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Saturday, May 19, 2012


When I was a kid, I remember my grandma Susie asking if I was owly.  Is that a thing?  Roughly translated: are you a grumpy, whiny, tired kid?  I don't know if anyone outside my nuclear family has used that word, or if it is a very old expression that has lost its popularity.  So imagine my delight at finding.....

My kids and I really enjoy birds of all kinds, and the owl is no exception.  I've made a few owl-embellished sweaters, but with summer coming up, it's time to think about owls migrating to dresses and tshirts.

Using the "creative-lull" pattern mentioned in my last post, a yard of fabric given to me by my parents' neighbor, some scraps of wool sweaters washed in hot water (felted), bias tape from a flea market and embroidery floss from a garage sale, I got to work.  Still working out the details of what I'm doing with this blog, but in keeping with my plans, I'm really narrating the garment from it's non-fabric-store start to "upcycled" finish.

Wool sweaters make such useful little scraps!  I apply fusible interfacing so they don't stretch as I stitch.  If I ever get brave enough, I'll attempt a tutorial of some sort.  This owl was a little drawing that got cut up and wings added separately.  The blanket stitch takes a little time, but keeps him in place on the scrap of pink corduroy. 

 Centered the patch then pinned in place in preparation for a  topstitch that leaves raw edges on the corduroy.....I think some raw edges give it a bit of a bohemian, interesting look.  I used a fancy schmancy stitch on from my wonderful anniversary gift sewing machine I received in November.  Mike is a thoughtful and resourceful gift-giver; I always rationalized that I didn't need a nice, new sewing machine with stitch options because I thought I would never use them, when in actuality I just hate parting with a dollar.  But Mike knew better and found me....a Brother! 
Enter Brother dearest:  I use the stitches and fonts all the time!  It was brand new, smooth, has cool little tricks and feet, and I love it.  But I digress.....

Serged the side seams so it doesn't have that unfinished look; I want to people ask if it is handmade versus stating that they can tell it is handmade.  As it is unlined, finished the neck and arms with bias tape, then serged the hem and stitched with matching thread. 

The finished dress!  Oops, forgot to mention.....the little contrasting fabric in the corner?  Yeah, when I was cutting out the dress back piece, the placement would have wasted a fair amount of fabric and I really wanted to conserve a large part of the fabric for another project.  So as an accent, I did a neat little flat felled seam to piece the original fabric to the accent fabric, and continued cutting out the piece as usual.    Recognizing that the term "pop of color" is used to the point of being tired, I hesitate.  Does the accent fabric give it a "punch" of color?  A "kick" of color?  Too violent?    Sorry. 

So there you have it....a sweet, summery, owly dress!  

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