Spring Sewing: Gallery Tunic

While I wish it looked like Spring is coming outside my door (freezing rain is the most common recent occurrence here); I have been making up for the weather by sewing spring garments inside my cozy apartment.

I adore the independent sewing patterns by Liesl Gibson, especially her own line called Liesl and Co. What makes Liesl’s patterns stand out is their fine but not overly fussy details, stellar sewing instructions, and modern fit profile.

When she announced a sew-along for the Gallery Tunic and Dress pattern, I jumped up and ordered the paper pattern (also available as a digital download). I also splurged on some gorgeous Japanese Double Gauze cotton from Miss Matabi’s Etsy shop. I have been wanting to sew with this fabric for years! This design was the perfect chance to try it.

2016-02-25 11.59.46-1


It sewed up like a warm spring breeze! Today was miraculously warm enough (57 degrees)  to take a few pictures outdoors.

Happy Almost-Spring!

(Additional photos of my sewing can be seen on Flickr) Gallery Tunic detail

I Am Back! Follow me on Instagram


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I am back in the blogosphere! Glad to be here, now…

Here is a special peek at my birthday painting from a few weeks ago:

Acrylic and chamomile on canvas, ALK 2015.

Acrylic and chamomile on canvas, ALK 2015.

Please start catching up with me and all my projects: painting, sewing, traveling and more on Instagram….@lotuspeachblog.

Notebook Tool Pocket Tutorial


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A while back, I was invited to do a tutorial for National Sewing Month on Hart’s Fabric’s blog. Today it makes its debut. I made this Notebook Tool Pocket for my husband, who writes and draws a lot. After seeing a similar product online I thought, “I can make that.”


lotus peach

this moment 9-20-2013

{this moment}

Instigated by Soulemama blog: “A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.”

this moment  9-20-2013




shadow painting


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(for best viewing click over to You Tube and view in full screen)

It feels incredible to be back creating art again. Ahhhh….

I always take photos when I am up at St. Dorothy’s Rest. I cannot help it!  However, particularly because I have taken hundreds of photos over the last eight years, I do not necessarily have a vision for what the photos might become until later. Throughout this Labor Day weekend’s Artists & Writers retreat, I took photos of the paintings I was creating. There is something about capturing them while the paint is still drying, in the environment where they were created, that I just love. Then, on the last morning of the weekend before coming home, my lens was caught on the dance of shadows across every surface — the dramatic and delicate patterns in the contrasts of light.

Today, this slide show “shadow painting” was born. I did not know until I started composing the images that the photos of my paintings and the photos of the shadows would dance together.

I was delightfully surprised by how the music added another kind of magic. After I have put the slide show basically together I have a feel for the mood of the music even though I do not have a specific piece in mind. Browsing through our music library, an album name caught my attention instantly, “Genius of Modern Music Volume One” by Thelonious Monk.

Now my husband is crazy for Monk and listens to it almost constantly of late. So I am pretty familiar with Monk’s music by proximity. But I did not know when I chose this song that “Epistrophy” was Monk’s signature piece; Nor did I know that this just over 3-minute version was the first time he recorded it, before it had become his signature. “Epistrophy” as explained by Monk means “return”. You hear Monk return to the same signature motifs throughout the piece with added layers and textures. Gorgeous. For me, it was Monk’s playful approach to playing his piano, the tinkling and trilling rolls on the piano and vibraphone, and that distinctly modern yet light tone that provided the impeccably perfect accompaniment to my photos.

I hope you enjoy it!

St. Dorothy’s Rest, Camp Meeker, California in September 2013. All photos and paintings in the slide show are my own. This is art for art’s sake and no money is being made from this work. Please enjoy and share but do not profit, copy or otherwise use without my permission. For more information on St. Dorothy’s Rest please visit http://www.stdorothysrest.org/wp/home-1/

lotus peach

Surprise Sewing: Sneak Peek


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As soon I saw these fabrics from Heather Ross’ new Briar Rose collection I had to make something from them. Please excuse these phone photos taken on a cloudy day. The colors are warmer and sweeter in person.

Surprise Sewing: Part I

When I saw the pink print with, what I am calling honey-bee-fairies, and the delicate strawberries print, I also knew exactly for whom I would sew something. Here is a sneak peek at the project in progress.

Surprise Sewing: Part I

A lot more has been done since these photos were taken but I want to keep the rest a surprise for both the eventual recipient and the event on June 30 where the finished product will be on display.

What is inspiring you these early summer days?

