Tunic Topper #1 (because I want more of these!)

Tunic-Topper_2webI promised no more vests for a while. When my BSF called this a vest I almost felt instant regret, but this is NOT a vest! I’m calling it a tunic topper. I made view C of Marcy Tilton’s new Vogue pattern 9057. I have lots of plain tops that need a little pizzazz! While it would be fairly easy to make a sleeveless top from a TNT pattern (tried and true to my non-sewing friends), this pattern was on sale and too perfect to resist.Tunic-Topper_1web

First I took some favorite fabrics and made a collage strip. I played with my new Baby Lock cover stitch machine for some of the decorative seams. I also recently bought a used Pfaff as a second sewing machine that has the IDT built-in walking foot feature. I may review these on a later post, but they were great for making this topper. After I made the strip I placed it on the front pattern piece and sewed it on. From there I just followed directions until the end when I decided I needed a pocket.Tunic-Topper_3web This top already had plenty going on! Placing the pocket on the decorative strip didn’t interfere with the overall design and I now have a very functional top. I’m going to need several of these for winter wear around the house and beyond. I can put it on over any of my plain tops so it’s an easy, fun and artsy top that is a must for my wardrobe!

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!


Debra and Marcy I Apologize…

Black-Grey-Marcy-Dress My BSF made this dress by Marcy Tilton (Vogue 8975) and tried to convince me to sew one with her. “It will look like a big gunny sack on me” I scoffed. Well I tried on Debra’s dress when she finished and loved it! It’s comfy, clever, perfect for the change of seasons, and no, it does not look like a gunny sack. I should have modeled it, since it actually looks better on me than on Roxy.Black-Grey-Marcy-Dress_3

One does need to read the directions for this dress. The garment goes together fairly quickly despite many pieces and a few odd instructions, for example attaching a point on the hem to the bottom of the pocket.

Black-Grey-Marcy-Dress_2 I made three minor modifications to the pattern. The collar is my invention and I am very happy with it. You may see it again in the very near future. I used three fabrics instead of two, and I shortened the dress two inches so it doesn’t overwhelm me. There’s a lot of fabric in this dress, but it is light and soft so it all works. The back is pretty jazzy too!Black-Grey-Marcy-Dress_1

Fabric “Store” and Photo Studio Remodel


While other people like to spring clean, I went to school for so many years that I’m still hooked on a late summer back to school schedule. When the notebooks and pencils start showing up in the stores I want to straighten out my drawers, closets and work areas. We rearranged some rooms in our house leaving a small windowless “bedroom” that I could use to store my fabrics, yarn and set up some lighting for photography.

Previously my fabric lived in 3 different areas and I had no idea how much I owned! This stash may be too much to some, but I just love looking at those shelves of delicious fabrics in my favorite colors. Fabric-Storage-2The top left shelf has some lovely African batiks that I inherited, along with my silk and metallic fabrics. Sewing and knitting books also have a space here, and there is room to grow! The next shelf two shelves below the books are woven textiles. The shelf to the right is all knits except for more wool on the bottom shelf, and some leather rolled up on the top.


My yarn stash is not nearly as large, and many of these are leftovers from previous projects. I have a different approach to my knitting than my sewing. As I near the end of a project I usually, I go to ravelry.com and look at patterns that I have favorited (I’m sure this word will be accepted in the dictionary soon.) in the past or research something I want to make, for example a new winter hat. Then I go to my LYS and pick out the yarn.

refashion-stashThe next area in my room is for my refashion stash. These are clothes that I have picked up at resale shops, or items from my closet that I no longer wear, but love the fabric or a detail. The upper left bin is all linen items. The right side box contains cashmere sweaters from my husband, myself and resale shops. Wash and dry them in the machine and they shrink up to a yummy softness. Moth holes virtually disappear, and I can then sew them into a new garment. Lights-and-Backdrop

The photo studio is the last wall in this room. I’m at best a hobbyist at photography, but the new bright lights and pull down backgrounds should help with the post processing that I did previously to make up for low spotty lighting. I haven’t had time to test out the photo area, but I’m currently sewing two new tops that I will photograph for my next blog.

Perfect Summer Black Tes

I wanted a black shirt that was just a bit dressy, comfortable, looked good under a sweater or jacket, but would also look good on its own if it became warm. I couldn’t find what I had in mind, and now I don’t know why I spent the time shopping.Summer-Black-Tee-FM_1 This is exactly what I wanted and it took so little fabric that all of it came from my stash. I love sheer sleeves in summer. They give a little coverage, but are still cool and look good under vests. I used my TNT pattern Vogue 8952 and just made it shorter and the sides straighter. I didn’t hem the sleeves and I just added another sheer knit to finish the collar and hem.Summer-Black-Tee-BM I don’t think this t-shirt took more than 3 hours to make. I’m sure I spent way more time shopping without finding anything. Next time I want something this specific in my mind I am just going to start sewing!