Exercise · Projects · sewing

A Cool Medal and Warrior Pants

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!

Stay Safe My Friends!

In the Garden · Projects · sewing

Stay Home or Not

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!

Stay Safe!

Projects · sewing

Quarantine and Me: Week 6

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!

Adventures · Projects · sewing

Quarantine and Me: Week 3

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.

Pinned and ready to be sewn.
Sewn, and just needing side tucks.
finished and ready to be sent out.

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.

When I was done with that I felt a little better.

Stay safe my friends!

Exercise · Projects · sewing

Quarantine and Me: Week 2

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.

Virtual ParkRun
#virtualParkRun #RentonParkRun

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.

Projects · sewing

Quarantine and Me: Week 1

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.

In the meantime, stay safe my friends!

Projects · sewing

High-Lo Sheath Dress

It’s been a weird weekend here in the Seattle area- otherwise known as the U.S.’s Ground Zero for the Corvid-19.  People raided the Costco, Target and Fred Meyer’s last week, stocking up on toilet paper, bread, and water..??  Now everyone is holed up in their homes and events with 10+ people are canceled. The streets here are pretty empty – which means I bought gas, washed my car, and met a friend without waiting in line or getting stuck in traffic!

I also spent a LOT of time sewing, starting with this sheath dress from Butterick.

I used this knit fabric that I purchased last weekend, I believe it’s a poly-blend and a little on the heavy side.  I thought that if the dress was too heavy I could shorten the length to take off some of the weight.

Turns out – it’s not too heavy.  I made the view with the tie …

But the tie felt like it was too large/thick, and I knew it would bug me, so I took it off.

I can’t decide if I like it better or not… I’m not much of a tie person to begin with, AND, I can reach the pockets better without the tie….

I might see how I like it for now.   I’ll most likely wear this with a jean jacket or cardigan which will break-up the lines and give it some shape.

When the weather gets really warm I can always buy a belt or make another tie using lighter fabric. That’s the joy of sewing, I can always change my mind.

Projects · sewing

A Scrap Quilt with Memories

Last year I was determined to finish up some UFO (UnFinished Objects) in my sewing room – including this scrap quilt made with scraps from quilts I’ve made in the past!

IMG_3002Quality quilting fabric is expensive so when I have any scraps left over from make a quilt I tuck them away.  I save extra blocks, fabric strips and scraps that are at least 2.5″ x 2.5″.

When I was ready to sew this quilt, I had enough scraps to make 64, 10″ x 10″ blocks.  After sewing all the blocks together I had a full sized quilt that holds a LOT of memories.

There are blocks from the (Storm at Sea) quilt I made my dad, one block from the tea cup quilt I started and quickly decided I didn’t have the patience for, blocks from my Tula Pink Butterfly quilt, and plenty of Sewtropolis shop samples!

I don’t know what I’ll do with this quilt yet.  I believe quilts are made to be used, but I love all the memories this one holds, so for now it’s sitting safely on a shelf in my sewing room.  

 

Projects · sewing

T-shirt Quilt: Part 2

I made another t-shirt quilt this week for a friend of mine’s daughter!

I love how this one turned out!  Once I had the t-shirts we scheduled a call to go over what her daughter wanted.  She pretty much left the design up to me, but knew that she wanted the borders to be a gray… and that she wanted the backing and binding to match.

Some of the shirts were smaller (child size) so I had to ‘build up’ some blocks to make them large enough.

When laying it out I thought it would be cute to have Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse looking out across the quilt to each other.

I quilting it using a longarm, and super fine thread that blends in so nicely with all the blocks.

Like I said, I’m really happy with the way this turned out.  this quilt is about 55″ x 55″ and I used about 15 t-shirts (a few front and back) to make it.  I have my listing up on Etsy if you’d like to your own t-shirt quilt.

Projects · sewing

Sample Seahawk T-Shirt Quilt

I posted earlier that I am taking custom orders for t-shirt quilts.  I’ve done a few in the past, but unfortunately didn’t have pictures of them to post on my Etsy site to ‘advertise’ my work.  Unfortunately, I don’t own a lot of graphic t-shirts … so I took a trip to Goodwill and picked up a few Seahawk t-shirts to make this Seahawk themed lap quilt.

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I think it turned out okay considering some of the t-shirts were “V” neck and I didn’t think of how hard it would be to ‘center’ in a block.  I also included some kid-sized t-shirts that needed some ‘building up’ to make the block larger.  The quilt measures 45″w x 50.5″ L … so not quite square, but plenty big for a lap quilt.

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I had the green fabric used in the sashing and the binding in my stash, and the Seattle/Seahawk themed blue fabric was purchased from JoAnns.

I’ve taken pictures and listed it on my Etsy store as an example of my work AND listed it for sale here.  As much as I like it, I have a house full of quilts and like I said – I’m determined to get out of debt.

Happy Sewing