Category Archives: Wear Your Joy!

August 7th, 2020. This and That Friday!

By Heidi Emmett

I just realized I had not even turned the calendar to a new month.  Sigh…I feel so miscombooberated! (YES, it’s a word, my word) And then the weather got really hot. 95 degrees or thereabouts every day for days and days (I am grateful to have A.C. AND solar, but we don’t run our A.C. at night). So all my thoughts of designing, creating,  purge the closets, sew ALL the projects I have cut out, work on two more “proto-types” for new patterns, dust (what’s that?), etc. went out the dirty window(I still need to wash them). I had enough energy to walk the dog (barely as he likes a fast pace), and read.

Weather has changed, thank you thank you! and my creative juices are overflowing. To the point where I work on this project for 15 min., bored, move to next project, hey, what’s that piece of fabric sticking out of that tub, oh wow, I forgot about that piece, it would make a great Zephyr Jacket, found what I wanted to go with the original piece, bored, next project, and on and on. I have seen so many “squirrels” lately that I’m getting “squirrelly.”

So today, since I can’t seem settle down on any one particular thing, take a look at some of the things I’ve been sort of working on. Ha, ha.

I love this rectangle top (the working title). I made it umm, four years ago? Maybe more. It will be another “patternless” pattern (just rectangles again, like Off The Grid Vest. I want to get this pattern done.  It will be another perfect PDF pattern in my Etsy shop, DesignsbyHeidiEmmett.  It is super comfy to wear and so cool on warmer days.

Check out the pocket (use your favorite scraps, and all rectangles, of course). And the bracelet. It starts with the linen scraps, hmm…maybe I’ll include how to make one in the pattern too.

The back is the same as the front (except for the pocket). Sew, here’s an idea, spill something on the front, just turn it around. Ha, ha.

Different topic now. Here is our number #1 son (are only child). We are so proud of him. Scary proud (whaat? does that even mean)! Well, this is me as a Mom speaking right now. Here he is with a grin that can’t get much wider. He has completed another solo (and back in the air)landing at different airports He has to log in a bunch of landings and takeoffs at different airports before he can take the written test that will give him his actual pilots license.  He called a few months back to say he would be soloing for the first time very soon. NOOOOOO!!! Don’t tell me That! Deep breaths,  prayers for safety, more deep breaths. All rightie then, but you may tell me only AFTER you have COMPLETED your first solo.
And yes, same son,  the very next weekend finally getting a chance to race again. There is a great track in Willows, CA for racing on a regular race track or a dirt track. About five years ago, our son took me as a passenger (in a different car) on the dirt track. Dirt flying everywhere as he peeled around the corners. I HAD THE BEST TIME! I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants. I still want a “beater” car of my own and try it myself some day. Dirt or track, you are racing against your own time.

Sometimes  it’s BMW’s only, Miata’s only, etc. out on the regular track. Our son’s favorite is the regular track. Long story short, it will be two years ago this November that he has even raced. His pride and joy a BMW, M-class that he bought and rebuilt himself to race, burned up in the Paradise, CA fire (he had it stored at a friend’s home in Paradise). He said he lost just a car. But his friend’s home(where he was leaving the car for just a week) and his business burned up. Absolutely devastating fire.    An aside here: Ron Howard just released a documentary about the Paradise fire so look it up. Ron Howard wanted to do this documentary as his mother-in-law had once lived in the town of Paradise..

Our son had 3 other friends that he raced regularly with. One of them called our son and asked if he was ready to race again. Cory said he would LOVE to but still had no car and could not afford the time or money to build one right now (he had just started not one but 2 companies which are super stories themselves but for another time). Two hours later he got a call from another of the racing trio and that racer said he’d just purchased another car that he loves to race now and that if our son would take him out for a beer, the car above, would be Cory’s. Yes, people, all that for a beer!!! We really wanted to watch our son race this past weekend, but as you can see above our dog, Riley had other plans. The big “owwie” wasn’t his fault and it was more of a puncture wound (but eww, ick, the Vet had to make it bigger to get it all cleaned out) . This picture was taken a few days later. I rolled his favorite tennis balls to him and he didn’t budge. He’s fine, fine, now, even back to doggie day care (2X’s a week), where he plays and plays all day and just loves it! He even has a girlfriend there and her name is Daisy.

