Projects · sewing

Another Summer Outfit

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.

Stay Safe my Friends!

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!

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 · Exercise · sewing

Quarantine and Me: Week 5

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).

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!

Olympic Mountains as viewed from Renton, WA

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.

Stay safe my friends!

quilting · sewing

Quarantine and me: Week 4

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.

Quilt, pillow shams, throw pillow front, and smaller panel (pillow).

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!

Image of full quilt! Love at first sight

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

Wall hanging or baby quilt

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.

Back of wall hanging

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.

Stay safe my friends,

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!

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.

Adventures · sewing

Please Excuse Me While I Geek Out!

The Sewing Expo was in town this weekend and for the first time ever I decided to go!  I’ve been sewing most of my life so you would think that I would have gone to a sewing Expo at least once in 30+ years… but nope!  …. but I’ll be going again as often as I can for now on!

Vogue Fabrics – so many choices!

I took Friday off from work and drove down to Puyallup to attend my first class – which was a lesson on how to Brioche knit.  I’m glad I took a class because I would have never been able to figure it out on my own.

After class I visited the vendors and gave myself permission to stock up on fabric – AND DID I EVER!!!!  I’m working on some summer outfits and bought enough fabric to make all my outfits – and then some!

Polyester/Lycra for a pair of leggings

Cotton/Spandex border fabric for a t-shirt dress.

 

This is a poly blend, I think I will make a dress with it, at $5.99 a yard it was hard to pass up.

The next day I had an afternoon class (wax canvas tote bag), so I planned to get there in plenty of time to do more shopping.  I bought the new Oliso iron –  both the full-size and the mini since they were on sale (Expo special)  My old iron was on it’s last leg so I feel like it was past time to get a new one!



I looked at sewing machines – this Tula Pink Special Edition Bernina is high on my wish list.

I would love to host another retreat, so I picked up retreat brochures to review for when that time comes.

Finally, I fell in love with this quilt and could not leave the Expo without purchasing the kit!  It was the only quilting related item I bought and I can’t wait to get started on it!

I throughly enjoyed myself this weekend!  I was completely in my element, being around and talking with people who love knitting, sewing and quilting as much as I do. It seemed everyone was happy to be there, and I met some very nice ladies in both of my classes … I’m SO glad I decided to go and am looking forward to going again next year.

 

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.

sewing

Looking at 2020 Goals

Last week I told you about one of my goals for 2020: obtaining my Greek citizenship.  Another one of my goals is to get out of debt!  I will admit that I am one of the 169 millions of American’s who holds debt – and I hate it!  I was a pretty good money manager, up until about the time I opened my business.  I said it before and I’ll say it again:  I loved owning my own business, but man did it take a toll on me… physically, mentally and especially financially.

IMG_0187

I have no regrets – and I take full ownership of my debt.  I’ve been pretty steady with clawing my way out, but I am at a point where I want to claw my way out faster!  I think it was Suze Orman who said “Debt is Bondage” and man is that TRUE!!!  It’s been hanging onto me for too long now and it’s time to break free!

Dave Ramsey suggests that to help pay off debt one should get a side-gig.  So I make quilts… and sometimes I sell quilts.  I watch dogs via Rover.com – and that is fun, but during the winter months there just isn’t a lot of people traveling.  (no cash flow).

I am currently working on a t-shirt quilt for my brother and he is SO happy with it that he suggested I make custom quilts for people as a side-gig.  I typically don’t like to do custom work for people – after all I have enough projects of my own… but then I think “Debt is bondage – get your priorities straight!”

So I’ve added “Custom made T-shirts” to my Etsy store.  I’ve made each of my kids their own t-shirt quilt.. but I added lots of other stuff to ‘fill in the gaps”, so they are more of a memory quilt than a t-shirt quilt.

Drew's quiltDion's quilt

I also made my brother his quilt – he just wanted all his shirts sewn together – no sashing or extra stuff.  (my brother has ‘unique’ tastes in t-shirts).

Sam's quiltAnd, I can also do a t-shirt quilt that has sashing… I just don’t have a good photo of that style (but you can bet I’ll be working on one).

My debt is pretty large, but my determination to get out of it is even larger.  I’m curious to know what your side-gig is if you are also digging yourself out of debt.  In the meantime, feel free to contact me if you want a t-shirt quilt done… or know anyone who may.

Happy Sewing