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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cover a Lampshade With Burlap

I love burlap in the home. This is a subtle touch.... a burlap covered lampshade. My husband doesn't like anything too fussy in his man cave.

Remove the lampshade. Trace on craft paper to make a pattern. add a one inch seam allowance on the top and bottom. Don't cut the side seam until you have glued the piece together. Burlap can be a little difficult to work with because it is so stiff. Better yet, don't cut the seam allowances until you have wrapped the whole burlap piece around the shade to see if your pattern was accurate.

Use the pattern to cut out your burlap. Glue on the burlap, smoothing out the bubbles. Hot glue gun the seam allowance on the top and the bottom to the inside of the shade.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Vintage Dish Towel And Napkin Pillows.

I often pick up old dishtowels and napkins on my vintage treasure hunts. I was tired of just letting them sit on a shelf, or worse yet, watching one of the kids use one of my beautiful towels to actually clean the house with. Several of of my pretty embroidered towels have been ruined this way. I have been making pillows with some of my old linens.

This old American flour sack that I used some crochet on around the edges.

This red toweling fabric was sold by the yard in France, where I bought it.

I used buttons for the closure.

This pink napkin came from a French chateau.

I used some leftover linen for the back.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sew & Tell Saturday # 3

Welcome to Sew & Tell Saturday! I hope those of you in the US had a nice Thanksgiving holiday yesterday. I know I did! My mom did most of the cooking and her turkey was soooo good! I spent a quiet day with just my husband, my mom and my kids. I tried to stay away from the madness of Black Friday but found myself at the mall this evening after all to buy my son a present for his 18th birthday tomorrow and ended by buying Christmas gifts for the girls too! 
BTW I have a giveaway posted from yesterday > I'm giving away a Burdastyle pattern magazine. You can click the Giveaway photo on the sidebar to see the post. 

Below are some featured projects from the link up last week. 
I adore this beautiful robot print baby dress made from a 1950' pattern at The Teacup Dinosaur
A beautiful gown for a gala made by the elegant Laura Mae from Lilacs and Lace. You may have seen her on Burdastyle last week. She was the featured member.
I love this pillow made from a vintage tea towel from 1972 from Lets Go Fly A Kite
So funky!
Anna from A Few Threads Loose shared her cute tartan bra from her  bra sew-a long she shares at her blog.
Here is a fun upcycled project. A knit dress made from a Batman sheet at Cation Designs!
And here is what I made this week:
The weekly challenge The Sew Weekly  was to redo a pattern you have made before. This was the third time I used Burda 7678 for this top. It's such a simple style and really easy to modify. This time I left off the wide waistband since my pants already have one. The knit pants are from the Burdastyle July issue. They are slightly like harem pants. But I don't think the two pieces look that great together. Too much baggygoing on! I think the pants need a slimmer fitting top.

Here is the top by itself. I think I like it better with something slimmer fitting on the bottom. 



Friday, November 25, 2011

Giveaway: Burdastyle Pattern Magazine 6/2011

Today's giveaway is for my June 2011 edition of Burdastyle Magazine. As you can see there are lots of patterns : ladies, ladies plus sizes and kids. Burdastyle plus patterns are always very fashion forward.   There is also a whole section dedicated to creating the Bridgette Bardot look . The children's patterns in this issue are also very wearable and cute. Craft projects are included as well. You can make a whole wardrobe just from the patterns in this magazine! I have leafed through this magazine but haven't used any of the patterns. I just have too many other projects planned and don't think I'll ever get to it. You pattern collectors know how that goes, right?
Burdastyle Magazine isn't available at any newsstands in the So. California area and I have to have mine sent from Europe so you can't just rush down to Joanne's for this magazine if you are in the US!
Here are the entry rules:
Mandatory: Leave a comment this post with your e-mail . If you know where to buy Burdastyle magazine in the US let me know. Subscriptions are expensive!
Extra votes:
1. Follow my blog.
2. Like Sew Country Chick on FB.

Summer looks.

Check out the Anna Molinari pattern in leopard above.

