I haven’t been sewing too many outfits lately… besides working on my photo greeting cards, I’ve also been working on a UFO that has sat around for way too long. I’ll reveal it soon – but for now I am keeping it under wraps for reasons I’ll reveal later.
Anywhoo – I wanted to share an outfit I made back in March/April with fabric I picked up from the Sewing Expo. This is the Emmie top, with bonus sleeve modification, from Seamwork Patterns. I love this top so much! I ‘believe’ the fabric is a voile from Art Gallery Fabrics and was purchased at the Pacific Fabric booth (if I remember correctly). It’s my color and has these tiny little olives on it – it practically called my name as I passed by!
I love the little details – such as the hook and eye; and since I didn’t have access to cording I made my own by braiding strips of fabric.
This top reminds me of a prairie style top of the 70s with the bell sleeves and open neck – I’m really happy with the way it turned out!
The pants are from an old McCall pattern that I modified to add pockets. The fabric is a linen fabric also bought at the Pacific Fabrics booth – primarily because it matched the top fabric. Since this is the 3rd or 4th time I’ve used this pattern the pants went together fairly fast. The modifications include the pockets and elastic waist, front and seat adjustments.
Years ago I lived in Seattle for about a year or so… In fact, Seattle was where I joined the Air Force from. At the time I was working for TGI Fridays and just ‘surviving’ as the saying goes. I wanted to go to school, but couldn’t afford school and rent, so I decided to join the Air Force. I remember telling the recruiter that I wanted to leave as soon as possible because I didn’t want to think about it and worry that I had done the wrong thing. Committing myself for four years was such a huge commitment back then.
The weekend before I left I decided to take a drive around the Washington Peninsula. I left early enough, but got side-tracked with all the sights to see along the way and before I knew it I wasn’t even half way around when I realized it was 8p.m. I didn’t plan on making it a overnight trip – and there was no way I could afford to extend my drive to two days – back then I didn’t have the money, and I think I had to work the next day anyways. So, I high-tailed it back to Seattle as fast as I could, catching the very last ferry from Kingston into Edmonds.
During one of my stops I got out and walked the rocky beaches just as the sun was setting and thought about what it was I was about to embark on. I’m not going to lie, I was scared, but I knew that joining the Air Force was my ticket out of having to struggle all my life. On that rocky beach I prayed to God I was making the right decision… I even asked him/her to give me a sign that I was doing the right thing, and when I looked down the beach I saw a couple of twinkly things. I had no idea what it was – but I knew it was my sign and so I walked down the beach to see what was twinkling, and when I got there I realized it was a rock…. just like all the other rocks on the beach. It wasn’t even twinkling by the time I go to it – so I knew that God had given me a sign that I was doing the right thing and that I was going to be okay. I kept that rock for YEARS – and I always remembered that drive as being one of my favorite.
Flash forward to today – and I decided I really needed to get out of the house! So, I made some camping reservations, packed my tent, some snacks and my dogs and off we went to drive around the Washington Peninsula! This time I gave myself plenty of time, 3 days – but decided that two was plenty given that most everything was closed. The first day I made it to Ocean City State Park and pitched my tent. I took the dogs to the beach and we pretty much had it all to ourselves. I lit a campfire, read a book, worked on a crocheted blanket, and relaxed!
The next morning we got up, took down the tent, visited the beach again and then were on our way. I drove up the coastline for the most part, until the roads closed and I was diverted back to the 101. I really wanted to see Cape Flattery, but it sits on the Neah Bay Indian Reservation which was closed to outsiders. So, I turned around and headed home, catching the ferry while it was still day light.
The trip was exactly what I needed. It felt good to get out of the house for longer than an hour at a time. You can check out some of the photos I took here. I’m in the process of making greeting cards with them. But more to come on that later.
It’s Memorial Day weekend – and I had no plans for camping or gathering with friends… so I sewed (for the most part). Saturday I participated in a Social Distance Run … except I walked because I haven’t exactly trained for anything these past few (8) weeks. I walked early while it was still cool and not a lot of people were out. I actually enjoyed the walk (urban hike) – plus I got a pretty cool medal for playing along.
I also spent time in my yard pulling weeds, studying and of course sewing! I’ve paused my summer sewing while I work on my lingerie/loungewear sewing. Now that I’m also going to school my time is very limited and I like working on smaller/shorter projects so that I still feel like I’m accomplishing something. I’ll share what I’ve made in the coming weeks, in the meantime I still have pieces I want to share from my summer wardrobe including these Warrior pants from GreenStyle Creations!
