It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

All Tied Up with a New Obsession! (or two....)

The Stuff of Life has, once again, locked the door to my sewing room, but I will be getting back to the Koos Coat soon....very soon....promise!

Meanwhile, here's a taste of my latest little obsession....ties!   Ties!  And more Ties!

Ages ago I thought a vintage men's tie would have been the perfect item for some project or other (long since finished using something else), but alas, I had none.   So I've been slowly allowing them to follow me home whenever I ran into a stray, with vague ideas floating around the brain as to what I might actually do with them....

Then I ran into this delightful post over at Rhonda's Creative Life, and quickly whipped up one of her super easy obi belts:

This was perfectly timely, since I've also been obsessing over how to make some belts I would like (and NEED!)   A few minutes of hand stitching is all it takes, and it's truly a one-size-fits-all item, depending on how you tie it together.   I wore it the day after making it, and can't wait to make more!

This really kicked the slow collecting into obsession mode, and I now brake for thrift stores - and I know which ones charge as little as $.50 and which charge as much as $19.99 (for a used tie?  Don't THINK so.....).

I have numerous sketches and ideas for other belts, necklines, handles, facings....and I might even do a variation on the old necktie skirt....we'll see.....

On another note....I need to make some clothes to wear she is.....allow me to introduce....

Matilda Joplin!

I'll have much more to say about her as I come up with appropriate girly-biker clothes.  I'm picturing skirts -or skorts- a scarf flowing in the breeze, a cloche or some creative ways to disguise a helmet...   Of course, there are always the usual, 'appropriate', biker type clothes, but this is a girly bike, and I'll definitely be getting a wicker basket for the front, and I plan on dressing to the nines for certain biking occasions!  Like, you know, going to the Farmer's Market.....

I leave you with blessings and best wishes for the release of those dark bits of the soul that might be holding you back, and as the days get longer again, here's to bringing more light and joy into all of our lives....Happy Solstice Everyone!


  1. Matilda Joplin is a most elegant bicycle. I can see her with a wicker basket.
    I rather fancy the wrap skirt-with shorts underneath free hotpattern at for a non-sports cycling outfit.
    Unfortunately my cycling sewing mostly tends to lycra repairs. Lycra is most unflattering.

  2. Matilda thanks you - she does seem to fancy herself as a rather elegant creature. I'm trying to avoid lycra...I do have an old pair of bike shorts, but I'm not sure if they EVER saw the light of public day.....

  3. The bike is an exciting new member of the family! She looks great. Your belt looks very interesting & chic, too.

  4. Nice bike! :)

    I love that tie belt! The ties you used work so beautifully together. Really nice!

  5. Hi Jilly,I'm so glad you found something to do with your ties!! Your combination is really nice. The bike is GREAT!! I know you are going to enjoy riding her.

  6. Thanks a little sewing - isn't it interesting how a hunk of metal and rubber can worm its way into your heart & family so thoroughly?

    shams I know you could come up with some creative treasures with a few old ties....

    Thanks so much for the inspiration Rhonda! I am already enjoying the bike (although a teeny tiny hill today really knocked the message home about fitness....and not so fit-ness....!)

  7. Be sure to check out Veronica Darling's inspired cycling apron on the Sew Weekly.

  8. Thank you KC - that apron is outrageously fabulous!

  9. Nice bike. Yes, you absolutely must get a wicker basket for it. (Wonder if you'll develop a British accent after that?)

  10. Gorgeous obi belt, and what a bike! Oh, you will turn heads.

  11. Yup, that's a little beauty, that bike. I see you with a pleated skirt, little kitten heels, and of course the cloche. Darn those helmets.

    Love the belt too. Sure wish I wore belts. Alas, too short-waisted.

    Ties make great bias binding for inside a coat or to bind a neckline too. I understand you can also dye eggs and fabric with them, though I haven't tried either.

  12. Gloria I do come by a few Britishisms via Mumsy (who actually was a semi-serious bicyclist in England); I'll see if riding the bike has any effect on me...

    Mary, as long as the head turning doesn't result in an accident, I'll relish them! ;-D

    Martha yeah...darn those helmets :( A concussion & hospital stay, many years ago, due to a non-helmeted head & a bike crash (carrying a load of groceries that shifted & threw me off balance just before I hit a pothole) will likely cause me to keep wearing one....much as I wish my head were actually hard enough to protect whatever's inside of it...

    And bias bindings!!! Another great idea! Really, really great, in fact ~ I'll definitely be using that one!

  13. Happy Solstice, Jilly!

    Rose in SV

  14. What a really great way to re-use ties. Now I will have to keep my eye out for any really interesting one. Love the picture of your collection, too!

  15. Hi Jilly Be, what a gorgeous bike!! I personally would go with short but swirly skirts (cute, but will not get tangled up in t'chain), and little tennis flats. Helmets are hideous, no? but they are a legal requirement here too... (double drats)

    In answer to your interest on my husband's shirt (and thank you!); I sewed the sleeve in flat, and then flat-felled the seam allowance. Followed by the sleeve and side seam in one, which was then flat-felled itself after...
    I am planning a little tutorial on flat-felling a curved seam allowance soon, if you are interested.

  16. Im sure , you and Matilda will have loads of fun.

    Ps. I need your email for the recipe. xx