Cherry Fluzzies A & B

Two similar patchwork dresses inspired by using two halves of a bright cerise pink acrylic wool scarf with stretchy structure for bust fit.  Purple silk, taffeta, and lace combine with a legging print to create an exciting party colour combination.

Cherry Fluzzie B

Shorter version here shows silk purple and multi-toned silk patchwork and frill.  Purple and black print is taffeta.  Black/white rose print is neoprene-like dance legging fabric.

Cherry B, RIGHT side view, with hem frill, indoors, right side view.png

Black leggings with pink rose print and purple silk dress fabric were the inspirations to go with the tops.  Other colours are included for the patchwork ‘mix’.

Available in shop

Skirt sections are attached to woolly top with stretch
stitch by hand.
Dylan - Wooly top buttons closeup Cherry B.png

Ends of scarf (cut in two for each dress): edges are
folded over twice and sewn down by hand with with pink
thread or pink wool.  Black engraved Chinese buttons
utilize holes already in the acrylic wool.  It is
necessary to stretch the destined 'hole' and maybe use
a few stitches to secure it 'open' top and bottom, so it
identifies as the buttonhole.

Shorter version with black wooden buttons, thin straps and an additional

patchwork hem frill.

Cherry Fluzzie A

Longer version has toning cerise pink buttons, wider straps and longer

patches in the skirt.

Cherry A, BACK RIGHT three quarters, indoors - edited.png

Patches include a lace used over some of the lilac silk.  Back right side view showing inspiring floral print on neoprene type fabric black leggings. Available in Shop

Front, hung on wall 2, cropped.JPG

Cherry A, floral patchwork detail - edited.png

Making garment:  Cherry Fluzzie B

 Patch pieces joined into a semi circle. Outer sides will
 will become front.
Patchworks machined 1.png
By cutting patch shapes into A shapes, with straight top
and bottom edges, they build up into a semi circle.

 Patchworks machined back full joined.png
 Patchwork semi-circle folded in two, back view. When top
 curve becomes the waistline, gathered in, good folds
 hang in skirt.

 Bottom frill pinned to dress hem, before zig-zagging on.
 Frill hem will also be zig-zagged.

 Cherry B, pinned, tacked frill.png
 Frill hem pinned, tack gathered, prior to zig-zagging.

Making garment:  Cherry Fluzzie A

Patchwork cut from leggins - edited.png

Leggins cut into 8 patch pieces. 

Horizontal patch seams machined. Press seams
up or down alternately to reduce bulk at seam crossroads.
Patches pined as vertical strips.

Patchwork pinned prior to sewing - accurate daylight colour.png

Front side patchworks pinned to check colour placements.
 Patchwork machined left - edited.png

 Patchworks machined, garment left side.

 Patchwork 1st machining right B.png
 Patchworks machined, garment right side.

 Hand zig-zag stitching skirt patchwork to woolly top.png
Joining patchwork skirt to stretch wool top using large
zig-zag stitches by hand.

Wool and Velvet Skirts ‘Plum Velvet’

Plum velvet skirt front
Plum velvet skirt back inset
Plum velvet skirt side inset

Making procedure:

Inspiration started with the velvet.  Then envisage with the wool cummerbund due to the lilac/beige colour harmony.  Insets also chosen for colour harmony.

Experimentation challenge with ‘V’ shaped cummerbund (lined) and cutting skirt sections to hang from the diagonal.

Cummerbund pieces cutting diagonals.  Note waist is on bias grain, which will allow for stretch over tummy (could also allow for elastic to be stretch stitched behind).

Shaping, lining and strengthening cummerbund.


Darts made in cummerbund.


Lining also cut on bias. Iron-in interfacing machined at waist. Clip waist.


Press lining inwards leaving seam space for closed side and zipped side.


Lining and wool, pressed at seam fold line, finish waist stitching along end of cummerbund.


Wool and lining pressed to correct sides, left side seamed, right side remains open for zip.

First skirt with dark frill: Pin velvet fabric along 45 deg. diagonal bias, (on dummy) allowing to hang, then cut required hem length along straight grain.  Choosing hem length depends on how much fabric is available and how many skirt sections will fit into it.  In this case I had enough fabric for 8 sections i.e. two skirts.(Remove pinned ‘hung’ piece from cummerbund, iron and cut out more pieces similar for 4 sections.  In this case I cut out 8 to make two skirts.)  Pin all four sections to cummerbund, inside out, right sides together, adjusting gather positions.  Once satisfied with amount of fullness at pin gather, hand tack, to draw up gathers evenly and neatly.


