sweater for winter

October 24, 2014

It is going to get cold over here. Or at least cool…I can’t expect snow, but it will be cold and damp around here for a while. I am actually looking forward to the rain (and hopefully it will come!).

14 - 8

My squirrel tendencies kicked in about a month ago, and I started this sweater. It was inspired by images of sweaters that I found, as well as a sweater that I made a few years ago and gave away.

14 - 11

The collar is supposed to fold over, but it has been a little tricky, and likes to stand up. Then I find that I am walking down the street looking a little funny..

14 - 7

I haven’t put buttons on yet, but will get around to it soon. For now, things will be a little bit cozier around here!


bias and straight

October 24, 2014

This dress is made with a combination of bias cut fabric on the top, and ‘regular’ fabric on the bottom. I wanted to allow for more movement in the top (which is created by the bias fabrics).

14 - 15

The hand stitched detail on the sleeves was inspired by my work mending victorian lace. It seemed important to have something a little bit delicately hand stitched. Of course I left a messy edge to come undone and fray.

14 - 14

This dress is another one that is loose and comfortable. Perfect for moving around, doing things.

14 - 16

work clothes

October 19, 2014

Sometimes new jobs need new clothes. I just had one of those changes, and have been working on making a new wardrobe of dresses. The designs are simple, easy to wear, and easy to move around in. I like to think of them as sack dresses that fit well enough.


 The attention is to the simple details. An extra line of stitching, some gathers, a neat and tidy corner…


They are meant to change a little with time. No interfacing to keep thing stiff and held together. I like to think of the dresses as little creatures, moving and adjusting to the new wearer.


fancy dresses

April 17, 2014


The dolls grow out of a pattern cut from my coffee training folder.

photo 1 (2)     

They multiply. And fill up, one by one, with wool.

photo 3 (1)

Then they grow hair. French knots, tied with embroidery floss.

photo 1 (1)

And then they get dressed. These dolls like fancy dresses. 

photo 4

Cut from scraps of Liberty cotton.

photo 1

They all try on different fabric scraps.

photo (1)

Which are then cut into multiples of geometric shapes for bodices.


Ties for hair.

photo 3

Trapezoids for skirts.

photo 2 (1)

The shapes are stitched together.

photo (2)

Pretty soon they are all dressed. 

photo 3 (2)

And posed for show.

photo 4 (1)

I was at the train station few months ago, and saw the most amazingly dressed man. He was wearing a beautiful Liberty of London button down shirt, and the perfect pair of jeans. I was taken by the outfit as it traveled onto the train, through airport security, and all the way to Dallas…when the man walked off the airplane from few rows in front of me.


When my sister suggested sewing denim Christmas stockings, the inspiration stayed with me.


These stockings aren’t too big. Perfect for special treats, a walnut or two, and a tangerine. Maybe some marzipan, or little bar of chocolate.

There are 5 different designs, some right side out, some inside out. They are all unique, and mix and match well! Each of the different denim fabrics has a different Liberty print loop to hang on the mantle.


I felt a little bit like an elf all weekend, with piles of fabric and stockings migrating around the room. Now the stockings are finished, and ready to go to their new homes. They are available in San Francisco at Beacon Coffee and Pantry, and online at Etsy.com, shop name: TorreyWitherspoon.



I am lucky as can be to have the most adorable nephew. This spring I was inspired to make something for him to wear. I was traveling in a hot climate, and the only yarn I wanted to work with was linen. This sweater design came up in my mind. The Striped Linen Baby Sweater pattern is available for sale on Ravelry.com through this link.


The construction is simple. The front and back are knit separately. This was done to give a little more structure to the sweater body. For this reason, I do love seams and well sewn mattress stitch.


The sleeves are picked up and knit from the body out. (There is less selvage at the armhole that way!) When I sewed the bottom of the sleeve to the shirt, I picked up as little material as possible to eliminate bulk.

IMG_1709 6

The first time around I didn’t add buttonholes, but when we tried the sweater on several children, the neck seemed a little too loose.


The buttonholes give the neck opening a little more stability. The neck is also shaped using short rows. This creates a gentle curve. Linen tends to be sturdy and a little stiff. To keep the neck and sleeve edges flexible, I cast off using Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Sewn Casting-Off.



Saturday I had a run in with some fruit at the farmer’s market and ended up with more than could fit in my  smallish fridge.


I found some blueberries, and some lovely ripe yellow apples. I set the apples on the counter in a bowl, and my house started smelling like September…time to throw everything in the pot to jar and fill the pantry.


I mixed blueberries, a package of frozen dewberries, apples, and the juice and zest of two lemons. I added some sugar, but not too much. I simmered the whole thing for about 20 minutes or so, and then let it sit for a few hours. Then I reheated it, and processed the jars in a hot water bath. Image

I am planning on making fruit tarts with pastry cream in the fall and winter. Nothing like opening a can of fruit dump pouring it into a pie shell and calling it homemade. Very easy later on down the line.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 70 other followers