2

Purple Ruby Joggers

Even though it’s highly tempting, since I work from my office in the basement of our house, I don’t actually spend every day in sweatpants. However, I do pretty much always end up in sweatpants at some point every day, whether it’s first thing in the morning when I pull something cozy on while I get Buglet up and get my morning tea or at the end of the day when I curl up on the couch to watch some TV with my partner. That being said, it’s kinda nice to have more than one pair of sweatpants. I sewed up a pair of Paprika Patterns Ruby Joggers. If you don’t already have a favorite jogger pattern (or if you’re willing to cheat on your favorite), the Ruby Joggers are worth checking out. I know they’re a bit late to the jogger game (like me), but they’re unique from other …

Sunday Stash

Today’s theme: Slinky things. Normally I shy away from 100% polyester. Andy by shy away I mean run the other way screaming. Normally I dislike fabric that looks like something my Grandma Smail would have worn. No offense to Grandma, she was a very fashionable lady. But she was a fashionable 80-something and at 30-ish I’m proud to have many characteristics of an old lady, but I’d rather my fashion sense trended a bit more youthful. But somehow the fabric on the left, despite being 100% polyester and totally old-lady-blouse worthy, called my name from the rack at the thrift store. I’m working on a t-shirt pattern right now and experimenting with incorporating wovens into it and I have it in my head that it’s going to totally rock in the right proportions with a suitable compliment. We’ll see… I got the purple spotted fabric at the same time. I’m …

3

Striped Shift, Striped Shorts, New Glasses (and Glasses Coupon)!

Last week, Adam and I spent a week in Hawaii on a babymoon (i.e. a vacation before baby arrives). We took advantage of a gap in Adam’s work schedule and used a bunch of airline miles and hotel points so that we could have a relaxing escape together now that I’m feeling a bit better. Apparently we weren’t the only ones with such a great idea, as it seemed like every third woman at our hotel was pregnant! While I was able to raid most of what I wore from my mom’s closet (thanks mom!), no vacation would be a true vacation without some frantic last minute sewing for it, right? I grabbed some purple striped cotton-blend from my stash and whipped up a little shift dress and a pair of shorts. I sewed a Staple Dress by April Rhodes since my Baseball Staple Dress is the only woven garment in my …

14

Purple Wool Jersey Vintage Simplicity 6934

This luscious fabric, given to me by Minerva Crafts, is a wool blend jersey. I originally had visions of making the world’s comfiest harem pants (Don’t laugh! Every other tourist was wearing them on our trip in SE Asia and they got into my psyche. Okay, go ahead and laugh.) to wear around the house, but the fabric was just too nice to never be worn in public. Then I had visions of a wrap dress, but I hemmed and hawed about buying a pattern or drafting one and I’ve always felt that wrap dresses were hit or miss on me. So finally I ended up on a vintage Simplicity pattern from my stash – Simplicity 6934 from 1975. The pattern is written for wovens, but I knew that it would look lovely in a knit. The only thing that gets lost in the knit is the slight gathers above …

4

Lightweight Lilac Linen Archer

I brought a very small selection of clothes on our giant honeymoon. 4 months worth in one small backpack. So I carefully considered every single garment, bought a selection of fabric so that every piece coordinated, and then ran out of time to make most of the “perfect travel wardrobe” that I had envisioned. (I decided that finishing my bridesmaid dresses was more important). However, I did get the chance to sew an Archer blouse out of a lightweight lilac linen and it has definitely been getting its share of wear! It has been the perfect shirt for keeping the sun off of my pasty white fair skin. It’s so lightweight that it doesn’t add much warmth to wear and it’s light in color enough that it acts like a white shirt, reflecting the sun. And the great thing about traveling in linen (in my opinion) is that when it’s …

15

Wedding Quilt Chuppah

The biggest gift we were given for our wedding was the gift of a handmade quilt that we used as a chuppah from my mom and her Quilty Ladies – from L to R  – Nancy, Judy, Ann, Mom, Miyoko, and Susie. An untold number of stitches done with love over an untold number of hours combined to create a stunning heirloom gift that we are so very honored to have. What is a chuppah, some of you might be asking? In our ceremony we explained: “In the Jewish tradition, marriages take place under a chuppah. A chuppah represents a home. Just as the chuppah is open on all four sides, so was the tent of Abraham open for hospitality. Thus, the chuppah represents hospitality to one’s guests – that’s all of you, our family, friends, and loved ones. This symbolic home lacks furnishings to remind us that a home …

7

Mismatched Casual Bridesmaids’ Dresses

Since I didn’t sew my wedding dress, I definitely wanted to sew my bridesmaids’ dresses. Of course, picking a style was a decision I labored over for a long time. I wanted something that would flatter the very different body types my gals have, and I really wanted the dresses to be something that they would wear again and again. I wavered between same-fabric-different-dress, same-fabric-same-dress, and all-different-but-same-color. And nothing quite felt right. Finally, I had an epiphany. What wasn’t feeling right was the formality of the dresses I was considering. As soon as I switched from thinking of silk dresses to picturing them in a nice jersey everything fell into place. I did a fair bit of looking for the exact perfect color of purple in a nice jersey (since I had already bought the fabric for the groomsmen’s ties and it needed to be a decent match) but didn’t find anything in …

