September 2008 Archives
September 30, 2008
A note from the Fabric Maverick: I am giving up my space today to Andrea. She is our own Fashion Diva! Andrea has recently joined our little family and we are very happy to have her with us. I am sure you read her blog last week and are as impressed as I was. Hopefully, I can twist her arm to continue writing for us. Excuse me! I meant persuade her. I will be taking over for Victoria on Thursday so I can talk about the coming holiday season. Yes, it is coming. Here is Andrea! Enjoy.
As promised my fashion darlings, I am back with part 2 of our fashion lesson: Falls Must have Accessories! Now, I know you might think, what's the big deal about accessories, as long as I have the clothes, I'm good to go, right? Well that kind of thinking is perfectly fine, if you just want a basic outfit, but fabulous fashionistas (which you all are) need fabulous accessories! Bottom line, great accessories can make an outfit or the lack of them can break an outfit. We all know it's the details that really matter. This Fall is all about accessories with texture, embellishments, great detailing, design and color. So keep that in mind when deciding on your finishing touches. So join me in the countdown to Fall's Must Have Fashion Accessories!
Fall's Top Accessory Trends
- This Fall is all about making a statement. What better way to do that than with a stunning statement necklace, the chunkier the better. Try checking out your local thrift or vintage stores, to snag some really great and inexpensive finds. Another big trend for jewelry this season is anything blue, from sapphires to turquoise. Find a beautiful bracelet or ring to showcase this must have trend.
- This Fall, texture can be seen everywhere in clothing and accessories. Look for items with fringe, especially boots and handbags. Also look for items with feathers and fur. Try a cropped fur jacket with jeans and a sexy ankle boot or add a fur scarf to your winter coat to totally change the look. If you are feeling especially nostalgic, try draping a fur cape over your shoulders for a night out on the town. To incorporate the feather trend into your wardrobe, look for leather clutches, headbands or earrings.
- One of the biggest trends of the season is handbags. Multi colored handbags add a splash of color and handbags with chain detailing give a major boost of edginess to the basic handbag. You can find this trend in leather hobo bags or oversized handbags. The trend works well because it is super versatile, it can be worn either with a casual or dressy attire. Remember, a statement handbag, can do just that, help you make a statement, without saying a word!
- What better way to keep warm than with brightly colored gloves and cozy scarves? Just throw on a scarf, a pair of cool sunglasses, grab your handbag and you are sure to look like an international jet setter. You can also pair a scarf and colored leather gloves with your favorite little black dress for more of a vintage, throw back look.
- Can we say belts, belts and more belts! Size doesn't matter, they can be skinny or wide, they are meant to accentuate the silhouette and show off those curves. This trend works well with the rocker chic look or you can pair them with a full skirt and ruffled blouse. You really can't go wrong with this trend.
- You can't help but fall for the Fall trend of shoes! But not just any shoes, Fall is all about a sassy shoe that makes a statement. There is a wide selection to choose from: shoes with platform heels, high heeled oxfords, ankle boots, skinny heeled shoes and the list goes on.
Well, my lovelies, we have come to the end of our Fall accessory countdown. Now that you have been armed with the necessary fashion artillery, get ready to be the envy of all those who are accessory challenged. So don't be surprised if you start turning heads, that's what happens when you accessorize!
September 24, 2008
I come from a very large family, and I have a lot of cousins my age. We spent summers trying to find new and creative ways to fill the time (without killing ourselves or losing too much blood in the process). One of my personal favorite pastimes was digging into my grandmother's huge chest of various costumes and accessories then running around like complete idiots as we acted out our own little plays. These were costumes that our parents and aunts and uncles wore on Halloweens-gone-by. Some were garments that had been found at garage sales and edited down (the 60's and 70's were great for this!). Some were simple outfits made with spare fabric that had previously been taking up room in a stash and needed a new home. Some were intricate and fun, while others were nothing but a sack with strategically placed elastic. All provided hours of goofiness, fun and pure magic.
One Halloween my grandmother agreed to send me an "Arabian Nights" princess costume she made from an old garage sale steal. Unfortunately, she didn't insure the package. I spent many days waiting by the mailbox for it, then many weeks mourning its loss. That wasn't just a costume; it was grand masterpiece of carefree fun and imagination lost forever.
