Superhero Checklist: Cape…check. Pantone Fall 2013 Colours…check

Cape and Collar Scarf TieThose wonderful and talented kids from Wellington have done it again and now Kat, Mel and Juliet have created The Monthly Stitch where a new sewing challenge is issued monthly.  The August 2013 Challenge was to sew a cape!  I have always, always, always wanted a cape.  I’ve never sewn one, never worn one, never owned one.  So, this was the perfect opportunity to Make It So.  There have already been some fantastic makes in this challenge, it was very inspiring to see the cape in all its forms.Cape Front View CollageI used a pattern by Christine Haynes from a Quick Stuff to Sew, Winter 2011 magazine that I had. Quick Stuff To Sew Magazine ArticleI loved the deep side slits as they allow for range of motion, i.e., you can actually move about and DO things while wearing your cape.  There were some issues with enlarging the pattern.  If you followed the 980% instructions, then the 1 inch squares became too big.  So, I wasn’t sure which was correct, enlarging to 980% or having the squares measure to 1″.  In the end, I tried on the ‘paper muslin’ and enlarged it to a size that worked for me.Collar Tie and Cape ViewAnd, more exciting news, the Sew Weekly Challenge has returned!  I had not even begun sewing yet when they were blogging and issuing sewing challenges the first time around, so I’m delighted to be able to participate now.  The August 2013 Sew Weekly Challenge was to make something out of the Pantone Fall 2013 Colours. 2013-Fall-Color-Trend-PantoneThe colour I chose for the cape is called Vivacious and the fabric is a medium/heavy wool blend.  According to the Pantone Fashion Color Report, Fall, 2013:

Vivacious is an unruly and wildly deep fuchsia, and adds an ebullient sensuality to the palette.

Sounds too fabulous, yes?  How could I possibly resist the lure of that?!Cape BackCape and Collar Tie Side View I underlined each cape piece in a deep navy/indigo bemberg lining fabric and finished off all raw edges with navy bias tape.

Navy/Indigo Bemberg Underlining and Bias Taped Edges

Navy/Indigo Bemberg Underlining and Bias Taped Edges

Cape Open CollageI was originally going to make 1″ bias tape for the necktie, as the pattern called for, out of navy fabric to match the lining, but being part of a Pantone Colour Challenge, it began to feel a bit one-dimensional.  So, I chose this lovely silky smooth cotton which incorporated the Pantone colours: Vivacious Pink, Acai Purple, Linden Green, Deep Lichen Green and Carafe, all together.  Cape Collar Tie FabricThe colour combination of pinks/purples/greens and olive-brown complement each other so beautifully.  Pantone Fall 2013 Colours UsedColour Theory:

On the colour wheel, the Vivacious shade of pink (red/violet) is opposite the Linden green-yellow shade and is ‘complementary’.  Side ViewThis pairing creates contrast and keeps things lively and animated.  The acai purple (violet) is adjacent to the pink on the colour wheel, (these are called ‘analogous’ colours), which creates harmony and mellows things out.  The two greens are also analogous to one another, lending a calming effect.  ColourWheelThere is a mix of warm and cool colours which ensure the palette doesn’t become too one-dimensional.  The olive-brown colour is actually what you would get if you ‘mixed’ all these colours together and, therefore, fits effortlessly into the colour scheme.  The indigo/navy lining has enough purple in it to coordinate with these colours, and is also analogous to the acai purple/violet colour.  It is a very deep and dark shade, and so creates a grounding effect and provides a good backdrop for the other colours. This is what I’m hoping, anyway.  It all sounds good.  😉

One Tie Over Shoulder Collage

One Tie Over Shoulder

Both Ties Over Shoulder

Both Ties Over Shoulder

For the collar/tie piece, I wanted something more lush than bias tape, so I interfaced the fabric with a fleece, to make it thick and cozy and similar in weight and thickness to the cape fabric.  I then cut and sewed two rectangles together with angled ends and just sewed it to the cape, all the way around the top.  Cape Closures and Collar Tie 2I had no idea how to make a collar/tie like this, just had a vision of what I hoped it to look like, but it did seem to work out well!  By adding this style of tie, it creates different options for wearing it and is also warmer.  I also wanted the cape to stay closed so sewed on some metal closures down the front.  And, what do these metal closures look like?  Little capes!  🙂

Cat Bombed On the PhotoSet Collage

Who Let The Cat On the Set?? CAT ON THE PHOTO SET!!!

No Treats?  I'm Gone....

No Treats? I’m Gone….

And, the very best part of having a cape instead of a form-fitting jacket??  There’s always room for one more…  Always Room For One More

So…..Many…..Thank Yous…..

thank-you-languagesI am very excited and privileged to be amongst such generous and inspiring company.  Over the last few months, I have won several giveaways, received some gifts AND have also been honoured with some awards.  I wanted to post the ‘goods’ with a link to all those who were so kind as to offer up gifts and bestow awards.  I am humbled by your fabulous, creative company.  So…Thank You.

