Where do you get your inspiration?

January 17, 2012 at 8:03 am | Posted in clothing, fashion, inspiration | Leave a comment
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And in this case I’m referring to fashion inspiriation, since I’m very much an eclectic blogger and could mean many different subjects.

This weekend I was helping my husband organize his card collection (I am the best wife in the world I swear) so I turned on a couple of movies. I have a few that I tend to gravitate towards, and I realized that a lot of it has to do with fashion.

The first one I watched was Julie and Julia. Now to be honest, I don’t really like the Julie story. As much as I love Amy Adams, the real story of Julie Powell is so disheartening that it just doesn’t resonate with me. I read a post on Gertie’s blog where she talks about this movie, and she brought forth the comparison between the two women, how Julia Child was brough closer to her husband due to the struggles she was going through, and Julie Powell alienated her husband, and it’s very true and apparent.

And the fact that her second book was about how the fame of the first caused her to cheat and subsequently the break up of her marriage doesn’t really make me want to really read either book.

Anyway, onto the fashion.

When watching movies I always love the fact that I can both knit and sew, and that was never more apparent than when this little shrug came on the screen at the end.

Now I know it’s part of a sweater set, but seriously, how versatile is that shrug? It can dress up, dress down, go over pretty much any shirt or blouse. I think I need to figure out how to make one of my own in the future.

I absolutely adore the majority of Meryl Streep’s wardrobe in this movie! The dresses, the separates, she just looks fantastic! And the retro styles that Amy Adams wears are lovely too! There’s just so much inspiration in this movie, like colour combinations, or patterns you might not have thought of.

Even the hats are fantastic! I wish I lived in a world where wearing hats was fashionable. Maybe I should just say to  heck with it and start wearing them anyway. Oh, and the suit jacket in the middle is one of my favourites!

I could go on and on, but we’d be here all day. Maybe I’ll make a series of these posts just to get some of my favourite ideas all in one place, so for now I’ll leave you with this and a question. Where do you get your inspiration?


The One Day Dress

January 8, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Posted in clothing, Sewing | Leave a comment
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Ok, so technically two, since I cut out the pattern yesterday, but all things considered I could have made this dress from start to finish in one day.

Using this beautiful lycra that my hubby got me long before he was even considered for the position of hubby, and a pattern borrowed from my friend J, I made this:

First picture taken with flash, second picture without, and in NONE of my pictures can you see the beautiful turquoise stripe that’s going down my right side. Hopefully it wil show up when pictures are taken in daylight in Cuba.

So the pattern is Simplicity 3775, view A but with short sleeves. I was worried when I was planning this dress, because my lycra stretches both horizontally and vertically, but to different degrees. I knew I wanted the waist band pattern to be perpendicular to the rest of the dress, but that would mean it would stretch differently.

I took my fabric to a knitting meet up and got opinions, and it all turned out fine. The fabric is a complete static ball though, probably from being in my stash for 6 years.

The dress got rave reviews from hubby and other than the static, I find it well fitting and very comfortable. I’m pondering wearing it to work tomorrow to see what others think. It needs a run under an iron, and a rub with a bounce sheet first though.

Circle Skirt – first FO of 2012

January 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Posted in clothing, Present, Sewing | Leave a comment
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Whoot! I love it when a progect is simple and comes together quickly. On Monday I posted about this skirt that was grabbed off my friend’s shelf.

It was beautiful, I loved the fabric, the hard part was done! It was a gorgeous circle skirt, hemmed and everything, all it needed was a waistband.

Problem was, the little circle for the waist was a bit too small for me, so… I cut it a bit bigger… maybe a little too big, but, the great thing about circle skirts is you can just gather them.

There had been a bit of extra fabric found near the skirt, so I had just enough to make a nice interfaced, double sided waist band with hooks and eyes.

Taking pictures of myself with the timer is difficult… but I still think they turn out better than when hubby takes them… I need to get him lessons.

Anyway, this is not a favourite skirt of Hubby’s, it’s just not his style. I got endless amounts of compliments though, and I enjoyed wearing it, and that’s the main thing. I kept catching my reflection in glass or by the elevator at work, and having the song “I feel pretty” pop into my head.

Thanks again to J for letting me rummage and find this! I know that this is going to be a frequent wear (though maybe not with this shirt… I don’t normally wear a lot of pink, so it’s actually a pajama top… no one knew.)

Why Facebook and Crafty Friends are Awesome!

January 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Posted in clothing, Costumes, Knitting, Present, Sewing, Socks | Leave a comment
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Today I have a bunch of work yet to do, it is 2:45 and I must empty out our spare room and work on continuing laundry, but before I do that I must explain why Facebook and Crafty Friends are awesome.

This morning, I got up, watched another episode for Gertie’s Bombshell Dress and realized I was itching to sew. I looked through the fabrics that I had on hand and realized that everything that I have is for costumes, and therefore, isn’t really worthy of clothing. It’s basically a lot of Fake Fur and Lycra. So I hopped onto Facebook and lamented my fate, before continuing to read back posts of Gertie’s blog and push more loads of laundry through.

At about 12:40 the phone rang. I figured it was a telemarketer, but picked up anyway. It was one of my knitting friends, J, who has read Facebook, seen my blog and that I was sewing again, and noticed that I was fabricless. She had previously offered me some leather that she had, and was wondering if I wanted to come look at her stash and see if there was any other fabric that I could use.

