Iris Season!

I have always loved irises! My Mom had a patch of dark purple ones.  When we moved to this house 14 years ago, there were some lavender irises back by the garage. Then, my sweet husband started collecting and planting a rainbow for me! Fortunately, they seem to love our climate, and they thrive and multiply here.  We probably have close to 100 varieties that bloom over the course of about four weeks.  And iris season has begun!

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So, it seemed only fitting that I should name my first pattern “Iris.”  It has been one of my best-selling patterns for many years.  It started with this little blue dress

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and this Christening gown

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Then I made this pink linen version, because I had some wonderful pink lace that perfectly matched the fabric.

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Then a few years ago, I made this lavender version (with little embroidered irises, of course!)

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Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go out and see if any new irises have opened!

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It’s A Zoo!

When I was pregnant with my daughter, who was born in 1983, I made this soft fabric book.  It is just too cute!  She used it, my son used it, my nephews used it, and it recently made it back into my hands.

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Unbutton the hippo bus driver’s nose…

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to see his floppy tongue!

The bear’s ball glove laces and ties like a shoe…

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The giraffe has bows to tie…

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The pelican used to have two little fish to hook onto the pole, but the fish are long lost…

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The lion has a tail to braid…

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Zip open the alligator’s mouth…

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and that tongue can lick the ice cream cone!  This was always the favorite!

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The kangaroo used to have a little joey that fit in the buckled pocket, but the joey hopped away somewhere…

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The elephant’s skates had buttons and loops…

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And the turtle’s shell unsnaps to say…

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“I love you!”

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This was not a quick project to make, but it has held up well, and I’m so glad I have it!  I remembered that it was a Vogue pattern, so I did a quick search.  If you Google “Vogue Patterns 1959,” you can find it on several sites for sale.  I can’t vouch for any of them, but there are some copies of this pattern available if you want to make a book like this.

Gifts for Mom

I’ve made many gifts for my loved ones over the years.  Here are some garments I sewed for my Mom.  All of these garments date back at least 20 years!

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This pieced bargello jacket was made from Cherrywood hand-dyes.  I don’t know where I found them, as I wasn’t quilting back then, and the company had to be pretty young.  In any case, I loved the gradated colors and the sueded texture.  I still do!  I don’t think there was a specific pattern, I think I just adapted a simple cardigan pattern.

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The print used for the accent and the lining was a piece chosen because the colors were right for the hand-dyed fabrics.

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This vest was one of the very first things I made with machine embroidery.  Since I got my first embroidery machine in 1994 – a Viking #1 – this vest is 21 years old!  The base fabric is a batik (which I have since learned is not the easiest on which to prevent puckers!)

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For one side of the front, I stitched cross-hatched double-needle pintucks with different thread colors, then stitched on little ocean charms after the vest was finished.  Sorry about the blurry photo.

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I embroidered the colorful fish on the other side and added little glass seed bead “bubbles.”

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Mom was wearing this shirt when I visited at Christmas.  It is probably 30 years old. She’ll not be happy that I posted this picture of her! 🙂  She asked if I remembered the shirt; surprisingly, I did not.  I remember in detail almost everything I’ve ever made, but not this.

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It’s made from a soft brushed cotton twill, like a fine cotton flannel.  I wish I knew what pattern I used, it had interesting side seams.

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Here are the sleeve plackets.

I wonder how many stitches I’ve stitched in my life???