Sublime Stitching

My mom found this Western pearl snap shirt at the thrift shop attached to the crisis center where she works. I bought it for a whopping $2, knowing that it could use some work.

Pretty hideous

The embroidery and applique look like they were done by the previous owner, and everything was coming undone.

Not looking so hot, see?

My first order of business was to remove all of the gross-ness so I could start from scratch. It took a good while (3 episodes of Downton Abbey, as a matter of fact), but I got it all taken off.

Already looking better.

The areas that had been covered by those oh-so-lovely white flower appliques are darker than the rest of the shirt, since over time the shirt faded to almost a charcoal grey rather than a crisp black. If the shirt didn’t have that great white piping detail, I would most definitely have re-dyed the shirt. C’est la vie, I suppose. The next step in this rehab process was to find something to replace (and, hence, cover) the areas that had previously been embellished. I sorted through my collection of Sublime Stitching patterns (my sister and I are licensed stitchers through that great Austin company!) and selected some from the artist series featuring, this time, Ryan Berkley. I chose the lady cat and the fantastic Mr. Fox to go on the shoulders of my soon-to-be-fabulous shirt.

Ms. Kitty, already transferred

Mr. Fox, awaiting transfer

Transferred and ready to stitch!

I transferred the designs using the transfer paper for dark fabrics and stylus that I purchased from Sublime stitching as well. They worked much better than when I’ve used store-bought dressmaker’s transfer paper. I highly recommend buying both if you’re much of a stitcher.

I’ve got a way to go before this shirt is fully rehabbed, but I wanted to let you see some of the preliminary progress. I’ll keep posting as I make more headway!



Inspired by a post I’d seen on Stitchin’ Fingers, as well as my own frustration at trying to dispose of snippets of used embroidery floss in any sort of neat fashion, I made up my mind the other day that I wanted an orts jar.

“Ort” is a word defined by Merriam-Webster as “a morsel left at a meal : scrap.” The term has been appropriated by stitchers to refer to these little snippets of used thread and, in fact, some stitchers claim that “ORT” means Old Ragged Thread. I generally trust ol’ Merriam-Webster, but then again, I do like a good acronym so…it’s kind of a toss up.

Now, my orts jar is just getting started (I did, after all, only find the perfect jar just today), so it’s looking a little lonely, but more orts will be added daily!


My newborn orts jar. I've named it Judy (Get it??)


In other news, I finished the other project I mentioned in the last post–my witch hankie! She’s available now on etsy, and I’m pretty pleased with the way she turned out! Like my Dracula hankie, the design came from Sublime Stitching’s Zombies and Monsters pattern set.

I’ve also got several other projects underway, one of which is still hush-hush for the moment, but I promise to keep you all posted.

One more thing! I’d like to just quickly rave about a wonderful product: the Clorox bleach pen!!


The amazing bleach pen!


You might recall from a few posts ago that my sister and I had a little mishap with some wet yarn staining some blank tea towels. Despite repeated washings and bleachings in the washing machine, à la Lady Macbeth, those damned spots just would not come out! After fretting about the loss of perfectly good textiles, I finally followed a suggestion from my (always brilliant) sis and tried out one of these little babies. I’m not kidding you–it worked like a charm! I used the scrubby tip of the pen on the blue spots and let it sit for a few minutes, and when I came back, the spot was completely gone! Hallelujah! In short, if you’ve got spots on white stuff that aren’t coming out the normal way…spring for one of these puppies. The excitement you’ll feel at seeing something return to white when you’d never expected to see it spotless again is well worth the $3. Trust me.

Till later! xo

I recently celebrated my 3rd anniversary with three lovely lady friends, and to celebrate, we ate a gorgeous dinner of tapas and champagne. To commemorate the event, I wanted to give them a little “sussy” (my mom’s word for a small, spontaneous gift). Given the occasion, I thought I’d work up something fairly traditional:

I started out with my raw materials:

-three gorgeous boxes (@ $4.50 ea.) and three plastic rings with faux crystals (@$1 ea.) from a little gift shop in Studio City called Razzle Dazzle. The boxes are lovely, but I’m almost positive they were embellished in-house.

-scrap fabric left over from my bathroom curtains

-scrap ribbon used to tie up a bundle of fabric bought at a craft fair

-cotton balls

-needle and thread

I cut my scrap fabric and my ribbon into three equal pieces, then tacked the ribbon to the center of the fabric:

Then I separated the coils of about 3 cotton balls and placed the cotton in the center, and stitched a very loose running stitch around the perimeter.

Then I pulled the thread taut and knotted it, resulting in a sort of rough-looking pouch.

Next I flipped the puff upside down and snuggled it down into the box.

Then all that was left to do was tie the ring on and snip the ribbon’s ends, and voila! A perfect little “anniversary” gift (crystal is, after all, the modern 3rd anniversary gift) that leaves a lovely little box that can be reused as the recipient sees fit!

In other news, I officially made my first Etsy sale! Hooray!! My little waitress tea towel (remember her?) sold within about three hours of listing her! It was a big day for us. Flo made the trip to Maryland admirably, and the nice woman who adopted her left us some very sweet feedback upon receipt! All in all, my first Etsy sale was a success.

I’ve since been working on a few Halloween-themed items, only one of which has been completed yet: a Dracula hankie (he is also listed here, and he veddy much vants to go home vith you).


He's ready for his closeup, Mr. DeMille.


Till later…xoxo