Tag Archives: sewing

A new shirt.

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.

Party like it’s 2016.

At 6 o’clock, New Year’s Eve, I decided I had to make a dress to wear that night. Grabbing a washi print by Rashida Coleman-Hale that I’ve had in my stash for a couple years, I decided to try Butterick 5748 again, the same one I made for the wedding a few weeks ago.


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!

A little more catch up.

I did a lot of sewing leading up to the holidays that I haven’t shown yet.

Krankies Craft Fair was the weekend of December 13th and it was better for ::kaitcetera:: than I could have imagined!  I sold 4 quilts (the three on the left and one not pictured)!IMG_1585Two of the quilts included some custom embroidery work that I just recently completed and was really happy with.  It makes the gift so much more personal and sweet.IMG_1699

On the Far Far Away plus quilt, I embroidered the recipients name over the quilting, which I had never done, and it turned out great.  The label on the back was embroidered first and then sewn on.IMG_1697 IMG_1674I made some iPad and Kindle cases for the fair that were fun and did well.  I also made a few more crayon and colored pencil rolls which people love!

IMG_1600I most enjoyed making some quick patchwork Christmas pillows.  I started cutting 2½” squares of red and green to make stockings for me and the pups but decided on pillows instead.  I quilted them with a heavy 12 weight Aurifil thread and I loved it.  It really makes the simple stitching pop.IMG_1710IMG_1709

Lamp redo.

I recovered this lamp weeks ago and I’m just getting around to showing it off!IMG_0878

I found this lamp at the Rescue Mission Thrift Store and loved the shape of it but the base was a tan yellow color and the shade was cracked.  I swear I saw a photo from quilt market a few times back with a lamp similar to this in the background of Anna Maria Horner‘s booth, but I can’t seem to find it again. I loved it when I saw it and knew it’s what I wanted to do to this one.

I pieced three feathers using remnants of this pillow, and using a template I made by tracing the curvature of the shade, pieced turquoise sections to complete the circle. I stretched it over the old shade and using fabric glue, rolled the edges over the top and bottom. I spray painted the base a glossy white, and voila!IMG_0881

I love it!

Small studio projects.

I’ve had a list for a very long time or little things I’d like to make for my studio space.  With the recent organization and burst of creativity and productivity I’ve felt lately, I finally crossed a few things off.

I attempted to make a sewing machine cover a few years ago but never quite got the math right.  I took another stab at it though and this time it was a breeze!  I used some flying geese I’ve had for a long time for one side and an (Amy Butler?) home dec print for the other.  I think I like the orange side better, it’s so cheery!

I made a set of coasters I made years ago (incorrectly, I might add) that I always hated so I just threw them out and made a few more.  I used the stack-and-whack method, based on the coaster pattern from Denyse Schmidt’s Quilts but I only used 4 fabrics and cut each 5″ by 7″ (instead of 5 by 8). I wanted to pull from both the green wall and the orange sewing machine cover.

When I made an ironing board cover a year or so ago, I cut it too small but never took the time to fix it.  I finally tore out the old stitching and added another channel for the rope and it fits so much better!  No more coming off the board when I’m ironing fabric and pulling it towards me.

The post craft fair calm. Sort of.

The Krankies Craft Fair on Saturday went pretty well.  The spring one is never as good as Christmas, which makes sense, but I had a good time and gained a little bit of a fabric budget :)

I also bought some really neat things like a t-shirt and screen print on wood from a really nice guy named Thomas Dean from Charlottesville, VA and a couple prints from Blue Raspberry Designs who is from here.  It was a really good fair as far as vendors go.

For the last printing of my business cards I got my Etsy shop address on them, a shop that I’ve never actually opened.  But now, I have enough things left over that I have no reason to not finally sit down, photograph, and post everything.  I’m just not sure what to do about having 30 $5 things… Do I post them all separately and pay the posting fee?  Do any of you sellers have any tips?

So now that that deadline has passed, I have two quilt commissions due in three weeks and July’s Last Minute Patchwork project which actually, proudly, I have already gotten to the quilting phase and made the binding for.  Hopefully everything else will go as smoothly!

Has it really been this long?!

I have been crazy busy and distracted lately, but I can hardly believe I have neglected this space for so long!  I’m so sorry guys; I’ve missed you!  (Sorry the photos aren’t the best quality, they’re from Instagram.)

This first half of May was spent cutting, cutting, cutting,

and sewing, sewing, sewing (thanks to gutenTAGS for the rush printing of more labels!!)to make things to sell at the Hand to Hand Market this past weekend,

which, as it happened, didn’t go very well.  I don’t know what happened but the attendance was not what was expected by anyone.  It was nice to hang out with Caitlin for a day though, we met a couple other really awesome vendors, Andy and Nicole, and I have very little more to do to get ready for the Krankies Craft Faire in July, so that’s pretty nice.

