Monthly Archives: October 2013

Sweet Sookie and her Sookie Sweater and Sookie Sack

DSC_0036Before I show you Sookie, I must show off the last of my tomatoes from my garden. The temperature got down to 41 degrees last night, and I needed to pick what I could before they are all gone. These cherry sized tomatoes are called Sun Sugar. Write that down for a must have in your garden next year. We eat them like candy. They are so sweet and full of flavor. Yum, Yum!DSC_0344DSC_0346Meet, Miss Sookie (In Japanese Sookie means friend). She is a rescue Teacup Poodle weighing in at a whopping 4.3 pounds! She belongs to our sons girlfriend. I get to watch her sometimes. And of course I must create things for her to wear or be carried in.
Sookie is modeling her Cashmere sweater for crisp fall days leaf peeping. As you know I am into “Upcycling Garments”. Using a Cashmere sweater, cut off a sleeve and hold it up to the dog for length determination. Looking at the second picture of Sookie you will see that the sleeve cuff becomes the neck opening. The seam of the sleeve is under her tummy, and with a tape measure, determine armhole diameter and placement. Cut off excess sleeve (save excess for felted flowers that I’ll show you in another blog). I do NOT do any hemming (if you do it will become too tight, there wont be any give to the sweater). Just slip it on the puppskie and voila!, instant doggie chic.
Now, I must say that on our Sparky dog (a mutt coming in at approximately 24 pounds) when I made his Cashmere sweater (from an XL size) he really and truly looked like a sausage. Maybe it is just a girl dog thing. DSC_0366Okay, I can’t leave Sookie at home, but I REFUSED to carry her here and there in a “Hello Kitty” bag! So I got to work creating something cushy and soft, and of course chic! I had heavier weight Amy Butler fabrics and made a quilted, lined, Sookie Sack, that she could poke her head out and rest on the folded down sides. DSC_0360 I think you can see the buttons on the ends that hold down the sides. There are some stores that don’t want dogs inside. Soooo, I unbutton the sides and flip them up, Sookie snuggles down and no one even knows she is there. DSC_0363I kept the design quite simple. I hate tons of pockets in any purse. So there is one on the outside between the handles and one inside. Too many pockets and the poor dog would get squished!
I am thinking of putting this on Craftsy.com It would be my first “purse” pattern. We’ll see. Please visit my patterns on Craftsy.com/sewing patterns/Heidi Emmett. I have fun patterns on there. I am SO EXCITED! I sent four new patterns (that’s 4) to the pattern grader yesterdayDSC_0234DSC_0234DSC_0239. She will work her magic and make the nesting sizes to industry standards.DSC_0239

DSC_0240 The little moss colored sweater was just too “everyday.” Using an offwhite cashmere sweater I simply added yarn spirals (just like I showed you how to do, a few posts back) and yarn around the armholes and bottom edge. Let the yarn flow through your fingers as you felt it down. That’s why it looks a bit ruffly. There is plenty of give without it popping off. DSC_0241DSC_0243Of course I could not stop there. I had to add some spirals to a beautiful perriwinkle colored cashmere sweater for Sookie’s owner Rachel. The yarn I used is a varigated wool,straight off the skein. And any Cashmere sweater I get from a thrift shop goes into my upright washer on the wool setting. I hang them to dry. Some thrift shops will give you a great price if you point out the holes. Holes just tell me where I must add “felties” (the name I give to flowers or shapes out of yarn).
You can always email me if you have a felting question. hmemmett@gmail.com
Until next time, hugs from Heidi