Can I just say I love these pants! I REALLY want the weather to warm up so I can add them to my summer rotation! (I’m still wearing jackets). I’ve had the fabric for a while so I can’t say where I got it with 100% certainty. It’s not quite the right fabric for these pants – it’s a little on the thin side, and not quite stretchy enough, but it works for my first try at these.
These pants are definitely not a beginner project mainly because of the the way the pockets are put in. I can’t even describe how it’s done…. just that I’m thankful there was a video tutorial I could watch to help me figure it out. I had to add about 2″ to the length (which I do on almost all my pant patterns), and it took some concentration to get the stripes to line up – both with the front/back… but also matching the legs themselves. it’s not perfect, but I’m happy with the outcome. I’ll definitely be making these again as soon as I have more time on my hands!
That’s right… the Stay Home/Stay Safe order has been ‘relaxed’ a bit here in Washington. There are still some things you can’t do… such as gather in groups or get a hair cut. But we have started on the path to reopening and I guess that’s a good thing. Personally, my life has not changed too much: I’m still working from home, getting my groceries delivered, and staying mostly isolated. For Mother’s Day I did treat myself to trip to one of the local plant nurseries (with a mask and practicing social distancing). I went for a hanging basket …. and found an Olive tree!
I was thrilled when I found it since Olive trees have special meaning to me as my Grandfather was from Kalamata, Greece… where they grow … you guessed it… (the best) Kalamata olives (in the world). Olive trees are also known as the “Tree of Life” probably because they can live hundreds of years (approx 500) – with the oldest one believed to be over 2,000 years old. (located on the Greek island of Crete) And now I have my own, which makes my heart smile every time I look at her. (of course I named her “Olive”)
As for sewing – I’ve been doing plenty of that. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I’ve been sewing some undergarments (bras), which have turned out so pretty!
However, this week I want to show off this double layered skirt from Seamwork. This is the Everly skirt made with a crepe fabric that I picked up from JoAnns. Actually, I picked the fabric up to make a the first Almada robe for my trip to Greece last year. I had more than enough fabric left over so I made this skirt to match!
Putting this together was difficult for me… mainly because I don’t always read directions. When I realized I screwed up it was promptly tossed in the “I’ll finish it later” pile. Nine months later I pulled it out and mustered the patience needed to finish it. Actually, it turned out better than I anticipated and I’ll be adding it to my skirt rotation this summer!
Hello and welcome to week 8 of the quarantine! Last week the Governor of Washington extended the Stay Home/Stay Safe order till the end of May. I have mixed emotions about it. I want people to be safe and for us to get to the other side of this pandemic with minimal casualties, but I’m also aware of the real consequences of people being out of work and unable to provide for their families. My hope is that once we are on the other side that things will change and the playing field will level out a little more (healthcare for all, living wages etc., etc.)
The highlight of my week was when I picked up my CSA box – the farmers had brought in extra boxes of apples, pears, asparagus and flowers – all for the taking! I grabbed a few extra apples and pears, and my CSA had a bunch of rhubarb, so I spent three days making Apple Butter, Rhubarb/Blueberry/Lemon jam, and Ginger/Pear jam.
Making jam is probably one of my favorite things to do – and having good jam on my toast can set the tone for the whole day!! This was the first time I tried my hand at these recipes, and I’m happy to report that they all turned out great! Especially the Ginger Pear Jam – I couldn’t get it too ‘jell’ up, but it got close enough. I’ve been eating toast with goat cheese and ginger pear jam for breakfast all week!
Onto sewing news: I made this Kimono style robe for my Florida trip. I set out to sew a curated wardrobe for that trip and this piece was part of it. I had the fabric in my stash for at least a year and decided to use it instead of buying more in my aqua/orange/gray theme for my curated pieces.
The pattern is the “Almada” robe from Seamworks Patterns. I made a similar one when I went to Greece last year and it was perfect for a swimsuit cover, or over a t-shirt when going to dinner – it was a very versatile piece for traveling. My sister really liked it and I ended up giving it to her when our trip was over. You can read more about the pants here.
Still here – and I even managed to sew this week! Before I get to that I want to do a little mom bragging. My son has been unemployed since before the quarantine (however he does start a new job on Monday – so yay). He has been trying to stay as productive as possible, signing up for free classes to learn new skills. One of the skills he learned was how to use Illustrator – and he picked up on it pretty quick! He’s been creating lots of art which you can check out on his Instagram page @DionPrints. To earn a little spending cash he’s been creating Renaissance pet portraits which I think are hilarious!
