Monday, April 29, 2019

Monday Morning Inspiration/Dior Color

Chicago never ceases to amaze me! Last Saturday, we had anywhere from 2" to 5" of snow. And, it wasn't lovely, fluffy snow, it was heavy, wet, ugly snow. I taught a class on collar drafting last Saturday, and since the venue was close to my mother's house, I went out and had dinner with her. By the time I was ready to leave and go home, the roads were just too bad. But, in the end, my mother was happy to have me for the night. Once again, there's always a silver lining :) I don't think Berkley would agree :/ He sleeps by my shoulders every night. I had left some of my skirts in a chair across from our bed. My husband said that rather than get in the bed and sleep next to him, he nestled into my skirts, and that is where he spent the night. So precious :)       

This week I thought I would focus on the color that was in the Dior exhibit. Wow, was there ever some glorious color to see!!! 

I especially loved this coat. So simple in design. 

The only detail is this fabulous, thick tie. Look closely to see how it comes out of the seam. Just superb workmanship. but then, that's why we love Dior!

Such a lovely dress. Take note of the fitted dolman sleeve. It's actually a 2-piece sleeve, and fits the arm beautifully.

Another beauty. The movement of this dress is like poetry.

Each section drapes perfectly.

I thought this gown was rather fun.

Sadly, I just couldn't get the right angle to capture the back of the dress, but it was all held together with straps that were almost as thin as thread.

What a fun dress this would be to wear! The drape and the choice of fabric work so beautifully together.

This was one amazing gown!

I saw the exhibit was 2 friends. We all commented on how although there was so much to the dress, it all just seemed to be perfect.

I thought this coat was rather interesting.

I loved how they worked the sequins into the mohair and used the silk ribbon. I would not have thought of putting all of this together, but it works!

The gown that is in the foreground, amazing, a symphony of color. The only piece in the entire collection that I really did not like was the pink dress in the background. In the picture, I find the shape to be interesting. But, in person, it was made of a mohair fabric, and did not look the least bit inviting to wear.

And finally,I thought these 2 gowns were absolutely breathtaking.    

I have 1 final group of pictures to share. I think it will be fun as they are all so whimsical.

Wherever you may be this week, I hope the weather gods are good to you. And too, I wish that you know love, that special kind of love that warms your heart, and lets you know that you are wanted :)
As always, thanks so much for dropping by. 

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

A New Spring Jacket/Style Arc Grace Trans-Seasonal Coat

Have you ever made something and loved it so much that you are apprehensive about using it? Well, that's how I feel about the Poppins Bag that I made back in January. But, I am determined to sweeten the pot enough that I will use it, and that's why I decided to make the Style Arc Grace Trans-Seasonal periwinkle jacket :)

The pattern is a bit deceiving. From the drawing, it looks as though the collar will hit just below the chin. In reality, the collar actually hits above the chin, and just below the mouth. I do not have a short neck, so something to keep in mind if you do make the jacket.

The fabric that I used for the jacket is a wool gabardine that I have had for quite some time. It was actually a remnant that I purchased from Vogue Fabrics here in Chicago(actually, Evanston, IL) I only had 1 7/8 of a yard. The pattern calls for 3 yards :/, but I was determined. No matter what I did, I could not get the facing, or the pockets out of my fabric. What to do??? I had the raw silk, and as I was going through my "collection," I thought, "well, maybe." 

In the end,the jacket would have been too light had I not lined it. So rather than just using the silk as the facing, I used it to line the entire jacket. I love how well it worked out!

The instructions that come with the jacket are a bit sketchy, so I would not recommend this pattern to someone who is fairly new to sewing. The instructions for the pockets are not included in the pattern, you must go to the website to find the tutorial. 

The pocket is a welt pocket with a flap. Pretty when finished, but can be a bit tricky. I used a lining fabric for my pockets. 

As I mentioned, the collar is quite high. Rather than take it out and cut it down, I played around with it a bit and decided that I rather like the asymmetrical look if I wish to use the top button.   

Rather than top-stitch the jacket in a matching thread, I used 2 thread colors. Using the 2 colors together gave interest and an extra pop that using a matching thread would not have done.

Buttons!!! Buttons can be such a challenge. I am so very fortunate to live so close to Soutache. Such a lovely shop, like a trip to Paris without the jetlag, and she has the most amazing collection of buttons. I thought that this set of vintage buttons worked perfectly :)

I have enough of the raw silk to make either a skirt or a pair of pants. Not sure which I'll choose. If I go with the skirt, I'll also have enough for the cute Susan Khalje Boat Neck Top. If I do the latter, I will have the beginnings of a wonderful travel ensemble.

Once I get the buttonholes done, and sew on the buttons, I think I am going to really enjoy this new jacket. It also looks great with jeans, so very versatile. 
Happy Sewing!

