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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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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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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 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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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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threethingsLLTT3

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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frockfabric

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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I recently bought the new Granville shirt pattern by Sewaholic, (which if you haven’t seen yet I highly recommend checking out because it’s beautifully tailored) and though it’s not on my immediate to-sew list, I couldn’t help but peek through my stash to see if I had anything that might work well with the pattern. This amazing vintage fabric was a gift from a blog reader (Thanks, Jackie!) and I’ve been saving it away for the perfect project (one that I’ve mastered the fit of and will actually wear and love, of course). Once I pulled out the fabric I grabbed some thread off my table and set it on my ironing board, which is set up near my sad stash of yarn that’s been terribly neglected since my wrists have been bothering me. Well, once all the colors kept popping out at me I couldn’t help but make a little collage, and an accidental color palette was born!

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Reenactments are something I really, really enjoy doing, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend many last year at all. One of my favorite events is a WWII reenactment held at Fort Indiantown Gap every January in Annville, Pennsylvania: Battle of the Bulge Commemoration Living History Week. It’s only open to the public on Saturday (January 31st) but if you’re in the Annville area I highly recommend checking it out!

I’m not able to attend this year’s event either (insert super sad face) but I wanted to post a few photos from last year’s event that never made it to the blog. I did share just a few pictures last year of my Knit For Victory project, and a few more photos from the year before (which was my very first reenactment!), but neither of those posts included details of my Women’s Land Army impression, so I decided to do a bit of a flashback today.

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If there’s one thing I’m good at doing, it’s being brutally honest about myself on the internet. Whatever, no one can say anything hurtful about me that I haven’t already said to my own face, so at risk of publicly embarrassing myself, let me tell you a funny story about how naive I am. I don’t claim to be a super experienced seamstress, I’d say I’m intermediate at best, so quite often I find myself having these ridiculous moments of epiphany when I realize how much of an idiot I am. I don’t take anything in life too seriously, so I rather enjoy laughing at myself when I make these epic “discoveries”. See I used to think “wearable muslin” meant you could sew a pattern right out of the envelope, for the first time, in any fabric, in hopes it would turn out okay and you could actually wear it. In fact, if you asked me last month I’d tell you “Oh yeah, I have tons of wearable muslins!” …lies!! ALL LIES I tell you. No my friends, I have tons of me-made garments that don’t fit quite right, made up in fabric that I don’t quite love, sitting in a box in my closet. I don’t think those “muslins” count as “wearable” at all.

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