Oct 302014
 

Still catching up on things from before our trip! First up, flying squirrels made for kiddie presents. These are hilaaaaaarious! Plus, they’re super easy and relatively fast to make, and the pattern is free!
flying squirrels

I felt an intense need to make travel pillows for everyone (except my kids) — these are for my father-in-law, sister-in-law, niece, husband, and me. My in-laws already had their own comfier and more useful U-shaped travel pillows, but they very politely carried the ones I made them on the plane. :D Just in case you can’t tell, two of these have gadget pockets, which I don’t think ended up getting used. On the bright side, my kids liked hugging the grey stars and dadcat pillows during our vacation!
travel pillows

Waaaay before our trip, I got to be a pattern tester for Sew Sweetness’s Crimson and Clover Train Cases. I made the smallest size and stingily did not make proper bias tape, which Sara very kindly didn’t mention. >_< Can't see the bad piping in this pic, though... muhahahaha!
small Crimson and Clover train case

Oct 272014
 

A couple of weeks ago, when I was in the middle of an I-must-sew-all-the-things-for-our-trip to-do list, I wanted to procrastinate with the Jenna cardi pattern I’d just bought. Since I had a lot of fusion jersey sweatshirt fleece from Girl Charlee (it was listed as coral, but sure looks orange to me), I thought it would be fun to make a bright orange cardi for my sister — that way, I’d strike off an item on my to-do list since I needed a present to give her during our trip, and also it would be funny to make her a sweater that would make it easy for her kids to find her in crowds. heh!
orange jenna

I made a hip-length variation A with long sleeves in a size 32. My sister is quite a bit smaller than me and the “coral” jersey had NO stretch, so I hoped that would fit her. (Spoiler: it did, yay! She had enough room to put on a couple of thin layers underneath, which is fine since she gets cold easily.) In a bit of sewing geekery, I was stoked that since the fabric is 70″ wide, I could cut the whole thing out with only one yard of fabric!
jenna cardi layout

I really like the extra duper long sleeves and nifty button band. I don’t have enough experience to know if this is normal, but I sure appreciated being able to use regular woven interfacing for the button band… one day I’ll get around to buying knit interfacing, but I’m not there yet. For a couple of seconds, I thought about stealing this cardigan for myself, but the pictures convinced me that it was too small for me… hello armpit wrinkles!
orange jenna cardi, front

… and hellooooooo back wrinkles! I’m looking forward to making one or two for me, but now I’m wondering: my measurements put me between the size 32 and 34, and when I make it in a normal knit (one that stretches), do you think I should make the 32, the 34, or go all out and blend them (nooooo!)?
orange jenna cardi, back

Oct 212014
 

While I was on vacation, my review of U-Handbag’s It’s a Cinch Tote went up at Sew Sweetness as part of this autumn’s Purse Palooza. I was not together enough to schedule a post about it to go up while I was away. aheh.
its a cinch - cinched

tl;dr: the bag’s really cute, but the instructions leave something to be desired. :}
it's a cinch - rock wall

My friend seemed to really like it! I hope she did — she’s really super duper polite and would never let me know if she didn’t…

Oct 092014
 

I found myself in need of more luggage (also, I was trying to justify recent purchases by using my stash, hehe), so made an owl-riffic portside duffle bag. The exterior fabric is all bought locally for once — I got the owls (at full price O_o) from a local fabric shop, and the base and handles are made from my twill maritime shorts’ leftovers.
owl duffle skyline

Having started my grown-up sewing from the quilting side of things, I thought it was interesting how the portside instructions and pattern differed from indie bag patterns I’ve used in the past, considering Grainline Studios is generally focused towards apparel. Specifically, I found myself printing out eight jillion pages in order to end up with a bunch of pattern pieces that were rectangles. >_< I've read apparel-focused people getting frustrated when pattern pieces weren't included for every single thing, so it makes sense that Grainline would write a bag pattern this way, but I kept grumbling, "just give me cutting measurements! ARGH!"
owl duffle right side

Even more frustrating was that the yardage required was given for the entire set, not for individual pieces in the set. The first time I made this bag (oops, this owl version is actually the second one I made — I gave the first one away before I could take pictures of it), I bought way too much because I bought the recommended yardage even though I only wanted to make the duffle. doh!
owl duffle left side

This bag could definitely benefit from piping, but I tend to fall on the side of laziness when it’s not explicitly called for in the pattern. :> Anyway, I’m looking forward to using this bag — it’s huge, and there’s no way someone can try to pretend its theirs and walk off with it. muhaha!
owl duffle on ground

Oct 032014
 

Today I have a guest tutorial at imagine gnats for making Rachael’s tumble tee into a cardigan.
tumble tee cardi

Aren’t those stars cute? I justjustjust tried out an awesome women’s cardigan pattern (oops, haven’t blogged about it yet), and now I want to use the same fabric so Glowbug and I can have matching cardigans! gahhhh!

