Thu, 10 September 2015
Dress creation brings out the romantic in me. When I looked ahead to my summer sewing, I thought if I could sew only one garment for the season, it would be a dress. Fiona, the Irish Laurel dress, satisfied my yearning to design and sew the perfect summer frock.
This dress was a very satisfying project for my arty romantic style. In between sewing summer essentials - shorts and tees - I worked off and on to determine what design lines spoke to me about summer, mock up a miniature sloper pattern to test my ideas, draft a pattern from my sloper, and then finally to sew up Fiona, while summer was still on!
*Pensamientos Primeros - Thinking through my idea for this summer dress
*Technicos - Pattern Drafting and Kissing Zipper using a Prick Stitch
*Pensamientos Finales - Fiona's Design Lines have roots in my own history
Mon, 10 August 2015
Enchanted by Charles James - Stepping into a liminal space to study and enjoy glorious fashion designs and analyze the construction of those garments is the kind of thing that keeps me … enchanted by sewing.
Links and notes- http://EnchantedBySewing.blogspot.com
Some months the Enchanted by Sewing podcast, journals my own sewing project accomplishments, techniques and creative ideas. Other times I share the source of some of my sewing inspiration. This month is inspiration time, as I take you along on an another in-the-,moment fashon exhibit - a visit to the beautiful Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco , where I went repeatedly to view the exhibit, High Style: The Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection exhibit of the Brooklyn Fashion Museum.
This collection – which is housed and curated by the Metropoliton Museum of Art in NY City- includes a wide range of the work of 20’th century designers and couturiers.
Direct download: casFINALCharlesJamesLaurelShimerEnchantedBySewing.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:59am PST
Thu, 23 July 2015
This month’s show is Fairy Inspired… Fairy Gardens that is– where my sewing (like my gardening) knows, It’s the Story that makes it.
I was feeling pretty serious about my sewing when I got back into town last month. I was thinking that any day I’d get on with some serious pattern drafting work.
Whether gardening or sewing – it’s the story that makes the creation
I also turn regularly to my Secrets of Disney's Glorious Gardens book. It has a lot of similar techniques and information as DISNEY'S GARDENING WITH MICKEY and it also has lovely, lovely photos that inspire me. So when I want to sit down and just get ideas for themes or gardening styles, I pour through the photos in this book.
Fairy magic is definitely adding a little more enchantment to my life, when it comes to gardening.
And ….It’s also given me a better understanding of how to keep my sewing enchanting.
Mon, 22 June 2015
After three weeks vacation in England and Scotland, I'm not yet caught up and engaged in my sewing projects. I am, however, reflecting on historical and travel sewing inspiration from my trip, putting some good hard thought into planning sewing projects, and continuing to learn about working on my sewing pattern skills, using my sloper and moulage patterns.
Quick Fashion: When it comes to a summer state of sewing sometimes I just want to zip zap up 3 tees in a tried and true pattern and never mind about careful seam finishes or hems – maybe a deconstructed neckline or too. Other times I want to focus on slow careful pattern work, practice my sewing techniques and create a garment that I expect to see me through a number of seasons.
Slow Fashion: I also like to put time into developing patterns with personally crafted fit, carefully finished seams and well-thought techniques.
Planned Sewing: Other times I need to step back from sewing and give my fabric and pattern inventory and choice of sewing projects a good solid overhaul.
1) Field trip to England and Scotland
(7 days London, 5 days in Lake District (2 travel/3 self-guided walking holiday, 2+ days Edinburgh)
In and amongst our activities, I encountered textile and sewing information and inspiration.
For travel to use with audio books and in flight movies, and tired evenings, I took along hand embroidery, and practiced stitches on a piece of natural linen scrap. I took this lovely little book,
Many Wonderful Large London Museums are free: Victoria and Albert (free) (Fee for special Alexander McQueen exhibit – Savage Beauty)
Imperial War Museum (free) – Fashion on the Ration 1940s Street Style exhibit http://www.iwm.org.uk/exhibitions/iwm-london/fashion-on-the-ration
Museum of London (free)
The Queens Gallery (Moderate Cost - worth it) – painting paradise became scavenger hunt for pooches (get your ticket stamped for free return for a year)
Conversation Starters - Greeting friendly pooches and their people.
On our treks between museums and scenic places, we enjoyed greenery, statuary and ornamental waters, not to mention horses, dogs, people and kids, in the big parks Holland Park, Kensington Gardens, Regents Park, St James Park.
Mid Week break for More Green with Country Feel, easy access from London
Osterly Park (free estate/park area and/or paid access
to Neoclassical Robert Adam (Regency Era Architect/Designer) historic house and formal gardens) A good mid-week break - 30 minutes from Kensington by train -
Robert Adam ‘one of the most fashionable architects in Eng’ also designed furniture to match the rooms at Osterly, which they still have!
