Chiffon, Cotton, Ruffles and Dots

Simp2IMG_4609Yes, this post is going out just under the wire before we move in to 2017.   This will conclude another wonderful year of sewing experiences.   I can’t imagine what I would do if I didn’t have this great hobby/skill to rely on for a creative and useful outlet.  I am grateful to my sewing group that meets regularly so that we can maintain our friendships, sharpen our skills and share information.   There are so many patterns, techniques and challenges out there to conquer for 2017.  I also can’t wait to discover more creative people, wonderful blogs, instructional tutorials and places to visit in the new year.

Moving on…..polka dots, chiffon and a hi-low hemline sum up this quick post.   Oh, and a butt ruffle.  Every once in a while, I’m in the mood for a polka dot print.  I prefer a random or scattered dot, but this one caught my eye and seemed different because of the subtle cross-hatch design.  While shopping at Walmart for other items, my cart mysteriously meandered over through the fabric/craft beading area (how does that happen:/)?   I usually do a quick perusing over the fabrics and beads to see if anything is new or on sale.  ( I have learned over the years to keep my eye open for surprises everywhere. Some of my greatest finds were found in the most unlikely places! ).  So, there it was.   I immediately envisioned this fabric paired with black chiffon for the back-ruffle.   Next would be the sewing pattern.  Simplicity 1013 was the winner!

Big surprise…choosing black again when I have written about wearing more color here and here.  I might as well give up trying to remove it from my wardrobe.

The necklace is old from JCPenny’s.  I found a similar Crystal Starburst Necklace from Banana Republic and the Midnight Crystal Necklace from J. Crew as possible alternatives.

Simplicity 1013, View C

Simplicity 1013, View C

I cut out View C in a size 14.  Unfortunately, the cotton doesn’t have any stretch to it, which could have been an overall game changer for this shirt.  The chiffon was from my stash, but any sheer black fabric would work.  I wasn’t sure how the butt ruffle, butt flap, etc., would actually look on my rear.  ( A dark fabric, for sure ).  Turns out, there is enough fabric to move freely and it doesn’t ride up.  I was hoping it would fit as loosely as it looks on the slender models……..but nope.
Simp1013 5IMG_4558

Butt ruffle from the side

Butt ruffle from the side

As you can see, the ruffle is longer in the back. I think if it had been shorter, this pattern would not have caught my eye at all.

Simplicity 1013 with Bias Pockets

Simplicity 1013 with Bias Pockets

Here is a glimpse of the pockets I added on top of the sewn bust darts.   I cut the pockets out on the bias because I thought it would add a little interest with the subtle plaid hatching going on with the polka dots.    After the fact, my thoughts on the pockets:

A) I’m not sure I should have added the pockets since the fabric is quite busy.

B) The pockets flatten the dart a bit, defeating the purpose of a nice curved shape over the bust.   They also made the bust area stiff by adding extra fabric, creating this tent-like front.

C) I’m not sure they added any aesthetic or practical appeal to the shirt.  I’m certainly won’t be putting anything in the them.  Oh well, I will still wear it knowing that I’m not in love with the pocket addition.

Checking the fit by waving to my neighbor

Checking the fit by waving to my neighbor

I like the look of a fitted button up, but compared to knits, they feel confining.   I suppose the next step would be to wear shirts that are bigger, but then it’s easy to slip down into Frump Land. This shirt fits a little tight through the shoulders and if I reach out, the sleeves ride up a bit.  I might go up a size which I often do with fitted shirts.  Another solution is to fold up the sleeves or turn them up and in place with the buttoned tab (view B).

Over all, it is a nice shirt and I will probably make it again.   I would consider making it again but make view D with the pleated back even though I have loads of patterns in my sewing queue.  If I run across another inspiring fabric, maybe I will give it a go.

A similar style shirt comes to mind;  the Archer Shirt by Grainline Studios.  The back ruffle seam is a bit lower which may not be suitable for my ample rump curvaceousness…

Archer Shirt from Grainline

Archer Shirt from Grainline Studios

The Archer has more pattern pieces overall and may not be able to be sewn up as quickly as the Simplicity 1013 shirt.

I may look for copy the fabric combinations on the pattern envelope for inspiration.  The back piece on the Simplicity pattern only takes 5/8 yd, so it could be a feature for a fancy shear or busting out a small piece from your fabric stash….maybe a plaid?

Would you be willing to taking a risk on making a back flap ruffle shirt?

May your 2017 be filled with successful sewing endeavors!