Oops anyways, I worried when I was done and it ended up slightly too large (I made the 2T size and Glowbug is only a year and a half) that I should have made her actual size so the pictures would be all pretty, but it was too late and I didn’t have enough fabric to make a second one. This is why I’m not a fancy pants kids fashion blogger! :D
tumble tee cardi

Oct 022014
 

I recently got hooked on Massdrop, and I one of the things I bought was a Noodlehead pattern 3-pack that included her Runaround bag. I actually bought the pattern pack because it included the super tote and divided basket, but then I ended up making the runaround bag first because it was perfect for a quick present for my niece!
runaround bag

My first impression when the runaround bag pattern was released was that it’s too smooshy/formless for my taste, but after I made it, I found out that it’s really a comfy and convenient bag to use. Comfy and convenient always wins for me since I forget what I look like when I’m not in front of a mirror. Also, I love that the pattern’s instructions are impeccable, which I dooooon’t take for granted anymore. >_<
runaround bag sunshine

I do think that the magnetic snap could stand to be maybe 1/2″ higher. And I swear I followed the instructions, but my zippered pocket looks waaaaaaay too low. While I was sewing, I was even thinking that the zipper looked like it was in a strange place, but I was in verbatim compliance mode and didn’t just move it up, doh.
runaround bag lining

I had bought some metallic gold thread on a whim, and I tried using it on the patch pocket. It’s pretty cute, but I didn’t remember to adjust my tension or anything to accommodate the thread and it kept shredding. ugh!
runaround bag patch pocket

When my niece was opening her presents and got to this, one of her friends said it looked like Santa’s bag. She didn’t even see it when I tried using gold thread to topstitch the binding — then it looked super Christmassey! I ripped that out and used plain brown thread instead.
runaround bag close

Since it’s nice seeing bags against people for scale, here’s the runaround bag on a five year old. :D
runaround bag cosmo

Sep 262014
 

I was suuuuper excited to participate in this year’s Selfish Sewing Week because I got to try out La Sylphide from Papercut Patterns, thanks to Rachael at imagine gnats! :)
la sylphide dress

La Sylphide is a great value since you can make a dress, skirt, and peplum top from the pattern. The instructions aren’t super involved, but that makes sense since it’s marked as an advanced pattern. I found the directions clear enough, even though I don’t think I’m an advanced clothes sewerer, but I did refer to this portion of their sew-along to check that I was doing the placket ends correctly.

I traced all the pattern pieces in the XS size since I sooort of fall in its measurements, and I heard that the pattern has a good amount of ease. First, I made a test version of the skirt. I was pretty sure it wouldn’t need any adjustments — it’s basically a circle skirt, so if the waistband came out the wrong size, the skirt would just sit a little higher or lower. I believe other people have found the skirt a little short for their tastes, but I don’t generally have to worry about that as I am slightly short myself. :>
la sylphide skirt sideish

(Mr. Yazoo kept telling me that my skirt was wrinkled when he was helping me take pictures, but I was too lazy to go back in and iron them out.) Hemming all of my La Sylphides really made me want to buy a rolled hem foot for my machine, gahhhh. I looooove this skirt, though! The button-uppiness is cute and I think the skirt is flattering and comfy. It’s too bad that it needs all of the recommended 1 1/4 yards, cause I have a couple of 1 yard cuts of fabric that I wish I could use to make more of these.
la sylphide skirt swish

After the skirt, I tried making the blouse in order to work out any fitting issues before tackling the dress version, and I ended up making these adjustments:

That turned out pretty okay! It’s a little hard to see because of the dizzying tiny houndstooth, though. On this version, the sleeves are short because I ran out of fabric. I thiiink the shorter sleeves might look better on me?
la sylphide blouse

I would never wear the blouse and skirt together as an outfit, and I only made them in the same fabric since I overestimated what I needed (the houndstooth was 42″ wide, and the pattern only gives yardage for 55″ wide fabric, so I bought 3 yards) and ended up with a lot of extra fabric, but I had them hanging together on my dressform, and it made me giggle. Don’t you think it looks schoolmarmish? :D
la sylphide schoolmarm

After all that, I was finally ready to use my preeeecious fabric from Girl Charlee (which appears to no longer be in stock). Since it’s a peach skin, I bought size 60/8 sharps (almost the recommended needle in this chart) and lengthened my stitch to 3.4, which made my seams come out much nicer than when I’d used an 11/70 needle and the default stitch length.
la sylphide dress look up

I finally noticed when I tried on the dress that the bodice is probably slightly too long for me, so the neeext time I make this, I’ll try:

  • move the bust point only 1/4″ to the center and 1/2″ down
  • shorten the bodice by 1/2″ (and then see if I need to do it more the nextnext time)

Also, after I use up the rest of the peach skin fabric I have, no more buying peach skin! It’s drapey and pretty, but boy, it’s too hot for where I live! That is, unless I’m sewing work clothes — the a/c usually works there. :D Anyway, I had a lot of fun and grew my clothes-sewing skills a little bit, so I’m calling this a win! I hope you had fun during Selfish Sewing Week, too!
la sylphide dress curtsy

