Monday, February 28, 2011


A few months back my brother in law asked if I would make a flag quilt for his wife who will be retiring after 25 years with the Air Force.  I agreed and then forgot about it.  Well, we got the invite to the retirement dinner and ceremony this weekend, and I remembered .....more like:  Oh crap, I forgot, I gotta make a flag quilt!  So, I googled flag quilts and came across this one.
It's not really a quilt, it's more of an applique project, but I like this version and can embroidery her name, rank, etc. on the border.   So, today at lunch I'll hit up the local quilt shop for supplies.  Hope they have what I need!  Flag Quilt Instructions here   I'm open to suggestions and other ideas, so if you have any, please pass them along.  Her retirement ceremony is in early April, so I got about a month to put this together.

A few weeks ago a neighbor commented that she cannot find lady's hankies... I thought, well, I can make them, and use my embroidery machine.  Using my cotton batiste which I have a partial bolt of in my stash (it makes great summer dress linings); I cut out some 12x12 squares, and did some monogramming.  I need to work better on placement  but you can get the idea

It's also a great way to use of some of those remnant lace trims I have.   You can see that the monogram on the hanky in the back is too low, and the one on the front is too high.  I hoop both the batiste and some tear away stablizer.  I made a couple of more this weekend, and did a rolled hem on my serger using poly embroidery thread in the upper looper.  It makes a nice edge!   My neighbor loved them.  She walks, jogs, and cycles, and likes to carry a hanky when it's cold.  She said tissue falls apart and she can keep a hanky in her pocket.  I need to find some cycling and jogging designs that are  not too dense to put on a few. 

I also did some towels at Christmas time.  I used a heavy tear away stablizer in the hoop.  I didn't hoop the towel as it is too thick.  I used spray baste it on the stablizer and then placed the towel on top with a layer of clear solvy on top of the towel to keep the nap down on top.This top layer also helped with the constant thread breakage problem I was having.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I'm back from Arizona.  This time was a little more exciting as my mom wasn't recuperating from foot surgery.  First place we went was to the swap meet.  There's a southwestern jewelry vendor there that I like to check out
soon after we were there, it got really windy and the dust was blowing.   We got home and it started to rain; then the sun came out briefly while it was still raining
The next day, Katie and I went for a walk
the cactus wasn't blooming, but there were some nice colors
I read somewhere the when cactus is stressed, due to cold, too much water, or not enough water, it becomes more colorful.  Something else I notice on the walks is that people paint their driveways

Before we finished our walk, I turned around and noticed the sun just starting to set

It was a nice trip and visit.  I'll be back in early April, the cactus should be blooming by then

Friday, February 18, 2011

Presidents' Weekend, Cutting, and AZ

I forgot the cable that connects my camera to the computer - it's sitting on my desk at work.   So, can't take and post photos of my new Vogue jacket that I love... but I can tell you wants next on the cutting table.  First is Vogue 1225 with a cranberry red rayon knit.

next is another Vogue 8676 using a double faced wool that is copperish in color that I got from Fabric Mart.  I think I will use both sides.

and finally a Christine Jonson skirt from Travel Trio 3.  I've made this skirt from a black knit and it's so easy and comfortable - I definitely need another one!
using a peacock blue ponte knit
It's a lot of color for me, but I'm hoping by the time Spring comes around, I'll want color.
This weekend I'm heading back to AZ to spent the long weekend with my mom and dad.  So, after I get these cut out and a good night's rest, I'll be Phoenix bound.... maybe some of the cactus will be blooming... maybe I'll catch some beautiful sunsets.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cracker Jacks

Peanuts and a prize... that's what you get in Cracker Jacks....  and the inside of your garments when you sew them!  Ok, maybe not peanuts, but you can always have a surprise in your garments. 
I'm finishing up my Vogue 8346 Coat... and I love it.   The black wool is so nice and the lining, a wonderful pucci style silk that I bought a few years back at an ASG Conference that is now the surprise in my coat.

The hem is unfinished in this photo.  I've finished the hem, and just need to add the buttons.  It is double breasted and the silk lining is so much fun.  I didn't have enough for the sleeves, so I used a hot pink silk for the sleeves which I also used as a piping along the edge. 

here's a close up of the lapel which is a separate piece, as is the collar.  I thought that was an interesting way for a lapel.

the silk is also used in the inseam pockets.   I needed a new peacoat and I'm thrilled this turned out so nice!  Can't wait until it's cool enough outside to wear a coat.

I also used the silk remnants in the pockets of my latest jeans.

I didn't have enough for the waistband, and I didn't think it was stable enough for a waistband, so I used some of my project runway themed cotton. 
 I will post photos of the completed jeans and coat later this week. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail 1700-1915

Yesterday I went to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) for a wonderful exhibit.  The details, the fabrics, the gowns... everything was so well preserved and in great condition. If you are in the area, go see it! 

It is a collection of European men's, women's, and children's garments and accessories. The exhibition tells the story of fashion's aesthetic and technical development from the Age of Enlightenment to World War I. It examines sweeping changes in fashionable dress spanning a period of over two hundred years, and evolutions in luxurious textiles, exacting tailoring techniques, and lush trimmings.
Highlights include an eighteenth-century man's vest intricately embroidered with powerful symbolic messages relevant to the French Revolution; an evening mantle with silk embroidery, glass beads, and ostrich feathers designed by French couturier Émile Pingat (active 1860-96); and spectacular three-piece suits and gowns worn at the royal courts of Europe.
the exhibit had shoes, bags, undergarments, hats, beautiful dresses, coats... the vests were wonderful as well.

the beaded, embroidered, and needlepoint purses were beautiful.  In the center is a man's jacket with detachable diamond buttons shown in their case to the right.  the embroidered waistcoats were embroidered first on 1 piece of fabric, then cut out and made into the vest.

this dress and fabric was one of my favorites.  Simple dress with beautiful fabric and made to imitate ikat Japanese fabrics.

the detail in that embroidered vest were spectacular.  the sleeves on the plaid dress on the left were interesting, as were the lace up boots worn to tease

the stomacher's (the triangle pieces on the right) is a decorated triangular panel that fills in the front opening of a woman's gown or bodice. The exhibit is until March 27th.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sorry You're Buried in Snow....

I thought I'd share some photos of what is outside my door here on campus today....

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Vogue 8676

Finished the Vogue 8676 jacket in the sewing line-up

this was a lot of fun to make, and pretty easy!  The fabric was great.  I'm tempted to buy more, but I'm resisting because I have enough fabric in my stash to last a lifetime....    Besides, I only need one of these unique jackets and what will I do with more grey wool knit?  Oooh, I saw, wrap top?  No... stop it.
Ok, back to the jacket.... here's the back view
these are just circles cut in contrasting and fashion fabric, edge stitched on, then a 1/4" strip of the fabric is sewn on in four places.  The strips are stretched a bit so that they curl.  The back seam is exposed.  It's the only exposed seam which I think is a bit inconsistent, and I'm not sure I would do it again.
Here's the collar which is 4 2" strips sewn together.  the same technique is used for the cuffs.
[why do my pictures post here sideways?  It's so annoying and I can't fix it.  eesh.  They are not sideways in my album.]

close up of the button/snap cover.   

and a close up of the pocket.  1 circle edged stitched down completely, the second circle only 3/4 stitched down.   And here's a link to the pattern