Saturday, March 4, 2017


I know I'm blessed to live in such a moderate climate but, boy,  has it been a hum dinger of a winter here on the Central Coast.  One storm after another, trees down, flooding, roads caving in you name it.
But, we do have water now which is such a relief.  I think I can actually hear the trees heaving a huge sigh of relief.

My garden is singing happy songs, one plant after another.  These hyacinths are always the first to arrive.

 Followed by the violets.

I haven't been sewing for a few weeks but here's a vest that was drafted from ready-to-wear that I tried in an upholstery fabric I got on a free table.  It actually works for this but I'll be making it again in a grey ponte.

 Here is one of three tshirts I made from Katherine Tilton's V8817.  I used only scraps and felt so great about reducing my stash.  I love this pattern for that reason but also, it's just a darned good pattern.  I always get compliments when I wear one of these tshirts.

The back only has three section, unlike the front which has three.

And here's Marcy Tilton's V9130...again.  I make this often.  It's super flattering and I just feel good in it.  These were scraps...albeit large ones, too.

I attended my 9th year of DOL (Design Outside The Lines) Santa Barbara.  For those of you who don't know what this is I'll explain.  It's a four or five day retreat, given in three different locations each year.  They are put on by Diane Ericson (above), the pattern designer, re-fashion queen, stencil designer, heavy duty teacher of the century.  This woman can do it all.
She teaches at these retreats and now brings in another teacher, sometimes from around the world, sometimes from here in the states.  I've loved every teacher she's ever brought.

This year she brought Christine Mayer from Berlin.  Christine is a clothing designer who specializes in using old textiles.  She brought a line of garments to show and sell that were made from the cloth used to line the old ironing mangles in Germany.
She also loves to work with military rucksacks, jackets, pants and tents.  Her pieces are exquisite and perfectly executed.  I so wanted to buy a piece but they were all too small on me.  So, what could I do, I asked her to help me make a couple of pieces.  She was happy to oblige, that's what she was there to do.  She helped so many of us during the five days and several women went away with new garments that were co-created with Christine.

Here you see a denim jacket that she draped and I sewed.  I had two very large pairs of men's denims which she showed how to cut in the exact way so as to get the most out of the fabric.  Then she began draping the two pants on my dress form.  She used this piece for instructions purposes in one of the morning classes.  We were all staring at her with our mouths open the whole time.
She, like Diane, has an innate feel for fabric and drape.  They just know what to do.  It is always a revelation to watch.
So, she pinned, tucked, created the armholes and sleeves using what she called the Japanese draping technique.  I learned SO MUCH!  I'm panting to get back in the studio and sew.  I did manage to finish a shirt made from three white men's shirts.  It's good but I have lots to learn.  I'll post those pics soon.
If you haven't had the chance to attend a Design Outside The Lines retreat you should seriously consider putting it on your bucket list.  I don't know of a better way for a creative sewist to spend time.