-Dana

Santa’s Quote for Crafters

Santa's thoughts on crafter's rooms

Santa’s thoughts

Here is a little Christmas humor for the crafters out there….enjoy and pass it along.
Twas the night before Christmas, I’m decorating the tree.
I’m wondering what Santa will bring just for me.
Could it be fat quarters or a pattern or lace?
Or a quilt kit, I said, with a smile on my face.
And that’s when I heard him, “Hi Santa” I said.
“You know, good old broads should be in their beds”.
“I know I should Santa, and now I’ve been caught.
 But I was just so excited to see what you brought.”
 “Well, let’s take a look in this room where you work.”
 He shook his head quickly, and left with a jerk.
 I heard him exclaim as he put it in gear,
 “You’ve got enough crap, I’ll see you next year.
                                                             author–Unknown

A Sewing Thimble Collection from Around the World

No garment posts today, but I do have a sewing related slideshow for you.  (If you don’t see the slideshow on your phone, click HERE). This post is a quick look at my sewing thimble collection.  You aren’t yawning right now are you? Give it a try. It may not be one of the most exciting posts you’ve ever read.  Some of you, however, may find the uniqueness of the thimbles and some history to be pretty cool!  I thought so. Happy to share….

Arizona Cacti: 'Barrel Cactus, Saguaro, Prickly Pear'

Arizona Cacti: ‘Barrel Cactus, Saguaro, Prickly Pear’

Above is on of my less expensive yet kitchy thimbles. I had to have one from Arizona.

If you are a sewist, then you have probably done a little hand sewing to fasten a button to a shirt or hemmed a skirt.  It only takes once to have the back end of a needle pierce your finger to have you rummaging around to find a thimble.  Pushing the needle through a thick fabrics can cause some serious fingertip pain.

Known as a “thumb shield”, sewing thimbles date back 2500 years ago and found in the ruins in Pompeii, Rome.  The first thimbles were  made out of bone and leather and were present in every culture.  My thimbles are not that old!  My oldest thimble is the gold ‘Edith’ that I calculate may be about 100 years old.  It belonged to my maternal grandmother’s aunt.  Now, that’s pretty special. I have a mixed assortment made out of silver and gold metals, wood, and porcelain.  Thanks to my mom and her many travels, many of these little treasure are representative of countries around the world.

Sewing Thimble from the Imperial Museum

‘Make Do and Mend’ Sewing Thimble from the Imperial Museum, London, England

Above is a porcelain thimble that states “Make Do and Mend” which was a popular slogan after World War II.  Great efforts were made to salvage, remake, repair and conserve textiles and clothing during this time.  Here is more to read about the Make Do and Mend time period.

According to this article I am called a digitabulist.  There is more to read about sewing thimble history here. and here.
Here is another site that provides a great look at antique and vintage sewing thimbles.  Check out Pinterest and Ebay if you want to see more or start your own collection.

Puppy in a thimble ornament

Puppy in a thimble ornament

Here is a Christmas ornament that was given to me as a gift…a pup in a thimble.

See the tail?

See the tail?

Sterling silver bird pincushion

Sterling silver bird pincushion

This little bird pincushion keeps company with the thimbles.  It is carved sterling silver with a velvet pincushion back.  Little bird is big on the cute factor, but little on functionality.

In this recent societal effort to pare down and minimize our ‘stuff’, acquiring a collection of sewing related items doesn’t seem to be a popular idea.  I’m not hoarder; I’m a collector with my thimbles out on display……

sewing-meme

Thimbles in view

Thimbles in view

My thimbles hang on the wall in this great mirrored glass and wood display frame on my sewing room wall.  I don’t use any of these for my hand sewing – I use the ugly cheap one from JoAnn’s!

Do you have a sewing paraphernalia collection of some kind?   How about miniature sewing machines perhaps or scissors of all types?  Leave a comment.  I’d love to hear about it.

-Dana

Simplicity 2153 Silly Putty Jacket

Tried and True Simplicity 2153

Tried and True Simplicity 2153

Am I dating myself if I ask you about the color of Silly Putty?  You know, the dirty, well-loved Silly Putty after it has been used on newsprint a few times.  Looks a little gross, but it provided lots of fun for me when I was a kid….and there is interesting history of the gooey stuff to read here.   And if you can’t get enough, put in Silly Putty in Google images to see the many playful uses of this stuff.

The dirty, well-used Silly Putty

The dirty, well-used Silly Putty

Anyway, when I see this pinkish-brown color I think of Silly Putty and I happen to love it.   Here is another version from the same pattern green jacket I made here with a few changes.
I absolutely love this OOP Simplicity 2153 pattern.   It is still available for sale on various sites on the web.  I have plans to make this up in a khaki twill fabric to have a safari-like vest or jacket.  My favorite part of the jacket is the length which means my hands fit comfortably into the pockets and that it covers my rear.  A definite plus in my book.

Bum Coverage

Bum Coverage

The fabric is a linen and rayon blend, which means that it gets a rumpled look but it breathes well. It is also lightweight, which is important for layering and living in the desert.   If I need more warmth, adding a scarf usually does the trick.

Silly Putty Back View

Silly Putty Back View

In the above picture, the jacket looks like it has white splotches all over it, but it is just shadows.  It is roomy without looking too big.  I made a size 14.

