Busy, Busy, Busy

It never fails, we get excited and make plans and glorious amounts of energy start flowing into a singular direction and then something comes along to divert us.  It is agonizing even when the diversion is in itself wonderful.  In my case, I have been so excited about preparing for the Urban Barn Market in October.  

We finished up summer break with style in fun on vacation with my family and then just when school was starting up and I could get back to serious work, my Etsy shop went on fire and I have had request for custom orders coming in every few days.  It is wonderful and I am thrilled with the two orders I just shipped out.  Both designs are up and available in the Cherry Tree Lane section of my shop.

This is going to be a little girls birthday party dress.  

This is a slightly modified of the version I made for the client.  For her I changed the hair color and style to match her daughter.  

I am working on this design in another format as well.  I translated it to an applique piece.  I will be sure to share it once I have gotten it a little further along.



So Very Excited!

I was sitting down to work on my neglected blog today, and realized that in the blur of July and back to school of August, (yes, in Memphis, we go back to school at the beginning of August, crazy I know)  that I had completely neglected to share my NEWS.   I am over the moon with excitement about being a part of the Urban Barn Market here is Memphis in October.  


This is a spectacular event put together by two women, Carrie Walters Floyd and Debi Heying Vincent, both with enormous energy and courage.  I am rather in awe when I meet people who are able to go achieve their goals with such confidence and gusto.  This is the second market they have put together and will again be at the Woodruff Fontaine House.  

I have been making lists, and sketching, and cutting, and sewing, and scheming, trying to make sure that I can bring as much of the best of my work as possible to this event.  I'll posting sneak peeks of new work both here and on my instagram account because I never can keep items secret.  

I'll be in the carriage house so please be sure to stop by and see my work in person.  


July in Memphis

It's July, and it's Memphis. That being said it is hot and humid which is quite expected but it still needs to be said.  It is hot.  It is the heat that settles deep into your bones and stretches on and on through the weeks.  It even becomes to hot for those of us raised with Faulkner and never ending conversation to give up on words.  

So . . .



pictures only

Dragon Jacket

I have girls.  My eldest wasn't a princess. When she was young, she liked trains and cars as much as fairies. Which was great.  I made her dresses with trains and coats with fish and frogs, but admittedly my items are geared more for girls' tastes than boys.  I decided to reach outside that range because boys like to wear their imagination of their sleeves too.  And sometimes we parents need that to be not another super hero cape and sometimes we need to be a little bit more dressy.

On that note, enter the Dragon .  .  .



Imagine how much more fun dressy up in a blazer would be with a fire breathing dragon wrapped around your shoulder would be.  This dragon is appilqued in a way that is fully sewn on the edges.  No shabby chic fraying going on here.  The dragon is a combination of cottons, and sateen, and silk.

I took photos of the process to share some of what happens along the way when creating these pieces.

  • Fabric selection is so important.  Color interaction, textures, sheens, and durability all come in to play.
  • Cutting all the intricate pieces and prepping them for sewing.  Most designs I cut by hand, but I have been experimenting with using a silhouette machine as well.
  • Laying out the design in just the right orientation
  • sewing, sewing, sewing
  • The appliques have to be added at just the right point of construction.  After any seams they overlap, but before the piece becomes three dimensional.
  • the back/wrong side view. It makes me want to explore free hand embroidery more.  I love the way it looks like a drawing on the garment.

Then the construction of the blazer begins.  I used Blank Slate Patterns basic blazer pattern for the jacket.  I love all the extra details that the pattern incorporates, such as the notched collar and welt pockets. The formal elements play agains the elaborate dragon so nicely.  The seem to legitimize each other nicely.

The blazer is fully lined with a polyester lining. It keeps it all so clean and tidy and being slick makes it easier to slip on and off.  It is even machine washable it your are willing to face ironing.  I always find that ironing little clothes it so much more of a challenge than adult sized items.

Here are few more finished shots.  My youngest offered to model it even though she is a size to small, after all girls like to be knights in shining armor too.  

The Best Laid Plans...

As so often, I massively over estimated what I would be able to accomplish this summer.  Between swim lessons, summer reading lists, berry picking, sibling issues, and the endless list that is summer, my time is slipping on past.  I have been busy working but not on as many things for shop as I anticipated.  I made the girls some jammies and sundresses, and have been sewing a star wars wardrobe for my nephew, and several projects for my mother.  They have been fun projects though, so I thought I might take a moment to share them.

This is the start of some booties my mother requested for a friend's grandchild.  They gave me a chance to play about with some different stitching techniques.  They don't match here, but the do in finished form.


I changed the overall style of the booties slightly.  This style ties up at the ankle and is a little more shoe like than the moccasin or sandal style I have made in the past.  My mother wanted them red for good luck.  I decided to use a theme that played on the  Chinese good fortune envelopes.  The deep red, and gold tones really sing against each other.  These make it to the shop after all as a custom order item.

The Star Wars themed costume  was made from the awesome tutorials at MellySews.com.  I have tried several of her patterns now and thoroughly enjoyed them.  The patterns are well drafted and her directions are very clearly written.  I'll post some photos of the finished products on my instagram account later.  If you have find a need for a Jedi costume, I would definitely recommend checking into her site.  They sewed up fast and easy and look authentic.  

The last project for my mother is way off the regular path for me.  Living in St. Louis it is impossible not to be a Cardinals fan. My parents take in a lot of baseball, and so my mom wanted a pair of Toms painted up to show off her team spirit.  So I bought a pair of knock offs to test out a design and techniques. 

I've got much sewing and designing to get to now, and 3 gallons of fresh picked blueberries to eat, and cook, and store.

Trying out new technology

The many joys of slipping past your college years is that technology rapidly slips away from you. I've making a list of all the things that they forgot to tell me in art school.  Today's addition: technology and marketing are ever changing and ever consuming.  


So please read on past this post to my real post about the joys of making.  

Starting Slowly

I have been working through my list of to do items, racing the calendar.  School ends today and with the start of summer my schedule changes.  I've had many new items to add to my etsy shop this spring.  Some entirely new to the shop and some just new versions.  

In the second group, I've returned to making felt booties.  Like this pair.

Spring Green Moccasins

Spring Green Moccasins

I haven't made any for a number of years and had forgotten how joyful it is to make them.  It feels like carefree sketching to sew up a new pair.  I have been collecting a rather large Pinterest board of new stitches to try out.  This summer I foresee filling time at the park and the pool with stitching away and playing with new colors and stitches.

I'll be adding new photos soon.

Chrysanthemum Booties just begining

Chrysanthemum Booties just begining

I hope to finish up this pair very soon.  I'll be lining them with a yellow felt to bring out the gold in the embroidery.

Blue Shining Star Moccasin

Blue Shining Star Moccasin