Position velvet to cummerbund, with equal fullness before pinning, right sides to right sides.JPG

Before joining to cummerbund, pretty insets are added in, all sections are seamed together, ready to attach with pins, and hand gathers, prior to machining onto cummerbund.

Front sections cut to allow gathers. inset joined to velvet.JPG

Insets are made first and attached to velvet.


Cutting triangle insert for velvet front backs.


Triangle insets with lace detail stretch stitched to make flared edge, then machine to main skirt parts.


Triangle inserts prepared with lace detail, ready to insert into main skirt velvet pieces.


Front and back inserts added and machined over the top edges.


Machine insets to velvet, right sides together.

P. Pinned to cummerbund, equalizing fullness between pins, before joining.JPG

Tack gathering along cummerbund join to skirt section.

Pinning and tacking skirt front to cummerbund lower edge.JPG

One section pinned and gathered ready to machine.

Velvet machined to wool cummerbund over tack gathered.JPG

Machine stitched skirt bottom to cummerbund.

Second skirt with light frill:  Using ready cut sections, pin angled edge to angles of completed cummerbund (working on dummy) allowing to fall.  In error I pinned straight edge to cummerbund, resulting in the hemline being on the bias.  It doesn’t make much difference to the outcome, but for hemming, the first option of straight grain hem is easier to work with.

More ‘making’ details with images to be added…..

Jacket ‘LILIES’

This patchwork jacket was commissioned by 99yr old Beth, a friend of my sister’s in Dorset. She likes something different. Having lived in China, the average high street shop doesn’t attract her.

Clothes I make are well received by women who want something unique and original, rather than from high street chain stores; also for women who appreciate the craft of creative patchwork, resulting in the creation of a new fabric.

Original fabrics
The original fabrics chosen for Lilies Jacket

I chose the fabrics myself for the jacket, having met Beth just once. The item was to be for a wedding, so I wanted it to be light and classic, but to still have some interesting elements. The first fabric I found was the beige skirt with eau de nil applique feature of lilies. I decided this was perfect for the jacket theme.

applique corner
Lilies applique patchwork front corner

Fabrics I used were linen and linen-mix skirts from charity shops. Quite a lot of fabric is needed for patchworks; its best to have at least 5 different ones.

When I cut the patches out and laid out together, I decided there needed to be a highlight colour to accent over and above the all-beige overall look.  I rushed to the shops, and was lucky to see the pale green and pale blue devore skirt with floral print in shiny synthetic satin in the first charity shop I looked in; it seemed a tad shockingly bling, but knew once it was in isolated patches, it would merely enhance the overall arrangement. As soon as I added in the new patches, I knew I would work.

Devore printed skirt with shiny blue flowers on pale green voile base
Devore printed skirt with shiny blue flowers on pale green voile base

For this jacket, I chose skirts with embroidery so I could use the embroidered areas for patches.

Cream linen skirt with brown embroidery.
Cream linen skirt with brown embroidery.

From two embroidered skirts there was enough embroidered area, to give some decoration on every patch in the jacket. I had seen Beth had some embroidered clothes and so guessed she would like it.

Lining in taupe and eau de nil roses

The lining was a bonus find, another skirt, viscose type, having just the right colours of taupe background with eau de nil green in the woven roses, which ideally complimented the classic beige, cream and light green of all the patches.

Cost of fabrics was £42 plus £5 for a synthetic jacket which I just had to get, as it had the shell buttons in shiny light beige with a hint of green, perfectly matching the jacket colours. A touch of shine for a jacket to be worn at a wedding I thought.

Back view of Lilies Jacket
Back view of Lilies Jacket

Due to the centre pattern piece of paper pattern being placed on the bias of the cloth grain/weave, the square patches become diamonds.

Bound buttonholes with two different fabrics and the shell buttons.



Marian modelling 'Hopi Dance' red dress.
HOPI DANCE. Back view. Cream cotton, black spotted viscose panels. Dress tapers to ankles.
HOPI DANCE seated.
HOPI DANCE seated.
Close up of silk painted panels of Hopi bird design by Amelia
Close up of white and black background silk painted panels of Hopi bird design by Amelia
My inspiration for the designs on silk were taken from images of Native American design culture.
The bird designs had been painted around the pots, making the design full circular; I kept many attributes of the circular designs when putting into 2D.  Colours combine to compliment the dress colours.

‘Red HOPI DANCE’ Red Linen with hip ties to adjust at hips for fuller sizes.  Pattern used Vogue1234 suitable for knits and so cuts small.  I had to add 1.5 inch side inserts under the arms and sleeves to give better fit for 34-36 inch bust.

