Thursday, October 31, 2019

Tailoring: The Professional Way

It's snowing!!! 
Yep, I love the snow, but I feel a little haunted today. Twenty-five years ago, on Halloween, we had a terrible, snowy night. When it snows this early in the season, the snow is wet and sticky, so on airplanes, it immediately turns to ice. Ice can bring an airplane down in a heartbeat. A passenger plane was flying from Indianapolis to Chicago when it encountered severe icing conditions and crashed in Rensselaer, IN, killing all 68 of those on board. I think about that crash every year on Halloween. 

Well, that story really beings the day on a somber note! 

Actually, I have something wonderful to share with you, but I have to apologize as it's an out of print book, Tailoring Suits: The Professional Way. I am helping a friend of mine tailor a jacket. She is so very excited. I am as well. The jacket is lovely and she is doing a great job. She came last week for a progress check, and instruction on where to go next. When she began to pull her things out of her bag, she said, " I have a gift for you," and handed me the book you see below.

The book was written in the early 1950s by a master tailor. Master tailors are becoming few and far between these days. As I thumbed through the book, I was amazed by the detail. I have other books on tailoring, but none are like this book.

The book begins with explaining what good tailoring really is. 

The book walks the reader through the entire process of creating a well tailored garment, beginning with pattern drafting, to the fitting and finishing of both men's and women's suits.

This is an old book, so no flashy color photos like we see in more modern books.

Every detail of the tailoring process is covered.

The chapter on pants has me mesmerized!

I also love the chapter on making a well tailored skirt.

If you would like to take a peek, I did a short video review of the book.

As I said, the book is sadly out of print. I found THESE buying options on Amazon. They are all quite expensive. And, I found THESE options at Abe's Books. These too are quite expensive. But, you may know of other online book sellers who just might have a reasonably priced copy. If you think you would enjoy tailoring, this is a fabulous book. I feel so very fortunate to have received it as a gift!

Happy Sewing!

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Outfit of the Day...I Wish!!!

The change of seasons, be it from winter to spring, or fall to winter never seem to come easily in Chicago. Winter is trying with all its might to make its fury known with cold rain that will ultimately turn into snow later today. 

Poor Mr. Berkley, he absolutely hates getting wet. He doesn't mind the cold, rather seems to enjoy it, but not the rain :/ We had a rather ugly, rainy day last Saturday. As Berkley and I were walking, I felt that he was having a flashback to when he was left out in the elements. Broke my heart. But, the good news for him is that there is no more being left outside, and as miserable as it is for him to walk in the rain, he gets to come into a nice warm house :) 

On days like these, the idea of staying in my pajamas all day long is quite tempting. It might would happen if I didn't have obligations...oh well. 

This is a pretty boring little post, but I thought I would go ahead and share it with you. I recently made a new pair of pajamas, and I absolutely LOVE them! They're really nothing special, just a t-shirt and a pair of leggings.  

I bought the fabric from Oak Fabrics. Sadly, at least for me, the owner decided to close her brick and mortar shop and just be an entirely online business. That's the end of my impulse buying! Anyway, the fabric that I used for the leggings is fabulous. It's the Ticino Organic Jersey Knit, made in Germany. Oak Fabrics carries 6 colorways and patterns that you can find HERE.    

A few months ago, Sew News had a free sew along for the Loveland Leggings. As far as leggings go, it's as basic as basic can be, 1 pattern piece, and that's it. No crotch gusset, no extra waistband. The pattern is no longer free, but it's still quite reasonable, only $4.99, and you can find it HERE. If you are new to making leggings, and would like a little guidance, you can find the sew along HERE.    

I used the Molly Tee from Pattern Union  for my top. It's just a great basic t-shirt pattern. You can find the pattern HERE

I love the combo t-shirt and leggings as pajamas so much that I'm making a second pair. 
A little secret, rather than change my clothes to walk Berkley in the morning, I just pull a pair of cargo pants on over the leggings. Then, when I come home, I pull off the pants, and I am still in my pajamas!!! 
Happy Sewing!  

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Monday, October 21, 2019

The Resurrection of a Fabulous Free Pattern Friday Design

How can it be that 5 years have passed so quickly?!! 

If you are fairly new to the blog, you may not know that I did a post on Friday's that I called, Fabulous Free Pattern Fridays. There were no printed patterns, just instructions on how to create garments from simple shapes; rectangles, squares, circles, and from time to time, a triangle thrown in for good measure. If you would like to see some of the garments that I created, you can find many of them HERE on Pinterest. 

