Thursday, July 30, 2015

My Portside Travel Collection Makes The Cover!

I was so excited when I found out that the bags I made for the upcoming Sew News Sew Along made the cover of the magazine. What an honor! The bags are the Portside Travel Collection from Grainline Studio. 
I thought I would share a few of the pictures that I took in preparation of the article. The bags were a blast to put together. The fabric that I used was purchased at The Needle Shop in Chicago. I have had someone inquire about the fabric, so I went to the website and sadly, I didn't find it. The sew along will not begin until sometime in September. In the next week, I will pop over to the store and ask the owner if by chance the fabric is still available. If it is, I'll be sure to let you know. Check out the website though as there are a number of fabrics that would be fabulous for this collection. 
The dopp bag and the bottom of the duffle were done in a faux crocodile embossed leather. Be sure to check out the home dec department at your local fabric store as they are now carrying some great faux leathers.
I had some turquoise and coral on hand, so I made little zipper pulls.
The dopp bag is fully lined. It also features a great side pocket for combs, or any other flat items that you might like to easily find.
The set also features a travel pouch. I recommend making more than 1. The pouch is great for passports, cords, or even delicate things that might get snagged in your bag.
When preparing for the set, I found this great webbing for the handles and straps.
And I was able to pull it all together with black hardware. For those of you in America, the webbing and the black hardware came from Joann's Fabrics.

The duffle bag is very roomy. Once I finished it, I thought I would check out just how much I could get in the bag. Believe it or not, it will hold a week's worth of clothes. But....if you are like me and take 10 pairs of shoes for a five day trip, it might be a little tight ;)  
The duffle also features a side pocket on either side of the bag, great for stashing your boarding pass. 
If you would like to purchase a paper pattern, you can find it HERE on the Sew News website. If you prefer a PDF pattern, you can find it HERE on the Grainline Studio website.
Hope to have you join me in September for the sew along. I think it's going to be especially fun!

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Night Reflections

There are far better things ahead
Than any we leave behind.
                                                                                                                C.S. Lewis

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Eating For Your Future/Quinoa and Black Bean Vegetable Salad

A few months ago, I received a lovey email message from Diane of www.rememberingoz.blogspot.com. She knows how much I enjoy quinoa, as well as a healthy dish in general, so she thought that  might enjoy the dish that I'm sharing with you today. I think Diane must know me well as I REALLY did enjoy it and my husband did too!
Quinoa and Black Bean Vegetable Salad

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice or juice of 2 limes
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 minced garlic clove
1/3 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced cilantro

mix all ingredients together and set aside

Salad Mix
1 cup quinoa(cook according to package directions)
14 oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper chopped
1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
2 green onions chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh corn(I sliced mine off the cobb)
1 small avocado chopped

Cook quinoa and allow to cool. Combine all other ingredients. Add quinoa once it  has cooled. Stir in dressing and serve.

The only changes I made to the recipe was to add more green onions and I also chopped up 2 jalapeno peppers and added them to the mixture. I like spice!!
The salad will keep well for lunches, in fact, it's probably better the second day as the flavors have had time to mingle. The salad is also wonderful on a bed of your favorite lettuce. Maybe add some sliced avocado and sliced tomatoes and you'll have a wonderful main dish salad.
Thanks so much for the recipe Diane! I think it will become a go to recipe in my house.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did if you give it a try.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Dixie DIY Movies In The Park Shorts Sew Along, Week 3

If you are just following along, or actually making the Dixie DIY Movies In The Park Shorts, the next post is up on the Sew News blog and you can find it HERE. This week, in the written instructions, I show you a quick and easy way to finish the waistband yoke with no hand stitching. Simply serge the edge of the facing and then stitch in the ditch and the facing is secure and you've saved yourself a good bit of time. Always a nice thing!
The finished waistband yoke, piped and ready for the binding. 
Binding can be quite intimating, but it's really all about taking your time.

In the written post, I take you through the steps of a successful binding that's as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside.
 The finished binding.
This will be the last video to accompany the blog posts, but we will have 1 more post where I go into a little more detail about sewing in the buttonholes, buttons and the snaps. I have attached the video below.

If by chance, you've decided to make the Movies In the Park Shorts, but have not yet purchased your pattern, you can find it HERE. Remember, it's a PDF pattern, so just a simple download and no shipping costs!!!! I love no shipping costs :)
Have a wonderful day!

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Morning Inspiration/Lilly Pulitzer

Happy Monday Everyone!!! Hope your week is off to a great start. Summer has finally arrived in Chicago. Funny, everyone was complaining about the cool summer and now that it's warm, they're complaining about how hot it is. I guess we're never happy. My day started off in my garden. With the hotter temperatures, the flowers need to be watered a little more frequently. And then there are dead blooms that need to be picked away, so always something to do. I thought you might like to see one of my baskets. They give me so much joy.

Last week for our inspiration post, I talked about Pucci and how he was able to create not only a fashion empire, but a brand. Of course there are copycats, but typically, there's no mistaking a Pucci garment, especially the fabulous psychedelic prints.
Another name that created a brand name was Lilly Pulitzer. Believe it or not, her initial intention wasn't to create a fashion line. The "Lilly" dress, as it came to be called, came about because she wanted to hide stains that happened from selling juice. Eventually, she was selling more dresses than juice and so a brand was born. Although, it wasn't until Jacqueline Kennedy was photographed wearing a Lilly Pulitzer dress that the brand really took off.
The Lilly Pulitzer brand came to be synonymous with a wealthy, laid back lifestyle and being a member of "the club." Here's a little background history on the Lilly Pulitzer brand.
Lilly Pulitzer was a genius at marketing the simple designs. Not only did mom want to wear the clothes, but her daughters did as well.
 As it was said in the video, the designs are based on a simple sheath dress.
Many have some type of crocheted lace embellishment.
 The prints are always bright and bold.
 I especially liked the knotted detail on the dress below.
 Another take on a sheath as a mock wrap.
 Eventually, the brand ventured beyond sheath dresses and started creating pants. I love the slogan, "Wrap your Lilly around your leg."
 Men also started wearing Lilly designs in ties, jackets and pants.
Lilly Pulitzer died in 2013, but the brand goes on and is still sought after as we saw with the incredible frenzy that was created when Target came out with a limited line.

