Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ginger Jeans/Pockets and The Front Fly

I'm an early riser. I love getting up to a dark and quiet house. When Little Bit was still with us, the moment she heard my feet hit the floor, she too would yawn, stretch, and make her way out from wherever she was sleeping at the moment. And of course, Gracie would follow. On cool mornings, I would go downstairs, make my tea, come back up stairs, and light the fire. Little Bit would snuggle into the chair beside me, while Gracie would go back to sleep in the adjoining room. With her heavy coat, she's not a big fan of being warm. Now that Little Bit is gone, Gracie sees no point in following me around during the early hours of the day. I get up, and she snuggles in a little closer to my husband, no longer concerned that Little Bit may get something that she would miss out on ;) So now the house is truly quiet when I rise. 

It's a cold and wet morning here in Chicago. A fabulous day for a fire and a cup of tea. I enjoy coming back upstairs, lighting the fire and opening my email. Not today, horror of horrors, the internet was out!!! As I went from my phone, to my laptop, to the desk top computer, I had to laugh as I thought about a commercial that makes me laugh each and every time I see it. It's a little creepy, sad...and funny, especially the last scene where he sets off a flare. I've shared it below. Maybe it will start your day off with a smile as well :)   

Now that we've had a morning laugh, or have been totally creeped out!!,  I wanted to let you know that my new post is up for the Ginger Jeans sew along on the Sew News blog. You can find it HERE

In this week's post, we install the front pockets

As well as the fly front zipper. Take note that at this point, the zipper will extend above the waistline. If you have never installed a fly front zipper, you are in for a treat. I think they are the easiest to install, and by far, my favorite! 

When installing the pockets, remember that there is a pocket stay, which I absolutely love as it not only holds the pocket in place, but acts as a tummy control panel as well. Both the pocket lining and the pocket stay should be made out of a 100% cotton fabric. I used quilting cotton for my pockets.

In this post, I also show you how to sew the pockets so that there is a beautifully finished seam. Not only does it look great, it's also a little more durable. 

Next week, I'll put up a Link Party so that if you are making the jeans, you can share your pictures.

If by chance you have not purchased a pattern, you can find the PDF version HERE at Shop Sew It All. Or you can find a printed paper pattern HERE at Closet Case Files. If you do opt for the PDFversion, there is a copy shop version, so no taping!!!

Have a wonderful day, and may a little laughter come your way :)

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Dress

Since so many of you have asked to see my niece's gown. I thought I would share a few pictures from one of our fittings. At this point, the dress was basically finished, just a few extra tweaks, the hem, and pressing. If you look closely, you can see that the hem is pinned. 

The dress was entirely cut on the bias. The fabric is a sueded silk. The skirt is about a circle and a half in circumference. The dress has a silk crepe de chine inner lining and then is lined with the sueded silk. 

From the side. I'll do another post and show you the actual pattern. Rather than an actual side seam, the seam begins at the side and then curves to the back. 

And the back. As you can see above and below, the skirt seam is higher in the front, and lower in the back. 

Her fascinator. In the center is a garnet button that belonged to her grandmother. A few changes were made after I took this picture. She had a half moon shaped pin that I was able to incorporate, and some feathers that really gave it an added spark.  

I did not get one picture from the wedding, but they had a photographer that took tons of pictures, so I will eventually have lovely finished pictures to share. 

She did not want a traditional gown in ivory or white as she is looking forward to wearing the dress many more times. We'll see :)

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday Morning Inspiration/Maria Pinto

I'm beginning my week tired, but it's a good tired. My niece's wedding was Saturday night. A magical night for sure! Not only were two incredible souls officially united, but the Cub's won and will be going to the World Series. It's going to be a little crazy here in Chicago for a while!

Yesterday was the day after brunch which we hosted at our home. We could not have asked for a lovelier day. The weather was absolutely perfect. There were about 80 guests who came by to eat a little breakfast, enjoy a less hectic event, and wish the couple well. Just the perfect ending to the festive weekend. 

Pictures of the dress will follow soon. Once I got her in her gown, she walked out and the first to see her was her father. He was so overcome with emotion. He looked at me with tears welling in his eyes, and all he could do was mouth the words, "Thank You." And then, the look on her soon to be husband's face...that truly sealed the deal :) 

A quiet little exhibit recently opened here in Chicago, Maria Pinto: 25 Years. It's a free exhibit that can be seen at the historic Water Tower on Michigan Ave. This is not Water Tower Place, the shopping mall, but the actual Water Tower which was one of the few buildings left standing after the great Chicago fire. The exhibit runs through January 8, 2017. If by chance you come to Chicago to shop during the holidays, this will make a great diversion, and add to your entire Chicago experience. For those of us who live here in Chicago, this is an exhibit that you can visit numerous times as it's a rotating exhibit of garments from her archives.

Many of you may never have heard of Maria Pinto. She has a very interesting story, she decided to attend the Art Institute at the age of 30. Her first job was at Geoffrey Beene. She initially sold wraps and shawls, and then ultimately launched a full line of clothing.

Her new pre-Fall collection is quite nice. These are clothes for real women, stylish and yet appropriate for many body types. My Celtic roots especially like the bold plaid :) I have left the pictures in a large format so that you could really get a close look. Hope you enjoy the collection! If you would like to see more, you can find the full collection HERE.

