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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Take A Peek/A Vintage Garment That Is Beautifully Made

A number of years ago, I found a wonderful vintage evening suit that transcends time. 


The dress is simple in design, but made of the most beautiful fabric. It includes a jacket, perfect for chilly evenings. And even better, it has hidden pockets.


For those of us who sew, the interior of the dress and jacket are just as interesting as the outside, if not more, so I thought you might like to take a look inside.



If you have any questions, be sure to ask, Or if I can take a close up picture of something, just let me know.



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Friday, April 21, 2017

Sewbussted's Material Witness/Fishman's Fabrics, Chicago's Premier Fabric Store

Today is National Drink Tea Day! How perfect, grab a cup of tea, and enjoy a brand new episode of Sewbussted Material Witness! If you prefer coffee, that's okay too ;)


I found this interview to be especially interesting and inspiring. So many of us watch as fabric store after fabric store closes, and of course we fear the worse...where will we be able to find fabric? Many have turned to the internet, but it's just not the same as being able to go into a store and become intoxicated by everything we see. 

Fishman's has been a resource for couture fabrics for over 100 years. Here you will find 80 shades of Bemberg lining, always at $10.00 per yard. 


They also carry 38 shades of silk charmuese, a must lining in any couture garment.


A little over one half of the store is devoted to clothing fabrics,


With an entire wall of woolens for bespoke men's wear. 


In the video, you'll learn that they even offer more, a free swatch service, unique fabrics from Italian manufacturers, and re-orderable fabrics. 



As you enter the store, there is a wall devoted to the history of Fishman's, featuring the impact that the store has had on Chicago as well as the life of so many who have entered through the front door.



And finally, a tribute to Gregg's father, Jerry Fishman, a wonderful man who made everyone who entered the store feel as though they were the most important person in the world. In the video you'll learn why he is pictured in an airplane. 


I hope you've enjoyed this episode of Sewbussted Material Witness :)
Rhonda 



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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Wednesday Showcase

The smallest gesture can have an enormous impact.

My husband and I belong to a ballroom dance club. It's a little on the Downton Abbey side as the men must wear a tuxedo, the women must wear a formal gown. There are dance cards. A woman is never to left alone at a table. I tend to roll my eyes at a few of the rules, but all in all, it's fun, and I enjoy meeting and talking with the other members. 

There are a few couples that I especially enjoy. I had the opportunity to dance with one gentleman that I think is just delightful. As we danced, he mentioned the Christmas card that I sent to he and his wife. He went on to say, "you just don't know how much that meant to us." 

I love sending Christmas cards, but this year was a little difficult. For years now, my husband and I have done picture cards, and my little dog Little Bit typically had a place of honor. 

Poor little dog...one year I found a pair of fabric antlers that I thought I would strap to her head. Then I got the bright idea to take her out to the airport and sit her on the cowling of the airplane as if she were Rudolph leading the sleigh. She had a very different idea about doing this and I ended up having to just hold her in my arms. Over the years, there have been pictures of us hiking, and pictures with special get-ups(a term used in the south for outfits that are rather questionable). It's a miracle that the little dog loved me as much as she did! ;)

I almost talked myself into not sending out cards this past year. But, for me, a card is like a small gift, a gesture to show that I have thought of the person to whom it is sent. And so, as difficult as it was, our simple little card was put together, just the three of us, my husband, Gracie, and me. Little did I know that months later I too would be given a gift.

It's been a few weeks since we've had a Wednesday Showcase post, so we are well overdue!

First up today is Anne of quite simply, Anne's Blog. Unlike many of us, she did not have the opportunity to sew when she was a teenager, but now that she is retired, she has taken on the challenge as an outlet for her hidden creativity. The blog gives her a place to chart her progress. As you'll see below, she has done an incredible job!

Not only did she make her daughter's gown, she also made the bridesmaid's dresses. So lovely.   


This beyond adorable shirt was made for her grandson. This is a shirt that I would like to have in my wardrobe!!!


Anne is so very generous with her time. She even sews for her mom. This was an especially thoughtful gift as her mother is now legally blind, and the fabric was from her stash.


Anne says that she has a very difficult time finding RTW clothes that will fit, so all the more that she wants to sew for herself. She goes into great detail about the changes she makes in her patterns. Here she is pictured in a Cashmerette Concord Tee. The room she is standing in is to die for!!! I would LOVE a garden room like this.



Be sure to pop over and say hi to Anne. I know you'll enjoy getting to know her.

Next up is Claire of Domestic Coquinette. She sews on her dining room table in New York City and creates pieces that anyone would love to have in their wardrobe.

She is especially proud of her "Bombshell" bridesmaid's dress. I think there are a lot of bridesmaids who would be especially jealous of such a beautiful dress! You can read all about her journey to create this dress HERE.  



She copied an Anna Sui dress. Claire's is on the left, and the original on the right. I like Claire's :)



Claire made this beautiful lace dress for her rehearsal dinner. Not a full length picture, but you can see that it is spot on perfect!



