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Weekend Binge Sewing

18 Mar

Our weekends have been packed as of late, so it was nice to finally have one with a bit more downtime.  I took full advantage of having some extra time this weekend by tackling a few sewing projects and finishing up some knitting.

Using organic canvas by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cloud 9, I made this large tote bag and wristlet. The tote will go a dear friend of mine as part of her birthday present.

tote and wristlet  

I’ve been admiring some of the creations made from the Coco pattern so much so that I was inspired to make my own.  I made a very simple dress version using Ponte de Roma knit in charcoal.


I’ve also been sewing some of the new Oliver + S spring patterns, but I’ll save those for future posts.

We are still in winter mode up here in Boston, so I’ve been knitting a few accessories to get us through the rest of the winter.

H. & J. have new mittens.  I made these using bulky variegated, merino wool from Morehouse Farms.

mittens  mittens


For me, I finished the Elena Cowl using 4 skeins of Quince and Co.’s Chickadee in Iceland.


I’m trying to knit my way out of winter and sew myself into spring.  More spring sewing projects coming up…





Knitting and Sewing for a bit of Winter Warmth

2 Mar

This winter has been a bit too snowy and cold for my taste.  Over the past two months, I’ve been knitting and sewing garments to help keep us all warm.

Shortly after the new year, I knit another Falmouth Hat for myself using a skein of Quince and Co. Osprey in chanterelle.  This has been my go-to-hat on these cold New England days.

Falmouth Hat


I knit the Vines cowl using four skeins of Lark in honey.  I’m donating this one to an upcoming raffle for a friend who is running the Boston Marathon.

Vines Cowl

I recently purchased a second hand serger, and have been easing by way learning how to use it by experimenting with all the different settings.  This weekend I sewed the Lola dress from Victory Patterns using sweatshirt fleece.  I love this dress.  The fleece I used has a tweedy, nubby texture on the outside, but the softest and coziest fleece inside.  I could live in this all winter.  The finished dress reminds me of a garment that Prairie Underground would make, so of course, I want to wear it nonstop.

Using this adorable fawn print knit I picked up a JP Knit and Stitch  yesterday, I made H. a new Hopscotch Top.


I also finished a new School Photo Dress for H. just in time for her to wear it for last week’s 3rd grade tea party.


I used a print from Sarah Jane’s Out to Sea collection for the main fabric and navy blue leftover uniform fabric for the lining.

For J., I made him a tooth pillow just in time for him to send off his first baby teeth.


H. and J. have a number of friends who recently celebrated birthdays.  I made most of them birthday shirts.  A handful went out without photos taken.

For one of H.’s dear friends, H. helped me make a birthday shirt,  a reversible Hula Hoop skirt, and a matching gift bag.



Hopefully, warmer weather will arrive soon.  I’m ready to start sewing spring and summer clothes!



Why so long, stranger?

26 Jun

Well, hello there.  It has been a while since I have posted.  My apologies for neglecting my little ‘ole blog.  My spring semester has been filled with a whole slew of fall pattern testing and sample sewing, kids’ activities, teaching, work events, and job interviews.  Now that summer has arrived, and things are starting to quiet down, I catch you up on a few projects I managed to complete.  For this post, I’ll focus on the items I’ve sewn since I have a small pile of knitted items I completed that still need to be blocked.   I must admit, I’ve been lazy and just taking photos with my phone, so ignore the blurriness.

Here is a quick run down of some of the sewing projects I completed.

I snatched up a digital copy of The Staple Dress as quickly as I could and couldn’t wait to start sewing.  I decided to use Marc Jacobs voile I purchased at Mood last year to make my first Staple Dress.

Staple Dress in voile

I made another one using AMH voile.  I thought the single line of shirring wasn’t quite enough, so I added 3 more lines.

Staple Dress  Staple Dress

I really like this pattern.  It is so straight forward and easy to make.  I highly recommend it.

