Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Custom Designed Dress

Here's a dress I designed for a customer from one of my markets. She's bought dresses made from repurposed sweaters before, and told me to design what I thought would work well. When I found the two sweaters that make up the brightly colored panels of the skirt, I knew I was onto something.

Next to each other I would never have thought of them in one skirt - but then I looked at what Rebecca said: to use royal blue, teal, yellow - and realized that between the two sweaters, we had all those colors.

Pretty wild prints, no? My girls say it looks "So '90's"! Hopefully Rebecca likes retro.

This was a great experience for me, as I've not made a dress from the sweaters before. The real test will be to see if Rebecca likes it!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Back Again!

Hello, dear readers!
I offer up the humble prayer that your holidays have been filled with beauty, joy and peace.

After too long away, again, I'm back, hopefully on a regular basis for the next few months. I've found I'm not able to hold together the busy market season, the sewing and felting, the schooling and the household work all at once, which explains the long absences. I have a much slower market and show season for the next months, thus my hope to show up here more often!
Florida Scrub Jay

The Boy has loved this bird and coveted it for a couple of years now. Its photo lives on the page opposite the Eastern Blue Bird that I often felt, and each time he's seen it I've been begged to make it. The photo in my guide is not very complimentary, so I've never been drawn to felt it. This year seemed the time to finally do it, so I pulled out my other bird book and found that the markings are quite a bit nicer than the photo shows, and here he is!

Our tree is covered in ornaments that I've made, the kids have made, and those we've received as gifts, many handmade. It's eclectic, homey and very fun!

Grand-niece's Gift

My mom and dad are not able to get out and Christmas shop anymore, so I help out as much as I can. This year Mom wanted to give her great-grand baby an outfit including a skirt I'd made, so here it is. It had to be cashmere, of course!

Now, lunch and shoveling out from our blizzard!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's been way too long...

...since I've been on my blog!
The busy fall season, and then my computer being on the blink have prevented me from being here. It's unfortunate, because I do enjoy this.

However, it's been a wonderful fall season. I've met fantastic people, kibbitzed with lots of vendor friends, been challenged to make customer requests and keep up with the outflow of my inventory. It's been fun and tiring!

Anyway, here are a few new things.

Cashmere longies, hat and mitts for Melinda's grandbaby

Here's what the bum on those longies looks like

Laura's skirt

A poncho to fit a preschooler, or maybe even a kindergartener

I'm so grateful to be able to do work I enjoy!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Brown Palette

I've been working in a brown palette this week, as I had a skirt order to fill. Much as I love brown, I'm glad to have that done, and to move on to another color range.

Brown mittens

Annette's skirt

Next will probably be black and grey, but I will have to add in some colors, or I will go crazy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Skirt of a Different Hue

Just a quick post on the fly before I head out to market today. I've made many skirts in fall colors and black and white lately, so it was really fun to work in brights and pastels.

We are deep into fall now. On my walks the main nature sounds are from chipmunks, titmice and nuthatches...and falling leaves and acorns! I still have a few tomatoes in the garden, but they'll be gone soon, I'm sure.

Enjoy the beauty, wherever you are!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


This week has been a week for cutting and sewing skirts. A couple of them have been custom orders, and the rest are for the booth.

This one is for Stacey, and it's all cashmere, in really bold colors.

This one is Winter's. I love the blues and greens.

Red with fall tones, which have been really popular this season.

All blacks and grays. This one was born when I bought the black stripey sweaters.

A lot of folks have asked how long it takes me to make a skirt. I've never known, because I always cut a lot of sweaters into pieces for skirts, mittens, hats, pot holders, and collect the pieces till I have enough. I did this earlier this week with a huge pile of fall-colors sweaters. I've sewn one skirt from them, and have 2 more pinned, and more pieces that will go into future skirts, as well as some mittens and hats.

Today, however, I really wanted to make the above black skirt, and just about all the pieces I cut are skirt pieces. With the cutting and sewing, I'd say I spent about 5 hours. I have enough pieces to make another skirt the same size, and a bunch for smaller skirts (all the ones above are adult skirts).

So there. A skirt takes me about 4-1/2 to 5 hours, not counting the shopping for the sweaters, and the felting and drying, which are done in batches, so it would be hard to count that time. I guess we could say 6 hours.

It's a good thing I enjoy it!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I've been busy with lots of sewing and markets and my first fall fair. It seems September may be my busiest month - at least that's the way my calendar makes it look! The Boy has started in on his audition and show schedule, so that makes it even more interesting. Anyway, my next big fair is the Garlic Fest in Bethlehem. It's great fun and has always been a busy show. Maybe I'll see some of you there?

Friday, September 3, 2010

No Hurricane?

This week has been a mish-mash of errands, doing little things to help my girl get ready to move back to school, getting ready for the school year with the Boy, and my own work. I don't have a lot of things done, but here's some of them.

