Friday, May 30, 2014

Sew Liberated, The Final Chapter and Announcing The Next Sew Along

If you drop by most days, then you know I'm a little behind. Actually, Sew News had technical issues with the blog this week(we all know that story all too well), so the final post for the Sew Liberated Clara Dress did not get up until yesterday. I decided to change things up a bit for the sew along and offer a little something more to the Clara Dress by adding ruffles. Here is my completed dress. It's just perfect for summer! My husband nor I noticed the plastic bag on the ground until we took a look at the pictures. Sorry about that. 
If you would like to take a look at the last installment for the Clara Dress Sew Along, you can find it here, http://www.sewnews.com/blogs/sewing/2014/05/29/clara-dress-sew-along-final-week-finishing-details/. You will see pictures of all 3 dresses I made.
You can also take a look at the video here,

Now for the next sew along! The upcoming sew along will begin the week of June 23rd with the Summer Breeze Top from Hot Patterns.

This is a lovely top for summer. The design offers lots of possibilities that I will share with you, like color blocking and even making it into a dress with some fun and frilly details.
So how better to announce a new sew along than to have a little give away?!!!
If you would like to win a copy of the June/July issue of Sew News, just leave a message on this post. I'll announce the winner on Monday, June 2, 2014.
Here's a sneak peek at the top I made and the article.
I think you will really enjoy making this top. If you would like to get a jump on things, you can order your pattern here, http://www.hotpatterns.com/hp-1137-riviera-summer-breeze-sleeveless-tops/

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sewing Indie Month, Pattern Hacking, Part 1

There are few things I love more than to take a pattern and see just how much I can basically keep the bones of the pattern and still change it so much that it looks nothing like the original. The pattern that I am hacking this week is a beautiful pattern from Sew Chic.

Laura Nash is the designer behind the pattern line and she has 15 lovely, vintage inspired patterns to choose from. You can find them all here, http://www.sewchicpatterns.com/shop.html. The Myrtlewood dress is, as I said a beautiful pattern that really needs no hacking, but for Sewing Indie Month, I'm supposed to hack away and that is just what I have done. To be honest, I feel that the better the pattern, the more style is has, the more hacking possibilities it will offer. I think the possibilities with this pattern are limitless!
Let's begin by taking a look at the pattern envelope. Laura is great as she provides the envelope to each pattern on her website. Look closely at the sleeve and you will see that it is a gusseted sleeve. That was the first design element that made my mind begin to churn. I also liked the fact that there are so many garments included all in one, a shirt, a straight skirt and a circular skirt.
Here is the front pattern for the shirt portion of the dress.
  The first thing I did was to fold the pattern on the center front line as I did not want a center front opening.
In the armpit of the pattern, you will see the various slash lines that have been given for the underarm gusset. I used this as a guideline.
I put my ruler on the slash line and drew a line up to the shoulder. I left just a bit on the shoulder so that I can connect the front and the back at the shoulder.
Once my line was drawn in, I folded the pattern on the that line.
If I left the underarm where it was, it would have been too low, so I had to add to the underarm. I began by putting my ruler on the side seam and drew a line that extended upward.
Once again I used the slash lines as a guideline for my underarm. I simply squared a line over from the tip of the slash line to my extended side seam.  
Then I connected the extended side seam to the angled line with a slight curve. I did the same to the back pattern piece.
Once I had prepared my pattern pieces, I cut a muslin. The muslin showed me that I needed a little more fit along the front angled line, so I pinched in a dart and then created a princess line seam.   Below you see my center front and my side front pattern pieces.
 The back pattern piece.
 My center front panel cut out of my fashion fabric
I am underlining the fabric with silk.
The fabric that I am using came from Britex. Britex very generously gave each of us who are sewing for Sewing Indie Month a piece of fabric for one of our projects. The fabric that I chose is rayon and it has the nicest hand of any rayon that I have ever touched. It feels like liquid silk. As you can see, it is a border print. I will be using the border print around the neck of my bodice and along the hem of my skirt.The fabric has the border on both sides and is 55" wide. You can find it here on the Britex website, http://www.britexfabrics.com/fabric/rayon/double-bordered-ikat-viscose-made-in-italy.html 
So phase 1 has been completed. You are probably wondering just what my dress is going to look like. Well, drop back by tomorrow and you'll see more!!!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sewing Indie Month, The Hackers!

