Oct 012015

A little while ago, I was lucky enough to get to test Taylor Tailor‘s first pattern — the Desmond backpack!
Desmond backpack (in the tangerine tree)

Now, if you look at Taylor’s versions (and probably all of the other testers’), you’ll notice that theirs don’t look as much like demented monkeys as mine does. I’m missing the rectangle rings for the roll-top straps… I found out at the last minute that the ones I had were too big, and I couldn’t find the correct size locally in time for the testing deadline. Derp!
Desmond backpack (in the octopus tree)

I added the dark brown bottom accent because the two bolts of light and dark brown looked so nice next to each other in the store. This was mostly a matter of looking at the pattern piece and marking a line that was as high as possible without having to make the zippered pocket two-toned; my brain broke enough just having to make the slip pocket two colors. 😀
Desmond backpack - bottom accent

I couldn’t find matching dark brown webbing so I made the straps… which made me really irritated at myself when I was almost done and got out my too-large rectangle rings, because if I’d just checked the size first, I could have made the roll-top straps to fit. !!!

Can you see what an awesome shape the shoulder straps are? I’m pretty sure I made an undignified noise when I finished sewing them because they looked so great — totally due to the great pattern pieces and not any skill on my part.
Desmond backpack - back

I had a lot of fun making this backpack, especially because Taylor’s diagrams are so good. Seriously, SO GOOD. Also, the format of the backpack instructions make it super super super easy to notice when he’s talking about pattern pieces, which I love because I’m a huge instruction-skimmer. The pattern is incredibly professional-looking and I adore the version I got to sew up. Congratulations on your first pattern release, Taylor!
Desmond backpack (by the aloe)

Sep 172015

I’m posting over at imagine gnats today about the Vogue Ralph Rucci top (V1437) I made recently with Rachael’s awesome rayon challis!
ralph rucci top vogue v1437

I made a wearable muslin beforehand using cheapie stuff from Fabric Mart, and this is just the straight size 6 with no alterations. The upper back was quite tight, which made it hard for me to reach forward. Fortunately, I had planned to wear this at work, and I don’t move around much there! 😀
blue Ralph Rucci top vogue v1437

Even though I feel a little impatient while I’m making practice garments (since I don’t bother with proper muslins, hah), it sure is nice ending up with two wearable items instead of just one!
blue Ralph Rucci top voge v1437

Sep 102015

In order to practice for an upcoming workshop, I made an Amy Butler weekender bag I don’t need. hah! My old one is still perfectly fine even though I use it almost every day, and I’m not ready yet to give up my funny ducklings and homelike kitties. 😀
lion weekender bag

Anyway, I needed to write down the modifications I made the last time I used Soft & Stable, so I scrounged through my stash and came up with a me-typical mish mash of fabric loosely themed around felines… the wolves are roughly the same shape, yeah?
lion weekender bag, inside

My piping turned out pretty wrinkled because I got confused again about whether to pull the bias tape taut or leave it slack. I tell myself again: pull taut on bags (convex curves) and leave slack on clothes (concave curves)!!!
lion weekender bag

I’m not sure what to do with this bag, now… on one hand, it would be nice to keep because I like how it turned out, plus I love the zipper. (It has two pulls! And it opens so easily! And it’s pretty!) On the other hand, I wouldn’t use it for a while yet, and I hate having bags sitting around and getting crumply. Plus, it makes me feel like I’m being greedy. A family friend jokingly said she’d take it, and I would actually send it to her if I knew how to mail it without costing an arm and a leg or squishing it too badly. People who make custom bags for reals don’t end up paying $40 for shipping, do they?
lion weekender bag

In any case, while I fail to do anything to figure this out, here’s a picture of my lion weekender bag with a six year-old for scale. :)
lion weekender bag, to scale

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 morepleasethankyou.com/byazoo to just morepleasethankyou.com. 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