Mickeldore - Self-guided walking holiday in England. They setup up the B&B, schlep your luggage and give you maps and directions. Well worth it. We have used for two or our three walking trips in the U.K. (They don't have a Cornwall trip or we would have used them for all 3!) http://www.mickledore.co.uk/
Wool - Lake District - We stayed at Askhill Farm B&B (http://www.loweswatercam.co.uk/Askhill_Farm_Stay.htm ) There, I learned a little something about current challenges in English wool market chatting with my hosts
Tartan Weaving Mill: Edinburgh On the Royal Mile, just down from The Castle Tartans /Plaids Weaving ( http://www.royal-mile.com/interest/tartanweavingmill.html) Sure, it's primarily a gift store, but there are tidbits for the fabric savy on more than one floor.
Jaquard Loom and other Looms are on Display - National Museum of Scotland (Wonderful Museum) Extensive Exhibit area on textiles
2) Technicos: Fitted Tee Shirt – Sloper to Pattern, Putting Nibble On
3) Purging – Pains and Pleasures - Please post your own thoughts
Sun, 24 May 2015
I first signed up for Lynda Maynards' French Pattern Drafting Class to help me improve my fit and alteration of commercial patterns and was surprised to find that Lynda's class opened my eyes to the idea of drafting my own patterns - an aspect of sewing I’d never expected I’d get involved with, and frankly considered beyond my skills.
My Pattern Work Postings
Early Days in Pattern Drafting Class - Includes Kenneth King Link http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/02/drafting-my-back-block-learning-pattern.html
Using My Sloper and Moulage to Draft Patterns
Parlez Vous Flared Skirt? http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2015/04/pattern-work-parlez-vous-flared-skirt.html
Pattern Work on Pinterest:Links to many pattern drafting and design resources https://www.pinterest.com/lrshimer/0-sewing-pattern-work/
2) Technicos - On Wearing Ease Going from a Moulage to a Sloper and Back Again
3) Pensamientos Finales – My sloper...A garment for any occasion?
Fri, 20 March 2015
This Month's Show - Hats Off to Downton Abbey!
In this Month's Show
1) Pensamientos Primeros – Making Hats - inspired by Downton Abbey , and enabled by local milliner Wayne Wichern
Why do I love to watch Downton Abbey over and over ?
1) The Romantic setting
2) The fantastic British trained actors
3) The Fashions - my favorite part of Downton Abbey.
The best part of the those fashions? - Hats!
2) Technicos A summary of the Techniques I learned something about while making Hats with Wayne Wichern
3) Pensamientos Finales – Pretty as a Picture Hat - Grandomther Lily’s Wedding
Direct download: castFINALHATSoffDowntonAbbeyEnchantedBySewingLaurelShimer.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:13pm PST
Wed, 18 February 2015
Ench By Sew-029: The Importance of Scrap
A cada quien su gusto – To each her own
As well as being useful and cost effective, using up the Scrap from our garment sewing, opens up a world of personal creativity, as well
Coming up with different ideas for utilizing my scraps, keeps me . . . Enchanted by Sewing.
My blog is written in English. The name celebrates the historical and modern use of the beautiful Spanish Language in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, where I live.
* * *
Clearly, scrap is important to the newest member of our household, Izzie the teenaged tabby cat.
Scraps are just as important to me as they are to any cat. Working with scrap, gets my mental processes humming,in ways not so different than they do for Izzie. I have a habit of going to my scrap bins when I feel the need to get a little jolt of playfulness. That’s something I think our young cat can relate to.
I like to work on my scrap habit. It’s good for the planet, and it reminds me that I don’t always have to purchase a new product,
to make something useful, fun or really beautiful. To top it all off, focusing on playing, oh I mean experimenting!, with my scrap,
gives me a chance to build more neural pathways - It sparks my creative juices, just like it does for Izzie the Teenaged Tabby Cat.
A cada quien su gusto! Or, maybe you say To each her own!
Izzie says, Just get out the scrap, let’s play!
Here’s what I talk about, in this month’s show, “The importance of scrap”, recorded in February of 2015
Scrap – Rags, Patches and Snips. How useful a sewists leftovers can be!
Scraps are sewing leftovers. I call some of my larger scraps, remnants, These are scraps, from which, I might still make another tee shirt, a camisole or maybe a tote bag or little purse .
Entonces/Then there are the smaller remnents odds and ends– not big enough for a whole garment, but quite useful for a variety
of projects and make -do challenges.
Finally there are my snips – tiny bits and pieces, and strips that are just too pretty to toss. These bits and pieces are what really bring my creativity to life.