Then a few days after Riley’s episode, Rex, above (he’s fine too, but..), I was out at 10:00p.m. to call the cats in (we have two you’ve seen them in other posts) for the night and this odd looking thing, animal? came walking up the driveway. That can’t be Rex I thought, he’s fluffy. It’s tail was in the air but so skinny. Rex was moving very slowly (but when a treat is involved to get him in the house, he wont miss it). Whaatt!!? He was sopping wet. How? Where? Then I remembered, my husband was repairing our hard sided Spa cover and had covered the spa with just a tarp, no tie downs (to make it taut). I ask this my readers, Do our best friends (our pets) have Guardian Angels? To this day, we have NO idea how he could get out but we thank God that he did.
Have you ever grown Italian sweet peppers? This is my first year. I had no idea they got this big and oh so sweet. Wish I’d planted a couple more bushes. Peppers freeze beautifully. Wash, cut in half, take out seeds, dry them off and pop them in a freezer bag. I feel so smart during the winter months when I pull a bag out of the freezer to use in my favorite Chili or Spaghetti sauce.
I decided to start a new Zephyr Jacket sample. The big parasol fabric will be the body of the jacket and the little parasol fabric will be the front collar piece. It will go together fast, maybe this afternoon. (yes, the big parasol fabric is the tiny corner I mentioned seeing in my box)
But first, it’s Friday, and it’s summer, so I’ll be taking my Mom out to lunch at the Happy Apple Kitchen in Chicago Park, CA . My mom lives on our property in a Granny house. She is 89 years young I am so grateful that she lives on our property. Thank you God  that she is so close by. I’ve been thanking God so much lately.  Gratitude is an important component of our lives or if not, it should be.  Even when it feels like things are falling apart all around, being grateful allows me to let go of the things I have no control over and let God take care of them. He’s in charge anyway. I’m certainly not. Here is my Mom’s favorite verse from the Bible, “Be still and know that I am God.”

I love summer flowers. On the left are pink petunias with white spots and the limey green plant is Creeping Jenny, and a grass of some kind in back. Waaaay too bright of a picture. Noon is NOT a good time, I know that. But they looked so happy.  Thanks for stopping by. Big hugs and make some time to find 5 things to be grateful for. Heidi

Would You Wear This? Great Inspiration! Some Creative Ideas!

by HEIDI EMMETT

Some years back I was so fortunate to be able to visit the Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersberg, Florida. Pictures at the end of this post. I was so inspired. He was an amazingly talented man. The inspiration I got from my visit was maybe a basic idea, “THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.” But it was so helpful for me as I had felt I was stuck in a sewing rut. I think I’ve come a long way in the “create for fun and enjoyment” aspect of sewing and designing. 

This top was on the “Sale” rack at Stein Mart. At the counter I pointed out the snags on the front and back and ended up paying only $12.95 (not returnable, are you kidding me! I would NEVER want to return it, I LOVE IT!).

This is a heavier, sheerish (is that a word), rayon knit. It is the perfect weight for this top as it should NOT cling in anyway to the body.

The little black squares on the back here and there….well that is the way I covered up the snags. Read on to find out what they are.

