Thursday, August 15, 2013

Pinspiration and Back to School

I have big, big, Very big news! I am going "back to school". While spending 8 years in the Marine Corps was very rewarding and has led to much success in my life, I never really found the time to go back to school. I was always working too many hours or had too may other priorities. The time has finally come where I am out of excuses and full of excitement and the drive to finally finish!

I have been a little nervous about returning to school so much older than the average student. But I never really have grown up so perhaps I'll fit in or at least give everyone a laugh or two!

I would love to make some fabric book covers like the one pictured above and a pencil case - maybe one of the two pictured below or both.  While a pencil case seems like a way to add fun to an everyday item, I also see it as a way to be organized. I'll be on the go constantly during the week balancing my normal 40 hour work week with three classes. I'll have to stay organized to be successful.

I have also already planned to make the Amy Butler messenger bag below as a way to carry text books and other items too and from class. I'll be able to easily switch from my work bag into my school in a matter of seconds with everything I need for either location packed neatly inside.

It also wouldn't be back to school if new clothes weren't involved. I am pretty excited about my back to school dress that I am working on. It deserves it own post so for now you'll have to wait, but I promise you are going to love it!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Chambray Laurel

Pattern:  Colette Pattern's Laurel
Fabric:  Chambray from Baron's Fabric in Woodland Hills
Styled with: Blue Wedges (I have had them for years and forgot where I purchased them)

Let me tell you first that I love this pattern!  It is simply beautiful and sews up fast.  It is a great way to let a good piece of fabric "do the talking".  However, something is just wrong with this version and I don't know what.  Maybe the hem length?

I made this up in a Chambray from the local fabric store, which sadly is going out of business or rather has decided to only sell sewing machines. I purchased the last of the bolt at a steal and had some to spare after making this dress (Yay)! 

I also found a beautiful trim at our local vintage market which occurs one weekend of every month.  I really should take pictures next time I go.  It is has a wide array of vintage things for just about any collector and is huge.

I thought this might be sort of a homage to the original chambray shirt with a nautical twist with the trim.  I don't know what do you think?  Does it work?  Or should I modification?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Summer Time Bowl Covers

Project: Bowl Covers
Fabric: K. Fassett Fat Quarters
Bowls:  Crate and Barrel Parker Bowls (no longer available)

Bowl covers are super easy to make and perfect for summer time picnics, barbecues and other get togethers.  I love that you can essentially make your table setting beautiful while protecting your food from flies and maybe even deter little impatient fingers.

These are simple to make and can be adaptable to any bowl size.  You might notice the green bowl is drowning just a little, I really made that bowl cover for a large white plastic bowl that I have.  It is the most common one I take to potlucks because I really won't cry if I lose it, well maybe a little I have had it a long time.  However, I thought it would photograph better with my Parker Bowls and I really intend to make a bowl cover for every one them eventually as I use up scraps and bits of fabric that compliment the bowls.

In other summer time news, BIG NEWS, my Plumeria plant is blooming!!  My husband's family has a lot of households that have a plumeria or two and there seems to be a friendly competition of who can get their plumeria to bloom.  While they survive quite well in California they are really more of a tropical plant and a can be a little finicky with it's blooms.  We lost one completely over the winter, but with much luck and lots of TLC the survivor bloomed!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Smocking Class and Inspiration

I recently took a smocking class at my local quilting shop, Cotton and Chocolate, the same store I took my recent quilting class.  The instructor was a well known smocker/heirloom sewing teacher who lives in the area, Vaune Pierce.  She was a great instructor and is very passionate about smocking and teaching the art of smocking to others.  We are pretty fortunate!

Many of you might already know this, but it really never clicked in my head this way before.  Smocking is the art of embroidery on pleats.  Well, I don't know how to embroider!  I have been meaning to take a class or do a small project to teach myself, but haven't.  I took the class with my mother-in law whose been doing needlework a long time so, if I needed extra instruction she was able to help.

We learned the cable stitch, trellis stitch and how to do a small flower. My practice pleat cloth is getting better, but I intend to fill it up with as much practice as I can before moving onto my first project.  Sorry, not going to take pictures of it - I would rather inspire you with a few picture/pins I found via Pinterest.

Smocking can make gorgeous heirloom clothing for small children and the inspiration for that is abundant everywhere.  I was actually surprised to find some designer clothing and a few adult sewing related items. It may be more rare but is absolutely gorgeous!  I am dreaming of a dress with a smocking detail!