* * *
Yup that’s me singing that old hit, "Ragg Mopp" , once sung by the Tenriers and the Aames Bros. Rags might be considered kind of lowly to some folks, but in fact these leftovers have been important for a lot more than wiping up spills and polishing cars throughout history. Rag mops and rag rugs are just a few of those very utilitarian, and sometimes beautiful ways to repurpose strips of old or new fabric.
1.Ragg Mopps and Raggggg Rugggggs
iii. Nice link to Little House Living a woman who makes her own rag rugs for her own home.
According to this link, rag mops are the best mop in the world, and the author says the that professionial cleaners in many countries swear by them.
I’d love to hear from listeners who’ve made either of these raggy kind of projects. How patient do you have to be? I’m thinking of trying out something more basic along these lines like coasters. Could you maybe braid and curl up hot pads from repurposed scrap or old clothes?
Follow the Drinking Gourd - The Spiritual
SewRuth, who I think hails from Ireland, had several ideas I hadn’t thought of. She had some very nice photos and how-to for belts, covered jewlery - bracelets, watch straps and embellishment for handbags.. I’m going to revisit the tutorial part of that posting when I think about making a belt from scrap I also really liked her idea about making an obi .That posting is definitely worth a visit if you’re into using up your scrap in an artistic way.
Sew Ruth Wee Scraps - https://corecouture.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/wee-scraps/comment-page-1/
Me Encanta Coser - Using Up Scraps http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/02/using-up-scraps-green-sewing.html
A couple of postings about the buttercup purse pattern, including a free pattern link
Embellishing a buttercup purse with tatting http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2012/09/tit-fortatting-embellishing-my.html
Do you love butter? In Praise of the Buttercup Purse. http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2012/09/do-you-love-butter-in-praise-of.html
Pinterest - Sewing Fabric Flowers http://www.pinterest.com/lrshimer/0-sewingfabricflowers/
2)Entonces/Then - Technicos – How I sew appliqué
I have my own way of doing a somewhat deconstructed appliqué
AngelLea has her own ideas
3)Pensamientos Finales/Final Thoughts – A Story of Scrap
Thu, 29 January 2015
Recently I went to visit with my buddy, Susan, and her household’s two dogs, Bruce and Bain. You’ll hear Bain’s comments at various times during the show, just the way you occasionally hear some of the audio from things in my house like the train that runs just behind our yard. I’m partial to including a little locally occurring audio ,because it adds another sense to the personal journal style of the show.
Wed, 17 December 2014
Socializing at this time of year, sharing a cup of tea and a light meal, admiring something a friend has made, engaging together with a sewing project, and getting advice on it, that’s the kind of thing that keeps me . . . enchanted by sewing.
Our best holiday episode ever!
Of course, every year it's better than the last :-)
Listening Option I) You can listen to the show right on the web by clicking on this link
~ OR ~
Listening Option II) Click on this link to iTunes to download this and other Enchanted by Sewing shows to your mobile device (iPhone, Android, etc.) free from iTunes
The Enchanted by Sewing Podcast is, an extension of my regular sewing blog - Me Encanta Coser, (http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com) which, roughly translated means, Enchanted By Sewing
My blog is written in English. The name celebrates the historical and modern use of the beautiful Spanish Language in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, where I live.
This show is created, produced and brought to you by Laurel Shimer.
This month’s show is *Festive Holiday Tees and Tea*
1) Holiday Tees and More
* Crafternoon - Finishing my beaded cap, started in Vancouver
* Three Tees - Tee Shirts
i. Rumpelstiltskin Cowl Neck Top (M6078 - tried and true pattern) http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/12/spinning-straw-into-gold-my.html
ii. Two versions of the Princess Laurel Tee V8323
FUTURE LINKS UNDER CONTSTRUCTION - When I blog them, I'll add them:-)
1. Floral velour (Test Garment - but I'm wearing it all the time!) http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/10/princess-seamed-tee-shirt-pattern-work.html
2. A plain Red version - still a little work to do finishing up the neckband. Perfect for Christmas and Valentines day, but it will see plenty of other use.
* Ivy –A new shirtdress from my tried-and-true M3623 pattern, Inspired by Mrs. Obama!
