Quilted vest

So maybe this time I learn the lesson and next time I will do a toile? Who knows, I’m the kind the person that repeats mistakes, over and over again. A real pity this time, because the quilted vest came out perfect, but a little big. I made a medium size of the Purlbee quilted vest. I think it runs a little big, unless you want to layer it over a thick pullover.


For the outside I used a blend of silk, linen and cotton. It a beautiful fabric but sat on my stash for a while, while I wondered what could be the its best destiny. I got it thinking in a dress, until I realized that I don’t have any opportunity to use a silk dress. I also used it on the wrong side, where is more textured. For the inside I used a lightweight black linen fabric. For the batting I used the remains of the cotton batting from my kona cotton quilt.

The pictures do not do the vest justice, I must say.

I have a confession to make: I also did not prewash this fabrics. My reasoning was that the vest is not a tight garment, so it has some room for shrinking (and actually now there is a lot of room for shrinking), and given that the silk is so slippery even before removing the sizing, and considering that I HATE prewashing, well, I just went for it. At some point will wash it and I’ll tell.

The vest has some sort of Chinese air to it, so I added huge pockets (a lot bigger than the ones in the other version of the Purlbee vest, the Quilted Wool Vest ), because I want pockets were my iphone will be safe, but also to break the lines a little bit.

I still did not find the proper fasteners and I need to take pictures of me wearing it. I’m working on it.


I was afraid that sewing them will ruin the vest on the black side, but they didn’t. I spent some time wondering if to quilt or not the pocket but at the end decided for a simpler solution. I doubled up the silk and voila!, pockets.


I added a sort of unusual detail for hanging the vest.

I think is a great project, but is quite time consuming, so please, learn from my mistake and make a toile.





Embroidery Sampler


What would be my life without Purlbee? I don’t know, but certainly they inspire me. When I saw this I new that I needed to try it. Instead of linen I used a re-purposed piece of canvas (it has some stains), because with is rigid enough so there is no need for an embroidery hoop, and I was so excited that I did not think much about the color scheme, I just was like a four years old trying different colors and stitches. I don’t know if I like it, but I did learn a lot of about embroidery stitches and combinations and I had FUN. I did not care about being accurate, I just rush ahead and enjoyed the process.

I tried to make a stencil, but I couldn’t, so I used whatever I found in the kitchen, so the outer circle is from my 1 kg honey jar, and the small one is from the marmalade jar.


The markers are the  air erasable ones, they are very useful, I don’t know how I managed before I knew about them.


I recommend this tutorial from Crafsy, and this one and this one for two color techniques from Purl Bee. The also have a tutorial for the french knot. The stain on the left is actually my own blood, the price of dealing with needles.


For this stitch, that I think is some sort of backstitch variation, I used anther backstitch to guide the loops and then removed it. I think this is the most sophisticated one, the other ones are basics, maybe the french know is a little tricky, I remember that took me a while to master it a few months ago.


For the palestrina stitch above I used the tutorial of rocksea. There they have an incredible amount of tutorial and info about embroidery.



I made the hanger from an old broom stick. I thought that it would be better with a dowel, but for that I needed to go to Beer Sheva, and at the end I decided that I liked it more the sort of kitchen/ old fashion look that the broom stick gives to it. I taped the ends and painted them using nail polish.  I actually cut the stick with the hand saw, because, the way we say in Spanich, en casa de herrero cuchillo de palo (at home blacksmith, wooden knife or the shomaker’s son goes barefoot) and in my house there are not power tools.


One think I liked about this project is that remind us how much you can do with just our hands, with no need for a machine. Sometimes people ask me for help on sewing things that they could do by hand in 5 minutes, with just a needle and thread. But, no need to patronize here, I just want to say that this inspired me to try a shirt Alabama Chanin style, like in the dress below. She does amazing things, her website is really nice and everything is sewn by hand.

alabama chanin


I also wanted to share three people that do embroidery and are just too good to be true. One is Adriana Torres of Miga de Pan, the other is Yumiko Higuchi and the third is Karen Barbe

Purlbee cross back apron

I love aprons. Not because I have fancy clothe to protect, but because is like wearing a huge kitchen towel. Cooking with kids (or anything with kids for the matter) is the land of the constant interruption. Mom, water please/Mom, Shem hits me/Mom, Lulu hits me and so on, so I go from one side of the house to the other misplacing my kitchen towel (in between other things). Not any more.

