Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Night Reflections

It was one of those weeks when everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. To finish off the week, I had made an early morning appointment that required a 45 minute drive out of town. Once I arrived, no one was in the office. How could this be? After waiting around and knocking on the door, I finally looked at the email confirmation...the appointment was for the following Saturday!!! Perfect ending to a perfect week I thought through gritted teeth. So back in the car and off I went for the 45 minute drive back home. 
About half way into the drive, the car in front of me began going slower and slower. The speed limit was 65 mph, why was he going so slow? Then I caught a glimpse of the old truck in front of the car. The road was a 2 lane road and the traffic coming at us was heavy. The car in front of me had a chance to pass the old truck, but there was no other opportunity, so there I sat, stuck, along with the 20 cars behind me.
As I drove along, frustrated, I noticed that the man was totally oblivious to the line of cars behind him. He drove along, turning his head from one side to the other enjoying the scenery, and it seemed, just the act of driving. Then I noticed his dog happily sitting by his side. As the man would look from side to side, the dog did as well.  
I drove along, thinking of all that had happened that week and how upset I had been when someone had thoughtlessly taken advantage of my time. Then I realized that this person had no idea that I was upset. They had gone about their merry way. I was the only one that was allowing the situation to continue to affect my life. Then I looked at the truck in front of me and began to smile. Here was the same situation right in front of me. This man was enjoying his day, his drive. I was the only one who was upset. Well, me and the drivers of the 20 cars behind me! 
I had no where that I really needed to be, and even if I did, there was nothing I could do about the situation, so I might as well enjoy the ride. And that's exactly what I did. I changed my perspective, and suddenly what seemed like such a huge imposition was a source of joy. The man and his dog made me smile.
We came into town and the truck turned into the parking lot of the grocery store. I thought that this is probably a weekly occurrence. As I drove on my way, I had to laugh about how I was taught a lesson by an old man and his dog. Life is far too short to harbor angry feelings. It's better to slow down and enjoy the journey. And that journey can be all the better with a faithful companion by our side. 

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The Beret/A Video

Last November, I made this beret pattern available and so many of you have asked for the pattern. Berets are easy to make and fun to wear.
I found this picture and thought I would include it to give you an idea of the comparison of how I wear my beret and how this model is wearing her hat. Her's has not been pulled down quite as far as I have mine. In the video, you'll see why I pull mine down a little more. Both look to be the same size.  
In the video, I also show you a beret that I made out of fur, the real thing. It was left over from a coat that I repurposed. 

Like I said in the video, if you have any other questions, be sure to ask. I'll do my best to answer. 
If you would like the pattern, just email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com and I'll send it your way.
You can find the post I did on fur HERE. There will be more :)

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Enter To Win a Free Pepernoot Pattern

I am very happy to announce that Yuki, the fabulous designer of Waffle Patterns has made a free Pepernoot Coat pattern available. How exciting! As you know, the Pepernoot Coat will be the next sew along that I will be doing for Sew News.   
The Pepernoot Coat is a great coat for super cold weather. You can see that Yuki made hers with a faux fur edging on the hood and a quilted lining. 
My version is a lighter weight version, perfect for spring.

So here's the drill, 
1. You must be a follower of this blog
2. Leave a message on this post and let us know that you would like to be included in the drawing.
3. Let us know how you follow the blog, Bloglovin, email, Feedly, etc.
4. Be willing to use a downloadable PDF pattern.

I will draw the winner next Friday, February 5, 2016.  

Yuki's patterns are a dream to work with. They are PDF patterns, but you may opt for a print shop version, so no taping together of multiple pieces of paper. Just download the pattern, put it on a stick and take it to your print shop and have it printed.
Another aspect that I love about Yuki's patterns is that they are layered, so you may choose the exact size that you would like rather than going blind trying to cut on the correct line. Or, if you feel that you are one size on top and another size on the bottom, you may print off 2 sizes, or as many as you wish. It's a wonderful option. Also, Yuki has provided a separate lining pattern, so no fidgeting around with the primary pattern to make it work for the lining.   

