August 22, 2011

A little handiwork has been done.....

but soooooo long between posts.

Not really sure that I have a good reason for my absence except that life gets busier and busier and I believe I've been eaten by Facebook! Anyway I do have a few items to show for all those lost hours!

First - a maxi dress that I made using a very fine cotton-silk blend I picked up in NYC last season. The fabric feels like butter and was a bliss to work with! I used Vogue 8241 - easy peasy with very straightforward instructions. No real design changes/enhancements except that I used a different technique than offered in the instructions for "flipping" the bodice - same result - and I lined only the bodice in a black china silk. I've wore it out for a nice summer dinner as well as to a beach party - - really versatile!
(I apologize for the poor quality of my photos -
anyone out there with a suggestion for a good, small, versatile, moderately priced camera -
my old standby is failing me!?)

And then there's my newest, um, obsession/time sink/money hole - knitting! And here is my first real, DRUM ROLL, sweater!!!
I did it! I made a real live sweater from the top down! And it fits! And I like it! And I wore it! None of these statements did I EVER think would ever be uttered from my mouth about something I knitted! I owe my success to Rachel at Looped Yarns for her support and stellar instructions (and did I mention her support???) The pattern is designed by Elizabeth Smith from The Brown Stitch. Great pattern for a beginner - pretty straight forward but with lots of challenges from which to learn!

Thanks for peeking in on my progress! Am working on a great mid-weight linen jacket for fall! About to head in to cut it out now!


June 17, 2011

Vintage ReFab @ DC Threads' Sip and Stitch

DC Threads hosted DC's czarinas of vintage fashion to a packed crowd at Bits of Threads Sewing Studio. Lisa of Quarterlife 202, Erin and Nora from Ginger Root and Shannan of Junction Vintage shared their collective wisdom and tales with over 50 sewists and vintage fashionistas.


Shannan started the evening off with "ReFab 101" discussing the difference between thrift, consignment and vintage. She also shared with us how she took the vision for Junction Vintage and grew it into a thriving business. Lisa, with her expnsive knowledge of the DC world of vintage, gave us some insider's tips on how to make sense of the madness that sometimes besets us as we approach a consignment or vintage store or collection. She also had loads of tips about how to "shop your closet". Last, but certainly not least, were the girls from Ginger Root. Their amazing mission of translating landfill bound garments and fabric into uber-chic garments captured the crowd's creative hearts! They brought along some amazing examples of their work! The crowd had LOTS of questions and the panelists didn't disappoint! Here are some of the resources that they referenced during the event:

And many thanks to Fabric and Trimmings for donating the chic seersucker cut of fabric!

Let's let the evening's pics speak for themselves!

Ginger Root transforms an 80's style jacket into lattice-inspired work of art

red jacket 2

Red Jacket

Some of the 50 vintage fashionistas at the Bits of Threads Sewing Studio


Another garment rescued from the landfill and "refabbed' into a flirty summer skirt


Allison and Laura draw the winning raffle ticket for the fab fabric from Fabric and Trimmings

L and A

Another 80's style "K Street Lawyer's Dress" refashioned into a chic peek-a-boo back sheath

blue dress 1

Many many many thanks for your support of DC Threads and our Sip and Stitch Events!

April 25, 2011

Carbon Presents Mother Earth Inspirations: Earth Day Eco Fashion Show Benefits DC Threads

Here is a little something from BisNow DC! Thanks much to Katherine for your amazing vision and incredible generosity! What a great evening!

Eco Chic!

BisNow went to Woodley Park’s Carbon for Mother Earth Inspirations: Earth Day Eco Fashion Show for an exclusive look Friday at NY eco designer Auralis' Spring 2011 line. Proceeds went to DC Threads, a volunteer-driven initiative promoting the art of sewing and stitch crafts, whose reps, Laura Lee and Allison Lince-Bentley, are with Carbon owner Katherine Limon.
(um - notice who is the only one holding a drink!!)

Auralis’ Suset Laboy and Jenny Macgregor-Dennis look chic in pieces from their line. The ecologically conscious designer uses hemp, organic cotton, and bamboo to create trendy apparel.

Guests enjoyed organic wine and hors d'oeuvres while browsing Carbon's sustainable items. Before the fashion show, we saw Kenya Wiley and fashion blogger Fashion Cloture’s Telena Cassell.

And thanks to those wonderful folks at MetroMix for some more fine pics of the evening!


April 10, 2011

Incomparable Buttons = Incomparable Women: SA and DC

Incomparable Buttons was started as a small company in 1984 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Working around a kitchen table, often late into the night, Jennifer Pascall was busy transforming small pieces of clay into buttons of all shapes and sizes. Many of the first designs, which are still popular today, were inspired by Africa’s rich ethnic artworks and distinctive wild animals. Over the years Incomparable began specialising in the creation of handmade buttons, craft pieces, craft kits, painting kits, greeting cards and jewelry.

As the company evolved, ladies from the local community were hired and trained in the art of button making. Today, Jennifer’s entire family, as well as 45 women from the local community are involved in the business. Most of the Incomparable team had never held a paintbrush before they joined the company and are now absolute masters of their brushes and justifiably proud of their work. The ladies sense of belonging within the company and skills as crafters not only gives them tremendous pleasure but also provides them with economic empowerment and has uplifted all their families.

Jennifer Pascall and her team contacted us to inquire if we would be interested in GIVING AWAY some of their B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L buttons to our DC Threads Community! Buttons from heaven!!!! After we read about Jennifer and had the opportunity to "chat" with her about her South African community and her crafting philosophy we immediately were interested in sharing Incomparable Buttons' art with our community - and the reception was incredible.

