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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sewing Room Inspiration and Cleaning/What To Do With Scraps

In my ongoing pursuit to clean out, declutter and organize my studio, the question that looms is what to do with scraps and fabric that we no longer want. For so many of us, this has almost become a war cry. We love to sew, we love to create, and yet we feel so guilty about throwing out fabric scraps that we know could be used for SOMETHING!!! And then there's the fabric that we once thought was great, but our tastes changed and it's just the sad old piece that continues to sit there because we feel, once again the "G" word, guilty about not using it. 

To lighten up the mood just a bit, now that I have us all feeling guilty, I came across this on Facebook this morning. Made me laugh and I thought you might enjoy it as well :)


At the moment, and I say at the moment, because I have quite a bit more to go through, I have 3 bags full of fabric and scraps. So what to do? 
 

A few years ago, a very energetic and creative woman came to speak to our sewing group, The Haute Couture Club of Chicago. I was amazed by what she has done and the impact that she has made. Her name is Monika Neuland Kimrey, and she is an artist who believes that you can change a life with a scrap of fabric or a piece of yarn. 



She works with the elderly, the developmentally and physically challenged, children's programs, and has recently started programs in the Englewood area of Chicago. For those of you who do not know Chicago, this area has become notorious for gang activity and murders.

Monkia believes in creating opportunities for those whom society has labeled as unable and and giving them the new title of artist. 

Below, an after school program. 



Monika teaching a developmentally challenged young man to sew and ultimately create.


Another example of what can be created with scraps.


After meeting Monika and experiencing her vision, I no longer look at my bags of scraps and unwanted fabric as a burden. I see them as possibilities in waiting.  

If you live in the Chicagoland area and have fabric and scraps that you would like to donate, please email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com and I will be happy to pass along Monika's email address. Sadly, she does not have a website.

Now, if you don't live in Chicago, what can you do? I've given this quite a bit of thought and here are some of my ideas.

1. Put an ad on Craig's List and direct it toward artists. There are many artists who use fabric scraps in their artwork. You can always arrange to meet them at a fabric store to pick up the fabric rather than coming to your home.
2. Contact a local art center. Again, many artist's use fabric and scraps in their artwork and would appreciate the donation.
3. Contact your local government or schools and see if they have an after school art program for children.
4. Talk to school teachers, especially those teaching kindergarten classes. They are always looking for materials that can be used for art projects. 

These are just a few ideas that came to mind. 
Do you have any resources or ideas that I can share? If so, please leave a comment and I will do a follow up post and share your ideas with everyone. 

I posted this last Sunday for the week's inspiration;

Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world, for indeed that's all who ever have.  

Even a scrap of fabric can make a difference.

Next week, I will share more of your studio pictures and my progress as well. In the meantime, if you would like to share your studio with all of us, you may link up your pictures on THIS POST. We want to see the good, the bad and the ugly :) Come on!, I showed you mine!!!  



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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Wednesday Showcase

We've all heard, "you don't get anything if you don't ask for it." I think there are so many opportunities, experiences, and even things we would like to have in our lives and yet we are afraid to ask. I know I have found myself more often than not in the afraid to ask category. Are we afraid of being turned down, afraid of voicing what we really want thinking that we might be judged? Of course the questions and possibilities could go on and on. What I think we need to grab hold of is the fact that life is short. We need to grab hold and live it to the fullest, and ask for what we want. Who cares if someone judges us? And even if the answer is no, maybe we need to ask again as we might possibly have simply asked the wrong person. 

Today, I am so happy to be the person who was asked and even happier to grant the wish :) Kinda feels like being a fairy godmother! A while back, I left a message on a Wednesday Showcase post and said that if you have a blog, by all means email me and let me know. I have discovered so many vehicles for discovering who is following my blog, and yet, it can still be so very difficult to find who actually has a blog. I know I am guilty of not attaching my blog address everywhere that I should. 

A few weeks ago, I came across an email in my spam folder which I was so happy that I didn't delete. A young woman named Johanna had left a message and told me about her blog. I love it, a woman who has taken the chance to ask for what she wants.  

So...meet Johanna, an aspiring fashion design student who loves to sew, knit and do just about any creative activity. Her blog is Making It Well which is not only the title of her blog, but the mantra of her life. She was sick for a period of time, has recovered and has made up her mind to be well and sew well. 

I love how she took this vintage pattern and made it look so fresh and new. Check out the back yoke. This is a very pretty feature on the blouse.


Johanna has such a cute sense of style. I love this flirty little dress with the bow tie. So cute! 