Resort and evening looks.

Plus size patterns that are actually fashionable! Yay for Burda!.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Expressing gratitude and tomorrows giveaway.

Although Thanksgiving in the US started off as a way to commemorate the friendly relations between the Native Americans and the Pilgrims who would have starved without their help that freezing winter, the holiday has become a day of celebrating family and showing our gratitude.
I for one have so much to be greatful for. My family, home, health, and God to name a few.

I am grateful to be able to get up in the morning, jump out of bed and walk downstairs to pour myself some coffee and I am greatful to my husband for making that coffee every morning! A small miracle when I think of my cousin who has MS and can't ever do those things anymore since every step is a feat of strength and painful for him.

I am grateful for my children; my two year old pattering through the house and making her little messes; my son playing his guitar softly in his room, my daughter chatting on the phone with friends; talking to my stepdaughter on the phone since she moved to New York city to pursue her fashion dreams. What a miracle children are!

Something else I am greatful for is having this blog. Making connections through it with other people who love to sew and make things has really enriched my life. Although I have friends, none of them share this passion of mine and it is so great to communicate with others who " get it"! How cool is it to carry on a conversation with a blog friend who lives in Malysia from my home in Southern California? Or to "visit" with a blogger in Scotland to chat about vintage patterns? I am so greatful for the creative inspiration I get from the sewing and DIY blogosphere and the real world opportunities from people who have read my blog.
Thank you to anyone who stops by here, leaves a comment, posts a link, or follows!
Lily in her fifties holiday dress.
And to everyone American or not, Happy Thanksgiving!

Now I must go and put the turkey in the oven!

(I didn't get my act together in time to post the giveaway I had planned for today so stop by tomorrow and I will be giving away some sewing patterns! The winner can choose between childrens or ladies sewing patterns from my collection.)


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Making A Dress For The School Fundraiser

My kids go to a small Catholic school and every year they have a big fundraiser for the school. This year the gala event was held at The Ronald Reagan Library. 
 I decided to make a First Communion dress to auction off with all of the proceeds going to the school. That's what I spent Friday and Saturday doing. My son was singing in the choir at the auction and leaving at 4 to set things up. I finished this dress at about 3:30! It felt like one of those Project Runway moments. I had planned on sewing hand beading to the neck and sleeves but I didn't have time so I just had to "Make It Work."
The dress was made from silk shantung and had a petticoat and silk roses on a silk organza sash. I pretty much drafted the whole thing except for the bodice piece I used from a Simplicity pattern. I drafted the sleeves because I have yet to find a cute little girls dress pattern with a cap sleeve. The whole thing cost me about thirty five dollars in fabric and it auctioned off at 200 dollars! That's what I call a markup!
Here is my son who is making a very rare appearance on my blog. I can't believe he is turning 18 this Saturday.
Me and the hubs. My daughter did my hair and makeup. She followed a smoky eye tutorial on You Tube and she did a very good job!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sew & Tell Saturday No.2

Hi everyone and welcome to my second installment of Sew & Tell Saturday!
Let's see what you have been up to!
Link your blog posts here and visit other people's blogs too. To link up first go to to your blog and click the title bar of the post you want to feature, the permalink. Post that address in my InLinkz form below and a page will open and you can choose what photo you would like to feature from your blog post. You can also download from a URL.
Linky party etiquette usually requires a link back to your party host's website with either a text link or by copying and posting my html below which will show up as my cute little button...( if I do say so myself.)