A Little Upcycled Top

DSC_0089DSC_0089I loved this little top the first year I wore it. The second year, not so much. It shrunk, I’m sure of it! Ha, ha. So I thought, how can I lengthen it and give it some pizzazz at the same time? Gather a 1/4 yard of fabric and some beaded trim (buy enough to go around the bottom of your top plus a few extra inches). Whatever the bottom width is, multiply it by 1/2. Example: 40″ around x 1.5= 60″ of fabric needed to gather up. Determine your length of the ruffle and add seam allowance and hem amount. Cut the strips needed from your 1/4 yard of fabric, from selvage to selvage. Stitch together to form a circle. Sew the hem. Stitch the unhemmed edge with a basting stitch. Gather it up to fit the bottom edge of the top. Add the beaded trim by pinning or basting it to the ruffled piece. Top stitch the the two pieces by tucking them under the bottom edge of the top just enough to hide the basting stitches. Top stitch from the right side. Take your time. I did NOT, and bits of the beading trim (bright gold) show. I just keep moving and if people notice it, they are just WAY too close! And never put the iron directly on top of the beaded trim (unless it’s glass). Melting will occur!
Wear this little top on a warmer fall day with a long sweater, skinny jeans, and get out there and sashay through the leaves!
Hugs, Heidi

Whoops, no idea what happened!

Seems this happened last time I was away. Aaarrrgggh. I’m hopeless with technology.
Well, two pictures of ornamental cabbage. Loved the colors. And check out the dogwood tree. This one is very special because my sweet Dad gave it to me. He’s in heaven now so the trees he gave us our extra special. DSC_0132Here is the vest I wanted to show you. I wanted you to see the dogwood tree too and way off in the distance is the neighbors Christmas tree farm. DSC_0125DSC_0126DSC_0122DSC_0121

DSC_0123I think I will call this my Tahoe Cabin Vest. It really reminds me of being there and sitting by a roaring fire, sipping something yummy. Anyway, I made the vest a few years ago. The top portion of the front is an old wool sweater that I felted in the washing machine. With wool squares of fabric I pieced the front. I embroidered using pearl cotton in red, the easy herringbone stitch. The back is a leftover piece of wool plaid. The lining is cozy flannel. Oh the buttons, love them, deer antlers (remember they shed them every year so its o.k.) Yeah, they shed them all right, destroying small trees in the process. Oh well. I wore this fun vest for several seasons and then tucked it away. Well, when I got my felting machine (as an anniversary gift, I gave my husband a pressure washer!) I pulled my vest out again and added these fun bits to make it more current. When machine felting “stems”, DON’T cut off pieces of yarn first. Using one very long continuous piece, let it feed through on its own. Trim off the excess about three inches before finishing. The little birds are pieces of felt that I cut out using a punch cutter then outlined in yarn. What a fun vest to wear. And can you believe it, I FORGOT to take it with me to Lake Tahoe last week!
Have a fabulous fall week. Hugs, Heidi

I’m Back From My Rest & Relaxation

DSC_0081Our one week off was fabulous. Truly restful. I have some fabulous shots of Tahoe to show you but I have to figure out how to get them from my tablet to my desktop. In the meantime, I will show you what I took around my yard (and a fun piece of clothing of course). This is our Chinese Pistachio. I bought this as a bare root tree (very small, in February, for under a dollar). Bare root is a great way to go if you are just starting your yard. They are native to northern California. Of course I left the poor little fledgling tree in the pot too long (I heeled it in until I could plant it properlyDSC_0120DSC_0120DSC_0121). Fast forward 15 years and a broken pot. TIME to replant. I LOVE this tree, flaming red every year. O.K. enough Botanical talk. I was raised on a tree farm. Sorry.
O.K., I just tried to add 2 more pictures and nothing seems to show. I am going to publish this and see what’s what. So sorry.

