Monday, 24 August 2015

MY BOWL OF CHERRIES DRESS : : SIMPLICITY 2339















Hey you! Me again, with a brief fill in on summer's ups. The mister and I enjoyed a little getaway to Whistler where we did lots of hiking and swimming. I sometimes wonder if the only reason we do massive amounts of moderate activity is because we enjoy PUREBREAD so dang much. Here at home, I've been enjoying lounging in our little garden. My flowers are putting on a brilliant show and they've lured in so many hummingbirds and bees and butterflies. It's heavenly! And indoors...I gave my kitchen a little makeover...just painting and decorating..and I sewed new window valances too. One of the perks of renting is that any of the big stuff that may need doing is left to the landlord. It's all very light and airy now, and...after all the cleaning I've done...I've decided there is to be absolutely no cooking allowed. ever. 

Things have been less busy on the sewing front. I feel pretty much complete as far as summer sewing goes...although I am still on the lookout for fabric for a jumpsuit. What I have in mind fabric wise, will transition beautifully into autumn, so the hunt continues. I'm starting to think ahead to cooler, and wetter, weather. Yep. I'm dreaming about jackets and coats. Coats are probably my favourite fall/winter garment to sew. But. We're not there yet. Today it's all about my Bowl of Cherries Dress, sewn back in July. It's been getting so much wear, I was beginning to wonder if it would ever stand still long enough to be snapped for the blog. There's not much new to say about this make...TNT Simplicity 2339 made into a dress with altered collar and facing. The biggie news for me is the skirt silhouette. Looky dat! No gathers or pleats! I hemmed and hawed over making an A-Line version for quite some  time. I'm all about the fit and flare silhouette...or so I thought. It was actually at the mister's insistence, that I surrendered and gave it a go. I don't know if he's developed a keen sense of style or if he was just tired of my 'Whatcha think...dis...dat...should I...could I?' rambles. Either way....this is one easy dress to wear and I love it. Even though it's 100% cotton {Mary Englebreit design}, it's way less wrinkly than any of my gathered or pleated skirts! Especially on the sit side. 

And...as you can see...my Bowl of Cherries Dress has been Spy Girled. I've had the thrill before...here and here...and it never gets old. Thanks Anne, for giving me the gams I wished I was born with! Anne's 52 Pick-me-up: Cherry/Acceptance is going on this week, and I'm joining in...well you know...wearing bowls of cherries and all. 

Last, but not least, I made a floral hatband.  I love Mary Engelbreit's whimsical artwork, and a whimsical straw hat feels like the right go-with. I followed Suzanne Carillo's DIY FLORAL HAT tutorial. Easy-peasy and oh so much fun to do! Thanks bunches Suzanne! I can see myself making more of these. FYI people...the flowers are attached to my DIY HATBAND and not to the hat itself. So many possibilities!

All righty! Have a lovely one peeps! 


 




Thursday, 13 August 2015

DIY : : FABRIC LANYARD TUTORIAL



Hi you! I recently made a lot of fabric lanyards for our 40 + Blogger Meet-Up 2015, and thought I'd share a little DIY tutorial. These lanyards are handy to have around...the house and your neck...bwaaahahahaha. I bet they're pretty awesome for kids too!* Great for ID and badge collecting...and....you can make them right sized for your pint sized! Of course, my very favourite thing about them is that they are lightweight...oh, and that they go with all my outfits. Yeppers...they don't require much fabric at all; almost every one I made for the meet-up came from my scraps stash. You need as little as a 3" wide strip of fabric! After stitching about five of them, I was in over-achiever euphoria. You know...the I can do anything frame of mind. After fifteen, I had the system down pat and was in full on assembly mode. After thirty? I wasn't sure I ever wanted to see, let alone sew, another fabric lanyard again, LOL. But, it was all for fun, and fun for all.

*EDIT: It has been mentioned in the comments section that lanyards should come with a safety breakaway point. The addition of a plastic pull-apart connection will alter the construction method, but what a great feature to have...particularly if you are making one for a child. Unfortunately, none of my ready-made lanyards have a breakaway point, so I was unaware of this feature. A quick google search has confirmed that safety breakaway parts are readily available online. 

Okey dokey...you can make your lanyard any 'ol size you want. You can see by the photograph above, that mine are of differing lengths. But, to give you a helping hand, just measure from the back of your neck to a spot somewhere around your belly button where you want your lanyard to end...now double that number and add 1".  For example, if you want your lanyard to hang 18", cut your strip of fabric 37" long.  For a 3/4" wide lanyard, as all mine are, cut your fabric 3" wide! Now, let's get at 'er...


1. After cutting your fabric 37" x 3" {or whatever the heck size you want}, lay your strip wrong side up on your ironing board. Fold over one long edge 3/4", wrong side to wrong side, pressing as you go.....merrily along....

2. Step two is basically a repeat of step one...we're just working with the other long edge. Fold it 3/4" towards the centre, again pressing as you go. And, looky dat, the two raw edges now meet at the midpoint and your lanyard in progress is 1 1/2" wide. 

3. Next up...fold your strip in half, yet again, lining up the outside edges carefully. Press in place. Bingo...we've got ourselves a 3/4" wide length of fabric ready for the sewing machine.



4. Machine stitch the long open edge together using a 1/8" seam allowance. I used the standard stitch length of 2.5 for all my machine sewing.

