Thursday, September 28, 2017

Outfit Of The Day/An Embroidered Lining Finds a New Life

It's no secret that I love resale shops, antique stores, basically anywhere that I might find some treasure that another threw away. Or gave away as the case may be.

I came across a fur that had truly disintegrated, but inside was a beautiful little treasure, a fabulous lining. The picture below really does not do it justice.

Here you can see the embroidery and the red inner lining. I think more work was put into the lining than was put into the coat. The fabric is silk, behind the embroidery is the red silk, and the entire piece was backed with a lighter weight silk.   

And the best part of all, the name of the original owner. 

I had initially thought of making the piece into a dress, but decided a skirt was better. If I had made the piece from start to finish, there would not be a center front seam,or some of the other issues. But truth be told, I really don't care, there are imperfections, but I love it anyway. 

The red inner lining is not super obvious but when it catches the light, it shines.

I was able to save the embroidered name. Almost has the feel of a tattoo. Rather fun :)

The label was still in the coat. I have to do something with it. I thought of making it into a tiny little pocket.

Moral to the story...
If you find an old coat, be sure to look inside as you just might find a beautiful treasure.

I decided to wear this today since I am giving the talk on working with fur. Pairing it with a simple top. Although, I may be making a mistake as everyone will now be on the lookout for a special lining!  

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Wednesday Showcase/Simply Spectacular Sleeves

I am a happy girl this morning, the heatwave has broken, the air conditioner is off, and my doors and windows have flung open!!! It's going to be a glorious day :) 

There was a commercial some time ago, I have no idea what it was for, so obviously, not a successful commercial. Anyway, the husband came to his wife and told her that he had seen everything there was to see on the internet. You know, now that I think about it, I think the commercial was for a high speed internet connection. Remember the days when it took FOREEEVER for anything to download...and we were actually excited when a picture would finally come through? ;) 

As we all know, the internet is bigger than any of us could ever exhaust. That's one of the reasons that I do enjoy putting together the Wednesday Showcase posts. I well remember the days that no one read my blog, and how frustrating it was. So all the more that I like to try and share a little internet joy with others and showcase what others are doing.

This morning the post is just a little different, as I have already showcased Cennetta of The Mahogany Stylist. I also did an interview with her as I thought you would enjoy hearing about her blogging journey. You can see it HERE

One of the many things I love about Cennetta is that she has a thirst for learning. She recently did a post about her upcoming plans which included this array of sleeves from my Sleeves On Saturdays series.

At this point. she has completed 2, the draped cowl sleeve and the shirred wrist sleeve. 

Her first endeavor was the sleeve below. You can see her post HERE. The velvet makes for an excellent choice of fabrics as it has such a lovely drape.

This was her second. Stunning!

Here she shows her drafting process. I had told her that she could get a deeper drape by spreading the sleeve more. If you look closely, she added to the sides of the cap. This will give more volume, but in order to get a deeper drape, the sleeve will need to be spread more.  

I think she did a wonderful job. I have not seen her tops yet, but hopefully I will soon. I have a feeling that her sister is going to try and nab them ;) It's a wonderful compliment when someone will actually beg for the clothes that you've made!!!

Cennetta has also made the shirred wrist sleeve. She has not posted it on her blog yet, but you can see it HERE and HERE on Instagram.   

If by chance you are coming to the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo in Schaumburg or Fredricksburg, I will be doing a sleeve lecture on Friday morning in Schaumburg and on Friday afternoon October 6, 2017 in Fredricksburg.  

In the meantime, pop over to Cennetta's blog, say hi and see all the wonderful things she is up to. 

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Furry Sneak Peek

I am so excited about having the opportunity to give a lecture on working with fur at the upcoming Original Sewing and Quilting Expo in Schaumburg, IL and Fredricksburg, VA!

I'll be showing a number of jackets and coats, but this one I am especially partial to. In my last post about the coat, I told you that this is the 3rd reincarnation. Talk about recycling!!! 
Below is the early stages of a raglan sleeve coat with a swing hemline.  

When you love fur, it seems that friends will shower you with fabulous gifts. The collar and cuffs that I am using on the jacket came from a friend. The coat had belonged to her grandmother. 

Once the expo is over, I will share more of the coat, but for now, here's the sleeve with the fur cuff. A friend of mine had given me the embroidered trim and I loved how it worked with the fur. 

The jacket has a center front zipper. For those of you living in Chicago, go by Leonard Adler on Montrose in Chicago. They have a fabulous selection of zippers.
With any garment really, but especially with furs, a little extra touch is always fun, so I added the trim down the front along the edge of the lining. Now when the coat is opened, the eye will get a glimpse of something special.

