Saturday, January 16, 2016

My favorite things

I made this a couple of years ago and it is one of my favorite projects of all times. My son was going to turn 21 and I wanted to make something special. I had seen flasks with needlepoint covers at the Jonathan Adler store that cost about $90 and my first thought was, of course, "I could make that for a lot cheaper."

Back to my son, his favorite show as a kid was Dragon Ball Z so I thought he would get a kick out of a flask with a Goku picture on it. I went online and gathered a couple of pictures I liked and combined them. I bought a stainless steel flask for about $30. Then I went to the needlepoint store and bought yarn and canvas. That cost about $30. The work took a lot of hours. I glued the piece onto the flask with contact cement.

When I was done I thought that the $90 of the Adler pieces which were a lot simpler, in two colors, and on larger canvas, was in reality not a bad price at all. We crafters often don't consider our time and effort in the cost of things we make. We should remember that the work we put into things is also of great value. Anyway, he loves it.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New year, new project

This year I am really going to give this blogging thing a go. Yes, I know I say this every year... My first project of the year is Vogue V8728. I've had this pattern for a long time but was skeptical because it looks like a fully lined thin cotton lawn would be the ideal fabric. But then I was reading Zilredloh and saw Liz's post on using a rayon knit and immediately thought of this fabric I'd been eyeing at Joann's. I'm about halfway through and would definitely have benefited from a walking foot, as Liz recommended. Oh well, we'll see how it goes. I will be posting some things from last year later since I did make, at least I think, some pretty awesome things.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


I love all of the vintage and vintage inspired patterns available now. In fact, I have most of them in my ever-growing collection thanks to the constant sales on patterns at JoAnns .I love Butterick 5209.

 I made this dress a few years back with a great heavy rayon fabric that was a steal because it had a flaw running through the whole bolt along one selvage - easy to work around. I think I spent about 12 bucks on fabric. Lousy picture, lousy camera angle, but, oh well, pretty dress.

Shoes by Miss L-Fire

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Party Dress Fashion Show!

In August I received an email from Mary Adams inviting me to participate in a fashion show at the Knit! Stitch! Quilt! show. That's of course me fourth from the left and the ever-charming Mary Adams in black. It was great to see all of the different designs, and even one made from vintage tablecloths! See, I'm not the only one!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mary Adams "The Party Dress"

This post is in honor of the wonderful Josephine's Dry Goods, a wonderful fabric store in Portland that just closed it's doors yesterday, sniff.

A few years ago I walked past the window of Josephine's and there was this amazing dress in the window, along with a copy of Mary Adam's The Party Dress book and a notice that she would be in town to teach a class. Sigh. Wouldn't that be fun, I thought. Fast forward a year. My friend Lisa and I were walking past again, and again there was a notice that Mary Adams would be there. "We're signing up," was all Lisa said. So we did.

We bought outrageously beautiful and expensive fabric, and for two days we sewed with the wonderful Mary Adams. My dress is made with purple dupioni silk with a purple lace overlay on the bodice and black silk organza overlay on the skirt.

Mary Adams consulting with a
class member.

I originally had a red organza for my skirt which I  pin-tucked.

My dress as I originally imagined it. The red didn't
match the purple silk of the top, so I opted to make a black
organza overlay for the skirt instead.I still have the
red skirt, maybe some day I'll make another party dress!

The final dress. I added three rows of thin black gross
grain ribbon to the skirt and a black bow belt from Forever 21.

Since I'm not really into strapless dresses, I used the lace
overlay of the bodice to make cap sleeves, held in
place with quarter inch black elastic in the seam. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

One Pattern, Many Dresses

I usually don't make more than one of a pattern, which I guess is pretty dumb if I find a pattern I really like. I'm getting better at this, though. There is, however, a pattern that I've made many versions of for my daughter. She has always had a thing for strapless dresses, and Simplicity 4070 has served me well.

The firsts dress

The first dress I made with the pattern was with this beautiful faux silk dupioni (ok, it was polyester) that I found on clearance at Joanns.

The Babydoll dress
Later she wanted a dress for her cousin's wedding. We saw one while we were out shopping and of course I said, "I could make one like that." I cut the bodice off under the bust and put on a gathered, tiered lace overlay skirt and made it babydoll length.

Then there was the prom dress. During the winter of her senior year, we saw some crazy outrageous shoes and joked that she should get those for prom. Then when the prom approached, she said she was serious, she wanted those shoes. By that time they were long gone from the store. Luckily we found them online and built a dress around them.

I decided to make a muslin to make sure my idea would work so I got an old border print sheet that had belonged to her grandmother.

The bedsheet muslin

Then I got satin that matched the shoes, and made my favorite version of the dress (thus-far...). Check out the shoes!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Knitted Headband

Last winter my daughter and I were out shopping. She saw a knit headband and said she would like one, knowing full-well my reply: "I can make one like that." So I did a quick search on Ravelry and found T. Matthews Fine Art's simple and free pattern. I used Lion Brand Super Merino Cashmere, bought at Michaels with a coupon of course. The pattern calls for bulky yarn so i used two skeins and knit two pieces at a time. It turned out really cute. I might have to make one for myself!