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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!



Cowry Hat

2 Jan

Over the winter recess, I knit a Cowry Hat using Finch by Quince and Co.  I seemed to make a terrible mistake when I started the bubble stitch pattern.  You get the neat bubble effect by dropping a series of stitches.  When I dropped first set of stitches, they dropped all the way down to the ribbing.  The hat was knit on teeny tiny needles, so I wasn’t about to rip it all out and start over.  I’m not sure exactly what I did wrong, but after a some much needed time with my crochet hook, I was able to repair the damage I had done.  I haven’t blocked it yet, so don’t mind the lumpy knitting in the photos below.

I’ve already managed to put the hat to good use since we are getting hit with our first snow storm of the year.

Massive backlog

31 Dec

I’ve neglected this old blog for months now.  New job, new responsibilities, lack of time, work-life balance…fill in the blank with any number of reasons keeping up with this blog has fallen to the bottom of my list. You can’t imagine the number of false starts and half written posts I’ve sitting in draft mode.

With a few hours left before 2013 ends, I’m determined to try and list the projects I’ve been working on for the past few months.  I’ve chunked them up using arbitrary categories.

Holiday Crafting

I love giving away handmade gifts for the holidays, but I scaled back slightly.  I still managed to get some sewing, knitting, and baking done in time for the holidays.

Using super soft flannel, I made Oliver + S Bedtime Story PJs for H., J., and my youngest nephews.

I used Riley Blake’s A Merry Little Flannel  for the H. and my youngest nephew’s sets.

pjs   IMG_2592  pjs

For J. and my nephew J., I used cotton flannel that was in my stash.

PJs   pjs

Using leftover fabric, I made a few Straight Stitch Society’s Forget-Me-Not jewelry pouches and put earrings and rings for a few dear friends.

jewelry pouch

For H. & J.’s teachers and friends, we made hand warmers, cookies, and two different kids of marshmallows.  It was fun having them be part of the holiday crafting this year.

teacher gifts

I knit the Falmouth Hat for my husband using a skein of Quince and Co.’s Osprey in bark.  I added some extra length to the bottom of the hat, so my husband could flip it up.  In the photo it’s a bit uneven.


I knit two scarves for two of my brother in laws, and a pair of Fetching wrist warmers for my mother-in-law.  But forgot to take photos.  You’ll see this is an on-going theme in this post.

I knit a Honey Cowl for one of my sisters-in-law in MadTosh Vintage, and an Atwood Infinity Cowl using Cephalopod Yarns Bugga for H’s Brownie troop leader.  I didn’t follow the directions exactly, so the chevron pattern is a bit off.

Christmas Cowls

For my sister, I sewed her a Staple Dress, but I forgot to snap a photo before I shipped it off.


This version of the Atwood Cowl turned out much better.  Sure does help to pay attention when knitting.  This was made using MadTosh Merino light.


Back in the early part of the spring, I started working on the Julissa sweater using MadTosh Vintage.  I added more length on the sleeve and the bottom of the sweater.  Now that the cold weather is here, I am grateful to have such a warm, cozy sweater.


Inspired by Eloise’s Vitamin D cardigan, I made one of my own using Firefly.

Vitamin D  

Pattern Testing and Samples

One of my favorite things to do is to test patterns and sew samples.  This year, I’ve been fortunate enough to test patterns and sew samples for all of the Liesl + Co. lines as well as sew samples for JP Knit and Stitch.

You’ve already seen some of the results on Oliver + S, Straight Stitch Society, and Liesl + Co patterns and sites, so here are a few garments you may not have seen.

For both of these Oliver + S Library Dresses, I used prints by  Rashida Coleman-Hale for the main fabric.



These Forget-Me-Not Jewelry Pouches were made using fabric from Cloud 9.


I love the new Liesl + Co patterns that were released this year.  Here are a few pieces I made as I was testing the patterns.  I made two different versions of the Weekend Getaway Blouse.  One I could wear to work and another I could wear on the weekends. For the work version, I used a Dealtry and Wiksten in Silk Crepe de Chine. Unfortunately, the vibrant print faded and became distressed when I pre-washed the fabric.   I still love the results.  The folks as Spoonflower were kind enough to send me replacement fabric after I finished the garment.

I used a double gauze print from Nani Iro for the casual version of the blouse.

I sewed a warmer weather and cooler weather versions of the Everyday Skirt.  Using more Nani Iro double gauze, I made this metallic polkadot skirt.

For the fall and winter, I used flannel plaid print to make this skirt.

JP Knit and Stitch has some lovely knit fabrics.  Back in the fall, I made an Oliver + S Playdate Dress and Leggings using these two adorable prints.


This Hopscotch knit top and skirt is for the shop.


