/grandma's mini quilt


This is nothing new, but I realized that I'd never shared this mini-quilt/wall hanging that I made a couple years ago.

My grandma lives in assisted living nearby, so when we go visit we sometimes change up her decor with the seasons. This one is her spring/summer wall hanging and cheers up her room quite well.  I'd hoped that putting this little guy together would give me the confidence to make a full-sized quilt, but that has not happened yet. Hahah. It's still the only thing I've ever tried to quilt. So sad. (If you could see the binding corners up a little closer, it would be even more sad.)

I was completely inspired by this Liberty mini quilt on the Purl Bee and followed their instructions to a T, hoping not to mess it all up. I do wish I had left a little less negative space and bought a few more printed fabrics, though. Retrospect, what can you do?

This thing is hand quilted, but only very minimally, around the circles. I love how the fabric dimples with big hand stitches, which you can see better on the plain back of the quilt.

 The back is pretty boring (alright for a wall hanging) but does make me want to experiment with nuanced neutral quilts and more intricate hand quilting in the future.

Maybe I'll do another mini quilt that actually involves piecing and see how I like that before I tackle a big one for my bed. I loved the entire mini quilt series that Purl Bee did last year, and there are always more crazy good quilts to drool over by way of Pinterest. If you've seen any amazing quilts lately, please share the goodness!

/the portland flannel


That's right, another Archer here. I'd been attempting to buy plaid flannel many times in the past month or so, with failed searches online and at Joann (actually found this same one in 41" width, but there wasn't enough yardage). So, on a super quick trip to Portland a couple weekends ago my friends obliged me and we made a quick stop at a fabric store! Hooray! For some reason I thought there would be a bigger selection of plaid flannels in Portland but there were just a few. Two yards of this one did the trick, though.

For this shirt I took extra care in sewing on the pockets because I cut them (among other pieces) on the bias. In the past I've used a fabric glue stick for a little extra security before sewing, but didn't want to accidentally warp them while applying the glue, so I found some Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 among my sewing stuff and it worked super well. It's basically double-sided tape that bonds when ironed. Just apply to pocket allowances after folding, place it and press. After that, no worries about that pocket shifting anywhere while sewing.

 Just before starting construction, I remembered that I'd seen little loops sewn in right above the pleat on lots of store-bought shirts in the past. After Googling something like "loop on back of button-up shirts", I actually got the info I was looking for- it's called a hang loop/hanging loop. A few of the sources I looked at said they were added to shirts because collegiate athletes only had a little hook in their lockers and needed a way to hang their shirts without wrinkling during practice. There were also many horror stories about classmates ripping them off of shirts... um, yikes. I just think they look cute.

I've washed and worn this thing a few times and it keeps getting more and more soft. Pretty sure I'll be loving this for a long long time, until it's all holey a la Nirvana.

/chambray tova dress


Hooray! I'm pretty excited about this trans-seasonal Tova dress. I chose the pattern as part of a prize I won from Kollabora last year, so it's about time I got around to making it! I was super excited to get sewing when I received the pattern (I had my eye on it a long time before that), but never got my hands on the right fabric(s) until recently.

I used Robert Kaufman
chambray in indigo and
dot chambray in indigo.
You may recognize the dot chambray from the last project I posted. I had just enough to accent this dress, and just the right amount of the plain chambray (1.25 yds). I did plan for the two projects when ordering fabric, but didn't know just how close I'd come! WHewewww.

As much as I enjoy a good detailed sewing project, I was glad to make this one with the only notions used being thread and interfacing!

I wanted a bit more interest at the collar/neckline, so I added a collar and curved the corners of the existing collar so it acts as a stand. I thought about cutting the upper collar longer to reach farther on the stand, but didn't want it to get too big and seventies costume-y. The proportions still ended up a little funny, but the collar situation is definitely growing on me.

The front pieces are underlined with the solid. This is my first Tova, and I'll definitely be underlining all future versions of this pattern this way. Since the front placket naturally falls open, it's got to be pretty on the inside!

I lengthened the whole thing by a couple of inches and shortened the sleeves so they could be rolled up to a nice length. I really can't stand layering pieces with 3/4 length sleeves and knew this one would be almost exclusively layered this fall & winter. (Not today though! Today I wore it as pictured, with the perfect bag, I might add.) I considered making tabs with buttons to keep them rolled but I thought it might be too much detail in that area? Maybe not. I don't want to stitch the rolls in place though, as I'm fond of the tousled look (more tousled than in these photos, for sure). The pressed cuff look always turns into the tousled roll look by the end of the day anyway.