As October peaks its head around the corner and you start considering making a costume for your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, friend's child, random neighbor kid, etc., think a little longer before you decide you are "too busy." While it maybe easier to just run down to your local megamart and grab an inexpensive, simple, mass-produced, polyester costume, will that costume stand the test of time? You don't need the most expensive fabric, best sewing skills or even a fancy-shmancy pattern. A couple hours of creativity and a few yards of fabric are all it takes to create days, weeks, months or even years of fun and magic. That's all it takes to make memories that last a lifetime.
Calling all my Fall fashionistas! Don't fret my lovelies. I know all the new trends for this coming Fall season can be a bit overwhelming, but there is no need to feel flustered. The easiest way to update your cool weather wardrobe, is just to focus on the main trends. Otherwise you may up end up looking like a fashion no-no, if you try to follow every trend you come across. From rock and roll biker chic, to country girl tweeds and plaids, to the dramatic belted silhouette, the return of skirts, dresses and luscious sweaters there is definitely something for everyone this season. It is just up to you to decide how little or how much you want to push the fashion envelope. So just stock your wardrobe with the basics, focus on key styles and you are sure to be a fashion trailblazer.
Colors, Fabrics and Texture
So let us start with the basics and work our way up the fashion pyramid! To put it simply, this Fall is all about color. The usual earth tones associated with the colder months have given way to color and more color! The "it" color for the season is pink. Think along the lines of fuchsia. But, that doesn't mean you should wear pink from head to toe. Just proceed with a little caution. The color should be used as an accent. You could do a pink jacket, scarf or a statement handbag, to add a pop of color to your wardrobe. Remember don't be afraid to experiment with color. It can definitely change the entire look of an outfit. Other colors that must find their way into your wardrobe are shades of deep violet, lavender, candy apple red, rust orange, regal jewel tones and rich deep blues.
As far as fabrics go, this Fall season is a throwback to classic and timeless fabrics with a lot of texture. Just take a look at any of the Fall runway shows and you will see an abundance of faux fur and velvet. Fall is all about rich luxurious fabrics in plaid, tweed, tartan and argyle prints. The other must have fabrics this season are leather, lace, mohair and suede. Cotton stretch fabric is also a must since it allows style, comfort and movement. Florals are also very big this season, and you thought they were just for the summer. This style is meant to be worn mismatched and it looks fabulous paired with patterned tights, which are also another must have item this season. But the seasons two stand out fabrics are plaid and tweed. You can wear these fabrics in dresses, skirts, tops, coats or even accessories. They will look best paired with sexy ankle boots, or strappy Mary Janes which are also big trends this Fall season. So look for updated versions of these fabrics to add to your fall shopping list.
Fashion Must Haves
Beautiful dresses and skirts are huge this fall season. Designers have put emphasis back on the waist and returned to more feminine silhouettes. So go ahead and show off those curves. You can see this trend in the belted waists, the bell shaped silhouette, wide leg pants, and full skirts with a more fitted waist. For a more romantic silhouette, try a longer hemline. For more of an understated silhouette, try belts and clothing with more of a tailored waist.
Blouses with ruffles and bows will steal the scene this Fall. They can be simple and delicate or super sized. You decide. This trend also works well with the menswear trend which could be anything from boyfriend cardigans, men's wear inspired vests or oxford pumps. Pair this trend with your ruffled or bow blouses to give it more of a feminine flair.
Sure to be another popular trend this season is rocker/biker chic. You can achieve this look by mixing pieces already in your closet with studs, zips or leather with a skirt or a pair of skinny jeans with tall high heeled boots, ankle boots (hot trend) or pumps and top it all off with some edgy accessories.
Chunky, slouchy sweaters, cardigans and turtle necks should also find their way into your wardrobe this Fall season. Just think of them as fashion with function. You can still look fabulous, while keeping warm. What more could a girl ask for? These sweaters look best with slim pants, tights or jeans. They also look great layered over blouses or dresses.
