Cupertino, CA, US

Member Since: 06/05/2008

Subscribe to my RSS Feed contributions

Precise Patchwork great for beginners

Accurate piecing technique for a patchwork grid

Zafu buckwheat cushion

Meditatiors will recognize this classic cushion used for long sits. I love the shape and have made it my own with pieced panels and buckwheat hull (as contrasted to cotton batting) fillnbspThe...

Harlequin Hiking Dress

Long sleeves are a must in this new winter dress. I plan to make more with this kind of Corset bodice as I LOVE the way it fits and shapes the torso. This Black and Red t-shirt dress has a...

New Hiking Dress with Corset but Comfy bodice

Wow - this is my very latest Hiking Dress. I plan to make more with this kind of Corset bodice as I LOVE the way it fits and shapes the torso so come back again and check in with my studio to sample...

New Colors in Cozy Capes

I continue to make lots of these size free capes, they are selling well and I enjoy the process of construction and sharing them. Currently, I am working on hat patterns from the abundant...

More Hiking Dress Photos

These are a few additional photos from my ongoing Hiking Dress series. They are all my own design and fabrication. I am focusing on replicating favorite designs at present and...

Cozy Cape in Pink - for my 3 day walker Aunt Lori in San Diego

This is my own cape design, sewn in Northern California - the first one was done for my Mom who is recovering from shoulder surgery - maybe you know someone who has limited mobility too? It is a...

Hiking Dresses from T-Shirts

Hiking Dresses came to me as a practical solution to living in conservative Cupertino California and needing to look put together while feeling comfortable. I enjoy wearing these 100% cotton dressy...

recent comments

Re: Fold Your Dinner Napkin into a Turkey

Thanks for the beautiful idea. It goes so well with my new cook book:
Autumnal Feasting, Mostly Vegan
a curated collection of plant based, fresh recipes, many of which can be prepared in advance.


Re: Book Giveaway: Sweater Girls

Intriguing cover, wish to see more of the photos inside

Re: Harlequin Hiking Dress

I just posted the Harlequin Hiking dress for sale for a great price just in time for winter carnival
on Etsy:

Re: New Hiking Dress with Corset but Comfy bodice

Thanks for your positive feedback on my Hiking Dress now with long sleeves.

You too can make your own shapely bodices, check out this nice hardback crafting treasure.
I was inspired to get into shaped bodices after reading this lovely photo essay based on using T-shirts for various outcomes. It is a great read - with patterns in the back. Check out the link to the site about the book: Alabama Stitch Book:


Re: How to Make Non-Toxic Floor Polish

Lovely of you to share your idea. Being a renter with carpets and rolled out surfaces cut to size not nice wood I am wondering if
you have a version of your cleaner for vinyl floors as well?

Re: How to Restyle a T-shirt into a Tiered Tea Dress

What great fun, I enjoy to work with t shirts into to dresses and wear them most days. In regard to your fitting, do you find the given shirt width at the bottom to be wide enough for taking big steps? I have to add triangles to each side from the left over sleeves to make a wider stride for added walking ease. I also choose to chop off the store bought hem as it seems so stiff and heavy and I like the cut to curl look better than the Hanes hem look.

Happy sewing

Re: Paper Penny Rug - a paper pocket collage

Do tell us more about the Penny Rug tradition please.

Re: Painted Shoes "High School Vans"

Great use of color and placement. I see the rose is a new addition to the sketch? It really adds a lot to the composition and balances the bird nicely. I love seeing the fine arts & crafty commingling and the inter generational sharing is so powerful.

As I read the piece, your daughter reaches back and touches the girl you were by reviving this piece from your past and offers the gift of the rose (herself) to you, as you care for her soul (s) through that essential but often taken for granted - Mama love gift - New Shoes!
You are one lovin and talented lady. You daughter is a lucky gal to get to sport your artwork. I hope you put a crystal clear spray or a "finish" the surface in some way to seal and preserve it as long as possible.

