Category Archives: Inspiration

A passion for (1920s) fashion

I’ve spent my convalescence, which I am now ready to admit was from the flu, catching up on television that I’ve neglected.  Downton Abbey was first on my list and I am happy to say that it has completely revived my passion for early 1900s fashion.  I mean, just look at it:

Promo shot for Downton Abbey

Promo shot for Downton Abbey

The lace! The beading! The draping! The fabrics!  I love it all.  I wish I could be more eloquent about it, but I just can’t.  All is what I love and all is all I can say.

I think my passion for it started with a show I used to watch when I was in highschool, living in London: The House of Eliott.  It’s about two sisters, Beatrice & Evie, who own a couture design house.  There’s an element of the upstairs/downstairs feeling of Downton Abbey, but the girls are not as well-to-do as the Crawleys.  Being business owners would put them firmly into the middle class.  At any rate, it’s been years since I watched it, so I don’t remember as much as I like. I remember one of their employees couldn’t stitch straight and it turned out she needed glasses…and that Beatrice’s beau’s name is Jack and that he was quite handsome. I’ve had it on my Amazon wish list for ages, but nobody seems to think I want it that much. :-)

The House of Eliott - title image

The House of Eliott – title image

Having nothing to do with the roaring 20s and everything to do with couture design houses, in 2005 the Sundance Channel aired a miniseries called Singé Chanel which followed Karl Lagerfeld, and to a larger degree, the women who do the real work of sewing the dresses, from start to finish through a couture collection.  I loved this show as much, if not more than The House of Eliott.  I speak not a lick of French (deux baguettes, s’il vous plaît!), but I have poured over the episodes so many times I don’t even need to read the subtitles any more.  It’s too bad the show is no longer available in the United States.

Screenshot from Signé Chanel

Screenshot from Signé Chanel

Which brings us up to present day in which I, somewhat obsessively, watch Project Runway. (I watched it before it was cool, yo.) My favorite, if you had any doubt, is Uli, who I hope will win, but we shall see (If I’m honest, I think Anthony Ryan is going to take it).  Given my passion for 1920s fashion, is it any wonder that Uli is my fav?

One of Uli's amazing designs.

One of Uli’s amazing designs.

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey…Stuff

I’m not generally a fangirl.  I like different  tv shows and I like different actors, but I do not usually get obsessive about them.  Dr. Who is no exception. So it might surprise you (or not), to find that it is the subject of my next super ambitious project.

Remember the Spock quilt? What would you say if I told you I’m planning a series of Doctor quilts?  There’ll be 11 in all *natch*. If I enjoy the process enough, I’m considering adding some monsters and companions.

I’m still tweaking and finalizing the patterns, but here’s where they start:




So…you know what I’m going to need to make these pieces?


Whew! Well, that happened…

If you’re anything like me, you’re sitting there wondering what the heck happened to 2012. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people who wishes ill to the previous year or looks on the coming year with fear and disdain, but seriously, where on Earth did the time go?

Chapter 2013, Page 1 of 365

I didn’t put too much thought into my goals for the coming year, but I thought I should articulate a little here.  I would really, Really, REALLY like to sew more and write more.  REALLY. I think a reasonable goal for the year is the sew 52 things. I’ve joined Alyssa Lichner’s Pile o’ Fabric BOM (check out the nifty graphic over there on the right —>), so that’s 24 items already if I count each step as one item in and of itself and as long as I keep up. I have a couple of memorial quilts to make, a few more baby quilts, a raffle quilt, some wedding gifts, and between all that, the regular, every day, birthday gifts, swaps  and just plain old necessities (I have to whip up some more pajama pants for Caleb like, yesterday). Even more so, I want to fill up my Etsy shop and keep it that way, rather than only getting things up in time for the holidays.  With all of that important sewing ahead of me, I don’t see how I can fail to meet my goal (*smile*). Have I mentioned that I’m nearsighted?

I have a few items that I sewed in the last year that I’ll be making posts about soon. And some planning to do for the Skill Builder BOM! I see so many planning posts and process posts in my future!  I hope I’ll enjoy 2013 & I hope that you will too. Maybe we can enjoy it together?

Can you lend a hand?

Have you heard of Kickstarter? If you haven’t, you need to check it out.  It’s where folks like us can support other folks like us by backing their projects and helping them to get off the ground.

I bring this up now because I was directed to a Kickstarter for Sara at Sew Sweetness that I really want to see backed – Sara designs beautiful handbag patterns that are available for free, but she would like to start designing clothing patterns for sale.  She needs to purchase pattern drafting software to do so and that stuff is pricey.  For donating just $25 to the cause, you’ll get 2 sewing patterns once she’s up and running.

Nearly a quarter of the money needed has been pledged now, but there are only 28 days left to back her Kickstarter: I hope you’ll consider helping her out!

Another Zakka Swap

This time it’s magnets! I’m as excited for this one as I was for the last one…maybe more. I made a mosaic of fabric magnets I found on flickr that I love and/or things I think would work well as magnets (that I also love, of course). I’m already considering the possibility of sets of magnets to sell in my Etsy shop!

Any suggestions? Special requests?

RATZ Magnet Inspiration Mosaic

1. hexies, 2. hexie panda, 3. Little Mushroom Fridge Magnet, 4. VW Bug Sewing Buttons, 5. Felt Cookies, 6. itty bitty quilt block magnets, 7. Little Bird Fridge Magnet, 8. Tara, the magnets, 9. little pillow magnet., 10. Red & White Handsewn Fabric Flower Brooch / Hair Clip, 11. Felt Apple Fridge Magnet, 12. mushroom magnets, 13. flower pin