Love how the squares were pieces together and placed on the bias to create this dress.

I especially like the unexpected detail of the inset on these pants.

She has a number of pieces in the collection with which she has paired the squares. This is an oversized shawl. Not exactly practical, but scroll down to see a smaller scarf. I do love the drama though!

A lovely dress that anyone can wear. Love the pockets too!

Here's the scarf. So easy to do and adds a lot of drama to a garment.

I am in love with this top, and especially the sleeves. Stay tuned for a Sleeves On Saturdays post ;) 

I always enjoy learning a little more about designers, their career, how they got started, advice they have to share. The video below is rather long, an hour. It's one that you can listen to while you are in your studio. But, there will be times that you'll want to look up and see the clothes. So just a warning :)

Have a wonderful week!
Be sure to do a little something special for yourself :)

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Night Reflections

Do not spoil what you have 
By desiring what you have not; 
Remember that what you have now 
Was once among the things 
You only hoped for.

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

I Have a New Hobby!

And I probably need a new hobby like I need a hole in my head! 

Last Sunday I took an all day workshop and learned nuno felting. By the end of the day, I was exhausted, but so very happy with my new skill. Our workshop chairman for the Haute Couture Club of Chicago had arranged a class with Natasha of Esther's Place. We had the opportunity to take a 2 1/2 yard length of silk, apply the nuno felting technique, and turn it into yardage that we could then use to make a garment. My original intention was to use my piece to make a skirt. I've changed my mind. Once I got my piece home, I rinsed it as I had been told, and then left it to dry overnight on my dress form. When I came down the next morning, I decided that I loved the piece just as it is and so it will remain a shawl.

As I worked on my piece, I decided to leave peeks of the silk throughout the felting.

Developing the fabric was quite interesting. I had chosen a piece of sage green silk as my base. The silk was hand dyed by Natasha. Once I had the silk in my hands, I saw that there were also red and blue bits of color in the silk. For my first layer of wool, I did alternating strips of red and blue, which you see below on the left side.

I then used the green as my second layer. I was a little unsure of how it would all work out.

The final application was our embellishment. Like I said, I initially thought I would use the yardage to make a skirt, so I left a ruffle edge of the silk and I wanted a border along the edge. I wanted the border to have an impressionistic feel to it, so I used bits of red yarn, green bamboo yarn, a glitter yarn, tiny little felted balls, and some ribbon to create my border. Finally a very fine layer of the wool is placed over the embellished layer and then the felting begins. Cups and cups of  warm, soapy water are poured over the wool. Once the piece is wet, we then began the rolling and felting process.  

As I also said, I was exhausted by the end of the day, but I was excited about how my piece turned out and all that I had learned. The colors melded together beautifully. I can't wait to make my next nuno felted project! 

This is the very talented Natasha.  

Below is a skirt that she made with the nuno felting process.

Natasha and her mother Donna are the team behind Esther's Place. They raise their own sheep, sheer the wool, and then provide their customers with the best products that they can offer. 
They also offer a wide range of classes, weaving, knitting, felting, dyeing, and even canning classes.

Esther's Place is just a 1 1/2 hour drive west of Chicago. If you are in the Chicagoland area, by all means, take a look at their class page and plan a day out in the country. You'll be happy that you did :)

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Monday Morning Inspiration on Tuesday/Carolina Herrera

I just couldn't skip another week without a Monday Morning Inspiration post. Although it's no longer Monday, inspiration is good on any day of the week :)

The Spring/Summer 2017 ready to wear collection from Carolina Herrera is, at least in my opinion, spectacular. There's just so much that I love about it. She has taken very basic fabrics like denim and gingham and made them over the top gorgeous. I've left the pictures their original size as I wanted you to really be able to see the details.

Love the draping and the top-stitching on this denim gown.    

I'm in love with this blouse.

Love the tied sleeves.

Beautiful use of stripes.

Another great use of stripes. This looks like a striped denim.

This isn't your grandmother's gingham!

Another fabulous sleeve.

I even love what Ms. Herrera is wearing. Take a close look at the pockets. Simply sensational. Oh, and the belt!!!

There's so much more to this collection. I just pulled out a few of my favorite pieces. I've added the video below so you can see the clothes move and enjoy the rest of the collection. It's just a little over 11 minutes long. Well worth the time :)

Hope you enjoyed the pieces as much as I did!

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Ginger Jeans Sew Along Begins!

Just wanted to let you all know that my first post for the sew along is upon the Sew News blog and you can find it HERE.

This week we talk a little more about the jeans and some of the subtle details that make them so very special, like the curve of the back pockets.

We also talk about notions, like the proper zippers, needles and thread.

If you would prefer not to shop, Heather has put together a nice package of the notions that you will need. It includes a metal zipper, rivets, jean buttons, and denim needles. You can find the package HERE.

Heather has also put together a wonderful Ebook on sewing your own jeans. One chapter is devoted to fitting and pattern adjustments. The Ebook has some fun extras like;

Inserting ankle zippers
Turning your skinny jeans into flared jeans

You can find the Ebook HERE. I think it's a great addition for your jean sewing toolbox.  

So pop over to the Sew News blog, check out the post and by all means gather your supplies so we can get started on our jeans next week!

If by chance you have not purchased your pattern, you can find it HERE at Shop Sew It All.

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