This was my first finish of 2016, and it’s all for me.
Carolyn Friedlander is probably my favorite fabric designer and when I made Emily’s Geese quilt a couple years ago, I didn’t want any beloved fabric to go to waste. Using those scraps and various solids from my stash (including some thrifted sheets, my new favorite white fabric) I made large (24″ and up), improvised log cabin blocks.
It’s backed in a super soft dark gray cotton sheet I thrifted (don’t mind the wrinkles!) and the only Botanics yardage I had in my stash, Foliage in Curry.
I longarm quilted it in a figure 8 pattern of varying heights, with white thread.
It’s bound in a black crosshatch very similar to one from her Architectextures collection, and other scraps.
It made it onto my bed as soon as it could and quickly became covered in cat hair :)
I recently subscribed to Seamwork Magazine and downloaded all the back issues. I remained very indecisive about which patterns I wanted to get, though. I immediately downloaded the Camden cape and then after a few weeks and two more credits, I got the Akita top and the Oslo sweater.
I’m on a mission to sew more staple pieces this year, because while I love colorful dresses and bright prints, I often just wear jeans or a skirt and a simple top.
I think the Akita fits that staple bill, as I’m sure I will make many more.
I used a red (what my boyfriend deemed) “ninja star” polyester print from my stash. I didn’t have any coordinating bias tape so I folded the neckline over 1/4″, clipped the seam allowance, and folded it over another 1/4″, which worked out!
The pattern is one single piece, which makes it really easy. I love the length of the top as is and the fact that it allows different hem finishes. I’m thinking a dropped hem for the next one?
The sleeves are a little more fluttery than I usually go for but they’re open for alteration, also.
You could split open the back or even turn it into a button up! I’m excited to add many more Akitas to my closet.
In stores I’ve always bought a 34B, but in taking my measurements for this, I appeared to be a 36A. Lo and behold, it fits me great!
I don’t think my machine is ideal for this kind of project. While it all worked out in the end, I cannot adjust the length of my zig zag stitches and the feed dogs were not cooperating, so all the stitches are terribly uneven. I had a hard time attaching the hook side of the closure, but it’ll do.
I used the rose fabric for the cups, white net for the cradle with the roses as the lining, and net for the back, with both peach picot edged elastic, and the wider white elastic for the strap.
The sides of the cradle stretch out wonky, probably because I didn’t cut and baste the two layers together well. In the future, I’d like to try fusible lining. I also realized after I was finished that I threaded the straps through the rings incorrectly. Whoops!
When I first put it on, I didn’t love it. But after prancing around without a shirt on for a bit and then wearing it all day, I’d say it’s a success! And it definitely won’t be my last me-made bra.
To say the least, I love it! It feels like such a party dress.
I realize why I fully lined the dress the first time I made it – because the instructions tell you to! The second time, I didn’t line it at all, because the fabric was heavy enough that I knew my underthings wouldn’t show through. This time, I opted to only line the bodice, with a bright yellow cotton.
I shortened the bodice to “petite” length and the overall length by about 6″. The bust darts still seem a little low, but I find that which bra I wear makes a big difference.
I also wanted to change from an invisible zipper under the arm to an exposed zipper in the back. Using this tutorial, I put in a bright blue metal zipper, machine sewing the lining in with it.
I used pre-made teal binding (and a few inches of lime green) for the hem and did all top stitching in bright pink. In my haste, I did not serge the side skirt seams, which I now regret, considering they’re the only exposed seams and it would have taken an extra 3 minutes. Next time!
It pretty much came together like a dream and I love all the bright colors! In a perfect world, I would have worn some silver glittery heels but alas, I have none (yet).
I got many compliments that night and I can’t wait to party in this dress again!
I’m not usually one for New Year’s resolutions, but I like to set realistic goals for myself. But, because last year felt like such a dud, and the first two weeks of January are going well, I am feeling ambitious!
And because blog posts without pictures are boring, I’m including some of my favorite pictures I took last year.
pay off debt (relatively minimal, but overwhelming none-the-less)
begin attending therapy regularly
journal and write letters again
And, I bought four little plants on January 1st that I’d like to keep alive this year :)
I’m looking forward to the boyfriend and me going to California this spring and road tripping almost the length of the state! I’m also hoping to go to Spain this summer but I can’t hold my breath on that one. Saving money is not my strong suit! (Can I sew one of those?)
