My list gets bigger every year of all the things to bring. Machines alone, I’m bringing 3 different ones! I have so much to share with my students. You MUST come next year. Check out Artistic Alchemy Retreat here. We are going to have a great time. It is held at Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Point Conference Center (look them up here).This year, our 6th annual retreat, runs from September 2nd- 6th.
Terrific Tabard – It’s a blank canvas. Quilted, unquilted, silks, Kantha cloth, all one piece, oodles of pieces (collage style), so many ideas…..
The pattern fits so many sizes. It’s only $15.00 plus shipping. See all my patterns at my Etsy shop, DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/ sewing patterns.
Zephyr Jacket, Whisper Blouse, Calypso, so colorful.
Calypso vest, Mommy & Me & My Quilted Vests, and Whisper Blouse, all fun patterns that are available via Heidi Emmett at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my Etsy shop: Look for DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/ sewing patterns.
I put samples of some of my patterns out on our back deck. I liked the look so much that I took pictures just for fun.
The back of a Sparky Top (love, love wearing this one, I feel like I’m floating) with that center back panel from a Maxi Dress. The dress was made from silk chiffon. See the back of a Whisper Blouse, and there is a Zephyr Jacket (doing what it should, blowing in the breeze).
In the background is my Simply Super Vest from my book Fashion Quilted Accessories. And then in front is a Zephyr Jacket in which I went a little over the top with my “duding it up.” But , hey, we gotta have fun right?
While out on the deck hanging up all my samples, I stopped and admired my beautiful Geranium. The biggest most prolific I’d grown in a while. The picture does NOT do it justice. I’m sure glad I took this picture because the very next day, all but 4 blossom clusters were chewed off by a deer! Grrrr…..
Some great summer reading. I love this book. Read the chapter on the “Safety Pin.”
Here is another good read. All about how today’s palette of color came about. The chapter on Indigo was an eye opener for me.
I can’t believe that the deer missed my miniature roses! Right next to the chomped on geranium.
This is a close up of one of my miniature roses. Isn’t she a beauty? Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs, Heidi P.S. Don’t miss the funny pics below.
This is SO ME!!! My husband ALWAYS diverts my attention away from these side of the road items.
A friend sent me this. Yep, this is me. It’s all about the THRILL OF THE HUNT!!
They say that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. In my case it’s true. Sew, I took my mannequin over to “the other side of the fence” (the neighbors Christmas tree farm) and yes, soft, spring green grass. I’m taking some pictures and bask in this glorious sunshine while doing it!
A brief advertisement. My sewing patterns are available:
Right from me! Email me via: email@example.com A hard copy will be sent to you with payment to Paypal or a check to me. Look at all my patterns here on the blog to see what you want. $15.00 each (this includes tax) plus shipping. Order 3 or more from me, and the shipping is free.
I have an Etsy shop: DesignsbyHeidiEmmett These patterns are all hard copies too. Go there also to view all the patterns. Any questions about any of them email me at the above address.
Bluprint (formerly Craftsy.com) carries only 2 of my patterns, in PDF(digital) format.
I have new ideas for the look of my Blog site and a new platform for PDF/Digital patterns. More about those things in the coming weeks. Below, are the front and back of Sparky Top, my latest “Art to Wear” sewing pattern. You need to make one. Great for beginners and advanced alike. Very little fitting is required.
I made this Sparky Top last summer for a casual outdoor wedding. The colors/prints from Kaffe Fassett fabric were keyed off of the hand painted silk center back piece.And the front piece, normally one fabric, well…I ran out and improvised. I like what I did. You can too.
The center back piece, hand painted silk chiffon, was cut from a dress.
The back piece (near the shoulders), well, I was short on that fabric (I was working with scraps actually), so I pieced it together and added appliques cut from the side panel fabric.
I stitched cut out appliques over the seam. Use Terial Magic first. It’s a fantastic spray that stiffens fabric just enough to easily stitch down.
Isn’t the hand painted silk chiffon in the center back gorgeous? I love how it floats in the breeze and the Kaffe Fassett pieces are perfect with the silk to create a most lovely Sparky Top. Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com tells you how to purchase this sewing pattern.
