Archive for the ‘Create’ Category

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….


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Used Craft Books Giveaway

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.

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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

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Simplicity 0602

I successfully finished my first set of sleeves, although they aren’t quite symmetrical. The hardest part of this pattern was putting in the collar, because the inside looks so messy that I can’t believe I actually put it in the correct way. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a review on Sewing Pattern Review when I was running into trouble, so I made my best guess.

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I do really like the pattern although next time I will probably use a fabric with more swing (instead of plain old cotton) and will not make the neckline as low-cut.

Sorry but I can’t find a link to this pattern on the Simplicity site, even in the out-of-print section.

The perfect version of this shirt? It’s Lindamade. (Although she used a different pattern, I think the design looks almost identical, except mine had a seam down the front and a belt.)

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Although I have made 2 skirts (Built by Wendy here and Linen Craft Reversible Skirt here) since learning to sew, I wouldn’t really wear either of them. But my newest project- definitely wearable.

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The Cabo Halter, from Amy Butler. I used Robert Kauffman fabric. The pattern was very easy to follow and quick to sew. Thanks to all my past invisible zipper failures, the invisible zipper was actually pretty easy. The hardest part was the hem. For a short gal, you would think that would be my strong suit. For some reason, my hems always look sloppy, especially because when a garment is flared at the bottom and you fold it up, it just gets wrinkly with all the extra fabric.

Sewing the upper bodice actually reminded me of this purse, where I used the same fabric.

I will definitely make more of these halters, although I’ll tweak the sizing a bit. It fit perfect up top, but my hips and belly made it a bit too tight to wear over jeans.

My favorite sewing blogger‘s Cabo Halter is here.

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I love this book. The projects are beautiful and the instructions are very detailed. I’m sure I will refer back to these instructions for all the quilting basics (applique, binding, log cabin blocks). I’m most excited by the “Scrap Wrap” project- a scarf made from wool suiting and vintage silk kimonos. However, living in Puerto Rico and dependent on air conditioning, I’m in no hurry.

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I did make the Closet Case Sachet (a very quick project to make when the fabric you were going to use for your next big project has to be washed first). It is almost complete, just needs stuffing- and I’m not sure how difficult it will be to find cedar shavings in the Caribbean…

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Can you tell I really like turquoise?

The sachet will make a nice gift, and now that I’ve learned log cabin piecing, I’m anxious to put log cabin patches on everything….

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are free….

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I gathered these small shells and coral from a local beach. My favorites are the little pink ones, and the weird purple ones with spikes along one side.

I found how to properly clean them here.

I haven’t decided what to make with them yet. They will probably just sit out in a glass jar as decoration until I decide. But Martha has many great ideas here. (She suggests to wash seashells in the dishwasher)

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