I was recently with a friend who wanted to create 1 of the designs that I had done, the T-shirt Shawl. 

This top is still in my wardrobe and I love it. So very easy to make, just begin with a favorite t-shirt pattern. You can find the instructions HERE

I had wanted to create a dress version of this top, but.....never got around to it :/ When my friend asked for help to create the top, I thought, now's the time! 

The dress was made with a border print fabric. I so love how it turned out. I have worn it now on 3 different occasions.  

In the picture below, you can see that I basically stitched an outline of my body to secure the side. With the top version, I only did a small 3" stitching line at the waist to secure the top so that it would not open for the world to see what I may or may not be wearing underneath ;)  

If by chance you would like more detailed instructions of how to create this piece, let me know. I'm thinking about resurrecting the Fabulous Free Pattern Friday posts. I really loved doing them. After all, fabulous clothes don't need to be difficult to make :)


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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

OOTD and a Sneak Peek

Happy Wednesday All! Well, I have blown my goal of posting everyday this week, sigh. Sometimes, the best we can do, is the best we can do :)

I had a fabulous week last week, such diverse experiences. I was invited to a party that was hosted by a heli-skiing group out of Canada. They gave everyone who attended the chance to virtually experience what what heli-skiing is like. Wow!!! It was so realistic that I had to hold on to the chair that I was sitting in. We flew to the top of a mountain where we got out of the helicopter. As the helicopter began to fly away, I felt a tiny bit of panic and wanted to scream out, "don't leave us here!" One thing I do know is that this level of skiing is truly above my ability!!!

On Sunday, we attended the most wonderful concert. A friend of ours has just been named the new conductor for the Northbrook Symphony. What a delight it was to be there for his inaugural concert. He has worked so very hard for this opportunity. Isn't it wonderful when you see someone's hard work pay off?!!

You've seen all of this before, but to get myself back into the swing of things, I thought I would share with you my outfit of the day...from yesterday. I wore my Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Patterns. The jacket is a free pattern from Sew News. You can find the free pattern HERE. It was a cool, rainy, grey day, so something a little bright just seemed to fit. The fabric that I used for the jacket is a Kantha quilt that I purchased from India. Love it!!!

The only thing I am wearing that I did not make is my scarf. My t-shirt is the Molly Tee from Pattern Union. At this point, I think I have made at least 10 of these babies. And the sweetest part of the picture, Mr. Berkley, my little sidekick :)

I never finished my portion of the challenge that Becky of Trial Balloons and I had back in August, thanks to me coming down with shingles :/ Anyway, our final challenge was to take something and re-create it into something that we will enjoy wearing.

Our first thought was to head to a resale shop and find an old pair of pants that we could redo into something new. Like Becky,the idea of taking apart some old pair of pants that I had no idea of where they had been was a little icky. So, I headed to my closet instead. After all, it's not like my closet is anywhere near empty ;) What I found was the dress you see below. A friend of mine had given me the dress, something she had found in a resale shop. Had never been worn. First issue is that the dress is a little too large. I could take it up, but as I looked at it, I realized that I would never really wear it enough for it to merit continuing to be a dress, especially a long dress. The fabric is a gorgeous silk, and it is underlined in silk. 

There is a lot of fabric in this dress. Below you can see that I have pulled aside the front overlay. The overlay is completely backed with the same silk fabric. So yes, lots of fabric, and plenty for a fun pair of pants, pants that I will actually wear and enjoy. As a dress, I would only enjoy wearing it maybe twice. 

What I actually made is the surprise to come :) 

Be sure to check out the fabulous bag and skirt that Becky made from her overalls. The bag is the perfect shopping tote as she incorporated all the pockets from the overalls. The zipper treatment she did on the skirt is super sweet. In the end, all she had left were minuscule scraps that only a bird who is building a nest could find a use for!!! You can see it all HERE.  

Believe it or not, I actually had to make myself sit down and do a blog post, but I am so happy I did! It's nice to be back :)

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Sunday Night Reflections

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Something Sweet on Sunday/Pumpkin Dump Cake

Fall is here!!!, and I am so very happy. I truly love this time of year, the cool temperatures, the changing colors of the leaves. It's a time of year that seems absolutely magical. 