Follow me at all these places. I have so much fun posting at these places. Join in by going to one of these places, signing up and typing in “Designs by Heidi Emmett.”
Quilting cottons are a great weight for Sparky Top.
There is a white long camisole under the front portion. The front piece is a voile that with the spirals of fabric strips stitched down. From Joann’s. I think the look is perfect for this top.
This is one of the first Sparky Top’s that I made. It is also on the back cover of pattern.
I really like the combination of the Kaffe Fassett cottons and a little sparkle of the front panel and the back panel .
On the back piece, I ran out of fabric so I did the trick I’ve come to use many times, add some raw edge appliques. I tend to use circle shapes as they are more of a bias cut all the way around and fray less.
The subtle colors, the small sequins, and the sheerness of this JoAnn’s fabric is great for my Sparky Top.
This Sparky Top makes use of Marci Tilton’s fabrics. This group was a “combo pack.”
Sparky Top is a perfect pattern for knits. This combo pack (3 yards, 1 yard each of 3 prints)is a knit that is 100% rayon. So soft and it drapes beautifully.
I used another combo set of knits, 100% rayon in this Sparky Top. BUT WAIT!! It has long sleeves. What? That’s not in the original pattern! Go to my home page of this Blog and look at the post under “Sparky Top” 9/28/18, titled,” Sparky Top gets ready for cooler days.”
This IS the perfect top for cooler days and I have a beautiful black soft woolen shawl to go with if I need more warmth. Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com
Job well done! And oh, the sunshine felt good too.
You know how I love flowers. On the way back to my house, I found some. I have Helleborus / also known as “Lenten Rose.” Overnight, they started blooming. Stunning, shapes, colors, and textures. Helliborus/ Lenten Rose. Small and delicate looking, they are tough, some of the first flowers of Spring, they often have snow on them and just keep on blooming.
Another Lenten Rose just opening up. Behind, one closed up tight.
There are many varieties and colors of Helliborus available.
The only thing I don’t like about Lenten Roses is that they droop over. You cannot see their gorgeousness unless you turn them up yourself. Sad but true. Thank you for stopping by and seeing what I’m up to. I just read this, “You can never have too much happy.” Think on that one awhile. And go have some “happy” with your next creative project. Hugs, Heidi
Can you even believe it’s Fall ! For once I want to have a new top before I actually need it. As the weather cools, I want longer sleeves on my Sparky Top. Hmm…Will it work? Follow along and you decide.
I’m working on my making all of my patterns in Black & White fabrics. I did a short sleeve Sparky Top as you see above, so now I need to make the sleeve longer. I want it 3/4 length. I think that you should use KNIT fabrics for a longer sleeved Sparky Top. Knits will give more ease in the back across the shoulders and where the end of the sleeve hits on your arm. I purchased a “3 pack combo” of knits in black and gray from Marci Tilton. https://marcytilton.com/ Go there at your own risk (you’ll want it ALL). These pieces are all rayon knits. I have 4 pieces to the pattern and usually use 4 different fabrics. Since this was a 3 pack, I had fun trying different combos.
Lay down a piece of paper (in this case I used wedding runner) I’m starting with the back piece (Piece B). With a tape measure, approximate where the neck edge is and follow along the shoulder to see how long you want your sleeve to be. Lay a long ruler on the top edge of the shoulder seam going off the tissue piece. Draw a line all the way down to where the sleeve will end.
Measure around your wrist at the sleeve ending point. Add approx. 1-2″ for ease and a 1/4″ seam. Mark it at the sleeve end.
Tip: The slight curve of the under arm area is easier to draw if you use a dotted line. Mine isn’t perfect but can be trued up when cut out.
Don’t forget to add some ease and seam allowance on the underarm area. Repeat this process on the front piece(piece A).
Tip: On a knit, use a stabilizing “stay” stitch on the neckline edge before attaching your neck trim (it keeps the neck edge from stretching out of shape). Also, because you are using a knit for the neck edge binding there is no need to cut it on the bias. Remember, attach the trim on the WRONG side of the fabric. Stitch in place.
