Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Wedding Outfit

I haven't been to a wedding in years.  I guess I just don't have enough young people in my life. My goddaughter Laurel is getting married in a couple of weeks and I wanted something new for the occasion.

It's an outdoor wedding here on the Central Coast of California so it could be warm, it could be foggy or it could be just downright cold.  Here's what I came up with.

I bought some gorgeous linen from Carol Lee Shanks at DOL Ashland a month ago.  This Style Arc Jema Panel Dress seemed like a pattern that would be easy to wear but has some cool lines that make it a bit more interesting.  Of course you can't see them here...bad photo...but the lines remind me of a Mondrian painting.  It's really a long tunic so I'll wear grey capri length leggings.
Simple and understated, fade into the background garment so I don't look like I'm trying to compete with the bride...not that I could at 68!

But then, it was a little too understated...so I found this gorgeous cotton lace I bought from Marcy Tilton about 87 billion years ago.  It's been fermenting.  I take it out every now and then and dream.  I thought a kimono shaped duster over the grey linen might dress it up just enough.

And now I'm on the hunt for the perfect necklace.

These might do.

I'm just back from a dreamy four days in Tumalo, Oregon with a pack of wonderful quilters.  I'm not a quilter but was inspired by Heidi Emmett's Off The Grid Vest pattern.  I met Heidi at a recent retreat (yes, I'm a retreat addict) and loved her.
I decided to try the vest using my kimono scraps.  I worked on it in Tumalo and have it ready to bind the edges.  Here are the first few pieces up on the design board.

Some of the cuts for the long rectangle pieces that float here and there on the vest.

This is what it takes for me to be a quilter.  Two fingers of Bullet Rye Whiskey.

Heaven.  Thank you Eloise and Victoria for making this happen!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Classes, Retreats and More Retreats

I know it's been a long time since my last post.  It's not because I haven't been sewing cuz I have.  I've sewn in Aptos, Capitola, San Juan Bautista, Santa Barbara and Ashland over the last 4 months.  And there's more to come.  I'm going to a sewing retreat in Oregon and a sewing camp, of sorts, in Tennessee!  And then another retreat and back to Ashland again in October.  Geez...I have what my friend Lisa calls FOMO...or Fear Of Missing Out!  Yeah, I have it bad.

I took another class with Jody Alexander, the book maker, boro queen and all around incredible artist.  This one was on remaking clothes using boro techniques.  I didn't end up using any boro in my piece but did try a Junko Oki embroidery pattern that I've been wanting to learn.  Jody has done a lot of it so the class was a good opportunity to give it a try.

I started with a thrift shop men's grey sweatshirt.  First, I cut off all of the ribbing.  Above you can see the beginning of the Junko Oki embroidery.  I used Pearl Cotton.  Basically, it's the blanket stitch done in a spiral.  Kinda mesmerizing!  

I took this photo to help me remember which direction I was went in!

For the embellishment I took a very small grey tshirt and cut out everything but the neckband, shoulder seams, armhole seams, underarm seams and sleeve cuffs.  Then I hand stitched them onto the sweatshirt.    

It's weird but comfy.  And it does get the looks.  People can't keep their hands off of it.  They have to figure it out.

Then I hand stitched one of the tshirt bodice pieces onto the back and that's where I applied the Junko Oki spider web-y thing.

And THEN, I went up to Ashland, Oregon to attend a Design Outside The Lines with Diane Ericson and Carol Lee Shanks.  I love Ashland more and more each time I go back.  This time my pal, Sharon, and I rented a house which was great fun.

The retreat was wonderful, a great group of gals.  Loved getting to experience Carol Lee's work...and Carol herself, she's a keeper.  And of course being with Diane is always inspiring.  

Above you see a little seersucker shrug; a new Diane pattern that will be out soon I think.  It's super easy and really versatile.  

The back of the shrug.  I sewed it using all raw edges, still not tired of those little guys.

The retreat was about making an outfit for spring.  That is something I've never done before.  I have only made single pieces that I know will go with other things in my wardrobe.  So this was a good exercise for me.  

I tried using only fabrics in my stash.  I almost got there.  The drapy under tunic is a stash piece from way down the pile.  It's a very sheer knit.  The top is a Carol Lee pattern done in a mooched (thank you, Sharon!) grey linen and the pants are a stretch woven from my stash.  I also bought a beautiful mossy green silk top just like this one from Carol to wear instead of the grey one.

I used a fairly new Marcy Tilton pattern for a hoodie.  Marcy blogged about it recently, you should check it out.  There are some great ideas.

This one is made using a beautiful Italian fleece I got at Fabrix in San Francisco. It's thick and soft and yummers!

I'll use this pattern again.  I like the back, I think it would be flattering on many figures.

This is a pattern drafted by a friend.  I've made many of these, they're my morning noodle-around-the-house top.  The fabric is from Marcy Tilton, I got it years ago.

Another Marcy Fabric.  I fell for this one the minute I saw it.  Something I'm trying not to do these days but every once in a while the bug catches me.  This is an exquisite pieced Ikat with colorful vertical stitching that holds down little cotton dots.  All the work that went into this piece of fabric is mind boggling.  I'm just gaga over it.

I made the Lynn Mizono shirt again.  It's a pattern I go back to often.  Certain fabrics just call out for these lines.

It's hot off the machine, think I'll wear it tomorrow!!


I finally got up to UCSC's Sesnon Gallery for the Crochet Coral Reef show.  I'm glad I did.

If your in the Santa Cruz area check out Seymour Marine Discovery Center.  They are showing several pieces that community members have made, very cool!

That's all for now, I'll check in around the beginning of June.  Hopefully I'll have something fun to show you...it's a sewing project completely new to me that has some quilting in it...yeah, I know.  I'm not a quilter.  I couldn't sew two lines of fabric together evenly if my life depended on it!  But hey..I'm game!