GIFTS and GIVEAWAY WINS

  • A lovely rayon/linen blend ecru coloured fabric with matching thread and buttons and a McCalls summer top pattern from Dale at Finished Threads McCalls Pattern and Fabric
  • A cute and ’70s looking poufy sleeved Simplicity Dress pattern from Denise at Dottie DoodleIMG_3624
  • Fun retro top and shorts Simplicity Pattern, Project Runway Blouse Pattern and a luxurious brown silky satin stretch fabric  from Kristin at Sew ClassicIMG_3621
  • A small piece of very cute Yoshiko Jinzenji fabric and an Amy Butler pillow pattern from Kerry at VeryKerryBerryIMG_3623
  • A retro, frilly ’70’s blouse pattern from Carmen at Carmencitab IMG_3427
  • A vintage sewing book on CD:  Practical Dress Design – principles of fitting and pattern making.  Author, Mabel Deane Erwin. From Deborah at GraceDressmaking Vintage Sewing Book
  • Lovely winter weight plaid fabric and a whole slew of notions to match from Gillian over at Gilly MakesIMG_3622

Thank you so much everybody!  Cannot wait to sew up some fabulousness with these lovely items.

BLOGGING AWARDS

veryinspiringbloggeraward

  • Very Inspiring Blogger Award:  Bestowed on me by the experienced and always helpful, Brooke at CustomStyle She’s always ‘game’ for answering my questions or some wonderful sewcialist chat on Twitter.  Her blog is rife with sewing information.

I was blessed to have received the Leibster Award by four (FOUR!!) extremely fantastic and talented bloggers. This award requires that you answer 11 questions given to you by the presenter.  For purposes of brevity, I have opted to answer 3 of each person’s questions.

I did not make any nominations as I was recently nominated for 3 blog awards here and nominated some wonderful folks at that time.   liebster-award-elephants-picturebook

  • Sarah at Sarahmshultz.  Sarah hosts some fun blogging parties on her blog and is also adept at organizing as well as sewing.

1. What made you start blogging?  My new-found love for sewing and my desire to record my journey and be able to interact with others.

2. If there were to be a zombie apocalypse, what would be your weapon of choice?  My wits.

3. Do you actually have that weapon easily accessible?  Sometimes, depends on the day :P.the-liebster-award

  • Cherry Pix from Cherry Pix.  She makes some super fabulous things for her cat, including a matching mom and cat outfit!  Kitty is already in love with her.  She has also made some simply lovely garments and her blog is so much fun to read.

1.  What is your number-one favourite sewing gadget?  My rulers.  I have many, different styles, lengths, curves, squares, triangles, metric, inches, see-thru.  Bliss!  Going to do a blogpost on them in the future.

2.  Are you a pattern tracer or a pattern cutter?  I trace, trace, trace.  Often while utilizing my rulers. 🙂

3.  Which of your own sewing creations are you most pleased with?  My Ikea Butterick 5285 Skirt.the-liebster-award

  • Amber at Miss Parayim.  Amber makes beautiful outfits and may, indeed have a fabric fetish.  (Don’t we all?)  She always seems to find JUST the right fabric for JUST the right outfit.  Note to self:  I must go fabric shopping with her one day!

1.  What kind of machine do you use?  A Janome My Lock overlocker / serger and currently borrowing my mum’s Kenmore sewing machine.  I’m in the market for a new sewing machine.  Any opinions or advice would be much appreciated, feel free to comment! 

2.  What inspires you?  A fantastic book or a terrific song with lyrics that amaze.  A spectacular warm, sunny day by the water.  Selflessness in others.  And, the underdog.  Always, the underdog.  

3.  What do you want to make next?  Summer dresses!  A long, flowy halter style made of silk and a shift dress made with cotton. 

the-liebster-award

  • Kacie at Thimble and Cork.  Kacie calls herself a beginner sewist, but I don’t think she can be!  She must be practicing on the fly, when she is supposed to be sleeping because her stuff is top-quality.  She also has the kindest things to say to my Twitter posts.

1.  Do you do most of your fabric shopping in local stores or online?  Local stores.  I have only just VERY recently (this week) ordered my very first ever mail-order purchase!!  There is likely to be more of that.  I was warned…

2.  Which new sewing skill are you most excited to learn or perfect?  Tailoring and altering clothes and patterns to fit properly.

3.  Is there a movie or TV show that you think has particularly inspiring costumes?  Well, my answer is not theatrical and dramatic nor overly technically complex, but, for outfits that I would actually wear, I rather  like Mary and Rhoda’s wardrobe on the Mary Tyler Moore show.  And, it hasn’t opened yet, but I’m fairly confident that The Great Gatsby is going to have some stunners. 

Leilande and Millicent Thank You

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.