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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Wednesday Showcase

We had some friends over for dinner last night. They lost one of their dogs a little over a year ago. Her name was Guinness, a great big black lab who lived to the ripe old age of 15. But as any of you who have had, and dearly loved an animal know, it's difficult to say goodbye, and the time that they are with us is never enough. 

Not long after Guinness died, they adopted the sweetest dog, a Newfoundland mutt. They only had her for a few months when she became ill and they sadly found out that she had a tumor on her kidney that was inoperable. They were heartbroken, but decided that they would take another chance and adopted a gorgeous, red coated coon hound. She is quite different from all the dogs they've had as she truly has a mind of her own. I had to laugh as they talked about her eating habits as I experience the very same thing with my Gracie. They talked about how they stand over the bowl and beg the dog to eat, even cupping their hands as if in prayer. On any given morning, I wonder if today is going to be a miracle day and Gracie will eat, or if I too will have to sit in front of the bowl and beg. The problem with Gracie is if she doesn't eat, she gets sick, so all the more that I want her to eat. If anyone has any suggestions, please send them my way.  

On a happier note, I have two ladies to introduce you to who no one needs to beg to see their creativity as it just seems to ooze from everything they do. 

First up is tpotty28 of Creates Sew Slow. She says that she's a neat freak desperately trying to be a more creative sewist. Well, take a look below and I think you'll agree that she's especially creative.

One of the many things that I like about her blog is that she explains in detail about her projects.

I purchased this Issey Miyake pattern a million years ago, but never made it.


If the pattern is sitting in your collection, be sure to check out THIS post as her coat is really incredible. 


As I scrolled through her blog, I was so impressed by her wonderful tops.



I love playing with and combining patterns. Such a sharp and fun outfit!



She went to the quilt festival in Houston last year and created this beautiful stained glass piece. How lovely this would be on the back of a jacket.


So pop over to Creates Sew Slow, I think you will truly enjoy her creative spirit. 


Next up is Claire of Ragbags and Gladrags. She has an incredible spirit which I think is so well depicted in the photo below. Claire is an artist whose creative spirit can be seen in everything she does. During the summer, she travels to China where she teaches creative art camps to children who are cared for by the International China Concern.  


Below is a self-drafted dress she did for a competition. She said that the drafting was easy, sewing all the curved seams, another story! You can find her entire post on this dress HERE.


Claire is so very generous with her talents. Doesn't this picture make you want to go do a little dying? Well, you can as she gives detailed instructions HERE.


In her bio, Claire talks about how she would love to combine her artwork with her sewing. When I saw this piece, my first thought was of how this piece needs to be translated into fabric.  


As you scroll through Claire's blog, you'll see so many wonderful examples of her artwork. Such a gifted lady. I'm hoping, keeping my fingers crossed that she'll soon have a line of fabrics. So pop over and help me encourage her!

Have a wonderful day, and remember that unlike my dog Gracie, or my friend's dog Lea, most don't need to be begged, they just need an encouraging word to reach new levels in their life. 
Rhonda



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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Patterns That Are Fun To Dream Over

Life has been a bit crazy lately, house guests, and then just stuff. Sometimes there's just no better way to describe the things we have to deal with than to just call it stuff. But all is beginning to return to normal, and I for one am very happy. So you'll be hearing from me much more in the coming days :)

Like many, or most of you, I received an email yesterday showcasing the new Spring/Summer Vogue Patterns. Last winter, I was so very happy when Paco Peralta was the new featured designer and I purchased the Assymetrical Jacket and Dropped Shoulder Top pattern. It's cut, not sewn, and I'm giving it a little twist that I'll share soon. This is a perfect piece for the Chicago spring and summer.


Paco's pattern was the first Vogue pattern that I've purchased in quite some time. There was a time when I couldn't wait for the new pattern book to come out. I would drool over the patterns, especially the Claude Montana patterns, and then write down all the numbers, just as if I was making a Christmas wish list. Sadly, those days have been gone for quite some time. More often than not, there's little that catches my attention...until last night.

I absolutely love this Rebecca Vallance dress. Unless you are going to a cocktail, or black tie event, the dress would not get a lot a of wear as is. But, the neckline would be easy to fill in. The armholes are also a little low, but like the neckline, could also be filled in.     


The pattern is really quite versatile as the skirt would be super cute all on its own. 


This dress from Tom and Linda Platt has a lovely vintage feel. It also has an elegant easy to wear look.


I love having a new dress for Easter, and I think that this just might be it this year. It's elegant from the front, and interesting from the back.


I still enjoy a two-piece swim suit, but I'm past wearing a bikini, way past ;)  This vintage suit pattern offers a fun take on a two-piece with the easy to wear shorts. 


Love everything about the pattern, even the cover-up. The only change I would make is to lengthen the cover-up and then make it out of a fun lacy fabric.


I was so happy to see a new pattern from Paco Peralta. My favorite version is the shorter tunic and the cropped pant.


For some reason, the top on this  Very Easy Vogue  pattern caught my attention. 


The line drawing is a better representation of the top. I'm not much for an elastic waist pant, but the pant from Paco's pattern would be the perfect substitute.  