I wanted to give you a closer look at this trim as it really is quite special. It's actually hand embroidered. For the most part, it is perfect, but if you look closely, there are wonderful little imperfections that give it that special made by hand appeal :) 

I am doing 2 fur classes in Schaumburg, one on Thursday morning, and the other on Friday midday. Even if you don't take one of my classes, stop by, I would love to meet you!

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday Morning Inspiration/Florence Eiseman

It has been horribly hot in Chicago the last few days. Last night, I walked Gracie, came home and began getting ready for bed all along thinking about how I couldn't wait for the temperatures to change and the lovely days of fall to return. As I laid down in my lovely bed, in a cool, air-conditioned house, I thought of something I heard at mass this past weekend. The priest talked about how we always compare ourselves to others who are doing better, a bigger house, a move expensive car, better clothes, a more successful career, and the list goes on. His challenge was to look the other way, think of those who have less, and then take another look at yourself and be grateful for all you have.  

As I sank into my bed, I thought of the people in Puerto Rico whose lives have been devastated by the recent hurricane, and so many more on other Caribbean islands who have lost everything, homes, and even family. The people of Mexico who have lost so very much. So many do not have a comfortable bed to sink into, electricity that can provide cool relief. As I closed my eyes, I embraced all that I have and became all the more grateful.

About a month ago, I made a trip up to West Bend, Wisconsin to visit the Museum of Wisconsin Art. I was pleasantly surprised to find a very sweet exhibit on the creations of Florence Eiseman. From Milwaukee, her career began when her husband's toy factory was struggling. In the 1930's, she began sewing on the advice of her doctor as a cure for her nerves. How about that?!!! 

When the toy factory began to struggle, Florence's husband gathered up some of the pinafores that she had made, took them to a buyer at Marshall Field's where they promptly placed an order for $3000.00, quite a huge sum in 1945. The company did not make a profit for a number of years, but little by little consumers began to embrace the impeccable workmanship, natural fibers, and the elegant but still childlike designs. In 1955, Florence Eiseman was the first children's wear designer to win the coveted international Nieman Marcus Award for contributions to fashion.  

Those of note who have worn Eiseman creations include the children of Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Grace of Monaco, the Kennedys, Rockefellers, and the list goes on.

Since many of you make children's clothing, I thought that I would share a few of my favorites from the collection. Truth be told, big girls can glean a little inspiration from the collection as well ;) 

The little polka dot dog below is just too cute!!!

Such a simple little detail, but so cute.

I included this picture as I thought that it might inspire. The white circle is actually a pocket. Super cute!

While the Obamas were in office, they commissioned the Florence Eisman company to do girl and boy outfits with the presidential seal as gifts during their term of office. Such a thoughtful, and special gift.  

I included this picture for those of you who may make doll clothes.
The little red dress in the center is the main garment. All of the pieces that circle the dress are interchangeable aprons that would button to the dress under the collar and then tie to the back or side. So it's like 9 outfits all in one. Love this idea!!!

The exhibit runs through October 8, 2017. You can read more about it HERE

Do you have a sweet memory of wearing a Florence Eiseman garment? If so, the museum would love to hear your story. You can leave your message HERE

So as our week begins, may we all see the abundance in our lives.
Have a wonderful week!

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday Night Reflections

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A Healthy Harvest/Wild Rice and Havarti-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Fall is truly one of my favorite seasons, the spectacular colors, the cooler temps(although we're having a heat wave here in Chicago at the moment), and the abundance of fresh produce. My heart begins to sing when I walk into my market and see all the beautiful squash piled high like a mountain of abundance.

I'm one of those crazy people that will actually sit down and read a recipe book. I may never make a dish from the book, but I enjoy exploring new possibilities. 

A friend of mine shared a magazine with me that is published by the Colorado Mountain Parks Electric Company. A skinny little magazine, but it's packed with lots of great information, and best of all, fabulous recipes. Since I love squash, the featured recipe in the September issue caught my eye,

Wild Rice and Havarti Stuffed Acorn Squash

Halves of acorn squash stuffed with wild rice, spinach, pistachios, cranberries, and chipotle. 

The squash is brushed with melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, 

And baked for 45 minutes. They already look great!

While the squash bakes, the rice mixture is made, a combination of wild rice, spinach, cranberries, pistachios, and chipotle in adobo sauce. Sounds strange, but the peppers are the perfect compliment. 

The rice mixture is then topped with shredded havarti cheese. 

