes.
2. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach, Parmesan, and tahini. Let cool slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth. I used an immersible hand mixer to puree my soup. 

To serve the soup, I topped it with a little shredded parmesan cheese, a drizzle of tahini and fresh chopped chives.
I was pleasantly surprised by how good the soup is. The addition of tahini is just the perfect touch. I think that from now on whenever I want a cream of broccoli or spinach, this will be the one that I'll make. Since there is no cream in the recipe, this soup will freeze beautifully and pack well for lunches.
Hope you have had a peaceful and lovely weekend.

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Sleeves On Saturdays

One of the first sleeves that I did for Sleeves On Saturdays was the sleeve pictured below. You can find the original post here, http://rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2012/03/sleeves-on-saturday_24.html
Last week I received an email from a follower with an attached photo that looked similar to the picture below. She said, "Please help!!! I don't know what to do." The solution is quite simple.
Just to review, we will go back over the steps. This time I am using a full size sleeve rather than my little quarter scale sleeve that I usually use.
Determine where you would like the pleats to be on the sleeve and draw in angled lines to the center. We are not using the full sleeve to draft, just half. 
Draw a line on a piece of paper and place the sections along the line, evenly spaced. I spaced mine 2"apart.
Fold in the pleats. As you can see, everything shifts when the pleats are folded into the sleeve. Begin at the cap and blend a line down to the underarm portion of the sleeve.
 Begin at the edge of the cap, being careful not to cut away any of the cap.
 Cut on the line that was drawn in and then unfold the pleated sections.
The final pattern. 
The original pleated sleeve was made out of a knit fabric, but one that has a considerable amount of body. 
I cut another out of a very drapey piece of knit fabric. You can see the difference in how the pleats fall.
I hope this explains any issues that you might have in drafting the sleeve. It's a very pretty sleeve that looks wonderful on everything from t-shirts to jackets, so I hope you'll give it a try.
Good Luck!!

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Friday, April 25, 2014

Thrifty Thursday

Well, I'm late once again. I started on a project early yesterday morning thinking that it would take just a few hours, and I would have it posted by noon. Obviously, that did not happen. Last night at 9:30, the project went in the garbage, and that's the last I'll say about that.
So on to a great little free pattern. Isn't this the cutest baby?!! This is from the blog by Purl Soho called The Purl Bee. If by chance you don't follow their blog, please check it out. I find it to be so lovely. They post lots of projects that are easy as well as useful. When I saw this pattern, I knew it was a must make. So many of my friends are having babies as well as grandbabies, and a little sun bonnet makes a great gift.
The two that I made are for a friend whose daughter is turning a year old soon. The bonnets are perfect for shading the sensitive skin of a baby.
The directions tell you to line the bonnets, but I decided to make mine reversible. Yes, those are airplanes on the blue bonnet. The baby's father is a pilot, so I had to do a little something for him!
 The visor can also be turned back.
I really enjoyed making the bonnets. There is no taping to the pattern, just print and go! You can find the pattern and instructions here,  http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2014/4/8/corinnes-thread-baby-sunbonnet.html
For the most part, I made the bonnet exactly as instructed. The instructions say to hand stitch the pleats into the back of the bonnet. I sewed small little squares instead.  
I also edge stitched the visor. The instructions also say to trim the interfacing, I did not. I used a lightweight cotton fusible for the visor. Worked just fine. The bonnet is not interfaced.
This is a great pattern to have on hand for impromptu baby gifts. The pattern is sized for 0-24 months. I made one of my bonnets in a size 12-18 months and the other in a size 18-24 months. I thought that as she grew, it would be nice to have a little larger bonnet.

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Sew Liberated Clara Dress Sew Along Begins!

Good Morning Everyone! The sew along for the Sew Liberated Clara dress has officially started. If you would like to join along and you have not purchased your pattern, there's still time, as this week we are just talking about fabric choice and a few tips on cutting.
The pattern is out of stock in the Sew News store, but you can easily purchase the pattern directly from Sew Liberated, http://sewliberated.com/products/clara-dress-sewing-pattern . When I purchased my pattern, I bought it directly from Sew Liberated. The ordering process was easy and my pattern arrived within just a few days. All around, a very nice experience.  
You can find the this week's blog post here,  http://www.sewnews.com/blogs/sewing/2014/04/21/clara-dress-sew-along-week-1/
Next week I'll show you the finished dress I did for the videos. I will be making the dress again for the sew along and I will be using the cotton voile that you see above. Be sure to see the blog post as I will be adding a few features to my sew along dress that I did not do in the video.
If you would like to take a look at the video, I've posted it here for you.

I'm so happy that the weather is finally beginning to warm up so I can wear my dress again. I made the original dress last August. Before I sent it off to Sew News, I managed to wear it twice. Now, I do not have a shortage of clothes to wear ;), but I found the dress so comfortable and easy to wear that it was difficult to let it go. By the way, the dress works well with a sweater on days that are a little chilly. As you can see, I really like the dress and I hope you'll like yours as well.
If you are participating in the sew along, be sure to post your fabric choice on the Flickr page, https://www.flickr.com/groups/sn_sewalong2/. I know everyone will enjoy seeing what you've chosen. 

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Monday, April 21, 2014

Zoe Top From Tessuti

A few weeks ago I made the Zoe Top from Tessuti Fabrics, one of their free patterns and I was very happy with how it turned out.
I had promised a picture of me in the top. Although I've worn it a few times, I have not been able to get a picture taken. Thankfully, we've had another warm day here in Chicago, so I wore the outfit, and got a picture taken!  
I made a matching straight skirt to wear with the top. In the above picture I showed it belted, but with the straight skirt, I like how it flows and moves, so no belt. I think that if I pair it with pants, I will belt it, maybe, like I said, I like how it moves when I move. The top is so comfortable and easy to wear. You can see my original post about the top here,  http://rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2014/04/thrifty-thursday.html and you can find the free pattern on the Tessuti website here,  http://www.tessuti-shop.com/collections/free-sewing-patterns/products/zoe-top-print-at-home-or-copy-shop-pdf
By the way, if you find a free pattern that you think I might like, let me know!

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Monday Morning Inspiration

Until a few weeks ago when I came across this picture, I had never heard of Gary Harvey. I thought his take on a baseball jacket was interesting, but then I read that the piece was created with recycled parachute fabric. At that point, I realized that there is more to the man than just creating fashion.  
Finding pictures of his work is a bit difficult, but I was able to find a few. His collections are about raising awareness  of limited natural resources and environmental issues involved in placing unwanted clothing into landfill and generating respect for the craftsmanship in recycling/upcycling.
 The gown on the left is made from recycled raincoats. On the right, denim jeans.

Recycled Hawaiian Shirts 

 The Wall Street Journal
 Plastic Frozen Vegetable bags.
 More denim.
I found his work to be interesting as well as fascinating. If you would like to take a look at more of his work, you can find it on his website here, http://www.garyharveycreative.com/# Just click through on the various pages and you'll be able to see his collections.
Not many of us want to wear plastic vegetable bags, or take the time to create a gown from recycled raincoats, but it's interesting to see what is being done to bring awareness to waste and recycling.
Have a wonderful day!

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This