Bring it to the front and edge stitch it down. Directions are in the pattern and are easy to follow.
Taa Daa! What do you think? I LOVE it and can’t wait for cooler weather. This is such an easy pattern to sew. Start it in the a.m. and be done before lunch!
Whoo Hooo! It’s cool enough this evening. I’m inviting my husband out on a date so I can wear my new top. Happy sewing this weekend everyone. And thank YOU for stopping by! Hugs, Heidi P.S. If you want your own Sparky Top pattern, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will tell you how to get your own! $16. includes tissue pieces in sizes 8-26 and shipping! Looks FABULOUS on everyone, tall, short, thin, not so thin. Trust me, I’ve seen it on many, many people.
Yes, I wore my newly made Sparky Top to my nephews wedding! It was held at the White Ranch in Chico, CA Come and have a look with me. I thought it was a winery. Well, I was wrong. And this ranch is such an oasis and a perfect venue. Don’t you love how all the “groom squad” and groomsmen get ready in the building with all the ranch equipment? The ladies had the spacious, special, room with A.C.
See, I wore my newest Sparky Top. So comfortable and cool in the 91 degree heat. Alas, that is not cloud cover but smoke from all the fires (most are 95% or more out). The two good things about the smoke, we really didn’t smell it, and it did keep the heat down.
There is a lake behind the Willow tree. We were really early arrivals so I walked around a bit
It’s starting! Great nephew Brody.
Here is groom Mark walking his mother to her seat. Mark is the nephew who was born on my husbands and my wedding day! What a handsome young man. His two older brothers were his “Bestmen.”
Check out the tractor holding gifts.
And here come the groom squad!This is Wesley, a great nephew.
A set of twin great nephews. NOW I can tell them apart (one has dyed his hair blonde). Ruby, the rescue dog is part of the wedding too. Awwww..
Ashley, the beautiful bride on her dad’s arm.
We need to see her again in her gorgeous gown.
Lush greenery everywhere as the bride and groom and bridal party get together afterward for pictures.
I turned to the left and there was Wesley checking out the fountain (on low) in the middle of the lake. What a little ham.
I strolled down a series of arches toward the dinner venue. Isn’t this lovely?
I have never seen children so happy at a wedding. There were at least 18 kids, ages 10 and under. There was an actual playground about 100ft. from where the food was being served. Great nephew Aaron is having fun on the swing set. It was a BIG one.
The flowers were big too! This hibiscus was as large as a dinner plate.
A small out building that was decked out in lights as were all the other stops within the venue for eating and dancing. The dining area was all round tables with crisp white tablecloths and draped canopies with lights inside and, YES, Crystal Chandeliers. It was so pretty in the evening.
The Bride and Groom had wedding cake. All the rest of us had ice cream with all these different toppings. What fun!
We danced, and laughed, ate yummy food,and heard silly and sweet stories about the bride and groom. It was such a good time, sipping drinks under the stars and seeing old friends and family, and meeting new friends and family too. Let’s all raise our glasses to the Bride and Groom. May God bless these two with many, many, happy years together. Thanks for coming with me all of you. Hugs, Heidi
by HEIDI EMMETT I bought a beautiful Maxi-Dress at “My Favorite Store” (aka thrift store) in Truckee, CA. It is made of exquisite hand-painted silk chiffon. All the seams are French seams. I bought it for the silk. I hand washed it and gloated over the fabulous amount of fabric I had in my hands. What to do with it? I want to make another Sparky Top! That silk, with other perfect fabrics will look lush and green and light and floaty when there is a breeze. Perfect for the last days of summer.
I laid it out on my work table for a few days (this is how I always approach a new project) and pulled out other fabrics from time to time that I thought might work and placed them beside my “focus” fabric. As you can see, I found some Kaffe Fassett fabrics that work perfectly with the silk chiffon.The floral is at least 10 years old so I don’t even know it’s name. I ran out of one stripe and had to seam the back piece. Below, I’m trying different arrangements of the large blooms from the Kaffe Fabric.
I like this more random selection.
Because I treated this Kaffe with Terial Magic, I just placed them on the stripe (Terial Magic on it as well), I didn’t even have to glue it or pin the flowers down.
