Malaysia meets Michigan

You might think that I haven't been sewing...and you might be right!  I think we would call what happened in November being 'over-run by circumstances!'  Every time I thought I would get an afternoon here or a few minutes there to sew, something else would show up and distract me...mostly fun stuff...but not sewing stuff.  

I did have one day with my sewing buddy and we spent the WHOLE day.  We both needed it and were determined to get something done!  Of course we spent the first several hours hemming (as in not making up our minds) and hawing and popping from one idea to another.  Finally, we decided to focus on tops.  More specifically, oversized, layered tops. 

Her layers involved several rayon and sheer fabrics that she planned to overlay into the front of her top and then make knitted sleeves to help control some of the generous ease of the top design. (I will get a photo from her when she finishes to post here :)

My layers ended up being quilted together.  

I started with a very fine, billowy China silk that I got while visiting my son in Malaysia.  It is 100 degrees there all the time, so very light, tissuey silk is perfect.  But, once it got back to Michigan, where we have maybe one 90 degree day a year, it didn't seem so practical.  (kind of like when you buy the really darling muumuu on your Hawaiian vacation!)  So it sat in the stash.  The idea of "layering" gave me a whole new perspective and opportunity to take it from Malaysia to Michigan!

I tried several things and finally settled on a mid weight, stable cotton jersey. I chose to quilt random lines on the cross grain of the silk.
The two fabrics together created a very luxurious texture.  Very pliable and cozy.  

I used a pattern that was inspired by another top that I like a lot.  It's over-sized and has close fitting sleeves that keep it from looking too much like I'm wearing Santa's sweatshirt!  The quilted silk and jersey was a great fabric for the body of the top and I used the jersey on its own for the pockets, collar and sleeves.

I followed Gayle's lead on the pockets.  I loved these when I first read about them here on Gayle Ortiz' blog and am very pleased with the results on my top.

So November's Artful T is finished, again I'm just in the nick of time. (My artful T's didn't really start out as a monthly idea, but I'm kind of liking the challenge to keep me motivated to finish at least one project in a month)

Not very proficient at the 'selfie'

Attempts at "artful" photos....(not a big improvement on the selfie, but I'm digging being out in the yard on the 30th of November!!!!!!  Notice the absence of the white stuff!)

I wore my new T to pick up my new toy.   I have a great sewing machine dealer...Gall Sewing and Vac in Grand Rapids.  The only hitch is they are an hour away.  So when my machines need to visit the mother ship I make an appointment, my machines get the once over and I spend time with Becky who shows me all the schmancy stuff my machine can do.  She definitely knows what I like and always figures out cool stuff for me to play with.  The last time I took my machines in for servicing I had a chance to 'test drive' a felting machine. (Did I also mention that Becky is a GREAT sales person!!!)  After spending the morning messing around with wool and roving I ordered up one of my own.

I'm very excited to rev it up.  I know I have a bag of roving around here somewhere, I got it when I visited Fiberfest several years ago, just in case I needed it!  I'm sure there will be a "wool" artful T in my future.


  1. The silk is beautiful in colour and print. Beautiful pairing with the knits. What a cozy sweater. Does the neck become a hood also?

    1. Kind of...I have to squish my neck up to make it work!