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Change of (Blog) Address

I’m trying a new site for 2009. Although I certainly don’t NEED a paid service, and I have absolutely no complaints about wordpress- I love how easy it has been to use- what can I say? I wanted to try something new. I’ve moved to squarespace which seems to be tailored toward crafters, and I’m giving it a go for 2009. I maybe back here at wordpress in 2010- we’ll see!
If you are interested stop by here: Never Yawn at squarespace
To learn more about why I got the urge to move: Purl Beehive

Honestly, learning to use squarespace was more difficult than learning to use wordpress, but I feel like I have much more control of the layout options, and am interesting in the “crafting network” possibilities the beehive is hoping to accomplish!

Adios amigas.

Closet Editing

While at the bookstore, I picked up The Little Black Book of Style by Nina Garcia. Although Nina is like the Simon Cowell of Project Runway (toughest judge but still my favorite), I didn’t really think I needed fashion advice from Project Runway, because those designs aren’t for real women. But, after flipping through the book, I thought, “why not have a more glamorous wardrobe?”

I actually like Nina’s writing style, which is relaxed & fun. I couldn’t resist buying it when I saw the quotes from Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, and Elizabeth Taylor. One of my favorite quotes, which I think came from a PR episode, is from Michael Kors- “Put on a trench, you’re suddenly Audrey Hepburn walking along the Seine.” I also loved the section on film fashion which discussed some of my favorites: Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly, and introduced me to some potential new ones. I’m pretty sure when I Netflix Scarface, my husband won’t know it is to scope out the dresses. The book is also worth getting for the beautiful illustrations. Plus whenever I think of the book I say Nina’s name in my head in my best Heidi Klum impersonation.

So how is the actual style advice? Not bad so far. I’m only working on Basic #1- How to Edit. Nina advocates for clearing out your closet and getting rid of everything you don’t look good in. That advice works for me, because I move every few years, I’m always editing so that my house doesn’t grow unruly. In the course of paring down, I saw these linen pants in my closet.

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My first instinct was that they should go in the Goodwill pile. But I do love their fit and linen is a godsend here in Puerto Rico. I’m just bored with the light green that fades more every year, making them look like pajama bottoms. So I decided to rip out the fusible hem-tape I ironed in six years ago, to hem them properly and to dye them darker. Although I don’t have a live-in seamstress like Nina’s mom, I think I did OK. I guess I was also a bit inspired from sites like Wardrobe Refashion, and the Compai books I’ve been reading lately.

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I dyed them using Navy Blue Rit. They ended up a faded indigo color (I used 4 boxes of dye, but also dyed 4 other clothing items). I’ve heard that nylon doesn’t dye and now I have proof- I still have green thread outlining the pockets! But I don’t mind- I now wear these pants every week.

Back to the closet for more editing….

Good Morning!

In an effort to de-clutter, I’m combing through my book collection to donate to my local library, and thought I would see if any online crafters were interested in the crafting books.

I’m pretty sure I don’t get any regular readers of this little blog, (probably one-time visitors looking for help with invisible zippers) so the rules are simple. Just comment on this post on which book you’d like. Leave your email address so I can email you to get your mailing address. I figure I’ll be making a few trips to the post office in the next month anyway to ship out Christmas gifts, so I won’t really be going out of my way. I’d rather the crafting books go to people who would be more likely to use them. If anyone is interested in all or some of the books, that is cool too because I don’t anticipate many takers.

These are the books that just didn’t jibe with my sewing style or that I don’t need anymore.

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The Artful Bride: Simple Handmade Wedding Projects by April Paffrath and Laura McFadden

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Living Artfully: Create the Life You Imagine by Sandra Magsamen

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Just for the Frill of It by Sonya Nimri

If you are interested, just comment on this post by December 14 at noon with which book(s) you’d like, and I’ll contact you for your mailing address. The first taker for each book gets it. If no one wants a book by Dec 14 it will just go to the library swap shelves.

