Cap Sleeve Tunic

fullsizerenderA cap-sleeved tunic.  That’s the dressy-description.  It combines denim pieces and dyed fabric.  Including two pieces that are pre-printed…one is white and white and the other is black on white.  Then both were over-dyed.

And, I included a stencil of the logo of the Women’s March.  A personal statement.

On a garment that’s a personal statement!





fullsizerenderFront and fullsizerenderback views.



Mickey Mouse Shirt


Mickey Mouse back

Mickey Mouse back

Just finished my Mickey Mouse shirt.  Depending how it’s said…that’s good, or bad!  

This uses a series of shirts with various graphics and dyed blue/green.  And, there are some shibori dyed pieces.

Someone enjoyed their trip to Disneyland…I enjoy their shirt!  And one of my favorites is the sheep that gets the middle spot.




Mickey Mouse front

Mickey Mouse front

Do what works…good words to live by. Think the toon green creature is freaked out by his neighbors or just freaky 🙂









Purple plus vest and blouse


Purple plus...vest and blouse

Purple plus…vest and blouse

Purple plus is a combination of vest and blouse.  It’s for a class that’s an introduction to scrapping for commercial garments.  The class will be on making the vest–using multiple fabrics to make new cloth.  Then making a garment from that cloth.

The vest is like a scarf, adding some color and pattern.


Purple blouse


The blouse is scrappier and combines more pieces.  The fabrics are mostly batiks.

I know they’re batik because I could smell the wax as I worked with them!
Purple plus vest and blouseI worked on this using my newest toy…I should give the dress form a name.  Mable??  She comes with lots of dials.  We have innie and outie belly buttons, Mable has a dialie.

I bought this from a Craigslist ad–I was a bit concerned about CL serial murders.  We’ve all heard about them.  So I called a friend as I arrived at the seller’s house and asked that she call out the troops if she hadn’t heard from me shortly.  I went to the door and the seller met me and then took me to her car where the dress form had been placed.  SHE was worried about CL serial murderers and had opted to meet me outside.  We both had a good laugh at our respective and effective strategies.

The blouse is made using Butterick 5948.  The vest is made using a home made pattern but any simple pattern would work well, like McCall’s M7290.  Come take the class at Seams Sew Easy!



Summery shirts

Dipping into the stash bag is my favorite source for scrappy clothes. And, it’s a great way to use small pieces of fabric that I get from experimenting with dyeing.  Play with colors and techniques and use the results.

FIshy Fishy

FIshy Fishy Front

Fishy Fishy is a summery top with cap sleeves, shaped lower hem and stamps, stencils and shibori prints.


Fishy Fish Back view








Red Stripes-Front view

Red Stripes-Front view

Red stripes is an early version of the summery top.  It’s a simpler collage and includes a piece dyed with coreopsis–a natural dye.

Red Stripes - Back view

Red Stripes – Back view








Moonscape - front view

Moonscape – front view

I cut in a big circle to put a motif in the center of the shirt.

Moonscape - back view

Moonscape – back view








Orange shibori front

Orange shibori front

The first of the summery series.  The shibori (donut fold) is one of my favorites.  But, the shirt has too many parts–it’s the last time I put in separate sleeves.

Orange shibori back view

Orange shibori back view







Adding shapes to the body of the shirt and the lower hem were the goals of this series of shirts.

Rainbow Dyed


Series of fabric dyed in colors of the rainbow

Series of fabric dyed in colors of the rainbow

With the recent event in Orlando, I wanted to do a Rainbow project to honor the resiliency of the LGBT movement.

First step for this project was to dye a series of fabrics in the color wheel series of colors.

I used fabric that is printed white on white.  The fabric paint that is printed on the fabric (white paint) acts as a resist to the dye.  The white dots are barely visible before dyeing.  After dyeing, the dots stand out!

Rainbow shirt

Rainbow shirt

Next I stitched up the fabric to turn it into a summery shirt.

The fabric pieces were cut in half. The ends of the fabric were backed and then added as a decorative edge.

I used Butterick 5948 for the shirt–leaving the good folks at Butterick in charge of size and basic style. I did make a few changes.

I started by sewing long strips and then I cut out the pattern pieces.  The neck is enlarged a bit, then it was bound.  I modified the sleeves to be capped.  The length was shortened and the end fabric pieces were lined and then sewn to the bottom edge.

This series of dyed fabric will do double-duty as it became the header of the blog!



Zippy Jackets to De-Stash

De-Stash!!  That’s my new mission.  Pull out that fabric and use it.  Some fabric is hand-dyed/printed/tied and some is commercial.  Some big pieces and some small.  Most are pieced–like a quilt, I combine fabrics helping them play well with others!

Indigo ikat woven

Peppy Blue

Two zipper-front jackets used different fabrics for different effects.

Peppy Blue was made with a combination of cotton fabrics.  The body of the jacket was handwoven using ikat-indigo dyed yarn.  Ikat gives the white areas–that’s where the yarn was tied so the indigo couldn’t get in.  The handwoven is soft and has a nice drape.  The sleeves are commercial, also indigo dyed.

The jacket is zipper front–the white zipper works well with the ikat white spots.

Marcy Tilton V8779


The pattern that I used was from Vogue-Marcy Tilton.  #8779  It’s a great pattern–looks boxey, but with the right fabric it makes a fun, jacket with different fits/drapes.  Unfortunately, it’s now out of print (:

Because of the loose structure of the Bias Bindinghandwoven fabric, I finished some of the Peppy Blue seams with bias binding.


