More Time to Sew

by Mary Boalt

How many of you have unlimited time to sew? How do you make time for it? From what activity do you steal time? How would you finish this statement, “I would get more sewing done if…”?  I would get more sewing done if I hadn’t been training for a race. My husband and I signed up for the Wharf to Wharf, a 10K held every year in July. Nearly 17,000 people run from the boardwalk in Santa Cruz to Capitola. This is the third year we’ve completed it. Without collapsing. Still fully conscious. Able to speak and recognize our surroundings. I was especially grateful to finish since I fractured my ankle last year and wasn’t able to participate. So I was determined to do well this year and not embarrass myself. I did well. For an old person. With a pair of bad ankles.

The beautiful trail I train on is near my house. I can walk to it and my dog never misses the chance to chase squirrels. So here we go. I hope you enjoy the view as much as I do.imageimageimageimageimage

Tanner cooling off in the creek.  He’s a great running companion.image

Enough of the training. Now for the real deal. We all crossed the finish line within minutes of each other. Will I do it again? I wondered that very thought during the last mile with each  and every painful, pounding step!image

Now, about that leopard fanny pack. I’m really picky about how I carry all my gear. After searching for the perfect one, I decided to make my own. I could include just the features I needed. The fabric was given to me and is the perfect weight. It may not be the most athletic looking piece of equipment but I love it and it’s so comfortable.  I understood if my friends might not want to be seen near me. But then there was the guy in the banana suit. And the pack of men all wearing tutus. They made a leopard fanny pack look mild.image

A place for my phone.image

A loop to hang Tanner’s remote, should I need it. Rarely, because he IS the perfect dog!image

A zippered bag for tissues and Chapstick. Removeable with Velcro. Oops! The fabric is reversible and I didn’t catch that I had made this little bag with the other side out. image

And two pockets for water bottles.image

And now for a few odds and ends that I managed to squeeze in this summer. The first is from Marcy Tilton’s Vogue 9193. The fabric is a linen from the Crate and Barrel outlet store in Berkeley. I did some handstitching around the neckline, armholes, dropped waist seam and the vertical seam where the selvedge edge of the fabric is inserted. This lightweight top is so comfortable on a hot day and I love that pocket  in front.imageimage

This skirt was made from a lightweight crinkle cotton that was sold as a drapery panel at Cost Plus World Market. They package these panels in a little matching bag. So cute! I washed and dried it. Ironed it. Cut it out and sewed it and then “recrinkled” it. I’m thinking the necktie necklace goes well with it.imageimageimage

The Grass Valley wearable art group is having a summer challenge. The instructions are to make something from dish towels or incorporate bias tape in the project. I chose these oh so soft cotton dish towels that I found at Target last year. Four were needed to make Marcy Tilton’s Vogue 9153. I chose to put the gathered seam on both sides. You can draw them up and button them or leave them flat with the drawstrings poking out. There are red toggle buttons with loop closures and the tiniest red piping down the front edge. I’m thinking of painting some teeny tiny red polka dots on this…….hmmmmm? Opinions?


This shirt pattern is from Tessuti Fabrics from Australia. It is the Helga Shirt. They provide a heavy duty paper pattern along with a lovely booklet with step by step color photos. The instructions are very clear and make up into a well finished garment kind of like The Sewing Workshop. The fabric is from Fine Fabrics of Santa Barbara. It’s a textured cotton with small bits of metallic. It’s part of my effort to break away from an entirely black wardrobe. The ceramic buttons were found in the bead department at JoAnn’s on the wall with the strung beads.


And now a sneak peak at my new “grunge” bags. These are made from painted canvas. My students at the Zephyr retreat in September will be designing their own canvasses from stencils, stamps and silk screens. If you were on the fence about attending, there are still a couple of spots left! imageimageimageimageimageimage

The supplies for the retreat are being delivered almost everyday. The UPS man could barely get the box of paint from his van to my foyer. Boxes of goodies are being made up for my students with everything they will need. I’m having a blast bundling these up in anticipation of creating and playing together.image

I hope you all are making/stealing/borrowing time for your passions. I’ll post again after the retreat since I know I will come home inspired by our students. I can’t wait!

A huge thanks to my friend and her husband for the use of their gorgeous garden. Have you found the giraffe in the pictures yet?

10 thoughts on “More Time to Sew

  1. This is inspirational! I have sewn since high school…. when they had it in classes. Cannot wait to produce something modern and sharp as you have shown here. Shopping just does not have what one would like on the rack. Thank you Mary!

    • I’m so glad you found this inspiring. I too took sewing in school. I think it was eighth grade. When I brought my projects home, my mother would finish them! Not because I couldn’t, she just liked to sew. I agree with you about shopping. It’s so depressing to see rack after rack in store after store of nothing but the same cheap cookie cutter clothes. What a gift to be able to sew and make something no one else owns. Keep on sewing, Linda. And thanks for your comments.

  2. Mary, your post is fab! Love all your garments. Who would guess that one of your shirts started as dish towels?? The fanny pack is adorable too. You are an inspiration, motivating us all to see the possibilities and the fun in fabric! p.s. Congrats on the race!

  3. Ha, ha, ha. I laughed and laughed. What a great post Mary! Sew many, beautiful things you have done my dear. I DID find the Giraffe! Do I get a prize? Kidding! Hugs, Heidi

  4. My hat is off to you!!! Great Job!!!!Congradulations!!!!!! Wow!!
    Let me just ask, are you going to have a pattern for your fanny pack?? I really love it.
    Your sewing is stupendous and your taste is fo nominal!!!!!!

    • Thank you. Those races in Santa Cruz are always fun. Street bands line the neighborhoods cheering you on! At least 50 of them so there is always something to keep you distracted.
      Unfortunately I have no plans to make a fanny pack pattern right now. Although it was fun to make it up as I went along, pattern making is a “whole other beast” I am not able to do right now. But I sooooooo much appreciate your compliment as I have received a good amount of light hearted ribbing about it! Thank you for your kind remarks and I hope to continue to inspire you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s