Family heirlooms have always been important to me. I have the most eclectic collection of things that belonged to my family. There's a crochet hook that my great-uncle whittled for my grandmother. An old dime store ring that my grandfather gave to my grandmother when they were dating. A quilt that my grandmother made when she was 15 years old. That quilt hangs on the wall in 1 of my guest rooms. Another quilt that my great-aunt made when she was only 9 years old. Both of these quilts mean the world to me. There are many other items like this. They have no real value, other than my knowing that when my hands touch these items, the hands of those I have loved have touched them as well. I also have a cast iron griddle that belonged to my great-great-grandmother. And, another cast iron skillet that belonged to my great-grandmother. Cooking with these 2 pieces is like cooking with history. Such an honor! 

I came across a recipe for an unbelievably easy cake that uses a skillet. The recipe said to use a non-stick skillet, but my cast iron skillet is so well seasoned that nothing sticks to it! You literally mix everything in the skillet and then bake the cake. So easy. It's called;

   Deep Dish Pumpkin Snack Cake  

This is not a diet recipe by any means, but a small slice is quite satisfying.

Begin by melting the butter in the skillet.

Add the brown sugar and the white sugar, and stir well to combine. Such a pretty color.

Mix in the pumpkin.

Then the flour, spices and baking soda.

The final ingredient was chocolate morsels. I was tempted to leave them out, but I am happy that I didn't. You could also add chopped walnuts or pecans for an even more decadent cake.

Place in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes, and you have a delightful, delicious cake. 

You can find the recipe HERE on the Colorado Country Life website. You can also find another dump and go cake recipe HERE for a Gingerbread Apple Cake. I just made a huge pot of fresh applesauce, so I will be giving this recipe a try this week! 

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Fun With Fashion and Scrap Busting Too

Since I am so late in getting to this post, I decided to just call it fun with fashion rather than our usual Monday Morning Inspiration post.

My husband broke his ankle a few weeks ago. Of course it was his right ankle, so no driving, and no much of anything else either. So, I am doing all the driving, and running all the errands. I have always been extremely grateful for all he does to help me, but now that it's all on me...I am all the more grateful!!! 

I absolutely love fun fabrics, something that's just a little out of the norm. I shared the jacket below earlier this summer. I had it in the Haute Couture fashion show this past May. It's such a fun jacket to wear, and I always get lots of compliments on the jacket. Look closely and you'll see the faces in the fabric pattern. 

I found the fabric below at Oak Fabrics here in Chicago. I ended up pairing the dress with the jacket. When I wear the two together, I call the combo, faces in the dark, and faces in the light :) 

Below is another fabric from the same designer. I found this on the Mood website. It sold out quickly! I actually bought this fabric before I found the white knit at Oak Fabrics. The white faces knit I just could not resist :/ I'm sure you know the feeling ;)...Anyway, I was just a little short on the fabric for this skirt, so the skirt is a little shorter than I would like. To remedy the issue, I added a black band around the hem. Rather than leave it a plain black band, I bought some embroidery floss and did a little stitching. I'll share that in an upcoming post. 

As I was going through Pinterest, I came across a number of ideas that I thought would be fun to do. We all love something a little fun, and too, if you've sewn for more than a minute, you have scraps. So not only are these ideas fun, they offer great ideas for doing a little scrap busting too!!! 

I absolutely love this little skirt! And it's a great way to use up scraps. 

This is the same skirt, but rather than fabrics, a tape was used to create the silhouette.
Another fun use of scraps. 

Here's the top in a skirt version.

I thought this top was especially sweet. It's patchwork, but super fun!

This is a gown that would get you noticed at any gala!

Another great way to use some scraps.

Wishing you an absolutely wonderful day, and have a little fun with YOUR fashion! 

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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sunday Night Reflections

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I'm Back!!!

After a bit of time away, I'm happy to say...

I'm Back!!!

No great story, I've had shingles. Such an ugly thing to deal with, brought on by a bit too much stress, or my lack of dealing well with that stress. To make matters all the worse, it was around my waist, so the blisters were aggravated by any type of waistband. It was healing, and then...it came back. But, all is good now, just a lovely scar around my waist, but hey!, no scars no proof ;)

In case you are wondering, I did have the vaccine. Oh well. I have not had the new vaccine, but plan to do it within the next few days. So hopefully this will all be behind me :)

I did a little video review of the book Hero Dogs by Wilma Melville with Paul Lobo. My little Mr. Berkley joins me in the video. Be sure to watch to the very end as Berkley gives his review of my review! Made me laugh, and I think it will you as well :) 


Hope you enjoyed Mr. Berkley :) If you give the book a try, I think you'll enjoy it. 
Until next time,
Read On!


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