Tag Archives: color

A Simple Sewing Project

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A Simple Sewing Project

Bringing Beauty Into Your World

Table linens are a simple sewing project that are well worth the effort.  These small pieces of fabric artfully arranged add pop, sizzle, glamour, elegance  and just plain fun to an otherwise ho-hum table.

They are quick and easy to make and the choices are as endless as the selections at the fabric store.  So have fun and be boldly creative!

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Begin by cutting out a large square.  Determine the width of the hem and miter the corners to suit.  My favorite size is 21″ x 21″.  To create the mitered corner remove 3 1/4″.

Turn under 1/4″ all around the perimeter of the square  as shown below.

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Bring folded edges together at mitered edge and stitch a 1/4″ seam.

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Clip threads and trim corner to stitching line to ensure a crisp point.

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Press open and complete on each of the four corners.

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Turn each corner and carefully press hem into place.

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Stitch hem into place.  You may wish to decrease stitch length for added strength at the corner seam lines.  Once stitched, your napkins is completed.

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Blue and White China

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We’ve all had the experience of purchasing a piece of fabric that we absolutely loved and held it back for the perfect project only to later discover that we kept it too long, so long in fact that our fickle affections faded; what was once appealing had grown tiresome and out of favor.  And then… there are other pieces that we hold onto that we never seem to grow tired of.  That is the case with the French Country piece used for the table runner in the background of this photo.  I purchased it at Daisy Kingdom in NW Portland shortly before the company went out of business in 2004.  I loved it then and still adore it.  It reminds me of the patterns you see on the inside lining of old trunks from bygone eras.

Blue and white is another classic color combination that never seems to go out of style; it’s a favorite of mine.  I have four dinner plates of Italian Blue Spode as a base to build upon.  I am slowly collecting additional pieces all in blue and white coordinated patterns for a “shabby chic”table for eight. It’s fun and challenging, because not just any blue and white will due… it’s a balancing act of style, pattern and color all coming together in a unique and pleasing way.   This is my first setting.  The dinner plate is English Spode and the salad plate is by Gibson of Goodwill.  The napkin is made of delicate cotton voile made my moi, of course. 🙂

What do you think?

 

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Happy “Little” Diversions

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Happy “Little” Diversions

I was rifling through some deep sewing storage looking for a specific piece of fabric.  I didn’t find it, but while searching  happened across these “little quilts.”  They were neatly folded and tucked away waiting to be rediscovered.

People who know I work with fabric almost always ask me if I quilt and I always say, “no,”when in fact I do quilt from time to time.   What I mean when I say no, is that I do not quilt as my main creative outlet;  I haven’t spent my lifetime perfecting my quilting skills like the artists whose magnificent creations adorn quilt shops and shows.  Rather, I am a little quilter of small projects…  offering happy little diversions from my more seriously focused fabric pursuits.

Each piece carries with it a memory, like small snapshot in time… oh yes, I remember when I made that…..

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Decorative Accent Towels

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While shopping during the Christmas season, I came across some decorative accent towels that inspired me to try making some of my own. The thing I like most about this type of project is that they are simple to sew and offer a myriad of opportunities to use up scraps of fabric and trim in unlimited creative ways.  They can be as elaborate or as simple as you want to make them and are easily picked up or set aside to work on later.   I find this a good fit for my creative outlet during this very busy period of my life.

 

 

Folk Art Adventure

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What started out as a ‘fun little project’ has turned into a colossus of detail.  I began with a collection of flowers and other elements cut from various fabrics.  I bought a variety of beads and of embroidery floss for embellishment and started in.IMG_9322I have seen many examples of “folk-art” having had the opportunity to visit The Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe.  I am intrigued by the nature of this category of art with its bright use of color, eclectic and unexpected pairings of materials and designs, and endearing inattentiveness to quality or standard that magically comes together with a kind of flea-market cachet. It is such a departure from my natural bent towards creative order that when I saw a display at a local shop, I thought I’d like to give it a try.