Below is an up close shot of the pockets with the selvedges sewn around the tops of the pockets.   This was a different approach than with the olive version.  I tried to achieve a worn in look that didn’t look too formal or fussy, not that this would ever look like a formal jacket, but I wanted to be able to pull out of the closet, put it on and go.
Pockets IMG_4383

Collar Ties

Collar Ties

Above, you can see that I used the selvedge and incorporated it into the pocket and collar.  I always look at the selvedges of the fabrics I purchase and see how they hold up during the laundering phase.  If they survive and have an appealing look, I experiment with ways to include them into the garment.  The collar contains elastic in the outer edge and is sewn to the ties.  I won’t be cinching it up so leaving it this way just makes the collar stand up, stay in place and ready for wear.

Inside elastic casing with bias tape

Inside elastic casing with bias tape

I purchased my zipper for the olive jacket and this jacket from ZipperShipper.  They have a great selection, good prices and fast shipping.  I guessed on the ‘medium brown’ color knowing it wouldn’t be a perfect match for this weird shade of brown,  but it works and the quality of the zipper is great.

Elastic casing made with bias tape

Elastic casing made with bias tape

Something I repeated from the olive green jacket was the elastic waist casing.   I pulled the elastic to a comfortable measurement, attached the ties and then knotted them.  This means that I can grab the coat and GO.  No fussing about with a fidgety waist drawstring.  I can always count on the elastic gathering evenly.

Possible accessories

Possible accessories

If I want to add a little more interest, I have a me-made necklace I made out of acrylic beads or a scarf to pair with it.

Optional additions

Optional additions

Finished product

Finished product

There is a reason why a M-65 Army utility jacket like this has been so popular over the years for military, fishing, hunting and fashion.  I get it!  It provides pockets galore, no-fuss practical style and if you happen to sew, it can be made up in many types of fabric.  If you happen to be interested in the history of such a jacket, here is an article worth reading.

Thanks for stopping by and happy sewing.

-Dana

 

 

Sew Creative, L’Toffe Fabrics

Sew Creative store sign, Ashland,Oregon

Sew Creative store sign, Ashland, Oregon

Fun with a jean jacket

Fun with a jean jacket

If your sewing skills drift from garments to quilts to crafts, you will enjoy stepping into Sew Creative in Ashland, Oregon.  Since I have a love for sewing garments, I have chosen to let others perfect the quilting skills while I continue to master fabric manipulation on the human form. That being said, I find myself drawn to quilt stores in my travels because I love the merchandising, colors, quilts on display, kits for sale and being in a sewing related environment. It helps if the quilt stores carry any drapey rayons or garment-ish fabrics. Sometimes there is a cotton I can’t resist. There is also the tug to support the smaller, locally owned shops in some way if I can.

Kits for Sale, SewCreative

Kits for Sale, SewCreative

A great example of great merchandising

A great example of great merchandising

Don’t you love that modern square quilt?  How about the one on the wall?  I truly appreciate the time, artistry and perseverance to complete beautiful quilts of all kinds.  I think I have mentioned my impatient nature in previous posts which means that I love to whip up a quick tee or dress to scratch that immediate gratification itch.

Store samplings

Store samplings

License plate art

License plate art in the window display

Also on Main Street in Ashland was a fabric store called  Fabric of Vision.  It is closed now at the time of this writing and I’m bummed.  It was a great store featuring garment fabrics, patterns and notions and beautifully merchandised.  The owner closed it in January 2016.   I won’t post the pictures I had because it makes me sad and I would be torturing you with a place you can’t visit anymore.  Instead, I will move on to another fabrics store, L’Etoffe Fabrics located in Springfield, Oregon near Eugene.  The Contact page provides a map.

L'Etoffe, Springfield, Oregon

L’Etoffe, Springfield, Oregon

Here, Ina (pronounced Eena) and mom are enjoying the feel of luscious, imported fabrics. Ina was warm and welcoming and willing to share her story with us.   Ina has a background in fashion design and wanted a change.  She teaches classes and manages the many details of the store.  Lining the walls are imported fabrics, displays with independent patterns, classes and sample garments to tempt sewists.

L'Etoffe fabrics for sale

L’Etoffe fabrics for sale

L'Etoffe goodies for sale

L’Etoffe goodies for sale

L'Etoffe3IMG_4468

More imported fabrics

More imported fabrics

One more fabric purchase

One more fabric purchase

Mom could not help herself…she had to buy some beautiful herringbone fabric for a jacket.  Anther project to add to the list!    I picked out an Italian rayon that had my favorite colors in it (post to follow).  Ina wrote a great article about how women confess secrets to her about their fabric stashes on her blog here.

Ina and Sandy, L'Etoffe Fabrics

Ina and Sandy, L’Etoffe Fabrics

While we were there,  Sandy Ericson, the producer of Center for Pattern Designwebsite, dropped by. Sandy provides a wealth of information on her site to further develop pattern designing skills. Videos and free resources are just a click away.