I like my “open” darning foot, so I can see where I’m stitching. Whirrrr, whirr, I go….
I have the stitching of the neck trim down to a science. I have been using this method for 30+ years! I made quilted vests, and jackets to sell in Artist fairs when I was 19. It is basically a quilt binding. I do everything by machine, because I neededt to get the outfit done quickly, but efficiently. This trim folds over so smoothly and perfectly. Ahh…what a pleasure to stitch when I know it fits. I tell you just how to do it in the Sparky Top pattern.
Yes, I had to piece the front too. I thought I would add more stitched flowers, but nixed that idea in favor of a great necklace instead.
Pressing is always big in my book. Press, press, press, as I’m stitching. I was so excited to take pics of this Sparky Top, I forgot to press the back as I spell out in the actual pattern. So take a look. This top is really fast and easy to make. I’ve said it before, you’ll spend more time deciding what fabrics to use than the actual sewing portion. Ha, ha.
I’m going to our nephew’s wedding tomorrow, at a Winery in Chico, CA. I think this would be perfect to wear. Hmm…what shoes, jewelry?
The Sparky Top above really reminds me of my Mom’s Hydrangeas growing beautifully right now. I have to show you.
That lush, green, beauty of summer time.
Well, well, I received some pictures from Janet B. I LOVE her Sparky Top. It looks like a linen, cotton grouping of fabrics. Great with jeans. And check out her earrings and necklace. They are her own designs that she created with Polymer clay.
Thanks Janet, I really enjoy showing everyone what can be made with this pattern and any of my other Art to Wear patterns. Sew, send them to email@example.com Want your own Sparky Top pattern (complete with tissue pieces)? Talk to me at the above email address.
May your creativity abound this weekend. And if you have some down time, look for me at any of the icons below. Hugs, Heidi
Hello, IT’S FRIDAY!!! Yes, Friday is important because it means the weekend is almost here! But, if you keep reading you will read about why this post is important.
Sparky Top, my fastest selling pattern thus far. Thank you all for your purchases. I am slowly working on my “Black & White Collection” (using black and white fabrics and sometimes a bit of color too with all my patterns). I talked about this one very briefly, but there’s MORE to it.
This lace is pretty unique that is on the back.
I found it “in a dress” at my favorite store at King’s Beach. Never worn. I still hand washed it. I was able to get the entire back piece out of the skirt portion of the dress. I like the way the white underlay shows off the pattern. So, I used the pale, pale, gray portion of my Gelato print from Diawabo. Hint: I love using the gray Gelato from Diawabo as the background fabric in my Off The Grid Vest (see past posts).
The dress below, again, brand new, had tons of beautiful striped fabric in it. It is a knit. And there is no brown in it (even though it looks like it in the picture). Which brings up another great idea for Sparky Top. Mix up your fabric types. It works in this piece. A knit is especially good for the back piece (along the shoulders) as it allows for some extra ease in the back and the cap sleeve area.
Here is the dress with the stripe skirt portion cut off. And wow, a slip was underneath. Perfect to make shorter, keep the width and maybe add a wide, as in 10″ wide, piece of lace. This gives you an instant slinky slip to wear under a longer top. A short (mini-skirt short) slip will keep any top from riding up your back.
I wanted you to see that I used an ombre’ fabric for the side panels. Ombre’s are especially good because you have choices, darker, middle, or lighter.
O.K., here is THE IMPORTANT PART!!! And it requires all caps because I don’t want you to miss it. I made a mistake when drawing Piece C (the side panel piece). Look at the picture below. Piece C is the top portion of the picture. When the notches are matched up to Piece D (the center back), acckkk…Piece C is off by 2 1/2″. It is the same amount no matter what size is cut out. There are 2 simple ways to fix this:
Leave the tissue piece of Piece C. alone. Cut out the pieces as usual. Sew the top together, matching up the notches. Before hemming the bottom edge, true the bottom edge. Using this method, the top will be a little shorter on the side closest to the back. Perfect for anyone who is 5’4″ or shorter!
