Sewing Dare Done: Ikea Fabric + Butterick 5285

Ikea Fabric B5285 Skirt FrontI was recently charged with a sewing dare sewing daresby Jagoda from FitNottoFit to sew something for myself to wear out of this Ikea Fabric.  sewing dareYou can see the post here.

I decided to make a skirt from Butterick B5285. butterick 5285 2 I made View B, which has two box pleats in the front and back, a back zipper and side seam pockets.Ikea Fabric B5285 Skirt Front 3

It was quite easy to make, (save for my brand new (to me) vintage overlocker eating my first skirt, both front and back pieces.  I had to start all over again.  And, the second skirt, the waistband was too big, so I had to make a new one.)Ikea Fabric B5285 Skirt BackThe only real difficulty I found was with the box pleats.  It took so much time, measuring and ironing them, then lining up the next pleat so that it did not overlap the first one, making sure the pleats were the same size, etc.  This actually took longer than constructing the skirt.  It was much more challenging to get these box pleats even and flat from top to bottom than it was for knife pleats, like those found in versions C and D.  Is there a trick / secret to making box pleats?  If you know of one, please share!Ikea Fabric B5285 Skirt Front 4I do really like the way the box pleats layer the fabric and allow the large floral print on it to peek through and make all kinds of abstract and colourful designs on the skirt.  I think it really utilized the fabric to its full potential, adds an extra element of design and creates an interesting composition.  I am quite pleased with that aspect.  And, of course, POCKETS!!!!  ‘Nuff said.  I submitted it for my skirt project in sewing class and received 20 out of 20 (100%).  :)Ikea Fabric B5285 Skirt and KittyAnd, I have seen so many photos of you lovely garment makers twirling in your skirts, so here goes:

Ikea Fabric B5285 Skirt Twirling 4Ikea Fabric B5285 Skirt TwirlingTwirling is THE BEST!!!!  And, it really shows the layers of colour and abstract floral patterns underneath the box pleats.

Kitty Likes Measuring Tapes

Kitty Likes Measuring Tapes

Sewing With Heart

Sew RedRecently, I was contacted by Jimmy Beans Wool, to explore the book Sew Red by Laura Zander of Jimmy Beans Wool.  I was enthusiastic about the prospect as it is a sewing and quilting book dedicated to raising awareness of Women’s Heart Health.  Approximately 5% of the proceeds from Sew Red will be donated to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) in support of The Heart Truth.

“Worldwide, 8.6 million women die from heart disease each year, accounting for a third of all deaths in women.” (Women’s Heart Foundation).

The Hearth Truth

heart health graph

Leading Causes of Death for American Women
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/educational/hearttruth/about/index.htm

The book includes sewing project contributions from 27 different designers, fabric designers, sewists and fashion designers, including Amy Butler, Brett Bara, Ty Pennington, Tula Pink, Nancy Zieman (from Sewing with Nancy) and Suede (from Project Runway).

sew red toc

Sew Red Table of Contents Page

The table of contents excited me (and I mean, really, who gets excited over a table of contents??) because it listed a picture of every complete project.

Sweet Sixteen Skirt

Kay Whitt’s Sweet Sixteen Skirt

The book includes a little blurb about the contributing author and instructions, diagrams, patterns and photographs of a sewing or quilting project they have created.  Most of the projects have you draft your own pattern, such as Kay Whitt’s Sweet Sixteen Skirt, named for the 16 panels sewn around the skirt.   Step-by-step instructions are included along with numerous diagrams to help you with your self-drafting endeavours.

Amy Butler Drawstring Dress

Amy Butler’s Drawstring Dress

Patterns are also included with the book for some of the projects, such as Amy Butler’s cute and flirty Drawstring Dress.

anna cohen petal dress

Anna Cohen’s Petal Dress

A pattern and instructions for a gorgeous evening Petal Dress, aptly named for the undulating ‘petals’ that make up the entire skirt of the dress, by Anna Cohen is also included.

For Project Runway fans, the full Simplicity Suede Says Pattern for Suede’s Kimono Sleeve Tunic is also included in sizes XS to XL.

Simplicity Suede Says Kimono Sleeve Tunic

Simplicity Suede Says Kimono Sleeve Tunic

This one is in my sewing queue!

Quilters will also be excited with the patterns included for the beautiful pieced quilts as well as the quilted applique motifs.

Marcia Harmening Queen of Hearts Quilt

Marcia Harmening Queen of Hearts Quilt http://www.jimmybeanswool.com/details/sewRed/

Quilted pillows, bags and pouches are also featured.