So now you are ready to go shopping, since you have the inside scoop on the season's most coveted styles and trends. Just remember a few things: fashion should be fun, effortless and a reflection of your own personal style. So find a couple trends that you absolutely love, embrace them and make them your own. Stay tuned for Part 2: Falls Must Have Fashion Accessories. Until then, go out and be fashionable!
September 23, 2008
I have always thought Halloween was the holiday totally for children. What could be more fun than dressing up in a funny or scary costume and getting candy for it? I adore the little children in their costumes yelling out "Trick or Treat". The very youngest just hold out their bags because they don't know the lingo yet.
I was raised in a small Midwest town of less than 12,000 people. My brothers and sisters knew everyone. We would dress every year in outfits we concocted at the last minute. We might be cheerleaders, football players or a ghost. Mom never did appreciate the eye holes in her white sheets. We knew where the best candy could be found. There were two maiden ladies who lived next door who made the best popcorn balls and brownies. I do not imagine that they had many treats left after 8:00 PM. Of course, there was always one 'scrooge' on the street that would sit in his living room reading his paper who would not even answer the door. After one year, we all knew to avoid his house.
One year when I was eleven, I agreed to meet a friend at the school yard to go trick or treating. It was the perfect Halloween night. It was dark and chilly. The tree branches rustled in the wind like ghost fingers scratching on a door. The solitary light in the school yard created a small spotlight against the darkness. Of course, Jimmy was late and I huddled in the light imagining the shadows becoming solid shapes. The swings were swinging to and fro from the wind and small noises started to sound very ominous! Of course, this is when Jimmy jumped out of the dark at me. Yes, he did scare me. We had a great time though.
Halloween is very different from my youth. It is no longer safe to eat homemade items. You should never go alone to meet someone. You should always go with a group or parent. Costumes are often purchased. This weekend I took Victoria's granddaughter, Jade, to select a costume pattern for her and her brother. She selected a cheerleader costume and little Sebastian will be the most adorable dinosaur. Imagine my surprise when I discovered a whole section devoted to pet costumes. I will spend this week selecting fabric from our Halloween Bootique. I am starting now because I know it will take me awhile. Victoria and I will post those photographs when we have the costumes finished.
To me, this is the official start of the holiday season. We all need to start thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas!. It does come fast, doesn't it!
September 19, 2008
The Fabric Maverick dared me to throw a tailgate party. I am pretty busy at the Redneck Cafe, but Chef Bubba cannot refuse a dare from the Fabric Maverick. Dat woman, she is so sassy! Now whether you throw your tailgate party at the stadium or at home, there are safety tips. One of the most important is the one-hour rule. This is not a football rule. If a food requires refrigeration, it should not be left out more than an hour. You do not want the partiers ending up in the ER. It doesn't help your reputation as a host or a cook! Now the chef loves a good beer or glass of wine, but do not drink and drive.
One of my favorite things to fix for any party is chili. You can prepare ahead of time leaving the host plenty of time to socialize or watch the game. For the ladies, I have developed a low calorie chili. I call it "The Big Chicken" chili.
1 1/2 c chopped onion 1 can mild green chilies
3 garlic cloves, chopped 2 tsp. cumin
2 Tb. cornmeal 6 tsp. Tabasco "Chipotle" liquid seasoning
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts 1 tsp. oregano
4 15 oz cans of cannellini beans 3 cups chicken broth
3 tsp. canola oil
. In a separate pot, cook chicken breasts in chicken broth until tender. Allow to cool. Chop chicken into small pieces. Cook onions and garlic in oil until translucent. Combine chicken and the onion-garlic mixture in a large slow cooker. Add broth, stir in 2 tbs. of cornmeal. Mash 1/4 cup of the cannellini beans and add to the mixture. Stir in remaining beans. Add seasonings. Simmer in the slow cooker for 8 to 12 hours. Serve with cheese,sour cream, sliced green onions and a twist of lime (optional). Cornbread is also very good. From our pictures, you can see we had a very good time. The collegiate tablecloth fabric was the perfect touch for our table.