I was jumping up and down excited, and got ready rather quickly. I took one bag, not wanting to be presumptuous, and excitedly headed over to her house. When I entered, her husband said “did you bring a truck, because that bag won’t get nearly enough out…” So suffice it to say, there was plenty to choose from.

After showing me to her Quilting room, which had a full quilting machine in it!!! We started going through her fabrics. She had so many pretties to choose from! I knew I had to set some rules, especially when she took me down to see her patterns and told me to pick through and feel free to borrow any of them. So the rules were as follows:

1. I was only allowed to take a pattern if it was something I would sew within the next few months, or something I already had fabric for.
2. I was only allowed to take fabric if I had a pattern for it at home, or had just chosen a pattern that would need to be sewn in the next few months.
3. I was not allowed to grab anything just because it was “pretty” nor was I allowed to take anything because “someday” I might find something to do with it.
4. I was not allowed to take more than my bag could hold, period, no exceptions.

So, with those rules in place, here is what I ended up brining home:

The first thing we found as we were digging through was this beautiful circle skirt that is just in need of a waist band. So that will be project number one tonight probably so that I can see about wearing it tomorrow. The waist may  need to be a bit bigger, but the great thing about circle skirts is that it can be accomplished by making the centre circle a little wider. I love the fabric, and the hem is already completed, so it’s a perfect skirt to finish and add to my wardrobe.

Next, as I was looking through her patterns, I found this lovely dress, that is supposed to be made in a 2 way stretch. About 4 years ago, Hubby bought me this beautiful blue fabric, that blends from a light blue in the middle, to a navy blue on the edges. He bought it under the stipulation that it needed to be made into something for me that I could wear. I had not yet found the pattern to make it and had been designing costumes with this in mind but nothing seemed to work. When I saw this pattern I knew exactly what fabric I was going to use it with. I’m hoping to have this done for the first week of March when we go to Cuba. I’m thinking of making View A which doesn’t use any scrunching or ties on the waist band, but I may ask Hubby his opinion on which version he likes best, but I think A is simple and sleek and that he’ll vote for that one too.

These fabrics were found in two different areas of J’s house. The plaid I thought was very nice for a casual shirt, just something to wear in summer, maybe throw a bolero or cardigan over and it would be wearable to work on casual Friday or in the Summer when things are a little more relaxed. The white fabric was found in a drawer with the selvages serged, J said she thought that it was used for a head covering for Mary in a nativity play at her church. I thought it would be a lovely short sleeved blouse. After we’d found these two fabrics, we were searching for a pattern to work with the white fabric, and I think that view B with the short sleeves would be good for the white, and the view A sleeveless version would be good in the plaid, then I could wear the plaid over or under another shirt however it fit.

I love well tailored outfits, there’s just something about them that really hits me. As simple as plain straight lines are to sew, there’s just something about shaping, darts, and tucks that really seem like class to me. So when I saw this Dress Suit and Skirt, I knew I had to give them a go. We weren’t able to find enough fabric to make the full Dress Suit, but with a bit of planning and improvisation, I should have enough of the black pin-stripe denim to make the skirt and the jacket, which with my white blouse would probably be really stunning. The brown and beige fabric will be used for the dress, which won’t be worn with the jacket, from the looks of it, I may just have enough of the floral fabric to make a matching bolero, with some brown trim, I think it would be really cute, and I have the perfect brown suede shoes to wear with it. This dress is another possible outfit for Cuba, the fabric is light enough, and it’s dressy enough that I could wear it out, or casual enough just for during the day.

And now to the leather:

One of the big reasons this all started is because I make costumes and J has a MASSIVE TONNE of leather, seriously, she has a full box! Anyway, one of the things that happens with costume making is you have to have a number of plans. Plan A right now for the next costume I’m making is the Bombshell dress from Gertie’s course. It’s got the right seams, the right shape, and would only need a little bit of altering. However, Plan B is the red corset in the left corner. It’s got the right seams for the bodice part of the dress, and it’s got the structure that I could build the rest of the costume off of it. However it requires leather. So I grabbed enough to make the corset, in a nice enough colour so that if Plan A works, I’ll still have a nice corset that I can wear under a shirt that’s a little sheer, or over a blouse to go out somewhere or something. Plus, I don’t know if you noticed, but I really like that blue.

After all this fabric high, J was going to show me a shawl she just finished knitting, and as she was looking for it, her husband mentioned that the kettle had boiled, and I was offered some tea.

Not just a cup:

But a selection to take home. Which is perfect, because my tea drawer at work was getting pretty low. After J had shown me her shawl, I mentioned that I needed to head to our local knitting store to get some mens sock yarn for more Grandpa socks… well down to the basement we headed again and I added these to my bag:

So that’s 4 more pairs of socks for Grandpa, which I’m hoping to knit like the wind on my bus rides to and from work, and in Cuba, so that he has 4 pairs of new socks when he gets home from Florida in April.

I’ve got a bunch of work ahead of me, and the first step is emptying my sewing room, which is what I’m going to do right now! Once all that’s out, we can start rearranging the house and getting things set up finally.

You don’t realize how messed up everything gets when you have renters until they move back and you try to set everything up again.



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