There are more little black squares on the front. And in odd places but I don’t think it takes away from the overall garment. This over-blouse (what to call it?) is by Dor Dor Couture. Their site says that each piece of fabric is HAND PAINTED! Fabulous. Just the fabric alone makes me want to try painting my own fabric. I almost forgot, part of the title of this weeks post asks, “Would you wear this?”  I showed this gorgeous top to last year’s workshop students and asked them would you buy a pattern like this? Before I tell you their answers, I would like to hear from you. I’m considering creating a pattern. Yes/No. Let me know.  (workshop at our Artistic Alchemy retreat) 

Whoo hoo! A little twirl. Yes, that’s a cat’s tail (Rex) below my knee not a tail coming from me! Ha, ha.
Right….back to fixing the snags. This is a better look see of the little squares I stitched over the snags. They are squares I cut from an inner tube from a Mountain Bike. Whaaat?? Yes, that’s it. And then I stitched off the edge on either end as I wanted the stitches to show.

And while I’m at it, the necklace I’m holding above is also made of inner tube pieces and strung on an elastic cord. My own design thank you very much. Trying to think outside the box here. Go to my Pinterest site (DesignsbyHeidiEmmett) and look through all my boards until you see a board called “Leather/Rubber Tire Jewelry.”  Whoops, I just noticed that I called it “Rubber TIRE” instead of “Innertube”    Shhh…don’t tell anyone. At any rate there are lots and lots of fun ideas for you to peruse.
Salvadore Dali museum (one of only 2 in the whole world) in  St. Petersberg, Florida

Inside staircase of the Salvadore Dali museum.

Another angle of the front of the Salvadore Dali museum.
One of the Salvadore Dali paintings hanging in the St. Petersberg museum.

Salvadore liked exotic animals as pets. How about an Anteater on a leash coming out of a subway station in New York City? Look up Salvadore on your browser and TONS of great pics will come up.
This painting by Salvadore Dali, also in the museum in St. Petersberg is only about 15′ tall. That’s right ! You turn a corner and BAM! the tall ones hit you in the face. They are so BIG! and FANTASTIC at the same time! Just amazing.
The window design work just BLEW ME AWAY! Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com visits the Salvadore Dali museum in St. Petersberg, Florida USA

Look at the top right and you can see even more of the different window shapes at the top floor of the museum. This museum, The Salvadore Dali Museum in St. Petersberg Fl is the perfect place to soak in all the OVER THE TOP AMAZING PIECES OF ART AND ARCHITECTURE!  It will help you start thinking outside of the “box.” Go, have fun this weekend and don’t forget your sketch pad as you look around you, always thinking outside the box! Hugs, Heidi

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Friday, A Great Day To Upcycle!

by Heidi Emmett

I’m certain that I’m the only one who does this…..buys a garment either at a store or Thrift shop that doesn’t fit with the GREAT intention of making it work, l-a-t-e-r! That pile for me got so big it fell over. I went through the pile and cut it in half by donating, and/or cutting up for fabric, some of the garments. FINALLY with all this so-called time on my hands I am diving in to the pile to make a few work for me.

I bought a blouse just for the fabric. The fabric is such luscious colors. I’m going to use it to make an existing blouse longer and a pair of capris wider. Let’s see if you like what I’ve done.
A close up of the blouse fabric reveals some pretty embroidery on fine stretch netting. I love ANYTHING with embroidery. And flowers! Even better.
I cut off the bottom 7″ of the blouse. I ran a gathering stitch where I cut it off and very slightly gathered it. I tucked the gathered portion right under the original hem on the bottom of the embroidered blouse and stitched it down. Ta da! Instant hem on the bottom from the blouse I cut off the 7″ and cute little slits (they were the side slits on the blouse) one at the center of my newly lengthened blouse and one in the center back. Yep, that’s right, a NEW look for me. I’m not about to rip it off and reposition two little slits. I created something new, and I like it. Ha, ha. No, I do really like it.
I like the smoothness of the new piece aka not enough fabric to gather very much but I truly think it’s good.
On to the capris. It’s amazing what adding 1 1/2″ to the sides of super skin tight capris will do. I cut the side seams all the way up from the bottom slit through the top (hence the little cutaway portion at the bottom of the capris (they had a little finished slit on the sides that I didn’t want to mess with as I wanted to get these puppies done!) Each side is completely open allowing me to insert a 2″ strip (that’s how much I needed 1/4″ seam allowance).
I like mixing different fabrics and jewelry together for a Bohemian Chic look.
Another close up of the capris. Can you see that the capri fabric is a jacquard (a pattern woven into the fabric). This is a satin jacquard so the design is a little bit shiny. It is also has some stretch  in it too(most helpful to get them on ha, ha).
One more look see. I’m ready for SUMMER! Go check your clothes. Is there something you could change so you could enjoy it and wear it once again?

