School Spirit Bow Tie

Where I live (The Deep South) football is the king of fall. People sport their favorite team logos on everything from hats and Tshirts to, you guessed it, ties. I decided to design a fabric for bow ties featuring my sons’ school mascot the Volunteers (think Minutemen) in our school colors orange and black. I chose bow ties over neckties for two main reasons. One, they take much less fabric per tie, and second, bow ties seem to be pretty popular with the boys at our school right now. I am pretty chuffed with the result!

  
I already have several orders, but the undeniable proof of success is this: my 16 year old, who before now has never worn anything but neckties, has already claimed this first one as his own to wear to Homecoming (if it doesn’t clash with his date’s dress, of course!)

New Spoonflower Fabrics Are Here! And Available For Purchase ;-)

I had another bout of “fabric design fever” a couple of weeks ago. This time I decided to order fat quarters of them so I could get a better idea of the print layout. Previously I had only ordered 8″x8″ swatches, and it really was not large enough to get a good visual of overall pattern. The result? I love them! I can now envision some of my prints as scarves, some as totes or accessory bags, and some as clothing. Here are a few quick snapshots I took this morning of them laid out on my breakfast table:

IMG_4928 IMG_4929 IMG_4927I love the two coral/pink fabrics. One is a geometric print and the other an abstract floral  . Both of these I can see as workout tanks in Spoonflower.com’s new Sport Lycra fabric. The geometric sample is in the sport lycra. It has 12% lycra and is moisture-wicking, so it is perfect for workout wear.

IMG_4936 IMG_4939  The green fabrics I can see as flowing tops , dresses, or scarves. Spoonflower.com has several options for this: poly crepe de chine, silk crepe de chine, modern jersey, and silky faille to name several.

IMG_4938 green small floralolive and green feather printI ordered several of my prints in the linen cotton canvas and the heavy cotton twill because I just knew I would want them for sewing ipad cases, makeup bags, pouches, etc.

gray mini floralolive green with blue floralfeathers and flowers

I decided upon viewing them that I really liked the feathers and floral print above for clothing also (with its coordinating mini print below), especially after seeing it on Spoonflower’s new site SproutPatterns.com (beta version right now) as a Myrtle Dress. SproutPatterns.com is a sister site to Spoonflower.com where they offer a limited number of patterns that can be customized with your fabric choices from their site (your own designs or any others they offer for sale) and the pattern pieces are printed out with your design choices directly on the fabric. All you have to do when you get it is cut out and sew. How cool is that???

I leave you with a couple more pictures (because this post isn’t picture heavy already, right?)

white mini floralIMG_4940

Idea for a New Dress

I have some medium Weight linen in a dark forest green that I have not been able to decide what to sew it up as. It was just too dark for my taste as a summer item. Where I live it will be pretty warm well into November, so I figured why not make a fall dress? I browsed around on the Internet for some dress ideas and found one on Etsy that I liked in the Idea2lifestyle shop.
I made a sketch of what i envision sewing:

  
I have an existing pattern I think I can alter enough to accomplish this. The black at the neck and sleeves are just attachments to make the dress look layered; I have some handkerchief weight black linen I think will work well for this. I plan on making the 3/4 sleeves vented to above the elbow to minimize wrinkling from bending my arms. I want to do some type of embroidery in black on the skirt, possibly shashiko, a Japanese form of embroidery dating back to the 1600’s. I like the inspiration dress’s long front ties, which are shown both tied and left hanging. I will probably wear them tied to cinch the waist in some and give a little shape to an otherwise loose design.

Fabric Design 

So I am a little obsessed with attempting fabric design again! I have just purchased Adobe Illustrator and gotten a trial version of Adobe Photoshop, but frustratingly, I am not comprehending AI at all. I have searched the Internet for tutorials but am having problems finding much that has been helpful. While trying to plod through I got impatient and went back to my old pal Windows Paint and made a few designs that I think repeat pretty well (these are screenshots of my designs after I uploaded them to Spoonflower.com and set my pattern repeat)

   

    
    

    
   
(You can find me on Spoonflower.com under the username theaddledcreative) 

I am still working on getting the colors to be what I envision in my mind. I feel like I get in a rut with color combos sometimes. I was thinking about fabrics for jersey dresses and tunic tops to wear over jeans and leggings when I designed the trellis patterns. I like the geometric and coordinating stripes for tote bags, travel pouches, etc. I realize these are pretty basic and beginner. I have the Spoonflower book about fabric design (available September 1st) on preorder already and I cannot wait to get it. Hopefully it will help me get to the next level with designing.

Transition to Fall

Transition to Fall

A Quick ‘n Easy Knit

Hi all! Yes, I have had another loonnng absence from posting on my blog. I have been extremely busy this summer with work and boys off for summer break. I try to sneak in time to create here and there. I have actually made several things (I have a small obsession with linen going on right now), but I just haven’t made the time to blog about it.

A few weeks ago, a Facebook friend posted a picture of lots of yarn and stated that she had just learned to crochet and was obsessed with crocheting cotton dishcloths. Now, you all know I love to knit, but somehow knitting and summer have not worked well for me. BUT, after seeing this post, all I could think about was knitting something. I didn’t want a long drawn out project (I have socks cast on, but I don’t wear them in summer so have not been motivated to work on them). I did a quick search for a knitted dishcloth pattern and found this one by Staci Perry of verypink.com. It did not disappoint. This is the kind of knitting that is almost mindless. I worked on it off and on this past Saturday and Sunday (a quick hour here or there…probably 4-5 hours for me but I am NOT a fast knitter) and I now have this wonderful dishcloth!

dishcloth 1dishcloth 2

It is so soft and wonderfully textured. I may even use it as a facial washcloth. I knitted it with an inexpensive cotton yarn I purchased from Walmart. Of course, my knitting isn’t very pretty, but I read that this type of project is good to do so that you can focus on improving your stitches since it is such a simple knit. Here is one last picture of me holding the cloth to give you an idea of it’s “squishiness” 😀

dishcloth 3

A Basic With A Twist

Pencil skirts are about as basic a wardrobe staple there is. I had just enough denim left over from my shirt dress to eek this one out.

  

When I say eek, I mean eek! The “twist” I referenced in my title came about because I had to cut my skirt a couple of inches shorter than I like due to fabric limitations. Then I noticed all the pretty selvage scraps and an idea was born.

  

I stitched two rows of selvage to my skirt bottom edge and voila! My skirt is now the perfect length AND it now has this sassy casual vibe.

 

I flat felled the side seams and used white thread for all the decorative top stitching. 

The pattern is an old favorite of mine, the Magic Pencil Skirt from Pamela’s Patterns. This is probably the 4th or 5th version I have made , but this one is different on two counts: I used a stretch woven instead of a knit, and I cut the high waist instead of the regular waist. This pattern has ample ease. So much so that I cut a medium waist and graded to a large hip then tapered and slightly pegged it toward the hem. Considering I am a full 16W, you can see this pattern runs large. Of course I do prefer my pencil skirts fitted since I normally wear my tops out instead of tucked in.

I sewed this skirt thinking it would make a great casual spring/summer look paired with the white linen top I just completed. I can throw a lightweight cardi on top for cool nights or air conditioned spaces. Choice of shoes and jewelry can take it from work to church to weekend casual. I’m looking forward to making it a regular part of my wardrobe.

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