Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday Morning Inspiration/The First Ladies

The events of this past weekend prompted me to take a look back at past inaugurations. What began as simple curiosity, turned into admiration as I looked back at the gowns, and more so, the wives of past presidents. I looked at their smiling faces, wearing their beautiful gowns, and realized that they had no idea what was ahead of them.

History has not been so kind to Mary Todd Lincoln, but how many of us could endure the loss of 2 children and having her husband assassinated while sitting next to her? What many do not know is that it was she who encouraged her husband to run for the presidency. After reading. "Lincoln The Unknown," written by Dale Carnegie, I have a profound respect for President Lincoln, and sincere gratitude for Mrs. Lincoln.

While their gowns are beautiful, it's only a  very small portion of their stories. These women endured assassinations, attempted assassinations, a civil war, world wars, a great depression, a resignation and leaving the White House in disgrace, a scandal that would end most marriages, and the list goes on. 

So many turned their position as First Lady into a platform. The second Mrs. Bush tackled literacy. Mrs. Obama worked to end childhood obesity and give our children a better future. Mrs. Johnson beautified our roads, and Mrs. Kennedy took on the monumental task of preserving the history of the White House. 

Mrs. Roosevelt is the only First Lady to go through 4 elections, and was truly an exemplary First Lady in so many ways. Below is one of my favorite pictures of her, taken when she visited Tuskegee University and flew with Charles Anderson, head of the flight program.

This is not about whether we like the politics of their husbands, just a look back. Of course the story of Mrs. Trump has yet to be written. But, I'm sure she too will have issues to deal with that she could never have imagined. 

I hope that as you scroll through, think about the stories of these ladies, and that you too will be able to find respect for them. 

I only pulled out the pictures of the most recent first ladies. If you would like to see earlier gowns, beginning with Dolly Madison, you can find them HERE.   

You'll see that their gowns depict the styles of the time. Enjoy :) 

Mrs. Lincoln Circa 1861

Mrs. McKinley 1897

Mrs. Taft 1909 

Mrs. Coolidge 1925

Mrs. Hoover 1929

Mrs. Roosevelt 1933




Mrs. Eisenhower 1953


Mrs. Kennedy 1961

Mrs. Johnson 1965

Mrs. Nixon 1969


Mrs. Ford 1976

Mrs. Carter 1977

Mrs. Reagan 1981


Mrs. Bush 1989

Mrs. Clinton 1993


Mrs. Bush 2001


Mrs. Obama 2009


Mrs. Trump 2017

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

Decorating Fun!

Before I share my project, I would just like to thank all of you for the lovely, and warm welcome you gave to this week's Wednesday Showcase ladies. You are truly the best!!! 

On another note, Diane of Remembering Oz wrote a post this morning that broke my heart. It seems that someone actually had the audacity to say that her garments look like clown clothes and then go on to attack her personally. When I was in Houston back in November, I had the honor of having lunch with Diane. She is by far one of the loveliest ladies I have ever met. She is not only gracious, but kind, forgiving, and has a wonderful sense of style. If you have a moment, I'm sure she would appreciate a note. Sometimes we all need a hug, even if it's a cyber hug :)

Now, on to my fun project. As I said a few days ago, a friend asked me to help decorate a guest bedroom. She had the purchased quilt below that she wanted to use, a very woodsy theme. The room has a vaulted ceiling, so the quilt could easily be hung on the wall.

The bed, which I'll show you once the room is all pulled together, is a pine log bed. For the duvet cover and pillowcases, I chose the flannel pieces below.  

The dust ruffle fabric is below. I like how it pulls together the green and gold of the duvet cover fabrics.

This piece is my favorite! It has a wonderful watercolor aspect to the print. And if you look closely, you can see the Aspen trees. This will be used for the curtains. 

All of the fabrics together.

I found this fun lamp with a painted parchment shade from Wayfair. There will be one on either side of the bed.

We ordered new bedside tables and a new dresser which should arrive next week, so it will all come together soon. I can't wait! Decorating is so much fun!!! 