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

One Nice Thing A Day/Week 3 Recap

Doing one nice thing a day for myself over the period of 1 month has proved to be quite the challenge. What has been especially interesting, in trying to do something lovely, something that I will enjoy, my mind has brought back some very interesting memories. Some of the memories have been good, and some...not good at all. The memory that has been the most difficult, is the one I am most grateful for having remembered. Taking a look at it squarely in the face has made me all the more grateful for now. 

My week held nothing that was especially exciting, but I did feed my soul, and did a few nice things for my body.

*Last Wednesday, I decided that it was time for a good detox. I usually try and do this 2 times per year. Bowel Detox, not fun, but something that leaves me feeling wonderful.

*With Easter approaching, I decided to treat myself to an Easter Lily. So lovely.

*Friday was sushi. YUM!!! One of my favorite treats :)

*On Saturday, I downloaded the new book by Tyler Perry, "Higher Is Waiting." I will do a book review soon and talk more about it as  I was so pleasantly surprised, and I loved every minute!

*I really enjoy a citrus salad. One of my favorite combinations is blood oranges and grapefruit. What a lovely, refreshing treat this was on an Easter morning :) 

*On a roll, I decided to complete my detox routine on Monday by doing a kidney flush. It may be mind over matter, but I always feel so good once I do this. If you think you might be up for something like this, you can find the recipe in THIS post. 

*Tuesday brought something quite fun...I made the jacket you see below. I still need to add the buttons and buttonholes, but it made my heart sing to actually sew again! 

Rather than do a facing, I lined the entire jacket with the lovely raw silk fabric. I just love it!!!

When I began this challenge, I thought it would be easy, it has not been easy. I knew that I would grow, that there may be some unexpected surprises. I have one more week to go. It will be interesting to see where it takes me :)

Thanks so much for following along on this little journey. I hope it will inspire you to consciously do one nice thing a day for yourself.

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Monday Morning Inspiration/Dior, Part 2

I always find the link between what's happening at the moment, and a suddenly remembered event to be so fascinating. When I started to feed the dogs Saturday morning, I realized that I had forgotten to buy dog food, all I had was about a tablespoon of dry food in the canister. Since I wasn't about to rush out at 7 in the morning, I decided that it was a "make it work" situation. I had some leftover rice, and hot dogs. So I heated the rice, sliced the hot dogs, added in a little pumpkin(they always get a little pumpkin), and served it up. When Berkley took a look at the food, the look on his face was priceless, it was like, "Really???" 

When I was maybe 6, we had been to visit my grandmother. Her favorite thing to bake was banana bread, and she loved to share it with anyone who happened to stop by, with a family who had just lost a loved one, and send a loaf home with us when we visited. My mother considered the bread to be cake, so she would only give it to us as a dessert, or an afternoon treat with tea. Since we had been away, and she had not had time to shop, there was little in the way of food in the house. I couldn't believe my eyes when I came to the table, and there in front of me was a slice of banana bread, and some canned peaches. SCORE!!! I couldn't believe my luck, I was actually getting to eat banana bread for breakfast?!! And, I think that's exactly how Berkley felt when he saw that bowl of rice with cut up hot dogs :) 

Before I fell and broke my wrist/arm, I had gone to the Dior exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. What a wonderful treat it was! So happy that I had the opportunity to go. The first post I did on the exhibit, you can see HERE. In that post I shared the incredible muslins as well as the black garments that I thought were so interesting. I took gobs of pictures. It's wonderful to have an opportunity to experience something like this, but why keep it to myself? While my pictures here on the blog do not begin to compare to actually being there, at least it gives those of you who have not seen the exhibit, a bit of a taste.

Today I would like to concentrate on construction.

This jacket took my breath away. While it is very much a period-like piece, the construction, especially that of the sleeve is perfection. 

The sleeve is actually a two-piece sleeve, but take note of the dart that radiates at an angle toward the hem.

Here you can see the dart and how it radiates from the seam. Just an incredible bit of construction.

I did my best to get an up close picture of the bead work. From a distance, it's lovely, but up close, WOW!

The construction of this little sheath dress is another work of art. From a distance, it looks as though someone has walked through a forest, or field and picked up every bit of greenery they passed. 

In reality, the dress was created with layers of ribbons, sequins, and feathers.

Each piece molded perfectly to the curves of the dress.

When I saw the exhibit, I had recently completed the Poppins Bag that I shared HERE. When I saw this jacket, I immediately thought of that bag and all the lines of stitching I did in order to create body. 

Without all the stitching lines, and the interior interfacing, this jacket would just hang rather than seemingly stand at attention. 

I'm sure that most of you remember this incredible gown that was worn by Nicole Kidman. What a treat it was to see it in person!!!

From the hand-knotted back mesh panel... 

To all of the intricate embroidery...

This is truly a work of art. Look closely at the embroidery and you'll see that it is the tambour embroidery technique that I shared with you HERE last week.

