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Charlotte Lyons is an author, teacher, and artist based in southwestern Vermont. House Wren Studio is her creative home and a resource for makers and crafters around the world.

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Beautiful, beautiful shades of blue and your dress turned out really great! Love the color and that band of it was always meant to be! I'm going to look up that pattern, it's adorable; thanks! PS..Glad a wine "disaster" turned into something wonderful on such an amazing trip!


Oh jeepers, when I saw the picture of you and your mom and daughter at the Met, I thought, " hummmmmmm, that sorta looks like one of those school house tunics that everyone raves about......should I ask?.... Naw... Maybe she'll mention it. And there you have it. I love the look of the blue "tie-dye" and it has a story. By the way, I'm sooooo enjoying this one. Xox


Oh Charlotte, I'm having so much fun reading all of these posts! Every bit of it is so very dreamy and yummy. (except for the 112 heat YIKES! I would have wilted and melted and maybe even passed out. WOWSER!)

How great that the red wine vs your charming brand spanking new dress misadventure turned into something you like even better! Funny how life (sometimes) does that when you find yourself feeling woebegone, hands you a gift you like even more.

Love the woad dying - had never heard of it before - and adore your dress, both ways. Thanks so much for sharing it with us, I'll be checking it out too - you may have started something! ;)

Looking forward to the next chapter ...

Troy Louise

Oh my! It was a lovely dress to begin with & even more fun after the wine incident. Thank you for the description of woading, which I had no clue as to what that was. Sounds like a wonderful experience. Can't wait to hear & see more.


well, my friend, everything happens for a reason, doesn't it?

I lit my candle this morning - for your mom....
all good wishes.....



So great to see you today at the Vintage Sale! I love the look of your "new dress"!
Stop by the shop soon!

Jenni Jones

What a fabulous adventure you had Charlotte!Thank you for sharing, it was a lovely way to start my day!

Mary Engelbreit

Man, this event makes the Home Companion Workshop look like a trip to the dime store and then making paper plate projects in an un-air-conditioned garage!
I'm loving reading about it, and your dress looks great!
How will we ever get you to come back to our paltry little workshop in pitiful St. Louis??? Although it DID only get to 108 here.


Beautifully told story, beautiful woad dress!


what a great adventure your schoolhouse tunic went on to become what it is today. so often the mishaps that happen in life and sewing lead to unexpected and delightful results. the woad blue & shibori finish are too perfect!


Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us. I am enjoying this immensely. Your dress turned out perfect. What a memory!

karen on bainbridge island

Woad. What a funny little word, woad.

I was inspired by your tunic but am not much a seamstress. That didn't stop me from finding a favorite old shirt in my closet for an experiment. I removed the stitching to remove the collar, restitched it so it looks rather Mandarin/Nehru in style, removed the pocket, cut off the cuffs and hemmed it at the 3/4 length. Voila, a new shirt. It turned out so well, I will be selecting more old shirts for a re-do. Thanks for the idea.

Your tunic is wonderful, with or without woad. Love that word!


Oh wow! I love the color you achieved in the dye baths. I have yet to try woad, but I have used the Jacquard Indigo kits and they are fantastic and easy. Love the blue web!

Leslie Hayes

Wow, enjoyed that journey of woad-doings! I like how your dress turned out. Very interesting.

Linda Warlyn

Charlotte, I fell off the comment cart and have been trying to climb back on ever since...I HATE when that happens! Your blog is always one of the best parts of my day and the posts from France have been just wonderful...a magical sojourn made even more so when shared by such a remarkable writer and photographer. Thanks always! xox


Charlotte you clever girl! I'm mad for the serendipity dress..... definitely not a woad is me kind of garment! ;) And that silly Mary E, she knows that despite the wonders of France you will never ignore us STL girls, we just have to be supah clever next time around!


oh my goodness, sounds exactly what i would do. in fact i think i've spilled some grapes quite a few times waving my arms back and forth. LOL

tunic looks beautiful char!


I love the resurrection story of your dress! That's true creativity. I've been thinking about the schoolhouse tunic. You liked the pattern?

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