SILK PAINTING DESIGNS ‘Hopi Bird Dance’. Three dresses with similar design.


When I coordinate found fabrics to recycle together into a new look garment, I enjoy imagining a new decorative design with them; to contrast with the many plain cottons and linens I use. Hand painting designs on silk is the obvious solution, taking inspiration from the existing colours and any print coordinated with the plains. I was busting to get back to silk painting which I’d developed as a technique in my first Devon workshop back in 1995!

When designing, one has to start from somewhere; taking a few elements and putting them together. I began again, exactly where I had left off, with the inspirations I’d had for the last paint on paper furnishing design I’d done. I’ve always been intrigued by Native American design and recently found images of abstract bird designs of the Hopi Indians applied to pottery. They reached a height of decorative abstraction, distorting their bird designs to fit over any curved pottery surface; a brilliant applied design.


I have kept these ‘curved’ surface designs almost exactly as the originals, but applied them to a two dimensional surface of Habotai silk. It was an obvious decision to put feathers around the Hopi birds but I needed another element. I decided on a selection of Native American quotations intended to stand out in cream.  However, I wrote them with a water based gutta resist, and they were mostly blurred or lost during the steam fixing process; so I embroidered over them. By happy accident this gives another texture, although time consuming. A spirit based gutta may work better next time.


For the FIRST HOPI BIRD DESIGN I kept to the natural colours from the pottery inspirations; beige, orange, terracotta and brown, adding a stronger pink. I teamed the final piece with brown cottons and viscose from recycled skirts to make an unusual but charming pinafore dress showing off the silk design in the bib top and apron.


After dark all cats are leopards” ~ Zumi

Continue reading “SILK PAINTING DESIGNS ‘Hopi Bird Dance’. Three dresses with similar design.”

Welcome to the Shamanic Nights BLOG.

My Mission: To make beautiful casual and luxurious clothes from recycled fabrics.  Stop landfills.  Stop ‘made in China’

Fast fashion has encouraged the spendthrift and waste of textile materials.  So many cast-offs! I’ve noticed the higher quality, year on year, of fabrics donated to the clothes charity shops.  Clothes from quality brand names or clothes hardly worn at all, make it essential that these fabrics be given an extended life.  LINENS are wonderful to work with: I also choose good quality COTTON, VISCOSE and SILK mostly: with just a little POLYESTER for some pretty prints and most linings.  I rescue the best as not all these clothes get bought or sent to Africa.

Penny's Pinafore in blue linen, black embroidery anglais, and vintage print of French cafe life.
Penny’s Pinafore in blue linen, black embroidery Anglais, and vintage print of French cafe life.  (Sold)

SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING is becoming more mainstream, with increasing numbers of inspired fashion designers making clothes from UP-CYCLED and VINTAGE fabrics and sharing their ideas on Pinterest.  See mine and many others here –

There has been a ground swell of interest in ORGANIC COTTON; grown without pesticide use, leaving no watercourse contamination.  Fertilizers are expensive for farmers in poorer countries, making crops less profitable.  The Aral Sea has dried up due to the over use of its water for Uzbekistan cotton growing.

Whilst organic cotton is all the rage, cotton itself requires so much water to grow and process, that in the long run it’s NOT SUSTAINABLE. It takes 8,500 litres to make enough cotton for a pair of jeans. This is clearly unsustainable,    even immoral, when many areas of the world suffer drought.

Hemp will be the next ‘cotton’, the new wonder crop –  ‘A brief note on Natural Fibres and Climate Change’
with many links.

FABRICS from high street store fashions have an incredibly long shelf life, but are sometimes discarded after one season’s wear or if the garment no longer fits. Even household fabrics are renewed more often than years ago. These fabrics and clothes are still HERE. Piling up in landfills. Rather than throwing away, we need to RECYCLE ALL TEXTILES as much as possible.

Classical coat or dressing gown in floral creams with a little shiny green
Classical coat or dressing gown (available):  in floral creams with a little shiny green

For this reason I believe more businesses will take on this challenge; to produce textile products that customers will want just as much as they want to buy new textiles.  #WhoMadeMyclothes

One of the best things everyone can do is to STOP BUYING MORE STUFF. 

Take a fresh look at what we already have.  Look in your wardrobe; if you don’t wear something, but love the fabric, cut it up and make something new; add another recycled fabric to it.

I take commissions using your fabrics or I will research for a specific colourway or theme.

‘The True cost of Cotton’  shows children working in the cotton fields.

Links to ethical fashion concerns will be added progressively.