Simplicity 1080 dottie angel pattern

I have been following Tif Fussell aka dottie angel for years. Her lovely photos and lyrical writing style are music to the soul and a breath of fresh air. If you've not heard of her before, she's just opened a new website called "a place for oddities & all sorts". Go have a look-see: I guarantee a most brilliant time!

I've been longing to make one of her frocks for years now. Thrilled that she launched her pattern with Simplicity a couple years ago, I quickly trotted down to the fabric store and purchased one. There was no reason to be quick about it though, because time was not on my side, and it sat neglected, tucked away in my pattern basket in the closet.

A small window of time opened up, so I dug that sweet pattern out and took the first step and made a basic sample for sizing purposes. The top is always the iffy part for me, hence I made a blouse instead of a whole dress. I used view C, just the upper portion. Since I was using cotton jersey fabric, I reduced the seam allowance to 1/4"; didn't use bias tape on any of the seams; or sew any French seams. The pattern was easy to cut out, easy to follow, and easy to adjust to the jersey fabric (perhaps because I left all the tricky bits out???).

I usually fall between a small and medium, so I tried making a small. Not a good choice. I should have followed the chart more closely and made the medium. The ties were too high up on the chest, and I ended up taking them off. Instead of reattaching them lower, I tried wearing the top loosely. I quite liked it! Mistake saved, comfortable play shirt created. I attached some binding at the neck and the sleeve with a simple criss-cross stitch.

When I get my shipment of fabric in, I plan to finally make a complete dress, in the correct size! I'm still mulling over colors and patterns and what to put where. I'll post when I finally have my finished dottie angel dress to show, hopefully sooner than later......

Alabama Chanin A-line top, modified

I made an embellished Alabama Chanin A-line top a few years ago. I really like how the upper portion of the shirt fit, but there was just too much fabric in the lower half. I know, flowy is the nature of an A-line top is; right? But on my short frame flowy is okay; swimming is not! I've since made a basic, single layered, slightly modified top. At the hem, I cut out about 8" on each side, gradually easing that up to the rib line. I used lightweight jersey, so the fit and drape are very nice.

I decided to make another embellished top using the upper portion of the pattern, drastically reducing the lower portion, and shortening the length too. The resulting shirt really does not resemble an A-line at all. It feels more like an old comfy pullover to me.

I used mid weight black jersey for the under layer and navy on top; gray paint with the paisley stencil, and variegated embroidery floss. I didn't have enough navy fabric for the sleeves. I used the gray paint to stencil the one layer of black fabric for the sleeves, and ran a line of stitching just inside the stenciled area. I used a Sharpie pen to stencil some extra elements onto the scraps of navy, and appliqued those onto the black sleeves, thus tying the color scheme together.

I've been wanting to have a go at Shashiko stitching, so I did that around the larger circles on the paisley pattern on the body and the sleeves. I didn't have proper Shashiko thread, so I used DMC embroidery floss. I really like the extra touch of stitching on this garment.

I'm waiting for some books on Shashiko stitching. I think once I learn a little more about it, I just might have to add to this top in the future. Have you tried Shashiko? Any tips you want to pass along?

Facebook Art Challenge

There are always many Art Challenges going on throughout Facebook. It's wonderful to catch up with what my artist friends are creating; and it's interesting to see the different mediums they work in.  I was recently nominated to participate in such an Art Challenge, posting three pieces a day for seven days, then nominating the next artist. I thought I'd make a post here for non-Facebook friends and family. It spans from about 15 years ago to the present.

Day 1: To begin, I'll share what I spend most of my time on ~ hand stitching. These three pieces are hand stitched using applique, reverse applique, multiple embroidery stitches, couching, and beading.

I used pliers to pull each ribbon stitch on this skirt. You can read more about that here

Day 2: A few "art"istically painted things around my home. The insets on the pie safe are a little difficult to see, but they're patinated copper sheet, embossed with birds and passionflower vines. Wire wrapped handles mimic a bird's nest. Note the stencil on the archway for the next post.....

Day 3: The focus is on stencils. Note the stencil I used in Day 2's wall painting. I used that stencil to make this skirt. Next, I created the artwork for my "poppies" stencil in Photoshop, then used the stencil to create this yellow dress. The last photo, I painted over an extra copy of the poppies stencil artwork to hang in my indigo room.

Read more about this skirt here.

Read more about my poppy stencil and the yellow dress here.

I had an extra copy of the artwork for my poppies stencil, so I painted over it with acrylic paint pens, spray paint, inks, etc.

Day 4: Silver ~ the pendant and ring I carved and casted; and (except for the clasp) the metal components in the bracelet I made with PMC (precious metal clay). 

Carved in wax, lost wax casting, stones set~first and only ring using this method.

Day 5: Both copper trellises for my yard are soldered copper wire, tubing and pipes. The first piece I also soldered the two colorful glass inserts. The larger glass rondelles and glass flowers on this piece are the work of Miguel Esobedo, master glass blower. His work is so beautiful. The second piece was a collaboration of myself (creating the copper trellis) and Rita Dunlevy (creating the fused glass insert). Isn't Rita's work amazing? The third I used an existing lamp, removed the silk fabric, and wired in an untold amount of strands of natural rock crystal chips and Swarovski crystals.

Day 6: Clay ~ Ceramic and PMC (precious metal clay).

Helen Bomerito threw the form (cake stand or pot), and I embellished and painted it.

My first clay project. I helped my son's 2nd grade class, and the teacher let me make this super quick after class.It reminds me of that day.

Day 7: On my final day are three hand stitched garments.

I stitched this up as a sample for a class at Makers' Mercantile. Now I need to make one for myself.
Read more here.

Three years in the making (I kid you not), "The Coat" is fully couched and hand stitched. It fits like a dream.... read more here.

This is my most repinned Pinterest pin. Read more here.

I had fun looking back over the years on things that I've made, and memories surrounding them. Do you have a particular item that you've made that brings back memories that you'd like to share?