Friday, January 31, 2014

Alabama Chanin's Spring & Summer Collection

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

Sunlight on the Floor

This morning's light, on my floorboards.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"June's Spring" Stencil

A little bit of the Alabama Chanin stencil called "June's Spring." It's a lot of different-sized circles, and some odd tree shapes. I like it in small areas, in close-together colors.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Business in the Front: An Alabama Chanin Shirt Variation

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 Little Window Shopping

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

Finally, My Perfect Jersey Dress

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

Ducks by the Dozen

Daisy has perfected a duck-making technique that she exercises upon clay that you bake. Here are a dozen ducks fixing to go in the oven. And we'll bake another dozen tomorrow, I'm sure.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Feather Stitching, Again

Sure, I'd like to be full of surprises, but instead I always find myself choosing feather stitching for my jersey seams.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Chocolate Pudding on the Way

Daisy had been asking for chocolate pudding. It's quick to make, gluten-free, and so very chocolatey.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Inspiration from the Mineral Realm

I continue to be inspired by the mineral realm at the moment. Above, you see Daisy's fourth-grade science mineral kit. Below, the cotton and linen runner I've pieced and will quilt up.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Blue Hyacinth

Blue hyacinth, thank you for sweetening the living room.

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Loose Rubric for Recovery

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

Log Cabin Quilt Top: Encyclopedia of Gemstones

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

Starting a Lacy, Cabled Cowl

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

Favorite Winter Lunch, for Now

A salad with whatever citrus is in the fruit bowl--today it was a clementine and a tiny blood orange--and few chopped Nicoise olives. And a side of homemade hummus and some crackers.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Something So Warm

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

A Quilt Bound in Black

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

Clara Does the Blocking

Clara was kind enough to block my scarf (below) when she blocked her own (above).

Water, T-pins, and a towel make such a difference in the hands of a girl who knows what she's doing.

Friday, January 03, 2014

The Crewel Garden Grows

Clara had to take a break from embroidering to work a 2000 piece puzzle, but she's back in the saddle now. Hoping to finish this by the end of her break.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Black Forest Torte

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

Walk in the Meadow Tote Bag

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.

Related Posts with Thumbnails