Monday, June 28, 2010

Surface Design Inspiration from Shirley Adams

Shirley Adams is unfortunately retiring, but I managed to catch one of her last workshops.  She had so many  wonderful examples to show us!  These 3 photos are purse flaps.  The top picture is a print fabric with fringed squares on top to look like flowers.  She used 2 squares for each flower.  The middle picture is squares folded up twice and sewn through the middle with 2 bartacks.

This last picture shows two spirals made by a long bias strip sewn through the middle.  A fancy button goes right in the middle.  I love these techniques and hope to use them in the future!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nice Detail by Mossimo

I always have this dilemma, sew it or buy it?  Clothes are so cheap these days that if I find something and I like everything about it- color, fit, fabric- I go ahead and buy it.  These shorts were on sale recently at Target for $12.99 each.  Picture shows inside view.  They are nice fitting, well made (2 rear welt pockets, fly front and 2 front pockets, bound seams) and I could barely make them myself for that price.  Plus they have that great pocket fabric inside (a fun way to use up scraps)!  This really annoys me because A) I feel like I should sew everything myself, B) I should be able to sew it cheaper than buying it, and C) If I'm going to buy it, it should at least be made in my country.  Oh well, I bought 3 pairs for knock around shorts.  And I love them.  Now I need to go sew something to make myself feel better.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Appliqued Coat by Shirley Adams

This is a beautiful coat by Shirley Adams.  She showed it at a recent workshop and I think it is so simple and elegant!  The leaves are all scraps, cut freehand and sewn down the middle.  What a striking effect!  

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pattern Review: Vogue 7693 Wrap Dress

This pattern is a few years old, but the design is universally flattering.  I have yet to see someone look bad in a wrap style dress.  This vogue pattern has a built up neck and mock wrap front with a center back zipper.  Of course, I can't leave anything alone, so I changed it to a front zipper and a real wrap!  It looks great on.  I underlined the skirt since it is a white print (rayon twill).  I sewed this to wear to my 25th high school reunion-eeek!  Sometimes I have found Vogue patterns are more difficult than they really need to be, but this pattern was clearly written.  I also wanted a small bag to carry a camera and essentials in, so I just happened to have this fabric (I love it when this happens) that goes great with the shoes and dress!
I lined the bag in a purple quilted fabric for body.
I am really pleased with how it all came together.  Unbelievably, I only bought the shoes, the rest was made from fabrics, pattern and supplies I already had in my sewing room!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Welcome New Rats!

I love cats, but I also love rats!  My son wanted his own for his birthday, so here are Stripe and Cloud riding on Alice's back.  There are about 2 months old.  They are boys, like my son, even though girl rats keep a tidier cage.  We are thrilled to have rats again. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How to: Easy Drawstring Gift and Goody Bag

I am getting ready for my son's 8th birthday party.  Each year, I make fabric drawstring goody bags for his friends.  Sometimes I use a theme fabric, other times just party print.  I usually get the favors first and then make the bag the right size, then the children can use the bag at home to keep toys in, etc.
I cut two pieces of fabric the right size, 8"x8" for example.  Right sides together, sew around 3 sides, stopping 1 1/2" from the top edge on one side.  Turn down the 1 1/2" as shown in the picture and press with iron or just your fingers.  Remember: these bags don't have to be perfect!  I make 25 at a time. 
Next, turn down the top edge 3/4".  I should mention here that I serged all my seams and edges, but it works just fine to finish them another way (zigzag, pink).
After stitching the casing (which is really just a hem with an opening for a drawstring), cut a length of ribbon and thread it through the casing using a safety pin.
I tie a knot in the ends so the ribbon won't slide out.  The bag is ready to hold party favors, pinata treasures, or a gift for someone.  People love discovering that the bag is part of, and matches, the present!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Vest into Wallhanging

A customer of mine loved this vest but didn't want to wear it.  She came up with the idea to make it a wall hanging.  I cut the back off and saved the fabric.  I removed the buttons.  I used the neck band and back fabric to fill in the neck area.  Then I cut off the side bands and added some fabric squares to make it longer and then reattached the bands. 
There was enough of the back fabric to make a rod pocket and binding for the edges.She was thrilled with the results!  (My cat likes it too.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Quilters Need Massages and Summer Sewing Classes!

I just got back from having a fabulous massage with my FREE gift certificate that I won during Quilting Adventures' Quiltathon.  Dena over at Health First Chiropractic, Glen Allen, VA really knows her stuff.  Thank you again!

I have several classes coming up at Quilting Adventures.  Wed.June 30,10a.m. is a beginner class for 8years and older to make letter pillows.  Easy and fun, spell out initials, a name, or a word.
Tues.June 29,10a.m. is a cell phone bag class.  Simple and can hold all kinds of things!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Contest Winner is...

We have a winner!  First, thank you to everyone following me- I hope you will tell all your friends too!  The lucky winner is Kristin H.  She will get to pick out a pattern/instructions from