What a wonderful opportunity to get your pattern so early and prepare for the sew along.
Good Luck Everyone!!!

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And The Winner Is...Sew News Magazine Give Away

Happy Thursday Everyone!!! It's give away day...what fun!
As I announced last week, Sew News has generously given me 3 magazines to give away and help kick off the Waffle Patterns Pepernoot Coat sew along. The sew along will begin March 7th, and I think we are going to have so much fun. I'll talk a little more about the fabric that I've chosen next week.
In the meantime, be sure to check out the post I did last week on the current issue of Sew News. There are a number of free patterns in the issue which you can download, but they are only available for free until March 31st, so be sure to hop over and download them before it's too late. You can find the free pattern page on the Sew News website HERE

The winners of the Feb./March issue of Sew News magazine are....

Mary of
Congratulations Mary!!!
Lisa D
Congratulations Lisa D!!!
And Mary Deeter
Congratulations Mary!!!
Please email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com with your mailing info so I can get your magazines out ASAP!

If you weren't a winner, keep the faith as I have another little surprise I will announce later today...and you are really going to like it :)

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Master Sewing And Design Certification/Couture Hooks

Of the 7 modules in the Master Sewing and Design Certification program, Garment Construction is probably the most labor intensive. In this module, you must demonstrate in Section One;
1. Various Types of Seams
2. Seam Finishes
3. Hand Stitches
4. Machine Hems
5. Proper Interfacing Choices
6. Closures

In Section Two you are required to construct 4 garments that demonstrate various darts, pockets, facings and waistband techniques.
Over the next few weeks, we will concentrate on working through Section One of the Garment Constructions Module. I hope that it will be fun as well as informative. 
A while back, I did a tutorial on how I sew on my hooks for Sew News when we were constructing the Decades of Style Arches Skirt. So many of you asked for a video, so to kick things off, I thought I would do a little video on how I sew my hooks.
In the written tutorial that I did, I used a standard bar hook. You can find that tutorial HERE.

For the video tutorial, I used a decorative hook. It's a little larger and I felt that it would be a little easier to see. At least that's my hope :)
I hope you enjoy the video tutorial. I love doing things like this!

As I said, in the upcoming weeks, we will be doing lots of seam finishes, hand stitches and hemming techniques.  

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sew Special 2016/Come Meet Me In Peoria

I was surprised and delighted when I was contacted by the Peoria, Illinois American Sewing Guild to be their featured speaker for their yearly conference. The conference will be held the weekend of October 1, 2016.

To kick off the conference, I will be doing a hands on class on Friday, September 30th,  where I will guide the participants through making a bag that I have specially designed for the conference. Sadly, their are only 12 spots available, so I've been told that the class will fill quickly, and is only open to members of the Peoria ASG chapter. The good news is that once the class is over, the pattern will be available to all. 

The Saturday program is open to all. So if you are anywhere near Peoria, Illinois, I would love to have you join me for the day! Sign up information will be posted later this summer. In the meantime, if you would like to check out their newsletter, you can find it here, http://www.peoriaasg.org/files/SewCiety_News_WinterUpdated.pdf
Below is the article that was featured in their newsletter that tells a little about the conference and a little about me too.

