Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spring time pom pom scarf

Spring time is finally, slowly, coming to New York.  We hardly have had any snow here but it's been quite chilly. Yesterday it reached the mid 50's. Time to exchange the bulky wool scarf for a lighter weight spring time one. Purl Bee posted the cutest pom pom scarf. We have had one hanging on our wall in the store but it is a linen scarf. The new one, from Molly's sketchbook, is double layered cotton which adds a bit more warmth. Perfect for that winter spring weather.
I made one for one of my colleagues at Purl but she only wanted to use one layer. Faye picked out a beautiful grey and white Liberty of London print and hot pink pom poms. Basically she wanted a big square. Since Liberty is a taller bolt (53")  she bought 1 1/2 yards and I cut a perfect square. Liberty is a very fine silky feeling cotton, absolutely gorgeous. Since it is so fine I used a size 9 needle. I sewed a clean finish (also called turned and stitched) on all the sides making a 3/8" seam allowance. To sew the pom poms on I used a zipper foot rounding each corner. And pin, pin, pin! The pom poms are a challenger to sew, using lots of pins will help keep the pom pom tape straight.  Don't cut the pom poms, use one continuous piece. Faye purchased 4 yards and I did have some left over.


To see Purl's double layered scarf click here.  Have any of you sewn with liberty of london fabrics or pom poms?
If you have made any version of the pom pom scarf I would love to see it!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Martha has done it again!

Ok so Martha Stewart has done it again. What exactly? Of course bring her and her team's talents to another licensor. Martha has teamed up with Avery Labels and now has an office line at Staples. I was so excited to see the ad in this month's Living plus a 40% off coupon on one item. Let me tell you why. Last year, end of year, I was looking for a calendar journal. I wasn't finding one and when I finally did the price was outrageous and it didn't have what I needed, basically the right size day/month pages.  It's been a tad frustrating. I never found one so I have been printing out google calendar pages. That can only go so far.

Yesterday I visited Staples and of course loved it! There is one aisle and I circled it a few times like a hawk.  I ended up buying, in my favorite color I might add, a mini binder, the calendar pages, removable color coding labels, note pages, plastic pockets and a zip lock type bag.  I am feeling extremely organized! 
Tried to get a complete shot of all the purchases.
Removable color coded stickies

Nice size squares on the calendar and a little space on the side to write extra notes. See the tabs on the side? Those can be written on and easily erased. Similar to a dry erase board.

Zip lock type bag for swatches of fabric or business cards I collect.

Not just regular plastic pocket but top loading with a flap so important style sheets don't fall out.

There are many more accessories to keep life organized. In addition there are adorable notebooks with fun prints, folders, and so many types of labels for food jars, storage containers, linen closets I just had to not buy any. Those will be next time. I couldn't choose!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Stitch in time......

Recently in my classes many students have been asking about doing basic stitch repairs. The most common one being how to hem pants. Here in NYC I hear people pay about $10.00 for hemming a pair of pants. I purchased a book called "A stitch in time..." a few years ago. The book is by Clarice Taylor and is very gender friendly, no frilly stuff in this manual. What you will find are your basic essential stitches like the slip stitch, the best stitch for hemming a pair of pants.

Another repair that I am asked to teach is how to sew a button. I am completely bewildered by this but I guess it isn't so easy to the non sewer.  If you are a non sewer don't be intimidated to fix your own pants or skirt or button.  I love buying books and of all the sewing books I do have, "A stitch in time... " is the easiest to reference. All you need to start is a pair of sewing scissors, some thread and a pack of hand sewing needles.  You will be saving yourself alot of money and teaching yourself a new skill!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Kate Spade and Florence Broadhurst

Know who Florence Broadhurst is? She is an Australian who passed away in 1974, actually she was murdered. My aussie husband and his mother introduced me to her designs.  They are big, bold and beautiful! Well walking in the Flatiron District this past Sunday I saw her design in a store front window and was somewhat surprised to see it was Kate Spade. Kate Spade has licensed the Japanese Floral print to use pretty much on everything; wall paper, dresses, pillow covers, bed spreads, shoes, the list goes on!

Florence has a very interesting past. She grew up on a cattle station where her father was a drover (anybody see The Australian? Hugh Jackman was a drover, hmmm......).  However she was raised to be very gentile, learning tennis and needlework,  a Victorian childhood.  Florence went on to reinvent herself and create many lives for herself. She started out working in theatre, onto singing, eventually becoming a designer. At one point she opened up a dress shop in Paris and called herself Madame Pellier.
taken from the Florence Broadhurst book by Helen O'Neill

top is Rabbits and Poodles bottom is Cats and Mice

Florence's prints have a wide range of motifs. The large 2 color florals are probably the most recognizable. There are 2 prints that caught my eye, she designed for her children's bedroom.

Hopefully we will see more of Florence's work here in the states and maybe Kate Spade will choose another of her designs to use next spring!  What do you think of the Kate Spade designs?


Friday, February 10, 2012

Felt Candy Hearts for V day

This is a great project to do this weekend! Purlbee.com has posted the cutest project from Molly's Sketchbook for Valentine's day that can be given to any of your Valentine's no matter what the age. Felt Hearts that you can tuck some candy into. I worked on putting these felt bundles together and the colors are so inspiring, the bundle is called Fuschia and you can purchase it here. Yesterday at work I looked at the samples we have there and the stitching is incredibly perfect!  I am so jealous. I changed my hearts a bit. Instead of using one color of felt per heart I used two. Also just a tip, in the beginning I was using embroidery floss that was about 6 strands thick. It looks nice but it is easier to do the running stitch using 3 strands. And for those of you who do not know what a running stitch is this is how you do it.

Insert the point of the needle in and out of the fabric several times before pulling the thread through. This way you are completing a few stitches at one time. Try to keep the stitches and spaced between them small and even. 


These little treats I will be sending to my nieces and nephews. They are flat enough to pop in an envelope to mail. Hopefully the USPS won't loose them!
Happy V day!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cute stuff going on at J.Crew

If your J.Crew catalog has arrived and it is still sitting on your table for you to view here are a few items to check out.  So many vibrant colors, cute items and sequins! The women's line at J.Crew seems to get cuter every season. Jenna Lyons, President and Creative Director, has really brought J.Crew back to life. My humble opinion, prices are a little extreme for what the product is but I guess we pay for the name. Which is why I love sales! Tough for me to pay retail knowing what it costs to make something. None the less there are some awesome pieces arriving Feb 6th to your local store. The best thing about J Crew is that the clothes are comfortable and stylish. I can wear them to work, to any of my 3 jobs of teaching sewing, working in a fabric store or meeting with a menswear client. 

I am sure I can figure out somewhere to wear this lime green sequin skirt!

the stripes on this basic cardi are sequins

loving the stripe knit and water color floral shorts
perfect for a summer evening on Nantucket.