Thursday, July 30, 2015

My Portside Travel Collection Makes The Cover!

I was so excited when I found out that the bags I made for the upcoming Sew News Sew Along made the cover of the magazine. What an honor! The bags are the Portside Travel Collection from Grainline Studio. 
I thought I would share a few of the pictures that I took in preparation of the article. The bags were a blast to put together. The fabric that I used was purchased at The Needle Shop in Chicago. I have had someone inquire about the fabric, so I went to the website and sadly, I didn't find it. The sew along will not begin until sometime in September. In the next week, I will pop over to the store and ask the owner if by chance the fabric is still available. If it is, I'll be sure to let you know. Check out the website though as there are a number of fabrics that would be fabulous for this collection. 
The dopp bag and the bottom of the duffle were done in a faux crocodile embossed leather. Be sure to check out the home dec department at your local fabric store as they are now carrying some great faux leathers.
I had some turquoise and coral on hand, so I made little zipper pulls.
The dopp bag is fully lined. It also features a great side pocket for combs, or any other flat items that you might like to easily find.
The set also features a travel pouch. I recommend making more than 1. The pouch is great for passports, cords, or even delicate things that might get snagged in your bag.
When preparing for the set, I found this great webbing for the handles and straps.
And I was able to pull it all together with black hardware. For those of you in America, the webbing and the black hardware came from Joann's Fabrics.

The duffle bag is very roomy. Once I finished it, I thought I would check out just how much I could get in the bag. Believe it or not, it will hold a week's worth of clothes. But....if you are like me and take 10 pairs of shoes for a five day trip, it might be a little tight ;)  
The duffle also features a side pocket on either side of the bag, great for stashing your boarding pass. 
If you would like to purchase a paper pattern, you can find it HERE on the Sew News website. If you prefer a PDF pattern, you can find it HERE on the Grainline Studio website.
Hope to have you join me in September for the sew along. I think it's going to be especially fun!

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Night Reflections

There are far better things ahead
Than any we leave behind.
                                                                                                                C.S. Lewis

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Eating For Your Future/Quinoa and Black Bean Vegetable Salad

A few months ago, I received a lovey email message from Diane of www.rememberingoz.blogspot.com. She knows how much I enjoy quinoa, as well as a healthy dish in general, so she thought that  might enjoy the dish that I'm sharing with you today. I think Diane must know me well as I REALLY did enjoy it and my husband did too!
Quinoa and Black Bean Vegetable Salad

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice or juice of 2 limes
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 minced garlic clove
1/3 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced cilantro

mix all ingredients together and set aside

Salad Mix
1 cup quinoa(cook according to package directions)
14 oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper chopped
1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
2 green onions chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh corn(I sliced mine off the cobb)
1 small avocado chopped

Cook quinoa and allow to cool. Combine all other ingredients. Add quinoa once it  has cooled. Stir in dressing and serve.

The only changes I made to the recipe was to add more green onions and I also chopped up 2 jalapeno peppers and added them to the mixture. I like spice!!
The salad will keep well for lunches, in fact, it's probably better the second day as the flavors have had time to mingle. The salad is also wonderful on a bed of your favorite lettuce. Maybe add some sliced avocado and sliced tomatoes and you'll have a wonderful main dish salad.
Thanks so much for the recipe Diane! I think it will become a go to recipe in my house.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did if you give it a try.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Dixie DIY Movies In The Park Shorts Sew Along, Week 3

If you are just following along, or actually making the Dixie DIY Movies In The Park Shorts, the next post is up on the Sew News blog and you can find it HERE. This week, in the written instructions, I show you a quick and easy way to finish the waistband yoke with no hand stitching. Simply serge the edge of the facing and then stitch in the ditch and the facing is secure and you've saved yourself a good bit of time. Always a nice thing!
The finished waistband yoke, piped and ready for the binding. 
Binding can be quite intimating, but it's really all about taking your time.

In the written post, I take you through the steps of a successful binding that's as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside.
 The finished binding.
This will be the last video to accompany the blog posts, but we will have 1 more post where I go into a little more detail about sewing in the buttonholes, buttons and the snaps. I have attached the video below.

If by chance, you've decided to make the Movies In the Park Shorts, but have not yet purchased your pattern, you can find it HERE. Remember, it's a PDF pattern, so just a simple download and no shipping costs!!!! I love no shipping costs :)
Have a wonderful day!

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Night Reflections

We lived in the past,
We think about a future,
But all we really have is now.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Dixie DIY Movies In the Park Sew Along

Last week's post for the sew along was postponed due to the holiday. By the time the video department had the video ready to go, it was late in the week, so they decided to just hold off until this week.
This week, it's all about construction of the shorts.In the video, I talk more about making the pockets without the piping, but the written post is devoted to adding piping to the pockets and waistband. You can find the post HERE.

If you would like to take a look at the video, I've added it below.

If by chance you would like to make the shorts, but have yet to purchase the pattern, you can find it HERE at the Sew News store. Remember, it's an instant download, so instant gratification!