There are also contributions from folks who have created their own fabric lines, such as Ty Pennington.  Remember him from Trading Spaces and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition?  He has designed a fabric line for Westminster Fibers called Impressions, “inspired by the resilience he witnessed in our [USA] nation’s…communities when filming his shows.” (Sew Red, p.74).  He includes instructions for a practical yet stylish backpack.

One fun thing about the book is that every single project was sewn in red coloured themed fabric.  No matter the pattern or style, all the beautiful fabrics featured were dominantly red, which nicely reinforced the reason for the book, heart health.

For more book reviews, go to the Book Review section, here.

Update:  This book review/preview has been featured in Stitching the Night Away Craft Daily, issue: April 21, 2013.

Equinox Giveaway Winner! And, Your Favourite Season.

Update – April 15:  Christine Haynes, the author of the book, tweeted today to thank me for hosting this giveaway of her book!  She was excited about it and I added her tweet into the comments section.

We had a total of 70 entrants for the Equinox Celebration Sewing Book Giveaway!  The book is Chic and Simple Sewing by Christine Haynes,ChicSimpleSewing and is divided up into sewing projects designed for the four different seasons.

The entrants were from all across the globe and were asked to tell us their favourite season.  It was so exciting to find out where everybody was from and why they chose their season.  I compiled the information into a chart.  CHART!!  (The science and math geeks just perked up :)).  Some people chose all the seasons as their favourite.  D’oh!  Way to skew a chart! LOL.

Favourite Seasons Pie ChartSpring was the clear winner with autumn/fall and summer (the dry season in the tropics) practically tying for second and third place and winter (the wet/monsoon season in the tropics) coming in a distant fourth.

The following are a few of the simply beautiful and poetic quotes for each season, written by YOU!  The comments really allow everyone to see why you love your favourite season and made me appreciate seasons that may not be my favourites, by being able to see them through your eyes.  I was right there with you!  I thank you for that.  Your thoughts were truly lovely, you poets you!  A book or song should really be written; read on to see what I mean. (Can you find your comment?)

WINTER – Wet / Monsoon SeasonWinter Scene 2

The storms are so wild and huge and you feel so small in a good way.  The monsoon, it’s hard to comprehend.  There is just so much water in the world, all raining down on you at once!

I love the look and the sound of snow.

I love when you’re all warm and cozy next to a fire with a nice hot cuppa and u can hear pitta patter on the window.Winter_wallpaper 2In the tropics, the monsoon is in full swing. Nothing like falling asleep to the rain on your roof and the sounds of distant thunder!

I like the beautiful view after a snow storm, when everything is blanketed in pure white.

SUMMER – Dry Season

summer_sunflowers 2It feels like the climax to my year…. I adore the long evenings and early morning sunshine, I can walk the dog and have had my breath of fresh air by 6am… wonderful stuff!!

If I had to pick, I’d go for the last days of summer, with the plentiful fruit, the somewhat tired heat, the foreboding of darker days.

It’s warm and sunny and if you’re lucky enough to have a garden, it peaks in mid-July.  We cycle and swim outdoors, we go mad because winter will begin again in November.

I love hot and humid weather, iced tea, pools and ocean time.summer_landscape 2

I get to sleep in as much as I’d like and my children are all home with me. What could be better?

I love sitting in the garden sewing. We live beside a river, so a glass of wine outside as the sun goes down is just lovely.

The rains stop for a while and we get to have sunshine.

Lucky for me I live in the desert, constant summer!

It means BBQs, hikes, camping and swims.

AUTUMN / FALL

I think, it’s the most beautiful time of year, full of colour and charmFall 2.

I love that it’s still warm but the colours are changing.  It often brings the best of the weather.  It also feels ‘new’ to me; a hangover of the new school year starting, I guess!

I love the trees shedding their leaves not to mention the beautiful warm colours that are associated with autumn- orange, chocolate, tan, coral, khaki, cream and cinnamon.

I love the change, the drama, the unpredictable weather.

I love Autumn, the crisp air and the changing colours of the leaves. The chilly mornings where fog lies low in valleys and the smell of woodfires is on the breeze.

My favourite season is early autumn, where it is still warm but not too hot, and late flowers are still blooming but the air is already getting an earthly smell. It just gives me a happy warm feeling.

Cool nights for snuggling.autumn 2

Perfect weather for watching the amazing sunsets over the ocean!

The smell of autumn leaves is delicious.

Autumn always feels like a big relief that the heat is over.

The hot winds of the desert blow through the basin. The air is clear and the heat is sharp and by this time the garden is bursting with color and fragrance.

 SPRING

I love the freshness.. the new growth… planting a garden… daffodils…Spring Kitty

I’m big on light layering and I love to see the new growth appear.

I love that it’s hot and sunny, and seeing all of the flowers blooming after a dreary winter.

Cherry blossoms in the spring. That is what I’m waiting for.

