Friday, October 25, 2013

this and that

To sum up the week? This and that.  Painting continues...creating cool stuff for ellen j goods. By the way, I finally started the ellen j goods blog. In it's infancy, but will be more home and vintage lifestyle related posts. Please take a look and let me know what you think!

Yesterday morning, on my way to work, I actually stopped on a bridge, much to my fellow commuters’ dismay, I’m sure. I just had to capture this  glorious “Good Morning World!" moment.

Last night, I had a bag full of alterations to do. I really, really don’t like doing them, even for someone else who is paying me. I've found that no matter how careful I am, it just looks like an alteration to me. Removing a waistband, taking in seams, re-finishing seams, re-attaching the waistband, top-stitching. Ugh. I’m sure with more practice and certainly with more passion, my skill would improve, but I’m really not into making this a career.

I have to remember too that most of these customers are not looking at the alteration with a critical seamstress eye.

Speaking of stitches, is this not the MOST adorable Halloween necklace ever??? It's made by Kerri, at Weirdly Cute and Unique Jewelry.  Not surprisingly, she's closed up shop to fill her orders right now. I really think Augie needs one. He wants to be a zombie for Halloween this year.

Are you making any Halloween costumes this year? I have one request… Augie wants to be a cute zombie..who carries a cute zombie, which I am knitting. By the way, when did zombies get to be cute?

And I made another in the hobo bag series, inspired by my girls... The Amelia Bag. Here's a peek:

Here's to an inspiring, productive and relaxing weekend ahead! I hope you find special moments in your day!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

it's a cardi, it's a jacket...

It's that time of year, and layering is a necessity. Yeah, there's a chill in the air. Finally.  But pretty much, I always wear a layering piece. I jacket, a sweater, a shirt...over something.  So this week I got busy with some wardrobe builders.  I've been imagining a cardigan, which is also a jacket. Which has faux leather. It's got a drapey front, it's comfy knit, and can be worn in a variety of ways.

The mixed textile trend is still hot. And who doesn't love a little mixed textile trend in a jacket?  Like a mad chemist, I gathered my materials.

I had some faux leather...which is drapey.
I had some soft, lightweight ponte knit. Which is drapey.
I had a few patterns.  But none of them really worked on their own. So I tied combining them, and it wasn't coming together. So finally, I  ditched the patterns altogether  Trying it on, adjusting here and there. It's a good thing I started with something very over-sized! I just did my own thing.

With these happy results:

I can wear it open...

or with the help of a hidden hook and eye,


So, now I think I'm ready to tackle some actual fitted patterns. A sheath, a jacket, a shift... here I go!

Friday, October 18, 2013

i wore track pants and a sweatshirt to a dinner event!!!

Well, I started out thinking this would be a great weekend look.

Which it is.
But then I had a dinner function to attend, which, while not at a church, requested a "Sunday attire" dress code. So, I thought, why not?  (At my church, pretty much anything goes as long you are respectably covered in the important places)

I am about crazy for these luxe sweatshirts... how they can be dressed up or down.

And this time, I paired the sweatshirt with some track pants made from Vogue 8909.  With modifications, of course.

I cut the size small, using gray ponte knit. I eliminated the pockets and the front fly. So what we end up with is a pretty simple pair of pull on pants with no fuss no muss.  

With some jewels and crazy fun heels, it makes a pretty decent fundraising dinner outfit!  I wore the pants at a more appropriate ankle length instead of jushing them up.

No one rolled their eyes at me, so I think it was okay.
Must. Make. More.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

the luxe life

I was watching a program the other night, sort of like the old "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" but a more modern, and even more decadent version.

It was slightly uncomfortable watching the abandon at which millions of dollars are spent on the luxuries of life. And while I do dream of the big lottery win  ( and I never play the lottery) I do have to wonder what it would be like to have a closet that's as big as my house.

And then I wonder if these women, who can have anything they want any time they want somehow miss out on the anticipation of saving for a special item, or the thrill of finding an amazing skirt at a thrift store. Or the joy in creating a thousand dollar look for under fifty bucks.

I recognize that it's all relative...depending on your budget, your desires and your abilities, but geesh...when I see the price of some of the designer luxe sweatshirts out there, it's almost perplexing!

They are a hot trend and a very cool look. They are everywhere from designer to budget store prices.

from harper's bazaar
from lucky magazine

I was All Over this much fun to make a sweatshirt that you can wear to work?

I used a combination of about three different patterns, and ultimately ended up with something self-drafted! I couldn't even tell you which patterns were used.

The sleeves are a cotton interlock, and the front and back are cut from a polyester silky print from Joann's. The necklace is a vintage piece from my mother-in-laws jewelry chest. 

I can think of about a hundred different ideas for making this trend... for work, for weekend. And I love it. I'm digging through my fabric stash to see just what I can use to make a few more!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

thrifting for current trends

If you think that you can't find current trends at the local thrift store, I say...nonsense! I know thrifting can sometimes land you a big fat zero, but then there are other weeks where it's a jackpot.
What do I do?
I frequent my favorite spots several times a week...usually during my lunch break. When you walk into a thrift store, all of those racks and racks of stuff can be a little overwhelming...Where do you start? What do you look for?

I always keep in mind color or textile that I want. Usually based on what's trending in fashion. I don't mind dropping a twenty dollar bill for the latest runway mania, which I know will last only a season or two at most. It enables me to have some fun with the trend without a major impact on my clothing budget. Or sewing time.

For example, the last few weeks, I walked into the thrift store thinking  COLOR and TEXTURE and PATTERN:

Gray, oxblood, leather, lace, menswear (plaid, jacquard)

This helps me to tune out all the other stuff. And it really does keep me focused. When I'm scanning through racks of crap, lace and oxblood really stand out if that's what I'm looking for.

So, some of my favorite recent finds…

These menswear slim plaid pants with a slouchy gray/beige sweater

This gray cardigan which I embellished with a wide sequin trim that I purchased at the fabric store (a la marc Jacobs).

A menswear print midi skirt

 a fabulous burgundy lace skirt and moto jacket.

I also found a great vintage big coat . But I was loosing my light, so I'll have to share that later.
Thrifting is such a blast...and you may be very, very surprised at what you will find.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

a hint of things to come

Well, here it is...another week later!

Something about the change of seasons gets me totally motivated to start sewing again. I have to confess, I've been in a sewing hole for nearly the entire summer, prompted by knee surgery, weight loss and the shop opening. But mostly the weight loss.

Now that I have that under control, I feel like I can start to look at new sizes and get with the program! A pile of projects awaits. But I have to confess, part of the delay in me getting on with them is a little bit of anxiety over the new size...and delving into fitting, new muslins, etc. I sort of feel like I'm starting over.

After a slew of hobo bags I designed and made to sell at a show,

And some major thrifting for interpreting the current trends:

I finally worked up a luxe sweatshirt for myself.

Lots of details to come!

Until then, we're off for a weekend in the mountains to sleep in a tent and have some chipmunk and raccoon encounters!