make things…

Just a quick post today because I’m coming out of a stressful weekend/week and was reminded how important it is to slow down and take care of yourself. I kicked the weekend off in the emergency room (not me directly, and my family is all totally fine now) and left with a hefty reminder that simple things like a proper diet and a bit of exercise are not to be taken for granted.

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more adventures in block printing

Since my first attempt at block printing I’ve been itching to try printing on fabrics, so over the weekend I was busy doing just that. I wanted to make something special for my Organic Cotton Plus fabric review due this month (since fabric reviews can easily get a little stale) and decided a bit of Rit dye, and a hand printed border treatment was just the thing to jazz up my fabric. This project started off with several near disasters but I think, in the end, it will all come together to be something I’m pretty proud of. …I hope!

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not all who wander-er are lost

I’m honored to be today’s stop on the Wanderer Fabric Tour to promote April Rhodes’ new fabric collection! I know, I’ve been doing a lot of fabric tours lately but I can’t help it. I love them!! For about two weeks I had been pondering what to sew, knowing I wanted to make some kind of shirt dress, but I couldn’t decide on a pattern. I thought I had narrowed it down to the perfect one, Simplicity 2365, but after I messed up a narrow shoulder adjustment on my muslin I got frustrated and scrapped the whole project. Flash forward to Monday night when I had the genius idea (sarcasm) to design my own dress pattern and attempt to fit it/finalize it in roughly three days (hence the blog silence this week). WHAT WAS I THINKING?

I went back and forth in my own head about how terrible of an idea this was, but how proud I’d be if I could pull it off, until the Vulcan half of my brain was drowned out with sounds of “La la la lalalalalalala can’t heeaarrrrr yooouuuu!!” and I just went for it.

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Carolyn Pajama Shorts

Happy Friday! A casual Friday, that is. You’ve seen the new Carolyn Pajama pattern by Closet Case Patterns, right? Well if you haven’t, and you live in lounge clothes like I do, I highly recommend checking it out. When Heather released the pattern I instantly fell in love with the blue shorts version she shows as a sample. It’s so cute!! I ended up buying the pattern within the week it was announced because I was getting frustrated with the fitting process on another pattern. When all else fails, and you just need to sew something, turn to PJs as a pick-me-up!

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sew to flatter: warm vs cool

As I work towards my Me Made May goals, I find myself analyzing past sewing projects in order to work out the reasons why I don’t wear them routinely, even when I’m happy with my craftsmanship. There are countless projects that I love on a hanger, but then something isn’t quite right when I put them on. I used to blame it on fit alone, but then another possible factor dawned on me. I always tell myself I don’t care if certain colors flatter my type, I’m just going to wear what I like! But it’s becoming more apparent that I obviously care on some subconscious level, or else I would be wearing what I make all the time, instead of falling out of love with projects a week after making them. Yesterday I was browsing some of my older photos and I realized I’ve got a lot to learn about how I wear color.

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adventures in block printing

It’s no secret that I have an interest in fabric design. It’s something I’ve been studying and practicing in hope that one day I’ll have a pretty awesome portfolio to pitch. Though as much as I love digital design, I’ve had a real urge to step away from the computer lately. Not only to keep the tendinitis at bay, but also to create something a little more directly with my hands. I’m fascinated with some of the “old world” printing techniques still popular in India and Japan, so I decided to give block printing a shot.

I wanted to start with something small, so I bought the Speedball deluxe block printing kit for beginners and sketched out some ideas for a handmade Valentine. ‘Tis the season, after all.

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The Hack-tory Dress Preface

The Factory Dress by Merchant & Mills has been on my radar for a little while now and I’ve been dying to make it. I finally found a retailer in the U.S. where I could buy it online (Purl Soho!) and once it arrived at my door I tore into it expecting to start working on it immediately. But after browsing through the instructions I decided I wasn’t too keen on the way the front is constructed, mostly because I was scratching my head at how one might finish the edges on a serger without some serious fandangling (you’ll see what I mean in the photo coming up). So I decided to pattern hack and re-trace the bodice my own way and make it a button front instead, hence “The Hack-tory Dress”.

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Alexia’s Rayon and Occam’s Razor

As I mentioned earlier this week, Cotton & Steel just announced their new rayon fabric collection called Frock which is due to hit stores in February. Now, when your favorite fabric company contacts you and asks if you’d like some sample yardage to accompany a blog tour, you say “OMG YES!!!” right away and worry about the challenge later. What I mean is, I’ve never actually sewn with Rayon before! I’ve bought rayon, but I’ve yet to sew with it. Until now that is!

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three things v.3

I’ve decided to continue my “Three Things” installment since it’s rather fun for me to do little round-ups like this. I originally had the idea for these posts so I could share more of my own photography, at a time when I was blogging less frequently, and really only sharing finished projects with photos taken by my man companion, Wil. Well I’m proud to say that Wil has only taken photos for ONE blog post so far this year! Now that I have a tripod and a remote for my camera, I’m really interested in taking more of my own outfit photos and learning the camera on manual settings.

So, here are three photos I’ve taken along with some other things in a series of three. …just because.

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cotton & steel rayon frock tour

There are exciting things afoot for garment sewers thanks to the masterminds at Cotton & Steel. Perhaps you’ve already seen their gorgeous cotton lawns and double gauze, but now …there are RAYONS! That’s right, new rayon fabrics, and they’re beautiful.

I’m honored to be included in the official Frock Fabric Tour, along with some other amazing sewing wizards, to help kick off this new collection. I can’t wait to see what everyone makes!

Here’s the tour schedule, along with everyone’s details, if you’d like to follow along:

frocktour2(photos via Cotton & Steel on instagram)

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