So there you have it. Oregon destinations worth your time. If you didn’t get a chance to read about my time with Diane Ericson (no relation to Sandy Ericson that I know of) click here to read my previous post. These Oregon ladies are talented, welcoming and knowledgeable.

Thanks for reading. Please comment and/or share with other sewists!
-Dana

Surface Design With Diane Ericson

Okay, you thought I gave up posting, right? Not exactly. I just took a sabbatical from blog posting.  I have some things to share, so I hope you’ll stay tuned.  I have been busy with a tiring job for the last few months and all my energy went to it.  This blog post is about a trip I took last November and I am just getting to tell you about it now.   Fortunately, with the support of my husband and family, I have reached a new chapter in my life now where I am working for myself doing sewing jobs for others, teaching and making jewelry.  I hope this post has some value to you as I offer some destinations in Oregon to visit, some eye candy, and reflections from the trip.

Diane Ericson and Dana in the studio

Diane Ericson and Dana in the studio

Let’s go back in time for a minute….last Fall, I was fortunate to visit my mom in Oregon. While I was there, we visited Diane Ericson’s studio located in Ashland and took a class from her. What fun!  She was an inspiration to free up the typical thought process when creating and take it in another direction.  After a brief tour and some rifling through her beautiful art-to-wear garments, it was clear to me that I would be seeing clothing construction in a new way.  Diane’s foundation in clothing construction and design allows her the freedom to manipulate fabric in new ways to construct unusual collars, cuff treatments, sleeve alterations, etc.  To top it off, she specializes in surface design with paints to add more unique artistry and color to her creations.

Table set up for painting with stencils

Table set up for painting with stencils

The table was set up for us with sample fabrics provided different textures and colors to use with stencils.   With Diane’s easy going approach, she gave clear suggestions and instructions of how to hold the sponge just right, how much paint to use and how to finesse the touch on the stencil to get the best look.

Diane demonstrating painting with a stencil

Diane demonstrating painting with a stencil

Dana's attempt at surface design

Dana’s attempt at surface design

Stenciling around buttonholes

Stenciling around buttonholes

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, she shows another way to use the stencils…around buttonholes.  If the stencil design is large enough, the button will not hide it.  This technique is a placket made by joining two fabrics, sewing the seams and leaving enough room for a buttonhole and then continue sewing until the next buttonhole, etc.

More surface design

More surface design

It was great to see Diane’s use of various stencils with one garment.  A simple turn of a stencil or using just part of a stencil design created great looks.

Practice of stenciling on half size

Practice of stenciling on half size

Above, using manila paper, Diane practiced the design on a smaller version of the garment to test placement and color.

Studio Merch

Studio items for sale

Once the painting is over, there plenty of patterns, fabrics, stencils and inks/paints to purchase for experimentation at home.  Samples are up all over the studio for inspiration.

Studio Merch for sale

Studio merchandise for sale

Eye Candy Ashland Vest

Eye Candy Clothing

Artistic vest

Artistic vest

Decorative stitching and creative closure

Decorative stitching and creative closure

I had to take a picture of this showing some different techniques of stitching, painting, layering of fabrics and stenciling.  The button closure is interesting and creative–Diane style!

Getting the vision on paper

Getting the vision on paper

Long vest with center stenciling

Long vest with center stenciling

You can read more about this long Ventana Jacket pattern #327 here from a Pattern Review article in Threads magazine.

Double-sided wool coat with details

Double-sided wool coat with details

This double-sided coat was my favorite item because of the shape and pattern, the fabric and the techniques Diane chose to make it so special.  I pulled the front open a bit when I took the picture so you could see the stenciling in the inside of the collar and down the front.  It is a peek-a-boo feature visible when the collar rolls back or the jacket is worn unfastened.

Stenciling on the inside of the coat

Stenciling on the inside of the coat

WoolCoatButtonIMG_4440

Creative closure

Creative closure

Diane shirt from Threads issue

Diane’s shirt from Threads issue

This was a shirt featuring a paper airplanes stencil and fabric manipulation.  Who can resist flying a little paper airplane?  A little whimsy in your sewing brings about a smile.

Peeking at her website, Diane will be featured in the June/July 16′ issue of  Vogue Pattern Magazine featuring Curves and Angles: Designing with Art Fabrics.  You can read more about the article on her sight before getting to read the article in full.  Hopefully, you can get your hands on a copy at a local fabric store, bookstore or online.

Diane’s style would be called ‘funky, or ‘edgy’ or ‘out there’.   Her love for the tactile qualities of many fabrics is apparent in her work.  It may not suit all, but I like the creative departure from what is often found in the fashion blog world.  This is another reason why I love to sew;  self expression is possible by wearing handmade garments.  How cool is that? Aaaannnd, how about some surface design, fabric combinations, creative closures, and top stitching to name a few..?  It truly was a treat to meet Diane and be in her presence to hear and see how her creative mind works.  To learn more about more about the many sides of Diane, click here.

