Sewing


I am in full creative mode now.  I started to blog a philosophical post but have decided to just share pictures instead.  There are times when I need to let my words be few, a wise scripture for me in this season for sure.

So here are the pictures of the designs inspired by the wonderful artists in Altered Couture magazine.  I made my boyfriend thermal a bit more frilly using the material from the T-shirt I cut up for my pattern pieces to make a ruffly edging.  I am getting to be such a girly girl, it cracks me up!  I am on the hunt for a pink spaghetti strap tank to wear underneath.

The sweater below was supposed to have sleeves, but I just couldn’t get them to fit right, so I turned this into a cape.  I am thinking of an edging to finish the raw edges, but for now, wear it the way it is.  I got a ton of compliments already, love those buttons.

Next on the design agenda is to finish the bleach denim jacket project so stayed tuned!

So fun!

My take on the boyfriend thermal refashion

My take on the sweater redo

My take on the sweater redo

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I’m addicted to crumb quilting.  After seeing these quilts on Bonnie Hunter’s website called Quiltville, I thought I had finally found a way to redeem myself from  saving all these tiny little scraps and saving and saving them.  You see, I had had good intentions of using them in beautiful applique quilts.  While I love applique blocks and I have dreamed up several wonderful designs, which were going to be embellished with decorative stitching and other embellishing techniques, I just have not found the time to do all the tracing and cutting and hand sewing that is involved to make these one of a kind creations.   But now, now, I have a fast, fun way to use them up instead of collecting them.

Last week, while at my mom’s for a mini sewing retreat, I once again asked for her bag of scraps and crumbs.  Being the great momma that she is, she willingly handed them over to me, but I saw that look that I know means that she has doubts, which are not without good reason, that I would actually do anything with them.  My momma knows me very well and humors me anyway.  Yeah, I know, I am really lucky.

Anyway last night, after chasing after my grandson all day, I wanted to sew but didn’t have the mental capacity to do anything even remotely required much brain work, so I thought I would grab my crumb bin and give it a try.  Several hours later, I ended up with 17 blocks that I cut down to the size I needed and several others that are nearly there.  This was so much fun and I kept thinking I should be going up to bed but I had to use just one more piece to see what it would look like.  They are wild and so liberating.  If you are anything like me and have a hard time not being matchy matchy then you have got to try this technique.  The pieces are so small, I can’t imagine some fabric messing them up.  It really is anything goes here!  Next, I am going to try Bonnies, method of sewing the little cut off triangles into little pairs for pinwheels, hourglasses etc and then building around those.  The possibilities are endless here.    Now, my problem will be to move on to some other brainer projects that I have to work on and reserve my crumb block sewing for the too tired to think sewing sessions or as a reward for finishing a project that must get done.

My plan is to sew crumbs into blocks that I can cut into 3.5 inch squares, piece these into 4 patch squares and then sew these together with a solid black sashing.  I might then add another colorful border and bind it with black binding.  I hope to make a pretty large size quilt and now maybe my momma will be eager to give me those crumbs unless she decides she wants to make a crumb quilt of her own!

I just had to share another Professional Women’s Tote  by The Creative Thimble, I recently finished.  It is for my friend, Donna.  She chose the fabrics and I made the tote.  I have to say that this time around, it went together so fast.  I am planning on making two for myself next and with any luck, I will be doing that soon.   I have been going through sewing withdrawl since leaving on my trip to South Dakota.  But that is another post.   Hope you like the photos.  It is really hard to get the colors to show up right sometimes, but these are pretty close.

I would recommend this pattern to anyone.  There are a lot of parts but the instructions are outstanding and it really does go together easily, I think.

Click on the picture for a full size view.

I just made this great tote for my momma for her birthday. It is the Professional Women’s Tote from The Creative Thimble.   It has a bazillion pieces but it was worth the time it took to make it. There is a pocket for everything and plenty of room to take along all our sewing projects or our laptop when we are needing to be  business moms!   Now, I am going to make another three.  One for my sis, my sister in law and one for me.  Another terrific thing is that I was able to shop my stash!  I even found this great deep purple suede skirt that I had in my thrifted stuff pile and it made the perfect bottom for the bag and the travel strap on the back!

I am thinking of photographing the steps of the next one I make since there are a couple of tricky parts to it but once I worked through it they made total sense and it is a great way to do it.

mom-tote-back1

Momma showing off her tote. This is the back with it's cool suede travel strap and bottom


moms-tote-front2

This is the front showing two pockets and cute Red Hat fabric


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Inside the tote with it's pockets a plenty!

