Archive for April, 2012

Patchwork Takes Center Stage at the Pratt Institute Senior Fashion Show

April 29, 2012

There are many patchwork clothing patterns and ready-made clothes out there but few come off looking as hip and fresh as those created by Pratt Institute student Kelsy Parkhouse. The colorwork is great but the line and proportions of the garment, the shoes, and the way the patchwork jacket below is paired with what looks like a long sheath dress make her designs look anything but frumpy.  (I say this here because some patchwork clothing just looks frumpy – or, at least, makes me feel frumpy when I put it on … ummm … could be my shoes.)

Take a look here at to see highlights from the Pratt Institute’s senior fashion show – scroll to the bottom of the screen and hit the “Launch Slideshow” button. Kelsy’s work is featured on slides 18 and 19 but there is plenty of inspiration on the other pages as well!


Photo from

While some designs are clearly meant for twenty somethings (or younger), there are a few here that I would love to try on!

Creativity, Donuts, and Quilting

April 23, 2012

Despite the best laid out “to do” list and intentions, some days it doesn’t take much to wander off course. For me, it is usually one of those sunny, spring days when you feel like you are back in grade school waiting for the last bell of the year to ring and summer to begin – which pretty much describes the weather every day last week here in Chicago.

I was busy checking off to-do’s on my list for about the first hour of my day when the distraction appeared: it began with an email from a friend asking if anyone knew of a bakery that could make a layer cake from donuts and my friend Melissa responding with a link to the wonderful (and addictive) blog Une Gamine dans la Cuisine. Flash forward a couple of hours and Melissa is dropping off a cup of buttermilk so that we can both make the recipe.

Absolutely delicious as is, or change up the flavors a bit and substitute lemon or vanilla (or a combo) for the almond. And, yes, the muffin had the density and crumb of a donut without the deep frying. My daughter and I thought next time, too, we might try a chocolate glaze.

While I could have fretted about the time lost in my workday, I concluded in the end I needed a creative break that did not involve quilting or sewing. And, it was either this break or the donuts themselves, but I filled up a couple of pages in my sketchbook of quilt block designs!

Here’s to those creative breaks that in the end actually make us more productive …

A Perfect Pairing: Lotta Jansdotter Moira Fabric and New Look Top Pattern

April 5, 2012

Since buying Lotta Jansdotter’s Moira fabric in the Deep Indigo colorway back in November, I have been looking for the perfect project to highlight the simplicity of the fabric design. Cleaning up my studio a few days ago, I found this misplaced pattern, New Look pattern number 6784. The scale of the motif is perfect for the pattern and there are not many seams to break up the design. The line of the finished top complements the skinny, cropped jeans I bought last summer. (Why does it seem to take a season or two to fully pull an outfit together?!)

The pattern directions were clear and the top (View D) went together fairly quickly. My only regret is that I didn’t cut the neckline a bit higher in the front – it seemed fine when I held the pattern up but when I finished the bodice and slipped it on, it was a bit too low and wide. Thus, I will now be buying a camisole to wear under the shirt. If I make this top again, I will play with the neckline some and then make the bodice first in muslin to test it out. The only other change I made was rather than topstitching the bodice lining down, I hand stitched it in place.

As an aside, I bought this fabric at The French Seam in Indianapolis last November. I’m not sure if they still have it, but it does look like it is available direct from Lotta Jansdotter’s site.

Since I feel a bit emboldened by my sewing success here, next up is a blouse in Cal Patch’s Design-It-Yourself Clothes.

What are you sewing for your spring/summer wardrobe?