Of course, wherever I go it turns into a competition. All of the lovely ladies showed up with their 'special' chili recipes. If they give me their recipes, I will post them for you. Here is a small sample:
September 18, 2008
When all our great collegiate fabric came in, I thought what could I do that was somewhat different. It, also, has to be quick. I was looking in the pattern section and found what I thought would be great for a Christmas present, birthday present, a shower present or ' I was just thinking about you' present. FT-049 is a perfect slipper pattern. It has 10 different sizes in the pattern. I chose collegiate flannel to make my baby slippers. Even thought the pattern shows a button, I chose not to use it because it is for a baby. I eliminated the slipper gripper because the baby is not walking. I found this pattern extremely easy to use. It has a Velcro closure. I usually chalk the side that faces the fabric so it will make a mark. That way both sides of the velcro closure will be aligned correctly when I sew them on the fabric. This takes very little fabric, so I can make many from 1/2 yard of fabric. I know a lot of University of Georgia babies. The flannel is double napped and soft. I washed it in hot water with no loss of color. Think how simple a receiving blanket would be. All you have to do is overcast the edges. Here are some other patterns that you might consider trying: FT-005, HBP-001,sb-911. For adults, there is always the blanket made from fleece. These are practical and you do not need to worry about size. The panels are a perfect size for a lap blanket. It will take off the chill on a cold night. You can make ponchos, vests and jackets. If you are having a hard time finding a present for a man, this is a good way to go.
September 16, 2008
I have tried to give you some extra time .Here are the answers to the questions!
1. True- A touchdown is six points.
2. False- The University of Kansas is not in the Southereastern Conference
3. False- March Madness is the tournament to determine college basketball winners.
4. False - Herschel Walker attended the University of Georgia.
5. False- The quarterback is a member of the offensive team.
6. False- The quarterback may carry the ball, but he may also pass it to another member of the team.
7. True- A field goal is 3 points.
8. False- It is rare, but the defensive team can score two points in what is known as a safety.
9. False- "Bear" Bryant coached at the University of Alabama. Alabama fans would barbecue anyone who said the "Bear" had anything to do with Auburn.
10. True- The University of Notre Dame team is known as the "Fighting Irish".
11. False- Tailgate parties are held gernerally before football games. The Fabnc Maverick believes that you can party anytime if food is involved.
12. True.- A very good time is had at the Georgia-Florida game.
13. True- Alabama's war cry is "Roll Tide"
14. False- Most husband's do not appreciate chatter during their football games unless you are bringing food or drink. You will be lucky if you get a grunt.
15. False- Uga is the sacred mascot of the University of Georgia.
16. False- Of course, the Trojans have won at the Rose Bowl.
17. True- The offensive team does have the football.
18. True- The defensive team tries to stop the offensive team from scoring a touchdown.
19. True- A down is at least 10 yards.
20. True- There are 4 quarters to a football games.
Coin toss: Before the start of the game, the captain of the visiting team calls heads or tails when the coin is flipped by the referee. If the visitor wins the toss, he can select whether to receive the ball or kick the ball. The losing team chooses which goal they would like to defend.
Defense: The team tha is responsible for keeping the offense from scoring points.
Down: A play, starting when the ball is put into play and ending when the ball is ruled dead. Basically a down is one play.
Field Goal: A scoring play worth 3 points. Placekicker kicks ball throught the uprights to achieve goal.
First Down: The first play of every series. The offense must gain 10 yards or more in four downs to be awarded first down.
Offense: The team that has possession of the football and attempts to advance it towards the defense's goal line,
Penalty: Punishment for an infraction of a rule.
Quarterback: The offensive player who receives the ball from the Center at the start of each play before either handing it off or running with it himself.
Touchdown: A scoring play in which any part of the ball, while legally in possession of a player who is inbounds, crosses the opponent's goal line is worth 6 points.
September 15, 2008
Ladies, get ready for football boot camp Fabric.com style!
We will start with a football quiz to assess your football knowledge and end with a tailgate party from Chef Bubba on Friday. You may not know any more about football by the end of the week, but you will have a lot of fun.
True or False:
- A touchdown is six points.
- The University of Kansas is in the SEC.
- March Madness is the tournament to determine college football winners.
- Herschel Walker attended the University of North Carolina.
- The quarterback is a member of the defensive team.
