Monday, July 29, 2019

Cargo Fashion Show

In a bit, I am off to the second week of my weaving class, and dropping Mr. Berkley off at daycare. He loves daycare as he gets to play. Does my heart good :) 

I am so pleased with my first weaving project. Here's a glimpse at what I have done so far;

Last week I learned how to set up the loom. Wow, what a project! 

Rather than a Monday Morning Inspiration post, I thought I would do a quick post and show you my new cargo pants. I am in love!!!

From the front they look like a typical pair of pants. I really like how the print of the tee works with the print in the pants.

The back cargo pockets.

A side view where you can see the trim and I have my hand in the front zippered pocket.

If you missed the last post on the pants, you can find it HERE. I talk about what I did to create all the pockets. 

As you can see, my pants aren't the typical cargo pant, kinda high end actually. But...so what?!! Who says that cargo pants can only be worn for hiking? ;)

Wishing you a fabulous start to your week!

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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sunday Night Reflections

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Sunday's Soup/Green Garden Gazpacho

The summer here in Chicago started off so cold. I was wearing a jacket to walk the dogs until the end of June. So, when the super hot temps rolled in, whew...I was taken by surprise! 

When I was growing up, my grandmother would do all of her cooking in the early morning hours while the house was still cool. I am not as disciplined. I resort to salads, sandwiches, anything that doesn't require me to heat up the house. 

The soup recipe that I am sharing today, if I may say so :), is absolutely delicious, beyond easy to make, and it won't heat up the house, or you! 

The soup is tangy, a tad bit spicy, and so cool and fresh. Begin with the juice of 1 lemon, and then add more depending upon your taste. Great for lunch, or a light supper.     

Green Garden Gazpacho
4-6 servings


1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
10 stalks celery chopped
1 avocado chopped 
Juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups water
salt and black pepper to taste

For garnish;
Grated radish
Plain Greek Yogurt(optional)

Place all ingredients(except garnish)in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. If the soup is a little too thick, add more water and adjust seasonings. Refrigerate until cold. 
To serve, garnish with a tablespoon of yogurt and grated radish.
Will keep in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

I even turned the soup into a smoothie by placing a handful of broccoli in my blender and then pouring in about a cup of the soup, blending until smooth. The perfect way to get an abundance of vitamins racing through your body. 

If you give the soup a try, I hope you enjoy it!

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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Cargo Crazy/Pair 2, Pockets, Pockets Pockets

Berkley and I had our second agility class. He loves it, but I think I need a remedial class on how to run without falling :/ Berkley was running through 1 of the tunnels. My job was to run and meet him at the end so that I could then direct him to turn and run through the second tunnel. As I was running, I managed to stumble, and I went flying, landing directly on my knee. Hurt like the dickens!!! But the positive thing is that I didn't land on my wrist and break that again!!! Always a silver lining :) My knee is so swollen, but this too shall pass. 

I am so very behind on the cargo pant challenge that Cennetta of The Mahogany Stylist and I are doing. I may be behind, but I absolutely love this pair!!! I only have hanging pictures today, but my next post will be me in the pants.

Here's the lovely Cennetta in her pants;

We both used the same fabric, but in a different colorway, hers is a tanish brown, mine a gray/blue. The fabric is from Mood Fabrics and you can find it HERE

For my front pockets, I decided to do something a little different. I used the pocket from the pattern, but I filled in the opening, lengthened the pocket, and rounded the corner. As you can see in the above picture, I inserted zippers to create openings in the pockets. 

I really went crazy with this pair of pants. I had purchased the trim from Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver, Colorado. Had no idea of what I would do with it when I bought it, but there was enough to run it down the side seams, so I went with it!

I used the existing pocket pattern to create the back pockets. They were a little too large, so I folded the pattern until I had a pocket size that I liked. I did not use the darts, just ignored them and rounded the corners.

The pockets blend in so well that it's a little difficult to see them. I added a snap closure and just a bit of the ribbon trim as a tab on the flap of the pocket.

Here's a side view of the pants.If you look closely, you can see all 3 pockets. I took the original cargo pocket from the pattern and used it on the side of the leg, adding a zipper opening.

You can see the pocket a bit better in this picture. I was able to match the trim on the pocket to the pant leg so that it looks continuous. 

The original cargo pocket has darts so that the pocket will sit away from the garment. I just ignored the darts, rounded the corners, and added a little to the side of the pocket to accommodate the length of my zipper. 

I plan to wear 1 of the Molly Tees from Pattern Union that I made with the pants. There's a lot of pattern going on, but I love it! 

Cennetta did some fun things with her pockets. On the back, she added a solid color strip to the top of the pocket. The pocket is the perfect size for a credit card or driver's license. 

