Friday, January 31, 2014
I've been drooling over the new Spring & Summer Collection at Alabama Chanin. I love these color combinations, that tender blue-gray and that gorgeous nude. And the nipped-in waists and fuller skirts in these new garments.
Much inspiration for future sewing! I hadn't really thought about the pale pinkish-tan she's using in this collection before--now it's at the top of my list.
And how cute are those stripey socks and boots? Cute enough for me!
(photos from Alabama Chanin)
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Basically I went with a mullet concept here ("Business in the front, party in the back"). I took the tee shirt pattern from Alabama Studio + Design and found it to be a little tame. First I cut down the neckline, a super-easy fix. Just cut it to please yourself, as it's simply finished with a strip of binding.
I had actually already gone with a seam down the back, to accomodate the swayback adjustment I needed to make. I left the seam open from the bottom up to the point I wanted to add my "bustle", then cut out a half-circle of fabric (the circle's radius was the same length as the unsewn portion of seam), and added it into the seam as a godet.
For sparkle, and to assist in good draping, I beaded the hand-sewn seam with chop beads. If I had been thinking (which I didn't do apparently until this afternoon on my run, when I thought of this), I would have beaded the bottom edge of the godet as well, for the same reasons. I'll do it tomorrow.
And the neckline is beaded. All these materials, by the way, are from my local Hobby Lobby. Use that 40% off coupon and get bold!
*Sharp-eyed readers may recognize my skirt as part of my "Anna's Garden Reverse Stencil Jersey Dress" from last spring. I found I didn't like the bodice of the dress, and chopped it off. Then I finished the top edge of the skirt with foldover elastic and gave it a new lease on life.
Monday, January 27, 2014
A tiny jaunt down the two-lane highway this weekend blew my cobwebs away. The Composer drove so I had the double pleasures of looking out the window and stitching at the same time.
I hoped to duck into a particularly awesome antique store where I bought three quilt tops a few weeks ago--thinking I could provide a home to the tops I passed up the first time.
But it was closed for the day and we could only look in the window, admiring the cross-eyed bobcat
and the fancy-dress raccoon.
After a stroll down the sunny sidewalk, we got back in the car and drove home, picking up hamburgers on the way.
That's a good Saturday.
Friday, January 24, 2014
That's right. After much thought, I believe I have achieved a perfectly useful dress. I want my jersey dresses to work for everything--housework, gardening, church, going out. It's hard to come up with one design that does all that.
I love to do elaborate embellishment which pushes these dresses up the fanciness spectrum, making them a poor choice for the okra patch.
What I've decided to do is break things up into two pieces. Plain jersey dress underneath. Embellished matching bolero on top. And, important to me, I finally lengthened this dress by ten inches, and now it's *just* right. The coverage, the drape, the feel (this is the six-gore dress from Alabama Studio Style by Natalie Chanin).
I haven't made the bolero for this dress yet, but I picked up this thrifty number yesterday for a dollar fifty. Bolero is next, and will be fun.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Monday, January 20, 2014
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Friday, January 17, 2014
Recovery from this flu has been like crawling back to normal. As I regain my ability to live my usual life, I'm following a loose rubric each day rather than a to-do list. I try to do each of these, as big or as little as I feel up to. By evening, I feel I've lived as well as I can.
* Clean something.
* Cook something.
* Plan something.
* Read something.
* Write something.
* Fix something.
* Sew something.
* Serve someone.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Cutting strips inevitably led to the piecing of another top. I started with a lavender linen dress from the thrift store, and then started choosing other jewel-toned solids (mostly).
I was thinking of the glossy two-page spread under "Gems" in the old World Book . . . .
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Aha! Looks like Clara's knitting, but it's mine! Even though it has cables and a lace pattern. My knitting skills have taken a big leap forward, I can tell. Because I actually understand a little bit about what's going on in this pattern.
It's a cowl and I'm knitting it in the round, out of a silvery fawn-colored yarn that's half silk and half mohair. And I haven't ruined it yet, even though Clara's gone back to school.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Monday, January 13, 2014
Life feels pretty much back to normal (after holidays, polar vortices, and influenza). Speaking of the vortex, I made this wool skirt specifically for cold weather--but I overshot. Too much wool for me! It's gorgeous, though, and perfect for someone in a colder climate. Find it, and some other goodies I've been sewing, in the shop.
Friday, January 10, 2014
The last five days have been consumed by the flu. The week went: sick, sick, sick, exhausted, exhausted.
Right before succumbing though I finished quilting this beauty. The pattern, a quick search reveals, is Arkansas Star (four points, a little awkward). The awesome thing is that all the inter-stellar space is filled with string-quilting, a technique that sews the itty-bittiest scraps together into a larger piece. Some of these are the size of my thumbnail.
I quilted it with both perle cotton and embroidery floss, in blues, greens, and reds. It's bound in silk-linen black (a pair of pants my mother passed on to me). Never did I think I'd bind a quilt in black. You never know, I always say, what's coming down the pike--a week in bed, or a new color of binding.
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Friday, January 03, 2014
Thursday, January 02, 2014
Yet another cake from Jane Brocket's Vintage Cakes. We'd been saving the Black Forest Torte make for an occasion when we'd have enough people to get it eaten--with all that whipped cream and the rum-soaked cherries, it's not much of a keeper. Today was that day.
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Yesterday I had fun with a feather and some leftover fabric paint. The production line is geared up and I have several of these serene shopping bags rolling along.
Find them here--all proceeds go to pay school fees for two young boys in West Africa.