#MMM17 Still Jumper Weather!

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Hi there sewists! Time for another #MMM, Me Made May 2017, post.  According to the calendar it’s Spring but when the temps dipped into the mid 40’s, making it quite nippy this morning, I was all about wearing this jumper to school!

I have had this mid weight, cotton linen blend in my stash for quite a while. It’s olive drab in color with horizontal lines and threads slubs in other earth tone colors. I made it up based on McCalls pattern M7120, view D. It’s a pullover style jumper that is semi fitted.  It can also definitely be belted. And of course it has “must have” on-seam pockets, large enough to hold my cell.

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The jumper has a shaped high-low hemline.

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The armhole are low enough so that I can wear a top underneath or not!

Love this versatile transition dress!

Photos courtesy of JJ

Sugar Stitching

Fall sewing is in full swing in the studio! To get my students warmed up, I decided we needed a quick project to incorporate machine and hand stitching as well as some embroidery and beading. We used some of that sweet Sugar Skull fabric left over from my tote, see previous post, and appliquéd it on a white, cotton long sleeve waffle tees. To do this,  first we fused Wonder Under onto the woven sugar skull fabric cut out.  Then ironed the sugar skull appliqué onto the knit shirt fabric. This fusing step stabilizes the knit fabric and makes all stitching and embellishing a breeze.  Using machine appliqué we stitched all around it a few times. Now, we were was ready to go to town with some hand embroidery and beading.  Below is my version..IMG_4763.JPGI used both DMC 6-stranded embroidery floss as well as size 8 Perle cotton for the hand embroidery. French knots. backstitch, statin stitch, couching and chain stitch were some of the stitches I used. Japanese glass seed beads in different sizes and some teeny tiny Delicas  added some pop and sparkle. When I finished all the hand work, I put the embellished shirt in a tea dye bath for about 45 minutes. The result was a warm, light tan color. Just the vintage look I was hoping for!

For the last year, I have enjoyed learning all about and trying some styles of “Slow Stitching”. I have worked Sashiko, Kantha and Boro stitching combinations on jeans, jackets and journal covers. Here’s a pair of boyfriend jeans that I recently distressed and stitched.

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On knee areas, I used patches of cotton Ikat fabric under the denim to add interest and to stabilize the  area. Then I cut several lines across the knees, sand papered and carefully picked out rows of thread to get the distressed look I wanted.  I used white Sashiko thread and stitched neat little rows of running stitches through the denim and the Ikat patches underneath.

IMG_4784.jpgUp by the front left pocket, I continued with the same treatment of adding an Ikat patch of fabric, distressing the denim and then stitching tiny running stitches.

Today was a beautiful, quiet, Fall Sunday. Daughter T and I went up to Easton, CT to pick up apples, pumpkins, cider and cider doughnuts from one of the local orchards. Driving around we found some cool old red barns, sheds and lovely stone walls. T is to be credited with these fun and autumnal photos! Well done and thanks girl!

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IMG_4798.jpgHave you seen these Sugar Skull Cookies at Starbucks…note they taste as good as they look! I couldn’t resist! Happy Fall ya’ll.

Just a little ruffle….

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This fabulous piece of 4 way stretch reversible knit has been in the queue for summer sewing and I finally decided on just the perfect pattern to make it up. I have enjoyed working with McCalls M6559, view C before. It’s a pullover chemise with scoop neckline, sleeveless with a slight flare. My challenge with this project was which side of the fabric to use?  I went back and forth and finally let my family choose and well done them! The winning side was the allover indigo tie dye. Not to be denied, I created a sweet  1 1/2″ ruffle from the reverse, printed side, for the neckline…perfect! FYI, I used a 70/10 jersey needle, serger for seams and a multi motion stitch for the hem.

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For my bday, this past weekend, family and friends surprised me with an jaunt up to Jones Farm for a wine tasting. We had a great time and this photo, by T, was taken by the tasting room and grapevine arbor/patio. It was a perfect September afternoon full of good company and wine and the dress fit the bill!

 

 

Back To School: Sugar Skull Tote

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Well it’s coming upon that time of the year and to ‘celebrate’ back to school (?!), I made this fun loving tote! I created this bag to use as a teaching sample for an adult summer sewing workshop that focused on making bags with pockets and zippers. Last week, I decided to finish it up in time for my own back to school experience, which starts today! As an assistant teacher at our beloved local nursery school, we will begin home visits this morning to introduce ourselves to our Terrific 2’s and their families and then at night I start the first of four college night courses for a state teaching certification. I am both teacher and student, something I love to be!

