Margaret Infinity Scarf

After a busy week of buying fabric, sewing, and taking photos out in the cold, I am happy to announce that I have made several additions to my Etsy shop. The fabrics are so beautiful and comfy! Even better than I first imagined. They are called “Margaret Infinity Scarves” because they are an elegant but everyday kind of thing. In my mind, Margaret is an elegant but down-to-earth kind of gal. Laugh at me if you want. Don’t you ever place a name with a certain personality? Maybe it’s just me. If you would like, head on over to check out the updated Margaret and Alice Shop!

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Here are a few scarf combos…

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New Year, New Scarf

Hello friends! The year of 2016 has already come and taken 7 days with it. I had high aspirations to post my resolutions in a somewhat organized manner here on the blog, but once I missed the first couple days of the new year, a bit of my resolve had already escaped. Oops.

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BUT, these winds of change blew a new business idea into my brain. I say “new business,” though what I really mean is a special kind of addition to my Etsy shop! Scarves have been everywhere. This winter, in the fall, last spring…¬† They seem to never go out of season. My new line of infinity scarves focuses on fun prints and colors that can be layered and worn year-around. It’s like a scarf edition of the capsule wardrobe (but it lasts through all the seasons!). I will be adding many more options within the next week hopefully… Foxes and flowers coming soon. Yippee!

Check out some of the pairings! Here’s a link to my shop.

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Thank you to the sweet friend who taught me how to make these! =D

Emerald Lady

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So after I had completely finished this dress, I realized that it is my third dress (in a row!) to be green… And, my past two dress posts each were titled after a “lady,” so I could not force myself to interrupt the pattern this time. Wearing this dress truly does make one feel a lady. It is very likely my most extravagant and most prized creation thus far.

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As some of you may know from my previous post, I made this dress by adapting a vintage evening gown pattern. Though the pattern sleeves were quite classy, I opted for a younger, sleeveless look. The fabric is from Cali Fabrics, a decently-priced shop with many kinds of materials in a great variety of colors. Funny story– I ordered 5 yards of emerald taffeta, 8 yards of emerald tulle, and 2 yards of cream chiffon…. I made the bodice and realized that chiffon was not working for the kind of bow I imagined. So, I had this crepe-y silk/taffeta (I’m really not sure what it is) sitting beside me, because I had made a muslin with it. As it turned out, I had just enough to make the sash, which ended up being the perfect thing!

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Recently, in an interview, I was asked if I have ever failed. While the obvious answer is “yes,” I groped for a noteworthy example. My many sewing endeavors provided me with just the right example. I explained how I have most likely failed many more times than I have succeeded when sewing. And yet, that is how I learn. Without the long list of failures, I would not be the pattern-drafter, fabric buyer, and stitcher that I am today. All this is an introduction to what was perhaps my biggest sewing fail ever… I had completely finished my lovely bodice when I noticed a narrow line of stitches down one of the back sides. I turned the fabric to see the inside. I had serged into my bodice. Ah, it made me sick. After meticulously seam-ripping the serged stitches and trying to patch the tiny holes cut into the fabric, I yielded to what I knew had to be done. The perfectly ironed facing– off. The scrupulously sewn darts– redo. That entire quarter of my bodice– throw away. I cut around the pattern once more, lined up the darts once more, and attached this new and perfect piece to the rest of my dress. But, I can tell you, I am so glad I did!! My beautiful handiwork is now blemish-free. And I learned the importance of careful serging.

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What’s black and white and has a gold button?

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It seems that, when my laundry situation allows, I always choose to wear black and white with a pop of either coral or turquoise. And by turquoise, I mean all bluish, green colors… So I should say teal, sea green, peacock blue, mint, turquoise, etc. Thus, I perpetually look for new opportunities to make a piece of clothing in one or another of these colors. Buying fabric often discourages me, because very rarely do you actually find what you came for. When I found a surprise two yards of black and white print that actually happened to be cute for $4 per yard, I bought it without hesitation. Here is an important bit of information: if you find promising fabric for a good deal, buy it, even though you may not have a plan for it yet. It WILL work out! Any way, in a few short hours, I made this high-waisted, comfy skirt. I am going to try to start wearing dresses and skirts more often; so this casual, practical skirt should fulfill its purpose well.

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Homemade Stamps and Hand-printed Fabric

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I’ve been anticipating this project for some time now. I’m so excited to share it! Here‘s a site that explains the process pretty well. So as a Christmas gift for my siblings, I carved some unique stamps. I love it, because you can make absolutely whatever design you like. I chose to make¬† balloon, mustache, heart, arrow, and feather (though it looks more like a leaf) stamps. The hardest part for me was drawing a distinguishable object. So for the more talented artists, this project could not fail. But it really didn’t even fail for me! Perhaps I had too high expectations for the feather… This is actually a relatively easy and quick project. I, for one, loved trying my hand at something new. Someday, I want to hand-print fabric with some of these stamps. By the way, I tried one of the stamps on fabric with paper ink— umm, you might want to use fabric ink, or else it will come out very light and hardly visible.

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Ooooh, I got somewhere on my long-awaited shift dress this weekend. The pattern is finished! Can’t wait to make it and show it to y’all!

Skeleton Key Canvas

I’m currently in the process of redoing a room. I’m going for a classy, yet rustic look. So today I ran across an old frame that I had turned into a canvas by stapling white broadcloth to the back. While brainstorming about how I could use it, I came up with the novel idea of painting skeleton keys on it. As you will soon find out (as I reveal some more diy projects originating from this room revamping), I have recently been enamored of skeleton keys and doilies. There are actually a lot of other things in this category that I love and will tell you just for the fun of listing a few of my favorite things (it would make me so happy to have fabric with some of this stuff on it): penny farthing bicycles, pocket-watches, mustaches, bows, and typewriters. Okay, back to the topic of painting skeleton keys on a fabric canvas. I spent quite a bit of time determining which skeleton key designs to use, which I think turned out to be a wise decision. I then sketched them as best I could on a piece of paper, making sure the lines were dark enough to see through the fabric. Setting this paper in the perfect position behind my canvas, I traced all three keys onto the canvas with a pencil. The final and most intricate step was using black paint to trace the lines on the canvas. If I had time running out my ears, it would be so fun to print enough fabric like this to make a skirt or dress or something. Anyways, the finished product is somewhat stunning— Are the keys real or just painted? Elegant skeleton keys framed in knotty wood? But the slight confusion only adds to its charm. I can’t wait to hang it in the room. I realize that this project slightly deviates from the theme of my blog, but I just couldn’t keep this one to myself! Maybe it will inspire you.

 

My Want of Fabric

I have a dilemma. Here it is: I can’t find unique fabric. What I need is a place that sells light-weight fabric (like rayon challis or some gauzy material) in weird prints. I have looked and looked. I really don’t even care how expensive it is. I just need to know it exists, right now. I have recently bought some really cute clothes that have some funky printed fabric… But where can I get the actual fabric??? I have found some pretty good fabric in some places, like here, but it’s all plain old cotton. I really just wish I had a loom, so that I could make my own fabric. But for some reason, I’m thinking that ain’t happening. Oh well… I would be so glad if anyone could tell me some places to check out! And for anyone who’s wondering what “weird” is, here are some examples =D

Yes, this IS fabric, but it’s not light-weight (which matters =)