Sew Special....16
Featuring Rhonda Buss

The featured speaker for Sew Special…16 is Rhonda Buss of Chicago. Rhonda is a past president of the Haute Couture Club of Chicago. The event will feature a hands-on handbag workshop for 12 participants on Friday. Rhonda will be designing the project that will teach participants about zipper application, pockets, hardware and other handbag construction techniques. Saturday will feature all things sleeves including how to change garments by restyling the sleeves. Samples will be available for the different sleeve variations. Rhonda will demonstrate how to draft, cut, slash and construct each sleeve variation. You don't have to be an expert because these techniques can apply to even a simple t-shirt style garment. There will be a trunk show of some of Rhonda's fashions. The afternoon will conclude with a make it take it wool flower accessory suitable for a lapel, hat, bag or where ever. A small kit fee will apply. In addition, the Saturday Sew Special….16 will feature a noon style show by the state Make It With Wool contestants. Some would say that Rhonda was born with a needle in her hand. Her first project was an embroidered handkerchief that she made with the help of her grandmother at the age of five. Once in high school, she took every sewing and design class that her school offered. With nothing more to offer, she was sent to the local community college where she had the opportunity to study fashion illustration and costume design. While in college, she took the limited fashion design classes that were offered, but finally had the opportunity to truly hone her skills at Ray College of Design in Chicago where she graduated with a degree in Fashion Design. In her final year, Rhonda won numerous awards for her designs, including fur and millinery awards. After graduating Rhonda worked as a designer for a dress manufacturer. From there she did costume design and returned to teach tailoring and design at Ray College. In recent years, Rhonda began writing for Sew News Magazine. She has also been featured in Threads magazine, Sew It All, and Sew Stylish. Her design was on the Spring 2014 cover for Sew Stylish magazine. In 2012, Rhonda won The People’s Choice Award in the Passion For Fashion competition at the American Sewing Expo. In 2013, her design won third place. In her popular blog, Rhonda’s Creative Life, Rhonda features easy to make designs made from simple shapes. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge and believes that everyone can sew and create. They just need the basic knowledge. 

"Come meet me in Peoria," sounds a little like a line from a country  western song! I grew up listening to country western music and thanks to Tammy Wynette, it's how I learned to spell, d-i-v-o-r-c-e!!! That's really true! But, all jokes aside, if you aren't too far from Peoria, and you have a little time to spare, I would truly enjoy spending the day with you.  

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday Night Reflections

One day, 
Our life is going to flash before our eyes. 
Make sure it's worth watching.
                                                                                              From the movie,
                                                                                              The Bucket List

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Sunday's Soup/Roasted Poblano and Tomatillo Pozole

Earlier this week, I fell down the stairs. Just one of those crazy things, not watching what I was doing, slipped and down I went. I didn't break any bones, but I managed to bang myself up pretty good. As I was falling, I grabbed hold of the railing, broke my fall, but did enough damage to my shoulder that I've had a very difficult time lifting my arm. Although I'm still hurting, I'm doing better, so I'm happy :)
As you all know, I LOVE a good bowl of soup. It just seems to nourish my soul, especially when I'm not feeling my best. I also love Mexican food and anything with a little spice. My husband brought home a roasted poblano pepper soup that he purchased at the grocery store. It was good, but I thought, "I think I can do better." After a little search, I found THIS recipe from Rachel Ray. She calls her soup Poblano Posole. The reviews were rather interesting. a few thought it was far too spicy, and some played with it a bit. I played with it a bit!
Below is a list of ingredients with my changes in red.

2 large or 3 medium poblano peppers, I used 3 peppers

2 ears corn or 1 cup frozen organic corn kernels, I eliminated the corn.

Natural cooking spray, did not use

6 to 8 medium tomatillos, peeled and halved, I used 6 large tomatillos

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 red onion, cut into wedges

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, I used 2 teaspoons

4 cloves garlic

4 cups vegetable stock, I used only 2 cups

1 lime, juiced, did not add during cooking but served on the side

Handful fresh cilantro, chopped

One 28- to 32-ounce can hominy, drained

Two 14.5 oz cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes

Other than the changes that you see in red, I followed the recipe exactly. I loved roasting everything in the oven!
The tomatillos look like baked green apples. When I pureed the tomatillos, I also added the juice that had been expressed while roasting.
The onions and garlic were so aromatic. 
Once everything is pureed, the soup is a beautiful green. 
Then I added the tomatoes and the soup took on a bit of a brown color. 
The finished product. I did not serve the pozole with sliced radishes, just chopped green onions and avocado. If you like, a little shredded chihuahua cheese would make a lovely addition.   
I did not find the recipe to be overly spicy, by any means. In fact, I added little chopped fresh jalpeno to my bowl just to spice it up a bit. 
If you give it a try, I hope it warms your soul as much as it did mine :) You can find the recipe HERE with a nice printable version.

