Tag Archives: fabric

A handmade wardrobe.

I’ve always dreamed of having a handmade wardrobe.

This is the year it’s gonna happen.

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I’ve been on a roll these last few weeks, making four dresses, five shirts, two pairs of shorts, a sweater, and a bra (not to mention 3 quilts)!  I have a bunch of posts ready and waiting for photographs so you’ll be seeing them all soon!

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I’ve been working through my pattern and fabric stash which, while not huge, is full of things I’ve never made.  I’m trying to make really wearable things, which often means “boring”.  While I love a statement dress, I often go for jeans and a t-shirt (a favorite grey v-neck in particular), so I’m aiming for more neutral, comfortable pieces, that I can make multiples of.  I think I’ve found a couple of those already.

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I’ve also always wanted to participate in Me Made May (a challenge for people to wear at least one handmade item every day in the month of May and generally be more thoughtful about their wardrobe), but short of wearing a dress every single day, I’ve never felt like my handmade wardrobe was robust enough.  But now it is and I’m very excited :)

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Part of that will include wearing things I’ve made that I’m not so crazy about, and I might sell those things to people that will love them.  So stay tuned for that!

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I have to give many thanks to Seamwork Magazine for helping me feel as though my handmade wardrobe dream is achievable.  Thank you!

Coming up: jeans, a coat, a cape, and a bathing suit.

A Look Back.

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! ;)

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I made a lot of clothes, some more successful than others.

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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!

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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.)

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Current WIP pile.

I’ve always said I’m not a New Years Resolution type person, but I usually do set goals for myself in Januarys.  This year I’m not even feeling into that, though it is a good time to take account of all the things that I’ve started.  Some I am eager to get completed while some will languish for a while longer, and I’m okay with that :)

Current WIPs:

  • Wonky Crosses. Gift.
  • Arkansas Traveler. Commission.
  • Flying Geese. Trade for blog design!
  • Selvedge Spiderweb.
  • Between the Lines. Gift.
  • Voile strings.
  • T-shirts. Ridiculously overdue commission.

Upcoming commissions:

Fabric piles:

Sewing clothes and having doubts.

I have been a bit obsessed with the idea of sewing clothes lately.  While I’ve never felt up to taking The Sew Weekly challenge or anything, I love the idea of making everything I can.

I learned to sew clothing about 6 years before I learned to quilt.  I still have my first dress and although I never fully sewed on the lining and the zipper was inserted incorrectly, it’s not so bad.  Currently, half of my dresses are made by me and while I’ve dabbled in tops and pants, I’d really like to expand my skills.

I completed this Cynthia Rowley dress a little while ago, made from a Khristian Howell fabric I fell in love with last year.  I didn’t love the dress while I was working on it but by the time it was finished and I tried it on, I loved it.

IMG_0305 IMG_0306My favorite part is the orange plaid pockets.  If I make this again I will definitely shorten the bodice and maybe add an A-line skirt instead.

IMG_0307 IMG_0308I am currently working on the Banksia top from Megan Nielsen and it’s needing a little altering.  Hopefully though, it will be a staple piece.  Then after that, I have this whole stack of fabric all washed and ready to become more dresses and tops, including my first ever voile purchase!

Stack includes, from top to bottom, Cameo voile by Amy Butler, Grey posies by Denyse Schmidt, Downtown Los Angeles by Jay McCarroll, Habitat by Michelle D’Amore, Nettie dot by Timeless Treasures, and Washi by Rashida Coleman Hale.

I have focused on clothing lately because I’m beginning to doubt my ability to do quilt commissions.  I usually work well under pressure but the couple of times I’ve gone past a deadline, I’ve completely torn myself up about it.  I don’t like disappointing people.  I don’t like having to tell them that I’ve let them down.  But is avoiding situations where that might happen the best way to deal with it?

Do you make quilts by commission?  Do you have a contract of some sort you give the person?  What does that entail?  Is trial by error a good way to develop a business?

Finally: Sewing Summit, a gift, & a quilt

It’s been so long since I’ve made myself sit down to write.  It’s so hard to make the time sometimes!  I have a lot to catch up on.

Sewing Summit this year was fun.  It wasn’t as great as last year but I had a great time traveling with Caitlin and getting to wander around the city a little bit more than last year.

Class registration was a bit of a mess this year so I got 7 lectures and one hands on, a class in which I made a maxi skirt.  It was taught by the lovely Leanne Barlow and the skirt was so easy and is so comfortable that I want to make many more.  I loved Mena Trott‘s class on a handmade wardrobe and I’m so inspired to keep sewing clothing and to one day fill my whole closet.

Funny story: the one person I really wanted to meet at Summit was Katy from I’m A Ginger Monkey.  We crossed paths a couple of times but never really introduced ourselves.  A couple days after I’d returned home, she tweeted at me that she, and a girl named Laura, has a girl crush on me and that she was nervous to talk to me because she thought I was way too cool.  I couldn’t believe it!  I totally though she was the cool kid!  It bums me out that we didn’t both put our anxiety aside and talked to each other!  We could have been best friends!  Oh well; we will continue on in the internet world and one day we will meet again.

I left Salt Lake City so inspired and ready to sew.  It’s been hard to get myself into the studio but I’ve made a couple things.  My dear friend Rose wrote to me recently saying she’s beginning to do some embroidery.  She is in a band that tours a lot so I made her a travel embroidery kit with my favorite Aneela Hooey fabric and some sparkly linen.