She loves to sew for herself, but she also makes some lovely pieces for her mom. Such a pretty wrap dress. It's McCall's 5974.


If you've followed the blog for some time, you know I love a cabled knit. Johanna is a wiz with a pair of knitting needles.


I look forward to seeing where Johanna's life journey takes her. I think it's going to be a great journey :)

A few weeks ago, I did a Monday Morning Inspiration post on stripes for spring. I found this picture of a pair of striped pants where the stripes are off set on purpose. Such a great look! 


Sue at A Colorful Canvas left a link to a fabulous blogger who has made a real life pair of the pants. Her name is Stephanie and you can find her blog at Sea Of Teal. Aren't the pants amazing?!!


Stephanie has been on a real stripe kick. A good thing as she does stripes oh so well.


I especially loved this little dress. Check out how the stripes match perfectly from the top of the dress into the skirt. 


Stephanie loves fashion, photography and sewing. That's like the perfect combination! The jacket and pants featured below are from Burda patterns. 


I typically reserve the Wednesday Showcase for those who are following my blog. As I've said before, my way of saying thank you and to help get the word out about your blogs and to let others know what you are doing.  I may be mistaken, but I don't think that Stephanie follows the blog, but I decided to make an exception as I knew you would enjoy seeing what she does. She really is amazing!

So as you head out today, be sure to think about what you really want out of life...and then start asking. We might all be surprised with what comes our way :)

Happy Wednesday!
Rhonda



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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Fashion In Harmony Magic Bias Dress/Color Blocking

As I started to prepare for the Fashion In Harmony Magic Bias Dress sew along, I just couldn't make up my mind about what fabric I wanted to use. I have changed my mind more times than a girl should have a right to!
Sew News wanted me to do a post on color blocking for this week's post and you can find it HERE. What I discovered is that you can make this pattern a multitude of ways and basically never have the same dress twice. Once again, a magic dress!!
The first piece that I did as a color blocked version is the tie-dye version below. This piece of fabric is a border print. I placed the main pattern piece for the dress along the edge of the selvedge so that the bright orange would be the most prevalent and sweep around the dress. 



The long triangular piece was placed where the orange bleeds into the yellow.
Please forgive me, I have yet to press the seams. But below you can see how the orange bleeds into the lower portion of the triangular piece and matches up with the dress. In the front, the light orange under the front yoke looks like a separate piece and gives the illusion of color blocking.

As I said, there are so many possibilities for customizing this dress. If by chance you have a couple of fabrics that are of the same weight and drape, but not long enough for the pattern, you can sew them together as you see below. This could make for some very interesting combinations.


After I sent the post in to Sew News, I realized that I left something out. PLEASE be sure to get a straight edge prior to sewing fabrics together. 
To do this simply snip the edge of your fabric and then rip it across. Be careful though. Some fabrics will run, so test the edge first to be sure that the fabric can be safely ripped.

In case you missed it, you can find this week's post HERE on the Sew News blog. 

If you are working on the Magic Bias Dress and have some pictures that you would like to share, I have created a link up on this post. I just ask that you limit this to Magic Bias Dress pictures only. If you have a picture that you would like to share, but can't figure out how to link  it up, you are always welcome to send your pictures to me directly at sewbussted@yahoo.com 

Hope you are having fun with your dresses!
Rhonda                      





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Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday Morning Inspiration/Leisure Wear

Last week I shared that I made it through the lottery process for the Chicago Marathon. I'm very excited, nervous, anxious, and... confidant :) What I have ahead of me is the endurance aspect, but I know I can do it. 

I was thinking about my workout clothes, for the most part, not what I would want anyone to see me in, and yet, I'm out every morning going up and down the streets of Chicago in some very abominable clothing. So it's time for some new cute pieces.

I decided to take a look at the fairly new trend of Athleisure Wear on Pinterest and I came across the super cute outfit below. Now this isn't appropriate for running, but it is cute. As it turns out, it's from Tory Burch, and it's from her Tory Sport line. 


In the Tory Sport line you'll find;
1. Swimwear
2. Running clothes
3. Golf Wear
4. Tennis Wear
5. Atheleisure Wear

I was able to pull out a few videos. I always like to see the clothes on a person and how the clothes move on the body. The videos are only about 10 seconds long, so no need to grab a cup of coffee...or tea :) 







I also pulled out a few of the pieces that I especially like. None of this is earth shaking fashion, but it's really quite pretty. It also looks so comfortable and easy to wear.

From the Golf Line;
 Tennis; 

Running
I especially like the nylon parka. Not great for running, but a great piece for traveling.


