Sunday, November 17, 2013


I made a passel of hats for Many Hands Gallery.  It gives me a chance to flex my right brain on several little projects at a time.  It's good for me to practice freeform sewing in quick-time; gets the juices flowing.

I don't know about you but I'm getting tired of the word creative.  But it's hard to come up with another way to describe what we do, right?  I just looked it up in Thesaurus, they didn't come up with any better words.

Anyway, off the point.  The point is, I got going on these little cashmere sweeties and had fun.  I use the sweaters that I can't use on larger garments.  And I also use colors that I don't think would work in larger garments.

I really had fun with this one.  But it took forever to make compared to the others.  These flowers are made with cashmere scraps that I stitched into with pearl cotton and added vintage buttons.  I swirled some...stuffed some.  I love all the color against the taupe background.  A few chiffon scarf scraps added in the background bring it all together.

Here's how I usually do my flowers.  I twist vintage fabric and silk scarves into little "rosettes".  More vintage buttons.  Gotta use them, I have trillions!

I over dyed this cashmere.  It was an off white that I dyed with green.  It's kinda camouflage.  The buttons are actually vintage mattress buttons.  You know, the coated metal ones that used to poke you in the butt?

This one is a tad "Miss Marple meets Little Lulu".  I can just envision the 50's coat that button came off of, can't you?  I think my grandmother had one.  The little striped bit is men's tie fabric.

This school bus yellow cashmere was given to me by a wonderful gal from Mendocino.  A hat is the perfect use.  Most of these fabrics were cut from vintage clothes.  The button is one I've never seen before, really unusual with some bas relief going on.

Heading back to the studio now to finish some sweaters.  More later!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Recent Sewing

Life hasn't allowed for a ton of sewing lately.  Guests, meetings, travel have all mashed together to keep me away from the bunkhouse.  But I'm back at it!  

I struck a pattern from a tunic my friend, Janet, was wearing last week.  I won't name the brand but it's one we all wear a lot.  I loved the assym lines and little drawstring at the hem.  I also love the funnel neck.  I cut it really wide so it wouldn't choke my drapy, wrinkled, very delicate neck…I used to wear tight turtle necks but ever since you-know-what I can't stand anything tight around my neck.  I know I'm not alone in this particular dilemma.

I used a fairly heavy knit I got from Marcy Tilton.  I've been asking myself why I bought it.  Seemed every time I went to use it the irregular stripes didn't work on the pattern.  But this time they were JUST what it needed to make the various aspects of the garment stand out.

Drafting top patterns has gotten so easy since I realized I could use the top part of a TNT tunic pattern for all of my new garments.  I don't bother to copy the new garment's upper part.  I just lay my TNT pattern on new pattern paper, trace the neck, shoulders, armholes and sleeves from the TNT pattern.  Then I lay the garment down on the paper, align it with the top and trace that part.  This time is was the lower body and the funnel neck.  Good 'ol masking tape comes in handy to tape all the elements together.

 This worked in one try.  I'm going to make this again and again, it's super comfy and I got lots of compliments the day I wore it.  Neve mind that I wore it BACKWARDS for the first two hours.  I finally caught sight of my reflection in a window and realized the little drawstring was hanging down in BACK!  OY.  No wonder the neck was feeling a bit tight, it was the back neck!

I'm sorry this is so dark.  I took the pics at the wrong time of the day.  Darn, because some of the details don't show up.  There is a lot of piecing of small pattern pieces you can't really see.  Maybe I'll take more and post those another time.

This vest was made with two grey tshirts I got at a trade show recently.  They are heavy men's shirts, just beautiful.  I've been wanting to copy an All Saint's vest I own for two years now.  This is the first go.  Most of the seams are on the outside, it has a big, drapy cowl neck and deep pockets that go down to the hem at the side.

I laid the All Saints vest over one of the tshirts and started cutting.  Then I draped the rest of the vest on my dress form, trying to follow the lines of the original.

This isn't truly a copy, it's very different from the original but I like it very much.  And I'm going to make more!

I'm working on cashmere hats and sweaters from recycled cashmeres right now.  I sell them at Many Hands Gallery next to the bakery.  Check out their website here.  I'll post them before I send them off into retail outer space.