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Nov 24, 2008

Vera Neumann

Oh my goodness! I have discovered VERA NEUMANN... Me Oh My! What a clever lady... and I love the story... she was an artist and turned textile designer using post WWII silk parachute to screenprint her designs... Apparently she started this just past the age of 40... I am in love with her free spirited hand... and that color is to die for. Vera designed everything for a 36" square scarf... and adopted the ladybug as her trademark for good luck, long life and happiness. Later in 1950s and a grown staff and facility, her company was releasing as many as 500-600 designs a year... that's a lot! In the 60s a clothing line was added and the fabric was designed with the garment in mind... Finally selling the company but working on as designer, she worked 6 days a week, Tuesday was reserved for her hair appointment and the board meeting in Manhatten (by the way, the board accommodated her schedule). Apparently working until her death in 1993... the old gal was 86 when she went....
I love this story and will find out more about Vera... I must begin a new collection of vintage Vera Napkins.... what do you think?
Best, T

Nov 16, 2008

Bakelite Buttons

Antique Bakelite Buttons PDF Print E-mail

Bakelite Buttons are so gorgeous! I have decided they are my favorite of all the buttons in the world! I am working on my book and as you may or may not know, I love embellishing my stuff with everything from charms and beads to sticks and crystal droplets and of course, buttons and ribbons. And when doing the Quilt Shows I found amazing buttons... and they are not inexpensive, but well worth the find. If I had more time I think I'd make this a serious collection activity... but then again, as I write this I hear my two little ones making their normal busy 'ruccus' upstairs! And I am reminded my time is limited for self-absorbed activities like browsing flea markets and vintage stores... But wow... I do find them on my fabric travels, and this amazing thing called the internet! Whewee.... thank goodness. So here's a few of my favorite sites. and a short blurb about the history of Bakelite!

A history of Bakelite Buttons :

Sites to shop for buttons:

Nov 9, 2008

Fairy Wings

fairy wings
Originally uploaded by tinagivens
She's such a little fairy... this is my angel and fairy all rolled into one! Wearing a dress called Angel Smock (sewing pattern available). And a sweet little topper! The wings will be discussed and instructed in my new book in the works due out next year!
I am also now officially a 'flickr' participant.... so see more images there!
My best and happy Saturday to you and you and you!

Nov 5, 2008


Besides handbags, shoes are another fav of mine! I have always been a shoe-lover (who isn't?) So at market I wore these fabulous shoes which actually deserved their own photograph. These literally stole the show... and worked well with the booth! Slingbacks and I am sorry you can't see the adorable little red buckle closure!
Anyway, short and sweet. I got 'em from SoHo Shoes here in Raleigh and I believe they have some in stock so go for it....

I believe the manufacturer is LaLove or something like that - It's a difficult label to read.


Nov 3, 2008

Baglady Sewing Pattern - tutorial

One of my recent patterns is this fabulous bag pattern I called BAGLADY! I am very definitely a 'baglady'... love bags, some of my favorite all time bags are from Orla Kiely, Kate Spade and fabulous tote and canvas casuals from Hable Construction.... Anyhoo.... apparently bag patterns are a hot these days.... and I am so very pleased I have this one. I am designing more for you other bag fanatics out there.
The crazy thing is I have been designing and making my own bags (and hats) for a very long time. My very favorite I called a 'YaYa bag' I created out of a deep wine velvet... it truly was a little vintage inspired Granny bag... thus the 'YaYa' label (Greek for Grandmother). I was also into ribbon embroidery at the time so I embellished the opening with loads of narrow silk ribbon 'french-knots'... Oh I am so off on another story here... oh well.

The Baglady Tutorial
To be used along with the hard copy of the sewing pattern BAGLADY by Tina Givens # TG-A5029.

