A few weeks ago I told you about my quest to use up all my scraps in an effort to organize and use up my out of control fabric stash. I’m happy to report I have been plugging along on that effort and tonight finished up the last of 23 zipped pouches using just what I had in my stash. (I should be proud, but part of me is embarrassed).
To make each bag I sewed smaller scraps of fabric together and created a larger piece of monochromatic fabric – which I liked the look of a lot. I can quickly tell which colors of fabrics are my favorite by the number of bags I was able to make using that color. (hello blue).
Remember my Lard Butt jacket?? The scraps I used for that jacket made 3 pouches, a quilt (which I’ll blog about later) and I STILL have scraps left over! SO MANY SCRAPS!! However, I think the bags made of just solids fabrics are some of my favorite.
I also had some larger chunks of fabric that I didn’t have the heart to cut into so I made smaller bags. This pink bulldog/terrier one is probably one of my favorite. And as much as I love this cowboy fabric it felt good to finally make something with it after holding onto it for 8 years!
All of these pouches are listed on my Etsy page…. and after I sew a few other things on my long list of things to sew, I’ll be back to scrap busting and making more zippered pouches (or ?)!
This past summer I participated in @Pinkmimosabyjacinta #whole30fabricchallenge – the premise being to use up 30 yards of fabric in your stash, and not to buy any more fabric until you do. I had so much garment fabric that I had been hauling around that it felt great to finally cut into it and make all those items I have been putting off for one reason or another. By the time I was done I had sewn up so much fabric that I could finally ‘see’ what I had left and confident in my decision on whether to keep it (because I knew I would use it), or let it go (admit that I would never use it).
I was happy to see that there is second #whole30fabricchallenge because this time my goal is to use up 30 yards of this:
This is about 80% of my quilting fabric. I made fabric bins to sort the fabric by color, but even doing that the bins are overflowing and I’ve had to put some fabric in bags and bins underneath the hutch. My sewing room is not as large as the one in my old house so I’ve struggled to ‘store’ it all AND I had to make space for my home office at the start of the pandemic which added to the storage issues.
At any rate, my goal this go around is to make a bunch of zippered pouches (at least 30) to use up all the bits and pieces of fabric I’ve accumulated. I’m realizing I have a real issue with throwing away ANY usable pieces… the smallest I’ve found in my bins so far is about 1″ x 1″… of course that was Tula Pink fabric so I can see why I saved it.
I started with a few smaller pouches as ‘warm up’, and then I dug out some leather hides I’ve been storing for a few years and paired it with some Halloween fabric from Alexander Henry. I am really liking the combination! What do you think??
I’m thinking there are so many design possibilities with all the fabrics, and bases I’ve accumulated throughout the years that I’m looking forward to seeing what I come up with. I have about 6 bags cut out on my cutting table, and am waiting on some labels that I will sew into the bags – because I’m trying to be legit here.
I’ll be listing these zippered pouches on my Etsy page as I complete them so if you are interested in any let me know.
So I did this thing, I wasn’t planning on doing it, but once I started I found myself on a roll and unable to stop.
What did I do? Welllll, it started with ripping the carpet out of my bedroom. It was this icky lavender color that I had to clean every 6 months because the dogs were constantly tracking in stuff on their paws. It was gross and it had to go, so I tore it up! And I felt much better.
My intention after I got all the carpet out was to maybe throw some rugs down until I figure out what kind of permanent flooring I wanted…. and then I though, maybe I should paint the floor because it was bare wood and already I was getting little slivers in my hands and feet from crawling around on it while tearing up the carpet. But then I thought – if I’m going to paint it I should do something fun … like that time I painted a mandala on my deck.
But then I thought – why don’t I try painting a mural – I’ve always wanted to do a big mural on my walls, but have been too chicken to do it. On the floor though I thought ‘what’s the worse thing that could happen?? I don’t like it and I cover it up with rugs (my original idea) until I decide on longterm flooring?” and just like that I decided to paint a mural on my floor!
I started by finding an inspiration image on Pinterest, then picked out my colors, and painting supplies from Home Depot. When I got home I prepped the floor with two coats of primer. Once that dried I marked where the flowers should be and began with painting the background (aqua) first.
I then added white for the flowers, and one at a time, I added the different layers (detail) of the flowers. I usually had to wait a few hours for the paint to dry between adding layers, so all told it took me about 3 days to paint the floor and another 2 days to apply the 3 coats of polyurethane.
But I couldn’t stop there…. now that I had this beautiful floor I wanted the rest of my room to be just as beautiful. So I took EVERYTHING out, got more paint and started painting the walls, baseboard, and trim. I used the same color palette that I used in the mural … creating an accent wall with the crazy mustard color used in the center of the flowers. I’m glad I took that plunge… I really love it. My closet wasn’t very efficient, so I tore out the bar and shelf, and installed a new closet system with 3 bars and a shelving system. I was going to paint the closet doors, but decided to install mirrored doors instead to save wall space from a hanging mirror.
The walls turned out a little darker than I had hoped so I decided to make white curtains to ‘brighten’ the room up a little bit. I lined them with blackout fabric because in the summer the afternoon sun beats through the window and heats the room up like nobody’s business.
Finally, I switched out the ceiling light, painted my side tables, and signed my artwork.
I’m really happy with my bedroom makeover! I’m glad I took the risk and painted a mural on the floor – its definitely the prettiest DIY home improvement project I’ve ever done.
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.
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!
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!
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.
As of 5:00 p.m. Tuesday the Governor of Washington declared a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order that requires every Washingtonian to stay home unless they have essential activities. So here we are, week two of staying home and staying safe from the COVID-19. We are truly living in unprecedented times – well, not counting the Spanish Flu of 1918.
I am a home body to begin with so staying home hasn’t really disrupted my daily life too much. However that doesn’t mean I’m not worried… I am. If I think about how bad this virus will get/can get I will head down a rabbit hole of anxiety really quick. Instead of doing that I’m doing my best to educate myself, yoga, running, and a whole LOT of sewing. Sewing has always been a form of therapy for me. – it relaxes me, it’s something I can control, and provides me with a huge sense of accomplishment when I finish something. win/win/win.
This week I’ve been working on a Blooming 9-patch quilt, I’m not quite done, so I won’t talk about it too much. But suffice it to say that I love this pattern so much that this is the 3rd quilt that I’ve made using the pattern.
I’ve also been working on my Spring/Summer wardrobe. It’s coming along nicely. I don’t have too many pictures as I’m waiting on some photography equipment that should step up my game in that department – including a tri-pod! So stay tuned, and above all – stay safe.
I hope everyone is surviving the quarantine … I know I am loving the excuse to stay in and sew! Though, I did walk to the post office to drop off a letter and found these reminders to vote along the way. Love that there are people in the world who do this.
Back to sewing: I’m trying something new – instead of sewing the next shiny thing that catches my attention, I’m trying to plan my wardrobe!
I started out on Pinterest and pinned outfits that I thought would be nice to have for the summer. I pinned a ton of maxi skirts, t-shirts, and loose fitting pants. I then went through my patterns and pulled ones that matched (or were close enough) to the items I pinned.
All this was done prior to the Sewing Expo a couple of weeks ago, so I had a good idea of the types of fabric I was looking for which was really nice going in with a plan! I’ve been using Trello to keep all my outfits (patterns/fabrics) organized as I go along.
First item up:
This pattern is the Clarke from Seamworks, and the fabric is from JoAnns. I lengthened the top a couple of inches and cut it on the bias to get more drape. It’s still a little shorter than I’d like, and looks this side of a maternity top – but I don’t completely hate it. I may make another one before the summer is out.