I haven't done a Wednesday Showcase post for a while as I've been busy with Sewing Indie Month. I've missed it terribly, so to get my fix and spread a little Sewing Indie love around, I thought I would showcase those who have jumped into the Pattern Hacker category...so far.
First up is http://naeh-connection.blogspot.de/2014/05/sewing-along-with-project-sewn-and.html
She hacked the Out and About Dress from Sew Caroline.
She has been a busy lady as she also entered this hack again using the Out and About Dress from Sew Caroline. You can find the post here,  http://naeh-connection.blogspot.de/2014/05/sewing-along-with-project-sewn-and_22.html
Next up is  http://fasewla.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/sewing-indie-month-mathilde-blouse-hack/with her hack of the Mathilde Blouse from Tilly and the Buttons.
Another combo entry comes from http://crafting-a-rainbow.tumblr.com/post/86596210200/sewing-indie-month with her hack of the Sewn Square One Go Anywhere Dress.
And her hack of the Laura Lounge Trousers from Maria Denmark. You can find the post here, http://crafting-a-rainbow.tumblr.com/post/86788902792/more-sewing-indie-projects-and-a-me-made-may-weekly
Last but not least, http://tadpegs.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/how-to-make-peplum-top-from-any-fitted.html?m=1 created this little peplum top using the bodice of the Elislex Dress from By Hand London
What a great bunch of hackers!! Be sure to get hacking and enter your creations here, http://www.rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2014/05/announcing-sewing-indie-month.html. The last day for linking will be Wednesday, June 4th. That's just a week away, so get busy!!!!!  

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Night Reflections

A rich man decided to go on a safari in Africa. He took his faithful pet beagle along for company. One day, the beagle starts chasing butterflies and before long discovers that he is lost. 
So, wandering around, he notices a tiger heading rapidly in his direction with the obvious intention of having him for lunch. The beagle thinks, "I’m in trouble!" Then he noticed some bones on the ground close by, and immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the tiger is about to leap, the beagle exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious tiger. I wonder if there are any more around here!" 
Hearing this, the tiger halts his attack in mid-stride, as a look of terror comes over him, and slinks away into the trees. "Whew," grunts the tiger. "That was close. That weird creature nearly had me." Meanwhile, a monkey, who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the tiger. So, off he goes. 
But the beagle saw him heading after the tiger with great speed, and figured that something must be up. 
The monkey soon catches up with the tiger, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the tiger. The tiger, furious at being made a fool of, says, "Here monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving little thing." 
Now the beagle sees the tiger coming with the monkey on his back, and thinks, "What am I going to do now?" But instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet... and, just when they get close enough to hear, the beagle says: "Where's that darn monkey? I sent him off over an hour ago to bring me another tiger!"
When he turned around... and he was alone.
Just a cute story to remind us that.....

We are braver than we believe,
Stronger than we seem,
And smarter than we think.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Sewing Indie Month, Pattern Hacking Part 2

I'm back with a few pictures. I think this is my new favorite skirt!!
In the event that you missed this morning's post, this is the Zlata Skirt from Stepalica that I made for this week's Pattern Hacking post. You can find the earlier post here, http://www.rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2014/05/sewing-indie-month-pattern-hacking_23.html
Check out the scarf I'm wearing. I didn't start the day off with the scarf. It was a lovely gift from Lisa of http://www.poldapop.com/, and it looks great with my outfit. How lucky am I?!!!!
 The skirt is just as cute from the back as it is from the front. Love it!
I see I missed a belt look :)) Oh well. You get the idea.
So as I said in the earlier post, just because a pattern states that you can't use a certain fabric, like stripes, with just a little manipulation of the pattern a lot of things can sometimes be possible.