Re: Coldfeetquilter

Are your designs something you have programed in or are they something you guide and sew as you go? They are very well formed and lovely to see. Do post more photos soon.

Re: astulabee plush

I especially like the wooland creatures. They have a sweetness and charm that makes me want more - maybe they have a story to tell us?

Re: Hiking Dresses from T-Shirts

Warm Summer Greetings,
Hi there, here's a few more photos & info, a question for you - and
answers in the form of a quick overview to guide you to make your own hiking dress

I just put up more photos of this body of work on my web page:


I find using a four thread serger overlock stitch very helpful in working with t-shirt knits but this machine is a luxury and knits can be sewn with a regular sewing machine doing a baste stitch followed by a stretch stitch to make strong, lasting seams. It is also wonderful that we are in an age of less finished edges so I choose raw cut edges over hems. My own shape is my guide as I do not have any patterns and I am my only dress-form so I just keep moving forward as I design as I hope you will too.

These are made of cotton knit, with a wide stride for hiking up hills and are made from recycled T-shirts.
I have such fun in these dresses they are super easy to wear and feel comfortable all day as activities change. They are as easy to care for as your favorite t-shirt. I wash them inside out and rub extra soap on any unfortunate spots and they come right out. I love having a big stack to choose from and get lots of compliments on them I hope you do too.

For more information contact me,
if you wear a size small, 4 - 6 ish - these proto-types fit you and I can send you one. If you need to size up this idea try XL shirts and or cotton knit yardage of a similar heavy weight.

before you are off - I have a few questions for you -

Does it seem like something you would try to sew or is it too difficult without a pattern / class?

If you saw this at a crafts vendor's booth is $90 - $150 about right?
I take between 2 to 5 hours to make a dress depending on the complexity.

Here's My Basic Guide to Making your Own Hiking Dress:

It takes me 2 large dark T-shirts + a brighter T-shirt scrap at least a 36" x 4" to make one size small dress.

For the skirt part. I cut off the sleeves and neckline just above the armpit strait across on the first T-shirt. Then cut the arm scraps into 2 long equilateral triangles, about 4" x 10". On lower edge of skirt tube, snip sides open 10" to sew in one triangle into each side with the widest 4"part on the bottom. I then cut off the commercially finished T-shirt lower edge as I even up where my triangles have joined the hemline.

I step into the skirt tube and start to plan where the contrasting element will go. I pick a feature spot on my body - low the bootie/hip or maybe high below the bust for an empire waist - decide where to place the contrasting accent tube and mark that on the inside of the skirt. In some cases if I want an extra long hemline and a high waist feature I may need to add more length especially if tall.

For the second shirt I also cut off the sleeves and neckline just above the armpit strait across. Inside out, I use a chalk line to design the neckline, shoulder and where the under arm seam starts. If the neckline design is beyond your current skill you can use a ladies t-shirt from the thrift shop as I did with the long sleeve pink one, just don't use the Man's Large T-shirt seams/neck for your dress top because it will look bulky and not so delicate as the rest of the construction.

After the top is together I ease the contrast band onto the bottom once both are about the same circumference. In sewing this together if any bulge occurs, I push the extra into the side seams. It's important to match up where the color bands meet up on the sides, above the band match up the joined contrast seams with a pin and sew over the side seam again.

If the fit is not tight enough for my waist to show I tend to make a straight seam up the back and nip in the whole thing in. I then shape that top & contrast band onto the skirt being careful to work only on the inside, and adjusting the skirt side seams (match up the joined contrast seams with a pin and go over the side seam again below contrast) to make all lines flow together nicely and not be ill matched.

To finish, I sometimes add embroidery to the bottom or back or a neat-o -trim that can also provide a finished look.

Good luck and keep it playful.

Re: What's in Your Crafting Cupboard?

Making my own bias strips has been a very useful skill for color matching as well as value. Here's a link to a bloger who explains it all in great detail.