On the front leg of her pants, she stacked the pockets, the patch pocket on top, a small rectangular pocket with a zipper, and then the traditional cargo pocket with the added darts on the bottom. 

Cennetta also did a fun treatment with a zipper down the front of her pant leg. You can read about it HERE.

A sneak peek at my next cargo project...

I have quite  bit of the red and white striped ribbon, so I will be using it with the white denim. 

As it turns out, I really like the fit of this out of print Simplicity pattern. Just fits so well. But, in the end, it's just a pant pattern. If you have thought that you might like to give a cargo pant a try, just use a pant pattern that you really like, and that fits well, then go pocket crazy! 

I'm off to put ice on my knee :(

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Monday, July 22, 2019

Monday Morning Inspiration/From Parachutes to the Moon

Why do we sew?

When I was a child, my grandmother and my mother both sewed for me. Clothes were expensive, and sewing was a means to have a little more. Although it was a necessity for many, women still saw it as a means to be creative. 

You may have seen this, but the story is so very touching that I just had to share it. Below is Majil Steiner. Her husband was forced to parachute over a Japanese occupied area in eastern China during WWII. He was rescued by local farmers, and smuggled to safety. Once he was able to return to his base, he mailed the parachute that had saved his life to his wife and told her that he would like for her to make a dress for herself with the fabric. The story is so lovely. You can read it HERE.  

Once the dress was completed, Majil had a photograph taken, sent it to her husband, and he carried the photograph with him until he returned to her.

In 1944, Claude Hensinger parachuted to safety when their plane caught fire. He too sent his parachute home, but to his mother. Once he returned, he began dating Ruth. One night he presented a box to Ruth and told her that he would like for her to make her wedding gown out of the parachute. This was his proposal. She accepted and they spent 49 very happy years together.

Not only did Ruth wear the gown, but her daughter and daughter in law also wore the gown, and walked down the same church aisle. You can read more of their story HERE

This past weekend was the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. But did you know that it was a group of women who made bras and girdles who made the space suits? They are pictured below.

They were chosen because they understood how to work with flexible fabrics. They were also chosen for their agility as each suit was comprised of 21 gossamer layers of thin fabric. Each suit had to be sewn within a precise tolerance of 1/64th inch. Men's lives were at risk. It wasn't about just getting them to the moon, but making sure that the suits would not fail once they stepped foot on the moon. You can see a video on the full story HERE.

Below is Lillie Elliot cutting a pattern for an Apollo 11 space suit.

There are so many beautiful stories of women who sew. We belong to a very elite group :)

If you have a chance to sit down in front of your machine today, take a moment to smile. You may not make space suits, or gowns from life-saving parachutes, but you are using your creativity to create something beautiful.  

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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Friday, July 19, 2019

Thrifty Thursday/A Totally Free Ensemble

I have had the BEST week! Super busy, but so much fun :)

The highlight;

I signed Berkley up for an agility class, and we had our first lesson on Thursday evening. Oh how I wish I could have taken pictures!! When we began, the instructor asked if he had any agility training. I said, "no, this is his very first class." The little dog sailed through rings, ran through the tubes, and jumped over bars like a champ. All of this prompted the instructor to ask, "are you sure that he has never had any training?" "Nope, none." The instructor then said that Berkley is like a duck to water, he has truly found his passion. At one point, Berkley jumped through a ring, and then turned around to me, and threw his little front legs in the air with glee. The instructor asked if this was one of his tricks. I explained that yes, I taught him to stand on his back legs, put his front legs in the air as I say, Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! The instructor almost rolled on the floor laughing :)

Not that you drop by to see a picture of Berkley, but...I just can't resist :) This was taken on a recent hike. I just love seeing how he has gone from a scared, and dirty little dog, to a true picture of contentment.

A few weeks back (actually a month ago :/), I shared a top that I made from the free sewing pattern from Tessuti Fabrics, the Zoe Top. I really love this top!!! The fabric was actually from Joann's. Amazing!  

Once I got the top together, I felt that it really needed the lace on the sleeves, so I cut just the lower portion of the lace off of the fabric and then appliqued it to the lower edge of the sleeve. 


The neckline has a rather wide opening, larger than what I really wanted, so I took 2 of the motifs from the lace and filled in the corners of the neckline.

And finally!!
A picture of me in the top, and my white Barb pants! Perfect for the horribly hot weather we are having in Chicago right now.

It's a total Thrifty Thursday ensemble, a free pattern from Tessuti, and the free Barb pant pattern from Style Arc Patterns.

The Barb pant is a wonderful pattern meant for stretch wovens. Although it has an elastic waistline, it fits flat across the stomach. After all, who needs extra yardage around the waist???   

It was named best pattern for 2015 on Pattern Review.

