Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Wednesday Showcase

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday!! As usual, I have some very talented and lovely ladies to introduce you to today.
First up is a fairly new blogger. She just began blogging last year. Her name is Etta and you can find her blog here, She's a cosmetologist, seamstress, crafter, a lover of nature, and a fashion and health enthusiast. She says, "I have always been a lover of fashion. I took my first sewing class in high school. My first project was a two piece suit. Anything that has to do with fashion and beauty I love. I am a free spirited person. I live in the moment. I come from a family of sewers, my mom sewed and quilted. My aunt was a seamstress and did alterations for Goldsmiths which is now called Macy's."
You will see that Etta did not fall far from the very talented sewist tree of her relatives as she is carrying on the tradition beautifully.
Etta combines the best accessories with her garments.
 This dress she calls a Mermaid dress. Again, great accessories.
 She liked the dress so much that she made it a second time. Love her fabric choices too!
 Another fun dress and look at the shoes!!!!! I want those shoes Etta!!
 I included this dress as I thought it was just so lovely.
Etta pays close attention to details, she's lovely and so very creative. I know you will enjoy getting to know her.

Next up is Margo of She lives in Nova Scotia, Canada, a place where I have never been but REALLY want to visit. She has a husband, three kids and a cat and she says that she loves them in that order. Cute! Margo started sewing when she was four and it all started with a button. Click here to read why she blogs.  
Like Etta, Margo has a great sense of style and accessorizes her outfits beautifully, like the lovely black and white accessory pictured below. I just couldn't resist ;)
 A lovely suit....
 with incredible bound buttonholes. Absolutely beautiful! And perfect by the way :)
 Margo participated in Me Made May last year. Here's a look at some of her lovely creations.
 And finally, I included this dress just because I thought it was so very pretty.
I hope you'll visit their blogs and take a little time to get to know them.

Just a quick note. Last Sunday I had the opportunity to meet three lovely ladies while I was in Houston. Two have blogs, Andrea of and Becki of We talked for hours, literally hours!!! Thank you for taking the time to get together. It was truly a treat for me. Just one of the many ways that I end up benefiting from the Wednesday Showcase :)
Hope your week is going well. It's a beautiful, crisp, fall day here in Chicago. I just love days like this!
Hope your day is lovely too.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The I Think Sew Emily Bag Week 3 and The Winner Announcement

Well, huge apologies are in order. I said last week that I would announce the winner of my extra copy of Sew News last Friday and it completely slipped my mind!!! I think it's called having too much fun while being away ;), and just not paying attention. Hopefully late is better than never. So the winner is.....
Congratulations Kathy!!! Please email your address to me so I can get the magazine out to you, Kathy has a lovely blog, She's a very gifted quilter. I actually had the pleasure of meeting her at the Puyallup Sewing Expo 2 years ago. Check out her blog, I think you'll enjoy it!

So...the new video is up for the IThinkSew Emily Bag. It's a longer video this week as I show you how to insert a zipper in the bag. Here's the video if you would like to take a look.

The blog post can be found here on the Sew News blog.
A little note on crazy me. As I watched the video, I thought, "oh no, you didn't say that!!!" Near the end of the video, I mark the seam allowance of the pocket with a pen, yes an ink pen and I do say that I'm using an ink pen. Then I add, "who cares." Oh my goodness!!!! Yes, it's inside the bag, but I really do care and I can't believe I said that. Live and learn I guess :) Anyway....all I had with me was a marking pencil and that would not show up, so I used the pen. Please don't think that I really don't care, as I really do. There are a number of good marking pens on the market that won't bleed through your fabric. And in all honesty, the pen marking won't bleed through my bag, not with the interfacing on the back side of the lining.
If you would like to take a look at my finished vegetable bag, I've posted it on the Flickr page and you can see it here.

A quick note on the pant drafting post. I am working on my project and I will be posting it tomorrow afternoon. So check back if you would like to follow along.
In the meantime...
Have a Wonderful Day!!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Me Made Mondays

It's Monday!!!  
Did you proudly wear something that you made this past week? I hope so!!!
I actually wore the outfit that I'm posting today, today, so it really is a Me Made Monday item this week. As I told you last week, I'm the social chairman for a group here in Chicago called The Musicians Club of Women. It's a very old organization and it was formed to give women a place to perform as it wasn't acceptable for women to perform in public when the organization was initially started. We have truly come a long way!! Thankfully. I usually end up doing a lot of running around, so I want to look nice, but I also need to be comfortable. I was especially tired this morning, so I chose something that didn't take a lot of effort.  
 I made the top as well as the skirt. The skirt is basically a long straight skirt with one exception....
it has a laced up pleat down center back.
The pleat runs from the waist to the hem.
The pleat was left open at the bottom.
There's a zipper inside the pleat at the waistline. To hold the pleats closed, I inserted grommets and added a lace tie. Look closely and you can see that my butterfly is not matched perfectly!!!! What kind of seamstress am I?!!! :-)
The fabric is called Gothic Prairie. Take a look and you'll see thistles, Queen Anne's Lace, spiders and moths that are all typical of the prairie.  
So, nothing too spectacular today, but it did tie in with the pleats that I posted earlier.....kinda, sorta!!!
If you would like to link up one of your garments that you made and wore this last week, just click on the button and link away!!!