H.’s really close friend celebrated her 8th birthday back in April.  For her present, I made her a pair of O + S Class Picnic Shorts and added 8 appliquéd balloons to a tee-shirt.

Bday present  bday present

For H. & J.’s school auction, I made a yoga bag.  I made another for a friend’s birthday.

Yoga Bag

yoga bag lining  yoga bag lining

For a wee friend who visited us a few weeks back, I made him an O + S Sailboat Top in seersucker leftover from fall sample sewing.  I used lime green thread and buttons to add a bit of color.


I’ve been sewing a few things for H.’s upcoming birthday as well, but I’ll save that for a future post!


Roller Skate Dress

6 Mar

I love sewing samples and testing sewing patterns.  It’s been a fun way to be part of someone else’s creative process as well as get a sneak peek of forthcoming patterns.  I still get excited every time I get an e-mail from Liesl asking if I would be up for testing.  You can read more about what goes into the making of and Oliver + S pattern here.  I feel pretty lucky to have a small role in the whole process.

In December, I started testing and sewing samples for the Spring/Summer ’13 Oliver + S patterns.  As soon as I saw the Roller Skate Dress, I knew this pattern would be in regular rotation in my sewing queue.  In fact, I can’t stop making these dresses.

I made H.view a of the Roller Skate dress in size 8 using the Flora print from Julia Rothman’s Miscellany line for Cloud 9.  Since it is still winter here in New England, H. has been wearing this dress with layers underneath.

Roller Skate Dress  

I made another version of the dress in size 10 to see if it could be reversible.  To make the dress reversible, I added another button loop to the lining, sewed on buttons to both sides in the back for the dress, and left the hem length the same for both sides of the dress.  I decided to leave off the center bow since it might be a bit uncomfortable if it were facing the body.

I used 1000 Cranes in Indigo from Rashida Coleman-Hale’s latest line for Cloud 9.  There are so many beautiful prints in the Tsuru line.  Of course, the fact that all of Cloud 9’s fabrics are made out of organic cotton is a bonus.  For the other side, I used Alexander Henry’s April Showers print.  I’ve had this in my stash for quite some time.

This dress will be given to a very very special Portland girl for her April birthday, so it seemed only natural to use this print for the reverse side (Sorry for the spoiler, Nance).  I’m hoping my niece loves it as much as I do.

For dress number 3, I made view B with the contrasting yoke.


I used a print from Erin McMorris’s La-Dee-Da line and polka dots from Delphine Cubitt for the yoke.

the lining, I used poplin from the Spring Little Lisette collection. Can you tell which side H. prefers?


Didn’t I warn you that I can’t stop sewing this dress?  The simple silhouette is so versatile   I love the capped sleeves; they were one of my favorite details in the Bubble Dress. I can’t wait to try adding applique to a future iteration of this dress.  Oh, the options.  I can’t wait to see what your Roller Skate dresses/tunics look like!

January Gift Making

31 Jan

Just when holiday gift crafting finished up, I found myself scrambling to get started on making presents for a slew of January birthdays.

We have been in full birthday party marathon mode since the start of the new year.  Between H. & J., one of them has been invited to a birthday party every weekend.  For these birthday gifts, I added some applique to t-shirts. I’ve made so many of these over the years, I’ve stopped taking photos of them.

For one of H.’s closest friends, H. requested I make her a dress.  I let H. pick out the fabric from my stash and made an Oliver + S Seashore Sundress.

Seashore Sundress

H. wanted to help out, so she assisted in sewing on the buttons.

sewing button  sewing button

For my step niece, I made her a Oliver + S Badminton Skort.


I knit up a simple ribbed merino wool hat for my brother-in-law.

Ribbed Hat

For a dear friend’s birthday, I made her a Kimono Robe using on of my favorite prints from Jay McCarroll’s Habitat line.  The pattern is from Amy Butler’s In Stitches.  I cut down the length of the sleeves since the ones on mine turned out to be ridiculously long.