Here's an interesting link to a video from the Washington Post fashion critic. You can find it HERE. She feels that the line may be good for retail, but it's terrible fashion. Take a look and see if you agree.
So how do you create a brand? Create something that everyone wants to wear? Or is it something more?
Have a wonderful week!

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Night Reflections

We lived in the past,
We think about a future,
But all we really have is now.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Dixie DIY Movies In the Park Sew Along

Last week's post for the sew along was postponed due to the holiday. By the time the video department had the video ready to go, it was late in the week, so they decided to just hold off until this week.
This week, it's all about construction of the shorts.In the video, I talk more about making the pockets without the piping, but the written post is devoted to adding piping to the pockets and waistband. You can find the post HERE.

If you would like to take a look at the video, I've added it below.

If by chance you would like to make the shorts, but have yet to purchase the pattern, you can find it HERE at the Sew News store. Remember, it's an instant download, so instant gratification!

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday Morning Inspiration/Emilio Pucci

There are designers who design beautiful clothes, and then there are designers who not only create beautiful clothes, but create a brand. One that comes to mind is Pucci. His psychedelic, kaleidoscope prints are unmistakable and timeless. As I did a little research, I was amazed by what I learned. He began life as the child of one of Florence Italy's oldest noble families. He loved sports and was even on the Italian Ski Team for the 1932 Winter Olympics. In 1935 Pucci received a scholarship for skiing to Reed College in Oregon where he earned a Masters degree in Social Science. That same year, he was awarded his doctorate in Political Science from the University of Florence. In 1938, he joined the Italian Air Force and served as a bomber pilot during World War II. Before leaving the service, he rose to the rank of captain and was decorated for valour. 
The first clothing that Pucci designed was for the Reed College Ski Team. You can see the outfit and read more HERE.
After the war, the Italian economy was in ruins. Pucci went to Zermott, Switzerland, taught Italian and gave ski lessons. He initially designed a sleek outfit for himself and then enthusiastic friends encouraged him to make outfits for them as well. It was then that Harper's Bazaar took notice and photographed his design. 
By 1965, Pucci's fashion line was well established. In an attempt to update their image, Pucci was hired by Braniff Airlines to design outfits for the flight attendants which you can see below.

I found this video. It's so dated and funny. No airline would ever produce anything like it today. It's only about a minute long.
Now for a few of the iconic pieces. As beautiful then as they are now.

I actually had the opportunity to see this bathing suit at the Italian Style exhibit that I attended in Nashville. 
 Pucci prints were found everywhere,from scarves to sunglasses, shoes,
 and handbags.
So this was then.......
 and this is Pucci now. This outfit is from the Fall 2015 collection.
 A handbag and shoes from the same collection.
Before we go, I thought I would share a photo of Pucci's home in Florence. Take note of the beautiful Pucci area rug. 
Who would believe that a bomber pilot could become a fashion icon???? Anything is possible!
Have a lovely day.

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Sunday Hello

I'm having a glorious summer!!! I have not been doing a lot of sewing, very little as a matter of fact, but I thought I would share a little of the fun I've been having. 
A few weeks back, my husband and I went to St. Louis, Missouri to attend the an opera festival put on by the St. Louis Opera Theater. It was wonderful! One of the operas that we saw was so well done, but so very dark. It made me appreciate even more the fact that as a woman, I was born at the time I was, and in America. The opera is based on the book entitled Emmeline. It's a gripping story and even if you don't care for the opera, the story would be worth the read.
While we were in St. Louis, we decided to check out the sculpture park. I love sculpture parks! There's something so special about experiencing art in an outdoor setting. If you are ever in Minneapolis, by all means, check out their sculpture park, it's incredible. We also have a lovely park here in Chicago. I really enjoyed the St. Louis park. Here are a few of the pieces that I thought were especially interesting.
This eye was actually in downtown Chicago for a while. Nice to see it in a less urban setting.  
This massive piece was made from recycled oil tanks.
 Ocean buoys lined the path.
 I've forgotten now, but I think this piece had something to do with sugar. My apologies to the artist.
 I loved this pagoda.
As we walked along the path, we came upon this tree with the cutout seat, so we took a picture. As always, my dogs are more interested in the hike than taking a picture :)
As I said, I have done a little sewing. Three are pictured, but I made 5 bears in total. I think they are so precious. Isn't it interesting how they can all be made by the same person, in the same fabric, and the same pattern, but each as a little different personality?  Lincoln Park Zoo had their annual Zoo Ball this past Friday. I made the bears to help decorate the silent auction tables.
Here's one of my little guys in action. The theme of the ball this year was Arctic Blast and the polar bear was  the logo.
Two of my friends were over yesterday afternoon and wanted to know what I wore. They were quickly disappointed when I told them that I did not make my dress this year. Horror of horrors!!!! But.....look....could a gown be any more appropriate??? I literally found the gown by accident on Etsy. I'll tell you a little more about the dress and the designer in another post.  
Here I am in the gown. It was a lovely evening, and I really enjoyed the dress as well.
Hope you are having a lovely summer!

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