 You can post the link either on the bottom of your blog post, on a separate linky party page like I do, or on your sidebar.
Anyway it's a fun way to get discovered by new people and to discover new blogs yourself. I hope you enjoy my blog too. Now I am not sure why the photos on this weeks links are so small but I will get to the bottom of it and if you come back next week I should have a larger photo format to show off your work better. I went to my InLinkz manager and I can't resize the photos once the collection is up so I'm sorry these photo links are so darn small this week! I will also be resizing my blog button as it looks huge on your sites! 
This link up will be open all weekend. Please try to visit at least two other posting bloggers and leave a comment for them if you can. Thanks!
Here are some featured contributors from last week:
Check out this lovely fall dress made from a sixties Vogue pattern by Chrissy at  Adventures in adventuring. That lion print has me roaring to go!
How about this tutorial for making boot warmers from old sweaters at In His Grip? Perfect for Christmas .
How adorable is this pin up photo Lisette took of her self made negligee at Vintage Or Bust ? Va va voom!
I want to try this tutorial for a cute girls T shirt dress at A Couple Of Craft Addicts. Is that little girl not the cutest ?
A very hip sweater refashion from Ruby Murray.
And here is my project for the week:
 My Autumn Colette Crepe in my vintage road trip fabric blogged here.
And lil Miss Gigi in a orange corduroy Burdastyle dress.
 So post away!


Friday's frock: another Collette Crepe with vintage fall fabric

Today's dress is sewn from the Colette Crepe pattern.
When my family and I were on our roadtrip in Oregon last summer we stopped at a roadside antique mall on the way to the Oregon coast where I bought old vintage hair rollers, a 50's baby dress for Gigi and this cute vintage fabric:
I love the sewing challenges over at the Sew Weekly, and I wanted to use the fabric bought in Oregon for the orange week challenge. I didn't get the dress done in time so I posted an undone photo of it on that site. The last time I sewed the Crepe in yellow gingham I didn't like how the armhole and bodice facings on the original pattern were not only time consuming but they needed to be tacked down and had a tendency to flip outward. It also ended up being see through even though the fabric didn't seem that thin. Here is a photo. There had to be a better way to sew this dress!  I checked out Gerties Crepe Sew a Long but her method of innerlining the dress as well as adding facings on top of that was too complicated for putting together what is essentially a cotton housedress. At least I thought so.
I decided on a simple cotton lining for the bodice and skirt, thereby eliminating the facings, making the dress less see through,and also giving it more body.

Tips for adding a lining to the dress:

  • Cut the lining 1/4 inch shorter at the neckline and the armholes. When you sew the lining to the main fabric, because the lining is a little smaller, it will not show on the outside.
  • Sew the lining and bodice in this order.
  • Sew the shoulder seams of the main bodice pieces, then the shoulder seams of the lining.
  • Sew the lining to the main fabric at the neckline and armholes right sides together.
  • Flip right sides out and iron the neckline and the armholes.
  • Now open the piece and sew the side seams.
  • It will be one long seam from the bottom of the lining up to the armhole and all the way to the bottom of the main fabric side seam.

I hope you understand this explanation!
I learned to sew linings this way in design school. If you would like to see a really good tutorial that explains this lining technique which eliminates any hand sewing or understitching, check out this blog post by the slapdash sewist. She is so cute!

I will be putting up my SewTell Linky Party again tomorrow and am inviting you to come back and post your sewing projects from your blogs! Thanks for reading this really long post!
Since these Collette patterns are so popular in the blogosphere I thought it would be a good idea to share the things I learned about making it better for myself with you.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Holiday Gift Idea For Teachers: Ribbon Pencil Jar and fabric flower pens

Do you know what one of the problems about everyone knowing I am a sewist and crafter? I feel like I  am letting everyone down if I buy them a gift instead of make one. It is unrealistic but I want to make everybody something at Christmas. Not that my kids want anything handmade."Just buy us the stuff we like mom, we don't want anything crafty." Kids can be so rude!
Here is an easy gift you can make with your kids for their's the type of thing a teacher will keep on her desk.

Random bits of fabric
An old jar
Some pens
Double sided applique paper
Florist wire
Florist tape

I sewed the ribbons together overlapping a little with a zig zag colorful stitch. Then I sewed up the side seam and added a little elastic to the very top and it slid on the jar.
For the flowers use double sided iron on applique paper. Iron two contrasting pieces of fabric to each side of the paper. Cut out flower shapes and attach the flowers to the pen with florists wire and florist tape. 
Sew a button to the middle of each flower.
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