I love spring because it’s fresh, new, and hope for what’s to come!

The days are getting longer, and everything is still green from the winter rain.

The grass starts to turn green, the leaves begin to bud, flowers start to bloom. Bliss.spring - baby animals 2Spring is so full of new beginnings for so many things. There’s always new baby birds flying around and all the plants come to life and are blossoming everywhere, I just love it.Everything is bright and beautiful and it leads to summer.

Cool crisp mornings and evenings and the newness of Spring with leaves emerging on trees & flowers blossoming everywhere.

I love spring, when all that has been sleeping in winter comes back to life. Warm days and cool nights that usher in refreshed fields of color and the wonderful perfume that springs from it.spring flowers 2

Days are getting longer, but it’s not too hot yet.

I love Spring the most because the newly appearing rays of sunlight after a long winter make me happy and make me feel alive.

After a cold, wet & snowy winter, the flowers are beginning to bloom, the trees are turning green and the birds begin to sing. The temperature is not too hot & not too cold and it is so nice to be able to go out and get my garden started. I love the colors of spring as well, the yellow daffodils, the red tulips and purple pansy. I love to get inspiration for my sewing from the flowers.  You can see many colors in one flower.

The transition from cold grey wet days into slightly less cold, occasionally blue wet days here in Manchester is always welcome.

And, something to be said for the beauty of ALL seasons:

There’s something grand about the circle of life, and the different feelings the change of seasons evoke that I enjoy more than “just” a single season.

I love every season, especially when they are beginning.  The blooming flowers in spring, the warm summer nights, putting on the first cozy sweater in fall and I love a good snow fall.  By the time the seasons are changing, I’m ready for the new one.

In NZ, colours are so much greener all year round, so these wonderful changes are a little more muted.

Missjoiedevivre from A Charm of Magpies, also shared an interesting seasonal factoid for us:

“Here in New Zealand, we mark the turning of the seasons on the first of the month, not the equinox/solstice. So it has been autumn since March the first!”

I had no idea!!  Does anybody know why?  Please, do share.

Because this Giveaway induced a very contemplative, calming and thoughtful vibe, Kitty thought that he would take his initial draw officiating ceremony idea, down a notch and also relate it to the seasons.  (However, do not fret, Kitty fans, I have just won the Wellington Pattern Pyramid from Laura over at miymdiary, so for the winner of that draw, Kitty is going to put his original plan into action and let loose his boisterous side).

The Draw

spring buds 3

Inspecting Spring Flower Buds

I listed numbers from 1 to 70 on tiny bits of paper, that looked like hopeful spring flower buds.Spring flower buds  Kitty inspects the flower bud numbers, and they are then placed at the beginning of the Kitty Tunnel, which depicts the hot yellow sun, clear blue sky and calm blue water of a gorgeous summer day.  names in tube, blow dryer set up 2

A blow dryer was then set up and aimed at the flower bud numbers.  The blow dryer was turned on and Kitty delighted in watching as the flower buds create a lovely winter storm and swirled around frantically and hypnotically inside the windy tunnel.

Tunnel Eye View

Tunnel Eye View

Kitty then bravely enters the eye of the hurricane.  Oh, our gallant and fuzzy beast.  Will he persevere over natures elements?

Kitty stands strong, never taking his eyes off the prize.

He grabs fruitlessly in the air, on the ground, in the tunnel; so many paws, so much paper, such wind.

Winter Storm

Winter Storm

Kitty Tasting Names

Kitty tasting the paper numbers

Kitty Inspects Names 2Kitty leaves no sense underutilized and even tastes the spring flower buds, to ascertain which paper holds the possibility of being the winning entrant.  Kitty then exits the tunnel, patiently watching his targets fly out of the tunnel and flutter delicately to the ground.  Like gentle autumn leaves, departing their spring and summer homes on the trees, they fall softly to the ground. Kitty Emerging from Tube to Capture Winning Name of Fallen Autumn Leaves

Kitty waits for the bewitching autumn leaves to land while contemplating his next move. Whcih Name Will Kitty Select He inspects the items, never quite pinpointing just one, moving effortlessly between all the spring buds/fallen leaves, until…..his eye sees what it wants.

Kitty does it!! He hones in on, and dutifully captures a solitary flower bud/autumn leaf!  He gets his paws on the winner!!!Kitty Captures the Winning Flower Bud Name

The paper is unfurled like a beautiful tulip in Spring,

Name Unfurled Like a Spring Tulipand……

You are Taking Too Long, Let Me Help You!!!

You are Taking Too Long, Let Me Help You!!!

A Spring Tulip

Ah, Sweet Smells of Tulips

Ah, the Sweet Smell of a Lovely Spring Tulip

…the winner is…..Entrant Number has Been RevealedNumber 33!!  Which corresponds to……Elise Lin from What the Dormouse Sews, whose favourite season happens to be:  Autumn.