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Friday, January 22, 2016

A Little Gift That Makes Everyone Smile

I've gone back and forth about posting this as it's such a simple little thing...tea towels from Spoonflower. In fact, when I've given them away, I don't feel that I can actually say that I've made them since all I did was stitch around the edges. But everyone, and I mean everyone has been so delightfully surprised when I present them with a simple tea towel. Since there's nothing better than making someone smile, I thought I would go ahead and share a few links, as you might like to be able to give a simple little gift that is sure to please.
Most of the tea towels that I purchased are calendar towels. You can purchase the tea towels as a fat quarter, or by the yard. If you buy them by the yard, you will receive 4 towels. Be aware that the towels are quite a bit cheaper per towel if you buy them by the yard. 
Below is a sampling of what I purchased. 
Cardinals as I feel that cardinals bring good luck :) You can find them here, http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/4653097
This towel does not have a calendar, but a friend of mine has a lovely French country kitchen and I thought this would be perfect.
For a friend who loves music. Here's a link, http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/1504583
What a perfect gift for anyone who sews! These towels were met with especially big smiles :)
I looked for links to the other towels, and just about went blind looking. So, here's a link where you can find more towels than you ever thought might exist.
I purchased one more,
I thought the fox was adorable and then the background is my favorite color. Rather than finishing the edges, I'm making a bag(that I plan to keep!). I'll be sure to share it once it's finished. Here's a link, http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/1909492#
If you do decide to purchase a few towels as gifts, I hope that the recipients are as happy as mine have been. It really makes giving a little gift so much fun!

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Pepernoot Sew Along and a Give Away!

I am so excited about the Waffle Patterns Pepernoot Coat Sew Along that I will be doing for Sew News. Just a heads up, the sew along will not begin until March 7, 2016. I have some fun things up my sleeves for the sew along, so hopefully I'll be able to provide something for everyone from the beginner to the more experienced sewist.
I always enjoy kicking off the sew along with a give away. This time around, I have 3, yes 3!!! magazines to give away, so your chances of winning a copy are great!  

I have not taken a picture of me in the coat, but I have worn it and love it. Super comfortable. Below is a picture from the magazine.
Here's a little about what we will be doing, but as I said, I have more in store! 
There are a number of fun projects in this issue, along with free patterns, like the leggings featured below. One thing to keep in mind is that the pattern will only be free until March 31, 2016. So be sure to hope over to the Sew News website and download the pattern while it is still free. You can find the leggings pattern HERE.

You'll also find this great convertible clutch. Once again, the pattern is free, but only until March 31, 2016. You can find the pattern HERE.
Not only is the bag a clutch, but it converts to a shoulder bag too. Nice!
As I said, the sew along will not begin until March 7, 2016. That gives you plenty of time to get your pattern, fabric and supplies. You can find the pattern HERE. For those of you living here in the U.S., I purchased the center front zipper at Joann's, so if black will work with your fabric, no need to special order. I'll talk a little more about the zipper in another post.

If you would like a chance to win 1 of the 3 magazines that I will be giving away, just leave a message on this post. I will announce the winners next Thursday, January 28, 2016. In the meantime, be sure to download those free patterns!
Good Luck!

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Master Sewing and Design Certification/Developing a Business Plan, Why It's Important

After a bit of an absence, it's nice to be back! Nothing wrong, just a number of things that I needed to take care of, and sadly, there's only so much time in the day...as we all know :)

Some of you may remember that I am working on completing the Master Sewing and Design Certification Program offered through the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals. 
The certification process is based on the completion of 7 modules;
1. Professional Practices
2. Fashion Illustration
3. Design
4. Pattern Development
5. Fabrics
6. Garment Construction
7. Fit

I am currently working on the Professional Practices Module. With this module you are asked to;
1. Define Your Business
2. Develop a Marketing Plan
3. Develop a Financial Statement 
4. Consider Legal Aspects/Trademarks, Copyright Laws and Business Licenses