Sep 222014
 

I think Cotton and Steel is reeeeeally cute, but I hardly buy fabric that isn’t on sale — I spend plenty of money as it is just shopping sales. But I had an excuse lately — I asked Papa Yazoo to make Glowbug her own stool since she’d been wrassling the boys over theirs. Then it sat, uncovered, in our house for a couple of months, until Mr. Yazoo was all, when are you gonna finish that? So then I haaaaaad to shop specially for some cute heavier-weight fabric! :>
tiger stool

Tigers! I love those tigers! I managed to make the cover fit more closely than on Sunshine’s one, but I accidentally bought thinner foam. It has a zipper on the bottom to make it easy to remove the cover… which came in handy since the legs fell off twice and had to be reattached. >_<
tiger stool bottom

I love these stools because they’re the perfect height for little kiddies (and me — I like sitting on them, too).
tiger stool in use

They also can be used as baby beds! :D
tiger stool bed

In unrelated news, our guild‘s August block challenge was scrappy stars, so I made a lone starburst. I always save my scraps, but pretty much the only time I use them is for other people’s blocks or challenges!
scrappy starburst

Sep 192014
 

Today, I have a guest post over at imagine gnats — I got to make a quilt out of Frances Newcombe‘s new fabric line, Cherie!

cherie quilt beachy

I made my family make a special trip out to the beach to take pictures, but since I chickened out when people were nearby and only got two and a half usable ones, I had to take extra pictures in my backyard. hehe

cherie quilt glowbug

Oh, and I managed to make it in a week… which is good for me! muhahaha! :D

Sep 082014
 

Katy at The Littlest Thistle taaaaagged me! I first met Katy when we were in Piece Bee together, and she’s been so supportive ever since then that I couldn’t say no (well, apart from having some reservations about being able to tag people myself, heh). So, apparently there are some questions I’m supposed to answer…

What am I working on?
In order of needs-to-get-done-first:

Cherie baby quilt
I’m working on a herringbone-ish baby quilt; the fabric just arrived this weekend, so it only looks like this. I’m going to try to finish it this week!
cherie baby quilt wip

I’ve also started just a shirt muslin of Papercut’s La Sylphide. I want to do all three versions — the shirt, skirt, and dress — but it’s for Selfish Sewing Week, so I have to get cracking!
la sylphide wip

My baby was helping, hehehe.
la sylphide helper

Finally, I started my parents’ 40th anniversary quilt at our quilt guild‘s sew-in this weekend. I’m using Thimble Blossoms’ Round and Round pattern, and I’m going to put pictures in the center of each ring. My sister drew the cuuuute pictures of our family, and it took me almost the entire sew-in to trace them on the fabric! I used screenprinting paint and my watercolor brush because I didn’t have a thick enough pigma pen, and when I got to the sew-in, a couple of the ladies there said they would have brought their thicker Copic markers or fabric paint pens for me to use if I’d just told them. I love being part of our quilt guild!
anniversary quilt wip

How does my work differ from others of its genre? — which I’ll interpret as What defines your style?
Since I’m not great at the combining of fabrics, I tend to make stuff that features one thing, like a cute fabric (there are hedgehogs and squirrels drinking tea on that fabric!)

… or an embellishment (my sister drew that picture for me, too, and I just thread traced it).

I also like to make things that make me giggle, even if I’m the only one who thinks it’s funny.

Why do I create what I do?
I like making things to give to other people or keep for myself. That’s pretty much it!

How does my creating process work?
Either an occasion that requires a present comes up and I try to think of something I could make that they could use,

… or I see something I want to make and I tryyy to think of someone who could use it.

Or I think of something I want to make for myself!

Very rarely, I get an idea for something that’s sort of mostly out of my own head, and I spend daaaaays planning it. Those have about a 50% success rate, though.

Now to pass on the love… I’m going to tag (in alphabetical order):

Deborah @ Little Miss Sew-Unsew: Deborah’s quilts and quilt blocks are beautiful, and she often gives away some super cool ones since it seems like at least half of her sewing is for bees, charity, and charity bees. :D She has some great quilt block tutorials, and her Marcelle Medallion is amazing!

Lynne @ Tinking along: Lynne is a generous and thoughtful quilter — she recently finished up some ufos and donated them. I lurve her Michael Miller challenge table runner, and she makes such cool quilt blocks, like her simply solids block and her astronomical dog star — both for charity/donation, again!

Susan @ So Sue: Susan is a wonderful knitter and hand-sewer –I’m so impressed by her meticulous crafting! She recently finished hand quilting an entire baby quilt, and she’s knitted adorable argyle socks and a crazy cute ballerina bunny, complete with eensy little bunny clothes.

Thanks for visiting my stop on the around the world blog hop!