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.

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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”

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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

Green Apples and Green Peas

IMG_4050 Before I get started, I feel I have some explaining to do regarding my “break” from posting. It is due to many reasons, none of which may interest you, but I have been doing home remodeling to one room in the house, which leads to much upheaval in the rest of the house. I am pretty disorganized as much of my fabric and patterns are still not at my fingertips. I have also been trying to figure out how to keep up on the posts, offer interesting sewing projects when sometimes I just want to sew and not think in terms of blogging about it. Believe me, there is a difference between sewing and sewing to blog about it. Since I do it all, I have been thinking about ways to stream line and ease the process. I also have such a extensive collection …(hoarder) of patterns, that sometimes I want to make those oldies but goodies that are out of print. Is that just frustrating to read about a fantastic pattern that is no longer available?? When other sewing bloggers do it, I figure I MUST have that patterns somewhere….

There may be more outfits on the mannequin just to speed up the post publishing, so here I am back in the saddle. I hope the posts will still be inspirational yet shorter and more concise. So I will start up with one of the beauties from an independent pattern company….

Here is the Midtown Trench Coat pattern from Indygo Junction. I would include a link, but sadly, it is no longer available. Bummer! I call it my apple green trench because it is that exact color. The necklace is self made from beads purchased at the Tucson Gem Show. Green agate the size of green peas. (More about the necklace below). It may not be the best color on me, but I spotted this fabric at Walmart of all places and thought it might be cute made up in this retro-inspired coat.   It was cotton, 45″ wide and inexpensive. WIN! I thought it would be good practice (muslin) fabric to try out the pattern. It has a red slub stripe running though it which I wanted to feature on the bias cut cuffs and collar.

3/4

3/4″ Sleeves, Bias Cuffs, Side Seam Pockets

I think I like the back the best. The pleats add so much interest and resembles the back of a swing coat.

Back View, Midtown Trench

Back View, Midtown Trench

The line drawings show the slight differences. I chose to insert the pockets into the side seams, but the patch pockets look great, too.  I made the shorter thigh length (32″) instead of to the knee.  I wear it with dark denim and a tank.

Back view of the Midtown Trench

Back view of the Midtown Trench

Green Apple Trench, DIY necklace, Hobby Lobby Buttons

Green Apple Trench, DIY necklace, Hobby Lobby Buttons

Amy Barickman, the founder of Indygo Junction, partners with Mary Ann Donze to make these great patterns available. I have about 5-6 patterns of theirs that I want to make up. When I attended the Sewing and Stitching Expo in Puyallup, WA, Amy was at her booth wearing the Mod Top and Tunic, and she looked so cute.   There is nothing like seeing a sample made up to sucker me into buying the pattern!

Click here again to see the different ways this looks made up in cotton quilting fabrics. I suppose any other medium weight woven fabric would work. Check out the other patterns on the site. You may find something that you can’t wait to try.
IMG_4050Buttons are from Hobby Lobby, and the collar, cuffs and facing are interfaced. There is a slight princess line shaping down the front. The pleats in the back are sewn right down the crease (my choice, not on instructions) to help keep the edges sharp.
Necklace: I’ve been wanting a light green necklace for some time now. I spotted these beads and envisioned them in a simple, multi-strand collar style necklace. The cones and toggle were also purchased at the gem show.
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Green Jasper, 8mm

Green Jasper, 8mm

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18″ Five Strand Necklace

Do you ever get compelled by a color that works it’s way into your wardrobe?

Red, Whites, Blues

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As July 4th approaches,  I have been getting into the red, white and blue theme in my sewing, scarf shopping, and jewelry making. This combo will be a year-round option, including other shades of the red/white/blue. Here is a quick bracelet I made from my stash beads. I like to call this approach ‘Bead Soup’ because I pick random loose beads from my collection and arrange them in a harmonious way, using up leftovers and creating something less planned and perfect. This works for necklaces, too.

First, gather all of the possible choices from your stash and spread them out.

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The above scarf was my inspiration.  It was from Stein Mart on clearance, similar.
As you can see on my tray, there is a Chico’s bracelet.  I purchased two and broke one apart for parts.   I often buy jewelry for the potential components in future designs.

Collect the tools, findings, and anything that may work in the design. Now, it is time to play.

Starting and completing involves jewelry wire, crimp bead(s), closure, cutters, and the crimp tool.
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Thirdly, arrange beads on the jewelry wire until you are pleased with the design.  If you are using a toggle, allow a little extra length before finishing so that it is easy to get on and off with one hand.  My finished bracelet is 8.5 Inches.   I don’t mind a looser fit, but you may want it tighter.  Do practice  fittings before finishing.

Note:  If you finish the bracelet and don’t like the fit, no biggy. Take a picture with your phone or camera, take apart and start over.  Wire and crimp beads are  relatively inexpensive and you will be happier with the results.

Coral, Pearls, Crystals, Semi-precious beads, silver components

Coral, Pearls, Crystals, Semi-precious beads, silver components

Do you have some beads in the stash that would make a great Bead Soup creation? I’l love to hear about it. Feel free to leave a comment.
Have a great Independence Day!
-Dana

 

Beachtime!

The Hotel Del Coronado

The Hotel Del Coronado

This post is a little recap from a recent trip to Coronado. It offers a little jewelry, mostly vacation pics, and some pretty foliage. Here is a little peak into some pretty images and some images of people you don’t know. It is a quick scroll-through. Thought I would mix it up a little.

