Tag Archives: stash

Trying to find the perfect button up: Archer.

I’m still on my quest to find the perfect button up shirt that I can fill my closet with and this is almost there.  The Archer by Grainline Studio is a classic button up shirt that has a lot of potential.

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As soon as I received the pattern, I knew I wanted to use this plaid from my stash (another gift from Laura; I’m noticing a trend!), which meant my first foray into pattern matching.  I read Lauren’s post on it and tried to match the horizontal striping around the bodice.  I could have done better with the vertical striping, too, but it’s a small/busy enough plaid that it works.  I decided to cut the button placket, sleeve cuffs, back yoke, and pockets on the bias, which breaks up the pattern a bit, for better or worse.

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Overall, the shirt just feels too big.  I made a size 12 based on my measurements but the sleeves are way too long, the pockets are too large and too low, and for someone that likes more fitted clothing, it just feels too baggy.

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I do, however, really like collar stands.  And I like the way Jen has you attach it.  Since this fabric didn’t have a wrong and right side, I accidentally attached quite a few pieces of the shirt backwards, you can’t really tell.

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I was happy to try a different kind of sleeve placket, though I think I’ll do the Hawthorn style next time.  I chose to use snaps because my machine is not too keen on buttonholes (though I occasionally borrow my studio mate’s machine).  I would have loved to use red ones but alas, my snap stash is dwindling.

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With a few adjustments, this just might make a perfect button up.

Catarina.

I recently acquired a printer through a local swap/sell/give Facebook group and I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say it’s changed my life.  That, and receiving March’s Seamwork Magazine, I had to make the Catarina dress RIGHT THEN.

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I used a red rayon (?) from my stash (that I also used to make my first Deer & Doe Datura blouse) and I love it so.  I’m almost ready to take on the summer heat in this dress.

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I didn’t have any bra strap rings and sliders (and no patience to get any!) so I made the straps adjustable by pulling and tying them at the back, foregoing the waist tie.    As the day goes on, the straps slide in towards the middle and the back poufs out, but I actually don’t mind it.

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I didn’t have enough fabric, so I shortened the skirt by about 5″.  I used a red ‘ninja star’ polyester (also used for Seamwork’s Akita blouse) from my stash for the bodice lining and bias hem facing.  I like the little peeks of pattern.

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I cut out a size 12 based on my measurements, but this one is so roomy, I think I could go down a size (or two, even).

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I’m sad I used up the last of this red fabric but I’ll be getting a lot of wear out of this lovely piece this summer and making more!

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Oslo and Simplicity.

The Oslo sweater from Seamwork Magazine was something I wanted to make early on in my subscription with them.  I always need more sweaters!

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It was a pretty easy pattern to assemble.  I’m not sure if I did the sleeve cuffs correctly at first, ‘cause they seemed awfully big.  So I cut them off (trimming them by 3/4” on both sides in the process), folded them the other way, and sewed them back on, which worked better for me.

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I used a lightweight jersey I bought at JoAnn’s on clearance.  I’d say it’s worth the $3/yard I paid… I have worn this almost every day for the two weeks after I made it and it has pilled A LOT and catches ALL THE CAT HAIR, so I don’t see it lasting a super long time.  But it was a good first run of the pattern and I’ll definitely be making more!

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And then this top, I am IN LOVE WITH.

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I’d had one yard of this 36” wide vintage fabric laying around for awhile (a birthday gift from Laura Lashley a few years back), not sure that it was enough to actually make anything.

But then I saw this Simplicity pattern in my box (#1364), and thought I might be able to eek it out.  Which I did!  Wonderfully so!

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I only had a 14” zipper, so there is a longer-than-called-for slit in the back (but it covers my bra so what’s a little skin?).  I eliminated the seam allowances on the back pieces and cut them right on the selvedge, sewing the zipper right on.

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I love the boatneck and how my tattoos peek out over the top.

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It has a facing at the neckline and bias tape facings around the armholes, and I serged all the visible seams.

I’ve actually made this top once before, using an Anna Maria Horner voile and a vintage separating zipper.

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I made that one a size 12, and could still pull it over my head without using the zipper so this time, I made a 10.  I can still pull it over me without the zipper, but I think that’s partly because of the extra long back opening.

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I have two other one-yard cuts of vintage fabric from Laura and they might all have to become this.

And many thanks to the boyfriend for helping me take pictures! Like all these where I was picking pet hair and fuzz off of me:

Wonky Crosses and a shop!

I’m so excited that I have finally opened an online shop.  Won’t you please take a look?  It’s right here.  Don’t see what you’re looking for?  Let me know! I’m happy to do custom work.  I’ll also be adding new things so check back often.

One thing in there is this wonky cross quilt I made a little while ago!

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It would make the sweetest little baby gift.

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Made from blues, greens, and neutrals from my stash, it’s backed in a vintage sheet, longarm quilted in a swirling pattern with a pale gray thread, and bound in binding scraps.

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It’s available now for $300, so you should probably just go ahead and get it :)

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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 modern cabin.

This was my first finish of 2016, and it’s all for me.

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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.

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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.

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I longarm quilted it in a figure 8 pattern of varying heights, with white thread.

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It’s bound in a black crosshatch very similar to one from her Architectextures collection, and other scraps.

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It made it onto my bed as soon as it could and quickly became covered in cat hair :)

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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.

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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!

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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?

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The sleeves are a little more fluttery than I usually go for but they’re open for alteration, also.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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).

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I got many compliments that night and I can’t wait to party in this dress again!

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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Feathers and stars.

I realize I say this a lot, but this quilt is one of my most favorites.  For real.

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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.

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It’s both the most planned and unplanned quilt I’ve ever made.  It looks largely improvised but was almost completely measured out.

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My stash is lacking in purples but I grabbed what I had and pieced some stars, some with log cabin centers.

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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!

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I backed it in some feather scraps and other purples and a striped vintage sheet.

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I quilted it in a looping pattern with white thread and gave it a scrappy binding.

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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.

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I miss my friends now that they’ve moved away but I’m glad they have a little piece of Winston with them!