So the 'Baglady' Tutorial.... I love this bag because it's large, casual and fabulous. You need this bag for everyday fun. I mean I am off to the studio with my portable harddrive, camera, various cables, a few files I keep on me including work, but personal files too, kids stuff, etc. The phone of course, the wallet, little makeup pouch for touch ups, a few tissues, business cards, daily mail, oh let's not forget the watercolor tubes, paint brushes, tiny sketchpad, journal and pencils. A pen, check book, miscellaneous items like a few toys, gum, oh my gawsh.... ok you get the picture...
Baglady measures a wopping 18.5 " wide x 13" in height plus another 9" for handles, x 5" deep.
For the tutorial I selected one of the new fabrics from Treetop Fancy collections, actually called TREETOP (TG48) in Pink Papaya.... lined in Gossip Tree TG51 (pink papaya). Now if you don't have the infamous Baglady sewing pattern... purchase it at one of these fine locations: FIND IT HERE! This blog post may make no sense without.

Ok, so let's start. Once all of your pattern pieces are cut out, fuse the pieces as the pattern instructs, then we begin with the handles. They're easy enough. When designing the pattern I made the handles long enough so shoulder carrying can be an option.

Next is top-stitching the side panels for the bag, which I love because not only does it add flavor and secures the fleece (which I can never get to completely adhere - does anyone else have issues with this?), but it also adds a professional touch. We can't look too hand-made right?
Once this is done, we add the handles to the side panels. I do this in two steps. Once pinned in place as the pattern indicates, I sew the handle tops in place at the 2" mark (note pattern); then I pin the handles back upward, pin and again stitch. This all makes for a strong handle. Remember, we carry all but the kitchen sink in there right? So now our handles are in place.

Easy! And on to the zipper panels. The pattern makes it all easy. Just follow those instructions, you will use the technique again and again.
Now the bottom panel. Simply a long rectangular piece, pinned along the bottom edge of one side panel, and upward on each side.
Stitched in place. The image here shows that bottom panel pinned in place. We add the top zipper panel, here. And then topstitch the bottom panel to the top panels on each side, you can see the 3 rows of stitching here.

Then onto the other side of the bag, which is easily sewn onto the combination 'half-a'bag' you just put together. Now, inside out it should look something like this!

From here, we move to the lining, which is done identical to the exterior pieces but for the zipper, the handles and an inside pocket. The pocket is very important for those tiny things and that very vital phone... it should look something like this! My birds I used for the pocket are indeed side-ways but I am really only the one who gets to see it (instead of wasting fabric).
And that's all there is to it. Cutting out the pieces takes about half-an-hour to an hour, depending how many children are talking to you while you are doing it. And the actual sewing to completion takes about 3 hours... that is it. Not bad I'd say. So let me know if this was helpful to you... Get the pattern if you don't have it already, and let me know what you found difficult or easy!

Note: The above tutorial is to be used along with the actual hard copy of the BagLady Sewing Pattern by Tina Givens #TG-A5029 as shown above.

Nov 1, 2008

Sewing Patterns is a big fan of mine.... They have fabulous online service and carry almost everything, including most recently, my line of patterns, Series 1. See them all here!

Shown is Little Goddess Dress which I adore and have had many requests for an adult version. Stay tuned for that one!

Regarding S I Z I N G ... all sewing patterns for children include 3 sizes, small, medium and a large. Because my designs are loose and fun they can be less restrictive in size. Small is for a toddler 2T/3T, medium is 4T/5T and large is for 6/7. Kimono Suit is for infants, again small, medium and large. 0-3months, 6-9 months and 9 to 12 months.... And adult kaftan and lounge suit are again in 3 sizes. Loosey goosey is the trick there.. made for comfort with lounging style.

Fabric shown here is from the Chloe's Imagination collection, TG46 in Oberon Red. And yes, instructions for that little heart embellishment, so easy to do, are included.
Again, thanks for being with me. And let me know if I can answer any questions on the patterns or any requests you may have. Series 2 is on it's way!