All Hippy-Dippy and Stuff


cella blog ready

My hippie girl turned 15 last week and like most teenage girls, she wanted clothes.  Only what she wanted was a little different than what most ask for at that age.  She wanted hippie clothes.  I’ve got to say, that girl has my style.  Recently, I ran into a vintage Simplicity pattern that I remember wanting at her age and did something stupid. I used a commercial sewing pattern and didn’t even edit out the facings.  Yikes!  I was cussing through the entire project.  It’s lucky O didn’t pick up any new words.

cella top pattern_phixr

I have yet to get a review from the girl, but if it’s good I will make this again (with editing of course).  Instead of sewing it the Simplicity way, I will sew it the me way and make proper yokes so that the facings can be eliminated. To make up for the ugly factor of facings, I was careful to make the hem extra nice.

cella blog ready hem

Per usual, the cotton fabric was post consumer, but this time it was extra special.  I found this piece a few months ago at the local thrift and it was a piece of flour sacking.  When you look closely the printing is still visible in a few places.  I tried to cut around it the best I could, but couldn’t completely avoid it.  Luckily, my hippie girl digs things like that and was ecstatic when I explained the fabric to her.

cella top fabric_phixr

I had intended to use post consumer lace on the yoke, but just about had a fit trying to find it in my stash.  Then my husband reminded me that I had used it this past summer on my I Don’t Give a Damn maternity top.

Before I started this project I had grand plans to seriously edit and create this dress for myself, but now I am just over commercial patterns again.  Maybe, I will revisit this idea in a few months when I start my fall/winter sewing and can justify creating a fully lined version.

me pattern_phixr


Have Sketchbook, Will Travel


gretchy1My Favorite Art Geek turns twelve next week and she is a bugger to shop for.  There are only three things on her wish list and all are quite generic:

  1. art supplies
  2. anything red
  3. anything camo

Since this kid has more art supplies than I do (and that really is saying something), I decided to take a grab at #2 on her list and hopefully hit the other two in the process.  My starting outline was just about a vague as her wish list: a red bag, large enough to carry a sketchbook and a few other necessities.  So, I grabbed the measurements from a standard sketchbook and started pattern making.  I ended up with a simple four piece pattern that wasn’t quite handbag and a bit more stylish than a tote, it was exactly what I wanted.


I’ve been the owner of a salvaged red, leather seat cover for several years now and I dug it out of the closet. The piece had always been tagged for my Art Geek, but up until now I hadn’t quite put my finger on the perfect project.  I had to spend about 30 minutes cleaning the old leather and flattening out the worst of the creases.  Then I was ready to sew.

My new machine handled the leather with ease and (not counting the times I was interrupted) the sewing was complete in another 45 minutes.  The only hiccup came when I wanted to add the handle (previously my favorite belt-army green is close to camo) and realized that I should have done that as the first step instead of the last.  I get ahead of myself some days.


For the finishing touches, O helped me apply an asymmetrical clasping system created from  a vintage necklace I’ve been piecing out for years and a spring clip I salvaged from a defunct suitcase.  The dangly charm is a string of beads from broken necklace.  (Some days, my husbands theory about me being a hoarder doesn’t sound so far off.  Who else has all of this laying around the house?)


Let’s Go Camping!



When I found 3/4 yard of 60 wide,quilted rip-stop fabric at the thrift a few months ago, I just had to have it.  Initially I though it would become a coat for one of the littles next winter, but as camping season approached I realized it had a much higher calling.  “O” is extremely independent and demands her own space at bedtime, so creating a sleeping bag of her very own became a must.  With her first birthday coming up, I decided that this would be the perfect gift for our busy little girl.


This project is a blend of thrifted, repurposed, and new materials.  Of course, the quilted rip-stop came from the thrift, but then I added a insulated center layer made from a repurposed mattress pad and a cotton flannel lining of new material.  On the fly, this looked like a quick easy project.  It really was a pretty straight forward, but it was not a project my old machine relished.  The multiple layers of thick fabric posed a bit of a challenge on my test swatch, so I had to use a few alternative methods of construction.  Instead of sewing all the layers into a sandwich and then simply turning and top stitching as I had planned, I had to size the insulating layer down by an inch on every side and then center it on my lining fabric and stitch the two together.  I then used my sandwich and topstitch method.  Also, the density of my fabrics and lack of a zipper foot made a standard zipper application impossible.  Since I have outstanding faith in my hand stitching abilities, I simply adhered the zipper by hand.  That is the method I usually employ in dress making anyway.

“O’s” birthday is still over 3 weeks away, but having this project finished will be a relief to her daddy.  Ever since I announced that I was creating this sleeping bag, he has asked about it almost daily.  I guess he still isn’t completely familiar with the Ames family genetics that allow me to do amazing last minute work.  Just wait, I’ll go buy wrapping paper at 1 am the morning of her birthday, while her cake is in the oven.


Looking at this last photo, I know I could have done a better job presenting the project for photographing.  It is so bumpy that it almost looks as if a little person has just crawled out of it!  I really wanted to get this blogged yesterday, so it was do-or-die this morning and with the little red battery button blinking on the camera I was a little haphazard.