Art Retreat Threads: Bottoms!

IMG_3409 BOTTOMS! Here’s a lil recap on the sample bottoms I embellished for my upcoming workshop, “Art Retreat Threads” at Art Is You, Stamford, this October.  One of the easiest and quickest ways to embellish a look is to use stamps and stencils with fabric paint. As this year is the 10th Anniversary of Art is You, I thought I would use both store bought and hand made stencils and rubber stamps to embellish these bottoms as a homage! I love wearing these cotton yoga pants when I am putting long hours in my studio…they are so comfy and yet have a creative flair.  Another little benefit is that should I need to run out to do errands, I wouldn’t hesitate keeping these on…cute in and out of the studio! IMG_3408   I am classifying overalls in the “Bottoms” category.  I have two samples to present! My first was actually a pair of overalls with shorts on the bottom.  I removed the crotch seam and turned it into a overalls skirt! IMG_3339 This piece was calling out for some journalling and so I responded on the back with… IMG_3346   And then with this on the front… IMG_3340 With a little help from a skinny belt, a bouquet of raw edged muslin blooms and some vintage lace around the unhemmed bottom, we were go to go! I can’t wait to wear these overalls this Fall! IMG_3430 I loved these overalls but they had one too many holes for me! So, I sewed in patches using reverse appliqué, added embroidery stitching and finally stamping with fabric paint to make them pop! For more on these overalls, refer to my blogpost….click here. IMG_3419 As you can see the possibilities are many to recycle, upcycle and alter clothing, that you already own and that fit you properly but are just sitting in your closet, are endless! Some changes, as you can figure, are quicker fixes than others but we will explore, and get to as many as possible in my workshop!. Registration for my class “Art Retreat Threads at Art Is You 2015, Stamford, CT is still open! Click here for more information.

Art Retreat Threads Recap: Tops


As many of you know, I am teaching a workshop, “Art Retreat Threads”, on  Saturday, October 10th, 2015 at Art Is You…Stamford, CT.  To show prospective students some of the unlimited ways the could recycle/alter/upcyle garments they already own into fun and unique pieces they can enjoy wear when making art at home or away.

I thought I would run a few posts to recap and to also introduce the workshop to those still considering classes at AIY.

Time for a Fashion Show!!

Today’s feature are TOPS.


As pictured above, I decided to stamp the name of my workshop on this little T to create a signature piece. Stamping is easy peasy. I used Jacquard Textile Paint and the dress form was drawn free hand. Acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium works fine too ( I have used acrylic paint alone and had no problem with it regarding repeated washings etc.).


Now Top #2 is more like a tunic. Can u believe this piece started out as a plain ol’ grey sweatshirt! I machine appliquéd the letters  and the flowers and then added a piece of white cotton eyelet, from a flea market found skirt, onto the bottom! Cuteness!



Again a outstretched old cropped sweatshirt. I thought I’d take the loose, cropped look a step further by adding batik fabric inserts on the side seams. The embellishment is a free motioned flower that I beaded.  For more on this, click here.

The last Top, is a homage to our dear Art is You Retreats that are celebrating their 10th year!


Under this nifty hoodie, is a baseball T. The number 10 is hand drawn, I will have it available for workshop attendees to use to make their own commemorative/anniversary pieces!. Using fusible on the wrong side of the fabric was the technique here, and I followed up with top stitching all around. For more on this T, click here.

These Tops are just some of the ways students can change up simple T’s, sweatshirts and button downs. A basic knowledge of hand and machine sewing is all you need!

There is still time to sign up for my workshop,”Art Retreat Threads” at Art is You, Stamford!!

For information and registration, click here.


Vintage: Then & Now


I was so excited to see my contribution to the new issue of Uppercase Magazine, Issue #26, “Stories of Doilies & Lace.” Over the years I have amassed quite a collection, thanks mainly to my beloved, late Great Aunt Angie and a dear family friend Ida. These little lacey treasures have found their way onto my dresser, dining table and under glassware. I love how they all have that doily look (ha!).   Yet they also exhibit subtle differences due to type, weight and color of thread and more obviously, the countless different crocheting patterns.  I have read in my research on doilies and lace that many needle artists would make up many of these patterns as they went along.  Some patterns, like with quilting, were regional. My story tells about how devoted my Great Aunt was to her needlework. She would put in long hours as a factory timekeeper during the day and then when she finally had some time to relax, she would crochet. I have several of her gorgeous tablecloths as well. Our friend, Ida, learned and perfected her needle art skills when she was a young girl living with the nuns in a private convent school in Paris!


I am humbled by their expertise and patience! As I waited for the release and delivery of my copy of this Uppercase issue, I played around with machine sewing doilies to a denim jacket. By using a straight stitch, a small zig zag stitch and a walking foot attachment on my sewing machine, I was able to eliminate the bunching up of the lace…thank goodness for differential feed!!

Credit goes to my creative photog daughter T for taking some pics of me in the jacket. And although I love the combination of the old (doilies) and the new (denim jacket), I am planning on tea dyeing the doilies to soften the contrast just a bit.



The simplicity of this recycling and upcycling is another example of how easy it can be to transform a basic article of clothing into something fun, different and artistic! This October, I will be teaching techniques like this and more at my workshop, “Art Retreat Threads” at the well-respected and attended “Art is You” Retreat in Stamford, CT.

For more information on my workshop, click here.

Stay tuned for updated photos of my soon-to-be, tea dyed doily denim jacket! And FYI, if you do get the opportunity to check out issue #26 of Uppercase, the article is on page 88. My piece is on pages 100-101. A footnote here: unfortunately the magazine incorrectly marked which were my doilies! Mine are the 3 cuties in the upper left corner that have a #2 next to them!