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Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday Morning Inspiration/Stephen Burrows

It was quite the weekend here in Chicago. The weather forecast was for 1.50" of rain...we had over 5"! I watched as the river rose, and rose, and rose. Thankfully, the rain did not come all at one time. The river is still very high and has a very strong current, but as I sat down to do my morning writing, I heard the rowers go by at 5:30 a.m. Talk about dedication! 

I was once asked if I thought that I might one day run out of inspirational pieces to share on Mondays. I replied with an emphatic, NO!!! As long as there are people in this world, someone is going to be doing something that inspires :)

Our fashion show chair for the 2018 Haute Couture fashion show has entitled her show, American Fashion. She has been especially inspired by the work of Stephen Burrows. If you have never heard of him before, he is known as the first African-American designer to develop a mainstream, high-fashion clientele. His garments, known for their bright colors, and lettuce curly edges, became an integral part of the "Fun City" New York City disco dancing scene of the 1970s. 


In 1978, Farah Fawcett wore his chainmail dress to the Oscar's where she was a presenter.


In 1968, Stephen was introduced to Geraldine Stutz, the owner of Henri Bendel. She loved the coat that he wore so much that she gave him a boutique in the store.


His designs which are still quite reminiscent of the 1970s, also hold a timeless quality.


The lettuce-edged knits that he became known for.


From his exhibit,"When Fashion Danced."


Love the bright colors. The designs are simple, but the colors make the pieces pop!


Inspirational fashion illustration by Stephen Burrows.


People of influence are still wearing his clothing. Michelle Obama in a Stephen Burrows pantsuit.


We plan to have a segment in the show that will represent the fashion of Stephen Burrows. I have promised to do a piece from the fashion illustration. I'll share what I'm doing soon!

Thought I would leave you today with this thought from Geraldine Stutz...
 

Make it a stylish week :)
Rhonda



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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Many Faces of the Parisian Travel Bag

It's a very rainy day here in Chicago. As I type, Gracie is sitting behind my recliner, doing her best to find a little comfort and protection. She can be such a bold dog, but when it comes to a rain storm, she's a quivering, quaking mess. Poor dog. 

I met a lovely woman who does memory boxes for people who have lost an animal. I've gathered up all of Little Bit's things, her bowl which has a footprint in the bottom along with a heart, her foot print, a tuft of her hair, her name tag and collar, and now a picture. It has taken me quite some time to choose a picture, but I finally settled on the one below. One of her favorite things to do was go on a hike. She was so very happy on a trail, running along ahead of me, turning back from time to time just to make sure I was still there. Her little collar is one that I made, little Lady Bugs that encircled her neck. She was truly loved :) I'll share the memory box once it's finished.
     

Earlier this week, I was in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I did a presentation on Tuesday night for the ASG guild meeting. On Wednesday, we made the Parisian Travel Bag. 
   

I initially had the idea for the bag as I was so very tired of having the weight of a carry-on bag on my shoulder. Traveling is tiring enough without the added weight of something heavy on your shoulder. 


The backside of the bag features a pocket that slips over the handle of your rolling bag. I added a zipper as I wanted a place to safely store my I.D. while going through security. It's also a great place to stash a little money for a sandwich or drink without having to pull out your entire wallet. 

The front of the bag has a slip pocket which will hold a reader...or an old fashioned book ;) Yes, some of us still read actual books(stone-age leftover that I am!). Inside the bag is another zippered pocket that hangs so it can either be left to the side of the bag, or placed on top of your clothes for easy access when the bag is unzipped. 


So I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the finished bags from the Kalamazoo class. Everyone did such a wonderful job, and no two were alike.

This is JoAnn. She ordered her fabric from Fabric.com. She said that she was initially disappointed with how large the birds were, but once the bag was finished, she loved it. I like how she placed the pocket so that the bird looks as though he is sitting in the leaves :)  


Great care was taken to arrange the fabrics just so for this bag. Lots of sweet details that you might miss if you don't look closely. She actually placed a trim between the side and bottom of the bag. When she pulled out her strapping, I asked if she wanted to leave it black or add a trim. Initially she thought that she would leave the strapping a solid black, but the added trim down the center really makes it pop.   
  

