Monday, January 25, 2016

Winter Sewing

It's been gloriously rainy here on the Central Coast of California for about a week now.  And I took advantage of it to stay in the bunkhouse and sew, sew, sew!

First, I finished a coat I started last winter.  It's Marcy Tilton's coat pattern V9070 which I think may be out of print.

I got this fabric several years ago from Marcy and have been trying to figure out what to make with it ever since.  It's a reddish brown raincoat type fabric with copper threads running through it so it keeps it's shape, whatever shape you put it in!  

I love it but not sure how often I will wear it.  It's really dramatic so I can see wearing it out at night.  I'm not sure how rain resistant it is but will give it a try soon.  

I had a devil of a time with the button holes.  I think this is the most test buttonholes I've ever done, by far.  I had to do them manually since the buttons were too big to use the automatic buttonhole attachment on my Bernina 560.  Finally got 'em!

This tunic is another Marcy pattern that I loved making and really think is flattering.  I did take it in a bit in the back since my back measurements are so much smaller than my, eh-hum, front.

The fabric is a very lightweight knit from Marcy.

I'll make it again, next time in a fabric that shows the beautiful lines a bit more.

One of the most fun sewing projects in a long time is this Katherine Tilton top.  I thought it might not be flattering on me but was I wrong.  Although it's gathered it really doesn't have a lot of bulk.  I made it out of fleece so it's my new sweatshirt. I have an orange Italian fleece that's next up.

I thought about leaving off the hood but I'm glad I didn't.  I think it really brings a lot to the design.

AND, it goes with my new tunic!  Yep, they're both winners!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Coat Dress vs. Tunic

I've made this self drafted pattern three times now.  It's somewhere between a coat dress and a tunic.  I love it because it's so versatile.  

I can wear it over pants or leggings.  I wear it either with a top underneath or a Sleevey Wonder turned backwards.  What, you've never heard of a Sleevey Wonder?  It's the best thing that's happened to outfits since the dickey!  What, you've never heard of a dickey?  Throw back to the 60's.  I never liked them.  But on the other hand, Sleevey Wonders are the best!  Check 'em out!

This one is a grey and black ponte with buttons that look metallic but are lightweight plastic.

I love the drape.

And I love the way it curves in at the waistline to give me some shape.

This is the definition of a wardrobe basic.

More soon, I'm in the bunkhouse working away in winter mode!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

News from the Dye Pot

For those of you who are not interested in eco-printing you might want to forward on to the next blog you follow and catch me in a few days when I post a new polka dot tunic!

If you are still tuned in this post is a recap of most everything I printed over the beautiful fall months here on California's central coast...Monterey Bay to be exact.

All of the pieces are recycled cashmere sweaters; some in pieces and some the whole sweater.  You will see, in some cases, where I printed more than one piece with the exact same materials, in the same dye bath to get enough fabric to make something.  The smaller pieces were testers but I think put together they will make a very wonderful shawl or huge scarf.

 I'll try to list all of the plants I used.  I came to find that fall is a plentiful time to gather leaves.  Most of the colors I got were in the green and yellow/gold range, which is lucky for me since I love those colors and can wear them.

This and the following 5 pics are all late autumn green, yellow and orange nectarine leaves from our tree.  Sometimes they fall when they are still green but mostly yellow and orange.

This was printed on a very light weight cashmere and silk blend.  I'm looking for more of this type fabric, it prints so beautifully.  I believe it is similar to a fabric India Flint loves to use that uses merino wool.  I'm on the lookout!

 This is from Dodonaea.  It's a landscape plant that's pretty common here.  It prints both green and it!  It looks like a landscape itself.

More nectarine.

These two I printed in India Flint's class.  I'm sure it has apple leaves, onion skins and dark spots from the iron in the dye bath.

Boy, I know this one has decorative plum leaves which dye an amazing dark teal green.  And a wee bit of loquat that prints the most amazing apricot/melon color...but what else I do not remember.  Bad on me. I vow, once again, to keep better records in 2016.

This is apple leaves and onion skins with some dark spots due to the eucalyptus/iron dye bath.

More decorative plum and loquat.

More onion and mystery stuff!

This is fallen yellow persimmon!

Yet more nectarine, my tree and that of some generous unknowing donor in Santa Cruz who had gorgeous fallen orange leaves by the bucket.  Thank you, Lisa, for introducing me to this find.   I only pick up leaves where I think I am doing the owners a service by cleaning up their yard!

These three are eucalyptus but exactly which one I cannot say.  My friend Joan brought them to me from her garden.  I will be finding out which on because the pumpkin color they produced is exhilarating!
There were some maple leaves thrown in, too.  But again, my friend Lisa gave them to me already dried so I cannot name them.

More decorative plum leaves and one big loquat.  It's from the same dye bath as the other one above. I'm in the process of making a vest from these combined with the two pieces dyed with the Dodonaea.  Yes, I'll can't stop me.

  That's all for now, as if it wasn't too much!