Friday, June 28, 2019

Sew Cargo Crazy

How do you feel about compliments? It seems that some are quite taken back when given a compliment, feeling as though it's not given in sincerity. Yes, that can be true, but I think for the most part, we know when a compliment is attached with an expectation, or just isn't sincere.

Last week, I received probably the loveliest compliment...ever. I had flown with a flight instructor whom I had never met. While we were out, it began to rain quite hard, the clouds began to sink, and the visibility was not the best. I've been in situations like this before, so I wasn't uncomfortable, and felt fine about us making it back to the airport without any problem. That night, the instructor sent me a note. Here's a portion of the note;

"Just wanted to reach out and thank you for our flight today. Your experience and professionalism helped me in expanding my personal minimums. You have a calm demeanor, and you fly the airplane like an expert."

What an amazing compliment! So kind, and so very generous. He has no idea of how much it meant to me. I did thank him, but still, he can't possibly understand the gift it was to me.

Last Monday, I did an inspiration post on cargo pants. A few weeks ago, I saw this picture in an email from Mood Fabrics;

I really love the pants, and I posted the picture on my Instragram page. My friend, Cennetta of The Mahogany Stylist saw the picture, and then proceeded to give me a call. She too loved the pants, and said that it reminded her of an out of print Simplicity pattern.

As we were talking, I looked up the pattern and saw that I could get 1 from an Etsy site. Then I had the idea that we could possibly do a challenge. Cennetta loved the idea, so off we went! 

Here's what we have planned for the month of July.

*Week One: Any view of the pants from Simplicity 5102 using      the pattern without any style changes.
*Week Two: Use any view, but add a personalized detail.
*Week Three: Once again, any view of Simplicity 5102, any view, but personalized to our own taste and style.  
*Week Four: Make a cargo skirt using Simplicity 5102. 

For the first week, I have chosen a very typical cargo pant like fabric. It's a gray/green fabric that has a little stretch. Love that stretch!! 

I think it's going to be a fun challenge, and even better, I'll get at least 3 new pairs of pants out of the deal :) You can see Cennetta's post and fabric choice HERE

If you would like to join us, we would love to have you! Post your makes on Instagram using #sewcargocrazy and/or #sewcargo. Be sure to pop over to Cennetta's instagram page and check out the discount that Mood Fabrics is offering. You can find Cennetta HERE on Instagram.  

For the most part, we never know how we touch other lives, what a compliment, or just a simple smile can mean. Be free with your compliments. You never know if that will be the thing that may turn a life around.

Happy Sewing!

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Monday, June 24, 2019

Monday Morning Inspiration/Cargo Pants

This past winter, Berkley and I worked with a trainer. She was amazed by how smart he is, and said that my job of training him would be fairly easy as he is VERY treat motivated, and he adores me, and wants to please me. I work on his commands when we are out for a walk, kind of a get 2 things done at one time situation. In order to work with him, I carry a bag of treats as well as the training can. The can is nothing more than an empty soda can that has 10 pennies in it and is completely wrapped with duck tape. If I need to reel him in and get him to concentrate on me rather than another dog, a rabbit, or whatever, I shake the can which makes him immediately break his focus and look at me. A great little tool. 

The weather in Chicago has been so very cool this summer. During the winter, I would put my treat bag and the training can in the pockets of my coat. Then when it got a little warmer, I changed to a vest. It looks like summer is finally going to arrive, so the vest is going to be a little too warm to be walking around in. I love cargo pants, especially when I am out running errands. I put my phone in 1 pocket, my credit card, a little cash and my driver's license in another, my keys in yet another. It's a great way to run around and not have to carry a purse. I have 1 great pair of pants, but they are a little heavy, more for winter, so I need to get on the band wagon and get a few pair of cargo pants added to my wardrobe.

I've posted this picture before. I love this pant! Who says that cargo pants can't be super cute?!

This pair is much more traditional, but I like the addition of the rings on the belt loops. Add a claw hook and you have a great way to carry your keys. I also like the gathered leg.

