I purchased this material from Fabrics.com last summer but finally just got around to sewing it. It’s a nice medium weight knit, perfect for layering in the cold of Yosemite. I used a pencil skirt pattern to get the general fit, though I had to take it in a bit from there since this is a stretchy material. Two seams and two hems later (I skipped a waistband) and I had a perfect skirt for light hiking in Yosemite during Me Made May. So easy and so comfy!
A few weeks ago, my mom, Nana, sister and I took a trip to Yosemite. It was my first time to visit in the Spring. The forecast was a heavy rain/snow storm. We had the big dramatic grey clouds and fog, but only sprinkles. It made for some beautiful photos. I had no me made clothing for #MeMadeMay that was suitable for a trip to Yosemite so I whipped a few things up right before we left. Since we were staying in a hotel, not tent camping and with my Nana, so no strenuous hikes, I made a few cute, casual, warm/good for layering items. I love a good 11 mile rt hike up Glacier Point, bathing in the river and sleeping in a tent, but flat walks, staying clean, and cute clothes in Yosemite was a nice treat too 😉
My mom had given me an Issac Mizrahi for Target sweatshirt dress years ago that is perfect for work and colder days. I’ve been wanting to recreate for quite awhile and when I found this mint thin sweatshirt material at Michael Levine’s (for $3!! a yard!!), I got it for this dress. I laid the dress out as a rough pattern, but lengthened the sleeves and hemline, and lowered the back. I also skipped the pocket. Not on purpose, but it was an oddly constructed pocket (a large kangaroo pocket that started at the bust seam and went from side seam to side seam with the pocket under the fabric to create no bulk) and I didn’t cut my fabric properly to account for it. I have plenty of the fabric left, so I may try to deconstruct it to add the pocket.
I’ve been itching to make another embroidered sweatshirt after the one I made last summer. After seeing bears and the poppy fields and teaching art lessons that have to do with California, I am on quite the kick for my home state. So, a few months ago, a bear filled with poppies popped in my head as my next project. After stitching the bear, I decided that poppies on the inside might be a bit tough, so they went behind the bear. I drew the design at home, started stitching it on the drive up to Yosemite, and finished at the Ahwahnee hotel while sipping a tequila hot chocolate. I also sewed a 125th anniversary of Yosemite NP on the sleeve.
I quite love it! But I think it is time to start finding other things to embroider seeing as I’m not much of a sweatshirt person.
Last month, we headed to the Mojave desert for a long weekend of camping and wildflower seeking. We drove out to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve on the first day and it was a dream. I wanted to make a new dress to wear but didn’t have time. So, I pulled a dress out of my ‘to mend’ pile, cut the straps in half and managed to tie it into a skirt. I purchased the dress on Etsy several years ago but never wore it because it was quite unflattering. It was made of beautiful material though. On the car ride up to the desert, I pulled the details off the original straps and sewed them up the skirt with some pearl beads. It turned out beautiful for a last minute upcycle, though I’ll actually add a real zipper to it eventually. The wildflowers are just about gone for the year but I recommend a trip up next early Spring. It was so stunning in person.
Brittany from The House That Lars Built posted the most beautiful botanical Easter egg DIY last week. I fell in love and instantly wanted to recreate them, but balked because I hate painting Easter eggs a solid color (they’re round so they fall over and get nicks or finger prints, you have the wait for the paint dry, etc). The black seemed necessary though- it made them so gorgeously bold. At a Michael’s run for work the other day, I found 2 cartons of 1/2 price black chalkboard eggs and it was a sign that I needed to make them. Last year, I found a gorgeous vintage book (written in the 20s, mine was printed in the 50s) with images of painted wildflowers of the Pacific coast, as well as information about each flower. I looked through it to find flowers that grow in my beloved state and painted a few on the eggs. I absolutely love them!
Happy almost Easter!!
In my last post, I shared my screen printed tank. That same night, I screenprinted on to some knit fabric that I sewed into a perfect California Spring hiking skirt. I had to wear it on our trip to the Lancaster poppy fields, of course.
Since I am an art teacher without a formal art degree, I decided that I should take some community college art classes. While walking to my classes, I pass the fashion design studio and get all dreamy eyed staring in at all the sewing machines and dress forms. This semester, I found a short term, once a week class textile design course, so I decided to take it. It was too much going to class 3 nights a week for 3.5 hours each and the course wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for, but I still got to try out some cool techniques, like screen printing. I found a California poppy clip art online and drew out a simplified version to print. I printed some on jersey for a skirt and on to thin cotton for this tank. I didn’t have enough of the cotton to make the back of the tank and the only other white material I had laying around was this cheap Ikea lace curtain, so that’s what I used for the back. The pattern is the free Colette Sorbetto. I needed to add 2 inches to the length and made the scoop neck slightly lower, but it is a good basic pattern.
The skirt material is from Alexander Henry and I bought it at Michael Levine’s in LA. I had intended for it to be a quick and easy sewing project, hence the gathered waist and elastic band, but then decided that a scalloped edge was a must. I didn’t really have the time at the moment,but I’m glad I finally sewed a scalloped edge after wanting to try it for so long. It was a bit slow, but pretty simple with this tutorial.
I love capes and the Popover Poncho was such a cute, casual cape design. I waited to buy the pattern until I found a fabric I loved. It’s a poly cotton blend that is thick and double sided (black with white designs on one side and white with black designs on the other side). My nana and I drove up to Michael Levines in LA to fabric shop and I couldn’t turn down the mint sweatshirt knit that I found for $3 a yard. The poncho pattern is single sided, but I figured out how to make it reversible. I’m really happy with it, except I wish I had used a black 1/2 inch binding instead of the 1 inch mint. I think it would have only taken an afternoon, if my machine didn’t keep jamming and if I didn’t make it reversible. I think that my machine needs a tune up, but the thickness of the fabric with the reversible design probably didn’t help. I’d like to make another one with a more colorful fabric and maybe fleeceline on the inside to make it super cozy. Slits on either side of the pocket would be good too, so that I didn’t have to lift the cape up to my hands in the pocket. Though since this is double sided, I can hide my hands in the inside pocket too- sneaky!
My first free printable! I created this card for my Nana with watercolors and sharpies and loved it so much that I decided to share it. If there are problems, let me know. Download here. For personal use only.