Now about this highly functional tote! To help determine the size of my tote, I had a paper shopping bag from Anthropologic that had just about the perfect dimensions and worked well as a guide. The Sugar Skull themed fabrics were purchased a couple years ago from The City Quilter, NYC. The golden yellow batik is from my stash. Even though the “Skull” fabrics were a fairly good weight for a quilting fabric, I did fuse a mid weight interfacing to every piece to give the bag more stability. Those batiks are quite finely woven but on the thin side, and the one I used definitely needed the extra interfacing support. In the pic above, you can see an nice roomy outside pocket, trimmed with vintage pom pom fringe, to hold my keys (which will now not fall to the bottom of my bag!)

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On the other side of the bag, there’s a lined zippered pocket for my mobile phone.

IMG_4654.jpgInside there’s a lined side pocket and a centered, zippered compartment that can hold a textbook or laptop.

IMG_4659.jpg A sports utility zipper was a good choice as a closure: durable enough to take the constant opening and closing. There’s a 2″ gusset on the bottom. For over the shoulder straps, I used a sturdy, braided sand and navy striped trim purchased at a millinery clearance sale this summer in NYC.

Wishing all an exciting and enlightening Summer into Fall!

Photographed by Tessa Duke.

 

Back To School Clothes!

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Up here in New England we have had one heat wave after another this summer. So this week, to beat the scorching heat and increasing humidity, I hunkered down in my studio and went on a bit of a sewing binge! My focus was to whip up a few things to wear for back to school, which is is only a couple weeks away! This fall I will be both teacher and student! I will continue teaching afternoons and weekends with private sewing lessons and group workshops in my home studio and offsite to kids of all ages. I am also so excited to return to my positions (assistant and support) mornings at beloved St Pauls Nursery School. And I will begin the first of four college courses in Early Childhood Development for state certification. With this packed schedule, I decided to make a few things to take me through those hot, sticky first days of school!.

Pictured above is a box pleated skirt made from an indigo cotton batik fabric with elastic casing at the waist and inseam pockets, Simplicity 1970. Easy and cool to wear all day into night!

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I picked up this gorgeous printed, double knit fabric from Mood NYC to make a shift dress for our daughter’s college graduation. My layout for the dress left me a nice sized remnant, enough for this simple pull on skirt. I modified New Look 6384, by giving the shape a bit more of a flare and adding pockets.IMG_4587.jpgThis last look is a split skirt that I modified from New Look S0871 by eliminating the overskirt and tie and adding pockets. The fabric, from Joann’s, is a stretch knit. It features a high waist that will look and feel cool with a loose tee shirt type top.

This should round my back to school transition wardrobe. Next will be some pieces for cool, crisp days and nights of autumn!

Me-Made-May 2016 Post #10

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Well here we are with my last post for the global sewing challenge, Me-Made-May 2016! The photos from my last couple posts were taken during our daughter’s college commencement weekend up in Ithaca, NY. So many beautiful settings! The weather was less than ideal for most of the time but the sun did make a couple appearances and when it did…we were ready!  Graduation night we dined at a very special restaurant, John Thomas Steakhouse. Located right behind JTS is the La Tourelle Resort & Spa. There was this sweet little garden shed on the property with a vibrant floral mural, perfect for the shot. Wow!  While posing in front this joyous art I imagined there was a mini sewing/art studio inside!

This is the dress I had made to wear to the graduation ceremony that morning. (However due to the damp wet weather, I ended up wearing a different “me Made” midi length maxi knit dress.) This fabric is a printed, double knit from Mood NYC. Although bit heavier in weight and less stretchy than the knits I have been working with lately, it worked great with this pullover shift style dress. I used commercial pattern McCalls 6886 and was able to keep pretty true to the silhouette, except I changed the sleeveless sleeve to a cap sleeve.

Thanks everyone for following me through my first Me-Made-May challenge. Posting twice a week was definitely manageable. I so appreciate all your very kind comments! I hope you found inspiration to create some of your own “me-mades”! Thanks again to SoZo for creating and maintaining #MMM. There’s nothing like a good challenge to get the creative juices going and sewing machine revved up! I am thrilled to report I have acquired new followers and new-to-me bloggers to follow as a result of participating! Expanding my handmade world! Yay! See ya’ll next spring for #MMM17!