This is Becky and JoAnn with their bags. More on Becky in next week's Wednesday Showcase post.


I love how the striped strapping works with the fabric choices.


They are actually smiling at the end of the day!!! 


This bag is so lovely. I wish I had taken a picture of the opposite side as she centered a medallion for the slip pocket. Made the bag look so sharp.


Sadly, I didn't get pictures of all of the bags, but at least you get an idea. 

Once I return from the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals conference in Orlando next week, I will be making the Parisian Travel Bag along with the companion bags available as a paper pattern available in my Etsy store. 

Hope you have a wonderful Saturday and that you find a little time to do something just for the fun of it :)  



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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fabulous Finds

Happy Thursday!
I'm back home after an absolutely delightful time in Kalamazoo, MI. I taught a bag workshop and everyone did such an amazing job! I'll share pictures in just a few days. The color combinations were incredible and each bag was so very unique. I think you'll enjoy seeing them :)

One of the things that I enjoy the most about traveling is having the opportunity to shop for fabric. I'll never forget a trip to Innsbruck, Austria. We made the trip to attend the wedding of a former exchange student from Germany who was getting married in a small village in Austria. Three of our former students live in Italy and thought it would be fun for us to meet up in Innsbruck. One evening while walking through the city, we came upon a fabric store. Without hesitation, one of our students began to laugh and said, "I know where Rhonda will be in the morning!" I purchased 2 fabulous pieces of fabric. This was by far my favorite, a Van Gogh inspired fabric.


I have worn the dress many times, dances and opening night of the opera here in Chicago.


While I was in Fredricksburg, VA for the sewing expo, I made my way around the vendors and came upon Sew Batik who had a delightful array of, of course, batik fabrics. I have been wanting some border prints and I found 2 that I really liked.

Below is a piece called Durum Dreams. It comes in a number of colorways. I chose a navy blue and white print. Click HERE to see a beautiful Amy Butler pattern made up in the fabric. 


This piece is entitled, Hyde Park. It also comes in a number of color choices which you can see HERE. They are all on sale, so now would be a good time to purchase if you are interested. I really like the quality of the fabric. I plan on making a pair of pants and playing with the border.  


I was so, so good while I was in Fredricksburg as the 2 pieces above were all that I bought.

Our class in Kalamazoo was held at a delightful fabric store, Fabrications in Richland, MI. They have the most amazing classroom. So spacious and well appointed. 

I was so pleasantly surprised to see the fine fabrics that they carry, especially the washable Merino wools. I purchased 3 pieces. 
The first 2 pictured below are a lightweight jersey.



This is also a washable Merino wool, but a heavier weight Ponte knit. I purchased quite a bit as I would like to make up a pantsuit of sorts using the Sandra Betzina pant pattern, Vogue 1411 and combine it with a raglan sleeve turtle neck top. I think it will be quite nice for traveling.    


Today is a rest day for me. I'm off for a much needed pedicure and then home to enjoy a little time in my studio. Who knows, maybe I'll have my batik pieces made up to show you tomorrow...maybe :)

Have a wonderful day! 



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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

On The Road and an Announcement!

October is a very busy month for me. It all began with teaching at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo here in the Chicago area. Then I was off to the expo in Fredericksburg, VA. Had a wonderful time, a little exhausting, but a great experience nonetheless! Met so many wonderful ladies. 

A little later today, I'm heading out to Kalamazoo, Michigan to do a program this evening and then a full day workshop tomorrow for the Kalamazoo Chapter of the American Sewing Guild. Should be lots of fun!



On Thursday, October 19th, I'm off to the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals annual conference. I've signed up for a 2-day workshop on Photoshop and Illustrator. This is something I've wanted to do for some time, so I thought that a 2-day workshop with no distractions would be a wonderful opportunity to begin to build a foundation of knowledge. It's a short trip, I'll fly out on Thursday and return on Sunday. I can be such a homebody :)



On Saturday, October 28, 2017, I will be the guest speaker for the Chicago American Sewing Guild annual fashion show. If you live in the Chicagoland area, I invite you to attend. The theme of their show this year is It's Not Easy Sewing Green. Can't wait to see how the theme is interpreted. They will also feature a competition on bias cut garments. As for my talk, the title is "Taking a Creative Chance." For those of you who know me, you know that I love to laugh, and I love when others laugh, so my talk will feature a few funny stories!!!, and hopefully, be inspirational as well. You do not need to be a member to attend.