Print and Upcycled denim

Basic Shapes

Another jacket with a different look is Basic Shapes.

I had a good sized piece of a fabric that I had printed in a workshop.  It sat in the stash box for years–too fun to throw, but not right for any project that was at hand.

I used the same pattern (V8779) and paired the printed fabric with denim.  I have a project that needed lots of denim–so I purchased used jeans from my local consignment/thrift store.  Now I have a big pile.

So, they’re going into clothing.  Cut and pieced.  One of the fronts I sewed with “outie” seams that I clipped.  After washing, the seams fuzz up–like chenille.  I modified the jacket a bit.  I like longer jackets (to cover my butt when I’m wearing leggings) but it was a bit long in the front, so I made a circular cut in the front.  Yup it’s shorter in the front–but not so visible in my pic.

This jacket is lined–that’s my choice when there are lots of seams.

Switch Gears

Time to switch gears.

Indigo patches

I’ve been posting about dyeing and using natural dyes.  I’ve searched my backyard and I’ve walked the neighborhood.  I’ve purchased dyes that were sustainable, and shipped from the other side of the world.  Fun to see what plants and some critters (cochineal) can do on fiber.  Here’s a shirt that’s pieced using indigo dyed fabric.

But after a while, I realized that most of what I was getting from my backyard was backyard yellow.  Yup, nice colors and fun to collect.   Combined with other dyes they give greens and oranges.  But, mostly yellows.

One day it occurred to me that I missed that burst of color that synthetic dyes give.  Bright colors.  Instant gratification.

So, I’m back to using synthetics.  Bright colors.  Combining lights and darks.  Mixing and matching.

Catalyst for Change

Catalyst for Change

And, along the way I got into t-shirts, especially upcycled tees.  I’ve been rediscovering shibori–folding, tyeing, pressing to get patterns.

That’s fun.  And, the words and pictures on tee-shirts.  What fun to combine the words and graphics.  More funky!

Here’s one that is most appropriate–Catalyst for Change.

So, onward to new fun!

Indigo pieces become a jacket

Sampling techniques and colors, I end up with a collection of small bits.  When the bag gets big enough, my quilting/piecing genes take over and I make something from the small pieces!  Using a run of indigo-shibori, I pieced a jacket:


Indigo-shibori pieces

Indigo-shibori pieces


Indigo-shibori pieced

Indigo-shibori pieced


Here’s the front of the jacket, with a fetching peplum!!  The stitching was random shapes.





And, the back, with fold and pole-wrapped.  The darker color was an overdye–indigo over backyard (pale) yellow.








indigo piecesHere’s the collection, pre-piecing, complete with pre-pressing wrinkles


Pieced pieces, naturally!

More pieced pieces…using small shibori’d squares dyed using natural dyes–many  from my backyard.

I call this one my Dandy Blouse because it’s dyed with dandelions.  I must be the only person in my neighborhood who welcomes the bright yellow sign of spring!

Dandelion, indigo and coreopsis shibori blouse

Dandelion, indigo and coreopsis shibori blouse

There are various shibori/folding techniques dyed with dandelion flowers on the left side of the Dandy Blouse.  Mostly “spider circles.”  One square is dandelion over-dyed with indigo to give a light green color.

The right wide is bolder, indigo dyed.  Mostly from folded piece, with squares and triangles. The folds give great contrast with the dark blue and white.  The collar was done with a scrunchy fold, called the donut; that’s one of my favorite folds.



How about this for an urban cowgirl!  Rarin’ to go!

Honeysuckle and indigo jacket

Honeysuckle and indigo jacket

The pieces for this jacket were dyed with honeysuckle (the leaves) and indigo.

The right side is a different version of the folded technique–squares and triangles.

Indigo with clamped resist

On the left sleeve, there are white marks remained after using small clamps.  And, the collar and right sleeve were pole (arashi) wrapped.

The fringe has beads–to give some bling and weight!


And, of course, Happy appears when the camera comes out.  Her shadow looks like a terrier!! But, she’s pure “Happy dog!”Happy's rarin to go, too!




Odds and Ends 1, Coreopsis and Indigo

Coreopsis is my all-time favorite back yard dye plant.  It’s a great flower in the garden–all sunny yellow and carefree.  And, it gives a wonderful orange dye color.  Very unexpected from the yellow flower.

Coreopsis and Indigo dyed, with shibori techniques

Coreopsis and Indigo dyed, with shibori techniques

I took some pieces that I’ve been dyeing and made up a shirt-Odds and End 1.  I started the summer with a series of shibori pieces, using different plants.  Some small (6 x 6) and some larger–1/4 yard.  And, the pieces were posted on my wall.  A nice collection and in my mind, the start of a pieced quilt, but, they never left the wall.  So, things changed and evolved into garments.  Here’s the first one…

Since it’s a collection of smaller pieces, I named it Odds and Ends 1.  Indigo was added to the mix — it’s not from my backyard.  (But technically it COULD be!)   Using shibori techniques.   There was bunching to get the pieces that make up the diamond.  And the blue stripes was a pole wrapped piece.  The top of the shirt was a larger piece that had the spider circles that made tie dye famous or infamous!

Coreopsis and Indigo dyed, with shibori techniques

Coreopsis and Indigo dyed, with shibori techniques

The back of the shirt has a better view of the spiders.  And, the left side has a piece that was folded and folded and then dipped so the edges took the indigo color.

(And, of course, Happy, is in the project–her ear (well a shadow) is captured in the lower left corner of the pic of the front!)