Monday, October 23, 2017

Monday Morning Inspiration/Do You Wear Red?

The week is beginning on a quiet note. There's a soft rain falling, gray skies, the feeling of a hush over the city...but then I am not commuting to a job. I'm sure there are so many who are stuck in traffic, arriving to their office drenched, and beginning the week on a rather sour note. So all the more I feel fortunate to begin the day with you, quietly and peacefully :)

When I opened my email this morning, there was a Bloglovin sponsored post about the 10 must need red sweaters for the fall/winter season. I didn't like any of them, but not the point. The article did peek my curiosity though about the color red. Do you like to wear the color red? For me, sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't. 

The color red attracts attention more than any other color. It signifies a pioneering spirit and leadership qualities, promoting ambition and determination. The color also represents a strong will and can give confidence to those who are shy. 

The negative aspects of the color are that it also represents, anger(seeing red), aggression, and danger.

In eastern cultures, red represents good luck and was traditionally worn at marriage ceremonies. While the Indian culture views red as the color of purity, it too is traditionally worn in wedding garments.

Since October is the month of the pant, I thought we could take a look at a few ways to wear red pants.

A great way to tone down the color is to pair it with neutrals.

Pair them with a neutral plaid and a dark layer.

Pair a great pair of red slacks with a denim shirt.

Red jeans always look great paired with denim and animal print.

Black and white is always cute with a pair of red pants. Take note of the black trim around the hem of Audrey Hepburn's pants.

I especially love red paired with turquoise. Tone it down with a navy jacket.

If you are feeling a little bolder, go for a lavender mix.

And then, if you feel the need to slay the world, go for it in red from top to bottom!

Don't be afraid to add a little color to your wardrobe and have some fun!

Once last little tidbit...
Red also enhances human metabolism. 
Nice to know :)

Have a great week!

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Make a Sewing Caddy

Finding a fun little project that will also enhance your life is just the best! I made up my little sewing caddy and was immediately so happy that I did. Such a wonderful place to store everything you may need while sitting at the machine. My husband even thought it was a great little item.

You will need to cut;
1 rectangle 6 1/2" x 15"
3 rectangles 6 1/2" x 6"
1 rectangle 6 1/2" x 11"

If you would like to quilt your large rectangle, you will also need a piece of batting (I like wool batting the best) 6 1/2" x 15". Quilting the backing for the pockets really makes for a much nicer caddy, so please don't skip this step.

Check out the video below for my how to. Once again, I apologize for my weak voice. I feel a sore throat coming on, so it's a little quivery. 

For those of you who enjoy written instructions;

You will need a 5" x 7" acrylic document frame. I found mine HERE

Cut 1 rectangle 6 1/2" x 15". Back it with a piece of wool batting and quilt it.

Cut 3 rectangles 6 1/2" x 6". Press in half. 

Stack on top of each other leaving 1 1/4" at the top between each layer. To reduce bulk, the top 2 rectangles do not extend to the bottom. 

For the opposite side, cut 1 rectangle 6 1/2" x 11". Fold in half and press. Line up with the edge on the opposite end of the long rectangle. 

Baste the pockets to the large rectangle. Find the center and stitch from bottom to top on the 3 stacked pockets. 
Serge the lower edge to to give it a nice finish. 

Fold the large rectangle in half, fold up the bottom edge and stitch the sides with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Clip the corners and turn. 

And voila, you have a fabulous little caddy!

This little caddy can be made for a multitude of things, a desk organizer, maybe a place to keep paint brushes easily at hand. So get those creative juices going and sew up a storm!


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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Wednesday Showcase

It just occurred to me that I have an anniversary coming up...my very first ever blog post was written on October 20, 2009. Wow, 8 years ago! Eight...years...ago, it's rather sweet to think back about that day. I've told the story before, but it was my acupuncturist who encouraged me to begin doing something to share what I do. She was/is always so taken with whatever I wear to my appointments. I had met a woman from Austin at a knitting retreat who talked about her blog. Curious, I checked it out and decided to give it a try. Scared half to death, I had no idea what I was doing, or what I should say. 

The first rule of writing is to write what you know. That first post was about flying, not a word about sewing, or making. It felt safe. 

In 2010, I wrote a whopping 13 blog posts. But, good things happened that year, I was published in Threads magazine, and featured in a magazine published by Threads entitled, Teach Yourself To Sew. 