If you would like to take a closer look at the entire collection, you can find it HERE. I think this is a great line, full of inspiration. Hope you enjoy it too.

Now, a little something from the Rhonda Files. I was supposed to participate in a rescue flight yesterday, but it was canceled due to the horrible rains that they've had in Texas. Since it was such a beautiful day, I decided to go up and just do a little currency work. It was also rather windy, so a great day to practice crosswind landings.
On my very last landing of the day, I landed and within moments of landing, one of my tires blew out. I immediately knew what it was, did my best to control an airplane that at the moment had a mind of its own. Pulled back the power, pumped the brakes and got it stopped before it went off the runway. 
In the picture below, you can see that the left tire is completely flat. The truck behind the airplane belongs to the fire department. Once I had the plane under control, I called the tower and told the controller that I was disabled. The fireman heard my call and immediately jumped in the truck. He parked behind me with his flashing lights as a precaution for possible landing aircraft.


I handled the incident so well. The guys who came to get the aircraft off the runway, well that's a different story. But, the plane is back in the hangar. It can be fixed, I survived, and you're here reading another Monday Morning Inspiration post! So all is good :)

Have a wonderful day and a great week!
Rhonda



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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Night Reflections

Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world.
For indeed,
That's all who ever have.
    Margaret Mead



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Eating For Your Health/Curried Vegtables

 A few years ago, I got sick and tired of finding science projects growing in my refrigerator. You may know what I'm talking about, that little plastic container that's growing penicillin. Well, not really penicillin, but ruined food nonetheless. 
Last week, I shared a recipe for Easy Thai Shrimp Soup. Fabulous soup BTW :) The only problem is that the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of red curry paste and I was left with this,


I hated the idea of wasting the leftover paste, so what to do? Make curried vegetables! This is a great dish. I added tofu to my vegetable mixture, but any meat would work beautifully, sauteed chicken, pork, whatever you happen to enjoy. The addition of tofu or meat makes this a complete dinner.
The spice that I chose to use is garam masala. It's a spice that you can easily make at home as it's just a combination of spices. You can find the recipe HERE. I think that you'll find it to be a perfect accompaniment to the red curry paste and the vegetables.


Curried Vegetables

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
8 oz. mushrooms sliced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 head of cauliflower broken into florets
2 large carrots sliced
1 sweet potato cubed
1/2 lb. fresh green beans  
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon (or more) red curry paste
2 15 oz. cans Lite Coconut Milk
salt and black pepper to taste
Choice of Meat
Cooked Brown Rice for serving 

Heat oil in large pot. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add garlic and saute another minute. Add mushrooms and cook just until tender. 


Add vegetables, red curry paste, garam masala, coconut milk, tofu or sauteed meat of choice. Stir well. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook on low heat until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. 

To serve, scoop up vegetable mixture, making sure to include a nice amount of the sauce and place over brown rice. Top with chopped fresh chives if you like, and enjoy!


We were out to see a play last night. Since I can fall asleep in a minute in a dark theater, a heavy meal is never a good idea. This was the perfect meal for me, tasty, satisfying and yet not heavy. The best part, I stayed awake!

This is a dish that would also work well in a crock pot. Once the onions, garlic and mushrooms have been sauteed, place mixture along with all the other ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on low heat. When you come home, you'll have a very satisfying meal waiting for you :)



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Friday, April 22, 2016

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday/The Good Fortune Necklace

From the beginning, Fabulous Free Pattern Friday has been all about making easy pieces with rectangles, squares, circles and triangles. Today's addition to the lineup is super simple and could be made by even someone who has never sewn a stitch. 
The Good Fortune Necklace is just a series of circles sewn together. It can be worn close to the neck, or long and dangling. 
I made mine out of some leather that I had left over from another project. The necklace can be made out of;
1. Leather.
2. Fabric
3. Paper
So really just use your imagination and make what you like. A double sided fabric or paper would be especially pretty.


Since I wanted mine to be worn close to the neck, I needed to attach a clasp. Easily done, just sew a ring to either side and then attach the hook. 


Begin with a simple little circle.


My circles measure 1 1/2" across.


Once the circles are cut, fold in half and stitch down the center.


Once you get to the end, simply line up another circle. You will want just the slightest overlap. Back stitch at the intersections of the 2 circles.


Once you've sewn as many circles as you wish, put your fingers inside the adjust the circle so that it perks up a bit.  


All that's left is to put the necklace on and watch the good luck start coming your way!!!


Wishing you all a day filled with good fortune :)
Rhonda



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