Style Arc: Maggie


IMG_4002Ever since I’ve made this, I simply cannot get the Bob Dylan song out of my mind…”Don’t want to work on Maggie’s Farm No More”

Maybe if we all sing a few bars, that’ll get it out of my head?

Another acquisition from the Style Arc pattern sale.  This one is definitely a winner.  I was looking for something comfy to wear with leggings, for those days when you have to get dressed, but would really rather stay in your bath robe and ducky slippers.

Maggie fits the bill perfectly.  I checked the sizing on the patterns, and let the finished width determine what size I cut.  Since this is a fairly loose, flowy design, I decided to try the first one with no pattern alterations.  Fit perfect right out off the paper.

One caveat.  The instructions for stitching the front placket are minimal at best.  I suppose this is in keeping with Style Arc’s assumption that we all know what we’re doing.  Sometimes.  Sometimes, not so much.  Thankfully there are three images on the Etsy web site section for this pattern that shows how to fold the front placket.  Mark your fold lines!

I used those as a guide, and everything turned out.  The fabric is an I-don’t-know-what which I picked up several years back at the Phoenix Sew-In RuMmage table.  It feels like a challis, which is what the pattern calls for.

I see more Maggie’s in my future.

Red Rover


IMG_4019I thought to try my hand at incorporating more chain into my work.  This necklace is one of the experiments.

The chain (circles and ovals) was purchased, then deconstructed (aka cut apart) and refashioned.

It was fun to play around.

I created peyote stitched tubes around the oval links.  Then had to decide whether to use the circle links.  Answer: Yes.  Everything was put together with red aluminum jump rings.  The very ends are hand-made chain.

I’m not sure which took more time – working with the pliers to fashion the chain, or stitching the peyote tubes.  Either way, it was fun!

And I have no idea why the name “Red Rover“.  That’s just what came to mind.

Style Arc: Lotti


IMG_4007Just as I was starting to think about what to make for sewing camp, Style Arc had a sale on their on-line patterns.

These are PDF downloads from their Etsy store.  I admit to being an old-school sewist, and don’t much care for the PDFs.  All that taping and matching before you even get to fitting and sewing?  Just not the way I roll.

But…  Lotti caught my eye.  I liked the color blocking, as well as the fact that it took so little fabric.  Hmmm, maybe those leftover favorites I’ve been hanging onto could still be used?

I checked their measurements against my own, then printed off only the size I needed (the download comes as a sizing 3-pack).  Rummaged around in the knit bit auditioning fabrics, until I came up with this combo.  The print is the very last bit.  I think there may be a 2 inch strip left over.  And if you’re wondering, yes, I still kept it.  It could be binding!

The solid colors are from stash.  I keep a variety of solids around “just in case”.  You never know when you’ll need a pop of color.

I didn’t have enough of the print to attempt matching the stripes (throw caution to the winds!).  The sewing was straight forward.  The fit is great.  A scrappy stylish summer top!

Chitter Chitter


IMG_3722Weather is warming up, here at Casa Thunderpaws.  This is evidenced by the birds and other wildlife that have come to call.

It’s been warm enough to start opening the windows in the afternoons.  This has made the cats quite happy.  There are new smells to energize kitty brains.

This little fellow caused quite a stir.  All three of the Hellboys were in the window, and he was scolding them no end!

Go away!  Don’t look at me!  This is my patio!

Scram!  Scoot!  Skedaddle!

One by one, the Hellboys left the window.  If Mr. Squirrel wasn’t going to come inside to play, they had other cat business to attend to.

Plain & Simple – Revisited


IMG_4008First up from Sewing Camp is a revisit to the Hotpatterns Plain & Simple T-shirt pattern.

They have since re-issued it, but I have the original.  I started off by comparing the pattern I had traced many years back with the hard paper, then comparing that with the new found knowledge of possibly needing an FBA.

All these measurements required re-tracing the front patterns.  Patterns?  Yes, there are three different front styles:  v-neck, round-neck and boat neck.  They all attach to the same back.

The arm scrunchies (as I tended to call the mis-fitting wrinkles) were the result of orignally cutting down the armscye.  Retracing fixed this.  I did a small FBA as well.  Is that an oxymoron?  A small FBA?

The top above is the fitting muslin, made from a light weight ponte.  Probably from one of the Fabric Mart sales.  All these changes ended up in a much more comfortable top.  I am very pleased.

Camp Sew’n’Sew 2016


IMG_39772016 Camp Sew ‘N’ Sew has come and gone.  I wish it were still going, even though if it were, I would have run out of both fabric and patterns by now.  Still, a girl’s got to get a little starry eyed (stitchy-eyed?) at the thought.   As they say, all good things must come to an end.  Until Next Year!

The spread above is a small sample of what I, and my sewing buddy Earin, achieved during our 3 1/2 day retreat.  Sewing Camp starts on a Monday, and end at noon on Thursday.  Not quite four full days.

This year it was hosted at a conference center at Lake Tahoe.  Wow, talk about the view!  The room was full natural light, with the pristine blue lake and pine trees out the window.  One had to be careful not to waste too much precious sewing time staring at the scenery.

Meals were provided by the conference center as well.  Someone else did the cooking and the clean-up.  Even though our numbers (14) were small, they offered a vegetarian meal option.  Yum!  The veggie meals were so good (spicy squash rat-a-tat-tat-a-touie), some of the carnivores wanted to switch!  Dueling forks at the dinner table, almost.

There was ample room to sew – machines and sergers could be set-up side by side.  The center of the room was a designated cutting station made of several banquet tables pushed together.  There were even self-healing mats for those using rotary cutters.  A separate nook was reserved for ironing.

Lest you think we were all head’s down, sewing furiously, this was not the case.  There was visiting, laughter, banter and helpful suggestions.  We caught up on spouses, kids, grandkids, pets.  There was pattern fitting.  UFO finishing.  We even had after dinner movies.

For me, it took a full day to unwind, turn the phone off and relax into my stitching rhythm.  Eventually, I hit my stride.  What a contrast from last year’s goings-on.  Bliss!

Sewing Camp


IMG_3953Starts Today

This year I am participating, driving from home up to the civilized wilds of Lake Tahoe for four FOUR FOUR glorious days of sewing bliss. Can you tell I’m excited?

This year I’ll be attending a new venue.  We’ll be staying in a formal “Conference Center” rather than a historic hospital in Virginia City.  (The Viginia City locale has become a formal Artists Retreat, and groups like us no longer fit their business model).  So, unlike previous years, there are no ghosts that I know of.

While there may (or may not) be ghosts, I am assured there is plentiful natural light.  Tables to set things up on.  Views of Lake Tahoe.  Food to keep us going.

The necklaces above my contribution to the Sewing Camp Goody Bags.  The images are all vintage sewing motifs, captured under glass cabs.  Well, maybe not captured so much as printed and glued down tight.   Simple and appropriate.

The only gotcha I’ve been told about is that sewing with one’s wine glass next to the sewing machine is, apparently, frowned on.

I have a lidded mug.  It is opaque.