Elise LinCongratulations Elise!! Kitty and I are both so happy for you.  Please email me with your specs so that I can mail/post you, your brand new sewing book!

-Thank you to everybody for stopping by the blog and entering the giveaway, and for your engaging commentary on nature’s finest hours.- 

I will leave you with Nick Drake, metaphoring on the seasons with the hauntingly beautiful, The Time of No Reply.  You’ll thank me (after you’ve finished rocking back and forth in the fetal position, while weeping gently.)  You’re welcome. (click on the song title to view it, you won’t regret it).

Kitty retiring to his tunnel tube with the winning number to contemplate Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

Kitty retiring to his tunnel, with the winning number, to contemplate Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness…….and Tuna.

photo and comment credits:  Giveaway entrants favourite season comments, quoted in this blogpost, have been edited, by me, for grammar and spelling as well as for brevity and are the sole property of the authors.  The original comments and their corresponding authors can be found on the Giveaway sign-up post, here, in the comments section.

Photograph of the four seasons courtesy of:  winter, summer, autumn, spring Photograph of Kitty in Spring courtesy of Halo Pets.

Bowie Sewalong Make – And it GLOWS IN THE DARK!

Fabric, Notions and Kitty, Ready to Go

Fabric, Notions and Kitty, Ready to Go

So, I have finally finished my project for Bowie Sewalong.  The lovely and unique Tempest Devyne, from FanBloomingTastic has been the gracious host of a Bowie Sewalong, a sewing group dedicated to everything David Bowie.  She has been so great about posting music, information, movie clips, it’s been great fun following along!

I remember when I was young, single digits years old, and my brother and I went to camp in the summers.  And all the camp counselors listened to David Bowie and Supertramp.  At that age, there are really no cool cliques at school or with your friends yet, so, the camp counselors were the very first “Cool Kids” encounter for me. So, I took what they gave very seriously.

Is Bowie the best singer around?  Definitely not.  The best musician? Not really.  But, can Ziggy Play Guitar??? Oh Yes, you bet.  He is such a performer and free spirit and I love the personas he takes on and how unapologetic he is about them.  His creativity knows no bounds and the key underlying theme is to express himself, any way he sees fit.

Bowie Sewalong Skirt at Piano

My contribution for the sewalong is a wrap-around skirt, that I designed and sewed myself, with no patterns or instructions.  I really wanted to ‘wing it’ for this project, as it seemed the perfect time to try my hand at something unique and off the cuff.Bowie Skirt Full View, Wrap, Front, Ties, Back  I have no idea if it’s drafted, put together or sewn ‘correctly’ and, in fact, have never made a wrap skirt before.  But, that was the point of the exercise, to channel the Bowie Spirit and just let it roll!

The skirt references, not only the ’70’s, when they were so popular, but all things Space that David Bowie was interested in during that decade, including Space Oddity, Life on Mars, Starman, even Ziggy’s last name was Stardust.  It was definitely a huge theme in his art.

I found two scarves in my parent’s basement (we can call them vintage) that depict a map of the universe with the entire night sky, including stars, galaxies, planets and horoscope signs.  I used these scarves for the back panels of the skirt and then added a fabric that looked like the sky with stars and planets all over it for a smaller, front panel.  I added some tucks to front and back for shaping, a bit of a waistband, and, of course, embellished with bright red chevron and silver trims.Bowie Skirt

And, the best part?  The scarves glow in the dark!!!!  The whole night sky lights up in the dark and glows on my backside!  This just felt ‘right’ for a Bowie sewalong. :) I wanted to offset the universe pattern on the scarf, so that the entire night sky was not centred perfectly on my backside.  Something about that thought, just didn’t quite jive.Bowie Wrap Around Skirt Back View

Bowie (on shelf) and I

I love this video, it really depicts Bowie’s inner geekdom.  Doesn’t he look like guys from your high school and not a ‘rock star’?

Charging My Skirt Backside

Charging Up My, uh, Backside with a Lamp to Get its Glow on! As you do. Don’t you? Maybe it’s just me then.

Proud To Be Charm School Reject

Proud To Be, Charm School Reject

For his contribution, Kitty made a chevron choker and blinged it up with gold and pearl studs and gold and silver appliques, as well as a huge remove-able charm.  Kitty channels Bowie easily and is and always will be, proud to be a Charm School Reject.Kitty's Bowie Chevron Choker with Stars and StudsKitty's Bowie Chevron ChokerKitty's Chevron ChokerProud To Be The Charm School RejectSkirt Back Close UpBowie Skirt Sitting DownPlaying Piano in Bowie Skirt