Wow…. Its been a year for the books!

So I come out of a deep hibernation from this blog with a whole new perspective on life and a baby on my hip.  I guess its called motherhood.   I was not sure I was going to be ready for this at first mentally and then physically but here I am.  Finnegan Tiger Flowers came in to life on January 23, 2013 at 4 pm weighing 8lbs 14oz.  He is a really great little baby, very easy, good sleeper and yet this whole thing is still very hard!  My life is flipped on it’s ass and I am still trying to find my new normal, you know.  But Finn, the Finster McCool is a real joy to watch grow, learn, struggle and laugh, well and even watch shit his pants.  I never imagined myself so excited about big baby farts but like I say here I am!  I really thought that I would have all this time off to sew post postpartum…. and the Mothers reading this laugh because its a real joke.  I have been blessed to have a work from home daddy/ tear wiper/ Finn walker so mommy can sew or sleep/ part-time diaper changer to peel me off the floor and deal with MY tantrums with poise and compassion.

Party Dress Fever.

So… I was at work when I first discovered the book Party Dress by Mary Adams.  I lay down my credit card and took it home that day.  I loved reading about her experiences as an Oregon girl to being a dress maker in New York and then her process is astounding simple and clean and yet so sticky sweet and full of color saturation that I really just started making dresses… and now I cannot stop.  Every page is sooo inspiring.  It started with this skirt (recently sold to a girl in Ireland):

Then I started this quilted leather/wool/ silk strapless dress which is essentially done, just needs some hems and hand stitching)!

Then I got into the silk taffeta stuff which posted here in my last post.

NOW… it turns out that Mary Adams will be in Seattle at Nancy’s Sewing Basket (where i work)  for a book signing November 5th!  And to really get into the mood ALL of the employees are working on there own party dresses that will be on display during our annual sale in September and then we are going to wear them for the book signing in November.  It will be kinda of fun too because customers will be guessing whose dress belonged to which employee!  So I cannot divulge to much but I will tell you Analysis Paralysis has now sunk in completely for some of us because it is hard to decide!

Coyote Central inspired by Nick Cave exhibit at The Seattle Art Museum

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I have been teaching kids (girls) ages 9-13 how to sew and design for a really excellent Non-profit organization called Coyote Central since last October.  I have to say- I have been having lots of fun.  I really did not think that I was the teaching type… or even had anything to say about sewing to children but well- I guess I learned something.  My regular class is called Design Sew and Embellish– and through the school year it is on Saturday morning (all the better for keeping me honest:) but during the summer the class is more like a one week intensive , and it is pretty much full as of now.

Also since October Coyote and I have been talking about and organizing a special workshop in conjunction with (and funded by) the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) for the Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth exhibit that closed this last weekend.  I know, I know… my timing is impeccable.   We held the 2 day/10hr.  workshop for 8 child artist in mid April and  debuted the creations at Community Night on May 5th at the SAM.  These kids were champions not even wanting to break for lunch!!  The Jackets were then displayed at the SAM for the rest of the exhibit and then they will be put in a brand-spanking-new Coyote Central Gallery space!!

Thanks to Chris Barnett for the beautiful Picture of the process and the parade!

Halloween 2009- Par-O-Tweedles in Wonderland

WOW…. can’t believe it has been over a month since posting…. I guess I have been busy.  Saturday we won a couple of prizes for our creativity.  Here is how we spent Halloween 2009:

I build the tweedle bodies out of foam and hula hoops.  The shirt is just a Kwik Sew 2272, a shirt pattern  that is out of print I use all the time for Dave, my husband (and a really good sport).  I just expanded from the under arm to fit the 90″ circumference of the hula hoop.  I bought sheets at the thrift store for the shirts cause it was going to take six yards and I also bought shoes from the thrift store to paint because it was the cheapest way to go on both accounts.  Foam is expensive so luckily I found a piece in the closest at our office that Dave said I could use ( I still had to buy 1 yard).    The hats I blocked buckram for and built the propeller out of hat wire.  Then I just kept on decorating until we had to put them on for Halloween.  My friend Hannah made her Alice costume under my supervision and she was super excited and impressed with herself when she was done.  We had a tea party  in the afternoon (I could not resist showing up at my favorite tea spot The Tea Cup in costume, and then went out and ate dinner and entered some  Halloween contests that night.  We won two different gift certificats that basically pay for the costumes.  It was awesome!!

