A wedding and what to wear?

Here it is November and I am finally getting around to taking pictures and posting about my most current sewing project!  When dear friends Elle and Sean announced their wedding planned for Sept 6 at the Maryhill Museum in the beautiful Columbia Gorge, I immediately started thinking about what to wear.  Going through my patterns I thought that Butterick pattern #5962 would be the perfect choice.  I liked the vintage styling of the jacket and skirt, dressy enough for a wedding but the jacket would also look great with jeans or capris.  I found the perfect fabric at the Sellwood Mill End in their "New York Cuts" section.  The fabric content was unidentified but it feels like a cross between a taffeta and a shantung with a lovely flamestitch pattern.  The pattern was probably one of the most challenging that I have tackled ye,t but I am pleased with the final result.  For the skirt, I chose a dressy coated lightweight denim and lined it with an aqua lining fabric.

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The weather for the wedding was remarkable for the gorge!  It is usually windy and hot, but there was absolutely no wind and the wedding could not have been more perfect!  The bride was absolutely beautiful and the groom unbelievably handsome!

Grrr, I don't know how to get a photo right side up! All in all, it was a perfect day--

Grrr, I don't know how to get a photo right side up!

All in all, it was a perfect day--

Pattern Stash Challenge

Well dear readers, yes I mean all 3 of you!!  You probably think I had given up on my Ready to Wear Fast, but au contraire mon ami's!  So in this blogpost I will show you my most current project and then in I will post another showing you what I have done since my last post in April!

The Pattern Review website is currently running a contest asking contestants to use patterns in their stash that they have had for at least 6 months or over.  No problem there!  Buying patterns is my specialty!  Not only do I buy new patterns, but I purchase them at estate sales and thrift stores as well as at an adorable store called the Knitten Kitten.  So from my stash I chose a vintage Simplicity Pattern that I bought at a thrift store, I can't actually remember how long ago, suffice it to say over 6 months ago.  I was attracted to the tailored but casual look of this simple dress from 1967!  I do believe I wore something like this to go to see Sonny and Cher when my now husband and I were dating.  I was also sporting blue patent leather shoes that killed my feet and a Carnaby hat.  As a side note, my dear friend Donna, knowing that I have been a long time Cher fan, surprised me for my birthday with tickets to Cher's concert here in Portland on June 30!!!  What great fun!  That woman can still put on a show and looks fantastic at age 68!

Vintage Simplicity 7473 circa 1967

Vintage Simplicity 7473 circa 1967

This pattern had been cut and created (I assume) by the original owner who had made adjustments in the height, taking out about 2 inches which ended up being exactly right for me!  She adjusted the pocket placement as well.  I still made a partial muslin, leaving off the sleeves.  Note to self, next time; make the sleeves.  The armhole and sleeve are curiously small.  I cut the size 12 and overall it fit with no further adjustments than what the previous owner had done.  Although the muslin seemed to allow enough ease in the bust, I could have made an adjustment here.  I will explain why in a minute!

The next interesting thing about using a vintage pattern (although I have to tell you, I have to swallow hard to realize that 1967 is vintage--yikes time flies!), is the assumption that you must have certain sewing skills.  For examples when it came to the buttonholes the instructions say, "make bound buttonholes".  That's it.  Errr, I have never made bound buttonholes, so out came the books, you tube videos and blogposts.  The best tutorial I found was by Sarai of Collette Patterns.  I successfully created bound buttonholes for the first time!  I placed the buttonholes as marked on the pattern, but they started almost an inch from the fold which made the bust area tighter than I had anticipated on the muslin.  Lesson learned, don't just jump into making buttonholes, make sure the placement is correct for you!

Bound buttonhole

Bound buttonhole

The fabric is a printed cotton from the Mill End Store here in Portland--I liked the vintage feel of the floral pattern, and overall I am really pleased with the results and I feel I really learned a lot in the process.  The next time I make it, I think I will use a solid that will show the details a little more and make a the few changes I mentioned above. 

More to come!

March Madness!

Ha!  I thought I would draw you in with adorable baby pictures before getting to the heart of the matter--my ready to wear fast, a pledge to not buy any new clothes at retail, instead committing to sew any new garments for an entire year!