Thanks for scrolling through my pics.  To read more about my other Oregon adventures, click here.

Happy Sewing,

Dana

Rust and Navy Knit Tunic

Front Long View 618WIMG_4356[1]In the spirit of early fall and pumpkin season, I whipped up this Butterick 5925, a Katherine Tilton tunic.  Have I mentioned how I love it when the end of October rolls around and brings a little chill to the air?   This is the consistent time of year in Tucson when sweaters and coats are realistic to wear.  I happen to love it (I probably should be living in a cooler climate).   I also love this top because it is easy to make, uses up some small knit remnants for the accents and is very comfortable.

FrontMid ShotIMG_4348[1]
The long necklace is thrifted from a local bookstore – a little unexpected find from an unusual place.  It is jasper and hand knotted.  I think I paid $12.
As you can see from the line drawing, there are many ways to combine fabrics.  I chose View B but left off the pocket.  I didn’t want to add any bulk at the hip and have the stripe fabric be more visible.  The contrast I chose was simpler than Katherine had designed for View B, where you can incorporate 3 fabrics.  I shortened the sleeves to a 3/4 length which is a year round length for me AND allows for a little visible arm candy.

Back view of pattern

This style shirt and the use of different knit fabrics allow for so many options. I had no fitting issues, except for the neck band which is always tricky so that it lays flat. You know, a neck band that is not too tight, not too loose = SAGGY. Yuck.  In the words of Michael Kors, “Becky Home-Ecky”.    No preventable saggy necks.  So what to do?   I haven’t figured out the perfect formula for the knit neck bands.  Online classes and various teachers have suggested three-quarters of the neck circumference should be the neck band length, but that doesn’t always work due to the amount of stretch the fabric may have.  If it is a low stretch, like Ponte knit or matte jersey, the neck strip will need to be longer in order to stretch around the neckline and still lay flat.  Super stretchy fabric will be shorter in length for the neckband.  I find pinning it and distributing it as evenly as possible around the neckline works best.   Basically, I have to experiment every time.  I like to jot down the length on my instruction sheet to a have reference info for the future.

Up Close Agate NecklaceIMG_4380[1]

Here is another jewelry option.  Earrings are from Payless Shoe Source!! Can you believe it? Never underestimate the gems that can be found in unlikely places.  The necklace is self made with agate tubes and spacer beads.

Necklace VerticalIMG_4407[1]Below, the side view shows how a triangle piece adds great interest (often called a gore).

Here is the Google definition pertaining to fabric:
ɡôr/noun
noun: gore; plural noun: gores
1. a triangular or tapering piece of material used in making a garment, sail, or umbrella.
verb
verb: gore; 3rd person present: gores; past tense: gored; past participle: gored; gerund or present participle: goring
1. make with a gore-shaped piece of material.
“a gored skirt”

Side ViewIMG_4364[1]

IMG_4361[1]

CoverProHemIMG_4405[1]

This is the cover stitch hem I did using 4 different threads with my Janome CoverPro machine. As you can see, the three threads show on top.  The fourth thread color is on the underneath side.

I even had enough fabric left over to make a tank and infinity scarf.  I have a post about infinity scarves here.

Cowl InfinityIMG_4402[1]
Long Infinity ScarfIMG_4403[1]

The tank is from the Ann’s Cardigan post. I lengthened it a bit from the waist down so that it can be worn as a vest over a button down shirt or under a cardigan or jacket. The scarf can be worn with the rust boots, and a completely different outfit.
Here is the 8 inch slit on the side of the tank.

Side SlitIMG_4404[1]

So there you have it. Another completed sewing project and some jewelry to match.   I hope you will grab this pattern while it is still in the Butterick book and make one up.

On to the next project!
-Dana

Earthtone Beaded Ombre Necklace

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Blended Bead Soup

Blended Bead Soup

If you have been perusing my About blog page, you have seen a glimpse of my extensive fabric collection, an now I’m confessing to you that I have the same problem with beads.  This is why I will not allow myself to start any more hobbies.  I HAVE NO MORE ROOM.  To use up some of the great beads in my stash, I experimented with an ombre (defined as having colors or tones that shade into each other) design, putting a dent in my stash.  I aim to inspire you to make something up for yourself or give as a gift.

Blended Bead Soup Necklace

Blended Bead Soup Necklace

The most difficult part about making this necklace was having the space to spread out the necessary colored beads of different shapes and sizes.  I spread them out on my living room floor and started stringing the strands.  It was messy, but worth it.
My Game Plan:

  • Odd number of strands
  • Alternate different shaped beads next to one another
  • Transition colors in a subtle way
  • Audition final layout
Auditioning the layout

Auditioning the layout

Here, you can see I placed the strands next to one another to see what I liked best.

Coral beads featured

Strands reversed

Above, I reversed the strands to see what it would look like…hmm, not sure.
IMG_4136
Switched back. I think I like this best. Just to be sure, take the time to play around with it a few times before committing to the final decision.