The night before I went out and saw some of my costumes in action at a Kiss Tribute concert.  They to were AWESOME!!

Annual Sale Time.


In a week from today the 31st ANNIVERSARY SALE starts at my day job (Nancy’s Sewing Basket).  It starts at 25 % off all fabrics and works its way up to 31% off on the last day- Sept. 20th.  Yes we do take mail orders.  This is a frenzy- and regulars usually come in in advance to make a game plan as to what they are going to buy.  I have my eye on a creamy silk knit, a silk and cotton broadcloth with a brown circular design, and a super soft plaid shirting from Italy.

I am frantically trying to finish a garment before the sale starts- and (of course) I decide to use leather which is something that requires more patients and less frantic-ness then I seem to have at the moment so I am taking a break to vent about it.   My boss had this lovely idea back in April or May that we could all use the same pattern and interpret it any way that we wanted.  We landed on Vogue 1036, a jacket,  not because we all loved it but because it was generic enough that we had a lot of room to interpret.  The pattern was (for me) large through the shoulders and tight through the elbow.

Nancy’s gave us $75.00 dollars worth of fabric- which I promptly spent and more- leather. . . Sheesh!  Our customers will then have the opportunity to see if they can pair the right jacket with the right employee.  Sound fun and exciting right?   Now we are a week away from the sale and we are (and have been) all up to our eyeballs in all sorts of things (moving, wedding dresses, traveling, costumes, family) none of which have been the JACKETS.  As you can deduct- we are all frantically trying to finish our jackets.  

Speaking of finish- I have finished the flight attendant costume and it was pretty rad if I don’t say so myself.  I am not posting pictures because I will post the video from Expedia when it goes up.  I don’t even think they start filming until mid-September.

Hint! Hint!

Hint! Hint!

Hey look… 3 more free apron patterns.

Seems like when it rains… it pours free patterns:

Nancy’s Sewing Basket (safe haven/ evil addiction employer) also put out a simple apron pattern they call the Manhattan Apron.  Here are PDF one  and PDF two.

-While I was surfing I found that Selvedge Magazine put out a cute little free PDF called Tie Your Own Apron Strings to promote the book Learn to Sew by Alison Reid

-Cool blogger Still Dottie  has a free how to for a Smock Apron with awesome graphic for pattern.

Free Apron pattern… because I LUV SUMMER.

Ice Tea Anyone?

Ice Tea Anyone?


½ —–yard of a base fabric (I used an Indian cotton voile).

¾  —–yard of a coordinating fabric (I used a Jay McCarroll printed cotton).

2 ¼ —–yards of ribbon (I used two grosgrain ribbons layered and stitch with a machine   embroidery stitch).

-Wash all fabric to clean and shrink.  All seams are ½”

-Cut from coordinating print:

1 Pocket- pattern PDF

1 Waistband- 6”x 22”

1 Bottom Band- 6”x 45”

2 Ties- 31” x 2 ½”

-Finish sides (selvedges) of base fabric and stitch two rows of basting (long machine stitches) at 3/8” and ½” from top.

-Stitch right side of bottom band to wrong side of base fabric (If using a directional print-it should be sew here upside-down). Press seam toward bottom band.  Fold bottom in half, right sides together, fold seam allowance back towards wrong side and stitch sides of bottom band.  Flip right sides out, press and top stitch long seam catching all raw edges in bottom band “sandwich”.  Center ribbon on bottom band and stitch both edges.