The other thing I love about wearing an apron is because is the adult version of a bib. It is incredible the mess I can make eating a plate of anything.

But is not easy to find the perfect apron pattern. I sewed before the unisex apron with a few fabrics I did not like to begin with. The apron was usable (well…big deal, is an apron!) but it made me shapeless. Also tiding the straps was cumbersome and hanging it in the wall also, because the straps would slide.

None of my friends understand my pursuit of the flattering apron. Well, is one of the garments that I wear most, why shouldn’t be flattering? Why, can’t  I be a smart looking cleaning lady?

When I saw the Purlbee Cross Back Apron I started drooling, it is perfection made into an apron! Of course, that handkerchief linen of theirs probably makes anything looks like a dream, but here in Israel is not easy to find linen so nice (or at least I don’t know where). And then, again, Ikea came to my rescue. They sell Aina fabric 100% linen. Is a medium weight linen, while the linen that they recommend using at Purl Bee is a lightweight one, so the only modification I made is that I didn’t made straps with 4 layers but just 2.

Somehow when I put the measurements in cm I managed to screw up the pattern and the distance between the top of the pocket and the top of the apron is too long, some harmony was lost. I suppose also that the lady in the pictures of Purl Bee is tall and thin, and not like me, not that tall and in the chubby side, so I was kind of disappointed, it is not the flattering apron that I was looking for, but the apron in itself is very nice, the cross back is genius (not straps to tie and hangs perfectly in it’s kitchen hanger), the fabric is perfect for drying hands, the pockets are perfect. I just washed and it’s actually hanging to dry, I’m very curious to see how the apron survived the washing machine and it’s first stains.

About the fabric. The fabric is rough to the touch, so I don’t know how it will work for another garment. It has plenty of texture and the weave is very loose. It has a rustic feeling. Maybe it will be perfect for pants, a bag, or even towels. I really want to make bath towels from this fabric.

I manage to get the apron with about  1 m. (x 1.5 m width). The original apron is on the long side, and for a me, that I’m 1.70 m tall it was kind of long.

Note: if you use the Aina for a sewing project I recommend not to wash it. The shrinkage is 5%, which is not relevant for an apron, and because it is loose weave, is not easy to sew once it has been washed.

Kudos for me that I’m posting such a terrible pictures but posting what I do nevertheless, but did I need to show that lone flip flop?


A little cat bag and some thoughts about toys


This is a birthday present that I made in a rush for kid in my daughter’s class. I spent an hour, more or less, and it came out nice. It’s all hand sewn, an activity I like to do when I just woke up at 5 AM and the house is in silence. I used very simple stitches, just backstitch and a leaf embroidery stitch, then I used some beads that I took from some old necklace. I used a triple sandwich, so the back of the embroidery is hidden when you open the bag, but I also like the color interest that it adds. I also wanted to get ride of that strange peach color. It’s amazing how forgiving are the embroidery stitches, anything you do looks good.

The presents for this birthday parties are always a dilemma, because I don’t want to spend too much money on them, but on the other hand I’m reluctant to but cheap Chinese toys. The other day I was reading that most of Chinese child labor goes into making toys. The idea of child labor is terrible enough, but the idea that all this incredibly nice and cheap Chinese plush toys are made by children make things even more painful.

Anyway, sometimes Lulu makes something, and sometimes I make it myself, but so far, except once that a good friend of Lulu requested a big eye doll (I didn’t know what were those), we haven’t been contributing to Chinese child labor. I thought that this little bags can be done with almost any figure, it could be a bunny, or a sheep.

Anyway, sometimes I wish people would start requesting a No present policy. I don’t understand the need for 20 or more little presents. But, then, when I was wondering about doing this for Lulu’s birthday party, I thought that Lulu would have killed me had she be the only kid without presents in her class. Oh well….



Dreidel done

So it is done. Am i happy with it? Well, first, at the beggining, when i just finshed something , im usual dissapointed. in my imagination things are allways better. And then, after a few days, i accept their imperfections. 

I think that there is a problem whith the proportions, the letters dont have enough frame around them, but i will let the thing seat for a few days and then come back with a critical eye.