28 May 2013

Feeling Blue

Celebrate!  Celebrate!  Dance to the music!

Even though I seem to be obsessed with green lately, green hasn't always been the color surrounding my sewing machine. There was a time when all was blue. ALL.

just a tiny bit of my collection

Before green batiks moved in, blue snowflakes were the rage. For about 20 years, I've been collecting blue snowflake fabric.

Before snowflakes, however, came flowers. Blue flowers. Some of these fabrics, I bought while I was still in my teens!

blue strip bar

Blue remains my favorite color, turquoise in particular but with strong affection for electric blue. Somehow the greens, particularly the lime and kiwi shades, began taking over a few years ago when I purchased my first yard of bright green floral batik. So began the green collection.

The greens are very smoothly winding down now, and the blues are beginning to see the light of day once more.

While digging through stash and remnants, looking for adequate fabric to make a dress for spring without having to buy fabric, I stumbled across a quilt project I started so many years ago, I don't even remember when. Some of this stuff could be pre-Colorado, better known as the 70s and 80s.

How old are you?

I don't know if I'll finish the quilt I'd started so long ago or try to farm the squares out for adoption. Even though I may not be as fond of the quilt idea now as I was back before I had proper tools, I still love all this fabric. Many of these blues are remnants of the first work dresses I made after high school and college!

While I was cutting strips from remnants for my "Welcome to the Jungle" quilt, The Lizard asked if I was making a dress. I immediately had a strip skirt design in my head and have been longing to fashion one ever since. Not enough green batiks remain, but I suspected I might have just enough blues from before I had wrinkles and gray hair.

When I first imagined this dress, I planned to knit or crochet the bodice and sleeves. Heck, it was still winter then, and a knitted bodice would have been warm as well as stylish!

I didn't have enough yarn or thread of one color to make the dress top I could see in my head, so I decided to do the bodice in faux denim, perhaps with a crocheted Dresden-plate-type applique on the front at some point. Then I decided to make a jumper instead of a dress so I could wear it with a turtleneck in winter or a T in summer. I might as well get as much mileage from this masterpiece as I can, right?

to be or not to be

Or maybe not on the crocheted appliqué...

all pieced

hand sewing required

I was able to use up one of the early blue flower dresses that's been in the scrap pile for a number of years to line the bodice of the new dress. I also was able to salvage the pockets from one of the old dresses that was no longer wearable and install them on this dress.

At the base of 14er Mount Lincoln

my new favorite dress

Pieced dresses in my neck of the high plains take a while, thanks to work and other obligations. I cut the first strips for this dress in February. I finished cutting the strips at the end of March. I began assembling the dress in April. I finished the hand sewing early in May. I got to wear it for the first time last week! And the fabric collection is at least 35 years in the making.

I think this gorgeous dress fermented very nicely. It's my new favorite! (I always say that every time I finish a new pieced dress!!!)

This particular jewel comes just in time to welcome the blue flowers I hope will soon be poking up all over my garden...

Love is Blue

drought tolerant blue beard

my blue flax in 2011

blue flax

grape hyacinth

field of grape hyacinth

my new radical hydrangea

positively perfect


The only windflower I had all year, decimated by hungry mealy bugs.

What a day brightener!

misty hydrangea


indoor bachelor button


lighter delphinium


Columbine and Lupine at Blue Lakes

Dressed in Blue


  1. beautiful Deborah- the flowers, the dress, and you! Love and prayers sweet lady!

  2. Wow you sure did not skimp on the blue, nicely done.

    1. Thanks, Pat! We're true blue at our zoo!

  3. Your photos are lovely (as always) and the dress is so pretty. It looks perfect on you.

    I am glad to have found another "electric blue" fan out there! :)

    Sendin you hugs and day filled with many blessings I pray.

    1. Remember the old song, Electric Blue, Stitchy??? Thank you for the sweet words!

  4. What a fantastic dress with an endearing story to go with it!

    1. Thanks, Sara! I do think the story makes the dress more special.

  5. Love the blues! Your dress is such fun and pretty. The blue flowers are wonderful! I love the photo of the hyacinth!

    1. I can hardly wait for my garden to bloom again, KB!

  6. Lovely - both the dress and your flowers. I admire anyone who can sew up a lovely piece of clothing and to use up some of those pretty fabrics from your stash, bonus!

    1. Thanks, Shauna! The dress is really fun to wear, and it sparks lots of conversations. Using up stash... well, I feel many pounds lighter!!! ;)

  7. Stunning is all I can say. I was taken by the first quilt and then the flowers swept me away. WOW.

    1. Why, thank you, JLO! I had just finished planting this year's flowers when I wrote this post, so it was fun to pull the two projects together.

  8. We dig blue but glass digs being green, so we have many more types of green glass than blue glass.

  9. Wow, the dress came out great - the strips give it such a lovely vertical line, almost like pleats (I can't quite express what I mean). Two of your blue fabrics are in my stash too - and my kitchen curtains are in the red colourway of one of your fabrics. (Sistah!)

    As if the dress weren't enough, you give us those lovely flower shots. That hydrangea is incredible....

    1. Thank you, Sue. I can't believe we keep finding out we have the same fabrics in our stash. We truly are sistahs!


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