If you live anywhere near Indianapolis, Indiana, I will be speaking at their Annual Meeting on Saturday, November 4, 2017. We have lots of fun things planned for the day, and all are welcome. You do not need to be a member of the chapter to attend. They are a very vibrant group though, so I think that if you attend the annual meeting, you will most likely want to join :) Check out their website HERE. They won an award for having an outstanding website in 2016.




Now for a little good news :)

The lecture on working with, and repurposing furs that I did for the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo was so well received in both Chicago and Fredricksburg. The week of October 23, 2017 I will be announcing a workshop that will take place March 22-24, 2018 in Winter Park, Colorado. The workshop will only be open to 10 participants, so if you are interested, email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com to reserve a spot. 

Now off to finish packing!        



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Monday, October 9, 2017

Monday Morning Inspiration/Pants, Pants, and Pants

Good Morning!!! Oh my, I have been missing in action. Last Wednesday, I was up early so I could head to Fredericksburg, Virginia to teach at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo. I had such a wonderful time. Met lots of wonderful, enthusiastic ladies, and I also had the honor of meeting a few of you who read the blog. Such a treat. But, at the end of the day, I was SOOO tired. On Thursday night, I had a very early dinner, came back to my room and was asleep by 7:15 :/ 

I had initially thought I would fly to Fredericksburg, but since I had so much to take with me, I thought it best to drive. I had planned to go alone, and then at the last minute, my husband said, "I think I would like to go." As we drove through the Washington D.C. area at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday night, I was so very grateful to have him along. It took me, him, the GPS...and my dog Gracie ;), to navigate!!! 

Our drive home yesterday was so lovely. The fall colors had exploded. It's as if fall gives us one last magnificent gift before winter rolls out her blanket and brings us all indoors. 

Since this October is Pants Month, I thought I would do a number of posts on pants. Typically, the Monday Morning Inspiration posts are all about inspiration, but this morning I thought I would pull out a few pants patterns that have caught my eye. They will not all be for everyone! But maybe there's at least one idea for everyone :)

I really like the high-wasited style of this legging. Would be fun to do the insets in stretch faux leather. You can find the pattern HERE




I have always loved a wide-leg pleated pant. I think THIS one is especially pretty. Very Katherine Hepburn.  


A not for everyone pant, but I really like THIS harem style.


Some of you have made this pant and loved it, others, not so much. I actually have THIS pant in my Burda file and hope to get it made up soon. So stay tuned for the review.  


I love a pant with a front seam and I especially like the square pocket. You can find the pattern HERE.


I like THIS pant, but would wear it with a tucked in shirt. 


This is a great casual pant for everything from wearing on a morning walk to a yoga class. I have a pair and I really love them. You can find the pattern HERE.  



And finally from Burda, THIS skinny jean with insets. I really like the zippers. There's a zipper on the thigh and also at the ankles.




And finally, a couple from Vogue Patterns. 

Ruth of CoreCouture just made up a pair of THESE March Tilton pants. Super cute. Be sure to check out her post.



I really like the fact that there is a yoke rather than an elastic waist. And as a bonus, you get a super cute jacket pattern too! 


I wish I could remember who reviewed THIS pattern. Whoever you are, you convinced me to purchase the pattern. They love the fit and have made it up a number of times. This is next in my lineup of things to make so my review will follow soon. 


As you can see, the pant can be made up as more of a pair of tights or a pant. 


Hope I've given you a few ideas to get you in the mood to make a new pair of pants.

Have a wonderful week!
Rhonda



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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Finding Peace In Our Day/Eye Pillow Tutorial

In times like these...a statement that I have heard my entire life. But, in light of the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas, I think we are all wondering what our world is coming to. There are so many questions of why, a question that will never really be answered. It is simply senseless. 

