Aug 282015

Today is my stop on the Urban Scandinavian Sewing Bloggers’ Book Tour! The book tour runs for two weeks through Monday, August 31, and along with other talented sewing bloggers, I’m sharing Kirstyn Cogan’s new book, Urban Scandinavian Sewing, available for purchase at C&T publishing and Amazon.

I was excited when I was asked to participate in the blog tour — the book has a wonderfully clean aesthetic that I can only aspire to. (Glowbug is in her color-everything-when-I-can-get-ahold-of-crayons phase, and that includes walls, bookshelves, couches, and sheets. >_<) Urban Scandinavian Sewing

The Winter quilt grabbed my attention first; I love the cheery pink and orange with the cool grey and expanse of white! Every once in a while, I feel like I should practice using colors that I don’t choose on my own, so this quilt became my must-use-hot-pink project.
Urban Scandinavian Sewing: Winter quilt

I was also working out of my stash, so I had a pretty limited selection of coordinating colors. I think I ended up with a (less-mature) fall version of Kirstyn Cogan’s sophisticated winter quilt. hah!
my teen fall quilt, hehehe

You may notice that Husbo is having trouble holding the quilt up nicely — it’s because this quilt is pretty big! I did skip all the intermediate trimming steps, so mine is more like 92″ x 86″, but that’s not so far off of the pattern’s intended dimensions of 88″ x 80″. It fits nicely on a double bed!
fall version of the winter quilt on a double bed

I thought that one portion of the cutting section could have been written out more clearly, but other than that, the instructions are great! I followed them almost exactly — the only other ways I deviated were:

  • I left out the muslin when creating the three separate quilted panels. It’s less work to baste two layers than three, and also, my cheapie self cringed at the thought of buying six yards of muslin that I could get away with not using. :>
  • I topstitched vertically along the three panels’ joining seam allowances at the very end, after the backing was already attached and turned. I was worried about the backing bagging and billowing if it was only attached around the border.

fallwinter quilt with kids

I had fun making this quick quilt; it took me about a week to finish, which is pretty fast for me. Now I’m looking forward to trying the fun recipes that are also in this book — especially the Swedish meatballs and glogg! hehehehehe…

I’m at the tail end of the blog tour, but if you missed the other posts, you should definitely go back and see the fun things the other bloggers sewed! Here’s the book tour schedule:

Week of August 17

Nicole from Modern Handcraft
Hilary from Young Texan Mama
Nicole from Snips Snippets

Week of August 24

Jennie from Clover & Violet
Tessa from The Sewing Chick
me, from here! ;D

Be sure to also visit Kirstyn’s blog as she’ll be sharing round-ups of all the stops each week so you’ll be sure not to miss a thing!

Enter to Win A Copy of Urban Scandinavian Sewing!

As part of the book tour, Kirstyn is giving away copy of her book and a FQ bundle of her new fabric line, Urban Scandinavian, that is shipping to fabric stores near you next month, to two lucky winners! Enter below in the rafflecopter giveaway, open through midnight, August 30.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Aug 182015

In June, I got to lead a workshop sewing the Poolside Tote for my quilt guild, so after the class was over, I finished up all my step-out bits to make myself yet another tote!
Cotton & Steel poolside tote

This time, I put in the exterior zippered pocket, key fob, and an extra interior zippered pocket. I rarely zip up the outside pocket, but it’s nice to have just in case. The interior zippered pocket is super handy for carrying Cosmo’s lactaid (for emergency ice cream stops!), and I loooooooove the key fob. I like to make mine extra long so that I can unlock doors without taking my bag off my shoulder. This one is made it out of two Cotton & Steel selvedges, which I think turned out pretty cute. :)
Cotton & Steel poolside tote - key fob

Later on, my friend said she’d like a tote like this, so I made a second one! Can you even tell the difference? :D:D
Carrie's poolside tote

Aug 102015

Nowadays I get to go to sew-ins (yay!), so I wanted to make an iron cozy to make packing up easier. Plus, it gave me an excuse to buy Oh Fransson’s iron cozy pattern!
Kokka skulls iron cozy

I have a vintage GE iron, and it didn’t occur to me that it might not be the same size as the modern standard irons that the pattern is designed for, so I had to laugh when I was almost finished with the cozy and found that it was a leetle big for my iron. I just tightened up the elastic and it fits well enough now!
Kokka skulls iron cozy

This awesome sparkly skulls Kokka print was on our guild’s freebies table a couple of months ago, and I love it! The inside is supposed to be lined with heat resistant fabric, but I was making this on an impulse and didn’t have any, so I just used muslin. It’s holding up fine so far! I feel so stylish with my iron cozy now, hehehe.
iron cozy - muslin insides