I often hear people talk about the desire to turn their passion into a full-time job, or at the very least, a part-time job. Many give it a go, and many fail. In fact, 96% fail within the first 10 years. That's a huge failure rate! So how can you be part of the 4% who actually make it? Begin by writing a business plan. 
A business plan will help you 
1. Define Your Business
What is your business? Do you love doing alterations, bridal, custom work, develop a pattern line? It could very well be that you love doing alterations, but hate doing custom work. Rather than taking on work that you hate to do, a business plan will help you to focus and determine ways promote what you love to do and do well.
2. Avoid Making Big Mistakes
By writing out a business plan, you will determine who much you can expect to make in the first year, second and so on. A business plan will help you determine how much money you will need to set aside so that you can focus on building your business and not worrying about whether you will have enough set aside for operating and living expenses. 
3. Determine If You Need To Raise Capital
If you need to borrow money in order to realize your dream, a business plan will help you communicate your vision in a clear and concise manner. Be it friends, family, or a bank, they all want their money back and will be much more likely to lend the money you need if you have thought through your business strategy.
4. Keep You On Track
During the start up stage of your business, there will be times when you are exhausted, frustrated, and overwhelmed. A business plan will help to bring you back to the core reason for starting your business. You will have something concrete that will help you take an objective look at what you are doing and why.

It may be that you are one of the lucky few who have enormous contacts, and will have no problem with bringing in new customers. For most of us, that isn't reality, so we need to think about how we are going to attract new customers. A great business card is a must. About 5 years ago, I was introduced to Moo Business cards. I was amazed at the quality and how the cards could be customized. You can actually upload up to 50 images, so this is a perfect way to advertise. The paper quality it top notch and will impress anyone who holds your card in their hand. You can find out more about Moo HERE

If you would like to create a brand, you will need a logo. A logo is especially important as it will tell your perspective customers who you are and what you do long before they ever meet you. Developing a logo can be quite expensive and daunting. A great resource is 99 Designs. You simply fill out a questionnaire and begin a contest where graphic designers compete for your business. If you don't see anything you like, you will be reimbursed your initial investment. I used 99 Designs to create the logo below. 

I highly recommend doing your homework prior to starting your design contest. Pinterest is a great place to get ideas of what you might like. Remember, the designers are designers and not mind readers, so it helps them to have some direction. 

If you would like to explore a little more, here are some wonderful resources that may help you determine if you would like to take the plunge into working for yourself,

How To Start and Maintain a Profitable Sewing Business 
by Becky Reed

Marketing Your Sewing Business: How To Earn a Profit
by Barbara Wright Sykes   

Sew To Success! How To Make Money In a Home-Based Sewing Business
by Kathleen Spike

Nothing can be more enjoyable than doing what you love and being paid to do it. But, the person who succeeds is the person who is prepared. 

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Pepernoot Coat From Waffle Patterns/My Next Sew Along For Sew News

When I first came back to Chicago after living in Houston, Texas for 6 years, I had 1 coat...1, and it was what I would now call a fall coat. That first winter, we had temperatures in the 70's on Christmas day. I remember thinking,"this isn't so bad, I can do this." Well, within a month, I was standing on the el platform, waiting for my train and thinking that I was going to die, literally die. I was that cold. Now I have a closet full of coats, a coat for rain, a couple of coats for spring, a couple of coats for fall, and a number of coats for the winter. The day that I stood on that el platform freezing to death, like Scarlet O'Hara who vowed she would never go hungry again, (from the movie Gone With The Wind), I vowed that I would never be so cold ever again. If need be, I could give up a lot of things in my wardrobe, but not my coats!  