This pair is a little futuristic as the seams and pockets have been trimmed with glow in the dark tape. I don't know that I would do this, but it's kinda fun nonetheless. 

Cargo pants can be made out of any type of fabric. Love this Burberry inspired pair. 

The pair below are a little wild. But,a little color blocking could be fun.

Of course, cargo pants are all about pockets, pockets,and more pockets. I like the idea of adding maybe just 1 pocket that stands away from the leg,especially since I am always sticking so much in my pockets.

Here's another fun way to accent pockets and do a little color blocking. Love the stripe down the side of the leg. A great place to hide a zippered pocket.

This Thursday, June 28, 2019, a friend of mine, and fellow blogger are going to announce a little cargo pant challenge that we will be doing together, and one that you may participate in as well. It should be fun!!!

Have a wonderful week, and make something fun!

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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Sewing, But No Blogging/Towels, Tops and Trousers

Happy Saturday Everyone!!! 

It's a glorious start to the day here in Chicago, the sun is shining, but...not for long :( A few nights ago, my husband and I went out for our evening walk with the dogs. When I opened the door, I saw that it was raining, yet again. We have had sooo much rain. But, I'm very careful about verbalizing what I feel in my heart as I know that times without rain are not something we want. In all things be grateful...at least try :)

So yes, I have been sewing, but just not blogging. This morning I was determined to make myself sit down and write a note. I know that it's just a matter of getting back in the habit, and as we all know, habits are easily broken and difficult to create.

I've made a number of easy summer outfits that I can just throw on and go. The pants I'm wearing below I also did in THIS post. A super simple gathered leg that makes the pants look special. The top is the Helen's Closet Elliot Sweater and Tee pattern. I made a long sleeve version of the top before I broke my arm this past winter. Loved it. Super easy to make, and just as easy to wear. It's difficult to see in the picture, but I had a piece of embossed knit that matched the pants, so I decided to give the pattern a try as a summer top. At the rate I am going, it will only last 1 summer as it will be worn out!!!

I was intrigued by an email I received from fabrics-store.com They actually have linen toweling that is 19" wide. They had a little tutorial on making linen kitchen towels using a 1 yard length of the fabric. I love linen towels, so I decided to give it a try.  

I began with a 1 yard length, and just hemmed the bottom and top edges, leaving the selvedge edge along the sides. I then put them in the washing machine and dryer. As you can see below they came out a crumpled heap. The above picture is after ironing. The natural linen has the most wonderful smell, and the texture is also quite lovely. I bought enough for 3 sets of towels, 1 to keep, and 2 to give. I'm so pleased that I think I will order enough for a few more sets as they will make wonderful gifts. You can find the fabric HERE.   

As I said, I have been making a number of throw on and go pieces. The top below is the free Zoe Top pattern from Tessuti. I am so very pleased with how it turned out. I had this lovely bordered fabric, and thought it might work well. 

The neckline is quite wide, and a little wider than I wanted for this top. So, I decided to cut a piece of the border and fill in the neckline. 

The pattern features a dolman sleeve. Rather than leave the sleeve plain, I cut some of the border and appliqued it to the bottom of the sleeve. In the end, I felt that it all came together quite nicely.

A picture of me in the top will follow shortly. I'm making a pair of white Barb pants from Style Arc patterns. I blogged about that free pattern HERE. Another easy to make, easy to wear pattern. 

Berkley and I will be going to camp! Actually, I signed Berkley up for an agility class. I think he is going to love it! And...me too :) It won't begin until the 3rd week of July. Can't wait!

Have a lovely weekend!