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Sewing Indie Month, Pattern Hacking

Oh...I had the best of intentions yesterday, but alas no post, so today is catch up day.
The pattern that I chose for this week's hack is the Zlata Skirt from Stepalica Patterns.
You may remember seeing a version of the skirt on the cover of the April/May issue of Sew News. Nice!
Here's my version. You may look at the skirt and wonder what I did. Notice that I used 2 different fabrics, the larger polka dot and the small polka dot. The pattern instructs you to not use a stripe as the skirt pattern has a bias cut to it. In order to give the skirt a striped effect,  
I cut the pattern apart along the fold lines of each pleat,
 added seam allowance and then cut my strips in a stripe manner.
I had this great batik print that I decided would accent the black and white polka dots in a little unexpected manner.
I made piping and piped the top and lower edge of the yoke,
 as well as the pockets.
I had just enough of the batik to cut a bias binding for the hem.
I lined the skirt with a piece of orange silk.
Now you see that just because a pattern tells you that you can't do something, it doesn't mean that it can't be done. True enough, if you were to use a stripe fabric and cut the skirt as the pattern comes out of the envelope, it would not work. But by cutting the pattern apart, you can then manipulate the pattern and give it so many more possibilities.
I'm wearing the skirt today, so I should have pictures a little later.
If you would like to enter and have a chance to win all the fabulous prizes that have been posted for the pattern hacking category of Sewing Indie Month, be sure to check out this post, http://www.rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2014/05/announcing-sewing-indie-month.html  and link your creations there. Happy Hacking!!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sewing Indie Month, Pattern Hacking

What do you see when you look at a pattern? Do you see just the garment that is featured, or do you see the possibilities? When my niece was around 8 years old, I took her to the fabric store to pick out patterns and fabric. She looked through the pattern books and finally chose a couple that she thought she would like. When I told her that we would then choose fabric, she replied, "but I want that." She thought that she would be getting the exact garment that was pictured on the pattern envelope, style and fabric alike. She just couldn't grasp the idea of being able to choose fabric and make something her own.
For all of us who sew, choosing fabric is easy as well as fun, but do we see the possibilities in the patterns that we purchase?
I recently was given this pattern at a blogger meetup.
I was thrilled to get it, but I didn't want to take something that another might really be able to use and enjoy. I commented to someone that this would be a great pattern for them. They replied that it wasn't their style.
So what do I see when I look at this pattern? I see a great high-waisted skirt. With a little closer look at the neckline, I see a wonderful halter dress. I also see a bolero jacket. So many possibilities.
Sew News recently did an article on adding godets to a basic straight skirt. You can find the pattern for the godet here, http://www.sewnews.com/content_downloads/Godet__12662.pdf The article is in the June/July issue.
How about this pattern from Sew Chic Patterns
When I look at this pattern, I see a bargain! In one pattern, you get 2 dress possibilities, a shirt, 2 skirts and a sash. I am hacking this pattern for next week's post, so be sure and drop by next week to see what I've done.
This week I am doing this skirt from Stepalica Patterns.
I've done a little chopping and I am so very excited about the skirt. I'll post it tomorrow.
So as you think about hacking your patterns, take a closer look and see the wealth that the patterns. I think you will be surprised at all the possibilities that can be in one little pattern. 
If you are entering the Pattern hacking contest, be sure to link your entries to this post, http://www.rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2014/05/announcing-sewing-indie-month.html . I can't wait to see your creativity! Get hacking!!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Sew Liberated Clara Dress Sew Along, Week 5

Clara has her skirt!  
And she looks as pretty on the inside as she does on the outside :)
In this week's post, we add the side seam pockets, line the skirt and attach the skirt to the bodice. The skirt is attached with a French seam, making it easy to change or adjust the elastic when needed.
You can find the post on the Sew News blog here, http://www.sewnews.com/blogs/sewing/2014/05/19/clara-dress-sew-along-week-5/
And here is this week's video,

Next week, we'll finish the dress. I'll sew in the buttonholes, sew on the buttons and we'll talk about finishing the hem of the skirt.
Let us see your progress on the Flickr page, https://www.flickr.com/groups/sn_sewalong2/

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The Secret Life of Machines, The Sewing Machine

Have you ever wondered about the history of the sewing machine, how it was invented, and how it works? I found this fascinating documentary that explains it all. It's in 3 parts, so you won't have to watch it all at one time. Each video is about 9 minutes long. Enjoy! 

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