Friday, February 28, 2014

Prairie Rose Pattern Tour: Homemade by Jill

Today I'm happy as can be that Jill, of Homemade by Jill, is sharing a few things she made with my Prairie Rose Set pattern. Aren't these adorable, happy faces on these girls? And I love the happy clothes--the floral Prairie RoseMaxi Skirt, pink on pink Prairie Rose Blouse (I have some of that voile myself--love it), and Prairie Rose Pants, which Jill revised to suit. You can see more right here.

Thank you so much, Jill! I appreciate you sewing and blogging about it!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Prairie Rose Pattern Tour: Max California

Will you look at this little beauty? Such a sweet girl. And in such a pastoral scene! Someone needs to hurry up and write a children's book about her. This is of course the daughter or Max, as in Max California. (And if you want to know her given name and her second alter ego you'll have to read about it here.)

Max sewed not just this adorable tribal print Prairie Rose Maxi Skirt, but another as well, in a beautiful blue calico with vintage lace trim. Looks straight off a romantic farm. You have to go see! I want to be there in person!

Thank you so much, Max! I can't get over your beautiful work and pictures...  (The Maxi Skirt pattern is part of my Prairie Rose Set Pattern, which also include a blouse, skirt and pants.)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cooking: Blood Orange, Feta and Spinach Salad with Pine Nuts (Recipe)

How do blood oranges create so much drama? Oranges, like apples, seem the most common of fruits--a bit boring really, compared to something like a blackberry. But cut open an orange to find blood red flesh and you are suddenly holding something entirely different! They are shocking, really. Maybe because they are scarce. 

When we travel in Europe (which isn't often enough) we love having blood orange juice instead of regular OJ. It's so plentiful over there. I remember buying bottles of it at the grocery store for our girls when we were in Italy. And it didn't seem like a splurge.

Maybe the blood oranges will become more common here too, if Target is any indicator. I've been picking up bags of them in their produce section this Winter. Which brings me to this salad.  It's spinach, feta, pine nuts, blood oranges and a pink champagne vinaigrette. Sounds pretty dressy doesn't it? I made it for some girl friends and it was so simple to put together.

Click through for the recipe and tips for cutting the blood oranges.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Prairie Rose Pattern Tour: Sew Very

We've had heavy skies and rain puddles all week. It's that in-between weather: we should have cold and snow but it's too warm and the rain is melting the snow into dirty mounds on the lawn. I'm afraid we're months from Spring green. So I was thrilled to see this happy Prairie Rose Blouse from Veronica of Sew Very. It's like a shot of Spring!

I met Veronica in person last year and can say she's as lovely as her blog. I am so happy she wanted to give my latest pattern, The Prairie Rose Set, a try. Dash over to her blog and check it out. Thanks, Veronica!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Knitting: Color Blocked Arm Knit Cowl (Tutorial)

Because my brain has this compulsion to keep iterating on an idea... even though I should have checked off the Arm Knit Infinity Cowl and moved on to the other things waiting for me I couldn't help but try a variation: color blocking.

I love it on sweaters and other apparel. Why not this cowl?

So I tried it in a couple of my favorite neutrals, grey and taupe. Very wearable, for me anyway.

And I tried it in charcoal and red. Kind of a lumberjack look. Reds are tricky. This is a bit too bright for me. Or maybe I just haven't found the right thing to wear it with.

But wouldn't this be fun in neon + grey? Or white + black?

Would you make one?  What colors?

Click through for the how-to.

P.S. **Do you crochet? I'm looking for testers for an earflap hat pattern in the works. If you are interested please email me with the subject "crochet tester" Thanks! ** 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sewing: "R" is for Romantic, Ruffled and Rose

When the incomparable Katy Dill hosts a series and asks one to join, the answer has to be yes! Have you been following her "Sew All 26" series? How could you not? Every time she posts something I think she can't possibly outdo herself and yet she does!

I chose the letter "R."  Not because it has any special meaning, but because when I was presented with the opportunity it gave me what should have been plenty of time and a few ideas I could play with.

It all started with: Romantic, Ruffled, Rose... 

And then R stood for "Ran out of fabric." So much for advance planning. So I sewed a blouse instead of a dress. 

(I think this is seriously gorgeous fabric from Anna Maria Horner--LouLouThi Clippings Passion)

And to Reinvent my idea, I sewed a Retro skirt with Rounded pockets...

The pockets are a Reappearance from a dress I sewed about a year ago for another fun series. I was going to put them on the Romantic Dress, which was also inspired by that project, had it been a dress, but I've also been thinking about the pockets on a seamed a-line skirt like this. I've had this skirt in my head for a while. I was going to make one for myself but sewing for myself never seems as pressing. Now that I have the pattern worked out maybe I will make one. (Right...)

I made the skirt out of grey boiled wool I purchased here last year and lined it with some scraps of the Anna Maria Horner cotton. I wish I'd had more of that fabric because I'd love it for all the lining. As it is, it's in the pockets and waistband and the rest of the lining is offwhite. 

Finally R is for a reversible shrug. 

This is my Winnie Shrug (Update: the pattern is available here!) and I wish I'd taken a photo of Audrey wearing it with the printed side out. For that matter, I wish I'd taken photos of the blouse and skirt without the shrug too. That may be my favorite combination. But I was already pushing my luck.

My camera battery died right after I took this shot. And did I mention my sewing machine broke while I was in the middle of sewing the skirt? But that I just happened to have a neighbor's machine sitting in my sewing room? It was unbelievable really. A bit Rough!

But R is also for Recovered, Resistant, Rallied and so Relieved. This project made it! And Audrey was a trooper too with her Rosy cheeks. 

Thank you Katy for the inspiration and the Reason to sew. It was so much fun! I would sew with you anytime.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Prairie Rose Pattern Tour: Happy Together

Before the holidays I introduced a new design from Wee Muses Sewing Patterns: The Prairie Rose Set. I then invited a few talents I admire to sew and share what they sewed with the pattern over the next few weeks. Not a regularly paced pattern tour, but a few fun appearances.

I am very excited about this first one. Jess of Happy Together has such great style and her photography is certainly to be admired.  She is sharing these beautiful clothes she made: a tribal printed Prairie Rose Skirt, a gauzy Prairie Rose Blouse and cute polka dotted Prairie Rose Pants. I love these photos of her girls playing on the beach. Such a dreamy vacation from the snow mine are playing in! 

Click over here to see more of Jess's great take on these designs. Did you notice her improvisation with the blouse? No elastic in the waist and sleeves--so pretty!

You can find The Prairie Rose Set pattern here.

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