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!

Aug 292014

I wanted to be a poet-who-knows-it (hehehe) by titling this “Guilt quilt,” but then I found out that it has a different meaning…

Anyway! Every Christmas, we send all of Mr. Yazoo’s New York family’s presents to his grandma to hand out, and she gives them to people whenever they stop by — they don’t really do a big get-together, so I don’t feel the pressure of trying to make all the presents even. Last Christmas, I sent his grandma and cousin-by-marriage quilts, but no quilty present to his aunty. Normally it would have been okay, except that year, his grandma, aunty, and cousin actually did get together at Christmas, and they opened the presents we sent together! ARGH!!!

We’re going up to visit this fall, and in order to be able to face his aunty without shame(!!!), I planned to make a quilt to send to her before we arrive. Now it’s done, whew. (Sorry about the pictures — I took them as the sun was setting, so the colors are a little weird.)
paparazzi quilt

This is the 72″x72″ size of the paparazzi quilt. I really like it! I did accidentally make an extra block since I’m a terrible skimmer-of-instructions and the pattern set me up with 13 fqs for 26 blocks (13 of each type), and my brain didn’t engage at all to remind me that I’d only need 25 blocks for the 5×5 layout. It worked out in the end, though, cause Cosmo claimed the extra block to make a blankie for his monster.
paparazzi quilt occupied

Other than the white fabric, which I bought especially for this, I finally made stash withdrawals. (I feel like I’ve only been making stash deposits for the last six months.) The yellow bees and houses fabric has been in my stash for five years — the entire time I’ve had a stash! I managed to learn from my disaster quilt, and this time I sewed a verrry scant quarter inch for my flying geese AND remembered to trim them (doh), so putting the blocks together was relaxing and not mumble-inducing.
paparazzi quilt close up

I took the quilt sandwich to my first sew-in with the Oahu Modern Quilt Guild (we have a modern quilt guild yayayayayayayyyy!!!) and a lot of people really liked the backing, so I just thought I’d mention — it’s Dear Stella’s asterisk in multi flannel.
paparazzi quilt backing

I managed to do most of the quilting at the sew-in, and I just did easy little loopies since I wanted to get it done quickly. The other people at the sew-in were so nice and were praising my quilting; meanwhile, I was thinking, I know you guys can do much fancier quilting — this is kiddie scribble in comparison! I was happy enough that my thread hardly ever broke, and I mostly avoided having half-inch long stitches. :>
paparazzi quilt quilting

It’s such a relief having this quilt done — Mr. Yazoo’s aunty is awesome to us, and I didn’t want her to be offended. Plus, I’m happy because now my latest quilt finish is no longer that awful mess o’messy mess one! hehehe.
paparazzi quilt lotsa feet

Linking to Finish It Up Friday. :)

Aug 142014

I have a guest post on Imagine Gnats today, and I feel a little bad about it… when it was time to actually write the post, all that was going through my head was, “my baby’s cuuuute! and the roly-poly is cute, too!” >_<

I was actually really excited to do this one, though, and I prepared by making two practice roly-polys way ahead of time. I didn’t put these on Rachael’s blog because I felt like the post was supposed to be about her pretty fabric, so here’s the B-side of that post, heh. (Glowbug thinks I’m being a doof.)
bunny roly poly, sitting

These were made out of stash scraps — both of the linen exteriors were left over from when I made wrap pods (oops, there’s only a picture of one here) and the linings were whatever else I had that was already washed. I decorated them with bits I cut off of clothes Glowbug had outgrown. I love these bunnies!
bunny roly poly

The little rhino on this was from some onesies that my (super awesome) sister made her own little appliques for. I’m going to keep cutting off and saving that rhino as she outgrows her clothes!
rhino roly poly

Wah! I took these pictures months ago when Cosmo still had his curls, but we got him a haircut for kindergarten and now he looks like a little boy. I’m going to let him grow out his hair again… his curls will come back, right? T_T
bunny roly poly smile 2