Not at all afraid of a challenge, she rubbed off a favorite dress and created this super cute piece for her sister's engagement party.


Claire also enjoys sharing her adventures and travels with those who stop by her blog. She is truly a delight in every way. 

Before I go, I thought I would share something that really made me laugh...


Have a wonderful day!
Rhonda



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Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday Morning Inspiration/Bring On Spring!

Spring has sprung here in Chicago, but Mother Nature can be an evil woman this time of year! In years past, I have been lured by her temptation that spring is truly here, gone out, worked in my garden, planted flowers, only to have a dip in the temperatures, and then loose everything. So...I wait until Mother's Day weekend to do any planting. But until then, I fill the house with flowers, open the doors and windows, and enjoy the warm air. 

Back in February, I shared with you the delightful work of Meredith Wing. She is a fashion illustrator who designs under the name Moomooi. Her designs aren't exactly fashion, but vegetables, fruit, leaves, all artfully arranged on fashion figures. Meredith is such an inspiration as she is the perfect example of do what you truly love, add in a little luck, and you will succeed.

   
I was so captivated by her work, so I searched around and found the Feel Unique website, and ordered her tote bag and makeup bag. Even prettier in person than they are on the site.


The other pieces that are offered;
Makeup brush
I-phone case
Travel Pouch


I think these would be a lovely gift for a young woman graduating from high school. If your purchase totals $15.00 or more, shipping is free in the U.S. I love free shipping :)

Last week, I did a post about my knitting projects that I have challenged myself to complete during 2017. I also vowed not to purchase another project until I thinned the project stash. Well, I must confess that I broke down and purchased another project. I'm disappointed in myself (only a little!), but I just fell in love with these crocheted boots from Lion Brand Yarn. As I told you last week, I can crochet, but not well, so it's going to be all the more of a challenge for me to get these made. But, since I really want them, maybe I'll be all the more motivated. We'll see :/ 


Bell shaped sleeves have become the rage this year.

This morning when I opened my email, I saw a fun challenge from McCall's.  


All you have to do is make up McCall's 7542, submit your make, and you just may win! Get all of the details on the McCall's blog HERE. The grand prize is pretty sweet! And even better, the pattern is on sale for $2.49.  
I look at it this way, even if you don't win the big prize, you'll walk away with a cute new piece for your spring wardrobe. You can gets lots of inspiration HERE on Pinterest for your own makes.

My next interview for Sewbussted's Material Witness was postponed last week, but will happen tomorrow. I am so excited!!! So it should be up this Friday. 

If you haven't done so already, go buy a few flowers to enjoy at home or in your office. A beautiful flower always puts a smile on my face :)

Have a wonderful week!
Rhonda



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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

Empowering Others

One of my favorite television programs is, "Pit Bulls and Parolees." If you haven't seen the show, it's about a woman, Tia, who is committed to saving pit bull dogs, and giving those who have been incarcerated a chance at making it once they leave prison. Not all of the dogs can be saved, and not all of those who come to work at the facility end up a success story. But, many do. 

A friend emailed me about an event that will take place here in Chicago on April 29, 2017, called Knit Around The Clock. This is a fund raiser for a group called Committed Knitters. You can check them out HERE on Facebook. They are a   group of women who once a week, teach women how to knit and crochet at the Cook County jail. The outreach doesn't end at the jail. When the women are released, the group continues to follow up with them to ensure success once they are back out in the world.  

They do need donations. A downtown store called Loopy Yarns will accept donations. You can also find them HERE on Facebook. If you attend the event on April 29th, donations will be accepted then as well.

On Tuesday, I shared my goal of completing 12 knitting projects this year. Many need to be completed, so they are not start to finish projects. My initial goal was to complete at least 1 project each month. The only problem is that it's now April, the 4th month of the year, and none are completely finished. Close, but not finished :/

I felt that I needed a jump start, so I went through my selected projects and decided that I could get one completed, a scarf. 



I had taken a class with Nora Gaughan while I was in Maine a few summers ago. She had given us a set of 6 different samples to do. I had thought that I would do the samples, but make them into a scarf. I didn't like it, and there it sat. So when I looked at it on Tuesday, I realized that my only option was to rip the entire thing apart, but choose a pattern that I like and just do the 1 pattern for the entire length of the scarf. I'm happy!!! I sat down over the last 3 evenings and knitted away. So now I can mark at least 1 project off the list. 

What I am the most excited about is finding out about the Committed Knitters program. So inspiring. What a wonderful resource for duplicate needles, and yarn that I know I am not going to use. My initial goal was just to thin the stash, but I also wrote that one of my goals was to find a home for the things I could not use, or did not want. See, this whole thing of writing it down really does make it happen. And even better, the resource came to me, I didn't even have to look for it!

If you know of resources like Committed Knitters that needs needles and yarn, please leave a message. If there are enough, I can compile them into resource list.  



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