Char in summer

Char in summer
New dressage horse

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sewing again

Spring is struggling to arrive--darn that snow!--so there's too much of it to ride yet, so my thoughts have naturally turned to sewing. This year I became a "paid" member of Pattern Review
and I have boldly entered 3 contests: Handbag contest (now finished) Mini-Wardrobe (4 garments to make at least 4 distinctive outfits and a Stash Busting contest: The latter I have neglected badly.
Mt bag was made from a tapestry Western jacket in a Navajo weave and lined with stash fabric, so I stayed true to my mo of refashioning.. The Wardrobe entry will be entitled "Rockin' The Kasbah" and will be made entirely from my stash fabrics--pics to follow.
--I'm inviting everyone from over to my blog to view my struggles to create things.......

Sunday, February 7, 2010


This is "Classical Charmayne" a true "Dressage Horse"! I purchased her 2 years ago from my coach DJ Cairns, who raised, trained and showed her with great success. Char is attempting to "train" me--a hopeless cause! She is sassy, bossy and elegant, also quite patient and kind considering.
She is a Cadillac horse--Spook was more of a Mustang! She has a long neck and lovely sweeping stride. She is truly a Schoolmaster horse because if I don't get it right, she won't help me. I'm looking forward to a long summer of getting re-acquainted and brushing up on my riding skills.
It will be very different riding alone on my own place. I am also purchasing a 2-horse trailer, so I'm very excited about having complete freedom to get out and about and not having to depend on friends to go to shows and clinics.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Here we are at last on our own acreage : Our private world of 11.6 acres of yard and pasture, ponies, goats and dogs.
We made the move on August 29th, 2010. It was a long drawn out process-still moving a few things actually from town--.
We survived Christmas, -35 degrees, 12" snow dumps, and we are actually loving it all. Barn chores are time to spend together even though stinky. The dogs are marvellous companions. Days are long for me because I have a 35-minute commute but it is a lovely drive and the best way to have peace and quiet and meditate and plan projects. Also CBC Radio 2 is great company.
I'm posting catch-up pics of everybody, since I haven't blogged for a long time....New Equine friends and companions......two magnificent white beasts to protect and patrol the farmyard......a new precious princess in the house.
Since it's Winter, my thoughts are on creative sewing projects and design, of course. I became a paying Member of "Friends Of Pattern Review" this year and I have entered a sewing contest already--from Feb 1st to April 1st--stash-busting ! This I need, since the move, which entailed carrying huge tubs of yards and remnants from the past 20 years, has increased my awareness that I need to start reducing my inventory of yard goods!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I feel so great!!--My SWAP sewing is finished, and my photos emailed in to Timmel Fabrics (the sponsor). I was so pleased with how wonderful the garments felt to wear--everything is so comfortable!
I want ot give a great big THANK-YOU to my best friend Cathy Nicholls, who helped me with fitting the muslins and was so encouraging, and to my d.h. Gerald for taking the photos with his fancy digital Nikon--he knows how to get the best angles.
Here is the composite photo of the wardrobe. Unfortunately, I had to substitute a purchsed white shirt at the last minute (from my own closet).--We were allowed one purchased garment, plus had the option of including two garments sewn prior to the start date.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

SWAP 2008 Description

The Title of my Swap is from a booklet of quotes I picked up from the Scrapbooking section in a craft store.
The exact quote was:
"Wisdom is knowing what to do next
Virtue is doing it"

At the same time I was fascinated by a series of vintage postcards that I "rediscovered" while cleaning out my china cabinet one of which was a picture of a young girl in Ewardian dress, standing by a lake and obviously enamoured by a clean-cut young man leaning out of a canoe...and perhaps encountering a moral dilemma at the threshhold of womanhood!


My goal for this Swap was to make 2 outfits from the same pattern that would be completely different, yet complimentary. A Romance Theme in neutral linens and laces, an edgy, confidant punkish counterpart in tough strong dark denim.
The pieces are further embellished with quotes and photo images to illustrate the theme.

The second challenge is my pledge to "Wardrobe Refashion":
I will to buy only handmade and recycled clothing for a period of 6 months- starting in January.. My only purchase has been the linen from Timmel fabrics-a requirement to participate in the Swap, and which I had ordered prior to being accepted by Wardrobe Refashion.