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I’ve discovered that I like the somewhat tattered and unplanned look.  There is a certain creative freedom which develops in the absence of exacting precision; I can use any color thread and don’t worry about evenness of stitches or tidiness of French knots and I can stitch on beads with abandon.  There are no rules, no dictates, just art and that’s fun! IMG_9356

Sewing- mini tutorial – CHANEL JACKET TRIMS

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Sewing- mini tutorial – CHANEL JACKET TRIMS

Creating A Unique CHANEL-style trim

Last year I made my first Chanel-style jacket.  Finding a suitable trim, a hallmark of a Chanel, proved to be challenging.  I decided to try making my own.

I began with a skein of ribbon yarn and number 9 knitting needles.  Four stitches provided a nice width and using a basic stockinette stitch  I created a long strip.  Stockinette stitches tend to curl at the edges which works to advantage for hiding  hand stitching when applying the trim to the garment.

Creating a trim from ribbon yarn

Creating a trim from ribbon yarn

I would recommend making individual strips for each pocket and a continuous length for the center front and neckline.  By doing this it will reduce the chance of the trim unraveling at the edges during application and can more easily be tucked in at seam lines or pocket edges.  Otherwise, apply Fray Check or a fabric glue to secure the edges.

Once the trim is completed it can be attached by hand-stitching into position along the pockets, center front,neckline and sleeve edges.

Creating a unique trim for Chanel-style jacket

trim applied to sleeve edge

Morning Coffee

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Magically Delicious

I’m back from my hiatus and hope to begin blogging again soon… or at least trying to stay current with the blogs I follow.  For my first entry I would like to share the cup of strawberries I picked from my garden this morning after having my first coffee.  These are so much sweeter than the varieties one can get at the grocery.  They are magically delicious!
Morning coffee

Empress Irene of Byzantium

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Empress Irene of Byzantium

Saint Irene Piroska of Hungary 

fabric mosaic

I put the finishing touches on Empress Irene (pronounced eye-ree’-nee) today.  Thank you to everyone who made a guess about who she might be.   I think she looks pretty good for a mother of eight children.  🙂

I still have to get it pinned to a foam core and scanned, but that will take a bit and I wanted to share before I go on my summer blog break.    Below is a cropped version and another image with the border that I use for a matting effect when I frame it.

Empress Irene

with border

Empress Irene - fabric mosaic

The source of inspiration for my fabric mosaic was the famous mosaic found on the south gallery wall of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

Hagia Sophia mosaic

close up view

Empress Irene

Byzantine Inspired Fabric Mosaic – Project Update

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Art Meets Fashion

linnyjcreations and I were talking about the latest Dolce & Gabanna Byzantine inspired fashion collection today . Check out her blog entry Religious Mosaic Fabric – Dolce Gabbana.

As it happens, I am currently up to my neck in a Byzantine fabric mosaic project. One of the hallmarks of Byzantine style is the high degree of detail and ornamentation.  I’m sure that’s why I’m attracted to this historic period; it provides a perfect outlet for my tendency to move toward increasing complexity in just about everything I do.  I can get lost in the world of details for hours as though I were transported to another universe.  For example, today I decided that I wanted to highlight each pearl on the dress with required the cutting out an additional 43 circles approximately 1/4″ in diameter.  Very close work, indeed.:)

Any guesses on who the subject is?  Byzantine ornamentation

Simplicity Sewing

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Simplicity Sewing

Purple or Periwinkle

I’ve been on the lookout for the right shade of purple to go with a skirt I’ve had for some time.  I found this interesting piece of embroidered linen that seemed like it would work.  I call it purple, but maybe it is periwinkle… I think periwinkle has more blue in it.

embroidered linen

Either way, it has turned out to be a good choice to go with my skirt.   I picked up a yard for the tunic pattern I’ve been using this summer.  I really like the simplicity of this pattern; I can complete it in an afternoon… no problem!

linen tunic and skirt

I found a piece of purple duppioni silk in my fabric stash to use as bias binding for the neck and armholes.  It’s a good feeling to use up a scrap of something I have on hand.

silk binding

It’s always fun to give a little update to something you’ve had and make it seem fresh and new again.The unstructured look with nothing-to-bind is perfect for staying cool on hot summer days.  I like wearing skirts, but often don’t want to feel “dressed-up.”  This look works for me, because it blends casual easy/no-care (what I jokingly refer to as rag-bag fashion) with the I-made-an-effort-today discipline that I try to adhere to.

summerwear