 

Me-Made-May 2106 Post #9

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Hello again! It’s Post #9 for the #MMM16 challenge…coming down the home stretch! In my previous post, I featured a dress I had made for our daughter’s college commencement weekend recently. The weather was chilly with occasional rain showers…not what we were hoping. But we were determined not to let the threatening skies dampen our fun and plans. Up in the Ithaca, NY area there are two large lakes, Cayuga and Seneca. Both lakes are surrounded by many of NY State’s fine wineries. My daughter snapped this pic outside one of the tasting rooms, just before it started raining again!.

It’s that cute little black with white polka dot skirt that I want to tell you about. The moderate stretch knit fabric was a leftover piece from a large cut from Joann Fabrics.  The commercial pattern is Simplicity 1163. It was almost too easy to make! It has only two side seams and a wide elastic casing waistband. LOOOOVE it! And I do plan on making more of these in different weight knits for all year round! Last summer, I made a pullover shift dress using the same fabric for a trip out to LA. Can’t get enough of a good thing, right! The pattern is Tily and The Buttons, Coco!.

IMG_3642.JPGFor more on Me-Made-May 2016, check out SoZo.

Me-Made-May 2016 Post #8

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This month, I am participating in a global challenge called “Me-Made-May 2016” sponsored by SoZo. I have posted twice weekly: once on the weekend and once during the week. I did fall off the posting bus this past week as we were busy, out of state, celebrating our daughter’s college graduation. I did not totally blow things off, however, as I asked a few very kind souls take pics of me in clothes I made for this special weekend. This photo was taken in a wonderful restaurant in Ithaca, NY called Agava.

This look, a pullover shift dress, features a drapey, paisley, 4-way, printed stretch knit, Nicole Miller for Joann’s (FAB!). The dress is based on the commercial sewing pattern McCalls #6886. I dropped the neck line a bit and changed the sleeve to a cap style sleeve. Love this shift dress!

For more info on Me Made May 2016, check out SoZo’s site here.

Me-Made-May 2016 Post #7

 

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I have been participating in a global sewing challenge this month called,                  “Me-Made-May 2016”.  My previous posts have featured garments I made for this spring and summer. Today’s post features something different: make up bags!

Our daughter is graduating college this month and to celebrate her and her BFFs, I designed these bags. Back when she was in high school I also made cosmetic bags for her friends and they were such a hit!  I received thank you cards and emails from them saying how they loved their bags and had them perched on desks and dressers in their dorms. They said their bags which were a sweet reminder of home and their friendship. SO, naturally I wanted to create a fresh, new look for this limited edition, college version!

I decided to Shibori dye three yards of snowy white, canvas fabric a dark navy/indigo color, T’s school colors!  Wooden blocks, clamps and hemp were used to bind the cloth. All the bags have a zipper closure with a bit of vintage ribbon as a zipper stop. I lined the bags with a purchased indigo, paisley gradated printed quilting weight cotton (Joann’s). For embellishment, my very dear, talented friend Lisa spent the greater part of a day helping me design a zipper pull. We used pewter “2016” and “Handmade” charms (Oriental Trading) and an assortment of glass beads including Lampwork “Wise Ol’ Owl” Beads (from Michaels), adorable! I tied a Sashiko inspired printed ribbon (from Joann’s) through the wire loop. For the finishing touch, I hand stamped “2016” and a mini Peace sign, using a blend of Gold and Brass Jacquard Fabric paints.

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Looks like we are ready for the commencement festivities to begin!

Congrats and best wishes to all this year’s Grads!

For  more info on #Me-Made-May2016, click here.

 

25 Days of Make & Give – Day 9

“Alumnae”

I have been teaching sewing and the needle arts to kids of all ages (!) for over 17 years. It is an honor and pleasure to share my knowledge and enthusiasm. Students learn basic and more advanced techniques/skills. They have applied them to create apparel and home dec goods.  Every day in my home studio creating with them is always a good day!  My business has grown tremendously over the years and largely by word of mouth! A number of my students have gone on to college and have either pursued fashion design or fashion merchandising as a major, minor or for personal use.

I have a tradition of sending them lil’ care packages for Halloween, Christmas and Valentines Day. Even though some of my ‘Alumnae” have graduated college, moved away and have their own apartments, we try to get together when they return home during the holidays to visit their families here in town. I love to hear how they have set up and decorated their new homes. They are so clever!IMG_3991

So ladies, I’m looking forward to hopefully see and or hearing from you sometime soon. Until then enjoy the goodies!!

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