7

Cotton Lawn Wedding Ties for Groomsmen and Fathers

Since I’m sewing dresses for our female wedding attendants and knitting shawls for our mother figures, I wanted to come up with a wearable gift for the male wedding attendants and father figures and ties seemed the logical choice. Of course, going into sewing the ties, I didn’t realize how handmade they really are – by which I mean every single stitch is sewn by hand! But I’m thrilled with the results – I made a lot of absolutely gorgeous ties! Since our wedding is pretty casual, I bought a gorgeous cotton lawn from Britex with a delicate grey floral print – it’s not a Liberty Lawn (it’s from Italy) like I had in my head to find, but it was filed right next to them and fills the role beautifully. I picked a coordinating color to sew a tie for Adam so that he stood out (he is the …

7

Aubergine Hoodie Tunic V8951

The highlight of the last couple weeks of my life? Not getting a subwoofer for my car. Not my brother’s 30th birthday. Not even buying a wedding band for my fiancé. It’s the fact that I can finally wear my leggings in public!! Okay, maybe that’s a bit of hyperbole, but I’ve pretty much worn only this tunic since finishing it! I used Vogue 8951. The cover art didn’t do much for me (frankly it looked a little boring and, well, middle-aged). But I love hoodies as comfy clothes and it is tunic length (a must since leggings are not pants) and I figured I’d give it a shot. And I’m so glad I did! (It wasn’t until after I sewed it up that I remembered my friend Shams of Communing with Fabric had made a great version although, since she has the opposite body shape as I do, the final …

22

Bombshell Bikini

I am a total bombshell in this swimsuit. The first time I sewed the Bombshell Bikini by Closet Case Files I made a few design decisions that left me feeling like an almost. But this time? Total Bombshell. So, what did I learn that made this one a rockin’ success? Better color choice, for sure. Instead of a pale pink the color of my skin, I picked an iridescent purple that I bought at Britex Fabrics that actually compliments my skin tone. I left off the halter top that (although I like halters sometimes) made me feel like a line-backer, emphasizing my strong shoulders in the wrong way. And, I made the bikini bottom version of the Bombshell Swimsuit pattern and drafted my own bikini top. I love the full coverage of the bottom and the slip of skin showing at my waist, an asset that I like to highlight. For …

11

Wedding Shawl for my Godmother

To honor the women that have been mothers to me, I am knitting each of them a lace shawl to wear to my wedding. I want to thank my mother, stepmother, godmother, and mother-in-law each for their love and guidance and support in my life. I picked a different yarn and different pattern for each woman. Although I’ve had a few setbacks, I’m again on track to have them all finished in time. This first shawl is for my Godmother. The pattern is Rose Lace Stole, published in Interweave Knits Spring 2011. It is cast on as a provisional cast-on in the center and worked outward to each end, ending in an Estonian lace pattern, resembling roses at the end. I knit it from Classic Elite Yarns Silky Alpaca Lace (I do love me some alpaca yarn) in the Gentian Violet colorway. (Nerdy sidenote: gentian violet, although named after the gentian …

12

Hand Dyed Silk Kanzashi Flowers

A collection of flowers. A panoply of kanzashi flowers. A range of silk flowers. An array of handmade flowers. A multitude of hand-dyed flowers. An assemblage of pink and purple flowers. A lot of flowers. Aren’t they so very bright and happy! And cheerful and fun! Okay, okay, I’ll lay off the thesaurus, I promise. I handmade and hand-dyed each of these flowers from silk noile from Minerva Crafts for my Minerva Craft Blogger project this month. Kanzashi is a Japanese method of folding fabric into individual petals and then sewing them together into flowers. I followed instructions in the book Kanzashi in Bloom by Diane Gilleland. The instructions in the book are great, but it’s worth noting that the vast majority of the book is ideas for using the flowers in projects. Diane has a how-to video on her website that’s a great resource if you want to make …

3

Purple and Neutral Hexagon Baby Quilt

I am a little embarrassed to post this just-finished baby quilt on my blog since there are construction flaws and honestly, the design is mediocre. But I’m learning. And I certainly learned from this quilt. And regardless of the finished product, it was made with love. And that’s what I wanted to send to my friend’s baby – a bundle of love and a story for daddy to tell. “This quilt was made for you, with love, by this crazy girl that lived next door to me in the dorms of my college during her freshman year. I had just transferred there from another school and wasn’t happy about being placed in a room with three freshmen boys. She was just starting college but, being an only child, wasn’t happy about being placed in a room with three other freshmen girls. I think she might have had a crush on …

