Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Winner of the Magic Bias Dress Pattern

Good Morning All!
It's a typical early spring day in Chicago, dark and rainy. To be honest, I'm very happy as we had so little snow this winter. We really need the moisture in order for the spring flowers to have any vibrancy. At the moment, I have a bed full of spring crocuses that are blooming. Their tiny little blooms are so lovely. They are like an announcement of what's to come :)  
But, enough about gardening and weather!
So many threw their names in for the drawing of the Magic Bias Dress. I think this has been the most popular of all the sew along giveaways. Everyone who left a message seemed so excited. I just wish I had a pattern for each and every one of you, but sadly, there's only one :(
So...The winner of the Magic Bias Dress pattern is....

Congratulations Tany!!!! 

Be sure to email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com so I can get your pattern out to you.

For those of you who didn't win, you can find the pattern HERE, and you are always welcome to order directly from the Fashion In Harmony website HERE

Fashion in Harmony has published a wonderful book entitled Bias Cut Blueprints. Click HERE for a preview. It's a fabulous book, actually a workbook. You'll be amazed by what you can do with a tube.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Meet Julianne Bramson, Master Mind of the Magic Bias Dress Pattern

In 2009 I was asked to help judge the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals/Threads Challenge. The challenge that year was all about seams. Judging was blind, meaning that the names of the contestants were removed from the final garments, only numbers were attached. For the judging, we were supposed to have a dressform, but none was available, so guess what!!!, I became the dressform! It was such a great experience and I loved seeing the creativity and ingenuity of the garments. The garment that stood out to me was a bias cut garment with mesh inserts. I was amazed by how beautifully the garment fell over my body and the precise execution of the seams, and especially the mesh inserts. There were a number of garments that made it to the final cut, but I fought hard for the bias dress. The mesh inserts and the precise execution, I felt, deserved the Best Overall distinction. A picture of the dress is included below. 
I was not able to stay for the evening fashion show, so I had no idea who the bias dress belonged to. It wasn't until a few years later when I attended a workshop in San Francisco hosted by Sandra Ericson that I met Julianne Bramson of Fashion In Harmony. I still had no idea that she created the bias dress. At some point during the workshop, something was said about bias garments and Sandra brought up Julianne's dress. It was then that I was able to put a face to this beautiful design. What a pleasure it was to finally meet her.
I was all the more excited when Sew News accepted my recommendation to include the Magic Bias Dress in this year's line up of sew along patterns. I think you too are going to enjoy the simplicity and elegance of this dress.
I am especially pleased to have the opportunity to introduce you to Julianne and let you take a peek into how her mind works.

From Julianne,
My primary source of inspiration for all of my designs is the pioneering work of Madeleine Vionnet.  Her designs, most especially those that utilize geometric shapes placed on the bias, have been a constant source of inspiration for me since I was first introduced to them by Sandra Ericson at the 2006 Association of Sewing and Design Professionals conference in San Francisco, CA. Below is the garment that started my obsession with bias cut garments.

Ironically, I studied Vionnet in college and even based my senior project on a Vionnet inspired design, but it was the math, the geometry that drew me into Sandra's class.   

The 2009 Association of Sewing and Design Professionals Threads Challenge was all about seams. I wanted to make a dress that would have mesh seams so it would look as if it was held together by air, by nothing.  I wanted seams that were sturdy, but in no way hindered the amazing drape of the velvet fabric.  I knew that making the dress on the bias would put the seams in interesting places.  My first dress was of a cream print silk charmeuse with ivory mesh for the seams.  I had planned to use nude mesh, but thought it looked a bit too "lingerie" for my taste.  The ivory was better, but the way I attached the mesh did not result in the professional look that I desired.  And, the whole dress ended up looking more boudoir and less evening. By the time I decided it was a dud, and I needed a new approach, I was running out of time.  That is why the velvet dress is constructed of several different fabrics, I simply did not have time to purchase more fabric.  As a result, I think it is much more interesting.  I love how it looks with the bright orange slip. Necessity truly is the mother of invention!
Below is the dress, featured in thread's Magazine.

The seaming in detail. 

As to the design of the velvet dress, it is all geometry.  I was inspired by two different patterns I found in my obsessive hunt for all things bias-cut and geometric.  One is a page from a vintage magazine about making a bias-cut slip using squares and quarter circles.

I used that for the inspiration for the squares at the waist and also for the skirt, although I instead used half-circles.  The upper portion of the dress was inspired by a pinwheel top pattern I found in a weaving magazine. 
I omitted the triangles at the wrist and turned the triangles at the waist into full squares to create seams to attach the skirt pieces.  It is an amazingly simple design.  What I love about it is how it fits so many different shapes and sizes of people. Bias cut garments truly are amazing and magical!