Using bead stoppers

Using bead stoppers

Here, I arranged the necklace as I would wear it and could determine if I needed to add more beads to the outer strands for the necklace to lay right.  The idea is to keep the color groupings together as they curve around.

Add more black or white to ends

Add more black or white to ends

Side View

Side View

It’s time to add a crimp to the ends of the strands, attach to the closure and add crimp covers to hide the crimps.  Oops, look like I need to add two crimp covers to the bottom strands.   Rushed to take the picture!

Slide Bar Closure

Slide Bar Closure

Many closures would work, but I liked this hinged and slide closure/clasp for three reasons:

1.)  It laid flat against my neck

2.) It kept the strands separated

3.) Easy to use.

I purchased the closure from Joann’s, but could not find it on their website to provide a link.  Here is something similar.

Up Close and Personal

Up Close and Personal

This is an up close view of how the beads can be arranged–do what you want.

Blended Bead Soup

Blended Bead Soup

It is a great creative project allowing for so many possibilities.  I want to try some other unusual color combinations just out of curiosity…..and to deplete the stash a bit more.  Have fun with your own leftover beads.

Other ideas:

  • Dismantle and combine old unworn necklaces and bracelets to make something new
  • Check your local thrift stores for possible jewelry to use
  • Make a long single strand blending colors

I hope this inspires you to make your own creation.  Let me know what you think.  Enjoy.

–Dana

Gray and Beige Equals Greige

Greige Outfit and Necklace

Greige Outfit and Necklace

Is there a neutral color that gets your attention every time?  It may be certain shades of gray, tan or camel or a interesting combination of shades you can’t even describe.  Well this is mine.  I love this boring and funky color of brown/gray/beige.  I bet many of you would call it something entirely different.  It is another alternative to black, and a bit more complimentary to my coloring.
I scored the necklace at a local art fair and loved the combination of colored stones set in sterling silver.  Earrings are self made by adding a bead to a post finding from my stash.
Back to the outfit.  I found the fabric at Jo Ann’s in the Famous Maker are which means it retails for $9.99 but eligible for coupons.  I bought what was left on the bolt.

The skirt is a column skirt – nothing special.  Just measure the length, add seam allowances for elastic waist and hem.  Measure around hips when sitting down and add 1-2 inches for ease.  I added a tricot stretchy lining since the fabric is see-through.  I copied the measurements of the skirt and made the lining just a bit smaller.

Tricot Lining

Tricot Lining

The pattern is from Sewing Workshop / Ann’s Cardigan and Tank.  I noticed this pattern on Linda Lee on the Craftsy Sewing Fashion Knits online course in my personal Craftsy library.  I think I have gushed over Linda before about her eye for color (and fabric) and the course if a great advertisement for some of her fabric and pattern choices as she describes some great techniques for working for knits.

Pattern Front 618WIMG_2729

Pattern Front and Line Drawing

Pattern Back618WIMG_2730

Quick back view to help you prepare

A quick look at the pattern shown here gives you and idea of what fabric type and yardage you’ll need.

Doorway618WidthIMG_2706

Pumps from Kohl’s (old)

Godet Featured618WIMG_2707

Back comes forward forming a godet (a triangle shape)

The magic of the drape of the cardigan happens at the hip line.

Hipline 618WIMG_2718

Side slit of tank top

Above photo shows the side slit of the tank.  Notice I left the hem edges raw.
Changes in the future I would make:The tank has a modern silhouette with the points but the length is a little short on me. I like the length with this ensemble because there is so much of this color and the proportions work out, but in the future, I will lengthen the tank by cutting the tank pattern at the waist and adding length there instead of the hem. That way, it won’t add more bulk at the hips.  DON’T NEED THAT.

Here is an up close view of the tank neckline and necklace.  The neckline is turned under and sewn with two rows of top stitching.  I love using two fusible tapes for the neckline:  Design Plus Bias Fusible from LJ Designs This is used to stabilize and serge. Then I apply Dritz Wash Away Wonder Tape in the 1/4 inch width to help fuse the edge to the underside.  Then, carefully top stitch. Don’t do this late at night or too hopped up on caffeine!

PS NecklaceIMG_2720[1]

Doorway2 618WIMG_2705

Happy with the results

The pattern is a bit pricey, but if you are a cardigan girl like me, the plan is to make many of these pieces to get my money’s worth. The fit is flattering no matter your size or shape. Just remember to purchase a drapey knit that highlights the cascading front. Do you have a favorite cardigan (or tank) pattern?