Our annual family trip to the beach means getting everyone together on Coronado Island. It doesn’t get old. It’s great to walk on the beach, see the sunsets, ( I don’t get up early enough to see the sunrises), walk to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and see old and new shops. The tourists and locals couldn’t be more interesting to watch, the homes and streets are beautifully kept, and the dog beach is incredible for us dog-lovers-but-not-dog-owners.

Gift Shop Pillow

Gift Shop Pillow

The climate is perfect for some of my favorite plants. Here are just a few:
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Here we are at lunch in Ocean Beach at a restaurant with an ocean view. Good food and great company.
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Sean, Shannon, Ethan

Sean, Shannon, Ethan

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After lunch, it was time to visit the dog beach back on Coronado Island. Here is Ethan, Sean, and the newest member to the famiy, Outlaw.
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Here is Sean with Outlaw, a 7 months old boxer pit bull mix. This is a well-deserved outing for a dog cooped up in a truck for a 7 hour drive.

Sean with Outlaw

Sean with Outlaw

And then it was THE RACE. Two competitive brothers give it their all and fight to the finish. Ethan was the winner this year.
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The next day held surfing lessons for the kids while the parents and grandparents took pictures and cheered along. The first challenge is putting on the wet suits on the lawn. This is not for those who are modest about their bodies. Ummmm, the zipper goes in the back. Oops.
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OMG I look SO cute

OMG I look SO good

Shannon showing off her wet suit with cell phone in hand…
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Once the surfers get out to the water, the instructor helps get them ready for the waves. The instructors stay in the water for the full lesson helping the surfers get the most out of every good wave. At the end of the lesson, one of the instructors was stung by a stingray! They earn every penny.
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Here is Shannon concentrating on her balance and her poor instructor deep in the waves. He will wait out there until she comes back out to the surf.
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This may be the only split second shot taken of all three successfully standing up on the surfboards at one time. Yes!
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Thank you for indulging me with the family shots. Hopefully, I encouraged you to try a little surfing if you get the chance or check out a dog beach and get your toes in that sand.

Now, for the jewelry. Here are some purchases from Delores Forsythe’s store. Her store overlooks Orange Avenue, the main street, and is filled with beautiful jewelry from around the world. Many of the pieces are made by Delores. Along with Delores’ website, you can also check out Delores Forsythe videos on YouTube to see more about her and her terrific collection.
IMG_3584This is a shell and resin stretch bracelet and an expandable gold vermeil ring with smoky quarts, turquoise and labradorite stones.
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Sead Bead Magnetic Bracelet

Seed Bead Magnetic Bracelet

This is a seed bead, crystal, and semi-precious chip magnetic bracelet. There were many choices, but this one was my favorite. It is intricately stitched and with the two magnetic closure, it should stay on my wrist and not fall off.

Two Magnetic closures

Two Magnetic closures

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I love the color combination of lime greens, pinks, lavender, olive and copper.
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Next, was a stop by Kate Chan’s studio. She has a mission to create and sell eco-friendly and chic jewelry from sustainable materials.

Vacation By The Sea, Mixed Media

Vacation By The Sea, Mixed Media

This necklace is appropriately named ‘Vacation By The Sea’ and features resin and a wood component in Kamagong which can be found in Southeast Asia such as Indonesia, the Philippines, and Hawaii. It can have different names depending on where it is found. In Hawaii, it is called Pacific Teak Wood and Kamogong in the Philippines. This brownish-black colored heartwood most commonly originates from the island of Celebes in Indonesia.

Coronado Beach

Coronado Beach

Sunset on Coronado Island, March 2014

Sunset on Coronado Island, March 2014

It was a wonderful trip with great memories.

Olive Beaded Lariat

Semi-Precious Stones, Pearls, Jasper, Glass, and Mother of Pearl Beads

Semi-Precious Stones, Pearls, Jasper, Glass, and Mother of Pearl Beads

I made this a long time ago when I was in a beading mood.   It was before I had attended the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in 2013.  It was in with all of my other lariats, hanging there, lonely, until I finished the jacket in a prior post.  I don’t wear lariats often because they can get in the way and come undone rather easily.   But I do love the look.

I tried something new with this one to get it to stay in place.  Can you guess?   I had two quarter-sized lozenge stone beads and thought they would be heavy enough to keep the necklace from being fiddle-proof.

As you may have noticed, I like the color olive and all of its pond-scum colored relatives.   Jewelry is a great way to jazz up some boring or downright difficult-to-wear neutrals.  Any of the earth tones blended with a little crystal or shine is fine with me.   It is common that I will either buy/make the jewelry first and later find out it goes with other clothes in my closet or I sew up and outfit and am motivated to go to my beading stash and make earrings, necklace or a bracelet to go with that outfit.
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More about this jacket here.
Three Simple Ways to Tie a Lariat:
1.) Wrap it like the current scarves are worn; fold in half making a loop and pull the ends through. Slip over the head.

2.) Put it around your neck with ends hanging down and tie it like you are starting a knot but just do one cross over instead of two.

3.) Tie a loose knot.

Did I mention that this measures 47″? You can make a lariat longer or shorter. It is up to you.

TIP: Use a measuring tape as the lariat to determine the length wanted in the final design. This way, you will know exactly where to place your feature beads, overall design, and how it will drape before you get started.

Have Fun!!