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Monday, May 6, 2013

Alternatives to Long Underwear

 I made a few tops while I was recovering hoping that warm weather would arrive!

 This is a greyish/taupe linen/cotton blend with a very subtle pincord weave. The instructions on the bolt said to dry clean only.... so of course I brought it home, serged the raw edges, and threw it in the washed and dryer! It softened beautifully.
 I cut bias strips and then sewed them into tubes. Next I pressed them and used them to embellish the collar and little cap sleeves on a summer top. I also made my old standby, piping to finish the collar. I had some beautiful tiny abalone buttons that I sewed at regular intervals to embellish the collar.

I made another top of the same style, but this time I cut a "frill" to finish the neck.  For embellishment I used some wonderful orangey/red cotton twill tape that I bought at Britex  http://www.britexfabrics.com/  on a trip to San Fransisco a few years ago. I found a funky vintage button in my stash so I put that front and center.
This is a piece of  iridescent silk jacquard that I bought at SR Harris http://www.srharrisfabric.com/
 As usual I "abused" the silk by sending it on a  trip through the washer/dryer.
 I am not a huge fan of ruffles, but I do like frills!

Sniffle, sniffle

The items in this photo tell it all! A virus made itself at home inside of me for over two weeks and my desire to blog....or do anything else has been greatly diminished.
 I put all of this stuff away as I am finally feeling well....AND spring finally arrived today! Hurray it was 64 degrees!!!! I celebrated by taking my doggies for a walk.  The road was full of other people who ventured out into the world again after the longest winter ever! We Minnesotans rejoice when spring arrives.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Treasure from Emma One Sock

Here is an interesting knit fabric that I ordered from Emma One Sock http://www.emmaonesock.com/
 It is a poly/spandex knit. I am planning on using it for a tunic similar to this:

 I will cut the hem straight on this next tunic to take advantage of the amazing border print!

Pre-washing Fabric

 More and more I wash fabrics prior to cutting out a garment. Actually, I frequently wash them before adding them to my stash. As clothing has become more relaxed and less "buttoned up" fabric that doesn't look brand new is more stylish and comfortable.
Here is a photo of some linen yardage.The piece on the left is unwashed and the piece on the right has been washed. The picture may not show the contrast very well, but I much prefer the look and feel of the fabric on the right.

  I serge the cut edges so that the fabric doesn't fray, and then I throw it in the washer and the dryer.
If after the first round the fabric still hasn't softened to my liking I will repeat the process.
 I have washed all types of fabrics including silk and wool. A hard finished wool that looks like it needs to be made into a very tailored garment can soften and get a little "fuzzy" making it suitable for a more relaxed styled garment.
 It is no surprise that this process will frequently shorten the yardage, sometimes significantly, but the surprises that emerge from the dryer are often very exciting!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Helping the Economy

We have a new shoe store in town. Today I stopped by to check it out. It is really cool, and carries many brands of shoes that I have never seen before. The fellow who waited on me has been selling shoes for 40 years and really knows how to choose the right shoe for each customer.  He had me try on a lot of shoes. I chose a really comfortable pair of black flats to help me cope with the hardwood and tile floors in our house, and then he said wait for a minute and be brought out these shoes.

 These shoes are unbelievable comfortable and quite chic with the aged "platinum" leather and the nickle studs. I love, love these shoes!!

 There was a 20% discount on purses so I also bought a Baggalini purse.

  This purse is great! It has many pockets and it is light weight and sort of  sporty and sophisticated at the same time.
 Two pair of shoes and a purse "set me back" a fair amount, and then I came home and wanted to shoot some blog photos, but discovered that my camera had finally conked out, so I went back out and bought a new point-and-shoot camera.
 Gee, that was a big day!  I am glad that I helped some local retailers and had a lot of fun, too!!!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Covered Button Tool

Here are some photos of a fantastic tool that I bought about 14 years ago at an estate sale. It is one of my favorite tools. I don't use it really frequently, but when I need it I am always SO happy that I have it available!

 This is a button covering machine. It produces the beautiful covered buttons that I used to have to order by mail. This thing is very heavy!!

                     Covered buttons used to be very popular for "The Woman of Fashion"!

       The machine came with a die cutter set for each of the many sized buttons it can make.

                                     Here are button fronts and backs for one of the styles...a half ball button.          
      I love having the ability to make covered buttons in my shop! All of the original paperwork was included with the machine. It is even older than I am, but with the way it is built it is sure to out last me!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Style Arc Patterns

                 I just ordered my first Style Arc patterns: http://www.stylearc.com.au/stylearc/

Lizzie Wrap

Gina Tucked Top

                  There are quite a few patterns in the collection that call to me, but I am going to
                   start with these two. There is a bonus of this free pattern during the month of April!