We gave away cards and cards of exquisite ceramic hand-crafted buttons at two DC Threads events - the Betz White Sip and Stitch and our April Sewing Lounge! Here are some photos of the events and the lovely buttons! We also asked the "winners" of the buttons to share with us their impressions of the buttons and also to imagine how they might incorporate the buttons into their next grand creation! Here they are..............

"I’m so excited about my beautiful new buttons!
(L490 Button Card – square buttons with heart shaped and blue glaze)
They are subtle but stylish and have the kind of weight and quality feel
that will be perfect for one of my more special projects.
Maybe the wool coat I’ve been working one!!!"

"The cupcake buttons are adorable. I love baking so it shows off my other interests.
I would like to attach them to a big canvas bag and use it everywhere."

"I love the cute sheep buttons!
They’re unique and I love the fact that they are washable. Thanks so much!"

"Lovely buttons – nice colors and a great size!"

"The butterfly buttons are BEAUTIFUL! I love the blue, purple, and indigo glaze.
They will be perfect on a jacket."

"I love the buttons!
I chose the 4 white and 1 black sheep.
I want to make a jacket that will use all 5 of them with the black one in the center.

I think I will make a bag where one or two of the buttons are used as buttons
but the others will be used as decorations."

"I won the button collection with the scissors -

"The yellow buttons are the color of the desert sand – a very natural shade.
I will probably use them on a dark colored shirt or dress. Thank you."

Many thanks Incomparable Buttons!
We promise to post photos of all the fabulous garments embellished with these lovely buttons!!!

Be sure to check out the Incomparable Buttons blog!

April 3, 2011

It's a Mad, Mad, Madmen World

Hi Darlings!
Good news on the home front - my vintage jacket is done! I love it and will definitely make it again! I love the quirky design and it was easy peasy to construct! This go around the "pop" is on the inside of the garment - take a peek at the lining! For the jacket I used yardage from my stash that I have been itching to use for years so I'm happy to have it put to good use but I think the quirkiness of the design deserves a little more life! Whereas I like the fabric (I wore it with an ivory pencil skirt to work) I know that I will definitely be less conservative with my next iteration of this garment! And - - I've included a photo of the infamous drunken, kidney donor bound buttonhole (see Facebook post below) - not my best work but you'll understand why, in my view, it's just perfect!!
I love love love the sleeves on this jacket! Perhaps it's best design feature!


Vintage button - I love that the geometry of the button matches the weave of the fabric!

The drunken, kidney donor Facebook post:
"Just in case anyone was wondering - bound buttonholes and drinking do not mix!! Here's the backstory.... my good friend, Jack, recently donated one of his kidneys to a neighbor (I know - how insignificant do YOU feel right now??) - anyway he had a HORRIBLE post-op course but he turned the corner this weekend. So yesterday my friend Ava and I were having a sewing marathon and we decided to take a bottle of wine to the hospital to toast Jack's road to recovery with his wife, Julie! Well we did that and I apparently am now a light-weight because when we came back and resumed our sewing the resulting bound buttonhole was not pretty (not awful but not pretty)! I thought about taking it out and trying again - but ya know, I am leaving it there with all of its imperfections so that I will remember the night we toasted my friend Jack, the hero!"

Thanks to Joanne and Meg for organizing and hosting the sew-along! What's next up on the sew-along queue??

March 5, 2011

"Those who can't, teach"........ Really!!!!?? OH PLEASE......

How about: "Those who teach, CAN'T - - BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE TIME TO.....!!!"

For the last two months I, happily, have spend ALOT of my time (typically dedicated to sewing) on programming for DC Threads. Allison's generosity with the Bits of Thread Sewing Studio space has allowed the sewing events supported by DC Threads to blossom! In two short months we have changed the time and format (slightly) of our monthly FREE sewing lounge, we've added evening "Sip and Stitch" events, and started "Stitching for Change - Little Dresses for Haiti" (this event is the one about which I am most excited)!

All great news for DC Threads (and we hope for all those sewing enthusiasts in DC) but not so great for my personal sewing addiction! I fear that I may be starting to go through withdrawal! So this weekend I am doing what I have done for my hangovers in the past - a little hair 'o the dog! Will head to my sewing studio in a few minutes and get back on that bad horse!! I have some DELICIOUS linen that I picked up at Gray Line Linen in NYC during my trip last month (and, yes Meg, I still owe you a review of Gray Line!!!!) and I WILL have two FABULOUS garments constructed in time for Spring! YES I WILL!!

I thought you might like to see what the DC Fashionista had to say about her time with us during our inaugural "Stitching for Change" event! Thanks Abigail - can't wait to sew with you again, soon!!

And - some photos of those beautiful little dresses for those, oh so, beautiful little girls constructed by the most beautiful of friends!!



February 14, 2011

Homage to Mondo

No verbiage needed for this post.

I was inspired by this story and these pants:

I made this:

Back to my Vintage Sew Along garment!


January 24, 2011

DC Threads Graces the Pages of Vogue Patterns Magazine

That's right! You heard right!

DC Threads caught some major ink in the current issue of Vogue Pattern Magazine (February/March 2011).

Linda Turner Griepentrog penned a great piece about "today's sewing circle" - the Sewing Lounge. She featured photos of ten Lounges from all over the US - including Baltimore's The Sassy SEWer Sewing Lounge!

Too bad Allison's Bits of Thread Sewing Studio was but a twinkle of a dream months ago when we were interviewed for the story!

DC Threads was featured in a special side-bar focusing on our community service focus! RAH!!!

The story is great - we especially love the pics of Doris Lum, our stellar beginners' coach and Erica and Teoki, a couple of our fav sewists! How cool is that!????