When I was growing up, at any given moment, I knew where a gun was. My grandfather kept a gun in his dresser drawer. I knew better than to even open the drawer, much less take it out and look at it. There were hunting rifles on the wall in every house of every friend and neighbor. No one ever took a gun to school, no one ever shot another. It was unheard of. The worst that ever happened was when a young man in our community shot a hole in his foot while deer hunting. Thankfully, his foot was saved. 

So what has changed? I don't know. I think we all wish the answer were easy. If we only knew, we could stop the senseless violence and the loss of so many innocent lives. 


A few weeks ago, I posted my covered journal and the eye pillows that I made out of silk scraps and said that if you would like a tutorial, just let me know. While I was more than happy to do the tutorials, I thought for sure no one would respond. Well...to my surprise, many of you wanted tutorials for both! So, I took a little time and put together a quick video on making the eye pillow. The journal will follow soon.


The little eye pillows are so easy to make and are wonderful gifts. The holidays ARE coming!!! They would make a great stocking stuffer, or just a sweet little "I was thinking of you" unexpected gift for a friend or co-worker. 


All of my eye pillows have been made out of left over silk that was used to make ties, so they feel quite luxurious on the face. But they can also be made out of left over quilting cotton. Make a tiny little quilt out of your scraps and the eye pillow will be all the more special.

Below is my video tutorial. After I listened to the video, I could hear how tired my voice sounds. I'm not a big talker, and after 3 days of talking all day at the sewing expo last week, my voice almost gave out. So I apologize for the weak voice. The video is just a little over 5 minutes long, so it won't take much time :)



You can find the Mountain Rose Herbs website HERE. I love the quality of their herbs! If by chance you don't care for lavender, there are lots and lots of other herbs you can choose from. Or if you wish, just fill the bags with rice. They will still be wonderfully relaxing.

I hope that you can find a little time to relax, maybe take a walk, or go take that yoga class that you been intending to try. 

May you find peace in your day.
Rhonda



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Monday, October 2, 2017

Monday Morning Inspiration/Fancy Pants

Last week, I did the Monday morning post on children's wear designer, Florence Eiseman as I was especially inspired by her story. Well, you never know who may read a blog post...I actually received a message from one of her grandchildren! Here's the note;

"We (Florence Eiseman's grandchildren) absolutely loved the exhibit and book created by the Museum of Wisconsin Art. Thank you for the lovely blog post--her little touches are exactly why the clothes are timeless beauties."

How nice :) I think I smiled for the rest of the day! Not that I don't smile when anyone leaves a comment, I do, this was just such a surprise. 

When I opened my email yesterday morning, October 1st, I had 2 emails that both stated that October is Pants Month. For many of us, I think that each and every month is pants month, but in light of the special notation, I thought we would take a look at a few fun pairs of pants.

Emma Watson seems to really enjoy wearing pants as there are lots of pictures of her on Pinterest wearing pants. I absolutely love this pair. What a sticking outfit to wear to a special occasion. 


And how about this pair of pants?!! This is a great example of how to dress up a basic pair of straight leg pants. The sash really puts them over the top!


Such an interesting pair of pants.


It seems that the Katherine Hepburn style of pant is making its way around again. I love this twist on a high-waist pleated pant.


The drape on this pant is actually an extension of the right pant leg. So pretty.


Another fun take on the high waist. 


Not for everyone, but I rather like the military inspired aspect of these pants. 


I love a pant that flows. With this pair of pants, the drapes are just half circles that have been pleated back into the yoke.


Kind of a cross between a pant and a skirt, kind of a culotte. Easy to wear and I really like the shorter length with heels. Would be cute with flats too!


Again, not for everyone, but for evening, I think this could be fun.


This must be a new trend as I actually saw someone wearing these last Saturday night. I had taken Gracie out for a long walk, and we walked through a rather hip area with lots of restaurants and bars and I saw a woman wearing these pants. She actually had them completely unbuttoned so they really flowed around her leg. They were different enough that they caught my eye.


And finally, just a sweet little pocket detail. 


I actually remember the first time I was allowed to wear pants to school, and no, I did not go to a private school. It was like liberation day!!!

So pull on your pants this month, maybe make a new pair or 2 and enjoy:)
Rhonda 



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