Have a wonderful day. Hope you have time to do a little something fun :)

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Wednesday Showcase

A friend has asked me to help decorate a guest bedroom. She has a fun pine log bed, so she would like to go for a mountain/forest type theme. We ordered a new dresser and bedside tables, along with new bedside lamps. I've purchased the fabric for the curtains, duvet, and dust ruffle. I think it is going to look so lovely once it is all pulled together. I had intended to share a little yesterday, but my day got away from me. So tomorrow :) 

We're into the 3rd week of January, and our 3rd blogger showcase post. Thanks again to those of you who encouraged me to bring the posts back as I am truly enjoying showcasing and meeting new bloggers.

First up today is Tomasa from Sew Much Fashion. She lives in New Jersey and has taken full advantage of her close proximity to New York by attending The Fashion Institute of Technology. She has earned certificates in ladies tailoring, draping and haute couture techniques. Below is a wonderful example of her creativity and amazing skills. 

Tomasa has a wonderful eye for what a pattern can be. She took Butterrick 5616 and truly made it her own. You can see her full post and more details HERE.

As with everyone who sews, fit it extremely important to Tomasa. You can find her posts on pant fitting HERE and HERE. Great info.

You can also find Tomasa on Pattern Review. She was featured as a Member In Focus and you can find that article HERE

I think you are going to truly enjoy meeting Tomasa, so pop over and say hello. She's been going through a HUGE construction job on her home, so I'm sure she would welcome a a nice hello. 

A few years ago, I taught a few classes at The American Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan. While I was there, I met Londa Rohlfing of Londa's Creative Sewing. Until recently, I had no idea that she followed my blog. 

Londa is a master when it comes to restyling a sweatshirt. Hard to believe that the piece below started life as a sweatshirt!

Here are a few more fabulous examples.

Londa has a passion for teaching and especially enjoys working with children. Teaching them to sew simple shapes and making it fun by adding a piece for a doll guarantees that a new sewist will be born!!!  

Londa has a wonderful website that is packed with great information, free patterns and a link to her programs on It's Sew Easy. You can find it all HERE.

You can check out her entire website HERE. Be sure to visit her Gallery page. You will be inspired!!!

Well, the sun is shining, and the great outdoors is calling! I'm so happy to finally be feeling like myself again. Not only me, but Gracie too as I think she really missed getting out for a hike.

Have a wonderful day!

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday Morning Inspiration/Thumb Holes

We have a wonderful store in Chicago called Fleet Feet Sports. Truly an American success story. The owner began with a dream and 1 small store in Chicago. Now he has stores all over the United States. Amazing!

About twice a year, Fleet Feet has an evening fashion show to showcase all the new styles that are coming in for the season. It's a lot of fun. The last show was held the first of December. A design detail that they mentioned quite often and which also stood out to me was thumb holes, in tops as well as jackets. 

I love thumb holes! When I ski, it's a must for me. The thumb hole holds my sleeve in place and gives added warmth to my hands. Same holds true for my morning walks. when I start my walk, I'm cold, but once I warm up, I then just roll the extra length back and it helps to cool my body. As much as I love thumb holes in my athletic wear, I love them in casual t-shirts too.  

I poked around on Pinterest and was surprised to find so many examples, so I thought I would share them with you as well. 

Below is an example they were especially excited about at Fleet Feet. Rather than the hole being in the cuff of the sleeve, it's just an added piece of fabric.

Here's an easy way to add a thumb hole to a sweatshirt cuff. 

Love the styling on this thumb hole extension.

Although there is an opening for the thumb, this one is designed to still keep the cold out if the thumb hole is not being used. 

This added strip is even easier to do than the first example.

This could be added to a purchased or previously made top or sweatshirt. The pop of color would also be fun. 

I thought this one was interesting. The thumb hole is actually hidden in the zippered cuff. What a great design detail!

Another pop of color and a fun detail. A"v" shaped inset was added along with another strip to allow for an opening.

From Lulumon, the cuff with a thumb hole is the perfect place to hide and hold keys, credit cards and identification.

This was an ad for Fossil watches. The added length for the thumb hole was attached with a zipper for easy viewing of the watch.

Another jacket with a thumb hole. Elastic around the hand helps to keep the cold out. There's also a hidden zippered pocket included.  

Hope you found that a little interesting :)

Hope you can find a little time to get out this week and enjoy nature. And if you do...stay warm!
Have a wonderful week!

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