- The quarterback is always the ball carrier.
- A field goal is worth 3 points.
- The defensive team can never score a goal.
- "Bear" Bryant coached at Auburn University.
- The University of Notre Dame team is known as the Fighting Irish.
- Tailgate parties are traditionally held during basketball games.
- The University of Florida vs. the University of Georgia game is known as the best outdoor cocktail party.
- Alabama's war cry is "Roll Tide".
- Talking to your husband during his favorite college football game is acceptable.
- Uga, the bulldog, is the mascot for Georgia Tech University.
- The University of Southern California has never won the Rose Bowl.
- The offensive team is the team who possesses the ball.
- The defensive team is the team who tries to prevent the team who has the ball from scoring.
- A down is 10 yards or more.
- There are four quarters in a football game.
The answers will be in Tuesday's blog since we cannot print the answers upside down. We will also have a mini football dictionary so you will be able to speak football!
Check out our new collegiate broadcloth, collegiate flannel, collegiate fleece, and college tailgate tablecloth fabric. This is a great time to make something special for the men in your life. I know that I always have a problem deciding what to buy men at Christmas.
September 11, 2008
One of my favorite things to do is to thumb through magazines on a Saturday morning while drinking my coffee. Last weekend, I found an article about chalk paint and chalk cloth. There was a picture of a table runner made from chalk cloth and ribbon. I thought what a fun idea for children and many adults! At my house, everyone congregates around the kitchen waiting for dinner. This would make a great 'doodle' cloth to scribble on while killing time. This will keep children and some adults busy while you finish. You will no longer worry about the children writing on the walls or furniture. When they are finished writing on it, you can just use a wet sponge to clean.
1/2 yard chalk cloth (will make 3 mats)
2 yards Michael Miller trim for each 'doodle' mat
Rotary cutter and mat
Small binder clips
This is a very easy project. You can make it in an hour or less. Chalk cloth should come to you rolled. It should never be folded because the finish will crack and the folds will be almost impossible to remove. Even on a roll, there will be ripple marks. These can be removed by using the low heat setting on your blow dryer. I applied heat to the wrong side of the chalk cloth moving it gently across the surface to allow the fabric to soften releasing the wrinkles. I was a little dubious at first because I had never used chalk cloth before. It worked like a charm. I cut the chalk cloth 13'' x 18''. I squared up the edges so I could apply my trim evenly. I encased the raw edges of the chalk cloth with the Michael Miller bias trim. It is prefolded and very easy to work with. If you use small binder clips to hold the trim, it is very easy to achieve good results. Since you will be sewing on cloth, you do not need any special presser foot. I used my regular foot and a size 11 needle. I mitered my corners because I like mitered corners. If you are uncomfortable doing that, I would just measure each side and cut 4 strips to those lengths plus 1/4'' to 1/2'' to overlap the edges. Of course, Fabulous Phoebe would glue the trim onto the chalk cloth. This I am sure would work, but I love the security of thread. If you are of the glue school, feel free to try it. Have fun with this project! I am sure that you can think of ways to make it better for you.
September 9, 2008
Ladies, even Chef Bubba has a bad day occasionally. He invited me over to his kitchen last night to test out today's recipes. He wanted to share his Waldorf Chicken Salad with pumpkin muffins. Alas, tragedy struck his pumpkin muffins. I tried three muffins, but I could not give it a thumbs up rating! The chicken salad is excellent!
Waldorf Chicken Salad
4 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped 2 apples, coarsely chopped
1/4-1/2 cup of pecans 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
Chopped celery to taste 1/4 cup plain yogurt
Splash of lemon juice 1 Tb. honey
In a large bowl, mix chopped chicken, raisins, celery. Chop your apples. You may use Granny Smith or Gala apples. Any apple will do. Just make sure you pick an apple you like to eat. Coat with lemon juice to prevent them from browning. Mix with chopped chicken mixture. Combine yogurt, mayonnaise and honey. Stir until well mixed. Pour over chicken mixture and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste. Chill for an hour. I like to add my pecans just before serving the chicken salad. Place a lettuce leaf on a chilled plate. Place a large scoop of chicken on each lettuce leaf. You might garnish with sliced apples on the side for that special Chef Bubba look. This is delicious served with a fruit muffin such as blueberry or pumpkin. Iced tea is the drink of choice in the South.
