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The Inverted Pleat Tutorial

Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Here's a quick & easy way to create some movement & character in a garment: the inverted pleat. 

Measure & mark evenly on your fabric.  Make note of the fabric pen...I will plug it later.  I LOVE THIS PEN! :)

Mark how far you want to stitch.

Don't forget to backstitch.

Four pleats complete!

Ok, the pen plug:


Gone!!  I find it so amazing!  When the clerk at the local quilt shop demonstrated this, I couldn't believe it.  Remember those fabric pencils with the brushes on the end (are those still around?!)?  We've come a long way!

Alright, back to the pleats.  Iron and you're done.

With thanks...

Monday, February 20, 2012

I am still a little shocked that, I won the Project Run & Play Sew Along at Home Signature Look Contest!  I am so grateful to everyone who took the time to vote for me, and all the kind commendations I received from family, friends, and strangers alike!  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

Coincidently, the prize is a selection of embroidery patterns from Sarah Jane Studios, the designer of the fabric I used for Anja's tunic.  I look forward putting those patterns to good use.

Thanks again!  I'm going to be posting some tutorials in the next few days of some of the techniques I used, and clothing I made for PR & P.  But first, I need to spend some quality time enjoying my family on this Family Day holiday!
Saturday, February 18, 2012

Wow!  I am humbled that my Signature Look was selected as one of the top 5 for Project Run & Play!  Please check out the all the designs and vote for your favourite.

Signature Look for Project Run & Play

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Last week, I was under the impression that the Sew Along at Home contest for Project Run & Play was over.  It was bittersweet, since I've really been enjoying sewing along at home, but at the same time, I knew that I really needed to get caught up on some things around the house.  THEN, it was announced that there was one more competition, so off I went again, designing, planning, shopping, cutting, sewing, tweaking, fitting, etc.  It was a bit hectic, but I was able to plan well and actually got done earlier than expected.

The challenge: to create a Signature Look.  Without a doubt, my design inspirations can be defined by two words alone: classic & vintage.  I love all things classic and vintage: music, movies, style, architecture, cars, lifestyle and art.  Even our home is vintage (built in 1916).  My husband often tells me I was born in the wrong era, and he may be right, although, then I wouldn't be married to him, and that would be tragic!

The style icon that inspires me more than anyone else is hands-down, the most elegant, timeless lady, the one and only, Audrey Hepburn.  She denied the current style trends of her day, opting to adopt her own style based on what was classic.  This is why she could wear the same style at age 20 or 60, and still look amazingly current, graceful, and sophisticated.

With the clothes I create,  I try to incorporate that classic style of elegance and simplicity.  Of course, for my children, this includes wearability and bit of fun, too.  I add that with my colour choices and patterns.  I do love my boy looking like a dapper, charming, little man.  And my daughter, an elegant, polished little lady.    

These are quite honestly, the first pair I've made for Tobias that I LOVE.  They look like they have a fly, but they don't.  They have an adjustable waistband, while looking flat and 'grown-up' in the front.  They also fit like a glove!  Thanks to this tutorial, I learned how to make the front slant pockets.

When I posted Tobias in previous photos wearing his fedora hat that I had bought online, I got asked if I had made it.  So, I figured it's time I learned how to make him one so I can make his entire outfit.  Other than his shoes, of course...I will not learn to cobble shoes.  Although, that might be interesting...

I know it's a little weird, but I'm probably more excited about the inside of the hat than the outside. My goal is to make the inside of my garments as tidy and polished as the outside, but it doesn't happen often enough.

I think I lucked out finding some unique looking elastic for the suspenders, rather than the typical black or white.

Incorporating his essential post-photo shoot treats into a shot.

Our little girl just started walking last week, which was an exciting event!  Now we can have a bit more variety in our photos.  

Thank you Dana Made It for this tutorial for Anja's ruched leggings.

I fell in love with this Sarah Jane Wright fabric that is part of a collection called Children at Play.  Anja's room is decorated with several fabrics from this collection.  Truth be told, I cut up her duvet cover to make this top.  Needless to say, I will be ordering more soon.

Coincidently, this year's Pantone Color of the Year 2012, is tangerine.  I had already bought this linen fabric for Anja's jacket when I found that out, and thought it was kind of neat that despite me never really keeping up on trends, this time, I managed to pick a 'hot' colour!

 I tried keeping her hair neat, but that is often not possible!

She spent most of this shoot trying to climb the stairs.  She's loving the freedom her new skill has given her!

Recipe: Vegetarian Tandoori "Chicken"

Monday, February 13, 2012
I've been doing so many sewing posts lately, that I figured it's time for another recipe.  Here's one of my easy go-to dinner recipes.

1 cup Vital Gluten flour
6 cups water
3 Tbsp curry 
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 jar of Tandoori sauce (or any other Indian sauce you like...Butter Chicken sauce is yummy, too, but has a LOT of fat)
Your choice of veggies (I used broccoli, carrots, and also 1/2 can of leftover chick peas)

Boil 5 cups of water with all of the spices.

In a bowl, stir gluten flour with the remaining 1 cup of water.  Knead dough for about five minutes and form into a long log.

Once the broth is boiling, tear chunks of gluten dough and add into the boiling broth.  Simmer covered for 45 minutes, stirring a couple of times during cooking.

Chop/prepare vegetables and place in a casserole dish.  Add cooked gluten, and tandoori sauce.  Stir.

Ready to go into the oven:

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serve with naan bread and rice.  I garnished with some cilantro, Masala dressing, and pappadum on the side.

a little Jane Austen

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
This is it!  My final submission to the Project Run & Play Sew Along at Home Contest.  At first, I had no idea what to do for Special Occasion/Party Wear.  Then I watched Pride & Prejudice, and I knew I just had to see my baby girl in a little Jane Austen inspired gown.  And I also had only a few days to sew it because we left for our family vacation last Sunday.  I actually didn't get everything done, and ended up finishing it by hand with my feet up by the pool.  Now, I wouldn't mind doing that everyday! 

I didn't have to use a pattern for this dress, thanks to the dress form my hubby got me for Christmas.  It makes designing so much easier!

I'm quite excited about how the corset back turned out.  Originally, I was planning on using eyelets, but after testing them out, I couldn't get them to work because of how thin this fabric is.  So, I used some leftover lace instead, and I think the delicate look is so much better than eyelets would've been.

I found these buttons in my stash that just seemed to be made to match the embroidered cotton fabric.  The  gathered bodice is such a signature of the Regency era, and really gives the dress a Jane Austen look.

The colour possibilities are endless!

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