I had to show you this beautiful pin by Helen. So sweet from scraps of fabric. Alas, the pin sold in 2014 but it is still fluttering around Pinterest.

I love this beautiful shot. I wish had taken it. It had no name on it (to give them credit) when I pinned it. Doesn’t it speak of summer? All rightie, let’s all get going on something fun for summer whether you start with a favorite piece of fabric from your stash or pluck something out of the “remake” pile. Happy sewing. Hugs, Heidi

Upcycling Friday! Men’s Shirts & Working at the “Growing Grounds”

by Heidi Emmett

Hello everyone. Upcyling is one of my things as you all know. I have bins and bins of men’s shirts. I really enjoy designing and creating cool things from them. I save every bit of a shirt. To get this Friday post off to a funny start (WE NEED LAUGHTER!), please watch this 14 second video my friend sent me, on one way to upcycle a man’s shirt.

Check out my tunic. I purchased it from the “Upcycled Closet”, an  Etsy store.  I love all the details that she has put into it such as, little pockets here and there, the “men’s shirts” even unbutton to show off more “stuff” underneath. Such clever ideas. You must visit her store. “Upcycled Closet.”
More of a close up on some details of this “Upcyled Closet” tunic top.
O.K. holding a phone and trying to take a picture, well, it can be awkward. So what you see is my left hand in the right side  pocket.

All rightie then, I want to try this myself. Starting with the t-shirt (this one really and truly shrunk in length) and adding some men’s shirt and one linen skirt. I’m off to a good start I think.
A close-up of the t-shirt. There are lots of colors in it. Hmm….the printing seems a bit off, but no matter. It will be so BUSY when I’m done, no one will notice. But, this is as far as I have come on this project. I have had to detour out of sewing for awhile. A “growing” need has arisen (puns intended).
My brothers have owned a nursery for over 50 years (it started as a wholesale nursery from our parents property as a project for one brother (I have 3)for high school FFA)! In the spring they have always offered locally grown vegetable and herb starts. Over the years they have learned how long the season (for veggie starts) will last and plant accordingly. Because of what has been going on EVERYONE (it seems) wants to have a “Victory Garden” of sorts. They are coming as far as 50 miles away to get their starts. The nursery was considered “essential” right from the get go as they sold “food products.” How about 28 varieties of tomatoes (who knew ), 12 types of Peppers, and on and on and on. They have been so desperate for help because of the demand, they even acquiesced to asking their little sister to come and help.   FYI- Peppers, no matter the variety take f-o-r-ever to come up. (see above).  I have such a NEW appreciation to what goes into the growing of food stuffs. Read on.
We are down to the last of the last of the “pots” to fill. Waiting, waiting, for a new shipment of these 4″ pots. They come from Illinois (slowed down because of SNOW, what!!). The soil is very specialized and comes from ———(shhh…can’t tell you where ’cause it’s a secret) very far away because it has a specialized peat moss mixed in to help seeds germinate faster, and seedlings grow better.  There is the coolest machine (BIG, very BIG) on the property that takes three people to run. It is used to fill all these pots with soil.
These are specialized “flats” that have seeds dropped into them. All these flats, and the pots, that have been seeded, are all placed by hand.
A close up view of one flat of Genovese basil. These germinated in less than a week.
When the basil is big enough they are popped out of the first flat (a micro sized ice cube tray of sorts and transferred to the four inch pot and labeled. Again it’s all done by hand. DesignsbyHeidi helps at her brother’s nursery. I LOVE IT! Truly. I’m helping in another way besides making masks. A nice change.
All the propagation is done outside of the greenhouse (too warm to be in all day). Once that’s done, they are moved into greenhouses like the one above. It is a really carefully planned process and when one thing doesn’t happen (like the run on seeds from the distributors,suddenly, everyone wants them) it can upset this “well oiled” process.  Oh, see the little blue and yellow squares hanging a few feet above the plants? Those are very sticky to catch teeny, tiny, mites that can come in when a door is kept open too long. I know this as I got my hair caught in several (I kept forgetting they were there), ick, ick and ouch!

