Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding-Will and Kate

I was busy getting kids ready for school so I missed the vows , but tuned in to see a very happy married couple leaving the church.  William and Kate looked so relaxed as they rode off in their carriage!  My son, 8 years old, was interested to see that the choir boys were wearing the exact same ruffled neck outfit that he wears in the choir in Virginia.  My kids also remember going to Colonial Williamsburg , VA and riding in a horse drawn carriage similar (though a bit less opulent) to the one Queen Elizabeth rode in after the wedding.  I think Prince William and Princess Kate looked so elegant together- he in his Red Irish Guard uniform and her in the dress designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.  I thought the bridesmaid's dress was gorgeous, but unusual in white.  Not sure why they chose white, but it did look good.  A lot is being said about how Kate's dress is similar to Grace Kelly's dress.  Understated, elegant and timeless with a moderate train.  Princess Diana's wedding dress influenced gowns in the 80's and I expect we will see wedding gowns from today on to have the same silhouette as Kate's.  The Halo Tiara by Cartier was modest but beautiful- worn by Queen Elizabeth and her mother.

Loved all the hats and fascinators.  Some of the fascinators seem to defy gravity, perching on the side of the head- how do they do that?  I love wearing hats, but mine are usually straw summer sun hats.  I'm inspired!

I also loved how Kate seemed to say on the balcony "oh wow" when she saw the crowd.  Then 2 kisses!  The crowd control was very impressive.  The weather seemed to be just right.  All in all I think it went beautifully for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  Best wishes for a long and happy marriage!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sewing is Earth Friendly!

I think sewing with found fabric (old sheets, clothes etc.) really boosts creativity and refashioning clothes definitely saves money and who doesn't want that?!  Whenever my fabric collection starts bursting out of the drawers, I challenge myself to only sew from my stash, no new purchases until I have room.  This goes for my closet too.  I have reached that point again.  I'm currently sewing a quilt with scraps of upholstery fabric given to me by a friend.  I can't turn down fabric!  Anyway, I have no idea what this quilt will look like, I'm making it up as I go. 

Here is a past post on sewing is Earth friendly. Share your ideas on how sewing is Earth friendly in the comments- I'd love to hear them!  I put my smallest scraps in pet beds and donate them to the animal shelter.  In this post is how to make pet pillows out of fabric scraps

PDF Sewing pattern and instructions don't require printing, here are some that have the added benefit of remaking sweaters and jeans-
Quilting can be very environmentally friendly if you are using leftovers from other projects and old clothes etc.  Here is my super easy flip quilt instructions that will make a Quilter out of anyone!  Similarly, is the very stylish sling bag.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Book Review: Home Made Simple

I love the show on TLC- Home Made Simple.  Most Saturdays I try to watch because it always inspires me to get up and rearrange, clean, organize and/or create something new!  I received this companion book as a gift.  It contains chapters on organizing, celebrating, recipes, gardening, and decorating. 

In one section it recommends adding purple accents to a room to promote imagination, creativity and problem solving.  Sounds like a great color for a sewing room!

The projects and recipes they feature in the book (and on their shows) are relatively easy so they shouldn't scare people off trying them.  Not a lot of actual sewing projects and they are heavy on product endorsements, but if you haven't seen an episode of  Home Made Simple it is worth checking out.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pattern Review: McCall's 4066- American Girl Doll Clothes

 I sewed this as a gift for my cat-loving niece.  I used McCall's 4066.  I changed the skirt to an elastic waist (just stretch and sew the elastic to the wrong side- no casing). I serged the hem.  The top is a lined wrap, with side snaps.  I used a suede like trim.  The pattern goes together very easily.  It also has pieces for a raincoat, pants and a puffy-sleeve top.
If your American Girl Doll needs undergarments, Check out how to sew doll bras .

Friday, April 8, 2011

Book Review: Craft Cycle by Heidi Boyd

 In honor of Earth Day (everyday), I made a few projects from Craft Cycle by Heidi Boyd.  I love this book!  Its got innovative projects and recipes!  It is divided into seasons with tips on how to be Earth friendly.
 I decided to make a coiled basket from old t-shirt scraps (leftover from another project).  Mine isn't as large as Heidi's example in the book, but the technique is the same.
 I added a few extra bows around the rim- it seemed to need it.
 The cats approve of it.  Alice wanted to try it first, then Emma had a go, below.
 Next, I made fused plastic bags.  Instead of the tote from the book, I used the instructions and decided to add a zipper.  It was something different to try.  I had a couple of bags from when I was in England (1981?!)  Each zipper bag requires several plastic bags to start with. 

This one is really showing my age- records and tapes! 
Here is the zipper top.  These were fun projects and I will be trying out the recipes soon.  I'm looking forward to making the shoe bracelet, mittens and owl clothespin holder.  Any recycled book recommendations?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Featured in Top 50 Stylish DIY Blogs

I am excited to report I have been featured in Careers in Fashion's Top 50 Stylish DIY Blogs!  I am honored to be in such good company.  Thank you!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Moby and the Cats

Its been awhile since I posted any cute pet pictures so...
 Here is Alice with Moby the fish.  She thinks we got him just for her.
 "Smells like dinner."
Emma came to investigate too.  These were taken a month ago and Moby is still healthy.  We keep him on a shelf where the cats can't get him.  They still love watching him though.

Friday, April 1, 2011

How Jeans Are made

This article/video, reported on Craftzine shows how jeans are made.  WOW!  It takes them under 13 minutes to sew a pair of jeans!  It takes me way longer, but it is very satisfying.  I love the look people give me when I say I made my own.  Have you sewn jeans?  The pattern I use is Butterick 6437.  I have sewn jeans using this pattern using white denim, blue, chambray, cotton print, linen, etc.