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Monday, June 17, 2019

Monday Morning Inspiration/Silver Screen to Mainstream

After so many months of not blogging as I would like, it has been difficult for me to get back in the groove :( Great intentions, but... 
Let's see what this week holds, fingers crossed :)

This past week I did something completely new for me, I took a weaving class! A few weeks ago, I taught 2 classes at the Michigan League of Handweavers Conference. I had a blast. I taught an all day class on seam finishes and stabilizing fabric. I also taught a class on working with rectangles to create lovely garments. Handweaving is something I've known about, but had not really been exposed to. The more I talked to the ladies, the more intrigued I became. The thought of being able to create my own fabric, wow!!!, the possibilities!!!

When I got home, I googled weaving guilds in the Chicago area and I was pleasantly surprised when the The Chicago Weaving School popped up. The school is only about 2 miles from my house. I knew it was there, but had completely forgotten about it. As I looked through the list of classes, I saw that there was a 2 hour introductory class. That sounded like a great way to get a taste, and decide if I would like to pursue it further. Last Wednesday evening I attended the class, and here's what I made!

I just love it! The woven portion is just a little over 24"long. Not long enough for a scarf, I could make it into a bag, but I have decided to just use it on my dining room table. That way I get to look at it everyday :)

So, guess what?!! I signed up for the 4 week class. The class meets once a week on Monday's from 10-2, so 4 hours. I can't wait to see what I do over the 4 week period!!! If that goes well, there is an 8 week class :/ 

This past week, I also went with a friend to the Chicago History Museum to see their current exhibit, Silver Screen to Mainstream: American Fashion in the 1930s and 40s. What a lovely exhibit! It's rather small, especially in comparison to the Dior exhibit. What I loved is that I really absorbed what I saw since it wasn't so overwhelming. The exhibit will be up until January 21, 2020, so if by chance you are going to be in Chicago over the holidays, by all means, see the exhibit! And by the way, the museum is free on Tuesdays!!!   

I always love sharing what I have enjoyed, so I thought I would share a few of the pieces that I especially found interesting.

I loved this gown! 

Such a lovely back. While I was viewing the exhibit, there was a group of ladies who were talking about prom dresses of today, and how the young women could take a little inspiration from these lovely pieces. My prom dress actually looked a lot like this this gown.

The belt is just amazing!

Another gorgeous piece.

The rhinestone pins at the neckline are just the perfect touch.

Such a simple and yet, intricate piece. 

So beautifully embroidered.

This gown made me think of the Dior gown that was designed for Nicole Kidman. I wonder if this is where the inspiration came from??? 

Simply elegant.

The cut and construction of this whimsical dress is beautiful.

And I loved how they copied the print with the pins on the belt!

Love the pleating on the sleeves.

There was a section of "house dresses." I loved how they took a pattern, made it up, and then turned it inside out.  

Here's the pattern that was used.

This gown was by far my favorite of the entire collection.

So simple, and yet intricate.

The back.

You can see in the picture below how the front was sewn to the opposite side of the dress. I would love to do this!!!

I'm off to my studio. I am going to spend an hour cleaning before I allow myself to dig into a new project. Sadly, I let my goal of cleaning my studio slip by. But, I am coming back to it, and that's a good thing :)
Have a wonderfully productive week!

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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

A Closet Case Ebony Wardrobe

This past weekend was rather eventful for me as I turned over the reins of presidency for the Haute Couture Club of Chicago. It was a wonderful 3 years, but time to step down. 

A few weeks ago, I received a message from the loveliest lady, Julie of Sew Chica Sew. Sadly, she is no longer blogging, but she does post her beautiful garments on Instagram. She told me that she was going to be in Chicago, and asked if I might have time for tea. I told her that this past weekend was actually the June Banquet for the Haute Couture Club, and asked her if she might like to come. It was such a delight to meet her. The dress she is wearing is entitled, "The Dragon Dress" as it has 2 fabulous dragons that showcase the bodice. Julie is so inventive with her wardrobe. Be sure to check out her feed on Instagram. I think you will fall in love with her!

Here I am saying my goodbyes as president :)

There's a line in the movie, "Working Girl" where Melanie Griffith is asked what she will do now that she has lost her job. She replied, "oh, I'll travel, redecorate the country house." This is one of my favorite movies, BTW :) So, what am I looking forward to now that I am no longer the president? I'm looking forward to just being a participating member. 

