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Showing posts from 2019

Kokka Lightweight Canvas Dress

I fell in love with this Kokka fabric which is a lightweight cotton canvas with a unique border print. I knew that I wanted to make a dress, but, because of the thickness in the french seams that I wanted to use (I prefer to use whenever possible) I knew that it would need to be a simple pattern. Of course simple patterns are really my preference all of the time anyway.  So it was an easy decision to use my all time favorite tunic pattern - 100 Acts of Sewing Dress No.2. It’s been one of two patterns that I constantly turn to...the other being Grainline Studios Farrow Dress. This fabric is the kind that is soft to begin with; a lightweight all-cotton canvas that is not stiff and will, I think, soften luxuriously with time and washing...albeit with some fading in the future I imagine. I am quite pleased with my new dress! Thanks to Anne Dawson for having this in her shop, The Quilters Studio on Lopez Island. I just could not resist! Now I have some leftover for other projects too! Mayb

Happy Box

Short ‘n’ sweet today. It is too hot and I am too tired to write much,  but I did want to share some colorful news! Yesterday I received a “happy box” from Marcia Derse. She’s one of my favorite fabric designers and I have been subscribed to her palette club. Her near solids are the stuff of my dream colors. Saturated and beautiful on a soft cotton substrate that is suitable for clothes, quilts, bags etc. This shipment consisted of the luscious colors in the photo above. Above, a piece of her “palette stacks” fabric that was also included in my happy box. When I look at it I see a new a dress offset with solid colors sleeves, or  a happy quilt, or perhaps a happy bag. I need more of this one! Marcias sister is a mixed media artist fro Phoenix, Arizona who also happens to hand dye the most wonderful thread! Her advice is that they work best used in things that won’t require a lot of washing. Hand dyed Peele cotton threads always seem to bleed...more or less.... so I had anticipated thi

Wiksten Shift Dress and Top

I finally finished my  Wiksten Shift Dress and Top .  It is a simple, well-designed pattern that is beautifully presented and very well designed. It looks much better on the body than it does off....so keep that in mind when you look at the photos. I did not have anyone to take images of the dress on me, but had hoped the dress form would show it to advantage...but it didn’t really accomplish that! I used a lovely, lightweight, cotton ikat fabric that I bought from my favorite place for clothing fabrics.... Stonemountain  from Berkeley, California. They always seem to offer beautiful, unique fabrics that make me want to sew. The colors of the fabric are an unusual choice for me. While natural and brown colors tend to look just fine on me I seldom seem to buy or wear them. For some reason this design struck and chord and I just had to have some of it.  The Wiksten Shift Dress and Top pattern features simple lines, patch pockets, a very nice, slightly gathered back yoke, neckline facings

Neck Friendly Reading Pillow

My friend, Janet, made one of these pillows and gave me a copy of the pattern...don’t worry, it is a free pattern from Sew4Home . I do a lot of reading in bed...and have neck issues and she thought this pattern would be a helpful thing. The linen blend Japanese fabric that I used had been in my collection for some time and seemed like a perfect choice. You can see that you cut three patten pieces. It makes for a result that looks somewhat like a dog-bone and creates a perfect curved area for your head with great support on the sides to boot! I just used a leftover selvedge edge of neutral linen for a handle and I also added a 7-inch zipper just because I like to be able to easily “unstuff” pillows so that I can wash them, or easily add or remove some stuffing. It isn’t called for in the pattern and really is not necessary. I have to confess to making this pillow rather hastily..so my curves are not perfect. It took less than an hour to make....a bit more than the predicted 30-minutes

Wiksten Haori Jacket

I have had this pattern for some time and I am probably the last person standing to finally get around to making it! These are the fabrics that I chose to use. The left is a glorious, textural, Japanese, azumino momen fabric that I purchased from  Fabric&Art  on Etsy. The owner, Michelle, offers a varied selection of beautiful fabric finds from around the world. Thisfabric was just perfect for this jacket! The folks at  Shibori Dragon , who offer fat quarters of azumino momen in many colors, explain just what this luscious fabric is: ”... Azumino-momen fabrics are piece-dyed in the Azumino district of Japan ( momen  means cotton) hence the name Azumino-momen.  Before the pieces are dyed, the fabrics go through a process which creates a natural textured finish that gives the fabric a distinctive feel even after washing.  This fabric is a little heavier that regular quilting cottons...” The fabric on the right was purchased 2-3 years ago from Anne Dawson at  The Quil

New Marcia Derse Palette and An Excellent Book On Natural Dyes

Today’s mail brought my latest installment of Marcia Derse’s Palette. I love her solids....they are a bit dappled which makes them even better imho. I get a mailing quarterly...though I am not able to locate a link for you about it on her website. To see the full palette of her colors go  here . She also included a small preview of here new black and white line, Opposites, which will be available in June or July. I want to make a dress of these two fabrics already? These fabrics are soft and perfect for clothes as well as quilts...or home dec or....you name it! It was a good mail day! I am a person who always wants to know the “how” and “why” of things. One of the first books that my father ever got for me was called “How Things Work”. It always helps me to know the reasons that some things work and others don’t. So....I want to mention a wonderful book that I have had since March, but recently decided that it might also be of interest here.  This book by dynamic dyeing team Joy Boutro

My Enduring Love Of Linen

Yesterdays mail brought me some beautiful linen fabric from  Fabrics-Store .com Above: their IL019 (softened) in Oasis on the left & IL019 Mixed Natural on the right. Linen. Oh how much I love it! I was late learning about the pleasures of linen. Growing up in the NorthEast I knew it as fine handkerchief linen...usually from Ireland. I had a flax spinning wheel at the time and spun some flax...it was frustratingly slow work! I did see the occasional lightweight, white linen summer shirt or pants, but the women in my families did not use linen much in their wardrobes. As I read more about linen apparel I realize that this might not have been that unusual.  One article states that in the 1970’s only 5% of the worlds linen production was used for apparel, but by the 1990’s that percentage had risen to a whopping 70%! Linen is, of course, derived from the pretty, but tough, flax plant.  The image above is from  http://lurecoursingphotos.info/flax-plant-images/flax-plant-images-cultivat

Blame On Bonnie Hunter! The Scrap Bag I Mean!

Blame it Bonnie K. Hunter...this massive scrap pile I mean.  The image does not do justice to this leaning tower of scraps. It is much larger this it appears. It is sum total of years of scraps that had been filling what was supposed to become 2 large gob beds for the animal shelter. The bag is about three feet long, 3 feet high and 2 feet wide...so this is a very large ‘pile-o-scraps’.  I have had the luxury of a vacation. Being away was lovely...seeing new places, learning new things and meeting other wonderful, creative people during a workshop with Maria Shell was wonderful. It has been equally wonderful, and more relaxing, to have days at home too. I have baked crackers, cookies and cinnamon buns, cut out and started sewing what be a great rendition of a favorite pattern...the Farrow dress. What more could I want? Many of Bonnie K. Hunters quilts make my eyes dance, but I have had one quilt on my radar for some time. The “Garden Party” quilt from her book “ A