Embroidering Sage Sleeveless Wrap Dress



Sage Linen Dress In-Progress

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First layer of embroidery for the waist seam

Linen is an ancient fiber- one that has bee n used by Europeans for thousands of years. It’s also one of my favorite fibers to wear because of its beautiful drape and how it always feels cool on your skin.

I’ve decided to embroider this lovely sage linen wrap dress in the viking style, ornamenting the seams with a variation of the herringbone stitch using a brighter blue thread.(It’s almost a flax flower blue.)

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First layer of embroidery (flaxflower blue) at waist next to the second layer color choice (sky blue)

Embroidering a whole garment is new to me. I’ve only ever really done embroidery on squares and small pieces of fabric. This is going to be an exciting and fun project where I improve my skills!

The Bee Balm is Alive!


The original seedlings for the bee balm that I planted last year were, unfortunately, grew too tall and not leafy enough, eventually catching some type of mildew several months after being planted in the ground. I thought that was the end of them, but I’ve found patches of their lemony-scented leaves all over my little flower patch this year, and it looks so much healthier! I have bee balm again, and I am overjoyed. I’ve liked this flower since I was a child, and it is a flower beloved by pollinators. Hopefully, this year it will bloom and bring all the little bees to my garden, where they’ll stop by the vegetables and increase my harvest.

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The seeds are from Baker Creek (Bee Balm – Spielarten Mix)

Dandelion Flower, Radish Sprout, and Salmon Patties

Cooking and Household, Gardening

While weeding the garden, I saved the flowers off the dandelions. I added these to the radish thinnings I also picked that day. These were washed, and added to store-bought green onion, button mushrooms, cabbage, and a can of salmon. Seasonings included pepper, garlic, parsley, and oregano. I made the patties granny-style, using egg, mayonnaise, and breadcrumbs as a binder. Scoops of the patties were fried in peanut oil until golden brown, then served with horseradish sauce and a side of potatoes.

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I completely made up the recipe, but it worked out great. Very tasty. I’ve always been a bit cautious around eating dandelions because the late green get so bitter, but the flowers were even a little bit bitter in this dish! I don’t worry about putting a dent in the local dandelion population like I would with native wild edibles. There are so many, I couldn’t possibly take them all.

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Wrap Dress II: Sage Linen In-Progress


I liked the wrap dress pattern that I drafted so much that I have decided to make a second one! This is another fabric stash use-up, as I’m using one yard of very wide (50-60″) sage green linen that I already own. Its weave is too loose to repurpose for things for the community. There is not enough of the fabric for this dress to have sleeves. You can just see the part of the bottom hem that I had to piece together. Hopefully, it’ll be disguised in the hemming stage. You can also see that I’m going to change the angle of the shoulders slightly, as the pattern I drafted myself continues to be a learning process.

Linen is a wonderful, ancient fiber and while it can sometimes be challenging to work with, I love the breatheability and the feel of it on my skin. I have hopes that this will be a rewarding project!

White Yarrow is Back for Spring


Another plant I’m happy to see re-emerging this year is the yarrow. Yellow yarrow smells the best to me, but I think white yarrow looks the prettiest with its delicate plateau-like flowers covered in bees and butterflies and its feathery green leaves. I hope I can grow this plant into a big, strong patch of flowers this year.P1040333 - Copy.JPG

Completed Wrap Dress from Tablecloth

Repurposing, Sewing


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Ties attached, neckline/wrap part finished in bias tape made from the tablecloth scraps, I needed a way to get the inner tie to the outside so I could make a nice bow. I used a welt seam to channel the tie through to the outside. It required some bias tape, and I had a little bit of the bias tape from the neck edge. Now, there’s only about half a yard remaining of that bias tape, so it’ll probably be a finishing piece on some little project or another some day.

My mistake was forgetting to mirror everything while working with the dress on the dress form, so now the dress opens to the right rather than the left as women’s clothing is supposed to, but it’s not really a big deal. I’ll be wearing this around the house for now, anyways, so nobody will know enough to notice.

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I drafted the sleeve pattern in the style of a tulip sleeve because I think it repeated the idea of the wrap front nicely for the sleeves.

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Cut two per sleeve. Make sure to mark the top part that meets the top of shoulder seam! The sleeves were also edged in self bias tape.

All of the tiny little scraps from this project -there must be about a square foot and a half of them all added together- are saved in a labelled bag just in case I ever need to repair this dress, since the fabric has already been well-loved before I made the dress.

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With the sleeves attached and all the edges finished, the dress is done! This was a fun learning experience and I think I’ll enjoy this as a warmer weather house-dress for now. I love how the floral with green looks, especially on the back!

Previous posts on this dress: First Second

For more about the process, see my portfolio page.


Easy Sewing Project: Juggling Pyramids

Cooking and Household

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This was a very simple project that has yielded a lot of use. As an artist and seamstress, my dexterity and hand-eye coordination are important to me. I got the crazy idea that perhaps I could improve these by learning some juggling, so I made these juggling pyramids to practice. I’m still terrible at juggling, but I’m having tons of fun!

The pyramids are 3″ long on each side finished dimensions. They are made from 4 triangles stitched together and can be filled with gravel, plastic beads, or anything else you might have at hand to give them a little weight when tossed. Fabric for this project was the scraps of an old sweatshirt that was recycled into several other projects previously. I think just about any type of fabric would work.

Spinach Survived the Winter


The winter this year was so mild that spinach which I planted and took a first harvest from late fall grew back and survived the whole winter. It is nice and leafy and made a delicious second harvest this year. I was impressed at this variety’s hardiness because even this mild winter had plenty of freezing weather. The variety was Bloomsdale’s Long Standing, if I remember correctly.

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Now I have to wait a while and hope for my seeds to sprout so I can try some radishes.