a little bit of this & that

i absolutely adore food-patterened fabrics. they simply delight me in such a unique way, i can’t help but buy any cute food fabrics i come across. i have even made myself a few food-patterened patchwork skirts which get some interesting looks… however aprons, tea cozies, pot holders and other kitchen items are a much more natural fit for such fabrics and i have just started making some cute patchwork aprons out of my newest food fabrics.

farmers market and stirfry were the first two, but i still have enough fabric for two more in very similar patterns. bento is a cute mix of some japanese themed fabrics i had: geta, maneki neko, chopsticks and dragonflies. the last apron is a mix of magenta and purple fabrics meant to give the look of the filling of a berry cobbler.

the gypsy charm skirt.

gypsy charm

i did finish two more skirts that are just up for sale in my etsy shop. the first is one i have been meaning to make for a long, long time… the gypsy charm skirt. i love the idea of charm quilts (where each and every fabric is different) and i have made a few in the past. it struck me that i should make a skirt in the same way so here is a 166 piece skirt in 166 different fabrics. i checked and double checked while i was making it and while there may be some similar patterns with different colorways, each and every fabric is unique.

the most challenging part of making the skirt was balancing light and dark, spacious patterns against small calico, making sure the various predominant colors were evenly spaced. i really love the way it turned out and have already begun making a stack for another charm skirt. though the next one will probably be one i make for myself because i simply love the look of so many different fabrics.

the endless summer sky skirt.

endless summer sky

there was this time in my life that i often think back on in a very fond way. i was old enough to be left alone without supervision but still too young to be expected to find a summer job. those wonderful, carefree summer days… i spent them wandering the undeveloped parts of our neighborhood, finding hidden apple trees and exploring shady creeks and ponds. in the afternoon i would lay in the grassy fields of wildflowers and just stare at the sky, dreaming. the endless summer sky…

i really wanted to capture that feel. that blissful feeling of no responsibility, of no worries or cares. the sound of a creek slowly drifting along, a single-prop airplane droning overhead, the gentles touch of a warm breeze across a field of flowers.

birthday skirts & a custom order

i recently celebrated my birthday and upheld my longstanding tradition of making myself some new clothing for the big day. usually i knit a sweater or make something a bit more flamboyant than i would normally wear but i decided to just make myself some skirts this year. it has been a long time since i made something for myself and it was a real joy to create them:

the first skirt, cherry liqueur, was one i had been wanting to make for quite a while. i had been collecting fabrics and one day decided that it would be my primary birthday skirt. i even had his unusual vibrant pink/purple antique lace that i felt would add a nice accent to the hem so i added it as well.

peony under skies was a wonderful surprise skirt. i laid the stack of leftover fabric from cherry liqueur next to my tiny stash of browns and the leftover stack of blue patches i had from another project. i was instantly reminded of my old peony garden and how i used to spend so much time photographing peonies from a low angle to get the sky as a background.

cherry pop utilized many of the same fabrics as an earlier skirt i had made, watermelon pop, but i added in a cherry pattern that worked so perfectly i could not think of anything but sweet cherry candies while i worked on it. i still have enough for one last skirt with many similar fabrics that will be up for sale with my next batch of skirts.

the verdant garden skirt.

verdant garden

then came the dragonfly dreams. i bought five yards of the olive dragonfly fabric about ten years ago and have been using it bit by bit during that time. a dear friend once suggested a grey/olive skirt to me and i could not stop thinking about how that would look. so i used all my grey scraps and made this as my final birthday skirt.

happily, i had a request for a custom skirt in shades of green! my favorite! it is in the style of my ivy path skirt just a bit longer. as with every skirt i make i developed a crush on it as soon as i started cutting the fabrics, the texture of all the greens, the various vines and leaves, i love everything about this skirt. and i hope she does too.

aprons

so i had an idea to make some aprons and here is most of what i have made thus far:

i say “most” because i have sold several aprons before i even had time to photograph them! several things went into the design of these aprons, mainly based on my own experience with handmade aprons in the past.

first: i wanted to make sure the apron was durable. i cannot tell you how many times i have ordered a cute apron only to have it arrive and be made of a flimsy material i could see through. if an apron is to protect my clothing it has to have the thickness to do so. second: it had to be long. i need an apron to be at least long enough too protect my thighs from spills. no point in wearing an apron that is not long enough to protect your clothing/skin. third: i needed to have a pattern that would not immediately show every little marinara spatter and jam stain. i understand the purpose of aprons is to protect your clothing/skin but i would like to keep them looking nice for as long as possible so a pattern that helped minimize the appearance of stains is ideal.

the honeydew skirt.

honeydew

i made the first apron, tangine, as soon as i woke up one morning with the inspiration to make an apron. i made the ties specifically to fit myself but after showing it to a few people the consensus was that the ties needed to be much longer to fit a wide variety of people. i went back and made as many as i could and in the process of showing them to the same people, i started selling them!

each apron is reversible and the front is sewn to the back across each row. i used bias binding to give the apron the look of a quilt and to give it a bit of extra durability. i really love the end result: a long, sturdy apron that is pretty as well as functional.

i decided to give all the aprons food names, since they are mostly associated with food preparation. somehow that made making each of them more fun as i worked with the fabrics and tried to find the right name to convey the feel of the piece. and after all that, i also made a new skirt appropriately named ‘honeydew’. the colours definitely remind me of various summer melons but it had be be honeydew because i have always loved that word.

four more

these are the next four skirts which are just up for sale in my etsy store. i was really enjoying working with blues lately and, of course, making more rainbow anything. the grey skirt was the one that really surprised me though, i loved the look of pale and dark greys. most of the grey fabric i still have left is going into an olive and grey skirt and i can tell you now: i am already in love with it!

grand opening!

just a very quick note to announce that my etsy shop is finally open! i listed the first fifteen skirts this evening and will get to the rest tomorrow ( i still have to photograph them). and i have ever so many skirts lined up to be sewn and serged: a cream/beige/grey, a blue/purple/black, a red/white/black, olive/grey, dark grey/black, hot/pale/dusty pinks, bright pinkish purples, brown/tan/chestnut… i have been making piles of fabric all day and am ready to get back to sewing!