Loooving wearing this easy dress and am super excited to wear it at the apple orchards this fall. Anyone have more pattern recommendations for my fave season, or nice cool-weather standbys?

/dotted archer


It's apparent that I've been bit by the seriously infectious Grainline patterns bug. Once you've started, it's not possible make just one. Really. I might be cutting another of Jen's designs today.

For my third go on the Archer pattern (one & two), I thought I'd go with the most traditional variant, view A. This time I didn't change much at all, only lengthened it by 1 inch.

My favorite parts of making the Archer are the sleeve details. The cuff and pleating and yes, even the sleeve slit placket... mmmm. The placket- I am ill, right? Just the thought of them make me want to sew another shirt right now. Also, since investing in button and buttonhole feet for my Bernina (mine didn't come with many feet at all) I have become a complete button convert. The process was okay before, now it's downright LOVELY.

The Robert Kaufman Dot Indigo cotton I used is light enough to wear as the summer heat winds down ("heat" here in the Pacific Northwest usually tops out at 85ish degrees, mind you) but will definitely be a staple for Fall. Preferably with my green high-waisted toothpick cords. Is anyone else as excited as me that CORD SEASON IS COMING?! Huge cord fiend right here. Pretty sure I need to start a hunt for some nice non-stretch corduroy and get a Clover pant muslin started.

/sewaholic saltspring dress


You guys, I was so excited to be a tester for the Sewaholic Saltspring Dress. I volunteered to test after knowing that the pattern would be a dress, because I actually need more dresses! Many sewers have the opposite problem, making more dresses than they could possibly wear but this is not my issue. I'm a separates kind of girl. The design is smart, laid back and its simplicity is great for showcasing a nice print. In-seam pockets are always a bonus, too!

This photo is definitely at a weird angle, but the dress blouses a bit more than this and lays really nicely at the neckline. I also just realized that I took these so long ago that those flowers behind me have since bloomed, been pruned and are starting to pop up again! I've been enjoying wearing this dress for two months now and think it will transition well into the fall, too.

Yep, I was one of those testy testers (hopefully not really) that "wondered" what the dress would look like without a zipper, except I actually just left it out. There is honestly no need for it in this dress, which makes it super fast to sew. I also lined the skirt (and bodice) with a soft cotton/modal knit so it feels like pajamas. Comfort-wise, you really can't go wrong with a knit lining!

fashion fabric: After searching high and low for this Anna Maria Horner rayon challis, I found it on QuiltHome.com
lining: Cotton/modal blend found at Joann! Impressed.

/knit scout tee dress


I'd been meaning to make this dress since February 2012 (I just looked it up, that's when I ordered this Liberty knit for a steal at $10 from Julia at Rennes' Yard Sale!). The Scout sew-along on Kollabora gave me the bright idea to use the Scout Woven Tee pattern from Grainline to get it done. It was so quick, I'm telling you.

I love it because it is a true 24/7 garment.

house dress
Throw it on, ready for company.

day dress
When it's warm.

layering piece
I wore it with my denim vest today (but what don't I wear with my denim vest?).
Could also wear with leggings, boots, most things in my closet.

Yes, definitely a nightgown, too.

It makes me think of some of my favorite Dr. Dog lyrics (Where'd All the Time Go), "She gets dressed up like a pillow, so she's always in bed," which I find to be my dressing philosophy more every day. In the song, I'm pretty sure they're talking about either a nurse or a depressed person (??), but don't worry, I'm neither of these things!

 necklace: Native Clutter

Last, I will take every opportunity to say that my coverstitch machine makes life so easy. Turn, stitch, BEAUTY! If you can't stop sewing with knits, I promise this machine is worth it!

/happy fourth!


Happy Fourth of July to all who are celebrating - it's not difficult with all the sunshine in the Northwest right now! Now that it's late afternoon and past burning time, I think I'll spend the rest of the day outside reading and likely pulling a few pesky weeds.

Unfortunately, the most patriotic project I've made recently has not been properly photographed, but here's a little preview!

I just realized that I have yet to claim my blog on Bloglovin, so here we go. I hope none of you were too traumatized by the loss of Google Reader!
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Also, a song for today.

/nightie for the sis


HOORAY! A week ago, my oldest sister got married! While I did have a grasp/responsibility on many of the weekend's details, the bachelorette party had totally slipped my mind until just about a week before.

I went right away to look at the usual places one goes to shop for lingerie, but the styles and prices did not impress.

Deflated after the unsuccessful mall trip, I thought, you know what is impressive? Ohhh Lulu lingerie!
I just wished I had thought about this with enough time to place an order, but thankfully Sarah has quite a repertoire of downloadable patterns in her shop!