Jul 302015

I’m posting today over at imagine gnats about the Deer and Doe Chardon skirt I made.
blue and moss chardon skirt

I actually made a test version, first — I still rarely make actual muslins, but I like making wearable test versions!
purple chardon skirt

This purple chardon skirt is a size 38 sewn with 3/8″ seam allowances, rather than 5/8″ seam allowances as instructed. I did this because my waist measurement is about 27.5″, and size 38’s waist measurement is 26.75″. However, the waist ended up looser than I liked, so I realized that just a regular size 38 worked well for me.
purple chardon, pleats

I like the length of this version — its hem is a little higher because I sewed View B, but left off the contrast hem for a shorter skirt.
purple chardon skirt, side

I didn’t take a picture of it, but I did line this skirt, too. Instead of a picture of the lining, here’s a picture of the zipper! 😀
purple chardon skirt, zipper

Even though this version is a little bit big around the waist, I’ve been wearing it a lot. I like it with my octopus tank and grampa cardi, hehe!
purple chardon skirt

Jul 212015

I finally made a medallion quilt! Since it was so popular last year, I’ve been wanting to sew one up, but I hadn’t found one that I really liked the look of until I found out about the Modern Medallion Workbook, and the June medallion quilt in particular. It’s pleasantly wonky and not too cluttered, and I love it!
june medallion quilt

I would have loved to make a low volume clone of the sample version, but I don’t have very much low volume fabric in my stash, shucks. On the bright side, I’m planning to give this away as a baby quilt, and the yarn-dyed essex will hide stains better!
june medallion quilt

The instructions were super easy to follow; I think there were sets for sewing and attaching borders one at a time, and also for sewing all the borders at once and then assembling everything at the end. I think it’s good that I preferred to attach one border at a time (more instant gratification!) because mine tended to shrink! Definitely by the tenth border, my quilt was at least three inches too small.
june medallion quilt

My last triangle border is extra wide to make up the lost width… such is the beauty of medallion quilts! ;D Also, on that triangle border, I didn’t pay attention and made a different number of wonky triangles than the instructions specified, heh. I was being loosey goosey!
june medallion quilt

I actually made a complete strip of scrappy binding, but then changed my mind and thought it would be nice to have it just on one corner of the quilt.
june medallion quilt

The simple straightish quilting in the book was so perfect that I copied it for mine. I kind of wish I didn’t like the look of straight line quilting so much because I find it so boring to actually sew!
june medallion quilt

I’m so happy with my June medallion quilt! I’m super looking forward to making more medallion quilts from the book… when I have another big chunk of free time, heh.
june medallion quilt - with babies

Jul 022015

I didn’t think it would happen anytime soon, but it did — I made a gigantic blanket-not-in-disguise-at-all grampa cardigan! With pockets!!!
burda cocoon cardigan

This is the BurdaStyle cocoon cardigan #107, and it was the first Burda pattern I’ve sewn. I read that this pattern is seriously gigantic, so I copied Very Purple Person and printed the pattern at 92% (I don’t think I have any evidence for this, but I keep thinking we’re around the same height), cut out the size 36, and didn’t add any seam allowances. I think it fits perfectly! :D:D:D
burda cocoon cardigan

I made this from a printed (the wrong side is white) French terry from a local shop, which makes this soooooo cozy. Then I exercised severe restraint and only wore it to work twice this week, even though I love it so, so much. Yay for air conditioning, since I lack sense and made myself an enormous sweater in the middle of summer. hehehe.
burda cocoon cardigan, back view

I tried my best to match up the stripes, and I succeeded about half the time; I could definitely tell which seams I’d pinned later in the day. I left off the interfacing for the all-around hem band since I didn’t think this fabric needed it, and I only serged the seams instead of using bias tape like the instructions wanted. Finally, I added wide sleeve cuffs because I read about someone else getting a trumpety effect when they first tried hemming this cardigan’s sleeves in a knit. The sleeve-to-cuff seam did end up stretching out a little bit, but the cuffs still help my sleeves stay up when I need them to, so I think overall it ended up okay.
burda cocoon cardigan, close up

I also cut out a little felt heart and sewed it on — I’ve wanted to make myself a grey, black-hearted cardigan ever since I saw a grouchy guy wearing it in a Korean drama. It was so cute and funny!
heart sweater - Ho Gu's Love ep 10

Pockets! Also, showing off some successfully matched stripes (don’t look at my sleeve haha).
burda cocoon cardigan pocket

