New Year’s dye makeover

For my first creative act of the new year, I was inspired to take few items whose colors did not thrill me and put them in a vat of dye. The Pantone color for 2014 is Radiant Orchid, so I was inspired to choose a dye in that color family. From my stash, I did a mix of half Periwinkle and half Lilac. More blue than Radiant Orchid, but I just wanted to use what I had on hand.

Here’s what I choose to dye.
I made the tote bag a few years ago with hopes of selling it in a pop-up boutique that was in conjunction with fundraiser that had an orange (the fruit) theme. It’s a well made, functional, fully lined bag that even has a zippered, padded pocket for an iPad. The t-shirt was part of a series I dyed to sell this holiday season. The grey and blue ones sold, but I had two brick red ones left. I always like to throw in a few more things to take full advantage of the vat, so I put in a yard of cotton trim and a fat quarter of cotton fabric folded and bound with two pool tiles.

There is the results.
I’m quite happy!



Piedmont Studio is always available for dyeing sessions! Contact me if you’re interested!


Tie dye for the mature woman

Both my mom and my aunt appreciate my creativity and always enjoy getting handmade gifts from me. This year I decided to dye some t-shirts for them. They are both lovely older women and not “old hippies”, so I fashioned their shirts in their favorite colors palette and used nice 3/4 sleeve, crew necks from Jones New York. I used one of my favorite dye techniques (actually no “tyeing” involved), low-water immersion dyeing from Color by Accident by Ann Johnston.

Here’s the results.

The one with the gold is for my aunt. She attends a lot of University of Washington footballs games. Maybe she could wear this shirt. I left the gold out of my mom’s, even though she a Huskie fan too. She now restricts her color palette to colors that compliment her beautiful grey hair.

Now let’s hope they don’t see this post, at least until after Christmas!

These square bags are not square!

I seem to alternate between using new fabric and fabric from my stash. These two bags were made from fabric from my altered fabric stash. I had a lot of fun piecing together patchwork designs to make these classic square totes.

This varied patchwork is made from fabric that was tie-dyed in several small batches.

This varied patchwork is made from fabric that was tie-dyed in several small batches.

This square patchwork was made from fabric from JoAnn's that I bleached and over-dyed.

This square patchwork is made from fabric from JoAnn’s that was bleached and over-dyed.













They are lined with hand-dyed fabric and have two interior pockets. They are have a layer of cotton batting for stability.










Here are some close ups.








These bags can be snagged in my Etsy Shop.

A true mixed bag

This bag incorporates many things I love. The reverse applique is inspired by the techniques in the Alabama Stitch Book. Every part of this purse is sewn by hand. It’s made from recycled T-shirts. The top layer is hand-dyed, the middle layer is a souvenir T-shirt with a kitchy seaside image and the inside layer is a well-loved sweatshirt.


I love to knit and felt. The handles and the bottom are made from felted stash yarn.

Despite the handmade nature of this bag, it is extremely durable and can even be washed!

This bag is for sale on Etsy.

DIY wedding dress, circa 1989

After sifting through social media sites last week, I discovered Me Made May. While I certainly have not worned the dress I am posting recently, I decided it warranted a post for a few reasons. My post on my daughter’s prom dress receive the most “views” ever on my blog, 168+ (and counting). So I figured, hey, why not share another special occasion dress that I made. Also, just engaged, it was this week 24 years ago that I probably bought my first bridal magazines dreaming about my wedding dress that I would sew for myself.

Lori and Michael, December 30, 1989

Lori and Michael, December 30, 1989

I made the bow and vail, too.


My mom, a third generation seamstress, who taught me almost everything I know about sewing, made her mother-of-the-bride dress, too!

I made my bridesmaids dresses, too. My cousin Gail tells a story that she was wearing her bridesmaid dress, again, on the night that her husband proposed to her! I’m so glad she got more use out it.


As I recall, the fabric for all these dresses was purchased at F and S Fabrics which still stands on the corner of Pico and Manning in Los Angeles 24 years later.

An owl bag for me

Occasionally I get the urge to make a new everyday bag for myself instead of rotating something out of the closet. I was interested in making a duffel-style tote from a pattern I had previously used several times. I was pleasantly surprised to find this cool owl print fabric at JoAnn’s.


I decided to pair the owl print with a striped fabric that was in my collection from Michael LevineΒ which I had originally purchased for making some glasses/phone cases.



This phone/glasses case ensures that you’ll retrieve both items with one grab into your purse!

To achieve a cohesive color palette, I actually bleached the two fabrics before making the duffel. Here is the result:


I used some hand-dyed bias tape for the straps and edge binding. I lined the interior with fun dark print fabric. The bag has two inside pockets.


I love that this bag can be completely zipped up, tossed around and no contents will fall out! I can also be machine washed and dryed.


Perfect for slinging over the shoulder!