Showing you how to Machine Felt

First, a quote: “Style is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma. Fashion is something that comes after style.” John Fairchild DSC_0095This is my cool boot length zippered hooded sweatshirt. On the front I have already added a few circles of yarn. I am concentrating on the back because when I bought it, the back was totally plain. I have added a few squares of fabric, and now I am beginning to add circles of yarn that I will felt to hold them in place. DSC_0096 The yarn that I am using is Alpaca, BUT you could use a cotton yarn, an acrylic yarn, whoo hoo, whatever blend you want. The only BUT is bauble yarn (you will break needles). DSC_0097Those are Marcia Derse fabrics behind the yarn. Love her fabrics!! Look how cool the yarn looks when it is rolled between my fingers to form a spiral circle. DSC_0103I wanted you to see my machine. It is a Husqavarna, Husky Star with yikes, is it five or six needles? No more than that. Many of the newer machines have 10 and 12. Naturally, Husqavarna no longer makes a felting machine. Not to worry. If you should ever want one go on Ebay to check out all the different felting machinesDSC_0106. There is the beginning of my spiral of yarn. I use my other hand to help maneuver the yarn into a larger and larger spiral. DSC_0107 This is the coooolest thing ever! I place the spiral/circle of yarn where I want it and THEN place on top of it (no pins, no glue), a piece of netting! The netting is the stiffer kind that is used in petticoats (slips that really stand out and away from the body). Start the machine and those needles go up and down piercing the yarn and making it grab into the fabric, and basically pull yarn fibers to the back side. Side to side, up and down, around and around until you are sure all the yarn has been pierced. Pull it away from the needles and pull the netting off. It just FALLS of. It’s like a little miracle. I have NEVER had it stick to anything. You can build a whole picture (like painting with yarn) and place a piece of netting over the whole piece. No pins, glue. Amazing. And I have used the same piece of netting over and over and over before many holes appear. DSC_0108Can you see the needles working? I had to do this single handly as my right hand took the shot. The flash went off so it’s a bit yellow. DSC_0110Taaa daaah! From beginning the spiral to pulling off the netting, it took about 2 minutes. Too fun. A great way to jazz up a rather boring, plain back of anything!
I am posting today, because I will be leaving for a week and don’t think I can post from my tablet, on Monday or Tuesday. I’ll try.
I will take pictures and show you what I am working on now. Happy sewing. Hugs, Heidi

What Season is Your Favorite?

I have to say, Fall is probably my favorite season. I tend toward using the warm side of the color wheel in whatever I do. Painting a wall, trying to paint a canvas, sewing, crocheting, etc. I like all colors, but the flaming golds, reds, & yellows of the leaves changing is so exciting. How about you?CSC_0013This is right outside my kitchen window! And my tomatoes from my garden. DSC_0003 I know these are spagetti squash, pumpkins, gourds, etc. but check those colors, and do you see the little heart on the spagetti squash? I picked it like that from the garden. I have no idea how it got there, but it stayed a long time. I have a garden tip for you: if you are able to grow pumpkins, as they are growing, make sure you place a flat stone or lots of straw under the pumpkin. If they are directly on the dirt, they will begin to rot at that spot waaay before you ever pick them. And what an icky mess to clean up on the brickwork. DSC_0008-1 This is a picture from my back yard! DSC_0014-1 Out the window of our second story into the backyard and beyond. Alas, the Italian Cypress and the white fence waay in the back are the neighbors. DSC_0017 I always show Rubix & Rex (our cats). Well, here is Sparky our sweet rescue dog who LOVES walnuts. Right after I took this picture, he stole one and ran off to crack it and eat it in private. He is a sweetie. We have a few walnut trees too. DSC_0036DSC_0034 All rightie, back to sewing! Or in this case, machine felting. I also do upcycling of garments. With fall here I am bringing out the yarns and I quickly (by machine you can felt these little circles on both ends of a beautiful shawl in truly, about 1/2 hour max) added pieces of yarn formed in a circle to the base fabric. I added a small pocket too for keys or tissue. I will show you how it is done in my next blog.
Collect some beautiful leaves, place between two sheets of waxpaper and iron all around the leaves on low. Tape in a window (maybe one with a lousy view) and enjoy your fall leaves. I did this when I was a little girl and it’s good to go back and enjoy simple times.
Hugs, Heidi