2. Make tissue Piece D longer (so it will match to Piece c.). The following method will keep the bottom edge of piece D from getting distorted. So, 5″ from the center bottom of piece D (longest portion on the fold side), and from side to side of the piece, cut apart the tissue in a straight line (see picture below). Add a piece of paper underneath and evenly spread the tissue pieces apart 2 1/2″ and tape the paper in place. Cut out the pieces as usual and sew the top together matching notches. Before hemming, try on the Sparky Top to determine if any adjustment to the length is needed.
Thank you ALL for visiting my blog every week. I hope to inspire and give ideas that are fun and easy to do. My motto is, “Make it up, make it fun, and get it done.” Hugs, Heidi
A week at a time, during the summer months(this year 3 x’s), my husband and I go to Zephyr Point at Lake Tahoe to work in the “Bear Necessities” gift shoppe. Robert runs the Frozen Yogurt Machine and I do the retail end, selling T-shirts, etc. We are going by Sand Harbor, a place that on one side is a boat launching spot and waaay around the other side is a Huge amphitheater for Shakespeare and other plays right on the lake and next to that a beautiful sandy beach. Yes, I took this picture from the car (a teeny bit blurry) but this sight means we are only 22 more minutes from Zephyr Point!
Can you believe it, this lovely picture was in the Safeway parking lot at King’s Beach.
Our first night at Zephyr out on our deck. The Multi-million dollar view.
And it just got better and better. Sunset, 8:22p.m.
Commercial break, “Sparky Top” has become my TOP selling pattern. I am so excited. It has been out for only 8 weeks and wow! Thank you all who have purchased it. It is really fast and easy to make with many options (fabric choices that is) to make your very own signature “Sparky Top”. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to purchase a pattern.
I made three more before coming up to Zephyr. I love taking pictures on the dock of the private beach. Some tips for your upcoming making of a Sparky Top: 1. Buy garments ( at the thrift store) just for the fabric. I have been going a little crazy lately on garments for my black and white collection. Below, the front piece of the S.T. I’m wearing was cut from a skirt. The skirt had a black band at the bottom. I realize that the band is NOT running in my usual “long and lean” look (as in up and down), but I think it works because this front piece is flat, shorter than the back and the piece itself has it’s own built in long and lean look to it. I also made sure to have a black polka dots as the side pieces. That black piece looked lonely so I added a piece of beautiful black cotton lace (from a sleeve of a black blouse).
The back piece (near the shoulders) on all three S.T.’s are fabulous pieces of lace. Each back piece was cut from 3 different dresses. 2: If you have broad shoulders, consider a piece of knit for the back piece. The stretch in the knit will give enough room so it doesn’t feel tight.
3. I also suggest LIGHT weight knits (for one or all of the pieces). 4. On the back shoulder pieces of all three of these tops, I did place an underlining of fabric to show off the beautiful lace patterns.
One day we drove the Kingsbury Grade (over 7200ft at the summit) to check out the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Range. On the right side of the picture below, see the long lines in the mountain, that is the back side of Heavenly Valley Ski Resort. During the summer you can ride up on a Gondola (starting at Lake level) and see FOREVER as you travel up the mountain. We were able to stand (after a little hike) at the highest point of that mountain (9500ft. +) and get a 360 degree view. The term Heavenly is perfect.
I tried for a close up as we are traveling down, down, down, into the Carson Valley.
Phew, we made it. This picture is right outside the teeny tiny town of Genoa, Nevada. It’s the oldest town in all of Nevada. Came to be because of the Silver mining in the middle 1800’s.
The valley is ruggedly beautiful. The mountains in the distance are a Mtn. Range running down the middle of Nevada. They aren’t very high (3-4500ft.)
Back at the store, here is a young one (he’s five as you can see)in for his daily dose of frozen yogurt. I asked if I could take a picture of his shirt. I like the concept and told his dad that his shirt would make an interesting quilt/or section on an art to wear piece. Reverse applique’.
Oh yes, he insisted on my taking a pic of his lost teeth. What a cutie.
Shortly after, a young man staying in Lakeview Lodge for a family reunion, wore his tie-dyed (with bleach) t-shirt into the store. The original black is right behind him. Very stylin’. Turns out I knew the Matriarch of the family reunion. She even taught at my fabric store a hundred years ago!! What a small world.