-Stitch darts in pocket and press.  Finish top edge.  Fold top of pocket at notch with right sides together. Stitch sides. Flip flap (he-he) right sides out.  Sew basting stitches centered at 1 ½” and gather pocket to 6 ½”.  Pin ribbon into place over gathers and stitch both edges.  Press raw edges of pocket to wrong side ½”.

– Position outside pocket corner 4” down from the top and six inches from the side of base (On the right side of the base if you are right handed and left side if you are left handed).  Pin and edge stitch pocket on to base.

big enough for several wood spoons- the cadillac of pockets!

big enough for several wood spoons- the cadillac of pockets!

-Fold ties in half right sides together and stitch down long raw edge and one short end.  Use a chop stick to push the right side out.  Make sure corners are carefully picked out.  Press flat.

-Gather top of base to 21”

-Sew right side of waistband to wrong side of the top of the base adjusting gathers evenly to fit within the seam allowance of the waistband.

-Baste ties to right side of waistband 2” up from the base with raw edges of ties lined up with raw side edges of waistband.  Fold waistband in half right sides together, fold seam allowance to wrong side and stitch the side catching the ties.  Flip right sides out, press seam allowance towards the waistband.  Top stitch long seam catching all raw edges in the “sandwich” of the waistband.

-You are now ready to cook!!

AND… this is just the beginning- you could add pockets, change pockets (there are a bazillion pocket shapes if you google images of vintage aprons), quilt the bands, use ribbon for the ties, add lace to the bottom, attach glitter and Christmas bells, add piping to the waistband and pocket, cross-stitch or embroidery, give it a theme for a friend, use ric- rac, appliqué fruits on there, you could bedazzle the crap out of it if you want.

…these are a few of my favorite things.

So this week’s Favorite Things have sort of a antiquated, androgynous, pirate flavor to them:


Serious Jewlery right here folks!

Serious Jewlery right here folks!

1) It starts with… well… a little purchase off of Etsy , what else.  It is this ingenious recycled cuff that I have had my eye on for a while.  After selling a few things, I can really justify anything …and that is very dangerous.





2) I have been looking at this picture for the last six months.   I really love it.  I know nothing about Poiret… but when my boss gave me this I found the jacket vest combo was inspiring.  It has been at the top of historical file of inspiration (kind of like I have for fashion)… I keep stuff in there for research and for interesting shapes and details.  I was going to enter a make it in wool back in like October, with a motorcycle jacket/ vest peeking out the bottom a la the picture but … just not so good with dead lines.  I could not find the right zippers in time for the contest (damn zippers).  Well, I have been making good process this last week.



3) Here is a close-to-finished motor cycle jacket (not pressed or top stitched).  It is made out of a B. Black wool from a couple of years ago.   My favorite part is the AWESOME skull printed silk charmeuse lining!   I (think) I like the shorter length of this jacket and I really don’t think I would go peplem like in the picture, so it is got a 21st century up date.  That nice big collar is yummy.  My own look has a more steampunk feel to in then the Poiret picture*



4)  Here is the vest I did.  I really wanted a vest that looked good open or shut.  And had the length of the vest in Poiret picture.   The result is rad and now I want to make it in a couple of different fabrics as well as create a graded pattern for it to sell.  Vest are really simple to make and don’t take a lot of fabric…. NICE.  My friend Jessica said that the vest reminded her of a gun holster…. So I guess it’s my gun holster vest.  I wanted it to feel like it a tank top that dipped under my arms when opened and then looked like a fitted vest when closed. *

I am stronger then this slip!

I am stronger then this slip!

5) I am going to end with something that I did NOT buy on etsy.  I think that balance is good… and so is refraining.  Although this cute slip make me evoke Veruca Salt: “don’t care how, I want it now!”  I don’ t need it.  I am happy with out it.  Actually, I am happier with out it.


*These pics are just sneak peeks.  I want to try to recreate the Poiret picture when I am done with the clothing so better pics will follow.  So stay tuned…. or don’t whateves.