5. Repeat....stitch the other side 1/8" from the fold.


6.  Okay here goes...this next step, although not difficult, is the one I find just a little tricky to explain.  Lanyards lie flat...they are not sewn into a circle. The most reliable way I found to get the lie correct was by placing the fabric around my neck. every. time. I recommend that you do the same. Drape your fabric around the back of your neck, allowing the long ends to hang down over your chest. Now, place the right side of the lanyard so that it lies flat over the top of the left side of the lanyard.  Line up the raw edges evenly. Using photo 6 as a guide, turn in the raw edges, pin together. 

7. Sew the raw edges together with a 1/2" seam allowance. Grade the seam allowances {cut one seam allowance narrower than the other} and trim to a point.

8. Using photo 8 as a guideline, turn the raw edges to the inside of the lanyard, aligning them 1/2" from the folded edge. 

9. Top stitch a seam 1/4" to the left of the folded edge, back stitching to secure. Keep in mind that you are creating a channel through which you will thread your split key ring. Continue stitching, with an 1/8" seam allowance, through all layers, up one side of the lanyard sandwich for 1", then turn at right angles and sew across the width of the lanyard, and then back down the other side. Finish with diagonal stitching within the square for extra strength.



10. Assemble your lanyard! Thread your split key ring through the channel, and optionally add your lanyard hook.

And that's it! Finito, completo! You can attach a plastic sleeve, or simply add your keys to the ring. I purchased plastic sleeves and lanyard hooks at Walmart and the split key rings at a local dollar store. 

Turnip Head Artwork courtesy of the inimitable Melanie of Bag and a Beret.  Having a bad head day? You can borrow Turnip Head here

{Slight downside to these soft, comfy lanyards is that they tend to twist a little at the bottom, but they're still fun!}


Whew!

I hope you're all having an awesome summer...or winter, if you're down under. I'll be back soon...you've seen a sneak peak of my latest dress, but I'm looking forward to giving it a post of it's own!


 




Friday, 31 July 2015

40+ BLOGGER MEET-UP 2015 : : VANCOUVER CANADA


#40plusbloggermeetup, A Colourful Canvas
Me, Suzanne and Melanie 


It started here.



Well, looky dat,

Pie in the sky dreams really do come true,

Wot?

The 40+ Blogger Meet-Up 2015. 

Last weekend.

Here. In Vancouver. 

Twenty bloggers came together for a weekend of friendship, food, and fun. And I have to tell you, it's all feeling more than a little surreal. You see, I'm thinking back to that rainy day last December when the three of us...Melanie, Suzanne and I...gathered around a restaurant table. Outside, raindrops streaked randomly down window panes. Things were decidedly cozy indoors, and there was little inclination to venture out onto the wet streets of Vancouver. Besides, we were busy hatching a plan, a very big plan. Our voices, and laughter, became increasingly animated. We may even have said the word epic. repeatedly. Eventually the rain stopped, we gathered our gifties, and we headed out to do some thrift store shopping. It should could have been the end of our story....however....

A few weeks later Suzanne emailed. She had, not only a blog button, but a definite rah rah pitter patter and let's get at er vibe going on. And...about eleventy hundred emails later...we had ourselves a blogger meet-up.


Artwork by Melanie Kobayashi


Suzanne and Melanie did the lion's share of the work. Me? I panicked. Enthusiasm for something that's never gonna happen...I'm good at that. But an actual, for real, blogger meet-up? It sounded...scary. Why? Because inviting everybody to your house is scary. I mean, what if everybody comes? What if nobody comes? What if everybody comes and nobody has a good time? Clearly I have some insecurities when it comes to entertaining on a grand scale....and...maybe I neglected to mention that little fact over lunch. No matter, Suzanne and Melanie soldiered on...Suzanne pounding on the keyboard, Melanie pounding on the pavement. My designated role was to be the voice of reason, otherwise known as the third vote. There may have been one, possibly two, moments when I stamped my tiny foot....the champagne fountain and complementary 40+ Blogger terry robes come to mind...but seriously, our vision was united from the get-go.

And? I think we pulled it off. I know I had a stellar time. I hope you did too. I really, really, enjoyed getting to know you better and I  thank you from the very bottom of my heart for coming. Planes, trains and automobiles. Bloggers from BC, Toronto, New York, Utah, Florida, Washington State, California, Chicago, The Netherlands, Finland and Singapore. Who'd a thunk it?

Will it happen again? You know you wanna.....


#40plusbloggermeetup, A Colourful Canvas

Top Row : : Suzanne Carillo : : Bag and a Beret : : Me : : Trina & Sylvia : : No Fear of Fashion
Second Row : : 40 + Style : : Tea Time With Trina : : Spy Girl : : Not Dead Yet Style : : Shybiker
Third Row : : Damselfly's Delights : : The Director of Awesome : : Greetje & Melanie : : Fashionforward40 : : Day2daywear
Fourth Row : : Vancouver Barbara : : Thrift Shop Commando : : Jane : : Ephemera : : The Looking Glass Magnifying Necklace
Fifth Row : : Fat Rabbit's Delight : : Patti & Suzanne : : Project Minima : : Elegance Revisited : : Barbara & Anne


*I hope to post at least a few more photos in the next week. We're still sorting out photo sharing...