December 21, 2007

Buff cowboys in your kitchen!

Couldn't pass up this fabulously kitchy fabric - it literally just jumped into my hands at G-Street fabrics! The moment I laid my eyes on it there was NO question that it was destined to be an apron. The only question was - who would be the lucky recipient???!!!! Another no-brainer! She's a great cook and she did own an old red Ford truck in her 30's!!! She will, however, remain unnamed!

I've wanted to stitch up some aprons for the last couple of months (inspired by Amy at Tie One On). I used Cindy Taylor Oates' Retro Aprons pattern. Loved how they came off the machine!

Buff wranglers in your kitchen! Yee haw!!

I stitched this more sedate version for my dear 85 year old mom! Wasn't sure her heart (or my dad) could take the former! She loved it!

I see more inappropriate aprons in my future (and maybe yours)!


December 13, 2007

Holiday Crafting Salon at Ipso Crafto!

We hosted our first ever sewing salon last weekend at Ipso Crafto - making holiday stockings! Karen and her staff were incredibly gracious with their space, inventory, and homemade cookies! We had about 6 folks stop by to design and craft a holiday keepsake – for themselves, for cats, and for pooches! Here are some pics of the day---

Zoe's masterpiece

These stockings need homes!

The space!

Nat looks like an old hand at this!

Student and teacher!

Another beautiful creation!

We are definitely looking forward to working with Karen and Ipso Crafto in the future! Hope to see you all at our next lounge - until then, stop by the shop and check out their great inventory!

December 2, 2007

Holiday Stockings for the Sewing Salon

Here is my first batch of holiday stockings made to use as "prototypes" for the upcoming sewing salon at Ipso Crafto (December 8th). A great way to ease into the holiday season!

Green felt base fabric; white felt stars that I hand-felted to the base fabric. Hand-felting will soon become my new obsession! The tiny bells give it a holiday jingle!

Blue fleece with hand-felted mittens and holly. The "mitten string" is crafted from ribbon I got at Trim Tex last summer. I finished the stocking with a blanket-stitched edging.

And finally a hot pink fur-topped elf stocking - with a bell at the curly toe! Although the color in the photo seems to red red - the color of the felt is definitely hot pink.

November 26, 2007

Rescue me from a bad case of designer's block!

I need your help!


It's a design challenge!

I need your creative ideas for the best pattern or design for this wonderful three yards of felted wool that I absolutely L-O-V-E....purchased at Mood Fabrics during my four day sojourn last winter!

The base fabric is a black medium weight wool and is embellished with "felted" warm gray, light brown and medium brown yarn. There are distinctive "sides" to the fabric. The scale separate the "right" and "wrong" sides.

Here is the "fuzzy"side...

And here is the "yarny" side...

I also purchased a skirt length of a soft brown wool and five yards of a warm gray wool from two different shops on 7th Ave. I used three yards of the gray to make a short swing jacket last winter so I'm down to two yards of the gray.

So there are the raw materials - - any ideas about how best to turn them into a magnificent garment????

Post your thoughts below as a comment!

I can't wait to hear what you think!


November 25, 2007

I have been a tardy girl!

Please please forgive me for not posting since AUGUST but I have been a very busy girl! Since my last post I have launched my one and only offspring to college, replaced my dear mother's hip (well I didnt' actually replace it!), launched Washington DC's first sewing lounge, been busy as he$% at work, and visited my dear dear dear niece, Lauren, in Nicaragua -during their elections! Oh - and then there was OUR election!!! Busy, exciting times!!! Oh yea - and I have been doing a little sewing - which I will post soon - this weekend!

In the meantime waste some time looking at this.....
What's your nerd type?

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Social Nerd

You're interested in things such as politics, psychology, child care, and peace. I wouldn't go so far as to call you a hippie, but some of you may be tree-huggers. You're the type of people who are interested in bettering the world. You're possibly the least nerdy of them all; unless you participate in other activities that paled your nerdiness compared to your involvement in social activities. Whatever the case, we could still use more of you around. ^_^

Science/Math Nerd

Literature Nerd

Artistic Nerd

Drama Nerd


Gamer/Computer Nerd

Anime Nerd

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

November 12, 2007

Bedazzling, Bodacious, Beaded Bookmark

Those crafty ladies at Crafty Daisies have hosted another great swap - BOOKMARKS this time! Here is my swap/gift/treat! I hope my swap-mate likes it! I got the beads at a terrific shop, Bedazzled, in Dupont Circle (Washington DC).

Here are the pics
----click on the photo to enlarge----
Beads from Bedazzled. I love that place!
What better place to christen the beaded bookmark than Tim Gunn's
"Guide to Taste and Style"

And it is marking my FAVORITE (autographed) page and quotation: "Do not force garments into performing psychological tasks for which they were not designed"

Details, details, details!

Sara - - I hope you e
njoy the swap!

And here is the bookmark that my swapmate, Amiorra Zuber, sent to me! I love the envelope as much as the bookmark! Thanks!

November 9, 2007

Garments and Pillows and Quilts - OH MY!!!

A sleek sheath for the fashionistas, a four-square for the quilters and a tasseled pillow for the home decorators - - the centerpieces for the American Sewing Guild annual meeting!

October 21, 2007

80 Talented Women in One Room!!!

Just in - photos from the 2007 ASG Maryland Chapter's Annual Meeting. My first ASG annual meeting event - and what fun it was! Great program, seamless organizing, remarkable TALENT, and - of course - the delightful company of the awesome "Sew What" group!!! Enjoy the pics!!