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I noticed at the beginning of March, I had lost a little of my enthusiasm for this Ready to Wear Challenge, I was being sorely tempted to buy one of the spring looks at retail.  There is something about starting a project on January 1 when all things seem doable as the year stretches out before you and you feel totally ready to take on a challenge.  Yet as the months go by it gets a little tedious!  It didn't help that I made two garments that I didn't like.  One was a Vogue pattern in a knit--Vogue 1287, I liked the look on the envelope and perhaps if I was about 5 inches taller and 15 pounds lighter I might have liked it, but I suppose it is inevitable that some patterns are just not going to work!  Next I made a long shirt from one of the Japanese sewing books and although it looks nice, when I put it on I looked like the guy in the old version of the Night Before Christmas when he springs from his bed in his nightshirt; I just needed the cap to round out that look.  Needless to say, the look I was going for was not "old guy in nightshirt and cap".   I think I may be able to salvage it, but it was a bit discouraging.  Nevertheless, I soldiered on without a retail purchase and decided to try a pattern from Cutting Line Designs that I purchased at the Sewing Expo in Puyallup.  I already had the fabric called Portland Bridges from the Mill End Store and I decided to add a little chambray detail to the lapels and sleeve.  Finally, I was happy with the outcome and decided to make another one as well!  The next shirt I made from a linen I bought a couple of years ago at Mood Fabrics in New York.  It's a little lighter weight and will be perfect for summer.

Finally, as Easter is just around the corner I made a cape and dress for our little Hushpuppie aka Emily.  The cape is from Simplicity 1734 and I think is so much fun in this Bunny fabric that I thrifted locally.  I bought the green gingham lining at the Mill End.  The Bunny fabric is actually home dec fabric but I think it worked well for this pattern.  The dress is another Simplicity pattern 4243 fabricated from another thrift store fabric that is covered in little chicks.  I think the Easter Bunny will be pleased!

So all in all, 6 garments completed--whew!  I have some things lined up for April, I'll let you know how it goes!

Portland Bridges Fabric

First Garment of 2014!

Yippee fellow sewists, I have successfully completed a shirt with the help of Pam Howard's Tailored Shirt Class on Craftsy!  I am really pleased with the result.  It has been an interesting experience from the perspective of someone who has been a sewer for many years.  I had given up on garment sewing many years ago as nothing ever fit.  At that time, I would buy a pattern, pick a size that was closest to my measurements and start cutting and sewing.  Needless to say most often, there were so many fitting issues, that the garment usually ended up in the Goodwill bag and I was left feeling frustrated and inadequate.  In those days, I had never heard of creating a muslin and I suspect if I had I would have thought "that takes way to much time!".  Through this process of taking classes, I realize how valuable a tool a muslin becomes.  Through the muslin, I was able to make adjustments and end up with a pattern I can use over and over to make a classic shirt, not to mention a garment I can actually wear with pride.


I want to add an unsolicited plug for the Craftsy classes!  I think they are fantastic because once you buy the class you can watch them over and over again and follow along as you sew.  Pam Howard's Tailored Shirt class was really fantastic.  Not only do I have a shirt that looks rtw, but I learned so many valuable sewing tips.  My next project is Angela Wolf's Designer Jeans--again I will follow along with her Craftsy class.  I can't wait to see what I am able to do next!

Manic Muslin Monday

I know, today is Thursday, but I actually took the picture on Monday and am just getting around to blogging about it today.  I decided to reconsider the Vogue shirt pattern I had originally showed you as all the princess seams would be difficult to match using a plaid.  Instead I decided on Kwik Sew"s #3555 shirt pattern which I think will be a better choice with the fabric. I did have to make some adjustments to the muslin which gave me a few fits (no pun intended), I needed smaller in the shoulders and larger in the hip area--hmmmm, sewing may be trying to tell me something!  Regardless, I feel a sense of accomplishment just getting this finished and I hope by next week I will have close to a finished garment to share with you.  See you then!

said at Serving Up Style - Home & Garden Show

Busy day getting my fairy tale inspired room ready for the Home & Garden Serving Up Style designer showcase. Vintage and modern pieces are combined to tell a tale that is both old and new. I have two amazing accent photos of my granddaughter by local fine art photographer Kim Campbell.

The show starts tomorrow October 4th and runs through October 7th at the Expo Center. Come on by and see how my room evolved...

More information on the Home & Garden show including downloadable $2 off coupons can be found here.

Sue Augustyn of said interior design overseeing installation at the Home & Garden - Serving up Style.
Elle lending a hand for the said interior design installation at the Home & Garden - Serving up Style.

Elle lending a hand for the said interior design installation at the Home & Garden - Serving up Style.


Save the Date--Serving Up Style October 4 - 7

Hello Everyone!
I am so excited to announce that said has been selected to participate in the 2012 Serving Up Style event at the Fall Home and Garden Show, October 4th through 7th at the Expo Center.  This is the Northwest's premier table top design competition, and raises money for such a great cause, Molly's Fund whose mission is fighting Lupus, a devastating disease that affects millions around the world.  I have had the privilege of meeting David Szyplinski and Debbie McCabe, creators of Molly's fund and Serving Up Style and they have worked tirelessly to make this an event that is capturing national attention.  HGTV and Houzz will both be at this years event, so you can imagine that we are pretty excited to be chosen as one of 20 designers in this years design competition!  Each designer is invited to create fantastic, whimsical and stunning dining room environments, and you, the visitors to Serving Up Style will have the opportunity to vote on your favorite room design. 