I sewed this Staple Dress using cotton voile from one of Rashida Coleman-Hale’s lines for Cloud 9.

Starting this weekend, I’m teaching a 4-week session on the Date Night Dress and Slip.  In preparation for the workshop, I sewed these two samples for the shop.  The dress is made of Nani Iro double gauze, and I used a rayon  print by Joel Dewberry for the slip.

I made a Wiksten Tank Dress sample for a workshop I taught over the summer.

As you can see from the last two samples, I’ve been on a hot pink bias tape kick.

Sewn Gifts

Potholder for A.

For H’s 8th birthday, she had a cupcake decorating party.  I sewed aprons for all of the guests.


I have a number of good friends who have fall birthdays, so I made them tote bags.

For a few other friends, they received mini iPad sleeves.

For one of my sister-in-law’s baby sprinkle (her mini shower), I made the baby some cozy flannel pants and a knit cardigan.

School Uniforms

Back in August, I gathered up all my khaki fabric and embarked on my annual bout of uniform sewing.  H. has a new Seashore Dress for the year.

She also has another Birthday Party Dress.

I also made her another Hopscotch skirt and Music Lesson skirt, but don’t have any images of her wearing them to share.  I fear the same is true for all the pants I made for J.  By now, they are so tattered, there is no point even taking photos of them.

Sewing for Me

Lastly, here are a few additional items I made for myself over the summer.

I made yet another Staple Dress using this wonderful print from Anna Maria Horner.

Using this amazing double gauze print from Nani Iro, I made another Easy Kimono Dress.  I love the gold lettering on the selvedge, so I kept it on the hem facing.


I’ve received a number of questions about the differences between the Staple Dress and Easy Kimono Dress patterns.  They are very similar, but the Kimono Dress is a bit more polished and has a better fit.  It does take a bit more time to sew, but I do think it is well worth it.

I’ve been using the knitting bag I made for H. for over two years.  Since she has started knitting in earnest, I thought it would be nice to give her bag back to her.  Using leftover fabric, I finally made myself my own knitting bag.

Whew, well that should do it.  Hopefully, it won’t be another 6 months before you hear form me again.

Happy New Year!

February Snow Edition

15 Feb

Hold on a second! Why is February going by so quickly?  I normally try to sew every night, but lately, the only time I have been able to carve out is on the weekends.  Luckily, my weeknights have been filled with fun events.  Aside from the shuffle kids to and from their early evening activities, I’ve been attending a number of book readings.  There have been so many new books being published from some of my talented fiction-writing friends. It’s been a joy to hear them read and to celebrate their recent publications.

Since I haven’t been sewing as often as I normally do, I’ve tried to focus on small, simple, and at times, portable projects.

I made a bunch of bow hair ties from this free Oliver + S pattern. The pattern piece is the same one used for the bow on the Straight Stitch Society Have It All Wallet.  I have a huge bag of scrape fabric next to my sewing table, so I was able to dip into that and finish several hair ties while H & J were at playdates.  H. has given quite a few of these to her girlfriends.

hair ties

hair tie

I made a ric-rac flower hair clip using this tutorial. I used way too much ric-rac on this flower and was about to take it apart, but H. loves the how large it turned out. Personally, I prefer subtleties in my hair accessories, but then again, I’m not a 7 year-old girl.

Rose hair clip

Whenever it starts to snow, I tend to start sewing clothes for warmer weather.  Call it wishful thinking. During this past weekend’s blizzard, I pulled out some Nani Iro double gauze fabric I purchased last year.  I used this digital pattern, made a few minor adjustments to it, and sewed a light summery dress.  I couldn’t wait for warmer weather to wear it, so I threw on some tights and a cardigan and layered up the dress for work.  I sewed the size based on my body’s measurements, but I think I could have gone down a size in the bodice.

Easy Kimono Dress  Easy Kimono Dress

Having all weekend plans cancelled due to the blizzard allowed me to finish up some knitting projects.  I finished the Every Last Yard cardigan I started back in the fall. I put this aside in October to start working on holiday presents, so it was nice to finally be able to finish it.  I used 3.5 skeins of Madelinetosh Merino DK in Betty Draper’s Blue.  I picked this color partially for the name and for the vibrant blue that was on the website.  I was a bit disappointed when it arrived to find the color wasn’t like the Baltic in the Madelinetosh Vintage but more like a stone-washed denim blue.

Every Last Yard Cardigan  Every Last Yard Cardigan

Every Last Yard Cardigan

I used my last skein of Morehouse 3-strand variegated yarn to make a pair of new mittens.  I sewed in all the loose end just as the snow fall was ending on Saturday morning. Nothing like a snowstorm to break in a new pair of knitted mittens.

Peacock Mittens

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!