It's still available as a free pattern and can be found HERE. All you have to do is sign up for the Style Arc newsletter. So, sign up for a fabulous newsletter, and get a fabulous free pant pattern. A win, win situation :) 

In case you are wondering...
As I said in an earlier post, I was out of town for a couple of weeks. I did have a sewing machine with me, but it started acting up, and there was no more sewing to be had, so I am behind on my Cargo Pant Challenge with Cenntta of The Mahogany Stylist. Be sure to pop over and see her last make for our challenge. Her pants are such fun! My second pair will be up tomorrow, a week late. But, I'll catch up next week :)

Happy Friday!
And if you are in this oppressive heat, by all means, 

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A Pile of Tees!

It seems that t-shirts have become a wardrobe staple. At least they have for me! I wear them for workouts, and casual dress with everything from jeans to skirts. And, I even wear them to bed with my pajama pants. 

There are lots of great t-shirt patterns out on the market. I love the Terrific 'T' from Londa's Creative Threads. This pattern offers the option of a dart, or no dart, as well as a number of neckline and sleeve options. 

    Londa's Terrific 'T' Knit Top Talking Pattern Booklet - Printed

A new favorite is the Molly Tee from Pattern Union. There are a number of sleeve length options, and it also offers the option of bust cup sizes from A-G.  

Molly Tee

I have made a pile of Molly Tees!!!

The basics, black and white with long and short sleeves. 

I especially love the extended shoulder seam that rolls to the front. The pattern works so well for stash busting leftover knits.

Another example with the print in the front and also used for the sleeves.

 More basics. I absolutely love the print tee on the left. Got the fabric at Tina's Fabric Nook in Granby, Colorado. She has more!!!

And finally...
I bought a maxi dress at a resale shop just because I liked the fabric, and then cut it up to make this top.

I have quite a few more tees in the sewing lineup. They literally take no more than an hour from cut to finish. So, no wasting time shopping, settling for tops that are cut off grain, and inferior fabrics.

Hope I've inspired you to make a pile of tees too!!!

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Monday Morning Inspiration/Graffiti Fashion

A few weeks ago, I saw a piece on the collaboration of artist Fututa 2000, a former graffiti artist, and Virgil Abloh, the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection. With this collection, Abloh took streetwear to luxury wear. I was so very impressed. 

Take a look;







The fashion show is well worth watching. Yes, it's menswear, but so much of it translates to women's wear. The show is beautiful and artistic. A feast for the eyes.

Living in a city like Chicago, graffiti is everywhere, and sadly, so much of it is now done to mark territory by gangs. I love that Mr. Abloh was able to take something that has been destructive and turn it into something so beautiful. Graffiti, gangs, lack of opportunity, wanting to be heard, all are a very deep subject without a simple solution. 

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Sunday Night Reflections

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Susan Khalje Boatneck Top Pattern

What a joy it is to once again be able to do the things I enjoy doing. Breaking both the bones in my right arm at the wrist took so much out of me. But, I am back, and it feels so very good! 

I love to make quick, simple, fun things as much as anyone, maybe even more :) But, I also love to put more effort into a garment. I have had the cotton boucle that you see below for quite some time. It's just the perfect weight for summer.    

I have decided to use the Susan Khalje Boatneck top pattern, but extend it into a dress. 

I'll be doing the version with the little cap sleeve. I especially love the darts, perfect for fitting. I've ordered silk organza to underline the dress. The fabric will need some quilting in order for it to hold its shape. I think I will most likely quilt along the black lines of the plaid, and in both directions. I've also ordered a beautiful piece of white silk charmeuse to line the dress. What a dream this will be to wear!!! 

Susan Khalje has a wonderful subscription group on Facebook, the Susan Khalje Couture Sewing Club. It's a fabulous opportunity to work virtually with Susan. The subscription includes all the videos that Susan has done for the Couture Skirt, the Boatneck Top, and now a brand new course, the Parisian Jacket. You can find all of Susan's pattern's HERE

On Susan's website, you will find classes for the French Jacket, Cocktail Dress, and the Couture Skirt, but you will only find the video instruction for her Boatneck Top, and her new Parisian Jacket in the Sewing Club. I think that the videos alone that are included in the subscription of the sewing club make the price of membership truly a bargain! And then too, the club gives you the opportunity to ask Susan herself for advice. Score!!!

I'm off today to get muslin to begin the process of my dress. I'm so excited as I will have the opportunity to see the Dior exhibit in Dallas around the middle of August. Dallas will be so hot, and I'm sure the museum will be freezing cold, so this little dress should be perfect as I will be able to add a...well, I was going to say a shawl, but wouldn't it be great if I could get a coordinating Parisian Jacket finished for the occasion? 

Stay tuned!!!

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