Monday Morning Inspiration

Good Morning and a very Happy Monday to everyone!!
Last week we took a look at some very interesting details. I thought that today we would take a look at pleats, interesting pleats!  By just manipulating the fabric, we can turn what would just be a basic garment into a "wow, look at that" outfit. Many of these are quite over the top,but it's more about what it can inspire. Just take a look and enjoy! 

 What a lovely way to turn a basic jacket into something truly special.

I came across this picture and thought that it was especially interesting. With a little more research, I found out that it was part of an entire collection by Georgia Hardinge.
 You may not want an entire outfit with the detail, but a touch would be great.l

Isn't it amazing what can be done by just manipulating a little fabric.
Have a fabulous day!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday's Supper

My husband, like so many, loves classic Macaroni and Cheese. I recently tweaked it a bit, and he now has a new favorite dish.

Grilled Cauliflower with Macaroni and Cheese 

There are 2 keys to this dish. First, the cauliflower has to be baked until tender and it has turned a golden brown.
Simply break apart the cauliflower, place it in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper, garlic powder and olive oil. Stir well to coat and pour out onto a baking pan. I like to cover my pan with baking paper.
Bake at 350 degrees until the cauliflower is tender and golden brown. You will need to turn it about every 10 to 15 minutes.
While the cauliflower is baking, boil 8 ounces of elbow macaroni according to package directions.
Once the cauliflower is tender, break apart and place in a buttered casserole.

The second key ingredient in this dish is good cheese, but not just good cheese, but really good sharp cheddar cheese. There's a very small cheese factory in the very small Wisconsin town of Fremont called Union Star. Their sharp cheddar is the BEST I have ever had. And here's the good news, they ship!!!!! You can find their website here.

Make a cheese sauce
2 cups of milk
2 tablespoons of corn starch
2 tablespoons of butter
2 cups of shredded cheese, reserve about 1/2 cup of cheese to top dish

Place corn starch in a pan. Over medium heat, slowly add milk, stirring constantly. Add butter and continue to stir until sauce begins to thicken. Add cheese and stir well.

Once macaroni has cooked, add to cauliflower and pour over the cheese sauce. I like to add a handful of chopped fresh chives. Stir to mix.  
Top the dish with the reserved cheese and fresh breadcrumbs that have been mixed with a tablespoon of melted butter. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

I made this dish last Sunday for our supper and used up the last of my elbow macaroni. The next morning, a new box of macaroni was on my kitchen counter. A subtle message from my husband that he wants more :)
If you like cauliflower and macaroni and cheese, give it a try, I think you'll enjoy it!
Happy Sunday!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The T-Shirt Shawl Pictures

Thanks for all the lovely compliments on the top that I posted yesterday for Fabulous Free Pattern Friday.
Quite a few of you asked to see pictures of me in the top, so I ran down to the fitness center this morning and took a few pictures. It was a toss up between crummy selfy pictures in my room, or crummy selfy pictures in the fitness center. The fitness center won! The pictures are not that great, but at least you can get an idea of how it looks on the body.

You may remember this sleeve that I posted for Sleeves On Saturdays a while back.
I wore the top on Thursday. While shopping, I decided to make use of a large mirror and take a few pictures.
 It has become one of my favorite tops to wear.
So that's it for my crummy picture review ;)
Hope you've had a great day.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday

Good Morning and Happy Friday!!!
As I shared a few days ago, I am enjoying a few days of relaxation. But before I left, I put this top together for today's post. I wore the top on Wednesday to a concert and luncheon and everyone went crazy over it. I was especially pleased with how it turned out. It's just a t-shirt pattern with a rectangular extension. SUPER easy!!! Sadly, I did not get any pictures of me in the top, but I think you will be able to get an idea of how the top is made.
The T-Shirt Shawl
Above you see that only one side has a sleeve. Below you see the rectangle extension on the other side. Hmmm, I should have pressed the hem before I took the picture, opps!!!
To hold the top in place on the body, I stitched a vertical line about 3" long at the waistline on the extension side.
 The extension is open from the shoulder to the hem.
To do top, use a basic top pattern that you like and that fits well. Cut out the armhole and side seam on one side and the entire neckline. On the opposite side at the shoulder, draw a straight line out from the neckline. The length should be your measurement from your neckline to your wrist. Square the line down to the hem. And that's it! As I said, it's super easy and it looks super great!!!
This is also a great idea for border prints. I used the border print across the body and then to continue the pattern, I used it on the sleeve as well.
Be sure to let me know if you give this a try. I think you are going to love it if you do!!!