We are busy working on the design concept for our dining room--I have several ideas I'm currently working on with my design team, and I can't wait to share them with you! 

You can get up to date event info on the Home & Garden Facebook page or visit the following sites for more info on Serving Up Style and Molly's Fund.  Go to the following pages to learn more:

Stay tuned for more news about Serving Up Style!    

Holiday Ready!

I wanted to share with you my latest project that will also be featured in About Face magazine!  What you can't see here is that the sofa/chaise faces a beautiful view of the river.  The homeowner is an artist with a great sense of color, so we wanted to use colors that would  be enhanced by her beautiful artwork.

The sophisticated light fixture over the dining room table is custom from Stonegate--I love the square shape.  The sofa/chaise from Bernhardt was a perfect solution for viewing the ever changing river view as well as being able to recline and watch tv or read a book.
This floor includes the living room, dining room and kitchen and the homeowner was happy to report that they had a gathering of 18 people and everyone could move around comfortably, in fact they could have had added a few more guests!  

Happy Holidays!

Bats At The Beach!!

This post has nothing to do with interior design but does have to do with being friends for over 40 years and the adventures that can happen!  Lest you think the title has to do with two old bats who are friends, NO!!  I am talking about the Real McCoy.  OK, maybe we are two old bats but that is not what this story is about!  

Our adventure started as we headed to the beach on a Thursday evening for a much anticipated girls "Spa Weekend" at my beach cabin in Rockaway.  We left with several bottles of wine, a dinner ready for the first night and some movies in tow.  I had scheduled us for facials and massages in Manzanita on Friday afternoon, and then we planned more wine and dinner.  As you can see, this story involves lots of wine!  Everything was going just as planned, and Friday evening after watching a too long romantic comedy, Just Go With It starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, we headed off to bed.  

I was dead to the world when we both awoke to a crashing sound.  It sounded like something had fallen off the wall.  Trying to ignore it, we both tried to go back to sleep, but of course, at that point we started hearing all manner of strange noises.  Little scrapings and scratchings. 

In the past we have had our run-ins with mice at the cabin, but since getting a varmint control that emits an ear piercing continuous beep we have not experienced any problems for several years!!  But now as we laid in bed, we heard strange scraping sounds.  OK, that was it, I got out of bed, turned on the lights and went to take a look.  Donna stayed in bed while I checked it out.  I turned on all the lights and saw that a picture had fallen in the bathroom.  Hmmm, quite mysterious, as it was leaned up against the wall on a 12" shelf, unlikely that it would just spontaneously fall off a 12" ledge, is it???  I decided to arm myself with a broom as protection against God knows what.  Then in a stroke of genius, I told Donna that I am going to turn on the varmint control.  I opened the closet door, turned on the control, and at that moment a BAT, yes a BAT started flying around in circles in our room!!!  Donna, immediately covered her head with the blankets while I let out several yelps and jumped up and down.  At that point I turned out the lights.  When I turned them back on, no sign of the bat.  I have read Stellaluna, (if you haven't, you should), so I tried to think of this from the bat's point of view, but it wasn't working too well.  At this point I decided to make use of the broom by wacking all the drapes, the dust skirt etc.  Nothing.  Where was he??  Donna got up and got dressed.  Now I decided to check the back side of the drapes, and there he was!!, hanging on the inside of the drapes!!  How do we get it out?  I picked up a wicker garbage can instructing Donna that I could sweep it into the can.  She pointed out that a lid might be helpful to keep it in the can, so she went off to the kitchen to get a lid.  Alright, we were just about ready to execute the plan when I had another brainstorm--what if I OPENED THE WINDOW?  Donna solemnly held the broom handle against the drape to trap the bat in the fabric while I, summoning great courage, opened the window.  We closed the drape and then I gave it a good wack with the broom and voila--the bat was gone into the night!!  This episode started at 2 a.m. and when it was all said and done, it was 4 a.m.!!!  We were certain we wouldn't be able to fall asleep again, but guess what, Donna was up at 8:00 making coffee. We had both fallen asleep.  We had a good laugh over coffee and cinnamon rolls as we discussed our escapade that we can add to our repertoire of over 40 years of giving our husbands and children fodder for amusement.  

Thanks Donna, for our years of friendship and adventures--you're one in a million.    


Can it really be time for fireworks and picnics??  Well I guess it is, the kids are out of school and I see the fireworks stands going up in our neighborhood.  It's time for outdoor entertaining and of course, here in Oregon, not a moment too soon!  Speaking of picnics I want to share with you this great picnic table that we at said can have custom made to your specifications.  The legs are metal and can be just varnished for that industrial look, or painted for a happy colorful look.  The top is re-claimed lumber and I think it is the perfect piece for outdoor gatherings.  I can see a cotton tablecloth and a beautiful vase of flowers along with all the bbq'd chicken, ribs and potato salads.  We can also have benches made to go along with the table. 