At the far end of the greenhouse is the giant sized swamp cooler. Water constantly dribbles down from the top of the black metal mesh units while equally giant fans are blowing into the greenhouse (from the outside) air through the black meshy type metal.  They can regulate the air to be cooler at one end (so certain plants basically stop growing), as is the case for the pumpkins above.
Take a walk outside a greenhouse and you can really tell we live in California. Eschultzia Californica, California Poppy. Did you know they can bloom twice? Out in the wild it’s only once, in April or May. But at home, with extra water, you can get a fall bloom too.
California poppies make me so happy to look at. Especially a field of them.

The color! Such a brilliant color. I live in Gold Country, and CA poppies are our state flower. Did you know that the largest gold producing mine in the state of CA is only 1/2 mile from my home here in Grass Valley? Another interesting story for another time. Thank you so much for stopping by.  I hope you can have some “dirt therapy” time this weekend planting and tending your own garden.Hugs,  Heidi

Its “BACK TO BASICS.”

by Heidi Emmett

Are you like me? I have lots and lots of beautiful clothes (ask my husband) but so many times I change 4 times because nothing is just right. I’m doing things a little differently now  and I can help you change it up in your own closet too. Let’s create some “GRAB AND GO” outfits so you don’t have to come home after the event you were attending to see clothes thrown everywhere in your bedroom/closet. Come on, admit it, THIS HAS HAPPENED TO YOU!

Do you have a basic color that seems to be in ALL your clothing? Maybe it’s black, charcoal gray, navy or brown. Mine is black. I have a supply of black turtlenecks, T-shirts, long sleeved and short, black blouses, even a couple of “Little Black Dresses.” And of course pants (always look for a lean look) , cropped, long, denim, and leggings, and yes skirts too.

Besides the basic black garments, I even have bunches of black shoes. Here I pair my “black basics” with a quasi poncho. No, I didn’t make this one. I have never seen fabric like this to purchase. All that’s needed to finish this outfit are some great earrings and a necklace.
I really like the fabric in this ruana (the correct term because it has a slit opening in the front). It was a warmer winter day (how about 70 degrees!! crazy) or I would have worn my, of course, black boots.
My “Simply Super Quilted Vest” is perfect for another “go to” outfit. Look how many basic colors are in this vest. This vest pattern is available in my book that I wrote for Leisure Arts. The book is called Fashion Quilted Accessories.
I have always wanted to create a garment using one of those panel pieces that are used for quilts or wall hangings. I think this cityscape  panel is very sophisticated. I do prefer all one darker color for those basic pieces to give that long, lean, look I am always talking about. It’s something we ALL want to create.

Here is the same vest gracing the cover of my book. Me, I know, amazing, isn’t it? I was asked to write a book!  It was 3 years ago this month that it came out and I think it is still very relevant in today’s apparel/accessories market.  Buy one via my Etsy shop- DesignsbyHeidiEmmett. It’s only $14.00 plus shipping. 7 great projects which include pattern pieces for 2 vests and one bag. A super deal. Or email me at: hmemmett@gmail.com and pay less shipping by dealing directly with me.
This is such a fun, longer sweater. It is 100% baby Alpaca. Truly, warmth without weight or bulk. Boots  would look great with this but I was on a roll with my pictures and did not take time to change. Whoops. The design in this sweater coat is so cool .
The back works well even with horizontal stripes (horizontal stripes are usually a no-no), because it’s cut off and realigned in the center back. What fun to copy this in crochet or knitting. And create it using bright colors, and I wont forget to add some black.