On a different note, I’m still trying to figure out the fit on my Eucalypt tanks — I made this octopus version in a medium at the bust and a small at the waist and hips. I like that it no longer has pull lines at the upper bust, but it really is too big at the top. The neckline is too low and the arm holes are definitely too big. Luckily, this cardigan covers up almost all of that, so I can still wear my fun octopuses!
burda cocoon cardigan

I just love my grampa cardigan so much! I’m going to make my mom one too, so she can horrify my dad the way I’m probably horrifying Mr. Yazoo as I go around in my humongous sweater. muhahahahaha!
burda cocoon cardigan, side view

Jun 172015

I changed my blog url just slightly today — from to just I thiiiiiiink everything’s okay, but if you notice anything weird, could you let me know? Thanks! :) :) :)

In other news, I finished my moooonths-long project of knitting monsters for my nephew’s birthday present! They’re all from Rebecca Danger’s 50 Yards of Fun. Seriously, I am such a slow knitter — I bought this book in March, and it’s taken me this long to make five of them.
50 yards of fun monsters

My favorite is the tiny peanut guy in the front — he’s such a cute shape! My kids liked them too, and I ended up making Cosmo a yak and Nikko a ninja in between the monsters, since they’d ask in sad little voices, “is this still for Georgie…?” hah!

I bought a Curious George lunchbox to send these in because my kids love packing toys into the one good metal lunchbox we have (it’s from when I was a kid, so it’s much sturdier than the newer ones we’ve gotten!) and taking it when we go out, like a little suitcase. I hope my nephew has fun with these!
lunchbox of monsters

Jun 162015

I posted yesterday at imagine gnats about the Deer & Doe Chataigne shorts I made for this year’s shorts on the line. (Now I can finally retire my old maritime shorts that I didn’t adjust enough and make me look like I have halfawedgie. 😀 😀 )
deer & doe chataigne shorts

Despite my worries about crotchular fitting issues, I’ve been wearing these a lot! They seem to be resisting wrinkles and they’re very comfy. Of course, a big part of why they’re so comfortable is that they fit below the non-flatness of my tummy (hehehe), which isn’t the most flattering thing in the world. Like I say, though, most of the time I can’t see myself, so it doesn’t bother me then!
deer & doe chataigne shorts

Jun 022015

I was super excited about Megan Nielsen’s latest Brumby skirt, so I bought it right when it was released and sewed it up that weekend. And I’m a big old copycat, so the first version I made was a view 1 (above the knee and for medium to heavy fabric) denim version with the first nice topstitching I’ve done, ever!
denim brumby skirt

The instructions are fantastic (as usual) and include nice tips for beginning sewers, like pinking the pocket seam allowance, applying the interfacing to the waistband facing pieces (I’ve used other patterns that don’t specify whether to interface the facing or exterior pieces), and understitching the waistband seam. The skirt is designed to have an exposed metal zipper in the back, which would be so cool! — but I didn’t have the right kind of zipper in my stash, so I just put in a slotted zipper with a hook and eye at the top. (After reading another blogger mentioning that she noticed many women at an event whose zippers were coming open because they didn’t have a hook and eye at the top, I feel compelled to put them in. :D) Oh, now I see that the slotted part kind of pulls open… so it’s a good thing the zipper matches the topstiching thread!
brumby skirt slotted zipper

I made a size small with no adjustments and was able to make this skirt with just one yard of fabric. I did have to cut the waistband facing and pocket lining out of different lining fabric, and the grainline of my pocket facing pieces are perpendicular to what they should have been, but that’s fine with me.
denim brumby skirt

I looooove the Brumby’s deep pockets, and I also think the contoured waistband is fantastic. It gives such a nicely fitted look to the waistline, but it’s actually really comfy and skims over my waist without feeling restrictive. I find it a noticeable contrast with my Hollyburns, which also cinch my waist nicely, but definitely feel cinchy.