If you are interested in a Renaissance pet portrait he charges $25 for a high quality image which you can blow up to poster size, attach to canvas, create cards from or whatever your heart desires. You can contact him at: DionRoloff@protonmail.com – tell him his mom sent you!
All right – now for what I’ve been doing this week: These leggings are the Ursula Leggings and the bra is the Calista Curvy Bra – both from Stitch Upon a Time. The fabric is from the Styled Magnolia. Can I just say I FREAKING love this outfit!
The leggings actually stay up – even though I think I could have made them a size smaller. I had a moment of panic when I realized I cut out the pattern without making my standard “Full Butt Adjustment” and half expected them to ride down in the back when I sit. But I am pleasantly surprised. I even added a bit of elastic in the waistband as added assurance that they’ll stay up … which was not necessary. Yay!!
I’ve made the Calista Curvy Bra before – but this time I lengthened the straps a bit to make it more comfortable – and to make sure the girls don’t slip out the bottom. Like my white pants from my last post – I think I’ve lost a big of weight since the last time I made this bra because it’s just a tad to big… I could have easily gone down 1/2 a size. It will work for yoga – but there will be no running in this bra! Still – I’m so freaking happy with it and the leggings.
Well, I made it through another week! The best part of my week is that I joined a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program… sort of. One of the Brew houses near me has organized a CSA to help support all the farmers who would normally be setting up stalls at the local Farmers markets.
I used the raspberries in the box to make a batch of jam this morning. I added it to the frozen blueberries I had, with the juice of one lemon! I can’t wait to dig in tomorrow morning! I love toast and jam like nobody’s business!
Before the lockdown I had plans to be in Tarpon Springs, FL this week. In preparation for that trip I was busy the first few month of the year sewing my vacation outfits. I actually tried to do it in a mindful way, starting with going through my closet and deciding what I needed! I browsed Pinterest for ideas on outfits I liked, went through my patterns that matched those items, came up with a color scheme so that I could mix/match easily, and then I fabric shopped! I used Trello to set up my projects, patterns, and fabrics, so that while I was shopping I knew exactly how much fabric to get – and not over/under guessing.
I don’t know if I was surprised or not… but I realized when I went through closet that I had like 3 t-shirts (other than workout t-shirts) and all of them I use as pajama tops. So first thing on my list: T-Shirts.
This was my first one! I freaking love the fabric – I picked it up at the Sewing Expo I went to in February. Even though it wasn’t exactly in my color scheme, it’s not completely out of it. (By the way – the pattern for all the t-shirts is KwikSew 2900 which is out of print).
This shirt I tried to make ‘flutter’ sleeves … What I got was not exactly what I was imagining, but it will do. I found the fabric at the “Vogue Fabrics” booth at the sewing expo. It was like $5 a yard so I bought like 5 yards. You’ll be seeing more of this fabric in the coming weeks.
Oh, I should mention that I made these pants using fabric that I picked up at JoAnn’s about 6 months ago. The pattern is Simplicity 1283 and these are the second pair I’ve made using the pattern. I learned a couple of things this time around: 1. I lost weight since the last time I used the pattern because these things are pretty big, and 2. I definitely need to figure out the wrinkling issue I have at the back of my legs.
The third T-shirt I made was a solid gray shirt made out of the softest bamboo blend from Sew, Sew English! Holy smokes I love this fabric. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of it with nothing over it… so you also get to see my 2nd favorite item: a duster I made using SeamWorks Oslo Sweater pattern.
This is about the 3rd sweater I’ve made using this pattern, this time I lengthened it quite a bit… like by 12″. I wanted something that I could wear on cooler nights on the beach… or over a swimsuit. I found the fabric at Pacific Fabrics about 2 years ago… it was one of those ‘I love this fabric, but I don’t know what to make with it, so I’ll get 3 yards of it”. I barely had enough for this duster, I ended up piecing the collar piece from four sections instead of two. I still love it!
Here it is Monday night (way past my bedtime) and I am hoping to get this post up instead letting it slide one more day. I think we all know what happens when I do that… it will be months before you see or hear from me again.
I actually did some sewing last week… but of course I didn’t take any pictures. Here’s my excuse: I look like crap and I’m too lazy to put on make-up and do my hair so that I can take pictures. I know, I know… we are all beautiful… but seriously, I look tired without make-up and my hair has a mind of it’s own… (think Medusa).
So my hair has been in a constant pony-tail, (back of the head or top of the head – depending on if it’s a.m. or p.m.) I’ll eventually get around to taking pictures… after all this is a sewing blog.
I also started my Master’s program this week! I’ve been reading about 12 court cases a week, briefing them, answering questions, watching videos and having dialog with other students … I love it! But it’s a lot and hopefully this week I’ll get better at managing my time so I can get it all done.
