skirt nearly complete


I almost have finished a skirt. This project has come in under the radar. It is one of my after dinner trying to diet not eat projects. Back in September, I made a bolero jacket with striped pieced sleeves.

That was pattern is from Alabama Chanin, and it was Natalie Chanin’s influence that gave me the idea to work the sleeves with the pieced stripes. When Steve saw it, he suggested I make a skirt with this striped technique, making the stripes vertical. A long time ago I saw one of the designers on Project Runway do a technique where they had taken strips of silk chiffon and sewed them down, leaving the edges free, then sewed across the strips at right angles one way then the other to create a wavy sort of pattern. I used this technique on the skirt instead of the pieced stripes that I used on the bolero.

This is the same pattern as this plaid skirt I made several years ago, New Look 0119. I traced the pattern and made it without pleats because I was afraid of bulk. I thought I may have to put a zipper in because the horizontal lines might make the skirt not stretchy enough to get into without breaking the sewing. However, it did have enough ease since I left the pleats out. I added a green binding and inserted 3/8 inch elastic. It is very comfortable. All and all, I am happy about the structure of this skirt. I don’t know if I would do this surface treatment again because it took a long time- I have been working on this garment since September.

When I finished the entire skirt and tried it on, Steve felt there was too much contrast between the lighter colored strips and the darker ones. I wish I would have only used three colors, the dark green, mid tone and the gray-green turquoise. I considered removing the light ones and the red/brown ones but the seam ripping was just too much with both the vertical and horizontal seams. Instead I decided to over dye the whole garment. It is in the dye bath right now. I chose a color about the same color as the background fabric. I will let you know next week whether it is successful.

2014 Wrap Up!

So how did I do for my goals for 2014? Here is my retrospective:

2014’s Goals:

The first part is clothing construction:

  1. I plan to make some garments for myself this year one per season. I am going to leave this one loose, but I do still want to learn more about this year.

    Success! Completed garments for 2014:DSC05006 green bolero, DSC04980fingerless beaded gloves, DSC04969green corset top, DSC04962black bolero with beaded trim, DSC04951pink bolero, DSC04922navy corset top, DSC04921burgundy corset top, DSC04920pink corset top,DSC04910 orange skirt.

  2. I also have some pieced fabric that I want to make a garment out of possibly a robe.DSC04949

    DSC05008Completed multi-plaid robe. I think this referred to the Hawaiian quilt, which started as a quilt, went to a possible garment, then now is back to a quilt.

The second part is UFOs. Pretty much failed. I didn’t work on my UFOs hardly at all this year only one finish.

  1. City chicken quilt. Finished!DSC04840
  2. Angel quilt.
  3. cross stitch project
  4. grandma’s cathedral windows

The third part is mending:

  1. t-shirt quilt. This is in pieces but I plan to get it done soon.


  2. wedding ring quilt. I have the fabric, I just have to get to it.

The fourth part is new projects:

  1. New girl quilt. This is a new quilt that I need to make for a gift.
  2. New male quilt. There is one person who doesn’t have a quilt made especially for him. I have begun this one and pictures will follow soon.
  3. Steve’s denim quilt When I made a denim quilt for our elephant exchange, I had Steve remove the pins while watching football and he fell in love with it. Thus, football and quilting days begin today and we will jointly make a new quilt starting today! Finished!

I am pretty happy with my progress, especially clothing construction: I made nine finished garments. I am especially proud because six of them are hand sewn. Not so much progress in quilting but with the move back to my sewing room, I expect to be more successful this year.

almost done

As you can see this piece is almost done – one stripe left to sew.  However, this is a skirt so I still have the back to go.


I have been working on this for over a month. It is slow going but I love the way it looks.

Jean transformation

I missed last weekend because I was out-of-town.  I am working on a pattern from Alabama Stitch Project. I will have full review in the next few weeks.

In the mean time, I did some dying this week. Remember these jeans?


This what the lighter pair looks like now:


I plan to make them into shorts.  I love this new color- although if you look closely you can see the mint green zipper.




