Thursday, September 30, 2010

Meetings and Warnings.....

So the first Monday is almost upon us.  If you are like me you have procrastinated the day of your repentance....or at least of your Embellishing until it is nearly too late.  Whether you are coming to the meeting (Monday around 9 a.m.  at my house, please email so I know who to expect) or planning on posting your adventures online, please make it happen this weekend.  The new challenge will be issued on Monday and I want us to have made a good showing for our first outing. :)

(Speaking of Outing, those of you who haven't done your introductions had better get on with it!  Put your name and "introductions" in the post label section.  You should label your discussion of your own work with "embellish" for September, and possibly the word September as well as you name and any other appropriate labels for your techniques to help others find it in future.)

If you need help getting started posting, let me know and we will see what we can do.  If you have been meaning to sign up and haven't yet, get over to "The Rules" and send me an email so I can get you on the authors list. ;)

I hope everyone has lots to report....good and less good, by way of adventure for September. k.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I think Etsy is a great place to find inspiration for our embellishing challenge. Below are some favorites if you're interested in embellishing a t-shirt like me. I'm actually going to have Audrey and Megan do this along with me. The photo is from a shop called I love treasures. It is so simple, but my girls would love it.

1) Lace

4) Ice cream applique (selling for $3, we can do that with leftover scraps)

7) Matching mickey mouse applique and headband (I think of Amber when I see this)

12) shirt & tie (same shop as the mickey stuff above)

and here's one thrown in from the Gap. Ribbons.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Bling Your Bra!" Contest

This was too timely to pass up. hahaha  September's "Embellish" Dare AND Breast Cancer Awareness.

Bernina Blog

If you can't come up with something different to embellish, I am going to expect to see lots o' fancy bras here come the end of the month. :)

(Also, if you do have ideas, post.  As our first exercise, I am afraid we might be a little limited in our mind's eye.  Get to work everyone!) k.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Heeeeere's ....... Joanna

I, too have grown up around sewing. My mom and my grandmother both sew. My mom would make us clothes including prom and homecoming dresses. She even made my wedding dress (and hand beaded the top) even though she only had about 2 months to do it. When I was about 12, I decided that I wanted to learn how to sew, so my mom gave me a pattern and told me to make it. Before I got married, I didn't really sew, except to mend things, or if there was some sort of activity that involved sewing. After I had kids, I decided that I wanted to make pajamas for them for Christmas since that was a tradition that my mom did for us. I have since made dresses and pajamas for them. My latest being Savannah's and Aubrey's baptism dresses. I haven't tried very many techniques (with zippers being my kryptonite), so this should be a lot of fun!

Introducing . . . Carolyn

Well, Kimberly keeps telling me to write my introduction and I do whatever she tells me to :)

I grew up with sewing all around me. My mother sewed a lot of our clothes--especially dresses, made crafts, and now has a long-arm quilting machine business. Her mother is an excellent seamstress and when I was a teenager made me the most awesome fitted skirt and jacket that I wish I still had. My other grandma was a home-economics teacher and still sews now at the age of 88. So, I learned basic sewing skills by default, but actually had no interest in it.

When I graduated from college, I thought a digital camera would be a great gift, but instead my mom and grandma bought me a sewing machine. I think I used it once in the first four years I had it. Then one day in Relief Society we were talking about how our mothers taught us modesty. I commented that my mom always sewed my prom and homecoming formal dresses so that I had something modest and beautiful to wear. Suddenly I realized, hey, I have daughters (Megan was a newborn) and I'd better improve my skills so that someday I can do the same for them. Thus my sewing adventures began.

My skills are still very basic (i.e. I still need serious help with zippers) but I have learned a lot and had a lot of fun in the last few years. I've made many dresses for my daughters, skirts for myself, curtains, bags, blankets, etc. One of the things I had a lot of fun doing while Curtis was in business school and we didn't really have any money was "refashioning." My friends and I discovered that our local thrift store had 10 cent sales on certain days, so we'd go fill our carts with "fabric" from the thrift store. I call it fabric, although it could be shirts, pants, a big mu mu . . . you get the idea. Then, I'd make it into something else. It's a really fun thing to do and brings out your creative side. I also would buy things and then try my hand at simple alterations to make them fit better. I am still not a tailor by any means, but I hemmed a pair of pants for a neighbor and felt proud that she trusted me enough to ask and then wore them afterwards.

The one thing that really made me start loving Korea was the Dongdaemun fabric market. I love to go there and just look at everything you can buy. I'm excited for the embellishing challenge because there is just so much to experiment with. I follow some sewing and fashion blogs that have given me some ideas. For example one of the sewing bloggers I like Is always showing how to copy the J. Crew and Anthropologie tops that have ruffles, etc. that are so cute these days, here is something that would be fun, and here are some inspiring tops she pointed out. I'm thinking of trying this for shirts my size as well as my kids. We'll see what happens.

Having baby #3 has made it difficult for me to find time and space to sew. My sewing room is now Claire's room, so I have to find a new space for all my stuff. Also, my sewing time was usually in the evenings after the kids go to bed, but lately I've been too tired to do much. So, I'm hoping this group will help motivate me to sew again and that I can push myself to learn new skills that I'll need to one day make those prom dresses!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

September's Dare: Embellish

To start off with something easy, this month's challenge is to explore a new technique or product for embellishing.  You may apply this challenge to something ready-made or incorporate it in to another sewing project you have planned.

In case you are stuck for ideas (although I suspect that every last one of you <so far only Carolyn...hehe> already knows exactly what you have been contemplating...but not justifying...trying out!) here are a few I thought of...... (add your brainstorms by comment to this post.)

Embroidery of all kinds: silk ribbon, machine, decorative stitches on your machine, needlepunch (which I tried for the first time this summer :)

Applied decoration: beads, rhinestones, fabric applique's, jewelry findings, nailheads.  (You know, on the 5th floor of Dongdaemun.....)

The secret is to explore some new idea, try something new.  Once you have tried it out (success or not), be sure to post your adventures so we can learn together.

The physical meeting will be held October 4 at my (k.) house.  We will discuss how we will go forward from there with the "meeting part."   The October Dare will be issued on that day as well (and I promise to post it right away in case you can't make it.)

Blog posts should all be up before the meeting, but can be posted throughout the month-long dare.  You aren't restricted to only one, that is more of an "at least" guideline.  If you don't know how to post/upload pics etc, please let me know and I can talk you through it.  You should also feel free to post links to techniques/ideas that you like from other sources.  Be sure to give appropriate credit when posting the work of others (and get permission if you can.)  Be sure to include appropriate "labels" for your post: the month, the dare, your name (or initials) and pertinent keywords for what you tried.  That way, 6 months from now when you need remember how to do that beading technique, or you can't remember who has the wool-felting tools, you can look it up by keyword in the archives.

Me?  I think I may use some of the 40,000 nailheads I bought, or maybe I will do some eyelets with my new setter.  (In case you were wondering, I have the supplies for all sorts of things......go ahead, ask.  I bet I have it....oh, except for a hot fix gun for rhinestones. hehehe) k.