Mar 18, 2014

Lorraine Torrence Creative Clothing Class 2014 - #2 Threadwork


For this project I used a Paw Prints pattern by Dana
Bontrager called Kimono Jacket and Vest.

Since this is a rather boxy
vest, I decided to add about
4" in length to the pattern
and then added width to the
sides, below the armhole, in
a wedge shape to make more
of a swing shape to the vest.

I'd like to wear this vest both ways, so I added a snap so I can wear it closed and can also
let it hang open.

Here is a closeup of the stitching I did on the neckband
using #5 Pearl Cotton and Sashiko stitching.  I got the
idea from an excellent article entitled Pocket Panache in the October/November 2013 Vogue Patterns Magazine.

The long red item on the left is a button from JoAnn Fabrics (amazing!) that I stitched on with some small black beads to cover the holes in the button.

Mar 16, 2014

What Are You Sewing?

Vogue Patterns magazine (one of my favorites along with Threads) has a monthly feature entitled What Are You Sewing?  They ask their readers to send in a photo and explanation of a favorite project as an inspiration to other sewers.  I decided to send them a photo of the coat I made from a Vogue pattern (#7663) by Marcy Tilton and it showed up in the April/May 2014 issue.  You can read about my project below. And  THANK YOU Vogue Patterns for awarding me a one-year subscription to your fabulous magazine!


Feb 11, 2014

Lorraine Torrence Creative Clothing Class 2014 - #1 Repurposed Ready-to-Wear

I signed up for Lorraine's Creative Clothing Class at Gayfeather Fabrics again this year, as did most of my classmates from last year.  The first  assignment was to repurpose a piece of ready-to-wear.  My project for this go around was a long, black silk Dana Buchman vest I found at a consignment store for $20.  I decided to use some of the beautiful pieces of handprinted silk scraps that I had bought from Laura Goldstein, who has a business in Milwaukee called Grotta & Co.  She makes the most fabulous scarves and pillows from her fabrics ( 


I first fused the silk pieces onto some fusi-knit interfacing and then sewed the pieces into strips which I basted onto the hem of the vest.  Then I used some black and white ribbon I got at Gayfeather Fabrics and topstitched it onto the top and bottom edges of the strip to finish it off.

Using a grasshopper motif from one of the silk scraps, I made a patchwork square which I stitched on the upper back to add interest.

I had planned to change the button that came with the vest but decided the large mother-of-pearl button was perfect. 

Oct 15, 2013

Tziporah Comes to the Midwest

I recently spent a fascinating afternoon with style icon and artist Tziporah Salamon, watching her compose the most incredible outfits out of her stash of vintage clothing, scarves and accessories, interwoven with life tales and experiences.  I'm inspired!

 "I’m not fashionable at all; I’m stylish.
 Fashionable is of the moment.
Fashionable is the latest Prada, Gucci, or whatever is “in” this minute,
and I rarely have what’s in-the-moment."
Please check out her website

Sep 15, 2013

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art Gallery Night


Join East Side Bags for a
trunk show for Gallery Night
Friday, October 4, 2013, 5-9 pm
  Saturday from 10-2 pm
at the MMOCA Museum Store
227 State Street, Madison, WI

Aug 17, 2013

Lorraine Torrence Creative Clothing Class #1 - Repurposed Ready-to-Wear

For those of us sewists lucky enough to be located in Madison, WI, we now have a great wearable artist/quilter in our midst.  Lorraine Torrence, formerly of Seattle, WA has relocated to Madison and is now teaching at Gayfeather Fabrics on Willy St. in Madison.  I am enrolled in one of her classes entitled Creative Clothing and am keeping track of the projects I have made for this session.  
Our first assignment was to repurpose a ready-to-wear garment.  I chose this black Flax brand linen jacket that had been hanging in my closet for far too long.   This jacket had many interesting design features which went unnoticed.

I chose to accent the lower pockets in the peplum with white linen fabric and added stacked buttons to the center front, alongside the front flange.  I didn't care for the collar so I constructed a new neckpiece over the old one and accented the sleeves and center back with more of the white linen fabric.

One thing Lorraine impressed upon us was to always put something in the back of the garment that
relates to the front to pull the design together.

Aug 16, 2013

Lorraine Torrence Creative Clothing Class #2 - Threadwork Embellishment

Our second assignment for Lorraine's class was threadwork.  Since I knew I was going to be on the road for a few days I decided to do handwork on a vintage kimono that I had stenciled on in the past. 
I  used buttonhole thread and mother-of-pearl buttons to decorate the front bands of the kimono and accented a few other spots.