Dog Days of Summer

....So I was wondering...where does the phrase,

Dog Days of Summer

come from?  I have always figured it was the lazy, sultry, hot days that make you want to do nothing but sit in the shade and sip lemonade...but that doesn't really 'splain where the dogs come in...?

...So because it's 2016 and I have the technology, I asked Mr. Google.

This is Canis-Major...Orion's dog.  (I knew Orion had a belt, but never knew about his dog!)  The brightest star in the mid summer sky is Sirius, which happens to be in the constellation Canis Major!  Voila!  Dog Days!

Thanks Mr. Google.

(When you Google "Dog Days of Summer" lots of funny pictures pop up.)

As I was pondering I remembered a piece of fabric that I got a while back on Marcy Tilton's website.  I got it thinking it would work with a sweater that I wanted to 'refashion'....

Figuring out color from the internet is always tricky, in this case it was a 'miss' so I put the fabric away for another day.

I decided it would be a great starting point for my third go at an 'Artful T.'

I started rummaging..

brown silk dupioni
blue and natural striped linen
pale green linen
brown cotton jersey
and....I had plenty of choices!

The goofy dogs in one big piece of fabric were a bit overwhelming...I tried cutting them apart...and then started to drape them with some of my stash finds.

Gray lace over linen knit.............linen knit with linen stripe......brown linen with stripe knit


I finally landed on the brown linen with the light and dark brown knit and a Katherine Tilton pattern that I have wanted to try.  Vogue 8690

I used the linen for the front with my goofy dog squares and 'hand quilted' them down with embroidery floss.  The knit was a very stretchy poly/rayon blend that really worked well for the drapey back of the top.

The pattern is very oversized and I ended up cutting the front down by almost 4 inches and added some darts to pull the sides in for a bit more definition.  I think the woven linen had a little too much body for the silhouette.  

With a little re-jiggering I think it turned out quite well.  And I have plenty of dogs left for another day!

Now you might think that was the end of my "Dog Days of Summer" story, BUT...

I had spent the morning 'quilting' my little dog squares and had to put them aside for a meeting in the afternoon.  I was early for my meeting and stopped in a favorite thrift store on my way, just killing some time...I was just about to head out when a picture, propped up against the wall on the floor, caught my eye, WOW it sure looked familiar.

OMG!  It was one of the dogs on my fabric!  What the heck?  Of course I paid the $5!

I went home with images of Antiques Road Show spinning around in my head, maybe I had stumbled on a true treasure!  Once again, Mr. Google helped solve the mystery.

Well, I won't be selling my picture and buying a villa in Italy anytime soon, in fact I could have saved my $5 and gotten a new print of Peter Horjus' "Doggone Cute" for $6.99 on artforthemasses.com!  But buying a new print wouldn't be nearly as much fun as finding this one in the thrift store on the very same day that I was making the shirt!!!  What are the chances?

I'll be spending some 'dog days' this summer in my cool and comfy "Dog Days of Summer" Artful T # 3, 
and watching the night sky to see if I can pick out Sirius in Canis-Major.


  1. What a wonderful example of continuing education - always open to new images and experiences - always curious! And another cute shirt. I look forward to seeing it on you, and you must hang your new print in your sewing studio.

    1. I am having lots of fun with the 'Artful T' series. It gives my brain a new entry point to projects. Aren't the dogs goofy? I have plenty to play with!

  2. Sychronicity – isn't it great? Did you buy a lottery ticket???? Love your new top, love the art dogs and your dog especially. What a cute dog!

    1. I love it when the universe conspires for me!

  3. I love your clever use of that dog print! Very creative!

    1. I thought about using the fabric 'in tact' but it was a lot of dog! I think giving them a bit more space worked well.