I also received an email from Tessuti Fabrics. They have a new pattern out, the Yuki Dress. This is a super easy to wear dress that could easily be shortened and worn as a top as well.


From the photograph above, it seems that the neckline could be left ungathered and worn softly over the shoulders. I'll find out as I bought the PDF version of the pattern!   




I'm looking forward to some fun new additions to my wardrobe. And even if I don't end up purchasing all of the patterns, it was fun to dream :)



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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday Morning Inspiration/Shock Wave

While I was in Denver, I had the opportunity to go to the Denver Art Museum and see a wonderful exhibit on Japanese designers who began a fashion revolution during the 1980s and 90s.  The exhibit is entitled Shock Wave. It was fascinating and I found it quite interesting as to how many of the pieces are still relevant to today's fashion.

Since I enjoyed it so much, I thought you might as well. There are 70 pieces in the collection, so it's a fairly large exhibit. I'm showcasing just a few of my favorites.

Loved this simple piece, basically just rectangles.




The gathered neckline on this dress made for the most attractive and feminine design.


Structure and drape combined.


From Rei Kawakubo, bias dress with matching gloves. Spring/Summer 1994  



This is a very different piece, but interesting and inspiring. From Commes des Garcons, entitled, "Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body." The sections and drape of the skirt is especially interesting. 



Loved this pieced and structured bustier.



Interesting tweed suit. I really liked the sleeve detail.
  

From Issey Miyake. Pleated fabric with a play on stripes. Beautiful.


There was a section devoted to pleat detail. While the shirt is interesting, I so wished I could have captured the skirt, but the lighting was just too dark.



This skirt was paired with a different shirt. Take note of the tie that is attached to the waistline of the skirt and then wraps around the waistline. This is a fairly heavy skirt, so the tie helps to hold the skirt in place. Love the pocket detail.


From Issey Miyake. Spring/Summer 1989. What caught my eye was the amazing sleeve.


This dress has the feel of a kimono, but given a modern twist with the neckline and sleeves.



And finally, I just couldn't take enough pictures of this dress. From zippers, to buckles, to drapes, so much inspiration.


The exhibit runs through May 28, 2017, so if you are in or near Denver, I highly recommend the exhibit.  

Hope you enjoyed this little taste!
Rhonda



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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Night Reflections





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Sunday's Soup/The Best Tortilla Soup!

It's no secret that I love a bowl of soup :) I love the melding of flavors, and the warmth. A bowl of soup is like a comforting warm hug, at least for me.

I recently had lunch with a friend and ordered a bowl of Tortilla Soup. It was good, but it made my mind begin to race, and I thought, I think I can make a better bowl of soup. 

So once in my kitchen, I gave it a try and if I say so myself, it was the BEST tortilla soup I've ever had.


It's a very simple recipe. I used 2 large cans of fire roasted tomatoes. The soup I had at the restaurant was basically just a tomato broth, I wanted something a little more robust, so I added shredded cabbage and sliced carrots.


While the basic soup is good, this one is all about the toppings. I topped it with some tortilla chips, sliced avocado, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and added a slice of lime.


If you're like me, it's just not quite complete without a kick, so I added some freshly sliced jalapeno to my bowl.
  

To eat, just take your spoon, crunch up the tortilla chips and avocado. Stir in the cheese and squirt the lime juice over all. Then dig in!
   

If you would like to give it a try, here's the recipe;

Tortilla Soup

2 25 oz. cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups slivered green cabbage
3 medium carrots sliced thin
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 cloves garlic minced
1 jalpeno pepper seeded and chopped (optional)
8-10 cups vegetable broth
(The broth should be quite thin)

Toppings;
tortilla chips
sliced avocado
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
(Mexican chihuahua cheese would also be great)
sliced jalapenos
sliced lime

Simply combine everything into a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender. 
Ladle into bowls, add toppings and enjoy!

If you would like a non-vegetarian version, top the soup with a little shredded chicken.

This soup could also be made in a crock pot. Just combine all of the ingredients. Set on low for the day and enjoy when you arrive home tired and hungry. 

If you give it a try, I hope you love it as much as my husband and I did!
Rhonda 



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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Little Something Unexpected

Just a quick post this morning :) 

Whenever any of us begin something new, it can be scary and intimidating. Not everyone will like what you're doing, and some will criticize. 

But then...there are those who will support, and cheer you on, regardless of whether they feel it's a good idea or not. That's what so many of you are for me :), and I cannot begin to express my true gratitude. 

You may remember the Spoonflower tea towels that I purchased last November,



They are such a simple little gift, but everyone seems to love receiving them. I think that it has a lot to do with the fact that it's an unexpected gift.

Well...I have one of the sewing tea towels left, and rather than keep it for myself, I thought I would choose a name from the list of all of you who left a message on Monday's post. Your thoughts and messages gave me the encouragement that I needed!

So, I drew names, and the winner of the towel is...


Tomasa!!!

A little unexpected gift :) Email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com with your mailing info and I will pop it in the mail.

While I wish I had a towel for each of you, I am working on a little something that I hope many of you will enjoy, so stay tuned!

Have a wonderful day! I hope something wonderful and unexpected happens for each and everyone of you today :)
Rhonda



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