My Dressing Your Truth Experience

Dressing Your Truth Type 2 Accessories

Dressing Your Truth Type 2 Accessories

Right after I explained in my last post how I would be making an effort to post more often and regularly, I promptly discovered Dressing Your Truth by Carol Tuttle and disappeared again.   The information was fascinating to me because it was such a different approach to one’s style and how we present ourselves every day.   I discovered it while reading other blogs and blew if off as too far out for me. But I kept seeing it referred to as a way to better understand yourself.  I signed up for the course and have enjoyed the information and yet I continue to be challenged by the complete overhaul of my closet…..and fabric stash.  My previous posts on black accessories are best suited for the Type 4 Energy Types, according to Carol.  I’m not sure I can accurately describe it any better than a few bloggers have in their posts, especially A Colorful Canvas and Forty Plus Style.

Of course, Carol Tuttle does a thorough job explaining what it is all about in the free online assessment course.   I also read the book It’s Just my Nature by Carol Tuttle to gain a better understanding. If you are at all curious, I encourage you to take the course and see if you can identify your Energy Type.  Unlike other personality assessments and/or having your colors done, this is based on the energy you possess and how you move through the world.  It is DEFINITELY a different approach and one that challenges the existing fashion standards and rules.  You may sail through it knowing exactly what type you are.   Or like me, it may take a while longer to decide.

What type am I?
After reading and reviewing the course info, I assessed myself as a Type 2, a soft and subtle woman.  I had mixed emotions about it.  On the one hand, it fit me because I related to more of the Type 2 personality traits of being softer, more subtle, sensitive,  quiet and needing alone time to regroup and recharge.  T2’s need to ask ALOT of questions, gather information and focus on details. We move at our own pace and don’t like to be rushed. I have been this way since I was a child.

On the other hand, I didn’t want to identify with these qualities as I saw them as wimpy, weak and docile.   In the facial profiling examples, my facial features are more Type 2 than the others, and comparing to other systems, my coloring is low contrast which was complimented by the Type 2 grayed and subtle tones.  I guess I have known this for years but did not want to commit to it.  I find myself flip flopping on dressing this way 100 percent because I still love the broader range of colors and metals found in the other types. Oddly though, I find it helpful and challenging because it gives me direction and focus that ends up with items that all blend nicely together.  Some of the other aspects that keep me on track are:

1.) Design line – Elongated s curves, softened rectangles, elongated ovals
2.) Texture – Plush, soft, comfortable
3.) Fabrication – Medium weight, relaxed, draping, soft, and feeling comfortable to the body.
4.) Pattern – Blended and flowing patterns, muted and subtle designs, low contrast color combinations, diffused backgrounds
5.) Color – Pure colors plus gray, dusty, muted

I identified with all of the types, and originally thought I was a Type 1, but I lack the buoyant, high energy movement.  Type 1’s are often seen as the ‘life of the party’, bubbly and childlike. I did relate to the desire for many choices, random behavior (switching topics and projects), and wanting my clothing, sewing projects in full view resulting in a messy sewing room!   Type 1 outfits and accessories are light, bright and sparkly, with animation and fun details. Sounds good to me!

I also related to the Type 3 Rich and Dynamic Energy, but do not have that PUSH that is described that provokes a response in people….it can be confrontation and a bit bold.  NOT my nature. Some other traits of the Type 3 energy are being active and needing to physically move. They have a more dramatic style, edgy hair color and styles, liking bold statement clothing and jewelry.  I like this style the most, and find myself shopping in the Dressing Your Truth store in the Type 3 area because I love the colors, texture, jewelry and statement.

As for Type 4, I have aspects of this type, but not enough of this Type to have it be my primary.  Type 4 is Bold and Striking.  It is a still and reflective energy, but again my facial features don’t really fit this profile and I don’t have the high contrast.  Type 4’s are analytical, thorough, need time alone and can reflect back what they see in an effort to perfect and improve things. The fashion industry promotes more of this style and coloring to the world, even though few of us look great in bright, bold and black colors.  Thye Type 4 energy does not resonate with me so it was the easiest to remove from my list of possibilities.

If you have followed my blog, you know I LOVE color in my wardrobe and accessories, so as I attempt to follow some of these Type 2 suggestions, here are some recent finds that are being incorporated due to their color, design lines, fabrication, texture and pattern. If you want to read more about my prior color consultation experiences, you can read about it here. My views have changed since then after learning about the energy portion. Black and White have never been recommended for my coloring as they are too harsh. I have, like many, filled my closet (and stash) with the black/white/black&white fabrics!! As for now, I have set them aside. The idea here is to present an entire package that is cohesive, unique and reflective of your entire being, not just hair, skin and eyes.

Thrifted open crochet waterfall cardigan

Thrifted open crochet waterfall cardigan

Bugle Bead Necklace from Charlotte Russe

Bugle Bead Necklace from Charlotte Russe

I decided that visiting thrift stores would be a great way to start the process of adding Type 2 clothing into my wardrobe. Here is one of the sweaters I found at the Goodwill as the temperature soared outside. I’m grabbing items that no one wants right now before our temps drop in the Fall. The necklace was purchased at Charlotte Russe.  These two sweaters look like the same color, but the waterfall cardigan has a metallic thread running through it as well as gray/white yarns.  The shawl sweater is more of a grayed down brown. Both have soft features, fabrics and textures.