There is a needle book with pockets for 5 embroidery thread spools and a pocket in the back, a pincushion (using the pattern from Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts), and a bag to carry it all in.  I went with kind of a weird color scheme but I’m loving the green Chicopee print with the grey.  I hope she likes it!One of my favorite little details is the pull tab of a book with an elephant on the cover :)

I also finished a baby quilt that I was supposed to have completed a long time ago.  I really hope to make commissions a larger part of my work but I need to get better about sticking to deadlines and communicating (including saying no sometimes).

They wanted trees to be part of the design and I had a hard time coming up with a way to create that and still stick to my aesthetic.  When I saw this quilt kit at a shop, I thought I had the design.  I bought the Lotta Jansdotter’s Belle collection but not wanting to to be too Halloween-y, I added fabrics (including some of Denyse Schmidt’s Chicopee, Lizzy House’s pearl bracelet, and Amy Butler, to name a few) on the pattern adding a few other fabrics until I came up with this, which I love.It is 5 by 6 blocks measuring 50″ by 60″.  It’s backed with an assortment of fabrics from the front, quilted with a meandering pattern in pale grey thread, bound in Belle’s scattered dot in charcoal, and simply labeled with one of my little tags. I also whipped up something I had seen on Pinterest a long time ago.  I used some red vinyl I’ve had for a while and covered my Moleskine notebook I use to design quilts and make lists.  I love it!

Weekend of insanity!

I have to make a quilt from start to finish in the next four days! This is the lovely stack I’m working with:

The complete Indie Collection by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics from Stash Modern Fabric on Etsy and some great FreeSpirit solids from Gina at The Little General (I didn’t catch the names!). I’m making the Ice Pops quilt from Denyse Schmidt’s Quilts book with my own methods.

Be sure to check in on Tuesday to see if I did it!

I believe I can!

Progress.

Months ago, my friend Charla asked me to make a t-shirt quilt for her husband’s birthday out of some old shirts he loved.  I went for a simple rectangle in a rectangle design with some scrappy strips.  I got sick right around the time I was supposed to finish it but I powered thorough and completed it just in the nick of time, even if I wasn’t able to hand deliver it.  It’s backed in a olive green sheet I thrifted, I sewed it around the edges and turned it instead of using binding, and labeled it.

Charla also asked me to make her a clothespin bag for use with her clothesline in her yard.  After looking around online for ideas, I came up with this pattern using the raindrops print from Somersault by Erin McMorris and an unknown print from my stash, and I love it!

When Cait and I got together to make those pincushions, I was so excited to have finished something in a day that I left her house with a bunch of motivation and inspiration, something I haven’t had in a couple months.

I pulled out my Swoon quilt from the WIP box, a project I haven’t worked on in months.  I had all the pieces cut out but only three of the blocks sewn together.  Now, I’m happy to say I have a completed top!  And I love it!

I finally went by The Little General (what used to be Karen Gray) over the weekend to see the ever lovely Gina and see her shop.  I picked up a few lovelies to add to the stash and will definitely be back there soon.  I was also able to drop off some business cards with the potential of more commissions which is exciting!

From top down: Curious Nature from Parson Grey, Chicopee from Denyse Schmidt, Nightshade from Tula Pink, Fresh Cut from Heather Bailey, and another Chicopee print.

LMP+QG May: Summer Breeze picnic quilt.

Once again, I am late posting this month’s project but better late than never, right?

My friend Cait and I are making a project every month from Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts.  You can see past projects here.

Summer has definitely arrived in North Carolina and this quilt will be perfect for naps in the grass and afternoon meals with friends.  I knew I wanted to use this particular vintage sheet for the backing so I kind of haphazardly pulled fabrics from my stash and ended up really loving the combination.  There are a lot of different shades of dark blue going on but I still think it works.

I used a fake linen from my stash as the solid, the vintage sheet I thrifted a few months ago, Pearl Bracelet in green from Lizzy House (not pictured), a blue flower print that I’ve had for years from a Beatrix Potter collection (thanks Abby!), Opal dandelion from Joel Dewberry, large green mums from Valori Wells, grass Chinese lantern from Amy Butler, and just like Caitlin, gingham nut from Denyse Schmidt.I wanted to use a whole cloth backing (something I don’t think I’ve done in years) but the sheet has some yellow discoloration so I might have to cut it up.  I’m also stuck on what to do with the quilting.  As long as I’ve wanted to make a picnic quilt, I’ve wanted to use a particular pantograph of ants that Lindsey has but she is on maternity leave from quilting!I do know that I will bind it in the solid blue and add ties so the quilt can be rolled up and carried.  Hopefully I’ll get it all completed before too long so I can enjoy this season.

Be sure to check out Caitlin’s beautiful quilt!  Next month: pinwheel duvet cover (which will be the perfect excuse for me to buy a down comforter!).

Recent happenings.

I had a really long post written up, catching you up on all the latest happenings.

And then it felt like a chore, getting it done and getting everything in there.

So I deleted everything I wrote and will just say this: Instagram is on Android and I couldn’t be happier (except that it doesn’t upload to Flickr quite yet).  So, at least you can see what happened recently.  It includes a music festival in town put on by my friend Philip, fabric, beautiful weather, beer, and friends.  It was the best weekend ever.

I feel an amazing summer coming on.