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Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday Morning Inspiration/Florence Eiseman

It has been horribly hot in Chicago the last few days. Last night, I walked Gracie, came home and began getting ready for bed all along thinking about how I couldn't wait for the temperatures to change and the lovely days of fall to return. As I laid down in my lovely bed, in a cool, air-conditioned house, I thought of something I heard at mass this past weekend. The priest talked about how we always compare ourselves to others who are doing better, a bigger house, a move expensive car, better clothes, a more successful career, and the list goes on. His challenge was to look the other way, think of those who have less, and then take another look at yourself and be grateful for all you have.  

As I sank into my bed, I thought of the people in Puerto Rico whose lives have been devastated by the recent hurricane, and so many more on other Caribbean islands who have lost everything, homes, and even family. The people of Mexico who have lost so very much. So many do not have a comfortable bed to sink into, electricity that can provide cool relief. As I closed my eyes, I embraced all that I have and became all the more grateful.

About a month ago, I made a trip up to West Bend, Wisconsin to visit the Museum of Wisconsin Art. I was pleasantly surprised to find a very sweet exhibit on the creations of Florence Eiseman. From Milwaukee, her career began when her husband's toy factory was struggling. In the 1930's, she began sewing on the advice of her doctor as a cure for her nerves. How about that?!!! 

When the toy factory began to struggle, Florence's husband gathered up some of the pinafores that she had made, took them to a buyer at Marshall Field's where they promptly placed an order for $3000.00, quite a huge sum in 1945. The company did not make a profit for a number of years, but little by little consumers began to embrace the impeccable workmanship, natural fibers, and the elegant but still childlike designs. In 1955, Florence Eiseman was the first children's wear designer to win the coveted international Nieman Marcus Award for contributions to fashion.  

Those of note who have worn Eiseman creations include the children of Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Grace of Monaco, the Kennedys, Rockefellers, and the list goes on.

Since many of you make children's clothing, I thought that I would share a few of my favorites from the collection. Truth be told, big girls can glean a little inspiration from the collection as well ;) 






The little polka dot dog below is just too cute!!!



Such a simple little detail, but so cute.


I included this picture as I thought that it might inspire. The white circle is actually a pocket. Super cute!


While the Obamas were in office, they commissioned the Florence Eisman company to do girl and boy outfits with the presidential seal as gifts during their term of office. Such a thoughtful, and special gift.  


I included this picture for those of you who may make doll clothes.
The little red dress in the center is the main garment. All of the pieces that circle the dress are interchangeable aprons that would button to the dress under the collar and then tie to the back or side. So it's like 9 outfits all in one. Love this idea!!!
  

The exhibit runs through October 8, 2017. You can read more about it HERE

Do you have a sweet memory of wearing a Florence Eiseman garment? If so, the museum would love to hear your story. You can leave your message HERE

So as our week begins, may we all see the abundance in our lives.
Have a wonderful week!
Rhonda



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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday Night Reflections





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A Healthy Harvest/Wild Rice and Havarti-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Fall is truly one of my favorite seasons, the spectacular colors, the cooler temps(although we're having a heat wave here in Chicago at the moment), and the abundance of fresh produce. My heart begins to sing when I walk into my market and see all the beautiful squash piled high like a mountain of abundance.

I'm one of those crazy people that will actually sit down and read a recipe book. I may never make a dish from the book, but I enjoy exploring new possibilities. 

A friend of mine shared a magazine with me that is published by the Colorado Mountain Parks Electric Company. A skinny little magazine, but it's packed with lots of great information, and best of all, fabulous recipes. Since I love squash, the featured recipe in the September issue caught my eye,

Wild Rice and Havarti Stuffed Acorn Squash



Halves of acorn squash stuffed with wild rice, spinach, pistachios, cranberries, and chipotle. 

The squash is brushed with melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, 



And baked for 45 minutes. They already look great!


While the squash bakes, the rice mixture is made, a combination of wild rice, spinach, cranberries, pistachios, and chipotle in adobo sauce. Sounds strange, but the peppers are the perfect compliment. 



The rice mixture is then topped with shredded havarti cheese. 

  
The squash are returned to the oven for another 15 minutes or so. 



The next step is a bread crumb topping that includes chopped pistachios. 



The final step...take a bit and say YUMMMM!!!