With a little lingerie pattern help, this nightie went together super quickly and beautifully.

I used the Ohhh Lulu Bambi Soft Bra pattern on top and cut a quick skirt, using the band and hip measurements and a hip curve.
Lastly, I added grosgrain straps and a (pretty adorable) nightie was born!

For this one, I used leftover soy/organic cotton/spandex and organic cotton pointelle from Texture.
I discovered that the Bambi pattern is great for using up small bits of fabric that would otherwise go unused, making the Texture/Bambi union just perfect, as that's what Texture does on a daily basis! I'm looking forward to trying this patten in all sorts of scrap fabrics.

Texture is still running a 20% off promotion on all fabrics through today (June 30, 2013), so be sure to enter the coupon code fabric20 if you're interested in getting some of this eco-friendly softness for yourself!

/three-in-one dress


It's a dress from the front, and a tee and skirt from the back.

I made this one out of  a soy/organic cotton/spandex blend knit, which I received from Texture. It's suuuper soft and perfectly substantial. Many of the jerseys I've ordered/ gotten swatches of lately from various fabric sites have the too-thin issue, or the tissue issue. As cute as tissue tees can be, I don't want to layer tees in summer, thanks. (Or ever, really.)  This fabric is sturdy but has a nice drape. More on Texture's fabrics in this post if you missed it! (You can still get a 20% discount on all Texture fabrics through June 30, 2013 if you use the coupon code fabric20!)

BTW, this dress has absolutely NO hanger appeal, as the back of the skirts sags down in unfortunate manner when it's not on a body. I was scared to try it on after initially putting it together, but it worked! I really like how the blousing in front transitions into the free-hanging back. This thing has excellent temperature control.

About the photos: I am up late playing with Photoshop, and saved these over the originals! There is a point when non-Photoshop experts must stop. Sorry, it's getting a little weird up in here.

Just thought of this: I am regretting not making the bottom a skort... dress from the front, tee and SHORTS from the back. Any more ideas for hybrid garments?
Yep, it's getting weird. Time to go to bed.

/pointelle jammies


I'm on a pajama kick, and apparently on a Grainline patterns kick, too!
I've made a couple Archer variations, Maritime shorts (to come) and now another try at the Tiny Pocket Tank.

For the tank, I applied seersucker bias tape on the neck and armholes (FINALLY bought a bias tape maker... worth the $8, believe you me!). After trying it on with the shorts, I chopped the hem 5 1/2" at the front and curved it down to 2" at the center back. The front just grazes the top of the shorts' waistband.
Yep, I kept the darts while using this knit. Don't ask why, just call me crazy. 

The shorts are of the high-waisted tap pant variety, made with an unidentified short pattern that I have made about 10 variations of. Unfortunately, I traced this pattern onto kraft paper in college and never marked the thing!

I made this set with organic cotton pointelle given to me from Texture. I have seldom met a knit I didn't like, and this was no exception! It was really great to work with and has a really beautiful finish. It would be great for lingerie/pajamas (I also made my first pair of underwear with this!), layering tees, cardigans, baby clothes, etc., etc.

If you want to get your hands on this pointelle, Teresa of Texture is running a 20% discount on all of her fabrics through June 30, 2013. Use the coupon code fabric20!

/texture organic fabrics


AH, so glad it's Friday. AREN'T WE ALL?!
Really excited for Saturday though; I get to eat delicious food all day because it's my birthday.

Anyway, there are few things I enjoy more than good food and quality textiles, and today it's more of the latter.

A little more than a year ago, I stopped into an awesome local business, Texture Clothing. You can bet I was overjoyed as a fabric enthusiast when I found out they sold their fabric by the yard! There aren't too many good sources for good fabric locally, and this is great fabric. And it's organic and is from a sustainably-run small business. Couldn't lose.

One thing Teresa (Texture owner & awesome lady) does to practice sustainability is sell her organic fabric scraps. Since the garments are cut in the basement right below Texture's home store, she gets to decide if the extras get dumped in a landfill or not - and chooses not. I think that's cool.

Remember the knot pillow I made a while ago? It was put together entirely with scraps!

You can also purchase Texture fabric online or at the texture.home store in Bellingham, WA.
That's where I got the yardage for this black Renfrew tee.

You can buy these fabric online here, and Teresa is offering 20% off of fabric purchases!
Steal of a deal for awesome organic fabrics!
Just use the coupon code fabric20 before June 30, 2013.

I'll be showing you more things I've made with Texture fabrics soon, so be on the lookout!

You know I'll be celebrating.

/pajama time!


