Archive for February, 2010

Wrapped up in purple, vol. 2

No wonder I couldn’t find this post! It never got published, and I made this little top from the purple wrap story, what, the summer before last?!

desira purple finished

I remember buying this purple geometric fabric at another Joann close to where I used to work on a winter weekend when it cost $1 a yard. Silly me didn’t know what to do with it and ponied up just one dollar. (Yes, I now know better and buy at least 2 and usually 3.) Within the week, I knew one yard wouldn’t make anything, so it sat and sat and sat.

Desira to the rescue — a yard proved enough for the main body, and cobbled together the edging with scraps of black and white polka dots from two other projects.

desira purple arm facing

I had to make my own wide seam binding for the front.

desira sew facing from pieces

desira make facing from pieces 2

desira make facing from pieces

desira facing made from pieces

And I nixed the belt and inside snaps for a set of ties, all cut from scraps, pinned and sewn to the spots where you’d have stuck the snaps.

desira purple tie1

desira purple tie2
Burda Style got me hooked on bias strips, something I never really used before. Their techniques for finishing armholes and necklines – essentially before you finish sewing the garment together – makes for really clean insides at the end. I sew French seams whenever possible – and now use French bias tape so nothing frays or looks all 4-H.

Sneaky peek at vintage local luxury

Talk about jackpot! Thank you, Markham thrifts!

Here’s a peek at the luxe details while I get this beauty cleaned.

Pleated satin ribbon hides the lace lining seam.


Luckily there are discreet snaps to secure the collar.


The clasp looks amazing but doesn’t hook anymore.


My favorite part? I own another little piece of a local industry. It’s not Caron, but it’s amazing.


A T-shirt from…pants?!

Thrilled with the first T-shirt success, I started thinking. And remembered these red velour pants handed down from the same cousin who gave me this gem.

The seams could have been a problem…

pants red velour

But the fabric is so lustrous and has a little stretch…


…so the lines could go down the middle of a T-shirt, right?

Yup. Here’s a long fitted T-shirt made from a pair of secondhand velour pants.


The lines came out straight down the back, too.


I just can’t quite get the hand of the neck band.


DIY T-shirt from a turtleneck

The big kids’ T-shirt pattern I bought (the one w the hoodie) fits me after all. Looked like it was going to be a tight squeeze, but the final dimensions are a touch bigger than listed on the pattern. And I don’t mean the size dimensions, either, I mean the finished garment ones.



Banged out a sample Saturday from a super giant ladies’ top whose leopard I liked. Thrifted that thing at least a year ago for like $1, thinking there’d be an easy way to suck it in. I swore I took a picture when I got it. Alas.


Turns out there’s no redeeming a mock turtle. Cut that sucker up and lined up the pattern pieces.




The only little glitch was that I couldn’t quite get the long raglan sleeves cut from the top’s standard sleeves. So I made short sleeves instead.

Sewed it all up pretty quickly, zig-zag style.


top-leopard-knit-hem pinned


(I got lazy and didn’t pin enough. Crooked hem serves me right.)
top-leopard-knit-lazy pinning

Sweet! Ok, I still need to work on necks, getting the V point in the binding just right.

top-leopard-neck 1st try

But otherwise, it worked so well, I can’t get raglan T-shirts out of my head.

Am thinking of the many possibilities to be made from two shirts, or one shirt plus fabric – plus small scraps, really.

Or pants?

A date with Joan Crawford and Svengoolie

Another Saturday night with Svengoolie.

Berserk - Svengoolie

Jackpot! Joan Crawford in 1967’s Berserk, where Joan’s “Monica Rivers” takes advantage of a string of murders to promote the traveling(!) circus(!) she(!) owns(!).

Wears only beautiful clothes, ties hair up in fantastic knots.

Berserk - Joan and love

Rocks red beads with coral suit.

Berserk - Joan in beads

I’ve been spending so much time with Sven I’ve started thinking about a costume for 10/31/10. Mister could be a rubber chicken. Or the organist?

Berserk - Svengoolie sings

Lists that change, stay the same

Digging in a desk drawer this morning, I found a diary I used to use as a project book of sorts.

Lists of Christmas presents.

Ideas sketched out for house sewing.

It dates to the time I covered courts full time and had many many minutes of waiting for a case to come up in which to think and write and list and plan.

The clothes are the best though since they’re mostly, gauchos aside, the same kinds of things I still aim to make and wear:

Front pleat skirt with fruit pleat
Tunic from dark red cotton – bead it!
Gauchos bright red fabric?
Dark denim long pants
Camo: shorts?
Brown corduroy hat
Wrap tops
Purple linen (I made a purple print top and a purple linen wrap dress)
Wrap dress b/white
Pinstriped capris (Made them, brown denim with light stripe)
Pinstriped skirt (Same fabric)
Gold pin striped pants (Stripes are gold, not the pants!)
Pants Army green
Big sweater turtle(neck)

Winter gardening

Little tiny bit of growing on the homefront, despite a recent evening snowfall.

Snow covered my pots

First, Frosty the fuzzy echeveria has decided to procreate.

Frosty is a mother!

There are two teeny fuzzies popping up from the stem.

Then, on the gangly cane plant I rescued from they alley a few summers ago, there are spouts on the two stalks I lopped off in the fall. 

Pruned plant sprouts!

Tons of sprouts. Three on one, four on the other.

Come spring, I’m going to lop the other two. Their tops are so raggedy.

Non-pruned stalk has a raggedy top