Monday, April 25, 2011

Emma's Notions

Happy day everyone!  I know it has been a while since I posted on my blog - things have been a little busy.  Not to mention I've had a bit of a creative lull.

First of all over this past Easter, my little (um, 25 year old) sister got engaged!  I am so excited for her and I can't wait for the wedding.  I love that I am in that phase of life where people are getting engaged.  Engagements and weddings are always so much fun (and the perfect excuse to sew up something cute!)

Also over this weekend, my hubby and I spent Saturday with my father-in-law.  While visiting he had me go through a box of sewing stuff that belonged to his mother.  She was quite a seamstress when she was younger.

The first thing I found that delighted me were garter straps - how much fun is that?  I will be sure to come up with some sexy little project that makes my husband blush.  Included with the garters straps were tons of lace remnants - in every color.  Unfortunately, most of these were such small amounts, that I cannot imagine how they could be used, so if anyone has grand ideas I am all ears.

Then there were these. 

Can anyone tell me why a baby would need garters?
Emma's box of stuff also included snap fasteners, buttons and hook closures.

I was also really excited to see some lace that would be long enough to use on a hem.  And some belt buckles - I have been searching for these for a few months now with no luck, and now I have two that may work for my intended project.

The last goody I will share will you is some Dritz Tracing Paper and tracing wheel.  I had heard of them before but never seen them, so this will be fun to try out.

Although I mentioned that I was in a creative lull, there is a project that I am working on.  It's not the 1930's dress that I had wanted to work on from this post, but it is another 1930's project.  It's a blouse that has some really interesting sleeve details that I can't wait to show you.  My only hangup is that it is supposed to be a dress, but I found the perfect fabric for the project and there isn't enough to make an entire dress, so I'm converting it to a blouse.

Since the bodice and skirt attach at a point that is a little higher than the natural waist, I will have to do some altering to make in a wearable blouse.  I've tried a few ideas and am still trying to perfect the final outcome.  I may also wait until Portia's Draft Along and use ideas from there.

This lovely toffee colored silk (a remnant for $5 a yard!) is going to become my blouse.
I hope to have some crafting/knitting/sewing goodness to show you soon. 

Live the moment, love life!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Briar Rose KAL Update

Hello fellow knit-alongers and readers.  I thought I would share a short little post to update you on my Briar Rose Knit Along.  While I promised myself that I would not update you on every half inch added, I figure I'm at an appropriate spot to show you some progress.  The sweater is about a third of the way through - and there's not much time left in this KAL.  Yikes!  I need to get going.

I decided to try it on, just to see how the fit is - spot on!

Look at the window behind me, green grass!  Though I hear snow is coming.
I'm hoping to catch up to where I should be this weekend, but no promises.  I haven't had a chance to look at too many other KALers but two people who are inspiring me are Portia (love what she is doing to add some color!) and Zilredloh (scroll to the bottom of post to see knitting progress).

This is my second on-line something-along (the other was the swing dress sew-along).  What I really enjoy about them is meeting a bunch of fabulous people with similar interests and encouraging each other along the way.  The on-line sewing community is so supportive.  But I do admit that I sometimes get frustrated and get caught up in the feeling of falling behind.  What are your thoughts on sew-alongs, knit-alongs and the like?  I really want to know.

Live the moment, love life!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Blog Awards

A while ago, my dear friend Cherie passed the Stylish Blogger Award to me.  I delayed officially accepting the award by posting about it, because I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to share about myself.  Eight things that others might find of interest.

Well, I can't promise to captivate you with thoughts of myself, but I'll give it a go.

1)  The first thing I ever sewed was a dress for my barbie when I like five.  It was pink fabric with strawberries on it.  Unfortunately, I didn't knot either end, so it fell apart before I even got her dressed.  (I've come a long way in my sewing skills, but oh so much more to learn)

2) I made my husband wait almost four months into our relationship before I let him kiss me.  The poor guy didn't know what to think.  But now he's my husband and I kiss him all the time :)

3)  Both of my mother's parents were born in Ukraine, meaning that I am 50% Ukrainian.  I love my Ukrainian heritage and think it adds to my awesomeness.  Two years ago I had a chance to go to the village of Brody where my Dido (grandpa) grew up.  I was able to meet some of my distant relatives who were some of the most welcoming , warm people I have ever met.

4)  I have a terrible sweet tooth and blame my dad completely for it.  Growing up, he always made sure we had frosting to put on our muffins for breakfast.  He also makes the best apple pie and apple crisp ever.  Basically, nothing is too sweet for me and I cannot pass up desert.

My dad is the one in the suit and tie with the overly happy expression on his face.
5)  Melted cheese is just disgusting (according to my taste buds).  Most people think I am just weird when I mention this, but I am not alone.  My sister and I have been known to order a pepperoni pizza - hold the cheese.  When I'm not the one ordering the pizza, I will peal off the cheese and place the pepperonis back on my bread and sauce.  Sometimes the person next to me is lucky enough to be the beneficiary of my discarded cheese.  BUT, cold pizza the next day with the cheese is just delicious.

6)  I used to be a runner and loved everything about it.  Then I got injured (from running) and faced a slew of other issues that impacted my ability to run.  It has been almost two years since I was able to  run.  I really, really hope that I can start running again soon, because I miss it dearly.

7)  I sing all of the time - in the car, in the shower, while knitting and sewing, on walks, in the grocery store.  I am not good at singing, but it brings me joy anyway so I do it.  Music can have such power to get you to change how you see the world before you.  I am thankful that my adoring husband puts up with it and never tells me how awful I really do sound.