To start up the store each morning, we had to walk to the top and pick up the bag o’ money. We would walk up and down “Robyn’s Flight” to get there (150+ stairs). At 6400′, I always take those stairs V-e-r-y slowly so I don’t pass out, ha, ha! I enjoy the view and take pictures of the flowers that grow in the stone boxes on the stairs. The roof of the cabin to the left is where the director lives. Can you EVEN IMAGINE waking up to this stunning view every single day!!!
This Dianthus looks like a fireworks display.
Lupine and Blue Salvia.
Love the wood shutters on the Bear Store. And that wraparound porch. The BEST part.
Snap, snap,(camera sounds) walk a few more steps, and….
snap, snap, some more. The incredible vistas, never end. Good thing I have a digital camera. Oh dear, I think I’m giving away my age. Ha, ha.
More Columbine. They look like shooting star fireworks.
Who, Who?, or more like What, What? is this? I bought a little bag while Thrifting on our way up and around the lake. It is a poor, one eyed Owl, or is it winking at me? He’s so cute. He was a little bag, so I cut it out, gave him a bath, and hung him up to dry out on our deck. I’ll keep you posted on what I do with him. I have some ideas.
I’m doing a double run again this week. I am posting at Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com and over at Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com. Thanks for stopping by and I leave you today with a quote from Sammy Davis Jr., “Savor the moments that are warm and special and giggly.” Hugs, Heidi
Hello everyone! When you read this I will already be in Portland getting ready for….
a book signing party at the E.E. Schenck booth! I was asked to be there to sign copies of Fashion Quilted Accessories, by Heidi Emmett (that’s me!) . I have to tell you that I never, ever, thought I would be signing books at Quilt Market! It is held twice yearly for shop owners. It is a REALLY BIG DEAL! People and businesses come from all over the world! It is AMAZING, BUSY, OVERWHELMING, and FUN! I’ll keep you posted via Instagram and then tell you more via a post.
Also, more news, Sparky Top is finished! Taa Daa! The tissue pieces arrived this past week. So, Sparky Top is also ready to show at Quilt Market. It too will be in the E.E. Schenck booth. Schenck is one of my distributors of my patterns and my book.
The week of May 28th, I will get Sparky Top onto Craftsy and into my Etsy store. If you want to purchase it directly from me, that’s fine too. A hard copy from me (all sizes includes 8-6x) will cost $16.00 (includes tax and shipping). Email me at email@example.com.
Perfect top for beginners and super sewists alike. Fast and easy. It is a blank canvas. Make it using all your favorite fabrics, even light weight knits. Here is a close up of the neckline trim and the front fabric (has cute little spiral circles (already sewn on. I did NOT do that myself).
The one time it’s o.k. to press gathers (in the back) flat! There are so many gathers that the “flat” pressing allows for a smoother finished look.
The front and center back are made from a light weight, re-embroidered mesh (acts like a knit).
Some raw-edge stitching for a more decorative look (to cover a seam as I had run out of fabric).
The next two Sparky Top samples are made from Double gauze scraps from Shannon Fabrics. You might see these on the Shannon Fabrics Blog in the near future. This fabric is a DREAM to sew!
The back shows that I really ran out of double gauze scraps. I found a re-embroidered cotton in my stash and had to add a little ruffle at the bottom because I didn’t have enough length.
And the linen bits came from a skirt that I bought on the super sale rack at Stein Mart (love that store). 100% linen skirt I washed first to pre-shrink it.
This is one of the side panels. I had so little to work with so major improve was going on. I could not follow ANY type of grain line, but it just adds to the charm. I would call this Upcycling, indeed. This is one of the things we will be doing in my workshop up at Zephyr. UPCYCLING! Oh yeah, what FUN! There are still a few spaces left in my workshop.
Maybe I’ll see YOU at Zephyr Point this year. I’ll tell you all about my adventures at Quilt Market when I get home. Take care and find a block of time to sew this weekend. It can be so relaxing and we all need some down time. Hugs, Heidi