25

Lolita Patterns Gunmetal Dress [Giveaway Closed]

I was honored when Lolita patterns asked me to make a version of their new dress, Gunmetal. I thought it would be an interesting challenge because their patterns, as shown on their envelopes, really aren’t my style. I’m not into gothic, I’m not into super-feminine, and I feel silly wearing most ruffles. But, underneath the styling, lies a nice pattern that can be made simply for a great, casual, comfy, everyday dress. I made a lot of changes to the pattern, but they are all simple things that anyone can do. I rounded up to the nearest size (as they recommend) and found that it gave me a good fit through the bust and shoulders but I had to take a LOT in from the waist to make it fit me nicely (my waist is several inches smaller than their block, which was clear from the pattern envelope, so I …

5

The Beginning of a Purple Mystery Organ Needlepoint

I’ve started a new needlepoint project to follow up my Anatomical Heart Needlepoint. I decided to do it in 6 shades of purple that I hand dyed. It will be several inches larger than the heart, perfect for turning into a pillow for our couch :) I tied a bunch of hanks of natural 50% wool 50% silk yarn (following my own tutorial) and dyed them in a pot on my stove. I wantonly mixed red and blue dye in two different batches (the top and bottom rows shown above) so I ended up with two slightly differently hued sets. To get the variety of shades along the top row, I put the first hank in for 15m, the second for 5 min, the third I dipped in, and the last two I got wet before dipping in. Dying them in sequential order, the earlier hanks take up the majority …

7

Newcastle Cardigan for Adam

I finally sewed Adam a real piece of clothing. I’ve made him ties and pajama bottoms before, but never a  garment that he can wear daily. Every time he mentions needing a new piece of clothing (I need more dress shirt. I could use a pair of chinos. etc.) I offer to make them for him, but he always hems and haws and goes ahead and buys the item. And then I saw the Newcastle Cardigan pattern by Thread Theory and showed Adam the pattern, saying that I thought it would be very handsome on him and I would make it for him. And he liked it and said “Yes. That would be great. Can I help pick the fabric? You’ve never offered to sew anything for me before.” And I was like “Whaaaat????” It turns out, that in Adam’s head, all those “I can make that for you” offers …

4

Mom’s Maxi Summer Hippy Dress

I sewed my mom a sundress for Christmas. Yes, kind of a silly thing to do for someone who lives in Seattle since it was months before she could wear it. But I had the fabric and the pattern and the vision and it was a fun project to make me dream of sunshine midwinter. And now she’s finally wearing it (and wearing it a lot!) so I can share it. I drafted the pattern myself, making it similar to a RTW dress that she already had and liked. The fabric is a cotton/rayon  batik print that was a gift from a friend (and a stashbuster!). It has princess seams and front and side facings with a smocked back, although the drape of the fabric and the busy-ness of the print hide the construction. The dress gaps a bit in the back now since my mom has lost 20 pounds …

1

Woven T-Shirts

I whipped up a couple of woven tees last Saturday afternoon. I used my bodice block and simply took out the darts. I started with a drapey purple fabric (likely rayon) that I had recently pulled out to make my Chevrons, Colorblock, and Derp Skirt. I added a little pocket to the chest to give it some interest. The second shirt I made a bit longer with a V neck. I’m afraid that with the blue color and the V-neck it looks a scrub top. I added pink piping to the neckline to spice it up. Here’s where the ends join. The third shirt I lengthened the sleeves to show off the stripe in the fabric. I widened the back a bit and added darts. I cut the back out of a different fabric because I didn’t quite have enough of the main fabric to fit it all. I played …

1

Chevrons and Colorblock and Derp Skirt

This skirt represents one series of sewing disasters after another. Amazingly enough, I really like how it turned out in the end, but with the series of misadventures that got me here, I never would have thought that would be the case. Hold onto your seat, because what follows is an emotional rollercoaster of sewing mishaps! I started this skirt by taking my waist and hip measurements, dividing each by 8, connecting a line from waist to hip and following it through to ankle. So I ended up with 8 triangular panels to sew together to form an A-line skirt. I wanted to make the skirt a series of chevrons, so I chalked out 8 triangles on a 45 degree angle across my striped fabric. I got it all chalked and ready to cut, when I realized that I had forgotten to pre-wash the fabric. So, I tossed it into …

3

My Hexagon Quilt is Finished!

I’m so excited to be able to say that I’ve finished my hexagon quilt! The first step was piecing the top. Then I sent it to my mom to quilt it. Then I had to sew all the binding along the edges. Mr. T decided to “help”, which made the process cuddlier, but not any faster. It took several movies worth (how I measure units of time for hand-sewing) to make my way all along the edge to hand sew the binding down. It was helped by being sick a while ago which left me bored, stuck on the couch, and needed something mindless to do with my hands. Here you see the backing fabric and an external point. I’m proud of these as they (almost) all came out sharp and looking quite good, if I do say so myself. The pattern included instructions on how to turn the corners …