Ready for winter!

Hi Everyone,

Jan. 7, 2012 — If you’ve dropped by recently, you probably noticed that I took a break. I did some appropriate celebrating, visited family, toasted 2012, and all that. Now, I’m back and intend to keep rolling here through the coming year.  Before I look ahead, I need to revisit a topic I posted about last month — the doggie jackets.

We love our new coats!

I sewed these little coats for my brother’s pups for Christmas. That’s Hugo on the left and Coco in the pink jacket. I know I risk sounding like a little old lady who dotes on her pets, but the doggie jacket project was hard to resist. I think I hit the right note on cuteness here. Besides, I love dogs but don’t have any of my own. The good thing is that the little quilted flannel jackets fit. When it turns cold here in the mid-Atlantic, as it most certainly will, they’ll be warm on their walks. Today, all anyone needed was a light jacket. It was over 60.

While, I was sewing for David’s dogs, he was busy creating a unique gift for me and other members of our family. He calls it a food porn calendar. He and his partner took a trip to Paris last fall to celebrate a milestone birthday. They must have stopped in every pastry shop and cafe they found, taking pictures of everything they ate. The January photos are of a pastry shop window full of fruit tarts and chocolate cakes. He really did a good job with the calendar and found a unique way to share memories of his trip with the family.

More to tell, but I’ll save some new projects for future posts. Next one will be on our soon-to-open camera club exhibit.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and creative 2012!



I’m a rebel

Yup, instead of shopping for Christmas gifts, looks like I’m making most of mine! I didn’t plan it this way, but something must be stoking my desire to make things. Since my brother’s dogs don’t follow my blog, it’s safe to write about their Christmas gifts here. Hugo and Coco are chihuahuas. Adorable, aren’t they?

They weigh about 5 and 3 pounds, respectively, and need coats when they go out on winter walks. On a recent visit to the fabric store (just to look for material for curtains), I happened to find a pattern for doggie coats. Does that ever happen to you? You set out on one mission, and suddenly another idea taps you on the shoulder? Over here! Look at these cute doggie jacket patterns, the other idea beckons. So, I left the fabric store with fabric for an apron and patterns for the apron, curtains (I didn’t forget my original idea), doggie jackets, and a sewing machine cover. The apron is finished. So is my sewing machine cover. And now so is one of the dog jackets.

The wide part closes around the dog’s torso and fastens with velcro. The curved straps go between the dog’s neck and front legs and also fasten with velcro. There’s a little ring on the back you can hook a leash to. Made it with flannel — two pieces with fleece quilted between them. This tan jacket is for Hugo. I have some pink flannel for Coco’s jacket. Planning to get started on that pretty soon. The holidays do tend to impose deadlines on these creative gift projects. I have completed the Christmas cards I posted about week before last.

What’s next? Some photo projects, I think. A young woman at work asked if I would donate a photo for her group’s holiday party raffle. It’s an environmental group, so she was interested in a nature photo. I matted this one for her.

Naturally, that project sparked more ideas about incorporating photos into gifts. It sure is a busy time of year, but if we’re going to immerse ourselves in the gift frenzy, might as well give gifts we enjoy making!

Here’s hoping you can enjoy making some gifts!


The pink apron, top center, is the one I'm making. Mine will be purple!

It’s a crisp November Saturday, and I’m rediscovering the art of sewing. My mother sewed, and between her and my junior high home ec teachers, I learned this immensely practical and creative skill. When I graduated from college, I needed some career clothes but couldn’t afford much. So, I sewed. I made dresses, skirts, jackets, pants, and blouses. Practical as that was, it was also pretty satisfying. I was proud of what I could create. Eventually, I earned enough to buy more of the clothes I wanted. And I started filling up my time with other activities. My patterns, pin cushion, and sewing basket went to the back of the closet.

How about a purple apron!

I recently painted my bedroom and decided that I need new curtains to complement the new gray-green wall color. I also had some skirts and dresses to hem. Why not get a new sewing

machine and get these projects going? If I make the curtains myself, I can get exactly what I have in mind — a contemporary print in the sizes I need for two bedroom windows.  Imaging the possibilities, I ordered a new machine from Amazon. The day after it arrived, I trotted over to a local fabric store. Once there, ideas just started popping. I opened the pattern books and started thinking about all the things I could make. A hat and scarf for winter. New skirts, pants. Dare I try a jacket? It’s been a long time since I’ve done this. I decided to start small and left the fabric store with patterns for my curtains, an apron, doggie jackets, and a sewing machine cover. Got a bit of fabric and thread too.

I like to cook and bake — and tend to get batter and sauces all over myself when I do. That’s why I’m working on the apron now. It’s a good practice project too as it will test my ability to sew straight and curved seams. It’s not something I’ll be wearing out of my kitchen either, so it’s not critical that it be perfect. It this goes well, I’ll progress to the curtains.

Back to work!

Laying out my apron pattern pieces