Thrifted H&M Grayed Brown Shawl Sweater

Thrifted H&M Grayed Brown Shawl Sweater

This sweater is a bit thicker and I’ll have to wait until it is pretty chilly out to wear it, but the fit and color were great, so into the cart it went.  Necklace is self made with mixed beads and shell oval drop.  See?  I made this YEARS ago and haven’t worn it much.  Subtle, soft colors are bringing this back in to the forefront.

Thrifted Charcoal Hillard and Hanson Cotton Cardigan

Thrifted Charcoal Hillard and Hanson Cotton Cardigan

This dark gray is my new substitute for black, so it will be a staple in the wardrobe. The scarf was also thrifted for $3 and I threw it in with some things I was dyeing and changed it’s overall white background to blue which also toned down the other colors. Love it now. I will be covering more about my dyeing fabrics in a future post.

Thrifted light blue ruffled vest

Thrifted BCBG light blue ruffled vest

Okay, so this may be a bit much on the ruffles, but I liked it for its design lines and s curves. As long as there isn’t too much else going on, it will be the star player of the outfit. Belt is a pewter color, thrifted.

Type 2 Handbags

Type 2 Handbags

My handbag collection expanded a bit with these two beauties. The dusty peach satchel was a find at Macy’s on sale, and the cross body is from Nine West from Burlington Coat Factory.

In addition to all of this, I have separated my sewing patterns into Type 2 styles, sorted through my fabric stash, made beaded jewelry and dyed fabrics. There will be more posts on the dyeing of fabrics, how the five elements have changed my creative outlook on dressing and sewing, thrifting successes and what I am doing with the fabrics in my stash. Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear what you think about Dressing your Truth and what your thoughts are on the subject.

Jacket in a Pocket

Jacket in a pocket

Jacket in a pocket

Preparing for my trip to Seattle meant considering some potential rain fall during the time of my visit. My daughter recommended a hood of some sort and that would be adequate. I have lots of jackets but few have hoods. I came across this cute jacket at my local Hancock’s fabrics while checking out at the register. I wish I could say I made it, but I didn’t. It was a commercially made jacket, offered in solids and prints, and on sale. I was intrigued by the idea of a jacket that folds up into it’s own pocket. The solution to my problem!

Inexpensive, windbreaker jacket with hood and pockets

Inexpensive, windbreaker jacket with hood and pockets

Back view, cinched waist,

Back view, cinched waist,

Waist pull cord on left side

Waist pull cord on left side

What you see here is the left side seam of the coat. Waist cinching is an option and nice to have to add some shape. It is roomy enough to wear over layers and perfect for drizzly days.

Pocket used to use for stowing

Pocket used to use for stowing

This is where the magic happens. From the right side of the jacket, start crumpling up the jacket and stuff it into the pocket, pushing it into the corners. Within seconds, voila! Sack-it Jacket, windbreaker folded into it’s own pocket. The zipper pull can roll from the front to the back, so no problem with the zipper being caught on the inside of the pocket.

If you can’t find one at your local Hancock’s Fabrics ( I didn’t find the Sack-It Jacket on the Hancock site ), and even though they don’t necessarily fold up into their own pocket, here are some other stow away coat options:
Target offers a coat from Coleman that has a little carrying case.
Kohl’s offer a collection to choose from that may suit your needs.
L.L.Bean offers great outerwear while still under the heading of ‘stowaway coat’. So if a little drizzle is in your forecast, throw one of these space savers in your luggage and you’re all set.

The next step is for me to figure out the construction, come up with a similar version, and make a pattern out of it.

Have I missed a pattern out there for the home sewist that would create something like this?

Do you have any traveling pieces providing function well as space saving?

Cuff bracelets, bangles, wide and narrow

Accessories: Black, White, Gold, Silver

*Slideshow will change or you can click on the arrows to the left/right to advance to next photo.

Because I love to sew, fabric purchases are my first and foremost weakness. (My family can attest to that!) Running a close second is a compulsion to purchase RTW accessories, completing the artistic vision I have in my head.   Sometimes I resort to making my own jewelry out of beads and findings, which takes third place.   Okay, I have said it here:   NO MORE HOBBIES!

It was great fun putting some combinations together of some pieces I have collected over the years. Some are old, some new, but because the black/white or black/cream pairings are so constant in fashion, it has been easy to amass quite a pile.   To see the coordinating Small Black Capsule wardrobe pieces, click here.

Links to buy these would be futile as I pop into stores now and then (Ross, Target, Stein Mart) and consider myself lucky to find seasonal, affordable accessories that last for years.   The same is true for beads and findings from Michael’s, Jo Ann’s or the Tucson Bead Shows.   I hope this post serves as a point of inspiration to make, sew, shop, or thrift treasures that fit your style and wardrobe.

Do you have a collection of black accessories ready to wear for most occasions in your life?  Do you weaken at the sight of just the right accessory?