Downton Abbey meets The Biltmore Estates – This is a trip I will never forget!!
What a wonderful event!! Dressing Downton at The Biltmore Estates, in Asheville, North Carolina. 40 costumes from the PBS show Downton Abbey were on display throughout the Vanderbilt home. The eye candy was incredible.
About 25 years ago I found a vintage Forstmann 100% wool bouclé jacket that was my husband’s grandmother’s. It was about to be thrown away and I saved it. I had it cleaned and I wore it a couple times, and it inspired me to want to make a more modern version of the jacket. It took 25 years but I finally made one.
I am not a “wool” person so I knew I didn’t want to make the new jacket out of wool.
One day while fabric shopping for another project, this beautiful synthetic faux Persian lamb jumped out at me. It came in three colors, and I fell in love with two of them. I couldn’t make my mind up which was the prettiest, so I thought, why not make a reversible jacket, then I can have them both. Here is the process in making this extremely soft and comfortable jacket.
This is my last article on Christmas decorations for this year. I hope you enjoy some of my decorations on the main floor. I really edited my photos a lot, so you won’t see everything I have made, otherwise you would be bored to tears, I will just show some of the main things.
I will also share my most favorite Boudoir tree, the best way to describe it is to quote a song from the movie Burlesque, ” …a little bit of naughty is a little bit of nice…a whole lot of glam, sweat, sugar, sex, spice..”. LOL I created this tree out of my mind, I personally have never seen one anything like it. I am sharing my secret tree so that you can create your own, if you dare. The camera really does not do it justice, but I did the best I could to capture it. I truly hope you enjoy it.
This is my living room tree and fireplace. I decorate this tree with a little bit of a Victorian feel. The reindeer on the fireplace are those brown papier-mâché deer you find at craft stores. I spray painted them gold, then decorated them with garland, ribbons, flowers, beads, and misc. (The cat is real, LOL)
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house, I have the bottom floor of our home finally finished so I wanted to share these Christmas decorations and tips with you. You will see a 10′ tree, a stuffed animal tree and fireplace mantle along with a few easy to decorate swags. I hope you enjoy them.
Our family room tree is 10′ tall and it is a pain to decorate. I use two ladders, one on each side, so I am not having to move the ladder so many times. I use fabric as my garland because it is soft and flexible and it kind of floats where you want it to. Unfortunately, I always have to put the fabric on twice (UGH) until I get it positioned right. This tree takes a lot of energy and PATIENCE. I personally love using color lights, but this tree is for those of you that only like white lights. I do love this tree because I buy kooky ornaments for it, so when you see it live it is fun to look at. It really is much prettier in real life.
I love Christmas and so does my husband, therefore I go crazy with my decorations. I have to start decorating before the season even begins so that I can get it all up in time to truly enjoy it. I will be posting several articles sharing my decorations as I decorate the house. I hope you enjoy them. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
I love flower arrangements, so I thought it would be fun to do a tree that was nothing but flowers. This is one of my favorite trees. (I have many favorites, LOL) If you look closely you will find birds, bird nests and butterflies too.
Mixing prints can make or break an outfit. It can be fun and it can be challenging. It is a matter of your own style, your comfortability, your ability to take a fashion risk, your confidence, and your own taste. Many years ago, mixing prints was taboo, it was considered atrocious but now you see it everywhere, even being done by the best designers on the runway.
Wearing mixed prints fashion is not for everyone, because you will draw attention to yourself; therefore, when you wear fashion that is made up of mixed prints – you must
HOLD YOUR HEAD HIGH AND WALK WITH CONFIDENCE.
In Home decor we mix patterns all the time, but for fashion it is a little more difficult. In fashion you don’t have the large area to create a “breathing space” or “pause” between the prints, like you do in a room.
If you want to try mixing fabrics but don’t have the confidence, then start out slowly by mixing your accessories. For example, carry a patterned purse with a striped dress. Or animal print shoes with a pair of african print pants. Or like this picture, she has an animal print purse with a plaid skirt and a sweater wrapped around her waist, all in the same tones.
These are the guidelines that I have discovered by playing around with fabrics.
I have been sewing and cutting out patterns on all types of fabrics for decades. Over the last few years I have heard about cutting out your patterns with a layer of paper underneath. I have always dismissed it because I didn’t see why it was necessary. I finally decided to put this theory to the test.
The theory is to lay paper down on your table, lay your fabric on top of the paper, then lay your pattern on top of the fabric and pin through all three layers. The paper on the bottom is supposed to grip and support your fabric better and keep everything from shifting; therefore, your pattern when cut is more accurate.
The first thing I had to do to test this theory was to have an open mind. Continue reading →
For those of you that follow my blog, you know that I am not a knitter, but these scarves are so easy and pretty that anyone can do it.
When I went to the fabric store I didn’t set out to get yarn to make another scarf, but this Red Heart Ribbon Yarn was sitting on an end counter (great marketing) and when I looked at it I thought, wow, I think that can be knitted like the ruffled scarf I made.
I bought a couple colors and in a few hours I had two beautiful scarves.