8) Live the moment, love life.  This is how I end all of my posts, because it really encompasses the way I try to live my life.  I believe that life is short - and can sometimes be cut even shorter than expected.  The only way to really live without regrets is to take each day as it comes and remember to choose to live with what we are given.  I recently came across this video by Jenny from Addison Road, describing their new song "Don't Wait" and it is exactly in line with how I want to live:

Did I hold you captive to my words?  Well even if not, I would like to thank my darling friend Cherie of One Heart Scrapper for giving me the opportunity to share a little of myself with you.  Her lovely blog is dedicated to her hobby of scrap booking and I have enjoyed seeing her beautiful creations.

Now I get to pass this onto other wonderful blogs.  Most of the blogs that I want to pass this onto have already won the award.  (I know this means that I should probably find other bloggers to award, but you are my favorites and I can't change that).

I would award the Stylish Blogger Award to:

Casey's Elegant Musings - I love Casey's blog.  It is her blog that inspired me to start my own blog - as well as rediscover my love for being creative.

Sewaholic - Tasia has to be one of the most adorable people in this world.  She has an amazing blog where she shares sewing tips and posts her recent project.  She has also launched her own pattern line with huge success.

My Happy Sewing Place - Debi is fast becoming one of my favorite bloggers.  She participates in the Sew Weekly challenges, which means every week she is whipping up a fantastic new outfit.

Miss P - This doll, Portia, was one of the first blogs I started following after starting my blog.  She is an adoring mother of her Little Tornado.  Recently her postings have shared a wealth of sewing knowledge.  She is also leading the draft along that I am so excited to be a part of.

Vintage Girl - A true beauty, Gina's blog shares her passion for all things vintage.  She is a loving mommy who lives in an adorable old farm house.  Her sewing is always fresh and lovely.

A Few Threads Loose - Anna is like a kindred spirit to me.  I discovered her blog through BurdaStyle and had to become a follower because we seemed to be drawn to the same type of sewing projects.  Although, I must point out that she is much more fantastic than me at actually completing projects.

The lovely Katja Of Dreams and Seams also nominated me for the Liebster Award.  She is really new to blogging and I already love what she has to share.  The neatest thing she did was recreate a 1950s ten piece travel set for summer.  Now she is working on designing an modern ten piece travel set for winter. It is coming along great and I can't wait to see the rest of the collection.

This award is for newer blogs with less than 300 followers.  The award is to spread the word about other blogs that you may not have yet discovered.  There are definitely a few blogs that I would love for you to check out:

The first is Anna from Malmikon Palmikot.  She is starting a sewing and knitting journey and has done beautifully so far.  Personally, I am in love with this dress that she recently sewed.

Also deserving of this award is Lunachick.  I found her through the swing dress sew along with Casey.  She is participating in the 30 X 30 Remix Challenge that some bloggers are doing and I love this outfit post that she did for it.

Also, A Few Threads Loose, Vintage Girl and Miss P are my other recipients of this award.

Thanks for the awards ladies!  Sorry for the world's longest post.

Live the moment, love life!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pepin Academy of Fashion

Last Friday after Casey put up a post about finding estate sales, I decided to give Craig's List a try to see if I  could find any in my area.  My goal was to find a belt buckle for the next dress I'm hoping to make, and possibly other vintage sewing patterns for cheap.  I found one estate sale that looked promising - the advertisement even showed a whole box of vintage patterns.  Unfortunately the sale started on Friday and I would not be able to get there until Saturday.

As I rummaged around in the sewing area I asked if there were any patterns left.  Someone had bought the whole box first thing on Friday.  Also finding no belt buckles, I was ready to walk away totally defeated.  Alas, my eye caught the words "Pepin Academy of Fashion" on a three ring binder.  It was a textbook that belonged to someone named Hazel Hawkinson.

A first glance through, the book appeared interesting, but nothing worth taking home.  Then I came to the second half of the book, where I was delighted by what I saw.

I can definitely use the section on jackets to make pieces for work.

So many lines and points need to be considered when pattern drafting.

This picture definitely caught my attention.

I just love all the possibilities for sleeves.

How much fun would it be to make (wear) something that
required a collar like this?

The book also has a handful of magazine cutouts that were glued to the pages.  They seem to match the type of pattern being reference.

There's not much of an imprint that Hazel left in her
text book, but she must have doodled this during a lecture.
This book not only teaches one how to custom draft a pattern for all of your measurements; it shows you how to create so many different looks.  There are pages dedicated to bodices, necklines, sleeves, collars, skirts, tailored jackets, even panties!

Basic measurement lines.

Okay, so there's a lot more measurements than I thought!
I can't wait to take the time to read through this.  This is going to be a helpful tool for any alterations that I decided to make on patterns that I buy, and now I am going to try my hand at creating my own patterns.  Plus, this will be super helpful for Portia's draft along!

Of course, I also have to share with you my research related to Pepin Academy of Fashion.  Sadly, there was not much out there.   A few pictures, a newspaper add and a mention of it in some one's obituary.  That's all, which leads me to believe that it wasn't around for too long (and therefore my book must be pretty old).

Here are some pictures from the academy's students during 1936.  These are from the collection of Women of Pepin School of Design (it seems the school went by more than one name, because the addresses matched) by photographer Lee Brothers.  Pictures were all taken in 1936.

I love the jacket that she is wearing.  She must have made
something lovely with that lace.

I would love to see more details of her outfit, love the sleeves.

I also love her shirt.  Judging from her dress form, it
appears she is making children's clothing.
No wonder I never get any sewing done - I have more fun researching this stuff than actually sitting down and sewing it.  What are your biggest project distractions?

Live the moment, love life!