Thursday, February 25, 2010

They Boil, Iron, Dry Clean

Kadence and I joined my friend Jackie for a day of shopping at Acorn Antiques at the Weber County Fairgrounds this weekend. They do this event a couple times a year, but this was my first trip!

As I searched for some unknown thing that I couldn't live with out  I came across a box of vintage buttons and dug in. (Oh, how I I love to dig!)
There I found several cards, calling my name "Leslie... we're so lonely, take us home!" 
How could I deny them? They knew my name!
On my favorites, the buttons themselves aren't so striking, but I fell in love with these cards.
One states "They Boil, Iron, Dry Clean"
Boil? Ya gotta love that!
Another has a beautiful illustration of a woman and says "the talk of the town"
(Click on the pictures for a better look!)

I also came across this thread chest. Wow, I would love to own it, but at several hundred dollars I don't think the Sarge would appreciate it the way I do. So I settled for a picture...

While I wasn't looking for anything in particular, Kadence specifically kept an eye out for a vintage perfume atomizer. We found some very glamours ones - well out of our price range - and just when things were looking quite desperate we came upon one we could take home with us. This one is plain, and not nearly as old as she would have liked, but it was affordable and actually worked. She loves it as is, but I'm thinking we could glam it up a bit our selves...

It also happened to be Jackie's Birthday this weekend. She has a thing for Pink Flamingos, and being from the south it suits her perfectly. Of course I had to make her something special, so I created a scissor fob complete with flamingo to fit her flirty personality! Isn't it cute?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

French Seams and French Cuisine

I'm feeling very Oh la la! lately!
Kadences Girl Scout troop had a family dining event at the very beautiful  La Caille restaurant in Sandy, UT. This place is stunning and that's in the dead of winter, I can't imagine how gorgeous it must be in late spring. The atmosphere is rich and cozy, with beautiful silver settings and candlelight. Our 5 course meal began with Escargots Bourguignons and finished with Banana Foster flamb├ęd right at the table.
 C'est magnifique!
Kadence was willing to try the escargots until it arrived before her. She decided she could bring herself to just lick it, but not actually eat it. Her response wasn't sooo much as ewww.... as too much sympathy for the poor snail - she just couldn't do it. On the other hand, I enjoyed mine immensely, and hers too... its not like she was actually sparing its life...

As I tucked Kadence into bed I asked her what her favorite part of the evening was...
The Theme
the theme?
The Theme! You know, feeling like a princess and stuff!
oh, how everything was Fancy Nancy?
You know mom, Fancy Nancy isn't really fancy. She just puts on a whole bunch of mismatched clothes and big sunglasses when she goes out! (she's somewhat indignant at this point)
Okay. So, how everything was fancy schmancy?
I would have to agree with her. We all had a great time dressing up, trying new foods and just enjoying the magical quality of the night. Bliss...

 I'm busy making up a bunch of peasant tops, which means lots French seams.
Why french seams you ask? Don't you have a serger?
Why yes, I do have a serger - And yes, it works and yes I can thread it.
But certain times I just prefer to use a French seam to finish my seams.

For example:

  • I like to use a French seams where a hem may be visible - like on the ruffled neckline and sleeves of a peasant top.

  • When I use a narrow hem, and I hem all my pieces before construction. (If I used serging construction then the serged seam allowance would go all the way to the edge and would really be visible & ugly. )

  • For something heirloom quality

  • If I want to make a tiny baby garment - less irritating on delicate skin
  • When I want the inside of a garment to be as pretty as the outside. :o)
  • With thin, delicate fabrics where you wouldn't want raveling to occur
  • On sheer fabrics where you could see the finished edge through the fabric.

I use French seams to completely construct a peasant top, no serging at all. It might take me a little bit longer than if I constructed the garment using a serger but I feel that the end product is worth the investment in time, both for the quality and the beauty of it. 

French seams can be seem intimidating if you haven't tried them before because sewing them goes against everything you know -  wrong sides together, etc...  but once you sew one you'll be amazed at how simple it is. To help you along there is a tutorial I've made and posted below.  So give it a try, and feel fancy!
(thanks, BTW, to my trusty Cameraman and boy child, Anthony!) 

