Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Tale of the Yellow Polka Dots & the Very Playful Hippopotamus

For the last year or so I have really wanted to try silk screening. An easier method (aside from resist painting a silk screen) appeared to be lithography. I have been referencing Lotta Jansdotter's book on printmaking, which is truly a lot of fun and the hippo above was my first actual attempt. I had been hoping to do it on fabric for the bag mentioned a couple posts down. But the hippo did not take very well on the textured ikea fabric... nor did I ever find the white I had hoped to strike the wine colored lining with. It actually looked best on this paper.

And today, further inspired by my lemon polka dots and a 1 yard piece of wool strap that I bought a couple of days ago, I found myself thinking about a little skirt for Mira. One thing led to another and I thought about making a tiny tote bag for Mira to carry her library DVD's and small artifacts from her dossiers. I did indeed manage the tote bag but have not had the opportunity to photograph it. I went for a patchwork strip look on a side pocket (the grey area interrupted with polka dots). It's cute, but I fear not quite as cute as my drawing turned out above.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Orange & Rouge.

I can only show you a tiny bit of this image of wallpaper taken from this website. Isn't it adorable? I feel like the charm stitch website should have some elements of this. I love the colors. Thanks to for sharing the link.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bright Lights

I might be insane for liking this $78 chandelier from Urban Outfitters. I've been very inspired by color lately. It's quite difficult for me to use it though. My usual color palate is so restrained! I often pick variations on the same shade of white to paint our hallways and bedrooms. It really is quite the illness.

So when I see something like this I can't help but think of what fun it is! One thought I had about the baby (or Mira's new room) decor was inspired by a Tory Burch price tag. The mix of bright blue, orange, green and hot pink has been making my heart ache (Scan to Come)! I think a nice silk quilt with bright stitching and binding might do the trick. Check out Tory's boutiques for some visual inspiration (I like the East Hampton one today but the traditional green & orange Vegas/NYC style also rocks it just fine).

I'm not quite sure how to make it work; especially since we already have the cowgirl duvet for Mira. One thing is for sure, I'll be consulting my Domino book for inspiration. So sad that magazine is gone!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fuukei Pianika Bag and a Spotted Hippopotamus

Latest Translation... The Fuukei Pianika Bag from NaniIRO's 2009 pattern line featured on their website.

My plans for the bag include hand printing on a white canvas-like fabric procured from IKEA a year ago. I may go for an organic look with shapes similar to the above photo (from Kokka's site). I have a wine colored liner fabric already cut and plan to print a white hippo inside.

Mira went crazy for hippos over the weekend. We made an impromptu appearance at the National Zoo and saw their gorgeous hippo playing outside in the pool with a bright red ball. She couldn't have loved it more. She said, "excuse me" to get closer and even announced - "I have to move one more woman to get closer." The woman overheard and graciously stepped out of the way so Mira could observe this enormous hippopotamus in all her submerged glory.

Being with a two year old is one of the most enlightening and amusing things I've ever experienced. I am grateful for the time I have to appreciate her.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Karen's Sunshine Cafe Apron

Originally uploaded by llculverwell

I've had these fabrics for about a month. I had planned to make a ruched sundress with the polka dots and napkins with the stripes and prints. The elastic thread escapade prevented me from continuing the polka dot massacre.

About a week ago, I began toying with the idea of combining the yellow swirlies with the stripes as a cafe apron. I was lucky enough to have some super-wide tangerine cotton twill tape from a recent voyage to Spool Sewing in Philly. It was perfectly suited for this combination.

Once the orange was in place, I couldn't stop thinking about my friend Karen. I think she loves orange as much as I do and she might be the only other person I know that will appreciate this strange combination of Amy Butler fabrics.

It was pretty easy, though time consuming when you toss in folding laundry and winging it. I had scribbled some instructions so I could test my tutorial drafting skills. I plan to post my first one over at pretty soon. Let me know if you're interested!

Oliver + S Lazy Days Skirt & Tank Embellishment

In preparation for Olivia's second birthday party tomorrow, I decided to make her a skirt from Oliver + S. This is a free pattern found on their website. It's so easy, takes under an hour... especially the second time around. My favorite part is the genius concealed hem under the ribbon detail.

I had the blush colored fabric leftover from Mira's Stacked Coins quilt front (still working on it). I adore it with the black and white ribbon. And think Mira may be getting a duplicate very soon.

Upon completion I thought this would be an even better gift if paired with a "matching" t-shirt. After three stops I finally found this white tank at Old Navy. It took exactly four minutes to add the ribbon detail to the tank sleeves.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Musings on NaniIRO free patterns

I whipped up these two bags from the free patterns I found on NaniIRO's site. Now of course, since I can't read Japanese I assume they are free. Each bag took less than an hour. The most complicated part may be remembering to work with cm. The first time I started studying one of these I didn't notice the "cm" and began visualizing in inches... thinking, "my that's a large bag, I'm not sure I even have fabric that wide." Upon further consideration I realized my American mistake. Here are the two that I chose: left & right. The bag on the left had a minor measurement error at the base, I'll be explaining in a quick tutorial at a future date.

I'm thinking about making my first Charm Stitch workshop a course in understanding & translating the patterns. While I'm certainly no expert, and there are several ways to complete a project, I think these patterns are adorable & I'd love to offer help to anyone else that doesn't want to take the time to figure out the diagrams.

My next effort is a sweet kids shirt with elastic sleeve gathering. From the diagram on the Kokka site it appears as though a bias trim is magically connected on one side of the fabric to cover all of the seams. I'm just not sure about it though, it could be the body fabric folded over, but the bias trim would make a lovely finished edge protecting delicate skin from chafing. I'm going to be doing this one with Heather Ross' Frog Prince double gauze. The fabric has already been marked with water soluble marker and cut... Just waiting for a brainstorm to fill in the gap.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pieces by Post

June 29 marked the arrival of my first catalog. NaniIRO, oh it's fabulous. The best part about the marketing materials are the images showing projects made with the remarkable fabrics. At first I was thinking, yeah, that's cute but I like these two... and that's it. Then I saw the way the abstract lines and patterns could be laid out to showcase the simplicity and now I want to have just about everything.

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