October 4, 2007

Restylin' - Shirts to Skirts


Thanks to Leigh Miller, a rising senior phenom, for giving me the opportunity to try out a great idea that I found on the CRAFT magazine blogsite for restyling men's shirts. Leigh's keen sense of style, her superb eye for color and texture, and her all-around-wonderfulness are truly gifts to all of us women sewists and crafters who were blessed with solely male offspring - thanks for indulging me, Leigh!!

So here is the story - it's a simple one!
You turn old shirts into way cool, great fitting skirts with only a seam ripper and 4 straight seams!

And here's how we did it!

Visit your local Salvation Army or Goodwill thrift shop and buy (for less than $3 each) 2 or 3 men's long sleeve button front shirts. Living in Juneau Alaska, Leigh chose cotton flannel shirts in a variety of solids and plaids (the CRAFT site used cotton oxford cloth shirts for a more summery look)

Detach the sleeves from the shirts as close to the armhole seams as possible. The wristbands on the sleeves will be your skirt waistband. To determine how many sleeves will be needed to make you skirt, measure your waist or hips (depending on where you want the skirt to rest on your body) then measure the length of each wristband. Using your higher math skills determine how many wristbands you will been to fully circumnavigate your waist (or hips). Pin the sleeves (wristband to wristband) around your body and adjust the seams to fit.

Stitch the seams together and - voila - you have a skirt. No need for a closure as you simply unbutton one of the buttons and slip on your finished skirt! The last step is to finish the hem. You have two great options here - have the bottom of the skirt retain the curvy shape of the armhole or trim the skirt for a straight hem.

And here is the finished product! I am waiting for a photo from Leigh on the first day that she wears her restyled work of art!

Ever clever and resourceful - Leigh fashioned this very cool clutch from the remaining shirt fabric, the shirt pockets and the button plackets!

Thanks to Leigh and CRAFT magazine!

(Leigh on the lake)

August 18, 2007

Blogged on

Check out this mention of Leigh's masterpiece on Craft Magazine's blogsite! Woo hoo!

Click on the skirt

July 23, 2007

American Sewing Guild - July 2007

Wow, these women are talented! Another great American Sewing Guild meeting at G-Street on Sunday. Rejeana Tinsley shared her expertise (and I mean EXPERTise) about creating and fitting a sloper. I, happily, was her human mannequin! Now my task is to complete my new well-fitted sloper by September (I feel another crisis sewing project coming on)! And then came "Sew and Tell" - my favorite part of the meeting! So much talent!!! Enjoy!!

July 20, 2007

For Warren – For Phyllis - For Me!

So my fabric postcards are CELEBRATIONS - of someone, something, some event! I love to make them because I'm creating a tiny piece of 'art' for someone else and because, in the process of designing the postcard, I have the luxury and pleasure of reflecting on that person and how that person has touched my life! Creating my most recent postcard, crafted for my friend Phyllis' brother Warren, was really a gift to me! Phyllis, my freshman year college roommate, is a remarkable woman (a blog in itself!). We were friends at school but we really didn't spend alot of time together and we haven't really seen each other much over the years - but we always have a great time when we have the chance to reconnect. Phyllis, to me, is the human embodiment of CELEBRATION. She has the rare gift of finding - in all things, events, and people - something to CELEBRATE! And I love her for that!

Back to the postcard ---- Phyllis' brother Warren was diagnosed with prostate cancer that rapidly progressed despite aggressive therapy. As his birthday approached earlier this summer, Phyllis enlisted her huge circle of friends to send Warren a birthday card - just a quick note to CELEBRATE his 50-some years! A wonderful "Phyllis idea"!!! The minute I received her email I knew that a fabric postcard would arrive for Warren on his birthday. Phyllis was great to provide me with lots of insight into Warren - who he was as a human. Music, literature, the Yankees (Go Nationals!), movies, golf, his Buddhist religion, etc! I also asked Phyllis for a photo of her as a little girl to include on the postcard. She laughed and insisted that I use a photo of me, not her – "Laura, he knows what I look like"!!

So I crafted away, designed and created the postcard, and mailed it so it would arrive on his birthday. Well, Warren died a few days before the postcard arrived! When Phyllis wrote and told me that Warren had died and that he had not gotten to see the postcard but that she would treasure it, I realized that I had crafted the postcard not only to CELEBRATE Warren and his life and struggle but, and probably most importantly, I had crafted it to CELEBRATE Phyllis, for whom I have always been in awe! Seems just right that the photo I chose is a great pic of Phyllis and me slugging down a glass of chard and CELEBRATING!! Perfect!

July 13, 2007

Another Swap! Tea Towels

Here are a couple of photos of the tea towel(s) I will be sending to my "swapmate" for the Tea Towel swap! Crafty Daisies organized the event - you create a tea towel and send it along to the person with whom Crafty Daisies pairs you! So I decided to add a twist to my swap - I made an apron from a very cool tea towel I purchased at Anthropologie (thanks to "Tie One On" for the inspiration!!! ) and then made and embellished a matching tea towel from scratch. See the photos below!! I'll mail my package this week and I will await my tea towel swap from whomever received my name! A fun way to spend a Memorial Day afternoon! (And special thanks to Barb Spillane for taking me to Anthropologie on my recent shopping trip to Fabric Row in Philadelphia)!

Here is the 'matchy-matchy' ensemble
I added a 2 yard length of pink webbing for the apron ties
I loved this tea towel because it has the recipe for banana bread on it!
I purchased the cotton toweling and the cheerful rick rack from G-Street Fabrics

I look forward to the next swap with the Crafty Daisies!!! Thanks ladies!