This weekend I took the pups on a nice long walk around the neighborhood, and had to admire how blue the sky has been. There’s very few cars on the road so there’s no smog in the air (or not like it was), and that makes everything more vivid and clear!
Here is a picture of the snow capped Olympic Mountains I took while standing at the end of my block. (with my iPhone) I normally don’t get a view of these mountains… when I do, it is definitely not this clear! I haven’t been out of my neighborhood so I can’t see ‘THE” Mountain (Mt. Rainier), but I’ll bet it’s beautiful!
I’ve also been noticing all the Spring flowers popping up! I can stare at a perfect flower for hours! It’s like Nature is putting on a show – and letting us know how perfect she can be.
So despite how bad things have gotten, or how uncertain our future will be, I’m grateful that Mother Nature can (and has been) healing herself and able to put on a beautiful show at the same time.
What a week! It started off with me registering for Grad school. I am attending Washington University in St. Louis, Masters in Law program. All classes are online which meant that I needed to get logged into their system and store all my IDs and passwords – which I did. The next day, my computer crashed! It won’t even turn on!
I can’t say I am surprised. The computer is about 12 – 15 years old, and I have been waiting for it to crash… but a week before school starts?? Needless to say timing is not ideal and with the “Stay home, stay safe” order in effect it’s not like I can go out and pick up another computer! So I took a deep breath and ordered one from Apple.com and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it arrives before classes start on Monday.
On the sewing front I finished a total of 100 masks; 50 were donated to the Seattle Indian Health Board, and 50 were given to my brother and his co-workers. When my brother came over to pick them up it was sad not to be able to give him a hug. But I had to laugh that we exchanged homemade chocolate chip cookies – unplanned! Yep, we’re related!
Once I was done with the masks I finished this beauty! Which was mostly long arm quilting and binding it.
I saw this at the Quilting and Sewing Expo at the end of February… before shit hit the fan on this pandemic! I saw it hanging there and stood for about 5 minutes just admiring it! It was so pretty and unlike any quilt I’ve seen before…… so of course I bought the kit!
It was designed by Sarah Watts for Ruby Star Society, and the kit includes a queen sized panel, two pillow shams, 18” throw pillow, an small panel to make a baby quilt (or wall hanging), and a extra panel which I made into a small pillow! The fabric is a beautiful sateen that is super soft and makes all the colors bright and beautiful
I bought enough backing fabric to complete all the projects, including the binding, but after I finished quilting it I decided that the pink binding looked better, and added an extra pop of color.
If I were 13 I would put this on my bed and never take it off….. but as it is, now that I have admired it, pet it, and added my ‘artistic’ touch to it, I will list it on my Etsy site. My hope is that someone who admires unicorns, owls, flowers, full moons and pretty birds will find it and claim it as their own.
It’s now been three weeks of quarantine, and honestly, I’m scared and sad – mostly sad. I’m sad that this pandemic has affected SO many lives. If I think about it too long it becomes too overwhelming and too sad for me to process. I feel a constant lump in my throat and the littlest things, like seeing all the army trucks lined up outside of the hospitals in Italy, will start the tears flowing. There are parts of me that thinks that this is just a bad dream and that I’ll wake up and things will be normal again. But I know it’s real, and so this week I decided that the best way to combat this sadness was to take action:
Step 1: I mentioned last week that sewing was my therapy, and that I was working on this Blooming 9-patch quilt – I’m happy to report that this week I finished it!
I freaking love this quilt! I have wanted to make this quilt (for the 3rd time) for a long time. The pattern is from “Tradition with a Twist” – by Blanche Young – it’s seriously one of my favorite quilting books.
I used fabrics from my stash (#stashbuster) and realized that the pattern is similar to this virus in that it starts in the center and each color ‘spreads’ into the next with a 9-patch. Look close you’ll see what I mean.
Step 2: I joined my sewing sisters and brothers to make masks for those on the front-line of this pandemic. Actually, my first 50 are going to my brother and his co-workers who work in an assisted living facility. The next 50 will go to Crafters Against Covid-19 – Seattle who donates them to local hospitals. (check to see if there is a local chapter in your area) So far 4500 masks have been donated to area hospitals and clinics and that makes my heart feel better.
Step 3: I hosted a virtual Happy Hour (thank you Zoom) and told the story of my worst date ever! It’s a pretty funny story, and it felt good to laugh with my friends, to see their faces, and to just check in to see how everyone is doing.
Step 4: Finally, I delivered cookies and an offer to help to some of my neighbors.