Vote for my Cat!

Zatoichi-FranzenI entered my cat Zatoichi (Ichi for short) for a spot in the calendar of Fort Collins Cat Rescue our wonderful local cat shelter where she came from. She’s now one of the 30 finalists and would dearly love to be a Miss September (or January…) and help the shelter. Please go to and vote for my cat before September 12th!


Back to sewing. Here is my version of the new Marcy Tilton top from Vogue 9193. My every day dressing consists of a pair of knit pants and a top. If I go out of the house I like to add a cool jacket/coat or poncho. Most pants are fairly neutral so that leaves the tops to carry the interesting details. This pattern has lots of promise for both dressy, and an everyday wear piece that has some style. The addition of a pocket makes it function even better than most patterns.


The sample photos are sewn with a single fabric, but the line drawings inspired me to try multiple fabrics. After cutting it out in three colors it just didn’t look balanced. The additional gold bands and neck seemed to pull the whole piece together. After sewing it all up I decided to add the stencil pattern to the front.


I’m already wearing this a lot, but I do think I will make another design change in the future. The top has a subtle angled bottom band, and sometimes it simply feels odd. The change could be to make the angle steeper and more obvious. However, if I continue with the Mondrian styled piecing it’s possible the top would look better being simpler and straight. Or should I leave it alone?


It’s a great top and I’ll try the pants some time and let you know how they fit. I’m at Diane Ericson’s Design Outside the Lines in Taos this week having a wonderful sewing adventure with my BSF. Don’t forget to vote for my cat Zatoichi!

Ventana Vest by Diane Ericson

Diane-Ericson-Vest_2I promise this will be my last vest for at least the month of November, because you never know when the vest urge will hit!

This is an exciting vest that I have been waiting to blog about. When I went to the Design Outside the Lines retreat in September, Diane Ericson let us all test her upcoming Ventana Vest. It’s now out and available for purchase so I can show you both of our examples!

My BSF and I started right in cutting and sewing. This vest is very clever. The tucks give it shape and there is a clever folded in pocket. Typical of Diane’s patterns you can follow it exactly or make changes to make it your own. This is a photo of the vest made by my BSF Debra.


I left mine all funky and floppy. To add a little splash of color and pattern, I appliquéd a cotton woven with a stencil by Miles Frode combined with one of my own stencils.

Diane-Ericson-Vest_4Debra tailored her vest by closing the seam next to the pocket and taking in the sides. She also played around with the tucks in the back by elongating some of them. Ventana-Vest-Debra_1Her mother bought a new scarf that matches perfectly. I think Debra talked Honey into giving the scarf to her.


Here is photo of my back. You’ll notice that Debra also cut her collar a bit shorter to stand up at the neck. I love her changes and will incorporate some of then to my next version. You can see why I can’t promise no more vests!


Darts and Dots

Black-Grey-Shirt_4I bought so much cool fabric in Ashland last spring while attending Diane Ericson’s DOL. These two have been calling to me to make a tunic length shirt. I planned to make a shirt even before Ashland, but just couldn’t find the right pattern. I finally settled on McCall’s 6436 since it has the darts my shape needs. This fits fairly well now, but I will make just a few modifications next time to give a little more ease at the bust. With this shirt I ended up not overlapping the placket, but adding a back placket piece so I could use Chinese knot buttons. They are a lots work, but I do like the look.Black-Grey-Shirt_3

Speaking of the bust area, below is a progress shot of the shirt before I added the final details.

Black-Grey-Shirt-no-pocket I hadn’t planned on adding pockets until I saw the two big dots right where I don’t need two big dots. Even worse was one big dot and one wonky dot…I didn’t even realize the fabric had dots! Pockets to the rescue. I will never use the breast pocket, but it sure solved the problem.Black-Grey-Shirt_2

No inappropriate dots on the back…

Black-Grey-Shirt_1As this entry is sending, I’m on my way to another DOL! I know, I know…I’m a little obsessed, but I’m blaming this one on my BSF who wanted to go to Taos again. Who was I to say no? Taos last year was the event that got me so excited about creating, that I started this blog. My one year blogger anniversary is coming up!


I’m back!

Multiple trips and then family visiting has kept me away from my blog, but I’m back with new ideas and a few new skills and techniques to incorporate that I can’t wait to share.

But first I have to finish my show and tell of my trip to Ashland for the DOL retreat. The town on Ashland is a fantastic arts town with beautiful scenery, but the shopping is what caught my eye! The downtown has textile shops of yarn and fabric and a bead shop.Fabric-Purchase1web

As you can see I went a little crazy with the fabric, but they were so beautiful, and I don’t buy woven textiles often so this is a new start for me. Notice the little cat on the umbrella fabric…cute without being too cute. Several of these fabrics look different but great on both sides allowing for some interesting details.Fabric-Purchase-2web

Then there are fabulous clothing stores in all price ranges including a wonderful resale shop, and SHOES!!! My shoe enabler husband (is he a catch or what?) took me shoe shopping and I ended up with 4 pairs of new shoes. Ashland-Shoes-BrightwebImelda eat your heart out. Aren’t these cool and unusual?Ashland-Shoes1web

I have cleaned up my studio after returning from a small steel smithing class and promise that next week I will start to show more hand-made projects, including what I learned about working with steel. So exciting!