Chef Bubba has gone looking for another can of pumpkin. I have a feeling I will be eating more pumpkin muffins until that recipe is perfect. I hope he perfects it soon or I will need to start my New Year's diet in October!
September 4, 2008
I ran across a nifty little tip this weekend I would like to share with you. The tip was printed in the American Patchwork and Quilt magazine. I had read an article several months ago on a quilting technique. On Saturday morning I spent a gazillion minutes trying to find this article. While I enjoyed reading all of 2008's quilting magazines, I never did find the article for which I was looking. The tip I found was about a reader who had the same problem uses her extra address labels and marks the pages with the address labels (folding them over the page) to create a marker. One extra tip, when placing the label make sure you are not covering up any valuable instructions on the back side of the article you are marking. I now have several magazines with little markers, I hope I can find the articles I am looking for now. I hope that this will help you, too.
Working at Fabric.com I am constantly inspired by all the beautiful fabrics that pass by my office every day. When I see a fabric I love, I buy it. I take it home and make something immediately. Well the time had arrived that I needed to redo my bedroom. You can see a sample of all the fabrics I used above. I have had my eye on the P. Kaufman Panthera Cocoa/ Aqua UC-424 for quite a while. I was ready for a new look and knew this fabric was what I wanted to use. I also selected 2 coordinating dupioni silks, DPSR-082 Chocolate and DPSR-018 Celedon. Fresh paint, bedding, table skirt, and drapes, I did it all. Everything came together beautifully. I am happy with my new look, but there was a problem...My husband's old computer chair. It was a horrible color and ruined the overall appearance of all my hard work. Sometimes husband's things are the elephant in the room. My first thought was to buy a new chair, but I knew that an attractive chair would not allow him to spin, lay and slouch! What was I to do? Well it hit me outta nowhere. Why not cover it? I decided to make a slipcover for the chair. I had taken an upholstery class a while back and decided that was not for me but this I could handle. I had some of the P Kaufmann Panthera fabric left. I decided it would be perfect to cover this old thing. All I did was stretch a piece of fabric around the seat and staple away with my heavy duty stapler. I measured the chair back. It was 18 inches square. I allowed an additional 3" on each side for the depth of the chair back. Right sides together I made a pillowcase. I hemmed the open end and slipped it over the chair back. Voila! A chair was given new life. I also used all of my leftover fabric. Bedroom saved! Gotta love fabric!!!
Here are some pictures of Nancy's project:
September 3, 2008
Why is it that on the day after Labor Day, daybreak seems to take longer to arrive? Is God signaling that summer is almost over? The feel of the air is even different. This is the time of the year that we start thinking about falling leaves, cool, crisp days, making soup and high school/college football. The fabric of choice will be flannel so I have searched our customers' tips and researched magazines to find the best tips to work with that oh-so-soft flannel.
1. Prewash flannel at least twice. Flannel is loosely woven and can shrink quite a bit,
2. Use magic sizing or Best Press to restore the body to flannel for ease of cutting.
3. Flannel will stretch. Use a walking foot to control the stretch.
4. Change needles often. Flannel will dull needles quickly,
5. Use a 1/2'' seam instead of 1/4" seam if making a quilt. Flannel will fray easily.
6. Machine quilt your quilt or tie it. Hand quilting is too difficult on flannel.
7. Use a thin batting for the inner layer. This will reduce bulk. Warm and Natural is perfect for flannel quilts.
8. Choose a simple block such as a nine-patch, four-patch, etc. for a quilt.
Flannel can be wonderfully soft and will wear well if you use these tips. This might be a good time to make a cozy flannel shirt for cool days or a snuggly blanket fo cover up with while watching those football games. Pass the cocoa, please.
P.S. If you have any tips you would like to share with the Fabric Maverick we will happily share them with our readers. Posse, if you have any ideas you would like us to write about, please let me know. You can respond to this blog or write to Fabric Maverick at firstname.lastname@example.org.