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Sunday Hello

I'm having a glorious summer!!! I have not been doing a lot of sewing, very little as a matter of fact, but I thought I would share a little of the fun I've been having. 
A few weeks back, my husband and I went to St. Louis, Missouri to attend the an opera festival put on by the St. Louis Opera Theater. It was wonderful! One of the operas that we saw was so well done, but so very dark. It made me appreciate even more the fact that as a woman, I was born at the time I was, and in America. The opera is based on the book entitled Emmeline. It's a gripping story and even if you don't care for the opera, the story would be worth the read.
While we were in St. Louis, we decided to check out the sculpture park. I love sculpture parks! There's something so special about experiencing art in an outdoor setting. If you are ever in Minneapolis, by all means, check out their sculpture park, it's incredible. We also have a lovely park here in Chicago. I really enjoyed the St. Louis park. Here are a few of the pieces that I thought were especially interesting.
This eye was actually in downtown Chicago for a while. Nice to see it in a less urban setting.  
This massive piece was made from recycled oil tanks.
 Ocean buoys lined the path.
 I've forgotten now, but I think this piece had something to do with sugar. My apologies to the artist.
 I loved this pagoda.
As we walked along the path, we came upon this tree with the cutout seat, so we took a picture. As always, my dogs are more interested in the hike than taking a picture :)
As I said, I have done a little sewing. Three are pictured, but I made 5 bears in total. I think they are so precious. Isn't it interesting how they can all be made by the same person, in the same fabric, and the same pattern, but each as a little different personality?  Lincoln Park Zoo had their annual Zoo Ball this past Friday. I made the bears to help decorate the silent auction tables.
Here's one of my little guys in action. The theme of the ball this year was Arctic Blast and the polar bear was  the logo.
Two of my friends were over yesterday afternoon and wanted to know what I wore. They were quickly disappointed when I told them that I did not make my dress this year. Horror of horrors!!!! But.....look....could a gown be any more appropriate??? I literally found the gown by accident on Etsy. I'll tell you a little more about the dress and the designer in another post.  
Here I am in the gown. It was a lovely evening, and I really enjoyed the dress as well.
Hope you are having a lovely summer!

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Sew Chic Give Away Winner

My apologies! I had said that I would announce the winner of the Sew Chic Simplicity Pattern on Monday. I'm a day late. The day just got away from me and I forget. So once again, my apologies.
So without further delay, the winner of Laura's new pattern for Simplicity Patterns is.......

Congratulations Guffdragon!!! I think you will really enjoy sewing with Laura :) Please email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com with your mailing information.

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Monday Morning Inspiration/Frogs

Not long after I began writing the blog, I shared this story about being desperate for buttons. While searching for the perfect button, I came across some rat tail cord that I had braided for the straps of a sun dress. It ended up being the perfect solution for Chinese Ball Buttons, but I had to cut the straps off of the sundress in  order to have enough for 6 buttons. We sewists are the mothers of invention!! Below is my button. Click on the above link if you would like to see the jacket.
I love frogs and I think that they offer us another possibility for closures that are not only functional, but beautiful as well. So I thought that I would share a few pictures of frogs that I thought were especially inspirational.
Believe it or not, the frog below is made out of ric rac. You can find the tutorial HERE.
This frog is really quite easy to make. What I especially like is the addition of the pearls.
This one is so pretty. Braid mixed with handmade silk leaves.
The frogs on this jacket are a little difficult to see, but they are made from 2 strips, 1 black and the other silver and the tie in beautifully to the silk lining of the jacket.
The frog below is a different style, but you can see that the same technique was used to create the frog.
I love the elongated braid.
This frog is spectacular. Vintage of course. Take note of the gold threads around the ball.
Same principal as the frogs above. Love how the 2 colors sets off the design.
The frog on this lace jacket blends perfectly, so it's a little difficult to see.
So simple, but so beautiful. A simple rectangle piece was made with loops on either end.
Rather than balls for the closure, tassels.
This jacket is from Martha of Now Sewing. Her work is always so inventive. This jacket has 2 simple knots that accent it beautifully. One hangs from the back neckline,
and the other drapes over the top of the pocket. You can see her post HERE.
If you would like to make some interesting frogs, the book pictured below is one that I have in my sewing library and I absolutely love it. You can find it HERE on Amazon.
Have a lovely week!

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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunday Night Reflections

 Sometimes, a friend cannot be happy for you.
That doesn't make them any less of a friend, 
It just makes them human.

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Eating For Your Future

Happy Sunday Everyone!!!
For those of you here in America, I hope you had a lovely 4th of July. Mine is always very low key. My poor dogs are terrified by the fireworks, and although it is illegal to have fireworks in Chicago, the park near our home sounds like the Vietnam War. So I shut all the windows, turn on the air conditioner, play soothing music, and then we all snuggle up in the bedroom and finish out the day with a movie. Last night we watched Whiplash. Interesting, dark, and reminded me a bit of an orchestra conductor that I played under while I was in high school.
I made an interesting dish recently and thought I would share it.

Poached Egg Over Spinach Polenta With Crispy Mushrooms and Herbs 
I found the recipe on a site that I have fallen in love with. She has the most interesting recipes. Be sure to check out her most recent post for Green Bean, Quinoa and Tarragon Salad. It has bing cherries, marcona almonds, along with the tarragon and greens beans. I think I am going to give it a try today!
Back to the Spinach Polenta, what I especially enjoyed were the crispy mushrooms. Of course, this is a vegetarian dish, but if you would like to add some meat, fried bacon would make a lovely addition. The mushrooms are initially sauteed over a burner and then put under the broiler so that they become crispy. The dish would be lovely for a Sunday morning brunch. I actually served it for dinner one night. Great on its own accompanied by a small salad. The mix of the crispy mushrooms with the creamy polenta was just so good.
You can find the recipe HERE. If you do take a look at the recipe, by all means take a few minutes to scroll through some of her other recipes. I think she'll have your mouth watering!!!    

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