While browsing flickr a few weeks ago, I saw these pictures from i heart linen (a very lovely blog). I did some googling to find more information about the magazine, and ordered it.

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My stitch arrived yesterday, and I am so happy, I loved it from start to finish. I guess most magazines I’ve read focus more on crafts, so there are inevitably a few projects or articles that don’t interest me (I don’t scrapbook or knit). But since I love everything about sewing, this magazine was perfect. It even reminded me a bit of Blueprint with its neat fonts, beautiful photos, and the page layouts that weren’t too overcrowded.

I learned some great options in the “sew eco” article featuring earth friendly fabrics and resources. Although shipping those special fabrics down here would probably take the green out of them, packaging and shipping them all the way to Puerto Rico.

And for the projects, I’m definitely going to make the skirt on the cover, the Moebius Cowl, the Techno Travel Roll, the Stitch-and-Stash labels, and I might eventually become ambitious enough to try the hexagon place mats and coasters. Although I think that project is not designed for a gal like me who doesn’t measure twice, and couldn’t cut straight to save her life.
But honestly, all the projects look great.

You can download 3 projects from their website.

I hope I can wait until the next issue.

Tropical Coasters

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I was thinking of making these Quilted Coasters, from Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts, as Christmas gifts this year. So I made them for myself to see how they’d turn out using cotton flannel for the stuffing, rather than cotton batting as the pattern in the book uses. I don’t have any cotton batting on hand, and I’m pretty limited in Puerto Rico for sewing supplies.

I’m happy that I made these, they will come in handy to manage the condensation on my drink glasses. I think they actually turned out looking a bit more my style, more modern, even though the version in the book are a bit country. But I think I’m going to keep searching for another pattern to use for gifts. I’m a bit too sloppy on my squares, and they are a bit too flat without the batting.
But I think with the right batting, and when I have a bit more concentration, I will eventually make more of these as gifts.

Green & Green

I’m trying to be more eco-conscious, thanks to Daily Danny and his fabulous books and thanks to Apartment Therapy.

I decided to make cloth napkins so I wouldn’t waste as many paper ones. I’m also going to bring a few to work to use with lunch. I used the pattern from Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing although I made them a different size so that I could use up some of my stash of fat quarters.

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Some other great napkin patterns:
Bias Toward the Pretty from Martha
Napkins Trimmed in Rick-rack from Last Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts
More Bias-bound Napkins from the Purl Bee
Napkins with Mitered Corners from Tammy’s Times
Design*Sponge napkins

Or No Sew Versions:
Pinked Napkins from Planet Green
Fringed Edge Napkins from Rocks in My Dryer
Heat n Bond Napkins from Apartment Therapy Re-Nest

Chic Head

I saw this beautiful headband (thanks Stacy) from Allison Kelly, and knew I had to make one. I love the feathers, although I’m not sure when I’d have the occasion to wear them… I wear T-shirts, running shorts, and flip-flops every single day because after a year in Puerto Rico, when every day is summer, the heat is starting to fry my brain.

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It is awfully hard to photograph your own head.

Although the original version uses feathers, I didn’t -the only feathers I have are black and you wouldn’t be able to seem them in my hair. Too bad I didn’t save that down comforter The Dog ate when he was in his chewing stage.

Feathers remind me of another Project Runway style favorite, Kenley. I couldn’t find a picture of her feathered hair pieces online, but there’s a video on my latest favorite website.

My version is just a thin strip of white silk dupioni made into a tube. I secured the bottom with elastic for an easier fit.

For other headband patterns:
Heather Bailey’s Hooray for Headbands
Martha Stewart Ribbon Headbands
Craft video: Pearl Necklace Headband
Reversible Headband at The Long Thread
Sweet Crowns at Angry Chicken (There is also a cute ribbon headband pattern in Bend the Rules Sewing)

The best headbands? Jennifer Behr because who could argue with Natalie Portman’s taste? (and another beauty)