French Seam Tutorial

Somethings to know before you begin:
Sewing French seams can require a tiny bit of math to make sure your final seam allowance is correct.
 In the examples below I have a total seam allowance of 1/2 inch, so my first stitching line is 1/4 inch and my second is also 1/4 for a total of 1/2 inch seam allowance.
If I were using a pattern with a 5/8 inch seam allowance I would place my first stitching line at 3/8 and the second at 1/4 for a total of 5/8 inch seam allowance.
below I am using a straight stitch foot, a 1/4 quilting foot works great for French seaming too.

Step 1. Place fabrics WRONG sides together and sew using a 1/4 seam allowance

Step 2. Trim seam allowance to about 1/8 inch, careful not to trim too close to stitching

Step 3. Press the seam to set the stitches

Step 4. Press Fabric RIGHT sides together at the seam (your raw edge is now inside your fold)

Step 5. Sew another seam, using a 1/4 seam allowance along the folded edge.
 (this seam encases the raw edges you sewed earlier)

Step 6. After pressing the seam to set the stitches
press your fabrics open

Step 7. Press the French seam to one side (usually the back)
and you are done with this seam!

See how nice it looks in a finished garment?
can you even see it? look close!

Ta Da! No raw seams!
Thanks for help with the pictures Slick! :o)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Write It Out Project, handmade journals for grieving military widows

I stumbled upon Alidas blog, I Make Stuff and not only is she a crafty mama - but she is one with a cause. She currently is recruiting sewers, scrapers and all around crafters to join her in creating handmade journals for military widows. Being a USAF wife myself, I can never imagine the loss she and others like her have  has experienced, but I do understand and appreciate any support given to those who serve - and those who stay behind. Here is my small chance to "Pay it Forward". I am definitely making up a few of these and shipping them out ASAP. Please check her site out for more details and to see how you can help too!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pearls & Princess Seams

Today is meant for fantastic shopping and sales but I didn't get out and do any.
Oh wait, I got new tires this morning...does that count? No? didn't think so. Oh well....
I'm okay with that, since I did get a pretty for Valentines day from the Sarge. I have been wanting a pearl necklace for several years now, I just love how classic and elegant they look. In keeping with my Martha Stewart/Barbie wanna be image, I have this blissful fantasy where I see my self vacuuming in heels and pearls. Really, don't laugh! Alright, a little snickering is acceptable here... Okay, now I can finally live out my fantasy because Dru gave me a strand of pearls. Thanks babe, I love ya!

On a different note, tonight is my ASG Fit group and we are working on fitting a princess seamed pattern. I started this project last month and I'm hoping to complete it tonight. The alterations for my bust are so complex it's like a million steps - alright, maybe only 18... Whew! It's worth it though, because in the end I should have a pattern that will fit my girls properly and not gape in the arm hole and neck. Yay me! 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Why Monday is my (almost) Favorite day of the Week

I know most people don't like Mondays - some even hate it, but I really love 'em!
If I can get my Monday right, my whole week is smooth sailing. 
I avoid scheduling social obligations and appointments on Mondays and I try to get all my work knocked out early so I have the rest of the day to do what ever I want.

Monday is the only day I really clean, sure - I pick up everyday and clean the kitchen after meals... But I don't dust, scrub toilets, etc (unless there's an obvious need) any other day. I know for some girls that is just wayyyy to much house work for one morning but I love to tackle it all at once and not worry about it again for a whole week. Besides, house work isn't such a b!tch for me, my mom owned a small house cleaning business and as a teen I'd help during summers and other breaks. I've gotten pretty efficient - and have found it's an excellent time to multitask by listening to an audio book. 

 Monday morning everyone is guaranteed what ever they want to wear is clean and ready to go, because Sunday is my laundry day (yes, once again a chore I only do weekly)- so this means smooth sailing getting ready for school/work/the day.

Since Monday evenings are almost guaranteed to be free I can cook something for dinner and not worry about schedules or a time crunch. It's a great night to make something more involved, or bake a dessert!

Last, but definitely not least - Monday is the first day back to school and work after the weekend. Well, duh, right? Hey, as much as I love my family there is something undeniably irresistible about that first day alone... My house is clean and smells wonderful, I can take my time getting ready and spend the rest of my day watching mindless TV, reading or playing in my studio. Then everyone comes home and they are glad to be here, relaxed and welcomed and appreciating all this domestic bliss I've created. 
(::snicker:: okay, maybe that last pasrt is a bit of an exaggeration, but I can dream, right?)

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