The other day I was needing to wrap two pieces of jewelry for gifts. I went to the store to purchase two cute little gift bags and I went down the wrong aisle, and what did I see but some really cute socks. Immediately I thought, why not wrap the jewelry boxes in socks. This would give the recipient an extra little gift, a pair of socks, very practical. After choosing two pairs of socks I walked down the aisle and on the end of another aisle I saw these beautiful fluffy feather pins or hair clips. I looked at the clips and thought these would be perfect to hold the ends of the socks together. Brilliant, now the recipient has another cute gift. This is how I did it. Continue reading →
Boo Hoo, my grandaughter Angelica is a senior in high school. That means it is my last year to make her a prom dress; therefore, it has to be spectacular. This article is all about her prom dress I designed and made. It is full of pictures showing some of the sewing processes, the thought processes, and many couture details of the dress. I hope you enjoy the beauty of the dress as much as I enjoyed creating it. Continue reading →
I have been busy, busy, busy sewing. I have so many projects going on at one time my head is spinning. I have been drafting pants, sewing service projects, making prototypes for my husband (he is an inventor), preparing to teach classes, going to American Sewing Guild meetings and events, and most of all I am in the midst of making the most exquisite prom dress for my grandaughter. I hope to be able to share the prom dress with you in a couple of weeks. I didn’t have any patterns for this new design so I have been really working my brain. The dress is almost done, I have a couple more fittings with her before I can add the embellishments. I am hand sewing all the embellishments on (no glue for me). Just the sleeve alone took 25 hours to make. I can’t wait to share it with you. Continue reading →
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE lace!! There are so many different types of lace, so I can’t say that I have a favorite.
Lace can be very elegant for wedding gowns, lingerie, evening wear, or it can be dressed down. Lace can be mixed with all types of fabric including velvet, denim or leather. It can be made with cotton, silk or wire. I don’t care what it is made of as long as it is lace. Ahh, Lace!
Lace is romantic, provocative and sexy. Lace can be the whole garment, appliquéd on, as a decorative accent, or it can just peek through. It can be plain, simple or embellished with beads, sequins or feathers. It can be country, victorian or royalty. Lace can be sweet, demure and innocent.
I think lace is the most versatile fabric there is, because there are so many options on how to use it.
If I had to describe myself in the use of fabric I would probably describe myself as a piece of French silk lace hand embellished with exquisite beads and sparkling gems.
Fabric speaks to me, LOL. Sometimes I have an idea and I search for fabric, other times fabric jumps out at me and inspires me or challenges me to come up with a design just for it. That’s what happened with this fabric.
I don’t know what the fabric is called, or what it is made out of, it was a remnant I bought many years ago at an American Sewing Guild event.
The fabric is very soft, kind of spongy, stretches, and has a unique gimp looking pattern. When I looked at it, I thought hand cut fringe. I decided on making a coat out of it that would allow it to flow as I walked.
When I wear this coat, sometimes for special occasions and sometimes with jeans, I get a lot of compliments on it from people I don’t even know, asking where I purchased it. To me, that is one of the greatest compliments a seamstress can get.
In this gallery article I want to give you a little preview of some of the things that I will be blogging about throughout the years. I will not limit us to only these creations, they will be filling in, between other new designs, ideas, organization, and thoughts I have along our journey.
I love to sew and I tend to sometimes think outside the box. I like to push myself to try to out do my last project. I also like to just make something easy and simple, kind of like cleansing my sewing pallet. I am not in competition with others but with myself.
I love the appreciation and admiration that the sewing community have for each other’s talents. We are all at different levels and we all have a different flare for fashion, but yet we all inspire and help each other “grow” our sewing skills and our confidence in our sewing and confidence to wear our creations. I hope I can be an inspiration to you.
Let’s have some fun together creating! Remember to laugh at your learning mistakes, making them into a creative challenge, and to dance at your victories and throughout the sewing process.
I had a great opportunity last weekend to participate in a Gail Patrice Yellen Workshop, sponsored by the Atlanta Chapter of the American Sewing Guild. What a fun time I had. Gail is very talented, fun, knowledgeable, and she was very well prepared.
Friday night was a trunk show where she showed us her beautiful embellished fashions. Saturday, was a full day of serger techniques, and Sunday was a hands on day where she shared some of her unique techniques while we made samples.
Here is a picture of her felted skirt made from sweaters. I love, love, love this skirt; I am on the lookout for some sweaters now so I can make one too. I also took pictures of some of her other embellished skirts that I will share with you.
When I went to my Jazzercise class last week, a friend brought in several beautiful ruffled scarves she had knitted.
They were made out of the same thread as the crocheted ruffled scarf in my previous article and I thought I need to challenge myself again. Since I had made the scarves by crocheting, when I had never crocheted before, why can’t I make the scarf by knitting? I didn’t know how to knit either, so who cares, just try it.
In this article I will share some of the things I learned with the knitting process. I will also show a comparison of the finished crocheted scarf and the knitted scarf. Then you can decide which one you want to make.
One thing I like about sewing is being inspired by others. At American Sewing Guild meetings we have what we call Show N Tell, where members bring in things they have been sewing. At my last meeting one of the members brought in a beautiful ruffled scarf that she had crocheted.
It really inspired me and I do not even know how to crochet, I thought, I can do this. ( Now my mom has done some incredible crocheted masterpieces that I will share some other time. They need to be in a museum )
There is a video by Maggie Weldon called Crocheted Ruffled Scarf on You Tube that shows you step by step how to make this scarf. It is very informative and she gives some great tips, especially for someone that doesn’t even know how to crochet.
Every few years I have to reorganize my sewing room. It is not something I really want to do, but I have to out of necessity, due to not taking the proper amount of time when putting things back after or even before a project.
My room is NOT this clean now.
My sewing room is small, I have every possible space taken up with something needed for sewing. My sewing room is connected to my husband’s game room, now there lies the real issue. I don’t have enough room to cut things out properly in my sewing room, he has a 9 foot billiards table, see where this is going? He even has empty space under the billiards table … I have inched my way into and taken over his game room, 90% of the year. Continue reading →
I was so excited when my grandaughter asked me to make her prom dress. I knew it had to be perfect, especially since she was nominated for Prom Queen. But where to begin?!
First, I had her email me some pictures of dresses that she liked, then I looked through patterns, vintage and new, to see what I could start with to create our custom design. She wanted something above the knee, with a full gathered skirt that would stand out, corset style top, and of course sparkles. Continue reading →