Thank you so much Julianne for sharing your design process with us.
Remember, I will be giving away a Magic Bias Dress pattern tomorrow, March 31, 2016. You have until tonight at midnight to get your name in for the drawing, so don't delay! If you would like a chance to win the pattern, leave a message HERE.

One last treat, if you are making the Magic Bias Dress, but would rather a different sleeve, you can find a free downloadable pattern for a Flitter Sleeve on the Fashion In Harmony website. Just click HERE.  

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Attaching The Pockets To the Waffle Patterns Pepernoot Coat

We decided to separate the pockets from the finishing of the Pepernoot Coat as combining everything would have made for a rather long post. Now you'll have a designated post to refer back to as you tackle the pockets. You can find the post HERE on the Sew News blog.
Since I have a large pattern in my fabric, it was very important that I match the flowers. A bit of a daunting task, but worth it in the end.
In this week's post, I walk you through creating the rectangular opening for the inserting of the zipper,
to the placement of the zipper, 
and finally, attaching the pocket to the coat. 
In the post I also talk about an alternative just in case you still feel a little overwhelmed by the entire process. But, I think you'll see that making the zippered pocket really isn't that difficult. 
As for me, I think I need to have a talk with myself. If only I had chosen a fabric with a less obvious pattern. Sometimes it seems that I enjoy giving myself an extra challenge ;) Whatever my next project will be, I won't include matching patterns!!!
Best of luck with your pockets!  

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Ralph Rucci Books/What To Buy, What Not To Buy

After talking so much about Ralph Rucci and his incredible work over the last few weeks, I decided to purchase one of his books. I decided upon his autobiography thinking that it would have a large collection of his designs and also go into depth about his life. I have never been so disappointed with a book. When it arrived, I tore into the box as though it was Christmas. The book is beautiful and comes in its own hard cover.
Once out of the box, I went from elation to absolute disappointment. Below is a representation of what's in the book. Very little text, very little, and even fewer examples of his work. 

Although I purchased a "like new" book, it was still quite expensive. I decided to contact the seller and see if I could possibly return the book. They must have heard the tears in my voice as they gladly accepted the return. 
Once I sent this book back, I decided to check and see if the library had "Ralph Rucci, The Art of Weightlessness." They did. It is a lovely book.

The book does contain many pictures of his work. I enjoyed it enough to purchase one for my own library. Although, I would not spend the $65.00 for a brand new book, opt for a used or like new version instead. You can find a used book on Amazon starting at around $10.00. 
I decided to share my woes since I have talked so much about Ralph Rucci and his work and I was afraid that someone else may end up purchasing the book and be sorely disappointed. And even worse, not able to return the book as I was able to do. 
We all enjoy the work of incredible designers, and some may enjoy pictures of their home and their dog, but I want to see their work.
Have a lovely day. 

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday Morning Inspiration/Quilted Inspiration Recap

Happy Day After Easter to you all!!!
My weekend started off with a horrible headache. I did everything, soaked in a hot bath, applied therapeutic oils, did my best to rest, all with no luck. I had a list a mile long of all I wanted to accomplish, but I gave in, rested and read a book that was quite inspirational. More on that at a later date. 
Although the headache was still with me yesterday, it was not as painful, so I was able to enjoy the afternoon with my niece, her fiance, and her parents. What an incredible lunch they made! Great food, and great conversation, just the perfect Easter Sunday :)

So many of you were very generous with your suggestions last week when I put out a plea for help. Wow!!!, did you ever come through with some great ideas. Rather than allow them all to be buried in the comment section of last week's post, I thought I would share some of the ideas with all of you.
First, I found this,
Pretty amazing. It's from the same Schiaparelli collection that the coat below which I shared last week is from. I too thought that the coat below might be matelasse, but now I'm wondering if it really was quilted.
Charade sent in this idea, a vintage Lilli Ann coat from the 1950's. The quilting is trapunto and the collar can be worn up or down. Beautiful piece.

I am a huge fan of President Abraham Lincoln. If you have never read, Lincoln The Unknown, by all means, please do. It is probably the most inspirational book I have ever read. Craft Alchemy sent a link to the picture below. It's the coat that he was wearing the night he was killed. Yes, the coat represents a very sad period in the history of America, but the surprise of the incredible quilting is quite inspiring. 
Carol In Denver suggested incorporating a little fabric manipulating into the quilting of a garment. There are a number of books, all of which I'm sure are available at your local library. Here's a list of some at Amazon. I own the book below, so I'm off to a great start :)
The Sewing Loft suggested some work with dragonflies. Just for the fun of it, I googled "dragonfly quilting," and found this picture of a piece in progress. Just the intricacy of the design is great inspiration.
Sue from A Colorful Canvas shared her amazing coat that she recently finished. Be sure to pop over to her blog and see the rest of the coat.  