I hope you enjoyed taking a look :) I have lots more to share, and I am feeling more and more like myself with each passing day.

Have a wonderful week, and I hope that something will happen to spur some sweet memories for you! 

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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

One Nice Thing A Day/Week 2 Recap

I found this little bit of advice and thought it was quite powerful;

Although it's something that we want to do, long to do, taking care of ourselves, finding time for ourselves is a very difficult task. The day begins with so many things on our to-do list, and before we know it, the end of the day has arrived, and all we want to do is fall into the bed. 

I especially found this to be true this past week. There was my step-father's funeral, added to the mix was jury duty. But, I had made a commitment to myself, and I was determined to stick with it. 

I began last Monday with downloading the pattern for the vintage Adrienne Vittidini sweater that you see on the top right below. The previous week, I had downloaded a pattern from Purl Soho. I love it, but the small needles were a little difficult for me, so I thought something with a larger needle would be good to help work out the nerve damage I am experiencing. It was! I began the project on Monday evening, and then sat down again on Wednesday evening and finished the front. What fun!

*On Tuesday, I had to be downtown, so I decided to take a little time and do a little window. Such a wonderful way to accumulate a little inspiration. The dress in the top left hand corner below I found at Anthropologie.
*When Thursday evening rolled around, I was exhausted, but still wanted to do something I would enjoy, so I sat down and watched the entire episode of Project Runway. I usually wait until I can watch it on demand and then fast forward through the show. On Thursday, I just sat and vegged out on the entire thing!  
*On Friday, I decided to try and do a little sewing. I started the red dress you see below. I just need to add the binding to the neckline and hem the dress and sleeves. More on the dress in an upcoming post. 
*A friend had recommended the movie, The Mustang. She always seems to be spot on with movies that I will like. So, on Saturday afternoon, I took the time to go and I am so happy that I did!
*The Haute Couture Club of Chicago had a Tambour Beading and Embroidery workshop on Sunday. The doctor had told me that as long as I was sitting down, I could take the brace off at 8 weeks, and work without it. I was a day early, but I really wanted to take the class, and so I did :) 
*My skin really took a beating the last 2 months as it was so difficult to try and wash my face with 1 hand. Last night I gave myself a mini facial. The green tea detox mask was heavenly.
*For today, this really doesn't count as I do it everyday, but it is a good thing, at least I think so. Each and every morning, whether I feel like it or not, I put a scoop of green foods powder in a glass, mix it with water, and drink it down. I became serious about doing this when I was told that I have a high risk of colon cancer. I had a colonoscopy last November and it was the best I've ever had! It may be just luck, and it may be the green food powder. I think I'll keep drinking the green food powder :)  

Doing something nice for yourself each and everyday takes effort. But, the payoff is worth it! 

I hope that my little journey will inspire you to do something nice for yourself each and everyday :)

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Monday Morning Inspiration/Tambour Beading and Embroidery

I have been able to do so little, for so long. Today is graduation day for me, in a way :) It was 8 weeks ago today that I had surgery on my wrist. I can now be without the brace as long as I am sitting down, and there is no chance of me falling, and causing re-injury. So, when I am out and about, I do have to wear it for another 4 weeks, but the best part is that I can once again


It's such an amazing sense of freedom. 
I jumped the gun, just a bit as I took a wonderful class over the weekend and learned how to do tambour beading and embroidery.The first 30 minutes were beyond frustrating, but once I got the hang of it...OMG!!! What fun!

The class was centered on learning the basics and basically doing a sampler. Below you see all of my original squiggly lines. My hand still needs time to warm up, so it was a little difficult to get started, but by the time I got to the line of beads, I felt quite confident. All of the work is done with a fine needle that has a hook at the end. It is punched through the fabric where you pick up the thread, pull it through and then make a series of chain stitches. Whether you are working with beads, sequins, or just thread, the process is the same. 

Me with my hoop :)

I thought I would share a few pictures that I found on Pinterest. I just can't wait to start a real project!

This piece would be so pretty as a focal point on a top, jacket or dress.

I found THIS site. Such amazing work. The 2 pieces below show the work in progress. The outline is done, then stretched, and then the stitching begins. Both pieces show the initial outlining done in the chain stitch. So pretty. Be sure to check out the site as there is loads of beautiful work.

I thought this piece was incredible.

I absolutely love this picture, all the men gathered around doing tambour work. You can see that 1 hand is held underneath, and the needle is on top.

I found the video below that gives a great insight into tambour work. It's only 8 minutes long. I think you'll really enjoy it.

And finally, here's a great resource with links to lots to articles and how-tos, just click HERE.

I took my class at Sewing Classes at Tchad. You may remember the video interview I did with Tchad. You can see it HERE if you would like :) His studio is so lovely, and Tchad is full of knowledge and ideas. 

Ahhh, it feels so good to be back :)
Wishing a week filled with creativity. 

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