The best part of it all, connecting with so many of you :) From time to time I receive some of the most inspiring emails telling me how I have touched your life, inspired you, or just to encourage me to keep going. From the very bottom of my heart, 


Someone who has been a part of my sewing/creative journey is Becky of Trial Balloons. A wonderfully creative woman, I initially met her when I decided to take the plunge and participate in the Passion For Fashion competition at the American Sewing Expo. The contest was set up like a mini Project Runway Competition. We received our challenge on Saturday morning, and given $100 for materials. We then had until 7 that evening to work on our designs. The next day, we worked until 3 when our models returned for fittings. We had just an hour to make changes and then the judging would begin. Becky was our mentor, a.k.a., our Tim Gunn :) She has an incredible talent of being able to pull creativity out of a person who is under pressure.

As I drove to Kalamazoo last week to do the presentation and class for the American Sewing Guild group, Becky crossed my mind. You know how your mind wanders when you are driving and alone. I thought of the competition, Becky, and wondered how she was doing. And then, to my very pleasant surprise, she walked into the evening meeting! And even better, I found out that she would be taking the bag class the following day. It was during the class that I found out that she has a blog, Trial Balloons. Lucky me, lucky you! Be sure to check out her "About Me" profile for an explanation of the title of her blog.

So, here's Becky and me with her fabulous bag.

Becky pays such close attention to detail, like the bias trim on the inside of her vest below.

You'll find a wonderful tutorial about how to make a button band HERE

Check out this fabulous t-shirt. The inset is not a stripe. She actually pieced the design! 

Becky is a very prolific knitter. I have never seen anyone who can get something out of 1 skein of yarn better than she can. Be sure to scroll through the blog and check out all of her lovely knits.

As I scrolled through her blog, I came upon this dress that she did while on retreat at Design Outside the Lines. I loved the piece and then I read her story. It is so heartfelt, and something that many, if not all can relate to. You can find her story HERE.     

Becky loves to walk along the shores of Lake Michigan and collect stones. Love what she does with them.

I competed 3 times in the Passion For Fashion contest. Never won. The best I did was to win the People's Choice award for the piece below,

And 3rd Place for the Kiss inspired piece below. Look closely and you can see Becky in the background holding up the poster that was my inspiration.

But all in all, the best gift I was given was this small little stone from Becky.

The last time I participated in the contest, Becky had a stone for each of us, and she shared a story about expectations that has remained with me. The stone reminds me to pause and just enjoy the moment rather than being disappointed when things don't turn out as I had hoped. 

I'll leave you with this today;

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tuesday Tips

It is a spectacular day here in Chicago! So needed after the rainy weekend. A gift :) But...I feel a sore throat coming on, ugh. My acupuncturist's partner is a phenomenal herbalist and he makes what I call a potion, it's actually a tonic, called Cold and Flu Tonic. With the first sign of a sore throat, I begin taking a swig every few hours. You can find it HERE. It's quite potent, but works so well.

Karen sent a message after yesterday's post on Stephen Burrows and said that she has, of all things, a Stephen Burrows pattern. I had no idea! So, I decided to take a look, and here's what I found;

The shapes are quite basic, but now that you have seen what he did with them, the possibilities are endless for chopping up and color play. You can find all of these patterns HERE on Etsy. I did find a few on Ebay as well, but not as much of a selection as there was on Etsy. 

I purchased the pattern below.

I like the wrap top, but what really interested me was the cut of the skirt. Looking forward to making it up.

The shape of this pattern works well with how he drew his skirts. Look at the center illustration below, and then the 3rd piece from the left, the skirt with the red circle on the hip. Take note of how the skirt fits through the hips, but is flared at the hemline. Love this. 

I met up with a friend yesterday and she was wearing a fabulous pin. The leaves of the flower are leather that has been stitched. The swirly stamens are plastic wire. I plan to copy this as I loved it. 

While I was in Kalamazoo, one of the ladies had this little caddy sitting beside her machine. 

The front side had 6 little pockets, perfect for your seam ripper, a pen, scissors, and a needle can be stuck into the cloth.

The backside had a large pocket where she stored her phone. 

I am going to make one up today and I'll have a tutorial for you on Thursday. Such a great little item, especially for me as I have everything laid out so haphazardly on my sewing table. 

Last winter I worked with a massage therapist who really believes in the power of essential oils. She encouraged me to begin using 3 oils at night,

I use the Vitamin E oil on my feet and legs, the serenity oil on my forearms, and the breathe oil on my chest. What a difference it makes in how I sleep at night. On the occasion that I fall asleep before I apply the oils, I don't sleep as well. Then, the next morning, I'll remember that I forgot to apply the oil. The vitamin E oil I purchase from my local drugstore. The doTerra oils can be found at various sites. Just a little something I thought I would share as I think that a good night's rest is one of the best things in the world!  

Do you have a fun tip, or something that makes your life a little better, or easier? Let me know. I would love to feature it on the blog. If for some reason you can't leave a message, you are always welcome to email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com :)

Have a wonderful day!