- Mrs. Obama’s Arms Inspire Shirt Dress Sewing http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/11/romancing-dress-mrs-obama-arms-inspire.html
- Fabric from a favorite local and online store – Exotic Silks/Thai Silks http://www.exoticsilks.com
- Wrap-up posting about my first shirt dress project, "Peaches and Cream" http://www.meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2014/09/terminado-completing-peaches-and.html
* Julia Morgan – Arts and Crafts movement architect http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Morgan
YWCA Hostess House in Palo Alto, built in 1918 and later to become the site of the MacArthur Park Restaurant
*Technicos – Green Sewing Gifts* Covered books and chou chous
Use up those beautiful remnants and scraps
FUTURE LINKS UNDER CONSTRUCTION - When I blog them, I'll add them:-)
I created a pattern for my fabric book cover from a paper bag first. 13 step tutorial http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Paper-Bag-Book-Cover
*Come on over for holiday tea and sewing* In the show, I share lighter holiday offerings, inspired by three sewing and tea parties I've gone to or been hostess at recently. I wish you could have come too!
a. To drink I'd offer Roibos tea with milk and Easy Microwave No-Sugar Cocoa (you can have sugar if you want!) made with soy milk or non-fat milk
I like these cocoa powders (non-sweetened varieties) Cadbury, Schafen Bergen, Ghirardhelli, Trader Joes, Droste
b. Laurel's Holiday Lights Pumpkin Gingerbread
c. Blueberry muffins (Whoops! Not the Mayo Clinic it's from the Harvard School of Public Health - chock full of blueberries!)
I substitute white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose. Love the texture of the almond meal and the flavors of the orange zest and blueberry. Made them twice in short order. Very popular with my family.
d. Persimmon oatmeal cookies - I didn't have the psyllium husks and substituted some applesauce for the persimmon when I ran short. They were great anyway!
e. Laurel's London Loaf - A very light schoosh-of-oatmeal and lemon peel bread http://simpleromantic.blogspot.com/2010/08/for-anna-london-loaf.html
f. Harry Potter's Bath Buns, like Hagrid never made
I have the The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook this Bath Bun recipe came from (someone else has typed up on this page) and I made these buns for supper one night, along with a nice meaty beef stew. I used golden raisins. Many recipes in the book are heavy on the butter, but this much less so. Delicious, very holiday tasting with the caraway seeds.
g. Laurel's Dried fruit truffles
Quick Recipe Recap, For more description, listen in to the later part of this month's podcast
Food processor - Take out all pits!
- 12 dried apricots, 6 medjdool dates, 6 dried plums/prunes
- 2 full graham crackers, 2 t almond meal (optional)
- zest of one orange or lemon
Pulse the food processor till all broken up
- drizzle in enough honey to get mixture to hold together (maybe 1 teaspoon?)
- Press plain cocoa powder (no sugar or fat added) through a sieve so that it's all a fine powder
- Roll mixture into a lot of little balls
- Roll balls in cocoa
- Store in your cutest tin!
Sun, 23 November 2014
This show is EMBELLISHMENT VIA VANCOUVER B.C.
Recently I visited western Canada - Vancouver BC - for a six days trip. My husband attended a conference for GSA. Not being a geologist, I went along for fun!
I’ve taken four trips to Vancouver in the last six years. It's a place we really love to go. We are all really drawn to the city and the vicinity. We identify with the city as fellow westerners. There is a strong bond of shared history and culture, between people in the western Americas, particularly down along the coast. There's also a lot of ross culture with my home in the San Francisco Bay area.
That said, there is a spice of difference and Canadian feeling. We feel both comfortable, and excited with the sights sounds and smells(!).
In the show I discuss . . .
On this trip, my sewist's heart was drawn to embellishment. I kept that in mind when I
- Looked for inspiration for sewing projects
- Designed and Worked on a small sewing project
I also included a lot of travel notes. You'll hear about how my interest in very accessible forms of Native American art in Vancouver,
the out of doors, and local city life affected my sewing ideas and the shape of my travel style.
~ ~ ~
Sunset Inn and Suites – Burnaby St, West End, just off Davie
Button Button - A Unique, Artistic Button Experience
Button Button is on the edge of Gas Town. It's where the Steam Clock is. Yup, it was being renovated when I was there!
Bead store Granville island
In the Net Loft building
5 - 1666 Johnston Street, V6H 3S2
T: 604.682.2323 | F: 604.682.1303
Located in the Net Loft Beadworks is the ultimate destination for all of your jewellery making needs. Choose from thousands of different beads; from pearls to shells to glass and everything in between, and materials for making earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and more. Ask the helpful staff for tips, and you can even create your one-of-a-kind accessories in-store. We also offer classes.
Stanley Park is a huge fantastic city park. Wonderful views of the water, water activities, biking, walking. Woods too - take your pick.
-Native American Art Good locations there
-Behind Maritime Museum Mungo Martin Totem Pole
-Totem Poles, Spirit Park in Stanley Park
-MOA, UBC, carvings, crests on totem poles, bentwood boxes, modern and ancient sculptures
Museum of Vancouver http://www.museumofvancouver.ca
Through early March 2015, If you’re in the area! Exhibit - From Rationing to Ravishing
Maritime Museum - nearby Museum of Vancouver
Babes and Bathers, History of the Swimsuit