Wardrobe Pattern: Butterick B4932:--fitted lined jacket with peplum, bias -cut skirt, pants with waistband and front zipper.

1). Jacket: B4932
Constructed with recycled novelty denim in various textures and
weaves,overdyed dark green.
2). 6-gored skirt: Burda 7926 view C
Dyed recycled denim with appliques and artwork patches, raw
3). Unlined shirt-jacket: B4932
Made from Aeterna Linen, natural-from Timmel fabrics: I used
narrow facings to keep the garment light and breathable. Frog
4). Bias-cut skirt: B4932
Aeterna linen with vintage linen doily applique.
5). Pants: B4932
Patchwork and "fishscale"construction, using a variety of
recycled fabrics accented with taffeta and organza scraps.
6). Sleeveless shell #1: Self-drafted.
Thrifted cotton rib knit with crotcheted appliques.
7). Sleeveless shell #2: Self-drafted.
Thrifted cotton rib knit -two-tone with ribbon accent.
8). *Previously started before Swap 2008:
Wrap skirt: Self-drafted.
Vintage floral tablecloth from garage sale with thrifted skirt
piece added.
9). Sleeveless sheath dress: McCalls 2401 View F.
Heavy Missoni-type novelty knit-from stash.
10).Wrap blouse: Butterick B6768 (Out of Print).
I used 4 thrifted stretch cotton striped shirts and cut and
pieced the fabrics.
11).*Purchased piece:
Thrifted "L.A. Seatcovers" linen top-used to embellish with
photo transfers, lace, appliques to illustrate Swap theme.

Since the Swap deadline is April 11th, I will be frantically
sewing and may not have much time to post photos untilthen.
--Good luck to all fellow Swappers--Happy sewing !!--M.

Monday, March 31, 2008

ROMANCE Linen and lace outfit

Hi again! I am posting the results of my last two weeks of sewing...I was despairing of finishing the Swap by the deadline (April 11th)..but now I think I may actually make it! I have almost finished a bias-cut linen skirt with appliques from a vintage linen and crotcheted doily. Since I cut the jacket from the same linen-and had only purchased 3m-I had to make a join in the skirt diagonally across the front (quite tricky!). The doily pieces are sewn on diagonally, but are not symmentrical. The join and the hem seams have beeen left frayed and raw. The skirt has an interesting texture. By contrast, the shirt-jacket is very simple and clean finished. I did not put in the full facings because I thought it would make the linen too stiff, so I cut simple narrow facings for the top of the jacket and the peplum. Although my original plan was to make the jacket with heavy lace embellishment, I somehow don't want to spoil the pristine look-plus, I can't argue with my friend, it is more versatile this way.
--I'm also working on my textured dyed denim jacket and skirt--getting inspired and excited!--Too bad I have to go to work tomorrow---I'm really on a roll!!---M.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


--Back again after a weekend of making muslins and starting my second garment: McCalls 2401 is a classic sheath dress with variations in neckline. I chose View F' the sleeveless version to make up in the Missoni-like highly textured knit from my stash. I decided that since it has a very wide stripe, I would use the fabric horizontally (I know, I know... horizontal stripes add width..but in this case I think it will be balanced out by the lower hemline!).--First: a confession: in cutting out I laid out my fabric carefully and ensured the stripes matched on the sideseams...only to doscover I HAD FORGOTTEN TO FOLD THE DART ON THE FRONT FIRST !! OH, Ugh !!--So I had to take extra time to slide up the Back to match the stripes, then carefully slit and take up a narrow seam in the top back ( the green stripe)to match the side seams and compensate for the bust darts. Then I had to re-mark the long back darts proportionately...luckily the fabric is heavily textured, so the seams look more "decorative" than strange..but what a lesson to learn!!
The companion piece to the dress will be a simple cardigan made of a shell-pink cotton rib knit, using leftover scraps of the novelty knit for the front bands. I purchased Butterick 4740 for this simple garment. Itt has loads of potential for wovens.
--I also have a working muslin ready for my Wrap Front Blouse..
---At this point I would like to thank my very good friend/ fellow seamstress Cathy for all her help with pinning and fitting--Cathy without you I would have real problems getting a good fit on my "tops". I will pay it back by cleaning out goat pens!!!


all pieces minus purchased shirt