Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bunkhouse Roundup

The Bunkhouse is what we call the little cottage next to our home.  I use it for my workspace and it also serves as our guest quarters.  It's a sweet little 500 Sq. Ft. beach cottage, single wall construction so in the summer it's baking in there. 
But I have managed to slide in a few sewing days so far this summer. 

A few of my sewing pals and I went up to San Francisco a couple of weeks ago to catch High Style at The Legion of Honor.  The show has ended now, I hope you got a chance to see it.  Very instructive and interesting.  A curator's take on the history of certain designers, eras and fashions.

After seeing the show we gathered in the museum's restaurant and had a lovely lunch.  And then, of course, we went shopping for fabric.  Satin Moon was closed, darn it.  Such a jewel or a fabric shop owned by two very discerning sisters (who happened to know my husband in high school!).  So we moseyed on over to Fabrix on the same street.

I think all of us got something.  I was desperate, I wanted a lightweight shirting for another of Marcy Tilton's Vogue 9089 long shirt (out of print it seems, what a shame!)  The first one I made is wonderful but the fabric is very heavy, even though it's cotton.  Our California coastal weather is a bit warm this year and I needed something breezier.

So, I convinced myself this fabric was a madras....yeah, it was a stretch.  And I don't usually wear such bright plaids.  Plus I didn't really know how to match plaids. So my pal, Jenny, the uber sewing queen came over and gave me a lesson.  The front turned out pretty well but the back was more difficult with the offset bias.

I inserted another side pocket, this one is only one layer of fabric sewn onto the front panels.

As I mentioned, the back is just so-so, this pattern really shouldn't have been attempted with a plaid, I think....or we just couldn't figure out the best way to lay it out.  I can live with it.  And I love the shirt since it's perfect for our new and improved Capitola weather!

More kantha jewelry.  These are the styrofoam cubes I cut and cover with little pieces of kantha.  I strung them with elastic cord and inserted little lava beads.  I wore it yesterday and it feels good.

This kind of hand stitching is so fun.  I'm basically hand stitching OVER old hand stitching.

My jewelry making group that I attend about once a month is so much fun.  We sit around a table in a beautiful art studio, surrounded by beautiful works of art and the most amazing cache of tools you could ever ask for.

I love these times because it's a chance for me to let myself just play and make things randomly, exploring different mediums and ideas.  It may never go anywhere but that's not the point of the process.

Here you see another old bicycle inner tube made into a necklace.  I used the part where you blow it up plus several trinkets off of a pair of old earrings I don't wear anymore.

Here's the closure.  I need to take a class on findings, connections and closures for soft jewelry.  I'm working on that!

And here is a project I've been working on for a year and a half...and I'm not sure it's getting any better!  It's Lynn Mizono's classic tunic again.  I really love this pattern.  I used an old silk and linen pants/shell outfit I wasn't wearing anymore plus other random fabrics.  The buttons are vintage, carved and mismatched mother-of-pearl.

It was not quite right at first, it sat in my closet for a year.  I didn't like the pieces of fabric I'd sewn on the front so I took most of them off.   Then I decided to silk screen it with Marcy's silk screens.  I might just have gone overboard-ya think?  I'm trying to figure out what to do with it now.  Maybe overdue it with grey?

I love the drape.

I also used discharge in the circle silk screen on the back and it turned almost the same color as the front pieces...just lucky.

My wonderful friend, Annie, came over and I asked her how I could tone it down a bit.  She suggested free motion stitching on the aqua circles to mute them a bit.  I like it, not sure it helped but...

This stitching was done after the other photos so I'm sorry you can't see that change on the whole garment.  It helped some.

Any and all suggestions welcome.


  1. The plaid shirt looks great. And the kantha jewellery, too. If I were to offer any suggestions for the last shirt, I would probably say overprinting some (all) of the blue circles with metallic pewter or silver might work and just offset the printing a little bit so that the blue still shows and acts as a shadow. I think the teal rectangles need something to tie them in – perhaps use the same discharge technique you used on the back and one of those beautiful black squiggles. I think it's gorgeous anyway.
    I hope you show us what you've done in the second round.
    Vancouver Barbara

  2. I, for one, wish you had videotaped the plaid matching session with your friend. I could sure use it, as even a fraction off is too off, and that's what I usually end up with. Too bad you didn't have the same plaid fabric in a smaller scale for that back bias piece, but I also think it looks beautiful the way it is.
    Your tunic looks very appealing to me, and now that you've added the free motion stitching, I don't understand what doesn't look right to you. If I saw that on display in a boutique, I'd be praying that it was in my size as I was running across the room to grab it. Maybe if you wear it once, you'll know at the end of the day what to change or whether to embrace it as it is.

  3. Well, you've done it again - so much inspiration and sophistication. I love the Lynn Mizono tunic. Maybe it is the color that you dislike? I love it completely. It appears that each step you describe has moved it up a notch. I think it is just right now. The Marcy top is also quite nice. I always struggle matching plaids. Your jewelry creations are just wonderful too! What a great post, chocked full of lovely makes.

  4. A suggestion on the tunic would be to send it to me. I think it is absolutely perfect. I would proudly wear the heck out of it.

  5. I love the tunic and think the stitching on the circles looks great. Also -the was you added colors to the front plackets is great. Thanks for sharing this project!

  6. Such an abundance of creativity, Gayle! I particularly like the semicircle pocket finished with bias edging in the plaid top! Such a great little detail. That Mizono tunic is a feast. I have no suggestions on how to change it!

  7. Such a feast of creativity. The tunic is great in the plaid. You might have liked it better if this were a balanced plaid but I only thought of it after you said the didn't think the plaid worked in the back. I'm surprised this pattern is discontinued since it is fairly new. I recently this in a burnout woven fabric and love it. The envelope photo makes it look a little like a tent, but it actually drapes beautifully. Love the necklaces, so cute. And I have nothing to add for your last tunic. it looks perfect to me.

  8. I too think your Mizono tunic is lovely as it is! Not over-the-top at all. And your plaid shirt turned out very nice as well. Plaids are so hard sometimes but you've taken advantage of this one to get those great angles! Your soft jewelry pieces are very fun too. You are so lucky - that sounds like a really creative group to be part of.

  9. I am kind of obsessed with printed anything! I love the fabric! Lovelypattern making idea!

  10. I'm a huge fan of your work and creativity! Your shirt really IS perfect just the way it is- however if you find it too loud or have an issue you won't wear it. I'm the same way, no matter how much work and effort that has been put into it. I'm thinking you could " tone" it down with organza or such overlays in greys or silver and more free motion . I hope I'm not being to bold to offer up a suggestion when the rest of the free world (me included) believe it is just right!


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