Here’s to a productive year full of health and happiness!
2015 was hard. Emotionally, physically, monetarily, and creatively. It wasn’t without it’s small successes though, and making these mosaics reminded me that I actually made a lot of things! (Although, to be honest, I photographed and blogged a lot of things that had been made prior to 2015, but pictures make them real and I can hardly remember dates otherwise :)
I made some of my most favorite quilts ever (and painted some cool murals), some I haven’t even told you about yet! I’m proud to say that every quilt I made this year, aside from 2 yards of neutrals, was made using only my stash. And somehow, my stash feels no smaller! ;)
I made a lot of clothes, some more successful than others.
I had my first, small solo show, I was part of a group show with my studio mates, and I sewed a lot of pillows!
Perhaps most excitingly, I renovated the basement of my studio and brought this beauty home! (It’s hard to take a good photo of her, I apologize.)
I realize I say this a lot, but this quilt is one of my most favorites. For real.
My friend Nathan commissioned this for his girlfriend before they moved to Colorado and as soon as he asked, I knew what I wanted to do. I sat at Hoots Roller Bar and drew it on some receipt tape.
It’s both the most planned and unplanned quilt I’ve ever made. It looks largely improvised but was almost completely measured out.
My stash is lacking in purples but I grabbed what I had and pieced some stars, some with log cabin centers.
I made some feathers based on Anna Maria Horner’s pattern, some striped and some solid, and then using contractor’s paper, I drew out arcs and foundation pieced them to the paper. It was nowhere near perfect but it worked!
I backed it in some feather scraps and other purples and a striped vintage sheet.
I quilted it in a looping pattern with white thread and gave it a scrappy binding.
While I was photographing this quilt behind the funeral home next to my studio, a momma fox and her 6 little ones were watching me! I tried to snap a picture but I couldn’t get close enough.
I miss my friends now that they’ve moved away but I’m glad they have a little piece of Winston with them!
A couple years ago, my best friend Cat gave me a box of fabric found at her aunts house, which included around 18 yards of this awesome retro barkcloth. I decided to use it to make a “muslin” of this Butterick pattern and this muslin became a dress I love.
I serged all the inside seams and used black store bought bias binding…
…until I ran out, when I switched to white for the last 15″ or so of the skirt hem.
I’ve actually made this pattern once before, but I don’t like it at all. I fully lined it for some reason, and all that weight brought the waistline down and it was not flattering. So, on this dress, I sewed some elastic onto the waistline, which helped out a lot.
Another favorite part of this dress is that the back scoops deeper than the front, just enough to still cover your bra.
How many other “muslins” can I make from 18 yards? :)
I was excited to be able to wear this dress to the very same best friend’s wedding a few weeks ago. Thank you Cat for the fabric and your friendship and you are the prettiest bride there ever was! xo
I had a lot of fun making this quilt full of sunshine!
This quilt was a commission for a gal I know, from a few of her coworkers. I was told the nursery was teal and had an “Around the World” theme so I’d say this works perfectly!
This is the third Scrappy Trips Around the World quilt I’ve made. I love how quickly the pattern goes and how striking the layout can be.
I was able to use fabrics from my stash alone. I laid each row of each block out according to what was going next to it, trying to keep it balanced and ironing all the seams so they fit.
It’s backed in a patch of scraps from the front, all the yellow yardage I had (they requested a lot of yellow) and a Cotton + Steel print. I longarm quilted it in a swirl pattern with white thread and bound it in trimmings from the back.
It washed up so crinkly and lovely! The commissioner loved it and I hope it is be loved by the family, too!
It’s too big under the arms, so much so that the zipper is unnecessary, I’m able to just pull it over my head. That’s one of those things I have the best of intentions to fix but we’ll see if I ever actually do :)
I serged all of the pieces prior to any other sewing…
…including the bottom hem and the lace pieces, not using bias binding. I had some trouble with the point of the yoke in the front so it’s not super clean.
Otherwise, though, I love how autumnal the fabric is and how flattering the waistline and peplum are. This will not be my last Ava!