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday Morning Inspiration/Stephen Burrows

It was quite the weekend here in Chicago. The weather forecast was for 1.50" of rain...we had over 5"! I watched as the river rose, and rose, and rose. Thankfully, the rain did not come all at one time. The river is still very high and has a very strong current, but as I sat down to do my morning writing, I heard the rowers go by at 5:30 a.m. Talk about dedication! 

I was once asked if I thought that I might one day run out of inspirational pieces to share on Mondays. I replied with an emphatic, NO!!! As long as there are people in this world, someone is going to be doing something that inspires :)

Our fashion show chair for the 2018 Haute Couture fashion show has entitled her show, American Fashion. She has been especially inspired by the work of Stephen Burrows. If you have never heard of him before, he is known as the first African-American designer to develop a mainstream, high-fashion clientele. His garments, known for their bright colors, and lettuce curly edges, became an integral part of the "Fun City" New York City disco dancing scene of the 1970s. 

In 1978, Farah Fawcett wore his chainmail dress to the Oscar's where she was a presenter.

In 1968, Stephen was introduced to Geraldine Stutz, the owner of Henri Bendel. She loved the coat that he wore so much that she gave him a boutique in the store.

His designs which are still quite reminiscent of the 1970s, also hold a timeless quality.

The lettuce-edged knits that he became known for.

From his exhibit,"When Fashion Danced."

Love the bright colors. The designs are simple, but the colors make the pieces pop!

Inspirational fashion illustration by Stephen Burrows.

People of influence are still wearing his clothing. Michelle Obama in a Stephen Burrows pantsuit.

We plan to have a segment in the show that will represent the fashion of Stephen Burrows. I have promised to do a piece from the fashion illustration. I'll share what I'm doing soon!

Thought I would leave you today with this thought from Geraldine Stutz...

Make it a stylish week :)

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Many Faces of the Parisian Travel Bag

It's a very rainy day here in Chicago. As I type, Gracie is sitting behind my recliner, doing her best to find a little comfort and protection. She can be such a bold dog, but when it comes to a rain storm, she's a quivering, quaking mess. Poor dog. 

I met a lovely woman who does memory boxes for people who have lost an animal. I've gathered up all of Little Bit's things, her bowl which has a footprint in the bottom along with a heart, her foot print, a tuft of her hair, her name tag and collar, and now a picture. It has taken me quite some time to choose a picture, but I finally settled on the one below. One of her favorite things to do was go on a hike. She was so very happy on a trail, running along ahead of me, turning back from time to time just to make sure I was still there. Her little collar is one that I made, little Lady Bugs that encircled her neck. She was truly loved :) I'll share the memory box once it's finished.

Earlier this week, I was in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I did a presentation on Tuesday night for the ASG guild meeting. On Wednesday, we made the Parisian Travel Bag. 

I initially had the idea for the bag as I was so very tired of having the weight of a carry-on bag on my shoulder. Traveling is tiring enough without the added weight of something heavy on your shoulder. 

The backside of the bag features a pocket that slips over the handle of your rolling bag. I added a zipper as I wanted a place to safely store my I.D. while going through security. It's also a great place to stash a little money for a sandwich or drink without having to pull out your entire wallet. 

The front of the bag has a slip pocket which will hold a reader...or an old fashioned book ;) Yes, some of us still read actual books(stone-age leftover that I am!). Inside the bag is another zippered pocket that hangs so it can either be left to the side of the bag, or placed on top of your clothes for easy access when the bag is unzipped. 

So I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the finished bags from the Kalamazoo class. Everyone did such a wonderful job, and no two were alike.

This is JoAnn. She ordered her fabric from Fabric.com. She said that she was initially disappointed with how large the birds were, but once the bag was finished, she loved it. I like how she placed the pocket so that the bird looks as though he is sitting in the leaves :)  

Great care was taken to arrange the fabrics just so for this bag. Lots of sweet details that you might miss if you don't look closely. She actually placed a trim between the side and bottom of the bag. When she pulled out her strapping, I asked if she wanted to leave it black or add a trim. Initially she thought that she would leave the strapping a solid black, but the added trim down the center really makes it pop.   

This is Becky and JoAnn with their bags. More on Becky in next week's Wednesday Showcase post.

I love how the striped strapping works with the fabric choices.

They are actually smiling at the end of the day!!! 

This bag is so lovely. I wish I had taken a picture of the opposite side as she centered a medallion for the slip pocket. Made the bag look so sharp.

Sadly, I didn't get pictures of all of the bags, but at least you get an idea. 

Once I return from the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals conference in Orlando next week, I will be making the Parisian Travel Bag along with the companion bags available as a paper pattern available in my Etsy store. 

Hope you have a wonderful Saturday and that you find a little time to do something just for the fun of it :)  

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