Last January, Closet Case Patterns had a fabulous year-end/beginning of the year sale on their patterns. I succumbed and bought a few. The Ebony T-Shirt Dress has become a favorite! Below is the first that I made. Such a fun print. I call it my "Another Face In the Crowd" dress.  

Here I am in the dress. So easy to wear as it swooshes about the body. 

I loved the first so much that I just had to make another. I decided to use the scooped neckline on the lemon dress.

Then I made the raglan sleeve tunic version.

I had a very busy day, out at the airport, and then a visit with my mom. I was comfortable all day long!

I decided to do 1 last version and that's the cropped top. I still need to hem it and add the neckline trim. I made the top out of a black slinky knit and I plan to wear it with a fun black and white pencil skirt. Should be finished soon! 

If you are looking for a top, or dress that's super easy to wear this summer, you might want to give the Ebony pattern a try. I have just about worn my out!

One last thing before I go...
Yesterday I shared the story of Berkley's adventures at daycare. It occurred to me that there's a great moral to that story. Because of Berkley's size, he was placed with the small dogs. In his mind, he is not a small dog, and was very happy once he was with the big dogs. Sometimes others look at us and make assumptions about us based on our gender, our size, our ethnicity, our age, our education, and the list can go on and on. The assumptions of others are just that, their assumptions. Thankfully, Berkley had me on his side, and too, I didn't just accept where he had been placed. I ASKED for what I felt he wanted. Remember, so often, we have not because we ask not.
Hope you've had a wonderful day :)

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Monday, June 10, 2019

Monday Morning Inspiration/Whimsy

Happy Monday!!!
I've been away from blogging for the last couple of weeks. I'm fine :), just had a number of things on my plate, so I decided to give myself a break. 

A couple of weeks ago, I shared that I would be taking Berkley to his initial daycare evaluation. He really doesn't need daycare, but I felt it would be good for socialization. I find it interesting how something so unrelated can spur long forgotten memories. 

Berkley is not a large dog, only 25 pounds, so they decided to put him in the room with the other small dogs. They put him down, and he proceeded to sit at the door...for the entire 2 hours that he was there! The facility has a camera in the room so the owner can watch if they like. I stayed for about 30 minutes to see how he was doing. As I watched, I remembered being a child of maybe 3. Every Sunday morning as we would drive to church, I would get "the talk," "now, you aren't going into the Sunday School room and stand at the door and cry today, right? You are going to go in and you will enjoy being with the other children." I would agree, and then as soon as I would walk in the door, the tears would begin to stream down my face. My mother would leave me, the teacher would come over and invite me to join in, I refused. Just like Berkley, I would stand at the door until my mother came back to pick me up. My favorite days were when she would let me go with her to her Sunday School class. I always carried a purse, and in it I would pack crayons, and sheets that I had torn from a coloring book. I would happily sit beside her and color, quite content that I wasn't where I didn't want to be.

I was told that Berkley's behavior is normal, and they felt that in time, he would warm up to the other dogs. I took him back last week, the same thing happened. I noticed that the little dogs just sat around, but in the big dog room, they were running and playing, much more similar to Berkley's personality. So I asked if he could be moved. He went into the big dog room, his tail immediately began to wag, and within just a few minutes, he was running around with the other dogs. Problem solved. He thinks he is a big dog ;)

I have lots to share and will do so over the next few days, but I just couldn't let another Monday pass without some sort of inspiration. I found this designer on Pinterest. Her name is Svetlana Pintel, and you can find her website HERE. True enough, the clothes are not for everyone, but they are so very whimsical. While the whimsy may not be for everyone, I think there is some inspiration that can be pulled from the pieces. 

These were just a few of my favorites. You can see more on her website.

While you may not want a mushroom, or watermelon dress, I think the pieces are great inspiration for those of you who sew for children. 

Have a wonderful week! 

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