A Gazillion Dandilions

It’s dandilion season. They’re blooming everywhere in great profusion.

They’ll be around for the next three weeks or so then other wildflower will take its turn.

Since the city has banned the use of herbicides and pesticides I’ve had to dig the plants out individually, one at a time – it’s time consuming and hard on my back but it’s kept the dandilions at bay.

There’s rain in the forecast for tomorrow – I will have to put “dig out dandilions” on my Sunday “to do” list.

Jean Jacket II

I had about a metre and a half of Luella Doss’ Hot Flash – Juicy Blooms (HDLD01) fabric in my stash. I bought it 3-4 years ago and wasn’t sure what to do with it. From time to time I’d take it out and look at it, then put it back in the closet.

When I got back from San Francisco with the jean jacket pattern, I took the fabric out once again. I knew there wasn’t quite enough for the jacket pattern, but with a bit of contrasting twill (I decided to use black), I thought I could make it work.

The challenge was the way the fabric was printed – flowers along one side, black and white stripes along the other. Straight off I knew I’d have to cut the jacket with the grain line on the width if I was to get flowers on the bottom and stripes at the top.

I didn’t have enough flower fabric to do all of the sleeve detail – so I decided to “mix & match” using flowers, stripes and black. I could only get one side of the collar and the bottom band pieces in the flower fabric, the facings had to be cut from black.

I also had enough of a perfect piece of black printed silk fabric for the lining which I’d bought in New York – I’d bought it intending to use it for lining, this seemed to be the right garment!

So I cut the jacket out on Thursday, constructed the outside yesterday, built the lining (again with hidden zippered pockets in the lining), and put the whole together today.


The jacket is definitely one of a kind! It’ll be fun wearing it.

Remodelling Summer Pants

You get up one day and decide today is the day to swap out the winter pants for the summer ones. That was this morning – however, I knew I would want to do something with the fit in the back of all eight pairs of pants which I’d made last summer.

I tried each on, pinned a dart to get rid of the fullness under the bum. Then I dug out some thin cardboard and drafted a template for the dart.

All of the pants were made from a palazzo pants pattern – with modifications as I went along – the legs got narrower, some ended up cropped, the first pair had the side opening used in the pattern, but second pair on I changed to a fly front.

I figured out a system for doing the alteration – I turned the pants inside out, pressed along the centre back, marked 6.25″ from the lower waistband seam, positioned the template, marked the dart seam with a fabric marker or chalk, then stitched it. Pressed the dart toward the centre back, turned the pants right side out and pressed along the seam. Done!

The pants fit so much better than they did.

Now to incorporate the shape and depth of the dart into the back of my jeans pattern, as well as the palazzo pants pattern. I think I have the dimensions of the “dart” just about right now.

“Stacks” Quilt

21 blocks done so far. Each block consists of six 2″ strips of a colour joined to a white; making a 9.5 X 9.5 block (finished size will be 9″ square). The strips for the remaining 14 blocks are stacked beside my machine ready to be assembled – this will be a 35 block quilt – finished size at least 45″ X 63″ – that’s without a narrow border which I may do.

At the moment I’m thinking about reversing the direction of one block in each column for contrast, but if I do that I will want a narrow sashing (probably in white – not sure about that yet) between the columns. Until I am able to lay out all 35 blocks I can’t begin creating columns – since the design is still fluid.

More to come. Haven’t given any thought to the back yet!

Jean Jacket

Just finished – Jean Jacket (Vogue 1036 – Today’s Fit/Sandra Betzina). A lot of detail, edge stitching and top stitching, lining, but not difficult to construct. I made a couple of modifications: In the original, the sleeves had a flare – I made the sleeve straight from elbow to wrist; the outside pockets are more decorative than useful (too shallow to hold my keys, for example), so I added two interior zippered pockets (credit card in one, cash in the other).

Photo on 2015-05-20 at 8.46 PM

Photo on 2015-05-20 at 8.46 PM #2

The fabric is a cotton twill with a tiny bit of lycra (the bolt in the shop said “fabric content 100% unknown – as were all the other sample fabrics on display). Great for a light spring jacket.

Oh, and Sandra suggests snaps for the front, I used buttons (I couldn’t find any heavy duty snaps in navy – all that was available in town were various metallic colours and I wanted the navy to blend with the flowers).

IMG_4946(Hidden zippered pocket between lining and front facing.)

Black & White Tunic

The fabric I bought in San Francisco – a striped knit. The pattern from Safe-T-Pockets T-Shirt Trifecta. I wanted the stripes to align on the diagonal seam and they did. Yeah! There is a small hidden pocket (with an invisible zipper) in the diagonal seam – that’s a trademark feature of all Safe-T-Pockets designs. This top will be a useful summer garment – with the white pants it’s both a casual or dressy outfit. Didn’t take long to whip it up. The neckband and cuffs intentionally add contrast just in case you thought I hadn’t planned that – I did.

bw tunic-front

bw tunic-back

Back Garden

Two weeks ago, when I got back from San Francisco, the deck was finally free of snow, although the patch of grass between the deck and the back garden bed still had a couple of inches remaining. It went within a week. Last Saturday, a sunny warm day, I moved pots around, picked up my broom and swept away the debris. Monday, I cleared out the dead remains of last year’s planting from the containers so the new perennial growth could come through – chives, hosta, coral bells, even the peony, all survived beneath the snow. The maple, yellow birch, dogwood – all originally volunteers – are in bud. My clematis is showing lots of new growth, and I can see I’ll have a good display of blooms on both rhododendrons!

Today, I planted some ajuga reptans (bugle weed), echinacea (last year’s planting didn’t survive), and pansies (all can handle the still cold nights). The other day I happened to see some pink wax begonias – couldn’t find them anywhere last year so I bought a couple of sets – since it’s too early to put them out, I’ve stuck them in my covered basement window well where they are protected from the low night temperatures and still get light during the day. It won’t be warm enough to transplant them to containers for at least another 10 days.

I’m now on the lookout for a second small peony. The canna lily last year was gorgeous – I hope to find one again this year. I should be able to buy a hibiscus at the Superstore garden centre in a couple of weeks. Then some million bells or verbena for the three pots on the fence. A pink mandevilla would finish off the planting nicely!

I love this time of year – finally being able to work in the garden, watching everything growing. Looking forward to five months without coats and boots. This is living in Canada!

Bargello Jacket

Haven’t had an occasion to wear the Bargello jacket in quite a while. Today a friend and her daughter and I were going for “tea” and the temperature was perfect for this jacket.

I still love how the chevron works and even though I’m wearing jeans, I end up with dressy outfit.

BTW, “tea” was lovely – two great desserts share three ways and a cup of tea and some interesting conversation!

I have some great silk dupioni fat quarters that would work into an interesting Bargello – must dig them out and look at them with this in mind.