Saturday, June 26, 2010

art party with the girls!


Marcy Patterson Grudzien, Christie Minervini and I have been getting together for "art party" for a few years now. Sometimes other friends join in the creativity. Inspired by something I saw a while ago, we made these fabric necklace/collars embellished with flowers and buttons. Each of our designs always turns out different, and distinctively "us".


After a little lunch on the deck, my sweet husband put my darling boy to sleep, while the girls and I headed into the studio. We chose denim for the backing and wool for the front of the crescent moon shaped neckpieces, and added a little interfacing.  One tie seemed too small, so Marcy came up with the idea to use three, and we all hopped on board!

Marcy learned to make these recycled wool and acetate flowers from one of our crafty friends, Jenny Clare, using a wool jacket or pants with a lining. You cut concentric circles, alternating wool and acetate. Using a match or candle, singe the edges of the acetate carefully, they react differently to the flame. Notice how the green one is more cup shaped and lettuce leaf edges, while the black turned brown.


 Layering the circles on the neckpiece and stitching on the button in one fell swoop. We only had four hours for this event!


Ooh, I'm so excited to wear mine! Christie's looks marvelous, I love the colors.
What do you think?

Friday, June 25, 2010

{this moment}

inspired by Amanda Blake Soule at soulemama

a lovely moment from the week to enjoy and savor

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

April and August recycled pattern collages


While searching for the ultimate summer dress, I found some cool studio artwork here on etsy. It's made with vintage sewing patterns. Some on on canvas and some on wood. The colors are great, and I love the compositions, with parts of shapes on each one. There's a sweet little card you can frame yourself too...


Helen works in the paper industry, so she must see a lot of paper. Sewing patterns do come on the most interesting stock. It's a bit like tissue paper, but sturdy. Ironing it is fun because it gets so smooth. The kraft color has always appealed to me, along with the mechanical quality of the markings. And it's so much better when it's all smooth than when the pattern pieces are all refolded to try to fit into the tiny envelopes!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

recycled denim jean skirt - flirty!


Just posted these in my etsy shop, I have several made from old pairs of jeans, and want to figure out how to post the sizing. Any thoughts? They ride really low on the hips. Measurements are about 3-4" smaller than your actual hip measurement. This weekend I wore them with leggings and a long shirt, tucked in, so it was quite cozy. And the pockets! I could go on and on about how I adore pockets for holding things like camera, phone, hankie, paper bits, lip balm, cash, keys, etc.  It's nice to have belt loops for a cool belt or scarf.

And this outtake from our photo shoot is a perfect glimpse into my reality.

The sleeveless turtleneck is a very large black cashmere sweater with the sleeves removed and side seams taken in a bit. It's exactly what I had in mind when I started the project. That makes me so happy!



When I was teaching in GR at the UICA for Artworks, one of my students wore a skirt like this one day, and I loved it and was inspired. It's been through a year or two of R&D and it's still at the front of my closet.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Armour sans Anguish recycled doily dress and more...


This is an ethereal, modern application of old, handmade doilies and lace. There are several versions of this custom dress in Armour sans Anguish's etsy shop. Here's the front:


The photos are great and even the shoes are fun! While perusing the shop, I discovered that Tawny Holt, the creative genius behind Armour sans Anguish, was featured in the gallery of Sweater Surgery, a great little book that keeps coming up into this realm. It's worth checking out. The cashmere tank is sublime and now I am dreaming of a tutorial, so I can make one of my own in hot pink (of course) cashmere. Thanks to Kris at Resweater for turning me on to the book, and my local library for procuring it for me to borrow!

Here's another sweet combination of recycled goods on this little tank called snowblink:


I think it's the sequins that give it just the right bit of WOW and make it seem new and modern. And the names, how fun!

Now for some olive green cargo pocket shorts and my newly thrifted robin's egg blue Born wedges, I could be dressed for a sweet lunch date in the city on a hot summer day. If only the city wasn't so darn far away... So for now I'll dream of a trip to Tawny's studio out west and a week-long crafty camp of sewing recycled clothing! Anyone else want to go to such a camp?

Monday, June 14, 2010

a little creative dress revamp tutorial - sweater and dress to sundress!


It was a lucky day of thrifting. First the sweater caught my eye, with it's metallic thread. Then I saw the dress and had to double back to scoop up the sweater. Here they are after a run through the washer and dryer.


After trying the sweater on, to see where I wanted it to fall, I added 1/2" and cut it off. The dress had some darts, so I just cut it off below those.


In order to get an even seam, you divide each piece into four parts and pin. Then pin them with right sides together and stretch as you sew, so that the stretchy sweater is the same length as the not-so-stretchy skirt. Here's what it looks like:


So I did all this and tried it on. Not right. The sweater wasn't quite snug enough around my rib cage, so I cut it off and cut another piece of sweater, about 4" wide, and made a loop that fit just under my bust, and could still go on over my head.


Max came to check it out and thought it look like it would work. I redid the pinning in four parts on both sides of the loop, attaching it first to the sweater top and then to the skirt bottom, matching seams at the sides. My serger made fast work of the whole project! Still it needed something else, so I found a belt I had started last summer but never finished and serged some t-shirt strips onto the sides and it was good!



And then I added a little pocket for my phone, handkerchief or snacks!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

sweet giveaway at Progressive Pioneer!

From Progressive Pioneer, Bird and Little Bird, and Sewn Natural

 These foxes are so cute! I entered to win kits to make Mr. Fox and Ms. Rabbit along with a set of felted acorns in rainbow colors from Sewn Natural! Their handmade goods have been featured here in the past, remember the cute dresses and car organizers?

one-of-a-kind recycled clothing from Tatty Tess


Oh, the fun of etsy. While looking for a new summer dress, I found some great creative designs. This first one is my favorite, with it's patchwork skirt and sweet little flower. TattyTess has a lot of great recycled clothing as well as a couple of other shops! The ruffle trim on the dress below is so sweet.


Oh, maybe I should be dancing in this dress! The hemline is so fun and hot pink is my favorite color. A friend of mine has her answering machine message asking for your favorite color, and it seemed so right to share that! You can find this dress at brokenghostcouture. Same artist, different site with more inspired designs. She has another shop too, that is all shabby chic with doilies and such. One even has a sweet handkerchief hem with vintage hankies and bits of lace. Oh, and the prices are so realistic, it's amazing!

Friday, June 4, 2010

{this moment}

a wonderful wordless tradition inspired by soulemama:

One image of a lovely moment to remember from our week.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

patch pants tutorial featured on etsy treasury!


Ooh, this is very exciting! The patch pants tutorial is on the etsy treasury, Learn Something New! I wish I knew how to share the treasury images with you, but I can't seem to figure it out in the limited time available today, so here the link!