weekly photo challenge: dialogue ~ tee shirt


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Hopefully these three piccies will tell even non-sewers how a simple un-needed tee shirt can be transformed with just a pair of scissors.

DIALOGUE, n. [Gr., to dispute; to speak.] 1. A conversation or conference between two or more persons

Original WordPress post is here.

Another dialogue is over here…

 Ailsa’s Travel Theme this week is EDGE

luv to josée!

my new & totally adorable, upcycled fabric cosmetics bag from cul de sac, canada!

my new & totally adorable, upcycled cosmetics bag from cul de sac, canada!
click to go to her etsy shop

Guess what I got in the mail yesterday?  From my dear friend Josée, the owner of Cul de Sac, the cutest little cosmetics bag imaginable!  And it’s unique ’cause no one else has one with exactly these recycled fabrics, in this combination.  Blue & yellow always reminds me of France, and as Josée speaks French and lives in Québec, it’s serendipitous!

The bag’s lining is yellow, which I really like because I can easily spot a pesky lipstick.  Another thoughtful touch is the little charm on the zip pull ~ a bird in a cage ~ mirroring one of Josée’s favourite embroidery designs.

I can spot this easily inside the huge black bag I carry when travelling… when I don’t want to paw through a dark hole looking for a small bag.

Josée makes all her bags, scarves, key chains, and other upcycled items as she has time & finds materials.  She’s been known to unravel sweaters and reknit the wool into charming fingerless gloves, and other items.

Here’s where to find her creations, and make your own purchases.

And I still rank her double chocolate cupcakes as the absolute best indulgence in the whole wide world!


fixed frays


Thought you might like to see frayed stuff mended, so here are a few piccies.  Hope they inspire someone else to work on their pile!

And did another neckline job, just to get this definitely-only-a-house-dress onto both shoulders. Just too difficult to scrub the tub with one sleeve hanging!  Yes, this is shapeless, but it’s soooo comfy I just love the soft fabric.  Makes cleaning up more of a treat… well, sort of!

mending + buttons


Being reminded of a certain dress neckline that’s too large and has troubled me since making it, I decided to try out some of the suggestions I’d bravely given, in an attempt to take my own advice.

I tried on the over-the-head problem dress and finger-measured about how much to take in that gaping neckline.  Guessed it would be about 2 inches, all the way round.

Hoping for once I was guess-timating rightly, I pinned in 4 equi-distanced finger tucks, two in front and two in back.  Note that I got out my special safety-pin pin cushion.

I didn’t want to get stuck by pins when pulling the dress on or off.  Even worse would have been loosing a pin. Where would it go? Would I find it only after stepping on it?  Sitting on it?  The opportunities seemed endless, and painful.  So I took the itsy extra step to use safety pins. Glad I did.  (No problems, they were fine.)

All the sewing gods & goddesses were smiling, and the quick fix seemed fine.  There were four little pleats, front and rear sets pleated toward the centre.

I was feeling pretty cocky about now, because everything had worked out so well thus far.  Well . . . . .

You’d think after sewing down so many pleats in all my summer dresses that these would be easy.  I certainly thought it would be the easiest part of the project.  No. The second pleat, in the front, went wonky.  And I had too much angst to unpick it and do it right.  Neeext idea?

BUTTONS!  I love them.  I love playing with them, looking through them, trying different colours… that sounded like a fun extra/next step.

Perfect!  Not only did I find two shiny ones, but I think they mirror the record disk that’s centered (more or less) between them.

Ta-da!  One job completed, tested by wearing, and definitely approved of!

weekly photo challenge: fray


Such a gift!  Thank you, WordPress Photo Gurus!  Just what I’ve had hanging at my elbow for several days, and am about ready to tackle: mending a bit of frayed fabric!  Once more into the mind of a sewer!

FRAY, n. [L. fractura, from frango, frico.] 1. A boil, quarrel or violent riot… This is the vulgar word for affray… 2. A combat… 3. contention… 4. A rub; a fret or chafe in cloth...  from the 1828 dictionary, down at the bottom of the linked page

As I hope the photos illustrate, there are different kinds of fraying, and some cannot be avoided in certain kinds of cloth, like denim.   Ever wonder why the jeans are so stitched up around seams?   Anyone remember the fad for cutoff jeans, and how they frayed so nicely at the cut-off point?   ‘Nuff said.

There’s also fraying-that-becomes-fringe, as a decorative element.  Chanel used this sometimes, as part of her iconic jacket styling.  It’s also seen a great deal in wool scarves, and other fine woolen garments… wool can fray so nicely, and create a soft addition that still lends warmth to the garment.

More comments on fraying, Dear Sewing Readers?

Original WordPress post is here.

 Ailsa’s Travel Theme is Orange this week

stashed mystery rayon


I’ve had some dark green rayon that’s been stashed since my golden age of California fabrics in the late 90’s.  Why?  It’s crinkled. Really crinkled.

So much crinkled that if I ironed the 40ish-inch width, it would easily be 45.  I didn’t feel that was quite the thing to do, couldn’t decide on a pattern, nor how to lay it out & account for that crinkle.  So . . .  the great green sat in stash.

Enter yesterday’s chocolate silk, tagged silk yoryu.  When ordering it I’d asked Brooke, the wonderful manager at The Fabric Store, what yoryu meant. She told me it was crinkled, and great for travelling because it doesn’t wrinkle so badly.

A-ha!, I thought to myself, maybe that’s what that green rayon is.  Let’s see when the chocolate arrives…

just a reminder, in black & white, so you can really see the yoryu in the chocolate silk

just a reminder, in black & white, so you can really see the yoryu in the chocolate silk

Another call to Brooke yesterday, after silk’s arrival & laundering, confirmed it, and she gave me some suggestions for how to lay out patterns.  Thank you again, Brooke!

Yoryu is a term that indicates a lengthwise, permanent crinkle woven into a fabric.

Thus, another of Life’s little mysteries is solved, and I’m closer to actually USING this green rayon.


doin’ laundry


Actually yesterday & today’s bits of new fabric!

As soon as I unwrapped that chocolate silk it went into a basin, and was hand washed & hung in the shower.  I absolutely love it!  Have 2 yards and originally thought it would make nice lingerie.  But now that it’s in hand, realize it might be a little too stiff, so will ponder some more.

This morning I got busy with my next two favourites: the luscious golds that’ll brighten up rainy days.  Have a yard of each, and again, not too specific about how I’ll use them.

The silk-cotton stripe is gossamer, whilst the rayon matches one of the stripes in the silk-rayon.  They could easily be worn together.  Another set of possibilities to ponder, whilst getting busy with late summer dresses.  :-)