Oh, and I was so excited about how the topstitching turned out — I kept stopping to squee about how pretty it was! I used actual topstitching thread, an actual topstitching needle, and my Juki TL-2000qi (as opposed to my Juki F600, which I feel like has a weaker motor) and it was easier to do than I had worried it would be.
denim brumby skirt topstitching

I’m also wearing the new Eucalypt tank I made at the beginning of the month. This was the shirt where I realized that I shouldn’t have been pulling the bias tape facing while I was applying it to the armholes and then applied it properly on the neckline, so you can see how the arm binding is ripply but the neckline is smooth. I think I need to make a larger size, but I find it a little boggling since my bust measurement is only 33″, and I’m pretty sure this is a size small, which is supposed to be for a 36″ bust!
brumby skirt and eucalypt tank

The second Brumby I made was view 3 (knee-length for light fabric) with view 2’s pockets, using 1.5 yards of rayon challis. I ended up whapping off an inch or two from the hem after it was almost done, and I hope I can figure out how much to adjust my pattern now because I like this length. (About the weird pictures — it was drizzling then, and my skirt isn’t actually spotty. 😀 )
rayon challis brumby skirt

Since the rayon challis is a little delicate (and shifty shifty shifty), the pockets were pretty droopy, and the hem actually drooped correspondingly under the pockets. I’m not sure whether that was due to the fabric or slight tension issue my machine was having, but I ended up having to trim mountain-shaped bits out from under the pockets in order to even out the hem. I did wonder if that’s why view 3 isn’t designed with pockets, but I’ll take droopy pockets over no pockets any day! 😀
rayon challis brumby skirt

I lined this skirt since the rayon is a tiny bit sheer (I could just see the silhouette of my legs), and for that I used a yard of some polyester that felt pretty stable and strong. I was a dope and used the front pattern piece with pocket cutouts when I was cutting my lining, but I wasn’t willing to go buy more lining fabric, so I just patched it back up. It’s all enclosed now so you can’t see it, but the gathered lining was showing through the thin rayon waistband, so I serged the lining’s waistband+gathered edge, and I think now it’s not super noticeable.
brumby skirt polyester lining

I did try topstitching the rayon to see how it looked, and it looked terrible, so I stitched in the ditch under the waistband. I also used an invisible zipper plus another hook and eye closure, and I’m happy with how it turned out!
rayon challis brumby skirt zipper

I only serged the bottom edge of the lining because the polyester didn’t seem to fray very easily, and I serged and turned up once for the rayon challis hem because that looked nicer from the outside than when I tried doing a normal rolled hem.
rayon challis brumby hem

I’m super happy with my two Brumbies! This is such an adorable skirt pattern, and I’m looking forward to making more versions, especially denim ones with more topstitching. :)
rayon challis brumby skirt

Jun 012015

I had so much fun with my first Me-Made May! Since I was already comfortably wearing handmade clothes every day, I was more focused on fixing wardrobe gaps, and I was excited to be sewing clothes all month. I only got a little burnt out on my very last make of the month, mainly because it was the first time I was really noticing the shifty shiftiness of rayon challis.

Did I make my wardrobe gap-filling goals? Mostly… I still have to make a pair of Chataigne shorts, but I did sew another pair of Tania culottes! I also made more work shirts and skirts: 1 Eucalypt tank, 2 Belcarra blouses, 1 Ondee sweater, 2 Linden tees, 2 Chardon skirts, and 2 Brumby skirts.

Here’s my most-worn make of the month: my new ponte Tania culottes. I wore these almost all the time at home since they’re so comfy! I feel like the ponte plus the 1″ elastic is flattering (holds in my tummy, hehehe!), and since the ponte is a bit heavier, it’s less likely to fly up in the wind. 😀
ondee sweater and tania culottes

I let my culottes settle on my dress form for a week before hemming them mainly because I was procrastinating. I also fixed my dress form so that the rear hem would end up a more appropriate longer length — it didn’t have enough back there. hahaha! And it turned out to be a good thing that I put off the hemming step for so long, because in that week, I learned from Sewaholic how to use the little clippy thing on my dress form to mark my hemline!
fixt my dressform!

I’m also wearing my new Deer & Doe Ondee sweater that was eked out from the leftover French terry from my Briar top. I was so stoked to get another shirt out of that fabric, especially since it was originally only a 1.5 yard cut. This is View A without a collar (size 36), and since I omitted the collar, I used the neckline binding method from the Briar top. This time, I really trimmed down my seams, and it turned out much nicer. Now that I’m looking at this Ondee in pictures, I think that I’d better try making another version as View B with View A’s sleeves (I’m not sure if the higher neck is flattering for me).

Did I learn anything from Me-Made May? Yes! I did try to mix up my outfits a little more, and I suspect that I’d turn high-waisted skirt + tank top + short cardi into my work uniform… if I ever got around to making more tank tops and cardis. ;D Also, one day I wore my wussy-cropped Briar (I had made it less cropped so that’s it’s just barely long enough to cover my tummy when I wear jeans) with my Tania culottes, and I really liked how it looked, so now I’d like to try making a true cropped Briar. I’m going to turn into a Megan Nielsen clone! 😀