I wish you all a fun filled 4th of July!

Let's Get This Party Started!!

Valentines Day is just around the corner and who wouldn't like the most adorable dress to wear for this most romantic of calendar dates?  Even better, what if you made it yourself?  Here at said we have a new book by former Portlander Mary Adams, called The Party Dress Book (or how to sew the best dress in the room).  I loved this book so much, that I was inspired to make a garment for the first time in many years and as you can see it turned out so cute.  I used vintage fabrics that I had had for years, added a crinoline and voila!  The best part is that the patterns are included in the book and Mary's instructions are clear and easy to follow. 

Mary has been sewing all her life and for a short time in the late 1970s sold her designs at the Portland Saturday Market where, believe it or not I had a booth around the same time.  I am sure we must have run into each other at one time or another.  Mary later moved to New York where she still has a shop where she will design a custom dress for you or you can buy a dress off the rack.  You may even run into a celebrity or two as she has designed dresses for the likes of Amy Sedaris and Bernadette Peters. 

We hope you will be inspired to pick up the book and make your own creation.  Stay tuned for events here at said to inspire you to look at fashion and home design in a new and creative way.  See you soon!

A Beautiful Saint

It's not everyone who has a saint watching over their home but several years ago I had the good fortune to find this sadly beautiful saint in an antique store in Sellwood. I have to tell you I took a double take when I saw her standing there in Spencer's Antiques looking quite out of place. I don't think I have every seen a Santos this old or wonderful in a local antique store. I immediately knew I had to have her. I was told that these Santos were in Churches where worshipers would look up at their exquisitely sad faces as they lit candles and said fervent prayers. Artist Sharon Bronzan told me she thinks my saint is Delores, Our Lady of Sorrows. Her hair is long gone and all that is left of her skirt is the waistband, but none of those things deter from her ethereal beauty.

If you have never seen Sharon Bronzan's art check it out at augengallery.com. You will be able to see how she has been inspired by these wonderful Santos. In addition, if you google Sharon Bronzan you can watch her at work in a video from Art Beat that aired August 3, 2006.

In these busy days full of places to go, people to see and technology that keeps you connected at all times no matter where you are, I like to reflect on this simple form of connection from times past.

Take care.

0 Calorie Cupcakes!

Flower Angel

Cupcake Angel
Hi there readers--
yes, believe it or not, it is me blogging 2 days in one week! Well, I am feeling particularly inspired and wanted to show you some of the new things here at said.

You know how we like to bring our friends cake on their birthday, but then it turns out they have given up sugar and they have the will power of Joan of Arc and we end up eating cake for two, even though we said we were going to save the extra cake for for our husband, but end up eating it in the car? You know who you are.
Well here is the perfect solution. These adorable cupcakes complete with a candle and the willpower angel are the best no calorie gift you can give. It turns out you can have your cake and not eat it! Who wouldn't love to get or give these little sweets.
Also by the same artist from Corvallis, Oregon, are these for lack of a better word, Flower Frogs, but these are actually Flower Angels! You can put tiny little flowers and leaves in them and nestle them on the nightstand by your bed--or in the bathroom or guest bedroom. They are sure to bring a smile to any ones face! These would make great gifts too. It is not too early to start thinking about the holidays. Yikes!
Have a great week, and stop in and see me sometime!


Worth the Wait!

Hello again readers--

Can it really be September and my last post was in July??? I must be having fun, because time is flying by! Our family room is nearing the home stretch and we are very happy with the results. Our sofa was finally delivered and we now have a place to sit and watch tv or lie down and read. The sofa is extra long making it comfy for two people even if one of those people might be lying down. Guess which people that might be? Anyway, let me tell you the details. The sofa is from Hickory Chair, and I have to tell you it is so comfortable. It has 4 back cushions, 2 seat cushions and is just the right firmness. The rug is from Designers Guild in, of course, my favorite color of chartruese green and features a great geometric design that I felt was a nice foil to the vintage pieces that we have. The coffee table is from the 70's--a large burled piece of wood with an organic shaped piece of glass on top. I love this table! The chairs are from a consignment store, leather with oversized tacks adding a smooth texture. I wanted to show you the new flat screen tv and media center, but the photo was poor so I will post it next time.

On the far side of the room, I have a desk from Hickory White--different company from the sofa company with art books to peruse or to sit with a laptop and have a view of the back yard as we work. Above the desk, family photos. Finally, the adorable drawing with the saying "be a dear to our forst friends" was a contest winner painted by my son Marv when he was in the 3rd grade! He is still an artist today.

We still have a few things to do. I am having roman shades made for the window and drapes for the door--but it feels great to be this far. Let me know what you think! I would love to hear from you.