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Saturday, August 25, 2012


How do you take a bargain basket and turn it into something your own?  You hit a 50% off sale at Hobby Lobby (original price $5.99) and then use some trim and crafting supply leftovers and you get exactly the look you had in your mind's eye.


The lace is leftover from my living room sheers that I made years ago; the ribbon is from my daughter's wedding supplies, as is the wheat and the silver/gold trim.  The whole thing probably took me a total of 20 minutes tops!  Other than the supplies, it took scissors and a glue gun.
What's it for you ask?  Well, the wedding of course!
It's going to hold the Christmas ornaments that I made for the guests.    And after the wedding, you ask?   I think it may get used for the family brunch the next day.....after that, who knows, but I'm confident it will get used.

Monday, August 13, 2012


I really like the wall stencils that you can get at the major department and craft stores.  In fact, I have one in my living room that says, "May all who enter as guests, leave as friends."    I was hoping to put a quote on my sewing/design studio downstairs, but was struggling with how to do it.  If your walls are like mine, they are textured which makes it difficult to stencil clean lines, and I couldn't find large enough stick on letters (in a custom font) that would work so I chose to make a framed display instead.
I've always admired the work of Yves Saint Laurent.  I believe he was an icon in the fashion industry, a creative genius, cutting edge.  He paved the way for so many others.....

I was ecstatic to be able to see his recent exhibition at the Denver Art Museum this past summer.   Denver was the only North American location to host this incredible display of over 200 of his garments.  Incredible!    So, I love this quote of his.....and really wanted it on my wall.    

I found a double glass picture frame and used stick on letters, placing the letters on the inside of the glass to sandwich it between the two.  Add a bow and I now have a bit of YSL to inspire me every day!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


My daughter's girlfriend asked if I could help with the bustle for her gown for her July outdoor wedding.   I thought I would share the technique I used since it took a bit for me to figure out a solution that would work.  

The gown had a beautiful strapless beaded bodice with a simple chiffon skirt with lace and beading at the hemline.  Very clean and had summer wedding written all over it.  Just lovely.

I expected this project to be a breeze, but I found a few challenges. 

First -
The dress was constructed of three separate fabric layers; an under layer of tafetta, followed by a layer of netting, covered with a chiffon overlay. 

There wasn't any embellishment in the back of the skirt to hide the bustle points and it was clear once bustled we needed to show off the bow at the very bottom of the skirt.

Due to the three separate fabric layers, when I tried an  under bustle (french bustle) the netting and chiffon were fighting one another and it just wasn't going to lay nicely.  Bummer!  The under bustle was my first choice, since I would be able to hide the bustle points on the underskirt.

Below is a photo of the gown with the train extended.  As you can see, it has beautiful clean how was I going to make this work? 
I sewed three covered buttons to the edge of the bodice and marked where the three "loops" would need to be placed in order to showcase the hemline when bustled.

After several attempts, the final solution I chose was to use embroidery floss and fishing line to make the loops....sewn to a button on the underside of the skirt.  

 The picture below shows the loops...if you are having a hard time seeing them, good!  That's exactly what I wanted.  They barely peek up out of the chiffon, but they are also really strong since I used 10 lb. monofilament (fishing line).  My husband was so proud!  We could have hung three bass from that bustle!!  :)    Again, I just didn't want it to take away from the lines of the gown.   It passed the bride test....that's what was important to me.  She saw them when I asked her to look, but at a distance or for the average wedding guest, they wouldn't be noticed.

 So there you have it.  Just in case you ever need
 a discreet, yet strong solution; don't forget the fishing line!

Sunday, August 5, 2012


My daughter bought this cute full length sundress some time ago, but wasn't feeling really comfortable with the neckline.  It took quite a plunge, but she liked the rest of it.  So, what did she do?, she bought it of course, and brought it over and asked if I could help re-style it so that she could wear it.   No problem!  We chatted about a couple options and she also said she liked the big fabric flowers that are so popular right, here's a little before and after for you.


On my dress form, the middle of the bust is just above the black dot, and the  neckline was open all the way to the black waistband.   I had already stitched the two panels together from just below the black dot as step one.

There are so many fun ribbon colors these days, that I decided to pick up some ribbon to create more of a peek-a-boo neckline versus the Hollywood va-va-voom!

Then I went to town on the fabric flower; I had several different black and white fabric remnants on hand; I picked up a couple of broadcloth pre-cut quilting fabrics at JoAnn's for .99 a piece to match the bright orange in the dress and started cutting circles.

I sewed a lapel pin to the back so that she can take it off for washing and/or move it wherever she would like to wear it.

She should feel much more comfortable in it now and there's plenty of summer left for her to enjoy it.