Sweater cut down


We had received a couple sweaters from my friend, Patti.  The color and material were nice. They were men’s sweaters but huge.  Paul said he liked this oatmeal colored one.  So, I measured the boy across his chest and around his arms and then drew those lines on the sweater.

You can see Paul’s measurements sketch on the left bottom.


I carefully trimmed off the ribbing from the bottom of the sweater to save it intact.


Then I cut to my measurements.


I just trimmed the sleeves, so I didn’t have to mess with the ribbing.

Here is the finished sweater on the awesome 9th grade GQ model- ready for high school.

paul sweater

another small quilt top done

Here is the second small quilt top done. I think I  love this one even more.  I had the large center completed when I started.  It was left over from the Valentine quilt I made last April for Mary Beth.  I used improvisational piecing to put the rest of the blocks together.  I used almost no measuring.  Much of the cutting I did with just scissors and my eye.

I want to point out especially the upper corner.  This is a good way to solve the problem of your corners not meeting perfectly when you are piecing.  Cut them diagonally and sew a strip down the middle. 

Also, notice the small areas of checkerboard, those are my ender leader squares.  While I was piecing, I was doing ender leader with my little tray of two inch squares.  Of course, I was picking the ones that matched my thread and therefore, my quilt.  I realized I could use them in this quilt instead of their own thing.

By the way, if you want to learn more about the Miche bags, I have posted a new blog about the Prima bag at April Style Journal.

Grandpa’s overalls

When my grandfather died a few years back, my father asked if I would like anything of his to remember him by.  I asked for his overalls.  My grandfather was a farmer for most of his life and wore overalls to his work.  My aunts thought I was a little goofy asking for semi-worn overalls, but I knew that I would use them for a quilt.  I am adding them to the circle quilt, just 10 or so.  The fabric is so filled of my grandfather’s memory that I plan to save them and use them a little at a time.

In this picture, it is easy to see how different the front is from the back.  The strips on the back have kind of zigzag like striped pattern.  I thought about proportion of these patterned blocks to the solid ones, and I hope they don’t stick out too far.   I put all of my 2 circle sets into 4 circle sets.  I can’t wait to mix in the circles that my sister has for me.  I decided to wait until I see her to make the sets larger so they all the different colors (now patterns) will be evenly distributed throughout the quilt.  Then, I will cut some more squares and start figuring them out.  In spite of being a pattern quilt, there have been a lot of design decisions and, I know, some technical challenges.

Anyway,  the overalls have this great Dickies label that I won’t probably use in this quilt but I will use eventually in the right quilt.


t shirt ufo bike update

So here it is my lame June ufo.  I give myself credit for completing even though it took almost no time.  I feel a little sheepish although because I know that others are finishing much more complex projects.  I’m sure that next month’s project will be much more difficult.  Anyway, this is a t-shirt that I made.  I cut it from a t-shirt my husband didn’t want.  I redid the neck so it is lower, rehemmed it, and cut down the sides and sleeves.  I struggled a little with the sleeves, but otherwise it turned out pretty much like I wanted it.

Bike update

The boys reached the ocean a few days ago.  It was pretty exciting for them to get there since it is nearly the farthest they will be from home.  They camped right near the beach.  It has a little more chilly this week with daytime temperatures in the 50s and some rain.  Eliott said his things were dry in his bags, but the clothes he is wearing as he rides are pretty wet.  By my reckoning on my trusty 1970s era giant atlas, they are doing about 70 miles a day, for about 4-5 days so I think he has reached 300 miles.  He should begin his trip back today or tomorrow.

If you want to follow the boys’ trip more closely check them out at @dembikeboys on twitter.  There are more pictures there as well.

ufo number 9

I can’t believe it but I gave ufo number 9 away!  It was denim dress that I had had for a couple years.  I loved the long line of silver buttons.  However, it always made me look dumpy.  So, since then I have had some influx of clothing.  So I let it go. 

Since next month is graduation, I will really start working on my son’s graduation scrapbook: another ufo.  I bought a book now, and I have several pages done.  I want to have it on display at his party and I am not near done.  I also have a top secret project that has a due date soon (more to come on that).