Ginny is having two giveaways for her birthday!  Check out this link to see all the wonderful goodies.  You know I love presents, so I am hoping I win one of these.

http://ginnysquilts.blogspot.com/2009/03/quilters-delight-birthday-give-away.html

The big reveal is here!  My inspiration for this ensemble came from the familar saying after I playfully fashioned a tulle mini train and decided it wasn’t so silly.  I used old and new buttons and trims, borrowed lots of ideas and techniques from Belle Amoire and Altered Coutures magazines and websites and put them on the blue denim shirt foundation.  As I began to create, a picture of a dear, sweet sister in Christ came into my head and off I went.  I knew she would love it and when I gave her a sneek preview, she did! 

So now it is your turn,  But you must first indulge me in sharing my creative process since it is the first process I have ever really gone through.  After a full year of Altered Couture dreams and acquiring what would amount to a pretty substantial thrift store worth of stash, I finally decided it was my time to become a refashionista!  So I took a cute little short sleeve denim shirt, removed the pocket and made a cute petal shaped pocket with my own variation of a ruching technique.  Now, if you peeked, what you see in the pictures is nothing like what I am describing.  That is because I was not in a cute mood.  I wanted to be artsy, wild, creative and bold. But that really isn’t me yet either, so I got romantic and I am so happy I did.  NO, Curtiss was not involved in the process.  But my stash of ribbons, lace and vintage buttons were. 

I set aside the first shirt minus it’s pocket and grabbed another shirt and put it on my dressform.  I stared and pondered and then inspiration.  I wanted long, flaired sleeves.  I grabbed a pair of way too small for me  flaired jeans and cut the legs off.  I put it on my arm and marked it so the hem would just hit at the top knuckles of my hand. Next, I took the old short sleeve and used it as my sleeve cap pattern and cut the top of the jeans using the sleeve pattern.   I did my gathering stitches so I could ease the sleeve in a bit.  I had this piece of tulle in a cubby near my dressform, so I grabbed it, pinned it inbetween the shirt and sleeve ruffling it a bit . Yeah!  I liked it, so I unpinned and then sewed them in place.  Next, I began to go through my stash of ribbons and trims coming across the really ruffly trim.  It is too wide so I folded it, intending on cutting it if  I liked it but I decided it looked good folded and full so I sewed it in place.  I added a piece at the collar, again trying unfolded and folded and decided that it was perfect with the ruffle pointing up.  Next, I worked on the rest of the sleeve auditioning different trims and laces then stitching them in place.  While digging, I found my crocheted doilies and I tried out several as a medallion on the back, a few on the front but I removed them settling on just the one on the front and one on the back.  Next, came the buttons on the pocket, the piece of trim over the shoulder, just kept insisting on being there.  I moved it, returned it, took it off, put it back, finally it stuck.  Then it was time for a break.  As I was playing with a piece of the ruffly lace and making a little flower.  My mom happened to be here and suggested putting the ruffle in the pocket, Yep!  that is were in needed to bloom.   After my little break, I chose the embroidery design for the bottom of the left side.  After doing the design, I tried to decide how to balance the other side.  I moved the sash/belt out of the way and it landed where you see it now.  Yes!  that was what it needed.  Next came the pins out of my jewelry stash and I was almost done.  I love unexpected linings, so I began my search for a shiny, silky shirt.  I wasn’t quite sure how to measure and fit it,  so I cut out the sleeves and began pinning.  When I came up short, I decided to hunt for another fabric to combine with the paisley I ended up using for the front and the inside medallion.  Once I found the right pieces, I decided that I needed wisdom on how to do the lining.  I knew I could have measured it and made a pattern, but I wanted a quicker, easier way.  I decided to sleep on it and asked the Lord for inspiration.  True to His word to me , I had a dream showing me how to make a pattern out of the existing jacket without having to measure or unstitch it.  I am planning on doing a tutorial on that method, so check back soon.  Once the pattern was made, I cut the pieces out and then stitched them together.  I decided to hand stitch the lining in and I am very pleased that I did.  My last step was to try to glue some buttons from which I had cut the shank off onto the existing jean type buttons.  While that dried, I chose a small embroidery design to “mend” the tiny holes in the skirt lining.  The lining was originally from a cast off Gunne Sax prom dress.  It was clean but had some small holes.  I kind of like the hidden random designs that will be discovered by only closer inspection.  The tulle mini train was crafted and a pin was attached to the back so that it can easily be removed and the jacket worn after the ceremony.   I was really disappointed at first when I picked up the jacket this morning and the buttons fell off.  The glue I used was supposed to be very strong, so I am not sure what happened, but decided to go with the orginal closures because I was running out of time.  Out of time?  Yes, I needed to mail off my ensemble to Altered Couture by today!   So without further ado!  Here is the gallery:  Clicking on the pictures will give you a larger picture and more detail.  Enjoy!

 

Check in tomorrow for the big reveal of my refashioned denim top!  I am so excited and I am putting on the finishing touches, so it will be ready to photograph tomorrow.  This has been the most amazing process and it has sparked a gazillion other ideas in my head.  Unfortunately, I refashioned it a bit too small for me to wear now and will probably try to sell it on Etsy.  So if you are interested, let me know.

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