Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I Have Nothing to Wear...It With

I did a serious and long overdue closet clean out and found that I have some holes in my wardrobe (not a single white shirt), items I love (including accessories) that don't go with anything and lots of pretty colorful tops.  So guess what I made?  A new pretty colorful top!  Admittedly I do need some basics but this turns out to be the perfect top for right now because I used fabric from my stash, it was really easy AND it goes with one of those accessories "that don't go with anything".

I bought this woven stripe cotton fabric in Northern California (I want to say it's a Kaffe Fassett but I could be mistaken)  It's soft, lightweight and in tones of rust with touches of gray.  I have very little in the way of earth tones in my closet so it feels like something really new and different.

I used my Blue Dot Margo Blouse pattern view B but left off the placket and added reverse bobbin work along the yoke.  I've used this technique before (it's dead simple, I have a little tutorial here) and it takes this little earthy tunic from basic to a little artsy.

I paired it with this long lost necklace in my closet that I never wear.  It has beautiful glass beads and a silver pocket style watch as the pendant.  Finally I have something to with!

Did any of you do closet clean outs for the new year?


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

My Super Nerdy Sewing Apron...Don't Judge

So....I know what you're thinking, "Man this chick is a real sewing nerd if she's making a sewing apron."  Now before you start judging I feel I must explain.  As some of you know, I teach sewing to both kids and adults (the best job in the world BTW!) and during class I'm constantly looking for tools.  I'm either rifling through the classroom sewing drawer or borrowing something from a student.   I thought an apron would be a great way to not only save time.

I loosely based the apron on this tutorial from CraftiStacy and made it out of a two sided denim scrap I had left over from an upholstery project.  I've already used it and it's been great!

I've been industrious in my sewing room at home.  I cleaned out my stash cabinet and snapped a photo because I'm sure it won't look this way very long.  The before was pretty bad, don't you think?


There's more clean up to come in my sewing room.  I guess the new year has energized me.  I'm going to tackle the pattern hoarding collection next.  Wish me luck!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Christmas Sewing Catch Up

I'm catching up on sharing my Christmas sewing and it's going to be easy since I only made one gift this year.  Can you believe it?  What kind of selfish sewer am I?  That said, I enjoyed making this flannel shirt for my husband because I was able to take my time...something that's hard to do with Christmas sewing.

I made McCall's 6044 for him once before (in a dreamy plaid) and he loved it so much I decided to make him another.  The thick gray flannel I used sewed up well and I made the shirt just like the pattern with the exception of the sleeve.  The pattern has a two-piece sleeve but I made it a one piece sleeve and added a placket.  It washed up nicely (it'd been washed three times by the time I took these photos) and feels like it's going to get better with time.

Men's shirts are fun because of all of the topstitching and I had the opportunity to put the collar, band and sleeve cuffs on using the heavily modified "burrito-ish" method I used on my Granville shirts. This is the handiest method ever and  I saved it on my "Sewing Tips" pinterest board so I would always have it.  Have you tried this yet?  I'll never go back to the old way.  Here's how I did the cuffs using this method:

I sewed the cuff and the cuff facing to the sleeve with the sleeve sandwiched between.

I folded the cuff back against the facing, right sides together, and pinned as far as I could keeping the sleeve free.

Here's what it looks like with the entire cuff pinned.  I sewed along the pins, flipped it right sides out and topstitched it closed.  It was easy and it looks clean.

There aren't very many photos for this post because someone is camera shy and very squirmy....cute, but squirmy!

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year!

It was a beautiful day here yesterday which lent itself to the first run of the year followed by the laziest day I've had in a while...maybe even since last new year's day.  Although my body was lazy my mind was busy with ideas for the new year, not New Year's resolutions necessarily but things I want to do because they make my life better.

I spent some time hand sewing binding to a quilt and as is usually the case, my busy hands freed up my mind to dream. I'd like to fill this coming year improving my skills (so I can be a better sewing teacher and sewer).  Creativebug and Craftsy offer so many options from experts I normally wouldn't be able to take classes from.  I not only love learning new techniques but I also enjoy watching how other teachers teach and motivate people.

I started a new job in December and I'm excited to see what the new year brings in my teaching.  I'm in a new atmosphere with people like me (fabric peeps!) and fine fabrics to die for!  I want to focus on making fewer garments from more quality fabrics (guys, I'm kicking off the new sewing year with a gray and pale blue wool skirt with fabric so soft you can sleep in it.  Yum.)

Most exciting are the plans I have for my BlueDot pattern line.  I have a new pattern in the works that will be coming out in the spring and Sew Alongs for my current patterns.  I'm excited to announce that Upcraft Club is now carrying my patterns!  It's a great site that sells only PDF patterns from indie designers.  It's the one stop shop for when you have one of those projects you need a pattern for and only a PDF will do because you need it....right now!  Don't you love the immediacy of the PDF?

There are so many things a flutter this's going to be great!

What about you?  What do you want to make, do or get really good at this year?

Thanks for reading!  Happy New Year!