The week before the market I was fortunate enough to go to the beach with some friends for my birthday!  I spent 4 days in Emerald Isle with a fun group of people and got to begin my 27th year relaxing with a good book and the ocean.

I went from the beach to Columbia South Carolina to see my friend Joe and my favorite band, mewithoutYou.  The show was so good.  If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you might have seen something I posted afterwards that said, “I fell in love with a boy @mewithoutYou tonight.  We danced next to each other & then he shook my hand & walked out of my life.” to which mewithoutYou responded “missed connections, find him!”  Am I the post-to-missed-connections type?  Why not!  *blush*

So coming back to town, it was right back to work Monday morning and I have begun moving into my new place.  I wish I could fast forward and just get in there and get settled but it’ll probably be a two week process and it will definitely be a sparsely decorated house for a while.  But I’ve never lived alone and I’m really excited about it!I don’t have too much on the creative front right now.  I have May’s LMP+QG project to get started on, another quilt I REALLY need to finish, and I’m anxious to finish the hand quilting on my Single Girl quilt which is taking forever.

Sorry again for my absence but thank you for sticking around!  I’ll be back soon, I promise. xo

Let’s pretend it’s still March…

and I totally finished and posted about these on time.

For our (Cait and I) Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts challenge, I had picked pillow covers. As it turned out, I didn’t like a lot about the way they were put together so I ventured away from the instructions a little bit.  As they are written in the book would be a good project for beginners but I wanted a little more work to do :)

None of my fabric was calling to me until I realized that a remnant I bought at Karen Gray‘s last week was a home dec fabric that I probably wouldn’t use otherwise (it’s Anna Maria Horner’s Turn of Events in azure), so I pulled some coordinating solids and the scraps from The Undertoad, and went for it.

I pressed all the seams out and top sewed them outside the lines in navy blue thread.  I chose to use an invisible zipper closure instead of sewing it right around the pillow.  My zippers aren’t perfect but they’re good enough.  They are backed in the scraps from the Undertoad’s backing.

I think these pillows will live on the studio couch for awhile.

View the past projects here and be sure to look at Caitlin’s great interpretation of the pattern!  Next month: Summer Breeze Picnic Quilt.

Studio space.

One of the changes around here is that I’ve moved into a studio space outside where I live.  I didn’t think I wanted that for a long time because I figured it would hinder late night productivity sessions and such, but I now have a space in the building where I work and I’m super excited about it.

I work at a coffee shop called Krankies and the building they inhabit, which was originally a meat packing plant, is filled with many other things.  There are apartments and a web design company upstairs, a guitar repair place, some practice/teaching studios, and Device, a screen printing business in the basement, the Electric Moustache gallery on the main floor and the studio with spaces for 8 artists (including Laura Lashley, Liz Simmons, and Ian Dennis).  I moved in and set up pretty quickly, minus shelving to hold my fabric.  I had built in shelves in my last space so now I have to figure something else out, something to put in a concrete wall, no less.

What's on my design wall: The Undertoad

Things show no signs of slowing down.  I’m powering through to finish a commission this week, hopefully going up to Roanoke this weekend for some quilting action with Lindsay and to hang out with Catherine, finishing another quilt for a shower on St Patrick’s Day, having another sewing date with Cait for our next LMP+QG project, and then going to DC for a long weekend. Looking farther ahead, my dad is coming in April, I’m going to the beach for my birthday in May, I’m still trying to go to Toronto this spring, and I’m hoping to get four quilts that have been in the works for awhile off the WIP list, and sew a couple more dresses.  Let the productivity commence!

To lay on and to hold on.

I am in love with this new pillow.

I made this block in Jess’s wonderful Improv Piecing class at Sewing Summit back in October and as soon as it was finished, I knew it had to become a pillow.  So what if it only took me three months?  :)I surrounded it in Alexander Henry’s Heath in black, quilted it in a pale grey thread by following some of the natural lines in the block and sewing on on both sides of them, and bound it in white, and closed it with an envelope back.

I’ve also made a few bags and pouches recently for various things.Using Jeni’s wonderful and oh-so-popular lined drawstring bag tutorial, I made a bag for my herringbone cowl out of one of my favorite Aneely Hooey Little Apples prints, a red dot from my stash, and a DS Quilts print for the ties (I really should buy a bolt of that stuff!),

one for that portable speaker system I got a couple weeks ago (the first one, on the far left, was a little too small but the second one fit just right, both out of Jay McCarroll Habitat prints and coordinating solids),

and a triangle pouch for my binding clips from this tutorial, also out of a Habitat print.  Thanks Jeni for such a great project!