Hot! Garden, Gazebo, and Lace


The Facts:

Fabric: Made from a thrifted skirt and lace collar from Barrel of Fabric in Solvang, CA
Pattern: New Look 6808
Year: contemporary
Notions: thread
Time to complete: one afternoon
First worn: In the  HM Hospital Organic Garden
Wear again? Most definitely!
Total price: Less than $3.00



This was a fun blouse to make. I bought a button-down-the-front rayon skirt from the thrift with this creation in mind. I cut out the pattern back and included the darts, but on the front, I only added the side darts. Next, I cut the neckline to match the angle of the collar pieces. Then, I serged the neck line, turned it under, and attached the lace collar pieces. From the fabric left over at the bottom of the skirt, I cut two cap sleeves and just serged a rolled-hem on the edges. I added a snap to the top because the first button isn’t exactly at the top. The snap holds it together quite nicely. It’s one of the easiest and cutest things I’ve made this year.

I have a half-dozen lace collars in my stash now. Most are from Barrel of Fabric in Solvang, CA, a crazy-ass store for any one like us! All fabric is $1.00 a yard! It comes on factory rolls and you have to cut it yourself, then cart it over to this hole in the wall cafe where a strange bored girl rings you up. The building is a mess of rooms full of every kind of fabric, barrels of zippers, lace, trim, buttons, lace collars, etc. I tried to get the low-down on this strange set-up from the girl, but she wouldn’t tell me much. She was in a hurry to leave that day. However, I did manage to find out that the fabric comes from a factory in LA. Instead of throwing away what they don’t need or want, they donate it to the Shriner’s.Then it is sold dirt-cheap and the profit is donated. While attending a conference there, I managed to make a side trip every day to this little gold mine. Too bad it’s so far away. I’d go all the time!

This setting for my photoshoot is really close to my house. Our soon to be new hospital has a grand organic garden and orchard with a gazebo, bench, and arbor that sits right on top of a little knoll. It’s usually locked up, but today as we were driving by scouting out somewhere to take pictures, the gardener was there. We were allowed to go up and take advantage of this beautiful setting.



Barbara is a resident of Northern California. She loves to sew and has pledged not to buy retail clothes for the year of 2012. That means she has to make her own, or buy it at a thrift store. I hope she doesn't spend too much on fabric. When she shops for fabric her eyes light up as she imagines the possibilities! She's like a kid in a candy store.


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  1. Love this top–love the entire outfit! I would totally wear this to work. :)

  2. Thank you! I wore this the first day back to work! I love the look and the style. I’d made it again in an instant, just need a long button down skirt and voila!

  3. What a beautiful piece of lace,it’s gorgeous in the pictures. That fabric store sounds like areal fine, I bet a group from SewWeekly could do a field trip together.

  4. Oh, wouldn’t that be fun! It,s a really fun place to stay. It’s a Danish settlement originally. The whole town looks European. It’s quite the tourist spot being only 30 minutes from Santa Barbara

  5. That lace collar is gorgeous! That fabric store of yours sounds like heaven – why don’t they have places like that near me?

  6. Love this top. I didn’t realise you could buy collars lol.

  7. Very cute mom! Love the whole outfit! I may have to steal those tights!! Way to go :)

  8. Why does CA have all the good fabric finds?

  9. Gorgeous job Barbara…what I would do to visit this $1 a yard fabric den with the bored girl who sits in the hole in the wall. Sounds like a place all of us would enjoy immensely.

  10. Wow! I love the entire ensemble, especially the lace collar and the shoes!