Sewing all of these presents made me realize my gift stash is running a bit low.  I decided to use some leftover fabric to make a bunch of tote bags.

I used the Easy Lazy Bag pattern as a base and made some adjustments.  I choose to make gussets at the bottom of the bag instead of having rounded corners.  I also opted not to have the shoulder straps tie.  Instead, I shortened the straps and sewed them together.  Lastly, I added two interior pockets.  I’m sure I’ll find good homes for these bags come spring time.

Tote Bags

Recap of 2012 Holiday Knitting and Sewing Extraganza

3 Jan

Happy 2013.  My apologies for being a neglectful blogger these past two months.  Now that my marathon of sample sewing, holiday crafting, end of semester craziness and winter vacation all behind me, I can finally share with you some of the things I’ve been sewing and knitting.

This holiday season, I made cowls for almost every woman in my life (or so it seemed).  This photo shows most of the cowls I made.  I’ve lost count, but I believe I made a total of 9 cowls.

Stack of Cowls

I made two more Avery Cowls using Osprey yarn in peacock and rosa rugosa.

Avery Cowl

I made a number of long Honey Cowls in Madelinetosh Vintage.  I used skeins of  Malachite, Baltic, Filagree, and  Earl Gray.    Long Honey Cowls

I also made a simple ribbed cowl using two skeins of Manos from my stash.  This one has yet to find a home, so it goes into my gift stash.

I’ve been wanting to try knitting Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter and was thrilled to see the new Wiksten Snöflinga Hat pattern suggested using this yarn. These adorable hats knit up extremely quickly.  I made these four using Hayloft, Snowbound, Sweatshirt, and Pumpernickle.  I kept one, H. snagged one, and the other two were given as gifts.

Using balls of Mission Falls 1824 Wool from my stash, I knit three of these hats. And of course, a holiday season  cannot go by without knitting a few Fetching Wrist Warmers.  I made 3 pairs to give away as gifts.  Holiday shipping deadlines crept up on me.  I was literally casting off, blocking, and throwing them into boxes even before they were fully dried.  Needless to say, who had time to take photos? Like many of my knitting projects, I fear most of the gifts I sewed were neglectfully undocumented.  Most of my sewing projects consisted of making Have it All Wallets.  I made a dozen of these to give away to teachers and friends.  Some were already shipped off before I could take photos.

There were a few tote bags sewn as well as an Oliver + S Hula Hoop skirt for my niece.  There may be a few other items I have forgotten to include here.  I’m grateful I was able to finish all my holiday projects in time!

Straight Stitch Society’s Latest Patterns

14 Nov

Just in time for holiday sewing, Straight Stitch Society has released two new patterns.  Like the first set of patterns, these two are great way to transform fabric scrapes into functional and adorable goods.

The Keep Your Cool Smart Phone Case is a fun way to keep your phone, keys, and subway card all in one handy case.  There is a hidden pocket inside the case small enough to hold a library card or even a few dollars. I made view 1 with scrapes from my fabric drawer.  H. quickly claimed this as her own and uses it to house one of our old iPhones she uses as a music player.  Since the case has hidden pocket inside, she stashes her library card in the case.  I added a clip at the end, so she can attach it to a belt loop or her back pack.

Views 2 and 3 are just as adorable.

Keep you cool smartphone case

Image from Straight Stitch Society

The Have It All Wallet pattern lives up to its name.  Since there are so many pockets, I bought mine on a recent trip, and it held everything from my passport, bank card, phone, pesos, and lip balm. I was too busy enjoying myself that I forgot to snap a photo.

For view 2, I used fabric from Oliver + S’s The Ladies’ Stitching Club collection and a polka dot print from Robert Kaufman.  I opted to add the bow to this view.


I made an organic cotton version using prints from Cloud 9.


For view 1, I used prints from two of my fabric collections: Lotta Jansdotter’s Echo and Oliver + S’s Modern Workshop.


You’ll be seeing more of these since I have quite a few on tap for the upcoming gift-giving season.