See how easy it is to start with the basics, and add one piece with pizzazz for your “GRAB AND GO”  outfit.  I’d love to hear what you might use to create some Grab and Go outfits.
After taking these Grab and Go shots, I could not resist taking pictures of my favorite first to come out in spring pictures of flowers. These are my faithful (to keep coming back and back) Hellebores. Enjoy!
DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com
A bit blurry in the center but yummy flirty petals that are too sweet.
I never get tired of close ups!
Even with my “stabilizing” phone camera I still hold my breath for most shots.
I think this is my favorite shot. DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com

Don’t leave this site yet. I found one more “Back to the Basics” look. I used my Terrific Tabard  pattern for it. Some of you have seen it before. Oh wow, I changed shoes. Good. And suddenly my hair is shorter too.

A new version of my Terrific Tabard / aka “Skinny Vest” pattern. Contact me at hmemmett@gmail.com for info. on how to purchase the feeling fine art to wear sewing pattern. It comes with all instructions and tissue patterns for all these sizes-Misses 6- 4X. All this for $15. plus shipping.
Visit my Etsy shop, DesignsbyHeidiEmmett to see this pattern and all my others that are available.
I like using pins (do we ever call them brooches anymore?) as closures. This vest is a combination of Silk Shantung (the WOW lime green),a  hand painted canvas, and fun stitching here and there.

I just found this quote (I wrote on a little piece of paper) stuck in a book. I’m sorry, I don’t know who to attribute it to but I think it is something for all of us to ponder.

“Take Pride in how FAR you have come and Have FAITH in How Far You CAN GO! Big hugs to you all, Heidi

Wear Your Joy! Friday, December 27th, 2019.

by HEIDI EMMETT                       I had posted some weeks back that I really enjoyed a series of classes taught by Kelly Rae Roberts. The class I use all the time, is titled, “Wear Your Joy. ” It is 30 days long, talking about acceptance of our bodies the way they are right now, celebrating our unique “style,” and much more. Visit her site here and see if it might be something you would want for yourself for the new year!  I think it would be a great way to get you going on wanting to create more “ART TO WEAR” clothing using patterns by me!

I’m wearing my joy today! I did not make anything I am wearing. That’s o.k. The tunic length blouse is from my new favorite label, Aratta Silent Journey. I love it because it is my style. Lots of colors, fabrics, and embroidery!
It’s all about the fabric choices in this tunic.
You can barely see the butterflies (love butterflies) on my shoulder. And check out the back!
It’s all done by machine (the embroidery) on a beautiful drapey rayon velvet.
Umm….so pretty. And lovely stitching details too.
Remember this idea from last weeks post? Line a pot with aluminum foil, drop in some baking soda, and add boiling water just to cover item. Drop in silver plated, or sterling item and VOILA’! Shiny and new looking again.
I am FINALLY looking at some of my silver pieces that I have had for years and years. Not sure what the stone is in the above pendant. Haven’t worn it for years because it was too much work to clean. Ha, ha, ha. Not anymore.
Oh dear! Terrible photo, but you can still see the shiny silver. This one I had to rub a little harder to get the black off.  Not sure why.
Digging a bit in my earring drawers (yep, I have drawers and I love them all!) I found these perfect drop earrings. They looked pretty sad but not anymore. Wow, I see that with this super closeup I need more attention to the cleaning around jump rings.

Like my top, this bracelet has a little of everything in it. Very fun to wear.
This has been my “go to” coffee mug during this holiday season.
This was given to me at least 30 years ago. It was a thankyou gift for playing a “party goer” (no toe shoes necessary, ha, ha!) in our local Nutcracker. I loved ballet class as an adult and being in it at Christmas was so much fun. I think this ballerina is “Wearing her Joy” as she twirls among the branches of my Christmas Tree. Until the NEW YEAR, hugs to all of you, my creative fiber friends. Heidi