When Sew News asked me to do another year of sew along articles, they asked me to choose a number of patterns that I might like to work with. I absolutely adore Yuki from Waffle Patterns. I love her style, and I love her patterns, so I was especially excited when Sew News took me up on my suggestion of Yuki's Pepernoot Hooded Coat. Yuki's version is intended for winter with the fur trimmed hood and the heavier wool fabric.
I bet you recognize the fabric I used! Since Yuki showed a winter version, I thought it would be fun to show more of a spring/fall version of the coat. But if you live in a warmer climate, this might suffice as a winter coat. I cannot wait to start wearing this coat!
It has a front hidden zipper placket. You might think that the zipper will be a little intimidating. During the sew along, we'll walk through it and I know you will have a beautiful application. 
Just a note on the zipper that I used. This is one that actually seals when zipped up, so no air gets through. Another nice aspect of the zipper is that you don't see the zipper teeth, so it's a very clean finish on the outside. As we approach the sew along, I'll give you more info on the zipper.
The pattern features a fabulous hood. I really like how it is drafted. It's a 3-piece pattern, so when the hood is up, it lays smoothly over the top of the head.  
When not in use, the hood lays beautifully across the back.
The coat features front and back yokes. I accented the yokes with piping.   
Such a pretty look across the back.
The pockets are actually a patch pocket with a zipper detail. Again, the zipper may seem a little intimidating, but we'll walk through it step by step. 
The sleeves are a 2-piece sleeve pattern and feature tabs. The tabs are not functional, although, you could always add a buttonhole if you wish.  
The coat is fully lined and comes with a separate lining pattern. I had this fun piece of silk that I used for my lining. I always enjoy adding something a little unexpected :) 
Waffle patterns are PDF patterns. I know that a few of you are cringing at the thought, but no need. Yuki has designed her patterns so that when you receive the file, you can choose the size you wish, so no going blind trying to follow the line for your size. The patterns also come with a copy shop option. Just download the pattern to a stick, stop by the copy shop and have them print it off on one of their big machines. No taping, no printing out tons of sheets at home. But that option is available, so if you like printing at home and you don't mind taping, have at it!  
Once you do receive your pattern, please pay close attention to the sizing. There is quite a bit of ease in the patterns. 
So, I have a question for you, for the sew along, would you like to see me do zip out faux fur lining? I think it might be rather fun. 

I have not received the start date of the sew along, but I should have it in the next day or two. I have a feeling it will probably be in February. If you think you might like to sew along with me, and make a fabulous coat, hop over to Waffle patterns and pick up your pattern. You can find it HERE.
Yuki has a new coat pattern that you might like to take a look at, she's calling it the Yuzu Raglan Coat. It's a little like a pea coat with raglan sleeves. I really like the high collar and the overall shape of the coat. You can find it HERE.
I'm really looking forward to the Pepernoot sew along. As soon as I know a little more, I'll let you know.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Wednesday Showcase

Our first Wednesday Showcase post for 2016!!! Amazing, I've been doing the Wednesday Showcase posts for at least 3 years, and I've yet to grow tired of them. There are just so many of you all over the world doing such wonderful work and you have such interesting lives too. What a pleasure and a joy to get to know you.

First up is Barbara Jane of  http://barbarajanemade.com/. She's not afraid to take on any challenge and she loves a little whimsy too. Check out this fabulous pair of pineapple jeans. What fun!!!

Barbara says that she absolutely loves to sew and learn new techniques, like making this lovely Alabama Chanin top. 
I included this picture, she made the skirt, but I just love the mix of patterns. So pretty! 
Barbara called this her wallpaper dress. I beg to disagree...this is not a gal that melts into the wall :) 
Be sure to pop over and check out Barbara's blog. You'll find lots of whimsy and fun as well as a beautiful smile.

Next up is a very intriguing young woman. Her name is Pippa and she works on a boat!!!!! How incredible is that?!! Her blog is appropriately named, http://beadsandbarnacles.co.uk/ 
I just had to include the picture below. In this post, she talked about the wear and tear on garments when you are exposed to the weather and especially salt. She said that she does a lot of mending, even with people still in their clothes.

Pippa is quite resourceful. She had a wedding to go to, not enough time to make something to wear. Was in a panic to have something for the wedding, bought a dress that she wasn't happy with. Ended up finding another dress, and then decided to make good use of the first and turn it into a maxi skirt. 
As I said, her blog is very appropriately named. In her spare time Pippa takes on making and altering ballroom dancing gowns. She talked about the yards and yards that were in this dress. Reminds me of my wedding gown days! 
She's also a very gifted knitter. Below is a headband that she whipped up quickly. An amazing woman with so many talents and interests. 
In today's post, we went from one side of the world to the other, Barbara in Australia, to Pippa in England. So exciting!

In whatever corner of the world this post may find you today, I wish you a very creative day!
Happy Wednesday :)

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