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Flowers for the teacher

While I was embroidering on this jacket, I kept thinking — my middle school teachers never dressed this fun! Meet Aubree. She teaches math to seventh graders in western Indiana.


I met her when she was visiting Nashville. I noticed her style – fun casual dresses, often topped off with a stylish denim jacket. She left it with me, wanting something in purples and teals.

Asked why she chose teaching as a career, she said “I love getting to interact with the kids… they come from all walks of life. I love getting to be a light for them and helping them on their walk.”


I covered the back of the jacket, up over one shoulder and down one sleeve with twining vines of glowing roses.

The pleats on the front limited my stitching area, so I added lace to the collar and at the waist.


The front still looked plain to me, so I stitched up a couple more roses on organza (a thin but stable and strong fabric), and cut them out.


I placed them over the pleats on the left front (first opening up the pocket so she’d still be able to use it) and overlapping the pocket flap on the right front.


Then I stitched them on, using a free motion foot and clear thread. To finish it off, I closed up and serged the sleeve and pocket. Like new, only more colorful.


Aubree is a busy twenty-something. During here college years she sang in a campus ministry team and lead a traveling team called Jesus Bohemia. She’s still at it, “I sing in my church’s worship band, in the car and especially in the shower!”


I don’t know where she finds the time, but she recently played the role of 72-year-old Madge in a community theater production of Booklight: a new musical. It’s a story of tragedy, faith and survival. Keep shining your light Aubree! You inspire our youth to lead full and colorful lives.

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Patch art


Distressed jeans… They’re so in style, but sometimes after a few wearings and washings, you end up with more holes than jeans! Ever put your foot right through the knee? Or find a hole in a strategic area getting a bit too big?

Now as a rule I don’t repair or alter people’s clothes. It’s just not my idea of a fun time. But while I’m doing custom embroidery, I have a perfect opportunity to patch things up for you in a variety of ways.

IMG_0621To do embroidery on jeans, I remove the stitches on the inside seam. This allows me to lay the material flat and decide what to stitch where. If there’s a hole where we want a design to go, I have to stabilize it with fabric. No basic iron on patches – I’m talking creativity, from the inside out!


Sometimes I use a contrasting denim, sometimes matching. Or even a cotton print for extra boho. And rather than try for subtlety (after all shabby is chic!) I’ll often set it off with a contrasting zig zag.



Sewing up the soap market

Meet Kim,┬áproprietor of South Street Soapworks of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. She’s a talented and creative lady, developing sumptuous fragrances for her creamy soaps and nourishing lotions. Yes, I’m a fan!

31052191_10214108785547811_4271106523582693376_oThis busy entrepreneur wanted to promote her business. Being stylish, she chose Rare Threads Studio. She described what she liked — all things French in warm Tuscan colors like butter yellow, sage green, toasty browns and rich pomodoro reds. Sounds delicious, right? Just wait till you try her bath salts!


Working with her jean jacket, I converted her logo – a proud and distinctly French rooster weathervane – into stitches, and surrounded him with flowers painted in her favorite colors. Note the sage, butter, toast and tomatoes…

IMG_1305My personal favorite is the Fig, Rosemary and Thyme. Oh my. And the Clary Sage and Mint. C’est magnifque!

Another jacket scored a facelift with some francophile adornments, and just a hint of the soap you might delight in.

Au revoir, my friends! Life is tres bon, n’est-ce pas?!