-lotus peach

walking through spring’s sunset


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As Spring has nearly warmed to Summer here, I do not want to miss out on remembering this lovely park walk from just before my last blog post.
walkingpark view
I have been so busy with a new work schedule this past month that I have not had the energy or space of mind to create anything new.
tree skyhill path
I have missed Creating for myself and Daring Greatly by sharing those creations here.
me and pupwildflowers
So as I head back into my work week I do it with a renewed focus to cultivate my creative energy in some way each and every day.
glow branchessetting sun
As Michelle Ward says, “just fifteen minutes a day!” It will probably take more time than that once I sit down to sew or draw or paint. But since I know the hardest part for me is simply getting going, I am putting the emphasis on the impetus.
shadow family
How do you approach coming back to something creative that you have been away from for any reason?

And isn’t our dog the cutest!
pet dog

a new day, a new possibility


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fog above beach - ALK 4-2013

fog above beach – ALK 4-2013

wildflowers - ALK 4-2013

wildflower path – ALK 4-2013

Be delighted at the prospect
of a new day, a new possibility,
and a new page of your life that is yet unwritten
and can be filled with anything
you wish to make happen.

-Robin Ryan

natural bridge - ALK 4-2013

natural bridge – ALK 4-2013

lighthouse - ALK 4-2013

lighthouse in fog – ALK 4-2013

crashing waves - ALK 4-2013

waves fade into beach – ALK 4-2013

seaweed - ALK 4-2013

textural seaweed – ALK 4-2013

dog prints - ALK 4-2013

dog prints – ALK 4-2013

sand nose - ALK 4-2013

sand nose – ALK 4-2013

Beyond today lie your
highest aspirations. You may not
reach them, but you can always
believe in them and try to follow
where they lead.

-Robin Ryan

beach walk - ALK 4-2013

beach walk – ALK 4-2013

natural sculpture - ALK 4-2013

natural sculpture – ALK 4-2013

Here is the fabric for my second Lisette Attache dress. I wanted to waste no time in making another one. I love how the lines in the pattern appear as though they were painted in watercolors.
Lisette Attache Dress 2 Fabric

What possibilities might you explore this weekend?

– lotus peach

Creating: Lisette Attache Dress


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As soon as I saw the new Attache Pattern from Lisette for Simplicity, I knew I wanted to try making this dress.  It is just the sort of summer style I can imagine in a myriad of different fabrics from basic and casual, like this first one in vintage chambray, to modern, printed, or silk.

Lisette Attache Dress - ALK 4-2013

Lisette Attache Dress Pattern, Simplicity 1666 – ALK 4-2013

With this design, I was drawn to the angled waist detail, slightly full skirt, and built-in cap sleeves — flattering and perfectly effortless for warm Northern California summers.  I made this first one as a “wearable muslin” to try out the pattern and play with the fit.  I say “wearable muslin” because I am not patient enough to make a real muslin; But I am willing to experiment with $3.00 vintage fabric.  I picked up this chambray at one of FabMo’s periodic yardage events.  The non-profit sells off donated fabric, from the industry as well as individuals like costumers, at $1.00 per yard. Yeah, a super great deal!

Lisette Attache Dress - ALK 4-2013

Attache Dress in progress – waist seam detail – ALK 4-2013.

I cut the bodice pieces a size larger in certain areas which I then had to take in because it was too big.  I also ended up slightly shortening the top from the shoulder seam (something I do only as a last resort). The original pattern did not seem to need shortening but when it came together the shoulder fit was just too big. Next time I would try shortening the bodice per the guidelines on the pattern, as I do with most dresses.  I widened the neckline to make it more flattering however it was too much, and the facings are not very pretty as a result. So I will revise those alterations for the next one.

Lisette Attache Dress - ALK 4-2013

Lisette Attache Dress – ALK 4-2013

I prefer the silhouette with a belt but come high summer weather I will be glad for the looser unbelted option.

Lisette Attache Dress - ALK 4-2013

Lisette Attache Dress – back view – ALK 4-2013

Overall this dress came together very quickly and easily and I am happy with the result.  This is the third Lisette pattern I have made. I like them all because they are cute, the fit is better than most from the major pattern companies, and Liesl’s instructions are stellar.  Last year I made the Continental blouse and skirt as well as the Market blouse.

Lisette Attache Dress - ALK 4-2013

Lisette Attache Dress – side view – ALK 4-2013

Gosh, the more I write about it the more I want to look through my stashed fabric and make another one immediately! It would give me the opportunity to remember my revisions and achieve a better fit as well as result in another fabulous spring/summer dress. I can’t lose! The Market blouse I mentioned above is definitely on my list to make again too.

Have you ever made a new pattern and liked it so much that you made another one right away?  Do you have any sewing pattern recommendations?

– lotus peach