Ruth commented on the subtle but beautiful hem of the Ralph Rucci dress that I shared a few weeks ago. I really like the idea of quilting not only being an accent, or design aspect of a garment, but also serving a purpose as it does with this hem.
A number of you suggested using Alabama Chanin as a source of inspiration. Cynthiacc also suggested Alabama Chanin, but using different fabrics, possibly boiled wool. Using the concept, but making it your own.     

Elizabeth K suggested getting some books that show fabrics and designs through the different decades. I do have a couple of books in my collection. A great idea.

E McAfee talked about the picture below on the left being a fencing costume. I was making a joke about feeling tied in knots, but she really came up with a great idea. The piece on the right is really amazing. 

Martha said, 
"You have great instincts, you know."
And Mary said, 
"You have all the skills and savvy that you need." 
A few others also offered some words of encouragement as well. Sometimes the best source of inspiration is being told that someone else believes in you. 
Thank you :)
With new found inspiration, I wish you a wonderful week!

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sunday Night Reflections

Just in the mere fact that we are living our lives from day to day, we are creating a legacy which we will ultimately leave behind.
The question is not,
Will you leave a legacy?
What kind of a legacy will you leave?
                                                                                                    From the book,
                                                                                                    Living Forward

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Sunday's Supper/Pasta with Cabbage, Roasted Walnuts and Granny Smith Apple

Since tomorrow is Easter, I thought I would go ahead and post this tonight. The ingredients of this pasta dish may seem a little strange, but the combination is absolutely delicious! 
There's more to the pasta than just cabbage, walnuts and a granny smith apple, but this was the beginning. As you can see below, there's also a sliced purple onion, and a few ingredients that you don't see below :)

Pasta with Cabbage, Roasted Walnuts and Granny Smith Apple

1pkg. of whole grain pasta
1 small head of cabbage chopped
1/2 purple onion sliced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts roasted
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium Granny Smith apple thinly sliced
1 heaping teaspoon fresh chives chopped
1/2 cup of blue cheese crumbles
1 teaspoon dried sage
salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste

Boil a pot of salted water for pasta. 
While water for pasta is heating, heat the olive oil and saute onions and apple together until tender and slightly browned.
Roast walnuts.
Once the water has come to a boil, add pasta and cook as directed on package. 2 minutes before pasta is ready to drain, throw in the chopped cabbage. Once pasta is ready to drain, reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.
Drain pasta and cabbage combination then place in serving bowl. Combine with the sauteed apples and onion, the roasted walnuts, blue cheese crumbles, and sage. If  needed, add the cooking liquid to give the pasta a creamy texture. Mix well. Add salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. 
Top the pasta with the chopped fresh chives and enjoy!  

The sauteed apples give the pasta just a hint of a tart taste and onions give it a savory taste. 

The pasta is creamy and yet no cream has been added, except for the natural cream of the cheese. 
My husband was intrigued by the combination of ingredients, but after one taste he said, "this is company pasta!" In other words, pasta meant for guests :) I thought that was a rather nice compliment.
My chives are up in the garden, so I am looking for every possibility to use them. I just love spring chives!
If you give the pasta a try, I hope you enjoy it too!

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Friday, March 25, 2016

And The Winners Are.....

Good morning All!!!
Just to start the day off on a funny little note,
I saw this on Facebook and thought it was hilarious!!! Not sure what the story is. They seem to be too close in age to be sisters. When you think about all the pictures that we publicly share these days, I have a feeling someone is going to have great fun in the future with some of the things we've posted!!! 

So, as promised, today is the announcement of the April/May Sew News magazine winners. A great way to kick off Friday and the weekend!

And here are the winners!

Donny b


 Camelia db

Congratulations ladies!!! Please email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com with your mailing info and I will get the magazines out to you ASAP!

One last little share,
When she was younger, my Miss Little Bit would love to crawl under the covers and snuggle in close to my shoulders. She hasn't done this in a number of years now. But this morning when I awoke, I felt something, put out my hand and realized it was Little Bit. I picked up the covers and shot this picture.
What a yawn!!! 
Notice her black tongue. When I first brought her home, I took her to the vet just to make sure she was healthy and to get her up to date on shots. He was so intrigued by the fact that she has a solid black tongue. He told me that somewhere in the DNA of this little 15 pound dog is a mighty Black Chow. He said that it could even be as far back as a 1000 years. Amazing!