I had a pretty good feeling there would be more Archers after my first one,
A new pair of pajamas.
I do love a good 'ol pair of button-up PJs, and my long-sleeved button-up flannel nightshirt from j.crew was getting too warm this spring. Of course I'd wear it anyway and just wake up sweaty.
Time for a change.

I did make some changes from the original pattern so they'd look more like pajamas.

Here's what I did differently:

1. Changed the collar, eliminating the stand and curving the corners. This involved drafting a new collar and under collar. Sounds crazy, but was really no big deal.
2. Curved the top of the button plackets and finished them with small lengths of bias tape.
3. Eliminated the yoke piece. This involved a little adjustment when cutting to remove the pleat.
4. Modified the pocket. (obvi)
5. Added two inches to the bodice length.

If I'm being thorough with the obvious, I also:
6. Chopped off the sleeves.
7. Eliminated the top two buttons.


I also made shorts to match. By themselves they get a thrilling rating of 3, but
Since this is a set I'll give them an 8! Who doesn't love a PJ set, I mean really?

I've been wearing these like crazy and getting sufficient rest, so we shall call them good.
Sweet dreams, everybody!

/scissor tote


I made a bag to carry more things I'm making!
Sadly, it's currently housing a freshly-frogged knitting project.

I bought this fabric more than a year ago at a local quilting shop with the intention to make a sewing/knitting/grocery bag, so of course, I just now made a sewing/knitting/grocery bag.
Why I hadn't spared the 30 minutes before I do not know!

Thought I would at least show this bag a little respect by photographing it and giving it a humble little post after ignoring the poor fabric like that.

Here's to you, cute scissor quilting cotton!

/geo archer


Oh, I'm so excited to have sewn something for myself! I really couldn't have picked a better project than Grainline's Archer. The fit is perfectly relaxed (I can't stand fitted women's button-ups), and the pattern is so expertly done. Big time kudos to Jen.

Maybe too psyched about this shirt? Nope, impossible.

I was originally planning to make view A (plain back), because I'm not really a flouncy kind of gal. But as soon as this super soft, drapey cotton arrived, the decision was made for me. It was begging for the gathered tail. I think it hangs quite nicely, even if it's a little weird with this print.

Note: After applying that last link I realized that I used the exact same adjectives as Mood... ACCURACY!

Aside from that huge decision between views A & B, I made no alterations whatsoever!
Now for an Archer dress, short-sleeved Archer, plaid flannel Archer...

/tee time


Last month I bought a coverstitch machine, so I had been clamoring to work with knits!
First, I made a long comfy skirt that makes me feel like I'm wrapped in a blanket. Very good.

Next, I had to assess my tee shirt collection. This made me come to the realization that I tend to keep tee shirts to a point where it's probably not socially acceptable, complete with holes and other nasty things (I'm talking pit stains, people). So, it was high time I put together a couple of tees. I used Sewaholic's Renfrew pattern, and am super happy to have new staples to wear to death!

This was my first experience with a Sewaholic pattern, and I thought it was really nicely done.
It does fit a bit loose, so for the striped version, I made a size smaller.
Just a couple of minor changes to the pattern: 
  • omitted the sleeve & hem bands and used the new coverstitch machine (!) to hem.
  • lengthened the black version a few inches to compensate for taking out the band.
  • added one length of twill tape all along the shoulder seams and back neck before sewing the sleeves on.



I saw Morgan at Crab & Bee's lined wool version of the Renfrew just after I finished these two, and am inspired to make a sweatshirt version (with more alterations, to be sure). With plenty more knits in my fabric collection, I'm wondering if anyone out there has a fave knit pattern that they wear all the time? In the mean time, I'll be working on some of my own!

/Christmas hats


Well, hello!
It's a new year, but I am far from being caught up on the blog with all of my finished projects from 2012. For shame.
I'm continuing to knit, but have little to show for it- both of these hats were gifts.

I've also finished one sock and am about halfway done with a really pretty cowl and yes, I know that's a terrible story. (And a terrible run-on sentence.)

I made this hat for a handmade Christmas exchange party my friend Lauren hosted. I was pretty excited when it became the only gift to reach the steal limit. :) I momentarily considered stealing it too, but think that would have been against the rules.

Anyway if you want to practice cables, this pattern is the perfect way to do it!

Oh, I love this hat, and hope I get to make another for myself SOON!
This one was for my uncle, who is a fisherman. It suits him very well!
The pattern is Declan's Hat by Samantha Kirby.

Wait. I just realized I'm using the brown yarn I had wanted use for this hat on my cowl.

Good thing I also bought this yarn in black!
And burnt orange!

I think this is becoming a problem...

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