I didn't quite know what to do with this sweater. It was big, and thick. I do have a standing order for Christmas stockings, so I made one from the sleeves. Then I had the brainwave that it would be great as slippers. I no longer had enough to do a double layer on the bottom, so the inner lining is cashmere. Not as thick, but I don't think anyone would complain. : )

A man at the Coventry market asked for a screech owl.

Longies made from a really thick, soft sweater. The top is from a thick cashmere turtleneck. These will be so cozy I wish I could wear them.

These are made from another really thick sweater. It took a while to figure out what to do with it, but the Nordic design finally yelled at me that it wanted to be hats and mittens. I was able to get 2 hats and 2 pairs of mittens from it. Dale of Norway never skimps.
And, finally, a mountain blue bird.

Have a great holiday weekend and stay out of the way of hurricanes, if you can!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Results

This one reminds me of Halloween

After spending all day Monday and lots of Tuesday cutting up sweaters, I spent all day Wednesday, half a day Thursday, and about an hour this morning sewing. The work netted me a bunch of skirts, mittens, hats and wrist warmers. Here's a sampling...

Fall skirt for a big girl

Love these stripes, a bit zany!

Stripes for a little girl

Stripes for a bigger girl

Love these colors

Hats for little people

Hats and mittens for big people

I'm looking forward to bringing all these things to market on Sunday. It's always fun to add new things to the booth.
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thank God for Rotary Cutters

Yesterday I didn't have to go anywhere, and it was raining, so I couldn't even do laundry. We haven't started school yet, so I could focus on my work in the"studio". I really did focus, and I got more work done than I think I ever have in one day. I've wanted to cut up bunches of skirt panels, so I have a good palette to choose from. I hate cutting up a sweater and leaving parts of it just lying around, so I also cut mittens and hats, longies, and a few pot holders. Here's what the studio looks like today: piles of things waiting to be sewn!

This is the skirt pile.

This one is the pile of mittens, wrist warmers and pot holders.

Here are the hats waiting to be sewn.

Longies back view

Longies front view

I couldn't spend a whole day working without finishing something! Thus the longies.

Hopefully I'll be back in a few days with pics of finished things!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Busy Work Week

I've been doing a lot of cutting and sewing this week, as I've had no markets since Saturday. You should see the piles of things ready to be pinned and sewn (no, actually, you shouldn't, and I won't show you, it's too messy!). It's also been a week to do some cleaning, errands, and planning for the coming school year. This morning I was out photographing some of the things I've finished this week, and the Boy came out with cat in arms.

the Boy and the Cat

Every once in a while a sweater felts up so lovely that there's very little I need to do to it. This one just needed me to felt and block it, and add pearl buttons. It'll fit a 6 to 8 year old, I think.

Rosebud Jacket

another one that just needed to be felted, then brushed and embellished to be perfect. It's a really lofty angora and felted up nice and thick. I added the flower and it's ready to go.

Angora Plum Jacket

Here's one of the skirts I've been working on. I spent 2 days cutting sweaters into skirt panels, and I have 2 more adult skirts and more than that of kid skirts ready to be sewn.

Fall's Coming Skirt

I've been doing as much needle felting as I can, too. I have a couple of cardinals done, some bees, and this robin.
A robin for Robin

I've got markets tonight, Sunday and Monday, so I'm ready to go! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Today's Sewing

Recycled Sweater Longies, Cashmere-Lined Ski Hat, Cashmere Wrist Warmers

Yesterday I did a lot of cutting and pinning, so today is a sewing day. I love having things all ready to go...it feels like I'm accomplishing a lot when I can finish things. Yesterday I felt all unfinished around the edges because I'd cut things but not sewn anything.

Recycled Sweater Twirly Skirt in Crazy Patterns

I love the way this skirt turned out. I narrowed the top of the scalloped pattern I've been using, and it turned out very girly and feminine. It's fun to use all the patterns in the design.

Longies or Shorties?

I've been needing to make some more longies, so here's a pair...only I don't know if they will be longies or shorties. The legs are kinda short, so I guess it will depend on the baby. I like the waist/top of them. It's made from a cashmere turtle neck that was cut off a sweater. I often use them to make neckwarmers, but there's only so many neckwarmers that are useful! And I think it will be nice and snug on the baby's belly without binding. And of course, it's super soft!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Happiness in the Garden

Today's a day I've been eagerly awaiting. My tomato plants have been bearing very nicely, and the tomatoes have been green for what feels like forever.

This morning when I went out I saw that the first ones are finally starting to turn [not red] [light orange?]. Whoot! I wonder how long it will be before they are on a plate? As many years as I've been doing this, I've never counted how many days it takes.

Aren't eggplant flowers beautiful?

Here's my first baby eggplant. I wonder how long this will take, too.

On the felting front, here's a couple of bunnies, small enough to fit in your hand. Hooray for some certainty - I know how long these take! : )

And a winter/holiday skirt. It fits about a 12 year old.

We had a busy weekend. The Boy had 2 performances he was in at the Warner(Willy Wonka - it was great fun!), a cast party, and I had 3 markets in 3 days. Now I've got a couple of days before the next market - laundry, errands, cooking, and more designing. Can we have a few more hours in the day, please?