I hope your Friday is off to a great start!
Have a wonderful day :)

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Enter To Win The Magic Bias Dress Pattern

It's a cloudy, rainy Thursday here in Chicago, but I can hear the cardinals singing outside my window, so all is well :) 
Last week, I announced the give away of the brand new April/May issue of Sew News. If you have not thrown your name in for a chance to win 1 of the 3 magazines that I have to give away, be sure to go HERE and get your name in before midnight tonight.

The announcement of a new sew along wouldn't be complete without a chance to win a pattern, so here's your chance!

I always prefer to see a line drawing as it tells me so much more. The dress looks to be quite complicated... 
 but this is it! Just 3 pieces, and as I told you last week, what makes it magical is that the pattern pieces are all cut on the straight of grain. That's MAGIC!!! in my book. No trying to make sure that your pattern pieces are really on the bias grain.
Again, the dress I made for the magazine. Funny little note, my husband rarely visits his Facebook page. So I was rather shocked when he said that he saw the dress that I had posted, and then said, "I really like that dress." Believe me, that's quite a compliment coming from him :) 
So here's the drill;
If you would like a chance to win The Magic Bias Dress pattern,
1. You must be a follower of this blog
2. Leave a message on this post and let me know how you follow the blog.
3. Leave a message by midnight Wednesday, March 31, 2016

I will announce the winner next Thursday, March 31, 2016.
Next Thursday I will also have a wonderful guest post from the designer of Fashion In Harmony Patterns, Julianne Bramson. I think you will really enjoy having the opportunity to get inside her mind and see how she thinks.
Until then...
Good Luck!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I Love My Waffle Patterns Pepernoot Coat!

We're in the 3rd week of the Waffle Patterns Pepernoot Coat Sew Along and I am in love with my coat. Talk about flower power!!!
The fabric I'm using for the lining is from Tessuti Fabrics in Australia. when I purchased the fabric, I had a skirt in mind. Maybe serendipity, maybe just dumb luck, but when I began working on the coat, I immediately realized that the fabric was perfect for a lining. The only problem is that I only purchased a meter of fabric, so not enough to line the entire coat. But, I had a beautiful piece of black silk that blended perfectly with the fabric, so rather than ditch the idea, the sleeves are lined in black. 
The lining prior to the sleeves being added.
If you would like to check out the 3rd week of the sew along, you can find it HERE on the Sew News blog. 
I can't wait to finish my coat. I'm hoping to wear it on Easter Sunday. In our final post, we'll work on the pockets, attach the 
hood, insert the center front zipper and hem the skirt and sleeves.
If by chance you are working on a Pepernoot Coat, I hope you are loving yours as much as I am loving mine!

Yuki, the designer of Waffle Patterns has 3 new patterns available,
I think that one of my next projects will be the vest. Love the dart detail around the neckline.

Happy Sewing.

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday Morning Inspiration/Quilted Inspiration

Well, I'm stumped! The 2016 Thread's Challenge in conjunction with the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals is "The Quilted Garment." For some reason, the competition interested me, so I decided to enter the challenge. I have yet to be inspired :(
Here's the criteria of the competition,

“Quilting” is defined here as two or more textile layers joined by hand- or machine-stitching, and you must do the quilting yourself. Choose any fabrics that inspire you. Quilting cotton is not required, nor is traditional quilt batting. The garments don’t have to be pieced. The quilting itself should be the star. The stitching must meaningfully contribute to the structure, silhouette, and/or embellishment of the garment. 

Here's a little of what I've found in my searching for inspiration. The above coat is from the 2015 couture collection by Schiaparelli. I have no idea is the fabric is hand quilted, but I know I will not be doing anything similar to this.
I do like the use of textiles in the coat below. 
This is simple and yet a lot of work. I think it may be a Kantha quilt.
This coat is from Fendi and except for the pocket, I think it's lovely, but not very inspiring.
This coat is from Valentino and I think it is absolutely amazing. 
This piece I did find interesting. I love the mix of textiles.
In this close up picture, you can see how the red fabric is stitched so that it is actually raised off the bed of the jacket. 
Another piece from Valentino. Not so sure about the one shoulder aspect,but I do love the piecing. Dramatic and yet subtle.
This is not a quilted piece, but I do like the stitching idea. Quilting a piece with beads on a solid ground.
Here's a piece that is quilted and then the faces are stitched over the quilting.
I included this coat as I think it is a great use of color. It's from Bjork. Not quite sure why the yo-yos weren't taken into the armpit.
So here's how I'm feeling. The picture below makes me think of being tied into a straight jacket! I'm simply stuck.
But then, I could just grab an old quilt and make a dress!!!! This won't happen :)
So today, I'm asking for some help, maybe a little direction. The competition is based more on the actual quilting of the fabric rather than the piecing. Is there anything that inspires you? I'm up for any inspiration that will come my way.
Thanks so much :)

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