The squash are returned to the oven for another 15 minutes or so. 

The next step is a bread crumb topping that includes chopped pistachios. 

The final step...take a bit and say YUMMMM!!!

You can find the recipe HERE. If this looks good to you, check out the creator's website, Half Baked Harvest. Teighan is a celebrated chef who has been featured on The Food Channel, HGTV, O Magazine. Her first cookbook was just published earlier this year. You can find it HERE. Her book is all about living a simple life, eating seasonally, and using non-processed whole foods. I think you'll enjoy her site. 

I'm off to enjoy my squash :)  

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thrifty Thursday/Pajama Pants for the Street

Just to set things straight from the beginning, I do NOT wear my pajama pants outside of the house. Okay, okay, truth be told, I have gone out to the garbage can in my pajama pants. And now that I'm thinking about it, I have thrown on a jacket and taken Gracie out for a quick trip in the back alley, but I promise you, that's it!!!

A couple of years ago, I shared this free pajama pant pattern from Martha Stewart. Since them I have made piles. I love the pattern and the pants are super comfortable to sleep in. I've made them in both cotton and flannel.

You never know where you'll find inspiration. A few days ago, I was out for a morning walk and I encountered 2 ladies who were walking with strollers. Since they were taking up the width of the sidewalk, I had to slow down. As I slowed my pace, I noticed the pants that one of the ladies was wearing. They were so, so cute. By now, they had made room for me, and as I passed I said, "I love your pants," and got a closer look. 

As I went on my way, I realized that what had been done was really quite simple. It was just a straight pant leg that had been gathered on the side. Hey, I can do that!

That evening as I pulled on my pajama pants, the thought occurred to me that I could just gather the side of the pant and have the exact same look. Her pants were just an elastic waist pant, so I thought the pajama pant pattern might work well.

I was actually rather pleased with the outcome.

Please excuse the crummy selfy. I rather like the side drape.

To make the casing, prior to sewing the side seams together, I serged the seams, sewed them together, and then pressed the seam open.  The hem was sewn in prior to sewing the side seam. So, I sewed the crotch seam together and then did a stitched hem before sewing the side seam.

I had some rattail cording that would work, and since this was just going to be a wearable muslin, I didn't cover the cord. Below you can see that I stitched in a casing. I left the top end of the casing open until I had threaded the cord through. Once the cord was through the casing, I them stitched it across the top, catching the cord in the stitching.

Once the cord was secured, I then pulled it up and tied it. The nice thing is that if I would like, I can untie the cord and wear the pants as plain straight leg pants.

One final little note. I save all of my left over ribbons and sew just a bit at the center back of my pants, or pajama pants, whatever the case may be :) Makes it easy to always know where the back is. 

If you decide to give the shirred leg a try, be sure to use a fabric with drape...rayon, poly, silk. 

Go take a walk. Inspiration just might be on the sidewalk!

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Original Sewing and Quilting Expo

A week from tomorrow, the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo will be in Schaumburg, IL, just a very short drive from Chicago. What a wonderful opportunity to do a little shopping, take a few classes, learn something new, and meet up with friends. 

I will be teaching. If you scroll to the bottom of THIS page, you'll find the classes that I will be teaching each day. Below is more information on the expo. I hope to see you there!!!
General Admission is FREE when you purchase a Class Value Package!
Original Sewing & Quilt Expo
September 28, 29 & 30, 2017

Schaumburg, IL

Exhibit Hall Hours:
Thursday & Friday 10am - 6pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm 
Class Value Package Savings ends September 24th!
The more classes you take, the MORE you save!
Day Tripper Package: $29  
Sew Trek Package: $69  
Sew-Cation Package: $108  
Super Saver Package: $150 
Free Admission and Shopping Bag with the purchase of a Value Package.

Register online at sewingexpo.com by September 24th at 11:59pm ET.

with Cindy Losekamp
with Chris Dolinar
in the Juki Serger Studio
Sponsored by Linda Z's Sewing Center
with Pam Damour
in the Juki Serger Studio
Sponsored by Linda Z's Sewing Center
Lecture Classes to fill your notebook with skills...

with Angela Wolf
with Angela Wolf
with Barb Callahan
with Cheryl Sleboda
with Cheryl Sleboda
with Cindy Losekamp
with Connie Palmer
During Pre-Registration Only
Introduce a friend to classes at the Expo and you'll BOTH get a free class! Click to find out how you can enjoy a class on us.
Connect with us
Special Thanks to Original Sewing & Quilt Expo Sponsors:

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