You can find the recipe HERE. If this looks good to you, check out the creator's website, Half Baked Harvest. Teighan is a celebrated chef who has been featured on The Food Channel, HGTV, O Magazine. Her first cookbook was just published earlier this year. You can find it HERE. Her book is all about living a simple life, eating seasonally, and using non-processed whole foods. I think you'll enjoy her site. 

I'm off to enjoy my squash :)  



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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thrifty Thursday/Pajama Pants for the Street

Just to set things straight from the beginning, I do NOT wear my pajama pants outside of the house. Okay, okay, truth be told, I have gone out to the garbage can in my pajama pants. And now that I'm thinking about it, I have thrown on a jacket and taken Gracie out for a quick trip in the back alley, but I promise you, that's it!!!

A couple of years ago, I shared this free pajama pant pattern from Martha Stewart. Since them I have made piles. I love the pattern and the pants are super comfortable to sleep in. I've made them in both cotton and flannel.


You never know where you'll find inspiration. A few days ago, I was out for a morning walk and I encountered 2 ladies who were walking with strollers. Since they were taking up the width of the sidewalk, I had to slow down. As I slowed my pace, I noticed the pants that one of the ladies was wearing. They were so, so cute. By now, they had made room for me, and as I passed I said, "I love your pants," and got a closer look. 

As I went on my way, I realized that what had been done was really quite simple. It was just a straight pant leg that had been gathered on the side. Hey, I can do that!

That evening as I pulled on my pajama pants, the thought occurred to me that I could just gather the side of the pant and have the exact same look. Her pants were just an elastic waist pant, so I thought the pajama pant pattern might work well.

I was actually rather pleased with the outcome.


Please excuse the crummy selfy. I rather like the side drape.


To make the casing, prior to sewing the side seams together, I serged the seams, sewed them together, and then pressed the seam open.  The hem was sewn in prior to sewing the side seam. So, I sewed the crotch seam together and then did a stitched hem before sewing the side seam.


I had some rattail cording that would work, and since this was just going to be a wearable muslin, I didn't cover the cord. Below you can see that I stitched in a casing. I left the top end of the casing open until I had threaded the cord through. Once the cord was through the casing, I them stitched it across the top, catching the cord in the stitching.


Once the cord was secured, I then pulled it up and tied it. The nice thing is that if I would like, I can untie the cord and wear the pants as plain straight leg pants.


One final little note. I save all of my left over ribbons and sew just a bit at the center back of my pants, or pajama pants, whatever the case may be :) Makes it easy to always know where the back is. 

  
If you decide to give the shirred leg a try, be sure to use a fabric with drape...rayon, poly, silk. 

Go take a walk. Inspiration just might be on the sidewalk!



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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Original Sewing and Quilting Expo

A week from tomorrow, the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo will be in Schaumburg, IL, just a very short drive from Chicago. What a wonderful opportunity to do a little shopping, take a few classes, learn something new, and meet up with friends. 

I will be teaching. If you scroll to the bottom of THIS page, you'll find the classes that I will be teaching each day. Below is more information on the expo. I hope to see you there!!!
General Admission is FREE when you purchase a Class Value Package!
Original Sewing & Quilt Expo
September 28, 29 & 30, 2017

Schaumburg, IL

Exhibit Hall Hours:
Thursday & Friday 10am - 6pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm 
Class Value Package Savings ends September 24th!
The more classes you take, the MORE you save!
Day Tripper Package: $29  
Sew Trek Package: $69  
Sew-Cation Package: $108  
Super Saver Package: $150 
Free Admission and Shopping Bag with the purchase of a Value Package.

Register online at sewingexpo.com by September 24th at 11:59pm ET.

with Cindy Losekamp
with Chris Dolinar
in the Juki Serger Studio
Sponsored by Linda Z's Sewing Center
with Pam Damour
in the Juki Serger Studio
Sponsored by Linda Z's Sewing Center
Lecture Classes to fill your notebook with skills...

with Angela Wolf
with Angela Wolf
with Barb Callahan
with Cheryl Sleboda
with Cheryl Sleboda
with Cindy Losekamp
with Connie Palmer
During Pre-Registration Only
Introduce a friend to classes at the Expo and you'll BOTH get a free class! Click to find out how you can enjoy a class on us.
Connect with us
Special Thanks to Original Sewing & Quilt Expo Sponsors:





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